Park Hyun Min was a college student who'd taken a leave of absence from school. He didn't have a girlfriend and… played Arth under the ID, 'Sephiro'.
"Yawn." He opened the door to his room, yawned, and went inside. He was wearing a tracksuit, and was carrying some snacks in his hand.
It was popcorn. He ripped open the bag, and poured the contents into a large bowl. Then, he glanced at his clock.
'It'll be on soon.'
After coming back from the bathroom, Hyun Min sat in front of his TV and lifted his remote control.
He set it to GBS. It was showing a water bottle commercial.
'C'mon, hurry up.' Hyun Min threw a handful of popcorn into his mouth.
The commercials kept going on and on. To relieve his boredom, Hyun Min turned on his tablet and opened GBS's chat window.
- Ah, it's another commercial.
- When is it starting?
- Did you buy another pair of underwear?
- I don't need it. I found a diaper.
- Oh, stop being such a drama queen.
- What did you say, punk?
- Ah, forget it. Hurry up and start the program!
The chat window was mostly filled with messages like 'Hurry up!'. Hyun Min added a 'Do your job, GBS!' too.
How long had he waited already?
The TV began to play some solemn music.
"It's finally starting." Hyun Min focused on the screen.
Predator! Eat or be Eaten!
The fight between Kang Oh and the Wyvern King, Draka, would finally be revealed to the world.
* * *
It began with Kang Oh, assuming his Red Demon form, flying up the stone pillar.
Hyun Min kept his eyes glued to the screen, eating a handful of popcorn.
'Ooh.' At some point, Hyun Min exclaimed in amazement.
Kang Oh battled the wyverns, using Darkness Chain to move around like an acrobat.
''That's really tough to do. As expected, he really is skilled. Too bad his personality is trash.''
A short while later...
Hyun Min clenched his fist. Kang Oh was in the air, being chased by a hundred wyverns. Fortunately, he managed to get away from them, and landed in Draka's nest.
"Hoo." Only then did Hyun Min relax his hand and start eating popcorn again.
But soon after, he couldn't help but clench his fist again. Kang Oh hid within a pile of Draka's prey as he approached, none the wiser. When the tension reached its boiling point…
Kang Oh burst out of the pile and launched a surprise attack, initiating the fierce battle between the two predators.
They'd finally gotten to the good part! Hyun Min had forgotten all about his popcorn, and watched the program with both hands clenched. There was no time to even breath, and the tension never waned.
The show, Predator, was aptly named, as Kang Oh and Draka were two apex predators trying to kill each other!
"No!" Hyun Min looked dizzy.
Kang Oh was caught in Draka's Lightning Breath. Draka mistakenly assumed that Kang Oh was dead, so he flew down to his nest. Indeed, Kang Oh's face was planted in the ground.
All of sudden...!
Giant wings stretched out of his back.
Then, the battle became even more brutal. Having lost his wings, the Wyvern King, Draka, transformed into the incarnation of rage! Meanwhile, Kang Oh was at full strength, using Gluttony, Strong Body, Devil Trigger, and Myul's Herculean Strength!
Eventually, their fight reached its climax. Kang Oh's Everlasting Darkness versus Draka's Lightning Breath! The two predators' most powerful attacks had clashed head-on.
Hyun Min and the viewers knew that whoever won this contest of strength would be the final victor.
Lightning and darkness pushed against each other to-and-fro, and Hyun Min groaned as if he needed to use the restroom.
"C'mon. Just a little bit more!" Hyun Min yelled. Unfortunately for him, Kang Oh's darkness was slowly being pushed back. "Ah." He looked disappointed.
But the situation changed when the golden aura intertwined with the darkness. Kang Oh had used Tempest Tiger.
"Wow!" Hyun Min exclaimed, as the blast of black and gold struck Draka head-on.
This was his chance to turn things around. Then, Kang Oh and Draka unleashed various abilities.
"He won!" Hyun Min said with certainty.
Draka unleashed a final Lightning Breath at Kang Oh.
"He survived that?" Hyun Min's expression stiffened upon seeing Kang Oh's unstable form. For a moment there, he thought, 'Isn't he going to lose?'.
At that moment...
Kang Oh swung his sword. Then, the Lightning Breath and the Wyvern King, Draka, were cleaved in two! This was the result of a single sword swing!
Hyun Min gaped. There was only one thing on his mind. 'This is crazy! Absolutely crazy!'
* * *
- What did I just watch?
- Crazy bastard.
- I wet myself a little.
- The diaper wasn't enough.
- That was amazing.
- I'm really getting goosebumps here.
- Let's date.
- Oh god!
The chat window was filled with messages praising Kang Oh. Arth's largest community site, Arthtory, was the same. Once Predator was over, the site was filled with a deluge of complimentary posts.
[The best, and a legend.]
[The greatest ever.]
[The strongest Number.]
Predator, which caused everyone to complement Kang Oh, had an unbelievable viewership rating of 13.2%. GBS's normal viewership rating was 5%, after all.
Obviously, GBS's executives were happy with Jin Cheol's work, and the production crew were given a bonus and a vacation. Plus, Predator was rerun from morning to night. There were several people who watched it repeatedly. After all, it was too good to just watch once!
The hero of the story, Jae Woo, also got several job offers. He was asked to do an interview, go on a program, was scouted by entertainment agencies, and was even offered a role in a commercial!
Jae Woo rejected all of the interview and program offers. He wasn't satisfied with the money they were offering him. He also rejected the entertainment agencies too. Jae Woo only accepted the commercial offer, as it didn't require much of his time, but paid him a large sum of money.
'To think I'd star in a commercial...' Jae Woo suddenly realized how popular he'd become. He was the hottest man in Korea right now!
However, he had no intention of becoming a celebrity. Starring in a commercial or being on TV was ancillary to his primary goal! His primary goal was to become rank 1 in Arth, which was widely considered to be the best game in the world! In other words, his goal was to become the best.
Plus, he wanted to make so much money that he wouldn't be able to spend it all. Jae Woo didn't forget that goal too.
'Shall we get going?' Kang Oh activated the virtual reality capsule and logged into Arth.
* * *
The dwarven expedition to the volcano's heart had begun. Chieftain Randelhoff, Book, and Igriham led 50 of their best warriors. Of course, Kang Oh and Eder were included in this.
They'd set off for the expedition more prepared than ever before, as Man Bok had provided them with all the supplies they'd need. Is that why? The dwarves' faces were filled with strength and composure.
They crossed the curved road above the lava, and gradually went deeper into the volcano.
Halfway through, they encountered Talamanders, Hacrabs, Lava Centipedes, etc., but they weren't an issue. They didn't get lost along the way either.
The expedition force safely reached the dungeon's entrance.
"Let's eat and repair our equipment before we go in," Randelhoff yelled.
The dwarves seemed used to this, as they split off into groups of two or three, and began eating the food they'd brought with them.
Kang Oh stared at the dungeon's entrance. It was a giant, arch-shaped door. Characters he'd never seen lined the door, glowing red.
'Enraged Lava Spirits' Den...'
Randelhoff had given him a brief explanation of the volcano's heart. It was a dungeon filled with fire spirits; the smallest would be about 1 meter in size, while the largest would be more than triple that.
'Spirits, huh.' Kang Oh tightly gripped Ubist. He was excited that he'd be able to use one of its special abilities, Abyss Blade, to its fullest.
"What are you so worked up about?" Eder approached him.
"Yeah. An opportunity to level up like crazy."
'Lava Spirits. You're all mine!' Kang Oh grinned.
"It'd be nice if the door that leads to the next area is in there," Eder said. As always, he was solely focused on finding the Temple of Death. As fast as he could at that!
"We're entering the dungeon!" Randelhoff yelled.
The Dwarven Warriors got into formation, and advanced towards the arch-shaped door. Kang Oh and Eder stood at the end of the line.
Once he entered the door, a system message popped up.
[Entering the dungeon, Deskein Heart.]
* * *
Deskein Heart's layout was extremely simple. A bridge, which was large enough to fit more than twenty cars side-by-side, stretched forward. Red lava lay underneath the bridge, emitting an endless supply of heat, steam, and smoke.
Essentially, they were crossing a huge bridge over a sea of lava!
'It's exactly as I heard.' He wasn't surprised because Randelhoff had already told him about the layout of the dungeon.
"Everyone, drink your fire resistance potions," Book yelled.
Kang Oh pulled out an orange potion from his belt and drank it down.
[You have drunk a Powerful Fire Resistance Potion.]
[Fire Resistance has increased significantly.]
[Duration Time: 30 minutes.]
Kang Oh, Eder, and the rest of the dwarves drank their fire resistance potions. Man Bok had obviously provided them with these potions.
"Advance slowly," Randelhoff yelled.
The expedition force made their way forward. Then, the boiling lava rose into the air like a rising dragon and... Boom! A barrage of dark red spheres rained down from above.
"Raise your shields!"
The Dwarven Warriors raised their voices, undaunted by the sudden display.
Bam, bam, bam!
The dark red spheres flew towards the bridge. They then wriggled around, and assumed an actual shape.
It was as if a sculptor had tried to sculpt a small child, but had failed halfway and had just clumped the clay together into one single mass. They were between 1 meter and 3 meters in size. Their size corresponded with their power, so the larger ones were more powerful.
"Attack! Stay in formation!" Randelhoff yelled.
The Dwarven Warrior split into groups of four or five, and attacked the Lava Spirits.
Ederassessed the battlefield, and decided to support the expedition force with curses and bone magic. Meanwhile, Kang Oh fought against a 2 meter Lava Spirit one on one.
The moment his jet-black blade made contact...
A huge shard of light burst from its body. He'd clearly landed a critical hit.
'Abyss Blade works on them!'
Slice. A dark red mass fell from the Lava Spirit's body. Its faint, almost unrecognizable face grimaced.
Kang Oh didn't stop there. He relentlessly cut it again and again. As a result, he instantly killed one of the Lava Spirits.
[You have killed an Enraged Lava Spirit.]
[You have defeated a monster that lives in an incredibly dangerous area (Despia).]
[You have received additional experience and proficiency.]
[You have leveled up.]
'This is the best hunting ground!'
Kang Oh couldn't control himself.Previous Chapter Next Chapter