Chapter 163 – Nanarai Bodra (1)
Thick beams of light fell from the sky. It was like a hail storm. This was beyond any spell Artpe had witnessed in his past life. The overwhelming baptism of destruction might be more powerful than the Reign of Ruin spell!
He could sense each resident of Demon King’s castle try to block the attack, but it was all useless. The spell was filled to the brim with pure destructive power. It pushed aside all Mana, and it hit the Demon King’s castle and the nearby region.
For a moment, there was no sound. Everything was destroyed, and the Demon King’s castle ceased to exist. Regina was the culprit that had manifested this magic, yet even she was shaken at the sight of the transcendent power.
Countless Records were being extinguished and reborn. It filled Regina’s mind. The spell level had risen, so if she used it again, she would be able to create a more horrifying spectacle.
“The Demon King’s castle, which had been protected by countless spells….”
Artpe didn’t hesitate as he activated the ability of his boots. He grabbed ahold of his party. Afterwords, a strange distortion formed around the party, and they were transported to the highlands.
“Ah. I can see the Demon King’s castle down there, oppa.”
“It is where the Demon King’s castle used to be.”
He hadn’t transported them far, but the party realized the quality of ambient Mana in the air was different from before. The sharp Demonic energy, which could only be felt near the Demon King’s castle, no longer pricked their skin. They could longer feel it.
“It really is….tranquil here.”
“It really is.”
At Elrick’s words, Vadinet nodded her head in agreement. Vadinet continued to speak as she looked at where the Demon King’s castle used to exist.
“Unlike here, that place is a complete bedlam….”
At the very least, the Demon King’s castle had existed for several hundred years. It had been passed down from the previous Demon King. It no longer existed now. Regina had targeted the whole region with her great magic called Downfall. It completely destroyed everything near the Demon King’s castle. As if that wasn’t enough, the spell had scooped out the ground. It had created an enormous crater.
Most of the Demons, who had resided within the Demon King’s castle, had died in an instant. Several high ranked Demons had also died when they were unable to dodge the spell. Of course, none of the Four Heavenly Kings had died. In the case of the Demon King, he had tried to block the spell. It seemed he had taken additional damage in the process.
“Demons are amazing! They found where we were a moment ago! They were so quick!”
“They probably perceived our location before the attack. Oh. A Four Heavenly King was dispatched.”
They were called the Four Heavenly Kings, but there were only two left that were part of the original Four Heavenly Kings from Artpe’s past life. There was the man, who had ranked first amongst them. The second ranked was Etna. It seemed Etna hadn’t been within the Demon King’s castle.
It basically meant that the one that had suffered under the spell was the first ranked Four Heavenly King from Artpe’s past life. He had come running towards the shore near the Demon realm’s ocean.
“He is a man with a very cold visage.”
“You are accurate in your assessment. That guys uses powerful iced-based abilities.”
He hadn’t searched out the Winter Queen’s ruin with Regina for the sole reason of acquiring power needed to defeat Etna. Regina’s newly acquired power would decrease the effectiveness of the power possessed by this man, who was considered to be the first amongst the Four Heavenly Kings.
“Does that mean Regina’s cold energy will have no effect on that man?”
“Etna just has to attack him with heat.”
“So you are dead set on acquiring that woman as an ally? Huh?”
Maetel’s eyes narrowed, and she mercilessly poked Artpe’s waist with her finger. Artpe elegantly ignored her as he observed the man, who was standing where they had been not too long ago. Artpe watched the Mana being emitted by that particular Demon.
Would he be able to read the trace of the Dimensional pocket? Would he be able to chase after them? It looked possible for a brief moment, but it seemed the task was too much for him. The Four Heavenly King clicked his tongue then he left the shoreline. Artpe finally let out a sigh of relief when he saw this.
“Even if they leave, they have no place to return to.”
“Wah-ah. The Demons, who used to live in the Demon King’s castle, are refugees now.”
“They were quite fortunate that it ended with them becoming refugees. The number of Demons that were killed exceeds the number of Demons we are seeing right now.”
The Demon underlings, who had followed Artpe in his past life, would be amongst the casualties. He would be lying if he said he didn’t feel any regret in killing them. However, he had no relationship with them in this current life, so he couldn’t look out for them. It wasn’t as if he could shave sent a note asking them to evacuate the Demon King’s castle before the attack.
‘I’m sorry. If you guys feel aggrieved, please be born again like me.’
Artpe observed a short moment of silence then he turned around. Since he was sure that no one from the Demon King’s castle could locate Artpe’s party, it was time for them to enter into Nanarai Bodra’s ruin. He no longer needed to worry about being attacked from the rear.
“You guys have to bear this in mind before we enter the ruin. Let’s be honest. We’ve never gotten lost during a Dungeon exploration, right?”
“It is all thanks to Artpe!”
Maetel yelled out in an energetic manner. In the next moment, Artpe spoke with a cold and salty voice.
“However, I really don’t know a lot about this ruin. The fact that I was able to find its location was a miracle in itself. In truth, this place might be very dangerous.”
“We’ve already reached this point, so what could scare us more than what we’ve experienced up until now?”
Maetel still sounded energetic as she replied to Artpe’s words. Artpe stopped speaking. She was right. They’ve were able to reach the Demon King’s castle. Why wouldn’t they be able to pull this off? His other party member didn’t act any differently than before.
“Hue hue. We’ve started the final match by destroying the Demon King’s castle. I really like your style. As expected, Artpe-nim is the best.”
“Unni, you are drooling.”
Vadinet was a pushover when it came to talking about the hero. She believed everything would work out if she was by the hero’s side. Sienna also looked pretty relaxed and easygoing.
If one wanted to fluster Sienna, Artpe probably had to be removed from her presence. The downside was the fact that her dependence on Artpe was high. However, she became a fearless warrior when she was next to Artpe.
“The Demon King….. We attacked the Demon King’s castle before we entered this ruin. The tension that had been built up until that point was thrown away, and it really wasn’t something a hero should have done. However, all will be fine if we are able to get stronger in here.”
Elrick was inside his armor, and he clenched both his fists. His image had changed considerably in this current life. Elrick used to be taciturn in his past life. He had been a man of few words, yet he had protected the hero from beginning to end. His sense of justice and bravery was still present in this current life. It had never lessened.
Lastly, there was Sherryl and Roa.
“I only follow my master. It doesn’t matter how long it takes or where we are going.”
“Nyaa. I smell something really tasty, nyaa.”
“All right. You’ve all been forewarned.”
“Nope. Artpe is an idiot. We need a break. At this rate, we’ll die.”
Everyone looked ready to charge into the ruin! They had taken an aggressive stance. The only exception was Regina. She remained seated in a lazy fashion. The fact that she hadn’t passed out after using a great magic was a big feat in itself. Artpe let out a bitter laughter as he comforted her.
“I don’t plan on going in right now. I just wanted to check out everyone’s resolve. Since everyone used their magical energy, we are all tired. It’ll be foolhardy to go in immediately. Let’s move after we fully recover.”
“Thank you for your belated concern.”
“I planned on doing this from the start.”
“I’ll be the generous one. I’ll act as if I fell for your lie.”
He already knew how to enter into Nanarai Bodra’s ruin. The flow of magic used by Nanarai Bodra could be felt in this region. Artpe just had to slightly tweak the flow of Mana in the air to reveal the hidden ruin.
Artpe’s party rested as they recovered their stamina and magical energy. He finished his work during that time. A portion of the highlands sunk as a hole appeared.
The irregular shape of the hole made it look naturally formed. However, the energy that was coming out of that hole wasn’t natural or weak.
“Oppa, the energy I feel inside feels very chaotic. Will we be ok?”
“You don’t have to be too worried. It is a better options than charging the Demon King’s castle.”
Artpe replied as he thought about the level of the Four Heavenly King he had just witnessed. The Four Heavenly King had reached level 390. He had expected this. The 1st ranked Four Heavenly King had reached similar levels in the past life too.
The timeline differed by couple years, but the Four Heavenly King’s growth had been stagnant during that period. It wasn’t as if the current Four Heavenly Kings were more exceptional this time around.
‘The Demon King hadn’t revealed himself, so I couldn’t check his level. However, it should the same as before.’
The Demon King’s level was probably somewhere close to level 400. According to the energy Artpe sensed earlier, Artpe was able to get a rough idea of the Demon King’s level.
Even if the level of the heroes were discounted, both of them possessed cheat-like abilities. If one took into account of the members in Artpe’s party, they would be able to contend with the Four Heavenly Kings. It probably would be possible for them contend with the Demon King too.
“But no, there is a reason why the Demon King’s castle was built near here. You guys can feel it. Aside from this ruin, this region is full of highly dense Demonic energy. Of course, Demons are able to maximize their power here, and humans are at their weakest in this region. Moreover, the Demon King’s castle amplified this effect. In other words, the Demon King’s castle possessed a cheat-like field magic. It allowed anyone possessing Demonic energy to win in its sphere of influence.”
“So that is why oppa decided to destroy the Demon King’s castle before we headed into the ruin?”
“Of course. By the time we come out of this ruin, they’ll probably come up with an Artifact that mimics the ability of the Demon King’s castle. However, the efficacy of that item would be much worse compared to the Demon King’s castle.”
At that moment, Sienna raised her head as she asked him a question.
“Oppa, wouldn’t the Demon King choose to abandon this place? What happens if he decides to prioritize conquering the human realm?”
“No, that will never happen.”
The Demon King tried his best to protect his castle, but when he realized he couldn’t stop the Downfall spell, he had immediately enacted his escape plan.
The Demon King didn’t know if more Downfall spells would be used. There was a high probability that he wouldn’t return to this place for a while, but….
“In the end, he’ll come back here. He is a psycho that cares about the stage he is on. If he wanted to completely own the human realm, he would have moved as soon as the heroes were born in the human realm. However, he didn’t do that. He wants the heroes to come to him. He won’t leave this place until he fights it out with heroes on this stage.”
“So he’ll wait for us like an idiot? We’ll be able to acquire the power of the ruin and ambush him?”
“You got it.”
The hero from his past life had been truly brave. She had been level 374, and her comrades had been no where near her level. Despite all of this, she had charged the Demon King’s castle.
Of course, the hero’s party from his previous life hadn’t received support from the human realm. They couldn’t take the time to level up, since the human realm was about fall apart at the seams. That is why the hero’s party had to take the bitter pill. They had to charge the Demon King’s castle. In the end, the hero had failed.
The hero’s party had been barely able to defeat Etna. It was hard to fathom that they would have been able to kill the first ranked Four Heavenly King. Even if they were able to kill him, they were at the heart of the Demon realm. The Demonic energy was the densest at that location, and the Demon King was being supported by the Demon King’s castle. His power had been amplified, so there was no way the hero’s party would be able to exceed the power possessed by the Demon King.
‘However, it’ll be different this time around. The Demon King’s castle no longer exists. At this point, the current hero’s party well exceeds the power of the past life’s hero’s party.’
Just those facts made this fight doable. Artpe had full knowledge of his past life, and at this point, he had done everything he could do using that information.
A certain amount of power could be gained in this ruin. The only unknown variable was the power that had been waiting beyond the Demon King. However, that was something beyond Artpe’s control.
‘Jeez. I reincarnated for nothing….’
As if by habit, Artpe grumbled as he sat down on the ground. Maetel leaned against his shoulder. It was something he had expected Maetel to do. On the other hand, something unexpected happened next. Regina wordlessly lowered her head on his knee. Her movement was as natural as the breeze in the air.
“I need to rest in peace.”
“No. Don’t unsheath your sword. Don’t chant your holy spell.”
“Let’s just all rest in a friendly manner!”
The situation had been about to turn ugly. Sienna grabbed Vadinet, Sherryl and Roa. Sienna dived towards Artpe with everyone in tow. Elrick was barely able to dodge Sienna. Before Artpe could dodge, he was flattened by his whole party.
“······as expected of the hero.”
Elrick’s gaze was filled with envy and sympathy. Artpe let out a sigh.
With the destroyed Demon King’s castle and the screaming Demons as background, the party took their last break before they headed into the ruin.