The Legendary Moonlight Sculptor Volume 12 Chapter 8
Chapter 8 : Prisoner of War
Kingdom of Haven.
The central powerhouse of the continent, wide and fertile territories, along with mineral rich mountains.
For these reasons, many users chose this kingdom when they first started out playing Royal Road.
"A lot of mountains, meaning a lot of dungeons, lairs, and dangerous hunting grounds exist here."
Here, it's primarily filled with adventurous classes or Bard.
"The trading posts here are great too. It has convenient access to all other kingdoms, and...with the amount of adventurer types, there's no end to the spoils."
Merchants also chose the Kingdom of Haven.
Warriors, Priests, and even those that wanted to hunt, also decided on the kingdom.
Thanks to this, the kingdom flourished commercially along with explosive military might.
A person unrelated to the kingdom will probably see this as a crowed town.
Whether it was Illuin, Khiden, or Balkiseu castles, even as soon as dawn the streets were bustling with crowds.
But the too many people, Mulline, has endless amount of disputes.
Whether they were at dungeon, lair, mountain, or in the plains, endless amount of battles took place among guilds.
"The first to strike will not be eaten."
"War! We should get together for war!"
It was filled with counsel and tactical meetings.
Guild alliances and unions often met with repeated disbandment and betrayal.
In the Kingdom of Haven, there exists several thousands of guilds ready to go to war.
Along with mercenaries obtained from other countries, increasingly larger wars were fought.
The powerhouse Bar-Ray leads the Hermes Guild to occupied the Noreunjawi castles led by Bar Ray with the intention to reign over the entire kingdom.
Blood Knights, lone Mercenaries, red Mages units set their flag where the oppositions of Hermes had fallen.
* * *
Once, the kingdom had a vast territory.
But in the royal palace's weakened state due to the members of the imperial court scrambling up the nation's power; in its opening, the capital got burned down as they suffered a downfall from the aggression of the neighboring countries.
Nevertheless, they tried to resurrect the empire by once again lifting their flag.
They deployed the strongest knight of the royal family, one that was venerated and revered by other countries as the strongest traditional military power of the central continent.
And since it was exclusive to the nobles and its inhabitants, as travelers deemed it an inconvenience; not many users chose to start from Kallamore Kingdom.
Similar to other countries, they have a huge population with developed mining, technology, and commerce; but unlike the others, guild wars did not occur frequently.
This was due to the fact that they were surrounded by the Senbain mountains; so every week, a huge wave of monsters poured down and spread throughout the kingdom.
Looting and destruction.
If the frontline fell, the village and its inhabitants were fated for complete disappearance.
Because of this, the user base rather dislikes the Kallamore Kingdom.
-It's too hard, and you can lose everything in an instant in the kingdom.
-I don't recommend it. Unless you're the type that wants to die.
-Don't go, the protection at Sebain is no good.
Travelers turned their sight away from getting anywhere closer within the range of Kallamore Kingdom due to the outbreak of monsters.
In the kingdom, though reluctantly, thanks to the subjugations of the monsters, its military steadily grew; it was a gritty place for adventurers.
However, there are a variety of people in the world.
Some accepted the commissioned quest of their Knights from Senbain to find the reason for source of the monster infestation in Kallamore Kingdom.
Those that were insane enough and wanted a new experience without fearing of losing their lives did so for the enjoyment.
And so together with the kingdom's troops, they fought against the downpour of monsters from the mountain.
And gained fame!
As Senbain's defender, You have earned 3 Honor points.
The Honor points that were exclusive to Knights could be obtained.
If you have enough Honor points, your subordinates will always be loyal, and everywhere you go, you will always be regarded as nobles to some extent.
Sometimes, gifts can be received from nobles or those of the imperial courts, and popularity with the ladies will increase.
Honor points were essential for those that wanted to join the order of the Knights or to become higher ranked officers.
Those that performed this quest spread the news of this fact widely.
Frankly, there were desires to hold this info to themselves.
But in fear of the danger fighting in Senbain, they needed more.
"We can get the valuable Honor points?"
"The hard to obtain Honor points that could only gained through dueling victories or special achievements..."
The combatants rushed to Senbain. And all fought there.
Many died intercepting the hordes of monsters, but the pleasure of successfully blocking them was something beyond belief.
Volunteers were also dispatched around the Senbain castles.
With the rise in Fame and Honor, some could be assigned to lead troops of the new volunteers.
While extra contribution to the kingdom will rise, it was possible to obtain more combat experience every time.
The requests were awfully dangerous and although there were a lot of failures, everybody found themselves immersed in defending.
Infantries, Warriors, Archers, Knights, and so on so forth. The tens of thousands became members of the kingdom's troop and gathered to fight fierce battles against the monsters.
All for the thrilling joy of being within the Kallamore Kingdom's war.
"War? So what about the guilds, how do they fight for territories?"
"Just go up the Senbain mountains, you can find a wealth of monster's villages to occupy..."
Even so, when the hunting started here and there, the fixed number of the downpour of the hordes of monsters didn't decrease.
Dungeons and lairs weren't around, but across the vast mountainous range, monsters continued to descend.
Even in exhaustion, there was no other choice but to fight until death.
It was the highest honor in Kallamore Kingdom to defend Senbain!
Having played their roles in preserving peace of a kingdom and actively gaining prizes, many guilds' influence was wide spread; but conversely, in Senbain mountains, numerous guilds united under one flag.
Rather than warmongers, they were disciplined soldiers.
Particularly in Kallamore Kingdom, Knights were engaged in remarkable activities.
They worshipped the traditional belief held by the original knighthood, and as the nation's Knights, they've given their generous support.
In the vicinities of Senbain, there were a variety of terrains.
The valley in between the mountains was a huge plain. This plain acted a substantial final line of defense.
Here, monsters have to be stopped or else the granary zone and the villages will have to pay the price.
Horseback riding Knights fearlessly charges in!
All having blessed by the Clerics, they were an armor wearing monsters slaughtering wave.
The assault of more than 3000 Knights of the country!
Through the thick fog, the knights sped toward the hungry swarm of monsters on their steed.
For the people participating, there was no other time more exhilarating than this.
"I can't describe it. It's just awesome. The feel of breaking through the line of monsters on horseback, it's really, really thrilling."
"I have no fear. But my hands are shaking."
"As a knight, if you've never fought till death against these waves of monsters, then it's just too sad."
The Kallamore Kingdom's pubs were always crowded with Knights.
It was a place to boast about having fought with no regret and to unfold their tensions, or where they could get a drink before going off to the next defending battle.
The pubs had become the most attended spots for those that defended Senbain to release their experiences.
On the other hand, those of the other kingdoms could not understand those from the Kallamore Kingdom.
"But still, aren't you scared of getting killed?"
"If I die, the penalty's pretty hefty aint it. The knight armors and weapons are so pricy...and I might even lose my horse too."
"Your level and skill proficiency will drop too."
"You're right. But Honor is more important. If I can get more, I can get a better mount, and even troops will be assigned to me."
In front of the combatants, they could only see death and rains of blood.
The hooves beating on land, the thickening fog, the scattering blood.
Along with the breakthrough, blockage, and up to collapsing on horsebacks, everything came along with the excitement of piercing through the monsters corp.
The combatants of the Kallamore Kingdom traveled about while carrying their growth.
And surely, the time will come where they will show the skill they've obtained during their time in Senbain.
The chivalry of those that survives in the Kallamore Kingdom!
* * *
Kallamore Kingdom's royal court.
Before the king and the imperial court official, the Knight Koldeurim appeared after 30 long years of absence.
Choking on his own words, the King's eyes moistened.
From the Kallamore, Haven, Toreupan, Masen, Thor, Aidel, the scene unfolded for all the users to see.
In the middle of all their activities, their sights were suddenly filled with the scenes unfolding at Kallamore's royal court.
"What's going on?"
"What kind of Event is this?"
The users from all over the place wondered about the event that was taking place in Kallamore's royal court.
"I'm truly sorry, my King. I have returned."
"What happened? How have you come back 30 years later?"
"I fell into the deceitful hands of the Kingdom of Haven...if it hadn't been for some great adventurers, I would have never been able to return to fight for my King and my Country."
"So the fault lies in the Kingdom of Haven as well. Is this the day I've been waiting for? Come back as my officer again. With us, the Kallamore Kingdom will once again be able to spread its wings."
Vincent Kallamore III.
The current king, as soon as he rose to his throne, along with Koldeurim, they were truly fierce together.
Together they led the Kallamore Kingdom against their nemesis, the Kingdom of Haven, and were on a winning streak!
Expanded their borders, and became dignitaries throughout the continent.
As the nation's heroes and its salvation from chaos; at the time, they were favorites to be able to obtain the whole continent within their grasps.
The best Knight has returned and lifted the kingdom's spirits once more!
But reasons unbeknownst to him, after his disappearance, due to the strong resistance of the Kingdom of Haven, the war was finished.
Kallamore III proclaimed.
"The war I've started in my younger days, and still, I have not seen its end yet. Now that you've returned, the kingdom will be at its peak; and though we have no castle to speak of, the pride of our soldiers can never halt, Koldeurim."
"Yes, your Majesty!"
"I shall leave you our troops, make our enemies of the Kingdom of Haven realize the greatness we all shared."
"We will march on with our trumpets nonstop and will destroy all until none are left of the cowards."
With this act, the Kallamore Kingdom is on an outbreak of war.
The Minister of War Koldeurim leads 90000 men of Kallamore Kingdom's army!
Not only the troops of Kallamore Kingdom are very powerful, they are also ruthless and non-forgiving groups.
Even though they have not gone to war in the past 30 years; they've reached the peak of their fighting power due extensive combat experience against monsters.
In addition, if the Kallamore Kingdom allows it, all sorts of mercenaries can participate in the war on their side.
The goal is the occupation of the Kingdom of Haven.
As of this moment, all achievements, weapons, armors, and the prices of all basic necessities, will be frozen at the current place/price in all towns belonging to the Kallamore Kingdom and the Kingdom of Haven.
User who participates in the war will acquire an increase of 20% of the Experience points.
The users were astonished.
"Welp, it's war."
"Finally the war broke out."
They've known from earlier on that the Kallamore Kingdom and the Kingdom of Haven hated one another.
But still, a full scale war between the two was something they couldn't fathom.
* * *
Weed also saw the flash screen of the events unfolding at the Kallamore Kingdom royal court. The party too, was able to participate in the quest.
Weed, in a very short time, thought about the aftermath of the war in approximately 0.01 second.
"Well, no skin off my back. It's not my job."
This cool attitude!
Geomchi treated it as natural and nodded.
"If we join up in this battle then the balance will be tipped. Dead or alive, I don't need to worry about such details for them."
"Against those kids, give me three days and it'll be enough to beat them all."
Geomchi4 also recalled his past.
"I spent my days hitting a lot, but strangely I still sleep well."
Whether it was those of the Kallamore Kingdom or the Kingdom of Haven, they had very little interest in whether the users would die or not.
Pale on the other, slightly felt a bit of remorse.
His forehead furrowed deep and hadn't straightened out.
Irene was also very anxious.
"You think the users of the two kingdoms will be ok?"
Pale could not answer for a while.
The war was an opportunity.
It was a golden moment to for the two forces between the kingdoms to try and tips the scale of dominance!
There were those with nothing to do while waiting for this day, and others that will inevitably be harmed as casualties of war.
The Kallamore Kingdom and the Kingdom of Haven.
If either side loses their territory or it facing its destruction, to the users, it would be an incredible loss as it was their base.
Also, the efforts they've put the raising Familiarity with the nobles or knights in those area would essentially be moot when those character dies.
In the worst case scenario, they would be exiled.
For users like Pale or Irene that were based in Rosenheim, to attend the war would mean having to travel a long distance and didn't need to do so; but for the lot of other users, they couldn't just abandon their country.
Because the places were their homeland where they started out.
They got along with the inhabitants of the town, and knew information about the surrounding vicinities.
Having watched it grow to its current state, the pile of contribution to gain Familiarity, most users would be reluctant to go anywhere else than staying put.
Even users whose levels were beyond 300, having received quests from nobles to go off on an expedition, could not simply leave their country as if it was nothing.
Nevertheless, Pale did not know whether to choose to be in the Kallamore Kingdom or that of the Kingdom of Haven, due to not knowing the entire truth of the complex web the countries spun.
Pale came out with the most comfortable and reasonable answer.
"As long as we don't get caught, then all is well."
"A really good comment."
Zephyr displayed his agreement.
"If they don't find out then it's good."
"Yes, let's say it's none of our business."
Pale's opinion was welcomed by all.
Toward the whole lot, Weed's wickedness was slowly affecting them.
Maylon too, in order to prevent having founded out.
"I'll edit this part out."
If they could keep the fact that they released Koldeurim out of his confinement, then there was nothing to worry about.
If she deletes this section out before handling the videos over to the broadcasters, then none of them will be the wiser.
Turning their attention away from the full scale war between the two kingdoms that will most definitely be acts of brutality, the interest of the party once again returned to the Vampire's treasure.
Having successfully completed the quest, Weed obtained a rusty key close to losing its durability, but it was not something that could prevent Weed.
Key to the Treasury.
After using it several times and of the rust, the Key is nearing its obsolete.
With severe corrosion, its most likely will be able be used three times.
'Che, only one or two uses after the quest. Well whatever, a piece of cake.'
The location of the treasure was a necessity.
The vampire did not give out the location of the treasury so they will have to explore with the rusty key.
However, Weed had already survey all of Todeum and had confirmed the location of the said treasury.
"It's in the spire above, located directly below the moon in the center of Todeum."
For Weed, every time he wanted to give up on the quest, he would look toward at the spire and would break out in drools.
Even through the lighting, thunder, and the cataclysm of the day before, he would do the same.
All he could see were the garishly appeal of gold within the interior of that spire.
Maylon expresses her doubts.
"But that spire doesn't have any ascending path with a closed door leading to it?"
"The window is the answer to that."
"It's a characteristic of Vampires. All they really need is a window. Once they get in through the window, then they can activate the stairs to go up on the other side within it. Its location will be revealed exactly where the moon will hit it."
The whole party watched Weed.
Weed, without any difficulty, went through the window of the Vampire's treasury.
And then, along with him came a Vampire that confirmed that this was indeed the location of the treasury.
The unnamed Vampire spoke.
"One person can only take one object, one weapon, or one piece of armor. Any more than that, will incur the wrath of us Vampires."
Only one item is allowed.
Since the Vampires does not allow any more beyond that, they will be pressed to attack.
When the Vampires lose their lives, the items in the treasury will be deprived of.
In the treasury, they could see items of those that have their spirits extricated such as Koldeurim.
Even with Koldeurim's body liberated, without his soul, he remained incomplete.
There were dozens of beads on display, Koldeurim's soul was depicted in one of the transparent bead.
-Ooo, finally signs of humans...
The ghostly voice of Koldeurim.
Though it was a ghostly cry, it was filled with emotions such as joy and ecstasy.
-Human, get me out. I'm Koldeurim of the Kallamore Kingdom; finally, I will be able to devote my allegiance to the king again.
But alas, this was a treasury of the Vampires, they were not obligated to do anything for a human.
Beside money, Weed doesn't know of anything; the party too, seemingly resembles him, while the Geomchis do not care about anybody but themselves!
Weed said annoyingly.
"Who are you?"
-You do not know about me? I'm the Knight of Kallamore Kingdom, Koldeurim.
"Is that so? You got trapped."
Koldeurim spoke much more carefully now.
-If I can break free from the bind of this bead, then my soul will be set free. Due to the Vampire's trickery my soul was captured; even now, my body is somewhere waiting for the day that my soul can return.
"How do you know it's not rotting away right now?"
Weed's sentence was a few words away from making Koldeurim burst in frustration!
The hope he felt that came along with the humans explicitly plummeted down all the way to hell.
Within the bead the filled with Koldeurim's soul, the glint was getting dimmer and dimmer.
The wounded soul of a Knight!
Maylon gently whispered into Weed's ear.
"Weed nim, in this case, his resurrection would be just fine since it was already been determined."
"With people of the past, there were some prerequisites for resurrection, such as occupying a new body...well, virtually all of them searches for a Warlock's body. Or if there's a body existed in the temple, that could be used too. If the soul of the missing and the body haven't disappeared, the body can be preserve through magic or placed in a dungeon accordingly to repel any intruders, so it's possible for the body to survive."
"So, you're saying that he could really be resurrected on the continent."
"It's fully possible."
But even with that, Weed wouldn't release Koldeurim just like that.
"But Koldeurim will never know how hard we've fought just to get our ways up to here. To save you, we have to give into the demands of the Vampires. It's like throwing mud all over our bodies after we came all the way here...If we just release you all willy nilly, then you'll just forget the favor you receive."
-A Knight would never forget the grace of others.
"Koldeurim, if you practice chivalry just as you do against monsters, I hope you do not forget to stand straight with conviction. That's all I really wanted you to do."
Without having to break the bead that contains the soul, Weed was operating to increase Familiarity with the being inside it.
For the upright Knights, his intention was to imitate having integrity and innocence.
However, Koldeurim wasn't a great knight for nothing as he wasn't easily swayed.
-That's strange. A second ago you said you don't care to relea.....
"That's the conviction I want to see in you...in fact, in order to save you, we've lost a lot of our colleagues...keuheuk!"
Weed even tried to squeeze out a few tears!
He flashed a smile with a thought of the dead practitioners.
'I suppose they have earned their keep.'
Nevertheless, seeing an adventurer who prioritized camaraderie like that, Koldeurim's voice softened.
-I..in order to save just me...in the future when I may return to Kallamore Kingdom, I will never forget you. I'm sorry. I do not possess anything at the moment to present to you; but in the future, I promise I will not forget to do so.
If one befriended a king or nobles, then the chance of receiving quests is higher while the gain is greater.
But with just a slight Familiarity made here, then they could set up the framework to have an easier access to Kallamore Kingdom to come and go as they pleased.
As a dark gamer, he needed to work on having Familiarity with several kingdoms, no matter now risky that may be.
Weed was already satisfied with this, but a sudden idea popped up.
"Call Death Knight Van Hawk!"
"I answer your call, Master!"
The reason he was summoned was because he used to a Knight of Kallamore.
"Were you also a Knight of Kallamore Kingdom?"
"A day to day life. Now as a Death Knight, I'm faithfully dedicated to the owner."
"Even so, you can have a little chat between the two of since you both are Kallamore natives."
The Death Knight eyed Kodeurim who was trapped in the bead.
"You're a Kallamore native?"
-Yes. But I cannot reveal my name to a Death Night.
Koldeurim was trying to deny the idea of being in the same prestigious knighthood with a Death Knight.
The Death Knight patiently asked.
"From which platoon?"
"I asked which platoon you were assigned to from the knight academy."
Having heard that, the Death Knight sneered.
"It has already gotten that far huh? I was in the 164th."
Once a Knight, always a Knight!
Van Hawk was a seonbae to Koldeurim for a lifetime due to having served for Kallamore empire.
It was not a matter of Familiarity.
It's the Rank!
Death Knight Van Hawk and Koldeurim's ranking hierarchy was formed.
In a sense, it was the same as those with higher rank in the military to not even lift a finger.
The Death Knight has lived for a long period of time.
"When I was in Kallamore, we had the entire continent shaking fear. Since when did Kallamore seem so dead?"
-I'm sorry Seonbae. Our national power has been weakened a lot by the neighboring countries that we're not even on the map anymore.
"That's just wonderful."
-It was entirely our fault for being insufficient. If I had not been capture by the Vampires then...ah! Seonbae nim please save me.
"As a former Knight of Kallamore, that's my course of action."
-Thank you, Seonbae nim.
"What the hell man! I can't believe you got held captive by those of the Vampire kind."
The high self-esteemed spirit Koldeurim shrunk before Weed and the Death Knight.