This chapter was brought to you by AnmesicCat, BeatJumper, Grisia, Haikai, Lastear, Lei, and Masadeer. Special thanks to PeculiarAshes.
Strategy of Invincibility
Weed agonized over discovering a method to destroy walls.
“There’s a long way to go before the fortress walls collapse, so we can capture it.”
As a blacksmith, he could create siege weapons. However, his proficiency to do so was still severely low.
“I don’t know how many siege weapons I’d have to make before I can get a useful one, either…”
If it requires as much weapon production proficiency as making a Great-Sword, it would take several long weeks! Material supply was also a problem, and the alliance tribes might try to return to their tribes again.
“Well, it’s not like I really have the confidence to beat the Embinyu Church’s Knights and Priests even when the walls fall down.”
Weed’s mind was eased. Since the solution wasn’t in siege weapon production, he had completely given up on it.
“A normal siege battle won’t do. Of course there isn’t an answer.”
No one would dare to attack the high, thick walls of the fortress when the people inside were well prepared to defend them.
The alliance tribes were outnumbered and at a disadvantaged when it comes to a group battle. The greatest roles the individuals could play were only in dogfights and hunting.
Weed had used his Tailoring and Blacksmithing skills to touch their gear up a bit, but with the alliance tribes’ fundamentally crappy armor, most of them would die from a concentrated attack even before they climbed the walls.
“Should I have listened to Smith’s advice and brought another person with me?”
But Weed shook his head. It was too late to regret it, and he couldn’t go back, either. Even if Pale, Zephyr, or SwordNoob were to come, the situation probably wouldn’t change much. Having personally experienced the enemy’s strength, it seems like the quest success would, at the very least, take a combat profession in the mid level 500s. It would take a force capable of destroying the gates with a sword blow or highly destructive skill, capable of subduing the Embinyu Church’s Priests with an ambush!
As a Knight, he could command the alliance tribes by demonstrating the peak of his Leadership. Although the tribes have gathered, they were merely rag-tag troops, but he made the alliance tribes fight past their limits with his Leadership and Charisma. Even if the alliance tribes took a lot of damage, he had to bring out their maximum potential to use them and look for an opportunity.
It could become a mighty victory worthy of being left in the Versailles Continent’s history.
Weed didn’t rate his own ability to command very highly.
“I only won the wars I could win.”
He didn’t have a scrap of desire to fight a battle with only a tiny chance of victory with the alliance tribes. Overcoming the quality and quantity of his troops, the terrain, and the state of their equipment wasn’t as easy as it sounded.
There was also a limit to granting life, a Sculptor’s advantage. He’d want to give it a go if he just had 100 sculpted lifeforms or so. He’d be able to see a chance of victory, too. But if he did that, Weed’s level would fall by at least 160.
“Even if I succeeded the quest, there’d be nothing left.”
At best, the life-granted sculptures would die brutally in the siege war.
If he successfully completed the quest but over half of his sculptures died, it would be a tremendous loss! He’d also have to start again from the beginning with a level below 200. Even if the quest succeeded, there’d be nothing left.
“This is what they call an unprofitable business.”
Weed decided to return to the basics and construct his plan again. Before starting the battle, he had to nitpick on many variables and choose a battlefield favorable for his forces. For now, Weed logged out for the first time in a long while to rest.
* * *
“Is this the library?”
Lee Hyun sought out the library for the first time since his admission into Korea University. He had neglected it until now because there weren’t any comic books at the university library.
“Though it was my dream ever since I was young.”
Reading comic books and making ramen to eat when he was hungry — it was a happy fantasy he’d wished for in his middle and high school days.
He was also a reader who diligently read the daily published comics while delivering newspapers.
“For a library to not have comic books, this school is truly rotten!”
Lee Hyun criticized the school library’s policies without reserve. Many other libraries collected comic books, but Korea University hadn’t put comic books out on their shelves yet.
The generous scholarships, study-abroad benefits, large state-of-the-art classrooms, and research facilities the school arranged to provide for the studying students were not subjected to his consideration.
“Seems like a backwards school if it lacks comic books. Rotten, it’s rotten. Where are they using all the tuition fees?”
The number of novels, economic books, dissertations, history books, and books about art was enormous. The whole building was a library.
“You came, hyung?”
His classmates from the Virtual Reality Department recognized Lee Hyun and greeted him quietly. It seemed they were studying in groups of twos and threes in the library study rooms.
“Ah, yeah.” Lee Hyun simply nodded his head lightly.
It was the most important thing he had to watch out for while attending university.
‘I absolutely must not get close to those who are younger than me.’
If he became a senior, he would treat his juniors like robbers, because they’d have the impudence to chase him around asking to be treated to a free meal!
In Lee Hyun’s case, he’d already been asked a few times by other students to buy them food, since he was older than his classmates.
“I have to consider my health. I pack and bring my own lunch from home.”
He narrowly averted the crisis.
The views of the students had changed now.
‘A family man oppa who thinks of his health.’
‘He’ll never buy us a meal.’
Nevertheless, Lee Hyun was always careful. He didn’t know when someone would ask to be treated a meal. They could also ask for something to drink at the cafe or a snack at the cafeteria.
‘This damn school, is it some kind of a restaurant? Why’s there so much to eat?’
It was so bad he had to avoid the vending machines, located in every building.
“Did you come to study?”
“No. I came to read books,” Lee Hyun replied as he lightly walked forward.
“Hyung, literature novels are on the 2nd floor.”
“I didn’t come to read a novel. There are just a few things I want to look for.”
“What did you come here to find?”
“Strategy, tactics, warfare. Y’know where they are?”
“They’re on the 7th floor, but…”
“Mm. Thanks for telling me.”
Lee Hyun pressed the button for the 7th floor in the elevator.
The 7th floor held Eastern Philosophy, history books, and other old related books, so students didn’t frequently visit it.
After Lee Hyun went into the elevator, the students whispered to each other.
“He must’ve been pretty interested in Eastern Philosophy.”
“Though he’s usually not talkative at all… his level is really high.”
“He must have depth to him somewhere, and many good points to have even dated such pretty unnis.”
Since Lee Hyun had a date with both Seoyoon and Jung Hyo Rin during the school festival, he had become a famous figure.
Rather than jealousy, many men had endless respect for him, and for women, he became a mysterious man concealing a host of charms.
“But he must be pretty good at Chinese, too.”
“I’ve gone to the 7th floor out of boredom before, but most of the books on the shelves were untranslated originals.”
* * *
“Holy sh—!” Lee Hyun hurled out a swear.
“Why they hell would they have foreign books in Korea? It should be published once it’s all translated!”
He couldn’t make heads or tails of it.
About half of the shelves were filled with foreign books, and the rest were Korean, but written with many ancient Korean characters. Since they weren’t written out in modern Korean, they were extremely difficult to read.
“I have to find a book on strategy…”
The books Lee Hyun was looking for happened to be rare and weren’t well translated. As he rummaged through the bookshelves, of course it was difficult to understand. Despite seeing the titles, he couldn’t find what he was searching for.
“Most bookstores order by title, but why is it so hard to find stuff in a library?”
It would actually be easier to find the strategy text Lee Hyun wanted in the novels section. Books such as «The Art of War», «Admiral Yi’s Tactics», and «Wuzi» had been published as novels. With the Korean explanations, they were easy to understand and even had illustrations.
However, trying to find the book he wanted in the untranslated, original-lined shelves of the Eastern Philosophy section was hell.
“I need to find a strategy or tactic that can be used against the Embinyu Church to win.”
It was obvious why Lee Hyun spent his precious time to come to the library. It was difficult to strengthen the might of his troops. He had to utilize his current force to the fullest. If strategy and tactics shone through, he needed plans at a high enough caliber that extraordinary generals might attempt them.
“I have to find a strategy like that…”
No matter how much he looked at the strategy texts, simply reading them was impossible.
The strategy texts he managed to find in modern Korean had phrases such as this—
— Know thyself and know thy enemy and you will be ever-victorious.
If you compared Lee Hyun’s Weed and the alliance tribes with the Embinyu Church’s forces, it was really too much.
“Ever-victorious, as if… looks like the quest is gonna fail.” Lee Hyun grumbled as he looked for other books.
As he was doing so, he spotted a novel on the shelf.
«Romance of the Three Kingdoms»!
Apparently, someone had read it and then left it on a random shelf.
“«Romance of the Three Kingdoms»… other than the name, it’s a book I’ve never read before.”
Lee Hyun glanced through the «Romance of the Three Kingdoms». It was a story about the oath of the peach garden sworn by Liu Bei, Guan Yu, and Zhang Fei.
[T/N: It is a novel written by Luo Guanzhong during the 14th century. It is a true story based on the happenings during the Han Dynasty with some fictionalization.]
He didn’t read the mighty «Romance of the Three Kingdoms» in detail, but merely skimmed through the stories volume by volume.
The best part was where Liu Bei visited Zhuge Liang three times to recruit him. It caused a complete reversal from a totally disadvantageous position.
Lee Hyun discovered the strategy to deal with the Embinyu Church from the «Romance of the Three Kingdoms».
* * *
The Embinyu Church’s great army!
After Weed and the alliance tribes’ attack, their vigilance had greatly increased. The personnel posted on the wall had grown considerably, and there were also more Archers with bows. It was evidence of the continuous growth of troops and the expansion of military weaponry even within the Embinyu Church’s fortress.
“Bingryong.” Weed spoke from behind a rocky mountain, a spot that couldn’t be seen directly from the fortress.
“Scout how many there are over there and report.”
Bingryong flapped into the sky. Without going near the Embinyu Church’s fortress, he reported after observing them from afar.
“The humans on the wall alone are a little over 5,000.”
“That’s quite a lot. How about the ones wearing armor?”
1,000 Dark Knights alone! He had to assume the rest were Normal Soldiers, Priests, or Magicians.
Including the ones who weren’t on the wall, their overall number had at least more than doubled!
Weed had anticipated the siege, so he had elicited and destroyed the pursuit forces in advance. The strategy of dividing and conquering! He had lured and annihilated the weak enemies first.
Despite it all, an enormous number of forces still remained inside the Embinyu Church’s fortress. Moreover, given the great might of the Embinyu Church, it wasn’t an exaggeration to say they dominated over the nearby tribes. As the battle wore on, reinforcements would continue to arrive from other tribes.
“It means the enemy’s at least over 2 times larger… it’ll be totally impossible like this.”
“Master, surely you’re not going to attack the fortress again?”
Since Bingryong had been caught in the middle of the quest, he didn’t know what kind of quest Weed was doing.
The retired old mercenary, Smith, did not come and had remained in the Salmere Tribe’s village. He refused to participate since he said that fighting the Embinyu Church was suicide.
“I want to listen to Master’s plan. The fortress looks really dangerous.”
His intelligence had grown, so he had the admirable thought of finding out what Weed’s plan was in advance.
Weed gladly responded, “There’s something called the Power of the Deliverer. It can even call forth an amazing Versailles Continent boss monster. Remember the Bone Dragon? I’m going to bring one stronger than him.”
“You’re going to bring another monster although we can’t handle the current enemy?”