No. 08’s legacy, the final magic stone, had elevated me to a higher rank of existence.
The same thing happened when I assimilated No. 17’s magic stone. I skipped the rank-up process entirely, while still gaining the appropriate magic power.
[Shedy] [Race: Mistral Neige] [Greater Demon (High-Rank)] ・The demon of tempestuous mist that ravages the northern seas. A canny spiritual lifeform. [Magic Points: 4000/4000] 1760↑ [Total Combat Power: 4400/4400] 1936↑ [Unique Skill: <Reroll> <Cyber-Manipulation> <Absorption> <Materialization>] [Racial Skill: Fear] [Simple Identification] [Human Form (Wonderful)] [Specialist Packer]
…well, let’s leave the nitpicking for next time. Basically, I gained a ton of magic and combat power.
However, the most drastic change came from the new power I gained from No. 08: [Materialization].
Before, my human form was just a paper-thin, weightless veneer. Now, I had gained real flesh and blood, crafted from matter of this world.
My body handled a bit differently from before. To be honest, I thought a body with actual substance and weight was easier to use. I curled and flexed my fingers, trying to get a feel for my new self.
“…Sherry? Is that you?” I heard Weed calling from somewhere, bewilderment in his voice.
I grew up again. I looked around 13 now, about 150 centimeters tall. Ten centimeters taller than when I first got these clothes, which meant my navel would peek out from below the hem of my blouse whenever I moved, and my knee-length skirt was pretty much a miniskirt now.
Kids this age grew up so quickly, they could gain an adult’s face in just a single year. Isaac, staring at me in amazement, came back to himself as he heard Weed’s utterance. Just as he was about to speak…
My dagger flew into the head of a spider in a corner of my view, discouraging whatever it was about to do. The iron blade sank half-way into its shell and broke off.
So just normal iron wouldn’t be able to stand up to the spider’s carapace or my current power, then.
Now, I only needed to create a bit of mist in order to gain a full view of the surroundings. I continued examining myself, while still keeping watch on the carapace-spiders.
The spiders had been watching me, too, noticing my change. But not any more; they began to move. I responded with a quiet step forward.
Just as I passed by Isaac, mouth still agape and standing stock-still, I spoke.
“…my name’s Shedy. Not Sherry.”
“Eh…” He jolted in another bout of surprise.
I leaped, my step blasting away a patch of grassland and bringing me to point-blank range with a spider in an instant. The vigilant spiders immediately scattered and began firing magical bullets from all sides.
Mist burst out from me, weaving itself into a cloak to hide me from sight. Its winding tendrils wrapped around my target.
The range and thickness of my mist had improved by leaps and bounds. Once the mist cleared, the spider under me was nothing more than a frozen statue, wasting away as grains of light.
Two spiders instantly began shooting again, while two other slid around me, swiping their claws in a pincer attack.
I stretched my cloak of mist into a thin fog, sapping heat from the surroundings.
Everything moving needed energy, whether they were living beings, machinery, or avatars. And where there was kinetic energy, there was heat. Not like I particularly understood how it worked, anyway.
Their movements rapidly dulled. I latched onto one of them, freezing the shell whole and shattering it with my claws. I drained it dry of magic.
The three remaining spiders decided to abandon close-quarters combat. They tried to escape the mist, their guns still firing to suppress me.
But I didn’t actually need the chilly mist to slow them down. My speed was doubled with the explosive boost in combat power I gained.
The magical rock bullets now looked no faster than lobbed basketballs. I just needed a light hop to the left, then to the right… oh hey, I think I could catch those.
So I did. Thankfully they weren’t shooting fireballs instead. I grabbed a boulder in mid-air and put all my strength into a return throw. It didn’t even come close to hitting any of them, but the sight was still enough to shock a spider into a moment of indecision. I clung to it, freezing, stabbing, draining its magic.
The moment my target was down, the other two suddenly stopped moving. They restarted a short while later, but this time, their movements were strangely mechanical.
What happened? Did they changed to using AI controllers? I didn’t quite get their intentions. If all they wanted was just a simple, indiscriminate massacre, then an AI would probably work just fine. But using soldiers with predictable attack patterns against me? They wouldn’t even be worth worrying about.
I baited them out, dodged their attacks, then froze them directly with both my hands. The last two spiders died without much fanfare.
The spiders weren’t much of a problem. If anything, they caused more trouble to Isaac’s group than to me.
Most of the participants were dead, and the rest were beaten within an inch of their lives. I supposed that to them, their planned event couldn’t have gone any worse.
I sent them a glance. Several players shook off their shock and readied their weapons when they noticed my gaze. Isaac and Weed looked like they wanted to say something. Sandrea, who used to be such a chatterbox when we were talking about the magic stone, was now glaring at me in silence. She seemed frustrated.
…well, whatever. Not like I needed to be friends with them, anyway. And it’d be better off for them if they stayed away from scary monsters, too.
If anything, I was more curious about the secret beta testers. Why were they here?
Had the corporation discovered the link between me and my real-life body? If so, then my allotted time was rapidly running out.
Twelve days of borrowed time left.
This deadline must still hold true. I won’t give up. Not ever.
I left the players behind me and headed toward my final target: the World Tree.
“…I swear, I’m going to make her call me Sally next time we meet!”
…she was still going on about that? No way, not in a million years.
One day, on a popular video sharing website, a certain video was uploaded by players of World of Yggdrasia, the VRMMORPG that was still in beta. It immediately blew up.
A rabbit beastman girl who looked about 13 years of age. The value of the in-game bounty for her capture was equivalent to fifty million real-life dollars.
Fluffy snow-white hair, vivid-red eyes, adorably drooping rabbit ears, and a cute face to boot. It didn’t take long for the video to hit a million views.
Footage showing the black spiders were cut out of the site immediately after uploading, for some reason, but the scenes of her battle against the players were intact. The viewers weren’t scared by her ruthless cruelty; if anything, it only caused her popularity to skyrocket. Both the beta players and the people waiting for the official release worldwide were infatuated with her. They called her the ‘Fluffy Bunny’.
Another video uploaded by a player named Weed with the title “Collection of Glares and Roasts” also gained a huge amount of views. More and more people expressed a desire to be insulted by the bunny. Even a rumor was born, that one would be blessed with good luck if one ever met her in-game. Some were already discussing fan-made figurines.
The only one unaware was the rabbit herself.
“…hah. Hahahah, AAAAHAHAH! Man, what the hell is this?! They were experimental, sure, but wiped out by just a single girl?!” Deputy Director Brian cackled, his eyes on the monitor.
His laugh turned Audrey’s stomach. Still, she spoke. “…D-Deputy Director?”
Even she could not have predicted this outcome. The avatars might have been experimental models, but they already had proven themselves to possess power equivalent to that of modern light tanks. The girl certainly had some trouble in the beginning, yet once she acquired the magic stone, she dealt with five of the experimental models in an instant.
The few drones currently chasing after her had already been shot down. Her whereabouts was unknown.
“The last two avatars got the data, right? Begin upgrading the militarized monster avatars with that right now! Throw versatility out the door, we just need to hunt the rabbit. Oh man, I can’t wait to dissect that girl!” Brian ordered, sounding extremely upbeat.
Then his twisted grin turned to Audrey.
“Audrey, you’re the best secretary ever! I could kiss you just for finding that wonderful tester for us! Alright, I’ve got another job for you. Go check on the vital signs of No. 13 in the collection facility. We’ll be cornering the rabbit soon, so if the girl showed any reactions at all, tell me immediately. I’ll dissect her myself!”
Audrey thought she caught a glimpse of insanity within his eyes. Still, she bowed, looking like the model subordinate.
Just a few days later, development of the militarized monster avatars specialized for the rabbit was done. Their designation was MO-03-B. Fifty soldiers of the Army were participating in Operation: Rabbit Season.
Author’s Note: Wow, Shedy is so popular (snickers)
The fan-made figurines are ⅕ sized. Only 50 will be made, priced at $100 each.