Chapter 120 – Bad Ending? (1)
“Get ready, Magicians! Be ready!”
King Marciba of the Hiban Kingdom was located at the center of the continent. The Azman castle was located at the southeast edge of the kingdom. There was a tower that was much taller than the Class tower located there.
It was named the Azman’s Tower, and occasionally, Users gained the qualification to be able to climb to the top of the tower through Quests. If one gained the rare opportunity to climb to the top of the tower, one won’t find anything special there. Instead, one will be able to see through the numerous windows that lay open on top of the tower. One would be able to see the great plains surrounding the Azman castle.
This sight alongside the Clapper Jungle was part of the 10 great sceneries one could view in Warlord.
“The monsters are a stone’s throw away. How long do you want us to be on standby?”
“The battle line of Tankers is being pushed back! If we are going to attack, we have to attack now!”
“These Tanker bastards keep making me want to swear. Hold the line a little bit better, you retards!”
Currently, there was a never before seen chaos occurring on the great plains of Daewoo.
The Corrupted army consisting of all sorts of monsters. They were of varying levels, but they all possessed weapons and black pupils. They were heading towards the Azman castle. An army consisting of several thousand monsters were attacking. It looked as if a tide was coming in.
The Tankers were wearing bulky armors that doubled their body size. The Tankers held out shields that would easily cover their entire body. Their role was to to block the tide from coming in.
It was a collision of one battle line against another!
It was reminiscent of that particular blockbuster movie that based its subject matter on a great battle.
The reality of being in such a battle was different from watching it through a movie screen.
The battle line was gone.
“The line is broken over here!”
“The line on our side broke too! Help us a little bit!”
“We are trapped! Help! Help!”
The line was looking like a zigzag, and even that was being pushed out of existence. The battle line created by the Tankers was already gone. There had been Users that had been steamrolled, and it caused the battle line to be cut to pieces. Moreover, there were Users, who had charged forward through their own volition, and now they were stranded away from the battle line.
This was why a war was difficult. A kid could line up troops in a straight line. However, it was a whole different task to fortify, maintain and adapt the line. Even famed generals in history had a hard time doing this task.
Moreover, this army was using a voice talk program to talk to each other. The line of communication was complicated like a spider web, and this issue had pushed the situation towards a worse outcome.
At first, it hadn’t been a problem. Of course, problems crop up as time passes, and various issues start to pile up on each. When the pile get sufficiently large, it creates an explosive situation.
This was the point when the pile of issues was about to explode.
“Uh. Someone threw a magical spell?”
“What? Are we suppose to throw it now? Didn’t they tell us to be on stand-by?”
“Look over there! Someone just threw one!”
“Whatever. Let’s throw it first and worry about it later!”
No one knew the timing of the magical bombardment. The magicians had been on standby with their Casting completed. They started throwing their magical spells. None of the magic spells being sent forward was crappy. Each magicians had prepared a magical spell they considered to be their best magic.
When these magical spells reached the battlefield, the sight was incredible.
The ground turned into a sea of fire as it boiled, and the clear sky was filled with consecutive thunder strikes. Between the thunder strikes, fire arrows and ice arrows rained down. One could also hear a knife-like wind sweeping across the battlefield.
The monsters cried out when they were confronted with magic. One couldn’t find a single commonality amongst their appearance, but they all were susceptible to the damage of magic.
“Ah. Really! Those sons of a bitches magicians!”
“I’ll kill all the mages!”
“Help! Help! Don’t runaway priests!”
However, the Tankers mixed in with the monsters shared the same weakness.
If one was able to yell out, one was fortunate. There were Tankers, whose HP had been in a bad place from the continuous battle. Then there were the Tankers with bad Item settings where their magic defense and resistance to elements was low. These Tankers alongside the low level Users suffered Game Over before they could even yell out.
In such a situation, the priests were the stopgap measure placed to right the ship, but they weren’t rushing into the battle.
The Tankers were asking for help, but the priests were wondering if they should charge in. They would have to accept the risk, yet they would be helping out Users they had never met before until today. They agonized over the decision.
Most of the Users gathered at the great plains of Daewoo agonized over similar questions they were confronted with.
Several Users quick arrived at an answer.
“Hey. Let’s run away.”
“No one has the answer here. Even if we fight on, wouldn’t we just die in the end?”
The answer was to run away.
When running a war, the most important detail one had to pay attention to was desertion. There were cases where one killed deserters on the spot to curb desertion. Desertion was a reality of war.
However, this wasn’t really a real war where their life and the fate of their country was hanging on a balance. Wasn’t this just a game?
The Users, who chose to run away, didn’t hesitate. They quickly carried out the practical option presented to t hem.
The Users started to run away. Funnily enough, the deserters acted in almost a synchronized fashion. It was as if everyone had decided to run away at the same moment. They were finally able to form a proper battle line. The retreat was impeccable.
On the other side, the Corrupt army had taken a lot of damage, yet they calmly marched on. They stepped over the corpses of their comrade, and there weren’t any Users left to impede them. They charged towards the Azman castle wall.
Koong koong koong!
The charging monsters reformed their broken battle line. The sound of the ground shaking was incredible as the battle line approached the castle walls.
‘What a mess.’
Hyrkan had been watching the battle from start to finish from atop the castle wall. Hyrkan kept snorting in derision. The sight he had witnessed up until now was that absurd.
‘The Azman castle will fall today.’
Hyrkan would bet his entire net worth on the fact that the Azman castle will be in the hands of the Corrupted army.
However, this was the situation he had been waiting for.
‘Shall I start getting ready for battle?’
[Your level has increased.]
His HP and Magic Power was replenished through the Level Up Bonus. Hyrkan grabbed a fistful of Bone Explosives, and he threw them into the air. The Bone Explosives were small, but they expanded as if they were sponges soaked in water. Then it descended on top of the monster.
The Bone Explosives detonated with a loud boom, and its effect was considerable. The explosion caused by the Bone Explosives ruthlessly crushed and destroyed the armors worn by the monster. The skill’s Proficiency had reached Rank A, so he had to use pretty expensive Bone Ingredients to craft it.
‘Ah, my money!’
The Bone Explosives were so powerful that it even made Hyrkan queasy in the stomach.
The Skeleton Warriors charged towards the Corrupted Twin Head Troll, who had lost its defensive gears. While the Skeleton Warriors took care of business, Hyrkan climbed a still intact roof to survey his surrounding.
The sight of the Azman castle came into view, and it was a terrible sight. A good number of buildings had fallen. However, as if this didn’t satisfy the monsters, numerous monsters were charging towards the Asman’s Tower.
There were pocket of resistance in various locations inside the city, which had kept the castle from falling until now. However, it seemed unlikely the street battles would stop the advance of the Corrupted Army.
Hyrkan pursed his lips as he watched the sight.
‘Isn’t this the 55th fallen castle within this week? I’m pretty sure all the battles at other sites went poorly. Then…. Ah. I don’t know.’
It had been a week since the great battle had started.
Hyrkan had gained three levels within the week. The level up pace was incredibly fast.
The secret to his success was the street battles!
When the monsters entered into the city, Hyrkan used the buildings to his advantage. He would block the traffic of monsters, and he would attack from all sides. Basically, he was hunting at the edge of the Corrupted army. The merit one would gain in fighting the Corrupted army out in the wide open plains wasn’t that high compared to the risk one took. Hyrkan was well aware of this fact.
On the other hand, Hyrkan’s incredible level up pace meant that he had conducted countless street battles, and this meant the castle was constantly on the verge of falling.
‘My pace is faster by several times compared to the pace I experienced before I came to the past.’
This was why Hyrkan welcomed the current situation.
The great battle was like playing a conquest game.
Currently, there were a total of 519 castles that had been released to the Users. The Corrupted army lead by the Immoral Prince and the Users were in a war that was akin to capturing and controlling territories.
In truth, Hyrkan didn’t worry himself about this part of the war. Before he returned to the past, over 30 castles had fallen in a week when the undisciplined battles with the Users were carried out. However, the 30 great guilds eventually stepped forward, and they changed the tide of the war. The advance of the Corrupted army slowed. Before the Immoral Prince was killed, about 40 castles were constantly being changed hands by the Users and the Corrupted army.
‘The 30 great guild has to move soon…….’
However, double the number of castles had been taken right now compared to before. The main cause was the disorganized nature of the Users, but it was also the fault of the 30 great guilds. They weren’t participating in the great battle as if they had all come to an agreement not to participate in it. It wasn’t as if individuals from the 30 great guilds didn’t participate in the great battle. However, they moved at an individual level instead of a guild level.
‘This is a bit fishy.’
If the 30 great guilds didn’t participate in earnest, the great battle would proceed into an unfavorable outcome.
‘Will they close down the game service if the Immoral Prince gains the throne? No way.’
Hyrkan thought about the worst case scenario as he stuck out his tongue from between his lips.
‘There is no way they’ll do that.’
Even he thought that was a ridiculous notion.
‘The 30 great guilds aren’t idiots. They’ll have to start moving soon.’
While Hyrkan was deep in thoughts, a big portion of the castle wall fell.
As the loud sound of the castle wall falling down rang out, the ground shook. The ground shook as if there was an earthquake, and it shook his vision. From across the fallen castle wall, Hyrkan could see the Corrupted army pour in. It was as if a dam had just broke.
Hyrkan checked his Skeleton Warriors from the side of his eyes. The Skeleton Warriors had already killed the monster, and they were waiting for their next order. Instead of giving the Skeleton Warriors an order, he changed them back into Skeleton Fragments.
It was time for him to run away.
“The officer’s meeting came to an end not too long ago. The V&V guild decided not to participate in the great battle.”
“They made a wise decision.”
“We took Sinclair-nim’s advice. We decided there were too much downside in stepping forward so early.”
“No. It wasn’t an advice… It feels like I might have said something unnecessary.”
“No way. Your counsel was a big help for us.”
Sinclair finished exchanging information with the officer of the V&V guild. After he gave a slight bow, he turned his back. After several steps, Sincliar mumbled to himself in a very low voice.
“The V&V guild won’t participate in the great battle.”
– You did well.
An answer arrived immediately through the voice talk program.
“What about the others?”
– Including the V&V guild, 7 guilds have expressed their intent for non-participation.
At those words, Sinclair had a strangely unsatisfied expression on his face. His expression indicated he wasn’t upset, but his lips jutted out a little bit.
“Seven guilds…… If couple more guilds join them, the flow of public opinion might be swayed to a different direction.”
– Maybe. We’ll have to wait and see.
When one heard the voice of the other person, it seemed he also fount current result to be unsatisfactory.
Sinclair once again judged the distance between the officers of the V&V guild. When he gained some more distance, Sinclair’s voice got louder in volume.
“What about those three guilds?”
“Why aren’t we running the great battle?”
It had been awhile since Hatch had free time within the game. He had been watching a new movie when Hahui asked him a question. He gave his answer.
“I have no idea.”
Hahui partially unsheathed the sword on her waist, and she sheathed it. When he heard the distinct sound of steel, Hatch paused the movie.
“Why don’t you ask your question to the Queen you like so much? Why do you keep bothering me?”
“Huh huh. You are the one asking me for a favor, yet the words coming out of your mouth make me wonder if that is the case.”
“You want me to beat you?”
Hatch gritted his teeth at Hahui’s words. He had on an expression akin to an animal growling. However, Hatch managed to pull his lower lip over his upper lip as he shut his mouth. If Hatch had his way, he would teach Hahui a lesson. However, when it came down to a life or death battle, it was unclear as to who will be chastised. This was why he held himself back.
“This. We can’t run it because of this.”
Hatch shook the bracelet on his wrist.
The bracelet was giving off a soft light. It was an Item given out by the Secret Society. It qualified them to be able to fight the Immoral Prince..
It’s official name was the Battle Token.
It didn’t possess any Options that would increase one’s Stats. However, when the time for the Immoral Prince Raid arrives, the bracelet would indicate the location of the Immoral Prince. This was why it was called the Battle Token.
Moreover, this bracelet was given only to the members of the Secret Society or those who gained the Destroyer of Corruption title.
On top of it all, there was also a special exemption given to those who participated in the Corrupt Count raid. Basically, anyone from the Red Bulls and Stormhunters, who participated in the Corrupt Count Raid, possessed the qualification to be able to participate in the Immoral Prince raid. These two guilds had spend so much effort in trying to to complete the Immoral Prince episode, and they felt their effort had been a little bit of a waste.
This information had been spread to the media. This was the result of someone spilling the beans to the media when the person gained the bracelet.
“What about the bracelet?”
This was the reason why nothing was happening.
This was the reason why the Stormhunters guild, Red bulls guild and the Hyra guild couldn’t move in an aggressive manner with the great battle on the horizon.
“If someone wearing the bracelet guides the outcome of the great battle, wouldn’t that look like that person is trying to take all the benefit to himself?”
This was the problem.
It was already decided who could participate in the Immoral Prince raid. Of course, those who earned the qualification felt as if they put in the work and effort into gaining it. However, from the perspective of the Users that hadn’t even been given a chance to participate, they felt as if the situation was unfair.
At the very least, the Corrupt Count Raid had a queue. If the guild in front of the line failed, the next in line could take a crack at it. However, the Immoral Prince Raid didn’t have such a system. If a challenger failed, the same pool of challengers will be allowed to re-attempt it. It wouldn’t allow new Users to join. At the very least, this was the extent of the information revealed to them regarding the Raid.
Not all Users could participate on the stage of the great battle. What would happen if the Red Bulls, Stormhunters or the Hydra guild proceeded to carry out the Raid as a monopoly?
Of course, there was no rules preventing them from doing so. However, this wouldn’t be looked at fondly by the court of public opinions.
The three guilds, who gained the bracelets, were incredibly popular in the court of public opinions. If one ordered the 30 great guilds in terms of popularity, these three guilds would be within the top 5. If their popularity was ass like the Big Smiles guild, they would try something, but this wasn’t the case for the three guilds.
On top of those facts, Red Bulls guild and the Stormhunters guild gained a great number of Secret Society’s Tokens. This made it look as if these guilds had stolen the chance of participating in the Immoral Prince Raid from the normal Users.
Of course, Hahui couldn’t immediately understand the implication of Hatch’s explanation.
“What is wrong with monopolizing the great battle? They should have killed the Corrupt Count or finish the Main Scenario Quest if they wanted to participate.”
“This is the nature of humans. If one is at a drinking party and someone one barely knew boasted about his success, one would get a belly ache from jealousy. This is human nature. Have I answered the question to your satisfaction?”
Hahui looked at Hatch with an unsatisfied expression. In truth, she still didn’t have a clear understanding of the current state of affair. Hatch ignored her as he started his movie again.
At that moment…
– There is an emergency.
This time someone who was much scarier than the Princess had interrupted Hatch from watching his movie. It was the fearsome Queen.
‘Uh-whew. I just fought off a wildcat, and now a tiger is going to attack me.’
Hatch gave up on watching his movie as he licked his lips.