Chapter 183. Clash with the Empire Guild

For a few days now, Kang Oh felt like someone was watching him.

'Someone's definitely watching us.'

Whoever was watching them was doing a good job; they were doing their damndest to not be noticed. Thus, Sephiro and Eder hadn't noticed them yet.

But Kang Oh, who possessed Hyper Intuition, could feel them watching.

'If that's the case, then why are they watching me, or us...?' Kang Oh thought back to everything he's done recently. 'Are they Jaila's followers?'

He'd recently annihilated a group of Jaila's followers and had gotten in their way. Evil God Worshippers would have plenty of reasons to be watching him.

'If not, then is it the Empire Guild?'

Though Kainshell was a dungeon under the Empire Guild's control, Kang Oh's party had 'secretly' killed its boss, Clovis. What if they had found out that he was the perpetrator?

'If that's not it either, then do they have a grudge against me? Whatever the case, I can't let this go on!'

He didn't know who they were, but it was clear that they were spying on him! There was also no way that they were watching him with good intentions either.

If that's the case, then...

'I have to play my hand.' Kang Oh decided to make his move before he got caught in their scheme.

He called Sephiro and Eder to his room within the Nuwak Inn.

After all, their surveillance didn't go so far as to watch his room.  

A short while later...

Sephiro and Eder opened the door and came inside.

"What's the matter?" Sephiro asked.

"Please sit down."

Eder and Sephiro sat down. 

"Someone's watching us," Kang Oh said. 

"What?" Sephiro widened his eyes. What was he...?

"Really?" Eder asked.

"Yeah, really," Kang Oh said with certainty, looking completely serious. 

He was clearly telling the truth!

"Who's watching us?"

"I'm not exactly sure. They could be Jaila's followers or the Empire Guild. They could also be someone else."

"Mm, I just hope it's not the Empire Guild," Eder said weakly. 

"So what's your plan?" Eder asked.

"What do you think?" Kang Oh answered with a question of his own. 

"A pre-emptive strike." Eder knew how Kang Oh thought.

"Yep." Kang Oh grinned.

"We need to lure the spies out into the open," Sephiro said. 

"Yes. We need to act like we're escaping their net," Kang Oh said.

"Then they'll try to catch us," Eder said.

"That's when they'll realize that what they've caught isn't fish, but a shark." Kang Oh clenched his fist.

"But are we enough? They'll be ready for us," Eder said anxiously.

"And... if the Empire Guild is watching us, then they won't give up. They pay back twice what they're owed. That's their motto," Sephiro said concernedly.

It was as if he was saying, 'What do we do if it's the Empire Guild?'.

"If they're Jaila's followers, then they won't give up either. There's nothing scarier than faith," Eder said.

"That's why we need to intimidate them. Make them think, 'Ah, we can't mess with these guys!'," Kang Oh said.

"How?" Eder asked.

"Give me your communication earrings." Kang Oh extended his hand.

"What?"

Why did he need the communication earrings all of a sudden?

"I'm calling a monster!"

A monster that could overwhelm whoever was watching them, no matter how powerful they were!

Kang Oh knew several such monsters, and would call one of them this time.

* * *

Knock, knock.

Kraal opened his eyes. "Come in."

Upon entering the room, Kroba said, "I received an urgent report."

"What is it?"

"Our prey is getting ready to run."

Their 'prey' referred to Kang Oh's party.

"What?" Kraal furrowed his brow.

"Our spies have verified this. Our prey will soon leave the Great Forest and travel to some other place."

"Where are they going?"

"They were vague, saying things like 'that place' or 'a good place'."

"So they planned this."

"If not, then they could've noticed that we've been watching them," Kroba said cautiously.

"They found out?"

"Yes. So they're either trying to escape, or lure us into a trap."

"Hmm."

Kroba remained silent while Kraal thought this over.

How much time had passed?

Kraal said, "We shouldn't go after them now; we're not completely ready yet..."

"Understood. Then I'll tell the men to follow them..."

"However!"

"Yes?"

"I need to let headquarters know. And if they provide us with some reinforcements, then we're going to strike."

"Understood. Then I'll tell our spies, which are spread out throughout the forest, to center around our prey."

Kroba was a competent vice-captain. He did what Kraal wanted without being ordered.

"You do that. Go on."

"Yes sir."

Kroba left the room, and Kraal opened a message window.

Then, he sent a message to the Empire Guild's vice-captain.

'Vice-Captain Jegal.'

- What's the matter?

- I need some reinforcements.

- Reinforcements?

- The targets are trying to escape my net.

Kraal had already reported that he was gunning for Oga and his party.

Of course, he'd also explained why he believed that they were the perpetrators.

Thus, he didn't need to explain anything to Jegal.

- Are you not ready yet?

Jegal knew how Kraal operated. He trusted in Kraal's methods; he would kill his targets only after being completely prepared.

However, his preparations often gave his prey enough time to escape.

- Yes. We can't be hasty, as our targets are not to be underestimated.

The vice-captain didn't reply for some time. Jegal was organizing his thoughts.

- I'll send you some reinforcements.

- It's urgent.

- I'll send Ridgeley and the Brown Bear Squad's elites.

'Ridgeley and the Brown Bear Squad!' Kraal smiled. 

The Brown Bear Squad was a part of the Empire Guild's armed forces.

Ridgeley was the captain of the squad and also a high ranker, which meant that he was in the top 100!

With their strength, he could take down Oga's party no matter what.

'I can mark him and then kill him again and again.' Kraal smirked.

He possessed the Intermediate Tracking skill. Kraal could 'mark' people with it. He could track whoever was marked for the duration of a week.

- Thank you very much!

- Ridgeley and twenty of the Brown Bear Squad's elites are leaving right now. Wait next to the Modrak intercity transfer gate.

- Understood.

- Remember, you must record footage of you killing Oga.

There was a simple reason that Jegal sent both a high ranker, Ridgeley, and the elites of the Brown Bear Squad.

He'd make use of this opportunity to crush an up and coming player, Oga, and show off the Empire Guild's might!

But...

Would it really go as planned?

* * *

Miu.

Three Yumas ran side by side, ridden by Kang Oh, Eder, and Sephiro.

They'd finished exploring a dungeon, and were on their way back to the Nuwak Village. 

"Do you think they've noticed?" Eder asked.

Kang Oh's party had leaked that they were leaving the Great Forest, in order to draw their watchers out.

The method they used was simple. They said farewell to the Nuwak tribesmen and said, 'We'll be leaving soon'. That was it.

Obviously, they hadn't told them exactly where they were going.

"We just have to wait," Kang Oh said confidently.

"They won't attack us while we're in the Nuwak Village. There are plenty of people watching, and the warriors there won't just sit by and do nothing," Sephiro said.

"Exactly. If they're going to attack us, then they're going to do it while we're in a dungeon or when we've left the village, like right now," Kang Oh said.

He was proven right not long after. 

A short while later...

Kang Oh's party was surrounded by Kraal's Assassination Squad.

At first, ten of them blocked his party's way forward. But then, they came from every direction, instantly surrounding them. It seemed like there were more than 100 of them.

"It doesn't look like they're Jaila's followers," Eder whispered.

Some of them wore masks, while others didn't; those who didn't bore red eyes.

"Damn it, it's the Empire Guild's Sweepers." Sephiro knew who they were at first glance.

"They must've found out that it was us at Kainshell," Kang Oh whispered.

The spies were from the Empire Guild! If that's the case, then they'd discovered that he and his party had secretly killed Kainshell's boss.

"Tch, this is why I didn't want to be involved." Sephiro looked like he wanted to cry.

"It's already water under the bridge." Kang Oh shrugged his shoulders. What was he going to do about it now? It was already spilt milk.

Then...

The Assassination parted, letting through Kraal, Kroba, and several bulky warriors.

"I'm a member of the Empire Guild, Kraal," Kraal stepped forward and yelled.

Eder slightly pushed Kang Oh forward. He was basically saying, 'You're up.'.

"So? Why are you surrounding us and threatening us?" Kang Oh yelled.

"You really don't know?" Kraal narrowed his eyes at Kang Oh.

"Not really."

"Kainshell!"

"What about it?"

"You're the ones who secretly killed the boss there, even though the dungeon is under the Empire Guild's control!" Kraal yelled.

"Yeah, we killed Kainshell's boss monster. So what?"

Kang Oh didn't deny it. After all, Eder was carrying around the Hellfire Mace. 

He didn't want to argue either. Kang Oh didn't believe that killing the boss put him in the wrong.

"You stole the Empire Guild's property."

"Why does the dungeon boss belong to you? It belongs to whoever killed it," Kang Oh said unrelentingly.

"I told you, our guild manages that dungeon."

"Tch, tch." Kang Oh clicked his tongue. 'This is why you have to get rid of these giant guilds.'

"Did you guys buy it?" he continued. 

"We didn't buy it. We occupied it."

"That's illegal. What are you, gangsters? It's like you've occupied a nightclub or something."

"Keep barking." Kraal snarled and his red eyes gleamed.

"That must be a sore spot. If you're a gangster, then act like one and come at me with your little sticks." Kang Oh gestured for them to 'come on' with his hand. 

"Enough. I'll take over from here." A man, garbed in leather armor and a halberd leaning on his shoulder, stepped forward.

Kraal backed off without complaint. After all, the man had far greater authority than he did.

"Oh, so you're Oga?" the man asked.

"I am, why?"

Kang Oh had no intention of revealing his real ID, so he wouldn't remove his helmet or be transparent. 

"I'm Ridgeley."

'Ridgeley. That Ridgeley?' Kang Oh knew who this man was. He was an incredibly famous player, so there's no way he wouldn't know who he was.

He was both a higher ranker and the leader of one of the Empire Guild's squads. 

"You're pretty famous."

"So you know who I am. Anyhow, I know who you are too. You're pretty strong." Ridgeley spoke to him informally, as if he were speaking to a subordinate.

"I'm not 'pretty' strong. I'm really strong." Kang Oh knew just how strong he was.

"Really? Then let's have a match!"

Ridgeley had seen TGN's Warriors of the Great Forest. He'd obviously seen Oga too. He wanted to fight him. 

"One-on-one?" Kang Oh asked.

"One-on-one." Ridgeley nodded his head.

"I'd rather not."

He brought this many people here and has the gall to ask for a one on one fight? What a joke.

"What?"

"You're too weak, so come at me all at once!" Kang Oh said provokingly. He then gestured for them to attack him once more. 

'I'm weak!?'

Grr.

Ridgeley gritted his teeth. He felt unpleasant, as if he'd been slapped across the face.

"I'll grind you to dust!" Ridgeley rushed at him like an angry bear!

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