After he'd established a contract with Jin Cheol, Jae Woo returned home and accessed Arth.
In order to begin leveling in earnest, he travelled to the wide expanse of forest to the east of Altein.
Kang Oh was in awe.
He saw one of the trees. It was as tall as a 15 story building, and just as large.
It was an Agrashi tree, which was said to grow endlessly. Though, this one was a dead tree, so it wouldn't grow anymore.
"To think that this is a young one."
The 15 story Agrashi tree was apparently on the small side.
These Agrashi trees, which grew for more than 10,000 years, were large enough to be considered World Trees.
In any case, there was a low-level dungeon that existed within this dead tree, the Shade Spiders' Colony.
There were a large number of level 10 - 15 Shade Spiders that lived within this colony.
It was an environment filled with webs, poison, and spiders ready to strike at their prey from the ceiling.
They were indeed low-level monsters, but it was difficult for newbies to defeat them, so most players didn't come looking for this dungeon.
What's worse, since there was no boss monster, there was no real motivator to come here, as they wouldn't get any particularly rare item here.
That's exactly why Kang Oh came here.
Since it meant that Kang Oh could take them on alone and unimpeded.
Of course, one would need the ability to defeat them alone, but he didn't need to worry about that.
"After all, it's me we're talking about."
To the Demonic Swordsman Kang Oh, this place was like a huge crab.
With his SS-rank demon sword, he could break the shell and pull out the flesh underneath!
There was no reason to hesitate.
Kang Oh immediately entered the dungeon.
[Entering the Shade Spiders' Colony.]
As expected, there weren't any other players in the dungeon. Instead, the Shade Spiders violently greeted the unexpected guest.
Two Shade Spiders fell from the ceiling.
Shade Spiders were zebra striped and the more stripes they possessed, the greater their power. Based on the stripes, he assumed they were about level 10.
Kang Oh unsheathed Ubist and held it at the ready.
It was the entire reason he, a level one player, was able to enter the Shade Spiders' Colony without fear!
Kang Oh swung his sword horizontally and Darkness Strike activated.
His sword unleashed a black wave of energy resembling that of a wild beast.
A truly devastating blow!
The spiders died, unable to even scream.
'It didn't steal any stats.'
When wielding the Demon Sword Ubist and the Darkness Strike skill was activated, there was a fixed chance that the slain enemy's stats would be stolen.
Once their comrades were slain, the other Shade Spiders rushed over in excited agitation.
Kang Oh was only level 1, but was able to evade their attacks with his Hyper Intuition.
As he evaded their attacks, he simultaneously swung his sword repeatedly.
He cut them down again and again with his jet-black blade. Darkness Strike didn't activate, but after his third slash...
[You have leveled up.]
[Your HP, MP, and Stats have gone up.]
[You can now allocate your new stat points.]
Finally, he hit level 2!
He had finally graduated from level 1.
* * *
In no time, Kang Oh had hit level 10. It made sense. Since he was the only one in here.
Three Shade Spiders sprayed poison from the ceiling.
This was why beginners avoided this area!
Antidotes were too expensive for beginners. If they became poisoned, they would either be forced to retreat or die.
But Kang Oh was different; he could simply avoid their poison with his Hyper Intuition.
Even if he were hit, it wouldn't be an issue.
Once he became a Demonic Swordsman, his poison resistance had increased, so there was almost no chance of him getting poisoned by these Shade Spiders.
Kang Oh rushed towards the spiders unhindered.
Whenever he swung his demon sword, shards of red light spread through the air.
Because he attacked wherever his Hyper Intuition sensed weakness, he repeatedly got critical attacks.
Thus, he tirelessly killed the spiders and pushed forward towards the top of the tree.
Since it was a tree-shaped dungeon, once he reached the top, he would have to also come back down the same way.
In order to stop his advance, the spiders came at him endlessly.
Dodge, dodge, dodge!
Their attacks never touched him.
This was the combination of a gamer with the Demonic Swordsman class, which boasted devastating attack power, and Hyper Intuition.
These formed an incredible synergy.
[The side stat, Evasion, has been created.]
[The higher the stat, the higher the likelihood that you can avoid an attack.]
Furthermore, he'd even gained a side stat!
Kang Oh was an irresistible force that swept through the Shade Spiders' Colony.
Kang Oh hopped down to the lower area. He'd already reached the top and was on his way down.
Just one more time and he'd reach the exit.
He suddenly felt something strange.
His Hyper Intuition pointed him towards a wall formed of bark.
It was different from his Hyper Intuition warning him of danger or pointing out weaknesses.
It was telling him that the wall itself was suspicious and that there was something behind it.
Kang Oh brushed the bark wall with the palm of his hand.
He felt two different feelings from the wall.
First was merely the dry exterior of the bark wall. On the other hand, he felt that it was extremely sturdy.
In order to make sure, Kang Oh swung his sword at the solid wall.
What he'd once thought was a bark wall rushed towards him.
It happened so suddenly that his hairs bristled.
He instinctively swung his sword.
The demon sword bounced right off, but whatever came flying at him bounced away as well.
Looking at it more closely, it was a spider.
It was a spider that possessed the same pattern and color as the tree.
Yet, even though it was a spider, its two front legs were as thick and sturdy as clubs. It was a bit smaller than a bull.
[You have discovered the Earth Shade Spider, Rash.]
[You are the first to make this discovery.]
'A named monster!'
Named monsters were, as their title would imply, monsters with names. They were more powerful than normal monsters and used special skills as well.
In addition, they had a higher chance of dropping rare items than regular monsters.
In other words, they were the rankers of the monster world!
"Give me an item!"
Kang Oh dashed towards Rash.
In turn, Rash shrieked and swung its thick front legs. They quickly exchanged several blows with each other.
Whenever his demon sword made contact with Rash's carapace, it rang out as if it had struck metal.
It was completely different from the normal Shade Spiders' carapace, which broke like pine boards.
But, he still had his sword.
An SS-rank demon sword!
He couldn't completely break through Rash's carapace, but he continually created fine cracks along its surface.
Kang Oh was definitely in the lead! But then, Rash's body shook.
Dee - Dee - Dee -!
Rash shrieked, sounding much like a cricket.
[Rash is calling his allies. You will soon be swarmed by spiders.]
'What a pain in the ass!'
Kang Oh decided to take him down as quickly as possible.
Kang Oh recollected the 'Divide the Sea' technique he'd seen from the Swordmaster, Valan.
That devastating power that had split the King of Demonic Beasts, Ubist, in two!
Kang Oh focused on his blade and let loose all his power at once.
He etched a white line into the air.
This was the effect of his slashing skill!
At the same time, Darkness Strike activated.
A white line formed on Rash's body, which was followed by a wave from Darkness Strike.
It was followed by the sound of an explosion, as Rash's body was split into two, following the white line etched on its body.
[You are the first to defeat the named Earth Shade Spider.]
[As a reward for being the first to defeat it, the monster will drop the highest rank item it can drop.]
[You have spontaneously learned Slash.]
[You have leveled up.]
Several joyous messages appeared one after another.
And where Rash had once been, a passageway leading who knows where had appeared.
[You have discovered the hidden dungeon, the Spider Queen, Alishi's Nest.]
[You are the first to make this discovery.]
[Your fame has increased.]
[You gain 2 times the proficiency from hunting within the Spider Queen, Alishi's Nest. The item drop rate is also doubled.]
He was the first one to discover this hidden dungeon!
No one had ever entered, but the entrance was right before his very eyes.
* * *
Rash had left behind a useless item and a ring.
[Rash's Ring of Protection]
A ring containing the defensive ability of the Earth Shade Spider, Rash.
Grants immunity against any spider's poison lower than level 50.
Ability: Defense +10, Physical +2, Mental +1
Conditions: At least level 15
In Arth, players could equip one ring on each hand.
Once he defeated Rash, Kang Oh had hit level 15, so he equipped the ring right away.
With this, he was completely immune to spider poisons!
Next, he checked the skill he'd just learned.
A powerful slash. It creates a shallow wound, and if that wound is struck, then the resulting attack will be a critical hit.
MP Usage: 10
Cooldown: 10 seconds
"Well, guess it's not bad."
Slash was a basic combat skill for swordsmen.
It was a useful skill, as attacking the wound it inflicted would always result in a critical hit.
"Well, that's that. Alishi, huh..."
Kang Oh smiled widely and looked at the entrance to the hidden dungeon.
The Spider Queen, Alishi!
He could tell just from the name. This was a boss monster!
It was known that the Shade Spiders' Colony had no boss monster. However, it did have one; it was just hidden.
"I'm absolutely certain!"
Two times the proficiency and drop rate!
Moreover, he would become the first one to take down the boss monster, so it would drop the best item it could.
Above all, defeating a hidden dungeon boss gave him the opportunity to accrue a lot of riches.
The game was designed so that the longer a boss monster remained alive, the more riches it would possess.
In other words, he would be able to obtain experience, items, and money all in one place!
Kang Oh walked forward excitedly.
The darkness at the entrance engulfed him.
[Entering the Spider Queen, Alishi's Nest.]
Kang Oh surveyed his surroundings.
Alishi's Nest went underground.
The dirt walls were interspersed with tree roots, and there were spider webs everywhere.
He didn't see any monsters.
However, his feet felt a chill all of a sudden. His Hyper Intuition was sensing danger!
At the same time, spiders popped out of the ground. They looked similar to the named Earth Shade Spider, Rash, but they were a lot smaller.
These Earth Shade Spiders laid dormant underground and sprung up when they sensed prey.
Even so, they didn't even get close to him.
He swung his sword a few times, cutting them into pieces like firewood.
After that, spiders continued to pour out from the ground, followed soon by the piling heaps of spider corpses!
It was a massacre.
The earth spiders had no chance at stopping him.
* * *
At some point, Kang Oh had reached the end of the dungeon and was met by a huge door.
'This is the boss room!'
Of course, as befitting a boss's abode, two named monsters were guarding the entrance.
The two named monsters, Kash and Karash, were both Earth Shade Spiders that resembled Rash.
"Two named monsters, huh!"
Kang Oh immediately rushed in.
Karash spat a large amount of poisonous liquid towards Kang Oh while Kash shot a lump of spider webs at him.
The spider webs smeared his feet and the poisonous liquid obscured his vision.
[You have stepped in spider webs.]
[Your movement speed has been slowed. You have been covered in spider webs. Your movements have been restricted.]
[You have been hit by poisonous liquid.]
[Due to your immunity to spider poisons, you do not take any damage.]
He wouldn't stop his charge just because of some spider webs and poison.
Kang Oh grabbed his demon sword with both hands and then pushed off the ground, immediately closing the distance to Kash, who'd spat out the spider webs.
He leapt off the ground and swung his greatsword in a downward arc.
A white line was etched into the air, following the trajectory of his sword.
It was a different skill from Darkness Strike.
He had used Slash.
Kash crossed its thick front legs and blocked the demon sword.
The demon sword and Kash's sturdy front legs clashed.
But Kang Oh was the one who'd come out on top.
[A wound has been created through Slash. If the wound is attacked, the resulting attack will be a critical hit.]
Kang Oh immediately followed up with another attack.
His aim was none other than the wound he'd inflicted on Kash's front legs!
His sword gouged the wound open.
Red shards of light sprayed out!
By attacking the wound, he'd inflicted a critical hit.
Kash cried out.
Karash, who'd previously used poison, made its way over to help Kash.
But before then, Kang Oh attempted to take Kash down.
His Hyper Intuition had activated. The area connecting its head and body was Kash's weakness.
Kang Oh struck at Kash's weak point and this time, Darkness Strike activated.
Plus, it was a critical hit!
Kash's body shook at the enormous amount of damage.
However, it didn't fall.
Kash's black, marble-like eyes turned red.
[Kash's HP is below 10% and it will now enter a Berserk state.]
Kash roared and haphazardly swung its front legs around.
The now berserk Kash was extremely fast, at least two times as fast as Karash.
Kang Oh quickly raised his sword to defend himself, but Kash's leg had grazed his shoulder.
[You have taken 112 damage.]
[Remaining HP: 468]
Once he'd regained balance, Kang Oh attacked Kash once more. Or more specifically, he tried to attack it.
However, Karash was close by and attacked from behind.
It had turned into a close-range fight.
Kang Oh would dodge their attacks and roll onto the floor. Whereas, the named Earth Shade Spiders would shriek and swung their front legs at him!
Kang Oh breathed heavily. His stamina had rapidly depleted.
Karash wasn't a big problem.
But Kash was. Just its legs grazing his body would deal a considerable amount of damage to him.
Kang Oh's HP rapidly fell down to below 30%.
He covered his body with the demon sword.
Since the demon sword's blade was both wide and long, he could block all his vitals from his head down to his balls.
Kash's front legs struck his sword.
The sound of metal rang out and Kash was actually the one pushed back.
Kang Oh attacked the wounded area again and again.
Red shards sprayed into the air!
Kang Oh continuously swung his sword and pressed on.
Pak! Pak! Paahk!
In the end, Kash fell.
[You have defeated the Earth Shade Spider, Kash.]
Since he'd already defeated Rash, he didn't get anything for being the first one to defeat Kash.
Now all that was left was Karash.
If the berserk Kash was like a tiger, then Karash was like a turtle. In other words, a piece of cake.
He was immune to its poison anyway and he leisurely evaded its attacks while weaving in his own.
When he had lowered its HP to a certain point, Kang Oh rushed it like a gust of wind so that it couldn't go berserk.
Darkness Strike accompanied his finishing blow and Karash fell.
[You have defeated the Earth Shade Spider, Karash.]
[Stats have been stolen through Darkness Strike.]
Kang Oh caught his breath and looked forward. It felt like the boss room was urging him to come in.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Some readers have recommended that I try organizing stats and such into tables. I've been informed that tables don't work well in the app, so I'll have to ask around first. I promise to look into this. Thanks!