Chapter 261. You Cannot Escape from the Saintess (1)
The demons remaining in Australia went crazy when Lespina was swallowed by inextinguishable flames. They all charged towards me as if they had lost their minds.
As I faced them, I felt that something was off. Intelligent beings didn't throw away their lives so easily. Although I didn't plan on letting a single one survive, in their perspective, it made more sense to retreat and come back later after reorganizing.
Since the enemy were demons rather than monsters, I thought this would be their natural course of action, but they all charged at me without caring for their lives. Their tenacity even sent a chill down my back.
As they detonated their mana when they got near, even with Revival members doing their best to stop them, there were many instances where my life was threatened. Since I used Overlord, which was my greatest secret weapon, I only had my physical body left to fight with. However, some two hundred thousand demons left in Australia were already here or were running here.
[If you're tired, be honest and go rest at the guild house! We're free to move back and forth from here now!]
[If we leave, it'll get tougher for you, idiot! They're clearly all aiming for you. Do you think we won't notice you trying to solve everything by yourself!?]
When I messaged the guild members with worry, Hwaya shouted back angrily. Her entire body was burning with blazing flames.
"Everyone, do your best so Shin stops his nonsense! Don't die either, because if you do, I'll kill you myself! Agni's Seven Tongues!"
When she reached out with her hands, seven giant streams of white flames rose up in the sky. I see, so there was more to Agni's power than what she showed last time! Just like how Zeus' power had two forms or how Shiva's power had three forms, Agni's power also had multiple forms.
If the power Hwaya used last time created divine flames, the power she used this time was even simpler. Pure destruction! Seven Tongues flickered from the sky to ground and destroyed all demons in their paths.
What was more shocking was that these tongues even attacked allies. Worried about a guild member dying, I prepared myself to use Caduceus, when I widened my eyes in shock. Ye-Eun, who was struck by a tongue, had appeared unscathed in flames.
"Wow, my wounds disappeared!"
"Huhu, how's this Unni's power?"
"Awesome, Unni! I want it too!"
Right, Ye-Eun's wounds were healing. In other words, Agni's flames harmed enemies and healed allies. It was a truly worthy of being a god's power.
"Hang in there, everyone! No matter how many demons there are, our victory is certain! Guardian and Freedom Wing's allied troops will come here soon! Other Revival members are coming too!"
"I'll save everyone!"
As Hwaya's voice filled with divine power rang out in the battlefield, other members cheered in return. Since they seemed so full of energy, I assumed they were fine. With a bitter smile, I fought off the demons in front of me. The Demon Lord must have done something to them. With a far more barbaric and brutal method... His goal must have been...
"I'll worry about that later! Fight me, you bastards!"
I fought against powerful enemies countless times as I climbed Beyond! Be it two hundred thousand or five hundred thousand, I'll fight you all! The whirlpool swirling around me became fiercer than ever as it gathered around my spear and ripped apart three demons in the next instant. Maintaining this momentum, I shouted as I cut down more demons.
"We are Revival! Damned demons or monsters, let's fight!"
From then, it took four days to clear Australia and the rest of Oceania. Two members of Revival lost their limbs and had to be healed by combined efforts of Ilayda, Ludia, and Elixirs.
As I fought hundreds of demons at the same time, I carelessly had my right arm crushed, but the 'Flesh Golem's Second Finger', which I had obtained a long time ago, activated and regenerated my arm before anyone worried.
As Pure Black Desire was indestructible, although my arm was crushed inside it, the armor looked unfazed. Because of it, no one else even noticed that I had lost my arm.
"Kang Shin... A part, died. Definitely, died."
However, it seemed Daisy's sixth sense figured something out. I desperately tried to hide my thoughts, but whether it succeeded was another story. Daisy rubbed my right arm a few times and tilted her head before leaving. Daisy, she was truly a mysterious woman...!
Although Revival suffered little, Guardian and Freedom Wing's casualties was disastrous. Both in numbers and strength, the demons had overwhelmed them.
As Australia's citizens mostly lived in coastal regions, they couldn't escape from the Demon Army's sudden attack and died. There were even less survivors than in New Zealand. In the end, it was a victory that no one could be happy about. Since Two Moon, it became one of the top five tragedies, and the worst tragedy since Guardian and Freedom Wing were founded.
"It's only been two years or so since monsters first appeared, and everyone's been too relaxed. With this incident, such thoughts will..."
"It's fine, I know what you're trying to say."
I embraced Hwaya and consoled her. It was good that humanity became more aware of the danger, but the cost we had to pay was too great. Furthermore, although they may not know it yet, we didn't have much time left. No matter how much they prepared for the eventual fight against demons and monsters, there was very little they could do given the short time.
"With our power, we can stop it. So just keep doing your best."
"Can we, Shin? We couldn't stop even a portion of the Demon Army, and this is what happened. There are still incomparably stronger demons and even monsters we have to worry about... I want to smack my past self. I got too overconfident when I first got my ability."
"We can do it. Trust me."
Hwaya widened her eyes at my confidence, then smiled.
"Un. If Shin says so... I'll trust you."
With that, she got out of my arms and clenched her fists.
"I can't just act like a baby. I'm going back to the dungeon."
"You should rest today."
"No, I'm not tired physically and... my mental exhaustion just disappeared. I'm off."
With that, she made a cute smile. Then, her expression suddenly changed as if she stepped on feces. With a slightly sharp expression, she pinched my cheeks.
"Also, the way you think is very cruel."
"See!? You know what I'm talking about, so you're acting like you're oblivious. If the current situation wasn't what it was... Well, it is how it is, so I'll forgive you. Still, you're cruel. Making a girl say this first."
"I... I don't know what you're talking about..."
I seated and turned away from her. This demoness!
"Ehew, I should have made you sign the papers. Because the man I fell in love with is so great, I have to go through all this trouble. Really, it's not like I can just stop now."
Hwaya kept complaining, but I figured it was on the lighter side. I stood silently, feeling awkward, when Hwaya said her last words.
"... I'm on your side, so cheer up. I think I know what you're feeling."
"Mm? You also have someone else you-"
"Not that, idiot! I'm talking about the current situation between Earth and the dungeon! I'm already upset, do you want to make me even more upset!?"
In the end, she hit me. Damn... If only I stayed quiet!
First, I returned to the dungeon. It was to fight the First Dungeon's 80th Floor Master. During the 4 weeks I spent cleaning up Antarctica, I diligently climbed the First Dungeon and Beyond, breaking through the First Dungeon's 79th floor and Beyond's 29th floor. After that, I got so busy that I didn't have the time to fight the Floor Master. I had no choice but to delay the dungeon until everything was taken care of.
Five months had passed since the first time Loretta talked about the two year time period. Now, however, that time wasn't certain, and it was better to think I only had one year left. The invaders were breaking into Earth like they were being chased by someone, and the Demon Lord and the other enemies had way too many suspicious things about them.
To protect Earth and to protect my loved ones, what I needed was absolute power. A power that no one could take away from me, a power that purely belonged to me. I vowed to obtain a power like that.
"Eh? You're giving up on grinding elixirs?"
"Yeah. I'm at a point where a few dozen stat points can't solve the problem I have. They helped when I was climbing the lower floors, but now, they're just numbers. What I need more is a more certain league."
"Shin-nim... You're right. I wanted Shin-nim to have more time to think about things, but considering Earth's current situation, that sounds right. Yes, raise your league. I will support Shin-nim to the best of my abilities."
Loretta accepted my idea and nodded. I turned away with a grin. In front of my eyes were the stairs leading up to the 80th floor. The next time I see Loretta will be after I defeat the 80th Floor Master.
"Shin-nim, don't you need to hear about the 80th Floor Master?"
"I have a guess. I'm pretty certain I won't be wrong."
Starting from the 76th floor, undead monsters reappeared. They were incomparably stronger than the undead I faced in the lower floors. There were giant zombies, ghouls, and even apparition type undead that randomly popped out of nowhere and scared me. Moreover, the chances of elite monsters appearing increased and stopped me from underestimating the First Dungeon.
An undead monster that would be the boss of them all... I would have to face 80th floor's monsters first, but I had a guess in mind.
Suddenly, Loretta grabbed me and asked cautiously. Her face was a bit red.
"Shin-nim, do you need a blessing?"
"No, but just give me a kiss. Rather than a blessing, I want Loretta's pure encouragement."
"Shin-nim, you changed. You can say something so sly now."
"If you hate it, you don't have to."
"I don't hate it! I love it, I love it!"
In the end, Loretta even gave me a blessing. I didn't know whether it was the power of Loretta's kiss or the power of her blessing, but I could easily break through the 80th floor filled with dullahans and skeleton knights. Then, I came to face an unusually big door to the Floor Master battle room.
"Floor Master... Alright, let's go."
What reason did I have to wait? I kicked open the door without hesitation, and shouted.
On an incredible dark and cold land, a voice rang out from the depths.
[Good. Let's fight.]
He appeared covered in a black aura, carrying a great sword in one hand, and wearing a black armor. The glow of this crimson eyes shining through the gap in his helmet showed that he was threatening, that he wasn't just for show.
The most perfect highest ranked undead monster, the Death Knight, had appeared.