Chapter 9) Haven Empire’s Misfortune
A message window flashed in front of all users in the vicinity of the Arpen Royal Palace.
|-The Royal Palace of the Arpen Kingdom has been destroyed due to war and disaster.
The Earth Palace was the capital of the kingdom and all buildings have been destroyed.
The local politics has deteriorated.
The morale of the troops has weakened.
The residents’ loyalty to the kingdom has reduced.
Security has weakened and rebels might emerge. The demand of a specific region or species to separate from the kingdom is likely to increase.
Smart monsters will invade the frontier villages of the kingdom.
A recession might occur, causing the economic power to reduce.
The tax rate will be temporarily reduced.
The confusion inside the kingdom will have 0% influence on the surrounding areas.
The construction of 14 planned Grand Buildings in the Arpen Kingdom has been delayed.
69 villages have strayed away from the kingdom.
Cultural expansion is temporarily stopped and the cultural influence in other areas might lost its effect.
The quest rewards for the Arpen Kingdom won’t be paid normally or will be cancelled.
There was an enormous disadvantage due to the palace collapsing.
While the northern users were reading the long sentences, the 1st, 3rd and 4th corps had been destroyed by the palace.
“Aaaack! It makes no sense!”
“The best! I was expecting a reversal like this!”
The users on the plains shouted with joy.
The Hermes Guild and Haven Empire’s army was confused. Their goal of destroying the Royal Palace was achieved but they fell into a collective panic.
The northern users had been reduced by half but there was still an enormous amount remaining. The collapse of the Earth Palace hadn’t ended the battle but the advantage was with the northern users.
“Kill all those who dared invade the north!”
“We have received this in exchange for losing the Earth Palace.”
“Kill in the name of Gra.s.s Porridge!”
The morale of the northern users rose.
Aspects of the war had completely changed. Somehow the dramatic change in att.i.tude allowed them to sweep away the army of the Haven Empire.
The timely collapse of the Earth Palace was enough to tilt the advantage so the north could win the war.
‘This can’t be.’
‘This is far enough. We can’t remain here.’
‘This gap. I must be faster than the others. I need to sneak away.’
The clever Hermes Guild members had already escaped. The northern users continued fighting but it was a one-sided battle.
Users encroached from all sides towards the Haven Empire troops.
The 2nd and 5th corps hadn’t been wiped out yet but the enemy was arriving from every direction. They struggled while being surrounded by the northern users.
In addition, Hestiger was still displaying his power on the battlefield as his flames killed 3~4 at a time.
Weed, who was riding Phoenix, used Lion’s Roar while soaring into the sky.
“They are a delicious meal set up for everyone! Arpen Kingdom, don’t miss this chance! Don’t hesitate and go after the delicious taste!”
His mood was twisted since the destruction of the Royal Palace. He gave the command to attack the remaining army of the Haven Empire.
The flow of the situation was against them so the Haven Empire’s army seemed weak. They were weak compared to the early days of the battle.
“This is… It really is a presented meal.”
“I will have a spoon of honey!”
“They are still alive so peel it carefully.”
The north had high level users.
They knew better than anyone the power of the Haven Empire so they held off from partic.i.p.ating in the battle in order to avoid a senseless death. They also didn’t want to start a fight with the Hermes Guild.
The high level users just watched while the beginners covered the plains. But with Weed’s command, it would be stupid if they just sat back and watched.
The Haven Empire and Hermes Guild had high infamy so there would be great benefits to killing them.
In Weed’s words, it was a banquet!
The users cried out excitedly.
“Avian-nim, please give me a ride!”
“Where are you going? Can you possible take me to that area over there?”
The users politely requested a ride from avians pa.s.sing by. They dropped on the heads of the Haven Empire. The sky porridge unit dropped neatly from 50~100 metres.
There were those who were crushed and died but others were lucky enough to survive.
“These crazy guys!”
The Hermes Guild users grinded their teeth together.
The a.s.sault of the magicians, archers and knights became obsolete. The influx of users from every side meant no tactics could be used.
The attack of the northern users couldn’t be called reckless. They would also be hit by those falling from the sky.
Their survival rate was ridiculous and they dealt a lot of damage.
The Hermes Guild users felt ashamed.
They had lived like n.o.bles in the Central Continent. The countless users were scared of them and there wasn’t any strong opposition. But they had suffered after coming to the north.
The Hermes Guild tried to raise the morale of the Haven Empire troops but the reverse just happened.
They were too busy to think thanks to the onslaught of the northern users!
Thanks to Hestiger and the high level users, the balance of the war completely tilted to the side of the north.
That night, the only ones left on the plains were the northern users. There were also the avians that joined the Arpen Kingdom, the sculptural lifeforms and undead.
“The invasion of the Arpen Kingdom has been blocked!”
“It is great.”
“Gra.s.s porridge, gra.s.s porridge, gra.s.s porridge!”
|-The Haven Empire’s 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th northern expeditionary force has been wiped out.
There are no survivors as it was a complete annihilation.
All combat supplies have been seized.
All the siege weapons have been destroyed.
The fame of the Empire has decreased by 14.
The Imperial Army’s morale will be reduced.
Security in the territory of the Empire will somewhat weaken.
Bardray, Lafaye and the leaders of the Hermes Guild had stiff faces.
‘Unbelievable… A war that couldn’t be lost.’
‘Commander Draka’s unexpected action… No, we can’t blame him. He made a reasonable judgment in accordance with the situation. If he fought calmly then the result might be better but that isn’t guaranteed.’
‘Building the Earth Palace on top of tough mountains… It means he antic.i.p.ated the invasion and conquest of the Haven Empire. Did he create a trap in order to defeat us? Weed, the G.o.d of War, he really is terrible.’
‘A huge number of troops have pa.s.sed away. That military power is important to the Haven Empire. All that time spent raising skilled soldiers…’
‘Weed has collapsed the myth of the Hermes Guild. It is good that the Earth Palace is destroyed but we don’t necessarily look good.’
The leaders were trying to think of the aftermath of the war but couldn’t accurately make an objective judgement about an unknown situation.
One thing for sure, it was far easier to rebuild the palace in the north than the Haven Empire’s army. Weed, the G.o.d of War, would just increase his fame again.
Therefore there was a deep silence in the banquet room of the Haven Empire.
Those investing in the Hermes Guild also said nothing.
‘ Hmm, spending big money on this… No, the money doesn’t matter. The value of the Hermes Guild in the future is unknown so I can still capitalize on the investment. There is more potential than harm in doing business with the Hermes Guild. Although there is some unforeseen uncertainty.’
‘The Versailles Continent. Although it is virtual reality, it is another complete world. It is worth investing in their strength. In contrast, it is fortunate that we invested earlier than others. Even if the continent conquest is delayed, in the future they will challenge it… Currently they have an absolute advantage so it won’t be difficult to continue it.’
‘Other entrepreneurs have successfully invested in promising startups. They experienced some failure before succeeding.’
The investors finished their calculations. They exchanged glances with each other before finis.h.i.+ng a brief discussion of the current situation.
They had invested a large amount of money to gain shares in the Hermes Guild.
Lafaye, Bardray and the existing leaders would remain but the entrepreneurs would also be involved.
It would be easy for the Hermes Guild to conquer the continent. There was tension from some compet.i.tors but that wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. They would share in the profit so it was necessary for the investors to become strong.
Their total shares in the Hermes Guild was 45%. If they bribed some leaders then they might be able to gain some more shares but they judged that now wasn’t the time. Bardray and Lafaye were maintaining the Hermes Guild and their interests aligned.
‘A proud man will experience harder failures.’
‘The Haven Empire has a solid foundation. I need to prevent it from being stolen by others.’
The company was filled with smiles.
The leaders of the Hermes Guild didn’t say anything. It wasn’t their fault but they couldn’t help feeling conscious of the investors. Those in power would often commit sins.
The investors rose from their seats.
“I saw the battle well. Now we can have slightly more expectations.”
Lafaye also stood up.
“You are going already?”
“There is still more to see…”
“It was a delicious meal. Can you arrange another one soon? You don’t have to rush. The unexpected failure can be delightful but it shouldn’t be repeated.”
“We will keep it in mind.”
After the investors left, the Hermes Guild set up a new plan for the north.
“We should send a ma.s.sive army to end it all at once.”
“The Haven Empire is filled with elite troops. And if we send additional Hermes Guild members…… We will smash every building and burn the forests in the north.”
“Curse it until reconstruction is impossible.”
The Hermes Guild wanted to send a huge army to completely destroy everything. This defeat had left a nasty wound on their pride.
Bardray and Lafaye didn’t say anything.
‘Weed. I have persistently heard that name. I should go and end it myself.’
‘Not good. The strategy involved finished off the north this time. Then the power of the Haven Empire would be sufficient to conquer the continent. If the war becomes a long, drawn out affair then it will be difficult. From now on, we need to channel our power into improving the national strength and long term rule of the Haven Empire.’
Lafaye didn’t feel satisfied with the result.
‘I’m not willing to leave the north alone. But how can I come up with a perfect plan now?’
The Arpen Kingdom had given them major damage.
The territory of the north was far too extensive. Despite the fact that the Royal Palace had collapsed, maintaining and ruling over it would be a significant problem.
It was important for the Haven Empire to stabilize the villages and areas they had already constructed in the north.
‘There are still the troops sent to Vargo Fortress. The majority of the conquest army has collapsed but… If I entrust the defense of the conquered areas to them……’
The Haven empire would concentrate on building up the conquered territories in order to maintain a foothold in the north.
It wouldn’t be easy for the northern users to regain the territory from the Haven Empire. The Hermes Guild users would build a solid defense wall.
‘Send the guild architects to build fortresses. Humans are forgetful animals. They will become familiar with a prolonged war in the future.’
Lafaye would slowly obtain certain benefits.
In terms of military strength, this incident wasn’t an irreversible damage. The soldiers within the cities and areas of the Haven Empire will continue to grow over time.
The economic and technological development of the Haven Empire was dozens of times more lucrative than the Arpen Kingdom.
‘Reorganize the army and then send twice the amount of troops. I will wait before having an overwhelming amount of combat troops. It would also be good to thoroughly ban all trade with the north.’
The Arpen Kingdom would starve.
The bowls set on the table for the banquet started to shake.
The leaders casually said.
“Is this an earthquake?”
“It has been a while since an earthquake occurred here.”
Earthquakes or lightning bolts would often occur near hunting grounds or dungeons. Having rain suddenly pour down was one of the fun and romantic things about Royal Road.
“No way. The capital of the empire is blessed by the Earth G.o.ddess so an earthquake can’t happen.”
“But are you sure an earthquake isn’t happening?”
Along with the bowls, the floors, walls and ceiling started shaking.
‘An earthquake can’t happen. Don’t tell me…’
Lafaye’s eyes flashed.
And the astute leaders quickly jumped up.
They had just seen the Earth Palace of the Arpen Kingdom collapsing. This situation was reminiscent of that terrible sight.
“In the end, it is like this. I guess I will be chased by a.s.sa.s.sins in the future.”
The continent’s best architect, Mibullo was drinking a cold beer in a tavern.
“I can’t relax.”
Mibullo recalled the time when he worked for the Haven Empire in the past. He was one of the architects commissioned to construct the Imperial Palace.
The Hermes Guild came to him and told him “Money and materials. Manpower. Anything you need will be given to you immediately. However, the Imperial Palace needs to be completed as soon as possible.”
“Right now I am in charge of a construction…I will have it completed in 1 month.”
“Cancel it. We’ll pay the penalty. No, we will take care of it in order to reduce any unnecessary procedures and time.”
“But I have a promise to keep. An architect can’t just give up in the middle. A different architect would have to start from the beginning…”
“I don’t know anything about that. If you refuse the commission of the Hermes Guild then won’t you regret it in the future? You won’t be able to freely wander the streets or stores of this continent.”
The Haven Empire generously gave the finest building materials as well as NPC slaves from their conquests.
The Imperial Palace was built on a ma.s.sive scale. Numerous architects of the continent. So far, the skill proficiency was low but many architects were gathered.
The palace boasted a colossal extravagance and dignity so the architects were delighted.
Mibullo was also satisfied for a while.
A building he could get his hands on. Building the Imperial Palace on the Versailles Continent was an elusive opportunity. His hands touched every corner of it.
However, the high level users of the Hermes Guild continued to interfere.
“I don’t like the appearance of this building. The interior s.p.a.ce is too cramped and there are too many pillars. Build it from scratch.”
“The construction schedule is tight and the early construction design needs to be completed.”
“Forget about attending the banquet organized by Bardray. The architects only deserve to attend when the building is completed. The date is tight yet you want to play around?”
“…Then I will try.”
The high ranking officials of the Hermes Guild pointed out all sorts of things about the palace.
“30 carriages should be able to pa.s.s through the gates at the same time.”
“When considering the logistics of movement, that is too many carriages to pa.s.s through at the same time. The road to the Imperial Palace can only have a few carriages moving. Within the overall design……”
“Stop. The scale of the Haven Empire’s gates needs to be on a scale where people will feel awe.”
“Then I understand.”
Mibullo had to repress his anger.
“And look over here.”
“It looks like rainwater is leaking through. The best architects on the continent only have the skills of an apprentice.”
“Don’t be ridiculous. That would never happen.”
“It is outrageous that you are trying to hide it when I can obviously see the rainwater leaking.”
Mibullo was dumbfounded.
There were numerous buildings in the Imperial Palace filled with luxury. There were distinctive features.
The Hermes Guild user was pointed to the ceiling where water was flowing along the edge of the wall like a stream.
Having rain in the building gave it a special type of beauty. The collected rainwater pa.s.sed through various sculptures and made a crystal clear sound. Finally, it connected to a central lake that was an architectural feature!
Mibullo seethed inside while he spoke.
“Haven’t I explained this part on the construction plan? A place inside the Haven Empire’s palace that has a harmony with water.”
“I don’t remember something like that. Anyway, this part should be embellished with gold.”
“You don’t know? I command you to create a gold wall.”
“Without the permission of the architects? Doing so will impede the water flow in the whole palace. I can’t accept it!”
“You have graciously been given permission by the Haven Empire to work on the palace so don’t abuse this. You should be grateful that you have the opportunity to work on the Imperial Palace.”
Mibullo gave a deep sigh.
‘Eh, I don’t know. I won’t do as they want.’
The architects used their heart and soul to make the buildings that were like their children and their names would become known if the buildings were the symbol of the region.
Mibullo was in the process of constructing the Haven Empire’s Imperial Palace but his pride was wounded during the process.
The construction wasn’t going as he intended and the date of completion kept approaching. ‘I don’t want this building to last 1,000 years.’
Thus he started to siphon off materials from the construction site!
‘I will use lightweight construction materials on this building. Using plain steel should be sufficient.’
The slaves at the construction site didn’t discover his secret behaviour.
His construction level was high and he couldn’t easily ensure that it didn’t collapse.
‘The foundation should last until the construction deadline.’
Thanks to that, the construction rate dramatically accelerated by 3 times.
‘If I disperse it then the building will be able to withstand the weight.’
The architects were surprised at the rapid construction but they knew Mibullo’s skill.
“He is indeed the best architect on the continent.”
“We can finish on time. The architects are certainly stubborn.”
The Hermes Guild users were satisfied.
But while the exterior was fine, the interior was highly weak!
Mibullo knew the future of the Imperial Palace.
A large and majestic building that could accommodate thousands of people at once. However internally, each building had poor durability and cracks started to occur on the ceiling and pillars after a few months.
Even so, the castle hadn’t suddenly fallen apart.
“The Hermes Guild has already crossed the river and there is no return. Building Collapse!”
|-Building Collapse has promoted the corrosion.
Depending on the level of skill, you can adjust the corrosion to decide the speed of the final collapse.
The luxurious and post Imperial Palace that was the heart of the Central Continent.
After the Arpen Kingdom’s palace collapsed, Mibullo pulled out a small model of the palace. The splendor of the Imperial Palace was shrunk into a small architectural model.
“It is a strange feeling as an architect. I knew the day would come when I would break this. Still, it is better to eliminate it with my own hands than watch those guys play and eat. Go well.”
Mibullo used his skill and the Haven Empire’s Imperial Palace started to shake.
Stone pillars and ceilings with hundreds of cracks on them starting falling. Numerous buildings collapsed into dust.
The weakened Haven Empire’s Imperial Palace instantly turned into a pile of rubble.