With the demon Whitehare now heading toward Earth and ceasing her quest for the time being, Yggdrasia should have regained some measure of peace, if only temporarily. But strange incidents were happening, as if to cover for the Dark Lady’s disappearance.
The soldiers keeping watch outside human towns were holding their spears in a death grip, looking inordinately tense. Their vigilance was twitchy, jittery, as if they were terrified by something invisible.
Just a while ago, the Dark Lady had suddenly appeared and wiped out several countries in a blink of an eye, and they had certainly feared her. But as the Dark Lady Whitehare possessed no subordinates, always acting alone, the garrison soldiers in locations other than the capital, where the Sapling that was the target of Whitehare was, would at most only fear the loss of their livelihood that would result from her attack. They weren’t terrified of her.
The large countries had jointly requested the Heroes to subjugate the Dark Lady. Current rumors had it that while the Heroes’ assault seemed to be stalling, just the fact that the Heroes had begun to act was enough to put the Dark Lady on guard, turning the situation into a stalemate.
Then what were the guards terrified of?
“…there they come!”
“Confirmed sighting of dark pixies!”
These monsters had recently begun to appear from murky forests, from desolate graveyards, from crumbling buildings, and from rotting ruins. They were humanoid, twenty centimeters tall, with insectile wings. Their extreme similarity to the so-called ‘pixies’, their dark-red, enormous bloodshot eyes, reedy limbs, as well as their extreme belligerence and cruelty had all combined to earn them the name of ‘dark pixies’.
These dark pixies had one day suddenly appeared all throughout the world to ravage villages and towns without discrimination, killing cattles, demihuman slaves, and citizens alike. Their elusiveness and individual strength that was above a normal soldier made them troublesome foes. Furthermore, every time they showed up, it was as a group from several up to over thirty. Splitting up soldiers into patrolling teams of several men only added to the casualty. The soldiers were forced to huddle up for a chance of survival.
“Where are the adventurers?!”
“They’re on their way, sir!”
In response, the human countries had sent a request for the adventurer guild to focus their hunting upon the dark pixies. The guild was originally an organization set up to deal with the monsters that had begun threatening human cities in the last few decades. This sort of situation was exactly their bread-and-butter.
But no one knew where the dark pixies were coming from. They were forced to be reactive.
“Sir! The adventurers…”
“They had been attacked by an unknown group on the way… no one survived.”
The voice of the despairing soldier echoed in the darkness. Once more, a village was devastated.
Where were the dark pixies coming from? Who was this mysterious group working behind the scenes?
In the beginning, there had been rumors they were the Dark Lady’s subordinates. But once the mysterious group began to act, and from the testimony of the Blademaster who’d fought against the dark pixies and said “The dark pixies don’t have her smell, so not her,” the matter was judged unrelated to the Dark Lady.
Then what was the cause?