The Legendary Moonlight Sculptor Volume 49 Chapter 6 part4
[Note from Mimosab] The next part (21 of 25) is twice longer than usual that will be splited in 2 releases. But you’ll still be able to read both this week 😉
"Charge! There will be no retreat."
Although having had a moment's hesitation, the members of the shock troops, each of them a top-notch user of the Hermes Guild chosen by a fastidious selection process, continued to advance towards the Fortress of Bones, protecting Bard Ray.
"Guard yourselves against the approaching monsters…and don't take your eyes off those Bone Dragons, even for a second!"
"Warriors, raise your shields and prepare to block the Bone Dragons' Breath attacks."
"Focus on just passing through the undead–our target is Bar Khan. Everyone charge towards him!"
The shock troops of the Hermes Guild consisted of some of the very top-ranking users of the entire Versailles Continent. They were using highly advanced skills that ordinary users had never seen before, including even the ultimate secret skills of sword art, to penetrate the ranks of the undead army. They were displaying an incredible efficiency in breaking through the horde, as they were well aware of the fact that slowing down for just a second will put them into a disadvantageous position.
"People in front, put on more speed!"
"13th Squad, stay behind and stop the undead coming from behind."
As soon as the shock troops reached the Fortress of Bones, they began to climb. The mountain-high structure was growing even taller as time passed.
"I am Wilhelm, the knight of death-"
"Out of my way, I'm busy!"
They pushed aside the attacking Death Knights and Dullahans, making them fall to the ground.
– Such insolent humans! You dare to step forth to commit an eternal sin?!
The Bone Dragons flashed them by, sending gusts of wind from their wings. The Hermes Guild users kept pushing forward, even while being attacked. Some brave users climbed onto the backs of the Bone Dragons and struck them. To become the top-class rankers, they had conquered countless dungeons and hunting grounds; they understood the importance of the task entrusted to them, and knowing that hundreds of millions of people were watching the battle through broadcast, they did not hold back.
"The order of Doom Knights is just ahead."
"And there are…more than a hundred of them!"
"That's no reason to fear. Just pierce through!"
Except for the Elite Guards escorting Bard Ray, the rest of the shock troops rushed forward and started fighting against the Doom Knights. As they approached closer, the power of their attack skills diminished drastically, oppressed by the terrifying aura emanating from Bar Khan.
"Break them! It doesn't matter if they revive again, just focus on clearing a path!"
A hand-to-hand combat with the Doom Knights, in the Fortress of Bones filled with a chilling fog and wailing cries of the lost souls!
– Pathetic humans. I can feel your fragile flesh struggle in pain!
The Doom Knights standing closer to Bar Khan's Death Aura were exhibiting remarkable abilities in battle–each Doom Knight's power could in itself match that of a boss-level monster.
"Arrgh!…my strength is  …"
"These things don't die even if I cut them down! I'm hardly doing any damage just striking them! We need to do something!"
Casualties were rising as people fell victim to the undead, and many users were falling off from the Fortress of Bones in succession.
"We don't have time! Keep pushing forward."
The shock troops were in a rush, anxious about Bar Khan's cursing spells that could be put upon them in any minute. Now that they had climbed onto the Fortress of Bones, having deadly curses inflicted upon them in such a close distance could mean a total annihilation of the troops. There was a limit to the range which the Doom Knights could cover, so the Hermes Guild users jumped right over it or made a detour. They knew that the guild was also suffering quite a large loss of lives, but for now they just passed by.
When the distance between them and Bar Khan was reduced to about 50 meters, another group of Doom Knights blocked their path.
-Protect the Master of Immortality.
From the sky they could see that more than three Bone Dragons were flying towards them-it was hard to find even one of such high-rank undead monsters in the Versailles Continent, yet this battlefield was full of them.
"We need to get closer."
"There's not enough time. Just start here!"
A group of users began to break away from the rest of the shock troops while taking out some objects. Their task was to distract the undead with the holy relics from various religious orders.
"A War Hammer of Valhalla!"
"This is the halidom of Freya Order!"
"The Shield of Lugh over here!"
From the Fortress of Bones, the users holding the holy relics dashed out in all directions.
"Those humans are giving off such an abominable trail…"
– Do not let them escape! Kill them all!
Naturally, the hostility of the Doom Knights and the Bone Dragons immediately turned towards them. Vehement fury, and a thirst for revenge—as Divine power was their natural enemy, they scattered like diverging wind, leaving Bard Ray and his Elite Guards.
Bard Ray and the central units of the shock troops penetrated the thin wall of Doom Knights and approached Bar Khan.
"It's over, Bar Khan!"
Eager to make an impressive scene, Bard Ray instinctively drew out the Holy Sword of Lugh and pointed it towards Bar Khan in an imposing manner; while he was surrounded by reliable supporting troops, he intended to make himself look heroic just for a short instance before the actual battle began.
Bar Khan did not blast his magic spells straight away; instead, he opened his mouth and spoke, as if in complement,"Human. You have exceeded my expectations by coming this far. However…you are still too weak to face me directly."
Bard Ray retorted, "Nonsense. My strength is more than enough to defeat you."
"Such inane and useless confidence, coming from a being confined in weak human flesh. Then, are you willing to come at me all by yourself?"
For a second, everyone sensed a strange turn of atmosphere.
Every viewer watching the broadcast at this moment was anticipating the one-on-one showdown between Bard Ray and Bar Khan—a bloody battle of the great Emperor against the lich, taking place in the mighty Fortress of Bones! Even the users of the Hermes Guild were looking expectant, wondering if Bard Ray could really put down Bar Khan alone.
'This wasn't part of the plan, but what if…?'
'What's this? Is he going to have a duel, right now?'
On the other hand, Bard Ray was breaking out in a cold sweat. His plan was to defeat Bar Khan together with everyone and win more fame using that accomplishment, but a one-on-one fight against the Arch-lich? Things were getting out of hands.
'If I lose the duel against Bar Khan now, it would completely break my pride, even if we manage to destroy him afterwards.'
It was humiliating, but Bard Ray reached a cool-headed decision and ordered his troops to attack.
"Our opponent is a Necromancer; he is just trying to buy some time with a dirty trick. Get rid of him immediately before he uses any foul magic or raises more undead!"
The priests prepared themselves for the battle, chanting incantations for a spell of sacrifice that had been planned in advance. It was a miracle that enabled them to possess the Divine force ten times stronger than normal for a short time, in return for giving up a portion of their level and stats.
"Strike him all at once!"
Bard Ray and two hundred users of the shock troops spread out, attacking Bar Khan simultaneously. There was a feast of splendid attack skills that had never been revealed to the world until this moment.
"Foolish humans. I see you refuse to believe in the power of immortality!"
Bar Khan blocked the attacks by summoning a pitch-dark barrier. All the flashy weapons and skills were ruthlessly blasted upon Bar Khan and his surroundings, causing an intense shock wave that made the Fortress of Bones tremble and even partially collapse. Due to the continuous supply of life force and mana from his undead legion, Bar Khan did not fall easily even when he suffered some amount of damage.
"The endless despair. I will show you what lies beyond that cannot be fathomed by your pitiful human mind!"
Bar Khan began to cast a spell of Black Magic.
At that same second, Bard Ray teleported a short distance using the power of a divine weapon.
He had not had much time to prepare for the battle against Bar Khan, but he had done his research; an incredible amount of life force and absolute magical power, as well as the endless horde of undead protecting him-the chance to damage him directly through all these would not present itself often, but there was a hint.
'I need to put the holy sword through Bar Khan's body, to weaken his magical power.'
Just at the moment he was about to use Black magic, when he was most vulnerable-
The priests focused their force onto Bar Khan in unison. Blinding white lights of divine power struck the barrier of darkness and seeped into the body of the Arch-lich. Bar Khan was standing his ground, not even flinching, but Bard Ray appeared right behind him by teleportation.
"This is the end."
He drove the Holy Sword of Lugh deep into the back of Bar Khan.
"Yes, that did it!"
"We defeated Bar Khan!"
All the users of the Hermes Guild shouted in excitement, not to mention the entire shock troops. To a monster such as a lich, a holy sword was a nemesis. In the past, Weed had also defeated Bar Khan once using the same Holy Sword of Lugh.
'Even if he doesn't get killed by this, he'll still be crippled. We can win in an all-out assault.'
They had revised this plan and rehearsed it several times, but this was the best outcome possible—such rash action, that wouldn't even have been imaginable if it had been Weed, who was so cautious he would tap on the floor of an elevator before stepping into it. 
Bar Khan rattled his jawbone, the Holy Sword of Lugh still stuck in his chest.
"Kehehe. You all are nothing but offerings to darkness. I hereby sacrifice my body to summon the deep void upon this land…everything in existence shall perish."
The ultimate skill of a Necromancer that used up all of their remaining life force and mana: the Great Extinction.
Bar Khan's body broke apart and crumpled into dust. A dark red speck appeared on his place and started to spread rapidly. The spell of Great Extinction was swelling in power as it integrated every living creature and undead that was caught in the range of destruction; an ultimate explosion spell that pulverized even the Fortress of Bones in its entirety.
Having felt a sudden inkling of danger, Bard Ray had fled to Valkis Castle, using 'Absolute Protection' skill sealed in his magic cloak and 'Solar Movement' on his boots.
< A tremendous amount of damage!
You have suffered a critical loss in the life force by a spell of irresistible power.
1,203,933 points of life force have been lost.
Due to the grave injuries, you are temporarily unable to engage in battle.>
Even with his quick reflexes he had lost over a million points of life force; still, he escaped death, thanks to the several blessings and protection spells as well as life force enhancement that had been put on him before the fight by the spell of sacrifice the priests had cast.
Among the shock troops and other Hermes Guild users who had been in the neighboring areas, those who had not managed to escape on time were all massacred.
Shortly afterwards, on the spot where Bar Khan had been standing appeared a bottomless crater with a radius of several hundred kilometers; it was the monument to the power of the Great Extinction spell, capable of warping the terrain itself.
The users of the Hermes Guild were dumbfounded for a moment by the intensity of magic they had never experienced before, but soon they came to themselves.
"We've defeated Bar Khan!"
"Bard Ray-nim did it!"
Bard Ray himself did not have much stamina and life force remaining, but he stood on the rampart and raised his fist high, savoring the moment of bliss.
– I have subdued Bar Khan, with my own hands!
In response to Bard Ray's Great Roar, the Hermes Guild users let out shouts of victory. There were still more than half of the Immortal Legion left, but nobody cared about them; once Bar Khan had disappeared with the last mighty bang, those remaining undead forces were nothing they could not handle easily. Bard Ray continued his Great Roar, his fatigued state notwithstanding.
"After vanquishing all the remaining undead, we will celebrate for three days and nights! The Valkis Castle shall be ordained as the sacred ground upon which we have defeated Bar Khan and the Immortal Legion!"
"Long live the Hermes Guild!"
The morale of the users who had gathered for the battle against Bar Khan was now through the roof with the pride they felt after stopping such a mighty enemy. They would be victorious, and celebrate their victory with people, just like the Arpen Kingdom. The Hermes Guild users were swelling in self-confidence, and just as they were about to relieve their tension,
– There seems to be no end to your foolishness, humans.
Bar Khan's eerie voice reverberated throughout the battlefield.
Bard Ray and the other users of the guild looked around for the source of the sound, startled.
Bar Khan was standing unscathed in the middle of his Immortal Legion, escorted by the undead. He didn't even have the Holy Sword of Lugh stuck in his chest.
"Bar Khan is still alive!"
"But he died, completely, just now! Why is he…?"
Bar Khan had already put a new spell of immortality upon himself; the terrifying fact was that he would be revived none less than five times, unless the vessel sealing his life was destroyed. In the meantime, the users who had just died in the explosion had also been raised as Doom Knights or Death Knights by the Dark Rule.
Bar Khan's voice was clearly heard by everyone.
– Go to sleep now. The nightmare will never end.
The Battle of the Kalice Castle!
A clash between the Hermes Guild and the Immortal Legion—nobody could have predicted that it would devolve into a bloody fight that had dragged on for 35 hours.
"What, they are still fighting?"
"Yeah…it just doesn't end."
"Are they even planning to wrap it up within today?"
"Dunno. Bar Khan still has two more resurrections to go."
The users who had come near the Kalice castle to watch the fight got tired first and left the scene. Even the broadcasting stations–after having continued the live coverage for some time, given the gravity of the battle—decided that they could not carry on any longer with all of their cast and crew exhausted, and returned to their normal schedules.
During the course of killing Bar Khan five times, the Hermes Guild suffered tremendous losses.
The paladins and the priests had been eradicated without a single survivor, having used their last spell of sacrifice, and more than 80 percent of the high-level users that had joined the battle had perished as well.
In the end, they eventually managed to defeat Bar Khan for good through the final coordinated attack, but the remaining Hermes Guild members collapsed onto the ground rather than enjoying the moment of victory.
"Uggh…I just want to lie down for a bit."
"It's been a horrible, horrible fight."
"The undead are the worst. Their stench, and their ridiculous amount of life force…I'm not fighting them again. Ever."
"Well, Weed is a Necromancer. You might have to."
"Dude! Don't even say such things."
The surviving users sprawled onto the ruins of the Kalice Castle that had been completely destroyed. Bard Ray himself had narrowly escaped death several times, and as Bar Khan had focused his attacks on him, there were especially few survivors among the Elite Guards.
< Battle Achievements!
You have successfully subdued Bar Khan Demoff and led a massive historic war to victory.
The fame of every user that had joined the battle will increase by 12,790 points.
All stats will increase by 6.
Your relationship with the religious orders that had joined the battle will become friendly. You have earned a large number of contribution points.
The Blessing of Battali, the God of War will be in effect for a week!>
They had earned fame in battle and some improvements in stats through a great achievement, but these rewards did not interest them much; in fact, at this moment it didn't feel much like a victory at all to the users, who had been through such a gruesome and desperate fight.
"What's this? That's all for the loot?!"
Bong-dal, the ranker who had dealt the final blow on Bar Khan, cried out in anger as well.
The top-class boss monster that threatened to turn the course of history itself; one of the enjoyable benefits of hunting such a monster was the great booty it left behind.
< You have obtained two sheets of white elephant skin.>
< You have obtained a colorful deerskin. >
< You have obtained a sparkling pebble.>
< You have obtained 61 silvers.>
However, all they had found in the remains of Bar Khan were a couple of sheets of animal skin, a pebble and a small amount of silvers.
"Is this for real? Somebody tell me this is all a lie…"
Considering the fact that the mages usually possessed enchanted weapons or treasures of tremendous value, this was such a stark contrast, a shocking discovery. Bar Khan's belongings were worth even less than the objects dropped by Death Knights or Doom Knights when they were killed.
The truth was, ever since his resurrection Bar Khan had been penniless, having lost all the valuable items by Weed.
A battle that involved the entire main force of the Hermes Guild, and yet the spoils were not even enough to compensate for the payroll costs.
Worst still, terrible news had been delivered by the Second Legion.
Clarifications from the translator
From the original text it is not clear if this line means "my strength is reduced (by curse)" or "their (the Doom Knights') strength is so great", because in Korean it was just written as "…the strength is…" I didn't think it would affect the entire story much so I just decided to stick to one interpretation.
This expression is a parody of a famous Korean adage that translates into something like, "tap on the stone bridge before crossing it", which basically means "look before you leap".
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