‘After all, they are all people.’
Races varied—they varied in skin color, physique, taste, ideology, laws, and regulations, and each of them should be respected as individuals with a different culture. However, the emperors of the past despised and discriminated against other races, calling them uncivilized and ominous.
And thus began a long history filled with countless pains and deaths.
The Hu race with short legs and a curved back—due to their innate physical characteristics, their pace of walking with canes was exceptionally slow. People turned a blind eye to them or grumbled about them always leaving the ranks, saying they were annoying.
However, Empress Basara was different—she ordered the procession to stop for a moment and clearly told everyone, “There is plenty of time to spare, even based on the movement speed of the Hu race. This is why I asked them to join us.”
Don’t slander others with impatience; the empire was the one who requested the Hu race to come—Basara once again reminded the others and bowed to the leader of the Hu race, who belatedly rejoined their ranks.
The leader of the Hu race had a rather complicated expression on his face as he spoke, “Thank you.”
“Don’t say that. We are the ones who should be grateful.”
The population of the Hu race was less than 1,000. It was the result of being isolated for many years due to the empire’s discrimination. Even so, they stepped up for world peace. Empress Basara truly admired their warm heart that didn’t resent the world, and the fact that they didn’t turn a blind eye to those who discriminated against them and persecuted them.
“Your Majesty, we are here.”
Basara was right—despite several delays in the march due to the Hu race, the empire and the five allied kingdoms were able to reach their destination within the set time. Haspachi Canal—it was one of the famous features of the Arc Kingdom. The river flowing through the center of the city was magnificent and calm, giving the illusion that time had stopped.
“Have all the residents been evacuated?” Basara asked after climbing a ridge and observing the city.
Kelpato, Duke of the Arc Kingdom, replied solemnly, “Y-Your Majesty, we used the army and evacuated all of them.”
Basara’s eyes were fixed on a corner of the city. “If my eyes aren’t incorrect, there are still people left.”
“They are people of the slums. We didn’t have the manpower or time to evacuate them. They are also a group who committed many crimes, so it is good to take this opportunity to punish them.”
“Their crime is hunger. It is this kingdom that has made them hungry.” Basara declared coldly and Immortal King Grenhal agreed.
“There isn’t a shortage of jobs in a canal city. Seeing that slums have been formed, the tax rate must be set very high?”
“I can’t say anything because it is an internal matter of the kingdom...”
“Enter the city immediately and evacuate the people.” Basara interrupted Kelpato’s words to give an order and the imperial army instantly entered the city.
On the other hand, Beast King Morse snarled at the soldiers of the Arc Kingdom. “Don’t you want to save the people of your kingdom? Aren’t you going to help?”
“We will do as you say!”
Kelpato had nothing to say, but the soldiers of the Arc Kingdom moved in an orderly manner. Morse, duke of the empire, immediately gave orders and acted like he was their boss. Spear Saint Rachel whispered to Kelpato, who had a stiff expression, “You shouldn’t defend crime for any reason. The gap between the rich and the poor is inevitable. There are even poor people in the empire.”
“Your Excellency...” Kelpato’s expression finally relaxed. He was tired of the idealism and pretense of the empress and the other dukes, so he was happy to have someone who understood him and sympathized with his position.
Rachel’s eyes were extremely cold as they stared at him. “However, you must absolutely obey the empress’ orders. Your situation isn’t important.”
Empress Basara was friendly and gentle. The empire was changing due to her and the world was changing. However, could kindness alone change people? Absolutely not. If the empire merely treated people kindly, then the world would never change. It must be accompanied with power and strength.
“If you don’t obey the empress’ orders in the future then I will hold the Arc Kingdom responsible.”
“...I will keep that in mind.”
Just as he was intimidated by Rachel, a water column rose from the center of the canal. Then red mist spread and penetrated the city. It spread uncontrollably and hit the people who still remained in the slums. The people who inhaled the mist turned into monsters with a scream.
Rachel once again warned Kelpato, “Do you understand now? In the future, unconditionally obey the orders of Her Majesty the Empress.”
“Y-Yes, I will keep that in mind!”
Ronove, the 27th great demon—Kelpato already knew that this great demon could make himself into a red mist to spread a plague, but he never dreamed that the plague would turn people into monsters instead of killing them. The same was true for Basara and the dukes of the empire. The records of Ronove’s existence were too scarce.
This time, Basara captured the path of the red fog and shouted to the soldiers of the empire and the Arc Kingdom, “Leave it to the Hu race!”
At the same time that Basara shouted, there was the sound of bells. The bells were coming from the canes that the Hu race held. It was the precursor to the summoning of their indigenous god who the empire once defined as evil.
『 It is a bad mist. 』
The ringing of the bells continued while an apparition of the god, who hadn’t opened his eyes, rose for a moment before disappearing and causing a strong wind. The red mist couldn’t resist the wind and scattered in all directions, allowing the empire and Arc Kingdom’s soldiers to be safe. The ritual of the Hu race in driving away the plague was really effective.
The imperial soldiers, who always thought the indigenous gods were evil due to the former emperor, Juander, were shocked. They had secretly felt reluctant about the Hu race despite Basara’s attitude, but now they finally realized the wrongs they did to the Hu race and felt sincere appreciation.
“Sehee, I think it is your turn to go out.”
“It is really fortunate.”
The Hu race wasn’t Empress Basara’s only card prepared for Ronove’s plague. Saintess Ruby was personally asked by Basara and joined the Ronove subjugation force. Her role was to heal the soldiers affected by the plague. To be honest, Ruby was afraid. It was because no matter how many times she experienced it, she couldn’t get used to countless people struggling with pain.
Fortunately, the plague didn’t spread. The Hu race’s actions had saved countless people and relieved Ruby’s burden.
“Hahat! What? Why isn’t it forming fog? Does the 27th great demon want a frontal confrontation with us?”
“It seems the Hu race’s ritual had an impact. I don’t think he can turn into fog.”
“Then we will strike.”
The rankers and imperial dukes who joined the subjugation expedition were veterans who had experienced a large number of battles. They had fought against the 22nd great demon, Berith, and the 27th great demon, Ronove, looked shabby in comparison.
“The entire army, charge!”
People with classes that exerted power through a transformation usually had a large difference before and after the transformation. The purifying winds created by the Hu race’s god prevented Ronove from becoming fog. This meant he was unable to cope with the attack of hundreds of thousands of elite troops, including the imperial dukes.
Eccentric Duke Saleos—the force of a great demon in the 10s, who appeared in front of players for the first time, was beyond imagination. His appearance wasn’t bizarre and was actually similar to a human. Instead, he oppressed players with a presence that was incomparable to the great demons in the 20s. The players who met his eyes couldn’t bear this fear.
The commentators relaying the situation at Lilchard Fortress ended up sighing.
『 Ahh, look. There are less than 20 people who can stand upright against Saleos. 』
The faces of the people gathered at Lilchard Fortress were incredibly magnificent. Of the thousands of players, none of them were unknown. In particular, there were many highly praised unofficial rankers who rarely appeared in public, like Knight. Therefore, people couldn’t easily think of them being defeated.
However, once it started, the situation went in a completely different direction than expected. Most people were neutralized before the fight even began. Additionally, Saleos’ personality was unrelenting. Unlike other great demons, he didn’t waste time speaking unnecessary lines and just effectively killed people. The number of opponents were thoroughly reduced by aiming for those who were incapacitated and weak. It was a completely different attitude from the other great demons who ignored humans just because they were human.
As a result, the top 18 rankers felt a crisis and became hard-pressed. They realized that their dreams and hopes would disappear if they kept losing more combat power and tried to stop Saleos’ killing. However, there was a problem...
Saleos’ mysterious power was a force that went against reason. He would win ‘unconditionally’ against any opponent in a contest. Saleos’ crushed all the attacks that bombarded him with his power, and inflicted great damage on the target. The concept of fighting itself wasn’t established.
“This... it seems that he makes a counterattack itself impossible.”
“What can we do if a surprise attack doesn’t work?” Tarma gave a cold reply to the people who analyzed the situation. He had already failed in two sneak attacks and was wounded.
It happened as the atmosphere was cooling down...
Just then, a black shadow rose silently above Saleos’ head as he was killing someone else. Then a giant scythe caught Saleos’ thick neck and cut it. Death God Knight’s ultimate technique—it was a hit that made the mouths of the top assassins drop open, including Tarma, and Saleos’ neck seemed to be cut.
The moment Saleos felt the cold metal touching his skin, he instantly took a breath. The giant scythe that should’ve cut off his head only cut half of his neck. Knight’s eyes as he floated in the dark were filled with astonishment. Then Saleos’ fist slammed into Knight’s side. Knight’s armor was shattered with a loud sound and he flew away. Knight couldn’t easily get up again.
“This is crazy...”
What type of strategy could they use? The players who tried to overcome their fears and participate in the battle became as stiff as stone statues.
They had no fellowship from the beginning and they started to wonder if they should participate in this one-sided massacre. Rather than being obsessed with the rewards of a quest that couldn’t be cleared, they thought it was better to run away now instead of dying.
What about the ridicule and accusations of the hundreds of millions of viewers watching the situation right now? It wasn’t worth worrying about. What rights did cowards who fled and sat in front of the TV have to accuse them in the first place?
The players organized their minds and started to step back one by one, only to stop.
Step. Step. Step...
The reason why so many people had gathered—Sword Saint Kraugel, who was once hailed as the sky above the sky, silently crossed the battlefield. He slowly moved straight forward, his gaze fixed on Saleos who had overwhelmed thousands of rankers.
“”Yes, it is an inevitable death. Accept it quietly.””
Saleos praised the human’s courage for walking on his own feet and shot forward like a thunderbolt with raised fists.
Kraugel drew his sword. In a neat move, he swung his sword and struck Saleos’ fist. It was obviously crazy to anyone who saw it.
Saleos was smiling with scorn until he felt a sharp pain in his fist. ‘I was cut?’
The vision of Saleos’ left and right eyes became angled. Saleos was aware of the awkward vision and turned his head. He saw that the ‘world’ behind him was split in half. “”Sword... Saint!””Previous Chapter Next Chapter