This chapter is updated by Novels.pl
There was a place called Glass Lake. It was so clear that people could see their reflection on the surface of the water.
It was also one of Kang Oh and Asu's occasional date spots. After all, it was both quiet, and a place that allowed them to focus only on each other.
The two spent time with each other on top of a sailboat.
Jae Woo knew that Triple Lower was headed for Europe tomorrow.
He was glad that virtual reality existed; it allowed him to meet her at any time or place.
Her tight schedule wouldn't let her log in much, but there was a huge difference between not seeing each other for two months and occasionally seeing each other.
Still, he couldn't help but feel sad that she was going far away. It would become a lot harder to see her.
"Is this your first time going to Europe?" Kang Oh asked, burying his true feelings.
"No. My parents and I went there when I was young."
"Oh, where did you go?"
"Paris, London, Berlin… The popular spots. How about you?"
"I haven't even gone to Japan before."
The only place he'd flown to was Jeju Island.
"Then let's go somewhere when I come back."
"Really? I'd love that."
"We'll go to a place where no one will notice us."
"Even better." Kang Oh grinned.
Kang Oh and Asu pinky promised.
It may seem childish, but that's what made it fun, no?
"You're not sad?" Asu suddenly asked.
She was feeling kind of down right now. 'Why's she acting like this?', her fellow members would probably ask in shock.
After all, times had changed. Virtual reality eliminated one of the barriers to long-distance relationships.
However, people's feelings hadn't changed. They couldn't help but yearn for someone they cared about when they went far away.
Kang Oh remained silent. However, his expression said everything. He, like her, was still too traditional.
"I shouldn't have asked. It's obvious." Asu smiled timidly.
"Have a good time. Be careful."
"Don't worry. I'll make a fan out of Europe too."
Asu made a peace sign. It was nice to see her so confident.
Asu furrowed her brow.
"Oppa, I think I have to go now."
"We're home now, so I have to go. I have to start packing now."
"Packing? You haven't packed yet? Your flight is tomorrow, right?"
"I've been busy."
"Wherever you go, you have to remember to eat, understand?"
"Oppa, are you treating me like one of your sisters?" Asu glared at him.
"That wasn't my intention."
He wasn't such a kind, considerate brother to his little sisters.
"Call me anytime. I've linked my phone and capsule together."
"I'll call you in the middle of the night." Asu grinned.
"Fine by me."
"I'll go… Ah, that's right. Oppa."
Asu pulled out the sleeping Rudy from her buxom. It had gotten quite plump.
"Take care of Rudy for me. I don't think I'll be able to log in that much…"
Kang Oh accepted Rudy. Then, Asu softly kissed Kang Oh's cheek.
"When I'm back, I'll give you a kiss on the lips instead!"
"I'll be waiting."
"I seriously need to get going now." Asu waved her hand.
Kang Oh slightly shook Rudy and woke it up.
"Say goodbye to mom."
Rudy softly chirped while half asleep.
Asu smiled and slowly disappeared. Kang Oh watched the space she'd occupied for some time.
In a flash, Rudy had woken up completely and had taken residence on top of Kang Oh's head.
"Let's do our best."
'Ok, dad!', Rudy seemingly said.
* * *
One month later.
For the first few days, Asu frequently logged into Arth. Apparently, she wasn't as busy as she expected.
But after that, she didn't log in for two whole weeks. She'd briefly log in, see Kang Oh and Rudy's faces, and then log back out.
She must be really busy.
He heard that Triple Lower was getting really popular in Europe now too.
Kang Oh was busy too.
First off, there were way too many Guardian of the Continent quests for him to deal with. Thus, he tried looking for a successor. Unfortunately, he couldn't find anyone that fit the role. Bart didn't fall victim to his scheme either.
Whenever he had free time, he would explore new dungeons, and find and sell soul dungeons.
He would also buy soul dungeons with useful guardians.
As the starter of the Dungeon Liberation Movement, it'd be a terrible PR move for him to steal other dungeons by force. However, buying them at their market value was fine.
Thus, he now owned eight soul dungeons. Managing all of these soul dungeons proved to be a lot of work too.
Still, he couldn't afford to be lax with them. After all, he needed their rewards and their guardian summoning scrolls.
His efforts hadn't gone to waste.
Kang Oh had gotten all of their summoning scrolls, which included Teynos, Violf, Wakaiser, Uru, and all of his other soul dungeons' guardians.
The money grubbing dragon was the only exception. Akite's summoning scroll was way too expensive!
He had passed level 500, and was already level 503. Reaching level 500 was easy, but leveling up after that was really hard.
There was also Enlightenment.
He had reached Enlightenment in Mandala's Bizarre Cave.
A player's movements were slowed within that area. However, it only slowed a player's movements, not their thoughts.
It forced him to swing his sword slower, which gave him a better understanding of himself.
Because of that, he cleared the spontaneous quest, and was given a clue to another Enlightenment.
'Sword Duke Sven.'
That was the reward his spontaneous quest had given him.
Kang Oh went to Grandpa Sven, and learned some of the basics from him. However, he didn't receive what he was looking for.
But it wasn't all for naught. It was clear he'd gotten much stronger than before.
Practicing with Burkan helped a lot too. Now, there was barely a difference between their skill level.
'I'll surpass you soon enough!'
He still hadn't paid Burkan back his 800,000 gold, even though he had the means.
GBS was showing his footage of the goddess's quest right now.
Their average viewership rating was 21.1%, but they had reached an all-time high of 24.3%.
It was a huge hit.
He received a bonus for surpassing viewership records too.
Kang Oh also received a large cut of the profits from selling the footage to the U.S., China, Japan, India, Europe, etc.
This didn't even include the 3,300,800,000 won ($3,300,800 USD) that he received for signing the contract. Although 800,000 gold was worth 2.4 billion won ($2.4 million USD), he could pay it back right now if he wanted.
However, Kang Oh believed that the price of gold would depreciate even further, so he held off on it for now. After all, he'd be able to pay back much less if he waited for gold to be worth even less.
Plus, Burkan was no longer a bachelor. He had married Dora, the owner of a pub.
The two looked good together during the wedding ceremony. Kang Oh saw his own and Soo Ah's faces when he looked at them.
However, it was still too early for that.
He was only in his mid-twenties! Plus, he was working hard taking care of their kid.
"Isn't that right?" Kang Oh looked at the chick sitting in his palm and grinned.
Rudy, whose head was covered by a handful of red feathers on an otherwise yellow body, brightly cried out.
On the outside, Rudy hadn't grown at all.
Unlike other living beings, Phoenixes didn't have an in-between point. They went straight from infancy to adulthood.
Thus, they assumed the form of a chick during their infancy in order to conceal their presence from anyone that'd seek their power, and grew to adulthood when they were powerful enough.
In other words, they didn't grow, they evolved!
If he wanted Rudy to evolve into an adult, then he'd have to feed it as many high quality flames as possible.
As he went around the continent, Kang Oh made sure to take care of Rudy, ensuring that it got plenty of flames to eat.
By doing so, Rudy had gained the ability to transform into its true form for a total of three hours.
Of course, it wouldn't be able to transform again for a week.
In any case…!
By completing plenty of difficult Guardian of the Continent quests, as well as exploring high difficulty dungeons, Kang Oh's proficiency in his various skills went up.
Transcendent Blade, Mad Wind's Sword, and Weapon Bombardment had reached high-rank. Fleet Footwork, Basic Evasion, and Sword Parry had likewise leveled up to high-rank.
Darkness Chain, Throw Projectile, and Demon's Descent had reached intermediate-rank.
There were, however, two skills that approached the master-rank. They were none other than Slash and Tempest Tiger!
Slash was especially close, as he'd recently been spending most of his time on it.
Why, you ask?
'Because I want to learn Divide the Sea.'
In order to learn Divide the Sea from Valan, Kang Oh had to first master Slash.
His current proficiency in it was 99.3%.
Unlike class skills, which wouldn't go over 99%, normal skills/spells would rank up upon 100% proficiency.
"Let's work hard today."
Kang Oh stepped forward.
There was a giant pyramid in front of him. It was a dungeon that formed from the Great Change.
It was said that Sphinxes spawned in this dungeon. Though Sphinxes were popular in real life, this was the first time they had appeared in Arth.
Plus, the dungeon had 30 floors!
Even Kang Oh hadn't reached the top floor yet.
Rudy bravely chirped atop Kang Oh's head. To others, it wasn't intimidating at all; it merely looked adorable.
The red dressed Tasha, as well as the fur clothed Sara, followed him.
At that moment…
A beast's cry rang out. Then, a shadow appeared above Kang Oh's head.
A fully grown wyvern came flying at him. However, its body was fully garbed in armor, and there was a person flying on its back.
It was Sephiro and Waryong.
He had achieved his dream; he had become a Wyvern Rider. Not only that, but he had become a high ranker and was ranked 97th.
"Let's go together!" Sephiro yelled forcefully.
* * *
In one month's time, Kang Oh had gotten a lot stronger.
However, he wasn't able to take the rank 1 spot from Dukeram.
The combination of the Empire Guild's influence and power, which grew massively from taking control of the eastern three kingdoms, as well as Dukeram's own ability, power, and influence far exceeded Kang Oh's.
"We're ready," Jegal said. He, Dukeram, and their captains were all gathered together in one room.
It was finally time for their eight captains to ascend to the rank of Master.
Their captains had reached 99% proficiency in their class skills.
Now, all they needed to do was achieve a great feat, and the Empire Guild would have eight more Masters at their disposal.
"Our target is… is the Mamonas."
The Ruler of the Golden Desert, Mamonas.
It was a giant raid monster, which lived in the Golden Desert, and resembled a whale.
The Mamonas was a huge glutton that ate everything but sand, so it was said that it caused the desert to expand.
It was that great of a being.
"The Mamonas is even greater than Wukong. It cannot be beaten by any normal means. However, we know its weakness: Serena's Water!"
Serena was the Goddess of Water. The water created from her sacred treasure, the 'Pure Chalice', was called Serena's Water.
This water was considered a panacea to many, and it was an extremely precious resource, as only a certain amount of water could be made each day.
The Empire Guild knew that the holy water would greatly weaken the Mamonas, and had traded with the Church of Serena in order to procure a large quantity of water.
They had finally gathered enough to hunt the Mamonas.
"If we use Serena's Water against it, it will become as weak as a level 600 raid boss."
"We should be able to beat it then," Ridgeley said confidently.
"Indeed. And we won't be alone. Myself, Mr. Dukeram, all of you, our guild's elites, and all of our high rankers will be joining us. We'll bring 10,000 of the kingdom's soldiers, as well as 100 Insect and Sand Mages."
"That's a lot of troops," Kuskal said in awe.
Jegal glanced at Dukeram. 'It's your turn, Guildmaster.'
"This operation is called Whale Hunt. The operation will begin in two days. We have to succeed if we want to conquer the continent. So I won't allow failure no matter what!"
Two days later…
The Empire Guild, as well as the three eastern kingdoms' elites, gathered atop the endless Golden Desert.
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