An intricately patterned, giant arrow flew through the air.
"Everyone, be careful! It's a Buster Shot!" Sephiro shouted.
'If it's a Buster Shot, then...'
Eder thought back to when he’d acted as bait, luring in a group of thunderbirds, or Agath.
'That move killed all of them in one fell swoop, right?'
The same Buster Shot would soon be unleashed upon him.
"Oh, shit!" Eder cursed after properly assessing the situation.
"Tch!" Kang Oh clicked his tongue, and deliberated over what he could do to survive this.
'Eder's the key!'
He needed something to block the arrows.
"Summon Eder!" he immediately called.
The giant arrow created five more magic circles.
Countless arrows exited the magic circles and rained down upon them.
"Uaaahk!" Eder, who'd appeared before Kang Oh, screamed.
"Get a grip. Pick up your shield."
Eder did as he was told and raised his shield.
Clang! Clang! Clang! Clang! Clang!
The arrows overhead struck his shield.
However, his four color skull shield couldn't cover his entire body. At best, it could cover his upper body.
The arrows obviously came flying towards his exposed lower body too.
'I'll cover that area!'
Kang Oh hid behind Eder, and used his wide blade to safeguard Eder's vulnerable lower body.
Clang! Clang! Clang!
The arrows struck his sword too.
By teaming up, Kang Oh and Eder were able to minimize the damage.
But that didn't mean that they were able to block all of the arrows.
Some of the arrows had penetrated their combined defense; thus, taking damage and spilling shards of light was inevitable.
Fortunately, the Mash and Jungk weren't able to absorb those shards.
Buster Shot didn't differentiate between friend or foe, so their enemies were putting everything into dodging the barrage of arrows.
Arrows pierced their bodies all over, making them resemble hedgehogs.
It was absolute chaos.
However, the Jungk who'd cast the Buster Shot hadn't been in range; Sephiro hadn't been in range either.
Off to one side, the two were engaged in an intense fight while the arrows rained down upon the others.
The Jungk swung its arm like a whip!
Because he'd been slowed by a curse, Sephiro gave up on using his superior speed to widen the distance between them.
Instead, he came right up to it and landed a high kick on its round forehead.
It swung its palm around as if it were trying to swat a fly!
Sephiro avoided its attack by rolling onto the floor, and then grabbed the end of his silver bow and swung it.
Upon striking its lower body, the Jungk collapsed.
Sephiro quickly notched three arrows, pulled back, and let them fly.
Bam! Bam! Bam!
Its forehead was instantly struck by three arrows! They'd been shot at extremely close range at that!
Plus, it was a triple Headshot too!
Shards of light, which were about the size of watermelons and a darker shade of red than blood, burst from the Jungk’s body.
That had finished it.
Sephiro caught his breath and turned his attention to the area where the Buster Shot had been unleashed.
The barrage of arrows had ended.
The Two Mash and single Jungk had been killed by the shower of arrows!
"Haa, haa. It's over."
Kang Oh and Eder's forearms, sides, calves, etc. had been pierced by arrows, but they had survived.
Sephiro ran over to them.
"Are you alright?"
"As you can plainly see."
Kang Oh pulled out the arrows embedded in his body. It was a game, so he barely felt any pain, and shards of light sprayed out rather than blood.
"I'm sorry. This was my fault."
Sephiro bowed his head.
If he hadn't been hit by the Jungk, then this wouldn't have happened.
"It's not your fault. If we're passing blame here, then I'm partly responsible. It was because of my Slow Curse that you took damage."
Eder looked apologetic.
"The whole sequence of events did start because of you," Kang Oh said.
Eder looked even more sullen than before.
"But it can't be helped. You're still the same while our enemies keep getting stronger."
Kang Oh needed to get Eder a new body soon. If he remained in Arumode's body, then he'd become a liability soon.
"After we're done here, let's try finding you a new body," Kang Oh said.
"I'll help with that too," Sephiro volunteered.
Eder timidly raised his hand.
"What is it?"
"Do I really have to switch bodies? I really like this body. And I put a ton of money into remodeling it, so it feels like a waste."
Kang Oh thought over the matter.
It was true that Eder's current body was weak, but his AoE defense debuff was really valuable.
But if he inhabited a new body, then he'd lose this invaluable AoE ability.
After all, this was one of the Immortal King, Arumode's inherent abilities.
"Then we should set up you with some new equipment instead."
Eder's current equipment, the Blood Knight armor set, the four color skull shield, and the mace that emitted poisonous mist were all level 150 equipment.
If Kang Oh provided him with better equipment, then he'd be able to stretch Eder's effectiveness for a longer period of time.
"Changing equipment! That seems like a good idea. I really like the sound of that," Eder fervently supported the idea.
Eder didn't have any money.
If that's the case, then Kang Oh would pay for everything like last time.
"Ok. It's decided then. Let's focus on clearing the labyrinth for now."
"But what'll we do if something like before happens again?" Eder asked.
The last battle had proved quite challenging.
"The way we went about it wasn't wrong. Blitz them and adapt. We'll just have to get used to fighting them."
"On the bright side, Buster Shot was what finished them off so quickly," Sephiro said.
"So if they manage to steal our skills or spells, we can use that to our advantage," Kang Oh continued.
"My body may be lacking, but I'll try my best."
Eder clenched his fist.
"Don't try. Just do it," Kang Oh said.
"You're already doing good."
Sephiro gave him a thumbs up.
Kang Oh's words went through one ear and out the other, while Sephiro's words went right to his heart.
* * *
They hadn't yet encountered monsters other than the Mash or Jungk.
With Sephiro on their side, traps weren't an issue, so all they had to do was find the demon sword!
Kang Oh's party made a new discovery.
"Stairs!" Eder said.
They’d found stairs that led to the next level of the labyrinth.
"It's an underground labyrinth, so it must have several levels," Kang Oh said.
They'd already descended some stairs to make it into the labyrinth. But now, there were even more stairs that led them even deeper underground.
Which meant that the underground labyrinth was made up of several floors. If that's the case, then Grande Loxia's grave was located on the bottom-most floor.
Sephiro took point. After all, they never knew whether there would be any traps in the stairs or not.
Their hearts pounded as they descended the stairs.
What would they find down there? Would... the grave be there?
But Kang Oh's excitement soon turned to disappointment.
He was greeted by the sight of a ceiling filled with crystals, walls that were covered in brown and red vines, and a forked road!
There wasn't a huge difference between this floor and the upper floor.
'No, it isn't just similar. It feels exactly the same.'
This had to be the first time he'd been here, yet he felt a sense of déjà vu.
"It looks like this again," Sephiro said, sounding slightly disappointed.
"Let's go. It may look similar, but it's a different floor!" Eder enthusiastically said.
Sephiro nodded his head, and Kang Oh's party took heart.
A short while later...
"It's a trap."
Sephiro pointed at the ceiling.
He'd pointed at a hole.
"If you walk through the center, then arrows will come out of the hole... Wait a minute, didn't we encounter a trap just like this one before at around the same time?"
Sephiro furrowed his brow. 'Am I wrong? Then why do I feel like this sense of déjà vu gets stronger the further we go?'
Then, Kang Oh approached.
"It's the same trap. I'd previously told you to lead us and disarm the trap."
He'd also felt a sense of déjà vu as well.
Even if they assumed that the upper and lower floor was built similarly, they couldn't be exactly the same.
Of course, it was a game, so it also wasn't an impossibility.
'But it's more rational to think that it's the same place.'
"Going down the stairs brought us back to the beginning of the labyrinth," Kang Oh said.
"I see," Sephiro agreed.
They thought it was a different floor, but it was, in fact, the exact same floor. They were going through the same place all over again.
"This must be why it's called a 'labyrinth'."
"How are we going to approach this?" Eder asked.
"Most labyrinths have a hidden passageway somewhere. We just need to find it."
Kang Oh had plenty of experience as a gamer. He'd also cleared complicated labyrinths before too.
"But that only applies to normal labyrinths. This place may not have a hidden passageway; there may be another way to get through it," Kang Oh added.
"Then we'll have to go through the entire labyrinth again. Only then will we find something we can use," Sephiro said.
"It doesn't seem like it continuously changes, so let's draw up a map too."
Of the few support skills he'd learned, one of them was Cartography.
"That's a good idea," Sephiro immediately agreed.
Kang Oh was more motivated than ever.
He'd finally figured out what this labyrinth was all about, so now he needed to find a way of clearing it.
* * *
Both Kang Oh and Sephiro possessed Cartography. Kang Oh obviously let Sephiro draw up the map.
Sephiro was disarming traps, drawing a map, sensing any nearby enemies, and giving long range support. Now that he thought about it, Sephiro was like an all-purpose slave.
'Stay with me forever!'
Kang Oh would get him to sign a lifelong contract no matter what.
Anyway, Kang Oh's party was forced to stop on occasion as they needed to draw up the map, so they went through the labyrinth at a slower pace than before.
Not only that, but the labyrinth itself was huge, and they'd waste time fighting the Mash and Jungk as well.
So going through it again had taken them two days.
Sephiro suddenly raised both of his arms. He'd finally finished the map to the Parmarl Underground Labyrinth!
Eder patted his shoulder.
"Hmm. It's great that you've finished the map, but it doesn't look like there are any hidden passageways."
Kang Oh had thoroughly examined the walls, the ceiling, and the ground. However, his Hyper Intuition hadn't activated once.
"Let's take a look at the completed map first."
Sephiro passed him the map.
Kang Oh and Eder looked it over side by side.
Eder felt like a light bulb went off in his head.
"Perhaps..."Previous Chapter Next Chapter