The next two days passed in a similar manner. We rode down the river from morning until night, camping out on the beach. I also left to go perform my ritual in the woods, though there weren’t any dangerous situations. It was eerily peaceful…
“Alright Brat! We’re almost there! Hahaha~!” Di was pretty excited when he finally saw the ocean. There were dozens of huge islands within the delta and all of them looked like tropical paradises. Of course, there were also terrifying roars and howls coming from the depths of those miscellaneous jungles.
I asked “So, where is this mysterious fortune teller anyway? Does she live around here or are we meeting her somewhere? What the fucking fuck?!”
At that moment, the canoe suddenly picked up a massive amount of speed. The mouth of the river was enormous and the currents were just as intense as I had expected them to be. What I didn’t count on were the gigantic salmon monsters that were jumping out of the water and nearly landing on our boat. There were thousands of the red bastards all around us and they were all the size of great white sharks.
Di laughed hysterically, yelling “Hang on tight Kid! This is the best part!” He took out his wooden staff and held it by the bottom end with both hands, then turned around and swung it like a baseball bat. The gargantuan fish that was about to land on us was smacked a few dozen meters away. Of course, the recoil was just as ridiculous and I was nearly launched out of the canoe.
If I hadn’t grabbed onto my bench fast enough, I might have been thrown overboard. I complained “Goddamn it! Can’t you just use some kinda magic to scare them away?!”
He knocked another salmon into the air, before telling me “Sorry Brat, but these assholes are way too stupid ta give a shit bout their own lives! Besides, I ain’t got no Spirits with me anyway! Hahahaha~!”
The old man didn’t even bother wearing his magical helmet, but he still had the bear-claw boots and the golden-feathered kilt. However, from what I could tell, there weren’t any magical effects or anything like that.
After a few minutes of that chaotic fuckfest, we finally made it out into the delta. Di sat down and put his stick away, before starting do a breathing exercise. I stopped hanging onto the bench and stood up, stretching my arms a bit. The oceanic waves were big, but slow. Our little canoe easily floated over them and continued traveling forward at a decent pace.
Several hours went by and the islands were no longer in sight. Then the old man quickly opened his eyes, took his fancy helmet out of his extradimensional ring and grumbled “Ugh, she just sent me a message… She’ll be here soon. Listen Brat, ya might have a Dao Protector, but that don’t mean he’ll save ya from yer own dumbness, kay? Don’t talk ta this bitch. Hell, don’t even look at her if ya can help it! Trust me… There’s a lot worse things than death. Especially for someone with yer kinda absurd Innate Talent.”
“Levi, look out!” In the instant I heard Xiaotong’s warning, it was already too late to react. A colossal purple octopus tentacle wrapped around my body and yanked me overboard. When I was pulled underwater, I was able to see a creature that was at least the size of a cruise-ship, staring at me with one of its gargantuan glowing yellow eyes.
I watched the old bastard jump into the ocean to fight against it, but well, there wasn’t much he could do. Even when his skin turned into tree-bark and his staff shot out blasts of green Qi, there was barely any effect on the massive monster.
“Damn it! I knew she was gonna try an pull this kinda bullshit! Grah~! Be careful Brat! If she tries ta force ya into making a deal, don’t! If the worst happens, then just call out for Long Bai to save ya!” Di’s voice rang out in my mind as I was getting dragged along by the rapidly submerging octopus. He didn’t chase after me, but swam back up to his boat instead.
Xiaotong screamed “Levi, I’m scared! What do we do?! Are we going to be eaten?! I don’t wanna die!”
Hearing that, I almost started laughing, but I didn’t want to drown like an idiot. Since I couldn’t speak verbally, I had to comfort her with my thoughts. “Calm down, it’s gonna be fine! Like what the old guy told us, I’ll just ask the giant super-overpowered Hydra Treant Spirit for help if I’m about to die! Besides, you’re a ghost! I doubt that this big bastard would even consider either of us as snacks!”
That tentacle wasn’t squeezing my chest and waist too tightly, but there were big suction cups sticking to my back and abdomen. Even though the monster was swimming so quickly that I thought I was going to be ripped apart by the water resistance, it didn’t have any trouble holding onto me.
After a minute, I felt like I was going to pass out. The pressure was getting unbearable and I didn’t exactly have the chance to take a deep breath before getting pulled underwater. I was getting pulled deeper into the ocean, yet there seemed to be lights coming from below us. It was also extremely warm. In fact, it looked like I was headed towards a volcanic rift.
Fortunately, before I was pulled into the rapidly cooling streams of lava, the octopus changed directions. It scuttled across the ground and the various gigantic glowing sea monsters stayed far away from us. Right when I was on the brink of unconsciousness, the tentacle threw me inside of a dark and dreary cavern.
As I was decelerating through the long and narrow tunnel, I noticed that the pressure was gradually being reduced. Eventually, I slowly crashed into a translucent barrier. When I passed through, I fell down onto white marble tiles.
After taking a few deep breaths, I quickly checked my body for symptoms of decompression sickness. No joint pain, no rashes aside from the giant suction mark on my torso and I wasn’t paralyzed or dead, so I figured that I would probably be fine. Besides, I assumed that in the worst case scenario, Di would be able to heal me later anyway.
I stood up and looked around the spacious hallway. There were huge fish tanks to my left and right, as if I was in an enormous aquarium. Sharks, stingrays, jellyfish, starfish, turtles, eels and massive schools of colorful fish were swimming about. They didn’t really look ‘magical’ though, so I assumed that they were probably not ranked Beasts.
Once I walked to the end of the hall, I was stopped by a gargantuan golden gateway. The double-doors seemed immensely heavy and there were two men guarding it. Each of them were wearing violet-scaled armor covering their chests, arms and legs. They had blue runic tattoos on their faces and their eyes were glowing bright-red, but they didn’t really seem that powerful to me. At the most, they would be at the Apprentice Stage, but it was more likely that they were only Novices. Their black tridents did look a bit intimidating though.
When I stood before them, they didn’t even bother to glance at me. I sighed dramatically, muttering “Definitely one of the shittiest jobs… They could at least have chairs. I mean there’s a gigantic octopus monster outside, so who the fuck are they even trying to keep out? Anyone who could get down here would easily be able to get rid of these trash-mobs…”
The guy on the left snarled at me, but the other just glared. Then the doors suddenly opened inward and a masculine voice bellowed “Enter! The Queen has summoned you!”
I unconsciously murmured “Oh Goddamn it… No wonder Di didn’t want me to come here. It’s a motherfucking palace… Ugh, and this mysterious fortune teller bitch is the one who owns the place.”
Above me was a massive glass dome, through which I was able to see the depths of the ocean. There were golden arches that were shaped like octopus tentacles. The floor was all white marble, while there were jade statues of all sorts of sea creatures spread out around the room. A three-meter tall man was standing next to the equally tall throne, that was made out of pink clam shells.
The giant wore a thick bronze chestplate, shin guards and boots, while his kilt was made out of golden scales. His head was covered by a spartan-like helmet, with a feathery red plume on the top. As he glared at me, I could see the dark-orange flecks of light in his brown irises. He had blue runes on his face, similar to all the other miscellaneous guards and servants that were standing around the throne room.
Seated upon the super-uncomfortable looking chair, was a frail old woman, wearing a thick azure robe. Aside from her aged face, her entire body was covered by blue cloth. Her white hair was tied up in a bunch of large buns, with jade seashell clips holding it into place. There were a bunch of amulets hanging from her neck and plenty of golden rings on her fingers.
When her glowing golden eyes swept over me, I felt my blood boil. I clenched my fists tightly and the symbols on my left and right hands appeared against my will. Of course, that also meant that my irises were probably crimson as well. She frowned, then shouted “My name is Hua Jiang! You will call me Master Hua!”