There was a 4-story leaning tower to the north. A part of the top had been demolished, which left behind a gaping hole.
The top floor was where Kainshell's boss, Clovis, respawned.
Of course, the tower was filled with other monsters as well. Various undead monsters spawned on each floor, all of which were strong enough to be considered mid-bosses.
12:00 A.M. (2400).
Players wearing a band with the Empire Guild's insignia gathered at the tower one after another.
They were all part of the Empire Guild's Assassination Squad, which was allowed to kill any player that participated in unauthorized hunting.
The Assassination Squad was also responsible for killing Kainshell's boss, and providing the guild with the item it drops.
"All of us are here," the squad leader said, a sword hanging at his waist.
There were four other players nearby.
These were the Assassination Squad's most skilled members.
"We're taking down a boss. I can't miss out on that, now can I?" a man, who carried his spear on his shoulder, smiled and said.
Small talk was unnecessary.
After all, they had already gone through the tower and killed the boss several times before.
The tower doors opened and the Assassination Squad entered.
It was the sound of clattering bones. They were greeted by a purple skeleton that wore a champion belt around its waist.
The monster was called a Skeleton Champion.
It was an undead monster that had the ability to summon enough skeletons to fill the tower to the brim.
"Let's go at it like normal," the squad leader said.
Once the entire squad rushed at it, the Skeleton Champion raised its sword up high.
Then, the bones scattered on the floor turned into skeletons. There were 100 of them!
But a lion will never lose to a wolf, no matter how many come at it! It didn't matter how many level 120 skeletons there were, they couldn't beat five players that were over level 200.
Whack, whack, whack, whack!
The squad struck, and the skeletons fell like leaves in the autumn wind.
Aside from its ability to summon skeletons, the Skeleton Champion was pretty much exactly the same as any other skeleton. Thus, the Assassination Squad finished things rather quickly.
On the 2nd floor, they encountered a giant ghoul, which was more than 3 meters tall and spewed a potent poison. However, it wasn't strong enough to threaten the squad.
Next, they faced Noblewoman Kataria on the 3rd floor. As a spirit, she could cast all sorts of curses, unleash sound waves from her mouth, and freely use powerful ice magic. All of these factors made her a difficult monster to defeat.
Thus, the Assassination Squad took some time to defeat her.
"Tch. Spirits really are annoying monsters," a squad member said.
"Agreed," another member said.
"Let's hurry and kill the boss. Then we can go to sleep," the squad leader said.
"Agreed, let's do it."
They headed for the last floor where the boss resided.
The door to the boss room slowly opened.
All of them looked astonished.
The squad leader rubbed his eyes and looked once more. However, he hadn't seen wrong the first time around.
Clovis was sprawled on the floor! His skeleton horse's bones were scattered around like a broken toy!
The squad leader approached Clovis and checked his condition.
"How did this..."
Unexpectedly, the boss monster was already dead! Even though they were the ones who'd gone through the tower floor by floor!
* * *
11:30 P.M. (2330).
Kang Oh's party had arrived at the tower.
"Hoo, hoo, hoo. I feel so powerful."
He was covered in faint purple armor. The helmet he wore also had two horns like a bull.
The Dullahan set!
They'd hunted named Dullahans for the past five hours and as a result, they had managed to gather all of the pieces of the Dullahan set.
"Do you like it?" Kang Oh asked.
"I do," Eder replied immediately.
"You'll like it even more when we swap your weapon too."
"Then let's try executing our plan."
Kang Oh stored Ubist and retrieved Blood.
Kang Oh's silhouette turned bright red, and a bat-shaped mask appeared over his face. The Red Demon had arisen once more!
Sephiro marveled at his new form.
Kang Oh's stretched out his bat wings.
"Please hold onto me," he said, and Sephiro tightly grabbed onto him.
Tasha's voice rang out through his head.
"I want to fly up to the hole at the top of that tower. Is it possible?" Kang Oh asked.
"Dunno. But right now, you can only fly for 20 seconds."
Since Sephiro was with him, he needed to carry the weight of the two of them.
"20 seconds, huh... We're slower too, right? It might be tight."
Kang Oh estimated the height of the tower.
"Hmph. You can try if you want."
"Please control my wings for me."
"Ah, what a pain," she said, and Kang Oh's wings began to forcefully flap.
Kang Oh and Sephiro, who clung onto his back, rose into the air.
Sephiro widened his eyes. He really was flying!
Flap, flap, flap, flap!
His wings began to flap faster and faster. Obviously, he rose into the air faster than before too.
Soon, he could look down and see the landscape. The two of them had gotten above the tower.
'We had some time to spare.'
He only had 20 seconds to fly, but he'd only taken 15 seconds to get here.
"Tasha, could you get us to that hole?"
Tasha remained silent, but did as he asked.
Because of that, Kang Oh and Sephiro safely enter the top of the tower without fighting a single monster.
"Thanks," Kang Oh said as soon as he landed.
He didn't hear her reply, but deactivated Devil Trigger anyway.
"Hahk, haa. To think that this crazy plan of yours would actually work."
Sephiro stared at the hole he'd just flown through. He still couldn't believe that they'd just gotten through there.
"What did I tell you? I told you that it was a terrific plan."
Kang Oh grinned.
After he'd finished the Winged Snake Nest Expedition and had told Eder that he'd get him some new gear, he thought of all the undead only equipment that he knew of.
He automatically thought of the Kainshell Dungeon, where the monsters dropped undead only equipment.
However, the Kainshell Dungeon had already been occupied by the Empire Guild.
Moreover, they monopolized the boss. The boss dropped the Hellfire Mace, which would be ideal for Eder's use.
Kang Oh thought about what to do, and had also done research on Kainshell. As a result, he saw an image of a hole at the top of the tower.
At that moment, a light bulb went off in his head.
'What if I use Blood's flight ability to go straight there?'
If it worked, then they could kill the boss monster and run without getting caught by the Empire Guild.
It would take those Empire Guild bastards some time before they could get to the top, as they needed to kill all of the mid-bosses along the way.
That's how Kang Oh had come up with this plan. As you can plainly see, the plan was a remarkable success!
Then, Kang Oh brought Eder to the top floor as well. With this, Kang Oh's entire party had infiltrated the top floor!
Now all they needed to do was wait for Clovis to respawn.
* * *
When the Empire Guild's Assassination Squad entered the tower, Kang Oh's party engaged the boss monster.
[You have discovered the Headless Dullahan, Clovis.]
His head, like other Dullahans, was severed, and he was covered in jet black armor. He rode on a skeleton horse and was about level 230!
He also carried blazing Hellfire Maces in either hand.
However, there was one marked difference between Clovis and the other Dullahans.
His severed head wasn't present.
That wasn't good news for Kang Oh's party.
Unlike most undead, Dullahans possessed strong bodies. In exchange, however, their heads were extremely vulnerable to attacks.
But Clovis didn't even have a severed head, so they didn't have a weakness to aim for.
His skeleton horse's eyes ignited with blue fire and charged at them.
Kang Oh, Eder, and Sephiro split off in different directions. Clovis targeted Kang Oh first.
He aimed his mace at the top of Kang Oh's head.
Kang Oh protected himself with Ubist's wide blade.
Once Clovis's mace made contact, the flames began to surge.
Clovis's power was considerable. Kang Oh could also feel the heat radiating from his mace as well!
Kang Oh retreated slightly and then leapt forward like a spring. Then, he swung Ubist horizontally.
He was aiming for the skeleton horse!
Because Clovis didn't have a head, there wasn't anywhere worth targeting. It wasn't easy to hit him either, as he was on horseback.
Thus, Kang Oh would take out his skeleton horse first and force him onto the ground.
His demon sword crushed the skeleton horse's ribs.
Clovis's mace came flying at him like lightning. Kang Oh rolled onto the floor to dodge it.
Eder used that opportunity to attack the skeleton horse. He forcefully swung his mace, which emitted green mist, at it.
Shards of light flew through the air. However, his attack wasn't as powerful as Kang Oh's, so it didn't break any ribs.
At almost the same time, Sephiro shot three arrows, striking the skeleton horse's forehead one after another.
The skeleton horse shook its head and its bones grated against each other.
Clovis swung his mace in a wide arc. His mace was followed by a trail of fire.
Eder protected himself with his skull shield.
Once the Hellfire Mace made contact, Eder was pushed back.
Meanwhile, Clovis's horse ran forcefully.
After that, black energy began rising from Clovis and his horse's body like a haze.
Charge of Death!
This was much like the Dullahan's Fierce Charge, but more powerful and destructive.
They rushed towards Sephiro like a wave that swept through everything!
Sephiro just barely leapt away in time and avoided the destructive charge.
However, the Charge of Death wasn't finished. Clovis turned his horse and aimed for Eder this time.
"Don't panic. Just time your jump properly!" Kang Oh yelled.
There was no way of stopping the Charge of Death. You could only dodge until it was over.
Eder flung himself out of the way. He was a little early, but he was safe.
The black energy surrounding both Clovis and his horse disappeared. Charge of Death was over.
"Attack!" Kang Oh shouted.
They had to defeat Clovis before the Empire Guild got here. Thus, he couldn't even afford to catch his breath.
As they'd agreed upon prior, Kang Oh, Sephiro, and Eder targeted the skeleton horse.
Clovis counterattacked with his mace, moving in tandem with his horse as if they were of one body. He also managed to use Charge of Death a second time.
However, Clovis couldn't protect his mount till the very end.
Once his horse slumped to the floor, Clovis jumped off of the saddle.
His horse was completely sprawled on the floor, but he himself was fine.
As soon as Clovis raised his twin maces into the air, they began to blaze even more intensely.
This was a signal that the 2nd phase had begun.Previous Chapter Next Chapter