Chapter 138 - Aries Used Flamethrower!
Raw link: (2016/12/03)
Translator: twomorefreethoughts / TpstT (2020/01/07)
Editor 1: Hand of Vecna (2020/01/15)
Editor 2: Keii (2020/01/20)
-Skipped- Irrelevant to English readers.
(Author note end)
After entering a tavern, what Aries and the rest saw was a sight that should not have existed in the Dark Continent — a lively bunch of "humanoids".
They included, but were not limited to, humans, beastkin, elves, flugels, dwarves and hobbits. The very fact that humanoids were actually living here was astonis.h.i.+ng.
Ever since the Seven Heroes had lost against the Demon King, the humanoids had had their right to exist slowly taken away. By now, they were only left with a small area of land - specifically, they could only live in the small area of land where Aries and the rest had been operating in up to this point.
Yet, to think that there were some living normally in Muspelheim, which boasted the greatest level of danger even within the Dark Continent.
Inside the shop, enveloped by perpetual ice, people were sitting down whilst wearing heavy clothing in order to keep warm and drinking alcoholic beverages while having friendly conversations.
At the very least, it did not seem like they were liviing in fear of tomorrow, because the tavern was not shrouded in a dark atmosphere.
"This is kind of a given, but it doesn't seem like the furniture themselves are made out of ice, huh."
Scorpius touched a random table and muttered in a disinterested voice.
Even taking into consideration that they wouldn't disappear, as expected, the tables and chairs could not have been made out of ice.
Having said that, the surroundings were how they were. It did not change the fact that it was still cold.
However, taking into consideration how the whole place was enclosed by ice, this tavern could be said to be unnaturally warm.
"If you ask me if it's a bit chilly, it's a bit chilly, but it's actually quite warm compared to outside."
"Aries-sama, that's probably because these ice has a secret to it. These ice doesn't just not melt. They probably has air within it and, rather than ice, it's closer to snow in nature."
Snow contained air, therefore it had an outstanding insulation function.
As a result, caves or houses made out of snow were surprisingly warm.
Needless to say, the degree of warmth was only relative to the outside temperature, however, it did not change the fact that people would still feel more comfortable inside.
Hydrus explained all of the finer details of the ice that would not disappear whilst admiring it due to it being the work of the Water attribute.
"Hmm, what's this? You lot aren't from around here, right?"
Whilst Aries and the rest were looking at the inside of the tavern like it was something strange, a dwarf who appeared to be the shopkeeper came and spoke to them.
Looking at his appearance, Scorpius muttered an honest but rude observation, "Really, these guys… wherever I go, they all look the same."
With regard to the dwarf race, Ruphas had once said 200 years ago, "With the exception of Mizar, I can't tell them apart." Scorpius was also of the same opinion.
If anything, Scorpius could not even distinguish between Mizar and the other dwarves.
"On the other hand, you're a familiar face. Why does every dwarf look exactly the same?"
Fundamentally, Scorpius afforded no courtesy to anyone other than Ruphas.
Therefore, she would sometimes nonchalantly behave in a manner that might be taken as disrespectful by the other party.
Thinking that it would only cause unnecessary problems with the way things were going, Karkinos made her fall back and sat in front of the counter instead.
"Sorry. She did not say that because she had any ill intent. By the way, master, what kind of place is this city?"
"What? You don't know?"
"Yes. After all, me are a group of travellers."
"Travellers… in this world that's being dominated by the demon race? How eccentric. Or is it that you guys are just that confident in your own strength?"
"Well, something like that."
Contrary to his ridiculous speech pattern, Karkinos was someone who possessed good communication skills.
At the very least, it was incomparable to that of Aries or Scorpius, who fell into a deep depression for a long time or became aggressive after Ruphas's defeat respectively.
That was because he was the only one amongst the Twelve Stars who had chosen and successfully managed to blend in with the humanoids and live alongside them.
Perhaps this was one of the contributing factors behind why Ruphas had decided to dispatch him to this place.
Although it might have been unbelievable based on his usual frivolous actions, he actually had a fairly serious and patient personality.
"This city, huh… hmm, it's called [Nectar]. This place used to be called the scorching world Muspelheim."
"That, me are also aware of. That’s why it's surprising. To think that there would be a city where Muspelheim used to be."
"You, what age are you guys from? The time when this place was the scorching world was almost 200 years ago."
"Oh! So it's been like this since 200 years ago."
"Yeah. Even you should be aware that the humanoids lost against the demons 200 years ago. At that time, a lot of people either died or ran away from the land they used to live in. But amongst them, a few groups of people didn't manage to get away in time or refused to abandon the place where they used to live and ended up remaining in this land."
What the shopkeeper said made sense.
Indeed, as the humanoids were cornered and had their domain stolen, it was an impossible scenario to think that every single one of them had gotten away.
It was natural that there were those that did not manage to get away or decided to fight until the very end.
But the problem was after that.
Whilst it was somewhat reasonable to think that there would be people that fit into those categories, it was unbelievable that those people would manage to survive and thrive in a city like this until this age.
After all, it was impossible for them to have been overlooked all this time as they lived in the domain controlled by the demon race.
"Well, apparently, it was miserable after that. It was fine and all that they tried to retaliate against the demon race, but naturally, they were killed one after another. Anyways, so just as we thought it was all over for us, our King, Aquarius-sama, enclosed Muspelheim in ice and froze each and every demon that tried to get close.
Seeing that, our ancestors must have believed that we had no other option but to cling onto that person. So in exchange for everyone swearing their loyalty, they managed to gain that his protection. Not only that, that person even gave us this city. So we became able to live here peacefully whilst being in the Dark Continent."
"Ah hah, I see. So something like that happened."
Karkinos put his hands into his pocket and tried to take out a coin.
But suddenly, he had a lightbulb moment and searched the inside of his pocket.
And what he took out was a small gemstone.
"Thank you, me heard a good story. This is payment."
"O, oi, isn't this a gemstone!? I can't accept something precious like this!"
"No, no. Unfortunately, me don't have this city's money. This is the least valuable and cheapest thing that I can pay you."
"N, no, but… this is too valuable. It's not a fair exchange."
"Then in that case, can I ask you for one more piece of information? If you agree, me will call it even."
"O… kay, fine. I'll answer anything you ask. It'll still be too valuable even then. So, what do you want to know?"
After hearing the shopkeeper's words, Karkinos's gla.s.ses suspiciously shone.
What he was going to ask from now on were questions that would have been seen as suspicious if he was the one to first raise the topic.
But now that the other party had told him that he would answer anything, Karkinos doubted that the dwarf would not follow through.
Fundamentally, dwarves were a race with a strong sense of honour and hated getting into debt.
As such, Karkinos believed that the other party would be the one to give him a correspondingly good trade offer if he were to give him a valuable gemstone.
Karkinos had now obtained the verbal promise that he would answer anything Karkinos asked. And dwarves disliked going back on their word, especially if they had just said it.
Things were going so well that it was scary. Karkinos unwarrantedly thought that perhaps he had an innate talent for being a strategist and praised himself.
If these inner thoughts were to be heard by Pollux, she would have said, "Isn't it just a coincidence?" and bluntly cut him off.
"Then, please tell me of a way to meet this country's Queen."
"I mean the Queen."
"What are you talking about? Aquarius-sama is a man."
"……Ahh, I see! How rude of me. I just a.s.sumed they were a lady from the name."
Karkinos lightly matched the flow of the conversation but signalled towards Scorpius and Aries.
When he did, the two of them nodded ever so slightly.
It seemed like things were going to become troublesome - that was what their eyes were saying.
"Well, yeah… directly meeting him is probably impossible? Though you might be able to seek an audience if you manage to achieve something very significant."
"Achieve something very significant?"
"Well, for example, defeating the demons that come attacking or to defeat Pluto who's leading them… well, it's probably impossible though."
"That's the one leading the demons around here. Although not to the extent of Aquarius-sama, he's super strong and yeah, we've been staring each other down for the past few dozens of years. Apparently, for some reason, Aquarius-sama can't leave this city, but yeah, this city ended up suffering a few times because of him. He's a really annoying guy."
Hearing that information, Karkinos's lips distorted into a smile.
I see, so if we defeat that guy, we can meet Aquarius without making things messy.
Rather than charging in, with this, we won't have to incur "her" bad mood…
It's an "easy solution".
"That was a good piece of information, master."
"Are you going already?"
"Yes. Me figured out what me have to do now."
"I see. If you drop by the area, come visit again. If it's you guys, I'll let you drink for free."
He probably meant that the gemstone was a form of pre-payment. What an honourable dwarf he was.
Even though he was told it was payment for the information. Was him not accepting that considered too stubborn or just too well-natured?
But Karkinos did not dislike a man like him.
After replying, "If there is a chance, I'd appreciate that," he left the tavern along with Scorpius and the rest.
At a location approximately 500 km away from Nectar, there existed a city.
A city - perhaps to be called that, it might have been just too big.
The reason was that it had more surface area than the whole of the humanoids' domain combined.
If anything, it was as big as a whole country. The appearance of the city which was lined up with high-rise buildings made out of alchemy was just like the Hero Sei's hometown. It was so much so that one could mistake the location for one of Earth's developed major countries.
Even during the night, the roads were lit up with mana. The scene of the location being filled with recreational facilities designed for the fulfilment of the inhabitants created a spectacle which would make the place befitting to be called the ruler's place above the land.
Nevertheless, the inhabitants could not be called good citizens by any means.
If one were to look inside those recreational facilities, it was lined up with devilish games.
[Whack-A-Human]…… it was a game of hitting captured humans using a hammer and comparing scores with each other.
[Beastkin Arena]…… it was a game of making the tamed beastkin warriors kill each other and comparing whose pet was stronger so that they could boast in the end.
[Humanoids Darts]…… it was a game of putting the captured humanoids onto a target and dividing it up into different sections which were each a.s.signed a different point value so that they could throw darts at them.
The demons walked around the city without feeling a shred of fear. If anything, they walked around as if they were reveling in the prime of their lives.
They did not doubt the peace and tranquillity that they were enjoying.
They no longer even had humanoids in their minds. They lived in peace whilst believing that the Demon King would soon exterminate them.
As such, what happened next was all too spontaneous.
- Loud footsteps resounded.
What followed next was the sound of something giant roaring.
A devilish roar shook the land itself and cut through the sky.
The demons looked up in confusion and headed towards the sound to satisfy their curiosity whilst seemingly still stuck in the naïve frame of mind that they had become accustomed to as a result of the long period of peace.
And then they saw it.
The appearance of a giant sheep which was walking in their direction whilst shaking the land itself.
Its whole body was enveloped in rainbow-coloured flames and it continued to mercilessly progress towards them whilst melting the buildings and squis.h.i.+ng everything and everyone in its path.
"Wha, what is that!? A monster!?"
"How can this be… it's too big!"
"Where's the army!? What exactly is the army doing!?"
When that giant sheep moved, just by taking a step, buildings collapsed.
Cultures which were build up. Traditions. Businesses.
It did not even notice that it was destroying everything. Just by walking forward, everything was demolished and pulverised.
But their nightmare had yet to end.
Be attentive, demons. The peace and tranquillity that you have enjoyed thus far shall now presently come to a conclusion.
What appeared next was a giant monstrous scorpion.
It cracked the ground and from the fissure, the full picture of something repulsive came to light.
Buildings were cleared away with a single swing of its stinger, and the ground below it cracked with each light movement of its pincers.
Similarly, from the sea appeared a crab monster which began to come ash.o.r.e.
In retaliation, the demon race's army was mobilised and moved in to attack.
The demons who flew in the sky all fired arcane magic and the artillery shots all slammed into the three monsters one after another.
Yet the monsters did not stop. Their steps did not falter.
Even though they received all the attacks head-on, as if they were merely being bitten by mosquitoes, they continued to close in without even minding it in the slightest.
The giant scorpion opened its pincers.
An intense flame began to gather within the expanded pincers, and its heat started to increase exponentially.
An inauspicious rumbling sound rang throughout the whole city and everyone could feel the impending "death" that they would not be able to avoid.
The army desperately attacked with the hope of stopping that attack, however, it had absolutely no effect.
The monstrous scorpion cried out as if to ridicule them, then released the flames of destruction.
That flame was like a heat flash that continued on indefinitely.
The flame, which reached the edges of the horizon, burnt and pierced through the buildings. Furthermore, by moving its pincers horizontally, the scorpion's flames razed the whole city.
No, it was not just from the pincers.
The scorpion also released the heat flash from its mouth and stinger and started attacking in all directions.
Meanwhile, the rainbow-coloured flames being breathed out by the sheep burnt away large areas of land and repeatedly ignited things. At the same time, for an unknown reason, all of the shots fired by the army went towards and exploded on the crab as if they were sucked in. Then, in the next moment, a counter-attack from the crab's pincer swatted them down.
What was happening was truly a catastrophe.
A catastrophe which had returned to them once again after the pa.s.sage of 200 years.
In the face of these calamities, there was nothing the demons could do to retaliate. They could only run around, hide and pray that they would move on and wait until that moment where they did.
Amidst the city which was being destroyed and within a tower which was larger than the other structures in its vicinity, a single man was shaking in fear with his eyes wide open.
His name was Pluto and this demon was level 420. He possessed abilities which surpa.s.sed even that of the Seven Luminaries. However, rather than advancing into the humanoids' territories, he wanted to concentrate more on the city that he governed. Thus, he turned away Terra's invitation into the organisation. As a result, he was in the position that he currently occupied.
No, that was just an excuse. The truth was that he was only holed up in this place because he was scared.
As one of the few survivors from 200 years ago, he knew of the individual called Ruphas Mafahl. He knew of the living calamities which obeyed her.
Everyone around him said that he was strong. They raised him up on a pedestal and said that he possessed more abilities than the people within the Seven Luminaries.
Alas, they were wrong. They were so wrong. There existed no one who was truly strong in this city.
In the end, it was nothing more than a ranking amongst the weaklings… When compared with a true monster, they were nothing more than mere insects.
That was why he refused the commander's seat for the expedition into the humanoids' domain. He did not want to become a member of the Seven Luminaries.
Because in the humanoids' domain, there were still bunches of monsters… and above all else, because he did not really believe that Ruphas Mafahl would actually die from something of that degree.
And his hunch turned out to be correct.
Just look. This scene of despair filled his sight. This nightmare.
The embodiments of h.e.l.l which appeared before his eyes after 200 years had pa.s.sed.
"200 years, huh… I guess it's on the longer side."
With a shaking hand, Pluto placed a cigar in his mouth then lit it.
Ahh, I already knew. I always knew that there would be a day like this one day.
After all, this place is the G.o.ddess's playground and we're simply her dolls.
As the only one to have noticed that fact, I ran around pitifully and lived until this point. I managed to sit in the seat of the strong. I was blessed by luxury until today.
As such, the man smiled at himself in self-mockery, then inhaled one last time in satisfaction.
Outside of the tower, the giant sheep opened its mouth and seemed to be about to breathe out a flame in his direction, but he had no thoughts of running away this late in time.
An age would pa.s.s on. Just like how Ruphas Mafahl had once risen up. And just like how she was overthrown.
This time, it was their turn… nothing more, nothing less.
He exhaled smoke and, looking at the flames which were closing in on him, smiled faintly.
"The ending turned out to be quite abrupt and disappointing, huh."
A demon which knew of the events from 200 years ago muttered in a voice stained with resignation and, in the next instant, was erased by the rainbow-coloured flames along with the building that he was in.
With it, the glory of the demon race came to a conclusion.
To this date, they persecuted and oppressed the humanoids, yet indulged themselves in peace and tranquillity. Today was finally the time for them to pay up all of those debts.
Those who knew of the past would come to the realisation. Those of the younger generation who did not know of the past would come to experience fear without knowing anything.
What it meant for the calamities who possessed wills of their own, [The Tyrannical Twelve Heavenly Stars] to soon all be gathered under the Black-winged Supreme Ruler once more. The despair behind what that reality entailed.
* Twelve Stars are allies.
Even though we were wandering around in an area that had approximately the same surface area as j.a.pan for over 130 chapters, as soon as we went outside of that area, we are greeted by the scene of the Twelve Stars burning away a surface area surpa.s.sing that.
And by the way, needless to say, whilst we call the regions outside of the humanoids' domain the Dark Continent, it is actually not the Dark Continent at all. If anything, it would be something like East Blue from One Piece.
If anything, the humanoids' domain is way more dangerous however you think about it as that place is home to Ruphas, Aries, Scorpius, Karkinos, Taurus, Pollux, Parthenos, the G.o.ddess's avatar, Aigokeros, Libra, Sagittarius, Leon, Benet, the Seven Heroes, the Heavenly Ouroboros, the Wood Ouroboros and the Earth Ouroboros. Why are you all gathered in such a small area…?
Normally in stories, the basic template is when the characters leave behind a small stage to explore the bigger world, the outside world turns out to be more dangerous. But in this story, it is the opposite. Because the small world was swarming with monsters, the initial location is the true place of carnage.
Sei: "For the summoning place to be the end game already…"
(Author note end)
 Nectar (ネクタール) is derived from Greek nektar, the fabled drink of the Greek G.o.ds. The word is derived as a compound of nek, meaning death, and tar, meaning the ability to overcome.
 Recall that Karkinos speaks in English in some parts. Queen above (italicised) is in English, this Queen is in j.a.panese.
 Pluto (プルートゥ)
 According to Google, the surface area of j.a.pan is 377 973 km2. The surface area of Earth is 510.1 million km2. If Midgard is similar in size to Earth, which it is suggested to be by the author, it's approximately 0.074% of the total surface area. So RIP the humanoids… they really got cornered there lol.
 One Piece, East Blue, is where the main character of that series originated from. For example, one area looks something like this;