Jae Woo opened his house's front door and went inside.
"Where'd you go?" Mina, who was loafing around on the sofa watching TV, asked.
"Driving school," Jae Woo curtly said.
"Driving school? You're trying to get your license? Why? Wait, are we finally getting a car too?" Mina asked question after question.
"I just want to drive. When I get my license, I'll have to get a car too."
"You had absolutely no interest in driving before, but here you are now, working so hard to get your license. Is it because of Sister-in-Law?"
Mina called Soo Ah 'Sister-in-Law', though she had no idea that she was a celebrity.
"Did you think I was getting it for you?"
"Tch, tch. Sons have no gratitude. When you get your license and buy a car, the first thing you should be doing is driving mom to and from work." Mina clicked her tongue.
Though Jae Woo was making a killing through Arth, his mother kept her job at the neighborhood market. No matter how many times he asked her to rest, she didn't listen to him.
When he saw how she planned friendly get-togethers with her co-workers, and going out to drink, he didn't ask her to rest anymore. He'd realized that this was his mother's way of enjoying her social life.
"I'm obviously going to take her to and from work," Jae Woo said.
"Then you'll eventually take me to school too..."
"Just walk to school. It's healthier."
"Oh, c'mon Big Brother!" She acted cute, but it didn't work.
"Bleh!" Jae Woo automatically dry heaved.
"Wanna die?" Mina glared at him.
'Oh, I'm shaking in my boots!' Jae avoided her gaze and returned to his room.
"Hey!" Mina screamed from behind him. "Bring me along when you buy a car! If you don't, then I'll give you the triple whammy: an arm bar, a Boston crab, and a triangle choke!"
Jae Woo went inside his room and then peeked his head out. "Why should I bring you along?"
"What do you mean why!? I have to be there to make sure you don't pick a weird car."
"I'll bring you if you're nice to me."
"This applies outside too. I don't want to hear you calling me 'you'."
"Ok, I got it, Big Brother." Mina smiled.
"Let's see how long this lasts." Jae Woo snorted. 'She probably won't last the day. She won't be able to help herself.'
There was no helping it. This is his fault for not fixing that habit of hers when they were younger.
* * *
[The code is StrongPunch#3109.]
As soon as Jin Cheol sent him the code, Jae Woo logged into Arth's official site and entered the code. Then, his monitor showed a live stream of Strong Punch attempting to hunt the Spider Queen, Benolov.
There were six people with him. Four of them, including Strong Punch, were special-class mercenaries.
'Let's see how strong special-class mercenaries are.'
The Sword Mercenaries, one of the five greatest mercenaries groups in Arth, only possessed nine special-class mercenaries. Almost half of them had shown up for this raid.
"Let's go." Strong Punch led his team into Croc Mountain. Obviously, the Spider Queen welcomed them with an arrow to the face.
"Ah, that's right." Jae Woo brought some dried squid and gochujang from his kitchen, and began nibbling on them.
'Hoh, their teamwork's great.'
Although Strong Punch's team only consisted of seven members, they progressed quicker than Marco's team, which consisted of more than thirty members.
Unlike Marco, Strong Punch had only brought the very best with him. Not only that, but these elite players worked well together.
They headed up the mountain like an irresistible force, and eventually got to the top. There, the Spider Queen, Benelov, and her children, the Spider Brothers, were waiting for them.
The battle commenced immediately.
Each of the special-class mercenaries engaged one of the three bosses, while Strong Punch ensured that they evenly distributed the damage. The remaining team members supported the special-class mercenaries, and quickly killed the monster spiders that came out of the forest.
"Mu Jin, get back. I'll handle things from here. When your skill comes back on line in 30 seconds, switch places with me again!"
"Deal plenty of damage to the Spider Queen for 20 seconds."
"Mr. Karma, please heal Leska for 10 seconds, and then conserve your MP."
"Monster spiders have spawned. Kill the ones at 6 o'clock first!"
Strong Punch's orders were precise and well thought out. Jae Woo was especially impressed by how Strong Punch counted down cooldown times, and how he communicated this to his teammates.
"Switch with me in 30 seconds!"
With a competent leader and a small handful of elites, this team certainly looked like they were heading for victory. At this rate, they should be able to finish her off with ease!
'That's only if things keep going their way.'
When would the Spider Queen call her consort, Adalaxion? Plus, it didn't look like the Spider Brothers showed everything they could do yet.
The first half of the battle had ended.
Jae Woo ripped off a piece of squid and waited. What for, you ask? He was waiting for the Spider Queen and the Spider Brothers to switch up their attack pattern.
'There are way too many spider webs on the floor.'
There was another reason that Benelov was so difficult to fight. The Spider Queen and the Spider Brothers would periodically lay out spider webs on the floor.
The spider webs didn't do any damage, but they were so sticky that one wrong move and it was over. You wouldn't be able to move anymore.
You'd just become food for the spiders.
Anyhow, in Marco's case, his team had used magic scrolls to freeze the Spider Brothers, stopping them from covering the ground with spider webs. Thus, they didn't have to worry much about the ground.
However, Strong Punch's team didn't use this tactic. They allowed the Spider Queen and Spider Brothers to lay out as much webbing as they wanted, confining Strong Punch's team into a smaller and smaller area. At this rate, they would fail for sure.
'As expected, you need speed to take her out too.'
Taking the slow and steady approach like Strong Punch's team would end in disaster; after all, the floor was covered in spider webs.
Then, Strong Punch's team used something they'd prepared. Their only mage swung his staff, causing his teammates to float!
"Hoh, he was capable of using Flight?"
In order to use Flight, a mage required at least High-Rank Wizardry. If not, then they needed a special item. The mage didn't look like anything special, so he must've used a special item instead.
Anyhow, now Strong Punch's team didn't have to worry about the spider webs.
But as time passed, the floor was covered by more and more spider webs, and the Spider Queen and Spider Brothers created a mound of spider webs that rose into the sky.
Obviously, the clump of spider webs collapsed soon after, spreading everywhere. That was when the relaxed vibe turned into complete chaos.
"Above us! No, the side!"
"Monster spiders are coming. What do we do!?"
"Calm down. Kill the monster spiders first. Special-class mercenaries, keep your targets occupied," Strong Punch yelled.
Eventually, they made a huge mistake. The mage, who was supposed to keep them afloat, forgot to recast the spell!
One of the special-class mercenaries fell to the floor, and the spider webs completely immobilized him. It was game over from there.
This was one of the weaknesses of a small, elite team. Losing just one person was huge.
Strong Punch used powerful magic scrolls, one-time magic tools, and rare items, allowing them to last until the Spider Consort, Adalaxion arrived. But after he showed up, they stood no chance.
"Damn it!" Strong Punch was the last one standing. He was surrounded by the Spider family, and eventually met his end. With this, the second hunt had ended in failure.
"Nice, it looks like I'll get my chance." Jae Woo's face brightened. 'Their loss is my gain!'
He felt anxious when he thought of Snow Flower, who now possessed the Reaper of Souls.
'She won't beat the Spider Queen, will she?'
He really hoped that that didn't happen! Jae Woo prayed to every religious deity he knew: God, Jesus Christ, Buddha, Allah, etc.
* * *
Kang Oh came to Teyno's Nest.
"Master! You've been visiting me a lot lately! That's great!" Teynos was as cute as ever.
"Sorry, I don't have anything for you today."
"Nothing out of the ordinary happened? For example, did anyone find this place yet?"
"That's what's weird. There are a lot more people coming in, but no one has reached this place yet."
Kang Oh stroked his chin. 'The wrecked ship and its treasure are working better than I expected.'
He'd placed the wrecked ship smack dab in the middle of the lake, so the players tunnel visioned on that.
'I imagine a player will eventually look around, and find this place.'
"Could you give me the soul stone?"
Once he received the soul stone, he opened the Dungeon Management window. He had 800 repel points!
"Hoh, I already gathered 800 points!"
Kang Oh then went to the Dungeon Log. Guardian A fought Player B. It also showed which battles were won and lost.
Moss Cave was thriving! Uploading a Youtube video with his name in it had been a huge success!
Of course, Kang Oh made the dungeon more attractive by setting up bait like the wrecked ship and the treasure box, and he also used repel points to increase the amount of experience that the monsters gave, as well as increasing their item drop rate.
'I should be able to expand the dungeon again soon.' Kang Oh grinned.
Expanding the dungeon meant that the rewards would increase significantly! It would only prove beneficial to him in the future!
Kang Oh smiled and stroked Teyno's neck.
"I'll make a ton of repel points and strengthen you too."
If he could give Teynos the ability to reflect a certain amount of damage, then most players wouldn't be able to beat it.
"But I'm going to use the points for something else today!" Kang Oh skillfully manipulated the Dungeon Management window.
[For 1 month, the monster spawn rate has been increased by 200%.]
[200 repel points have been spent.]
He had to make sure there were enough monsters to deal with the increasing number of visitors! Plenty of prey came in (repel points), yet he didn't have enough manpower to collect all of it!
Thus, Kang Oh added another guardian. It wasn't a new type though. He chose a Gnuha this time too, a sea lion looking monster that he'd added last time.
When he looked through the log, he found that the Milok and Gnuha type guardians were much more effective than his other guardians. Thus, he'd chosen them as guardians again.
[1,000 gold or 100 repel points are required to add a Gnuha guardian. Would you like to proceed?]
"Spend repel points."
1,000 gold wasn't a small sum, so he'd go with repel points!
[100 repel points have been spent.]
[The Gnuha has evolved into the Ice Spear Throwing Nubicar.]
He'd created a monster sea lion with a horn that possessed the power of ice!
[1,500 gold or 150 repel points are required to add a Milok guardian. Would you like to proceed?]
"Use repel points!"
He was excited because he had so many repel points to spend!
[150 repel points have been spent.]
[The Milok has evolved into the Group Leading Queen, Milqueen.]
"Nice. I'll be back later." Kang Oh returned the soul stone to Teynos and said goodbye.
"I'll be waiting."
"Yeah." Kang Oh stepped onto the transfer magic circle. Then, he teleported to another one of his soul dungeons, the Beast's Tower.
Unlike Teynos, who greeted him happily, the Platinum Lion, Violf, looked at him like 'You're here again?'.
"Did anything out of the ordinary happen?"
"The tower's teeming with people."
"Anyone gotten here yet?" Kang Oh asked.
"I imagine so."
If you wanted to reach the Lion's Room, then you needed to kill the top floor ogre within an hour. Clearing the 9-story tower in an hour was a lot harder than you'd think. Moreover, Kang Oh had made it even more difficult via his traps and guardians.
"Give me the soul stone."
Once he got the lion engraved soul stone, Kang Oh opened the Dungeon Management window.
'300 repel points.'
Kang Oh looked through the Dungeon Log.
There were prospective mercenaries taking the test, or bronze-rank mercenaries who were trying to kill the ogre and become silver-rank. However, he couldn't make that many points because he didn't have enough guardians.
'Then I just need to add more!' Kang Oh decided to invest his points into guardians for now.
He wanted the most powerful monster here, the Crow Beast! These monsters were able to cast powerful spells.
[You have spent 150 repel points.]
[The Crow Beast has evolved into the Mana Calling Crowbi.]
[150 have spent 150 repel points.]
[The Crow Beast has evolved into the Mana Devouring Caloste.]
He used all of his repel points, and then returned the soul stone to Violf.
By investing so much time into his dungeons, they began to grow. It was also time for him to get his first harvest from his third soul dungeon, the Saul Graveyard.Previous Chapter Next Chapter