Chapter 6) A War that isn’t Possible
Draka was the commander that led the army of the Haven Empire.
“The captains aren’t leading properly. A prolonged battle wasn’t what I wanted.”
The resistance from the northern users hadn’t been that impressive. It wasn’t a mature part of the Versailles Continent. The knights were far too weak.
However, if there was a strong leader then there would be some results. Weed caused a disaster and had Hestiger helping him.
If they had the ability then it was natural to use it. If he had the capacity for ma.s.s destruction then he would actively take advantage of it at every possible moment.
Most of Draka’s complains were towards the leaders of the Haven Empire’s army.
“The commanders are powerless. What use is the role of the knights and commanders?”
Lafaye and the Hermes Guild tended to carry out unbeatable tactics. The strongest army with 1.7 million troops.
Thanks to the exceptional formations and experience of the troops, they could confront many enemies.
Weed and Hestiger had entered the Haven Empire’s army and was waging an infinite battle. They killed many users of the Hermes Guild but the Haven Empire’s army hadn’t collapsed yet.
“But the enemy’s intention is to use close combat to wear us down and win the battle.”
Draka held a meeting.
He didn’t like the war so far. The northern users were an unstoppable force that kept on coming.
From a commander’s perspective, this fight was too humiliating. A commander couldn’t make any judgements like a scarecrow.
“The defensive formations of the army absolutely can’t be defeated by the coming enemies.”
In the case of the Central Continent.
Sometimes it was possible to fight with high numbers using the terrain. Or the commanders would take advantage of the knights in order to overcome many situations.
Being the leader of the commander of the northern conquest army was a great position of pride.
A huge army was curled up and unable to fight confidently. This was offensive to Draka’s pride and honour as a commander.
In fact, he was upset but greed actually had a larger effect in his heart.
A powerful army that couldn’t be defeated. A commander who wanted to use more aggressive tactics in order to win!
“This can be called a victory but… A battle isn’t a simple thing.”
Draka whispered to Balbaro who was the commander of the 2nd corps. They were close friends and colleagues.
-What is the situation?
-This is the forefront. The northern users are coming like crazy while the avians are attacking the front and rear.
-A lot of soldiers have died because of the disaster and the formations are a mess. It is being restored little by little so there are no problems blocking them.
-The battle… What will happen?
-Why are you asking?
-Just do it.
-Naturally it will be our victory. You know that we can’t lose this battle. But it looks like we will be fighting for most of the day. The resistance of the north is strong. The siege weapons are broken and c.u.mbersome.
Draka also sent a whisper to Porcal, commander of the 3rd corps.
-The current situation?
-The archers and magicians are trying to recover but… Enemies keep falling from the sky. The avians are carrying people so it is causing a headache.
-Weed and Hestiger?
-They are surrounded. There is a chance to focus the magic attacks on them but there is no guarantee they can’t break out. Those guys will become tired in the future.
Draka contemplated for a while.
‘Many users are gathered to defend the north and they are prepared to fight all night until they die.’
A huge scale war on the Versailles Continent. Weed had emerged to decide the fate of the northern continent.
Draka’s eyes gleamed.
“The current system of the Haven Empire is powerful but needs to be discarded sometimes. The real triumph will be achieving a perfect victory in Draka’s name.”
Draka spoke in the guild chat for the Haven Empire’s commanders.
Draka: As the commander in chief of the army, I am issuing an order to all commanders. Instead of waiting, each corps will actively march forward and crush the enemy!
Instrium: Are you serious? That is different from the tactics that the leaders decided on.
Balbaro: There is no problem with the current battle so why throw it away?
Draka: I will take full responsibility. This is my command but I will not force you to push. If you want to win the battle as a small fry then there is no need to follow. However, if you want to be a hero then let’s start our war!
“1st corps march!”
The 1st corps started to loosen their defense formation and advanced. They expressed their frustration by das.h.i.+ng towards the northern users.
The knights, cavalry and infantry followed behind.
“Go. Kill them all!”
Draka was a competent commander and had an outstanding personal force following him. He had excellent leaders.h.i.+p abilities which was why he was given control of the northern conquest army.
“Draka is going… I’m coming as well. 2nd corps march!”
Balbaro also began moving his forces.
Troops of 10,000 or 30,000 rapidly started advancing. Depending on the commander, each troops had slightly different attributes.
Balbaro’s corps was mobility.
He gained the special ability ‘rapid pace’ through war experiences and gave it to his army. The commander increased the speed of the march by 17% and reduced fatigue by 62%.
15 units of the 2nd corps started subduing the northern users.
It was like a relaxing turtle suddenly decided to harm its enemies. Like wild beasts, the 2 corps actively moved out to slaughter the enemies.
The 3rd, 4th, 5th, and 6th corps belatedly started moving.
Each commander understood Draka’s mood after hearing the command. It was the same for them. In the current combat situation, it was reasonable to become active in order to gain more benefits.
“Does he want to plug in the flag of the northern conquest with his own hands? It makes sense as a commander. There is no such thing as being too greedy in a war.”
“It was frustrating. Besides, we won’t be rebuked since this is Draka’s order. And our purpose is to kill Weed and take the Earth Palace.”
“If the war ranges freely then it will become a public showdown? The 5th corps will kill the largest number of enemies. Full force a.s.sault!”
“The 6th corps has a higher proportion of magicians so we are weak in direct combat but… The knights that trained in magic will show off their abilities.”
The Haven Empire’s army was showing dramatic movements. Whole crowds struck towards the northern users and the Earth Palace.
“As expected. This is the effort of training an enormous military over several years in Royal Road.”
“The process of overcoming the difficulties is what makes it fun. Just relax. The current military power of the Haven Empire can’t compare with what is on screen… It will be sufficient to conquer the continent.”
Bardray, Lafaye and the core leaders.h.i.+p of the Hermes Guild were at the Imperial Palace while the war with the north was taking place.
A video was transmitted via magic on an entire wall. It was possible to see videos from the eyes of the commanders as well as those being broadcasted by the stations.
There were also 24 users not part of the Hermes Guild. They were people of the economic world.
They were meeting with the Hermes Guild in the Haven Empire in order to decide some details. There were several practical procedures remaining but the investment was already finished so they were invited to the palace to see the northern war.
A red faced dwarf asked.
“I was surprised, the Haven Empire’s military… Is there a particular trick to becoming stronger in Royal Road?”
Bardray laughed lightly.
“Just fight well. The process is hard to describe in words.”
“That answer is too vague. But it makes sense. You became the ruler of the continent’s strongest and most influential power for a reason.”
“With your support, the Hermes Guild doesn’t need to have any concerns about our growth. If you like then the knights of the Haven Empire can run you through a few drills.”
“Hahaha, I am grateful to accept your offer.”
He was a wealthy person from the Middle East but had chosen a warrior occupation. The advantage of a dwarf with the blacksmith skill was that a number of different items could be created.
Most financial people had been in Royal Road in the past. The television was constantly showing news about the daily economic expansion in Royal Road. Some distrusted state of the art technology but experienced Royal Road based on the recommendation of their children.
‘This investment will offer boundless potential in the future.’
‘A whole new world where I can get power and interests.’
‘Developing more resorts… If I have the capital and land to create resorts in the Haven Empire then there will be no end to the profits. There will be an endless supply of tourists and the political, licensing and building processes are difficult but I have the time and money. I will change this continent to a paradise on earth.’
The wealthy people would receive a share of their investments. Bardray and the other leaders would also benefit.
The wealthy investors received regular reports that business was proceeding smoothly.
“If I look at it a little longer, it is like real cooking.”
“Do you want to try the food that comes out from the Imperial Palace?”
There was a sumptuous feast as they watched the battlefield from afar.
‘As a man, I want to live like this.’
Bardray looked at the powerful people gathered in this room and soaked up the mood. People with strong capital and influence in reality respected and invested money in him.
‘I am no longer an ordinary human being. As emperor of the Haven Empire, I will write a new myth of immortality.’ He would become powerful in virtual reality and physical reality.
Bardray and Lafaye’s eyes met with a significant glance.
‘We’ve had a really big success.’
‘In the future, all the profits will be ours.’
Once the Haven Empire was on a solid rock, they would dominate Royal Road for a long period of time.
Lafaye felt hateful towards the northern users that had gathered to defend the Arpen Kingdom.
‘Our profits will become bigger the more we obtain in Royal Road. They will become citizens of the Haven Empire whether they want to or not.’
The desire to conquer the Versailles Continent started after seeing Royal Road on the news. As more users joined Royal Road, the popularity continued to rise.
In the holiday season, people joined Royal Road to entertain themselves with the mountains and valleys.
This was another world and became the ruler of virtual reality. Then the military of the Haven Empire started moving quickly and violently. The army had scattered in order to subdue the northern users.
“Indeed… It really feels like a war in medieval times. The magicians and knights are tremendous. I have been interested in war from an early age and collected civil war weapons but that hobby is obsolete in front of Royal Road.”
Lafaye laughed softly at the words from an American real estate tyc.o.o.n.
“If you become a lord then you can command the knights directly.”
“It is more complicated to reign in Royal Road so I would rather go around fighting on adventures. Still, this virtual reality makes my blood boil like a youth…”
“You can do whatever you want.”
Lafaye smiled while sipping a gla.s.s of wine.
However, the leaders watching the video on the wall showed signs of nervousness.
-How did this happen?
-It is Commander Draka-nim’s independent decision.
-Did we allow such an active offensive?
-Never. It was outside our control.
The leaders rejected this policy when first determining how to conquer the north. The commanders were allowed independence on the battlefield but if it wasn’t an urgent situation then they should receive permission first.
The northern conquest army was huge so the leaders wanted to make sure they had a tight control over it. They had directed it to a complete victory.
The investors asked.
“Hoh, I wonder what it feels like to partic.i.p.ate in the war?”
“Wouldn’t you just lose your life within a few minutes?”
“At my villa… I will have to physically train for the war.”
From their point of view, the northern conquest army changing to aggressive tactics was worth seeing. The knights and infantry rushed out to meet the users.
Lafaye went back to watching the video.
‘The approach is different but it isn’t bad for victory. There isn’t only one way of winning. It might be better to show off our fighting power at the moment of victory.’
The 1st, 3rd and 4th corps headed towards the Earth Palace in order to fly the flag of the Haven Empire.
Defeating the region with the most number of users. It would look good to destroy the Earth Palace and the northern users.
Lafaye and the leaders had planned a defense formation because the opponent was Weed. There were some disadvantages because the northern users wouldn’t back down.
There were some contingency operations. They absolutely couldn’t fail even if Weed got involved.
Given that they would rule the north in the future, he wanted a complete victory without worrying about the damage.
However, there was no perfect plan so there were thousands of possibilities.
‘It isn’t a bad approach. I respect Draka for making that decision.’
Lafaye and the leaders could give an order to rebuild the army to its original formation. However, he feared chaos and decided to give permission.
‘After the northern conquest is finished… I need to make an example of Draka. After the conquest, I need someone who listens to commands.’
Lafaye’s face hardened but he never even dreamed of losing the war. The gap in power was too large so it was a war that couldn’t be lost.
“Uaaaack! S-so strong.”
“They are engaging in battle with the chariots!”
The Haven Empire’s combat units appeared.
The battle chariots looked plain but its body was 10 metres of steel and pulled by chimeras that would only obey their commands.
The 1st corps that was Draka’s flags.h.i.+p contained the best soldiers. As they advanced on the battlefield, the elite soldiers achieved victory every time.
The power of the 3rd corps was relatively weak but contained many Hermes Guild users who did chimera research.
The magicians started using various summoning magic and black magic. The 4th corps was filled with combat shamans.
The battle chariots mercilessly smashed the enemy.
The 3 corps of the Haven Empire’s army advanced towards the Earth Palace. The northern users that tried to defend against it died horribly.
The destructive power of the Haven Empire’s army was completely different compared to when they were defending.
“There is no chance of winning from the front so attack it from the side!”
“Believe in our numbers. You don’t need to panic. An opportunity will come. Surround them and attack!”
“Catch the ones that fall behind!”
The northern users took the chance to fight.
Although the magic destruction zone had disappeared, the northern users still found it difficult to fight against the Haven Empire.
“Break, break through!”
“Don’t waste time!”
There was a subtle compet.i.tion between the 1st, 3rd and 4th corps. The first corps to capture the Earth Palace would gain significant achievements.
Draka was the commander in chief but the leaders of the 3rd and 4th corps also had ambition. Just like Draka, they hoped to end the war perfectly by marching into the Earth Palace.
“At full speed!”
“Raise your maneuverability. Go straight through.”
“We will go first. Have the knights clear the way!”
The northern users collapsed like straw in front of the Haven Empire’s thrust. But a significant amount of Haven Empire troops were lost to the arrows and magic.
The Haven Empire fought violently with the northern users.
“There is something suspicious about their movements.”
Weed looked around and noticed the movement of the Haven Empire’s army. He noticed too late that several of the army corps had withdrawn.
“Those guys are moving even faster. The battle is taking place elsewhere so can the Earth Palace stop them?”
Only users were guarding the Earth Palace.
Weed was surrounded by high level defense troops. It was difficult to find a way to safely stop the large number of troops heading towards the Earth Palace.
Weed’s face became pale.
“Kuooh, I realized that my plan was wrong.”
A cruel plan that caused heart disease and high blood pressure!
The Haven Empire’s strike could destroy the Arpen Kingdom and also deal significant damage to Weed’s pockets.
Weed was momentarily dizzy at the thought.
“There is nothing I can do. Right now I am playing with Hestiger.”
Weed and Hestiger were taking care of the Haven Empire’s army.
In the vicinity of the northern users, it was the opposite situation as the Haven Empire smashed through them. Of course, it was also because Weed had the rice spatula Hestiger by his side.
“You’ve noticed the difference? However, it is already too late Weed!”
The commander of the 6th corps, Drom spoke while Weed and Hestiger were fighting. The Haven Empire’s troops received a command and moved. Soon a wide, open s.p.a.ce occurred around Weed and Hestiger. This place was filled with the elite troops of the 6th corps.
The magic knights.
They were unique knights that could use magic. They could use magic attacks as well as combat to break through the enemies.
It was through a crude method but had surprising results in enormous battles. They could attack from a distance and it significantly improved their ability to take a blow.
Weed’s eyes moved quickly at the sight.
Against an army of monsters, he needed to understand the pros and cons.
‘This… They are tough opponents. If I was fighting alone then I would take the maximum damage.’
The elite troops of the 6th corps.
The NPC knights reached the late 300s while most Hermes Guild users were over level 430. Even the equipment they were wearing made them powerhouses.
The individuals that used tactics would have their power increased by several times.
“Weed, the 6th corps will take your head.”
“Is that right?”
“Any last words?”
Drom started talking before the battle. Weed was in front of him so he naturally wanted to look cool for the broadcasting stations.
Even if they were commanders in the northern war, they didn’t have a high amount of awareness among general users.
Weed also wanted to moderately deal with him. Typically he would receive an appearance fee from the broadcast partners.
“You have invaded the land of the north so only your body will return.”
Drom laughed loudly.
In fact, it wasn’t that funny but he acted like it was for the television broadcast. In order to look like the hero of a movie!
Drom stopped laughing.
“The King of the Arpen Kingdom has turned a blind eye to reality. Well, I hope you can feel the freedom of dying in battle. Start!”
The magic knights moved in a circular motion with Weed and Hestiger in the centre. There was 1,000 of them on mounts.
It was somewhat low compared to the elite troops of other corps but that didn’t matter. Including the magicians, there was a total of 2,000 people.
Weed considered an early breakthrough.
“Hestiger, you will lead the way.”
“Yes, Great Emperor!”
The dangerous and tough work would be left for his subordinate first! Hestiger bolted towards the magic knights.
“You won’t be able to pa.s.s!”
“Heavy Air Resistance!”
“Turbulent Strong Winds!”
Kwa kwa kwa kwa kwa!
Magic was used in order to block Hestiger’s advance.
“Blazing Firestorm of Penance!”
He wielded his weapon and killed 16 magic knights.
“Storm of Rage!”
A firestorm rose from Hestiger’s sword and aimed at the magic knights. The flames swelled and the bodies of the magicians nearby caught fire.
“Save me, my body is on fire!”
“The fire can’t be quenched. The magic just burns even more!”
The area was filled with screams in seconds.
Drom’s face turned pale.
He couldn’t understand the situation at first! The troops he was so confident about had easily collapsed.
Drom had been located on the left side and couldn’t see Weed and Hestiger properly while they had been fighting. Only a few people in the army could see how strong they were.
Each corps ran up to deal with Weed without seeing his previous combat.
“These guys aren’t special.”
Weed watched quietly for a moment. He wondered where the h.e.l.l Drom’s confidence came from.
They were helpless in front of Hestiger. It was like gangsters jumping a person only to discover they were a former national level judo player.
After confirming it, Weed joined Hestiger in fighting the magic knights.
‘Well, it’s not like we have no weaknesses.’
Despite is superior force, even Hestiger would get tired sometime. Still, there was no reason they couldn’t easily break through. Hestiger was too powerful and the flames he emitted complemented Weed. Hestiger’s attribute of fire was an enemy itself when used by Weed.
Drom was freaked out but soon regained his spirit.
“Magic knights, tie up their ankles! Stop them from leaving this place. The 6th corps will initiate a fatal attack here!”
The magic knights and Hermes Guild members immediately resisted.
“What, Commander? Are you going to kill all of us?”
“It is the only way to stop them! Don’t say anything and just fight. There will be backlash if you disobey orders. And if you succeed then the rewards… Isn’t this amount of damage worth it if we can get Weed?”
The urgent conversation was conducted through a shout, not a whisper.
Weed quickly noticed the situation.
Most organizations were willing to take some losses in order to achieve their goal.
‘The magic knights are planning to pour ranged magic attacks on us.’
Weed and Hestiger were in a densely concentrated area of the Haven Empire’s army. It was inappropriate to used ranged attacks here. The Haven Empire troops were widely spread in front of him. They were essentially hostages to the indiscriminate attacks.
However, Weed wasn’t the type of live peacefully if his life was at risk. In addition, the organization would sacrifice anything in order to preserve their own safety.
“Hestiger, he is your goal. Aim for that guy. Him!”
“I understand, Master!”
Weed and Hestiger simultaneously sprang towards Drom.
“Impossible. Rupture of the Corrupted Palace!”
The guard troops around the commander unleashed powerful arrows. However, Hestiger had an aura of lava around his body that just melted the arrows.
Weed drifted through the attacks using the short distance teleportation.
He was able to appear beside some guards and quickly subdued them using the element of surprise.
Weed was then surrounded but Hestiger would arrive to sweep them all away.
“Dammit. They grasped the situation pretty quickly. Stop them no matter the cost! Catch them!”
Drom noticed their target and turned around to flee.
He was a commander of the Haven Empire but it was too difficult to deal with Hestiger and Weed at the same time. He didn’t want to fight a losing battle.
Drom had wanted to reproduce Bardray’s fight with the Abyss Knight. After finis.h.i.+ng, he would emerge as a hero of the Earth Palace battle.
The mistake in his calculation was that Weed wasn’t like Van Hawk. He had overcome many situations in life and in Royal Road with dirty tricks. He also had Hestiger’s brute strength on his other side.
“Break them all.”
“It isn’t hard!”
Weed and Hestiger collapsed the core of the 6th corps while chasing.
Every place they pa.s.sed had fire burning. Drom was too fast and they soon escaped from the encirclement. In no time at all, Hestiger was far from the area where the northern users were fighting.
‘The weight on my body is gone. I can feel at ease and fight better.’
There was a deafening roar from the land behind them. The magic knights were aiming mortal attacks at them.
“What are you doing? We are on the same side…!”
Drom reprimanded his men but then realized he made a great mistake.
The ranged attack troops consisted of a lot of NPCs.
It was quite tricky to give freedom to subordinates. Instead of making decisions during the battle, they would obey orders first.
The Hermes Guild users stopped their attacks but the rest of the troops attacked.
The magic attacks fell from the sky and destroyed the magic knights that the 6th corps were the most proud of. And the wide range of the magic attacks caused the damage to expand even further.
Drom hurriedly issued a command to the magic unit.
“Cancel, cancel the attack!”
Weed and Hestiger came closer to him.
“Your destiny must be very good. Can I take a look at your hand?”
Drom turned and started to run again. A commander on the battlefield governed the military command and influenced morale.
If a command was captured or killed by the enemy then in the worst case situation, the army might dissolve. Even the Hermes Guild users would inevitably have a reduction in combat power.
Drom knew the importance of his position and fled.
“Defend the commander!”
“This savage dares challenge the Empire…”
The knights that jumped at Weed and Hestiger were defeated. Excellent Hermes Guild users gathered like flies but Hestiger was a blazing volcano. He was constantly spewing lava and repelling the enemies.
Hestiger wasn’t immortal. Despite the knights having the highest levels on the continent, he was the worst opponent they’ve faced.
In order to subdue the Abyss Knight Van Hawk, they had mobilized a lot of troops and planned a trap. But Weed and Hestiger didn’t make mistakes or engage in reckless behaviour.
The commanders other than Drom quickly noticed it.
‘Weed is coveted but… I will drop it for now.’
‘The Earth Palace is the main goal so getting rid of him will be the last resort.’
‘Even a strong individual can’t minimize the damage of an army.’
‘I hope he doesn’t come to my section. After from Hestiger, there is nothing specifically different in this war. Then we will surely win.’
Apart from Hestiger, the war wasn’t very difficult. Compared to the other commanders, Drom was too greedy. And now he was in a difficult situation.
However, Weed was still calmly a.n.a.lyzing the situation.
‘The commander of the 1st corps has put me in a disadvantageous situation. And there might be other commanders like this guy. Anyway, the Hermes Guild users can still command the troops.’
No matter what Weed did, the Haven Empire could quickly rebuild their army. Even Hestiger couldn’t win alone.
“Hestiger, chase after them moderately. And the magicians are the primary threat.”
“I understand. Master.”
“I feel bad but I will leave command of the army to you. You will be in charge of the entire war.”
“I have no complaints. Master has the ability to perceive the enemy’s weakness and give courage to people like me.”
Weed coughed for a moment. It was strange to hear compliments from a hero he was jealous of.
“Then… Come, Phoenix!”
Weed yelled as a burst of red rose on the horizon. A red creature that was the manifestation of beauty.
He had enormous health thanks to the unquenchable fire and was strengthened by the sacrifice of his four brothers.
Among Weed’s sculptural lifeforms, he was one of the strongest.
He was the sculptural lifeform that people tended to enjoy seeing the most. It was like a noisy apartment had come to the battlefield.
“It appeared! The sculptural lifeform!”
“Ohhhh! The phoenix that I saw on television!”
“Divine Advent! Greetings from the Fire Chicken Porridge unit.”
The northern users cheered. It was common for all the users to know the sculptural lifeforms.
Weed jumped on Phoenix’s back. Usually he would avoid the heat but right now he was a chaos warrior.
He soared into the sky and could see the battlefield with one glance.
The avians were plaguing the Haven Empire while the northern users fought more aggressively. Individuals were fighting for their lives on the wide plains.
“The battlefield is so large that it is difficult to predict the orders.”
It was the largest scale Weed had even seen.
He felt the pride of commanding one side of the war. However, it was somewhat unsatisfactory since he was being invaded.
From the sky, he could see battles going on even in places far from the Earth Palace.
Flames and arrows were flying across the entire plains.
A grand spectacle.
Weed could feel the cold breeze on his face due to the disaster.
“Phoenix, go higher!”
The tail of flames streamed behind as Phoenix rose upwards. A wider view of the land, rivers and mountains!
A total of 3 army corps were pus.h.i.+ng through the northern users towards the Earth Palace. The users died in large numbers under the fearsome attacks of the Haven Empire.
The Haven Empire also seemed to have lost some troops. However, this number was small enough to be insignificant.
Any openings in the infantry were quickly filled. If 100 knights died then 200 more would take their place.
The rough march of a powerful army. The cavalry hara.s.sed the enemy and it seemed to only be a matter of time until the northern users collapsed. They fought fiercely but failed to stop the march of the Haven Empire’s army.
Weed’s eyes narrowed.
It wasn’t a bleak expression.
“The army of the Haven Empire is strong. But I still need to try. Preserving the Earth Palace but losing the war… That can’t happen.”
Weed spoke decisively.
“Today, all members of the Hermes Guild and soldiers of the Haven Empire in this place will die.”