Chapter 4: The North’s Largest Construction
Yellowy pulled a large plow and dug at the land.
The warrior Gernika, Vindex, Seville etc., had picked up shovels and were digging the earth.
It was the grand plan to direct the Miros River to Fort Puhol!
Goldman, Golden Bird and Silver Bird helped to split apart the rocks while the wyverns carried bundles.
The wyverns were carrying bundles of sand.
All the sculptural lifeforms had been mobilized to work.
Death Worm and the King Hydra were changing the flow of the river by pouring enormous amounts of soil and stones into the river.
The sculptural lifeforms were being used as construction workers.
“As you can now see, Weed is orchestrating something. I wonder what his plan is?”
“Weed’s subordinates have emerged after the battle. Looking at this video from an avian, it seems like they are trying to change the direction of Miros River towards Puhol Fortress.”
The stations delivered the news in real time.
The bulletin boards that became quiet after the battle at Puhol Fortress heated up again.
-What is it? What is going on?
-I wonder if another battle will take place at Puhol Fortress. Is he digging waterways in preparation for a future battle with the Haven Empire?
-The amount of water seems too large to building a waterway near the fortress.
-I have been a builder for 21 years. That construction is on a national level. A minimum of billions of won would be required.
Weed’s work attracted the attention of the viewers and broadcasting stations, so the connection rate to Royal Road increased.
The northern users celebrating at Puhol Fortress were surprised to hear the news.
“Hey, he really is working.”
“It seems like they are digging a lot of land.”
Death Worm was digging up a lot of earth while the King Hydra was pus.h.i.+ng it. The dirt was piled up like a mountain!
At that moment, a message window simultaneously popped up in front of all northern users.
|-Miros River Construction Site
King Weed of the Arpen Kingdom is planning a huge civil engineering project.
Create a new waterway from Miros River to Puhol Fortress!
Those who take part in the kingdom’s civil engineering project will be given public achievements in correspondence with their work.
Level of Difficulty: Kingdom Quest.
Compensation: National achievement, fame.
Quest Restrictions: Limited to those who belong to the Arpen Kingdom.
Murderers are unable to partic.i.p.ate.
Limited to 5 million people.
The northern users were surprised as they saw the contents of the message window.
“5 million people can partic.i.p.ate in a kingdom quest?”
“Ah, I should do it. I have been bored since there are no Grand Buildings being created. My whole body has become muscular after all that labour.”
“The construction of the statue comes to mind.”
“Achievements in the Arpen Kingdom… It is important to be active in the north. Should I dig the ground or carry the soil?”
Those who started in the Arpen Kingdom had some experience with labour.
It was difficult work if they did it alone, but hundreds of thousands of people partic.i.p.ated!
“I am tired of drinking and playing. It would be good to sweat a little bit. Such things are precious in life…”
“Huhu. Let’s build up some achievements.”
|-There are 83,190 construction workers gathered at Miros River.|
After a few seconds.
|-There are 893,192 construction workers gathered at Miros River.|
By that evening, 5 million people had registered.
There were many users who survived the war, and a lot of them were only drinking and eating at Puhol Fortress.
“But I have no equipment… Don’t I need a shovel or a cart?”
Mysterious things often happened in the Arpen Kingdom.
Once certain goods were needed, a trading company would appear like ghosts.
“Mapan’s trading company has come quickly. We are selling pickaxes and bull-drawn wagons for a cheap price. The volume is limited so come quickly! Please note that exchanges, repair requests or refunds are not permitted.”
The price of a pickaxe was 30 silver and the wagon was 20 gold!
The selling price was 40 times that of stores in Morata. It was a rip off but users bought it without complaints.
They instantly ran out of stock despite many people waiting in line.
After a while, Mapan’s trading company would start selling the pickaxes and wagons again.
“We hastily bought some additional volume. A lot of money was given to middle-tier companies so this is the lowest I can sell it at. One pickaxe for 56 silver, a wagon is 35 gold!”
The stock ran out a 2nd, 3rd and 4th time as they kept raising prices!
At first, the users thought it was expensive but they took the price raise for granted due to lack of stock.
Of course, this was all occurring in accordance to Weed and Mapan’s plan.
“In the first and second sales, only sell 5% of the stock. After raising the prices, sell a whole bunch.”
“As expected from Weed-nim. I still have many things to learn as a merchant. But won’t I be cursed at if I keep selling? The image of Mapan’s trading company is also important if I want to continue doing business.”
“After selling half of it, give it to the middlemen. Once enough of them are sold, the price of the pickaxes and wagons will naturally increase. They will eat it instead of cursing.”
“It really is Weed-nim!”
“Politics is like this.”
The two people colluded to rip off the users partic.i.p.ating in the kingdom quest.
The northern users diligently dug at the soil.
They had a special affection for this after completing a Grand Building.
The broadcasting stations also covered the labour, despite the heat.
Someone who had worked on the Rosenheim Kingdom’s pyramid with Weed said.
“One person is killed and that person is a murderer. Then why is someone called a hero for killing millions of people? It is the same with labour. Creating a big thing is really rewarding. A bit of hard work can build something. There is no task that doesn’t require diligence. Of course, I have a month’s worth of laundry piled up but here I am diligent. It is really miraculous.”
Among the northern users, there were many people connected to Royal Road who worked diligently.
It was because they had firsthand experience with Grand Buildings and urban construction.
They moved their hands and feet and did what was required.
Weed had numerous achievements as a sculptor so they were proud just partic.i.p.ating in his quest.
Weed made the people withdraw from Puhol Fortress.
“I have to create the popular sculpture.”
He intended to use Nature Sculpting for water based rides.
They were large sculptures that people could touch and play on, instead of just watching.
The problem was that Weed had never gone to a water park.
He only saw the people playing on the news.
“I wonder. How can I create fun rides that people will pay an admission fee for every day?”
Numerous residents and users watched him work.
“Weed, the G.o.d of War!”
“Kya. It is the first time I’ve seen the real thing. I need to brag to my friends.”
“But I wouldn’t have known him if I pa.s.sed him in the street.”
“Yes. It is normal to forget after looking away for a while.”
The gathered crowd surpa.s.sed that of a popular celebrity by hundreds of times!
Normally Weed was doing business in the square but now the crowd didn’t want to disturb him.
Thousands of avian users were watching from the sky.
Weed nodded after a while.
“I roughly know what a water park feels like.”
When he saw it on the television, there was a water slide from a high up place.
He had also experienced water slides through Kendellev in the dwarven city of Kuroso.
He remembered learning Elemental Sculpting after watching Kendellev’s natural sculptures.
“When I saw it on television, the screaming women and children were very happy.”
Weed use Nature Sculpting. Water rising from underground became sculpting material.
There was no specific difficulties in getting it to retain its shape.
“Kendellev’s slide was fun but it was too low. It needs to be higher to make up for the expensive price.”
Experience and imagination were important. Of course, the entire landscape needed to be considered as well.
An amus.e.m.e.nt park needed to be something beautiful and fun so that visitors would easily open their wallets!
It was possible with Weed’s art stat.
He made a water slide that was 600 metres high and linked the water to it.
It wasn’t just a simple slide!
There was a water dragon that referenced Bingryong!
The whole body was a slide while the head and tail were the places where the water came down.
Weed was able to work on it with the help of Light Wings.
“That is Weed-nim’s sculpture.”
“Unbelievably fast. It is marvelous how such a rough work could turn into that.”
“It is all about experience.”
“Perhaps he is making rides for all of us. s.h.i.+ning in the sun…”
The crowd grew over time and there were already a few million.
It was like Weed was holding a concert.
“Good. I don’t need to promote it separately.”
After the battle of Puhol Fortress, the broadcasting stations competed over Weed’s new sculpture.
It was only a matter of time until this emerged as a new attraction for the northern users.
It took approximately 10 hours to make a water slide that was 650 metres tall.
His meals were easily resolved with barley bread and he didn’t take a break.
“There is so much to do. Now I need to make money, not play.”
It was like finding money on the ground or scratching the lottery card!
His sculpting skill was close to master level and his art stat high enough that the scale of the water sculpture didn’t matter.
They would slide down the dragon’s back and it would suddenly twist around like a rollercoaster.
There was a section where five heels rotated diagonally within the body of the dragon.
“I think this feels like an amus.e.m.e.nt park.”
He used Kendellev’s water sculptures as references.
There was a slippery part in the middle where birds of water would come flying, as well as a part where they would pa.s.s through a rainbow that was a sculpture of light.
They were able to pa.s.s through beautiful fountains and small tunnels of rain.
“The appearance seems plausible but I feel some unease… I have never gone on even one ride.”
|-Please set the name of the new sculpture.|
“The Dragon Slide. Calling it a dragon makes it seem expensive. It is perfect for ripping people off.”
|-Dragon Slide is correct?|
|-Masterpiece! Dragon Slide has been completed!
Sculpting combined with nature has once again created a great work.
The purpose of this magnificent dragon sculpture seems to be a facility to play on.
The nature spirits and majestic dragon will give pleasure to many creatures.
Of course, it is so large that some will dislike it.
Artistic Value: 8,280.
Anyone who sees Dragon Slide will have their health and mana recovery increased by 36% for three days.
-Affinity to water has permanently increased by 0.4%.
-There will be more rain in this area.
-Maximum vitality +15%. All stats will increase by 21.
-The emergence rate of monsters will reduce by 21%.
-Dragons who discover this sculpture will become hostile.
Current number of Masterpieces created: 29
|-The skill proficiency of Sculpting has improved.
-Fame has increased by 451.
-Perseverance has increased by 2.
-Strength has increased by 1.
-Art has increased by 1.
-Maximum health has increased by 150.
-All stats will gain an additional 3 points for making a Masterpiece sculpture.
-The skill proficiency of Time Sculpting has improved.
-Affinity to Nature has increased by 14.
“A good start.”
Weed’s sculpting proficiency increased by 0.1%.
It was a masterpiece sculpture and he still hadn’t used the helium and Museum of Time.
“Only 0.9% remains until the end.”
Weed only though about mastering sculpting for a moment before turning his mind to earning money from the water park.
“This big dragon slide will make money and there will be other small rides. The best rides will raise awareness of the water park.”
He imagined thousands of people standing in line and paying for the services.
On weekends, a parking war would take place among the bull and horse users.
“The avians can just fly in. Will they pay the admission fee?”
Weed was very worried about the avians not paying any money.
The solution was simple.
“I will post magicians and archers. They will shoot anything that flies in the sky.”
This was the truth of life.
In the meantime, the reaction of the crowd was very hot.
“Kuwaaaah. Amazing. I’ve never seen a slide of that scale before.”
“That is a ridiculous size. It seems like the sculpture is a facility for fun.”
“Is this a reward for our hard work against the Haven Empire?”
“Of course. I don’t know Weed-nim but making it for money… Absolutely not.”
“Isn’t he a miser? I always thought that.”
“Never. He invested all his money in the Northern Continent and even lowered taxes for us. How can you not know this?”
“Even now, he is too embarra.s.sed to say thank you so he is making this for us.”
The response of the crowd was very favourable.
As king of the Arpen Kingdom, he had a lot of authority.
Even if Weed wanted to become the ruler of the Northern Continent, it would be hard to find anyone protesting.
Nevertheless, he always treated the northern users humbly. Only selling sculptures for 1 gold and never losing his service oriented spirit!
At that moment, someone in the crowd shouted.
“Excuse me! Can we really ride the Dragon Slide?”
Although it might be a ride, it was questionable because it could damage the sculpture.
Weed loudly replied.
“Of course. I made it so that people will ride it.”
“We can ride it?”
“Hooray! Let’s make a line.”
A line immediately formed behind the Dragon Slide. It didn’t seem to end. The long line circled Puhol Fortress and extended beyond the plains.
Weed was on the spiral staircase of the slide to greet the customers directly.
“Weed-nim. I am a user called Soft Tofu from Morata. Do you remember?”
Weed searched through his memories.
His friends, seniors, juniors and customers were stored in a vast area.
“Didn’t you buy a fox statue for 7 gold last time?”
“That’s right. You remembered. I even belong to the Arpen Kingdom’s army. I’ve engaged in combat. However, I died three times.”
“But I heard that you sold sculptures for 1 gold.”
“It was a premium fox sculpture that I sold to you.”
“The tail fell off that evening. There are witnesses.”
Weed couldn’t think of anything to say. However, sculptures already sold couldn’t be exchanged or given refunds.
That was the basic principle of an unscrupulous merchant!
“The water slide is 7 gold, but I will only accept 3 gold from you.”
“I also need to pay for this?”
“Still, that is a large discount.”
“It is special treatment.”
“Thank you. I am your lifelong fan.”
Soft Tofu easily handed over 3 gold.
There were too many users waiting in line so he couldn’t waste any more time.
Besides, this was the large sculpture that Weed had diligently created.
Soft Tofu paid 3 gold and sat on the dragon’s head.
“This is an honour… I will remember this day until I die.”
“I am always thankful to Soft Tofu-nim.”
“So I’ll be departing.”
It was a water sculpture so water was always flowing.
Soft Tofu vigorously slid down.
He opened his arms wide and screamed with joy.
Approximately 3 seconds later, Weed and Soft Tofu realized something at the same time.
Water was steeply flowing from the dragon’s head.
Soft Tofu slid down the water at a horrific speed. He was briefly stunned as he rose 40 metres in the air at a bend.
Fortunately, he didn’t fly off but dropped once again onto the water slide. However, there was a tremendous acceleration along the flowing water.
“Not so fast!”
Soft Tofu tried to grab onto something but he couldn’t.
It was sculpted smoothly so he had no luck.
In fact, there were no safety devices at all due to the cost and preserving the beauty of the work.
Soft Tofu accelerated and rotated like it was a roller coaster. He fell down from the sky and bounced back and forth on the slide.
Finally, it was the wild fun zone!
He pa.s.sed through a section that consisted of puddles of water.
“There it is! A special fun place!”
Weed’s intention was a place where something like water skiing was possible.
In reality, Soft Tofu head was pushed into the water and he was repelled by the repulsive force.
At that time, birds made from water came flying at Soft Tofu’s face.
A facial blow!
|-Health has decreased by 541.|
Fortunately, their speed was a little bit slow. After pa.s.sing through the rainbow made from Moonlight Sculpting, Soft Tofu reached the second stage.
The dragon was built to be able to jump between the centre of the structure he created.
“Please let me out!”
Soft Tofu was in the air for a while before landing on the opposite side.
His facing forward position had long been broken. Now he was rolling forwards and sometimes backwards.
It became a h.e.l.l slide in one minute!
Soft Tofu almost died as he emerged from the bottom of the dragon.
Soft Tofu’s body shook as he landed on the ground.
The watching crowd was sweating.
“It finally finished.”
“Isn’t the ride too severe? Is he dead?”
“It looks like fun. I will risk my life to ride it.”
Weed had an awkward expression.
When he watched it on television, he heard people’s impression of the rides.
“I didn’t really think at the time. It is really fun!”
The expensive price was reasonable. That’s why they didn’t mind giving their money.
Therefore, he had set up a secret device.
“Maybe it will work?”
If it wasn’t broken then it would work nicely.
Soon a stream of water rose from underneath Soft Tofu into the sky.
Soft Tofu’s body floated due to the pressure of the water.
He once again entered the middle part of the dragon’s body. It was the beginning of the best slope and rotation segment.
“N-no! I would rather you kill me.”
An expression of deep despair filled Soft Tofu’s face.
Weed ignored him and said to the next customer.
“I guess there is still a bit of trial and error.”
“Just a little bit?”
“There might be some customers who feel uncomfortable. Just like not everyone likes tteokbokki. From now on, I will only charge one gold.”
Thanks to Soft Tofu’s sacrifice, the price of the Dragon Slide was determined to be one gold.
This ride has a small risk, so there will be no refund even if you are afraid of heights or water.
* * *
Weed used the water from Miros River to create a large number of water sculptures at Puhol Fortress.
It consisted of water sculptures, commemorative sets of the orc Karichwi and things from his adventures.
The sculptures were like Weed’s biography.
“I need to maximize the real estate prices here.”
The Arpen Kingdom was still developing but people couldn’t help feeling worried.
The atmosphere had completely changed at the broadcasting stations.
There was a discussion talking about the Arpen Kingdom’s crisis.
-The battle was won but… The greatest weakness of the Arpen Kingdom has continued to be revealed. They have too much reliance on users.
-Isn’t it good that the northern users are tightly bound together?
-It will become different in the future. The Haven Empire’s policy has changed.
The Haven Empire has settled the rebellions thanks to policies such as tax cuts and the free admission fees.
The users of the Central Continent have lost the reason to leave their hometown and come to the north.
The Arpen Kingdom has a free and pioneering spirit but the long journey is uncomfortable.
Of course, there are still players with unpleasant feelings towards the Hermes Guild. However, the influx of people to the north has been cut in half.
New users are the main axis of the Arpen Kingdom but the numbers starting in the Central Continent has risen by 40%.
There are many reasons to live in the Haven Empire, including numerous developed cities, stable trading, hunting grounds, guilds and stores.
The impetus for new users to start in the Arpen Kingdom has been greatly reduced, making it certain that the miraculous growth rate of the north will fall.
-The users of the Arpen Kingdom will think this as well. There is no need to absolutely follow King Weed.
-I don’t think the support up to now will change.
-Yes, of course. There is a great affection for the Arpen Kingdom so they are unwilling to invade. But there is the possibility that many will scatter to the Haven Empire.
The northern army. Now the northern users might not gather to conquer the Haven Empire.
In other words, the northern users would play the role of defense but it woud be difficult to incite them to attack.
The Hermes Guild lowering the taxes had controlled the rebels and blocked one third of the northern users’ mentality.
-But things aren’t that simple. Who is the king of the Arpen Kingdom? Weed, the G.o.d of War. It is possible that he will show a miracle that goes against common sense.
-Weed might be able to galvanize the users with a speech. Maybe his great eloquence will lead the northern users to invade the Haven Empire. However, such behavior will cause reactions in the future.
-The Hermes Guild will use all their strength to fight and if the north loses the war, it will be hard for them to stand up again. Weed’s leaders.h.i.+p will suffer a big blow. The crowd that would gather if the Haven Empire invades will be reduced.
-What it they win?
-An invasion isn’t easy. If it doesn’t end at once… The northern users will decrease with every battle and how long will the weary soldiers be able to fight? In the end, it is likely to get worse.
It had only been a few days since the victory at Puhol Fortress but there were already negative reports about the Arpen Kingdom.
Weed watched similar stories on the news until he lost interest.
“The Hermes Guild is guiding public opinion.”
It was easy for the Hermes Guild to bribe users to talk about the Central Continent’s dominance.
Wars on the Versailles Continent wasn’t only won through military force.
The Hermes Guild wanted to neutralize the northern users’ effectiveness.
“It might be that way but… The Hermes Guild is also affected. Many people are aiming for them.”
The myth of the Hermes Guild was already cracked.
Weed had broken the Haven Empire in an ordinary way.
A large picture had already been drawn all over the Versailles Continent.
“The Hermes Guild has learnt one thing from failure. A dictators.h.i.+p is needed after completely conquering the continent.”
A corrupt ruler’s dream!
* * *
The dwarf Fabio was challenging to become a master blacksmith.
He was producing numerous weapons and equipment for the Hermes Guild when he received a whisper.
“It has been a while. Have you been doing well?”
Fabio welcomed him happily.
He built up a considerable relations.h.i.+p in the dwarf kingdom Thor.
Despite his relations.h.i.+p with the Hermes Guild, he had no qualms about keeping in touch with Weed.
Even if his goal wasn’t to conquer the continent, he had large ambition as a blacksmith.
“It has been almost a year since our last contact. Sometimes you blocked me when I tried to talk.”
-Weed: Has it already been that long?
“Last time I contacted you was to brag about an armour I made.”
-Weed: The world is like that. The equipment created by Fabio made the Hermes Guild stronger.
“Yes. But I know that you sold a lot of equipment this time.”
Weed had sold Fabio’s weapons and armour at the auction.
It was fine as long they are weren’t pa.s.sed directly from Fabio’s hands.
They were loot obtained from hunting the Hermes Guild users in the north.
There would be a high price compet.i.tion every time an item appeared at auction.
It was Fabio’s work and something that a Hermes Guild user worn.
In the past, it was a sin just to take an equipment that the Hermes Guild user had lost. It was natural since they had tight control over the Central Continent.
Now, the Hermes Guild couldn’t act like that because they had to consider the reaction of users.
Of course, the northern users boasted of having them, even if the equipment couldn’t be used yet.
-Weed: They sold for a more expensive price than I thought. I am receiving a lot of help from Fabio’s popularity and abilities.
“It’s not the way I wanted but I’m glad you are satisfied.”
-Weed: I still have a psychological shock from buying the 200 won more expensive salt.
“Hmm hmm. What is your purpose in contacting me this time?”
Fabio asked with interest.
He didn’t believe that Weed was 100% as innocent as he appeared on the broadcasts.
He had no interest in the northern war but he was aware of Weed’s nature.
‘I know that he isn’t afraid of dishonourable methods. He might contact me for a ridiculous request.’
So far, he never asked Fabio to stop helping the Hermes Guild or to come to the north.
Weed had definitely contacted him for some blacksmith advice or a deal.
-Weed: Have you ever heard of helium?
G.o.d’s metal, a source of pure mana.
Fabio was a blacksmith so he had naturally heard of the material before.
He swallowed his saliva and quickly spoke.
“I won’t ask how you know about helium. That doesn’t matter. Do you have some now?”
-Weed: Of course.
“I’m envious. Sincerely.”
At first glance, it would be a waste to use helium for a sculpture.
Fabio had respect for Weed’s job so he didn’t say it.
“Did you contact me just to inform me that you obtained helium?”
-Weed: I can’t eat all the expensive barley bread by myself. I would like to receive Fabio’s help with the helium…
“If I can help… Tell me the specifics.”
-Weed: Refining and making something out of the helium.
“Refining is a basic method required to process the material but… Are you making a sword or armour?”
-Weed: Of course.
‘Making something with helium.’
Fabio made a decision in his heart.
He had to accept the collaboration at any cost.
As a blacksmith, he had 0.4% left in his proficiency.
Despite making tens of thousands of swords and armour, the final proficiency percentages didn’t climb.
‘Something is strange. Why can’t I reach master level?’
He had made enough weapons and armour.
He judged that it wasn’t something as simple as making more.
Maybe it was because he hadn’t touched the best materials such as helium.
He had seen Weed mastering swordsmans.h.i.+p during his quest.
He mastered the skill through repeated hunting as well as struggling against the strongest monsters.
It felt like he couldn’t achieve master level by simply sitting here and producing good quality work.
Fabio quickly made a deal.
“What do you want? I will give you everything I can.”
-Weed: I intend to make a sword with the helium. Come to where I am and help me make it.
“Do you mean the Arpen Kingdom?”
-Weed: Yes. I want pay the necessary costs for your help making me the best weapon out of helium.
Fabio was the continent’s leading blacksmith.
He was satisfied with this much.
“Is that really it?”
-Weed: My equipment isn’t free. I have some blacksmith materials from the Hermes Guild that I want you to process for me.
“I understand. Please don’t hand it over to anyone else.”
It would take a long time to get to the north so Fabio immediately prepared for travelling.
It was a situation where he thought he might be able to become a master.
Weed also contacted Herman.
He was an excellent blacksmith who liked to make swords. It wouldn’t be long until he reached the master level.
-Weed: I am creating a sword out of helium. Please come and help me.
“I understand. I’ll be right there”
Herman also quit his job and headed towards Puhol Fortress where Weed was.