Kang Oh suggested that he fight Hernandez with nothing on the line.
"Alright, do as you like," Han Seol replied.
Hernandez sulked. "Don't want to."
"You don't think you'll win?" Kang Oh provoked him.
"I won't fight you without anything on the line. You're the only one that gets anything out of this."
There was only one reason Kang Oh had come with Angler. He wanted to spar with Hernandez.
But if there was nothing on the line, then only Kang Oh would get what he wants. Whereas the Storm Guild would get nothing in return.
"Why are you putting it like that? We're just seeing who's stronger."
"No thanks. If you lose, then will you join our guild?"
"Then you'll have to give me your spot if I win."
Neither Kang Oh nor Hernandez thought for a second that they'd lose.
"I told you! You can't make that kind of bet!" Han Seol placed her hands on her hips and raised her eyes. She was basically saying, 'Over my dead body!'.
"Man, she keeps saying the same thing over and over again. So I'm not going to fight you," Hernandez said.
"By the way, why do you keep speaking to me so informally?"
"I'm not the kind of person to be polite to a guy who challenged me to a duel." Hernandez snarled.
"Then I guess I can drop the honorifics too."
"Do whatever you want."
"See ya." Kang Oh waved his hand.
"Wait a second!" Han Seol grabbed him.
"What is it?"
"You have absolutely no intention of joining our guild, yes?"
"He doesn't." Hernandez answered for him.
Kang Oh glanced at Hernandez and said, "No, I don't."
"We won't ask you to join our guild anymore. Of course, if you change your mind, you can always let us know."
"That won't happen."
'I'm not good with large groups.'
"I have a proposition for you."
"Please don't tell others how you got here. Have you set up a transfer magic circle? If you have, then please don't bring other guilds or players to Despia."
"That sounds like more of an order than a proposition."
"In exchange, we won't bring anyone else either. More people here means less for us."
"That proposition's way better for you than me."
The Storm Guild was a large guild. They'd also already brought over 50 guild members here.
Whereas Kang Oh only traveled with Eder and Sephiro. It was three against fifty. What if the Storm Guild attacks him?
'If they do, then I'll call some friends. No, I'll threaten them. I'll tell them that I'm bringing over another guild.'
Thus, he couldn't accept Han Seol's offer.
"I know what you're worried about. So let's sign a contract. You won't mess with us, and we won't mess with you. There's no reason for us to fight each other, is there?" Han Seol said.
"Hmm." Kang Oh briefly thought it over. "If you don't mess with me first, then I won't mess with you either. But if you get in my way, then... you can imagine what'll happen."
"Let's try and get along."
"But I get to decide who I bring here, not you. I don't want to share this place with anyone else either."
Han Seol scratched her cheek. 'Should I try convincing him some more? Or should I try threatening him?' Kang Oh's lips were in a tight line, so she thought against it.
"Do you have anything else to say?"
"Let's ignore each other from now on."
'Just go ahead and try getting in my way! You'll be sure to regret it!'
"If you want to fight, then come find me. If you lose, you'll join our guild," Hernandez said.
Kang Oh didn't even dignify that with a response. That was already water under the bridge. He stood up and quickly left.
"Do you really think I'd lose? I'd definitely win!" Hernandez said.
"It's already water under the bridge. Please give it a rest already."
"Tch." For some reason, there was a bitter taste in his mouth. Nothing had gone as he'd wanted.
* * *
Kang Oh explained what he'd discussed with Hernandez to Eder and Sephiro.
"You made a good decision." Sephiro gave him a thumbs up.
Waryong flapped its wings, trying to imitate a thumbs up.
"It would've been a pain if the Storm Guild had tried to get in our way or attack us," Sephiro added.
"Don't let down your guard. Large guilds often act friendly, but they stab you in the back when you least expect it," Kang Oh said.
"Anyhow, we'll have to pick up the pace from now on. After all, we can't monopolize this place anymore."
"Yes, sir!" Sephiro jokingly saluted him. Then, Waryong stood on its legs and imitated him with its wings. "Oh, you're so cute." Sephiro hugged it and rubbed his cheek against it.
"So where are we going today?" Eder asked.
"We're headed to the eastern region today."
Mt. Latnia was in the middle of the Goddess's Land, while the northern and western regions were the ashen wastelands, which had once housed the Mayanes. The east was filled with grasslands, small mountains, and shallow hills.
Kang Oh's party had already cleared most of the dungeons in the south. They only ignored a select few, which were too hard for them to clear.
This was the best time to explore the eastern area. After all, a competitor had shown up, and Kang Oh's party had already finished clearing all of the dungeons in the south.
"Wait, what did you say?" Sephiro belatedly said, as he'd been playing around with Waryong.
"Just follow me." Kang Oh began moving towards the east.
* * *
Kang Oh's party crossed the vast grasslands on horseback. They could see people driving away a herd of cattle from afar.
They were also the goddess's devotees. The only difference was that their ancestors had first settled in the eastern grasslands, not Latnia City.
"This place looks a lot more peaceful," Sephiro said.
You had to constantly watch your back in the southern primeval forest. It was inhabited by insects/spiders with lethal poison, snakes, high level monsters like Giant Krugers, carnivorous plants or the Illusion Mushrooms, etc.
But the sight of people relaxingly driving a herd of cattle away made it seem peaceful.
"It's probably because the Kalma are gone," Eder said.
The Kalma used to hunt humans in the grasslands. However, Kang Oh had not only killed their leader, but the mastermind behind them, the Mayanes.
The Church of Death's paladins were in the process of completely wiping them out. Thus, peace had returned to the grasslands.
Anyhow, it was because of this that Kang Oh's party was able to reach their destination unhindered.
They stopped before a small mountain made of giant boulders. There was a door there that emanated brass light.
Kang Oh forcefully pushed the door open.
The door 'screeched' as he opened it; the door must not have been opened for quite some time.
[Entering the dungeon, Rocking Stone Cave.]
It wasn't dark inside due to the radiant crystals on the ceiling.
Kang Oh took a look around.
The walls were gray, and there were lines of stone statues, modeled after humans, animals, goblins, orcs, and other monsters.
"A monster is coming." Sephiro notched an arrow on the Lasselpino Bow. Waryong was behind him, staring in the direction he was aiming.
Kang Oh drew Blood, and Eder was prepared to cast a spell at a moment's notice.
Thud, thud, thud!
A single monster appeared from the far side of the passageway. It was a huge, yellow-eyed stone lizard that was completely covered by rocks.
Clatter, clatter, clatter!
Whenever it moved, its rock tail would drag across the ground.
He'd never seen this monster before, and it wasn't even included in Kang Oh's inner monster encyclopedia.
"Do you know anything about it?" Kang Oh asked his companions. As expected, no one knew what it was.
"No, I've never seen it before."
"Be careful. We don't know anything about it."
Sephiro shot an arrow at it to test the waters.
Sun Piercing Arrow!
The fiercely spinning arrow struck the crown of its head. However, the stone lizard was way too tough; it didn't even leave a dent.
The stone lizard opened its mouth wide.
It expelled sharp rock shards from its mouth.
"Arise, wall of bone!" Eder cast a spell.
The white, yellowish bones tangled together and formed a wall.
Bam, bam, bam!
The shards were completely absorbed by the wall. Then, the stone lizard rushed at them.
Most rock monsters were incredibly tough, but exchanged speed for their high defense. However, the rock lizard exhibited speed far greater than what was expected.
It turned its body around and smoothly swung its tail.
A single swing of its tail demolished the Bone Wall. Broken bones and bone fragments flew everywhere.
The stone lizard didn't stop there. It rushed at Sephiro, who'd shot an arrow at it.
"Tch!" Sephiro walked backwards while Waryong spewed flames at it. Unfortunately, Waryong's flames were completely ineffective, perhaps due to its rock body.
Kang Oh appeared right beside it.
He swung his snow-white blade, which radiated red light, at the stone lizard's nape.
If his Hyper Intuition had found a weakness, then he would've aimed there. Unfortunately, the stone lizard didn't have any clear cut weak spots. For the time being, that is. Thus, he aimed for a common vital, the back of the neck.
It felt like he'd just struck a really hard rock. The rock lizard's toughness made his hands tingle.
Obviously, Kang Oh's attack wasn't very effective, and the stone lizard attempted to devour Sephiro.
Of course, Sephiro wouldn't just let himself be eaten. He rolled onto the floor, avoiding the rock lizard's bite, and then kicked off the floor, widening the distance between them.
But the rock lizard was persistent. It quickly closed the distance with its four legs.
Kang Oh attacked once more. This time, he wielded Ubist, not Blood. He'd switched between them.
Kang Oh cleaved through its side with Ubist. He hoped that Demon Sword Ubist's special ability, Fang Bearing Blade, would activate.
However, Fang Bearing Blade didn't activate, which would've allowed him to bypass its defense entirely. After all, its activation rate wasn't very high.
It was a dud. His hands burned from the opposite force.
'If that's the case, then...' Kang Oh quickly withdrew his sword and attacked the stone lizard again.
A white line followed the path of his sword.
This time, he left behind a small crack. However, it was extremely tiny.
'It looks as tough as Teynos.' The stone lizard momentarily overlapped with the monster turtle, Teynos, whose defense was second to none. 'But you know what, I have a technique that really hurt Teynos.'
Kang Oh got into position. Meanwhile, the stone lizard kept attacking Sephiro.
"You stupid stone lizard! Get away from me!"
Were they mortal enemies in their past life? Whatever the case, Kang Oh was able to prepare his attack without any interruptions.
He began to gather more and more darkness around his blade.
Eder, who'd fought alongside him for so long, supported him.
"Collapse!" Eder raised his skull staff into the air, unleashing a green ring that spread outwards like rippling water.
This curse significantly reduced the defense of anyone in range!
"Good work, Eder!" Kang Oh forcefully swung his sword.
The darkness flew forward like a giant spear and pierced through the stone lizard.Previous Chapter Next Chapter