Chapter 342. Death Eagle

Bam, bam, bam!

Heckar's fists filled Kang Oh's body with holes! At this point, it wouldn't be an exaggeration to call Kang Oh's body a honeycomb.

But strangely, it didn't see any shards of light. Heckar didn't feel anything touching its fists either.

"Ugh!" Heckar suddenly groaned.

Bam! Bam!

Huge shards of red light exploded from its sides. Kang Oh withdrew his sword from up close. Wait, then what had Heckar been hitting? 

The honeycomb Kang Oh began to fade, and eventually completely disappeared. It was an afterimage! 

Kang Oh had responded to Heckar's Infinite Punches with Red Butterfly's Dance. That wasn't all! 

Transcendent Blade!

Within this slowed world, Kang Oh had been able to avoid Heckar's vicious attacks and simultaneously strike at its weak points.

"You lesser being!" That was the first understandable thing it said.

Heckar murderously stared at Kang Oh.

"What are you looking at!?" Kang Oh said crudely, and swung Blood once more.

Slash!

Heckar narrowly dodged Blood by bending its back and retreating. Then, it swung its tail at Kang Oh. 

Kang Oh bent over and avoided the tail. Then, he straightened his back and took a step forward. He seamlessly transitioned into a diagonal sword swing! 

Bam!

Kang Oh left behind a wound that stretched from its side to its back. 

"How dare you!" Heckar bared its teeth, and swung its fists one after another. Kang Oh immediately swung Blood, blocking the attacks.

Clang, clang, clang!

Heckar's steel gloves and Blood clashed several times.

Both sides attacked relentlessly, unwilling to give the other an inch. Nevertheless, Kang Oh was steadily making his way forward.

"Atatatata!"

Once Kang Oh's swings outnumbered Heckar's punches, shards of light began to fall from its body.

"Impossible!"

'How can a lesser being like a human be beating me?'

Shaahk!

Heckar let out a battle cry, increasing both its fighting spirit and power. Then, it began to give it everything it had.

Drill Punch and Fire Fist!

Skull Cracking Uppercut!

Neck Hitting Hook!

Tail Grinder!

Kang Oh was met with stiff resistance, so he realized that he'd need something with a bit more 'umph'. 

Tempest Tiger!

Kang Oh unleashed a mighty, golden aura from his sword, forcing Heckar to cross its arms.

Boom!

Heckar took the golden aura head-on, pushing it backwards. Kang Oh took advantage of the opening and used Devil Trigger. 

Bam!

His body was covered in red, his face was covered in a bat-shaped mask, and giant bat wings protruded from his back.

The Red Demon had arrived! 

Heckar smacked the ground with its tail and suddenly came rushing at Kang Oh. The intense battle continued. However, the battle didn't last all that long.

Stab, stab, stab, stab!

Blood Spears pierced through Heckar's flesh! Kang Oh used a Fresh Blood Wave, followed it up with a Darkness Strike, and then finished it off with a Blood Bomb! 

Heckar bowed its head and fell to its knees.


[You have defeated the Komor Lizard King, Heckar.]


Clink.

Kang Oh picked up the key. Then, he pulled off a health potion from his belt and downed it.

"Next!"

Kang Oh proceeded to the 54th floor.

* * * 

Once he entered the 54th floor, a giant shadow was cast over his head.

'This is...!' Kang Oh tightened his grip on Blood.

It had larger wings than a wyvern, and it was entirely black aside from its beak and talons. 

A Death Eagle! 

Death Eagles were the most powerful eagles in Arth. They were capable of ripping through steel armor like it was nothing due to their tough, sharp talons. 

These monsters, which were notoriously known as 'Flying Death', were almost unmatched when it came to flight. They were around level 450 too. 

Death Eagles usually traveled in flocks. Fortunately, Kang Oh had only encountered one of them.

Kang Oh stood tall, and tightly gripped Blood.

'I'm not the same as I used to be!'

He'd seen the Death Eagles in Despia's Volcanic Region, which was where the Black Hammer Dwarves' Hideout was located. At the time, he wasn't nearly strong enough to fight the Death Eagles, so he was forced to run away. However, he was different now.

Swoosh!

The Death Eagle spread out its wings and rapidly flew towards him. Kang Oh swung Blood while assuming his Red Demon state. At the same time, the Death Eagle's talons shined.

Clang!

Sparks popped out from in-between Blood and its talons.

Flap!

Having failed to snatch him up, the Death Eagle rose into the air with a mighty flap of its wings.

"Where do you think you're going!?" Kang Oh extended his hand.

Darkness Chain!

Once the chain wrapped around the Death Eagle's left leg, Kang Oh forcefully pulled. However, the Death Eagle's wings were so strong that he was actually the one getting dragged into the air.

'Tch!'

Kang Oh stopped trying to force it to the ground and tried something new. He could freely manipulate the Darkness Chain's length, so he shortened it, allowing him to rapidly approach the flying Death Eagle.

Then, the Death Eagle broke the chain using its beak! Darkness Chain was durable enough to withstand most attacks, but the Death Eagle had broken it so easily!

Kang Oh began to fall, but his bat wings automatically began flapping, keeping him afloat.

Flap, flap, flap!

Kang Oh followed it in the air. 

"Get me as close as you can."

"Got it." Tasha's voice rang out in his mind.

"Thanks."

"Be careful."

Once he closed in, the Death Eagle lunged with its beak as if it were a spear. With Tasha's fine control, Kang Oh dodged the attack, and then unleashed a Fresh Blood Wave at its wing. The scarlet aura hit it dead on, causing the Death Eagle to momentarily stagger, and then plummet to the ground.

Flap!

Before it hit the ground, it flapped its wings, righting itself.

"Die!" Kang Oh shot Blood Spears at it. 

The Death Eagle forcefully flapped its wings, accelerating to max speed, and easily dodged the Blood Spears. After that, it stared at Kang Oh and opened its beak.

Black Gust!

It unleashed a black energy blast from its mouth.

"We have to dodge this!" Kang Oh yelled.

"I know that!" Tasha also forcefully flapped his wings, propelling Kang Oh forward.

With her help, he managed to dodge the black beam with some room to spare, but the situation wasn't good for him at all. 

"You can't fly for much longer."

Unlike the Death Eagle, Kang Oh could only fly for 2 minutes tops.

"Get me right next to it." Kang Oh decided to scrap the safer plan of landing on the floor, and decided to go with a riskier plan.

"I'll try."

They flew as fast as they could.

The Death Eagle continuously unleashed beam after beam, but Tasha circled through the air, dodging every single beam while getting closer and closer.

"Now!" Tasha yelled. Kang Oh immediately used Darkness Chain, wrapping it around the Death Eagle. Then, he forcefully pulled and landed on its back.

Gyaa!

The Death Eagle shrieked and rapidly spun its body. However, Kang Oh stubbornly hung on, gritted his teeth, and stabbed it with Blood.

Lightning Breath!

His blade rent flesh, and then unleashed a massive amount of electricity right into its body.

Crackle!

Kang Oh was electrified too, as he was glued to its body, but he wasn't at risk due to the Draka set's 90% lightning damage reduction. The same couldn't be said about the Death Eagle; it was in terrible shape. Its feathers were burnt, and its entire body was paralyzed.

So it made sense that it began to fall.

Kang Oh had no intention of falling to his death with it. He leapt off using the Death Eagle's body as a stepping stone.

His wings stretched out. Though he couldn't fly anymore, gliding was still possible.

Thud!

The giant Death Eagle fell head first into the ground. 

A short while later...

Kang Oh landed on the floor and finished off the Death Eagle.

Stab!


[You have defeated a Death Eagle.]


"Nice!" Kang Oh clenched his fist.

It felt exhilarating to defeat a monster that he couldn't hope to beat in the past. It proved how much stronger he'd become.

* * *

Kang Oh finally reached the 55th floor.

'Out of the frying pan and into the fire.'

When he saw the 55th floor, he realized that the 54th floor was just an appetizer. He would fight, at most, 2 Death Eagles at a time on the 54th floor. However, there were groups of 4 Death Eagles on the 55th floor.

Normally, Death Eagles would fly in groups, and it was this group, not the individual, that befit the name 'Flying Death'.

Anyhow, Kang Oh thought about how he would proceed.

'How do I deal with them? No, can I even beat them? Should I just give up here?'

Since he didn't know how far the other contestants had gotten, Kang Oh was forced to go as far as he could. After all, there was 200 million won ($200,000 USD) riding on this!

If that's the case, then...

'Let's do what we can.' Kang Oh moved stealthily in order to map out the terrain and figure out where the Death Eagles were situated. 

At some point, he entered an area lined with yellow, dried out thicket. 

'Why is it only here? It seems unnatural. Unless...' Kang Oh carefully opened up the bush, and saw a hole a certain distance away. There was something glimmering within the hole.

'As expected.' His lips curled upwards. He thought of a good way of taking out several Death Eagles at once. 

* * *

Commence operation!

Kang Oh aimed for a group of four Death Eagles first.

Swish!

He dropped a Fire Bomb in the Death Eagles' nest, causing it to erupt with a surge of intense flames.  

Kya!

Gyaa!

Four Death Eagles soared into the air simultaneously, and got ready to punish the one who dared set fire to their nest.

Kang Oh ran as fast as he could.

Flap! Flap! Flap!

Kang Oh could tell how angry they were by how forcefully they flapped their wings; they would follow him to the ends of the earth. 

"Heok, heok." 

Kang Oh ran as fast as he could, so much so that he breathed haggardly, but there was no way he could outrun the Death Eagles. It would only be a matter of time before they caught up with him.

'Just a little bit more! Just a bit more!'

Kang Oh's destination was the area filled with the yellow, dried out thicket. If he could just make it there, then...!

At that moment...!

Whoosh!

A Death Eagle swooped down and attacked him.

'This ain't working!' His back felt cold, so he threw his body to the side. He'd just barely dodged it in time.

If he'd been even a little bit slower, then its talons would've clawed into his back, and it would've brought him into the air.

However, he couldn't afford to relax. The other Death Eagles attacked him right after.

'Keep a move on while counterattacking.'

Kang Oh rolled on the floor a few times, avoiding the Death Eagle's talons, stood up, and then swung Ubist. His bladework caused the Death Eagles to soar into the air. Then, the four Death Eagles simultaneously used Black Gust.

Hoooo!

Is this how a soldier felt when faced with an aerial bombardment?

"Damn it!"

Kang Oh ran as fast as he could again.

Boom! Boom! Boom!

It was like an action movie; 'booms' could be heard behind him, as well as dirt and pieces of land flying everywhere.

"Heok, heok!"

'Just a little bit more!'

The black beams kept coming at him from overhead.

"Uhaahk!" Kang Oh leapt away. But when the Black Gusts made contact with the ground, they created a shockwave. Kang Oh got caught in it, and was forced to roll onto the floor.

Fortunately, he reached his destination. However, he didn't feel all too happy about that. The Death Eagle's ceased their aerial bombardment and swooped down once more. 

Kyaa!

Gya!

Kang Oh felt like a rabbit that'd just been caught by an eagle in the middle of the grasslands. The Death Eagles opened their sharp talons.

At that moment...

'Now!'

Kang Oh pushed through the brush, and deliberately activated a certain device.

Twist! Twist!

It sounded like something was being wound up. Eventually, it stopped curling, and released something from the ground.

Kang Oh quickly rolled to the side.

Whizz! Whizz! Whizz! Whizz!

They were steel harpoons!

Gyaa! Kya! Kyaahk!

The harpoons had come out of nowhere, so the Death Eagles had no way of dodging them. The Death Eagles writhed and forcefully flapped their wings, but that only caused the harpoons to dig even deeper into their flesh.

This trap was originally meant to kill invaders, but Kang Oh had decided to use it against his enemies instead. 

"I ain't afraid of flightless birds. Die!" Kang Oh mercilessly cut down the Death Eagles.  

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