Crap, he noticed me!
That thing summoned from the enormous magic circle saw me through one of the monitors. Apparently it even realized the existence of Earth in that instant. It greeted me in English.
That sort of horror could not be allowed to reach Earth right now.
Physical weapons such as metallic bullets and gunpowder explosions barely affected spiritual lifeforms. Submerging it in a large amount of flame would work, but to burn down something so powerful would require the direct heat of over a dozen volcano eruptions.
How could the humans of Earth even hit something that could move as fast as a missile while still not showing up on radar?
A Demon Lord. A demon of the highest rank, surpassing Archdemons. A god of the demons.
Fiorfata, the Unseelie Lord.
I hadn’t known this before. It had been my soul, a soul now demonic, that had told me the thing’s identity.
Had the summoners meant to call it up from the very beginning? Or had it been a mistake? Though judging from how overjoyed Brian had looked in his nasty monologue, it was far more likely that it had been intentional, that he’d worked with the criminal magicians of Yggdrasia for exactly this purpose.
At any rate, I couldn’t fight it here. Earth didn’t allow me to recover my mana, and it had six times my magic. I’d just get ground to dust.
On the other side of the screen, Fiorfata reached its hand out to Brian’s avatar, the ‘bridge’ that was connecting Earth to Yggdrasia.
The moment I realized what it was trying to do, I took out my demon blade from its black sheath and stabbed into the heart of Brian, still sleeping in his VR capsule, while using [Dimensional Manipulation] and [Causality Alteration] at the same time.
His bodies, both the one here and the one on the other side, jerked at the same time. The screen showed the blade coming out of Brian’s avatar from the inside.
I flicked the blade upward, slashing through his head to finish him off. Brian’s life, as well as the connection from here to Yggdrasia, abruptly vanished. Right before the screen cut off, Fiorfata looked at me and grinned.
…no chance of not being its enemy now, huh?
But wait, something was strange. Brian should be dead, yet I didn’t see his soul anywhere.
Just as the connection cut off and I was taking a breather, Brian’s corpse began to turn grey, bubbling and bursting into sludge.
I flinched. The sludge overflowed so quickly the capsule was nearly at its breaking point, grey flowers rapidly growing on the liquid. They bloomed in concert, and an eldritch voice came from the blossoms.
The moment I recognized it was Brian’s voice, I instantly concluded that it would be far too dangerous to touch the grey sludge. I used [Dimensional Manipulation] to force a teleportation to outside the military compound.
So Brian had already fallen to Fiorfata’s Blessing, I see.
When I arrived outside the compound, the blizzard I left behind was still going on. Apparently the soldiers had already retreated. There was no sudden gunfire.
I stayed in mid-air and looked at the compound. The grey sludge erupted, bursting out of the roof.
Brian’s soul was transforming into a demon’s…no, that wasn’t quite right. More like it was being turned into breeding ground to give birth to more demons. Grey flowers continued to bloom on top of the overflowing grey mud, and they were spawning innumerable wicked-looking tiny fairies.
Dark pixies. So that’s what the low-demon subspecies of gremlins looked like. No matter how weak they were, the humans of Earth couldn’t possibly handle an infinite amount of them.
“[Absorption], [Causality Alteration], parallel activation!”
I cranked [Absorption] to full blast and absorbed all the heat, the light, and the mana from the surrounding, then I used [Causality Alteration] on the space of nothingness and rewrote every single thing that had ever happened inside it.
I took only the altered history inside me, mixing it with my internal mana, then pushed it back outward and focused it, creating a white ball of magic power inside my mouth.
I spoke words of power, at the same time expelling the ball toward the compound.
In a blink of an eye, the compound, as well as what remained of Brian, were covered in a white space one kilometer across. A sharp clang of a tuning fork rang out, and in the very next moment, everything inside the white space dissolved into white icy dust.
I breathed heavily, despite my lack of need for respiration. The attack had been much too mentally demanding.
What used to be the compound was now nothing more than a perfect hemisphere in the ground with a diameter of one kilometer.
I’d just refilled from a mana storage tank, and now my magic was already down to half. Thankfully, the white space had succeeded in wiping out Fiorfata’s interference together with Brian’s soul.
…Demon Lords were crazy. I really, really couldn’t afford to leave it alone.
Excluding master-servant relationships, normal demons generally feared those of a higher rank. For better or for worse, however, I wasn’t a normal, natural demon, and so I could face it without fear ruling me.
I needed to get back to Yggdrasia right away.
If I could drag out the engagement and fight while destroying Saplings for more power, then I should be able to survive Fiorfata, if only barely. It was going to be a very tight balancing act.
But I couldn’t return from here. I’d already torn the facilities of this compound to pieces with my [Dimensional Manipulation]. Now, the only remaining decent connection to Yggdrasia was at the 12th research center that held the game department. The dimensional distortions themselves still remained in several locations, but crossing dimensions alone by my own power was still far too dangerous.
And even if I wanted to return to the 12th, I would need to travel a distance that was practically continent-spanning. I was quite sure I could do it in a day as I was at the moment, but I wouldn’t know what was happening in Yggdrasia in the meantime. Besides, it’d be dangerous to allow that Demon Lord to find out how I came here.
What should I do, then?
I used the skill to search for cyber activity in the local area.
There had to be something here. There were more than three millions of them throughout the whole world, after all.
“…there you are.”
I teleported directly there, even if it was a bit of a waste of mana. The outside scenery abruptly changed into a cramped room. I appeared right when the young man inside, probably of Hispanic descent from his appearance, was about to put the VR device on his head. He gaped at me.
“T-the Dark Bunny Lady?!”
“…sorry, let me borrow that for a bit.”
That title again? I really have to wonder what sort of impression these people had of me.
He was a player of the MMORPG World of Yggdrasia. The VR device he possessed was granted access rights to the 12th research center through the game program.
I pushed him to the side and touched the device, using my Dimensional Manipulation skill. Yeah, this would work. I could get to Yggdrasia from here.
Just as I was about to leave, however, the dumbfounded young man returned to his senses and called at me in a panic.
“W-wait! Please give me an autograph!!!”
I dove into the digital world after signing on his shirt. I arrived at the login screen for World of Yggdrasia, a place I’d been to only once before.
“My, my, miss No. 13, right? Well then, please show me your login ID and-argh!”
“Out of my way.”
The guide for the game, the tuxedo-wearing stuffed toy in the shape of a dog, was blocking my path, so I tore it apart with my claws and continued to the door deeper in.
I used Dimensional Manipulation to force the closed door open and jumped into the light inside. I arrived at the World Tree, where I’d set my home to be.
The moment I returned, the ball of slime and the little monkey that were my two kins scrambled to be the first to dive into my chest.
“Hey, Blobsy, Panda. Sorry to have made you worry…”
They nuzzled against me as I petted them… they were shivering a little? Oh, they were scared. Being kins to the demon that was me, they’d also realized that the Demon Lord Fiorfata had appeared in this world.
“Listen up, okay? I have to go fight it. So you two should stay here.”
Both of them clung to me, seemingly wanting to follow along.
“Come on, listen. You two would evaporate from just the shockwaves alone. Just stay here, protect our home so that I can fight without worry… please.” I said, fixing eye contact with them.
They reluctantly relented and moved off of me.
It was better this way. I wanted them to survive even if the worst happened.
“World Tree! Where is Fiorfata?!” I asked, looking up at the enormous trunk. With a shake of its leaves, it told me as much as it knew about the current situation of Yggdrasia.
And two white magic stones, the same stone I received whenever a Saplings was reborn, fell from the World Tree into my hand.
Had the demihuman resistance done it again? Or had the country that had summoned Fiorfata fallen? Apparently even in this chaos, the World Tree was still searching for safe locations to revive Saplings in.
But once Fiorfata started being active, there was no guarantee those newly reborn Saplings would remain safe. I needed to attract the Demon Lord’s attention away from the new Saplings.
“World Tree! Strengthen the barrier around you as much as you can, and make sure nothing gets in here. If you die, this world dies with you, so stay safe. I’ll be going.”
Just as I activated the Sapling network to teleport to where Fiorfata was and the scenery was beginning to change, I saw Blobsy and Panda mysteriously looking and nodding at each other.
I noticed something wrong in the air the very moment I arrived.
From the new Sapling inside a valley, I flew into the sky. Several hundred kilometers away, grey miasma was rising up from somewhere inside the capital City of Magic Quarancinq.
I’d guessed correctly, it seemed. Quarancinq’s Sapling had been destroyed.
I cut through the air, heading toward the capital city. There, inside the collapsing spire, I saw the Demon Lord Fiorfata spreading its grey sludge.
The surviving humans were fighting back with magical artillery, but even if the weapons could shoot down a flying dragon, they still weren’t enough to do anything to the Demon Lord.
Fiorfata only smiled at the meaningless resistance, a crack running through its featureless head. Just as it was about to fire off another Blessing Light to give birth to more monsters…
The Demon Lord’s head was barely pushed backward by my attack, and the shockwave cleared away the surrounding sludge. Fiorfata was still, its posture fixed in place. Only its head turned to look at the one who had attacked it, and it smiled.
“Fiorfata! Your opponent is me!”
[Shedy] [Race: Bunny Girl] [Archdemon Lv. 25] ・The rabbit demon of Laplace. Trickster and guide of man’s fate. [Magic Points: 84,000/97,000] 6,000↑ [Total Combat Power: 100,100/106,700] 6,600↑ [Unique Skill: <Causality Alteration> <Dimensional Manipulation> <Absorption> <Materialization>] [Racial Skill: <Fear> <Mist Form>] [Simple Identification] [Human Form (Wonderful)] [Subspace Inventory] [Dark Lady]
[Unseelie Lord・Fiorfata] [Race: Dark Pixie] [Demon Lord] ・One of the seven Demon Lords ruling Netherworld. A god of the Netherworld. [Magic Points: 598,400/600,000] [Total Combat Power: 668,400/670,000]
A/N: She’d attacked the thing partially to protect the new Saplings, but also to minimize further damage. Damage to the human countries didn’t count, however, since she also needed to destroy the Saplings.