Kang Oh began researching the Batiyu Ruins.
Using Arthtory and its affiliated community sites, Kang Oh was able to find some information on the Batiyu Ruins.
But he couldn't find anything in particular.
Then, he ordered Eder to go to the library and find anything he could.
He also asked Sephiro to look into it via his information brokers.
If he did him this favor, he told Sephiro that he wouldn't bother him for a least a few days; at most, a few weeks.
After all, he needed to deal with the Evil God's disciple by himself.
"I'll get you that info no matter what!" Eder said.
"Mm, I'll get you what you want, so please, please take a long time with that quest," Sephiro said.
There was a fire in their eyes. Eder and Sephiro then left to gather information.
"Guess it's my turn."
Kang Oh was on the move.
His destination: the Batiyu Ruins!
* * *
The northwest area of the central region, where several free cities were located...
There were two small and medium cities, several villages, and mountains of all sizes here. The people called this place the Brio Region.
This region's specialty was medical herbs.
Brio's medical herbs were renowned for their quality and effectiveness, and were more expensive than other herbs.
In any case, Mt. Batiyu was one of the mountains here, and it was also where the Batiyu Ruins were located.
'Is this it?'
Kang Oh had gone up the mountain, finding dilapidated, white houses and buildings.
[You have entered the dungeon, Batiyu Ruins.]
The Rain and Lightning God, Batiyu, was the local deity of the Brio Region.
The Batiyu Ruins were the remains of what used to be Batiyu's Temple.
There had been more than a temple here; there'd been lodging here for the priests and devotees, a huge cafeteria, a hot spring, a storehouse that contained a variety of bowls used for ancestral rites, as well as a marketplace and a store.
But for reasons unknown, it was attacked by a huge horde of monsters, and most of the areas were destroyed. Now it was nothing more than ruins.
Kang Oh examined the dilapidated houses, buildings, and stone statues one by one. His eyes were wide open; he was unwilling to miss a single detail!
He heard several barking dogs.
The dogs had gray fur and flames gushed out of their mouths. These were Devil Dogs, or Bulldogs.
They were level 150, and there were about 20 of them.
Kang Oh glared at them.
His eyes shined like the red glow of the setting sun, causing the Bulldogs to shrink away in fear.
He immediately drew Demon Sword Blood and swept through the 20 or so dogs without any interference.
Most of them fell to the floor, foaming at the mouth. The two Bulldogs that had barely managed to survive ran with their tails between their legs.
Kang Oh didn't pursue, choosing to continue examining the ruins. A short while later, he stopped.
A pillar of what used to be a bathhouse had a goat pattern engraved onto it.
Upon seeing it, his Hyper Intuition sounded the alarm.
"Hmm. Why is it a goat?"
Kang Oh stroked the goat pattern.
There were several animals like a pig, a wolf, a dog, etc. engraved on the walls or pillars, as well as symbols of the sun and the stars.
But his Hyper Intuition had only activated upon seeing the goat.
'What does the goat represent? There doesn't seem to be any particular device here...'
What secret was this goat pattern hiding?
Kang Oh looked it over several times, but he couldn't find anything else.
'Does it have to be the night of the full moon?'
Tino had told him that it was rumored that a strange ritual was performed here on the night of the full moon.
However, a full moon wasn't out right now, so he had no way of knowing.
'If not, then do you need something else?'
Kang Oh took his mind off the goat pattern, and began examining the still unseen areas.
After all, he might find a lead somewhere else.
However, Kang Oh discovered another goat pattern amidst the others. His Hyper Intuition flared once more. Here, here!
Kang Oh carefully examined the pattern.
There wasn't much difference between this one and the one before.
'Either it needs to be the night of the full moon, or there's something else to it.'
Kang Oh got a move on.
A short while later, he encountered ten Bulldogs; they charged at him, flames spurting from their mouths.
"Give me a lead!"
'Something that'll help me figure out what the goat pattern means!'
Kang Oh mercilessly swung Demon Sword Blood and took care of them.
But they only dropped junk, Gray Fur. His Hyper Intuition didn't react to it.
'I don't think you can get it from the Bulldogs.'
Bulldogs were the only monsters that appeared in the Batiyu Ruins. However, none of the items they dropped would help him solve this mystery.
'Let's go through the rest of the ruins.'
Kang Oh didn't stop until he was finished searching the ruins.
He encountered some more Bulldogs along the way, but they weren't an issue. Kang Oh would get the jump on them with Devil Eye and then kill them with Blood.
At times, he'd see some players fighting the Bulldogs.
Since this region was renowned for its medical herbs, he wasn't surprised to see Medicine Hunters here wearing mesh bags.
However, they smelled somewhat strange. It was definitely the smell of mint.
'Does a lot of mint grow in the Batiyu Ruins?'
Mint was definitely a medicinal herb. Thus, it wasn't really strange that they smelled like it.
'Tch. Anyhow, there aren't any clues here.'
Kang Oh looked around all day, and had found six more goat patterns.
With this, there were a total of twelve goat patterns within the Batiyu Ruins. His Hyper Intuition had activated upon seeing each and every one of them.
But that was all. Aside from that, he didn't get anything else from it.
'I guess that's good enough for a preliminary search. Let's meet up with Sephiro and Eder and see what they found.'
Kang Oh descended Mt. Batiyu and headed for the nearest town.
He had 28 days left to complete the quest.
Kang Oh still had time to spare.
* * *
In the Brio Region's central city, Brickham...
There was a huge marketplace that sold the Brio Region's medical herbs, though it couldn't compare to the other large cities' marketplaces like Altein.
At a certain restaurant in Brickham...
Kang Oh, Eder, and Sephiro met each other.
"Did you find anything?" Kang Oh asked.
"My information brokers... didn't really have any info on the Batiyu Ruins."
Sephiro scratched his head.
"Tch," Kang Oh clicked his tongue, and stared at Eder.
"What about you?"
"I'm not sure if this will help, but..."
"One of Lord Batiyu's priests took part in destroying the Evil God's Temple."
"Hmm. Then the horde of monsters was an act of retaliation by the Evil God Worshippers."
"I wasn't able to find that out..."
Eder shook his head.
"So there's no way that Batiyu's followers and Jaila's followers are on good terms."
"No, they're definitely not," Eder said.
"But one of Jaila's disciples and his followers are conducting a ritual in the Batiyu Ruins... Do you have any info on the priest that destroyed Jaila's Temple?" Kang Oh asked.
"I'll look into it."
"Alright. I'm counting on you."
Then, Sephiro said, "Did you find anything, Mr. Kang Oh?"
"My Hyper Intuition activated as I searched the ruins."
"Oh? What did you find?"
"There were a variety of patterns engraved on the walls, pillars, etc. My Hyper Intuition responded to the goat head pattern. However, I couldn't find anything else."
"A goat head pattern?"
Sephiro tilted his head.
"A goat, huh... Mr. Kang Oh," Eder said.
"What is it?"
"You said that Jaila's disciple may be using human sacrifices to conduct his ritual, right?"
Before he'd asked them to gather information, Kang Oh had explained the details of his quest.
"I might have an explanation for the goat pattern."
"What is it?"
"Goats were the first animal that were sacrificed to God."
"So the pattern signifies sacrifice."
"If you sacrifice something there, then a path may open for you."
"Would a goat work?" Sephiro asked.
"There's a chance it might."
"Please bring a goat's meat, its organs, and its blood," Eder said.
Kang Oh nodded his head.
"Was there anything else there that was strange?" Sephiro asked.
"No. Well, I guess there's the fact that Medicine Hunters were there, despite it being a dungeon where monsters show up."
"Yes. They smelled like mint, and I assumed they were there to pick mint."
There was a reason he was telling them this. It meant that there was nothing as unusual as the goat patterns.
"Mint? Does only one type of monster appear in the Batiyu Ruins?" Eder asked.
"Yeah. Bulldogs, which are dogs that spew fire."
"That must be why it smelled like mint."
"What are you talking about?"
"The smell of mint calms down dogs."
Eder was a legendary healer, so there was no one who knew more about medicinal herbs than him.
"Those Medicine Hunters are using the smell of mint to ward off the dogs."
"Whatever the case, I'll have to buy some goat meat, its organs, and its blood, and go back."
Kang Oh stood up.
"An animal's blood or organs attracts dogs, so go to a drugstore, buy some mint powder, and rub it on your body," Eder said.
"Isn't mint powder expensive?"
"I got it. Mr. Sephiro, please look into Jaila's followers."
"Then, if you'll excuse me."
Kang Oh left the restaurant and bought goat meat, its organs, and its blood from a nearby butcher shop.
'It doesn't smell.'
Kang Oh placed all of the items into his inventory and then smelled himself. He didn't smell anything in particular.
'Still, dogs have a sharp sense of smell, so let's go and buy some mint powder before we go.'
Kang Oh headed for a nearby drugstore.
"What are you looking for?" the drugstore owner asked.
"Do you have mint powder in stock?"
"Please give me some of that."
The owner put his hand through the display counter and said, "You must be going to the Batiyu Ruins."
"Yes, I am. How did you know?"
"People who go up Mt. Batiyu come looking for mint powder to keep those violent dogs away."
"That's true. All of the Medicine Hunters I saw at the Batiyu Ruins all smelled like mint," Kang Oh said.
However, the drugstore owner looked at him strangely.
"There were Medicine Hunters at the Batiyu Ruins?"
Was it not natural for them to be there?
"That's unlikely... Did you see actual Medicine Hunters?"
"Why do you ask?"
"At some point, the medicinal herbs from Mt. Batiyu became extremely toxic. They became completely useless. Thus, Medicine Hunters don't go to Mt. Batiyu in search of medicinal herbs."
Kang Oh eyes momentarily widened.
"Is that true?"
"Yes. All of the Medicine Hunters here know that... Are they from somewhere else?"
The drugstore owner tilted his head. However, the drugstore owner soon disregarded it, and passed him paper containing the mint powder.
"It's 1 gold."
But Kang Oh was absorbed in thought. Thus, he hadn't replied to the drugstore owner.
"Um, excuse me, sir," the owner asked once more.
Only then did Kang Oh respond.
"It's 1 gold."
Kang Oh paid the fee, accepted the mint powder, and left while thinking over the matter.
'If he's right, then that means those Medicine Hunters are fakes. If that's the case, then... I'll need to get some answers out of them!'
Those individuals that were impersonating Medicine Hunters... They had to be linked to Jaila's disciple.Previous Chapter Next Chapter