The Beginning of the End
The attack was sudden.
Somewhere out in the Pacific Ocean, a single nuclear missile was launched.
It was aimed to pass through the atmosphere and land somewhere on the Dragon Bone Continent, but disappeared midair without detonating.
Then, aimed at the area that the missile was launched from, a laser-like flame shot out.
A steam explosion occurred as the surface of the sea bulged out and caused a giant wave.
The nuclear submarine that launched the missile was pierced by the flame and sank down.
“Well, yeah, that happened.”
Ohma informed Ria as though bored. The one who eliminated the missile was Terrew, with Ohma performing the counterattack.
Both Ria and Guinevere only reacted to that little of an extent. They were currently planning out the migration to the other, non-Dragon Bone Continent continents.
The Demonlands had already transported the goods with large airships, but since Serge had been temporarily teleporting the humans to Manesh, they still had to move them over.
“Maybe I should’ve sent them straight to the other continents in the first place.”
Serge, who’d plopped down on a cushion due to mana exhaustion, had just finished moving tens of thousands of Japanese citizens over without giving them a proper dialogue in the least. In other words, a kidnapping.
There was an archipelago just next to the Dragon Fang Continent, so he’d decided to gather the Japanese over there.
“Still though, there’s so many of them.”
Chris, who’d be helping him, threw in the towel as well. Japan alone had a population of more than a hundred million. Teleporting that number over was impossible.
The floating continent had already moved over to the Earth and was receiving people who wished to immigrate.
However, even that was a mere drop in the bucket.
Three days had passed since then, and Ars was returning to Earth a second time. However, it wasn’t as though he did this because things were progressing promisingly.
Spearheaded by the United States, all of the Earth’s war potential was aimed at the floating continent. Although they still weren’t using nuclear weapons, it was being attacked to the point that towns would turn into vacant swaths of land.
Even so, as it was protected by a magic barrier, it received no damage at all.
And despite that happening, Ars still went to the Earth.
The conference ended without anything to show for it.
It didn’t take long for Earth to begin resorting to nuclear weapons.
The nuclear warheads used were an order of magnitude stronger than those used on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Yet even so, it was repelled by the magic barrier.
Deciding that it would take time and effort away from accomodating immigration, Shifaka attacked the nuclear powers.
It was a magic attack. Three large areas in the United States, Russia, and China were disintegrated by his attack.
The whole of Earth was thrown into confusion. Nevertheless, there were still countries waging race-based wars. Rather, now that the superpowers were crippled, it could be said that their warring was intensifying.
Prudent countries crossed through the world’s barrier with their own countries’ aircrafts. Terrew had overlooked them.
Even if it was just a few hundred people, it would increase the amount of immigrants.
However, a few among those landed on the Dragon Bone Continent.
And what appeared from them were not immigrants, but soldiers.
Ars said that basically all continents other than Dragon Bone Continent would accept immigrants. However, this country foolishly planned on occupying land that had been developed to some extent.
It was an unfortunate event for both sides.
Beastkin villages were attacked by military forces.
Beastkin were known for their physical abilities, but even they still had bodies of flesh. None of them were a match against Earth’s modern equipped forces.
The invaders hoisted a red flag in the middle of the village.
“It appears that an army from Earth attacked a beastkin village.”
“A village of… beastkin…?”
Ria’s emotions immediately began to boil. Unrolling a map on the desk, she asked where the village was. The map wasn’t entirely precise, but it was enough.
“That’s near Maal’s village.”
She thought about how to get there. Serge’s teleportation was being used for immigration. If she went any slower than that…
“Ohma, could you teleport me there?”
Possibly pleased by something or another, Fire Dragon Ohma had been hanging around in Manesh’s court. She herself said that its because her own bed was a bit hot, though.
Casually waving her hand, Ohma and Ria instantly moved into the skies far away from the court.
Ria went to invoke her Dragon Eyes, but Ohma had already pointed them out.
“Right over there.”
Not even doubting her, Ria took off flying there. Eventually, she began to see a trail of smoke she couldn’t believe would be used for cooking.
Upon seeing it, there was no longer room to doubt.
It was Maal’s village.
What Ria saw was beastkin lying on the ground with Earthlings casually killing them.
No, no more.
Ria descended upon them from the sky, Nagasone Kotetsu in hand.
She sensed herself ending their lives one after another.
Not even the barrage of rifle rounds could break Ria’s barrier.
Finishing off the final enemy, Ria headed to Maal’s house.
Her heart felt like it would burst from her chest. She couldn’t shake off the bad feeling she had.
No one was in the house.
It was Maal, so maybe she had found a way to escape with her family.
That has to be it.
“Did you know who lived here?”
Ohma called out from the entrance.
“Yeah, but there’s no one here. It looks like they escaped somehow…”
“Four people went that way and another went to the center of the village.”
Following Ohma’s words, Ria first went to the outskirts of the village.
The fence that enclosed the village had a gap about large enough for a cat beastkin to fit through. Jumping over it, Ria looked through the brush while calling out for Maal.
A male cat beastkin appeared from a hole in the base of a large tree.
She realized who it was due his type of fur. It was Maal’s husband. Three small cat beastkin were holding onto his legs.
“She said she was going to help everyone, she went to the village’s center and—”
Hearing that, Ria took off at a dash.
There wasn’t anyone in the village anymore.
Not living, at least.
There were innumerable corpses in the village’s center.
The corpses of both cat beastkin and those that Ria had shredded.
However, there were the corpses of enemies she didn’t recall killing there as well.
That had to be Maal’s work.
They were taken from behind, their necks sliced open. Maal would have no trouble at that.
But there was no living person there.
“Maal, it’s me! Ria! Where are you!?”
She has to be somewhere.
She has to!
“This Maal person, what do they look like?”
Having walked over nonchalantly, Ohma asked a question.
“A cat beastkin, her whole body is covered in black fur.”
“And her level’s reasonably high? So then…”
Ohma pointed her finger out.
She’d pointed to an enemy’s corpse, but there was something weird about it.
Ria immediately realized why—there was someone under it.
Beneath that enemy’s body, there was a black cat beastkin.
Her entire body was soaked in blood, she wasn’t breathing.
She didn’t make it.
Ohma spoke in a plain tone, as though to say nothing could be done about it.
“Ohma, revi-… ve…”
“Impossible. It’s not just the Millennium, there’s even a Great Collapse going on right now, the Soul Cycle is too violent. Not even Valis could.”
“Doubt it. If a God Dragon can’t, I doubt a human could.”
Ohma answered with indifference, Ria’s hope destroyed.
Ria embraced Maal’s small body.
There was a trace of warmth remaining. Her face peaceful, Maal was dead.
“Aaah… U-uuu… aaa…”
Tears flowed down Ria’s cheeks, landing on Maal’s face.
This was something she couldn’t forgive.
Even if someone might be able to, Ria could not.
And so, Ria roared.
The red flag that had been planted nearby vaporized.
She couldn’t control her anger. The mana within her body circulated like a tempest, running wild.
It was a shout that didn’t belong to a human. Ria’s body exploded outward.
Turning into a black-scaled being, Ria had transformed into a dragon.
Far into the sky, she broke through the boundary with Earth.
Her multiple-kilometer long body flew into Earth’s atmosphere.
Then, arriving at her destination, Ria let out a breath with all her might.
Everything was destroyed by her Darkness Breath. Ria’s all-out assault destroyed the land. Destroying the crust, it continued on. With all its might, nothing remained.
Like a tsunami, the land swallowed its surroundings.
Creating a huge mushroom cloud, the shock wave traveled through the ground.
Hundreds of millions of people and other animals were wiped out—no, erased by Ria’s breath.
It even caused something similar to tectonic drift, indirectly depriving even more lives.
Ria’s anger continued to drive her on as she destroyed the land, continuing until she had no choice in the matter.
Ria, drained of strength, returned to her human form and fell due to the pull of gravity. However, during her fall, someone caught her.
“Really, what an unreasonable person.”
Not wearing his golden mask, Ars shouldered Ria.
“The mana here’s so agitated that it’s not even possible to teleport?”
Ars returned to the Dragon Bone Continent through flight magic and tried to head to Manesh. However, he stopped and turned toward the existence that called out for him.
Fire Dragon Ohma was carrying Maal’s remains and the four other cat beastkin.
“The heck happened with her?”
“Looks like her friend got caught out by some of Earth’s soldiers and was killed.”
Dragons didn’t lament death. It was just a matter of returning to the Soul Cycle.
However, it wasn’t as though they didn’t understand what it was to be sad, not what it was to be angry.
“So that’s the cause of it?”
Ars looked at Earth’s land. It was dyed in the color of rage.
Let alone that foolish country, Ria’s anger had even destroyed the surrounding countries.
Japan was among them.
Upwards of a billion people died due to Ria’s attack. Even if it wasn’t her intention.
Even for Ars, this was an unplanned and unpleasant predicament. However, he would immediately put this to use.
“Ohma, can I leave her to you?”
“I don’t mind, but what’re you going to do?”
“I’ll use this for the Earth.”
Entrusting the unconscious Ria to Ohma, Ars headed towards the Earth.
His destination was the White House.
Even now, it could still just barely be called the heart of the Earth.
“Yo, President. How are you doing?”
The President was in his office despite it being so late at night.
And, despite it being so late at night, there was a person in a gold mask standing right in front of him.
“What was that!?”
The aftermath of Ria’s attack knocked out the majority of the planet’s communication systems. Still, the President was able to confirmed that an unreasonable attack had been launched on them.
Sitting down on the sofa, Ars explained it concisely.
“What happened just now wasn’t due to me nor the God Dragons. It was done by Archduke Ryuke Riana.”
It wasn’t due to a country, nor due to an organization. It was simply the anger of an individual.
An individual that destroyed a portion of the Eurasian continent.
“A foolish country, not wanting to develop lands themselves, invaded and slaughtered the inhabitants of a beastkin village. Normally, she would have ended it at killing all of the soldiers.”
Ars shrugged. His manner felt almost ironic.
“Unfortunately, the archduke’s friend lived in that village. Having lost a friend, the archduke destroyed the country that was responsible for her friend’s death. The surrounding countries, too.”
“An individual’s anger… destroyed a country…?”
“President, I said it before, but you shouldn’t be hostile against us. Instead, you should help move more people to immigrate.”
Ars continued with a tone that seemed to say that he sympathized.
“There’s no going against it. It can’t be avoided. It’s not your responsibility.”
Hearing the President’s unconscious murmurs, Ars responded with sarcasm.
“If you think about what the Earth’s gods have done for humanity, I don’t think you should rely on them.”
Leaving that statement, Ars vanished from the White House.