Strong Punch, the vice-captain of the Sword Mercenaries, was accompanied by his friend, Sword. Like Strong Punch, Sword was one of the Sword Mercenaries' special-class mercenaries.
There was a giant TV in their taekwondo dojo, so they chose to watch Kang Oh's hunt there.
"Kyaha, this is crazy."
In general, Sword was quite foul-mouthed.
"Sseup!" Strong Punch glared at him. 'Watch your language in front of the kids!', he seemed to say.
The kids that attended their dojo were watching behind them.
"Sorry, kids. Pretend you didn't hear that." Sword scratched his head. Sure, he was foul-mouthed, but he wasn't a bad guy.
"Ah, it's no big deal. We know what it means!" one of the children said.
Strong Punch placed his hand on the kid's head. "Chan Wook."
"W-What is it?" Chan Wook flinched.
"A martial artist has to keep their body and mouth under control," Strong Punch softly admonished.
"Boo, I understand."
"But if I can't say 'This is crazy', then what can I say instead?" Chan Wook said.
"You could say it's difficult," Strong Punch said.
"Ok. The boss is difficult."
The boss he was referring to was obviously Galmoss.
"We'll have to be ready for its Cold Wave," Sword added.
"Yeah. We'll ask Mr. Nerva for his assistance."
Nerva was one of Arth's most skilled alchemists. It was said that he'd almost reached High-Rank Alchemy.
"The ghost-possessed swords are a pain too. We'll be fine, but there's a chance that our healer and/or mage will have trouble with them," Sword said.
"Yeah." Strong Punch nodded his head.
"Forget all that, that thing's sword will be a problem. Do you think you'll be able to do it?"
Strong Punch decided to take on Kang Oh's role. After all, he was the most skilled amongst them.
"It doesn't matter whether I'm confident or not. If we get the chance, I have to do it."
They were third in line. Thus, they weren't sure yet whether they'd be able to hunt Galmoss or not.
"We will. You can't beat that kind of boss with one or two tries," Sword said.
"That'd be nice."
Strong Punch wanted to fight Galmoss. The desire to fight strong opponents was a martial artist's natural tendency, after all.
The kids marveled at the screen. The gravity cannon, as well as the pyramid that followed it up, were indeed cool.
A short while later...
Strong Punch and Sword were absolutely dumbfounded.
Galmoss unleashed an energy wave so large that it filled the entire screen! However, Kang Oh unleashed a black pillar from his blade, splitting the wave in half!
"The 3rd phase."
No one had ever made it to the 3rd phase before, but now Kang Oh's party was about to experience it firsthand.
* * *
Galmoss's entire body turned red.
"It's the 3rd phase. We don't know what'll happen, so everyone stay on guard!" Kang Oh said, and used Devil Trigger. He'd need to have access to Shadow Transfer just in case.
Ubist's darkness wrapped around his body, transforming him into the Jet-Black Demon.
"...Sand guardian!" Karin cast a spell.
Summon Sand Golem!
A sand golem, which was over 3 meters tall, rose from behind her. It had wide shoulders, and its arms were abnormally thick and long.
Soren was prepared to cast an Acceleration Gate at any time. With good use of Acceleration Gate, even a mage like her would be able to move quickly.
Darion wielded a gladius in either hand. Steel Heart was in his right hand, and the explosive sword, Custony's Trap, was in his left.
Eder didn't really do anything different. However, if someone needed healing, then he'd rush over and heal them.
The reddened Galmoss began moving towards them.
'What's he going to do?'
Kang Oh was feeling really nervous.
Gray swords appeared in the air once more. However, there were ten of them this time.
Two blades flew at each person. It was troublesome, but it wasn't enough to take any of them out of the picture.
"Heeup!" Kang Oh's eyes widened.
Galmoss instantly closed the distance between them, as if it'd teleported! The speed at which it swung its sword was equally as fast. It was completely different from last time.
His Hyper Intuition sent him an intense warning. He felt a chill at his midline; it was so strong that it induced goosebumps.
He retreated as best he could. However, the Reaper of Soul's edge just barely touched him.
[You have been cut by the Reaper of Souls.]
[Maximum HP has dropped by 32%.]
[Maximum MP has dropped by 32%.]
[Maximum Stamina has dropped by 32%.]
"You crazy bastard!"
He'd only been grazed, but he lost 32%? Moreover, it reduced his maximum HP, MP, and Stamina? Now he understood why players called Galmoss a cheat monster.
Though he knew this would happen to anyone hit by its blade, he couldn't help but curse. Damage was bad, sure, but reducing one's maximum HP, MP, and Stamina simultaneously was ridiculous. To make matters worse, Kang Oh's HP was still at 100%, so Eder couldn't heal him.
'I can't let it hit me again!' Kang Oh tightly grabbed Ubist in a dual-handed grip and forcefully swung it. 'I'm not just going to take this lying down!'
The three-lined jet-black aura flew towards it. It was as if a beast itself were swiping at it.
Galmoss responded immediately.
It smoothly swung its sword downwards, unleashing a cross-shaped blast. However, there were two crosses this time. It hadn't used the skill consecutively. Galmoss had literally shot two of them at once.
'No way!' Kang Oh quickly realized what had happened.
Ghost-possessed swords had gone from 5 to 10, Cross Slash shot two crosses now instead of one, and its speed seemed to have doubled too.
However, he needed to dodge the Cross Slash before he came to any sort of conclusion.
Kang Oh used his trusty skill, which had saved his hide dozens of times already.
Kang Oh's body disappeared into the floor.
The two Cross Slashes destroyed the area where he'd just been one after another. It was as if a landmine had gone off. Dirt, gravel, and dried up grass arose from the ground like a fountain's water.
Since Kang Oh had disappeared out of sight, Galmoss switched targets to Karin.
"Not going to happen!" Darion blocked its way. It was time for him to do his job as the off-tank!
Blade Honed with Fighting Spirit!
His blade, which glowed red like the setting sun, suddenly became so much larger.
Galmoss abruptly stopped and then backed off, as if something was pulling it from behind.
Darion's giant blade cut through nothing. If Galmoss hadn't entered the 3rd phase, or in other words, it hadn't gotten twice as fast, then Darion's attack would've worked 100%.
But what could you do? Galmoss had entered the 3rd phase.
Galmoss approached Darion with speed exceeding its quick retreat.
Darion gritted his teeth. 'I'm going to do my job!'
Kang Oh reappeared behind it, clad in his Jet-Black Demon form. Using Abyss Transfer to disappear and then reappear behind the opponent was his thing!
Kang Oh swung his jet-black blade, white sparks dancing along its length.
The lightning blast struck it from behind. Was it touched by how electrifying it felt? Galmoss's armor shook.
Meanwhile, his team retreated and then began to bombard it with attacks.
"Good work, Darion," Kang Oh said.
He deserved the compliment. After all, he'd done his job perfectly.
"Save it for later. Let's focus on taking this thing out first."
"In its 3rd phase, Galmoss's abilities are doubled. The power of its skills, the amount, and its speed."
He'd come to that conclusion after seeing Galmoss's Cross Slash.
"And I'm going for triple, not double." Kang Oh pulled out the Crazy Fast Sailin Boots from his inventory. They were S-rank boots with an equip requirement of 300!
He immediately used Gluttony.
[Demon Sword Ubist has consumed the Crazy Fast Sailin Boots.]
[It is an S-rank item.]
[Entering Gluttony mode.]
[For 20 minutes, the demon sword and your character's abilities are tripled.]
[You may use two of the consumed item's abilities.]
[Speedster and Destructive Speed have been selected.]
Jet-black energy came out of his body. He immediately used one of the consumed item's abilities too.
This skill would gradually increase his speed, but would consume Stamina in proportion to the speed increase.
"Soren, Acceleration Gate!" Kang Oh yelled.
"Yes!" Soren raised her staff into the air. Then, an Acceleration Gate appeared in front of Kang Oh.
Kang Oh kicked off the floor. Under the effects of both Gluttony and Acceleration Gate, his speed was tremendous. Speedster would further increase his speed too.
Galmoss swung its sword at him.
Of the shards of light it'd spilled thus far, these were the reddest. It was only natural. Having used Gluttony, he was at his strongest. Moreover, 'Destructive Speed' would increase his damage based on his speed.
"Yahoo!" Kang Oh shouted and repeatedly attacked Galmoss.
Galmoss was quite fast, but compared to Kang Oh, who was under the effects of Gluttony, Acceleration Gate, and Speedster (which would only make him faster as time went on)...
Was this what it felt to ride a top of the line race car on the autobahn? Kang Oh couldn't get enough of this speed.
Galmoss was helpless before his assault. The disparity between their speed was too great.
Swish, slash, swish, slash!
Ubist cleaved through Galmoss again and again.
If Darkness Strike activated, then Galmoss's reddened form would shake and dim.
'Let's end this!' Kang Oh didn't have a brake. His foot was stuck on the accelerator.
As a result...
[Your Stamina has reached 0.]
[You cannot move.]
Although his speed was gradually increased, he lost Stamina at the same rate. Thus, he had to turn off Speedster at the right time, but he'd completely forgotten this basic fact.
'Heop!' Kang Oh's heart sank.
Galmoss was right in front of him, and he was completely defenseless! Fortunately, his team was by his side.
"I knew this would happen." Darion chastised him, and carried him over his shoulder.
"We have to protect Mr. Kang Oh!" Soren cast a spell.
She intensified the gravity around Galmoss. This would slightly slow it down.
"Go, Momo!" Karin pointed her staff at Galmoss. Then, her Sand Golem, Momo, rushed at Galmoss.
The Sand Golem swung its fist. However, it was too slow. Galmoss's Reaper of Souls ripped right through it. But it was still better than most tanks. After all, it lasted 10 seconds against the 3 Second Demon.
Meanwhile, Darion brought Kang Oh to Eder.
"Tch, tch." Once Darion handed him over, Eder clicked his tongue. Then, he poured a stamina replenishing potion into Kang Oh's mouth.
"You were about to kick the bucket, weren't you?"
"..." Kang Oh couldn't speak right now, nor did he have anything to say that could justify his actions.
'To think I made such a stupid mistake!'
"You should be able to move in a minute, but I'm not sure we'll be able to last that long."
But they had no choice. They had to endure for a minute.
Eder turned around.
"Ugh!" Darion was rolling around everywhere, dodging Galmoss's blade.
"Just die already!"
The twins, Soren and Karin, screamed and bombarded it with spells.
Eder raised his silver skull staff into the air. The skull's eye sockets began to radiate red light.
"Those forgotten by the world, undying lumps of flesh, dishonorable ones! Answer my call and return to life!"
Large-Scale Summon Undead!
The ground was either cracked or upturned, and out came an army of the dead!Previous Chapter Next Chapter