Volume 24 Chapter 5: Turn Undead
Weed’s battle preparation ended when everyone had a full stomach from his cooking.
Having prepared already, the paladins and priests waited for Weed’s speech.
“He will make the speech really long. I would if it was me.”
“Yeah, and it will also get re-broadcasted. After all, Weed is enormously famous.”
Many broadcasting stations including KMC Media were broadcasting it live. Today, not only in Versailles continent, many people would watch Balkan being hunted through many broadcasting stations.
It would be a lie to say they were not tense and thrilled at the opportunity. The paladins felt great s.h.i.+vers to be under Weed’s command and fight against the Undead Legion’s Balkan. Before the battle it was mandatory to remind themselves of the justification and worth of what they were trying to do by listening to their commander’s great speech.
Weed cleared his throat and continued.
“We must hunt Balkan down and take every treasure he has.”
A precise target with clear consciences!
And with simplicity that did not mindlessly clutter the audience attention.
“Well then let’s all do our best.”
For Weed time was too precious to waste on speech.
‘We just have to kill all of them.’
As plans were already set up the only thing to do was fight cooly. So an enormous a.s.sault team including paladins, priests and Geomchis was deployed immediately after. Pale’s companions and the Necromancers including Marey moved with them.
Marey, as a bard, came along to compose and sing an awesome song while he spectated Weed’s battle against Balkan. The Necromancers also decided to fight with Weed. There was no small amount of spells and items they could receive under Balkan’s command but their notoriety and Power of Undead would increase.
Balkan was the Necromancers’ blessing and curse at the same time. And with their alignment toward the Undead Legion, it was difficult to enter any villages or castles so they decided to fight for their freedom.
Paladins’ morale was unmeasurably high. Their attack and defense capabilities were at their maximum when they were against the Undead.
‘With Weed-nim I will be able to fight a heart pounding battle.’
‘Even if I die, I won’t regret a tiny bit.’
Because they were on a live broadcast, their wills were on fire for the battle.
Heading toward the Undead Legions’ troop headquarters in Vargo fortress!
Shaking and their hearts surged with thrill, they marched under the dark sky with heavy rains.
“You need to enter this sewer.”
But the place Weed led to was a dirty narrow sewer!
Paladins, priests and Geomchis walked down the sewer in the direction Weed told them earlier. Pale’s group and Mapan the merchant was with them too. They went past the complicated paths of the sewer and came up above ground, Weed the Doom knight was waiting for them. As Weed was aligned toward the Undead Legion he simply walked past the gate opened and manned by Undead. They could not be jealous of his slightly wet cape and armour.
“This is the kitchen located in the exterior fortress of Vargo fortress. This is a safe place because Undead don’t eat.”
As priests entered the fortress, it felt like their bodies were s.h.i.+vering due to the tension.
Pale asked, “The place Balkan is residing, is it nearby?”
“From the inner fortress we need to go underground.”
They infiltrated the exterior of the fortress easily but the path still left would be tough. It would be just impossible to reach Balkan without getting noticed by so many Undead.
“I’ll enter first. Please follow after some time.”
Weed led in the front, searching the Undead’s movements. It was best when there were no Undead nearby and he frequently reported information on his reconnaissance.
“Seven of them. There are no other Undead in the vicinity. We need to a.s.sault them quickly and move on.”
When they had to hunt, they cleared the enemy using holy spells from the priests.
Priests’ healing magic, blessing spells and Turn Undead were very critical against the Undead.
“There is no time to take a break for mana regeneration. The Undead move around Vargo fortress freely so we need to keep moving to where Balkan is.”
Weed kept moving without any delay. Because he grasped the exact path leading to Balkan, they were able to move fast even if they had to stop to kill Undead. They moved in fear that once they were revealed by Undead, the tremendous force of Undead would come after them.
Weed promised them an opportunity to fight all they desired, they also wanted to fight Balkan so they followed after him quietly. There were many monsters in the exterior of the fortress but Weed used his position in the Undead Legion to at least reduce the guards.
He took the loitering Undead in their path as his underlings and threw them out of the fortress. But most of theUndead squatting in the corner with their bodies crouched were over level 300 and three Bone Dragons were flying around in the air. Vandal knights on their phantom horses roamed between interior and the exterior of the fortress so even Weed, who knew the current Undead circ.u.mstances, couldn’t be completely at ease.
Priests and paladins channeled their holy spells and used it immediately but sometimes the Undead died screaming. Every time that happened, nearby Undead came in and they had to quickly repeat their subjugation and escape.
“Humans! Humans are invading.”
“Ring the bell and alert everyone.”
“There is a fight going on somewhere.”
“I smell blood. Living creatures are challenging us.”
RING! RING! RING!
Somewhere from the towers of Vargo Fortress, a loud chime rang.
“We have to a.s.sume we are revealed now. From now on, there will be no more scouting instead run straight to the interior of the fortress.”
Following after Weed, the paladins and Geomchis ran after him. Even the physically weak priests held their staffs and the scriptures in their hands and started running.
“We kill every Undead blocking our way and break through.”
It was a battle against time now. If they were surrounded by Undead crowding in from the whole Vargo Fortress, they would only face a miserable death.
“Sahyungs need to go forward now. We need to break through as quick as we can. It may be dangerous but please.”
“Don’t worry. That much is easy.”
Geomchis destroyed every defending Undead soldiers they encountered.
Dedicated attack and breakthrough using their bodies unsparingly!
If it was not the cleansing spells of priests, then the Undead return as corpses through normal sword or physical attacks. But due to Balkan’s Dark Rule magic, they would rise again as Undead as time goes but they were not in the circ.u.mstance of taking measures.
Weed took the front and ran through the hallway. Because he was a Doom Knight, he didn’t get attacked by Undead.
Weed screamed and drew the Undead attentions.
“Humans approaching from the right hallway.”
Every Undead ran to the direction Weed told.
Weed performed his duty of confusing Undead besides scouting and guiding the paths. Running straight through, everyone besides straggling priests behind them arrived at the gate leading to the interior of the fortress.
“We need to get across here. There are way too many Undead on the other paths.”
The path Weed picked was connected with the inner fortress through bridges over the moat. Under the bridge, crocodile Undead licked their chops at the sight of humans.
Priests and paladins ran across the bridge.
Behind the exterior of the fortress they ran from, Undead soldiers were gathering.
“Attack! Kill them all!”
“They are rebelling against Balkan-nims goal. Let’s make them into Death’s companions.”
Undead ran what they could and chased after them. There were so many varieties of Undead and gargoyles a.s.saulted from the air.
Priests spread out their protective magic and blocked the attack.
“Hurry to the interior of the fortress.”
Ever since they entered Vargo fortress, they kept facing battles without time to gather their senses. Not only they had to take care of Undead quickly, they had to move swiftly. Players had questions about how Weed would lead the battle but now they knew.
Weeding them out, falling behind or disobedience was deaths. Because the difficulty of battles were beyond their imaginations, they had to put a lot of efforts trying to keep up with Weed.
Weed looked up in the sky. Presently he couldn’t see three the Bone Dragons.
“Really, I chose a good day.”
Since few days ago, elves and barbarians didn’t attack Vargo fortress. There were sightings of rare high elves in the forest near Vargo fortress, there were indication of another large attack rather than a withdrawal.
“We must fight a big battle with elves.”
“If we raise great achievements, the Balkan-nim will be happy.”
“If we kill many barbarians, do you think we can get accepted into the Vandal knights?”
“Seeing tonight is calm, they must be coming to attack tomorrow. The Undead Legion is planning to counter-strike after defending from Vargo Fortress. This time, we will follow elves into the forest, its a chance to gain great accomplishments.”
Through the Undead conversation he predicted the day of the possible a.s.sault. If Vargo fortress was seen from afar, on one side there was humans brought by Weed that were fighting through the path leading to the interior. And near the walls, there was a united army of elves, barbarians and dwarves fighting the Undead.
Pale and Maylon shot arrows without any interval. They entered the inner fortress shooting gargoyles foreheads with their silver arrows. They stood by the entrance and protected the priests by continuously shooting their arrows. It was because unlike Geomchi and paladins who had a decent level of defense, priests could die easily.
Priests usually support the battle from the safe and comfortable rear. They were in charge of healing and blessing which was a core part in party quests so they did not move around a lot.
Breeman, a celebrated priest from Morata, immediately sat down on the ground as he came inside the inner fortress and was breathing heavily. He was priest Breeman that would receive adulation wherever he went, but joining a raid under Weed he had to run as hard as he could voluntarily. He thought that he would die by the Undead chasing them if he flapped and walked slowly because of his fat stomach.
Breeman finally felt relieved after he entered the inner fortress.
“Weed-nim, is this place safe?”
Weed just pointed toward hallway in front of him without any words. The inner fortress was filled with much stronger monsters than monsters in the outer fortress!
Three Vandal knights on their phantom horses charged against humans.
Priests alerted one after the other.
Geomchi were already getting ready for it.
Instincts as martial artists. Although they couldn’t sense variety of dangers like adventurers or thieves, a chilling aura flowed and warned them when a strong enemy appeared.
“It’s been a long time since facing someone worth fighting.”
“Be careful. If you let your guard down, you will die right away.”
Vandal knights were presumed to be over level 430. Each of them were high rank Undead, who were given individual names, and they were further enhanced by Balkan’s Death Aura.
Geomchis used their secret sword skill. Because Vandal knights seemed strong, they decided to give it all they got from the beginning. Each individual Geomchi19, Geomchi56, Geomchi101 and Geomchi147 cloned their bodies 10 times.
“The Balkan-nim wants living offerings.”
“You can only be used as sacrifices.”
Vandal knights, in a split second, rushed the Geomchis’ clones and slashed them. Each slashes made the clones disappear. But Geomchis didn’t prefer taking away enemy’s life slowly by using their clones.
It was only a method used to create an opening in their enemy so they could attack.
Geomchis attacked Vandal knights’ weak spots that were exposed while they were attacking.
Due to their armour and Death Aura’s defensive capabilities the Vandal knights did not receive heavy damages from Geomchis’ attack. Despite the fact their joints such as backs and knees were struck, they only took normal damage.
“Sun G.o.d Blessings!”
Priests and paladins’ holy spells struck Vandal knights a little later. It was healing and blessing magic that inflict horrifying damages to the Undead.
While Vandal knights were weak, Geomchis attacked them indiscriminately.
Hwaryeong danced in front of two newly approaching Vandal knights.
Her own b.o.o.by b.o.o.by dance!
Vandal knights had an ingrained hatred of humans and attacked right away. But the closer the range of the dance the more influence became powerful so she continued to dance while barely dodging their strikes. It was difficult even for Hwaryeong but she managed to succeed.
“This is pretty nice.”
“They are worth beating.”
Those who were directly partic.i.p.ating in the battle were beyond expectation as the knights had high defense. It was a nice opportunity to raise attack-related skill mastery and stats!
When Vandal knights died, Weed went to the corner.
“It seems I cannot stay as Undead from now onward.”
Vargo fortress was a place even a Doom knight can’t wander around freely. Not only was it impossible to give commands to Undead like in the outer fortress, he would also be under Balkan’s command. If Balkan tells Weed to attack, he could lose control of his body and fight the Geomchis.
“Time to change my body again.”
Weed took out a sculpture from his backpack.
“I need to get back to my original appearance.”
Combining the already sculpted head, legs, arms and body, it looked similar to Weed’s original face but slightly different. The sculpture had a high nose, squared chin, dark eyebrows and a nice symmetry. Not only was it handsome, it was about 12 cm taller.
Technically speaking, it could only be cla.s.sified as the same human otherwise it was a completely different person altogether. The plastic surgeon would admire his well define fixes, and if he would go to the alumni reunion no one would recognize him.
“It feels comfortable like I’m looking at a mirror after a long time. Sculpture Transformation!”
Weed came back from an Undead body to a human. There were some physical differences but the height was similar so he had no problem adapting. He equipped items he used to wear as a human and Kolderim’s daemon sword and finally held the ‘Torchlight left behind by Sculptors’.
“Bit more comfortable now.”
Even though his body wasn’t enhanced in combats like when he was a Doom Knight, he was able to equip much better equipment. Also he was able to receive healing and blessings from priests so there was no negative side to it.
When Weed stood again in front of other people, Pale’s group and Necromancers were already in the inner fortress.
“The effect of a sculpture…”
Due to the torch Weed held, users’ capabilities went up dramatically and their faith, intelligence and wisdom increased by 10 permanently.
“It’s the sculpture he made last time.”
“The sculpture from Weed-nim can do this much? A sculptor is a really awesome profession!”
While getting respects from the players, Weed spoke his plan.
“We will continue moving to the place where Balkan is. The monsters in the inner fortress will continue gathering… You must use holy spells unsparingly here.”
With just Geomchis fighting, the casualties from the Vandal knights would be huge. In Vargo fortress filled with Undead, they needed to do their best to break through.
“Undead will be coming from every side. What should we do?”, one of the paladins asked.
Right now, they were inside a perfect sealed barrier created by consuming all the mana from eight advanced priests. They were taking a brief break in an alley leading to the inner fortress, though this barrier could only last 3~4 minutes. Monsters entering from the outer fortress were a problem, but the strong monsters attacking inside the fortress were also troublesome.
“If we keep going, there is a stairway going to the bas.e.m.e.nt. Balkan is beneath it. After holding off the stairway, we will form a defensive parameter.”
On the only stairway going to the underground, they would fight the Undead on the narrow path. The paladins and priest could take breaks there, afterwards they would leave behind some defending forces and gamble their lives fighting Balkan.
It was a very simple and basic plan, but it all depended on arriving to their final destination with minimum damage. Knowing the interior of Vargo fortress very well, Weed did not struggle finding his way and could act as a guide faithfully.
Players were taking deep breaths out of anxiety. They were about to confront the legendary monster Balkan. If they won it was a relief, but if they could not and retreated, they would be completed annihilated without even getting out of the inner fortress.
“We came this far so might as well see the end.”
After taking a break to recover their vitality, they kept moving on. Undead endless jumped at them but holy spells from paladins and priests blasted them. Evil spirits came at them from the ceiling, walls and floors, and sometimes Vandal knights appeared.
Weed advanced onwards with the torch and Geomchis, Pale’s group, priests, paladins and Necromancers followed closely behind.
“The Undead keep coming, do you think we can succeed?”
“I don’t know. But it’s Weed who’s leading us so I’m pretty sure we can succeed.”
“But first to be defeated maybe us….”
They could only follow filled with pessimism and irritation.
Monsters even came out from old paintings, Vargo Fortress dangerous dungeon was of impossible standards.
“Ghosts coming out from the wall. Avoid them.”
“Look out for the monsters on the ceiling!”’
Despite the fact that there were a lot of paladins and priests gathered, victims due to the Undeads’ ambushes increased. If there is some health left, they could be saved by using a lot of healing spells but Undead with unbelievable levels killed about six Geomchis and paladins in a split second.
As a top priority, Priests were protected from every dangers but even so, there were many casualties among them. There were dangerous situation where they were attacked simultaneously back to front, but finally they were able to arrive at the wine cellar which was their destination!
If they just opened the door Balkan was waiting.
“Ah! Now the fight against Balkan is waiting before them. It is the moment we’ve all been waiting so long for.”
“It is a battle with tremendous stakes for Weed.”
The scene of Weed bringing players to invade Vargo Fortress was broadcasted live across many stations. Having advance warning before hand, the regular programs were cancelled and they made it into a special program.
On top of that many of the players were writing in the Royal Road message boards, that it became a large festivity. To express it in one sentence it was, ‘an event that was crazed with joy.’
Viewers’ response were beyond the expectation various broadcasting stations had. It was possible to say that the reason was because it’s Weed’s adventure which was never disappointing.
But there was another reason beyond why the viewers like it.
– It’s totally reckless.
– His guts swollen. How could he order 1 portion of sausage and ask just for the meat?
– Person above that is a tasteless joke. Weed-nim is known to eat a 5-man portion.
– Vargo Fortress! How can he go hunting in such a place?
Weed was unpredictable.
Weed did dangerous things that other users would never do without hesitation.
The feeling of tension and stress that was released at these moments!
Many stations broadcasted at the same time but depending on the disposition of the host, they all said different things.
“Ho Gung, according to the a.n.a.lysis there is high chance that the hunt will fail?”
“That’s right. We’ve completely a.n.a.lyzed their known military strength and as for me, I don’t see any chances of winning.”
“Even though there are priests and paladins, natural enemy of Undead?”
“You can’t just take Balkan’s spells out of your consideration. What is the reason why Necromancers are the most feared? They continuously create allies from corpses. But if that many men go in, it will only end up as a great disadvantage. In the worst situation, everyone will become Undead.”
“So how can they defeat Balkan?”
“I say take a small, very high level group. Currently there are no players at a level to hunt Balkan so you must see it as an impossible monster to hunt. And to be honest, I am very worried what kind of battle will proceed.”
Viewers turned away from such negatively-broadcasting station. Their viewer message boards were empty enough to cause snores.
“Considering Weed’s battles, I’m sure he has come up with a lot of strategies and therefore will fight well. Watching and learning tactics Weed brings out one by one will be something many of you can enjoy. Of course all those tactics might not work.”
“Weed is in the situation where he can’t afford not to hunt Balkan because Undead Legion is attacking Morata right now. If he fails, Morata’s existence will be in danger.”
Objective and neutral broadcasts had low ratings as well.
“Last time I checked, they just entered the inner fortress and now they are already one step away from Balkan. Aren’t they absurdly fast?”
“Normally, a legendary monster like this has many t.i.tles. Moving siege weapon or emperor of Undead and so on. But right now its not matched well with its opponent. As Weed is the War G.o.d after all.”
“So the reason why Weed has been called the War G.o.d ever since the magical continent is being explained now?”
“I do not need to speak many words about it. I think you can just look at the screen. Who other than Weed could possibly fight so efficiently and systematically with perfect strangers?”
The stations that complimented and cheered Weed, their ratings exploded!
Because it was being broadcasted by many stations, the ratings were much more sensitive. The broadcast official while speaking celebratory words could not avoid being critical.
Ever since they started programs about Royal Road, broadcasting staffs haven’t seen a single player with such popularity regardless of gender and age. Most players were just well known because of their authority, strength or higher level than others but none of them were a match for Weed in popularity itself.
In an objective way, Bardray and even the heads of any guilds had much more influence and authority than Weed. Despite all that, people were cheering for Weed because he made sculptures, showed many kinds of skills and went on thrilling adventure.
An adventure that everyone dreams of, rather than formation of corrupt force.
An adventure that they themselves couldn’t go on.
No one could hate a sculptor playing in the wide Versailles continent as his stage.
“If people love it this much…”
“I guess we should consider creating a program featuring Weed?”
“I think it would be okay to orientate information about the sculptures Weed made or his prefered hunting ground.”
“He’s been on TV several times and he always drew high ratings.”
Broadcast officials only saw how to use Weed’s popularity. But watching the recent broadcast, more and more among them were siding with Weed.
They were all players as well that travelled Versailles continent.
“I’ll open the door. Get ready for battle and charge immediately.”
As soon as Weed opened the door, they were able to see Balkan Demorph sitting in a huge chair.
|– You are falling into a state of fear.Your body is temporarily stunned.Maximum health and mana is reduced by 20%.
Strength reduced by 45%.
Agility reduced by 23%.
Wisdom reduced by 40%.
Vitality reduced by 28%.
You are becoming unlucky.
| – You have a mental breakdown, falling into hallucinatory state.You feel dizziness.The chance of skill or spell failure increased.
You are seeing visions.
Vitality is declining fast.
To be honest, he predicted the situation somewhat and was resolute in his heart.
But just looking at Balkan caused this many effects!
Weed’s fighting spirit, willpower and faith were evenly high but the effect was still tremendous. When he came as a Doom Knight, he was on the same side so it was okay but now that he’s completely an enemy, he had to confront the great power of Balkan face to face.
“Don’t do this. Don’t come near me!”
Priest even had great physical damage and were threatened by vision. It was a legendary monster that threw humans into chaos in a split second.
Geomchis were only slight harmed.
Through many reckless challenges, their willpower and fighting spirit were extremely high and as their cla.s.s was martial artists, they fought strong enemies by sc.r.a.ping all their strength from the bottom.
Marey took out his instrument and performed on it. Music was a useful method to win over the fear.
‘Let me show you why I am the best bard in the continent.’
They were being broadcasted live on many stations so this was an opportunity he was waiting for. To the bards, the moment where Weed sang before the start of battle was incredibly awesome enough to cause jealousy.
A palace hall was nothing compared to the stage that was Balkan hunting.
Place where the G.o.d of War treads on.
The Frozen lands, legions…
He sang in a quiet voice the composed song he was pleased with.
Starting off in a calm, soothing melody.
And then about halfway, Marey singing was known to change in an explosive manner.
Too strong. The tough looking Undead!
Weed for his own song, cried out a Lion’s Roar.
Trying not to be pushed aside, Marey tried to match the song while playing on his instrument.
Steps making history…..
Looking strong enough for me to tremble
But you shall die today
What priced item are you wearing
Following the blowing wind.
Robe is expensive
How much is the crown on your head?
Even Your skeleton scepter is mine
It was much crueler than someone just taking away the mike when he had prepared his best song in a karaoke!
Marey’s epic and grand song was buried deep by Weed’s off-the-beat and out-of-tune yelling.
Simple yet addictive song that was easy to follow!
|– By listening to a music, effects of fear and hallucination reduced by 58%.|
Marey, in despair, desperately played his instrument at least to protect his dignity as a bard. He brought out Weed’s random singing by exquisitely following with his instrument.
‘When will he end? How will he compose the ending?’ Because they didn’t have any consultation in advance, Marey followed along his instrument anxiously. However, Weed’s song suddenly ended without even a proper closing.
As Weed’s orders fell, paladins ran toward Balkan as they planned. Above them, the Vandal knights including the Undead Legion continuously tried to come downstairs. Whether they fail hunting Balkan or prolonging the Undead Legion from coming down, it was a situation where they face annihilation.
Balkan stood up from his chair.
“You sc.u.ms. You did well coming here to end your lives early. I don’t need your worthless heads. I’ll make all of you into headless Undead and make you obey me forever.”
|– Necromancer’s Declaration has been used.|
Paladins charged in but they all headed in different directions.
They thought they were running toward the right direction but they were trapped in Balkan’s vision.
As Balkan snapped his finger, freezing surge swept in.
Even though paladins were coated with bright holy power, the effect of freezing slowed them and made their body rigid.
“Kill the humans.”
From the ground, fifty Doom knights rose as one. They were Balkans protective guards.
“There are Undead here as well.”
“We need to take care of them fast. We must not give time for Balkan to cast another spell!”
To get closer, paladins had to fight Doom knights first. If the battle proceeds like this, as soon as there is a corpse, the balance of the battle will immediately be on Balkan’s side and give him the advantages. But the paladins weren’t surprised.
‘Weed told us this kind of battle had a high chance of probability.’
He said that once paladins rush, Balkan will focus his attacks on them. As a Lich, his physical capabilities weren’t all bad but as a magician if the paladins closed the distance, Balkan would be in an extremely difficult position.
As a typical Necromancer, Balkan will cast several critical curses and create Undead using paladins as sacrifices.
But the paladins were baits.
Due to their unique defense capabilities and body protection, they will get relatively less damage from Balkan’s magic attacks. If they were to fight defensively, they could even withstand attacks of Doom knights for a very long time.
The real attack was prepared by the priests.
Priests casted Undead cleansing spells in unison.
Many visions of Balkan disappeared and huge impacts cause the dark auras to undulate.
Even if he is Balkan the legendary monster, it was impossible not to get damaged from an attack that was completely incompatible with him.
Balkan’s body and his surroundings shone brightly with holy power.
Romuna used a spell quickly.
“Sprouting life, show me everything of it. View Life Force!
|Lich Balkan DemophSorcerer of darkness. A Warlock that overcame the limitation of human being.Raising Undead, he tried to conquer the continent.
Has a body of a Lich. Due to the sacred sword stabbed in his chest, his physical activities and magical strengths are restricted.
As a legendary monster he is the public enemy of all kingdoms and churches.