Dungeon Predator - Chapter 576.

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The Resurrection Stone would appear in a week, so the guardians would train Kang Oh's party in the interim. 

"I'll take you and you." The Triple Master, Kunta, pointed at Eder and Sephiro. "When you're done with me, learn from Acasus too."

"Acasus is here too?"

The Legendary Tamer, Acasus!

Acasus was called the God of Taming, having tamed four mythological creatures including the Phoenix!

"Um." Asu raised her hand. "May I see Acasus too?"

Rudy slightly pushed its head out from her chest.

Kunta looked at the other guardians.

"I'll take care of her," Loxia said. 

Grande Loxia was the knight of knights, so he would be a good teacher to her, a Phoenix Knight.

"Alright," Asu beamed and said.

"I'll take Tasha with me too."

"Understood."

Kang Oh used Demon's Descent and released Tasha from the confines of the sword. She followed Loxia without giving Kang Oh the time of day.

It felt kind of sad.

It was as if he'd picked up a stray cat and raised it as his own, but its original owner had come back and taken it away.

"Once we're done, you can go where you want," Loxia said.

"Thank you so much," Asu replied.

"The three of you can meet Acasus together later on."

Kunta glanced at Asu, Sephiro, and Eder, and then turned around.

"Let's go." 

Kunta left with Sephiro and Eder, while Loxia departed with Tasha and Asu in tow.

Kang Oh stared at Howlka and Javen.

"Javen, you take him. I'm more suited to teaching orcs," Howlka said.

"Alright."

"Call me if you need anything."

"Got it."

Once the two of them were alone, Javen asked Kang Oh all sorts of questions.

For example, he asked him what his class was, his rank, what skills he'd learned and how proficient he was with them, etc.

Kang Oh answered sincerely. After all, he may never get another chance to learn under Hero Javen!

He would learn everything he could from him!

"Hmm, a Demonic Swordsman, huh..." Javen stroked his beard. "I'm pretty sure there aren't any Master Demonic Swordsmen here."

"I'm fine with you, Mr. Javen."

"No, I'll teach you to the best of my ability, but it'd be better if you learned from someone with the same class as you. They'll have better advice for you."

Kang Oh felt kind of odd.

It seemed like every Grandmaster he'd met, be it Valan or Sraka, had gained warped personalities in exchange for their great power.

However, Loxia and the other guardians seemed like normal people to him. They were completely different, despite being Grandmasters themselves.

"Hmm, Master Blacksmiths like Max, Bargo, or Sun Lei may be helpful to you. Well, we can worry about that later. Let's see how skilled you are first. Follow me."

Kang Oh and Javen stood across from each other within a large, vacant lot.

Then, Javen's vibe completely changed.

The gentle, almost grandfatherly vibe completely disappeared. It was replaced by incredible pressure that pushed Kang Oh down.

'Come at me with everything you got!', Javen's killing intent seemingly said.

Kang Oh pulled out Ubist and Sarahoff, and then used Gluttony on one of the many A-rank steel greatswords he'd brought with him.

Gluttony, Devil Trigger!

After fighting Grande Loxia, he realized that a Master was absolutely no match for a Grandmaster. Thus, he had no choice but to go full throttle from the very beginning!

Kang Oh, who had transformed into the Dual Demon and released incredible jet-black energy, forcefully kicked off the floor and charged at the greatest hero.

* * *

Kang Oh had assumed that Javen's personality hadn't been warped by his incredible strength. 

He was completely mistaken.

First, Kang Oh was the recipient of a one-sided beat down.

Javen's class, Hero, as well as his holy sword, were the mortal enemies of a Demonic Swordsman like Kang Oh. He easily erased Kang Oh's darkness with his sword's holy light.

This is how the clash between light and darkness always went.

The stronger side would completely annihilate the weaker side.

Kang Oh was usually the stronger side, so he'd do the annihilating, but right now, the situation was completely reversed.

If that's the case, then he had to overcome Javen with pure skill. However, he was nowhere near as skilled as Javen.

Ultimately...

True Hero's Strike!

Kang Oh was struck by an unrivaled secret move that could only be learnt by a true hero, and fell to the floor.

"You're so weak. I just gave you a little tap and you crumpled to the floor," Javen said. He was staring down at Kang Oh, who knelt on one knee, as if he were hopeless.

In the past, Valan had also commented on Kang Oh's apparent weakness. Javen and Valan's voices had briefly overlapped.

"You told me everything there was to know about you. But you know absolutely nothing about me. So why are you attacking so hastily? Are you stupid?" Javen rebuked.

Kang Oh was almost overcome with anger, but he quickly calmed himself down. Javen wasn't wrong. He had fought and acted foolishly.

"I have no excuse."

Javen's lips curled upwards.

Then, Kang Oh went for a surprise attack. 'Taste this!'

Transcendent Blade!

Sarahoff flashed through the air.

Clang.

But it unfortunately clashed with Max Perado.

Javen smiled. "This is much better! A weakling should act their part and use dirty tactics like this. However... you should've thought about what to do in case it fails."

Bam, bam, bam!

Javen pulled out his sheath and swung it like a club.

Relying on his Hyper Intuition, Kang Oh attempted to block or dodge Javen's attacks, but he eventually reached his limit and got hit by the sheath.

'He's amazing!' Kang Oh grinned, even as he was getting hit.

His Hyper Intuition was an unbeatable psychic power.

However, Javen's chaotic attacks confused even his Hyper Intuition, keeping him from responding properly.

'I learned something good.'

Kang Oh etched this method of attacking into his bones. He was getting his ass handed to him, so he might as well learn something in exchange!

Javen smirked. "You're tougher than I expected."

"Die!" Kang Oh launched another surprise attack.

'Hit me some more!'

"Hehehe!"

The one-sided beatdown continued.

Javen's peculiar attacks, which managed to overcome Kang Oh's Hyper Intuition, served as a good lesson for Kang Oh. Then, Kang Oh was enlightened.

[You have been enlightened.]

[You have found a clue to unperceivable swordsmanship. This swordsmanship specializes in overloading one's opponent with too much information, which results in confusion and chaos. It is especially effective in a battle between experts.]

Kang Oh's swordsmanship was all about effectiveness. After all, it needed to be effective if he wanted to strike at his opponent's weaknesses and avoid his opponent's blows.

In other words, it was very simple!

However, Javen's swordsmanship was the complete opposite. It was so chaotic that he couldn't predict his next move.

It was filled with 'unnecessary' moves. As time passed, however, he realized that what seemed unnecessary was actually completely necessary.

It was an eye-opener.

This was the first time he'd felt this flustered, even with his Hyper Intuition by his side.

"Let's stop there. You got what you were looking for." Javen sheathed Max Perado.

"I'm not even close." Kang Oh wasn't willing to back down just yet.

However...

"Want to die?"

Javen's threatening expression looked exactly like Valan's.

That's why he knew it was no empty threat.

"No." Kang Oh quickly withdrew his swords.

You couldn't return to the underworld if you died. Thus, he couldn't afford to die by Javen's blade.

"It was a good fight."

Javen's expression completely changed. He seemed like a friendly neighborhood old man again.

'Wow, is he a psychopath?'

Kang Oh felt goosebumps on his arms and legs. Was he really a legendary hero when he was alive?

"I am a legendary hero, you rascal."

"Heop!" Kang Oh gasped. 'Did he read my mind?'

"Haha." Javen laughed impishly. It seemed like he was enjoying having fun at Kang Oh's expense.

"Watch your opponents closely. Everything starts from there."

"Yes, sir," Kang Oh replied.

"Your sixth sense is amazing, but your other five senses need more training. Your sixth sense and your other five senses are like your legs. You can't train one side without the other."

Javen had hit the nail on the head. 

Kang Oh had been overly reliant on his Hyper Intuition, and tended to ignore any sensory information from his basic five senses.

"I'll keep that in mind." Kang Oh deeply bowed his head. He was truly thankful for Javen's advice.

"You know, you remind me of someone."

"Who?"

"There was this kid that followed me around everywhere. Svergen Kalintz. He would be a rude brat one moment, and then act like a respectable person the next. Just like you."

"Svergen Kalintz?"

He'd never heard that name before. It was only natural. Hero Javen had been alive several hundreds of years ago, after all.

If he were alive back then, there was no way he'd know about him.

However, relationships could be a lot more mysterious and complicated than one might think.

Kalintz.

It was a prestigious family before the time of the Altein Empire. However, the family was caught in a conspiracy, and was brought to ruin during the era of the Altein Empire.

Not all of its descendants had been killed. The survivors hid their identities and lived out their lives.

One of their names was...

Valan Kalintz.

The great swordsman, Valan, was actually a descendent of the ruined Kalintz family.

And the basis for Valan's swordsmanship, or the Kalintz swordsmanship, was the Hero Javen.

Ultimately, the reason Valan was able to become a Grandmaster was because of the seed that Javen had planted all those years ago.

However, Kang Oh, Valan, and Javen would never fully realize the extent of their relationship.

* * *

Kang Oh, who'd completed his horrifying training with Javen, headed for the residence of the three legendary blacksmiths.

Javen had told him that there were three smithies facing each other, each with chimneys puffing out smoke.

Apparently, the most human-looking smithy was Max's workshop.

'That's it.'

Like Javen said, there were three smithies here, and all of them had differing characteristics. Finding Max's smithy was easy.

To be more specific, the other two smithies didn't look fit for humans at all.

One of them looked like an underground bunker, while the other was an elegant, beautiful building made of wood. What was especially eye-catching was the giant tree that went through one of their smithies.

"Is there anyone here?"

"Who are you?" a middle-aged man with a scar ridden body and face said. He had black hair with flecks of gray in between.

"Are you Mr. Max?"

"That's me. But I've never seen you before. Are you new? You don't look like a ghost."

When he took a better look at him, Kang Oh realized that Max's body was slightly translucent.

He'd been in the company of the guardians, who had gained physical bodies using the Resurrection Stone, but this was the first time he'd seen what actual ghosts looked like. 

"I came here with permission from the goddess."

"Hmm, is that so? So why are you here?"

"Do you recognize this sword?" Kang Oh pulled out Demon Sword Ubist and Max Cain.

"I made these swords. How could I not recognize them? But who the hell did this to Gemina!? Was it you!?" Max angrily stared at Kang Oh.

"It wasn't me. By the time I got it, it was already like that."

'It's all Valan's fault!'

"Tch. If you're going to make a demon sword, then do it properly... It doesn't have any of Gemina's original features!" Max yelled.

"I know, right? I don't know who did it, but they must've been an idiot to turn Max Gemina into a demon sword."

Kang Oh truly believed what he was saying. Turning Max Gemina into a demon sword was an act of lunacy.

'Do you know how much Max Gemina is worth!?'

"Ugh. Well, at least the demon sword's not half bad. It's been maintained well. This is the work of a Dwarven Blacksmith."

He saw right through it.

Hoffman performed maintenance on all of Kang Oh's equipment.

"This child's exactly the same." Max softly stroked Max Cain.

'How's he touching it when he's a ghost?' Kang Oh thought.

It was a natural phenomenon in the underworld. The stronger the soul, the more they could feel/touch.

At that moment...

Bam!

The door to a nearby smithy opened, and a Dwarven Blacksmith stepped out.

"Why is it so damn loud!?"

"Mr. Bargo?"

He was a legendary craftsman on the same level as Max!

By defeating the Serpentra Queen, Rubion, Kang Oh had gained the legendary 'Light and Darkness Spear', which was created by Bargo.

"Do you know who I am?"

"Of course." Kang Oh pulled out the aforementioned spear from his inventory.

"Oho, this is...!" Bargo instantly approached him and snatched the spear away.

"Ooh, Max. Take a look at this. This is my final work. Can you still say that your swords are better than my spears when you see this?" Bargo raised the spear and yelled.

"Of course. I'm the continent's greatest blacksmith. This is proof of that!" Max lifted Demon Sword Ubist and Max Cain, and yelled.

"In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king..." A man's voice could be heard from behind them.

They turned their heads and saw an old elf with pointy ears.

"My weapons are the strongest. They're created using an alloy production method that only I possess, and are imbued with the spirits' power. The Heart Series are my greatest masterpieces."

'Sun Lei!'

The great Elven Blacksmith! The Fire's Heart, which he'd gifted to Asu, was made by him.

Three of the continent's legendary blacksmiths, which represented three of the races (humans, dwarves, and elves) had gathered in one place.

However...

"Mm."

Kang Oh noticed it right away. These three really didn't get along.

Think about it. If there were three tigers on top of one mountain, there was no way they would get along, now would they?

"Ahaha, I'll come by some other time..." Kang Oh had a bad feeling about this and tried to leave.

"You came at a good time. Let's finish this once and for all," Bargo raised the Light and Darkness Spear into the air and yelled.

"Fine by me." Max immediately raised his own two swords into the air.

"We have a suitable judge too. You!" Sun Lei pointed at Kang Oh.

"Haa." Kang Oh held his head and sighed.

'I'm screwed.'

Why was he never wrong when he felt like something was going to go wrong!?

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