Chapter 165 – Nanarai Bodra (3)
The Golems were getting closer as they let out a bizarre sound. They sounded like steel armor that hadn’t been oiled in couple hundred years. Artpe gave a firm order as he watched them.
“We have to subdue them without destroying them. Even if one is destroyed, the Demonic energy within this place will detonate.”
The party entered into the depth of the ruin knowing the function of the ruin. Basically, they were going against Nanarai Bodra’s will.
Still, it seemed Nanarai Bodra had taken into consideration of people like Artpe’s party. When those on humanity’s side set out to explore the ruin, Nanarai Bodra made it so that only those that took down the Golems without destroying them had the qualification to enter into the heart of the ruin. It had been built that way.
“Artpe, I’ll go first!”
“Sienna and Elrick will protects us. Roa, you’ll have to put in some work this time!”
After acquiring a humanoid body, Roa had developed a talent for hand to hand combat. She followed behind Maetel. She had already taken off her uncomfortable priestess clothes. She only covered the parts that had to be covered. It was a very light attire.
“Hoohp! Hit them hard!”
They had gained experience on how to deal with the Golems as they explored this ruin. These Golems were like all the other groups of Golems before them . They possessed enormous amount of Mana, and they insisted on a close combat battle. Maetel and Roa dodged their heavy and clumsy attacks. The Golems were pierced with Maetel’s sword and Roa’s claws.
At the center of their body, the Golems possessed a core that supplied magical energy. Circuits stretched out from their core. Maetel and Roa just had to sever their arms and legs to make them immobile!
In terms of speed, no one could catch up to Maetel. Roa had the ability to dissolve her body, so she moved freely in all directions. This was why the Golems weren’t able to land any blows. They looked like idiots as they turned around in circles. Sherryl was keeping a little bit of distance from the fight as she manipulated her water trident. She acted as support to Maetel and Roa. The fight looked like a well choreographed dance!
“Oh, Winter Spirit.”
On the other hand, the party members capable of long ranged attacks attacked the Golems that were trying to encircle the party from all sides. They neutralized the Golems.
Since these Golems were guarding the heart of the ruin, their average level was 390. While Artpe’s party hadn’t been able to raise their levels in the ruin, they had gotten used to fighting the Golems. They fought against Golems without much difficulties.
“That means I should······.”
Artpe searched the magic circle that was placed over the entirety of the ruin. He tried to gain control over it.
It felt like the distant past, but it was only 4 years ago. He had done something similar when he first went into the hero development Dungeon with Maetel.
At the time, he was only at a level where he could only interfere with the magic placed over the Dungeon. He could affect it only in a limited fashion. That was no longer the case. The current Artpe had leapfrogged the previous life’s version of himself in every detail. Moreover, he was familiar with the magic placed over the ruin. He was so familiar with it that he was sick of it.
“What the hell happened here······!”
Artpe grinded his teeth as he swallowed the words he had been about to say. He couldn’t distract his comrades, who were fighting right now.
While his party faced off against the Golems, he retracted all the Mana Strings he had sent out towards all quarters of the ruin. He connected the Mana Strings to the ruin’s magic circle, and he activated his Materialization magic. It was a rare cheat spell that allowed him to make his ideas into reality! If he combined the spell with the Read All Creation ability, he could theoretically bring all spells to its knees!
The Golems reacted in a sensitive manner when Artpe tried to take control of the ruin. However, their actions had the adverse effect of creating a big opportunity for Artpe’s party!
Maetel and Roa had read the movement of the Golems. Maetel’s sword and Roa’s claws slashed through the air, and the Golems fell in ones and twos.
“You can’t destroy them!”
“I already know, nyaa-ah!”
“It isn’t difficult. I’m used to subduing enemies without killing them.”
Maetel also realized what was happening. Sse was quick on the uptake only during times like this. Artpe smirked as he went into another gear as he tried to finish his task.
A changed occurred 15 minutes later.
“Huh? The Golems are moving slower.”
“Winter Queen’s Frost. Successful”
“The Golem’s output is starting to fall. Did you perhaps….. Artpe-nim?”
She had the correct answer. There was no ifs, ands, or buts about it. Artpe continued to work on the magic circle of the ruin as he pulled the Mana from the Golems. It was the Mana that was allowing the Golems to move.
The Golems had to focus more on converting Demonic energy into Mana. It was inevitable that their movements started to slow down. On top of that, their Mana was being stolen by someone else. They didn’t have the power to move!
“Just a little bit more.”
“I have no idea how you are doing this. Artpe is a vindictive spirit from an ancient time.”
As the number of Golems decreased, it reached a point where the Golems couldn’t keep a perimeter around the magicians. It allowed Sienna and Elrick to participate in the close quarters combat. Sienna ruthlessly struck the ground to make the Golems fall to the floor, and Elrick was merciless as he crushed the arms and legs of the Golems with his axe!
Maetel and Roa were fighting an elegant and clean battle. On the other hand, Elrick and Sienna were fighting a destructive battle. It was terrifying, but one couldn’t deny that their their style of fighting was effective. After crushing the legs of two golems, an additional golem was thrown to the ground! The Golems struggled on the floor!
“Ah. My skill grew!”
“It’s done. Every move backwards!”
Artpe had timed it, so he would finish his spell when her skill had leveled up. The Mana Strings, which had exited from his entire body, wrapped around his staff and his body once more. The Mana Strings was spread once again, and they connected to various locations all around the ruin. Artpe’s will flowed down the Mana Strings…..
Purple colored Mana filled the entirety of the ruin. In the next moment, all the Golems, who had been attacking, came to a stop.
Then they started to slowly return to where they had appeared from. It was as if time was rewinding itself. His party members wanted an explanation, so Artpe gave a simple explanation.
“They have recognized us as their masters.”
“That’s right. I’m amazing.”
He decided humility wasn’t his thing. He affirmed their praise! Each step taken by Artpe made the entire ruin react to him. The focus of the ruin was trying to center around him. Currently, Artpe was the ruin. This implied only one thing.
“It means Artpe-nim has reached a level higher than Nanarai Bodra!”
“As expected of master······.”
“Stop buttering me up.”
His party had to buy him some time, but he had taken over the magic circle created by Nanarai Bodra. So their words weren’t technically wrong. Artpe felt an odd emotion.
“Let’s head in.”
“Ah. Before we do that….”
Artpe gave Mana to the Golems that had not recovered yet. When they were able to move, the Golems started to move into the inner room. They moved slowly in an orderly fashion. Artpe’s party followed behind them.
When they walked through a dark and narrow tunnel, they were greeted with a kingdom made out of light.
Artpe’s party members had a hard time working in harmony, yet at that moment, they all let out an exclamation. It didn’t matter if they could see the true nature of what they were seeing or not. They all became surprised by what they saw.
“It is truly horrific and terrifying······.”
Would one be able to find a place like this in the human realm and the Demonic realm? It was a location where a massive amount of Demonic energy and Mana existed in one place.
The Demonic energy created an enormous current, and the 33 Golems sucked in the Demonic energy to create Mana. The black current of Demonic energy and the white current of Mana met at the middle. It was as if an explosion was imminent. A very unstable equilibrium was being maintained.
“Artpe-nim was right. If we detonated even one Golem….”
“We would have been blown away alongside this ruin.”
Of course, the Golems weren’t the only ones purifying the Demonic energy. There was an altar at the middle of the square. It was filled with magical runes, and it was the backbone of the purification process.
“Artpe-nim, this looks more like a seal….?”
“That’s right. There is a massive amount of Demonic energy being produced here. We can’t simply say a lot of Demonic energy is here, because we are at the heart of the Demonic realm. You can feel it, right?”
There was an item within the altar that was emitting a horrifying amount of Demonic energy. The altar was doing its best purify it, but it couldn’t purify all the Demonic energy. The remaining Demonic energy was being purified by the Golems and the Artifacts installed around the ruin.
“······it is a very familiar energy, oppa. Also… That altar is very familiar too.”
Sienna’s face stiffened. It was the same for the others.
“Evil Heart, nyaa.”
“That is also correct.”
Artpe didn’t know what expression he should make. He had a peculiar expression on his face as he nodded his head. He approached the altar, and he read the words written on the altar. Each letter contained the power of magic. It was definitely a message to those that searched out this altar.
“‘I am Nanarai Bodra. After the Demon race was found, I became their greatest magician.”
“Those words are very familiar and pompous.”
“‘It is to be expected. At one time, I used to be the best magician in the human realm, and I was also the hero. My skills were all retained….as I changed into a Demon.’”
At that part, Artpe shut his eyes tight.
When he sensed the familiar shape of the altar, he had expected this. However, it was an entirely different manner when his suspicions were confirmed.
The identity of Nanarai Bodra was his sunbae-nim,. He had transitioned into becoming a Demon. He had fallen.
He didn’t need to read the rest, but the wide eyes of his party members were all trained on him. He had to continue reading it for his comrades.
“‘Everything is the result of human folly. Once the Evil Heart was made, it wouldn’t stop unless all the Mana of the world was converted to Demonic energy. This was the same for the race that was created by humans.’”
“Created······? What is he saying?”
Maetel asked the question, and Artpe answered her.
“It means the Demon race was a race created by humans.”
Maetel still had a hard time comprehending Artpe’s words. No, it was more apt to say that she was having a hard time accepting it. From a young age, she had grown up hearing stories about the hero and the Demon King. She was being presented with an enormous story that contradicted the origin of the antagonistic relationship between the human race and the Demon race. Of course, she was having a hard time accepting it.
“A race made by the humans….?”
Instead of answering that question, he continued to read the words written on the altar.
“‘In the beginning, there was no Demon race. There had been no Demonic energy. The humans had gone through copious amount of research in an attempt to make the power of Mana into something more destructive. At the end of our research, we were able to create the Evil Heart. In the process of researching the Evil Heart, humans were able to change into Demons. They gained the power they had been yearning for. However, the Demonic race was made from Demonic energy, so they had a strong basic instinct towards destruction. They also developed a fundamental animosity towards Mana. In the end, they turned against the humans.’”
This was how the Demonic race and the Demon realm was born. If they thought about it, there had been plenty hints. When they found the Demonification research, they should have thought about this possibility. Since they didn’t think it was a possibility, they had unconsciously denied what had been in front of them!
“‘Those that are able to read these words have respected my wishes. By reaching this place, you’ve shown the desire to correct this twisted reality. I want you to heed my advice. Don’t touch this horrible item. Turn back. There is nothing that can be done. The Winter Queen and the Dragon that taught me the way of magic couldn’t do anything. The Elves, who are blessed by Mana, and the Dwarves, who are master craftsman, couldn’t come up with a solution.’”
The passage was reaching an end. Their faces had turned pale, but Arte continued to read the rest of the passage.
“‘When I realized this truth, the only thing I could do was to break and seal the fragments of the Evil Heart. It merely stopped the expansion of the Demon realm. I chose to change myself into a Demon, and I dedicated my extended lifespan in order to research a solution. I researched for a way to turn the Demons back into humans. If I succeeded, this place won’t exist. If I didn’t get the result I desired, this place will still exist. If you were able to find this place, you should leave quietly. Do not get greedy. If this location is revealed to the Demon race, the human realm will face a huge calamity.’”
After he read the whole passage written on the altar, Artpe started thinking.
This really sounded like an ominous flag.
[You are late.]
At that moment. Artpe realized that someone had teleported into the ruin.
[I am here.]
It was expected. He knew this would happen. Artpe let out a sigh as he turned around. His eyes took in the sight of a Demon.
Before he entered the ruin, Artpe knew that there was a Demon that was higher in level than the 1st ranked Four Heavenly King from his past life. He was the Demon that Artpe hadn’t met in his past life.