With Darion’s help, Kang Oh and Bower found Burkan rather quickly.
As soon as he saw Bower, Burkan looked extremely happy.
"How have you been?"
Bower and Burkan clasped each other's hands.
"Not bad. How about yourself?"
"I go wherever there's ore," Bower smiled and said.
"I'm here too," Kang Oh jumped in.
"Yeah. You've finally come with Bower," Burkan said excitedly.
Kang Oh bowed his head.
"Thank you for sending the 100 Fighters to the Bariton Desert!"
With Burkan’s help, Kang Oh was able to both crush Modune’s forces and ransom them off.
"Heh, you don't have to thank me for something like that."
Burkan accepted his thanks and then said, "How long has it been?"
"Hmm, I’m not sure..."
Bower shrugged his shoulders.
"Thanks for coming!"
"Heh. Anyway, there's supposedly something really valuable down below, right?" Bower asked.
"Yeah, and it’ll be his soon."
Burkan pointed at Kang Oh.
Kang Oh grinned. Valuable items were always welcome!
"We can catch up later; let's get to work first," Bower said.
Burkan opened the hidden passageway's door, and led Kang Oh and Bower through the cave.
The ceiling was covered in various stalactites, and there were crystals all over the place that emanated a soft, bright light.
As always, the cave had a mysterious feel to it.
Bower curiously surveyed the underground cave.
A short while later...
Kang Oh's party came to a standstill.
Kang Oh gulped and pointed at the adamantium.
As always, the adamantium ore resembled the night sky. It was mostly dark, but there were compact, glittering stars embedded within it.
"This is the first time I've ever seen such a huge quantity of adamantium."
Bower came closer and inspected the adamantium. Then, his eyes narrowed.
He rubbed a section of the adamantium ore.
"Something was in here before," Bower said.
"The sword on my back was in there once," Kang Oh replied.
"It's the sword Master Valan used to use. The person who pulls the sword out becomes Master Valan's disciple," Burkan explained.
"Lord Valan truly is one of a kind to be able to embed a sword into adamantium. Now then, let’s see here..."
Bower thoroughly inspected and patted the adamantium.
"Hmm, hmm. I see. This part is kind of weak. I should start here and slowly make an opening."
Adamantium was no ordinary metal. It was the world's most durable metal!
Thus, mining adamantium required both a plan and the skill to execute said plan. It also required top of the line mining equipment too!
'Like this guy.'
Bower grabbed the pickaxe he'd laid to the side.
Although the pickaxe looked like a normal, shabby pickaxe, it was actually an SS-rank item.
"Here we go!"
He firmly planted his feet and raised his pickaxe.
A clear, pleasant sound resounded throughout the room.
Clang, clang, clang, clang, clang!
Bower continuously swung his pickaxe whilst sporting a serious expression; sweat began to fall from both his body and face.
Kang Oh and Burkan silently watched him.
He swung his pickaxe at a good pace, but then yelled all of a sudden.
Bower swung downwards, as powerful and quick as lightning.
The sharp end of Bower's pickaxe cut deeply into the section where the cave floor and the ore were adjoined.
Then, the adamantium slanted to the side.
Bower dropped his pickaxe to the side, and swiped his sweat with the back of his hand.
"Are you finished?" Kang Oh asked excitedly.
It was only natural. After all, the adamantium was just waiting to be taken.
"I'm done mining. Refining this gemstone and turning it into metal is another matter entirely."
Blacksmiths were responsible for turning gemstones into metal.
"I'll take it," Kang Oh glanced at Burkan and said.
"Please do," Burkan smiled and said.
Kang Oh grinned, and extended his hand in order to place the gemstone into his inventory.
Once he touched the adamantium, a quest came up.
[Become Valan's Successor]
Demonic Swordsman Valan is the guardian of the continent, one who protects it from the shadows.
Valan procured this adamantium as a way to make one his successor.
If you accept this adamantium, then you will formally become Valan's successor, and his duty will become yours.
Minimum Requirements: Wielder of Demon Sword Ubist, Burkan's acknowledgement.
Rewards: Demonic Swordsman Valan's Successor Training
Kang Oh, who'd gotten the gist of the quest, furrowed his brow. Then, Burkan tapped his shoulder.
"For formally becoming Master Valan's successor."
"I haven't accepted yet."
"You're not going to? Then you can't take the adamantium with you."
Kang Oh's eyes quivered.
Adamantium! It wasn't just any adamantium; it was a ton of adamantium! He wanted it so badly.
'But it feels like I'll regret it if I take it...'
There was something regarding a 'duty' in the quest. If he accepted the quest, then he'd have to do something!
'I'm really not in love with the 'guardian of the continent, one who protects it from the shadows.' part! I'll probably have to work myself to the bone, and I won't be compensated for it too!'
Kang Oh was at a loss.
"Stop thinking about it and just do it," Burkan said.
Then, Kang Oh narrowed his eyes.
"Burkan. You knew this would happen, didn't you?"
"This was destined from the moment you cleared the Fight Against 100 Men and passed the Trial of the Demon Sword."
The impossible Fight Against 100 Men, the Trial of the Magic Sword, and finding a Master Miner!
These quests were meant to test Kang Oh's worthiness of becoming Valan's successor.
"Haa. What if I refuse?"
"You can if you want. But I'll have to find a new successor, and the demon sword and adamantium will have to go to them instead."
"The demon sword too?"
He couldn't let that happen. If he didn't have the demon sword, then all that work he'd put into his character would have been for nothing!
"Isn't it obvious? That demon sword is meant for the one who'll take over as guardian of the continent."
"Haa," Kang Oh sighed, realizing that he had no other choice.
"When will that Valan guy show up?" Kang Oh asked.
He hoped he never showed up, but that probably wouldn’t happen.
"I don't know either."
"He won't just ignore me, will he?"
"Absolutely no chance of that happening!"
'Just my luck.'
"So, are you going to do it or not?" Burkan asked with an impish expression.
For some reason, it seemed like Burkan was enjoying this.
"I'll do it!"
He didn't have the luxury of choice.
[You have accepted the quest, Become Valan's Successor.]
Burkan tapped his shoulder.
"I'm really going to take it now."
Whatever happened, he would take the adamantium!
"Do what you want."
Placing the adamantium into his inventory completely filled it.
"Oh, by the way. Don't get rid of that quickly," Burkan suddenly said.
What the hell was he talking about now!?
"I told you. That thing was prepared for Master Valan's successor, so you should probably wait until you get Master Valan's approval."
"And if I don't?"
"If that's what you want. It's your responsibility now."
Burkan shrugged his shoulders as if it didn't matter to him anymore. 'Aren't we blood brothers? You cold-hearted bastard!'
"Tch. I understand."
Kang Oh decided not to do anything with the adamantium for now.
"Are we pretty much done now?" Bower, who'd been quietly watching, said.
"Yeah, we're done," Burkan said lightheartedly.
'Now I'm free!' Burkan inwardly cheered.
Valan had originally intended to make Burkan his successor.
However, Burkan had similar grievances to Kang Oh; he didn't want to work his ass off without any reward.
Thus, he offered to find Valan a suitable successor; Valan had accepted after giving him a single condition.
The condition was as follows:
Before he found Valan a successor, he couldn't enter the gladiatorial ring nor could he leave the Holiseum! If he didn't follow that condition, then he'd assume the position of successor!
'Hoo, hoo. Master must've thought that I wouldn't follow through, but...'
Burkan had endured, and Kang Oh had become Valan's successor. Henceforth, Burkan could go wherever he pleased!
"It's been a while... How about we go and get a drink?"
'Outside world, here I come!' Burkan thought.
"Sounds good," Bower immediately replied and retrieved his pickaxe.
"What about you?" Burkan asked Kang Oh.
"Come with us," Bower, who'd been completely charmed by Kang Oh, said.
"Next time. You see, I have some business to attend to."
Kang Oh shook his head.
First off, he needed to place the large quantity of adamantium that had come into his possession into a safe and secure location.
He couldn't keep it in his inventory forever. The gemstone clogged his inventory, and he wouldn't be able to pick up any other items as well.
'I know a good place for it.'
He'd already chosen a place to store it.
Burkan didn't stop him.
A short while later...
They had left the Holiseum.
Burkan acted like someone who'd just gotten out of jail. He then took a look around.
"Things have changed," he muttered.
"How long has it been since you've been out and about?" Kang Oh asked.
"Should I buy you some tofu?" Kang Oh teased.
Burkan tilted his head.
"It's just something you do. Anyway, have a good time!"
"That's the plan."
Kang Oh thought it was time, and said his goodbyes.
"Then I'll be going now."
"See you next time."
Bower waved his hand.
"Please stay safe. I'll see you next time."
Right when he was about to leave...
"Ah, wait a minute," Burkan stopped him.
"Come find me when you've raised your Demonic Swordsmanship to high rank."
"I'll teach you my secret technique."
Being blood brothers gave Kang Oh the right to learn Burkan's secret technique.
"I promise to come back and learn it!"
The Invincible Gladiator, Burkan's secret technique! He had to learn it at all costs.
Burkan must've not had anything else to say, as he waved his hand and saw Kang Oh off.
"I'm really going this time!"
Kang Oh disappeared into the crowd, and Burkan and Bower headed to a nearby bar.
* * *
In the northern region of Arth, there was an area called the Snow-Covered Fields of Despair.
Throughout the year, the temperature would freeze any living being, and the chilling winds seemed to gouge one's skin. The blizzard was so intense that one couldn't see what was in front of them, and the land stretched out endlessly without a signpost in sight.
Therefore, it was labeled with the word 'despair' as an indication that no life could subsist there.
But there was one man that was traversing this hellish land.
He wore a thick white coat, as well as fur boots, fur gloves, and a fur hat.
His facial features were unidentifiable, as he wore a mask, goggles, hat, etc., but there was a long sword tied to his back.
There were ugly, fur covered Yetis on the far side of the snow-covered fields. There were so many of them that it was difficult to get an accurate count.
They screamed and rushed at the man all at once; it looked like an avalanche.
The man drew his sword.
He softly swung his sword horizontally; his sword extended infinitely!
Divide the Sea!
The world was divided into two pieces; the Yetis were caught in his attack and shrieked.
"I should go back after I'm done here."
The man's name was Valan.
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