༺ King of Iron Mountain (4) ༻
〚I do not perceive spirits.〛
I was unable to perceive spirits because of that Restriction but the rare occasion that allowed me to either converse or deal with a spirit was through their ‘possession’.
There were some demonic spirits that were able to possess things or organisms. For example, Sebancia Duke possessed an organism and that was why I was able to talk to him.
In this case, it was similar to a poltergeist caused by possessing objects – this demonic spirit had possessed this house instead of a living being.
A large mansion built in the middle of a mountain that turned into a Haunted House after the mass suicide of the family. What would be the thing that had to be done to send the ghosts away?
It was simple. All you had to do was destroy the whole building.
A physical demolition was usually the best solution for a lot of things.
“Just to double-check, the mages failed at burning the house right?”
“Two Grade 2 mages used fire magic but couldn’t destroy it. The defense of the demonic spirit was tougher than expected.”
“And you can’t make it too strong since it could turn into a bushfire, right?”
Lighting the house on fire to destroy the Haunted House was impossible due to the interference of the ghost possessing the house, but increasing the intensity of the flame was also impossible because it would result in a bushfire.
In the end, the most low-risk and low-cost method to resolve this problem was by entering the building to defeat the true body of the demonic spirit.
“It will be difficult by using a normal method, because that house has completely turned into a demon lair.”
“Well, it should be over in no time. Are you really going to follow me though?”
After hearing my pompous declaration that I would defeat the Haunted House in 30 seconds, Old Man Haman stated that he would follow me and see with his own eyes.
He was done preparing by just covering his hands with gauntlets.
“Just letting you know, I won’t be able to protect you.”
“Hmph! Who do you think you’re talking to, young brat.”
I had never seen Old Man Haman fight before, because he was closer to a Skills NPC back in the game.
He was a veteran knight who even reached Grade 1 in his youth so he should be fine by himself.
“Alright. Let’s get ready, get set…”
I bent my back like an athlete preparing for a sprint.
In my eyes, the Haunted House appeared like a normal discarded and shabby mansion but it would appear like an ominous lair of demons to the eyes of Old Man Haman and the members of the Alliance.
Well, that had nothing to do with me though.
Kicking off the ground, I marched into the Haunted House. Old Man Haman was following from behind but unlike me who was going straightforward, he was constantly vigilant of something.
A branch soared up from the ground before slapping down like a whip.
“Now, you dodge the attack with a jump and use your spear to cut off the top core of the root! One jump!”
My sudden commentary made Old Man Haman tilt his head, but this was only the beginning.
“StraightenYourSpearAsYouGoForward, AndTheTerraceWindowWillBreakAsGlassFragmentsFlyAtYou. SlideNextToItAndEnterThroughTheDoor!”
“WhenYou’reInside,CutTheClockOnTheTopRightHandCornerFollowedByThreeJumpingStabs! CrushTheNailsPoppingUpFromTheStairsWithoutWorryingAboutTheCeiling. GoDown, StepOnTheMiddleCarpetAndIt’llGoCrack!”
“ATableWillBeNextToTheMagicCircleInTheMiddleOfTheBasement, WhichYouCutAndScratchTheMagicCircleToWeakenTheSpirit’sTelekineticAbility. There’llBeACandlestickToYourRight, SoKickItAndGoKenazPlusHagalazFIREEEEWithTheSpear!”
“ClimbUpTheStairsNow. TheDoorWillBreakWithA ‘Thud!’ AndAPortraitWillFlyAtYou. StabThoseUglyEyesAndMakeThemPretty, AndDashToTheStairs!”
While carving rune letters here and there.
“Now! WhenYouGoBackUpThereWillBeABunchOfTablesAndChairsFlyingAtYou, WhichYouBetterDodgeByYourself. GoToTheUnmovingWallAndCarveSomeRuneLetters! NextUpWillBeCutleries,AndYouWillGetADebuffWhenYouGetHitSoBlockThem!”
“There’sADressingTableToTheRight. PickItUpAndBlockBlockBlock! TheChandelierWillFallSoJumpAndStabStabStab!!”
“That’sItWithTheFlyingFurniture. WhileThisGhostIsGoing ‘WhoTheHellIsThisGuy,’ WithAnUglyLookOnItsFaceYouActivateAllTheRuneMagicAllAtOnce! FIREEEEEEE!!!!!”
Rune Magic Kenaz, Resonant Activation.
“NowItWillBurnByItSelfSoJustLeaveTheHouse. Real men do not turn around to see explosions. That is all you have to do.”
30 seconds. Easy.
“That’s super~ easy, right?”
That was similar to what I had seen in the last video left behind by the legendary streamer Starry Guy who used to dominate the Korean streaming websites.
It was a video that I could only view in my memories now.
Haunted House Mission.
This was actually one of the missions that could be chosen after entering the second semester. Just like the Unique Grade demonic spirit quest of Sebancia Duke in the Great Library, it was a choosable side quest. That’s probably when this demonic spirit reached Grade 1.
The mission itself was very simple.
In order to defeat the Grade 1 demonic spirit possessing the Haunted House, you had to dodge all sorts of furniture that was being thrown at you to destroy the magic circle hidden inside the basement and so on.
However, because of all the disgust-evoking patterns and mechanics of this mission, it received countless comments of people that wondered whether this was an RPG or a ‘Soulslike’ game.
Because of that, the Haunted House mission became one that could be used to prove your skills with the game.
“Congratulations. I’m sure you’ll be becoming a semi-Grade 1 Knight without a doubt at this point.”
Old Man Haman congratulated me with a bright smile on his face as if this was something that concerned himself as he tapped me on my shoulder. Now that I was a semi-Grade 1 Knight, my monthly support fund as well as my mission-accepting qualification should have both gone up.
A higher Grade also signified an increase to my authority, and meant that I would be able to proactively intervene in the upcoming scenario.
“There is a port city called Zarr nearby. I know an amazing restaurant there. Let us drop by and have some food before we go back.”
“Zarr… is it a place that sells sashimi soups?”
At the same time, it was the city that had ‘that thing’ inside which was one of the reasons why I selected the demonic spirit subjugation mission of this area in the first place.
“Hoh? You know that place? Are you okay with raw fish?”
“I love sashimi.”
“Good! Let me introduce you to the best sashimi soup restaurant I know!”
While listening to Old Man Haman, I stole a glance at the mountain behind us. A red dog was silently gazing at me.
Good. It was still following me without a problem.
At B4, the fourth basement floor of the laboratory building, were cages of all sorts of sealed demonic beasts and spirits that could only be visited by very few members of the Academy.
A bunch of dangerous demons including the Grade 1 demonic beasts, the Melting Dragon and the King Tyrant were sealed inside for an experiment but the strongest one out of them by far would be this boar here.
King of Iron Mountain.
Looking at this large boar that weighed at least dozens of tonnes messed around with Marie’s mind. If the size was the only thing that was impressive about this monster, then Marie would have simply considered it a slightly bigger pig because she had seen several monsters that were even bigger than this back at her farm.
However, the most overwhelming aspect of this boar was the absurd amount of demonic aura that was emanating out of it.
The bristles of the boar were a mixture of crimson red and blue, and its skin was as tough as an armor that no weapons could possibly create a mark on it. Unlike the colorful hairs on its skin, the fangs of the boar were polished sharp like a masterpiece created by the god of blacksmiths.
“Unique Grade demonic beast… King of Iron Mountain.”
This was a Unique Grade – this was the beast of an immeasurable power that was on an equal rank with herself… if not above.
The legendary demonic beast that reduced the northern Dingle Peninsula into rubble 80 years ago was currently sealed by all sorts of magic circles and tough chains forged with hundreds of tonnes of magic stones.
‘It’s almost like Hua Ran…’
Perhaps this was the expanded version of the chained nun clothes that were restricting Hua Ran.
“Now. Please bring the Fang Boars here!”
Following the command of Professor Deina, the staff members brought the Fang Boars from their cage. They were furiously screaming inside the small cage but they started to feel timid the moment they saw Marie.
“For safety purposes, everyone except for Student Marie and Professor Fermack; please leave the lab for the time being.”
The staff members of the lab immediately began leaving the room after her words. Now, the only ones left behind in this vast underground room were the demonic beasts and a small number of people.
“Student Marie. Can you try controlling the Fang Boars for now?”
Marie approached the monsters as requested by Professor Deina.
She commanded the several Fang Boars that had been replaced to another cage nearby after opening the door. The monsters started crawling out with pitifully trembling legs.
“Student Marie. Can you please give out some simple commands?”
As previously discussed, Marie started giving simple commands to the Fang Boars by telling them to sit, stand, run and lay down.
Most of them tried their hardest to follow her commands but a few of them wandered around, not knowing what they were supposed to do.
“I don’t think they’re listening to me.”
“It is probably because of an issue with the communication between demi-humans and demonic beasts. Low-grade demonic beasts do not have the intellect to understand your commands.”
It would be a different story for similar beasts because their language systems were also similar.
“Professor Fermak. Please unseal the ‘King’.”
In response to Professor Deina’s request, Professor Fermack approached the sleeping demonic pig.
“I will now use the unsealing rune to remove the 1st Seal.”
The 1st Seal was the one responsible for sealing the consciousness of the demon boar. Casting a rune to remove that was a fairly tough job.
Rune Magic was a language system where each of the letters contained a magic definition. Only by engraving dozens of rune letters onto the demonic pig without a single mistake would one be able to complete a meaningful unsealing sentence.
Now that Rune Letters had become a dead language in modern times, there were only a tiny number of people that could use Rune Magic to this level and Professor Fermack was one of them.
‘It said they removed the seal a few times over the past 80 years… I wonder who did those?’
The small doubt in Marie’s mind disappeared when she saw the demonic boar twitch with the activation of Professor Fermack’s rune.
It howled with a voice that resembled a ferocious carnivore than a boar. After opening its eyes, the boar glanced around with a pair of eyes that gleamed ominously in blue.
The roar of the demonic boar reverberated across. At the same time, it shrunk its body and twisted and turned in order to snap the chains that were binding itself.
“Groups 1, 3 and 7. Activate hypergravity! Group 6, fortify the chains!”
Professor Deina shouted through the in-ear microphone as mages outside began to activate large magic circles one after another. The grand demon-suppressing magic circles of the 4th underground floor of the laboratory had mana supplied to them as the chains began to tighten around the monster.
On top of that, the gravity-increasing spell installed on the ceiling was turned on as it helped suppress the demonic boar. Each one of the activated spells were grand magic circles that had been maintained and improved over the past 80 years to restrain this monster.
After perhaps coming to the judgment that it couldn’t escape by itself, the demonic boar roared out loud as the Fang Boars began to respond to its call.
Professor Deina shouted and Marie glared at the Fang Boars while commanding them, ‘Stop!’. It worked in the past but this time, they were giving off a strange response.
They weren’t immediately running in at Marie, but they appeared to be resisting against her command. It didn’t take long for them to eventually make the decision of pouncing at her.
When Marie smacked the ground with her staff, water budded like fruits around her before striking the monsters down.
In the blink of an eye, she knocked the three Fang Boars unconscious and turned her gaze to Professor Deina to ask what to do with them.
“Haa~. Maybe it’s because they’re both boars? It snatched the control away from us way too easily.”
“What should I do with these guys?” Marie asked.
“Just keep them unconscious. We can have some boar cutlets later or something.”
“Can I take a few pieces home?”
Marie was glad that there was something she could cook for the boy but her joy did not last long.
One of the cages of the plaza outside the room cracked open with a thud.
[Emergency! Emergency! Demonic beasts of Cage A-107 have escaped!]
“What? Don’t tell me!”
The demonic beast that escaped from the cage entered their room in an instant.
With a strange scream that sounded like the mix of a flute and a trumpet, the monster glared at Marie.
A chimera, which had the body of a lion and the tail of a snake that was as big as the demonic boar, glared at her before jumping at her.
She created a large number of ice lances and fired them at the monster. However, the clever and agile manticore displayed an acrobatic jump while escaping from the attack range of the Blood Spears.
Marie was just about to summon her familiar but Professor Fermack held her by the shoulder and stopped her.
“Save your power for now.”
After standing in front of her, Professor Fermack took off his sunglasses and postured himself in a boxing stance.
Using boxing, which appeared like it would only be effective against humans, to fight the large monster weighing dozens of tonnes seemed like a questionable choice but…
A human figure suddenly soared out of Fermack’s shadow. It was a shadow clone created by Professor Fermack’s specialty.
The Shadow Servant was a spitting image of Professor Fermack and even its boxing stance was the same as his.
“ᛟ – Othala. ᚱ – Raidho.”
Professor Fermack disappeared in the blink of an eye. The only one that could perceive his super rapid acceleration was Marie thanks to her monstrous dynamic vision, but even she had trouble following his movement with her eyes.
The manticore showed a puzzled look on its face after seeing Professor Fermack reappear in front of itself. Meanwhile, both Professor Fermack and his shadow were taking in a deep breath in preparation for a massive attack.
❰Ducking Boost In-dash❱
Crushing the ground he raced beneath the monster. Right as the manticore was about to sense a foreign being underneath its belly, Professor Fermack’s left arm penetrated inside from underneath as if he was reaching for the sky.
❰Southpaw Screw Demolition❱
Two thuds echoed out shaking the innards of the manticore and was soon followed by a large amount of blood gushing out of the monster’s throat.
After killing the enormous manticore with just one move, Professor Fermack opened his mouth while cleaning his gauntlets that had been drenched with the blood of the monster’s innards.
“Professor Deina. Something’s not right.”
It was then.
The demon boar let out an inexplicable roar, as all the demonic beasts nearby responded to its cry.
– Siiiiii! Siieeeee!
– Quack! Quaaaaaakkkk!
Whether it be low-grade or medium-grade demonic beasts, they all roared out loud in alignment with the cry of the King of Iron Mountain.
“W, what’s going on? I didn’t see anything like this in the records!”
That wasn’t the end.
[Professor! This is not good! The demonic beasts are driving their heads into the iron bars like crazy and are trying to escape from their cages! You must escape!]
The reactions of the demonic beasts were definitely abnormal but Professor Deina cool-headedly responded to the problem.
“Follow the manual; Z-17! Activate the anti-demon pressure spell and the blockade at once! We shall reseal the King of Iron Mountain as well for the time being! Activate all the magic circles right now!”
Her response was superb. Remembering the manual in this dire situation, she commanded the members of the lab to activate all the spells installed on the 4th underground floor and promptly decided to reseal the demon boar, which was most certainly the cause of this problem.
At this point, it was hard to expect another experiment of a similar kind, but she prioritized the safety of people over her academic desires.
However, there was one thing that even Professor Deina hadn’t been able to expect and that was—
[This is Group 2! We cannot activate the magic circle!]
[Same with the sealing spell! Damn it! Someone has messed around with the magic circles!]
Professor Deina gasped in utter shock, but that wasn’t the end of their source of grief.
– Crunch! Crunch!
“P, Professor Fermack!”
After seeing something, Marie hurriedly looked for Professor Fermack and pointed at the demon boar with a visibly flustered look on her face.
Professor Fermack widened his eyes as he looked at the demon boar.
The King of Iron Mountain – the demonic boar of the Dingle Peninsula – was chewing and devouring the magic stone chains that were restraining itself.
“Damn it. We have to stop it! Student Marie!”
Marie quickly created a large transparent spear in the air. Formed with combination magic, it was a large and frozen lance that was even tougher than it appeared.
It was a high-grade combination spell which she never used against humans. Her lance pierced down at the defenseless blue hairs of the boar.
The crystal lance shattered from the collision but the boar was still surprisingly normal.
‘That’s weird… How did that do no damage?’
Even though she couldn’t break through its defense, she did succeed at catching its attention. Professor Fermack managed to approach the monster while its eyes were on Marie.
Professor Fermack swung his strongest fist at the unprepared body of the demon boar. His fist that even killed a manticore with a single strike drove deeply into the ‘red hairs’ of the demon boar.
It was like throwing a pebble at a giant rock – Professor Fermack’s strongest strike was nothing but a pebble in front of the monster.
“That can’t be…”
The demon boar turned its eyes to Professor Fermack as their gazes collided in the air. As soon as those blue eyes landed on him, strange letters began to form on its fangs.
❰ᚦᚠ – Thurisaz Fehu❱
A great amount of heat emanated from its fangs and struck Professor Fermack as a colossal amount of light and heat swallowed the underground plaza. At the end of that fluctuation of pure mana…
– Sheeek. Boom!
– Crack, crack!
Professor Deina’s powerless denial of the truth echoed in vain. The chains and the magic circles that were restraining and suppressing the monster were all crushed into shatters.
After undoing all the seals that were restraining it, the demon boar arrogantly gazed at the surroundings before letting out a thunderous roar.
– Clang! Clank!!
– Crack! Kung!
The sounds of breaking iron bars could be heard from everywhere. As a result of the demonic beasts throwing themselves at the bars to obey the call of the Unique Grade monster, the cages ended up breaking at last.
[E, Emergency! Emergency!]
All the demonic beasts that were sealed on the 4th underground floor were released.
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