663 – The Future Evolutions Meeting
Python, which excels in large scale attacks but lacks speed. Nun, which excels in healing ability but lacks attack power. Azhdahak, which excels in magic and poison but is a three-headed dragon. Apocalypse, which probably excels in close combat but I don’t have clear information on. Chronos, which has atrocious skills but likely has inferior stats because of its lower rank…
Each of them cleanly has its pros and cons. If I pick out just the advantages, starting from the python it’s large scale attacks, healing ability, indirect attacks, close combat, and special skills. It’s difficult to choose. Honestly speaking, I want all of them if I can.
On the other hand, arranging the disadvantages, there’s slow-footedness, lack of firepower, extra personalities, unlikeliness of new skills, and low stats. In addition to the azhdahak having extra personalities, I’m apprehensive that its stats might be a little on the low side since it’s an indirect attack specialist. It’s only conjecture at this point, though.
『Hmm… master-dono, that is troubling…』
I decided to discuss it with Aro and treant as well. We arranged ourselves in a circle in front of the tower. Thinking it’s better to have more thinking heads in this discussion, I asked Aro to split into three with [Darkness Kaleidoscope] as an experiment, after draining a little MP from me.
『There is little to be gained from brooding over this though. Let us gallantly decide things right now. No matter how much we think about it, the unknowns will remain much larger than the knowns, won’t they?』
There is some truth in what treant is saying, but even so, I don’t really feel like it can be decided that easily. Even if it’s irrelevant to the result, I want to reach a conclusion by using some logical reasoning. At any rate, what choice I make will have a large effect on my destiny.
『How about the python? It’s of the earth attribute, and somehow or other, I can feel some affinity with it! If it is a slow monster, I believe its health and defence will probably be high, so how about it? When the unexpected occurs, I think the python being unable to die from a surprise attack is a massive point in its favour…!』
『…Sorry, I get what you’re trying to say, but honestly I’m thinking it’s the first to be struck off the list.』
『Is that so…』
Treant dejectedly hangs his head.
…Sorry, treant. Its excellent wide-area attacks are a low priority, and its low speed is a huge disadvantage. I can make up for treant’s slow-footedness by carrying him and flying around, but there won’t be anyone to cover for me if I were to become slow-footed myself.
『But, to some extent, I do want to evolve into a sturdy dragon.』
There’s a high chance that the python is sturdy. True, I’d overlooked that. It’s enough to take into consideration, but of course the slow speed is the bottleneck. It’s not suitable for me.
Even if it’s sturdy, if it’s slow, it seems easy to land hits on in exchange for its sturdiness. Excelling at such a tank role isn’t so easy unless you specialise in it to the extent of treant. It doesn’t seem likely that it can just shrug off attacks from God’s Voice, and if I can’t perform as our primary attacker, it also seems unlikely that I can reduce God’s Voice’s HP, either.
『But, like treant said, I don’t understand what methods God’s Voice is going to come with. There’s a chance that I’ll be hit with something that’s a guaranteed kill the first time it’s used. I’ll need to choose something from which I can expect some degree of defence…』
Most likely, God’s Voice is something that I can’t take down by simply landing multiple consecutive attack skills. I need to make and attack a weak point after observing it and grasping its true state. For that to happen, it’s important that I don’t get killed while I’m still in the middle of observing it.
With that in mind, the nun has a high priority with its great healing ability. However, it’s bottlenecked by the lack of attack power, which is essential.
“Dragon-god-sama, our opinions are the same.”
“If we may be excused for receiving some mana from you.”
“But, because of that, I think we’re able to approach the problem from various angles.”
The Aros look confident for some reason.
『Oh? Please explain.』
The Aros nod at my words, and speak similar words at the same time.
“We should collect the chronos’ skills.”
“The apocalypse is a safe choice.”
“Let’s go with the azhdahak!”
…They didn’t match at all. After speaking, the three simultaneously turn to glare at each other.
“Why did you two look so confident even though your thoughts were completely different from mine!?”
“Are you taking this seriously!? The chronos is definitely out of the question!”
“I changed my mind! Let’s go with the azhdahak!”
Treant covers his face with its wings, and heaves a deep sigh.
They’re not united at all… Instead, they’re broken up to this extent. How does [Darkness Kaleidoscope] even do this…?
『T-truly, it looks like you’ll be able to hear various viewpoints…』
Treant lands a followup shot with his best effort. The three Aros simultaneously turn to glare at treant, and he shrinks back a step… They’re in sync at times like this, huh.
『It’s not particularly bad that your opinions are separate, though. Can you explain one by one why you picked that evolution?』
“U-Umm, since it’s an opponent that is unlikely to be defeated by normal means, I don’t think we can discount the chronos with its abnormal skills. It might be better to gain something that can be relied on besides stats… God’s Voice is unmistakably an opponent that must be fought using skill, and not by strength alone.”
I see… that’s true, it seems as she said. It’s a dialogue that’s especially rational. The chronos’ time manipulation and defence piercing attacks have a slim chance of winning against whatever ability God’s Voice has. The chronos not having sufficient stats is worrying, but there truly is a high likelihood that the skills will make up for it.
“What are you saying? In the end, skills have the role of covering for insufficient stats. Dragon-god-sama, powerful skills shouldn’t be flashy techniques, but should only be for making up for a lack of speed or firepower! For impractical skills, just having them in mind is enough.”
Aro chatters on and on without pause. I had thought the three Aro sisters would have been persuaded with the first’s arguments, so her vigour has taken me by surprise.
『Y-yeah… T-that might be true.』
Certainly, that was the case. Even Miia’s [Eclipse]; it was powerful and flashy, yet it wouldn’t be that difficult to deal with if we were outdoors. The rays of black light were fast, but the wind-up time took so long that it would have been easy to get away. She could have forcibly restarted the skill, but if she didn’t have an overwhelming advantage in MP, that battle tactic wouldn’t be effective. It’s definitely a skill limited in its use.
I might even be able to say that [Godspeed Flash], the skill that raised her base speed for a moment, was a bigger threat than [Eclipse].
“In the first place, as long as your stats are high enough, nothing else is needed. It’s important to have some means of attack and healing, but that should already be in dragon-god-sama’s possession. Hence, the apocalypse should be chosen since it has a high chance of having great stats. The chronos is definitely unthinkable!”
A declaration was made… The first Aro’s expression turns indignant.
“You’re speaking too frankly to dragon-god-sama! And you can’t paint all skills with such a broad stroke! There’s no telling what skills it might have!”
“It’s normal to say things directly since this is so important. I’m saying it’s bad precisely because we don’t know what skills it could have. If the stats are low, won’t the skills all be too restricted to use? Look, since we don’t know anything about what possible skills there are, anything we say about them is pointless. Don’t get so worked up about it.”
“Excuse me, dragon-god-sama! I’ll shut this child up immediately!”
The chronos Aro grabs at the apocalypse Aro. The apocalypse Aro nimbly dodges the arm extended towards her, and nervously furrows her brow.
“I, I didn’t say anything wrong! In the first place, dragon-god-sama only uses the oneiros’ skills in such a simple way. Even if he obtains some powerful skills from the chronos, it’s questionable whether he’ll use them properly…”
“D-dragon-god-sama, it’s not like that! I, I don’t believe that! Y-you fake! I’ll make you disappear right now!”
“Wait, stop! Don’t pull my hair! I just said what’s right, so why are you doing this?!”
The two grapple each other with their bare hands. In the midst of that they get tangled up and fall down, and resume jostling with each other on the ground.
『O-oi, you two, calm down! I get what you’re trying to say! A-and, I also knew I haven’t been using the oneiros’ skills much. Okay? I definitely think it’s something I should be taking into account.』
The apocalypse Aro frowns with a ‘hmph, see’ expression, fixing a glare onto the chronos Aro. The chronos Aro awkwardly glances away, then looks towards me.
“I-I was only bothered that this child was speaking to dragon-god-sama in a disrespectful way! Even so, dragon-god-sama isn’t supporting me but her instead?!”
She points a finger at the offending apocalypse Aro.
『Calm down, Aro, you’re both Aro to me… Speaking of which. Can you explain the reasons you’re pushing for the azhdahak? We haven’t heard it yet.』
Without regard for this terrible scene, there’s logic in what both Aros are saying. I had viewed the healing-specialised nun somewhat favourably, but I’ve started to think that either the chronos or the apocalypse might be stronger.
Sorry about it treant, but currently the python is first on the chopping block of dragons to avoid. Now, it’s: Chronos = Apocalypse > Nun >>> Python, I think. I want to hear what the Aro on team azhdahak has to say.
I repeat myself once more as she didn’t respond.
“Ah, sorry, it’s my turn isn’t it.”
The azhdahak Aro seems to finally notice and looks up at me. It’s probably because she was focused on the two other Aros. As if embarrassed that she didn’t realise she was being called, she scratches at her cheek with her index finger.
“Ummm… if dragon-god-sama gets three heads, then it’ll be nice since there’s three of us too.”
Her cheeks are flushed red as she speaks, and she gives an embarrassed smile.
…It was an opinion that didn’t consider ability at all.
The tense atmosphere between the other two Aros vanishes and they turn pale as they move to surround and glare at the azhdahak Aro.
“W-what is it, you two…?”
The two Aros gradually start closing the distance with her.
“D-don’t say disgraceful things in front of dragon-god-sama!”
“Even though we were having a serious discussion, how can you say something so brazen? Even though everyone is waiting back in the original world! Are you messing around?”
“I-I’m sorry, I’m sorry! In the end I couldn’t think through which choice would be most useful… I, I don’t understand difficult things… B-Because of that, I wanted to choose something that would undoubtedly make me happy… But, that, well, it’s not that I absolutely want dragon-god-sama to choose the azhdahak!”
The azhdahak Aro is captured in an instant by the other two.
“Keep a lid on it! Ugh, this child, I’ll take her back!”
“Hey, stop struggling!”
“Wait! Wait! Dragon-god-sama, um, if you could consider it for the time being…!”
She becomes a mass of black light and is drawn back into the chronos Aro. Apparently, she’s the original Aro.
『…The clones with their own self-determination might keep this up until only one is left.』
Treant absent-mindedly says something rude. I poke his head lightly with my forefinger.