With its red maple trees, the Lakern Mountains exuded an atmosphere of fall.
And a warthog appeared from between the fallen red leaves.
"This is the first one."
Warthogs were level 50 animals. They possessed a Charge skill, which allowed them to ram into their enemies with their molars.
Kang Oh unsheathed his demon sword. Eder followed suit, casting spells, his voice dismal.
The warthog kicked up dust and charged; its body shone and was encased in a blue protective shield.
It was the effect of its Charge skill!
However, Eder finished casting his spell before it could make contact.
He summoned white bones, using them to cling onto the warthog's front legs.
It was the Bone Bind spell, which summoned bones to restrict the enemy's movement.
Because of the bones, the warthog lost its sense of balance and fell forward.
It rolled its heavy body from side-to-side, kicking up a storm of dust.
Kang Oh pointed his blade at the bound warthog.
The pig screeched, and Kang Oh merely stabbed it once more.
Red shards of light fell like glass from the warthog's stab wound.
At last, Eder created a sharp bone spear; he subsequently grabbed and threw it at the pig.
The bone spear hit the mark.
"Hurry up and turn into experience."
And Kang Oh followed through with his own attack.
Darkness Strike, and the resulting black wave, ravaged the warthog.
The warthog became a gray corpse before it even got the chance to mount a proper offensive.
[You have defeated a Wild Warthog.]
[Stats have been stolen through Darkness Strike.]
It was an obvious result.
The Wild Warthog had been a level 50 animal.
Whereas Kang Oh was level 70, while Eder was about as powerful as a level 80.
There was such a massive disparity between them that facing them meant a quick death.
'Mm. Something feels off.'
After collecting the junk items, Kang Oh felt as though something was off and thus, surveyed his surroundings.
There wasn’t anything particularly suspicious.
Kang Oh tilted his head and just kept moving forward.
A short while later.
The two men, who had been watching Kang Oh and Eder from within the forest, spoke.
"He has good senses," Halt said.
"Indeed. Or he might possess a class with a Detection skill," Itar said.
"Probably not. They're definitely a pair of level 80 Swordsman and Necromancer."
Halt and Itar were level 105 and 103 respectively. Level 80 foes were about the right level for them as prey.
"Then he might have some sort of detection item. Whatever the case, we should follow them a bit more carefully from now on," Itar said.
"If we get the chance, let's take out the Necromancer first," Halt said.
A Necromancer's curses were quite annoying, so they decided to take out the Necromancer first.
Itar finished, and the two men vanished instantaneously.
Their class: Assassin!
It was a Shadow Tracking skill, one which allowed them to pursue their targets undetected.
* * *
A variety of monsters and animals lived in the Lakern Mountains.
In terms of animals, there were warthogs, wolves, rabbits, tigers, etc.
In terms of monsters, bipedal dog-faced monsters that wielded simple weapons like stone axes or stone spears, also called Frozen Dogs, were the most commonplace in the mountains.
They lived in groups of five to ten; these Frozen Dogs were between levels 60 to 80.
They were a good match for Kang Oh and Eder if levels were the only thing taken into account.
But in actuality, if they were to actually fight Kang Oh and Eder, they wouldn't stand a chance.
Like what was happening right now.
Befitting a monster that bore a dog's face, the Frozen Dog barked.
Kang Oh scowled and swung his sword at the Frozen Dog's face.
The struck Frozen Dog flew into the air and subsequently rolled onto the floor.
Seeing their friend injured only served to further agitate the dogs, and they began to bark even louder.
However, that only lasted a moment.
Eder raised his emaciated arms, dispersing a black wave.
It was a Silence curse, which would mute their voices!
The curse was extremely effective. It had completely silenced the dogs' barks.
Kang Oh smirked. As expected, Eder sure was useful.
Though it couldn't speak, one of the Frozen Dogs swung its stone ax at Kang Oh, its face filled with rage.
Two other Frozen Dogs at its side thrust their spears, aiming for Kang Oh's sides.
Kang Oh elegantly dodged both the stone ax and spears.
[The side stat, Evasion has leveled up.]
[The Evasion stat has reached 100. You are now able to more easily dodge quicker and more powerful attacks.]
Kang Oh could avoid most attacks through the combination of his Hyper Intuition, experience and senses, the Evasion skill, and the Evasion stat.
And by doing so, the Evasion stat increased at a rapid rate and had already reached 100.
Kang Oh felt as though his body was lighter than before, and finished off the Frozen Dogs.
The Frozen Dogs, unable to utter even a single cry due to the Silence curse, fell one or two at a time.
The final dog was killed by Eder's thrown bone spear, which pierced it and ended its short life.
And thus, the battle was over.
Kang Oh, having picked up the junk, approached Eder and whispered, "There's something or someone here."
Through their hunt, Kang Oh had felt something unpleasant.
It was that same uncomfortable feeling he'd felt when Eder was backstabbing him.
"What do you mean?"
Eder lowered his own voice.
"I think someone's going to attack us from behind, so keep your guard up."
He didn't know exactly who or where they were, but Kang Oh trusted his instincts.
After all, it was called Hyper Intuition for a reason.
"Let's hold off on finding the hidden dungeon for now. We're going to bait them into showing themselves and then we punish them."
Kang Oh and Eder went on the move once more. And Halt and Itar covertly followed behind them.
* * *
Kang Oh and Eder went around the Lakern Mountains killing various monsters.
While doing so, Kang Oh had intentionally exposed himself to danger and even exposed his back as well, but Halt and Itar didn't move carelessly.
The reason they didn't act was simple.
'He's a lot stronger than I expected.'
'It won't be easy.'
Halt and Itar exchanged glances.
Because Kang Oh and Eder's abilities were top-notch, they couldn't act on a whim.
Kang Oh could do nothing but furrow his brows.
He continued to feel that uncomfortable feeling, yet they weren't taking the bait.
Even so, he didn't want to alert them by looking around.
'Then I'll make it so you can't resist coming out.'
Kang Oh led Eder to a vacant lot. He didn't forget to whisper along the way.
"Just say 'ok' when I talk to you."
Having reached the vacant lot, Kang Oh began to act.
"Hoo. Should we stop here?" Kang Oh asked.
He'd spoken quite loudly.
As ordered, Eder responded with an 'ok'.
"I have a Return Scroll, so let's get going."
Kang Oh removed a magic circle engraved scroll from his inventory.
It was the scroll that contained the Ice Sapphire spell that he'd gotten from Sharobea.
But to Halt and Itar, who were watching them, it looked like a Return Scroll.
"What do we do?" Itar asked.
"We have to attack. We'll have wasted our time if we don't."
Halt took out a dagger. The edge itself was straight, while the blade was curved and red.
It was a Fatal Death Dagger!
It was an A-rank item, which upon landing a hit would poison the enemy with an incredibly potent poison.
Itar also took out a dagger.
It was a BB-rank item called an Ambush Dagger.
If their attacks succeeded, they would be fatal no matter what.
Halt rushed out and Itar followed right behind him.
* * *
"They finally came out!"
Kang Oh's eyes gleamed.
Because Kang Oh and Eder were situated in an area without any cover, Halt and Itar were forced to reveal themselves.
In other words, they weren't able to ambush them, which was an Assassin's specialty!
"Shall we take care of the rats?"
Kang Oh gripped his sword.
"Ok," Eder muttered drearily, and black energy rose from his hand.
It was an Aging curse, which would decrease all of their opponent's abilities.
But Halt and Itar were PKers who had killed several other users! They were by no means easy opponents.
"Halt, stop the Necromancer's curse!" Itar said.
Halt nodded his head and threw three daggers at Eder.
"Not a chance."
Kang Oh stood in front of Eder and deflected the incoming daggers.
Clang! Clang! Clang!
Meanwhile, Itar appeared right in front of Kang Oh.
Itar held his dagger in a reverse-grip and swung downwards. He was aiming for Kang Oh's heart! And Itar's dagger began to emanate a red aura.
It was an Assassin's skill, Critical Strike!
They hadn't been able to ambush Kang Oh and Eder, but they were setting themselves up for a huge advantage nonetheless.
However, Itar had underestimated Kang Oh far too much.
Kang Oh merely pulled himself back a little bit, and far too easily dodged Itar's attack.
The sound of Itar's dagger cleaving through the air.
He had completely missed.
Kang Oh counterattacked immediately.
The demon sword rent him in two, cutting him from side-to-side.
Itar quickly flung his body away from Kang Oh's strike.
And Kang Oh's blade passed the area he had once been.
Itar let out a sigh of relief as he rolled onto the floor.
If he had been caught by the demon sword, then he would've sustained an incredible amount of damage.
Kang Oh and Itar exchanged blows while Eder was engaging Halt.
Halt swung his dagger, forcing Eder to discontinue casting his Aging curse and retreat back.
In a fight between a normal Mage and an Assassin, an Assassin had the edge. And if the Assassin got up close, then it was completely over for the Mage.
However, Eder was by no means a normal Mage.
Because he was possessing a skeleton, he was capable of casting bone magic very quickly.
Eder cast a spell, his voice dismal, and instantly bound Halt with bone!
Halt's wrists and ankles werewas restrained by bone, so he quickly cut them apart with his dagger and retreated.
Then, with the widened distance between them, Halt was able to get a proper look at Eder.
"This guy's a skeleton!" Halt yelled, astonished.
When he got a close look at the robe-wearing Eder, he noticed that he only had a skull.
Eder boastfully moved his jawbone and his teeth clattered. He was, of course, casting another spell!
"Halt, get a grip!" Itar, who was engaging Kang Oh, yelled.
Once he heard Itar, he got a hold of himself and rushed Eder.
Halt swung his dagger downwards, but Eder created a bone shield and blocked Halt's attack.
Meanwhile, Kang Oh aimed for Itar's chest.
Itar didn't dare to block and rolled onto the floor once more.
And Kang Oh quickly thrust his sword into the ground.
By doing so, he'd activated his necklace's special ability, Earth Shards; the barrage of shards poured onto Itar.
The shards landed a direct hit.
They didn't inflict much damage, but it was still quite effective as the Assassin class possessed poor defense.
'This is my chance!'
Kang Oh kicked off the floor.
He jumped into the air and put all of his weight behind his sword.
His target? Obviously, Itar!
If Itar didn't avoid this attack, then 9 times out of 10 it was game over for him.
"Itar! Use Emergency Escape!" Halt yelled, and Itar got a hold of himself.
Emergency Escape was an Assassin skill, which could be used when they were in danger; it would essentially aid them in escaping from whatever danger they were in.
Once he used Emergency Escape, Itar was sucked into his shadow.
At the same time, Kang Oh struck.
Dust rose, accompanied by the sound of metal clashing.
'I didn't feel anything.'
Unfortunately, Itar's Emergency Escape had been successful.
While Halt was busy worrying about Itar, Eder had successfully bound him with Bone Bind, tightening its hold over his ankle.
Halt lost his balance and fell over, forcing him to use Emergency Escape himself; he, too, hid within his shadow and escaped.
And within the forest near the vacant lot...
Itar, who used Emergency Escape first, grabbed Halt's hand and pulled him out of the shadow.
"We can't beat them," Itar said.
"Yeah, let's run away."
Halt, who had pulled half of his body out of the shadow, agreed.
"Where do you think you're going!?"
Kang Oh, who'd already ascertained their location, stomped on Halt's back.
"You dumbasses!" Kang Oh cursed.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Changed Avoidance (Chapter 8) to Evasion. Sometimes I wonder why I don't think of this stuff sooner.