The Ancient Death Worm, Liviola, opened its mouth and began sucking in a huge amount of sand. Anything on the sand's surface, as well as anything hiding underneath it, was sucked in! Animals, plants, and even monsters were consumed. Kang Oh and Eder were no exception.
"Keep your guard up."
The powerful vacuum lifted Kang Oh and Eder from the ground, and pulled them into Liviola's mouth.
After finishing its meal, Liviola burrowed deep into the sand. Silence had returned to the desert, as if nothing had happened in the first place…
* * *
It was incredibly dark inside Liviola's body. Eder stretched out his thin right hand, which was like a winter twig.
A sphere of light escaped his hand and floated into the air, radiating intense light. It allowed them to partially see inside.
"Good work." Kang Oh complimented him, and then looked around.
There was a ton of sand inside. There were also cacti, small scorpions, a Yokon (one of the stronger monsters that spawned in the Starving Desert), etc. Countless organisms were scattered about.
Kang Oh raised his head and stared at the walls. The walls were made up of red lumpy rocks.
"I don't think we should stay here. Let's get out of here."
Swallowing the sand and its prey was probably just the first step. Liviola must have some way of 'digesting' its food.
'An extremely dangerous way at that!' Kang Oh rushed forward.
"Alright." Eder followed him.
A short time later...
The walls' lumpy rocks began to wriggle around. Then, they stretched out like taffy, transforming into scarlet tentacles.
Countless tentacles came flying at the living organisms. Besides the sand, everything was fair game.
The Yokon was the first to fall prey to the tentacles. It was stabbed by dozens of tentacles, which was followed by a slurping sound. At the same time, the Yokon's body shriveled up like a mummy! The cactus was pierced by a smaller, blue tentacle, which completely dried it up too!
The two ran as fast as they could, but they couldn't outrun the tentacles. Kang Oh crazily swung Blood, cleaving through the tentacles again and again. But there was no end to them. They would keep coming, no matter how many he cut.
'Should I go for the wall that the tentacles are coming out of instead?' Kang Oh dodged and cut a tentacle, and then thrust his sword forward.
The mighty lightning blast scorched dozens of tentacles and struck the wall.
The Lightning Breath burnt the wall, preventing anymore tentacles from coming out from there, but that was all. It didn't change the fact that there were several more where they came from.
His mind went into overdrive; he thought as fast as he swung his sword. However, he couldn't think of a way to escape. Ultimately, the only option he had was to cut every tentacle that came his way and survive.
Eder, in his Lich body, was in the same shape. He too focused entirely on survival!
"Rise!" A bone wall arose, surrounding both Kang Oh and Eder.
Swoosh, swoosh, swoosh!
The tentacles lashed at the bone wall. Eder's spell blocked most of the tentacles, but some of them managed to get through.
Then, Eder clenched his fist.
The bone wall exploded, spreading bone shards everywhere.
Countless tentacles were caught in the explosion; they were either scorched by the explosion itself, or heavily damaged via the bone shards. Of course, some of the bone fragments flew towards Kang Oh and Eder as well, but Eder blocked them with a barrier.
"Gather!" Eder raised his scythe.
The bones 'rattled' as they formed into three separate clumps.
"Go!" Eder said.
The giant masses of bone flew to the front and to the sides. Then, Eder clenched his fist.
Boom! Boom! Boom!
The clumps of bone exploded, becoming a shower of bone fragments that rained down upon the tentacles. As a result, the tentacles were perforated by the bone fragments once more.
'As expected!' Kang Oh looked at Eder and smirked.
Lich Eder. His bone magic was incredibly powerful. In terms of power, there wasn't much of a difference between his and Eclipse's bone magic!
Kang Oh watched comfortably while Eder single-handedly held off the tentacles.
But at some point...
The tentacles returned to being 'bumps' on the wall.
"Is it over?"
"I believe so."
Kang Oh and Eder were a very small minority that had survived the tentacles.
There was a sudden breeze of wind.
'What is this?' they thought, and the sand started to get sucked in.
"We're headed to the next area, it seems." Kang Oh didn't panic and went with the flow. Eder did the same.
Kang Oh and Eder arrived in front of a giant hole. The sand was being sucked into the hole with no end in sight.
"Do you think we need to go in there?"
"Mm. While we were coming here, I looked around, but... My Hyper Intuition never activated, so we have to go somewhere else."
A short while later...
Kang Oh and Eder were consumed by the black hole.
* * *
The flow of sand had stopped. The 'room' was much smaller than the tentacle area, and there were holes surrounding the sand.
Death Worms began to crawl out of the tunnels. Thousands of Death Worms, which were more than 10 meters long, appeared. However, they were much smaller than Liviola.
They burrowed into the sand, ate the shriveled up corpses, and attacked anything that was still alive. Due to its tough exoskeleton, a beetle had just barely survived the tentacles' assault. However, the Death Worms began to crawl over to it.
In an attempt to scare them away, the beetle noisily flapped its wings and swung its horn; it was a desperate attempt to survive. But it was all pointless.
The Death Worms were much stronger than the beetle, and there were several of them too. They spewed acid from their mouths and tails, which was potent enough to melt through the beetle's exoskeleton.
Once the acid melted through the beetle's exoskeleton, the Death Worms rushed over, trying to eat it before the others could get to it.
They ate the beetle, leaving no trace of it behind.
Kang Oh and Eder's turn. The Death Worms crawled over. The two fought them back-to-back.
"Haaht!" Kang Oh swung Demon Sword Ubist downwards.
His blade went deep into the Death Worm's neck.
The Death Worm shook. Kang Oh forcefully kicked it away, and swung his sword again once it was free.
He left behind a lengthy wound on the Death Worm's body.
He attacked the wound twice more, killing it.
'These are the Death Worms I'm familiar with.'
They were facing Death Worms, level 200 monsters. Kang Oh easily slaughtered the Death Worms, but he couldn't get rid of them, no matter how many of them he killed.
'It was the same with the tentacles too. There are way too many of them!' Kang Oh killed them again and again!
Eder summoned a giant bone scythe and swung it. Whenever he swung the bone scythe, dozens of Bone Worms would be sliced through. Of course, it wasn't enough to kill them in a single hit. However, swinging it repeatedly caused the Death Worm corpses to pile up.
It became easier after that.
The Death Worms' corpses floated in the air and exploded. Any Death Worms caught in the explosion would die, creating more corpses for him to use. Then, he would use another Corpse Bomb! Rinse and repeat.
It was now a fight to the finish. Who would last longer? The Death Worms or Eder's MP? Unfortunately, Eder wasn't able to win that particular battle. No matter how many he killed, more would come out of the tunnels and take their place!
"Mm, Mr. Kang Oh. There are too many of them."
In the end, Eder ran out of MP first. Kang Oh was in the same shape. His Stamina was gradually wearing down.
"Let's run." Kang Oh came to a decision. In this particular situation, running would be best!
'This place is crawling with Death Worms.'
"Over there." Kang Oh pointed at a tunnel; a tunnel where the Death Worms were coming out of.
"Yeah, it's better than staying here at least. We'll die if we stay here."
He knew he couldn't win against their endless numbers. Kang Oh had killed hundreds of Death Worms already while conserving his MP and Stamina. Even so, there were way too many of them. In the end, he'd almost run out of Stamina.
"When I count to three, we're going to run to that tunnel. One!"
"Three!" Eder suddenly said, and ran to the tunnel.
"Hey!" Kang Oh immediately followed him.
Swoosh, swoosh, swoosh.
The Death Worms chased after them, making a 'swoosh' sound as they crawled through the sand.
* * *
The tunnel was connected to another. It was like an ant tunnel. Plus, Death Worms kept coming at them from both sides.
"How many of them are there?" Eder looked like he was sick of this.
"I dunno. Let's get through them." Kang Oh pierced through the middle and swung his sword like a rabid beast.
Eder blocked off the rear tunnel with a Bone Wall. Then, he summoned several bone spears to help Kang Oh out; they specialized in penetration and didn't require much MP either.
However, a tunnel suddenly opened up above them, and several Death Worms poured out of it.
It seemed like the original purpose of their acid was to make tunnels. Eder then pointed a finger at the newly formed tunnel.
The new tunnel was completely sealed by bone.
"It won't last long. The bones are getting melted by their acid."
"That's why we have to keep advancing! Uhahp!"
Kang Oh and Eder killed all of the Death Worms in their way and kept moving forward. But the situation didn't look like it'd get any better. On the contrary, the situation was getting worse. Named Death Worms, which they hadn't encountered before, had appeared!
The named Death Worms were capable of spewing their acid at long-range. Moreover, they had much more HP and defense than a normal Death Worm, and were faster too. Their appearance made things even more chaotic.
Death Worms came at them from every direction! Tunnels appeared everywhere! The named Death Worms were shooting acid at them from afar!
However, Kang Oh didn't give up. He looked around and thought things through.
'There has to be a way. There just has to be!' How did the Black Hammer Dwarves survive this? 'Is it like the tentacles? You last long enough and it ends? Or is it...'
"We're in a completely different place!" Eder quickly yelled.
"What? Damn..." Kang Oh turned his head and his eyes gleamed. It was a completely different wall indeed.
However, the wall looked quite peculiar. It looked like a shut clam, a zigzag pattern of cracks running along it.
Upon seeing it, his Hyper Intuition activated. It was telling him that something was suspicious about that wall.
Kang Oh had a hunch. 'This is our way out!'
It felt like the heavens had given him a lifeline.Previous Chapter Next Chapter