"Uhahk!" Jae Woo came out of the game capsule and pulled his hair. 'I got a game over!?'
He wanted to login immediately, but he would have to wait 10 minutes first.
When a player logged back in, they'd return to a predetermined area. A game over would reduce a player's level, as well as drastically lower their proficiency. Not only that, but the player would also receive a debuff that lowered all of their abilities by 10% for the duration of a week.
For the time being, however, Kang Oh wasn't worried about the price he'd have to pay in the future.
"Did we beat it?"
What happened to Wukong? That's all he could think about right now. However, there was no one he could ask.
If the Incarnation of Greed managed to finish Wukong off, then he'd be ok with the game over. But if it failed, then that would be 500 million won ($500,000 USD) down the drain.
'That can't happen! Please!' Jae Woo clasped his hands, and relogged in after 10 minutes. However, he had forgotten about one little tidbit about his class, and was greeted by a completely unexpected sight.
[Ubist and Blood have taken control of your character.]
[You cannot regain control for 23 hours and 50 minutes.]
Kang Oh had completely forgotten about the demon sword's penalty! If a player dies while wielding a demon sword, then the demon sword will either drop, or take control of the player's body.
He was glad that he hadn't dropped either of them, but being controlled by the demons within wasn't what he was expecting. Plus, it's not like he was getting controlled by just one of them. His body had been taken over by both Ubist and Blood!
"Tasha!" Kang Oh called for her, but received no reply. He couldn't send any messages either, since he couldn't open a system message window.
There was nothing he could do. All he could do was watch what the demon was doing.
He watched as the demon slaughtered the Stone Monkeys.
'What happened to Wukong? What about my other teammates?'
Kang Oh had no way of knowing. And he definitely had no idea that the demon had eaten Wukong, Bart, and Viper.
Killing the Stone Monkeys hadn't satisfied the demon; it even killed the players that were in the Ungar Swamp.
[You have killed an innocent player.]
[Notoriety has increased.]
[If you regain control, you will gain the Red Eye.]
Red Eye was the mark of a criminal. Players with Red Eye would have bounties placed on them. In order to remove Red Eye, he would need to stay in prison for a certain amount of time, or spend contribution points at a church to cleanse him of his sins.
However, this was only the beginning.
The demon didn't look like it'd stop anytime soon. At this rate, it would kill even more innocent people and players!
"Please stop!" Kang Oh grabbed his face. If it went any further, he wouldn't be able to handle the misdeeds it committed!
Let's assume someone catches 'Red', who was ranked 5th, and considered the worst criminal in Arth. He would spend at least half a year in jail. Half a year!
To think you'd have to spend half a year in an in-game jail! If you had to go to jail for that long, you might as well quit.
At this rate, Kang Oh would be put in the same situation. 'Oh my god!'
At that moment...
Someone completely unexpected came to save him.
Has he ever been this happy to see Valan before!? Valan's ill-tempered, stubborn face had never looked so bright and cool before.
"You idiot," Valan said.
"Yeah, yeah. I was dumb. So can you please stop this guy!?" Kang Oh yelled.
Of course, there was no way that Valan could hear his cry. However, it didn't matter.
The demon foolishly charged at Valan.
Valan smoothly swung his sword. That marked the beginning of their fight.
* * *
"Mm." Kang Oh was in awe.
Valan's swordsmanship was extremely simple, yet incredibly strong. This made it beautiful in some ways. At least it looked that way to Kang Oh, who sought strength above all else.
'I'm still not there yet.'
Kang Oh may be skilled with the blade, but his swordsmanship was incomparable to Valan's. Moreover, Valan only used one skill: Divide the Sea. However, he completely overpowered the demon.
He was so overwhelming that it made him think, 'Is he really human? Is he actually a dragon assuming a human form like Gainus?'.
Of course, Valan was indeed human. However, he was a Grandmaster, an individual that had transcended the limitations of mankind.
"It's over." Valan's blade pierced through the demon's head.
[The demon has been defeated.]
[You have regained control of your character.]
Once the demon was defeated, the bloody, oily liquid that covered his body melted away. Then, Kang Oh reappeared from within.
"Master Valan." Kang Oh arduously opened his eyes and stared at Valan. He acted as pathetically as possible.
"You idiot," Valan said calmly.
"Hoo, what happened?" Kang Oh deliberately acted like he had no idea what was going on.
"You got controlled by the demon sword. That's absolutely forbidden for a Demonic Swordsman." Valan's voice was as cold as ice. It was also laden with killing intent too.
When a situation like this hits you, the best option is to beg.
"I'm sorry." Kang Oh bowed deeply.
"Forget it. Give me the demon sword."
"You're not qualified to wield a demon sword."
"Give it. Or do you want me to kill you instead?" Valan drew his sword.
Kang Oh started to think. 'How do I get out of this?'
He couldn't think of anything good. Thus, he decided to stand up to him instead.
"You got it!"
"But remember this. This is partly your fault!"
"What?" Valan said angrily. 'What the hell are you talking about?'
"Yes, I was weak. That's why I turned into a monster. I almost died too. No, I did die. That's why I got controlled by the demons."
"Why is that my fault!?"
"I'm your successor. How long are you going to leave me like this? This was inevitable with how you've been treating me!" Kang Oh fought back. 'It's too late to go back. I can only go forward!'
"You're not my successor yet. You're just a candidate."
"Aah, so you sent a candidate to kill the Evil God's followers, and told him to make a demon sword with the adamantium? Is that something a successor candidate does?"
"Those are all tests to see if you're qualified to be my successor."
"Then do you have any other candidates?"
"Then I am your successor. You don't have any other options."
'Isn't that right? It's like I'm the only one who ran for class president.'
"You have to take some responsibility for my turning into a monster. The fault lies partly with you."
He knew he was talking out of his ass. However, he didn't want to die, and he didn't want to lose the demon sword either! What was a man to do!?
"It's not my fault."
"Are you going to maintain that stance till the very end? I found the Black Hammer Dwarves in Despia. They're going to start making the demon sword very soon. Remember what you said, Master Valan? That you'd acknowledge me as your successor if I brought back a demon sword."
"That's right. But you're not my successor before then, and you're not my successor now."
Valan couldn't acknowledge him as his successor. The reason was simple. Kang Oh was too weak and he just didn't like him.
More importantly, his stubbornness wouldn't allow him to accept Kang Oh. Until he completed all of his assigned tasks, at least.
"So if I'm not your successor, what right do you have to punish me? As you said, aren't we complete strangers?"
"We're closer than strangers. You're using the sword I once used." He was, of course, referring to Demon Sword Ubist.
"So I inherited your sword, but I'm not your successor. Since I'm not your successor, you have nothing to teach me. And even though I'm not your successor, you can punish me. Isn't that too much?"
"The strong make the rules. That's why they say that violence can often be more effective than the law at settling disputes."
However, Kang Oh noticed that Valan's voice had softened. Him saying 'Isn't that too much?' had worked slightly.
'This is my chance.'
He had to bet it all now.
"Please let this go. If I become a demon again, I'll relinquish the demon sword and my right as your successor."
Honestly, he wanted to get rid of the Guardian of the Continent position a long time ago. But if he did, he'd lose the demon sword too, so he couldn't do that.
"And if you lose me, your only candidate, then how long will it take you to find a new one? Burkan has made it clear that he'd never do it."
"Hmm." Valan briefly thought it over. He eventually withdrew his sword.
Kang Oh was right.
If he killed Kang Oh here, picked a new successor, tested his character, and nurtured him... It would be too troublesome. He'd rather just give Kang Oh another chance.
"Turn the adamantium into a demon sword and bring it to me. If you formally become my successor, then I'll train you up, regardless of how I feel about the matter."
There were a ton of nuisances in the world. If he made Kang Oh keep killing them, then he'd become stronger on his own. After all, training in the field was best.
'Especially Jaila's followers!'
The Evil God Worshippers had completely vanished from the continent. He really wanted to wipe them from the face of the earth.
"Ah, and make sure you remember this. You're not my successor yet. So you being weak and becoming a demon isn't my fault!"
Kang Oh nodded his head.
"This is your last chance. If you get controlled by the demon sword again, then that's the day you die."
"I'll keep that in mind."
"Hmph, I'll be watching you." Valan quickly left.
Kang Oh didn't release the tension in his body until Valan completely disappeared. Once he was gone, he let out a sigh of relief.
"Hoo, I survived."
Valan was the hardest person to deal with.
* * *
Kang Oh asked Bart what happened after he died. Bart messaged him back, telling him exactly what happened.
- ...And that's what happened.
- Thank you for telling me.
Kang Oh learned that he'd eaten Wukong, Bart, and Viper after he became a demon.
'So I killed Wukong. That's all that matters. Then...'
Kang Oh returned to the Stone Monkey's Hideout. Wukong's corpse was nowhere to be found. He couldn't find any dropped items either.
He looked in his inventory, but there was nothing new there. Ubist had consumed all of Wukong's dropped items, so nothing was left.
"Ugh. Wukong's items had to have been SS-rank. Those items would've been the best of the best. But you had to go and eat all of them!? You stupid mutt."
Kang Oh's stomach hurt.
SS-rank items were so valuable!
He even dropped Demon Sword Ubist to the ground, and vented his anger. But it's not like that would bring back the items that it'd eaten.
"Phew." Kang Oh sighed, and returned to Altein. Since he bore the eyes of a criminal, Red Eye, Kang Oh had to completely cover his face with a helmet.
Kang Oh gathered his teammates at Eder's house.
"Thank you for all your hard work." Kang Oh bowed his head.
"Wukong is dead. An unknown beast killed it. Do you know anything about it?" Bart asked.
"Yes. The beast was me."
"That was you?"
"To be more specific, it's my hidden class's penalty. If I die, then I may come back as a demonic beast. Of course, it's not something I can control. But it doesn't change the fact that I killed you, so I'm very sorry about that." Kang Oh bowed his head again.
"Eh, I'm fine with dying. After all, I saw Wukong die before I did." Bart grinned.
"I'd like to apologize to you too, Mr. Viper."
Viper had also been eaten by the demonic beast. Thus, he obviously had to apologize to him too.
"It's fine. What about the items that he dropped?"
"Hoo, the demonic beast ate them all."
"All of them?"
"You didn't steal them, did..." Viper looked at him suspiciously.
"Tch." Viper clicked his tongue.
To think there wasn't anything to be gained from killing Wukong. What a waste!
"Then you can just pay us instead," Bart said.
"You're getting 500 million won, right? Please pay us for all the lost loot. We can treat it as though you bought all of the items. We'll divide the money appropriately. We'll talk about how much you owe us soon."
Ares' Warriors didn't have any right to the loot, as they were hired by GBS. However, he still had to pay Bart, Viper, Mulan, Sephiro, Dambi, Soren, and Karin for services rendered.
"Understood." Kang Oh nodded his head. He had a bitter taste in his mouth.
'You stupid mutt!' His hatred for Ubist swelled once more. 'You should've left behind some of the expensive loot for me!'Previous Chapter Next Chapter