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I stood in front of the Sacred Tree.
This should be simple since all I had to do was to cut it down.
Also, I didn’t have to bring down the tree right this instant.
I could use whatever method I wanted as long as I didn’t burn the wood.
It was easy to see through Mumuroot-san and Sanya-san’s forced smiles; they most likely felt awful about this.
I decided to try everything I could before having to kill the Sacred Tree.
Before, I had used wind magic to cut some wriggling vines, but they quickly regenerated.
The only sound explanation was the Parasitic Tree absorbing the Sacred Tree’s magical power to regenerate itself.
I had to locate the Parasitic Tree’s core, then.
Where could it possibly be, though?
Could it have already invaded inside the Sacred Tree?
I walked around to the right side of the Sacred Tree, where the vines didn’t reach as far.
On the other side, the vines had already reached the treetop, completely covering up many areas.
In this situation, all these protected areas should be suspicious. I had no other choice but to methodically check them all.
The elves would have to tolerate me inflicting some damage on the Sacred Tree, if that meant I could save it without cutting it down.
I started with the most suspicious part of the tree. The trunk which was more or less completely covered in vines. I sent a vertical wind blade directly at the trunk.
When it collided with the tree it cleanly sliced through the vines that wrapped around the tree, yet they managed to stay attached to the trunk.
Thus, I sent another wind blade, this time with more force, but the vines still stayed firmly attached.
Hmm… I didn’t see any damage on the Sacred Tree itself.
Maybe it was sturdier than I thought?
If so… I could probably be a bit rougher with it.
I started to think about what I should do. The options I initially thought of all required large amounts of magical power.
In addition, my target was leeching off the Sacred Tree’s magic power.
It also had regenerative abilities. This was completely unfair…
I had to fight while keeping all this in mind.
I nervously scanned the area. Hugging Bear looked at me, as if it wanted to ask what I was doing.
I told him「I’m not doing anything!」and quickly took off my Bear Suit.
There was nobody around, so I wasn’t too worried about being seen while changing.
This was probably the safest place for me to change my suit other than inside my Bear House.
I turned my outfit inside out, changing into the White Bear.
Hugging Bear looked happy, probably because we were now matching.
This should increase my magic power recovery. Since my opponent also had high recovery, we should be fairly matched now, right?
I took a stance a short distance from the Sacred Tree and began to unleash countless wind blades at it.
Using both my hands, I sent blades left and right, shredding the vines.
The vines, however, continued to regenerate without stopping, and kept coiling themselves back around the tree. As I was beginning to think that this would be a one-sided massacre until one side lost, the Parasitic Tree shot leaves at me.
Oh, so it could also attack?
It would have been bad if it attacked while I had been changing.
The vines also began to stretch out at me.
Eh! They can reach all the way here?
I was sure I had been far enough.
「Hugging Bear, stay behind me and protect me if necessary!」
Hugging Bear quickly dashed behind me while I kept firing wind blades at the vines around the trunk. Yet, they kept regenerating just as quickly as I shot them down.
Come on, this was practically cheating.
I decided to block the incoming leaf attacks by surrounding us with an earth dome.
The enemy really was attacking cowardly, sending leaves down on us from above.
Soon after, the vines started to stretch towards me again. It was kind of sad, seeing the tree have no will of its own anymore, only sending monotonous attacks at me one after the other.
I kept attacking the vines during openings, but it seemed rather pointless as the vines kept regenerating immediately after.
The regeneration was making this fight really annoying.
Well, since the fast regeneration was the problem here, all I had to do was to keep attacking without giving it time to regenerate. If leaf attacks kept getting in my way then all I had to do was get rid of all the leaves.
The Sacred Tree should be fine even if I removed its leaves as they would grow back next year.
I started gathering some magical energy in my right hand then gestured towards the lower right side of the Sacred Tree, making wind swirl around it.
The wind gradually grew stronger, and started to wrap around the tree, eventually becoming a full-blown tornado.
It was time to finish this.
Would my magical power run out first?
Would the Parasitic Tree’s regeneration give out?
Would the Sacred Tree be able to withstand this abuse?
Would the Sacred Tree run out of magical energy, causing the Parasitic Tree to fall with it?
One of these would eventually happen, but it would be my win as long as the Parasitic Tree ran out of power first.
A large tornado kept spinning around the Sacred Tree.
It tore off the vines from the Parasitic Tree, while blowing away the leaves from the Sacred Tree.
The moment the vines regenerated, they were torn off again.
If I made a mistake in controlling the tornado, the Sacred Tree might sustain some damage as well, but for now, I managed to keep all the branches safe.
It soon turned into a battle of endurance.
Magical recovery versus regeneration.
I had no idea which would prevail.
The opponent surely didn’t have an unlimited magical supply, so there had to be a limit to their regeneration. As for me, even though I was wearing the White Bear Suit, my magical power could only recover at a steady, slow rate.
As the stalemate continued, my tornado continued to tear at the Parasitic Tree.
Some branches of the Sacred Tree eventually began to snap off, but the tree itself was relatively unharmed.
When about half of the leaves have been blown off of the Sacred Tree, I noticed a dim, green light shining through for just a moment.
I thought I was seeing things, but I saw the glimmer once again.
Through openings in the tornado, I was sure I could see a faint, green shine.
I hadn’t been able to see it before since it was located deep in the branches and blended in with the surrounding leaves. Now, I tried to focus on the object to see what it was.
Was it maybe a magic stone?
Then, what did it belong to?
The Sacred Tree or the Parasitic Tree?
After thinking for a bit, I decided that it should belong to the Parasitic Tree.
Even if the Sacred Tree did have a magic stone, I didn’t think a tornado of this level would have exposed it so easily.
I strengthened my tornado, and the Sacred Tree began to sway.
More and more leaves were sent flying while smaller branches began snapping one after the other.
Now I could clearly see the green magic stone, encased in what looked like a giant seed.
Now that I had managed to expose it, the seed tried to wrap itself in vines to protect itself, but to no avail, as they were immediately torn off by my tornado.
If that really was the Parasitic Tree’s magic stone, then it should die if I destroyed it.
The only problem was that the stone was in a hard to reach spot.
If I used my magic recklessly, I might destroy part of the Sacred Tree along with the magic stone. Well, making a small hole in the Sacred Tree should be fine.
It was called the Sacred Tree, after all, and it could clearly withstand my current magic.
Still, I should probably test something else out before making a hole in the tree.
I took out a Mithril Knife, and held it in my Black Bear Hand.
With this, I might be able to destroy the magic stone without doing too much damage to the Sacred Tree.
I moved a bit to open up a good angle and prepared to throw the knife.
Then, I dispelled the tornado, aimed at the magic stone, and threw my Mithril Knife with all I got.
As the leaves slowly began to float back towards the ground, a silver glint flew straight towards the magic stone.
The moment the tornado dispersed, however, vines began to wrap themselves back around the seed in an attempt to protect it. While that could of course stop a regular knife, the Mithril Knife I threw had been made by Gazar-san. Its sharpness was of the highest quality.
The Mithril Knife easily pierced through the seed and destroyed the magic stone within.
Soon, all the remaining vines wrapped around the Sacred Tree stopped regenerating and fell still.
By changing the rules, I won this battle of endurance. Any government would surely approve of my method.
Well, I shouldn’t boast too much as my opponent was a tree, but it was a victory, nonetheless.
I decided to take a closer look at the Sacred Tree.
Its leaves were still falling down. At this rate, there wouldn’t be any leaves left.
This was because I had increased the power of the tornado near the end.
The tree looked rather pathetic now.
I might have defeated the Parasitic Tree, but Mururoot-san could die of shock when he saw the state I left the Sacred Tree in.
Would it be able to recover if we gave it some time? I suddenly got a bit concerned I had gone a bit overboard.
They would surely be thanking me for eliminating the Parasitic Tree, but I really couldn’t stand proud and greet them with a smile and victory sign with this. Well, not like I could even form the sign, thanks to my Bear Puppets.
Anyway, leaving the tree in this state, I didn’t even have the tenacity to ask for a reward.
As the leaves continued to fall, I wondered whether I could do something to its sad state.
Maybe it would recover if I gave it some magical energy? In mangas, giving magic to something always helped it recover.
If that didn’t work, I could also try using some recovery magic.
Moreover, if neither worked I could simply claim that the tree would recover with time.
I walked up to the tree, and placed my Bear Hands on the trunk, proceeding to focus my magic through the puppets.
Oh, it was absorbing the magic. It kind of gave off a feeling like it was drinking it.
Wait, wasn’t it absorbing a bit too much?
The White Bear Outfit helped me recover my magic, but the tree was absorbing it much more rapidly.
In that case, I should probably turn my magic into something more specific. I started imagining leaves growing and used recovery magic.
The Sacred Tree began to glow.
Oh, this almost looked like some sort of a game event!
It was shining so brightly that I couldn’t even keep my eyes open.
I removed my hands from the Sacred Tee to shield my eyes. Only once it stopped shining, I slowly opened them again.
I moved away from the tree to confirm its status and saw that the leaves had all returned to being full and healthy.
It all went well, it seemed.
Still, I might have used too much magic.
I staggered a bit and then fell backwards.
Luckily, Hugging Bear was there to catch me.
「Thanks, Hugging Bear.」
I gazed at the tree in awe while Hugging Bear kept me propped up. The tree now finally looked worthy of its name.
The leaves were all of vivid, beautiful colors. This was exactly what a Sacred Tree should look like.
After admiring the Sacred Tree for a few minutes, I heard some noises behind me.
「What is this?!」
When I turned around, I saw Mumuroot-san, Sanya-san, and Arthur-san all standing there, dumbfounded.
We’re finally done. The only thing Yuna can probably collect from this fight are the fallen leaves and fallen branches. w
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