WM – Chapter 322: Takatsuki Makoto challenges the last dungeon

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I slowly advance inside the gray sea.

I am using [Underwater Breathing], so there’s no problem even in the water.

The colorful southern fishes were swimming leisurely, but they weren’t painting a picturesque sight in the gray waters. 

I saw the beautiful south seas when I came here with Cain 1,000 years ago, but I didn’t feel like it here. 

(The Deep Sea Temple is…over here, I guess?) (Makoto)

I get out from the Herbung Archipelago’s beach, and I slowly go deeper and deeper into the sea.

It is a big and wondrous coral reef for a while, but from there on, there’s a place where it gets deep in one go.

(Here…) (Makoto)

A sudden inclination as if it were a cliff. 

The deep sea is dark and hard to see. 

I dive lower and lower. 

The already weak sunlight grew even dimmer, and the surroundings turned pitch black.

“[Night Vision].” (Makoto)

I look around the dark sea. 

The colorful fishes swimming around were now gone and, instead, there are now shadows of big creatures here and there.

There’s some who are heading here.

…Are those carnivorous monsters?

They might be aiming for me as prey. 

But they suddenly shook their big bodies and changed course.

What happened? Is what I wondered and noticed soon after.

“Our King, why are you spacing out?” 

Dia had shown at my back.

Looks like the monsters were scared of the mana of Dia.

“I was remembering the time when I was trying to clear the Deep Sea Temple with Cain.” (Makoto)

“He wasn’t a man skilled in using Spirits, but…it is sad that he is gone, huh.” (Dia)

Dia made a sad face just like me.

But she soon made a serious expression.

“Our King! You are heading to the Deep Sea Temple now, right? You must not lower your guard!” (Dia)

“I am not. I still haven’t even reached the entrance of the dungeon.” (Makoto)

“Haah, that’s true. Ah, more monsters are coming again.” (Dia)

“Oh, a sea dragon, maybe? It is indeed coming here.” (Makoto)

“It is quite the big individual. Even when seeing me, a Great Water Spirit, it is not showing fear.” (Dia)

“It is rare in these areas.” (Makoto)

The big sea dragon continued approaching even while we were having that talk.

It opened its mouth wide and was trying to eat me whole.

“Water Magic: [Water Current].” (Makoto)

I fix the water around me in place, and create a pseudo barrier of water around me. 

The sharp fangs of the sea dragon bounced off the barrier. 

The sea dragon came at me with its sharp claws and swung its long tail next, but none of that reached me. 

I watched the sea dragon desperately trying to attack me with a lukewarm expression.

“Uhm~, I will get rid of it, okay?” (Dia)

Dia must have found it irritating that I was playing around with it, she began gathering mana. 

*Rumble Rumble Rumble*

The sea resonated with the mana and shook too.

*Twitch!*

The sea dragon opened its eyes wide and left at outstanding speed.

The monsters swimming closeby also scamper off.

…Me and the Great Water Spirit end up being alone in this vast sea.

It was already a deep and silent sea to begin with.

We slowly advance through the pitch black darkness.

We went on without saying anything for a while.

“Uhm, did I do something bad there?” (Dia)

“No, it is okay. It will get feisty in a bit anyways.” (Makoto)

I responded with a chuckle at the question of Dia.

But her face was still showing worry. 

“…Right now, Our King is lacking energy.” (Dia)

“Really?” (Makoto)

My heart is calm thanks to Clear Mind.

But I wonder how I am feeling.

This is not my first time heading to the Deep Sea Temple.

I have challenged it countless times 1,000 years ago.

I was certainly more excited at that time. 

Cain wasn’t good at swimming, so he would get all flustered every time monsters would show up.

Dia would make fun of him every time that happened as we headed to the Deep Sea Temple.

I was thinking about inviting Lucy and Sa-san when I returned to the present.

I wanted to invite Prince Leonard too, but I am sure Princess Sofia would be against it. 

As for Furiae-san…I feel like she would say ‘I would get sunburned, so I don’t want to go to the southern regions’.

I am sure Momo would definitely come. 

If it were after defeating the Great Demon Lord, I could have invited Sakurai-kun too.

Different from 1,000 years ago, magic tools are more advanced now, so let’s order the latest adventuring tools from Fuji-yan.

…Is what I was thinking.

Right now it is just a far off dream.

This world is on the verge of being controlled by the Charm of the Calamity Witch.

The West Continent has already fallen into her hands.

Why did things turn out like this? 

Were my actions in the ceremony correct at that time?

The gears in my head turned, but it didn’t click anywhere.

If I had done this at that time…are the thoughts that remain in my head.

If I had noticed the Calamity Witch had taken over Furiae-san.

But what would I have been able to do even if that was the case…?

My thoughts end up turning into the dark hemisphere when inside this dark sea.

“Our King…we are soon reaching the deep sea.” (Dia)

“Yeah, the Deep Scar is coming into sight.” (Makoto)

I look down at what Dia said.

A giant light string pierces into the pitch dark deep sea.

It looks like a long and thin string which is actually a giant tear that cuts through the deep sea. 

Called Deep Scar. 

It is the entrance to the Deep Sea Temple. 

I am using Night Vision, but I undo it. 

There’s light leaking in the deep sea even though it should be pitch black.

…*Ton*

I stepped into the deep sea.

I stand at the side of the tall wall of the Deep Sea. 

Light from mana was illuminating below me. 

The underworld is below here.

Thick mana was overflowing under my feet. 

A giant cliff that’s as if it was cut open in the deep sea. 

It is said that this scar was made from the past Divine Realm War, but the truth is not clear.

I let my body sink into the giant pit. 

The walls of the Deep Scar have magic crystals shining in it. 

Fist sized magic crystals have high density and are worth a lot. 

If you were to take a number of them and sell them, it would go for several millions of G.

But there aren’t many adventurers who would come here.

The reason is…

“Our King, the sea dragons are looking over here.” (Dia)

“They seem to be wary of you, Dia.” (Makoto)

There’s a whole ton of eyes looking at us as if annoyed.

They are all sea dragons.

The first layer of the Deep Scar. 

It is the nest of the sea dragons of the deep sea. 

If you were to mine the million worth magic crystals, you would get surrounded by dragons in the blink of an eye.

This is one of the reasons why they say that the Deep Sea Temple isn’t worth the trouble. 

“It seems like we are a hindrance, so let’s just go.” (Makoto)

“It is nice that dragons have high intelligence.” (Dia)

Intelligent dragons don’t do pointless fights. 

There were no sea dragons who tried to pick a fight with a Great Water Spirit.

The result is that we managed to pass peacefully, but I end up being on edge with a ton of dragons around.

When we get past the nest of dragons, the first layer of Deep Scar…there aren’t many living beings here as a whole.

In exchange, the mana in the water gets thicker, and the magic crystals at the walls were colorful and mesmerizing.

It is said that the way to the Deep Sea Temple doesn’t have much that is noteworthy, but I think the mid layer is worth seeing. 

You can see monsters that surpass the hundred of meters in size like the giant sea serpents from afar. 

They are most definitely like the rulers of this place, living for many thousands of years. 

I have gotten a peek of them 1,000 years ago too.

I felt a gaze for a moment and looked around.

There was a group of mermaids watching us from afar.

It is rare to see docile mermaids in a dangerous place like this. 

They are waving their hands with bright smiles.

I waved back at them.

“Our King, those sirens are trying to Charm you.” (Dia)

“So they weren’t mermaids…” (Makoto)

Dia glared at them and the sirens left.

The mid layer has a lot of monsters with strong quirks.

But there really were no monsters who would try to bother me and the Great Water Spirit.

We slowly head down the deepest parts of the sea. 

“Our King…we are about to reach the lower layer.” (Dia)

“The turf of those guys then… Let’s be careful.” (Makoto)

Dia and I nodded lightly.

We look below our feet. 

A gray floor spread out there. 

The first time I came here, I misunderstood this as this being the bottom of the Deep Scar. 

When I look more intently, the ground is not flat but soft and flabby. 

On top of that, it is wriggling and waving, and it would twitch at times.

—The sea monster, Kraken.

It is more than a hundred meters in just body size alone.

If it spread out its legs, it would be several times bigger than that. 

This monster that’s the biggest monster I know in this world…

There’s a whole ton of them here.

The den of the most fearsome giant sea monsters.

That is the lower layer of the Deep Scar. 

I avoided them while continuing down.

The Kraken has low intelligence despite its big body. 

It attacks everything that approaches it. 

Moreover, if you deal with one, you attract the others.

“We are going through in one go, Dia!” (Makoto)

“Yes, Our King!” (Dia)

I have the Great Water Spirit control the flow of the water.

The giant body of the Kraken was unable to go against it and was washed away. 

But there’s a lot of them.

There’s several tens of them and that’s only the ones I can see. 

I actually have not even counted them.

It is a mystery how a massive monster of several hundreds of meters in size can maintain these numbers. 

But after challenging the Deep Sea Temple countless times 1,000 years ago, I slowly got to understand their ecology. 

“The Krakens are directly absorbing the mana in the sea water, was it…?” (Makoto)

“Yeah, most likely. It would be impossible for these numbers to survive otherwise.” (Dia)

There’s not enough food.

But this Deep Scar has unbelievably dense mana overflowing in it. 

To the point that the rocks inside the holes of the wall become dense magic crystals being hit by the sea mana. 

Looks like the Krakens can absorb that mana directly as energy. 

*Buoooooon!*

That sound was made and the legs of the Kraken approached us once again.

The Great Water Spirit stopped that.

The number of Krakens decreases the lower we go.

The lower layer is their turf, but it seems like they don’t want to go too deep down.

I know the reason why.

“The Krakens are the food of the Divine Beast, Leviathan, right?” (Makoto)

“The Divine Beast can live without eating anything, but it must be bored being in the deep sea the whole time. Eating monsters being its hobby is quite the peculiar thing to find fun.” (Dia)

I chatted with Dia as we passed the nest of Krakens.

There were eventually no Krakens chasing after us.

—The deepest layer of the Deep Scar.

It was like an illusory world.

The whole surface of the walls were sparkling. 

They have been exposed by such dense mana for extended periods of time that the whole wall has become magic crystals. 

If you were to bring all of this back, you would be able to live in luxury for 7 generations. 

There’s no means to bring them back though.

“No matter how many times I come here…this place is one hell of a sea of mana…” (Makoto)

I speak to myself. 

I have had adventures in a variety of places since coming to this world, but this place is different from any other. 

Mana is overflowing from under my feet. 

A big array of monsters are attracted by this mana and make this their dwelling.

Sea dragons make nests and many other sea monsters are pulled in as well.

For the Krakens, this is literally their nourishment. 

Endless mana.

The exploration of the Deep Sea Temple has not advanced at all amongst the adventurers.

Because of that, it is a big mystery how this environment came to be in the first place.

That’s why I didn’t know until Dia told me. 

“This is…the mana of Noah-sama, right, Dia?” (Makoto)

I asked again.

“Yes, to be more specific, a bit of it is leaking out since she is being sealed in the Deep Sea Temple… We are the power of the Goddess.” (Dia)

“That’s crazy…” (Makoto)

Even a little bit of mana leaking out changed the ecosystem in this whole area.

The Last Dungeon all the way to the Deep Scar. 

Noah-sama is there.

With just that fact alone, the Last Dungeon was created.

“Our King, we are about to enter that domain. I can’t get any closer…” (Dia)

“I know. I am only going to be checking things for today. You wait there, Dia.” (Makoto)

“Be careful.” (Dia)

I nodded.

It may be narrow, but the Deep Scar that goes on for several hundreds of meters down has reached its end, and a giant open space showed up.

There’s a barrier in that open space.

A God Barrier that rejects Spirits.

Because of that, I as a Spirit User am carrying a heavy handicap.

Not only I can’t borrow the power of Spirits, but there is a Divine Beast ahead.

As long as I don’t break through that, I can’t reach the Deep Sea Temple.

I watch that vast deep sea space. 

It hasn’t changed at all since 1,000 years ago.

The bottom of the giant sphere shaped space is flat. 

It is a bit too far to see from here, but it has probably turned into magic crystals after being hit by the mana of the deep sea. 

And there’s a single long mountain range running through the place.

A mountain range that draws a gentle curve.

That mountain range is located at the highest location.

(…[Farsight].) (Makoto)

I observe that mountain range.

There’s a temple there.

“The Deep Sea Temple…” (Makoto)

It has been a while since I have seen it. 

I was excited when I saw it for the first time 1,000 years ago.

And then, I fell into despair after that.

*Zuzuzu*

The mountain range moved.

Looks like it has noticed me, the intruder. 

The end of the mountain range slowly raised.

(Divine Beast, Leviathan…) (Makoto)

It is so big, it is hard for me to even recognize it as a living being.

I have heard about this from Noah-sama before…

◇◇

“How big is Leviathan?” (Makoto)

“Hmm, you won’t be able to understand using the measurements of this world, so if I had to put it in words of your previous world, it would be half the size of Honshu from Japan. You get it?” (Noah) 

“Not really…” (Makoto)

When I asked Fuji-yan afterwards, he said that the length of Honshu is 1,500km.

So half of that is 750km.

Is that…a measurement that can be applied to a living being?

◇◇

(It is looking at me…) (Makoto)

I could feel that.

Leviathan doesn’t have its eyes open.

But it is certainly looking at me. 

I can’t get any closer than this.

The divine order given to Leviathan was to eliminate all the ones that get close to the Deep Sea Temple.

If I want to meet the sealed Noah-sama, we have to do something about the Divine Beast -about this giant monstrosity that’s so out of standards it makes me dizzy. 

(It is about time I go back…) (Makoto)

It is almost the time I agreed on with Queen Noel.

I managed to confirm the ridiculousness of the Deep Sea Temple.

My heart got lighter.

◇◇

“Fuuh…” (Makoto)

I get out of the sea and take a breath.

I had Dia leave.

Dry my clothes with water magic.

I walked slowly on the sandy beach and headed to the residence of Queen Noel.

It was right at the time when the sun was sinking, so I made it to the promised time.

When I arrived in front of the residence, a gatekeeper-looking person guided me. 

I was led to a big room inside the residence that looks like a meeting room.

“I have been waiting, Makoto-sama.” (Noel)

At the center is Queen Noel, and several tens of other people sitting. 

Looks like they were waiting for me.

“I am sorry for being late.” (Makoto)

“No, you returned before evening, so it is fine.” (Noel)

Queen Noel smiles.

She might have regained a bit of her calm.

But the expressions of the people around Queen Noel are dark. 

They probably heard the current situation in the West Continent.

The fact that the Calamity Witch is under control.

“Well then, let’s discuss our plans ahead.” (Noel)

Queen Noel’s words opened up this meeting hanging with a heavy atmosphere.

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