Chapter 148 – Zestbar (1)
He was having a dream. A strange looking monster with dozen tentacles was chasing after him. He was being pressed down by overwhelming fear, and the only thing he could do was to run away. It was a nightmare.
He wanted to blow the monster into smithereens with magic, but he couldn’t use his magic. He became flustered, and in the end, he was caught by the monster. The tentacles tickled him, and no man should have enjoyed suffering under such an attack…..
It happened when he had that thought.
Artpe awoke from his sleep.
Maetel had both arms and legs wrapped around Artpe’s entire body. Moreover, she was licking Artpe’s cheek like a baby cat. The fact that this had happened while they were sleeping was the more scary part. If there was something that scared him more, it was the gaze that was fixed on two of them.
“Pervert. The hero’s name is pervert.”
“No, Regina. Wait a moment. Maetel has no leg to stand on, but I feel falsely accused.”
Artpe couldn’t bear Regina’s observation of him, so he used Blink to escape the clutches of Maetel. Regina looked at him as if he was trash, but she soon let out a sigh.
“Your defense against Maetel is lacking.”
“We are sleeping out in the open, so how am I supposed to stop her!”
“You should bind her beforehand. Your effort is lacking.”
“Are you just trying to pick a fight with me?”
Artpe let out a sigh as he wiped his cheek. While he was doing this, Maetel was flailing at the air when she lost Artpe’s body heat. In the end, she didn’t find what she wanted. Her face crumpled, and she was on the verge of tears.
Artpe was weak against Maetel’s tears. He had finally escaped her grasp, yet he approached her once again. He started stroking her head. He was once again caught by Maetel, but Maetel was merely grabbing onto his leg. She was rubbing her cheeks against his leg, so it was bearable now.
“Why were you standing there like that?”
“I’m observing what happens between a man and a woman. It is fun and interesting. I’m looking forward to the copulation that’ll happen henceforth.”
Her hobby was very dirty. All right. She can continue to watch. He couldn’t go back to sleep within Maetel’s embrace, and he was no longer sleepy. He just sat down. Of course, it was still early in the morning, so he had nothing to do.
“Ah. Right. You are here too. Hello?”
A staff had suddenly appeared in front of Artpe, and it started spinning in place. He gave a light tap on the staff. The staff let out a small light as if it was happy. It was how the staff communicated.
“Will you tap me too?”
“You want me to?”
Regina gave a loose nod. She came a bit closer, and she sat close to Artpe. Aside from the two of them, the whole party was asleep. He didn’t even need to check it with his Read All Creation ability. Regina rarely approached Artpe when the other party members were awake.
“It won’t be long before we are at Zestbar.”
“If we enter, it’ll be impossible for us to return to the human realm for a while.”
“That is also true.”
Regina’s blue eyes looked as if it contained the winter sky. She scanned Artpe. It was as if her eyes were looking right through him. It was different from how Maetel looked at him.
“If we leave like this, the human realm will no longer be under the protection of heroes. The mere presence of Artpe and Maetel acts as support for the humans. It’ll be gone soon.”
“The Demon King’s army will attack the human realm soon. …..will it be ok?”
Artpe had already seen the signs of the Demon King’s army becoming active. They weren’t too far from Zestbar, and he could feel the Demonic energy seep into the human realm from the Demon world.
It really was near. It would happen before the year was up. It would be absurdly fast compared to the events from his past life. However, he could naturally accept it, since everything had changed compared to his past life.
“Will it really be ok to leave it all to them?”
“Yes. I think it’ll go well.”
Artpe didn’t sound worried as he spoke in an easy manner. If he could point out the biggest change from his past life, it was the fact that there was a second hero’s party.
“There is Silpennon and Aria. Leseti and Deyus should have enough strength to be of help. Moreover, there is the power of the Artifacts they had acquired….”
Silpennon’s party might be stronger than the hero’s party of his previous life. Of course, he hadn’t spoken such beliefs out loud, but Artpe was sure it would become true if he believed in it.
Above all else….
“I told them to visit the Dwarves, and they’ll get their equipments strengthened. At the same time, it was a plan to bring Silpennon back to Diaz. At this point int time, he has power and a cause to uphold. He won’t be found lacking in all aspects tol become their king.”
On top of that, it would be possible for Silpennon to join forces with the empire of Zard, which was across the ocean. Silpennon would be able to facilitate an alliance through Artpe. Then there was the second holy priestess Aria. If she revealed her power, Paladia would also have to support Diaz.
At that point, at least half the power of the human realm would have been consolidated. If the Dwarves and Elves were added to the existing human force, the human realm would be hard to take down. The Four Heavenly Kings would have to get involved for their attacks to gain any traction.
“We’ll become the hitman that’ll take out those bastards first.”
“Are you trying to turn the burden of risk towards us?”
“I believe that’s the only viable option. I feel sorry about putting the burden on you guys….”
“There is no burden on us. The burden is always shouldered by Artpe.”
Regina looked as if she was looking through him, and Artpe became a bit flustered by it. However, she still had more to say.
“You tell Maetel to become colder, but Artpe likes people too much.”
“Despite this fact, you pretend to move for your own profit. It is a bit cute.”
“No. I’m really doing what’s best for me.”
“You only did what’s best for the people.”
Artpe’s lips jutted out.
“What are you trying to say to me?”
“Artpe is hiding something. It bothers me.”
If she mentioned him mating with Maetel again, he planned on hitting her. However, unexpected words came out of Regina’s mouth.
“However, it isn’t as if I hate it..”
“It stimulates me.”
“That is why I observe Artpe. I don’t get bored.”
Artpe remembered the dream he had today before he had the nightmare.
It was after his death, and Etna had been defeated by the hero’s party. The dream depicted the moment when Regina had been dying.
There were a lot of details that worried him. Regina had realized the evolution of his Innate Ability, and she had given a significant piece of advice to Maetel.
He really wanted to wake up Maetel right now, so the three of them could talk to each other.
However, the most memorable part of the dream was the words spoken by Regina. She was consoling Maetel. Maetel had been sad after watching his death. Regina said she finally understood the emotions she had been unable to comprehend for her entire life. It was all thanks to Maetel, and she was happy.
Maybe, it was the same for Regina in the current life and the past life. She might just want to explore her emotions. The Demon King controlled the Demon race, and he was trying to dominate the humans. However, her feelings towards the Demon King might have been of secondary importance.
In their past life, Regina had looked towards Maetel. In their current life, Regina was looking towards Artpe. That was the only difference. When he realized this fact, Artpe suddenly became afraid. What if he was a bad influence on Regina?
“You shouldn’t trust me too much.”
“I don’t trust you. Men, who like younger women, are dangerous. You are a scary pervert that doesn’t care about actual age or sex. They just have to look young. Special vigilance.”
“Ok. That’s enough.”
It looked as if Regina had more to say, but Artpe no longer conversed with her. If things continued along this path, it felt as if his previous life would be revealed.
He started making preparations with the intention of moving in the morning. Elrick, who had been sleeping in a nearby tent, stuck his head out. He was looking at Artpe. It wasn’t a sight befitting a warrior with overflowing charisma.
“What? Why are you so on guard…. Mmmm?”
Artpe soon realized why Elrick was so vigilant towards him. If he thought about it, there was some very odd choice of words spoken by Regina. She said he was a scary pervert that doesn’t care about actual age or sex of a person. One just had to look young…..
“No. It isn’t like that.”
“Don’t come over here! If you come any closer, I’ll cut you!”
“It isn’t like that!”
The disturbance caused by Elrick and Artpe finally made everyone wake up. Of course, all of them were high level, so they weren’t suffering from lack of sleep. This was why they had a quick breakfast, and they were on the road again.
It was exactly as the early morning conversation between Artpe and Regina had indicated. Zestbar wasn’t too far away. They didn’t need to enter into another Warp Gate any more. They watched the landscape pass by as they rode the Steel Horse. They traveled at high speed towards the ocean in the distance.
“You now what, Artpe? I had an incredible dream today.”
“No. Don’t tell me.”
Currently, Artpe didn’t have the courage to approach Maetel about her dream. Therefore, he stopped her before she could talk about it. At the same time, he worked on creating a spell.
Zestbar was a location where humans and Demons couldn’t easily approach. If they wanted to enter into the waters of Zestbar, they would have to break through the barrier placed around Zestbar. Even Artpe had to put in a good deal of work to accomplish this.
“Ah. I see people over there.”
“They are from a minor country. Ignore them.”
“Oppa, they are fighting against demons.”
“It is a commonplace affair. Ignore……what?”
Artpe was about to ignore Sienna’s words as if her words were inconsequential, but he queried her. His gaze immediately turned to look into the distance. He really could see them. There were humans putting up a fierce fight against Demons, and the Demons that were crushing the humans as if they were nothing.
They looked to be low rank Demon soldiers that were barely over level 200. However, they were still Demons. It seemed the war was going to be waged much faster than Artpe had predicted. Of course, these were reconnaissance units sent ahead of the main army to squash the humans realm….
Artpe was so surprised that he couldn’t shut his mouth.
“I can’t believe my luck is this good! I don’t have to work like a dog to break the barrier!”
“I was wondering why you weren’t saying something like that.”
While Maetel grumbled, Artpe immediately used Blink. Artpe’s party and the Steel Horse jumped space, and they arrived at the battleground between the humans and Demons! He ran over a Demon that looked easiest to take down. It was a charming gesture.
“Hello. You guys are the ones that broke open the entry barrier to Zestbar!”
Her current personality differed significantly from her past life, so it kind of worried him. The blond hero Maetel jumped off the Steel Horse with her bastard sword in hand.
It was a reconnaissance unit, yet there were over 500 Demons there! As soon as Maetel landed, the number decreased to 400. She took a powerful swing with her bastard sword, and light was emitted from the blade’s edge. The light impacted exactly at the location where the Demons were gathered, and the Mana within the Demons burned out.
“Maetel, you don’t have to kill those that aren’t showing too much aggression! Regina, use your communication interference spell!”
“Oh Spirit of Wind. Please punish those louts that tickle your ears.”
Maetel moved like thunder. The bodies and blood of fallen Demons appeared in every location she passed by. The Demons realized something was wrong, so they tried to contact their main army. However, their communication spell had been blocked by Regina’s interference magic.
“There are only six of them!”
“Kill them all! Kill that witch first… Koo-ahk!”
The Demons realized that fighting was the only option left. They bared their teeth as they jumped into the fight, but their heads were cut off by Maetel’s sword before they could do anything. Maetel kept Artpe’s words in mind, but she wasn’t generous enough to spare those that threatened her life and Artpe’s life.
“I’m also going!”
“No, Elrick. Maetel and Regina will settle things here. From the moment we enter Zestbar, we’ll be attacked by much more dangerous enemies than these Demon pawns. You should conserve your strength.”
So why was he allowing Maetel and Regina to go ham? They were a special breed of monster that didn’t lose much stamina and magical energy after dispatching enemies of this caliber.
“Oh my god! You guys came out of nowhere, and you saved us. Please….”
“Ah. You better not give us a sub-Quest! If you want to stay alive, run!”
Even if they were from a small nation, the humans tried to present a Quest and reward to his party. Artpe didn’t want to do something that was tiresome, so he chased the humans away! The humans wanted to say something more, but they couldn’t withstand Artpe’s cold gaze. Soon, they were fleeing. In the end, the Demons and Artpe’s party was the only ones left.
Not a single Demon was able to run away. They were either killed or subdued by Maetel and Regina. He got off the Steel Horse, and he walked towards the nearest Demon. He found one that was still alive.
“Shall I start my 2nd round of experiments?”
After 30 minutes, Artpe had perfectly cleared the scene. They got on the Steel Horse, and they safely entered into the waters of Zestbar.
A smile of satisfaction appeared on Artpe’s lips.