Chapter 31. Bercy and Baramut

Kang Oh walked over to the side of the woman's body.

She had aged gracefully and her face bore a kind and gentle smile.

'This is...'

A half-moon shaped comb as long as a person’s forearm shone atop the table.

Kang Oh picked up the comb.

"Appraise."


[Comb (a keepsake)]

The comb that the mage, Bercy the North Wind, used to brush Baramut's fur.

[Memories dwell within the item. Would you like to see these memories?]


"I do."

Kang Oh replayed Bercy and Baramut's memories.

The wind mage, Bercy had studied magic all her life as she wandered the lands like the wind, earning her the nickname of the North Wind.

Bercy met several people in her life and lived through several experiences and adventures.

Time passed by, and she eventually became an old woman.

Maybe it was because she traveled from place to place all throughout her youth?

For now, she desired to live out the rest of her life in a quiet place.

Thus, she came to the Quiet Lavero Jungle.

The jungle was extremely quiet and secluded from the outside world, making it a good place to spend the rest of her days in peace.

Bercy constructed a cabin within the jungle and lived in it.

She eventually discovered a tiger cub who'd lost its mother and decided to bring it back to her cabin and look after it.

"Hmm. I have to give you a name... Right! Let's go with Baramut."

In the ancient tongue, Ba meant north, Ra meant wind, and Mut meant child. Thus, Baramut’s name meant that it was her, the North Wind's, child.

That's how their relationship started.

Bercy and Baramut treated each other like mother and son, creating countless memories together.

Baramut grew rapidly under Bercy's love and protection.

By living with a wind mage, Baramut learned how to command the wind, and became a unique being that far surpassed any normal tiger.

It also grew three times larger than the average tiger, so they were unable to live in their cabin any longer.

Thus, Bercy and Baramut made the largest cave in the jungle their new home.

Around this time, Baramut had become the master of the jungle.

That's when the Quiet Lavero Jungle became Baramut's Hunting Ground.

A few years passed...

No one could defy death.

Death had come for Bercy.

"Thanks for everything Baramut."

She pet Baramut's head as she breathed her last.

Distraught by her death, Baramut roared for three days and nights.

Even after her death, Baramut continued to protect her. So that no one could disturb her peaceful rest...

Having seen the memories that dwelled within the keepsake, Kang Oh now understood everything.

The reason why Baramut had so desperately attacked them, why it had faced them here rather than running, and its final act before dying.

It was all for Bercy.

'You're ok for a tiger.'

Kang Oh scratched his cheek.

It was an emotional story.

But that was all it was to him.

Despite that, it didn't feel right for him to ignore everything he’d seen and walk away. 

Therefore, Kang Oh decided to pay his respects to both Bercy and Baramut.

'I'll let you be together.'

Kang Oh put down the comb and left Bercy's home.

"Mr. Kang Oh!"

At that moment, Eder entered the cave.

"Good timing."

He needed a worker anyway.

"Did you defeat Baramut by yourself?" Eder saw Baramut's corpse and asked in astonishment.

"You certainly weren't helping, so yeah."

"As I thought, you truly are amazing!"

Eder gave him a thumbs up in an attempt to match Kang Oh's humor.

"Whatever. Just start digging," Kang Oh said.

"Dig? Why?" Eder asked.

"I want to bury them."

"Baramut?"

"Yeah," Kang Oh replied.

Eder merely stared at Kang Oh, as if to say 'Why are you suddenly doing something so out of character?'.

"Bercy too," Kang Oh added.

"Bercy?"

Eder tilted his head. This was the first time he'd ever heard that name.

"Just shut up and dig."

Kang Oh scowled.

"I understand," Eder responded quickly.

"We have to bury Baramut, so make sure to dig it wide and deep enough. I'll be waiting outside the cave."

"Ok."

Kang Oh left Eder alone and went outside.

Eder conjured up two giant bone hands with his magic.

Although the bone hands were large and strong, they were too slow to use in an actual fight.

In exchange, they were extremely useful for activities like this.

He pretended to rake the ground with his hands, and the giant bone hands followed suit.

Pak! Pak! Paahk! Pak!

The dirt within the cave was soft, so he progressed quickly.

Kang Oh returned while Eder was still absorbed in digging.

He'd returned with a giant sturdy log strapped to his shoulder and a white flower held between his teeth.

"Hoo, shall we begin?"

He dropped the log, put the flowers to the side, and raised his sword.

He cut the log and started to carve out a groove.

'This should be enough.'

Kang Oh clapped his hands together and nodded his head.

He had created a coffin!

A coffin large enough to fit even the giant Baramut.

Of course, it wasn't well-made, rather it was quite plain and crudely made.

But even though he was no master carpenter, this was an adequate coffin.

"I've finished digging. Is the pit big enough?" Eder asked.

The grave was both wide and deep enough to fit Baramut's coffin.

"Yes. Put the coffin inside."

The bone hands lifted the coffin, and carefully placed the coffin within the grave.

"Next, put Baramut inside the coffin."

The bone hands lifted Baramut with ease and laid it within the coffin.

It was a perfect fit for Baramut, so thankfully he didn't have to rebuild the coffin for being too small.

Kang Oh opened the tent and entered Bercy's home.

He took the keepsake comb and approached Bercy.

"Excuse me."

Kang Oh carefully carried Bercy's body outside.

He was worried she might dissolve into particles of light, like that of monsters' corpses, so he acted with care.

"Is this old woman Bercy?" Eder asked as Kang Oh approached the grave.

Kang Oh didn't deign to answer him; instead, he carefully placed Bercy within Baramut's coffin.

Baramut's body had been laid down in a crescent-shape, so he placed her inside the curve as if they were embracing.

Lastly, he retrieved the keepsake comb and placed it on Bercy's chest.  

"Hoo."

Kang Oh let out his held breath.

He felt relieved; he had been worried that he might damage Bercy's body while carrying it.

"Mmnn. That old woman is Bercy, right?" Eder asked once more.

Kang Oh had already ignored him once before, but Eder didn't give up and asked again.

His question also sought the answer to 'Who exactly is Bercy?'.

"She was a wind mage. She gave a baby tiger the name of Baramut raised it. You could say... she was Baramut's mother," Kang Oh explained briefly.

"I see."

"Let's pay our respects and finish up."

"Ok."

Kang Oh gently placed the white flowers atop Bercy and bowed his head in respect.

Even Eder, whose skull couldn't bend that well, bowed as much as he could. He also attempted to lower his eyes, or rather, the glow in his eye sockets, as much as he could. This was all he could do for the two deceased.

They remained silent for a moment.

Kang Oh and Eder raised their heads at the same time.

"Shall I close the lid?" Eder asked.

Now, all that was left was to close the lid and fill the grave.

Kang Oh nodded his head.

The bone hands inched forward and grabbed the lid of the coffin.

"Ah, wait a minute."

Kang Oh stopped him, as if he'd suddenly remembered something, and approached the lid of the coffin.

Swish. Swish.

Using the tip of his blade, Kang Oh engraved inscriptions on the coffin's lid.

"I’m done. Put the lid on," Kang Oh said.

The bone hands slowly placed the lid atop the coffin.

Fortunately, the lid fit seamlessly.

Now, the inscriptions he'd made could be seen quite clearly.

"Eternally mother and son: Bercy and Baramut. Rest in peace," Eder read the inscription.

"It's quite nice," Eder complimented.

"Cover it."

"Alright."

The bone hands pushed the piles of dirt nearby and instantly covered the grave.

Eder controlled the bone hands with his delicate hand gestures and used the remaining dirt to create a burial mound.

"Shall I make a tombstone as well?" Eder asked.

"It's fine. This is more than enough."

The awkward feeling he'd felt after learning of Bercy and Baramut's story was resolved now.

Kang Oh didn't want to concern himself with Bercy and Baramut any longer.

Instead, his attention had already turned somewhere else.

"Now, shall we clear the dungeon!?"

Quiet Lavero Jungle.

Although this place didn’t seem like a dungeon due to its jungle nature, it was undoubtedly the inside of a hidden dungeon.

Plus, this cave was the hidden dungeon's boss, Baramut's home. In other words, the boss room.

It was also the home to the mage known as the North Wind.

There should be much more that he could gain here.

"Heh."

He couldn't help but laugh.

However!

Suddenly, Bercy and Baramut's souls appeared before him and bowed.

Then they faded away into motes of light

At the same time, a message appeared.


[Bercy's soul is thankful to you.]

[By inheriting the wisdom of the mage known as the North Wind, you have learned the passive skill 'Wisdom of the North Wind'.]

[Magic +60]

[Mental +40]


'The Wisdom of the North Wind? Plus, my Magic and Mental stats went up by 100 points total!'

Despite it being such an exciting notification, Kang Oh felt puzzled.

It almost felt like Santa Claus had come with presents, even though it wasn't Christmas.

Moreover, that wasn't the end.


[Baramut's soul is thankful to you.]

[By inheriting Baramut's equipment, you have learned the active skill, 'Tempest Tiger'.]

[Physical +60]

[Sense +40]

[The equipment Baramut left behind has become even stronger.]

[The equipment Baramut left behind has been upgraded to S-rank.]


'My Physical and Sense stats went up by a total of 100 too!'

Kang Oh gaped.

One gained 3 stat points per level up.

If he wanted to gain 200 stats purely through level ups, then he'd need to level up 67 times.

In other words, these rewards were the same as instantaneously leveling up 67 times. He couldn't believe what had just happened!

'To think I'd hit the jackpot this hard!'

Moreover!

Kang Oh opened his inventory with shaking hands, and looked over the equipment Baramut had left behind.


[Baramut’s Dignity Filled Heart]

Part of the Baramut set that was left behind by the King of the Quiet Lavero Jungle, Baramut.

It is made from a tiger's fur, as well as an unidentifiable alloy. It is both light and tough, a treasure amongst treasures.

It contains the power of the wind and gives the wielder an aura of dignity.

+2 set effect: When you attack an enemy, wind damage is added to your attacks.

+3 set effect: You may use Baramut's Roar once a day.

+4 set effect: Upon taking a fatal blow, a wind shield appears to nullify the attack. Cooldown: 1 hour

Rank: S

Abilities: Defense +300, Physical +50, Mental +30, Dignity +30

Any wind-related magic or skill damage +5%

Minimum requirements: Level 120, Physical 500, Wind Resistance 30%.

Minimum requirements can be ignored if player possesses the title, 'King of the Lavero Jungle'.


Gulp.

It was an excellently designed armor, crafted by mixing together silver metal and tiger fur.

Plus, it was S-rank armor and part of a set.

Kang Oh was speechless.

Just one word kept ringing through his mind over and over again.

'Jackpot!'

There were still three pieces of equipment left. 

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