"I have one of two keys required to open the door to the underground labyrinth. You already have a demon sword in your possession, so you should be qualified to wield Grande's sword as well," Shula said.
"Please give me the key."
Kang Oh held out his hands together.
"I'd like to ask you a few questions before I do."
"What do you want to do with Grande's sword?"
He wanted to become stronger than any other, like during his time in Warlord. Of course, he wanted to make a ton of money too.
But he couldn't afford to reveal his true intentions. That wouldn't fly with Shula, as it'd make him seem materialistic.
'I actually have a good excuse.'
"Have you ever heard of one who protects the continent from the shadows?" Kang Oh asked.
"Are you referring to the guardian of the continent?"
"Yes. I am the successor to Demonic Swordsman Valan, who is the current guardian of the continent."
"You're Valan's successor, the very same Valan that defeated Yakon?"
Shula looked shocked.
'As I thought, he does know who he is.'
When he'd first passed the Trial of the Demon Sword, he'd seen a recording of Valan's life story.
It was there that he saw Valan defeat the gigantic raid boss, Yakon, in the Great Forest.
So he assumed that Shula was aware of him. He'd been proven right.
"I officially became his successor not too long ago. I intend to protect the continent with Lord Grande's sword," Kang Oh said, staring directly into Shula's eyes.
He was truly Valan's successor, and he did intend to occasionally go out and defeat the monsters that threatened the continent.
Kang Oh also felt as though Valan would drag him around and force him to do his job as his successor.
Thus, his eyes didn't waver in the least. There was no reason for any hesitation whatsoever.
Shula nodded his head.
"Now can you give me the key?"
"I have one more question."
"Only one more."
"It's to my understanding that if you cannot properly control the demon that resides within your sword, then it can escape from the sword."
Shula was absolutely right.
That was the risk of wielding the demon sword. Though it was a risk worth taking when considering the demon sword's unbelievable attack power.
"Are you willing to take that risk and assume responsibility for what happens after?"
Kang Oh suddenly drew his demon sword; the jet-black blade was bewitching for any who looked upon it.
"If I wasn't willing, then I wouldn't be able to wield this sword," Kang Oh firmly said.
"Alright. I'll give you the key."
Shula fiddled with his circlet, causing the eye ornament to open. Out came a bead.
"This is proof that the Nuwak Tribe have acknowledged you."
Kang Oh accepted the bead and then examined it.
The bead was called the Nuwak Tribe's Token. It was a black bead that emanated green light.
'It looks like it'll fit into one of the holes.'
Kang Oh placed the bead into his inventory.
"Where is the other key?"
"The Nedav Tribe keeps the other one."
"The Nedav Tribe?"
Kang Oh glanced at Anracoum, seemingly saying 'Do you know who they are?'.
"The Nedav Tribe is the most hostile tribe in the Great Forest. It's also considered a powerful tribe. Their village resides in the east," Anracoum said.
"Hoo, the east, huh. By the time we're done, we'll have gone through every region."
"However... The Nedav Tribe is unlikely to accept outsiders. Of course, that includes me as well, as I'm a part of another tribe," Anracoum said concernedly.
"That's what he says."
Kang Oh stared at Shula. 'Do you have any advice for us?'
"The Nedav Tribe respects the strong. Show them how powerful you are."
"I'm confident in my strength."
Kang Oh grinned.
"It seems like you're done here, so be on your way."
Kang Oh's party stood up.
"Then, take care," Kang Oh said goodbye, and then descended the tower.
"Excuse me, you see that place with the lights? That's the inn," Sui said.
She'd come outside to see them off and had pointed at one side of the village.
"Thank you very much."
Kang Oh looked up at the night sky. The night was dark, so much so that the stars couldn't be seen.
"We can't go there right now, can we?"
"Absolutely not!" Sephiro immediately replied.
"My thoughts exactly," Eder agreed.
"It's too dangerous."
Anracoum gave the final opinion.
"Then let's end it here. We'll go to the Nedav Village tomorrow."
* * *
Once the sun rose, Kang Oh's party left the Nuwak Village.
Anracoum led them through the safest route.
Thus, they arrived at the Nedav Village by around midday, fighting as little as possible.
"Doesn't it seem kind of warlike?" Eder said.
Like he said, there were ten people patrolling the entrance to the Nedav Village.
"It's too much, isn't it?" Sephiro asked.
"That's just how the Nedav Tribe are," Anracoum said.
"Let's head over."
Kang Oh led.
Once they approached the village, the guards suddenly aimed their weapons at them.
"Halt!" a middle-aged guard yelled, appearing to be the leader of the group.
Kang Oh smiled politely.
But it didn't work at all.
'As expected, they're not people you can talk your way out of.'
He'd somewhat expected this.
If that's the case, then...
"I heard that the Nedav were the strongest tribe within the Great Forest," Kang Oh yelled.
"That's right. We're the bravest tribe here!" the middle-aged man yelled.
His voice was filled with pride.
"And it's to my understanding that your tribe respects strength."
"Whoever is strongest over there, come forward. Let's go a round!" Kang Oh yelled confidently.
"Fine by me!"
The middle-aged man stepped forward. He was apparently the strongest one there.
Kang Oh drew his sword and assumed a battle position. The middle-aged man pointed his sword at him.
The air was tense between them.
"I'm Kang Oh!"
"I am a warrior of the Nedav Tribe, Karadun!"
Once they'd finished with the introductions, Karadun attacked.
His sword came for Kang Oh's heart!
Kang Oh chose to parry it, rather than dodge.
The two swords clashed, resounding with a metallic 'clang'.
Kang Oh quickly rushed at Karadun and swung upwards.
A jet-black wave surged from his blade.
Karadun couldn't afford to block the Darkness Strike. So instead, he retreated, dodging the blow.
Then, Kang Oh dashed forward and swung downwards.
His sword cleaved through the air, and descended upon Karadun's head like lightning!
Karadun placed his sword sideways, protecting himself.
Karadun shook from the immense force behind Kang Oh's strike.
He gritted his teeth and tried to withstand Kang Oh's attack no matter what.
Soon, the tip of Kang Oh's sword was pointed at Karadun's Adam's apple. Kang Oh hadn't missed the weak spot that Hyper Intuition had pointed out.
"Ugh, I lost. I acknowledge how powerful you are."
Karadun gracefully accepted his loss.
"It was a good fight."
Kang Oh withdrew his sword.
"I'd like to meet your chieftain."
"The chieftain will surely want to meet someone as powerful as you. Follow me."
Kang Oh's party followed Karadun into the Nedav Village. It didn't take long for them to establish a meeting with the chieftain.
"He said he'd only see you."
Karadun pointed at Kang Oh.
A short while later...
Kang Oh had a private meeting with the Nedav Tribe’s chieftain.
The chieftain was quite young. He was 30 years old at best; he had a strong build and was ruggedly handsome.
Like a young, gallant lion, his body seemed to exude a sort of dignity and vigor.
"My name is Kang Oh."
"So you're the one who easily defeated Karadun, huh?"
"That’s right," Kang Oh said confidently.
"What business do you have with me?"
"I came for the key that opens the Parmarl Underground Labyrinth."
"I came to inherit Grande Loxia's sword."
"With just that level of skill?"
Kang Oh wasn't angered by Aman's comments; rather, he acted more confidently than before.
"I'm a Demonic Swordsman, allowing me to wield swords like Grande's! I'm skilled enough, since I already wield a demon sword myself."
"Fine. I'll test your ability myself."
"As you wish."
Kang Oh was confident.
Aman stood up and grabbed the greatsword that hung on the wall.
* * *
The chieftain led him to the center of the village, which reminded him of a coliseum.
This 'coliseum' was called the Great Tourney Hall.
"Fight me. Show me your skill," Aman said, resting his sword on his shoulder.
"Don't complain when you lose."
Kang Oh drew his sword.
"Warriors of the Nedav Tribe never complain," Aman said firmly.
The air was tense between the two. Kang Oh and Aman stared at each other, and their eyes became fierce.
'Let's see here.'
Kang Oh observed Aman.
Aman was more than 2 meters tall. His stance gave off the feeling that he was relaxed, as one who was used to being stronger than others.
Though he seemed to carelessly rest his sword on his shoulder, there were no openings that Kang Oh could exploit.
Kang Oh could tell even without fighting him. Aman was definitely strong!
'I'll only know how strong he is after fighting him. Let's start small...'
Kang Oh quickly threw a dagger at him.
The dagger flew towards Aman!
Aman dodged the dagger by slightly tilting his head.
Then, Aman gestured for him to attack head-on. He was clearly saying, 'Stop wasting time and attack.'.
'As you wish.'
Kang Oh grinned and took step after step towards Aman.
The air became tenser the closer they became. When they were close enough for their swords to touch, the tension reached its apex.
Kang Oh taunted him this time, copying Aman's actions to the letter.
Aman drew his sword and attacked.
His sword cleaved through the air, emitting a heavy 'whoosh'! The attack was both weighty and quick.
Kang Oh immediately swung his sword too.
Demon sword and greatsword clashed!
Kang Oh was the one forced back. His hands tingled from the power behind Aman’s attack.
Aman kicked off the floor, and rushed towards the pushed back Kang Oh.
Aman's face twisted wickedly as he swung downwards, his blade glimmering with red energy.
Aman used his main skill.
Kang Oh felt an intense chill wash over him, signaling how dangerous Aman's attack was.
'Let's get out of the way first.'
Kang Oh tilted his body to the side, and dodged Aman's attack by a hair's breadth.
Aman's sword struck the floor, a red line following the path of his sword.
It's said that opportunity follows danger.
"My turn!"Previous Chapter Next Chapter