Chapter 55: Invading the Underwater Palace - Last Part
Sila changed his body to become as light as possible. Despite this, his ascension toward the surface wasn't as fast as he hoped it to be. Sila turned his head back and saw a pair of large blue eyes glancing at him. The sea water around him seemed to become heavier, and it felt like his body was being pulled back down.
Just the pressure caused by the magic power was enough to hinder Sila's movements. Now he finally understood the might of a marquis-ranked monster.
In Monster Soul, there are five ranks: Squire, Knight, Marquis, Lord, and Emperor. The ranks have 1,000 level each for players to gain. On the surface, it looks like all creatures have 5,000 level to achieve. But in reality, there is a large gap between each rank. A gap that if you can surpass it, your ability would increase exponentially.
The difference between a Lvl. 1000 Squire Rank monster and a Lvl. 1 Knight Rank monster might seem small as there is only one gap between them, but in reality, they are incomparable.
While Squire Rank monsters weren't worth a glance from Sila's eyes, Sila himself wasn't worth a glance from the Water Dragon.
The higher the rank, the higher the difficulty to surpass it. But if one can surpass such a gap, one's ability would soar to a higher realm.
Sila was pulled toward the Water Dragon. He didn't know how much time Burapha's skill had left before it expired, but it wouldn't be enough for him to defeat the Water Dragon.
Now, the more Sila swam, the more he was pulled back to the bottom of the ocean.
'Shit. What should I do?' Sila panicked.
He had used the heavier attribute of Formless Soldier to descend down and planned to used lighten attribute to ascend up. However, with his body becoming lighter, it was easier for him to be pulled downward by the Water Dragon.
While he was being pulled downward, Lala came to him and grabbed his arm while swimming upward. Sila was thankful and tried to lighten his body again to make it easier for Lala to pull him up.
He was finally able to see the raft from far away. At that moment, five of the Underwater Bombs were drifting down toward them. It seemed Bluebird had begun his support.
Meanwhile, Bluebird was busy deciphering the secret code. It was at that moment that he could feel the raft beginning to shake. A few of the Underwater Bombs on the raft fell down into the water.
"Damn. Those are expensive." Bluebird couldn't catch all of them in time. He did his best to keep the remaining from dropping into the sea though.
The sea was shaking. The sounds of the explosions were echoed underwater multiple times. The raft was about to torn apart due to the powerful waves.
Sila, Burapha, and Lala appeared on the sea surface. Sila was quick to climb up to the raft.
"Great, Blue. Your timing to attack was perfect. It is now stunned, but it won't take long for it to recover and follow us up here," Sila said.
Bluebird had no idea what Sila was talking about, but as he noticed that they were compliments, he was quick to accept them. "For the mighty me, this much is a given."
Sila wasn't interested in the answer. Meanwhile, Burapha sealed Lala into his ring and followed Sila onto the raft.
"Hey. What are you doing? The raft is about to sink," Bluebird said.
"Once the dragon comes up, it will sink anyway. Just look at the raft's condition," Burapha argued.
"Well, stop arguing for now. What should we do? Do you guys have a plan?" Sila asked.
"I do, but it wasn't originally a plan to use against a dragon though," Burapha said.
"We should follow Burapha's lead then."
"Hey, hey, in the end, what does 'dragon' mean?" Bluebird asked with an honest face.
"Dragon means dragon, Big Bro!! It doesn't mean anything else. We have wasted too much time. We must start now," Burapha irritably replied. He didn't care about Bluebird's reaction and snatched back the Underwater Bombs from Bluebird's hands. "Lala and I will be swimming while keeping our distance. I don't think we will be able to get close to it. As for Big Brother Sila, you should stay on this raft. You're a close-range fighter, so I don't know whether you can get close to it or not."
"I will try to find a way then," Sila replied.
"Luckily for us, Big Brother Blue is a magic-type player. Which element you have chosen though?" Burapha tried to ask.
There are 8 elements for magic in the game: earth, water, wind, fire, lightning, ice, light, and darkness. Players can use low-tier spells of any element. For mid-tier spells, players can use some of them. As for remaining high-tier spells, players must form a contract with the chosen element to increase their understanding and mastery toward said element. The tradeoff is that they won't be able to use mid-tier spells of other elements anymore. This is an important choice for all magic-type players as they can choose only once and they won't be able to change later. Hence, there are many magic-type players that put off making the decision to choose their element until the moment of truth arrives. This way, although they couldn't use high-tier spells or more powerful versions of spells below that, they would be able to use every mid-tier spell.
One of those said players was right here.
"I have yet to choose the element. It can't be decided easily," Bluebird answered.
"Quickly choose the lightning element. Time is precious," Burapha plainly said.
"Hah? I belong to the tailorbird race. Won't the wind element seem cooler?"
"You should be thinking about surviving before being cool. Also, help us in attacking too. Don't just support."
Bluebird grumbled but he was still willing to do it, though he had a condition. "You guys have to let me publish an article about this."
"Deal. Please hurry up though," Sila cut the conversation as he sensed the incoming crisis. He felt the magic oppression from under the sea. The dragon would come at him in no time.
Burapha released Lala and gave her half of the bombs he had. He also didn't forget to give five of them for Sila to use in the emergency. Both of them swam in different directions.
Sila used his hands to split the raft in half. He was standing on one of them while the other was left for Bluebird.
"It's going to sink anyway. We should separate our group so that we won't become a bigger target," Sila said, which Bluebird nodded to in agreement.
The two smaller rafts drifted away from each other. Sila could see that Bluebird had closed his eyes and began to chant some words.
"O, the great Lord of Thunder who owns the sky above the heaven! Please grant me your almighty power to punish our enemies until they have been turned into insignificant ashes by the heavenly tribulation bolts of lightning."
The sky was shaking. The clouds were becoming darker. The cumulonimbus clouds appeared and began to cause the thunderstorms. They were blocking the sunlight and caused a thunderous sound louder than the waves.
Suddenly, a bolt of lightning struck Bluebird.
Sila watched the situation with great interest. He had never witnessed the ceremony for choosing an element before. It looked very sacred. Though, it would be grander if there wasn't an "Aack" sound from Bluebird.
Bluebird's body was glowing with a yellow aura. His ring was also glowing the same color. The electric currents were flashing around Bluebird. It would look very cool if Bluebird's equipment wasn't destroyed, leaving only his underwear.
"Damn. I forgot that my cloth belongs to the dark element. So stinky. It's very expensive. Why do you have to burn it!?" Bluebird shouted at the sky. He picked up the torn clothes to wrap around his waist to prevent himself to be an eyesore.
The sea water was now spinning like a whirlpool and the two broken rafts were spinning around the center of the whirlpool. Due to the whirlpool's radius being quite long, Sila's and Bluebird's rafts were separating by quite a distance.
The body of the Water Dragon surfaced at the center of the whirlpool. It seemed the Water Dragon itself was the cause of the whirlpool. Now, Sila could finally have a good look at his opponent.
The Water Dragon was like a hybrid of a western dragon and a shark. It had multiple rows of sharp teeth within its mouth. Its scales were blue, smooth, and glittering. There was a shark-like fin on its back, while its tail was like a fish's. Both of its hands were connected with its wings. Sila didn't know whether it could fly though, as its wings were looking more like fins.
Its blue eyes flashed with tremendous magic power. They were staring attentively at Sila.
"I was wondering who dare to interrupt my sleep. Surprisingly, they are just lowly merpeople, slime, and tailorbird," said the Water Dragon.
"It can talk?" Bluebird exclaimed. Sila wasn't surprised though, as he had seen a talking dragon before.
This dragon was less talkative compared to the Earth Dragon. Once it had finished its sentence, it didn't continue the conversation. Instead, it summoned a hundred water balls and fired them at Sila and Bluebird.
Sila used Moon Reflecting Mirror to parry all of them away. For the record, he couldn't reflect them back as the number was too high.
As for Bluebird, his eyes were flashing with a bright light. He just moved his body slightly but surprisingly; all the attacks flew right past him without creating a single scratch.
"It seems I have to deal with this lightning tailorbird first," the Water Dragon said.
"Huh? Why are you targeting me first? Look! A slime is over there." Bluebird pointed his finger at Sila.
"That slime is weak. I can kill him anytime," the Water Dragon replied.
Sila frowned. His face turned expressionless. Why is everyone in this game always regarding him as weak?
The Water Dragon shook its body. Several waves were splashed toward the raft that Bluebird was on. It planned to sink the raft. A bird underwater would be no different than fish food.
"Sheez! Do I have to get serious already?" Bluebird muttered.
Bluebird put his right hand in front of his face, revealing the ring attached with a bird-shape jewel on his middle finger. The ring lightly flashed.
"Psychic Bird Dance."
Ten thousand birds flew out of the ring. The numerous bodies completely covered the sky, the chirping sounds echoing continuously throughout the area.
"Psychic Bird Transformation."
Bluebird's body transformed into one of the ten thousand tailorbirds. His appearance was exactly the same with them, but his color wasn't blue like usual but brown instead. He soon was swallowed up into the swarm of birds.
Sila could no longer differentiate Bluebird from the rest of the birds.
The same thing applied to the Water Dragon. It didn't imagine that Bluebird could do this.
The swarm of birds flew in circular formation in the air atop the Water Dragon.
Below, there was a whirlpool created by the Water Dragon. Atop, there was a circle caused by numerous flying birds. This sure was a strange sight to behold.
Bluebird wasn't really bragging when he had mentioned that he would be able to escape even if the Four Emperors gang up on him. With the combination of these two skills, he just had to order the birds to flew into different directions to be able to flee from the scene.
The ring that Bluebird was currently wearing was Nest Returning Bird Ring. An S-grade item which he had gotten together with his hidden race. All the birds in his possession had transformed into this ring. It allowed him to summon up to 10,000 tailorbirds. All of the tailorbirds from this skill were counted as bodies created by a psychic-type skill, so they don't share experience points with Bluebird. Upon dying, they would return to the ring and Bluebird would have to wait 7 days for them to be revived.
The three racial skills of Bluebird were:
(A) Psychic Bird Dance
A skill that had to be used in conjunction with the ring. Bluebird could only use this skill in his human form. It allowed him to summon up to 10,000 tailorbirds. The experience points that the birds received would be transferred to Bluebird. All the birds don't have a concept of rank and level. Instead, their abilities are fixed at 0.1% of Bluebird, both stat-wise and skill-wise. Bluebird usually uses these birds to gather information.
(A) Psychic Bird Transformation
A skill that allows Bluebird to transform himself into a tailorbird. Actually, he can choose any color to transform into. However, as his preference color is blue, he usually transforms himself into blue tailorbird.
(A) Psychic Bird Connection
A passive skill. It is a command-type skill that allows Bluebird to precisely order the birds in his possession without being confused.
As for the ultimate skill, (S) Psychic Nest Returning Bird, Bluebird had studied it for a long time but he still couldn't grasp how to activate it. Due to the fact that the Tailorbird Kingdom does not exist, he had to learn all of his skills by himself. Unfortunately, no matter how hard he had tried, he still couldn't comprehend the activating condition of his ultimate skill. He had no choice but to master the remaining three skills.
The sound of Bluebird using his spell could be heard.
One of the birds was briefly glowing yellow. Then, it soundlessly fired a lightning bolt at the Water Dragon. The body of the Water Dragon slightly shook. This was an attack of the element that it was weak against so it was slightly injured.
"What an ant-bite level of attack. You will have to fire more than ten thousand of them to hurt me. You would already be dead during that time though, little bird," the Water Dragon sneered.
The sea was manipulated by it, firing like a laser beam toward the sky. This attack caused around twenty birds to die.
There was Bluebird's voice among the swarm of birds, "Although we are just little birds, if there are many of us, even a dragon would be pecked to death."
Another lightning bolt fell toward the dragon.
The Water Dragon was about to open its mouth to argue again that this level of attack wouldn't be able to take down a dragon even in the wildest dream. But upon looking upward, it was shocked at the sight in front of it.
Actually, not just the dragon, even Sila, Burapha, and Lala were now staring blankly at the sky without the slightest interest in the dragon.
The bodies of all the tailorbirds were glowing yellow. At first, only one of them was glowing. Then it became two, then three. All of the tailorbirds had begun to glow. They were flying in a circular formation, the electricity flashing between each of them created the majestic sight. Bluebird's magic power was covering the clouds in the sky with the intense yellow light.
Ten thousand lightning bolts fell toward the dragon. The light was too intense that everyone had to close their eyes.
Sila was now beginning to think that, within this world of Monster Soul, his existence was a very small part of it.