V58C5P1 – The People of Royal Road
Weed chopped down trees and soon built a cottage by the shallow beach.
The wooden home stood atop the crystal clear sea.
“Let’s build some furniture too.”
Seoyoon and Weed crafted the furniture together.
It was not a house to reside in for long, but creating a living s.p.a.ce together was a meaningful experience. They created a closet, cabinets and a bed to furnish the room.
“I think it turned out decently.”
“I think so too.”
Weed and Seoyoon also fell in love with night fis.h.i.+ng.
They grinded for hefty stats and increased the proficiency of their fis.h.i.+ng skills.
Perseverance, Stamina, and Endurance that had a direct impact in combat also increased slightly.
But most importantly, the two of them staying on a small island in the sea gave them time to concentrate on one another.
“The restoration of Morata is proceeding more quickly than we expected.”
“Yeah, that’s true.”
“Though it may be difficult, the core structures will be raised again in their original locations. The roads will be expanded; the same for the townsquare and the market.”
“You’re free to make the decisions for those kinds of things.”
Seoyoon led the restoration from afar using whisper messages.
They fished, ate and exchanged conversations for days.
Both in the real world and the Royal Road, they were getting to understand one another’s feelings.
“Aren’t you bored?”
“It’s fun. Listening to stories and looking out into the sea. I don’t think I’ll ever get bored of this no matter how long it goes on.”
Weed felt like he now had a family to share joy and overcome difficulties together.
He had found a companion in his long journey of life.
The Hermes Guild, after returning to the Haven territory, were extremely caught up with recovering from the immense losses they had sustained during the battle against the dragon.
“Let us begin the dungeon hunting altogether.”
“Yes. We do what we can. Simply put.”
Arkhim took charge of the important matters in the guild.
After Lafaye left the guild, Bard Ray was spending more of his time hunting than he had done before.
“There are many dungeons out there that haven’t been cleared yet. Now that we’re under the ranks of the Arpen Empire, we will be able to clear out the Central Continent, the North, the Southern desert and even the Eastern regions.”
The dragon hunting meant that their levels had fallen and they had suffered significant damage to their equipment.
However, the Hermes Guild did not think of themselves as weakened.
They recovered their morale quickly and loyalty within the guild was reinforced further than ever before.
“We have gained an opportunity. The great sacrifice in Morata did good not only for Weed. We can climb again.”
They realized that after the battle, the att.i.tude of the public had changed favourably.
At the same time, the Hermes Guild opened their doors wide.
In the past, only the strongest could register with the guild.
Just by being a part of the guild, loads of benefits and privileges were granted and enlisted them among the ruling cla.s.s.
Now, they only enforced one condition.
– The most powerful combat guild. The Hermes Guild is looking for new recruits.
Those who wish to become stronger, come to us.
The level requirement is level 300.
We provide the hunting grounds and the equipment.
Join our ranks and share our absolute power.
They chose to focus on the most fundamental goal pursued by everyone; what they have set as a trophy since the early days of Royal Road.
“If we could ignore all the trouble they’ve caused, the Hermes Guild would indeed be the best guild.”
“It’s about honor. Once you join their ranks, you can boast about it anywhere you go and the economic gains are huge too.”
The Hermes Guild expanded its faction through the registration of new players.
The Black Lion Guild, Cloud Guild and the Blacksword Mercenaries suffered secession, leading to a change in the power balance among the guilds.
“It’s incredible that things are flowing just like Weed-hyung said. World unification wasn’t the end, with all of them being so busy expanding their factions.”
Seed, a lord of the Arpen Empire.
Unlike the other lords, he had a personal relations.h.i.+p with Weed.
He was forced to split beans with him!
Seed reminisced about when he first met Weed.
When Kim Yo Sam moved into a neighborhood at a young age, there lived a weirdo named Lee Hyun.
‘Why does he go around like that?’
In the day, he wore ragged sweatpants and slippers, roaming around the neighborhood.
“I want to eat some kimchi fried rice. Bean stew with lots of clam… What mom used to make…”
He muttered to himself in sadness; there was evidently something not quite right about him.
Early in the morning, he delivered newspapers or milk on his bike. He rode quickly as though he rode a motorcycle.
He swept like the wind as he tossed milk and newspaper. Each throw landed with precision as if it was a practiced stunt.
‘Is that guy a baseball player?’
Kim Yo Sam was Grade 3 when he first encountered Lee Hyun who had no parents.
He was spotted by Lee Hyun who had been sweeping the neighborhood like a hyena.
“That’s a candy in your hand.”
“It looks like strawberry candy.”
“Yeah, it is.”
His eyes were out of the ordinary. He looked thin and scrawny, but his glare s.h.i.+ned like that of a tiger. Kim Yo Sam found out later that he was four years older than himself.
“Do you not know you will get a stomach ache if you eat candies?”
“It does hurt sometimes…”
“Since we don’t want you to go to the hospital, hand it over for a second.”
Being 10 years old, it wasn’t as if he was incapable of discernment, but Lee Hyun’s acting and voice surpa.s.sed a movie actor and he fell for it.
Lee Hyun s.n.a.t.c.hed the candy right into his mouth.
“Delicious. Strawberry candy.”
“G-Give it back.”
“Nope. Candy that’s already in someone’s mouth cannot be forfeited. That is the law of the universe.”
“You took it from me!”
“You should be thankful that I taught you this lesson today. Don’t let people steal from you. Life is cruel and heartless.”
This strange brother stole candies without any remorse!
“You got some bread?”
“I only have one piece.”
“Let’s split it.”
Even though they lived in the same neighborhood, they came across one another at least once every few days, and each time he was robbed of his food.
Kim Yo Sam felt as if Lee Hyun was a stray hungry hunting dog searching for food.
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‘I have to tell mom.’
One day, he made up his mind and told his mom the truth. However…
“Yo Sam. Just give it to him if he asks for it.”
“It’s dangerous to hang around with people like him. It’s best to just give them what they want and hurry on your way.”
“You know how much I love you, right son? Don’t grow up to be someone like him.”
Kim Yo Sam ended up spending all of his childhood being robbed of his food.
In middle school, he was noticed by juvenile seniors in school and hung around with them.
“You got some older brother in your neighborhood?”
“Yeah. He always steals my food.”
“K-k. Did he not take your money?”
“He doesn’t take money.”
“Don’t worry. Now that you’re in our black circle, no one can touch you. But… I’m kind of hungry right now. Get us some bread.”
He felt exploited, but it was difficult to escape the reach of the juvenile seniors while attending school. Several days pa.s.sed and on his way home with the seniors, they encountered Lee Hyun.
“It’s that punk!”
Kim Yo Sam pointed at Lee Hyun and shouted.
“Take my revenge, brothers.”
The senior deemed the strongest in school groaned as soon as they saw Lee Hyun.
The seniors all froze with disturbing noises. Lee Hyun walked over like a tiger that spotted a prey.
“You guys are Jin Sik, Sung Hoon and Bong Gyu?”
“Yes. It is an honor that you remember our names.”
These seniors were infamous for their foul, ferocious temper, but they had their backs folded in front of Lee Hyun. Their hands shook like they suffered from arthritis, extreme fear evident from their expression.
‘What. Acting like this just because of some neighbourhood loonie…’
Lee Hyun lightly stroked the back of their heads.
“Do you guys still go around bullying kids?”
“Lighten up a little.”
“Don’t steal bread from kids. You guys would have to feed yourselves with porridge for the rest of your lives if you end up shattering your chins from eating stolen bread.”
“Huh? I mean, yes!”
“We will do well. Let us live!”
Kim Yo Sam stood in shock.
Every time Lee Hyun spoke, the seniors dared utter anything in response and just let his remarks slide.
Lee Hyun who strolled without anything to do now had the aura of a starving beast.
Lee Hyun also looked at Kim Yo Sam and smiled.
It was his usual expression, but a smile that was somehow rea.s.suring this time.
“Yo Sam, you got some bread left?”
“Um. So, I do. But I have to give it to these brothers.”
Kim Yo Sam spoke because he did not want to give up the bread and the seniors were blown away.
“Hey, hey. You have to give it to him right this instant.”
“Sir, please feast on this bread. I will go buy milk for you right now.”
“No, I’ll go and get it. Strawberry milk…”
“Forget strawberry milk. I will buy chocolate milk, plain milk, banana milk, all of it.”
The seniors were sucking up like they were competing against one another.
Lee Hyun was about two years older than them, but their att.i.tude was unseen before as they were usually rude against high school students and even adults.
“The bread is good. Bread needs some red beans in it.”
At last, Lee Hyun chomped away at his bread and left in contentment, releasing the seniors from the intense pressure.
“Whoo, we survived.”
“Ah… This is why I said we shouldn’t come to this neighborhood.”
“I didn’t think we’d meet him at this hour.”
The seniors spoke among themselves for a while and called over Kim Yo Sam.
“Do you know that guy well?”
“Huh? We just live in the same neighborhood.”
“I see. You live in the same neighborhood… so you did not realize the danger?”
“What is he like?”
The senior’s eyelids shook violently. Then, he dropped his voice and started telling a story.
“There is a scary legend in this city.”
“It’s unbelievable so I can’t even speak of it, but most stories were confirmed to be the truth.”