TNG Vol. 19 Chapter 1 Part 2
“The forest is gone?”
Shin, who saw the terrain from the sky, couldn’t help but say so.
The forest that had covered the entire area and protected it from the invasion of the burning red mounds had almost completely disappeared.
This saved him the trouble of searching for the Sacred Place that the forest had engulfed, but he still wondered if it was possible for it to disappear in such a short period of time.
“The trees are not naturally grown trees, so it is possible to restore them to their original state at the will of the Guardians. Originally, it was overstrained, so there’s no reason to maintain it anymore.”
Gelganger answered Shin’s question.
Next to the outer wall of the Sacred Place, a huge tree monster was looking up at Shin and the others. In the foreground, there was a clearing where Gelganger could land.
“It looks like Vanwood stayed just the way it was. Does this open field mean we have to go down there?”
“It’s just the right size, perhaps that is the case.”
Milt murmured at the sight below, and Schnee responded.
Although the trees had thinned out and the Sacred Place was now visible, there was no other place to land.
Viewed from the ground, there was a sense of intimidation that was not there when looking down from the sky.
This was because Vanwood was taller than the outer walls of the sanctuary. Once on the ground, Shin and the others were the ones who were looked down.
The Vanwood’s colossal body, composed of trees of various thicknesses, had a head, torso, two arms, and legs, and, as a whole, was almost humanoid in shape.
The face had a mouth-like cleft but no eyes or nose. The silhouette of such a head was similar to that of a lion. Perhaps the mane-like leaves growing on its back make it appear so.
Its arms were generally thin, but, from the elbows onward, they were several dozen times larger than its arms, as if it were equipped with a clawed arm guard.
It has two legs, but they look as if they are made of thick trees that have been joined together to form a stick. They had no joints but are bent like human legs.
Although it looks slow and heavy, it was also mobile and called a hasty wood golem because of its high defensive capabilities. Roots growing from the feet sometimes pierce the ground to scout the surrounding area.
According to information obtained by a volunteer player, although it has a mouth-like structure, it has not been seen eating, and it was said that the roots may also serve as an energy supplier.
Depending on their environment, they may acquire special abilities, in which case they were considered a subspecies. There was no doubt that they are much more troublesome than a fast-moving golem.
“There’s the Wardogs, too, I see.”
The Wardogs that came in contact with Shin were sitting at the feet of Number 37.
After dropping Shin and the others off, Gelganger approached Number 37 without changing shape.
When he got as close as one Mel, light gathered in front of Number 37’s eyes as he lowered his head, and a translucent sphere of about 30 Cemels appeared.
When Gelganger touched it, the sphere glowed strongly once and then slowly disappeared.
As Shin thought that the control of the core had ended, the body of Number 37 turned gray.
“Thank you for your patience. Your work here is done.”
“Did the color change have anything to do with the control of the core?”
“Yes, it is the Master’s influence.”
Eleven, the Master of Gelganger, was based on Faceman, a superior species of doppelganger.
The base was a pitch-black doll-like figure, so its body color may be an influence.
Gelganger were done unexpectedly quickly, so they immediately started moving.
When traveling through the air, neither sandy seas nor deserts matter.
They just have to be careful of the sunlight and the heat.
“…… Wait, could that be?”
Tiera, who was looking down as they crossed the Sea of Sand, said.
Shin looked beyond the expression on her face and saw that a huge mouth was about to close.
“It’s a Giant Caput. It’s rare to see predatory behavior while the sun is still up.”
A fish-like silhouette could be seen in the sand being swallowed by the Giant Caput.
As Shin enhanced his vision, he determined that it was a Desert Fang; a fish-shaped monster with a fang of a saber-toothed tiger common in the Sand Sea.
It was a large carnivorous fish, 4 Mel long, but in the Giant Caput’s huge mouth, it looks like a small fish.
Eventually, the Giant Caput, its mouth closed, silently sank into the sandy sea.
Milt seemed to have noticed too, and said to Shin in an audible voice,
“It’s still a great show no matter how many times I see it.”
“The target is not so lucky, though.”
Shin and company were at ease because, even if the Giant Caput jumped up from the Sand Sea, they were far enough that it wouldn’t be able to reach them.
“We were being targeted by that thing……”
Tiera, who had just found out what it looked like, was looking pale.
“It drops rare items, so it’s pretty worth it if we take it down. And with decoys, it’s not that hard to lure them out.”
“So for you Shin, that looks like a stack of material. I don’t want to fight even if I could lure it out.” Tiera shuddered, probably for reasons other than the cold.
After a short distance across the Sand Sea, Eleven’s Sacred Place comes into view.
It seemed to be landing in the sanctuary, and Gelganger crossed the ramparts.
Before landing, Shin looked around the Sacred Place and noticed that some of the buildings and walls, which had been destroyed in the raid before they left, had been fixed.
It didn’t seem to make much sense to fix the buildings, let alone the castle walls, but there must be something to it. Gelganger landed in a square that used to be crowded with players in the days of the game.
They could see monsters roaming around the Sacred Place, but they did not approach the square. Perhaps they instinctively sensed the danger.
After getting down from Gelganger, Shin and the others proceeded through the Sacred Place, guided by Gelganger.
Their destination was the building where they first met Eleven.
As they proceeded deeper into the building, they found Eleven there, just as they had when they met him. The only difference was that he was not mimicking Shin’s appearance.
“Hey, it looks like you did what I asked you to do. Well, that’s a relief.”
As usual, he seemed clownish.
“So, now you’ll be able to prevent a monster outbreak?”
“Yes, without a doubt. But you have to understand that the Number 43’s Sacred Place is not completely under my control yet, so it will be a little while before we can get it back.”
This was due to the intervention of the Demon. Even for Eleven, the destruction of the core was within its expectations. He said that if only this had been the case, he could have taken control of the area formerly controlled by Number 43 in a matter of days.
However, it seems that they did not expect the Demon to unite with the guardian, and it will take time to investigate its condition.
“Of course, there will be no more magical outflow from my place and from Number 37’s place. With Number 43 gone, there will be less magic coming out of the Sacred Place. Therefore, the number of monsters on the continental side will be reduced. The strength of the monsters will definitely be several notches lower than before. In terms of level, I think it will be less than 200. But, as I said before, we can’t immediately reduce the number of monsters to zero. You have to give it some time.”
This was a sufficient accomplishment since the monsters had been springing up at a level that ordinary people could not compete with.
Even though a huge wall had been set up thanks to the efforts of Shin and his group, there was still a possibility that stronger individuals would be born from the monsters fighting each other.
Some of the monsters that could fly in the sky could climb over that wall.
Monsters adapted to the sea could bypass the wall.
The wall could stop most of them, but it was not perfect.
If the frequency and strength of the monsters were reduced, the possibility of strong Monsters being born and the possibility of surviving Monsters leveling up would also be reduced.
In some cases, it might be possible to remove some of the walls.
The time required to completely stop the outflow of magic power will be informed once again to the continental side – the Dragon Empire Kilmont, Eleven said.
The means of communication and the content of this conversation will be conveyed by Shin and his group to Zaikuin, the Emperor of Kilmont.
“Now then, let’s move onto the subject you are most concerned about.”
Eleven said, his voice dropping a little.
This time, Shin accepted Eleven’s request not only for the reason that he wanted to deal with the monsters that were springing up on the continental side of the island.
It was to know the whereabouts of the other half of Origin I – Hades.
The being who could know the cause of Shin’s coming to this world. Finally, they know its whereabouts.
“He is deep in a dungeon in the lower half of your continent, the one called Est.”
I was not surprised, since I had expected him to be in an inaccessible place or a place where he could not be reached in the first place.
“A dungeon, you mean an unexplored or undiscovered dungeon?”
“It has been discovered. I don’t know if you guys know this, but in the southern part of Est, there is a Kingdom called Bayreuth. North of there is a place called the Wraith Plains, where undead monsters roam. …… From the look on your face, I’m guessing you already know about it?”
“Yes, I’ve been there. I remember that part of the dungeon is exposed to the surface, and the undead monsters spawn there because of it.”
It was also the place where the Skullface Lord, a monster never seen before in the game, appeared.
Shin wondered if Hades had anything to do with that, and as he spoke, he recalled that time.
“You are correct. I don’t even know why part of the dungeon is on the surface, either. But when I sent my subordinates alone to investigate, I felt the same presence from the depths as that of my creator, Origin I. Then, perhaps sensing my presence from my subordinates, it made contact with me. I’ve confirmed his appearance. I’m sure of it.”
“Did you meet him in person?”
“I got visual information from the subordinates that had made contact. It’s kind of like a little device.”
Apparently, the subordinates he had released to gather information had almost no free will like what Gelganger had.
“It’s like watching a video recording,” Eleven continued.
“It seems he recognized you, but something unexpected happened and he couldn’t see you. Maybe my contact with Hades came after you went to the Wraith Plains.”
When Shin was told this, he thought of the Skullface Lord.
The ability that surpassed the King and Queen, which were supposed to be the highest level individuals, was also understandable if such an extraordinary being as Hades was involved.
“I’m sure you can meet with him in person now that the problem has been resolved. Hades wanted to meet you too. But when you’re the other half of Origin I, you can’t just casually walk around outside.”
“You mean he won’t refuse me if I go to him?”
“I’m sure he won’t.”
Shin wonder what the reason for wanting to meet, but at least it was possible to meet.
But Shin defeated Origin I, the other half of Hades. He had a feeling that the conversation would not go peacefully.
“He’s not going to attack us out of the blue, is he?”
“I can’t say for sure, but he didn’t seem to be angry. He said he just wanted to talk.”
“A talk, I see……”
To Hades, Shin was the avenger of his other half.
He couldn’t understand why Hades would want to talk to someone like that.
“Maybe they weren’t as close? it could be because it’s the other half they were feuding with each other.”
Milt has a point, Shin then asked Eleven,
“There may be such a case. What do you think?”
“I don’t know that much,” Eleven replied. “What is clear is that Hades is the other half of my creator, Origin I. And he wants to have a discussion with you.”
Eleven said he did not seem angry, but what did he want to talk about?
The only thing Shin could think of was that Hades might want to know how the last days of his other half, Origin I, ended, if there was anything strange going on, that sort of thing.
In this one case, they have learned that the Demons could even interfere with Guardians.
It was possible that Origin I was also affected by something.
“If I go to the dungeon, will I see him right away? If he wants to talk to me, I don’t think he would disturb me.”
“I wonder. were always moving in a disguised manner, but if I recall the way they moved, I think they were guided somehow. But there was never any convenient change in the structure of the dungeon.”
Eleven mentioned before that it was difficult for Hades to leave the dungeon, but if he wanted a talk, it feels like he could at least lure them in.
If it’s the other half of Origin I, it’s not surprising that it has such power to do so.
“For now, that’s all I can offer. Was it helpful?”
“I can say it helped, but I think it was only a matter of time before we made contact.”
“That’s true. But the sooner this kind of information is known, the better, isn’t it.”
This was an information that could affect Shin’s future. Eleven was right that the sooner it was known, the better.
But I also felt like I was taken advantage in the matter.
“So, how are you going to negotiate with the kings?”
After Shin and his group had heard what they wanted to hear, they decided to start preparing to return to Dragon empire Kilmont.
The empire must be waiting for Shin and his group to return, as this information was related to their future defense strategy.
“For the time being, could you please take this with you?”
Saying this, Eleven held out a palm-sized, translucent, blackish slime.
Shin accepted it and observed the slime trembling in his palm. According to [Analyze], it came out to be a level 50 Petit Slime.
Thinking that the upper level limit for Petit Slime should have been around 30, he wonders what its role is.
“It’s a monster for communication. Though you can only communicate with me.” When Eleven said this, a part of the Petit Slime’s body extended and changed into a rectangular plate.
In addition, the flat area becomes bumpy, and letters emerge.
“My thoughts appear there. On the other hand, if you write something on it, it will be transmitted to me. It’s similar to what you call chatting.”
“If Gelganger had this with him, weren’t you able to talk to him anytime you wanted?”
“I was able to create this because I had the nearby Guardian under my control, which increased the power I could use. I couldn’t do this when I first met you.”
Once this was given to the king, they could communicate without Shin.
Although they could communicate with each other by message card, there was no way that discussions with the royals would end quickly. If they sent cards to each other every time, no matter how much they had, it wouldn’t be enough, so he created a Petit Slime.
Shin had to agree that the chat and e-mail functions are really useful.
“Oh, yes. Can I get one of your message cards? I don’t think I’ll be using it to contact you, but there’s no guarantee that the Demons won’t come after me. I just want to make sure I have a way to contact you.”
Eleven also said that there was a possibility that another Guardian will invade.
If anything happened to Eleven, the continental side could be overrun by monsters again, so Shin handed him a message card.
“There’s nothing more to do? If so, we’re going.”
After a few more checks, they were on their way home. The return trip to the continent was an instantaneous one since it involved a Teleportation. Since a Teleportation has been set up on the isolated island, it will be easy to come and go from here on out. Of course, this was only for Shin and his group.