Eder was struggling against the five Gubaras that had surrounded him.
He recklessly swung his fists, and whenever a Gubara would get close, he would attempt to rip its shell off its body.
Eder was attacked by the rolling Gubaras here and there.
With his Rusty Sword curse active, Eder continued to struggle bare-fisted against the Gubaras.
They say that levels are like a bully; Eder was highlighting this fact by killing one or two Gubaras at a time with his bare hands.
"Hoo, how was it? The effects of Cursed Ground's Domain are amazing, aren't they?" Eder asked.
"You're trying to make me laugh, aren't you?"
"Then why were you fighting bare-handed?" Kang Oh asked, his expression dark.
"I don't have a weapon, so I had no choice but to fight bare-handed," Eder replied, seemingly saying 'What's the big deal?'.
"If you don't have one, then you can just conjure one up, like a bone blade or spear!"
"I can't use my bone magic as freely as before. This body doesn't have an affinity for it."
If Eder could've used it, he would've. With a bone blade in hand, he would've been able to kill the Gubaras even faster.
"So you can't use it at all?" Kang Oh asked, his voice softer than before.
"I can, but it'll take me forever to cast it."
"Which means you really can't use it anymore."
"Then you should've at least bought a weapon before coming! You said you were a Curse 'Knight'!" Kang Oh said, emphasizing the word 'knight'.
What kind of knight fights bare-handed!?
"I don't have any money," Eder said proudly.
"You have money. You have plenty of money in your private safe."
"Then I can use part of your quest reward for myself?"
If Kang Oh completed Eder's quest, then Eder would have to pay him 4,000 gold.
That entire sum was kept within his private safe.
"You should have some other money stashed away somewhere aside from what's in your private safe. Use that to buy some equipment."
Just leave my money where it is!
"I don't have any more money."
"You don't...? Why?"
When he'd gone to Eder's private safe, it definitely seemed as though he possessed more than 5,000 gold. So why was he saying he didn't have any more money!?
"I used it all on goods and materials necessary for remodeling this body."
"Really?" Kang Oh asked in disbelief.
"Really," Eder stared right into his eyes and said.
"Did you take some out of my 4,000 gold..."
"So you're saying you can't even afford a weapon?"
"Yes. I'm poor."
"Then you should sell your house or something."
Eder still had his mansion. It wasn't a place that someone as poor as him should live in.
"I told you before. It's a ghost-possessed mansion, so it won't be sold at a proper price. And if I do sell it, where will I live?"
Eder was still an undead monster. In order to live in such a large city like Altein, he needed sufficient cover.
"Well, I knew this day would come. Since I only spend without making anything."
Eder smiled despondently.
"But I'm satisfied that I at least have this body that resembles a human being."
It had been a long time since Eder had been in a human body. Though to others, they'd think he was a patient with gray skin.
Still, he'd come a long way.
It was like he'd moved from a single room to a 2-floor detached house.
However, Kang Oh thought differently. How could you not spend money while you're alive!? Especially on equipment!
"I'll lend you some."
He didn't add the 'with a really high interest rate' part.
"I'm fine. Even if you lend me money, I can't pay you back."
Eder would never borrow money from Kang Oh.
'I'd rather ask a loan shark than ask him.'
He knew Kang Oh too well.
"What do you mean you can't pay it back! You can just make some money..." Kang Oh started explaining, but quickly shut his mouth.
He made Eder work like a dog without proper compensation, so how would Eder make the money?
Not only that, Eder was undead, so he couldn't get a job anywhere. Even if he did, it'd be a problem. Since he wouldn't be able to make use of him when he needed him.
Kang Oh was lost in thought.
Eder was stronger and more useful than before. Especially with his Cursed Ground's Domain, which had plenty of uses.
But that was only half of the picture.
He was a bare-handed knight!
'Which means I'll have to either buy him equipment or provide it for him in another way...'
Kang Oh wasn't willing to use his own gold to buy him equipment.
He was stingy enough that he never bought himself any equipment, so why would he buy Eder any?
"Then let's do it like this. Whatever usable equipment we find, I'll give you, except the most expensive pieces," Kang Oh said.
"Alright," Eder agreed.
"Use this for now."
Kang Oh handed him Arumode's shield from his inventory.
"I'll use it well."
Eder received the shield and equipped it without delay.
"Oh, right. Grano came over saying he was ready."
Eder revealed why he'd come to find Kang Oh.
"He came over personally?"
"Yes. He's finished his rain-making device, so he wants us to leave for the Bariton Desert immediately."
"Alright. Then let's go back."
That's exactly what he wanted.
Kang Oh and Eder left the abandoned mine and returned to Eder's mansion.
Grano was waiting for them inside Eder's mansion.
Kang Oh looked around Grano.
"I don't see your rain-making device. Is it in the magic tower?" Kang Oh asked.
"It's in my subspace. It's a delicate piece of equipment, so it has to be handled with care," Grano smiled and said.
"Then can we leave for the Bariton Desert immediately?"
"Yes. I'm ready to go."
"Then let's go right..." Kang Oh stopped.
It's because he saw Eder, whose only equipment was a shield.
"There's something I need to do before we go. Let's meet back here in an hour," Kang Oh said.
"I understand. I'll wait here, so do whatever you need to do and return here. And, Mr. Eder..."
He'd already greeted Eder before when he'd first come, and had discussed various topics over tea.
Aside from his gray skin, Eder looked like a human being, so Grano didn't know that he was actually an undead.
"May I read some of the books in your study?"
Grano headed towards the study with an easygoing expression.
He'd already seen the study while he was waiting for Kang Oh, so he didn't need anyone to guide him there.
"Follow me," Kang Oh looked at Eder and said.
"Where are we going?"
"To the auction house."
* * *
An hour later.
Kang Oh and Eder returned to the mansion.
"You came right on..."
Grano, who was waiting in the living room, stopped and looked Eder over once more.
Only one hour ago he was wearing tattered robes and a heavy-looking shield.
However, he looked completely different from head to toe.
"Mr. Eder has changed quite a bit."
He was right.
"Right?" Kang Oh agreed.
'Indeed. He's no longer a bare-handed knight!'
He slowly inspected Eder.
First, he wore armor as red as blood.
It was an A-rank armor set called the Cursed Blood Knight set.
However, it would reduce the equipper's stats, true to its namesake as 'cursed' equipment.
But because Eder was an undead, it actually increased his stats.
Also, there were two set bonuses for equipping the armor set.
First, any opponents within a 10 meter radius of the equipper would have their defense and resistances lowered.
Second, on attack, he would absorb a small portion of his opponent's HP and MP.
He had replaced Arumode's brutish and weighty shield for another.
It was a circle shield that looked smaller, thinner, and lighter. There were four skulls attached to the center of the shield.
The Cursed Ghastly Skull Shield!
The 'cursed' series actually increased Eder's stats.
Whenever he blocked an attack with the shield, one of the four skulls (each containing a different curse) would afflict the attacker with a curse.
Finally, the blunt weapon in Eder's right hand!
It had a silver handle attached to a sphere-like object about the size of a melon.
There were sharp spikes attached to the sphere like a hedgehog.
Plus, there were several holes within the sphere which released green gas.
It was a weapon that constantly released poison gas. Thus, it was a weapon that not only damaged one's enemies, but the wielder themselves.
'But poison doesn't affect Eder.'
Aside from a few, most poisons didn't work on Eder.
In other words, the poison gas was of little consequence to Eder.
Kang Oh looked at Eder and smiled in satisfaction.
'All of those items were dirt cheap.'
Each and every piece of Eder's equipment had a defect or two for players. Therefore, he was able to buy them for dirt cheap.
Plus, he didn't give them to Eder for free.
"Eder, be sure to return that equipment to me when we get some better ones."
Kang Oh planned to sell that equipment again later.
Eder had no complaints. Whatever the case, he'd gotten them free of charge.
"Ahem. Are you ready now?"
Grano coughed and got everyone's attention.
"Yes. We're all ready," Kang Oh said.
Eder nodded his head, signaling that he was ready.
"Then let me give you a rough outline of our trip to the Bariton Desert," Grano said.
"We will, of course, take a detour to those two dungeons that you mentioned, right?"
Kang Oh checked to see if Grano would keep his promise.
"Please go on."
"First, the rain-making device is split into two parts. A device that gathers water and one that transforms that water into a cloud," Grano began.
"The two devices are connected via spatial magic, so the water can be sent immediately, regardless of distance. Therefore, we have to set up the device that gathers water in an area with abundant water."
"Where are you planning to set it up?"
Kang Oh asked, and Grano replied immediately, "The sea."
* * *
The Arth continent was vast.
At the northern end, it was a fantastical land of ice, and the southern end was called the Great Forest, or the Sea of Trees.
The center of the continent was a rich land filled with countless forests and mountains, as well as rivers and plains. There were also several cities like Altein as well.
The west consisted of endless grasslands. Beyond that lay the Land that Borders Hell, Despia, or so they say.
To the east, there were several desert regions and wastelands that originated from the Bariton Desert.
If one went even further east, they would find themselves at the continent's back, or the vast Phamas Mountains.
The sea and the coast lay beyond the Phamas Mountains, as well as a thriving seaport city.
Citin Harbor provided for half of the continent's seafood and was the continent's greatest seaport city.
Kang Oh, Eder, and Grano were engulfed in a rainbow pillar of light and arrived at Citin Harbor's gate.
The three walked out of the magic circle.
"Mm. The smell of the sea."
The smell of seafood, which was the seaport city's specialty, was carried by the sea breeze and permeated his nose.
"This is your first time in Citin, right?" Grano asked.
"Yes, it's my first time here."
Kang Oh and Eder answered.
"It's been a long time since I've last been here myself."
Grano stopped as if he were reminiscing and gazed at Citin Harbor.
"Mr. Grano. You can always appreciate the view after we're done with our job."
Rather than saying, 'We don't have time to waste here', he went with the polite route.
"Indeed. Please follow me."
Grano seemed to be familiar with the messy and complex layout of Citin Harbor, as he led Kang Oh and Eder without any problems.
They stopped in front of a house with a blue roof.
"Mr. Bobo! I'm here."
Grano knocked on the door.
The door opened, revealing an old but vigorous white-haired seaman.
"You came," Bobo saw Grano and said.
Considering how they spoke to one another, it seemed as though he knew why they'd come.
"Can we get on a ship right away? That's the only way we'll get to the island today."
"Everything's ready. Do you want to leave right away?"
Bobo came out wearing some thick clothes. He then led them to one of Citin Harbor's secluded docks.
"It's that ship."
Bobo pointed to a midsized ship. There was a name written on the side of the ship.
"It means dolphin."
Once Kang Oh read the ship's name, Bobo explained the meaning behind it.
"It's a nice name," Eder said.
"Now, be careful and get on the ship."
Kang Oh got onto the ship first, while Grano got on last.
Bobo skillfully untied the rope keeping the ship fastened to the dock and raised the anchor.
Then, he raised the sail and they were immediately carried out by the wind out to sea.
Kang Oh, Eder, and Grano stood on one side of the ship and peered out at the horizon.
"How long will it take for us to reach the island you were talking about?" Kang Oh asked Grano.
The island they were headed for didn't even have a name.
Of course, it wasn't just any island. It was supposedly an island where Grano had found a hidden dungeon.
That's why Kang Oh had followed him here.
If there weren't a hidden dungeon here, then Kang Oh would've headed for the Bariton Desert first.
He'd probably be doing the Adventurer Guild's quest of killing Sandurions too.
"It'll take a while," Grano said as he looked out at the sea.
"Anyway, why are you trying to make it rain in the desert?"
Kang Oh had asked purely because of his curiosity.
"My mother... perhaps?"Previous Chapter Next Chapter