A large-scale mana quake originating from the central region of the Western Continent had been observed.
In the same moment, the Sage Heroine of Magic had also issued an ‘extreme threat warning’, announcing the appearance of a threat to the entire world: a Cataclysm-class monster.
As the monster began to act, around the world, all those above a certain level of power unconsciously sensed its presence. They trembled before what was thought to be an Evil God.
But the danger wasn’t limited to the Evil God alone.
Not only was the Evil God summoning an endless amount of low demons called ‘dark pixies’ around itself, the same dark pixies were also being spawned without limits from the Origin points that made up the worldwide magic circle. While protecting their citizens, the countries in the region were also dispatching their armies to clear out these Origins.
An international summit had been held through the use of the ‘clairvoyant mirrors’. Of those countries not directly handling the crisis, the small countries would give as much military support as they could, while the large countries would deploy their trump cards, sending squadrons of flying battleships — airships equipped with magical artillery — to defeat the Evil God.
It had been some ten-odd years since the technological uplift granted by an oracle of the Temples, and the subsequent beginning of the magical weapon project. Tactics against worldwide threats that made use of the Heroes as the centerpieces were now considered a thing of the past.
Nowadays, Heroes were only deployed in scenarios where magical artillery wasn’t available, such as in limited warfare. The enemy this time was designated Cataclysm-class, and so the humans believed that destruction of whole cities would be inevitable.
But mankind had forgotten. They had forgotten why Heroes were held in such high regard, why they were far more valued than an army of millions.
It wasn’t about their personal combat power alone.
In a world of peace, the human race had forgotten that Heroes were the hope of the people.
“Not like this…”
Marlene the Sage was at her secret hideout in the Academy City of Cinqres in the Central Continent. She was wrapping talismans imbued with holy water around her left arm, sealing the curse of the Unseelie Lord that had turned the limb grey.
There was no one else here. The majority of her subordinates had been buried in the collapse of the Tower of Truth.
She still had collaborators around the world, albeit not many of them. But she was faced with a far more fundamental problem: she could no longer show herself in public.
At the moment, Marlene was the criminal that had summoned the Evil God to this world.
She still had her reputation as a Heroine. Or from another point of view, it meant that without her reputation, she would be immediately thrown into jail the moment somebody found her. As it was, she could see what would happen if she showed her face: the Heroine would be forced to stand in the front line against the Evil God, to be used and thrown away.
Marlene’s pride could not allow it to happen.
The only way she could regain her honor now was to somehow deal with the Evil God herself. But she absolutely could not allow herself to be forced to fight until her death, to not be allowed even thoughts of retreat. She would not be enslaved.
Marlene caressed the enormous magic stone in the middle of the room.
It was the magic stone taken from the corpse of a Dark General-class monster defeated a decade ago, the Dragon Zombie. Marlene had recovered it in absolute secrecy. To make it into her trump card, she had been secretly stealing the mana of Cinqres over a duration of ten years, turning the stone into an explosive. It was the Yggdrasia equivalent of a nuclear weapon.
She could turn a capital city into ashes in a single attack with this. With the enormous amount of mana it consumed and its destructive power, even the Tower of Truth would have put it into the list of forbidden artifacts, never to be created or used, if they were aware of it.
Marlene reverently picked it up. On her expression was a hint of madness, the same madness of Brian and his cooperators.
“A Cataclysm-class monster…”
Gold the Warrior was infiltrating the small country of Oisadra, located in the southern region of the Eastern Continent. He, too, had noticed the manifestation of the Unseelie Lord. Through the demihumans’ information network, he had found out that it was a Cataclysm-class threat.
Gold had been cooperating with the demihuman resistance. He was no longer a Hero of humanity, instead deciding to fight as a true Hero, a savior of the world.
At first, he had thought he should inform everyone that the main cause lay in the deeds of humans, but he realized that in all likelihood, the nobility would never agree to it.
If he tried to leverage his Heroic reputation, he would also be bound by that very same reputation. More likely than not, he’d just be wasting his time.
Gold was aware of the Dark Lady Whitehare’s plans now. He couldn’t allow himself to waste time and worry about it when she was still continuing her lonely battle.
“What will you do, sir Hero?”
The young elven princess was with him on his current mission. She stared at him, her gaze cool.
He might have been cooperating, but until now, the Heroes had never shown any initiative in protecting demihumans. She must not yet trust him fully.
Should he fight the Evil God as a Hero of the world? Or should he save Yggdrasia by continuing as he had been, liberating Saplings from the humans’ hands?
“…I’ll continue to destroy the Saplings.”
Gold made his conclusion.
He still believed he should challenge the Evil God for the sake of Yggdrasia, even if he knew he’d lose. But he also knew that committing suicide wouldn’t save the world.
And this was a Cataclysm-class monster. A threat far surpassing the Dark General that Gold had lost to, as well as the Dark Lady Whitehare herself. He had enough presence of mind to understand that at the moment, he had absolutely no chance of winning.
Even if he succeeded in destroying the Saplings, everything would go down the drain if the world ended.
But according to a source of information in Touze Empire, the Dark Lady Whitehare had gained quite a bit of power after destroying the Sapling at Xontdix.
If that was true, then perhaps Gold and his allies could be of help to the Dark Lady simply by continuing to destroy Saplings.
Gold hadn’t been able to become the True Savior… but perhaps the Dark Lady could. Perhaps that girl of white would save the world.
“I’ll aid the Dark Lady. I believe it’s the path to saving this world.” Gold replied.
“I see. Then I shall also offer my cooperation, sir Hero.”
The elven princess looked into Gold’s eyes and nodded deeply. She showed a hint of a smile, and for the first time, it was for him.
One of the Heroes had reached for forbidden magic in order to preserve her pride.
One of the Heroes had thrown away his pride to protect the world, devoting himself to his duty.
And the final Hero…
“Hahahah! I, Calimero, shall surely vanquish the Evil God for the sake of my 12751 lovers all over the world!”
…the Blademaster. He had claimed the treasured holy sword of the Holy City of Ayune in order to complete his mission as a true Hero. Pure instincts was guiding him toward the Unseelie Lord Fiorfata, and he set out alone in boisterous laughter.
Even after spending ten thousand mana for my [Gospel], Fiorfata’s own magic only went down a thousand.
If I had to compare this whole situation to the video games I’d only ever read about, then I was pretty much trying to kill the last boss right after coming out from the tutorial here.
At least I got Fiorfata to focus on me. If I let it run amok, this whole region would be extinct of all life.
The moment I heard the ǹo̢͘i̸s̸e it made, I immediately teleported hundreds of meters away. I didn’t even dare to stay and watch what it was about to do.
Upon my arrival, I saw a small ball of light falling on where I used to be, violently exploding and scouring the buildings there into dust.
[Shedy] [Race: Bunny Girl] [Archdemon Lv. 25] [Magic Points: 78,400/97,000] [Total Combat Power: 88,100/106,700]
Just the shockwave alone already took off nearly five thousand, even through my hasty guard. This really wasn’t an opponent I could fight head-on. Out of all the battles I’d been in, this was the most hopeless.
But I still had a plan!
I teleported a magical blast right to Fiorfata’s head. It simply bounced off with a clang.
An attack worth five hundred magic was less effective than a scratch to a Demon Lord. But I needed it to see me as an enemy, else my whole plan would collapse.
“Come on, get me, Fiorfata!”
I shouted and whisked through the sky. I could see the Demon Lord behind me and chasing me, the fissure of a smile once more showing on its face.
I was about fifteen meters off the ground, flying fast. Fiorfata flew at the same speed, once in a while throwing at me the same explosions it did before.
I dodged, weaving left and right, sometimes even teleporting. Forests and hills turned into craters behind us.
But that was fine. Fiorfata knew I was a Demon, so it didn’t use the light that spawned dark pixies. It was only using simple magical attacks. Honestly, if it had used curses, the lingering damage to the environment would be so much worse later on.
[Shedy] [Race: Bunny Girl] [Archdemon Lv. 25] [Magic Points: 73,500/97,000] [Total Combat Power: 83,200/106,700]
I was getting ground down, slowly but surely.
Fiorfata hadn’t even seen me as a real opponent yet. The Demon Lord was still just a hunter leisurely chasing around a rabbit to pass the time during a walk in the forest.
Right now, its frivolity was the only reason why I hadn’t suffered any fatal wounds yet.
But I wouldn’t even last for a few hours like this. I pushed down my growing restlessness and focused on dodging. Finally, I arrived at my destination.
Quathuit, a small country to the southeast of the City of Magic Quarancinq. It served as the middleman for trade between Quarancinq and the City of Gambling Sautonnn further south. On this small continent, it was the country with the most merchants.
From afar, I could already see the streets of Quathuit being assaulted by so much dark pixies it looked like a thick cloud of locusts.
“[Causality Alteration], [Dimensional Manipulation], parallel activation!”
I slapped my hands together. The thousands of dark pixies I could see vanished in an instant.
The knights fighting them were dumbfounded. Then they saw me flying, and they shouted.
“T-the Dark Lady?!”
“Evacuate, NOW!” I yelled, spreading my voice as far away as possible, and I passed them by. A moment later, explosions ripped apart the area, soldiers and all.
“Get to the forests!”
That was the most warning they’d get. I didn’t exactly care if humans lived or died, but that didn’t mean I wanted them to go extinct.
As Quathuit’s castle came into my view, the magic artillery set up on top of the castle walls all fired at me.
I squeezed my hand. The projectiles avoided me to instead rain down on the direction of the Demon Lord hot on my tail.
Fiorfata responded with its own explosions an instant later, bombarding the castle. Quathuit’s barrier disappeared, and the World Tree sent me a white magic stone.
One down. To the next.
A/N: Map update. Things are currently happening in around the central area of the left side.