Chapter 345. Black Forest

Experience was key. 

Kang Oh had already taken Ubist's trial thrice. He fought Ubist without much difficulty, despite the darkness obscuring his vision.

Because he shared levels with it, Ubist was much stronger and faster than before. However, its attack patterns were still too easy to read. Kang Oh would dodge an attack using his Hyper Intuition, and then strike at a weak point. 

There was no reason for him to roll onto the floor like last time. His fundamentals had improved to such an extent that he could block Ubist's vicious attacks without much difficulty.

Plus, he'd realized something about Ubist's trial. 

'The Demonic Swordsman is the greatest of all Swordsman classes. This trial was originally meant for a Master Swordsman.'

The test blinded the challenger and prevented all skill use. Ubist's power also changed depending on who wielded it.

What kind of person would be able to overcome such a trial?

The individual's senses had to be well-trained, so much so that they could fight without relying on their sight, and they had to be skilled enough to fight off Ubist without using any skills. In other words, only Masters like Burkan were supposed to pass this trial. 

However, this test's restrictions actually proved advantageous to Kang Oh, due to his overpowered Hyper Intuition ability. 

Hyper Intuition eliminated his need to see, and allowed him to precisely strike at his opponent, even within the darkness. Moreover, the fact that Ubist shared its level with its wielder meant that the lower one's level, the weaker Ubist became. 

'Hyper Intuition really is broken.'

It was like he was cheating in a game of Go-Stop. Cheating in such a manner that no one knew!

In the end, Ubist was defeated.


[Ubist's HP has fallen below 10%.]

[Ubist has retreated deep within the darkness.]

[You have passed Ubist's trial.]


"I did it," Kang Oh said to Sephiro and Eder, who were pointing their weapons at him.

"Tch!"

"Tch."

They clicked their tongues simultaneously. Then, they slowly lowered their weapons in disappointment.

However...

"Ah, I'm not done yet. Please raise your weapons."

"What?"

Kang Oh stored Ubist and pulled out Blood while Sephiro and Eder stared at him puzzlingly. 

Since he'd used Devil Trigger so much in the Tower of Trials, both Ubist and Blood's assimilation rate had almost been maxed out.

Devil Trigger!

Kang Oh transformed into a giant-winged red demon, and waited for his assimilation rate to hit 200%.


[Demon Sword Blood's assimilation rate has reached 200%.]

[Demon Sword Blood's trial has begun!]


His environment changed once more.

Kang Oh was back in the Parmarl Underground Labyrinth, where he'd killed the Minotaur Brothers and acquired Demon Sword Blood. In front of him stood Blood, once called the Great Forest's Demon, appearing like a red alien with bat wings behind it. 

Unlike Ubist's trial, Blood didn't restrict him at all. Kang Oh drew Demon Sword Ubist, used Gluttony and Devil Trigger, and attacked.

Bam, bam, bam!

"Kuhahp!" 

Kang Oh completely overpowered it. His form far surpassed the Great Forest's Demon.

Ultimately, Blood fell to its knees. During Blood's first trial, Kang Oh hadn't finished it off, and he didn't this time either.


[You have overpowered the Great Forest's Demon, Blood, and have shown mercy.] 

[Blood's main personality, Tasha, will begin to trust you a bit more.]

[You have passed Demon Sword Blood's trial.]


Kang Oh grinned. "I'm done."

Eder and Sephiro lowered their weapons. Waryong closed its mouth, and disappointingly darted its tongue in and out. 

"Thank you for your help." Kang Oh slightly bowed his head.

"Good work," Eder said. Though he looked disappointed, he also looked expectant. He knew how it'd turn out.

"Ah, c'mon. You're no fun." Sephiro tied the Lasselpino Bow to his back and stroked Waryong's head.

"Please gather information on Diak. We'll see each other again in a few days."

"Bye."

"Take care."

Now that he was done here, Kang Oh waved his hand. Neither Sephiro nor Eder had any reason to stop him.

* * *

Three days went by in a flash.

Kang Oh, Eder, Sephiro, Darion, Soren, and Karin met at Eder's house. Man Bok had joined in this time too.

"Please tell us what you've learned," Kang Oh said.

"You go first. I'll let you know if I found anything that you didn't," Eder said.

"To be honest, I didn't really find anything." He'd asked the drunkard, Tino, Jayce from the Adventurer Guild, and Grano from the Mage's Tower, but they didn't know anything about Diak.

"Me too."

"I'm sorry. I couldn't find anything either. All I could find was that it was incredibly fast and strong."

Soren and Karin said.

Then, Darion raised his hand. 

"Go ahead."

"One of my seniors has fought the beast before."

"Oh, really?"

"He just said, 'Don't fight it.'."

"That's it?" Kang Oh stared at him. 'That's all you got? Really?'

"He also said that if you have to fight it, then don't attack it. Wait for it to come to you."

"What do you mean?"

"Diak is aloof, so it won't ambush you, nor will it attack you from behind."

"It won't attack you from behind?"

"Yes. It always shows itself first, and then rips its enemies to shreds."

"Are you sure?"

The Black Forest was Diak's domain. But if what Darion said was true, then they wouldn't have to worry about any surprise attacks.

"That's what he said."

"Anything else?"

Darion shook his head.

"Did anyone else find out anything?"

Eder raised his hand. "I read that the Black Forest's silver beast is the incarnation of moonlight."

Diak possessed shimmering silver fur. Is that why it was called the Moonlight Beast?

"What about it?"

"It apparently only shows up when the moon is out," Eder said.

"Ah!" Sephiro smacked his palm with his fist.

"What is it?" Kang Oh stared at Sephiro.

"My information brokers told me that Diak is nocturnal. You see, it's only shown up at night thus far. Thus, it's assumed that it stays in its hideout during the day... If Mr. Eder is correct, then it probably doesn't even have a hideout. It probably shows up at night, and then disappears during the day."

Diak appeared only during a certain period of time. In cases like this, you had a limited amount of time to hunt it before it disappeared.

"So if we want to hunt it, then we have to go at night. It really won't be easy."

It seemed like the hunt would be more difficult than he'd expected. To think they'd have to fight an extremely fast monster at night!

"Anything else?" Kang Oh asked.

Everyone remained silent.

"That's it for the meeting. We'll be hunting together now. Mr. Man Bok."

"Yes?" Man Bok, who was sitting in the corner, replied.

"As always, we'll be relying on you." In other words, he was asking him to provide them with supplies and anything they might need.

"Of course." Man Bok smiled.

"Then let's get a move on."

"Where are we going?" Karin asked.

"The Black Forest."

If you want to catch a tiger, then you have to enter the tiger's den!

* * *

The Black Forest was a hunting ground inhabited by monsters over level 400.

It mostly contained Centaurs. They were half man, half horse; human torsos attached to a horse's body. Since they only inhabited forests, Centaurs were called the Protectors of the Forest, and were skilled with bows and spears. They usually wouldn't travel alone, and traversed the forest in a group of ten or more. 

Like right now.

Rat-a-tat-tat!

The Centaurs galloped across the forest, creating a cloud of dust. Kang Oh and his teammates were watching them from behind the trees.

"Attack," Kang Oh said, pointing his sword at the Centaurs. His teammates reacted immediately.

Earth Shaking Arrow!

Stamp!

Sand Strike!

Boom, boom!

Eder cast an AoE aging curse. Evil spirits flew out of his skull staff.

"Enemies!"

"Enemies have appeared!"

"Over there!"

The Centaurs immediately counterattacked.

Whizz, whizz, whizz!

Their arrows flew at Kang Oh and his party members.

"Let's go, Darion!" Kang Oh, wielding Demon Sword Blood, pierced through the shower of arrows.

Darion quickly followed behind him, dual-wielding two gladiuses, with one extra hanging at his waist.

"You bastards!" Spear-wielding Centaurs rushed at Kang Oh and Darion. They wore beast fang necklaces, which rattled with every step they took. 

Whoosh!

The Centaurs stabbed or swung their spears at Kang Oh and Darion.

"Hmph." Kang Oh deflected a spear and aimed for the Centaur's leg.

Slash!

The Centaur raised its hind legs, avoiding Kang Oh's strike, and attempted to trample him. Kang Oh threw himself out of the way, and rolled onto the floor.

Darion rushed forward and swung Steel Heart.

Giant's Sword!

His gladius surged with gray light, which materialized into a giant sword. He then swept through the Centaur with the giant sword.

"Ugh."

The Centaur staggered as shards of light spurt from its body.

Kang Oh, who'd gotten back into position, launched a Lightning Breath at the wounded Centaur.

Crackle!

The Centaur fell on its side. Its fur was completely scorched, and smoke rose from its fallen body.

However, the battle had only just begun.

"Die!"

The other Centaurs surrounded Kang Oh and Darion, and then attacked them. The archers shot arrows from afar.

Kang Oh and Darion crazily swung their swords while avoiding spears and arrows.

Meanwhile, Soren and Karin finished their incantations.

Gravity Cannon!

Soren unleashed a mighty energy wave from her staff.

Snaring Sand Spear!

Karin shot a fiercely spinning sand spear.

Bam, bam!

Their spells felled two of the Centaurs.

"Take out the mages first!"

"Let's go!"

Was it because of how powerful the twins' spells were? A portion of the Centaurs that'd been fighting Kang Oh and Darion switched targets, and rushed towards the twins.

"Hey, where do you think you're going!?"

"No!"

Kang Oh and Darion tried to stop them. However, Centaurs were level 400 monsters. Kang Oh and Darion's attacks hurt, but they could ignore them.

"Arise!" Eder raised his skull staff into the air.

Bone Wall!

A wall of whitish yellow bones rose from the ground.

Bam! Bam!

A few of the Centaurs charged into the wall. However, spinning arrows flew from behind them. This was the work of the archers.

Spinning Arrow!

Homing Arrow!

"Ugh."

"Kyaahk!"

Both Eder and Soren were hit by the arrows. More and more arrows kept coming at them from beyond the wall.

"Come out, Momo!" Karin quickly cast another spell.

Summon Sand Golem!

A giant Sand Golem pulled Soren, Karin, and Eder in.

Thwock, thwock, thwock!

Countless arrows hit it, but it protected all three of them from harm. However, the spear-wielding Centaurs had gotten through the wall and were charging at the golem. 

They mercilessly swung their spears at it, causing it to crumble! 

At that moment...

Fire Dragon's Arrow!

An arrow engulfed in flames flew through the air. Once it touched the floor, fierce flames erupted from the ground, which devoured the Centaurs.

"Darion, let's take them out first." Kang Oh, who'd seen all this happen, pointed at the archers.

"Yes!" 

Kang Oh and Darion had already cut down the two Centaurs in their way. They rushed at the archers hiding in the rear. 

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