Chapter 16: Sea God's Temple (1)
Accomplishing an incredible Achievement.
Based on its level of difficulty, it was safe to say that no one other that himself would have been able to receive that reward. It requires one to complete various steps, overcoming monumental obstacles all along the way.
However Woohyuk was far ahead of any other adventurers. There had been many of them watching him in the sky as he cleaved the Abyssal Gate in two, but since he was well out of range of any of their spells or attacks. They were like a dog chasing after chicken only for it to fly up to the roof. 1
By now many of them would be arriving at the Central Lake, but he didn’t feel any threat now that he had the title of Ruler of the Calm Sea. If ever a naval battle were to break out, he was confident in emerging victorious even if he were to face off against every other player in the sector.
Woohyuk peered into the glass bottle, then smashed it open on the Kraken’s head.
It was an imposing sailboat with a skull symbol on its black square sails, it’s bow in the shape of a dragon’s head was made entirely out of bones. Not to mention the dozens of cannons on either side.
He didn’t know what the curse was about, but was willing to give it a shot. In every respect it was a cut above the Galley which he had anchored near the shore.
Woohyuk threw the miniature ship into the lake, causing the space to shimmer as if one were seeing a mirage in the desert. Finally, the Abyssal Ship resumed its original size.
As he sailed the ship across the lake, he could hear the splashing of the water as the ship’s speed would cut through any waves. It’s hull emitted an ominous dark energy as it raced across the water.
‘It must be a pirate ship.’
Pirates had occasionally been hired by Lords when there was fighting to be done at sea or in strategic straits. At the end of the day however, pirates were still outlaws at sea, and wouldn’t be easy to control.
Woohyuk had used his Three Clawed Eagle to arrive on the deck of the Abyssal Ship, and the guy was trembling weakly, attempting to gain some sympathy from his cruel owner.
“Go stay at the crow’s nest.”
The battle against the young Kraken had truly been far too exhausting. If it hadn’t been for the fact that he had tamed it using the ability of the Paradise Elixir, it would have surely flown off mid-battle. It was simply impossible to fully tame such a creature with a few cracks of a whip.
Woohyuk then went below deck and headed towards the captain’s quarters. Generally speaking the source of the Curse could be found there.
As he opened the door, a round wooden table and bed came into view. Woohyuk walked inside and picked up the captain’s diary that was lying on the table.
The door was suddenly slammed shut, and a black figure appeared as it strode towards him. Completely unfazed, Woohyuk asked.
“Are you the captain of this ship?”
“There was a time when I was, but now I am but a ghost lost at sea.”
Pirates had a tough life, Sailing to find treasure sounded good and all, but the seas were treacherous. Still, sometimes they were even less so than your colleagues or subordinates that might stab you in the back.
“Tell me about this curse you’ve been afflicted with.”
“First, let’s see if you are worthy.”
As the ghost captain finished speaking, a cutlass that was lying in the corner of the room flew into his grasp.
A crescent blade with a large round guard above the hilt . It was your typical pirate sword. Woohyuk swung Grandia without any worries.
The sharp sound of the two swords crossing rang out in the room.
“I am more than qualified, I’ve tamed the Kraken.”
“So it was you, I was wondering why it stayed so calm despite seeing this ship.”
The ghost captain lowered his cutlass as he began to tell his tale.
“My name is Drake. I was once known as a Pirate King and would roam the seas without any fear.”
Woohyuk sat down on a chair as he listened to his story.
Drake had been very interested in any legendary treasures, and had fortuitously obtained a treasure map of a Historical Site found at sea.
After many years of searching, he had finally located this Historical Site and entered the Lost Temple . Unfortunately this attracted the Sea God’s wrath, who cursed him for trespassing.
He and his crew were cursed to be forever erased from the memory of others.
Still, because of Drake’s brilliant career and abilities, he along with his crew would remain as ghosts of the Abyssal Ship, to obey its next captain.
He hadn’t known about Drake, but he had anticipated some clues to that long lost civilization.
It was a place that even the most prominent archaeologists from his time weren’t able to locate, so Woohyuk had theorized that it might be located in the Calm Sea.
“Since you were able to defeat the Kraken, you should be able to easily arrive at the Sea God’s Temple.”
Deep within the temple, in a certain treasure chest, Drake and his crew’s heart had been stashed away. Only by finding them and stabbing each of them would they finally be released from the Sea God’s curse.
“If I accept this request of yours, what would I get in return?”
“To properly man this Abyssal Ship, you need a team of competent sailors. We would be of great value to you at sea, so even if you were to release us, we would continue to follow you in your lifetime. Also, as a bonus I can tell you the location of a few Hidden treasures I know about.”
Even after returning to the Eeth continent, he wouldn’t be sailing for quite some time. Still, in order to sit on the Divine Throne, he would need the added benefits of those treasures found at sea.
‘I was planning on visiting anyways.’
If he didn’t explore the Temple now, he wouldn’t get another chance in future.
“You can claim ownership over the Abyssal Ship by grabbing hold of the ship’s wheel located on the bridge above deck. Still, this ship isn’t capable of diving underwater.”
Drake placed some equipment on the round table. It looked like scuba gear, including breathing assistance, flippers and diving mask.
All of it had been designed by him through years of research.
“At first I used these, but it was still far too dangerous down there, so I had to invent something else. ”
The movement speed under water was far too restricted, and if you take into consideration the time one had before having to come up for air, the chances of any exploration being successful was close to zero.
“For that reason I developed another invention, it’s really too bad I didn’t have the chance to reveal it to the world.”
Drake left the captain’s quarters as he guided Woohyuk to his latest invention.
‘It’s a submarine.’
Although it was made out of wood, that didn’t mean one should underestimate it. In this world, high-quality wood could be incredibly durable.
Woohyuk closely examined the submarine’s structure. There were fins that were implemented much like on a fish, to reduce any resistance. An engine was installed that could be powered by mana, and it was even equipped with torpedoes to be used as weapons.
It was the very pinnacle in fusion of magic and engineering.
“Did you attend some engineering university or something?”
“I have no idea what you are talking about, I simply designed it. As for the actual production, it was done by a team of Alchemists and Shipwrights.”
He was a man ahead of his times.
Woohyuk was beginning to warm up to the guy due to his many talents.
“In your previous life you were a Pirate King, how about being an Inventor King in this one?”
“That doesn’t sound bad at all.”
Drake nodded in response oblivious to Woohyuk’s grand ambitions.
* * *
After claiming ownership of the Abyssal Ship, Woohyuk used the submarine to head straight for the Temple.
Although he had to navigate through the pitch black darkness of the lake’s bottom, it wasn’t a problem since he still had the added night vision from the Black Machete’s passive. Also, it did help that he was able to command any of the creatures.
‘It’s really quite deep.’
The lake wasn’t named as a sea without reason. Before being brought over to the Primordial Forest area, it had almost certainly been part of some sea. The submarine’s lights would illuminate the different aquatic creatures wandering about. When they sensed Woohyuk, they would wiggle their fins and tail in order to express their happiness.
‘I could use them as guards.’
He only had control over any living creature, and could still encounter trouble in the form of ghosts like Drake or even a being connected to the Sea God.
Woohyuk thought about which of them he should use. The Kraken’s incredible size made it unsuitable for summoning in areas that had limited space.
Then a familiar fish came into view.
Waist up it was a horse, but it’s bottom half was that of a fish, making it amphibious. Of course, since it didn’t have any rear legs it’s movement speed on land was a bit pathetic.
He tamed the Kelpie and immediately unsummoned it. He continued forward for quite some time, until he could finally see the bottom of the lake, teeming with strange looking fish that were hurrying to greet him.
Woohyuk took a look at the map provided by Drake, before carefully examining his surroundings. He had to carefully navigate the seabed since some unexpected seaweeds or rocks could cause severe damage to the vessel if he was inattentive.
From a distance, the remains of an ancient civilization gradually came into view. There were impressive columns and pyramids, as well as a formation of rocks resembling Stonehenge.
It would be a real treat for any archaeologist looking to unravel the many historical truths that had been lost in time, but Woohyuk had his eye on the prize.
‘Where would the temple be?’
It was said that the long lost civilization had been one of city-states, so the Temple would most likely be situated on a hill overlooking the city or perhaps even at the heart of the city.
Woohyuk continued to patiently explore the ruins, but since it seemed to take far too long, he decided to employ a few sharks to act as scouts.
‘There are so many wreckages.’
Whether it was due to the rough waters, or something else, the remains of countless pirate ships littered the entire floor. It was to the point where one could call it a ship’s graveyard.
As Woohyuk was taking in the sights, one of the sharks made some abrupt gestures, warning of an incoming drowned man dressed in a sailor’s outfit.
No doubt it was another being that had been cursed by the Sea God. As Woohyuk gave the order, the shark bolted ahead and ripped its body apart with its sharp teeth.
Shortly after the undead had been taken care of, another shark had returned and wiggled its fins excitedly, to show that it had found the desired location.
Following its lead, Woohyuk finally arrived at the Lost Temple. Araeosystyle columns supported a large triangle stone roof.2 The architectural style completely matched with what was known about the Sea God’s Temple.
[Would you like to enter the Lost Temple?]
[YES / NO]
As Woohyuk selected [YES], a bright light encompassed his surroundings.
* * *
When he opened his eyes, a large stone room came into view. There was seaweed growing along the walls and it was a very dark and humid environment.
‘I guess I must be inside.’
Some Historical Sites would teleport you inside just like this one, in fact most were inaccessible without some special entrance method.
To a certain extent, the Creator was also taking into account some conveniences for the adventurers, making it so that this starting location wasn’t submersed underwater.
‘There shouldn’t be anyone here besides me.
This was a space that was shared among all the sectors, but he strongly believed only he had the ability to make it here. Also, players weren’t allowed to harm each other in these kinds of locations.
People couldn’t be waiting here in ambush, and also when you leave you are given invulnerable to any attacks for a short duration. The only thing they allowed was to physically block others from getting the treasures using your body. It was a dirty group tactic thought up later on, so the best thing to do was to prioritize taking all the treasures as soon as possible.
‘What monsters might there be?’
Some mutant being, half-human and fish was the most likely scenario. Woohyuk walked forward carefully along the passageway, with his sword Grandia raised.
It wasn’t only monsters, there would also be various traps which he would have to be wary of. It could be an arrow suddenly being shot out, or an iron plate full of spikes falling from the ceiling.
Still, since he was familiar with so many of the traps, he was able to make it past the passage without suffering too much damage. Upon exiting, he arrived at a large amphitheater, only to be greeted by a group of ugly half-human sea monsters.
They were all quite diverse in their appearances, some covered in scales and fins like a fish, others with hard shells and pincer claws like crustaceans.
The Dagons’ bodies were cleaved at the waist with a single swing of Grandia. Dark green blood splattered across the floor and columns. The moisture in the air along with the blood and guts spilled on the ground gave rise to a very bad fishy smell. Woohyuk couldn’t help but frown as he looked around.
His priorities were to find the Guardian monster and the Secret Treasure room. But he also had to carefully explore and discover anything this place might hide, since he wouldn’t be able to return later on.
‘Should I eat it now?’
Eating the fruit from the Paradise Tree which Lyla had given him would give him complete knowledge about any hidden secrets in this site. Still, he wasn’t willing to resort to that just now. The fruit was very valuable and it was still likely that he’d discover an even more important Historical Site in the future.
‘I’ll try to settle it myself.’
He still had 3 days that he could spare over here. He could also choose to summon his party to help him look around, or even go up to the surface to ask Drake for any tips.
‘He didn’t seem to remember much though.’
Due to encountering the Sea God, Drake’s expedition to the Temple had ended rather early. Woohyuk picked up his pace, hoping that the Sea God was nowhere to be found.
“A human actually stepped foot in here, how arrogant.”
Woohyuk turned his head to the source of voice. It was a young man with bright blue hair and the lower body of a fish. He was staring right at Woohyuk.
“Nice to finally meet you, I’ve been looking for you.”
He hadn’t imagined that the Guardian monster would suddenly appear before him. Maybe it was because this time around it was an intelligent creature.
The Sea God’s children. Most of them had been killed over the years, but there were some that had been exiled to guard the Temples.
His name was Triton, and he was quite strong because he was a demigod. Still, due to the Creator’s arrangement, he would suffer from a considerable debuff.
It was something that Woohyuk who had explored countless Historical Sites, was able to quickly pick up on.
“Who are you, you can’t be from the Royal line, due to your black hair.”
Triton asked as he approached Woohyuk. There was a waterway on the floor which allowed him to move despite the absence of legs.
“I am the one who will be a God at sea.”
“How rude, do you even know who I am!”
Triton became enraged as he sent out several Ice arrows towards him, but the attacks were completely absorbed by the Ghost Queen Star Serpent.
“You are the one that doesn’t seem to understand the situation.”
Woohyuk exclaimed as he sent Triton’s magic right back at him.
The water rippled as the spells skimmed its surface.
“It’s time for you to learn a lesson in humility. ”
The Ice arrows that were sent back connected hard with Triton's body.