Chapter 46 – Two Hero’s Party (3)
“Half? Are you sure that is enough?”
Artpe’s stipulation made Silpennon feel dazed. Artpe was telling them everything about the Dungeons, and he even told them about the levels of the monsters they would face. Despite this fact, he only wanted half of the reward. It didn’t matter what others said, but according to Silpennon’s standards, it was a very generous offer. It was so generous that it was as if Artpe had given the information away for free. However, Artpe nodded his head as if it was reasonable.
“You have to think about you, Leseti and Deyus. The most crucial part is acquiring Deyus’ skills, Spell Books, equipments and potions. If you think about the combined cost, I’m pretty sure not much will be left from your half of the reward. You should think of it as improving your chances of survival. Instead of saving your money, you are strengthing yourselves. That is why you’ll have barely enough to pay for my half-share.”
Silpennon and Leseti was floundering around in a soup of emotions. Deyus was confused. He wonder if this might be good for him in the long run.
They didn’t’ realize that he planned on using them in his future confrontation with the Demon King. It would allow him to avoid hardship in the future. It had been a while, since he had thought like a Four Heavenly King. Artpe continued to speak.
“Also, I’ll give you a list right now. You will never sell these items from the Dungeons to the merchants. You have to keep it, and you have to give it to me at a later date. There is the Crown of Wisdom, Scroll of Destruction, Eye of Prophecy, Spring of Tears, Spear of Twilight……”
Silpennon busily wrote down the names of the Artifacts given by Artpe. He tilted his head in puzzlement. He could tell that they were were terrifyingly high ranked Artifacts just by their names. He wondered if they would really come out from the Dungeons.
“Then there is the Blood Fragment… All right. That’s it.”
Artpe spoke the name of dozens of Artifacts without hesitation. Silpennon, who had written it down, had a very sour expression on his face.
“I’ve never heard of these items, yet I can tell they are incredibly valuable. Are you sure these items will come out from such low level Dungeons?”
“This is why I want you to diligently train your Seek skill. Then you’ll be able to find them. No, these items will come out from the Dungeons. You better not leave the Diaz kingdom until you find them all.”
Arte’s expression was alway composed. Of course, these Artifacts had all come out from the Dungeons in his previous life. These artifacts were worth so much that it was ill-matched to be within the low level Dungeons.
In the first place, Artpe had given them the locations of these Dungeons, because he wanted to acquire all those Artifacts. However, Artpe and Maetel’s levels were too high to go there themselves. Moreover, it was an annoying task since the Dungeons were located far apart from each other.
It was convenient to have others that would do the task for you!
“I want you put your trust in me, and do what I say.”
“I don’t particularly like your laid back attitude, but…. All right, I’ve digested everything you’ve said. You are saying we should work in parallel with each other.”
“Artpe······ If you weren’t here, I… Kyahhk!”
Letseti looked deeply moved as she grabbed Artpe’s hands tightly. She was thrown aside by Maetel and Sienna. Silpennon wasn’t amused with his former guardian knight’s antic, so he glared at her. Then he carefully put away the valuable map.
“This has been a learning experience, Artpe. So this is how you suggest a proposal that can’t be refused. I accept your proposal.”
“All right. Let us go on our separate paths.”
Artpe, Maetel and Sienna.
Silpennon, Leseti and Deyus.
No matter how one saw it, they were divided into the hero team and the support team.
They firmly shook hands.
It would take them two years to meet again.
“I’ll be back after I become strong. Will you accept me into your party at that time?”
“All right. I’ll think about when we reach that point.”
“No, I don’t like it. I don’t like Silpennon.”
“I don’t like you!”
It would be hard for them to meet up again, but Silpennon believed that they would be able to become friends someday.
The two party dispersed.
“Artpe, I’m curious about one thing.”
After leaving the Dungeon, they were walking quickly down the mountainous path. While they were walking, Maetel asked Artpe a question.
“It’s about the magician we are going to meet.”
He had explained at ad nauseam about the magician’s abilities, and the reason why they had to bring her into the party. Did she still feel repulsed by the prospect of growing the party? Artpe tilted his head in puzzlement as he turned to look at Maetel.
“What about the magician?”
Maetel’s eyes narrowed as she asked the question.
“Is the magician a female?”
“Uh, yeah. The magician is female?”
He never expected her to ask about the gender of the magician. It was a question that had nothing to do with one’s ability! Artpe was dumbfounded as he replied to the question. When she heard the answer, Maetel’s expression turned more sullen.
“Artpe, did you send the black magician towards Silpennon, because he was male?”
As expected, she was under a massive delusion. Artpe let out a sigh as he flicked Maetel’s forehead.
“Gender isn’t important. Silpennon’s party didn’t have a magician, and I had a magician under my thumb. The pieces fit together. That is why I sent him along with Silpennon. I didn’t exclude him from our party, because he is male.”
“Eeesh······ What if he had been a young and pretty girl?”
“I don’t know what answer you want from me. I would have let the person join Silpennon’s party irrespective of age and gender. Are you done now?”
It seemed Maetel wasn’t satisfied with Artpe’s answer. She let out discontented sound as she stuck close to him. It seemed she was trying to use skinship to express the feeling she wasn’t able to articulate. When she did that, Sienna stuck to him on the other side as if they were in competition.
Yes, he was now used to it. He hadn’t wanted to get used to it, yet he had.
What should he call the bitter feeling he was feeling right now?
Artpe was absorbed in self-contemplation as he let out a sigh.
This time Sienna asked a question.
“Oppa, where can we find this magician-nim?”
“Ah······ The place is called Aedia. It is a country that is more advanced in magic research compared to the Diaz kingdom.”
“She’s in a different country!?”
Maetel suddenly expressed her shock. Artpe smirked when he saw this.
This small hero possessed incredible abilities, yet her knowledge, experience and intelligence was lacking compared to her capabilities. Still, he couldn’t have her set her sight only on countryside villages. He also couldn’t keep her tied down in the dark Dungeons.
It was time for her to broaden her horizon. He would be able accomplish that task by the time they meet the magician.
“We have to cross an ocean, so it’ll be a pretty long journey. Of course, I’ve already planned out the route…..”
Artpe took out another map. He had found more than one map of this kingdom on the knights he had killed.
“Well, look here. Do you see the city at the end of the map? This is a key location that links the Diaz kingdom to the other kingdoms. It is a harbor city named Frate. We’ll travel across the ocean to reach Aedia.”
The distance to Frate was around 300 times the distance they had traveled after Artpe and Maetel ran away from their town at the age of 12.
To be fair, the incidents with the Hero’s Dungeon and the Curse of the Demon had prevented them from traveling far. Still, Maetel had lived her whole life in the countryside. She would now be traveling an unfathomable amount of distance.
“Wahh-ahhh. It’s far away. It might take us 3 months to walk there.”
“Of course, we aren’t just going to go straight towards the city. We’ll learn what we have to learn, and we’ll kill the monsters we have to kill. We’ll also buy what we need to buy. There is also the problem of the ocean being uncrossable during the fall and winter. This is why I intentionally plan to go there through a roundabout way.”
The ocean was uncrossable during fall and winter only for normal people, but the two girls didn’t argue the point. Their attention was solely on the fact that they were going to hunt monsters. Their eyes shone fiercely.
They looked as if they were ready to slaughter the monsters at that very moment. It wasn’t an expression that should be seen on a 12 and 13 year old girls…… However, when one thought about the path they would have traverse in the future, they had the right attitude.
“We’ll be on the road heading towards Frate. I intentionally didn’t tell Silpennon about the Dungeons we are going to visit. We have to gather funds for our trip, and he have to increase Sienna’s level.”
“You told them about so many Dungeon, yet there are still more Dungeons left? As expected, Artpe is…..”
“Yes. Yes. I’m amazing.”
There were a total of seven Dungeons on the way to Frate. Most of them were similar to the small Dungeons he had pointed out to Silpennon. However, two were large Dungeons, and one needed 3 months to clear each of them.
Of course, it took 3 months for normal people without the Read All Creation ability.
“If we go through these Dungeons, Sienna should be at a level where she would be able to operate with us in Dungeons. Of course, this is all possible, because she has a special property that comes with being a Warrior Priestess.”
“Of course. She isn’t normal.”
Sienna’s talent was almost at a genius level.
Maetel was talented in all things except magic. Artpe was reborn as a hero possessing everything he had when he was one of the Four Heavenly Kings. Artpe’s talent had been reinforced. Sienna was less talented than Artpe, but if the two of them never existed, Sienna probably would have become the hero. This was how great her potential was.
“In other words, we just have to provide a smooth flow of ingredients, and Sienna’s growth speed will become ridiculously fast. ”
In the past, the Demon King had used Demons as ingredients to make the hero into a delicious dish…. He made her into a warrior. Now Artpe would use his Read All Creation ability alongside his memories of his past life. He would make Sienna into a fantastic member of the hero’s party. When he followed the Demon King’s orders, he had observed and learned what he the Demon King had done. Even if he was half as successful, he could turn Sienna into a monster!
“I’ll follow everything oppa tells me to do! If you want me to do something, I will do anything for you. Anything.”
When he saw Sienna’s blind affection and actions, it was as if he was looking at Maetel. This was why a sigh automatically slipped out of his mouth. When he finished having that thought, Maetel started growling at Sienna.
“Eeeeeee. I don’t like it.”
“I like unni, but I like oppa much more!”
“I don’t like you!”
In Sienna’s case, she had retained her life thanks to Artpe by being turned into a different race. On top of that, he was teaching her about Mana. It wasn’t as if he couldn’t see why she followed him in such an unconditional manner.
In fact, the more he thought about it Maetel’s attitude felt different from Sienna’s attitude.
What the hell happened with his past self to make Maetel like this!
“Both of you are members of this party, and you will have entrust each other’s life to one another in the future.”
“I know I have to hold it back for Artpe, but I can’t get rid of my dislike for her!”
“I’m willing to entrust my life to unni!”
“The fact that you like me makes me not like you more. If you act like that, I can’t hate you without feeling unsettled!”
Ah, maybe everything might turn out ok if it was like this. He looked at the growling Maetel, and the smiling Sienna. In the end, they were innocent children. When they grow older, their feelings would mature, and their behavior would get better too.
It wasn’t as if he hated the flood of honest emotions directed towards him. Still, it would be much better without all this great fuss.
“I like oppa and unni. It would be great if all three of us could get along.”
“I want to live in peace only with Artpe!”
‘By the look of things, it doesn’t seem things will calm down anytime soon…..’
Artpe kept letting out consecutive sighs as he continued to walk. He still had some complaints about his party members, but this was the start of the true hero’s party!
If things went according to the Demon King’s plan, Artpe and Maetel wouldn’t have discovered the experiments occuring within the kingdom. Or maybe they would have discovered it too late. It was supposed to be a massive Quest that should have cost them blood, sweat and tears to resolve.
Unfortunately for the Demon king’s army, Artpe had resolved everything at super speed. Artpe had messed up a long term plan that the Demon king’s army planned on exploiting for about 3 years! He had ended it in just one day!
The Archduke hadn’t even been able to progress much in the experiment that was supposed to turn humans into Demons, yet he had lost most of his troops. His influence had rapidly decreased, and of course, he was unable to receive support from the Demon. Artpe had basically ruined the plan of the Demon King’s army in one fell swoop.
The Archduke had already used an unjust reason to take over the throne, so the nobles that had hated him rebelled against him. In the end, the Archduke was overthrown, and he had been chased out of the country.
The new king was the cousin of the previous king. Count Hadein was placed on the throne, but he was merely a puppet of the nobles. Still, the chaos within the Diaz Kingdom calmed down, so it was still a fortunate outcome.
It took them exactly one year.
“Hoo-ooh. It seems trade has been completely restored. Shit. This is why I wanted to get here earlier.”
“There are so many people here, Artpe! There are more people here than the people I’ve seen in my entire life!”
“Oppa, are we going to ride that ship?”
After a year, the hero’s party arrived at the harbor city of Frate.