V57C1P1 – In Morata
Armada, Jasla & DumbassRocks 🙂
KMC Media broadcast Bard Ray’s adventure to become an Ironblood Warrior.
– It is now known that a new job class can be obtained by climbing the ice wall and traversing the glacial region. The Ironblood Warrior. I am sure some of you already know about it.
– It is a special combat type job class. Their iron-forge endurance means they could survive no matter the damage…
– Ha-ha, that is an over-exaggeration. But it is true that the Ironblood Warrior possess incredible defense. It’s a job class born from a harsh environment.
– Is it similar to when Weed-nim became a Sun Warrior by putting an end to the storm in the desert?
– I suppose you can see it that way.
The prime of Hermes Guild had long been over, but the viewer rating was high for Bard Ray’s job class. On the screen, Bard Ray was visible from afar climbing the glacial wall.
– It seems to be a challenge just to climb the wall.
– It looks like his feet can’t find purchase.
– It will be slippery and sharp. He needs to form his own path up. Judging by the flapping of his clothes, the winds seem to be rough.
– I’m getting chilly just by watching.
– He has to climb with his bare hands and with Strength or Perseverance that is too low, it is a dangerous quest that could result in a fall to oblivion. Players with acrophobia should not dare try this.
Bard Ray’s cloak started to flutter outrageously when he reached about a third of the way.
From there he took off the cloak and though it wasn’t noticeable on screen, his body struggled to fight through the strong winds.
‘One wrong step and I’m dead.’
Bard Ray advanced up the ice wall as clear as a mirror.
His stamina was draining and he had to maintain his concentration so he would not slip. In this manner, he managed to complete the wall climb and thought to himself that the hardest part was over.
‘Finally, I did it.’
His fingers were frozen solid without any sensation and so were his legs.
‘Now, I have to get as far as I can.’
He certainly desired the Frost Sword from the quest reward.
Bard Ray bowed his head down against the blades of wind and began walking forward.
To think that each step with a frozen body would be so difficult.
He realized quickly that the Ironblood Warrior required extraordinary perseverance.
‘People will be watching me live… If I die here, it would be a total humiliation.’
Miblos and Pabo collaborated with the Northern architect association.
The architects engaged in an extensive discussion with the blueprints of Morata.
“City protection and the dragon hunt must take place simultaneously. They are difficult objectives to pull off at once.”
“It would be better if the fight can occur outside the city.”
“That would be most hopeful… But judging by the turn of events, our chance is with the dragon descending in the centre of the city.”
“Assessment of structures in proximity, the Bingryong Square will result in the least damage. How about we lure the dragon here?”
“The Wyvern Square is also not a bad choice. The market is nearby but the location will take less work for reconstruction.”
The architects were overloaded with designing and construction at the same time.
It was uncertain how much time would be granted from raising walls around Morata and fortifying the structures.
If a mass-scale magic spell were to be cast over the city, the buildings would crumble like haystacks in the wind.
For the architects the situation was the most extreme and the worst, which stirred up their deepest passion.
Miblos stared at the map of Morata and soon raised his head.
“What is Weed-nim’s final comment?”
Pabo spoke solemnly.
“He informed me that he will support whatever decision we arrive at.”
“Even if all of Morata will be destroyed?”
“The architects will not be questioned under any circumstance. He will provide everything required for the preparation of war and will take responsibility for the entire process and outcome himself.”
“Huh. For him to have such faith in us.”
Miblos was well of age and he was sincerely touched by Weed trusting him despite his seniority.
It was a different level of respect from back when he was in the Central Continent taking subcontract jobs.
The other architects nodded in agreement.
“As expected of Weed-nim.”
“That’s a tough decision. He knows the importance of architecture hence the reason for his faith in us.”
“There’s no need to talk about anything else. You need only look at one man to realize why the Arpen Empire is flourishing.”
Weed’s reputation was high overall and he was treated with absolute respect especially from the merchants and architects.
“What about the participation from the Blacksmith association?”
“The dwarf blacksmiths are actively providing for us.”
“What of our iron supply?”
“It’s not plenty, but not lacking either. About 3,000 steel buildings can be raised before D-day.”
The architects carefully organized several plans.
Borrowing from the artists diverting the dragon’s attention with fake artwork, they planned to build metal buildings; buildings that would attract the dragon and withstand average magic and physical impact.
Their purpose was to get Kaybern to waste its attacks so that the vital structures would not be attacked.
Miblos drew a line through the important locations in Morata.
“This is our final line of defense. We have to protect this no matter what. After the war, for Morata to be restored, there must be at least a third of the city left.”
“Near the Great Library, nothing else shall be done except for raising walls so that we don’t attract its attention. The other buildings must be targeted.”
“Let’s proceed with that. Also, we need to record the most accurate map and the original form of the buildings…. just in case.”
The air in the room was heavy.
They had to account for Kaybern coming out ahead in this war and razing Morata completely.
“There is actually not much we can do. We can minimize the damage to the city and provide accessibility to the players engaging in this war. Even if all our efforts are in vain, we shall not give up.”
Weed heard about the news from the Earth Shadow party from Mapan.
“They’re in for a rough time.”
– Mapan: Given that it’s a quest from Ratuas, it will prove to be quite difficult. Still, they are excellent adventurers so it will be worth the challenge.
“Please help them out whenever you can.”
– Mapan: Sure! The council will provide our utmost assistance.
“If the Morata defense plan were to fail, we will need the ingredients for the secret potion.”
– Mapan: God forbid that happens… But we will prepare for the worst.
Weed also received reports regarding the World Tree and that a quest appeared for all elves across the continents.
It was about acquiring a new job class, proceeding with the quest, scavenging ingredients and nurturing the World Tree.
The elves would be granted more powerful abilities based on the growth stage of the World Tree. For the entire elven race, a profound objective of the World Tree’s development had been created.
‘The elves too will be subject to all sorts of hardship.’
Weed felt the quest difficulties of Royal Road firsthand.
The elves, despite their beautiful appearance and unique advantages, were far from the boundaries of player interest.
Their health points and stamina were below average.
As hunters they possessed uncomparable proficiency with bows, but they also had the penalty of nausea from excessive killing.
That being said, such penalties did not apply when defending forests.
‘For the World Tree to grow and the elves to become more powerful… Mmm, it means there will be a huge danger that comes with it.’
Nothing came by for free. Whenever the World Tree advances a growth stage, it will require a tremendous amount of resources and that would result in another crisis.
‘Just like how Kaybern burnt down the World Tree, it will become a target of other monsters and demons. Anyhow, the elves will be happy for now.’
The objective of growing the World Tree came with a guaranteed reward.
The elves were already plant-loving beings, so the players who chose to play as an elf would feel a sense of accomplishment in the process.
“The iron walls are way too weak! Which architect association is responsible for this?”
“The buildings over here? Just give them up, you fool. You can’t protect all of them. And why are you trying to protect the shantytown?!”
“The struts are here. Whoever needs them please come and take them.”
“Grass porridge, porridge! Crab grass porridge!”
The influx of players into Morata continued. A huge construction was taking place, but many novice players decided to stay inside the city.
It was all to witness up close the historical battle against Kaybern.
Weed thought of the dangers but did not convince them to do otherwise.
‘Even if we are defeated, I must show them how we fought this war.’
It was all a huge disappointment without spectators!
He was not planning to lose without returning some severe damage.
Along with the Grass Porridge Cult and the Hermes Guild, he formulated strategies to defeat Kaybern every night.
At first their relationship was rather detached, but soon they were a collective whole with a common goal of defeating the dragon.
Weed led Arkhim and the others around Morata.
“As you know already, there are many variables in war. Morata is a major city and so we must change our tactics depending on the direction the dragon will come from.”
Even if they were to succeed in luring the dragon into the city, it would be a miracle to fight in the most desirable location. Therefore, bait was needed and that was strategically complex to arrange.
“There is only one opportunity. Maybe two at most. When the fight breaks out on the ground, we must prevent it from flying again.”
“I will keep that in mind.”
The commanders imprinted the view of Morata vividly into their minds; the locations for ambush and the tertiary locations for different situations.
The war in Garnav Plains was one that started abruptly with no countermeasures.
‘I’m sure it will be different this time.’
‘Weed, the Hermes Guild… so many players have lined up to use the Brazier of Sacrifice. I think we have a fighting chance.’
The commanders did not want defeat, but wished to recover their recognition.
Even though their grudge against Weed was grave, the joint operation at Morata changed their minds greatly.
‘There is no need to be so aggressive up front, even if the situation turns us into enemies again.’
‘Like the fall of Hermes Guild, Arpen will not last forever. I’m sure the foundation is weak for this empire as well. It’d be wise to sit back and wait.’
‘Great performances during the war will be recognized by everyone. That’s what is important.’
The commanders roamed Morata and felt Weed’s popularity with their own skin. But they knew the course of history in Royal Road better than anyone.
Even the once unstoppable Hermes Guild crumbled.
They believed that if Arpen were to fall in the future and chaos stir again, their shining performance would prove to be a meaningful asset.
The flames of ambition did not go out easily once lit.
Weed observed the commanders and smiled brightly.
‘They’re filled with greed and because of it, they are so much more obedient.’
He wished for a better future turn of events but for the time being, he was determined to exploit them as much as possible.
(To be continued…)