Harbinger of Wings 1

Beware, O gods, queens, and kings!

Of she who brings death on high

Feathered and bright.

Of the unspeakable one


From morn to morn

Makes people die.

Beware of she

The Harbinger of Wings.

The beastmen had not launched a raid in months.

They even gave up the few cities they'd occupied—and she wasn't ever going to forget the horrors she found in those human 'ranches'—seemingly packing up and leaving as fast as their legs could run. Strangely enough, there hadn't been any stragglers either.

In any case, the Draconic Kingdom finally seemed to get a chance to breathe after decades of being harassed by the powerful demihuman country. True, the harm dealt to its population and the cities and towns that'll have to be abandoned due to lack of manpower would be an issue for a few generations, but the beastmen were gone.

For now. A part of her hoped the damn demihumans would stick to their side of Lesser Dragonspine forever.

"Everyone!" Her peppy voice invigorated the Court as she adorably—how long did she have to keep up this facade of a child?—threw her hands up into the air. "Do we have any survivors from the eastern noble houses?"

"I fear the beastmen were thorough in their… activities, Your Majesty," Countess Belfrig grimly replied. "Your loyal servants looked as hard as we could, but the only survivors are those who were sent to find refuge in the west."

"Uuuu…" Draudillon's mouth drooped in a childish pout. "Then, we just have to do the best with what we have!"

"Yes, Your Majesty!"

Population decimated, the Draconic Kingdom would have to spend years recuperating from the loss of people to work and manage the lands. In the meanwhile, she had to determine how to handle the Theocracy and Empire now that reinforcements were, hopefully, unnecessary.

"Send the surviving nobles to their ancestral domains with a retinue of assistants. We're gonna work with everyone and fix everything up!" Draudillon childishly swung her legs back and forth. This problem was leagues better than attempting to drive away beastman armies—

Knocking came from the doors to the throne room. "Please come in!"


"Your Majesty!" The courier fell to his knee, forehead slick with sweat as he thrust a scroll into the Royal Guard's hand. "Th-The outrunners! They—They've returned!"

"Did they find anything?" His eyes were wide, shaking with what they had seen. "Are… the beastmen actually not gone?"

"It's," the courier sucked in a deep breath, temporarily calming the nerves. "Angels. It's angels."

'Angels snuck that far west…?' The Draconic Kingdom had its priests, but how could there be any living there? It had only been a few months and repatriation was going slowly. "Could it be the Theocracy?"

"The Sunlight Scripture is currently stationed at Fort Adelemus, Your Majesty," Martin reminded her from the side. "Their priests and paladins refused our requests for them to venture that far out as well."

"Then who?" Draudillon's face turned grave, a grimness unsuited to the petite appearance she was adopting. "Messenger, what kind of angels?"

"Guardians, Flames, b-but… there were also many I've never seen the likes of in my life. Demigods with the heads of lions wielding lances, spheres of fire—"

Terror flooded the hall, striking the hearts of the Royal Court all at once.

Draudillon froze where she was sitting, beads of sweat rolling down the exposed expanse of her slender back. Pressure that surpassed great-grandfather's suffocated the chamber as if demanding worship and fealty in its unspoken authority.

The dragon queen slowly turned around. So engrossed was she and her court by the intruder that they barely registered the legion of silent angels entering the throne room.

Six wings, radiant halo, equipment that reeked of absurd enchantments, and an ethereally resplendent beauty told her everything Draudillon needed to know.

This person—this monster was… they must be one of the 'Players' great-grandfather warned her of.

The one before her reeked of blood and atrocity. She gulped and wracked her mind, desperately shifting through the annals of memory to pin an identity onto this false god.

'Annihilator,' Draudillon grimaced, keeping the horrid realization to herself. 'Harbinger of Wings.'

Centuries ago, there had been six superpowers vying for supremacy in the center of the continent.

Of those six, only four still existed.

Tens of millions of lives had been taken by those dainty alabaster hands. Like a storm, they descended without warning, and in their departure left desolation.

"Stand down," the winged woman's voice was dangerously soft. "This country is Rhell's project, correct?"

"Brightness Dragon Lord?" They recognized her progenitor? "I… yes, he founded this kingdom, Your Excellency."

Their gaze swept to the room, callously discarding every person in her sight until it landed on her and remained there. "And you're the Queen… so you're his spawn."

Even the fanatics among the Theocracy forces never spoke to her with such vitriol. El-Nix of all people might as well be her boon companion in comparison.

"That I am," she nodded while trying to maintain a strong facade for the sake of the court. "How can we help—"

"Is that your real form?"

"I apologize, Your Excellency," she immediately threw aside all thoughts of acting dignified and proud, shape-shifting back to her original adult form. "This would be my—"

"A crippled Dragon Lord…" The words stung even when coming from what was essentially a complete stranger. "No, this is fine. Rhell wouldn't want to give up a specimen like this. Yeah, this is fine. You're coming with me."

"E-Excuse me," Martin, bless his soul, struggled to raise his head in protest. Draudillon silently begged for him to shut up before he got himself killed. "I mean no disrespect—"

"Then shut up," the holy steel pressed harder against her throat. "And you. Don't try any of your Wild Magic. Don't think I can't tell either."

'I'm not stupid,' Her eye twitched even while she gathered every ounce of courage she had. "I won't. If I come with you, will you promise to leave the kingdom alone?"

As the sovereign of the Draconic Kingdom, she had to do at least this much. It might be tough for Martin and her trusted assistants for a while, but they would pull through. They had to.

"Fine.『Gate』," Draudillon gulped at the casual show of magical superiority. Teleportation was hard enough, but a portal? "We're leaving."

The lion-headed angel nudged her forwards. She sighed and followed in the Player's footsteps.

"Please! Your Excellency's lowly servants are unworthy and less than the dust trampled under her feet, but without Her Majesty, we have no hope of keeping away the beastmen—"

"You don't have to worry about the beastmen," the six-winged woman stopped just short of crossing the threshold of the swirling rift. "I killed them."

It should have been a relief. A relief to know the days of her people being predated upon, farmed, were over.

Instead, the statement—the way it was delivered—filled Draudillon's heart with dread.

"Men, women, kids. Nobody else is going to live there for a few centuries. Not even the undead."

'That… explains why they haven't raided us in so long.'

Because they were slaughtered to the last if the woman's words were to be believed, and she had a sinking feeling that they were nothing but serious.

Draudillon hated the beastmen, hated what they'd done to her people and kingdom, but even she understood there were those who had never laid eyes on a human, much less butchered and eaten one.

They didn't deserve to be completely genocided.

She shot a pleading look at Martin, wordlessly asking the Prime Minister to look after state affairs while… she didn't know. Whatever the Player wanted her for, it couldn't be anything good.

One deep inhale later, and she was standing in the remains of a ruined city. Draudillon's widened as she beheld the—gods, it had to be hundreds of thousands of angels—heavenly host hovering in the sky. "Where are we?"

"What? So you can send a distress call to your Dragon Lord cronies?"

Every syllable came out flat, like they were just going through the motions of emotion—a show of mockery that mocked themselves more than it did her.

Still, Draudillon found anger and irritation gradually overcoming the fear she had initially felt. Her captor was strong, beyond strength, but how could she be afraid of something so pitifully empty?

"Is there a need to be so pointlessly abrasive?" The dragon queen irately snapped, momentarily forgetting this was a woman who could snuff out her existence with a snap. "You kidnap me right out of my throne room for gods know why, and now I, I'm dumped here in the middle of nowhere."

'If I'm to be a hostage, there has to be more straightforward methods than this.'

Were they just stupid?

"A long time ago," the woman slowly began. "There was a girl who thought she could help people. While she was helping people, she saw lots of things—bad and good, but that didn't stop her."

Draudillon waited for them to continue, not wanting to break the strange fugue the Player had fallen into.

"Everyone she met worshiped her, and if that was a little uncomfortable, then she tried not to let it bother her. Nobody saw her as a person, nobody thought 'Hey! Maybe she just needs someone to talk to,' because gods are perfect."

Their face softened for a split second. "But there was one person who did, and became that girl's friend. One thing led to the next and…"

The Player helplessly kicked the dirt. "I helped the Dragon Lords kill the Greed Kings. I helped them kill the monsters coming out the cracks. I helped do all of this and you know how they repay me? While we were keeping our heads down, happy to not bother with anyone anymore, one of your disgusting kind sucked the souls of an entire country where she was waiting—!"

Draudillon hadn't noticed she'd taken a step backwards. Her kidnapper's golden eyes were brimming with a manic wrath that was extinguished as suddenly as it had ignited.

"I'm sick of being used and told what to do," the Player murmured more to themselves than to her. "I'm sick of giving second chances. Dunno why I'm telling you this anyway."

It wasn't an answer. It wasn't an answer, but she accepted it anyway. Draudillon wanted to shout, scream, rage, but when she stared at the Harbinger of Wings…

She felt tired. So very exhausted and spent. First the beastmen, and now a world-scarring catastrophe.

"Is that so? I'm…" Sorry? For what? What could there be to apologize for; what good did apologizing do them? "Nevermind. How long should I expect to be imprisoned? And regarding sustenance—"

"Until I kill Rhell," they casually said, as if killing a primordial Dragon Lord was a triviality. "You can go back home after that. Angels can help with finding food and stuff.『Gate』."

"Wait," Draudillon's hand grabbed the back of the Player's dress. "I would at least know the name of my jailer."

Those horrible—


—empty eyes considered her for a brief moment before turning away. The dragon queen sighed to herself; what had she expected from someone who expressed their hatred of her from the start?

"Yuriko Hanami."


"That's my name," their voice grew rough, bitter. Surprising they could display anything other than abject apathy, hollow hatred, and a fury that lost its fervor long ago. "You wanted to know, right? There you have it."

"I see," well, it seemed expectations existed to be subverted. "Thank you for telling me. I'm sure you might've already heard, but I am—"

"Don't care. I didn't ask."