Chapter 17: Sea God's Temple (2)
Triton groaned in pain as he tried to catch his breath. Now he was swinging the blue fin and moving a lot across the cold stone floor.
A complete defeat.
Woohyuk had made use of the effect of Calm Sea’s Silence to prevent Triton from using any magic spells for an entire minute. As a result, he had no choice but to engage in close combat.
He had hurriedly pulled out a trident, but nonetheless wasn’t Woohyuk’s match. After all, Woohyuk was enjoying a nice buff from his Legendary Explorer title, whereas Triton's full strength was instead suppressed.
Even when it came to combat experience and weapon proficiency, Woohyuk is not inferior to the demigod Triton.
He had defeated countless mythological creatures in order to sit on the Iron Throne. Although his Stats were significantly lower, he still had a Monarch’s dignity to maintain.
Triton trembled as he looked up and met Woohyuk’s merciless gaze.
“Unless you want to lose your pathetic life, guide me to where the Hidden Treasures are.”
It was his first time feeling fear from an insignificant human being. Swallowing his pride and suppressing his shame, Triton went ahead and led Woohyuk to the treasures.
As Woohyuk placed his hand on the engraved rune, the stone wall transformed into a door, which he quickly pushed open. The inside of the room was quite dark and smelled very humid, so Woohyuk summoned Kelpie.
“Explore the inside.”
This could have all been Triton trying to set him up, using the excuse that as a designated Guardian monster he wasn’t able to enter the Secret room. As Woohyuk stared him down, Triton simply shook his head.
“There is only a small well, inside of which the treasure chest can be found.”
Since this is a Sea god’s temple, it was designed to be retrieved through salvage. After the Kelpie fetched the chest for him, Woohyuk was finally able to open it up and have a look at the treasure inside.
Effect: Able to breathe underwater and walk on its surface. 100% increase in swimming speed and increased intimacy with aquatic lifeforms.
[Deep Sea’s Orb]
Category: Personal Item
Effect: Able to have vision and exert a certain control over the sea, depending on the amount of mana used. To control living creatures a certain level of intimacy is required.
Effect: Able to delete any memory associated with you from the minds of unfriendly beings. The length of the memory depends on the amount of mana used.
As expected from the tutorial’s endgame quest, the items’ Grades were very high. Especially those items that could be considered to have traces of divine power, such as the Deep Sea’s Orb and Lost Lyre.
“Are you satisfied now? That’s all the treasure that was in the well.”
“Good, now we just need to go find the rest. That is, unless you’d rather I torture the information out of you.”
Woohyuk’s eyes held a dangerous glint, causing Triton to swallow down nervously. He knew that it wasn’t any empty threat and was trying to quickly come up with a good excuse to not cooperate.
As Triton considered his options, Woohyuk pulled out the Paradise Tree Fruit from his Sage’s Pouch.
“Do you know what this is?”
“That’s right, and if I eat this and I find out that you’ve left out any treasures, I'll execute you all on the spot.”
Triton’s face paled as the Dagons gathered behind him stared pitifully.
Will you guarantee our safety if I do what you ask?”
“Why would I go out of my way to kill you, it’ll only stain my sword.”
Triton had no idea that the entire Primordial Forest would disappear in just a few days. Unlike Lyla, he had been exiled here and wasn’t in contact with the outside.
“Fine, I’ll hand them all over to you.”
He ended up making the rational decision, as he led Woohyuk around into the depths of the Temple.
‘So there is other treasure.’
He had assumed that there wouldn’t only have been the single Secret room given the level of difficulty required to arrive here. As he went down a flight of stairs leading to the basement, he thought back to an ancient document he had come across.
‘It had mentioned that he had been pushed out of the ranking competition.’
Just like the 72 Demon Kings, the Gods had also fought to establish their position, and the Sea God had suffered several defeats.
Following his relegation, he had concocted some devious plan. Although there weren’t any details regarding it, it surely targeted the other Gods.
“It was the main reason that they betrayed the Creator. The Gods wanted to fight for their rankings, while the Creator only sought peace and stability.”
As Triton arrived at their destination, he spoke rather nostalgically before a large blue gem.
“Surely you can understand the boredom brought on by eons of peace. Hey, strong human, take this. It will definitely be of use to you in your adventures.”
Woohyuk walked over and grasped the gem. It briefly emitted a bright light, then was dislodged as he held it in his hand.
[Heart of the Sea]
Category: Personal Item
Effect: A gem containing the secrets of the Sea God. When used as a crafting material, it can lead to varying results depending on the user’s skill level.
‘Is it possible to make Hidden weapons with it?’
According to the documents he had read, there were Ancient weapons out there which were said to be able to face off against the Gods. Although there were no longer any traces of them left, he was convinced that it was true.
“And the sailors’ hearts?”
“They are over there.”
Triton pointed towards an ordinary looking chest, left in the corner of the room. Opening it up, he stabbed all the hearts inside using his Vampiric dagger.
The hearts melted into water that spilled onto the ground. After taking care of them all, he noticed something else at the bottom of the chest. A fragment of a piece of rock emitting a faint blue light. Curious, Woohyuk picked it up to have a closer look.
[Azure Dragon’s Token]
Category: Personal Item
Effect: One of the nine tokens required to be a Dragon Lord. Intimacy with Azure Dragons is increased simply by having it in your possession, and it is possible to enter a contract with them.
‘There you are.’
He realised why it was that no one had been able to become a Dragon Lord in the past. It was a class which was basically unavailable unless someone retraced the same steps he’d taken, by returning to the past.
He wondered what abilities that class would have.
“There isn’t anything else, do you have any further instructions?”
He had already obtained all of the items so it was fine to cut Triton’s head off. Still, even if he were to actually let him off, he would still disappear in a few days.
“I do have one question for you.”
Woohyuk turned to face him as he asked.
“Are you willing to serve under me?”
He had a tough decision ahead of him.
* * *
“What? Did the tree just disappear?”
The blonde woman Alice asked as she looked behind her. She was using an ash tree staff and a worn out leather armor.
“I’m not sure.”
The party members shook their heads in response, as Alice tried to make sense of it all.
‘Could it be an illusion.’
This was a strange world they had been sent to, so it wasn’t outside the realm of possibilities. Didn’t they encounter a snake that was unharmed after being stabbed, and a lizard which spat our fire from its mouth?
Having gone from an everyday bartender to this unforgiving land, Alice really missed her warm showers and plush mattress.
“This forest is no joke, it isn’t just one or two things that we have to be wary of.”
“Right, even fighting the Cocatrices wasn’t this bad. Wait, maybe we can bring them and let them clear a path for us.”
Cocatrices were a snake's natural predator. Their corrosive spit could even melt the scales of these weird snakes. Of course, the incredibly large lake made such a plan impossible.
“How could we capture one alive and carry it all this way on the boat? Don’t you remember how many of us nearly lost our lives on the way here?”
Fortunately they were able to find a galley and repair it. The monstrous Seals and Three Clawed Eagles were a problem, and if one was to fall overboard, the sharks circling the boat would ensure you’d never see them again.
“We also need to think of the competition. Luckily we were first and didn’t need to fight others for this galley or there would have been even more casualties.”
“Enough chit chat and focus on the battle, these guys are also poisonous so be careful.”
Edward’s words caused everyone to fall silent. Alice came over and hugged his arm.
For her, Edward was a warm lover and only support within this wretched place. He had saved her from the hands of lecherous men, preventing them from raping her and was also a true leader that had brought them this far.
She knew that she would do anything for him, because he was talented and handsome, her ideal type.
As the Star Snakes approached from all sides, the party prepared itself for battle. They held wooden staffs in their hands and not swords, because they realized that striking them with a blunt object was more effective.
A dull sound echoed throughout the forest, when all the snakes were taken care of, he gave the sign to keep pressing forward.
“Sorry Edward, I’m always slowing you down.”
“Don’t say that Alice, you are a crucial part of this team.”
Against the Star Snakes, Alice’s magic was completely useless. Her heart warmed at the thought of his protection. He had never scolded her this whole time even if she didn’t contribute to the battle.
“Are we still far from the island’s center?”
“It should be close now, we’ve taken the most direct route.”
An island named Paradise Lost, there were surely treasures related to Paradise and Life trees. Alice’s group hurried along as they thought of the rewards that awaited them.
“Wow, that guy is huge.”
“How on earth are we supposed to defeat that thing?”
Upon reaching the Paradise Tree, they were shocked by the enormity of the Queen Star Snake. Just the thought of facing it caused many of them to despair.
“Let’s get started with the hunt, there must be some way.”
Edward lowered his voice, holding a Ghost mushroom in his hand.
* * *
Alice’s party watched as the Queen Star Snake’s corpse collapsed on the ground. One of them even went ahead and gave it a kick.
“Son of a snake!”
That was Douglas, he worked as an analyst at a big investment banking firm on Wall Street making the big bucks. Due to his rather arrogant personality he would often be the cause of conflict within the party.
It went without saying that Alice didn’t like him very much.
“It’s good that we didn’t suffer too many casualties. How about we go see what the rewards are?”
Edward placed his hand on the engraved rune on the Paradise Tree, and the Secret room appeared. The entire party quickly entered, looking around. There was a lot of equipment stored on top of the altar.
“Let’s take our time to look well, there must be some special items.”
Edward said with a tinge of eagerness as he held a gold key in his hand.
“It’s fine, no one could have beaten us here.”
“Of course, to do so one would have to be a God.…”
Edward was unable to continue speaking as a trident pierced his stomach from behind.
“Quickly tie her up!”
Douglas, who now had a red marker above his head pointed towards a shrieking Alice.
A member of their party punched her with his full strength.
Bleeding from her mouth, Alice dropped to the ground as the man proceeded to tie her up with some rope.
“Why did you kill Edward! Why!”
“He is too soft, trying to be a hero all the time. He didn’t represent the team’s values.”
The entire party had already sided with Douglas. Alice continued to sob as her hair was a complete mess.
“I should have convinced him to kill you back then.”
“You couldn’t have, I made sure to always be helpful.”
Douglas replied as he picked up the gold key from the ground. He then went ahead and opened the treasure chest, with high expectations.
Effect: All Stats +15
‘What? Is this for real?’
A +15 to all stats wasn’t any to scoff at, but it didn’t seem to match the difficulty that they had undergone.
“It’s too bad he’s dead. Had I known the treasure would be so pitiful, I would have used him a bit longer.”
Although he didn’t like to admit it, the truth was that Edward was indeed a competent leader. After all, he was the one who led the party that had the first clear on this Boss monster.
“I’m feeling rather down, so I need something to cheer me up.”
“Are you going to do it in here?”
“Well we can’t do it outside, it’s full of snakes.”
Alie trembled as she overheard the conversation of these perverted men. It was more in anger at the fact that her beloved Edward had died at the hands of his own team members which he had so much faith in. Rather than the fact that she would soon be violated by these depraved men.
‘I’m sick of this.’
It was better if such a world had never existed.
I want to kill
I want to trample on it all.
These strong desires began to form within her.
“I’ve always wanted to have a taste of you. Such a pretty face that is just begging to be eaten up.”
Alice spat in Douglas’ face, causing him to become enraged and place a dagger up against her neck.
“Careful now, you wouldn’t want to meet you little boyfriend so soon now would you?”
Alice caught herself from saying any hateful retorts. She would have to silently endure for now in order to get her revenge.
“Shit, I’ve lost the mood. Let’s go out and get some food once you are done taking all the items.”
“Should we sleep here tonight?”
“Yeah, It’ll be dangerous outside.”
Alice sobbed quietly as tears rolled down her face.
‘If only I had the strength….’
She would wipe out all these depraved men that were devoid of humanity. As Alice cursed her own weakness, a woman’s voice appeared from out of nowhere.
“Do you seek power?”
“Who, who is it?”
Startled, Alice raised her head. Before here stood a real beauty with long silver hair, wearing a tight, black leather suit.
“My name’s Lilith, also known as the Silver-Haired Witch… it wouldn’t mean anything to you anyways.”
Lilith crouched down until she was eye level with Alice, her dark ruby eyes peering inside of her.
“I like a pretty woman like you that is filled with hate, so I’ll give you a chance. A Hidden Class, Queen of Thorns.”
Lyla, who had previously managed Paradise Lost, was no more. As such Lilith had been able to interfere. Alice reached out and grabbed the hand that Lilith had extended to her.
“You shall now be just like a black swan, a harbinger of ominous deeds, reborn as the mother of a new race. You have nothing to fear, perhaps this suits you even more that Blood Queen would have.
Alice’s eyes turned blood red as sharp, thorn-like wings sprouted from her back.