Chapter 188 – Demon King (3)
The knight’s fierce shout shook the ground. The intimidated monster roared as if it didn’t want to lose to her. However, the magician’s Slow spell took effect at that moment. The monster froze in a vulnerable position!
The knight had waited for this moment. She jumped high into the air. Her longsword was as long as her arm. She swung it several dozen times as she cut up the monster’s face. Its face became a bloody mess.
“Koohk! It’s a Poison Fog!”
The archer quickly used a Purification magic to neutralize the Poison Fog. The magician immediately used a wind spell. One spell flowed into the next like water! The knight received help from the archer and the magician, and in the end, she was able to land a killing strike on the body of the Demonic beast. The white aura, which had been focused on the blade of the sword, raged as it coursed through the body of the Demonic beast!
The Demonic beast, which was several dozen meters long, let out a ghastly scream as it fell. It no longer moved. At that moment, the party was successful in killing the Demonic beast.
“Hey. It seems Leseti has grown a lot too.”
“I guess so. Nom nom.”
Artpe’s party was eating lunch as they watched the three of them fight.
“You guys fought pretty well. I think you guys leveled up.”
“I really liked it when I was at their level. The level ups were so quick. Wasn’t it?”
“You shouldn’t idly standby and chatter like that!”
The fierce female knight Leseti had just killed the Demonic beast. She shouted out in anger, but the expression on Azell’s party members remained unchanged. It didn’t matter if the battle of the century was occurring in front of them. They acted as if they were watching a play occurring on a stage.
It was to be expected. They were level 380. The rampage of a level 360 Demonic beast was akin to a neighbor’s dog doing cute tricks. Even if they tried to be on edge, they couldn’t.
“We almost died! The poison entered into my lungs!”
“It went away after one Purification. Anyways, you guys did good. Do you want to eat some stew?”
“You continue to make such a fragrant smell over the fire! That is why the Demonic beasts are continuing to come towards us!”
At this point, Leseti’s fantasy about Artpe had been broken. He kept pushing Deyus, Mycenae and her towards battle. He did so as his party rested in a leisurely manner. If someone else saw this, they would have thought Artpe’s party was on a vacation. They were supposed to be hunting down the Demon King. Of course, she was angry!
“However, it can’t be helped. The chef went out of his way to catch these Demonic beasts. We can’t let them go to waste.”
“The fact that you simply see the Demonic beast as EXP is wrong!”
“I don’t see them only as EXP. They also look like money to me.”
Leseti stamped her feet in frustration. However, no one sympathized with her anger. This only happened, because Leseti, Deyus and Mycenae had fallen too far behind the main party in terms of level!
The solution was simple.
According to Artpe’s assessment, the Dungeon was filled with Demonic beasts that were over level 360. Of course, there were higher level Demonic beasts, but they were sorted in terms of level. As expected of the chef, he was fastidious in preparing his stage.
Of course, Artpe’s party couldn’t level up killing monsters of such caliber.
“No matter which way you look at it, the Demon King miscalculated our levels.”
“It seems so. Even if we kill all the Demonic beasts here, we won’t gain much EXP.”
Etna agreed with him. She was at level 388, and she possessed the highest level in Artpe’s party. However, the rest weren’t that far behind. Both Artpe and Roa were level 386. Maetel was level 385. The rest of the party was close to level 380.
Of course, the Demon King was making his decisions based on the perspective he gained from his past life. It seemed this was why the Demon King had went through the trouble of gathering Demonic beast that were 10 levels higher than Artpe from his past life. It was based on the information that Artpe had been the weakest amongst the Four Heavenly King. However, Artpe’s party had grown beyond the Demon King’s expectation. They possessed very high level.
“You should give us time to rest a little bit!”
“If I did that, it’ll be hard to simulate a difficult situation. Anyways, there is no way you guys will die. Be at ease and rush those Demonic beasts!”
“Ooh-heek!? They really are coming again! Again!”
It covered everyone except Leseti, Deyus and Mycenae, who were from Silpennon’s party.
“I don’t think the three of us can kill that monster!”
“That monster wasn’t born to be tamed by you! You have to kill it!”
“You can package it all you want! In the end, you just want to go through with an unreasonable fight!”
He was always able to adeptly trick Maetel with his words, but he hadn’t been able trick Leseti from the beginning. Artpe smacked his lips as he ladeled another bowl of stew.
It was Vadinet’s specialty stew. The scent of the stew was making the Demonic beasts go wild. One had charged straight towards the food. However, Regina had already placed a barrier beforehand, so it bounced off the barrier in graceless manner. Leseti’s party had to put their lives on the line to fight this Demonic beast. In front of Regina, the Demonic beast was like a neighborhood mutt.
“This is unreasonable······ I can’t accept this······!”
“Let’s kill it first and think later. Since this one is big, I’m sure I’ll be able to earn more payment!”
“Ms Leseti, please move backwards a little bit!”
Leseti shook from fear and indignation. However, she couldn’t run away. Her honor as a guardian knight was on the line. Silpennon had decided to walk down this path. She couldn’t back out, because she was afraid. In the end, she did as she always did. She complained as she bravely raised her sword!
“Don’t make fun of Leseti too much. Appearances aside, she is a loyal subject, and she is following me until the end.”
“I’m not sure she is following you out of simple loyalty.”
Artpe spoke with a bright smile on his face. Silpennon snorted. It wasn’t something Artpe had the right to point out.
As he did so, Silpennon’s gaze fell on Artpe’s hand. It was the hand that wasn’t holding a bowl of stew.
“Are you going to continue doing that?”
“He’ll break through if I become careless.”
Artpe’s hand continued to move as he shot his Mana Strings into his surrounding. Countless Mana Strings were meshing with each other as it covered the entire region. Each Mana String was emitting a signal that differed from each other. It interfered with anyone trying to search them out.
Of course, it wasn’t as if his opponent wasn’t doing anything. Whenever the Demon King periodically disturbed his field of interference, Artpe used his Read All Creation to rebuild the part of his barrier that had fallen. He filled up the the barrier with new Mana Strings. It was something that only Artpe could see.
“The fact that we are hiding our Mana and location will make the Demon King suspicious. Our enemy is the Demon King. Such useless sleight of hand technique won’t work against him.”
“You are making a false assumption. I’m not trying to hide our presence. When the Mana Strings intersect with each other, it creates Mana. I’m making up what our party is doing. The Demon King won’t be able to have an accurate assessment of us. He’ll think our levels aren’t that far off from the Demonic beasts, and that we are putting in a lot of effort in these fights. I made it so that it appears that way.”
“Ok. I give up.”
Silpennon quickly announced his surrender. As always, he couldn’t understand the words coming out from a magician. Yes, it had been the same in the past life. Artpe spoke similarly to Regina, who had been Silpennon’s comrade in his past life.
“That man’s gaze feels unpleasant.”
“Please understand, Regina. He’s acting that way, because he his enamored by you.”
“I realize I’m popular, but I’m already taken. However, I cannot hide my charm. I lament at making others commit sin.”
“That isn’t true!?”
Silpennon had absentmindedly looked at Regina in a pleased manner. However, he grinded his teeth when he heard the reaction that came from Artpe and Regina. Etna, who had been observing all of this, burst out laughing.
“It really is an entertaining sight. I never expected all of us to blend with each other like this….. I never dreamed such a thing was possible.”
“I guess so. It would be great if the two redheads made themselves scarce.”
Maetel replied in an apathetic manner. She was eating all the stew in her bowl. Even if it was made by Vadinet, Maetel had to acknowledge Vadinet’s superior cooking skill. The smile on Etna’s lips deepened.
“We can live together in harmony. I’m sure of it.”
“I don’t like it. You are trying to sneakily get in between Artpe and me.”
“Hoo hoo. Ms Hero always says such entertaining words.”
The first one to get in between a relationship was Maetel. Maetel snuck in between the relationship between Etna and Artpe. If Maetel had awakened to her past life, she would have known this. Maybe, Etna had been wrong for assuming Maetel had awakened to her past life. She just put on a small smile.
“I can see that the quality of the monsters are increasing. We can no longer leave it all to Leseti’s party. We should get ready to move.”
Artpe sensed a cloud of war starting to appear between the two women. He spoke as he quickly took the bowl from Maetel’s hand. Maetel pouted as she backed down.
“Alright. Let’s hurry up and kill the Demon King. We’ll kill that bastard called the previous Demon King too. I want to live in the countryside with Artpe as we raise cows.”
“I look forward to the life of a dairy farmer.”
“I want a goat.”
“I predict the birth of a large farmhouse.”
Artpe’s party got ready to leave. They joined up with Lesti’s party. Leseti’s party was trying to gather their breath after successfully defeating the Demonic beast. There were unshed tears in Leseti’s eyes as if she wanted to ask them what took them so long. Artpe ignored her gaze. He’ll let her party handle everything for the near future!
As they traveled further into the cave, the level of the Demonic beast wasn’t the only thing that was getting progressively higher. The Demon King was uncanny at setting up a stage. This was why he had put a decent amount of effort in placing traps. Since the Demon King had awakened to his past life, he knew about Artpe’s ability. They weren’t encountering normal traps. These traps were triggered no matter what if the traps were detected by Artpe’s party.
“It is pouring out from above! Ah! A monster is coming from that direction!”
The traps were very vicious. It made one wonder if the Demon King had spent every spare moment of the past 10 years to make this Dungeon!
The traps had been held down by the Demon King’s Demonic energy. As soon as the traps were triggered, the monsters were released. The monsters attacked the party attack with uncanny timing. It was slowly getting to a point where Leseti’s party couldn’t handle everything.
“I’ve been waiting for this moment. Go, reserver party!”
“We aren’t the reserve party!”
Silpennon took charge as the party members around level 370 stepped forward. Artpe was still fighting a battle of the mind with the Demon King. As they traveled towards the heart of the Dungeon, Artpe’s battle with the Demon King was becoming more challenging.
“The Demonic energy is getting thicker.”
“Shit. As expected, that bastard made preparations for us.”
Artpe had prioritized destroying the Demon King’s castle. The reason being the Demon King’s castle was able to amplify the Demon King’s power. A high density of Demonic energy was present in this space. It was so dense that it was pushing out all the Mana. It was preventing Artpe from activating his Innate ability.
The Demon King was using this Dungeon like the Demon King’s castle. He had used the Demonic beasts that had been placed within this Dungeon to his advantage. The Demonic beasts were emitting Demonic energy, and he had used it to slowly dominate the Dungeon. As the Demonic energy manifested more and more, it was making it harder for Artpe to use his Innate ability. Even if he tried to cut through the Demonic energy using his Mana Strings, it wouldn’t be an easy task. In such an eventuality, he would have to fight directly with the Demon King’s Demonic energy.
Of course, the Demonic energy had more uses than blocking Artpe’s sight. In a region dominated entirely by Demonic energy, the Demon King could freely activate his spells. He could also move anywhere within this space. He would be close to an all powerful being in this space. This was possible, because the Demon King possessed denser Demonic energy than anyone else.
“Artpe, is he perhaps near us?”
“No. Not yet. He won’t reveal himself in front of us until we kill all the Demonic beasts that had been prepared for us. Anyways, everyone should be prepared.”
Of course, Artpe had acquired a method that’ll peel away the bastard’s Demonic energy. It was an ultimate technique that the Demon King from his previous life didn’t know about. Artpe had gotten it from beings that the Demon King hadn’t met in his previous life.
However, Artpe thought it would be a waste to bring out these prepared weapons so early in the fight.
[You really became strong······ Fourth ranked Four Heavenly King, Artpe Hirtana Kelduke.]
“It seems I’ll have to fight a battle of wills before I can use those items.”
That was why he’ll have to briefly take a step back in order to move forward.