The environmental characteristics of the demonic lands existing on the continent varied.
In some places, lava pillars spewed out of the earth, in some places lightning struck a dry sky, and in some places, even the water that was poured out in the extreme cold immediately froze.
Compared to such other demonic lands, Hallmenta’s environment and topography belonged to the mediocre axis.
This was why even after entering the entrance, Asher and I could still ride horses.
The sun is no longer visible.
I looked up at the sky filled with almost black dark clouds.
Because of those clouds, it was almost as dark as night when it was still broad daylight.
It was a landscape with that kind of atmosphere that would come to mind naturally when one thought of the end of the world.
And the monsters that popped out from time to time were a bonus.
Asher’s sword cut a monster in half that had fallen from the cliff and rushed at them.
The monsters that they encountered were all on the weak side, so whenever they appeared, Asher took care of them.
There are really a lot of monsters here.
The number of encounters was incomparable to the ones we usually encountered when passing through forests or mountain ranges. That’s probably why it’s considered a demonic land.
It’s not a big deal, but I already feel tired just thinking of how annoying it would be when we had to sleep at night.
I looked at the map again and thought about the place where the mystery was hidden.
A huge rock in the shape of a tower in the center of the demonic land.
And a cave somewhere.
It was a place that appeared during that bastard’s flashbacks in the game.
Still, for this mystery, all I had to do was go to the central area of the demonic land and find the rock, so I could pinpoint the exact location.
After a few days of travel, we finally entered a forest.
They were not green trees that were expected of a typical forest, but rotten old trees with only black-colored leaved.
As we walked along the eerie forest path, I looked around.
The trees also had dark-colored fruits, which I examined.
Although Hallmenta was quite ordinary, there was a point that clearly set it apart from other demonic lands. It was the plants.
There were plants that seemed to grow without undergoing the germination process.
Some had deadly poisons, while others had great medicinal effects.
Among them, I found one fruit and my eyes widened.
A round fruit the size of a melon with a black rind and reddish cracked texture.
The fruits hung like grapes until they almost touched the ground.
As I got closer, the large insects that had been eating a single fruit that had fallen to the ground flew and scattered.
I picked one fruit in good condition.
In the game, because of trying to get more achievements, I had to spend a lot of time gathering herbs and fruits in Hallmenta, so I knew what this was.
It didn’t really have any beneficial effects on the body.
However, unlike its appearance, it was the fruit with a setting of having a heavenly taste that was to die for.
It was pretty hard to find in the game, but I was lucky enough to come across it here.
I couldn’t help but wonder about the taste, so I took a small bite of it. The flesh had a crunchy texture.
As soon as I ate it, I was overwhelmed by the intense sweetness that spread in my mouth.
I could see why the game called it heavenly taste. As soon as I took one bite, I had to admit it right away.
As I savored the sweetness, I turned my head.
Next to me, Asher was looking at me with a slightly bewildered look.
It probably looked strange that I suddenly picked a fruit and ate it. Especially since the fruit in question looked like a lump of cold lava.
“You should try it as well.”
As I grabbed another one and held it out, Asher was silent and shook her head.
“I’m not forcing you, but if you don’t eat it, you’ll regret it.”
It’s a waste to taste this delicious food alone.
When I said that, she seemed to be curious about it, so she accepted it with hesitation.
Then she took a small bite and opened her eyes.
I smiled and ate the fruit I was eating. It was so large that I was full after eating just one.
“Let’s keep going.”
As I was about to move forward again, I heard a popping sound from behind.
When I turned my head, Asher picked another fruit and put it in her mouth.
She gulped the fruit she was chewing with a look as if she was a kid who had been caught stealing candy.
What’s wrong with eating more if one wanted to?
A few days had passed since we entered the demonic land.
The landscape unfolding in my sight was a repetition of endless black land and bushes, and there was nothing special about it.
The only thing that changed was that the deeper we went into the demonic land, the stronger the monsters we encountered.
The ones we met this time were swarming around us.
There was a monkey monster, there were also some that looked like a mixture of a lion and a rhinoceros, and some giant spiders with countless disgusting eyes.
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What are these?
I couldn’t help but tilt my head at the alien sight.
It was because they were not of the same species, instead, it was a group of monsters that didn’t fit together at all.
I told Asher after thinking about it, because we needed to take care of this first.
“Take care of that monkey.”
Asher rushed towards the monkey monster that had the highest level, which was separated from the rest of the crowd.
The remaining monsters rushed towards my side with ferocious momentum.
I stretched out my hand and popped the drops of blood and shot them towards the incoming monsters.
All monsters were at a level where it could destroy a small city alone, but that level was meaningless to my abilities. I wiped them out in the blink of an eye.
Shortly thereafter, Asher also killed the monkey with no difficulty.
She turned to me and saw all the other dead monsters, cleared her breath and drew her sword back.
After that, we often encountered a group of monsters with such a heterogeneous combination.
As we continued to slay them, an idea came to my mind.
- ··Oh, could it be because of that?
There were a lot of monsters with all kinds of tricky and bizarre abilities in the demonic land.
Starting from those that could evoke fear, there were those who fired powerful magic cannons, spit out fire or electricity, or those who could cause hallucinations. They were mostly classified as named bosses.
And among them, there were also very rare monsters with the ability to control and control other monsters.
Seeing the ferocious monsters, that were often eager to eat and kill one another, suddenly became friendly with each other… I thought that maybe a monster with the power of dominance might be in this land right now.
But as I remember, there was no boss with the ability of the dominant type in Hallmenta…
Well, this was at a point in the past of the game’s background that I played, so there may be boss mobs I didn’t know about.
I didn’t take it too seriously.
Even if there was a guy with real dominance, it wouldn’t pose a huge threat.
A few more days passed as they turned all the monsters that attacked like that into corpses.
Seeing the dark red mist that spread faintly in the air, I wondered if we had slowly entered the center of the demonic land.
That’s why I prepared in case we got lost.
I buried one of the compass that showed the mutual location of each other, which was used in the Elrod Forest, at the entrance to the demonic land. And, on our way here, I also sprinkled the guide powder I had brought along.
I stretched my field of vision to the max with my super sensory, trying to find the rock.
It’s a huge rock that looked like a tower, so it would be easy to spot from afar…
And just as I thought, after wandering around the area for about half a day, I was able to finally find the rock.
- ··That’s it.
Beyond the fog, I approached the huge rock that looked like a tower at first glance. There were no monsters nearby.
Arriving right in front of it, I circled around the rock to find the entrance to the cave.
And I soon found it.
One wide passage opened in the middle of the rock.
This was the place where the last mystery I seek was hidden.
“Wait for me here.”
Saying that to Asher, I walked alone into the dark cave.
I didn’t feel any presence inside. It’s like everything was still.
I moved inside for a while.
The straight passageway was much longer than I thought, and even after walking for several dozen minutes, there was no sign of it ending.
When will I reach the end?
I got tired of walking slowly, so I just ran. I did not feel tired anyway, so why walk?
How many more minutes would I have to run?
Finally, the straight passage ended, and a huge cavity appeared.
I looked around the joint.
Now, there seemed to be no more passage to the inside.
Then this was the end… it was just dark with nothing in the cavity. There were no brightly shining mysterious patterns.
I thought I came at the wrong place, but I was sure that this was definitely it.
There could be no other cave inside a tower like rock formation like this other than here. That being said, that was…
I approached the center of the cavity with a hardened face.
There was a faint stain of dried blood on the floor.
A sign that someone else had been here before me, and the traced showed that it had been a very long time since that happened.
There were enough traces to understand why there was no mystery pattern here.
“Had that person already taken it?”
I muttered in despair.
Apparently, that bastard had already discovered this place a long time ago, and eventually absorbed the mystery.
It was a failure to get the last mystery.
Asher was waiting in front of the cave, vigilantly waiting at the command of the Seventh Lord.
She stood with her hand on the hilt of her sword, staring intently into the cave.
How did the Seventh Lord come to know these places? And what was he doing every time inside?
- ··Useless thoughts.
She brushed off her curiosity and refocused her attention.
Although she was an escort by name, she has always been of no help in battles with powerful enemies they had met.
At least she had to prevent monsters from entering the cave to not interfere with whatever the Seventh Lord was doing.
Asher, who had stood like a stone statue for such a long time, suddenly recognized a sense of alienation.
It was because the fog around the area seemed to have gotten a little thicker.
An instinctive feeling of discomfort creeped up.
Her hand, which was about to draw the sword, with her forehead wrinkled, stiffened.
Then, slowly, her eyes closed, and he staggered dangerously and fell to the floor.
In the place where she fell, a disgustingly tangled plant stem appeared.
The stems wrapped around her crawled to the ground and disappeared somewhere in an instant.
I came out of the cave in deep thought and looked around me with puzzled eyes.
It was because the figure of Asher was nowhere to be seen.
I stood with my arms crossed and waited, wondering if she had temporarily gone somewhere, but she did not appear even after I waited for a long time.
I looked around again with a hardened face.
Where did she suddenly disappear to?