Book 2 Chapter 29 - Fortress Defense (1)

“Good work everyone”

Isaac proclaimed as he activated the Guard Tower near the Temple.

It was their second one now. Although the road here had been harder than expected, they had been able to pull through because he had his Frost Sword Ranghilt.

Sir Colton will take charge in my stead, while I return to the Fortress to handle some matters.

“Yes, Prince”

A middle aged man in plate armor bowed his head politely.

Isaac placed his hand on his shoulder.

“I told you not to call me that over here, just Master will do.”

Isaac didn’t want others to know that he was British royalty. It would be fine if it were Brits that found out, but there group had people from all nationalities, so he didn’t want any conflicts.

Their numbers kept decreasing, so he had to maintain his image as a leader to keep up morale.

‘Maybe I can become a legend like King Arthur.’

No dream was unachievable so long as he had Ranghilt with him, a Magic Sword that grew along with its user.

It was so powerful that it was likely a match for Excalibur, and its appearance was quite mysterious, making it good to attract followers.

‘I was chosen by this sword.’

Upon arriving on Paradise Lost, they had taken a short break. Suddenly the sword had risen to the surface. After ruthless internal fight over it, he had been the one to claim ownership.

As he imagined himself sitting at a round table, surrounded by his knights, Issac pulled out a Teleport Scroll.

He wanted to check the map to see what region had been occupied.

‘No big changes as of yet.’

The color of the Guard Towers were updated in real time, marking which team had captured what.

Blue represented meant that they had been occupied by the Blue Faction, while Red was for their side. If it was grey, that meant Neutral.

The Guard Towers had been designated as indestructible by the system, so it had to be one of those colors.

‘I should push Samuel a bit more.’

All of their paths had secured two Guard Towers, whereas his side had only done one.

They still had the advantage since the enemy camp so far had only activated two along the middle path. Still he felt it was necessary to push Samuel a bit, just as a means to exert his dominance.

After placing the Teleport Scroll back in his pouch, Isaac reappeared back in the Fortress using a Return Stone.

Upon his return, several leaders came up to greet him.

“Mr. Isaac, you are back.”

“We’ve been waiting for you.”

Every day it was Isaac that was in charge of distributing the supplies, so the other leaders would constantly suck up to him.

The de facto Commander in Chief. With the leadership he had shown over the past few days, his position was more or less secure.

“Hello all, the meeting will go on as usual. Let’s first make sure everyone is here…”

As Isaac looked around, he stopped at one person with a surprised expression. Someone he hadn’t been expecting was among them.

‘Chun Woohyuk, so you’re still alive.’

Since the first day, he hadn’t once seen him. Up until a few hours ago he had thought him dead.

‘How did he manage to score First Blood?’

He couldn’t believe that he had achieved that with only 10 subordinates. There must be some secret behind this.

Isaac decided to first hear his story.

“Mr Chun Woohyuk, we’ve all been very worried about you. So you’ve made contact with the Blue faction recently, did you suffer many casualties?”

“None.”

A clear and concise answer.

Isaac’s face turned into a frown.

‘Did he really not take any casualties?’

Even from his own group, thirteen people had lost their lives despite him being the one leading them.

Being tricked by Dopplegangers, the Swamp terrain, killed by Lizardmen….

At every twist and turn they had encountered countless difficulties, so he couldn’t help but think Woohyuk was lying.

“Accurate information is necessary for us to plan properly in the future, so please tell us the truth. I understand that it might be hard, but all of us have suffered.”

“It’s the truth.”

Woohyuk’s confirmation caused a commotion among the leaders. Obviously none of them were convinced.

They could believe that he got the First Blood, but how could all of his party members have survived.

“Where are your subordinates right now? We’d like to check on them if possible….”

“Sure, I’ll bring them over here.”

Woohyuk took his time, as he casually sent Lee Jaesung a message.

[Get ready to come over.]

[Sure thing Boss]

Seeing Lee Jaesung and the others appear next to the fountain, Isaac’s eyes widened in surprise.

‘Unbelievable…’

It wasn’t like he had convinced others to join his group to make up the numbers. The leaders gathered here were the same as always.

Isaac let out an awkward cough as he continued speaking.

Ahem, so it was really the case, sorry for doubting you. Anyways, I think we’d all like to officially hear how it is you encountered the enemy.”

Isaac put an emphasis on the word ‘officially’, as a way of reminding everyone of his position.

However Woohyuk replied very simply.

“I just encountered a Blue Faction Scout in the mountainous area near Fantasy Swamp, so I killed him.”

He didn’t want to reveal that he had made it all the way to the enemy camp, as it would only lead to more annoying questions.

As expected, they didn’t doubt his words, not even considering the alternative as a possibility.

“So it was a scout… how bold of them. How many people were there?”

“Eleven”

“...Maybe they decided to assign more people to the middle path.”

It might have been the case that they had attempted a rush strategy. Sending an elite squad forward, deliberately choosing not to activate all the Guard Towers along the way.

Isaac didn’t question it much since it was a likely scenario.

“We need to secure our borders as well as patrol the mountain ranges where the enemy might be hidden.”

He had been planning to explore those mountain ranges anyways.

The three paths were separated by mountain ranges. It seemed that Woohyuk had encountered some scouts while adventuring through there.

‘There must be some useful information that he isn’t sharing.’

Issac had seen a lot of that type at the base camp. People who just like Woohyuk were blinded by worldly desires. Keeping these secrets for themselves, they didn’t think of the bigger picture..

They were like cancerous cells, especially in these trying times when they had to band together in order to survive.

‘I’ll have to keep an eye on this Chun Woohyuk.’

Although he felt that he was rather smart and good at fighting, he wasn’t a true leader like he was. 

The same thing went for his girlfriend. It was unusual to sleep during the day and hunt at night, and there were dark rumors flying around about witches.

As he recognized the need to suppress the pair, Isaac officially began the meeting.

In order to prepare for eventual raids from the Blue Faction, the following issues had been agreed upon at the meeting.

1.  Each Guard Tower had to be manned around the clock and by someone with a Teleport Scroll.

2. If that Watchman were to catch sight of the enemy or anything strange going on, he needs to notify any nearby Leaders with a Megaphone

The next discussion was regarding how to divide their numbers across the three paths, but it was quickly dismissed by the majority of leaders.

That because currently everyone needed to focus on hunting in order to afford a Teleport Scroll

1 Gold each.

An item that could only be purchased after collecting 100 Ancient Coins.

There were currently 897 people in their faction, so it was difficult to provide each and everyone of them with one.

The cost of upgrading a Barracks to produce second tier Minions was 300 gold.

If every single person provided one gold they could afford it , but at that point they could each buy themselves a Teleport Scroll instead.

A situation in which limited resources had to be used as efficiently as possible.

Of course Woohyuk was an exception.

“This dish is just too delicious.”

“It feels like I’m eating out at a high end restaurant.”

Jung Sanghoon and Nam Kiryang indulged in the smoked meat that had been served on the table.

“I’ll never eat penguin meat again….”

“It was so disgusting. Just thinking about it again is giving me goosebumps.”

Kim Dogyun and Huang Donghwan who were sitting across the table shivered noticeably.

They were all hungry, and quickly wolfed down the meat before them.

“What does the Chapel do?”

“There was also a Monastery...”

His members were not yet aware of each of the Fortress’ facilities since they had only gone hunting since day one.

Feeling everyone’s eyes focus on him, Woohyuk spoke up.

“By praying to the Creator in the Chapel, you can gain a temporary buff to Stats and Resistances. In the Monastery, you can heal pretty much any injury, as well as visit the Library.”

Adventurers with Healing magic were very rare. Even if they did have the skill, it usually wasn’t very powerful and could at most heal some minor cuts and bruises.

The Holy spells in the Monastery however can heal anything but the most critical of injuries.

Of course, it would however take some time.

“Library... I’m sick and tired of reading books.”

“I also hate studying...”

Other than Yoo Kayoung and Song Anna, none of them wanted to get anywhere near a book.

“In this world, knowledge is power. When it comes to your Class, you only get to choose two of them, so you need to plan it carefully.”

There were several possible combinations, Knights wielding Magic, Warriors that could Summon Spirits, Bards employing Shamanism, etc…

Their second Class wouldn’t be available any time soon, but it was best for them to prepare in advance.

“Wow, the possibilities are endless”

“What Class you choose needs to be carefully considered ahead of time. Once chosen, there is no going back….”

His party began to look worried.

Both classes couldn’t be Melee fighters, nor could they both be squishy Ranged attackers. A combination of Classes that complemented their Strengths and Weaknesses was the ideal scenario.

It was rather difficult for those inexperienced with the matter to choose correctly.

“I’ll be staying here for the next little while, so read some books in the Library and explore your options.”

The Library didn’t only have magic books. In fact most of them were just general knowledge about the Eeth continent. There was a ton of useful information that would help them in their future adventures.

Woohyuk got up and led them to the Library, before heading to the Auction house.

‘First things first I need to dispose of all this loot.’

He had been two or three steps ahead of the other adventurers this whole time, and so had collected quite a lot of useful items.

Arctic Fox Fang, Lizardmen’s Trident, Polar Bear Pelts, Gremlin’s Tools, etc…

Individually they might not be worth much, but if you collected it in large enough items, it added up to a significant sum. Woohyuk thought back to the past as he put the items up for auction.

‘The amount of coins one can obtain in this Canyon map is limited.’

At first no one had thought about this since there were plenty of monsters to hunt, but later on there would be fierce competition for just a single coin.

There were no enemies or allies. 

In order to prepare for that scarcity, he had to gather sufficient resources in advance.

This Canyon Battle was bound to last quite a while, and he couldn’t predict how long it would take him to get through the Twilight Tower.

‘The more the better.’

In order to maintain a certain balance between both factions he hadn’t gone after the Fossil Dragon just yet, but other than that was planning to monopolize it all.

He currently had 1200 gold coins.

The Elder Lizardman, Bronze Golem Boss, Skeleton Knight, he had hunted dozens of times more elite monsters than the other leaders.

If he wanted to, he could upgrade the Barracks for each of the three paths, but even then he didn’t have enough coins to last him until the very last day.

Only after visiting all the areas he had in mind, would he have enough leftover to contribute to the Faction.

After registering all his items, Woohyuk headed to the Blacksmith.

The durability of his equipment was quite low because he had swept through countless hunting grounds without rest.

It was simply inefficient to purchase repair kits. Although they had the advantage of being able to be used in the field, they were far more expensive and should only be used in emergency situations.

‘I should also stop by the General Store on the way back.’

Now that he was a Necromancer, he needed to stock up on Mana Crystals. It was time to focus on increasing his Intelligence.

He could do so now by utilizing Jake’s Hextech Ring to redirect all experience to Intelligence.

Even if there would be a significant loss, he still had three Growth Rings on him, which made things more manageable.

‘I also need to visit the Stables.’

I need to get a horse to carry my luggage around.

Jabber Woks were useful in swampy terrain, but otherwise were much slower than horses. Also their frames weren’t suited to be proper mounts.

As he listed all the things he needed to get done while in the Fortress, Woohyuk walked into the smithy. 

Susak

He felt a presence from behind him.

It seems like someone had put a tail on him.

Obviously it had been on Isaac’s orders.

He could have then and there caught this spy and punished him, but Woohyuk chose to let it go.

‘It’s not worth it.’

Inflicting any damage on your allies while within the Fortress would make you a criminal in the system’s eyes, and you would be sent to the underground prison.

A forced labor camp where you would be forced to continuously work to provide coins for your alliance. If you didn’t work hard enough, you could be put to death through a majority vote. 

The slightest mistake could cause you to lose everything.

‘Well, it should be fine if I just ignore him.’

Anyways, for the time being he was planning on either staying at the Inn or reading Nakron’s Grimoire in the Library.

He wouldn’t fall for Isaac’s little tricks.

Luckily him getting a new Magic Sword didn’t seem to change much. As he thought about how he would toy with him in the future, Woohyuk began to repair his equipment.

Clang! Clang

The constant banging of a hammer echoed inside the smithy.

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goprince's Thoughts

There will be a second one coming out later today, and then we will be all caught up.