"I have one other request," Kang Oh said carefully.
"What is it?" Randelhoff answered.
"I'd like to go hunting with you," he politely answered.
"Yes. Eder and I know next to nothing about this place. I'd like to accompany the Dwarven Warriors and slowly acclimate myself to this place."
Hunting the monsters in the volcanic region, just the two of them, was both dangerous and difficult. After all, the monsters here were extremely powerful. But if they were to accompany the Dwarven Warriors, then they'd be able to hunt safely. Of course, they'd receive much less experience, proficiency, and loot, but it would be worth it.
'And... I need to stay close by if I want to become friends with them.'
He planned to maximize his closeness with the Black Hammer Dwarves, and then ask them to make him a demon sword.
"I'm confident in my skills. We won't get in your way!" Kang Oh said strongly.
"What about the loot?"
"We'll only take what we earn."
"Alright. We'll bring you along when we go out to hunt." Randelhoff accepted Kang Oh's request.
'Yes!' Kang Oh clenched his fist.
"Do you have any other requests?" Randelhoff asked.
"No," Kang Oh immediately replied.
"Igriham, provide them a place to stay." Randelhoff stared at Igriham, who was standing firmly at the side.
"Understood. Please follow me." Igriham motioned for them to follow, and Kang Oh and Eder followed him out the room.
With their departure, only Randelhoff and Book remained.
"This is the first time we've had guests since we established our hideout," Randelhoff said.
"Are you sure about this? They could be Inarius's agents," Book said concernedly.
After escaping Inarius's grasp, the Black Hammer Dwarves had come here, to Despia, in order to hide. But what if Kang Oh and Eder were Inarius's spies? They would tell Inarius where the Black Hammer Dwarves were hiding.
"I know. But they mentioned Mr. Honadan, so we have to treat them as guests."
Honadan! He was their tribes' savior, one who'd helped them escape from Inarius. They couldn't throw them out, as they'd both saved Honadan and had learned how to get here from him.
"And nothing Kang Oh said felt off to me. You saw his sword, right?"
"Yes, it's a demon sword." Book recalled Kang Oh's jet-black blade, as well as the familiar 'scent' (darkness) it emitted!
"He's definitely a Demonic Swordsman. We're the only ones capable of forging weapons imbued with the power of darkness, so it's not strange that he came to us."
Let's say that you needed something really badly, but there was only one place you could get it. You'd go there, no matter how far it was.
"Do you think they're telling the truth about the Temple of Death too?"
"If Kang Oh is telling the truth, then that undead, Eder, is likely telling the truth too."
"Mm." Book nodded his head.
"We have to keep a close eye on them. We still don't know what their true intentions are."
Of course, Randelhoff didn't completely trust Kang Oh and Eder.
"We have no choice but to keep watching them."
"Mm, time will tell. Whether they're actual guests, or our enemies!"
The Black Hammer Dwarves' hideout.
To create this hideout, the dwarves had dug a tunnel inside the volcano; as a result, the passageway was narrow, and the road was complex. The room that Kang Oh and Eder had been provided with didn't have a door, but a piece of yellow leather draped over the entrance instead.
Igriham paused in front of a room, and raised the curtain. "Please use this room," he said curtly.
"Thank you." Kang Oh and Eder briefly nodded, and entered the room.
The room was rectangular, and contained a stone bed, table, chairs, etc. It was large enough for two people to comfortably live in.
"The path is confusing, so if you need something, please call me with this bell." Igriham passed him a fist-sized brown bell.
"Understood." Kang Oh accepted the bell and placed it atop the table.
"Is there anything you need in particular?"
"Nothing at the moment. How about you?" Kang Oh stared at Eder.
"I don't need anything."
"Then, please rest." Igriham left, leaving Kang Oh and Eder alone in their room.
"I'm glad things went well," Eder said. He was referring to the fact that they'd found the Black Hammer Dwarves and were able to stay in their hideout.
Kang Oh nodded his head."It's a relief for sure. Staying here without someplace safe would be suicide with all the Death Eagles and Talamanders roaming about."
"Moreover... I believe I can set up a transfer magic circle here. With it, we'll be able to come to and leave Despia whenever we wish," Eder said.
Possessing a Lich's body allowed him to create transfer magic circles, which were similar to the intercity transfer gates or the soul dungeon's magic circles. He only now brought it up because they were now in a relatively safe location!
Let's say he placed a magic circle just anywhere and returned to the continent. What if the magic circle was attacked by monsters or was damaged in some way? Obviously, they wouldn't be able to return to Despia via the magic circle.
In order to get back here, they'd have to get eaten by Liviola again, explore its insides, and complete the heart's quest again!
Thus, Eder hadn't even thought about setting up a magic circle until now. However, the Black Hammer Dwarves' hideout was a suitable place to set one up. It was a safe location, so the magic circle wouldn't be damaged here!
"Don't set one up yet," Kang Oh said.
"The dwarves hid here after escaping Inarius's grasp. Do you really think they'd appreciate us creating a magic circle that connects this place to the outside world without their permission?" Kang Oh scolded him. 'Think before you act!'
"T-That's true." Eder scratched his head. He was right. It was like trying to tear down a wall without the home owner's permission.
"So what's your plan from now on?" Eder changed the subject.
"Mooch off the dwarves as much as I can!"
The Black Hammer Dwarves had lived in Despia for some time! Thus, Kang Oh planned on using them as much as he could.
* * *
Within the volcano...
"I'm coming over!"
"Raise your shields!"
"Kill the left one first!"
The Dwarven Warriors were engaged in battle, wielding hammers larger than a person's head and garbed in thick armor. They were fighting against Hacrabs.
Hacrabs were monster crabs that lived in lava. They were more than 3 meters in size, possessing giant pincers and a tough, brown exoskeleton. Since they lived in the volcanic region, they were capale of spewing lava too. They were in between level 350 to 400! Plus, there were more than 30 of them here.
"Hey, Newbie. Help the left flank!" a dwarf yelled at Kang Oh.
"Understood!" Kang Oh replied immediately, and dashed towards the left flank. "Huahp!" Kang Oh struck a Hacrab's shell with Ubist.
The repulsive force was tremendous.
'It really is tough!' Of course its shell was tough; after all, it was a monster that lived in lava.
The Hacrab opened its mouth.
Red lava gushed from its mouth. Kang Oh quickly moved to the side.
Lava collected where he'd once been, causing black smoke to rise from the ground.
"Haaht!" Kang Oh attacked once more.
A white line followed Ubist's path.
Kang Oh cleaved its shell, leaving behind a very slight wound on its surface.
Kang Oh swapped Ubist for Blood. Using Blood, a smaller, lighter weapon, would be more effective when targeting such a small wound! He quickly swung his sword, stubbornly aiming for that very spot. Once his blade made contact, red shards of light burst from the monster's body.
The Hacrab swung its claw. It was as if a giant wrecking ball was flying at him. However, it wasn't all that dangerous.
Kang Oh's movements were as light as a feather; he dodged the claw and then continued his assault. By continuously striking at the wound, the wound enlarged and also caused the crab's shell to crack like a spiderweb.
Kang Oh gripped Ubist once more. His target had gotten larger, so it was time to hit it hard.
"Haht!" He leapt into the air and swung downwards.
The golden tiger-shaped aura fiercely pounced onto the Hacrab.
The already cracked shell fully shattered. Once its shell was broken, the Hacrab entered a confused state and was unable to move.
"Finish it off!"
The Dwarven Warriors quickly came over and bashed on it with their hammers.
Whoosh! Whoosh! Whoosh! Whoosh!
Their giant hammers gave off a earth rending, heavy 'whoosh'.
Eventually, the Hacrab met its end.
[You have defeated a Molten Rock Hacrab.]
[You have defeated a monster that lives in an incredibly dangerous area (Despia).]
[You have received additional experience and proficiency.]
"Good job, Newbie." A Dwarven Warrior patted his shoulder.
"Thank you." Kang Oh grinned. However, the battle wasn't over yet. There were still a ton of Hacrabs left.
'Next up is... you!' Kang Oh forcefully kicked off the floor and dashed towards his next target.
Eder wasn't just standing around and doing nothing. He slammed his scythe onto the floor. Then, a purple ring spread outwards.
AoE Curse: Age!
Any Hacrab within range of it was weakened.
"Seize them!" Eder extended his hand at a crab.
A bone prison grew around the crab's brown shell like coral.
The Hacrab spewed lava and violently moved around, attempting to break out of the bone prison. But Eder's body was that of a level 400 Lich, so his magic wouldn't be broken so easily.
"Explode!" Eder clenched his fist.
The white bones exploded outwards, accompanied by a huge 'boom'. No matter how tough its shell was, it wouldn't remain unscathed after a point blank Bone Bomb.
The Dwarven Warriors charged at the Hacrab, which was unable to steady itself.
Bam! Bam! Bam!
Whenever they bashed on the crab, a heavy sound, one akin to what you would expect to hear at a construction site, rang out.
Another Hacrab had been taken down.
"They're strong," Randelhoff muttered, witnessing Kang Oh and Eder's efforts firsthand.
"Now I get how they were able to find this place," Book said from beside him.
"They'll definitely be a huge help."
"Our next expedition... is the heart, right?"
"Yes. Do you... plan on bringing them along?" Book said, surprised.
Despia's volcanic region possessed three extremely dangerous dungeons: the crater, the heart, and the Eagle's Nest! Every six months, the dwarves picked one of the dungeons and led an expedition there. After all, they could obtain precious resources and minerals there that they couldn't find anywhere else!
With these materials, the Black Hammer Dwarves would be able to better arm themselves. Thus, the expedition was vital to them.
"They've proven their skill. As you know, the deeper you go inside a dungeon, the more there is to gain."
"Leaving such skilled individuals here would be such a waste."
"Understood."Previous Chapter Next Chapter