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Quarancinq, the City of Magic, was a large country located to the western side of Yggdrasia. It was where Marlene the Sage, the Heroine of Magic, was working with Brian, the mastermind behind the dark pixie incident that was turning the world upside down, to complete his plan. His goal was to take vengeance against the Dark Lady, and to do so, he was going to summon the Fairy King.

The Fairy King was a fictional character of nursery tales and children’s books. The stories went that bad kids would be taken to the Fairy World, while good kids would receive gifts from fairies. The King was nothing more than a made-up figure to fool children.

Marlene was aware of the existence of another dimension, and yet even she didn’t believe the Fairy King truly lived.

All the same, she still decided to lend Brian her expertise. For one, she would be paid, and for two, she thought the plan would be an opportunity for the stagnating field of magic to be given a new breath of life. But most importantly, it was the little bit of curiosity within her that had wanted to witness what comes at the end of Brian’s insanity.

With the cooperation of Brian’s allies — a group consisting of the worst criminals who had escaped from their respective incarceration all over the world — and the magicians of the Tower of Truth, Marlene had created a global-scale magic circle, the very first of its kind. By Marlene’s request, mana had been collected from the Saplings of multiple countries to power the circle. Activating the circle had given form to the thing in front of her.

“What… is that?”

It was a grotesque thing, its black, scraggly torso and limbs resembling nothing so much as a withered tree. Ragged, translucent insectile wings squirmed and twitched, the sight unsettling to all those watching.

At first, Marlene couldn’t feel any power coming from it. Its appearance was disturbing, granted, but it was doing nothing beside making a strange noi҉se. For a moment, she thought they’d made a mistake, that they’d summoned an unusual curio, nothing more.

But that wasn’t right.

Marlene’s instincts of a Hero was telling her that the thing in front of her was not what she had thought it to be.

No one else could understand its power. If she hadn’t had her experience of fighting a Dark General as a Hero, she wouldn’t have realized the dissonance.

When faced with an overly enormous pillar, a normal person would think it to be a wall, a dead end. They’d stop. But Marlene’s experience told her it was no wall, that there was more behind the pillar. She knew. She had, unfortunately, known.

A crack formed on the blank surface of its oval head. It was smiling. As the n͞o҉i͟se it emitted formed distinct words, Marlene finally understood its true nature.

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