Chapter 169 – King’s Tomb (2)
The corridor was so well made that it was hard to call it a tunnel within a cave. There were checkered tiles on the ground akin to go boards. There was not a single tile out of place, and the surface of the walls in the semicircular tunnel was decorated with beautiful patterns.
It was a tunnel befitting a tomb of a king.
This was the last path traveled by a king. This was why this tunnel possessed extravagance, and it gave off a feeling of stately dignity.
[The Guardians, who guard the King's Tomb, is approaching you.]
The King's Tomb didn't allow anyone to enter it except for the king. It didn't look kindly to intruders.
Accompanying the System Announcement, soldiers made out of clay started to appear from the other side of the tunnel. They kept in formation as they marched forward.
The sounds of their feet moving in sync was heard. They marched towards the intruder, who had decided to interfere with the king's eternal sleep.
There were a lot of them. As expected of a road made for a king, the tunnel was large enough for 10 people to stand abreast of each other with their hands extended.. However, the clay soldiers made this tunnel feel cramped.
Twelves soldiers stood abreast of each other. Moreover, Hyrkan couldn't see the end of the line.
The only thing he was sure about was the fact that they numbered in the hundreds.
It was an incredibly large army.
Just imagining such a large army marching against oneself was enough to make anyone feel faint. Moreover, it was hard to even come up with a strategy to deal with such a large army. However, in such a situation, the User decided to charge forward.
One could hear steps that were out of sync with the sound of footsteps made by several hundred clay soldiers marching together.
The sound of nimble footsteps could be heard.
The sound of the running footsteps and the slow marching footsteps alternated with each other.
In the middle of the alternating sounds, the sound of the air being split was heard.
Then the sound of something solid being cut was heard.
These sounds were heard in succession, and afterwards, the sound of something hard being hit was heard.
It was the start to the battle.
The battle started out in a noble fashion. A User threw his body towards a tunnel filled with several hundred Clay Soldiers.
Wasn't this something that couldn't be done unless one had guts and a gallant spirit?
However, the result of such a gallant move wasn't that great. He was like a bulldozer. He sliced through the Clay Soldiers in front of him like tofu. He cut through everything without hesitation.
However, at some point, his gallant spirit couldn't overcome everything. He had charged straight into ranks of the endless Clay Soldiers, and now he was surrounded.
The User was surrounded, and his headlong charge had come to a stop. Sharp swords were flying towards him at all sides, and the User displayed his ability.
The User had been in a desperately dangerous situation, and he could expect no outside help. The User had to solve the problem through his own power.
The unceasing sounds of swords clashing was heard, and at that moment, the User stabbed a sword into the ground.
The sword planted into the ground melted as it fountained forth liquid steel. The amount of liquid steel was much more than the amount making up the sword. It was an incredible amount.
The liquid steel, which poured out from the sword, didn't merely wet the floor. It started to overflow.
[Iron Golem was summoned.]
The overflowing liquid steel quickly formed into a 4 meter tall body. It turned into an enormous Golem made out of steel.
The Iron Golem appeared, and it immediately clogged the tunnel.
The Iron Golem hardened in place as it became a wall blocking the tunnel.
From the other side of the Iron Golem, one could hear the sound of swords being brought down in an attempt to destroy the Iron Golem. However, they could only attempt it. The Iron Golem didn't even let out a cry, and it didn't allow the monsters to wound its body easily.
The Users, who had been fighting solo, put his back against the Iron Golem.
He was finally able to let out a sigh. As the User let out a sight, the corner of Hyrkan's mouth lifted.
Hyrkan immediately flicked his fingers. From where Hyrkan had come from, a group suddenly appeared.
The Death Knight stood in front of the group. It was followed by two Skeleton Knights and 10 Skeleton Warriors!
When the enemies appeared in the rear, a portion of the Clay Soldiers stopped pointing their swords toward Hyrkan, and they quickly turned towards the new group.
When he saw this sight, he regripped his Deposed Prince's Sword as he got ready to attack again.
‘I've been reaping only the benefits for awhile now. I guess I’ll have to cough up some of it back now.’
When he entered the King's Tomb, he had waited for the guardians called the Clay Soldiers to show up.
It was a monster that appeared in the Ruined Kingdom episode. They were quite similar in nature to the Skeleton Warriors under his command. A fixed amount of damage was recovered as time progressed, and they didn't have a particular weakness that could be exploited. One had to give cumulative damage to kill it. It also had a pretty good Battle AI, and most importantly, they moved in a group numbering in the hundreds.
When he saw that the Clay Soldiers were his opponents, Hyrkan immediately came up with a battle scenario.
The plan he was carrying out right now was that exact scenario.
Hyrkan had waded into the unknown number of Clay Soldiers, and he had summoned the Iron Golem to make a wall. Then the Iron Golem was used to eliminate the divided forces of his enemies!
However, it was too inefficient to leave everything to his Skeleton underlings and the Golem.
Moreover, his Skeleton underlings were too unreserved in their attacks. His Skeleton underlings resembled Hyrkan, who had charged headlong into the ranks of the enemies.
At first, the Skeleton Warriors would be able to crush their enemies. However, the problem occurred afterwards. The Clay Soldiers would regain their original form in short order just like the Skeleton underlings!
If they weren't careful, the Skeleton underlings would be surrounded by the Clay Soldiers.
After being surrounded, his Skeleton underlings would put up a good fight. However, his magical energy would be the cost of letting such a frantic struggle occur.
He didn't know when this battle would end. However, if his magical energy bottomed out, it would be Hyrkan's defeat.
This was why he chose this method. He wanted a more efficient, logical and wise battle tactic.
Of course, this would be hard. The Clay Soldier’s combat ability didn't reflect their crude appearance. The swords were swung in a powerful and an intelligent manner. They didn't mindlessly hack and slash their opponents. When one stabbed, the others predicted how the enemy would respond. Then the other Clay Soldiers in line would stab their swords towards this predicted location with a bit of a time lag.
Usually, the prospect of being surrounded by the group of Clay Soldiers as a Striker would give one chills and nausea.
However, at that moment, Hyrkan had a smile on his face.
‘This fucking game.’
It was difficult. It was arduous. It was annoying.
‘Well, it is very Warlord-like.’
This was why it was fun.
It had always been like this. This was the reason why Hyrkan found Warlord fun, and this was also the reason why he kept playing it. If he couldn't feel such enjoyment from playing it, Hyrkan wouldn't have even bothered to start playing Warlord.
Hyrkan patted the Iron Golem’s body, which had become the strongest wall. Then he charged towards the Clay Soldiers.
The very extravagant and clean tunnel leading to the tomb was filled with dirt. It was quite dirty.
It was the remains leftover when one thousand Clay Soldiers were killed.
Hyrkan looked unsightly as he had just finished fighting a thousand Clay Soldiers. The Argardo’s armor named the Dark Spot set boasted incredible defense, yet there were clear scratches on the armor. Some parts were broken, and other parts were smashed. It was evidence showing how fierce this battle had been.
[You are short on magical energy. The 'Undying' Skill's effect is gone.]
When he stopped taking the consumable Items, his magic immediately bottomed out. He had been barely able to maintain his magical energy thanks to the recovery Items. This was a battle where he had reached his limit.
‘This is the first time, since the Anugas Raid, where I might have died.’
Hyrkan had several near death experiences as he faced powerful monsters. Argardo, Immoral Prince, Frost Knight, Anugas....
These were unfathomable existences, and it wouldn't have been strange to see Hyrkan die at any of their hands.
However, he had almost experienced death by the sheer number of his enemies right now. It had been a while since he experienced such a thing.
‘The difficulty of the game is higher than expected.’
In truth, Hyrkan hadn't realized the King's Tomb had such a high difficulty setting.
The difficulty was higher than expected, and he had bled more than expected.
‘I used up the consumable Items at twice the expected rate.’
When Hyrkan talked about bleeding, he was referring to his consumption of the consumable Items. Moreover, he had been in constant battle was 20 days, so he had a low stock of good consumable Items.
‘No matter what, I have to go back after this.’
With the amount of consumable Items left, he would be able to conduct one more battle such as this one.
Still, Hyrkan could calculate the use of his consumable Items as a bleed rather than a critical wound.
‘This was possible, because it was me. A decent party of 10 to 20 members would have never been able to break through this place.’
If it was a party of normal Users, over half their numbers would have experienced Game Over.
Hyrkan was astonished by the difficulty of the game.
At the same time, he was satisfied with it.
‘Yes. It is possible, because I’m me.’
From Hyrkan's perspective, the King's Tomb had been one of most difficult locations in terms of difficulty. The crux of the difficulty was the fact that this stage was meant to be overcome with the cooperation of numerous Users. On the other hand, the reward should reflect this difficulty.
Since he had cleared this place by himself, Hyrkan was well qualified to take the rewards for himself.
‘Yes. I’ll monopolize this place.’
He was qualified to be able to reap the numerous rewards by himself.
‘This is a King's Tomb. Of course, there will be more here. At the very least, it should have a Unique Rank Item set. Moreover, there should be two to three scrolls of Ancient Power. They are making the User go through such hardship. There is no way a single Skill Book would be given as a Quest Reward.’
Hyrkan smiled as he put the Golden Conch to his ear. At that moment, the Golden Conch started speaking again.
The Golden Conch gave the direction, and Hyrkan moved with a Skeleton Warrior in front of him. The Death Knight followed behind Hyrkan, and the rest of the Skeleton Underlings followed the Death Knight as if it was the mother duck.
How long did they walk for?
The tunnel came to an end, and a large space was revealed. In the large space, there was a single altar. Moreover, there were 4 entrances with the altar at its center, and Hyrkan had exited from one of these entrances.
[You've completed ‘Trace of Bokan’ Quest.]
At that moment, he heard the Announcement telling him he had completed the Quest.
The Quest had come to an end, and he had to go back to report what he had found. If he went back to Ahimbree, he would be able to get the reward.
However, Hyrkan wasn't satisfied with such a result.
Wasn't this the King's Tomb? This incredible tomb was made for a king. The king wouldn’t have been sent to his grave empty handed. At the very least, they would have filled the tomb with gold and gems as a sign of respect.
No, he was sure of this fact.
‘This can't be the end. There has to be something more to this.’
Hyrkan once again put the Golden Conch to his ear.
- I've discovered the tomb of a king. I don't know which king is buried here, but there are signs that indicate that this king had fought against the Dragon's Army.
At that moment, the Golden Conch started to tell a long story unlike before.
‘Yes. There is no way this could be the end.’
Hyrkan listened carefully.
- This was why I believed everything within this place would be of help in facing the Dragon’s Army. I sent everything within this place to the great Blacksmith Olf.
As he heard the story, Hyrkan's expression crumpled.
- New heroes will emerge, and I tasked him to make equipments for those that will fill face the Dragon’s Army in the future. I also gave him a key I found here for safekeeping.
The story ended there.
Hyrkan detached the Golden Conch from his ear, then he shook it couple times before putting it next to his ear again.
- I've discovered the tomb....
When the same message started to flow out, Hyrkan let out a shout.
“For real? Fuck!”
According to Bokan’s story, the King’s Tomb had been filled with incredible Items as expected of a resting place for a king. However, Archmage Bokan had decided to send all the Items here, so it could be converted into Items that’ll be used to fight the Dragon’s Army. It was all sent to the Blacksmith Olf. This was the gist of the story.
Basically, there was nothing to be gained here. Everything worth having here had been given to the care of the Blacksmith Olf.
At that moment, Hyrkan was so mad that he was having a hard time expressing his anger.
At that moment, Hyrkan heard a new System Announcement in his ears.
[Quest ‘Ancient King’s Artifact’ is starting.]
[Quest ‘Ancient King’s Test’ has started.]
[The king’s Guardian Knights are starting to move.]
As if it had been waiting for the Announcement, the King’s Tomb rumbled as if it was about to collapse. At that moment, Hyrkan remembered the large statue of knights decorating the entrance of cave.
Moreover, the scene of him fighting these enormous sculptures of knights popped up within his head.
‘It seems all my bad imaginations comes to pass.’
Hyrkan’s instinct regarding this point was quite good.
“Thank you for your hard work..”
“Thank you for your hard work.!”
“Good job, everyone!”
The words of encouragement was heard coming out from various sources. These messages were also the signal that notified the battle had come to an end. It also told the other Users that they could relax and they could take a break.
However, not all members could relax and rest. It was the opposite. Some Users ramped up their activities.
“Did you see the mural?”
“We've recorded everything.”
“What about the hidden room?”
“We are exhausting all methods to research it.”
“Don't miss a single clue. Even if you have to work overtime, I want you to be thorough.”
Natal had participated in the battle, and he had performed very well. It wouldn’t be shocking if he fell over from exhaustion, yet he was also bustling into action.
This place was a ruin called the Tomb of the Heroes, and he was looking over the footage regarding the mural.
‘We've finally found a clue that'll give us the big picture regarding this Main Scenario Quest.’
Usually, the Hydra guild moved faster through the Main Scenario Quest compared to the other guilds.
However, this wasn't true in the third Main Scenario Quest. They had a very late start. This was why they didn't have the time to rest, and they couldn't afford any mistakes.
‘We need to see the big picture. That’s important.’
Most Users would have ignored the murals, but Natal would put his brain to work to find clues.
- Natal-nim! There is a mural on the ceiling. You should have a look at it.
One of the Users investigating the Ruin called out to Natal. Natal immediately headed towards the User. Natal arrived at a room.
There was a memorial stone in the middle of the room.
The User, who called Natal over, pointed towards the ceiling over the memorial stone.
As he had indicated, there was a mural on the ceiling.
The mural's content was quite simple.
The mural was divided in half.
On one side, there was an enormous Dragon, and there were all kinds of monsters in front of the Dragon.
The monsters were staring towards the other half of the mural where a castle was present. There were numerous humans gathered in front of the castle with their weapons raised . Moreover, five warriors, who were letting out various Aurae, stood in front of the army.
When he saw the content of the mural, Natal spoke in a low voice.
“I’m not sure on anything else, but I’m sure our final enemy will be the Dragon’s Army.”
“Nothing. I was talking to myself. First, let’s take footage of the mural then the memorial stone… Could you try lifting it?”
“Ah. I'm a Priest. My Strength stat is....”
“Hurry up and call in a Striker. After we finish our work…. Let’s destroy all the murals as a precaution.”
After the conversation, a bitter laugh came out of Natal.
‘It seems it won't be long before Warlord reverts into being a normal game like all the other games on the market.’Previous Chapter Next Chapter