Chapter 132 – Winter Queen (3)
Regina, who was unflappable most of the time, let out a moan. When she sensed the flow of Mana, she had used an ice type magic. In a shocking turn of events, she wasn’t able to use any ice type magic spells within this space.
This included her Mana. As soon as she changed her Mana into cold energy, she lost dominion over her power. It was absorbed into the attack coming towards them!
When she realized what was going on, she transitioned into using wind magic. She was able to destroy the Ice Spears, but she couldn’t dodge all the fragments. Small number of wounds appeared on her body. Artpe clicked his tongue when he saw the enemy’s violent response. He used his Materialization spell to destroy the rest of the Ice Spears. He gave orders to his party.
“I want everyone to charge forward. I’ll take care of all the attacks directed towards us. Your ultimate goal is to reach the enemy.”
“Is there any way we can resolve this through words, Artpe-nim!?”
“Even if there is a way, I refuse to do so!”
From the moment they entered the ruin, they automatically became intruders.
So why would he trust the Ice Queen’s words when she called them her guests?!
Moreover, it was harder to fight an enemy when one formed a favorable relationship with one’s opponent. This was one of the reasons why he was doing this.
[Your judgment is truly rash and self-centered. However, you are showing mettle, so it isn’t too bad! I wonder if you can show me the innumerable changes that occurs within a human!]
“······I hate a know-it-all. She is looking down on us as if she knows everything.”
“As it happens, I feel the same way. It is an unwelcome coincidence.”
Regina was being carried on the back of Sienna, who was running at high speed. Regina sounded irked as she chanted her wind spells.
“I don’t like those that act that way.”
He had a good guess as to who the owner of the voice was. It was probably the Winter Queen or a vassal given authority over her power. She wasn’t known for her martial prowess. She was a symbolic figure within legends. She was one of the spirits of the four season.
‘She speaks as if she knows that I wasn’t a human before. I don’t like the tone of her voice.’
He couldn’t stop thinking about the dream he had before. He was hearing the voice he had heard in his dream. She sounded as if she knew that the world would repeat itself through Artpe’s reincarnation. At first, there were many parts of his dreams that sounded like nonsense, but the voice inside his dream really had shown up….
“I’ll think about it after I face her.”
The voice did a proper job in greeting her guests. No monsters appeared, but an incredible number of Ice Spears appeared all around them. There was no rhyme or reason as to where the Ice Spears appeared. Moreover, a fog containing cold energy suddenly made its appearance. The fog froze everything that it touched! It was as if the Dungeon itself was trying to kill the party.
“They are coming from below!”
However, the more amazing part was how Artpe dealt with the attack. He assessed the rate in which his party was moving, and he wrapped his Mana Strings around them. He was able to sense and predict where the attacks were coming from. He formed barriers using his Materialization spell, and his barriers were precise in blocking the attacks!
In the opening salvo, the party became a little bit hurt. It couldn’t be helped. However, they remained unharmed after they started their charge. None of the barriers were breached.
Artpe was displaying a ridiculous amount of control and reaction speed. It surprised even those that were being protected by him. The party members were surprised, but they didn’t decrease their speed. It was more urgent for them to defeat their enemy instead of giving Artpe praise.
[You are fast. As expected, your senses have grown beyond what it was before!]
“Grown······? Growth is a word you use against someone that haven’t matured yet!”
Artpe had extended only a single strand of Mana String. This one strand elongated as it fluttered around the party. It looked like a butterfly, but in the next moment, it changed into arrows, walls and shields to block all the Ice Spears that was threatening the party.
The members of Artpe’s party didn’t have to think about anything else. They just focused all their power on reaching their enemy. They prepared their Mana. Their Mana reached a fevered pitch, and they were just waiting for the moment where they would unleash their deadly energy towards their enemy.
[You show trust in your comrades, and they respond with an unyielding spirit. Both are splendid. The only part that worries me is that you have only one central leader, yet you are holding up very well.]
“You talk down to us as if you are sitting up on a pedestal! You are annoying!”
When someone treated others as if they were novices, it usually was done by someone that had the power to back it up. In many case, they were big shots. However, he could only accept such a behavior from someone that had revealed their true nature! He hated those that acted high and mighty without revealing their identity!
He really hated preachy beings that remarked on the age of the opponent or when they went into a diatribe about how he should realize how big the world was! Even if their words meant well, it annoyed him. Artpe’s wish was to capture all of them and beat them to a pulp.
“If this is the extent of your attack, you should speak to me in honorifics. Honorifics! How dare you talk to me as an equal!”
[You designated yourselves as intruders of your own volition. At the very least, your attitude is truly bold. All right. Let’s see how you fare against this.]
Artpe was getting ready to bluff like a Four Heavenly King, but the voice responded as if she had been waiting for this.
At that exact moment, Artpe used Blink by instinct. There were five in the party including him, and he transported everyone several hundred meters forward. Afterwards, the space where they had been crumpled, and it disappeared.
If he had been a little bit late, they wouldn’t have been able to put up a fight. They would have been crumpled up alongside the space, and they would have died.
“It is coming again! Don’t put up a resistance! Leave everything to me!”
Artpe once again used Blink. Afterwards, a larger swath of space crumpled up before it disappeared. The Ice Spear had been scary, but a greater fear was felt when they saw this attack.
“Tsk. It seems she is capable of adapting to the action of her enemies…..”
[You are well informed. You children are so excellent that I have to fight with my full strength from now on. This was the right way to greet you guys, and you guys are truly doing well.]
“Your words at the end was shitty.”
He was aware from the start that the ruin moved according to the will of this voice. However, he never expected her to crumple and eliminate space like that. The voice was synchronized with the ruin itself, but at the same time, she would also have to know a high level Space magic.
‘Even if I use the same Space magic, I’ll only be able to create a pocket dimension. I won’t be able to destroy an existing space like her. She is on a different level. It isn’t something that can be learned through a spell written within a Spell book. That means…..’
The being, who was waiting for them, had the ability to construct and deconstruct space.
“······I never expected her to be of this caliber.”
[Did you learn something just from this one move? You really are a very entertaining child!]
When she realized that she couldn’t threaten Artpe’s party using simple elemental magic, she had changed her offensive strategy. She started using her space magicm in earnest.
She flattened the space that Artpe’s party occupied in whole. She even tried to predict where Artpe’s party would show up, and she crumpled those spaces too. If Artpe didn’t possess the Read All Creation ability, his party would have died without being able to do anything!
‘Shit. The number of hero was increased to two. I should have taken that into consideration! I should have known that the content of this ruin would have changed!’
He had never expected to meet Etna in such an unexpected location. It caused him to become flustered, and in turn, he had failed to take into consideration what would happen if he explored this ruin with Maetel. It had caused this accident.
Of course, it wouldn’t have significantly changed the choices he had to make even if he had known about it. Artpe didn’t act without preparing two steps ahead.
“Everyone should give Mana to Artpe······.”
“No, you don’t have to do that. I want you all to get ready to attack.”
Artpe continued to use the Materialization spell and Blink to thwart the ruin’s attacks. Maetel was about to speak when she saw this, but Artpe stopped her from speaking. He took out a magic stone. It was the magic stone he acquired after defeating the Ancient Kraken.
“I was wondering where I should use this. This might be the ideal spot.”
No one could stop him now. It was unknown as to how many Blinks he had used, but when he exited the range of the voice’s attack, he brought down the magic stone hard against his boots. Then he used his Reinforcement skill. There could be no delay in the Reinforcement. The most important thing right now was speed!
[Wind Spirit King’s Feather+4]
[Originally, it was a boot capable of performing Blink. In the hands of a magician, a miracle was created. It was Reinforced four times. It allowed the magician to bring back the Record of the Wind Spirit King, which had disappeared from this world. The Record was brought down into the boots. It no longer consumes Mana as the wearer can freely move to any location within one’s sight. If appropriate amount of Mana is used in conjunction, the wearer and anyone accompanying the wearer can be transported any distance decided by the wearer. The wearer of this item becomes extremely agile, and a bonus for wind magic is added.]
Was his wish granted? Or was this the fruit of cultivating his Reinforcement skill? The Reinforcement occurred at high speeds. It finished in the time it took to roast a peanut with a lightning.
Moreover, the performance of the Artifact was once again took a remarkable jump. The consumption of the Ancient Kraken’s magic stone wasn’t the only reason why he was able to achieve this result. Artpe thought the location had a hand in affecting the product.
[How can this be? The scent of the lost one is emanating from the boots······.]
As expected, he was successful in making his enemy flustered! He let out a smile of satisfaction as he immediately activated the Artifact, which he had finished Reinforcing.
The voice realized that Artpe’s power had risen. She used consecutive attacks to crumple the nearby space, and she was successful in halting the hero’s party. However, something that transcended her expectations occurred next.
Artpe used the background of the dream he had. He moved his party to the final location reached by the hero’s party of his past life!
[How can this be······!]
There was an upward tilt to Artpe’s lips. Artpe uncharacteristically took a gamble, and he had succeeded. He had to consume all his remaining Mana, but he skipped a distance that would have taken a very long time to travel. He boldly skipped the distance, and he succeeded in reaching the heart of the ruin!
The part arrived at a location that wasn’t too large. A room encased in ice was floating in empty air. It was as if they were in a room made out of transparent glass.
The space contained only a single large female sculpture. There was an overwhelming amount of Mana imbued within the sculpture, and it was apparent that the owner of the voice was the female sculpture.
“God’s Fire Spark.”
When they arrived in the open space, Artpe didn’t even have to order an attack. When Artpe previously ordered them to prepare for an attack, they had prepared their strongest skills and spells. They all strived to be the first to attack the female sculpture. They unleashed an attack containing an enormous amount of Mana!
The members of the hero’s party were all over level 300, and their attack slammed into the barrier surrounding the sculpture. The protection spell around the sculpture was broken, and almost 10% of the sculpture was destroyed. The sculpture didn’t feel any physical pain, but it felt the loss of its Record when the sculpture was damaged and destroyed. Her voice was filled with pain.
[I never expected you to reach this place. I never expected a human, who could invade this place without my consent, to exist…..]
Yes, the voice was flowing out from the female statue.
“You probably thought I couldn’t destroy you, since you reside in this place. This is your true form, right?”
Artpe was gasping, because he didn’t have any Mana. He was all talk as he spoke in a smarmy manner. Earlier, he had taken a shot from the sculpture while he was trying to bluff. This was his revenge against her for that move.
However, the female sculpture didn’t use a different attack to screw over Artpe once again. She just created a new barrier magic and protection magic around herself. She protected herself as she asked him a question.
[······I am protected against space magic. How were you able to reach a location that is supposed to be impossible to reach?]
“It is thanks to an Artifact.”
[You are lying. Maybe, you cannot tell me the truth?]
Artpe was merely a thief trying to acquire everything the ruin had to offer. What did the voice think Artpe was? He was at a loss for words, so he snorted.
[I see. It will be difficult for you to speak about it right now in this setting.]
Artpe made his resolve. He had to quickly recover his Mana to destroy the female statue.
However, a magic circle suddenly appeared above the female structure. It was something he had seen and experienced before. It wasn’t an attack, and it wasn’t for running away….
He didn’t know what kind of Dimensional pocket she was forming, but he decided to thwart it. He extended his Mana String, but the magic activated a step earlier.
[Will you be able to tell me now?]
The voice of the female sculpture no longer held hostility or a will to fight. Artpe was dumbfounded. He could only blink his two eyes when faced with the calm voice.
Only Artpe and the female sculpture remained in the room.