Dungeon Predator (Hodam)

Chapter 87: Kudal's Laboratory (1)

Kudal's Laboratory was located at the top of the Marron Mountains.

Kang Oh and Eder headed for the intercity gate, intending to teleport to Myron, the city closest to the Marron Mountains.

"Kudal began his research to revive his wife, who died of a disease. Along the way, he figured out the way to create artificial life. Isn't that a touching story?" Eder said as he walked out of the magic circle.

Eder acted like a young girl who'd just read a riveting romance novel after reading the books on Kudal. 

"What part of that is touching?"

Kang Oh couldn't sympathize with him one bit.

"Aren't Kudal's efforts touching? He tried to overcome death and bring his wife back to life."

The volume of his voice increased.

"Not really."

Kang Oh snorted.

To him, Kudal's actions were no different from that of a mad scientist in a B-grade horror movie.

"Kudal's story must be passed down, and should also be known by the masses. The story of a person's will, love, and effort to overcome death! What an amazing story!"

Eder tightly clenched his fists.

"Do that on your own time. Right now, focus on work."

Although Eder was geeking out over Kudal, Kang Oh didn't feel the need to stop him from doing so or criticize him.

"Hehe, I understand."

Eder didn't cross him anymore.

Kang Oh and Eder crossed through Myron City without any problems, but they noticed several players there.

"Selling a beginner armor set altogether. Selling a beginner dagger as well," a seemingly low-leveled blacksmith player said.

"We're a party going hunting at Kudal's Laboratory. Only one spot left!"

"Hunting at Morello Hill. Looking for a DPS and a healer. I'm a tank."

"Selling all sorts of liquid medicine. I sell a little cheaper than the store."

They even saw beginner alchemists selling their goods atop a piece of cloth.

"Going to procure materials at Kudal's Laboratory. Alchemists are welcome."

"Why are there so many people here?"

Eder looked around curiously. Myron wasn't a huge city, yet there were so many people up and about.

The scenery and the population of the provincial cities he'd visited with Kang Oh had been completely different.

"It's the mecca of alchemists," Kang Oh said.

Myron wasn't a large city like Altein.

However, it was the city where Alchemist Kudal was born, and was also where the Alchemist Guild's main headquarters was located.

Moreover, alchemists could procure various alchemical materials from Kudal's Laboratory, so Myron could be considered the home base for many alchemists.

"I see."

Kang Oh and Eder passed through the city's eastern gate.

They blew their horse head whistles, calling both a black and a white horse.

Kang Oh rode the black one, while Eder rose the white, and the two departed following the road.

As they went, they noticed several players along the road.

'They must all be going to Kudal's Laboratory.'

Following Kudal's death, the artificial life forms he'd created had become monsters, and his laboratory had become a dungeon.

By defeating the artificial life forms, one could procure materials necessary for alchemy.

Above all, the dungeon was huge. There were several buildings there, and it was therefore more accurate to call it a university than a laboratory.

"Is that it?"

After travelling for some time, Eder pointed towards something. 

Kang Oh nodded his head.

Eder had pointed towards the Marron Mountains and Kudal’s Laboratory.

* * *


[Entering the dungeon, Kudal's Laboratory.]


"It's big."

Eder was in awe.

There were four buildings in front of them. 

The buildings were all shaped and built differently.

In general, however, they were all old. Most of the windows were cracked, eliciting a dreary atmosphere.

The grounds were overgrown with weeds and grass, and there were also bronze statues without their arms or legs scattered about.

There was also a small fountain there as well, but it was neither filled with nor did it spew out water.

'I think there are eight buildings total.'

Kang Oh recalled his information on Kudal's Laboratory.

The level of the artificial life forms varied from building to building.

At the low end, they were level 50. At the highest, they were level 180.

Once a week, a level 200 boss monster would spawn in one of the eight buildings.

It was the Barakura, widely considered 'Kudal's greatest creation'.

Then why was it that Kang Oh suspected that there was a hidden dungeon here, when a boss monster already existed?

It was simple.

'It's Kudal's Laboratory, yet... Kudal is nowhere to be seen.'

Some busybodies on Arthstory pointed this out, and hypothesized that Kudal might appear in some secret area.

Kang Oh had of course, seen this, and had decided to look through Kudal's Laboratory.

After that, Tino had told him of rumors that there was a secret area within Kudal's Laboratory as well.

'That's enough for me to take a look.'

Kang Oh did, however, decide to search the dungeon more carefully than normal.

This was a popular dungeon, so there were several players here. It was also an area that was visited by players from influential guilds.

If he managed to find the hidden dungeon, but the information was leaked, then there was a chance that other players would try to get in his way.

"You didn't find any clues for the hidden dungeon in the books, did you?" Kang Oh whispered to Eder.

Of course, there weren’t any players nearby that were paying them any attention, but there was nothing wrong with being careful.

"I didn't find anything. How about you, Mr. Kang Oh?"

Eder followed suit, lowering his voice.

"I didn't find anything either."

"I suppose we’ll have to just go in there and find it."

"Let's look through the building in front of us first."

Kang Oh and Eder walked towards the arched building.

* * * 

The buildings were numbered for player convenience.

Building 1, Building 2, Building 3... all the way to Building 8.

The weakest monsters would spawn in Building 1, and the strongest in Building 8.

Kang Oh and Eder had gone into Building 3 first. Here, level 90 artificial life forms would appear.

He was currently level 129, and Eder was possessing Arumode's body, which was a level 150 boss monster.

In other words, this place would be a breeze.

'Well, I didn't come here for levels, so I guess it doesn't matter.'

Kang Oh and Eder avoided the players hunting and went deeper into the building.

He searched every nook and cranny of the building.

Then, an artificial life form known as a Nuram appeared.

A Nuram was supposedly created by Kudal himself, and was an artificial wolf. It was about level 90 and possessed steel teeth.

Five Nurams had appeared.

Kureureung.

The five wolves dashed towards them.

"Come on, you mutts!" 

Eder swung his mace at the incoming wolves.

Bam!

Thud. 

His mace smashed against a Nuram's head, causing its head to go flying into the wall with a thud.

It was an obvious result in a match between a level 90 versus a level 150.

Kang Oh drew his sword and slashed at one of the incoming Nurams. 

Swish.

His blade cut through the wolf's white fur, the cut erupting in shards of light.

Bam!

Larger shards would've spilled out had it been a critical hit, but it had definitely taken a high amount of damage nonetheless.

Kang Oh smoothly transitioned into his next attack.

Darkness Strike!

A jet-black wave erupted from his sword.

Bam!

The ferocious, destructive energy struck the Nuram, and was far more than it could handle.


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

[Stats have been stolen through Darkness Strike.]

[Physical +1]


Darkness Strike's special ability, stat steal, had activated.

Not only that!


[You have completed the spontaneous quest, Darkness Strike 1.]

[As a reward, proficiency in Darkness Strike has increased significantly.]

[Darkness Strike has risen to the intermediate level.]


He'd finally completed the spontaneous quest that he'd gotten from Kunta's Ring so long ago.

Because of that, his Darkness Strike had reached the intermediate level.

"Oh, nice."

Kang Oh smiled and swung his sword at another Nuram.

"Go off!" Kang Oh yelled.

He clearly wanted to see how the new and improved Darkness Strike would perform.

However, it didn't activate.

His demon sword merely cut through the Nuram.

Bam.

The Nuram collapsed. 

Kang Oh chased after another Nuram and continuously swung his sword.

He attacked three more times, and the Nuram died with its tongue out. However, Darkness Strike hadn't activated even once.

"Next!"

Kang Oh quickly dashed towards another Nuram.

"Huahp!"

A slash, a thrust, a downward strike, and another slash!

He attacked five times in succession, but Darkness Strike didn't activate.

In the end, the Nuram died before he could see his newly improved skill.

Meanwhile, Eder was engaging the last remaining Nuram.

"Out of my way!"

Kang Oh shoved Eder out of the way and swung downwards with his sword.

They say that if you desperately wish for something, then it may come true!

Whoosh.

Finally, his demon sword unleashed a jet-black wave. It was clearly the Intermediate Darkness Strike.

Intermediate Darkness Strike was a much deeper black, and the beast's shape was much clearer than before. Above all, the wave itself was much larger.

Boom!

The Intermediate Darkness Strike struck the Nuram head on.

It wasn't able to withstand the impact and rolled onto the floor; it didn't stand up again.


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


'Even though it went up to the intermediate level, it didn't steal any stats.'

It seemed as though Darkness Strike had a lower chance of stealing stats from a monster if it had stolen stats from that monster before.

The skill's description didn't specifically say that, but it seemed that way after using it for so long.

He'd stolen far more stats from monsters that he'd killed for the first time via Darkness Strike.

'Well, stealing stats is overpowered enough, so you can't really call this a weakness. After all, there are plenty of monsters in Arth that you can kill.'

At that moment, Eder brought him the items that the Nuram had dropped. 

"Here."

He'd brought him junk items like a steel tooth or an artificial reagent, which were materials necessary for alchemy.

Kang Oh took the items and placed them into his inventory.

'Now that I think about it, the demon sword will upgrade soon too.'

Upon looking at the junk items, he thought of his demon sword.

The demon sword's satiation was at more than 98%. It wouldn't be long before it strengthened again.

"Let's keep going."

"Ok."

Kang Oh and Eder walked around Building 3. 

They kept encountering Nurams, but Kang Oh and Eder would kill them as soon as they appeared.

There were, of course, other monsters within Building 3.

There was also the artificial life form known as a York.

It was an artificial fox, which had three tails and could breathe fire, that was made by Kudal.

'It's like it was in the process of becoming a nine-tailed fox and then just stopped.'

Of course, the York weren't a match for Kang Oh and Eder either.

They died, leaving behind soft fox fur. 

Kang Oh and Eder searched Building 3 whilst continuing to kill Nurams and Yorks.

However, his Hyper Intuition never activated. There wasn't a single spot that felt suspicious.

"It's not here," Kang Oh said.

"Did your Hyper Intuition not activate?"

Ever since Kang Oh had found the quicksand pit that led to the hidden oasis, Eder had believed that Kang Oh possessed the Hyper Intuition 'skill'.

"Yeah."

"Then let's move on to the next building."

"Yeah, but first let me feed the demon sword the junk."

Kang Oh walked over to a secluded area without any players around and dropped all of the junk items.

Darkness stretched out from his demon sword and began consuming the junk items.


[Ubist has consumed a Steel Tooth. Satiation has increased by 0.17%.]

[Ubist has consumed a Steel Tooth. Satiation has increased by 0.17%.]

[Ubist has consumed Soft Fox Fur. Satiation has increased by 0.17%.]

...

[Ubist's satiation has reached 100%.]

[The demon sword has become even stronger!]

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