The Legendary Moonlight Sculptor Volume 5 Chapter 10
Chapter 10 : Road Selection
Orc army was approaching the fortress of Dark Elves.
And though their advance was hindered by occasional trees and rocks, tens of thousands of Orcs reached the walls simultaneously.
Elves responded without delay:
"Wall of Fire!"
Fire covered the ground, ice shards and lightning bolts rained down on the approaching horde. Orcs were dying in hundreds, but continued to press on.
When Orcs came close enough to the fortress, Elves started to use their bows. They were using enchanted arrows, freezing or blinding Orcs on hit.
Multiple traps were scattered on their way, spiked pits were swallowing dozens of Orcs at once.
But however well prepared Elves were, nothing was able to stop Orcs' advance.
"Orcs! Orcs! Orcs!"
Rage was filling Orc warriors. They came to take revenge for all the pain, misery and deaths, caused by Elves! And despite all the resistance and defences Orcs finally reached the walls
"Chwiik! Start shooting!"
"At once! Chwiik! Fire!"
Orcs started to shoot their arrows back at Elves. Those, who didn't have a bow were throwing prepared in advance stones. Attacking from below was very hard, Orcs' accuracy was greatly reduced, but still Elves started to suffer their first losses.
From somewhere in rear ranks Orcs dragged a huge log.
Several dozen Orcs lifted it and with their combined effort put one of its ends on the wall. Multiple warriors started to crawl up this log. Some of them fell off, but most of them successfully reached the top.
Fierce fights started to erupt on the walls.
This entire time Weed spent standing on a rock, watching with interest the battle unfold in front of him. Right before his eyes Elves summoned elemental spirits and sent them into the battle. Kasa's of fire, Undine's of water, Sylph's of wind and Noum's of earth. They were soaring in the sky and raining elemental spells on the ground below!
Everywhere he looked Orcs were fighting. Some Elves were even slipping out of the gates to employ guerilla tactics. Something was sparkling, flying, smoking, shouts were heard from every direction. Orcs were dying in thousands, Elves - in dozens.
"Karichwi! I can't wait any more!"
"Yeah! Let's attack! Chwiik!"
Since the attack began, Weed and his tribe's army didn't move one step, and Orcs were starting to grow impatient.
"Chwichik! Still wait."
Even though battle raged for a long time now, he still didn't lead his warriors into battle. Orcs didn't like it, but still obeyed his orders.
'It's ridiculous to be reckless in a battle.'
Weed sighed in frustration. Even though Dark Elves were greatly outnumbered, such a reckless attack on the fortress was incomprehensible for him. Orcs were pushing ahead and climbing up walls under constant barrage of spells from the enemy!
Not to mention that many of them caught a cold and their vitality was reduced. Storming such a well-fortified fortress without any battle plan! What could be more foolish?!
Such serious battles require planning in advance. If only Weed was given some time, he'd think of something and Orcs would have already taken the fortress. But now the Orcs horde was dying because of their own stupidity, and if he doesn't do something soon, the battle will only continue growing more violent and unpredictable...
The scene, observed by Weed could not be compared to the Battle for Fort Odein in any way. The scale was very different and the specific races, involved in the conflict, spiced up the situation.
'The initiative is definitely on the Elves' side.'
Weed was calmly analyzing the battle.
At first glance it seemed like it'll be definetly won by Orcs. They had far greater numbers and were quickly reaching the walls and joining the battle.
But Dark Elves didn't give up.
They were defending a well-fortified fortress with plenty of arrows and correct troops arrangement, that allowed mages and archers to act with maximum efficiency. Besides despite the huge advantage in numbers, only 20 000 Orcs were able to participate in the actual fight at a time.
That number wasn't nearly enough to overwhelm the Elves. Besides they couldn't do much harm while shooting from below, as elemental spells, like wind, were preventing most of their arrows from reaching the top of the wall.
With only small losses Dark Elves were able to successfully repel the Orcs' attacks.
"Pigs! At our walls you'll meet your end!"
Feeling their advantage, Elves were ridiculing their opponents. Infuriated by their mocking, Orcs were pushing even more viciously and dying in hundreds!
"You! Coward! Once I get up there we'll see who meets what end! Chwiik!"
Orcs were trying to break the gates, get a foothold on the walls, do anything to breach the Elves' defences, but nothing succeeded.
In the first half of the battle the horde suffered great losses. More than 40 000 Orcs were dead.
Elves lost only a few hundred fighters. It was a good start for them, but it was still too early to celebrate the victory. There were still plenty of Orcs alive.
To secure their advantage even more a few hundred robed elves gathered on one of the towers. They waved their hands, whispered something, and finally simultaneously exclaimed:
A huge stream of fire shot from the tower. It was so strong, that even Weed, who was standing in the distance, felt the heat on his face! In a single moment flame engulfed and reduced to ash thousands of Orcs.
Even after such a display of power Orcs didn't lose their fighting spirit. They were still pressing on their assault, though some of them had a frightened expression now.
Their confidence in quick victory disappeared.
At that moment Weed took a step forward.
'That's the moment I waited for.'
He turned around and looked at Orcs standing behind him.
"Chwichwiik! Now it's our turn!"
"This is reckless, chwiik!"
Just a few moments ago they were eager to join the fight. But now Weed's suggestion seemed insane to them.
"No! Chwiik! Trust me!"
10 000 Orcs, led by Weed moved to the front lines. Other Orcs and their chieftains were making way for them. They quickly reached the fortress to join the fight, without getting hit by spells once! The Dark Elves ran out of mana and were now waiting for it to regenerate.
The Moment Weed was waiting for finally arrived.
"Go! Attack! Chwiiik!"
Weed's huge body easily shot up the log and in just a few steps he was on the wall, swinging his glaive.
Dark elves were famous for their sharp eyesight, bow mastery and swift movements. And many of them were able to use elemental magic. But their mana ran out, bows weren't of much use at such a distance and there wasn't much space to move on the crowded wall.
Weed rushed into the crowd of Elves. His strikes were slaying one enemy after another. The Orcs, who followed him to the wall were covering his back.
In close combat Dark Elves were using short swords and rapiers, so they couldn't provide any decent resistance against Orcs, once they reached the top of the wall.
Over the next few minutes Weed and his warriors killed more Elves than all the other Orcs combined since the beginning of the assault.
It seemed that Orcs will finally be able to get a solid foothold on the top of the wall, but then Weed and his warriors suddenly jumped off the wall!
"Wall of Fire!"
The place where Weed was fighting just a moment ago got engulfed in flames.
"It burns! Chwi!.."
The spell, cast by elven mages, burned not only Orcs, but nearby Dark Elves as well. Unlike humans, elves were very rational and didn't hesitate if the sacrifice of few was able to save the many.
After waiting for the spell to end, Weed climbed back on the wall and dived into the fight. If he saw, that Orcs significantly lowered Elves' health somewhere, he was immediately rushing there to finish them. He didn't mind using his fellow Orcs as a shield as well, and often used them to escape deadly fire spells. At the same time he was always ordering warriors from his own army to retreat when required.
There was only one thought in Weed's head:
'I must use all the 400 000 Orcs to the fullest.'
His tactics was to strike the weak points and use Orcs to cover the retreat! While Dark Elves were killing other Orcs, he was gradually gaining experience. During his first hour of fighting he finished off more than a hundred of Elves, and with the kills of the Orcs from his party added, the final result was even better. And though he didn't have time to check, he was sure, that his reputation among Orcs raised significantly.
When the Orcs' losses reached 70 000, Dark Elves lost only a little over 3 000.
'It's time to end this...'
There were still about 7 000 Elves defending the fortress, though most of them wounded and weary. They were only holding because of the walls. But they were still great archers nonetheless.
If nothing changes, they might be able to hold because of their great archery skills and win in the end.
"Keep it up!"
"Crush the Elves! Chwiik!"
Orcs, who were waiting under the fortress walls waiting for their turn to climb the log, were screaming in excitement, cheering for their fellow warriors, fighting on top of the wall. And then an Orc stepped out of the fighting crowd and stood on the edge of the wall.
"Oh, it's him!"
"The ugliest one!"
Both Orcs and Dark Elves were looking at Weed. And he, instead of going back into fight, jumped down from the wall and headed to the gates!
The Orcs, gathered at the wall were respectfully stepping aside to let him pass.
On the way Weed took the glaive in his left hand and pulled out a small figurine. The Hare figurine - one of the five small Fine Pieces.
"Sculpture Destruction! Let it become my strength."
The figurine in his hand shattered into pieces and Weed's body got shone brightly.
You used Sculpture Destruction.
Pain and grief fills your heart after destroying one of your Fine Pieces!
You permanently lose 5 points of Art.
Your Fame is reduced by 100.
For a day your Art attribute will be added to your Strength at 1:4 rate.
Sculpture mastery raised by 0.1%.
Over a thousand of his Art points got transformed into strength. And they were multiplied by 4 as well!
Weed yelled out and gripped the glaive with all his might. His huge arms were covered by bulging veins, his body filled with uncontrollable power. At that moment Weed didn't look anything like a person who could understand art of sculpture.
Weed approached the gate and slammed them with his glaive.
The glaive got shattered into pieces and bounced out of his hand.
Surrounding Orcs were very excited.
Weed picked up the broken glaive and continued to smash the gates. With every hit more cracks appeared on the gates and around 10th they finally gave in and fell inside.
"The gates are broken, chwiik!"
Orcs started to shout excitedly.
Three of the nearby Elves immediately rushed to the breach.
"Don't let the Orcs pass!"
"Grow it! Grow the new wall!"
"Use magic! We'll hold him off!"
Three Elves attacked Weed with spears. They needed to get rid of the enemy as fast as possible to free space for mages to create a new wall.
A sharp spear tip shot towards Weed, but he just slightly moved his hand and deflected his opponent's weapon to the side.
"At once! Attack!"
Three spear struck one spot simultaneously, but Weed wasn't there any more.
Even with his armor polished and clothes ironed, if he took those 3 strikes, his health would have dropped to a critical level. That's because his equipment was junk!
In his entire time as an Orc, Weed wasn't able to find or receive as a reward anything decent. And he didn't want to spend anything on buying or creating new gear. Besides because of his increased body size creating a fitting armor required more materials.
So all he had left was to dodge opponents' attacks. After using his overwhelming strength to deflect the next combined attack of Elves, Weed lunged forward.
The health of the Elf in the middle dropped by half, but Weed had to jump aside again to dodge the other 2 spears.
Weed was fighting on top of his ability, showing miraculous skill, moving bare inches from the opponents' spears. He was using everything he knew, both what he was taught and what he learned all by himself. His every move was full of strength and harmony.
As a result by the time firs Orcs reached the breach, Weed has already defeated all 3 elves and the gates were captured.
Weed smiled happily at his brethren and used Lion Roar:
"Orcs, chwichwiik, attack! Destroy! Loot! Kill!"
You used Lion Roar.
Fighting Spirit of nearby friendly troops increased by 200%.
All confusion has been removed.
Leadership increased by 195% for 5 minutes.
The Orcs, who were suffering great losses since the beginning of the battle were back in high spirits!
The horde was pouring into the fortress through the broken gates.
In this situation Dark Elves didn't have a choice but to retreat back to their village. The path to it was riddled with numerous traps and Orcs, who tried to chase them had a hard time. Once more, like at the beginning of the battle, they were dying in hundreds, if not thousands.
But despite all the traps, magic and arrows of Elves, Orcs were advancing! The battle now moved to the edge of the village, where retreating Elves created another line of defences. They were holding for now, but they couldn't imagine what will they do when the main forces of Orcs arrive.
"Hey, it's mine!"
"I took it first, chwiik!"
Some Orcs started looting the houses.
Weed was watching it with tears. Though Elves didn't have much gold or silver, they had some very rare gemstones, fruits and animal hides. If he sold all of it, he would receive tons of money!
Weed was terribly jealous, but he couldn't stay and take part in looting.
First he has to complete the mission of the Order of Freya. To get into the temple! As fast as possible!
The temple of necromancers was located on a high cliff.
While Orcs were leading their fierce battle against Elves, Buren, Becker, Hosram, Dale and other soldiers were slowly and carefully climbing up. Even before the battle started, Weed planned their path and ordered to climb up.
Soldiers were supporting each other and steadily climbing the mountain. As Weed didn't have any special equipment for this occasion, they could only count on their own strength. And if warriors were climbing more or less confidently, the weak priests of Freya were on the verge of death.
The only thing they could rely on was the Vampire Lord Tori!
He transformed into a giant bat and watched soldiers carefully so none of them falls to their death. And The Death knight was helping exhausted soldiers.
If even a single Dark Elf happened to pass above them at that time, they would be in a trouble. But all the Elves were distracted by the Orcs, gathered at their walls, so the soldiers managed to reach the top of the cliff without any caasualties.
Weed was already waiting for them at the agreed place.
"We're here. No one lost. Now there's nothing to worry about!"
Buren earnestly pounded his chest, but Weed wasn't so confident.
'I'd better rely on Orcs.'
Even though Orcs were dumb, they had great numbers and he didn't have to mind their losses! But he had to protect the knights, soldiers and priests. If they die, he'll lose the chance to get reward from the King.
"Hurry. Get ready, we're going to the Necromancers' temple."
Accompanied by Death Knight and Vampire Lord, Weed went ahead.
"Chwiik! Who the hell are they?!"
When they were encountering other Orcs, Weed was just telling them:
"Those are my prisoners. Don't touch them. Chwiit!"
"He caught humans here. I'm jealous. Chwiik!"
As Weed remained in the form of an Orc, all such random encounters were solved easily.
When they reached the temple, they saw dead Elves at the entrance.
Weed and his soldiers rushed into the dark interior of the temple. They had to hurry: if Orcs kill the necromancers before they do, the quest might not get completed.
There was a heavy and oppressing atmosphere inside the temple. The dark hallways was barely lit by dim torches.
Somewhere far ahead the shouts of Orcs and noise of colliding blades were heard. It seemed that there was a serious battle between Orcs and Dark Elves.
Weed ordered his soldiers:
"Hurry up. We must make it. Prepare for battle!"
The squad was quickly moving forward. On the way they saw many shiny things on the walls, but none of the soldiers slowed down.
'The main goal is to complete the quest of Order of Freya.'
Like ghosts, they shot out of the narrow passage into a wide hallway. In its center a few dozens Elves and Orcs were fighting.
"We will defend this place!"
Seeing such a convenient situation Weed exclaimed:
"Let no one get away, kill everyone!"
Soldiers blocked the way and priest raised their hands and cast a spell:
"By the beauty of Goddess that blinds all men. Blind!"
Blinded Orcs and Elves scattered around, staggering. But Van Hawk and Tori already rushed to them and in less than a minute no one was left alive!
Stepping over the bodies, Weed and his soldiers reached the far side of the hallway. There on the wall was hanged a large map of Yuroki mountains! The Dark Elves fortress there was marked by a black dot, and a bit to the east was another dot, but red.
"Vampire Lord Tori! What are you doing here?! So you succumbed to humans... to those... holy priests of Freya!"
The necromancers, clothed in dark robes couldn't hold their surprise. There were 12 of them, and each was holding a bone stave and beads, filled with dark magic.
Weed cancelled his Sculpture Transformation and stepped forward.
"Necromancers, this place will be your grave."
While he was speaking Death Knight and Vampire Lord stood by his sides. Priests got ready to use their spells and Knights picked their targets.
The most powerful magic necromancers had was resurrection of undead. It was able to turn dead into skeletons, ghouls, zombies or even more powerful undead!
"Freya's servants... You have destroyed our work." - bitterly said one of the necromancers.
There were no corpses nearby and the bodies of Orcs and Elves lying in the distance wouldn't be of any help against such an army anyway.
It was evident, that dark mages accepted their defeat and were ready to die without a fight.
"I see you came prepared. And came at such a wrong time. Now we won't be able to return the loose button to its proper place..." - said one of them, bowing his head.
"Barabol!" - exclaimed other necromancers woefully.
"I never believed in divine providence, but if that's how it must be, then kill me. I'm ready."
The necromancer slowly stepped forward and got down on his knees in front of Weed.
"Barabol, we're with you!"
The rest of them followed their leader and got on their knees. They were so close, that Royal Knights could behead them at any moment.
"I hope you will avoid evil in your next lives."
Weed unsheathed his sword.
He was about to behead them and complete the quest of Order of Freya, but...
'One moment... Something's wrong...'
Weed thought over all the recent events. After completing that stupid quest to get the profession of Legendary Moonlight Sculptor he was always looking for a catch! And now there was something that was troubling him.
'It seems appropriate to the difficulty level...'
The difficulty was 'B', like in case of Lord Tori. The quest that took all he had to finish. And to some extent it was true: to reach necromancers he had to pass their allies, Dark Elves, and that wasn't an easy task.
'But why do they calmly accept their deaths?!'
Weed was confused. He wanted to kill the necromancers and finish this long chain of quests a lot. As on his return he would receive even greater reward than before.
The greed flared in his eyes. Besides each of the necromancers was holding a bone staff and beads.
'Those are at least Rare items... If sold the price will start at $1000... And if they have additional effects... The price will go up a lot... And there's not just one or two of them here...'
Weed swallowed. He tightened his grip on the sword and took a step towards necromancer Barabol. One strike and it will be over, but the feeling of something lacking wasn't leaving.
Thud! Thud! Thud!
There was a sound of Orcs' footsteps above them. There wasn't much time left. Weed sheathed the sword.
"Speak, necromancer. What button was you talking about? And what you meant by divine providence?"
Regular players would hurry to finish the quest of Order of Freya, but suspicion, that something was going wrong, lodged itself too deep inside Weed.
"Destroy them, that is the will of Goddess Freya!" - exclaimed priests of Freya. But they trusted their leader a lot, so they quickly calmed down
Barabol lifted his head and asked:
"You're not going to kill me, servant of Freya?"
"I'm not a servant. Answer the questions. Or should I just kill you all?"
"We... You won't believe us anyway. Go on, Freya's servant, strike! Even from the flames of hell I will curse you!"
The desire to cut the head of this cocky necromancer was rising again, but Weed restrained himself and said in calm voice:
"I'm giving you a chance. A chance to win my trust. If you tell the truth, I will try to believe it."
"Really? You swear?"
"Yes. However this is just the promise to listen to you, not to let you live."
Barabol looked at his kneeled companions, and started to tell his story.
"Since I got a chance, I'll tell you. But you promised to believe it! The world has a wrong impression about Barr Khan Demoff. He did study necromancy and was known as a great mage, but..."
Barr Khan was a diligent young mage. A genius, recognized across the continent. And once he started to research the eternal life. He was trying to understand why people die and find a cure for terminally ill patients.
However his disciple, Shire, hated the entire world. He used his teacher's trust and with lies and dark spells he led Barr Khan into the darkness. Thus from the desire to cure all diseases and prolong lives an army of undead was born! In his madness, Barr Khan led his new army across the world, destroying entire cities. And Shire was supporting him, making deals with all the dark powers of the continent.
Many had to join him in his madness, my teacher, who died in one of the battles, was no exception. However, when Barr Khan was finally defeated and his armies dispersed across the continent, we got a chance to think over our actions.
In one of the temples of Beelzebub we found a manuscript and discovered truth about those events. And now we want to return everything to how it was supposed to be. To free Barr khan from the dark bindings and punish Shire.
You completed the quest 'The Rise of Dark Forces in the Plains of Despair'.
Necromancers, that you considered to be the worst of evils proved to be innocent. They do not try to take revenge on the world, but correct their past mistakes.
Reward: Receive from the High priest of Order of Freya.
'The quest is complete! I didn't even have to kill them.'
When he was looking for Helen's Grail and Fargo's Crown he had to return to the Order of Freya to complete the quest. But this time it was done right on the spot and Weed was pleased.
But in the next moment!
Weed kicked the nearby stone with all his might.
If he killed the necromancers, he'd get all their items. Bone staves, magical beads and possibly something else. The items he could sell to mage players! Receiving one such set was considered a great success, and there were 12 of them!
'Idiot! Showed some compassion and lost so much money! Why, why!? So much money...'
While Weed was immersed in his inner suffering, Barabol continued speaking:
"We came here, to the plains of Despair, and made an alliance with Dark elves to hold back Shire. Last time, when the undead army was defeated, he managed to escape. And since then he was gathering the new army of undead. Even though it's not anywhere near the old one in numbers, it's still a formidable force, when led by a dark wizard. Besides, fearing persecution and death, he decided to kill himself to achieve immortality. He became a Lich!"
The army of undead! Led by the one who caused the same disaster in the past, now it was here, in the Plains of Despair.
"To be able to stop him we had to beg the Dark elves for their support. And to ensure their own safety they agreed to help us. This fortress was going to be the main obstacle on the way of the new undead army. We have to unite to stop this new threat! We need your help for that."
New Quest: The Undead Legion of Shire.
The secret, kept from entire world! It was Shire who caused all the disasters, blamed on Barr Khan Demoff. After that famous battle he disappeared to create a new army of undead.
To survive Orcs and Dark Elves have to stop their mutual hostility and stand united against the undead army of the dark mage. Gather all the forces and repel the attacks of the immortal army of undead.
Reward: Book of Barr Khan.
Restrictions: The Undead Legion will start the war in 30 days.
'A' rank difficulty! Weed completed the quest and received the next quest in the chain. The battle against the undead army! It will be the great event for the entire continent. Moreover, no one in the game has ever received the quest of such difficulty! Because there were special conditions to be met in order to be able to receive it.
While shocked Weed was thinking about it, another system message popped in front of him.
You got an opportunity to complete a unique quest, associated with the game's set of professions.
Corresponding to the continent's history, no player was able to choose the profession of necromancers, as they were considered the true evil among the mages. When you defeat Shire and complete this quest, the ability to chose this profession will be unlocked.
Background: Because of the mistake of the past necromancers were being killed or banished to the darkest corners of the continent. Because of them it was hard for them to find disciples and pass their knowledge to new generations. Once they restore their good name, they will be able to return to the kingdoms' capitals and start a new life.
The quest of 'A' rank difficulty.
And it was opening a new profession of necromancer too.
Buren, Becker, Hosram, Dale and others were looking at Weed with thrilled expressions and straight backs.
Knights of justice!
It was a great honor for them to fight against the Undead Legion.
Priests were reciting prayers.
Weed looked at them and said:
"I have decided..."