The Legendary Moonlight Sculptor

 
 

The Legendary Moonlight Sculptor Volume 38 Chapter 2


2) Sky Tower’s Workers

“Cough.”

The treasured card he had been saving didn’t work! He really could trust in no one in this world.

Weed’s brain worked frantically.

‘What should I do? I wanted to understand how Nodulle and Ahellun completed the quest so I don’t have to waste time wandering around like I did today.’

A sigh naturally emerged.

Nodulle’s quest had already changed.

The configuration of Nodulle’s colleagues had changed so the same situation couldn’t be repeated.

Ahellun might perform a similar role but each person would display different types of behaviour and abilities.

Especially since Weed wasn’t Nodulle. He saw things differently so he needed to find his own methods to complete this mission.

“A person won’t come along. I can only believe in myself.”

He couldn’t live life depending on someone else. So Weed needed to open a path in this quest in his own matter.

Weed sighed deeply.

It all depended on how he spent the next ten days.

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The Haven Empire in the Central Continent.

7 Corps crossed the Poros River that was the gateway to the north.

An enormous 2.1 million troops!

The number of horses, carriages and merchants following behind was at a terrific scale. They belonged to the Hermes Guild of the Haven Empire so the users’ steps were light.

“We will seize and twist the neck of the north.”

“Will we see a fight soon? I don’t know if they will dare attack.”

The united power of the 7 corps was so great that a battle seemed pointless. They felt pleasure rather than tension before the war. The largest power on the continent would sweep up the Northern Continent at once.

The soldiers were also given all types of food delicacies during the expedition. Their treatment was excellent whether they were users or NPCs.

Due to the repeated wars of conquest, the Haven Empire contained a high percentage of elite soldiers.

“The other 5 corps have also arrived in front of the Northern Continent.”

“Then let’s march.”

The soldiers advanced like Lafaye planned.

The first 7 corps entered the north from the front. The remaining 5 corps would invade through other routes to avoid the eyes and ears of the north.

The 7 corps would split apart the north like a spear while the remaining 5 would smash it like a hammer or tear it apart like a knife.

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Buzz buzz.

Morata’s Bingryong Square!

It was always bustling with novice users. People could start Royal Road in Arpen Kingdom so the stores and streets were always filled with beginners.

“How much is this fruit?”

“I am selling it for 2 copper.”

“Wow, that is expensive! I’ll earn the money later and will come back to eat it.”

Novice users who didn’t know the world grew up in Morata.

‘There was a time when I was also like that.’

Although some users could obtain leather and meat from rabbits, they would hide with fear when meeting goblins in the forest. Any beginner who started Royal Road would suffer from that.

The starter villages of the Arpen Kingdom were bustling with beginners. The mountain villages might be inconvenient but they sold herbs and leather that were normally expensive so they were crowded with users.

Even novice users who emerged from the kingdom would be filled with energy and adventure and would actively pioneer the north.

The farmers were also stable as there was a wide land untouched by monsters and bards entered uncharted territory for the sake of stories.

Due to the development of Morata, the birth rate throughout the north increased and many children were born. There was no doubt that they would be the future cornerstones of the north.

The development of the Central Continent was easy but the north was able to evolve into a unique culture and economy. It wasn’t a vast region but the adventure, creation of legends and growth potential was enormous!

So users in the square normally exchanged stories of commerce and adventures.

“Fight in order to keep our home, land and freedom!”

“They don’t have to be trampled, just repelled. We will struggle until the end!”

“The Arpen Kingdom is ours. This is our place. We can’t crawl for our entire lives. We will create our own world!”

The northern users were filled with rejection for the Haven Empire.

The fight between the Haven Empire and the prestigious guilds had been confined to the Central Continent so the northern users protested the invasion. But the most important reason was that the north had been soaked with the users’ blood and sweat.

They had grown the rural villages along with Morata and opened up the northern frontier. Even users that just recently logged into Royal Road were filled with pride from living in the north.

“We might live in the slums while conserving even 1 copper but isn’t there a high potential in the north? It would be foolish if we let the Haven Empire invade this place.”

“The war in the Central Continent is already over and the taxes are so high that some people have wandered to the north. This place might be underdeveloped but it can evolve quickly.”

Morata was the capital of the Arpen Kingdom but it was also the hub of transportation. The northern users continued to gather to hear news of the Haven Empire’s invasion. Of course, King Weed hadn’t seen it yet but there were many users at the Earth Palace.

Users were mobilized in the small villages, large villages and cities of the Arpen Kingdom in order to fight against the Haven Empire.

“I came. Where is Sloan-nim?”

“The warrior Hasuller is looking for a party. All warriors level 350 and over can participate!”

“Eh, didn’t you party with me in the bat cave a year ago? The full set of Bandit Armour! I’ve raised my level a lot in the meantime.”

“Hah, me too. I just lived and ate in the hunting grounds.”

There were welcome encounters between players in the city. Meetings were conducted throughout Morata and the north, with information being shared between adventurers.

“Bones with a little flesh sticking to them are good.”

“These have the characteristic of being half rotten. So just using a little power will be enough to break them.”

“But it is hard to find good, rotten bones…”

“I heard that Jeanne’s Summon Skeleton Archers skill has reached advanced level 6.”

“Huhuhu, I reached advanced level 8 not long ago.”

“Ohh, then at least 200 skeleton archers will sweep through the hunting grounds!”

“I am escorted by 3 zombies and 200 archers but my skill to summon a death knight is a little low. Isn’t Otem-nim ahead in this area?”

“I really like the death knights.”

Jeanne, Harian, Otem!

The necromancers held a meeting after a while.

It was hard to hunt with many users due to the nature of their profession. The summoned undead troops would often been disruptive or a nuisance to other users hunting. The undead summons weren’t alive so they would often intercept monsters already being hunted.

If it was that much then the general users would understand. From a general user’s point of view, hunting with undead troops meant they didn’t need to worry about defense so they could relax.

But the necromancers needed to collect materials required for the summoning! They couldn’t help being aware of the eyes of other users when digging up graves or rummaging through bodies.

“Hey, are you looking for a good body?”

Grave robbery was necessary for a necromancer! However, encountering other users while digging out a grave with a shovel….

People couldn’t ignore the sight of them drinking water from a skull. But this wasn’t an insurmountable problem to high level necromancers because the north had many remote places.

“Necromancers can use rib bones that aren’t chewed on in order to make the undead.”

“There are rumours about a tomb near the haunted house so I’m heading there.”

People still didn’t have a considerable knowledge of the rituals. Necromancers were well respected in combat. Apart from the professional misconceptions and prejudices, people didn’t find it fun to go hunting with an undead army.

“I’ve recently heard a story about the east. It seems to be a fairly good adventure….”

“Well, you can chase it if you want. I’m going to an island.”

“There isn’t anything to see on an uninhabited island.”

“No way. Isn’t there a city with a population of 40,000?”

The adventurer’s flame erupted as there were arguments among adventurers. Unlike warriors and knights, adventurers didn’t quarrel over hunting monsters or clearing dungeons.

Skill proficiency was very important but they didn’t boast about it. They talked proudly about things they found or excavations. An adventurer would just the slightest clue to correct distorted history or would find historical artefacts! They wandered around the boisterous taverns of the continent and didn’t care about getting a full night’s sleep.

Adventurers scattered all over the continent. There was no such thing as a fixed home. They found occasional colleagues to fulfil missions but didn’t need to participate in sieges or be affected by the policies of the lords.

Rather than compensation from quests or hunting, adventurers preferred to find gold, silver or hidden treasures. Adventurers were proud of being able to overcome any challenges.

“Break a bridge. Will it be a nuisance if we break any of the bridges?”

“Let’s keep in mind the critical buildings. The Art Centre, Goddess of Freya Statue, the library and the Tower of Light. In the worst case scenario, they can’t be allowed to fall into the hands of the enemy.”

“Is it too late to move everything? And if there is a safety zone where the war can be avoided…..”

“We can’t even move to an island. We need to act to fortify the best buildings and cities. There are many things that architects can do in this war.”

The architects burned with patriotism.

Their talents had flourished in the north. Grand Buildings were constantly being created, roads through mountains and rivers that connected the north were just some of the government project.

The population of architects exploded as they participated in the urban construction and expansion.

Plenty of shelters, parks, markets were made using gold from hunting along with comfortable roads in commercial areas and residential areas! It was important to decorate features such as hills or rivers in order to create a space where people could get rid of their stress.

The views of the cities needed to be considered so the architects’ ability to coordinate and cooperation was important. No matter how beautiful the building was, it would be considered a failure if it didn’t match the architectural features around it. Some distinctive architect would be a terrible mess when looked at from a distance. Architects needed to create harmony between the buildings, river, streets and trees.

A profession respected by the general users! After making the decisions, thousands of novice users moved to help them build it. Architects had a very promising career in the north.

“I will join the Toadstool Porridge unit. I am tired of bland food and like the taste of porridge that can cause death.”

“I would rather eat sumptuous seafood than die. The taste of various seafood directly obtained from the sea! Seafood can also raise the loyalty of a dead crew.”

A meeting of chefs also took place.

The entire north was filled with the Grass Porridge Cult so it wasn’t an exaggeration to say that they mobilized all the users to stop the Haven Empire’s invasion.

Currently there were 71 units of the Grass Porridge Cult. It was impossible to count how many people had joined!

The novice users focused on the Bamboo Shoots Porridge Unit since it accepted an unlimited number of people. They would go around with bamboo shoots attached to their head or chest. There was even a small village of Bamboo Shoots members that ran around to nearby dungeons.

“What about the northern users who aren’t part of the Grass Porridge Cult?”

“I don’t know. There are also the residents as well.”

Grass porridge restaurants, grass porridge cafes, grass porridge hotels, etc. The popularity of the grass porridges were so high that there were chains of them. And the scary thing was that the entire Grass Porridge Cult was burning to fight against the enemies invading.

Their source of loyalty wasn’t their loyalty to King Weed but their own happiness in the north. The Haven Empire destroying this kingdom was like catching their girlfriend cheating.

Of course, this couldn’t be a comparison in the first place. Because many of the men in the Grass Porridge Cult didn’t have girlfriends!

“We have to fight.”

“Let’s go!”

Huge crowds of users in the northern cities showed a willingness to fight. They were willing to die from cuts or arrows to stop the invaders.

However, there were many users who had experience with the Central Continent in the past.

“That’s not possible. No matter how many people flock there, it will only be a case of suicide.”

“The Haven Empire is different from any opponents so far. They aren’t easy. They have an overwhelmingly flawless strength.”

“We can’t just give them our lands or cities without any resistance!”

“We can win. If we are determined then we can win!”

The opinions of the mobilized users were split as they panicked. Some wanted to fight but the more prudent high level users were concerned.

High level users would lose a lot if they died. Level 300 or 400 users would lose skill proficiency after dying so it could cause quite a bit of frustration.

People sat at the city’s central fountain and sighed. Even though members of the Grass Porridge Cult were willing to fight and die, other users hesitated.

The members of the Grass Porridge Cult were aware of the advantages they had. Quantity rather than quality.

They unconditionally wiped out the enemy with their numbers. Their unity and tactics were poor. The opponent would become annoyed with the constantly surging numbers. Even a strong enemy would eventually be overwhelmed by numbers.

But these were the elite troops of the Haven Empire. The army that unified the Central Continent wouldn’t lose to such recklessness. It was the strongest army that could possibly conquer the entire continent.

“We won’t know until we try!”

“Let’s drive them out of the north!”

In the end, the vocal opinions prevailed over the cautious users. They decided to repel the Haven Empire at the Rupoi Plains like in the past, so a large number of users migrated there.

Apart from hunting and levelling up, the northern users enjoyed a wide variety of fun activities.

There were some users in Morata who started early but their level still hadn’t reached the late 200s.

There was an enormous growth in population but they focused more on economic power than increasing the individual ability of a person.

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“Lafaye’s opinion really is like a psychic.”

Porcal, leader of the 3rd corps of the Haven Empire nodded. He could see users walking beyond the northern ridge. Setting aside the weak and strong, there was an overwhelming number of people.

“I know why Rensullot was defeated.”

The users of the Hermes Guild respected Rensullot.

He was able to defeat enemies inside a fortress using courage and resourcefulness. So quite a few commanders in the Hermes Guild were shocked when he came back from the north with a devastating defeat.

They didn’t know why Rensullot would suffer such a defeat. Looking at the number of northern users now, he could see why 70,000 troops lost. No matter how high the level of the soldiers or their training, they had no choice but to be swept away by the deluge of enemies!

The large number of people couldn’t be ignored. The users had the vengeful thought of pushing them back to the Central Continent! There were high level users mixed in among the beginners.

The Hermes Guild had 200,000 users. Among them, the ones that participated in the northern expedition reached 50,000.

The players were eager to fly into combat! The high ranked users in Royal Road were like celebrities as they walked through cities with people envying them. Even those elites would mentally shrink back after seeing the scale of the enemy.

“Morale is important in a war.”

It was true for both users and NPC soldiers. But the Hermes Guild had constantly prepared for war after conquering the Central Continent.

The Haven Empire had been training to come to the north since Rensullot’s loss. The users were united even if they had to go against these numbers. They set up tactics for quick, sharp and impossible to stop assaults.

The Haven Empire had the strongest army so there was no need to be afraid. Furthermore, they would wide area magic that wouldn’t consume a lot of mana and a large number of arrows in advance. The best quality troops of the Haven Empire would slaughter the weak beginners.

“We are going to win the fight this time. Despite using the crowd psychology, their tactic is relatively simple. We will set a record for the most number of people slaughtered.”

The commanders had deployed advance troops to specified areas in advance.

“I want to try out the wide area magic.”

“Kyah, today I will kill at least 1,000 people. I can built up some combat achievements.”

The users of the Hermes Guild among the army were excited.

“Uhh, what should I do?”

“It is really hard. How should I attack?”

The northern users didn’t know what to do after arriving in front of the enemy. The Haven Empire’s heavy infantry were stationed at the front holding spears and shields while the archers were concentrated behind them.

They hesitated due to the instinctive fear of an egg hitting a solid rock but more northern users continued gathering on the left and right.

“Let’s go! The Toadstool Porridge unit will be the vanguard!”

“We will burn our bodies in order to win the battle.”

“I will fight until I die.”

The Toadstool Porridge unit that enjoyed death were in the vanguard. There was a cloud of dust as more than 100,00 users ran forward. And…

2 corps commanders gave an order to the right side.

“Show those fearless people a taste. Units 1-4 archers, fire! The fire magicians will use wide area attacks.”

The archers of the Haven Empire fired arrows towards the Toadstool Porridge unit.

“Cough!”

“Ugh!”

“There are too many.”

“Unbelievable….”

Arrows rained down upon the helplessly dying users! Flames then covered the area and spread widely.

The Toadstool Porridge members in the area couldn’t survive the attacks and collapsed. The Haven Empire were correctly using the archers and magicians in a war. The archers belonging to the 6th unit aimed separate arrows at the users that survived.

The Toadstool Porridge members were still running but were hit by the enormous attacks of the Haven Empire once they entered range. The areas that received the attacks were filled with grey lights that disappeared.

The northern users could only watch with astonishment at the scene of the Toadstool Porridge unit literally melting away.

“This can’t be. The intrepid troops of the Toadstool Porridge unit….”

“The wide area fire magic killed several hundred at once.”

“Did they use this attack method so that we won’t be able to fight?”

“We can’t just leave it like this. We have to all go at the same time.”

“Don’t give them time to harm us.”

The northern users didn’t lose their courage despite the shocking sight!

“Waaaaaah!”

They start rushing forward simultaneously like a tsunami. From left to right, there was an infinite number of users. Perhaps this was the beginning of the counterattack.

But the Haven Empire’s army had the perfect response.

“They are no different from scarecrows. But we will show them some courtesy as this is the first battle. Show them the horror of the Haven Empire!”

They massacred the users with arrows and magic. Tens of thousands and then hundreds of thousands failed to get close to the Haven Empire’s army. It was a mighty firepower that wiped out the counterattack.

The elite archers had gained experience through training and experience in the conquest wars while the magicians were given the best treatment in the Haven Empire.

NPC archers wore expensive accessories and longbows that increased their range while magicians were given magic books and tools to grow their magic. The Hermes Guild focused on war so they deliberately strengthened their archer and magician units.

Of course, there was a significant number of high level users among the northern users. They expected to play a significant role when the fighting became confused!

But before the superior firepower of the Haven Empire’s army, they could only watch and die along with the novice users.

The flimsy northern users were useless in front of the Haven Empire’s long range tactic. There were some users fortunately enough to reach the troops and swung their swords. They intended to harm the archers but neglected to block the follow up attacks.

There was also a wall of armoured infantry so the northern users lost their lives as they bumped against it.

“How did this happen?”

“I don’t know. Can we go on?”

“We can’t fight the enemy.”

The onslaught of northern users stagnated. Plenty of users were still running but they just suffered pointless deaths.

-A curse has slowed your movements.

Movement speed will decrease by 35% for 40 seconds.

-The truth of the disastrous curse has been revealed.

94% of your mana has been consumed.

Curses were hurled towards the northern users.

The Haven Empire had donated to many religions with their vast riches. Money was used to mobilize priests for the war and the priests of the Hermes Guild also participated.

Even so, only one tenth of the gathered northern users had been damaged. The users waiting behind continued to thrust forward.

The corps commanders of the Haven Empire had been given instructions in advance.

“We will start the 2nd stage of the operation to teach them despair. Armoured infantry advance! Knights move forward. Cross every 400 metres.”

The Haven Empire abandoned the current situation and finally ran forward.

They didn’t want their victory in this battle doubted. They wanted to prove they could devastate the northern army without using ranged attacks.

The soldiers and knights ran up to the users with their swords and spears.

“No way. My sword broke!”

“Cough! The equipment I obtained from conquering the Goblin Dungeon….”

The skilful soldiers that were a hundred times more battle tested lightly cut the users. The weak users were in front so the result was already decided.

And high level users were mixed in among them. But they didn’t have enough time and space to play an active role.

After the devastating ranged attacks, they were trampled on by the knights of the Haven Empire. The novice users weren’t an impediment to the knights’ rush and the high levelled users died in vain.

There was a limit to how much individual ability a person could show in a war. Those that were hiding received the worst results.

The scattered users couldn’t resist the scale of the knights’ operation despite their numerical advantage.

“Let’s kill at least one person.”

The level 200~300 users set such a goal.

They reduced the numbers by sacrificing their own lives. Then their colleagues would take care of the rest.

A strategy using their numbers!

But the Haven Empire didn’t have the myth of invincibility for nothing. The knights scattered apart. And they would join together again at a fixed point. The high level users mixed in killed a few but they couldn’t effectively assault the knights.

The imperial soldiers that followed behind the knights seized the area that was a mess. The archers and magicians unit slowly advanced while aiming at the northern users.

The 7 corps marched methodically as they captured important areas. The army deployed by the Haven Empire lured the users and crushed them. The armoured infantry specialized in defense so they trapped 100,000 people inside and slaughtered them.

The northern users had no leaders or separate plan so effectively controlling such a large force was impossible! The norther users kept the same battle plan but the Haven Empire’s army changed battle formations as scheduled and killed them.

Of course, there were still northern users waiting for an opportunity. High level users such as thieves or warriors were waiting for the enemy to approach! But they could only kill 1~2 soldiers before being hit by ranged attacks or the knights. Eventually the northern archers and magicians just recklessly attacked the Haven Empire.

“Take this!”

“At least a few of you should die!”

However, it was blocked with already prepared magic or shields and they just lost their lives.

The infantry with their cutting ability, the power of the magic units, the shield units, etc. The power of the Imperial Army was enough to cause others to feel despair.

“How?

“Nonsense.”

“But we can’t step back.”

Rumours started to spread as the northern users died. Even so, they bravely continued the assault and died!

The fighting capabilities of both sides in the war couldn’t be compared.

The priests continuous poured out healing magic so the Haven Empire’s army didn’t get tired.

Overall, the solid and organized army felt like a devil.

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[TL] Yes, I don’t know why this is the chapter title but it is definitely correct.

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