Chapter 3: Best Offering

3) Best Offering

The conquest of the Haven Empire was causing wind to blow blood every day.

“Embinyu! Follow Embinyu. This world is completely corrupt. By destroying this crumbling world, we are saving it.”

The believers of the Embinyu Church aggressively tried to recruit the residents. There were complaints because the security in the Empire wasn’t good so many residents fell into the religion.

“God Embinyu, please accept me.”

“Come quickly. Our colleagues will welcome….cough!”

Assassins of the Have Empire moved around killing fanatics of the Embinyu Church!

However, countless inquisitors and Dark Knights of the Embinyu Church were still present in the Haven Empire. In the past, the Embinyu Church had torn apart other kingdoms and now flocked to the Haven Empire.

“Have you bought the paints?”

“Yes. It is enough to completely repaint the wall.”

“I don’t have time until morning. So be careful not to make a mistake.”

“Of course not.”

The painters at Monterium had their own resistance movement. They drew paintings blaming the Haven Empire for the war. In order to complete the painting without being seen by the guards, they raised their skill proficiency a lot and gained more fame and influence.

However, getting rid of the paintings that portrayed important figures of the Haven Empire in a controversial manner was important.

“Over there!”

“Eeek, they’re already here.”

“Go quickly. There is no time to grab the paint.”

“That is my property….”

The novice painters desperately tried to escape.

There was a commotion as the guards of the Haven Empire chased them but the users and residents just ignored it. They didn’t want to get involved in matters of the Hermes Guild. It was hard to live comfortably while the Hermes Guild was pushing to conquest the Central Continent.

“Ah, this is a dead end.”

The painters ran through complex alleyways until they reached a dead end.

“Huhu, today I get to taste blood.”

The users of the Hermes Guild were used to murdering.

They didn’t have a good image but that could be an advantage. If their level was low and they fought an opponent with strong power, then their fighting strength would rise. In contrast, high level users killing ridiculously weak people wouldn’t gain a lot of experience.

Users who attached themselves to the Haven Empire did a really good job!

“Haven Empire!”

“It is your bad luck to be caught by Roberto and I.”

“That’s great. It is most interesting when killing women..ack!”

Roberto suddenly collapsed in a grey light.

“Eh?”

“Enemy?”

The guards looked around the alley. They couldn’t see anything. The painters were also shocked as Roberto died in the blink of an eye. And the moon was hidden by clouds as the alley became dark.

“Ugh!”

“Ack!”

“Kwaack!”

Screams could be heard from among the quiet. The painters stood there in awe and fear as they looked at a man wearing a black robe.

His appearance was big like that of a painting. He was holding something that looked more like a sacrificial tool than a knife.

“Are you okay?”

Even the voice was clear and direct

“Yes, we aren’t injured. Are you going to spare us?”

“I was just passing by and decided to help.”

“Ah, thank you very much. Though you should be careful. It will be a big deal if the Hermes Guild finds you!”

“Thanks for your concern but I’m not afraid of the Hermes Guild. And I’ve taken care of all the guards in this area of the Haven Empire so finish up your drawing. Then I wish you a good night.”

This behaviour was enough to cause emotions in a woman’s heart. The painters called out desperately as the man turned around.

“Excuse me, can I register you as a friend?”

“That…..”

“You don’t want to because we are low levelled?”

“Absolutely not. Just… The situation is a little complex. My name is Seaso….”

“Eh?”

“No, it is nothing. Someday I might see you again.”

The man said before walking into the darkness. He moved quickly and vanished.

“Totally cool. An apostle of justice disappearing like the wind.”

Monterium was a place where knights of the Haven Empire and inquisitors of the Embinyu Church ran amok.

-The inquisitor Brukshild has fallen.

The missionary activities of the Embinyu Church has been impeded.

Security will be temporarily restored by 3.

-The Haven Empire knights have died without knowing who killed them.

The sudden death is questionable but the reason can’t be figured out.

Message windows continued to ring in front of the users in Monterium Castle.

“An ambush!”

The knights of the Haven Empire gave an emergency decree but it was to no avail. The knights and nobles inside the castle were assassinated. Users from the Hermes Guild wandering around the streets were killed by bows, flying daggers and traps that sprang from the earth!

A professional assassin would leave no signs and also wouldn’t receive a penalty for murder. Moreover, the fame and loot gained from killing monsters was nothing compared to that of infamous users. There were a number of assassination squads in the Haven Empire but they were easily removed.

“An assassin’s blade will deal justice. The Hermes Guild is bad so I don’t feel any pangs of conscience killing them.”

The Hermes Guild users died in several cities in the Haven Empire.

“Do you know about the proclamation of death? Death is inevitable when night comes. Evil people should became afraid of the night.”

“There will be a black wind and then the person will die. Be scared when going into dark places.”

“The neat workmanship calls to mind the assassin of Montonya.”

“Ah, that shadow of death called Seasoned Crab?”

Seasoned Crab wasn’t the only one targeting the Haven Empire. Steiner was now the leader of the Federation of Bandits.

“Boss, the Haven Empire guys are flocking.

“Yes? This is the base. But those guys won’t stop harassing us. Prepare the stone throwing weapons and set fire to the mountain!”

“Yes!”

The Haven Empire needed to dominate the mountains in order to expand their territory.

But it wasn’t an easy task to take control of the mountains. The monsters had left but bandits set up forts on the mountains. And the walls grew thicker as the number of bandits increased.

Their growth was slow compared to the soldiers and knights but they were trained well. It wasn’t easy to live but they managed. The Imperial Army kept on making them move their bases but it increased the quality of the bandits. They also obtained riches by raiding wagons destined for the capital of the Haven Empire.

“I’m not going to live life twice. I should make the most of it during this life. Wuhahaha!”

The bandit Steiner laughed mercilessly as he annoyed the top level users in the Hermes Guild.

“This apple is too crunchy for my taste. Uh, why is the fruit I was eating missing?”

“What are you talking about?”

“It was just in my hand and now it is gone!”

The famous treasure thief Jackson who had been wandering around the world also came to the Haven Empire.

‘I came here to steal. The precious treasures will be mine.’

The prestigious guilds had fallen so there was power vacuum in the Central Continent. Users rose to make their mark in the Haven Empire.

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-The soldiers of the Red Knife desert army has brutally committed murder.

The criminal activity involved the fanatics of the Embinyu Church.

The infamy of the army’s commander has increased by 45.

-There has been a scuffle between soldiers.

An argument started for no reason in the middle of dinner.

Currently 420 soldiers are involved in the melee and it was grow further if it isn’t settled quickly.

Discipline will decrease the morale of the soldiers.

-Citizens of Pire are protesting the soldiers’ thefts.

If the soldiers don’t stop their criminal activities then they will riot.

Security of the city has reduced by 13.

The larger the size of the army, the more chances there were of incidents occurring.

“What should we do?”

“This is what happens when people are forcefully conscripted. The fanatics, they are the particular problem.”

“Should we discipline them?”

“No, just kill them! Place them at the vanguard in the next battle.”

He solved a lot of the problems by killing the soldiers! He could just recruit more soldiers as the fighting continued.

The army contained a lot of soldiers but it didn’t matter as long as the skilled soldiers had loyalty. The morale of the army and the administration of conquered lands didn’t occur systematically.

Conscripted soldiers were busy looting while the nobles who surrendered were given to the residents.

If Weed established an empire using this method then it wouldn’t last for even 1 year. But from Weed’s standpoint, he just needed to maintain the army until it came time to fight the Embinyu Church in the Central Continent. Besides, he wanted to damage the Central Continent so it was good if they committed some bad actions.

“Torido.”

“Yes Master.”

Torido was extremely polite.

He had a cunning character with accurate judgement but was overwhelmed by Weed’s force. He remembered how Van Hawk couldn’t even fight back properly and didn’t dare talk with the normal arrogance of a noble.

“You don’t have anybody to lead.”

“My vampires didn’t come to this era but I still have the power to create them.”

“Where did you put your sharp teeth? Wander around at night and suck the blood of some soldiers to make them your subordinates.”

“I understand. Thank you.”

He decided to make the soldiers dreaming about home submit unconditionally by turning them into vampires.

“And the women in the city?”

“Yes. There are many who are young and pretty.”

Torido watched the faces passing by.

Turning pretty females in the Arpen Kingdom into vampires was absolutely forbidden. Usually he could only increase his subordinates during quests and hunting. He didn’t even get the chance to meet Prina who worked in a flower shop.

“Go catch women and turn them into vampires.”

“Isn’t that a bad thing?”

“Only if you are noticed.”

This wasn’t the Arpen Kingdom. The Embinyu Church also had a vampire queen as a follower. He would rather offer the fanatics and residents than the desert warriors.

“If you don’t win in this era then our army will be annihilated.”

Weed’s invading army faced increasingly fierce resistance.

The Mapon and Beiner Kingdoms placed military forces at the borders to form a defensive wall. Smoke rose from distant mountains as the army of other kingdoms were gathered.

“The Mapon Kingdom and Beiner Kingdom are both preparing for battle.”

Weed’s army was strong but there was a risk of it being wiped out if the kingdoms joined together to attack.

This was the warring period so the kingdoms had powerful armies. If this was in the future then the users would take much longer to obtain the power necessary to occupy these kingdoms.

“This is the warring period so they should have a deep grudge against each other. Did I aggravate their aggression?”

He briefly regretted damaging 50 cities!

“I started the fight so it can’t be helped. And I need to destroy the Mapon and Beiner Kingdoms to achieve the goal. Hestiger!”

“Yes!”

“I will give you 30,000 cavalry. Attack the Opus Castle and occupy the nearby area. Destroy the cities while avoiding the enemy as much as possible.”

“I will follow your command!”

Hestiger left to the east with 30,000 troops.

The strategy depended on the troops! That’s why he let Hestiger lead the troops towards the Beiner Kingdom.

In times of war, resources for strategies were too expensive. Maintaining it would require an enormous cost but they were constantly looting. Hestiger only took 30,000 troops to disturb the Beiner Kingdom.

“Now I won’t need to see that guy anymore. I feel relieved. Jebeker.”

“Yes!”

“You also have a similar command. Take 40,000 troops to the south. Go around and thoroughly crush the cities.”

“I will follow your words.”

40,000 troops left with a billowing of dust clouds. It had fallen by 70,000 troops but Weed’s army still contained 250,000 people.

The desert troops were close to invincible against the kingdoms in this era. When there was a siege, Weed could just approach directly and bring down the iron gates or walls.

“Levanhut, lead the army to the Noah Kingdom!”

“Ah, yes?”

Saktok!

Weed led the army to charge at the knights of the various kingdoms but he didn’t need to give direct commands.

The morale of the army was overwhelming due to Atrock’s Cry. The conquest war was progressing smoothly as cities surrendered and residents were conscripted. The remaining troops were the elite members.

There were 10,000 undead, 20,000 desert warriors and 70,000 soldiers with combat experience. The remaining 60,000 were slaves and this was the optimal configuration.

“Advance as quickly as possible and devastate the Mapon and Beiner Kingdoms. Effortless and clean!”

Weed captured some prisoners for military information.

“You are evil monsters that eat raw flesh and blood. In order to suppress you, His Majesty asked for help from the Mapon Kingdom. Now you are dead. Chwe (spit)!”

Weed and the desert warriors were notorious for being ruthless so the kingdoms were extremely wary. The Beiner Kingdom and Mapon Kingdom gathered 600,000 soldiers.

Weed was even more pleased to hear the news.

“How fun.”

The conquest was taking place at a tremendous rate. But he had felt no tension in the process.

Reaching here was like stealing something from a child.

Even if Weed didn’t actively participate, the Red Knife army had overwhelming strength.

The desert warriors gathered had outstanding talent from the beginning and Weed led them on a steep path. His subordinates were strong and fought to survive.

The desert warriors had an average level of 500~600. Their skills had a wide variety while some were close to mastering swordsmanship. There were also 46 powerhouses who had reached level 700.

His sculptural lifeforms were also proficient. They treated the knights on the Central Continent as toys. Their power couldn’t be stopped with high walls or traps.

There were many variables in battle and no matter how excellent the warriors were, they were still vulnerable to curses. And one or two of them may die when hunting a boss level monster that used magic attacks.

In addition, the Tower of Heroes showed that there were many tough opponents in the past. The Mapon Kingdom and Beiner Kingdom coming together to suppress him would have overwhelming force.

“They have twice as many troops and the best knights and magicians of the Mapon and Beiner Kingdoms are gathered so they are worth fighting. They won’t attack until they are ready…I think it will take six days.”

Weed was ready to embark on a large scale war. The experience of commanding such a large army would be thrilling!

In additional, it would be considerable practice before needing to fight the Embinyu Church. So far this was just a war of conquest but it would eventually involve the fate of the Versailles Continent.

“I suffered… It might be tough but I’m going to finish the final secret sculpting technique quest.”

Whether this quest succeeded or failed, he could get a good rest after it was over.

“I will forget everything else and go to places like the south coast. For a week….”

He wanted a vacation to restore his weary body and mind.

“Well, even the south coast is too expensive. It is far away so transportation will cost too much.”

This was a realistic anguish about a holiday.

“I should just vacation within Royal Road. Nowadays, there are plenty of people doing that so it must be pretty good. I can fish on a beach or cook saury to eat. And if a week seems a bit too long… Compared to other competitors, I need to recover my stats and level… Three days should be enough?”

Weed shook his head.

He was king of the desert and his enormous army was sweeping through the Central Continent. But once he returned to his original time, he would be back to level 400 and kicked by the Hermes Guild. It would go terribly if he met Bardray again.

“Three days is too long. Um, I should just rest on Sunday…no. I will catch up on housework and enjoy the warm sunshine before going to Morata.

And three minutes later.

“This is hard hunting so there should be a good quest reward. I need to work harder in this warring period!”

★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★

Bardray held his sword as he looked around.

His Royal Guards were cleaning up the remainder of the Roam Guild.

“S-save me! I accept the rule of the Hermes Guild.”

“Too late. You should’ve said that before the battle!”

“Cough!”

They conquered Star City and destroyed the Roam Guild. The Roam Guild was eventually exterminated. The Hermes Guild had made unreasonable demands that they couldn’t possibly accept.

-Hand over the land that the Roam Guild conquered and all commercial developments.

-Dissolve the Roam Guild.

The Roam Guild should leave their houses and settle elsewhere.

230,000 troops of the Haven Empire surrounded Star City and offered these conditions for survival.

“This is so humiliating that I would rather die.”

The leaders of the Hermes Guild had expected the Roam Guild to fight.

Bardray and the Royal Guards broke through the external walls and disposed of the defense forces. The Roam Guild fought to the death but the results didn’t change before Bardray’s power.

Bardray was called a god in battle and he became stronger with more experience. The Haven Empire planned to conquer the Central Continent and he had led numerous large scale battles. He gained tough combat experience, enhanced his level and stats and gained a mysterious ability that dwelled in the forest of the elves.

His superior leadership and charisma made soldiers and knights bow to him.

“So far it has been a long road. Only a little bit of the journey remains until I reached the destination.”

Bardray didn’t feel motivated to fight the Roam Guild. The Royal Guards took care of everything else after the battle. The Roam Guild had been broken a while ago so this was just a long process of taking care of them.

After leaving Continent of Magic, he had thoroughly prepared for Royal Road and helped start the Hermes Guild.

In the early days of Royal Road, not a lot of information was available to the users. In some cases, it was common to get lost after leaving a city and barely making it back.

It was normal to see distressed users near the gates. Some merchants couldn’t even dream of long distance trading and just stayed safely in the cities. The cities were bustling and novice users were full of curiosity about the unknown world.

Bardray and the Hermes Guild demonstrated strength and solidarity and got ahead of their other competitors. They steadily built up their influence in the Haven Kingdom until Bardray obtained the ultimate position.

The numerous minor guilds and powers started scrambling. They quickly seized control of the Haven Kingdom and moved on to the Kallamore Kingdom. They also joined the United Supremacy Alliance and there was a tug-of-war until they reached this point.

Soon the entire Central Continent and then the Versailles Continent would be under his reign. The period of glory he had been dreaming of would soon arrive.

“Dominating this continent as the Emperor….”

After the war ended, Bardray would lower the tax rate and establish reasonable policies for users. He would firmly lay the foundation of the empire on gratitude. There were no obstacles in front of Bardray and he believed that it was proceeding smoothly.

“Fulfilling the greatest challenge will be achieved by Bardray.”

But ironically, the broadcasting stations weren’t showing the crucial event of the Roam Guild being shattered. The stations only edited it to be talked about in the evening news.

This scratched Bardray’s pride. He blamed Weed who the stations were featuring heavily.

The battle between the Hermes Guild and the Roam Guild was already decided so the stations weren’t interested. Even the ratings were tired of the fight and they would rather watch Weed’s adventure.

Europe’s fledgling station, Zenith Media was the only one interested in paying to show the Hermes Guild’s adventure.

“Weed, let’s see what the result will be.”

Bardray only looked at Weed. He was still worried despite his previous victory. He watched Weed’s adventure and also heard about it from other people.

The final secret technique quest baffled the Hermes Guild so they collected all the data available. The Hermes Guild prayed for Weed’s adventure to fail!

If they could, they would send a large squad to the past to interfere with the adventure. More than anything else, they were furious that the invasion in the past was affecting the Haven Empire.

“It will be interesting to see if you can live. I will catch you with my own hands. And you will be the best offering in order to climb to the seat of Emperor.”

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