Chapter 76 - Underwater (6)
In his past life, the hero never went into the ocean. By the look of it, it didn’t seem Maetel was scared of water, and she didn’t seem particularly averse to the ocean.
However, the magician joined up with the hero’s party after the war with the Demon race began. The hero’s party wouldn’t have been able to enter the ocean until the magician joined the party. Moreover, they didn’t have the time to leisurely explore the ocean after the magician joined the party. This was the most rational explanation.
‘Also, the Demon King’s army hadn’t paid attention to this place either…..’
He never expected an ancient temple to exist within the ocean. When everyone became easygoing and inattentive after the death of the Demon King, this place would have suddenly been discovered, and it would have probably driven the world into fear once again. This place was set up like a hidden boss!
[Nyaa-ah, Nyaa-ah-ah-ah. Nyaa-ooh-ooh.]
“It isn’t as strong as I’m making it out to be? All right. I’ll trust in your words.”
After he received Roa’s opinion on this matter, Artpe immediately turned to look at this party. He gave them instructions.
“I want the two of you to go ahead of me, and I want you to stall them. I’ll follow behind you soon with Roa.”
[Nyaa!? Nyaa nyaa! Nyaa-nyaa-nyaa-nyaa-ah!]
“I’ll be there soon, so hold tight.”
“Yes, I understand!”
“You have to come as soon as possible, oppa!”
Matel and Sienna unhesitatingly nodded their heads, and they immediately ran forward. He didn’t need to tell them where to go. After the seal was broken, the ancient temple was letting out a terrifying amount of energy. It was as if it was inviting outsiders to search it out.
[Master, are you going to help us!?]
[You should gather all the merfolk, and you guys should stay back. You guys don’t have the power to block what is to come.]
[Master······ I understand.]
Sherryl’s expression was a 50/50 mixture of thankfulness and indignation. She nodded her head as she retreated towards the back. It was a good sign. She was able to assess and accept her own shortcomings. It was something truly difficult for one to do. If she could do this consistently, she would be worthy of ruling over the merfolk.
“Just be a little bit more patient, Roa. This won’t take long.”
The reason why Artpe hadn’t left with his party members was quite simple. He still had someone he had to attend to.
“Hey. Get up.”
The Demon had fainted after taking a thorough beating from Sienna. Artpe violently woke her up. The Demon named Teana tried to attack Artpe as soon as she woke up. However, he had readied several dozen Mana Strings. She was immediately thrown to the ground.
“If you tell me what I want, I’ll spare you. This is a promise.”
She couldn't move her body no matter how much she struggled. In the end, she realized the only body part she could move freely was her mouth. She glared at him with cursed-filled eyes. She opened her mouth.
“Koohk. You are being magnanimous, because you are a hero? Ridiculous!”
“I’m just saying we should make a deal. For the price of guaranteeing your life, you should feel motivated to talk to me.”
She never expected such words to come out from a hero, so she had a dumbfounded expression on her face. Artpe didn’t give her the opportunity to think too much on it. He immediately asked her a question.
“Who’s giving you orders?”
“Why would you ask such a useless question? The answer is obvious. He is the Demon King, who possesses peerless nobility and magical energy…...”
“Stop lying to me.”
He brushed aside Teana’s words. A truly crafty light flashed within his purple eyes.
There was nothing that could stay hidden in this world when faced with his eyes.
“You don’t have a collar around your neck.”
When she heard his words, the Demon’s eyes widened. This was one of the two reasons why he had spared the Demon. She was a Demon that wasn’t under the fetters of the Absolute Control. It was as if time paused for a brief moment. Artpe continued to speak.
“The Demon King does not trust the Demons under his command, so he uses his Absolute Control no matter what. You are a Demon dispatched to the human world, yet he didn’t put his fetters over you? You should come up with a more believable lie. Who is it? Who is ordering the Demons away from the eyes of the Demon King?”
“T...that…. H...how did…..”
Teana stiffened at his words. She faced his unwavering eyes, and her body escaped from the control of her will. Her body started to shake. Blood was flowing from the Mana Strings threaded through her body, yet she was barely cognizant of the pain.
“H...Ho….How….? You...you! Are you a Demon? You are a Demon! You have to be!”
“I’m the one that is asking the questions. ….are you going to give me an answer?”
Artpe’s words were soft, but his attitude wasn’t tranquil at all. Teana had thought Artpe was merely a hero that was very outstanding compared to his age. Currently, he felt like a god-like existence, who could see right through her. She was having a hard time breathing.
“N...no. I can’t….I can’t tell you anything. I’m following the orders of his majesty, the Demon King. Yes! Hero, you are merely a human boy! What would you know about any of this!”
“You should think hard on it, Teana.”
Artpe raised one hand. A massive amount of magical energy was put into the Mana Strings, and they were packed tightly to form a transparent dagger.
“You aren’t fettered by the Absolute Control, so you are able to talk. Isn’t that right? You are free. You can choose between life or death. It is up to you.”
“N...nope…. I won’t. I’m afraid. I can’t talk. I can’t talk. You don’t know, hero. You know nothing.”
Since he didn’t know, he wanted to learn through her.
She said she won’t say anything, and he had no way of forcing it out of her.
However, he did figure out one thing. This woman was about to face death right now, yet she was much more worried about ‘someone else’s wrath’ if she opened her mouth.
“All right. I have no choice, since you won’t talk. In truth, it isn’t as if anything would have changed if I found out his name.”
Artpe gave up on interrogating her. He let go of the sharp Mana Strings he had brought out. Teana was puzzled by his action, but her puzzlement soon turned into fear. She watched as a black cat stepped forward instead of Artpe.
When faced with Roa, Teana finally realized what kind of power was hidden within the cat. In a flash, her fear spread through her body like a wildfire. It dominated her entire body.
“Roa, this is an experiment. It is a very important experiment. You know what to do?”
“No. I’m not doing this, because I like Etna. I don’t want to fight when it is unnecessary.”
[Nyaa-ah, nyaa-nyaa-ah? Nyaa-ooh-ah!]
“You are being noisy. It isn’t like that. Do you want me to get beaten to death by Maetel?”
Even as she heard the affectionate dialogue between the master and servant, Teana’s body started to shake from fear. She used all her strength to move her body, but there was no way she would be able to escape this. Artpe’s smile became twisted when he saw what she was trying to do.
“You guys experimented on humans. I want to conducts a similar experiment. However, I can only conduct this experiment on Demons.”
“No. Don’t do it. I beg of you, hero. Just kill me. Please. You can’t do this.”
“All right. Shut up.”
Artpe smirked as he pushed Roa forward. Roa looked annoyed, but she obliged by opening her mouth.
As a Demon, Teana was born with a demonic gene. In a flash, the demonic gene escaped the confines of her body, and Roa’s mouth started to suck it out.
Teana’s ghastly scream filled the entire square. The merfolk had been busily moving around, because of the unbound ancient temple. The horrifying scream brought all of them to a halt as their bodies shuddered.
“Mmm. I don’t think you got all of it.”
“Nope. You should suck it all out. You should also monitor what changes occurs to her body and mind during this process.”
Teana’s screams were getting louder as time passed. However, Artpe and Roa showed no signs of stopping it. Roa used all her might to suck it all out, and in the process, Artpe tinkered with Teana’s body. He tried to fix her circuit.
It wasn’t as if his actions were fruitless. He was able to modify a portion of how she was wired through his will, but that wasn’t enough. It wasn’t easy to change the Record of her race.
“Ggoo-ahk! Ggooooahk! Kahk, Ggah-goo-goo-goohk!”
The demonification curse had tried to modify the body of Sienna. He was attempting something that was on a different level. He was extracting the demonic gene from a pure-bred Demon, and he was trying to create a new race. If such a task was easy, Artpe would have been a god-like being instead of a human.
He just needed to gain a small hint from this. That would be enough.
“Ah. As expected, I can’t do it yet.”
“No. We still earned a significant amount of Record.”
How long had it been? Teana’s screams seemed like it would never end, but her screams finally lessened in volume. She wasn’t dead, but she was very close to being dead.
Her skin was dyed blue, and her luscious hair had shriveled to resemble roots of green onions. She was barely gasping out her breathe. This was the only evidence that she was alive. She no longer had tears to shed, so blood was flowing out from her eyes. It was hard to tell if she had her eyes opened or closed.
It seemed she still had enough energy to spit out those venomous words. Still, Roa had sucked out all her demonic gene, so nothing was left.
“How do you like experiencing this for yourself? You probably now have some idea as to how shitty your actions were. Isn’t that right?”
“You aren’t a hero…. You are more like a Demon…..!”
“As expected, we are cut from the same cloth, so I can’t hide it. Yes, I think so too.”
Teana’s words were filled with venom, but Artpe acknowledged her words with a cold smile on his face
Of course, not all Demons were evil. However, they lost their innocence and purity over the course of their lives. In the end, they fell to become degenerates. This was why it was amazing to see Etna, who was able to keep her warm heart until the end. This was why he felt great pity for her.
“I was born as a hero, so I was trying to act like a hero. However, it was as I had suspected. I can’t follow the road of a traditional hero. On the other hand, Maetel looked too good in the role, and I couldn’t just leave her alone….. I decided to do what works for me, while I support her. What do you think? Isn’t the role distribution between us pretty great?”
She was at death’s door, and she yelled out those words with the last strength she possessed.
It was a trigger for a curse. It was the worst kind of curse. It was a curse casted at the expense of one’s life and soul. The curse twisted the destiny of the cursed closer towards death. It was a curse that one would suffer once or twice if one lived amongst the frontlines. The only difference was that the purity of the curse was ridiculous high.
Of course, her final curse was merely a tasty snack for Roa. Artpe stroked her head. Teana let out a hollow laugh when her curse was blocked. She had made the curse by squeezing her soul, yet it was all in vain.
Ah ah. He was an opponent she couldn’t beat from the start. Only he could win against this vicious hero. Even he might not…….
It was the last of the last moments for her, and she finally let out the final words befitting an extra. Teana had been the dark secret behind the Archduke’s faction, who had shaken up Diaz and the ocean. This was how her life was lost.
Roa let out a small cry as she hopped down onto her body. All the magical energy holding her body together was gone, so her corpse turned into dust. The only thing left behind was what looked to be a spell book.
“What the hell? This isn’t a spell book. It is a genuine grimoire.”
In fact, he had been searching for a suitable book he could use as a personal spell book once he acquired an excellent ink called the Kraken's Ink. As it so happens, he had come across this book. Of course, it was a grimoire that was already inscribed with content. It would be a bit troublesome to modify it, but with Artpe’s ability…...
A cold smile formed on Artpe’s lips as he looked through the grimoire.
Yes. That’s right. If he thought about what this woman did in the human world, the content of the book was obvious. He no longer needed to delve deeper into the grimoire. He put it away.
“No. It is mine.”
She hmmphed as she sulked. Roa tapped Artpe’s arm with her tail. Artpe petted her as he picked her up, and he turned around. Sherryl was still waiting for him at the same spot.
All kinds emotions were expressed on her face as she stared at him. Artpe was truly embarrassed, so he scratched his head.
“What is it? Did you witness everything? Now that you know what kind of human I am, this should go fast. You shouldn’t serve a master like me. You should just focus on ruling your country. Ah. As a last request, you should forget about what happened right now.”
[Thank you, master.]
Wait a moment…. What did she say? He heard words that should have never come out of her mouth. Was he mistaken?
“What did you just say?”
He was taken aback, so he asked the question in reply. Sherryl took short steps towards him. She grabbed both his hands as she spoke.
[If it is for you, I will do anything. You became the representative of the merfolk, and you expressed our rage. You punished our enemy the ‘right’ way. Every merfolk of this kingdom will remember your benevolence.]
What was the right way? What was she talking about? She seemed to have interpreted his actions in a slightly weird way. Moreover, it seemed the misunderstanding was too deep to undo all of this.
Artpe wondered what he had to say to this dumb fish, but he quickly gave up on that train of thought.
“I’m going to go to the temple for now!”
[I will wait for you here, master. Please come back safely!]
He knew something was wrong with Sherryl’s words, which was full of loyalty, but he decided to go to his other party members with Roa for now. An unknown that had never revealed itself in his past life was waiting for him.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Hey guys. I'm back. I'm going to try to start translating again. I won't go into too much detail on what happened, but I'll just say I suffered significant injuries to my lower extremities and some minor injuries to my upper extremities after being hit by a vehicle at high speeds. I was in significant pain, so I was unable to translate. I'm still very limited in what I can do in my daily life, but I'm hoping translating will start getting me back into my normal routine. I was given an option of being reincarnated in another world amongst a harem of otters, but I said hell no! I gotta go translate for my readers. I bitch-slapped that god for daring to give me such an offer. I'm lucky to be alive, and thank you all for the well wishes.