The Mysterious Miasma (4)
"Everyone okay?" Kai asked after noticing everyone's dumbfounded expressions.
"Ah? Ah, yeah, we're fine." replied the guild master Guido after registering Kai's question.
And as if on cue, everyone woke up from their reverie and started asking questions. The first one to ask was Orias, who pointed at the huge snake man being dragged by Shiro.
"That snake man, did you kill it?" He asked
"Well, technically, Shiro did the killing while I just restrained it," Kai answered.
Though expecting the answer, everyone was still shocked after hearing the3 truth from Kai's mouth.
"So that was the case. When I heard how you nonchalantly belittling an S-class monster, we thought you are being naive. Now I know that the naive ones are us. I apologized for that," Orias said apologetically.
Kai just shook his head and replies that no apology was needed as he did not take what they've said earlier at heart. Instead, his expression becomes more serious as he told them of his discovery.
"Earlier while fighting, I have a suspicion of mine confirmed," he started.
Everyone's attention focused at Kai waiting for him to continue. Seeing that he has everyone's attention, Kai proceeds to tell them of his discovery.
"I believed, we are facing a demon king," he proclaimed.
Kai's revelation dropped like a bomb, leaving everyone in a state of shock.
"Kai, are you sure?"
Guild master quickly asked Kai, hoping that he just misheard but Kai's answer shattered that hope to pieces.
"I understand the guild master's doubt. Unfortunately, what I've said is the truth," Kai answered.
Kai explained that while he was fighting he felt pressures from powerful entities observing him. These entities have powers ranging from S to SSS and according to his knowledge, only those who surpassed the limit can have such powers. And among the monsters, only the demon king can reach such level.
Knowing that Kai's not exaggerating, everyone's faces become fail. A demon king, an SSS monster with power that is only below the gods. It is said that in order to defeat it, an army that encompassed the continents and lead by the heroes is needed.
"This situation is becoming more game-like. Seriously, a demon king?" Kai could not help but retort in his mind.
He too had only learned the truth after the System warned him of the entities observing him. And the reason he fails to realize this in his solo investigation is that all pressure falls solely on him. But thanks to the presence of his companions that pressure no longer affects him that much and can investigate deeper. The fact that he is much stronger than before also helps.
"Thankfully, I've been training with the greater mechanical puppets these past days or I won't have the confidence to continue with the investigation..."
Indeed, Kai not only prepared the multiple effect scrolls but he was also training in his new base--Fenrir's Den. Thanks to a special time room where time moves 10X that of normal, he was able to increase his strength. His levels did not increase much because he is just fighting the virtual copies of the greater mechanical puppets and not actually killing them. Nonetheless, the pressure from those S-class puppets are real and he was able to build some resistant from the said pressure. Also, his skills and spells improved by leaps and bound after being used countless times. Not to mention, his experience from fighting such powerful opponents did not go to waste as he could now calmly observe his opponents and reacts when needed. This is the main reason Kai, did not fear an S-class opponent even though he has not reached S-class himself. In simpler term, he had become more cheat-like!
[I'm glad you're becoming more aware of your cheat-like gifts, host,] chided the System.
"You're not helping here. How about you think of a way to defeat or seal the demon king?" Kai argued.
[... Oh look, there are some new items at the system shop, I better sort them out first. Let's discuss later, host.]
The system stopped talking after making an excuse and refuses to reply to any of Kai's inquiries after that.
"Tsk! It escaped huh!"
Seeing that there's no response from the System, Kai could only inwardly sigh. The System is becoming more difficult to handle after gaining a personality. And could react just like a normal person. Kai does not know if this is a good thing or a bad thing though...
"What are we going to do now?"
Rudra was the first one to break the silence. The news of a demon king existing is a huge blow to their confidence. With Kai here, they could fight with S-class monsters but a demon king is a whole new level altogether. If they fought they would either get annihilated or forced to escape.
"It's impossible to defeat the demon king with just us. I suggest that we retreat first, and then, report to the higher-ups," guild master guido suggested.
"I guess, that's the only choice we have. Fighting the demon king with our current level of strength is tantamount to suicide," Rudra agreed.
"Yeah, and our mission here is just to investigate, and we've completed it," Inna chimed in.
"Still, I feel uncomfortable doing nothing...," Maluk said with a sour face.
"Oh-ho-ho-ho! Young people sure are brave! If you can, why not challenged the demon king? No one is gonna stop you!" Orias Joked.
"That's not funny old man!" Maluk rages.
"Okay, that's enough!" Altos scolded, and then turned to the guild master asked, "that's our group's decision, how about your group, guild master?"
The guild master shrugged and asked the adventurer party, including Kai. Kai and the other's decision was no different from the dragonoid, they too would retreat.
"Still, what are we gonna do with the monsters? If we just let them be they might attack the nearest settlements?"
The guild master asked the question that was on everyone's mind. Fortunately, Kai gave them the answer they wanted to hear.
"About the monsters, there's no need to worry about them temporarily. I've already taken care of them. If you noticed, no monster is attacking us, even though we are standing in the open," he said.
"Now that you mentioned it..., it is strange. Kai, what did you do?"
Hearing Kai's words, Rudra remembered that after the first wave, there has been no additional attack from the monsters and she found it very strange.
Kai did not let her hanging and told everyone that he opened a Gate at the lair's entrance, where the monsters are coming out to the one of the most dangerous places in the world, the Sea of Terror.
"Gate! You mean you can use that ability?"
Rudra and everyone's faces are colored in shock after knowing that Kai could use one of the rarest space magic, the Gate. Kai simply nodded and did not explain anymore which causes Maluk to lashed out.
"If you could use that ability, then why did you not tell us?! We could have saved time traveling from Ark to here!" He scolded.
Kai looked at Maluk but did not angry and gave a simple explanation.
"Gate is one of my greatest secret and trump card. Do you think I would show it willy-nilly? Besides, which one of us here do not have a secret or two?" He answered.
Maluk was silenced by this answer and knew that Kai was right. He too has his own secrets and trump cards that he's not willing to tell anyone even to those closest to him. The others also stopped blaming Kai upon hearing his explanation. Indeed, Kai had already sacrificed a lot by telling his secret to everyone. It's his own secrets and no one has the right to force him to divulge any of them.
"Sorry, that was thoughtless of me."
Maluk apologized to Kai to everyone's surprise. They never thought that the usually arrogant Maluk is capable of apologizing to anyone. It seemed that they misjudged his character.
"No need for an apology. I just hoped that this won't spread too much," Kai requested.
Kai knew that his request is pointless as his companions have their own organizations to answer to. He's just hoping that this information won't spread too much.
Everyone understand what he meant and agreed. They would try to limit the number of people they will tell the information to so as to protect him and his secret to some extent.
"Will that settles the monster problem for now. The monsters from the Sea of Terror will tear apart any foreign monsters that are unlucky enough to go there," guild master Guido said with a smile.
"Indeed, though I doubt it will last long. We will fight them eventually once the monsters find another route," replied Orias.
"Not to mention the demon king hasn't made a move yet," Rudra added.
"The demon king isn't fully awakened yet, and would most likely needs several months. So we still have a bit of time."
Seeing that everyone's worry about the demon king, Kai gave additional information that the System provided.
"Really? That's a piece of good news at least," Lord Alfred let out a sigh of relief after hearing Kai's explanation.
As a lord of a territory and a knight, he Alfred is worried that they might not have enough time to prepare. And though several months is a very short time, it's still much better than nothing.
"Oh right! Sir Kai, would you mind, giving your aid to Goeth? I know that as a foreigner this is not your responsibility but your help will help us and Goeth a lot," Alfred begged.
"Actually, I've already had plans for that. My team Fenrir is already taking care of the monsters attacking Goeth as we speak. I've also opened a Gate from the dungeon the monsters are coming out and connects it to the Sea of Terror." Kai assured.
"Your team? Wait, isn't your team consist only of Lily, Kara, and Mia? Are you certain they could handle it?" the guild master asked in confusion.
Kai smiled and assured the guild master that those three girls aren't the only members of his team. In reality, Kai possessed an army of mechanical puppets and they will be the ones rounding up the monsters. No, to be more specific, it's the greater mechanical puppets doing that but Kai won't tell that to anyone. Anyways, the girls are just there for the experience and won't be in danger.
"I feel like you're still holding back some information but I'll believe you for now. Anyways, let's go back, and use Gate this time," the guild master chided jokingly.
Kai opened the Gate connected to Ark and asked everyone to enter. Looking one last time at the miasma covered lair, Kai enters the gate to prepare for the oncoming war against the demon king.