The Legendary Moonlight Sculptor Volume 49 Chapter 6 part2
The broadcasting stations were quite bewildered by the sudden turn of events; only an hour ago, it had looked like the combined force of the Shadow Army of Palma and the Imperial Army's Fifth Legion were about to deal a massive blow to the Arpen Kingdom. Everyone had predicted that even if the Arpen Kingdom won a victory it would have to suffer crippling damage, but now, the circumstances had been completely reversed.
"Bar Khan Demoff!"
"The Sorcerer of Darkness and the Lord of Undead, he has now made his appearance. It seems there is going to be a war against the Hermes Guild!"
The voices of the broadcasting hosts became very dramatic; this kind of development of the situation was what attracted the viewers. When there was such an unexpected twist, the ratings were bound to be high.
"Prepare the broadcast screen! Is there any way we can get a video footage of the Immortal Legion from a closer distance?"
"It's just too dangerous to get near them!"
"Try offering prize money for filming them. We need to do something!"
The Immortal Legion was continuing their march with an incredible speed; the undead that had been strengthened by Bar Khan's magic were moving without rest.
And now, they had arrived at the Northern fortress of the Haven Empire!
The Bone Dragons were spraying their breath attacks in the air while the skeletons climbed up the ramparts.
The Haven Imperial Army was a formidable force that had conquered the Central Continent. It consisted of many high-class troops who had honed their skills through countless battles, yet they were being helplessly torn apart by the undead.
Bar Khan roared, standing on the top of the now thoroughly collapsed fortress.
– The immortal life. I will make this entire land know what powerful existence we represent, my Immortal Legion and I!
The skeletons shouted in joy, waving their rusted swords.
As the Immortal Army was advancing southwards, the Hermes Guild entered a state of emergency.
-We are issuing the emergency draft for every guild member who is above level 500.
There was a certain number of personnel required for tasks such as securing public order in the major cities of the Central Continent and fighting against the Arpen Kingdom or the Desert Warriors; and almost all of them were now drafted into the war against the Immortal Legion, leaving only the bare minimum.
There were over 700, 000 members in the Hermes Guild-in just two days, 250,000 users assembled in the Castle of Aren, except for those who could not join them because they were too far away or currently on some special quests. It was the top-level military power only the Hermes Guild, as the one force that had taken over the Central Continent, was able to assemble.
"Bar Khan Demoff: what would be his approximate level?"
"It is impossible to know, but it would be safe to assume that he has the combat capacity equivalent to a level that reaches almost 900."
"Whoa. That is strong."
"As everyone here would be aware, the characteristics of a Necromancer make his power dozens of times stronger in an army-scale battle."
"And the undead, their numbers are increasing every day, correct?"
"Yes. In order to strike any direct blow to him, we need to penetrate his undead army first."
Even the heads of the Hermes Guild could not hide their astonishment as they reviewed the information on Bar Khan's combat strength. The sight of the Immortal Army wiping out the Fifth Legion gave them a significant emotional shock as well.
The three major spells: Death Aura, Absolute Magical Defense, and Dark Rule!
The reviving undead soldiers already posed a big problem, but even trickier was the weakening of the allies' strength through Bar Khan's numerous area-of-effect curses and draining of life force and mana.
"With more than ten thousands members of the Hermes Guild gathered together…it's not impossible to beat him, no matter how high his level might be."
"It's not that simple."
"What's the problem? We'll stand a good chance if we form a group of shock troops armed with holy weapons that can pierce through the undead horde, although we might have to suffer some losses."
"Bar Khan is an Arch-lich; unless we first destroy the vessel that contains his unlimited life force, it would be near impossible to get rid of him for good."
"Where is that vessel then? We'll have to deal with that first after we find out in what dungeon it is hidden."
"It looks like Bar Khan is carrying that vessel in his person."
Needless to say, it was not an easy task to penetrate the undead army to get close to Bar Khan and THEN breaking his life vessel.
"Also, the power of his undead legion is not fixed. Consider the fact that as our side suffers losses of lives, the dead allies will be resurrected as high-class undead and attack their former comrades. The Corpse Explosion spell also deals high damage."
Bar Khan's Corpse Explosion had similar power to a high-ranking mage's Total Combustion  spell.
"What if we attack him with divine power?"
"It's true that the undead are vulnerable against holy water or weapons with divine power. But remember, in the past Bar Khan remained active even after the Holy Sword of Ru had been stuck into his chest."
"There is no limit to his mana, either. It's been reported that he constantly drains life force and mana from the surrounding undead."
"Hmph. Looks like there really is no solution against this monster."
"Should Bar Khan choose to fight cleverly, it would possibly mean that we might not have any hope for victory."
The look on the faces of Lafaye and Bard Ray as well as other members of Elite Guards present was becoming increasingly grim as they set up a plan. They were some of the strongest figures in the Versa Continent, but even for them, hunting Bar Khan was a serious challenge.
"I'm afraid this will be very dangerous, with a myriad of potential unexpected variables."
"Why did this monster have to choose to come here, of all the places…?"
They were beginning to understand why the Hermes Guild issued the draft over the whole Central Continent, even while making some risky choices. And if the Castle of Aren, the capital of the Empire, were to be devastated by Bar Khan after all this, the damage caused would be simply unimaginable. Their Imperial Palace had already been destroyed; and now the Castle of Aren, that had served as the capital for so long, falls under the hands of the undead? How shameful it would be, especially when they were claiming to be the ruler of the Central Continent!
"It is still possible to take advantage of the limits of Bar Khan's power; the limits of undead."
Lafaye turned the sheets of paper occupying the entire surface of the wide wall. There were writings such as mathematical equations or records of military analysis filling up the whole space. Although not as extensive as the resources in the Great Library in Morata, the Hermes Guild also kept a separate collection of high-quality information on adventurers or monsters, and through this they had analyzed Bar Khan's data.
"Our best bet is to concentrate forces that are powerful enough to overwhelm the undead from several directions to break through the enemy lines."
"Breaking through…that sounds dangerous."
"Yes. But there is absolutely no point in taking a defensive disposition against the Immortal Legion and Bar Khan."
"Because of the curses and resurrection skill, you mean."
"Precisely; this is why we issued the draft over the whole Central Continent. We need to finish this fight in a short time, by focusing the maximum possible amount of force. Additionally, we know that a Necromancer possesses an inherent weakness that limits his abilities: in order to fully exert his power, he must have some corpses as ingredients."
A weakness of a Necromancer-in spite of having an outstanding damage dealing capacity, an ability to drain life force and mana as well as numerous undead servants, these powers all required corpses.
"With our overwhelming strength, we eradicate the undead horde from outside, melting their bodies and weakening their force, and strike Bar Khan. All of these must happen at the same time, in a flash."
"Would it be really possible?"
"Yes. In order to resolve this crisis, we're going to borrow holy relics from every possible religious order, as well as paladins and priests. There will be quite a lot of loss in contribution points, but if we manage to hunt Bar Khan…that would be a big gift for us all."
Lafaye had made agreements with several broadcasting stations for the live coverage; it was quite a natural step before such a great battle, and if they fought heroically against the Immortal Legion and won, the Hermes Guild would have an opportunity to improve their bad reputation and gain some popularity.
"Until now the circumstances often have placed us on the defensive; but if we survive this battle, the Hermes Guild can seize the initiative again. We will prove our strength, and gain legitimacy to rule over the Versa Continent."
It was Weed who had revived Bar Khan and in turn raised the Immortal Army. The Hermes Guild users thought that this chaos had all been caused by Weed's action, and it deserved to be harshly blamed.
Lafaye looked around at the people present for a moment, and turned his gaze to Bard Ray.
"For this battle, I must ask you to take the role of the commander in chief, Bard Ray-nim."
The top rankers of the Hermes Guild weren't quite happy with the fact that they hadn't been chosen, although they thought it was inevitable. This war against Bar Khan and the Immortal Legion had the fate of the whole guild at stake. They didn't think they would lose, but if things went wrong, the undead would sweep through the Castle of Aren or the center of the Empire; the fame of the Haven Empire would be ruined, and the Immortal Legion might grow into an even bigger nuisance to the point that they would become completely out of control, so they thought it was quite natural that Bard Ray should take the leading role. The top rankers of the Hermes Guild tried to read Bard Ray's face.
'We could trust Bard Ray-nim.'
'Just…how much stronger has he become? He has enjoyed all the privileges of ruling the Central Continent.'
'His power has been growing all the while, receiving complete support from the Hermes Guild. It has been a long time since he last displayed his strength in combat to the public. Looks like there will be a crazy competition between broadcasting stations for coverage.'
Since the conquest of the Central Continent, Bard Ray had not shown himself in the frontline. He had been living focusing only on self-improvement, and his goal was to become the ultimate God of war, just like his nickname. He was already one of the strongest beings, having had his power recognized by Battali, the God of Combat. But even Bard Ray was more than a little nervous about the coming battle.
"Bar Khan Demoff. This should be interesting."
The Hermes Guild had decided to face the Immortal Legion in the Valkis Castle.
After having gotten out of the Agoltha Region, Bar Khan and the Immortal Legion had been expanding their influence little by little by hunting the monsters roaming about. As if mesmerized by something, the monsters were drawn to the Immortal Legion passing through the vast plains, only to be killed. Groups of skeleton knights led by the Doom Knights brought corpses from hunting grounds or dungeons, which Bar Khan turned into undead.
In order not to give any more time to the Immortal Legion, which had been swelling in size like a snowball, the Hermes Guild finished preparation as quickly as possible and launched their interception in the Valkis Castle.
Every single broadcasting station was relaying the event, and a large number of users from the Central Continent joined in as spectators.
The Hermes Guild and the Immortal Legion!
For three days, all the resources of the Empire had been concentrated on the Valkis Castle, reinforcing its ramparts and engraving the magic circles. Bard Ray and other elite users of the Hermes Guild had arrived in advance and lined up along the castle walls. As ordinary knights and soldiers of the Imperial Army would not be of much help, they had all been placed in the rear. The mage army and high-rank mages were also on standby only, as they were unable to pierce through Bar Khan's Absolute Magical Defense.
"So there's going to be a showdown today."
"It will be the biggest battle in the whole of Versa Continent."
The users of the Hermes Guild waited, thoroughly armed with their gears.
In short course, several scouting skeletons emerged in the Gorum Mountain.
"The Immortal Legion is here."
A moment after the appearance of the skeletons, the high-rank undead troops marched in, covering the entire mountain.
The Bone Dragons escorted the Immortal Legion in the air, majestically flapping their wings of bones.
Bar Khan soared across the sky standing on top of a dark orb.
An Arch-lich leading his Immortal Legion shrouded in a pitch-black aura; he was reproducing the same glorious sight recorded in history books exactly as it had been in the past.
– Humans. I see you still have not abandoned hope.
Bar Khan's voice gloomily crawled over the battlefield.
– Humans cannot lose hope until they are freed from the confinement of life. Today…I shall devour all your hope. The Immortal Legion, charge!
The faces of the Hermes Guild users turned white with terror as they saw the huge army of undead immediately rush towards them.
The faces of Bard Ray and other top rankers were white, too, although for a different reason.
'God damn it. I've practiced a really nice speech.'
'I even prepared a song!'
Weed would sing a song when there was a big battle ahead.
Imitating that behavior, they had also practiced some lines and songs that could raise the morale of the allies, but that was all for naught as the Immortal Legion charged straight towards them, not wasting a second.
"I order the entire Imperial Army; begin the war to protect the continent!"
Bard Ray let out a Great Roar. It was a skill that had a similar effect to Lion's Roar, but affected a much wider area in the battlefield.
Boom. Boom. Boom. Boom.
Loud drumbeats reverberated throughout the Valkis Castle to signal the beginning of the battle.
"It has begun. Follow our plan; do not shoot arrows and stay in your positions!"
"Cast protection spells in advance to resist the Black Magic."
True to its name, the storming party of Doom Knights of the Immortal Legion furiously bashed themselves against the castle gates. The bone arrows of the skeleton archers were also raining down over the ramparts.
Skeletons, dullahans and zombies climbing up the castle walls; all low-rank undead, but once they belonged to the Immortal Legion, even knights were not free from the danger of being devoured by them.
Bar Khan raised his bone wand high.
– Pathetic humans. Behold the Immortal Legion that will grant a new life to each of you.
< One Who Craves Despair!
Your mind is sinking into a darker subconscious.
Time to pay for the sins you have committed in your life.
Your mental capacities will be impaired to a degree based on your evil reputation!
Maximum mana will be reduced; knowledge and wisdom will be halved.>
< Resurrected Apparition!
You are having a horrible vision.
The ghosts of the monsters or enemies who have killed you in the past have appeared and roaming around you. Before they devour you, you need to defeat them with Bless or get rid of them entirely!>
< Uncontrollable Shivering!
You are feeling a great terror towards his magical power that can control life and death.
You are unable to resist due to the evil deeds you have committed until now.
4.5% of total life force and mana will be drained by Bar Khan whenever you take damage.
If the amount of damage you take is more than 30% of your total life force, the amount of life force equal to 2% of the damage you have taken will be drained.>
(Continued on next Chapter…)
Clarifications from the translator
 A name that would be closer to the original meaning would be something like 'total destruction by fire', but it was a bit of a mouthful for a name of a magic spell, so I came up with 'Total Combustion'.
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