My plans for the 7th Playthrough changed slightly because if I wanted to take the same footsteps I had in the 6th Playthrough, I had to wait 3 years until Captain Fantasy was completed. In Earth time that was approximately 4 months—I couldn’t carelessly let that precious time go to waste.
I rode Baekgu and flew to the summit of Snowy Mountain M within moments. There were no monsters that hindered me along the way, the reason being that dragons were at the top of the food chain from a fantasy world perspective. The snowstorm that was so heavy as to make it impossible to see an inch forward proved to be no problem either; white dragons were specialized for these kinds of weathers.
We soon arrived at the frozen fortress.
I gazed below from the sky and searched for the Ice Princess, as she was absolutely needed in order to awaken that cat giant
“There she is.”
It wasn’t hard finding her. How many things could you do in a place that had nothing but blinding white snow and cold ice? Eating, crapping and sleeping was the routine; however, even these three things alone were enough to make the day pass by very quickly. The Ice Princess had to cook her own meals and clean the dishes herself as well, and it wouldn’t be so easy for her to do so even if she used livelihood magic.
Crapping wasn’t a simple matter here either. This place was a frozen wasteland heavily covered in snow and so you couldn’t bury your dump in the dirt. But if you were to go about your business anywhere because of that reason, it would be frozen and preserved as is. While it wasn’t like poop came with name tags, the so-called feelings of a noble princess didn’t allow for this, which was why they were gathered in a secret location like hiding treasure.
And that was none other than the toilet.
The Ice Princess, who had just come out of the toilet that was significantly far away from the fortress which could be called her home, spotted us too; her sky-blue eyes were wide open.
I tapped on the dragon’s head as I gave an order.
“Baekgu, catch her.”
Baekgu opened his maws wide as he performed a divebomb, and snatched up the princess like a dragon would in any legend or fairy tale.
Caught in the dragon’s mouth, the Ice Princess let loose an ear-piercing scream. Her Skill S-rank Chill reacted to her emotions that grew violent and began to run wild, fiercely attacking Baekgu, but it didn’t have the slightest impact on the white dragon who possessed strong resistance against this element, to begin with.
The aloof Ice Princess of the northern continent.
No matter how amazing her fame was, she was no more than a lump of meat that didn’t even make for a meal before a dragon. Like how distinctions were made between lowly slaves and noble royalty, humans and dragons were worlds apart starting from their very race. Strictly arguing, perhaps the race of “Dragon” was far better than the Job of “Hero”.
T/N: Yaong is the onomatopoeia that Koreans use for cat noises. English equivalent is ‘meow’
But the world ran by the laws of the jungle—dragons were definitely the strongest race from a fantasy world perspective, but there were too many exceptions in this world. There was me, for starters, and then there was this cat giant trying to eat Baekgu again as well.
“That ain’t gonna fly this time!”
I launched a divine attack that contained the fury of my lost 6 years of time.
The power of Divinity I fired dealt a harsh blow against its gigantic cat head.
Correction—my Divinity pierced through its eyes and penetrated deep. The damage was at the level of having pricked the cat giant with a needle, considering its size, but I took a scientific approach as becoming of a cultured man of Earth.
The cat giant staggered and fell to its knees.
You could only become powerless regardless of your size when a vital region located in the bottom-middle of the brain was stabbed—the medulla oblongata. The autonomic nerves in charge of respiration and blood circulation are concentrated in this part, and it also serves as a passage connecting the spinal cord. Therefore, even the slightest of attack to this area would have a fatally negative impact on your daily activity.
Just like now.
“Give up any thoughts of dying peacefully.”
The cat giant truly had many lives. Because the giant came back to life in no time, even when it lost its heart and its head was cut off, it endured for a long time without my having to handle it carefully. Nevertheless, this didn’t go on forever.
Following the cat giant’s death throes, an immense chill drilled inside my body; however, I was no longer the man I was in the 6th Playthrough. I was truly defenselessly screwed over back then, but this time I was fully prepared.
I enveloped my body in overlapped layers of Z-rank Blessing, and negated the penetrating cold by tackling it with my own SS-rank Chill. My defensive Skills such as Tolerance and Immunity, which had underwent a drastic improvement during my fight against the Demon King’s daughter, proved to be a big help as well.
The energy attempting to freeze my body was broken, and with this my first objective was complete.
“There’s no need for the Ice Princess now so let… Mm…?”
I didn’t see anything.
The Ice Princess, who had been held in Baekgu’s mouth until now, had disappeared silently, and so her power stabilization lessons could be automatically skipped.
“Let’s move on from trivial matters!”
Spreading his wings to the fullest, Baekgu rapidly rose into the sky.
My destination was decided from the start—the Cave of Training.
Having climbed atop Baekgu’s head again, I raised the proficiency level of various Skills as I moved about Snowy Mountain M. I left the hunting to Baekgu, since I couldn’t raise my Level as much as I pleased, while I only received Skill proficiency on the side.
I would have shared part of the EXP received by Baekgu had my Job been Tamer, but I had no such perks as I was a Hero at present. When Baekgu hunted something, the EXP would all be given to him. All I got were proficiency levels in certain Skills.
Skills that were truly unfamiliar to me leaped up in rank. Perhaps this was to be called the new world that I didn’t know? There was the “power of friendship” type of Skill that I was forced to learn in the 1st Playthrough, but there were far more types that only supportive Jobs such as Tamer or Summoner could obtain.
“Well, it’s not bad.”
How could I dislike it when my proficiency levels rose while sitting doing nothing? Experience was important in everything.
I once again felt how trash the Job “Hero” was. You might think the fivefold EXP bonus a good thing, but a Tamer that had tamed five dragons could achieve similar efficiency in gaining EXP… and if the number of dragons was increased to ten?
Feeling that my belly might start aching if I were to continue this line of thought, I stopped.
It was with this momentum that I continued to circle around Snowy Mountain M for an entire day, after which I descended the mountain and headed towards the Cave of Training.
I would have liked to travel around the different continents, seeing as how I knew of many prey like the cat giant that would grant a large rise in Skill proficiency upon being defeated.
For instance, by taking down Dragon King Noebius and eating its heart, you could raise the proficiency of the Skill “Chaos” by a great deal, and hunting down Guardian Ullullu would likewise increase the proficiency of the Skill “Destruction”. And it didn’t have to be in the middle continent; including the Five Disasters scattered across the five continents, I knew about an extremely large number of this kind of prey. However…
“Can’t be helped.”
My Level had increased tremendously despite having only killing one cat giant. Although it wasn’t yet comparable to the Level I had in the 6th Playthrough, if I wasn’t careful from this point on, I would truly end up meeting my funeral day.
The Demon King had disemboweled himself in the previous Playthrough and thus I made it through somehow, but there was no guarantee that such fortune would occur again. It was possible that death might spell an eternal end instead of a regression; therefore, I couldn’t risk betting everything on an obscure hope.
Baekgu noisily landed in a forest heavily inhabited by low-Level Orcs. Here was the exclusive hunting ground for royalty of the Magic Kingdom, the place where the Cave of Training was hidden.
The nearby Orcs fled, frightened out of their wits at the sight of the roaring dragon. The disparity in Level was extreme as well, but what drove them to run was a primitive fear born from the difference in race.
I climbed down the dragon in front of the Cave of Training.
“Wait here obediently.”
It wouldn’t take long to go through the cave, as it was a place I had already experienced once, and I had something to fall back on as well.
The time had come to sacrifice the Skills that weren’t valuable, the Skills I had raised over 6 years that felt like half a month—I decisively gave them up.
The progress towards opening the transcendental domain began to rise. For the limit break of Dark Energy(MAX) which had reached the maximum limit, I offered up every Skill apart from the ones that were hard to raise again. There was no need to think on it as I had already decided on which to use while raising Divinity(Z).
I went up at in frustratingly small increments, but there were no unforeseen circumstances as I had already calculated how many Skills were required as sacrifices.
Now all the Skills that remained were SS-rank and SSS-rank.
Extremely many of my Skills had risen to SS-rank in the midst of my fight against the Demon King’s sneaky daughter, Ssosia. While I somewhat couldn’t understand why several of those Skills had increased in rank, it was a minor concern seeing as they would be sacrificed soon anyhow.
And at last…
Dark Energy(MAX)→Dark Energy(Z)
My status had officially ascended to that of “demon royalty”, and I became able to vaguely understand the effect of Z-rank Dark Energy. Like Demon King Pedonar and Queen Ssosia, I had risen to the stage of being able to call myself a “king” due to the Skill effect. I felt no sense of achievement, though.
“One hurdle after another…”
What I felt in its place was a sense of dismay, as if I were gazing out into the vast universe. Along with my understanding of Dark Energy naturally increasing, I realized ever more deeply as to just how strong the 6th Playthrough Demon King Pedonar was.
The First Demon.
This title didn’t simply mean he was born first. No, it was because he was the very first that he possessed the most experience and wisdom. There were many fools like the Elf King who had nothing to show for their age except for the number of times they shat, but Demon King Pedonar was different from them despite doing nothing but sitting on his throne all day long… and seeing as how he enjoyed outdoor play with the Elf King’s wife, it didn’t seem like he was fixed to his throne either.
‘Mm? What do you mean, Miss Tranee Teacher?’
‘Damned Miss Trainee Teacher! You should have told me about such an important thing early!’
‘Oops! My pretty secret friend! I trusted you, I’m telling you! You know my unchanging heart, don’t you?’
No big change had occurred in the Skills that remained after sacrificing the rest. As I could leave one SS-rank Skill, I had almost hesitated in choosing which to spare, but I went with “Taming” as it was apparently capable of taming those of the same race upon achieving SSS-rank. It was a choice I made purely out of intellectual curiosity.
There was nothing more to it than that.
I entered the Cave of Training while humming a song to myself.
My Status became different from the previous 6th Playthrough.
Although my Level had temporarily fallen to 1, the same as before, the number of transcendental domain Skills I had had increased to three. The difference between one and three was threefold in simple calculation alone, but this difference would become even wider if these Skills achieved harmony.
And that wasn’t all.
Freed from the Job of “Hero” upon entering the Cave of Training, I had become a “Pope” due to the combination of the Skills Divinity and Blessing. And a Pope’s Job perk was an increase in Evangelism! It would undergo an equal rise in rank to the Skill Divinity.
I swiftly read through Evangelism(Z)’s Skill effects and found that, even though I had ignored it as an inferior version of Fabrication in the 6th Playthrough, it made for an extremely good combination together with the Skill effects of Dark Energy(Z).
Indeed, Hero was trash after all. It was a Job that couldn’t even amount to that of a vulgar thief.
With this, I had four transcendental domain Skills, enough for me to land a good hit on the chin of that old prince I met in the previous Playthrough, fair and square.
“Bring it on, prince boy, bring it on. I won’t harm ya!”
I decided to wait in the last room guarded by that lecherous female priest, to sit back and relax while teaching that hussy how to serve a divine pope…
‘Hey now! Do you know who I am, Miss Trainee Teacher? I’m a Triple A Hero!’
Still AAA even when reversed…!
It had a nice ring to it no matter how many times I yelled it out.