Tiz stood in the castle’s courtyard. He whispered, staring at the remains of the destroyed Sapling.
Shedy had used the magic sword to cut down the final Sapling, taking something from within the vanishing light into her hand. Then she disappeared into the cocoon of light.
She wasn’t gone. She was there. He could feel the enormous weight of her magic power, the presence of a true Dark Lady, still there.
But she wasn’t moving.
She was frozen as though a victim to her own power, as though her snow-white form had meant something far more literal.
As worries gnawed on Tiz’s mind, he, together with everyone else still staying behind in Touze Empire, all shivered as they suddenly felt a malevolent presence outside the city.
“…the Unseelie Lord…”
Fiorfata, the Unseelie Lord. A pinnacle of demons, a terrible being worthy of the name Evil God, summoned by mad humans. It wielded enough power to swat down the prided battleships of humans as though they were nothing but flies, and to bring cities and countries to ruin with a flick of its hand.
It was the face of the sins of the human race, the sins of mankind.
The humans had claimed the World Tree, what should have been the very lifeline of the world, as their own; had brought suffering to so many lives; had set the world onto the path of ruination. And now their sins had manifested themselves in the worst way possible, to enact indiscriminate retribution upon the whole world.
Despite how irresponsible it might sound, this was no longer a matter that humans could solve. And even if they had the power to, in all likelihood they would have used it only for themselves.
They had done it for their citizens. For mankind to prosper. And it might have even been necessary to some degree, but to the world of Yggdrasia, it was nothing more than a sin.
This was what Tiz had realized. It was the reason while despite being the emperor, he had abandoned the very keystone of his country that was the Sapling, gambling everything on the only one with a chance to win against this apocalypse: Shedy.
The Evil God Fiorfata silently floated above the city.
It didn’t need to do anything. Just the sight of it had sent people shivering, and those unfortunate enough to be showered in its overflowing, malevolent miasma soon decomposed, even as they stayed conscious through it all.
Fiorfata pointed its featureless face toward the white cocoon of light.
A vast amount of magic power gathered at Fiorfata’s fingertips. Nearly a hundred beams of light shot toward the castle, centering on Shedy.
Just as Tiz readied himself for his impending death, he sensed a powerful surge of magic from behind him, from the light that had been the remnants of the Sapling. And he finally heard the voice he had been waiting for.
Upon the voice, enormous crystallized snowflakes appeared, each around a meter in diameter, and they instantly dispersed to cover the castle. They reflected Fiorfata’s beams of light away and into the sky.
Then they shattered. The fragments glittered in the light of the scattering lasers, turning into white, powdery snow that danced as they descended. And just as the first specks touched the ground, the cocoon of light slowly gave form to a person.
The girl of white stood there, with skin and hair of snow. Her eyes gently opened to reveal a vivid scarlet.
A pair of fluffy rabbit eyes draped on her lustrous, somewhat-messy locks of hair. When she had looked about fourteen before, now she had grown to fifteen, perhaps sixteen, the childishness fading from her features. The survivors of Touze all released an unwitting sigh as they saw her.
Her scarlet dress, modeled after a bunny girl outfit, had had some changes. Her bunched-up skirt had unraveled to resemble a tailcoat, with the long-extending hem wrapping around her legs. Depending on the angle, it almost looked like a gown.
Powerful magic surged from the white girl — from Shedy, the magic different from what she had before. The skies trembled in front of her.
From above, Fiorfata showed a fissure of a smile as it looked upon the birth of a new God-class. It pointed toward her and toward the city stretching below it, and it released an enormous magical blast.
Facing the approaching sphere of magic that was dozens of meters across, Shedy silently raised a finger of her left hand toward the sky.
With the power of The Divine Language — the evolution of Materialization — a glove, resembling azure flower petals, appeared to cover her left hand from the wrist.
A pure white mist burst from her left hand. As the mist touched upon the foulness, it transformed into black petals as though absorbing the malevolence and erupted in blazing flames.
The white mist purified, sealing and burning the wickedness. It clashed against Fiorfata’s magic power, and the two opposing forces sputtered and died out.
Space twisted, and a vast swath of the sky shuddered. Shedy suddenly flew out from the haze toward Fiorfata from the front, and a kick struck it in the back.
Fiorfata instantly reacted to the spatial reversal, blocking Shedy’s kick with its own arm. The two’s magic power clashed in flickering sparks of lightning.
Both were blown away several hundred meters from the impact, but Shedy had rolled with knees hugged to reduce the force. She forced herself to a stop in the air and pointed her right hand toward Fiorfata.
Her right hand was covered by a white glove glowing faintly red, and from it came a raging blizzard that shone with a similar shade. All the miasma in its way were transformed into petals of ice, and the storm lunged toward Fiorfata.
Fiorfata released a sound that sounded half-singing, half-laughing. Its wings flapped at blurring speed, and it released a wide-ranging magical blast to blow away Shedy’s curse, that which turned everything it touched into icy petals.
Her left hand was the merciful hand of a goddess. From it came a mist to heal all living beings and to turn all evil into flower petals that burned in eternal purgatory, burning until they were no more.
Her right hand was the ruinous hand of a demon. From it came a blizzard to bestow a peaceful death to the sinless and to turn the wicked into flower petals that froze, annihilating them to their very souls.
The left hand of gods, and the right hand of demons.
The flames of mercy that burned all into nothingness, and the blizzard of destruction that brought death equally to all.
The power of gods, and the power of demons.
Gods purified one’s sins by granting never-ending suffering, while demons cared nothing for purification, only granting equal destruction to all.
An artificial goddess faced a demon of the Netherworld. The clash of two absolute powers had cleared away the clouds of the whole Central Continent, and once more, they took to the skies of Yggdrasia to resume their battle.
[Shedy] [Race: Bunny Girl] [Joker] ・Dea Ex Machina. An artificial goddess born in cyberspace. Possesses the right hand of a Demon to destroy all, and the left hand of a Goddess to save all. [Magic Points: 489,000/500,000] [Total Combat Power: 539,000/550,000] [Unique Skill: <Causality Alteration> <Dimensional Manipulation> <Consumption> <The Divine Language>] [Racial Skill: <Fear> <Mist Form>] [Simple Identification] [Deity Form (Lovely)] [Subspace Inventory] [Overlord] [Goddess from the Machine]
[Unseelie Lord・Fiorfata] [Race: Dark Pixie] [Demon Lord] ・One of the seven Demon Lords ruling Netherworld. A god of the Netherworld. [Magic Points: 445,000/600,000] [Total Combat Power: 515,000/670,000]
Under the cloudless sky of Yggdrasia, we faced each other with nearly a hundred meters between us.
With my evolution, I finally gained power equivalent to Fiorfata.
…and as traditional whenever this happened, another one of my abilities evolved weird…
…so anyway, I got the evolution for my final ability. I’d arrived at the same plane of existence as Fiorfata, and I had gained the power to defeat it.
But… without Blobsy and Panda, without the dragons’ sacrifices, without the many, many monsters and demihumans, and without the help of some humans to grind down Fiorfata’s magic power, I couldn’t have stood in front of it as I was now.
I had evolved. I was a Joker. I was the final and the greatest trump card.
I was both a deity and a demon, a man-made goddess born from the world of cyberspace.
I was dea ex machina.
My new power had been granted to me by the secret alpha testers… no, not just them, but by the whole world of Yggdrasia.
All the same, even if we were now on a level playing field, I still only just evolved. I didn’t know how much of my power I could use. Still…
“Fiorfata. Ready yourself.”
I wouldn’t let it recover any more magic. I would end this, here and now!