Chapter 13. He Who Defies Death, Eder (1)

The exploding jet-black energy returned to the blade, and the demon sword soon calmed down. 

The sword appeared unchanged. 

However, Kang Oh could tell what had changed. 

The plume of darkness, which had misted off the blade like smoke, was gone. Instead, the blade had become an even darker shade of black.

"What's the matter all of a sudden?" Darion asked.

He couldn't help but feel curious. Just a second ago, the sword had gone out of control, but calmed down soon after. 

"The demon sword has grown stronger," Kang Oh curtly said.

Then, he opened the demon sword's item window. 


[Demon Sword Ubist (Lv31/+1)]

The sword where Ubist, the King of Demonic Beasts and Abyss Predator, is sealed.

A refined darkness resides within the blade. It is made of an unknown alloy. 

Untradable.

If you die, there is a high chance that the magic sword will either drop, or you will become a monster under the demon sword's thrall for 24 hours. 

+ Predator: Eats any and all items. When it is completely sated, the demon sword will become stronger and gain special abilities.

[Satiation: 0.01%]

+ Gluttony: By consuming a BB-rank item or higher, you enter Gluttony mode. All abilities are doubled for a limited amount of time. 

Steals stats from fallen enemies while Gluttony is active. This feature can only be used once a day.

+ Abyss Blade: A jet-black blade made of darkness. It is capable of cutting the immaterial like ghosts or spirits. 

May absorb incoming magic every 30 seconds. If magic is absorbed, satiation increases. (+1 reinforcement ability)

Rank: SS

Abilities: Attack Power 80, Physical +16.

Conditions: Clearing the Trial of the Magic Sword.


Abyss Blade!

Not only did it allow him to cut through ghosts and spirits, but it could absorb magic as well!

For Kang Oh, who needed to face off against Skeleton Mages, it was truly a useful special ability.

Now he need not fear magic. 

"You're all dead."

Kang Oh leaned his sword over his shoulder and commandingly walked forward. 

A fireball came flying at him.

'Cmon!'

Kang Oh rushed at the fireball and swung his demon sword. 

The fireball swirled around like a vortex and was sucked into his sword!


[Ubist has absorbed the fireball. Satiation has increased by 0.02%.]


Kang Oh rushed forward and swung downwards, whacking the Skeleton Mage's head.

Darkness Strike!

Boom!

The immense impact caused the Skeleton Mage to shake. Soon after, the Skeleton Mage was split into small pieces of bone. 


[You have defeated a Skeleton Mage.]

[Stats have been stolen through Darkness Strike.]

[Magic +1]


Kang Oh stared at his demon sword and grinned. 

'As expected of an SS-rank masterpiece.'

Abyss Blade increased the speed at which he defeated mages at an astonishing rate.

It was because the spell that the Skeleton Mages used, Fireball, could be absorbed by his demon sword. 

"They're coming," Darion yelled.

As he said, two Skeleton Warriors were fast approaching. 

Kang Oh had been peacefully looking over his sword, but Darion's voice snapped him out of his stupor. 

Although the Skeleton Mages were no longer an issue, he still needed to bring his A game in order to beat the Skeleton Warriors. 

"Come here, you experience points!"

Since they yielded such a huge amount of experience points, he treated them as such.

* * * 

Kang Oh explored and hunted within He Who Defies Death, Eder's Secret Laboratory for three days.

'This is the only place that's left.'

The only place he hadn't explored was a passageway protected by four Skeleton Warriors and two Skeleton Mages.

The final boss was probably waiting for him within. 

Plus...

A huge fortune awaited him as well!

Of course, he needed to take care of the four Skeleton Warriors and two Skeleton Mages first.

"I'll take care of the mages. You take care of the warriors," Kang Oh said.

"I'll take care of the mages, so please take care of the warriors," Darion said.

"I can absorb their magic, so I'm better suited!"

It was both the more rational and correct choice, yet Darion stubbornly shook his head. 

"The four Skeleton Warriors are harder to deal with than the two mages. You are stronger than me, so you should take care of them," Darion said, unwilling to back down.

"You're a higher level than me!"

"You beat me in the duel!"

"I'm your employer!"

Kang Oh used the last trick up his sleeve.

"I'm not doing it. Do whatever you want."

Darion was going on strike!

Kang Oh and Darion intensely stared each other down. 

Darion's eyes were belligerent.

For the past few days, Darion had gone through all sorts of abuse and had been forced to work like a dog, so all he had left was spite.

'The next time I form a contract, I need to remember to add in an obedience clause.'

He wasn't sure if Darion would renew his contract, but that's what he'd do if the opportunity arose. Kang Oh then came up with a new offer.

"Let's decide through rock-paper-scissors!"

"Alright."

* * *

"Uuak!" Darion yelled as he dragged the Skeleton Warriors with him.

'It doesn't matter. You're still only Darion.'

Kang Oh was obviously the winner of their game of rock-paper-scissors.

"You wait and see!" Darion yelled. 

That's a line villains say.

"Now then."

With Darion acting as bait, the Skeleton Warriors had been lured away from the mages. 

Kang Oh rushed towards the Skeleton Mages.

Then, the two mages threw fireballs at him. 

Fireballs were coming from the left and right!

Kang Oh cut through the fireball approaching from the right and advanced towards the respective mage.

Whoosh!

Kang Oh swung his sword. His sword cleaved through the air and struck the mage's head.

The mage spun from the top down like a spinning top.

Kang Oh continued his assault.

Having pinpointed its weakness with his Hyper Intuition, he continued to hack away at the defenseless mage. 

Red shards exploded from its body!

In the end, the mage couldn't withstand his assault.

The other Skeleton Mage soon met the same fate and returned to its grave.

"Mr. Kang Oh!" Darion anxiously called once Kang Oh finished off the mages. 

"I'm coming!"

Kang Oh rushed over to Darion, who was surrounded by four Skeleton Warriors.

A while later, they defeated the last of the Skeleton Warriors.

"Heok, heok," Darion gasped for breath. 

That had been a close one. It felt like he'd narrowly escaped death twice in a row.

Of course, that only applied to Darion; Kang Oh had been fine. 

Anyhow, the path leading to the boss was now open.

“You ok?” Kang Oh asked absentmindedly 

Then, he began dragging Darion along.

“Let’s go kill the boss!”

'He Who Defies Death, Eder,' he thought. 'I wonder what kind of guy he is!?'

* * *

They were greeted by a giant hall. 

Upon entering said hall, a shadow was cast and a giant fist came flying overhead. 

The two quickly threw themselves out of the way. 

Boom!

Once the fist struck the ground, the earth shook and dust flew everywhere.

Thud!

Thud!

A golem, composed of countless bones, pushed through the dust cloud and approached them.

Its fists were huge, its forearms were thick, and its body was shaped like a square; though its legs were as thick as pillars, they were short. 

It didn't possess a head, but the pattern on its square torso was shaped like a face.

It was the boss monster, He Who Defies Death, Eder!

It probably wasn't higher than level 100.

"Be careful of its fists," Kang Oh said, and then swung his sword at Eder.

Stab!

Kang Oh's blade passed right through Eder's body, causing bones to explode out. 

Eder stamped on the area where Kang Oh had just been.

Of course, Kang Oh had sensed the danger with his Hyper Intuition and avoided the attack.

Thud.

The ground retained the footprint of the golem.

If Kang Oh hadn't evaded its attack, then he'd be dead already.

"You rats!" a voice rang out from Eder's body.

"What did you say, you pile of bones!" Kang Oh said. 'You're just a monster!'

Eder raised its arms to the heavens. A red light shined from its square body.

Then, the thick bones that covered its body exploded outwards. 

"Uak!"

He could hear Darion's screams.

"Damn it!"

Kang Oh quickly planted his sword into the ground and hid behind it.

"Get behind me!"

Darion threw himself at Kang Oh and managed to get behind him.

Bam, bam, bam!

Countless bones made contact with his sword. 

Any bone that made contact with his blade shattered like glass, but a few of those pieces hit Kang Oh and Darion as well.


[You have been grazed by bone fragments. You have taken 32 damage. A wound has been formed.]

[You have been pierced by some sharp bone shards. You have taken 80 damage.]


While they were holding out against Eder's barrage of bone fragments, Kang Oh's eyes changed to that of a predator seeking its prey.

He could see something green show up whenever Eder used its special ability.

His Hyper Intuition was urging him to aim for that 'something'.

There was something suspicious within the golem; his Hyper Intuition was telling him that that was its weakness.

'It's the core!'

What kind of monster was a golem?

Though they were incredibly tough and powerful, they could be felled with ease if their core was destroyed.

If that's the case, then...

Kang Oh shielded his body with his demon sword and stepped forward, towards where his Hyper Intuition guided him.

"Ugh, what the hell are you doing!?" Darion yelled from behind.

Bam, bam, bam!

Even more bones struck his sword. Thus, they were hit by even more bone fragments!

It was probably worse for Darion, but it didn't matter. Darion wasn't his concern right now!

The barrage of bones became worse and worse the closer he got. 

Kang Oh's HP soon dropped below half. Obviously, Darion was closer to death than he was.

"Ahk!"

Darion continued to scream from behind him.

Despite that, Kang Oh pressed on.

How far had he gotten?

"Get away from me!"

Kang Oh definitely heard Eder's voice, even in the midst of this hail of bones. 

'As I expected. Such a powerful attack has its drawbacks.'

The drawback was that the golem's core would be exposed. 

Since the technique made use of the bones which protected its core, it seemed like an obvious drawback.

Soon enough, no more bone fragments came flying at him, as if he'd entered the eye of the storm. 

He lowered his sword and saw something green!

The golem's core was a human-looking green ghost!

Kang Oh grinned.

'Nice.'

Abyss Blade, which absorbed magic, was also capable of cutting through ghosts and spirits.

"Become experience points!"

Kang Oh raised his sword, ready to strike.

"W-Wait!"

The green ghost quickly shook its hands.

"And drop some good items."

Kang Oh wasn't swayed by its pleas in the least.

There was no need for words!

The demon sword fell.

Then, the ghost yelled, "I'll give you money! No, I'll give you everything I have!"

* * *

The jet-black sword grazed the front of his ghostly body; Kang Oh had altered the course of his sword midswing.

"Ugh."

Eder groaned, even though the demon sword hadn't really touched him. 

'That damn sword is the enemy of all ghosts.'

The demon sword was a ghost's mortal enemy; he was like a rat before a snake. Eder stiffened and his eyes quivered. 

The hidden dungeon's boss, Eder, wasn't supposed to be an easy opponent.  

Normally, attacking Eder's core would prompt the second phase of the battle; Eder would turn into a ghost mage and would retaliate with all sorts of spells. 

But that's only if things went like normal.

When the demon sword closed in, he instinctively realized what it could do to him. 

Ghosts may be impervious to physical attacks, but Ubist's darkness allowed its wielder to cut through the immaterial, thus making it a ghost's mortal enemy. 

If he was struck by the demon sword even once, he'd die!

Thus, Eder didn't even try to fight him.

"Everything?" Kang Oh asked, looking upon the trembling Eder. 

He was interested in that word: "everything". That was why he changed his sword's trajectory midswing.

"Y-Yeah. Everything!" Eder's voice trembled.

"Hmm."

Kang Oh pointed his sword at the ghost's neck.

Although ghosts couldn't experience cold sweats, it sure felt like it.

"Just kill him," Darion said.

Darion spoke in a timely manner, which was quite unlike him. He probably hadn't meant to, and simply wanted him to finish Eder off. 

"Should we?"

"P-Please!" Eder begged, clasping his hands together.

'He Who Defies Death, Eder...'

True to his name, he was the type of person who'd do anything to avoid death.

“Please listen to what I have to say!” Eder said suddenly.

Kang Oh decided to humor him. 

* * *

A long time ago…

Once, there was a healer rumored to have the power of God. 

The healer helped several people, then more, and more still.

Their fame grew so much so that it was said that they had conquered death itself.

Riches, honor, power.

They gained it all.

The healer became prideful of their great power and that very pride soon turned to conceit.

"I have conquered death," the healer had yelled in high spirits.

The Healer who Conquered Death!

What a glorious title.

But that's when everything went wrong. The healer's words had enraged the Goddess of Death, Deborah.

"Let's see if you really have conquered death," Deborah had said to them in a dream. 

He couldn't recognize her, as her black veil shrouded her face, but he could make out her voice; it was as frigid as the top of a snow-covered mountain. 

When the healer woke the next day, they began to suffer from an unknown illness.

They attempted to cure themselves with every means available to them, but nothing worked.

There were rumors that the healer had been cursed by the Goddess of Death herself and that they couldn't cure their own illness, so no one sought the healer anymore.

And so, the healer's reputation, as one who could conquer death itself, was driven into the dirt.

The healer, who'd lost everything, was left with only spite.

They became absorbed in their research, to overcome death no matter what!

The healer didn't care what methods were used. They attempted anything and everything.

They attempted medicine, holy treatment, magic, and even necromancy!

However, the Goddess of Death's illness was much too strong.

Ultimately, the healer froze their body within a glass tube. Fortunately, they were able to stop the advancement of their disease.

With necromancy, their soul was able to escape their body and continue their research.

"That's me," Eder said, kneeling before Kang Oh.

He Who Defies Death, Eder, was none other than the healer, Eder, He Who Conquered Death!

“Mm, I see.” Kang Oh absentmindedly nodded his head.

Honestly, he wasn't particularly interested in Eder's circumstances, but he was interested in his treasure.

Especially his gold!

Since he was his family's head of household, he needed money; money to pay off his family's debt, money to buy a house, money for a gaming capsule, and money to send his little sisters to college. 

“So how much can you give me?” Kang Oh asked. 

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