Hernandez and Han Seol came to Altein's northern Adventure Guild.
A veteran adventurer led them to the meeting room. An old paladin and priestess were waiting for them there. It was Cyndia and Muhawk, the paladin responsible for her protection.
"Hello, I'm the leader of the Storm Guild, Hernandez."
"I'm its vice-captain, Han Seol."
"It's nice to meet you. I am the Goddess of Death's faithful servant, Cyndia."
"I am the sword that defends the goddess and her priestess, Muhawk."
They exchanged pleasantries and then went straight to the point. They weren't close enough to ask how they were doing or share idle chatter.
"Do you know where Krishan is located?" Cyndia calmly asked.
"Yes." Hernandez nodded his head.
"Thank you for finding her. I pray that the goddess's grace be with you."
"A blessing would be nice. However, I'd like to ask you something."
"Did you know that Krishan was an immortal being?" Hernandez narrowed his eyes.
"Yes, I knew."
"I see. Then why are you looking for her?"
"I cannot tell you the details. It has to do with the goddess's decree. All I can tell you is that Krishan is originally our responsibility."
"I'm not interested in the details. I want to know if there's a way to overcome Krishan's immortality. Does a way exist?" Hernandez asked, and waited anxiously for Cyndia's reply.
However, she answered with a question instead. "Why do you want to know that?"
"We suffered heavy losses looking for her."
That was a lie. The Storm Guild had never intended to find her. They'd found her by chance, and had been completely annihilated by her.
However, Hernandez spoke as though they'd been putting all their resources into finding her. He hoped that it'd make what he said next easier to swallow!
"That's quite unfortunate," Cyndia said.
"She has to atone for all that she's done, so we'll kill her no matter what. So please tell us how to overcome her immortality, or provide us with the method itself." Hernandez bowed his head.
"I can't do that." Cyndia shook her head.
Her mission was to help Kang Oh kill the Mayanes, and recover the God of Creation's sources from them. As per the goddess's command, no one else could kill the Mayanes besides Kang Oh. After all, the God of Creation's sources had to be recovered.
Moreover, Kang Oh was the wielder of Demon Sword Ubist, the only weapon that could bypass the Mayanes' immortality. It wasn't within her right to decide who owned that weapon.
"Hmm, then I don't think we'll be able to tell you where Krishan is."
"Mithril is a precious metal. I don't know how great your losses were, but mithril should be able to..." Muhawk, who'd been silently listening, interjected.
"You are Mr. Muhawk, correct? We lost way more than you think. Mithril, especially such a small amount, is nowhere near enough." Hernandez interrupted him, and continued. "So, I believe that it's in both our best interests if we trade our knowledge; we will tell you where Krishan is in exchange for the method of killing her."
"Mm. What will you do?" Muhawk stared at Cyndia.
"As I told you, I can't do that. And we have other adventurers and churches looking for Krishan as we speak. They will tell me where Krishan is." Cyndia remained firm.
Hernandez slightly bit his lip. 'Things aren't working out.'
Han Seol, who'd been quiet thus far, spoke up. "I heard that the Church of Death is located in Despia."
Hernandez kept his mouth shut and watched on. This wasn't the time to be doubting Han Seol's abilities.
"That's right," Cyndia replied.
"I heard that Despia is dangerous enough to be called the Land that Borders Hell. Do people actually live there?"
"The goddess's followers live there."
"Then could you allow the Storm Guild access to Despia? If you promise to take us there, then we'll tell you where Krishan is."
Hernandez's eyes gleamed. 'As expected of Han Seol!'
If Cyndia agreed to their terms, then the Storm Guild would be able to enter Despia. Gaining access to Despia would cover their losses from exploring the north and getting defeated by Krishan.
He wasn't sure how dangerous Despia was. However, it was unlikely that anyone had ever been there before, so it was a land rife with opportunity.
Hernandez had absolutely no idea that Kang Oh was already in the Goddess's Land.
"Mm." Cyndia mulled things over.
Taking them to Despia wouldn't be difficult. After all, they could just follow them back using the mirror. However, she was reluctant to bring outsiders to the Goddess's Land.
'I should refuse...'
Realizing this, Han Seol spoke up. "I know how you feel about outsiders entering your home. But we'll make you a promise. The Storm Guild won't stir up trouble or break the peace. I promise it on my name as vice-captain of the Storm Guild! If we do cause trouble, then we won't complain when you throw us out," Han Seol briefly caught her breath and said earnestly. She knew that honestly and desperation would work best.
"We just want an opportunity to recoup our losses!"
Ultimately, her desperation and honesty changed Cyndia's mind.
"I understand. Please keep your word."
"If you tell us where Krishan is, then I will take you to Despia at the appropriate time."
"Thank you!" Han Seol and Hernandez said simultaneously.
"So where is Krishan?" Cyndia asked.
"In the north. She's located in Yuki-Onna's Paradise. To be more specific, she's inside of a cave on a snow-covered mountain," Hernandez replied.
"Have you already fought her before?"
Hernandez recalled his terrible defeat at her hands and furrowed his brow. "Yes."
"Please tell us about your fight in detail."
"Understood. So..." Hernandez explained everything he experienced, as well as what he'd heard from his subordinates as well.
"She wasn't fully healed, and she didn't create anything or summon any strange monsters?"
"Thank you for the information." Cyndia glanced at Muhawk. Her message was clear.
"We will get ready."
"Please let them know too."
'Them' obviously referred to Kang Oh, Eder, and Sephiro.
"Then, if you'll excuse us."
Cyndia and Muhawk left first. The goddess wanted them to defeat the Mayanes as soon as possible, so they couldn't afford to dawdle.
"Good job!" Hernandez beamed and gave her a thumbs up. 'You're the best!'
"Hoo, it sure is a relief." Han Seol sighed. If things had gone slightly wrong, then they wouldn't have gotten anything in return.
"They say that when one door closes, another one opens. To think we'd be able to go to Despia!"
"This is a huge opportunity for us. You know that, right?"
It was an opportunity for them, and a crisis for Kang Oh. Thus far, he was able to monopolize the Goddess's Land, but he would soon be getting a competitor!
Kang Oh and the Storm Guild. What would happen between these two in the future?
* * *
Kang Oh's party returned to Latnia City after another day of hunting.
"Phew, today was tough too," Sephiro said.
Waryong nodded its head.
"Tough? How can you call that tough? We only went through two dungeons," Kang Oh said.
"You're not supposed to go through them this fast. Two is enough," Sephiro retorted.
"Tch, tch. You're so weak."
"I'm not weak. I just want to rest like a normal human being." Sephiro complained. 'Humans aren't machines. Who hunts for 5 to 6 hours straight without rest!'
"If you don't like my methods, then leave."
He couldn't afford to leave. After all, he couldn't grow nearly as fast anywhere else.
It felt like he understood the meaning behind 'Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet.'. It literally applied to every day of his life!
Eder patted his shoulder. "Brother, just give up and accept it."
Whenever Eder told him that it wasn't worth it, he would stop arguing or complaining.
"Even the kindest person will retaliate when pushed too far," he stared at Kang Oh and said.
Kang Oh grinned. 'Yeah, whatever.'
Like always, the three finished the day with idle chatter. But then, a paladin from the Church of Death came looking for them.
"Mr. Kang Oh, Mr. Eder, and Mr. Sephiro."
"What's the matter?"
"Ms. Cyndia has contacted us."
"About?" Kang Oh asked.
"They found Krishan," the paladin said.
"Finally!" Eder clenched his fist. He wanted to defeat the Mayanes as quickly as possible. By doing so, he wouldn't have to worry about the goddess's horrific curse anymore.
"Ms. Cyndia wants to meet with you on the continent."
"Where?" Kang Oh asked.
"There's a city called Altein on the continent. She wants to meet you at the northern Adventurer Guild at lunchtime tomorrow." The Paladin conveyed everything exactly as he'd been told.
"Mm, I understand." Kang Oh nodded his head and stared at his teammates. The two nodded their heads in turn; they were coming with him!
"Then, I'll get going now." The paladin immediately left.
"See you tomorrow at the Adventurer Guild."
Kang Oh's party promised to meet tomorrow and parted ways.
* * *
Kang Oh's party arrived on time.
"It's been a while," Cyndia said.
They greeted each other briefly and then went straight to business.
"We found Krishan. She's in the north, in Yuki-Onna's Paradise," Cyndia said.
"She sure hid somewhere remote," Kang Oh said.
"When will we kill her?" Eder asked.
"We sent some of our paladins there. They were instructed to assess the situation," Muhawk, the leader of the Church of Death's paladins, said.
"We have to be quick about it. According to our information, Krishan isn't at full strength and she cannot use the God of Creation's power either."
"Mm, this is our best chance at beating her." Sephiro nodded his head.
"If she fully heals herself, then she may run off somewhere else," Cyndia said.
"Then we have to strike before she has the chance to run," Kang Oh said.
"Yes. That's why I wanted to leave right away. We're already prepared for battle."
"We'll need some time to prepare."
Kang Oh's party didn't think they would need to be ready for departure right away, so they weren't completely ready yet.
"How much time will you need?"
"Mm, two hours?"
Kang Oh needed to buy fodder for Gluttony. After all, he didn't have any items that'd be very helpful against Krishan.
Eder also needed to go home and stock up on his drugs, bandages, and salves. Sephiro just needed to buy some more arrows.
If he had enough time, he'd like Man Bok to provide them with some supplies too.
"Alright. I'll see you in front of the intercity transfer gate in two hours. Then, we'll leave immediately."
Two hours passed rather quickly, but it was enough time for Kang Oh's party to amply prepare themselves.
"Let us go!" Cyndia said solemnly. Kang Oh, his teammates, and Muhawk followed her through the gate.
Once they yelled 'Santana', a city that had a road that led north, Kang Oh's party immediately disappeared.
It was almost time for the rematch between Kang Oh and Krishan!Previous Chapter Next Chapter