Mad Dog, Kraal.
He was a Sweeper, someone who dealt with those blacklisted by the Empire Guild.
He was called the Mad Dog because he'd never lose his target, and was known for being skilled and particularly stubborn, even when compared to the rest of the Sweepers.
Kraal showed up in the Kainshell boss room.
Both of his eyes were red. It was a sign that he was a murderer, someone who went around hunting other players.
"Welcome," the squad leader, who'd been on standby, greeted him.
"I got the gist of things from the vice-captain... I'm going to take a look around."
"As you wish."
Kraal first examined Clovis and the skeleton horse's bodies. His red eyes narrowed.
'At least the bodies are still here.'
After a certain amount of time, monsters' bodies would transform into shards of light and completely disappear.
He'd come right over after the vice-captain had called him, which had worked to his advantage.
Since he was able to examine the bodies himself.
'There are sword cuts, arrows were pulled out, and a mace was used as well.'
He looked away from the bodies, and examined the traces of battle on the ground and walls.
'Based on the damage inflicted and the barely left behind footprints, there are three of them.'
But there wasn't anything concrete enough to point him towards the perpetrators.
"I'd like to ask you a few questions," Kraal stared at the squad leader and said.
The squad leader nodded his head.
"Has something like this happened before?"
"To my knowledge, no."
"Are you sure they killed the boss without going through the mid-bosses?"
"Yes. My companions and I killed the mid-bosses. But when we went into the boss room, the boss was already dead."
"So they got here before the boss and mid-bosses respawned."
"That seems most likely, but I have no idea how they got here before us."
The squad leader looked to be at his wit's end.
"Does the boss always respawn at the same time?"
"Yes. The boss respawns once every week, so our squad kills it every Thursday at 12 (2400)."
"Who else knows about it?"
"It's not exactly a secret..."
"Then is it possible to enter the boss room at around 11 and then kill it when it respawns?" Kraal asked.
"Some time after killing the boss, the doors to the tower, besides the entrance, become locked. That's why you have to go through the mid-bosses to ascend the tower and kill the boss."
"Hmm. Whatever the case, someone entered the boss room before the doors closed and then they waited until the boss respawned."
"It's possible, but that would mean they waited in the boss room for at least four days..."
For some reason, the squad leader didn't think that was the case.
Kraal didn't believe that Clovis was worth waiting that long for.
Kraal was of the same mind.
"I'm not sure. There could be a secret passageway that we are unaware of. If not, then..."
Kraal pointed towards the hole at the corner of the ceiling.
"They might've gone through there too."
Kraal was sharp, and his intuition was telling him that the hole was suspicious.
"What? They came through there? You're telling me that someone climbed the tower?"
"They probably didn't climb it. It would've taken too long, and it would've ran the risk of being discovered by our guild members."
"They flew in."
Kraal accurately deduced their plan.
"With flight magic?"
"Most players right now can't use flight magic. Plus, the battle doesn't show any signs of a mage."
"Then what did they do?"
The squad leader tilted his head.
"I heard that the Tower rewards players with a magic scroll containing flight magic for a particular quest. I plan on investigating those that have been awarded the scroll first."
Kraal decided that there was nothing to be gained here and left the tower.
The Assassination Squad Leader saw him off.
"Please kill the ones who did this."
Pay back twice what's owed! That was the ironclad principle of the Empire Guild.
"Yeah, sure," Kraal said absentmindedly.
He had no loyalty to the guild whatsoever.
There was a simple reason that he was a part of the Sweepers, who killed players that were on the Empire Guild's blacklist.
If he killed blacklisted players, then the Empire Guild would pay him a fortune.
This was the same as all the others.
The vice-captain promised to reward him handsomely if he punished the perpetrator.
"I don't know who they are, but they'll have to die for me at least 10 times."
Kraal's red eyes glinted sharply.
* * *
Jae Woo met the TGN producer, Hye Rim, at a nearby cafe.
Hye Rim had sent him a message stating that she'd like to buy his footage of Snake Queen.
"My name is Choi Jae Woo."
"I'm Shin Hye Rim."
Jae Woo and Hye Rim shook hands, and then sat across from each other.
"We're both busy people here. Could we just get to the point please?" Jae Woo said.
"How much are you willing to pay?"
"I'd like to see the footage first. You have to see the goods before you buy it."
"Did you bring a tablet?"
Hye Rim then retrieved a tablet from her bag. Then, Kang Oh inserted the black chip into her tablet.
A short while later...
The tablet began showing Jae Woo and the Great Forest's warriors battling against the Two-Headed Snake Queen.
'Wait, this is amazing.'
Hye Rim couldn't bring herself to look away.
She was especially intrigued by the actions of the smiling man before her, who was also known as Oga.
Add to that Aman's charismatic actions and command, the various skills and spells used by the tribes' warriors, and the imposing form of the Snake Queen!
It was already an amazing clip, but the final fight midair was the best part.
She was so entranced by the clip that, unbeknownst to her, she was biting on her thumb. It was a habit she had when she was focusing on something.
'An airborne battle... I can't let this go.'
Hye Rim had come to a decision. She had to buy this clip no matter what!
"How is it?" Jae Woo asked once it was finished.
It was only then did Hye Rim realize that she'd been biting her thumb this entire time. She then quickly pulled her thumb away.
"It was beyond my expectations."
"Seems like you like the product."
"I really do."
Hye Rim confessed frankly.
"Then how much will you buy it for?"
Hye Rim furrowed her brow.
"I came with 5 million won ($5,000 USD), but I don't think that... will be enough."
5 million won was no small amount by any stretch of the imagination. However, after seeing the clip herself, she believed that 5 million won was way too little.
"I sold the Fight Against 100 Men clip to Producer Jin Cheol for 10 million won ($10,000 USD)," Jae Woo said.
He had to get at least 10 million won for this. He was basically saying, 'If I'm not satisfied, then I'll sell it to Jin Cheol instead'.
"Let me have a copy of the footage. I'll see what the higher ups decide."
"As you wish."
"Please don't sell it to anyone else and just wait for me."
A few days later...
He met with Hye Rim again.
"TGN will buy the clip for 12 million won ($12,000 USD)."
12 million won!
Kang Oh smirked automatically. However, he didn't take the offer right away.
"Hmm... Can't you offer me anymore?" Jae Woo asked.
"It's 12 million won! 12 million!"
"Yeah. Like I said, offer me some more."
After all, he had all the negotiating power here!
'This won't be easy', her expression seemed to say.
"Understood. Then I'll give you a bonus," Hye Rim said.
"If the viewership goes over 10%, then we'll give you another 3 million won ($3,000 USD)."
"TGN viewership is normally..."
"I can't give you anymore!"
She gave him an ultimatum.
'The clip is amazing, so... It'll definitely go over 10%. So I get a total of 15 million won ($15,000 USD).'
15 million won! That was huge!
"Alright, you have a deal."
Ultimately, Kang Oh accepted her deal.
But as part of the deal, TGN had to use the alias 'Oga' and cover up his face.
After that, TGN promoted the Snake Queen Expedition program, and several people were drawn in by the trailer.
* * *
The Nuwak Village...
Kang Oh, Eder, and Sephiro came out of Nuwak's only inn.
However, Eder was no longer holding the four color skull shield anymore. He was holding a rectangular shield bearing a leopard biting a sword insignia.
This was the shield of Mayan Loxia, who'd become a Death Knight.
It was a shield with the 'undead only' requirement, and Kang Oh had bought it from the auction house strictly for Eder's use. The shield was obviously much better than the skull shield.
"Let's do our best today too," Eder said energetically.
As of late, Kang Oh's party had been focused on clearing the dungeons on the map, as well as finding hidden dungeons.
"We've already gone through Yammon Cave, so where are we going today?" Sephiro asked.
The Parmarl Underground Labyrinth and the Winged Snake Nest were both huge, and it seemed like all of the Great Forest's dungeons followed that trend.
Thus, going through one dungeon without missing anything would take at least 2 or 3 days.
"Let's go to the Ungar Swamp today. I heard from the innkeeper that there are old ruins over there," Kang Oh said.
Old ruins. Doesn't that make you think that there is something hidden there?
They rode their Yumas and immediately headed for the location labeled as Ungar Swamp on their map.
"This must be it," Kang Oh, who stopped his Yuma, said.
He'd heard from the innkeeper that the Ungar Swamp was filled with thick mist all year round. As the innkeeper had said, there was cloudy mist obscuring his vision.
Once they entered the mist, Kang Oh received a system message.
[You have entered the dungeon, Ungar Swamp.]
[Thick mist obscures your vision. Please be careful.]
They stepped into stagnant swamp water.
"What kind of monsters show up here?" Sephiro asked.
"Monster Crocodiles supposedly," Kang Oh said.
Speak of the devil and he shall appear. Something came towards them through the thick mist.
Then, they saw vertical slits looking through the mist; they were clearly reptilian eyes.
Kang Oh stared into the creature's eyes.
He used Devil Eye, turning his eyes red like the setting sun; for some reason, his eyes had become both mysterious and ominous!
Devil Eye caused one's opponent to shrink in fear, but it hadn't worked in Kainshell because all of the monsters were undead.
But as he went through the Great Forest's dungeons, Kang Oh had found out that Devil Eye was much more powerful than he'd originally thought.
He could essentially get the drop on his opponents with just a look.
However, Devil Eye wasn't an all powerful ability. There were many monsters that it didn't work on and at times, it actually enraged his enemies instead. Like right now.
The monster shrieked and popped out of the mist!
As he expected, it was a Monster Crocodile. It appeared to be more than 6 meters long.
It was so intimidating that he'd be shaking in his boots if it were real.
"Let's go, you!"
Eder bravely charged towards it.
Then, the Monster Crocodile opened its mouth wide and tried to devour him.
"Not going to happen!"
Eder swung his mace.
Once his mace, which was engulfed in flames, struck the crocodile's mouth, the flames blazed even more intensely than before.
The crocodile shrieked threateningly, and then turned around and swung its tail.
Eder raised his shield, blocking the crocodile's attack.
Then, Eder counterattacked.
Even though it possessed such thick skin, it screamed in agony.
That's how powerful Eder's attack had been!
Not only that, but...!
Kang Oh and Eder had bought him a new rectangular shield! Plus, he'd acquired a necklace and ring set from the Noble Spirits as well.
This shield and accessory set gave him a special ability that further increased his defense.
However, the enemy would have to be stronger than the Monster Crocodile to force him to use it.
"Guess it's my turn."
Kang Oh rushed at the Monster Crocodile, Blood in hand.
Sephiro brought out a longer, thicker arrow than usual. It was an arrow that had added effectiveness against monsters with thick skin.
A short while later...
The three, with an overwhelming show of might, defeated the monster and turned it into crocodile skin.Previous Chapter Next Chapter