The 'Monster Road', which connects the western and central regions of Arth, begins at the military city, Kuwang.
Kang Oh had come here to replenish his supplies via Man Bok.
"It's been a while."
However, someone unexpected stood beside Man Bok.
He had curly hair, and gave off the impression that he was a pushover. Sephiro waved his hand at him.
"How have you been doing?"
"Why are you here, Mr. Sephiro?" Kang Oh tilted his head.
"Mr. Man Bok has some items for me, but he said he was coming here to see you, so I tagged along," Sephiro said.
"You seem pretty bored lately," Kang Oh said politely. He was basically saying, 'Want me to do something about it?'.
"No! I'm really busy!" Sephiro quickly replied.
"What's been keeping you so busy lately?"
"Do you remember the Rose family's rainbow arrows?"
"Don't you remember making me work like a dog for a month in exchange for the Rose family's purple arrow?"
"Did that happen? What about it?"
"I'm in the process of collecting the other colors. There are rumors that the entire set is connected to a hidden archer class."
"Hmm." He was starting to remember Sephiro telling him about that.
"I heard that Mr. Man Bok found the yellow arrow, so I came to get it."
"Here you go." Thinking that this was as good a time as any, Man Bok pulled out an arrow from his inventory; the yellow arrowhead was engraved with a rose.
"Nice. Now I only need to find one more." Sephiro tightly gripped the yellow arrow. His eyes burned with determination, seemingly saying 'I'll find all of them no matter what!'.
'Hmm. I'm not sure it'll end well.'
He looked at the yellow arrow, but his Hyper Intuition didn't react to it. Which meant that there was nothing more to the arrow. However, he didn't reveal this to Sephiro.
'If he collects all seven arrows and nothing happens, then he'll come running to me for help. Then... I'll use that as an excuse to work him like a dog.' Kang Oh smiled wickedly.
"Why are you smiling?" Sephiro looked at him anxiously.
"I-It's nothing." Kang Oh quickly wiped the smile off his face.
"By the way, how much have you leveled up, Mr. Kang Oh?" Sephiro asked.
"I'm quite curious myself." The curiosity showed on Man Bok's face.
"I'm in the mid 280s."
He'd spent all of his time training, and had even used the Potion of Explosive Growth, so his rate of growth was unbelievably fast. Unfortunately, he wouldn't be able to use the Potion of Explosive Growth once he hit level 300.
"Damn it," Sephiro muttered.
Kang Oh had somehow managed to catch up to his level. It felt really unpleasant.
"Wow, you leveled up extremely quickly." Man Bok was in awe.
"I'm not done yet. I heard high rankers were around level 300, and that Dukeram is over level 330."
'Moreover, I need to become even stronger to get acknowledged by Valan!' Unbeknownst to him, Kang Oh had clenched his fist.
"Ahem. Then, I'll be going now." Sephiro vowed to find the last of the Rose family's arrows, and then level up as much he could; he wouldn't let Kang Oh surpass him.
"Ah, Mr. Sephiro." Kang Oh quickly grabbed him.
"What happened to the Great Forest's Wukong? Has anyone caught him yet?"
Kang Oh's party had met the mythological creature, Wukong, in the Ungar Swamp.
If no one found Wukong's hideout for 100 days, then he'd make a ton of money.
However, that quest had ended in failure.
Another player had discovered Wukong's hideout. Once a human entered his lair, he became enraged, left his home, and slaughtered all of the players in the Great Forest.
Then, an experienced, large guild decided to kill him. They bravely stepped forth, but were slaughtered again, and again, and again.
Thinking that they'd be different, four of the five great guilds attempted to beat him, but the result was the same.
"Aside from the Empire Guild, the other four great guilds failed the raid. I believe the Empire Guild's elites will soon attempt the raid. I've heard that Emperor Dukeram will make a rare appearance too," Sephiro said.
"They'll fail too."
The Empire Guild that had tried to kill him! Any misfortune that befell them would be good luck for him.
"The players' opinions are divided half and half. The former believe that Wukong is currently unbeatable, while the latter believe the Empire Guild is in a league of its own."
"Wukong is indeed an unbeatable monster at the moment."
Kang Oh had prepared to hunt Wukong too. He didn't want to give up a monster that he'd found first after all.
He had seen the live broadcast of 'Rice University of Engineering', who were the first to attempt the raid. Kang Oh watched as they were helplessly killed by Wukong. That was when he changed his mind.
'He's weaker than a dragon, which is considered the apex monster, but he's stronger than any raid boss that's shown up thus far!'
Wukong wasn't called a mythological creature for no reason. He was an overwhelmingly powerful monster.
"Anyhow, please tell me if the Empire Guild fails the raid. It'll make me feel a lot better." Kang Oh was absolutely certain that the Empire Guild would fail the Wukong raid.
"Understood. Then, I'll be going now." Sephiro nodded his head and then left.
"I have the items that you requested," Man Bok said. There were two wagons behind him covered in cloth. "Would you like to see them?"
Man Bok pulled the cloth off one of the wagons, showing the potions, maintenance tools, emergency food, etc. within.
"I didn't bring the mass production BB-rank swords. You said you didn't need them."
"Yes." Kang Oh nodded his head and inwardly clicked his tongue. 'Tch. To think that there's a limit to stealing stats.'
Kang Oh used Gluttony every day using the BB-rank mass production swords, and had stolen a ton of stats.
But at some point, he received this message after killing a monster while Gluttony was active.
[Stats cannot be stolen.]
[You have reached the limit of stolen stats.]
[If you strengthen the demon sword, then the limit will increase.]
The total amount of his stolen stats was 400 points.
Right now, Demon Sword Ubist had been reinforced twice. If he wanted to steal some more stats, then he'd need to strengthen it to the next level.
However, getting Demon Sword Ubist to +3 was difficult.
In the past, feeding Ubist junk items would quickly increase its satiation, but now, feeding it dozens of junk items would only increase its satiation by 0.0001%.
"What about the other items I asked for?" Kang Oh wanted to see the other items he'd requested.
"Over here." Man Bok removed the cloth covering the other wagon too. There were tons of swords, spears, armor, shoes, belts, helmets, etc. inside.
All of them were either B-rank or C-rank.
"What are you going to do with all this?"
"I'm going to do this." Kang Oh spilled the items onto the floor, and then pointed Demon Sword Ubist at the pile.
"Eat it, Ubist!"
The jet-black greatsword spewed out darkness, which consumed the equipment as if it were eating candy.
[Demon Sword Ubist has consumed the Unbalanced Sword.]
[Demon Sword Ubist has consumed the Almost Defenseless Armor.]
[Demon Sword Ubist has...]
[Satiation has increased slightly.]
[Satiation has increased slightly.]
Once it had finished eating all of the equipment, the darkness began 'licking' at the ground as if Ubist were still hungry.
'You ate that much, yet your satiation only went up by 3%!? You're eating away at my money!'
Demon Sword Ubist's satiation was at 81%. Just another 19% and his demon sword would reach the next level of reinforcement.
However, increasing it by 19% wouldn't be an easy task. After all, the guy ate a ton.
"How interesting. A sword that eats other items."
"Haa, it's like pouring water into a jar with a hole in it." Kang Oh sighed. He wasn't faking it at all.
"Haha, is that so?" Man Bok smiled, seemingly interested by the sight.
"Anyhow, please use my share of southern fish profits to pay for my supplies and the fodder for my sword. If I need mass production BB-rank swords, then I'll let you know."
If the two soul dungeons didn't periodically pay him, then he wouldn't be able to spend so much money on Demon Sword Ubist.
But because of their monthly payments, he was able to spend all of his profits from the fish business on Ubist. After all, he'd made a promise that he'd become as strong as possible with whatever means at his disposal!
"I hope you make a lot of money." Kang Oh waved his hand at him, as he didn't have any more business with him.
"I hope you get a lot stronger too."
Kang Oh and Man Bok parted ways immediately.
* * *
The world was shrouded in darkness. The moon and the stars were obscured by the clouds, and a drizzle of raindrops began to fall from the sky.
The Ingrit Troll's stronghold, Ankaro Fortress, was located within the vast Ingrit Plains.
Ankaro Fortress's gate opened.
Troll Riders, which rode upon warthogs as large as bears, left the fortress and dashed through the rain.
There appeared to be about 10,000 Troll Riders.
"We're going at full speed!" Shakara yelled.
Shakara was the Troll Rider at the front, and he was also an Ingrit Troll Champion. He had received an incredibly important mission from the Troll Great Chieftain, Razul.
"Ooh!" The Troll Riders were well trained and their morale was high. They all replied to Shakara's cry simultaneously.
The mass of Troll Riders rode across the Ingrit Plains.
They were heading for the north.
It was in the direction of the snow-covered Ruman Mountains.
There were two men riding upon hideous monster birds in the sky.
They were watching the Troll Riders riding across the grasslands.
"In the end, Razul refused our offer and made a foolish choice," the man wearing a smile mask and black robes said.
Water rained down from above.
"Attacking at night... They may attack the Ruman Orc's Kalbawi Outpost by dawn," the man wearing a beast mask said. He was also covered in black robes.
"If the orcs aren't informed, that is," the smile mask man said.
"They'll probably take out the scouts first," the beast mask man replied. It seemed like he was higher ranked than the smile mask man.
"So they may be successful?"
"There's a chance it'll work."
"What will we do if it works?"
"The Kalbawi Outpost is both a strategic location, and a place that keeps an eye on the trolls' movements. If the Ruman Orcs lose the outpost, then they'll have no idea what the trolls are doing. It'll be like putting a blade at their throat. Then, if the trolls launch an all-out surprise attack on the elves and take them down, then the trolls will be victorious. Razul has employed a pretty good strategy," the beast mask man said.
"If that happens, then he'll have no reason to join forces with us. Our plan to use the trolls goes completely astray." The smile mask man had been moving behind the scenes, attempting to manipulate the trolls.
"That's why we have to stop them." The beast mask man nodded his head.
"You're absolutely right."
"I'll head for the Kalbawi Outpost. You keep tabs on Razul. When this surprise attack fails, we'll be able to pressure him into joining forces with us."
"Understood." The smile mask man followed his orders without complaint.
The two men controlled their monster birds and went their separate ways.
The smile mask man headed for Ankaro Fortress, while the beast mask man headed for the northern Ruman Mountains.
The rain wouldn't stop as the evening wore on.Previous Chapter Next Chapter