The Deputy Director of the 7th research center, Brian, had ignored the corporation’s orders and went ahead with his own recklessness. The militarized monster avatars driven by soldiers — the secret beta testers — had been overcharged far beyond the allowed values, and nearly all of them had been deployed into the fight at Yggdrasia.
And at that battle, they had been wiped out by a large-scale frost attack. The majority of the soldiers had begun to display signs of mental instability. They had to be hospitalized in an isolation ward affiliated to the facility.
And the man behind it all, Brian. Possibly as a reaction to improper use of a VR device, his old wounds had abruptly worsened, leading to the loss of both his eyes and arms. Combined with the delirium he showed, Brian had been transferred to a specialized isolation ward.
“Well then, do your best, Audrey.”
With Brian now hospitalized, his secretary and chief researcher, Audrey, had been appointed the interim Deputy Director.
Despite her youth, being only in her late twenties, she was chosen thanks to her familiarity to the current experiment and workplace. But more importantly, she was chosen after most of the other candidates had run away with tails between their legs when they learned of Brian’s fate.
The Director, an old man who had gained his station through politics, showed up at the research center after about half a year’s absence, looking like he was about to go golfing afterwards. And after handing the metaphorical keys of the facility to Audrey, he immediately made himself scarce.
As the 7th research center’s acting Deputy Director, Audrey was practically the boss now. All the same, things weren’t looking optimistic.
The World Tree’s Saplings, precious mana sources for the corporation, were being destroyed. Attempts to stop the culprit didn’t so much fail as blew up on their faces. If things didn’t change, the 7th research center’s mana avatar development project would soon find itself in trouble.
“…no other choice, I suppose.”
Audrey made the decision to offload a part of the work to another department, even if the researcher inside her was railing against the prospect.
More specifically, the 7th research center would now only be working on the development of militarized monster avatars. The magical weapon project, which had been expanded thanks to Brian’s savviness, and the capture of the rabbit beastman girl responsible for it all would now be inherited by the 4th research center, the original owners of the magical weapons project before it was transferred to the 7th.
“Hah! Brian snatched the project out of our hands, and now look at what happened! That world had dragons with over ten thousand combat power. You people should have expected the same sort of opposition. Well, it’s back in professional hands now. Just watch us,” a plump man said, sneering.
Audrey had turned the magical weapon project data over to the Deputy Director of the 4th research center. He heaped snide remarks and sarcastic complaints at her all the while, but considering it was all true, there was nothing she could say in response.
But she had something else more important to worry about. She needed to foist the job of capturing the rabbit to some other research center, no matter what else she must give up.
The 7th research center had had their data ransacked by the 4th, yet the staff members had stayed strangely quiet about it.
All of them, including Audrey, had once been the target of the White Rabbit Girl’s displeasure. And none of them wanted to be her enemy.
The VR chat boards of World of Yggdrasia was aflame with talks of the event quest the other day — the so-called Operation: Capture the Bunny.
“I came! I joined! I died in one hit!” “Goddamn was she overpowered!” “I’m a Rank 5 tank, but my head exploded from a single palm strike. Why?” “Lolol you’re that guy right at the beginning?! Go tank with your shield if you’re a tank, dumbass.” “Man, the whole place got filled with mosaics. The Bunny’s way too brutal!” “What about those crapton of spiders? They weren’t the Dark Bunny Lady’s minions, right?” “Pretty sure they opposed her, considering they fought her and all. I’m not sure on the details, but I’ve heard there were fifty monsters with four thousand combat power that were as powerful as draconic-class monsters, like wyverns, maybe. Were we supposed to take the Bunny’s side back then?” “Nah, I mean, if we consider the whole thing to be a story quest, then it’s probably the part of the story when the Bunny becomes the Dark Lady, right?” “Which means that last part where she blew up a whole city happened because the devs wanted to emphasize to the players that the Dark Lady’s evil, right? And to introduce her as the final boss.” “Then the devs failed epically. It just made her more popular!” “AAAA FUCKING HELL I KNEW IT! Should have borrowed my parents’ money for the figurine, fuck!” “Behold my collection. I got both the grown-up and the kiddie versions right here!” “Go find an auction, dude. The resalers are selling them for ten times the price.”
“So the Bunny’s getting way stronger with every single event quest. Has anyone analyzed her power?” “Her combat power’s not identifiable, just like always, but judging from the fights she had with the spiders, she should have twenty thousand at the very least.” “That’s the Dark Bunny Lady for you. And then she awakened as a Dark Lady right after that, so it’s possible she’d gotten even stronger now.” “How the hell do we win? I got two combat skills at level 5 now, yet my total combat power only just broke 1000.” “Well, she’s the final boss, I guess we’ll have to get to Rank 10 first? The game just updated to allow for skill level 6, right?” “Unlike the other games, there’s actually just one Dark Lord in this one. I wouldn’t want her to be easily defeated.” “Even if she can be defeated, that just makes things unfair for whoever’s late to the boss fight.” “Yeah, that’s exactly why she’s so strong. My guess is that it’s going to be a raid with a few thousand people.” “Hot damn, I’m not even sure my battlestation can handle that amount.” “It’s not the combat power’s that scary, it’s her batshit insane special abilities. I can’t imagine how we can win.” “The super cold mist is annoying, but not impossible to deal with. We know it’s weak to wind spells, so just be careful and we won’t get OHKO. Probably.” “That thing where she points her hand at you? What the fuck is that? My spells just fizzled out.” “There’s been a lot of talk about that. The conclusion’s that it’s probably some sort of probability manipulation.” “Does it means both spells and combat arts can fail?! How the fuck do we win against that?!” “R-rank 10… maybe… hopefully…” “Excuse me, how do I join the Dark Army?”
I returned to the World Tree on the connection I’ve unlocked. I could finally relax.
My body hadn’t changed a fraction. But I felt like something inside of me, something critical, had been swapped.
I knew, somehow, that the Human inside me — the one in charge of all my thinking — were gone, and something else had taken her place. What happened back then… perhaps it was the moment I became a true Demon.
And my appearance that time might have been a reflection of that. I’d been worried for a while that it’d ruin any later attempts to infiltrate human settlements, but once I’d calmed down, my bleached skin and bloodied eyes returned to normal. I wondered if that was my Demonic look…
Before, I’d been restraining myself, trying to keep from any unnecessary killing, since my opponents were Humans. Now, however, the distinction was no longer there. I no longer had any reason to hesitate.
Of course, that wasn’t to say I’d lost all hesitation when it comes to killing human children. I’d play with puppies and kittens, but if a pack of wild dogs attacked me I’d wipe them out, lair and all. It’s the same thing to me.
In other words, I now saw Humans as no different from packs of animal or lairs of goblins. That was all that’s changed.
If someone was friendly to me, I’d extend my hand to them even if they were kobolds. If someone stood in my way, I’d exterminate them like I would a nest of wasps, even if they were humans.
That didn’t mean I’d poke the beehive for honey, however. Not worth it.
By which I meant normal humans weren’t worth much.
[Shedy] [Race: Bunny Girl] [Archdemon Lv. 10] ・The rabbit demon of Laplace. Trickster and guide of man’s fate. [Magic Points: 56,000/56,000] [Total Combat Power: 61,600/61,600] [Unique Skill: <Causality Alteration> <Cyber-Manipulation> <Absorption> <Materialization>] [Racial Skill: <Fear> <Mist Form>] [Simple Identification] [Human Form (Wonderful)] [Subspace Inventory] [Dark Lady]
My magic went up by around twenty thousand, but considering I destroyed a whole city, that wasn’t much of an increase. The place should’ve had at least a hundred thousand people living there. With how much I’d gained, that meant each person didn’t even give me a point of magic.
I still remembered that time my rank increased when I was a low demon, and how the experience I gained from the caterpillars were lessened. I supposed it was no surprise I wouldn’t gain much from powerless humans.
I should go for the strong ones. The stronger, the better. And horrifically sinful too, if possible. The more evil they were, the tastier they smelled.
Once I became a true demon, my rank finally turned into Archdemon. Got to level 10, too. What was the level cap, I wondered? If I gained as many as the Saplings I revived, would the cap be 100? Wow, it’s going to take a while.
But I was curious about something else. This strange title that I’d gotten.
[Dark Lady]… what was this?
How curious. I identified it. Some text showed up to the side of the title.
[Dark Lady] ・One recognized as ‘Evil’, or as a threat, by the vast majority of a world’s sentient life. ・Some beings are called ‘Dark Generals’ due to their threat level.
…so to summarize, I supposed that was how the human race here saw me after I destroyed a whole city?
And I thought I was a Dark Lady due to my demonic heritage, but it looked like there wasn’t really a relation. I could’ve been called ‘God of Destruction’ or ‘Evil Overlord’ and it would have been much the same.
Finally, apparently Dark Generals were a thing. Huh.
As I sat down on the World Tree’s roots for a quick breather, Blobsy clambered up to my shoulder, while Panda jumped on my lap and gave me a banana.
Thanks. But you still haven’t told me where that banana came from.
Ah well, whatever. Let’s get to the next Sapling after the break. Pretty sure the humans wouldn’t be so careless this time, but that was exactly what I wanted. More strong people for me.
I think there was a ‘Hero’ somewhere in this world, right?
The Saplings of five countries on the small continental group in the southern hemisphere had been destroyed in barely any time at all. What’s more, two of them were large countries. The whole world was struck dumb.
The final battle at Xontdix, and the 150,000 citizen casualty of its capital, was a wake-up call for everyone. Royalties of the remaining 30 large countries came together in a conference call. They officially designated the culprit behind it all — the rabbit beastman girl — to be an existential threat: the Dark Lady. They pledged to work together to defeat this enemy.
At the same time, the three Heroes of this world had also received a request to subdue the Dark Lady Whitehare, coming from the Holy City Ayune and the Temples themselves.