Volume 25 Chapter 2 Grapa.s.s
“The feeling of isolation while travelling alone… roaming freely and clearing out monsters, it’s the best feeling!”
Wyverns, Bingryong, Phoenix, Gold Man and Yellowy followed after Weed.
“There, don’t drop it! Pick up the j.a.ptem properly!”
Wyverns had to use their claws and beaks to pick up j.a.ptem. Every time there was a battle, it created new and pointless agony for them.
‘To be exploiting us like this…’
While they were by themselves they hunted lazily, but as they followed after Weed the amount of work they had to do increased. Hunting, picking up j.a.ptem, doing ch.o.r.es, helping with cooking and being a flying transport.
The Silver Bird sitting on top of Yellowy made a groaning sound, flapped its wings and suddenly collapsed. This did not work on Weed.
“You can’t die of exhaustion after this much. Get up quickly.”
Weed had experienced cold fatigue through overwork so many times that he was tired of it, pretending to be ill would never fool him.
Near Vargo Fortress there were plenty of dungeons around that no one dared to enter. There were also many monster dens, villages and hideouts.
On occasions other parties were the first to come and hunt but as the area around Vargo Fortress was in an establis.h.i.+ng phase, it was more common for Weed with his companions or with the Sculpture Lifeforms to be the ones to take the first step.
What was good about having fixed party members or hunting with the Sculpture Lifeforms was that he did not need to waste time looking for trustworthy people or spend time trying to coordinate in a new party.
Usually conflict occurred when hunting with new party members due to different opinions and methods to use, but Weed never experienced such occasions.
Until Weed spoke to finish up the hunting in the dungeon, Yellowy was in such a constant state of alert that he was unable to lower his tail. As each of them had their roles to play out in the dungeons filled with strong monsters, there was no time to be careless.
Even when a number of weak monsters appeared, they increased their speed so that they could hunt just one more in an hour.
“Today’s weather is cloudy and rain could come, so let’s spend the whole day hunting inside a dungeon.”
Only Weed had the power to make the absolute decisions regarding hunting or taking breaks.
“The sunlight is really warm. In this weather let’s pack some lunch and go hunting in a dungeon!”
He was a complete tyrant of hunts.
“Found a new dungeon two days ago and looking for people to party up with. People who can dedicate the whole day, people who are already prepared and can leave now.”
“Hunting for treasure, looking for someone with a combat cla.s.s. I am an adventurer. I have the first clue about the treasure but it’s not so trustworthy. Even then I would like to find people who can share the hards.h.i.+p with me.”
“Any explorers looking to go west? A party of 6 with an average level of 330. Looking for someone to draw a map while exploring.”
Not only was the repair work done in earnest at Vargo Fortress, the current situation attracted many players who wanted to hunt and have adventures near the frontier. As the monster attacks were so frequent, the standards of the players were also high.
“If you are not busy can we go hunt together?”
“Cough, I am not really that busy…”
The Geomchis were constantly popular. Seeing their brilliance in battle, the knights and swordsmen learned something from them. They, the Geomchis, fought fiercely so that the efficiency of the hunting was maximized. Always being at the forefront on the dangerous dungeon paths.
Thanks to them the adventurers were having fun.
“Together with them we can go anywhere.”
“Even if bad things happen they don’t despair.”
During adventures death occurred frequently. The Geomchis lost their lives to monsters or by falling into traps, but their disappointment lied in the fact that they could not protect their party members to the end. They were true men!
Mapan thought of how to level up fast as a merchant.
“Hyeong-nim, I brought wine and meat.”
“If you are bored can we go hunting? I improved my cooking skill, and I brought two carriages worth of alcohol and I don’t plan on returning till all my stock is finished!”
For merchants they had a rule, to use any methods possible. As Mapan partied up with the Geomchis his level rose up easily.
“That fruit, it’s a herb!”
“We refine steel and strengthen blades. Anyone who needs it, please come!”
The residents and players had confidence in Weed, who after conquering the fortress had become its lord, and migrated to the fortress. Repair work was constantly underway inside the fortress as businesses were restored, the elves and dwarves nearby came daily to trade their goods.
Looking from afar the fortress was constructed using eerie, black, contaminated rocks that made the place feel like an Undead would pop out any second. But the vitality and life within the fortress was coming back.
Once the crumbling fortress was fully repaired, construction of new buildings would take place.
Starting with Parvo, other architects who polished their skill in Morata now flocked towards Vargo Fortress.
“I think residential buildings can be built later.”
“Yes, I think so as well.”
The residential buildings were not a problem as many shacks could be built on the hills leading up to Vargo Fortress. Of course, later on more luxurious homes would be necessary but right now the priority was on repairing the fortress.
The builders who lacked skill were stuck being safety officers on the work related to repairing the wall. The 1st cla.s.s builders who were involved in building Parvo’s Art Center and Morata’s business districts were the ones responsible for repairing the buildings inside the fortress.
“Let’s restore this building to its original image.”
“A lot of black stone will be needed.”
“The lord invested such enormous funds into repairing the fortress that it generated quests to gather building materials here. The residents and the amateur merchants are constantly bringing the materials so we have enough to use right now.”
Weed had invested an immense amount of funds into the repairs of Vargo Fortress. In Morata when immense funds were invested it resulted in a festival, here the corruption among soldiers rose and any random residents came to do repair work.
“The place the Bone Dragon rampaged is really problematic… upto how much could we renovate it?”
“As much as we can. We should try our best. The area was melted by the Breath attack and a lot of the support columns are broken, so half of the whole area has to be rebuilt.”
“Hmm, if the scale is that big then this will become a real construction project.”
For the builders, the work of restoring Vargo Fortress was a large project that would leave a mark. Their excitement was growing as funds from the lord and taxes were appropriated for the repair works.
“The tower that the Bone Dragons were in, looking at it, it’s tilted a lot.”
The central tower that was the main attraction of Vargo Fortress! Looking at it from afar or even close up, it was so tilted that it created a strange feeling nearby. It was amazing that it did not collapse or fall yet.
The builders explored the ground and found that due to the firm ground with well-constructed foundations, there was no danger of the tower collapsing.
“Weed-nim instructed us to leave the tower as it is for now.”
For Weed, restoring Vargo Fortress completely to how it was before would cost too much money.
“Doing the interior or any construction, once the money starts going in, unimaginable things will happen that will leave me penniless.”
Not only did the central tower pull people’s gazes, it was a historic place that protected Lich Balkan’s Life Vessel. The tall and enormous construct was too precious to demolish and rebuild.
“Let’s just leave it.”
The best method to preserve the historic building was to leave it without spending any money!
Like the leaning tower of Pisa, the slanted central tower could become Vargo Fortress’ new attraction.
The magicians with high levels and those who became affluent, built their own towers. But compared to those, the height and slant of the central tower was incomparable.
“The feeling of imminent collapse like that of the central tower cannot be found in Versailles continent!”
Presently, most of Vargo Fortress was destroyed and it looked void. The monster invasions, while facilitating easy hunting, were hampering the development of the area.
If there was a method to soothe the depressing atmosphere, it was a sculpture!
Weed made his Wyverns carefully transport boulders to the top of the slanted central tower.
“If I make a sculpture here, then everyone in the fortress will be able to see it.”
It was without a doubt, the best place to exhibit a sculpture. As it was a place that a sculpture would have to withstand rain and wind, a fragile and delicate piece would not suit it very well.
“I have to make a piece that suits the feeling of Vargo Fortress.”
As always, Weed did not think long on the piece he wanted to make.
“There is a piece that has to be made in this place.”
He started to carve the firm boulder into a sculpture. The residents and players who were coming back from their work or hunting were able to see Weed making a new piece.
“He’s also making a sculpture here. I am really curious to see what it will turn out as.”
Whenever Weed started making a new sculpture, there was always a great interest from the people. If he created a good sculpture like in Morata it would help in many ways so they counted the days on their hands for the completion of the sculpture.
But as Weed came and went from hunting in dungeons, the progress on the sculpture was slow.
“It must be because the sculpture is made with blood, sweat and toil that it’s taking such a long time. ”
“A work of art is not something that you can just make easily.”
The players waited happily!
Weed made a 6 meter high sculpture that could be seen from anywhere. As the time Weed invested into the sculpture increased, the sculpture was becoming more and more distinct with completion in sight.
And finally a clear figure of the Lich turned Weed, wearing Balkan’s items as ornaments took shape.
In the past he played as a Lich in Jigolaths, but he wondered if he could also have become Balkan’s heir, inheriting and leading the Undead Legion. With his greed, he would have earnestly followed Balkan’s command and in the blink of an eye, betray him and take the Undead Legion for himself.
It was an unknown future that could have happened! If he did not walk the path of a sculptor for such a long time, it was an almost certain future for him.
“I don’t know what effect this sculpture will have, but it will definitely come out as a Historic.”
Sometimes sculpting created great events. As he completed the Lich sculpture, the negative thoughts of a failed sculpture or even the Undead in the vicinity rising up again were in his mind.
The Lich on the slanted tower was telling of Weed’s sculpting skills as it lacked nothing in its details. Looking at the central tower from afar, it was difficult to tell if the Lich was real or not.
“Still, it’s missing something.”
Seeing that he already made the sculpture, Weed decided to continue it and try to grow the work a bit more.
“A Lich cannot be without a single bodyguard.”
Having made the big Lich sculpture, he sculpted additional 2 meter tall Doom Knights and Death Knights. Even then the Lich was lacking in splendour. Comparing the sculpture to Balkan’s Undead Legion, the Lich was too isolated and lonely.
“It needs something more special.”
Weed pulled out usable sculpting material from his backpack.
The rotten dragon bones!
If it was real dragon bone it would be more precious than gold or mythril, but as it turned into an Undead if it was used as a smithing material it’s ability and durability as an item fell dramatically. And as the Bone Dragon of the Undead Legion was resurrected long ago, the bone’s durability was so low that it was no longer usable for anything.
The item drops from the Bone Dragon were shared among the players, but the bones did not look like they could be made into anything good so they were not popular.
The Geomchis in the past used equipment made from a Bone Dragon crafted by Weed, but the paladins and priests could not equip anything made from bones of the Undead. That’s why Weed could claim two sets of dragon bones that the players avoided.
“I have to use these precious materials.”
Weed used the same method as melting steel to connected the dragon bones. There were three sets of head parts, but some players wanting souvenirs kept small bones from the body. By melting bra.s.s and supplementing those parts, only 3 Bone Dragons could be completed on the central tower.
“Now it looks like something.”
Like ramen with kimchi, soondae with tteokbooki, and jajangmyeon with tangsuyuk, it was a fantastic chemistry.
“Well, Serious, Cool, Handsome, Rich, Tall, Lich Weed with many Undead underlings!”
“Wait, it’s too long so calling it out will be difficult…”
The sculpture was more than a Lich, as Doom Knights, Death Knights, ghosts and other Undead from the Undead Legion were sculpted and placed with the Lich. As Weed was personally part of the Undead Legion’s chain quests he could reproduce the Undead’s image with amazing skill
“No. The sculpture’s name will be ‘The Lich who commands the Undead.’”
|Is ‘The Lich who Commands the Undead’ correct?|
| Magnum Opus! Sculpture, ‘The Lich who Commands the Undead’ has been complete.
The resting place of the Undead Legion, the Lich sculpture created on the eternal resting place of the legendary monster Balkan!
Balkan was the one that committed many atrocities in the Versailles continent. But without a doubt, he has influenced the flow of history.
Amidst the barren wilderness of the Necromantic skills, he is recognized for the great magical achievement of developing said magic.
Highly respected for his towering artistry and fame there is no one who can criticise Weed, who brought eternal rest to Balkan, for the sculpture he created.
Artistic Value: 8,980.
Special Options: Anyone who sees the sculpture of, ‘The Lich who Commands the Undead’ will regenerate health and mana 32% faster.
All stats increase by 16.
Intelligence and Wisdom increase by 3 permanently.
In the neighbouring area, Necromancers enjoy a +2 increase in their skill level.
Undead gain a bit more intellect.
Prevents attacks from stray Undead.
Reduces mana consumption by 6%.
Power of dark magic becomes 2% stronger.
When health is lower than 50%, the feeling of being indomitable will rise and attack power increases by 14%.
Effect does not stack with other sculptures.
Number of Magnum Opus created till now: 9.
Weed’s advance level 8 sculpting skill mastery increased and it inched up slowly from 6% to 14.6%.
The players watching below, as they waited from the beginning till now, as the sculpture began to take form yelled out shouts of joy.
“It’s a Magnum Opus!”
The Necromancers who usually pressed for better privileges were the happiest amongst the players. Necromancer’s were destined never to stray far from Vargo Fortress.
The battle against Balkan Demoph, had a record 24.3% rating on its reruns. Weed’s fame could pierce the sky, he was Versailles continent’s number 1 most popular player.
Weed, the wise lord of the Northern continent.
Game broadcasts continuously showed special programs on Weed. They had a stable rating and the viewer’s response was good.
There was news coverage of the daily change in Vargo Fortress as well. The players of the Northern continent had ma.s.sive interest at the sight of the fortress, once occupied by the Undead Legions, changing into a human dwelling,
Compared to the many regions in the continent, the amount of players in the North was still small. But compared to the beginning, its expansion was nothing to sneeze at, with the players from the Central and Eastern continent having great interest in the north as well.
Also, as it was the region that War G.o.d Weed ruled, even if nothing happened it still remained in the spotlight. It was because of the self cultivation and development of the barren castle and villages that pulled endless inspiration for adventure.
And so the number of players visiting from the Central continent increased daily.
“People going to Leserite Mountain, please come quickly. We’re leaving right now.”
“Organizing for Tanroa mine hunting. Estimating about 200 people to come. It’s a request from the dwarves to clear out the monsters in the mine.”
It was a much better environment than what was expected so the people coming for the first time to Morata found it hard to adapt and were often left bewildered. They came knowing about the Great Cathedral and the Library and similar historic buildings. They heard many stories about the Statue of G.o.ddess Freya and the Tower of Light. Looking at them for themselves, the sculptures and artworks were exactly as they had heard, with so much artwork lying about.
Compared to other regions, art and culture was given preferential treatment in Morata and plays happened frequently. There were sights to see with the paths filled with entertainment. As the region was under the blessing of abundance from the Church of Freya, there was an endless amount to eat.
Festivals erupted regularly and when the merry and playful atmosphere struck, the players flocked to the squares early in the morning for hunting quests. Merchants who did not even know the proper price for j.a.ptems were selling their wares on the streets and the beginners were playing gleefully among themselves.
It was loud, bustling, and filled with a pleasant atmosphere. It made for a splendid city.
When an expedition called for a hunting quest, 100 people gathered in no time. The players had joyful expressions as they headed out to hunt.
“I understand why people say Morata is like heaven. There is so much hunting occurring.”
“The prices are so low compared to other places. There are so many places to visit and with business booming, you will lack for nothing here. I should have come to Morata earlier.”
No matter where one went on the continent, the other regions were filled with the slight feeling of oppression and exclusivity. In the square they had to be conscientious of the ruling guilds, always minding what they did as not to go against them.
In comparison, Morata was free spirited and actively encouraged adventure. Weed not only focused on artists but also provided equal treatment for the adventurers.
Development related to adventure and compensation for commissions took 16% of the fiscus. Searching the other regions inside out, this was incomparable and overwhelmingly the best figure. Other villages were at a level where their best was only at about 2%, 3%. There were cases in some cities where other players ruled that did not even provide compensation.
The regretful thing was that the lords did not feel the need for adventurers and spent their funds stingily. But Weed thought otherwise.
By bringing back the buried equipment, treasures, discoveries, artifacts, and books of the Northern continent the city would develop faster. Developing the city allowed for more taxes in the future so this path was seen as a shortcut. Even after Morata had become big, money was spent without spare for the adventurers.
Quests in Morata appeared as if a dam had burst, many people received quests and left.
“There is no need to dissuade people who are willing to take the risk of death and suffering.”
It was a development oriented taxation!
Weed, Morata, and Vargo Fortress were changing in the blink of an eye even under monster invasions and the game broadcasters reported a lot of news about it. But recently there was an event that engulfed the Versailles continent in a greater shock.
Hermes guild’s blitz of Kallamore Kingdom!
Local wars happened frequently, but they conquered forts and castles and absorbed them into their territory.
“Hermes Guild is charging again.”
“The current situation is amazing. Hermes Guild’s army overwhelmingly crushed the Kallamore Kingdoms border defense garrison.”
“Bardray can be seen with the vanguard. He is partic.i.p.ating personally in the war.”
“The Black Knights forces, their inestimable strength! Watch Bardray’s action yourselves.”
“Around 100 thousand Hermes Guild players are part of the charge. The magician’s spells are spreading and pouring on the enemy’s position!”
Hermes Guild’s giant strength was being broadcasted. Due to the Haven Kingdom’s hostility towards the Kallamore Kingdom, they tried to fold the whole region into their territory. By getting the vast breadbasket and technology from the Kallamore Kingdom, Haven Kingdom would become the strongest nation on the Central continent.
Hermes guild started a war to recreate themselves as a nation that no one could stand up against. Imagining the future strength of their armies, no player could hide their astonishment.
Weed heard the news of Hermes guild’s conquest and triumph over the Kallamore Kingdom in Vargo Fortress.
“Here, it’s complete. 34 gold.”
“Thank you. I will use it with utmost care.”
For Weed, it was business as usual as he made use of his blacksmith and sewing skills. If he did not practice the blacksmith or sewing skill for a long time, it could reduce his skill level.
While making a sculpture, he heard the voices of the chattering merchants from nearby.
“Hermes guild really has a ma.s.sive army, their fire power leaves your jaw gaping and they are taking over all of Kallamore Kingdom!”
Weed, right at this moment, was using a special wood to sculpt an eagle. He was trying to capture the feeling of life in the eagle, requiring delicate carving to express its exclusivity of the sky and its freedom. While he focused his ears on the conversation of the merchants, his hand was completely tense.
“How long can the Kallamore Kingdom hold out?”
“They can’t. I really didn’t know Hermes guild was hiding such ma.s.sive strength. Presently the Kallamore Kingdom’s border garrison was completely wiped out. Among 60 thousand people, not many survived.”
Weed made a mistake with the carving knife making a long scratch on the side of the sculpture.
“The level 400 powerhouses of Hermes guild went forward, they destroyed and occupied Hosran fort in less than 2 hours. Even the media did not know that Hermes guild’s army was this strong.”
“Do you think they are really that strong?”
“It won’t be an exaggeration to say they have the strongest infantry, even the number that partic.i.p.ated in the war… sigh, words just won’t come out. Just hearing the names of the partic.i.p.ants you will recognize the rankers, they are lined with strong players.”
“But against Weed-nim?”
“Well… even Weed-nim would have to fold at least once against Hermes guild.”
“Weed-nim is the War G.o.d, he already defeated Hermes guild twice.”
Weed just made his sculpture in silence. The sculpture that was created during this confused moment was a downcast bald eagle!
|As a famous sculptor, a disappoint piece was created. Fame decreased by 15.|
It was a relief that he was making the sculpture in a corner away from the prying eyes of the merchants.
Vargo Fortress still did not have a tavern so the video of the broadcast could not be seen. But the grand appearance of the Hermes guild could be felt.
The finances necessary to fund the troops to occupy just a castle or a city was enormous. Even for Weed, the monthly income tax was tremendous only after the huge development of Morata. And Haven Kingdom is said to be the yolk of the Central continent and just conquering it whole spoke volumes about their strength.
As Hermes guild became bigger, Weed’s influence could only become smaller. It was a situation where he could no longer roam around the Central continent freely, but to just imagine if Hermes Guild completely conquers the Central continent!
‘It will only be a matter of time till the underdeveloped north, east, west and south will be seized.’
Then Weed would only be able to hunt in isolation. Even now an a.s.sa.s.sin could come at any moment for him. As Vargo Fortress was filled with players who would side with Weed, the a.s.sa.s.sin’s activity was limited. But in other regions, they would smell his bounty and cause an uproar.
‘The only thing left for me is the Sculpture Mastery quest and the final secret sculpting legacy! If Hermes guild or other famous guilds become bigger than now, peace will be impossible. Then the only thing I could do is roam the continent, hiding my ident.i.ty through Sculpture Transformation and changing my appearance often.’
So Weed prepared to leave for a trip. To master the sculpting skill he still needed a bit more time. Retrieving the final secret legacy would be good, but mastering sculpting was becoming a priority so he planned to meet the master sculptor Zahab.
The Red Reed Forest.
At the quest area the queen of fairies Teneidon spoke about, the a.s.sa.s.sins waited and prepared for an ambush.
As a rule they did not talk aloud but only in whispers.
- When do you think Weed will come here?
- If you wait he will come.
The a.s.sa.s.sins deployed themselves in the gra.s.s and above the trees. They were used to the boring waits. High level a.s.sa.s.sins preferred killing stronger people rather than doing normal hunts as it gave them more experience and mastery in skill went up a lot more.
To kill Weed they went ahead to the quest starting area and waited for him.
“They said Weed would come here, right?”
“If we just catch him we can definitely receive a reward from Hermes guild. I am going to change all my equipment and also ask for a skill book.”
“It’s the War G.o.d Weed. When he appears we must attack him together.”
“There is no need for honour. When we kill him we will share the reward equally.”
Even bounty hunters, trying to make a fortune through the bounty, were roaming around the Red Reed Forest.
Truthfully there were not many righteous people among the bounty hunters. They usually laughed as they betrayed or deceived their partners without feeling a smidgen of guilt. They knew the cynical nature of the job but for now they decided to join their strength.
“If he just comes…”
“He’s already dead!”
“Kuhuhu, let’s receive our bounty and sign up with Hermes guild.”
“Will they accept us?”
“They say Hermes guild accepts anyone if you have the strength.”
“Then we have to get in. Just by signing up we can live in a grand style.”
Lee Hyun logged into the Dark Gamer information board. He was trying to gather information on Grapa.s.s, one of the 10 forbidden regions of the continent, which was the place Zahab went.
“Will there be any good information here?”
It had been a long time since he received the quest from the old handmaiden. He expected that more people would have explored the region and more information had built up since then.
But in reality, many players actually challenged the forbidden regions in the early days. As they were level 100 and 200s, he nimbly skipped their stories. Just from skimming them, there were many stories about being completely wiped out by the strong monsters and that they would try again later.
|I regret coming here. The morning hunt is okay but at night, it’s really scary. Adventurer level 351. Came with a party of 7 with similar levels.|
|There are big larvae in the wasteland. When you try get close, large worms pop up and try to eat you, so do not go near it. Adventurer level 369.|
|The Grapa.s.s region is not well known, so we planned a party to level up where we would not be crowded with others. We were 7 Dark Gamer veterans. The plain where stone piles are, the hunt is doable. At night the evil hands swarm about, so to hunt here you need exceptional senses. If you win, they drop magic seals and jewels. Adventurer level 382. 7 party members.|
It looks like there was still occasional hunting in the Grapa.s.s region.
There comes a point in time, after rising to a certain level, where it became crucial to find a new hunting ground. This was especially true for Dark Gamers, where both their personal growth and monster drops were important. So there seemed to be many tries at adventuring in the Grapa.s.s region
In the early days the level 100 or 200 players entered the region fearlessly and were cleanly wiped out. Presently, a level 300 could handle the region with some difficulty.
Among the Dark Gamers there were many players who were above level 400, but they did not post information on these boards. At their level, the information on hunting methods or hunting grounds was too important so they did not share much. As it wasn’t difficult to maintain their Dark Gamer Union’s ranking by providing simple quest or dungeon information, it wasn’t a problem for them.
“At level 400… seems it’s manageable at that point.”
In the Grapa.s.s region, the magic seals and jewels that could be acquired through monster drops were as expensive as mythril. It was said there were several specialized hunting parties that searched Grapa.s.s for these jewels that granted magic.
Saying these specialized hunting parties were the best Dark Gamers and warriors was not an exaggeration. The opportunity to meet them was rare as they only stayed near the area where the monsters frequently appeared.
“There still seems to be no information about the master sculptor Zahab…”
Someone who met Zahab, or even knowing the address of the house he’s living in would be conclusive information! He could then finish the quest easily, but even without such luck it did not feel like finding Zahab would be all that difficult.
“A human staying among monsters in the Grapa.s.s region would be quite noticeable. I could ride on a Wyvern’s back and scout out the region… or if the sky is filled with monsters I could change into a crow and search like that.”
Lee Hyun praised himself. Since he accomplished impossible quests from the beginning, he was no longer hesitant or fearful about going to Grapa.s.s, one of the 10 forbidden regions.
“It’s closer and much better than sailing to Jigolaths.”
In the face of any adversity, whether the sky fell or the ground collapsed, he had the amazing self-confidence he could survive!
Weed called the Sculpture Lifeforms. Due to the recent hunting Bingryong, the Wyverns, Phoenix, Gold Man, Yellowy, Golden Bird and Silver Bird were all exhausted. Bingryong’s level was 470, excluding the Wyverns, the other Lifeforms were all around mid to late 400’s through their continuous effort.
“I want to tell you some good news.”
Weed wanted to raise the morale of the tired Sculpture Lifeforms.
“For the time being let’s rest from hunting.”
Gold Man, although extremely happy with the news, could not show it. If he showed any signs of happiness, it could be seen as some fault or another that would cause more agony in the future.
“Moooo. If this is master’s order then I have to obey.”
Disciplined by a foul natured master, they had learnt basic pretence and treachery. Yellowy pretended to be disinterested as he ate some gra.s.s nearby, but his ears were flapped up to listen for any lies.
“Don’t worry. This is not a joke or an empty promise.”
Up to now Weed scammed, embezzled and exploited them hard but he was not one to lie.
“Rather, let’s go on a trip.”
Leaving the road and meeting new people, the joy of leaving the daily routine. Phoenix spouted fire from its beak in joy.
“Kurarara. Are we really going?”
Having not travelled much with the master and other Lifeforms, Bingryong was also happy.
“It would be good if the place had fresh gra.s.s.”
For Yellowy if his back was warm and belly was full, anywhere was heaven. It did not seem like a bad idea. Travelling around and eating delicious food while resting.
Golden Bird and Silver Bird, as they had the nature of birds were also happy that they could roam around freely.
Weed continued to speak.
“Where we are going, it’s Grapa.s.s… one of the 10 forbidden regions on the continent. So let’s all go together!”
It was not a trip, the phrase ‘leaving home is suffering’ was proven right. The Sculpture Lifeforms suddenly lost all desire to go.
“I will become strong by diligently hunting here. So master, why not go alone?”
Bingryong spoke while he blinked his eyes innocently. But to Weed it was useless.
“We have to go together. You can’t possibly skip this fun trip.”
“There are many monsters here. I think I have to protect the new land the master earned. I, Bingryong will thoroughly defend this land against the monsters.”
“You don’t need to do that. The monsters also need to eat and live. They are doing this to survive, so don’t look down on them.”
Sudden benevolence towards monsters appeared.
“Morata is well protected by the Black Imugi and the King Hydra, so I am going to call other Sculpture Lifeforms to this place.”
The Black Imugi and King Hydra were sculpted in the past to fight against the Northern coalition.
After that they cleared the monsters near Morata and silently contributed to the public order.
They quietly raised their levels by a lot and also became rich.
The Black Imugi had a side of cunning and shrewdness. Silver Bird tattled everything about how the Black Imugi was using his status as a rare monster, he took over a cave and started to pile up his own treasure.
“It’s a pure, evil black snake with wings. If it was small I would swallow it whole like a worm. Cheep cheep! I thought I would gain weight so I stopped myself. When I ask him to give me some of his premium meat, he doesn’t. When I try to build a nest in his lair, he doesn’t let me in. I think he’s hiding something.”
“Right, right. Golden Bird how is it?”
“I don’t really pay attention but! He treats me very well. I think he hunts monsters. Also I think Yellowy’s gotten lazy.”
“Keep me posted on your friend’s activity.”
To prevent the public order from becoming worse, it would be good to have the Sculpture Lifeforms defending Vargo Fortress. And there was no need to make new ones as he could leave it to the Sculpture Lifeforms brought from Jigolaths.
It could be permissible for them to join the residents defending on the fortress wall, rather than having them hide in isolated forests or search and destroy monster habitats.
Weed glanced at Vargo Fortress.
The fortress walls were slowly becoming firmer and thicker, with more military facilities built to protect it from siege. The soldiers were being trained to protect the fortress and drive out the monsters. Rather than developing the economy, safety was the priority right now.
The players also received hunting quests so the monsters flocking nearby would be reduced slightly. They would level up and start stacking up the drops from their adventures. And as the army readied their strength, the wastelands and mines could be conquered and developed.
At that moment Wy-Three grumbled in a defiant way. It was purposefully done so Weed could hear.
“We have a desire to live freely. For how long must we follow master?”
Wy-Three spoke of his hope of wanting complete independence.
“Let’s all live happily together. Hunting and even going on a trip like this… It will be lifelong happiness. And don’t you think we should go to one of the 10 forbidden regions at least once?”
Weed was daring the Sculpture Lifeform to decline his scam.
“I heard Weed-nim was staying here these days.”
“I need to ask him to make me a sword… Other blacksmiths in Morata can do it, but if Weed-nim makes it, it will come out better.”
Players deliberately came from Morata to Vargo Fortress to improve their equipment. The equipment Weed made had a subtle sense of aesthetic decoration. Using sculpting skills the swords, armour, and boots Weed made were carved with special patterns.
Of course the labour fee was more expensive than other blacksmiths. But with advance level 8 handicraft skill, there were no flaws and the durability was high. They could also flaunt that their equipment was made by Weed so they spared no effort to come here.
When the smiths or tailors had basic skill and became famous they did not need to worry about getting additional work afterwards. But as this was tedious labour the chance of being fed up with it was high.
“What? Weed-nim left?”
“We came all the way from Morata… Did he leave for the quest in Red Reed Forest already?”
Weed had disappeared from Vargo Fortress.
But according to the builders the repair work was still continuing and the paladins, priests, Geomchis and new players were all busy doing quests or hunting together.
For the residents who came over from Morata, their simple needs were met by the merchants. But with elves, barbarians, dwarves, and fairies visiting Vargo Fortress often, there was a variety of quests that were created. And as adventurers completed many battles, the merchants started to cater a general store, weapon store, armoury, herbalist and a jeweller.
“It’s Weed-nim’s land, we have to spread faith to the migrating residents of Morata.”
The Church of Freya began construction of their new shrine.
Players did not have exact information on Weed so they could only speculate.
“I think he went for the Red Reed Forest quest.”
“He has no fear of Hermes guild.”
“Weed-nim really is different.”
This rumour spread and the bounty hunters waited in greater suspense. Hermes guild, who prepared for all situations, sent an attack force to the Red Reed Forest as well, thinking a third defeat was impossible.
Seo Yoon was hunting and wandering deep in the north. She felt her strength was lacking when she was following Weed in Jigolaths.
‘I have to become stronger.’
She experienced the difficulty of hunting alone while exploring dungeons. As a Berserker she was alone most of the time so it was nothing special. Falling into traps, raided by monsters, and intoxicated by poison. The Berserker cla.s.s had to surpa.s.s the fear of death, fighting stronger monsters to grow.
Seo Yoon went into places full of monsters, battling them and coming out alive.
‘I must return.’
With these feelings Seo Yoon increased her level while also perfecting her attack skills. It was all to protect Weed when something dangerous happened. She was also thinking of following him on the quest from the Fairy Queen Teneidon.
Sometimes she sent off whispers to Weed.
- I found a new dungeon. There are many monsters. Their levels are high so it is a really good place to hunt.
When Weed was not busy, he responded quickly.
And at that night’s dinner.
- While hunting monsters I found a short sword. It is much better than what I used previously.
- Glad to hear it.
And at next morning’s breakfast.
- I hunted a boss monster,
- Sa, safely?
- It was difficult, after taking care of the rear guard monsters I succeeded.
Facing indescribable hards.h.i.+p, Seo Yoon attracted monsters and risked dangers until her body was covered in bandages to achieve victory. If she did not have thoughts about Weed, then it would have been impossible for her to giver her all in the hunting.
- Sharp Shooter Helmet… I got something I don’t need. I am going to throw it away when I arrive in Morata.
Sharp Shooter Helmet! It was an item that all archers searched for with pa.s.sion. It increased accuracy, range, and penetration, there was no better item for an archer than this. It was said the high level players who were over level 400 would even sell their own bows to buy this.
There was no need to say twice how expensive it was. If it was sold in Morata all the merchants would jump at it.
- Ri, right.
Besides this daily routine, whenever something good happened Seo Yoon told Weed.
- My level rose.
- I picked up an item a short while ago.
- My ‘Dance of the Insane Warrior’ skill level increased.
- This fast?
- Congratulate me. I just completed a quest.
Seo Yoon enjoyed conversing with Weed so she went on even more hunts. The dungeons she visited were one or two tiers higher than what Weed could handle. It was not an exaggeration to say Weed’s hunting speed was the highest in the Versailles continent. But Seo Yoon was not far behind.
Starting from the entrance of the dungeon, skills were used to rampage till the end and break through the dungeon. There was no cla.s.s that was as tenacious as a Berserker.
But fighting arduous battle alone, the chance of dying was high. The only way to maintain attack power was to fill up on health and fight without rest. Words could not describe how difficult this was. Finis.h.i.+ng a dungeon sapped all the strength from the body and it took time to recover.
During this recovery time, Seo Yoon searched for other dungeons or did simple quests.
- What is the jewel of Jukbora? It’s constantly dropping here.
- W, well you picked up another one? It’s a jewel you can sell to the enchanter.
Weed knew almost everything and when they talked, it was a great help to Seo Yoon.
After finis.h.i.+ng up a dungeon Seo Yoon leaned on a tree for a rest and asked.
- Are you going to stay in Vargo Fortress?
- No, I finished my sculpture so it’s time to leave.
- To the Red Reed Forest?
If he said he was going to the forest, Seo Yoon would have went ahead and wiped out all the bounty hunters and a.s.sa.s.sins. The chance of success in the huge battle that would occur was not in the equation for her.
- I already left for Grapa.s.s, one of the 10 forbidden regions. I have a quest there that I need to finish.
As soon as she heard the destination Seo Yoon took out a map from her backpack and headed for Grapa.s.s. As Weed was heading there, she had to go as well.
The Undead Legion chain quests were done by the Undead and at the same time, she was too busy levelling up and trying to earn money for their trip so she could not join him then. But now, Seo Yoon headed towards the Grapa.s.s region to meet Weed.
- I am heading to the Grapa.s.s region. Let’s hunt together later on. I will prepare delicious hot shark soup then.
Through whispers Weed also told Pale and his party.
Hwaryeong changed her high heels to boots.
“I have to go to the Grapa.s.s region as well.”
“Unni, really? That place is really dangerous…”
Bellot tried to persuade her otherwise, but Hwaryeong was tenacious.
“Eating with Weed-nim after hard labour… We need that kind of moment.”
Her plan of getting Weed infatuated with her, using a seductive dance every night was complete. She also wanted to show him first the dance she created with her ch.o.r.eographer during the preparation for her new alb.u.m.
For this, Hwaryeong h.o.a.rded the most beautiful dresses and accessories across the Central continent through the merchant channels.
“Then we should go as well.”
Pale thought to go with her for her safety, but Hwaryeong shook her head.
“You must never come!”
“It will become a nuisance to our quality time.”
Even after saying it’s one of the 10 forbidden regions, in front of Hwaryeong‘s pa.s.sion it was little more than a dating area.
Riding a horse Hwaryeong left for Grapa.s.s.
Geomchi’s path was one of loneliness. He was currently wasting his time by going back and forth between Rosenheim Kingdom and the Plains of Despair.
“Currently there is nothing to do.”
He built up a lot of sentiment with the family of the female player he was friendly with.
But not long ago she left to study abroad for 3 month, so they could not hunt together.
“Second is also busy…”
Geomchi2 was with orc Seechwi up in the north playing to his heart’s content.
Accompanying Seechwi with her quest, mingling with the Orcs, he was frolicking at the Plains of Despair and Yurokina Mountains.
If 3 Orcs were fed and grown up, after 1 month it became 20. After another month it expanded to almost a hundred. But with Seechwi’s low leaders.h.i.+p, there were many orcs who wanted freedom and left.
But most who stayed in the North fought together and their territory grew. These orcs hunted together with Geomchi2 and Seechwi, and sometimes they did get killed. But those who survived got stronger and became Orc fighters and Orc warriors.
There was no race that grew as quickly and as large as the Orcs.
“I am kind of jealous that they are having fun.”
In the Northern continent of Versailles, his disciples partic.i.p.ated in famous battles and appeared on television. Geomchi felt a bit bitter. It was a mistake to think that old people wanted to spend their time silently and alone!
“Moving your body and using your strength to break things is the best.”
– Discipline of the heart was important.
– Rule over the strength stored in the blade.
It was something he taught to the disciples constantly. But acquiring the strength and not using it was the true path.
“I should take advantage of the free time I have right now.”
Geomchi went to the capital of Rosenheim Kingdom to prepare for his trip. Many people gather there to go to hunting grounds, dungeons, or even to travel to nearby kingdoms.
And in one corner someone was crying out.
“Anyone looking for adventure in the North, let’s go together! Let’s settle together in the North under the leaders.h.i.+p of Weed, the War G.o.d. First we go to Morata, then people willing to go will head to Vargo Fortress”
The merchant was trying to win over the players. It was a route consisting of travelling to Rosenheim Kingdom by carriage, then riding a boat to the North. They could earn extra travel fees and be protected from monsters if they brought along players interested in Morata while s.h.i.+pping goods to the North.
During the travel it was possible to talk with them or even convert them into loyal customers, so they searched proactively for travellers heading for the North.
“Should I go have some fun?”
In addition, Geomchi could also go meet his disciples so he agreed to go with the merchant.