Chapter 124 - Power of Wealth (2)
The high and mighty walls of the Shezga castle came into the view of the Corrupted army. They maintained a singular focus on their task.
It had been 100 minutes since the Corrupted army had entered into its Siege mode. If this pace was kept up, there would only be 20 minutes left until they arrived. The monsters of Corrupted army would use their weapons to knock roughly against the castle gate and walls.
On one hand, there was still a long distance between the Corrupted army and the castle walls. They were moving fast, but they weren't running. They were walking, so the distance they could cover in 20 minutes wasn't that large.
This was why the Corrupted army urged their feet to move faster. Their foot speed was slowly increasing. If they had been taking 10 steps, they had increased their pace to take 12 to 13 steps.
There was no obstacles that could stop them, and there was increased power behind their charge. The sound of the ground shaking was getting louder, and the force they were pushing forward with got stronger. They were like a living bulldozer. They were shoving everything out of their way. After they plowed up everything in front of them, they trampled everything to finish the deed.
If this scene was seen from the front, it would be a terrifying sight. For example, this was like a person standing in the middle of a train track built to connect two cliffs. The train was coming towards the person standing on the track, and it was making a lot of noise.
Moreover, this wasn’t a normal dizziness. It was a dizziness that threatened to swallow the kaleidoscope of thoughts that was in one's head. This dizziness completely filled one's mind.
There were times when a tragedy close at hand might seem comedic from afar.
The Corrupted army was a symbol representing tragedy.
A person looking from afar would liken the army to this description right now.
It was like a wild animal running crazily as if its tail was on fire!
As the figure of speech implied, the Corrupted army's tail was on fire, and it wasn't a pretty sight.
The most eye catching part was the grisly sight of monster corpses strewn about behind the Corrupted army. The corpses hadn't been disassembled, and they hadn't melted yet. The irrefutable evidence of the grisly process of the killing was on full display.
The next eye-catching part was a group of monsters dressed in similar gears. They were devastating the members of the Corrupted army. These monsters all wore similar armors, and they looked as if they had some kind of a dress code. The difference in terms of power was apparent between the two groups. The difference in power made the horde that symbolized tragedy to look almost comedic.
‘Six Bone Explosives and 3 Skeleton Warriors are needed for the Corrupted Armor Orc.’
The one directing this comedy was Hyrkan.
The size of the bag containing his Bone Explosives had noticeably decreased in size. After he took out three Bone Explosive, he threw it towards a Corrupted Armor Orc. The Bone Explosives crumpled the Orc's armor. The dishevelled Orc put on a rage-filled expression as it turned to charge towards Hyrkan.
Hyrkan gave the signal to three Skeleton Warriors, who had just arrived after finishing their battle. The Skeleton Warriors had just recovered from a broken knee, ribs and shoulders. They followed their owner's orders as they ran in towards Orc.
Hyrkan didn't watch the battle.
This was the reason why he couldn't recall any memorable battle scenes from this protracted battle. The only scene he remembered was himself throwing the Bone Explosives. Basically, he remembered a variation of the same scene as if a camera was taking multiple shots at once.
Instead, Hyrkan remembered a number.
It had been 10 minutes since the battle had started, and he had caught 118 Corrupted Monsters. There were over a thousand of them, and the the number was closer to being two thousand. The number of monsters he had killed was like a thorn in the Corrupted Army's side.
Hyrkan broke down the battle into numerical figures. He felt this approach left much to be desired.
‘Corrupted Werewolf. Use 6 Bone Explosives, and dispatch the Skeleton Knight.'
He was like a finely tuned machine.
He honed in on a target, and he used just the right number of Bone Explosives to crush the armor. After he finished acquiring aggro and armor breaking, he dispatched the right amount of force needed to take down the monster.
This type of battle gave off a little bit of a different feeling than the any of the battles from before.
‘The cool time of the Curses has been reset. I should get ready.’
He calculated the cool time of all his skills, and he put the right number of underlings in the right locations. The way he was conducting the battle was possible not because of his experience or intuition.
Moreover, it wasn't as if Hyrkan stood back as he commanded.
He stepped in when there was an emergency. If he determined his underling was about to be killed, he didn't hesitate to step forward.
This was the exact situation he was in. A Kobold has swung its hammer, and it had destroyed the knee of a Skeleton Warrior. The Skeleton Warrior fell in place, and the Kobold's hammer was about to fall like thunder on top its head. Hyrkan was already next to the Kobold as he used Body Slam with his sword placed right in front of him. He sent the Kobold flying.
He had a powerful weapon called the Black Kobold King's Sword. For this battle, he looked the other way as he purchased the weapon for a slightly higher price than its usual market price. The weapon, which he had paid a hefty sum, pierced through the Kobold's armor and skin.
He carried the Skeleton Warrior on his back, since it hadn't recovered for its injury yet.
The magical energy consumed in repairing the Skeleton Warriors wasn't a problem. However, if a Skeleton Warrior was destroyed, there was a cool time before it could be re-summoned. This was why Hyrkan had stepped forward.
It was very hard to participate in a battle, and think at the same time.
Furthermore, the situation on the battlefield changed a lot when Hyrkan participated in the battle field. Every move he made required a new calculation, and Hyrkan was able to quickly carry out the calculation. Hyrkan would survey the battlefield, and he was able to finish his calculation based on this information.
It was an incredible feat.
Moreover, it was something very unusual.
So what made Hyrkan different from the normal Users? Moreover, why did this difference allow him give an effort of 120%?
‘I have to get my money's worth. No matter what...’
Of course, the answer was very simple.
In life, a person's voice was an incredibly important tool. On a brutal stage like a war, if one's voice couldn't reach other's ears easily, it would lose its worth. This was why people used other tools in battle. They used tools like horns or drums that mimicked the rising heart rate of men to communicate.
However, there was a tool that was worth more than one's voice in Warlord.
“What's the current status of Team 8 and Team 9?”
- Team 9 is on standby.
- Team 8 is on standby.
Warlord allowed the use of this endlessly useful program. It was able to transmit one's voice in the midst of the very loud and bone chilling sounds of battle. Its worth as a tool was highlighted in battle.
“It is up to the discretion of Team 9 and Team 8 to join the battle. Aside from Team 1 to 5, the rest of the teams will move after Team 8 and Team 9 moves.”
Big K spoke as he looked forward.
‘They are finally here.’
It would be false to say the Corrupted army was far away. One could now see the advancing corrupted army.
Big Kay was part of the team that'll defend the region in the front.
of course, this sector was the hardest to defend. It was a stage where everyone didn't want to be, and at the same time, it was the region that required the most skilled Users. Since this stage held such significance, Big K was put in charge of this stage. He’ll also have the final say in what happened.
In truth, Big K didn't want to be in charge of this stage. If it wasn't for the orders from Red Bulls, he would have used the tips disseminated to everyone by the Hahoe Mask to hunt. He would have been out there doing the Gnawing method.
This was one of the reasons why Big K let out a sigh with the battle in sight.
‘Jeez. What kind of a game...’
Red Bulls didn't allow guild members to join the great battle as representatives of the guild. They were allowed to join as individuals.
The guilds were looking at the big picture. Several big factor were preventing them from participating in the great battle in earnest. However, none of the 30 great guilds had given up on the great battle. Naturally, they expected a time to come when they would have to enter into the fray in earnest. This was why the 30 great guilds were doing advanced work.
There were two tasks they were trying to accomplish.
Goodwill. The guild members had to unhesitatingly do the dirty work as individuals. This will naturally build the trust of the Users.
Experience. While they were doing the hard work, they would gain more experience compared to the Users, who only did the easy work. This was a given.
On top of it all, the two tasks were also a measuring stick for the guilds. Every company had to choose people, who had the potential to move up in the corporate structure. One had to separate out the elite amongst the workers that had just entered. After separating out the elites, these Users had to mature and be tested on a special stage. This was such a task for Big K. There was no reason why he should feel bad about it. If his results were good, he would move into the 1.5 Raid team at the end of the great battle. This was where the flower of the Red Bulls guild was placed. He would be placed in a rank that would give him a lot of face.
Of course, he felt pressure. A test was a test. Currently, several dozen Users like Big K was spread across Warlord. Seeds were spread far and wide. The ones that grew the best would be place where there would be most light.
If he couldn’t take root in the stage called the great battle, he’ll be returned to the dirt. Even if he was able to germinate and sprout, he wouldn’t be picked if his stem thin, his roots weren’t deep, and his leaves were dry. He wouldn’t be pick, and he would have to wait for the next opportunity.
He had to do well.
No, he had to do better than everyone else.
This was why Big K was having a hard time forgetting about the Hahoe Mask. No matter how he thought about it, he felt as if the existence of the Hahoe Mask would give him a chance.
Of course, while Big K was thinking this through inside his head, the battle started. The battle couldn’t be delayed.
The Tankers linked shields to make a concave battle line, and the priests stood behind that line. The magicians were lined up behind the priests. The group leader, who directed the battle, was behind the line of magician. This was the Centurion.
They had created a crescent-shaped line, and the armored monsters with pitch black eyes swarmed against it.
Kwah-ahng, kwah-ahng, kwahng!
The monsters tirelessly banged against the shields, and the power of the monsters' weapons were incredible. The blunt weapons crushed the shields, and the sharp weapons ripped through the shields. The Tankers had placed their shield in front of them, and the shields were losing their luster as it turned unsightly.
Of course, there were few shields that still held its dignified appearance as it shone against the fierce attacks.
The Tankers next to the owners of the shields made comments towards them.
“The Albino Beetle Shield is amazing.”
“Unique Items are quite something.”
The owner of the shield spoke with a proud smile on his face.
“This is why people use all their money to gain this type of Items. Instead of buying three mediocre shields, it is better to just buy one good shield.”
“You whined when you bought that shield. You said you regretted buying that....”
These three Users proved they could joke around even in a tight battle.
- Casting complete!
While this was going on, the magicians started whispering into the Centurion's ears that their casting was complete.
One, two, three…… When he counted to ten, the Centurion raised his voice.
“Ready the magic bombardment!”
The sound increased the nervousness felt by everyone.
The ones who were the most nervous were the Tankers. Explosions will be going off in front of their shield. The powerful magical spells would start to destroy the monsters, and the after effects would spread to the surrounding. This was worse than taking a fragments from a grenade. The monsters, who were attacking would trip, fall or be pushed back. The strength that emerged from this process would be enormous. Any living organism displayed its strongest power in its struggle to live.
‘There is no way I'll make a Tanker ever again.’
‘I have to do all hard work. It is the best to be a healer.’
When the Tanker's nervousness passed, the priests prepared themselves.
“Fire the magic!”
Ten magicians threw various magical spells as they synchronized with the Centurion's signal. They threw it over the line as the magical spells fell on the head of the monsters.
The first spells to take effect was the electricity magic. Two lightning marbles fell on the head of the monsters, and the electricity was discharged.
Armor was useless against electric discharge. Some parts of the armors acted like lightning rods as it took in the electricity.
The monsters let out a roar as they took in the electrical discharge.
As this attack was taking effect, two fire marbles fell on the floor.
Each fire marble created a sea of fire about 330 meters in size. Its immediate damage wasn't that high, but it damaged the monsters over time. It was the strongest Persistent spell available. It was the most useful magic when maintaining a face to face confrontation.
Ice was synonymous with magic in Warlord, and it wasn't missing from the party. One Ice marble fell to the floor.
It broke against the floor.
After it broke open, the Ice Fog that was filling the marble started to spread to a wide area. The fog disappeared as fast as it had appeared. However, when the fog disappeared,it left behind completely frozen monsters. There were only ice statues left.
The ones to break the ice statues were the nearby monsters. The monsters didn't hesitate to trample over their comrades. The frozen monsters were broken completely like glass or they were broken in piecemeal. However, there were almost no traces left when the heavy footsteps of the monsters trampled over the broken pieces.
A mayhem ensued, and this mayhem was pounding against the Tankers. The Tankers yelled out with their shields in front of them.
“Someone sing me a song!”
Even now they were cracking jokes.
However, there was a place where jokes weren't forthcoming.
- Team 10 has fallen!
It was a one-sided communication given to Big K as a report. They weren't asking for help. They were just telling others that their work was done, and they'll be high tailing it out of there. It was a missive that expressed support to the rest of the teams left.
Big K didn't get angry at those words. It would be great if they could all enjoy the battle as they laughed. However, even if all the troops of the 30 great guilds were sent in, Users would still suffer Game Overs. This will make the Users drink alcohol for 48 hrs. Tragedy happened no matter what work you did in this world.
Moreover, one couldn’t feel anger or relief at such news.
- You did well Team 10.
- Please get ready for the next battle.
He decided they should stay to defend their region. It was the right answer to leave alone the location of the breach. If they split apart their forces to patch up the breach, a lot of Users will suffer Game Overs. They'll receive a long reflection period of 48 hours. This had been proven time and time again in other battles. The report card on this strategy was dismal. It would be stupid to follow the same failing formula again.
At that moment, Big K assessed their chance of winning.
‘It's been 10 minutes since the battle started yet the Corrupted Army broke through one place.’
The pace wasn't that great. The fact that they hadn't been able to hold out for 10 minutes wasn't the important part. The fact that they couldn't last 10 minutes meant that they weren't able to kill many monsters.
There were only 1000 Users gathered at the Shezga castle, and the defeat was already preordained before the battle even started. It was clear that they'll have to do the street battles soon.
Basically, this was a long-drawn-out battle. There was the outside of the castle, castle gate and inside the castle. These were the three stages where battles would be fought. Of course, every monster one kills in the earlier stage meant it would be a boon in this protracted battle.
‘As expected, we can't do this.’
They had taken down far less than expected. This was why the probability of victory was lowered in Big K's head.
It happened at that moment...
- This is Team 11.
Team 11 contacted him.
Team 11 and Team 12 held slightly different roles than the other teams. These were the Users with styles that was was least useful in the great battle. It was a group made out of Strikers. Instead of exchanging blows, these teams were made out of Users adept at doing hit and run attacks.
“What is it Team 11?
These teams had been in charge of carrying out the Gnawing method.
If they weren't careful, these were the teams that would suffer catastrophic accidents like Team 10. Since they were doing a hit and run, there was no way they would be annihilated. Of course, they were also the teams that spoke the least on Voice Talk. When someone who rarely speaks says something, there was more weight to their words.
Moreover, the content of the words also added to the weight of the words being spoken.
- The Hahoe Mask is active in the rear of the the Corrupted Army. What should we do?
At the Team 11 Centurion's words, it was as if a well full of frogs were croaking at the same time.
- Wow! The Hahoe Mask is really at the rear?
- I thought he left after throwing couple Bone Explosives. Was he perhaps been at the rear this whole time?
- Wow. The Hahoe Mask is really a crazy dude. Was he just on the tail? Or was he fighting the whole time?
Voices were coming from every avenue, and it almost made Big K lose his mind. It didn't matter for others if people kept speaking. However, it was Big K's job to hear everyone out. He had to parse through even the meaningless words. There was nothing more annoying than to have a job where one has to listen to garbage.
In the end, Big K spoke a word.
- How many monsters did the Hahoe Mask.... Ah. I'm sorry.
When one person stepped up to act as an inquisitor, it extinguished the fired that had roiled the atmosphere.
Big K spoke again when the atmosphere had settled down.
“So how many did the Hahoe Mask take down?”
He had spoken in a manner that was akin to how an inquisitor spoke.
A laughter leaked out of the Voice Talk. Since Big K didn't know the reason behind the laughter, he wasn't in a good mood. It was quite fortunate that the others couldn't see his expression. A small relief bloomed in his chest from the fact that this wasn't a video chat.
Fortunately, the Centurion of Team 11 was a man of few words, and he hadn't been carried along by the atmosphere of others. He answered in a calm fashion.
- The number I witnessed is 11. He is catching one per minute. It's been 110 minute since the Corrupted Army went into its Siege mode. If he had maintained this pace, at the very least, he would have caught over a hundred of them.
At those words, the frogs could no longer croak.Previous Chapter Next Chapter