Kang Oh met with Helena.
"What do you want?" Helena asked. As always, she was expressionless, but Kang Oh could detect the barest hint of anger.
"What are you going to do about Hercules?" Kang Oh asked.
"I have to pay them back," Helena said coldly.
Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned!
"I'll help you."
"Those bastards killed Soo Ah." His face twisted with rage. 'Ah, just thinking about it pisses me off! How dare you!'
Helena nodded her head. "It's a good enough reason."
"Taking them on head-on is a stupid idea. Even you can't beat them in a straight up fight, Ms. Helena. Even if I were to help you, we wouldn't be able to beat them," Kang Oh said.
The Hercules Guild was one of the 5 great guilds. Thus, it was both huge and powerful. It couldn't be beaten by an individual or a small handful of people.
'For now, that is.'
In his Warlord days, he had crushed a large guild by himself. That's why he'd gained the title of Human Dragon.
But at the moment, he didn't possess such overwhelming strength. Plus, the large build back then was much weaker than the 5 great guilds.
Kang Oh knew someone who could crush them by himself.
'If I was as strong as Valan, I would've crushed them already.' Kang Oh clenched his fist.
He had to become much, much stronger. Especially if he wanted to defend himself and those he held dear.
"They won't stop until they get what they want. I have no intention of backing down," Helena said.
"Hercules wants Ecle Palace, I assume?"
"They probably want to show their strength too. There have been rumors lately that the Hercules Guild shouldn't be a part of the 5 great guilds. They want to prove that they're as strong as ever."
Helena nodded her head. That's definitely the vibe she got from them.
"Your best bet is to give up the Ecle Palace."
"I can't do that," Helena immediately refused.
"If you give it to them now, you'll be able to retake it in the future. But if you don't, there's a chance that you'll never get it back."
As the master of Ecle Palace, Helena would remain a target. The Hercules Guild or other large guilds would continue to go after her.
The Witch's Forest guild members and Asu would get caught in the crossfire.
'Those bastards. They're like gangsters.'
They were no good hoodlums that had no issue with stealing things by force!
"Even so, I can't. They killed me and my guild members. I can't give them the soul dungeon no matter what!" Helena said, her eyes filled with killing intent.
"Ah, I think you're misunderstanding me... You can't give the Hercules Guild the soul dungeon. Those bastards killed Soo Ah."
"Excuse me? Then who am I giving it to?" Helena asked.
"There are plenty of greedy dogs out there. What'll happen if you leave a delicious bone out for them?"
"They'll fight amongst themselves in order to take the bone."
"Let's make that happen." Kang Oh knew he was more like a villain than a hero.
'When I want to do bad stuff, my head is filled with ideas.' Kang Oh grinned.
* * *
The Cerberus Alliance, which was made up of Jairus, Black Sword, White Lion, and several intermediate guilds, was coming apart at the seams. Since Testron's Swordsman, Jairus, lost in a Sacred Duel with Helena, there was no point to the alliance anymore.
These guilds had joined together to seize Ecle Palace, but Helena's appearance made that goal seem so far off. However, they had an unexpected piece of good luck. The situation suddenly changed.
"Is that true?" Jairus asked, staring at Helena, who'd come to their guild headquarters. They had dueled a little while back, but they didn't have any hard feelings.
"Yes. I'll give you Ecle Palace," Helena said.
"Why?" Jairus asked, looking doubtful.
"If I keep the soul dungeon, then my guild members will keep getting attacked. But I can't just give it to the Hercules Guild, now can I?" Helena said.
"Hmm." Jairus had eyes and ears too, so he knew about her battle with the Hercules Guild.
"Will you be able to handle it?" Helena asked provokingly.
Owning Ecle Palace meant that you'd be a target of other large guilds. Like what happened to her.
"We'll have to. That's why we've joined forces," Jairus said.
The Ecle Palace was part of a larger picture for him. Unfortunately, his plans had been completely ruined by Helena's sudden appearance.
Ironically, Helena, the very person who'd ruined his plan, was willing to give him Ecle Palace. With it, he could look at the big picture again.
'Turn the Cerberus Alliance into the Cerberus Guild and become as strong as the 5 great guilds.'
If the Cerberus Alliance gained ownership of Ecle Palace, then they'll obviously be attacked by other large guilds. But if they managed to hold them off, there was a high chance that everything would go according to his plan.
'We can do it! In terms of pure power, our alliance is as strong as the great guilds, aside from the Empire Guild.'
Jairus's eyes were filled with ambition.
"Alright. Please follow me."
"Yes." Jairus followed Helena, and sent a message to his vice-captain, telling him to gather all of the Cerberus Alliance's leaders in one spot.
The two teleported to the Steel Princess's Underground Labyrinth via a magic circle, and stood before the Steel Princess, Amanda.
"Amanda, I'd like to pass ownership of the dungeon to this person," Helena said.
Passing ownership of a soul dungeon was one of the dungeon master's powers.
"Understood. Then give him the soul dungeon yourself."
Amanda gave her the soul stone, which she then passed to Jairus.
"Does the mysterious scroll really come from here?" Jairus asked, staring at the soul stone.
"See for yourself."
"Hoo, I understand." Jairus grabbed the soul stone, which began to radiate intense light.
[Helena has given ownership of the soul dungeon, Ecle Palace, to you.]
[You are now Ecle Palace's master.]
"Then, if you'll excuse me." Helena disappeared in a streak of light. She had cast a Return spell.
Jairus immediately opened the Dungeon Management window and checked the rewards.
[Dungeon Reward (Ecle Palace)]
10 Steel Hearts.
10 Black Ore.
1 Ecle Royal Family's Secret Scroll.
'Ecle Royal Family's Secret Scroll!' Jairus's eyes gleamed.
"Guardian, what does the royal family's secret scroll do?"
"It increases the rank of a skill or spell." Amanda said exactly what he'd been hoping for.
"The mysterious scroll really does exist!" Jairus was in awe.
"You can only increase a skill/spell to high-rank using the secret scroll. It only takes one scroll to raise a technique's rank from beginner to intermediate, but it takes three to increase it from intermediate to high-rank."
Jairus stroked his chin. 'Even though it can only increase a skill to high-rank, the scroll's still worth a fortune. The problem's the amount... I'm sure expanding the dungeon will solve that problem.'
The Jairus Guild already had a soul dungeon. Thus, they were well aware of the fact that expanding the dungeon would greatly increase the dungeon's rewards.
'This is my chance to expand the dungeon.'
The other guilds would continually come here, seeking to obtain the soul dungeon. What if his guardians and the alliance were to stop all the invaders?
He would accumulate a ton of repel points, which would allow him to expand the dungeon.
'I'll turn this into an impregnable dungeon. Even the 5 great guilds won't be able to break through!'
* * *
Helena, a woman who rarely made a public appearance, let alone appearing on TV, posted a video on Arthtory.
It was clearly Helena, with her glasses and red hair, in the video.
"I gave Ecle Palace to the Cerberus Alliance. I came to this decision because I didn't want those ruffians from the Hercules Guild to hurt my guild members. Ecle Palace doesn't belong to me anymore, so take your business to the Cerberus Alliance! And the mysterious scroll really does exist. The exact name of it is the Ecle Royal Family's Secret Scroll."
The news spread quickly. Now, people were aware of the fact that the Cerberus Alliance had taken ownership of Ecle Palace. Not only that, but Helena had confirmed the existence of the mysterious scroll.
As if that wasn't enough, people began ridiculing the Hercules Guild.
'The Hercules Guild did all the work, but the Cerberus Alliance took the dungeon.'
'Serves you right!'
'The Hercules Guild is a giant waste of space!'
'This is why Shion's not part of the Numbers!'
Hercules' leader, Shion, slammed his fist onto the table.
"Damn it! I thought she'd try and take revenge."
Helena was renowned for being an aloof and prideful woman. Thus, Shion assumed that she'd come at them guns blazing.
Then, they'd kill her again, further reducing her stats. That would've made it easy to beat her in a Sacred Duel and take Ecle Palace away from her.
However, Helena had instead given Ecle Palace to the Cerberus Alliance, which completely foiled his plans.
It was completely out of character.
He realized that someone was by her side, advising her.
'I don't know who it is, but they got me.'
Shion bit his lip and said, "Paton!"
"Yes?" The golden haired man instantly appeared.
"What's the situation with Ecle Palace?"
"The Cerberus Alliance has completely seized it. And all of the alliance's elite players are there guarding it."
"It's better this way. I'll just kill them all."
Shion was the leader of one of the 5 great guilds. To him, anyone outside of the 5 great guilds was trash.
"You can't underestimate them. In terms of sheer size, they're just as big as our..."
"They're not one guild; they're an alliance. They're like a sand castle. If we completely overpower them, then their alliance will start to crumble like sand," Shion said.
"Excluding the Empire Guild, the Storm, Breaker, and Steel Heart Guilds are still just watching how things go. But we've already mobilized. We're in this deep already, so we have to get some sort of advantage. That advantage is Ecle Palace! If we don't get it first, we'll be finished."
Just possessing the Ecle Palace would give them a good bargaining chip. The mysterious scroll! The higher ranked the player, the more enticing the scroll was.
"We're mobilizing immediately. Gather the men."
On that very day...
The Hercules Guild attacked the Red Thorn Forest, which was protected by the Cerberus Alliance's elites, resulting in a huge battle.
"All forces, charge!"
The first battle resulted in an overwhelming victory for the Hercules Guild.
The Cerberus Alliance was forced to retreat all the way back to Ecle Palace.
"We're capturing the palace within the day!" Shion yelled.
"Uwaaaah!" his guild members yelled.
However, Shion and the Hercules Guild were unable to seize the palace.
As the dungeon's master, Jairus had not only changed the layout of the dungeon to his advantage, but had also spent a ton of money to create an army of guardians!
The Hercules Guild and the Cerberus Alliance fought for six hours, but neither side won.Previous Chapter Next Chapter