The shout echoed on the third upper deck, but it was too late.
The dark red great sword slashed an opening through the lower deck at an incredible speed, as if it was cutting through tofu. Kieran jumped through the opening from below, holding an unconscious Schmidt in his hands.
He hurled Schmidt aside, gripped [Arrogant Word] tight and dashed towards the demon vessels.
Just before [Arrogant Word] collided with the demon vessels, Kieran took a step forward and held on to the great swords hilt tightly. The great sword swung downwards and turned horizontal immediately. Kierans dislocated steps allowed him to spin, following the great sword as he channeled all his strength into swinging it around.
When the spinning force turned into inertia, [Arrogant Word] span around in a slash, carrying Kierans body with it.
His targets were all over the place, so Kieran did not even need to aim properly.
[Arrogant Word] might not have caused sufficient damage to a demon, but it was a disaster for the demon vessels.
Its spinning slash chopped down the demon vessels one after the other, making them fall down in a puddle of their own blood.
The demon had granted the bodies extraordinary mystical power, but the mystical power originated from the demon itself. The vessels were barely any stronger than their previous selves.
One after the other, the demon vessels died, and the materialized tentacles started to disintegrate.
The venomous spiders that had been blocked by the tentacles quickly swarmed the remaining demon vessels as soon as the tentacles were out of their way.
They opened their sharp mouths and attacked their enemies, their venomous glands spitting out poison every time they bit their enemies.
The advantage the demons had had a moment ago had been trashed completely.
"2567!" the man behind the demons shouted furiously. His eyes widened as he stared at Kieran, but he did not make a move.
The magic circle before him was on the verge of being completed. He had to finish the circle. Otherwise, everything he had done would be in vain.
"LOUVER!" he shouted.
Louver, who had been fighting like a controlled puppet thanks to the demonic power, shivered violently.
The big fat tentacles suddenly dissipated in mid-air, turning into dust particles and seeping into Louvers body. His eyes instantly turned black.
Then he flashed his blade at such a lightning fast speed that it could even have scratched the night sky.
A flash of Louvers blade decapitated at least a dozen venomous spiders around him.
Although this was not the first time Kieran had seen that blade technique, he was still in awe.
Schmidt suddenly regained his consciousness. He was confused about what had actually happened.
He remembered hearing an odd loud sound and then passing out.
"What happened, 2567?" Schmidt asked when he saw Kieran standing before him and defending himself against the spiders.
"I followed your trail and found you! You had been knocked out cold by some bastard!" Kieran explained as he swung [Arrogant Word] forward, producing a strong wind that blew away most of the venomous spiders. The spiders closest to Kieran were crushed to bits by the violent wind.
"Judging by your strength, you must be the real 2567!"
Schmidt still remembered encountering a fake Kieran.
"Yes, I think you are real too!" Kieran nodded.
Schmidt realized that Kieran had been through a similar encounter with him.
He turned his attention to the man drawing the magic circle in the captains cabin and stared at him ferociously.
"Is that the bastard?" Schmidt asked as he pulled out his gun.
"The guy behind the Gordon Recovery Center, who deceived us by using the demons. Yes, thats him! But hes not the one who knocked you out cold. If I were you, I wouldnt take revenge right now!" Kieran answered, reminding Schmidt of his priorities.
Schmidt looked at Kieran. He seemed puzzled at first, but soon he understood what Kieran meant.
A loud clear clashing noise similar to a blacksmith smithing iron against a felt was heard suddenly amidst the chaotic scene on the upper deck. It was not as dense and concentrated compared to the group of spiders.
Suddenly, a head as big as a football sprung up from the lower deck, reaching the demons side.
"This This" Schmidt stuttered when he saw the head, drawing a cold breath helplessly.
It was the head of a spider. If its head was as big as a football, then how big was its body?
Soon, everyone on the third upper deck found out the answer to that question.
The spider was as big as a car.
The appearance of the humongous spider attracted everyones attention. Even the demon vessels felt scared instinctively.
Panicked, the vessels attacked the humongous spider.
A big strong tentacle smashed the humongous spider, but it bounced back up when it collided with it. There was not even a scratch on the spider as it leapt towards the demon vessels.
The humongous spider landed on top of the demon vessels and opened its mouth. A dark suction force began to suck its victims souls.
The translucent souls were sucked out of the demon vessels one after the other and into the spiders mouth as the vessels wailed in despair.
"Souls? Those are souls, right? How the f*ck is a giant spider sucking souls out of people? Where the hell did it come from?"
Schmidt watched the scene in shock. Kierans eyes were wide and his jaw had dropped open.
No one would have thought that the monster hiding in the Sunshine Mary would be a Hell Fiend Spider, one of the overlords of Hell!
According to dungeon world legends, a Hell Fiend Spider was powerful enough to devour celestial deities!
Such stories had appeared more than once in the books Kieran had read.
"How the hell can it be a Hell Fiend Spider? What the hell is it doing here? I thought Hell Fiend Spiders had vanished following the Fall of the Gods! Even if there were a couple of eggs around, without the necessary breeding ground, which is the sulphur river in Hell, they could not have hatched"
"Wait! There was that mysterious Michigi Egg on the list!"
Kieran suddenly connected the dots. As he watched the Hell Fiend Spider devouring the souls, he realized something.
Everything started to connect and form a complete picture in Kierans mind.
"The list was found in the Cursed Societys headquarters. The reason Louver assaulted and robbed the Cursed Society was because they also had their eyes on the Sunshine Mary! This makes sense! A luxurious ferry that had disappeared 124 years ago suddenly reappeared. It would be strange if it did not attract the attention of the mystics!"
"The Cursed Societys influence and strength prevented other factions from participating, but not the person behind the demons, who had already set his eyes on the Sunshine Mary! The Sunshine Marys appearance might even have been the mans doing. Otherwise, why the hell would it appear on the West Coast? The world is a huge place after all!"
Kieran understood more things as everything became clear, including the mystery of the Sunshine Mary itself.
"I see!" Kieran drew a deep breath. All the broken pieces of the story behind the Sunshine Mary had started to fall into place.
The luxurious ferry had been carrying wealthy merchants and nobles. A note about a Pure Ruby, a Bloody Queen Tiara, a Michigi Egg, and a Fantos manuscript had been found. One of the mysterious Michigi Eggs had been a Hell Fiend Spider egg.
Even though people at the time had not known it was a Hell Fiend Spider egg, they had still known that it was valuable. It must surely have been worth something if it had been on that note.
Besides, what Kieran had seen on that note had only been part of a whole. Most of it had been blurred, but judging by the number of the lines, there had been at least a dozen more valuables on the note.
So, the question was, what were a dozen valuables doing on a luxurious ferry carrying wealthy merchants and nobles?
The answer was obvious. There had been an auction!
Kieran could not come up with any more possible answers.
The appearance of the Hell Fiend Spider had allowed him to understand more about the disappearance of the Sunshine Mary a century ago.
However, the million dollar question before Kieran was this: How would he deal with a monster that had come right out of a legend?
When all the souls had been sucked dry, the Hell Fiend Spiders green eyes started to scan around for another prey.
Kierans palms were sweaty as he tightened his grip on [Arrogant Word]!
Boom! the pieces are connected!