8) Song for Bahamorg
Weed received Yurin’s help and arrived at the capital of the Arpen Empire, Antarosa.
“The wreckage of the shattered buildings are completely scattered around.”
The ruins where 1,000 years had pa.s.sed! Some buildings only had the ceiling deformed while others were so completely destroyed it was impossible to grasp the shape. There were no buildings left untouched.
The very large area also had plenty of monsters. There was a mix of weak wolves and stronger monsters like a level 520 boss. It was the core habitat so all sorts of monsters could be found.
The wealth and power of the Imperial Palace had disappeared as adventurers searched for treasures while navigating the monsters. It was impossible to see the wonderful buildings from the past.
The monsters mainly lived underground in Antarosa. They built nests in the complicated sewage and went up to the ground at night.
Antarosa was larger than Morata and the entire Arpen Kingdom and there was a battle against the monsters every night. Even the reputable rankers couldn’t risk hunting a bunch of monsters. The prestigious guilds wouldn’t be able to handle all the monsters wandering around at night.
There were hundreds of thousands of monsters living underground. Many adventurers entered due to their curiosity and died.
Antarosa might be the capital of the Arpen Empire but it was the dream place for treasure hunters dreaming of a jackpot. If they dug up the wreckage of a n.o.ble’s house then sometimes precious metals or expensive equipment and jewellery would emerge. Any kingdom would desire these treasures and if a person gave it to a king then they could become a lord. Or they found an item they could wear themselves so many treasure hunters came here to test their luck.
The ruins near the river. There was a tavern next to a broad river that originally flowed through Antarosa. Guests were there to receive quests or find treasure. A stable accommodation was required in order to search the large Antarosa.
“Ohuhuhuk, I dug at the land for three days and couldn’t find anything.’
“Baisul-nim, don’t be disappointed and drink your alcohol.”
“Kyah, how refres.h.i.+ng! I was looking for Hidram Mansion but I never found the location of the building. I’ve already dug at five points but it is futile. If it is going to be like this then I’m better off exploring a dungeon.”
“Illedo-nim, I heard you found something in the vicinity?”
“A little gold nugget. I would’ve preferred a magic book.”
If they were lucky then there could gather various things from Antarosa so there were always lots of people. Hundreds of people dug in the ruins and stayed at inns or taverns.
Weed ate food at a bar and got information. If he just listened quietly then he could obtain information. This was a large area so the adventurers were active in exchanging information.
“The south side of the water cistern has been almost completely searched. There hasn’t been anyone who found anything there lately.”
“The Imperial Palace was discovered after digging at 7 points. Tens of thousands of users can fit inside it.”
“I heard that everyone who entered that place hasn’t come out alive.”
“If it is dangerous then there is more profit!”
It was difficult to find an area in the ruins without any people.
Weed drank milk and ate bread. It was an area in Royal Road where honey and milk really flowed.
When considering the standard of the users, it was a really dangerous place thanks to the monsters. If 100 people entered then only 1~2 at most would come out alive.
But treasures and equipment were consistently found and people who discovered them would earn huge profits. The treasures decreased steadily as the adventurers navigated danger and death. But it was still almost impossible to explore the catacombs due to the dangerous monsters. There were still treasures sleeping there.
The items from Antarosa would be a great help to users who weren’t able to obtain a proper footing in the early days of the Versailles continent. Right now exceptionally good adventurers were flying around the continent.
“I have to give up the request from Count Charlemange. I came to save the Stone Lion… The weight seemed tolerable but I thought I would be able to quickly find it.”
“I can’t find it no matter how I look so someone must’ve taken it already.”
The stories from people drinking continued flowing into Weed’s ears. But the only information he received was about searching for treasure.
‘Bahamorg… n.o.body knows him.’
The sculptural lifeforms had a decided life expectancy when they were given life. If they didn’t die in battle then they would also grow and age. Even if Bahamorg survived his injuries, it was a distant time so he would already be long dead.
“There is no guarantee that he is here… I would be more comfortable working.”
The Sculpting Master Quest had various different contents! Weed ate food and waited for night. And it was time for the monsters! He could see monsters moving on a large scale outside the window. Monsters woke up and wandered the ruins. The land where legends were sleeping!
According to history, Antarosa was lost when the Arpen Empire fragmented. It was the target of military invasion and plunder. After that monsters surged and people left it alone.
And Antarosa became a city controlled by monsters. It was included in the territory of the Britten Alliance but merchants didn’t come anywhere near it. Users stayed at taverns and inns hidden by magic.
Weed was safe but his heart didn’t feel comfortable.
“Will you be staying overnight? It is 30 gold.”
That price was far too expensive for one night.
“Is it possible to lower the price a little?”
“I didn’t want to say this but I am a very famous person on the continent.”
“Then you will be able to give even more money.”
The inn’s owner had a stubborn character. Nothing Weed used worked.
The Geomchi instructors and pract.i.tioners. .h.i.t the dungeons.
“This is the entrance to the dungeon.”
“We will go first, Teacher-nim!”
Their hunting proficiency became amazing after the Geomchis learnt Sword-cloning and Radiant Sword.
“This is the effect of skills.”
“It seems so. It can be used so easily that it is like a was.h.i.+ng machine.”
They reached level 400 using only basic skills and now they properly utilized their attack skills. They also invested in wisdom and knowledge and their attack went up with each increase in skill proficiency.
And the advice Weed gave them was crucial.
“Even though risking your lives when fighting is acceptable for Master-nim, what about when hunting in a party?”
“We want to do that but… They need to be worthy.”
The Geomchi instructors and pract.i.tioners tried hunting in a party in the Yurokina Mountains. They wanted to fight together with female warriors but not many had come to the north.
“Your achievement points means that you can hire priests for hunting. There is the Cathedral of the Freya Church in Morata so it is easy to find priests.”
“Kuheom! If you say that then we’ll go look.”
Geomchi headed to Light Square with his disciples.
“That uniform is really beautiful.”
“Teacher-nim! Did you see that priest that pa.s.sed by just now? That innocent face is my ideal type. The beautiful texture of her hair…..”
“Third Sa-hyung, one person has come!”
The female priestesses of the Freya Church boasted amazing beauty. That’s why the Freya Church was the most popular among users.
“Shall we take a priestess and go hunting?”
“Yes. Weed-nim said it is possible with our achievements, Master-nim!”
The Geomchi instructors entered the Freya Church’s Cathedral.
“A person who did us a large favour has visited. What would you like? If you want a better weapon then we’ll give it to you.”
So far they kept getting rid of monsters and stacked up many achievements that they didn’t use. It was enough to obtain a weapon and employ many priestesses.
General users knew how to utilize the achievements but it was difficult for them to obtain. Most swordsmen weren’t willing to risk the death penalty.
“I want a weapon but it isn’t necessary now. Instead, I’m going to go hunting so it is possible to bring a priestess?”
“If you’re fighting against the monsters then of course the priests will support you. Please ensure that they’re not injured or killed. If that happens then it will be difficult to put the priests in any more dangerous situations.”
“I’ll make sure that not even a drop of water will touch their hands.”
Each Geomchi instructor hired 1 priestess respectively. They didn’t know the value of achievements until now. Thanks to the priests, their hunting efficiency increased by 3 times more. Receiving blessings and treatment during a battle was a good thing!
“This is a good world…..”
“It is fortunate that we understand now.”
“Listen! If we get injured then they will touch us to use healing!”
The Geomchis used a different method of fighting. Normally they were concise and effective when attacking and defending. But they deliberately fought more aggressively after seeing the priestesses.
They thoroughly protected the priestesses from the monsters. The priestesses were employed with achievement points so it wasn’t necessary to distribute the experience and loot.
“Master-nim, we will go as well.”
“Go and collect them quickly.”
The pract.i.tioners also went to Morata to collect some priestesses,
“I’m sorry but there aren’t any priestesses left of a standard to go hunting. Instead, a male priest….”
Once the priestesses of the Freya Church ran out of stock, they hired priestesses from other religions! Since then monsters fell around Vargo Fortress. The valuable achievement points decreased over time.
Monster invasions still sometimes occurred at Vargo Fortress but the area had stabilized.
“Swordplay is truly beautiful.”
“I understand, Master-nim!”
Weed left the inn early the next day.
“First I have to look at any sculptures found here.”
Most of the products unearthed here had already been sold to aristocrats of the Britten Alliance Kingdom. The memories in the sculptures might contain some clues.
“Your fame as a sculptor is well known on the continent. Count Baldmong loves art. Come in.”
“I’ve heard a lot of stories about your adventures. I always wanted to meet you.”
“I heard there was a king of a small kingdom in the north so it is an honour to meet you.”
It wasn’t difficult for Weed to meet the n.o.bles of the Britten Alliance Kingdom. But the number of sculptures recovered was extremely small. They weren’t even displayed in hallways and were kept in warehouses.
“It is a very elegant sculpture.”
“This sculpture is very old. It might contain some historical information.”
“Can I look at it for a while?”
The cracked and peeled lion sculpture. When he examined the memory contained in it, the Imperial Palace and capital of the Arpen Empire could be seen.
It was difficult to imagine now but various sculptural lifeforms prospered and lived there. A direct statue of Emperor Geihar Von Arpen that he carved himself stood near a fountain and the continent’s greatest treasures were visible.
“I know the form of the city in the past so finding treasures should be a little easier.”
If he obtained clues for treasure then he would stay there and dig. He wanted to do that but he was King of the Arpen Kingdom.
“Bahamorg didn’t appear.”
Many of the sculptures unearthed were damaged.
“Can I fix it a little?”
“It would be an honour to have a famous sculptor like you fix it.”
Weed received the quest to restore the sculpture then checked the memory contained in it again. The video showed more detail about the surrounding landscape but Bahamorg’s last moments couldn’t be found.
“I’ve obtained quite a bit of information. I should think positively. It isn’t good to continue with negative thinking through my entire life. At least I know he wasn’t where these sculptures were found. Then I’ll have to use legwork.”
Weed spread out a map of the ruins.
He really didn’t know if Bahamorg managed to come back here. There was a large possibility he might’ve died along the way.
If he didn’t come to Antarosa then the search radius would widen further. It really wasn’t an easy quest…..
One week later.
“This way won’t work.”
Weed put down his shovel and pickaxe.
“I haven’t learnt anything from these ruins….”
In the meantime he had gone around Antarosa like the other adventurers and dug at the ground.
“Would you like to partner up with me?”
“Your pickaxe seems unusual. It is like a wave spreads out from it.”
He received lots of offers from other users. His strength and vitality made it seem like Weed was playing whack-a-mole. Once he started digging then the wreckage was scattered everywhere.
Weed refused all their suggestions and was immersed in digging the land.
“Bahamorg… Old Barbarian hero… His equipment would be nice… If I dig it out… It would be a treasure that would cause a storm of money… That magic tower… The treasure warehouse of the Imperial Palace…”
He transformed into a treasure hunter while looking for Bahamorg. However it really wasn’t easy to search for treasure in Antarosa.
The only income from one week of work was two antique armours. The historic value meant he would be able to receive at least 1,500 to 2,000 gold. In Weed’s case, if he melted it down and remade it then he could create a wearable level 300 armour. Other adventurers were think this was a decent harvest for one week’s worth.
But he went through the repet.i.tive motions of digging and looking for Bahamorg in the day and returning to the inn to sculpt at night.
His Mining skill rose from 1 level to Intermediate level 2. His technique to dig the land was growing!
“The cost of the inn is too expensive so this way won’t work.”
Even though Weed had excellent digging ability, it was impossible to search through the wide wreckage. He dug at the locations most likely to find something.
“So far I’ve had no luck but it will only take one success for that to change!”
His unfortunate destiny was always offset by his luck.
“A different search method…..”
Weed had an excellent reasoning ability. So far he had spent 98% of his life as a worker!
“The only thing I know is that Bahamorg was heading to Antarosa.”
Weed daringly decided to abandon the wreckage in the ruins. He could take advantage of various skills like Mining, Sculpting or Sculptural Memories but the area was too wide. And the various other skills he learnt weren’t helpful.
“It would be really lucky if I could discover his belongings here but there is no guarantee.”
Weed hadn’t found any clues despite digging for a week. In addition, his pickaxe was increasingly moving towards treasure rather than his original goal. It wasn’t to find the treasures of the Arpen Empire but to find information about Bahamorg.
“What information can I use to search?”
Weed organized his thoughts. He knew that Bahamorg was very strong. He read the history books in Morata’s library but Bahamorg wasn’t listed.
“Maybe if I….”
Weed pulled out his Sculpting Knife. He used stone that were originally walls to carve Bahamorg.
That night monsters went around Antarosa. They fought among themselves and also hunted small animals.
Sometimes human like monsters would also dig at the ground to find things. The monsters in Antarosa were equipped with their own intelligence. Sometimes they collected treasure and wore it.
Users wanted to hunt mobs that had treasure. But the creatures were much stronger at night. During the day, they lived in complicated pa.s.sages underground so they were hard to track. Some succeeded several times but it was a significant risk.
Even if weak monsters found treasure, it would be immediately taken away by the strong monsters. Many great treasures ended up with boss cla.s.s monsters.
The monsters also found the sculpture of Bahamorg that Weed carved.
The monsters weren’t interested and just pa.s.sed by it.
“I’m going over there.”
They liked gold, silver and jewellery. Mountains of treasures were stored in their lair. But as expected, some monsters didn’t overlook the piece of art.
Just before sunrise, a monster found the sculpture and showed interest in it.
‘Yes, it is a success.’
Weed had transformed into a crow and was watching through a gap in the wreckage. The monster that recognized it was a clue!
“Why do you look like that, kikikik.”
“Just smash it.”
Kwajijijik, pasasak, sseoook!
A monster brought down an axe and broke the sculpture! Weed had to witness the sight of his work being smashed.
He had no choice but to endure it as monsters roamed around Antarosa. The monsters went away in the morning but only a few pieces of Weed’s sculpture could be seen.
“There is a problem with my work in this form.”
Weed decided to improve it.
He could make sculptures out of things other than stone!
At dusk before evening came.
Weed made his sculpture again.
Brilliant light stretched out from his hands and illuminated the sky! The flashy light was used to make a beautiful sculpture.
Moonlight Sculpting was very handy because he only needed to use a little bit on different sculptures. A sculpture made from light! The subtle gloss and luxurious colour added to a sculpture made it even more wonderful.
But this time he made it only out of light so it floated into the air.
Weed made the form of a barbarian warrior out of light.
“Won’t the light catch attention in the dark? I don’t want it to be too bright.”
He didn’t want it to be like an overly bright signboard.
“The monsters also like s.h.i.+ne. The colour nuance needs to be set.
Weed blended the silver and gold light of the Antarosa sky to carve the form of Bahamorg. He didn’t have enough time so it was a work he made in earnest. The sculpture was made in a rush but he was experienced with dealing with light.
The sculpture of Bahamorg was finished and floated in Antarosa’s sky.
“Now he will be recognized.”
Weed decided to wait comfortably. This time the monsters wouldn’t be able to destroy it.
“It is Weed’s sculpture.”
“Weed the G.o.d of War was here!”
The atmosphere at Antarosa was giddy as the adventurers saw the sculpture of light. They considered Weed as their idol.
While adventuring alone, they faced considerable hards.h.i.+ps. Just as they were frustrated and about to give up, Weed overcame many obstacles so he was their target.
“Where is he?”
“I wonder if a quest brought him here.”
“People are less interested in Antarosa these days but they will come flocking thanks to Weed-nim’s presence.”
The places where Weed went always ended up crowded with people. It was the same logic where people visited places that a celebrity did on television. s.h.i.+p captains sailed towards Jigolaths while tourism packages were released for other locations.
“Will he be in the area?”
“He probably already left. He always suddenly appears and vanishes. He might even be eating a steak in Morata.”
“That’s right, users of Royal Road often wonder about what he is doing.”
“He usually disguises himself to travel.”
The users never noticed when Weed was sitting in a tavern by himself. He had released Sculpture Transformation from his crow state but they still didn’t know. Just a little change in the parting of his hair was a perfect disguise!
In fact, sometimes his close companions were also surprised. He wore cool cloths and armour in battle but the durability would fall so he switched to beginners’ clothes when it was required and his atmosphere completely changed.
“This time has come.”
Weed finished his meal as evening approached. It was a little difficult to purchase food since so many people wandered the ruins. Adventurers also came to the tavern to obtain information from others.
Today instead of a crow, he would use Sculpture Transformation into a monster.