"How many?" Kwon Rang said angrily.
"We can't know for sure, but it looks like there are at least 100,000 of them," his subordinate carefully said.
"What? Are they crazy!?" Kwon Rang yelled.
His startled subordinate shrank away and kept his mouth shut.
"Mm." Kwon Rang furrowed his brow and bit on a finger. '100,000, huh...' Then, he stared at his subordinate once more.
"How many do we have?"
"We called all of our forces here. We have 10,000 total."
"10,000. 10,000, huh... It sounds doable."
"The people coming in are just rabble. Moreover, 100,000 people can't enter the Albation Nest all at once. We can win if we just take out Kang Oh and a few others. And if we win... there's a lot that we can gain."
Kwon Rang's eyes lit up with greed. What if he used this opportunity to show the world just how powerful the Swift Steed Guild was?
The 4 great guilds could become the 5 great guilds once more. Of course, the new guild wouldn't be the fallen Hercules Guild, but the 'Swift Steed' Guild.
"Where are my commanders?"
The Swift Steed Guild had eight squads, each with their own commander.
"They're all gathered in one place."
"Ok, I'm going."
Opportunities are found in times of crisis.
All that he was thinking about was 'How shall I deal with Kang Oh and that rabble of 100,000 strong?'.
* * *
Although the Albation Nest was huge, it wasn't large enough to fit 100,000 players all at once.
"Anyone focused on support, please stand off to the side."
A ton of players left the main army. These players consisted of Blacksmiths, Alchemists, etc. Production classes that weren't focused on combat.
"The rest of you, please buy whatever you need from them, or prepare yourselves for the battle ahead."
"Anyone who's between level 300 and 400 with a combat class, step forward," Kang Oh yelled.
Thousands of players stepped forward.
Kang Oh looked them over. He saw some renowned rankers amongst them. Even those he didn't recognize looked quite confident.
"You're in charge of the first corps."
They responded simply or nodded their heads.
After that, Kang Oh, with the help of his companions, formed nine squads of 10,000 each.
Those with wide-scale Command skills were given commander or vice-commander roles.
"The first, second, and third corps will enter the dungeon. When the battle begins, the remaining corps will trickle in one at a time."
If they incurred losses in the first, second, or third corps, then the remaining troops would fill in.
"Yes!" they replied.
Kang Oh smiled satisfyingly, and extended his right hand, which held the blue armband.
"First, second, and third corps, advance!"
* * *
Kang Oh was able to enter the soul dungeon without any interference.
As soon as he entered, however, a powerful barrage of magic came flying at him.
"...Flames of death!"
"...Force of the earth!"
"...Thousand Chain Lightning!"
It was the mages in Swift Steed's Owl Squad.
Bam, bam, bam!
Giant flames surged, the ground cracked, and lightning bolts branched out a thousand times.
The low-level players melted instantaneously.
"Hedgehog Squad! Attack!"
Swift Steed's Hedgehog Squad was made up of archers. He supposed that their name was representative of how their enemies would look after they were done with them.
Whizz, whizz, whizz, whizz!
Arrows filled the sky!
"Raise your shields!"
"Don't just sit there! Fight back!"
The Liberation Army's commanders yelled.
Frontline fighters raised their shields, while the mages began to chant. The archers hid behind their shield-bearers and notched arrows.
Their most skilled players rushed forward. They avoided the spells and deflected any arrows that came their way.
Of course, Kang Oh was part of this force. He held Ubist and Sarahoff in his hands.
'It's time to feast.'
In total, the Swift Steed Guild had 10,000 members. To Kang Oh, that was nothing more than a buffet.
"Hohoho." Tasha was excited too. She gathered red energy in her hands, and shot it everywhere.
The two armies' vanguards clashed.
Kang Oh swung his demon swords one after another.
Swish, slash, swish, slash!
He repeatedly unleashed sharp, powerful attacks!
There were very few who could stop him. It was only natural. Not only was he a Master Demonic Swordsman, but his demon swords were overpowered, he'd stolen a ton of stats so his stats were way higher than anyone else's, and he also had his Hyper Intuition to boot!
He was worth a hundred warriors.
"It's Kang Oh! Kang Oh's over here!"
"Catch him! I'll give whoever catches him a huge reward and a high post!" Kwon Rang yelled. Then, Swift Steed's rankers stepped forward.
"Who do you think you're attacking!?" Tasha's eyes lit up with rage. She stood right beside Kang Oh.
Fresh Blood Wave!
Red Spear of Judgment!
Tasha began unleashing powerful blood attacks one after another.
Bart, Helena, and Sephiro began to take things seriously too.
Helena used her specialty, Double Casting! Powerful spells repeatedly shot out of her fingertips or her staff.
Bart was a jack of all trades. He cut through anyone who attacked him, and dealt with the long-range damage dealers with long-range spells or skills of his own.
It was too easy for him!
Meanwhile, Sephiro shot arrows at his enemies with perfect accuracy, and Waryong flew around, spewing flames at their enemies.
At the same time...!
The Liberation Army's first corps, which consisted of their very best players, was doing work.
The middle ranker, Bravo, swung his giant axe, killing a member of the Swift Steed Guild. A female assassin, Chocolate Candy, who wasn't known or recognized on the ranking board, had already killed more than ten of them.
"Hahaha, these guys are so weak!"
The second and third corps were indeed rabble. They were getting completely destroyed by their enemies.
In exchange, the second and third corps fought bravely. They were all freedom fighters that fought under the banner of 'Dungeon Liberation'.
"I'll die after I get one more hit in."
"Hey, attack him while I'm keeping him busy!"
"You can't pass!"
The second and third corps engaged in an intense dogfight. Though their HP was at the brink, they grabbed onto their enemies' hair or ankles while gritting their teeth.
That allowed their companions to attack their enemies unimpeded.
"Don't fight back. Just die!"
"Let's die together!"
The intense battle continued. However, the quality of their troops was beginning to show.
The second and third corps dwindled quickly. However, there was no despair painted on their faces.
"I'll be going ahead. I'll be waiting for you!"
"I'll catch up to you soon!"
"I'll leave the rest to you!"
Their faith was rewarded.
Thud! Thud! Thud! Thud!
The fourth and fifth corps had entered the soul dungeon. There were 20,000 of them. And they still had the sixth, seventh, eighth, and ninth corps left.
It was said that you couldn't compete with sheer numbers.
There were some exceptions, but they were right most of the time. This instance counted as part of the majority.
"You persistent bastards!"
"There are too many of them!"
The Swift Steed Guild was slowly crumbling.
* * *
Kwon Rang's assessment had been right on the money. The Liberation Army was indeed filled with rabble.
On the other hand, the Swift Steed Guild was filled with countless skilled warriors that'd overcome adversity time after time.
No matter how many there were, they should win ten times out of ten.
Moreover, the dungeon was too small for them to take advantage of their sheer numbers. After all, it couldn't fit all 100,000 of them at once. In other words, they only had to fight a small portion of the Liberation Army at a time!
There was no reason they should lose!
'So why!?' Kwon Rang bit his lip.
It was as if he could hear his loss approaching.
'Why!? Why!? Why!? Why is this happening?'
Honestly, he knew the answer already. It was due to Kang Oh, Bart, and Helena! They were killing all of his rankers.
It was like a scene out of the Three Kingdoms! It was as if Xu Chu, Guan Yu, and Zhang Fei were killing enemy commanders.
Each of them were worth a hundred, no, a thousand warriors!
They completely overwhelmed his forces, so much so that he couldn't help but think this.
If you wanted to deal with Kang Oh, Bart, and Helena, then you needed people that were on the same level as them, or defeat them using overwhelming numbers.
However, the Swift Steed Guild didn't have the numerical advantage, and no one on their side was skilled enough to deal with Kang Oh, Bart, and Helena.
He had made a mistake.
Kwon Rang had mistakenly believed that if several rankers attacked them simultaneously, then his men would win. Even he, a high ranker, would have trouble dealing with five or six rankers at a time.
But no matter how many rankers came at them, the results would remain the same.
The gap between them was too wide.
With no other choice available to him, Kwon Rang and his elite guard attacked Bart. However, he had accomplished nothing but getting his elite guard killed.
The Albation Queen had been defeated long ago by Helena's magic bombardment.
What about Kang Oh?
He was absolutely speechless.
Kang Oh had already killed four of the commanders that they were so proud of. He couldn't even count how many of their rankers had died by his hand. There were just too many of them.
He was way too strong. So much so that he couldn't even begin to comprehend it.
'Was there always such a huge difference between a Master and a regular player?'
At that moment...
Kang Oh finally appeared before Kwon Rang. There had been no one that could stop him.
"You have a nice item equipped." Kang Oh's eyes lit up with greed. Jet-black energy rose from his body. He had already used Gluttony, which tripled his abilities.
Kwon Rang raised his fist.
Normally, he went around comparing himself to the Spear King, Hernandez, calling himself the Fist King. But at this moment, his fists felt much too small.
'Whatever, I don't care anymore!'
"Die!" Kwon Rang desperately yelled, and rushed at Kang Oh.
However, the miracle he was hoping for didn't happen.
Demon Sword Sarahoff's long, purple blade pierced through Kwon Rang's heart.
"Ugh." Kwon Rang grimaced in pain.
"See you later," Kang Oh whispered.
Once he pulled out Sarahoff, Kwon Rang's face turned gray, and his body fell to the floor.
"We won!" Kang Oh yelled.
"Uwaaaah!" the Liberation Army cheered.
"Kang Oh! Kang Oh! Kang Oh!"
Victory was always so sweet.
* * *
Kang Oh was given the soul stone by the Albation Queen. But because Kwon Rang didn't accept the Sacred Duel and surrendered, he was immediately given ownership of the soul stone.
"Brothers, we have liberated the Albation Nest." Kang Oh raised his right hand into the air, and the Liberation Army followed suit. Their blue armbands fluttered in the air.
"So how are you going to deal with the soul dungeon?" Sephiro asked. He had promised to ask this question beforehand.
"That's a good question. Since everyone worked together to liberate this dungeon, it doesn't feel right that I take ownership of it."
"Then?" someone in the crowd said.
"Mr. Man Bok, please come out."
A chubby man with a good-natured face came out of the crowd.
"Oh? It's Mr. Man Bok!"
"Uwaah, it's Mr. Man Bok!"
The people relished in his appearance, and waved their hands at him.
Man Bok was famous for his personality and his reputation. He was the type of person that you'd think of if you said 'a good merchant' or a 'good-natured merchant'.
"I'll leave the Albation Nest with Mr. Man Bok. I'll remain as the proxy for the Sacred Duel. Mr. Man Bok, please tell people how you're going to manage the soul dungeon."
"Hello, everyone. You did something truly amazing here today. The Albation Nest belongs to you all, so I'll put all of the rewards into improving the dungeon."
"What does that mean?" someone asked.
"I will buy the materials that come out of the dungeon. I'll use that money and the money that naturally comes out of the dungeon to increase the respawn rate of the monsters, increase the quality of the loot they drop, and increase the proficiency/experience they give. I'll use the repel points to strengthen the guardian and expand the dungeon. Of course, all of this information will be revealed to the world."
"In other words, the Albation Nest will slowly become a better hunting ground. Of course, anyone can use it as they please," Kang Oh added.
Their cheers resounded throughout the nest.
There were some that screamed Kang Oh and Man Bok's names at the top of their lungs.
A short while later...
Kang Oh raised his hand and slowly calmed them down.
"Thank you for your cheers. However... The Swift Steed Guild still has three other soul dungeons. I can't liberate them by myself. So please help me again."
Kang Oh planned on going all the way. He had to.
'If I want things to go according to plan, that is.'Previous Chapter Next Chapter