"I need you to get me four items. A Death Eagle's Egg, a Kaitan's Horn, Draxek Powder, and a Calvaidum's Heart."
A quest popped up.
[Sincerity Dedicated to Orgon]
Procure the materials that Hoffman needs to create the demon sword.
To move the heart of the Blacksmith God, Orgon, you must procure the items yourself. Bought or traded goods will not be accepted.
Draxek Powder (0/100)
Death Eagle's Egg (0/30)
Kaitan's Horn (0/20)
Calvaidum's Heart (0/1)
Kang Oh has hunted Death Eagles in the past, and he'd heard of the other three monsters before. He also knew where they were located.
'I'm glad he's not being completely unreasonable.'
"Understood," Kang Oh said.
[The quest, Sincerity Dedicated to Orgon, has been accepted.]
"I'll go and prepare myself. Once you bring me the materials, I'll begin forging the sword immediately," Hoffman said.
Hoffman returned to the smithy and began pounding on metal with his hammer.
Clang! Clang! Clang! Clang!
'Let's get the Death Eagles' eggs first.'
Several Death Eagles resided in the Volcanic Region.
The Eagle's Nest!
The Volcanic Region's 3 greatest dungeons were the Volcano's Heart, the Mouth of the Volcano, and the Eagle's Nest.
Kang Oh started walking the other way.
* * *
Song Lee Shen.
He was a geography professor at China's Peking University, and was also the author of the bestseller, Arth is Bigger than China.
People learned of Arth's most dangerous locations like Despia, the Devil's Sea, etc. from his book, and it also popularized them.
However, he also wrote another book: Arth's Dungeons. It contained detailed information on countless dungeons, making people wonder whether Arth even had this many dungeons to begin with.
The book contained information on soul dungeons.
It revealed the existence of soul dungeons to the masses. Before this book, the large guilds and those who possessed a soul dungeon had kept this information secret.
People obviously went crazy.
Ownable dungeons! Moreover, they could be changed according to the owner's wishes! To top it all off, they gave a reward every month!
'Dungeon Master' was a newly coined term, one that alluded to a landlord, and players became determined to find these soul dungeons.
Dungeons suspected as soul dungeons were put up on the community sites, and the players came to those dungeons in droves.
Kang Oh's Moss Cave was one of those suspected dungeons.
"You have to go with the flow."
Kang Oh, who'd been busy collecting eggs from the Eagle's Nest, visited Teyno's Nest immediately.
There was a rapid increase in players that came to the Moss Cave. This was his chance to accrue a ton of repel points and expand his dungeon.
"Master!" The monster turtle, Teynos, welcomed him, staring at him with its clear eyes.
"Been good lately?"
"Nothing much has happened."
"Could you give me the soul stone?"
Kang Oh gripped the soul stone and opened the Dungeon Management window.
[Repel Points: 2,190]
He'd accumulated 2,190 repel points!
He needed 1,000 points to expand the dungeon, so he'd have a lot of points left over.
'I've made so much!'
Kang Oh grinned and looked over the Dungeon Log. According to the log, countless players had come inside and fought his guardians.
"Teynos, has anyone come here before?"
The Dungeon Log stated that Teynos had engaged in combat.
"Five people," Teynos said.
They had tried and failed to pierce Teyno's ridiculous defense. They exhausted themselves and retreated.
"Hmm." Kang Oh stroked his chin.
'Five is just the beginning. There'll be even more people that find this place from now on. There's a chance that someone will be able to pierce through Teyno's defense.'
Even if Teynos lost, Kang Oh could just win the Sacred Duel to regain control of his dungeon. However, he didn't want to be called back every single time Teynos lost.
'I'll use these repel points to strengthen Teynos and add more guardians.'
Kang Oh decided to hold off on expanding his dungeon. Instead, he gave Teynos a special ability.
[Teynos can learn Returning Pain.]
[It costs 1,000 repel points. Would you like to proceed?]
[Teynos has learned Returning Pain.]
[Returning Pain deflects 5% of the damage it takes onto the enemy.]
[Returning Pain can be strengthened. This requires 2,000 repel points.]
Teynos' body shined, and sharp, thick spikes sprouted from its shell.
Now he had a damage reflection ability!
'Now he doesn't have to just sit there and wait for them to get tired. He gets hit and his enemies die!' Kang Oh looked satisfied.
If he could, he'd give it the ability to shoot a Ray of Destruction from its mouth, but he wouldn't have enough points to spend on guardians if he did that, so he decided to hold off on that.
Kang Oh used the rest of his repel points to create eight guardians.
[You have spent 100 repel points.]
[The Gnuha has evolved into a Water Slicing Sukar.]
[You have spent 150 repel points.]
[The Milok has evolved into a Group Leading Monarch, Milord.]
The eight new guardians popped out of the water, showing their faces.
They were formidable underwater monsters!
"Kill anyone who gets in the water!"
'Make me a ton of repel points!'
The new guardians shrieked, sporting brutal expressions.
The new guardians disappeared into the water. Kang Oh then passed Teynos the soul stone and said his goodbyes.
"I'll be going now."
"You're leaving already, Master?"
Kang Oh stroked Teyno's face. "I'll be back. Be good."
Kang Oh stepped onto the transfer magic circle. "The Beast's Tower!"
* * *
Kang Oh gripped Violf's soul stone. "Dungeon Management."
His lips curled upwards as he read through the Dungeon Log.
His second dungeon, the Beast's Tower, was thriving too. It was due to the non-humans that wanted to become mercenaries, and the bronze mercenaries that tried to kill the ogre at the top of the tower in order to become silver rank.
Unfortunately, NPCs gave less repel points than players, but at least they gave him some.
[Repel Points: 554]
[You may expand the soul dungeon by spending 100 repel points. Would you like to expand the dungeon?]
"Expand the dungeon."
The first expansion didn't cost that many repel points. Thus, he could expand the dungeon without fear.
[The dungeon has been expanded!]
[A new space has been created underneath the dungeon. You can create a maze there.]
[The dungeon's monsters have become stronger. Applicable Monsters: Blade Beast, Horned Beast, Crow Beast.]
[Flaming Beasts will now spawn in the dungeon. Flaming Beasts possess a special ability, which allows them to turn their bodies into fire.]
[New traps have been added to the dungeon. You can spend repel points to move the traps, or replace them with more dangerous traps.]
[The dungeon now has a maintenance fee. The maintenance fee is 100 repel points every month.]
Kang Oh looked through the dungeon's interior via the Dungeon Management window.
The Beast's Tower was a tower that soared into the sky, but a vast space was constructed underneath the tower, much like an underground parking lot.
'I wonder how much the rewards have increased...' He clicked the Dungeon Reward tab with his finger.
[Dungeon Reward (Monthly Payment)]
10 Crow Beast's Eye.
10 Flaming Beast's Embers.
1 Violf's Platinum.
Originally, the reward had been 800 gold, 50 Beastskin, and 1 Violf's Platinum. However, the gold had increased, and two new materials, the Crow Beast's Eye and Flaming Beast's Embers, had been added.
Kang Oh used the rest of his repel points to create three new guardians.
[You have spent 200 repel points.]
[The Flaming Beast has evolved into the Black Flame Tauros.]
[You have spent 150 repel points.]
[The Crow Beast has evolved into the Mana Using Corumaru.]
[You have spent 100 repel points.]
[The Blade Beast has evolved into the Scissor-Handed Sarca.]
Now that his business here was done, Kang Oh waved his hand.
"Take care." Violf saw him off.
Kang Oh headed to the Kasten Mercenary Association, which was close to the Beast's Tower.
He promised Balduk that he'd do mercenary work once every 2 weeks. He'd kept his promise thus far, and since he was here, he decided to do some work.
"Oh, the Hero of Kasten!" the worker said.
"I want work that can be completed quickly. I don't care if it's dangerous." Kang Oh went straight to the point.
"Then this'll work. The Black Dogs and the White Cats are fighting again."
Kang Oh participated in their battle once more. Due to his overwhelming strength, the White Cats won easily, and he got his reward.
'I'm busy. Really busy.'
Kang Oh went back to gathering the items that Hoffman needed.
* * *
The 5 great guilds had the most power and influence in Arth.
The Empire Guild, led by Emperor Dukeram!
The Breaker Guild, which included Black Lion, Raon, and Snow Flower!
The Storm Guild, with Spear King, Hernandez, and Han Seol at the helm!
The Steel Heart Guild, led by God Hand, Arthand!
The Hercules Guild, led by Shion! Kang Oh had pushed Shion out of the Numbers, and he was currently sitting at rank 10.
Obviously, the strongest of these guilds was the Empire Guild. After all, it was led by Emperor Dukeram, who'd never left the rank 1 spot!
Then there was his vice-captain, Jegal, who was known as the Pocket of Wisdom!
You can't forget about their eight captains either. Each of them led their own squad.
Like that wasn't enough, they had twelve high rankers, which excluded those already mentioned.
If the Numbers were included, there were 99 high rankers (1 to 99) in total. Twenty-two of them belonged to the Empire Guild.
But right now...
Jegal and the Empire Guild's eight captains had gathered together.
"The matter of Song Lee Shen and the soul dungeons... It was completely unexpected," Jegal said, tapping on the table with his index finger.
"What happens to our plan?" the captain of the Brown Bear Squad, Ridgely, asked. In the past, he was defeated by Kang Oh, leaving a stain in his history.
"The plan will proceed as scheduled. However, our soul dungeons have been revealed to the world. If we show weakness, people will take advantage of it," Jegal said.
The Empire Guild was the best and strongest guild. They had plenty of enemies to prove it.
"If we show weakness, huh..." a man with sharp eyes muttered. He led the Moby Dick Squad. Fittingly, his ID was also Moby Dick.
"Involving ourselves with the Arabas Kingdom's civil war will leave us open," he said.
"Indeed." Jegal nodded his head.
"What are our countermeasures?" Irene, the only woman amongst them and the captain of the Glacier Squad, asked.
"We have one."
"We're going to throw some bait at our enemies. They won't be able to help themselves." Jegal smirked.
"What is it?" Ridgely asked.
"That's..." Moby Dick looked shocked.
"Yes. The same Ecle Palace that we've been secretly monitoring."
"If we spread word of how valuable it is, then everyone will want a piece of it. Moreover...!"
"What will happen while we're involving ourselves in the Arabas Kingdom's civil war?"
"They won't target us. They'll instead target the Ecle Palace while we're away," Irene said.
"It'll be an interesting fight, that's for sure. Meanwhile, we'll take possession of a fortress that can't be conquered by anyone." Jegal smiled wickedly, and the captains looked satisfied.
This was the start of their conspiracy. A conspiracy that would be the cause of what would one day be called the Ecle War!Previous Chapter Next Chapter