By the time Kang Oh's body no longer emanated darkness, all of the trolls had been killed.
Asu, who'd been watching the battle from the sidelines, approached him.
"You did this all by yourself! Good work."
Her voice was prickly.
"Um-hum. Something on your mind?" Kang Oh asked carefully.
"Yes," she replied instantly.
"What is it?"
"It's your fault."
Kang Oh tilted his head.
"You did everything yourself; I was just a bystander. How can you even call us a team?"
"That's because... I thought it'd be hard to protect you, so... I just chose the best option to both protect you and complete the objective..."
Kang Oh tried his best to convince her that he'd made the right call.
"I know that you made the best decision you could. It's just..."
She briefly paused and continued, "I'm kind of disappointed that you told me to run. I wanted to fight together with you."
Asu wanted to do her part without weighing Kang Oh down, and conquer the dungeon together as a team.
However, she hadn't participated in the battle and had just stood by as a bystander. She couldn't help but feel like she was weighing him down.
'Tch. I was overprotective.'
Kang Oh could understand why she was so disappointed.
From her point of view, telling her to run was basically saying, 'You're no help here, so just stay there and watch.'.
Kang Oh bowed his head and clasped his hands together.
"I'm sorry," he apologized wholeheartedly.
Seeing him bow and apologize so sincerely made her relax.
"I'm sorry too. You did that all for me, but here I am sulking."
Asu bowed her head as well.
After that, they simultaneously raised their heads and stared into each other's eyes.
They looked at each other and began laughing. It was definitely a sign that they had accepted each other's apology.
"I promise not to do this from now on," Kang Oh pledged.
"I won't let you off the hook if you do!"
Asu looked coy, giving him a sideways glance.
"Yeah, yeah. Let's head back to the studio."
* * *
The cameras were rolling.
"Everyone has come back from the dungeon. Good work everyone," Jeon Seong Gook began.
Seol Hee took over.
"There was a team that failed their mission," she said regrettably.
"Tch, tch. A team has finally tasted defeat from these increasingly difficult dungeons."
Seong Gook also sported a regretful expression.
"Let's see which team that is."
Kang Seol Hee pointed at the screen.
After the drum roll, the team's names showed up on the screen. All of them had 'success' next to their names.
Every team except one.
The camera focused on Jake and Choi Hye Yeon. They looked like they were about to cry.
"Aah. The first team to fail their mission is Team Jake and Hye Yeon!"
Seol Hee's voice resounded throughout the studio.
Seong Gook approached Jake.
"What happened, Mr. Jake?"
The Caucasian foreigner, Jake, shrugged his shoulders.
"There's an old Korean saying: 'Even monkeys can fall from a tree.'."
"Did you just make a mistake?"
"That's correct. And it's all my fault. Ms. Hye Yeon did admirably."
Jake looked at his partner, Hye Yeon, and bowed his head.
"I see. We'll look through the vod and see what mistake you made. Now then, Ms. Hye Yeon. Unfortunately, you're the first team that failed their mission. Are you feeling alright?" Seon Gook asked.
"It's unfortunate, but it's alright since we did our best. And I feel like we'd succeed if we tried it again."
"I too believe you two would clear the level 3 dungeon if given a second chance! Good luck," Seong Gook comforted them.
Then, he passed it over to Kang Seol Hee.
"They say that failure is the mother of success! Team Jake and Hye Yeon, I hope you take this as a lesson and show us even greater things in the future. However...!"
Kang Seol Hee smiled mischievously.
"Failure is still failure! You need to be punished."
"Aah, too bad!" Jeon Seong Gook exclaimed.
Jake took a card out of the punishment box.
His punishment was to eat kimchi, which was made using Thailand's extremely hot bird's eye chili.
"Ugh. I-It's hot!"
Jake, who boldly ate the kimchi, struggled. His face was completely red as if he'd burst.
The female celebrity, Choi Hye Yeon, had eaten it carefully, yet she had the same reaction as Jake.
She kept stamping her feet and tears flowed down her face; her face was so red that it seemed like it'd burst.
Seeing that, Soo Ah said, "Phew. Feels hot just looking at them."
"Yeah. Their mouths must be on fire."
Jae Woo nodded his head and glanced at Yoon Se Hwa.
'And her eyes are on fire.'
Yoon Se Hwa was staring at Soo Ah.
Soo Ah was completely ignoring Yoon Se Hwa's gaze.
'She's acting like she's not even here.'
Ignoring her only served to irritate her further, causing her to glare at Soo Ah with even more intensity.
'I hope she digs her own grave...'
Jae Woo wanted the opportunity to embarrass her, like how he'd drawn on Kang Seol Hee's face.
'Who knows, maybe I'll get the chance later...'
Jae Woo turned his attention away from her.
Jake and Hye Yeon, having finished the kimchi, each gulped down an entire liter of milk.
"Phew. That was hot!"
"It's really hotttttt!"
Seemingly not enough, the two began eating yogurt next.
"Jake, how was the punishment?" Seong Gook asked, his expression mischievous.
"Haa, haa. I promise not to fail another mission," Jake raised his hand and swore, despite still breathing haggardly.
"What about you, Ms. Hye Yeon?"
"Hoo, hoo. I thought I'd die," Hye Yeon wiped her tears and said.
"Thank you for being such good sports. But you failed the mission, so you won't get a reward, and you'll have to redo the level 3 dungeon again," Seol Hee announced calmly.
Jake and Hye Yeon looked like they wanted to cry. Now, their team's punishment was truly over.
After that, Kang Seol Hee and Jeon Seong Gook smoothly transitioned into the next segment.
They let the victorious teams know how much they'd made thus far, and talked with each of the contestants.
'When will it end...'
Of course, Jae Woo's only thought was finishing this as quickly as possible and going home.
"Ms. Seol Hee, there was so much to see today, wasn't there?" Seong Gook asked.
He must be referring to Jake and Hyeon Yeon's punishment.
"You're right. It was quite exciting."
Seol Hee smiled with her eyes.
"I shouldn't be saying this, but I hope another team fails next time."
Seong Gook grinned.
"You can't say that, Mr. Seong Gook! Now then, all of our Dungeon Conquering Men/Girls, please work even harder so that you don't get punished!" Seol Hee said.
"We'll show you another exciting episode next time. Please look forward to it."
"Please look forward to it!" Seol Hee ended cutely, ending the shoot.
The staff moved around busily, and the participants said their farewells and stood up. Amidst that, Yoon Se Hwa approached Soo Ah.
Yoon Se Hwa wanted to unload all of her anger.
However, Soo Ah spoke up first.
"Good job. I'll see you next time. Take care. Oppa, let's go say goodbye to Mr. Jin Cheol."
Soo Ah dragged Jae Woo away.
"You! Stay right there!"
They heard Yoon Se Hwa's screams, but Jae Woo and Soo Ah had no intention of doing as she wished.
The two of them didn't stop walking.
Was it because she said they'd go and see Jin Cheol? Yoon Se Hwa didn't follow them.
Instead, Jae Woo felt a prickly gaze from behind him, so he slightly turned around.
He saw Yoon Se Hwa fuming.
"Hoo, hoo. She's really mad, isn't she?"
Soo Ah grinned.
"I tried a different approach this time. I just flat out ignored her."
Jae Woo gave her a thumbs up.
The third shoot of Dungeon Conquering Man had ended.
* * *
It'd been a long time since he'd last met with Sephiro.
"Where's the item?" Sephiro asked.
He seemed quite excited.
Kang Oh took out the purple arrow from his inventory.
It was the arrow he'd gotten from the Red Beard's Bear Warrior, Hamir, the 'Purple Arrowhead Engraved with the Rose Family's Symbol'.
"Ooh," Sephiro exclaimed upon seeing the arrow.
'It's really one of the Rose family's arrows!'
The Rose family had created arrows of seven different colors.
But if one collected all seven, then they'd gain a quest to learn the Rose family's arcane skill.
As an archer himself, Sephiro really wanted the arrow.
"I heard that there's a very low chance that the arrow drops from the monster using it... Where did you get this?" Sephiro asked, holding the arrow with both hands.
"I got it from a named monster, the Bear Warrior, Hamir," Kang Oh replied.
"Hmm. I see," Sephiro said, yet his eyes remained fixed on the arrow.
"Shall we trade?" Kang Oh said.
The word 'trade' brought Sephiro out of his stupor. 'I can't show him any weakness!' Sephiro swore.
"Mr. Sephiro, I did some research on the arrow and found out that it's linked to an arcane archery skill."
Kang Oh had contacted Sephiro with the intention of selling the arrow.
At first, Sephiro hadn't been interested, but once he'd heard the arrow's name, he did a 180 and decided to meet him.
Kang Oh wasn't sure how valuable the arrow was, so he did some research.
As a result, he learned the stories surrounding the Rose family's arrows.
When he first saw the arrow, his Hyper Intuition hadn't activated, so the stories were likely to be true.
But the veracity of these statements didn't really matter.
What did matter was that...
'Sephiro wants it.'
If that's the case, then he could trade the item for however much he wanted.
Sephiro nodded his head.
"How much will you buy it for?" Kang Oh asked.
"Name your price first," Sephiro replied.
Hearing that, Sephiro was taken aback and coughed.
"I won't buy it!" Sephiro said, his face completely red.
"Why? Is it too expensive?" Kang Oh asked unashamedly.
"You don't think it's expensive!?"
Sephiro stared at Kang Oh. 'The nerve of this guy!'.
"It's rumored to be linked to an arcane skill, so there are none of them on the market; I don't know what the market price is... Shouldn't I be able to sell it for however much I wish?"
Kang Oh sported a nonchalant expression.
"I can also choose not to buy it too," Sephiro countered.
"Then will you buy it with time instead?"
"Yes. If you hunt with me for a month, then I'll give you this arrow."
For the time being, Kang Oh didn't need money; he needed good manpower. After all, he needed to level up and become stronger ASAP.
"One month is way too much," Sephiro disapproved.
"Then I'll give you the arrow and cut down the times you need to help me by one."
He could still ask Sephiro for help seven more times.
If he offered to cut down the number by one in exchange for his help for one month, then Sephiro would decline no matter what. That, or he'd ask to cut down the number by three or four.
That's why Kang Oh had made this suggestion.
Sephiro thought it over.
"I'm currently hunting the Red Beards on Helm Mountain. After that, I'm headed for the Great Forest."
"The Great Forest?"
The Great Forest was a suitable place for someone like him, a level 220 player, to hunt in.
In other words, helping him for one month wouldn't be an entire waste of time.
Kang Oh smiled.
The Parmarl Underground Labyrinth existed somewhere in the Great Forest, and that was where he would find another demon sword.
Kang Oh planned on hunting the Red Beard Bandits for 2 weeks, and then head for the Great Forest after he was sufficiently leveled.
'I'll go hunting and look for it at the same time.'
He needed Sephiro to find the Parmarl Underground Labyrinth. The Great Forest was extremely dangerous, so the more high leveled members he had, the better.
Ultimately, Sephiro made his decision.
"Then shall we sign a contract?" Kang Oh said, causing Sephiro to flinch.
"A-A contract is a little..."
Kang Oh smiled at his reaction.
"I'll let you off the hook this time... Here, take the arrow," Kang Oh said 'generously'.
"But please do your hardest."
Minion #2, Sephiro, had returned.Previous Chapter Next Chapter