4) Worst Destiny
No matter what happened on the continent, Weed persisted in making his sculptures for the Garden of the G.o.ds. He was tired from the huge construction on the Garden of the G.o.ds but the crowd cheered every time a fine piece or masterpiece came out.
“Weed’s sculptures are really different!”
“Some might seem plain or ugly but it starts feeling okay once you look at it for a long time.”
He received recognition from people of various cla.s.ses and roles but the evaluation was that he was a truly excellent sculptor. In fact, the advantage of sculpting was its versatility across many fields but not a lot of people knew this.
A Magnum Opus sculpture!
He worked together with Herman on a statue of G.o.d Batalli and gave birth to a Magnum Opus.
The Magnum Opus sculpture increased his contribution to each religious order and gave blessings to soldiers fighting against monsters in the region.
The users and residents also found unity by working on the Garden of the G.o.ds. Weed’s first work after the founding of the Arpen Kingdom was a great success.
“Kuuuk, I have a pain in my lower back.”
“My lower body is numb.”
“I can’t lift my head!”
By the time Weed was carving the last statue, the road was full of collapsed players groaning. They had carried stones and dirt, opened a water channel and laid roads. They also fixed up the garden by planting trees.
There was no end to the required work on a large civil engineering project like this. Those who partic.i.p.ated in the construction felt like they had serious heart problems as it finished.
The work was hard and the users often felt the temptation to fall down in the middle. But they couldn’t miss the opportunity to be involved in this construction. This deep emotion was really new to the users.
“Ah… That’s the last one.”
“It was really long.”
“I didn’t fight monsters yet I died 3 times from the work…..”
People were visiting the north and Morata was overflowing with tourists. People who went hunting timed their return to coincide with the estimated completion date while other users visited shops and restaurants.
“This will be the greatest place on the continent once this is complete.”
“It is a completely unbelievable amount.”
“There is nothing like this anywhere else. This place even has Grand Buildings.”
“Indeed. Now it will also be easy to receive blessings from the G.o.ds.”
32 magnificent sculptures were erected in the Garden of the G.o.ds through the sweat and blood of the partic.i.p.ating workers.
The marble temple also gave off a luxurious atmosphere and there was a square and lake in the garden.
Morata had many exceptional flowers. Weed sowed the landscape with wild flowers and seeds obtained from Prina. Gardeners also cultivated a number of trees and flowers from Morata. The landscape was under 24 hour supervision by the gardeners as the seeds started to grow. The Garden of the G.o.ds will like a hunting ground to challenge for gardeners!
A performance venue was also placed on one side. It would be difficult to make a disturbance in a place with sculptures of G.o.ds but the performances told legends and stories a.s.sociated with the G.o.ds. Once songs of praise started being sung, the Garden of the G.o.ds became even more famous.
The speed of this process was beyond imagination and now the Garden of the G.o.ds was almost completed.
Weed postponed the final sculpture until the next morning.
“Delaying by one day will allow more people to enter the city!”
Arpen Kingdom had low funds since it was mostly consumed by this project. If the Garden of the G.o.ds failed then it would be the kingdom that collapsed when the ink had barely dried on the history records.
Weed’s fatigue had also piled up during this time.
“I will do the remaining work in the morning. Everybody had trouble so today you should rest to your fullest!”
The crowd in the vicinity of the Garden of the G.o.ds cheered with joy and scattered to prepare for tomorrow’s big delight.
Weed and his colleagues decided to go to a pub.
There was a huge influx of players into Morata so Mapan set up a store and earned a fortune. He decided to buy them drinks so even the Geomchis and Herman went to dinner.
“Huhu, I get to count money all day tomorrow!”
Mapan earned huge money from his business. He was a j.a.ptem professional merchant and his system covered the entire north. He was the President of the Northern a.s.sociation of Merchants so he had a lot of influence. He owned important land in Morata and also opened up a weapon store, armour store and leather store in Vargo Fortress.
Other merchants watched Mapan with envy and wanted to learn his business skills.
“Mapan-nim, what is your secret?”
“The many years of trust with my repeat customers.”
Mapan had followed Weed since the early days and they had invested in Morata together. He had done business with users in the Central Continent who came to the north before beginners could start here and maintained it continuously.
Word spread among people and everyone regarded Mapan’s stores as the best. Mapan also used his contacts in other kingdoms to secure successful trades. He would buy Morata’s specialties in bulk to lower the purchase price and then get money and fame when he sold it at his destination!
The development of the north truly gave a lot of money to Mapan. Of course, all of this wasn’t his only secrets. Bribery and power was also essential. Mapan was the one who rejoiced the most when Weed became King of the Arpen Kingdom.
If Weed realized his dream of a dictators.h.i.+p then his profits would increase!
“Kyaah, this is really delicious.”
“The chicken wings seem to separate and melt in my mouth.”
“The meat falling off the bone and this crunchy texture… As expected from the best pigs.”
The Geomchi pract.i.tioners had spent a long time hunting so they enjoyed the proper food. As the host, Mapan had borrowed the whole pub. Their appet.i.te surpa.s.sed that of wrestlers so Fiery Pebble was used to roast the meat.
Fiery Pebble ensured that it was cooked properly while still being juicy. If Weed cooked than the food would taste even better but he was eating today.
“You’ve suffered in the meantime so please enjoy a bite to eat.”
Irene also picked up some meat and gave it to Surka. Irene was a priest so she benefited the most from the Garden of the G.o.ds.
“Free food is delicious.”
Weed was in a relaxed mood as he enjoyed dinner. It was possible to eat dozens of side dishes along with the meat. Mapan was sitting in the corner of a table and his face became pale every time he saw the empty dishes, but he still ate.
Morata’s restaurants and pubs were crowded from all the guests that had come into the city. Merchants were engaged in business at the squares and received huge profit from people preparing for tomorrow.
“Now I think I know how to use my fists better.”
Surka said confidently.
She had been a little pa.s.sive when hunting with Weed. Her combat style had been bold battles that lowered her health but she had fallen behind in attack damage. Although she could utilize her skills, her battle senses weren’t particularly excellent.
Even if someone had the exact same body, the results would be different depending on how they utilized it. But in the meantime she had been hunting with the Geomchi pract.i.tioners and was able to use them as a guideline.
“I have to learn to hit and hit until I am sore!”
Surka looked young compared to the others and her dimples when she smiled brightly made her even cuter.
There were 3 rules in fighting. Everyone knew them but it was difficult to master without direct experience in hunting. Even if a large number of videos were watched, that wall wouldn’t break until the battle actually started.
Maylon also laughed from a nearby place.
“Surka is scary these days. I don’t know how often she beats up the monsters.”
“Unni is also shooting the arrows better. The Arrow Tracking skill, haven’t you raised it closed to the master level?”
Weed suddenly became curious of their levels. Surka, Maylon and the others had been adventuring for quite a while. He remembered hunting with them shortly after finding Ratzeberg and being surprised at their skills.
Weed asked Surka.
“What level are you now?”
He was reluctant to say his level but they had no such qualms.
“I’m only 403.”
“Isn’t my level still a bit low? I think Oppa is probably a lot higher than me.”
Weed was really amazed. His current level was 409. It was high but there wasn’t much difference with Surka.
“Hrm, I’m a little higher.”
“Pale oppa is level 411, are you much higher than Pale oppa?”
“Well, it’s not that high.”
Weed had been suffering at the wall of the 400s. While he was making sculptures, his colleagues had been adventuring and catching up to him. If Bardray came in then he would explicitly curse him!
“You’ve crossed level 400… Congratulations”
Weed’s lips trembled as he gave the congratulations. He was eating and socializing when a young boy approached him.
The boy had black hair and cold eyes. Not all NPCs were like that but this boy didn’t have the slightest changes in expression on his face.
Weed felt uncomfortable as soon as he saw him. It was similar to his junior high days when he sewed 400,000 doll eyes and would fear the Vice President. His mouth dried up and his hair stood up in anxiety.
Weed spoke softly to the boy.
“Hey kid, I’m having a meal now so please come next time.”
Weed’s fame was high so it was very easy for him to receive quests. After becoming King, many Morata residents gave requests so he could select the ones he wanted. Weed wanted to forestall him.
“And I am very busy keeping the peace of the Versailles Continent so I don’t know if I can accept your request. Find someone else first. You’ll be able to find some good people.”
He said moderately with the intention to refuse. But the boy just started laughing.
“A human like you has no right to decline my order.”
It was an astonis.h.i.+ng remark given Weed’s status of King. But he hadn’t been able to live to this point through his willpower. Since childhood Weed had struggled to stay alive. He sensed that this boy didn’t have an ordinary status.
‘Who are you, the true successor of the Niflheim Empire? Did he show up because I fulfilled some conditions?’
If there was an important quest related to his cla.s.s then the person would sometimes come meet them.
‘I heard they were all dead but if I suddenly popped up alive….. Maybe someone saved a member of the Royal Family. Then raised them quietly……’
Weed’s brain worked fiercely in order to grasp the boy’s ident.i.ty. The boy was very proud but he didn’t have any knights escorting him.
Weed’s combat capability meant he would gladly welcome any monster to hit. He thought about using his fists instead of words but then Weed saw the equipment the boy was wearing.
‘Top of the line. His outfit is created by the best dwarven craftsmen.
His sword contained a black diamond the size of a duck egg. Moreover, the scabbard had a complex pattern drawn on it that proved it was 100% a magic sword. It was uncommon and he hadn’t seen anyone with a sword like that before.
His clothes were created with thousands of threads from a special worm that was woven in three strands. The best dwarven craftsmen would require at least 1 month of tenacious effort to make. Of course there was no one among users who wore such clothes.
‘He is even wearing winged shoes from Stellese.’
Only the most powerful Barbarian warriors could climb up Stellese Hill. The boy was wearing winged shoes that the Barbarians normally defended. The estimated level of the shoes was 590.
Weed instantly became modest!
“Of course. Tell me what you want me to do.”
The age of the opponent didn’t matter at all! He received recognition from many people but Weed didn’t forget his weak days of the past. He didn’t cringe when acting subservient.
“Your sculpting skills are fine.”
“There are others better than me.”
Weed worried about what type of quest would require his sculpting skills.
“I want many treasures that the underserving humans have. I’m the only one worthy of a sculpture. I want you to make it out of the Agate crystal that belongs to the human Belsos. I recognize that humans are weak so I will give some of my subordinates to protect you.”
|-The Treasure a Dragon Desires
King Belsos’s injustice!
Look for his legacy and make the sculpture the wicked Akryong Kaybern desires. Akryong Kaybern has determined that you have sufficient skills due to the sculptural tributes offered him.
The arrogant Kaybern has given a command.
“Sculptor, you will need to bring your friends if you want to survive. If you’re late then I won’t like it.”
|The Agate crystal is delicate so working with it won’t be easy.
There are as many mysteries as there are stars in the sky.
Kaybern has promised 11 Spartoi to escort you to find the Agate.
|Difficulty: Sculptor’s Quest
Quest Restrictions: Have to possess the best Fame as a Sculptor.
Relations.h.i.+p with Kaybern.
Must be resolved within 30 days.
No compensation will be given.
If you fail then Kaybern will kill you.
A minimum of 8 people is required to accomplish it.
You can invite 7 people to the quest. The people who reject will be killed by Kaybern.
The ident.i.ty of the boy in front of Weed was Akryong Kaybern. It was the continent’s first but not necessarily happy Dragon Quest!
There was no compensation and he couldn’t fail either. Even if he gathered all the soldiers in the Arpen Kingdom, they would just be grinded between the evil dragon’s teeth like the dwarves.
‘I’ve already suffered and now I need to complete the dragon’s request if I don’t want to be eaten.’
There were two reasons why Weed ended up being involved with Kaybern. He once carved a silly piece based on Kaybern but it wasn’t famous. More recently, he had made some sculptures for the dwarves’ tribute.
The compensation for the dwarves returning safely ended up leading to this quest.
‘Just continue making the dwarves work!’
A Sculptor Quest a.s.sociated with the evil dragon Akryong Kaybern! To make matters worse, Belsos was the reason why the temperature of the Versailles Continent increased and the Crimson Wing Guild’s destruction.
It was like a shrimp interrupting a fight between whales. Either way he was bound to fall down a cliff every step he took.
‘This is a Dragon Quest so the difficulty will unconditionally be above average. It is fortunate that it has something to do with sculpting…… If he managed to make the Agate crystal into a sculpture then it will be a really precious thing to the dragon.’
“I’ll find the thing you want.”
|-You have accepted the quest.
Under the direction of the 11 Spartoi, you have 1 month to complete the Dragon Kaybern’s command.
It is impossible for you to decline. It is only a matter of whether you die earlier or later.
“You made the right decision. My anger will increase if I wait much longer”
The boy disappeared as suddenly as he appeared. Weed was silent before looking around the quiet pub.
“I can finally breathe.”
“What was that just now?”
They couldn’t say anything while Akryong Kaybern was there.
“You just shared a conversation with a great existence.”
Weed respectfully summarized wat Kaybern said to him.
“The great dragon Kaybern who rules over the Thor Kingdom came here. And he gave me a n.o.ble mission to look for the Belsos King’s legacy and create a sculpture from it. Kaybern is after a really precious item. Although it will be difficult, I don’t dare refuse his request. I can obtain such glory from walking the path of sculpting.”
-The evil dragon Akryong Kaybern left the Thor Kingdom to head to Morata.
He asked Weed who was a complete stranger to find the Belsos King’s legacy.
He said it like it was a good thing but he was forced to accept the dragon’s request or he would die. This was the dirty part about being a sculptor.
“Oh, he received a Dragon Quest from a legend!”
“As expected, Weed the maknae is really different!”
“Ya. Isn’t this something to be proud of?”
The Geomchi pract.i.tioners envied him. Being able to do a quest from the continent’s most powerful dragon! The eyes of his younger colleagues were full of compa.s.sion as they understood his explanation.
“He is Weed-nim.”
“Won’t he be able to do it well?”
“I believe that no one else except Weed-nim can do it.”
“This looks like a wonderful adventure. I’ll cheer you on.”
His colleagues tried to positively give him courage. Weed shook his head.
“I need to go to the Tomb of the Scorpion King in order to find the remains of King Belsos.”
Maylon nodded her head.
“Oh, is that so?”
She remembered the adventures of the Crimson Wing Guild that had been recorded.
“That is really dangerous. Quite a few people died when exploring it. And isn’t a key needed to enter the ruins?”
“I remember I made some sculptures for them so it won’t be that difficult to enter the dungeon.”
The Tomb of the King Scorpion was currently sealed. If it hadn’t been for the Crimson Wing Guild then he wouldn’t have known how to enter. In order to open the sealed door, 7 scorpions need to be placed at the exact same time so I need at least 7 people.”
“That… It was like that?”
“Yes. And I was told to seek other colleagues for the quest.”
Weed looked around at his colleagues.
Pale was frozen.
“Finding the remains of King Belsos will be dangerous. Isn’t that right? Ah… I need to work at the station for a few days……”
She might be curious but she inevitably had to give up because Maylon was an office worker.
“Then can we get the treasures seen on the broadcast?”
Surka liked big adventures.
“We’ll be in trouble if we touch the wrong thing.”
Irene was nervous while Romuna seemed to be looking for an excuse to refuse.
Zephyr wasn’t in a position to refuse so their eyes said they would die together. Hwaryeong and Bellot wanted to go along. That’s because Weed’s adventures were never boring.
“Is it really dangerous?”
“Unni, it will be a huge risk. Couldn’t I create a great song?”
The Tomb of the Scorpion King was perfect for a bard.
‘If Maylon wasn’t broadcasting…..’
If he removed her then he had recruited 7 people.
Seo-yoon had great power but his conscience kept him from requesting her help too often. And he actually had special information about her.
While Weed was creating the statues, a wandering minstrel told him the story of a mad warrior.
Minstrels or poets would often come before kings or high ranking aristocrats to perform or tell stories.
“Your Majesty, do you want to hear a song about when I went to the Tohru Province?”
The king would listen to the bard’s song and give them a reward. A king could deliberately give quests based on information or clues obtained from bards or poets. There were hundreds of talents bards and poets with their own stories.
Weed deliberately didn’t have anything like a Court Party. The Arpen Kingdom’s finances were hovering at the bottom so he couldn’t afford to pay an event fee like that!
“I’m not asking for hundreds of gold for one song.”
Of course, a famous song had value but it could be dangerous to the survival of a kingdom.
“Looking at the past, many residents were squeezed of their taxes to fund the kings’ luxury.”
Weed’s thoughts were really ugly whenever he thought of those kings. They were born with a golden spoon in their mouths and sucked it until it lost clarity.
When looking at that, he knew that curtailing his expenses was important. In Weed’s case, his fame on the continent was so high that bards would often search for him in Morata.
A wandering bard from the north sang a song about a Berserker who made a Goblin Chieftain retreat.
Seo-yoon had probably gone there to learn her cla.s.s skills. Of course, this information wasn’t certain but he decided to leave her to it.
‘If it is a false report then she can come find me.’
Weed smiled brightly after organizing his thoughts.
“Everyone’s level is over 400 so we can go.”
“Ha, hahahah, shall we do that?”
There was a rigid laugh!
The nice and gentle Pale was infected by Weed and his smile turned rotten.
The stations relayed Bardray’s battles and adventures every day.
“The strongest warrior Bardray!”
“Today he challenged a monster that has never been caught before.”
“Black Knight Master Quest! He ended it a short while after receiving the request.”
The audience cheered on Bardray as news about his Master Quest were broadcasted daily. Bardray had already advanced to the 15th quest.
This Black Knight Quest had a fixed scenario.
A knight had his honour betrayed by a king. He left the kingdom and racked up various achievements, money and made orphans and slaves his disciples. He took an army of mercenaries and raised them into troops. He then reappeared to battle with the kingdom so Bardray ended up defending a fort.
It was a quest of a scale that couldn’t be expressed!
The Knights of Telmedun. The infantry battalion of Telmedun.
Bardray picked 30 knights and put them in charge of 2,500 soldiers on the battlefield. These troops were for the Black Knight Quest so they were his personal subordinates. His goal was to raise a substantial number of elite troops.
“We will be able to occupy a small castle.”
Bardray also accepted a number of orphans and his soldiers increased to over 4,000 people. Quite a few troops would be consumed in battle so Bardray left the incompetent soldiers to the difficult tasks to be killed without mercy.
“Have them defend in front of the gates.”
“But Knight-nim, they are flocking to us.”
It was a situation where they had to safely defend the city from the monsters pressing against it. In contrast, standing just outside the gates meant death.
“They need to be able to do this much to become a knight. Then they will be able to accompany me to the end.”
The orphans who became soldiers were placed outside the gates. Bardray filled the empty vacancies with children with better talent.
The Black Knight’s Quest inevitably required mercenaries so he preferred this method.
In the meantime, Bardray had been deliberately hiding his evil actions behind the Hermes Guild. However the scenes of him abandoning his subordinates without hesitation received criticism from the viewers.
“Completely bad. He abandoned his troops so many times in battle.”
“He uses his loyal soldiers as scapegoats in order to easily win the battle. He is really ruthless.”
“It is like aristocrats just throwing cash at commoners. Even the knight that fought with Bardray last time was thrown away.”
But the remaining troops became stronger so the audience couldn’t help feeling excited.
Bardray pursued power. His process of leaving aside any morals to train stronger units was interesting.
While everyone envied his adventures, Bardray wasn’t happy at all.
‘How useless and annoying.’
As someone who controlled the Hermes Guild, he could easily mobilize knights and soldiers. A lot of subordinates had already died to save Bardray.
The fact that he had to raise subordinates to partic.i.p.ate in a historical war made it a frustrating quest.
The skilled craftsman Fabio.
He was the celebrity dwarf blacksmith that made the best armour and swords. He had created the best armour and gained prominence since the early days of Royal Road so he received regular coverage from the broadcasters.
“This time I will make a decent sword.”
Tang. Tang. Tang.
Fabio returned to his forge without a break. The dwarf he raised as his apprentice carried the materials directly to the fire. The forge was very large and there was already a huge amount of iron ore piled up.
“Dad, an order for one hundred and twenty level 360 swords came in from the Trigger Guild. Should we accept?”
“Yes, collect it and go.”
A nearby dwarf sorted through a pile of swords and left. Even if Fabio didn’t put his heart and soul into a product, it would still have a minimum of 4~5 options. The attack, defense and balance were also good for the user who would wield it.
“The birth of a true awakened sword is still far away.”
Fabio struck with his hammer and continued producing swords. He created hundreds of swords trying to achieve his goal.
When beating at the sword, it would automatically become an excellent blade. A harmony was born between the iron and the blacksmith’s skills.
The dwarf blacksmith Fabio’s tanned body contained an aura of flames reminiscent of steel. He was a blacksmith that only worked on swords and armour. Sweat dripped off his body as he worked with the iron and flames.
Fabio’s blacksmith skill was 81.7% advanced level 9.
He was a giant crouched in a blacksmith forge.
 According to the legend of Cadmus of Thebes, the Spartoi are warriors born from the body parts of a dragon sown in the ground.