Monday, 11 July 2011

LMS: Volume 8






Chapter 1 : Rhodium



Rhodium, the City of Artists, was filled to the brim with beggars. Masses of people asking for alms were found all the way from the gates to the plaza.

"Please, spare just one coin! Ah, have you chosen what paint color to use yet?"

"Well, I wanted to create a new shade of my own, but as you know, the price of paint isn't cheap."

"Right, it's hard to use as many colours of paint as you are right now."

"I may have to stick to using the basic primary colors."

Impoverished art critics! This is a common sight anywhere in Rhodium. But, right now, these panhandlers were extremely jealous. The reason being a user named Weed, a beggar who had recently appeared from a Teleport Gate. At first, they had crowded him so that they could beg him for money. Now, however, they were amazed by his skill in supplication.

"Haaaa..."

Weed gazed at the sky with an expression of utter devastation ... He was still wearing Yeti fur clothes in this hot weather! Crowds of people passed by this part of the plaza.

"........"

Weed just stared at the sky with a gloomy expression. Despair, lamentation, pain, frustration, regret! Showing all these emotions on his face, just sitting there. Clink!

"Cheer up."
"Perhaps a better day will come."
"I don't know what happened to you... but life isn't as hopeless as you think."
"Please, buy some clothes with this... that fur looks so uncomfortable."

Weed didn't say a word. Passing adventurers simply used their own imagination.

"He must have suffered a terrible fate."
"How can he stare at the sky so mournfully?"
"My heart bleeds, just by seeing him..."

And so, they tossed their coins.

His skill was enough to attract donations through sympathy alone! However, if they knew what was actually on Weed's mind, they would have cried out in frustration instead.

"How could I be accepted into a college?! Now I'll have to pay expensive tuition fees for classes! And, in addition, I'll have to buy all those pricey textbooks. It can't be true ... What must not have happened ..."

He was devastated about something that everyone else would be envious of: Getting into college. Even the other artists couldn't truly stay jealous of him, since he looked so miserable.

"Hey, a young one like you shouldn't be so dejected."

Weed only sighed.

Pavo clicked his tongue, saying, "Cheer up, it's a big world out there ... Were you dumped by a girl?"

Weed just shook his head. He couldn't bear to say that he had passed an entrance exam. To him, it was such a tragedy, just the simple mention of it would make him burst into tears.

Gaston and Pavo couldn't have imagined that it was merely this that made him seem to be in such terrible despair.

"You shouldn't be so discouraged. No matter how dire the situation seems..." Pavo said, as he took a step towards him.

Pavo was now close enough to reach for the stack of coins in front of Weed.

Sweep!

Weed collected the coins in the blink of an eye as he maintained a pained expression. The movement was so fast that it would have been missed by anyone, even if they had watched him closely. No matter how sad he was, he wouldn't forget his attachment to money.

"Lacking cash as I am, I had better grab all the change I can."

There was one gold coin, several silver ones, and many copper pennies. However, those totaled a whopping one gold and forty silvers... pretty nice for just being small change.
It wasn't that much to Weed, but it was a motherload to the artists in Rhodium. Pavo came closer and patted Weed's shoulder.

"Haha, were you that needy? But, say, are you planning to sit here without eating anything?"

Of course, Weed didn't want to do that. It was just that he was stuck in the midst of beggars. Then again, he was rather hungry.

"I know a good diner just around the corner. Wanna join me?"
"How much is a meal?" Weed asked, sharply.
"You can get a decent meal for around twenty coppers."

Twenty coppers would buy almost seven loaves of wheat bread, but a proper meal raised satiation more.

"I guess it would be okay."

As if he'd finished what he came here for, Weed rose to his feet.

"Then, let's go and have a look at that diner."

When he had first arrived through the Teleport Gate, loads of beggars had crowded him. Luckily he managed to ward them off at the time. Now those panhandlers didn't bat an eye as Weed left the plaza. Actually, they were pretty happy to be rid of the competition, if only for a while.

"I didn't lose any money to those guys... I even earned a little more than a whole gold coin."

He had managed to protect his money, even though he could have just tossed a few coins in the first place to do so. But he was proud and satisfied! No artist should ever bother to beg from Weed!

"There is a good, cheap diner this way. Just follow me, and I'll show you where to get some nice food."

Gaston and Pavo dragged Weed through the convoluted alleys. They had gone quite far from the plaza.

"This place might actually be good..."

Normally, stores in deep alleys sell cheaper and tastier meals than ones near main roads. Only people in the know can find these places, hidden like treasure. In layman's terms: Exclusive native diners!

Weed sat down with Gaston and Pavo to have a meal. Cheap as it was, the menu only included a simple soup, some salad, and a loaf of bread. It was made with good quality grain though, so it was soft and savory.

"Delicious!"

Weed ate his food with satisfaction. He could bake his own bread, of course, but it would require a lot of materials and time. His money was well spent on bread this good. Pavo smiled brightly.

"Isn't it? Few places would sell this as cheaply."

It was a valid point; even Weed agreed. That would explain why the diner was so crowded, even though it was hidden this deep inside the alleys. The bowl was virtually clean once Weed was finished.

"Thanks for showing me this, it was a very nice meal."
"What are your plans?" Pavo asked, interested.
"I'm going to have a look around in the city."
"You don't exactly look like a tourist to me..."

Many tourists come to Rhodium, since it had become a trend to tour the castles and cities of the continent. Though, tourists usually didn't start begging as soon as they arrived.

"I wished to inquire about skills relating to my job."
"Then your profession is...?"
"A sculptor."
"Ah, you chose a tough one."

Gaston and Pavo looked at Weed with sympathy. They also understood why he begged so fervently now. If he came here not as a traveller, but as a sculptor, he surely had a hard time wherever he went.

Gaston said, "Among art-based classes, the more basic types, like sculptors, tend to be the most difficult. You need a skillful hand, and can't even make art as you wish. Even in the city of Rhodium, few have chosen an artistic class; production classes are much more common. Though... I have heard rumours that there's actually a world-renowned sculptor somewhere in Royal Road."

"World-renowned sculptor?"
"Someone who has, with passion and persistence, overcome a class that everyone else dismissed."
"Wow. It's amazing that there's such a person. Do you think I would be able to meet him here in Rhodium?"

"They say he's in Rosenheim Kingdom. He even made a pyramid and the Sphinx; something no ordinary sculptor would even have imagined! They even say that some of his other works are hidden around the continent. Some pieces thought to be his work are also found in the sky city, Lavias. The rumours say that his sculpting skill is at least Intermediate Level 7, and that you can get enormous buffs from looking at any of his works."

".........."

Weed was very surprised that stories about him were this widespread. He knew that he was well-known as the adventurer Weed, but he hadn't thought that he was this famous as the sculptor Weed.

"Makes sense though, since it would be artists that like this side of me."

Weed stood from his seat.

"Are you going now?"
"Yes."

"Then, we'll see you around. Perhaps once you level up some more, you can buy some paintings... or I might help you with a house..."

Gaston and Pavo waved good-bye.

* * *


Rhodium, the City of Artists.

There was poverty everywhere, but the city itself was beautiful and romantic.

It was filled with wondrous architecture that complemented the surroundings, with streets that were littered with detailed art, and even the little things spread here and there were stupendous.

The whole place was filled with fancy lights and colors.

Each road had young aspiring artists, either painting or sculpting. Others were playing instruments, often performing on the spot.

Crowds of travellers visited, and even more artists strove for their dreams in this city.

Indeed, it was built majestically. However, due to lack of funds the city wasn't properly maintained and therefore easily deteriorated. Understandably, Rhodium was also known as the city without a lord -- since no one was interested in taking it over!

While the continent had plenty of lords engaging in brutal struggles over castles and territories, Rhodium seemed almost too peaceful.

The lifeblood of any city is, of course, money. Funding is needed to populate, irrigate, research, and trade.

However, weapons and armor didn't sell very well in Rhodium.

The place was nearly deserted of adventurers, because the nearby hunting grounds were just mediocre.

No person in their right mind would want to own such an unprofitable city.

"Well, art won't bring in any profits..."

Weed's convictions were strengthened in this moment.

Blacksmiths, weavers, and enchanters usually complained about how tough their classes were, but to Weed they sounded a hundred times easier than any artisan class.

Weed continued his slow tour of Rhodium.

"O, you are my sunlight, my blessing, my lover!
To be with you forever!"

He could hear some young bards singing at a nearby theatre.

There were many bards in Rhodium.

They could improve both the strength and morale of their parties while hunting, and could also earn extra cash by giving performances.

In short, just the fact that they didn't have to beg was an advantage. This was a class that could earn its keep wherever it went!

Because of these traits, the Bard was the most respected class in Rhodium.

The second place would be Jewelers. Jewelers are able to manufacture various precious metals into beautiful accessories.

Sculptors could also refine gemstones once they reached a certain skill level, but they couldn't compare to the real specialists.

Jewelers could refine gold, silver, pearls, jade, emeralds, sapphires, and more to raise their worth.

The Jeweler class could be considered a more specialized type of sculptor.

"This is truly the City of Artists."

Weed appreciated many artworks as he walked around in Rhodium.

There were the production guilds and artistic guilds, who were very rare in other cities.

Of course, there were also a few basic combat guilds here and there.

In Rhodium, there were more than three hundred guilds! This was only possible, since there was of all kinds of combat, production and artistic guilds.

It wouldn't be an exaggeration to say that nearly all existing classes could be found here.

Weed stopped at a street lined with guilds.

"This would be a good time to look for more clues."

He had been told that there would be more hints about moonlight sculpting to be found in the artist guilds.

Thus, it was necessary to become friendly with the residents and guild masters.

Flattery and praise to steal a target's heart and relentless criticism to make him look like a lifelong friend!

This task wasn't all that difficult for Weed who possessed these smooth-talking skills.

"There is something else I need to do first... It would be good to learn a few skills now that I'm here."

Before touring the artistic guilds, Weed entered the nearby warriors' guild.

* * *


Even though Rhodium was an artistic city, it didn't mean that there were no users with combat-related classes.

Bramas was a warrior who strangely enough had chosen to start in Rhodium.

Being someone who loved to travel, he was attracted to the history and culture of Rhodium.

At first, that choice had been fine, as there was plenty of prey in the surroundings!

While the artists were busy trying to raise their skill levels, Bramas easily found mobs to hunt right outside the walls.

Normally in starting cities, there would be an extreme lack of rabbits and foxes which created fierce competition among hunters.

However, since there was an abundant wildlife to hunt around Rhodium, Bramas had quickly leveled up.

He even developed a strong companionship with the few other combat classes, as they fought along each other.

"There are no warriors in Rhodium stronger than I!"

Bramas had started to take pride in being the best warrior in Rhodium. While he was practising a new skill in the warrior's guild, someone approached him.

"Oh! Are you a warrior visiting Rhodium?"

Warriors had great compatibility with each other. Since they could cover each other in tough battles, it was a good idea to have more than one in a party.

Weed, who had just entered the guild, shook his head.

"Sorry, but I am no warrior."
"Then, what are you in our guild for?"
"I'm here to learn a skill. If you have no business with me, please excuse me."

Weed walked past Bramas and entered the guild's training center.

"What is he trying to do here?"

Curious, Bramas followed him. Weed had stopped in front of the center's instructor.

Curtly, the instructor asked, "What business have brought you here?"

Simple and dutiful warriors generally tended to dislike artists.

The instructor treated Weed with disdain, because he saw that Weed possessed the "displeasing" temperament of an artist.

Weed silently unequipped his Yeti clothes and put them away. With the continent as hot as it was, he didn't require any leather clothing. He even unequipped the armor covering his torso.

"Please, strike me."
"What?"
"To protect my peers, I wish to test my will."

Bramas went goggle-eyed. Aren't those the promised words for warriors learning new skills?!

"It's definitely in order to gain a warriors' skill -- what is going on?"

The instructor brandished his club.

"A feeble artist dares to make such an arrogant statement!? I will make you regret those words!"

The instructor forcefully swung his club towards Weed's torso.

*WHAM*

A terrifyingly powerful blow!

However, Weed didn't move an inch.

"Looks like that wasn't enough. Then I shall strike again."

*WHAAM!*

But Weed's expression still didn't change at all.

"Perhaps I have seriously underestimated you ..."

The instructor showed a little more respect, and held his club even tighter. The veins popping out from his arm were visible.

"If it gets too painful, let me know. You could die, even if you force yourself to endure it."
"I am fine."
"Then I shall continue."

*POW* *BAMM* *BAMM* *BAMM*

The instructor struck, each blow more powerful than the last. But Weed still calmly took the hits. The instructor's breathing became more and more labored, and in the end the club snapped in two.

"Haaaaaa ... Haaaaaaa ..... You ... are incredible!"

The instructor was out of breath.

"Have you ever tried closing your eyes when you took a hit? This a whispered secret, but they say that the pain dulls when your eyes are closed. This method lets you endure even more rigorous beatings."

*Ding!*



New Stat: You have gained the Toughness stat!



 




TOUGHNESS:

The ability to endure blows. The more hits a body has survived, the stronger the hits it can resist becomes. Unlike Patience, which grows as you repeat a task, this stat is only increased by being hit, and contributes to increasing your maximum life.





SKILL: You have learned Eyes Closed Tight.

EYES CLOSED TIGHT LVL 1 (0%): Closing your eyes as you are attacked minimizes the damage taken. For each level in this skill an additional 3% of Damage and Pain is decreased. However, caution with this skill is advised, as unwise usage of this skill in combat may expose you to even greater danger.



A new stat and skill!

But closing your eyes was a very dangerous action.

To close your eyes as an opponent's weapon closes in... it's a newbie's mistake, but in this case it's done to distribute damage, and in order to do this better, it is necessary to shut your eyes at the right moment.

This requirement might actually end up exposing a player to following attacks, and cause an inability to counterattack, or leave the player's weak points vulnerable.

Weed re-equipped his armor.

"Thank you for teaching me. I truly respect the warrior class since a warrior is able to protect their friends and fight their enemies at the frontline. I will do my best to become such a dependable man and might return once the chance comes around."

"It was an honor to teach such a great man who is able to defend the ones dear to him. Please come again anytime you want."

After bowing towards the instructor, Weed stepped towards the exit.

At this point, Bramas went slack-jawed.

"No way!"

The skill Weed had just learned required a whopping four hundred Patience.

Thus, it was a skill even Bramas hadn't learned yet... Patience wasn't an easy stat to raise in the first place. It only increased when a player consistently took severe damage from monsters, or falling into grave danger. But how often will a player actually let himself get hit by monsters?!

"No one in their right mind would fight those kinds of dangerous battles."

Usually, warriors hunt in a party instead of travelling alone.

Therefore, there aren't really that many occasions to get hit. While the warrior may take a blow or two from monsters, the fighters of a party always return at least three or four for each taken.

They can hunt monsters with less damage. So, even if a player has a high level, usually their Patience stat won't be very high.

On top of this, Patience only rise in situations driving players to their limits... for instance when a monster deals severe damage, because the strength of it's attack overpowers one's defense!

Patience is only easily increased when one's life is near empty.

Toughness only demands for players to take many hits, but Patience is true to its name in that one has to truly endure to increase it.

To get such a stat to a high level, a player would need stunning combat awareness to preserve their life until the critical point and still deliberately permit multiple hits.

But, in such a situation, a direct hit could mean instant death!

A monster's attack power isn't fixed. A direct hit causes a lot of damage, while a grazing blow only causes little.

A player would have to tolerate those blows and precisely monitor his health.

Considering that most common warriors cannot break past the two hundred and fifty mark in Patience, this situation suddenly seemed ridiculous.

Flabbergasted, Bramas really had to ask: "Just what kind of class are you?!"

Weed answered, "A sculptor."

"..........." Bramas was at a loss for words.

* * *


The Frozen Rose Guild used every possible means to try and rally people.

"Come on! We still need more people to join our expedition!"
"No way... we don't know what kind of danger is waiting for us out there."

The users in the Frozen Rose Guild and their allies announced their participation in the expedition.

A total of four hundred high-level users, and an additional thirty more Dark Gamers joining on the day of departure!

For only being a mid-sized guild, this was an incredible effort.

Since they were tired of constant clashing on the central continent, they had decided to invest heavily in exploration of the north.

Even so, Oberon the guild master of Frozen Rose felt as if something was missing.

"It's better to start exploring the north before others do, but there's no need for any futile sacrifices."

While there were already adventuring parties making their way north, this was the first time a guild were attempting this as well. It also put the guild's fate on the line.

Oberon wanted to be fully prepared.

"We shall only recruit the best of each field."

The primary adventuring classes, assassins, thieves, cartographers, rangers, and other exploration classes had already hired. However, there were still many other roles needing to be filled.

"Clerics! We need someone to cure our injuries and afflictions. We also need cooks for meals, and at least three blacksmiths for repairs. A few merchants for logistics would be a good idea too."

Since it was a guild-wide, large-scale exploration, there was still much to do.

There was no time for slacking off, since no one knew what dangers and adventures would be waiting in the northern towns and castles.

Other guilds probably had probably been delayed due to having similar thoughts.

Leading a guild to explore the north was indeed a huge risk.

Until the expedition was ready for departure, Oberon and the rest of the Frozen Rose Guild would be busy collecting members.

While they were working on finding valuable men for the expedition, Drum, the guild's chief mage, called out.

"Commander Oberon."
"Yes, what is it?"
"Why don't we recruit a few people from Rhodium?"
"The City of Artists? Why from there?" Oberon asked quizzically.

There weren't any warriors or adventurers of notice in Rhodium.

As the rumors about the northern expedition spread, a tidal wave of requests to join from all over had been flooding in!

Sure, have a larger force would be nice too, but it wouldn't do to admit just anyone.

Only famous and very skilled users were allowed in.

"Rhodium is full of classes related to crafts and arts, right?"
"That's right"
"Perhaps we can make use of their specialities... if we were to encounter a storm during our adventure, the expedition would quickly tire. With an architect around, wouldn't we be able to build a shelter to rest in?"

Drum brought up a valid point.

"That sounds like a nice idea. Add in some architects - why didn't I think of that?"

When Oberon showed his approval, Drum continued with increased confidence.

"While Bards aren't explicitly useful, they can wash away the fatigue of travel by playing their instruments. Dancers can also play a similar role. When a certain number plays as a group, their performance will become even more effective."

Though the stat bonuses from bards only totalled about 10%, the cumulated effect of using it on hundreds of people made it impossible to ignore. If dancers and other similar classes joined in, it would grant a significant increase in the expedition's fighting power.

Bards and dancers were not well-accepted in standard sieges though.

Their low vitality made them easy targets for skilled assassins in the early stages of a war.

This was a critical flaw for most of those classes!

When a performer dies during a song or dance, the boosted stats is not only reversed to normal, they're even decreased.

This was why these classes weren't of much use for sieges.

They might still prove essential for large-scale explorations though.

Oberon stroked his chin, mumbling, "This really is an intriguing suggestion..."

"That's right, commander, and it may be nice to have a few types of artists as well. While they may not have an immediate effect, they will definitely bring some kind of buffs to the group. We should bring as many people who may increase our chance of success as possible."

"Alright. We have to pass Rhodium as we head north anyway, so we'll use the occasion to recruit some more people."

* * *


After learning a skill from the Warrior Guild, Weed headed towards the guilds related to production and arts.

"Firstly, I should investigate the places most likely to be related to my goal."

He was going to start his search head on. The hints for moonlight sculpting should be somewhere nearby.

First, Weed visited the Sculptors' Guild. Lots of people were entering and leaving the building.

"That'll be a good place to start looking."

However, as Weed tried to enter,, the guards crossed their spears and barred his path.

"You may not enter our guild unless you are an artist of Rhodium. If you wish to pass, go and register as one first and return."
"How do I register as an artist?"
"Go to the Artists' Union. The Union is on the left at the end of this street"

With no other choice, Weed had to go and visit the Artist's Union. The Union was a grandly built three-story building.

"Extravagantly fancy despite being dead broke..."

Weed opened the door and entered. There were five middle-aged men handling the usual office work.

"We haven't had a visitor in a long time. How may I help you?"
"I wish to register as an artist."

The elder laughed heartily at this.
"Anyone from Rhodium wouldn't need to register separately, so you must of course be from some other kingdom. Where are you from?"
"I came from the Rosenheim Kingdom."

"Hmm... That's quite far away. Surprising that artistry has spread all the way over there. Then I shall first introduce to our city Rhodium. Rhodium is the City of Art and Culture! By all means, any person seeking a meaningful life must live alongside art. Barren, dry emotion causes an impoverished lifestyle. In our Rhodium, there are countless pieces of art; each preserving great beauty and vintage style."

Weed nodded in agreement; he had seen that for himself.

Each piece decorating the streets and houses of Rhodium were crafted with a very devoted effort. Since even the common streets had art of that class, it was plausible that there were even better pieces inside residences or galleries.

Weed had actually visited the Palace of Rosenheim, but even there he hadn't see artistry of this level. With all this art, the city definitely deserved the title of "An Artist's Heaven". On top of this, Rhodium was overflowing with requests for art that anyone with decent talent could easily accept.

The elder continued his seemingly endless boasting over Rhodium.

"Have you seen the sights of Rhodium during sunset? It is an absolutely breathtaking scene! Many tourists come to Rhodium for that sight alone. Art is the lifeblood of any rich soul! Once again, I welcome you to the city of art, Rhodium."

However, Weed wasn't the least bit inspired. There were more beggars than artworks! If he had not seen those unfortunate people, the elder's speech might have moved him a little, but now it was too late.

Rhodium, a city with so little profit that no one wanted to claim it! It was definitely way out of Weed's interests. The only redeeming quality it had was that artwork was traded in bulk here.

That made it easy for Weed to sell all those mini-sculptures he had piled up for a bit of profit.

There were even a multitude of quests related to artists.

Since there was such a rich culture in spite of the lack of commercial development, there were still many such requests. This fact alone was what kept the artists from leaving Rhodium.

"I wish to know how I can register as an artist of this wonderful city of Rhodium."
"Mmhmm, that is something you should know. For a foreigner to register as an artist, one only needs to show a specific qualification."
"What do I need to do?"

"Make art. Any road, wallside, or place in Rhodium is fine. Just make some kind of artwork in a spot. Should you create art that shows your passion for Rhodium, we will welcome you with open arms. Since you are a sculptor, you will have to carve a sculpture."

*Ding!*




Artist of Rhodium

Sculptors prove their effort and passion through their works. If you wish to gain the right for activity within Rhodium, create your own piece.

DIFFICULTY: Undefined

QUEST CONSTRAINTS: You must create a piece fitting of your talent. Should you dishonor yourself, you may lose a significant amount of fame and be restricted within Rhodium.



So, to get registered as a Rhodian artist, he needed to carve a sculpture that accurately represented his talent. That explained why there were carvings everywhere! As this point, making any old sculpture was a piece of cake for Weed. But to make one fitting of his skill, he needed to make either a Grand artwork or a Masterpiece.

"I shall make a fitting sculpture."



You have accepted the quest.



* * *


When Mapan first arrived at the Yuroki Mountain Range, he couldn't really find much to do. It really was difficult for merchants to settle their businesses in unknown territories. Mapan, however, adapted pretty quickly.

"There is no such thing as a place in the world where you can't earn money!"

An indisguisable greed for money! The adaptability Weed had seeded in him activated.

"I can trade, simply traveling from town to town, buying and selling."

There were plenty of towns in Yuroki, either comprised of Orcs, Dark Elves, or the Exiles in the plains. Mapan started a trading route between all these towns with a wagon filled with goods.

"Alright, buying items -- anything from animal skins to japtem from your hunts!"

First, he bought all the japtem he could get his hands on in the Exiles' towns. Those items, traps and camping equipment such as rope, were cheap and plentiful. He purchased enough items from the Exiles to fill five wagons, and moved on to the Dark Elves' settlements.

While not as skilled as Dwarves, the Dark Elves still had a rather high skill in handicraft. Much of their crafted equipment and tools were durable and reliable.

Mapan bought as much as he could here as well.

After selling the skins from the Exiles' towns, he spent all the money on buying more items.

Then he travelled to the Orc settlements. First to the town of the Orc lord Bulchwi. After the Orc Race quest had been cleared, new users was appearing in great numbers in Yuroki.

"I'm an Orc. Chwichwit!"
"Any real Orc should be able to nasalize. Chwiiik! Mimic me everyone."
"Oppa, you're so charismatic! Chwichwichwit!"
"Eww, you're spraying spittle. Chwichwit!"

There were a horde of Orcs wearing the Orc starting gear.

These people were charmed by the Orc race after watching Karrichwi on the Hall of Fame.

Overwhelming numbers! Quantity over quality! Orcs, the incredibly reproductive lords of Yuroki!

Those who dreamed of adventuring with the strong, charismatic, and violent Orcs chose this as their race. Even the shoddy east gate of the town was crowded with more than a thousand Orcs!

If you added to this the Orcs that hadn't passed the newbie four weeks in Versailles Continent's time, it would total an astronomical amount of them!

"Let's hunt! Chwik!"
"It's a monster haven. Chwichwichwit!"
"Chwikchwik! Lots of things to beat up."

These people formed parties of three to five, scattering out of town in order to pummel wolves.

They held bulky clubs and even large broken branches as weapons.

Since branches had shoddy durability and miniscule attack power at best, newbies from not only the central kingdoms, but also from the Rosenheim Kingdom, altogether ignored them as weapons.

*SMASH*

The female Orc user, Erchwi, pummeled the head of a wolf with a branch. It wasn't a weak hit at all.

"Nice hit, Erchwi. Chwiik!"
"Such overwhelming power, Oppa. Chwichwichwit!"

While humans have trouble hunting even the feebler rabbits and foxes, these newbies were effortlessly beating up wolves.

Orcs don't have to fight as controlled as humans.

They can take most attacks with their natural thick-skinned defense even without protective gear. Add that to their natural strength!

They could even freely use heavy weapons normally unusable to humans, so their fights were very easy.

Take one hit, then give back a hit - only, their reciprocated hits were extremely powerful.

"From the Yuroki Mountain Range... Chwichwichwichwi! I am an Orc!"
"Orc! Orc! Orc!"
"Puchwiik! Puchwichwit! Kill them all!"

Massive, burly Orcs ran amok, stomping and clubbing wolves on sight. This was the splendor of the Orcs, and proof of their incredibly fast precocious growth.

Meanwhile, Mapan began his business in this Orc settlement.

"Come one, come all for adventuring tools! Essential bandages to dress those wounds, and bags to carry all your items! There's even some simple weaponry -- top quality, made by Dark Elves. You must be tired of all that mundane Orc cooking! Don't you miss the taste of salt? I have all sorts of spices used by Dark Elves."

"Chwichwichwik!"

"I'll pay all my money. Chwichwik! Please sell me one of those weapons."

The Orcs had to line up to buy even one thing. Sure, Orc settlements were fine in all other fields, but it wouldn't be an exaggeration to say that their shops were the baddest there were.

Since even a rusty glaive cost more than a hundred thousand gold, there was no affordable weapons to buy and use. Then, as if some kind of god had manifested on Earth, Mapan appeared with wagons filled with goods. Not only were they in high demand, he had a monopoly as well!

"Step right up and wait in line; there's plenty of stock!"

Mapan was more than happy to sell all the goods he had bought. The lowest price was two or three times the original cost, and weapons were even sold at ten times the original cost!

Others might criticize his actions as bordering extortion, but Mapan had been taught something important by Weed: "It's not a rip-off if your customers are happy."

Usually, the profits from newbie items were minimal, but it was a completely different story if they were sold this skillfully. It might have been nice with a little more, but the profits were enough to fatten Mapan's pockets. Above all, the fact that he didn't have to wait very long for it to sell was a huge advantage.
As he watched the Orcs cheer as they make their purchases, he felt a certain satisfaction as a merchant.

"Chwichwik!"

However, Mapan's faint heart was tested every time an Orc's face got too close.

"Gaahhh!"

The atrociously ugly Orc Karrichwi! His vestige was evidently present here. The users who selected the Orc species after being charmed by Karrichwi's quest usually changed their appearance slightly. Except, they always changed it for the worse!

"A knife scar on the face, please."
"I'll be fine, even with an eyepatch."
"Make the teeth as large as possible, and have them stick out of the mouth a lot as well."
"Make it easy to spit a lot while talking..."
"A nose that takes up half the face!"

Orcs don't even have a plain appearance in the first place!

There was always at least an eyepatch or a scar on their faces. Adding to this all the personal "tastes", the resulting sights were the stuff of nightmares.

Nevertheless, Mapan ended up making a killing on his sales and rapidly built up his fame.

Mapan, the Merchant of the Orcs! Virtually every Orc user knew the name of Mapan.

"Orcs tend to grow blazingly fast, though it slows a bit after the initial stages to mid-game."

Orcs had feeble magic and handicraft. They have no idea how to disarm traps, and lacked the power of faith. There were Orc Shamans and Warlocks, but they specialized in buffing fighting power, rather than restoring health.

"Orcs -- weak mentally but amazing physically. If these people mature, so will my profits... Establishing a monopoly without a single competitor! This is the dream of any merchant."

Mapan continued trading with high hopes. After selling all his goods, he bought japtem from the Orc users.

"Hey! Buying anything and everything! Buying all kinds of japtem."
"Over here! Chwichwit!"
"Chwiik! Buy mine too."

Mapan even purchased japtem in bulk. Items from thousands of Orcs! Using his monopoly to buy items cheap, he made a fine profit by reselling them on the spot. His dream of becoming a wealthy merchant was finally coming true, step by step. Depending on the success of the many Orcs now wandering Yuroki, Mapan's profits might grow even larger! Since the number of Orc users were multiplying by the day, one could say that Mapan had discovered a rose-colored life as a merchant.

Most ordinary merchants would have become complacent at this point.

"I've earned lots of money already. I deserve some rest."

However, Mapan was already severely affected by Weed on this point.

"Gotta earn as much as possible while I can. I need to tighten my belt, buy cheap, and sell for even more."

Mapan didn't even bother resting on the roads between the Orc settlements and Exiles' towns. He kept his hands busy as he sat on the coach box. He used a carving knife to improve his handicraft.

"Indeed, a merchant must learn and practice. One must do whatever he can to get rich."

Mapan diligently carved sculptures. He had learned the basics of sculpting back in Rosenheim Kingdom.

His primary goals were to learn weaving and jewelcrafting. After his handicraft reached a certain level, he would be able to learn even more production skills. If a merchant like Mapan buys leather and turns it into clothing, or refines the jewels he purchased, he can double or triple his profits!

However, as neither his handicraft or his other skills could rise quickly because he didn't have a sculptor-like class, Mapan could only handle his carving knife with even more diligence.

Back to top


Chapter 2 : The Golden Statue



Her name was Seechwi. For her race she had chosen to be an Orc.

"This is interesting!"

Female Orc!

According to basic human aesthetics, Orcs were considered incredibly ugly. Women usually avoided choosing the Orcs as their race and the proof was that less than 10% of the Orcs were female. But she was different.

"For females as well. Orcs are the best! Chwichwik!"

Cha Eunhee was very satisfied with how her appearance had changed.

Her thighs and legs were thick instead of slender. Instead of a long thin neck like a deer it was more like a thick log. But more than that was the large protruding stomach that overlapped itself.

When it was time to make a character, you could change the appearance.

It was even possible to add tribal characteristics to the Orcs.

The body was made to overlap to have more flexibility at the waist and stomach.

Thus Seechwi was born as an imposing female Orc.

"So easy. I don't need to worry about my looks anymore. Chwichwit!"

Seechwi was completely satisfied with her appearance.

In order to maintain a slim figure you need to constantly exercise and watch what you eat. She felt like all that mental stress and pressure had disappeared.

"Anyways, where did Seoyoon go to? Chwichwitchwik."

Seechwi's identity was that of Doctor Cha Eunhee, a psychiatrist at the Great Society Rehabilitation Center.

There was a reason an ice queen such as herself would start off as an Orc.

She had saw Seoyoon crying in the videos that were stored daily in the capsule.

'I'm glad that you're still able to express emotions. A little of her wounds have healed.'

Seechwi wanted to meet Seoyoon. Up until now, Seoyoon had been allowed to roam alone. She had judge that it was not time to force her to travel with someone.

It was then that the Orc Karichwi accompanied her that things changed.

Holding back tears, she wanted to get Seoyoon to like she was in the past where she could smile and laugh.

"Seoyoon, where did you go. Chwichwit!"

Seechwi could only stomp her feet in frustration.

She was restricted from leaving the city for 4 weeks until now.

Seoyoon was always in the forests or in the valleys. Even with the videos in the capsule, it was difficult to accurately locate the place.

Since Weed became an Orc, it would not be very easy for him to meet Seoyoon.

'Seoyoon should be able to quickly find where she ought to go.'

Then someone behind spoke to me.

"ChwikChwik. Hey!"

She looked back to see a fat male Orc. A male Orc was standing there majestically with a disposable rusted glaive.

There were other Orcs next to him.

"ChwiChwiChuet"
"FuChwiChwuik"
"Chwiit, Do you want to join our party of four?"

The pig like Orcs stopped by to greet her.

A party request!

It was much easier for Orcs to make parties than humans. Those without high leadership could not make large parties. Orcs were able to make parties of 10 to 20 members without any experience penalties.

For that reason Orcs actively formed parties. It was extremely rare to hunt alone. Seechwi lifted her head when she heard this.

"Let's go together. Chwi Chwi Chwit"
"That's good. Chuik Chuik!"

Seechwi went hunting together with the Orcs.

'Anyways, I can't see Seoyoon immediately. I need to get better stamina to travel through the mountains easier.'

Seechwi and the Orcs went up to the wolves near the village.

Keongkeongkeong!

The wolves could be heard frantically barking. Orcs and wolves were both creatures that hunt in groups.They group up to attack weaker enemies, but usually more Orcs died.

"This is dangerous. Chwichwik!"
"Let's go get them. Seechwi!"

Just as the Orcs were going to rush into battle, a wolf jumped at Seechwi. Seechwi saw it coming and side-stepped it. She had learned various different types of self-defense and her body responded in turn. In Royal Road, even if you were not very high level, having a lot of combat experience was very helpful.

This level of attack from the wolves was not very difficult. Seechwi continued to dodge and then raised her stick into the air. And then she struck down.

"It struck!"

It hit the wolf exactly in the center of the head.

Ppajik!

The blow was so powerful that cracks appeared on the stick.

The wolves did not dare to recklessly charge at Seechwi again.

This time it was Seechwi that charged at the wolves.

Every time she took a step, the ground shook because of her heavy body.

'Beating stuff with a stick is the best way to relieve stress!'

Seechwi danced around with a stick in her hand.

She liked the race that she chose. It was simple and there wasn't any need for any complex unnecessary calculations.

"Is, is that all you got. Chwichwichwichwit!"

Seechwi squeezed her way through the wolves with her fat body as if she were possessed.

The Karaka Forest.

Pale, Surka, and Zephyr were nervous as they watched closely.

"Huhuhuhuhu"
"Now watch closely."
"I'm quite nervous, Sunsaengnim"
"Of course, this is very important.."

Geomchi2, Geomchi3, Geomchi4, and Geomchi5 was going to show them how to fight properly.

Surprisingly agile and resourseful.

It was hard to believe that the Geomchis could fight so precisely.

They keenly attacked the monsters' weaknesses.



-Struck a fatal blow.




-The stomach has been destroyed.




-The monster's eyes have been attacked. Reduces the monster's field of vision.




-The tendons in the monster's hamstring have been severed. Monster movement speed has been reduced.



Geomchi2 was especially skilled as the skillfully struck through the enemy's defenses without taking damage.

It was hard to inflict damage to monsters with high defense. Even though it was hard to attack weak points like the joints, eyes, or the neck, if an attack is successful then it would inflict a lot of damage.

They were able to overpower monsters early on in the fight.

However, even though it was good, it was even more cruel.

The Karaka Forest was divided into the Beetle Cave, the Hobgoblin Fortress, and the Dread Wolf areas.

The hobgoblins were powerless against their attacks.

"How does he do that?"

At the end Pale, Surka, and Zephyr could not come up with a definite answer.

Leadership was important to battle but it was not the same as knowing how to fight.

Surka let out a deep sigh.

"I guess it's about reading the monster's movements in advance."

The dream of every combat related class!

That was to score fatal critical blows.

People never thought to attack the gaps in the monster's weakness. It was more fun to attack it normally 2 or 3 times.

Hunting parties usually celebrated whenever there was a successful deadly attack.

But Geomchi2, Geomchi3, Geomchi4, and Geomchi5 were so familiar with combat that they got one every time they attacked.

They were never in the situation where they were surrounded by enemies because they were always moving around..

Zephyr looked at his fishing rod.

"I don't have that kind of taste for fighting."

Pale shruggeed.

"I don't understand it either."

Pale and Zephyr both sighed confidently.

Compared to Surka, Pale's and Zephyr's damage was weak. With a sufficient level skill mastery their damage can be pretty strong.

Nevertheless they watched to try and learn how to perform fatal blows

They had struggled with so many different types of monsters, like Yetis, together so they had learn how to do this. Fatal blows were easier to perform from the monster's blind spots.

Yetis had high health and thick leather skin so it was difficult to land fatal blows and do damage.

However the Geomchis revealed that it was possible to against hobgoblins, a similarly leveled monster with lower health.

To some extent Pale was able to inflict a lot of damage.

However Pale and Zephyr needed mana to inflict a lot of damage so they couldn't compare to the general melee classes.

The Geomchis had virtually no body armor. They relied on their endurance and skills for their defense. They did not think they needed to get anything like that in the first place..

In three to four hits they would be on the verge of death, but they never got hit since they avoided the attacks in advance.

They put all of their power into their attacks and received minimal damage. An extraordinary ability to fight!

They grew stronger through reading the flow of battle with their eyes and controlling their bodies in any situation. The Geomchis had climbed to the heights of master in combat ability.

Even though the situation looked very good, it was in fact not.

'Ugh, I'm barely alive. A little bit more and I'm going to end up dying.'
'It would be embarrassing to die in front of the kids.'
'Do not embarrass yourselves! We can't die to something like hobgoblins.'

The Geomchis bitterly regretted that they didn't have any defensive skills.

They never wore any armor and whenever they leveled they mainly put into strength. And of course they only raised skills that were related to combat.

Thanks to that their hunting speed was very fast. Their damage was abnormally developed. However each moment of a tremendous fight they were on the crossroads of life and death.

Generally they avoided the weapons and attacks of the monsters. They were almost masters of this kind of movement.

But then there were times that they were surrounded by several enemies and died.

After a few times of dying miserably they saw to it that they have to escape being encircled!

Geomchi2, Geomchi3, Geomchi4, and Geomchi5 focused their eyes.

'Be careful not to get surrounded.'
'Got to watch out for monsters coming behind me.'
'Have to gradually split up the monsters while fighting.'
'Need to run away whenever the monsters are densely packed.'

While keeping each other in mind, they thoroughly paid attention to the monster movements.

But generally they were not able to avoid magic attacks. Because of this the Geomchis were desperately fighting. Every time they regretted that they did not invest in defense!

"I can do this very easily."

Geomchi2 grinned at the other Geomchis.

"Of course. It would be a problem to not do this much."

Geomchi3 said hearing him.

"I can handle tens of these guys."

Geomchi4 couldn't say anything..

He was surrounded by a large number of monsters. Because of this, his life was in danger.

Still he laughed, showing his teeth. He laughed to lighten up a little.

The Geomchis checked their remaining health and laughed as well.

"Now, this is great! Weed is surely much better at this than us! Always fighting within an inch of death. So doing this is going to raise our endurance?"

Geomchi5 nodded his head vigorously.

"Of course. He said that's how it's done."
"Then us too!"

Irene naively watched the masters fight and didn't know what to do.

For Weed, it was the right choice because of his high defense. But that was completely different for the Geomchis because with their pride they were unable to fight battles within an inch of their life.

'Must not die.'
'Got to keep up our appearances.'

The Geomchis put all their strength and soul in order to keep up their image.

The younger people relied on mana and long range attacks to fight. Close combat, however, required a higher level of difficulty since there was no resting in the battle for a long time.

Even though the hobgoblins had bad equipment, the Geomchis were much lower level and the damage built up over time.

Even with their lives hanging by a thread, they kept smiling as if they enjoyed the battle.

They were fighting level 270 hobgoblins using pincer formations and sometimes cross attacks.

Geomchi2 and Geomchi3 attacked simultaneously!
Pale and Surka's eyes shone fiercely.

They saw, for a brief moment, a weakness in the hobgoblin's movements. In that moment, Geomchi2 and Geomchi3 moved in for a combined attack.

Keyeeek!

The hobgoblins could only succumb to crying and shrieking!

Geomchi2 and Geomchi3 cleverly used their positioning and formation against the hobgoblins as the battle progressed.

"Ayte!"

Surka plunged into battle with her fists. She relentlessly attacked as she had discovered the weaknesses of the hobgoblins.

'I can not make small attacks.'

It was risky but she targeted the weak points. Examine the monster until its weakness became more apparent. Surka understood this little by little as she fought.

Zephyr and Pale also found their roles. He drove the enemies into one place with a wide range of attacks with his fishing rod and then arrows were shot to inhibit the enemy's movements. Surka and the Geomchis then opened on that opportunity and rained down blows.

They were fighting as a group rather than separately!

The party was inspired by watching the Geomchis behaviour

'So this is how we need to fight monsters.'
'It took a lot of hobgoblins dying to understand their weaknesses but now it makes sense.'

The party enjoyed their battle alongside the Geomchis.

Weed saw different types of artists.

He needed to make a sculpture to register in Rhodium. You needed to make an artwork for the city.

"I must not fail this one."

Weed currently had Advanced Sculpting. At this level, he could not just make something random.

Very large lions and Bingryong!

If you were creating a very large sculpture then there was a higher chance of getting an outstanding piece.

However, this was Rhodium.

It wasn't that making a large sculpture in the city was unreasonable since there were good spots. The problem was getting material.

"So I need to make a great work of a moderate size. For now, I need to find out more."

Weed headed to the crowded street shops first.

Rhodium did not develop its weapons and armor shops much. It was only average.The stores only specialized in selling accessories and other useful things. Smithing fell behind in comparison so inferior goods were made.

Nevertheless, the city of artists still had one.

Sculpting materials!

There was a suitable store in the Kingdom of Rhodium.

Weed went into the material shop.

"Rululu."

A lovely employee had materials on display. Elsewhere there were trees, stones, and unusual metals.

"Whoa, how do they sell all of that?"

Materials were like mountains piled up in her shop! It was a good place to get materials but there were twenty people in the building.

"I have to make it out of top grade material."

There were all types of materials in the shop. In the meantime, the number of people decreased to 5. They glanced around the shop enviously.

"A piece of wood is over 1 gold."

"What kind of sculpture do you make that's over 1 gold?"

"Let's leave. I don't even have 3 copper."

The guests were discouraged and departed.

A good meal would cost them at least 50 copper. They could make a sculpture with a stone or a piece of wood on the side of the road.

The place hasn't sold anything in the last 3 days.

"The prices are too expensive, I'm never going to get enough to buy some new clothes."

Sharlinn, an employee, sighed.

She needed money everyday in order to get bread to eat. She could drink water from a fountain but it wasn't food.

The salary wasn't enough. She got paid minimum wage but in order to make more she needed to sell stuff.

A system of earning from sales!

Sharlinn could only anguish at her situation.

"Huh, worrying is not going to do anything. I don't have any customers. Might as well clean."

She started to clean. She started to clean the materials on display. Then all of a sudden the store door opened.

Ding!

Sharlinn greeted with a smile.

"Welcome customer!"

Weed quickly entered the store as he was greeted by her.

"This is a material shop. There is a weapon and armor shop to the right. Are you looking for that?"

Weed shook his head.

"No."

"Oh, then you must be here to buy some materials! Please understand that we only sell expensive materials as you can see."

Up till now, Sharlinn had rarely ever had any customers. This was granted to the fact that people rarely bought crafting materials. In fact, Weed's current attire seemed to indicate poverty.

The Yeti fur seemed to resembled old and faded travel clothing! It was as if he were wearing the equipment that was provided at character creation.

Such clothing barely had any defense. It was more common for people to wear lightweight and fashionable clothing.

Weed was dealing with an employee that was an user. Otherwise the reaction would have been different because of his high fame.

Weed slowly looked through the materials.

There were expensive ores and stones with designs on them. There were all kinds of wood as well as gold and silver materials.

It barely had any materials that were suitable for sculptures. It seemed rather impossible for the

City of Artists Rhodium to not have them.

'The materials used as a basis for the sculpture increases the probability of creating a greater piece.'

Rhodium, as a whole, was very large but it did not serve the interest of its artists.

Weed was shooken up when Sharlinn knocked to get his attention.

"Customer."
"Yes?"
"Would you like me to recommend you a material to use?"

Sharlinn was very bored. People tend to try and find something to do when they have time. She had learned quite a few things about materials, though it couldn't compare to Weed.

Weed nodded.

"Tell me."

Sharlinn opened a shelf and took out a thick piece of wood.

"This is Bemok wood, its durability is very high and it can be processed in a number of ways. It's a good piece of wood for a sculptor to handle. However this is difficult because it is expensive. This is Bora Wood. There are a lot of different aromas. It's possible to make a sculpture that has a scent. However the size is small."

Each piece of wood had their own characteristics. The rigidity of the wood had to be taken in mind as well.

There were also a lot of types of wood with special options.

Weed followed Sharlinn to the corner of the store. A formidable amount of gold, 3 meters in height and width, was piled up.

"This is the pride of the store. Isn't it great? A sculpture made out of this has many different options, but the total price is no less that 7000 gold. It's a tremendous amount."

Weed looked at the gold. There was a bright and noble distinctive sheen to it.

'This is decent stuff for a sculpture.'

Weed secretly made a decision.

"Now, if you look at this side there is a turquoise gem..."

Sharlinn had knowledge about a lot of different types of materials. At first it was out of curiosity but then it became to learn about it enthusiastically.

After hearing her description Weed said.

"I would like to make a purchase."
"Oh? Really? Thank you."

Sharlinn was overjoyed. It was going to be her first successful sale since Weed wanted to buy some materials.

'Even if its cheap, I'll take what I can get.'

Weed fully transcended her expectations.

"I would like to purchase all the gold in the store."
"Yes? The price is...so it is 10 gold a piece and the number of pieces are in total."

Sharlinn calculated the amount. She examined the amount of stock to check how much there was.

"The total amount comes to 18000 gold. No wait a minute. That was the original price of the goods so I need to properly calculate it again."

Sharlinn took all the gold and calculated it again. The price was substantially less. Even without the trading skill, Weed had an enormous amount of fame so the price of items purchased in stores was decreased.

In addition the price of certain materials were discounted depending on the engraver. Because of Weed's advanced sculpting and high fame, the prices was discounted by 30%.

Buying these materials were much cheaper than through a merchant.

'How can there be such a big discount!'

To Sharlinn, it was breathtaking. To do this, someone must have a large amount of fame. One would not suspect a sculptor to have this much.

She saw that she had hit the jackpot.

Even after the reputation and skill reduction, there was still a gain.

Sharlinn swallowed as she asked.

"18000 gold, but 12600 gold after a 30% discount. Would you like to make the purchase?"
"I will buy it."

Weed replied without hesitation.

He made money of the Lich as well as the last 3 years.

He had earned a lot of money from building the pyramid, after the Legion of the Undead as well as through hunting he managed to collect quite the sum.

Compared to the past, he could afford to spend 12000 gold.

"Gulp!"

Sharlinn swallowed in surprise.

She did not even begin to think that she would make this large of a sale.

'I'll get at least 2500 gold from the sale. I can't believe something this lucky is happening to me!'

Sharlinn couldn't have been more shocked. To something of a beginner she was going to get a windfall of 2500 gold!

But, it was not so easy to get that from Weed.

"Well, then let the negotiations to determine the price begin"
"...?"

Sharlinn momentarily did not understand what he said.

"What are you talking about?"
"How much are you going to discount me?"
"What?"

In front of her there was a famous sculptor and he was still going to bargain at such a price? She could not imagine it.

"Give me a discount of 2500 gold."
"!!!!"

He demanded a price without mercy!
The look in Sharlinn's eyes changed. Before she was looking at a customer, but now it was an unscrupulous thief.

"Then that means that I'm selling it for next to nothing!"
"2,499 gold."
"I'm not selling it."
"2490 gold. Think about it. It's 10 gold less from before."

Weed took out his cash.
He was prepared in advance to pay. He also knew the actual value of the item.

"Sob sob! To think that there's someone like this."

Sharlinn tearfully sold the materials.

Weed swept the goods into his backpack, feeling the sudden change in weight.

He was tempted to find out how much it weighed. His backpack would hold things at a fourth of the weight and it could carry much more.

Weed took a chunk of metal from his bag.

"Identify!"




Black smelting material :
Durability 100/100

Metallic crafting material.

It was combined with a number of different materials through blacksmithing. Can not return to its past pure state once joined with other metals. An excellent blacksmith may be able to revert it.

Mixes well with steel and mithril.



"I'm going to need to melt it."

Weed's idea was to make armor.

Equipment has become exceedingly scarce as compared to the past.

Orcs lived in a simple lifestyle, but there was more needed for humans.

So he had to get a new one.

Weed roughly gauged the metal with his eyes.

'I need to make about 5 pieces of armor.'

Mithril's weight was exceedingly light. This gave weight reduction effects of crafted boots and helmets.

As a result, movement and agility were greatly increased and lightened the burden of battle.

It felt good when he was Karichwi and he was able to move around freely and deal strong attacks.

Weed, in fact, already had armor.

Talrok's unique armor given from the Church of Freya!

A highly esteemed dwarven blacksmith with a whopping 85 defense.

It was a level 350 armor. But every level of blacksmithing reduced the equipment restrictions by 2%.

With his Intermediate Level 2 Blacksmithing, Weed was able to wear Talrok's Armor.

"Hoohoohoo"

There was a wily smile on Weed's lips.

That was how he felt whenever he identified Talrok's Faith Armor.

An expensive and precious armor of tremendous value!

There were a lot of armors better than it, but it was difficult to acquire unique items.

Its product value was far about the Saint's Staff and the Necromancer's Tome.

He would be stopped in Rhodium because of his armor.

The black mithril armor would shine and catch the attention of others.

Beggars!

He would not think of wearing mithril since beggars would rush him.

Weed found the blacksmith and went inside. Dwarves were working actively.

Caenkkangkkang!

The Dwarves hammered a blade that was heated by the bellows. They were citizens instead of users.

It was not difficult to see dwarves working in the center of every city.

The Dwarf in charge welcomed him.

"What can I do for you Human?"
"Please melt this."

Weed pulled the black lump from his bag.

"Can you do it?"
"Wait a minute, wait a minute, this is!!!!"
"What is it?"

He was not thinking that it was special but now he was expecting something from the dwarf's reactions.

It required higher skills and professional knowledge in order to get an item's complete information through identification. He was hoping that this was the case.

The dwarf could not hide his astonishment.

"It's a complete mess. It's a horrid mix of several metals."
"..."

He had not expected anything special from its appearance. The dwarf noticed the same thing as Weed, a black lump.

"You can sell it to use for a decent value. You can also dissolve it and we can make you some weapons and armor."
"I'll decline. Just melt it and give it to me."
"That's too bad. I would have wanted this wonderful piece of metal."

The dwarf embarked on the task.

If he left it to the dwarves, he would get better armor. But he could not leave it to the dwarves because of his Blacksmith Intermediate Level 2.

Weed wanted the opportunity to raise his skills.

'This is a good opportunity to raise blacksmithing.'

Weed did not rely heavily on equipment. No matter high good the armor, he worked to raise his skills and stats.

Riiitrrring!

The dwarf put the black lump in the high temperature hearth and used the bellows. The lump melted little by little until it separated into various metals.

Weed could have also separated the black lump but his skill level was low and he would not be able to separate as much metal. First the dwarf removed the steel, then black iron, and finally mithril.

"Here it is. It'll be 700 gold but since you are a bright adventurer I can bring it down by 50 gold and another 20 for bringing me some interesting stuff."

"Thank you."

Weed had waited a long time for the black iron and mithril. He was even able to get some tempered steel.

Sculptures were greatly affected by the surrounding area. The effects of a sculpture differed based on its surrounding like the difference in heaven and earth.

"Need a good place..."

Weed wandered to find the perfect place in Rhodium. There were many streets with a variety of paintings and sculptures.

"I can't put my sculpture there."

Weed first went to the central square.

It was a beggar infested place! But it was also the place with the most art. Rare plants, trees and flowers grew there. It looked like a park for couples.

There were performances in the morning and evening. Almost all of Rhodium wanted to display their art here. People and travelers flooded in to see the clear water fountain.

If he built a sculpture here, it was sure to get recognition.

But Weed abandoned the square without regrets.

'Everyone would find out about me.'

There were too many people to make a gold statue. Furthermore, if they knew he had money then beggars would stick onto him.

Weed thought about going into the alleys. The alleys in Rhodium were intricately shaped like a spider's web!

There were shops nestled in here. There were not many people walking around like the residential areas.

Weed was able to find a place without many people during the day.

"Okay. This place is suitable."

People did not own private property in Rhodium. People could rest and sell items but they had to pay taxes accordingly. As a result, Rhodium did not have any people that had enough money to own a house. Weed set a small fire burning. Then he started smelting the gold.

"First I have to make a plate."

Weed made a mold out of clay. To make a statue of gold, he needed to take advantage of time. He dissolved the gold using his blacksmith skills. The blacksmith skills were required to make a variety of sculptures!

Weed finished the first clay mold, then he poured gold into it.

He felt sick each time he put the crystal clear gold into the mold.

"Why the hell do I have to do this."

A new regret to add the the job of the engraver!

It was a tough and pitiful job to make money from. Even if you make something in earnest, you do not make a lot of money. In a situation like this, one does not even make money.

"Why did I pick art! It's harder to live on art."

Weed felt pained as he waited for the gold in the molds to hold. He pulled out a hammer, an anvil, and miscellaneous ores.

"Now to raise skill proficiency."

As Karichwi, he gathered ores on hunting commissions. There was a lot of high quality ore in the Eurokey Mountains. He got a lot of ores and jewels from Orc quest rewards that he needed to dispose of.

There was iron, copper, bronze, and even gold mixed with silver.

"Selling all of these will earn a lot more than sculptures."

Weed began to work on a pile of ores.

He melted the ore to get the metal. Then he poured a certain amount of metal into a frame.

Profits!

It began to take a shape of a blade.

Caenkkangkkang!

Weed struck the steel with the hammer.

Unlike a sculptor, a blacksmith did not need to use a lot of force but simply hit in rhythm. The number of hits affected durability and balance. In some cases, a sword could come out unique and sold for a lot.

This was possible because Royal Road was virtual reality.

It was quite difficult to use a sword with a bad center of gravity.

"This one came out nicely."

Weed sprinkled water to cool the red hot blade. Meanwhile, he pulled out more molten iron from the hearth. He gathered all the ore he had up to now to make equipment.

Armor had a more complex structure than swords.

But even with a more complex structure, it was more advantageous since there wasn't much to worry about. When creating a sword the center of gravity needs to be taken into account.

It was useful that Weed could swing a sword a couple of times to test of the center of gravity.



Blacksmithing skills have risen 0.1%.




Blacksmithing skills have risen 0.3%.




Blacksmithing skills have risen 0.4%.




Blacksmithing skills have risen 0.1%.



Whenever he completed a sword, blacksmithing gradually rose.

'I need to make about 500 or so swords to get to the next level?'

Blacksmithing skill was easy to learn early on. Compared to sculpting, it was incredibly easier.

As the skill level rose, it became more challenging to raise. The amount of physical labor for Intermediate Level 2 was considered significant.

'Now for the steel swords.'

In blacksmithing, with good materials it was possible to make fine or grand pieces to raise the skill faster. It was an expensive way to get faster growth.
Clank.

Weed completed a pile of swords and set them aside.

He worked on checking each of them manually. They were, on average, between 20 and 45 attack.

That was the limit of swords made from common materials. It was reported that a dwarven blacksmith with advanced blacksmithing could make an iron sword with 60 attack.

Intermediate blacksmithing would produced lesser results.

'I'll probably get 100 gold a piece for them.'

The price will vary based on the options on them, but on average they will be 100 gold each.

Swords made with Weed's Advanced Dexterity produced unusually higher durability at a significantly higher rate.Generally, swords with higher durability were preferred. Sword durability tended to drop quickly when fighting monsters with high defense.

On the other hand, Weed was crafting other things.

He made leather clothing using molten iron as well. An inexhaustible spirit for multitasking!

As much time should be eliminated as possible.

'I can't rest while other people are getting stronger through hunting!'

Weed continued to do the physical labor repeatedly.

Physical labor could not rest for a moment.

Work to death one day and rest the next day. When one is rested, then work the rest of the day.

It was really basic.

While he was doing one task, briefly in the middle of the spare time perform another task.

While resting to recover mana and health, sculpt or sew.

Weed's skills grew fast for this reason.

Weed was constantly working to make leather clothes.

Cutting and sewing clothes was all too familiar to him. The needle in his hand speeds through as he sews on buttons.

It was as if his hands were moving lightning fast!

"I used to sew on the buttons to hundreds of thousands of dolls. This much is easy."

Weed took a break in making swords to sew leather.




-Tailoring has risen to Intermediate Level 3.

You can now dye clothes a specific color.
You can now convert soft and hard leather from monsters.



After he finished sewing, he went back to swords.




-Blacksmithing has risen to Intermediate Level 3.

Attack and defense of crafted items increase by a certain amount.
More effective siege weapons can be produced.



He stopped working once he leveled up tailoring and blacksmithing. He looked around to see a pile of swords and clothes.

"Now time for the real part."

He pulled out the mithril. He was going to be producing the armor himself.

"Identify!"




Black Iron: Durability 30/30

Can obtain metal by smelting ore.

Can produce a variety of different goods and purposes.
Can be processed in many ways but mainly used to make armor.
Intermediate blacksmith skills required to handle.
Very rare to obtain in large quantities. Turns black when mixed with other metals.

2nd tier blacksmith materials.

Options:
Excellent defense against physical attacks.



Mithril ore was easily tier 2 blacksmith material. It was almost never sold in stores. There was so little that you needed to mix other metals. Weed raised the mithril up. It did not even weigh a few kilograms.




Mithril:
Durability 50/50

Superfine blacksmith materials.

All blacksmiths want to use it.
To get to this state of mithril, only very small amounts can be obtained.

Great improvements in performance when mixed into swords or armor.
It is clear and give off light. Has the ability to protect from magic.

Mithril requires at least intermediate blacksmithing. To use properly requires Advanced Blacksmithing.

Tier 1 blacksmith materials.

Options:

  • Increases in physical power and magic resist.

  • Increased fame and charm.





  • Weed mixed the black iron and mithril into a mold. Then he hit it with the hammer.

    Wham! Wham! Wham!

    Both black iron and mithril were very tough metals so it required a lot of force to process. A lot of strength was required for blacksmithing.

    However, Weed's strength become excellent when he turned into an Orc. Even though sculptors are weak, he invested strength into strength and agility only each level.

    He got vitality from fishing and he raised his defense with endurance by monster attacks.

    His art grew thanks to his many crafting skills. Thanks to that, he had high strength and agility. Weed completed the helmet.



    Blacksmith proficiency has increased by 7%



    "Identify!"




    Elegant Black Helmet of a Young Noble:

    Durability 150/150
    Defense 32

    A work made by a very talented blacksmith.

    The admiration is because of its high level of difficulty and meticulous dexterity in making it.
    It appears that the skills were immature to handle mithril completely.

    The black gloss and sheen has considerable artistic beauty.
    Nevertheless, it has outstanding defense and protection from monsters.

    Restrictions:

  • Strength 300

  • Level 300



  • Options:

  • Agility +30

  • Charm +70

  • Art +20

  • Wisdom +20

  • Intellect +10

  • Fame +200

  • Leadership +30%

  • Immune to confusion magic.

  • Magic resist +15%





  • The item came out decent.

    It would have came out better if Weed's blacksmithing was higher but it was unavoidable.

    Weed now made boots. Weed did not make that many boots before so it was difficult. The value of boots was largely dependent on agility. So he had to use all the remaining mithril.



    Blacksmith proficiency has increased by 8%.



    "Identify!"




    Precious Lightweight Black Boots:
    Durability 130/130
    Defense 14

    MIthril boots are light and protect your feet. No matter how long the distance, one will not seem tired.
    A talented blacksmith made this despite a lack of skills to properly handle mithril. As a result, the mithril is not strong enough.

    Restrictions:

  • Strength 150

  • Agility 300

  • Level 300



  • Options:

  • Movement speed increases by 15% Only consumes mana.

  • Agility +70 Art +20

  • Fame +100

  • Prevents loss in physical state from long distance travel.

  • Easily walk in rough terrain.





  • They were not as good as the boots that the Lich Shire had been wearing but they came out decent.

    "There's a decent amount of movement speed and agility."

    Weed was pleased.

    If there was even a single option that increased movement speed then the item value was several times higher.

    Being able to move faster than others during battle!

    The benefits were tremendous. It became much easier to avoid enemy attacks.

    In the case of a ranged attack from an archer or mage, it was possible to reach them much faster.

    Those with higher movement speed were less likely to die in contrast to those without. For this reason, movement speed was very expensive and insufficient in quantity.

    The boots had a 15% increase in movement speed and they were fairly decent as well.

    Back to top


    Chapter 3 : The Silhouette of a Golden Statue



    Northern Expedition!

    The Cold Roses Guild finally finished setting up the expedition and was finally ready to start exploring. There was an impressive total of 1300 members. Oberon and his allies thought it was good to get as many people they could.

    But with greater numbers, management of them all became more difficult. It became more difficult to gather the necessary materials for the situation. It was a good idea to increase their numbers but not this much.

    Expeditions usually had 50 to 100 people. In some cases, over 200 people would occupy a dungeon for leveling.

    For such a dangerous place, it was better to have 7 to 8 high leveled players.
    It was because they could smartly avoid hazardous situations that lead to death.
    Larger numbers were more formidable and safe, but there were also disadvantages.
    Oberon talked to his aids.

    "There are so many people taking part in the expedition that I think I need to cut down on some."
    "That will be difficult."

    Kerberos frowned at the guild leader.

    "That current situation will not let us reject them."
    "This is a dangerous place. We can't just bring along a crowd."
    "We have a handful of adventurers as well as some of the highest level players in the northern continent."
    "So only the higher levels should go."
    "Suppose if they fail to survive. We need to consider bringing more people if necessary."

    Kerberos concluded his thoughts to Oberon.

    "So you're saying that we should bring a large force?"
    "It's hard to say. We don't know what will happen in the north. There are quite a few adventurers that dislike sharing information about the north. Even if it might be useless, we will still gain popularity."
    "That is true."

    Oberon agreed immediately.
    It was useless to go to the north based on public information only. They didn't know anything about the cities in the north or the hazardous areas! They didn't even know exactly where to go.

    "The monsters we will face in the north will be very dangerous. What can we do about the lack of information?"
    "Kerberos, it is already time. Send word to the scouts before it gets delayed any further."
    "Yes, I think so. We need to keep a few men in case of the situation that the high levels are wiped out."

    Oberon was skeptical.

    "Is that the case? There will certainly be situations like monster raids at night. Even if I keep a few men, won't they have to fight?"
    Kerberos did not deny it.

    "Hopefully our friends will be more helpful than a few well trained men. It will be difficult to deny participation to those within our alliance."

    Oberon and the Cold Roses were mostly focused on when to leave to the north. They would be surrounding themselves with a large number of users who may be greedy. A guild may perform a surprise raid on some of the castles that they own.

    They would have noticed such a large group of people on the move. However, gathering as many forces as they could was the priority.
    Oberon took into account all of the power of the Cold Roses Guild with him.
    It was because they were able to trust in Oberon.

    Dwarf warrior Oberon!

    He roamed throughout the kingdoms with his soldiers.
    They went on adventures such as liberating towns from monsters, fighting other users to protect the weak, and risking their lives for others.
    Even in a difficult situation he would extend his hand to help the weak!

    He led a large force of his friends, many of which were warriors, into various hunting grounds.
    Tens of thousands have heard of his fame and because of this named him Dwarf Warrior Oberon.

    The Cold Roses Guild had been formed by Oberon and his followers. The Cold Roses Guild was a mid to high range guild on the Versailles Continent but fewer than 100 people were Oberon's men.
    So in order to expand the influence of the guild, they decided to go on an expedition.
    Ultimately the Cold Roses Guild decided on going to explore the North.

    "I will not accept any complaints. They do not have to take part if they are unwilling. Even if there are risks, isn't it unlikely that they will leave?"
    "The group will eventually accept it."

    In that sense, Oberon had decided and ended his conversation with Kerberos.
    If they wanted to be in the expedition they wouldn't be allowed to have any complaints.
    Since trust was critical to Oberon, he declined several people.

    The initial plan was to recruit the elites but that was torn down and the criteria was expanded to anyone being accepted.

    Warrior and adventurer classes. The participation of these classes increased increased significantly because of this.

    Drum and Kerberos wanted to capitalize on this opportunity.

    "The leader is too naive."
    "Adventure. Exploration. Discovery. It's not good. However, it is a chance to get some fame. This is something we can't pass up."

    Kerberos and Drum exchanged meaningful glances. They had the same thing in mind.

    "We should take advantage of this opportunity. We can raise the reputation of Oberon and the Cold Roses Guild. So we should accept as many people as possible into the expedition."

    That was Kerberos's intention. Kerberos accepted several guilds within the kingdom. Thanks to that, anyone could join. The Cold Roses Guild and their allies. They flaunted a large force. There were over 1300 people and many others watching from afar.

    There wasn't much of a choice.

    Kerberos and Drum had done this intentionally. They splurged on the troops in order to raise the guild's reputation.They had advertised it outside the castle a few days before. There were a lot of spectators. A massive expedition.

    It would take a few months to get the expedition to the north because of their large numbers.
    There was idle talk.

    "Got to get there safely."
    "I need a souvenir..."
    "Don't worry and just wait."

    People deliberately came from far away distances.
    The rumors that both the Cold Roses Guild and their allies were gathering power began to become troublesome.
    The head of the alliance had to work up a good speech.

    "We leave this city to go off to the land of adventure! There will be risks but there are also opportunities. For those that wish to go, let us seize the day!

    "Yea!"

    "We set off to explore a new land. We will make our mark in the soil of this new frontier. There will be new experiences and memories waiting to be made with the people you meet.
    Stories will spread far and wide of our actions. We will be heroes of legends!"

    "Wooooahh!"

    One by one, the people that had raised complaints at the beginning of the expedition had changed to cheering.

    Despite how it sounded from the speech, it was actually going to be a very drastic expedition with a significant amount of risk.

    There was not going to be any proper place to rest in the bitter cold expanses of the north.
    It, however, had a magnificent effect on raising the morale of the expedition. For the sake of formalities, this ceremony was indispensable.

    It finally came for Oberon's turn after the head of alliance gave his speech.
    Oberon stood on the podium silently and looked around.

    "..."

    The expedition and the crowd held their breaths as they waited for his words.
    The warrior guilds had immense faith in Oberon!
    There was much tension as to what the famous Oberon was going to say.
    Oberon's words were not very long.

    "Let's forget about the heat. Let us go to somewhere cold. We will get rid of the heat!"

    And that was it.

    The eyes of spectators and the expedition shone fiercely.
    There were tens of thousands of people in the expedition and the video was being streamed to millions.

    If the expedition was successful, then more than 50 million people would see the video. This was a great opportunity to get publicity.

    Usually a good leader would give a speech for ten minutes, but Oberon's speech was short.
    But the hearts and minds of the expedition became even stronger.

    "Get rid of the heat on the Versailles Continent'
    'We are going to the North!'

    Oberon's words had the power to leave a lingering feeling that filled the chests of the expedition.
    With Oberon's words, the ceremony was over.

    People said their goodbyes to friends after a hearty meal.

    Neiiiigh!

    The expedition set off.
    Merchants stocked up with goods began to move as the Dark Gamers led in front.

    * * *


    "It's hot."

    Volk said as he fanned himself with his hand. It was very boring for most of the Dark Gamers. Oberon was fortunate to have enlisted them.

    "This was an annoying commission to accept."

    Thirty other Dark Gamers nodded their heads at Volk's words. They agreed since it was similar to most of the other commissions that they have been commissioned to participate and suffer in.
    However, some of the Dark Gamers were a little bit excited.

    It was the first time that they got to explore such a vast place.

    An expedition of this scale was unprecedented and only one had ever been formed before to reclaim the the Rosenheim Kingdom from the Brent Kingdom.

    The Dark Gamers were inspired to become historical heroes.

    "Let's depart."
    "Let's go!"

    All the preparations were completed and the expedition set off.

    The noobs watched enviously from the gates as they set off.

    "Do you think that they'll run into any problems?"
    "It's not impossible. It depends on how loyal they are going to be to the expedition."
    "I think so too but I still think it's fascinating. It's no joke to his ability and his capacity to get quests and information from the residents."
    "Let's stop hunting and go eat some soup that Elen made."

    "Parties are fun. You get to adventure around, eat good food, and there are lots of pretty girls. How am I ever going to get over 100 fame?"
    "I exceeded a 100 fame earlier when I turned in a Retrieve Fox Tail Quest."
    "You have to work hard and do quests to get fame."
    "I know. I've tried myself."
    "Let's go and get some food to eat."

    The noobs were envious but they had work to do.

    * * *


    Weed kept dissolving ore to pass time. Of all the swords and armors he made, there was one unique piece that he got using sculpting.

    A nine tailed fox!

    Ttring!



    The item properties have changed.




    Sculpting skills have improved.




    Handicrafting skills have improved.



    Advanced Sculpting gave up to three stats on finished items. It used to raise it 1 or 2 points in the past, but now it gave 10 strength and 10 agility.

    "So it changes depending on the level of the finished product."

    Sculpting was less effective on weaker items. With better products there were more exceptional abilities endowed.

    "Hopefully it can improve proficiency this way"

    High level users had better stats on their items.
    At first, players only cared about finding clothing and weapons that look nice.
    However, it was better to fight solo if team mates keep dying in dangerous dungeons.

    Trust in weapons and armor. Rely on swords and armor to fight until you lose your life. Until it becomes like an extension of your arms and legs.
    Spend a fortune to buy armor and weapons.

    There were still a bunch of people concerned with the color and design of weapons and armor. People that can craft weapons can earn a substantial amount of money.

    'I guess this is another secret of sculpting.'

    Weed found a way to earn a little bit more money!
    Sculpting on items did not improve proficiency that much. Advanced sculpting, no matter the level, could not improve it beyond a certain point.
    It could improve equipment a little bit or render it more useless.



    - Defense and durability have been reduced.



    In addition, excessive sculpting could decline the ability significantly.
    Swords would also decrease in damage sometimes.

    "So I can only outline it slightly and not overdo it."

    Weed began to learn more about sculpting. He sculpted on the swords, armor, and sewn clothing.
    As a result, the black steel swords and armors came out with great options.
    There were some with useless stats like charm, but the Mithril Boots and Helmet with the fox raised the affinity by quite a lot.

    30 strength, 20 agility, and 120 fame!
    Good equipment proved to have higher increases.
    All the sewing and blacksmithing was done and now only one thing remained for Weed. To create the sculpture.

    "Let's get it out of there."

    Weed pulled off the earthen mold. Then a brilliant light came out from the gold pieces.
    He kept pulling out more gold pieces.

    "The amount that will go into the statue will be about 7000 gold."

    Weed felt a sick feeling in his chest.
    A statue made of gold. The gold pieces were quite small. He had dissolved the gold into plates in order to make the statues.
    But it was not yet completed.

    "Time for the last part."

    Weed carefully worked on the face, ears, and fingers. A fundamental part of the mold was made.
    Then he made detailed representation of the necessary parts like clothes and knuckles.
    He gradually got rid of the rough edges and smoothed it out.

    Then the sculpture was completed.
    A sculpture was in the city of art, Rhodium. It was a gold sculpture.



    Please set the name of the sculpture.




    Weed thought about what answer to give.

    "Sculptor with a lot of money."
    The worst naming sense!
    Countless artists could cry hearing that name.



    Sculptor with a lot of money correct?



    "That's right."

    Ttring!



    Masterpiece! You have completed Sculptor with a lot of money.

    The dazzling material further enhanced the value of the art.
    Statue of pure gold!
    It was not easy to complete a sculptor by smelting gold.
    To symbolize the glory and the challenges of the sculptor, the city's art will shine more brightly.

    Artistic Value: 7100

    Special Options:

  • Sculptor with a lot of money increases health and mana regeneration by 30% for one day.

  • Increased drop rate by 15% for one day.

  • Luck increased by 60.

  • Two properties increased by 10%: Merchanting skills increased. Art skills increased.

  • The statue is located in the center of the city or kingdom, so the frequency of crime will increase.

  • Does not overlap with other sculptures.



  • Until now the number of masterpieces completed: 3





    Sculpting skills have improved.





    Handicrafting skill has improved.





    Sculptural Understanding has advanced one level.





    Fame has increased by 520.





    Stamina has increased by 3.





    Sculptor with a lot of money has become the specialty of Rhodium. Many travelers will visit to see the colorful sculptures.





    Weed is given ownership of Sculptor with a lot of money. If Weed gives life to the sculpture in the future, then it will be loyal to him.





    All stats have increased by 3 for creating a masterpiece.



    He had not made that many masterpieces.
    Original masterpieces were quite rare.
    It was the first of its kind!
    It was a sculpture that was recognized by its blacksmithing skill.

    If he tried using blacksmithing again and the final product was not outstanding, then it would be fairly difficult to make another masterpiece.

    After making thousands of piece, it would finally bear fruit and a masterpiece would emerge.
    It was the pleasure of the final product.

    'A reward for my troubles.'

    Weed started to smile.
    People usually mistake sculptors for a profession that cuts things.
    But a real sculptor can make things in any dimension.
    Sculptors can use any techniques, including blacksmithing.

    Sculptors with second job advancements varied considerably.
    Metal sculptor, structural sculptor, stone sculptor, earthen sculptor, and jewelry sculptor...
    Because there were various jobs in the palace and city, there were dozens of forms of sculptors.
    However, that was not the case with the Moonlight Sculptor. The job was relatively unknown so there was no information about it and the quest requirements were too high.

    Ttiring!




    Artists of Rhodium has been completed.

    You have created an excellent sculptural masterpiece by yourself.
    The finished product is enough to be accepted in the city of artists.
    You are now able to register at the various art guilds.

    Quest reward:
    Go back to the artist guild to register. You can receive sculpting related quests.



    Quest success!

    But there was no rewards compared to the suffering of the quest.
    An low level sculptor could not be picky in the city of artists Rhodium
    Weed's standards were too high and went through more trouble than he needed.
    He was able to make a sculpture using a separate class! Sculpting, in a way, had an amazing ripple effect

    Sculpting was not directly useful to combat skills or for adventure. It couldn't take care of immediate needs since it was difficult and required a lot of time.
    However, it was good for the development of kingdoms and cities. Sculptures draw people's attention creating culture and strengthening national power
    Thanks to the large lion sculpture, tourists flock to Rosenheim and the dungeons are overflowing with players.

    A single art class could influence the future and strength of an entire kingdom! But Weed was not interested in a country.
    Rather he did not like it at all.

    "It's a good thing that I made this sculpture. Grant life to sculpture!"

    Weed patted the head of the gold sculpture.
    The sculpture of the man was a little shorter than him. But it was made entirely of gold.

    Hooowwooooooo!

    The gold started to heat up.
    Once it was red hot, it gradually started to move its body.



    You have given life to the sculpture.





    The level of the sculpture will be made from converting the 762 art stats, making it level 351.
    It's level will be increased 20% because it is a great masterpiece to 420.

    Three properties have been granted.
    The abilities will be granted based on the sculpture's properties and level.

    Properties:

  • Fire 50%

  • Metal 100%

  • Water 60%







  • Can ignore the majority of metallic magic. However, due to its golden properties, it is softer than usual. Unlimited use of fire.
    However, excessive fire can melt and liquify the body.

    Enemies can be attacked in various ways from melting the body and can be useful.
    However, a change in liquid will reflect on the body.





    5000 mana has been consumed.





    10 art stats have been reduced.





    Stats can be regained through art related activity.





    Level has declined by 2.





    The 10 most recent stat points have been decreased.
    The stats can be raised again upon level up.





    Please respect the life granted to the sculpture.
    If he loses his life, then the sculpture needs to be granted life again to return his soul.
    Cannot be granted life if completely destroyed.



    A sculptor's dream!
    He gave life to the masterpiece sculpture and the finished level was 420.
    It also had amazing power and it could gain experience by fighting.

    'I should grant life to the Seoyoon sculpture later.'

    Weed told himself to someday return to the Canyon to give life to his first masterpiece of Seoyoon.
    He could not use the skill to give life often.

    It was because it cost 2 levels and 10 art stats. but as art continues to grow the results get better.
    Sculptures that were granted life had good growth rate.

    Yiiiing!

    The gold statue opened its eyes and woke up.
    The statue instinctively looked at Weed as if he were its father.
    It could not feel good and happy since it was made out of gold and it was a masterpiece.
    The statue gave off a yellow flash and said.

    "Golgolgolgol! Please tell me my name."
    Weed immediately gave him a name.
    "Your name is Geumini."
    "Geumini. Geumini. Golgolgol!"

    Geumini repeated his name in his mind.

    "I will fight together with master against any enemy!"

    Weed obtained an absolutely loyal servant.
    It would lose its life when it was destroyed but the sculpture had absolute loyalty and would sacrifice its life for him.

    * * *


    "Ahhhhhhh!"

    A roar echoed off.
    The Wyverns were screaming in the sky.
    The 6 Wyverns flew in formation in a magnificent grandeur.

    They were the most experienced members. Four had died in the battle against the Lich Shire and these were all the remained of the Wyverns that Weed made.

    Sculptures were created in the image of their owner.
    Thus they acted according to their instincts quite naturally.

    Wah-il, Wah-thul, Wah-sam, Wah-oh, Wah-yook, and Wah-chil.
    He had made their quickly so that's why their names were in order since it cost him art stats.

    "Kuuahhho!"

    The Wyverns would sometimes go to the ground to eat animals to fill their stomachs. At night they would sleep in large caves or on cliffs. They would take breaks to recover their stamina after flying.

    By flapping their wings they could move at a very fast pace.
    However, it was different in their case.

    "Flying is too hard!"

    Wah-chil complained.

    "The wind keeps hitting against my body."

    Wyverns were mostly supposed to be like birds with sleek, streamlined bodies.
    That was to minimize wind resistance.

    Weed was short on time and created them roughly.
    Angular faced Wyvern! A huge bulging stomach.
    Indeed, it was the worst structure for flying.

    The wind on their face and body during flight was no joke.
    Because of the speed they were going at, their stamina ran out quickly.

    It was hard for them to fly with Weed for days. So the Wyverns would expand their wings and glide. The villages and land would pass by them quickly.

    * * *


    Lee Hye Yeon has been wondering for awhile about whether or not to inform Lee Hyun
    Admission to the University of Korea.

    Admittance based on history of awards. Eligibility was made based on the awards and merit.
    She waited until he had passed the document screening and interview.

    "Why I didn't tell you earlier? Because you wouldn't go."

    He could only feel disappointed at the end of her words.

    'I'll just drop in and then go home.'

    Lee Hye Yeon went to see an interview. It was difficult to find people like Lee Hyun.
    30 minutes early to the interview.

    She safely finished the interview nervously.
    However the tension was not over.

    'I must get a scholarship at all costs.'

    Lee Hyun had promised her.

    If she could get a scholarship, then Lee Hyun promised that he would go to the University of Korea.
    Lee Hye Yeon was now waiting for the results.

    * * *


    Wherever they went there was a big fuss. It was the first large scale expedition into the north.

    "Get rid of the heat!"
    "We look forward to the adventures to be had in the north."

    People were celebrating the expedition with envy as morale increased.
    The expedition kept increasing in size.

    Every time they visited a city, friends and colleagues of Oberon would join. The expedition showed greater strength when the blacksmith Trumann and the seamstress Cadmus joined. Trumann was an Intermediate Level 7 Blacksmith.

    He was ranked fifth amongst the Versailles Continent in Blacksmithing.
    He never hunted monsters beyond foxes. He was never curious after that.
    Trumann would laugh after having hunted foxes.

    "Instead of fighting, I made and carried weapons that would help my colleagues."

    Trumann made heaps of weapons all day long.

    A pitch black blade called Sword of Darkness.
    Sword of Imprisonment was a beautiful blue blade like the sky, but it actually freezes enemies.
    Some of his weapons were capable of dealing 10% more damage against armor.

    Oberon smiled to have a master craftsman like Trumann of the industry join his expedition.

    "Welcome! I ask that I can entrust all of the expedition's weapons to you."

    Oberon and Trumann had a slight friendship.

    In the past Trumann had a quest to make any weapon, but the material was in the Lizardmen's Lair.
    Stinger Shooting Lizardmen were not high level but they were very tricky.

    No man would courageously enter the Lizardman Lair.
    But Oberon went inside and retrieved the material.

    Because of this bond, Trumann went with the expedition as the blacksmith.
    Compared to that, Cadmus was an oddity.

    "I have to make clothes. Comfortable clothes, practical clothes, I want to make clothes that can be worn in any environment."

    Cadmus wanted to go to the North to put her sewing skills to the test.

    Intermediate Level 6 Sewing Skills!

    For the third ranked seamstress, putting on a button was nothing for Cadmus the tycoon.
    The well-known Cadmus and Trumann joining the expedition gave further hope to the expedition.
    Oberon stood on a hill overlooking his expedition from horseback.

    "Must I bring all these people to go with me?"

    Drum nodded at Oberon's question.

    "Yes, as I mentioned before architects and chefs are essential. Bards will help you travel."
    "Is it necessarily bad enough that we have to take all the guilds in Rhodium?"

    Kerberos weighed the question. Bards were not that rare. It would have been better to bring in some from the guild rather than strangers.

    "The real skill is in the guilds of Rhodium. We mainly focus on combat so we usually neglect bards."
    "Come to think of it, Bards enhance fighting."

    Kerberos affirmed this.

    Bards were a musical profession that helps raise stats and create a relaxing atmosphere.
    However the bards in the guild were different. Combat type bards!
    Their flexibility of using the musical instrument as a weapon rather than singing.

    "So we need to take people in art related professions."

    Oberon gave Drum permission.

    "Do as you wish."

    Oberon firmly gave his permission. He entrusted him with the rest.

    "Drum, you see to it that it's taken care of."

    The amount of people they have had already increased a lot. It made no difference if a few more join.

    Indeed, that was Oberon the Warrior. He was skilled at taking down monsters. Of course he couldn't see the meaning in art.

    He left anything he couldn't do for them to take care of.
    But Oberon did not forget to be careful."

    "The Northern Expedition is not going to be a walk in the park. Artists are just going to weigh you down. Go ahead with your plans. Just don't regret your decisions later."

    "Understood."
    "Now, go into the city. Kerberos."
    "Yes leader."

    "Are we far from the northern part of the continent?"
    "Yes, we are a far distance away from the central continent. Hereafter, we may need to teleport to move about."

    "Where are we going?"
    "For when we need to go up Ras Hill."

    Ras Hill was the name of a hill in the center of the northern continent. Its name and location had been identified by adventurers.

    Oberon nodded his head.

    "So the search starts from there."
    "Yes."

    "Bring wizards so that we can create a teleport circle."
    "I'll prepare a teleport circle in the plains."

    "How many people can we move at once?"
    "We can send 150 people. Taking mana and health consumption into account, it can be used 3 times a day for about 450."

    "So it'll take 3 to 4 days to move everyone."
    "That's roughly how long it will take."

    Teleport Circle.

    Capable of large scale movement to a specific location.
    Using many magic stones and reagents, the teleport circle can move roughly a little more than 150 people with luggage.

    The magic stones and reagents were very expensive and difficult to obtain.
    If they were to fail the northern expedition, the Cold Roses Guild would take a huge hit.

    They had not planned to use this much money. But the preparation processes kept growing.
    They had to use a lot more materials now. If the plan to cool the continent were to fail, then the guild would go bankrupt.

    'I hope everything will be fine.''

    Oberon and his aides closed their eyes.

    Their home was in the center of the continent. The longer they are away, the more the guild's villages will be in danger. They had to finish early in one month and no later than 2-3 months.

    * * *


    Volk and the rest of the Dark Gamers went to Rhodium.
    They were given a few days to relax.

    "Well, see ya man."
    "I'll see you later."

    The Dark Gamers greeted each other and said their goodbyes.
    Their final preparations were to check their equipment for the expedition.
    There were accomplished values for the Dark Gamers.

    Life and physical ability. If one does not play properly then their performance drops.
    The Dark Gamers prepared thoroughly for any quest.
    Because of that, Dark Gamers survived most of their battles.

    "Let's go get some alcohol this evening."
    "I heard that Rhodium has a really fancy pub."
    "Not bad."

    Some of the Dark Gamers met with acquaintances for drinks.
    The pub was relatively nice and it gave off a nice atmosphere from the expensive furniture. It didn't feel like a pub.

    "Who's covering the bill?"
    "To each their own."
    "We'll meet up in the evening then."

    Other Dark Gamers scattered around to gather information.
    Volk and Darelyn walked together holding hands.

    "It's a beautiful place."
    Volk said after a long time.

    Volk did not seem very to be one that enjoyed art but he had a romantic look in his eye.

    "Yea, all the city city's art is gorgeous."

    The couple walked together as they smile to each other. They had courage when they were up against ferocious monsters but they also had this side to them.

    "Money please!"
    "Please give me some money!"
    "Help me please!"

    It was considerably fun to watch the beggars cling onto the people in the expedition.
    That was because the expedition was high leveled and had fancy equipment.

    They thought that money would flow out of them like water.
    There was a stampede of beggars.The expedition had to give money to some of them.
    Dark Gamers were, however, more inconspicuous to avoid attracting unnecessary attention.

    "Let's get a bit of rest."
    "Really?"

    Volk and Darelyn sat down in some chairs. Everywhere there were works of art. The air breezed by bring with it petals. A fountain was pouring in the distance. The droplets were glistening from the sunlight. Volk clenched his fist.

    "I'm sorry."
    "What?"
    "To think this is what has become of our honeymoon..."

    "I'm fine. This trip is perfectly alright."

    Darelyn slightly leaned her head against Volk's shoulder.

    When the two of them married, they did not have much money. They were barely able to raise enough for the ceremony. They weren't able to have a grand wedding, but he wanted them to at least have a honeymoon. However, he was ashamed.

    Together they had wandered the Versailles Continent.
    They went around dangerous dungeons and friendly villages.
    But it did not satisfy his desire to take her on a honeymoon.

    There were actually couples that went to the Versailles Continent for honeymoons. As a young couple, they did not have the kind of money to go to a travel agency.

    They were tricked by the Exploration of the Versailles Continent Travel Agency. It was targeted towards players of Royal Road. It wasn't fitting to go to the danger zones together for a honeymoon.

    It had been three years since the release of Royal Road and the Versailles Continent was constantly changing.

    Commercials have been rapidly developing for the recreational purposes.and tourism. Now tourists were visiting places in large numbers.

    They were able to go see natural freely without the limits of reality!
    People were going for relaxation.

    In this time, travel agencies were competitively developing the continent as a scenic oasis.
    Royal Road led to a great change in business.

    A number of meetings and presentations took place in Royal Road.
    Salesmen would invite customers in Royal Road.

    It was an entertaining way to open up customers with a meal and beverage.
    The Versailles Continent was an effective means of getting money out of consumers.
    A new world in a land of monsters.
    A world defined by magic and strength!

    Items gotten from hunting monsters could be given as gifts.
    A secure measure in contrast to real life.
    Some still might not be impressed.

    Gifts in Royal Road was not like getting a luxury car in real life as a bribe.
    Receiving gifts in Royal Road was something that could be accepted gratefully.

    Bribes were more tempting for people that were lower levels since it visibly rose their stats.

    One of the best things about Royal Road was that you could move your body as you wanted. They could beat up monsters solely for the sake of pleasure!

    Salesmen found several ways to bait in customers.

    As a result, there was no salesperson that didn't use Royal Road to promote their products.
    Royal Road had much influence on the marriage industry.
    Young men and women were very attracted to adventure.
    The things that were possible in reality were also possible in Royal Road.

    It was easier to get to know someone and get used to them through adventuring.
    Royal Road had a tremendous effect of the couple industry.
    Volk and Darelyn had a similar experience.

    At first, it was only a one side crush that Volk had but it grew through adventuring and hunting. Soon love blossomed and they got married. They were recognized as a lovely couple. Women found it hard to hate a man that was constantly dedicated to protecting them.

    'I'm glad that you picked me'

    Volk patted Darelyn's head.

    "Are you comfortable?"
    "Yea."

    Darelyn put herself deeper into Volk's arms. She wrapped her arms around his waist as if she was clinging to him for warmth.

    Suddenly Volk said.

    "Do you remember that wooden bouquet that I gave you?"
    "Of course, there's no way I could forget the bouquet that you proposed to me with."

    Darelyn still had the bouquet. She had gotten a diamond ring in reality but she could never forget the bouquet that she was proposed to with.

    "I couldn't prepare a better gift since I didn't have much money and now it's the one year anniversary of our marriage."

    "The bouquet was enough. But..."
    "But what? Is there anything else that you wanted?"

    Volk was curious and asked her. If she wanted anything he would get it for her.

    "Rather than a bouquet, I would have wanted a sculpture of the two of us. Even though we are one, we are also two."

    "Honey!"

    Volk and Darelyn were thrilled with each other. They were looking at each other with the sweet eyes of a couple!

    That was why the Dark Gamers deliberately didn't invite them out for drinks.
    Then Volk said in regretfully.

    "I couldn't find the sculptor who carved the bouquet though."
    "He wasn't in Rosenheim?"

    "He already left Serabourg. By the time I proposed to you, he was long gone and my attempts to find him were useless. I tried to finally track him down at the Pyramid and Lion Sculpture after I confessed to you but I could not find him."

    "I heard that rumor, that the sculptor that made the pyramid was the one that made my bouquet."
    "He was the best sculptor that I knew."

    "It's too bad. I would be surprised if you were able to meet him again."

    "Me too. But I think that he and I have a special connection that will bring us back together. Just like you and I."

    "Maybe you're right."

    Volk and Darelyn were talking fondly to each other, right in front of Weed selling his mountain of weapons and armors.

    "Selling high durability swords! You will not need to repair often! Selling leather armors! High quality and good defense! If you want, I can custom make leather clothing on the spot!"

    Darelyn asked Volk.

    "What was the sculptor like?"

    "Well, he was stubborn in his own way. He would do anything to make money selling sculptures. It's not a very good class."

    "Like that guy?"

    Darelyn pointed to Weed.

    He was in the middle of selling stuff. Shining bright swords and glistening leather armor! He had used his ironing skill and sharpening skill. He had put the best goods up for sale and increase the performance of the items with his skills.

    "A well sharpened sword is extremely useful for increasing damage by an entire 20% for two days! Two days is more than enough time to kill over 400 monsters! You won't find this opportunity anywhere else! This sword is cheap cheap cheap! Selling swords for as cheap as 120 gold a piece! There is a limited number of 40 of them! If you miss it now, you will never get a sword like this again!"

    He was speaking rapidly and clearly.
    An active way of attracting customers.

    The absolute power of the sword grind skill! It was an exclusive sale for luxury swords!

    People were flocking around Weed.

    Volk slapped his knee.

    "Yea, just like him! He's doing quite well. It takes effort like that to be like the other man."
    "Yea, how did you meet him?"

    "In the Rosenheim Kingdom. People were flocking all over him from the entire town to buy some of his sculptures."

    Volk looked at the swords and armors that Weed was selling.

    'Meticulous workmanship. These are decent items for beginners.'

    Volk had good eyes. He could tell that the armors and swords were well made.
    Then he suddenly felt that Weed's face was familiar.

    "You're kidding me... It's the sculptor?
    "Is it?"

    Volk shook his head.

    "No. There's no way I could meet him in a place like this."

    Volk denied that it was Weed after seeing him.

    It had been a long time so he couldn't exactly remember the face but the atmosphere that he had was nearly the same.

    An elegant method of deception and tricks! The sculptor was unmistakable when he had been selling sculptures. But this person was selling swords and armor and there was no way that a sculptor could be a blacksmith and a tailor.

    'The point is that it's not the same person.'

    Back to top


    Chapter 4 : Northern Expedition



    Weed disposed of all the swords and armors. Because the items were popular it did not take long to sell them all.

    'I earned about 7400 gold.'

    Accumulating money into his pocket!
    That was the meaning that Weed had in life.
    Weed got up and headed to the artists guild.
    A middle aged man jumped up to greet him.

    "I'm shocked! That is amazing. Rumors have already spread all over Rhodium. You created such an outstanding sculpture with your excellent dexterity. Your work will inspire endless possibilities for the artists of Rhodium."

    Because Weed was a combination of a number of professions, he was someone that the middle aged man could admire.
    So far that was fine.
    That much he had expected from having completed the quest.
    The middle aged man grabbed Weed's hands.

    "This is the time that I have been waiting for."
    "...?"

    "Did you know about the current state of those of the artisan profession in Rhodium and how that the poverty in Rhodium is constantly on the rise?"
    "Well, a little..."
    "That had not always been the way it was. Artists with great aesthetic senses had created delicate works that were praised by many. The city was filled with art and music, nobody went hungry, and it seemed like there was never a dull moment."

    He began to feel a little nervous.

    'I don't like where this conversation in going.'

    A city of people going hungry and increasing amount of restlessness.
    He was going to tell him something absurdly bad.
    Then he had a premonition of what it was.
    WIthout a surprise, the middle aged man smiled widely and said rather forcefully.

    "This is because the city doesn't have a ruler! A city ruled by a great artisan can grow infinitely. As a talented artist, please become the ruler of Rhodium and guide us!"

    Ttiring!



    Proposal to become the Ruler of Rhodium, the city of artists.

    Rhodium currently does not have a ruler.

    This position can be received by an artist that creates an overly superior work in the city of Rhodium.

    Do you wish to become the ruler of Rhodium?
    You will be given ownership of soldiers and public facilities as well as capable of setting laws and policies.

    Taxes on harvest, technology and commercial goods can be collected monthly and military power can be strengthened. A higher position and other rewards can be provided if you successfully conquer another territory or castle of a certain size.

    Do you accept?



    "Do I accept...."

    Owning a city or castle is a very attractive proposition nowadays.
    Weed almost accepted it. But then it came to his mind.

    'Nobody has become the ruler of Rhodium!'

    He had to check the situation.
    Weed's eyes lit up as he sharpened his gaze.

    "What is the monthly deficit?"
    "..."
    "Number of soldiers?"
    "..."
    "What is the city's current technological development and specialty goods?"
    "..."

    The middle aged man answered none of them.
    This meant that Rhodium had a rather large deficit and no income coming in.
    Many different possibilities flashed through Weed's mind. Then his thoughts cleared.

    "As a sculptor, it is my quest to seek out beauty. I heard that this place was the first step to that path. It would be unreasonable for me to settle down when I constantly need to travel to infinitely long distances.



    You have refused to become the ruler of Rhodium.



    The middle aged man's lamented.

    "It can't be helped if that's how you feel. Leading a city is important, but so is finding the true nature of art."

    Weed was able to avert the crisis.
    Weed asked.

    "In fact, as a sculptor, I have been led to Rhodium to find something."
    "What are you looking for? Are you talking about a sculpture?"

    Weed shook his head.

    "A good sculpture would give me inspiration. However, I seek to learn about moonlight sculpting."
    "Moonlight sculpting!"
    "Do you know about it?"

    The middle aged man looked up to the ceiling as if to recall something.

    "Only a handful of great artisans have managed to learn that technique."
    "How do I learn it?"
    "I do not know how...but I can tell you the direction you need to take. The Legendary Moonlight Sculptor! Ask the guilds of Rhodium about moonlight sculpting . You will be able to get sufficient information from the Sculpting Guild."

    Ttiring!




    The Secret to Moonlight Sculpting

    Sculpting for distinguished sculptors!

    At the present, many do not know about the existence of moonlight sculptors and even the few that do know only know a little. Ask around the guilds of Rhodium about Moonlight Sculpting. Then go to the Sculpting Guild to learn more about moonlight sculpting.

    Difficulty : Occupation related quest.

    Restrictions:
    Limited to Sculptors.
    Can be acquired regardless of the number of quests currently being performed.
    Advanced sculpting required to learn. Stats and fame need to be above a certain level.
    Unable to do the quest if the art stat is very low or if the user is infamous.



    Weed left the Artists Guild and went to the other guilds. There were a lot of people everywhere and it was very crowded.

    "Recruiting artists to join the Northern Expedition!"
    "The Cold Roses Guild will ensure your safety. Even to the end, we will try to keep the artists from getting annihilated."

    The Cold Roses Guild was trying to recruit artists and production classes.

    'Northern Expedition.'

    Weed recalled in the past where he had hunted in Morata Province. He had been risking his life to fight against the True Blood Vampires!
    Then two women clung onto him.

    "Are you going to go?"
    "You just came from the artists guild right?"
    "That's..."

    Weed tried to get away but the girls were holding onto both of his arms.

    "You want to come with us to the northern expedition right? Traveling around is the fate of artists after all."
    "Adventure and opportunity! You can go and explore the world. There are a lot of high level people in the guild so you can get to expand the number of people you know."

    The two women were acting exceptionally intimate.
    It was the first time that Weed experienced something like this before. He was used to Irene and Hwaryeong who liked the murderous Karichwi had
    Weed trembled at the soft feel of the girls' skin on his forearm.
    It was an unusual feeling.
    He had been single for over 20 years of his life and it was the first time that that he felt like this.

    "Are you going to the north?"
    "Uhh."
    "Don't look so worried. It'll ruin your looks."
    "..."
    "It's a lot easier than you think. It's an opportunity. What profession do you have?"
    "Sculptor."

    Weed gave his answer. The feeling of them touching his forearm disappeared.
    The girls looked at Weed after he answered them.

    "A sculptor..."
    "We already have three of them and one of them is close to the intermediate level."
    "Man, we don't need anymore sculptors."
    "I wasted my time in vain."

    They took their hands off of Weed.

    They thought that they might get a good artist when they saw Weed. He had the appearance of a typical artist.

    Poor, hunched over, and destitute!
    The girls walked away quickly.

    "Have a nice adventure."
    "Try to make a lot of pretty sculptures."

    Weed was left alone on the street. Then he went over to the artists guilds.
    Weed went to all of the top artists guilds in town.
    The place filled with musicians and performers. The Bard's Guild!
    The guild was very crowded. The number of beginner bards was astounding.

    "This is a nice place."

    Weed thought as he looked inside the place.

    Unlike other guilds, the bards guild was decorated like a bar. Young bards dreamed of traveling and singing in the middle of adventures.

    La. Lalala. Lala.

    The instrument and songs were not accompanied by lyrics but rather there were clear sounds.

    "Well played!."
    "One more song!
    "A very clear voice."

    They were playing to guests in hopes of receiving money.
    Depending on the crowd's reaction, they could get a lot of money and some fame.

    There was a very minimum requirement. A certain level of singing skills.

    The higher the skill level, the more effects are given when playing a song. It was an added bonus if they had a beautiful face, a nice body, and high attractiveness stat.
    For bards, attractiveness was an important stat.

    Looking prettier was a good thing and needless to say it was important to please the crowd.
    For these reasons, Bards were often good looking men and women.

    Oh, baby you're not dreaming
    I'm right here

    Because I'm in front of you singing right here.

    A little girl began to sing in the middle of the song. Even bards basically needed a certain amount of singing and playing skills. In Royal Road, almost everything depended on skill.

    They must know how to act and move their bodies. Furthermore, they must know about art!

    Weed left the first floor and headed to the second floor.

    The bard instructor was a beautiful woman. She had a slender figure and a thin jaw line. Because of this, many men became bards.

    A lot of the popular professions were the ones that allowed men to go on adventures with women.

    Weed of course was attracted to her looks.
    But he had already seen extremely beautiful women like Hwaryeong and Seoyoon.
    He waited until it was his turn, and then he asked the instructor.

    "I would like to know about moonlight sculpting."

    Serena, the instructor smiled softly.

    "Moonlight Sculpting? I haven't heard that for a very long time. But there is no obligation for the Bard's Guild to answer you."

    Weed looked at Serena very quickly.

    "You are very beautiful."

    "You need more than that to tempt me. The challenge is over before it even begins. A man of your charm is not enough."

    Weed did not put any stats into attractiveness.

    Attractiveness increased luck and appearance as well as reduce the chance of receiving a deadly attack.

    It could also minimize the amount of damage received from magic attacks. It increased drop rates a bit as well. It did not apply until the stat was over 200 though.

    Thereby, Weed did not invest any points into the stat.

    "You have a beautiful singing voice."
    "I'm a bard so that much is obvious."
    "You have very beautiful hands and clear eyes."
    "Hoho. You know how to say some nice things. What were you curious about again?"

    Serena's attractive and shiny eyes flashed.
    This was what Weed wanted.

    "I would like to know about moonlight sculpting."
    "Okay, would you care for a song first?"
    "Of course."

    Serena began to sing with a fine voice while playing a harp.

    You've lost hope
    A girl waits dreaming at home
    You're missing
    Fighting any enemy even then do not forget the girl
    You sing about her and see her in your dreams
    Go to her, the place where you will be happy...

    The bard's guild flocked with people as Serena began to sing.

    "She's singing."
    "How long again did she start?"
    "I really like her song."

    They sat around admiring her song.
    Serena's clear voice brought a soft feeling to his chest.
    She closed her eyes as she brought her song to an end.




    -You have listened to the song of the returned soldier.

    Fighting spirit has increased by 10%.
    Intellect has increased by 5%.
    Endurance increases when vitality drops lower.
    Last for three days. Does not overlap with other bard's songs.



    A long time after the song Serena asked Weed.

    "How did you like my song?"
    "It was very pleasing to hear."

    Weed did not need to exaggerate and simply gave an honest answer.
    It was a really good song. There wasn't a need to think of any flattery.

    A compliment straight from the heart!
    There was flattery more authentic than the simple truth.

    'It's an easy thing to flatter people. Flatter has its limits. It was really good, so there was no need to say anything else.'

    People were jealous of him on the ground level, but at that moment he was also the most respected person in the room. Even the slightest actions, if brilliant, had to be accepted.
    It was important to say things casually.

    "Serena truly is majestic."
    "There isn't anything that Serena can't do."
    "I was surprised that it was such an elegantly flowing song..."

    The words left a lingering feeling.
    As the words left his mouth, one could only smile from the change in the atmosphere.
    The one thing that Weed prided himself in was his flattering abilities.

    "Ho, ho, ho."

    Serena laughed with a smile on her face. Weed thought she was satisfied.

    "This is will be a souvenir of the song."
    "Yes?"
    "It's 1500 gold."
    "That is..."
    "If you give me it, I will tell you what you want to know."

    Weed gave her the money with tears in his eyes. The world revolves on money.

    Bribes!

    Bribes promoted human relations.
    Weed examined the item he got after paying a fortune.

    "Identify!"




    Serena's Harp

    Durability: 50/50 Attack: 15

    A harp owned by the instructor of the Bard's Guild. A dwarf had made it for her.
    It produces a clear sound when played.
    It is suitable to sing while playing the harp.
    Beginners and non-bards can play it.

    Limitations:
    Attractiveness 100 Level 60

    Options:
    Attractiveness +30
    Elegance +20
    Playing skills +2
    Fame+20
    Bard related quests can be performed.



    The performance of the harp wasn't that bad.
    Serena said as she sold the harp.

    "I haven't seen many moonlight sculptures. But every time that I see it, the feeling that it gives off is different. The light that the finished sculpture gives off is different."
    "Yes?"
    "Unfortunately there is nothing more for me to say since that is just all I know."

    Weed reluctantly left the Bard's Guild and went to others.

    Hairdresser's Guild!

    It was a rare class that didn't have many guilds in the Versailles Continent.
    You could dye your hair and change your hairstyle.
    They were typically classified as artists since it required a certain level of skill for beauty.
    Such professions were only popular among a handful of enthusiasts.
    As soon as Weed entered the Hairdressers Guild, the instructor seized him and threw him into a chair.

    "Too bad there isn't more hair. Don't worry about it. I'll give you a pretty cut."
    "I don't want a haircut...it's nothing. I would like to get a haircut. What is the price?"
    Weed was pretty much forced to pay to have his hair cut.




    -The art stat has temporarily increased by 3% and has various effects on a variety of production skills. Not applicable to sculpting.
    -Attractiveness has increased by 5% for three days.



    The instructor told him after he finished cutting the hair.

    "I've never directly seen Moonlight Sculpting. But it's not that I've never heard of it. Do you know the history of sculpting? Sculpting has historically been striving to develop. As I said, it's related to history."

    Dancers have fine appearances and sensual bodies.
    After the Hairdresser Guild, he visited the dancer's guild and danced with the instructor.

    "The foot goes here...then a quarter turn."

    Weed's dance lessons cost him 80 gold.




    -Agility has increased by 2%. Upon death or when the body is fatigued then the agility will return to normal.
    -The pleasurable dancing has increased attractiveness by 1.



    Attractiveness and agility increased after dancing with the instructor.

    "I've once danced underneath some moonlight sculptures. My body felt very light. For some reason, I could dance better after I saw the sculpture. Maybe I am mistaken."

    Weed could kind of understand the quest.

    'It's to experience a wide variety of different types of art forms.'

    It could not be ignored that a large amount of money was consumed in the process.
    Weed had to buy three of the best cheapest perfume from the perfume instructor.
    In return he got to hear a story from the instructor.

    "The angle at which you view the sculpture changes the feeling it gives. Those feeling arouse different types of emotions. But even if someone saw the same sculpture in the same direction but at a different time of day then it was different. Would you like to know why?"

    Weed visited the Calligraphy Guild, the Antiques Appraiser Guild, and the Crafts Guild. A mountain of items were accumulating in his backpack.
    Calligraphers wanted him to buy wooden plaques with letters on them while appraisers wanted him to buy pots with unknown origins. The Crafts Guild made him guy glass accessories.
    He could not bear to go see the Architect Guild.

    'It costs too much to buy a house."

    Weed confidently went to the painters guild.
    At a first glance sculptors and painters were similar, but the methods that they used pursued their means were completely different.
    Because of that they were forced to know about each other.
    The painting instructor was amazed when he saw Weed.

    "The man with amazing artistic ability! What questions do you have?"
    "I would like to know about moonlight sculpting."
    "Moonlight sculpting...I think I have heard of one such story before. Painters create two dimensional art while sculptures create three dimensional art. In the past, there was a competition between the two. Have you heard of it?"
    "A competition?"
    "It was to produce one lion. They both equally expressed the lion's strength and majesty."
    "I wonder who won then?"

    Weed hoped the sculptor won.
    He did not choose to become a sculptor, but he would be pretty angry if the painter won.

    "The painter painted and the sculptor cut away. Vibrant pictures showed up on the canvas from the painter while the sculptor made a beautiful sculpture. In the end, no one won. It was useless to compare sculptors and painters because of the fundamental differences between the two as it had always been in the past. It only served to blur the distinction between the two."

    What the painter said made sense. Then he came to his purpose.

    "Painters and sculptors do not have to be so estranged. This is my most favorite, favorite painting..."

    It was a very large watercolor painting.
    Weed asked with tears in his eyes.

    "May I ask that you price it reasonably?"
    "I'm willing to give it up to you for 1500 gold."

    Weed paid for it with trembling hands.

    'I will never come back to Rhodium.'

    He only had 7000 left of his original gold. Even though he had saved up his money without any spending it, he now ended up poor.
    But thanks to it he was able to hear about moonlight sculpting.

    "Sculptures exist depending on the environment and the nature of the location. If you make a sculpture in a dark place, then the sculpture will also be dark. But what would happen if the sculpture glows?"
    "Do you mean as in light?
    "These sculptures can radiate light. This sculpting gives the user the ability to freely control light. That is moonlight sculpting!"

    Ttiring!




    - You have gathered all the information about moonlight sculpting. Go to the Sculptor's guild instructor.



    Weed headed to the Sculptor's Guild. Surprisingly there was a large number of people gathered.
    Chattering

    "Rather than plain wood, high quality patterned wood seems to be better for making artistic sculptures."
    "I'm certain that rare trees give more proficiency.

    Novice sculptors!

    Because of Weed's actions in the Kingdom of Rosenheim, more people began to choose sculptors. In other places it was hard to be a sculptor. That was why there were a lot of sculptors in Rhodium.

    Information exchanges about sculpting development was taking place.
    Weed walked up to the second floor.

    The first floor instructor knew how to deal with basic sculpting. How to cut wood, how to make shapes, how to use a carving knife, and other basic knowledge.
    However, the second floor instructor gave special quests and skills information.
    Weed went up to the receptionist on the second floor.

    "I wish to learn moonlight sculpting."

    The elderly receptionist blinked.

    "What sculpting?"
    "Moonlight sculpting."
    "Have I heard of moonlight sculpting? I'm old so I can't really remember. I don't think I have possibly heard about it?"

    The elderly receptionist looked like he had no idea.

    "There is however a person that introduces people to create sculptures and is more knowledgeable about such things than me in Rhodium."
    "Who is he?"

    The old man pointed to a middle aged man in the corner.

    "He's Rhodium's finest sculptor so he's the one you need to ask about sculptor related questions. But you must have a modest sculpting level or he will not be willing to talk to you."
    "Thank you."

    Weed went up to the sculptor. He had a carving knife and was making a wood sculpture.

    "Nowadays its a problem that young people have no patience. Patience is unrivaled. Patience! When things start to hurt a little or get annoying they give up and they can't taste the pleasure of fine sculpting? Ah, tsk tsk!"

    The mumbling continued endlessly.

    That was probably because a large number of people started choosing sculptor recently without knowing about the hardships it entails. The sculptor poured out stirred and disinterested complaints. He tended to not raise his head when others came near.
    Weed immediately initiated his flattery.

    "You're an excellent sculptor."
    "I hear that alot. I'm sick and tired of hearing it."

    For a sculptor that was the best compliment but he did not even budge.
    Weed looked at the shape of the wood in his hands.

    "Elven elkwood.."
    "Whoa! It appears you have traveled around and learned a little bit about sculpting."

    The sculptors desires was hidden in his way of speaking. Still, the sculptor was concentrated on his work and didn't look up.

    'Maybe it wasn't good enough?'

    Weed looked closely at the wood he was using. He had tried using the material several times. It was a bit expensive. It was also thick and hard.

    'The material itself isn't much.'

    The elven elkwood was rounded by the sculptor to make a bowl.

    "In this world things need forms."
    "Huh? What do you mean?"

    "Aren't there people out there that would rather make a commodities than works of art?"
    "Then you consider this bowl I sculpted to be trivial?"
    "Not at all. What I am thinking are original sculptures. Art came about to fit human needs."
    "It looks like you wish to know something. Come and sit down."

    The sculptor willing gave up the seat next to him.
    People with high pride are often not given enough recognition in the art world.

    Art from the beginning did not start as art. Painting, music, and sculpting began depending on need and then sublimated into art. At the heart of it was its application.
    Weed knew what to say and that created the right level of intimacy with the sculptor.

    But that was natural for Weed.

    He saved quite a bit of money by carving his own cooking tools. Stone table, wooden spatula, and frying pan! He even sculpting a barrel for seasonings. Weed beckoned the sculptor to take a short break.

    "It seems that you and I can have a conversation. Since we are colleagues walking down the same road after all."
    "Thank you. I wish to ask you a question about sculpting."

    Weed politely asked the sculptor who readily answered.

    "What is it that you wish to know about sculpting?"
    "Do you know about moonlight sculpting?
    "Moonlight sculpting? Those that reach the pinnacle of earthly sculpting can learn light sculpting. People tend not to believe. It is an impractical story."
    "Impractical story?"
    "Yea, it is one from sculpting...if you want to learn moonlight sculpting then you need to know its origins. Here take this."

    The sculptor reached into his bag and pulled out an ore and gave it to Weed.

    "It's hard to cut precious ore to make sculptures. It is not easy to shape ore. There is a large risk and it dulls hundreds of carving knives. However, if you wish to learn about moonlight sculpting then you need to make light on your own."

    Ttiring!




    Find the Lost Light.

    Light sculpting.
    Cut down ore to make a sculpture.
    The lost art of Moonlight sculpting can be learned.

    Difficulty: Profession related quest.
    Restriction:
    Sculptor only.

    Quest can be accepted regardless of the number of quests in progress. Advanced sculpting required.
    Fame and stats must be above a certain level. Quest can not be done if art is low or if the player is infamous.



    Essentially he had to learn it himself. He needed to learn how to perform Moonlight Sculpting on his own. That was the last trial to learn moonlight sculpting by carving this ore.

    Back to top


    Chapter 5 : Moonlight Sculpting



    Since he was finished with his business in Rhodium, Weed went to the Church of Freya. Freya was the symbol of abundance and prosperity so Rhodium had a very large temple.

    The reason that Weed returned to the Church of Freya was because, due to his contributions in returning the holy relics, he was free to use any of the teleport circles in any of their churches in the Versailles Continent.


    "We are humbled to welcome you. Great benefactor of our church."


    Weed was welcomed by the senior priests.


    "I wish to use the teleport gate."

    "As you wish. We will begin the preparations. However, are you aware that they High Priest has been requesting to see you?"

    "The High Priest?"


    Weed was puzzled. The quest was already finished once he returned in the Herrera Grail. He could not find a reason for the High Priest wanting to see him.


    "Do you know what has happened?"

    "The High Priest said that you have to search the Valley of Death to find clues to restore the honor of king who is buried there."

    "What do you mean the king's honor...?"

    "The royalists have been accused and insulted because of what happened to their king so the High Priest want a great adventurer like Weed nim to obtain the truth and restore the king's honor."

    "I am not such a great adventurer."

    "It seems that the High Priest thinks otherwise. Also since Weed nim has already been to the north once, it is better to have someone who already has experience in the area to go."


    Weed could guess what kind of quest this once from the description.


    'It's going to be at least an A rank quest.'


    The High Priest was waiting to give him another great quest like the one to defeat the Immortal Legion.

    'The quest of this level. It was pretty bad when I fought against the Legions of Undead. Even if I'm higher level and I've slowly increased by sculpting skill.'


    Weed immediately shook his head.


    "I'm not interested. Please send me to the Plains of Despair instead."


    He needed to get back to his party.
    The senior priests gathered their mana to operate the teleport gate.


    In Rhodium, the Cold Roses Guild accepted many people into the expedition. A total of 160 people!

    Except for about 30 artisans, roughly 120 people were combat type classes.


    "This will not guarantee success since this is going to be a difficult adventure and everyone has to be prepared."

    Oberon clicked his tongue.

    No matter what, having novices did not matter. It was more stable if there were only high level users.

    Most of these people were obviously going to raise their levels and try to obtain rare items from dangerous hunting grounds.

    Drum had a joyful face since he also expected to reap large profits from it.


    "It's going to increase the probability of success isn't it?"
    "Yeah, but the increase of the number of mercenaries in the expedition will also increase fraud."

    "Since it's going to be difficult, having the mercenaries will be a great help in case of an emergency."

    "The only ones that are going to be of any use are the ones that are more experienced and higher level than the rest of these people."


    All the people joining the Cold Roses Guild brought in a large amount of money. Most were participating simply for the adventure. However, it greatly increased the strength of the expedition.


    "But where did these replacements come from?"


    Since Oberon was wondering, Kerberos explained.


    "Did you know that recently there have been some people that have become quite famous by challenging strong people?"

    "Challengers? You mean the people that go around dueling others?"

    "That's right."


    All the Geomchis up to Geomchi505.

    Some went to challenge others to duels. Others went to train in the mountains. There wasn't a need to fight solely against people.

    Deep in the mountains there were dangerous monsters, fierce animals, and the trials of nature.

    Each of their sword fighting styles were different.

    Destructive forces usually depended on the strength stat, agility, and the differences between reaction time.

    Nevertheless, they learned various things about the sword.
    Their bodies became more attuned to the sword.

    They learned how to fight in various situations and how to match their movements with their swords.

    The sword is a means for survival!

    With a month of beating a scarecrow, they tempered their mastery of the sword.

    Many Geomchis had increased their levels through hunting. Among them, several dozen of them joined up with the expedition.


    "That's very good to hear."


    Oberon had a big smile on his face.

    It was good to hear that a number of these people were in the expedition and he wanted to meet them.


    "Kerberos."
    "Yes leader."
    "Are all the preparations finished?"
    "All the supplies have been prepared."
    "How about the teleport circles?"
    "They have been drawn. We are ready to go as scheduled."
    "Then in one hour begin to send people. Start with the main vanguard of our forces."
    "Naturally since they will set an example for the rest of the expedition."


    Northern Expedition!

    The wizards drew a large circle in the plains. Then the vanguard of the forces stood onto the circle.

    There were 150 warriors led by Kerberos! There were also some blacksmiths and architechs.


    "I'll see you in the north."
    "Be careful."
    "Don't worry, we will set up camp and scout out the surrounding area."
    "We will meet again in eight hours."
    "Yes. I'll be waiting."


    It could be used three times a day to send about a total of 450 people. Therefore dividing it up into 11 groups in order.
    The vanguard's job was to set up a field of operations and scout the area.
    Oberon needed to signal the start of the expedition.


    "Let's get started. Send them to the north."
    "Teleport!"


    The wizards triggered the circle.
    They were only able to send people to a designated location rather than where they want to be teleported.

    Kerberos and the warriors!
    They were the best of the elites in the guild.

    They had a curious love for fighting. They would go into dungeons that others would be frightened to even approach.
    They closed their eyes and when they opened them the surrounding landscape was entirely different.

    It was very cold and the ground was covered in snow.
    Thick bluish vapor came out of their mouths.

    "Achoo!"
    "Why is it so cold?"


    The expedition immediately took out their blankets.
    They had come prepared. Everyone had laughed at them when they were packing blankets to bring along.


    "This is better..."
    "I'm just going to cover up in a blanket and fall asleep."


    If they did not have blankets once they came to the Northern Continent then everything would have gone horribly.

    Ruruyiiing!

    The cold wind blew past them like blades.
    Chatter chatter chatter.
    The expedition was frantically chattering their teeth in the cold.
    Because of the cold, it was difficult for them to walk much less scout the area.


    "This...we need something to get rid of the cold."


    Kerberos ordered to have a bonfire started. However it was not an easy task since there was hardly any useful firewood on the frozen ground.
    The Ras Hill.
    In a place that was completely covered in snow it was unlikely that anyone would be able to find anything.

    They went to the top of the hill and looked around only to see that they were in the middle of nowhere. There were other things to be worried about besides the cold.
    Some distance from there there was a flurry of snow. It slowly raised ice and snow off the ground and sucked up anything in its way. A dance of ice and light. It was an extremely beautiful power of nature. A unique regional characteristic to the north, the storm of ice and snow was approaching.


    The boss monsters of the Karaka Forest!
    Pale, Zephyr, Hwaryeong, and their party search the entire forest for the King Snake. However, they could not find it.
    Geomchi5 saw a tree with some colorful patterns on it.


    "That looks like its unique and since Weed makes sculptures so do you think we should take it?"


    He thought about it for awhile then he gave up the idea and stopped worrying.
    He started moving based on his behavior before thinking anything else.
    Profits!
    He pulled out the sword and slashed the wood.
    However he only cut the surface.


    "What is this?"


    Geomchi5 saw that it was harder to cut than usual.
    Pakakakash.

    An insidious sound came from behind as the head of a large snake appeared.
    Shururuk!

    He caught sight of the King Snake's head as it spit out its two-forked tongue!


    "Stupids bastards. You dare to attack my majestic body."


    The King Snake was a named monster.
    Since then, the party engaged in battle against the King Snake. It had a body length of over 10 meters and it was capable of moving very quickly.
    It was not a possibility to run away from it should it give chase. It hid terrible poisonous vapors in its body was well as very tough skin.
    The King Snake's main weapons were its fangs and its poison, with have enough force to break a bull's back.
    The incredibly pointed teeth were capable of piercing heavy armors.
    In the past they would have never thought of hunting the King Snake. However, now they had more companions and they all had developed a sense for battle.


    "Fire Field!"


    Romuna set fire to the surrounding area. Snakes hate fire!
    It was not a direct attack on the King Snake but it reduced its range of movement. But because of this the party suffered damage.


    "Please protect us from the blazing fires. Blessing of Water. Kyaaaaa its hot."


    Irene screamed.


    Her main role was restoring health. Her defensive and blessing skills were a little lacking.
    Because her Blessing of Water skill had low skill mastery it was helpless before Romuna's fire.
    Since it failed, Irene focused on healing the party's health using holy magic.
    Zephyr took the role of baiting and luring the King Snake while Hwaryeong danced.


    "Dance of Confusion!"


    The dance was capable of lowering the enemy's spirit and breaking their balance. In a sense it was a dance that was suitable for combat since it disrupts the enemy's balance and does not revert to normal.

    It was a powerful sort of curse.
    The snake began to have irregular behavior as Hwayrung danced.

    Her face seemed to indicate as if she was cage inside a chaotic maze as she danced.
    These dances were not part of the dancer's skills.

    It was because Hwaryeong's dancing that such a skill was possible.
    The dance increased the effects of the skill even more.


    "Oh, Hwaryeong is dancing."
    "It's a very beautiful dance."
    "Beautiful is not enough to express it..."
    "She has such a slim waist and graceful neck..."


    Geomchi2, Geomchi3, Geomchi4, and Geomchi5 found it hard to not watch Hwaryeong dance.
    Battle or not, all of their attention was devoted to Hwaryeong's dancing.


    "Keoheom!"



    They were in the back modestly watching her dance. Men did not change no matter how much time passes. There was a spoonful of truth in the superstitions that women have for men.
    Chururaah!
    The King Snake moved its big long head side to side along the floor. Then it spread its blue poison out. Others would usually instinctively fall into chaos rather than fight and protect themselves.


    "Poison Cure!"


    Irene was in the middle and she dispelled the poison.
    "It's time for our part."
    "Yes Master."


    Geomchi, Geomchi2, Geomchi3, Geomchi4, and Geomchi5 rushed along an open path and slashed at the enemy's body.


    "Ice Blade!"
    "River Sword."
    "Revenge Slash!"


    Geomchi, Geomchi2, Geomchi3, Geomchi4, and Geomchi5 cast their skills.
    Because the King Snake's body was so thick, the skills did not inflict that much damage.
    The other practitioners tended to limit their use of skills but there were some exceptions.
    Most of the time, a monster's behavior and response changes before a skill can even be used.
    It was easier to take advantage of an enemy with a sword rather than using a skill.


    'Use the skills! Concentrate your force! The damage will gradually build up.'
    'Feel the use of the skills. Use the skills continuously and destroy the enemy weak points. With each blow our strikes get stronger!'


    With certain skills they were able to increase their damage output and reach new heights in their ability. Their skill proficiency was much higher than their levels.
    Stats were not the only thing that increased attack strength and more damage could be inflicted if one knew how to fight properly.
    The sound of Geomchi, Geomchi2, Geomchi3, Geomchi4, and Geomchi5 yelling out their skills could be heard.


    "Slice and Dice!"


    A fierce attack harnessing rapid movement!
    The muscular Geom4chi's was moving his sword so fast that it looked like there were tens of swords.


    "Double Strike!"


    Surka hit the King Snake's torso with great force. Her sharp knuckles gave blows to the King Snake's tough leather.
    The damage they were dealing was small, but with the Geomchis they were able to finish off the King Snake after a great struggle.
    Since hunting the King Snake was so tough, they to head back to the Castle of the Dark Elves.
    Weed went back to the Plains of Despair and started running to the Castle of the Dark Elves once the party finished conquering the Karaka Forest and they took a break. A little later Maylon showed up and they started talking.
    Then in the middle of the conversation Maylon said.


    "Pale nim."
    "Yes?"
    "Do you know what today is?"
    "I don't know. Is it because its been 64 days since we first met?"
    "Today they gave me a day off from work."


    Maylon was speaking in a coy tone!
    The only ones that could hear it was those two.
    Pale nodded without hesitation.


    "I'm looking forward to seeing the concert."
    "I'll take you this evening."


    Pale and Maylon quickly arranged a date.
    Romuna and Irene looked as if they stomachs were in pain.


    "It feels like Pale has become a different person."
    "As a friend and a fellow man, I approve."


    Geomchi, Geomchi2, Geomchi3, Geomchi4, and Geomchi5 watched the couple.
    They understood that women liked strong and reliable men. They had good bodies and they could fight well. However they could not get any women.


    'Why is that?'


    'Is it that women don't like muscle?'
    'Exercise and mixed martial arts seem to be a good thing though...'


    The Geomchis thought that being muscular was exciting and attractive.
    But in reality they were unable to get any women.
    In order to maintain their bodies to the best physical condition in real life they mainly ate chicken and protein. There were no seasonings nor condiments but they simply ate boiled chicken with rice! Sometimes the chicken would have a strange fishy smell. Sometimes it was hard to chew.
    It was natural for them to eat their meals this way.


    'Have to watch what we eat.'
    'We have to eat to be strong.'


    They forced themselves not to eat other foods and only eat lean chicken breast.
    The problem was egg whites.

    They would eat dozens of boiled eggs until they went mad. It was so appalling that they would get sick from the smell of it.
    They needed to digest a lot of food because they needed large amounts of protein.

    They were also troubled with the level of water in their bodies.
    They tried their bests to supplement replenish their bodies and stamina whenever they exercise a lot.

    Many of the other also went through such challenges for thorough self-management from living through the sword. Thanks to that, they did not have the chance to ever meet any women.

    Surka suddenly said.


    "Since we're all talking about this, why don't we meet up in real life?"
    "What?"
    "We can meet up with each other and talk this way in reality! Why don't we all go to the concert together?"
    "I'm not sure if that's a good idea."
    "Why not. Seeing each other for real would be great."


    Meeting in real life.
    Maylon, Irene, Surka, Romuna, and Hwaryeong!
    The Geomchis were going to get to meet as many as five women. It was a rare opportunity to talk with women even if Surka was too young and Maylon had a boyfriend.
    Drinking coffee and eating hamburgers.
    Just walking around the city with women would be pleasant.
    Geomchi4 and Geomchi5 looked at each other."


    "Geom4chi."
    "Yes, Geomchi5."
    "Have you ever been to a concert before?"
    "The last time I went was probably six years ago."
    "..."
    "I want to go this time."


    Maylon and Pale was against it since they didn't expect to have anyone else get in the way of their quality time.
    Aside from that, Zephyr and Hwaryeong were relatively friendly with the Geomchis.
    Also meeting up and talking in real life was a good way to pass time.
    Needless to say, Irene and Romuna approved.


    "Sounds good."
    "I haven't seen a concert in a while."
    "Hwaryeong-unnie is it okay if we meet up?"


    Surka went up and nodded her head at Hwaryeong.


    "Yea, I would like to meet up."


    The fact was that Hwaryeong was a little reluctant to meet up with people. She didn't want people to know in game that she was a celebrity.


    'But I'll be fine with these people.'


    Since she got Hwaryeong's approval, Surka asked Zephyr.


    "Is Zephyr-oppa coming?"
    "Of course."


    Zephyr was also a little hesitant.
    His family's company made millions overnight.
    He would only need to talk to strangers for 3 to 6 minutes to get their contact information.
    This legendary playboy would go out at times for 30 minute dates.
    Because of this, Zephyr was awkward to accepting interpersonal relationships.
    However, the time that they had spent together in game was not for nothing.
    It was then that Weed arrived in the Castle of the Dark Elves.


    "So everyone's here."


    Except for Mapan, who was busy, all the companions were united.
    Wasting no time, Surka walked over to Weed with bright eyes and asked.


    "Weed! Weed oppa!"
    "Huh?"
    "We want to meet in real life. Zephyr oppa, Hwaryeong unnie, Irene unnie, Romuna unnie, Pale oppa, and Maylon unnie as well. Oppa I want to meet up with you and see a concert. What do you think?"
    "..."


    Weed was half-hearted about it.


    'A concert...tickets for them are expensive.'


    Weed hated spending money on cultural activities.
    To him, culture was unknown.

    Weed didn't think that culture was great performances, theaters, or exhibitions.
    To him, it was enough to use a magnifying glass and look and play with ants. He also planted vegetables in his free time. There was a difference between organic vegetables and market vegetables so he tried to save money.

    There was also house cleaning and washing the dishes.
    An infinite amount of labor.

    In contrast culture was only about consumption.
    Money money money!

    No matter what you are going to do or eat, it will cost money.
    Weed ran a strict household budget.

    For one month, he had an allowance of 2000 won.
    That was the amount set aside from food for entertainment.

    Weed was going to refuse.
    But then it would be difficult for him if they all meet except for him.
    Then Geomchi5 went ahead and spoke for Weed.


    "Weed is a busy person, we can't force someone as busy as him to come."


    Geomchi4 also nodded.


    "Yea. I'm certain that Weed has a lot of work to do and I would be surprised if he had any free time."


    They gave a strong defense in Weed's favor. But Hwaryeong opened her mouth to speak her slight disappointment.


    "If Weed's not coming then I don't want to go."


    Irene and Romuna were also inclined.


    "I don't think it's going to be fun if Weed's not there."
    "For a concert, I think its more meaningful if we all go together than if we simply go by ourselves."


    Zephyr said leaning his fishing rod against his shoulder.


    "If Weed's not going then I don't need to come. I would rather spend my time doing something else then."


    At that point, they changed their minds to meet up in real life.
    If Weed, who was at the center of their group, wasn't going then they weren't either.


    If Weed didn't go, then it wouldn't be fun. That was how much of a role Weed had.
    Geomchi2 quickly tried to change the subject.


    "Weed, I don't think that it would be too much trouble to meet up."
    "Don't you come by daily to train at the dojo?"
    "Ah! That's right, that is how it is."


    Geomchi5 also entered into the conversation.


    "It's a good chance to immerse ourselves in some classical tunes. Passionate music."


    Geomchi4 grinned as well.


    "Like a real man! Friendly companionship! This much is obvious."


    Geomchi2, Geomchi4, Geomchi5, Pale, Hwaryeong, and Irene were all encouraging him to go.
    He noticed that they really wanted to meet up.
    It would be really embarrassing if he refused now.


    "Okay. Will three days from now be fine?"
    "Maybe...it should be."


    Pale peeked over at Geomchi2 who nodded his head.


    "So until then, let's go hunt in a dungeon."
    "Dungeon?"
    "I meant three days in real life. So if we start hunting now, it will be about 8 days in the Versailles Continent. With that much time, we can fully explore and clear out a dungeon. Is that alright with you?"


    Surka thought about Weed's claim.


    "Are we even able to clear a dungeon in eight days? I'm with Weed oppa."


    Maylon shook her head as if she was hearing nonsense.


    'Any decent dungeon would take at least a fortnight. It would take at least 10 days to map out the dungeon as well. Eight days is just ridiculous.'


    But Maylon did not understand. The very moment that Weed said it, Hwaryeong and Zephyr started shaking their legs.
    Of course this was because they remembered their memories of hunting with Weed in the Basra Caverns.


    'Geuak...'
    'Endless hunting...'
    'Eat, hunt, get bandaged...'
    'Then more hunting. It would be less trouble to just die!'


    Hunting for 29 hours without rest. It was their first experience doing such a thing. They hit their physical and mental limits fighting monsters to such an extent.
    Then they went back to town to sell the japtem.
    They thought that it was the end.
    Only to return back to level for a few more days...
    Now the grueling hunt was going to be resurrected.



    You are the first person to discover the Rotten Lich's Dungeon!

    Reward:
    Fame has increased by 400.

    Experience and drop rates have doubled for a week.
    The first monster hunted will drop some its the best items it has.



    Back to top


    Chapter 6 : Hollow Dungeon!



    Weed and his companions went to the area where they had hunted the King Snake.
    They were the first ones to discover the dungeon.
    At the entrance of the cave, Weed collected all the weapons and armor to use his skills on them.

    "Sword grind, armor polish, iron clothes!"

    Production skill side effects!
    Before entering the dungeon, everyone ate food until they were satisfied.
    The effects were higher than those of a bard's and a shaman's blessings combined.
    Thanks to his superior handicrafting, it gave quite a few advantages to his skills and thus did not require them to repair their equipment that frequently.

    "From here on it will be nothing but fierce hunting."

    Surka stretched out her hands.

    "This time we need to get to at least level 300."

    Pale had become level 296 thanks to their frequent hunting.
    Romuna, Surka, and Irene were also similarly leveled.
    But his girlfriend Maylon was already level 310. Isn't it something all men have in common to want to be strong in front of their girlfriends!

    'Get stronger.'

    Pale did not spend all his time hunting like Maylon.
    He spent more time increasing his archery masteries. While training his character, he focused on raising his skills and masteries.
    The advice from the Geomchis had been a great help to him.

    With a bow and arrow, he had to suppress the urge to simply shoot at the monster's body.
    He had to look for the brief moments to attack the enemy's weaknesses!

    If you shot an arrow at the same time a sword struck the enemy then the damage from it would be higher than usual.
    It was time to show off his skills to Maylon.

    At the entrance of the cave were Skeleton Knights. They were some of the monsters that went around patrolling areas.

    "Li...life."
    ""Those are...living things....die!"

    Skeleton Knights.

    Three Skeleton Knights riding on ghostly Phantom Horses came charging.
    Neiiighhhh!
    The eerie cries of the ghost horses.

    "Fire Fist!"

    Surka jumped to the front and shot out blazing flames.
    It collided with the Skeleton Knights.

    Weed had been worried that it would be unreasonable to have Surka fight if she was underpowered. Apparently his worries had not been of any real concern.
    Surka charge into the Skeleton Knights and then circled around.

    "Strike! Yonhankwan!"

    She had rushed to the rear to strike the Skeleton Knights from behind.

    "Ah ha!"

    Weed admired her a little.
    In a fight against an enemy it doesn't help to just have a more flexible body.
    You have to move around naturally and avoid the enemy's attacks.

    It takes quick judgement and fast reflexes to succeed at such a tough feat.
    Good use of close range skills could be used to slaughter enemies in ways that long range couldn't.
    But that didn't mean that clerics and wizards didn't have an important role.

    However, Surka had very good judgement.

    She had rushed ahead of the Skeleton Knight's attack to reduce the damage she took, allowing her to prevent further enemy attacks and strike in the enemy's blind zone.
    Surka rotated her body to strike the Skeleton Knight.

    Her companions were not idle.
    Pale and Maylon shot arrows rapidly.

    Chashhhak.
    Arrows continued to fly ceaselessly.
    The arrows flew around Surka and pierced the Skeleton Knight precisely.

    "Ga...ga..gahhh!"

    The Skeleton Knight was too busy with Surka's attack to avoid the arrows.
    Geomchi2, Geomchi3, Hwaryeong and Zephyr were responsible for the Skeleton Knight on the left while the one one the right went to Geomchi, Geomchi4, and Geomchi5.
    The Geomchis generously showed off their advanced battle skills to the party.

    "I should not be idling."

    Weed took out the Talrock's that he had been saving in his backpack. The lustrous sheen of the armor!
    It was nearly white because it had been made mainly of Mithril.
    However, this mithril had light absorbing properties. So it was now actually black in color. In fact, in the past most of Weed's armor had been black.
    It was finally time to wear something nice!
    He rarely changed his armor and usually stuck to repairing and raising his endurance.
    But Talrock's armor was black and expensive looking.
    Weed carefully polished it with a cloth.

    "Armor Polish."

    Swishswishswish.
    It was difficult for his to even touch the rare armor.
    It was not just any armor after all. If he were to sell it he would get at least 10 million won.
    It was entirely possible to find someone that wanted to own it!
    It was one of Weed's treasures.



    -The armor has been wiped clean.

    Armor defense has increased by 20%.



    Weed equipped Talrock's Armor. It was made consisting mainly of mithril and it had the red pattern of the Church of Freya on its chest.



    - Talrock's Armor has been worn.

    Defense has increased by 102.
  • Faith has increased by 100.

  • Fame has increased by 300.

  • Strength has increased by 40.

  • Agility has increased by 30.

  • Attractiveness has increased by 25.

  • Fighting spirit has increased by 40.

  • Mana has increased by 15%.

  • Incoming magic damage has decreased by 10%

  • Fear and confusion magic immunity has been gained.

  • Relationship among Dwarves have increased.




  • The gloriousness of unique items!
    Hwaryeong could not hide her admiration since she was in the back of the battle.

    "That armor looks very pretty."

    Weed was a little disappointed.

    'The options for dancers are useless for battle.'

    Irene knew her role in battle as a cleric.

    "Get filled up with holes so I can patch you up.."

    It was to be expected of Irene after all.

    'Couldn't she have put it more delicately?'

    Weed gave a low sigh and then he took out his sword to join in the battle.

    "Sculpting Blade!"

    It was a fearsome blade that ignored enemy defense and struck at the body.
    Weed struck at the Skeleton Knight with his sword.
    It looked as if the enemy froze in place as he unfolded his attacks onto him.
    Kakaaang!
    The Skull Knight slashed towards Weed with his sword. Weed closed his eyes the moment it struck.



    - Cold Eyes skill has been used.

    You can not see but pain subsides.



    Because of his high endurance stat and his black armor as well as the skill, he did not take that much damage from such a big hit.

    "Hu....human open your eyes!"
    "I do not want to. I am strong enough to beat you with my eyes closed."
    "Human...what you say...is an insult to me as a knight."

    The Skeleton Knight gained more power through anger.
    Undead Frenzy!
    It was an ability that increased their power by 10 to 20%.
    Every time he got hit by the Skeleton Knight's attack he would close his eyes and then strike back.
    The battle then changed up.
    The Skeleton Knight started moving his shoulder bones towards Weed.
    It was heading towards his arms and wrists.
    Then he closed his eyes.

    "I guess its coming towards the chest."

    He anticipated the enemy's attack.
    That was because it was the only way it could attack.

    "Daemon Blade!"

    The Skeleton Knight's blade was covered in a devilish shape. It started using skills.
    The forces of evil caused the creation of a skill that caused blood to flow from wounds.
    The Skeleton Knight wielded his sword quickly and 3 after images came at Weed.

    'The one above and the one below are illusions! From the motion of his shoulder, that one is real. The one that is coming for my neck.'

    Weed made that judgement with his eyes closed and acted.
    He could accurately judge the skills of the undead.
    One mistake and he could take significant damage.
    Even with his high endurance, it was difficult to take deadly attacks.
    His health would drop rapidly and his power would drop severely.
    He could become temporarily paralyzed and potentially lose an arm or a leg.

    'Its coming for my throat'

    He kept his eyes closed as he let the Skeleton Knight strike him in the shoulder with the sword.



    - Skeleton Knight attack has decreased health by 630.



    The Talrock's armor could block 3 to 4 times more damage than normal.However an armor was useless if the user had poor skills. Most warrior types classes did not even bother to learn the skills.

    It was reckless to fight with his eyes closed even if it was to raise his endurance stat.
    Most people did not bother to struggle to raise endurance.
    However, Weed did not miss anything trivial related to combat.

    He gave up on using his eyes. By doing so he would raise the skill proficiency much faster than usual so that its effects would increase. Even with high endurance and defense he wanted to maximize the use of Cold Eyes as well.

    It was unavoidable for beginners to close their eyes in their first battle.
    However actually using the skill was a world of difference.

    Weed had the courage to close his eyes and use the skill in the middle of such a difficult battle.
    Surka said admiringly.

    "Weed's responding well to combat. He really is the best."

    Zephyr was forced to agree.

    "He repays with more for everything they give him. I would hate to be his enemy."

    The Geomchis fought while laughing.
    Closing your eyes may work at first but then it might become a bad habit...

    'His skill is still growing after all.'

    It was easy to lose track of the enemy in battle with one's eyes closed.
    But he was deliberately closing his eyes.
    He was well acquainted with the enemy's movements. He knew where the enemy was attacking and how to attack back.
    Development of skill did not rely on the senses alone.
    Geomchi3 and Geomchi4 said.

    "Now this is hunting."
    "It would be nice if we had met Weed earlier."

    Geomchi5 gave a laugh.

    "Dungeons are not such a big deal, they have like only 6000 monsters right? Soon there will be none."

    Geomchi2 looked around the dungeon.

    "Eight days might be too long. Let's see if we can finish this overnight! Come on, let's go!"

    Geomchi2, Geomchi3, Geomchi4, and Geomchi5!
    Fighting was as familiar to them as eating. It was going to be eight days of grueling hunting but they were going to enjoy every moment of it.

    But it was going to be difficult for the member that were not monsters like Weed and the Geomchis.
    However, everyone had changed from how they were in the past quite drastically.
    The Geomchis were indispensable but Pale, Hwaryeong, Surka, and Zephyr's combat skills have improved dramatically.

    "More Skeleton Knights! There are five this time!"

    Pale had confirmed after Weed had sent him out to scout.
    Usually Pale would be leader but things were different when Weed was in charge.
    Everything was left up to Weed.

    Weed stood at the forefront of battle and dealt damage with his superior swordsmanship and endurance.
    Someone that fought directly would usually be more useful as a leader than an archer.
    Weed had cold bandages, providing food and repairs, and effective skills that no one else had!

    "Hwaryeong put two of them to sleep with you skills!"
    "Enchanting dance!"

    Hwaryeong put two of the knights to sleep with her dance. In the meantime everyone else fought the rest of the Skeleton Knights.
    The Rotten Lich Dungeon increased in level as they moved on.

    They would face Skeleton Knights, Chimeras, and other monsters of similar levels.
    The monsters were at least level 300 and in severe cases up to 360.

    Since it was the stronghold for the Undead Legion, there was no wonder that the monsters had significant levels.
    Weed had one overall ability in production skills though.

    The could raise the entire party's damage and defense by at least 10% and 20% respectively!

    They could engage moderate numbers of enemies thanks to Hwaryeong's dancing.
    The party would collapse upon and destroy moderate groups of 7 to 8 Skeleton Knights.

    Exploring high level dungeons required special attention. Dancers had a big role in distracting enemy attention.
    Of course, sometimes a dancer's skills could fail.

    They could fall down from dancing. Once they lose balance then the skill loses power momentarily.
    The higher level the enemy the more dancing was required.

    Hwaryeong had to continue dancing uncomfortably. Her legs were staggering and there was a pain in her legs but she still danced strongly.
    Sometimes it would fail when there were Chimeras, a form of contagious disease zombies.

    That was because they didn't have any eyes to see beauty with and the difference of levels was lacking since they were at least level 350.
    The Lich had made Chimeras with a wolf's head on top of an ogre's body.

    "Eat the humans!"

    They could only be tempted with food.
    A dancer's dance was usually limited to human and humanoid monsters.
    To go above these constraints required a significant amount of skill

    "There's really a lot of experience."

    After hunting for a while, Irene was startled when she checked her stat window.
    They were hunting 3-4 times faster than usual.
    They had also discovered the dungeon so they were receiving 2 times more experience.

    'It's thanks to Weed and the Geomchis.'

    Irene looked at Weed and the Geomchis' with envious eyes.
    Priests were known to have weak attacking power. Weed had the turn undead skill, but it would be quite useless during hunt with a group.Therefore, strong warriors and priest go well together.
    Weed said.

    "I think monster in this territory are getting tougher. From now on the battle are going to get faster."
    "Whoa!"
    "Ah, here we go!"

    Zephyr's eyes darkened. Hwaryeong's held her breath.
    Up until now they were hunting comfortably.
    The moment Weed said that meant that it was time for the real hunting!
    The party's hunting speed accelerated.

    By now, they couldn't rest and traveled quickly through the hunting ground, and if no one was injured after battle they immediately went on to the next hunting ground and continued.

    So since they started this hunt, they have completed several rounds of battle. After battle had ended, the people who needed to heal up gladly sat down by the healer.
    Those that could stand up were free to break off into their own group to continue hunting in the next region.

    They got up and started hunting again. The problem was that the speed was slightly increasing. The interval between hunting and more hunting left them with no time to breathe.

    Weed lead his companions into more battle and more battle faster and faster.They were hunting at a fearsome speed so they were getting experience and items rapidly.

    "I leveled up."

    Someone would say every now and then.
    Their companions would quickly say.

    "Congratulations."
    "I'm close to leveling."
    "Let's keep going then!"

    There was no time to rest.
    Irene had a lot of mana. She would heal them as much as she could and they would keep fighting.
    Whenever their health dropped below 30% she would heal them.

    To survive as long as possible, Weed would treat them.
    With his advanced Cold Bandages, he could heal up up in a flash.
    They only took short breaks for bandaging.

    Zephyr and Hwaryeong resigned themselves to their fate.

    "Keoheok!"
    "I'm going to die! Weed I need to be bandaged."

    They would get hit on purpose.
    Skeleton Knight skill. Darkness status.
    They would deliberately get put into a state of darkness.

    Even if it hurt they could lie and rest comfortably for a bit. If their health drops low then Irene would just heal them.
    After a while Weed would just bandage them up so it was almost impossible for them to get a fatal wound.

    Hwaryeong and Zephyr had the same thoughts when they had hunted with Weed the first time.
    The both of them wanted it to end after getting hit by the Skeleton Knight.

    'It got me.'
    'Now I can rest.'

    Zephyr and Hwaryeong would just a have a slight smile.
    Then Weed would yell and come over with bandages.

    "Pale!"
    "Yes!"
    "It takes about 45 seconds for bandaging. But its not enough to get Zephyr and Hwaryeong back up. Lure the monsters around and bring them back here."

    "Alright!"

    Zephyr and Hwaryeong lied down injured and groaning.

    'I'll never get out of this hell.'
    'Need to die properly.'

    This was because of the unprecedented hunting speed.

    Seechwi was an Orc!
    Early on, Orcs had many advantages.

    They had exceptional health and stamina, their death penalty was lower, and they had high defense.
    Even if Orcs die, the skill loss was insignificant.

    That was the one thing that Orcs had over the other races.
    They were in large numbers and Orcs happened to die often but they had high growth rates.
    Many people came to the village.

    A lot of them were Orc users trying to form parties.

    "Chwikchwik. Let's go hunt foxes."
    "Chwik. Chwik! Fox meat is delicious."

    The number of people in the town were increasing and the Orcs were repopulating.
    Orcs sold meat to the stores. A lot of new Orcs were constantly being born.
    The city was horribly expanding.

    New Orcs were born in village near the Yuroki Mountains.
    It takes time for a human village to expand but for Orcs the only thing they needed was food.
    Seechwi scoured the Yuroki Mountains for Seoyoon. However to find one person was close to impossible. However Seechwi had a secret weapon.

    "That look familiar to the direction that Seoyoon went in."

    She could watch the videos in Seoyoon's capsule!
    Seoyoon was hunting so with a bit of luck she could catch up in time.
    Luckily Seoyoon fought three to four monsters at once.

    All monsters gave up their lives when they attacked Seoyoon. She killed all the belligerent ogre forces in the Yuroki Mountains.
    Seechwi tried to say as gently as possible.

    "Seoyoon. Chwichwichwik!"

    Horrible nasals sounds came out when she spoke.
    Seechwi laughed and said.

    "I'll come with you. I'm Cha Eunhee. Chwichwit."
    "..."

    Seoyoon didn't say anything. However Seechwi knew this wasn't a rejection. If she had refused then she would have walked away. Seoyoon did not refuse because it was someone that she was close to.

    "Chwichwik. Let's get quests and sell japtem."

    Seechwi stayed with Seoyoon who had gotten a quest from the Dark Elves even though she didn't say anything.
    It was more comforting now that someone was traveling with Seoyoon rather than leaving her alone.
    It was still really dangerous and she could die in battle.

    However, thanks to Seoyoon it was not dangerous at all. She took care of her because she was weak.
    Seechwi smiled seeing that there was a little change.

    'Okay. This means that her mind has opened up a little.'

    It was difficult to start the healing process. Any treatment is useless if the patient is unwilling to open up.
    After she had saw Seoyoon cry, it was enough to show that she still had emotion.

    "The quest was to obtain some red fruit. Okay chwit. I'll get some and come back. Chwit."

    The elderly Dark Elf wanted to east a Red Dawn Fruit before he died.
    Seoyoon and Seechwi acquired information about the quest.
    It was not in Seoyoon's personality to refuse requests like these.

    "These monsters give a lot of experience and items. Let's hunt here."
    Seeyoon listened to Seechwi as she led her along.
    Then when she had finished about 30 quests.

    Ttiring!




    The Great Orc.
    Alone they are vulnerable but because of their racial characteristics together they are strong.
    Orcs like a strong leader. You have proven yourself to be a strong Orc.

    Do you wish to become an Orc commander?



    Orc Commander profession!
    The Orcs had a lot of professions that dealt with heavy weaponry. Orc commanders were a particularly special profession.
    Seechwi had not gotten a profession. An opportunity to get a profession barely ever showed up.
    She had been too preoccupied with doing quests.

    Rather than raising her level herself, she obtained most of her experience from Seoyoon.
    The amount of experience of hunting with Seoyoon was small because of such a huge level differrence but she still received some because she was in the party.
    It was more than how much she would have received from hunting alone!
    Thanks to hunting with Seoyoon, the opportunity to become an Orc commander opened up.

    "I'll do it. Chwitchwit!"

    Seechwi became an Orc commander and wandered around with Seoyoon doing quests.
    They wandered from the Orc Village to the Dark Elf Village while hunting.

    Normally someone with looks like Seoyoon would draw attention but she normally hid her face when she went into towns.
    Seechwi also approved that Seoyoon hide her face.

    It was not a good idea to draw people's attention with a pretty face. There was no need to socialize with such people. Then they managed to obtain some information.
    From the Dark Elf Granbell.

    "Seechwi. You may be an Orc but we are friends. In fact, dark elves are usually against Orcs but I still consider you a friend."

    Seechwi's major helped her here as well.
    A doctorate in psychoanalysis!

    Psychoanalysis was not just guessing what people were thinking. That was just the surface, and what it was really about was seeing the secret thoughts and emotions that people hid underneath.

    Seechwi was specialized in psychoanalysis and she grasped the villager's tendencies.
    An female Orc flattering dark elves!

    Seechwi used her psychology to raise her intimacy with the residents.
    Through her hard work, she realized that the dark elves loved receiving flattery.
    Dark Elf Granbell broke into a laugh.

    "My friend was pleased that you got him the red fruit he had wanted to eat. Even though you are not a dark elf, let me tell you of a good hunting spot for the future. If you go east of here you will find a dungeon to hunt in. That dungeon is the source of the undead that have plagued us. There will be plenty of things to hunt in there."

    Seechwi had a high amount of fame for her level.
    Orcs had fairly high growth for fame and levels.

    But that increased greatly by doing quests and hunting with Seoyoon.
    They had received hordes of information on hunting grounds.
    Seechwi and Seoyoon headed to the hunting grounds to become the first discoverers.

    "If I get double experience, then I'll level even faster! Chwichwik!"

    Seechwi had a fairly high level until she became an Orc.

    She had chose it because it was Orcs were very interesting, so she didn't regret it and she wanted to level up and get stronger as soon as possible.
    Double experience.

    The gap between her and Seoyoon will close quickly if she levels up faster.
    Seechwi and Seoyoon went to the pit.

    "Huh. Chwichwichwit!"

    A discovery message did not pop up.

    "I can't believe it. Chwitchwitchwit."

    Seechwi then remembered something.

    'Who else would have heard that story? It must be him...'

    Karichwi had hunted alongside Seoyoon!
    An Orc with a legendary presence.
    He became famous through the Hall of Fame video and the KMC's broadcast.

    "Let's find out. Chwitchwit!"

    Seechwi led Seoyoon inside to find Weed.
    There were a lot of areas where monsters had been cleared out.
    Finally they met Weed and Pale's party.

    "Orc."

    To Surka and Irene, seeing an Orc here was amazing enough.
    It was also accompanied by a woman.
    Seechwi was surprised.
    She did not know that so many people were hunting here.
    Seechwi said with difficulty.

    "I didn't know that there was another party. Are you guys the first discoverers? Chwik."
    "Yes."

    Pale decided to step in since Weed didn't look like he was going to say anything.

    "Then, do you know the way out? It was really difficult to get here. Chwichwik."

    Seechwi's face looked very tough but she was able to convey herself to the party.

    'To come this far must have been tough.'

    'Orc. To come this far it must be a quest and also a pretty high level user but even then it would be tough.'
    'To get through the Karaka Woods we had to take down the King Snake.'

    They had suffered and earned a right to hunt in the pit.
    But now there was another party and there were unavoidable circumstances.
    Pale shook his head.

    "There is no need. It is not a small dungeon so take your time hunting."
    "Yeah. Go ahead and hunt. There are too few people for such a large dungeon."

    Surka said. The party was being very courteous.
    In the Versailles Continent, the higher level dungeons were monopolized and murder was common over them.
    It was common to get kick out if you did not get permission from the other hunting parties in advance.
    It was possible to force another hunting party out as well.
    Seechwi looked thrilled.

    "Thank you very much. Chwitchwit!"
    "But where are you going to hunt? You can come with us if you want. Is that okay with you Weed?"

    Seecwhi smiled at what Pale had said. It was very rare to find such pure and good people on the Versailles Continent.
    It was even harder for Orcs. Most people wouldn't let others join in their party.
    It could be seen what caring people they are since they invited them to join their party.

    "Good work, Pale."
    "Yeah! That's the way you do it."
    "Way to help others in need."
    "Hahaha. It's not like I'm losing anything."

    Geomchi2, Geomchi3, Geomchi4, and Geomchi5 praised Pale simultaneously. All they saw was a woman and they didn't even see her as an Orc!
    It was a good group of people.
    She was thankful to Geomchi2, Geomchi3, Geomchi4, and Geomchi5.

    'Such nice people.'

    Seechwi smiled and said.

    "Nice to meet you. My name is Seechwi. Chwit! This is Seoyoon. Chwit!"

    'How is she here!'

    Weed was surprised the moment he saw Seoyoon.
    She was covering her face so he couldn't see that it was her.
    But that atmosphere she had! He could see the armor and sword that only Seoyoon had.
    The problem was that Seoyoon had already discovered the statues he had made of her.

    'I didn't think that you would chase after me. However you are trying to catch Karichwi and not me.'

    Weed messaged his party.




    -The fact that I am Orc Karichwi is a secret.





    -Yes, I know.



    His party easily listened to Weed.
    The Orc Karichwi had already risen to the top of the Hall of Fame. It was unnecessary to tell others and cause Weed unwanted trouble.
    In fact, Weed was afraid if they did tell people.

    He had reasons to be afraid.
    It would be annoying if Seoyoon chased after him ruthlessly with her sword. He had nothing to be afraid of from boss monsters.
    His pride as a man!

    It was alright as long as they didn't say anything.
    Weed raised the hunting speed now that Seoyoon joined the party.
    He wanted to prevent his party from talking with Seechwi and Seoyoon.
    Everyone in the party except Weed was worried.

    'Are they able to fight properly?'
    'I must protect the party.'

    Geomchi2, Geomchi3, Geomchi4, and Geomchi5 started to compete with each other.

    Brave knights who come to help when monsters attack. It was the best way to get along with other people on the Versailles Continent. Seechwi and Seoyoon were positioned next to Irene. Then the Skeleton Knights appeared.

    Seoyoon pulled out her sword and rushed forward excellently.

    Kwakwakwakwang!

    A powerful force came from the sword!
    It had tremendous crushing power.
    It was easier to fight when you use mana but hard to stay within the mana range.

    "Krahhagh!"
    "My...lovely bones...."

    The Skeleton Knights brutally collapsed.
    The monsters that Weed and the Geomchis had to hit so many times to kill, Seoyoon caught easily.
    "...."

    Geomchi4 widened his mouth.
    There was no more hope!

    The opportunity to flaunt themselves in battle had disappeared. Weed was acquainted with Seoyoon but it came as a surprise to the rest of the party.
    It was the first time they saw such a high level user.

    Endless stamina.
    A berserker's characteristic was to constantly fight monsters.
    With Seoyoon, hunting got much faster.

    Dark Shamans using evil witchcraft.
    Their powers increased the strength of the undead.
    It was similar to Dark Speculation.

    Using black magic on the undead.
    The party fought a nonstop battle against high level undead.

    "Heokheok. It's too hard."

    Pale was short on breath.

    "I would rather die than keep going."

    Maylon wanted to give up on life. However, she already saw Hwaryeong and Zephyr, so even if you wanted to die Irene would just heal you up.

    'No one dies without my permission.'

    The highest virtue of a cleric!
    No one can die during a battle.

    The situation changed now. They begged Irene to let them die. But Irene refused to let them.

    Under Irene's strict protection they were not allowed to die. It only made the party suffer even more and increase their wanting to die!

    They continued to fight dozens of enemies in the time span of 1 hour. They used to take breaks in moderation and leisurely chat while hunting.
    But it was different with Weed.

    Almost without rest, endlessly hunting.

    He considered and thoroughly managed the various movements and appearance of monsters as well as time management, health, mana, stamina, and fatigue.
    If there wasn't enough mana, he would use bandages to heal.

    He thoroughly beat up monsters with his melee skills.
    Hunting became several times more difficult.
    There were several life and death moments in the course of a single hour.
    Proper meals were replaced with jerky or bread eaten along the way.
    Record breaking time.
    A relentless hectic battle ensued.

    It was Pale's and Irene's first real hunting experience.

    Weed would sweep away on the monsters back on the Continent of Magic. Now he was doing the same here in the Versailles Continent. Unfortunately, his party was witnessing it for themselves.

    They thought they would go insane as days passed.

    "How can they be human..."

    For two days they continued to complain and then they stopped.
    If they had the energy to complain they would rather rest.
    Hunting at such a tremendous pace high levels of stamina.
    They could last three or four days.
    But they were forced to go even further than they were ever used to until now.
    Then on the seventh day.




    You have hunted all the monsters in the Rotten Lich Dungeon.
    Title of Lich Dungeon Hunter has been given.

    Fame has increased by 100.





    The rights to double drop and experience for a week have disappeared.




    On the seventh day they managed to kill all the monsters in the dungeon. Weed managed to raise his sword skill five levels.
    However it had severe side effects on the party.

    "Kerr haa haa haak!"

    Pale, Maylon, Surka, and Hwaryeong collapsed. They were literally too tired to stand up.
    Only Weed, Seoyoon, Seechwi and the Geomchis remained.
    Seechwi also did not have much strength left.

    Even though she was just a low level porter, she manage to get a considerable amount of experience.

    'These monsters!'

    In her eyes, Weed and the Geomchis were not human.

    At first she had thought that Weed and the Geomchis were just manly people but then decided that they were monsters after having been dragged around.
    Because she was low level she had to be on the defense a lot. Geomchi2 did not hesitate to protect Seechwi despite her appearance.

    It was uncommon for men to do such things nowadays.
    But as for the hunting...

    "Well, see you later. Chwiichwiik!"

    Seechwi logged out and Seoyoon terminated her connection without saying anything. Even if she fought monsters to relieve stress, this was just too harsh.
    The party was going to leave but then Weed looked at Geomchi.

    "Master."
    "Huh?"
    "You need to be careful when you are hunting. I have the map of the dungeon so I can find where there aren't that many monsters."
    "Well, I guess. Should I use bandages generously?"
    "They should be used sparingly."

    Back to top


    Chapter 7 : Classical Concert



    Lee Hyun got up early in the morning to go to the market. To buy fresh groceries for his sister!
    He prepared food for his sister, and logged in to the Hall of Fame. He uploaded videos of the Lich and dungeon hunts.

    "I wonder how many views I'll get this time."

    He didn't expect too much because non-quest related hunting videos were not popular.

    People enjoy watching fierce battles instead.
    But it has its advantages, because other players also upload videos of themselves hunting.

    "For now, I'll just post it."

    He did it in hope that others will take interest in it. It was a difficult competition in order to gain more popularity.

    "It's still better than not uploading it."

    KMC Media browses the Hall of Fame looking for hunting movie videos that will sell.

    Lee Hyun, again uploaded the entire video of his two days hunt.

    *Diiirrriiiing!*

    Out of nowhere, something in his computer rang.
    He had uploaded the footage stored in his capsule onto the Internet using his severely outdated computer.
    From time to time, he would find random parts from broken down computers to repair his computer.

    "So its been about 2 years."

    Weed browsed around on the internet until noon for information. He could not allow himself to fall behind on info about Royal Road.
    There were all sorts things going on throughout the continent all the time that no one knew about.

    Lee Hyun accessed the Dark Gamer's site.
    There were a great number of Dark Gamers. They could be referred to as one of the most pivotal forces on the Versailles Continent.

    People regretted participating in the Northern Expedition
    How was the heat on the continent going to be overcome

    Those were the first posts that caught his eyes.
    'I guess that's the Northern Expedition.'

    Weed read through the posts roughly.
    At first things had started off well since they were moving to the northern lands.
    However, they had not been prepared the imaginable cold and ice storms.

    At night they could get killed by a chunk of ice or freeze to death because of the cold.
    However due to the extreme cold, it was easy to catch an awful cold that considerably reduced physical ability.

    The would have a hard time travelling in the north and they would have to fight against the monsters and wild beasts so gradually more people would desert the expedition.

    They had high morale at the beginning of the expedition, but after they suffer like beggars for awhile it would soon disappear.

    In addition, the responses were not very good.


    As Dark Gamers, we need to prioritize money. However, it is not always good to concentrate on a reckless quest.

    No matter how large a crisis is on the continent, I'm still going to be able to hunt and gather items.

    There were mostly comments from solo Dark Gamers.
    Lee Hyun read several more posts.




    A new series of magic profession. Necromancers have been unlocked for use.





    Combat based professions. Their strengths and limitations.





    Good professions with overall balance.





    Suitable professions for soloing.





    Professions that are adept at earning money.





    The future of adventurers three years after the start of the Versailles Continent?





    Monster drop list.



    The most popular posts on the Dark Gamer's forum were mainly about items.
    But the viewership on profession related posts were also high.

    In the post about the Necromancer profession, there was already a lot of information that was gathered about the class.
    Some very tricky quests had to be performed to become a Necromancer.

    To produce the first undead, it required fresh bodies and they need to have an affinity with death.
    You also need to kill a lot of that type of creature.
    That will increase the ability.

    It was not an easy thing to do, but it was alluring to reign over a legion of undead.

    'This is good. I'm guessing the tome will become very expensive when I sell it.'

    Weed still had not sold the tome he had obtained from Lich Shire.
    Early on, Necromancer items will not sell for much. The market value still have not been formed.

    Necromancers were very good magic professions since they did not need to buy magical items in order to use spells like wizards.

    As more time passes, the Necromancer class will gain more popularity and the price of the tome will gradually rise.

    'I can probably sell it after 2~3 months.'

    Weed read about the other combat based professions carefully.
    Posts praising their profession!

    Each of the posts boasted the advantages that their profession had. However, nobody recommended any crafting professions.

    It was very rare for there to be adventuring professions in the Dark Gamers.
    Most of them were solo combat professions such as Paladins that could use healing magic.
    Elementalists were also spotlighted since they could summon spirits to fight.
    Finally after Lee Hyun search up info on monsters, he stood up and got ready to leave.

    * * *


    Today was Friday.

    His little sister came back early from school

    "Hye Yeon, do you want to come along?"

    Lee Hyun asked his sister who was resting and watching the television.

    "Where are you going?"
    "I'm going to see some people I met in Royal Road."
    "You mean the people you were talking about the other day?"
    "Yea, we're going to see a performance."
    "That sounds great."

    Lee Hyun sometimes talked to his sister about Royal Road.
    Royal Road was the most popular game. His sister always paid attention whenever he said anything about it.

    Lee Hye Yeon just said.
    "I'm just going to stay home and relax."
    "Yea? Be sure to lock the doors."
    "Yes. You don't have to worry."

    His sister would usually just return home from school and rest.

    'She's been busy studying so she must be tired.'

    Lee Hyun quietly left the house.

    Lee Hye Yeon leapt up from where she was and nervously paced around after making sure she locked the door.

    'Today they announce the results.'

    At 5 p.m. the University of Korea would announce the results on the internet and by phone.

    Lee Hye Yeon was waiting for the results.
    She was going to find out whether or not Lee Hyun passed and how she was going to tell him.

    * * *


    The cafe was booming.

    It was located in the area around the university so the place had a continuous amount of people passing through.

    Apart from that this place was also popular for other reasons.
    Couples in Royal Road would meet up here.

    The cafe!

    This was a place where you could meet people that you built relationships with in Royal Road!

    It was already considered a popular location.

    "Keuheum!"
    "Miss, can I get another one of those parfait things?"
    "How is it that you are thirsty.."
    "Argh, I'm nervous. I need to relax."

    * * *


    Ahn Hyundo.

    The instructors Chung Il Hoon, Choi Jong Bom, Ma Sang Bom, and Roi Lee.

    They, who have trained their entire lives in the way of the sword, arrived first and were waiting for their companions.

    They had combed their hair back and their muscles were bursting out of their suits.

    Chung Il Hoon was hot since he was wearing sleeves.


    "The dojo is a lot more familiar and comfortable than here."

    Roi Lee thought so as well.

    "Training in the jungle was not as uncomfortable as this."
    "There are so many people I have never seen before. In addition, their clothes are very revealing."

    Choi Jong Bom did not know where to keep his eyes.
    There were a lot of slender women who were not wearing much clothing. His face was flushed.

    Then Ahn Hyundo said.

    "Then do you want to go back to the dojo?"
    "..."

    Nobody could answer.
    It was uncomfortable and awkward, but none of them were willing to leave.

    A long time passed.
    The time for the meeting was in ten minutes.
    Oh Dongman appeared holding hands with Min Sinhye.
    On the Versailles Continent, Min Sinhye was Maylon and Oh Dongman was otherwise known as Pale.

    "Hello."
    "Nice to meet you."

    Oh Dongman and Min SInhye bent over and greeted them.
    They faced them and tried bending over to return the friendly greeting with their large sturdy bodies.
    Iron River, the nickname that Mapan had given them when he first saw them surprisingly fit.

    "Hey buddy."

    Ahn Hyundo tried to get the instructors to relax with the young people.
    Then people began to show up one after another.

    "Ah, it's this way!"

    Ahn Hyundo and Chung Il Hoon bent over to greet Kim In Young who came into the cafe wearing a bright white dress.

    "Hello."
    "Yeah. So you came? You look prettier in person."
    "Thank you."
    "What is your name?"
    "Kim In Young."

    She took a seat and sat down.
    Then Yeon Hee Park and Yoon Soo Park came over to say hi, otherwise known as Romuna and Surka respectively.

    "Hello."
    "Nice to meet you."

    They could not help but be surprised when they saw Ahn Hyundo.

    'Scary!'
    'His eyes look like he's out for blood.'

    Then they looked over.

    Chung Il Hoon!

    He had a dignified but wildly handsome face. He looked as if he was a very tolerant person.

    Choi Jong Bom. Ma Sang Bom and Roi Lee.

    They naturally kept their waists bent.

    It was if it was on instinct.

    The cafe became calmer when Choi Ji Hoon, otherwise known as the fisherman Zephyr entered into the cafe with his gentle look.

    "Hyung, it's a pleasure."

    He reluctantly made a respectful greeting!
    By now he had already been noticed. He was meeting in real life.
    The entrance was getting loud.

    "Jae Lynn is here,"
    "The singer."
    "A celebrity's coming here..."
    "So this means that she plays Royal Road?"

    She blatantly appeared walking in!
    Even with a hat and sunglasses, it was easy to know someone's face.

    The moment Jae Lynn entered the cafe, everyone stopped talking and turned their attention towards her.
    The clothes she was wearing, even if it wasn't a performance costume, harmonized with her appearance.

    The clothes sofly exposed his waist and the top of her chest, showing off her seductive curves.
    They could not take their eyes off of her white neckline.

    Looking around the cafe, Jae Lynn walked in the direction of Ahn Hyundo and Chung Il Hoon.

    Gulp!

    "That girl...why is she coming over here, Sahyung?"
    "Why, why is she coming?"
    "Sahyung, maybe we did something wrong..."

    Choi Jong Bom, Ma Sang Bom, and Roi Lee trembled badly. Chung Il Hoon smiled, puzzled.

    "Guys, do you not know why?"
    "Sahyung, do you have any idea?"
    "You tell me!"
    "That's all there is to it."

    Chung Il Hoon shrugged his shoulders.

    "Wasn't it because she was attracted to my fabulous muscles? Hahaha!"
    "..."

    They still did not know why.
    Chi Jong Bom, Ma Sang Bom, and Roi Lee thought in the back of their heads.

    'Every time he thinks of women in the same sense that he think of fighting.'

    Despite Chung Il Hoon misunderstanding, Jae Lynn greeted them.

    "Hi. I barely made it here in time. So Weed is not here yet?"

    She sat down in an empty seat.

    Oh Dongman widened his eyes and asked nervously.

    "Well, excuse me."
    "Yes?"
    "Do you mean... that you are Hwaryeong?"
    "Yeah."

    Jae Lynn nodded in confirmation.

    Of all the women that have yet to show up, Hwaryeong was the only one left in the group.

    'So this means...that we have been playing the same game as Jae Lynn this entire time!'

    Oh Dongman and Min Sinhye were shocked. Anyone could enjoy Royal Road. There was no law against having celebrities play. To think that they would actually meet someone that did!

    Yoon Soo Park caught Jae Lynn's hands.

    "Unnie, I'm a fan."
    "Really? Thank you."

    "You're a lot prettier in real life. Why is it that you look a little different?"

    "Is it now? You can change your face when you make a character. I changed a lot of things like the eyes and the overall impression of the body so people don't recognize me."

    "The body?"

    "That's where I was ignorant. I thought that if I ate delicious things I would gain weight...so I thought as a dancer I would do a lot of physical activity."

    Jae Lynn and Yoon Soo Park started having all sorts of conversations.

    Yeon Hee Park and Kim In Young faces flashed with tension.

    'A tremendous competitor has shown up.'
    'In Royal Road she was targeting Weed, surely not here as well...!'
    'I do not thinks so, but she still is an entertainer and singer.'

    A confrontation sparked over a man!

    Chung Il Hoon, Choi Jong Bom, Ma Sang Bom, and Roi Lee were all 5 years older than them.

    That was why they did not intervene in the women's conversation at all.

    Oh Dongman was only interested in Min Sinhye and Ji Hoon was talking nicely about a few topics.

    Roi Lee whispered to Choi Jong Bom.

    "She is a very pretty lady."
    "Yea, Sahyung, I did not think she was going to be that pretty."

    They were unaware of the fact that Jae Lynn was a singer.

    A large number of people were meeting up on table 2.

    A mix of young men and women created a bright atmosphere.

    Having a fond conversation about small topics!

    However, Ahn Hyundo was in his 50s so he just sat there. He did not say a word and just sat in his rigid posture.

    They played together in Royal Road. But the age difference was just too much so he couldn't hold up in conversation. Furthermore the look in his eyes stung. It was like a group of people sat down and he was bullying them for attention.

    Then Lee Hyun came into the cafe. He did not modify his appearance in Royal Road so it was easy for them to recognize him.

    "This way!"

    Yoon Soo Park waved her hand.

    Lee Hyun slowly approached and greeted them.

    "Hi, I'm Lee Hyun."

    He was already acquainted with Ahn Hyundo, Chung Il Hoon, Choi Jong Bom, Ma Sang Bom, and Roi Lee. That split up the greetings.

    "I'm Oh Dongman."
    "Min Sinhye."
    "My name is Ji Hoon. Hyung!"

    Lee Hyun easily accepted it since he saw them a lot in Royal Road.

    Lee Hyun was going to sit next to Jae Lynn. It was the empty spot near the entrance so he did it without really thinking. Jae Lynn was a famous singer. Like Ahn Hyundo, Lee Hyun had no idea of it. In fact, according to Weed's criteria, Jae Lynn was an average woman.

    'She's wearing expensive looking clothes. Necklaces, earrings, bracelets, and other accessories. Luxury is useless!'

    It was minus 200 points by his criteria.

    "Lee Hyun."

    Choi Jang Bom called out to him as he was going to sit.

    "Yes, Sahyung."
    "This spot is also empty. Why don't you sit over here?"

    Lee Hyun rejected his offer and sat down.

    "Sahyung, you're here early."
    "I came a little early. How about you?"
    "I'm late because I was stuck on the bus."

    From there on, the atmosphere became a little brighter.

    Chung Il Hoon and Choi Jong Bom had a scary face and they had a hard time talking to people for the first time.

    Aside from looking scary, it was hard to them to say anything in such a rigid atmosphere!

    Once Lee Hyun came, it was easier for Chung Il Hoon and Choi Jong Bom to talk. The edge of the burden was relieved.

    Oh Dongman rose from his seat.

    "If we leave now, I think we can get to the concert on time. Come on everyone."

    Hearing that, they began to hurry.

    Lee Hyun suddenly leaned over.

    "Ah, my shoelace..."
    "..."

    He was no different than how he was in Royal Road!

    He eventually went with Ahn Hyundo to the concert.

    Classical concert.

    It was very full because a famous French orchestra was performing tonight.

    Oh Dongman and Min Sinhye reserved some seats in the middle.

    Min Sinhye reserves such difficult seats because she was in the broadcasting industry.

    Lee Hyun sat down.

    The concert began with the conductor's greeting.

    He was a rookie conductor recognized in France. He held concerts all around the world and raised his fame and confidence.

    'Korea has culturally outdated performances. It's time that the audience experiences something new and surprising.'

    It started with a solemn grim atmosphere. Then 10 minutes in, there was a sound.

    Deureureuong!
    Kuul!

    Chung Il Hoon and Ahn Hyundo had fallen asleep and were snoring.
    Oh Dongman looked around. Everyone was looking at them.

    'This is embarrassing."

    Oh Dongman's face reddened.
    He was also scare that they would recognize Jae Lynn.
    Yeon Hee Park complained.

    'To fall asleep in a place like this. I don't even know how they can do that.'

    But then ten minutes later.

    "Haaaaaaah."

    Ji Hoon's eyelids started getting heavy.

    "Even together these performances are really boring."

    He looked around and everyone was asleep.
    Oh Dongman, Kim In Young, Min Sinhye, and Yeon Hee Park were all asleep.
    Their consecutive hunting accumulated a lot of fatigue. They fell asleep when the tension was gone and it was relaxed.

    "Come to think of it, I'm getting sleepy too."

    Ji Hoon also slipped into sleep.
    A group of people were falling asleep!

    Jae Lynn was startled when she heard the sound of snoring during the classical music. Everyone was asleep.

    "Shouldn't we wake them up?"

    She carefully whispered to Lee Hyun, who was sitting next to her. However there was no answer.

    "You're kidding?"

    Jae Lynn grabbed Hyun Lee's hands and shook them. She was literally shaking him to see if there was a response. He was watching the performing with his eyes wide open but he was asleep.

    "Wow, you're really asleep."

    Jae Lynn just sighed. Eventually she just closed her eyes.

    "I'm the strongest."

    Ahn Hyundo was dreaming.

    There were echoes as he marched through the streets.

    He achieved a great victory in war and was being recognized as a hero!

    "Please allow me this dance."
    "You are very beautiful"

    Chung Il Hoon was dreaming too.
    He was in a medieval palace with splendid music playing.

    The entire place was filled with beautiful women from noble families!
    It was common for women to be attracted to promising knights with powerful bodies.

    He was covered in precious stones and gem to return to his hometown.
    He had great riches!

    However, they were not the only ones.

    'Monster!'
    'Damn these guys.'
    'There it is again'

    The rest were having nightmares of hunting in the dungon.
    Unlike Ahn Hyundo, Chung Il Hoon, and everyone else, Lee Hyun slept like the dead.

    Under no circumstance did he relax.
    One less hour of sleep meant more experience he could get and more skill proficiency he could raise.

    He could not rest because of Royal Road's monthly fee.
    So to Lee Hyun, the concert was his precious time of relaxation.

    Hyun was sound asleep as he was unknowingly lying against Jae Lynn's shoulder.
    Jae Lynn could feel the touch of his body as she gently stroked his hair.
    Meanwhile, the conductor was furious and in a frenzy.

    'How could they fall asleep listening to my music! What does my music possibly lack?'

    The conductor put all his strength into conducting the orchestra.

    The passion! The electrifying feeling, the best music.

    Even if it was to only wake up the people that fell asleep.

    They left the concert and they were stretching out.

    "That was a really good show."
    "I'm still kind of tired..."
    "My body is refreshed."
    "Oh, I slept well."

    They were hungry after a refreshing sleep.

    "Hey, I'm buying."

    Ji Hoon went ahead and took them to a nearby restaurant.
    Eating all they could would relieve their fatigue.

    They got a lot of meat onto their bowls and got platters of roasted meat,
    They shared up the roasted meat and drank while chatting.
    It was nothing special, but they were satisfied and happy.
    By the time they finished dinner and went outside, it was already dark.

    "It's a shame that we have to leave now."

    It was a bit of an emotional parting.
    They suddenly met with each other and saw each other's faces.
    But they did actually meet in real life.

    "It was nice to see you. Now we can meet up anytime."
    "I had a good time."
    "See you next time."
    "We'll see you in the Rotten Lich's dungeon."
    "We really need to sell off that japtem."

    They exchanged emails and telephone numbers and then they went home.

    Lee Hyun rode on the bus and went home. But when he went home, he saw Hye Yeon sitting on the chair in front of the computer wiping away her tears.

    "What's going on?"

    Lee Hyun trembled with anger.
    Hye Yeon had never been fortunate in the past.
    Kid would use to tease about their parents.

    "Well..."

    Hye Yeon was using the computer and went to the University of Korea's website.

    There was the list of successful applicants.

    "I got accepted into the University."

    Lee Hyun quickly glanced at the monitor screen.

    "Is this the University of Korea's successful candidate roster? Are you absolutely certain that you passed?"

    "Yes. My name is written there."
    "And did you get a scholarship?"
    "They contacted me on the phone earlier and I got the scholarship."

    Hyun Lee's body was trembling. When he first heard it he had tears of joy.

    'But why did she have to receive the scholarship..."

    The promise he made to his sister!
    If she received a scholarship then Lee Hyun would have to attend university.

    "Oppa, didn't you promise to go to college?"
    "Yeah. I'll keep my promise."

    Lee Hyun had a bad taste in his mouth.
    He was going to send his sister to college, but now he was going to spend an enormous amount of money to attend college.

    But he already made the promise.
    However, he was not light hearted.
    There was more to worry about than college acceptance.

    Now he still needed to earn money.
    Lee Hyun took out a passbook hidden within a book and gave it to Hye Yeon.

    "I still want to help pay for your tuition. I want you to be able to buy clothes and have spending money. At the very least, so that a trip abroad will not matter."

    "Oppa."

    "As a college student you will be studying hard. There will be times where you will need to spend money. I've been saving a little from wherever I could. I did it just for a time like this."

    Lee Hyun wanted to teach her how to spend money.

    Ever since he was young, he was always saving and he did not know how to spend money. But he was not stupid to think that money was something that he took to the grave.

    He spent his money sparingly.

    Lee Hyun was tenaciously collecting money for his family.

    "Thank you."

    Hye Yeon's eyes were tearing up.
    She carefully opened the passbook which contained 30 million won that her brother had been steadily saving for her college tuition.

    He willingly walked around to save bus fare to save up this money.
    'He did all this for me in a year?'

    For a while, Hye Yeon had trouble holding the money.
    She didn't know what she was even supposed to spend it on.
    She was going to go the college and try to not spend a lot of money.

    But she was a college student.
    They were supposed to be economically self-reliant.
    Books, tutoring, and tuition were covered by the scholarship.

    'I want to experience the way you see the world.'

    In the very end, Hye Yeon decided to order a capsule.

    The Church of Freya!
    There were a few people trying to purchase holy water and blessings.

    "Hey did you hear the news?"
    "What news?"
    "The Hermes Guild took down three castles yesterday."
    "Even that one castle?"
    "Yea. It lasted quite long but it couldn't handle an all out attack from the Hermes Guild."

    Urban cities were greatly different.
    Urban cities could train soldiers and archers from the population.
    They could also conquer cities for commercial gain.
    For a castle, having military power is an important role.

    "They're occupying all the territories of Haven Kingdom. Have they already occupied the entire kingdom?"
    "Not yet. There's a still a few cities left."
    "The towns and cities won't be able to stop it."

    "Well its not important. They're all going to fall to the Hermes Guild."
    "Bad Ray called himself the king. He's going to be ascending the throne shortly. It's a wonderful coronation with over 6000 guests apparently."

    Between users there was endless talk about the Hermes and Bad Ray.
    He was the first person qualified to be king and the strongest in the Versailles Continent.

    He was the true meaning of a king.
    Bad Ray did not have a very good reputation.

    To get where he was now, he had to fight a lot of battles.
    Cruelty, do not accept any surrender!

    Thats to that notoriety, it has risen to the heights it has now.

    "That castle had miserable military strength."
    "Still, the Hermes Guild is not going to have a bright future."
    "You're right. Half of the guilds under the Hermes Guild's banner are useless."

    "I heard that the Iron Templars and the Lone Wizards Guilds are forming a coalition."
    "It looks like there's going to be a great war with the Hermes Guild. Which side should we go with?"
    "No no. The Hermes Guild will collect funds in the meantime and devote the money to internal affairs."

    "Come to think of it, they did acquire a lot of land. They're going to get attacked."
    "Keeping something is harder than taking it."
    "The war will not stop."

    Thus people were talking.
    Then the Templars that represented the Church of Freya entered.
    People stopped their conversations to watch.
    Large movement of the Church of Freya's Templars!

    "What's going on?"
    "It looks like something is happening."

    Back to top


    Chapter 8 : Forced Quest Trigger



    When Weed connected to the game, everyone else was already gathered together. The Orc Seechwi and Seoyoon were there too.

    "..."

    Weed had a pain in his chest whenever he saw Seoyoon.

    She was definitely going to get back at him because he had made a sculpture of her without her permission!

    The idea that Seoyoon was a killer was firmly held in his heart. Even if she had not learned how to wield a sword properly, he feared the terrible things that would happen if he was careless.

    "What else do you want to hunt?"

    Weed was trying to resume the hunt when Geomchi raised his hand.

    "First I have something to say."
    "Go ahead master."
    "We would like to go and hunt separately."
    "...Did we do something to offend you?"
    "That's not it, we just want to do some hunting on our own."

    Weed looked over at Geomchi2, Geomchi3, Geomchi4, and Geomchi5.

    "You all feel the same way?"

    They nodded.
    It was a decision the Geomchis had made after talking about it to each other.
    Hunting together in groups was more enjoyable.
    But they realized the limitations in it.
    There was a limit to how much they could avoid an enemy's attacks with just their movements.

    All their stat growth was in attack! They were very vulnerable to magic attacks and curses as well as to sudden attacks from random monsters.

    'We don't want to embarrass ourselves. It wouldn't look good if we end up dying in front of the children.'

    Geomchi also supported the idea for other reasons.
    Their defense was very low and honestly speaking their damage was too weak in order to be hunting with the party.
    Then they had seen Seoyoon. Their damage was nowhere close to her level!

    'Amazing! Even without the proper movements, I did not think it possible to do that with just a higher skill level.'
    'Dashing. It's a skill that rushes towards the enemy. In reality it would be hard to show off that sort of explosive power.'
    'Using skills. Even if they fake and can only be used in Royal Road. I am still strong.
    'It wouldn't hurt to become the strongest in this continent.'

    Geomchi, Geomchi2, Geomchi3, Geomchi4, and Geomchi5 played around in Royal Road.
    They were actual swordsmen in real life.

    Most of the other Geomchis came in order to hone their skills but the instructors had come to play around.
    However, for the first time they got sincere about the game.
    Although it was only to remove their weaknesses and raise their skill levels to become the very best.

    Royal Road was without a doubt virtual reality. They could see, touch, and feel.
    It was also a world in itself.

    They wanted to become the best in this world as well.
    It was difficult for them to bear being even a little bit weaker than someone else.

    Of course, Geomchi5 had an opinion.
    "Ahem! Master and Sahyungs as well. I think we should properly think about what we need to do."

    "What do you mean? Do you mean our lack of armor? If that is the case, can't we just see if Weed can make us some decent armor?"

    Geomchi5 just shook his head and said.
    "It's not so simple. As you guys know, this place is called the Versailles Continent"

    "That's right. It wouldn't be wrong to say that we have not seen enough of this world."
    "That also means the creation of couples. Pale was able get a girlfriend. Yesterday since we went to the cafe, I decided that I didn't want to be alone."

    "Then, Geomchi5 are you suggesting..."
    "We need to become the best! Being the best means that we become very popular. Don't you guys see what I'm saying?"

    Geomchi4 was trembling with excitement.

    "I see. Outside of Serabourg there was a famous guild recruiting all sorts of people!"
    "There were quite a few high level people going off to a hunt. If we go and show that we are the best, then we can become popular."

    Geomchi5 made a suggestion.
    They could show off their unrealistic and overpowering strength to women and children. It was obvious to Geomchi4 what Geomchi5 was suggesting.

    "Sahyung are you thinking what I'm thinking?"
    "Its a good idea Geomchi5."

    After thinking about it Geomchi2 nodded. However it was not yet decided. There were still a few issues being left out.

    They had saw the Geomchis at the concert.
    Lifelong bachelors.
    They didn't have to guess, since it seemed that they had devoted their lives to the sword.
    That was become to normal people, they seemed content being crazy swordsmen.

    'Meet with a woman alone? Indeed there are more than just teens and people in their 20s playing on the Versailles Continent.'

    Geomchi thought about it and nodded his head.

    "It's a good idea Geomchi4."

    The Geomchis made their decision to leave. On the surface they left in order to become stronger.
    Weed made the Geomchis wear basic armor.

    "The defense is higher now and it's pretty light so you don't have to worry about it restricting your movements. There is also some magic resist so you don't need to be that wary of magic anymore."

    "That's good to know."

    Weed made armor, boots, helmets, and gloves from the iron ore and leather they obtained from the Rotten Lich Dungeon.

    It came out with relatively average defense because he was using normal materials, but with Weed's Intermediate Level 3 Blacksmithing he could probably get about 250000 won for them.

    That was because of his advanced Handicrafting that the item's durability was significantly higher than usual.

    "This is a gift. You will need it during hunting."

    Cold Bandages made from sewing skills!

    Weed had made several rolls of bandages. The bandages could quickly stop bleeding and restore health. Weed gave them a backpack filled with bandages. Since none of the Geomchis had healing skills, the bandages would prove to be a valuable lifeline for them.

    After the Geomchis left, Weed's party returned to the Castle of the Dark Elves.

    They met with Mapan to dispose of the japtem and then they checked over their items in preparation to hunt again.

    Continuous repetitive hunting!

    Weed knew all the details about the surrounding area and monsters in the Yuroki Mountains.

    Now the overall level of the party was about 300.

    'It's just getting started.'

    Weed clenched his fist.
    It was time for crazy hunting.

    Acquire items and gain experience. Thanks to his various production skills he could hunt faster and more efficiently.

    However, Weed was going to have to wait.

    Back in the city of the dark elves there were some uninvited guests waiting.
    The pope candidate Alveron and the Paladins from the Church of Freya.
    High priests were not allowed to leave the temple without at least 20 bodyguards.

    The paladins placed a hand on their chest and bowed to Weed.

    "Hello benefactor of the church."

    There were more than 100 paladins present giving him a salute.

    "Wow, that's so cool!"

    Such a wonderful sight caught Surka by surprise. The Paladins were lined up in the middle of the day in full uniform. The high priests were also in a solemn posture.

    Alveron took a step forwards from the high priests.

    "The Church of Freya has ordered us to come and hear Weed's answer."
    "..."

    Weed did not say anything. His party however was making a big fuss.
    The Knights of the Church of Freya came to call him out.

    "Ah, the Paladins of the Church of Freya!"

    Irene and Romuna were amazed.

    "They're here for Weed!"

    Once again, Hwaryeong admired Weed.

    They had been hunting together, but Weed's fame was beyond anything they could ever think of.

    He was the one who obtain indisputable power in the Continent of Magic.
    Then he laid out his own story in the Versailles Continent.
    It was thrilling to listen to his stories of adventure!
    It was incredible to learn these facts about Weed.

    'To think that the Knight of the Church of Freya would come. It doesn't matter which church it's from but it's got to be someone very high up.'

    Maylon looked at Weed like a frightened rabbit.
    He had a calm look on his face.
    There was a smile on his face but it looked a little bit annoyed.
    He was taking something like this on calmly.

    'I really admire Weed. Not even the toughest adventurers would be able to take on those quests.'

    Zephyr said with admiration.

    "The Church of Freya came all the way out here from the temple just to hear Weed's response."

    In actuality it was quite different. Weed wanted to run to anywhere that isn't here. However, the Paladins approached them at a very quick pace and he was completely surrounded.

    He forced on a rotten smile.
    'Why did they chase me out here...'

    Weed frown at Alveron and said.

    "What's going on?"

    "The cold and monster infested land of Morata. Ever since the fight against the True Blood Vampires, Paladins have been dispatched to police the province."

    "So what?"

    For some time, Weed had stayed in Morata to combat the True Blood Vampires.

    Ice stretched across the desolate land.

    At the end the people that were turned to stone were awakened.

    "Do you know the history of the North?"
    "The north's history?"
    "It's a very old story that is now long forgotten. The Kingdom of the Niflheim Empire."

    He roughly listened to the story.

    'This sounds like its another difficult quest.'

    The side effects of high fame!

    Even quests that were refused had to be taken.

    "You need to cleanse the Valley of Death and recover the treasure of the Niflheim Empire to restore the King's honor."

    "Treasure and the King's honor?"
    "That's right. We need to leave to the North immediately."

    The priests, on Alveron's command, would teleport them immediately.
    To think that a situation like this would force him to stop adventuring!

    Weed asked pathetically.
    "Am I not allowed to bring companions again?"

    He needed to take someone with him so he wouldn't die alone in the north. They were recklessly heading to the land of ice after all. There was no way he was going to withstand the cold alone.

    "You wish to bring your companions?"
    "Yes."

    Weed looked back at this party. He looked at them with eyes of reminiscence.

    'The suffering needs to be split! Only the suffering of others brings me comfort.'

    Pale and Zephyr's shuddered.

    'Oh no! Please not me...! I wanted to rest if only a little bit.'

    'To be so cruel to your own fellow man!'

    On the other hand, Maylon was thrilled and having all sorts of expectations about adventure.

    'This is an adventure! I finally leveled up enough to go on a real adventure! And it's Weed's adventure! This adventure is going to shake the entire continent.'

    'I'll go anywhere Weed says. No matter how tough it was going to be.'

    Whether it was the heat or the cold, Hwaryeong was willing to withstand anything if it was with Weed. However, Alveron just shook his head.

    "You won't be able to pick all of them. I think that you'll only be able to bring one person."
    "One person."

    Weed began to worry about who to bring when Seoyoon walked forward. It was actually Seechwi who firmly pushed her forwards.

    "There you go!"

    Weed was incredibly scared.
    Why is she emitting such killing intent!
    He would die if he traveled with her. However, it was hard to openly reject her.

    Fear of Seoyoon!
    To think about it, Seoyoon was the strongest and the most useful person to bring.
    While he was hesitating, Alveron said.

    "Well, that determines it. Begin to send us to the north!"

    The senior priests triggered the teleport circle formation.
    Weed, Seoyoon, the paladins and the priests were covered in a bright light.

    * * *


    Wah-3!
    The angular jawed wyvern roared wildly.

    "Kkeueoeuk!"

    The Wyvern was mad.

    They had to fly around Rhodium when their master went back to the Yuroki Mountains.

    Geumini was flying on the back of the Wyverns to the Yuroki Mountains. There was a lot of sunlight so they were getting really hot.

    The Wyverns were totally exhausted when they finally arrived at the Yuroki Mountains.

    They could smell the fragrant scent of flowers.
    Their favorite animals were in the Yuroki Mountains.
    Deer and wild boars!

    Their favorite food was tasty but not like horse, which they considered a delicacy.
    A little inside the Yuroki Mountains, Centaurs would emerge from within.
    The lower body of a horse and the upper body of a human.

    Since they attacked with bows and spears they were difficult opponents for the Wyverns to raise their levels at.
    But then their master left again.
    This time to the Northern Continent!
    It was much farther away than Rhodium.

    "Kkeuruk kkeuruk!"

    Wah-1 shivered his neck.
    The Wyverns remembered their loyalty to their master.

    "Master did give us life."
    "We must watch over our weak Sculptor."
    "The master is incompetent so we must protect him."
    "Let's go protect our weak master."

    The Wyverns flew into the sky again.
    The distant north.

    The Wyverns flew in a straight line to the north despite the fact that they did not like the cold climate.
    Geumini was gleaming on top of Wah-1.

    "Golgolgol!"

    * * *


    The Cold Roses Expedition!

    The 1650 people that were dreaming of the north were now experiencing all sorts of sufferings.

    The first scouting party suffered a large ice storm as soon as they got to Ras Hill.

    A natural disaster on the Versailles Continent!

    The architects took out their shovels and started digging in the middle of the ice storm. It was not very easy to dig through the ice at all. However it was better to work hard instead of dying. The rest of the expedition used their weapons to dig into the ground. However, some of the expedition just stood around watching the ice storm.

    "The storm lifts thick pile of snow off the ground into the air."
    "So that explains why pieces of ice and snow are falling from the sky."
    "The ice storm is created even though the sky is clear. So this is an ice and snow storm?"

    The wind was gradually increasing, so they calmly waited for the ice storm to approach.

    "Protect the body from the cold and prevent them from losing body warmth. Frost resistance!"
    Wizards used protection magic.

    "I did not think the first thing we would face would be an ice storm."
    "Since I came all the way to the north, there are bound to be good memories."
    "It'll be a wonderful adventure story that I'll be proud and willing to tell others."

    Their unknown confidence wasn't based on anything.
    Meanwhile artists, craftsmen, and the majority of the warriors from the expedition hid inside the pit.

    "Ack, its cold!"
    The cold caused their teeth to chatter!

    Gaston could feel the northern chill even though he dug a hole. After a few moments, he caught a glimpse of the turmoil on the ground level.

    "Well, this storm...doesn't it look a bit dangerous? It's still coming closer and it has tremendous power. The ground is shaking!"

    "The wind is rapidly increasing!"
    "The temperature is rapidly decreasing."
    "Ice shards! Ahhhh! Ice shards are incoming!"
    "Halryun! Halryun is dead!"
    "Ah! Help me!"

    The terrifying ice storm swept across the Northern Expedition's vanguard on the Ras Hill.
    The cold wind and the ice stacked on repeatedly.
    About 4 hours!

    The expedition dug holes and had to wait hours in the cold.
    Crackle crackle!

    Even though Gaston dug a hole, he suffered a severe cold.
    He was barely even alive. Most of the artists and craftsmen were weak and they caught colds so they died.

    Most of the expedition did not know about the dangers of the north and that they would face something like this.

    "I'm dying, it's so cold."
    "The weather is so cold."

    After a long time, the ice storm passed and ice was thickly piled on top of the hill.

    One of by people began to pop up.

    "I'm still alive but is it over?"
    "It was really cold. I thought that I was going to freeze to death down there."
    "We are literally going to freeze in this cold."

    Gaston cleaned off his face.

    The artists, the craftsmen, and the majority of the users recognized the seriousness of the situation so they dug holes and hid in them.

    Now they were extremely cold almost froze to death.

    But thanks to Pavo, Gaston was able to survive. They managed to survive because Pavo was a good architect and was able to dig a deep hole.

    Pavo shoveled as he moved his frozen lips.

    "The group was nearly wiped out."
    "I don't want to get a cold ever again. My hands and feet are still not moving properly."

    Gaston had very weak stamina and his body was shivering. There were small pieces of ice growing on his beard. After the ice storm passed, Ras Hill started to get really busy.

    "Check how many people are alive."
    "We need a cleric here now!"
    "We have serious patients over here!"

    There were only 7 clerics sent with the vanguard. Of those, only 2 survived and they hurried to try and treat the others. However, there were very few who survived. Those who had been confident in their strength tried to stand and resist the ice storm. They had been ruthlessly beaten to death by sharp chunks of ice.

    Only 130 people thought of digging up holes!
    But even in the pits it was hard for the production classes to bear the cold from the ice storm.

    Ferocious winds propel pieces of ice into the holes.
    Unless the hole was very deep they would either die or be on the brink of death.
    In this situation, the warriors and the knights had fared much better.

    Gaston and Pavo from the production classes had nearly died while the majority of the magic professions died.

    Eventually at the end of the storm there were only 65 people alive!

    "My god! This is only the start and the damage is already huge."

    Kerberos sharpened his eyes.
    However, being frustrated had to wait.

    "Everyone in the party keep up your strength. We must hold out until the next group arrives."

    The vanguard was exhausted.
    The situation was not good for the ones that were left.

    "We need to hold out for four hours until the next group arrives. Until then, take it easy. Assassins and rangers should go scout the area."

    "Yes sir."
    "This is going to be merely reconnaisse, do not provoke any monsters."

    Many of the combat series users were either dead or disabled.
    They would be unable to fight back if a large number of monsters come on a raid.

    Suffering from cold and hunger!
    Health and stamina recovery rates were not even half the normal amount.

    They had to curl up and suffer until the next group arrives. The scouts from the vanguard cautiously spent their time. All of them were very afraid of monsters appearing. They were fortunate because there weren't any monster attacks as time passed. Monsters in the north were known to be very strong and violent, but they also had high intellect.

    Thanks to the passing ice storm, monster activity was considerably lower so there wouldn't be any attacks. Some time later, the second group arrived and they began to set up camp. Architects set up temporary homes made out of chunks of ice. Since the houses were made out of ice they would expect it to be cold. Surprisingly enough it was warm because they started a campfire.

    "Pile on more wood!"

    The ones from the vanguard that survived the ice storm wanted to relax in a safe place.

    The expedition started off on the Ras Hill. There was going to be a need to come back here as well as repel attacks from monsters. To do this, it would be helpful to set up a base camp so that they could defend it easier.

    However work progress was slow!

    The elites from the Cold Roses Guild. Others were envious of the high level players but they were unfamiliar with cutting out ice. They would build poorly made houses that would collapsed when touched. To make matters worse, most of them couldn't even properly use a shovel. They could be seen shoveling.

    They were only familiar with hunting monsters so they were building houses and shoveling for the very first time.

    "Move out of the way!"

    Geomchi364 was part of the second group to go to Ras Hill and he was holding a shovel.

    "Who are you?"
    "I'll show you the proper way of using a shovel. Haah!"

    Geomchi364 set the shovel lightly on the ground, then he stepped on it vigorously to transfer his weight onto it.

    The way to use a shovel!

    Pababarak!

    The momentum was fearsome. It was like the shovel was alive and every time it moved shocks would pass through the ground.

    The most optimal and efficient way to use a shovel.

    "That is how you use a shovel."

    The people in the expedition were forced to nod towards Geomchi364.

    It was very easy for Geomchi364 to pile up ice.

    They had already done something similar when they were making the pyramid.

    Shoveling and bricklaying!

    His efficiency was much higher since other people did not have the Construction skill.

    Cadmus was working hard to make clothes for the expedition.

    "For this kind of weather there needs to be warmer clothing."


    Thermal insulation was needed for dealing with cold temperatures.
    They seamstress was forced to make clothing for the entire expedition.

    Bards began to play instruments and sing.

    Cold winds blowing
    Ice is falling on the ground
    Even then I love adventurous stories
    Adventure and romance on Ras Hill.

    More than 10 bards were singing.
    It was enough to increase health and stamina.

    "Seductive Dance!"

    Despite the cold weather, the dancers were wearing bold clothing that showed off their navel and they were dancing.

    A passionate and charming dance.
    Their presence increased the expedition's motivation.
    The cooks were busy.

    "Herbs?"
    "We got our hands on a lot of quality materials in Rhodium."
    "No need to hold back on the meat. It needs to be eaten in larger quantities since stamina is going to drop very quickly. Put in plenty of it."

    The chefs made a spicy stew to beat the cold.
    It was very helpful since it was just what they needed.

    Depp was holding a carving knife and glaring at a chunk of ice. When making a sculpture it was a good idea to have the shape in mind.

    Pavo walked over, trembling in the cold.

    "You called me Depp?"
    "Yes sir."

    Depp politely greeted him.
    He was still young and everyone was older than him.

    "So what did you want?"

    Depp was one of the sculptors so the expedition was wondering what they was doing looking at a chunk of ice.

    He answered to Pavo.

    "We are trying to make a sculpture."
    ""Sculpture?"
    "Yea, that's right."

    Sculptors were committed to going to harsh environments to make sculptures!
    As an architect, Pavo was able to understand.

    "Sounds like a lot of work. I'd love to stay and watch but it's too cold here so if you don't mind I'm going to return to the expedition."

    "Not at all."
    "I'll come as soon as you finish the sculpture."
    "Yeah, I'll come get you."

    Pavo walked through the snow to return to the expedition.
    It was just 30 feet away from the hill but a ghastly wind blew.
    Pavo had to endure the tough weather with his low health and stamina.

    "Well, let's start."

    Depp was very cold, but he could stand it since there was sculpting material everywhere.

    'The question is if my sculpting skill is good enough.'

    In Rhodium, Depp managed to get a lot of fame!
    His sculpting skills, however, were only Beginner Level 8.

    'I can't tell if I'm going to fail unless I try.'

    He didn't give up and continued moving the sculpting knife.

    Crunch!

    Most sculptures had a defined shape.
    Animals, plants, objects.

    Up until now, Depp also made sculptures in the form of shapes. However, this time he was going to make something different.

    First, he made a normal eagle. An eagle with sharp and clear eyes.

    But he made it going for a dive.
    It was going to eat delicious food.
    The eagle was in an improbable situation.

    Because of its speed, the heat turned into flames!
    Flames were pouring out of the eagle's mouth.
    At first he only made an eagle, but then he started embellishing on it.

    A sculpture about fire!
    The eagle with glazing hot flames!
    A sculpture of fire that not even a strong wind could put out.

    Depp finished up the sculpture of fire as a high gust of wind blew across the Ras Hill.

    However, all he could feel was warmth.
    The form of fire in ice.

    Ttring!




    Fine piece! You have completed The Fire of the Continent.

    The bleak northern lands. Monster filled the icelands. A humble artist's work was completed in the freezing cold. Unquenchable passion for sculpting. Imaginative use of sculpting solid ice despite rough workmanship. The artists has a certain charm to sculpting. He is relatively unknown so it will be difficult to find his works.

    Artistic Value: 340

    Options:
    Those that see the Fire of the Continent receive 7% increased health and mana regeneration.
    15% increased cold resistance.
    Resistance to magic increases.
    Campfires last longer.
    Increases the power of fire related species.
    Does not overlap with other sculptures.


    The number of fine pieces completed up till now: 1


    - Sculpting skills have improved.
    - Fame has increased by 320.
    - Art has increased by 56.
    - Stamina has increased by 4.




    Depp was startled when he finished the sculpture.

    "I...I did it!"

    It was the first fine piece he had made in his entire life.
    The sculpture that Depp made was like rain in the middle of a drought for the expedition.
    The expedition was shocked when they saw the sculpture.

    "You went and created an ice sculpture! It's the first time I've seen a sculpture this awesome."
    "Moreover, the cold has been reduced by a lot."
    "I think I'm going to be able to live now!"
    "My abnormals status is going back to normal."

    The extreme cold that was plaguing the expedition was changed.

    People did not expect much when the artists and craftsmen joined the expedition.

    That together they would make things a little better? They did not believe that the artists and craftsmen had the ability to do so. It was the same for the sculptors. It was very hard and laborious work. They did not have very good attack power and they didn't earn money well.

    A lot of artists live their lives in poverty in Rhodium and sculptors were not recognized either.
    Sculptures were considered a trifling sight.

    "You have talent in sculpting."
    "From now on, we need sculptors."
    "Wouldn't that be nice?"

    Sculptors were a profession that could overcome harsh environments. That was the fantasy that was planted into sculpting now. Artists could show off their skills anywhere.

    They were an occupation that could show off the skills from a wide variety of fields.
    Finally, Oberon joined the expedition on Ras Hill.
    All 1650 users were gathered in the north.

    Before, the production classes were ignored by the expedition. Now they were actually coming with them to the north. It was thanks to their active participation in the expedition.

    Oberon nodded his head at the way the expedition had changed.

    "The way people were chosen is really well done."

    Kerberos scratched his face and laughed.

    "I had a funny feeling when I accepted them. Hunting now will be a lot easier now since we picked up people for the expedition in Rhodium."

    They were usually considered bad classes but now they were really impressive.

    "We ought to include sculptors on the next expedition."

    Oberon had not expected much from the artists.
    The expedition finally began to move in earnest.
    Oberon dispatched the expedition in all directions.
    Ten different teams were sent from the expedition!

    A group of adventurers, knights, and clerics among others found a nearby village.
    They obtained information and the opportunity to receive quests from the village.

    The expedition would be risking their lives against the monsters in the northern continent. However, even if things did go well, they chose not to do it.

    They could not imagine what they would do if they ran out of stamina in the cold or starve to death without food.

    They wandered through the ice and the snow. Some of the wizards were specialized in ice magic.

    "Ice Bolt!"

    Due to the weather, their magic was much more powerful that before.
    They, however, received strong opposition.

    "Stop using ice magic!"
    "Are you trying to freeze and kill us?"

    They were the knights and warriors that tasted death by freezing.

    There were monsters in the north that had a high tolerance to cold and were stronger in combat that they would think.

    Ice cave!

    A group of adventurers were able to find an ice cave. They were able to enter after breaking the ice that was blocking the entrance.

    "There seems to be something in there."
    "Let's check it out."

    A number of the expedition died because they didn't know that they were heading towards fearsome monsters. The ice monsters were able to maximize their strength in the cold weather against the expedition. Some of them were barely able to conquer dungeons and find a little treasure but it was hardly worth it. After suffering for 10 day, discontent broke out.

    "It's been nothing but suffering."
    "I've already died twice."
    "There's too much snow on the ground and I can barely walk."

    No matter where they went, the snow went up to their knees. To make matters worse, the horses that the expedition had prepared had frozen and died. Needless to say, they were tired and reached the end of the rope!

    "I'm just going to close my eyes."
    "It's too far to walk without knowing the exact location."

    People became tired of the tedious and painful expedition one after another.

    They were looking forwards to adventure and fighting, but instead they were starving and deliberately avoiding monsters.

    They couldn't tell which monsters were strong or weak.
    That was because of the lack of information.

    They dispatched a group to gather information about the surrounding area but contact with them had broken off.

    "I'm better off just going back."
    "I'm sick of this."

    They were divided and confused!

    Each guild began to branch off and do their own activities. Although it was the Cold Roses Guild that led the expedition, they had already lost many because of lack of trust. The expedition was going to rapidly collapse. It was on the verge of collapse because everyone was doing whatever they pleased. Many of the mid-level players that made up the expedition had also failed to come back.

    Back to top


    Chapter 9 : Valley of Death



    *Whiiing!*

    Shortly after he opened his eyes, Weed walked out of the Teleport Gate and found himself inside a cave. Cold wind blew in from the cave's entrance.

    "Uu, Cold!"

    It was a situation he had to get used to every day!

    Due to having experience shivering in the cold, he could be unfazed by strong, cold winds.

    "Looks like I had to return to this place eventually."

    The North.
    He ended up coming to this harsh place with Seoyoon.
    Weed changed his clothes quickly to avoid catching a cold.
    It was clothing made from the furry leather of the Yetis!
    It did not look all that appealing from the outside, but it provided good insulation.

    'Being warm in the winter really is the best.'

    Some people tried to look cool by wearing light clothing.
    Weed looked upon those people and laughed at them.

    'They're going where while wearing clothing like that?'

    Traditionally, thicker clothes were the best. Warm clothes that did not let any cold air in.

    New clothing made from good, light materials had to change as fashion moved on.

    However, the clothing he wore was very special.
    Clothing stuffed with a lot of fur and cotton!

    It resembled the clothing that the older men who sailed on the boats near beaches wore. It was the thickest clothing. Because the clothing is thick and durable, you can wear it every year.

    As a negative side effect, one would never appear to be young while wearing clothes like these!

    The first time in his life, he had been called an "old man" while he was out on his milk delivery route.
    It was a painful memory filled with shock, something he would never want to recall.

    "Cough."

    As Weed searched his surroundings, he found Alveron and Seoyoon.

    The pope-candidate Alveron. It was comforting to travel with him due to his high level and his knowledge of higher-tier divine magic.

    Without Alveron, it would have been impossible to win against the True Blood Vampire Clan.

    This time, he had to rely on both Alveron and Seoyoon in order to complete the quest.

    Weed faced Alveron and gave him an order.

    "It's cold. For now, see if you can get a campfire going."

    "Yes."

    After Alveron politely answered, he gathered some nearby wood and started a fire. Kind and pure Alveron fulfilled his orders without complaint.

    Meanwhile, Seoyoon's lips turned a deep blue.

    Alveron was wearing a robe that did not allow the elements through, because he was a candidate for papacy. Weed was similarly wearing Yeti leather, which let him withstand the cold to some extent.

    However, Seoyoon did not have specially insulating clothing, so she could only remain exposed to the full brunt of the extreme cold.

    Weed pulled out sewing equipment and materials from his backpack.

    Since he had no choice but to travel with Seoyoon, he was going to make her some clothes. Luckily, there were some materials leftover from making the Geomchis' clothes.

    Weed cut the leather and, with more care than usual, began sewing.

    *Ttiring!*




    Women's Leather Clothes:
    Durability 80/80
    Defense 25

    Clothing made from a long-lived black boar.

    A tailor with great insight made this clothing using intermediate sewing materials.

    Since this clothing is not thick, it allows natural movement of the arms and legs and is comfortable to be active.

    Requirements:

  • Level 250



  • Options :

  • Agility +20

  • Arrows are harder to detect.

  • When worn by Dancers, effect of dancing increases by 3%.





  • Weed finished sewing the clothing, and held it out to Seoyoon.

    "Please...wear this."

    All while trying to force the unnatural politeness!

    The clothing that Weed made was average leather clothing. It was something that one could wear underneath heavy armor.

    While the wizard and priest classes lacked the strength to do so, the classes that could wear heavy armor usually wore leather armor in addition to that, resulting in an even more exceptional defense.

    He made the clothes using Seoyoon's measurement, which he already knew in advance.

    However, Seoyoon did not take the clothes.

    "..."

    She fixedly stared at the clothes that Weed held out for her.
    A thought passed through Weeds mind.

    'She must have some difficulty receiving it from an acquaintance.'

    There was a time when they traveled together for a number of days while he was the Orc Karichwi, but Seoyoon was unaware of that fact. Since she only recalled meeting him while eating barbeque at the Instructor's log cabin, it was understandable.

    With those thoughts, Weed smiled favorably towards her.

    "It's okay. You may wear it. Since it was made particularly for your use, please hurry up and take it."

    However, Seoyoon shook her head without saying anything.

    'Why is she behaving like that?'

    Weed, puzzled, followed her line of vision. Seoyoon was expressionlessly looking at the Yeti leather clothing he was wearing.

    'No way...!'

    The fleeting thought that passed in a second!

    Weed investigated Seoyoon's location. She was right in front of the campfire. She was so close to the fire that if she moved a little closer she would burn.

    'She must hate the cold. That means the reason why she refuses to wear this is...'

    The reason she refused was not that she found accepting the favor to be difficult. She was silently demanding the slightly warmer clothing.

    The clothing that Weed made properly reflected the exposure of women's clothing, and he did not layer it in to reduce the amount of materials used.

    She keenly observed this and wanted different clothes.

    Weed had no choice but to make her a new set of clothes. Using the leftover materials, he added on some layers and eliminated the exposed areas of the clothing to make thicker clothes.

    It was at this point that Seoyoon grabbed the clothes and went behind a boulder to change.

    After somehow completing the preparations for weathering the cold, Weed turned to ask Alveron a question.

    "Where is the Valley of Death?"
    "It's known as the Sendeim Valley."
    "It has an original name. Is that place also related to the Undead Army?"

    Weed asked the question because most of the high-ranking quests he received had involved the Undead Army in some way.

    However, Alveron shook his head.

    "The Church is investigating the Undead Army that Balkan controlled. They revealed that this quest and the Undead Army are not related. It involves the ancient Niflheim Empire. You should be able to obtain more information on the Sendeim Valley from the Morata Village's Elder."

    "I see."

    Weed went to the outside of the cave.

    A large darkness was visible in the distance.

    It was the Morata Castle, where he fought against the True Blood Vampires.

    It seemed as though they splendidly renovated the houses in the outskirts of the manor, which were ruins in the past. The residents were also moving about here and there.

    "Then let's go."

    Weed trudged towards the village of Morata.
    Alveron and Seoyoon followed him.
    The village residents welcomed him warmly.

    "Warrior! We welcome your return to this place. We will never forget the grace by which you saved our lives."

    With the completion of the quest, the village revived.

    Weed was the village's best contributor! Thanks to that, he could receive a lot of favor from the village residents. Weed began by seeking the Elder.

    The largest house that, in the past, was completely destroyed so that not even a skeleton could be found was repaired and became the Elder's house.

    Inside the house, the wood in the fireplace was burning, spreading a warm atmosphere.

    "Warrior, I sincerely thank you for revisiting us in these hard times. "

    "I wanted to come again even if that wasn't the case. I'm glad to see that you and the village residents are doing well."

    "It's thanks to the protection of Freya's knights and priests."

    Monster infested villages could become invaded at any time.

    As in the case of Baran village, monsters could kidnap people and force them to become their slaves. However, thanks to the efforts of the Church of Freya, this village became safe.

    The Elder brought out a basket laden with sweet potatoes that were puffing with steam.

    "As it so happened to be, it's about dinner time; would you care to join?"

    "I won't refuse."

    Weed sat down at the table and began to peel the sweet potatoes.

    Seoyoon also sat down next to him and quietly began peeling sweet potatoes and eating them.

    In the past, there was a time they also ate together like this in the Instructor's log cabin.

    'Every time we meet, we seem to end up eating something together. If we're this tied together, could it be fate?'

    The sweet potatoes that they put into a campfire and grilled. The sweet potato eaten at night was puffy with steam and had an aesthetic golden meat.

    Weed took a mouthful of the sweet potato.

    It was savory while being sweet!

    'It would've been perfect if I had some kimchi to go with this.'

    He had enough proficiency in cooking to make some kimchi. He also had the necessary ingredients.

    However, it was impossible to start marinating kimchi when one wanted to eat it. That was why special foods, such as kimchi, usually sold at exceedingly high prices.

    Because it became a widely spread universal food that even the Westerners could eat, it was available in most restaurants.

    People loved to eat kimchi to the point where chefs would learn how to make it first.

    Weed diligently peeled and ate the sweet potatoes. Ever since coming to the North, there was very little to eat, so they were in a hungry state.

    Alveron tried to eat politely at first, but he started to eat hastily. After he started traveling with Weed, he began to gain an appreciation for food.

    The basket filled with sweet potatoes began to rapidly empty.

    Weed and Alveron did most of the eating, but the amount Seoyoon was putting away was also substantial. It was then that Weed looked at the Elder's expression.

    A mooch must always gauge the state of his benefactor in order to live and eat.

    The glaring eyes and the furrowed brows!

    Unsurprisingly, he was feeling sensitive about the dwindling amount of sweet potatoes.

    Weed put the sweet potato down and asked a question.

    "I want to hear more information on the Sendeim Valley."

    Even without receiving a quest, the Valley of Death offered monsters to hunt and treasures to find. However, it is better to obtain one because it offers necessary information and rewards.

    The Elder looked out of the far window, as if to throw away the attachment he had to the sweet potatoes. A layer of white snow covered the entire view.

    "Are you aware of the past glory of our Niflheim Empire?"

    "No, I'm not aware of it."

    Weed had separately studied the history of the Versailles continent. It was the stories of the rise and fall of each kingdom and their respective heroes.

    If he comprehended the background stories, it would help with obtaining important quests. However, in this kind of situation, it was better to feign ignorance. That way, one could hear more stories, and it could serve as an important hint to another question. The Elder made a sad face.

    The diminishing sweet potatoes might have had a big part in that sadness. He could be regretting the invitation he extended to Weed and his party.

    "When we were caught in that evil curse that left us petrified, the Niflheim Empire was still a thriving nation. It wasn't as cold as it is now, and it was very suitable for living in. I was one of the Niflheim Empire's border aristocrats."


    It could be said that all of the village residents in the Morata province were important people to the history. If seen from another view, it as an important village that had no choice but to contain many quests.

    If the North became explored in earnest, the village would become completely crowded with adventurers.

    "However, due to a sudden invasion of monsters at the capital when I was young, the residents faced annihilation. When the emperor, who swore always to live honorably, had to put his life at stake, he became cowardly and abandoned the capital while fleeing with his guards. The monsters left to chase after the fleeing emperor, and there were rumors that they eventually caught up and captured him. The place where this occurred was the Sendeim Valley."

    "The emperor must have died by now."

    "Yes he would have likely died by now. Due to the cowardly death of the emperor, the empire lost its constitutionality and shattered, while the nobles entered a power struggle that consumed them all. However, these are all simply uncertain rumors! We can't find out the truth. That's why we'd like to find out the truth, whatever it may be, of what happened back then.


    *Ttiring!*




    Truth and Glory

    The Niflheim Empire produced many stories of glory, which became broken. Emperor Eben Niflheim VI was an outstanding knight, and was a warrior who did not know the meaning of retreat. However, he was condemned for being unable to maintain his chivalry in the face of his death.

    Found out the true history of events that occurred in the Sendeim Valley.

    Difficulty: A

    Reward:

  • The treasure of the Niflheim Empire



  • Quest Requirements:

  • Only righteous may take this quest.

  • Must be able to withstand the extreme cold.





  • Another quest with a difficulty of "A" rank appeared.

    Weed breathed a sigh of relief.

    'Still, it's lucky that it's only an 'A' rank.'

    His thanks that it was only an "A" ranked quest, and not the "S" ranked quest that was only known to exist, swept through his body.

    Weed furtively glanced at Seoyoon.

    Clear eyes and an unblemished and translucent skin.

    She, who had the beauty that would make people hesitate to call her pretty out of fear for disrespect. She was exuding a mystical charm that was hard to describe.

    Although she was wearing the simple leather clothes that Weed made, she radiated elegance. Seoyoon had the kind of absolute beauty that could turn any clothing into a luxurious masterwork.

    However, all Weed could see was a simple brawler.

    'Even though it looks like I received another hard quest this time, since I have a person who could help, it'll be alright.'

    Judging by what he saw, Seoyoon's combat ability was no joke. Powerful skill, outrageous vitality, indefatigable stamina, and even surprising damage!

    As one of the combat classes, it could be said that only the strengths were gathered and put together.

    Although there players, like Weed or the Geomchis, who also displayed outstanding melee abilities, it was not bad to rely on the class' skills.

    The flexible and gentle movements that were unique to women.
    Combined with flawless execution of the high-end skills!
    It was a faster and safer way of hunting, if one had the mana.

    On top of that, as Seoyoon engaged in a fight, her mood shifted. With her eyes glittering while she fought, it was the specialty of the Berserker class.

    As a Berserker, whenever a monster was killed, health and mana were replenished. While the amount was negligible, but if one were to fight in a place with many monsters, the results were overwhelmingly different.

    If the Martial Artist class the Geomchis chose was strong against small groups of enemies, then the Berserker class was specialized for defeating multiple monsters without rest.

    Since that Seoyoon was with him, Weed could feel much less pressure from the quest.

    "I will go to the Sendeim Valley and investigate once I arrive."



    You accepted the quest.



    After readily accepting the quest, the Elder became very friendly.


    "Thank you. That you're willing to do such a hard task for us..."

    "It's nothing. It was something I had to do. Rather, I want to apologize for being unable to come to visit sooner. If, in the future, there are any more difficult tasks, please look for me."

    Hunting was great, but quest rewards were also valuable!

    Since he could make money off the ad revenue from uploading it to the Hall of Fame or entering into a contract with a broadcasting station, it was a good proposition.

    In order to raise the intimacy sufficiently higher, he used the situation. As if to demonstrate the substantial effect it had, the Elder's face showed admiration for the younger man.

    "Until now, those who wanted to learn the truth dispatched an innumerable amount of expeditions and knights, but none of them returned. After that, the Sendeim Valley came to be known as the Valley of Death."

    "..."

    After hearing the Elder's words, Weed wanted to scream.

    'Aren't you supposed to tell me those kinds of secrets ahead of time?!'

    However, the truth was this level of difficulty was to be expected of a rank "A" difficulty quest. Since he always started from the ground up, he had nothing to fear. There was no reason to change his mind after coming this far. The Elder continued speaking.

    "Then, this person will also come along, right?"

    He was referring to Seoyoon.


    The girl who was making a face that was colder than the cold North!

    However, in order to receive the shared quest, she needed to join the party.

    Weed extended a hand.

    "Please join my party."



    You invited Seoyoon-nim to the party.



    Because she had joined another party as though they were merging when she was with Seechwi, it was her first time getting an individual invitation to join a party.

    However, Seoyoon just stayed as she was.
    Weed began to have a sense of foreboding.

    'There's no way she'd refuse to join the party after coming this far, right?'

    It could turn into a situation where she would not accept the quest and left Weed to suffer by himself!

    He began to think there was a good possibility of it happening.
    Of course, Seoyoon was not as cold a person as she seemed on the outside.

    Although she liked fighting, she was not greedy. One could tell that from observing how she did not fight a monster unless it attacked her first, even if it was a rare monster that came out once per day and dropped a good item.

    However, Seoyoon was completely indifferent to these things.

    As much as she never uttered a single word while following the Orc Karichwi around, she could have ignored Weed's quest.

    As Weed was getting nervous, Seoyoon, herself, lightly put her hand on top of Weed's.



    You have gained a new member in your party.



    Even Seoyoon could not understand her emotions. That she would be travelling like this with a stranger, and an unfamiliar man at that, was unthinkable.

    While this happened thanks to the unknowing Seechwi's encouragement, even taking that into consideration, if the person did not want it they would have separated here.

    'Strangely, I'm not uncomfortable.'
    Seoyoon became puzzled.

    That was the person she had only ever met in the Instructor's log cabin. However, for some reason, he exuded a familiar feeling.

    * * *


    Ever since she hunted with Seechwi's other colleagues she felt this feeling.

    "Lee Rien, hurry up with Seoyoon's treatment!" (Lee Rien is the name of the nurse treating her.)

    Seoyoon did not speak a word. Even if you say that her health was deteriorating, she could not express it in words.

    Whenever that happened after battles, Weed always made sure that they had spare time, so that she could receive her treatment.

    Whenever the fights ended, he applied bandages and repaired armor and weapons.
    There was also a time in the past when she had this feeling.
    The feeling she got when she travelled with Orc Karachwi at the Yunopu Gorge.

    Orc Karachwi, whose face was appallingly ugly, but whose eyes were good-natured.
    Even the way they repaired weapons was very similar.

    She did not talk; she carefully observed the facial expressions and eyes every time she saw someone. Although she never engaged in conversation, she was able to determine people's moods and temperaments because of her observations.

    At that moment she felt the same vibe coming from Weed that she felt from Karichwi

    Seoyoon didn't understand Weed's intentions, but she knew it was him who took the appearance of Karichwi, who observed and protected her.

    Although it is not always accurate, she trusted her feelings and instincts. Which was why she chose to travel with with.

    * * *


    After Weed left the Elder's house, he walked around the Morata Village and gathered information. The villagers and Freya's Paladins and Priests became his goal. The Freya's Priests had remained in Morata Village in order to protect it.

    For now, Weed was gathering supplies for the journey and was asking the storeowners about information on the Sendeim Valley.

    "Sendeim Valley? It's a place that became better known as the Valley of Death. They say that there are a lot of monsters there."

    "Can you tell me what kind of monsters?"

    "Hmm... There will probably be some Ice Trolls. The Ice Trolls often gather in places like the Valley of Death."

    Ice Troll!

    They have an amazing ability to regenerate health, and since their ability to use the extreme cold is great, they are not easy monsters to fight against.

    However, Weed would not cower at this level of danger.

    Whatever the case, they could hunt the Ice Trolls by luring them one at a time as long as it was a valley and not a dungeon. It might take a long time, but using bait to lure them one by one and beating them was not an impossible task.

    Of course, there would probably some viciously strong ones, but since that was a daily occurrence, they had no reason to fear.

    'Ice Troll blood sells for a lot. It offers better effects than most common medicinal herbs, and it can also be used to make potions.'

    Weed, who tried to estimate a value for everything!

    He was not scared of strong monsters; he was scared of monsters that only dropped leather. In fact, he found nothing to be as horrific as a monster that dropped only cheap leathers.

    'If it's a valley, the landmarks will be extremely important.'

    If you could shoot an arrow from one side of the valley to the other, it could turn out to be a much easier hunt than expected.

    However, if the Ice Trolls dominated the upper portion of the valley and expanded their territory, then it may be much more challenging.'

    Weed had no information on their territory.
    A mission to recapture the monster's domain!
    There was no other way besides having an effective siege.

    The situation was different than fighting the True Blood Vampire Clan with Alveron and a few Freya's Paladins in the past.

    Back then, the number of vampires was small, and there wasn't a feeling of a siege.

    Even though Weed used different words to ask the residents, he received the same information.

    "If you're looking for the Valley of Death, it's quite far from here. At best, it'll take 1 month of travel. Why does it take so long to get there? That's because the Niflheim Empire's territory is vast."

    "Ice Troll? Of course, there should be some Ice Trolls. However, it's not only the monsters you need to be wary of. This is a story I heard from my grandfather, but there is supposed to be a treasure storehouse in there. That's why there will be much more dangerous hazards.

    Monsters and the chances of dying to the myriad of traps!

    "They say that some kind of terrible feeling spills out from there every morning. Due to that, even some flora cannot grow near the Valley of Death."

    "There have been people who also spotted something that was pure white and flying around near the Valley of Death."

    "I don't know very well, but they say that the flying thing was enormous. They say that the body alone was over 300 meters long. Since it's so unbelievable the people who saw it must have mistaken the length."

    The Freya's Paladins also had something to say.

    "The Valley of Death? That place is very dangerous. Monsters other than Ice Trolls also gather there."

    "From the church's investigation, it seems likely that it's a place that's congested with monsters."

    "Given how many monsters gather there, no matter who saw it they would say that it could only be an unusual situation. There must be a boss monster leading the others. It can't be a normal monster since it has been leading the other monsters for several hundreds of years, so you must pay extra care. It would behoove you to avoid the boss monster at all costs."

    "Since the blessing of the Goddess Freya is with you, may your courage remain unfaltering."

    As Weed was gathering the information, he got a general picture of the situation in the Valley of Death.

    The Paladins from the Church of Freya usually did not falter over typical matters.

    If these Paladins were wary enough of this boss monster to be frightened, then there was no doubt that it was a very high level.

    'It probably won't be easy.'

    However, one must experience everything firsthand in order to gain an accurate understanding of it. There was no need to feel diminished when you were not even sure of anything in the first place.

    'There must be some way through this.'

    Even with the information on the Valley of Death, there was no way to obtain more details in the nearby villages. In places that were widely separated like this it was impossible to obtain anything other than very simple information.

    While he was taking Seoyoon and Alveron around Morata Village in this way, Weed met a small girl.

    Prina!

    It was the little girl who was turned into a statue by the Vampire Lord Tori.

    The small and cute Prina was carrying a small bag.

    "Hey old man, you're the one that saved me, right?"

    That old man title he had no choice but to hear often.

    However, Weed smiled widely.

    "That's right. I'm glad to see that you're up and about."

    "Thank you. I think that being turned into stone is a very sad thing. The heart doesn't beat, blood doesn't flow, the body that hardens and becomes a prison to your body...Oh! Do you happen to have an interest in flowers?"

    "Flowers?"

    Of course, Weed had no interest in flowers. However, he would never answer like that.

    "Flowers have a good scent. I love the peaceful scene of butterflies and honeybees hovering around beautifully blossoming flowers. There's no pleasure like lying in a field of grass and taking in the refreshing air."

    This was Weed, who would become immersed in hunting in a dark dungeon while only carrying a torch.

    A dungeon with stale air, disgusting smells, and unknown things appearing the further one travels. Weed found pleasure in hunting like a maniac in places like that.

    It was a depraved sensitivity!

    However, he always showed care when dealing with Prina. It was because he did not want to shatter the dreams of a little girl yet.

    Prina became happy while clapping her hands.

    "Is that so? That's great. Then will you listen to a small favor of mine?"

    "Speak your will."

    "I heard that you were headed to the Valley of Death. Do you think you could sow some seeds there? If only the flowers of hope would bloom in the place where the aura of evil and death gather. Looking after these small seeds until the bloom into flowers will take a lot of effort. If they do blossom, then my newly-made friend would be happy."

    *Ttiring!*




    Prina's Flower

    The little girl who loves to cultivate the land, sow seeds, and watch them sprout through the ground wants to be a farmer in the future.

    If you sow the little girl's seeds and nurture the plants so that they repaint the Sendeim Valley, the little girl will be forever happy and introduce you to her friend.

    Difficulty: A

    Reward:
    Introduction to Prina's friend.
    The plants that sprout from the sown seeds.

    Quest Requirements:
    Must have a particular amount of care and vigilance in order to protect the flowers from monsters and let them grow in safety.




    Weed looked at the seeds that Prina held out with a huge sense of devastation.

    The burlap bag that the little girl was dragging about! It was filled to the brim with seeds.

    It was an amount that was hard to count.

    It was a request to make a field of flowers with this at the Valley of Death.

    The ambition of the little girl who wanted to cover the entire world with flowers!

    'It's an extremely difficult request.'

    It was a hobby to plant a few cluster of flowers.

    If the quest was only getting hundreds of seeds to bloom, then it would be hard, but possible. However, if the number was in the tens, hundreds of thousands, then this was not a typical job.

    In addition, that he had to protect the flowers from the monsters while they were growing made this a formidable task.

    'I have to sow these seeds in the Valley of Death. I get why it's difficulty is "A" rank.'

    Weed was about to shake his head and refuse. Setting aside the issue the high difficulty, it seemed as though there would be many tedious tasks. Suddenly, the quietly following Seoyoon grabbed the burlap bag that contained the seeds.

    "Thanks, big sister!"



    The party member Seoyoon has accepted the quest.



    Seoyoon was always like that. She had not verbally accepted even a single quest, but she never refused someone's request.

    In the end, Weed had no choice and accepted the quest.

    "I also love to plant seeds and cultivate the land. Thanks for requesting such a pleasant task."



    You have accepted the quest.



    His face was crying, but he was forcing a smile!

    It became a rotten smile as time wore on.

    * * *


    Lee Hye Yeon registered on Royal Road filled with expectations.

    She chose her character name to be Yurin.

    It was a cute, youthful, and feminine name. It was definitely not a name that was meant to be youthful.

    Yurin was an abbreviation of sorts.

    Human Rights Violation!

    "Monsters! I will defeat them all."

    Yurin wanted to earn a lot of money. She also liked to gather as many items as possible. Since she had a lot of time before she could attend university, she intended to work hard and raise her levels.

    Yurin selected Rhodium as her starting city. It was because she had the expectation that, if she was lucky, she might be able to meet Weed.

    "Does anyone want to hunt with us in front of the village?"

    "We're looking for a Minister."

    "I'm a sculptor who is looking for a party. I have a 7 damage sculpting knife."

    "I'm a level 35 Bard who has the "Song of Healing" and wants to join a party. It would be ideal to find a party that will hunt for about a week."

    The people were crowding Rhodium's central square as usual.

    There were many beggars to one side, but there were also people looking for parties in some spots.

    On the other hand, there were thousands of people who flocked the plaza where there were beautiful sculptures dressed in various costumes. There were many third-year high school students you just passed University exams; wearing beginner clothes and staring wide-eyed.

    However, Weed had unfortunately left Rhodium by this point.
    Yurin thought that it was for the best.

    "Good. It doesn't matter. I didn't want to start the game by owing anyone, anyway."

    Yurin rolled up her sleeves and looked for a job to make money. When one starts to play Royal Road, they cannot leave the city for the first 4 weeks.

    She wanted to make some money during this time.

    "We're looking for help in a restaurant who is deeply interested in cooking."
    "My child loves books. Is there someone who will read to him about cool heroes?"

    "Hm, Lately, there have been too many flies in my store. Do you think you could catch flies for 5 hours for me? I'll compensate you with 20 copper."

    This was about the level that Yurin could find work for.

    Like Weed, she also quietly hit scarecrows to train. However, the stats that she raised also resulted in training her body.

    'I should become a pretty female mage.'

    The magician that Yurin wanted to become was an omnipotent mage.

    They used large-scale, wide area-of-effect magic in order to turn hundreds of monsters to dust. The mages that could call upon rain in dry lands, destroy mountainsides, and studied highly offensive spells!


    Note:
    The Valley of Death is called "Sendeim Valley"

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