Apocalypse Saga 7

Chapter 7 First Audience, Part Two

Edited by: Kanaa-senpai

 ”How does the Chancellor think?”

 From the moment Charles heard the report, he had been acting on the assumption that the battlefield was inside the dungeon, but that was purely Charles’s judgment. It is indeed a question whether it is acceptable to invite unknown enemies into the organization immediately after the abnormal situation of being transported to another world. In order to dispel this anxiety, or perhaps to hear a better idea, the three were gathered.

 This council is not to convey Charles’s decision, but to hear Charles’s opinions in making the decision.

 Felshiol, who possesses the character of a castle lord, inquired about the strategies being considered. The deputy, to whom the gaze was directed, slowly spoke after nodding in agreement.

 ”If it had been possible to crush the entire city, that would have been ideal. However, the possibility of concealing Babellion’s transport disappeared as soon as the commotion was heard. The current situation is one in which we have no information about the enemy. Therefore, as Your Majesty’s thoughts suggest, I believe it is a solid plan to focus on defense and demonstrate the highest capability within this dungeon.”

 Having been given the absolute of a “knowledgeable general,” Felshiol had indeed seen through that Charles was considering defensive strategies.

 ”Then there was no mistake in my initial actions?”

 ”There seems to be no issue. Let us have Shiki do her utmost in the task at hand.”

 Charles pondered, nodded with a wry smile, and once again contemplated his intentions.

 ”My dear lord, may one ask you a question?”

 A melodic voice, reminiscent of a tinkling bell, resounded. It carried a certain allure, as if playing with the bells of my heart, coming from behind Felshiol.

 The one who spoke was a beautiful woman with blood-red hair flowing down to her waist, possessing a voluptuous figure that would captivate any man. Her twilight-colored eyes were enchanting, and her sharp canine teeth were distinctive. The low-cut black dress she wore provocatively emphasized her ample bosom, with fruits ripe and demanding attention from within the confines of the dress.

 Her name was Esmeralda. She was a Level 200 [True Ancestor Vampire (True Blood)] serving as the “Minister of the Right” in Babellion.

 Esmeralda’s position as “Minister of the Right” encompassed the responsibility of internal affairs, including overseeing the hierarchical structure of the city, which consisted of nine city leaders.

 And kneeling to the left of Esmeralda is Faelrith, the “Minister of the Left” of the Both Fiefs. Her golden hair, shining in the light, is in a lovely bob cut, and her emotionless countenance leaves a lasting impression of a beautiful girl. In contrast to the voluptuous and sensual beauty of Esmeralda, Faelrith has a youthful appearance and lacks the curves of a mature woman. However, her seemingly undeveloped figure gives off a dangerous scent of allure or a sense of forbidden fruit, reminiscent of a body that is still in the process of maturing.

 Furthermore, the majestic pair of horns protruding from her temples, the wings on her back, and the long tail are all characteristic features of the [Emperor Dragon]. Needless to say, her level is unmatched.

 As the “Minister of the Left,” she is responsible for overseeing the defense of the lower layers up to the 90th layer and serves as the defense supervisor for Babellion when intruders appear, acting as the Supreme Commander. Additionally, should an intrusion be allowed up to the 90th layer, she herself will stand as the guardian (final boss).

 In Babellion, the Minister of the Right and the Minister of the Left hold the same rank and are second in hierarchy after Felshiol.

 ”Please explain.”

 ”Well, if it falls into Shiki’s hands, she would quickly assess the enemy’s abilities. In that case, wouldn’t it be better to conquer them immediately? Could you tell me the reason why we’re not doing so?”

 ”Indeed, the Minister of the Right’s perspective is reasonable. If we mention defensive preparations, many would silently agree.”

 The decision to start with defense was not driven by sympathy or morality, but rather by solid calculations. Babellion is a towering structure. Considering its size in relation to the size of a city, the settlements crushed by Babellion would be of a scale worthy of being called a city. And if such settlements are occupied by force, it would inevitably lead to a state of war with the nation to which the settlements belong.

 If he eliminates the extreme possibility that 100 levels here are equivalent to 1 level there, it would probably be easy to destroy the enemy. However, if the enemy is a major power, it would be necessary to send a considerable number of personnel from Babellion to maintain that territory. Moreover, in the current situation of being afflicted by the calamity of unexplained transference, it is inevitable to say that expanding the army on a large scale would be a bad move.

 As Charles explained the situation in a plausible manner, his subordinates nodded repeatedly in agreement. The plan is not that bad, after all. Esmeralda, who asked the question, is giving him a passionate gaze.

 On the other hand, Charles’ inner thoughts were far from calm. Even if the enemy is not overwhelmingly strong, his true feelings were that it is troublesome to just be on equal footing.

 The average level of Babellion’s soldiers is 100, but they are elite soldiers that have been painstakingly trained. It is not something that can be easily created as additional forces just because their numbers have decreased in the war. Therefore, being on equal footing is a disadvantageous condition.

 If the enemy is weak, the report will be sent immediately; if the enemy is strong, the report will be delayed accordingly. On his face, he pretended to be calm and talked to his subordinates in a relaxed tone, but inside he was also very nervous. He was making this assessment as he was waiting for the verdict of a 50/50 trial, with a 50/50 split between death penalty and innocence.

 ”Your Majesty, I would like to report on my first sightings. Is that okay?”

 ”Let me hear it.”

 A deep, low female voice came from the ceiling, and Charles agreed, a little reluctantly, as if he had been waiting for her.

 ”Yes, I will compile the details of the investigation into a report and submit it later, but first I would like to verbally report the general current situation.”

 While Charles felt cold sweat running down his spine, wondering if he had shown too much of his impatience, the owner of the voice, Shiki, began her report without any particular reaction.

 ”First of all, the current location of Babellion seems to have transported to the outskirts of Lemar, the old capital in the western part of the Ravendora Empire, which was the capital of the country until about 300 years ago. The empire is a world-wide empire. In general, it is treated as a great power. However, it is not the world’s ruler, but rather is positioned below the top.”

 ”What’s the population?”

 ”The population is estimated from the size of the city and the number of houses, and it’s about 60,000 people.”

 ”That’s a lot…”

 Although 60,000 may seem small, considering that the population of Paris in the 14th century was around 80,000, it is a sufficiently large city. It’s not a strange number when considering that most people in the Middle Ages spent their entire lives in the place where they were born.

 ”Also, regarding the Empire’s recognition of Babellion, it seems that a ritual of a religious group designated as a heretical sect called Asura-Telmaal was performed just before Babellion’s transference, and it is believed that Babellion is a facility related to the same religion that manifested through the ritual, as Babellion’s current location coincides with the location of the ritual.”

 ”Asura-Telmaal… I’ve never heard of it. Is it a religion related to the ancient world?”

 ”We are still investigating Asura-Telmaal, but at least the priests involved in the ritual were crushed by Babellion, so we are currently proceeding with the investigation as the entity closest to the cause of the transference.”

 ”Underlying, huh…”

 And he heard Faelrith’s murmured response with a pensive expression.

 ”What’s wrong, Minister of the Left? If you have something on your mind, speak up. This is a place for that, and even if you say something off-topic, there is no one to blame.”

 ”If it’s just being an underlying, then there’s no problem. But it’s possible that they might have been transported inside Babellion by some chance.”

 Charles muttered softly, agreeing with Faelrith’s observation. It has been confirmed that soldiers working outside are teleported into Babellion’s interior during the transport. The possibility pointed out by Faelrith couldn’t be denied.

 ”Minister of the Left’s observation is indeed valid. I didn’t think about that, but after all, Babellion is manifested in this world by surpassing some dimension. It is highly possible for a person who became an underlying to be transported inside Babellion.”

 It seemed that Felshiol was the same, with a look of admiration in his eyes, which housed intelligence.

 ”At this point, we haven’t detected any intruders… but given the circumstances, it would be advisable to conduct a search. Minister of the Left, can I rely on you?”

 ”If it is Your Majesty’s command, I will take it on with responsibility.”

 ”One will inform the leaders of each layer through my channel, my lord.”

 ”I’ll leave it to you. If anything happens, report immediately.”

 This was exactly the meaning of convening a council. As the saying goes, “Three heads are better than one,” when people gather and exchange opinions, someone will surely come up with a good idea or find a problem.

 ”Shiki, continue with the report.”

 ”Yes. Currently, the old capital is being ruled by Princess Lucia, the second princess, as the representative. Crown Prince Alfred is also staying in the old capital. The former is eighteen years old, and the latter is twelve years old. It is said that Princess Lucia has significant influence within the country, excelling in both academics and martial arts.”

 Based on the information that two members of the royal family, one of whom is the crown prince, Charles contemplates. This report had the potential to significantly change the direction of the strategies in the minds of everyone present, more than just a discussion of the council.

 ”Is the empire planning to invade Babellion?”

 ”Currently, the garrison troops of the imperial capital have begun to surround Babellion, but there is still ongoing debate about whether to invade the interior. There have also been reports from the public claiming to have seen figures inside, so the empire is highly vigilant of the presence of intelligent beings within Babellion.”

 In response to Faelrith’s question, Charles asks again. It was the information that could greatly influence the direction of his life in the new world, and Charles could not help but hold his breath.

 ”What is the enemy’s level?”

 ”It’s equivalent to level 50.”

 That word was more like fitting the final piece or pulling out a stuck bone in his throat. Charles let out a small sigh upon hearing Shiki’s words. But it wasn’t just Charles who reacted this way. Everyone gathered in this place understood the importance of that information.

 ”Level 50, huh? It’s not that high…”


 Felshiol nodded in agreement.

 It’s like a dungeon for intermediate players that meets the standards of the game era. As equipment and skills become more advanced, player can participate in events and the game becomes more enjoyable.

 The maximum level of monsters that a Dungeon Master can command is 200. The leveling of monsters adopts a synthesis material system, which, strictly speaking, is also quite difficult to collect, but the real challenge lies in unlocking the level cap.

 The dungeon bulletin board on the famous walkthrough site for Apocalypse Saga lists the following catchphrases.

 ’Even beginner players who are not that serious say that it’s easy up to level 100.

 Intermediate players who are putting in a decent amount of effort say that it’s troublesome up to level 150.

 Even top players whose names are well known say that it’s an extremely difficult challenge up to level 175.

 Even players who have lost track of what is real say that they will curse the developers to reach level 200.’

 The monsters under his command also have a level system, with level caps at level 10, level 50, level 100, level 150, and level 175. As the saying goes, it’s easy up to level 100. However, reaching the level cap beyond level 100, including the level 100 cap itself, requires tremendous effort and becomes increasingly challenging with each stage.

 In particular, the vast amount of materials required during level cap unlocks cannot be obtained in just one or two days of farming. To achieve the ultimate level cap unlock, which is surpassing level 175 and reaching level 200, an enormous number of items are required.

 It’s already a difficult feat just to level up the player to 200, but to expend the same amount of effort for the sake of monsters, it shows how insane the Dungeon Master is.

 However, in exchange for that effort, they are granted power that is equivalent to level 200, making them equivalent to high-level raid bosses, against whom ordinary players wouldn’t stand a chance.

 The claims made by strategy websites hit the mark. It could even say they hit too accurately.

 Even Charles, who was always mentioned as a shut-in, had very few subordinates who surpassed the level cap of 175 and reached level 200. There were Twelve Pillars of the Saint Tower and a few others. Moreover, half of them were subordinates inherited from other players, so they were not literally raised with blood, sweat, and tears.

 By the way, it is said that once someone obtain even one subordinate at level 200, they become part of the shut-in group, but let’s put that aside for now.

 The soldiers of the four major army have all had the upper limit of level 100 released, so all of them are above level 100, and the average would be around level 105 to level 110. It is a number that adds a double score to level 50, and the level system is 50 levels in an MMORPG is a much bigger difference than you might think from the numbers.

 ”If they’re weak, wouldn’t it be faster to take over? It would be frustrating to be attacked by flies forever. One think it would be best to destroy them at the source.”

 Esmeralda shrugs her shoulders in a relaxed manner. To her, who is at level 200, a level 50 is not a baby, but a dwarf, like a fly. They also don’t fly around quickly, but is slower than a butterfly, and keeps looking away. It is a fly that can be crushed.

 Of course, it is important not to let your guard down. But it is a fact that they have overcome a certain hurdle or checkpoint. For example, even if a soldier is at level 50, there is a possibility of facing high-level enemies such as nobles, heroes, and knights.

 ”Shiki, what exactly is considered Level 50? Are the Second Princess, who excels in both academics and martial arts, and the General who leads the troops also considered Level 50?”

 ”It is believed that the highest level in the current capital city is the Second Princess Lucia, who is equivalent to Level 100. The second highest is a man named Kassandra, who is a subordinate of the Second Princess and also a General, with a level equivalent to 70. However, it is said that this Second Princess Lucia is one of the best swordsmen in the country. Considering this, it is likely that in this world, reaching Level 100 makes one a top-tier expert.”

 ”Level 100 is like an ace unit, not too strong but not weak either. If we compare it to dungeon content, it would be somewhere between a beginner and an intermediate player.”

 Esmeralda and Faelrith exchange glances. Felshiol rests his chin on his hand, deep in thought. It seems that multiple strategies are being calculated in his mind, considering the risk-return analysis.

 After waiting for about thirty seconds, Felshiol turned his gaze back to Charles.

 ”I mentioned earlier that a defensive strategy would be the best course of action, but if the enemy is only around level 50, I agree with Minister of the Right. In the current situation, it would be best to avoid scattering our troops unnecessarily. However, I believe there is merit in occupying the city known as the old capital.”

 Upon receiving the enemy’s level report, Felshiol’s opinion had also shifted towards an offensive strategy. However, Charles ordered Felshiol to continue speaking in order to ascertain whether this change in strategy was based on sound reasoning rather than overconfidence.

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Edited by Kanaa-senpai.
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