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Chapter 260. Above the Frozen Land (11)
In the first place, I had many doubts about her ability. If she could erase the dungeon’s power completely, my qualification as an explorer might have disappeared in the worst case. The fact that this didn’t happen meant that there was a limit to her ability. Knowing the extent of this ability was the key to victory.
Since she would never explain her ability to me, instead of using Overlord and driving her to a corner from the very beginning, I faced her directly with my body and tested her limits myself.
The first thing I found out was that she could suppress an explorer’s stats and the skills he gained from the dungeon. The Spear Technique skill and the Elementalist skills were also included, but when the dungeon created a skill out of a power I learned myself, only the dungeon’s power was suppressed.
As I initially said, her ability was something like a blessing that removes impurities. It did not allow her to completely erase the targeted power. Skills that the dungeon greatly influenced were weakened, while skills that were closer to my own ability were affected only slightly. That was the reason my Spear Technique and Peruta Circuit received very little suppression.
The next thing I found out was her ability’s influence on items which wasn’t purely the dungeon’s authority. It was simple. Her ability couldn’t affect items at all. Of course, when she first released her power, my chaos flames subsided. However, that wasn’t because of her ability. When I detected her power, I immediately weakened the chaos flames to make it seem like her ability was working. It was a trick to fool her.
She assumed that chaos flames came from a skill, and I was the one who made her think this way. I had a hunch that whether she knew chaos flames could be suppressed or not would have a great impact on the battle’s result.
To confirm my suspicion, I checked whether the Echo Ring worked when I used Frozen Roar, and I became certain that her ability couldn’t affect an item’s inherent ability.
In that case, rather than being the result of the dungeon or the Dungeon Lord’s power, the miraculous powers within Unique, Epic, and higher grade items could be theorized to be the result of the items’ materials and their creators’ miraculous ability. However, I thought there was more to it.
As items were objects that existed in real life, it could have just been that they weren’t influenced as much by the dungeon, like my Spear Technique and Elementalist skills. It was also likely that Lespina’s ability wasn’t perfect. As I said before, if her ability was perfect, she would have taken away my qualification as an explorer.
If that happened, I would have become like Desert Scorpion’s guild master. Of course, I wouldn’t be as weak as him, but it was still terrible to lose the stats and league I gained through the dungeon. For now, at least.
The last thing I found out was that her power only activated within the range of her realization. I deduced that her ability wasn’t activating continuously, but instead was an active skill that could only be used when she could clearly perceive her target. Ironically, it was as if her ability was a skill. To erase skills, she had to use her own skill.
I became completely certain of this when she resisted Crimson Roar. I could have finished her off without revealing anything, but I needed to obtain more information in case another enemy like Lespina appeared.
I hope the dungeon will reward me for this…
However, Lespina was more tenacious than I thought. From the spear penetrating her stomach, lightning from Peika’s power, Lightning God’s power, and Zeus’ power crackled and chaos flames blazed, but she still held on without dying.
[If I can kill you… Kuhak! Before my life ends…!]
“Sorry, but I’ve considered everything.”
If her ability was a skill-like power, there was something she had to do – concentrating. Skills were rather tricky to use. If one wasn’t concentrating, they couldn’t be used so easily. How long did it take me to use skills without saying their names out loud? Of course, there was a period of time when I thought I had to shout their names to use them, but that was partly because it was that difficult to use skills silently.
Throughout our battle, Lespina shouted or performed specific actions whenever she used her ability. It meant she had her own trigger for using this ability. However, Zeus’ divine power and chaos flames were both effective in dealing great shock to their target.
There was a reason I didn’t use Sacrifice. It was to avoid sharing her pain. It would have been fine if I could kill her with Sacrifice, but if she didn’t die, I would writhe in pain with her and die if she recovered first. Furthermore, if she recognized Sacrifice as a skill and defended against it, I might have taken a fatal blow while she avoided the bonus damage from Sacrifice entirely.
Now, however, Lespina was completely incapacitated, and I had regained my power, stats, and skills as an explorer. This only meant one thing.
“How is it? Can you move?”
I looked down at her from above. Overlord’s authority had healed my wounds and Enigma’s power raged, making me surge with power. My Evil Eyes flashed, and Lespina became more and more restricted.
[Do you think… I can’t kill you!?]
“You can’t. Look at my eyes. Am I using a skill?”
[What nonsense are you spouting now…!?]
When she looked into my eyes, I activated Lilith’s Temptation. When Lespina felt that something was off, she shut her eyes and looked away. Wrong! You should have activated your ability and fought off Lilith’s Temptation! Though I’m the one who baited you, I see that you’re an idiot until the end!
[You used Lilith’s Temptation! You stole 50% of the target’s health and magic!”
[The target falls under ‘absolute obedience’, forever becoming your servant.]
It worked! I didn’t prepare myself for when it failed, but I didn’t think absolute obedience would activate. After all, it only had a 20% chance of activating! Wasn’t this the reason I went through all this to get the answer from her body!?
To think the skill I used as a finishing blow would do this! I felt depressed, thinking my hard work was wasted. It would have been nice if I knew beforehand… Damn it. Well, that didn’t mean I would keep her alive. Demons had to be killed. All of them.
[I, I…? Uuu…?]
I’d just stolen half of her health, but she still had time before she died. I smiled and approached her.
“Alright then, let’s hear the remaining info. I like peaceful talks, too.”
[Kuhuk… Yes, Master…!]
With chaos flames still burning, there’s no way you’ll live though.
[Lespina-nim has been captured! Rescue her!]
[Even if we all die, we must save her!]
Although the enormous exchange of mana prevented anyone from freely interfering in our fight, now that the situation was mostly cleared up, the demons thought I captured Lespina and charged at me crazily. Laki, who was still in the air, and the Revival members, who were on the ground, all moved to stop them, but it was difficult to suppress all of them.
I glared at Lespina and spoke in a whispering voice.
“Lotte, Ruyue, Peika, Sharana.”
[Huhu, we’re free to do what we want?]
[As Master wishes!]
“No, don’t just go.”
I activated Succubus Queen’s Tattoo and doubled my mana. Although Overlord was ending soon, my mana shot up endlessly. I gave it to the elementals and rubbed Lotte with a highest grade potion. Lotte growled with a pleased voice.
“Are you all healed now?”
[Kuhum… Not yet, I think.]
“Go already, jeez.”
Having an idle chat with Lotte, who once submitted to survive, made me happy. After sending them off, I stopped worrying about them and looked back at Lespina. She was still burning up.
“How many minutes do you have until you die?”
[5 minutes… If even that, Master.]
“Good, then during that time, tell me everything about the Demon Army’s movements.”
At that moment, I felt a powerful magic flying towards us from a distance. Even though it carried a terrifying power, it was incredibly fast! In terms of modern weaponry, it was like a sniper bullet. I could understand how Lotte and the elementals missed it. However, I didn’t lose to anyone in speed, especially when I was using Overlord.
In an instant, I gathered Overlord’s remaining power and created a shield. Before Overlord deactivated, the shield blocked the incoming flame magic. It must have been a magic that exploded upon contact, but not even the Demon Lord could have accounted for Enigma’s power. Enigma enveloped the flame magic and silently disappeared like a candlelight.
Still… Flame, is it? I was curious why Lespina’s attribute was fixed to ice, but now, I felt like I could understand.
I faced the direction the flame magic came from and sent a message.
[I’m already on it! Leave it to me and Ina.]
The flame user was undoubtedly planted by the Demon Lord. It was to be expected from someone in a position of power. A way to prevent their information from leaking out. In novels, villains usually carried bombs or poison on them, but it seemed the Demon Lord prepared an assassin like in a more traditional fantasy novel. A flame-attribute assassin, the opposite of Lespina, someone who could fire a single attack of extreme power.
Right, a demon with powerful mana such as Lespina couldn’t possibly have more magic vested in them. With her power being what it is, it was probably necessary to have an assassin prepared.
“Lespina, is the Demon Lord in the Luka continent?”
[Yes. He is immersed in birthing new demons.]
“How many of them can erase the dungeon’s power like you?”
[It is only me for now. However, he expected to create at least two more.”
“When will the Demon Lord come?”
[It is not certain yet. We predict that the pathway will become large enough for the Demon Lord to enter when the other force invading Earth and demons enter Earth two more times. He said it would take at most two years.]
“How about at least?”
I felt stifled for breath. However, I grit my teeth and asked again.
“Why isn’t the Demon Lord satisfied with obtaining one world’s power? Why is he aiming for other worlds? Ah, before that, was it just a coincidence that Earth was chosen as his target? Or was it because I went to the Luka continent as a Dimensional Mercenary?”
[The Demon Lord didn’t know where he was invading or who would be there. We only found out that Master was on Earth during the invasion process. However…]
She spoke. I widened my eyes and asked again. She gave the same answer.
The missing piece of the puzzle was finally found, and everything fell into place. I could finally open the eyes I had closed since I was born.