Chapter 157. Crimson Chaotic Spear (7)
If I didn't kill the ladybug with chaos flame, defeating the boss might have been more difficult. However, I burned the ladybug thoroughly, and the boss also appeared with flames on it. I had only found out with this incident, but it seemed chaos flame could deal continuous damage to its enemy in addition to being inextinguishable. With how big the Hercules Rhinoceros Beetle was, the flames were dealing fatal damage to it.
If I tried to set it on fire without all that, it would have been impossible with my mana. The party members' stamina and willpower would have been worn down as well. We couldn't tell because it was already dead, but we might have had even more trouble depending on how it fought. We could easily see that its horn would deal fatal damage to anyone hit by it. He must have also had other means of attack. Of course, everything was impossible to know now that it was dead.
We could say we had gotten lucky. I believed it was thanks to the good karma I gained throughout my life. Then, I put the boss' corpse into my inventory. Everyone was focused on me.
"Son, hurry up and choose your reward. Don't make your father die while waiting."
"What a fun father, T.K... But a reward? Choosing it? What are you talking about? And what did you do to that beetle?"
"There must be other things you find strange. I'll tell you all about it when the raid ends. Of course, you won't be able to run away after hearing everything, kukuku."
"Don't threaten someone while you laugh maniacally! Also, choose your reward!"
Since everyone was getting impatient, I turned my attention to the reward list.
[1. Golden Scarab's Tattoo.]
After seeing the first item on the list, I chose it immediately. I didn't even check the other rewards. A tattoo! I had to have it! It wasn't like an equipment, which I would replace eventually. Tattoos raised my stats permanently. I wouldn't be losing out by choosing it. Immediately afterward, the back of my left hand became hot. I took off my gauntlet and looked, where I saw the tattoo of a golden scarab.
[You obtained Golden Scarab's Tattoo. Your luck and defense increase by 20%. All defense type skill effects increase by 50%. Positive effects will be added to all reproductive activity.]
Just as I expected, the effect was amazing. Since the luck stat could not be increased with bonus stat points, the only way to increase it was through items or titles that raised all stats. The Golden Scarab's Tattoo raised my luck stat my 20% on top of raising defense by 20%. It even amplified defense type skill effects! I could only imagine how powerful Dragon Skin would be now. Plus, this positive effect to all reproductive activity... I wasn't doing any reproductive activity, but I was sure having it wouldn't hurt me!
One thing I was curious about was that this Golden Scarab's Tattoo was shaped differently than the Evil Rhinoceros Beetle Lord. Of course, it wasn't too important of a matter. When I was stroking my completed scarab tattoo in satisfaction, Hwaya screamed.
"There's nothing but insects!"
"Hwaya, you remember what this dungeon was called, right? Don't forget there's an Event Raid afterwards."
"I hate it, I hate everything..."
In the end, everyone other than the last person finished choosing their rewards. A helmet for father, a ring for Hwaya, and even though no spiders appeared at all, there was a dress made out of spider silk, which Ye-Eun chose. It seemed it wasn't what she was expecting, as she screamed when she received it. She didn't even show me what it looked like.
As for Ludia, even though she could choose a better item, she chose the Elixir. If I remember correctly, she would always choose Elixirs, Half Elixirs, Mana Elixirs, or the like whenever they appeared as Event Dungeon and Event Raid rewards. Although full recovery items like Elixirs were rare and she wasn't lacking in equipment... I couldn't help but ask out of curiosity.
"Ludia, why do you always choose Elixirs?"
"Unlike the consumables from Floor Shops, they can be used on other people... I'll use them when Shin's in trouble."
"... Y-Yeah, thanks. But you have to use them when you're in danger too, okay?"
Damn, I was the idiot for being unable to guess the reason. Because I wasn't expecting that to be her reasoning, I became flustered and fell back. I thought no one had heard it, but Walker was already making fun of me.
"Love is always sacrificing oneself for one's partner. You two share a beautiful love."
"Don't push your twisted ideas on love onto me."
What should I do? If things continued, I felt like I really would end up as Ludia's husband. Feeling a chill run down my spine, I turned around toward Ludia. As she was looking at me with clear eyes, I turned away quickly.
"How's everyone's condition?"
"T.K., you can even manipulate when monsters will appear?"
"Yeah, I'll tell you about that soon, too."
"Really, if I didn't fight with you in Antelope Canyon, I would be extremely suspicious of you right now! But since you said you'll explain it to me properly, I'll wait! I'm also in a perfect condition, so let's go!"
Walker took out a potion and put it in his mouth. Then, he chose his reward. The world immediately began to crumble. At the same time, a huge energy gathered in mid-air, forming the appearance of a monster.
[An Event Raid has broken out! SS rank 50-man Raid, 'Evil Mantis Queen.' As your party cleared the Event Dungeon, you have the priority!]
The park outside the dungeon appeared along with the struggling remains of the Insect World. In the midst of their boundary, a large mantis began to raise its body. Hwaya made another manhwa-like scream. Immediately afterwards, her scream was buried by an ear-splitting high-pitched voice.
[Humans, you dare chase me out! Send me back! Send me back now!]
We trembled at the chilling voice. SS ranked raid boss' power was added to the furious voice to the point that it almost could directly affect our mind.
[Do not involve me and my children in your battle! Send me back!]
My head rang. As for father and Walker, whose mental defense was much weaker than mine, they staggered without being able to carry themselves properly. This guy, or rather, gal... For a 50-man raid boss, she was too full of spirit! However, something she said caught my attention.
Right, she had just said the word 'children.'
The Event Dungeon completely disappeared, and we looked at the giant mantis who destroyed the entire park. Looking at its lower body... we could tell that it was unnaturally bloated. My god, she... she...!
"She's pregnant! She's bearing eggs!"
[Hero, Hero, Hero! You dog with a collar on your neck, it's you! You brought me here!]
"Cut the bullshit, Mantis! You were already here the moment the Event Dungeon appeared!"
[Aaa, Aaaaah! I curse you! I curse all of you! I curse him and this world! Since it's come to this, I will eat all of you! I will not let anyone who threatens my children live!]
Its front leg shined, and boundless mana began to gather in it. It was then...
Lotte flew down toward me. She was waiting for me nearby! I jumped on her back and patted her. Lotte looked at the mantis and growled.
[That bitch prevented me from coming in! She was trying to hide from other monsters! That bitch is a deserter!]
"Sorry, I'm not sure what that means yet."
[You cowardly bitch, you dare separate me from Hero...! Next time, I will not leave Hero alone!]
"Uh, mm... Yeah, thanks."
It seemed she was furious that she couldn't enter the dungeon. I again patted Lotte, who was flapping her wings furiously. Could it be that not all monsters were on the same side? Was that a good news for humans? I could think about that later. I had to focus on something more important right now.
"If an SS ranked raid boss gives birth, the result will be catastrophic. We need to defeat her here no matter what."
Even as Hwaya said that with a trembling voice, she held her staff and Orb and prepared herself for battle. Cyclops Lord's Golden Eye began to shine again. It seemed she was gritting her teeth and holding on at this unprecedented event. Walker also stopped joking and murmured.
"A mantis' egg sac will hatch hundreds of tiny mantises. It could be less since it belongs to a monster, but... it could also be more for the same reason."
With how bloated her stomach was, she would give birth soon. If she escaped, hundreds of mantis monsters, ones that received the power of their SS ranked raid boss mother, would be born. Just thinking about it was chilling.
"We'll stop her."
Father said. His spear was vibrating from accumulated shockwaves.
"We'll stop her here and now."
"Yeah, she's undoubtedly weaker than the Flame Drake. There's no reason we shouldn't be able to defeat her."
I also added to father's encouragement. Although it had a stronger spirit than the Flame Drake, it could be understood as she was a child-bearing mother.
In truth, we couldn't leisurely look at her. Mantises had wings. Although it was only my speculation, she probably could fly with them. That's how monsters were. There were wingless monsters that could fly, so how could winged monsters not fly?
As such, we had to end it as soon as possible.
"I'll go on ahead! Lotte!"
[Wings of light formed from black flames!]
Lotte spread her wings out and soared into the sky. She was already extremely fast, but she had gotten even faster. When I looked back out of curiosity, black flames were burning on her black wings. It was a skill she had never shown before. She... was furious.
"Son, stop her front leg! I'll attack her legs!"
"I'll join in, Second Master!"
"I, I'll protect you two!"
"I'll go behind her to attack."
"I'll attack on my own too!"
The close-ranged attackers charged toward the mantis. It seemed like she was far away because of her towering height, but in truth, she was quite close. That was just how Event Raids worked. In only a moment, everyone had reached her.
Surprisingly, the one who sent the signal for attack was Hwaya.
When the Golden Eye flashed, a ray of light shot out toward it. When it hit the mantis' left front leg, it exploded.
"A beam! How many skills does that thing have!?"
"That's it! Hurry up and go!"
I imbued my spear with aura and let chaos flame burn up. Looking at its enormous size, I felt like I was Gulliver who had come to a kingdom of giants.
"Ruyue, Peika. Block its front leg."
My dematerialized elementals replied reliably. Feeling them drawing out their elemental power, I smiled and shouted at Lotte.
"Charge at full speed!"
[I've been waiting!]
Lotte really accelerated instantly and charged toward the mantis' face. However, the mantis' reaction speed was also great. Before I could stab my spear into its face, its front leg quickly flew toward me.
[I will harvest your power!]
If I hesitated even for a moment, the charge effect would disappear! I believed in my elementals' powers and without even turning around, I stabbed my spear, burning with black flames, in its face. Its front leg was paralyzed by Peika's lighting and froze from Ruyue's ice. As a result, it only cut through the air.
[Kyaaaaaaak! Flames, flames won't extinguish!]
"I'm not done yet!"
Lotte quickly accelerated and flew behind the mantis, leaving a trail of flames behind. Because she was so fast, the wind was hurting my face.
[Hero, I'm turning!]
"If I'm late even just a little, the others will be in danger! Aim for her face and continue charging!"
I shouted bluntly and put aura into my spear again. When we were charging toward her again, her entire body shook.
[It's dangerous! She's emitting a powerful aura!]
[It's going to explode!]
It was undoubtedly the skill she was initially trying to use! I thought it was canceled, but it seemed she had finished gathering mana!
Her left front leg, which had half-blown up from Hwaya's laser, glowed with a red light and flew toward me. Because of Lotte was going too fast, I didn't think she could dodge it. Even my elementals could not do much against it!
I thought quickly and even more quickly acted on it. Clicking my tongue, I kicked Lotte's back. My strength was powerful enough to affect Lotte, who was flying at full speed, setting her off course and crashing into the ground.
"I won't die, so come catch me! Dragon Skin!"
I used my defense skill and flew toward the mantis. Although my speed was halved when I used Dragon Skin, with Giant Wolf's Tattoo and Hermes' true name, I was 45% faster. With my dexterity stat, I couldn't be said to be slow.
"Ha, why don't you try!?"
My spear, burning with black flames, and the mantis' front leg, glowing red, clashed. The front leg instantly exploded into pieces, then rained down on me as sharp thorns. There was nowhere to run.
[Kukuku, I will have your power, Hero! It is the punishment for ridiculing a mother!]
The mantis' voice rang out unpleasantly. I couldn't reply as I was too busy defending against the raining thorns. It was extremely painful.
"O Mitarus! Protect him!"
I heard Ludia's voice clearly amidst the sound of thorns endlessly striking my armor. I could feel my drained vitality rising in an instant. I opened my eyes and shouted.
[On my way!]
I safely fell on Lotte's back. Using my mana, I pushed out the thorns stuck in my armor and raised my spear. I then heard the mantis' shocked voice.
[H-How can you be alive after that... Kahak!]
Before I noticed, one of her legs was severed and she was leaning to one side. Of course, it wasn't my doing. Because her fury was entirely focused on me, my companions could easily attack her.
[Y-You... You dare!]
"It's your turn now, Mantis...!"
Black flames blazed around my spear. When I focused all my energy, a new layer of white flame appeared over the black flames. The black flames tried to dye the white flames black, while the white flames only protected its territory. After fighting for a bit, they became silent, almost as if they acknowledged each other's existence. The others' attacks died down momentarily. The Mantis Queen had started to shoot small thorns like it did before.
[Mere humans dare to humiliate this Mantis Queen! You shall not be forgiven! Next time you see me, I will be your god of death!]
No, it was a feint! She had opened her wings and were about to fly away. However, we would not let that happen.
Hwaya's great mana distorted the whole space. Then, crimson flames flared up from the Mantis Queen's wings. My elementals also attacked her wings.
[Don't you dare run away after hurting Shin!]
[I'll make you incapable of hurting Master anymore!]
Ruyue and Peika burned and froze her wings with their elemental power. They had also grown strong enough to fatally wound an SS ranked raid boss! In only a moment, her wings were broken. Her attempt to escape failed. Now that she had lost her wings on top of one of her front legs and back legs, she let out a furious roar.
[Kyaaaaaaaa! I curse you all! Why did I have to come here!? Why did I have to hurt so miserably by mere humans!? Hero, hand over your power! Since you brought us here, pay the price with your life!]
This time, her right front leg stormed toward me. I charged at it to stab my spear in it, but the front leg backed away while dancing crazily.
When I looked down, Pepper, who was armed with a minigun, were shooting at it while laughing.
"Madam Mantis, you're a million years too early to challenge humans! Huhahahaha!"
I had things I wanted to say to Pepper's remark, but now wasn't the time! Because of an ability user's natural physical strength, he was unaffected by the gun's recoil and had perfect aim. After being struck by hundreds of bullets, the mantis' front leg could not reach me anymore. Now was my chance. I had to make use of this opportunity Pepper created!
"Eat this! It's an attack made out of 50% of your hated Hero substance and 50% of chaos!"
I aimed my spear toward its face, where the black flames I previously shot out was still gnawing on it. With this blow... I'll end it!
[Aaaaah! Why must we disappear? Why must we lose our place!? Why must I die to the likes of you!? My children! What about my children!? Kyaaaaaaaak!]
"Sorry... But we're busy looking for a way to survive!"
I gritted my teeth and shot my spear forward. Almost like they never fought, the white and black flames amicably pierced the mantis' throat. Just like that, the mantis' neck fell off.
[Event Raid success! Six of Earth's dungeon explorers and two independent dungeon explorers, a total of eight dungeon explorers has successfully completed an Event Raid! This great achievement increases the rewards greatly!]
[You obtained 3 stat points for completing the Event Raid.]
[Rewards will be distributed in order of contribution.]
[Kang Shin-nim's contribution is the highest. Choose your reward.]
[1. Dimensional Travel Magic Book
2. Return Magic Book
3. Soul of Battle Blade
5. Mantis Queen's Guardian Dagger
6. Mantis Queen's Battlescythe
7. 3,000,000 Gold
8. Wild Dance of Fresh Blood Technique Book]
After I saw the reward list, I fell from exhaustion. Similarly, Lotte flapped her wings slowly and landed. Now that I thought about it, Lotte did a lot today, even using a skill I had never seen before. Although it was to save her, I had even kicked her... I stroked her head.
"Sorry, Lotte. Did my kick hurt?"
[It's okay, Hero, as long as you stroke my head a bit more.The Hero is quite skilled at the head stroking technique. I can feel my fatigue disappearing.]
I smiled at Lotte's words and stroked her head like she wanted. Perhaps because she was my pet, but I found it cute that she could not be honest with herself.
"Shin, are you okay!?"
"Hurry and pick your reward, I'm curi.... Kuk!"
Since I took the Mantis Queen's attack previously, it seemed everyone was worried about me. Ludia should know my condition the best since she healed me before, so I didn't know why she was running at me with such teary eyes. Well, I guess it's okay since it's cute.
And you, I only just realized, but aren't you calling my name too freely in front of Pepper!? If he runs away, you better go catch him for me!
Ah... It went over... 10,000 characters... damn...
There just wasn't a good place to cut it in the middle. I didn't think it would drag out so long. Uaaaaaaah! It's double the normal chapter length!!
Uncreative: ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
Illidan: hint hint wink wink
Fudge: My editors are all lewd...