Kang Oh had met with Hernandez and Han Seol after he'd retreated from the Albation Nest. To be more specific, it was right after the Swift Steed's video was uploaded onto the internet.
He visited the Storm Guild's mansion in the Goddess's Land.
'I have to turn the Dungeon Liberation Movement into a phenomenon that no one can ignore.'
The large guilds were essentially the establishment. Given how profitable they were, there was no way they'd let the soul dungeons slip through their fingers.
It was only natural that large guilds like Swift Steed would put up a fierce resistance.
However, Kang Oh couldn't deal with every single large guild by himself. It would prove to be too tiresome and too hard.
Thus, he wanted them to liberate their dungeons on their own accord.
'I have to make an example of one of them. If they don't agree to my terms, then terrible things will happen to them.'
'I have to make the 4 great guilds, the largest organizations in Arth, agree to my terms. That way, it'll make it clear that there's no stopping the Dungeon Liberation Movement.'
That was Kang Oh's plan. Thus, he went to the Storm Guild, which he was already acquainted with.
Hernandez and Han Seol were like a needle and thread. They were always together.
"It's been a while." Hernandez looked him over. Kang Oh could almost feel his jealousy.
He must know he's a Master now via the Ranking Show.
'I'm sure you're jealous. After all, I'm a Master, and you're not.'
"Yeah, it has." Kang Oh grinned.
Hernandez slightly furrowed his brow. He didn't like Kang Oh's smile one bit.
"Why have you come?" Han Seol asked.
"I came to make a deal," Kang Oh replied.
"What kind of deal?"
"I want the Storm Guild to let ordinary players into their dungeons. Also, I want you to formally support the Dungeon Liberation Movement," Kang Oh said proudly.
Despite how shameless he was, Han Seol's expression didn't shift at all. She was the very definition of a poker face.
"You said it was a deal, so what do we get for helping you?" Han Seol asked calmly.
"If there's nothing, then... get lost," Hernandez said. He could hear a little bit of annoyance in his voice.
'Tch, tch. If you're jealous, just say so.'
Kang Oh looked at Hernandez and curtly said, "The Swift Steed Guild."
"What?" Hernandez furrowed his brow. 'What about the Swift Steed Guild?'
"I need more details."
"Please speak!" Han Seol said.
"I'll give you a chance to swallow the guild whole."
"I'll tell you if you accept my deal."
"If we don't accept your deal, then you'll give that offer to the other guilds, I presume?" Han Seol asked.
She knew Kang Oh so well. Han Seol was truly gifted at reading people.
Kang Oh just grinned.
Hernandez and Han Seol locked eyes, and whispered to each other.
"Do you think he's telling the truth?" Hernandez asked.
The Swift Steed Guild was ranked 6th. It was mouth-watering prey.
As long as they didn't get a stomach ache after eating it, that is.
"I don't think he's lying. He was like this when we took down the Hercules Guild."
Kang Oh and the Storm Guild had briefly worked together during the Ecle War. They had both done so for their own benefit.
As a result, one of the 5 great guilds had fallen, and the Storm Guild had absorbed the Hercules Guild's dungeons, businesses, etc., which resulted in a huge profit on their part.
On the other hand, Kang Oh had gotten revenge for Asu's death, and had also gained access to Furon Underground Cave. This dungeon yielded the Gold Bean, which was a material needed to create Elixium.
"We'll... listen to what you have to say," Hernandez said.
"Have you agreed to the deal?" Kang Oh asked.
"Yeah. But if it's some ridiculous, far-fetched plan, then... prepare yourself."
"Yeah, sure. But no take backs."
"Sure, as long as the plan's good."
After that, Kang Oh explained to them what he'd do in the future. He would use his name and 'Dungeon Liberation' as justification to gather people, and would also get Bart and Helena to help him too. Together, they would take every single one of Swift Steed's soul dungeons.
Since the Swift Steed Guild was putting all their resources into protecting their soul dungeons, if they and Kang Oh's forces clashed, there would be a huge fight.
"In other words, we just need to bide our time and attack when the time is right?" Hernandez said after listening to his complete explanation.
"Yeah. If you time it right, then you'll probably be able to enter their headquarters scot free. Moreover, everyone will be so focused on the Dungeon Liberation Movement that they won't really notice you taking over their guild. Since they'd be fighting against the people, no one would want to help them too."
Kang Oh grinned.
The Swift Steed Guild had messed with the wrong person. How dare they put up a video insulting him!?
He had been looking for the perfect target to make an example out of, and lo and behold, the perfect target had appeared.
"We don't have to worry about any future problems then. What do you think?" Hernandez stared at Han Seol.
She was in such deep thought that she didn't reply right away. Han Seol was thinking about whether the plan had merit, what would happen after they took control of the Swift Steed Guild, etc.
"Hmm." Han Seol slowly spoke up. "It's not a bad deal for us."
"Right?" Hernandez interjected immediately. The deal was so good for them that it was actually suspicious.
Was he cheating them?
However, this was a deal presented by Kang Oh himself. They had done business with him before, so they had a certain level of trust in him.
"If things go according to Mr. Kang Oh's plan, then we can take control of the Swift Steed Guild, and if things go awry, then we can just stay here. If we can absorb the Swift Steed Guild, then... liberating the dungeons isn't a loss. We don't have a lot of dungeons that charge an entrance fee, and we have enough power to keep our dungeons safe."
"You're right. But do you think things will really go according to plan?" Hernandez stared at Kang Oh passionately. 'Please make it so!'
"They will," Kang Oh declared.
"Ok. Then if things go according to plan and we absorb the Swift Steed Guild, then we'll liberate our dungeons and throw our support behind the Dungeon Liberation Movement."
"Keep your end of the deal. If you don't, then you'll have another Master besides Dukeram on the opposite side. Bart and Helena will be your enemies too."
Kang Oh didn't forget to give him one last warning. After all, people felt a lot different before and after going to the bathroom.
"We'll keep our promise no matter what."
Han Seol and Hernandez replied simultaneously.
With this, the deal between Kang Oh and the Storm Guild was established.
After that, the Storm Guild followed through with their promise. Once they absorbed the Swift Steed Guild, they liberated all of their dungeons. Plus, they threw their support behind the Dungeon Liberation Movement.
* * *
Everything had gone according to plan.
Kang Oh and his supporters had liberated Swift Steed's soul dungeons. Plus, the Storm Guild had absorbed the aforementioned guild, liberated their dungeons, and thrown their support behind the Dungeon Liberation Movement.
The large guilds could stay silent no longer.
Because if they didn't agree to Kang Oh's terms, then they might be the next Swift Steed Guild. He had made a good example out of them.
Moreover, the Storm Guild, which was not only larger, but had more power and influence than the large guilds, had liberated their dungeons and had thrown their lot in with Kang Oh and the Dungeon Liberation Movement.
They couldn't afford to defy or ignore the Dungeon Liberation Movement anymore.
In the end...!
The Gradon Guild, which was the first to surrender to Kang Oh and liberate their dungeons, was the first domino to fall. Other large guilds soon followed in their footsteps and opened their dungeons to all players.
"As the players desire, the Festival Guild will open all of its dungeons to players."
"From this day forward, the Bleach Guild will open all of its dungeons to the public!"
"The Corruption Guild..."
Of course, there were a few guilds that held out till the bitter end.
"Could you tell us about the Dungeon Liberation Movement in detail?"
"The soul dungeons were designed to make it more fun to play the game. Moreover, soul dungeons rely on players to grow and expand. It's like a butterfly and a flower. They both depend on each other!"
Hoo. Kang Oh briefly caught his breath, and continued the interview.
"That's why restricting access to the dungeons or demanding an entrance fee like the large guilds have done is wrong. Keeping people from challenging the owner of the soul dungeon via a Sacred Duel is also wrong."
"Why is that? Is it so strange that an owner is trying to guard their house?"
"Soul dungeons aren't houses; they're content meant to be enjoyed by all players. Mm... They're like amusement parks. Everyone has to be given a chance to own their own soul dungeon! This is the true message behind the Dungeon Liberation Movement. Thankfully, several large guilds have already liberated their dungeons, correcting their mistakes. However..."
Kang Oh let his words stew. This is where he gives his true message!
"There are still a few guilds that haven't heeded my message and are still out there doing bad things. You all know what guilds I'm talking about. I'll give you one last warning. Liberate your dungeons. If you don't, then I'll punish you. You'll face the same fate as the Swift Steed Guild."
Kang Oh went on various programs to send these remaining hold outs a warning, causing them to immediately liberate their dungeons.
With this, all of the dungeons they owned could now be explored by anyone! However, Breaker, Steel Heart, and Empire were still left.
The Empire Guild didn't have any soul dungeons. When they participated in the Arabas Civil War, the Storm Guild had taken all of them away from them.
Ultimately, the only ones left standing were Breaker and Steel Heart. It was time for Kang Oh to negotiate with them. The Breaker Guild was first on his agenda.
"Please liberate your dungeons."
"Why do we have to do that?" Black Lion Raon asked. He was the only lion man amongst players.
"Because it's more beneficial to you."
"More beneficial? Are you going to give us a present like you did with the Storm Guild?"
"I'm your present." Kang Oh pointed at himself.
"Fine. If we get you, then liberating the dungeons is..."
"Ah, that's not what I'm saying." Kang Oh quickly waved his hands.
"You'll have a good relationship with me."
"How is that beneficial to us?" Raon clasped his hands together and stared at Kang Oh. It was clear that he wouldn't allow any foolish talk.
"As you know, I'm quite close to the Storm Guild."
It was a business relationship, but to an outsider, it looked like he and the Storm Guild were friends. He had helped them with the Hercules Guild and the Swift Steed Guild, after all.
"It certainly seems that way."
"If the Storm Guild and the Breaker Guild fight, which side do you think I'll take?" Kang Oh grinned. 'Please take a guess.'
"Mm." Raon furrowed his brow.
He would definitely help the Storm Guild. However, he couldn't bring himself to say it out loud.
"If I help the Storm Guild, then I'll bring Bart or Helena along no matter what."
Kang Oh, Bart, and Helena were like one set. None of them were part of a larger organization, and they had worked together often lately.
Raon considered Kang Oh, Bart, and Helena the third great power, aside from the 4 great guilds and the large guilds.
"And if we have a good relationship with you?"
"I'll stay out of any fight between Storm and Breaker. Or perhaps..."
"Depending on the situation, you may choose to help us."
As expected of the Breaker Guild's leader. Raon realized what Kang Oh was implying.
"Exactly!" Kang Oh snapped his fingers. 'Bingo!'
"And I think Ms. Snow Flower will be able to grab you a few soul dungeons on her own. But if you keep your dungeons under lock and key, and you steal a dungeon from someone else, then you'll get a lot of hate for it. Plus, it shouldn't be hard for you to protect your dungeons from other people. You have the strength."
"One more thing." Raon raised his index finger. A sharp claw gleamed at the end of it.
"What is it?"
"You won't mess with our soul dungeons."
Kang Oh looked to be at a loss. To be honest, a few of their dungeons were on his radar. He wasn't telling them to liberate their dungeons for no reason!
"You want to establish good relations with us, so we can't have you going around and stealing our things."
"Mm. A soul dungeon should change hands if you go through the proper procedures."
"So you refuse?"
"How about a period of three months? Shouldn't one of you become a Master by then?"
If they gained a Master of their own, then they would have a card they could play should Kang Oh challenge them to a Sacred Duel.
"Let me discuss it with my executives. I'll get back to you with a decision."
The Breaker Guild accepted Kang Oh's terms.
'Nice. That's one down.' Kang Oh snapped his fingers and made his way to the Steel Heart Guild.
It was way easier to convince Steel Heart's guildmaster, Arthand.
"Please take this."
"This is..." Arthand, who'd accepted the dragon bone and leather, smiled brightly. As expected, precious materials were the perfect gift for a blacksmith.
By giving him the materials, Kang Oh was comfortably able to speak with Arthand. He offered them a deal similar to the one he'd offered the Breaker Guild.
Ultimately, they came to an agreement. Kang Oh wouldn't touch their dungeons for three months. In exchange, they would liberate their dungeons.
All of the dungeons had been liberated.
* * *
The Dungeon Liberation Movement had been a huge success. Kang Oh was receiving praise from Arth's players.
Some even went as far as to call him 'Arth's Saint'. That made Sephiro hold the back of his neck.
From an outsider's view, Kang Oh had indeed done this for the players.
However, this was a huge misunderstanding on their part.
Kang Oh had arduously liberated these dungeons not for them, but for his own benefit. He had essentially created a stage where he, a Dungeon Hunter, could operate most efficiently.
In the past, if he stole a dungeon that belonged to a large guild, then he would have to fight them over and over again. But now that the soul dungeons were free for anyone to take, he could do whatever he wanted.
'The dungeons belong to everyone. However, there's a really high chance that they'll belong to me.'
The ownership of a soul dungeon was ultimately determined by a one-on-one fight. In other words, Kang Oh was the greatest beneficiary of this system.
There were only two Masters in the game!
No one could stop him besides Dukeram. So long as they didn't set up a Master NPC as a proxy, that is.
"Hehehe, let's go, shall we?" Kang Oh strode forward, laughing wickedly like a villain.
Everyone, get out of the way. The Dungeon Predator is coming!Previous Chapter Next Chapter