"What if they pull back their army once they found out their headquarters is attacked?" Jack asked.

"If they do that, they will risk facing harassment from all the guilds and players inside this country for at least a whole week," John replied. "A guild army summoning crystal has a one-week cooldown. Once they recall their army, they have to wait one full week. No matter how good they are, they won't be able to conquer other guilds' headquarters without their guild army. Hence, they can only try to invade again after the cooldown is over. But can they survive that one week? Once the bounty quest was issued, every player and guild will be gunning for them for rewards."

"Also, if a guild becomes an enemy to the country they dwell in, they won't receive any protection status even after losing sufficient power," Peniel explained. "They will only enter protection status if their guild core is broken. Even then, the period of their protected status will be halved."

"See? their chance of moving their headquarters will only be tomorrow," John said. "Afterward, they can only play defense. By then, their guild army will just continue to dwindle from continuous attacks."

"They must have been hoping that the invasion lasts longer so that they have more time to organize a headquarters transfer," Jeanny said.

"Yes. My eyes and ears said they didn't expect the war to end so soon," John said. "When a guild destroyed a foreign guild's guild core, they will have the option to either get their guild hostage token or take over that headquarters. But of course, their old one will be gone after the transfer. They had been scouting for a suitable headquarters to target in the Aurebor Dynasty. Many of the guilds in that country had joined the Aurebor's invasion into Liguritudum, so those guilds lost quite a number of guild armies. Those guilds' protection status had also just been lifted recently. Death Associates originally wanted to send scouts to better check the real situation in each of those guilds before mounting their assault. But because the war here was over sooner than expected, they decided to just target the seemingly weakest one."

"They have been forced to expedite their timetable," Jeanny remarked.

John nodded. "They will be going all out tomorrow. My prediction is that they won't send their guild army back even after knowing we are attacking them. Most likely they will focus on defeating that other guild sooner than us defeating them. They might send a few experts back to hold us down, though."

"Oh, I hope so," Jack said.

"But I at first thought that the kingdom will deal with them directly after the stunt they pulled," Jeanny said. "Like wiping their headquarters out with the kingdom army and imprisoning their members. Well, I did hear some oblivious Death Associates players getting caught and imprisoned when they entered the cities. But outside the cities, the kingdom is rather ignorant. They just put a bounty for us to handle them. They seemed to only take direct action when a native force is involved."

"Don't forget this world is originally meant as a game," Jack said. "It is designed to focus on us, players. We are the main characters here while the natives are originally NPCs who serve as our support. So, it made sense that the system is having us players do most of the work when it comes to other players. But hey, we will get extra rewards because of that."

"Hm, I suppose you are right... Anyway, do you know which guild in Aurebor is their target?" Jeanny asked John.

"Yes. It's a guild called Offline Beasts," John answered.

"Funny. Online, offline. Never heard those terms anymore since the world turned," Jack commented.

"If it is a race on who breaks the guild core first, then we might as well do something to slow them down," Jeanny said.

"You have a way to?" Jack asked.

"I might," Jeanny replied. "So, do we gather tomorrow morning in the guild courtyard?"

"Early morning, right after sunrise. We need a few hours to arrive at their headquarters," John answered. "I have sent notifications to all battle-capable members to gather. I didn't tell them the purpose though, to not alert Death Associates in case they still have spies. Once they summoned their guild army in Aurebor, it will be too late even if they know we are coming."

"All right, then I will go. Hopefully, I can get the help," Jeanny said.

"Wait!" Jack stopped her. "I'm going to Blacksmith Circle to rent a workshop with unique-grade blacksmith tools. Give me your weapons and armor, I will upgrade them to the maximum level you can use."

"You can use the workshop there?" John asked.

"Yeah, the rent is 100 gold coins per hour."

Hearing that, John hurriedly unequipped his equipment and gave them to Jack. "I am level 58 now, so please level them up to level 68." He was not going to let go of a free upgrade.

"Wow, you have three unique-grade equipment!" Jack exclaimed after receiving John's equipment.

"Yeah, I just exchanged two of them earlier today using my war contribution points," John answered. He had again gotten the most war contribution points compared to the others, allowing him to get a unique magic staff and gloves. With the unique-grade Summoner Robe he got from the previous civil war, he now had three unique-grade equipment.

The exp reward he received after the war was also more generous than others. Despite dying once, he still increased to a level higher than most others.

"Here is mine," Jeanny gave Jack her equipment.

"Good spear!" Jack commented after seeing it.

"It's from the orc lord chief, Abdu Raretooth," Jeanny said.

Jack remembered that the orc was Abasi's father. Abasi would surely hate him even more if he knew Jeanny was his friend.

Aside from the spear, Jeanny also had a unique-grade chest armor she had just exchanged using war contribution points.

"I'm level 59," Jeanny informed. Both his contribution and the exp from killing Abdu had allowed her level to soar.

"All right, I will give them back to you tomorrow morning before we depart," Jack said.

"Give your mom my regards," John said to Jeanny when she was about to leave.

Jeanny simply gave him a glance for a reply.

"Oh...," Jack uttered as he came to a realization.

"I will be off too, got to organize things. What about you?" John asked Jack. But before Jack could answer, John said, "Never mind, not interested. Just remember to be present tomorrow morning."

Jack felt like testing his Ice Bullet on John as he walked away.


After the three went their own ways, Jack went around town and restocked materials, equipment, and potions. He had been doing it so often that he had become good friends with the store owners. Despite only purchasing cheap items, he had done it in large quantities. Hence, the proficiencies he received from the trades were still substantial. His Haggling skill increased to Basic Expert.

With his title, Hero of Themisphere, the effect of his Haggling skill was one grade higher. Thus, the items he bought were cheaper than the normal price.

The store owners were also used to him buying up their stuff already, so they had learned to stock up more. They are not afraid to overstock because Jack assured them that he would purchase all their stocks, especially the common ores and equipment.

Jack spent even more coins buying up the stocks this time. He spent 200 gold coins. But he received 350 gold coins from Amy's Bakery and Restaurant, so he still got a surplus. With the guild already having a steady gold coin income, he no longer bothered to donate his coins. He was saving them in case he needed them for later. He currently had a total of 831 gold coins in his purse.

He teleported back to Heavenly Citadel and collected all the stored-up common ores and common equipment there. He then went inside the Time Chamber next. Now that the war was over, some core members were there to train in martial arts. Jack ignored them and took out his Transformation Prism and started fusing materials and equipment.

He didn't fuse all the common materials as he also need them to level up equipment. He only fused until he got the right proportion. After done with the task, he exited the time chamber and teleported back to Thereath again. From there, he rode Pandora and headed to the Blacksmith Circle.

Luckily, Grenmir was there again. So, he could persuade the dwarf to let him rent the workshop. Even though along the way Grenmir kept on saying stuff like he was violating his faction's rules by allowing Jack to use the workshop and he was doing Jack a huge favor, his tone sounded gleeful enough. Jack was sure that the 100 gold coins for one-hour usage were seriously overcharged and Grenmir was actually glad someone was stupid enough to spend their coins like that, but Jack didn't mind. Leveling up his gears was more important to him. He had loads of coins, after all.

The first equipment he leveled up was of course the Sword of Unknown Loss. Now that the guild had a copy of this sword, he was free to use this one as he saw fit.

He didn't level it up before letting Jeanny copy it because an equipment's level would always be at the lowest level at the time the equipment was procured. The level-up won't follow the copied item. Peniel had informed them, and Jeanny had confirmed it by testing on uncommon equipment.

So, even if they copied the Sword of Unknown Loss to a higher level, the copied sword would be at level 50 the same level as when Jack received the sword the first time. So, they couldn't save the leveling-up ores using the copy feature from Jeanny's divine ability.

Jack leveled the Sword of Unknown Loss up from level 50 to level 72 using a massive number of ores.

After level 70, every level-up attempt needed ten iron ores, five steel ores, four copper ores, three silver ores, one gold ore, and one titanium ore. Titanium ore was a super rare material. It took a lot of common ores to fuse them into this ore using his Transformation Prism. Each failed attempt after level 70 caused him heartache, and the success chance was only 47%, even after using his Runestone of Probability.

When leveling up to level 72, the success chance dropped to 37%. He ended up failing five times, consuming eight titanium ores. He wiped the cold sweat on his brow. He had prepared only twenty titanium ores, these should still be enough to level up his magic staff to level 72 as well.

For his armors, he could only be content to level them up to level 70.