Chapter 384. The Witch's Forest's Suffering

Arth's largest community site, Arthtory, posted a certain video.


[The Witch of Annihilation, Helena vs. Testron's Swordsman, Jairus.]


Helena was one of the Numbers, while Jairus was a high ranker that had previously been one of them! This was a fight between two high caliber players, so it obviously drew people's attention. It was exciting enough to satisfy everyone's expectations. 

"Wow!"

Helena cast powerful elemental spells one after another, as if saying 'Being showy is what a mage is all about!'. Fire, water, wind, earth, lightning, ice, and illusion magic filled the air.

This is why she was considered the most powerful Mage player in Arth.

Nevertheless, Jairus fought well. His fighting style wasn't showy like hers, but he made no unnecessary movements, and he responded well with his skills.

"Jeez!"

"Holy crap!"

People watched in awe as Jairus attacked, showed his impeccable movements, and unleashed his trump cards.

However...!

The Numbers, one of the higher-ranked ones at that, proved to be too much for him. At some point, Helena's continuous bombardment completely overwhelmed him.

Her MP was bottomless. She cast one hit KOs repeatedly.

Jairus used everything at his disposal, but in the end, he was unable to defeat her.

Once his face landed in the dirt, the Cerberus Alliance member who'd been filming them was pushed out of the dungeon.


[The Cerberus Alliance's representative, Jairus, has lost the Sacred Duel.]

[As punishment, the Cerberus Alliance cannot enter Ecle Palace for a week.]


That ended the broadcast.

This video was only the start; the message boards were filled with posts regarding Ecle Palace and Helena.


[Ecle Palace belongs to Helena!]

[Helena - her overwhelming power!]

[Will her appearance stop the conflict?]

[Haahk, please take me, Helena Unni!]

...


Now that they knew that Helena was the dungeon's master, people wouldn't come for the Ecle Palace in droves anymore.

They saw the footage, didn't they? They saw how strong she was. Unless you were more powerful than her, defeating her was impossible.

And perhaps the mysterious scroll, which purportedly raised a skill/spell's rank by one, didn't even exist in the first place.


I'm not sure whether the mysterious scroll actually exists. 

This entire conflict came about because of the mysterious scroll, and its ability to increase the rank of a skill/spell.

However, no one has ever seen the scroll in person. Only the dungeon's master, Helena, knows whether it's fake or not.

However...! When I watched the fight between Ms. Helena and Mr. Jairus, I became sure that it was real.

Let me explain why.

Ms. Helena used fire, water, lightning, wind, earth, ice, and even illusion magic. And none of those spells were low ranked. 

Is it even possible for one person to learn this many spells? Especially when you consider how hard it is to increase your proficiency in Arth.

However, Ms. Helena showed us the possibilities! Of course, it isn't something just anyone can do. Why else would mages specialize in only one element? They do it because they can't increase every single element.

Then how exactly did Ms. Helena raise all those elemental spells to such a high level? 

You know what the answer is, right?

The mysterious scroll. If the mysterious scroll really does exist, then it explains Ms. Helena's proficiency in so many different spells.

Ultimately, Ms. Helena is proof that the mysterious scroll exists.


An anonymous player wrote that post. It wasn't just a belief shared by a small handful of players. 

People believed that Helena's unusual strength was due to the mysterious scroll, and they also believed that the mysterious scroll came from Ecle Palace.

Obviously, everyone wanted the mysterious scroll. It felt like they'd become as strong as Helena if they had that scroll.

However… It just wasn't possible!

You had to defeat the Witch of Annihilation in one-on-one combat. It would be different if you could use your numerical advantage against her, but the Sacred Duel prevented that.

Anyhow, someone posed this question on Arthtory.


[Is there anyone who can beat Helena?]


People's knee-jerk response was 'Emperor Dukeram'!

However, Dukeram and the Empire Guild were involved in the Arabas Kingdom's civil war. Which meant that Dukeram wouldn't be fighting Helena anytime soon.

Three other people were suggested. Numbers rank 3, Black Lion, Raon, Numbers rank 4, Predator Kang Oh, and Numbers rank 6, Bart!

They were all distinguished individuals that could fight Helena one-on-one, though the victor would be uncertain.

The Storm Guild's Spear King, Hernandez, was also suggested. However, most people thought he'd lose to Helena.

People deliberately didn't mention the Worst Criminal, Red. Although his strength was the real deal, people thought he was crazy or a psychopath. Not a single person wanted to involve themselves with him.

Steel Heart's leader, Arthand, was a Blacksmith, and Hercules Guild's leader, Shion, specialized more in healing and support than combat. Thus, the two weren't even mentioned.

Some players outside of the Numbers were suggested, such as the strongest female swordsman, Snow Flower, and a few other high rankers.

But not a lot of people thought they could take on Helena. There was a reason Arth's ranking system existed.

Ultimately, the only ones capable of stealing Ecle Palace from Helena was the 5 great guilds or the other Numbers.

However, the Empire Guild was busy with the Arabas Kingdom's civil war, and the other great guilds didn't act. Kang Oh, Bart, and Red didn't show their faces either.

It seemed like the matter was over and done with.

However… Something completely unexpected happened.

The Hercules Guild, which had been as quiet as a sleeping lion, declared war on the Witch's Forest Guild and initiated a guild war.

Of all guilds, the Witch's Forest!?

According to the Guild Bureau, the Witch's Forest was a friendship guild, which had, at most, 100 members.

Why were they attacking them?

People understood immediately.

When the Hercules Guild's elites surrounded the small, quiet city of Snowprim, something completely unexpected happened.

Blue Knight, Plum!

Wind Tracker, Dambi!

Guardian of the Forest, Yericka!

Plus...

Witch of Annihilation, Helena!

It was clear that the Witch's Forest was no simple friendship guild. And the Hercules Guild's target was clear.

"Whatever you do, make sure you catch Helena," Shion said firmly.

As people said, it was difficult to defeat Helena in a one-on-one fight. If that's the case, then they could just kill her again and again, weakening her, and then challenge her to a Sacred Duel. 

'We're good at stealing things. She's the perfect target to show how powerful our guild is.'

Helena didn't have a strong backer, so she was the best offering he could hope for; an offering that would allow him to fulfill his ambitions.

"Yes, sir!"

The Hercules Guild's elites engaged in battle. They had more than 1,000 members, whereas only 100 players came out of the Witch's Forest's headquarters.

"Hehe. Please don't forget that this information came from me." 

A fat man smiled wickedly from beside him. He was an information broker known for his misdeeds. Why? He did anything that made him money, that's why! In other words, he had no professional ethics.

Anyhow, he was the one who'd told Shion about Helena and the Witch's Forest.

"I'll be sure to pay you handsomely," Shion said.

"Hehe, thank you."

"We're fighting right now, so leave."

"Yes, sir."

The guild war between the Witch's Forest and the Hercules Guild should've been one-sided. However, the Witch's Forest held on. Dambi, Yericka, Plum, etc. did particularly amazing.

Helena, who was being supplied MP via Mana Link, was akin to a raid boss, as she used both Double Casting and Overload. She would burn them to a crisp with her fire or lightning magic, trap them with water or wind magic, or bury them with her earth magic.

However, she couldn't turn the tide of an inevitably lost battle. 

Setinel's Sage, Shion, intervened, casting healing spells and various Druid spells. By doing so, he reduced the destructiveness of Helena's spells. 

The members of the Witch's Forest began falling one or two at a time. One of them was a golden haired female knight with a lithe body. She saw an arrow flying at her and closed her eyes.

'Oppa!'

Thwock.

A black arrowhead went in-between her half broken armor and pierced through her heart. Her face turned ashen and she fell to the floor.

Helena, who fought till the bitter end, silently stared at the Hercules Guild and its leader, Shion. She didn't stop casting spells until her HP and MP were fully depleted. Helena pledged to kill as many of them as possible.

Ultimately, Helena killed dozens more before her MP ran out. 

Only then did Shion stand before her. He raised his staff, and a hideous carnivorous plant popped out from beneath her and consumed her in a single bite.

"Stop!" At his command, the carnivorous plant stopped. 

"Let me give you an offer. If you don't want to die, then give me ownership of Ecle Palace. If you don't, then I'll keep killing you. You and your guild members," Shion said cruelly.

"Kill me," Helena said, sporting a cold expression.

"You'll regret saying that."

Helena just laughed. "Are you shooting a film or something? Stop goofing around. Shut up and kill me already."

"Kill her!" The carnivorous plant immediately devoured her.

At that moment...

The carnivorous plant radiated intense light, and began ripping apart.

"This is..."

"Run away!"

Shion, who'd sensed danger, urgently ordered his troops to retreat. However, it was already too late.

When the Hercules Guild had come knocking, Helena knew she wouldn't be able to avoid death. Thus, she cast a certain spell on herself.

The Spell of Ruin!

It was a self-destruct spell, one that would create a massive explosion upon her death! It cost her five levels to use this spell, but its power was undeniable.

Boom!

It resulted in a massive explosion and a huge barrage of light! 

Protecting oneself or evading it was impossible.

That day...!

Half of the Hercules Guild's elites were killed. When they took into consideration the experience, proficiency, and the -10% debuff, all of which wouldn't allow them to fight at their best... The losses they took were way too heavy.

"Uaaahk!" 'Transmigration of Souls' was a secret Sage skill that would allow the user to revive oneself or someone else after death. Shion, who'd used this skill on himself, looked at the giant crater and yelled in rage. 

The massive explosion hadn't even left behind his guild members' corpses.

They had annihilated the Witch's Forest, but could this really be considered a win in their book? They had more than 1,000 elites against only 100 guild members. The Hercules Guild had taken way more damage.

Moreover...!

They had harmed someone they shouldn't have.

At the moment, they had absolutely no idea how screwed they were.

* * *

- Oppa, I got killed by the Hercules Guild. They destroyed our headquarters too. T_T

When he saw her message, he suddenly stood up.

"What!?" His eyes were filled with rage.

- I wouldn't usually ask you for help, but the Hercules Guild says they're going to make us miserable. They even threatened to kill the guildmaster again and again. Please help.

Kang Oh immediately sent her a message back.

- Leave it to me.

'How dare you attack my Soo Ah!?'

Grr.

Kang Oh gritted his teeth, sporting a fearsome, goosebump-inducing face. 

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