Chapter 339. Storm

Once he entered the 50th floor, the black mass transformed into an exact copy of Kang Oh, Blood and all.

After confirming that it was wielding Blood, he immediately switched to Demon Sword Ubist. The Doppelganger was unable to copy Kang Oh's swap.

'The information was right.'

Kang Oh, who hadn't gotten much out of Bart, had looked through several sources and found a few tips.

The Doppelganger's copy ability had a cooldown of 2 minutes! In other words, it wouldn't be able to switch to Ubist for 2 minutes! Plus, it copied the target's HP too. Unlike most bosses, it didn't start with a ton of HP.

Thus...

'I'm finishing this in 2 minutes.'

That was the method Kang Oh had chosen.

He could use Devil Trigger or Gluttony to instantly multiply his strength several fold. But what if his opponent didn't have much HP to begin with? He could use them to completely overpower his opponent for 2 minutes!

Kang Oh used Devil Trigger.

He instantly transformed into the Jet-Black Demon, and then pulled out an item he'd prepared to use against the Doppelganger. It was a scimitar that shined silver. 

Crescent Moon Shaped Scimitar!

It was an AA-rank weapon with a level 350 equip requirement, and had set him back 1,200 gold. The scimitar's item effect was as follows. 


[Crescent Moon Slash]

Charge up energy to unleash a crescent moon shaped aura. Charge time changes the power of the aura.

You may charge it for a minimum of 1 second, and a maximum of 5 seconds. MP cost depends on how long the aura was charged (100 - 500 MP). No cooldown.


Gluttony!

Ubist's darkness consumed the scimitar.


[Demon Sword Ubist has consumed the Crescent Moon Shaped Scimitar.]

[It is an AA-rank item.]

[Entering Gluttony mode.]

[For 30 minutes, the demon sword and your character's abilities are tripled.]

[You may use the consumed item's ability, Crescent Moon Slash.]


The Doppelganger didn't sit still while he was transforming. It had used Devil Trigger too, and had transformed into a red winged demon. 

Swish!

It attacked first with Blood.

Fresh Blood Wave!

The scarlet aura came flying at him. In response, Kang Oh swung his blade horizontally.

Abyss Claw!

The three-lined aura, reminiscent of a tiger's claw, flew through the air.

Bam!

The black and red auras clashed in midair. However, the red aura completely dissipated. Kang Oh's Abyss Claw had been empowered by Gluttony. It'd obviously be much stronger than the Doppelganger's Fresh Blood Wave.

In any case, the Abyss Claw flew straight at the Red Demon. The Doppelganger shielded itself with its wings.

Scratch!

Three claw-like marks appeared on its wings.

Right after using Abyss Claw, Kang Oh began charging Crescent Moon Slash.

Whir!

Dim light radiated from his blade, in-between the jet-black darkness. It was as if the moon, on a cloudy day, had peeked out of the clouds and briefly illuminated the world.

Once Abyss Claw had broken through the Fresh Blood Wave, Kang Oh let loose a Crescent Slash.

Crescent Moon Slash!

He'd charged it for 3 seconds! The Crescent Moon Slash followed the Abyss Claw and hit the Doppelganger head-on!

Bam!

Kang Oh didn't stop there. He rushed in and swung downwards.

As soon as he closed in, the Doppelganger used Red Butterfly's Dance in an attempt to dodge his blow. However, Kang Oh's blade radiated mighty, golden light.

Tempest Tiger!

Like a tiger pouncing on its prey, the tiger aura opened its mouth and came rushing at its head from above.

It was an aura at close range! Even with Red Butterfly's Dance active, dodging it would be impossible. 

Boom!

The Red Demon fell to the floor.

Kang Oh began charging Crescent Moon Slash once more, but this time, he stopped at 1 second. 

Whoosh! 

The silver aura fiercely flew through the air, sweeping through the downed Doppelganger.

Bam!

Whoosh.

Once the whirlwind began to blow, Kang Oh rushed forward, avoiding the winds.

The Doppelganger arduously stood up and launched a Blood Spear at Kang Oh. Kang Oh easily dodged it and quickly closed in.

Then, it forcefully flapped its wings in an attempt to escape. However, it couldn't fly properly.

It was only natural. Flying was difficult for Kang Oh too. It was a delicate, difficult process to master. There's no way it'd be able to do it right on the first try. It might be a different story if it had Tasha though.

However, it looked like it couldn't copy Tasha too. Or perhaps it could, but the copied Tasha just wasn't listening to its commands.

It didn't matter either way.

Bam!

He closed in and kicked it. Even his kick was powerful, as the Doppelganger flew into the air; it must be because of Gluttony.

Kang Oh quickly pointed his sword at the airborne Doppelganger.

Everlasting Darkness!

He received a painful message, stating that he'd lost 3 of his stolen stats, but was awarded with a huge pillar of darkness.

Bam!

The 'dragon' of darkness completely devoured the Doppelganger.

Have you ever seen a black river at the dead of night? Or a pitiful animal that was being swept up by the current? The Doppelganger reminded him of both.

The Doppelganger, unable to resist his attack, was pushed into the ceiling.

Boom!

The ceiling shook, and dust rose.

A short while later...

Once the darkness disappeared, he noticed that the Doppelganger had completely fused with the ceiling. It was completely embedded within it. 

Kang Oh didn't stop there; after all, he hadn't gotten a system message stating that he'd beaten it yet.

He began charging another Crescent Moon Slash. 

Whir!

When the dim light amidst Demon Sword Ubist's darkness had finished charging for 5 seconds, Kang Oh swung his sword in an arc.

Fully Charged Crescent Moon Slash!

Like a crescent moon, the aura radiated both yellow and silver light, and flew right at the ceiling. However, the Doppelganger fell from the ceiling and returned to its original form. The Crescent Moon Slash hit the ceiling a second too late. Unfortunately, he had completely missed.

'Has it been 2 minutes already?' Kang Oh quickly checked the time. It'd only been 1 minute and 40 seconds. 'It shouldn't be able to use its copying ability yet. Why did it change forms?'

However, he only briefly doubted himself. 

'Let's hit it again first.'

As it fell, Kang Oh swung Ubust as if he were batting a baseball.

Whack!

'This feeling!'

It felt like a clean hit. What was the best way to describe it? It felt like he'd thrown a slime toy he had when he was a kid.

Anyhow, Kang Oh went all the way through. The Doppelganger flew horizontally, colliding with the wall. Two-base hit!

"Die!" Kang Oh immediately closed in and swung downwards.

At that moment...

After it hit the wall, it flowed to the ground and began changing.

'It's been 2 minutes!' 

It didn't matter if it copied Kang Oh's form now. After all, he'd pretty much won already. 

'I just need to finish it off!'

However, the Doppelganger had changed into someone beyond his wildest dreams.

The figure's hair was slicked back, their gaze was powerful, they had a sharp jawline and obstinate lips, their face looked rather old, and contrary to their face, their body was well-conditioned.

They were holding neither Blood nor Ubist, but a normal steel sword!

"Holy shit!" Kang Oh couldn't help but curse.

The Doppelganger had transformed into Valan. Why did it transform into Valan? He couldn't understand this at all. 

"You idiot." It imitated Valan's voice too. The Doppelganger swung its sword.

It was a normal attack, yet it was much faster and sharper than it seemed. It was as if the real Valan was swinging his sword.

Swish!

Huge shards of light burst from Kang Oh's body. 'Valan' repeatedly swung its sword.

Kang Oh bit his lip, and was forced onto the defensive. After all, it had completely replicated Valan's skill too.

The Doppelganger had instantly turned the tide. It completely overwhelmed him, and kept pushing him back, despite Devil Trigger and Gluttony empowering him.

"You're too weak," 'Valan' said. Then, the Doppelganger softly swung its sword. However, its attack wasn't 'soft' at all.

Divide the Sea!

The Doppelganger imitated the Master Swordsman, no, the Grandmaster Swordsman, Valan's greatest technique. 

However, something strange happened.

Pop!

The Doppelganger popped like a balloon filled with too much air!


[You have defeated the Tower of Trials' Doppelganger.]

[You have leveled up.]


Once it died, Divide the Sea vanished.

"What the hell happened?"

He was completely taken aback. What just happened? Then, he remembered what Bart had told him. 

'3 minutes. Stay alive for 3 minutes.'

Kang Oh unconsciously bit his thumb. He now understood what Bart had been trying to tell him.

'Turning into Valan was its trump card.'

But why had it transformed into Valan?

Either Valan had come to the Tower of Trials before and the Doppelganger could transform into anyone it'd previously encountered, or it transformed into the strongest person in Kang Oh's memories.

Kang Oh thought it was the latter. Valan had said 'You idiot' and 'You're too weak' to him before. 

He sent Bart a message to confirm his suspicions.

- Mr. Bart.

- What is it?

- Can the Doppelganger copy a person from your memories too?

- Did you fight the Doppelganger for real? lol

- I was completely shocked. It transformed into someone beyond my imagination. I thought I'd have a heart attack.

'Why did it have to be Valan of all people!?'

- It probably doesn't look through your memories, but the combat data stored in your character. And it transforms into the strongest person in there.

As expected! Kang Oh's hunch had been right.

- But it talked exactly like the real person. Is it really just data?

- It's a game. The person's speech must've been included in the data.

- I see.

- But if it transforms using your character data, then it'll die on its own. The Doppelganger blew up in 3 minutes when I fought it.

That's why he told him to stay alive for 3 minutes. Only then did Kang Oh understand what he had meant.

- For me, it blew up in less than a minute. Do you think it blows up faster depending on how strong the person it transforms into is?

- 1 minute? Then it must be based on the person it transforms into, as well as its remaining HP.

- Thank you for telling me.

- Sure.

Kang Oh picked up the key and rushed towards the door. He opened the lock and forcefully opened the door. 


[Tower of Trials: 51st Floor]


'I have 25 minutes left on Gluttony. I need to get as high up as I can in 25 minutes!' 

Kang Oh ascended the stairs, leaping three or four steps at a time.

* * *

The producers watched Kang Oh defeat the Doppelganger.

"Blue Sky's Doppelganger didn't do that," the veteran writer, Yoon Mi, said. 'That' referred to transforming into Valan.

"When it fights against several people, it divides and copies them. But when it fights against one person, I heard it transforms into something else like what you just saw."

"You heard? From who?"

"The Mercenary King."

"The Mercenary King? The Sword Mercenaries' leader?"

"Yeah. We drink together sometimes."

"Personal connections! But if we show this, then I think anyone will be able to defeat the Doppelganger. I'm not sure about Kang Oh's method, but Blue Sky's method seems like it would always work."

"Probably." Jin Cheol nodded his head. But then he added, "But it's a trap."

"Pardon me? What are you talking about?"

"You'll see."

"Can't just you tell me?"

"Just watch!" Jin Cheol pointed at the monitor where Snow Flower was fighting against the Doppelganger. 

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