V58C6P1 – Meanwhile…
The Ironblood Warrior Bard Ray!
He left the Haven territory and roamed the four corners of the world.
Endurance has risen by 1%.
Perseverance increased by 5 points. >
He charged at monsters regardless of their size.
Without any a.s.sessment of hunting grounds, he fought recklessly and trained his body.
Breaking bones and the fatigue of exercise only made his body stronger.
‘This is different from when I fought strategically and leveled up as a Dark Knight. But, this is also a kind of power.’
He had transformed his growth method.
The Ironblood Warrior was empowered through endless battles.
His entire body was adorned with honorable scars and tattoos imbued with the special abilities of barbarians.
The handsome G.o.d warrior Bard Ray of the past was no more.
‘Weed doesn’t show up nowadays. Still, that punk could always reappear in a stronger form.’
Weed, his rival always lingered in his mind.
Bard Ray encountered a man while searching through the jungle.
The man had broad shoulders, an intimidating face and a presence that could never be felt when standing in front of a man; it was the presence of a monster.
The distance between them shrunk, but his eyes did not avoid contact.
Tension shuddered down his spine.
Its level was unknown, but his instincts told him that the man was strong.
The thick jungle was not an enclosed s.p.a.ce. He could easily give way but he did not.
The man’s voice rumbled from the bottom of his lungs.
His voice was raspy and tough.
Bard Ray refused boldly.
He was called the G.o.d warrior in Royal Road and he had trained himself relentlessly.
There was no way he could give way to anyone.
The man, Geomchi3 grinned.
“Then let’s fight.”
Reverse was deeply in love with the s.h.i.+ning Armour that he purchased from the auction site.
The level requirement was 150!
The defense was on par with equipment with a level requirement of 250 and the attribute of light weight made it easy on his body.
What he loved most was that it emitted 5 luminescent colors at night.
“Hu-hu. I like standing out.”
Reverse had left his great fortune and Unicorn Corp to Weed, but he had set aside 5 trillion won for retirement.
He spent cash readily and lacked nothing in his life.
Though he had also pa.s.sed down the AI to Weed, leaving him with n.o.body to talk to, but he had made comrades during his adventures.
“Hey old man, where were you?”
“I was doing some shopping for gear.”
“It looks good.”
“I spent some money.”
Seniors sat cozily around Reverse.
Royal Road being a game only for the youth was now an old story.
With the support of the Unicorn Corp, capsules were installed at every retirement home and senior centres!
The old were slow at adapting to new technology, but when they did, they spent all their time on it. Instead of playing cards, they ventured on Royal Road and met with their grandchildren comfortably.
“Old man Reverse. What do you think of this sword?”
“It’s trash. Did you spend a lot on it?”
“I paid 500,000 won for this.”
“You got ripped off real good.”
Reverse spent trivial time with the seniors. He knew all too well that the remainder of his life wasn’t long. He thought that spending that time happily and slowly preparing for the end was not a bad way to spend his final days.
The Arpen Empire united the world and a long period of peace came to Versailles.
The ruined cities were raised again, trade was revitalised and adventurers set out for new places.
After some time, Oberon, the lord of Castle Vent, was visited by a group of players.
They were Carlise, Roam, Gunter, Sherwood and Michel, the great lords of the Central Continent.
“We cannot abide by the tyranny of the empire any longer.”
“I share this sentiment. The taxes just keep climbing with all sorts of excuses and no investments.”
“The empire has been corrupted. The Weed-nim we knew no longer exists.”
They criticized the emperor.
It had been ages since Seoyoon last looked over the affairs of the empire.
Weed too did not log into Royal Road very often, but kept raising the taxes on the lords.
It wasn’t as high as it was back when the Hermes Guild was ruling, but they couldn’t exactly call it a low rate.
The lords with grudges began to have disputes with one another and Weed for some reason did not step in to break these quarrels apart.
The raging monsters and invasion of ma.s.sive demonic beasts were neglected by the empire.
The strange weather that caused 5 meters of snowfall was ignored!
The great lords each with their own complaints visited Oberon who was admired by all players.
Oberon, after hearing their stories, was calm.
“Let’s wait for a little longer. I believe in Weed-nim. There are some things that are offset, but I believe they will be redeemed when Weed-nim returns.”
The secret meeting came to an end.
Since that day, months pa.s.sed and Weed still did not tend to the affairs.
Finally, words of Weed’s tyranny began to spread among the players.
“Should we be doing this?”
“I don’t know. But, isn’t it the perfect opportunity now that the Arpen Empire is shaking?”
“What if he plans to weed us out all at once… I bet when Weed appears, our rebellion will end rather quickly.”
“Mmm. Is there anyone who could surely overcome Weed?”
“One on one? n.o.body.”
“Even with a group I don’t feel any more confident.”
“Then what are we doing?”
The great lords were shaking in fear, but the arrow had departed from the bow.
The sky high popularity of Weed fell and now was their time to expand their factions since Weed was missing.
“But what is Weed up to? What if he is secretly pus.h.i.+ng through an insane adventure?”
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“When he clears the quest, he will easily captivate the people back to himself. The players that once went wild for Weed are still the same.”
“Who knows what kind of things he may be carrying out? Even then, for him to be clearing a quest, we haven’t heard of him for so long.”
“What about the Hermes Guild?”
“They are quiet. They’re just hunting relentlessly.”
The great lords were also quite troubled with the Hermes Guild’s acc.u.mulation of power in the Haven region.
The Central and Northern Continent had grown extensively, but the Hermes Guild too was progressing well internally and growing stronger.
“I can’t stand this. With all the complaints in the guild, I can’t wait anymore.”
“Same with us. Let’s begin.”
The great lords headed over to Oberon again to convince him.
“I understand where this is coming from.”
Oberon had been paying close attention to the public since their last meeting.
Countless natural disasters, bandit attacks and monster invasions had become recurring events in Royal Road. The governance of the empire had halted completely at some point and the players of Castle Vent were furious.
“Let’s bide our time for a bit more. I need a.s.surance from Weed-nim.”
“Just until when are we supposed to wait?”
“Let’s gather our forces and head to the Earth Palace.”
Oberon deemed this a Coup d’etat. However, since he was the representative, he was sure he could stop them at the final line.
‘Okay. Even if it costs me my seat… I have to deliver their complaints.’
He had devoted himself to the growth of the empire by protecting Castle Vent of the North. Oberon, the loyalist who wished for the longevity of the empire, nodded his head.
“Gather the players. Let us head to the Earth palace.”
“You’ve finally made the choice. Great.”
“Let’s do it. If I can’t overthrow the king, I will die.”
The great lords summoned their forces. At first it looked like a task force for monster extermination, but heading for the Earth Palace instead was a huge shock. The news spread fast like a virus.
– A rebellion in Arpen!
– The lords have drawn their swords.
– This is insane. To start an attack on the Earth Palace… Are they out of their minds?
– The Hermes Guild was wrecked too. The dragon was chopped to pieces. I wonder if these lords could turn out otherwise.
– I will make a prediction. Sometime next week, they will be kneeling before Weed-nim begging him to spare them.
Though there were feelings of disappointment among the players, they still had affection for Weed. The lords were bombarded with messages after commencing the riot.
‘Do you want to die?’
‘You will regret this.’
‘Make an apology right now.’
The great lords shut their eyes tight. They could no longer control the forces that they unleashed. Their cities developed and an increasing number of guild members made management impossible. Their choice was between absorbing other cities or marching straight to the palace.
Even if they could overtake the regions nearby, it would be extremely difficult to stabilize the area.
They feared being taken out one by one by Weed, so they decided to aim for his heart together.
– Roam: Our fates rest on this.
– Carlise: Indeed they do.
– Michel: It’s all or nothing. It is already in motion.
– Sherwood: Let’s end this once and for all. If we stick together, we can overcome anything.
– Gunter: Lionstar will pour all its forces into the a.s.sault.
With that being said, they had all set their own safety nets.
They contacted Mapan consistently to explain that they had no other choice.
– Roam: The Arpen Empire is as rotten as it could get. The other lords are also furious. There must be a purge.
– Carlise: I am always on Weed-nim’s side. Please convey this message to him.
– Michel: I will purchase all the supplies needed for this war from the Mapan Council.
– Sherwood: I do not want the crown! That is a huge misunderstanding. Weed-nim will not believe such nonsense, will he?
– Gunter: Just think of this as a fun event. The players haven’t had any immersive experience for some time now. I swear my loyalty to the Arpen Empire until the end of time.
They tried their best to secure a safety rope even while marching together.
They had drawn arms against Weed but had little confidence in their own victory.
– The enemy is headed straight for the Earth Palace. Shouldn’t we engage as well?
– Gra.s.s Porridge Cult, protect the palace.
– Gra.s.s Porridge, Gra.s.s Porridge, Gra.s.s Porridge!
Starting with the Northern Continent players, the players of the Central Continent were stirred up. They were rather disappointed with Weed’s neglectant ruling, but they also had suffered the tyranny of the Hermes Guild and the other prestigious guilds.
The Gra.s.s Porridge Cult that should have been the one to make haste did not order any mobilization. It was the same when the forces of the great lords crossed the borders of the Northern Continent and remained idle even when Oberon’s forces joined the great army.
– What’s going on? Why aren’t we fighting?
– With just a single rally flag from Weed, there should be a swarm of players…
– Did the Gra.s.s Porridge Cult disband?
– Did something happen? This is strange.
The Arpen Empire’s elite regiment and the imperial army that had grown consistently from expansion and combat improvement were also motionless.
Even they were patrolling the outskirts of the North and were exterminating monsters.
“What… This is…”
“I knew we should have waited longer. Aren’t we in a trap?”
The great lords s.h.i.+vered in anxiety.
When they were mustering their armies, a significant number of guild members quit after hearing that they were marching to the Earth Palace.
They managed to pull the members together, but the lack of enemy resistance was far too ominous.