Chapter 43 – Hero VS Kingdom (5)
Artpe hadn’t chosen the site of the construction on a whim. There was a large open space on the mountainside. It was the ideal place to build a city. Many people would be able to live there. Moreover, this place was highly visible. If soldiers and black magicians were tracking them, it would be quite easy for them to find this place.
‘This is my last chance to nip this in the bud before this blows up into something big. If their ability to judge a situation is not compromised, they would send their biggest force towards us in haste when they realize what I’m trying to do here. They’ll try to completely bury this in the darkness.’
This was why Artpe had baited them. Instead of allowing them to increase the casualties of the innocents, Artpe decided to give them a target they can focus on. As if to confirm his thought process, the soldiers immediately gathered towards the mountain.
That wasn’t all. There was a geographical advantage that inevitably came with being located midway up the mountain. Anyone that discovered and climbed towards the city would all be considered to be enemies.
Lastly, while he was destroying the mountain to construct the city, Artpe had executed the final touch to his plan. It was inevitable for him to upturn the earth when he uprooted the trees. In the process of doing so, how difficult would it be for him to prepare a trap within the terrain?
“T…the ground is eroding! The soil…!”
For example, Artpe had buried crystal balls that had been about to explode from being stuffed with Mana. He buried them deep in the ground, and he detonated them to cause massive casualties to his enemies.
“W…water!? My god! The valley! The water is coming from the valley!”
For example, he might have done some funny business while he constructed the waterways. His enemies would be swept away by the sewage.
“Boulders······ There are large boulders”
“Oh, no…. Oh my god.”
For example, he had stacked up a pile of boulders that he had excavated from the construction work. He sent them rolling as he caused the landslide.
“R…run away…. Kah-ahk!”
Several thousand soldiers immediately died before they could enter into a battle. They hadn’t even been able to locate their enemies before they were hit with a natural disaster. The road to mountain wasn’t steep. However, a considerable number of soldiers and black magicians had already suffered horrible deaths.
“There’s a devil here!”
“A devil lives in this mountain! Run away!”
Who would actually want to climb up this mountain? The morale of the soldiers immediately bottomed out. The black magicians were too afraid of the unknown beings that resided on top of the mountain, so their feet were stuck to the ground.
“If they are able to use such tactics, what level are these magicians! How many of them are there!”
“Ooh ooh. This is terrifying. What spell was that? I…I can’t win against that.”
Artpe’s purple eyes let out a steady light as he moved his fingers through the air. The Mana Strings followed the movements of his fingers as additional landslides occurred.
The structure of all creation was seen through his eyes, so it was possible to know what would happen if certain parts were severed.
“Oh Demon King!”
The death throes of numerous people rang out. Death upon death was piling on as their blood became a lake, and their corpses became a hill. As if to add insult to injury, casualties continued to mount.
However, they had nowhere else to go. If they were able to act freely, they would have left at the outset.
“L…look at what’s happening down there. What’s going on……”
“I…it’s an earthquake.”
Of course, the townspeople became aware of the fact that something was happening nearby. It was almost miraculous, but their current location was left alone. Still, the rest of the mountain was collapsing, so they couldn’t help but notice it.
“The soldiers below…..”
“The magician-nim is wiping them out.”
“He isn’t making any large gestures. He is just waving his hands!”
He was using Mana Strings in conjunction with his Read All Creation ability. He looked like a god to the people around him. In truth, this was all possible, because he had made countless preparations beforehand. The people around him didn’t know this fact. Basically, his abilities were great for bluffing!
‘The difference between a Four Heavenly King and a hero is paper thin.’
Artpe was pleased as he waved his hands. An additional 100 soldiers died from one wave, and another 80 died at his next gesture. Endless pain, screams and despair filled the bottom of mountain. However, Artpe didn’t pay the slightest attention to them.
He already knew this would happen from the beginning. This was why he had sent Maetel to a different location. Maetel was now adept at discerning between good and evil. However, she couldn’t put aside her tendency to shoulder every death onto her shoulders.
‘However, I’m able to shrug it off.’
At the very least, the part of him that was the Four Heavenly King of the Demon King’s army was better suited for this task than a hero. He was able to kill strangers to accomplish his goals. It was something one couldn’t do unless one was able easily forget about such deeds.
He had lived under the unreasonable orders from the Demon King. He had lived through an unreasonable world. When the numbers of beings he had killed exceeded a million, it was possible for him to forget about their deaths. Therefore, there was no way Artpe would feel much when he was killing those that deserved death!
“Is it about done now?”
He had waved his hands for an hour. When Artpe confirmed that no troops were entering into the mountain, he retracted his hands. At this point, the mountain looked completely different from before.
“Well, if we can get up and down from this place, it should be fine.”
“I wonder if we can be prosperous living on this mountain……”
This place that had been normal mountain A to the villagers. However, this mountain would now be long remembered in history. They had a faraway look as they looked at their residential environment, but they couldn’t make their complaints known to Artpe.
Of course, Artpe knew what they were feeling inside.
“You should focus on the construction instead of paying attention to me. Do you really think it’ll end with just one attack?”
“A…a force of that size is going to come again?!?”
“It might be a larger force. It’ll be good for you guys if I can take care of them while I’m still here.”
A chill went up their spines when they heard his words. The people meekly went back to work. Artpe snorted as he exited the construction site.
‘So then, let’s…….’
He had purposefully spared one person. Amongst the black magicians, there had been one that possessed decent power, yet he had been very passive. He kept looking around at his surrounding in a cautious manner. Artpe buried everyone except him. He let this particular magician run away.
The bastard probably thought he was lucky. He probably thought that he had survived, because he had more sense than the others. To be precise, Artpe had enticed the black magician to act this way. Artpe had made the black magician think that he was clever in his escape.
However, the black magician never escaped Artpe’s sight from the beginning to the end.
While Artpe was walking quickly, he used the Reinforcement skill on his boots.
It immediately allowed him to activate the Blink magic. The ability of the boots had been amplified, so he would be able to use Blink once or twice a day without consuming any of his Mana. It also considerably extended the range of the Blink magic.
If he could advance in his Reinforcement skill, he could probably use an additional Blink. However, his current capabilities was enough.
Artpe used consecutive Blinks as he kicked off the ground. In a flash, he was already running across the base of the mountain. In his previous life, it would have been impossible for him to move like this.
He never imagined there would come a day when he would be able to physically exert himself like this. The title of a Hero wasn’t an empty one. As he had leveled up in the past year, he hadn’t just grown in terms of magical energy. His physical stats had also made rapid progress.
Of course, his physical abilities were laughable when compared to a level 160 Warrior, but he was on a different level when compared to a mage of similar level. Artpe looked exactly like a typical magician on the outside. This was why they wouldn’t know about Artpe’s physical capabilities. This gave him an advantage against his opponents.
“Another Blink and…. Good. I caught you.”
He had quickly descended the mountain, and he was finally successful in grabbing the black magician by the back of his neck. As expected of a cautious and meticulous person, the black magician was equipped with an Artifact that attacked an ambusher. However, it was effective only if the enemy was unaware of the trap.
Of course, Artpe knew the activation condition of the Artifact. He also knew its shape, structure and power. When he grabbed the black magician, he immediately destroyed it with his Mana String. The Artifact didn’t activate.
The black magician was shocked when he realized this fact. He had already realized that his opponent was on a different level than him. It was enough for him.
“P…please spare me! I’ll tell you everything!”
“All right. I was hoping you would say that.”
Artpe moved as if he was about to charge forward, but he used the motion to plant his opponent’s head into the ground If he found out Artpe was a child, he might show some bravado. He had to pressure his opponent from the perch of absolute power. It would allow him to easily extract information out of the man.
Artpe put his foot on the man’s back as he asked the question.
“So, which Demon is cooperating with the Archduke?”
There was a limit on how abrupt a topic should be broached. Artpe had already concluded that the Archduke was behind all of this, and he was cooperating with a Demon. He skipped over those parts to ask the next question!
It seemed the black magician was taken aback by Artpe’s question, so he carefully opened his mouth.
“Demon? I don’t know…. Heek.”
Artpe extended his Mana String, and he leisurely placed it around his opponent’s finger. It felt as if the Mana String was sharp enough to sever his finger at any moment. The man gulped.
Artpe spoke in a low voice.
“Your life is worth nothing to me, but I’m guessing that isn’t true for you?”
“That means your words must change next time you speak. Understood?”
Threat and torture were essential skills for a Four Heavenly King in finding out a secret! Usually, heroes were unable to extract information. They were either too soft-hearted or inexperienced. It usually came back to bite them in the back, but that would never happen to Artpe!
“I…it was a woman called Tienna. She conscripted some of the kingdom’s magicians. She said she would help the Archduke if he cooperated with her experiment….. I…I was one of the magician that was conscripted.”
He was telling the truth. He hadn’t originally been a black magician. He had went through a Class change to become one. Of course, he had come here following the orders of the Archduke, so his origin was unimportant.
However, he had said her name was Tienna. If she had exited the Demon world to work within the human world, she would have to be talented. Artpe had never heard of her name in his past life. It probably was an alias…..
Artpe let out a sigh as he asked the question.
“I thought the Archduke was searching everywhere for the heroes. So how did he come up with an idiotic idea of cooperating with a Demon?”
“W…we were told that the Demon King won’t kill the heroes until the heroes attack the Demon King’s castle……….”
Artpe never expected them to leak such important information at such an early stage!
It would be a lie to say he wasn’t feeling a bit nervous at facing a plan that was much more sophisticated than what the Demon King’s army carried out in his previous life.
It seemed the Demon King’s disposition as a chef hadn’t gone away!
‘Still, the Archduke believed the information, and he gave consent to let the Demon into his country. Then there is the Demon King that refuse to catch the heroes when a really good opportunity presents itself. He continues to follow his recipe……’
He wondered if it would cleaner to just let the world end. Originally, Artpe had no desire to protect the world. He had done his best to work towards his peaceful retirement, yet problems were coming at him from unexpected places. It sapped his energy away.
“I…I’m telling the truth! It sounds unbelievable, but that’s the story I was told! I completely understand your reaction. I didn’t believe it the first time I heard it, but….”
“All right. I believe you.”
“Then you are going to spare me!”
“Before I do so, let me ask you the last question. What’s the size of the army waiting on standby? Speak.”
The shortcut to victory was to take the enemies unawares before they could conduct an attack. A smile of triumph appeared on Artpe’s lips. It was best to upturn the table before the game could be set!
The black magician gave an answer
“There is none······.”
At Artpe’s questioning voice, the man gave additional information with a defeated voiced.
“That was all of us······ It is impossible for the kingdom to spare any more soldiers. You’ve killed over 10,000 soldiers and over 20 black magicians. How can there be more? The Diaz Kingdom is ruined now. When the Archduke finds out about this, I’m sure he will cry……”
Artpe became silent as he heard the black magican’s words. His ardent lamentation reeked of helplessness .
It was the moment when a hero ruined a country.