Chapter 189 – Demon King (4)
“Letseti, get back! Let’s get into the previous formation!”
“Yes, your majesty!”
[You have always been a minor character. That is all you are.]
[According to your criteria, everyone that isn’t you is a minor character.]
[You are talking down to me. Again, this is new. This is quite fun.]
While his party members were fighting against the traps and monsters, he was having a face-to-face with the Demon King. It had been a long time since they’ve done this. Of course, there was a layer of Demonic energy in the way, so it was hard to tell if the Demon King was truly present in front of him or not. It was as if the Demon King was beyond a veil. However, Artpe could vividly imagine what the Demon King looked like across the veil.
“Maetel, it seems you will have to dispatch the traps.”
“It’ll be cumbersome to tank all of the traps. Let’s guide the monsters towards the traps. That level of contribution won’t steal EXP from others.”
“At time like this, you are really smart…. Alright. Let’s do that!”
[Are you still clinging to your past life? The world has started anew.]
[You are the main driving force behind this change. Isn’t that right? Second hero? Haha. You really picked up a pretty good title.]
Artpe became silent when he heard those words.
In truth, he was aware that the world had rewound thanks to his ability. However, he had no idea why his Record had completely changed from his past life. This was why it had never truly sank in that he was the main instigator for causing these series of changes.
However, it seemed the Demon King thought Artpe was the main instigator of all the change.
[Did you change Etna into an Elemental with your power? Was it a trump card you kept hidden in order to free her from her bondage? She truly was the most entertaining clown on my stage. She performed the most interesting dances. However, I never expected her to face me as an enemy. It truly is interesting.]
[It seems you don’t know everything unlike the previous Demon King’s faction. They had information regarding me.]
[However, they don’t completely understand your personality unlike me. I am here, yet they aren’t. That is proof. Artpe, you are the clown that danced the longest by my side. I don’t know everything, but I know you. That is why you cannot escape my grasp. The fact that ‘you‘ are here is proof.]
Artpe no longer fell for his empty bluster.
It didn’t matter how strong the Demon King was. It hadn’t mattered that he had possessed an amazing Innate ability. He was merely a supporting character that got swept up in the Rewrite.
There was no one in the world that could give Artpe answers to his questions. He would probably find his answers when he gained full control of the 2nd stage of his Innate ability.
[Yes, you got your ass kicked by the previous Demon King. Doesn’t that mean you are no longer the Demon King? Am I right?]
[My, oh, my, your treatment of your former boss is quite disrespectful. You immediately went for the throat.]
[You want respect? That is the funniest joke I’ve heard recently.]
Artpe was blunt as he asked his questions.
[You lost your position and influence. Why are you running this operation by yourself? Are you an idiot?]
[Did time rob you of your fear? Did it make you forget your experiences with me? Or did you become arrogant, because your level increased a little bit?]
[You are helping us lessen our fear towards you. You shouldn’t say such words in this current situation.]
While he competed against the Demon King with Mana, Artpe’s gaze landed on his party. When compared to Artpe, Maetel and Etna, his party members had been lacking. However, the party was going through the trial and tribulation prepared by the Demon King. Their power was rapidly increasing.
“I don’t think we can take that on.”
“Really? I’ll ask Artpe about….. Artpe shook his head. You guys are capable of killing it.”
“Lies! I’m sure he is lying! Ooh-ahhhhhhhhhhh!”
The Demon King wanted Artpe’s party to reach him. This was why he had made sure that Artpe’s party couldn’t die even by mistake. This was why Artpe’s party members were pushed toward to the brink of death, but the Dungeon allowed them to recover before they fought again. This cycle repeated itself, and it allowed their skills and levels to grow. The Demon King was going out of his way to close the gap between his power and the power of the hero’s party.
[I’ll admit that all of you have grown beyond my imagination. You used one strike to destroy the Demon King’s castle. You probably acquired that spell from Zestbar.]
[Are you going to blame your loss on that?]
[I couldn’t overcome that Dungeon. The existence of the Demon King’s castle isn’t that important.]
Huh? Was the Demon King pursuing a concept where he accepted his faults in a cool manner? Artpe furrowed his brows as he tried to bring out another strand of Mana String. The Demon King kept talking into Artpe’s ears.
[However, I want to personally thank you. When you rewound the wheel of time, I earned the chance to remake my stage.]
[That is why you are a psycho. A psycho shouldn’t be a ruler.]
[I am a conqueror. I gave up on being a ruler. That is why you should come find me. You will be able to hear my next answer, second hero.]
Surprisingly, he no longer heard the voice of the Demon King. The conversation ended there. Artpe furrowed his brows, because he felt the Demonic energy in the region become much denser. In his past life, he hated any actions taken by the Demon King did. That sentiment deepened at that moment.
“He has nothing, yet he likes to posture and put on airs. I hate that the most.”
“Artpe, what about that!?”
He quickly manipulated his Mana to acquire control over this region. He ripped apart the veil of Demonic energy. He let out a bright smile when he saw a giant running towards the party. He yelled out.
“Level 380! I want you guys to fall back!”
Silpennon’s party backed off. Sienna wielded her sledge hammer as she shot into the air. Both Maetel and Etna were busy defusing the traps that were continuously being tripped like a gear spinning. Of course, the most reliable vanguard was Sienna.
[If I kill you guys······ I’ll gain my freedom!]
“It is one of the 150 lines dropped by a pitiful baddy. I like it!”
Sienna met the giant’s enormous fist in the air with her hammer. The shockwave was enormous. Sienna had strengthened her body using a holy spell, so she wasn’t hurt. However, the giant wasn’t hurt either!
At that moment, Artpe extended a Mana String from the rear, and he restricted the movement of the giant. The rest of Artpe’s party was able to get move around the giant without being flattened.
Sienna used her recoil to spin in the air, and she once again brought down her hammer. It was an acrobatic movement, yet the destructive power behind her strike was frightening.
For a brief moment, the giant lost its ability move, and the hammer came down on its head with the weight of a mountain behind it. Half its head was caved in.
“Right now! Stomp him!”
“I really can’t hold back when you use those few well chosen words!”
Artpe extended several hundred strands of Mana Strings, and they pierced through the body of the defenseless giant. The Mana Strings sliced through the giant’s body every time it moved its body!
Sienna safely landed on the ground. The whole party ruthlessly attacked the giant. At that point, Artpe had already retracted his Mana Strings, and he had sent it towards another direction.
“There is a trap on the left. One more monster will appear from that location.”
The party members followed Artpe’s orders, and everything went according to plan.
They were in a space that was being dominated by the Demon King’s Demonic energy. This was why Artpe’s Read All Creation ability wasn’t working perfectly. However, the current Artpe wasn’t like the Artpe of the past. As his level grew, he had shared Maetel’s Record. In the process of his growth, his body had developed in many ways.
If he couldn’t gather information using Mana, he just had to rely on his body. Unlike a regular magician, he possessed a powerful body. He just had to invest a little bit of Mana to strengthen it. His Read All Creation could be used to boost his five senses, and he could perfectly read what was going on in his surrounding.
‘I always had magical energy that matched my level. However, my body was weaker than most human knights. That is the version of me that the Demon King remembers. He doesn’t know about this.’
The Demon King was obsessed with making his stage, so he was slow to realize that characters could change dramatically over time. This would be the cause of his defeat! Of course, Artpe couldn’t gain information regarding the Demon King right now. However, he just needed to catch sight of the Demon King for a brief moment to gain all he needed. Even if Artpe wanted to careless, he couldn’t.
“If I can just peel back the Demonic energy…..”
“Can’t I just eat it? Nyaa-ah-ah?”
“You can eat a little bit. You’ll get a stomach ache if you eat too much. That is why you have to be patient and wait for the crucial moment.”
Roa instinctively sensed that the quality of the Demon King’s Demonic energy was different. If she ate it without being careful, she might fall sick. She might suffer indigestion.
If she wanted to digest the Demonic energy without any problems, she had to defeat the owner of the Demonic energy! As a Greed Beast, she was given the ability to fight with her body and Mana for this very purpose. She sharpened her claws as her fighting spirit burned.
It happened at that moment.
“I cleared the left!”
“Right is clear. Artpe?”
“Alright. Everyone gather up.”
Maetel and Etna let out a sonorous shout. Artpe look on with a benevolent expression on his face as he nodded his head.
“Let’s go. The first group will join in the battle too…. We’ll start down the road that leads to the Demon King.”
“Ahh-oooh. My stomach suddenly hurts. Are we going to face the Demon King soon? Are you sure the Demon King will show up?”
“It really is the time for the Demon King……”
As the Demonic energy steadily grew thicker, some party members started to feel a bit of fear. Artpe just smirked when he saw this. They had originally been prepared to enter the Demon King’s castle. The pressure being placed on them right now was less than what they would have felt storming the Demon King’s castle.
“Maetel, are you ready?”
“I’m always ready. I’m not so sure about the others.”
It wasn’t as if they hadn’t practice for this moment. They had practiced for this moment when they entered the Demon realm. Even when Silpennon’s party joined up with them, they had continued to practice. They did so, while they kept a veil over the eyes of the Demon King.
Despite doing all this, it was human nature to be worried. However, there was no reason to delay the inevitable. He was already having a hard time keeping the veil over the eyes of the Demon King.
“Alright······ We’ll move forward at full speed from now on.”
“Don’t get too scared, Deyus. Your body no longer holds any Demonic energy.”
“How did your majesty turn into such a wise man in such a short amount of time?”
Silpennon pounded on the back of the dejected Deyus, who was pouting. In the end, they might be sacrificial lambs that were swept up in the same fate as everyone. Maybe, the fetters around their necks would come off when the black clouds hanging over the human realm was gone.
“We haven’t killed all the Demonic beasts yet. It is too early to be scared. The Demon King shows up only when the plate is completely set.”
“However, it feels as if he’ll show up at any moment. That’s the vibe I’m getting.”
There was truth to what he was saying.
Artpe grinned as he stepped forward. The mere contact with the Demon King’s Demonic energy caused an altered mental status. It left behind a faint curse that cause a nasty negative effect. Even Roa had a hard time eating such a Demonic energy.
Artpe opened his magic tome in one hand. He already determined that the Demon King didn’t have any contact with the outside world right now. Basically, they just had to kill him as soon as possible.
When he whispered the word, the magic tome let out a weak vibration as it revealed its power. Even the Demon King’s Demonic energy couldn’t win against the power of Reclamation.
“Do you have enough Mana, Artpe?”
“I have enough.”
At Maetel’s question, he replied with a laugh. He pushed off the ground as he started running.
The temporary Demon King’s castle created by the Demon King started to crumble.