Volume 25 Chapter 4: The Sculptures Zahab Wants To Leave Behind
Weed was in Zahab’s storage, observing for a long time.
“If only I could secretly h.o.a.rd them all somewhere…”
And store them at Morata’s Art Center. Then he could charge way more for the entrance fee.
‘If I create a special Zahab sculpture gallery, I could charge 10 times more and everyone would still pay to come.’
Weed’s eyes burned with pa.s.sion as he looked at the sculptures.
“You must really love sculptures.”
“Of course. Selling these amazing sculptures… I mean, they are precious treasures whose value cannot be estimated.”
Weed glanced at Zahab.
‘If only a monster would appear…’
As a sculptor, Zahab could not be weak. According to the rumours from the old handmaiden, he defeated the a.s.sa.s.sins while he was sculpting moonlight.
The Moonlight Sculpting Blade!
It was still Weed’s first choice as an attack skill in battle. Seeing how Zahab built a house and was living in the middle of the Grapa.s.s region, his strength was not impossible to imagine. At the minimum, his strength must be superior to the knights who guard the king.
‘A freeform sculpture. It has to be made through imagination, so the usual sculpting method’s impossible. But nothing is impossible to make with the sculpting skill.”
Weed was an old hand in sculpting sculptures based on symmetry and precision. As he travelled around Versailles continent, he sculpted anything that caught his fancy so he was proficient in both observational and sculpting skills.
But Zahab’s sculptures excelled even at expressing common emotions.
A shy youth, stammering his confession to a woman. The sculpture body was well proportioned, hands and feet were ordinary. But the fretful and happy emotions were captured thoroughly by the expression and the posture of the sculpture alone.
A fawn looking around a field of flowers, expecting someone. The image of the small and cute fawn waiting, antic.i.p.ating, for its mother could be imagined naturally just by looking at the expression on the sculpture.
With pa.s.sion, the sculptor could express the subtle emotion to the finest point!
“These are really expensive… I mean, excellent sculptures.”
“For you think like that, then I am really grateful. If you are not busy then could you help me with some of my own sculptures?”
“What kind of sculptures are you still making?”
“There are two pieces of work I wanted to do for a long time. I must make them before I die… I just cannot leave this place until I can complete them. With your skill, it will be a big help. So do you want to work together with me?”
|Zahab’s a.s.sistantThere are sculptures that Zahab was longing to make for some time.Help him complete those sculptures!
There is no greater honor as a sculptor than this.
Difficulty: Cla.s.s Quest
Quest Restriction: Limited to sculptors. Must be in the process of mastering advanced sculpting technique. Until this quest is complete, Zahab cannot leave Grapa.s.s.
If you refuse this quest, you cannot receive it again.
There was no reason for Weed to refuse this quest. It wasn’t his sculpture so he wouldn’t even care if he ruined it!
“Yes, I will do it.”
“But where is this sculpture you want to make?”Zahab pulled the sheet off covering something inside his workshop.
A white marble sculpture with a basic outline of woman!
“I am sure it’s the same for every other sculptor, but I lived under the captivation of beauty found only in sculptures. One of these days, I want to make a sculpture that expresses flesh and life, with the best proportions and ratio. It’s my dream to express a woman who has divine beauty.”
In art, women were the dominant theme for the majority of works.
“But staying in Grapa.s.s for so long I seem to have completely forgot about womanly beauty. Presently, this sculpture is the most difficult work I have undertaken so I was hoping you could help me with it.
“What about the other one?”
“I have chosen a topic for it, but did not start on it yet. We should do one at a time, so after completing the first one, I will tell you about it.”
Zahab prepared his tools and material from his workshop for Weed’s use. All of it was premium material, when used sparingly, you could produce 16 to 17 sculptures from it.
Though it was Zahab who originally asked for help, in reality, Zahab was the one a.s.sisting Weed who was sculpting the outline and the subject matter. Even then, this was a great opportunity as Zahab was aiding in the creation of a sculpture designed by Weed.
‘What can I make that will satisfy Zahab?’
Creating an average sculpture would only create trouble. Zahab’s standard of beauty would be high, as his first love, was Queen Evane. While Weed was deep in thought, Zahab grabbed the sword hanging on the wall of his workshop.
Weed had seen the sword while he was observing the sculptures. There was nothing special about it, the sword was just ordinary with average attack.
“I will be out for a short while.”
“Where are you going?”
“Going out to get some air, acquire some sculpting materials and catch some monsters.”
Weed could almost scream in delight!
‘Now if he could just get himself killed…’
Weed couldn’t wait around forever. But on the other hand, he was curious to see how Zahab fought.
“Could I come with you?”
“There is nothing urgent to be done, so you can come.”
Weed hurried after him, filled with the expectation of seeing how Zahab fought. As it could be dangerous, Gold Man, Yellowy and other sculpture lifeforms were left behind to rest in the cabin.
‘If possible, the more dangerous the better. It would be nice for the boss monsters in Grapa.s.s to appear regularly…’
Zahab pa.s.sed through the forest and entered a hidden cavity.
It was an entrance to a dungeon! A dungeon in Grapa.s.s that Weed would have never dared to enter.
“You will have to follow after me carefully.”
Weed screamed like Orc Karichwi. Karajaks were monsters that had long, thin legs like an ostrich. It was a monster that could kill someone before they had the chance to laugh at its comical appearance!
It’s amazing attack strength was compounded by its high hostility against humans, it had lightning fast speed and the ability to change directions in split seconds. Karajaks travelled in herds so no guilds as of yet hunted these monsters as their primary quarry.
There was occasional success hunting 1~2 that were isolated, but even then the casualties were too high. And no one could find the dungeon where Karajak appeared so it all blew over.
‘Of all things it had to be a Karajak’s habitat, there won’t be 3~4. No, there will be an awful lot more than that.
Looking at the dungeon name, it was obvious that a lot of Karajak’s lived there.
Baby Karajak, grown up Karajak, mother Karajak, father Karajak, uncle Karajak, grandpa Karajak, the Karajaks next door and all other sorts of Karajak! Two humans were just delivered as food to a family of Karajaks!
Weed did not know if he should be happy or upset, there was too much ambiguity with the situation.
Then far away, some Karajaks appeared and ran toward them in an instant.
But as Zahab brandished his sword they collapsed easily. It felt like the Karajaks pa.s.sed them by, but somehow they just disappeared in a flash of grey light.
As the Karajaks discovered the scene, they cried louder and more of the herd gathered. Zahab slashed his sword that was covered in a sheen of light and they collapsed like scarecrows.
Zahab was effortlessly slaying the lightning fast Karajaks.
‘Are these monsters weaker than I thought? Then again I never did fight against Karajak before. After all, not all the information on the message boards is correct anyways.’
Weed was curious and walked a few steps away from Zahab.
He was kicked by Karajaks all over. They came running and hit his head as well.
|You received a critical hit.Dyspnoeic condition emerged.|
Not even a few seconds later his health dropped 20%. If he stayed like this, with his laughable defense, he could die any moment. After a sufficient beating, he returned to Zahab’s side.
Zahab’s sword was slaying Karajaks without mercy.
‘His swordsmans.h.i.+p is as impressive as his sculpting skill.’
The incident with the a.s.sa.s.sins was not a coincidence.
‘To be this strong…’
Weed was waiting to sc.r.a.p for any chance, but Zahab’s hunting speed was so fast that it was impossible to squeeze in. As Zahab defeated the Karajaks he picked up rare leather, meat and jewels.
Following the hunt like this, Weed made a decision.
‘I need to be more friendly with him from now on.’
After coming back from the observational hunting, Weed picked up his sculpting knife.
“The shape of a woman possessing divine beauty…”
It was a theme artists, in ancient and modern times, sweated efforts and debated fiercely about without any results.
Even if it was one person, the judgment of womanly beauty changed as the person got older. To say one woman possessed every aspect of beauty was an impossibility. There were infinite varieties of preference by a host of different people. How could he shape a woman who possessed divine beauty?
But there was an evil grin on Weed’s face.
‘There is Seo Yoon.’
In outward appearance, there is no one perfect like her. There was even a time he used her representation to improve his sculpting skills. The harmony created by Seo Yoon’s eyes, nose, lips and skin, it was enough to make his heart beat faster when sculpting her!
Even if it was a sculpture of her, it was so beautiful he kept wanting to see it. Other people who actually saw Seo Yoon, couldn’t believe if what they saw was real or a dream and couldn’t keep their eyes off her.
He could never fail a sculpture of Seo Yoon and she would be the perfect subject matter.
“Right, this will do.”
Overflowing confidence as a sculptor!
‘Considering Zahab’s standards, the theme and pose of the sculpture will be really important.’
If he took a real life object as the background subject matter, there wouldn’t be any problem.
“For now, let’s get my hands warmed up…”
Using Zahab’s sculpting material, he made sculptures.
They were sculptures of monsters he met in Grapa.s.s.
In this, he was making use of Zahab’s method. Rather than sculpting a singular piece, he created many.
He first sculpted a small boy then surrounded him with Kellkogs and Karajaks. The menacing scene was expressed like a fairy tale. In the scene, the boy did not give into his fears as he stretched out his hands to touch the monsters.
He created a Fine piece named, ‘Tiny morsel for the Karajaks and Kellkogs.’
This was merely practice.
After that Weed decided to start on Zahab’s request.
“Wouldn’t it be better to loosen your hands a bit more? I will also give you sufficient time to imagine a theme. I think you can start after 1~2 month of thinking.”
“It’s okay, I can start now.”
He began to make a sculpture in collaboration with Zahab.
“The forearm must be smooth like this… the jaw line is difficult so I will do it.”
While Weed was proposing the precise shape of the overall sculpture, he was also leading Zahab expertly.
The beauty of the woman was not only on the outward appearance, the personal appeal was more precious and could achieve far more. Weed stealthily revealed the hidden charm found in Seo Yoon, even he couldn’t help but think it was beautiful.
These days, he was with Seo Yoon often so there were times when he thought she was just pretty. But as he meandered while shaping the sculpture, she was significantly more beautiful than before.
‘She’s getting prettier.’
He felt he could understand why Master Daron continued to sculpt only one woman. Now as he sculpted Seo Yoon, a variety of emotions surfaced within and he wanted to capture Seo Yoon’s precious expressions.
He thought he found the joy of being able to sculpt a person.
‘But for now, let’s finish the quest…’
While regretful, his meeting with Zahab could not be broadcast to the media. Hermes guild could give him trouble by watching it and coming after him, but more importantly, sculpting was Weed’s money maker. He needed to protect this secret.
Of course he also had no desire to broadcast a sculpture of Seo Yoon.
Every life was precious!
“Oh, this beautiful woman… this truly is a divine beauty!”
Sculpting the piece, Zahab was falling enamored with the unimaginable beauty.
The sculpture of Seo Yoon was portrayed in a stately dress. It was an attire that reflected Weed’s impression of her.
‘Seo Yoon looks really good in a dress.’
If she wore different cloth, her personal beauty could not be hidden even if she wore dirty armour. But if Seo Yoon wore an exquisite dress that not just anyone could wear, it would flaunt her beauty completely.
Using his background skills in sewing, Weed idealized the shape of a smart dress and with Zahab’s near transcendent sculpting skills, the fluttering of the fabric was perfectly sculpted!
She was stepping on a high pedestal, her gaze somewhere far away. The light in her eyes, longing for warmth!
It was a sculpture that made the observer spin endless imaginations. But Weed knew the secret behind it.
‘It’s the expression of befuddlement she made at breakfast while travelling together. ’
It was a meaning only the creator would know.
“Let’s name it, ‘Sculpture that Expresses Beauty.’”
Zahab and Weed combined their thoughts and named the sculpture.
|Magnum Opus! ‘Sculpture that Expresses Beauty’ has been completed.A collaboration between the great sculptor Weed and Zahab, who is sitting at the summit of sculpting skill.
They managed to express a woman’s beauty.
Comparative to their fame, the completion of this supreme piece is enough to be considered as one of the top aesthetic works in Versailles continent.
Artistic Value: 16,290.
Special Option: Anyone who sees the, ‘Sculpture that Expresses Beauty’ will regenerate health and mana 40% faster for one day.
All stats increase by 35.
Magic resistance increase by 37%.
Maximum health increase by 14%.
Intelligence, Wisdom and Charm increase by 15.
Increases the morale of soldiers.
Grants additional mastery to adventurer’s Appreciation of Artwork skill.
Sculptors, painters, dancers and scholars Charm increases by 14 permanently.
Birth rate of the city near the sculpture will increase by 80%.
The sculpture has been blessed by G.o.ddess Freya for portraying aspects of beauty.
Effect does not stack with other sculptures.
Number of Magnum Opus created till now: 10.
|G.o.ddess Freya has granted a blessing upon the sculpture for portraying aspects of beauty. Paladins and priests from the Freya denomination will receive special strength and courage when they see the sculpture.|
Weed’s achievement was great, but this sculpture would have been impossible to make without Zahab. Discounting his ‘Torch Left by Sculptors’, his 8th Magnum Opus sculpted using helium, this would count as his greatest work yet.While a variety of stats increased generously, none of them were directly related to combat stats. Strength and agility hardly increased, while intelligence and wisdom rose rather highly. Weed was similar to the Geomchis that he did not distribute his stats on intelligence and wisdom, but increased them purely by making sculptures.
Regardless, the quest of being Zahab’s a.s.sistant was halfway complete.
“You have exemplary skill. I did not expect that you would be able to do this well… The one other sculpture I want to make is something that represents myself.”
The sculpture Zahab wanted to leave behind was of himself.
“Some day, after a very long time has pa.s.sed, this county and even the Versailles continent would be forgotten. But I want to leave behind a vestige of myself within a sculpture. Your skills are great enough to create a sculpture of myself.”
Now Weed had to sculpt personally with Zahab as the subject matter.
‘Even this won’t be that hard.’
By creating the sculpture of Seo Yoon, he raised Zahab’s satisfaction level to the highest. And having experienced and observed Zahab live, it was just a matter of making the sculpture! It was like taking candy from a child, and their gum, and their lunch money, and drinking their milk on top of it.
Zahab wanted him to make seven different sculptures of him.
“My life cannot be defined by one sculpture. There are poses of sculptures I already thought of.”
Zahab directed the pose for the sculpture. While he had to make several sculptures, Weed had nothing to complain about as he could just sculpt as directed.
The first pose was Zahab working on a sculpture! It was pretty obvious that a sculptor would want to leave behind a scene of his main profession.
“I should make it as good as possible for the reward I can get after I complete the quest.”
As the model was an old man, his hands were very wrinkly.
There was no need to have decal like details on a sculpture.
‘This is not a work of art, rather, the person needs to love it on first sight.’
Color control was done on Zahab’s face to make it look like it had a touch of make up. The numerous wrinkles were adjusted, the disheveled hair style was fixed to give a natural feeling.
“Your skills are really not so bad.”
“I just needed to represent the good model in front of me.”
“Then I shall antic.i.p.ate your best for the other sculptures as well.”
Next, he had to sculpt Zahab strolling through a forest. There was nothing especially difficult about it, but as he took care of the minute details he needed a minimum of two-three days.
Zahab in the evenings, usually hunted within the dungeons in the vicinity.
“Later, one of the sculptures you will need to make is about me battling. So I hope you observe me carefully.”
As it was impossible to make Zahab hold a stance during battle, Weed had to follow him around and observe. Much could be learned by watching a battle. Weed could fully comprehend the unreachable strength Zahab had with his sword.
“Moonlight Sculpting Blade!”
Weed, using his tact, hunted only when the monsters were being meek. Putting faith in that Zahab will dispose of all the monsters swarming them, he explored the dungeons with him.
‘It might be this way.’
Seo Yoon was searching for Weed in Grapa.s.s. She wandered alone, killing any monsters that attacked her.
‘I will finally be able to meet him here.’
Even within one of the 10 forbidden regions, Seo Yoon had very little problem as she normally fought high level monsters. She only hid from large groups of monsters, but most of the time she kept moving in order to find Weed.
She entered the main forest in Grapa.s.s and fought her way through. Her hopes of meeting Weed allowed her to forget all hards.h.i.+p and forge ahead!
Under the moonlit night, the roar of a large flying monster could be hear from far away.
The large silhouette s.h.i.+ning under the moonlight was Bingryong! He was hunting with the other flight capable Sculpture Lifeforms.
Seo Yoon called out but as Bingryong was flying high above, he pa.s.sed her by. The tree tops hid her from Bingryong.
A wasted opportunity!
She picked up a stone and threw it.
“Kek! Who dares!”
As soon as the stone left Seo Yoon’s hand, it flew at top speed and hit Bingryong’s head. Reacting to the hostile action, Bingryong returned and scouted the ground. And then he found Seo Yoon.
“It’s Master’s friend…”
He remembered the time he travelled with Seo Yoon.
“Did you come here to meet master?”
Seo Yoon nodded her head.
“Then hop on. I will bring you to Master.”
Bingryong started his landing. With his large body, he crushed and felled many trees on his descent. As he lowered his head and took utmost care for her to hop on, Seo Yoon spoke in a quiet voice.
“Could you please call Wy-Three?”
Riding on the rebellious Wy-Three, Seo Yoon arrived at Zahab’s cabin.
“What brings you here?”
To meet her like this in Grapa.s.s, Weed was really surprised.
Seo Yoon’s face reddened as she could not bring herself to say she wanted to see him, or be next to him. For the first time since she was able to speak, she did not talk and avoided all eye contact.
Weed only nodded.
“Well, it’s good that you came. It’s nice to see you like this.”
Greeting confidently but hiding his suspicion!
‘To come all the way here, what treasure did she think I was mining in Grapa.s.s? At least she has some sense of shame, with her red face and all.’
Seo Yoon came when he was having good time with Zahab, but her presence was not much of a disturbance.
“A woman possessing a similar appearance to the G.o.ddess of beauty.”
Zahab already had the best, first impression of her. Sculptors, painters, fundamentally all artist as one favored beautiful woman, so Seo Yoon received high intimacy with Zahab easily.
“Before I die, please allow me to sculpt your image. Will you let me?”
Zahab asked Seo Yoon to become the model for his sculpture.
The reward was unknown, but as it was a request from a Master Sculptor, it had to be something good. But Seo Yoon shook her head and showed clear rejection.
“I can’t do it.”
“I will give you any jewels or sculptures you ask for.”
“I don’t want to do it.”
Seo Yoon rejected the quest till the end. For her it was a th.o.r.n.y issue as Weed sculpted her often.
“Truthfully, I made a sculpture of you here…”
Weed confessed that he made a sculpture based on her. The sculpture of her was stored in Zahab’s workshop, so later if she found out about it, it was much easier to tell the truth now rather than making a scene later.
“For sculpting me.”
Weed thought women were existences that could never be understood. His grandma said she did not want to eat cutlets or sweet and sour pork as they were oily food. Later, when he earned a lot of money and brought her to her favorite diner, she complained about not ordering cutlets and showed disappointment!
His little sister, when she was feeling immense dissatisfaction with how her hairdresser styled her hair. He tried to console her by pointing out how bad they were at styling her hair. Afterwards she shut herself in her room and did not come out even for dinner.
“One must never trust or believe a woman’s words.”
Zahab’s hunting trip now included Seo Yoon as well. After coming back from Jigolaths, Weed leveled up and became strong. He experienced a lot of battles, but Seo Yoon was way stronger than she was at Jigolaths. It still could not be compared to Zahab, but the Karajaks Weed was having such difficulties with, Seo Yoon could hunt them easily.
The second sculptures of Zahab , of him strolling through the forest was completed.
“There are times I enjoy exploration. Going to uncharted territories, have you ever went to a place where no one had set foot yet?”
He sculpted Zahab exploring a dungeon.
“When you are enjoying a solitary lifestyle, you become enamored to create something endlessly.”
A sculpture of Zahab deep in thought was completed.
“Battle against monsters, it has been a part of my life.”
Zahab was a white haired senior, but he was overflowing with energy and his battle skill was outstanding.
Weed sculpted Zahab fighting against monsters. He already sculpted 5 pieces and only two were left.
“One… I want at least one sculpture from that moment long ago. Even for you, it will not be easy to make… It must have been fate that you,who knows about the incident back then, came to find me.”
The sculpture Zahab wanted was the scene of him repelling the a.s.sa.s.sins that tried to kill Queen Evane. For Zahab, it must have been an unforgettable memory when Queen Evane was moved by his promise of making the most beautiful sculpture on earth for her.
“I will try.”
Weed had the opportunity to enter Rosenheim Kingdom’s castle. So he first sculpted a scaled down castle. It was not a job that required meticulous handwork but he put his best effort into the piece. A quest given by Zahab was not something that he could do halfheartedly,
“Make the a.s.sa.s.sins look villainous… I can probably choose some Sahyungs for this, the expressions Sahyungs make when they see a guy holding hands with their pretty girlfriend.”
“The viciousness of the a.s.sa.s.sins were really well expressed. This is the exact expression of evil villains.”
The knights in the castle weren’t important so he sculpted them lying about.
Weed had seen Queen Evane in a video that showed a recollection about the past. But he also took the time to observe the portrait of her in the Rosenheim Kingdom’s castle. Walking in the pa.s.sage, it was just another portrait he could have ignored. But as it was related to Zahab, he took note of it and it was becoming a great help now.
‘Elegant and n.o.ble… but with a charming side. Not sure if it is befitting for a queen but it gave off a good impression.’
Then, it was time to sculpt Zahab.
Using the moonlight sculpting technique, Weed sculpted young Zahab. Wearing cloth that wouldn’t impress any royalty, Zahab defeated the a.s.sa.s.sins and sculpted moonlight using his blade.
Without a doubt, one of the best settings!
‘Kind of romantic as well.’
Weed looked furtively at Seo Yoon. While not family, if she was threatened by a.s.sa.s.sins…
‘I won’t waste any time killing them all!’
When the sculpture was almost finished, Zahab who was observing him began to sing.
I am here
But wherever I go
My heart will always remain with you
I will make you a beautiful sculpture as I promised in my youth
But how can I?
When you are more beautiful than any sculpture I can make
I cannot forget the time I spent with you
I want to leave my heart here, like my sculpture
So I will put my heart into this moonlight, and sculpt
As the song that could give gooseb.u.mps resounded, the sculptures began to move.
The sculpture of Zahab, Queen Evane, the royal knights, and a.s.sa.s.sins moved and fought as if they were alive. As young Zahab slashed, his sword moonlight descended, broke apart, and gathered in a resplendent dance.
A Fine sculpture was completed.
Zahab’s song while touching was also cheesy. But finally, the chain quest accompanying him from the beginning was about to pay off.
‘Just need to go to the handmaiden and sing the song.’
And make the last sculpture Zahab wanted.
Zahab was silent as if he was reminiscing about the past. Weed did not know if it was about Queen Evane or if he was missing his bygone youth.
“Then the final sculpture that’s left…”
Weed estimated that the final sculpture would not be something simple.
‘Regardless, I can make any sculpture.’
He just needed to make the sculpture as Zahab described.
“The things I am good at are sculpting and the sword.”
As a sculptor, Zahab was peculiar as he was also good with the sword.
“After leaving Evane and settling here, I needed to use my sword as much as my sculpting skills. The sword became as important as sculpting to me.”
Zahab must have needed to battle a lot to protect his life from the monsters.
“Your sword still does not look strong.”
“Many aspects are still lacking.”
Weed’s Swordsmans.h.i.+p was currently on intermediate level 9.
Attack skills did not allow sword mastery to increase much. As attack skill wasted a lot of mana, when Weed was out hunting alone he tried to minimize the skill usage. But even than, his mastery increased slower than a swordsman or knights.
A Swordsman’s 1st and second cla.s.s change, they could awaken the potential within the sword. Their sword attack strength doubled so they could increase their skill mastery comfortably.
Through the enormous amount of stats he stacked up, he complemented his attack strength. But compared to the cla.s.ses that used the blade professionally, the skill mastery did not increase as fast.
He was constantly polis.h.i.+ng his sword skill, but the reality was that the skill was stuck at intermediate level 9.
“If you sculpt my stances, you might just realize something.”