The Legendary Moonlight Sculptor

 
 

The Legendary Moonlight Sculptor Volume 50 Chapter 6 part3


[Note from Mimosab]  We’re currently testing an extra translator who could help to release chapters faster (obviously the goal is to get it at the same price for the same quality result).
We got this one very late, that’s why we couldn’t post it here yesterday. Thanks to SoreLoser and Dragoma! Without them it couldn’t be possible to post it today.

… and thanks to MikeMyers who funded 3 parts!!! 🙂


 

'This thing is just too much. Once the battle begins…I'll have to leave it to the other squads to deal with it.'

Myul tried to find sculptures that looked relatively easier to fight, but it was not an easy task. The other works that he could see beyond the giant sculpture of the ox were even more overwhelming: a winged serpent, a three-headed wyvern, a badger that shoots poisonous needles! What they all had in common was their enormous size, just like the ox.

'And those things will be flying around the sky…'

Of course, huge size did not necessarily mean superior strength. Most of the large-sized monsters in Royal Road were powerful, but that was because they possessed strength and stamina to match their bulky appearance. So just by making those sculptures to magically come to life, one could not guarantee that their physical power would be proportional to their size. Hermes Guild's intelligence unit had made a rough idea of the power these sculptures may have once they are brought to life by Weed's life bestowel, purely based on the analysis of Bingryong, Imugi, Wyerns and Phoenix.

'…But we never expected to have Emperor Geihar von Arpen in the picture. Just how terrifying is he going to be? Still, he wouldn't be able to make ALL of them come alive, would he?'

Myul stood there for a while, staring at the sculptures. He'll learn their exact strength once the battle begins, but he wished he would never find out as much as possible. He didn't think he'd enjoy fighting a giant winged rat in the air.

'Even after all I've seen, my bet would still be on the Hermes Guild winning.'

Myul knew of all the five Secret Weapons that Lafaye had prepared. Except for the Shadow Army of Palma that had already been eradicated, each and every one of the remaining four was plain and simple a mass-murdering weapon of war. The moment they were revealed to the public, all of them could potentially attract a great deal of angry denunciations.

'The Hermes Guild is just as desperate, for there is no way back. If we really win in this battle, we're going to become official villains, irrevocably.'

***

Lafaye, who was in charge of making preparations for the battle in the Garnav Plain, arranged for a meeting in order to establish the plans for the war. It was the job of each mid-ranking commanding officer to direct the troops in their unit, but they still needed to determine the larger scale strategy they will utilize in a greater picture. For security reasons, only twenty users attended this meeting, including Bard Ray, Arkhim, Steer, and Lafaye himself.

"There shouldn't be any issue with the assembly of the Imperial Army as well as their morale. Mercenary recruitment and conscription process have been proceeding smoothly, too."

"The main problem would be the human wave strategy of the North."

"Well, we'll just have to kill them all and that's one problem solved, isn't it?"

"That would only make things difficult for us, as there will be no end to the fight even if we kill them all day long."

"We also need to consider the amount of damage to our side."

Bard Ray and Lafaye placed all the battle plans on the table and revised them. One of the tactic was old orthodox way of marching the Imperial army to the footsteps of the Northern users in Garnav plain.. They considered a variety of formations and ways of operating magical squads, and evaluated how best to utilize the Empire's Five Secret Weapons.

Lafaye shook his head.

"The Order of the Steel Knights and the rest of the Five Secret Weapons are certainly powerful. There's no doubt that they will be effective in the battle, but they would not be quite as decisive as we need them to be."

"Then? Do you mean our current military strength is still not enough?"

"We need something with an even more punch; something that can absolutely squash them into smithereens with sheer force."

Lafeye might not know much about actual combats, but he was an excellent strategist. He was the one who had worked diligently to make every preparation and lay foundation for the Hermes Guild to take to the sky and unite the entire Central Continent. But as thorough and error-free as he normally was, after having been dealt a number of blows from Weed he was being particularly cautious, almost excessively so.

"It's difficult for us to predict the coming battle with an exact certainty. They've managed to introduce an unexpected variable that is Emperor Geihar. Another problem is that they've already occupied the Garnav Plain as their own territory in advance. We might as well fight within the enemy borders now."

Arkhim slammed the table with his fist in rage.

"They propose to delay the fight and then goes to take over the battlefield, making all the preparations they want…How is this fair? It's cheating!"

"Well, it's not Weed who did it, at least not directly, so it's no good making complaints to him. He'd probably already counted on the opposition from our side before he made this move."

Lafaye did not want to be dragged along by his enemy like this. Once they've lost control of the initiative, things would only become more disadvantageous to them no matter what they do. Even if the Haven Empire had superior military power, they would end up having this battle on Weed's own terms.

'As soon as he accepted our request for the head-on match, he led the users to set things all up in the Garnav Plain without taking any direct step in person. He is certainly not just an ordinary foe. I won't let my guard down, either. Not when there's such a critical battle coming.'

The Arpen Kingdom and the Haven Empire, clashing with each other with all their might. No one knew what changes will be brought to the Versailles Continent after this battle is concluded; Lafaye needed a trump card, something he knew he could count on.

"Excuse me…"

Caddler, who was in charge of training the magical squads, raised his hand.

"There's something I'd like to tell you—we have been researching on a magic spell recently."

"A spell?"

Caddler was a user who had mostly stayed in the background until now. A member of the Royal Guards, he obtained a hidden profession as a Mage of Carnage from early on—meaning that his magical power grew as he slaughtered more and more villagers or users. As a repercussion, there were some side effects such as the power and the suppressed rage of the dead, but he could nevertheless obtain a tremendous amount of combat capacity as a result. He was presently one of the users who had been showing a rapid growth with much support from the guild.

Caddler smiled confidently.

"It's one of the Ultimate Spells of Magic…and we are more or less ready to use it."

Lafaye recalled a report which he had received a while ago, about an Ultimate Spell that had been discovered in a historic site left by a mage: 'Summon Flaming Meteor'.

It was the spell that Weed himself had obtained during his quest for the last secret skill of sculpting, and used to devastate the main headquarters of Embinyu Church. The Hermes Guild had been extremely astounded by the spell's force as they watched the event through the broadcast, and had been looking everywhere to procure the same spell; since it had been used during a quest, there was a fair chance of it being discovered by those who were occupying the Central Continent. Numerous historic sites and dungeons of mages had been thoroughly searched, and although there had been much difficulty, they eventually managed to acquire the spell tome of Summon Flaming Meteor through a quest. It was a partially torn-off, incomplete tome, and even after it was restored by mages and adventurers, they still needed magical resources and research to make the spell work.

"You mean it's possible to cast Summon Flaming Meteor right now?"

"Not by normal means. But using Black Magic, one can cast more advanced spells that are 2 levels higher than normal, so…*ahem*, we'll need to sacrifice some jewels and mana stones as well as rare living creatures, but we'll be able to cast the spell, all the same."

Summon Flaming Meteor!

Once they've found out that they could use this wide area-of-effect destructive spell, they began to devise a new battle plan.

"How about we use it after the mid-phase of the battle, as a hidden card? We'd be able to turn the tide of the battle that way. We could consider dropping it on top of Weed's location, too."

"We cannot summon the meteor in the press of battle. Also, our side would have to suffer too many sacrifices."

"Not to mention the huge amount of mana consumption by the magical squads."

"Weed can simply dodge out of the way. He's bound to feel something is up when he senses a sudden movement from our side. Considering the speed of Wyverns or Bingryong that he often rides on, it would be difficult to hit him with the spell."

"What's the maximum number of times we can summon the meteor?"

"We can cast it multiple times as we are using Black Magic, but it will become increasingly taxing for the mages. Still, if we gather every mage in the Haven Empire we'll be able to summon about three at the same time."

"That should be enough."

"In that case, it might be better to focus our power on summoning the meteors…we should use the spell early on, to eliminate any unexpected factors from the start."

"Agreed."

The plan was set up—striking the whole Garnav Plain by summoning the flaming meteors. With more than a hundred million people concentrated in one area as seen on the broadcast, the amount of damage this spell would inflict on them would be astronomical. The Haven Imperial Army decided to swiftly penetrate into the battleground immediately after the meteor strike and slaughter the remaining enemies as their basic tactic.

"Strict confidentiality is crucial to this plan."

"We can inform the mages right before the battle. As it is a type of Black Magic, we only need a few core members to know about the plan in advance."

"That would do perfectly."

***

The Haven Empire decided to open every single armory in its territory to equip the troops, taking resources from each of the lord's castle and even recruiting city guards. For this occasion, the true entirety of the forces that rule the Central Continent would be assembling in one place.

Steer, the head of the intelligence unit, and Arkhim, who was in charge of the Royal Guards, were getting increasingly busy as well.

"Here's the current situation in the Garnav Plain: the total of 475 gigantic statues have been completed so far, and 3,741 are still under construction."

"You mean they are going to finish making all of them?"

"No. They probably won't be able to finish about half of them until the start of the battle."

"The analysis report about Geihar von Arpen has just arrived."

"Could Emperor Geihar really raise all those sculptures?"

"It is hard to judge, but I think it would be quite impossible even for him. There haven't been that many sculptures that Weed has created and turned into his servants."

"I'm studying the military strength of the old Arpen Empire and the species of the sculptural creatures which lived during that time, but there are not enough records remaining."

The intelligent unit and the heads of the guild were all fully mobilized to gather information and make any necessary provisions in order to increase the Haven Empire's chance of winning and enhance the combat capacity of its people.

"Balzetta merfolk have made their appearance in Wulhoff Reef. They are expressing their intention to join this war as Emperor Geihar wishes, saying that they are the descendents of an old sculptural race."

"A party of adventurers that had been exploring the western mountain range sold some information to us. We paid them 5,000 Gold for it, and it's about a small bird. It is thought to be a baby Baraag, a species that is known to have been long extinct."

"A coincidence? Or…"

"It seems Weed's adventure has changed the history."

They discovered some evidence of the said changes to the past history. Baraags, the species created by Emperor Geihar, had not died out entirely as per the original history, and had immigrated to a temperate island in the west. There they lived on, forming a natural paradise in that large island located in the middle of the sea beyond the reach of the humans. Hence, several races of sculptural lifeforms were coming to join the battle to respect the emperor's wish.

"How would you assess the combat capability of those Baraags?"

"They look like difficult opponent to deal with, judging by the videos, but as there are  many of us I expect we'd be able to deal with them."

"We can fight them by deploying the giant modified catapults."

"No, it wouldn't be very effective against them. It's going to be cumbersome to protect the ground troops, and we'll lose control over the sky."

Arkhim could not help but feel uneasy about the Baraags.

The Emperor Bard Ray was to be the supreme commander of the entire army. Arkhim himself was the second in command, but in terms of the actual operation of the forces, more than half of the Imperial Army would follow his orders. As this was a tremendous responsibility, he needed to win, no matter what the cost. No amount of loss would be too much as long as it could ensure their victory in the battle.

"There was a quest related to fire drakes a while ago, correct?"

"Yes. It's a quest that enables us to recruit those drakes for the battle if we bring them a large amount of Fire Gems."

"Proceed with the quest."

"But the expense would be very large…"

"This is no time to save money."

As they were the only force that dominated the Central Continent exclusively, they had been able to obtain a list of quests and agreements with numerous species.

A Fire Gem that can seal the fire magic! Those gems were usually formed in volcanic regions, and could only be acquired by killing some tricky monsters. They were not often found in normal shops even with prices of about 4,000 Gold, and they decided to spend the entire stock they had been saving until now.

"An unexpected factor: there's been news that a lot of office workers are applying for a holiday on the day of the battle in Korea."

"How could that be…"

The current trend in Korea was important, as it was a country with more top-tier gamers than any other nation around the world.

"Some high schools are even having a day off, predicting that there would be a lot of trouble maintaining the class atmosphere."

"By Gods."

Arkhim groaned, but not for long. No matter what country you looked, there would be very few people who wouldn't want to join such a phenomenal battle. Those students and young  workers would have found a way to go online by fair means or foul anyway.

"The additional acquirement of the Steel Knights is going well, thanks to the preparations we have made in advance."

"We've hidden the host of the Alkin disease near the Garnav Plain, too. We're preparing the antidote, but there's not much of it."

"How about the Phanzellope Order of Phantom Knights?"

"They'll be here by tomorrow, for certain. There has been a lot of delay as they needed to move without being spotted by any users."

"And the Spears of Annihilation…"

"34 of them have been distributed to main members of the shock troops."

The Five Secret Weapons of the Empire were all ready to be launched without any issue. After checking through the progress of every preparation, Arkhim nodded. As the battle in the Garnav Plain was getting closer day by day, the military strength of the Haven Imperial Army was becoming more and more impeccable as well. The size of the army was increasing rapidly, too, by hiring temporary guild members, mercenaries, or conscripting more soldiers.

'Blame us if you will, after we win. The Haven Empire will do everything it can.'

(Continued on next part…)



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