Chapter 229: Chapter 228: Defense Part II
The ten soldiers of the first lane’s tenth Site fought fiercely to show the spectators why they were chosen to fight on the tenth Site, especially the Slayer.
“Gahahaha! Eat them all!” Zulova cackled as he swung his oversized greatsword like a madman. Every time he slashed his greatsword, Bobocica, at the monsters, the monsters’ blood was absorbed into the blade. It was a pretty infamous weapon back then, so I knew something about its abilities.
“Bobocica is a Named weapon that grows stronger in battle. It’s basically of the same body and soul as Zulova. It resides within Zulova outside of battle. The wounds it inflicts cannot be healed normally. Even Trolls have trouble recovering against wounds the blade inflicts. The blood it absorbs also adds to Zulova’s strength temporarily,” Taniya whispered to me.
“He really is a Monarch, isn’t he?”
“Yes, he is. All he needs to do is feed Bobocica monsters like that, and he and Bobocica grow stronger together. But…” Taniya turned to look at me. “We have the man capable of destroying all the Monarchs right here, don’t we?”
“I’m still envious of him. I wouldn’t have to worry about buying weapons anymore if I had something like that.”
“What? Oh! I suppose you’re right. Weapons are expensive,” Taniya said as she gave a surprised giggle.
I gave her a small smile in return and turned my attention back to the fight. Zulova and the nine other soldiers were still fighting hard. By now, twenty minutes had passed since they started fighting and it was looking like they could go on.
“Shit. Aren’t they doing too well?”
“I know, right? It’s already been two hours and twenty minutes…”
“That’s the highest record, isn’t it?”
“Damn Monarchs. Madun may be the strongest of the Corps, but they’ve got the Slayer, the Wetland Mercs, and the Polar Bear on their side. The Corps can’t beat them. If only they didn’t have the Slayer as their enemy…”
“Damn those cheating La Griffe bastards! They blatantly made sure they had the advantage. Why would Madun foolishly accept that contract in the first place?”
“Shh! Madun and the Karaviki are right in front of us! Watch your mouth.”
“I’m just frustrated!”
The Mercenary Corps’ members were beyond frustrated as the more time went on, the higher La Griffe’s record grew. The other La Griffe soldiers remained silent. This was still the Mercenary Corps’ home.
It had looked like they could hold on till the end of time at first, but the longer Defense ran on, the more HP and MP they lost as their Fatigue rose. The monsters continued to appear, each wave stronger than the last as well. Their line was beginning to break.
“I can’t! They already broke through my Iron Wall!”
“Shit! Still try to stop them! We can’t let them break through!”
Their record was now past two and a half hours. There were now monsters capable of killing the softer dealers and healers with a single blow. If their tank line fell, there would be no way to stop the wave of monsters. Bad things come in threes, however, when a Bull Ogre, a Stone Golem and an Iron Golem suddenly appeared amid the monsters. They couldn’t kill all the monsters at a fast pace anymore, and the monsters were beginning to stack up. It wouldn’t be long until the monsters broke through the tenth Site.
“Think of this as our last chance and keep attacking!”
“Just ten seconds! No, just one second is fine. Just hold out a little longer!”
The tenth team had lasted more than thirty minutes. They had no doubt done more than enough, but still they fought and I couldn’t help but frown at the sight. My enemy was just doing too well, making my job just that much harder.
Finally, about a minute later, the tank hunkered down at the front was washed away by the wave of monsters. Once the tank was gone, it didn’t more than a few seconds for the dealers and healers to follow him. But Zulova still stood.
“Erupt!” he cried as he raised his now five-meter long Bobocica high into the air. At his command, the giant sword began to shrink as a red aura spewed out of the blade. It was like it was expelling everything it had eaten so far. The stacked monsters were then pushed back along the lane and fell to the floor.
“And that’s the power of La Griffe!” People began to shout from the crowd.
“Don’t kid yourself! Since when was the Slayer a member of La Griffe!?”
“Your last five Sites were all members of Polar Bear and Wetlands! You guys didn’t do jack shit, so shut your trap!”
“Hah! Don’t get sore now! They’re obviously a part of us right now! If they weren’t, they wouldn’t be here today in the first place!”
“Yeah! What’s the matter? Did you forget about the contract already?”
Even though this was Ankara, the home of the Mercenary Corps, the supporters of La Griffe couldn’t help but express their joy. La Griffe’s two and half hour long record was just too high.
Zulova had shown everyone why he was one of the Monarchs, but he could not last much longer against the growing wave of monsters. Soon, the monsters broke through the last line of defense and reached the tower. At that moment, a message appeared above the tower for all to see.
==[The tower has been corrupted by monsters.
La Griffe’s Defense is now over.
Current rank: 1st]==
“We’re in first place! Alright!”
The hurrah of four thousand soldiers was deafening, which grew louder when the quest’s ranking appeared.
==[Defense Rankings – Insane Difficulty
1st. 02:35:44 – La Griffe
2nd. 01:01:18 – Horus’un
3rd. 00:56:31 – Dahlaman]==
1st place was twice as long as 2nd place. Even though only Turkish guilds could participate in this quest, it was just too great a difference. From what I knew in the past, the Mercenary Corps had won with a record of two hours and twenty-something minutes in the past, but La Griffe was well over that now. Five minutes was no laughing matter for the Insane difficulty.
The Mercenary Corps fell into a sullen silence as La Griffe were busy cheering away, expect for me.
“Well, looks like it’s getting interesting.” I said it just loud enough for Taniya and the other officers to hear. It was too early to be depressed. We hadn’t even started yet, and I was now even more excited to begin, especially when I was told just five minutes ago that the monsters yielded EXP.
I may have been temporarily conscripted into the Mercenary Corps for a month, but I was still an outsider. If an outsider like me was this confident, it wouldn’t do for the actual members to give up hope now. A few actually picked up on this and put on confident smiles.
“Hah! How embarrassing,” Madun said to me.
“Don’t worry about it.”
Soon, the first lane was automatically cleaned up by the system, and the fifty-five soldiers were resurrected, including Zulova. When he saw that, Madun stepped forward.
“Karaviki division, listen up!”
“La Griffe is head over heels over their simple record. Let’s show them what real mercenaries can do!”
Soon, I and fifty-four Karaviki mercenaries headed for the first lane. I placed myself right in the middle of the first Site and let out a deep sigh. My heart rate was picking up and I felt the familiar rush of adrenaline wash over me. I wasn’t nervous at all.
“Mana Conversion – Ice.”
==[Mana Conversion – Ice Level 2 has been activated.]==
Warrior’s Brave Spirit lasted two hours, and Howl of the Wolf lasted one. Even with the added bonus of the skill boost item I received from the Myth Guild, I still needed to save them for at least an hour or two into the quest.
“Difficulty set to Insane!” I heard Madun shout loudly from behind me and at the same moment, the black door appeared.
“Heh. Bring it on.”
“It looks like Madun had the same idea,” Belngac said when he noticed Madun on the tenth Site.
“It’s the best strategy after all.”
“But if Madun’s Focus…”
“It won’t matter. It will only work on ten people. Focus’s effects grow stronger if more people are affected by it, but ten people won’t be enough to make much of a difference. That’s why I chose Defense out of all other methods.”
Madun’s special ability, called Focus, was an overpowered AoE buff skill that could sharply raise the abilities of up to ten thousand people. But Madun was still a powerful deva if Focus was not taken into account. That was why the Shield of Aleppo carried weight.
“Hmm… I don’t think I see any outsiders,” Zulova said.
“Yes. They all seem to be Karaviki Mercenaries,” Belngac replied, but they only paid attention to Sites 5-10.
“Hmph. I don’t care how strong the Mercenary Lord is supposed to be; it’s impossible for them to last more than two and a half hours without any help!”
The La Griffe officers watched the first lane with high spirits, obviously not giving much thought about the person on the first Site.
The black door was constantly throwing out monsters, but I just mechanically swung my spear at the monsters that came out. They were the weaker monsters since the quest just began, so there wasn’t much need to put in more work. I was even using my Rank 7 spear, saving my Harrier as a surprise. With my exceptional Stats and Mana Conversion’s buff, it was more than enough. Five minutes into the wave, I was still cutting the monsters down with one hit.
By now, I could hear the crowd begin to murmur. The crowd began to grow louder as I passed the five minute mark, but I continued my work. But soon, my identity was pretty much revealed when Powerful Shock went off after my attack and a red bolt of lightning struck the monster in front of me.
“The man on the first Site isn’t your average deva.”
“No, he isn’t.”
“It was impossible for any outsiders like Lee Jiwon to join them, right?”
“Of course,” Albini, the head of Strategic Planning for La Griffe, replied.
“But strangely enough, that man reminds me of Lee Jiwon.”
“He is using a spear, but that spear has a black blade. Lee Jiwon’s spear is red and shaped differently. There’s no way he’s Lee Jiwon.”
“Then why do I keep seeing Lee Jiwon? Is it just me?”
“Well…” Albini couldn’t reply, because he saw it too.
Then, it happened. One of Lee Jiwon’s trademark red lightnings came crashing down on top of a monster.
“It’s Lee Jiwon the First Emperor!”
“It’s Lee Jiwon versus the Slayer!”
“Alright! That’s what I’m talking about!”
The crowd was going wild while a stunned silence enveloped La Griffe.
“What is the meaning of this?”
“I’m not sure. The Troll Market contract is still in effect.”
“Then does that mean Lee Jiwon was already a part of the Mercenary Corps?” Belngac asked angrily
“It’s… the only explanation,” Albini quickly replied.
“But is that arrogance I see?” Zulova said quietly. It was just impossible for anyone to last very long on the first Site, but that was Lee Jiwon’s position. “We might actually win because of Lee Jiwon’s arrogance.”
Zulova had just experienced how strong the monsters were. He knew that there was no time to rest at all. It was only possible for Zulova to last more than thirty minutes because he had supporters to help him. It was just impossible to do it alone.
Thanks to Zulova’s words, La Griffe’s officers were able to watch with newfound hope. Lee Jiwon continued to fight on, his hat off and his red spear now out.