Leveling with the Gods - Chapter 99
“In order to wake up the Sea Turtle, you have to aim for its belly instead of its back,” Urpha explained to Yuwon how to obtain the 「Divine Sea Crystal.」 “On its back… So on top of the island, there’s not much you can do. The shell of a Sea Turtle is so hard, even most High Rankers would have a hard time breaking it.”
“So in order to aim for its stomach, I have to jump into the sea,” YuWon noted.
“That’s right, which is a suicidal act.”
The sea of the 20th Floor was the biggest dungeon in the Tower. Countless monsters lived in its waters. The ‘sea’ of this world had more monsters than fish.
Yet here he was telling a player, not even a Ranker, to enter those kinds of waters.
“Think you can do it?” Urpha asked.
“Yes, I can,” YuWon answered without even a hint of hesitation.
Urpha smiled after hearing that, his faith in YuWon boosted by his brazen confidence.
Urpha continued to explain, “The stomach of the Sea Turtle has an emblem that looks like a cross between a sun and a star. That’s the seal of the Sea Turtle and the reason the turtle allows itself to act as an island.”
“So will the test start if I erase the seal?”
“That’s right,” Urpha answered with a serious look on his face, “and the moment the Sea Turtle fully reveals itself, the test’s difficulty will change greatly.”
YuWon nodded his head. It was an obvious statement.
“Because the reward will be the Stone of the Sea, right?”
“That’s right. The difficulty will be no breeze in the park. It might even ask you to defeat the Sea Turtle.”
As ridiculous as that sounded, it was within the realm of possibilities.
The tests in the Tower were based around ‘rewards’ that corresponded to ‘difficulty.’ And the higher the difficulty, the more valuable the rewards were. This meant that if you knew how good a reward was, you could somewhat gauge the difficulty. And the 「Stone of the Sea」 was a precious item indeed.
“And that’s when Olympus will no longer be able to interfere with the test. Because the test will no longer be administered by them but by the Administrator.”
“Won’t they just try and steal it from me after the test?”
“We won’t be standing around just watching that happen,” Urpha said.
That was something Yuwon wanted to hear.
Urpha was clenching his fist. He was called a pacifist by his own people, but it was all for the survival of the Giants. For his people, Urpha was more than capable of fighting through fire if necessary.
“That’s good to hear,” YuWon said, nodding his head, satisfied with the promise of the Giants keeping him safe.
And this was a promise YuWon knew Urpha would keep as he didn’t want the Stone to fall into Poseidon’s hands.
“But…” YuWon still had a lingering question. “How do you know all this?”
YuWon only knew that Urpha had the key to the test, but he didn’t know how Urpha came to know this information.
“That’s because the one who raised that turtle…” Urpha said while reminiscing on the past, “fed it the stone, and put it to sleep was me.”
* * *
[You’ve been forcibly kicked out the test for not meeting the requirements.]
Suhtahr, the Giant Ranker, looked around the suddenly changed scenery.
The island of Triton, the test location, was now far off in the distance.
Except it was no longer an island.
The loud cry was powerful enough to blow a hole in the clouds.
It was a creature that was almost 10km long.
The presence the creature exuded even pressured Suhtahr.
Suhtahr only knew of a single turtle this big.
‘A Sea Turtle,’ he thought to himself.
These monsters were one of the greatest beings in this sea, nicknamed “Turtles that failed to become a Black Tortoise*,” and they were also known as the rulers of the 20th Floor.
*TL/N: The Black Tortoise is one of the Four Symbols of the Chinese Constellations, along with the Azure Dragon, Vermillion Bird, and White Tiger.
‘But are they normally this big?’ Suhtahr wondered.
Sea Turtles were normally pretty big, with some being as large as one kilometer long. And their shells were so sturdy, they could even withstand attacks from Rankers.
They were monsters that people thought shouldn’t exist on the 20th Floor because of how strong they were.
Still, this one was much too large in size.
“It’s probably thanks to the Stone of the Sea,” a voice spoke behind Suhtahr.
He turned around to see a blue-haired man descending while riding a bird. He was someone that Suhtahr was very familiar with.
“Long time no see, Suhtahr.”
“I didn’t think we were on such good terms to casually greet each other, Theseus.”
Suhtahr and Theseus had a history of having fought against each other long ago during the Gigantomachy.
“I heard you were living the good life after becoming a test examiner, so why are you here? Shouldn’t you be looking over the testing site?”
“It’s because it’s so noisy out here. What about you guys? Why are the Giants causing a ruckus near the testing site?”
“My guys were having a bit of a hard time against that Ranker, so I decided to give a helping hand. Why? Do you have a problem with that?”
Suhtahr’s response made Theseus look over at the Crimson Wolf Guild.
Standing amidst the Crimson Wolf Guild was their vice-guildmaster, Mukrang. He was someone that had recently joined the Crimson Wolf Guild after becoming a Ranker, and it was his participation that gave Giants justification.
“… There is no problem,” Theseus answered.
The only things the Giants did were in self-defense, so Theseus had no grounds to attack them.
After thinking hard for a minute, all Theseus could say was, “However, I will prohibit causing any more commotion. Don’t forget, we are in the middle of a test, Suhtahr.”
Suhtahr smirked. “I don’t want to hear that from people who will throw that rule out the window at the first sign of inconvenience.”
“I won’t back down if you want a fight, but heed my words…” Theseus spoke.
“No one is allowed to interfere with the test, no matter who they might be,” Theseus warned.
Multiple Rankers arrived. They were the other examiners that oversaw the test.
Suhtahr looked back and forth between the Giant Rankers and the test examiners.
The test was not over yet, and as a test examiner, Theseus was unlikely to try and pull something while the test was still in progress.
Olympus was already walking on eggshells, so trying something here would be too great of a risk for them.
But that didn’t mean the Giants had free reign to do whatever. Messing with a test examiner mid-test would be a direct challenge of an Administrator’s authority.
‘Neither side can interfere with the test or make the first move right now,’ Suhtahr thought while looking at the Sea Turtle that was wailing from being woken from its slumber. ‘Now all that’s left is for him to safely pass the test.’
* * *
Translator – Yu x Yu
Proofreader – BringTheRayn
* * *
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[Defeat the Sea Turtle and obtain the Stone of the Sea.]
YuWoon double-checked the contents of the test.
It was an unbelievable test.
Sea Turtles were monsters that even Rankers had difficulty defeating, and this one was many times bigger than normal Sea Turtles. It was to a point that it had been mistaken for a small island all this time.
‘Did it become this big because of the Divine Sea Crystal? It doesn’t look like a normal mutant,’ YuWon thought.
After making his way inside the Sea Turtle’s mouth, YuWon started slowly finding his way through.
It was impossible to defeat the Sea Turtle the way the message was asking him to.
No matter how much YuWon racked his brain, he couldn’t think of a way. Piercing the shell of a Sea Turtle this big was improbable, and cutting through its tough skin was going to be no small feat either.
That meant there was only one option. To get inside the Sea Turtle and find the 「Divine Sea Crystal.」
The objective of the test was to take down the Sea Turtle and obtain the Stone, but YuWon decided to interpret it a little differently.
‘If I obtain the Divine Sea Crystal, I might be able to defeat the Sea Turtle.’
That made Yuwon think the test wasn’t going to be that hard. The place was large, but all he had to do was find the Sea Crystal, and he had a pretty good treasure map for this treasure hunt.
Unfortunately, there was a problem.
A small dragon with blue scales charged at YuWon.
It was an Aqua Dragon. Being one of the more powerful creatures in the sea, it was both strong and large in size.
While standing on the Sea Turtle’s tongue, YuWon managed to block the Aqua Dragon’s teeth with his sword.
Turned out, YuWon wasn’t the only one that had managed to find their way inside.
The [Holy Fire] enveloped YuWon’s sword.
YuWon decided to no longer conserve mana since he was now inside the Sea Turtle’s body.
[Under the influence of darkness, your Stamina regeneration speed increases.]
[Stamina Regeneration Speed : +112%]
[Under the influence of darkness, your mana regeneration speed increases.]
[Health Regeneration Speed : +56%]
[Under the influence of darkness, your mana amplification increases.]
[Mana amplification: +56%]
The inside of the Sea Turtle was pitch black, which meant that YuWon’s sword increased his mana regeneration and amplification.
On top of that…
Black mana started flowing out of 「Kyneē.」
It tore apart the Aqua Dragon that attacked him.
As the Aqua Dragon was reduced to pieces, YuWon jumped up in the air to avoid getting splattered in blood.
He then used [Cinder Eyes] to widen his field of vision in the dark.
‘Quite a few managed to get in.’
There was more than just a single Aqua Dragon. Among the horde of monsters, there were a handful of Aqua Dragons mixed in, but only a few of them were hostile to YuWon. The majority of them were entering the Sea Turtle’s mouth and allowing themselves to get swallowed up.
‘Are they willingly becoming food for the Sea Turtle?’
The dominance of the 「Divine Sea Crystal」 was stronger than YuWon expected. It was to the point that sea monsters were offering their own lives.
Then YuWon remembered the legend passed down on the 20th Floor.
“He who finds the Stone of the Sea will become the god of the sea.”
It was no mere legend. Right now, the Sea Turtle was like an actual god of the sea.
The Sea Turtle’s cry echoed inside its mouth.
YuWon felt like his eardrums were going to burst.
‘It’s too loud. I can’t stay here anymore.’
YuWon started walking deeper inside.
The inside of the Sea Turtle felt like the dark ocean floor. It reeked of that salty, fishy smell, and there were myriad sea monsters swimming around as if this was their new home.
But not all the monsters there were new.
‘Some of these guys must have been in here for a while.’
It appeared that the inside of the Sea Turtle had been a dungeon for a long time. There were a lot of monsters that had come in from the outside, but there were also a number of monsters that looked like they’d settled down long ago.
Salt water flowed in through the Sea Turtle’s mouth, and the floor became wet.
A horde of black creatures stopped YuWon in his tracks.
The monsters inside the Sea Turtle weren’t only volunteering to be its food, but they also seemed to serve as its minions.
“Are you telling me I can’t go any further?”
「Kyneē」 let out a soft cry. The 「Divine Dark Crystal」 equipped on it was responding to the 「Divine Sea Crystal.」
Inside the Sea Turtle’s large body, YuWon could approximate the location of the Sea Crystal.
And now, while on his way to the crystal, monsters were blocking his path.
“Do you guys think I’m a virus or something?”
YuWon was the only creature present not under the 「Divine Sea Crystal’s」 influence, which was why the Sea Turtle registered YuWon as a virus.
Despite that, YuWon did not stop his march forward.
There was only one path here, and there was no point running when his destination was already decided.
‘There will be no retreating.’
YuWon didn’t have to conserve his stamina or mana.
The glove on his right hand, 「Kyneē,」 glowed black.
‘I’m going to blitz through.’
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