The Rutus Mountain range was vast.
After crossing the foot of the mountain and entering the wooded area, I realized that bringing a guide was the best choice.
How could one find their way in such a complicated place?
If I only set out relying on my memory, I would have quickly lost my way back, let alone find the place where the mystery was hidden.
Finding the mystery seems to be more difficult that I thought.
After all, nothing was easy in this world.
After a short distraction, I took my eyes off the flowing valley water and got up.
Khan, who had been examining the surrounding land, moved in the lead again.
Asher and I followed suit.
Not to mention Asher. Khan wasn’t also at a low level, so they couldn’t tire of hiking like this, but I was different.
So, whenever I ran out of strength, I had no choice but to take a break like this, pretending to enjoy the surrounding scenery.
If they even saw him panting unsightly, the Lord’s authority would fall to the ground.
It would have been nice if this damn body was above average…
Still, I wasn’t the only one suffering, so I stopped complaining.
Khan, who was working hard as a guide, looked stiff even at a glance from earlier.
My existence was quite burdensome, but even that was much better than when we started.
I got it. He probably would have never imagined that in his life as an adventurer he would one day guide a Lord.
“How far into the mountains have we gone?”
I suddenly became curious and asked Khan.
I remember that some powerful monsters also inhabited the depths of Rutus Mountains.
“I’ve never been a to a deep place. There were many ferocious monsters, so it’s a dangerous place for me.”
“What monsters have you encountered?”
“The one I remember the most was a giant bear. But it’s not a normal bear. It’s because it had sharp spikes sticking all over its body.”
He meant Spike Bear.
As I asked about this and that, the tension seemed to have eased up, and Khan talked a lot. Originally, he had a talkative personality.
“And there’s also a crazy rumor going around lately. An adventurer said he saw an absurdly gigantic snake in the mountains to the north.”
If it’s to the north, then it would be somewhere here.
“There was a time when that adventurer made a fuss about how no one would stop such a monster coming down to the city, that it would be a mess in no time, and that we would have to call the Overlord’s Castle for reinforcements when it happened.”
“What happened next?”
“First, the mayor listened and said that they would form an investigation team with the adventurer’s guild, but of course, most don’t believe it. According to the story, it’s a snake that’s much bigger than the city walls, but Rutus Mountains aren’t a demonic place. Would it make sense for that kind of monster to be here?”
A snake bigger than the walls of the fortress-like city of Jenix.
A list of snake-type monsters flashed through my head.
Among them, only one came to mind.
He’s not in a green mountain range like this, but a named boss that actually lived in the Devil’s Realm.
I wondered if I was just thinking too much and it was just a normal species of giant snake?
Do giant snakes even appear in the Rutus Mountains?
Well, in reality, only certain monsters appeared in certain areas.
Giant snakes lived in forest areas, so it wouldn’t be strange for it to appear here.
If it’s a full adult, its basic level would be at level 50, so it’s a sufficiently catastrophic monster by normal standards.
But even if we actually ran into it, it probably wouldn’t be a problem.
We had an even bigger on our side—Asher.
And the chance of us bumping into such a monster in this vast mountain range would probably be low…
Then the nearby bushes shook, and something appeared.
Its belly was larger than normal, and at the end of its long tail was something thick and pointed like a mace. Flail Wolf.
Khan put his hand on the hilt of his sword with a nervous face.
With its gaze fixed on this side, the wolf had turned its tail and let out a low cry before charging towards us.
A flash of blue light split it in half.
Scattered blood. The chunk of meat, neatly cut in two, rolled across the ground and scattered noisily.
I blinked and looked at the corpse, then moved my gaze to the side.
With an expressionless face, I could see Asher putting back the sword she had pulled out.
Khan, half stunned, looked back and forth between the half-cut corpse and Asher.
I pretended nothing was wrong.
After all, there was no need to worry about monsters.
Because a strong escort was with them.
The deeper we went into the mountains, the more often we encountered monsters.
Besides the many beast-type monsters, including the Spike Bear mentioned by Khan, we also encountered a troll, a fairly powerful monster.
There were no attacks in the middle of the night, but in the middle of a bright day and breakfast, sometimes wild birds the size of humans suddenly flew from somewhere.
Not long after they started moving again, there were surrounded by a herd of wild boars.
These guys weren’t ordinary beasts either. They were monsters called Armor Boar, whose whole body was as hard as armor…
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As Asher swung her sword, the huge sword energy that spread horizontally cut them all in one blow. It stained the forest with blood.
She was playing the role of an escort perfectly.
If none of the monsters we encountered came within five meters of me.
I asked Khan.
“Do you encounter monsters this often every time you climb the mountain?”
“I don’t run into them that often. Usually, I’m strictly vigilant so that I don’t run into them.”
Khan explained that if he saw even an ominous sign, he retreated or turn in a different direction.
It meant that he was only going straight, regardless of whether he found a trail. He probably realized that there’s no reason to be careful after seeing Asher’s strength. It would be just a waste of time.
We arrived at the bottom of a cliff by the time the sun rose in mid-sky.
It was a cliff high enough to be dozens of meters high, but Khan spat out absurd words.
“If you go up here and move a little further, we will arrive at our destination.”
I looked at him, wondering what kind of bullshit he was saying, and Khan only smiled awkwardly.
“Oh, I’m fine. It’s a terrain with many places to step on, and I’m used to it because I’ve already climbed this kind of height once or twice.”
No, I’m not worried about you, I’m worried about me.
I looked up at the cliff.
I forgot about it for a while but for the superhumans in this world, climbing a cliff with no gears was no big deal.
The cliff was not a blocked road, but a path that could only be climbed.
“…Is this the only path?”
“Yes? If we look for it, there might be another way, but it’s a long way back. Then, I’ll go up first.”
Khan said that and moved first.
The other probably didn’t think that I wouldn’t be able to climb this much.
Should I have brought a wizard as well?
Khan clung to the wall like a lizard and started climbing the cliff quickly.
I looked at him in dismay, then moved my gaze to Asher.
…Not that it came to this, there’s no helping it.
“Carry me up.”
Asher looked back with a doubtful expression, as if she was not sure if she heard me correctly.
I said it again as boldly as possible.
“I told you to carry me up.”
There was silence for a while.
She had a complicated expression on her face, showing that she couldn’t understand the intention of the order, but soon she knelt down and gave her back to me obediently.
And it took only a moment for us to arrive at the top.
It was because her body rose as if it exploded with just one cloud of footsteps, and we reached the top of the cliff without even stepping on the wall.
Most rides had a dizzying speed and the sense that your stomach was being emptied, but somehow I could withstand that and prevent myself from screaming.
I didn’t want to do that twice.
I calmed down the tingling aftertaste and got off Asher’s back.
Looking down, Khan was about a third of the way up. I thought he could come up soon.
If Asher helped him, he could arrive here quickly. But since it’s weird to ask Asher that again, I just waited.
Asher stared somewhere.
I reflexively looked where her gaze was directed, but there was nothing.
Instantly, the fishy smell stung my nostrils.
The smell of blood…?
It was a bloody scent that I could easily recognize.
Soon after, Khan, who arrived at the top, also looked around, shaking off the dust from his clothes, as if he also smelled the scent. He even commented;
“It looks like there are some dead bodies of monsters nearby.”
We continued to move.
The further into the forest, the stronger the scent of blood. We seemed to get closer to the source.
When we reached a certain point, everyone was at a loss for words at the sight unfolding in front of us.
The identity of the corpse was that of a huge snake.
A huge snake with a gray coat, the size of a head and the length of a human body. It was, without a doubt, a giant snake.
What stood out what that it was dead.
The middle of the torso was cut off… No, it wasn’t cut off, but the middle of the torso was completely gone.
It was as if something much bigger than itself had eaten it in one bite.
“This, this guy was the rumored…?”
Khan opened his mouth and murmured.
A giant snake that was said to be spotted in the northern mountains.
But it didn’t matter at all whether this guy was the subject of the rumor or not. Because it’s dead.
Who killed it?
I looked around.
As I looked for traces as I did a quick sweep of the nearby ground, a strange scene of fallen trees was reflected.
A faint sound echoed in my ears for a moment.
The ground shook with the eerie sound that seemed to stimulate life’s instinctive fear.
The overgrown bushes on one side collapsed, and something huge came toward us. Still, no one could move.
Coo coo coo.
Before long, the overwhelming presence raised its body and cast a shadow on the ground.
Both Asher and Khan looked at ‘it’ with shocked faces.
It was a huge, dark snake.
It would not be strange to say that it was not a snake but a dragon, a snake that was definitely gigantic enough to make the dead giant snake seemed like a newborn baby snake.
I was well aware of its identity.
One of the named bosses of the Demon realm.
The first thing I thought of when I heard the story of the giant snake, but I honestly believed that it would not be in a place like this.
Why the hell are you here?
The answer to the question came right away.
This was the five years into the past before the game started.
It hadn’t moved to the demon realm yet.
That’s right… if that was the case, then it actually made sense. I just never imagined that the giant snake of the rumors would really be this guy.
A huge, torn pupil came out and scanned the other two.
It was as if it was contemplating which food to try first.
Khan had a face that seemed like he would faint at any moment, and Asher was no different.
Far from preparing for battle, her face turned white, and I could see that the hand holding the sword hilt was shaking. Just like a frog before a snake.
Is this… ‘Fear’?
Some monsters had a kind of ‘Fear’ ability that caused extreme fear and panic in weaker targets. Bellevagorah was one of them.
No matter how strong Asher was, there was no choice but to be greatly influenced by the ‘Fear’ of the opponent with a much higher level.
Even if one fought in perfect condition, they wouldn’t be able to run properly when there was no chance of winning.
Because I had the [Soul of a King], ‘Fear’ did not affect me.
Still, it didn’t change that the situation was the worst.
How could I quickly become out of luck?
I promised to take a certain risk, but it’s already a crisis like this. I seriously wanted to laugh at this dumbfounding situation.
…As long as I could touch it somehow.
I knew I had no choice but to survive in this situation.
I only needed one contact.
It would be the end if I died from being crushed by that gigantic body before I had the time to activate my skill. But he had no choice but to risk his life.
I walked slowly towards Bellevagorah.
An overwhelming size that left one speechless.
It was absurd that she didn’t even feel its presence, even though I was right next to it.
Asher knew for the first time at this moment that such a gigantic creature existed in the world.
She also instinctively felt that even if she fought it with all her might, she could never win.
No, she couldn’t even fight right now.
I can’t move my body…
My breath stopped just by facing it. It’s hard to even lift a finger.
She gnashed her teeth and resisted ‘Fear’. She did everything in her power to straighten out the fighting spirit that was about to be broken.
But she still couldn’t pull out her sword.
The fear that engulfed her from the depths of her heart couldn’t be shaken off, no matter what.
All she could do was feel hopeless and helpless and desperately raised her magical power to free herself from the bondage.
It was then.
The sound of footsteps breaking the silence.
Her eyes widened.
The Seventh Lord was slowly approaching the monster.
With a light step like as if this terrible pressure had no effect on him.
The monster tilted its head and slowly lowered its head.
The slightest movement raised wind pressure and made the ground tremble.
It was as if it was wondering why there was a prey that could move casually.
A distance close enough to touch if you stretch out your hand.
The Seventh Lord standing right in front of the monster looked like he was in danger, as if it would suck him in if it opened its mouth and breathed in.
The Seventh Lord slowly reached out his hand.
To Asher, it was a calm gesture that did not contain any murderous intent or energy. And the moment his fingertips touched the monster, he smiled and said softly.
“Did I look like your prey?”
The huge body of the monster collapsed with a huge vibration.