Chapter 292. Sword Parry

Clang!

Kang Oh deflected the Dullahan Master's double-blade axe and then got in close. 

Whoosh!

The Dullahan Master wielded two double-bladed axes. Kang Oh had deflected one, but another one was still coming. 

However, the axe's edges suddenly doubled in size! It was a skill called 'Giant's Axe'. 

Obviously, it hadn't just increased in size. As if it were truly swung by a giant, the speed and power at which it was swung had doubled too.

Kang Oh held Ubist vertically, shielding himself from the incoming attack.

Clang!

Upon contact, Kang Oh forcefully turned his blade to the side.

Screech!

It resulted in a harsh 'screech', as if someone were clawing at a chalkboard, and the double-bladed axe slid off Kang Oh's blade.

Bam!

Ultimately, the axe lost its original target and hit the ground instead.

At that moment...


[You parried an overwhelming attack almost perfectly.]

...


Several system messages popped up. 

Kang Oh quickly closed the windows, and thrust his sword at the Dullahan Master. He didn't have the time to read a long list of system messages right now! 

Bam!

Ubist pierced through the Dullahan Master's armor, causing shards of light to spill out. But the Dullahan responded so nonchalantly, as if it were thinking 'Did a mosquito bite me or something?', and counterattacked.

Whoosh!

Kang Oh backed off and got back into position.

There was a short lull in the battle.

The Dullahan Master acted first, spreading out its two axes like outstretched wings. Kang Oh charged forward, Ubist's tip scraping against the ground.

Their intense battle continued.

* * *

His face was covered by a beast mask; the mask's eyes glowed red, as if they contained glowing red gems. A beautiful, jet-black tail came out from behind, filled with glimmering stars like the night sky, and his entire body was dyed black, as if he were covered in a black veil. Darkness also rose from his shoulders like a haze.

Kang Oh stood proudly, assuming his Jet-Black Demon form. 

Whereas the Dullahan Master had fallen to the floor, as if prostrating itself. The two double-blade axes it was so proud of had fallen onto the floor too.

What a difference. It was clear who the winner and loser was. 

Kang Oh turned off Devil Trigger.

He was in bad shape. Although wyvern skin was renowned for its toughness, the Draka set was ripped all over and covered in dust. 

"Hoo." Kang Oh sighed deeply; he was completely worn out. 

'He was crazy strong.'

By using Devil Trigger, Kang Oh had somehow managed to beat the Dullahan Master, but it truly was crazy strong. This was the unassailable truth. 

'It ain't easy,' Kang Oh thought. The Saul Graveyard was not to be underestimated. 

Guooh! Guoh! Guooh!

He could hear monsters' cries.

'This sound is...' 

It was the Radioactive Ghouls' distinct cry. Kang Oh turned his head towards the source of the noise, and saw six Radioactive Ghouls coming towards him. 

He was at a numerical disadvantage, so he hid behind a nearby grave. Of course, he had to be careful, as he didn't know whether it had traps or not!

Kang Oh held his breath and waited for them to pass.

'Oh, right. Something popped up before.' Kang Oh reopened the closed system messages that'd popped up during battle. 


[You have successfully parried an attack using a large, heavy greatsword.]

[You have taught yourself Intermediate Sword Parry (Active/Skill).]

[Proficiency 0%.]


'Sword Parry, huh...'

It was a Swordsman skill, which allowed the user to parry an attack with their sword. Although he'd never learned it, Kang Oh occasionally parried his opponents' attacks. 

However, he'd learned the skill by using it against a Dullahan Master (over level 500), with a greatsword at that. Plus, it started at intermediate-rank! 

Kang Oh peeked his head out and looked around. The Radioactive Ghouls were slowly getting farther and farther away. He relaxed and opened the skill window.


[Sword Parry (Unique)]

Parry your opponent's weapon with your sword. The success rate depends on the power of your opponent's weapon, its speed, the type of sword you hold, and when you use the skill.

There is a high chance of failure if used in succession. Upon failure, your opponent's attack is guaranteed to hit.

+ Dangerous Gamble: If you manage to parry an attack with a greatsword, which has a high failure rate, then your next attack will always be a critical hit.

Type: Active/Skill.

MP Cost: 50.

Cooldown: None.

Rank: Intermediate.

Proficiency: 0%.


"Hoh."

When a skill is self-taught, the skill can adjust itself to match the user's style. A skill or spell can also gain a special ability if a player completes a special quest. These were called unique skills/spells.

'So I learned a unique Sword Parry.'

Thus far, he hadn't needed to learn Sword Parry. Because Sword Parry's success rate lowered the larger and heavier the weapon was, it didn't work with a greatsword like Ubist.

However, the special ability, 'Dangerous Gamble', changed things. Depending on the situation, Kang Oh would be able to use Sword Parry with Ubist too.

Moreover, Sword Parry was a match made in heaven for his single-handed sword, Blood.

'I'll use it well!'

Brush, brush.

Kang Oh stood up and dusted himself off. He no longer heard the Radioactive Ghouls' distinctive 'Guooh'. They must be far from here by now.

He began walking towards an unexplored area. 

* * *

Altein was the largest city on the continent. It once served as the heart of the Altein Empire, but now it was a free city inhabited by countless citizens and players.

By exiting the north gate and following the road, one would eventually reach a giant temple. This was the Great Temple of Rakan.

This temple served as the Rakan Church's main headquarters; the Rakan Church was widely considered to be the most powerful church in all of Arth. Thus, you could always find hordes of people there! However, there were more people than usual today. 

A man saw someone off at the gate. He rarely showed his face, and it was even harder to get a private meeting with him; it was the Rakan Church's High Priest, Mahakan. 

"I hope you fulfill your sacred task." The High Priest of Blood and Iron, Mahakan, clasped his hands together. His voice was as tough and solemn as a rock.

"Thank you again for your help." Cyndia also clasped her hands together and bowed her head.

As ordained, Cyndia was currently looking for Mayanes Krishan. And she'd come here to ask for the Rakan Church's assistance.

Her conversation with Mahakan had gone well. The Rakan Church had agreed to help her find Krishan.

"Please don't mention it. I'm merely doing my duty," Mahakan said stiffly. He would help those who needed it; that was the duty of those who had strength. 

"Then, if you'll excuse me."

"I hope that your path forward is filled with the gods' blessings." Mahakan prayed for Cyndia and her companions.

Cyndia bowed her head in thanks, and then turned around.

"Where to next?" a woman, who'd been quietly standing beside her, asked.

She was wearing priestess robes too, but her robes were adorned by an amphisbaena, the Goddess of Contract's symbol.

"The Adventurer Guild. I want to commission them."

"I'll take you there."

Her name was Luba, and she was the guide that the Sabra Church had promised. 

"Please make a path," Cyndia said to Muhawk. 

"We're leaving!" Muhawk yelled. Then, the Church of Death's paladins formed a perimeter around her so that no one could get in. 

"Please get out of the way. We're coming through!"

"We're coming through!" 

The procession began to make their way through the crowd.

"One second please!"

"Excuse me!"

"I'm from the Asta Guild. Could you please speak with our guildmaster..."

"I'll do whatever you want!"

"Where are you headed?"

The Church of Death had piqued the players' interest; it was as if they'd fallen from the sky itself. 

"Did you come from Despia?"

"How do you get to Despia?"

Once it became known that Cyndia's party came from the Great Temple of Death, which was located in Despia, they began to draw even more interest from the playerbase. 

"Please get out of the way!"

"We're coming through!"

The paladins didn't answer the players' questions and merely did their duty. Soon enough, they broke through the crowd. However, several players followed them.

"This way." Luba pointed at the southern road. At the end of the road, they saw the edge of the city.

It was Altein.

* * *

The Adventurer Guild had a branch in every free city. They had four branches here, as Altein was such a large, well-populated city. There was a branch in each of the cardinal directions.

The branch that Kang Oh often came to, the one where he got his information, was the northern branch.

Cyndia's party had also passed through the northern gate.

"I'd like to take the test to become an adventurer!"

"Hmm, what quest should I take?"

"Aw, man. My adventurer rank didn't go up this time either."

The door opened, and in came Cyndia, Luba, Muhawk, and five paladins to act as guards. The players that were following them flooded the branch.

Jayce, a veteran adventurer with a scar over his eye, furrowed his brow. 

"What exactly is..."

The branch wasn't exactly small, so how had it filled so quickly?

Luba quickly approached him. "My name is Luba, one of Lady Sabra's faithful servants. I am also acting as a guide for the Church of Death."

"The Church of Death! Mm, please follow me. I'll take you to the branch manager."

A short while ago, Jayce had heard a rumor. Followers of the Primordial Goddess had appeared, and they'd brought several people with them. 

"Ms. Cyndia, please come this way." 

Jayce led Cyndia and her companions upstairs. Of course, players attempted to follow them. However, the guild's veteran adventurers prevented them from doing so. 

"Sorry, you can't go up here."

"Anyone not on guild business, leave!"

"If you make a fuss, then I'll throw out all of you!"

* * *

The branch manager's room was on the top floor.

Knock, knock.

"Branch manager, it's me, Jayce. I have some very important guests that are here to see you."

"Please, come in."

The branch manager was a thin man who wore glasses. His eyes were sharp, and there was a scar on his cheek too.

"They came from the Church of Death." Jayce pointed at Cyndia's party.

"Mm, please sit down." The branch manager pointed at the sofa.

"Thank you."

"We'll stand." The paladins chose to stand, remaining on guard just in case.

"Mr. Jayce, could you please brew us some tea?" the branch manager said respectfully. 

The branch manager was a high position, but Jayce had been an adventurer for such a long time that he had to show some respect.

"Yes, sir!" Jayce left.

Then, the branch manager stared at Cyndia and said, "How may I help you?"

"I'd like to commission you," Cyndia said.

"What kind of commission?"

"I'm looking for a criminal, Krishan."

"Krishan? I've never heard of him before. Or is it a she? Anyhow, could you tell me more about them?"

"Krishan is..." Cyndia began to explain who Krishan was in fair detail. She described her physical appearance, her wings, and her power.

"Find, not kill?" the branch manager said.

"Yes. We'll take care of her ourselves. And I'd like to commission as many adventurers as possible. The faster we find her, the better."

"Do you have any idea where she is?"

"No."

"She's dangerous and you don't have any clues. For that kind of commission..." The branch manager looked at her expression and continued, "Normally, you'd leave this to veteran/elite adventurers, but because you want more people searching for her, I'll allow regular adventurers to take up the request as well."

"Thank you."

"What will you use as a reward for the quest?" the branch manager asked. 

Cyndia answered his question with one of her own. "What kind of reward would attract as many people as possible?"

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