744 (side: Treant)
Blown away by my [Akashic Counter], the behemoth falls sprawled on the ground.
The blue light of [Undying Regeneration] fades from my body.
[Akashic Counter] is powerful, but it took more MP than I was expecting. [Life’s Balance] was letting me hold on, but the rate of mana recovery has finally dropped too low.
I’m out of MP, and the damage from the hit I received isn’t fully healed. My body’s at its limits.
I drag my body, crawling towards the behemoth. If it somehow gets up now, there’ll be nothing I can do.
Beads of light float from its body. I remember that when Saint Jornes was dying, her body dissolved into similar beads of light.
The strength leaves my body, and I collapse to my knees.
I’m glad… I was able to beat the Magic Beast King.
『Heh… To think that, after becoming God’s slave, I would be defeated by one who doesn’t even hold a divine skill.』
The behemoth calls out to me with [Telepathy].
『You have freed me from my chains… Thank you, wooden hero. And…sorry.』
I sense a kindness from the behemoth that was absent while we were fighting. It seems it wasn’t originally so ferocious.
『Be proud… Of all that I know, I believed I was the second strongest monster in all history. But now, you have taken that place.』
I shake my head.
『The strongest is my master. I’m satisfied with third place.』
『I see… Then I shall pray from the shadows that your master will change this world.』
The behemoth’s body dissolves into beads of light and scatters into the air.
【307500 experience points have been acquired.】
【The level of [Sephirotic Tree Dragon] has risen from 74 to 113.】
An immense amount of experience flows into me. My level has shot up. Of course, [God of Destruction] bringing certain death soon, it’s meaningless to me now…
Stumbling, Aro-dono approaches me.
『Aro-dono… Did you see? I won. Hehe, I’m sure master-dono will be surprised. We only planned on slowing it down, but we went and defeated it…』
“Your body… Is… Is that what dragon-god-sama said not to do…?”
Her voice is hoarse. She appears afraid to confirm her suspicions.
『Yes. My body will soon crumble away.』
Tears run down her face, and she hugs my leg.
“Sorry… I’m so sorry, treant-san. It’s my fault… It’s because I was so reckless and selfish, and wanted to hurry too much…! I was okay with becoming a sacrifice myself, but this… I never wanted this…!”
I shake my head.
『You wanted to protect your hometown, as you consider it to be more important than your own life. I wanted to protect you, who I consider more important than my own life. That is all… Strangely, I don’t feel sad. I only feel proud that I was able to protect someone more precious than myself.』
I wonder if this is how the left master-dono felt when she lost her life fighting the ruin?
『I’m too high up like this and can’t see your face. I want to say goodbye in a more familiar form.』
I use [Tree Spiritisiation]. My perspective rapidly lowers as I shrink down to my normal round green form.
『This is much more comfortable. I can see you properly now.』
Aro-dono kneels and embraces me tightly.
“Treant-san… Sorry… I’m sorry… And… Thank you. I really am glad to have met you. I’ll never forget you.”
『I’m glad I met you too.』
I stroke her back with my wings.
『Aro-dono… To tell you the truth, I’m a little scared of disappearing. Is it okay if I ask for something selfish? Could you hold me like this until I go away?』
Her embrace becomes tighter.
Suddenly, I notice that the area around us has become a field of flowers. It seems to be a result of my mana leaking out.
『It’s a beautiful scenery, isn’t it?』
It’s as though I’ve arrived in heaven a moment too early. But for my final scenery, it’s not bad.