Chapter 246. What Happened Once Will… (6)
“Careful, Shin. I’m sure you’ll be fine with Licorice and Lotte around, but if someone on the Lava King’s level appears, you have to wait for us. Got it?”
“You’re the one who put me in a team by myself…”
“That’s that, and this is this.”
I flicked back Hwaya’s forehead as she approached me. Seeing her rub her forehead and mumbling in complaint drew a smile on my face.
“Don’t worry and leave it to me. I’ll come back safe and sound.”
Unlike me, Hwaya had one explorer, Michel, and Ilayda in her team. Other members of Revival were in similar teams. The reason I was in a team by myself was that there was just too many Event Dungeons. Someone had to decrease the number without caring for the stat points and rewards. More exactly, the number of Event Dungeons I was in charge of was 317. In other words, I would have to clear about five Event Dungeons per day. Among them were 60 S rank dungeons.
“Dear Husband, let’s go. Uhuhu.”
“Licorice, you better not try anything funny, or else…”
“I know, Hwaya.”
“Kuu, I can’t trust you…!”
With Licorice and Plene, I hopped on Lotte’s back. As some of the other teams had already set out, only a few came to see me off, though there were plenty of reporters with mics and cameras pointed towards me.
[Hero, can I step on them before I fly up?]
“Sorry, Lotte. I don’t want to make headlines like that.”
Lotte snorted as if she wasn’t content, then flapped her wings and blew the crowd away. Next, flapping her red striped wings once more, she kicked off the ground and into the air.
[Where are we going, Hero!?]
“We’re going to fly around the Pacific and clear the ocean based dungeons. Then, we’ll clean up the rest of Oceania starting from Papua New Guinea.”
“So Dear Husband’s scale of operation is the five seas and the six continents… Will we be able to go through an entire continent and an ocean in just two months?”
“Actually, we have another continent and another ocean too.”
I spoke calmly.
“We’re also in charge of Antarctica and the Antarctic Ocean. You guys brought your anti-cold equipment right?”
“… Kyaaak! What is Dear Husband and Hwaya thinking!? That’s a third of Earth! Dear Husband is in charge of a third of Earth? Is the word ‘impossible’ in Dear Husband’s dictionary?”
The tight schedule caused Licorice to scream. I patted her head and consoled her.
“That just shows how much of an emergency we’re in. With Plene’s ability and my ability, we’ll be able to take care of dungeons under SS rank quickly, so it won’t be that difficult. I’ll let everyone rest once a week too.”
“But Dear Husband is going to go the dungeon while we’re resting.”
Licorice’s razor sharp comment almost cut me. Licorice looked at me disapprovingly and spoke.
“I already know how Dear Husband thinks. Dear Husband is planning on climbing the First Dungeon while we’re sleeping and breaking through Beyond during the once a week break, right?”
It was all true. There was nothing for me to argue about. Seeing me speechless, Licorice made a wry smile.
“I can somewhat understand how Dear Husband has gotten so strong at such a young age. Dear Husband can’t stop climbing the dungeon with the situation Earth is in, right?”
“Right, I can’t stop even if I know I shouldn’t rush myself.”
I could easily climb the dungeon at the moment due to the vast difference between my strength and the dungeon’s required standard. However, this wouldn’t continue forever. I would eventually reach a wall. I had to climb the dungeon as much as I could if I had the time.
… Especially since I might arrive at that wall within these two months.
The Pacific Ocean was Earth’s largest and deepest ocean. Over 100 Event Dungeons had spawned in the Pacific Ocean. On average, their difficulty ratings were higher than land based Event Dungeons, as it was hard to find dungeons ranked below B.
“There weren’t that many underwater dungeons last time.”
Four days after we left Korea, I murmured after clearing the 27th underwater dungeon and popping out of the water. Plene who also peeked out of the water next to me squeezed her wet hair and laughed happily.
“I love water!”
“I hate it. My wings and tail get wet.”
“I agree. I hate the ocean.”
Licorice wrapped herself and Lotte in a bubble and was floating in the air. With a single wave of her hand, she summoned several tens of bats outside the bubble and spread them out. They were looking for the next nearest dungeon for us to visit.
“Ah, there’s a S+ rank dungeon nearby.”
“I can get stat points. Let’s hurry. Don’t make that face.”
“I really hate water. Hero is stupid…”
“Can’t Dear Husband go alone? No, nevermind. Let’s go. We can’t leave Dear Husband to just this idiot. Ehew.”
Unlike Plene, who loved the ocean as expected of a siren, the two winged girls really hated the Pacific Ocean. Licorice seemed to hate oceans in general, while Lotte didn’t go well with water due to her being a wyvern and a flame wielder. If she couldn’t transform into a human, she would have refused to go underwater.
“Lotte, is there a water king or an ocean king?”
I asked Lotte out of curiosity. Now that we were focusing on the ocean, it was a natural question to ask.
After the first monster outbreak, most sea routes in the Pacific became sealed off. Large sea monsters made nests in the Pacific, and ravaged any ships that crossed their territories. If they at least spoke human language, people might have tried to negotiate with them, but that was clearly not the case with the monsters.
Countries that relied on ocean based trade were affected greatly, and some even faced economic crisis. Thankfully, the monster invasion also changed many countries’ landscape, bringing along new crops, new minerals, and monster materials. Without these, the population of Earth may be much less than it is now. It was a form of ‘giving one diseases while giving him medicines.’
Of course, Korea was one of these heavily affected countries. In many ways, Korea was quite unlucky.
Additionally, many sea routes in other oceans had been recovered, but only the Pacific Ocean was still completely blocked. The Atlantic Ocean and the Indian Ocean were fine, but only the Pacific Ocean was wrought with reapers that refused to leave. There were even suspicions that a super massive monster was living in the Pacific Ocean.
“Don’t think you can just attach the word ‘king’ wherever you want, Hero.”
Lotte’s rebuttal stung me slightly.
“The Lava King was a flame dragon. He was known as an elemental king for his ability to completely reign over fire. Even in my world, there aren’t many capable of doing that. There was one more, but I don’t know much because I lived too far away from that being.”
“So what are the chances that he’s a water king?”
“How persistent, Hero. There is no such thing as a water king.”
To be honest, that was good news for me. I had come to the Pacific to clean up the Event Dungeons, but it was also to reopen the land like I did for the Philippines or the Jeolla Province.
This was something I had only talked to Hwaya about. No one else in Revival knew about it. After all, cleaning up the Event Dungeons in my area was different than completely cleaning up the area. But if I didn’t take back the land and ocean stolen by monsters, humanity would eventually lose their dominance to monsters.
I had no plans to volunteer myself for the good of humanity, but it would be sad if there were no humans to live on Earth after I defeated the world’s enemy. … I was feeling embarrassed for nothing.
“Eit, let’s hurry! We’re going to finish the Pacific within two weeks and go to Oceania!”
“It’s only been two weeks since we reclaimed the Philippines, and even that took a whole week. Dear Husband wants to clean up this huge Pacific Ocean in just two weeks? Is Dear Husband insane?”
“Of course I’m sane. We already made a lot of progress! Come on, let’s go!”
Once we entered an Event Dungeon, even if the dungeon was underwater, the dungeon rarely had anything to do with water. Most had solid ground for us to walk on, and we just had to wipe the monsters in the dungeon.
As I said before, since I decided to purify the entire Pacific Ocean, I had to get used to underwater combat. More exactly, I had to get used to massacring monsters with my ability while making use Plene’s ability.
If there was one thing we felt thankful for, it was that Plene’s singing worked even better underwater than it did on land.
Plene sang more calmly underwater and her voice inexplicably reached even farther underwater than it did on land.
Once she started singing, monsters within a vast area flocked towards us, and I just needed to widen my eyes and turn them to stone. Since Peika was limited in using her power with allies underwater, Sharana and Ruyue materialized into human forms and went around breaking the stones. If one ignored all the monsters, the scene was rather mystical and beautiful.
While a beautiful girl sang an enchanting song, two equally beautiful girls freely swam through the water with their hands flashing colorfully!
[I’ve never seen such a beautiful massacre in my life, including anything I’ve seen in my world!]
[Hero, haven’t you killed over a hundred million with your eyes now…?]
If Licorice and Lotte didn’t interrupt me, I could have stayed in this fairytale like trance forever. With nothing better to do, I glared at the two girls.
[Hundred million? Please.]
Using my mana, I pulled on the bubbles rising up from my mouth every time I talked. As I played around with them, I continued.
[It should be well over a billion by now.]
Eighteen days after I began my work in the Pacific, I was left standing in front of the final Event Dungeon. It was an SSS rank dungeon, located in Mariana Trench’s Challenger Deep, the deepest known point of the world’s oceans. Just based on its location, I should have started off here, but I wanted to leave it for last as it was the highest ranked dungeon.
[This is the last one. Surprisingly, we cleaned up this huge ocean without problem.]
[Do SSS+ ranked monsters not faze Hero in the slightest now…?]
Well, large monsters did appear the closer we got to the center of the Pacific Ocean. I could finally understand why the Pacific Ocean stayed blocked this whole time. However, as I had already fought against countless SSS+ ranked monsters like the Destroyers in the Philippines, these monsters were only slightly bigger and less scarier versions. They really weren’t hard to deal with.
I was very fortunate to have fought extra massive salmons. There were even some that were pregnant. I suspected that the reason they couldn’t swim upstream was because they were too fat.
[It’s a good thing we have more snacks to go along with wine. Hwaya will be happy. Well… Should we go in?]
[The dungeon is one thing, but there might be other monsters outside. Be careful, Hero.]
[Right. I can feel something other than the dungeon. It’s getting on my nerves.]
[Mmm, should I sing?]
While we chatted, we slowly descended into the ocean. I could feel the aura Licorice was talking about, but as it didn’t seem too troubling, I simply continued on, ready to attack whenever.
Suddenly, my body stopped as if it hit a wall. I muttered annoyed.
I looked at Lotte who was in Licorice’s air bubble and asked.
[Lotte, didn’t you say there was no Water King…?]
[Well, Hero… We should run!]
It was too late. In an instant, a large lifeform in the bottom of the Mariana Trench roared!
[Guooooooooo! You came, Hero!]
[The ‘Hermit King’ Grand Raid commences! You met one of the enemies aiming for the world’s power! The dungeon’s power is not fully effective against worlds’ enemies. The Grand Raid system exists to give what little support it can to explorers who are fighting against the worlds’ enemies. The Lord’s blessing converges on your party. As a result, the enemy can only ignore up to 30% of your party members’ skills and levels!]
[Absolute Soul nullifies a part of the enemy’s power. Your skills and levels will be 90% effective against the enemy!]
[Remember that you will not be able to bring out your items’ and skills’ full power. We wish you luck! You will receive a huge reward if you defeat the Hermit King!]