Kang Oh thoroughly examined the necklace.
The flame shape was its most eye-catching feature. There was a yellow whirlpool-shaped gem in the middle of it.
The chain itself was made of silver with the most exquisite of craftsmanship.
[Wind Yearning Flame Necklace]
Gospel Widerow, known as the Southern Flame, put all his effort into creating this necklace to give to someone. It is filled with a sense of ardent longing.
The highest-rank wind crystal was embedded into the highest-rank fire crystal, which were then processed for a long time.
Because of its aesthetic beauty, when equipped, it will draw the attention of noble ladies towards you.
+ Wind Yearning Flame: You may imbue the Wind Yearning Flame onto your weapon or staff.
The flame will either inflict fire damage or increase the power of fire spells.
If wind abilities are used in tandem with the fire imbued weapon/staff, then the effectiveness of the ability will increase by 4 times.
Abilities: Main stats +20, Charm +50, Fire Resistance +30%
Minimum Requirements: Level 200
'This one's S-rank.'
It wasn't as good as Kunta's ring, but it was a great item nonetheless.
He especially liked its ability to increase the effectiveness of wind spells/skills by four times.
'If I equip this and use Tempest Tiger, then its effects would be catastrophic.'
It would increase the already powerful Tempest Tiger's abilities by four times! It would truly befit its name as a tiger stirring up a tempest.
"Well, it's still nothing more than a pipe dream for now."
Kang Oh was level 77, while the necklace required a level of 200. He couldn't use it right away.
He placed the necklace into his inventory and took the elevator.
'He said it was the 7th floor's water magic laboratory, right?'
His original reason for coming here was to meet Grano, who came from the Bariton Desert.
* * *
The elevator door opened and Kang Oh disembarked.
Two heavily-armed guards were protecting the entrance of the 7th floor.
Once he approached, the two guards barred his way.
"What business do you have here?"
"I came here to meet the water magic researcher, Grano," Kang Oh said.
"Do you have an appointment?"
"No. Please give him this letter and tell him someone's come to see him."
Kang Oh passed Tino's introduction letter to the guards.
One of the guards went inside and disappeared. The remaining guard didn't budge so much as an inch and remained there.
A while later, the guard returned with a 40 year old looking mage.
"Are you the one who was looking for me?" Grano asked.
Unlike other mages, he wore a white laboratory coat; his hair was neat and he wore glasses as well.
He was a handsome, middle-aged man with a face that suggested that when he was young, or perhaps even now, women would fawn over and chase him.
"My name is Kang Oh. I came here to ask you about the Bariton Desert."
"There's a cafe on the 2nd floor. Let's talk there."
Kang Oh and Grano headed to the large cafe on the 2nd floor.
The magic tower's cafe was quite nice. The individual sofas were comfy, and the fragrant aroma of tea permeated throughout the cafe.
The two sat down and ordered refreshments.
"How do you know Tino?" Grano asked.
"He and I have helped each other out a few times. How do you know him, Mr. Grano?" Kang Oh asked.
It didn't seem likely that an alcoholic like Tino would be close to an elite like Grano.
"When I was young, we went on an adventure together. At that time, Tino was a mercenary with quite a bright future."
"I see. In any case, you are a native of the Bariton Desert, right?"
"Yes. I come from the Hapdala Oasis, which is in the Bariton Desert. But what did you want to ask me?"
"There is truth behind the unending mirage," Kang Oh said out of the blue.
"Are you looking for the legendary oasis?"
Grano understood immediately. As expected, he was definitely a native of the Bariton Desert.
"Hmm. I don't know much about it either."
"But you must know more than me at least. Since you're from there."
The strange nuance caused Kang Oh's eyes to shine.
"Is there anything special you can tell me?" Kang Oh asked.
"I wonder. It's ultimately just a hypothesis of mine."
"A hypothesis is fine. Please tell me."
"Before that... Do you know what kind of work I do in the Mage's Tower?"
Grano suddenly changed the topic of conversation.
"I don't know."
Plus, he didn't really want to know.
"I'm in the middle of trying to create a device that'll make it rain."
"I see. Whatever the case, what is your hypothesis..."
Kang Oh attempted to return to the topic at hand.
"But I'm in a pinch because there's a material that I need for the device that I'm out of. So, please get me that material," Grano stared at him and said.
His gaze seemingly said, 'Give and take.'.
Kang Oh furrowed his brow. As he thought, nothing in this world was free.
"Do you know of the Agath monster?"
Agaths were birds with blue crystals embedded in their breast. They were also called Thunderbirds.
They were higher than level 120, and most of them lived in the Kaistan Canyon.
"I require several of those crystals. But the market doesn't sell the quantity that I need. So, I need someone to get me some Agath Crystals. Immediately!" Grano said, emphasizing 'immediately'.
"Hmm. Then can't you go and get them yourself?"
"I'd like to, but I cannot leave the laboratory for that long. I can't tell you the specifics either since it's part of my research."
"So you're telling me to go get them for you. That's the only way you'll give me the information."
Grano nodded his head.
'Go to the Kaistan Canyon and hunt Agaths.'
If it were left up to a normal level 77 player, they would never voluntarily seek the Kaistan Canyon, where so many of the Agaths lived.
However, Kang Oh was strong enough that he could make up for the 50 level difference.
"Alright. How many Agath Crystals do you need?"
"I need 50 of them."
"That's quite a bit."
"I need at least 50," Grano said, emphasizing the number 50.
"But Mr. Grano, is your information really worth 50 Agath Crystals?"
Agath Crystals didn't really have a use; there was no demand for them, and there was no supply of them either.
Still, since it was a material that came from a level 120 monster, it was worth approximately 3 gold each.
Therefore, 50 Agath Crystals were worth 150 gold. In terms of real-life currency, they were worth 1.5 million won ($1,500 USD)!
Was Grano's information really worth that much?
"If you use it well, then it's worth more. If you don't, then it's worth less," Grano replied.
'No shit! I'd rather...'
Kang Oh changed his mind.
Rather than just listening to the information, he would bring Grano to guide him through the desert.
"How many Agath Crystals do I need to get you to come with me to the Bariton Desert?"
Grano stroked his beard.
He was thinking about something intently.
Kang Oh didn't complain and stayed quiet.
A short while later, Grano said, "It should take about 200 regular Agath Crystals and 1 from their leader to get the device working. I'll need to go back to the Bariton Desert to make it rain anyway, so I'll be able to help you then."
'200 normal Agath Crystals and 1 from the Agath Leader, huh...'
An Agath Crystal from an Agath Leader was worth 20 gold. 200 Agath Crystals were worth 600 gold, so in total, it would all be worth 620 gold.
He also had to consider how much time it would take to get all of that.
'At most, it'll take a month.'
So was it really worth it to stake all that time and money on Grano and the information he held?
Grano shouldn't be the only Bariton Desert native.
"To be honest, I'm not sure that you accompanying me is worth the materials you're requesting," Kang Oh said.
"My presence isn't worth it; it's worth much more. So much so that there's no comparison."
"Why is that?"
"It's said that there are two oases and seven dungeons in the Bariton Desert. However, I know of two dungeons that no one else knows about. I also know about four mysterious places as well. There's only one thing I haven't found in the Bariton Desert! And that's the hidden oasis," Grano said.
His voice reflected the pride he had in his accomplishments.
Kang Oh was interested in those two dungeons that apparently only he knew about.
After all, the first discovery feature was only something that applied to users.
In other words, if Kang Oh were to go to those two dungeons, then he would be the first to discover them.
"As expected! So you're a specialist in the area, I see."
Kang Oh gave him a thumbs up. Kang Oh was recognizing him as the best in the field.
"Alright, we have a deal. I'll get you what you need. After that, let's go to the Bariton Desert together," Kang Oh suggested.
Kang Oh decided that Grano was worth risking more than 600 gold on.
'I'll have to use my trump card here.'
If he used it here, then that one month estimate would drop significantly.
"But I'd like to visit those two dungeons that only you know about no matter what."
He would visit the two dungeons, as well as the hidden oasis that was said to hold incredible treasure.
Kang Oh would have the chance to make at least 600 gold among those three locations.
"The two dungeons... So that you break even, even if you don't find that hidden oasis?"
"Alright. You have a deal. But I'm only doing it after you've procured the materials," Grano said, and a quest appeared.
[Procure Agath Crystals]
The water magic research director, Grano, is just one step away from completing his magical device that causes rain.
However, he doesn't have enough of a key material: Agath Crystals.
Bring him Agath Crystals and an Agath Leader Crystal.
Agath Crystals (0/200)
Agath Leader's Crystal (0/1)
Conditions: Kang Oh only
Reward: Grano accompanies you to the Bariton Desert
Kang Oh accepted the quest.
"I'll get going now. I need to continue my research."
Grano stood up. Kang Oh followed suit and extended his hand.
"Let's do our best."
Once they shook hands, Grano returned to his laboratory.
Kang Oh, now alone, sipped on his cold tea and organized his thoughts.
'Agath. They're pretty tough.'
The Agath gathered lightning within their crystals and discharged them against their enemies. They could also fly, obviously.
Kang Oh and Eder would need around a month to collect 200 Agath Crystals.
'If it's just the two of us, that is.'
He needed reinforcements.
Someone who could pick the birds off from afar...
* * *
Sharp teeth dripping with blood. A Kruger opened its mouth wide as it chased a certain man.
"Damn. I didn't think a Kruger would come out from there."
It was a man with a handsome face, slim build, and black curly hair.
Strangely, he was running backward, but at an incredibly quick pace!
The man was readying his bow.
The bow, in the shape of a silver wing, was certainly a treasure, even at first glance.
He retrieved several arrows from his back-mounted quiver and notched them.
He held his breath and pulled the string. The string tensed, and the wing-shaped bow arced.
'Three, two, one... Now!'
He let go of his grip and let the arrows loose.
The arrows soared into the air and fell like rain. It was the Archer's skill, Arrow Rain!
The Kruger, its back struck by the Arrow Rain, roared and dashed towards the man.
However, the arrows were coated in a potent paralyzing toxin, so the Kruger's movements were clearly slower than before.
The man seized the opportunity, turned his body and began to run normally, not backward.
"Phew, I got away."
The man, who'd been followed by the Kruger for some time, wiped his sweat and sighed in relief.
But he would never realize that something, or someone, even worse had set their sights on him.
Even if he did, he wouldn't be able to escape...Previous Chapter Next Chapter