Chapter 154 – Start of the War (3)
Artpe’s party got on the Steel Horse. The Steel Horse could travel on ground, sea and air. Of course, it had a submarine function too. When the submarine function was activated, it created a glass ceiling that only allowed oxygen to filter in.
The party was within the Steel Horse as they sped through the ocean. They followed Sherryl to Zestbar where the Genesis Mermaids had gathered. Their number was overwhelming, and they were quite spirited.
“Genesis Mermaids. There are a lot of them now.”
“This is really incredible······?”
“So what is a Genesis Mermaid?”
“······they regressed back towards the right direction. They are a miraculous mistake…”
Sherryl had become the Genesis Mermaid Queen through Artpe, and she was able to grow other mermaids into Genesis Mermaids.
Of course, the mermaids had to prove their worth before Sherryl allowed her Mana and Record to influence them. One year was long enough to convert all these mermaids into Genesis Mermaids.
“I left the other mermaids behind to protect Anaid. I only gathered those that were reborn as Genesis Mermaids.”
“You only gathered Genesis Mermaids, yet there are so many of them…..”
The ocean was larger and deeper than land, and the ocean was filled with monsters. There were overwhelmingly more monsters within the ocean. Their average level was also higher. A being that had become a pivotal figure in the ocean had appeared. She had led her mermaids as they swept across the ocean. It would have been strange if their levels hadn’t increased.
Currently, Artpe’s eyes counted over 200 thousand Genesis Mermaids gathered in this location. All of them were over level 200.
Artpe was extremely cold in his assessment.
“I guess I don’t need the human realm anymore.”
“This is all thanks to master’s blessing. You opened up a new possibility for all mermaids.”
“Still, the aquatic monsters of the Demon world won’t be easy foes to defeat.”
“We’ve already scouted them thoroughly over several months. We know the size of the Demon world’s ocean, the number of foes and their levels. If we move swiftly, we can defeat our enemies in ascending order of level. We’ll be able to grow as we kill our enemies. Moreover, master is with us now. I am sure that we’ll be able to tidy up the Demon world’s ocean faster than what we were able to accomplish within the human world’s ocean.”
“Mmm. Is that so?”
Sheryll’s eyes were bright as she looked at Artpe. She looked like Maetel when she yearned for his compliment. Artpe let out a soft sigh as he stroked Sherryl’s head twice.
“You worked really hard. You did good.”
“Hue hue hue.”
Her lower half was in the form of a fish’s tail. Her tail flapped from happiness. When Regina saw this, she quietly mumbled to herself.
“Artpe’s pheromone will conquer the Demon world.”
Most of the Merfolk gathered in this place didn’t know about Artpe’s party. However, Artpe and Maetel were maintaining their Hero’s Aura, so they immediately recognized the two of them as being heroes. Moreover, their ruler was Queen Sherryl, and she was obeisant towards Artpe. Therefore, the mermaids accepted Artpe’s party without much difficulty.
“As expected, your Innate ability is amazing…..”
“We want to regain the glory and achievement of our past. These Merfolk joined up for this cause. We share a common purpose, so we won’t fight amongst ourselves.”
“You guys share a common purpose….”
“You’ve reopened the history of the Genesis Mermaids. We will do our best to serve you, master!”
Maybe, it was because they haven’t met in awhile. Sherryl’s feelings made Artpe feel uncomfortable. This was especially true, because several pairs of eyes were staring daggers at his back.
[Nyaa-ah, nyaa nyaa-ah.]
Sherryl wanted to say something more to Artpe, but at that moment, Roa popped out from Artpe’s pocket. She let out a cry. She was still biting onto the Evil Heart, yet it was letting out an unusually dense light.
After a brief moment, Artpe could once again sense Demonic energy gathering within the ocean of Zestbar. Artpe’s party had cleared the monsters within the waters of Zestbar around half a year ago. However, it was enough time for the monsters to spawn once again. The waters of Zestbar was teeming with monsters once again.
“What? You can also double as a detector for Demonic energy?”
[Nyaa nyaa nyaa.]
The ocean of the Demon world was overflowing with monsters. They possessed denser Demonic energy than low rank Demons. It seemed they had become agitated when numerous Genesis Mermaids gathered in the waters of Zestbar. The monsters within the Demon world were starting to run amok too.
“All right. I want to see the skills of the Merfolk you rule over.”
“Yes. There is no need for us to bother master for monsters of this level. Please wait a moment. We’ll quickly handle this situation.”
Sherryl looked very disappointed at the prospect of leaving Artpe’s side. Finding no other alternative, she turned towards her underlings. Soon, the Merfolk let out a thunderous shout as they started circulating their Mana.
“This is the first battle before we enter into the Demon world! My master is observing us, so we cannot show ourselves to be a farce!”
Sherryl activated her Innate ability at the center of the Merfolk army. Surprisingly, every single one of 200 thousand Genesis Mermaids were influenced by Sherryl. They started letting out subdued particles of light.
Their abilities increased just from her influence, and they were able to communicate with their comrades in a more intimate and direct manner! This was the true potential of Sherryl’s Innate ability of Race Command!
“That’s amazing. She was able to place a buff over so many Merfolk. Even if I had an abundance of Mana, I don’t think I’ll be able to pull it off.”
“The Mana created by the Innate ability creates the foundation, and it allows a domain that is higher than the Mana to be formed. …….they are coming.”
[Nyaa nyaa nyaa, nyaa nyaa nyaa-ah?]
“You can eat them after they kill the monsters. I said after they kill the monsters.”
She was eating the Demonic energy emitted by the Evil Heart 24/7, yet she was being covetous of another source of Demonic energy. Her appetite was something to be marveled at. He really wondered if she was going to become a pig at this rate. He rubbed Roa’s stomach in worry.
[Nyaa-ah nyaa-ah, nyaa nyaa-ah nyaa-nyaa-ah!]
Artpe ignored Roa’s cry, and he fixed his gaze on the army of Genesis Mermaids, who were charging towards the monsters. The monster were appearing from the other side of the ocean of Zestbar.
It was as Sherryl had said. They had scouted and assessed the power of the aquatic monsters of the Demon world. As if to match up with the power of their enemies, the Merfolk started making groups of four. It was a striking sight.
‘Amazing. When Sherryl’s will was received by the 200 thousand mermaids, they started moving in perfect order. I was wondering how she was able to grow her forces to this extent in one year, but if she could do this…..’
Sherryl had assessed the battlefield at a glance, and she came up with an optimal battlefield tactic. She had the ability to make a war into a simple chess match. Maybe, this ability was more amazing than the buff that was applied to the 200 thousand mermaids.
[Nyaa nyaa nyaa nyaa nyaa nyaa-ahhhhh!]
Artpe continued to pet Roa, who was sulking. As he did so, he drove the Steel Horse forward. The rest of the party was also looking at the Merfolk.
“This feels like watching a play occurring on a reaaaaaaaaaly large stage.”
“If we are talking about playacting, do you mean the act that is always put on by Maetel-nim?”
“Hue hue. You would know about that. Vadinet is also skilled at putting on a performance, right?”
Normally, Maetel would have been running amok in the frontline of the battle. However, she had lived within the ruin for the past half-year. She was tired of fighting. That was why she watched the Merfolk as she verbally sparred with Vadinet. No, she had unsheathed her sword. By the look of it, she didn’t look too tired.
“Ah. You shouldn’t just rest, Regina. You should practice using the Downfall spell. You should work on reaching level 70 for the Downfall spell.”
“Artpe, when did you seduce that mermaid? Moreover, she is a queen that rules over the Merfolk….”
“I never seduced her. I just carried out my Quest, and she just fell for me on her own.”
“What a sucky thing to say······!”
Elrick’s angry voice became background noise as the army of Genesis Mermaids clashed with an army of monsters!
“Our enemies are large, but they can’t even properly control their magical energy! They are shrimps! Show them that we are the true rulers of this ocean!”
Her personal guards, who were over level 300, were put in the front to stop the charge of their enemies. Afterwards, each group made out of four merfolk swiftly moved in. They focused on killing one monster at a time!
By human standards, it was a very simple tactic, but the monsters were devoid of rational thought. Their tactic was extremely effective.
“The right side of the enemy line is falling. Let us divert the 13th division towards that side. Let’s be sure to break their morale.”
At first, it was exciting. However, a chill came over Artpe’s party as they watched the battle. The Merfolk were pushing back the monsters in a one-sided manner. If they just killed the monsters, it would have been fine. It was scarier, because the Merfolk were eating the monsters on the spot!
“This is a bit scary.”
In terms of tactics, Artpe couldn’t find any fault. In order to efficiently recover health and Mana, the best method was to eat the corpse of their enemies!
The Genesis Mermaids had the power to purify Demonic energy into Mana. They had the ability to absorb this purified Mana. It meant that the Genesis Mermaids could recover and grow much faster in the Demon world compared to fighting monsters in the human realm..
“Those that recovered your Mana should immediately use your skills to break through the line of enemies. The enemies are increasing towards eleven o’clock! Switch out the combat troops!”
As soon as an order left Sherryl’s mouth, her will directed the Merfolk. The monsters realized that the army of Genesis Mermaids were far more dangerous than their levels indicated. The monsters desperately requested support from the other monsters. However, it was way too late for the monsters to change the tide of battle.
“The enemies don’t have any additional support. Let’s end this! Send the injured to the back!”
“Let’s finish them!”
The several hundred thousand aquatic monsters were killed by 200 thousand Merfolk. After the battle ended, it took a mere 20 minutes for the Merfolk to clean up the battlefield. Not even a fragment of a monster was left. The battle between the human and the Demon race couldn’t be fiercer than this!
Artpe couldn’t help but clap when he saw the merfolk clean up after the battle. The party had never experienced power at this scale, so they were spaced out.
“So this is war······.”
“Maybe, the human realm might be fighting a fiercer war than this.”
“That hasn’t happened yet. If they are following the Demon King army’s guideline, they are still at step 0.”
For reference, humans would be able to stop step 0 without much difficulty. The Demon King basically sent an endless stream of pawns. It was a stage that made the humans think ‘We can win this!’ It was supposed to give them a false sense of hope.
The 1st and 2nd stage were launched right afterwards to break the inflated hope of humanity. It was a cruel plan created by the chef. This cruel plan was being carried out right now, but it was no concern of his.
“I’m sorry. I never expected them to eat everything.”
Roa had been waiting patiently. She had been told by Artpe that she’ll able to feast after the battle. Not even a single shred of Demonic energy was left behind in the battlefield. A gloomy atmosphere descended around Roa. Artpe had made a mistake. He never expected the Merfolk to be able to eat during combat.
Artpe kept stroking Roa’s head. She looked morose as she kept sucking on the Evil Heart. He drove the Steel Horse towards Sherryl. After eating a monsters considered to be the top aquatic monster within the Demon world, she was wiping her mouth.
“M…master…. I showed you an unsightly sight of me.”
“No. It is an efficient way to recover. However, you should be careful. As we go deeper into the Demon world, there will be monsters with so much Demonic energy that you might not be able to purify it all.”
“Of course, master. At the end of the day, we are merely at the entrance to the ocean of the Demon world. We have to get stronger, so we can serve at the side of master!”
The battle had ended just now, and she had been victorious. However, she wasn’t tired. She was burning up with enthusiasm! At this point, Artpe had nothing more to say. He let out a bitter laughter as he stroked her head once again.
“All right. After gathering your troops, we’ll enter the ocean of the Demon world. I’ll guide the way.”
“My god… You even have information regarding the ocean of the Demon world…. As expected, this is why you are my master!”
To be precise, it was merely information he possessed from his past life….. However, he couldn’t tell her that. Artpe could only put on a feeble smile.
[Nyaa! Nyaa nyaa!]
“Yes. You can fight from now on.”
This was how the hero’s party and the army of Merfolk successfully entered into the Demon world.
It was early summer when the two heroes turned 16 years old.