The fleet moved at an insane speed and Su Jin was certain that these boats had been modified somehow. Otherwise, there was no way any boat in an era that relied solely on wind energy could move at this sort of speed.
“So, we’re about to face some sort of supernatural power huh,” murmured Su Jin to himself. Even though he was already mentally prepared for that to happen, actually having to face it would mean that his journey ahead was going to be very dangerous.
“Captain, we have already reached the mermaid territory. You’d better be on standby, a battle may break out anytime now.” The scrivener had suddenly appeared next to Su Jin and said these ominous sounding words to him.
After this fellow took Su Jin’s bribe and failed to get him killed, he had been very curt to Su Jin. But Su Jin wasn’t bothered by him anymore. These Fairytales of Horror were clearly filled with a bunch of nasty people.
“Sir, do you know what sort of enemies we are about to face?” Su Jin asked suddenly.
The scrivener glanced at Su Jin, looked at the sea, then said in a slow voice, “What’s wrong? You’re getting cold feet even before coming into contact with the enemy?”
Su Jin shook his head. “No, I just want to know what I’m about to face. That way, I’d be able to deal with them better.”
“You want to know? There’s no hurry. You’d be sent out to take a look at the situation tomorrow, so you’ll become the person who knows what sort of enemies we’re up against the best!” The scrivener cackled after saying these words. It was obvious that it was the scrivener who came up with this idea.
But the scrivener’s evil schemes actually worked out in Su Jin’s favor. Su Jin was here to get one of the Little Mermaid’s scales and he had only joined the prince’s fleet in hope of doing that. Being sent into the sea was actually going to be helpful to Su Jin’s mission.
After spending a night onboard, the fleet arrived at some coral reefs the next morning. The boats couldn’t go any further, or they would run aground.
“My captain, since you displayed such tremendous prowess before, I would like you to go and check out the situation among the inhabitants of the sea. Are you courageous enough to go observe the Sea People?” the prince asked Su Jin with a smile.
Su Jin couldn’t possibly say no. He replied politely, “Your Highness, I have enough courage, but while I do not fear death, I’m afraid that if I go as I am, I would die without being able to send any information on the Sea People back to you. I need your help!”
“My help?” The prince looked puzzledly at Su Jin.
“That is correct. Your Highness, you are going to become the king of this nation in the future, so I’m sure you have some powerful item that can help your loyal subject here. Of course…of course, as your loyal subject, I will most certainly return this treasure to you!” Su Jin didn’t know if the prince had anything magical like that, but there was no harm in trying.
The prince hesitated for a while. Then again, even if Su Jin took this item, Su Jin would have to come back here and return it to him, since they were literally in the middle of nowhere. Besides the prince’s fleet, Su Jin had nowhere else to go. Moreover, even though Su Jin was formidable, he was about to face the Sea People and it was true that he might not come back in one piece if he wasn’t given any extra protection. So, the prince thought it was fine to render Su Jin some help.
“Very well! In that case, I’ll let you use this cloak.” The prince removed his cloak as he spoke. This was an exquisitely made cloak with several mysterious symbols on the inside. Su Jin didn’t have any magic powers, but he could tell that these were likely to be magic runes of sorts.
Su Jin bowed as he received the cloak. The prince said, “This is my family heirloom and a treasure of my country. Once you put this on, you will be able to defend yourself against almost any attack. Ordinary attacks will not be able to hurt you at all.”
“Your Highness, thank you for your generosity! I will definitely bring a mermaid back!” Su Jin was secretly pleased that the prince had been so easy to fool. The prince was actually lending him such a powerful item.
But at the same time, the prince wasn’t that stupid. This cloak was a very special one that could find its own way back to its owner. So even if Su Jin never came back or died at the hands of the Sea People, he would still get this cloak back. Otherwise, the prince would never have left such a precious item in the hands of someone who might perish in the sea.
“Your Highness, I will also need the two of them. The three of us make a good team, so with their help, the chances of completing this mission will increase.” Su Jin wasn’t going to leave Gu Ming and Ning Meng here.
Since the prince had even been willing to part with his magical cloak, letting Gu Ming and Ning Meng follow Su Jin into the sea wasn’t a problem. He nodded in agreement, then said to the scrivener, “Cast the spell on them too.”
The scrivener nodded, then stretched his arms wide towards the three of them. Green sparkles began to gather in front of his chest, then they flew towards the other three and covered them in a thin layer of sparkles.
“This is a spell that will enable you to swim in the sea without the need for air,” the scrivener said to them. “You will be able to swim like a fish in the sea, but I’m warning you, this spell will only work for seven hours. If you are still underwater after that, you will die. Do you understand?”
The reason why the scrivener had done this was obvious. He was afraid that the three of them might choose to escape by swimming. But there was no way they could get to the nearest shore within the next seven hours. So they had to either get the job done, or die.
The three of them walked to the front of the boat where there was a gangplank. Su Jin had always been curious about this whenever he watched movies set in this era. But when he actually had to walk the plank, his fear of heights overtook him again.
“Do we really have to jump?” Gu Ming gulped fearfully as well. Instead, Ning Meng turned out to be the bravest of all three. She closed her eyes and jumped right off the plank.
Su Jin and Gu Ming didn’t have a choice and jumped as well. But really, Su Jin’s fears were unfounded – the plank was so close to the surface of the water, nothing bad would have happened even if he was jumping off into a pool of mud. The mud would suffer more damage than he would.
After diving into the sea, all three of them realized that they were really able to swim freely without the need for oxygen tanks or any other diving equipment.
But Su Jin wasn’t taking any chances and retrieved some of his Super Oxygenated Chewing Gum. These pieces of gum could provide them with three days of oxygen after all.
Su Jin swam around to take a quick look, then decided that he ought to swim deeper into the coral reefs.
“Both of you can just stay here. If I get the treasure, I’ll come back to look for you two immediately.” Su Jin decided to work alone since Gu Ming and Ning Meng were obviously poor fighters. If they got into a fight with the Sea People, they’ll all end up dead.
The two of them had no objections, so Su Jin left them one piece of Super Oxygenated Chewing Gum each before leaving, just in case anything untoward happened.
After that, Su Jin headed straight for the coral reefs. This magic spell was a fairly interesting one. Su Jin didn’t have to swim. He could just walk in the sea water as if he was walking on land, which made it much easier to move about.
The coral reefs were colorful and filled with plenty of fish and other sea creatures, but it didn’t take Su Jin long to discover the Sea People because they were very different from the rest of the sea creatures. Most of them had at least one human body part. He saw an octopus with a human upper body, and a giant lobster with human legs. All of them looked like this.
Su Jin dared not go too near because he didn’t want to end up having to fight them if they noticed his presence. He tried his best to walk in the shadows, and if he couldn’t find a place to hide, he had to use his psychokinesis to blind the other creature temporarily.
This Psychokinetic Spirit Power of his was really incredibly useful and it could be used in a million and one situations, both as an attack and a defense. There was almost nothing it couldn’t do. The only problem was that his upper limit was way too low, so if he didn’t have to use it, he didn’t. But even so, he had already used up one third of it by just sneaking past the Sea People.
“Well, I still have the Demon Lord’s Spirit Power, but…it’s best that I don’t use it if I don’t have to either!” Su Jin’s trump card was his backup storage of the Demon Lord’s Spirit Power, which was enough to power the terrifyingly brutal Demon Lord’s Longbow that had the skill of ‘Roar of the Demon Lord.’ But making use of these items came at a cost to Su Jin himself.
Thankfully, while there were plenty of Sea People roaming the coral reefs, the sea was vast and Su Jin’s careful steps did not attract any attention. He soon came to the middle of the coral reefs, where it looked like the city center of the sea. There were houses made from scallop shells, shiny stones on the seabed that resembled gemstones as well as submarine volcanoes that added an interesting touch to the reefs.
Everything did look like they belonged to a fairytale world, but Su Jin wasn’t sure if other dangers lurked beneath the surface since he was now in a horror-inducing version of the Little Mermaid.
“In the original story, the Little Mermaid was from the royal family. In that case…” Su Jin’s attention was drawn to the largest structure in the area. It looked like the prettiest place around here.
He quickly made his way over but was a little disappointed when he actually got there. This was no palace. It looked more like a temple of sorts.
Since this wasn’t the place he was looking for, Su Jin turned around to leave. But his way was soon blocked by a huge group of fish.
Several sharks with a horn growing out of their heads kept swimming back and forth while giving Su Jin aggressive looks. Su Jin held Rumor in his hand, ready to strike at any time. Unfortunately, none of his Black Fire bullets were suitable to shoot underwater.
“Who are you? Why are you sneaking around my Sea People Temple?” A graceful and elegant woman emerged from behind the wall of sharks. Su Jin wasn’t sure if she was supposed to be a cuttlefish or an octopus, but she had a sexy woman’s body on top and more than ten tentacles helping her move her body along.
“Sorry about that! If I said I got lost, would you believe me?” Su Jin grinned at her. If possible, he didn’t want to stay here and fight with a woman who could command a bunch of sharks.
“I’m not like those foolish Sea People. Of course, if you don’t wish to tell me why you are here, I have other means to find out!” She raised her head high and pointed a finger at Su Jin. A black beam shot out from her finger towards Su Jin.
Su Jin immediately moved to one side as quickly as he could. The spell cast by the scrivener was still in effect, so he could still move as easily as he did on land, which helped him to dodge that black beam easily.
“If I want the sharks to go away, I’ve got to get their commander first!” thought Su Jin as he saw that the sharks were headed towards him. He didn’t think that killing them was hard, but doing that would attract unnecessary attention, so the best plan now was to take their leader down.
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