A flurry of system messages filled the air amidst the bright light. Shortly after, the light faded away along with the messages.
The surrounding area had been reduced to a crater. Of the people who had been standing there, only Sakura and a ragtag trio remained.
Everyone else had been atomized, reduced to less than dust.
Staring at the survivors, I was a bit confused.
Even if I wasn't really at Lucy's level in using that skill, it was definitely enough to wipe out the average joe.
Sakura surviving was a given. Although her clothes were singed and ripped in a few conspicuous places, the only real damage she sustained was a bit of ash covering her otherwise pristine skin.
Well, that and a few flecks of blood showing that she suffered internal injuries.
But as for the other three...
There were a pair of what looked like brother and sister in the back.
The brother was an older white guy with curly blonde hair and green eyes, probably in his late twenties or early thirties.
The sister looked to be university age and also had blonde hair, though hers was straight and kept in a ponytail.
As for the one in the front, and the one leading the trio...
He was young. Maybe late teens/early twenties at best. He also looked like a typical webtoon MC with neatly kept black hair. Although it was unclear if he was Chinese, Korean, or Japanese, he was definitely Asian and also definitely MC material.
I didn't recognize them. But from the system message calling the "the protagonists of <Apocalypse Eschatology>" and from the fact that I have to succeed in the role of <Impossible First Boss>...
"Maybe I should have written more of that story." I muttered under my breath while I looked down at the trio.
Alice glanced down at the trio from beside me and muttered, "Gee, you think?"
I glanced at her and muttered, "I don't need your snark right now, Alice."
[Many gods are curious at the future developments.]
[<A Herald of the End> is cheering for your downfall.]
[Some gods of justice are protesting your cruelty.]
[Some gods of evil are celebrating your conviction.]
I also didn't need those peeping gods chiming in right now. But this was meant to be a show anyway, so...
I set aside those thoughts and focused on the next act.
I'd be playing by ear a bit now, but I knew just enough to improvise a decent showing.
Let's see. If those were the protags of Apocalypse Eschatology... I didn't remember the names of the extras in the back, but I definitely remembered the name of the MC.
So, if I'm to be an impossible boss, gotta play up the mystery and intrigue.
In that case...
Staring directly at the MC there, I slowly held up my left hand, palm raised, and said, "Alan Lee. To have survived Armageddon yet again... Shall I praise you or pity you?"
[What bullcrap are you trying to pull this time?]
Quiet, Alice. Let me cook.
'Alan' winced and reached up to clutch his head, staggering.
The blonde girl quickly dashed over and supported him.
At the same time, the blonde man in the back slowly reached for a gun holstered at his side.
There were some words exchanged between them, but I obviously couldn't hear them since I was floating high in the sky.
Then again, I didn't need to. As all great villains did, it was my time to monologue and be all mysterious.
Now, after showing I knew the MC and stuff about his past that even he didn't know...
[<World Creator (Minor)> is activating!]
[<Loki's Blessing> is synergizing to fool the world!]
[<Demon Lord Seeking the World's Destruction> amplifies your abilities due to synergy with the current situation!]
[<No One's Story> is concealing your true stats!]
A perfect combination of skills to fake out even the gods.
Oily black smoke erupted around me, wreathing myself and Alice in darkness. At the same time, I stepped off the platform I made, slowly descending to the ground.
...Well, slowly descending to the ground by having Alice float me down.
Appreciate it, best buddy.
Silence, broken only by a lonely breeze sweeping the ashes across.
It was the picture perfect scene.
Tension in the air. The seemingly overpowered hard-carry NPC being wiped out in a single blow, along with her army. A big reveal of the MC's past and true nature.
Now, the only thing left was-
The sound of a gunshot split the silence. But even before then, a bullet had already reached me, aimed directly at my skull.
A sharp metallic sound echoed as the bullet crumpled in mid-air, hitting an invisible wall. Shortly after, it fell to the ground, sending up a small mushroom of ash.
I kept on a calm expression as I stared at the bullet.
Internally though, I let out a giant relieved sigh.
So. It turned out that <World Creator (Minor)> could create anything based on physics as long as I knew the underlying logic.
Thankfully, that included force fields.
Treating mana as a malleable energy source, I used my unique title to fashion it into a rigid and invisible wall to block attacks.
...Wasn't exactly sure how or why that was working. Probably the demon lord title I just got putting in work, but I wasn't about to question it.
[The Inviolable Morning Star thoughtfully rubs his chin.]
[An Inheritor of Myrddin stares at your forcefield.]
[Many gods of magic are intrigued at your creation.]
[Many transcendents applaud your understanding of laws.]
[A few immortal scientists feel validated.]
I ignored the flurry of messages in front of me and stepped forward, slowly approaching the protagonists... the *current* protagonists of this story.
That would change soon though.
"I must applaud your courage." I shifted my gaze over to the blonde man in the back.
His gun was still raised and his finger was over the trigger. But he hesitated.
That was good. I wasn't sure that my force field could hold up to another gunshot.
[Then maybe don't rely on things you aren't sure of, Vain?]
If I did that, we'd be dead, Alice. Some- No, most times you just gotta wing it and play by ear.
Speaking of playing by ear.
I swept my hand through the air, using <World Creator (Minor)> to stir up some dramatic wind. "However, this is where your story ends."
Another gunshot echoed as the blonde man pulled the trigger on the gun.
Unlike before, it didn't crumple against an invisible shield. Instead, it slowed to a halt and then spun around, firing at the man's foot.
He flinched and jumped back. But then he grit his teeth and aimed at me again. Glancing at the MC who was still reeling from a headache, the man said, "Alan! Get it together! We need you to sort this out!"
The girl tried helping 'Alan' to his feet. "Yes! Please, Alan! We need your help! That guy's stronger than the other monsters!"
I chuckled and clenched my hands together, conjuring a ball of fire with <Lesser Flames of Muspell>. "A monster? I must admit, that's the first I've been called that. Then..." I held out my palm. At the same time, I used <Loki's Blessing> to dye the fire black, making it more menacing than it really was.
"Shall I act like one?"
[You're totally copying Seph***th.]
Hey, when bluffing, doubledown.
[A One-Winged Angel chuckles.]
[A Soldier of Strife grabs his sword.]
[Many gods wonder what you are planning.]
You and me both, gods. You and me both.
Alan slowly straightened his body. He was doing a full-on Anime pose, covering his face with his right hand and looking at me through the cracks.
A flicker of invisible energy rippled across his body, causing his black hair to flash white. "...You know me?"
It was a weak voice. Even so, that voice was laced with power.
...OI! Administrator or whatever! You didn't tell me that being empowered by the world meant getting to cheat and use divine powers!
[Shouldn't you know about this?! You wrote the story, didn't you?!]
I only wrote ten chapters! And you know I don't plan ahead!
While I was definitely not panicking on the inside, I remained completely calm on the outside. Plastering an arrogant smile on my face, I lifted up my chin and said, "If you survive, I might tell you."
And with those words, I launched my fireball.
Dark flames washed over the surroundings, painting it black.
Before, the area was dyed white with light. Now, it was stained black from darkness.
...At least, that should have been the case.
But the flames suddenly vanished, dispersed in an instant.
And the source of that was Alan.
The stereotypical web novel MC stepped forward, hand outstretched.
The black flames that swept out around him were gathered in a bunch, swirling around his hand. And there, in the palm of his hand, white feathers began to scatter, slowly revealing a glittering golden sword.
[...What did you forget?]
Staring at Alan, I resisted the urge to curse and did my best to play it cool.
...But that was kind of fucking hard to do considering what was unfolding in front of my eyes.
The transparent figure of a beautiful angel with light blue hair embraced Alan from behind.
At the same time, Alan's figure distorted, shifting between his current appearance and a man much older. One with grizzled scars and salt-pepper hair who looked like he had crossed thousands of battlefields and won.
Then there was the golden sword he was holding that was slowly decaying and cracking... while eagerly absorbing the black flames around it.
'Um.' Alice's voice echoed in my head. 'Isn't that dangerous?'
Was it because she didn't want my vision obscured in case something important happened?
Whatever the case, I was thankful.
I was also thankful that the gods and onlookers seemed to be waiting with bated breath.
Plot armor was a thing, huh?
Maybe I should stop designing MCs who are meant to be world breakers...
Alan swung his arm out, sending the flames scattering along with the feathers. At the same time, the angel embracing him vanished.
"Holy crap." The blonde man muttered, slowly lowering his gun.
"Alan...?" The girl stared at Alan with wide eyes.
Alan didn't respond. Instead, he glanced at the sword before pointing it directly at me. "Will you talk? Or do I have to beat it out of you?"
[Warning! <Ouroboros Theory> is corroding the world!]
[Warning! <End of the Beginning> is empowering your opponent!]
[Warning! <Earthbound Immortal> is reading the <Apocalypse Eschatology>!]
[Many gods have jumped out of their seats at the ridiculous events.]
[The gods who protested your actions are raising their heads high in vindication.]
[The Nameless One flips a table and says what kind of bullshit are you writing in your spare time?!]
Ahaha... Power creep sucks when you're on the other side.
It was a good thing that I had skills to hide my true emotions and reactions, because HOLY CRAP.
Like the max rarity SSR characters in a gacha game that you could only get through a pay to win banner, Alan was wreathed in glowing lights.
Bright blue feathers floated around him, no doubt the lingering sentiments of that blue-haired angel.
His cracked golden sword pulsed with raw energy, something that wasn't mana, divine, or otherworldly. Just... raw POWER, like the core of a planet encapsulated in the form of a sword.
And then, like a typical isekai protagonist, his black hair had turned white, shifting in a non-existant breeze while his piercing blue eyes stared right at me.
'This... is kinda bad, isn't it?'
Alice's voice echoed in my head again. At the same time, I heard her shift behind me, subtly maneuvering to use me as a shield.
Ordinarily, I would let out a snarky remark about that. But right now... Yeah, not the time or place.
If my role was the unbeatable boss that you had to lose to in order to progress the story, that freaking guy had decided to plug in a cheat device to load up some cheat codes to beat me.
While he didn't have any mana, I wasn't about to test my luck in a frontal collision. ESPECIALLY not after those ominous system messages.
Fortunately, the smart people in the world didn't rely on luck. They made it.
And as for my personal brand of luck...
[You have utilized your abilities as a Sponsor.]
[Requesting to borrow the innate ability of your sponsee, Akira Kadashi.]
[Akira Kadashi has accepted the request.]
[You have temporarily gained <Mystic Eyes of Finality>.]
The world cracked. No, it only appeared to crack.
The moment I borrowed Akira's [Eyes], I could see the end inscribed in everything.
Was this what he always saw?
No. That wasn't true. Right now, I was seeing more.
[<Mystic Eyes of Finality> synergizes with <World Creator (Minor)>!]
[By possessing powers of the End and the Beginning, you are qualified to create an absolute domain.]
[You have created <A World without Powers>.]
Alan suddenly stumbled. The fancy SSR graphic effects surrounding him vanished, along with his cool looking sword.
"What the fu- GAH!"
A loud crack. The sound of his legs snapping as a surge in gravity sent him falling to the ground.
"Alan!" The blonde man screamed and then immediately fired at me with his gun.
At least, he tried to. But...
"Huh?" The blonde man froze and looked at his gun in confusion.
And then it exploded, burning his face and sending blood splattering.
The girl screamed and ran towards the blonde man. But as she did, I swept my hand and sent her flying into the distance.
A loud thud echoed as she landed on the ground, unmoving.
"You...!" Alan grit his teeth and tried pushing himself up. "How...?! My powers... can't be taken like that...!"
I chuckled and walked forward. "This is something that I tell every overpowered person I meet." I stopped in front of Alan and then placed my shoe over his head.
Alan growled and tried to push it away. Of course, that wasn't happening.
In the distance, I could see Sakura getting up, staring at me with terror in her eyes.
Ah, it seemed like <A World without Powers> didn't negate her skills. Darn. I forgot that cultivators actually understood how their powers worked.
I looked back at Alan and said, "Humanity is powerful. But unfortunately, they have a bad habit of relying on powers beyond their ken." I smiled and said, "Try again in your next life, Alan Lee. I'm sure you'll finally figure it out."
A disgusting squelching sound. After that, Alan went quiet and his body laid still.
A gruesome end without a shred of victory in sight.
Like that, the story of Apocalypse Eschatology's main characters came to an abrupt end.
At least, here it did.
Even as I stared at Alan's corpse, his figure started to blur before my eyes and vanish into mist.
Off to the side, the same happened for the blonde man and the blonde girl in the distance.
[Many gods of justice curse your cruelty.]
[Many evil gods applaud your sadistic performance.]
[A Dragon King stares at you in suspicion.]
[The Inviolable Morning Star praises your clever thinking and gives a reward. +1 Bonus Stat Point.]
[You have succeeded in your role as <Impossible First Boss> and defeated your opponents empowered by the world.]
[Stage two of <Rally Against the Heavens> begins.]
[Various portals across the world are connecting the continents together.]
[Scenario <World Collapse> will begin shortly.]
As expected, a flurry of messages appeared in front of my eyes.
I ignored them though and simply stared at Sakura.
Her haughty arrogance was nowhere to be seen. Instead, she looked at me like she was staring at certain death.
Seeing that, I smiled.
Her face paled and she stumbled backwards, completely ignoring the fact that her clothes were shredded and burnt.
[A Betrayed Valkyrie gives you a warning look.]
Hey! I'm a faithful and loyal husband, Miss Brynhildr.
I turned my back on Sakura and looked at Alice.
The (currently) black-winged angel gave me a blank look back.
'...You are an absolute cheat.'
Like I said before, don't bring a storyteller to a world that runs on stories and story logic.
I swept my arm out, causing another dramatic wind with <World Creator (Minor)>. After that, I said, "Soon, this world shall know true pain."
I chuckled and then held out my arm. "Come. There is much to do."
[Quoting Kratos now too? Have you no shame at all?]
Alice sighed and then stepped towards me. After that, her wings expanded, covering everything in darkness before bringing us back to <World Breaker>, my castle in the sky.
And the moment we arrived...
"Papa! You're back!" Avalon ran up and gave me a hug. "Mama and I just finished making lunch!"
"Great!" I stepped away from Alice and then scooped Avalon up. "Let's get going. I'm starved.]
[A Fast and Furious man nods and says family is important.]
[A Cooking Boulder agrees.]
...Yeah. Let's just ignore that and sit back for a while. Let the side characters move the plot along for a bit while I have some nice slice of life here at home...