Chapter 129 – Her Her & Her (5)
The ruin of the Winter Queen existed at the heart of the Ice continent. In his past life, no one had exited this place alive until Artpe was able to acquire a single treasure. It was basically the worst Dungeon in the human realm.
First, the information regarding the ruin about the Ice continent was hard to find, and normal humans weren’t able to survive in the arctic environment. Moreover, the ruin only appeared during the winter, so it was hard to find. Even if one found the ruin, it wasn’t a guarantee that one would be able win against the dormant monsters within.
“Moreover, the ruin is long and wide. In total, it has 10 floors. Even if one prepared the biggest Dimensional Pouch for this venture, one would die in the middle of the run if one ran out of supply.”
“It is nothing new.”
At Artpe’s words, Maetel replied in nonchalant manner. If a Dungeon had less than 10 floors, it wasn’t even a Dungeon to her. She was acting this way even though it was rare to find Dungeons over 7 floors in this world!
“It is 10 floors!? If you would have told me that this was a one-story Dungeon, I would have believed you…..! Artpe-nim, you really did your research before coming to this ruin.”
On the other hand, the holy priestess was shocked by the size of the ruin. Her duty in life had been guiding the temple priests, and she had raised her level by clearing relatively safe Dungeons.
“In truth, I thought we were clearing the Dungeon at a very rapid pace…. A normal sized party would have already given up by now.”
“The hallway is wide yet the ceiling is also high too.”
The high ceiling allowed the massive Ice Moles to move around without much hindrance on the 1st floor of the ruin. It actually made one want question as to why the Ice Moles bothered traveling underground when the ceiling was so high!
[I’ll bury you! I’ll bury you!]
“Great. Are you guys doing construction here?”
The strength of the Ice Moles was the fact that they can burrow into the ground, and it was impossible to predict where they would burrow out to attack.
However, Artpe had his Read All Creation ability active. He could see the location of the Ice Moles for a range of several hundred meters. He just needed to use couple simple spell to stop the Ice Moles in their tracks. The Ice Moles weren’t a threat to him.
“In the end, aren’t you using Mana String again?”
“Materialization. It is called Materialization.”
At this point, he had stopped the movements of the Ice Moles, but he wouldn’t be able to gain much EXP by killing them. The Ice Moles were around level 270 on average. The lowest level member from his original party was Regina. She was at level 293, and Maetel was at level 304.
In the end, there was only one person in his party that would be able to gain EXP by killing the Ice Moles.
“Yes! God’s Hammer!”
As they were travelling towards Glacia, Vadinet had received intensive training from Maetel and Artpe. However, Vadinet’s level still lagged behind at level 239!
“God’s Hammer! God’s Hammer! God’s Hammerrrrrrrrr!”
She didn’t possess any direct battle capabilities. On the other hand, she was able to take on a big role when facing Demons!
Since these monsters didn’t possess much Demonic energy, there was only one skill that was effective against these monsters. It was one of the holy type offensive magic, and it was capable of inflicting no attribute damage. It was a high rank skill called God’s Hammer.
“God’s Hammer! God’s Hammer······ Hoo, hoo-ooh.”
“Are you already out of Mana?”
“That is…. Yes…. I’m sorry.”
God’s Hammer was great, since it had a short incantation. As a tradeoff, it consumed a lot of Mana. Fortunately, it was an Area of Effect spell, so it was capable of attacking numerous Ice Moles at once. Despite this fact, she wasn’t able to kill the Ice Moles with the amount of Mana she possessed.
“Hoo. I don’t want to give that woman my Mana.”
“What are comrades for? It is for situations like this.”
“Sssp. I guess it can’t be helped. ……you have to give me one kiss later.”
“Don’t try to accumulate mileage without me knowing about it.”
Maetel’s Record Master would allow Vadinet to use her spell in continuous bursts. Maetel was also capable of taking away Mana from others, so it would be easy for her to transfer the Mana of her party members into Vadinet. However, one problem remained. She didn’t want to be connected to Vadinet.
“Ho-ooh······ I feel uncomfortable being helped by this woman, but…..”
“We’ll rotate giving her Mana. It’ll allow her to use her spell”
Vadinet felt massive amount of Mana transferred to her through Maetel. Her eyes once again shone with a golden light. In time, a brutal baptism of the God’s Hammer fell to the ground!
The Ice Moles were tied up by Artpe, so they couldn’t resist. They couldn’t hide underground. They died under barrage of Vadinet’s hammer.
“Amazing! A single battle raised my level three times.!”
“Good. At this rate, Vadinet will catch up to our level soon.”
“Oppa, why is our party built so abnormally?”
This truth wasn’t something new. He kept adding party members with mismatched levels, and he made them work hard in unbelievably difficult Dungeons. This method was used to bring their level up to average!
When they left Paladia, Vadinet had been lower in level than Aria. She was level 220 at that point. In just several days on the road, she had reached level 239. Currently, she was growing at a faster rate within the ruin. It was all possible thanks to Artpe’s Materialization spell and Maetel’s Record Master skill!
“As expected, it seems sunbae knew what he was doing.”
“How come it is like this? There is no way this is the proper way to grow a hero’s party…..”
Vadinet was growing without a hitch. However, she was finally becoming aware to the fact that the growth method and the speed of her growth was abnormal. She tried to tackle the issue, but Artpe snorted as he easily gave a rebuttal.
“Do you really believe in the progression of growth that is written in the heroic tales? If you do, you will be in for a lot of physical and mental hardship. It is best to grow as fast as possible when one has the chance.”
“Still, this is a bit….. Mmmm. I just think the return is way bigger than the effort I’m putting in.”
Effort wasn’t what determined result. One needed talent and luck too. Absolute value couldn’t be placed on effort. He thought about telling her words that would dash her hopes and dreams, but he gave up on it.
Everyone in this ruin was in a blessed environment right now. No one would be able to catch up to them through talent and luck.
“You are growing so fast that you might think that it is unfair. You shouldn’t object against it. As a result of our fast growth, we’ll have to fast a terrible foe named the Demon King in the future.”
She had been killing the Ice Moles through a bizarre method, yet when Artpe mentioned a foe worthy of the hero, a focused light emanated from Vadinet’s eyes.
“That’s right. I have to help hero-nim kill the Demon King. That is why I have to get stronger as soon as possible…..!”
“Good. That’s the spirit.”
Artpe nodded enthusiastically as he extended one hand. Artpe’s party had been resting after killing a group of Ice Moles. More Ice Moles had tried to use this opportunity to attack them as they surged out of the ground. However, they were caught in Artpe’s trap, and it was quite apparent that they couldn’t move.
“That is why you should kill these guys right now.”
She didn’t have any reasons to contradict him. The holy priestess groused as she once again casted the God’s Hammer. It took them two days to break through the 1st floor of the ruin. Vadinet was level 245, and her God’s Hammer spell rose to level 29.
“We really are moving at a ridiculous speed······!”
“Ah. The second floor also has moles. Ready your hammer, Vadinet.”
“It isn’t just a hammer. It is a holy spell, Artpe-nim…..”
It had been 10 days since they had entered the ruin, and the party reached the 5th floor.
[I despise those that interfere with the Winter Queen’s sleep! I hate humans!]
“Spear of the Wind Sprite. Triple.”
The 5th floor contained large lizards with scales made out of ice. It was infested with Ice Lizards. It seemed they had received the Ice Dragon’s energy, so they were level 290 monsters with high vitality and magical energy.
Most members of Artpe’s party couldn’t level up killing the monsters on the 4th floor no matter what how many they killed, so they had funneled all the EXP towards Vadinet. Aside from Maetel and Artpe, Vadinet was slowly catching up to the rest of the party in terms of level.
This was why Artpe put Sienna as the vanguard and Regina as support. Vadinet was in charge of finishing off the monsters. He chose to go all in on growing Vadinet.
Artpe was providing an almost unlimited amount of Mana through Maetel, so Artpe didn’t have to do anything. He had some free time. It was the free time he had wished for.
“Artpe, you are really using that magic tome in earnest.”
The growth of his party members was important to Artpe, but the completion of the magic tome might be more important. He finally had time to work on it.
“I’ve found ways to improve upon it. Its abilities increased just from absorbing my Mana…. Originally, magic tomes are created for specific disciplines of magic. If I synchronize my Record with it, the Demite….. Yes, the magic tome is worse than Pipi. Still, it will allow me to amplify the effectiveness of all my magic.”
“So why don’t other magicians carry one around?”
“It isn’t as valuable as a Demite, but……”
The ingredients needed to create a magic tome was rare, and the initial manufacturing process of the magic tome was troublesome. Moreover, the task of finishing it was extremely difficult.
There was the basic task of acquiring paper, and the act of binding the book. Then there was the ink, which had to be infused with massive amount of Mana. The lines of words being written by the author had to contain one’s emotions, Record and Mana….. None of these tasks were easy.
“I was lucky. I was able to acquire a Counter type magic tome, so I didn’t have to create it. I was able to change the direction of the magic tome, so I was able fill in the magic tome relatively easily. Normally, this task would take well over 50 years.”
“Does this mean a Demon worked on this magic tome for 50 years before you took it?”
She always brought up very astute points at his least guarded moments. Artpe let out a bitter laughter as he acknowledged her words.
The female Demon Teana must have toiled many years to create this magic tome. No, by the look of it, it seemed there were multiple creators that had contributed in creating this magic tome. It was a research done through collaboration between the entire Demonic race. Or maybe it was a specific group of…..
‘The Demon race has a racial characteristic that makes them susceptible to being dominated by the Demonic King. It is the shackles called Absolute Control. However, she didn’t possess that fetter. I thought the research was being done under the orders of the Demon King. I thought its purpose was to make humans into Demons. However, she had been working under someone else other than the Demon King······.’
It was a project that had been in progress for a very long time.
Why wasn’t this plan in progress in his previous life?
That couldn’t be true. There was a high probability that Artpe had been unawares of this plan.
In his past and current life, there were insignificant changes that made the Demon King’s army act in different ways. However, it wasn’t possible to create an entirely new faction.
‘I wonder how they operated in my previous life. How were they able to avoid my notice? No, at the time, I was merely a Demon that possessed the Read All Creation ability. The information I was privy to was extremely limited. The important thing right now is…. Ah ah. I don’t know.’
Mmm. All right. He would give up thinking about it for now. He’ll find out everything when he came face to face with them. The important thing right now was the fact that the item in Artpe’s hands was the most powerful weapon that could disrupt the plans of the Demon King.
‘I wonder if Etna is waiting for me. Even if she is waiting for me, will the magic tome’s power really…….’
Will it be able to save her? The fetters placed on the Demon race hadn’t been able to be shed through blood, tears and countless years. Would a mere book really be able to set her free?
Artpe wondered if there was a meaning to the work he was doing. In the end, he shook his head from side to side.
His past life was his past life. He was a hero now. He received a blessing only given to heroes, and he was able to use something called a Hero’s Aura. He could emit holy energy. His Mana, spells, abilities and will was different now.
He didn’t know what the gods were thinking, but it seemed they wanted something from Artpe. He wondered if his current work was close to what they had in mind.
‘It is almost there. I’ve acquired enough samples. The only thing left is effort, time, and……’
He just need a very small miracle.
Artpe firmly closed his eyes before opening them again. This might have worked out pretty well for him. He had the chance to meet Etna alone. It wasn’t an opportunity that could be created unless it was a chance encounter like this.
He had to become stronger before he left this ruin. He had to swiftly subdue Etna.
He’ll use the ability of the magic tome to regain her freedom.
However, she was merely the beginning.
Artpe was going to be fair as he fucked over everyone that appeared on the stage. He would turn the tables.
As the former Four Heavenly King and the current hero, he made a bold resolve.
The quill with the Ancient Kraken’s Ink once again danced in earnest over the pages.