Team: HH, thursdays, Yahiko (2/12)
There was a boat splitting through the water. Waves thrust against the boat, and white foam scattered, shaking the calm surface of the water.
However, it wasn’t beautiful.
The River of Souls shined an ashy color. There was a sticky acidity in the air.
Every time the surface was broken, the screams that the ghosts let out stimulated fear.
But as if the passengers didn’t care, on that giant ship carrying hundreds, there was an orgy party happening.
Men and women—everyone were high from drinking and drugs.
They nakedly twisted around each other like mating snakes, and there were scandalous things occuring, like multiple men with one woman.
Slaves refilled the bars and tables with wine, meat, and drugs. The music was loud, and people were shouting.
When they were excited, they even wrung the neck of the people they had just had relations with.
After that, they tossed them into the ocean and roamed around looking for new prey.
No other words could describe this better than a “frenzy.”
The problem was that this wasn’t the only boat like this.
Along with the large ship, there were tens of smaller boats that followed it like ducklings following their mother.
It was a fleet so large that it would cause the jaws of anyone who looked at it to drop.
〈Sea God’s Seawall〉
The Blessing that was given to them made them even more threatening. The reason they could head to their destination without losing their way even with the orgy was because the Authority was activated.
In the center of everything, there was a man.
On the highest floor of the ship, a man sat on a throne decorated with gold, jade, and all kinds of jewels looking at the horizon.
His head was messed up like a lion’s mane, and he was covered with beautiful naked women, filling himself with the drinks and meat they brought.
“Kahalhalhal! Not too long now.”
The man ripped a piece of meat into his mouth with his hairy arm and suddenly stood up. The women who were quietly sleeping in his arms frantically left.
The women who were waiting behind him quickly covered his naked body with a cape.
The man was still looking far away into the horizon. But his eyes were fixed to a specific location—rather, they were looking somewhere far off.
“Tell all the crew members we’ll be arriving soon!”
At his loud orders, the sound of horns rang out all over the ship.
The other boats blared their horns, and the crew members started getting up one by one.
The fogginess in their eyes vanished, like they had never been high on wine and drugs, and they began to dress themselves in the armor that they had tossed onto the ground.
When they were done, they turned back into neat warriors.
They were the might of the ocean after having received Poseidon’s Blessing.
The apostle of Poseidon who was leading them, Benteke, smiled cruelly.
“I don’t know why we’re looking for the Quartz Palace, but this will be fun. Kahalhalhal!”
His laughter rang out loudly.
* * *
[The Predator has arrived. It is expressing its fury.]
[Everyone be aware.]
“Hold on tight!”
At Heidi’s urgent shout, the players and Cannibal Monster Humans began to grab sturdy holds.
With a mighty explosion, the boat shook up and down.
The players that had failed to grab onto a hold were flicked out with a scream, and the people who were barely holding on couldn’t get a grip of themselves.
The acid that was falling from the sky was strong enough to melt their skin.
Screams filled the air.
Heidi realized why Yeon-woo asked them to follow him unconditionally. He was telling them not to have regrets or be dissatisfied.
It had been 5 days since they left the island. That much time had already passed since they entered the 29th floor.
It was enough time for them to become used to it, but they were still scared. Not be dissatisfied? That was something that they couldn’t achieve. Everyone would be the same if they saw the sight.
There was a large whale that was even bigger than the Summer Queen’s body.
Tens of sharp teeth akin to a shark’s shined. It was even more problematic because there were tens of other whales just like it behind it. It was so terrifying that it seemed like the boat was going to crack.
There were countless monsters living inside the River of Souls. Because they lived in the poisonous and acidic river, they were extremely vicious, and sometimes, they enjoyed eating people that floated above the river.
Once you entered the 28th floor, finding your direction was one problem, and surviving from the sea monsters was another.
Most sea monsters could be defeated if multiple players worked together, and they could even be killed from time to time.
However, the large predatory whale in front of them was different.
It was a sea king monster that lived in the center of the River of Souls.
Also, because of its ravenous personality, nothing would be leftover once these monsters appeared. Even the sea monsters didn’t appear when the sea king monsters came up.
The Predator was in the greatest tier of sea king monsters.
They were the most hated monsters of the players, and they occasionally spit out acid-like Breath to melt the players.
However, there were tens of the Predators.
They dug into each other and pushed their heads into each other’s wounds.
Foundations of blood shot up and turned the blackish river red.
The smell of blood wafted in the air, and the screams of ghosts rang out over and over again.
The Predators continued their hunt.
‘Why didn’t the Hoarder go another route and go this dangerous way? There are other, calmer areas. Is there a reason for this?’
Heidi had so many things she wanted to ask the Hoarder, but she stayed quiet because one of the conditions was not to interfere with what he was doing.
And right now, it was more important to focus on not being flung out of the boat.
Her gaze was focused on the heads of the Predators.
Yeon-woo was sitting there, pulling on a sword from his subspace.
[A god of ‘Malak,’ Azrael, is smiling at you.]
[Azrael blesses you.]
[A god of ‘Olympus’ Thanatos, is gleeful.]
[A demon of ‘Jeolgyo,’ Vimazildara, looks at you with strange eyes.]
[Anubis is watching you.]
[Giltine is satisfied.]
[The gods and demons who have the power of death are amazed by you.]
[You received a powerful Blessing.]
Yeon-woo got rid of the messages that kept on popping up.
The messages that he had been getting from the 26th floor told him that all the gods and demons related to death were paying attention to him.
They were offering apostle positions and even directly giving him Blessings now.
[Azrael is glad!]
[Azrael strengthens the ‘3rd Spirit’ with his power. You can do more things with it now.]
[Azrael awaits your choice.]
Azrael pretty much seemed to consider Yeon-woo his apostle now.
He was the most proactive out of all the gods related to death, but it was also probably because one of the four Authorities that Yeon-woo had chosen was his.
The proficiency that was highest was the 3rd Spirit.
Azrael’s influence over Yeon-woo became larger, and he was happy at the jealousy of the other gods and demons.
‘I see it’s true that he’s a god that likes to be haughty.’
Of course, there was a being that was furious too.
[A demon of ‘L’Infernal,’ Agares, is telling the other gods and demons not to be greedy for what’s his.]
[The gods and demons all ignore him.]
Most of them ignored him.
He was ranked second within L’Infernal, but after losing his power on the 23rd floor, he was nothing more than their punching bag.
Yeon-woo pulled out Vigrid. As his four Authorities activated, Vigrid trembled while emitting a white light. Yeon-woo surrounded it with black Aura.
The Wave of Fire covered the heads of the Predators like lightning. The atmosphere fizzed, and the river water steamed.
* * *
Yeon-woo lightly stepped up on the quiet boat.
The boat couldn’t even be called a boat anymore with how ruined it was after all these days. He could see the Cannibal Monster Humans fixing the broken sections.
The boat really looked like a ‘ghost ship’ with all its tatters.
The players looked at him in fear. They didn’t even think about the fact that they were on the same boat as the Cannibal Monster Humans. Yeon-woo was the scariest, not the old and young beings of another species.
Of course, Yeon-woo didn’t care.
When he spread his palm open, tens of jewels poured down.
They were blue emeralds.
‘The Sea King Monster Crystal.’
It was a hidden piece on the 28th floor and could be refined into a source for magic power or holy power because it had the energy of souls.
‘It’s also something Lana likes.’
Lana loved gold and jewels according to the diary.
She liked worldly things, and she was capricious and unrestrained. Once upon a time, she was a great sea pirate along the River of Souls. Was it more accurate to say she was a great river pirate?
When I first met Lana, it was in the middle of the River of Souls. Because I had Draconic Eyes, it wasn’t that hard to find the direction, and as long as we fended off the sea monsters, it wasn’t that hard to pass the river.
Occasionally, there were pirates, but they weren’t a big deal. Then, when we were almost on land, I met her. Along with the tens of boats she brought, saying she would avenge her subordinates.
The confrontation with Lana was actually from a misunderstanding. Jeong-woo and her subordinates had been fighting in battle, and one survivor had gone to tell Lana about it.
And the result of it was…..
His brother had been greatly shocked. He was confident after his 3rd step awakening and Sky Wings that no one would be able to defeat him on this floor.
Most rankers couldn’t win against him either.
Then, he learned that it had been a while since Lana was a ranker, and she missed the River of Souls, so she had come back.
She was the ruler of the 28th floor.
While conversing with his brother, who was a prisoner, she realized that her subordinate had made a mistake and let go of Arthia and his brother herself.
She even cut the neck of the subordinate who dared to mock her.
‘Jeong-woo completely fell for that.’
His brother had completely been hooked on Lana. It was his first time seeing such an easygoing and brave woman. Vieira Dune had been jealous, but his feelings were more of respect than love.
Also, her sword and magic were so outstanding that his brother wanted to be like her.
After that, his brother had stayed on the River of Souls as long as he could to learn different skills from Lana.
Lana had been annoyed at first, but Jeong-woo followed her around like a puppy and reminded her of her little siblings, so she had taught him many things.
Their relationship continued for a long time after that.
Lana had taken his brother’s side during the war against the Eight Large Clans, and her forces had been reduced to nothing because of that, but she didn’t regret it.
There was no knowing what happened after that.
The last clue in the diary was that she was probably staying at the Quartz Palace, her home. Her whereabouts were unknown after that.
‘But I’ll probably be able to find her soon.’
Considering Lana’s personality, she wouldn’t stay still even after all that had happened. It was most likely that she was raising more forces secretly on the 28th floor.
‘And she might’ve already come back out.’
If that was the case, it was likely that she had become a pirate again. She was talented, so she probably left the clutches of the Eight Large Clans easily.
Yeon-woo wanted to have such a person in his clan. Where was she? He needed to find where the Quartz Palace was first.
Unfortunately, his brother’s diary didn’t have the exact coordinates of the Quartz Palace. It was because Lana had cast magic on it so no one could read the coordinates.
‘But that doesn’t mean there’s not a way.’
While Yeon-woo was trying to think of someone—
“I, It’s a pirate!”
A player who had been looking ahead with binoculars shouted.
Yeon-woo turned to look in that direction. When he directed his magic power into his eyes, he could see something furiously speeding at him from far away.
It was a large ship with dents all over. The skull on the flag high above it showed it was a pirate ship.
A satisfied smile grew on Yeon-woo’s face.
“There it is. Our guide.”
「……So they’re the third bunch. I don’t even know anymore.」
He could hear Shanon muttering, but he just ignored it.
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