8) Armour Taken Away
Weed’s health was only just over 40,000 at best. He had low health and resilience compared to his level but he overcame it with perseverance and his armour.
Bardray’s attack was powerful enough that he lost 17,000 health. The Black Knight had high level equipment and various blessings placed on him so a frontal attack was extremely successful.
Weed was thrown back and fell to the ground.
Torido rushed out to oppose Bardray. He could attack and defend but Torido couldn’t fight in a one on one battle without getting injured. Fortunately Torido was in a good condition compared to Van Hawk because he could suck blood to recover.
‘This method won’t work.’
Weed touched his chest where his armour was crumpled. Bardray’s level was definitely higher than his own. His attack skills were also superior. Aside from Radiant Sword, he didn’t any useful skills to fight against Bardray with.
The thing that differentiated Weed from other users was his much higher stats. The stats stacked due to his sculptor skill, blacksmith skill and sewing skills so they were a big help.
Bardray raised his stats by clearing dungeons, hunting boss cla.s.s monsters and completing difficult quests with the Hermes Guild.
If compared than their stats would be at an almost equal level.
Right now Weed needed a drastic measure. Disaster Nature Sculpting!
‘A volcanic eruption, earthquake, landslide, mine collapse or even filling it with water would be nice.’
But Disaster Nature Sculpting required an appropriate sculpture to use it. Even if Weed had a sculpture of a volcanic eruption then it was also likely that he would die as well. If the disaster was too big then it was highly likely that he would break his own rice bowl! If he caused a volcanic eruption then he couldn’t escape the cave so he would be caught up in it.
‘There’s also Summon Sculpture but I don’t want to use that.’
He could summon some sculptural lifeforms as reinforcement. But this place was too confined for Phoenix and Bingryong to play an active role. The wyverns were too weak so he couldn’t bring them. Goldman and Yellowy had struggled in the Jigolaths so he would feel sorry if they had to struggle on the brink of death again. The King Hydra would but suitable but the Red Belkain was here so it might turn into a situation where they fought each other instead.
“I need to do this by myself.”
Weed decided to fight alone. In the worst case situation he would just lose a bit of experience, skill proficiency and an equipment.
“I have to gather myself and try again. Bardray, I can truly feel the power of the person called the strongest on the Versailles Continent.”
Weed had never met a rival before. He had a few exchanges with people from prestigious guilds on quests but he had always been stronger. Now the target he wanted to fight was Bardray! His life would fly away if he was defeated but for now he had courage. If a drop of soy sauce was buried with bean sprouts then it wouldn’t be afraid to sprout anywhere on the Versailles Continent.
Weed wound a bandage around his body at a fast pace. Torido’s health was rapidly falling as he duelled with Bardray. This was due to the holy damage received from the priests’ support.
He fought a lot harder when his health fell. Weed inwardly thought ‘Torido, I’m going now.’ He was thinking of landing a surprise blow on Bardray. The surprise attack wasn’t effective.
The Hermes Guild’s priests watching the battle noticed it seconds before he struck. The fight against the Red Belkain had become stable so many eyes were turned towards Bardray. The Red Belkain was losing health and vitality under the onslaught.
Weed ran to Bardray’s side.
“Seven Celestial Footsteps!”
It was a technique that could change the direction of each step! With Wind Sprint also activated, he moved so fast that afterimages could be seen.
“I’ve been waiting for you to come.”
Bardray blocked with his sword like he already knew about it. Weed knew that there was a limit to his attacks.
‘The performance of his armour is really amazing. I’ve barely done any damage to him.’
If a strong attack was about to be used then he needed to take advantage of the time required for Bardray to activate it. Weed immediately turned sideways and continued his offensive.
Brandish, stab, slas.h.!.+
The continuous swordsmans.h.i.+p made it difficult to even respond. He was looking for a gap in Bardray’s defense.
“This isn’t enough.”
Bardray said as he blocked the sword. Some attacks he missed while some he blocked brilliantly. Weed moved to the side and continued attacking. Although Bardray tried to take one or two steps backwards to counterattack but Weed just struck more harshly.
‘The differences between level and equipment is somewhat reduced in close combat. If it doesn’t take one or two hits then I will hit him a hundred thousand times!’
Weed’s speed was so quick that Bardray couldn’t stop everything.
|-Your sword has been blocked by the defense.
You have hit the shoulder armour of your opponent!
An accurate attack has succeeded.
The armour has absorbed a lot of the sword’s destructive power.
Vitality has been reduced by 149.
|-Your sword has clashed with the other sword.|
|-Your sword has pierced the enemy’s chest.
An accurate attack has succeeded.
A fatal blow!
The opponent is wearing an item that gives immunity to confusion and paralysis.
Health has been reduced by 617.
Weed’s sword was incredibly fast. The attack speed was almost impossible to believe. Bardray blocked with his sword at an angle and aimed for a counterattack.
But Bardray grasped the fact that Weed’s offensive power was weaker after their swords clashed. Weed’s movements might be fast but Bardray didn’t have to stop every attack. Bardray fought back and the battle between the two of them became even fiercer.
He remembered something Geomchi said when sparring.
-Look at your opponent. If you look straight at the opponent then you won’t lose.
He looked at Bardray’s eyes, shoulders and muscles hidden by the armour. The sound of swords. .h.i.tting each other rang out through Belkain’s lair like a musical instrument. Weed concentrated his nerves as he battled carefully.
Flames flew forcefully as the two swords clashed. The flames were like a tumultuous wave! Bardray didn’t see a message window.
‘It really is enough to make me nervous.’
Weed’s level was definitely lower and Bardray was overwhelming in many aspects. The difference between the power and skill when handling a sword was obvious. However his continuous, aggressive attacks meant Bardray lost the initiative and was forced on the defense.
‘It is good that I met him now. It might’ve been dangerous if I met him later.’
Weed would grow very quickly while continuing his adventures. Bardray considered it fortunate that they encountered each other right now.
‘I will thoroughly defeat him. He will be unable to face me again.’
His level was high enough to bully people. He wanted to prove that the Black Knight had the ultimate power so Bardray’s sword dealt some serious damage. He estimated that they were trivial attacks and his armour absorbed most of the damage.
He just needed to defend his weak points and counterattack against Weed. Of course, if he used his wide area skills than this fight could end more easily.
“If this is the extent of your skills then it is time to die.”
Bardray strongly wielded his sword.
Spatial Destruction occurred in the entire radius around them! A colossal wind swept through the area.
“Treat us faster!”
The Hermes Guild members fighting the Red Belkain also received damage. The priests hurriedly used healing magic. Usually a boss monster hunt would get all the attention but the top priority was Bardray’s battle with Weed.
Weed pa.s.sed behind Bardray’s back. Thanks to the ‘Excellent Experience’ skill and his agility, he was able to grasp the direction of the attack as soon as the skill was used. He was able to move quickly because of the rise in agility gained from Sculptural Destruction!
Until now he hadn’t been that tense about the series of attacks. It might be difficult but he also felt that it was fun.
‘My vitality won’t hold……’
Weed’s vitality stat had reached 423 points thanks to making sculptures and production skills. Wind Sprint and Seven Star Form meant he could quickly change directions. Unfortunately his speed decreased as his vitality fell. It would be difficult for Weed to continue fighting Bardray with low health and vitality.
Then the Hermes Guild magicians secretly gathered together and chanted a spell.
“The caught body will be held and can’t move. Twilight Pressure!”
It was a magic to restrict movement!
Weed’s magic resistance was decent but it failed to block the spell from a coalition of senior magicians. Breaking the binding would require a significant amount of time and magic items. In the meantime, Bardray turned towards him.
“The time has come for you to die.”
Bardray’s sword was covered with a pure white flame.
“n.o.ble Sword. Saint Flame.”
Weed tried to avoid it but his foot wouldn’t move.
“This! My leg……”
He tried to stop him but it was meaningless. Weed tried to call Torido but he had changed into a bat and was too busy avoiding the arrows to come and help.
“Close Eyes Tightly!”
Weed covered his body with the Ancient Sword and struck a defense pose. Bardray’s sword was swung. The warrior’s sword struck Weed completely. It wouldn’t be easy to catch Weed again if he missed so Bardray poured all his power into this attack.
|-Your strength and vitality has decreased and you can’t properly defend.
A fatal blow!
|-You have received a ma.s.sive attack and died.
Additional damage is caused by the flames.
You don’t have the help from high rank healing magic or water spirits so your health will decrease by 475 every second..
Your waist protective piece has received a blow beyond its limits and has been destroyed.
|-The effect of Seulroeo’s Wedding Ring isn’t applied due to the drastic drop in health.|
|-Your health has decreased and you have died.
The skill level of ‘Power to Reject Death’ is low. The skill isn’t activated thanks to the holy power entering your body.
|It is impossible to log in for 24 hours. Your skill level and proficiency has declined due to your death.|
Weed disappeared into a grey light after Bardray’s attack.
“He won! Bardray-nim is the strongest in the continent!”
The Hermes Guild members cheered at the historic victory. Congratulations poured over the guild chat.
Bardray had made his compet.i.tors kneel in many battles. But their chests trembled at the thought that millions of people would be watching it through the broadcasting stations.
Bardray picked up the Talrock’s Armour that Weed had dropped. The size of the armour wasn’t different from some of the other j.a.ptem dropped from the monsters in the Melbourne Mine.
‘This armour isn’t that good. He was wearing something like this to fight?’
The Talrock’s Armour didn’t even register in Bardray’s eyes. He found the best items and wore legendary equipment so this armour was just disappointing to him.
The Black Lion Guild had dismantled all the traps and arrived on the 4th underground floor.
“Those guys should be in the dungeon. Let’s go.”
Carlise and the elite members of the Black Lion Guild moved. Hegel, Alice and Dine had already been discovered by the a.s.sa.s.sins and died!
When they arrived at the lair the Red Belkain was almost dead. The continuous attacks from Bardray, the Royal Guards and the battle company meant the momentum of the hunt was in their favour. Even the a.s.sa.s.sins helped by hitting the Red Belkain in the back.
The Red Belkain cried out as he continued dying. He would exert more power as his life decreased but the users were experienced in fighting boss monsters.
The prepared arrows and magic were launched. The Red Belkain was interrupted and couldn’t concentrate on using his skills. There were also shamans in the battle company that helped in decreasing the monster’s attack, defense, vitality, strength and concentration.
|-The Red Belkain in the Melbourne Mine has entered its eternal rest.|
The hunt was a success! Bardray delivered the final blow and also monopolized the loot. A recording of the Black Knight’s swordsmans.h.i.+p was obtained.
“The 12th stage of the Black Knight Quest has been fulfilled.”
“There isn’t much left in the future.”
Carlise had brought 750 people from the Black Lion Guild. They came to reclaim their territory from the Hermes Guild running wild in the Melbourne Mine.
The Black Lion Guild fired off magic attacks. The conflict between the core power of two giant guilds started.
The special KMC broadcast with Oh Joo-wan was in progress!
“Ah, look at the Black Lion Guild.”
“Today is certainly an unforgettable day. The magician Puroyan is now using the large scale ice magic, Ice Storm.”
“The ground has frozen so that will be a problem for the knights of the Hermes Guild.”
“This is still too premature to judge but from Oh Joo-wan ssi’s view, who do you think will win?”
“It’s really hard to know before the results come out. The Hermes Guild generally is much more powerful than other guilds and they have Bardray……”
“Are you saying the Hermes Guild will win?”
“Yes. I will give it to the Hermes Guild.”
Many broadcasters reporting on the battle between the two guilds predicted that the Hermes Guild would be superior.
The battle group was filled while outstanding users and the Royal Guards had a large number of users with their level unknown. They also weren’t busy hunting the Red Belkain anymore. There was no chance if Bardray and the Royal Guards came out.
“Ah! Now a.s.sa.s.sins have showed up behind the Black Lion Guild and are attacking. It is an ambush and they a.s.sa.s.sinated the priests first.”
Even if the host didn’t talk, the video looked incredibly violent. The Hermes Guild sent a video and the Black Lion Guild also agreed to cooperate and send in their side. The location of the battle kept changing and the sight was enough to make someone’s mouth drop open.
The elite of the high level guilds fought together in the midst of explosions, lights and noise. Meanwhile shamans and necromancers were summoning the undead and spirits.
The team were editing the video in real time and adding effects so they had no time to go to the restroom. The production team also talked about Weed’s battle with Bardray while working.
“Oh, Weed the G.o.d of War is no match for Bardray.”
Bardray’s victory was also discussed on Royal Road’s various bulletin boards.
Many people talked about Bardray’s use of various blessings and fighting against the tired Weed, calling it a cowardly victory. A few people mentioned how Weed tried to use the Red Belkain to conquer the disadvantage of the battle.
The audience rating already wasn’t a concern anymore. There was no doubt that today would have the highest ratings. It should’ve been a happy day from the position of the station but KMC Media who often reported on Weed’s adventures was disappointed.
CTS Media and LK Games were also talking more about Weed and Bardray’s fight than the battle between the Hermes Guild and the Black Lion Guild.
Seo-yoon went to the beauty salon to do her makeup and hair. She also bought clothes at the department stores.
‘I should cook a dish.’
She wanted to go to the mart in order to cheer up Lee Hyun.
Bardray and the Hermes Guild had defeated the Black Lion Guild. The Hermes Guild had elite members and were tactically superior compared to the hastily gathered Black Lion Guild. The priests, magicians and warriors all cooperated together after the Red Belkain was killed. On the other hand, the rushed Black Lion Guild couldn’t cooperate properly so they couldn’t demonstrate their full abilities.
Bardray and the Royal Guards. Bardray overwhelmingly won in a confrontation with the head of the Black Lion Guild but he was out of mana afterwards. In a perfect trap, 200 more reinforcements from the Hermes Guild had showed up on the 4th floor.
Pale, Irene, Surka, Hwaryeong, Romuna, Zephyr, Seechwi and Seo-yoon belatedly arrived as the Hermes Guild were leaving the Melbourne Mine. Needless to say, they were killed by the wide range attacks from the archers and magicians with Bardray.
Seo-yoon could penetrate through the large number of attacks to kill 7 knights but she eventually died under the concentrated firepower. The Hermes Guild then strolled to a special teleport gate and disappeared.
Seo-yoon was more worried about Lee Hyun than dying in Royal Road. He had a high pride as the G.o.d of War only to be killed. In fact, it was difficult to win every time. She had failed many times when partic.i.p.ating in quests or hunting monsters. But he had died and even lost armour so his heartache would be too big.
‘I need to be beautiful and give him comfort.’
Seo-yoon headed to Lee Hyun’s house with a shopping cart. Then she saw a neighbourhood grandmother dressed in shabby clothes and pus.h.i.+ng a cart full of recyclables.
“I’ll help you.”
Seo-yoon took the handle from the grandmother. She wanted to see Lee Hyun but the cart looked heavy.
“Young Lady, you don’t need to do something like this….. It is quite heavy so pus.h.i.+ng isn’t easy.”
Syu syu syu syu syuk!
The cart steadily moved! Seo-yoon gently pushed the cart and said.
“Where are you going?”
“To my house to finish some work.”
“Then let me know where your house is. I’ll take you.”
“You don’t have to do that……”
“I want to.”
“It is pretty far Young Lady.”
“It’s okay. I am able to take you.”
If Seo-yoon told Lee Hyun about a good deed then he might feel less sad. She didn’t want to see Lee Hyun with a sad face. She felt the need to quickly go and soothe his pain so that he wouldn’t be sad. If he had only died then she wouldn’t worry so much but he had lost the Talrock’s Armour.
Seo-yoon guided the grandmother up the slope.
‘The place isn’t too far……’
When she climbed up the slope in Lee Hyun’s neighbourhood, there were narrow and shabby houses gathered together which was where the grandmother lived.
“By the way Young Lady.”
“Are you heading towards the house where there is a pomegranate and fig tree in the courtyard?”
Lee Hyun had several fruit trees growing at his house. There were apples, pears, peaches, chestnuts and even oranges.
“How did you know?”
“I’ve seen you a few times.”
The grandmother pushed the cart with Seo-yoon while they climbed the slope.
“Are you dating the young man living in that house?”
“Then why are you visiting his house?”
In the grandmother’s point of view, there was no need to say anything else since she kept on visiting his house.
Seo-yoon’s face turned red.
“I’m glad he seems to have met a good woman. It has eased my heart a little bit.”
“That young man, he is very famous since our neighbourhood is filled with elderly people.”
The fact that Lee Hyun was famous in his neighbourhood was new to Seo-yoon. She was worried that he might’ve done something wrong or committed extortion.
“That young man really lives a tenacious life. He tries to raise his younger sibling decently…..”
“He delivered the milk and newspaper to everyone in the neighbourhood. He even carried all the bags from the market despite the fact that I can’t pay him. Another time he helped me while I was doing a trade at the market. He chased after some thieves that stole something when I wasn’t looking and I really felt sorry looking at his distant form……”
Seo-yoon was finding out how Lee Hyun lived in the past. He lived a hard life so he was diligent even now.
“That young man was able to later buy a house…. It turned out really well. Has it been 1 year and a half since then? I didn’t want him to live like that. Sometimes his body was so sick yet he still conducted business. Even now he is still collecting sc.r.a.p items in order to live.”
Seo-yoon just listened to the grandmother’s quiet words. The grandmother seemed to be choked up with emotion. She was getting good information about Lee Hyun so she couldn’t say anything.
“Is it difficult for you to come around here? There are a lot of empty bottles and cans in that park.”
The grandmother gave her valuable information about her life. She talked about Lee Hyun again as she looked at the distant mountains.
“Although he could receive various benefits from going to the government’s office, he still needed to raise a sibling.”
His grandmother was in a really difficult situation at that time. He didn’t know when the welfare benefits would come in but survived the winter thanks to support and advice.
“Last winter he placed an electric blanket and kimchi rice in my house at dawn. It wasn’t just me but every elderly person in the area received it. It would’ve cost quite a bit of money…… But there was an old man who saw him place it in the middle of the night.”
“It snowed quite a bit last time so there wasn’t too much work. But the young man still made boxed lunches with seaweed wraps and took it out of his house every day.”
“There is no reason to make it if people don’t eat it. If you like it then please take it. Because I made it just now.”
“Thank you. I don’t know how to pay you back.”
“The food would just go into the garbage bag anyway.”
Lee Hyun and his sister made a lot of food for half a month.
“And he also gave us some medicine. If he sees us become injured then he won’t leave without treating it… The hospital bills are quite high these days but it makes me feel warm whenever he tells me to be careful.”
Tears gathered in Seo-yoon’s eyes. She understood. Lee Hyun had experienced many pains in the past so he could understand the pain of other people.
“He even helped one grandmother to the hospital and paid for the bill when she was worried about it. There is no elderly person in this neighbourhood who hasn’t received the help of that young man. He also bought books for children living without parents and helped them study. His good deeds……”
Seo-yoon headed to Lee Hyun’s house after taking the grandmother home.
Bark bark bark!
The dog was barking in front of the strangely silent house.
‘Don’t tell me……’
Seo-yoon felt her heart sink as she opened the gate. There were 7 different locks on the gate but fortunately she had all the keys in advance. She walked through the yard on trembling legs and stood before the front door. She dimly saw someone lying down in the living room.
Seo-yoon opened the front door and entered the living room. Lee Hyun was lying collapsed on the living room floor.
“Heu heu heu heu heuk.”
Her heart jumped like crazy as tears emerged. The makeup she did in the beauty salon became a mess because of her tears. Seo-yoon’s heart ached as something she never considered happened.
A door that had been closed in her mind broke open.
‘When I was a child… It is the same.’
When Seo-yoon was a very young child, she had seen something she really didn’t want to see.It caused a huge wound in her mind until she met Lee Hyun…..
The person who helped Seo-yoon was lying there collapsed.
She staggered as her legs seemed to lose all power. She was scared to even approach Lee Hyun. Something precious had been taken from her while she was pus.h.i.+ng the cart.
“W-why did he do this? Why……?”
Seo-yoon whimpered. A huge wave of sorrow rose inside her and she thought that she might never be able to smile again.
Then Lee Hyun started moving and twitching. He was still alive so the idea of calling an ambulance pa.s.sed quickly through her head…..
A long yawn came out.
She suddenly saw traces of kimchi fried rice and jj.a.paghetti (black bean instant noodles) on the table in the living room.
Lee Hyun touched his stomach.
“I carelessly slept after I ate too much and now I need to go to the bathroom.”
Seo-yoon stared at him with tear stained eyes mixed with a violent anger.