Book 1: Rise of the Fake Demon Lord – Chapter 13: Topazia, the Golden Shield
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"Is this accurate?"

"Yes, my Liege."


King Asalerian relaxed atop his steel throne inside Inmont City. Numerous reports slammed the King back to back and painted quite the amazing tale. Unable to fully trust the reports, both the King and his aides were discussing the documents in question. According to the reports, if they were to follow the time line they were sent and received in, Profectus City came under siege and their forces lacked the ability to properly fend off the assault. The King was able to accept up to that point. He knew resources towards the city were whittled away at through various means, in large part due to complacency. Years of minor assaults and the city held firm regardless of the degree of support sent. He had intelligence from other nations that their assistance had also been dwindling, and so his nation also lowered their contributions. They just felt there was no reason to waste resources on a city that didn't require it.

He reached for the next series of documents from a table to his side and ran his eyes over it for the tenth time today. His perceptive aides maintained their gazes on him and waited for the old King to finish his reread of the report. Each of them had already read the series of records and were also unsure of how to react to it. Their King settled the document onto his lap and turned his attention down towards them once again.

"Explain to me how Azmodius was able to move without your knowledge? You told me you had perfect intelligence reporting of the Fairy Nation. Exactly how was one of the rarest members of your species able to leave the nation without the slightest uproar?"

The aide must have already expected the question as he removed his cover revealing a pair of eyes and skin tone resembling those of the Fairies. He knelt and responded.

"My Liege, Fairy Nation Azmodius knows nothing about this female Fairy 'Lapis'. Her entire existence appeared from thin air, I believe she was born recently."

"Born recently? Since when do recently born Fairies possess the power equivalent of a Demon General? You're telling me a child did this?"

"Yes, I believe that's the only answer that fits the current situation."

The King continued to watch the man with fervent eyes as he thought further on the situation. He couldn't allow such a powerful existence to suddenly fall under control of another nation. If it was born recently, he should be able to train it to meet his needs and work in Klasika's favor. With that in mind...

"Summon the woman to Inmont. I want to see her with my own eyes. Use an Imperial decree if you have to."

"That is... I have already tried, my Liege.", spoke another man amongst the group.

He slowly walked forward and knelt beside the other aide.


"Upon receipt of the first report mentioning the Fairy 'Lapis', I issued a summons for the woman, yet Countess Sugimoto, Profectus City Mayor, refused it in place of the woman."

"What? Why?"

"That is... The Countess stated in her rebuttal that the Fairy Lapis Lazuli Fardom does not belong to Azmodius, nor is she living inside Profectus City. As such, she has no duty to reply to any Nation's beck and call."

"That's ridiculous! Where is the woman living at if not Profectus?!"

The King brought himself to his feet with a document crumpled in a fist. He shook the document in fury as he berated the aide.

"The woman is already calling Profectus City her home!"

"Y-yes... I agree with you, my Liege."

"Forget the summons, issue an Imperial decree. We can't afford to fall behind. See if that Countess refuses this time. If she does...", he trailed off with a devilish smile crossing his face.

"I understand, my Liege."

The man returned to his feet and left the room to issue the decree.


The Sugimoto estate appeared busy as spectators who passed by watched various items enter and exit the manor. Each item was designed to assist Aria in her coming negotiations. The woman herself stood alone in her study with her eyes frozen onto a turquoise sphere. Floating inside the ball were words that continued to repeat themselves pausing for seconds at the end to signify the end of the message. Behind her, a young man with black hair watched her in silence. His countenance serious and his demeanor emanated a threatening aura.

He refused a summons order for Lapis' only a day ago, yet it'd already turned into something like this. Hiiro knew from his past experienced what it meant to have something powerful and unaffiliated suddenly fall into the lap of those in control. He dropped his guard thinking this world was at the level of medieval Europe and they'd have more time as messages took days or weeks to travel, but the device on the table ripped him from that mindset.

Aria turned from her stare and brought a pair of concerned eyes to meet Hiiro's. It'd be clear to anyone observing that Aria was struggling internally with the order. As he saw the struggle playing out across her expressions and through her eyes, Hiiro couldn't help but break contact and glance outside the window. The snowing landscape placed a noticeable burden on Profectus City, and it could hardly afford to compete with enemies on both sides. Although it was early, Hiiro felt it may be the proper time to push his plans forward. He looked directly at Aria and waited for her eyes to settle onto him.

"Aria... Are you fond of Klasika?"

"I don't think this issue is a matter of fondness..."

"Then let me ask you this instead, If you had to abandon Klasika, would you?"

Hiiro looked at the woman with non-expectant eyes. He didn't want to pressure her at all and required the most honest answer from her.

"I... don't have an answer for you. Profectus City is a multi-national territory. My personal opinion can't interfere with my professional duties. Elected as Mayor by the people of Profectus, my duty is to them, but they have their own duties towards their own nations as well. I personally wouldn't mind leaving Klasika, but I can't approve of such a thing as Mayor without it being the will of Profectus City as a whole..."

A small, creeping smile inched its way across Hiiro's face at the answer. He felt proud to be friends with such a person and acted as such.

"Call for Mr. Redmon. I'd like him to join the resource talks."

"I'll do that but, what about the Imperial decree? Hiiro... I can't refuse it this time. They wont hesitate to remove me as Mayor and send an army to escort both Empress Fardom and I back to explain ourselves."

"For now, reply that you're willing to follow the decree. Lapis and I will discuss things further and give you an answer after the negotiations tonight."

"I'll do that then... Will you two be okay?"

When he heard those words leave her mouth, Hiiro couldn't help but smile.

"I expected something similar to this to happen long ago. I get the feeling that woman also expected it considering how she chose to introduce you to her supplier. Don't worry about us. Do what you've always done and fight for Profectus as Profectus City's Mayor. The battle tonight won't be easy, bring your 'A' game."

"I will! ... Thank you, Hiiro."

As he left the study, Hiiro felt the sparks of excitement push against his calm mind.


White, snow capped pine trees surrounded an artificially flattened field. Reaching nearly forty meters across, the field appeared packed and a young woman stood in its center with her eyes closed. Gentle flakes of snow settled across the site, some melting to dampen the packed soil and others layering atop those who reached the surface before them. Puffs of fog escaped the woman's mouth. Her eyes slowly opened and her wings which held a layer of snow built on its tips fluttered as if they were shivering from the cold. The reverberations from her wings traveled through the rest of her body and she appeared to return from where ever her mind was lost at.

From her dainty mouth, a dry expression revealed itself and yet her eyes shined with eagerness. She knelt to the ground, brushed aside the thin layer of ice that laid across it, then placed her hand directly to it. Her caressing motion of the ground pushed aside a small dimple of dirt and her eyes focused onto that location with an unexpected intensity. The surrounding air kicked itself up and started spiraling around the woman with grace. She paced herself as she consumed the mana in the area. Occasional gusts kicked the white caps with enough strength to knock the packs of snow to the ground.

After spending nearly sixteen hours researching and simulating various magics in her mind, Lapis finally came across an invocation that appeared to work. She felt great confidence in her ability to construct new magics and so eagerly awaited the final amount of kneaded mana required before she could invoke it. In preparation for her current attempt, she selected a site that was near their home, yet far enough from Profectus City that most major misfires wouldn't hurt it. Those requirements took her just North West of the crater she and Hiiro called home. It was deep within the nearby forests, yet she clear the site without much effort. For her, the act of managing a flat site was simple, but the magic she was kneading in preparation for was something different.

Remembering how the magic felt when she studied the space she and the other heroes were initially frozen in, she attempted to reproduce something similar. Hundreds, thousands of scenarios even, ran through her mind. Each used a new principle in its creation and fail. Each failed to interact with space itself. Each failed to interact with Lapis herself as well. Those thousands of attempts and failures paved the way for this magic. It didn't accomplish what she wanted, but it achieved a similar enough goal. She felt the instinctive urge to invoke the magic after kneading the required mana. Taking a deep breath once more, Lapis focused further at the activation site, then invoked it.

A deep hole instantly drilled itself through a small circular magic ring that appeared below her palm. The hole continued to excavate itself leaving a minor 4cm diameter hole behind. Although the mana expenditure was massive and the results appeared minor, Lapis was ecstatic. She lifted herself from the ground and placed strength into her wings to gain altitude. Her gaze stuck to the ground as if expecting something further. Seconds passed. Minutes passed. The Fairy continued her observation as if nothing had gone wrong. Nearly thirty minutes were consumed until the first change of her expression occurred.

Following that change, the ground beneath her failed to resist the pull of gravity and collapsed in on itself. The nearly forty meter field turned into a stunning bottomless cylinder. Wrapping around the edge of the cylinder were a series of stairs presumably designed to bring visitors to its depths. She ignored the stairs and plummeted through the hole with her wings stretched back. As she descended, her gaze walked the edge of the walls and caught glimpses of light. Each light etched away markings then enchanted each mark with the light itself. The symbols emitted a strange glow preventing the cylinder from being completely pitch black. When she glanced back, she noticed the markings traveling up the wall to complete the lighting. Her gaze focused down once more and scanned until she caught glimpses of the marks below her and the bottom arrived into sight.

Halting her rapid descent with two powerful strokes of her wings, she resisted gravity and landed onto the foreign ground with grace. She watched as the markings on the wall reached the floor and with great precision, etched out channels along it that resembled concentric rings spiraling inwards. The rings of light reached the center where a minor basin dipped into the ground. Following the flood of light that ran through the rings to the center, a pool of flickering light filled the basin. As if moonlight were reflecting off water, Lapis found the sight far more beautiful than what she imagined. Her invention was finally done.

She walked to the center of the room taking care to avoid stepping onto the lights out of respect for her own creation. As if in response to her presence, the liquid inside the basin pulled itself into a sphere and lifted itself into the air until it was nearly chest level with Lapis. Her excitement evident on her face, Lapis brought her finger up to press on the liquid. On contact, she felt a link to it and understood the magic was still in its infancy. Her sights drifted along various points in the wall where the lights were focused at and found the start of tunnel entrances under construction. She understood from that alone that her project wouldn't be complete for a few weeks at best. Regardless, she chose to slow down the construction of the facility in favor of producing goods. She tasked the small glowing orb mentally and the dim tunnels grew dimmer while a series of new lights began drawing patterns into the ground ahead of her. She could tell from the pattern that the creation was going to be humanoid. Her smile grew further after imagining what the place would look like once she was finished with it.

She left a few defensive orders with the facility then took to the air once more. Her body ascended straight up with powerful thrusts of her wings combined with physical reinforcement and was met by Hiiro at the edge of the entrance. Soft giggles resounded through her mind after she noticed the young man's expression of fascination at the hole in the ground. As she accelerated towards him, he somehow managed to perceive her from the darkness and moved his arms just in time to catch the woman. He wrapped his arms around her body, twisting his stance to kill the momentum until he finally brought her to a manageable speed and set her to the ground. Hiiro backed a step away from her and turned his attention to the hole once more.

"What are you up to this time?"

"It is a production facility. Countess Sugimoto is planning to negotiate a deal with Mrs. Topazia, but Mrs. Topazia must be able to provide those resources first. This is the first step of that process. It should be operational within a week."

"That's... incredible... How's it work?"

"I forced a massive amount of mana into the space and added controlling mechanisms to it. By consuming the surrounding material, it can use the free floating mana in the air as vehicles and transport the material nearby sites bit by bit. Over time, the material layer on top of itself until you can simply remove that collective resource from the area and use it else where."

"So it's a massive 3 dimensional printer?"

"I do not know what that is, but I was inspired by the snow.", she said as her gaze drifted to the piles of snow layered along the rim of the hole.

"I didn't even know something like this was possible with magic... You really are a cheat... Holy crap..."

His left his sights on the massive hole in the ground as he continued.

"You plan on hiding this hole, right?"

"Oh! Yes!"

Hiiro watched her in confusion as she took a few nimble hops from the entrance of the hole. She reached almost five meters away when the ground below him shuddered. Curved triangles extended from just beneath the surface and reached across the gaping hole. The entire event completed itself before he could even reach Lapis and when he looked back, he only saw an obsidian sheen reflecting the cloudy skies which acted as a new collection point for snow. His inner child was overly excited, yet he managed to maintain his external demeanor. Unable to determine if Lapis saw through him, he chose to instead push forward with his agenda.

"King Asalerian of Klasika issued an Imperial decree for you to visit him."

"Is that different from the summons?"

"Countess Sugimoto can't refuse this one. It would be the same as declaring Profectus City independent."

"Oh, that would be bad."

"Yeah... Do you intend to follow the decree?"

"Of course not. Why should I? I am not a citizen of Klasika."

"What will you do if the Countess chooses to force the visit onto you?"

"... I do not believe that woman will. I believe you also agree with that statement, though.", her eyes glanced to the side to observe his figure. She knew he was testing her for something.

"Yeah, you're right. I doubt she would do anything like that. She's not stupid, but I still had to ask...", he replied without meeting the gaze he could feel observing him.

Lapis halted her steps and changed her tone.

"I do not enjoy being tested at every turn, Hiiro. Ask what you need to ask."

He slowed his steps and Lapis could hear him take an audible breath before turning around. His expression conveyed only seriousness.

"We're quickly approaching the limit of hiding our identities. I underestimated the complexity of this world's technology. They can easily exchange messages with distant locations. It appears expensive, but its possible to do as long as you have the proper materials. As of now, the nation Klasika has clearly started moving against us. I believe the Fairy nation Azmodius will know soon as well, assuming they don't already. Our next steps need to be together if we want to come out on top in the future."

"You have said all that only to ask what exactly?"

"Do you plan on controlling Profectus City and making it a part of your domain, or should we begin packing and looking for a new home?"

Lapis was struck for a moment at his willingness to leave with her.

"I had thought you had grown close to that Human. Are you willing to follow me if I choose to run?"

"Of course I will. If you're worried about Aria... I think of her more like a granddaughter... or something similar I guess."

"That is... surprising. Well, as to your point... My plans are still fluid, but I was thinking I could become something akin to a protective existence for Profectus."

"You're not a God, Lapis. Don't act like one."

"Haha! No, no, no. I just mean I would like to protect this City and allow it to function in peace. I do not want to rule it. Rather, I would like to remain as far from how it is run as possible. I do not mind providing assistance, but I will not participate in its management."

"I don't believe you.", Hiiro replied without a second of hesitation.

His observant eyes could tell by the body language of the woman before him that she was withholding critical information from him. Her eyes seemed to swim from his silent, overt pressure and yet she refused to admit anything further. Forced to confront his pressure, Lapis hardened her expressions and surrendered the slightest of hints.

"Have you noticed anything since coming to this world, Hiiro? Have you noticed what is similar to mine and what is different?"

"Almost everything is different I think."

A saddened smile crept across her face and Hiiro felt disappointment exude from the woman for the first time since he met her. She turned around and started walking back towards their home as she mumbled under her breath to herself.

"Perhaps your world was lucky enough to not fall under a similar rut then. At least that means my dream is possible..."

Before he could retort, she rotated around and showed him a wide smile.

"Let us go Hiiro! It is time for a new character to enter the main stage!"

She moved with an unmatched nimbleness and grasped his hands. Without warning him, she slammed her wings against the air tearing them from the ground and flew towards their home at top speed.


Wilfred climbed the aged stairs of his Master's mansion at a practiced gait. His tail flipped to the opposite side of each step and his ears twitched from the distant voice he was headed to. He neared the vocals and understood his Master was in the middle of finalizing her verbal arguments for the negotiation. With his seasoned ears, he was able to notice the slight crack in her voice. He had originally left her side to retrieve water for just such a situation.

Upon reaching the open study, he allowed her a moment to finish her current session of practice, then entered the room with a powerful knock against the large wooden door. Lost in her own world, Countess Sugimoto jumped from her standing position at the sudden noise and flushed crimson after realizing her actions. Wilfred approached her without judgment as he knew the stakes of the coming negotiations. He placed the tray that held the glass cup and pitcher atop it onto a stand near her desk and with skilled movements, poured the liquid contents of the pitcher into the cup. He set the pitcher down and grasped the water laden cup with two hands to present to the embarrassed woman beside him.

Despite her guilty expression, she reached for the cup while offering her thanks.

"Thank you, Wilfred. I felt my throat becoming parched."

"Not at all, Countess Sugimoto. How goes your practice?"

Her flushed face that had eased back into its natural color flushed once again, though to less an extreme.

"I-I think it's fine. I wish Hiiro or Empress Fardom could give me more tips on how to deal with the trader."

"That's true..."

Wilfred thought for a moment about the personality of both Hiiro and the mysterious woman carrying the title of Empress. Although he traveled the world plenty in his youth, he never encountered personalities similar to the two. It was as if they were raised under entirely different values and isolated from the world. His assessment, though correct for an outside perspective, could do little to ease the worries of his Master. Utilizing the behaviors he saw up to current, he provided the best advice he felt he could.

"If I may, my Lady... I don't believe Sir Hiiro nor Empress Fardom would place you into a situation they felt you couldn't handle. Up to this point, they've always seemed to prepare things outside your control to ensure you never met a wall while progressing."

"Hehehe... You think so too? That's what worries me though, Wilfred."

"My lady?", he questioned with a hint of confusion.

"Ever since those two came to Perfectus City, I've had this uncanny feeling that the barriers that once prevented me from properly establishing Profectus and directing it as I please have disappeared. It's starting to feel as if I'm not the one controlling Profectus City anymore and instead a marionette for those two..."

"I agree with your assessment."

"Wilfred?", she asked with surprise laced throughout her voice.

As if he took a moment to consider the situation and the proper way to respond, Wilfred remained silent for a moment though he knew the action may have been rude towards his Master. After he collected his thoughts, he spoke with resolution.

"I believe there are currently three forces at play inside Profectus City. The first is yours, my lady. It's a force attempting to regulate the city while maintaining connections with each Nation that contributes to it. The second is an opposite force that appears to be tearing the foundations of Profectus out from under it and yet refuses to push too hard."

"The other Council members?"

"Yes, I imagine so."

"And the final? I'm sure I can guess though..."

"Sir Hiiro and Empress Fardom."

"I figured... What have you gathered about them?"

"Nothing.", he responded with a helpless shrug before continuing.

"My Lady. Those two represent an overwhelming, unknown, power. They settled inside a multi-national territory and have already chosen to ignore a summons from one of those controlling nations. Their direct efforts have already cleansed Profectus of, arguably, the most powerful man inside it and performed that deed within three weeks of arrival. Such a thing would normally be considered impossible. Had Empress Fardom and Sir Hiiro not defended Profectus City from the Demon onslaught, I would have already suspected them as being with the Demon's..."

"Why did they settle here anyhow? With their strength, I bet they could live any where they wanted..."

Her expression turned dark as she considered the depressing possibility that they were trying to control her and Profectus. Wilfred saw the expression and moved to cut off those thoughts as quickly as he could.

"My Lady, I believe Sir Hiiro informed you of that already once before."

"You mean when he said Empress Fardom and I are similar?"

"Yes. I don't believe that man lied to you. If that's the case, it might just be that Empress Fardom enjoys how Profectus City is and would rather live here than anywhere else."

"I don't think this City is that special though..."

"Perhaps you can ask her directly if you're still unsure?", he eased a direct course of action out as a suggestion.

Countess Sugimoto somehow latched onto the haphazard advice and accepted it.

"I'll do that. If she's planning to live in Profectus for the long term, I'll need to know her intentions anyhow. Although she tends to speak around certain topics, I don't think she has ever lied to me about anything I've asked about..."

Wilfred's ears twitched from the series of steps approaching the study. He motioned to his Master as a warning and took a position along the wall as a standard butler would. An old man rounded the bend of the study door and abandoned knocking on the door after his gaze directly linked with Countess Sugimoto's. He broke into a smile and asked for permission to enter through his eyes. She saw the excited old man and invited him in.

"Little Sugimoto! How is yo day proceedin?"

"Mr. Redmon, I'm not little!", she declared while slapping her puffed out chest.

The nearly twenty four year old woman hit her chest too hard and coughed driving the old man to pour her another glass of water. Her teary eyes defied the gesture, but she accepted the water anyhow. The defiant gesture further extended the already wide smile on the older man. She settled down after refreshing herself and broached the topic of interest.

"Mr. Redmon, are you ready?"

"That I am. Been practicin these old vocals an talked to dem them rowdy adventurers. Them all are mostly on board with any deals we gotta make."

"That's good to hear... The last thing I needed was for the city to be divided."

"I reached out to them crooks n mercs for ya as well. They is also on board. E'rybody felt that last battle. You won't find no defenda refusin to repair them walls in this Profectus City."

"That's... amazing... I didn't know you had that much clout, Mr. Redmon. I'm impressed."

"Hahahaha! Little Sugimoto has a ways to go before the little lass can topple me!"

"Like! I! Said! I'm not little anymore!"

"Ahahahah!", the old man only roared with laughter at the woman's retort.


Inside a blackened room lay a young man strung to a chair. Though he struggled, the fibers of the rope seemed mystic in nature and refused to budge even with his physical enhancements applied. He took in the black room that he was centered in, yet he couldn't find any obvious means of escape nor any tools to help release his binds. Beyond his vision, a dark green curtain shuffled as the monster inside prepared to make its appearance. The slight scrapes of claws on stone and the guttural growls reflected off the polished flooring and walls agitating him further. The occasional wild movement of the creature spread the light curtain just enough for him to glimpse the visage that would destroy him.

The young man knew his time was short and so leveraged his weight with skill to slide the chair bit by bit across the floor. Although the room was polished in black, he knew the room intimately as it was his home. With the layout already in his mind, he knew the minor movements of the chair would eventually bring him to a door he could attempt an escape from. Each minor slide consumed the entirety of his attention and his countenance reflected the effort with copious streams of sweat across his face. His black hair matted to his face and yet it bothered him little as grunts from the closed curtain grew louder.

The unfortunate man swung his gaze to the curtain as a loud roar leaked from it and a fur laden tail split it apart. His eyes tracked the edge of the dark brown tail as it hovered above the ground. The split curtain offered no more than a teasing glimpse once more until a dainty hand reached from the center crack. His gaze darted to the new appendage and examined it in detail. The hand tempted him revealing only up to the wrist, but a leg slowly poked itself from the lower split of the curtain. The leg was lightly covered in fur, yet its appearance was far from frightening. Rather, the man wondered how soft it might be if he were to pet it. He had already forgotten his desire to escape as the beautiful hand stole what mental faculty he had left.

From beside the showing hand, another delicate palm reached out and worked with the other to grasp the edge of the curtain. In a single motion, the curtain tore open revealing the beast that was tormenting him. Its naked body covered in short soft fur angled toward him revealing every nook and cranny. Its feminine figure carried an orange pelt along each lascivious outer curve. Reaching from her inner neck and layered over the bulk of her chest was a bright white short fur. The fine hairs continued down the woman's body until it reached her inner thighs. Every step she took to close their distance, her fox like tail wrapped along either side of her body bringing its excessive fluff with it. The creature stood directly in front of the man's eyes then bent her figure to place her face in front of his.

Unable to determine where his eyes should be looking, he settled on the twitching caracal like ears attached to the upper regions of her head. Though lacking in fur mostly, her bronze skin tone merged into her neckline with a grace the man never thought possible. Falling from her shoulders to lay at her sides, every shining strand of hair collected itself in time revealing a golden brown. His eyes drifted from her ears to her hair and finally laid to rest upon her golden eyes. The subtle slits which contracted and expanded as she observed his reaction appeared to expand once more before she pulled away with a smile of satisfaction.

"I did not know you were into Pantherians, Hiiro. This is quite the pleasant surprise."

Unable to respond to his revealed weakness, Hiiro could only keep his eyes glued to Lapis' back. He traced the boundary of her bronze pelt and its white counterpart which rode the inner side of her thighs. Her furry tail, which remained brown throughout its length, blocked the intersection of her thighs and buttocks. The slight hint at what he wished to see verses his reality crushed what remained of his pride as the words Lapis spoke finally reached him. He dropped his head in defeat, mumbling only the barest of replies.

"Every man has their weakness , Lapis... Oh God, help me..."


Her giddy laughs followed her figure as she left for the dressing room once again. Her first appearance was only to ensure she appeared as a Pantherian and nothing was strange. The fact she was able to tally a quick victory over Hiiro was an amusing extra for her. Before she closed the curtains, she teased Hiiro once more with a smile plastered across her face.

"Now I see why you tried to run from me when I asked for your help. I do hope you collect yourself before we leave to visit Countess Sugimoto."

The defeated man slumped further in his chair. All indicators of surrender blatant across his visage and an aura of defeat exuded from him.


The Adventurers Guild was a well known organization that spanned multiple continents and most cities hosted at least one. Its expansive nature enabled it to be utilized for more than just divvying quests and rewards out. One service in particular that even normal citizens utilized the Guild for was sending and receiving letters. Although magic tools existed which could carry the contents of a message to the far side of the land with near instantaneous speed, they had the drawback of being extremely difficult to create. Along with the difficulties of creating them, the quality of each item varied as well with some examples allowing users to talk across the continent to struggling with exchanging information across the room. The dramatic differences in performance led to the obvious difference in pricing. With it being so far outside the income range of a typical citizen, the bulk of the population instead relied upon the Adventurers Guild to carry their communications.

Those who couldn't afford it weren't the only class of user that made use of the Adventurers Guild. Nations themselves tended to rely on the system to exchange intelligence with wherever their operatives resided. Although skilled in their control of mana, the Fairy Nation Azmodius also utilized this delivery system out of convenience. Perhaps this will be the first time Azmodius would regret the slow travel of messages through the reliable guild.

What appeared to be a young man with pointed ears dove through a thicket with a clenched grasp around the pouch to his side. The man was covered in scratches and his physical reinforcement magic was nearing its limit. He appeared young, but such was the trait of both the Elves and Fairies as the man easily exceeded two hundred thirty this year. His steps pressed the ground and he forced his exhausted body to the edge of an eerie grove. Exhaustion overtook him and he collapsed to his knees at the boundary between the empty field and the trees. He appeared to be waiting for something as he maintained his form and gaze on the tree line. His journey from the boarder of Azmodius took him nearly four days of expedited travel, yet such was the duty of those burdened with Guild Master.

During the course of normal duty on a standard day, the man received mail from outside the Nation whose recipient was Queen Dazzlevine. As per his training, he invoked a subtle magic across the letter to gauge the message's importance and to his surprise, the letter instantly turned a deep velvet red. He notified his front desk of his absence and grabbed what long lasting food he could from a nearby business before he started off. His journey on foot was rough, but his small wings disallowed him the freedom of the sky that a few other fairies enjoyed. Finally at the end of that journey, he noticed a minor flicker of light inside the grove.

Lights emitting a gentle, constant, spark floated from the grove. The individual grew to a pack as if its friends followed along after it. The man was distracted by the spiraling lights dancing playfully around him and failed to notice the darkened shadow emerging from the forest. By the time he realized, an older Fairy was already kneeling across from him.

"Please follow me. Queen Dazzlevine is waiting for you."

Though he had never delivered such an important letter before, the man could only wonder if this was common. Little did he know, the velvet letter he carried out of duty alone was ranked among the highest priorities of his entire species. The man stood with great effort and heard his bones creak from their short rest. He followed the older Fairy into the grove and perceived his body passing through what felt like a thin layer of water. Surprised by the sensation, he glanced behind himself only to see a dense thicket and forest as far as he could see. The cough of the Fairy leading him brought the man back to reality and he continued his trek.

After traveling along a beaten path for nearly thirty minutes, the woods that had previously surrounded them opened to a wide meadow that kissed the edge of a cliff. The man could see the trail they were following ride up to the belly of the cliff. He admired the cliff face with each step and his eyes darted along the face seeking each ore vein that peaked out from within the granite wall. The long trail shortened itself at the lapse of his attention and he found himself at the entrance of well formed cave with his guide beside him. The man gestured for him to move forward and so he did. As he passed below the entrance of the cave, he felt once again the sensation of walking through a thin layer of water, yet as it was before, his clothing was as dry as when he started.

Just as in the grove, the sudden change of scenery surprised the man. He now stood inside a chamber with crystalline walls that towered far above him. In front of him, he found a series of stairs that worked their way up to a platform where a aqua blue crystal chair rested. Within that chair, he was able to make out the faintest outline of an older woman around her forties. The woman's wings flapped in slow pace against the air behind her and he could tell her attention was entirely focused on him. Under that gaze, he felt unable to control his body and moved to kneel at the base of the stairs. With his face down, he heard the echoes of each powerful flap as the woman descended from her throne. She landed in front of him and extended her supple hand.

His subconscious somehow understood her silent intent and so he reached out to hand her the velvet letter. The instant the report left his hand, the man found himself outside the grove, kneeling on the ground and reaching to the sky. The sudden change of scenery caused the man to panic for a moment, however the older gentleman who helped navigate him earlier exited from the grove. He approached the man and handed him a bag of mana enriched gems, something considered nearly priceless by the Fairies due to the healing qualities the gems provided. He bowed fervently over and over to the receding figure until his visage disappeared within the depths of the wood line.

Back within the crystalline chamber, the female Fairy known as Queen Dazzlevine opened the letter and began reading its contents. Her immediate reaction to the letter's opening statement tore the stoic image of her apart. The surprise spread through her at the realization of what the letter signified. Her hands tightened their grip on the paper and she read it from the beginning once more.

Year 2282, Month Zummen, Day 16
Report from scout team Regal.

BLUF: At the disclosed date when the sun crested it's maximum height, we of team Regal encountered a Queen candidate at Profectus City, and she may be in danger.

During wartime efforts, team Regal was assigned by Guild Leader Axel Redmon into a long range defensive outpost to pick off assault troops advancing on Profectus City. The battle advantage ebbed for hours until specialty units joined into the fray. Our front line broke and Guild Leader Axel Redmon pulled all teams back to defend the inner most curtain of Profectus City. During the enemy advance, a strange phenomena occurred halting their progress.

Please take what follows at face value. This report is confirmed by all members of team Regal and is not embellished or exaggerated in any form.

Within a makeshift net created as our final defense, a primal epicenter was created from scratch... remotely and without preparation. The center slowly tore itself open and from it, a Queen candidate suddenly appeared.

Her height measures 156cm to 160cm and her wings are engraved with crimson petals. Her hair is moderately gray tinged with blue and her eyes are a deep blue as well. On arrival, she was dressed in Rock Wolf fur stitched together suggesting she was previously traveling through Lore Forest.

Upon arrival, the Queen candidate held a quick strategy discussion with Axel Redmon before taking off to fight the General Demon controlling the assault troops. We, at the time, were in too much shock at her arrival to prevent her from leaving, but the pulses of energy we felt from the distance suggested an intense battle occurred.

Our fight progressed against the enemies assaulting while the Queen took on the General Demon, but we struggled even then. We received sudden reinforcements from two strangers. A single Human and what appeared to be a Demon following his orders arrived on site and eliminated three of our more powerful enemies almost instantly. The Human rushed into Profectus City to kill an enemy we allowed to slip through and we stayed behind fighting along side the Demon to kill the last of the enemies. Had these two not arrived, team Regal may have been destroyed. Three of our five members obtained life threatening wounds and lost various limbs that would have forced us into retirement.

We members were gathered into a central location by suggestion of the Human 'Hiiro' for medical help. To be clear, the members gathered defenders had wounds consisting of gashes across the skin that would leave only a scar to holes puncturing entire segments of their body and even had multiple limbs missing. Many of the members lost a leg or two and required cauterization to keep them from dying of blood loss. I explain the wounds only for this next section.

The Queen candidate returned victorious and appeared unharmed. City Mayor Countess Aria Sugimoto introduced herself and the human 'Hiiro' requested healing of members on-site. We expected the wounds to heal themselves enough to keep others alive, but to our amazement, the Queen candidate was capable of regenerating the missing and cauterized limbs in their entirety.

After the healing completed, the Queen candidate and City Mayor held what I assume was political exchange. Our members who were uninjured watched the entire scene play out and believe the Human 'Hiiro' has a level of control over the Queen candidate. We were unable to ascertain his strength, but he appeared to make decisions for the Queen and direct her actions.


Queen Dazzlevine brought the letter down to her side as her mind reeled. Her excitement at finding another female after nearly 600 years alone and the fear that the new Fairy was under the control of a Human conflicted with each other. Her daze lasted only a moment and she tore from her location. A massive warp in space coincided with a dramatic drop in temperature with gusting winds across the chamber. She didn't fail to consume the entirety of the mana in the room almost instantly and kneaded it for her long range teleportation. She invoked her magic and forced open a portal to Profectus City.


Created for just such an occasion, as if she had expected such a situation long ago, a large carriage built from obsidian rolled through the North gate of Profectus City. It's massive wooden wheels absorbed the impact of each pothole the carriage managed to stride across. The carriage was pulled by a single beast whose left side held the crest of a particular merchant. It sauntered towards the Countess Sugimoto's estate and yet its speed outpaced even the panicked horses in front of it. Along the exterior of the black carriage, two massive emblems shined with a brilliant luster. Within the shining rings, two swords crossed each other at their hilts and a large golden eye balanced between them. The golden emblem contrasted with the obsidian carriage along with the golden trim that lined each edge of the chassis.

Eyes across the market and along the road way followed the back of the carriage with some children even running behind it to keep up out of curiosity. Between a series of bars lining the top of the carriage, a pair of golden pupils watched the curious children as they struggled to keep up. The mouth attached to those pupils extended itself and the man beside its owner couldn't help but comment at the sight.

"Weren't you 'THE' Demon Lord? How'd your world end up like that and at war if you were in charge?"

"Many years before I obtained that title, I was nothing more than a living science experiment. The Demon Lord who reigned during that period was brutal even on his best days... By the time I met Maria and learned how to live, my world had already collapsed into chaos and its residents already accustomed to war and hatred. Even after I managed to assume control, there were far too many Demon's who despised me. We are here now, after all due to my failures."

"You weren't a Demon Lord after all, huh? It's scary what indoctrination does to people..."

"Oh? Were you subjected to something? That is somewhat surprising to hear."

"No, not us... We joined one of the public schools to learn about the basic history of that nation. Well... Needless to say, the content was hardly unbiased..."

"What a shame... It might be best for that world though. The one who inherits my title is bound to match, if not exceed the brutal nature of the previous owner... I somewhat feel guilty for that world..."

Hiiro noticed the regret flash across her expression and yet chose to say nothing. He knew he couldn't change the past and it would have been irresponsible for him to try and console her when the woman herself had already accepted the outcome. His attention returned to the carriage after an abrupt stop halted the vehicle. Lapis renewed a taunt expression and forced her emotions quiet. From outside their main door, a light knock requested her permission to exit and she returned it confidently. As the door opened, her new form revealed itself to the awaiting Countess for the first time.

Hiiro worked his way to the carriage door and offered a hand to the Pantherian woman. She accepted it with grace and descended the stairs. Her attention immediately reflected her goal for the visit and her golden eyes locked straight onto the observing gaze of Countess Sugimoto. She moved to the Countess and introduced herself with a bow rather than a curtsy. Her attire was formal wear typically worn by men. She adjusted the masculine clothing so the tight slacks instead appeared as a slitted black skirt that reached to just above her knees. Her modest chest was covered with a white inner dress shirt and golden tie to secure it. Topping her fanciful inner shirt was a thicker outer top that buttoned along the center seam.

"Countess Sugimoto. It is my pleasure to meet you. My name is Topazia Shields. Please call me by either Shields or Topazia."

"Lady Topazia, please raise your head. I am Countess Aria Sugimoto, Mayor of Profectus City. I am coming to you for business. Please follow me inside."

"I will do just that, thank you."

Countess Sugimoto turned to escort her valuable customer into her visitors room. Near the estate entrance, various maids lined the wall and were quick to take the visitor's external clothing and rest them onto hangers. They resumed their trip to the visitors room where Mr. Redmon stood to greet them.

"Ah, Mrs. Trader! I'm Axel Redmon, Guild Master of this Profectus City. How was ya trip here?"

Hiiro watched in amusement as panic floated across the Countess' face at the rude introduction, but her visitors response settled what fear she might have felt.

"Mr. Redmon, is it? It is a pleasure to meet you. I am Topazia Shields, a simple merchant. My trip was wonderful, thank you. I found the curious eyes of the children amusing."

"Ahahahah! I can't hide nything from ya can I?"

"No. I was only lucky enough to have my friend Hiiro point it out to me. I believe he suggested it would be more effective if the children who spotted for you reported in a less noticeable fashion."

Mr. Redmon's eyes drifted to Hiiro who only shrugged his shoulders in reply. Satisfied with response, the brusk man continued the conversation.

"I'll take that ta heart kid, but them kids needed some cash, so I figured the Guild could offer a job o two. Please, Mrs. Shields."

He gestured to the seat across from him with an accepting smile. Topazia nodded and went to sit down. Unlike her calm, relaxed demeanor up to that point, she froze her movements and turned her collective attention to their surroundings. Mana was coalescing at a rapid pace in the visitors room and she recognized the familiar magic without a moments delay. Those surrounding her noticed the immediate change in her demeanor, yet were unable to understand what caused it. She twitched her ears unintentionally as she worked out the best course of action internally. She settled on a plan and moved forward with it only seconds later.

"Countess Sugimoto, are you expecting another visitor?"

"No. Today should only be us four.", she replied without hesitation to the serious question.

It was clear to everyone in the room that the Pantherian noticed something strange. Aria's eyes moved to Wilfred who only shook his head in response. The man himself was unable to sense anything. The room became quiet and their attention focused on the Pantherian.

"Mr. Redmon, do you have any employees who are capable of long range teleportation?"

"Naw, it ain't one o mine."

The room returned to silence after inferring the situation when a pulse rippled from near one of the walls in the room. Mr. Redmon, who experienced Lapis' teleportation recognized the magic by its feel and spoke up.

"Perhaps it be da young Fairy Empress?"

"No, it is not her. She would not interfere with something she trusted to me.", Topazia responded with absolute confidence.

She considered her options again towards the foreign teleportation. Further pulses of mana rippled through the room and were now strong enough for everyone else to notice. The last thing she wanted was to be interrupted during such an important meet and so Topazia suggested.

"May... I interrupt it?"

"Interrupt what?", questioned Countess Sugimoto.

"I am able to force the mana collecting at the teleportation site to disperse. Such an action will prevent the space from warping and dispel the magic altogether. There will be feedback to the invoker, but such a rude action like this is inexcusable anyhow."

Countess Sugimoto judged the situation and moved in line with Topazia's thoughts. She needed this meet to happen and knew an interruption could only hurt it.

"I approve. Please cancel it."

"I understand. One moment, please."

Topazia moved to where she estimated the warp would appear and started constructing an imaginary overlay onto the area. She used her experience with space magics to build the dispersion magic in a way where it wouldn't harm the surrounding space. After she finished her preparations, she immediately consumed the mana in the room. The low pressure zone tore open the closed door and with it, knocked over the various decorations lining the halls. She continued to consume and knead the surrounding mana until she felt her collection was enough to force the warping gate apart. The sudden gusts halted and the low temperature returned to normal as the fireplace exerted its influence on the room. With a smile reaching across her face, Topazia brought her hand up and invoked her magic with a snap.


Queen Dazzlevine focused on the forming gate in front of her. She narrowed its exit point to where she believed the Profectus City officials lived at and began injecting the kneaded mana straight into the system. She felt the magic reach out to the location and connect the two locations successfully. Moving into the next stage of the magic, she injected further mana to tear the space itself open so she could fit herself through. Her mana flowed smoothly into the construct before her and she felt the gentle feedback of success. Her feelings flared when she thought about the new mystery Fairy she was about to meet. With a smile on her face, she prepared the final chunk of mana to send into the construct when an abrupt change halted her movements. She watched as the magic she invoked cracked apart and the space that was warped shattered before her eyes. Unable to react in time, the energy released from the shatter blasted the Queen across the chamber and embedded her into the crystalline walls.

Unable to understand what just happened, the Queen could only remain embedded into the wall wielding an obvious look of surprise.


Authors note:

This chapter took somewhat longer to write as I changed my style. This chapter SHOULD read smoother and uses far fewer adverbs than the previous chapters. I'd love to hear your feed back on its quality. Thank's for the read, I hope you enjoyed!