Looking to my left, I could see a ravine, with a sea at the bottom.
What was it…
My feet felt very strange, standing so close to the edge.
I endured it somehow and kept walking.
There were no demons to block my way.
In fact, there were no monsters at all.
I used whispers to communicate to Joji’s party on the other side of the ravine.
We were still at a distance at which we could hold conversations.
『I can see the statue from here. What about you?』
『Yep, confirmed. It’s the statue of a wind god.』
I used whispers to keep them updated on my situation.
Joji’s party was still visible on the other side of the ravine.
I had Obsidian flying between us, so checking was easy.
I kept walking carefully.
The hall was shaped like an oval.
I was on the right edge of the oval, and on my left side was a cliff.
Below was water.
On my other side was a wall.
The ceiling was high.
At the very back of the hall was a statue of a wind god.
It looked like it was protecting a gate.
『Stop when you’re about five metres away from it. Is that okay?』
16 feet and a little bit more, huh?
About as much as a car.
『No changes to the wind god.』
『Okay. No change to the thunder god either. So far everything is going as expected. Take a moment to stop. I think strengthening spells are going to be important.』
『Alright. I’m going to take some time though. Is that okay?』
『Of course. You’re the only one who can cast spells on your team after all. Tell me when you’re done.』
I immediately started casting strengthening spells.
I used some enchant spells and 【Gravity Mail】.
While I was at it, I used Power Water on Ninetails too.
I used 【Resist Wind】 on everyone too.
My MP bar visibly went down, but I could restore a lot of it using a mana potion.
『Alright, let’s just touch the gate first and see what happens. Mikhailov, could you count from 20?』
Mikhailov’s voice echoed in the room as he started counting.
10 seconds left.
I was already in front of the gate.
『5, 4, 3, 2, 1, Contact!』
I touched the gate with my hands.
My surroundings suddenly turned to white.
No, it was a spirit, in the shape of a big floating flame.
It was floating in the ravine, on top of the water.
What were the info screens that flowed from then?
《It is time to exorcise the evil! 》
《The power of the demons is here.》
《It is here to question you. To test if you are worthy.》
The info screens ended there.
The statue started moving
『The thunder god statue just moved. What about you?』
『Same for the wind god.』
Higher Wind Tenjin Lv3
Heavenly General Enemy Target Active
Combat Position: Ground, Air Wind Attribute
I used 【Identify】 on the monster.
I shared the result with Joji’s party.
They shared their 【Identify】 result too.
Higher Thunder Tenjin Lv3
Heavenly General Enemy Target Active
Combat Position: Ground, Air Lightning Attribute
But there were a lot of things still unknown to us.
How strong were they?
They weren’t the only thing I had to fight against.
They summoned Devils too.
Five of them.
『The Wind Tenjin just summoned five Devils.』
『Yep, here too. I have a bad feeling about this.』
『I’ll contact you again after the fight.』
『After we win, that is.』
That was the important part.
I used a martial arts skill.
But in the next moment, I was suddenly attacked by a strong wind.
I didn’t take much damage though.
I had 【Resist Wind】 , after all.
But it was getting difficult for Obsidian to fly.
The Devils were quite annoying.
I left them to Goki.
I aimed for the Wind Tenjin itself.
But before that, I had to come up with a strategy.
The Wind Tenjin had green skin.
It had one horn, and it was thick and scary like one of a bull.
It was wearing only light equipment, but it had characteristic two small bags around its shoulders.
Both the two bags were tied with strings, and the Wind Tenjin would loosen those strings to let wind out.
It looked very magical.
But the scariest part about it was its feet.
It was fast.
It was almost like it was flying on the surface of the ground.
But I had my black rope.
I had to aim to catch and trap it.
But that was easier said than done.
My rope had obsidian stones at the edges to weigh them down.
Mostly it was to prevent the rope from getting tangled.
But it also let me spin the rope around above my head to gain speed and then release it.
But it didn’t hit.
It took me four shots to land the spell, and that was what gave me the opportunity to throw my Black Rope at it.
And even then, I just got its leg.
The Wind Tenjin stopped and shot out bursts of wind at me.
It was clearly aiming for just me.
I knew its attacks were being resisted…
But it was still tough.
The main issue wasn’t the damage, but the restriction to my movement.
Just keeping my eyes open was difficult.
I pulled on the rope around its leg with all my might.
All I could see were flames at the Wind Tenjin’s feet.
The wind stopped.
The Wind Tenjin was on the ground, trying to get the rope off its leg.
Like I would just sit here and let you do that!
It wasn’t even looking at me!
I didn’t care too much about the rope.
I took the opportunity to close the distance.
With the rope still in my hand, I punched it in the face.
I followed up with a kick to the belly.
Along with an elbow strike.
The Tenjin scrambled to release its wind attacks from close range.
But with a sharp pull, I pulled its legs from under it and it fell.
I grabbed its other leg and threw it.
I got behind the Wind Tenjin.
Its neck was exposed, so I quickly wrapped my rope around it.
While keeping my foot on its back, I pulled on the rope.
The Wind Tenjin’s neck burst into flames.
I added an attack spell while I was it.
The Wind Tenjin’s HP bar dropped by 6% from just one attack.
It was a pretty good spell!
I could go for another shot?
But I didn’t have much freedom to cast spells.
I passed the rope from my right hand to my left.
My right hand was free to pull out my Tokkosho from my waist.
I aimed for its skull and jammed the blade in.
I activated the blade.
The Tokkosho was set to Lava Magic.
The blade turned an orange colour.
The same colour was starting to glow from the Wind Tenjin’s throat.
How was its HP bar?
There was only about 20% left.
It was a simple tactic, but an effective one.
I pulled out the blade and jammed it through the back of its skull.
The blade glowed a hot orange again.
With that, the Wind Tenjin was defeated.
What about the Devils?
My Summon Monsters took care of them.
Most of the damage they took was from the Wind Tenjin’s wind attacks.
Well, they were up against just Devils, after all.
Anyway, how was Joji’s team doing?
『I’m done on my side! What about you?』
『It’s a hard battle! But I think we’ll make it somehow!』
I could send over Obsidian to support them.
But I didn’t want to interfere.
The body of the Wind Tenjin and the Devils disappeared.
But still no info screens yet.
I guess I could heal up while I waited.
I only had to wait a few minutes.
In the distance, I saw something rolling on the ground, covered in harpoons.
I didn’t want to think about it too much, but I subconsciously imagined the Thunder Tenjin trapped in a net.
Rest in peace.
《The wind will one day stop.》
《The thunder will one day stop.》
《All life brings forth evil.》
《Thou may not escape forever.》
Was that all the info screens?
《【Punch】 Level Up!》
《【Kick】 Level Up!》
《【Joint Lock】 Level Up!》
《【Throw】 Level Up!》
《【Wind Magic】 Level Up!》
《【Lava Magic】 Level Up!》
I got a lot of level-ups.
It certainly was a formidable opponent.
It would have been a very difficult fight without my Black Rope.
『Are you guys alright?』
『Muneo and Mikhailov aren’t looking so good… They’ve taken quite a bit of damage.』
『Isn’t it dangerous to keep going?』
『No, I don’t want to lose this opportunity. We will keep going.』
I looked at the other side of the ravine.
Suzuran was waving at me.
I waved in return.
『We’re done recovering. You ready to keep going?』
『We might still need two parties, after all. Let’s open the gates at the same time.』
With Suzuran counting down, we opened the gates at the same time.
It didn’t look like anything happened.
Before me was a cave, and a staircase heading upwards.
At the top of the staircase was a hall.
Joji’s party reached the hall at the same time I did.
Muneo and Mikhailov had status abnormality markers.
It looked like it was a tough fight for them.
I looked around the hall.
In the middle was a familiar-looking statue.
It was armoured, and in its left hand was a lance.
It had an enraged look about it.
A red demon?
It definitely looked like one of the Twelve Heavenly Generals.
I definitely felt like I’d seen it before.
A statue I’d seen in real life had a very similar posture.
It was called… Virūḍhaka.
《What is life?》
《We are no more than empty husks.》
I felt like I’d heard those words before.
But a fight didn’t start.
The whole cave was very similar to other caves I’d explored before.
Well, there were some parts that were different…
I hadn’t gotten any new titles, for example.
But instead, the ground started shaking.
Was it just my imagination?
「Oh! My title changed.」
「Oh, you’re right.」
「What about you Keith?」
My titles still looked the same.
「My titles haven’t changed at all. Maybe because I’ve seen a similar statue before?」
「A Virūḍhaka statue…」
It looked like Suzuran knew too.
「I’ve heard of this title before… It’s the same title some players said they got when they saw the Vaiśravaṇa statue in the west.」
「Ohh, that makes sense.」
「Just wanted to confirm with you… But do you mind if I put up this information in the forums?」
「Go for it.」
It seemed like there weren’t many players who had gone as far as we had gone.
The more information was on the forums, the better.
It was the same for the Twelve Heavenly Generals.
「Is this as far as we can go right now…?」
「Looks like it. We’ll use 【Return Home】 to get back to the Relay Portal and then log out. Thank you so much for helping us out.」
We shook hands and thanked each other.
It was a nice exploration mission.
「I’ll send over a map of the cave. Take it as an extra thank you of sorts?」
「Thanks. By the way, did you feel the ground shake earlier?」
「As in, an earthquake?」
「Maybe I was too focused on the info screens and missed it…」
It might have been just my imagination.
I saved the map that Muneo sent me.
We exchanged greetings again and broke off the Union.
「Well, hope we run into you again sometime!」
「Could be at the next tournament, though.」
「Haha, that would be nice. Well then, we will go on ahead.」
Mikhailov cast 【Return Home】 , and their party disappeared from before my eyes.
So that was what that spell looked like to an outsider…
It was quite interesting to see.