Chapter 121 – Double Crisis (2)
“She is a lowly level 3 civilian. She possesses an Innate ability, but she is of extreme low station! How can this lowly bug use the magic circle’s power!”
It seemed the old pope didn’t even bother hiding his identity anymore. He was too taken aback by the situation. He extended his hand towards Aria.
However, his magic was neutralized and dispersed into the magic circle when it touched Aria. It was turned back into Mana, and it was imbued into Aria. This cycle had probably repeated itself once Aria went into her assimilation state.
This was obvious, but it was impossible for Artpe to do anything to her either. He didn’t possess the control authority, and he didn’t possess the Assimilation ability.
“Artpe, if you are here, do something! At this rate, Aria will……!”
When faced with the sight that transcended every expectation, Artpe was struck dumb. Silpennon became aware of the intrusion. He yelled out in anger towards Artpe.
His body was already a mess. Fortunately, he suffered normal wounds. Silpennon hadn’t suffered any critical wounds. It seemed Aria had awakened before Jeriet could attack Silpennon in earnest.
“From my point of view, I’m critically wounded. These aren’t normal wounds, you bastard….. Koo-ook!”
“You are an idiot. If it can be healed, then it isn’t a critical wound. Vadinet, please heal that guy.”
“If it is Artpe-nim’s request, I will always do as you wish!”
If possible, he wanted to buoy the love of Silpennon from her past life to the surface. He left Silpennon in Vadinet’s care. Afterwards, Artpe’s entire body emitted Mana Strings, and he faced off against the Four Heavenly King.
“Koohk, hero. You were quick in getting here.”
Nervousness was clearly etched on his face. If his plan had worked, he would have successfully summoned a magical beast by the time the heroes arrived at this location. He would have felt reassured with a magical beast under his control. However, the magic circle was out of his control now, and the holy priestess had arrived with the heroes. It was the worst case scenario for him.
“It seems you can’t do as you please with the magic circle, Four Heavenly King Jeriet of the Demon King’s army.”
Artpe judged that Jeriet’s mind wasn’t in a healthy state right now, so he wanted to further destabilize his mind. He attempted one of the the critical skills of a Four Heavenly King called ‘You really thought I didn’t know?’ skill.
“How did you know my name!?”
“Yes. I was thinking it was about time. The hero would fight the weakest amongst the Four Heavenly King, and after a fierce struggle, the hero would win in the end. The weakest amongst the Four Heavenly King would tell the hero that there are three stronger Four Heavenly Kings left. This would make the hero bite his lips in consternation. I knew this moment would come!”
“What!? How did you know I’m the weakest……!”
Artpe was skillful in using the tactics of a Four Heavenly King. This was why he took the offensive by attacking Jeriet’s mind. Jeriet was extremely flustered, yet Artpe’s attack wasn’t at an end yet.
“However…. By the look of things, you weren’t able to pull it off. Don’t you thinks so?”
As the weakest amongst the Four Heavenly King, Jeriet was in charge of filling the hero with despair and fear! However, things weren’t turning out as he expected. The magic circle was out of his control, and he was sweating buckets in front of it. How was such a sight supposed to strike terror into the hearts of Artpe’s party? It was impossible.
“Hoo. I’ll compliment you for finding out that I’m one of the Four Heavenly Kings within the Demon King’s army….. You are getting too big for your britches! It has only been several years since you’ve developed your power as a hero, yet you dare to think that you will be able to defeat me!”
Artpe turned a questioning look towards Silpennon, who was being treated by Vadinet. He tried to confirm something with Silpennon. Silpennon discreetly raised his thumb.
Everything was perfect now.
“However, Jeriet….. You are currently in your transformed state. It is true that it would be difficult for us to face you in your true form. However, you are borrowing the form of the pope. You are much weaker than normal right now. Isn’t that right?”
“Ha. It is merely a level penalty of 20%……”
Jeriet was speaking in an overbearing manner, but his words trailed off. He caught sight of the countless Mana Strings forming around Artpe, and the bastard sword. The bastard sword gripped within Maetel’s hand was letting out a bright light. Jeriet hadn’t expected much growth from them since only 3 years had passed. However, the heroes were quite menacing right now.
If he returned to his Demon form……
“Shall I guess as to why you haven’t returned to your original form?”
“Ridiculous. You are merely a human, yet you want to read my intentions?”
“If you return to your original form, you’ll lose the control authority over the magic circle. Am I right?”
He was right. The only reason why the Four Heavenly King was able to activate the magic circle was thanks to taking on the form of the pope after eating him. If he returned to his original form, he would lose all advantages he gained from mimicking the pope.
He wanted to quickly activate the magic circle, and he wanted to return to his original form. If that happened, he could put pressure on the heroes. He would be able to create a truly perfect picture. He had been anticipating for such a scene…..
“Artpe, what is Aria doing? Is it dangerous?”
“It is dangerous. I don’t know how she is able to do what she is doing right now.”
“What are you saying!?”
In truth, it was a desperate situation, yet Artpe continued to make fun of his enemy. He was taking his time. However, as he kept attacking Jeriet’s mind with truths, he was trying very hard to comprehend what was going on right now.
First, he knew that Silpennon and Aria had been exploring the last region left in the Zero Class. They were unlucky, and they were found out by Jeriet.
Jeriet realized that it would be impossible to quietly dispose of Silpennon and Aria. Moreover, he realized that Aria possesed an ability that would make her a great sacrifice for the magic circle. This was why he had revealed his true nature by activating the magic circle. Silpennon had been smart, and he was able to use the Image Transmission artifact to broadcast everything above Lihazeta.
Silpennon also attacked the pope in an attempt to save Aria, but his ability was sorely lacking to be able to fight one of the four Heavenly King. He had suffered grievous wounds, and Aria was in danger of dying after being used as a sacrifice for the magic circle.
This was the information he had discerned before he entered this place. This was why he couldn’t guarantee the lives of Silpennon and Aria before he got here. When he entered the underground Plaza, he had found Aria placed in the center of the magic circle as a sacrifice, and she was assimilating with the magic circle’s Mana. She was doing an excellent job fusing with the magic circle.
Even if Aria’s Innate ability was amazing, Artpe was having a hard time accepting what was going on. If she was able to assimilate with anything or anyone she wanted, she would have already reached the realm of the gods.
The magic circle was completed through the countless years. A magic contract was created, and only a very limited number of people was able to use the magic circle. Despite this fact, Aria was assimilating with the magic circle, so of course, Artpe was shocked.
If she was able to do this, he was sure Aria was…..
“All right. Jeriet-nim will personally take care of you all!”
It was already a situation where he couldn’t use the magic circle according to his will. This was why he gave up on controlling the magic circle. He took off the pope’s outer shell, and he regained his original form of a Demon!
….for now, Artpe let Jeriet be.
Artpe yelled towards Vadinet. She had finished healing Silpennon, so she was getting to her feet.
“Vadinet! Give that girl….. I want you to give that girl a Blessing!”
She didn’t fully understand what Artpe wanted, but since it was a order from him, she would follow it. Vadinet used all the power available to her as the holy priestess, and she activated her Blessing skill. She aimed it towards the girl located at the center of the magic circle.
It was a basic skill of a priestess that allowed her to assign a Class to a person. Once assigned, one had to carry the same Class for the rest of one’s life!
“Why are you all so carefree in this situation······.”
“Leave it to me!”
Jeriet couldn’t make neither rhyme nor reason of their actions, so he expressed his anger.
He was about to interfere in their actions, but all the Mana Strings surrounding Artpe’s body was shot towards him. A magical barrier was created around Jariet. It was childsplay for Jariet to destroy each Mana String, but thousands were rushing all at once towards him. He wouldn’t be able to move forward until he destroyed all of them!
“How dare you use such tricks on a Four Heavenly King…. Koohk!?”
He was barely able to free his body, but by that time, Maetel had reached him by using her Acceleration skill. Maetel’s eyes shone as she swung her bastard sword!
“Artpe, help me!”
If Jariet was facing one hero, it would have been enough. However, the teamwork between the two heroes were perfect. The Four Heavenly King Jariet was in the human world. Moreover, he was within the Zero Class where most of the holy energy was concentrated. On the other hand, Maetel and Artpe had been strengthened after receiving a buff from the holy priestess. They attacked the weakened Jariet with everything they got!
A wing that let out a brilliant golden light sprouted from each of their backs. This deepened the connection between the two heroes, and it raised each other’s power. As a Four Heavenly King of the Demon King’s army, he despised true bonds between comrades. The bond between the two heroes was clearly manifesting in magical and physical form, and they were tormenting Jariet!
“Insolent······ All right. I’ll kill you first, bitch!”
Even if he didn’t use his Transformation ability, Jeriet was a legit level 340 Four Heavenly King. His body was covered in black leather, and black Demonic energy emanated from all over his body. The Demonic energy was letting out an ominous light as his body was strengthened. The ominous light pushed against the Hero’s Aura.
“The power I gathered from those that I transformed into can be used to strengthen my body….. This ability allowed me to climb to the top of the Demon King’s army. It allowed me to become one of the Four Heavenly Kings!”
“I already know everything, so stop with the commentary! Just fight me!”
It was the portion of the fight where he was supposed to boast about his abilities, yet Artpe was ignoring him. Artpe shot his spell towards Jariet. Maetel shoved the bastard sword into Jariet’s hardened stomach, and blood sprayed out. At the same time, she activated her Bash skill. It ripped apart his guts!
They were heroes with no ethics!
Jeriet desperately retreated backwards. He gritted his teeth as his wound healed itself. In the past, one of his prey had a regeneration ability, so he would just need five seconds to….
“Stop commenting on your abilities!”
“Koo-ahhhk! I didn’t even speak those words out loud!”
In Artpe’s absence, Jeriet had become the new weakest Four Heavenly King. It was true that he possessed an amazing ability, but it also came with a downside. The added skills and abilities related to his Transformation skill strengthened his body and special characteristics. However, there was a slight delay before he could use these added abilities. This very short delay was enough for Maetel and Artpe to attack him!
The enraged Jeriet swung his thick arm, and he struck out at Maetel! Maetel had activated her Acceleration in time, so she was able to dodge the blow. However, the destructive force within his arm still remained. His arm sliced through empty air before it struck the wall of the secret space.
The wall exploded, and a deafening sound accompanied it.
In a flash, the secret room was exposed to the sky, and moonlight shone down upon everyone.
Jariet finally realized that something had slipped his mind.
“Now that I think about it, the holy priestess was….”
The holy priestess should be supporting the two heroes in battle, but she wasn’t doing anything.
Why was that?
Was she unable to throw away her desire to monopolize Artpe?
Was she going to wait until Maetel was dead?
No, that wasn’t it. She was still carrying out Artpe’s orders.
Her eyes were wide open, and she was shocked at the reality that was supposed to be impossible.
“A…Artpe-nim. Perhaps…… This girl is…..!?”
The duration of the Blessing depended on the Class’ special characteristic. At its shortest, it took one second. There were cases where it took over a minute. Vadinet was finally able to complete her mission.
Jeriet’s rampage had caused a hole to form in the ceiling, and an unusually bright moonlight shone through it. The Class given to Aria by Vadinet was clearly revealed to the world.
After earning her Class, the girl had changed into a new existence. She finally awakened. Her eyes opened.
She possessed golden eyes that was letting out an unimaginably brilliant light.