Even before Arcana’s little game, Antarctica wasn’t totally lifeless or desolate. However, nearly all of the animals that existed on the frozen continent tended to stay near the ocean, upon the shores.
Penguins, polar bears, sea lions, killer whales, krill and many other creatures were present; which meant that when a certain Goddess decided to pay a visit and create a few ‘dungeons’, the natural ecosystem was totally obliterated. Of course, with destruction, there will usually come forth a great surge of creation.
Even the most frigid and unbearable parts of Antarctica had become filled with all sorts of mutated, magical life. In fact, there were even many ‘humans’ who had moved there in the hopes of avoiding the chaos and war that was constantly raging throughout the world.
Unfortunately, there were a few too many people who had the same exact idea and they all hated each other for various reasons. Thus, they formed countries, guilds and alliances with other like-minded individuals.
Nearly everyone who moved to the southernmost continent had some sort of special traits that allowed them to survive in extremely cold environments. However, there was one place called “Dome J”, that was the last refuge of pure-blooded humans. The organization ‘Humanity’ had been wiped out less than a month after Arcana gave out the Quests, but there were obviously plenty of less ‘extreme’ groups out there. They weren’t aggressive, though they still possessed enough firepower to protect themselves.
A man named Azriel Akira, or Doctor Azriel, managed to create a device that could filter mana out of the air, then transform it into electrical energy and massive amounts of heat. He also invented many other pieces of technology that were able to deal with demons or other monstrous beasts through non-magical means. If it wasn’t for him, the last of humanity would have died off shortly after Michael allowed the Arcane Goddess to have free-reign over the planet.
As the Nephilim was driving his snowmobile up a rather steep hill, there was a gigantic white Dire Wolf following closely behind and pushing him forward. Since the adorable vixen was a shapeshifter, she rarely stayed in the same form for too long; she considered it ‘boring’. On the dashboard, there was a tiny blue kitten curled up in a ball and purring quietly.
Elina was hiding inside of the fiery red robe, where it was nice and warm. As for Sarah, using her raven form was rather tiring, so she simply took the shape of her pitch-black shadowy hooded cloak and was being worn by Michael.
The moment that they arrived at the peak of that hill, Michael muttered “What the fuck? I was kinda just expecting an igloo or something… Not a goddamn castle. Hell, maybe it’s more like a whole kingdom, hehehe~.”
A few miles away, he could see a solid wall made out of pykrete: Frozen wood pulp and water mixed together, into an incredibly durable concrete-like material. In the Antarctic tundra, it was incredibly useful as a sturdy construction material.
Beyond those icy barriers was a truly strange scenery. In the farthest distance, he could barely make out the tip of a colossal silver triangular pyramid. Surrounding that was what seemed like a heavily populated city, with skyscrapers abound. Then there were suburbs, with tens of thousands of moderately sized houses.
However, the most surprising factor was the outrageously lush and fertile farmland that stretched out to the east and west until the horizon; he could tell that it was at least seven or so miles from north to south. Since the whole place seemed symmetrical, it was definitely large enough to be considered a great metropolis.
As he gazed up at the sky, he murmured “Hmm~, kinda looks like a magical forcefield? Well, there’s no way they built this whole place in the last three years…”
He immediately sucked the snowmobile into his inventory, and sent the snoozing kitten into their conjoined Soul Realm. Then he hopped onto Inari’s back and gently caressed her surprisingly warm fur coat, whispering “I feel like it’s been ages since the last time I was ‘riding’ you, hehehe~…” into her twitching left ear.
She barked excitedly and there was a deep cackling coming from his fiery robe; the bracelet on his wrist complained “You should not overestimate your physical capabilities Miguel. We do not know exactly how powerful the beings who live within that settlement are… You should utilize my bow at the very least.”
Sarah grumbled “Nah, just pull out my daggers and let me take control over your body! Don’t worry, I’ll kill all them fuckers for ya! Hahaha~!”
The cute white dove poked her head out from the bulge on the right side of his chest, asking “Wouldn’t it be better if we go there in ‘peace’? Isn’t it more helpful to be an Oracle of Lux than a harbinger of death? You should wield my battle-staff… If it comes to a fight, you would be able to defend yourself, but it would also make it far easier to cast healing spells on others.”
Alice suggested “There’s nothing wrong with goin in there ‘unarmed’, hehe~. Just use my gauntlets and boots; then let me beat the shit out of them if they attack us. Ah, you should try selling some of this medicine I made too! I mean, it hasn’t really been tested on humans yet, but that’s not such a big deal. This looks like the perfect place to start some ‘clinical trials’, right Mike?”
Michael sighed dramatically, muttering “How do we even know if they are ‘humans’ though? Who knows how much they could have mutated in the last three years… Woah! Look! What did I tell ya? They’re all fucking robots now…”
A pure-white metallic rod appeared in the little boy’s left silver gauntlet, as Inari casually started sliding on her belly down the sleek icy slope. He thought about it for a moment and then grumbled “Seriously Elly, there’s no way to sheath this stupid stick!” and sucked it back into his body.
Then the tiny Nephilim followed his other wife’s instructions and a rather ‘ordinary’ looking recurve bow appeared in the staff’s place. Of course, there was another serious issue that he instantly realized: It was far too large for him to actually wield with such a small body.
“You’ve gotta be kidding me… Ugh, I guess we’re going for option five, huh?” After complaining again, Michael made the weapon vanish into thin air. The crystalline armor covering his right arm and the silver gauntlet, along with the ethereal chains also disappeared.
However, after thinking about the situation for a moment, Michael decided to keep his helmet on. His glowing pure-white leg armor and boots stayed, since they appeared a lot more ‘natural’ than golden draconic feet.
Within moments, both of his arms were totally protected by a thin layer of bronze armor, from his fingers to his shoulders. Of course, it just seemed like he was wearing fancy gauntlets, since the crimson robe had rather long and loose sleeves.
He whispered “Now that I think about it, I’m surprised my OCD hadn’t acted up on me all this time? Normally I would have freaked out and had to get matching arm gear… Well, I guess it’s because the stats were pretty nice and I didn’t really have a chance to worry about it too much.”
Talia murmured “You were nude so often that I had forgotten that you even had a full suit of armor…”
Michael snickered, complaining “Alright, everybody shut up… Let’s find out if these bastards are good robots or the ‘kill all humans’ kind.”
Sarah asked “What the fuck are robots and what’s wrong with killing shitty human cunts?” However, instead of answering her ridiculous question, he just “Shushed” her as Inari gradually stopped enjoying her leisurely slide and stood up.
Two gigantic metallic humanoid creatures slowly approached them from a few hundred meters away. There were also a myriad of gigantic automated or remote-controlled twenty-millimeter machine-gun turrets mounted upon the top of the gigantic wall.
When the ten foot tall mechanical armor-plated ‘robots’ were thirty feet away from Michael, the one on the left pointed its huge black assault rifle at Inari and shouted “Halt! Who are you and why have you come to New Tokyo?! State your name and race, now!”
The other one still had its gun lowered and complained “Oi, Rick, calm down… They don’t even have a weapon and my mana-scanner is barely even picking up anything from either the kid or the wolf.”
“Don’t trust those stupid things so much! Hey! Say something now or I’ll shoot your fucking dog!” After hearing that, Inari growled angrily at the loud-mouthed ‘robot’, but Sarah started snickering quietly.
Michael’s vocal chords shifted a bit and then he spoke in an extremely high-pitched and feminine voice: “I’m Minari-chan, eto~, it’s super embarrassing… but before all this apocalyptic craziness, I played Mahou Shoujo Kana-chan in the English dub of ‘I Thought My Sister Was a Kawaii Dragon-Girl, but It Turns Out She Was Actually a Dinosaur From Saturn!’ I’m not sure if either of you eto~, robo-kuns watch obscure, dubbed, softcore hentai anime…”