"What did you say?" Kang Oh picked his ear.
"You promised you'd go to Despia when you hit level 300," Eder said.
The land that bordered hell, Despia. It was there that the Goddess of Death's Temple was located.
Only by going to Deborah's Temple and begging for mercy would the curse on Eder's body be lifted. Thus, going there was the only way to return to his original body.
Kang Oh had agreed to transport Eder's body to Deborah's Temple.
"I said 300, not 400?" Kang Oh said with a straight face.
"Yes, that's what you said," Eder clearly said, staring straight into his eyes.
"Hmm. Despia, huh..." Kang Oh patted Eder's shoulder. "I have some things to take care of first. We can revisit this topic after I've dealt with Master Valan."
"Understood." Eder didn't pester him anymore and backed off. He was well aware of how important Valan's test was to Kang Oh.
The two parted ways, and Kang Oh headed for the Holiseum. He would prepare for Valan's test by sparring with Burkan.
* * *
Surprisingly, Burkan was in the underground arena, not the pub.
"You're here." It seemed like he'd been waiting for him.
"Were you waiting for me?"
"Your test with Master Valan is in three days, so I knew you'd come and find me," Burkan said calmly.
"I see." Kang Oh nodded his head.
"I learned it."
"Good job." Burkan patted his shoulder.
"How should I use the rest of my time?"
"Fighting is best." Burkan grinned and drew his gladius. "C'mon!"
Kang Oh smiled. "That's what I'm talking about."
For three days, Kang Oh and Burkan fought.
* * *
Valan strutted over.
Burkan and Kang Oh greeted him.
Valan looked over Kang Oh with big, sharp eyes. "Let's head over to the gladiatorial arena." He said nothing else. Valan led, and Kang Oh and Burkan followed behind him.
A short while later...
Kang Oh and Valan stood across from each other.
"I'm going to kill you," Valan declared.
"Master!" Burkan quickly intervened.
Valan raised his hand, holding him back. "Let me finish. I'm going to swing my sword just once. It'll be strong enough to kill you."
"So I just have to survive?" Kang Oh asked.
"That's right. If you survive my attack, then you're strong enough."
Just surviving his attack would prove his strength!? What arrogance. But this was Valan we're talking about, so if anyone could make that statement, it was him.
"Hoo." Kang Oh took a deep breath and drew Demon Sword Blood.
He'd decided that Blood, a one-handed sword, would be more effective at dealing with whatever Valan threw at him.
Valan drew his own blade. It was nothing more than a simple steel sword. But in his hands, any normal sword became more powerful than even the greatest of blades.
Without any warning, Valan horizontally swung his sword. It was so natural!
Divide the Sea!
His sword divided the world in two.
Kang Oh had refined Transcendent Blade in his spars with Burkan. After all, it was the only skill in his possession that had any hopes of standing up to Valan!
He immediately used Transcendent Blade. Fight fire with fire!
However... there was a huge gap in proficiency. Kang Oh's Transcendent Blade was akin to a firefly's light, while Valan's Divide the Sea was like moonlight.
Divide the Sea cleaved through his Transcendent Blade. Then... Valan's attack came for him like a falling guillotine.
* * *
Hyper Intuition sent him a warning. He felt a chill at his neck, one that far surpassed any before it!
Right before his neck was sliced off… Kang Oh focused entirely on Valan's attack, and the world started to slow down. Though the world had slowed, Divide the Sea hadn't slowed one bit and came at him just the same. After all, Divide the Sea was a skill that surpassed all limitations.
'Swing your sword!' Kang Oh strongly desired.
His sword arm moved slowly, but soon increased in speed. He'd done this once before, so it was easier now.
Demon Sword Blood was swung downwards at an impossible speed. If a normal person had seen this, then they'd have only seen the flash of Kang Oh's sword.
Kang Oh used Transcendent Blade again and stood against Valan's attack. However, he couldn't stop it no matter what he did.
Go for broke. If he couldn't beat it with quality, then he'd beat it with quantity. Kang Oh relentlessly swung his sword again and again.
Divide the Sea passed through Kang Oh's body.
Kang Oh was so exhausted that he fell to the floor. He'd used Transcendent Blade consecutively, so it was only natural that he'd feel so exhausted.
Fortunately, his neck was still attached to his body.
If that's the case, then… Kang Oh rolled his eyes and stared at Valan.
Valan sheathed his sword and said, "You survived. You pass!"
"Little Brother!" Burkan dashed over and hugged him.
[You have passed the Trial to Become Valan's Successor 2.]
[You have moved on to the Trial to Become Valan's Successor 3.]
He beamed. 'I protected Demon Sword Ubist and the adamantium gemstone!' Kang Oh, who'd gotten some of his energy back, clenched his fists.
* * *
Kang Oh, Burkan, and Valan sat around a table.
"You're still not done with the trials," Valan said.
Kang Oh furrowed his brow. 'What are you going to make me do this time?'
"When exactly will these trials end?"
'I could understand if it were to become the Guardian of the Continent, but these are tests to become the Guardian of the Continent's successor! Why are there so many tests!?'
"This is your last test. If you pass this test, then I'll acknowledge you as my successor," Valan said. The 'I still don't like you, but I'll be nice and give you a pass' went unsaid.
'If Ubist and the adamantium gemstone weren't on the line, then I wouldn't do this crap; it's all hard work with no pay!'
However, he had no choice but to relent at this point in time.
"What is the final test?"
"Do you still have the adamantium?" Valan asked.
"Yes, I've stored it someplace safe."
'Do you know how precious it is!?'
"You're going to make a weapon with the adamantium."
'Where'd that come from!?'
"The adamantium is meant for your success..."
"Yeah, it's meant for my successor. That's why I want you to make an extraordinary blade with it."
Kang Oh decided to finish listening to him first. Now he was interested.
"Please keep going." Kang Oh smiled politely.
"I stuck Demon Sword Ubist into the adamantium," Valan began. "I was hoping that the darkness that emanated from Ubist would be absorbed by the adamantium."
"Didn't you stick it in there to choose a successor?"
"That was part of it. Don't interrupt me."
"Yes, sir." Kang Oh immediately shut up.
"When you seal a demon within a sword, it becomes a demon sword. But if that happens, the sword loses all of its original properties. For example, Ubist was originally the legendary Max Gemina. But after becoming Demon Sword Ubist, it lost all of its previous abilities."
Ever since he'd learned that Ubist had once been Max Gemina, he'd been pissed at Valan. After all, Valan had defaced one of the greatest swords in existence!
"But... you can also create a demon sword using metal infused with darkness."
"Are you serious?"
"Of course. But the resulting blade is much weaker than one created using Seal Demon. However, what if you were to use Seal Demon on such a blade?" Valan said quietly. "It may spawn the ultimate demon sword, one possessing its original characteristics, while being able to use the powers of the demon sealed within it."
The ultimate demon sword!
That made Kang Oh's heart pound. Moreover, Valan had said it himself, hadn't he? That he would provide his successor with an extraordinary blade. Which meant that ultimately, the sword would be his!
"So what do you need me to do?" Kang Oh suddenly had the desire to complete this quest to the best of his ability.
"To create a demon sword with the darkness infused adamantium, you'll need an extremely skilled blacksmith that can handle the darkness's power. Only one tribe in the world is qualified to do that."
'And they are...?' Kang Oh eyes seemed to say.
"The Black Hammer Dwarves."
Dwarves had deft hands, and were experts at handling metal. Thus, they were called the Earth Tribe. Most dwarves lived freely in the vast Phamas Mountains.
"All I need to do is go to the Phamas Mountains and ask them to make me a sword?" Kang Oh asked.
Valan stared at him menacingly. "Shut up and let me finish."
Kang Oh quickly shut his mouth.
"The Black Hammer Dwarves were once ruled by the Black Dragon, Inarius. In order to escape his grasp, they hid within Despia."
Despia! It was the same place where the Goddess of Death's Temple was located!
"Your mission is simple. Go to Despia and find the Black Hammer Dwarves. Then, ask them to make you a demon sword using the adamantium gemstone."
A quest popped up.
[Trial to Become Valan's Successor 3]
The third trial to succeed Demonic Swordsman, Valan, as Guardian of the Continent.
Go to Despia and find the Black Hammer Dwarves. Then, ask them to make you a demon sword out of the adamantium!
Difficulty: Extremely difficult.
Minimum Requirements: Guardian of the Continent's Successor.
Reward: Become Valan's Successor.
Failure: Return Demon Sword Ubist and the adamantium gemstone to Valan.
[The quest has automatically been accepted.]
"There's no time limit this time," Valan said. "Despia isn't a place for the faint of heart. While you're there, train up and become stronger."
"Understood." What great timing. He needed to go there because of Eder anyway.
"Go on," Valan said. He clearly didn't want to see him anymore.
"Yes." Kang Oh didn't want to stay any longer either. He quickly left the room.
Valan and Burkan were the only two left.
"Thank you, Master." Burkan bowed his head.
"For going easy on him." Burkan pointed at the door Kang Oh had left through. He knew that Valan's Divide the Sea wasn't even close to full power.
"He's weak. I really don't like him. But he got way stronger than I'd expected, so I gave him a pass. I just gave him another opportunity, that's all."
"He'll do well." Burkan smiled.
"It doesn't really matter if he doesn't. You'll just have to be my successor."
"Don't say things like that!"
'Things have been going well with Ms. Dora lately, so I can't afford to become the Guardian of the Continent!'
"Tch, tch, tch." Valan clicked his tongue.Previous Chapter Next Chapter