The Legendary Moonlight Sculptor Volume 51 Chapter 6 part1
[Note from Mimosab] A new chapter begins!!
Thanks to Eternal, SoreLoser and Arun7 for the proofreading 😉
PS: I added +20% to the translator for this one which is longer than usual.
The 20th Legion of the Imperial Army led by Pandeg was quite special.
"We do not participate in battle most of the time, but once we do, our soldiers won't stop until the fight is over."
Among the numerous users of the Hermes Guild, there were only about a hundred members who belonged to the 20th Legion. The rest of the legion's forces consisted exclusively of common soldiers; a proportion that felt almost abnormal. This legion hadn't even existed during the conquest of the Central Continent.
As they were relaxedly following behind the other legions on their advance to the Garnav Plain, a direct order was given.
– Lafaye: Attack Weed.
"Understood. Are we proceeding as planned?"
– Lafaye: There is no change, until the end.
"We will get right to it."
Pandeg began to move his troops to carry out a secret operation that was not known to even the commanders of the other legions. Taking a detour around the 7th and 14th Legions, they swiftly marched towards the 11th Legion's position, avoiding combat as much as possible. Occasionally, other legions had to clear the way for them by the orders of the Guild's inner circle.
"Who are they?"
"They're wearing the Imperial uniform. Why are they just walking past instead of joining us?"
Hermes Guild users found them odd, but the 20th Legion did not have time to stop and satisfy their curiosity. No matter where in the vast Garnav Plain Weed may make his appearance, he was going to be the Legion's sole target.
'It's clear that we've as good as won the fight if we can just get Weed. No need to care about small fry; we're going to make the largest achievement of this war.'
Pandeg's 20th Legion continued to move at a great speed and eventually faced the enormous number of users who were fighting against the 11th Legion.
"Kill them all!"
"Grass Porridge, Grass Porridge, Grass Porridge!"
"Victory to the Arpen Kingdom, yaaaaahh!"
The sound of yelling and screaming from the users made everyone's ears ring. Somewhere in the midst of it, they could also hear people playing instruments and a choir singing in harmony.
♪♫♪ Let us move a mountain,
Let us create a river.
Born from the barren land, we shall walk on this path with pride.
We may be weak, but together we are one.
With a sword in our hand we will make the impossible possible.
Let us move onward.
Let us fight.
Create miracles by our own hands! ♪♫♪
The songs of war that gave renewed strength to the people on the Arpen Kingdom's side!
The users who heard these songs while fighting on the battlefield boasted indomitable resolve. Their all-out assault against the 11th Legion was pouring out like a torrential rain brought by a thunderstorm.
"Don't think about the consequences now: arrows, spells, use everything you've got!"
"We need to send out the shieldbearers forward and buy some time; just do something!"
The 11th Legion was holding out in defensive formation against the users striking with all their might, but their line was being driven back here and there. Users were dropping down from the sky and crashed their bodies against the soldiers, while those on the ground were also fighting to their very death. The speed and vigor with which they were swarming in were such that, if one was killed, two or three more emerged in their place. The high-leveled users who had followed Weed were also demonstrating their powers and subduing the Imperial troops in various locations.
Pandeg immediately ordered the 20th Legion to attack, engaging in the battle. With the appearance of the enemy reinforcement the Arpen Kingdom users were taken aback, but before long a new battlefront was formed.
"Bring it on!"
"Let's prey on these new ones, too!"
Novice users kept flooding in, supported by the stalwart high-level users who had their backs. The squads captains who had been appointed by Weed led the users under their commands and launched counterattacks on the 20th Legion from all directions.
"Everyone follow Vandert's lead."
"Dashing is our strategy. Not difficult, right? Now, pick up your weapons and sprint!"
The users who had assembled in the Garnav Plain for this battle had been hearing explanations about the human wave strategy all the while, including every mealtime.
"Number equals power. When people in front of you start running, you start running too. Once you're directly facing the enemy, start fighting. It's imperative that you never fall behind."
"Maintain close formation! You need to stay close to each other; always have people right next to you. Otherwise it will be the death of everyone because there will be some people who hesitate."
"Just remember what you're all fighting for. Don't worry about being righteous. People should be able to choose how they live their lives. But don't hesitate to act when the moment eventually comes; who knows, you might be caught by a TV camera."
"If you don't want to take risks, just don't join the fight. It was always the same for the past battles of the North, too. Only those who wanted to chose to fight, and they were proud of it. If you want to fight, then step forward. Everyone will welcome you."
The indoctrination process had been carried out smoothly during the festival. With their optimized human wave strategy and great number combined with speed, the effect was explosive. No matter how many were killed their number will be replenished endlessly.
Fierce battles were taking place everywhere, but the area where Weed had directly brought his people was especially overflowing with powerful users. They kept flooding in, almost glad to face the new challenge as the 20th Legion joined the fight.
"It doesn't matter how much damage we take to our forces. All we need to do is to create one chance."
Pandeg observed the continuing battle cool-headedly. The troops from both sides that covered the entire Garnav Plain were locked in an intense combat, killing and being killed, but he merely thought it was fortunate that he hadn't arrived too late.
"I can afford to lose all my soldiers. Even if they're all killed…"
The 20th Legion had been formed by assembling the stragglers from various kingdoms during the conquest. These forces could not reach the average standard of the Haven Imperial Army, and therefore it wouldn't be too much of a loss even if they were to be annihilated.
Although it was hard to see clearly at this hour of night, he had checked the broadcast through a crystal ball and knew that Weed was currently flying on a wyvern's back.
Pandeg grinned widely. After a good while, he'd finally spotted Weed who was hunting down the knights of the 11th Legion.
Presently, Weed was engaged in a battle as he rode on Wy-3's back.
"Tchchwit. Fly faster, and lower!"
– That would be too dangerous. Also, I'm already flying at full speed.
"Just flap your wings harder! Chwit!"
– How could I possibly do it harder?
"That's for you to figure out. Chewchwik!"
Occasionally he shot arrows from the sky, but he was mainly flying at a low altitude, swinging his Thunder Spear briskly on the wyvern's back. Each time he swept the spear, bolts of lightning struck upon the knights. Even when several different magical attacks were fired at him, Wy-3 dodged out of the way with his acrobatic flying skills.
– Please compliment me. Master.
– What is that?
"That's half a compliment. Do better next time! Tchwick!"
Wy-3 continued his low-altitude flight and quick turns, and at times landed on the ground and galloped like a horse for a while before taking off again. Weed's demands were tricky, as he had to pull off some acrobatic tricks in order to deal with the knights equipped with high quality gears.
"So fabulous. Making such a combat possible…"
"Weed-nim is indeed great!"
The morale of the users fighting alongside him was through the roof.
There were more than a couple of backpacks tied and placed on Wy-3's body, each of them heavy with the spoils Weed had gotten from the defeated knights, but the expression on the face of Karichwi the Orc was still full of discontent.
"Throwing away so many junk items… Tchwichit. Looks like I've lost my initial motivation. I shouldn't have given them up no matter what."
Weed's voice was overflowing with shame!
In such a quick-paced combat, it was not easy to pick up every item. Sometimes he used the Gloves of Dimension Doors to collect the spoils dropped by the knights, but as he was barely managing to climb onto Wy-3's back on time before he flew past, he failed to pick up some cheaper miscellaneous items.
Wy-3 asked, tilting his head curiously.
– Wouldn't you rather choose a single one-of-a-kind item rather than a hundred pieces of junk?
"This is not a matter of which one is better. Tsschwick!"
– I don't understand.
"Would you not pick up a thousand dollar cash dropped on the road just because you have a hundred thousand in your bank account? Chooowick. Just take my word for it. Tsschwick!"
Weed and Wy-3 continued through the battle while demonstrating more feats and tricks that looked almost unreal to those who were watching them through the broadcast. An airborne fight was something that truly impressed the audience.
– Mapan: More Imperial troops are approaching your position. Rumor says it's the 20th Legion.
Weed had been informed early on about the new group of Imperial forces coming; he had been receiving something called 'battle status reports' from the new captains to whom he had issued an excessive amount of appointments earlier, and they had brought news about the appearance of the new legion.
'I don't understand. There's little they can change by just sending more troops here.'
Since he had first made his appearance in the concert stage of Marey the Bard, Weed had led his people all the way to this area. There were currently an enormous number of users that formed the core of the Arpen Kingdom's forces assembled here, with the Northern and Central Continent users mixed in one place. After even more users came to join while he was fighting Ultar, this army now lacked in neither quality nor quantity. With enough military power that they could make easy work of at least three Imperial Legions simultaneously, the appearance of the 20th Legion felt almost welcome; indeed, it gave a chance to fight to the users who had yet to join the fight and had been waiting their turns at the back.
'I could almost thank them for showing up. I can get rid of both of them here.'
For a while Weed thought about moving over to the 20th Legion's position on Wy-3's back and fighting there after he'd spent enough time dealing with the 11th Legion. It was a good opportunity to make a combat achievement as well as earn plenty of spoils.
'This is good. I was given a chance to reduce the enemy's strength easily; it will make things very advantageous for us during the rest of the war.'
But as he was about to continue engaging in the battle in a pleasant mood, a deep corner of his heart suddenly felt heavy. The memory of himself rejoicing blithely over a cheap rent deal for a semi-basement room he had got from that wicked landlord came back to him.
'Has there been even a single occasion where my life's problem solved itself so easily? Also, could it be that I'm underestimating my enemies now?'
The said basement room had turned out to be so damp that a fog would fill the whole room each morning — even their blankets became wet with the moist! Weed remembered his grandmother and sister always having a cough. The room was curiously cool in summer which meant they at least didn't feel very hot, but the walls were always covered in blue molds that grew ever thickly. That was one of the biggest mistakes he had ever made while looking for a place to live.
'What is it? What went wrong?'
Weed began to go over every past event that led to now, as quickly as a supercomputer processing a multiplication. Everything felt fine up until he engaged in a duel against Ultar and defeated him. He had changed his form into an Orc using Sculptural Destruction, and made a good use of the Gloves of Dimension Doors. He had already been aware of Ultar's dependence on his crossbow and weakness in close combat and used that information when he fought him. As a result, he was able to defeat Ultar through an incredibly quick-paced and messy fight, not allowing his opponent a single chance to demonstrate his full strength.
'I also took initiative by bringing an army to fight the 11th Legion.'
He had selected the most appropriate opponent out of the twenty different legions that had been marching in simultaneously. Things were undoubtedly clear up to this point. Then, most unexpectedly, the Hermes Guild responded by just sending one more legion to this location.
'It's already a huge loss for them to let the 11th Legion alone be annihilated like this. And the 20th Legion has chosen to walk into this scene of massacre voluntarily? Without even joining forces with other legions?'
A typical 1+1 situation, but Weed thought there was no way the Hermes Guild would make such a stupid decision.
'I could learn a lot from this guild in some aspects, such as their tyranny, and how they collect taxes from people. And am I really to believe that such competent people decided to advance their troops so recklessly?'
His dark suspicion grew deeper. He knew that it was dangerous to be blinded by the prospect of an easy gain and accept it without thinking.
'There's something going on. It smells terribly fishy.'
Pandeg was keeping his eyes wide open, desperately waiting for a chance to present itself. A few users from the 11th Legion managed to penetrate through the enemy lines and joined them.
"What became of the Spears of Annihilation?"
"We haven't used them yet, as our Legion Commander had deceased so unexpectedly…"
"Good. That would give us a better chance for later."
They dug a deep trap, and lurked.
Pandeg was armed with a splendid uniform, not concealing his status as the Legion Commander, and they had lit magical lanterns that illuminated the nearby areas brightly.
"You guys should stay here, too."
"Even when he arrives, don't take any actions before I give you a signal."
The other Hermes Guild members also hunkered down near Pandeg, waiting. The 11th Legion continued to lose its number as the battle went on, but they thought of nothing besides getting Weed. The scale of this war was huge, but that was also why the value on Weed's life was so absolute. Once the king is gone, the spirit of hope and resistance that he had been spreading would die with him, too.
"He's butchering the knights of the 11th Legion."
"Let's stay calm and keep waiting. Maintain your positions."
"Even after he comes over to our position we shouldn't act hastily. He is such a slippery bastard; we need to seize our chance. Pandeg-nim, move to a more conspicuous location."
"I'll wait in a good landing spot that can attract a wyvern."
The members of the Hermes Guild held their breath and continued to wait for the right moment.
About half an hour passed, and during that time the forces of the 11th Legion had been broken to pieces by users, and the 20th Legion was also beginning to face a serious pressure.
"Let's defeat the entire Haven Empire!"
"Continue marching, this is our victory!"
The cheering sounds from the users were getting closer. And as their anxious waiting was beginning to feel almost suffocating, they heard the sound of large wings beating from the distant sky.
"The wyvern is approaching."
"Shhh. Just wait until it comes near."
Pandeg glanced at the sky while he pretended to direct his troops. A dark shape was flying this way, which he could see clearly through the Mages' spell that gave him a better night vision: a wyvern clad in black armor, and an Orc riding on its back!
Now it was becoming really difficult to hold back their excitement.
– Pandeg: The moment has finally come. Everyone, prepare yourself thoroughly in your respective position.
There were about two hundred Hermes Guild members who received the secret signal from Pandeg. They were disguised as common soldiers and servants with their weapons hidden. They were all currently overflowing with thrill with the prospect of the long wait they had endured in order to kill Weed finally coming to fruition.
Before long, the Orc dropped down to the ground from the wyvern's back. Seemingly intending to fight the 20th Legion's commander Pandeg personally, he was merely about 8 meters away from their position.
"Chhhwiiick! I've come to fight you!"
The Orc raised his glaive high.
"He's here. Now!"
At that very instant, the Sorcerers of the 20th Legion began to chant an incantation. They were wearing the uniform of the commander's guards, but they were one of the hidden weapons Pandeg had prepared.
"Curse the weakness engraved in blood and flesh. For every evil spirit will gather in this ground to gnaw upon thee… Punishment from the Other Side!"
The Sorcerers used rare gems as offerings and completed the incantation which lowered the opponent's combat strength. It weakened various combat related abilities and skills as well as reducing the maximum Life Force by more than a half. A series of other curses followed, such as Mind Confusion, Severe Fatigue and Shaking Vision.
The Hermes Guild users too emerged from their hiding spots everywhere and began to dash towards the Orc. Some of them were holding metal sticks, which were none other than the Spears of Annihilation that had been secretly prepared by the Hermes Guild. They were single-use items, but were capable of releasing the Sun's energy stored within and shoot forth a pillar of light in a straight line. The power of that light attack was enormous, and these were not a kind of weapon to use against an individual enemy; the fact that they drew out the Spears of Annihilation, that normally ought to be used in a siege or against an entire army, demonstrated their will to get rid of Weed here and now, no matter what.
"W-what is this?!"
Pandeg, after observing the face of the Orc for a while, yelled out in confusion and shock.
"Who the heck are you?"
The appearance of this Orc certainly resembled Karichwi; his enormous size and ugly face could cause people to mistake him for Karichwi, but this one still looked far less dangerous than the other Orc. If Karichwi was to be compared to a wild lion that had gone through hell and high water, this one was more like a stray wolf. When looked closely, there was also quite discernable difference in the broadness of their shoulders and amount of muscles.
The Orc smirked, still holding his glaive.
"Stupid Hermes Guild. Chhhwick."
An ominous purple aura enveloped the Orc's body as the dark incantation came to effect, but the Orc didn't seem to care.
"Using everything you've got, aren't you? What a waste; I'm only level 19. Kyakyachichichwit!"
These words made the Hermes Guild users who were just about to launch fierce attacks against him feel completely deflated.
"Weed could be watching this."
The guild members hurriedly hid the Spears of Annihilation and other weapons, but it was already too late.
"This is all going on air. Tsschhichwick!"
The sight of them jumping out to attack this Orc must have been transmitted to the rest of the world through the broadcast by now.
'How come Weed decided to send a novice user instead of coming himself?'
Pandeg could not understand how he was tricked. Their plan to set up a trap to kill Weed, the sole point of existence of the 20th Legion, had come to absolutely nothing. They believed they had created an inescapable trap, and threw the entire 20th Legion as bait, but the fish they had tried to catch somehow managed to simply take the bait and squeeze its way out of their clutches.
Conscious of the fact that he was on the broadcast cameras, Pandeg straightened up his posture proudly.
"You must be mistaken. Do you really think you have gained something just because Weed did not show up here?"
It was now the Orc's turn to feel confused.
"Of course, it would've been nice to get Weed by our own hand… but all we had to do was buy some time. Because-"
Pandeg pointed his finger at the sky above. From a great distance, three tiny red dots smaller than sesame seeds could be seen.
"-Summon Flaming Meteors spell has been cast, and they are going to hit this area."
The Orc looked up at the sky and yelled out in dismay. Pandeg and the Hermes Guild members expected that few people would not be terrified by the news that there would be meteors falling from the sky upon them.
"Of course, when those meteors strike, we will die, too. But you people who are watching the broadcast; I'll make this clear to you. As I understand, there are a lot of strong users who have sided with the Arpen Kingdom currently assembled in this place. What will happen when the meteors hit here?"
"Shall I answer that question for you? They will all perish, won't they? Who knows, maybe Weed among them, too."
The Orc who had been sent as a decoy stared with his mouth open, seemingly unable to utter a word.
Pandeg went on, getting the satisfying sense of victory in his heart.
"Even if he does manage to survive with some luck, that is no reason to rejoice. The Imperial army will soon come to wipe out the rest of you. Yes, every one of you and Weed as well, in your ruined state after the meteors hit."
The faces of the Hermes Guild members also lit up with smiles as they heard Pandeg's words.
However, seeing the satisfying expression typical of victors on their faces, the ugly Orc smirked again, his nose twitching.
"Kikikit. This is just as what Weed-nim told me. Chwick!"
"What did you say?"
"Weed-nim told me to come here instead of him, saying there's something fishy in the air. Tsschik."
"And also, Weed-nim is not here anymore. Tschwit. He gathered all the powerful users in the Grass Porridge Cult and left to fight some other Legions. Chwizick!"
Pandeg's heart sank with shock. The flaming meteors were already on their way, and if Weed had indeed left this area, nothing could be worse than that.
"H-how on earth did he know about that and escaped?"
"I don't really understand, either. Chwick. He just said he got a bad feeling."
"Do you mean to say that he has such sharp instinct, enough to sense our trap and avoid it?"
"He said, he got a feeling like earning some blind money without any effort? Tsschwick. He said there's no way life would take such a fortunate turn for him. Tschischwit!"
(Continued on next part…)
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