After subduing all hostile forces and imprisoning them in the cells of the pirate base, Woohyuk began exploring the Isle of Chaos in earnest.
The first thing he was searching for was Drake's treasures.
As the former Pirate King himself had said, the treasures were kept intact in a hidden room for many years.
They were inside the ruins located deep in an underwater cave, inside the Water Dragon's Labyrinth.
Moreover, it was right behind a violent maelstrom that was difficult to avoid.
“Good work, Chief mate.”
Triton was completely exhausted as he was sent to the secret room in the cave, enduring the swirling currents.
While he was resting on the floor, Woohyuk observed the loot he had obtained.
Category: Personal Item
Effect: Once in possession, dragonic with negative effects do not work. Additional abilities can be unlocked with the Dragon Lord's authority.
[Hourglass of Time]
Category: Personal Item
Effect: When used in an enclosed place, you can freely control the passage of time within that space. (Depends on user's ability. Maximum of speed ×1,000.)
Category: Personal Item
Effect: If certain conditions are satisfied, Thunderbirds that cause rain clouds and thunderstorms can hatch.
'It's as Drake told me.'
The Dragon Stone, a legendary artifact, had not fully revealed its abilities.
It was most likely because Carlos, the former Dragon Lord, died and was sealed by the system.
On the other hand, the Hourglass of Time and the Thunderbird Egg did not have any usage requirements.
‘I could use the Hourglass of Time when training my vassals...’
One of the Three Divine Birds, the Thunderbird, was perfect for reducing the enemy’s morale on the battlefield.
Moreover, unlike the Phoenix and the Snowbird, the Thunderbird could also be used as a messenger bird in urgent situations since its movements were extremely fast.
It would be particularly efficient when trying to contact areas where Catsy had never been to yet.
But the problem was that Woohyuk had to hatch this bird.
“Do you know how to revive the Thunderbird, Triton?”
“… You have to match its growth environment to its attribute. Perfectly.”
Woohyuk needed an electric field with insane amounts of power.
Perhaps he could seek advice from Aris, an expert in magic engineering.
Woohyuk put the items in his pocket and then walked along the dark passage.
“Now I only need to find information about the Erendia Kingdom.”
“If you look at the remains of these ruins, it seems that the royal family worshipped the Blue Dragon.”
There was a high probability that the kingdom’s guardian was also a Sea God.
But what had they done to receive his anger?
Even though it was a small kingdom, it seemed that they had committed a great sin, enough to bring them all to ruin.
Woohyuk tried to find clues as he recalled the structure of the Water Dragon's Labyrinth he had seen so far.
This place was structured by imitating the body of a dragon, and the final reward, the Thunderbird Egg, was originally located in the area for the head, which was at the very end.
The hidden reward, the Dragon Stone, was located in the secret room where Triton had gone to.
All the items had great spiritual importance.
“Maybe the Erendia Kingdom was a theocracy? The priest might’ve had more power than the monarch.”
“It’s possible. This place is definitely the ruins of the Erendia Kingdom.”
Artifacts they found everywhere proved it.
After walking silently with his hand on his chin, Woohyuk spoke up as his thoughts came to a conclusion.
“The clergy was probably oppressed by the monarch. The royal family probably stopped making offerings and performing rituals to the Sea God at some point.”
“… But wasn’t it obvious they’d receive the Sea God’s wrath? I think there must’ve been some convincing reason for them to stop.”
They wouldn’t have blatantly disrespected the Sea God if they didn’t get some benefits afterwards.
As he couldn’t find the answer, Woohyuk decided to cool down his mind and summoned Catsy.
“Meow! Master, did you call?”
“How is it going in the western kingdoms these days?”
"Hm... Overall, it's quite peaceful. The Norton royal family is complaining that you stole their control over the kingdom, though.”
“If they do something suspicious, report it to me right away. As long as we can provide physical evidence that they performed human experimentations and reveal it to the public, they’re finished.”
“And deliver this letter to Joanna.”
Woohyuk took out a piece of paper and a feather pen, and wrote a long message on the spot.
Afterwards, he handed the sealed envelope to Catsy and she raised her ears.
“I will go fulfill my missions!”
“Before you leave, observe these ruins well. You may have to come back later.
Catsy swayed her tail and disappeared down the aisle.
The silent Triton then asked Woohyuk.
“Why are you suddenly contacting the Rhine Kingdom...?”
“We need to cultivate more talented people than we are now.”
Woohyuk had secured a considerable amount of funds by robbing the slave traders in the Talis Kingdom.
In addition, since he now had the Hourglass of Time, he had an advantage incomparable to his past life.
He planned to use the Hourglass of Time’s effect on Song Anna, Yoo Kayoung, and Silvia, who were training in the Rhine Kingdom and growing at a steady pace.
He would have them train with a highly skilled master beneath the Academy in an enclosed space.
It was basically a DIY Hyperb*lic T*me Ch*mber
Their true training would begin from now on.
Having heard Woohyuk's ambitious plans, Triton clicked his tongue.
“Just how much are you going to overwork those girls like you do to me...”
“We don’t have the time to leisurely wait for them to grow at a slow speed, Triton.”
Unlike his past life, dangerous incidents were constantly happening and the world’s survival was on the line.
He had met the former Demon God and inherited his name, and then met Eteria Rodinus to hear about the prophecies describing the three Major Catastrophes that would happen in the future.
Moreover, the mastermind behind everything was the Creator.
Lilith and Eteria Rodinus were fighting to make this dark future slightly more convenient and advantageous for themselves.
However, the Golden Rose Society and Pronoia, as well as people like the Queen of Thorns had intervened, so the overall future of the world was very uncertain right now.
In this situation, Woohyuk couldn't just sit back and wait for the events to take place and watch the results.
Before long, many people would die... No, the entire world would end.
When Woohyuk explained the situation with a deep frown, Triton nodded.
“It was thoughtless of me to say that. I was only concerned about your orders, and was missing the big picture.”
“In any case, I’ll be needing your assistance from now on, Chief Mate. I’ll be overworking you to death.”
For reference, ever since the beginning of this voyage, Triton had been in charge of procuring food.
As he left behind a crying Triton, Woohyuk took a step forward.
“Benefits that they would want to obtain at the cost of the Sea God’s wrath… I don’t think the Erendia royal family decided to change the god they worshipped...”
It was reasonable to assume that they were trying to become independent and build something unique.
Something that could be compared to the power of a God.
After contemplating for a moment, Woohyuk took out the magic-engineered pistol from his pocket.
The weapon the member of the Golden Rose Society had used.
It was an item that wasn’t consistent with the Eeth Continent’s current era. It was far too advanced technologically.
Triton spoke up as if he had read Woohyuk’s mind.
“There was an era when magic engineering was highly developed. One kingdom was especially ahead of their time.”
“Where was it?”
Triton scratched his head since he suddenly couldn’t remember.
Having seen that, Woohyuk smiled in satisfaction.
“My predictions were correct. It was the Erendia Kingdom.”
No matter how much of an airhead Triton was, he was still a demigod.
There was no way he would forget such important information, unless his memories had been forcibly erased by the power of a superior being.
As Woohyuk came to this conclusion, Triton's eyes widened.
“Th-then what were the people of the Erendia Kingdom trying to do with magic engineering? The Sea God would not have opposed most experiments...”
“It must have been a very ambitious project. Something like creating an item that the gods feared. Some sort of a new weapon. Or maybe they were trying to find a way to directly affect the world’s system.”
When it came to magic engineering, Aris was the best expert among Woohyuk’s current vassals.
Woohyuk immediately attempted a telepathic conversation with her.
[How is your research on the Clipport’s Fruit going?
[Lord Asura! It's been a long time! I think of you every night in my bedroom when I feel lonely...]
Hearing Woohyuk's voice, Aris excitedly began to talk endlessly.
Woohyuk calmed her down before she could go all out, though.
[I'll be back in Blackburn soon, so keep the unimportant talk for later. I have a few problems I need your help with.]
[Ah, I apologize. I was just so happy... So, how can I help you? The research on the Clipport’s Fruit is almost finished.]
[A magic engineering project that a small kingdom located on an archipelago would perform. Something they would want to perform even if they were to receive the Sea God’s wrath... What do you think it could be?]
Maybe they were trying to create a homunculus like Roan.
However, he couldn’t be certain. There were no hints at all for now.
The project that the Erendia Kingdom was pursuing was unknown, but it was highly likely to be something innovative.
At Woohyuk's sudden question, Aris pondered for a while before answering.
[Hm... A large magic engineering project on an archipelago . In ancient times, island dwellers had a strong sense of inferiority to the continent dwellers. So if they were pursuing a project that would put their country at risk, it is highly likely to be an attempt to overcome that sense of inferiority.
[To make the archipelago float in the sky and create their own paradise... Something like that. Humans have revered the sky since ancient times, right? So they might have thought that if they lived in a Sky City, they would finally be superior.]
In the past, Aris had made the same attempt.
She had used magic engineering to try to destroy the world by levitating an entire city and dropping it on an empire.
Woohyuk was persuaded by this hypothesis.
[If that's true, the project’s results should be remaining in the kingdom somewhere, right?]
[If outsiders had no access to it until now, then maybe?]
[I don’t think there were any outsiders. The entire kingdom was sunk beneath the sea by the Sea God.]
[Huh? How did that happen…?]
[Anyways, I need your help. I will summon you right now.]
Aris' urgent voice echoed in his head, but Woohyuk didn't pay attention to it and chanted the summoning spell.
Since they had the Nautilus, it would not be difficult to navigate on the seafloor.
Before long, Aris appeared in her underwear.
“Why are you half naked in broad daylight? Weren’t you in your lab?”
Aris lowered her head in embarrassment.
She couldn’t dare to say it out loud.
Having noticed the situation, Triton coughed and tried to change the topic.
“My Lord, the others are waiting on the surface. If it’s not very important, let’s move on...”
“I asked Agnes, and she says you weren’t skipping work. I guess it’s a private matter. Forget it, Aris. I won’t pry too deeply.”
Woohyuk turned around and headed for the submarine at the entrance of the ruins.
It seemed that he had no idea what was going on.
Aris sighed in relief.
Triton then spoke in a sarcastic tone.
“Your love for him must be immense. I didn’t think you’d get horny just by talking with him.”
“… Shut up."
At least, the tools she had invented hadn’t been found out.
Aris followed behind Woohyuk, grateful that Woohyuk’s opinion of her hadn’t been sullied.
She had to remain as a pure(?) and innocent(?) lady in his mind.
...She was the only person who thought of herself as so, however.