Legendary Moonlight Sculptor Volume 51 Chapter 1

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Legendary Moonlight Sculptor Volume 51 Chapter 1 – The Star of Palrangka

The Palrangka War was one of the most intense battles the Versailles Continent had ever known. Seven human kingdoms, other races and monsters fought over the dominance of the continent during this great war. Weed was summoned onto this historical battlefield by Batalli the God of Fighting in order to earn some more combat accomplishments.

“Kill them!”

“You dirty bastards! Kill all those Bromba scum!”

“Elite warriors of the Mapon Kingdom! Let us fight our way to victory!”

“Glory to Her Majesty!”

Shouts, screams and the sound of metals clashing filled the air of the battleground.

“So many times have I been to hell and back that I have gotten used to it.”

Weed recalled his old house, which was half underground but still comfortable enough to stretch his legs.

Having fought in so many wars, he had now become quite used to seeing monsters, giants, or even flying beasts. To him, Bone Dragons were just junior staff members, and Death Knights were part-time employees; going into war was simply another day in the office.

“Warriors of the Mapon Kingdom! Let’s reap the fruit of our hellish trainings! Let our enemies pay for our blood and sweat!”

“Our swords shall have no mercy; let’s show what Kelton’s knights are made of!”

“Long live the Bromba Kingdom!”

Along with the kingdoms of Bromba and Mapon, armies from various different nations were tangled up in combat.

The hooves of the horses thundered on the ground as squads of knights charged forward, blind arrows made whooshing sounds as it flew 4, 5 meters ahead of him. In the middle of this great battlefield stood Weed.

Beyond the armies of the seven kingdoms, there were legions of other races centered around barbarians and elves. Behind them, an endless horde of swarming monsters.

‘Palrangka War… I should probably make sure I succeed this time.’

Standing next to Weed, there was someone he had to protect just like last time.

“Valiant sir, you are the only one I can trust. Please take me to a safe place.”

A beautiful princess riding a white horse pleaded.

*Ding!*


< A Request from Princess Remi

The first princess of the kingdom of Isran, a small nation from a remote region with a population of 80,000.  Loving the scenery of the ocean, she wished to spend her life in her homeland but was dragged to the Bromba Kingdom to become the 5th royal concubine of the crown prince through an arranged marriage. Due to the sudden outbreak of the war however, she was driven to the battlefield before they even had the chance to have a proper ceremony. Now she yearns to return to her home country.

Difficulty Level: A historic quest of a hero

Rewards: First-hand experience of the great historic battle. One can become the main hero of this important historical event.

Quest restrictions: Knights cannot refuse to accept this quest as it is a request from a princess. >


There have been very few cases where Weed failed a quest or a hunt.

In the past, he had lost his life in the Tower of Heroes and was reincarnated as a Skeleton Knight. And although he participated in the Palrangka War, he was lacking in levels and combat techniques, which eventually led him to fall in the battlefield after fighting to his heart’s content.

As there was no response from Weed, Princess Remi opened her ruby lips again.

“Sir knight, you are all I have. You, a person of great honor and high pride; I know that you will help me.”


<You have accepted the quest.>


The mandatory acceptance of the quest.

Weed climbed onto the front seat of the white horse Princess Remi was riding.

“Oh my!”

“I shall protect you, Princess, so please hold on tight.”

“Yes, I will… I put my trust in you, Sir knight.”

With the armies from different countries locked up in an extensive battle, their escape route was blocked. Even in the sky, drakes were flying around breathing out fire indiscriminately to attack the land.

A chaotic battle! Several different forces were mingled together, fighting among themselves. Even after he escaped their current location, he would have to break his way through armies of other races as well as monsters with levels around 300 to 400.

‘To increase the chance of success, I should head to the elven camp.’

Elves did not possess an evil nature; they would not attack them if Weed explained the situation and sought their understanding. With some well-spoken flattery, things would turn even more favorable. He could just stay among the elves until an opportunity arises and flee from the monster armies, escaping the battlefield. This was a reasonable plan with a high chance of success.

‘But that would be too easy.’

In the past, when Weed was first fighting in the Palrangka War, his level was 356.

Presently he had reached level 508, and had learned many powerful skills including secret sculpting skills. Further taking into account the quests that he had since completed, the better equipment and the stats that he had so diligently improved, the combat power of the past Weed could not even stand comparison with the present. When considering the undead army he could now summon on top of it, this gap in power was akin to that between an airplane and a bicycle.

“Hmm. What would be the best way to smash them?”

With sharp eyes, he looked around and observed the battlefield far and wide.

As one advanced in level, one began to take in their surroundings from a different perspective. The first things Weed noticed were how skillfully the soldiers were fighting and the equipment they had.

‘They aren’t too bad, but still quite crude. I could wipe them all out just by summoning some zombies.’

Even the knights were nothing more than scarecrows in the middle of the field to the eyes of Weed with his current power level.

It was an opportunity to demonstrate his overwhelming power, just like during his time as the Great King of Desert.

“Time for the harvest.”

Weed yanked the reins, making the white horse gallop forward.

*Tabdak Tabdak!*

The white horse charged towards the Bromba army’s camp.

‘Roaring Gale Spear skill!’

Weed drew out the Thunder Spear and swung it in the air, creating a strong gust of wind that hit the soldiers.

“Kuuegh!”

“Arrrghh!”

“E, enemy!”

The soldiers struck by the attack were thrown tens of meters away, then turned into grey shades and disappeared. As many of the common conscript soldiers during the Warring Age were below level 50, they were easily killed by a single area-of-effect skill.

*Booooom!*

As an additional effect of Thunder Spear, bolts of lightning struck the earth. As the thunderbolts hit the ground, intense shockwave reverberated throughout the battlefield.

Dozens of more soldiers in the vicinity were also met with an instant death.

‘That’s the way to do it.’

Showing off one’s strength after a power up!

The items dropped by the dead soldiers caught Weed’s eyes.

A needle with a blunt end, a broken candle, a worn rope; most of them were junk, and the only item he found that was worth something was a set of shabby leather armor.

It was so old that its color had faded and it was full of holes, and its poor condition had lowered the Defense score as well.

“Repair! Clean Armor!”

As soon as Weed used the skills, it turned into a shiny new piece of equipment. Its Defense was still only 16, but it now increased the maximum Life Force by 1,850 points.

“Princess, please wear this.”

Weed had fixed the armor because he wanted the princess to use it.

“Do I have to? It smells rather strongly of sweat.”

“You have to wear it in order to survive.”

“But it looks so uncomfortable and big…”

“H-he’s a demon!”

“That one is too strong . We need to stall him here and call the knights for help.”

While Weed was salvaging the leather armor, royal soldiers of the Bromba Kingdom closed in on him, armed with spears and shields.

As none of them looked particularly strong, Weed let them be until they were close enough and he started to strike.

“Lightning Wave!”

*Psssssssst!*

Using the lightning skill of the Thunder Spear, he blew away a whole block of nearby soldiers who had stepped into his attack range. He didn’t normally use area-of-effect skills very often, due to the large consumption of mana associated with them, but it was a worse waste of time to deal with such weak soldiers one by one.

“Lightning Wave!”

Another shot of the lightning skill!

“Aaaarrrgh!”

All the approaching soldiers were either dead or knocked unconscious.

“I-I’m scared.”

Princess Remi, sitting behind him on the back of the white horse, trembled at the sight of slaughter.

“This is a battlefield. You need to wear the leather armor.”

“But you don’t know if the armor will save my life for sure. I believe in your strength, dear knight.”

“Lightning Wave!”

*Boooooom!*

“Ascending Thunderbolt!”

He used the area-of-effect skills sealed in the Thunder Spear liberally. Driving his horse recklessly in the midst of an army, he was shooting attack skills in all directions.

“Kyyyaaaaah!! I’ll wear it. I said I’ll wear it!”

It could be said that it was an ill-fortune for Princess Remi that Weed had been chosen to assume the role of her knight.

Sure, he could be kind and warm, but that side of his personality was limited to his family only.

And while Princess Remi was a beautiful lady, Weed’s standard of beauty had become Seoyoon before he knew it, so naturally she could not leave that much of an impression on him.

When standing next to Seoyoon, anyone would look like a sea squirt in comparison.

“I w-wore it.”

Princess Remi put on the leather armor that soldiers wore on top of her dress, and Weed picked up a leather cloak to cover her further.

“Archers. Shoot!”

At that instant, about 2,000 archers of the Bromba Kingdom released their bowstrings, aiming at Weed and Princess Remi. A hail of arrows covered the sky, each shot flying towards them.

“There’re arrows coming this way. Kyyyyaaaa!”

Princess Remi screamed.

Weed spun the Thunder Spear in his hand at high speed; the highly advanced skill of spinning the spear using only the back of his outstretched right hand. Although Warriors had a similar defense skill such as Rotating Shield, Weed had never learned them. He was forcibly implementing a skill just by using his own body.

*Bababababaaaaaam!*

The spear sliced the air as it rotated in a circle. Most of the arrows flying towards Weed and Princess Remi were ricocheted off the shaft of the spear. A few managed to penetrate their way in, but there was something else that was blocking their path.

“Xing Xing, go do your work!”

“Yes, master. It is an honor to be summoned by you. I shall work tirelessly to ensure your comfort and convenience.”

He had summoned a wind spirit that was as diligent as a slave to weaken the arrows’ impact. Equipped with Fabio’s heavy armor and Bar Khan’s Cloak of Hell on top of it, he barely took any damage from the incoming arrows. With Weed covering her with his own body, naturally Princess Remi in the back seat was perfectly unscathed.

“Arrows don’t work at all against him.”

“His strength is beyond imagination.”

“Is he a hero that was sent from heaven? How can there be such a powerful knight…”

The look of shock was apparent among the Bromba’s royal archers.

Weed’s lips curled into a devilish smile.

In truth, such attacks from the arrows could have been blocked by summoning more wind spirits or by using magic. As he was not on the Path of Struggle anymore, he could use his Necromancer skills here, which meant he could also have cast Bone Shield and summoned a wall of bones. Despite the fact that he had many other possible ways to block the actions of the archers in advance, he waited for them to shoot arrows in order to make a great scene.

‘Now, this is what you call style.’

This truly was an attitude befitting a pro celebrity who considered his viewers.

****

KMC Media was airing the video showing Weed passing through the advanced training hall.

“Manager, our instantaneous viewing rate has reached over 44%.”

“Yeah, another combat encounter has just ended. Switch the screen to the Garnav Plain quickly. Let’s show them the cheering crowd in that place.”

Almost every user of Royal Road was currently watching Weed’s challenge in the advanced training hall. Each channel that was currently broadcasting this adventure was witnessing their highest viewing rates ever.

All the business in schools, companies, and government offices was temporarily on hold, and pizza and chicken places were even setting the new record in the history of men in terms of the number of customers.

“We’d like to order one seasoned, one fried, and one soy chicken with sliced spring onion.”

“We’re currently having so many orders you would probably have to wait for about 5 hours, is that okay?”

“Of course, that is no problem.”

As soon as they hung up the phone, it rang again and another order came in.

In every chicken restaurant, they had stocked up at least 500 chickens in their refrigerator to accommodate for orders that would be coming in for the Battle of Garnav Plain, but they were almost running out of their storage due to Weed’s sudden trial in the advanced training hall.

“Hey boss, those people who ate chicken today probably won’t be eating it again tomorrow, right?”

“Probably.

The chicken places renewed their resolve, thinking that they would just have to endure only one day of hard work.

*R-r-ring!*

“Hello, is it possible to make a pre-order for tomorrow? I would like to have five chickens, half-half  and with bones.”

But they began to even receive orders for the next day in advance.

Ever since Royal Road became a hit, the initially Korean custom of having chicken with beer while watching the videos of Weed’s adventure whenever they were on air had spread all over the world. This current phenomenon had been occurring across the globe, day and night.

Oh Joo Wan and Do Chanmi in KMC Media continued on with the broadcasting show in excitement.

“Yes. We had just finished counting, and it seems Weed had made 73 successful attacks in a row with the Heraim Fencing skill. Pakclas-nim, isn’t this a new record?”

“…”

“Pakclas-nim. Please respond.”

The other panelists including Pakclas had not spoken a word during the entire first half of the program, which had resulted in them receiving a great amount of backlash from the viewers. He had also been given several firm warnings from the production crew since, so he tried to come to his senses and opened his mouth.

“*Cough*. Yes. Well, it is certainly an impressive number, but it was just a simple battle of targeting the monsters.”

“But it is still a record, isn’t it?”

“A record is nothing but a record. Someone else will break it someday.”

Pakclas hung his head down after saying this. He had been in a good mood, having made his first guest appearance on a TV program in a long time — he hadn’t expected that he would make such pathetic and miserable comments.

“Necrat-nim. I did not know that the Heraim Fencing skill could be this powerful. What is your opinion on this sword technique?”

“I almost can’t understand why it is so strong. Sure, you can accumulate damage through continuous chain attacks, but I must say this is possible not because the sword skill itself is powerful, but rather because Weed is such an OP… *ahem*, I mean, because he’s on the Path of Struggle.”

“Because he’s on the Path of Struggle?”

“Yes, you need a straight one-way passage that is highly populated with monsters in order to take full advantage of the Heraim Fencing skill.”

“But finding out such a benefit of the Heraim Fencing skill and knowing to exploit it in the Path of Struggle is in itself a clever move, don’t you think?”

“Yes, I’ll acknowledge that up to a certain extent. But this is just a matter of who does it first. And anyone would be able to pass through the Path of Struggle using such a method.”

With that, the message board of the company website exploded with the viewers’ comments.

– Hahahahaha. I’m about to die from laughter. This must be the comedy of the year.

– Anyone can do it, he says? Did the entire game change while I wasn’t looking so that any average user has mastered all the sculpture skills and possesses sword techniques that can flatten any ranker?

– Frankly, I’m really not confident that I can do the same as he does. Moving around and swinging the sword so precisely while five Ferocious Hounds are leaping at you all at once… and that was not some automatic attack or evasion skill? How does that make any sense?

– That is one crazy movement. If you can replicate something like that when you are hunting in a party, you’ll instantly become the hero of the group.

– Everyone is just out of it and not comprehending what they’re seeing; they are totally captivated by the video.

– There are very few people who could beat Weed if they were fighting in the same condition as him: all the skills blocked, no flashy equipment and only one longsword at your disposal.

– I would like to express my bitter reproaches against Weed in advance. There will at least be a hundred people who will head off to challenge the advanced training hall, claiming they’ve learned the trick with the Heraim Fencing skill, only to be killed horribly.

– Honestly, what makes me laugh the most is what Packlas said. Someone else will break that record, really? So that’s just nothing?

– They themselves only barely managed to pass through that path, even with all of their numbers and their great expensive weapons, yet look how they’re trying to belittle Weed.

– Well, we all know that the Hermes Guild has always had no sense of shame.

The public message board was full of viewers’ comments that cast stones at the panelists and the Hermes Guild. Occasionally, there were some high-level users who voiced their opinions after proving they were over level 450.

– The physical exhaustion you get from engaging in a combat while actually wielding your weapon with your own hands is equivalent to that experienced by a soccer player running full 90 minutes of the final match.

– His quick judgment and sense of combat aside… How can a human fight for such a long time while maintaining their focus?

– Don’t you know how Weed was back when he played Continent of Magic? He had once hunted for 204 hours straight; the guy’s a real monster at farming. Anyone who knew about him during those days would know that he has been severely underrated in Royal Road.

– Let’s… Let’s just think that Weed belongs to an entirely different race from us. Not because it makes us feel better… But because it’s the truth.

– Whenever Weed went online on Continent of Magic, all the other users in nearby regions would quit the game. They ran away.

– Was Weed really such a tyrant in Continent of Magic?

– He was an absolute devil. The final boss. Maybe even more than that.

– He killed anyone that got in his way. A single person made a mistake, the entire group they were in had to pay the price.

– He once wiped out a whole city and erased it off the map.

– You mean Aaringit, the city by the river?

– If it was destroyed by Weed himself… I guess it became a popular tourist attraction afterwards?

– Well, no. Weed flooded the city with water from the river and drowned it entirely. The city was gone after that.

The stories from the time when he played Continent of Magic became a hot issue again in the message board after a long while.

The users who had joined Royal Road late had not known about these stories.

– If Weed was really such a tyrant, shouldn’t he be rebuked by people?

– It’s probably just some false rumor. The Weed-nim I saw would not do such things.

– But it’s all true! Everyone who has some experience playing Continent of Magic knows about it.

– His notoriety… There really was nobody who hadn’t heard of it. There are plenty of video clips out there titled like “Weed’s brutal massacre”.

– He was very famous as a merciless assassin and a god of war.

– The users who had played Continent of Magic all had similar thoughts: Weed’s profession as a sculptor is not what makes him so strong; rather, it’s precisely because Weed is a sculptor that the Hermes Guild is still drawing breaths.

***

The Garnav Plain!

In this place where a festival and sculpture construction were taking place at the same time, there were very few users who were not watching the video of Weed fighting his way through the advanced training hall.

“Hurray! He did it!”

“H, he really did it alone?”

“Wow… this is crazy. Seriously.”

The video made 100 million users, who had been waiting nervously, go wild. Reaching the end of the Path of Struggle was in itself amazing, but fighting continuously for 37 hours all alone was even more phenomenal. He powered through encounter after encounter with almost godlike movements, without even getting tired. Many users felt that there might be some secret tricks behind his great stamina, but they were also deeply immersed in what they were watching.

Destroying one’s enemy with all his might, and marching forward… This was the sight of a true warrior like they had dreamed of ever since they started playing Royal Road. The scenes they saw in this video seemed to set the very hearts of the users in the Garnav Plain on fire.

“Let’s fight!”

“That Hermes Guild is nothing!”

The Northern users, who had grass leaves on their hair, shouted out in cheers.

***

Weed looked around, searching for prey.

Vice, a war hero of the Bromba Kingdom, was a formidable opponent with a level over 400. He was in the middle of fighting against the Mapon Kingdom’s army, commanding a squad of 100 knights riding on black horses.

‘They look like delicious targets.’

Weed spurred his white horse towards them, holding the Loa Sword in one hand and the Thunder Spear in the other.

“The enemy is coming.”

“Shieldbearers! Join the heavy infantry and stop him!”

Following the order of the Royal Commander-in-Chief, the infantry soldiers began to move.

Compared to monsters and demonic creatures that were over level 500, this was but a piece of cake!

“Huaaaah!”

Each time Weed swung his sword and spear, soldiers were throw into the air in all directions.

He became one with the horse, breaking apart the enemy ranks with powerful strikes.

Princess Remi hugged Weed tightly from the back.

“I-I’m scared!”

A knight with his beautiful princess was a favorite cliché of a romance plot. What a dramatic scene it would make, riding in the middle of a battlefield on horseback with a beauty sitting right behind you!

Weed contemplated for a moment.

‘She is getting in the way whenever I’m swinging my weapons. I just need to keep her alive, so maybe I should knock her out for a little while?’

A thought had dawned on him that it might be easier to fight if he hit the back of her head and knocked her unconscious. However, that all the viewers would be watching the broadcast later stopped him.

‘Let’s leave her alone for now. If she becomes too burdensome, I’ll just knock her out when we are not on screen.’

Using his Moonlight Sculpting Blade skill, Weed struck down one of the commanders among the enemy soldiers with ease.

“Princess. We really, absolutely, unconditionally have to break through this path in order to survive.”

“Can’t we just go the other way?”

“I need to take what I can, even though I’m busy… Even if something goes wrong, I’ll protect you so do not worry. I’m not planning to die so easily in this kind of place.”

“I-I will trust you.”

Princess Remi seemed to have let go of her worry at last; it would have been partially influenced by his [1]  high Charm and Charisma stats.

Still conscious of the viewers who would be watching him, Weed gently told the princess:

“Those barbarian warriors seem quite strong. You don’t have to worry about them right now, but later, you could be killed by a flying axe coming from a random direction.”

“What?”

“Or you might be burnt alive by a Drake’s fire breath. Oh, and those arrows that the elves are shooting, be careful with them, too. If I happen to miss one, that might go straight through your head.”

“W-Whaaaat?”

Those soft-spoken words made Princess Remi freeze with fear. In the meantime, Weed continued to swing his sword and spear, and broke the lines of soldiers.

“I am Vice, the Lord of Castle Rahalnov, Commander General of the Gromter Legion, and the leader of the Order of Royal Black Knights. You, who are you and where are you from? If you wish to fight me, at least do so honorably and state your name first.”

Seeing the damage Weed caused to his army, Vice stepped out from among soldiers, raising his lance and ready to charge. Vice, a renowned general of the Bromba Kingdom, had led his troops to victory in many a fight against the royal knights of other kingdoms.

The knights under his command were following closely but did not seem to be inclined to interrupt the one-on-one fight.

Ever sensitive to the audience ratings, Weed galloped on his white horse towards the knight.

“I’m a Moonlight Sculptor.”

“What did you say?”

“The king of the Arpen Kingdom, an explorer of the ends of the earth, an immortal warrior, the glorious commander of the undead army.”

“I still don’t know who you are!”

“Wait, I’m not done yet! I’m a patient fisherman, an adventurer discovering the Continent’s history. I am also a king acknowledged by the gods, a hero who saved the Continent, a hunter of demonic plague, the bringer of catastrophe, a desert traveler, a rainmaker, a greedy and nasty… ahem, disregard that. I am the one who stands against Dragon Fear,  the honorable king of kings, an artist of dragons, and a master craftsman of rare metals.”

“What a load of crap!”

“I have many more titles, but I’ve said briefly the first which came to mind!”

Weed’s white horse and Vice’s black horse began to charge, and as they were just about to clash spear to spear.

“Anyway, just call me Weed. Roaring Gale Spear skill!”

Bromba Kingdom’s war hero Vice lowered his body close to the horse. The Thunder Spear brushed past him with a loud noise that shattered the air.

“It’s foolish of you to make such a big attack, I’ll teach you how to fight on a horse!”

Vice spurred his horse and gained on Weed, getting ready for the counterattack. With impressive riding technique, he followed close behind, but the Loa Sword was waiting for him.

*Shshshoook!*

With the first single blow he pushed away Vice’s spear by sheer force, then landed the second and the third hits on his body.


< A heavy impact!
You have successfully landed a powerful attack that reduces the opponent’s Life Force by minimum 20%.>


< A direct strike on body!
The enemy will be stunned for a very brief time.>


The armor with a high Defense score which Vice was equipped with was what narrowly saved him from instant death. Knight was also a profession with inherently high Life Force. But this only meant that Weed needed just one more blow to kill him off, and unfortunately for Vice, the Thunder Spear was already spinning in Weed’s other hand at this moment.

“Go, Spear of Storm!”

A spear could gain increased attack strength by rotating. After exactly five spins, Weed’s spear pierced Vice’s body.


< You have gained experience points.
Your Spear skill proficiency has increased. >


< A gift from the King.
You have acquired armor with an excellent defense score. >


Vice left a set of red-hued armor as he died, along with a couple of junk items. Weed jumped into the group of the remaining knights.

“Ascending Thunderbolt!”

It was one of the skills contained in Thunder Spear. The spear became fully charged with the power of lightning and began to emit it in all directions. Blinding white light spread out, and soon the ground itself was upturned while galloping horses tripped and collapsed.

Even as he was engaged in the fight, Weed took a moment to appraise the armor he had got from Vice. Not to mention its high Defense, it came with quite a lot of bonus stats and skills related to combat; this armor was one of the most laborious works of a famous blacksmith during the Warring Age.

‘Pretty good, eh?’

Of course, it was not good enough for Weed to wear, but it still wasn’t too bad.

The lower level requirement especially, would make this equipment attractive to many others. On top of all these benefits, the item also granted a large amount of Fame points as well as the title ‘A War Hero’!

‘I’ve got something I can sell at a high price. Those heroes fighting in the Palrangka War should have quite a lot of special weapons and equipment like this.’

Weed gave out a Lion’s Roar.

– Come fight me at once! I shall claim all of your lives!

Batalli the God of Fighting had sent Weed to the Palrangka War once again for him to try to make up for his currently insufficient Combat Accomplishments, but his secret nature as the supervillain that threatens the world peace had awakened from within him.

‘What I can gain from this war are some good quality items with low level requirements. Those Legendary or Hero-class items are enough to fire up the auction.’

It was time for him to begin another hunt!

Even better was the fact that he was not in the Path of Struggle anymore, which meant that he could now eat food and was not restricted by various rules.

“Sculptural Destruction!”

Weed took out one of his sculptures and broke it. Using his Sculptural Destruction skill, he converted all of his Art stats, which was over 3600, into Wisdom. His maximum mana reserve and recovery ability were enhanced dramatically, and the power and range of his magic spells increased. As additional benefits, his Necromancer Skills became more potent and he received protection from illusion spells. It was evident that increasing one’s Wisdom stat meant only one thing: maximizing his Necromancer abilities!

Weed recited magical incantations towards the fallen knights and other bodies nearby.

“Rise, restless, sleepless spirits. Take revenge on the living souls, the ones who killed you. Dead Rise.”

The dead knights, including Vice, rose again as Death Knights. Their flesh had melted off, but they were still equipped with the same weapons and armor that they had when they were alive. Despite the fact that they had just been revived, the undead were even more powerful than they had been during their living days.

“Leonard. How could you…”

“You evil Necromancer! How dare you raise the undead…”

The royal soldiers of the Bromba Kingdom were engulfed by anguish and terror at this horrible sight.

“Kill them all.”

Weed commanded the undead.

The Death knights swung their weapons at their former comrades without hesitation. They slashed their bone swords, and some skeletons were head-butting the enemies.

As Skeletons possessed such high Life Force, they were not killed even when their body was sliced in half at the waist, and those torsos that had been reduced to bones were still crawling on the ground.

The emergence of an undead army, with their horrible power!

As there were currently no less than seven royal armies tangled up together in a fight, there was no shortage of corpses.

“Dead Rise! Everyone rise anew!”

As Weed repeatedly raised the undead, his army of Skeletons and Death Knights grew in number. As a natural course of action, the undead soldiers engaged themselves in a fierce fight against the nearby Bromba Kingdom’s army.

“Call Death Knight Van Hawk! Call Vampire Lord Torido!”

He also summoned his usual subordinates.

Van Hawk emerged, shrouded in a black smoke, along with Torido who was covering himself in a cloak.

“Van Hawk, go assume the command of the Death Knights.”

“What is our goal?”

“There are no limitations. Kill anyone who’s holding a weapon.”

Weed ordered Van Hawk to lead the Death Knights. As strong as he was alone, his ability to command the undead army was truly outstanding.

Torido wrapped his entire body in his cloak once again.

“And what should I do?”

“Go and wreak havoc to your heart’s content. You may drink blood and create new thralls as much as you want.”

“Got it, master.”

Torido gave a satisfied smile, revealing his sharp fangs.

As Weed had already made some new Combat Accomplishments and gained some more Fame, he decided not to worry about the possible ill reputation that would be caused by this for now.

‘I could just complete a couple of adventures or make some sculptures to make up for it.’

The combat strength of the Death Knights were greatly enhanced by Van Hawk’s aura.

Currently, Weed’s Summon Undead spell was at Intermediate Level 8, and his other supportive spells such as Empower Undead, Craft Poison, Bone Shield and Summon Golems had not even reached the Intermediate level. For now, summoning Van Hawk had an even more dramatic effect on his undead army’s power than using normal spells.

– Break through the enemy ranks!

In no time, Van Hawk took control of the Death Knights and initiated a forward march.

– Assaulting Footsteps of the Dead!

The Death Knights brutally tore down the defense formation of the Bromba Kingdom’s army.

Torido grabbed one of the soldiers and bit him in the neck, sucking the blood deeply as if to quench his thirst. With massively increased Life Force and Mana reserves, he then began to cast vampiric magic.

“Blood Storm!”

Drops of blood swept through the whole area, killing the soldiers one by one.

“You evil creature!”

One of the knights raised his sword and swung it down on him, but Torido blocked it with his long claws and sank his teeth into his neck as well.

“We have to save Landerk!”

“Petrification!”

The other knights who were rushing in to rescue their comrade instantly turned into stone statues, unable to move. Until now, Weed had only summoned Van Hawk and Torido to use their help in his quests. He had kept a tight rein on them while frequently calling them for difficult missions and arduous hunts. Although their abilities had grown along with Weed’s as a result, Death Knights and Vampires were inherently evil creatures.

The knights that had their blood drained by Torido became his faithful slaves.

“Go fight them.”

“Yes, my Lord!”

It was not as easy as summoning undead, but Vampires also had a mean to multiply their thralls.

“So many living souls here. I never expected to see such a marvelous place!”

Torido seized domination over units of archers through his charming spell and made them shoot arrows at the other troops of the Royal Army.

“An ambush!”

“Some of our own troops are shooting arrows at us.”

“They are betraying us!”

The Bromba Kingdom’s royal army soon fell apart into a chaotic mess.

Since the Palrangka War was an event that had already taken place in the past, those soldiers were given a temporary existence due to the quest.

For this event, Weed lifted any restrictions he had put on Van Hawk and Torido, allowing them to run amok as much as they wanted.

“S-Sir Knight?”

Weed could feel the shiver from Princess Remi’s body on his back. How could she have known… the knight that she had thought that she could rely upon to protect her in the middle of the battlefield actually turned out to be a commander of an evil undead horde!

“How come you are able to use the Summon Undead spell?”

“This is just one of the few cheap parlor tricks I’ve come to learn as I lived.”

“But… what about your honor as a knight?”

“I’ve always been a sculptor, actually.”

“…”

****

About two days before.

The story of the forgotten one.

“Hmm, this is not good.”

Python was under a difficult predicament. He was left alone on the Path of Struggle after Weed had entered the Gate of Trial alone.

“Well, now that things have turned out like this, I guess I should also go in.”

Python was feeling a little hesitant, but walked up and opened the Gate of Trial.

A lone challenger!

The Advanced Training Hall summoned a great amount of new enemies in the Path of Struggle.

“Kughhhh…”

He put down his greatsword after killing all the enemies. A greatsword consumed a lot of stamina to wield, but had a great attack power and was very useful for defense as well.

Truthfully, he enjoyed exerting himself with all his might as he fought a strong enemy. Dealing with a large number of enemies over a long period of time was not really to his taste, but as a warrior, he knew that he shouldn’t be picky about the opponents he fought against.

“I’m not stopping here.”

He continued forward, narrowly beating the monsters on the way. While he was taking a short break, he sent a private message to Weed:

“This is quite a…fun place.”

He did not give away any hint of his current exhaustion, as befitting a man who never backs away from a combat.

– Weed: It’s not so fun to me.

For just a moment, Python was filled with happiness by the thought that this time, he was doing better than Weed. Even if he failed to clear the advanced training hall, he had still won the victory in the contest against Weed as real men.

“Huhu. But isn’t it fun to fight against a constant stream of enemies that are actually worthy of your strength? Challenging the more powerful monsters is quite exciting, too.

– Weed: Really? You think this is that difficult?

“Huh?”

– Weed: I mean, what kind of “Gate of Trial” doesn’t even have any traps or any mechanism to stab you in the back? And all the monsters appearing here can be taken down really easily by simply beating them up; they can’t even use any of those annoying tricks like cursing or restraining skills.

This was before Weed had received the blessing of the God of Fighting, Batalli. Even so, he was already overwhelming the monsters using only his sense of combat and his experience! On top of that, with his incredibly high stats relative to his current level, he was powering through the Path of Struggle while dealing with all the monsters on the way.

– Weed: Still, I guess this hunting ground is worth the effort in terms of payoffs, albeit just barely.

“He’s referring to the advanced training hall as hunting ground…”

Python put his brain to work.

‘Maybe he is just talking big? It wouldn’t be a complete bluff, considering Weed’s capacity in combat. But he’s most likely still tired.’

Because they took up the challenge individually, they could not meet until they had completely cleared the Gate of Trial. But as they entered the path almost simultaneously, they could compare who survived for a longer time and slew more enemies.

‘I pride myself on being a true warrior. I will never lose.’

Python continued fighting.

As a greatsword burned one’s stamina quickly, weak warriors would not be able to hold out for long.

He didn’t have any choice but to rest occasionally and continue on with the forced march, several times more rigorously than usual.

10 hours passed by like that, and Python was proud of himself.

‘I think I did enough. Quite excellent. I fought well.’

He was feeling that he should take a moment to compliment himself. He needed a short rest anyway, as presently he was quite low on stamina. He knew it would become increasingly difficult to recover his condition as time passed since he couldn’t consume any food, but he still wanted to let his tired body relax a little. Python sent a private message to Weed, another challenger like him.

“Haha. I must say, it’s a little tough.”

He expected Weed to start speaking more honestly and at least apologize for going in alone at the Gate of Trial.

‘I shouldn’t forgive him so easily. Maybe I could ask him for some useful items? Perhaps some sculptures… He would be willing to give me a few as souvenirs, right?’

– Weed: You are joking, right? This is way too easy.

“Did you say easy?”

– Weed: I had high expectations for this… But this place is just subpar. It’s disappointing.

“Disappointing…”

– Weed: You’ll receive a blessing as you stroll through, doing some fighting. It’s really simple.

“…?”

Weed, who was ahead of Python, started explaining as what he must have thought was a piece of advice for the fellow challenger.

– Weed: Once you get the blessing as you fight, everything will work out from there.

This was simple but there had been no one else who knew how to exploit this trick properly. Batalli the God of Fighting only bestowed his blessing to those who challenged the path alone and led a difficult battle to victory through hard fight. The God’s blessing helped relieve the hunger, enhanced one’s attack power or restored some Life Force.

It was as good as a cure-all medicine, allowing one to maintain an above-average body condition for the whole venture through the Path of Struggle and to continue having high-quality combats against strong enemies. It was just as the name suggested: a path to struggle on, not a place to starve until you collapse and die.

‘But how come I didn’t receive much of anything?’

The problem was that in order to receive a really nice blessing, you had to push yourself to the absolute limit. This meant that until now, Python had still left some reserve strength as he fought.

‘I see… I should fight more.’

Python got up and walked toward the next enemies.

Stamina was a second thing to worry about; he was getting mentally tired of seeing the endless waves of monsters after fighting for more than 10 hours.

‘This is such a difficult place to clear… Even if I know the solution to break through, it’s still horrible.’

– Weed: You don’t even need to rest. If you have strength to hold a sword, then just fight. It will work out somehow so long as you continue pushing on.

‘This is a brutal trial. If I pass this, I won’t ever be coming back anywhere near here even for just a trip.’

He also learned how to use the Heraim Fencing skill.

It wasn’t easy to make continuous attacks using a greatsword, but the technique could still be applied in various ways such as pushing off the enemy’s weapon and then landing a blow.

– Weed: Now that I’ve got the knack, it keeps getting easier and easier.

After much struggle, Python was also granted the blessing that relieved his hunger. Weed might have told him it was very easy to get, but he had earned this blessing as a result of a lot of efforts. He was so happy… Until he received yet another private message.

– Weed: I received the blessing again. Now I’m almost feeling full.

“…”

He was about to take some rest after 16 hours of straight fighting; he was only human, and thoroughly sick and tired of seeing more monsters coming at him. They weren’t even some simple enemies that could easily be overwhelmed: he had to use all of his might and skill in every single encounter.

– Weed: Now I’m getting warmed up. I believe you’re having fun?

Each monster Python saw made him feel weary and tormented, but Weed’s private messages were starting to feel just as unbearable to him.

‘That guy… is not human.’

He had always thought of Weed as a rival, but during this adventure he had fully realized that he was something entirely different.

‘At least I’ve found out what kind of place this Path of Struggle is. I can still clear this by going slowly, without trying to compete with Weed.’

Python decided to take short breaks and continue to pass through more patiently.

He probably would not receive the God of Fighting’s Blessing as often as it was possible, but he decided to put up with a small loss like that. He knew that he would already be gaining an incredibly large amount of blessings, such that other users who were not Weed could not even compare.

‘That’s good enough for me. I’m only human, after all.’

****

Geomchi as well as the instructors and disciples had arrived at the Garnav Plain a few days before.

“Master! Here, try this food.”

“Hmm. It’s delicious.”

Geomchi and the instructors were having chicken skewers as a snack between breakfast and lunch. As there were all sorts of delicious cuisines from all over the continent, they had been stuffing themselves with eight meals per day.

In the giant crystal globe, they could see the video of Weed’s battles in the advanced training hall, which was being broadcast.

– Hooray!

– Weed-nim won again!

– Grass Porridge, Grass Porridge, Grass Porridge!

The Garnav Plain was brimming with the excited hysteria of the cheering crowd.

“Our Little One is doing well, isn’t he?”

“The timing with which he pierces through enemy defense is indeed sharp.”

“He’s also doing a good job at creating a chance to strike. He deliberately exposed an opening that he could easily have blocked. It would have been hard not to take that bait.”

Even as they were eating, Geomchi and the trainers discussed the topic of Weed’s combat as a side dish. Other common users would take a look at the battle and simply think it was quite epic, but they had a better understanding of the hidden meanings behind those exchanges of swords.

It was difficult to use the Heraim Fencing skill properly without being able to see at least three or four moves ahead of time. One had to have full awareness of the traits and attack patterns of the monsters, steering the combat to their advantage.

Geomchi was feeling quite proud as he observed Weed’s movements.

“He is properly using what I taught him.”

“Leaping up off the opponent’s leg as he hit the head, and making 4 attacks in midair. It looks like he had taken into consideration the change of direction and the remaining Life Force of the enemy.”

“Well he is doing adequately. I see he used some larger movement for the viewers.”

“I wish he was a little more aggressive… but this is still quite excellent.”

It was extremely rare for Geomchi and the trainers to compliment a pupil.

Weed’s combat style was clean yet bold; he would make some intentional tricks but he never made a mistake. If his overall fighting ability was 100, not only was he able to exert all of it in any situations, but he knew how to make use of his power so that it felt as if it was 200 or 300 while the opponent only had about 80 or 90.

Geomchi2 put three chicken skewers into his mouth.

“Our sword technique is one that is used to duel against other people. *Yum Yum*. Our Little Brother’s abilities have been optimized for Royal Road, it would be difficult to match him in terms of his use of skills.”

Geomchi3 agreed.

“Yes, since he even considers things like the enemy’s morale and other various characteristics when he fights..”

Weed had grown so strong that now the video of him in combat was making a great impression on them. He was rough, fast, and flashy, yet the theoretical aspects of martial arts hidden beneath that combat style were incredibly profound, which accounted for his continuous series of Super-Moves that would simply astound any ordinary user while hiding the firm foundation of basic skills behind them.

Geomchi put down his beer.

“Our Little One went to such a fun place all by himself…”

“I’m jealous.”

Geomchi2 agreed.

But they had their own mission to accomplish.

60,000 Desert Warriors!

The trainers had to take charge of the elite troops from the Southern desert region.

Some disciples had also been appointed with conducting squads of the Grass Porridge Cult, and for this task they even had to study a few books which they so rarely read.

– A Stamina-based Knight: the Standard Procedure of Charging

– Introductory Workbook to Warfare in Royal Road

– Beginning of Party Hunting

– Leadership Skills for Customer Satisfaction

Most of the books they had brought were the ones they had picked up half-heartedly from the best sellers sections of bookstores.

****

The Death Knights were the central force, and the skeletons were supporting them.

Weed raised a large number of zombies from the field full of cadavers.

“Kkkkkkweeeeek!”

“Pupupum!”

In terms of basic combat abilities, those zombies swinging the hands of the deceased were quite weak. However, they were useful for increasing the number of undead in a short time.

“Z-zombies!”

“Glory to the Bromba Kingdom. Repel those zombies!”

The horde of zombies quickly swooped upon the Bromba Kingdom’s royal army.

An assorted set of 17 different types of zombies, including the infected, the corrupted, and the half-rotten!

As the skeleton legion that formed the central shaft of the undead army fought against the main forces of the other kingdoms, more zombies rose up in bulks from the ground in the nearby areas.

The raised corpses were also an excellent tool for bringing up chaos and confusion.

“Do not be perturbed by the zombies. Just kill them!”

During the Warring Age, the Bromba Kingdom was famous for their heavy infantry. Knights and soldiers were putting their strength together, halting the advance of the zombies.

Having noticed this, Van Hawk raised his sword and commanded the Death Knights.

“Formation!”

At his order, the Death Knights riding on the phantom horses lined up in one straight line.

“Bring death upon this land!”


< A March of Death!
Life Force will be consumed at the rate of 796 points every 10 seconds.
The combat capacity of the Death Knights will become temporarily enhanced, and they will gain immunity against all types of interruption skills. >


Death Knights rode their ghost horses forward.

Their duty was to fight against the enemies up until the very moment they fell to their death.

“Rotten Cloud, Sweeping Fear, The Alliance of the Long Dark Shadows.”

Weed happily bombarded the battlefield with area-of-effect cursing spells, the specialty of Necromancers.

“Corpse Explosion!”

It was also a basic practice to cast Corpse Explosion occasionally in the places dense with troops, to make good use of the skill’s destructive power!

The Bromba Kingdom’s royal soldiers were able to hold out against the undead, but their defense was beginning to be shaken little by little by the fierce attacks from the Death Knights led by Van Hawk…

“This should be enough. We will head North.”

He summoned additional Death Knights and Skeleton Soldiers to initiate a fight against the Kelton Kingdom’s army.

“Honorable soldiers from the Kelton Kingdom, an undead horde is coming toward us.”

“Let us fight. Till the end. Our chivalry and swords will never bend.”

The Kelton Kingdom’s royal knights cried out. As their swords shone in bright light, the soldiers’ morale and stamina were restored.

As humans fought to stop the undead, an incredibly intense battle was taking place.

The Palrangka War, where 7 kingdoms fought among themselves!

Weed was sending his undead troops here and there, trapping every nearby area in chaotic fights. His purpose, of course, was to obtain as much loot as possible…

“You! Necromancer! A creature feeding on maggot-infested corpses! This shall be the place where you die and burn in hellfire!”

Heroes from the royal army of the Bromba Kingdom were all swarming in towards him without Weed having to lure them.

“For Justice!”

“Together we will kill!”

“The Necromancer!

“Go, Bromba Kingdom’s swords!”

The fabulous shouts from the knight commanders of the Kelton Kingdom and the heroes of the Bromba Kingdom! They had come to stop the Necromancer, rather than meeting their demise while fighting in the Palrangka War.

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