Chapter 1: Declaration of Surrender
Alcard was a great commander of the Haven Empire who was called the Northern Commander.
“Maintain the defensive positions. Slay the enemy using these features. The Imperial Army won’t fall to the enemies in a place like this!”
The Arpen Kingdom users were going over the walls of the fortress with great courage and speed, turning the defense facilities useless.
Magicians rode bulls while the sky was covered with avians.
The Imperial Army was being blocked on both the ground and the sky.
Among the northern users rus.h.i.+ng, a huge monster appeared.
The monster let out a large roar towards the sky.
An underground monster that humans couldn’t imagine!
Long antennae, pointed teeth like saw blades and solid legs that could dig at the ground or buildings. Wrinkles were carved on the forehead and cheeks to make it look stronger.
Despite the appearance, it had a flexible body structure like a worm or centipede.
The horrible tail and 40 legs twitched.
“Really ugly… It is like a demon that Weed will need to exterminate.”
“Haven’t you heard? That’s Weed-nim!”
The imperial soldiers and northern users withdrew in fright as the monster with 40 legs moved forward.
Weed’s new look was also a hot topic on the broadcasting stations.
Reporters received the cooperation of the avians and flew in the sky to relay videos of the inside of Puhol Fortress.
“Look. This is… That monster is Weed the G.o.d of War. The Arpen Kingdom and Haven Empire. A shocking figure has emerged in the important battle for supremacy over the north. He looks strong. With that appearance, he definitely has to be strong!”
“The bulletin boards are flooded with female fans who are watching this. Their a.s.sessment is that there is a masculine charm.”
“I expected him to unleash havoc in this battle. Hasn’t Weed-nim only devoured a few users?”
“The officially confirmed number is 127 people.”
“Does that include people who exited his rear?”
“Of course. They were just eaten again anyway.”
The broadcasting stations showed the shocking video of the Hermes Guild users being eaten by Squashy Wriggler.
His entire length was 20 metres and the huge monster could catch people at a very fast speed. Despite the humans trying to flee, the tongue just shot out and wrapped around their legs.
He demolished a wall and ate the Hermes Guild user.
The show hosts shouted excitedly.
“Hiding is useless!”
“Ah, did you see that? It wasn’t just the Hermes Guild users but many members of the Haven Empire were revealed as the building cracked.”
“Does that mean there are some safe places to hide?”
“Rather, he seems to be putting them aside to eat later.”
“What makes you think that?”
“He just covered the entrance with a heavy amount of saliva.”
The northern users attacked Puhol Fortress along the path that Weed opened.
Weapons. .h.i.t Squashy Wriggler but it was no use.
“When the disaster happened, visibility was limited due to the fog. 127 was the number that our employees directly saw. It is believed that he has eaten over 150 people.”
“This is an amazing combat achievement to watch. He just eats them despite the Hermes Guild members using their skills.”
“It is like he swallows them immediately without chewing.”
“Someone just emerged from his rear. I can’t believe I’m saying something like this.”
“It is a serious misfortune. Those who aren’t digested will just be eaten again.”
“Warriors with high health and resilience can be seen trying to escape.”
A moment of silence flowed between the hosts.
The infamous Hermes Guild users defending the fortress looked pathetic.
“Anyway, it is completely surprising. Weed is continuing to be active inside Puhol Fortress. Is there a reason why he is fighting with that appearance?”
“Of course, there probably is an exact reason but it is difficult to speculate at this point.”
“Please just say any rough guesses.”
“The end of life is a.s.sociated with a hearty appet.i.te. Perhaps he intends to represent the progress and prosperity of the Arpen Kingdom.”
“It is an appearance that causes fear in enemies but rea.s.sures allies.”
The broadcasters around the world gave different interpretations of Squashy Wriggler.
-Don’t let your children watch this.
-The worst. Really.
-This is a request to stop the broadcast.
The viewers were uncomfortable at first glance but became curious once they learned it was Weed.
Surprisingly, some people thought that his twitching and wriggling was cute. It was like a struggling artist’s rough paintings becoming valuable after they are famous.
Weed showed the optimal efficiency and brute force on the broadcast.
Companies had already contacted Weed about making dolls of Squashy Wriggler digging at the ground or with his tongue stretched out.
The advertising companies were well aware of Weed, the Arpen Kingdom, and the Gra.s.s Porridge Cult.
Regardless of the age group, they immediately launched a PR plan. The main items included phones, phone carriers, air conditioning and television.
The character was outstanding so it was easy to advertise.
Squashy Wriggler make a phone call with the latest phone from underground. The call would be maintained even while he was digging.
“As expected from the ultra-high definition. Follow me!”
Squashy Wriggler enjoyed playing games, the high speed internet as well as communicating with friends.
Downloading an image related to food would only take 0.1 seconds.
“Yummy. Telecom unleashed!”
Squashy Wriggler danced around an air conditioner in hot weather.
“Wind wind blow. Wind wind, wind wind!”
After watching a horror movie, Squashy Wriggler’s mouth would leap out of the big TV towards the slack-jawed viewers watching on the sofa.
Weed’s popularity overseas in the IT and electronic industries was amazing. In particular, items related to Weed were very popular in Europe and the United States.
A burger shop handed out free dolls of the sculptural lifeforms, increasing sales by 20 times and there were endless guests from morning to night.
Employees of the world’s largest oil company also started studying Squashy Wriggler to promote the development of advanced technology.
Tire specialists advertised Squashy Wriggler’s 40 feet wearing their products that could move in adverse terrains.
Squashy Wriggler was able to hit the jackpot through advertising.
* * *
The death of the necromancer Krobidyun! Knight Myul’s death!
Users that represented the Hermes Guild lost their lives in their fierce battle for Puhol Fortress.
“Bring it on. You weak tras.h.!.+”
The level 483 Konsuller.
He was a famous user of the Hermes Guild. He cleared dungeons and hunted dangerous boss cla.s.s monster.
“Come out boldly. Don’t think that you’ve won just because of your numbers!”
Konsuller wanted to fight Weed so he stood in front of the incoming northern users. Every time he swung his sword, the northern users within 7 metres were swept away.
At least 400~500 people died due to Konsuller.
Avians tried to grab him from the sky but he killed at least 30 of them.
Many Hermes Guild users suffered under the onslaught of the northern users. However, Konsuller was a particularly strong user that they couldn’t take down.
His resilience, vitality, skills management and swordsmans.h.i.+p was excellent enough to overpower the enemy.
“Is he still not tired?”
“Tough, tough. We have no choice but to hit him as much as possible.”
The northern users were prepared for a large scale a.s.sault when a man suddenly appeared.
A muscular body, broad shoulders and a wide back.
The man’s name was Geomchi-4.
“You are called Konsuller. I challenge you.”
Konsuller was surprised at Geomchi-4’s words but soon regained his composure.
“Heh, a challenger.”
He would apologize if he ran into such a muscular man at night but this was Royal Road.
The character’s strength depended on level and equipment.
“Fool. Bring it on.”
Konsuller knew about the existence of the Geomchis through the Hermes Guild’s information network.
Their individual fighting ability was high but it was impossible to guess their level or skill proficiency.
Together, they could wreak havoc and didn’t hesitate against ranged attacks or magic spells. However, it was different if they were alone.
Konsuller’s sharp eyes examined the opponent’s equipment.
‘It is a complete level 330 set. It is cheap and the options aren’t that good. He deserves recognition in the north but…’
In the developed Central Continent, many users managed to find the best equipment.
Although there might not be a big difference in options, the price would jump ten-fold due to design elements. The so-called luxury goods that were more expensive than mid-sized cars.
Naturally users of the Hermes Guild wore the best equipment and improved their skills through endless compet.i.tion. There was an elite group of people to compete against so the Hermes Guild users were naturally proud.
Konsuller said arrogantly.
“It seems like you know how to fight. But I will teach you what combat is in Royal Road.”
“Yes, you make a lot of noise.”
“Heh. There is no need for a long dialogue before battle.”
Geomchi-4 jumped in front of him.
‘He really is stupid and ignorant. I will show him the difference between me and those people who can’t fight. Those people aren’t on the same level as me.’
Konsuller moved his body and used an attack skill.
The sword he was holding flew like a ray of light towards Geomchi-4. It was a mid-ranged attack skill that increased the power of his swordsmans.h.i.+p by 8 times.
The attack speed was so fast that most opponents couldn’t escape. It also penetrated the opponent’s armour for a critical hit so it was one of Konsuller’s favourite skills..
Geomchi-4 didn’t try to avoid it.
“Deflect Moving Blade!”
Geomchi-4 also used a sword skill.
It was an martial artist’s skill that he made directly. His sword moved like it was going to block the ray of light, but it actually deflected it.
|-The skill Deflect Moving Blade has been used.
It has neutralized Flash Sting.
Your body will lose balance for 0.2 seconds.
Konsuller’s body staggered.
“This is nonsense!”
Geomchi-4 was rapidly approaching and there was no way to avoid the counterattack. Geomchi-4 saw all of Konsuller’s weak points.
‘There is no need to feel any tension.’
Geomchi-4 had never met an opponent in Royal Road that made him sweat with fear. Wide area skills frightened him but he could avoid damage in one-on-one fights.
‘The ultimate tension is dying during a battle.’
Those who believed in their equipment and levels would only have a certain amount of skill.
He never knew what would happen in a battle but there was no need to be nervous. He just had to demonstrate his skills.
There weren’t weak characters in Royal Road, only weak people.
Geomchi-4’s sword moved in a dazzling blur and cut Konsuller. He named the brilliant attack skill ‘Urachachacha.’
It was a monster hunting technique that could unleash 99 consecutive attacks.
|-Urachachacha advanced level 3 (76%): A technique that deals continuous attacks.
Any weapon can be used and the damage will get increasingly stronger.
Every 5th successful attack will paralyze the enemy for 1 second.
If the enemy avoids it then 38% of the counterattack will be neutralized.
The opponent had to prevent Urachachacha before it started or avoid it altogether.
The simple, ignorant attacks landed on Konsuller.
“Front s.h.i.+eld Defense!”
A s.h.i.+eld was summoned that fit around his body. However, the s.h.i.+eld fell apart after two or three attacks.
‘This ignorant b.a.s.t.a.r.d! How did he get this sword skill? No, what is with his strength?’
He protested against such a ridiculous strength.
He had moved forward and deflected the attack to the side simultaneously.
Despite attacking from a distance, Geomchi-4 used ingenuity to counterattack. Geomchi-4 had figured out how to deal with ranged attack skills from the other students.
|-Konsuller of the Haven Empire has been killed.|
Konsuller was someone who fearlessly hunted the boss monster Peperkakun. He belonged to the Haven Empire and lost a one-on-one challenge.
|-Your level has risen.
889 combat fame has been acquired.
Agility has increase by 1 due to the victory.
-The skill proficiency of swordsmans.h.i.+p has improved.
“Heh, this loot.”
Geomchi-4 picked up a cloak left behind by Konsuller. Gold powder flew all over the place, causing it to glitter. A special effect that would cause Weed’s eyes to widen.
“It would be nice to pick up a sword. I am lacking equipment.”
Geomchi and the students fought throughout Puhol Fortress.
Alcard had a good vantage point to conduct the defense and didn’t miss that Puhol Fortress was being taken over.
Despite not knowing all the circ.u.mstances of the battlefield, he proved to be able to effectively command the troops.
“This is a crazy battle.”
The commanders of the Haven Empire lamented.
Even if their power was 50-50, the opponents were bound to have an advantage.
The demoralized army was closed to wiped out and his reputation would be damaged with this loss.
A strong image was needed when fighting enemies.
The Haven Empire was considered invincible on the Central Continent and this att.i.tude didn’t change after building the fortress in the north.
But they were slowly deprived of the walls and defense facilities, and now the northern users and avians were pouncing at them.
“We can endure… For as long as possible.”
Alcard the great commander was in a state where his limbs were being cut off.
“Tahol Knights. Drive the enemies out of the fortress.”
“Yes. I understand.”
The proud Tahol Knights of the Haven Empire were sent out!
They were heavily armoured NPC knights. Their individual levels exceeded 400 through the good hunting grounds and dungeons in the Kallamore Kingdom.
Arming and feeding them took an enormous amount of money. They made significant contributions to the conquest wars in the Central Continent and came to the fortress in the north.
And Alcard received a report after 30 minutes.
“The Tahol Knights have been wiped out.”
“They were isolated in the east hall… And wiped out.”
“Why didn’t they retreat?”
“The people who died blocked the way.”
The knights were quickly isolated somewhere in Puhol Fortress after they were mobilized.
The defense buildings had been seized by the avians.
They took advantage of the defense facilities to block the a.s.sault of the knights while the architects knocked down the building.
“It’s falling. Everybody get out of here!”
The towers and buildings fell on top of the imperial troops.
Puhol Fortress was built by the Haven Empire so that was enough reason for the northern architects to break it.
Alcard was extremely upset. The Tahol Knights he had directly raised had disappeared in a place like this.
“Relocate the 7th magic corps to a safe place. Prevent the enemy from coming to the rear of the fortress.”
“They are being tracked.”
“Send a lot of troops to help their retreat.”
After a moment, he heard the incoming news.
“The magic army corps has been destroyed.”
“I told you to send escort troops.”
“While wandering the length of the fortress…”
Puhol Fortress was a complete combat zone.
The gates and walls were already completely handed over to the northern users, while battles were waging fiercely in the residential areas and central roads.
It was a large military fortress where millions of people were fighting.
It was the sound of the big defense towers mobilized to stop the Arpen Kingdom falling.
“Stop them. If we are defeated here then we will lose the northern colony.”
Alcard desperately ordered his private forces.
So far 650,000 imperial soldiers had died and of the 20,000 Hermes Guild users, only 1000 were left.
Of course, not all of them lost their lives.
Once Myul, Krobidyun and other powerhouses started dying, some members of the Hermes Guild quickly fled.
“Those selfish people. The battle isn’t over yet. Somehow an opportunity to reverse the situation will be created.”
That could be the case since the damage to the northern users was several hundreds of thousands of times larger. However, they wouldn’t be able to hold out for a long time.
A ma.s.sive number of northern users had already reached the rear of Puhol Fortress.
The fortress was completely surrounded on all sides and the northern users had already made plans to raid other cities and castles.
“Catch Weed… No, Weed is too hard to catch right now.”
Alcard was half resigned to the loss.
Surrounded by enemies on all sides!
They would barely be able to endure through the night. But they would surely be wiped out tomorrow or the day after.
“At this rate, it will fall easily. We will all end up dying.”
Then he received a whisper just as he reached a dead end.
-Mapan: h.e.l.lo. I am Mapan of Mapan’s trading company.
‘Mapan. At a time when I am busy… Mapan?
Mapan was quite famous in the north and Alcard also knew of him.
‘He is one of the people closest to Weed.’
The surrounded users noticed Alcard’s reaction to the whisper.
“Alcard. What happened?”
-Mapan: Can you meet me so that we can talk about the current situation?
Alcard noticed the atmosphere after hearing the words.
‘He is trying to negotiate. If there could be a truce… Maybe we can buy some time or gain some benefits from the negotiations.’
Alcard carefully agreed.
“Of course. I welcome any talks. But I can’t afford to leave this fortress.”
-Mapan: I will send someone directly to you.
“Please don’t send a person who doesn’t have the right to make decisions.”
-Mapan: Of course. They are very close to Weed so any decisions made will be formal.
At that moment, a woman with long hair dyed green appeared.
Yurin. Weed’s little sister.
* * *
Alcard and Yurin conducted the negotiations in a secret place.
Alcard minimized the troops and only had 20 people escorting him.
Yurin sat alone at a wide table as the representative of the Arpen Kingdom.
“By the way, you came alone?”
“If you need help then call someone. Isn’t Weed-nim also in this fortress?”
“No. Oppa is currently busy cutting off necks.”
The faces of Alcard and the users reddened.
Yurin’s description of cutting off the necks was a sufficient explanation.
Alcard touched the back of his neck for a while.
“If you insist. Let’s have a discussion. First, what do you want in exchange for the Arpen Kingdom stopping their attacks and returning Puhol Fortress to us?”
He started the negotiations on a weak point.
But Alcard didn’t have a wide variety of options.
The Hermes Guild would have to make many concessions in regard to the northern colony. If they rejected the negotiations then the only thing left was a ma.s.sacre.
‘The guild might not want to compromise with the Arpen Kingdom, even if we end up being wiped out.
Therefore, the negotiations were being kept a secret from the Hermes Guild.
Alcard was in a disadvantageous situation so he would be forced to listen to the opponent’s demands.
‘What did she come here to ask?’
Yurin outright said.
“Everyone will surrender. Puhol Fortress as well as the entire northern colony.”
“Have your armies and cities all surrender. Right now, your imperial soldiers are tragically dying. They will be accepted as soldiers of the Arpen Kingdom. All the cities and villages created so far will be taken.”
“Is that really necessary?”
“Yes. This much is needed.”
Alcard and the other leaders were at a loss for words.
In any case, he managed to pause the battle for a brief period of time. But the enemy planned to steal the entire northern colony.
They had doubts that a pretty girl like Yurin could say such unscrupulous things.
‘It is Weed.’
‘She must be repeating Weed’s words.’
‘Weed is a bad man. He sent a girl to say such a hard thing?’
Alcard rejected the offer without even needing to discuss it.
“I’d rather be defeated. I have my own self-worth. I will inflict as much damage to the Arpen Kingdom as possible before dying.”
“You will be given a place in the Arpen Kingdom.”
“You will command the Arpen Kingdom’s army.”
An unexpected proposal. The point of the negotiations was to lure Alcard to the Arpen Kingdom.
“Oppa said that you fight well despite being an enemy. The Arpen Kingdom is lacking talent. Why don’t you come over to the north?”
Their minds became complicated.
‘Join the Arpen Kingdom? That… I hadn’t even thought about it.’
‘Betraying the Hermes Guild. I am afraid of retaliation if I betray the guild.’
‘Standing on the side of the north. Changing my side. Is it possible?’
Many commanders in the Hermes Guild who lost were deprived of their privileges.
The fame and honour they personally built up would be lost.
It was a harsh penalty but the absolute authority of the Hermes Guild on the Central Continent meant they would never think of betrayal.
However, if Puhol Fortress belonged to the Arpen Kingdom then they didn’t have to worry about the Hermes Guild’s retaliation.
‘Becoming the army commander of the Arpen Kingdom… The luxuries and popularity will decrease. And I would have to face the Haven Empire on the battlefield.’
The Arpen Kingdom’s military was lacking.
He knew how much attention and effort was needed to create a proper army.
‘But… I think it can be done with the northern users.’
Alcard was a high ranking official in the Hermes Guild. Nevertheless, he had been interested in the stories of the Northern Continent on the broadcasting stations.
A pure and free world. The north was the first place in Royal Road where he could feel that. The values he had forgotten in pursuit of wealth and power could be found in the north.
‘People might feel that joy but it is better to remain in the Hermes Guild.’
It would be naive if he accepted Weed’s proposal.
Weed and Mapan had given extra conditions to Yurin.
Commander of the Arpen Kingdom’s army, two cities and becoming the earl of a land. They wanted to conquer Puhol Fortress without any more bloodshed but above all, it was important to acquire the northern colony without a war.
“I need time to think about the proposal.”
“I can’t give you a lot of time.”
“I know. Time isn’t on my side. But is this something that can be determined easily?”
Then Yurin laughed brightly.
It was an expression like she was going to take the lunch of a university senior!
“Good. Then I will offer one more thing. If you come to the Arpen Kingdom then Oppa has suggested that you two quest together.”
“The equivalent of two years of S-cla.s.s difficulty quests.”
Weed’s quests were understandably broadcasted on television.
The income from the broadcasting fees and the popularity was a big temptation that couldn’t be ignored.
Weed would lose nothing from making the offer to Alcard. Weed’s quests were tremendously difficult so many users who partic.i.p.ated would die as it progressed.
Alcard was a reliable, strong person so Weed wanted to obtain him.
It was a huge privilege just hearing the offer. Weed’s adventures boasted the best ratings and his colleagues also became heroes.
‘Isn’t this too much? The treatment is completely different from the Hermes Guild.’
Alcard wasted no more time and agreed.
“Good. I will defect to the Arpen Kingdom.”
The other users were surprised but they were Alcard’s friends. Alcard accepting the offer was enough reason to convince them.
They weren’t lower level knights and warriors. They were immersed in Royal Road and didn’t want to become losers after the defeat at Puhol Fortress.
The thought of starting a new life in the north was quite persuasive.
Of course, a few days ago they never believed that Puhol Fortress would be occupied.
They decided to gift it to the Arpen Kingdom.
“The decision is made so the Haven Empire’s colony in the north will belong to the Arpen Kingdom. As for the problem with the Hermes Guild users… None of the users can be allowed to remain alive.”
He didn’t dwell on betraying the Hermes Guild anymore.
He had changed to the Arpen Kingdom so now everything was for the sake of Weed.
* * *
Yurin and Alcard immediately signed the peace treaty.
The information was pa.s.sed through the Gra.s.s Porridge Cult’s network and the situation in Puhol Fortress changed.
“Don’t fight the soldiers anymore and find the Hermes Guild users!”
“Get rid of all of them!”
“Step on it!”
The soldiers also received a command from Alcard and focused on blocking the Hermes Guild users from running.
Thus, their slaughter under the hands of the northern users began.
“Cheeky b.a.s.t.a.r.ds. Earth Reverse!”
The high level Hermes Guild users had to fight against hundreds of people.
Mana and vitality were reduced and the powerhouses collapsed one by one.
Some of the cornered members tried to escape but they were overpowered by the northern users.
“Hey, fight well.”
“I’ve only eaten rice in this battle.”
“I didn’t know my turn would come.”
They continued to fall under the onslaught of the northern users.
More than 100 Hermes Guild members gathered to try and resist. However, they were easily dominated by the northern users.
Many of them weren’t aware but this situation was occurring all over Puhol Fortress.
“I don’t want to die so I will surrender. Please treat me as a prisoner.”
Some users lifted both hands to express that they wouldn’t fight.
In wars between kingdoms, it was customary to only release the prisoners when reparations were paid.
Of course, the northern users didn’t accept this.
“No prisoners. Just die.”
“What? All knights and n.o.bles who partic.i.p.ate in war adhere to this principle.”
“You have killed hundreds of people on our side who surrendered.”
The Hermes Guild inflicted some damage but the northern users got a much larger profit.
Their abilities increased and valuable loot was obtained.
Shouts of joy came from Puhol Fortress.
The Hermes Guild users had all died.
The northern users were determined to win the war with the Haven Empire but they never imagined it was such an overwhelming rout!
The NPC soldiers were turned to allies and the Hermes Guild members were exterminated.
Of course, a significant number of them had already fled but at least they had disappeared from the north.
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