1) Scattered Subordinates
Monsters were wandering around the Barren Howling Ruins. There were non-violent zombies that walked around absent-mindedly like they had lost their souls.
‘Well, they look like they are level 300? But there seems to be a suspicious aura flowing around here.’
Weed hid behind a rock and a.n.a.lysed the monsters.
The features of high ranking monsters became clearer over time. For example, the skin would be a special colour or the monster would be ugly but it gave off a feeling of elegance.
However, here the monsters were just ugly. They were large and brutal. But the monsters were ugly due to the magic of the Embinyu Church flowing everywhere. The proportion of their body, head and arm wasn’t normal or they seemed weirdly threatening.
‘The level is low but there are plenty of them.’
Bizarre creatures were leaping.
Weed saw a crow flying from a distance towards the collapsed barriers.
When he first saw it, the crow was relatively normal despite being large. But soon its hair started falling like a bald eagle. The canines in its mouth grew to resemble those belonging to a vampire bat and the claws grew longer.
The moment it reached the barrier, it became a weird mix of a crow and dog. And it lost its spirit as it just roamed around the place.
‘It is quite dangerous. It is because of the aura of the Embinyu Church but… Anyway, this place is quite uncommon in the world.’
Weed waited quietly at the corner of the rock. A slow moving monster suddenly stopped and sniffed its nose. There was a lot of ground to cover so it would be tough to cross the barrier without being caught.
‘I need to clean up the ones near me as quickly as possible. So that no monsters will be drawn.’
The monsters wouldn’t move in a collective group like orcs or goblins. But they would immediately gather once there was a battle. They were tinged with the power of darkness so the creatures were instinctively hostile.
‘I need to wait for an opportunity and move slowly. Scout, move, hide, move, hide and repeat. I don’t know whether my subordinates will be able to do this well.’
Weed tried to grasp the terrain and atmosphere of this place. He had ten days for the quest so that was quite a short period of time. This was the final stage of the epic adventure to obtain the secret sculpting technique quest!
The quest difficult had gone up with every stage so this certainly wasn’t a lot of time. Even if he toiled for 10 days, the slightest mistake could cause him to fail in minutes. It was like a student studying for an exam tomorrow!
‘Anyway, I need to move. I need to go to a higher place to see the whole view. And the highest thing in the vicinity… That barrier.’
Monsters walking slowly!
Weed waited until a monster pa.s.sed by. And he dealt a surprise attack with the Extermination Sword.
If a knight hit from behind then they would experience a penalty to their fame and honour. There were also knights infamous for their ‘backstab’ attacks. But other professions didn’t care about dignity and could freely attack from behind. The thief profession made it their career to stab from the back!
|-You have dealt a critical blow!|
Weed’s level meant that an ordinary creature couldn’t withstand his strike.
He handled the monsters while moving a short distance. Wide area skills were used to quickly get rid of 6~8 gathered together.
“I…I heard a sound.”
If there was a disturbance than monsters would gather together. Weed sped off and hid again for another 10 minutes. The monsters here weren’t smart so they just moved according to their instincts.
Another loud sound would make them gather again like zombies. Whenever there was a collapsed barrier, he would deliberately cause a noise and then moved without making any sound. All their basic instincts were removed except for eating and killing.
‘The simple reactions can make this the best hunting ground.’
However, he couldn’t be careless. Things that moved on instinct could be really scary. They forgot their reason for living and would just bit and claw after pouncing.
If he made a fuss when fighting one monster then a whole group of enemies would come. There was no guarantee that the Embinyu Church wouldn’t come investigate. If he couldn’t grasp the topographic map then he might end up fighting knights.
‘I have to think of worst case scenarios.’
He didn’t fear fighting under any circ.u.mstances but Weed had no intention of fighting earnestly yet. His goal wasn’t the monsters around here.
‘I need to check for anything familiar!’
He moved carefully and climbed up the half collapsed stairs of the barrier that was his target.
|-You have arrived at an unknown barrier.
The barrier makes it impossible to feel comfortable.
Health will be exhausted by angry monsters.
If your health falls below 50,000 then you will immediately change into a monster.
The energy inside your body will be reduced by 23%.
When vitality falls below half, it will cause damage to your health.
An unexpected penalty!
“Hrmm, this isn’t good. And this is the worst terrain.”
A groan automatically slipped from Weed’s mouth as he pa.s.sed the barrier. There were many monsters below in the Barren Howling Ruins.
A river flowed in the direction of the Embinyu Church that contained dead bodies floating on it, causing a deeply rotten river where monsters swarmed. They gathered near the blackened river like ants swarming to honey.
There seemed to be hundreds of thousands of monsters along the river bank. It was like a monster fair where they raced to take the best place. There were various types of monsters here that couldn’t be seen throughout the entire continent.
He could fly through the sky but he needed to pa.s.s the rotten river. A poison mist was spread densely from the river. Flying monsters trying to cross the river would be touched by the poison mist and fall into the river.
Beyond these obstacles, arriving at the Embinyu walls was also a problem. Just like a sand dune, the walls of the fortress was higher than anything else. It wasn’t just rock but lined with thick steel as well. This made the walls so thick and firm that even a bronze giant’s attacks wouldn’t pulverize it.
The watchtowers that monitored the boundaries were also an issue. There were troops placed on the staircase of the tower that almost touched the sky. He didn’t know how he could invade under such tight surveillance.
This was a shrine for the Embinyu Church as well as a production base to make new monsters. It wasn’t visible but there were training grounds for monsters inside. The moment he was discovered, there would be a hornet’s nest of monsters ready to pounce.
“I’d rather go to the Bank of Korea to get rid of my gold bars.”
He felt a lot of misery. He was one person going against a country of a ma.s.sive scale.
“If I won the lottery three times in a row then I wouldn’t need to worry about money.”
He could only think of common sense methods that wouldn’t work! Even though Weed was the strongest human, he still suffered from a lot of limitations. The curse of the weak was that he couldn’t fight for a long time without a break.
He was proud of his power but it was unsure if he could face the Embinyu Army gathered here. And the enemies had the ultimate weapon, the Chaos Dragon. Ausollet was said to be especially strong and dangerous that even other dragons didn’t want to deal with him.
‘I have to stay calm. There has to be some options. And ten days. I need to use this time very well. I can only depend on myself.’
Weed looked around in other directions. The barrier continued to the left and the right. He was curious about how far it extended but there was no point in following the barrier.
There were many collapsed parts where monsters roamed. Weed looked towards the rear of the red wasteland. There was probably a kingdom filled with humans beyond the wasteland.
‘The exact location of this place… Judging by the location of the sun and the moon, it is the Wasteland of the Lost.’
The Wasteland of the Lost was a huge maze that connected the Central Continent to the Western Continent. Those that entered this place would endlessly wander until they died.
It was rumoured that legendary swords or armour were buried here along with riches so many adventurers lost their lives. That’s why the Wasteland of the Lost was one of the continent’s 10 Forbidden Zones.
“Uhh, no. I can’t stop here.”
Weed wanted to protect his reputation and this adventure was being broadcasted so he wanted to be successful.
An astronomical advertising revenue! He could make money by selling items obtained through adventuring and hunting but it wouldn’t compare to the profit made by the broadcasts.
Putting aside the money. Weed was now familiar with the rich and generous lifestyle so he didn’t want to be reminded of his hungry past. He recently earned a lot of money so luxury had permeated his body.
“I am no longer the same as I was in the past. I know how to spend money and my expenses have increased.”
He used to eat a spoonful of rice with ham and now he was eating like a middle cla.s.s person.
He washed with warm water from the boiler and even bough seasonal fruits from the market, an extravagance that would’ve previously caused an endless amount of criticism.
Ten days was both a long and a short time.
Weed spend a few hours moving along the collapsed barriers of the Barren Howling Ruins and arrived at the river.
Using the quiet!
“I have to find a way.”
A way to avoid the monsters, destroy the Sky Tower and get rid of the Chaos Dragon.
“I can do it. An idea has emerged. Calling Death Knight Van Hawk!”
|-The suspicious energy has prevented the summoning.|
Abyss Knight Van Hawk has returned to the original world. Van Hawk and Torido had already returned to the original time zone.
“The usable ones are gone.”
Then he needed a quicker way to navigate so that he could find his subordinates and Ah.e.l.lun.
“A monster. I don’t need to continue killing them while moving.”
Weed finally decided to use Sculpture Transformation.
Kang! Kang! Kang!
A piece similar to the monsters around here.
The right eye was unusually large and the thick jaw curved inwards. Running on four legs was faster so he developed specially muscular hind legs. Now he could escape through running if needed. The ears were large and s.p.a.cious so he could hear the sounds around him.
|-You have completed The Pony.
A roughly made, presentable pony.
Unfortunately, the pony lives an unhappy life because it can’t be free.
A piece made by a sculptor that travelled through time and s.p.a.ce.
Artistic Value: 30
If you keep this work then enormous historical value will be given.
Special Options: Luck will decrease by 65 when people look at his sculptor for more than 5 seconds.
|-The skill proficiency of Sculpting has improved.|
|-The skill proficiency of Handicraft has improved.|
A sculpture with special effects!
It wouldn’t be eating food so he made a skinny body that wouldn’t attract attention from the other creatures.
Weed had created a piece with a bizarre appearance but it closely followed the shapes of the monsters around here.
“I had plenty of time to master sculpting after my adventure. However, the Hermes Guild won’t leave me alone. Life is too short to be twisted like this. Sculpture Transformation!”
|-Sculpture Transformation has been used.
The infinite affection for sculpting makes the sculptor and statue resemble each other!
As a Sun Warrior, his body itself was beautiful and st.u.r.dy. He wore the best equipment obtained from the Salamander King that anyone would envy yet he was suddenly changed into a pony.
The form meant he couldn’t exert much combat power. Among the means of attack, the fatal blow was always a kick to the rear!
Weed curled the lips of the pony.
‘Well, it sounds good. I want to eat a carrot. I can finally understand Bactrian Camel’s mind.’
The pony stealthily descended the stairs of the barrier.
The monsters only glanced at him before turning their heads away.
‘That appearance is one of us.’
‘I don’t want you near me.’
Weed proudly walked along the barrier.
He had been given life by Weed and proudly fought for the desert.
When he was just born, many terrifying enemies threatened the safety but later it was calm. He obtained dozens of records of bravery while following Weed’s desert festival!
He was confident even after coming to the Barren Howling Ruins to defeat the Embinyu Church.
‘I want to obtain recognition for killing a high priest.’
He was a bodyguard and the loyalty of his subordinates was second to none. He came here alone but Warrior-2 bravely held his scimitar while staring at the enemy.
“Everybody bring it on!”
“I am Warrior-2 and I will kill all of you.”
He deliberately raised a fuss in order to attract the attention of the monsters.
As a result, hundreds of monsters concentrated their attacks on him! As an honourable desert warrior, Warrior-2 would clean up all the monsters in that place. He held an axe in his right hand and a spear in his left as he continuously struck the enemies. However, the increasingly loud uproar caused all the monsters nearby to gather.
|-You have been battered in the chest with horns.
Health is reduced.
A paralysis effect has occurred but try to overcome it.
|-You have been bitten on the shoulder.
Attack speed is reduced.
The continuous group attack of the monsters.
Despite Warrior-2’s pride in his health, he was forced to get tired and have his health reduced after fighting for a few hours.
Poison was spat and monsters damaged his body. He could defeat thousands of soldiers alone but the monsters here were severe.
Humans had overwhelmingly strong skills but their will could break easily while monsters just cared about attacking. And they spat poison. In addition, more monsters came constantly running out of the barrier to attack.
Beyond the barrier, the monsters that drank from the rotten river were level 400. And 5~6 of them jointly decreased Warrior-2’s health. Some of them ate the bodies of other monsters and quickly became stronger.
“As a warrior, I am happy to die fighting.”
He could run away but Warrior-2 stubbornly persisted in struggling in that place. The fighting spirit that wouldn’t subside despite being wounded by thousands of enemies! The dying Warrior-2 kept on attracting more monsters.
“Ah…there is no anger. However, I want to see Great Emperor before I die….”
Something happened when Warrior-2’s health fell to 10%. A pony was running at full speed in the distance. Another monster had found him.
‘This pathetic person! He doesn’t think at all. I gave you life yet you haven’t even eaten seaweed soup yet.’ (A traditional dish that Koreans eat on their birthdays).
The pony’s running speed was incredibly fast. Weed’s changed stats meant he had absolute ability in track and field.
He reached the place where the group of monsters were gathered and leapt up, jumping over the monsters’ heads. The front and hind legs pushed against a head, moving dozens of metres every time.
“Grrrrr, where… going.”
An enormous monster suddenly blocked the path in front of him and he jumped over it.
“Not yet… Fight… My strength…remaining.”
Weed was right in front of Warrior-2. Warrior-2’s body was full of wounds after hours of fighting and his knife was bent due to low durability.
A few more fights and the knife would be broken. Warrior-2 was a great warrior but he couldn’t endure without any weapons. The transformed Weed looked at Warrior-2 and grumbled.
“This is a really a place with all types of misfortunes. I became a ugly, monster like pony!”
“Eh? That rotten expression is very familiar… Don’t tell me you are Great Emperor-nim?”
Warrior-2 got on the transformed back. He briefly looked around and saw that they were surrounded by monsters.
It was close to impossible to find a place with no enemies in order to escape. Now both Weed and Warrior-2 would probably be buried here. Weed snorted and stomped his hind legs.
‘I need to believe in this lacking body.’
His heel kicked hard against the ground! He jumped into the air between the monsters. The superior agility enabled him to jump 4 or 5 times!
The extraordinary Weed moved like a horse with wings by stepping on the heads of the monsters. He broke through the encirclement of the monsters.
“Don’t miss the prey.”
The monsters pursued. It felt like a long distance marathon consisting of monsters was occurring!
Weed ran along the barrier while p.r.i.c.king his ears. He needed to be on guard for any potential monsters in front that would attack. In addition, there were some monsters chasing that wouldn’t give up. He avoided the large and small monsters as he ran through the Barren Howling Ruins.
It was 4 minutes until he found a pit under a wall.
Weed entered the pit while carrying Warrior-2. After a while, the monsters that had no intelligence just pa.s.sed by. They had no instincts so they just stumbled around in vain.
“W…why aren’t they here?”
“I don’t kno…w.”
The monsters lost motivation and started wandering around like a zombie. Weed had fully grasped the nature of the monsters here.
‘Dull and slow. But still dangerous.’
The level of the monsters was high enough to be a burden for general users. It wasn’t unreasonable for the kingdoms ruled by the prestigious guilds to led a force here to subjugate the area.
In many ways, even the Hermes Guild would find it tough. Weed’s body in his original time wouldn’t be able to face hundreds of them.
The health of the monsters was low but they attacked abnormally because they didn’t care about their bodies.
‘Well, despite that I’m not going to die.’
Even if he fought the monsters, Weed could still escape. The situation would become complicated if a bunch of monsters from the river moved or knights and priests emerged.
It would be an enormous combat power but Weed’s nimbleness meant it would be easy to escape if his life was in danger.
Weed cursed with the mouth of a pony.
“You incompetent b.a.s.t.a.r.d! Your life doesn’t belong to you. I don’t need a subordinate that insists on unnecessarily dying!”
“I’m sorry Great Emperor.”
“But the future is dark. The reaction of the others won’t be significantly different from yours.”
Thanks to all the dungeon exploration and hunting, Weed knew that the sculptural lifeforms have a fearless nature that wouldn’t back down.
He knew their versatility and the limits of their ability so apart from Zahab and Ah.e.l.lun, he became gloomy at the thought of his subordinates, except for Hestiger, dying.
It was like a senior citizen worrying about their children living to an old age.
‘I can’t bring this guy around on my back.’
Creatures didn’t care about Weed after he became a pony. Once they approached within 30 metres, there would be a rancid smell so they backed away.
He was inconspicuous compared to the wandering monsters so he could roam around with ease. However, if he carried a human warrior on his back then monsters would aim at him.
‘I wandered around so much and only found one person. I should try to find the other subordinates.’
Weed left Warrior-2 in the pit and continued searching. He searched until the sun went down but couldn’t find his other subordinates.
There were traces remaining of the monsters fighting someone but he couldn’t be sure if it was his men. Time was running out as he already searched around the barrier and pa.s.sed by the rotten river.
‘This is the fate of my subordinates.’
He could only hope that his subordinates found each other instead! He also didn’t know what to do with Warrior-2. Even with Warrior 2, he still couldn’t invade the location of the Embinyu Church.
“Well, I still have this!”
Weed took out the Sands of Time. If he looked at Nodulle’s adventure then he might obtain a good strategy.
Of course, just because he had an idea didn’t mean it would succeed.
“I need to make sure of the timing. If I save it then I might end up being bitter later. Sands of Time!”
The Sands of Time flowed down Weed’s hands.
|-Sands of Time.
Sands of Time, a mysterious sand that can recollect things.
A treasure from the southern desert that can look back in time.
It is possible to return to your original time to bring goods or people.
Just possessing it can give references to the past.
|-The Sands of Time can’t be used due to the encroaching evil magic.
The Sands of Time have become useless. It will disappear forever.