Eder raised his scythe, unleashing magical chains that flew towards the horde of bees.
AoE Curse: Slow!
Chains wrapped around the Blondstone Bees' bodies, slowing them down. Unfortunately, it wasn't that effective.
"Mm, that's all?"
Ordinarily, a slow curse should've reduced their speed by much more. However, they had gone berserk, which reduced the overall effectiveness of the curse.
"Haahp!" Kang Oh swung Blood.
Although Berserk had made it twice as strong, Kang Oh managed to strike a Bloodstone Bee's wing.
However, its wings didn't feel as fragile as a normal bee's wings; he didn't think he would be able to rip it apart with just the slightest touch. It felt as though he was trying to cut through something much tougher!
The other Bloodstone Bees attacked Kang Oh with their tails. Their tails were covered with a single, thick red crystal.
'Poison!' Very deadly poison at that!
Kang Oh rolled on the floor.
The bees passed overhead. Kang Oh suddenly stood up and swung Blood upwards.
He etched a white line into the air, cleaving one of the bees in two.
'That's one!' Kang Oh kept swinging his sword.
Eder had created a bone bunker. He shot down any approaching bees from within using bone spears.
The Queen Bee, Agrisan, entered the fray. The Bloodstone Bees, which had been attacking Kang Oh, returned to the queen bee's side and got into formation.
Agrisan's antennas violently shook. Like a formation of fighter planes, the bees assumed a V-shaped formation, and then flew towards Kang Oh and Eder. At the same time, red orbs formed around Agrisan.
Beams of light shot out of the orbs.
It was complete chaos. They had to deal with the angry bees' attacks and Agrisan's beams! But that wasn't the end of it. Whenever Agrisan flapped her wings, she'd spread a red powder that went everywhere.
Kang Oh and Eder weren't worried about that, seeing as how they were busy dealing with the bees and the beams.
[You have been poisoned by toxic powder.]
[You will continuously take damage.]
The toxic powder had already permeated the entire room. It wouldn't have much of an effect on an undead like Eder, but it was a different story for a human like Kang Oh.
'I can't let this battle drag on!'
Kang Oh quickly came to a decision and ordered, "Eder, take care of the bees! I'll take care of the queen. We have to take them out ASAP!"
Kang Oh threw a Darkness Chain at Agrisan. Her bulky body kept her from dodging the chain, so it wrapped around her entire body.
"Huahp!" Kang Oh forcefully pulled Agrisan towards him. After all, his strength far surpassed hers.
Agrisan's body plummeted to the ground. Kang Oh immediately dashed towards her.
Sensing danger, the queen bee ordered the bees to attack him.
"Bone Prison!" Eder yelled.
The bees quickly flew towards Kang Oh and the queen, but were shut out by the bones that shot out of the ground. Because of that, Kang Oh could focus entirely on killing the queen.
Half of the bees tackled the bones in an attempt to break through. The other half flew towards Eder.
Because he needed to maintain the Bone Prison, Eder couldn't use spells like Bone Mass, Bone Wall, etc.; any bone spell that required him to summon a large quantity of bone. Thus, he summoned a bone shield in his offhand, and deflected the incoming bees with his scythe.
Despite that, the bees kept coming. Moreover, they'd gone berserk, so they were crazier than normal! The bees persistently aimed for Eder's weak points. Superficial wounds began to appear on Eder's body one or two at a time. Fortunately, the Bloodstone Bees' poison wasn't very effective against him.
The Bone Prison suddenly cracked and then, a powerful blast of lightning pierced through. It was a skill that Eder was familiar with.
'If that's the case, then...' Eder saw Kang Oh, who'd been trapped in the bone prison with Agrisan, once more.
He'd switched to Demon Sword Ubist at some point. Moreover, he'd assumed the form of the Jet-Black Demon! Darkness rose from his body like a haze. Not only that, but he could clearly see the tip of his blade piercing through Agrisan's body!
[You are the first to defeat the Queen Bee, Agrisan.]
[As a reward, she will drop her highest ranked item.]
Kang Oh picked up a red star-shaped necklace that she'd left behind, and escaped the bone prison.
Having lost their queen, the Bloodstone Bees could no longer fight them properly. Kang Oh and Eder's attacks caused them to fall to the ground, one or two at a time.
The battle was over.
Kang Oh examined the item that Agrisan had dropped.
A necklace containing the Bloodstone Queen Bee, Agrisan's fatal toxic powder. The necklace possesses two of Agrisan's abilities.
+ Summon Bees: Allows you to summon ten bees and control them for 5 minutes. Cooldown: 1 hour.
+ Agrisan's Poison: Unleashes extremely toxic powder. It can also damage allies.
Abilities: Main stats +50, Rule +50, Poison Resistance +20%.
Minimum Requirements: Level 350.
"What a great find."
A level 350 equip requirement! The item's abilities were good too. Above all, it increased all of one's main stats by a whopping 50 each.
"Please let me see it." Eder extended his hand.
Kang Oh absentmindedly passed him the star-shaped necklace.
"Please give this to me."
"It's much better than the necklace I'm currently using."
"Why would I give it to you..."
'Do you know how much I'd make by selling it!?'
"You can't sell it right away, and you've just hit level 300, so you can't use it either. So I'll use it instead."
"Mm." He was right, but he couldn't give it to him for free. "I'll loan it to you."
"No, thank you."
"I'd rather not pay money to use it." Eder gave him back the necklace. He was being extremely adamant.
"Mm, you used to be such a pushover," Kang Oh lamented.
"That was when I was weak, and didn't have any money."
But the situation had changed a lot. Eder was a level 400 Lich now! Moreover, he'd made a ton of money working with Man Bok. There wasn't any reason for him to be pushed around by Kang Oh anymore.
'Should I threaten him with Ubist?' Kang Oh suddenly thought. However, Eder was a lot more confident than before, so it probably wouldn't work.
"Ahem, use it well and then give it back to me later." Ultimately, Kang Oh did as Eder asked.
The only one who could use the necklace was Eder, and Eder would be more useful with the necklace too!
"Of course. And if I like it, I'll pay for it later," Eder said.
"Understood, sir." Kang Oh smiled politely. Now that he thought about it, this could only turn out good for him.
'Oh, my financier!'
* * *
The Bloodstone Bees were just the beginning. Kang Oh and Eder encountered several other bloodstone insects too. Bloodstone Spiders, Bloodstone Grasshoppers, etc.
In terms of combat ability, the most powerful insects here were the Bloodstone Mantises, which possessed sharp blades on their arms.
They encountered other monsters too.
For example, the Parasite Chula. They lived within the pipes, which Kang Oh assumed were Liviola's blood vessels. There were more than 100 tentacles inside. Thus, advancing wasn't an easy task, but Eder's bone magic dealt with them easily enough.
The Parasitic Worm, Hepirin! Spikes covered the long worms' bodies. Some of them even popped out of the pipes and attacked Kang Oh. Of course, surprise attacks wouldn't work on someone with Hyper Intuition.
They saw something interesting too. The Bloodstone Dolls and the Chulas fought against each other, and the bloodstone insects attacked the parasitic monsters as if they were their mortal enemy!
"They're fighting amongst themselves."
"Yeah. Let's not worry about them. After all, it has nothing to do with us."
The monsters that spawned within Liviola's body didn't serve as an obstacle to them, nor did they pose much of a threat.
The problem was... the inside of Liviola's body was much too large and complex! They had no idea where anything was or what it was for that matter. Moreover, advancing just slightly would change the landscape and scenery.
Neither Kang Oh nor Eder had any great ideas. They simply kept walking and looked around.
On the third day...
"Do you hear that?"
Thump! Thump! Thump! Thump!
They could clearly hear something beating.
"Yeah. Let's go."
Kang Oh and Eder followed the source of the noise. It came from a hole, but they didn't know where it would lead. The hole was sloped and led downwards like a slide.
"Let's go." Kang Oh went through the hole without an ounce of hesitation. His body began to slide downwards.
The two were inseparable, so Eder followed him right after.
The slide was long, but the two accelerated quickly, allowing them to reach their destination in a flash.
"Hoo, I want to ride it again." Kang Oh grinned. It felt like he'd ridden a roller coaster.
Then, with a trembling voice, Eder said, "O-Over there!"
Kang Oh raised his head and his eyes widened. "Oh!"
He saw a large structure made out of blood red crystals! The structure kept beating, giving off the same sound over and over again. And like a thousand year old tree's tangled roots, the repeatedly expanding and shrinking pipes were entwined with the structure.
However, he could kind of see an eye, a nose, ears, and a mouth on the giant structure.
[You have discovered Liviola's Heart.]
[Fame has increased.]
The heart's 'eyelid' rose, revealing an eye with a hole in the center of it. The eye glanced at Kang Oh and Eder.
"Are you the ones causing all the trouble inside?" The crystal mouth opened, and out came a clear voice.
"Wow, it's talking." Eder was shocked. 'To think a heart could talk!'
The heart seemed to be displeased by his reaction, as its eye narrowed.
"I'm not any old heart. I'm Liviola's Heart. I manage everything on the inside, and am tasked with a sacred duty!" the heart yelled firmly.
'Sacred duty?' Kang Oh's eyes gleamed. 'Was it perhaps...!?'
He then raised his hand. "Excuse me!"
"What is it?"
"Liviola's Heart, is that sacred duty of yours being the link between this world and Despia?" Kang Oh asked.
"That's right! I'm the gatekeeper that protects the entrance to Despia," Liviola's Heart said frankly.
"Then please open the door to Despia!" Kang Oh yelled immediately.
"First, you need to do something for me."
"Tch." As expected, it wouldn't open the door for free. "What do you need?" Kang Oh asked.
"There are some creatures that are draining Liviola's power. The parasites! I want you to eliminate them."
Then, a quest popped up.
[Kill the Parasites]
The parasites, which dwell within Liviola's body, continue to weaken Liviola's power.
If you kill these parasites, then Liviola's Heart will open the gate to Despia.
Kill 500 monsters with 'parasite' in their name!
Minimum Requirements: None.
Reward: Entrance to Despia.
Failure: If you die along the way, then you will need to start from scratch.
'It's not a tough quest.'
He'd already killed the Parasite Chulas and the Parasitic Worms. Killing '500' of them would be kind of tough, but it was definitely a doable quest.
[You have accepted the quest, Kill the Parasites.]
"Eradicate the parasites, and..."
Glittering red powder came out of the heart's mouth, which hovered around Kang Oh and Eder.
[The Bloodstone Token hovers around you!]
"Now my bloodstone minions won't attack you," Liviola's Heart said.
"That's good. I'll be back after I kill the parasites. Let's go, Eder!"
Kang Oh and Eder left.
The heart's eye closed shut, and its mouth returned to a tight line.
Thump! Thump! Thump! Thump!
The sound of a beating heart echoed through the room.Previous Chapter Next Chapter