Chapter 196 – Artpe Hirtana Kelduke (1)
The Dungeon made by the Demon King had fallen, and an increasing number of Demons were gathering around the ruin. Artpe’s party walked away leisurely towards a peaceful location. The location was a Dungeon. Artpe knew everything there was to know about the Demon realm, so it was easy to find a Dungeon.
“You consider a Dungeon to be a safe place. I really respect Artpe’s way of thinking.”
“It really is a safe place in reality.”
At the very least, this Dungeon had remained in existence for the past couple hundred years without being noticed by the Demons. The goal was to find a place to rest in peace. The Dungeon (It had three floors.) was full of level 300 monsters. Artpe’s party made quick work of all the monsters. They sat in the middle of the boss room as they sat around a campfire.
“Finally. This is great.”
“I’m glad we came straight for this Dungeon. I leveled up too much after we defeated the Demon King and the fFragment of the Demonic god. I felt a bit awkward in my own body. I’m used to the change now.”
As expected, it was Maetel, who was spouting such insane words. Artpe’s two eyes took her in. Soon, familiar letters formed above her.
[Level : 401]
He hadn’t been sure if it would actually happen, but she really did surpass level 400. Afterwards, he checked his own level, and he found out that he had reached level 401. If he said any flippant remarks about her level, it would also be applied to him as well, so he held back. The Demon King had given them an enormous amount of EXP, but the arm of the Demonic god had a bigger effect on their level. If it wasn’t for the Fragment of the Demonic god, it would have been impossible for them to overcome the level 400 barrier.
“Maetel and I passed level 400. Sienna and Etna also….. Ah. Lastly, there is Roa.”
“Nyaa-ah. I no longer need to eat any more Demonic energy. Nyaa-ah-ah. Still, I want to eat more of that thing called the Demonic god. Nyaa-ah. Master, please summon it for me.”
“Do you want me to hit you?”
Maybe, he should have expected this. He probably should be stunned by this. Roa had reached level 405. She didn’t contribute much in the fight. However, she had worked hard to eat all the Demonic energy. As a result, she was able to acquire overwhelming amount of Record and Mana.
Of course, he guessed this might occur, but he felt a bit empty when confronted with reality. If he knew this was possible, maybe he should have been born as a Demonic beast instead of a human.
“In my eyes, you are the biggest monster. I was surprised when you fought against the Demon King, but when you fought against the fragment of the Demonic god, you really…..”
“You guys were formidable too. You fought against the arm of the Demonic god. We all made big contributions.”
Even looking back on it, the mere thought of the Demonic god’s arm was terrifying.
What if more parts had come out of the gate? If the shoulder had come out, the arm would have been able to swing a weapon. It would have put Artpe’s party in precarious situation. At the very least, several in their party would have died.
Of course, it also sounded implausible that the Demon King taken this fact into consideration. The Demon King had consumed too much Demonic energy fighting against Artpe’s party, so that was probably the most that the Demon King could summon.
“If you failed to manifest the last Materialization…..”
“That hand is amazing. It won’t disappear?”
“In truth, I can’t get rid of it.”
Above all else, the white hand was the biggest factor that had allowed them to destroy the arm of the Demonic god. Surprisingly, the hand remained in existence. It had reduced its size, and it was as big as Artpe’s hand now. However, it was impossible to unsummon it.
“This is a bit embarrassing to say, since I’m talking about myself. However, an enormous amount of power was concentrated in one place to create it. I consumed a lot of Mana, but I also recreated an Innate ability……”
“Let’s call it God’s Hand. God’s Hand.”
If Artpe didn’t use his special will to control it, the God’s Hand didn’t react to outside stimulus. It wasn’t particularly active. It simply let out a faint light as it followed behind Artpe. Artpe tried controlling it, and he tried putting it on his hand like a glove. It was possible to do that.
“Heek. Don’t touch me with that.”
“If my will is absent, its power of Destruction won’t activate. It is completely different from the hand of the Demonic god.”
He smirked. As a response, he released the hand as he let it float in a different location. The only thing left was to check the items dropped by the Demon King and the Fragment of the Demonic god.
“Demon King… That bastard left only one behind.”
“What is that? It looks odd….. I think it is a bell.”
There were few miraculous items that could exist thanks to the mere presence of the Demon King. This was one of them. All the Record amassed by the Demon King turned into nothing when he died, but there were some things that couldn’t be swept away by the world. These traces of the Demon King remained behind in the world as Artifacts. In this case, the only thing left behind was a small bell. It was a bell that could be rung with one hand.
[Summons to the Demons]
[Everything that possesses Demonic energy becomes weakened at the sound of the bell. They will also feel an odd sense of loyalty towards the possessor of the bell.]
“The Artifact’s special characteristic is the same as that bastard’s Innate ability.”
“It doesn’t have a level restriction. Does that mean…..”
Artpe grinned as he nodded his head.
“It means this will probably work on the previous Demon King. I think it’ll also help in the Reclamation magic…….”
He shouldn’t complain, because only one item was left behind. Even the loot left behind in his death had contributed in making the perfect recipe!
It wasn’t sure if he would be able to win against the previous Demon King. However, he was sure that it would at least be a fair fight. It was an Artifact that put an end to all the uncertainty he had felt up until now.
“Let’s ease into this. I’ll use Reinforcement four times.”
“That’s what you call easing into it?”
Artpe quickly used four Reinforcement on the [Summons to the Demons]. The Reinforcement skill didn’t simply boost the ability of the Artifact. It was a skill that utilized Artpe’s abilities and Record to strengthen the item! After going through four Reinforcements, the item was reborn by taking on a similar nature to Artpe.
[Declaration of Demonic Extermination+4]
[As Mana is consumed, a resonance that exterminate Demonic energy forms.]
“This looks like the weapon for the final battle…..”
“Nyaa. You can’t ring it yet, nyaa-ah-ah. You have to ring it after I eat the Demonic god. Nyaa-ah-ah-ah.”
“The bell turned white. It also has a similar energy signature to Artpe-nim. It is pure white. It isn’t dirty at all… How can something be so clean? ….I want to dye myself with that color.”
“Ho-oh. You still tell funny jokes, Vadinet.”
Maetel and Vadinet glared at each other. Artpe ignored them as he took out the loot items left behind by the Fragment of the Demonic god. They hadn’t killed the Demonic god, yet there were seven dropped items. There was a bastard sword, shield, dagger, staff, hammer, glove and a level 408 Magic Stone. As an experiment, he held up the dagger.
A very terrifying description appeared in front of his eyes.
[Dagger of Destruction]
[The user’s life energy and Demonic energy is used as a price to imbue the dagger with a curse. Each stab from the dagger cuts away at the opponent’s soul. If the opponent dies to the dagger, the soul has to follow the orders of the dagger’s owner. However, if the owner of the dagger dies in battle, the owner’s soul will be imprisoned within the dagger.]
It was a cursed item. It was an item that no one would pick up if they knew the story behind it. One would run away without looking back.
“Every one of these items are covered with dense Demonic energy. They are unusable….”
“The Demon King’s dropped item turned pure white when I used Reinforcement four times. It’ll be ok.”
Artpe took out several Magic Stones he had gathered beforehand. They were supposed to be used when he reclaimed the Demon realm. However, the sacrifice of few Magic Stones would allow them to use these weapons of war. It was a very profitable exchange.
“I just have to use Reinforcement on all of these items.”
“Wow. You are right! It is turning white!”
Artpe’s plan didn’t go awry. The weapons were terrifying tools of destruction. They had been more suitable for the Four Heavenly Kings rather than the hero’s party. However, it really did turn white after going through four Reinforcements. After checking the weapon options, he handed them out.
The bastard sword was given to Maetel. Elrick received the shield. The dagger was given to Silpennon. Regina received the staff. The hammer went to Sienna, and the glove was given to Mycenae. Artpe took the Magic Stone for himself.
“Artpe, what about me? Huh? Me?”
“You aren’t allowed to get too close to him. Excessive skinship is forbidden.”
“I want to receive a present from you too.”
Artpe mulled over the problem for a brief moment. He pushed his hand out towards those that hadn’t received any weapon.
“Give me one weapon each. I’ll Reinforce it four times.”
All the loots were distributed, and everyone was satisfied. Artpe let out a sigh as he checked his supply of Magic Stones. He had too many. He had no idea how many he had used in the Reinforcement.
“Let’s rest for real now. I have to sleep. Sleep and Artpe’s shoulder is calling out to me.”
“No. There is something I have to do before we do that.”
Maetel was about to put her head on Artpe’s shoulder. He put up one hand as if to stop her.
“I know everyone wants to rest right now, but….. I would like you to hear my story.”
Maetel instinctively grabbed his arm.
“You don’t have to, Artpe.”
“No. I have to do it.”
Maetel was looking at him with worried eyes. Artpe let out a bitter laughter when he saw this. He had suspected this for awhile now. It seemed Maetel might have regained memories from her past life. At the very least, she had a vague idea as to what had occurred.
“I want to talk to you guys. You can call it a confession if you like. It might sound silly. ….will you listen to me?”
The party realized that he wasn’t joking. The party members looked at each other, and in the end, they nodded their heads. Silpennon and Etna had already awakened to their past lives. They didn’t interrupt Artpe as they kept their silence. They really were good comrades.
“Alright. So…. You probably felt that something was off when I conversed with the Demon King.”
“It isn’t just that. Weren’t there many incidents like that? I knew all the locations of Dungeons in each nation. I moved as if I could predict the future. Of course, there were times where events didn’t turn out as I had expected, but at the very least, I knew the starting point of each event. You probably all had this thought before.”
No one denied his words. They knew there were too many incidents where they hadn’t asked too many question. They glossed over everything by saying, ‘It’s just Artpe.’ This had nothing to do with his ability to assess the present. Some in the party thought that he might have the ability of foresight.
“I have no choice, but to know it all. It’s because…. I’ve experienced it all once before.”
Maetel extended her hand as if she was trying to stop him. He gently pushed her hand away as he made a declaration.
“In the past, I was a Demon in a world that is no longer accessible to us now. I earned the title of the Four Heavenly King, and I followed the orders of the Demon King. I died facing the hero’s party led by Maetel. At the end, I awakened to my Innate ability….. The world…. I rewound the world.”
“Uh······ That’s quite the joke.”
Elrick sounded as if he was punched in the solar plexus. However, no one laughed. Everyone present could tell that Artpe was being sincere.
“I have no idea where to start. Your story doesn’t add up, Artpe-nim.”
Vadinet replied to his words. Artpe let out a bitter laughter when he heard the confusion within her voice. He continued to speak.
“I didn’t plan on ending my story there. Alright. Let’s slow things down. Let me see······ I was born in the Demon realm, and I had to follow the order of the Demon King when I lost a fight against him. I guess that’s a good starting point.”
Everyone was shocked by his words. Artpe mumbled to himself in affirmation. He nodded his head as he started his explanation.
It was the story of a man’s life.