Chapter 100. Grancia Forest (1)

"Selling potions at a cheaper price than a store! Not fake!"

"Selling all sorts of weapons. Please take a look!"

"Selling fruit! Hand grown, organic fruit!"

Kang Oh and Eder passed through the stalls across Altein Street.

Kang Oh's expression was bright for some reason. In terms of weather, it was akin to a clear and sunny day!

"Mr. Kang Oh, why do you look so happy? Did something good happen?" Eder asked.

"No, not really."

So he said, but Kang Oh did, in fact, experience something good. 

He'd used the Origin 400 capsule to login to Arth. Perhaps that was why he was feeling so good.

He’d likely feel less fatigued when he logged out too, as the capsule would take care of his body while in-game. 

"Hmm."

Eder carefully examined Kang Oh's face.

'Something good must've happened...'

"Why do you keep staring at me?"

"It's nothing. In any case, where are we headed today?"

Eder changed the topic.

"The Grancia Forest," Kang Oh said curtly.

"It's the first time I've heard about it. Are you looking for another hidden dungeon there?"

"We're not looking for a dungeon; we're looking for a 'mysterious life form'."

Kang Oh recalled what Tino had told him. 

'He said that there was an animal that lives in the forest where supposedly no animals live.'

Tree-type monsters, the Grancia, appeared in the Grancia Forest. Perhaps that was why rabbits, deer, wolves, boars, etc. didn't inhabit the forest.

Thus, he couldn't help but be intrigued by the animal that supposedly lived there.

'If it happens to be the boss monster, then...'

Kang Oh's lip twitched.

If it were a boss monster, then it may possess a large quantity of treasure or drop some great items. It would be such a good haul!

"Are we going to the Grancia Forest?"

"No. You head to the Altein Central Library and read up on the Grancia Forest and this mysterious organism," Kang Oh said.

"Me?"

"Who else?"

"Last time we..."

Back when they'd been gathering info on Kudal, Kang Oh had helped. So why was he insisting that Eder do all the research himself today?

"I have some things to do, so get a head start and gather some info. When I'm finished, I'll join you. I'm not asking you to find some amazing clue or anything, so don't worry," Kang Oh coaxed him.

"I understand."

Eder trudged towards the Altein Central Library.

Kang Oh went the opposite way. A short while later, he arrived at the auction house.

He sat on one of its comfy sofas and opened the auction interface. 

'Shurak's Heart sold for 200 gold.'

He'd set the starting bid at 100 gold, so he'd gotten twice than what he started with.

Kang Oh collected his payment and checked his other auctioned item.

'Someone bid for Shurak's Cold Bearing Blade for 1,212 gold. There's still some time before the auction ends, so it'd be nice if it went up a bit more...'

Since the blade required an equally high Physical and Magic stat, it was expectedly not very popular.

"Now then..."

Kang Oh looked through the items that people were selling.

Normally, he'd just figure out the market prices and leave, but today was different.

'I'm going to look for cheap BB-rank or higher items with crappy abilities!'

He didn't need to worry about the weapon's abilities. After all, he'd be using them as fodder for Gluttony.

Instead, he worried about the item's rank, level restrictions, and price.

Kang Oh carefully sifted through the items.

A short while later, he bought two items.

'Cursed Eyepatch of the Dead, level 150 requirement, BB-rank. Buy now price is 139 gold.'

The gray eyepatch only cost 139 gold! It held the 'cursed' title, so equipping it would reduce one's stats.

'Colsica's Needlessly Large Rod, level 130 requirement, BB-rank. Buy now price is 125 gold.'

The rod was indeed needlessly large, and didn't possess any abilities to speak of. Despite that, it was a BB-rank, purely because of its magic attack power.

"Phew. My precious money."

Kang Oh sported a regretful expression as he stashed the equipment into his inventory.

He'd been saving his money thus far, so he hadn't bought much from the auction house. However, he didn't have any equipment that he could use Gluttony on, so he was forced to buy some with gold.

"Tch. Let's recoup our losses."

Kang Oh left the auction house and headed for the Adventurer Guild.

* * *

The Adventurer Guild was teeming with players seeking adventure or hunting quests.

Kang Oh was looking for the Veteran Adventurer, Jayce, who was currently giving out a quest to another player.

"Good luck, Rookie."

"Understood."

"Nex... Ah, wait a second."

He was about to say 'next', but recognized Kang Oh and came over.

"Hello."

Kang Oh smiled politely.

"Ooh, it's you," Jayce joyfully greeted him.

"You're handsomely tall today too!"

Kang Oh gave him a thumbs up.

"Haha, thanks."


[Closeness with the Veteran Adventurer, Jayce, has increased.]


Even the slightest of flattery increased his closeness with Jayce, perhaps because his closeness was already so high.

"So what did you come here for today?"

"Do you know anything about the Grancia Forest?"

"Let's go down to the underground rest area and talk there."

"Ok."

The two went down to the rest area and sat on hard chairs.

"What do you want to know about the Grancia Forest?" Jayce asked.

"Old Man Tino told me that there was a mysterious life form that resided in the Grancia Forest."

"A mysterious life form that resides in the Grancia Forest..."

Jayce was locked in thought. Kang Oh waited quietly without pestering him. 

"There are definitely... some rumors. And there's an adventurer that has seen it too," Jayce nodded his head and said.

'I wasn't sure I'd learn anything, but it looks like I will.'

Kang Oh's eyes glinted.

"Who is that adventurer?"

"Hmm. That adventurer's name is... What was it again... Ah!"

Jayce tapped his knee.

"The adventurer's name is Andrea."

"Andrea?"

It was the first time he'd heard of that name.

"The Altein Central Library might have the journal she left behind."


 [You have acquired information on the adventurer, Andrea.]


"Do you have any other information on the mysterious organism?" Kang Oh asked.

"Aside from that, no, not really."

Jayce shook his head.

'Hmm. I guess I should check out Andrea's adventure journal first.'

Kang Oh hoped that her journal would contain some important clue or information.

"Do you have any quests related to the Grancia Forest?"

'Give them to me if you do.'

"There are plenty of people who come here looking for quests there, so I don't have any at the moment."

"I guess it can't be helped."

'The Grancia Forest's not a popular hunting ground, yet several quests have been taken there?'

Kang Oh felt somewhat leery, but decided to not think about it for now.

"Anyway, thank you for the information."

Kang Oh bowed his head. 

"Haha. I always have high hopes for you. Have a nice adventure."

"Yes."

Kang Oh left the Adventurer Guild and immediately headed for the Altein Central Library.

* * *

"I'm looking for Adventurer Andrea's journal," Kang Oh said to the librarian.

"Just a moment please."

The librarian left her station and when she returned, she came back with a thick notebook.

It was Andrea's journal.

"You can return it to me when you're done reading it."

She passed him the adventure journal.

"Thank you."

Kang Oh took the journal and headed for the place where he'd read with Eder last time.

Eder was sifting through books in that same place.

Scrape. 

Hearing the sound of a chair scraping the ground, Eder looked up at Kang Oh.

"You came?"

"Yeah. Did you find anything useful?"

Eder shook his head.

"I didn't find anything in particular."

"Mm. Keep looking. I'll look through this."

Kang Oh shook the journal.

"What is that?"

"It's the journal of an adventurer who saw the mysterious life form," Kang Oh explained briefly.

Eder nodded his head and returned his focus to the book he'd been reading.

'Let's see here...'

Kang Oh opened the journal and began sifting through it.

Rustle. Rustle. Rustle.

If he didn't see any mention of the Grancia Forest, then he'd skip the page.

Then, his hand stopped flipping through the pages.

He'd finally found the part that talked about the mysterious organism.

'I saw something strange in the Grancia Forest. It was a monkey with white fur. But when it felt a person's gaze upon it, it would go invisible. I saw it often, but I found that when I closed my eyes and reopened them, it would be gone.'

This was all written within Andrea's journal.

'A white monkey that can go invisible...'

Kang Oh read through the latter portion of the journal as well.

It detailed how Andrea had used several methods to lure the monkey in and capture it.

She had tried using food, dye, and had even tried using all sorts of detection and perception magic.

However, all her attempts had gone to waste, as it was written that she had failed to capture the invisible white monkey.

"Eder, look at this."

Kang Oh passed him the journal, opened at the page regarding the Grancia Forest.

Eder quickly sifted through the material.

"A white monkey that can go invisible..."

"How advanced is invisibility magic?" Kang Oh asked.

"It's thought that invisibility magic that cannot be detected through a person's senses, perception magic, or skills does not exist."

"If you read the next page, then you'll see that Andrea used all sorts of perception magic to find it, but none of them worked."

"Then are you telling me that this monkey can use a perfect invisibility spell?" Eder asked with a slightly surprised voice.

"I don't know either. But I do know that this monkey will be hard to catch," Kang Oh said.

Eder nodded his head.

"Then what are you going to do?"

"We go and find out."

He needed to see whether it was still there and if it was, see how powerful its ability was first-hand.

"As you wish."

After all, Eder was bound to him, so he had to follow whatever decision Kang Oh made.

Scrape.

Kang Oh pushed the chair out and stood up. Strike the iron while it's hot. In other words, go to the Grancia Forest right away.

The two returned the books to the librarian and left the Altein Central Library.

* * *

Kang Oh arrived at the entrance of the Grancia Forest, but felt like something was off.

There were five players halfway blocking the entrance.

"What is this?" Eder whispered, feeling something was off too.

"I dunno. Let's go."

Once they approached, the man who appeared to be the leader greeted them.

"Hello."

"Hello. What's the matter?" Kang Oh asked.

"We're part of the Asta Guild."

'The Asta Guild...'

Kang Oh had heard of this guild before. It was an old, mainstay guild, but it didn't have a good reputation.

"And?"

There was a slight edge to his voice. He hated these guild members who acted like they were all that.

The man's face briefly stiffened, but then returned to normal.

"Every year, our entire guild goes on a massive monster hunt. This year, we've decided to hunt monsters here, in the Grancia Forest."

"So?"

"So could you go someplace else?"

'Hoh. Get a load of these guys.'

Kang Oh's eyes gleamed.

The Asta Guild's goal wasn't some annual event, but something else.

It was likely the same as Kang Oh's.

"What if I don't want to?"

"Then go in. But please don't get in the way of our guild members. Please," the man said politely with a friendly face.

"Sure," Kang Oh replied, and entered the Grancia Forest with Eder.

"Follow them," the man said to his bandana-wearing subordinate beside him.

His subordinate nodded his head and entered the forest.

The man opened a message window and sent a message to the Asta Guild's Vice-Captain.

- Sir, two new ones have entered the forest.  

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