Chapter 153 – Start of the War (2)
The Ancient Light Spirit King, which was the boss of the Ocean’s Grave, had lost its life. Despite this fact, it was letting out a light. It would be a lie to say that the party wasn’t looking forward to seeing what loot it would drop. However, the party decided to eat the cake first.
“Customer······ I don’t have that much free time. I can’t leisurely······.”
“Since you are done with the repairs, I want you to bring us some supplies. We are planning on embarking on a fairly lengthy journey, so I want you to give me a list of recommended items.”
“Ooh-mmm. I received a warning from Mycenae-nim about you. As expected, you are an amazing customer….”
Artpe made it feel as if he was doing a big favor for the Dungeon merchant. The Dungeon merchant’s body shook from being indignant, but he started processing Artpe’s orders. After leaving the Dungeon Merchant behind, he cut a big slice of cake each for Regina and Sienna.
“If you are able to call forth spirits, you should have done it sooner.”
“It requires incredible amount of level and Mana. I acquired the requirement not too long ago. Om nom nom.”
Cake was stuffed ins both her cheeks. She chewed as she replied to his words. Regina looked really cute. Despite the boss battle turning out differently than he had expected, he felt good when he saw this sight of her.
“Is the cake delicious?”
“I wish everyday was our birthday, oppa!”
“We require birthday presents from Artpe. Full of feelings. Full of gifts.”
“You guys are bullies.”
It was 10 minutes after the Dungeon merchant had prepared all the supplies. The party was successful in finishing the whole cake. Artpe could only hope that the pent-up anger of Regina and Sienna was mollified.
“I have all the items you’ve asked for. However, customer…..”
“You did well in preparing all of this.”
Artpe pushed all the supplies into his Dimensional Pouch. The Dungeon merchant continued to watch the location where the Light Spirit King remained dead. Artpe put on a kind smile as he sent the Dungeon merchant on his way. Then he tapped on the corpse of the Light Spirit King.
Two books fell to the ground.
“For some reason, I knew it would turn out like this.”
The Demon King from the past never fought a grandiose existence like the Light Spirit King. He had fought an existence that was two steps below the Light Spirit King to acquire the Reign of Ruin. The Demon King had fought a sentry.
Maybe, it was the presence of the heroes. It might also have been the influence of Regina, who possessed the power of the Winter Queen. He could try to deduce what had occurred. However, it would merely be a hypothesis. Anyways, their presence had upgraded the Record and quality of the ruin. Since this would be beneficial in defeating the Demon King, it wasn’t a bad thing.
“There is no Reign of Ruin. Instead, we found the Downfall spell.”
“It really will be a big upgrade for you.”
A faint pink glow had appeared on Regina’s cheeks when she ate the cake. She picked up the spell book with the truly ostentatious name. She had a perplexed expression on her face. Artpe patted her shoulder as he consoled her.
“Don’t worry about it. There is no way it’ll be less embarrassing than the incantation you just performed. At most, it’ll be more embarrassing.”
“Deny. Deny. Deny.”
Regina weakly sobbed as she learned the Downfall spell. While she was doing this, Artpe picked up the remaining spellbook. He had been unsure before picking it up. Surprisingly, it was a spell that could only be learned by a hero.
‘Even if the Demon King had acquired this, he would have buried the information. No one would have know about it.’
He let out a bitter laughter as he checked the name of the spell.
The spell’s name was Hero’s Flash.
“······Maetel, would you like to learn this spell?”
“I’m dumb, so I can’t learn any spells.”
“No, I believe in you. I believe you can learn it.”
Artpe despaired. It seemed the karma for making fun of Regina had come back to bite him. He never expected it to happen so swiftly! It sounded extremely juvenile. Hero’s Flash sounded like some spell conjured up by children in a remote village! It was something children used when they were playing at being a hero!
“Tsk. I have no choice…..”
Tears came to Artpe’s eyes as if he was eating horseradish. He learned the spell. He already possessed comparable magical energy to the previou life’s Demon King, so there was no way Artpe would fail at learning the spell. He was able to acquire the Mana and Record of the spell ahead of Regina, who was trying hard to learn the Downfall spell.
However, the spell’s power worked quite differently than he had worried.
‘I had a suspicion, but this is a linked spell…..?’
Hero Flash was able to strengthen the ability of the Hero’s Aura. If he was to be more specific, the spell imbued the Hero’s Aura with offensive disposition and force to the magical energy.
Hero’s Aura manifested itself as half a wing on Artpe’s back. If he activated Hero’s Flash, he would be able to fly or move at extremely fast speed.
“Maetel, you will be able share this spell with me. Do you want to try it out? You should activate your Hero’s Aura first.”
“Yes. Artpe, hand.”
“Do we really need to hold hands?”
He had expected it to be some amazing great magic. Contrary to expectation, it was a simple spell that required no incantation. It meant he didn’t have to chant out an embarrassing spell. After they activated the Hero’s Aura, Artpe activated the spell. A changed immediately occurred to their wings of light. It became larger, and it let out a more brilliant light. They also gained complete control over the wings. Maetel was using the power of Record Master, so she borrowed Artpe’s power. Her wing became as big as Artpe’s wing.
Vadinet quietly mumbled to herself when she saw this.
“Heroes are beings that are closest to light. In the distant past, it was said that there were heroes capable of using the power of the Light Spirits. However, the power continued to decline in the successive generations. In the end, the only thing that remained was the Hero’s Aura. It became a power that merely symbolized that status of a hero. ······maybe the spell you just learned right now is the first step to reviving the power of the Light?”
“Artpe, I think I can fly!”
He had his doubts about flying, because they only possessed one wing each. However, when they attempted it, they were able to fly without much problem. Artpe used his will to control his wing. He let out words of delight as he floated in the air.
“This spell is more useful than I thought. If I level up this spell, it might become a huge asset.”
“The Demon race is weak against the element of light. I believe Artpe-nim will be able to damage the Demons passively by using this spell. Maetel-nim should practice imbuing that power into your sword. Since it is a power borrowed from Artpe-nim, you will have great difficulty in changing the form of the spell. Still….”
“Wow. I did it!”
“Vadinet unni! You look as if you saw something that shouldn’t be witness by a holy priestess!?”
Of course, it was possible for a Demon King to clear a ruin filled with the power of light. However, what would happen if that power of light fell into the hands of the heroes!
Artpe freely manipulated the power of the Hero’s Flash as he let out an elated laughter. The moment when he would be able to fuck over the Demon King was getting closer!
Suddenly, he thought about the existence of the Materialization spell.
‘Materialization is a spell that contains the power of all my spells. That means….’
Maetel had transferred the light to her sword. Would he be able to do the same by coating all his spells with the Hero’s Flash? When he had this thought, he tried to make his hypothesis into reality. However, the result wasn’t that great. It was possible, but the level of each spell was too low to pull this off.
“Hero’s Aura, Hero’s Flash, Materialization…. I’ll have to keep using them.”
“You’ll shrivel up and die from the lack of Mana, oppa!”
“Maybe. I don’t think my Mana will fall if I maintain all the spells at the same time.”
Artpe grinned as he gave his answer, and he stood up.
“So how are we supposed to exit this place, Artpe?”
Elrick belatedly had this question. Elrick tilted his head in puzzlement as he asked Artpe. Artpe looked very satisfied by the fact that Elrick had asked this question.
“First, we have to destroy this dimensional pocket.”
“Is that so? What do we do after that?”
“We have to kill the whale before it digests us?”
“In the end, we have to kill it!”
“Ha ha. When did I say we won’t have to kill it?”
If it was someone else, the newly learned great magic would have been used to destroy the Dimensional pocket. This would tire out the combatant, and it would cause difficulty in the battle against the whale. Artpe possessed the Read All Creation ability, so this didn’t apply to him.
He just brought out several long strands of Mana String, and he gestured towards Regina with his eyes.
“Regina, prepare the Downfall spell.”
“Just using the spell is humiliating…. As a price, I’ll extract equal amount of humiliation from Artpe.”
“Wow! The Dimensional pocket is melting away!”
“Kyahhhhhhk! Rei! The spell! Hurry up and use Downfall!”
“A…All the stars of the galaxy…..”
After 30 minutes, they were somehow able to kill the whale. Artpe’s party was successful in freeing themselves. After the whale swallowed the party, a calm had arrived at the heart of the ocean of Zestbar. When the party split open the stomach to exit the whale, they found out that their surrounding was completely dark. It was hard to tell where they were.
“It seems light doesn’t reach this place.”
“My body feels a bit heavy. If I practice moving here, would I become much faster when we get out of this place?”
“Artpe-nim, it seems we are closer to the waters of the Demon world. I can feel an extremely evil energy······!”
Artpe gathered his party, and he used his Blink ability. He tried his best to get as close to the surface. They were so deep underneath the water that a single Blink didn’t show any indication that they had moved closer to the surface. However, they could feel the pressure lessen after each subsequent Blink.
After repeated Blinks, they were steadily moving towards the surface. However, Artpe stopped moving the party when he suddenly sensed something.
“It is a familiar energy.”
Maetel was a beat late, but she tilted her head.
“Yes, it is an energy that I extremely hate…. I don’t know what it is, but I want to kill it?”
“Those are words that should never be spoken by a hero.”
It was ironic. Artpe immediately realized the identity of this presence when he heard Maetel say that she wanted to ‘kill’ it. Some lifeform was moving swiftly towards the party from above, while emitting energy. It was an extremely familiar Mana signature.
“Let’s kill her.”
“Calm down, Maetel. She is an ally.”
“Anyone that has an eye for Artpe is an enemy!”
He held back the agitated Maetel as he allowed ‘her’ to get close to the party. There was supposed to be no light within the depths of the ocean, yet she was out light of the the five cardinal colors. She was travelling in the form of a cloud of bubbles. The cloud of iridescent bubbles reached Artpe, and it let out a bright light as it resolved into a single form.
“I wanted to see you, master!”
Her hair resembled the sea, and her eyes shone like pearls. She was the queen of the mermaid kingdom named Anaid. It was Genesis Mermaid Queen Sherryl.
“You bastard. You even got a mermaid…..”
“She looks older. Safe.”
When faced with Sherryl for the first time, each new party member expressed their opinion. Arpte flicked the forehead of Regina, who was spouting nonsense. Then he turned towards Sherryl. He was having a hard time believing it even after seeing her again.
“Why did you change so much?”
“I wanted to be of help to master!”
It had been nearly one year since their reunion. Sherryl had matured a lot outwardly. However, the most surprising part was her level. She was close to level 350.
It seemed she had changed her Class twice, and he had evolved her skills to a ridiculous level. Basically, she was stronger than the whale they had just killed!
“As master ordered, I conquered the entire ocean.”
“You did it in a year!?”
“Of course, I haven’t conquered the ocean of the Demon world yet, but I believed I’ve made adequate preparations that’ll allow me attempt it. I just need an order from you to go to war!”
“In a year!?”
Arpte might have revived a ridiculous race!
“We were scouting the ocean of the Demon world to find out the standard of monsters living there. This was when I received a report saying an enormous whale had made its appearance. When I came to look at it for myself, I felt master’s Mana…. I waited for master to come out.”
“Moreover, you came straight towards me after I exited the whale.”
“It would have been more proper to greet you after acquiring the ocean of the Demon world, but I couldn’t suppress my feelings….”
Sherryl’s feelings towards Artpe was beyond love. It was closer to fanaticism and reverence.
Artpe had made a throwaway comment without thinking much about it, yet she had conquered the ocean. This was why they saids words were scary. Artpe decided to self-reflect. Sherryl carefully asked a question, while Artpe was examining himself.
“Master, if you are planning on entering the Demon world…. May you take us with you?”
“Is that the reason why you came looking for me?”
Unfortunately, he already had a destination and route in mind. That was why he was going to turn her down.
However, in the next moment, Artpe suddenly had a thought.
‘What if I bring them along? What happens if I help them subjugate the Demon world’s ocean?’
In the past life, the hero’s party had obviously traveled by land. They fought an endless battle with the Demon King’s army along the way, and they had wasted a lot of time. They couldn’t take advantage of the merit that came along with having a small elite force. What if…. What would happen if they entered the Demon world through the ocean….·?
‘The ocean of the Demon world is connected to all the important locations. My first destination is Nirotacid, and I might be able to reach it faster using the ocean. This might also be true for reaching the Demon King’s castle. In the end, we have the choice of fighting the Demons on land or the aquatic monsters of the Demon world. If I choose the latter option, I will receive support from the mermaids. Moreover, I can grow the mermaids as we fight alongside them. It is necessary for the Demons to cross the ocean to reach the human realm……’
After finishing his calculation, a smile appeared on Artpe’s lips. Maetel gave a sigh of resignation when she saw his smile. Sherryl let out a bright smile.
“All right. I’ll help you guys. I’ll be sure to guide you all.”
“W…what the hell? Ocean? We are traveling by ocean?”
The decision was made at that moment. The hero’s party was going to move in ways that no one would have been able to predict.