'This is weird!'
After seeing the queen, Eder's expression stiffened.
What should he say? Her voice and figure were beautiful, and he couldn't find any faults to speak of regarding the atmosphere around her either.
However, Lupenia's queen was, biologically speaking, way too far apart from a human being.
Her eyes and head were large like an alien, but her mouth and nose were small. Plus, she had fins that fluttered through the air like hair.
'I knew this would happen.'
Kang Oh had expected as much.
How unlikely was it that Lupenia's queen would conform to humanity's sense of aesthetic beauty?
"Radium," the queen called.
But what had surpassed his expectations was her voice.
Her voice was awe-inspiring; there was an elegance behind her voice that couldn't merely be explained by the difference in species.
"Yes, my queen," Radium answered in his trustworthy voice.
"Which one is Lord Valan's heir?"
"This one, my queen."
Radium pointed towards Kang Oh.
"It's nice to meet you. I am Lupenia's queen, Roane."
"It's an honor to meet you. My name is Kang Oh," Kang Oh said politely.
"And the rest of you are..." Roane asked.
"My name is Eder."
"I am Grano."
Eder and Grano also revealed their names to her.
"Mr. Eder, Mr. Grano. It's nice to meet you. And Mr. Kang Oh."
Roane called for Kang Oh.
"Is Lord Valan doing well?"
"I'm not sure. He's been roaming around the world and there's been no news of him."
Kang Oh concocted a story based on what Burkan had told him.
"Do you have a way to contact him?"
He felt as though the queen was desperately looking for Valan.
"I don't have a way to contact him, but my sworn elder brother is Master Valan's student. If I tell him, he may be able to contact Master Valan," Kang Oh said politely.
"Your sworn elder brother is Lord Valan's student? You said you were his heir..."
Kang Oh momentarily flinched, but he quickly got his head rolling.
"Ah! I must've not expressed myself properly. I'm the heir to his sword. In that way, I am his heir."
Kang Oh smiled naively in order to give the best impression possible. It was as if he were saying, 'I didn't lie to you!'.
"His sword is definitely Lord Valan's Max Gemina. And someone as strong as Master Valan wouldn't have lost his sword, my queen."
Radium backed up his statement. Of course, he was just saying what he felt.
"I see. Then, Mr. Kang Oh. Could you do me a small favor?"
'I'll decide after you tell me.'
"Please give Lord Valan this message through your sworn older brother. Lupenia hasn't forgotten your kindness. So please come by sometime."
Once she was finished, a quest appeared.
"Lupenia hasn't forgotten your kindness. So please come by sometime."
Relay Roane's message to Valan through Burkan. You may also tell Valan yourself; it makes no difference.
The quest will be complete when Valan comes to Lupenia.
Minimum Requirements: Being connected to Valan
Reward: You may take one of the items stored within Lupenia's treasure house.
"Your highness. I have a request before I accept the quest," Kang Oh, who'd read over the quest, said.
"What kind of request?"
"I'd like to receive the reward in advance. It will most likely be difficult for me to come back here once I leave."
Relaying the message to Burkan was way too easy. However, there was no way of knowing when Valan would visit Lupenia.
Plus, even if he did complete the quest, he would have to come back here. Not only was it really far, but it would also be a huge waste of his time.
If that's the case, the best case scenario was to obtain the reward first.
"That's a bit..."
The queen hesitated.
If he received the reward first, then there was a chance that he'd be lax in his mission.
Kang Oh went on one knee, took his demon sword off his back, and respectfully held it up with both hands.
"I know what you are worried about. But I promise on this sword that I will do my utmost to complete your mission. So please trust me!" he yelled strongly.
"Hmm. If you're willing to go that far, then fine."
Kang Oh grinned.
'I wonder what kind of items are stored inside the treasure house...'
Kang Oh's heart was already set on the treasure within Lupenia's treasure house, rather than the queen's request.
However, he was counting his eggs before they hatched.
"In exchange! Please wipe out the demon’s lair behind the crystal palace."
"My queen, that place is...!"
Radium was shocked.
"It's alright. He inherited Lord Valan's sword. And Gurekturon is no more."
"What is Gurekturon?" Kang Oh looked at Radium and asked.
"Gurekturon is a giant monster known as the Calamity of the Sea. Lupenia sealed Gurekturon and we have been guarding it ever since so that the seal doesn't break," Radium said.
"But you're saying that Gurekturon isn't alive anymore?" Kang Oh asked.
That's definitely what the queen had said.
"Yes. Lord Valan defeated Gurekturon for us," Radium said.
"That's not all. Lord Valan pretty much saved my life," Roane said.
Her voice was filled with admiration, trust, and faith.
"Because Gurekturon's seal weakens over time, the Lupenia queens sacrificed themselves to maintain the seal. But because Lord Valan defeated Gurekturon for us, Queen Roane was not forced to sacrifice herself," Radium explained further.
His voice was filled with a deep sense of thankfulness as well.
'I guess it makes sense why they want to find him so badly.'
Kang Oh nodded his head. However, that was a matter between Valan and Lupenia.
His interest was drawn towards the demon’s lair.
"What is this demon’s lair?" Kang Oh asked.
"The demon’s lair was originally the place where Gurekturon was sealed. But after Lord Valan defeated Gurekturon, monsters began to come out of its corpse. Thus, our warriors periodically go over there and clean up the area," Roane said.
"Is there a boss monster there?"
"There is. The boss is a miniature version of Gurekturon. We call it the Seed of Calamity," Radium said.
"The Seed of Calamity, huh... If we leave it be, will it become a large monstrosity like Gurekturon?" Kang Oh asked.
"We believe so," Roane replied.
"But no matter how many times we kill it, it comes back again and again from Gurekturon's corpse. That's why we're looking for a way to dispose of Gurekturon's corpse, but we still haven't found a way yet," Radium said.
'That's because it's respawning... It's not really a worthwhile dungeon.'
Kang Oh, who'd listened to Radium's explanation, believed that there wasn't anything to gain there.
Since Lupenia's warriors periodically went and wiped out all of the monsters and the boss, there was no time for the boss to accrue any riches.
Still, he didn't have much choice if he wanted to get Roane's quest reward in advance.
Plus, there was still a chance that the boss monster could drop something worthwhile.
If Kang Oh defeated the underground demon lair's boss, then he'd be the first player to do so, so he would receive the first time bonus.
'If it drops an item as good (rank-wise) as Caracuni's Golden Spear, then it would all be worth it!'
He had sold Caracuni's Golden Spear at the auction house for 2,500 gold.
What if he obtained another item like that from the demon lair's boss? It would still be worth it, even if the boss didn't have the chance to accrue any riches.
But so long as the demon lair's boss wasn't a raid boss, the chance of an item like that dropping was pretty much zero.
"Alright. I'll return after wiping out all of the monsters in the demon’s lair."
Kang Oh accepted Roane's request.
"Good. Once you defeat the Seed of Calamity, you can acquire its core. Please bring that core to Radium," Roane said.
"Radium. Please take him to the demon's lair."
"Understood. Please follow me."
Radium took the lead and Kang Oh's party followed behind him.
"Will you enter the dungeon too, Mr. Grano?" Kang Oh asked once they'd left the queen's chambers.
"I'd like to take a look at Gurekturon's corpse. I'll go with you," Grano said.
"What level are you?" Kang Oh asked.
"I'm in the mid 200's."
"You’re lower than I expected."
Kang oh looked somewhat surprised.
"My level isn't that high because I specialize in creating magical devices as an engineer. Still, I am able to fight well enough that I won't get in your way."
"How will we divide the loot?"
Thus far, Kang Oh had monopolized the junk items, equipment, or the treasure that he found by clearing the dungeons!
Darion was a mercenary worth 3 silver, Eder was a slave, and it was stated on Sephiro's contract that he would relinquish all items.
However, Grano's position was different from theirs.
If he were to hunt alongside them, then he was in a position to ask for some of the items.
"How about we share it equally, 50-50?" Grano suggested.
"How can we split it evenly when Eder's here? How about 70-30? I get the 70%, of course."
"Alright," Grano accepted generously.
"Mr. Radium," Kang Oh, who'd figured out how they would split the loot, called for Radium.
"Do you have a map for the demon's lair?"
It'd be easier for me if you did.
"I know the lay of the land and how to get there, but I don't have a map."
"Then you're going with us?"
"I cannot. None can enter the demon's lair without the queen's explicit approval. And the queen only ordered me to guide you there," Radium said firmly.
"Tch. Then is there anything we should look out for? Like poison."
"None of the monsters can use poison. However, there will be some monsters that spew acid," Radium said.
"Anything else?" Kang Oh asked.
"Hmm. Nothing in particular comes to mind."
"What about the boss monster..."
"We're here," Radium interrupted.
As he said, Kang Oh could see a gaping black abyss, the entrance to the demon's lair.
However, there was a sharp coral barrier around it as if monsters would occasionally spill out. There were also Fishman guards protecting the entrance as well.
"Please take this."
Radium took out a crystal radiating a bright light from his breast pocket.
Kang Oh accepted the crystal.
"The inside of the demon's lair is so dark that you cannot see what's in front of you, so please don't lose this crystal."
"These people have been given the queen's permission to enter the demon's lair," Radium said to the guards.
Kang Oh looked back at Eder and Grano.
"Are you all ready?"
Eder spun his mace around to show that he was ready.
Grano merely stared at Kang Oh and nodded his head.
"Please hold onto this, Mr. Grano."
Kang Oh passed him the crystal that Radium had given him.
It would be better for Grano, who would provide offense and support from the rear, to hold onto the crystal.
However, magic proved to be more useful than Kang Oh gave it credit.
"We can just do this."
Grano cast a spell onto the crystal and it began to float in the air.
"Nice. Let's go!"
Kang Oh's party passed the barrier and entered the demon's lair.
The darkness of the demon's lair swallowed Kang Oh, Eder, and Grano.
"Good luck," Radium muttered as he stared at the entrance.
* * *
[You have discovered the hidden dungeon, The Demon's Lair Where the Calamity of the Sea is Sealed.]
[You are the first to discover it.]
[Fame has increased.]
[If you hunt within The Demon's Lair Where the Calamity of the Sea is Sealed, then you receive twice the experience. Also, item drop rate is doubled as well.]
Kang Oh, having entered the Demon's Lair, took a look around.
The darkness wasn't a problem due to the crystal that Radium had given him.
'The structure is quite simple.'
The walls were black and the path ahead was just one long tunnel.
They faced their first obstacle once they progressed a bit. A split in the path.
"Where are we going?" Eder asked.
"To the right."
Kang Oh picked the right path.
It was because the right sounded as though it were bustling with activity.
"It seems like there are several monsters on the right," Grano said.
"That's why we're going there. The path with more monsters is usually a shortcut," Kang Oh said.
"First, Eder. You'll be up front. I'll be in the middle, and Mr. Grano will bring up the rear."
Kang Oh's party progressed through the right path in their established order.
"There's something here!" the vanguard, Eder said.
They heard a bizarre sound coming from afar, as well as the presence of dozens of monsters.
The monsters were...
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