49 – The Emperor’s Trap – 4

After sniping the barrier magitool at Xontdix’s castle, I jumped on the unstable connection, forcing it to carry me back to the World Tree.

“I actually did it, yessss.”

So many things could have gone wrong back there.

There were hundreds of adventurers and almost a thousand of knights at the castle. Even if each of them only had 300 to 500 combat power at most, that was still enough people to grind down my own 26,000. If I took too long back then and allowed the corporation to interfere, I might have gotten into real trouble.

I had needed the trap-setters to fear me as preparations for my next move. To that end, I had pulled out all the stops.

 

I had shown the hundreds of adventurers the full power of my magic without reservations, to get them to become wary of me.

When I noticed Tiz’s group, I had attempted to use [Causality Alteration] on those important-looking people. They were there so I might as well take the shot, I thought. It failed when a few others jumped into my aim, but well, that wasn’t important.

I was a lot more worried about whether I could destroy the castle’s barrier.

In the countries I’d been to, the barrier’s magitool was always at the center of the castle, near the Sapling, and so I had aimed my [Causality Alteration] at that general direction. If it hadn’t been there, or if the magitool’s supervisor hadn’t been nearby, the skill would have failed. I would have wasted a ton of magic for absolutely no reason.

Then, with the cloud of mist already scattered, I forced a connection to the network. I had had to repeatedly use [Causality Alteration] to get the unstable line to work right.

So much mana spent. Thankfully, I was regenerating a lot faster just by staying near the World Tree. I stayed for an hour, getting my magic back up and calming my racing nerves. And then it was time to go back to Quarrevingts, where a part of me awaited.

 

Panda was lazing about in the shadow of the Sapling’s branches. As I arrived, he jumped at me, clinging to my waist.

“Hello Panda. I’m here.”

“Ook.”

I told you, I didn’t need bananas.

“…wha-who are you?!”

“A beastman?! Rabbit ears?!”

Shouts rang out. A few researcher-ish humans, who had been harvesting mana near the Sapling, were spooked by my sudden appearance..

“Get her! She’s that rabbit in the bounty!”

Thinking their opponent was just a single normal beastman girl, the researchers didn’t even call for the guards. They charged at me all by themselves. Really, if they knew I had a bounty, they should have known I was going around destroying Saplings. That I was a “dangerous terrorist”.

“I’m gonna be rich-aaaaaAARGH!?”

I blasted icy mist at the five, freezing them in an instant.

Hearing the noises and feeling the chilly air, the guards quickly showed up. I disabled them with [Causality Alteration], turning their old scars into debilitating wounds. I made them watch me grind the Sapling down into dust right in front of their eyes.

“Bye.”

Despair pulled all the color out of their faces. I gave them a casual wave, then jumped on the now-available connection to go back to the World Tree.

 

To the next one.

 

***

 

“Quarrevingts’ Sapling was destroyed?! The country had fallen?!”

 

Xontdix’s Crown Prince grabbed his messenger by the lapels and roared.

Thanks to the geographical closeness of the landmasses, the countries on these three small continents had forged a powerful bond, stronger than any relationship another continent’s country could have with their neighbors. Bloodlines frequently crossed beyond borders. Xontdix’s princess, Aslan’s little sister, had married the Crown Prince of Quarrevingts several years ago. She was expecting their first child soon.

“Then what was father… what was the king’s decision? We need to send help right away!”

“Y-your Royal Highness… R-reportedly, the culprit was the rumored rabbit. His Majesty believed the rabbit will come here again, so he had ordered priority to be given to our own country’s defense.”

“Then what would happen to Quarrevingts?! What would happen to my sister?!”

Aslan looked ready to set off with his own army at any moment. He would have, if it hadn’t been for Tiz’s intervention.

“Aslan, calm down!”

 

When Shedy showed up within their trap, they had thought her no more than a bagged rat. When she suddenly disappeared, they had thought she was either hiding in the castle or the royal capital. Yet just a few hours later, she had shown up at Quarrevingts thousands of kilometers away and destroyed their Sapling.

Their hypothesis was that she possessed an unknown mean of transportation. With her unpredictable appearances, Xontdix’s king had made the right decision to focus on the security of their own Sapling.

Even if Quarrevingts’ Sapling was destroyed, the continent still had Xontdix’s own. The climate hadn’t changed much. Quarrevingts might have lost their mana source and all the conveniences born from it, but if their royalties still lived and there was no official request for assistance, then the most a foreign country could do was to ask if they needed help or not. No more.

 

“Y-Yes… that’s right… it’s not like Quarrevingts’ royal family are gone, after all.”

“Right. Things would get much worse if this country’s Sapling was also destroyed. For the time being, you should send a few people to confirm the situation first.”

 

All the same, Tiz thought there was no way Quarrevingts could get back up again after this.

There had been countries attempting to recover after the destruction of their Saplings. But before they could start to deal with the loss of their markets and utilities, they had to face a far more fundamental problem: how would they eat when all the animals and fish had all left for more abundant lands?

There were talks of going home among Tiz’s group, his entourage from Touze Empire. They decided to stay in the end, however.

Even if Xontdix did nothing, there would still be refugees coming in. People who had given up on their country the moment the Sapling was gone.

Monsters that had never appeared near towns and highways before were now attacking settlements and the refugees on the move. The country was forced to send out most of its knights and soldiers, which left the Sapling’s defense understaffed. As soldiers of a country with friendly relations, the smattering of knights from Touze Empire were voluntold into helping to watch over the Sapling.

Three days later, the situation changed.

The large country Quasix Kingdom, situated on the neighboring continent to the north, had announced their intention to send several thousand soldiers as help in maintaining public order, as well as large quantities of food as aid.

The two continents were separated only by a thin strip of ocean. Ships, merchants’ or otherwise, filled the channel.

Travel preparations were already done. By their schedule, the soldiers would cross the ocean and begin peacekeeping one week later.

 

However, just as Quasix Kingdom’s support fleet left port, disaster befell the small country Kancinq to the west of Quasix. Its Sapling was destroyed by Shedy.

Trade coming to and from the Southern Continent had to pass through the doorway that was Kancinq. It was a capital of commerce, a leader of fads and fashions. The country only had a population of 80,000, but its streets were always lively with sailors and merchants.

Of course, Kancinq was aware of the destruction of the Sapling in Quarrevingts, as well as that of Rantetrois Principality across the sea. They were on high alert. However, the king had requested ships, including the merchants’, to come to the channel to transport food and other daily goods. A large number of soldiers and adventurers had to accompany them by necessity.

Which left barely two hundred guards to protect the castle’s Sapling, including both knights and soldiers. They were powerless against Shedy’s night assault. They lost the Sapling in just a few hours.

And so, Quasix Kingdom had requested Chisept Principality in the east to come to Kancinq’s aid. But only half a day after the destruction of Kancinq’s Sapling, Shedy suddenly appeared inside Chisept’s castle and destroyed their Sapling.

 

***

 

I greeted Blobsy, still waiting for me at Chisept’s Sapling.

“Hey. Sorry I’m late.”

*boing*

She jumped, snuggling against me. She must have felt a bit lonely. Panda rewarded her with a banana to stuff herself with.

I broke the Sapling, took back the mana package I left behind, put up a token fight with the guards there, then jumped to the newly reborn Sapling.

“You too, sorry to have kept you waiting.”

Whenever I visited the reborn Saplings, they were always in the middle of absolutely nowhere. The World Tree must have picked locations humans would find difficult to live in.

As always, I built a small mulch hill to hide the young plant together with Blobsy and Panda. And as always, it sent me a white magic stone.

[Shedy] [Race: Bunny Girl] [Lesser Archdemon Lv. 8]
・The rabbit demon of Laplace. Trickster and guide of man’s fate.

[Magic Points: 33,000/36,200] 10,800↑
[Total Combat Power: 36,600/39,800] 11,900↑
[Unique Skill: <Causality Alteration> <Cyber-Manipulation> <Absorption> <Materialization>] 
[Racial Skill: <Fear> <Mist Form>]
[Simple Identification] [Human Form (Wonderful)] [Subspace Inventory]

After reviving three Saplings, I got to level 8. I got a ton more magic and combat power. By now, I should be able to pick a head-on fight with a developing small country and win.

But that didn’t mean I’d be any less careful.

The eastern continent in this group of three, the one with two small countries, would be left alone. I was pretty sure they were turtling up by now. I think I’d just forget about them for a while, actually.

And out of the countries in the two continents I had attacked, the only ones with Saplings left were the large countries Quasix and Xontdix.

Honestly, with how much attention was on me these days, it would be for the better that I ignored them too. But at the same time, I could feel something inside of me awakening, urging me to continue.

 

Well then, let’s.

The region around Xontdix was slowly descending into chaos. Just as I planned, the country had feared me. They didn’t dare make a move.

Soon, there would be a large wave of refugees pouring into Quasix Kingdom. Furthermore, most of their soldiers and adventurers had been sent to Xontdix’s countryside. They didn’t have enough manpower.

I used the new Tree connection at Chisept to get to the eastern side of Quasix. After half a day’s travel, I approached the capital. The town gate was closed, and the lack of soldiers was evident. I charged right through the gate as mist, shattering it.

“What happened?!”

“Mist?!”

The soldiers were making a fuss. I ignored them and rushed through the city, freezing anyone blocking my way. Once I arrived at the castle, I turned human for an instant, freezing the gate and making use of my high combat power to smash it apart with a palm strike.

The soldiers and the castle’s staff members were all struck dumb by the sight.

I twirled around, showing off my red dress and white ears. One of them must have recognized me. Their shout announced my arrival.

 

“That’s the bunnyyyyyyy!!!”

 

Knights and soldiers poured out.

I dove straight into the army of hundreds. I killed only the ones in my path, parrying spells on the move if they weren’t too dangerous. It took only thirty minutes for my blitzkrieg to carry me from the town gate to the Sapling’s destruction.

Next up, Xontdix.

I had a premonition. Somehow, in some way, I would be transformed by this next battle.


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31 thoughts on “49 – The Emperor’s Trap – 4”

    1. Kinda has to if we’re EVER going to get through 99 of these damn trees.

      Especially if we’re taking our time with the more major countries and not destroying one per chapter.

      Liked by 1 person

          1. I am not suggesting it is a Vietnamese saying, or intending anykind of offence. I am saying that the earliest I can recall voluntold as a reference is Vietnam War era movies. It is in fact a very Americanized kind of saying, and as a non-American myself, the only ones I should be offending would be Americans.

            Like

            1. As an American, and as someone who was in the military, you aren’t offending me. Don’t know if it was actually used by Americans in the Vietnam war, or if it was just made up by movies, but we do use it now.

              Like

  1. Thanks for the chapter! Not much to say about this one, except Shedy seems to be causing ecological disaster along with the mass murder and terrorism.

    Like

    1. That would be because the humans were already making unnatural changes to the local climate and ecology. Now that their control mechanisms are being destroyed, the world is trying to return the climate to what it’s supposed to be, which will naturally cause disasters in the short term.

      Like

    1. How could they possibly realise such a thing though? As far as the otherworlders are concerned shes just an evil demon doing evil things as evil demons do, the players think shes part of the game, and the evil US government/corporation know shes just one of the alpha testers that wants revenge. What possible reason could anyone have for suddenly thinking the world tree is actually a sentient being that is essentially the god(caretaker) of that world?

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Judging by the flow of the book? Never. Maybe the beastmen might realize and pledge their alliance to their liberator (indirectly) but it’s unlikely that the humans will come to trust shedy or notice her connection to the world tree. Even if they do, so what? Look at humans in our world. Were I to tell you “stop using electricity it hurts the planet and destroys the world” noone would believe me or actually stop using it.

      This be one of the (in-book)-human actions that irl-humans would do too.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. Still never. The author is pretty determined to lay in on thick and I MEAN THICK that humans are cruel and ignorant.

          Take this chapter for instance. At this point she’s well known as well as the fact she’s destroyed several countries. But despite this SOMEHOW a couple random guys just lose their minds and scream “I’m gonna be rich” upon seeing her.

          I get what the author is TRYING to do. Humans are so used to being unrivaled in this world that the idea they could lose is beyond them which is similar to human’s absolute domination of earth.

          But even the dumbest human knows when to show caution! It doesn’t matter if they see demi humans as mere beasts….. BEASTS ARE FREAKING DANGEROUS! Especially if you’re just facing one without protection.

          But the author wants us to believe that human arrogance means it’s reasonable for these guys to STILL act like they can just take the heroine no problem. No sorry that is not how humans think.

          It’s one of the main flaws in this series overall and it’s a shame because this could be an absolutely amazing series if the people just acted more human and less like plot devices and social comentary

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          1. You forget one little important fact: Human’s easily blame other’s failure on their incompetency. This is the core of human arrogance indeed. Especially few there know what real fear is like.

            There is no bravery without fear. Bravery without fear is simply foolishness. German actually has a word and idiom about “Hochmut” which literary translates into “high”+”courage/braveness” and actually is translated as pride, haughtiness or indeed arrogance. (“Übermut” is similar, with the first part translating into “Over”).

            The humans actually act very human, rather what you are doing is denying that in a similar situation you would act like that because “I know better”.

            Society is meant to keep itself in check and if it fails… (real) crime and mortality rates are indeed a fine indicator where somewhere is what wrong, that is, if we throw bias aside and actual discern the reason instead of presume, or even deny

            Liked by 1 person

  2. Its good she is speedrunning ,but the next one is the relevante one :,( please just one More before weekly hiatus, pleaaaaaaseeee

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  3. Thank you for your work.

    Actually, [Causality Alteration] shouldn’t work to well against the simple guards in Quarrevingts. The author stated before that humans used beastman slaves for the difficult fights. Though incapacitating pain should be enough for her goals.

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