658 – The Final Flash
Treant’s [Fairy Hex] has broken the absolute defence of [Eclipse]. Miia hasn’t had time to heal. In addition to the damage I dealt, she spammed [Split Beast] in order to buy time for [Eclipse]. Her HP should be quite low now.
This is the last chance that treant has risked his life to give me.
“Dragon-god-sama, sorry. My mana is…”
『Aro, treant, you’ve done great. I’ll handle the rest.』
Right after treant, Aro’s also out of MP. This coming clash will decide who wins.
“…To think [Eclipse] could be beaten in this way.”
Miia’s giant thanatos body trembles. Perhaps from the impact of slamming into the wall, or from backlash of having her [Eclipse] forcibly cancelled, it she seems to be temporarily paralysed.
『I won’t give you time, Miia!』
I send [Dimension Claws] towards her as I fly. I’ll burn through my MP freely on this. If she gets away this time, we’ll really have no hope.
Her block is too late. Two of my slashes slashes cut into her soft human body. As expected, she manages to block the third, but until now she’s always reacted perfectly to my [Dimension Claws]. It goes to show how injured she is now.
“One last straightforward clash…? Very well, I have confidence in my sword.”
The thanatos moves, crawling along the wall. Upon gaining enough momentum, Miia kicks off the wall to leap towards me. I see her taking a deep breath as she readies her sword.
I watch Miia closely. She stares back at me. I clear every other thought from my mind, and focus entirely on her.
She might be injured, but she’s still the strongest swordfighter I know. I suspect that, if you were to compare every swordfighter throughout all of history, Miia would compete for first or second place.
It’s taking a while for me to reach her. This must be the effect of such complete concentration. The flow of the world feels slow.
There have been key moments in battles before when I’ve felt this. But this is the first time I’ve felt it so keenly. I wonder if top-class swordfighters like Miia always fight like this.
Our swords collide. I can see her blade clearly. I can feel a response. But before I can feel relieved, a second slash comes my way. I tilt my sword, catching the blade.
Our swords collide a third and a fourth time. I quickly come to realise that, even though I’m swinging half on instinct, Miia is still managing to use her intellect despite her condition, and is gradually driving me into a corner.
There is no reason to my sword. I’m just swinging based on experience and instinct. That’s why, with each strike, my sword falls slightly behind hers, and my position becomes slightly worse.
Miia’s swordsmanship is diminished in her thanatos state, and she’s heavily injured. Even so, the difference between us still isn’t closed.
I can see clearly now. Miia is far stronger in her human state. It’s entirely thanks to Aro and treant that she was forced into needing more firepower.
If I keep fighting like this, I’ll gradually be pushed out. I need to take a gamble, even if it’s from an unfavourable position.
Immediately after our blades collide, I pretend to draw back, before punting all my might into a thrust.
This is a gamble. It’s difficult to block the narrow footprint of a stab with a blade. If she can deflect or evade it, then I’ll be exposing a massive opening to her. But if she’s unable to respond, I’ll gain a massive advantage. It’s high risk high return. I’m falling behind in a battle of skill, so I’ve no choice but to rely on a bet like this.
Mii’s blood splatters.
A thin line is carved in her forehead. She managed to dodge. My blade was only able to graze her.
My sword still extended, I look at Miia. She readies her sword, about to cut through my body.
Was my gamble too simple? But the way it was going, I was going to lose. That attack was my only chance.
I’ve borrowed so much power from Aro and treant to come this far, and yet I’ve lost in a battle of ability.
Roaring, I swing my sword. I know it will be too late. Miia isn’t soft enough to let this opportunity fly.
But, even so, I swing with all my might. I know it won’t work out. But now that Aro and treant have given so much to help me, I can’t roll over and accept defeat.
Sorry… Aro, treant. In the end I wasn’t strong enough to beat her.
Miia sighs out and lowers her sword. But, I only realise that after I have completed my swing.
Her human torso is cut cleanly in two by my sword. Her blood spurts out. The [Blackfly Greatsword] falls from her hand.
The six-eyed dragon roars with madness. Its many legs writhe as it falls, eventually slamming into the floor head-first.
【Divine skill [Naraka Realm: Lv-] has been acquired.】
【Title skill [Laplace Interference Authority] has risen from level 7 to 8.】
The message resounds in my head.