Chapter 90. Kudal's Laboratory (4)

The Parle was huge and bizarre looking. 

Its head resembled a venus fly trap, with saw blade shaped leaves that acted like lips.  

The body itself was composed of a green stem that was repeatedly tangled together. Thus, if it moved to the left or the right, it could crawl around like a snake.

It had devoured Eder in a single bite.

"Summon Eder!" Kang Oh calmly yelled.

Eder, who he'd seen get eaten, reappeared in front of him.

"M-Mr. Kang Oh, thank you!"

"Tch. You couldn't even dodge that?"

Kang Oh was being hard on him.

"..."

Eder didn't have anything he could say in response.

Kang Oh was right. He hadn't been able to dodge its attack because of his carelessness.

Then, a shadow overcast Kang Oh and Eder once more.

With the escape of its prey, the Parle rushed towards Kang Oh and Eder once more.

"Move!"

Kang Oh and Eder ran in opposite directions.

The Parle moved its vine body and aimed for Eder, opening its saw blade-shaped leaves.

Eder flung himself away.

Chomp.

The Parle closed its mouth.

Eder had just barely dodged the Parle's attack.

At that moment, Kang Oh attacked the Parle's body.

Slash!

Swish.

His demon sword cleaved through the green stem. 

Then, the Parle turned its head and attacked Kang Oh instead.

"Huaaht!"

Kang Oh decided to attack, rather than dodge, and swung his sword around haphazardly. 

Whenever his sword cleaved through the air, he cut through the Parle's stem or leaves.

Despite that, the Parle didn't back down. It forcefully pushed its head forward.

But that wasn't the right call. 

Once he saw the Parle open its mouth wide, he assumed an iaido stance.

Swish.

He swung his sword from top-down.

Tempest Tiger!

A golden tiger pounced out of his sword.

The golden tiger aura entered the Parle's open 'mouth'.

Boom!

"Oh."

Kang Oh slightly widened his eyes.

Upon damaging the Parle, black shards exploded everywhere. 

His demon sword's special ability, Fang Bearing Blade, had activated on a skill. 

The Parle, having taken a large amount of damage, became confused.

Whoosh.

The tiger aura was followed by strikes of wind whips.

At the same time, Kang Oh attacked the wound created via Slash.

Bang!

Once his blade made contact, the wound exploded with red shards.

Eder kept attacking what could be considered the Parle's 'tail' area. 

Bam!

He struck using Heavy Blow, and then continued to bash at the same injured area.

Over and over, he continued striking at the exact same area!

Bam! Bam! Bam!

By the time the Parle regained its bearings, its HP had tanked, and had no way of recovering or turning the fight around.

In the end, the Parle died.


[You have defeated the artificial life form, Parle.]


Eder mechanically picked up the junk item and gave it to Kang Oh. It was a red flower that resembled a morning glory.

However...

"Huh?"

His Hyper Intuition flared the moment he saw it. There was some sort of secret behind this flower!

"Information."

He quickly looked over the item's information


[Renji Flower]

An artificial flower created by Alchemist Kudal. Used as a material in various alchemical processes.

Material Rank: BB


There was nothing special detailed in the item's information.

"Mm."

Kang Oh looked over the Renji Flower.

"What's wrong? Is there something special about it?" Eder asked.

"Yeah. When I took a look at this, my Hyper Intuition flared up," Kang Oh said.

"Oh, finally!"

Eder sported a joyous expression from finally finding a clue.

"But I have no idea where to use it."

"Shall I take a look at it?"

"Go ahead."

Kang Oh passed him the Renji Flower. Eder too, looked over the flower.

"It's not like a sunflower, which points you in a certain direction... I don't feel any particular magic within it either... It's a flower, so it should have something to do with the language of flowers."

"Hmm. The language of flowers... Let's see if there's any meaning behind the Renji Flower."

But based on the item's information, the Renji Flower was artificially created by Kudal, so would it have any such meaning?

At that moment, Eder heard Kang Oh say the flower's name and retorted, "Did you say Renji?"

"Yeah. Renji Flower. Have you heard about it before?"

"Renji was the name of Kudal's wife.  It's said that when he proposed, he gave her a very special flower as a present. It seems that this was the flower," Eder said.

Then, he added something unnecessary. 

"As expected of Kudal... What a romantic guy."

Kang Oh completely ignored Eder's final statement.

"Then the hidden dungeon could be hidden in a place that was connected with his wife," Kang Oh said.

"Yes. That's a possibility. But where would that be?"

"Who knows? First, let's search the rest of the buildings. Something should pop up on the way."

"Ok."

Kang Oh retrieved the Renji Flower from Eder and carefully placed it into his inventory. Then, they began looking through every nook and cranny of Building 7 once more.

As they walked through the building, they encountered the plant monster, Gallud, and a battle broke out among the three of them. 

Not only was a Gallud's body incredibly tough, but its attack power was no joke either.

However, it wasn't so strong that Kang Oh and Eder had anything to worry about. They were able to take it down without much difficulty.

"Oh, over there."

Eder pointed to one side. There, another Renji Flower was blooming.

Kang Oh headed over to pluck it.

But...


[Requires Intermediate Herb Picking.]


"Ah."

Kang Oh couldn't pluck the Renji Flower because he didn't possess the Herb Picking skill.

But Eder did.

To be more specific, the body Eder possessed, that of Arumode, did not possess the Herb Picking skill. He didn't have it in his old skeleton body either.

But Eder had told him that his original body possessed the Master Herb Picking skill.

"Tch. If you had your original body, then we could've gotten it."

Kang Oh sported a disappointed expression.

"If I had my old body, then I wouldn't be with you right now," Eder said firmly.

He was once a renowned healer, so he would never have involved himself with Kang Oh.

"That's true. By the way, what exactly are you implying here?"

Kang Oh furrowed his brow.

"I've made two mistakes in my life. One was insulting a god, and the other was signing a contract with you," Eder smiled and said. 

It was part truth and part lies.

"Want to die?" Kang Oh smiled and said.

"Do what you want." 

Eder shrugged his shoulders, his body language reflecting the veracity of his statement.

"I got it."

Kang Oh pushed his sword forward. Did he think he wouldn't?

"Wait a second! Now that I think about it, forming a contract with you was the best decision of my life!"

Eder quickly changed his tone, and Kang Oh withdrew his sword.

"Let's stop playing around and keep going."

"Alright."

Kang Oh and Eder passed the Renji Flower.

A short while later...

They had finished exploring Building 7.

"Nothing," Kang Oh said.

He couldn't find a secret area.

"At least you managed to pick up the flower."

At the very least, he'd obtained the Renji Flower from Building 7, giving him a first clue of sorts. 

Kang Oh nodded his head.

"Let's search the other buildings and if we can't find anything, then we’ll gather as many Renji Flowers as we can."

He had no idea what would happen if he gathered more than a certain amount of Renji Flowers. After all, when he'd gathered over the required number of Agat Crystals, a raid boss had spawned.

Therefore, Kang Oh had already gathered more than ten of them.

"Ok."

"Next up is Building 5."

Kang Oh and Eder left Building 7 and headed for the nearest building, Building 5.

* * *

Artificial tigers known as Muhos appeared in Building 5.

Muhos were odd-eyed, larger than normal tigers that were about level 120.

Kuheong!

The tiger, with a left green eye and a gold right eye, roared.

'It's nothing compared to Baramut.'

Kang Oh recalled Baramut when he heard its roar.

The King of the Jungle, Baramut!

Baramut had been much more powerful and larger than the tiger.

Since he'd killed Baramut, the Muho seemed like nothing more than a harmless cat.

Eder didn't think much of the Muho either.

Was this how it felt when a baseball player faced a 160 km ball flying at them, but then faced a 140 km ball? The Muho was cute compared to Baramut.

"Shh..."

Kang Oh approached the tiger without a care in the world.

Clang. Clang.

Eder tapped his shield with his mace in a show of confidence.

Kyaoh!

The tiger brandished its fangs and charged at Kang Oh.

"Sure, let's play."

Kang Oh dodged it and attacked again and again.   

Eder continuously attacked its side as well. 

A short while later, the Muho's head fell to the floor.


[You have defeated the artificial life form, Muho.]


"Tch. It's weak."

"Indeed."

Kang Oh and Eder's idea of a tiger came from Baramut. Therefore, it was only natural that they felt that the Muho was weak.

The two collected the junk items and began exploring Building 5 once more.

They searched every room and made sure that there weren't any hidden devices on the floor or the ceiling. The two even inspected the wall-mounted ornaments, the furniture, the display stands, and the paper on the floor as well.

However, all they found were Muhos.

Kang Oh and Eder handled the Muhos with ease, and left Building 5. 

They headed for Building 8.

"Is this the last one...?" Kang Oh said as he looked at the building in front of him.

Before them was the largest building here.

"It looks just like the Holiseum," Eder said.

Building 8 did indeed resemble the gladiator arena.

"Yeah, you're right."

Kang Oh knew the original, the Colosseum, so the building reminded him more of a coliseum than the white Holiseum.

Anyway, Kang Oh and Eder entered Building 8.

There were four-armed monkeys, Kongs, wandering about inside.

As they went deeper inside, they saw every kind of artificial life forms they'd encountered thus far: Gablins, Nurams, Horned Ants, Parles, etc. 

"Is this a fairground of artificial life forms or what?" Eder asked.

"Yeah."

Kang Oh nodded his head.

There weren't any new artificial life forms in Building 8. Instead, all of the monsters that had appeared in buildings 1 - 7 appeared here.

Perhaps that was why this place had such a fun feature.

Which was...

"Huh?"

Eder pointed at one side.

A Horned Ant and a Rorc Champion were fighting against one another.

"Why are they fighting each other?"

"Kudal set this place up as an ecosystem, so they fight for their lives here."

Kudal had created several artificial life forms to further his research.

If that was the case, then he must have wondered what would happen if he gathered them all in one place.

He must've created Building 8 to satiate this curiosity of his.

"Wow. He really was an amazing alchemist. It's huge."

Eder was in awe.

"That's why there's a high chance that something is hidden here, since it looks like the place that he put the most effort into," Kang Oh said.

Several dungeon hunters had thought the same as Kang Oh and had searched every nook and cranny of this place over time.

Of course, no one had discovered a hidden dungeon or a secret from this place yet.

"I'm different from them..." Kang Oh muttered as he thought of the dungeon hunters who had diligently searched this building.

While they didn't have Hyper Intuition, Kang Oh did. That was the absolute difference between them.

"Let's go."

Kang Oh confidently walked forward.

If there was something here, then he would find it!

But a short while later...

"There's nothing here!"

Even Kang Oh couldn't find something that wasn't there in the first place.

There was nothing in Building 8 either!

"Hmm. Is collecting as many Renji Flowers as we can really the only option left?"

Kang Oh still had something he wanted to try. It was much too early to give up.

"Mr. Kang Oh."

At that moment, Eder called for Kang Oh with a serious expression.

"What's wrong?"

"Doesn't something feel strange?"

"What are you talking about?"

"There are so many buildings here, but it's lacking the most important of them all."

"And what's that?"

"A house! Kudal's house isn't here." 

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