I saw a small baby monkey around thirty-centimeters tall. He had whitish fluffy fur except for his hands, feet, tip of tail, and face, where the color switched to pitch-black. Sort of like a panda.
I think Earth had monkeys with similar colors too. This one, however, was looking a lot more like a stuffed animal than an actual living one, with his beady blue eyes and soft downy fur.
The ball of fluff was sitting on a table, looking at me. What was he doing here? Was he merchandise to be sold? I thought he was a monster… wait a minute… he’s not a monster player, right?
“…” I gave him a mild glare.
The baby monkey shook his head, as if to say “no way!”
What was up with him? I wondered. Then he slapped his hand a few times on… oh. There was a thin chain anchoring his leg to the table.
“…you want me to cut it?”
He seemed awfully used to humans. Had he been a pet before? But then again, he was trying to escape…
[Baby Monkey] [Race: Black-White Monkey] [Magic Points: 15/15] [Hit Points: 15/15] [Total Combat Power: 15]
So he really was just a normal monkey monster…
Seeing me still cautious, he pulled out a mini-banana.
“What? You’ll give it to me if I cut the chain?”
“Wait, no, another banana wouldn’t… Blobsy?!”
The little slime bounced on the table. The monkey handed over his bananas, and Blobsy happily took them.
Did he just bribe her?!
“Okay, fine… Hey, do you know where they keep the really bad drugs?” I asked without much expectations.
“Ook!” He confidently pounded his chest, seemingly to say “leave it to me!”
I cut his leg manacles with my fingers. He began guiding me through the storehouse with his newfound freedom.
“No, I don’t need coffee.”
“Not the strongbox, either… but maybe might as well…”
Did he really understand where I wanted to go, here…?
I couldn’t keep calling him ‘him’ all the time… let’s see… he kind of looked like a panda with his colors, so let’s call him Panda.
Panda (provisional name) led me everywhere, from the leisure room to the offices. Then we came to a caged aquarium.
“Is something here?”
So here was where the mafia kept some other kind of monster as pets like they did this little guy, then? As I peered into the water, I heard a voice from inside.
“…Is someone there?”
There was a small girl with dark blue hair inside the water. She had a fish’s tail from her waist down.
“Who are you, miss?”
Turned out they weren’t keeping a monster. They were keeping an aquatic demihuman. I showed my rabbit ears to calm her down, and we started talking. According to her, the population of merfolk demihumans had sharply decreased due to human hunters. Now, the only home the merfolks had were the region around the island to the west of Wartos.
Even that island had a small country named Lontrois. Their main industry was fishing (normal fish), and capture and export of merfolks. This girl had, unfortunately, been caught in a net, then sold to Wartos.
She had stayed here for a while. If the mafia hadn’t been careful when talking around her, she might even know where they kept the drugs. And when I asked her, it turned out she really did.
“…can you go home from a river?”
“Yeah! I’m really good at swimming!”
“Did he wanted me to save the girl too…?” I muttered.
Well, coincidence or not, the important thing was that I knew where the dangerous drugs were now. I asked the mermaid girl to see if she knew anything about Panda. She said he was a type of monster called a Monochrome Monkey. Very smart. Could do quite a lot of things, including acting as lookouts.
I wrapped a spare cloak around the mermaid girl, carried her from the warehouse district, and released her into a large river that directly connected to the sea.
“Thank you, miss rabbit! Come play with me some time!”
She waved, then dove under the water surface, disappearing from my sight.
Yeah… I’ll come see you soon. I needed to destroy that country’s Sapling too, anyway.
“Yeah, that was a nice thing I did, wasn’t it?”
Now let’s do something bad.
Wartos, the City of Pleasure. Of fine wine, fine food, and fine women. The laws allowed for any and all forms of drugs. The city prided itself on being able to supply any kind of pleasure imaginable.
While it was also the income source of the mafia and a hotbed for criminal activities, with nobles all over the world being its customers, no other kingdom would lay a hand on them.
On that day’s evening, the capital was quite a bit foggier than usual.
With the country being how it was, nearly all of its inns had equipment to serve drug-using guests. The devices dumped the indoor smoke and steam outside. It was the cause for the constant thin layer of fog.
So even if the fog was a little bit thicker than normal, and even if it neatly covered the center of the capital, no one took notice. Not the citizens, not the visitors, and not the mafia.
But then, people started noticing a faint sweet smell. One after another, people not used to its powerful intoxicating effect fell victim to nausea and paralysis. Those somewhat more experienced were the unfortunate ones; some were rendered insensate, while some lost all control over their impulses. Riots broke out here and there.
The cause of it all came from a certain warehouse belonging to the Zell Family, one of the top five mafia factions in Wartos. Over four thousand large gold coins’ worth of drugs were burned, without any semblance of restraint, to begin the city’s silent downfall.
Many were witnesses to the sight of a single girl of white, rabbit ears fluttering, on her jaunt toward the king’s palace. None could even twitch a finger, let alone stopping her.
In front of the palace, the girl snapped a finger, and the gates opened for her. She passed without opposition.
A few hours later, magical equipment all across the country began ceasing operation due to the destruction of the Sapling. By the time the fog cleared, the suspected culprit could no longer be found.
The next day, with the news of the fall of the City of Pleasure, many eyes turned to Wartos to search for the white rabbit girl reported to have appeared there. And then, as if to make mockeries out of them all, she showed up in the neighboring island country of Lontrois. With another Sapling destroyed, she once again vanished like smoke.
After dealing with the Sapling of Lontrois, the country selling merfolks, I jumped on the newly constructed network line to go back to the World Tree.
I said, not exactly expecting to hear a reply. Yet as if in response, the branches of the World Tree lightly swayed, allowing a bit of the sun’s warmth to reach me.
Another two Saplings destroyed and revived. In the process, I discovered an interesting application of <Causality Alteration>: If the person who had closed a door or gate was nearby, I could make them ‘failed’ to have closed it.
Really, it was just a little trick with limited usefulness. If the one to have closed the door weren’t nearby, or if they had died, it wouldn’t have worked.
Lontrois was incomparably smaller than Wartos. The governor’s mansion was no bigger than the size of an elementary school. I just needed to show up at night, unlocked the doors and disabled the traps with that trick, and that was it. I was at the Sapling. If they had stricter security, I wouldn’t have been able to do it that way.
Anyway, I got more powerful again.
[Shedy] [Race: Bunny Girl] [Lesser Archdemon Lv. 5] ・The rabbit demon of Laplace. Trickster and guide of man’s fate. [Magic Points: 22300/25400] 6700↑ [Total Combat Power: 24800/27900] 7400↑ [Unique Skill: <Causality Alteration> <Cyber-Manipulation> <Absorption> <Materialization>] [Racial Skill: <Fear> <Mist Form>] [Simple Identification] [Human Form (Wonderful)] [Subspace Inventory]
You think so too, right, Blobsy?
Why was Panda here?!
[Panda] [Race: Monochrome Monkey] [Kin of Shedy, the Demon] [Magic Points: 20/20] [Hit Points: 20/20] [Total Combat Power: 20]
…aww hell, not again.