The former emperors believed that the higher the level of the people, the stronger the nation. It was one of the reasons why the empire wasn’t wealthy. The empire conferred more welfare and benefits to its people as it conquered and exploited others. They hoped the people would take pride in themselves as citizens of the empire and focus on self-development, which would also grow the empire. This was the empire’s investment for thousands of years.
The archer Rainhud was one of the talents raised by the empire. The extremely developed archer perceived the breeze coming from afar and recognized the wavelength of the air.
“...” Rainhud captured a glow in the sky and lowered his gaze. His eyes stared at the horizon and captured a blue stream of magic power. He instantly captured Yura in his gaze. The string of his bow was pulled back. He had no intention of letting go of an enemy who dared to shoot at the empire.
Rainhud released the bowstring. The sparkling bullet that flew toward the allied formation exploded as it collided with the magic barrier. There was a glaring light that obstructed Rainhud’s visibility.
“Keuk...!” Rainhud lost his aiming point, and the arrow he fired was weaker than usual. Rainhud’s arrow, which should’ve penetrated Yura, was intercepted in the air. It was an arrow made of jaffa. Rainhud recognized it instantly. It was the arrow of the woman he killed twice.
The greatest shame of an archer wasn’t when they failed to hit the target but when they were targeted. The disgrace he felt when the arrow he’d shot became a target was too great. The excuse of losing his sight because of the flash didn’t work. Rainhud had to make up for it. He once again drew back the bowstring.
The magic bombardment of Noll in the sky intensified, causing Rainhud to lose his balance for a moment. He hurriedly shifted his gaze back and saw an absurd scene. The crazy female archer of the Overgeared Kingdom was approaching on a camel.
“Why is she committing suicide?”
Rainhud tried to aim at the female archer only to then come to a stop. It was due to the phoenix rising from behind the archer. The hot heat emitted by the phoenix seemed to melt the entire desert.
“It is useless! Don’t be deceived!”
“It isn’t a big deal!”
The soldiers ignored the phoenix. A few days ago, the phoenix fired from a distance was blocked by the magic barrier. However, now the distance was too close. It was a distance where the magic barrier which worked against snipers couldn’t take effect.
Rainhud paled, and he quickly fired an arrow. He planned to assassinate the archer before the phoenix’s attack hit.
“Ohhhhh!” Then a black man came running with a shield and protected the archer. He was a very durable man and didn’t fall down easily.
“Shit!” Rainhud blamed the monster in the sky. The firepower of Rainhud’s allies wasn’t concentrated because of Noll. The screams of the soldiers echoed as they were swallowed up by the fire. Grey pillars rose continuously, and Rainhud lost one eye. This was the moment when the quality of the archer weakened.
“Kuah...! Kuaaaaak!” Rainhud’s scream of anger and resentment was directed at Jishuka. This was the beginning of a new growth.
[★Hidden Quest★ Expert Archer’s Grudge has occurred!]
[Expert Archer’s Grudge]
[★ Hidden Quest ★
The expert archer, whose name isn’t known, has a big grudge against you and plans revenge. In the future, he will live to kill you.
Survive the sniping!
Quest Clear Conditions: Survive 10 sniping attempts that might occur in the future.
Quest Clear Rewards: Every time you survive, your agility and sensing stats will increase.]
“Isn’t this good?”
Jishuka retreated with Yura’s help. She managed to soothe her pain of dying two times in the war. Moreover, she wasn’t alone. There were numerous crises during the war, and the suffering Overgeared members were growing significantly in power.
Satisfy had a hierarchy for the countless classes. Some classes were spotlighted by people at the pinnacle of the pyramid while others at the bottom of the pyramid were shunned. The artillery class was a typical low-status class. The expression ‘underprivileged’ was an exaggeration.
Satisfy currently had no portable artillery such as bazookas. There were rumors that they could get portable artillery from the dwarf city or the East Continent, but it didn’t matter... They weren’t circulated on the market. Thanks to this, the artillerymen had to use cannons as weapons, and at least three of them were required to operate one cannon. Moreover, most shells were purchased by the empire and kingdoms.
That’s right. For all sorts of reasons, the artillerymen were a half-rate class that couldn’t even use weapons. Proper hunting was impossible. The only way for artillerymen to progress was to enlist in the army.
“This garbage class has nothing to do even during a war.”
The 1st place on the artillerymen rankings, ‘Lost Justice’—she didn’t take pride in her number one ranking. Out of two billion users, there were only 10,000 artillerymen. In fact, she was only level 180, barely reaching the average level of most players. It was a level she managed to gain thanks to joining the imperial army and receiving the daily cannon training quest. Her Firearms Mastery skill level had also been raised to the beginner master stage. Yes, beginner master...
It was garbage compared to NPC artillerymen. In the imperial army where there were countless NPC artillerymen, Lost Justice’s position was very low. The proof was that she didn’t have a chance to enter the war one month after the war with the Overgeared Kingdom started.
“Hah...” She had to suck her fingers even after a big war started. Lost Justice regarded war as an opportunity, but the reality of it was hopeless. She had worried about it hundreds and thousands of times already, and she started thinking again, ‘Should I change classes?’
It was now almost a habit. The reason she hadn’t changed her class so far was that she had pride. She was too proud to turn away from the last few years of frustration and hard work. The reason why she initially chose an artilleryman was simple. She thought it would be safe shooting a cannon from a distance.
[A friend request from ‘Lauel’ has arrived.]
Staring at a distant mountain, sighing, pulling her hair, and so on, Lost Justice was showing intense signs of depression when she suddenly doubted her eyes. She received a friend request. Someone was asking to be her friend? It was a big event she had never experienced ever since becoming an artilleryman.
“U-Uhh?” Lost Justice belatedly accepted the friend request. She didn’t care about the person asking to be her friend. She was just glad, joyful and amazed.
[The player ‘Lauel’ has become a friend.]
-Hello? Are you Lost Justice? I am Lauel of the Overgeared Kingdom and Overgeared Guild.
-Ah, yes. H-Hello. Huhu.
She couldn’t believe the day when she would use the whisper system had come! The experience of talking to a stranger whose face she didn’t know was really exciting. It felt very different from a phone call.
-...Huh? Lost Justice laughing excitedly belatedly made a blank expression. -O-Overgeared Guild?
Beings in a completely alien world—the members of the Overgeared Guild were world class stars who owned the Overgeared Kingdom and were currently in a war with the empire. Lost Justice recognized them as celebrities who could only be seen on TV. Now an Overgeared member, Grid’s right arm, had sent her a whisper?
“Is this a scam?”
It was an unbelievable situation. Lost Justice brought up her friends list. The information of her only friend, Lauel, was revealed.
Guild: Overgeared Guild
Kingdom: Overgeared Kingdom]
The current average level of the high rankers was around 370. Compared to them, Lauel’s level was rather low. In order to serve the country, he had no time to hunt because he was struggling with managing internal affairs. Yet from Lost Justice’s point of view, Lauel’s level was huge. The level felt like it was at another dimension.
-Y-Y-You are real!
-Haha, did you think I was an impostor? Well, I am a high-profile figure, so I’m a good target to impersonate. Kukuk.
-...Ah, yes. What is your business?
Lost Justice didn’t like Lauel originally. A man who lived on his high horse was tiring in many ways. Lauel was confused as Lost Justice’s fervent reaction quickly cooled down, so he cut to the chase. -We are recruiting artillerymen for the Overgeared Guild.
-Yes, I see. Huh? -You are recruiting artillerymen for the Overgeared Guild? Why?
-It is necessary.
-B-But the Overgeared Guild is the best guild in the world, and artillerymen are garbage.
-Garbage... That isn’t the case. Artillerymen are a must for the Overgeared Guild.
-This isn’t a scam?
Indeed, it couldn’t be a scam. It would be a one-sided loss for a bigshot like Lauel to waste time tricking her. Lauel’s voice continued, -There is a village on the outskirts of the empire where the Ul Clan used to live. It is a completely ruined place now. If you send a whisper there, I’ll send a person to pick you up.
The development of the Overgeared Cannon was definitely a great accomplishment, but Lauel had a headache. Grid had overlooked one aspect, which was the scarcity of artillerymen. In particular, the Overgeared Kingdom’s army relied more on the mass-production Grid set than artillery and they neglected the training of artillerymen. The Overgeared Kingdom had only 100 artillerymen, and even those small numbers weren’t trained properly. They had to consume shells to practice shooting cannons, and this all consumed money.
‘It is ridiculously small.’
100 artillerymen could only operate 33 Overgeared Cannons. It might be different if only Grid could make the Overgeared Cannons, but the craftsmen were able to produce the Overgeared Cannons. Considering the volume of black iron, hundreds of Overgeared Cannons could be produced in the future. More artillerymen were needed.
Then Lauel was reminded of the players. Lauel changed the rankings to the class lists, went to the ‘artillerymen’ category and identified the first 100 ranked artillerymen players. Then he became scared.
‘The 1st ranked player is level 180.’
The 100th ranked player was only level 113. It felt like he was seeing the rankings list five years ago.
‘Did time stop for the artillerymen?’
It was an absurd idea. Lauel shook his head and sent friend requests to all 100 players, starting with the 1st ranked Lost Justice and ending with the 100th ranked player. Then he had an interesting experience. 100 people accepted Lauel’s friend request. Moreover, the response to his whisper was instantaneous. They seemed like hungry people.
Originally, Lauel was planning to present good conditions to the artillerymen. He thought he should appease them with the best terms since he was in the unfavorable position. Then he changed his mind after learning about the realities of artillerymen. Lauel just gave them the offer to join the Overgeared Guild, and the 100 artillerymen readily agreed.
‘The time has come to create Overgeared Four.’
It was the guild name. The Overgeared Artillerymen group.
‘The key is who to make the guild master...’
Who would be the person to command the 100 artillerymen rankers? Lauel considered the role the artillerymen would play in the future. He wondered about the leader they needed.
‘The main stage of the artillerymen is the battlefield, not the hunting ground. In order to control them, I need a leader who can read a battlefield well. Artillerymen have low mobility, their defense is weak and they shouldn’t attract aggro...’
They needed to have quick judgment and composure to set the shooting point. It was good to have the ability to read wind direction. Who could be the leader who met all these conditions? After a while, Lauel came to a conclusion.
“There is no one.”
The Overgeared members had strong and individual personalities. They were geniuses with strong self-esteem and selfishness. In the first guild, there was no one with the ability to lead the artillerymen.
“It can’t be helped.”
He would have to leave the artillerymen to Toban, who had been the former chief of staff for the Tzedakah Guild. Toban had experience with reading the field in the war and skills to protect his allies. He might not be perfect, but he would lead the artillerymen well until their place was settled.
‘I need to pay more attention to the guild members in the future.’
Overgeared One, Overgeared Workforce... No, Overgeared Two… and finally, there was the Overgeared Shadows. Currently, there were three guilds and 913 guild members. Lauel remembered all of their abilities and characteristics, but he didn’t know the details of their background or personality.
The excuse was that he lacked time. He fully understood the early members but didn’t have time to interact with the new recruits. The main problem was that Grid was the same. Lauel had the intelligence to memorize all the names, faces, and basic features of the members, but Grid was different. Grid didn’t even know the names and faces of the guild members. Lauel had a hunch that this was the most important time.
‘If we are being swept away by the outside, we need to firm up the inside.’
Lauel rushed to the smithy. Grid and the craftsmen were trying to produce something bigger than their height.
“You said you are going to invite artillerymen? You have suffered a lot.”
How far ahead was his development? Lauel was impressed that Grid had noticed his approach despite the uproar.
“Kukuk, as expected of the man who received my recognition...” Lauel laughed while covering his face with one hand, and Grid ignored him. He had learned from experience that it was better not to react when Lauel suddenly spoke bullshit. It was as expected.
“Hum hum. I think we need to establish Overgeared Four,” Lauel coughed with embarrassment and brought out the main point.
“Is it due to the artillerymen that will be recruited this time?”
“Well, then. Let’s create it.”
“Yes. Additionally, let’s have an event to celebrate the formation of the fourth group.”
Weren’t they in a war right now?
Lauel laughed at Grid’s absurd reaction. “I will call the Overgeared members to Reidan and set off fireworks.”
“Is it to show our composure to the empire?”
“Yes, it's a common bravado. The effect will be clear. The morale of the imperial soldiers will fall when they see us partying in a war.”
“Yes. Then do it.”
The event would end with a toast.
Lauel’s next words were like a bolt out of the blue for Grid who was trying to think simply.