Chapter 39 – Hero VS Kingdom (1)
Fortunately, Mycenae quickly restocked her supply of magic books after selling them in bulk to Artpe. All of them were sold to Artpe once again. It was a total of five books. She was reliable in the fact that she had acquired the Cleaning magic(45 gold).
“You guys should all gather around me. Cleaning!”
“I was cleaned in an instant!”
“My clothes are so soft and fluffy.”
This was the moment when Artpe took a step forward in becoming a lifestyle magician. Of course, a normal lifestyle magician couldn’t clean a large group of over 300 people at once. Mycenae turned pale at the sight.
“You have a really large amount of Mana. Are you around level 300?”
“I told you not to dig in too much, right?”
Artpe’s current level was 163. If he went by the standard of the Read All Creation ability, his Magic Points was above 800. It was the Magic Points he had in his previous life at level 200.
By that time, Artpe had already begun serving under the Demon King, and he had learned all the spells available. Of course, one had to take into consideration that Demon race naturally had overwhelmingly more magical energy. This was why the amount of magical energy he possessed right now was absurd.
He had been a demon in his previous life, but that was a flimsy explanation as to why he possessed so much magical right now. Artpe had been born with exceptional talent for magic, and it was at a level where the only plausible explanation was the fact that he was a hero.
If he dwelled more on that thought, it felt as if he would become conceited by it. Therefore, he abandoned thinking about that subject. Conceit was the factor that always killed the Four Heavenly Kings! This was why he changed the subject.
“What did you do with Silpennon?”
“Even if I’m performing a scheduled task, I couldn’t stay away when the customers I am in charge of had just cleared another Dungeon. However…. I’m guessing this wasn’t a run of the mill Dungeon?”
“When did ajumma became in charge of us as clients….. Well, it clearly isn’t normal.”
She was a Dungeon Merchant, but this didn’t mean she had all the information regarding the Dungeon she will visit next. The Dungeon Merchants were given permission to mobilize when a pacified Dungeon had hidden treasures.
“It’s been awhile since the Dungeon Owner was exchanged from a monster to human. He had the Dungeon barrier up······ Since he is dead, it should have dissipated.”
Mycenae looked over the children gathered in this space, and she immediately picked up on what was going on.
“Ah-ha. So that’s what they were aiming for….. Oh wow. You were able to break it up. I’ll have to revise my opinion of you again.”
“You don’t have to revise it. No, just don’t look at me at all.”
“You are too much!?”
Maetel had killed him too quickly, but the black magician was around level 100. Normally, beginner heroes shouldn’t be able to take down a level 100 being! Maetel had shown enough force to kill a level 200 with a single blow. The black magician had been unlucky in facing Maetel as an opponent.
However, even after Maetel had defeated the black magician, the monsters and the children who could turn into demons were still present. Mycenae was able to make her appearance only after Artpe got rid of all the potential risk factors.
“Customer, you surely aren’t thinking about ending our transaction after buying the spell books? I’m sure you are going to share in the Dungeon rewards with me, right?”
There were two types of Dungeons. There was the naturally occurring Dungeons and the artificial Dungeons. This Dungeon was a naturally occurring Dungeon. The magician who took over this place was proficient at black magic, but he hadn’t been talented at Dungeon exploration. This was why all the secret traps and rewards remained untouched.
This was what Mycenae was aiming for. Of course, since she had been able to find the items, Artpe would be able to find them too. This was why she decided to give up on fruitlessly searching further for more items. She wanted to immediately enter into a business transaction.
“Yes, if so…..”
Artpe looked at his surrounding. The level of the black magician, who had taken over this Dungeon, had to be discounted. It looked as if the original Dungeon boss had been a weak monster. Still, it wasn’t as if Artpe could not find any compensation using his Read All Creation ability.
“My stomach keeps growling.”
However, there was a problem that he had to deal with before he gathered the Dungeon rewards. He looked at the children who looked as if they could drop at any moment. Artpe sighed as he threw a gold coin towards Mycenae.
“First, I want you to give them something to eat. The children were starved for couple days, so I want you to give them food that wouldn’t be too much of a burden on them.”
“Oh my. You are so kind. As it happens, I have a consumable item that was developed by the mage tower to be used on war refugees. However, there is a single down side…..”
“I’ll give you an additional gold.”
“As always, thank you very much, customer!”
Mycenae distributed the items to the children with the help of Maetel and Aena.
Sienna had experienced a sudden physical change. She was changed into an existence that didn’t get hungry much. This was why Sienna helped out in the distribution. Of course, Mycenae showed interest in her.
“Oh my. You have very pretty hair.”
“I want you to give me an artifact that can conceal her identity.”
“I was wondering why you haven’t asked me about that. You always seems to meet people of suspect origin. Or maybe those kinds of people are drawn to you?”
Artpe snorted at Mycenae’s words as he went around the communal space. Every time he disturbed a location a wooden box would suddenly appear out of thin air or the lichen growing in the cracks of the Dungeon’s wall would let out a strange light.
He went to four locations to gather the rewards, but as expected, they weren’t worth much.
“It should be around 29 gold.”
“Yes, here is your 29 gold. Also, this is a bonus for my dear customer.”
Artpe handed off all the items, and he received a small hairpin from her. It was a metal adornment shaped like a butterfly.
“This stops the magical energy reaction from leaking out. The artifact has a very simple function, but it should be enough for the girl.”
Mycenae had decided this item was enough for Sienna. Her hair and skin was unusual, but it could be dismissed as being not too out of the ordinary for a girl of her age.
“I want one Crystal Ball of Blessing.”
However, Artpe had other ideas.
“You want that too!? Is it because this child is a demon?”
Mycenae was shocked. She tried to get a closer look at Sienna, but Artpe didn’t allow any further inquiry. In the end, Mycenae pouted as she handed him a Crystal Ball of Blessing for 500 gold.
“Well, this is the end to our transaction. You should head back for now.”
“How can you push me out so coldly every time like this? Still, I won’t give up. I’ll someday make you the king of the business world! You better be prepared for it!”
“Ajumma, don’t try to steal Artpe!”
“I told you to stop doing that.”
After Mycenae made another loud commotion, he put away the Crystal Ball of Blessing.
Sienna stared at him as she asked him a question
“Oppa, what is that for?”
It seemed she had become sensitive to Mana when she was turned into a Evil Reflector. It seemed she was very interested in the artifact.
Artpe let out a small laugh as he stroked her head.
“I’ll tell you about it a little bit later.”
A short amount of time had passed. All the children were brought outside, and Artpe returned the children to the townspeople. In a flash, a reunion filled with tears occurred….
“Son! M…my son!”
Fortunately, most of the children taken from this particular town were all safe. The townspeople were deeply moved by the return of the children, so they started praising Artpe and Maetel. However, Artpe gave them a warning as he looked at them with serious eyes.
“If you spread our name, I’ll put a curse on all of you. The curse will turn you into frogs.”
Heroes were always targeted by repeat Quests, and these Quests would cheapen the value of their names! Of course, the Demon King had created a perfect recipe in the past where these repeat Quests helped along the explosive growth of the hero as an unintended consequence. However, the current situation differed quite a lot from the past.
Since he was now aware of the fact that Demon King was hatching such a horrifying plan, they would have to move carefully. A disguise and a mask was a must. They also had to be prepared to bury such fake identities in the darkness.
“The problem is…..”
Artpe gave a stern warning then he turned around. There were still couple hundred children left.
“Hyung, I want to see my mom too.”
“B…be quiet. We shouldn’t cause more trouble for the magician-nim!”
“Heeng. Mom. Mommy~”
He had no problem with the children who were originally from this town. However, he wondered what he should do with the children captured from the other towns.
Of course, they would have to be returned to their own towns. If he was like the heroes from the old stories, he wouldn’t have hesitated. He would have personally returned the children to each town. However, the Quest had ended, so he needed to move onto his next goal.
·····this kind of event always led to a more annoying and larger incidents. The Demon King’s scheme always seemed to come in succession!
Of course, the Demon King was a chef that tried to get a richer flavor by cooking an already seared meat once again….. Artpe was well aware of the Demon King’s far-reaching recipes, so he was annoyed at being at the receiving end of it!
‘I have to nip this in the bud. It would be stupid of me to be satisfied with leaving the matter as is when I know more will come from this. Moreover….’
In the end, Artpe came to a firm resolution.
If he let his heart make the decision, he would have ended his association with the townspeople here. He wanted to go rest. However, if he didn’t tie this up right now, he knew he would become more exhausted by what stemmed from this event in the future.
“You guys should move your town.”
In the end, a suggestion popped out of his mouth. The townspeople became dumbfounded at his words.
“You want us to move our town? Why? No, how?”
“I’ll be going around to the towns where these children are from. I’ll be gathering all the townspeople from there. I want to consolidate everyone into forming a large town. You guys will create a small city.”
“W…we can’t do that!”
“That’ll be too hard!”
“We are already living a hard life here!”
He expected their objections. However, Artpe’s attitude didn’t change.
“If you want your children to be stolen again, you can continue on living here. You all have to stick together right now. You have to stick together to grow your numbers. You won’t be able to win against a country, but at the very least, you will have grown your own presence. You have to be large enough where many people will become aware it if something happens to you.”
If enough humans were gathered in a single location, it might have an effect on other entities. It would be hard for the Archduke to mess with them.
It would also make it harder for the Demon King’s army to hatch a scheme. They were able to gather and put a curse on the children as experiments, because they were able to steal the children in secret.
“I…if we move our residences, how are we going to feed ourselves?”
“You already had a hard time making a living here. Do you think much will change if you move? You’ll either farm or hunt for game. That isn’t my problem.”
Artpe had other things to do. He had to ruin the Archduke. Furthermore, he had to ruin the black magicians that were messing with the entire country.
At the climax of this Quest, couple Demons would probably make their appearances. However, he was confident that he could kill them. Maetel had awoken to her Innate ability. It would be possible to do so with her help!
‘I’ll have to ruin a kingdom before I kill the Demon King. Mmmm. All right. I kind of feel like a Four Heavenly King again.’
He couldn’t shake the feeling that something was out of joint. However, this actually made him quite happy.
Maetel looked at him with unshakable trust, and Sienna looked up at him as if he was her idol. Aena and the numerous children looked on with worried eyes. The townspeople looked to be in a state of shock and fear at Artpe’s forceful order.
“Well, we’ll start our city construction plan from this point on!”
It was at that moment when the first Quest turned into a succession of scenario Quest.