This chapter was brought to you by AnmesicCat, Diabolic, Grisia, Haikai, Lastear, and Lei. Special thanks to BeatJumper.
The Bull Riding Sculptor
The Proam Allied Mercenary Guild.
The Black Sword Mercenaries had garnered the right to call themselves first-class Mercenaries.
“Heh. It was really difficult to get to this point,” said Michel, the leader of the Black Swords.
There had been a whopping one hundred and eighty-nine requests that led them to this point.
They were acknowledged within the Proam Allied Mercenary Guild, who had branches all over entire Versailles Continent.
The Black Swords even owned a castle and a village. They were the best mercenaries, and they lived up to their reputation.
It was a guild consisting of thousands of mercenaries. It possessed numerous Warriors and Magicians and even had connections to nobles.
The uniforms of Black Sword Mercenaries were embellished with their distinctive symbol, a jet-black crossed swords. Other Mercenaries who saw it expressed respect. Simply being a member of the Black Sword Mercenaries was enough to garner great respect from general players.
Michel had access to the Proam Alliance Mercenary Guild’s records.
“Unfinished commissions. If we can finish them, the Mercenaries will become even stronger.”
Michel glowed with pride.
Not only was he level 431, but a considerable number of other top-rankers also belonged within the Mercenaries.
He was a celebrity who appeared on television, and his relationship with other guilds was good. Whenever occasional conflicts occurred, even if he solved them with brute force, there was no complaint afterward.
In the Versailles Continent, there were many weak and endangered people. Countless people desired the power of the Black Sword Mercenaries, so their influence continued to grow.
While reading the Proam Alliance Mercenary Guild’s records, Michel stumbled upon a section that caught his eye.
“Former Mercenary Guild Master Smith. The man who made the Proam Alliance Mercenary Guild the best in Versailles. So no one has seen him since he retired?”
* * *
It was the desperate struggle between the Human army and the Demonic Spirits.
The Demonic Spirits were fighting at Odin’s walls.
The short and long-legged Demonic Spirits advanced unsteadily, looking like they were about to collapse, closely resembled zombies.
A rain of arrows flew down from the walls.
The Archers fired without sparing any arrows.
The Resurrection Church Priests raised their wands.
“Regors, go forth!”
“Charge. Trample Odin.”
Demonic Spirits resembling huge elephants or mammoths ran forward.
The small Demonic Spirits in the Regors’ paths were kicked and went flying into the air, but they paid no attention to them and continued to charge forward.
Small Demonic Spirits blew horns, shrieked horribly, and stamped their feet.
“Archers, what the hell are you doing, FIRE!”
“Stop those Regors!”
It was a nightmarish Demonic Spirit for Odin.
Many Human players had been trampled to death by a Regor on the Plains of the Great War.
Arrows poured out from Odin’s walls, covering the sky.
The Regors deflected the arrows with their thick grey skin.
Medium-sized Demonic Spirits kept rushing out from hiding under the Regors’ bellies and behind their rumps.
Saliva dripped as they let loose jaw-splitting shrieks.
There was only 200 or so meters left until they reached Odin’s walls.
The Knights defending Odin knew the Demonic Spirits they fought to exhaustion could cross the distance in an instant.
“Shoot more arrows!”
“Magician squad, what are you doing?”
“We’re replenishing our Mana through Meditation,” replied Kiam, the representative of the Fort Odin Magicians and a Magician of the Prosperity Wings Guild.
“What Meditation are you doing in a time like this! Don’t you know there won’t even be a chance to use magic if the walls fall? Quickly, stop those bastards even if you have to use all your Mana!”
The Magicians cast spells from the walls of Fort Odin.
The ground was upturned and thundering lightning came crashing down.
There was a deafening roar as flames, lightning, water, and magic arrows exploded towards the Demonic Spirits!
It was an attack so powerful, it transformed the terrain and razed the whole area.
The Demonic Spirits, including the Regors, didn’t survive. Where the magic had swept by, all that remained was japtem!
“Daaang… and we can’t even go pick them up.”
“I’m gonna die. There’s no profit since we can only guard the walls.”
The Mercenaries on the wall grumbled complaints, since there were definitely many good items among the japtem.
They had to suppress their greed because going down the walls was no different than a suicide act.
The Demonic Spirits’ advance was only beginning.
Although the magic had taken the lead, there was no sign of decrease in the huge Demonic Spirit Army. Due to the attacks of the increasingly fierce Demonic Spirits, Fort Odin was like a candle in a storm.
Daymond shook his Bone Staff.
“Your resistance will end here.”
Suban followed with a laugh.
“It is today at last.”
“Yeah. Deliberately restraining our offense so we could gather our forces has paid off. Today, we will penetrate Fort Odin.”
If they could take down Fort Odin, then seizing Aidern Kingdom would just be a matter of time.
Once they take control of the large granary and armory, the Demonic Spirit Army would be better fed and armed.
The Allied Forces may have been formed, but those who hadn’t personally faced the Demonic Spirits hadn’t yet realized the magnitude of the situation. The expeditionary force was said to have been deployed from another Kingdom would take a long time to arrive.
High tax rates and army training!
The prestigious guilds and lords hadn’t come to their senses. Before the Resurrection Army invaded, except for local siege warfare, every single one of the Kingdoms were peaceful and their only enemies were monsters.
They were deluded by the fantasy that Fort Odin’s walls would defend them!
Already, a deadly epidemic was spreading inside the fort. The Allied Forces were breaking apart due to the distress and horror.
Daymond pointed his Bone Staff at the castle.
More Regors ran towards Fort Odin. There were also Goblins were riding on their backs.
The weak Goblins were not easily motivated, but with money and the Demonic Army as bait, they had been recruited as medium officers.
As the Goblins led, the might of the Demonic Spirits became much stronger.
The Goblins raised their shoddy Spears as they danced upon the Regors.
Daymond, who led the Resurrection Army and was invading the Versailles Continent, was nicknamed the ‘Prince of Darkness.’
He an existence of chaos, seeking to stain the Versailles Continent with Demonic Spirits.
* * *
Jefferson walked in his suit and tie towards the conference room with a frown on his face.
“Today won’t be easy either.”
“Hello, Mr. Jefferson.”
“It has been awhile, Miss Johanna.”
Jefferson amiably received every greeting made to him by the passing women. However, after passing them, dark shadows returned to his face.
The company he worked at was Global J.K.I Financial Group in New York!
As was typical of America, they had one motto with their speculative funds:
‘Invest in places that make money.’
Resources, people, companies, and countries.
There weren’t any restrictions on their investments.
They had been quiet for some time because their endless greed had netted them a big loss. However, they were once again increasing their capital as of late.
Jefferson, the Executive Director responsible for Asia, presided over a meeting with the major shareholders who held the company’s wealth.
Their profit from investing on an American and European infrastructure company was excellent. Their investment on Egypt’s oilfields was gradually yielding profit, and the investments in environmental technology were also showing promise.
The problem was in Asia.
The shareholders were annoyed because the returns were too high.
“Our share ratio of Unicorn is currently approximately 7.2%. With current market price, it’s estimated to be 16.8 billion dollars.”
“The return of our investment must be over a hundred fold,” said Benjamin Chandler, who had served as a Vice President of the United States.
“Yes. The return on investment is exceeding 130 times. It has the highest return from all the companies we’ve seen until now.”
“Why didn’t you invest a greater amount in Unicorn beforehand?”
A profit of 130 times the investment!
But wasn’t enough for the greedy Chandler. The other Directors and Shareholders also criticized Jefferson’s mistake.
“We missed out on a chance to make money. Did you forget opportunities soon grows into profit?”
“I cannot believe you were careless with our company until Unicorn developed more maturely.”
Jefferson coughed up an excuse.
“We also tried to take action, but the stock value jumped too suddenly.”
“Stock prices have risen by 130 times. We should have invested more in the beginning!”
“Formerly, it was an unproven enterprise. The press and America’s academia treated it negatively, so a greater investment was difficult.”
“How much is the foreign investment for Unicorn?”
“It is about 19.4%.”
J.K.I. Financial Group, the California Government Employees Pension Corporation, and other investment companies had a combined total of nearly 19.4%.
“What do you think about combining forces and merging with Unicorn Corporation before it gets any bigger?”
Seizing control with the use of astronomical funds!
It was a remark no one but Chandler would dare to say.
The back of Jefferson’s shirt became drenched in sweat.
“We’ll only know by exploring the idea, but I think it will be a very difficult venture.”
“For now, we will get the funds.”
“Even with the money, it is close to impossible.”
As Royal Road hit upon its initial success, Unicorn was already experiencing unbelievable growth.
The stock price skyrocketed in a globally unprecedented manner! As soon as the stock market opened, it soared into higher heights.
There were no sellers either. Those who owned stocks were certain it will still continue to rise, so no one wanted to sell. The money they received yearly from just those stock dividends alone was enough to live off of for a lifetime.
In contrast, people who wanted to buy stocks were trying to buy them no matter the cost.
Stock traders worldwide tried to buy just one Unicorn stock, but exploded in anger because no one was willing to sell.
“How can there be a stock like this?”
Chandler felt like his stomach was overturning.
Even now, Unicorn’s stock was soaring with no limits, and the current price per stock had become the most expensive in the world.
“Even if we offer a high price, no one is trading. And if rumors spread of our plans to merge, the periodically occurring trades would atrophy.”
Jefferson was sorry he could only inform the major shareholders of the bad news, but it couldn’t be helped.
Moreover, Unicorn Corporation had a vast amount of money.
In fact, several finance companies had united and revealed their covert hostile intentions towards Unicorn. They shook Unicorn through the press and credit companies, trying to buy stocks.
Unicorn’s response to those actions were drastic.
They used overflowing funds to drastically expand their shares in foreign media and financial companies. They interfered in company management and forcibly replaced board members, so their opposers had to back down.
Foreign financial companies were swayed by the large losses they suffered because of the economic power Unicorn Corporation possessed.
Unicorn was the largest stockholder of a foreign investment bank.
A monthly usage fee of 200 thousand Won (~$200)! That was only possible because it was Unicorn Corporation, which was earning astronomical funds every month.
J.K.I Financial Group’s meeting concluded without any results.
The major shareholders pulled up their heavy bodies.
“I’m going home to rest.”
“Abigail, are you planning on connecting to Royal Road today as well?”
“Certainly. I even bought a villa near the sea.”
“What level are you, Mr. Chandler.”
“290. Do you want to go hunting together?”
“Sure. Please help me level a little. Hunting is really difficult after passing level 200.”
“It’s bound to be hard without know-hows.”
The major shareholders were also players of Royal Road.
They had accumulated wealth and power in the real world. Since they could live new adventures and experiences on the Versailles Continent, there was no reason to dislike it.
They lived new lives with slightly younger and more handsome bodies.
“I’ll see you in the next meeting.”
Jefferson even politely saw off the luxury cars from the door.
He was also a Royal Road player.
Since he was an investment company Executive, he had chosen Merchant as his profession. He was struggling to earn a lot of money through trade to acquire a land and a title as nobility.
After all, Royal Road was an alternate reality no one could help but be sucked into.
* * *
Yellowy bellowed ponderously.
He looked tired, as if he had been arduously plowing the fields all day!
It was because he had struggled to familiarize himself with strange footwork to be helpful during battles.
Weed pulled out his sword.
Yellowy stamped his hind foot and ran.
Wild Bull Rush. As they ran fearlessly down the steep rocky mountain. Their speed got faster and faster.
Weed’s mantle flapped wildly in the wind.
“This is the feeling.”
There was nothing cooler than a flapping mantle when you while running quickly.
Weed was fully armed in his best equipment.
His blade was the Daemon Sword he’d acquired in Todeum. It was the prized possession of the honorable Knight Kolderim of Kallamore Kingdom. The light-absorbing Talrock’s Armor, the noble Black Helmet of Elegance, Vampire Cloak, and black boots. He even had his Ancient Shield equipped.
Even if he were to ride a wild mustang in the wilderness, his appearance couldn’t be any cooler.
“Clothes makes the man after all.”
Although riding Yellowy was incomparably awkward, Weed was satisfied with his own appearance nevertheless.
“It’s only because I don’t dress up, but if I had paid just a little more attention, even actors aren’t a big deal, huh?”
His baseless confidence even actors couldn’t match to him if he changed his hairstyle and clothes!
It was classy; he was a Knight wearing elegant armor riding atop a bull over 5 meters tall!
He was extremely energized by the force of the gallop.
“Charge. Run faster!”
“This is already the top speed. Master.”
Weed even made whipping noises with his mouth. He was riding a bull without a saddle or reins, but he had to do everything that needed to be done.
The Caltrops at the bottom of the rocky mountain noticed Yellowy charging in from afar.
“It’s a cow.”
“A Human. How did a Human get here.”
“Is he a Knight of the Embinyu Church? They can’t mess with us because of the agreement.”
“No. Their symbol isn’t on his armor. KILL HIM!”
The five Caltrops settled in their stances.
They charged their antennas and lightning surged out.
With the sound of crashing thunder, streaks of lightning poured forth.
Yellowy wailed lengthily in alarm as he leapt to the side.
He had reduced his speed while changing directions.
The lightning streaks narrowly brushed past Weed and Yellowy.
The lightning streaks struck the rocky mountain and earth, shattering the ground. Broken rock debris flew in every direction.
“As expected of our cow!”
Weed did not save his praises.
It´s movements were agile and it´s superior stamina exceeded those of a horse. He hadn’t given any instructions, but Yellowy had avoided it on his own.
To think Yellowy avoided the approaching lightning in a fleeting moment! He exceeded Weed’s expectations.
“It’s scary. I don’t like it. I don’t think fighting matches my constitution.”
Yellowy shook his head.
It seemed battle didn’t suit the innocent cow.
Instead of motivating with praises, Weed mobilized a stronger threat.
There should not be the slightest bit of hesitation in a fight!
“If you’re scared, run towards those guys. Grilled beef, raw beef, short rib soup, marinated beef slabs, boneless marinated beef, shabu shabu*, oxtail soup, cow heel, bovine bone broth soup!”
T/N: Shabu shabu is a Japanese dish consisting of thinly sliced beef boiled in water. It is served with dipping sauces. Similar to sukiyaki but more savory and less sweet.
Yellowy ran with all his strength on all four feet.
Even though he had a heavy build, his strength and stamina were so great that he reached his peak speed again.
They closed in, coming within 100 meters of the Caltrops.
Another lightning attack was fired!
Weed raised his Ancient Shield.
Because they were close, they couldn’t dodge the attack completely even with Yellowy’s quick reflexes. Even if they dodged it, attack power would decrease if their speed fell, so evasion wasn’t desirable.
The lightning attacks were blocked by the Ancient Shield. They were enveloped by the shield’s soft aura and the attack flowed off into another direction.
Weed felt great resistance, but he endured it and swung his sword.
They were already a stone’s throw away from the Caltrops.
“Moonlight Sculpting Blade!”
The moment Yellowy ran past the Caltrops, the Daemon Sword also sliced the Caltrops as it passed by.
He quickly struck the Caltrop on his right, then reversed his grip on the sword hilt and slashed again, upwards.
The Daemon Blade frolicked freely within his grip!
Weed’s movements didn’t stop.
He grasped Yellowy’s horn tightly with his left hand and twisted his body.
His legs and bottom rose slightly. He used the centrifugal force that was pulling the sword and twisted his body.
While doing a 360 on top of Yellowy, he sliced the neck of the Caltrop to his left.
The Caltrops’ stances withered.
Although it might not be a Knight’s charge, but the damage he inflicted was immense because it was sword attack with enormous acceleration. And Caltrops weren’t monsters with much Health, either.
Their dry, sturdy skin blocked with formidable defense, but his Moonlight Sculpting Blade had the effect of ignoring the opponent’s defense.
It was when they had defeated two of them and were charging between the Caltrops—
Yellowy moved with his front legs in a zigzag manner. They approached the clumped Caltrops while executing steps in a much slower speed.
This was the biggest disadvantage of a Knight’s charge on horseback!
It became the strongest weapon on the plains, but once you grazed past the monsters, turning around again was way too hard. For a monster who knew long-distance attacks, it actually became a weak point.
However, Yellowy was not a horse.
Sidestep, backwards step. He was a cow who could perform directional changes smoothly!
He sharply reduced speed and changed direction as they grazed past the Caltrops. He even knew the perfect distance for Weed to swing his sword.
He was faithful, his efficiency was good, and like a cow sincerely doing the work it was entrusted, he didn’t make any mistakes even when doing something for the first time.
The Caltrops didn’t die after getting hit with one slash each, but since they had drastically lost fighting power. All he had to do was decisively slit the thin layer of skin on their throats.
The last remaining Caltrop was in front of Yellowy.
Weed stroked Yellowy’s neck.
“Yellowy, take it down!”
“Don’t want to. How could I do such a nasty act.”
He still had not thrown away his reluctance in battle!
Weed knew how to properly use the carrot-and-stick tactic. If he only fostered threats and horror, there would be resistance no matter how loyal of a cow he was.
“Take it down and I’ll give you one copper. If you kill it completely, I’ll give you two coppers.”
Another incentive in battle!
For Yellowy, one copper was a monstrous amount.
‘Things can be bought with one copper… A handful of highly nutritious hay. Ten buckets of chilled water!’
Apparently he could buy a handsbreadth of land if he saved and saved to gather ten coppers. If he planted at least weeds, he could eat them up whenever he was famished.
If he collected about 10 gold, he could supposedly build a shabby barn, which was Yellowy’s hope in life.
Dreams of owning his own home!
Yellowy’s energetic acceleration!
He flew forward to the point of plowing deep furrows in the ground and rammed the Caltrop with his pointy horns.
The Caltrop wailed miserably as the impact knocked it several meters away.
Weed hunted the Caltrops, acquiring savory experience, japtem, a sooty iron plate, howling plant seeds, a blue marble, and the like.
“I don’t know what the marble is used for yet, but if I collect it, there’ll be a place to sell it.”
Weed checked his income and laughed heartily.
The fruits of his labor, such as the smithing item, and the EXP was so savory.
“Hunting has got to be this flavor after all.”
The relationship between the Caltrops and Demonic Spirits was hostile!
Demonic Spirits’ very similar in appearance to Demonic Spirits of the Resurrection Army, and they were dispersed along the River of Lamentation. It seemed beasts who drank water from the River of Lamentation turned into Demonic Spirits.
Weed mainly hunted these Demonic Spirits and Caltrops.
“The Five Phoenix Brothers. Deploy!”
He also made the Phoenixes participate in battle.
The majestic Five Phoenix Brothers!
They vaporized the deep fog with a single breath. The ground glowed with heat and caught fire.
Once the moisture disappeared, the Caltrops’ lightning attacks weakened.
The Phoenixes flew long distances at once and pecked at enemy heads.
Since they were guys with almost infinite Health, they simply took normal attacks with their bodies.
They could self-recover, even if their Health dropped significantly! They soon rose again.
They could revive even at the brink of death as long as a slight flame remained; the Phoenixes’ contribution made the battle convenient.
Weed laughed wickedly.
He felt pleasure while watching the sculptures he had granted life fighting very valiantly.
The stronger the Phoenixes were, the more items and japtem he could obtain!
“Fight. Become stronger. Cover the world with your fire!”
The Five Phoenixes and Yellowy!
They became Weed’s powerful reinforcements.
As he hunted Monsters along the River of Lamentation, he increasingly expanded his activity zone.
However, he didn’t leave the riverbank and wandered around the wide areas because he didn’t know what kind of danger might be lurking.
Even so, as many as ten Caltrops could be hunted with just the Phoenixes.
However, he had to wait for a very long time.
[T/N: Weed had to wait for the Phoenixes to keep reviving.]