Chapter 7: Song of the Death Knight
Marey was a cheerful, incessant prattler.
“Having to mingle with the Undead and hunt… ah, it reeks! But if I tell this experience in a bar later I could become really popular. Have you ever been to Vannosa castle?”
Though Weed didn't reply back, he chattered on well by himself.
“In Vannosa castle, there are many restaurants with delicious foods. If Weed-nim check it out you will be enamored by it. Anyway, it was not an important point, but I met a lady named Cedrian there and we became close… She told me many useful information. Unfortunately my bar tab increased so I can’t go back there now.”
Marey did not stop telling stories about the places he wandered to on the continent.
Weed thinking it was important information tried to remember them but it was impossible when his words came out of his mouth like a flood.
“Because of the war right now the Central Continent is chaotic. Even among bards the competition is fierce, they spectate these wars and try to make songs out of it. But I am different, rather than these tiresome wars it’s a necessary adventure for me. To be part of this passionate adventure in the North, how joyous is that?”
Seeing he couldn't can’t just let Marey keep talking on his own, he replied out of politeness.
“I am sure that there will be many jealous people if I tell stories later on of how I went on an adventure with Weed-nim. Also the ongoing quest related to the Undead Legion is already very famous.”
Necromancer players reported to broadcasting networks and uploaded videos on internet so it was becoming a big topic.
In fact, if the news that Marey and Weed was hunting in a party together was revealed it would become another big situation.
Not everyone playing Royal Road knew Marey, but he was one of the names that appeared often.
The songs composed by Marey, the collection of his performance and the adventures he went through were put together into a video that was extremely popular.
Freely wandering bard Marey already had the qualification to upload his videos to the Royal Road’s Hall of Fame and was a figure that had news broadcaster hired often.
“Oh, what kind of woman do you like?”
“What’s the specialty of a Death knight?”
“The Embinyu Church are making frequent appearance on the continent and is causing havoc. Did you know that?”
“The joy of hunting a King Hydra must be extreme, right?”
Retorting back was getting tiresome after ten times.
Even if Weed did not pay attention when he replied, Marey just laughed as if it was funny and kept talking.
The naïve, enthusiastic and positive person Marey Standbard.
Listening to Marey talk, Weed led his Undead unit toward the monsters.
They did hunt in the canyons but it was the first time coordinating the battle together with Marey.
Weed reluctantly watched the videos of players with combat related classes but he never saw any scenes of Marey fighting.
Weed asked first.
“How are you going to fight?”
“It feels like you have much more experience in leading Undeads than me. Also as Death Knight have outstanding leadership abilities so I will hand over my right of command of the Undead to you.”
“Then what about Marey-nim?”
“I will play a recital like a bard.”
- You have received the right to command Marey’s Undead units.
There weren’t many high rank Undeads in Marey’s army.
Nor were there elites or bodyguard Undead, but there were at least 200 Undeads in number.
Compared to the other Necromancers who entered the canyon, this was on the very low side.
While Weed, radiating dark miasma, advanced with his Skeletons, Death Knights and Dullahans, music started playing from behind.
It was a heavy and majestic sound of a viol.
- A requiem is being listened to.
Ø While listening to the music all regeneration abilities increase by +43%
Ø Physical abilities increase by +21%
Ø Surviving a battle by the skin of your teeth, you gain additional 7% experience and fame.
Ø The morale of the Undead unit is rising.
Ø Your leadership abilities increased.
Ø If the music stops, the morale will decrease sharply and all the effect being received will disappear.
- With your deep interest in art, while appreciating the music you will receive additional 25% benefit.
While Marey was playing a violin like instrument a bright golden light appeared, like when a noble, holy spell was casted.
Marey was playing the viol frantically.
The brilliant movement of the bow and passionate music that instilled burning passion in the heart!
Marey’s performance far passed preeminence, wonder and admiration was about to be poured out.
He was proving that his reputation as the best bard was not just public opinion as a famous player.
It was just misfortunate that the person listening was Weed.
Marey’s performance anywhere was transcendent and people have enormous interest and appreciation for it, though sadly Weed wasn’t an average person.
It was a bad preconception that listening to a good performance would make one sleepy and nod off their head in drowsiness.
“Kill that noisy sound first!”
Weed wasn’t the only one that thought like that, the monsters came running in response to the sound.
Every monsters in the vicinity came targeting for Marey.
Besides the performance giving huge effects to allied unit, it seemed to seriously offend the monsters.
Weed opened his eyes wide.
“Skeletons, prepare for long range attack, Death knights and Dullahans, spread wide in two lines. Do not step back!”
The Death Knights and Dullahans in straight line, collided with monsters.
“Attack! Do not retreat, advance!”
Weed treated the Undeads as expendables so he pushed them to fight without retreating a single step back.
“No matter how many monsters come, do not retreat. Fight where you are and move forward!”
Weed fought at the very front line.
He wasn’t just leading the battle in a reckless way that withstood the enemy’s attack and advancing forward.
From behind the Dullahans and Death Knights, the Skeleton archers threw bones and arrows, damaging the monsters.
A destructive force pulverizing the swarming monsters!
There was no need to chase after them, by fighting in close range the Skeletons with limited abilities did not need to worry about accuracy.
- Through a bone breaking battle, the Death Knight’s level increased.
As Undead survived more and more vicious battles, they only became stronger.
“Let’s go in deeper.”
Weed together with Marey, entered the heart of a mountain seething with monsters.
In the dead of the night as Marey’s music spread loudly, many monsters leaped out from between trees or jumped attack on top of boulders.
Barely winning, only about half the Undead they fought with were left.
But after successfully winning the battle, the news of their bravery was spread by word of mouth in the Undead Legion.
He could preside over more Undead subordinates.
Experience, items and merciless attack!
This was Weed method of leading the Undeads.
It seemed the partnership with a bard wasn’t so bad.
‘Even so having a bard in a hunting party doesn’t feel so efficient.’
In an average exploration of a dungeon, the party consisted of 5~6 people each with their assigned roles.
This was the reason why it was hard for a sculptor, a bard or a dancer to join, as only needed classes were filled in to create a party for high efficiency.
But as battles got larger, a bard’s presence was absolutely necessary.
Performing battles and requests perfectly, Weed was given an authority to officially command over 2,000 Undeads.
Death Knight Commanding Officer
He could ask for a dispatch from the Undead Legion for lower ranked Undeads like Skeleton for him to use.
If rumors about his fame or battle skills spread further, he could even call in higher ranked Undeads.
Compared to Necromancer players who were given more important roles as they polish their magic skills, combatants just had to fight to the letter and win.
“To the place with more enemies.”
Weed supported by the Undead, did not hesitate in the slightest and went into monster’s den that he wouldn’t have dared before.
None of his business whether Undeads died or not!
Only by engaging in a large-scale battle he could obtain more experience and items, that’s why there was no reason to dawdle with indecisiveness about battles or requests.
‘I can just run away if we are about to lose.’
He did not find the penalties, demotion or reduced fame that important.
What was more important for Weed was to initiate large battles without dawdling to raise his levels and obtain more items.
With endless battles, Weed’s level became 396 and he gained enough experiences points need to level up again.
Indeed he jumped into risky battles, enduring it with the Undead while surviving and leading them onward.
· New Title! You obtained the title, ‘Glorious Undead Commander’.
The person who lead many impossible battles to victory!
You can bring out fierce horror and obedience from the Undead and continue the battle.
Ø Leadership increased by +5.
Ø Luck increased by +5.
Ø Limited to Undead, your commanding ability increased by +21%.
While performing, Marey occasionally check out Weed’s activities.
‘Just like the rumor, he fights really well.’
It was his assessment after the first battle.
When monsters made him into a target, he could evaluate Weed highly as he didn’t run about in confusion or hesitate to deal with the situation.
But his assessment kept changing after observing each battle.
‘The rumors were true, he really is a God of War. He fights battles really well.’
‘My experiences is keep on rising? What short method does he use to speed up his experiences? No, when did he kill that many monsters?’
‘Is it even possible to make the Undead obey like meek sheep?’
Ever since he was a beginner, Weed’s stat was far high than others at his level.
Maintaining high skill proficiency and stacking up his stats, the disparity manifested.
The hunting speed especially surprised Marey constantly.
If many monsters were gathered, he commanded tactics to the Undead reminiscent of those found in military text books.
He made Death Knights ride Phantom horses.
Weed led the Death knights directly, splitting enemies by penetrating their formation and then deploy the Undead units!
Skeleton unit’s concentrated firing, using the spell attributes to fire a circular magic attack.
He didn’t focus on one idea about battles but had all kinds of knowledge and experiences, using it naturally in battle.
Usually, one would only fight when they have tactical advantages but Weed would try many things to figure out must-win strategy and then fight fiercely.
There were battles that even Marey didn’t want to fight.
‘There is no way he can win this one.’
However Weed dragged his Undead units, showed excellent tactics and won. It was a superb battle that made congratulations come out automatically.
After supplementing his Undead units, he initiated fights with group of much bigger monsters.
‘This is really impossible.’
They lost many Undeads and Weed suffered seriously, but they won.
Fight and survive, finally winning and getting stronger.
It was a battle that naturally broke Marey’s common sense and his fixed ideas.
‘Okay, this much is now suicide.’
Group of much bigger monsters!
It was not like Marey did not have heart to stop Weed, but he also wanted to see how Weed would fight so he continued to follow along.
After a battle that took over a day, Weed suffered unbelievable hardship but grasped his victory.
Marey also helped, but it was an intense battle without compare that only 8 Death Knight survived, but they won.
After that battle, it felt to Marey that Weed was so awesome that he did not look human anymore.
Marey saw a lot of battles as a bard but no one ever fought to the brink, pushing everything aside.
Marey had to give his all to survive mobilizing all his abilities to endure, thereby they managed to win.
Not only did they obtain tons of drops, they were able to raise corpses into Undeads.
Weed recruited from Undead Legion and went back to the hunting ground with Death Knights that survived till the end.
Marey now knew the reason why Weed was so strong and received high praises from people.
‘This is why his so strong.’
With a force of 10, it was sensible thinking to fight an enemy with a force of 7.
But when Weed had 10, he fought 11, 12 or sometimes even 15.
With maximum focus, leadership and judgment that dragged Marey’s gazed to the point of making him forget his performance, Weed showed nimble movements and won.
The reason he was able to win 15 with 10, of course it could be because of his excellent decisions, but it was due to him fighting radically.
It was because they were fighting against bigger enemy that they could win.
‘Following Weed was truly the best judgement I made.’
Marey started to feel relief and a sympathy.
He felt sorry for Necromancers. He was convinced that if they were to compete with Weed in a quest, they would never be able to win.
- As a reward for this quest, you received the authority to command up to 8,000 Undeads.
Current position – Death Knight Commander
Weed’s rank rose many times, his equipment and rides changed as well.
An armour with demon attached, branded iron of a wanted man, boots of a desolator.
He obtained reward items that Death Knights could equip.
“Van Hawk would like this if I give him this later.”
He couldn’t summon Van Hawk or Torido.
They once were affiliated to Undead Legion and he could not estimate what could happen if he summoning them here.
A horrible shriek was heard from the sky and gargoyles descended, sitting down on the ground.
Weed and Death Knights evolved their Phantom horse and were now able to ride gargoyles made of bones.
Undeads were commanded to fight on the ground while the Death Knight scrambled in the air!
Even the Skeletons were elites, with at least 3~4 sword cuts on their skull.
“Hunting sure is fun.”
Marey was barely able to follow.
Composing and performing weren’t the only things bard did.
They adventured, enter dungeons and fought a fair amount of battles.
But following Weed he had eager thoughts for small breaks.
“This place is cleaned up. Let’s go.”
“Can’t we sit down for a short break before we go? We’ve been fighting for almost two days now.”
“I rested plenty just now.”
“I yawned twice.”
If this was a break than did this mean that the nap that workers took briefly during lunchtime was a vacation?!
“There could be monsters remaining in other places, we have no time to delay.”
Because Undeads have infinite stamina and didn’t need to eat, Weed lead them into endless amount of battles.
Fighting battles like this the Undeads developed and Marey felt that Weed’s unit were becoming stronger.
The Death Knights became extremely strong by fighting by the skin of their teeth and winning.
Level was a level, but surviving battles beyond their ability their combat capabilities increased exponentially.
With help of Death Knights the overall skills of Undead units were extraordinary and even if they were in a dangerous situation surrounded by monsters, they could withstand for a long time and their defence became extraordinary.
It was the Undead’s best units.
Suddenly, crows came to not only Weed but Marey and other players hunting on and over the canyons, and gave a small piece of paper they were biting on.
Another quest occurred.
· Monsters of Natalia plains
There are barely any groups of monsters large enough to challenge the Undead Legion in the vicinity.
The last remaining monsters joined forces and are heading toward the Natalia plains.
If you drive them back in four days, you will officially enter the Undead Legion’s encampment and will be able to meet the Balkan Demoph, the king of Undeads.
Also Death Knight can go one step further and qualify for the last promotion.
After four days the main force of the Undead Legion will mobilize and depart. After that day the quest cannot be cleared.
Reward: Promotion, Undead summon spells.
Quest Restriction: Undead Only
Quest will not occur again.
A quest requiring a cooperation between Necromancers players.
It was the final request that need to be done before entering Undead Legion.
“Let’s head there right away.”
Weed and Marey led their Undeads and head straight toward the canyon.
The connection rate of Necromancers players were very high side.
“My, my head, I don’t know if I was holding it with my left or right arm.”
“Undeads, line up, for the great Balkan-nim!”
As they were getting close to the canyon, they were able to see unbelievable amount of Undeads.
Among Necromancers, some preferred summoning small number of high rank Undeads to fight but the opposite was true most of the time.
It was safer to fight by throwing out curses and summoning Skeletons and Ghouls generously.
Each Necromancers players could lead from the smallest amount of hundreds, up to 2,000 of Undeads.
They summoned them directly or gathered roaming Undeads split from the Undead Legion.
To Marey it was a really hard scene to experience as there were every kind of Undead around them.
“At the least it must be about hundred thousand in number.”
Weed spotted skeletons laid down neatly like piled up bricks.
As the space was few they were using this method to save space like that.
“It looks like it’s more than that.”
Necromancers did not leave their summoned Undeads far from them so around the canyon was a world of Undeads.
But as Weed’s units came closer these Undeads, as one, step back far away from them.
The Death Knight, who surpassed life or death situations more than ten times, flared their miasma and the Skeletons, as if instilled by fear, were busy trying to hide.
Some portion of Death Knight that were part of Weed’s unit followed riding on their gargoyles as they flew in circles.
The sight of all Necromancer in the canyon was toward Weed as he made a majestic entrance as a Death Knight.
“What is that? Are that many Undead units led by those two men?”
Including Weed’s and Marey’s Undead there were about 9,600 Undeads.
Weed was able to have more than the quantity allowed by his rank because of his high leadership and charisma but for efficient control, he limited his capacity strictly.
But in the sight of the Necromancers that number felt extremely large to them.
“It’s really a lot.”
“There are plenty of Death Knights… and all variety of Dullahans and Skeletons prepared. It would not be wrong to call it a real Undead army.”
“If only we could command such an army… Should we have tried to promoted to a warrior-type class?”
Looking at Weed, many players regretted their past decisions.
They, not able to take their eyes off in jealousy, approached Weed and Marey.
Harien noticed them first and greeted lightly.
Weed looked around and noticed that Harien, Jeanne, Otem, Gruzed equipment was largely changed and some held crystal orbs in their hand.
He couldn’t identify many of the variety of equipment.
‘They must have tried hard as well.’
The current quest from the Undead Legion wasn’t given to Weed only.
Each and everyone did their best on the quest and grew.
There were 58 Necromancers gathered in the canyon.
“7 more are coming. It’s getting late… Once they arrive we will be heading to Natalia plain.”
Harien explained the situation to them briefly.
The number of players that came here from Kapua village was 65 people.
‘A co-operative quest with 65 Necromancers…’
Those participating in the quest were high in levels.
Taking the Undeads each Necromancers possess into account, it could be seen as a relatively large armies.
Zabrin made it to the canyon few days before and started hunting there.
While wearing better equipment and levelling up, he gave small gifts to fellow Necromancers he was hunting with.
“This is some items that was left over. Please have it.”
“But still it’s too much….”
In this world there were other people than Weed.
No matter how useful the item, Necromancer players found it difficult to receive something for free from someone they were not close with so they refused it.
“It’s ok. The guild I am part of hands out items like this often. They give special preference to Necromancers… I have plenty of other to use here already.”
Winning other players over with items was easy work.
Unlike other classes, there are many occasions of Necromancers not joining any guilds.
Zabrin didn’t hurry and sorted them one by one while making them his allies.
‘This person identify is clear.’
Releasing their name while hunting in a party or adding them to their friend list, completely proved their identity.
Decent Necromancers were well known in Versailles Continent as well.
Average players were shocked when they encountered Necromancers by chance who were hunting in a mountain or in a forest with Undeads.
Finding the Necromancer a novelty, they recorded these kind of scene often and uploaded to forum boards.
By comparing with it, he cleared out anyone with solid identifications.
But it was hard to recognize people hunting by themselves who did not reveal their identities.
‘I only have to look for 7 more as they come.’
He investigated Jeanne, Otem, Boghram, Harien, Gruzed, Varenna and Goshu to recruit them into Hermes Guild and found that they all exceed at least level 380.
He judged that Jeanne, Harien and Otem to be over level 400.
These were figures that were excellent magicians even before they became Necromancers.
When class was changed, the original magic abilities weakened drastically.
It was not learning similar magic once more but learning conflicting dark magic and Undead summon magic so existing magic abilities retrograded.
It was not an easy decision for the Necromancers to start over, but they were steadily increasing their proficiency in curses and Undead summon.
‘If I can bring them to Hermes guild, it will be acknowledged as a great achievements.’
Zabrin was spying patiently for a solid opportunity.
If they became members of Hermes guild, they will recognize Zabrin’s meritorious deed.
By becoming part of the same guild, he could receive variety of help and follow them around in this canyon.
By joining in the Undead Legion’s quest and working together it was a chance for him to gain level, fame and Undead summon spells together.
After winning over those around him, he gathered information while hunting and at that moment co-operative quest to eliminate the monsters in Natalia plain occurred.
And then a bit later, Weed together with Marey arrived with their Undead army.
Other players had Undeads as well but the Undeads Weed and Marey’s brought were conspicuous.
With the flushing of miasma from the Death Knights, even decent Undeads tried to get as far away as they can.
The Death Knights riding on their gargoyles, standing guard while flying around them looked strong beyond ordinary.
‘Maybe Weed is among them.’
Weed and Marey were unidentified players!
There are other five that were suspicious but their Undeads were lacking and few in numbers.
‘Anyway I should report it.’
Zabrin reported to Hermes Guild Polon and the Mage troops about heading out to Natalia plains, about a suspicious person who could be Weed, about how Jeanne and Otem did not belonging to any guild.