ESP: Chapter 126 – Agardo Raid (1)

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Chapter 126 – Argardo Raid (1)

 

1.

There was an appetizing pink sausage with egg wrapped around it in front of him.  There was also fresh vegetable, tuna and a kelp soup with plenty of beef and seasoning in it.  He piled on the side dishes on the bowl of white rice.  Ahn-jaehyun was busy chewing, but his expression wasn’t that great.

Surprisingly, Ahn-jaehyun was very dissatisfied with the menu.

‘If it wasn’t for this event, I would have already replenished my strength by eating stamina-increasing food. I would be playing the game by now.’

In truth, Ahn-jaehyun had planned on stuffing himself with stamina-increasing food the whole time he was running the great battle. He was going to need a strong body more so than any other time, yet he recently felt his physical fitness get worse.

This was why he had saved up his money.  Basically, he set aside a saving that was specifically for buying stamina-increasing food.

‘Shit.  I never expected to spend so much here.’

The Shezga castle defense was over and his calculations was done.  This was why he wasn’t comfortable eating an expensive meal.  He had spent way more than expected.  Moreover, the bigger problem was the fact that he had used most of the consumable Items he had in storage.

Warlord Users, especially the Rankers, had plenty of Storage space.  With the important hunts, battles and raids in one’s immediate future, one didn’t have the time to be scrambling all over the place to purchase the consumables.

Currently, Ahn-jaehyun didn’t just have one big mountain to climb.  He had two big mountains left.  Of course, Ahn-jaehyun was like an ant conserving food in the summer, so it could have a store in winter.  He had to tighten his belt once again.

In that context, the food he was eating right now was definite proof that displayed Ahn-jaehyun’s elevated position.  His food and his position within Warlord had gone through a big change.  This was seen on Ahn-jaehyun’s youtube page.  The number of subscribers, the number of people viewing his videos, and the purchase of his pay-per-view video was on an upward trajectory again.

This was especially true about the videos he released during the defense of the Shezga castle.  He had revealed the know-hows of the great battle for the first time.  His Eat the Tail video had already racked up close to 30 million views.  This thought relaxed his rigid expression.

‘Well, I won’t be able to recover it immediately, but I’ll slowly gain back what I invested this time around.’

When he thought about the recent corporate sponsorship proposal he received, the  pink sausage tasted like a Wagyu steak.  His food tasted better. Ahn-jaehyun’s spoon and chopsticks started to move vigorously.

‘Huh?’

Before he knew it, Ahn-jaehyun had let go of his spoon.

‘It’s finally happened!’

Ahn-jaehyun had moved past the 80% mark of climbing a mountain, and the 90% mark was in sight right in front of him.

 

2.

After the Hahoe Mask’s interview ended, all the 30 great guilds fought each other to be the first one to announce that they were going to participate in the great battle.  It was as if they had been waiting for this opportunity.

“We will only participate in the great battle in stages where the normal Users are suffering.  Aside from those instances, we will leave the rest to the Users. Please think of our actions as maintaining the order.”

Their excuse was that they were going to maintain order.

Of course, the normal Users were split on the decision.

If one set aside whether the defense of the castles was successful or not, there were a portion of Users that were benefitting greatly from participating in the great battle.  They opposed the decision made by the 30 great guilds.  It was a fact. If the 30 great guilds participated, the pie had to be shared with more people.  Moreover, the Hahoe Mask had revealed how to clear the Corrupted army.  If the Underfoot guilds, and the Users massed in numbers, they were confident that they could succeed in defending the castles by themselves.

On the other hand, the Users below level 100, who hadn’t participated in the great battle, rejoiced at the 30 great guild’s participation. It was true that the high level Users caused a lot of disturbance in hunting grounds occupied by the low level Users.  The 30 great guilds were going to fix that problem, so there was no reason for them to disagree with the 30 great guild’s announcement.

The opinions were split, but the important part was that there was a portion of the Users that agreed with the involvement of the 30 great guilds.

During all of this, the V&V guild and the 8 guilds, who had announced their non-participation, was put in an awkward spot.

There were a lot of chatter online about them.

– What about those guilds that put out a joint statement saying they won’t participate in this event?

– If those guys have any honor or pride, they’ll stay out of this.

For these 9 guilds, the breakthrough happened when they decided to retake the castles instead of defending them.  The 9 guilds aggressively stepped forward to take back the fallen castles.

Some Users saw it as a hollow gesture, but they weren’t too upset by it.  The retaking of the castles was couple degrees harder than defending it.  This was confirmed when the retaking efforts failed multiple times in a row.

This resulted in the 30 great guilds not competing against each other as everyone contributed in different roles.

Some participated in the retaking the castles and the rest defended the castles.  The Users had been pushed back endlessly, but the situation was quickly changing.

The Corrupted army was starting to be pushed back.  The Corrupted army had to turn the tide of the battle, so a new card was played by them.

It appeared at that moment.

[An incredible Boss Monster has appeared at the Havanz castle!]

 

3.

Havanz castle.

In the past, it had been called the Cursed castle, and it was at this location where the Corrupted army’s hidden ace card made an appearance.

Havanz castle.

The dreary atmosphere from the past was gone. It was a place where high level Users wearing elegant and expensive Items frequented before.  The castle was in an appalling state compared to the past.  The castle walls looked like ruins that had been destroyed several thousand years ago. Moreover, it was hard to find an intact buildings beyond the castle wall.

“Start the magical bombardment!”

On this wretched stage, a heartless assessment started once again.

Before the man’s shout could come to an end, several hundred magicians used their pre-casted magic.

At the very least, one had to be over level 130.

At the very least, one had to have a Rank of Rare.

These were the magicians that had invested all their Stats into Intelligence.  They were popularly known as the ‘Extreme Mages’.

The use of their magic was harmonious.  The earth type magic was the first to be used.  Uniform earthen walls erupted from the ground.  It was over 20 meters tall.  However, these weren’t just simple earthen walls. It was called the Shield Wall, and it was able to stop physical and magical attacks.

The Shield Walls gathered to form a triangle.

The powerful magic spells were thrown into the triangle.  The enormous fireballs burned the forest, and the thunder strikes were falling like a shower.  Enormous ice spears were descending like lightning.

Koo koo koo!

The powerful magic made the ground cry.

Hell.

This was the only expression that could describe the scene.

The one watching this sight was Sweeper guild’s primary Raid team leader.  Spearman Ichni gulped.

‘Please work.’

It didn’t matter in regards to other aspects, but the Sweepers guild was known for being the best in fighting with magic amongst the 30 great guilds.  The large scale magic bombardment shown right now by the Sweepers guild was something they were proud of.

This was why Ichni always smiled with confidence when he saw the powerful collaboration of magic.   

However, he felt a mixture of fear, nervousness and anxiousness as he swallowed his spit. This was the first time for him.

‘I’m not expecting it to die, but at the very least, I want it to take some damage.  Just a little bit.  If that doesn’t happen, at least damage its armor! Please!’

He even prayed.

However, Ichni gulped once again as the prayer fell to the pit of his stomach.

Kwah-ahng!

A thundering noise rang out as one Shield Wall broke.  All the racket created by various magic leaked out of the hole. Smoke, fire, sparks… On top of all the noise, one could hear the sound of footsteps.

The owner of footsteps was a knight wearing armor. The armor he wore wasn’t normal. It was a silver colored armor with a black pattern on it.  There was an eagle’s head decorated on the right shoulder, and the left shoulder was decorated with the head of a lion. On his chest, there was the circular crest of the three snakes biting each other.

On top of it all, the black pattern was perpetually moving like a living fish across the silver amor.

The knight didn’t have a shield.

Instead, he held a sword that that constantly rang out as if it was weeping.

In some ways, the sword looked shabby and worthless.

Large boss monsters were big enough to intimidate the Users on sight.  However, this knight was of a size where it was hard to locate him in the mayhem.

When Ichni caught sight of the knight, he desperately yelled out. It was the first time he yelled out like this, since he started playing Warlord.

“Retreat!”

“What?”

At Ichni’s command, his subordinate next to him reflexively asked the question.  In truth, it was hard for him to comprehend why they had to retreat.  It had been less than 10 minutes, since they had started the battle with the knight. After several sporadic exchange, this was the first time they had used the magic bombardment in earnest, yet they were going to retreat?

However, Ichni was decisive.

“How can we fight something that can’t be damage by physical, magical or holy attacks?  Everyone retreat!”

“Ah, yes.”

The leader’s orders were absolute. His subordinate didn’t dispute Ichni’s orders.  He instructed everyone to retreat. Since there were a lot of Users gathered here, the retreat didn’t just occur from speaking just one or two words.  They wasted some time telling everyone of the retreat order.

In reality, it wasn’t a lot of time.  

It took them around 10 seconds, but…

‘Huhk!’

Ichni’s subordinate was passing down the order when the knight that had been far away came into view.

It didn’t feel as if the knight had approached him.  It was as if the knight had disappeared, and it just appeared right in front of his eyes.

Moreover, the knight had his sword raised up high, and the sword was already descending when the Ichni’s subordinate realized the knight was there.

Kahng!

Fortunately, Ichni raised his spear to block the sword strike.  His subordinate stumbled backward in fright.

“Just ignore me!  Evacuate!”

Ichni encouraged his subordinate to run away.  His subordinate wordlessly got out of there quickly.

The knight was right in front of his eyes, so Ichni was finally able to get a good look at the knight in front of him.  While they were in close  proximity to each other, Ichni could see the milky white eyes flash from within its helmet.

‘Isn’t he the left hand of Prince Dean?  It’s sir Argardo.’

After a brief moment, he sized up the situation.

Ggee-eek, ggee-eek!

The shaft of Ichni’s spear was starting to be cut incrementally as it blocked Argardo’s sword.  It wasn’t as if the sword was making a sawing motion.  This was occurring just from having the sword pressing firmly against the shaft.

“Coating!”

Ichni reflexively used his Skill.

The Skill he used was called Coating. For a limited amount of time, the skill made it impossible for one’s weapon and armor to be destroyed.  It was a Unique Skill, and it wasn’t easy to acquire.

Since it wasn’t easy to acquire, this meant the effectiveness of the skill was certain.

However, Ichni had took his eyes off his opponent to use the skill.  At that moment, Argardo kicked Ichni in the stomach.

Ggwah-roong!

The impact caused a sound that was akin to a thunder clap. Ichni’s body flew away like stone skipping across the surface of a lake.  He was sent roughly skipping across the ground.

‘Ffffuuuuuuuhhhhck!’

His world was spinning at that moment.

In the extremely chaotic situation, Ichni came to a stop, and he looked in front of him.

‘Where is he?’

Argardo wasn’t in his field of vision. Ichni had a small hunch.  He raised his head slightly to look up.  Ichni was finally able to see Argardo.

Poohk!

Argardo’s sword skewered Ichni’s head.

– Ooh-ahk. He became a roadkill.

– Spearman Ichni couldn’t even last a minute.

– Isn’t that the Sweeper guild’s Raid Team? In truth, the result was to be expected.

– Sweepers guild mainly deal with clearing monsters.  Their Raid team can’t even crack the Top 10 in terms of power.  Still, this was way too one-sided.

The White-eyed knight sir Argardo.

He was called the left hand of Prince Dean.  After the Sweepers guild acquired the rights to the Raid, they immediately broadcasted the raid live.

A significant number of people purchased the live ticket, and the ripple caused by what had happened on live broadcast was seen in the comments section.

Shir read the responses, and she turned her head.  Hatch was watching the same broadcast, and he spoke when he felt her gaze on him.

“Do you have a question for me?”

“What are your thoughts on what just happened?”

“Do you want my opinion on Argardo or the Sweepers guild?”

“Both.”

The answer came from a different source.

“If the Queen and I fight him, that NPC will be beaten to a pulp within 10 minutes!  In the first place, the Sweepers guild was out of their minds if they thought they could deal with…”

“Hey! Filter your words!  Chose your words more carefully!”

Storm Princess Hahui was about to say the Sweepers guild was trying eat something that was out of their reach.  However, Hatch cut her off.

“Does that mouth say anything it wants?”

“What did you just say?”

Hahui glared at Hatch.  However, Hatch justly ignored Hahui.  He spoke to Shir.

“We checked up on it, and Skills won’t work on it.  It isn’t affected by physical attacks and magical attacks.  It might be the armor, but on the other hand, it could be some unknown skill granted to it by the Corrupted power. ”

The White-eyed knight sir Argardo.

The information about this NPC was pretty widespread.  Amongst the NPC knights in Warlord, it was considered to be in the top 10.  Of course, when the Immoral Prince was revealed to be Prince Dean, the battle with Argardo was inevitable.

It was a matter of when, where and how.  It was going to happen eventually.

Now everyone was aware of this fact.

“How is it compared to the Corrupted Count?”

“In an RPG game, the goblin that appears later in the game is much stronger then the dragon from the early portions of the game.  They aren’t even comparable.”

“Give me a more detailed explanation.”

“The knight’s close combat ability is on a whole different level compared to the monsters we’ve faced until now.  Do you mind if I speak a little bit more bluntly?”

“Speak.”

“In my opinion, the knight is better than the Queen.”

“You want to die?”

Hahui once again interrupted the conversation.

Hatch let out a sigh.

He had on an expression that said, ‘What do I have to do to make this bitch shut up?’

“What evidence do you have?”

Shir glanced at Hahui.  Hahui clamped her mouth shut, and at the same time, she pouted.

After seeing this, Hatch immediately opened his mouth.

“When facing this enemy, experience in PVP is much more important than Raid experience.  This is the Queen’s weakness.”

Shir nodded her head

It was true.  Shir was also strong at PVP. There weren’t that many people, who she considered to be her peer.  In a one on one fight, the number of Users that could confidently beat her could be counted on the fingers of her hand.  This was the case even if she searched through the entire User base of Warlord.

However, this didn’t mean she had a lot of experience of fighting one on one battles. In the first place, how many Users would try to PK her?  Even if one wanted to PK her, one would be cut down before one could even reach her.

Of course, this wasn’t a weakness that was only present in Shir.

“The problem is this weakness is present in most of the Strikers representing the 30 great guilds.”

The 30 great guild’s primary raid teams were mainly made out of Strikers.  They were called the stars of Warlord, and it was almost impossible for the normal Users to even meet them.  In other words, these particular Users had never had any harrowing experiences.

There was a lack of PVP experience, yet the battle with Argardo required competence in PVP. Even if one put aside the disparity in number, the outcome of this battle was hard to predict.  The Sweepers guild had deployed  their massive bombardment of magic skills, yet it hadn’t worked at all.

“If we can catch this bastard, the game will be set.”

Argardo was the perfect trophy.  The guild that kills it would be called the best for a good amount of time.

Hatch nodded his head.  There was a very slim chance for success, but they couldn’t avoid the battle with Argardo.  If one did avoid it, it would damage one’s reputation more so than losing to Argardo.

“I’ll go apply for the raid. We’ll be in the back of the queue, but we won’t have to worry about the order of queue.”

When Argardo was taken down, there would only be one thing left afterwards.

“Then we’ll get ready for the Immoral Prince raid.”

When one era comes to an end, one had to get ready for the new era.
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19 thoughts on “ESP: Chapter 126 – Agardo Raid (1)” - NO SPOILERS and NO CURSING

  1. Thanks for the chapter!
    “It was over 20 meters tall.” -> “They were over…”
    “The retaking of the castles was couple degrees harder than defending it. ” You need an “A” after was.
    “was put in an awkward spot.” -> “were put…”

    1. considering he was killing 1 mob a minute nonstop for probably 4~ish hours straight, i imagine a lot of the drops disappeared or were snatched by others

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