VG's signature program, the Ranking Show, began. Much like the news, it was broadcasted live.
"Hello, viewers. This is Kim Ho Seon."
"This is Lee Yumi."
The program's MCs bowed their heads.
"First, I have something to tell you."
"What is it?" Yumi feigned ignorance.
"We have an extremely rare guest with us today. So today's Ranking Show will be a bit different; it'll be more like a talk show."
"Oh my, who did we get?"
"I'm sure you're all curious."
"Yes!" Yumi replied.
"Alright then, let's get him in here. Our special guest is none other than Mr. Kang Oh!"
Clap, clap, clap, clap.
Jae Woo appeared amidst thunderous applause. He was wearing a cat mask that concealed the upper part of his face.
"Hello. My name is Kang Oh, also known as the Predator." He softly waved his hand.
"It's truly a pleasure to meet you. You finally came on our program," Ho Seon said, sporting a joyous expression.
"That goes for me too." Yumi's hand shot into the air.
"It's nice to meet you too. And I'd like to give my thanks to the production crew for agreeing to my unreasonable request." Jae Woo bowed his head.
Clap, clap, clap.
The staff clapped in response.
"An unreasonable request... Are you referring to your request to show up on the Ranking Show as soon as possible?" Ho Seon asked.
"Hoh. It looks like there's a reason for it."
Ho Seon naturally kept the conversation going.
"Yes, there is."
"What's the reason?"
"Mm. Ms. Ho Seon."
"Have you heard of the recent Dungeon Liberation Movement?"
"I do, but... Could you please explain it to our viewers who don't know what it is?" Ho Seon softly pointed at the camera.
"Ahem." Jae Woo cleared his throat and continued. "In Arth, there are ownable dungeons called soul dungeons. However, most of these dungeons have already been taken by the large guilds."
"Is there something wrong with that? After all, soul dungeons can be acquired by anyone," Yumi asked. She voiced what was on most people's minds.
"Them owning the soul dungeons isn't a problem."
"Then what is?"
"What the large guilds do after they obtain them. They prevent regular players from accessing them, force them to pay an entrance fee, or prevent people from taking them away using their power and influence. Not only that, but they also use that same power to steal soul dungeons away from others."
"Now then, we've prepared a clip that'll explain this in greater detail. Please take a look."
Ho Seon took over and continued with the program. Then, the studio's giant TV began playing the aforementioned clip.
It was a video that depicted the atrocities committed by the large guilds during the process of, or after acquiring a soul dungeon.
The clip ended.
"How was it, Ms. Yumi?" Ho Seon stared at her.
"It felt unfair."
"I felt the same." Ho Seon agreed, and slightly peeked at Jae Woo. 'It's your turn now!'
"Dungeons belong to everyone. I want everyone to be able to explore them however they wish. Players shouldn't have to get permission from someone else to do this. Plus, dungeons should be able to exchange hands if a player takes the proper steps. For example, a player should be able to buy a soul dungeon for a reasonable price, or be able to win it via a Sacred Duel."
"That's what the Dungeon Liberation Movement is, right?" Ho Seon said whilst smiling.
"That's right. I seek to liberate dungeons under the large guilds' control."
"Have you found any success?'
"Now then, let's take a look at the video that Mr. Kang Oh has prepared for us."
Then, the video began playing. It depicted Kang Oh, Helena, and Bart stealing dungeons from large guilds.
At this moment...
The Ranking Show's chat window went crazy.
- It's Kang Oh, Bart, and Helena.
- This is nuts. Three of the Numbers have shown up.
- Man, does this make any sense? One person is completely destroying a large guild.
- Holy crap!
- Are Helena and Bart involved in the Dungeon Liberation Movement too?
- I don't know anymore. There are three Numbers involved, so it'll really put the large guilds in a pickle.
- Considering how he's on TV, Kang Oh must have public opinion on his side.
- Large guilds. Your time is over.
- I really hope so. The Corruption Guild really did a number on me. You awful bastards!
The clip ended.
Clap, clap, clap.
Ho Seon clapped in astonishment.
"Amazing. Putting aside the various issues, your skills are unparalleled."
"You won't see me getting pushed around anywhere."
"The other two people are Ms. Helena and Mr. Bart, right?" Yumi asked.
"Are they involved in the Dungeon Liberation Movement too?"
"Yes, they're helping me."
"Wow, then that means three Numbers are working together." Yumi looked shocked.
"That's right. Myself, Mr. Bart, and Ms. Helena liberated Lividon Garden, Demian Palace, and Aldebarun Tomb respectively. Please come and visit these dungeons. Anyone can enter them without charge. There's no entrance fee, and if you're confident in your skills, then feel free to challenge me, Mr. Bart, or Ms. Helena in a Sacred Duel. Ah, I may also sell Lividon Garden to someone else too. When that happens, you won't be able to fight me anymore."
"Again, the liberated dungeons are Lividon Garden, Demian Palace, and the Aldebarun Tomb. If you haven't been to them before, why not go and give them a visit? If you play your cards right, you might be able to fight one of the Numbers!" Yumi smiled.
"May I ask you what your future plans are?" Ho Seon asked.
"For the time being, I plan to sit back and assess the situation. I only want dungeons to be available to everyone; I have no intention of attacking the large guilds."
"Their guildmasters will have to make a tough decision. My wish is that they open the doors of their soul dungeons and allow anyone to enter freely."
"I hope that comes to pass. However... Greed isn't something easily discarded."
Greed wasn't necessarily a bad thing either. It could help motivate someone and move them closer to achieving their goal, after all.
"What will you do if they don't change?"
"Mr. Bart, Ms. Helena, and I, as well as anyone who shares my beliefs, will begin liberating the dungeons as shown in the video."
"But will the large guilds just sit back and watch?" Ho Seon looked at him concernedly. The large guilds wouldn't just sit there as someone takes a piece of their pie.
"I'll have to go as far as I can."
"I hope the large guilds make a wise decision," Ho Seon said genuinely.
"I have a question." Yumi slightly raised her hand.
"Yes, go ahead."
"Are you going to liberate the dungeons owned by the 4 great guilds too?"
The large guilds were powerful in their own right, but the 4 great guilds' power and influence were incomparable.
"I won't exclude them. However, if the 4 great guilds agree with my plans, then the rest of the top 20 guilds will follow."
"I'll be watching with great interest."
"Yes, please do so."
"I hope that things end well for the Dungeon Liberation Movement. I truly do! But Mr. Kang Oh."
"I'd like to ask you some Ranking Show questions now."
"You went from rank 4 to rank 2, right? How did you manage that?"
"I'm curious about that too," Yumi added.
"Are you that curious?"
"I am!" Ho Seon and Yumi replied simultaneously.
"If you want to know, then please wait until the commercial break..."
"The Ranking Show doesn't have any breaks, so please just tell us." Ho Seon interrupted him.
"Tch. Is that so? Alright then, why do you think my rank jumped up so suddenly?" Jae Woo answered with a question of his own.
"At first, I thought one of the 4 great guilds scouted you. If that happened, then your power and influence ratings would shoot up. But the fact that you started the Dungeon Liberation Movement puts that theory into question," Ho Seon said.
"Indeed. I'm not part of a guild."
"You acquired some legendary equipment!" Yumi raised her hand and yelled. It was as though she were answering a professor's question.
"I did obtain some new armor, but it doesn't really factor into my ranking change."
"Then what is it exactly? Yes? Did you become a Master or something?" Yumi stretched out her hands, as if she'd strangle him if he didn't answer her soon.
Then, Jae Woo finally answered her. "Ding-ding-ding! I became a Master Swordsman."
To be more specific, he became a Master Demonic Swordsman, but he figured that a Master Swordsman was close enough.
"I beg your pardon?"
Ho Seon and Yumi both looked shocked.
"Really?" Ho Seon looked at him in disbelief.
Kang Oh had joined the Numbers quite late. However, he had surpassed other longstanding players and become the second Master after Dukeram!
"Yes, I'm a Master Swordsman. So if you want to challenge me, then you'll have to prepare yourself."
Jae Woo stared straight at the camera. His gaze was powerful enough, even with the mask concealing his face.
'Yeah, this is a warning.'
That was why he revealed it. He was warning the large guilds or those with deep-seated grudges that he wasn't to be trifled with.
'If you come at me, then I'll destroy you!'
* * *
This episode of the Ranking Show, with Kang Oh as their guest, was the highest rated episode in history. Once the program ended, everyone went crazy.
Arthtory's message boards were filled with Kang Oh.
[Master, my master!]
[God Oh. No, just God.]
[The appearance of the second Master after Dukeram?]
[A look into Kang Oh's achievements.]
[Regarding the Dungeon Liberation Movement.]
[The gap between Masters and the other rankers?]
Arthtory's chat window was also praising his name.
- Take me, bro!
- I support the Dungeon Liberation Movement.
- List of Kang Oh's achievements: Defeated the Great Forest's Wukong, destroyed Red Moon, liberated a dungeon, and became a Master!
- What is our guild doing? Mr. Kang Oh said he's not part of a guild. Hurry up and recruit him!
- The second Master, Kang Oh. Does that mean he can face off against Dukeram one on one?
- Probably not. Dukeram has the Empire Guild behind him. Plus, he has the Arabas Kingdom too.
- Dukeram is the One and Only God. Did you forget what happened when Spear King Hernandez and Black Lion Raon faced him? They got completely destroyed.
- Hernandez and Raon? How can you compare them to a Master like Kang Oh?
- Agreed. Dukeram and Kang Oh would have to fight for us to find out.
- Masters have tiers too. The One and Only God, Dukeram, is far greater than someone like Kang Oh.
- You're in the Empire Guild, aren't you?
- In any case, if a Master like Kang Oh is working together with Bart and Helena, then even the large guilds can't move hastily.
- Yeah. It's obvious that the ones that move first will get beaten down. They'll probably just wait it out and see what everyone else does.
- Then what'll happen from now on?
- Dunno. We'll just have to see how the large guilds react.
- Whatever happens, this is great. Either the large guilds agree with Kang Oh's terms and show their tails between their legs, or we see them fighting for real.
The 'Dungeon Liberation Movement', words that he'd just thrown out there without any proper consideration, had spread like wildfire. How would these flames be extinguished? They would just have to wait and find out.Previous Chapter Next Chapter