Chapter 116. The Trio Back Together Again

Sephiro raised the wing-shaped, silver Lasselpino Bow. 

He notched an arrow; the wing-shaped bow bent as he drew the bowstring. 

Whizz!

Once he let go, the arrow fiercely flew towards its intended target, the bow seemingly fluttering like a wing. 

Thwock!

Bullseye!

His arrow pierced the center of the Red Beard Bandit's forehead.

Headshot!

That marked the beginning of the battle. 

"Let's go!"

Kang Oh and Eder darted forward. 

"It's an enemy!"

"Ooh!"

The three bandits swung their swords at Kang Oh and Eder. 

Whack! Whack! Whack, whack, whack!

Bang! Clang!

The three bandits, and Kang Oh and Eder battled. Kang Oh's demon sword, the bandits' single-bladed swords, and Eder's mace clashed through the air.

Thud! Thud!

Eder stomped on the floor, casting the Rusty Sword and Ruined Rampart curses. 

Which was followed by Sephiro's barrage of arrows.

Whizz! Whizz! Whizz!

None of his arrows went astray. Not only that, but each and every arrow was by no means weak. 

This is where Kang Oh came in!

"Huahp!" he cried out, and swung his sword.

His jet-black blade deflected the bandits' swords and cleaved through their flesh. Whenever he saw an opening, he'd throw his daggers as well!

A short while later...

The bandits' faces met the cold, hard ground.

'Nice.'

Kang Oh smiled satisfyingly. Sephiro was definitely a huge help.

Normally, it’d be hard for Kang Oh and Eder to deal with three bandits all at once. 

But they weren’t a problem with Sephiro here. 

"As expected of you, Mr. Sephiro."

Eder gave Sephiro a thumbs up.

Adding a ranged DPS to their party significantly increased their hunting speed. 

"Hoo, hoo. You've also gotten a lot stronger, Brother."

Sephiro laughed.

This was the first time he'd fought with Curse Knight Eder. 

Eder was much tougher and stronger than before. 

"I'm glad that we get to hunt together again," Eder said.

"Me too."

"Brother!"

"Brother!"

Eder and Sephiro clasped each other's hands as if they were arm wrestling.

* * *

Kang Oh’s party hunted the bandits for some time, causing his level to rise rapidly. 

Kang Oh felt like it was getting too easy, so his party decided to venture deeper into Helm Mountain and fight the veteran bandits. 

At first, Kang Oh's party struggled against the veteran bandits.

But after defeating a few of them, Kang Oh's party adjusted and were able to take on one or two of them at a time with ease.

Like right now.

Veteran bandits wore yellow fur clothes, and wielded both a giant axe and a throwable hand axe. 

"You bastards!"

Whoosh.

The two veteran bandits’ hand axes flew through the air. 

"Eek."

Eder quickly raised his shield and Kang Oh hid behind him. Sephiro immediately hid behind a tree.

Clang! Clang!

The hand axes bounced off of Eder's shield.

Kang Oh and Sephiro immediately popped out of cover, launching a dagger and arrow at the veteran bandits.

Swoosh!

His dagger spun through the air.

Whizz!

Sephiro’s arrow seemed to bounce around like a fresh fish as it flew through the air. 

The bandits blocked the dagger and arrow with the flat of their axes.

Kang Oh and Eder charged while Sephiro shot arrows to keep the bandits from throwing their axes again. 

Now inches from the bandit's face, Kang Oh swung downwards with his sword.

"Uha!" the Veteran Bandit cried out, and chopped with his axe like a lumberjack splitting wood.

Clang!

Sword and axe clashed. Kang Oh's hands tingled.

'It's heavy.'

He followed up with another attack.

Slash!

His sword left a diagonal white line in the air!

Then, the veteran bandit swung its axe once more, the axe head radiating yellow energy. 

Pulverize!

Clang!

The clash resulted in a sharp, metallic ‘clang’. 

Both of them felt the force of the others’ attack, forcing them back. 

Meanwhile, Eder fought well against one of the veteran bandits. 

Eder struck the bandit's side with Shield Bash, and then aimed a Heavy Blow at his face!

The veteran bandit retaliated with an axe chop. 

Whenever he found the opportunity to do so, Sephiro would shoot an arrow. 

With Sephiro’s impeccable archery and eyesight (which was as sharp as a hawk’s), he never missed a blind spot. 

Kang Oh's party was gradually gaining the advantage. In the end, the bandits met their end.

* * *

They continued their hunt.

Kang Oh's party roamed throughout the Helm Mountain as quietly as they could.

"There."

Sephiro pointed at five bandits. 

There were two sword-wielding bandits and three veteran bandits, two of which carried axes, while one carried a bow.

"Can we take them?" Eder asked.

'Five bandits...'

Kang Oh took a look around. He didn’t see any bandits nearby that could come and reinforce them. 

"Let's give it a try," Kang Oh decided. 

"Eder."

"Yes?"

"Distract the two veteran bandits as long as you can. Just hold out; it doesn't matter if you do damage to them or not."

He wanted him to focus entirely on tanking. 

"Mr. Sephiro."

"Yes?"

"Please focus on the archer. I'll be fine on my own, so please provide Eder with cover."

Kang Oh gave them their orders.

"Understood."

"I'll take care of the two bandits first, and then join you after."

Kang Oh would cut down their numbers by killing the weak ones first. 

Sephiro nodded his head, notched an arrow, and pulled the bowstring.

His target: the bow-wielding bandit!

Whizz.

His arrow struck true, marking the beginning of the fight.

"An enemy!"

"They're over there!"

The bandits headed over to Kang Oh.

Whizz!

The veteran bandit shot an arrow. Sephiro hid behind a tree, and when things were clear, he popped out and shot another arrow.

That marked the beginning of the archers' battle.

"C'mon, you criminals!" Eder bravely said, bashing his four-colored skull shield with his mace. 

"You!"

A veteran bandit threw his hand axe at him, and Eder immediately defended himself with his shield.

The hand axe bounced off his shield.

The two veteran bandits swung their axes, intent of breaking Eder to bits.

Clang! Clang!

Eder was steadily pushed back by their axes.

"Hey, you wimps! Is that all!?" Eder provoked.

"You punk!"

"Kill him!"

The veteran bandits charged like warthogs.

'I'm going to hold out!'

Eder gritted his teeth.

He stomped on the floor twice, casting Rusty Sword and Ruined Ramparts, two curses that decreased their offense and defense.

One of the sword-wielding bandits came for him as well, but Kang Oh intervened.

"Let's go!"

Kang Oh rushed towards the bandit.

* * *

Kang Oh, Eder, and Sephiro fought frantically.

Although Kang Oh was battling two bandits simultaneously, he was actually pushing them back.

'I'm not the same as before!'

He'd leveled up substantially and he had heaps of experience fighting the bandits as well.

"Die!"

The bandits were on their last leg; Kang Oh's ferocious bladework was too much for them.

Eder was engaging two veteran bandits by himself. That's why he, among their entire group, was struggling the most and had no time to rest.

His hands quivered whenever he narrowly blocked their blows.

'If not for Rusty Sword, or Mr. Sephiro's cover fire, then I wouldn't be able to hold out.'

But because of his defense, his curses, and Sephiro's cover fire, he was somehow able to hold out.

Whizz, whizz, whizz, whizz!

Sephiro was the busiest.

He never stayed in one location, as he needed to dodge the enemy archer's arrows and continuously shoot arrows in return. Not only that, but he continued to provide cover fire for Eder as well.

Kang Oh was the first amongst them that could relax.

It was only natural. After all, his job was killing the weakest of the bandits.

Kang Oh, who'd finished off the two bandits, yelled, "Mr. Sephiro. I'll take care of the archer, so please focus all your efforts into supporting Eder!"

He threw a dagger at the bow-wielding bandit. 'Focus on me!'

"Roger!"

Sephiro turned towards Eder and shot three arrows.

Ready, aim, fire!

Triple Shot!

The arrows flew simultaneously, and struck the bandit attacking Eder all at once.

Thwock! Thwock! Thwock!

"Uhahp!"

Eder mustered up his courage.

He struck the nearest bandit's jaw with the corner of his shield.

Whack!

"How does that feel!?" Eder screamed triumphantly.

"You bastard!"

The other bandit's eyes alighted with fire.

Pulverize!

The bandit struck like lightning, his axe surging with yellow energy.

Eder gritted his teeth and extended his shield.

Clang!

The colossal force pushed him back, but he didn't have time to pick himself up. After all, the bandit wasn't done.

The bandit swung his axe, aiming for Eder's side.

"Ugh!"

Eder couldn't stop the strike.

Shards of light burst from his body as he rolled on the floor. 

"Mr. Eder!" Sephiro said agitatedly and shot arrows crazily. 

He needed to stop the veteran bandit from attacking Eder again!

Then, the two veteran bandits switched targets and rushed towards Sephiro.

"Bring it!"

Sephiro didn't back off.

He rolled onto the floor, evading the bandit's axe, and struck the bandit’s leg with the Lasselpino Bow.

Whack!

Once the second bandit's attack came, he rolled to the side and quickly shot an arrow!

That wasn't the end.

After that, Sephiro kicked one of the bandit's chins.

'Hoh.'

Kang Oh, who was engaging the archer, glanced over impressed. 

Sephiro's CQC reminded him of a bullfighter playing with bulls.

His movements were clean!

At that moment, Eder stood up, staggering.

'Now!'

There was no one stopping him. Eder opened his mouth, and out came a black doll that cast the aging curse.

The black doll attached itself to a veteran bandit, reducing all of his abilities.

Eder cast a slow curse on the other bandit, wrapping them in magical chains.

"Nice!"

Sephiro continued his assault.

"I'll take over!"

Eder positioned his shield and pushed in between the bandits and Sephiro.

"C'mon!" Eder yelled firmly.

Sephiro retreated, focusing entirely on firing arrows.

Eder, Sephiro, and the veteran bandits engaged in a bloody battle.

In the midst of this, Kang Oh was about to finish off the archer.

Swish!

Kang Oh's sword cleaved through the center of the archer. Black shards burst forth and the archer died.

"Mr. Kang Oh!" Eder yelled.

He was basically saying, 'Don't play around and come help me!'.

Kang Oh grinned and rushed towards the two veteran bandits.

Once his party obtained the numerical advantage, the veteran bandits quickly crumbled.

A short while later...

Sephiro's Spinning Arrow pierced the veteran bandit's forehead, killing him.

The combined assault of Kang Oh, Eder, and Sephiro quickly killed the last remaining bandit.

"Hoo, it's over!"

Eder dropped the skull shield.

His armor and shield were all roughed up, a clear indication that he'd just undergone a bloody battle.

"Good work."

Sephiro placed his hand on Eder's shoulder. He too was completely covered in dirt.

"Phew. That was way too hard. Let's rest a little," Eder said.

"Of course," Sephiro agreed.

However...!

"What do you mean rest? Eder, pick up the junk items. Aren't you going to pick up your arrows, Mr. Sephiro? Get a move on!" Kang Oh said.

He had to hunt as much as possible while he had such good help. Thus, he had no time to rest.

'Grr...'

'You evil CEO!'

Eder and Sephiro stared at Kang Oh.

Kang Oh stared intensely as well. He was essentially saying, 'I'm the boss!'.

"Tch."

In the end, Eder and Sephiro were forced to walk around wearily, either to pick up the junk items or to retrieve the arrows. 

* * *

Late at night, way past nightfall... 

Kang Oh's party returned to Altein.

"Uhaahk!"

Eder stretched. His actions seemed to say, 'I'm finally done!'.

"If we're really going to hunt like this tomorrow, then..." Sephiro said, staring at Kang Oh.

His gaze was fierce, like that of a wounded beast.

"Then?" Kang Oh asked.

"Then I'll wreck havoc," Sephiro snarled.

"Have you forgotten the contract we signed when we first met? There should be a clause there that states you'll do your best when you help out."

'Doesn't matter what you want; I'm the boss!'

"Hmph. So sue me."

Sephiro was taking a stand. 

"Understood. Then we'll take it a little easier tomorrow."

Kang Oh decided to coax him for now, as he'd be hunting with him for some time.

"Hmph. Then I'll get going now. Brother, please go home and rest. Don't stay with this guy any longer," Sephiro said and left immediately.

Then, Eder approached Kang Oh, smiling subserviently.

"Hehe, I'll go home too..."

"Yeah, go."

Kang Oh wasn't going to keep him here any longer.

"What about my wage?"

"Here."

Once he gave him his wage, Eder left immediately. 

Kang Oh stared at the shimmering sky in thought 

"Hmm. How best to exploit them..."

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