IS, V6, Chapter 6: The Judge Parts 11-15

Part 11

*Third Person Perspective*

“Here Tommy, stay here and eat as much as you want. I’m going to make sure Mary’s doing okay.” Ariel placed a golden bill with the number ‘1’ onto the table and left the diner before her son could respond. She ‘borrowed’ the money from her old friend Walter, since she didn’t have any small bills.

Although she didn’t get directions, there was a telepathic connection between Ariel and her ‘children’. At least to the extent that she could feel where they were, at all times. In the Western Plains, where millions of Pink Goblins roamed, it wasn’t particularly useful. But in Gator Brook, she only needed to open her mind a bit and she could see the exact path that the lizard-man took, when he was carrying Mary.

Between the exhaust, feces, urine, body odor and various different pheromones, it was impossible to track anyone through scent. Even most telepathic means were obscured by the innumerable psychic communications happening all around her, every moment. However, after wandering around for a few minutes, Ariel finally found herself standing before a behemoth of a building.

It wasn’t nearly as tall as the skyscrapers in the distance, but at 30 meters, it also took up four entire blocks of area. There were thousands of large glass windows that practically covered the structure, causing Ariel to wonder: “How could they afford such extravagance?” She didn’t recognize the greyish concrete material, but most of the buildings were made out of something similar, so she assumed that it was relatively cheap. But even back in Black Mithril, glass existed, and was sometimes worth more than its weight in gold.

On the roof were hundreds of enormous, 30 to 50 meter tall and fluffy purple trees. Roots rippled and writhed along the walls like the tentacles on her back. They were bright pink as well. She had to stop herself for a moment, just to make sure she wasn’t hallucinating.

Although she was standing there in a daze, she was still able to avoid getting crushed between the dozens of people passing by every second. There was a huge ‘parking lot’ in front of the hospital, which separated it from the sidewalk traffic, but giant metal horseless carriages were constantly heading in and out of the premises. There was also a special area, that was essentially a type of stables… Though it was right next to the entrance to the veterinarian wing of the hospital, for convenience.

Ariel noticed that most of the strange vehicles either produced noxious fumes and made a lot of noise, or they absorbed mana from the atmosphere and were nearly silent. The latter was only useful in mana-rich areas like the Third Ring, while the first could function anywhere, but they were significantly more expensive to drive. It was still technically the beginning of the Industrial Age of Alfirin, so oil prices were extremely high.

The closer she got to the building, the ‘cleaner’ the air became. The exhaust, burning coals, various musks, perfumes and colognes, fumes from feces, even the good cooking smells started to disappear. Then the noises started vanishing, the horns, sirens, gunshots, explosions, screams, roars, growls, shouts, laughing and other chaotic sounds were replaced by complete silence by the time she reached the huge glass doors.

When she reached out her right hand, Ariel noticed that there was no handle on either door. But almost immediately, the two thick panes of glass slid off to the left and right, allowing her to walk into the entryway… Then the doors quickly shut behind her and locked.

She was trapped in a fairly large reflective box. The walls appeared to be made out of metal, but they were actually one-way mirrors. Before she could start trying to break free, a soft feminine voice whispered into her mind: “Activating Identification and Decontamination sequence now. Please be patient.”

“What the fuck does that mean?! Hello?! Why have you imprisoned me here?!” Although she shouted, Ariel didn’t try to escape, since she had no idea what material the walls were made out of… And aside from that, she felt as if her body and mind were being heavily suppressed by some overbearing Aura.

“Identification verified: Bariel Gurguranor. Race: Formerly Red Goblin… Current Race needs verification from a Doctor, in order to check for genetic and contagious diseases. Medical History is unknown, requires a Check Up from a Doctor. No known Vaccinations or Immunities, must be seen by a Doctor for the relevant tests. Current Level: 4.03…” That mysterious voice didn’t seem to care what she said, and just continued rattling off important information, most of which the Pink Goblin didn’t understand at all.

“How the fuck do you know who I am?! Who told you that?! Was it that rat-bastard Walter?!” Ariel screamed, but the observer didn’t seem to care.

“Please remove any clothing, accessories, weapons, armor and other items now.” As the ‘woman’ spoke, a small hole opened up near the floor of the wall to Ariel’s left. The opening was just large enough to fit what little possessions she had on her body. After hesitating for a moment, she did as she was told. Although she didn’t really care about being naked, and her clothing was so ragged and decrepit that she felt more embarrassed wearing it, the naked woman really didn’t want to throw away all her money into that mysterious hole.

“All items and personal belongings will be decontaminated and/or examined separately from the Patient. If there are any contagions or harmful substances, they will be analyzed or destroyed, depending on the circumstances. Weapons, armor, poisons and explosives will be returned to the Patient when they have left the premises. Thank you for your patience.”

The air started to feel ‘thinner’, to the point where Ariel couldn’t even breathe anymore. All the Mana was seemingly drained from her body in a somewhat slow process, otherwise she might have actually exploded. She fell weakly onto her knees, and all six tentacles struggled for a bit more, before ultimately shriveling up and receding back into her back. Of course, they were still visible dangling along the edges of her shoulder blades, just small and flaccid.

“Step One Complete. As this is your first time experiencing the decontamination procedure, the process will be briefly explained so that the Patient is not overstressed. Although sudden and drastic changes in Mana-Density can be extremely jarring and even life-threatening most lifeforms, it is especially deadly to bacteria, viruses, fungi and microorganisms. Thus, the standard procedure is to first reduce the Mana-Density as far as the Patient can withstand… Then we rapidly raise the Mana-Density in order to revitalize your immune system, while also killing off any weaker pathogens that might have survived until now.”

Just as she said, the air was once again filled with Mana, even more quickly than it disappeared. But it didn’t stop at Level 3.5, which was the standard density of the air right outside. It increased all the way up to Level 4, the baseline of the Forest of Corruption.

Ariel’s tentacles suddenly erupted outwards with even more ferocity than before! They were so thick and long that they actually slammed against the ceiling, walls and floor with all their might… And there wasn’t even a dent or scratch, just a lot of noise. It was fairly impressive, since she was in the middle of the room and it was a 5 by 5 meter cube.

“Step Two Commencing, please brace yourself for static discharge.” Obviously the naked woman had no idea what that meant, and she could barely even hear anything over the banging noises. Then she screamed in agony as her whole body was violently electrocuted by arcs of purple lightning. This continued for roughly three minutes, until her tentacles had receded to their usual two-meter length.

“Thank you for your patience. The Final Step is merely a light shower, in order to remove any harmful chemicals and/or toxic waste that your body might have produced during the previous two procedures.”

Obviously it wasn’t nearly so benign. 

Part 12

*Third Person Perspective*

Before Ariel could recover from the baptism of lightning, a huge hole appeared on the ground in front of her… Of course, she tried to step back and escape the ominous pit, but dozens of purple vine-like tendrils shot out of the abyss and wrapped around her body.

“No, no, no~, ah~!” She started having a mild panic attack, as she remembered back to her first meeting with Asmodeus. ‘His’ tentacles were pink, warm and alluring, while this strange creature was violet, physically cold and evoked an inherent sense of revulsion. They wrapped around her neck, wrists, ankles and waist, while seemingly actively avoiding the more sensitive areas.

“Ahhh~! Augubuagh~!” When Ariel wanted to scream, she found herself submerged in cool water. However, she was still being pulled down rapidly, but at an angle. Technically, she was going forward into the basement of the hospital. The vines didn’t let go of her, and she couldn’t see anything, even with her fairly powerful senses.

Eventually though, she reached a ‘tube’ so small that her body could only fit through without her tentacles outstretched. Obviously designed for humans or elves. At least she could breathe now, since the slippery ‘slide’ only had a small amount of water flowing through it. Within a few seconds, Ariel found herself slowing to a surprisingly peaceful stop within a shallow pool of crystal-clear water.

When she eventually stood up and looked around, the naked pink woman noticed that she was in fairly small room. The walls were smooth and grey, made from specially treated concrete, while there were some simple fluorescent light bulbs across the ceiling. Ariel just assumed that they were magical devices, and didn’t spare them another glance.

More importantly, there were some white leather chairs and an odd ‘bed’ in the room. On that bed was a very thin grey gown, which was obviously placed there for her to wear. As Ariel left the pool of water, the ground seemed to close up and a strong hot wind blasted down onto her from above. Within moments, all the excess moisture was eliminated and she was fairly dry, aside from her hair.

“Welcome to the Gator Brook Branch of Uriel’s Grace Hospital.” A mechanical, feminine voice appeared once again. Seemingly echoing from the walls, but also appeared inside of Ariel’s mind. This time however, it didn’t feel so ‘distant’ and aloof. Because a humanoid figure appeared along with it.

“What the fuck are you?” Ariel took a step backwards away from the strange vine-covered woman that seemed to be embedded into the wall, right next to a silvery metal door. 

The creature had small green plant stems growing out of her head, with blossoming pink flowers spreading a soothing fragrance into the air. There were no legs, but just a large brown bark-covered tree-stump below her waist. While her hands seemed to be permanently clasped together, and intertwined by dozens of thick writhing purple roots. Those same tendrils wrapped around her whole lithe torso, covering almost everything but her pink nipples. Her skin was light-beige, similar to the humans and Wood Elves that Ariel had seen.

Those bright-blue crystalline eyes reflected the lights from the ceiling, sparkling like diamonds depending on the angle. In total, the woman’s body was actually about the same height as Ariel. So she didn’t need to crane her neck to stare straight into the face of the mysterious ‘monster’.

“My designation is Nurse 362. I will assist you, Patient Bariel Gurguranor, until the Doctor arrives. Please give me a detailed report of any and all symptoms of your condition. As per standard protocol, I will take blood, urine and saliva samples for analysis. However, given your unique circumstances, the Doctor may wish to run similar tests.”

Ariel restrained her anger as much as possible, eventually asking in a fairly ‘calm’ voice: “Where’s my daughter? Mary… She has no last name. But she’s a Pink Goblin woman giving birth. I want to see her, now.”

“Due to doctor-patient confidentiality, I cannot disclose any Patient information to unrelated people or organizations. However, upon your request, I will ask if Patient Mary is in fact related to Patient Bariel Gurguranor. One moment please…”

‘This monster is surprisingly friendly.’ Ariel though to herself, before wondering aloud: “Why do you keep using that word Patient? It makes no sense to me, unless…”

“Patient is the designation of people receiving medical attention. Whether you feel uncomfortable or not, it is undeniable that you are very ill. Whether your diseases or illnesses are contagious must be determined before you can be allowed to leave the hospital. Technically, you are currently under Quarantine.” The dryad had a gentle smile on her face, as she blinked and then continued: “Patient Mary Gurguranor has agreed to disclose her medical information with you, her now registered mother, Patient Bariel Gurguranor.”

“So we’re prisoners now?” Rather than screaming or fighting, the naked woman just sighed and put on the strange gown. It barely even covered his buttocks, and was so thin that her nipples were obviously visible through it. However, she had worn much more revealing outfits as a slave… Or even before that, when she ‘entertained’ political figures at her famous parties and secret meetings.

Nurse 362 stared at her blankly for a moment, before answering: “In the event of medical emergencies, Patients often lose their ability to think rationally or act according to the law. Thus, it is necessary for medical personnel and facilities to detain the mentally altered or impaired Patients through various means. It is illegal to purposely spread dangerous and infectious diseases to other citizens. At the very least, if we allow you to leave without conducting any tests, we will be liable for any damages you cannot afford to pay. It is unfortunate, but you must complete the quarantine procedures before leaving this room. However… The Doctor is here.”

As the door creaked open slowly, Ariel had a sinking feeling in her gut. Then dozens of pink vines appeared from the crack. It was only for a moment, but she heard a voice screaming in her mind: “Run! Get out of there, now!”

Part 13

*3rd Person Perspective*

It wasn’t just Ariel’s imagination. There was a familiar feminine voice echoing in her mind, “No! What are you doing?! Run! Get away from that bitch! Shit, shit, shit! Fuck you, cunt! I should’ve never saved you!”

“Hah, hahaha~!” Although she was also terrified of the monster that suddenly entered the room, Ariel had never thought that the ‘almighty’ Demon God Asmodeus, would be afraid of someone or something. 

“Hmmm, interesting.” A quiet and monotonous voice broke apart the screaming and nervous laughing. The dryadic woman with purple bark causally closed the door behind her, before staring at the glowing red mark on the back of Ariel’s left hand. It was a circle, with a pentagram in the middle, but in the very center… There was a pink rose, surrounded by squirming worm-like tentacles.

“My name is Uriel, Doctor of all major Biological Studies… Except Psychology. If you need to be treated for a mental illness, I will refer you to someone more qualified.” The three meter tall Dryad took a single step forward and was immediately right in front of the shivering tiny pink woman.

Without asking for permission, the smaller vines on Uriel’s hands immediately penetrated Ariel’s nostrils, ears and mouth to conduct various examinations and extract samples of everything from saliva to blood. After a few moments, the invasive procedure was completed and the tendrils were retracted back into Uriel’s wrists.

“Preliminary examination leads me to believe that you have been infected by a parasite.” The Dryad’s expressionless mask-like face didn’t even seem to move as she spoke: “Intriguing… I have encountered this symbiotic organism before. Most recently, the former Human Lands have been overrun by millions of Demi-Elves with pinkish skin-tone.Typically, this parasite greatly enhances their already impressive reproductive qualities, increasing the speed of their maturation in the process… At the cost of reduced intelligence and motor functions. I will need to run more tests, but it is already highly probable that you are Patient Zero in this particular pandemic. Quite fascinating really.”

For a brief moment, Uriel smiled slightly, whispering: “Alicia has come a long way… But she is still an amateur.” Then she quickly grabbed hold of Ariel’s left hand, nearly crushing it in her grasp.

“Agh!” Although it hurt and startled her, the tiny woman suddenly noticed that the annoying voices in her head finally became silent. The pain quickly disappeared, and was replaced by a soothing sensation that spread throughout her entire body.

“The symbiote has been neutered. Although it will still live and grow within your body, I have neutralized the connection between you and Asmodeus. From now on, she will be unable to influence you psychologically or physically, without actually appearing before you with one of her avatars. I have also altered your pheromone production, in accordance with Alfirin Law. You will no longer possess the passive ability to force everyone around you to breed or mate… However, due to your latent telepathic abilities being so powerful, I recommend that you see a psychologist for a while. Telepathy can be even more dangerous than an infectious disease, so long as you cannot control it. However, technically, you are no longer contagious, and can leave the hospital whenever you wish… Your daughter is in Room 192, on the first floor.” Uriel casually explained it away, as if she required no effort at all to solve the problem. Then she simply left the room without bothering to speak anymore.

“Umm, what?” Of course, Ariel was totally confused. She looked down at her left hand, and noticed that the magical symbol transformed into a simple glowing purple tree. It even appeared as if the branches were blowing in the wind occasionally.

It was only then that she said, “Oh shit! Wait, uh, Doctor Uriel!” However, as soon as she opened the door, all she saw was an empty hallway. Of course, it was only devoid of ‘people’. There were roots and vines all over the walls, while the ceiling was incredibly tall, with birds chirping and fluttering around through the branches of what looked like small trees. There were warm lights coming from beyond the leaves, but it wasn’t the sun; just some special light bulbs that had magical properties. They were incredibly similar to the crystals on the ceiling of the Black Mithril Caldera, which could produce ultraviolet and infrared light, allowing the creatures and plants in the city to grow almost as well as on the surface.

“How may I be of assistance?” A huge holographic dryadic face suddenly appeared from the back of Ariel’s left hand. It startled her so much that she jumped back towards the wall while swinging her arm around rapidly, as if she was trying to put out a fire. Uriel’s expressionless face eventually asked, “Are you in need of medical attention? I am fairly busy.”

“Ah, um, yes! I mean, no…” Ariel finally calmed down and seriously spoke: “I’ve heard that I may be a criminal? I also learned that you could give pardons for minor crimes?”

“According to your official record, you have never been charged with any crimes. Even if you were, you now bear my Seal. My lawyers will help you deal with whatever legal troubles you incur in the near future… However, please do not contact me again unless it is an emergency or involves an odd physiological abnormality that I might be interested in… Goodbye.”

After the hologram vanished, Ariel just stood there in a daze for a few minutes. It felt like an enormous weight had been lifted off her shoulders. No, perhaps more than one. After all, she was also freed from Asmodeus’ control, and now her only concern was figuring out how to find ‘Room 192’.

Part 14

*3rd Person Perspective*

In the center of Gator Brook, south of the river, there was a massive patch of greenery. Also called Nexus Park. It was a forest filled with many different types of plants and animals, but the reason why it was so important, was due to the several dozen bright-blue glowing trees. Each one was at least 40 meters tall, and fairly wide. Their appearances varied, but all of them were essentially shaped like weeping willows.

There were sidewalks all throughout the park, but many people preferred to walk on the grass. It made them feel more comfortable, especially those ‘furry’ Races that didn’t even wear shoes. Many centaurs and Magical Beasts were frollicing around, defecating wherever they wished. Fortunately, whether it was the grass, trees, worms or other creatures living in the ground, everything was quite powerful in the Third Ring. Any feces, urine or even garbage would be devoured within minutes. For that matter, if people lost jewelry or equipment, it would also be consumed given enough time.

On the eastern side of the part, all the Waypoint Willows or Teleportation Trees had people of all shapes and sizes waiting in massive ques. Some of the trees were dedicated solely to traveling to Salvation or the Northern Mountains, but most could send people anywhere in Eastern Lorthon. On the other hand, the western side constantly had huge crowds of people pouring out of the trees chaotically. There was a break of at least 5 seconds between every new batch, but that wasn’t always enough. It was rare for anyone to die, however there were often fights and injuries, so some form of public security officers had to be there to keep the peace.

In the dark night, the trees were flashing like strobe-lights. After a handful of tall Snow Elf men and women, a small cloaked figure appeared behind them. It moved so quickly and silently that no one even noticed its presence… For that matter, even when people were staring straight at him, they couldn’t ‘see’ anything out of the ordinary.

“Alright, move it along! I said move your asses!” A Dark Dwarf in a t-shirt and shorts walked over to the three comparatively giant Snow Elves, who were still suffering from Teleportation Sickness. He had a shotgun in his hands, but aside from that, he was ‘lightly’ armed. The two men and one woman were wearing an absurd amount of thick, hide and fur clothing. Multiple coats and some backpacks. As for weapons, they had some spears and knives, but they were too nauseous and dizzy to even think about arguing or fighting with the angry man. Once he ushered them out of the way, a gigantic Minotaur appeared out of thin air. Within moments, he fainted and slumped down onto the dirt.

“Oh motherfucker! Shit, Jonny! Help me out here!” A team of green and brown skinned Orcs rushed over, grabbing the four-meter tall ‘Bull’ by his arms and legs, then quickly dragged him out of the way before the next teleportation came through.

Meanwhile, that mysterious shadow darted off out of the park before anyone happened to glance at it. The figure leapt up into the air and casually scaled small buildings with easy. After a few minutes of leaping across rooftops, only then did it stop across the street from Uriel’s Grace Hospital. To be more specific, the relatively short black-clothed person was actually standing on the awning of a five-story building called ‘Scary Cluckers Hotel and Casino’. Although they were known to sell fried chicken-wings, the name actually stemmed from the language of the Badger Tribe… One of the most feared Races in the Third Ring of Lorthon.

Although the rooftop was dark, even under the moonlight, that shadowy figure’s glowing golden eyes allowed ‘him’ to see everything clearly. The masked man looked around for a bit, before whispering: “You were supposed to stay with your mother… Lilly.”

Bright-white arcs of lightning suddenly illuminated the form of a meter-long, floating serpentine dragon with purple irises. It had black scales, but there were many intricate silver runic patterns that pulsated occasionally. There was a fluffy golden mane along its back, and two silver antlers on its head. 

A low and raspy feminine voice murmured, “I won’t let you go through this alone… And I don’t want Yuri to turn you into a test subject.”

“I don’t know why everyone is so afraid of Uriel… I think she’s nice.” The hooded golden-eyed man murmured, as he took a step off the roof. The wind whistled around him for a moment, before he landed lightly on the sidewalk. A few steps later, he approached the front entrance to the hospital… Of course, unlike Ariel, he walked over to the smaller and less conspicuous door to the left. He pulled open the metal handle and walked inside, with the little dragon floating behind his back.

“Nice, of course Yuri’s nice! Hahaha~!” ‘Lilly’ cackled, along with the quiet crackling of her electrical arcs: “She’s the mother of all organic life… The creator and inventor of ‘biology’, in every sense of the word. Although she might seem like a total sociopath sometimes, that brat really cares about helping people… It’s just hard for a God to ‘cure’ an ant, without fundamentally altering the entire species and completely destroying the ecosystem as well.”

When he stepped inside the massive lobby, Ethir immediately noticed the scent of disinfectant. As if he had dunked his head in a bucket of bleach. The East Wing of the hospital was for smaller Races, which included anything under 3 meters tall. Anyone or anything taller than that, would have to head over to the West Wing, since it was built to accommodate them. The veterinarian section was also part of the West Wing.

There were some Fox Tribe children running around and giggling, Wolf Tribe kids were even wrestling with each other on the floor. The adults just sat on the chairs… Or the dirt. There were actually many areas in the lobby that had mounds of dirt, with trees or flowers growing out of them. For the Races with more sensitive noses, or simply just didn’t like the city environment, those little sections made them feel much more comfortable while they waited to see a doctor.

Fortunately, there were many other doctors than Uriel. Most people only needed to sign up at the register near the back of the room, and wait a few minutes for a pink or brown Pixie Nurse to usher them into a suitable ‘waiting room’.

Although there were obviously plenty of people in pain or discomfort, the Emergency Room was actually on the southern side of the building. The northern end was generally for doctor appointments, checkups and for the more impatient patients… The main entrance.

It was technically cheaper, and much faster, yet hardly anyone was willing to enter that mysterious chamber of horrors. People who live in the city, or even the random tourists, would at least hear the rumors and avoid those ominous automatic doors.

“Ah, Shadowlord! We’ve been awaiting your arrival!”

Part 15

*3rd Person Perspective*

Ethir turned towards the obsidian-skinned Pixie to his left and asked, “What room?”

The little girl’s wings buzzed loudly as she hovered over to his left ear and whispered, “The ‘Target’ is currently wandering around aimlessly in the basement, presumably searching for her ‘daughter’: A Pink Goblin named Mary, who just gave birth…”

“Daughter? And she just gave birth?” Ethir was genuinely shocked. It had only been a few years after all. Then he asked, “Umm… Where’s the daughter, Mary? I’ll head there. You should go down and guide… Bariel. I don’t have much time.”

“Very well, Shadowlord.” After saluting him with a serious expression, the tiny creature buzzed away, sneaking through a slightly opened door.

Once she was gone, the floating dragon started cackling loudly: “Shadowlord! Hahaha~! Guess that makes me Raijin, Daughter of the Shadowlord, Goddess of Darkness and Thunder! Hahaha~!”

The masked man sighed, murmuring: “You shouldn’t make fun of your father…”

“Okay then, Shadow-Daddy, hahaha~!” With a final cackle, the wiggling serpent seemed to transform into a streak of lightning. Yet, no one in the room even flinched or glanced at the strange phenomenon.

“Wait… What room?” Unfortunately, Ethir still didn’t receive an answer. Regardless, he exited the lobby and started wandering around on the first floor, searching for his daughter’s familiar mana.

No one in the lobby even noticed his presence… Except an average-looking, blond-haired human woman, with pale skin. She narrowed her eyes and smirked slightly as she stared at the closed door. Then she sent a telepathic message: “Shadow and Lightning have left the board. Gator Brook is ready for Phase 3.”

Then she heard a series of other cryptic messages, from male and female voices that were mostly human.

“Black is empty. Ready for Phase 3.”

“White is empty. Ready for Phase 3.”

“Angren is under siege. Ready for Phase 3.”

“Sniper is hunting with Canary. Ready for Phase 3.”

“MC and Firecat are off the board. Ready for Phase 3.”

“Hero Party is respawning. Ready for Phase 3.”

“West Gate has been reopened. Ready for Phase 3.”

“The Dragon is snoring. Ready for Phase 3.”

“The Swarm is on the move. Ready for Phase 3.”

“The Observers are blinded. Ready for Phase 3.”

“The Mouse is trapped on the Mountain. Ready for Phase 3.”

“Blood Queen and Princess are MIA. Ready for Phase 3.”

“The Kittens have been captured. Ready for Phase 3.”

“Agar has reanimated. Ready for Phase 3.”

“The Ice has melted. Ready for Phase 3.”

“The Inventor has left Ael Tol. Ready for Phase 3.”

***

A thousand or so miles to the north of Gator Brook, fifty mangled and scorched humanoid corpses were sprawled around on a snowy mountaintop. There was a tall and muscular, golden-armored man still barely alive. Well, only his upper body was relatively intact. His legs and groin were smashed into a bloody golden pancake.

He coughed up some internal organs, pieces of his lungs and stomach, as he moaned and groaned in agony. Then he screamed in horror as he saw the little six-winged adorable girl floating down towards him.

As he desperately tried to send out a psychic message, the child in the white dress giggled and wagged her finger. With a bright-cheerful smile on her lips, she said: “Naughty-naughty~! Hehehe~!” It was a normal, high-pitched and childish voice… And then she whispered in a deep, masculine tone: “The Devil is dead. Ready for Phase 3.”

“No, no! Oh Lord in Heaven, no! Agh~!” The mysterious man’s helmet slowly got flatter and flatter, as the little girl got closer. When she finally landed on the ground, his eyeballs popped out of the sockets, flying directly into the child’s open left hand. 

She casually threw one into her mouth and started chewing. Eventually the girl smiled again and murmured, “It’s been so long since I last tasted a Nephilim. Ah~, delicious~!” 

With the final telepathic report completed, ‘Lucy’ heard something she had been waiting for since… Well, she was born.

A mechanical androgenous voice announced: “Judgement Protocol Initiated.”

“Hmm~, they made some changes this time, but it’s still pretty much the same.” The little girl sighed as she stared up at the dark night sky. The Moon was obscured by thick clouds, while some of the stars were still in plain sight. Everything seemed calm and still. However, that was only in the visible light spectrum. When it came to Mana, the ‘heavens’ looked much more chaotic and terrifying.

Lucy squinted and she was somewhat able to make out the thousands of dark shadows that were rapidly approaching. The sky was lit up by bright silver Mana, which was rippling and shaking every so often.

“Those brats sure are careless…” She giggled and watched the silhouettes suddenly flashing out of existence every few seconds. Then the angelic child yawned, stretching her arms and wings. The thin white dress she wore was completely clean and spotless, despite all the blood and gore in her surroundings.

“Oh well, the bubble won’t burst so easily. And Little Luna would never let them invade without a fight.” Lucy threw another eyeball into her mouth and chomped down onto it, causing white and black liquid to squirt out of her lips. As it dripped onto her chin, she stuck out her surprisingly long pink tongue and slurped it all up.

Then she looked over towards that familiar red ‘star’ in the sky. Of course, it was actually a planet. After swallowing the eyeball juice, she murmured to herself: “All the pieces are in place… On Alfirin at least. Michael… Ah~, where would you be without me? Hehehe~!”

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