Chapter 135 – Underground (1)
The Winter Queen had transferred all her powers to Regina, and she was immediately extinguished. Nothing went wrong up to that point. It was a decent way to wrap up the story so far.
The problem right now was the fact that the ruin was collapsing in real time.
“Hey, wait a moment. Hey! How can you just disappear like that!”
“Oppa, Blink! Bliiiiink!”
The power, which had been maintaining the ruin, was gone. It was obvious as to what would happen to the structure when it was attacked from the outside. Of course, the 10 floor ruin would collapse on itself!
While Artpe’s party was in a confused state, Regina temporarily stopped the ice fragments from falling down on them.
“A tunnel exists. It was prepared as a contingency plan. She told me about it.”
“She? Do you mean the Winter Queen?”
He did not doubt her words. He could feel the Record and Mana of the Winter Queen emanating from Regina’s whole body. The Winter Queen had said she would give away her power to Regina, and it seemed the Winter Queen had went above and beyond.
“I can’t last long.”
“I’m trying to find it.”
Artpe quickly searched his surrounding. The ruin was crumbling right now, so Mana was being disturbed all over the place. It obstructed his vision. However, his eyes had been trained for numerous years, so he was able to filter out only the information he needed.
‘I found it.’
The Mana around them was going wild. The Mana surged, and it caused explosions that were destroying the ice. In the middle of all of this chaos, there was a single path made out of Mana. This Mana was flowing in a calm manner. The Winter Queen said she had prepared a contingency plan. This had to be it!
“Crazy. We have to go deeper underground….. Sssp. Everyone gather over here! Regina, you too!”
Artpe used his Materialization magic to tie several hundred Mana Strings together. In a flash, he used it to open up a path leading further underground. He sent his party into the Mana Road. Regina was still trying to stop the ruin from falling down on their heads. He half-carried her like a luggage as he ran into the Mana Road.
Afterwards, a fierce wind picked up, and they were pushed forward.
“It is a wind infused with the cold. It will guide us down this path.”
He couldn’t see his other party members, who had jumped in earlier. He was able to discern that the Mana Road wasn’t just a stream of Mana. The winds were part of the magic itself. It seemed the fierce cold winds could easily lift and transport a person. The winds carried them onward!
Maetel had been the first to enter the ‘Road.’ She was using her use superhuman will and Mana to move upstream. On the other hand, Sienna had planted her hammer into the ground. Sienna and Vadinet was clinging to the hammer for dear life.
Artpe put Regina under his arm. He moved forward, and he grabbed Maetel’s hand. Afterwards, he had no problem in rejoining with the rest of his party.
“Shall we just grab hands and go with the flow?”
“No way. Come out, magic carpet!”
“That is just the tent we always use!”
Artpe used his exquisite Mana Control to inject Mana into the tent fabric. The tent opened wide, and he placed his party on top of it. It would allow them to travel using the wind in style. It would allow them to travel faster, and they would be comfortable while doing so.
“Suddenly, I feel right at home.”
“We have no idea how long this path is, so this will allow us to rest. …..I have no idea when this Mana flow will be severed.”
It seemed the Winter Queen had invested a significant amount of time in creating this road. Maybe, she started working on it as soon as Artpe reset the world.
However, the size and length of the road was massive. Even if the Winter Queen had made it, he worried the road was incomplete.
“Mana Road. Amazing Record.”
After they settled atop the wind road, Regina had turned around. He wondered what she was doing, but she was standing still as she spread both her arms. It seemed she was taking in all the wind and cold energy that was flowing past them.
“All right. I get it. You don’t have to explain any further.”
It seemed Regina had been instructed to do this beforehand. Regina had received enormous Mana and Record from the Winter Queen. She would be able to absorb the Mana making up the wind road without much problem.
‘There is a possibility that she had received something much greater than what I had expected. Maybe, Regina had received the Winter Queen herself……’
“Did the Winter Queen tell you where this road leads to?”
“It is a journey without a destination. We are being guided by the wind. It is a miraculous encounter.”
“If you don’t know it, just say you don’t know it.”
“I don’t know.”
They didn’t know what waited for them at the end of road, but they had already distanced themselves from the ruin. They had been guided by the wind for a short amount of time, but they had travelled several hundred kilometers at the very least.
“Since we’ve come this far, we won’t be attacked by the Demons.”
“We went through the trouble of getting ready to fight that woman, yet it was all for nothing. I wanted to show her the power of my love for Artpe……”
“······maybe it was a good thing that we didn’t fight her.”
Maetel’s joke was secondary to the frost resistance and the level up acquired by the party members. Above all else, Regina had gained a new power, and she would be able to go toe-to-toe with Etna now.
However, that wasn’t enough. He wanted to change the Four Heavenly King Etna into an asset for the hero’s party. His plan was to cause critical damage to the Demon King’s army. He had completed the magic tome with the help of the Winter Queen, but he was still unsure as to whether the magic tome would succeed.
‘No, I have the ability to do it. Maybe, I’m psyching myself out. I possess the power to change the history of the Demon race in my hands. I have the power to change the future…..’
For better or for worse, the opportunity to confirm the ability of the magic tome was pushed back when a new enemy showed up. It wasn’t a big deal. He was actually happy, since he had more time to ‘experiment’ with the magic tome.
The problem was the sudden appearance of the new enemy. This being had attacked the ruin without reason. Artpe had sensed the being’s Mana, and he was sure that he had never met this Demon in his past life.
‘This Demon might be an officer in the force of the other Demon King candidate. Maybe, this being was responsible for sending Etna towards the ice continent…….’
He could somewhat guess at why Etna was sent towards the ice continent. Maybe, they wanted her to lose her life when she confronted the ruin. That probably was a leap in logic. Maybe, this was a plot to make sure the hero’s party never gained the power of the Winter Queen. They might have been expecting the Fire Witch to blow away the ruin using her power.
‘Now I’m sure that I’m not the only one possessing knowledge of the past life. There is a force that hadn’t existed in my past life. Maybe, they are the source of all the misfortune I suffered. That means from now on…..’
Fortunately, he had used the experience from his past life to complete all the urgent tasks that needed to be completed. Regina was the most important member, and she had acquired the Winter Queen’s power in its entirety.
He had also acquired most of the Artifacts he had to have through the help of Silpennon. The only thing that Artpe had to acquire before those that knew about their past lives…..
“I guess the spellbook for the great magic called Rain of Ruin is the only thing left.”
Rain of Ruin. It gathered the Mana of the land, and the spell turned the Mana into an offensive force. It synchronized and strengthened the Mana of the user. It was an AoE spell that allowed the user to bombard one’s target.
It boasted an extreme amount of destructive capability. It could be used against a single opponent or it could be used on a large region. There was only two downside to this spell. When one used this spell, it consumed all of one’s Mana. Secondly, the process of chanting this spell was embarrassing. It was so embarrassing that death might be preferable.
“It is very juvenile. It is suited for Artpe.”
“I’m not the one that needs to learn it. After you learn it, you’ll have to proudly chant that spell out loud. You should rehearse it starting from now.”
“······deny. Deny. Deny.”
Regina had been busy absorbing the Mana within the winds. Regina kept shaking her head from side to side as she kept punching Artpe’s shoulder. Maetel stared at Artpe, who was chuckling. She asked him a question.
“Where do we have to go to gain the spell book called the Rain of Ruin, Artpe?”
“There is a body of water called Zestbara. It is the border that separates the human realm and the Demon realm.”
“If we are are going to acquire that, then……”
“We are going to enter into the Demon realm.”
They were slowly approaching that point. In most cases, monsters over level 300 didn’t appear in the human realm.
There used to be some in the ice continent of Glacia. However, Etna had guided Sienna and Regina around Glacia. They had killed most of the high level monsters that had lived there for several hundred years. Above all else, the top level figures in their enemy’s forces might show up in Glacia. They could no longer go back to that place.
“There is still some stuff that we have to acquire on this side. However, I’ll leave that to Silpennon and Mycenae. That’ll be an acceptable solution.”
“I don’t like both of them.”
“You already know everything about the human realm…. It seems Artpe-nim knows everything.”
“Vadinet, you already said that last time.”
He had created a new empire, and he had gained influence over the temple. He had prepared everyone. He no longer needed to worry about the human realm. Even if he worried more about the human realm, he couldn’t improve on the current situation.
The only thing weighed on his mind was the fact that he hadn’t been able to recruit the warrior and the archer from the hero’s party of his past life. In her past life, Maetel was able to recruit them through series of chance encounters. It couldn’t be helped that they weren’t able to come across the warrior and the archer.
‘In truth, we’ve gained party members that are more powerful than them……’
There was the holy priestess Vadinet, who had to part with the hero’s party in her past life. Then there was the powerful dark horse Sienna. She was an Evil Reflector, and she was the antipode to the Demon race. Artpe had done everything he could do in the human realm. In fact, he probably went above and beyond what had been required of him.
‘There is the force that is being managed by the second Demon King. I cannot let my guard down. Moreover, someone entirely new was added into the existing structure of the Four Heavenly King. It is quite suspicious…. I don’t know what my party will face, so it is imperative that we strengthen our party. Mmm. Instead of the archer from our past lives, maybe I should add Mycenae to the party.’
She acted arrogant for being a great merchant, but Artpe kinda liked… Mycenae seemed very interested in joining their party, so if he asked her to join the party, she would quickly accept the offer.
However, if she joined the party, the already combative atmosphere of the party might worsen. This was why he worried things would turn to shit. Above all else, Mycenae like to weaponize her looks. She would be troublesome. He decided it wasn’t necessary for him to bring her in.
‘I have to find the warrior. Shit. i wonder where he is…..’
Should they really leave for the Demon world? Doubt started to slowly creep into his mind. Did they really finish all their tasks in the human realm? Did they really complete everything to the best of their ability?!
“What is it, Sienna?”
She was the only one amongst the hero’s party that reassured his heart. She was the treasure of this party. At Sienna’s careful questioning, Artpe ended his brooding. He raised his head, and he realized something.
“Where is this road connect to?”
“I guess I can see why you are asking me that.”
They were traveling several hundred meters each second. They were traveling at incredible speed, and they had already exited Glacia. At this rate, they probably could cross several oceans to reach Diaz once again. They were moving that fast.
Despite this fact, the road seemed to never end. In terms of straight distance, they probably circled the whole world once.
What did that imply?
“······are we perhaps still going further underground?”
“We aren’t faking our death! We really are being buried alive!?”
The path wasn’t horizontal! It meant the road was tilted downwards!