The Legendary Moonlight Sculptor Volume 51 Chapter 7 part1
Thanks to Eternal and Arun7 for the proofreading!!
– A war is raging on in the land where our vengeful wrath lies dormant… How dare they!
The fifty thousand phantom soldiers from the Paldan Kingdom that Chaser the adventurer had brought with him attacked the 7th Imperial Legion led by Crebulta.
"Just maintain your calm. Our priests' combat strength is somewhat lacking, so that makes things a bit tricky… But they don't possess that much firepower. Just be wary of their curses."
Crebulta's leadership was widely acknowledged due to his experience in clearing large-scale dungeons. Not only was he one of the top 10 most powerful users of Royal Road, his ability to attract people brought him many followers among the guild members.
As more Northern users were endlessly streaming in to join the fight, with the Paldan Kingdom's ghosts at the center, the battle had turned into a difficult one.
An army of phantoms, followed by the Northern users.
"This is a cursed item I have here. Would you care to wear it, Ghost-nim with Long Hair?"
"I have a cursed magical sword, too. It's not as fancy as it sounds, though."
"I have an amulet of misfortune. Would it help?"
The users quite willingly offered the cursed items they possessed to the ghosts. When worn by the living these items would take away the wearer's Life Force and luck, but they were quite suitable for the ghosts.
Meanwhile, the 6th Legion under the command of Gros was under attack from flowers, weeds and trees: combat plants that possessed swift movement and were even able to crawl under the ground. The elves who had agreed to join the Arpen Kingdom's side were attacking the legion alongside these plants, too.
"Do not stay on the same spot. Shoot and move."
"Just hold on a minute; the Avians said they would give us a ride!"
The elves, with their excellent archery skill, demonstrated astonishing power in warfare. An Imperial soldier could eliminate a user at level 100 to 200 with a single blow of their sword, but as the elves kept dashing and shooting from a distance, they dealt continuous damage to the troops. The archers of the Imperial Legion began to counteract, but soon the Northern users came to protect the elves from harm.
Moreover, Miretas the Farmer did not hold back his rage.
"I have tilled and loved this land all my life. I can use this skill only one single time, but it seems it was meant to be used today."
With that, Miretas sacrificed himself, thereby activating the skill named 'Wrath of the Land'.
His body turned into a single seed and sank into the ground. The sacrifice of one's own life! It was a skill a farmer could use only one time, and just as the name suggested it unleashed the fury of the ground below. The land began to ripple as if an earthquake was breaking out, and swallowed the Imperial soldiers and the Hermes Guild members alike. Soldiers made of sand and rocks rose from the earth, too, and joined the battle.
"Are, are they devils?"
An Imperial Knight thrust his spear at a sand soldier with all his might, but it only went right through the torso. Grains of sand agglomerated into crude forms of unarmored, unclothed soldiers and began to march forward. When they moved more sand dust gathered and dispersed like mist, multiplying into a larger crowd.
"Blow them away!"
The Hermes Guild members attacked the soldiers of sand using a powerful skill, but it was a rash act.
The grains of sand that caught fire scattered to all directions, and turned into countless many bugs. These insects of fire started devouring the Imperial soldiers and turned the victims to mummified corpses as they sucked nutrients out of them.
"Huh? Are we using some Black Magic, too?"
"I know they are our enemies, but that is a little too much."
At the sight of this unmatched cruelty, even some of the Northern users who did not know of Miretas' sacrifice averted their eyes. But then, after the sand absorbed the nutrients, plants and flowers began to sprout forth from it. Some turned into magnificent trees, growing so fast that they bore fruits on their thick branches in but an instant. Miretas the Farmer brought forth the wrath of the earth, but all the destruction and death soon led to a new cycle of birth. The words spread equally rapidly, albeit a little belatedly, among the people that this was a skill used by Miretas upon his death.
"Woooow. This is so epic."
"All this is the effect of one skill? That is beyond powerful!"
"Turns out Farmer is the best class here…"
Being subjected to an attack of such unimaginable scale, the 6th Legion lost about half of its troops. The elves kept moving through the forest, which gave them extra attack power and cloaked them, and maintained the pressure on the Imperial troops.
"Those who wish to fight, follow me!"
Geomchi3 yelled loudly, full of rage after being hit by the meteor. Other users who had survived the Summon Flaming Meteors spell, as well as the crowd that had concentrated in the central area of the Garnav Plain, all gathered together to follow his lead. Driven by fury, the users came to take part in the battle, determined to go through fire and ice.
"Man, and why do WE have to fight, too?"
"I don't know, but let's go with them for now."
"Yeah, this doesn't feel like the right time to try any funny business."
"This is crazy. Like really."
Halma, Margo, Rewiss and Gran. The backstabber quartet reluctantly agreed to tag along with the crowd advancing to fight against the Imperial forces.
It was their belief that a villain must be strong, but still they couldn't deny that the spectacle of the 15th Legion left them speechless. The magical light cast by the Imperial troops was illuminating the whole sky. The sight of the soldiers marching in perfect order and rythm with swords and shields in their hands was overwhelming.
"Hey, don't you think this is like banging a brick wall against your head?"
"You mean 'banging your head against a brick wall'?"
"No; I know it sounded strange, but… what I mean is that we're going to die if we fight them. For sure."
"Let's get away from here when we have a chance."
The backstabbers were just waiting for an opportunity to escape from the battle.
"Let the fight begiiiiiin! Everyone chaaaaaaaarge!"
Geomchi3 did not do anything to actually command the crowd; he merely charged towards the enemies ahead of everyone as he shouted loudly, fighting and then fighting some more. Seeing him taking the lead, the rest of the Northern users also began to run blindly after him, engaging in the battle. Whenever a barrage of magical attacks and arrows swept off a wave of users, they were immediately replaced by those following behind them.
"Move quickly, please."
"Actually, we're just here to watch-"
"Grass Porridge, Grass Porridge, Grass Porridge, Grass Porridge!"
Until now, they had thought only the Hermes Guild was scared of the Grass Porridge Cult… but being directly faced with the swarm of the cult members rushing from behind them, the backstabbing quartet could not help but feel terrified.
"Uh-oh, I don't think we can stay put in this spot anymore."
"For now, let's just go with them."
"Are you going to fight?"
"Well, we can't just stay here."
Swept along in the crowd of users flooding from behind, the quartet found themselves running towards the Imperial troops.
"Take this. Throwing Knives!"
"Have a taste of my iron chain!"
When the backstabber quartet attacked the enemies, the users nearby also came to support them and they hunted down the Imperial soldiers together.`
"Wow. These people are strong."
"You are really good."
As they broke through layers of defense made of Imperial soldiers, the quartet was quite thrilled to hear the people around them compliment their combat skills.
"We're fighting really well. We're going to be on TV, right?"
"Who knows, we might even become heroes if we go on like this."
"The heroes of the Arpen Kingdom? That doesn't sound too bad."
But just as they had begun to enjoy this feeling of exhilaration, dozens of bolts of lightning struck their position; a spell fired blindly by a Hermes Guild Mage came flying and blasted them off. All that was left on the ground where the lightning bolts hit were a few junk items left by the now deceased quartet.
"Pale-nim, please let us fight with you, too!"
"Surka-nim, I have always admired you very much."
Because Weed's companions were all extremely famous, many users wished to fight alongside them.
Pale could not hide his look of awkwardness.
"I'm not exactly an expert in commanding troops."
"All you need to do is fight, isn't it? We need a pivotal figure."
Users above level 300 or 400 assembled together and asked him to take the role of their leader. The name 'Pale' was in itself quite widely known, but he was more famous among the users for his title, 'Weed's Battle Slave.'
"Ah. Maybe this is why Weed-nim didn't even bother appointing me as a squad captain."
"No, I was just talking to myself. Alright, let's fight together."
With that Pale left for the battlefield, along with the humongous crowd following him. Surka, Romuna and Zephyr also had to take charge of a large amount of troops each. Irene agreed to travel with a band of priests around the areas where difficult battles were taking place, and Hwaryeong and Bellot found themselves facing a different task, too.
"Let's get out of the plain."
"Because there are lots of users we know at least by face out there."
Hwaryeong had been given the status of a lord in the Central Continent by the Haven Empire, although the Hermes Guild had thought little of it and she was not much more than a symbolic figure to show to the Northern users. Hwaryeong had spent her days as a lord throwing a party every day, and had been introduced to many users in the process.
"Let's go meet the users from the Central Continent who didn't take part in the war, and ask for their help."
"Would they really accept our request so easily, when they'll have to put their own lives at stake?"
"Quite a lot of them would simply be hesitating to join the fight because they lack a good cause. Besides, they are mostly men."
"I have never been rejected by a man before."
It was rare for Hwaryeong to ask a personal favor of someone, but it was rarer still to have her request be rejected by someone.
"Troops without proper formation cannot be called an army. They need to buy some time somehow and start fighting more systematically."
"It seems the Arpen Kingdom's side is particularly vulnerable in the western part of the Garnav Plain due to a lot of spectators mixed in their forces. Still, they'll want to slow down the collapse of their formation."
"Look at the 12th Legion. The Hermes Guild is attempting to start a large-scale lightning assault using their chariots. They are charging in all at once!"
Every single staff member of the broadcasting companies including KMC Media and CTS Media was ready to work all night. They had prepared many scheduled programs, but once the battle to decide the fate of the Versailles Continent had begun, things were happening so fast it was hard to keep up.
"The 6th Legion is losing ground; look at the elf squad making an excellent show of their skills!"
"The 13th Legion led by Commander Draka. They are making a great contribution, fighting against the Bandits. However, judging by the monitor screens showing the Northern users approaching them from every direction it seems they have a difficult battle ahead."
"The Magical Squad of the Hermes Guild speculated to be the one that cast the Summon Flaming Meteors spell… the Mage Cadler has made his appearance."
"Currently the 12th Legion's location is one of the hottest places in the entire battlefield. After Oberon's death, the users are literally throwing their bodies against the enemy soldiers."
The announcers were completely absorbed in the battle as they were watching the monitors and commentating on the current situation. The entire area of the vast Garnav Plain had turned into the battleground of a full-scale war in the matter of 3, 4 hours — a battleground where people were killing and being killed at such an incredible rate…
"The Haven Imperial Army is firmly standing their ground. Their fire spells managed to block the advance of the Northern users."
"Look at the sky. Those specks that are fluttering and falling in the air are not snowflakes; they are people. The Avians provided extensive support in order to overcome the currently unfavorable battle progress."
"That's the 14th Legion. It seems we'll have to take back our earlier prediction that the Haven Empire is likely to seize victory. The Northern users… Where did all those powerful users come from? They are strong. Extremely strong warriors!"
The users who were dispatched to relay from the scene were constantly changing their words. The camera and directing crews were also handling an amount of work beyond their limit, analyzing and editing the videos.
"With the summoning of Flaming Meteors it was thought that the Haven Empire seized the chance to win at the earlier stage of the battle, but the Northern users are putting up a much better fight than expected."
"The twenty Legions. It is difficult to estimate the number of users killed by the Imperial Army's attack so far. We can only speculate that an astronomical number of people were eliminated."
"When we take a look at the combat patterns and movement routes of the Imperial Army, we can see that these different Legions are using extremely complex battle strategies… And the North is countering them with the Human Wave tactics."
"We see a lot of users who look like they are from the Central Continent. Have they been affected by the Northern users? Many of them are mixed among the swarming crowd."
Each broadcasting channel was rapidly switching between different screens relaying the battle in the Garnav Plain. As all the battles were equally important, they could not keep their focus on one spot for too long. Top rankers and celebrities of Royal Road were killed in an instant, and a knight order of formidable strength made a new appearance. There were so many scenes they needed to put on air they did not even have time to choose. Battles were taking place everywhere, each of them so intense that they would've put it on rerun for at least a couple of weeks if it had been any other times. They couldn't even afford any time to spend on giving information about powerful spells as they were used, or showing highlights such as a sight of a knight order penetrating through enemy ranks.
"Weed! Weed has encountered the 4th Legion."
"A fight against Calcus the slayer? Put it on the top of our list, no exceptions."
Even in such a hectic situation, they were showing much interest in Weed, a proven key to high viewing rates. Every movement of Weed was an element that could potentially decide the outcome of the battle, as he was the core of the Arpen Kingdom's camp.
The broadcasting companies were also operating analysis teams consisting of distinguished experts. During times like election seasons, they assessed advantages and disadvantages for each side, and broadcast live voting results. Weed and Bard Ray, the Arpen Kingdom and the Haven Empire; they were analyzing the battles in real time in an attempt to predict the final winner, but it was not an easy task.
"We cannot even figure out exactly how many people are fighting now."
"It's good thing that it is so dark. If we saw the Garnav Plain in daylight, there would be nothing but people killing each other."
"More than 90 percent of the users in this vast Versailles Continent have gathered in one place. No matter how much time passes, there wouldn't be any battle that surpasses today's one in terms of the scale."
The analysts all threw up their hands. Ferocious Titanic struggles were breaking out everywhere, and tens of thousands of people were slaughtered in the blink of an eye.
Manager Kang of the KMC Media who was present in the studio asked a junior staff.
"What is CTS's view on the war?"
"They think that the Haven Empire managed to gain the upper hand during the beginning of the battle, but it seems they are also unable to make any prediction as to the final outcome."
The broadcasting stations had assumed that a battle to determine the fate of the Versailles Continent would not begin until the morning or midday. So ever since the Summon Flaming Meteors spell was first cast they had all been greatly pressed for time.
"However, I heard the CTS Media is speculating that the Haven Empire has higher chance of winning, although they are not confident enough to make such a claim through broadcast."
"On what ground?"
Manager Kang and other staff members nearby did not look happy to hear it. The KMC Media was able to achieve significant growth thanks to Weed's popularity, so the Haven Empire's victory was not an outcome they would hope for.
"Weed is doing a great job fighting them, isn't he? He defeated the 11th Legion, and the 20th Legion was also torn apart by the Summon Flaming Meteors spell. Those two legions are barely holding up with only a few stragglers left."
The 11th and 20th Legions of the Haven Imperial Army had nearly lost all of their strength. Several other Legions were either locked in a tight fight against the Arpen users or took a considerable amount of damage as well. The loss that the Imperial Army suffered as a result of turning the entire Garnav Plain into their battleground was certainly not trifling.
"We thought the users would break apart helplessly once the battle began, yet they are storming upon the Imperial troops so fiercely. Of course, their lives are being consumed extremely quickly, too, but still."
"This is the conclusion the CTS Media derived after they studied the Alkin disease."
"What about it?"
The Alkin disease!
Although attracting less attention as it was obscured by the splendid battles that caught people's eye, the number of people infected by the Alkin disease was mounting at a terrible speed.
"There have already been a lot of people who contracted the disease and perished. And it looks like the disease spreads through the dead bodies, as well."
"And they still haven't figured out how to cure it?"
"Yes, they are quite helpless at the moment. The disease is also extremely contagious. At this rate, the death count will soon get out of hand."
Some employees of KMC Media had separately stored videos about the Alkin disease. The users were lying on the ground, suffering from the sickness and finally losing their lives. Those who at higher level did not contract the disease easily and survived longer than the others, but everyone who was infected eventually died or became unable to fight without fail.
"How many people have contracted it?"
"The infected groups are scattered across quite a few different places. It is estimated that there are more than 4 million patients, although this is not a perfectly accurate count. And the disease is spreading even more rapidly now."
"Then it is truly a disaster."
Manager Kang was more than a little concerned about the Alkin disease. Under the surface of the fierce battles, countless users were dying from a disease behind the scenes. If such a situation continued, the Arpen Kingdom's forces would completely collapse like a house of cards.
'Could it be that the Empire sent all of the 20 Legions simultaneously to battle in order to hide the spread of the Alkin disease?'
It was a suspicion that flashed across his mind but for a second, but he thought it might be true.
The broadcasting screen was showing Weed's troops clashing against the 4th Legion.
A match of strength!
The Arpen Kingdom had superior numbers, and there were certainly a lot of powerful users in the area where Weed was fighting. A battle that was sure to please many broadcasting authorities, who cheered and cried over viewer ratings, was about to take place.
"Get some people to investigate the Alkin disease."
"We need to broadcast a detailed account of this Alkin disease, as quickly as possible."
(Continued on next part…)
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