As always, Eder's face looked extremely shabby. It gave the impression that he'd rub his hands together in glee and laugh frivolously.
Though this was an extremely subjective assessment on his part! Honestly, Eder was quite handsome. He looked like the older brother type.
Anyhow, there were bags underneath Eder's eyes. Had he not slept well?
Eder's surroundings were dark and dreary. It was as if he'd turned a musty, underground prison into a laboratory.
"Lord Gainus... Huh?" Eder looked at the mirror, thinking it was Gainus. However, someone unexpected showed up on the other end. "Mr. Kang Oh?"
"Yeah, it's me." Kang Oh grinned.
'It's been a while!'
"Why are you there?"
"I needed to talk to you, so I came to see Lord Gainus."
Plus, he needed to hand off the Evil God's sacred treasure along the way.
"What did you need?" Eder asked.
"You know who Master Valan is, right?"
"He was grievously injured. I need your help."
"Understood. I'll return to Altein as soon as possible."
Eder was in Deathnely in order to improve his skill in necromancy. After all, Deathnely was called the Mecca of Necromancy.
This hidden city was located in the western grasslands, in a swamp that was always shrouded in thick mist.
"How long will it take?"
"You can't use a transfer magic circle here, and the west doesn't have any intercity transfer gates, so it'll probably take at least a few days."
"Got it. We can go over the details when you arrive."
That was the end of their conversation.
"Thank you." Kang Oh politely returned the mirror to Gainus. Then, he asked, "Has there been any progress on finding the Mayanes?"
Gainus scowled. "They're slippery bastards." In other words, they hadn't made much progress.
"Then how does this sound?"
"Go on." Gainus's eyes gleamed. 'Do you have a good idea?'
"What is it that they want?" Kang Oh asked.
"Hmm, I wonder." Gainus stroked his beard. It was as if he were saying, 'You tell me.'.
The Mayanes were arrogant, and they all wanted the same thing.
'If I take into consideration what they've said and done...'
"Want fuel in order to use the God of Creation's sources. Their ultimate goal is to become existences that surpass the gods themselves."
"So?" Gainus waited for him to continue.
"What if we use what they want as bait?"
"We can lure them in with the sources we have."
Killing Jacques and Kragon had given them two more sources. At the moment, these sources were heavily guarded by the Church of Death.
"Will they really fall for it? And if something goes wrong, it'll blow up in our faces." Gainus looked skeptical.
"They'll definitely bite. It'll be like moths to a flame."
The Mayanes desired the God of Creation's sources above all else.
"What if things go wrong and we lose the sources?"
"We have to be ready so that doesn't happen."
"Mm." Gainus briefly thought it over.
Kang Oh remained quiet and waited for his answer.
A short while later...
"We need Lady Deborah's permission to use the sources. I'll ask for her permission," Gainus said. He was essentially agreeing with Kang Oh's plan.
"A wise decision."
'Let's finish this long, drawn out fight!'
* * *
Two days had passed.
Eder had returned to his mansion, which, once upon a time, was said to be possessed.
"Hmm. You look more tired than usual, but other than that, you don't look any different," Kang Oh said, giving him a once over.
"What do you mean? Aside from his face, he looks completely different." Sephiro, who stood beside him, voiced a completely different opinion.
Sephiro was right. Eder looked completely different.
First, Eder's hair had gotten so long that it went down to his waist. The bags under his eyes had become more pronounced, and his cheeks had sunken in so much that you could see his cheek bones. His lips were blue, and skull earrings hung from his ears, the ones that rock stars used to wear.
On the contrary, his body had gotten healthier. His shoulders were wider than before and he filled out the robes he wore. Eder's arms were also lined with lean muscle now.
Kang Oh couldn't see Eder's lower body, as his robes covered them, but his posture was much more rigid than before, so it seemed like he hadn't forgone his lower body training.
"But your face and your body don't match," Sephiro said.
Then, Eder explained his circumstances. "As you delve deeper into necromancy, your body steadily declines, becoming more and more like a skeleton. However, I am primarily a Healer. If I turn into an actual skeleton, then no one will want to be treated by me. They'll say 'Take care of yourself first.'. Thus, I ate a lot of nutritious food, and diligently trained my body."
That explained why Eder's body, besides his face, had improved leaps and bounds.
"Did you learn enough to be satisfied?" Kang Oh asked.
"I had a breakthrough." Eder grinned. He looked extremely confident.
'Look forward to it!'
"We'll see how much stronger you've become later. First, follow me."
"You said you needed me to treat Lord Valan, right?"
"Please give me a minute." Eder brought out a giant treatment bag from his room. "Let's go!"
Kang Oh's party immediately set off for the Holiseum. They went underground and opened the door to Burkan's room. However, Valan, not Burkan, was occupying the room.
He was missing one of his arms, and there was a giant sword scar on his chest. Valan was definitely in bad shape.
However, his expression remained as confident as ever. It was as if nothing had ever happened to him.
"I brought Eder over. Go on, take a look at him," Kang Oh said.
"I'm in your care," Valan said politely, which was unlike him. However, this was actually how he would normally act.
He would always show respect to those who deserved it. For example, he had unreservedly shown respect to Mahakan.
Eder was a Master Healer. Moreover, he had come a long way to treat him. Thus, he was deserving of his respect.
"Yes." Eder began to look him over.
How much time had passed?
"Mm." Eder furrowed his brow and groaned.
"I don't think I can fully treat him at this point in time."
'Even a legendary healer can't treat him!? What the hell!?'
"The wound itself isn't the issue. The evil energy within it is. I've never seen such bizarre energy before. It bears the characteristics of poison, a curse, and divine energy all at once. What I can say for sure is that the energy is focused on destruction."
"If a patient is poisoned, I would give them an antidote. If they were cursed, I would cast a purification spell, but... As I said, it possesses multiple characteristics, so it'll be hard to treat all at once." Eder scratched his head.
"You said fully treating me isn't possible. How much can you treat?" Valan asked.
"Your own energy is strong already, so if I prescribe a medicine that boosts your body's natural energy, you should be able to suppress it. You shouldn't have any trouble performing daily activities."
Eder briefly caught his breath, looked at Kang Oh and Valan's expressions, and then continued.
"However, I don't have a way of dealing with the evil energy itself. Of course, I'll keep looking for a way to treat it, but I don't know when I'll find the proper treatment or if it... even exists."
"Will I be able to swing a sword?" Valan asked. Eder shook his head.
"You can't do anything strenuous. Battle is out of the question and so is anything that puts a strain on your body! Please take special care not to use your internal energy for anything besides suppressing the evil energy. You mustn't use it for anything else!" Eder emphasized the word 'mustn't'.
Kang Oh's expression stiffened. To think that a swordsman of Valan's caliber would be unable to swing a sword. It was basically like telling him to go jump off a cliff.
However, Valan just smiled. "Understood."
"Are you alright?" Kang Oh asked carefully.
"Really?" Kang Oh said, doubting his ears.
"He said I'm not going to die. Why wouldn't I be ok?" Valan shrugged his shoulders.
"But he's saying you can't..."
He stopped himself before he said 'swing a sword anymore'. Kang Oh had bit his tongue.
"If I can't swing one with my body, then I'll do it with my mind. I'll definitely slice apart the energy within my body." Valan's eyes gleamed.
"Is that even possible?"
That's how Valan operated. If there was something blocking his way, then he would just cut through it!
"Please take good care of me." Valan bowed at Eder. He had become Valan's primary physician.
"Yes, I'll do my best," Eder said strongly.
The Guardian of the Continent, Valan, would be on vacation for the foreseeable future. No one knew when Valan's condition would return to normal, or if it would for that matter.
Kang Oh sported an expression of despair.
Why, you ask?
Now, he would have to handle all of the Guardian of the Continent Quests. Those quests that wouldn't pay him a dime.
* * *
Following the war with the Evil God Worshippers, Burkan was busy dealing with the aftermath.
First, he needed to provide the people of Franco temporary shelter and help them settle in other cities and villages. Plus, he needed to hire several healers in order to provide them with psychological and physical treatment. Relief goods, which were sent by various people and the churches, had to be distributed evenly too.
Then there was the matter of the dead. Tens of thousands had been killed at the hands of the Evil God Worshippers. Perhaps more than 100,000 people had been slain. It wasn't just the people of Franco either; several soldiers had been killed in battle too.
Funerals went on for three days. A long line of mourners stood atop the grasslands where the funerals took place.
They needed to pass out rewards too. However, they had fought to protect their land, not seize enemy territory, so there was almost no loot.
Fortunately, the free cities gathered a large sum of money, items, and supplies. Plus, the churches offered contribution points and other rewards to the troops.
The large guilds and players received rewards based on their quests.
Finally, they also looked for any stragglers and cut them down. However, this wasn't something that could be done in just a couple of days. They would have to continue searching for any leftover Evil God Worshippers.
"Protectors of the Continent, thank you for defending the continent and the entire world. I'm proud of all of you. Go home and return to your families!" Burkan said, officially disbanding the Protectors of the Continent.
Once the brigade was disbanded, Kang Oh's Guardian of the Continent Quest was completed.
[Guardian of the Continent Quest: Prevent the Evil God's Return has been completed.]
As always, there was no reward attached to it. Kang Oh knew this would happen.
It was time to continue Valan's quest. All he needed to do was master Demonic Swordsmanship and acquire a Demonic Swordsman secret move!
At the moment, his proficiency in High-Rank Demonic Swordsmanship was 99%. Killing a Grandmaster, the Devil's Sword, Sraka, had maxed it out in one fell swoop.
'I guess it makes sense. I did take out a Grandmaster.'
Kang Oh hadn't just gotten the last hit. He had been involved in the process of taking him out, and had even managed to kill him in the end.
This was a sign that his role had been huge. That's why his High-Rank Demonic Swordsmanship had gone up so much.
Anyhow, Demonic Swordsmanship wouldn't go up anymore. This was the 'wall' that Burkan had told him about.
In order to become a Master Demonic Swordsman, he would need to achieve a great feat. Something like killing Sraka.
'If only I had gotten my Demonic Swordsmanship to 99% before killing Sraka...'
If he did, he would already be a Master. But what could he do? What's done is done.
He needed to find something he could do that was worth recognition.
"Do you have anything in mind?" Kang Oh asked.
Valan picked his ears and replied annoyedly, "Don't know. Not interested either."
Kang Oh turned around and stared at Eder.
Eder just shrugged his shoulders. "To become a Master Healer, I had to cure a city's plague. But... You have a combat class, so you'll probably have to kill a dragon or something."
A dragon was overdoing it. He wouldn't be able to kill something like that.
"I don't know." Sephiro shook his head before he even asked. Waryong mimicked him from the side.
"Hmm." Kang Oh was lost in thought.
'Is there any monster or work that'll let me become a Master?'
He quickly thought over all his options.Previous Chapter Next Chapter