Chapter 158 – Hero’s Descendant (1)
Nirotacid was a different world in itself. From the outside, it didn’t look that big. However, the party was faced with an endless desert when they started exploring the place.
Even if the Genesis Mermaids were capable of taking on human form, they were a race that lived in water. They were slowly being tormented by their environment, so Regina had to melt ice to provide them with water. If not, the Genesis Mermaids would have retired from Nirotacid.
However, they somehow endured it as they followed their queen’s will. In the end, they continued to adapt and strengthen themselves. It was two months after they entered into Nirotacid, and their average level was 250.
Artpe had shot out several hundred strands of Mana Strings, and they connected several dozen times to make a mesh. An axe had been thrown, and it bounced off the mesh barrier. The ax couldn’t break through. Afterwards, Sherryl threw her trident to impale and kill her enemy.
“Hoo. As expected, our levels are rising now. That means we are deep within Nirotacid······.”
Artpe retracted his Mana Strings as he let out a sigh. Immediately, he felt his Mana stir within his body. Maetel also sheathed her sword as she let out a small laughter.
“I like it, because they are strong!”
“It would have been great if they were simply strong. The problem is the rotten stench of their Demonic energy. It is pungent. Artpe-nim, what is inside this place?”
“I’m not sure······.”
In his past life, even the Demon King avoided this place. He didn’t think the Demon King was a coward. If that wasn’t the case, what other explanation was there? Maybe, there was something that was hidden here. Artpe might have been unaware of it, and it might be something scarier than the Demon King….
Roa raised her head. She had similar purple colored eyes as Artpe. Her eyes were staring a point beyond the desert. The Evil Heart gripped in her mouth was starting to vibrate more. It was also letting out a light.
“There is something that is similar to the Evil Heart here?”
[Nyaa nyaa nyaa.]
Artpe was sure of it now. The item was located where was Roa looking at. The person, who had left the message within Artpe’s hut, would also be there. However, he wasn’t sure if that person was truly Maetel’s father!
“······it looks as if the size of the Evil Heart has decreased a lot?”
[Nyaa nyaa nyaa nyaa.]
Roa answered in a tone that said, ‘Of course, a candy decreases in size when you lick it.’
Artpe was suddenly worried, so he carefully looked over Roa’s body. However, she was fine. Vadinet confirmed his assessment.
“I check her everyday, and Roa’s ability keeps increasing in strength. Maybe, the Evil Heart exists to complete a being like Roa.”
“Is that so? She’s that strong······?”
Roa was amazing at finding moments where she could show off herself. She puffed out her chest as she meowed in a prideful manner.
Ah. He just witnessed the Evil Heart decrease in size by a small amount.
“If you think you are changing into a Demon, tell me. I’ll change you back using my magic tome.”
[Nyaa nyaa nyaa nyaa nyaa? Nyaa nyaa nyaa-ah-ah!]
Mmmm. He felt he had done enough in warning Roa, so it should be fine. Roa’s tail was rigid from excitement. He petted her to pacify Roa, then he turned to look at his party.
“All right. Let’s start moving again. I know the general direction we have to travel.”
They would have been hard pressed if Demonic beasts over level 370 kept popping out from all direction. However, there was a small number of monsters at the heart of Nirotacid. Instead, each monster was incredibly strong.
Aside from coming across two Demonic beast, their travel was relatively peaceful that day as they walked across the desert.
At night, the hero’s party and the 200 thousand merfolk put up temporary barracks to rest. It had been a week since they had their last break. First, Regina consumed most of her Magical Energy to call out the power of the Winter Spirits. She cooled the barracks, and it allowed everyone to regain their stamina as they lazed about.
“How can the night be so hot in this place?”
“It’s because of the blood clouds in the sky. It doesn’t merely mar the beauty of the Demon world. It also emits heat, so it heats up the ground like a skillet.”
“It torments the people that lives here!”
“······yes. That is essentially it.”
The Demon race lived upon the foundation of wickedness. Even in death, the Demons tormented others through the blood clouds. Maybe, it was intentional that they were left behind in the form of dark clouds. Artpe stroked Maetel’s head, then he sat down.
“Artpe-nim, I’ll make you food that’ll restore your vitality. These ingredients are from the Demon world, but I purified them. It should be all right to consume them.”
“Ah. You purified this, but you have to extract the poison too. This one too. You can use a lot of this, since it has the special characteristic of eliminating a Demonic beast’s toxicity.”
Vadinet and the merfolk moved busily as they started to cook. Vadinet took control of the large army as she easily created enough food to feed everyone. It was a truly impressive sight.
When Artpe watched her back, he couldn’t deny the fact that she was a great prospective bride despite her twisted personality. She probably practiced cooking with the resolve of becoming the mate of the hero. She was quite tenacious.
“I can cook too!”
“No, you shouldn’t cook.”
“I hate Artpe.”
When feeding a large number of people, stew was the ideal food to make. Artpe drank the hot broth as he stretched out his legs like the merfolk. They were almost at their destination. He was sure of it. On the other hand, he had to be ready for the possibility that something might occur this night. He made sure the army would be ready to mobilize at any moment.
Maetel called out to him. Was she trying to cook again? Artpe was about to talk her off the edge when he realized that she had her sword unsheathed. He shut his mouth.
“Where is it coming from?”
“It is coming from the front. For some reason, I can’t completely discern what ability it is using. May you look into it, Artpe?”
He still held a bowl of soup in one hand. He used his other hand to bring out several strands of Mana Strings. Artpe manipulated his fingers as he sent them forward.
The ends of the Mana Strings acted like fingers as they carefully felt around the air as they moved forward. Soon, the Mana Strings came across something. A smile appeared on Artpe’s lips.
“No, you guys should rest. There will be no need to fight.”
Arpte raised his gaze, and his eyes shone. His purple colored eyes could see a small building that no one else could see.
He was sure that this structure hadn’t existed not too long ago. The structure was using a high ranking stealth magic, and it had moved slowly towards the barracks. It was such a high level Stealth magic that his eyes had to be directly on it to see the building. If not, he wouldn’t have noticed it.
“Ha. What the hell? It isn’t even a snail, yet it is doing that?”
When he said snail, Vadinet was the first one to pick up on his meaning. The others continued to tilt their head in confusion, but Roa let out a fierce roar.
[Nyaa! Nyaa nyaa nyaa nyaa nyaa nyaa!]
“Yes. Wait a little bit.”
The number of Mana Strings doubled. The Mana Strings stabbed the empty air, and they retreated. They kept repeating this action until the steal magic over the building was stripped.
A telepathic message was delivered to him.
[If you are so overt with your actions, all the monsters of Nirotacid will gather here!]
“That is what I want!”
Artpe continued to move his hand as he completely cancelled the stealth spell placed over the building! The blood colored clouds had also stained the color of moonlight. A small temple appeared atop the red desert. Those that were still eating stew were so surprised that soup dripped down their chin.
It was as Vadinet had said. There was a pungent and rotten smell. It was flowing out of the temple.
Roa’s roar filled the entirety of the desert. She couldn’t hide her excitement, so her butt wiggled. Artpe grabbed her by the nape as he lifted her.
“Not yet. Be patient.”
[Nyaa-ah! Nyaa nyaa-ah!]
She still had the Evil Heart in her mouth, so Artpe was about to reason with her. However, the Evil Heart wasn’t in Roa’s mouth. She had finally swallowed it!
For several hundred years, the Evil Heart had created the Shadows of Sinners. Roa had swallowed an item containing incredible amounts of Demonic Energy. Of course, the Demonic energy within Roa’s body would move in an intense and uncontrolled manner.
However, unlike Artpe’s worry, the Demonic energy couldn’t dominate Roa. It couldn’t kill her either. As if she was trying to prove her enormous growth, her Greed ability pressed down on the Demonic energy as she digested it! She was willing to go through all of this for new food? Artpe was taken aback.
[What are you going to do about this! You are a hasty and reckless hero! All the Demonic beasts of Nirotacid will gather here!]
“Ah. Please shut up.”
Artpe replied gruffly through telepathy, then he handed Roa over to Vadinet. He was basically asking Vadinet to purify the Demonic energy if Roa was unable to digest all of it.
“Also, I want you to look over her. I want you to make sure Roa doesn’t swallow whatever item that is within the temple.”
“Please leave her to me, Artpe-nim.”
“Let’s go over there. Since they aren’t coming to us, we should at least go talk to them.”
It seemed the people within the temple were shocked at Artpe’s unexpected actions. They were desperately trying to restore the stealth magic over the temple. This was why they were unable to come out. It would be useless even if they were able to restore the stealth magic. They knew this, yet they were attempting it. They were truly foolish!
[Whom do you think is to blame! Whom!]
“That is why you guys should just give up and come out. Ah. Is ahjussi inside?”
Maetel yelled out with a voice full of anticipation! Soon, the door to the temple opened. The Demonic energy was so thick that it flowed out through the doorway in the form of a black fog. Then a short man peeked out from the doorway.
“You are really here. You got here so fast….”
“It really is my dad!”
Maetel reached him in one step as she hugged the man. The timing of the reunion between father and daughter was unexpected. The party didn’t know what to do, so they awkwardly clapped their hands. It was a reunion between the hero and her father. It was a dramatic moment!
The only one to have a serious expression on his face was Artpe.
[Level : 265]
[Strength : 329 Agility : 383 Stamina : 335 Magic : 1,255]
‘He shouldn’t have been able to survive here at that level.’
He had thought Maetel’s father was a mere traveling merchant. However, her father was strong, and it was surprising. However, his level was barely at a point where he could survive in the Demonic world. If one was talking in terms of the standard of Nirotacid, he would have to be 100 levels higher to survive at the very least.
That left only one possibility. The temple’s stealth magic, which Artpe had stripped, was an amazing treasure. Maetel’s father and the people inside the temple had been saved, because they had received protection of the temple.
Still, a question remained. Why did these people enter Nirotacid? What were these people protecting? What was the identity of the item within the temple? Who’s orders were they following?
No, he no longer had to talk in vague terms. Artpe already knew all the answers.
“So you······ You are Artpe.”
Artpe had been organizing his thought within his mind. Suddenly, Promes’ gaze landed on Artpe. Artpe had been thinking about what he had to do in the future, so Artpe felt a chill when the cold gaze landed on him.
When Artpe had opened his eyes within the body of a child, Promes had already left Maetel’s side. Does this guy perhaps know about Artpe’s past life? If not, maybe he felt threatened by how Artpe looked…..
“My god. I knew this would happen, but this guys really turned into an extremely handsome young man. Are you sure you’ll be alright, Maetel?”
“I gave up on monopolizing him. Even if I am a hero, I cannot fight against the whole world.”
“My daughter, you became an adult.”
It seemed he had been worried about the wrong thing. He didn’t know how he should feel. It felt weird. Artpe frowned. He was more annoyed when four female members of his party kept staring daggers at him. It was sharp enough to hurt.
“Artpe, I understand you are the hero, but why did you strip the temple’s magic?! Since you traveled through Nirotacid, you know how dangerous this place is. I bet you can guess at how horrifying the items that are stored within the temple are!”
“You are quibbling over my moves so early. This is the chance to gather the monsters in one location, so wouldn’t it be strange if I didn’t take advantage of this opportunity?”
Artpe was unaccustomed to speaking respectfully to others. He forced himself to be respectful as he pouted. Promes was struck dumb by Artpe’s words. Maetel had escaped her father’s grasp, and she hopped towards Artpe’s side. She unsheathed her sword.
“Let’s talk later after we kill all of them!”
“Everyone put aside what you are eating. Get ready for battle!”
“I want to eat one more bowl······.”
“Eat it after the battle ends!”
Promes turned pale when he saw Artpe’s party enter into battle mode so naturally. He still didn’t understand that the heroes had been living in a different world.
Soon, the roars of all kinds of monsters could be heard in the distance.
On that night, a great battle against the monsters of Nirotacid was fought.