Volume 24 Chapter 6: Three Bone Dragons
Though the priests attack’s were successful, Balkan’s life was far away from death. A Lich was an existence that could survive infinitely long as it could create an army if there were corpses and living creatures.
“Awaken, my servants…!”
As Balkan shouted, a 5-meter high Stone Golem stood up from the ground. It was so high that it could almost sc.r.a.pe the ceiling with its thick looking pairs of arms and legs! Higher-rank Necromancers usually had at least one Golem type guardian and in case of Balkan, it was a stone golem.
As the Stone Golem swung its arm, paladins were thrown back. Every time the Golem ran, the ground shook and small rubble fell from the ceiling. It had vitality, defence and attack like a steel wall. And as it is a guardian created by magic, it didn’t take damages from holy spells.
“Be careful. It’s not certain but it must be mid to late level 400.”
“We have to breakthrough the golem first to get to Balkan.”
“Let’s take down the golem.”
They thought the battle to be simple because they were against Balkan but the battle became chaotic instantly.
Usually, when magicians are hit by one or two small attacks, their spells got cancelled and they experienced fluctuation in mana. But Balkan was fine even with continuous. .h.i.ts from Light Sphere and Turn Undead. With the Lich’s high magic resistance, the spell casting didn’t get cancelled.
Pale and Maylon concentrated their mana in arrows and shot it toward Balkan. As a magician, Balkan could not take drastic evasive movements while chanting a spell so the arrows. .h.i.t without missing all the time. But it felt like he did not mind the minor attacks at all.
A Lich’s nature was to drain health and mana from living creatures so Balkan was not in a desperate situation.
More than 200 paladins in Balkan’s curse range were surrounded by dark and blue energies.
A very strong curse that disturbs the targets breathing!
This time, about 30 paladins’ bones in their bodies were crushed. Even though they were wearing armor, they couldn’t overcome the curse because of low resistance.
“Fire Hydra Summon.”
Balkan even summoned a Fire Hydra. Sprouting from the ground head first, it breathed fire from each of its head. Balkan casted three spells consecutively with ease.
After a very short break, Balkan began casting attack magic on the paladins.
Rings of freezing air were created and covered the paladins.
The priests’ healing spells were focused on Balkan and paladins. Because of that they were able to prevent ma.s.s slaughters from the continuous spells. Also it was due to the nature of paladins’ magic defence and resistance being comparably higher than the warrior cla.s.s.
Weed observed the situation cooly.
‘Balkan’s curse magic, Necromancers’ magic are on top standards. Looking at his unbelievably strong Undead, I’m pretty sure he can create a bunch of Bone Dragons if he has the required corpses. He can use summon magic quite well but his attack magic is fairly weak.’
Up to a certain point, Balkan’s magic was relatively weak compared to other magicians. Balkan could cast attack spells faster than advanced magicians over level 400. If one considered not only the magic strength but the casting speed as important in battle, it could be said to be a considerable forte.
On top of that, paladins were extremely overwhelmed just by looking at Balkan. The summoned Doom Knights and Stone golem were in even more rampageous and Balkan interchanged between lightning and ice spells and some of the paladins fell victims to the attacks.
According to Romuna’s check, Balkan’s health dropped to 73% after the continuous attack by the priests using Turn Undead, but it was not hopeful news. There were already 19 newly dead corpses. a.s.suming Balkan would create higher-rank Undead with his Undead summoning spell, it’s only right to say that the current hunt will fail.
Currently, though it was not aggregated, about a million people were estimated to be paying attention to the live broadcast. The quest of Weed with his companions, not only was it watched by the players but the viewers as well who were watching with variety of different emotions.
‘Get killed violently.’
‘Weed is finished now.’
High-level rankers and players in top guilds wished for Weed’s failure as one.
But humans still had a moving force, the Geomchis.
Even though the battle had started, Geomchis had to endure the urge to fight because Weed told them to wait for Balkan’s response against the paladins.
Geomchis pulled strength in their bodies and yelled out a war cry. Based on their resilience, willpower and courage, they fully overcame Balkan’s fear effect. Now Geomchis could fight like usual, without any restrictions. That was already enough of an advantage when fighting Balkan.
“Kill these b.a.s.t.a.r.ds.”
Geomchis jumped out and swung their swords at the Golem and Doom Knights. The standards of Balkan’s handmade Undead were different. Doom Knights with Death Aura effect were almost as strong as semi-boss monsters but using their skill, the Geomchis were able fight evenly. And because they were under the blessings from priests, they were able to fight even more rough and recklessly than usual.
“Destroy them completely!”
“Do not let your guard down until priests cleanse the monster you defeated with their holy power.”
Balkan was kept in check by the paladins. Using this moment as an opportunity, Geomchis destroyed Doom knights and purified them.
While everyone was fighting with all their might, suddenly a soothing melody was heard!
Bellot was playing her instrument on the battlefield. She sang a sacred song raising priests’ faith and paladins’ strength.
Romuna occasionally flung spells and Surka fought the Doom Knights with Geomchis. Zephyr and Hwaryeong took care of the Undead coming down the stairway with other players. Because of Zephyr’s wide range attacks and Hwaryeong’s monster sleep skill, they didn’t join the hunting of Balkan themselves.
“You uncivilized humans, what a foolish resistance. This land is ruled by my commandments of darkness. Experience the power of the eternal Undead Legion. Dark Rule!”
One of Balkan’s three great magics, a spell that turns every corpse in the vicinity into Undead was cast. Balkan Demoph was a high-rank Necromancer and as a magician, he could use three special magics.
Dark Rule, Death Aura, Absolute Magic defence!
Absolute Magic defence blocks the sources of any attack spells that endanger him. Unless it was the standard of a great magician, they could not even touch the tip of Balkan’s bones. Of course Romuna’s capabilities were far lower than Balkan but she was already useful just by casting spells on Undead.
By the Dark Rule, the bas.e.m.e.nt and the whole Vargo fortress turned dark red. If Balkan creates Undead based on corpses of paladins and Geomchis, his war potential will become a lot bigger. With Death Aura, he could automatically drain health and mana these Undead gain by fighting.
But Necromancers waited for this moment and moved faster than Balkan. They came bare handed because it was obvious any Undead they brought here will be under Balkan’s command, but they did not come here to play around.
“Arise. Souls who have yet to close their eyes, who have yet to slumber. The living here and the ones that killed you, take revenge! Dead Rise.”
Paladins‘ corpses turned into low skeletons and arose.
“Humans… They are attacking Balkan-nim.”
Skeletons looked around and then immediately started fighting for Balkan.
“What’s this, these gnats.”
As Geomchi487 pushed them by, their bodies broke futilely!
These low rank Undead created by Necromancers and not by Balkan’s Dark Rule were annihilated by the priests’ purification magic in no time at all. The Necromancers made a great achievement blocking Undead summoning, Balkan’s strongest point.
Mapan took off the white cover off his carriage he forcefully dragged here.
The ‘Advent of the Seven Angels’ sculpture. He brought Daycram’s magnum opus from the Art Center.
Abusing the authority as the owner of the Art Center and the Sculpture!
He actively used the delivered sculpture that magnified the effects of holy power and increased mana regeneration speed. Of course if they lost, the Seven Angels sculpture made out of mithril will be Balkan’s so it was a huge gamble for Weed.
“We need to go this way.”
Weed, together with 150 top order Geomchis and 30 priests broke through the bas.e.m.e.nt and headed toward the inner fortress of Vargo Fortress. At first the Undead chased after them, but soon after as if they realized they needed to protect Balkan in the bas.e.m.e.nt they stopped following.
‘We need to destroy the Life Vessel that is sealing the Lich’s health.’
Balkan is a legendary monster that even using holy power was difficult to kill. His magical strength was severely restricted by the sacred sword in his chest but it’s impossible to estimate his level. To completely destroy Balkan that didn’t even die with a sacred sword embedded in him, Weed needed to take out the Life Vessel first.
If Balkan with low health got reverse summoned near the Life Vessel, he will be able to control the Undead Legion again and kill every players that came inside the fortress.
‘It might possibly be there.’
There was a place that Weed was suspicious of the Life Vessel being when he was taking a look around the inner fortress as a Doom Knight.
“As there is not much time let’s run.”
“Alright, let’s go faster!”
Weed and Geomchis ran down the hallway fast. They had no time to hesitate as many people keeping Balkan in check would continue to die.
Priests have never suffered physically so much in their lives.
They had been raising their stats for wisdom or faith so they got exhausted easily just by walking for a long time. Just trying to keep pace with Weed and Geomchis was enough to make their legs tremble.
“Hop on me”
Geomchis crouched and stuck out their robust backs.
“But that would be discourtesy….”
“The reason why a man’s back is so wide is because of these situation. We’ve never got to use it so far but it’s ok.”
Priests hopped precariously on the masculine Geomchis. Weed who only brought along female priests for Geomchis!
Monsters guarding the hallway frequently showed up but Weed and Geomchis broke through with their extraordinary actions.
“Hey, over here. Heriam Fencing!”
When Weed stuck out the Sculptor’s Torch, the Undead were exposed to holy power, wrapping their skulls and suffered. Using these moments, he decisively slashed with his sword and kept going.
As they were heading on the upper part of the inner fortress, Weed who could see far
saw that there were fierce fights going on everywhere outside the fortress. Flames and smoke were rising, skeletons running around the fortress wall, ghosts flew around in the air.
“For the glory of Balkan-nim!”
“Kill the elves. Welcome these elves who came to become one of us.”
“Head toward the bas.e.m.e.nt and help the Balkan-nim.”
In the pa.s.sages Undead gathered in groups and moved about. Every time they approached, Weed, Geomchis and priests hid in empty rooms or behind the path and waited for them to pa.s.s.
“Sahyung, let’s continue.”
The destination Weed chose was on the third floor of the inner fortress. Through the steel gate guarded by 20 Vandal Knights, he speculated there will be Balkan’s Life Vessel behind the gate.
‘It’s probably the right place.’
Liches conceal their Life Vessels very thoroughly. Weed wasn’t able to enter but the possibility was high with severe protections.
“Humans rebelling against Balkan-nim.”
As soon as they arrived at the steel gate, the Vandal Knights confronted them in battle. While priests were casting blessing and healing spells and Geomchis were fighting them, Weed confronted one Vandal knight.
“I am the knight Elliot.”
“I am Weed. To meet like this is an honor.”
By instinct, Weed tried to raise his intimacy with him. The habit of flattery on higher-rank Undead still remained in Weed’s body.
“By coming here you must die. Farhead Fencing.”
The Vandal Knight stepped forward. When Weed was an Undead, he wanted to try fighting a Vandal Knight. The equipment they used looked unordinary and with Weed’s current level, killing a Vandal Knight would give him tons of experience.
Weed who learned the blacksmith skill, just by looking briefly he was able to figure out estimates of price or specs of equipment. Vandal Knights covered their bodies with heavy armor so their defence was very high but in return, they had less flexibility.
“Leave the land of Balkan-nim!”
Every time Vandal knights swung their swords, dark energies got released and swept everything within a 5-meter radius. Just a scratch took away a lot of Weed’s health.
“Moonlight Sculpting Blade!”
Weed swung his profound, s.h.i.+ning sword against Vandal Knights and started his attack. He preferred close-range combat but it was difficult to hit them directly so he used Moonlight Sculpting Blade.
“It’s really pretty!”
Even in this desperate situation, priests managed to get impressed by Weed.
It was the most beautiful skill that they had ever seen!
Compared to the simple flus.h.i.+ng of white, black or reddish lights according to a swordsman’s speciality, his was profound and full of splendor. But the damage itself was weak compared to its effects. It had a great benefit of ignoring the enemy’s defence but it wasn’t like it could push the enemy with a strong force and the range was not so wide. Even so, it cost triple the mana consumption compared to the Sculpting Blade skill.
After he mastered Heriam Fencing, he used it barely and even then, it was for a short while but now he could use it as much as he wanted. He was holding the torch sculpted out of helium that supplied mana. It felt like receiving his first salary from a company and going out to eat with his co-workers!
“Right, let’s beat them evenly.”
Weed started to beat the Vandal Knights into a pulp. The Undead Vandal Knights that were much higher in rank than a Doom Knight!
Both sides neglected their defence and a slugfest erupted where they only focused on beating up each other. Weed took some damage as well but besides the healing he received from the priests, his resilience, endurance and defense from his equipment were quite high.
With priests behind him, he was able to fully focus on hunting quickly without caring about things.
|– You obtained Elliot’s boots.|
|– You obtained Elliot’s cape.|
|– You picked up 81 gold, 34 silver and 58 copper.|
Acquiring unique items!When he finished off the Vandal Knight, the Geomchis finished their battles as well. Geomchi’s who fought in a group with a large number ended up with all kinds of injuries.
“Huk… That was a really hard battle.”
“But everyone fought well.”
They fought with everything they’ve got to show off in front of female priests and intentionally received injuries to feel the healing hands just once more.
“Now, if we open the door….”
Geomchis and priests weren’t fully recovered but Weed went straight to the steel gate. There were still Undead wandering around Vargo Fortress so he couldn’t afford to take a rest. Geomchi15 took out a key from among his drops from the Vandal Knights, he inserted it in the lock and turned.
The lock was released.
‘We can now kill Balkan completely. The final moment of Lich Balkan Demoph the legendary monster has come.’
Weed with all his strength opened the steel gate with both hands.
And then he was touched.
“Ohhhh, what a wonderful place!”
He predicted the Life Vessel would be standing by itself in a room but the room was filled with mountains of antique swords, armors and all kinds of treasures.
The place Weed and Geomchis went in was the treasure room of Vargo fortress.
“How much is all this.”
Weed’s smile stretched out till it felt like it could be torn. Golds in pots and chests looked like it was worth more than hundreds of thousands gold. But if only market value were taken into consideration the swords and armors were much more valuable.
“There are some of Balkan’s magic items.”
Due to their specs and rarity, magic items made by Balkan himself would bring in a lot of money.
A scepter that magnifies spells of certain attributes. Boots that allowed you to fly in the sky and walk over water.
Overjoyed Weed’s first negative thought!
‘I should have came here alone….’
Geomchis, priests and Marey who followed along so he could compose a new song, because of them he had to share. As Weed was the one who led the quest, he had the owners.h.i.+p of 30% of all treasures that were found, the rest were divided based on the number of partic.i.p.ants.
In a world where it’s heart-breaking to share even a small pea, how can you share mountains of gold, silver, treasures and items!
The second thought that came up in Weed’s head was that the sharing of treasures wasn’t even a problem. They could only take the gold, silver and treasure if they won the battle.
Weed’s face hardened.
‘Balkan’s Life Vessel isn’t here.’
Based on the fact that this place was in the center of the inner fortress with very heavy guards, he was certain this was the right place.
Weed sent a whisper to Mapan in haste.
- What is the situation with Balkan?
A reply came back without delay.
- Balkan’s withstanding by continuing summoning Undead.
- His health?
- Priests are almost out of mana, he drained health and mana from Geomchis and paladins so he’s still fine.
As long as he couldn’t destroy the Life Vessel, they couldn’t kill Balkan and will fail the battle as well. It became possible that all of the humans that entered Vargo fortress might be buried in here.
‘We must find the Life Vessel. It’s definitely inside Vargo Fortress. There can’t be any other places. This place was the most safe and heavily fortified by the Undead.’
In critical situations, Weed’s brain only worked faster! In the room Balkan was, there was no apparent place to hide. Even so, the Life Vessel would not be hidden in a wine bottle in the bas.e.m.e.nt.
‘It has to be a place where Balkan feels much safer and secured than this place where it is guarded by the Vandal Knights.’
Looking back through his memories calmly, he came up with a possible place where the Life Vessel was. There was a place several times safer than the outer or inner fortress. It was the top of the central tower in Vargo Fortress where Three Bone Dragons were flying around!
Everyone was exhausted from infiltrating the inner fortress of Vargo Fortress and breaking through the Undead. But now, they were in a situation where they had to fight against the Bone Dragons.
United army of elves, barbarians and dwarves could not collapse the outer part of Vargo Fortress and continued to fight. If every warriors of each races came, they would have conquered the outer fortress already but their main forces didn’t get deployed as they had to protect the fairy queen.
Fortunately for the united army, the Undead force was divided as well. In the inner fortress, there was a limitation to number of soldiers that can fight due to the narrow hallway.
“Kill them all.”
From the ground in the hills nearby, the Undead arose and headed toward the outer fortress like a tide.
“Drive out the Undead, gain courage knowing that you are reclaiming freedom for our land””
Elves, dwarves and barbarians fought fiercely. From the chaos occurring in the outer fortress, Weed felt a serious chilling.
‘Three Bone Dragons…”
Normal Bone Dragons were already scary enough, but these Bone Dragon were masterpieces made by Balkan himself.
‘I guess we have no choice.’
Indomitable will that burned when he was driven into poverty and stepped on!
“Sahyung, we need to fight the Bone Dragons at the central tower to kill Balkan. What do you think we should do?”
He asked the Geomchis for their opinions just in case they had a good idea.
“We beat them down.”
“And leave perfectly good swords lying around?”
Truthfully, Weed also felt something was missing when he considered not going after the Bone Dragons.
There were more Undead reinforcements in the hallway as they moved toward the central tower. If they keep taking care of the approaching Undead on their way to the central tower, it will take a lot of time and they may be annihilated.
“We have to take a shortcut. I’ll go first. Please keep some distance and follow me.”
Weed broke a window and went out to the outer wall. Outside where the cool wind blew, gargoyles were flying around.
Skeleton archers standing guard on the fortress wall or lookout towers started shooting arrows towards Weed. Weed grabbed protruding parts and climbed along the wall.
He moved like a spider between the raining arrows, jumped on a destroyed part of the fortress wall or the portruding stones and hung on to it.
“Shoot the human first.”
“He seems like the worst guy. We must kill him first for Balkan-nim.”
Skeleton archers focused their attack on Weed.
Even gargoyles approached and pecked Weed with their beaks.
“Moonlight Sculpting Blade!”
In a disadvantageous situation, hanging on the castle wall, Weed used his handicapped left hand to swing the sword. He drew the focus of the enemy so Geomchis, Marey and the priests could reach the top safely.
“Kill the man hanging on wall completely.”
“Let’s show the greatness of Undead.”
On the ground, skeleton mages gathered magic on their hands and shot also. Messages indicating he’s been hit kept popping up.
|– Remaining health 36,789.|
‘I am gonna die at this rate.’
Weed reached the roof of Vargo Fortress through climbing the wall. The roof of the inner fortress is was skewed and tilted. He was able to see many other large towers standing taller than the roof.
Following after Weed, gargoyles and bats attacked him with spells and arrows continuing after him. Only about 15% of his health was left. He had to buy enough time for Geomchis and priests to reach the top of the central tower from the other direction.
“With the situation as it is, I guess I have no choice..”
Weed took out a sculpture. A fine sculpture made of bronze called, ‘j.a.ptem Embracing Merchant’.
“I didn’t want to use this again… but I’m not in the position to be picky when I have to fight the Bone Dragons. Sculptural Destruction! Let everything turn into agility.”
He crushed the sculpture with his own hand.
At that moment.
Weed’s body shone with light.
| – You used the Sculpture Destruction.
Sorrow! Agony at the destruction of a fine sculpture.5 art stat disappeared permanently. Fame decreased by 100.
Art stat transformed to agility with 1:4 ratio for 24 hours.
Because your art stat is too high and agility stat is low, the conversion will not happen instantly.
850 agility is converted into advance level 8 skill, ‘Wind Sprinting’. By consuming your mana, you can ride on the wind and run.
650 agility is converted to advanced level 8 skill, ‘Avoiding Art’. You can dodge enemies’ attacks completely. It draws more capabilities out of leather armor.
410 agility is converted to advanced level 4 skill, ‘Lucky Intervention’. Coincidental lucks occur frequently and you can use three-times stronger attribute attacks.
520 agility is converted to advance level 6 skill, ‘Accurate Attack’. Chance of critical hit has risen and attack increased.
|– Proficiency in sculpting increased.|
Weed’s body literally felt light as a feather.“It good enough to run a 100-meter race.”
In Royal Road, changes in stats also result in physical changes. At beginner level, it takes nearly 30 seconds to sprint 100-meter. If you are wearing armor, it may take more than a minute.
But by raising strength and agility, speed would gradually increase and later it was possible to get 10 seconds like the actual athletes, and as the level increase the running speed would become even faster than that.
His endurance changed as well. He was able to complete a marathon as long as his vitality keeps up with him.
| – An arrow pa.s.sed by causing a scratch.
Health decreased by 130.
The flying arrow from skeleton didn’t hit Weed precisely and fell. It was the effect of agility where he naturally evaded without moving much.
“Then should I counterattack now?”
Weed took out a bow of high-elf Yurika. The price for arrows was regretful but now was the time to use it! If wood and steel was available, using his blacksmithing skill he could produce arrows so he premade 300 of them.
Weed ran on top of the tower and roof. He was too fast for bats and gargoyles to chase after him. He placed arrows in the string and shoot them towards skeletons. They seemed to be flying in completely wrong direction but they slowly changed their direction and precisely hit the enemies!
|– Spirits of water inflicted additional damages.|
A whirlpool of water appeared and swept the skeletons.“Hit him!”
“Kill that human first.”
Weed slashed approaching gargoyles and shot arrows toward the skeleton archers while he was running around the roof. Arrows from skeleton archers all focused on him and gargoyles sitting on the fortress walls and towers flew in unison for a battle.
A thrilling pleasure coming from reckless speed!
Weed ran around the incomparably dangerous Vargo Fortress freely. As Weed pulled out his hand, an arrow shot from a skeleton archer was unbelievably caught.
|– You obtained a steel arrow.|
He shot the arrow immediately and returned it.
Pale looked at Balkan with his eyes filled with fear.
“This monster, really its too much!”
Even though there were Necromancers, they weren’t able to summon every corpse as Undead before Balkan. The Undead summoned by Balkan were at least at the level of a Doom Knight.
Elite Doom Knight.
Captain Doom Knight.
Slaughterer Doom Knight
Plague bringing Doom Knight
They were all at the level of named monsters.
Even five Vandal Knights were summoned. Rather than attacking Balkan, paladins and Geomchis had to keep fighting Balkan’s royalguards while suffering from all kinds of curses.
Balkan was even withstanding Turn Undead spells from the priests. Due to Death Aura, he drained health and mana through Undead to survive. The paladins could not help but feel daunted.
“I think the number of Undead are continuously increasing.”
“Is Balkan going to die soon?”
“Can we even kill him? I think we are the one who will be annihilated!”
Romuna was deeply touched.
“If it’s not too late, should I change my profession to a Necromancer? Even if it’s difficult, if I become a Lich…”
The strength of a Lich that can control a kingdom even when being restricted by a sacred sword was revealed beyond doubt.
At the same time the broadcasting stations were engulfed in pleasant worries. The battle in the bas.e.m.e.nt where Balkan was, Undead versus paladins, contesting priest, it was enough to call it a battle of good and evil.
Geomchis were making great plays but Balkan’s Necromancer spells were so terrifyingly powerful that when there were casualties, his Undead force slowly increased. Another problem was that they had to block the Undead Legion coming from upstairs so their forces were divided.
On the other hand, Weed was running around rooftops of Vargo Fortress and fighting.Shooting arrows while sliding down the roof, leaping without any fear and slas.h.i.+ng gargoyles with colorful Moonlight Sculpting Blade. A heart pumping battle scene with Vargo Fortress as a background.
It would be enough to reach the top place in the Hall of Fame. With them showing the best moments the viewers could not keep their eyes off.
“Which side do we have to broadcast?!”
Overall they felt the battle against Balkan was clearly important so they broadcasted that side but due to opinions of viewers curious about Weed, they changed the scene again.
- What is happening with battle against Balkan?
- Show us Weed moving around the roof.
- How can he fight in a monster filled place as if he’s in an open area? Is it because he is Weed? I’m getting bored of dungeons, if I become a high level player, will I be able to fight like Weed? But still, I think fighting against the swarming monsters in a place like Vargo fortress is suicide.
- They can only win the battle if they kill Balkan… Show us Balkan.
- What are you doing, I was watching it! Turn back to Weed!
With fiery requests from viewers, broadcasting stations were bound to be sweared at with whatever they did.