The Winged Snake Nest Expedition was over.
Kang Oh's party accompanied Krohn and the rest of the surviving Nuwak warriors back to the village.
Chieftain Shula and his people stood outside of the village and greeted them.
Shula looked over the faces of Krohn, the Nuwak warriors, and Kang Oh's party.
"We came back safely," Krohn said.
"Good work. Now, come inside."
A memorial service was held to console the departed souls.
After that, they began drinking to their heart's content; some drank for their dead friends, while others drank because they were victorious.
Eder had completely forgotten that he was undead, and had joined the drinking party. Sephiro, however, had logged out because he was exhausted.
Kang Oh privately spoke with Shula.
"Krohn told me how important you were. He said that the expedition would've ended in failure if not for you."
"It's all true," Kang Oh said.
There was no reason to be modest.
"Thank you! We will never forget what you've done for us."
[You have completed the quest, Winged Snake Nest Expedition.]
[You will be rewarded based on your contributions during the expedition.]
[You were the highest contributor for this expedition.]
[Friendship with the Nuwak Tribe has been maxed out.]
[You have obtained the title, True Friend to the Nuwak.]
[You have obtained bonus experience points.]
[You have leveled up.]
[You have leveled up.]
[You have leveled up.]
'It's like they say, expedition events really do level you up quickly.'
Expedition events offered a lot of rewards and experience points. Plus, Kang Oh was the highest contributor.
However, Kang Oh didn't receive any gold or items based on his contributions.
After all, the quest only offered him experience points and friendship with the Nuwak Tribe as a reward.
He'd also receive a map with the locations of the Great Forest's dungeons, but his contributions had nothing to do with it; he'd receive it so long as the expedition was successful.
In any case, his friendship with the Nuwak Tribe had been maxed out, so the rest of his contributions were converted into a ton of experience points.
This was the reason that Kang Oh had leveled up thrice in one go.
[Congratulations. You have reached level 200.]
He'd finally reached his goal!
'Now I can equip the necklace.'
Kang Oh wanted to try out Tempest Tiger while equipping the Wind Yearning Flame Necklace ASAP.
How powerful would Tempest Tiger be when its power was quadrupled by the necklace?
"What is it?"
"May I have the map you promised me?"
"I already have it ready."
Shula opened a drawer and retrieved a rolled up map.
Kang Oh opened up the map. There were dots all over the map, as well as the names of the dungeons.
To think that there were this many dungeons in the Great Forest, all with the potential to contain a hidden dungeon!
"Hehe, I'll use it well," Kang Oh laughed.
"I've marked all of the dungeons that I know of. Of course, there are definitely some dungeons that I don't know about. After all, the Great Forest is a big place."
"I'll look for some of the dungeons on my own. Then, if you'll excuse me."
"Come and visit sometime."
'If I need to ask you something, then I'll come and find you.'
Kang Oh exited the tower.
The village was extremely noisy. He smelled a nutty flavor, so they must be grilling meat.
"Uhahaha. Drink, drink, drink! It's going down so easily!"
It was a familiar voice.
He saw Eder, who'd been completely taken over by the atmosphere of the village.
"You sure are enjoying yourself."
Kang Oh glanced at him, clicked his tongue, and left the village.
'Is there a sandbag around that I can use?'
Kang Oh looked around restlessly and saw a Kruger; it must've finished hunting just recently as it was gnawing on something.
Though they looked like frogs, they were incredibly aggressive; so much so that they were called the apex predator of the Great Forest.
Kang Oh removed the flame-shaped necklace from his inventory and equipped it.
Then, he equipped Ubist and approached the Kruger.
Once he got close enough, Kang Oh swung his demon sword.
A powerful, blinding golden aura, or the tiger-shaped aura, erupted from his sword.
That sure sounded like it hurt! Tempest Tiger pounced onto the Kruger.
The necklace quadrupled Tempest Tiger's power, so he assumed that the aura itself would become much larger. Unfortunately, that didn't happen.
He instead focused on its destructive power. The Kruger, which was known for its vitality, wobbled around in an instant; this was proof that Tempest Tiger had become much more powerful than before.
Moreover, the resulting whirlwind was much larger than usual, and the wind velocity was the fastest he'd ever felt.
The speed of the wind determined how powerful the whirlwind was!
'Seems like the whirlwind lasts a bit longer too.'
Overall, it felt as though Tempest Tiger had clearly become stronger. However, Kang Oh couldn't help but scowl.
Tempest Tiger's original MP cost was 600. However, his recent Tempest Tiger had cost 2,400 MP.
Not only that, but the 1 minute cooldown had quadrupled to 4 minutes.
If not for Kunta's Ring, which halved all of his cooldowns, then its cooldown would be 8 minutes instead.
"Tch. I didn't think there'd be such a huge downside to it."
It quadrupled Tempest Tiger's power!
However, it likewise quadrupled its MP cost and cooldown!
As expected, nothing was free in this world.
"Tch. On the bright side, I guess I've gained a one hit KO"
A one hit KO. It was an apt term for Tempest Tiger now that its power was quadrupled.
Kang Oh, having finished his test, returned to the village.
"Oh, Mr. Kang Oh. Let's have a drink together."
Eder stuck to Kang Oh.
"Are you drunk?"
"I can't get drunk. I'm undead."
Eder's face was as ashen as always. No blood circulated through his body, so his face wouldn't get red from drinking either.
"Is it ok for an undead to drink liquor?"
"In this body, yes. I've also remodeled it so that I can eat with no problems too. Of course, I can taste food in this body too."
"Haven't you had enough?"
"Hoo, hoo. You only live once. Let's drink to our heart's content."
Him not getting drunk was clearly a lie. He may look alright, but it didn't change the fact that he was drunk.
"You do that."
"By the way, when are you going to replace my equipment?" Eder asked.
"I could barely do anything during the expedition."
With a gloomy expression, he continued, "I was once the greatest healer in all the land! But right now, I'm nothing more than a burden! I can't help but feel ashamed!"
'Now that you're drunk, you start lamenting about your pitiful state!? He's right though. I do have to swap his equipment out...'
Kang Oh looked him over. It was almost admirable that Eder had come this far with such low level equipment.
"Enjoy yourself today. I'll swap all of your equipment soon."
"It's better for me if you're stronger, you know."
"I love you, Mr. Kang Oh!"
Eder embraced him.
"Hey, hey! Get off me! I said get off me!"
'I have a girlfriend!'
* * *
The free city, Tispalane.
The beautiful Tispalane River flowed through the center of the city, and was surrounded by old, antique buildings.
It was the hometown of the legendary sculptor, Paulstein, and it was here that several of his masterpieces lay, able to be admired by the masses.
But it was rare for players to come here just to sightsee.
Most of them were looking for dungeons, or Kainshell.
Kainshell was an undercity, and it was also called the Undead's Paradise. It was one of the most renowned hunting grounds in Arth.
Kang Oh, Eder, and Sephiro exited Tispalane's intercity transfer gate. Their destination was also Kainshell.
A short while later...
Kang Oh's party left the gate and followed the river on horseback.
They didn't go far until they came across a vast plain and a structure on top of it.
The structure was the entrance to Kainshell.
However, there were gatekeepers there. They required an admission fee for anyone who wanted to get in.
Kang Oh's party headed for the entrance.
There were five gatekeepers in total. They were all players, but all wore the same armor.
'That white armor was made by a player. It's probably around level 230.'
Kang Oh looked over the gatekeepers.
Their guild's symbol was engraved on their breastplate. A roaring lion. It was the symbol of the greatest of the 5 great guilds, the Empire Guild.
Which meant that these gatekeepers were a part of the Empire Guild, and that the Kainshell Dungeon had been taken over by them as well.
Thus, any player that wanted to access the dungeon had to pay the gatekeepers an admission fee, like taxes from a peasant to their lord.
'They should seriously get rid of every single large guild.'
Kang Oh couldn't help but furrow his brow; after all, he detested large guilds.
However, he had no choice but to pay the admission fee at this point in time. He needed to get Eder some better equipment.
"You can go in for 6, 9, or 12 hours. Which will you choose?"
"That's 60 gold."
'That's seriously expensive!'
Kang Oh hand shook as he reached for the gold.
The gatekeeper passed him a green band.
"Wrap this around your wrist so that it's easily visible. When it disappears, your time is up. When it does, use a return scroll or leave without fighting anymore monsters. If you don't, then..."
The gatekeeper swiped a finger across his neck.
"Also, you cannot fight the boss monster. If you do, then you'll also..."
He did the same motion once more.
If they didn't have a band on, then the Empire Guild members inside would kill them no questions asked.
It didn't matter whether they had a band or not; if they attacked the boss monster, then they'd immediately be executed.
"Yeah, yeah," Kang Oh replied absentmindedly.
It was Eder's turn this time.
Eder pulled out the gold, his hand shaking even more than Kang Oh's. He'd worked so hard for that money! How long had he spent gathering all of it!? He'd saved up his daily wage day after day to... Uaahk!
Kang Oh wondered whether he should enter the dungeon and then summon Eder, but if he didn't have a band on, then the Empire Guild members would attack him anyway.
Thus, Eder had no choice but to pay the admission fee.
Once Sephiro entered the dungeon, Kang Oh's party entered the underground passageway.
[You have entered the dungeon, Kainshell.]
* * *
There were three reasons that Kainshell was such a popular hunting spot.
First, it was huge. Kainshell was an underground city type dungeon, so it was bigger than most small towns.
Second, there were various types of undead down here, so you could pick and choose which ones you wanted to kill. Also, they respawned quickly and they gave a ton of experience.
Third, there were several named monsters down here, and they dropped various kinds of equipment.
"Of course, that equipment isn't in good condition," Kang Oh said.
"You said that only the undead could equip it, right?" Eder asked.
All the equipment here could only be worn by the undead.
If a living being wanted to use this equipment, it would need to be remodeled.
However, Eder was undead, so he could equip it right away without remodeling it.
"Then we just need to hunt the named monsters to get my equipment," Eder said.
"Huh? When did I say we were going to hunt the named monsters?"
"We'll be hunting the boss," Kang Oh said nonchalantly.
For a moment, Eder looked at him vacantly.
"The Empire Guild won't just let that happen!"
Sephiro's eyes widened like saucers.
"We just won't get caught."
Kang Oh grinned.Previous Chapter Next Chapter