…’Consume’? My words surprised myself.
I thought I was using [Absorption]. The power I’d inherited from No. 17 could be used to absorb the mana from my surroundings, but more than that, it also worked with heat and kinetic energy. And just like how the creatures of this world could gain a part of the magical energy of those they defeated, this power was capable of stealing the magic and life-force of others to turn it into my own.
Using it to steal power from others, however, was most efficient when I directly touched my target. ‘Absorption’ wasn’t supposed to be able to turn enemy spells into mana for me to take.
And yet I had managed to gather the magical artillery projectiles the battleships shot at me in my hand and threw it back at them. I’d done it so naturally, without a second thought, as easy as walking or breathing.
[Shedy] [Race: Bunny Girl] [Archdemon Lv. 50] ・The demon of Laplace. One who had ascended beyond an Archdemon. [Magic Points: 107,500/172,000] [Total Combat Power: 124,400/189,200] [Unique Skill: <Causality Alteration> <Dimensional Manipulation> <Consumption> <Materialization>] [Racial Skill: <Fear> <Mist Form>] [Simple Identification] [Human Form (Wonderful)] [Subspace Inventory] [Dark Lady]
…my Absorption ability had evolved, just like how Causality Alteration and Dimensional Manipulation had.
And my description also changed a little bit. I’d ascended beyond an Archdemon…? Was this something similar to a Rank-up, not an Evolution?
What had caused these changes? Had it been because I’d reached level 50? Or had it come from the anger I felt upon losing the dragons?
Both my magic and total combat power hadn’t drastically increased like my previous evolutions or rank-ups. But I could feel something like a core forming inside of me.
It felt as though the tree log I’d been swinging around all this time was now a weapon made out of metal with the same weight… or maybe like the oil fire was now a gunpowder blast… I wasn’t sure how to describe it, but well, it felt like my very existence had reached a higher level.
The loss of Admiral Rhodon’s ship had sent the fleet into momentary panic, but they were already recovering, reforming their formation and aiming all their guns at me.
Were they really doing this? I narrowed my eyes. I stayed silent, stretching out my hand toward the fleet in the sky and squeezed.
The next moment, fire burst out from the engine rooms of two of the ships. One exploded in mid-air, while the other one dropped out of the sky, slamming into the ground and shattering into pieces.
In a world relying as much on spells and magic circles as Yggdrasia, complex machinery, such as the magitech engine, was a new field, and as such was still rife with defects or instabilities. The machines only continued working because the arcane aspect of the design were forcing them to. And when dozens, hundreds of such defects suddenly worsened at the same time, what came after was a foregone conclusion.
What happened was a result of my newfound ability to use Causality Alteration even through their magical barriers. Although I was honestly quite surprised at how many of the ships were actually quite well-made.
The ships repeated their salvoes. The explosions themselves were a little bit painful, but now that I could consume magic power from the projectiles, I wasn’t just taking zero damage — the attacks were actually healing me.
“I don’t need this much, so you get them back.”
I gathered the excess magic power and the force of the explosions in my hand with [Consumption], adding some of my power, and lobbed the magical blast back at them.
Three more ships were now covered in flame. They lost their ability to stay afloat and crashed.
I heard a whistling noise. I dodged with a short-range teleportation, and an enormous iron harpoon shot through where I used to be. I’m guessing this was for towing large creatures? Looked like the fleet changed into using simple physical weapons after they realized I could return their magic back at them.
“…in that case…”
I turned into mist and zipped toward the fleet. I still received a bit of damage even when I was incorporeal, but with my current power, it wasn’t enough for me to care.
I approached one of the ships. Its rudder turned in a hasty attempt to dodge while another of its harpoons were shot at me.
I enveloped the four-meters-large harpoon as mist and turned back to human form, using Dimensional Manipulation to offset the inertia and Consumption to devour the kinetic energy. Then I used the enormous lance as an impromptu blunt weapon to bash in the ship’s bridge.
As I stood on the wreckage of the bridge, an arrow whiffed my cheek. It had come from the soldiers on the deck of a few other ships that had gotten close.
Well, if they’re offering themselves as sacrifices…
I swung the harpoon to knock away the subsequent arrows, then flooded the two ships with mist of extreme cold, freezing them into a single falling lump of ice.
The fleet had lost half of their numbers in a blink of an eye. They began to retreat.
It was less a retreat and more a rout, really. I ignored most of them to head for the single ship that still stayed. It was the same kind of large battleship as Rhodon’s.
Several men had gotten out to the deck with hands behind their heads.
What were they thinking? I threw the harpoon into the walls of the bridge, covering the slowly-approaching ship with cold mist, and I landed. The moment I did, the men wearing officer uniforms on the deck all dropped down, their heads touching the deck with hands still locked behind them.
They looked like they were… prostrating themselves. If I remembered correctly from the information package that had been downloaded into my brain in the very beginning, this was the sign of surrender for humans of this world.
“…what are you planning?”
“Dark Lady! Please stay your hands! We do not wish to fight!” An older man said hastily, looking desperate. The ship’s captain?
“What are you talking about now? Didn’t you attack me?”
“W-we were just following Rhodon’s orders! We did not want to be your enemy—”
“And you kept attacking even after he was dead.”
“T-that is… H-how will you stand against the Unseelie Lord if you don’t have us?! Without our help, you can’t—AGH!”
As the captain began to run his mouth, I shut him up with a kick, hurling him away and shocking the other crew members into silence. I looked down on them and spoke frostily.
“I’ll deal with it myself. I don’t need humans.”
I covered my hands with mist. Armed soldiers jumped out from their hiding spots on the deck.
I released my mist to turn them all into statues of ice. The captain took out the handgun he’d hidden, aiming it at me, even as he was already half-frozen. Ice covered him whole just before his finger could pull the trigger, and he took his last breath with an expression of fury on his face.
What a farce, setting up an ambush while they pretended to surrender. Not like I had any intentions of accepting the help of humans anymore anyway, even if they had been sincere.
What should I do with the escaping ships that still remained? I was quite sure they’d be destroyed by my hands one way or another, but I had to deal with Fiorfata right now. I didn’t have the time.
But while I was occupied with my thoughts, a beam of laser flashed in front of my eyes, shooting down the escaping ships one after another.
Damn it… it already caught up!
[Unseelie Lord・Fiorfata] [Race: Dark Pixie] [Demon Lord] ・One of the seven Demon Lords ruling Netherworld. A god of the Netherworld. [Magic Points: 523,000/600,000] [Total Combat Power: 583,000/670,000]
…that was quite the decrease in magic power. Calimero must have gone all out, then.
On top of the thick forest of the Eastern Continent, the two of us faced each other over a distance of several kilometers. The Demon Lord must have noticed the gain in my power. It cackled, its body trembling in amusement.
A chilling cold ran down my spine.
The miasma dripping from Fiorfata covered the forest below us, turning the land a rotting black in a blink of an eye and spawning a vast amount of dark pixies.
Fiorfata had finally decided to be serious. Its attacks were going to be deadly… no, cataclysmic from now on.
In response, I pointed my hands at it.
“Causality Alteration, Dimensional Manipulation, Consumption, parallel activation!”
Just combining three of my evolved abilities together was already taking a huge chunk out of my magic reserve.
I clapped my hands together. A space of absolute zero formed right in front of Fiorfata, expanding into the shape of a perfect sphere with a radius of several kilometers.
Tens of thousands of dark pixies were turned into diamond dust in a flash. Fiorfata was being covered by the cold mist, and the white world slowly engulfed him.
But not for long.
Crack! The sphere of absolute zero was broken with countless beams of light, forcing me to twist and tumble through the air to dodge. Fiorfata once more appeared from the world of white, a bit of frost clinging onto its body.
I still couldn’t win yet… but I could dodge its attacks now.
And I knew that my cold mist was now capable of slowing it down, even if only for a little bit.
Come on, then. Chase me until I can win.
Before Fiorfata started moving, I left for the ocean. I headed for what would be our final battlefield: the Central Continent.