“Your reign ends here, Ruphas!”
The hero Alioth swings his huge sword at you.
“Fools, it is your end.”
With a blast of magic, you push your opponent away.
He recovers in an instant and swings again, striking you in the chest and momentarily stunning you.
Nearby, the elf sage Megrez calls out, “Hyperspace Seal!”
A sphere of black energy engulfs you.
“Well done, heroes! You’ve surpassed me and I wish you the best against the Demon King!”
In Exgate Online, players create their own kingdoms and fight each other on the fantasy world of Midgard, with victors gaining control of the losers’ territory. The company running the game records these events and incorporates them into Exgate’s in-game story, publishing it online like a web novel.
Your character in this game was Ruphas Mafahl, a beautiful, black-winged flugel, a winged humanoid descended from angels. For years, you’ve trained her up to Level 1,000 in a wide variety of classes, earning top player rankings. You’ve also collected and tamed a dozen rare monsters and event bosses, gathering them into a group known as the Twelve Heavenly Stars. They’ve acted as your loyal companions and generals in the game.
As Ruphas, you were the first to conquer all of Midgard. As a result, Ruphas gained semi-canon status in Exgate’s story. With no more challenges left in the game, you gathered seven other players and organized an event in which their characters would fight Ruphas in a decisive battle.
And Ruphas was just defeated and sealed away.
The viewers must be going wild, judging from the comments in the sidebar.
The event was successful!
Well, time for bed…
The next morning, you turn on the computer and prepare to play Exgate Online again.
On the login screen, you see Alovenus, the creator goddess of Midgard and mascot of Exgate Online, along with a new message.
Is this a reward from the game administrators? Sounds fun!
W-where…? What just…
“Did the summoning work?”
“It can’t be…”
“She’s still alive?!”
“No, no…not the Black-Winged Overlord!”
As your vision returns, you find yourself standing in a throne room.
Why is everyone shivering and kneeling on the floor? Did they see a ghost or something?
Hmm? Your chest feels a bit heavy and there’s something moving on your back.
Something’s missing from your crotch…
You catch your reflection in a nearby window.
A Wild Last Boss Appeared! (野生のラスボスが現れた！, Yasei no Rasu Bosu ga Arawareta!) is a web novel, light novel series and manga written by Firehead (炎頭 [ファイヤーヘッド], Faiyāheddo).
Without warning, a high school student suddenly finds himself in the living, breathing body of Ruphas Mafahl, a character that he played on an MMORPG, summoned to the real-life world of Midgard by those who were trying to summon a hero. Ruphas flies to her old home base and finds Dina, a mysterious young woman who claims to be her advisor.
Ruphas learns that events on Midgard played out more or less the same as Exgate Online, with her conquering the world and being sealed away by the Seven Heroes 200 years ago. The Heroes founded their own kingdoms and fought against the Demon King, who defeated them but spared them. The demons conquered much of Midgard after that, leaving humanity and the other races in constant peril. In addition, the Twelve Heavenly Stars are still alive and scattered throughout the land, with some of them now causing trouble. Ruphas decides to not only recover her former companions but also talk to the surviving Seven Heroes in order to learn more about her predicament.
Two of the surviving Heroes are found to be wallowing in despair, deeply regretting their victory over Ruphas. Before that fateful battle, their minds were gradually filled with irrational hatred, fear and envy, only for those feelings to inexplicably disappear afterwards. The black-winged flugel eventually meets the Demon King, who tells her that the goddess Alovenus is playing a pernicious game of balance in the world of Midgard, preventing any one faction from establishing dominance. It’s possible that the goddess saw Ruphas as a threat and subtly influenced the Seven Heroes to fight her despite the fact that she was the only being the demons feared, thus allowing the conflict and suffering to continue. Even now, it’s likely that Alovenus holds an insidious sway over all.
Meanwhile, Ruphas’ summoners have succeeded in summoning a hero from modern day Japan, commanding him to defeat both the Black-Winged Overlord and the Demon King. It is also revealed that Dina has been less than forthcoming about her true identity and intentions. Since a human soul now inhabits Ruphas’ body, where is her real soul now?
Ruphas Mafahl, a flugel, the one-time Overlord of Midgard and a former male Japanese high school student. Proud, charismatic, honorable and assertive, she has a hidden gentle side and encourages others to fight for what they believe in. Ruphas is seen as many things by the various peoples of Midgard: hero, villain, savior, tyrant, conqueror and much more. The human soul within Ruphas gradually uncovers more of her memories, gaining access to more of the Overlord’s former abilities and power. Such memories include those from Ruphas’ childhood, during which she was cruelly abused by her own father and the other children for her black wings, which are considered a grave sin among white-winged flugels.
At Level 1,000 and with god-like attributes, Ruphas is one of the most powerful people on Midgard, comparable to and feared by the Demon King himself. Like other flugels, she has a long lifespan (over 1,000 years) and the natural ability to intimidate others, including monsters, into submission with her voice alone. In Ruphas’ case, she could intimidate entire armies! Among other things, Ruphas is a monarch, a general, a warrior, an alchemist, a mage and a monster tamer. Eventually, she rediscovers her unique ability to create golden apples, items that give their eater an artificial boost in power (experience points in game terms).
Dina, Ruphas’ enigmatic half-elf advisor. Although seemingly humble, helpful and unassuming, she is much more cunning than she appears to be. In Exgate Online, “Dina” was a background decoration for Rupha’s home base. This identity is adopted by a mysterious woman who was once a beta test player for Exgate Online. She also sometimes takes the identity of Venus, one of an elite group of demons, the Seven Luminaries. Despite knowing all this, Ruphas keeps her around. Secretly a Level 1,000 character, Dina is particularly skilled in teleportation and mind manipulation magic. Curiously, Alovenus is the only other known being who can manipulate minds…
The Twelve Heavenly Stars, powerful monsters tamed by Ruphas. Most of them are extremely loyal to and violently protective of their mistress. Members include Aigokeros (a goat-headed demon), Aries (a gigantic rainbow sheep), Karkinos (a giant monster crab), Libra (a mechanical golem maid) and Scorpius (a giant scorpion). All of them have unique abilities and can take on human form if needed.
Sei Minamijuuji (南十字 瀬衣, Minamijūji Sei), a 17-year old former Japanese high school student and a summoned hero. Like many classic isekai heroes, he is brave, humble and virtuous. His biggest hero is his father, a police officer who taught him the importance of not only helping others but also doing the right thing even when everyone else disagrees. After he witnesses a conversation between Ruphas and the Demon King about how the goddess Alovenus is manipulating the entire world, Sei begins to have doubts that Ruphas is the evil monster she is reputed to be. Although currently a rather weak fighter, especially compared to Ruphas and her allies, Sei is thought to have the potential to become extremely powerful in the near future.
There’s quite a few mysteries in this story that we’d love to have answers for, such as why the goddess is harming the world, why much of Ruphas’ memories are missing and what Dina really is.
The heroes’ mission in this story is to confront the true source of the world’s misery: the goddess who supposedly protects it. Aside from most people refusing to consider the idea that their savior is actually responsible for their suffering, Alovenus is also capable of influencing minds anytime and anywhere, with the implication that free will may not even really exist. In addition, she can enhance the power of anyone who submits to her, resulting in them becoming overwhelmingly powerful monsters that exist only to do the goddess’ bidding. Ruphas’ resolve to fight the goddess despite near-impossible odds, even for her own incredible power, is nothing short of true heroism.
The idea of a deity manipulating an entire world to ensure the continuation of violent conflict reminds me of the Legacy of Kain video game series. The main villain of these games, the Elder God, manipulated mortals to spread conflict and suffering in order to perpetuate a vicious cycle of life and death to feed and empower itself. It is possible that Alovenus has similar motives or maybe she feels that life without conflict is meaningless. Like the games’ hero, the vampire Kain, Ruphas is a villain on the surface but she fights a greater evil who manipulates everything from the shadows.
In the end, the moral behind this story is about doing the right thing, especially when others try to convince you otherwise. If everyone was jumping off a cliff, would you go too?
Sometimes, doing the right thing isn’t easy, but it must still be done.