V2 Chapter 44: Evil Wind

A loud scream tore through the night and echoed across the area.

The scream came from the bystanders who had gathered around, and their eyes were directed at the woman in black who had revealed her face.

I also looked at the same person.

Judging from the shape of her ears, she was probably a forest fairy elf. I said probably because I had never seen an elf with brown skin and silver hair before. Lunamaria was also like that, but all the elves I knew had white skin and golden hair.

It wasn’t because she had tanned in the desert, so maybe she was a different kind of elf from Lunamaria.

It wasn’t a strange story. Humans also have different skin and hair colors. It wouldn’t be surprising if elves were the same.

The problem was–the cause of the people’s screams was in the elf’s appearance.

The right half of her face was delicately beautiful, showing a strong trace of fairy blood.

On the other hand, the left half of her face was–

“You, you monster!”

One of the “Desert Hawks” who had just slashed off the elf’s hood raises a curse. It was probably the most succinct expression of the feelings of those present.

Half of the elf’s face was that of a lion. But only if you insist it looked like a lion – it lacked any of the gallantry or power you might feel from a wild lion. Its horribly twisted visage was nothing but ugly.

Given the elf’s otherwise beautiful countenance, this ugliness was all the more stark.


The female elf, her left hand not holding a sword, covers her own face. Her lips are tightly drawn, as if to hold something back.

Seeing this as an opening, the man who had just called out “monster” charges to slash at the elf.

In response to this attack, the elf swiftly draws her longsword from her waist and sharply deflects the enemy’s slash.

However, defending while covering her face with her hand is clearly awkward, and indeed, she is unable to counterattack and allows her opponent to regain his posture.

Even as other members of the “Desert Hawks” surround her, the elf still does not remove her hand from her face.

Apparently, for this elf, revealing her face is more to be feared than being surrounded by enemies.

Of course, it should be said that with such a stance, there is no way she can fight properly against a superior number of enemies, and she is quickly forced onto the defensive, slashed at from all sides.

Each time the tip of a hawk’s sword catches the elf, blood sprays into the night. From her arms, from her back, multiple strands of blood drip down and stain her clothes. Whether it’s from the pain of being cut, sweat streams down the elf’s face like a waterfall, and her breathing is heavy. It feels as if you could hear her panting from here.

Even the onlookers who had previously sided with the elf seemed to have changed their minds after witnessing her deformity, and some were now cheering for the “Desert Hawks.”

—I silently watched the scene unfold. I had no intention of siding with the “Desert Hawks,” but neither was I inclined to help the elf who had shown hostility.

I would have liked to leave quickly, but from a while ago, a strange presence has been filling the area, and it has kept my feet rooted in place.

The source of the presence is, needless to say, that elf. If I were to compare it to something, it would remind me of a magic stone on the verge of exploding. Both the “Desert Hawks” and the onlookers should escape quickly, but I feel no obligation to warn them, so I leave them be. From the moment they got involved in this brawl in the night’s entertainment district, whatever happens would be their own responsibility.

While this is happening, there is another outcry mixed with screams. Looking, the sleeve of the elf’s clothing has been slashed, and from there, skin covered in beast fur is visible. It seems that the elf’s deformity extends not only to her face but also to her body.

“You demon, I don’t know what you’re planning by infiltrating this town, but you should know that your luck ran out when you were spotted by us, the ‘Desert Hawks’!”

As he speaks, the man’s sword strikes the elf accurately, slashing deeply from her shoulder. The blood that poured from the wound fiercely strikes the ground, and the slashed elf stumbles significantly.

From behind, another man slashes, again deeply cleaving her back. Blood gushes out with a fountain-like sound, and the dense smell of blood fills the area.

Screams and cheers erupted from the surrounding crowd at the same time. Everyone must have thought it was undoubtedly a fatal wound. Indeed, the elf’s amber eyes were rapidly losing their light.

But just as those eyes were about to become lifeless glass beads, a red glow fills the elf’s gaze. A wet, blood-like red. The moment I thought it had covered her eyes, a tremendous roar thundered from the elf’s mouth.


The deafening roar was, at the same time, a magical invocation that crushes the human spirit. If I had to compare it, it’s close to a dragon’s roar, released by a Hydra. Of course, it’s not as powerful as that of a mythical creature, but it was still more than the unprepared could bear.

It was even more potent for those who were nearby.



“Gu… oh… ah…”

The members of the “Desert Hawks” were writhing on the ground, holding their ears. Some were bleeding from their palms, seemingly having ruptured their eardrums.

The onlookers who had surrounded the area were not spared either. Some were kneeling and groaning, others were writhing on the ground like the “Desert Hawks,” and some were crying as they tried to crawl away from the scene.


As if to finish off those screaming, the elf unleashes another invocation.

No, perhaps this is more of a laughter than an invocation.

If you think about it, the lion’s half-face is distorting into a seemingly enjoyable grin. On the other hand, the fairy’s half-face was also distorted, but it looked more like the expression of someone writhing in pain.

Then, a change occurred on the elf’s face where my gaze was fixed.

The lion’s face is expanding. From the tip of the jaw slowly but surely, it’s overwriting the fairy’s face, morphing it into that of the lion.

It was somewhat like the hour hand of a clock. Like a hand pointing at six o’clock, ticking towards seven, then eight, the lion’s territory is expanding. If this goes on, when the hand points at twelve, the elf’s face will be completely that of a lion.

What will be unleashed upon this world when that happens?

“Well, it’s certain that it won’t be anything good,” I mutter, scratching my head. In my line of sight, the elf – no, something that was once an elf, was about to reveal its true form.

What emerges from the torn robe is a lion’s head and lion’s arms. The legs are equipped with feathers and claws reminiscent of a bird of prey, and four wings, also resembling a bird of prey, spread from its back. Two kinds of tails stretch from its buttocks, playfully intertwining.

It’s a monster I’ve never seen before.

But I’ve heard of it. A monster similar to this was mentioned in the information about Berka that Ilia had gathered.

To be precise, it’s not a monster, but a demon, and even more precisely, it’s a story that belongs more to legend than reality.

According to the story, it’s a wicked wind that runs through the desert.

A king of the scorching sands with a lion’s face and arms, an eagle’s legs and wings, and the tails of a scorpion and a snake.

The name of this demon, who controls heat fever and locust plague is―

“The King of Wind, Pazuzu, was it?”1

My half-murmur seemed to have been sharply caught by the demon.

As if affirming my words, it grins eerily.

Its face had already transformed into three-fourths of a lion.

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  1. Pazuzu – in ancient Mesopotamian mythology. Pazuzu is known as the king of the demons of the wind and the son of the god Hanbi. He also represented the southwestern wind, the bearer of storms, and drought.