<Chapter 38. The Peddler and the Adventurer - 2>
[A large group of monsters coming from the east has been confirmed.]
[Without proper fortifications, the city will come to harm.]
The city was informed of the dungeon countercurrent through a report from the patrolling golem network, obtaining an approximation of the monsters' identities and size beyond the dust cloud. Immediately after, the golems simultaneously repeated reports and warnings.
[Recommend a mobilization order under Section 3, Article 2 of the City Defense Act.]
[Warning. 19 golems patrolling the city's perimeter have been destroyed. The monsters will crash into the eastern gate in less than 7 minutes. Please prepare sufficiently.]
The patrolling golems were programmed to attack any monsters that approached the city. They reported and simultaneously attacked the monsters, but they weren't able to fend them off, as they were only level 4 while the monsters were level 5 or higher. They had only slowed down the monsters by about 3 seconds.
"Hey, wait a second. Isn't that a human?"
"!? Stop. Let that guy in!"
At the ring of the bell, the soldiers situated at the top of the walls closed the gate, too late to respond. But then, right when the gate was about to close, someone just barely rushed through.
All of the soldiers inside gripped their spears and prepared for any eventuality, but the man had fallen flat on his face.
"H-Healing...! Please heal me...!"
Although he had a huge hole in his stomach and his entire left arm had been ripped off, he'd somehow managed to stay alive. The soldiers looked on in awe, as he'd survived with such grievous wounds; only one soldier realized who he was.
"Hey, this is one of the adventurers that was dispatched with the knights! Were these wounds caused by those monsters... Hey, call a priest over here. Hurry up!"
"Kuhuek...! It hurts. It really hurts!"
The city was in an uproar. Due to the golems' reports, children rushed into their homes and before they'd even gotten a good understanding of the situation, the merchants packed their things to take refuge. Despair was quickly spreading through the city.
"...Report, Adventurer. What happened over there?"
The Guard Captain ran over, followed by a priest. The adventurer groaned in pain and couldn't answer the Guard Captain's question. But once he had undergone proper treatment, he explained what had happened whilst crying.
"T-There was a trap inside the dungeon...!"
It was simple. The expedition had gone well until the boss room. But the moment they reached the boss room, a boss appeared, one so strong that it was unsuited for a level 5 dungeon.
"It was a high rank level 6... N-No. A level 7! It's definitely level 7. The boss was definitely level 7!"
"Level 7!? That's a load of crap. Why would a disaster-class monster be here!?"
"There's no way a level 7 boss would appear inside of a level 5 dungeon! Wait a sec. If you were able to take care of the monsters before the boss room, then what's with the number of monsters...?"
"Those aren't just normal monsters. They are all undead, including the boss!"
It was bad enough that they faced a level 7 boss, but they also had to fight against the undead forms of the felled monsters, which resurrected upon the boss's appearance. The dungeon had turned into hell.
The level 6 Knight Leader and the level 6 adventurers tried to find a way out, but all their attempts failed. In the end, they were all killed. The reason the adventurer had even survived was because he'd been injured prior, and stood on standby outside of the boss room.
"So you ran out once you saw the signs..."
"Yes. I told you everything! We can't beat that thing. I'm running!"
"...The city's in danger. If you're going to run away from the front, even after being healed, then I'll strike you down here and now."
The adventurer's report didn't help them at all. Although they knew what was happening now, they didn't know how to deal with the monsters or what the cause of it all was.
The monsters continued to get closer and closer, yet more and more people were giving up. The city had sent their best soldiers to the dungeon and those soldiers had all died, so there was nothing they could do.
"Did you report to my superiors?"
[It was sent after grasping the situation. Reinforcements are expected to arrive in 3 hours. Blocking the monsters' advance by gathering all the city's golems (intended for guarding, patrolling, and maintaining public order). They can delay the monsters for about 30 minutes.]
The golem network, which the current Emperor had created, was indeed impressive. While the humans panicked, the golems did everything in their power. Despite that, they lacked both time and manpower in this situation.
"I see. It's time I pay back the Empire for its kindness, with my life."
The eastern Guard Captain (level 5, a 37 year old bachelor) silently muttered and gripped his greatsword. The other three guard captains grabbed their weapons and rushed over. They were well aware of the current situation, due to the golems' reports, and looked ready to die.
"You won't take one more step into this city until we die!"
"Uooooooooh. In the name of the Loyal Shield, I'll kill all of you dirty monsters!"
"Captain, I'll come with you!"
"They'll have to walk over my dead body to get through!"
The sight of the Guard Captain practicing noblesse oblige moved the soldiers, dispelling the once stagnant atmosphere. They were 1,000 strong, excluding the golems! Their resolve to die was truly blinding.
'Ah, what the hell. I finally came up to the surface, but there are undead up here too.'
Whereas Lee Shin Woo, who couldn't empathize with the soldiers, ascertained the situation and frowned. He'd come to the surface, yet he had to fight against a dungeon countercurrent of monsters, which were all undead. There's only so much you can disappoint someone!
"Shin Woo, we're almost at the gate."
The city was in chaos, so no one cared that a huge warhorse was running across the road. No, they probably didn't have the time to even care. The situation was great for Lee Shin Woo and Jin.
"Good, let's go!"
Jin sprinted forward and lept up before they hit the gate. The walls were only 5 meters high, so Jin didn't even need to create the springs through Steel Heart. With just a battle cry and a light jump, they were able to pass over the wall.
They flew over the soldiers, who were nervous from the approaching monsters, and landed safely onto the ground. The Guard Captain and his soldiers glared at them from atop the wall, but Lee Shin Woo didn't worry about them. He just cool-headedly looked at the monsters.
'6,000? No, there are about 7,000 of them... The boss is all the way in the back.'
He gripped his greatsword with one hand and checked the boss. Although it was all the way in the back, the four meter tall boss was overwhelming.
There were horns atop its goat head and it had the muscular body of a giant. It truly looked like a demon, but with it skin turning pale from the undead transformation, it looked even more sinister than before. It was...!
[Lv6 Mad Goat Ghoul]
"What the hell."
Once he'd checked the boss's name and level, Lee Shin Woo looked back with a sharp gaze. Although he was wearing a helmet, the soldiers felt his killing intent and stepped back while uttering 'hik'.
However, the adventurer that had informed them of the boss wasn't atop the walls. Well, he was a coward, so there was no way he'd have gauged the boss's level properly!
"Shin Woo, calm down. We've been fighting so many strong opponents lately that I'd forgotten too, but level 7 elites aren't supposed to be that common."
"It wouldn't be so bad if I hadn't had such expectations, but... Sseup, I guess it can't be helped."
A monster, which wasn't supposed to be undead, had come out of the dungeon, and monsters that should already be dead had come back as undead. That was the current situation he was dealing with.
He didn't know the specifics, but it probably had something to do with the curse, so Lee Shin Woo's main priority had to be figuring out how the curse had spread to the surface.
"Then let's play, just as we planned."
"It doesn't seem any different from what we normally do, but... I'm going!"
Jin dashed forward without a signal! The approaching monsters saw them coming, and briefly flinched. However, these undead turned monsters would have no way of ascertaining Lee Shin Woo's skill, so they immediately surrounded him...
Lee Shin Woo forcefully swung his greatsword, which unleashed a barrage of flames, and the monsters melted away. As befitting of an undead corps, without any knowledge of strategy or how to use the land to their advantage, they were grouped up in a single spot. His last attack had burned dozens of them to a crisp.
"Now for the second one!"
The undead instinctively felt fear and shrank away from the blazing fire, but Lee Shin Woo took that opportunity to swing his greatsword again.
It looked crude, but nonetheless, his swordsmanship was incredible, as he quickly swung his greatsword at any enemy within range of it. It was only possible because he possessed Bursting Thunder, which would increase his skill in any weapon.
"Ooh, let's widen the range this time!"
"Shin Woo, are you just going to keep burning them like this? You have Instigate, and you could use Bursting Thunder or Bone Armory..."
The monsters realized how dangerous he was and ran away in fear. However, Lee Shin Woo spewed flames from his greatsword once more and quietly spoke.
"I'm the greatest mercenary, Kay, who uses a fire greatsword."
"Oh, I see..."
Jin understood. Using Instigate to temporary bring the undead to his side or creating bone weapons to cut or explode his enemies was Paul Zero's specialty, not Kay's. However, using Bursting Thunder to burn a large number of enemies with his greatsword was.
He'd decided to use only his greatsword, so that no one would discover the connection between the two!
'So he's looking far into the future and acting accordingly... Yeah, I’ll just give up on understanding what he's thinking, like I always do.'
While Jin resigned himself like usual, Lee Shin Woo charged everywhere and burned the undead.
With one swing of his sword, he would burn 50 undead. It would only take 3 seconds to withdraw his sword and swing it again, so he could burn 1,000 undead in 1 minute!
Though his calculations sounded like a joke, it was the reality, so there was nothing he could do about it. He faced the undead army head on and after only three minutes burned half of the original army!
"I will put my life at stake..."
"To protect the Empire..."
The Guard Captain, as well as his soldiers, had been ready to die for the Magic Empire, but seeing Lee Shin Woo tear through the monsters, they felt relieved, as well as a sense of discomfort that they couldn't understand. However, there was no way Lee Shin Woo would know that. After all, these guys were weak, so they wouldn't have been able to do much!
On the other hand, there were also soldiers within their ranks that were in awe of him.
"That guy's a monster..."
"He's not a monster. He's a hero! A hero has appeared!"
"How can he burn so many undead...? Ha, now that I think about it!"
A soldier, who watched vacantly as Lee Shin Woo rampaged with his greatsword in hand, spoke of a rumor he'd heard just a little while ago.
"I heard that a central pillar of the Sun God Temple had collapsed. I heard that it was caused by the Sun God's rage, but perhaps that wasn't true..."
"Perhaps it was a revelation that the Sun God was sending us a hero!"
Lee Shin Woo wore red armor, wielded a greatsword tinged in flame, and swept away the undead, so it was only natural that they thought he was the Sun God's hero.
He skillfully led his giant warhorse and bravely rushed into battle. And his greatsword continuously emitted such showy and destructive flames!
"A hero! The Sun God's hero is protecting us!"
"Oh Sun God!"
"The Sun God's hero!"
Lee Shin Woo had no idea this was going on, but it seemed like the legend of the hero Kay had begun.Previous Chapter Next Chapter