Chapter 43. Cake and Cockroach

A Lich was an Archmage that voluntarily cast a forbidden spell to transform themselves into an undead in their pursuit of immortality. 

Whereas when a skilled knight became an undead, they became a Death Knight.

If that's the case, then what about that one country's king, who was transformed into the undead through a curse?

"That's the Immortal King?" Eder asked.

"Yeah. The Immortal King, Arumode."

A long time ago, before the rise of the Altein Empire, there were several countries on the continent vying for supremacy.

It was like the Warring States period in China, the Sengoku period in Japan, or the Three Kingdoms period in Korea.  

During this time, there existed a weak and tiny country called Graham, which was ruled by Arumode.

The Kingdom of Graham was invaded countless times by its neighboring countries.

With the Kingdom on the verge of collapse from these constant invasions, Arumode made a radical choice.

He had decided to use Katan's cursed keepsake; Katan had killed the most people in history and was subsequently known as the most notorious mage. 

As a result, the capital was engulfed in death magic.

Arumode, the royal family, the nobles, and even the civilians were unable to avoid death.

The soldiers and commanders from the neighboring countries outside of the palace were annihilated as well.

After that, countless undead came out from the ground within Graham.

Now, the Kingdom of Graham had become a hunting ground for players known as the Graham Ruins.

The boss of the Graham Ruins was none other than Arumode himself.

"It's definitely a stronger body than what I have now."

Eder pointed towards himself with a gaunt finger.

He still had some black stains on his skull from Caraco's lightning.

"That body's pretty worn down, right?" Kang Oh asked.

"It's about to crumble. It's still the best that I have, for the time being," Eder replied.

In his previous residence, the Hidden Laboratory dungeon, he had kept large piles of bones laying around. 

Of those countless bones, this skeleton had been in the best condition.

"It's about time to change it."

"That's correct."

"Alright. Then let's change it to Arumode's body. And clean up while we're at it too."

"Clean up?"

What kind of cleaning?

"The Immortal King, Arumode, is hogging all these really shitty guys."

Kang Oh sported an unpleasant expression as if he were looking at trash or bugs.

"What kind of guys are they?"

This was the first time Eder had ever seen him wear such a disgusted expression. Thus, he had become curious.

Kang Oh replied curtly, "Graverobbers!"

* * *

"Ugh," Sephiro, who'd arrived at their rendezvous point, groaned.

They'd parted ways just yesterday.

Thus, he believed that Kang Oh wouldn't call him for a while.

However, Kang Oh had called him barely a day later and Sephiro didn't have any choice in the matter.

"What are we doing today?" Sephiro asked.

"Please help me hunt the Immortal King Arumode," Kang Oh said.

"The Immortal King Arumode?"

Sephiro tilted his head. He'd heard that name somewhere before.

"It's a level 150 undead-type boss monster. It respawns once a day in the Graham Ruins," Kang Oh briefly explained.

"The Graham Ruins... Isn't that the domain of the graverobbers?"

"I’ve heard that there were shitty people there."

"If we enter the Graham Ruins, then they'll make a fuss, saying that we've entered their territory. Not only that, if we want to kill the boss monster, then we'll have to fight our way through first."

"I'm sure that's true," Kang Oh said as if he were talking about a stranger.

"Then why are we going there?"

"I want to change this guy's body."

Kang Oh pointed towards Eder.

Eder smiled as if to say, 'Please take care of me.'. Of course, it didn't really look like he was smiling.

"Ah, you said something about if you got a stronger body, then you would be able to use more of your strength."

Sephiro instantly recalled what Eder had said to him.

"Exactly," Eder replied.

"Do you really need the Immortal King Arumode's body?" Sephiro asked.

"We don't absolutely need it, but there's no reason to go for any of the others either."

"Fighting the graverobbers isn't a good enough reason?"

In response, Kang Oh just grinned.

"Mr. Sephiro."

"Yes?"

"There's a cake in front of us, but on the way there, we see a cockroach. Would you avoid the cockroach and run far away?"

"So the graverobbers are nothing more than cockroaches to you?"

The graverobbers Sephiro knew were definitely no cockroaches. They were, at the very least, on the level of scorpions.

Of course, he agreed that the graverobbers were trash.

However, Kang Oh disagreed with Sephiro's line of thought. 

Kang Oh said firmly, "They're not even cockroaches."

* * *

The castle walls had crumbled in various spots. They couldn't even see the top of the ramparts.

The royal palace, the stone statues, as well as what looked like fountains were all worn out. It was all ruined.

This was the Graham Ruins.

It was a place where endless undead monsters sprang up from the ground.

But whenever the undead popped their heads out, a gaff would stab it straight away.

The graverobbers would then drag the undead away and kill them immediately.

"Poison Ghoul, killed," a graverobber wearing a purple mask and a hood said.

"Collect the items. Then we're moving on to the next point," another graverobber garbed in a matching outfit said.

"Understood."

This wasn't a hunt; it was a one-sided slaughter that was happening everywhere within the Graham Ruins.

Meanwhile, the man who'd made this place into a slaughterhouse was inside the throne room, where Arumode respawned.

He was the leader of the graverobbers and the guildmaster of the Death Potion guild, Malcolm.

"No problems?" Malcolm asked the vice-captain.

"We're collecting everything like normal," the vice-captain said.

"Make sure you watch out for anyone who idles or who tries to steal any of the items."

"Understood."

The Death Potion guild was a workshop.

A workshop was essentially a factory that made money through the game.

It worked the members like slaves, and was run like a sweatshop factory. The leaders ran it with no regard for the worker’s conditions or welfare and it had a poor salary!

"Don't forget to gather everyone on time."

"Understood."

"Remember that Arumode is worth hundreds times more than the trash outside!" Malcolm said.

It was a line the vice-captain had heard hundreds of times now.

'It's important since it all goes to him in the end.'

The vice-captain inwardly chewed him out.

Malcolm was an Alchemist.

He collected poison from Arumode's body and created what was called Arumode's Poison.

Arumode's Poison was the most powerful poison that players could use right now.

Thus, it was sold at a high price for players undertaking large-scale raids, guild wars, or those planning assassinations.

Malcolm took 100% of the profits.

The small profit from the 'trash' that Malcolm referred to, or the undead monsters outside, would go to his workers.

Despite that, the vice-captain and the other members of Death Potion were unable to leave.

They were all indebted to Malcolm, and there was a gangster backing him.

At that moment...

"Huh?"

Malcolm furrowed his brow.


[The 'Going as Three' guild has made a declaration of war.]

[A guild war will now commence.]

[The duration of the guild war is one day.]

[While the guild war is ongoing, the guild marker and name will show up above each members' name.]


This message was seen by not only Malcolm, but by all of the members of Death Potion simultaneously.

"What is this!?"

Malcolm looked shocked. A guild war all of a sudden?

"President!" the vice-captain called with a quivering voice.

"Calm down. First, find out what you can regarding the 'Going as Three' guild."

"Understood."

Right when the vice-captain was about to leave, Malcolm stopped him.

"Oi, tell all of the workers to gather here first."

"Yes, sir."

The vice-captain left.

They walked quickly and were locked in thought.

'The guild war will last one day. Our guild has 50 members and its guild rank is C. If that's the case, then they must've paid the 2,000 gold deposit to make a declaration of war...'

The declaration of war deposit differed depending on the duration of the guild war, the guild's rank, and the guild's members.

The Death Potion's deposit cost 2,000 gold!

That was worth 20 million won ($20,000 USD)!

The winning side could then request compensation up to five times what their deposit was worth.

So if they won, they would obtain 10,000 gold! In real-life currency terms, that was 100 million won ($100,000 USD)!

To win a guild war, one side either needed to surrender within the time limit, lose 80% of their members, or lose their guildmaster.

If none of those conditions were met within the time limit, then the side who declared war would lose.

However, the 'Going as Three' guild had set the duration of the guild war to only one day.

The Death Potion guild only needed to last for one day.

'But the fact that they initiated such a disadvantageous fight means that...'

The vice-captain's face darkened even more. He didn't have a good feeling about this. Something was up.

* * *

There were two types of people Kang Oh disliked. No, scratch that, hated.

First, someone who got in his way, or used their power to lord over him. 

Even though he had done the same to Eder, Darion, and Sephiro with their contracts.

'If I do it, it's romantic. If others do it, it's an affair.'

Kang Oh had such a rubbish philosophy of 'If I do it, it's ok, but if others do it, it's not.'.

Second, those who relied on numbers.

'Especially guilds!'

Kang Oh didn't have a problem with small guilds that were amongst friends or adventurers, or craftsman guilds.

What he hated were the large guilds that acted all high and mighty or evil guilds that monopolized a hunting ground.

The Death Potion guild, which was known as the graverobbers, was one of these evil guilds.

'You have to get rid of all these guilds that take ownership of a dungeon and require an entrance fee, or those who claim a dungeon as their territory!'

That's why Kang Oh planned to destroy the graverobbers.

Right now, Kang Oh, Eder and Sephiro were overlooking the Graham Ruins from atop a hill.

"Are we really taking them head-on?" Sephiro asked.

"That's the only way they won't run," Kang Oh said without averting his downward gaze.

The most annoying tactic the graverobbers could employ was to hide.

Since they only needed to hold out for a day.

But what if the three of them went right into the heart of their territory?

'They'll come rushing towards us like moths to a flame.'

At that time, they just needed to crush them.

Sephiro sighed at Kang Oh's confident posture.

"I know how strong you are Mr. Kang Oh, but it's still 3 vs. 50."

"I've won 1 vs. 100."

After all, I'm the one who cleared the Fight Against 100 Men!

Sephiro shut his mouth.

He was right. Kang Oh won a 1 vs. 100 fight, so why couldn't he win a 3 vs. 50 fight?

But why did he feel like it was harder to deal with him over an incompetent superior?

'This guy's the worst.'

If he could go back into the past, he would kick his past self for saying in an interview that he'd give whoever cleared the Fight Against 100 Men anything they wanted.

Eder came up behind him and tapped his shoulder in an effort to console him.

"It'll be easier just to accept it."

"Ahem."

At that moment, Kang Oh, who was still looking down at the Graham Ruins, saw something.

There was a user riding a horse towards the ruins.

Considering the direction he was coming from, he must've came from the closest city.

'He must have info on our guild.'

Kang Oh's deduction was spot on.

He was looking at the Death Potion guild's vice-captain.

The vice-captain had obtained information regarding the 'Going as Three' guild from the Guild Bureau and was on his way back.

Kang Oh checked the time.

"There's one hour left before Arumode respawns."

It would all be over once they defeated the Death Potion guild and Arumode, and he gave Eder its body.

It would be easy.

"Then, shall we go?"

Kang Oh took the lead.

"Alright."

Eder immediately followed behind him.

"Can't avoid it. Might as well enjoy this," Sephiro muttered, as if he were memorizing an incantation, and began to move.

Kang Oh, Eder, and Sephiro headed for the Graham Ruins.  

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