The Death Worm, Liviola. It was a giant worm that lived within the Starving Desert; a monster that popped out of the ground, eating sand and living beings alike! The worm was more than 10 kilometers long, and its level was impossible to measure!
"Something like that exists?" After listening to Honadan's explanation, Kang Oh looked shocked. The death worms he knew were around level 200 and were over 10 meters long.
"It's probably roaming deep underneath the Starving Desert's sands."
A giant worm that was more than 10 kilometers long! It was terrifying even thinking about it!
'It's more like a calamity than a monster.'
"Sand is representative of flowing time. Did you know that?" Honadan asked.
"Is that so?" Kang Oh tilted his head. 'I've never heard of that before!'
"Think about an hourglass. The falling sand is equivalent to time. Anyhow, Liviola, which endlessly eats sand, is the time-eating entity."
"I see. Then, 'Death exists within the time-eating entity' could also mean 'Death exists within Liviola.'."
"I don't need to tell you what represents death, do I?"
"Despia," Kang Oh immediately answered.
Honadan nodded his head.
"If that's the case, then... The way to Despia exists within the Death Worm's body?"
"Of course, that's only what the Black Hammer Dwarves told me. I haven't seen them ever since they deliberately got eaten by the Death Worm."
"What do I have to do to get eaten by it?" Kang Oh asked.
"The night of the full moon is when it comes out and hunts. If you wait in the middle of the desert, then the Death Worm will come and eat you."
"When is the night of the full moon?"
"It's in a week."
Kang Oh glanced at Eder. "Can you finish remodeling the Lich's body within a week?"
"I think so. I'm putting the finishing touches on it right now."
"Alright. Then we're going to get eaten in a week, on the night of the full moon."
* * *
"Big Brother, where are you going?" his little sister, Yura, asked. He'd been pulling out and comparing his clothes all morning.
"I have an afternoon appointment," Jae Woo said, his voice slightly shaking.
'I have to look good no matter what!'
He would be meeting the members of Triple Lower (Soo Ah's girl group) today. That's why he was feeling so anxious.
Yura glanced at the clock. 7:30 A.M. He said it was an afternoon appointment, so she couldn't understand why he was getting prepared so early in the morning.
"This one or this one? Which looks better?" Jae Woo showed her two pieces of clothing, one in each hand.
"They're so-so," Yura said firmly. If Mina had been here, she'd have said something like 'They suck! Get rid of those immediately!'.
"Ahem." He'd spent a whole hour picking and had narrowed it down to these two, yet she wasn't in love with his choices!
"Honestly, you have zero fashion sense."
"Hey, I don't have zero..."
"Yeah, you do. Give up," Yura declared.
"So after Mina wakes up, give her some spending money and get some advice."
"I guess that's a good idea."
Mina had a really good fashion sense. Perhaps it was because she'd read more fashion magazines in her life than textbooks.
"You're going to see your girlfriend, aren't you? Then you need to dress nicely."
"Then, have fun on your date." Yura returned to her room.
Jae Woo followed her advice to the letter. He gave Mina some spending money, and got her to help him from head to toe.
"Alright, this should work. Let's go." Jae Woo satisfyingly looked at himself in the mirror.
* * *
Jae Woo met Soo Ah, who wore a hat, sunglasses, and a mask, all of which completely covered her face.
"Oppa, shouldn't you be covering your face?" Soo Ah asked, noticing how nicely dressed he was.
"You've become famous, and your face was shown on national TV."
"That's just my game character."
"But your face is the same."
She was right; his face in-game and in real life were the same. His in-game character, Kang Oh, had been created by scanning his body and transferring that into the game.
"No one has recognized me in real life. And if we both cover our faces, then people will get suspicious." Jae Woo grinned.
"I suppose you're right. But why do you have so much on you?" Soo Ah asked.
"For the girls?"
"Yeah, I want to give a good impression. And this is for you." Jae Woo passed her the shopping bag in his right hand.
"Oh, you bought one for me too?"
"You're my girlfriend. I bought yours first."
"Let's head over now. We can't be late after all."
Jae Woo and Soo Ah got into a taxi.
* * *
Buff Chicken.That was where they agreed to meet. Soo Ah and the members of Triple Lower frequented this restaurant.
"Welcome." Jae Woo and Soo Ah entered the restaurant and were greeted by a kind woman.
"President, I'm here," Soo Ah said, taking off her sunglasses and hat.
"Oh my, you came again. Where are the others?"
"They'll be here soon. The room's empty, right?"
Although Buff Chicken was a chicken restaurant, it also had a separate room.
"Of course," the president said.
"Oppa, follow me."
Jae Woo and Soo Ah immediately entered the room.
"Hoo, I'm nervous." Jae Woo downed a glass of water. He was feeling parched all of a sudden!
"You shouldn't be. We're all good people."
They'd promised to meet at 6:00 P.M. A little past six, a couple of women opened the door and came in. They were Triple Lower's Hyo Min and Lee Seol.
"You're here," Soo Ah said.
"Hello," Jae Woo immediately said.
The oldest of their group, Hyo Min, took off her sunglasses. Since she was an idol, it went without saying that she was beautiful, and she also gave off an elegant vibe.
"Hello, it's nice to meet you. My name is Hyo Min."
After that, the team's youngest, Lee Seol, took off her sunglasses and hat. Her face looked incredibly arrogant, but once she began smiling with her eyes, her face looked cute instead.
"Hello, my name is Lee Seol!"
"My name is Jae Woo."
Once they were finished introducing themselves, they took their seats.
"These are... bribes to make me look good." Jae Woo passed him their presents.
"Thank you." Hyo Min nodded and accepted the shopping bag.
"May I take a look inside?" Lee Seol asked as soon as she got the bag.
"Of course you may."
"Oh! It's so cute!" A white polar bear doll came out of the bag.
"I heard you liked dolls."
"Thank you." Lee Seol beamed.
"I'll take a look at mine too." Hyo Min opened her present. It was a picture frame the size of a sketch book that contained a beautiful picture inside. "It's beautiful. Thank you." Hyo Min smiled.
"Unni, did you order already?" Lee Seol asked.
"Yeah, I ordered what we always do," Soo Ah said.
A short while later...
Garlic soy chicken and cheese fondue chicken were placed on the table. There was beer there too; you couldn't have chicken without beer.
"Shall we have a toast?" Hyo Min raised her glass.
"I'm a minor, so I'll drink something else." The youngest, Lee Seol, poured herself some cider.
The four lightly tapped their glasses together and drank their respective drinks.
"I can call you oppa, right?" Lee Seol asked, staring at Jae Woo.
"Yes, of course you can."
"Oppa, did you know that me and Hyo Min Unni have been dying to see you?"
"Soo Ah Unni has gotten a lot of offers before, but she turned them all down, saying that she wanted to focus on singing."
Jae Woo nodded his head.
"But then one day, she said she got herself a boyfriend. We couldn't help but be curious. Right, Unni?" Lee Seol said.
"Yeah. It happened out of the blue, right?"
"It did. You watched that program he was in day in and day out. What was it called again? Dungeon Conquering Man?"
"No, I was just watching the show," Soo Ah immediately replied. Her ears had turned red.
"Oh, is that so?" Lee Seol didn't believe her at all.
"I'm serious." Soo Ah glared at her.
"Fine, let's say that's true." Lee Seol shrugged her shoulders.
"Mr. Jae Woo," Hyo Min suddenly said.
"How did you two meet? And how did you end up liking each other? Please tell us."
"You can't! Don't tell them anything." Soo Ah suddenly butted in.
"They'll use that to make fun of me, so please don't ever tell them."
"Oh, c'mon, don't be like that. Just tell us. We won't make fun of you," Hyo Min said.
"No!" Soo Ah immediately said.
"I'm on Soo Ah's side," Jae Woo said. He was clearly stating that he wouldn't tell them about their relationship.
"I suppose we'll get another chance later. Shall we have another drink?"
They drank another round of drinks. After that, they continued to chat amicably.
"Mr. Jae Woo, you're a famous gamer, right?"
"Kind of? You're one of the Numbers. I doubt there's anyone who plays Arth that doesn't know your name," Hyo Min said.
"She's right," Lee Seol agreed enthusiastically.
"You two play Arth too?"
"I started a while back. I've been hearing quite a lot about you lately. You're more famous than us, at least in terms of Arth," Hyo Min smiled and said.
"I started a little bit before her. Though I'm still a beginner."
"Then how about we go hunting together, or have a picnic someplace with a great view?" Jae Woo asked.
"Sounds good to me." Hyo Min nodded her head.
"Me too!" Lee Seol said.
Soo Ah nodded her head.
After that, they kept talking with smiles on their faces. They happily spent the evening away until their drinking party came to an end.
* * *
The full moon!
The moonlight shined down on the desert's sand, causing it to shine, and a chilly breeze blew from afar. Kang Oh and Eder were standing smack dab in the middle of the desert.
However, Eder looked completely different. His body was thin, without an ounce of muscle, and looked like a skeleton that was just barely covered by flesh. Eder's eye sockets were bare, but radiated a deep blue fire. He was covered in black mage's robes, which were adorned with skulls, and he wielded a scythe in one hand.
Eder had been reborn as a Lich!
"You can't use Large-Scale Summon Undead?" Kang Oh asked, furrowing his brow.
"No. The Lich's body is incomplete. It doesn't have its life vessel, so there's a limit to its MP. Thus, I gave up on Large-Scale Summon Undead, as it would take too much MP to maintain."
"Then what can you do?"
"I'll show you little by little. You'll soon realize how powerful a Lich is, even without the ability to summon an undead army!"
"I really hope that's true!"
"But isn't it about time that it appeared?" Eder stared at the full moon and asked.
"It's been a while, yeah. But it should come eventually, right?"
Kang Oh's concerns were unfounded.
A short while later...
They could hear a loud sound coming from underneath the sand.
Kang Oh and Eder yelled simultaneously.
Sand shot up into the sky as if there had been an explosion. At the same time, a giant monster extended its head. Obviously, it was the Death Worm, Liviola, that they'd been waiting for.
Both Kang Oh and Eder looked shocked.
It was gigantic! They were completely overwhelmed by its sheer size!
[You have discovered the Ruler of the Starving Desert, the Ancient Death Worm, Liviola.]
[Liviola is the calamity of the desert.]
[Warning: Run away! You cannot even hope to fight it.]Previous Chapter Next Chapter