Chapter 1: Beginning of a Star
A huge and infinite universe with a hot sun and a sea of stars.
For the final stage of the Sculpting Master Quest, Weed left the Versailles Continent and the planet and was standing in the middle of the universe.
“The scale is awesome!”
The stars in the night sky of Royal Road had become sharper and the visibility extended to distant areas.
Large and small meteors with long tails were endlessly flying past him at unimaginable speeds.
In far distant places, he could see gas and dust forming a blue nebula that shone brilliantly among the stars.
There were infinite mysteries in s.p.a.ce and beyond.
He was free from the gravity of the planet containing the Versailles Continent as Weed floated alone in s.p.a.ce.
The feeling of entering the universe made Weed feel more lonely than usual.
“If they saw such a scene then people might not bother with such trivial affairs.”
Man, time, area, age.
It seemed to go beyond all these limitations.
The moon and the planets in the solar system seemed much larger.
“Humans have only been living in a very narrow area.”
They were tens of times larger than the planet that contained the Versailles Continent and some could only be seen through satellites.
If people could see the universe with their eyes then they would have no choice but to change.
Weed’s body trembled.
“It is an honour to make a sculpture in s.p.a.ce.”
Beauty. Splendour. Mystique.
These were things that people throughout history have yearned for in s.p.a.ce. They were always looking up but couldn’t go to that world. On a small planet, humans dreamed about taking a step into the universe.
Weed had entered the universe but would have to leave after his task.
“Ahem. I shouldn’t have dozed off in science cla.s.s. Then I would have been more aware of the universe.”
He needed to know more about the universe and the stars!
It was highly likely that the current situation would be broadcasted.
‘I need to look more cool. Some management is needed due to my popularity with the fans.’
Weed was surprised to see the sun, moon and planets up close for the first time.
“This is the first great step for mankind…”
He had heard those words somewhere before. The real key was what came next.
“In the end, humans will enter a wider world. And there will be real estate agents in Gangnam who will be buying and selling planets!”
There was no law that rent couldn’t be received from the infinitely wide universe!
Becoming the owner of a planet would be superior to owning a building.
There was an endless sea of stars in this black s.p.a.ce.
It was fascinatingly scary, beautiful and wondrous.
Weed was deeply impressed by the universe for 3 minutes, but he soon returned to his usual sensibility.
“If s.p.a.ce is implemented in Royal Road…”
Weed’s head was a bit confused.
Adventures in a new world.
There were many of the 10 forbidden zones still unexplored by humans. Yet he couldn’t lift this feeling.
“Surely there won’t be adventures in s.p.a.ce one day?”
Weed eyed the big and vast s.p.a.ce.
There were numerous stars and different colours.
It wouldn’t be so bad if only one planet was developed here.
“If there is another planet like the Versailles Continent with extremely developed magic to open a dimensional door… There might be several alien species or humans living on another world. Hey. That can’t be. It probably isn’t to that extent. Yes. That’s right.”
* * *
Somewhere unknown in the s.p.a.cious universe.
“Pukudarab malris.h.i.+ adakaide?”
“Allasap allasap! Hori allasap. Mo guri jebada 300kiri!”
“Puha sunjed rami?”
* * *
According to G.o.ddess Hestia’s request, Weed needed to decide the position of the star.
“I need to make a sculpture. It will commemorate my trip into the universe, and money can be received from shooting advertis.e.m.e.nts or books.”
There was no meaning in making a star if it couldn’t be seen from the Versailles Continent. However, placing it in a position overlooking the Versailles Continent would disturb the moon.
“But the moon will move.”
He couldn’t rule out that there might be a conflict with his star and the moon.
“Just setting it down anywhere in s.p.a.ce is illegal parking.”
Weed went further into s.p.a.ce.
The planets were moving around s.h.i.+ning suns.
It was strange to feel himself moving away from the beautiful blue planet that contained the Versailles Continent.
It was like leaving behind a bag full of money.
“I need to make it in a moderately remote place.”
Weed flew away from the Versailles Continent towards the sea of stars.
His speed meant light was flowing quickly past him like in the movies.
The beautiful galaxy sparkled like jewels in front of him.
“This sight… Well. Is this why people spend a lot of money to enter the universe? Looking at an unknown world feels like I can escape from the constraints of humans.”
There were twelve planets around the sun.
Weed approached an unknown red, crystal planet. He needed to keep something in mind.
‘Rabbits or cats living here… I might get quests.’
The probability was 0.1% but he had to check.
However, it was just a huge planet full of stony sand when he got close to it.
He felt an awful loneliness looking at the wide stars without any other lifeforms around.
Weed pa.s.sed through the solar system and settled in a large, outlying area.
Finding the right position outside the planets required considerable time and observation.
He had to avoid the orbit of the planets around the sun and consider the meteorites moving around in s.p.a.ce.
Weed needed to make a star that would s.h.i.+ne in the night sky of the Versailles Continent!
“It is quite far away so I need to make it bigger for it to be seen.”
It was a fairly large area on the outskirts of the solar system without any stars.
Weed closed his eyes for a moment.
‘I can finally become a sculpting master at last. This quest can’t fail. I have suffered so much in the past.’
Weed used a skill that was unprecedented in the history of Royal Road.
“Create a star!”
A mysterious white light shone in outer s.p.a.ce. And a message window floated.
|-Are you sure you want to create a star in this area?
You must configure the shape, materials and size of the star. This skill can only be used once.
“I will make it.”
Creating a star.
He could change the size and shape by hand.
There was a round ball of light.
Weed grabbed it and stretched it to the left and right like when he used to play with his sister’s ball.
It stretched out easily like a rubber ball.
Even if he only pulled one side and not both sides, the centre continued to grow.
Originally it was the size of a ball, but it soon grew to a few hundred metres. Moreover, it continued to grow as he wanted.
“If this continues then I’ll make a really big sculpture. What size is appropriate?”
It was better to have large land!
14 pyeong to 17 pyeong apartments were in the limelight last year. But if the cost of living was cheap, no one would want to live in such a narrow apartment.
He wanted to make a star billions of times larger than the Versailles Continent.
“I’m aiming for a super large sculpture again.”
Weed grasped the light and stretched it out again.
Bingryong and the King Hydra were like dust compared to the size of the star sculpture.
Even small pieces of dust couldn’t be seen in the vast galaxy.
He didn’t know how far Royal Road extended but he was able to make it to his desired size.
“I have been thinking completely wrong. Where is the romance when looking up at the night sky? In order to become a sculpting master, I need to create the best star!”
A gigantic star that could be seen in the night sky.
“What is romance or artistry? A sculpting master should be able to carve something heavy and big. An immense size!”
Weed held on to the light and started to fly. The goal was to make it as big as possible.
* * *
Yoo Byung-jin sometimes thought the world was unreasonable, but recently he had often been thinking of eating a hamburger with cocoa.
He felt happy seeing Weed make a star sculpture on the screen.
The sculpture reflected the culture, history, and human emotion system of Royal Road.
All the artworks, techniques, artists, and human experiences were entered into a database and the value for a sculpture was automatically determined.
The history of Royal Road, the sculptor’s personal experience and records were also measured.
“It is why sculpting is one of the hardest professions to master… Anyway, he had reached the last step.”
Yoo Byung-jin regarded Weed.
He had earned enough money to live well and enjoyed great popularity.
Yoo Byung-jin was bored and decided to have the artificial intelligence a.n.a.lyze Seo-yoon.
-You want me to a.n.a.lyze her beauty?
“Yes. I wonder what type of beauty she is. I have never seen such beauty in my life.”
-There are many criteria for different people, species and countries.
“Reflect the standards of all countries and people.”
– I will start a.n.a.lyzing her external beauty, genes, and characteristics such as wisdom and character.
A normal artificial intelligence would take a few days.
In addition to measuring several values for beauty, it also a.n.a.lyzed beautiful photographs, videos of people on the Internet, people’s reactions and broadcast materials.
-After evaluating Earth’s basis of beauty, Jung Seo-yoon takes first place.
-She has most of the good characteristics including intelligence and her genes are excellent.
In terms of evolution, she has genetics four generations ahead of modern humanity. In particular, her beauty is the best in Asia, America, Europe, Africa and South America. 99.967% of all men considered Seo-yoon as the best beauty.
“What about the rest?”
-They are vision impaired or have terribly unique tastes.
“Regardless of age?”
-From young boys playing with toys to elderly men, they consistently regarded Seo-yoon as the best beauty.
“It is hard to believe. Any specific examples?”
-There is a 98% chance that young children under two years old will stop crying when they see Seo-yoon. There was an actual image test, where 454 children at the market stopped crying as soon as they saw Seo-yoon. The actual probability of this occurrence is 100%.
“There must be an error. Try again.”
The artificial intelligence spoke again after doing dozens of calculations.
-I have verified it through all the databases. She is the most beautiful beauty born in the last 70 years.
“Was there someone more beautiful prior to that?”
-Judgements about beauty vary depending on the era. I can’t a.n.a.lyze it due to the lack of data, but she is the best beauty in the last 70 years.
Yoo Byung-jin sighed deeply.
“She is too good for Weed.”
-That isn’t necessarily the case, Doctor-nim. Until Seo-yoon met Weed, her beauty was approximately 1 or 2 generations ahead.
“Then she has become more beautiful?”
“It doesn’t seem like there is a big change.”
-The beauty is in the details.
Yoo Byung-jin was dubious as he watched the sculpture being created.
“He doesn’t have a specific theme and is just making it bigger. Can it be that unplanned?”
He wanted to slowly wait for the last step of the quest but he decided to ask the artificial intelligence.
“Will Weed really succeed in becoming a master? Won’t it be the first in Royal Road? It won’t be easy to make a piece that would satisfy Hestia. He needs to make a magnum opus.”
-He will succeed.
“The odds are?”
“It is very high. The basis?”
-Weed’s temperament means he will not miss such an opportunity. And there is a 97% chance that his work will be related to Seo-yoon.
“Then he will definitely become a sculpting master.”
* * *
Weed’s light grew significantly large.
The size wasn’t visible from close view, so he had to fly far away in s.p.a.ce to see the whole of it.
“It looks smaller than the other stars around… No. It should be bigger.”
It needed to have a clear presence that could be seen clearly from a distant s.p.a.ce!
A light that would never fade among the many stars.
“A star should be big and bright.
He remembered from high school science cla.s.s that big and bright stars were several times larger.
In particular, the sun was hundreds of times larger than all the planets in the solar system combined.
“The size will override everything. Yes.”
In order to confirm it, Weed sent a whisper to Mapan.
“Mapan-nim, are you busy now?”
-No. Please speak.
“Is it night over there?”
Depending on the region, the sun would rise and fall at different times on the Versailles Continent.
-Yes, it is evening. I am in the vicinity of Aren Castle, the capital of the Haven Empire. Kekeke.
-Where is Weed-nim now and why are you asking if it is night?
Mapan was curious about Weed.
Weed normally blocked the whisper function when he was hunting and questing.
Of course, after hunting with Weed for a week, many of his colleagues turned off the whisper function in order to get some sleep.
“Look at the sky.”
-Um… I can’t see anything because it is night. Are you in Aren Castle?
“Not Aren Castle, but a little further. Look at the sky.”
-Are you riding on Wy-3 or Bingryong?
“No, not the sky but much further away. Do you see a s.h.i.+ning star in the north?”
-See… Oh. There is a big star. It is the first time I’ve seen such a bright one.
“I am there.”
-Huh? Are you in that direction?
“Nope. I’m next to the star.”
-I’m sorry but I don’t understand. Can you tell me exactly where you are again?
“Right now I’m in the middle of the universe.
-Cough! What are you doing there?
“I am making a star.”
After he finished panicking, Mapan pa.s.sed on the necessary information to him.
He checked every detail about how big and bright the star looked, as well as the constellations in the periphery.
If Weed’s sculpture was buried or shrouded by the surrounding stars then he would consider it a serious failure.
-But why do you have a quest to create a star?
“The sculpture is for the final stage of my Sculpting Master Quest.”
-I’m really envious.
-It is really great
“It isn’t a big deal.”
-I respect you. Please continue to take care of me in the future.
“It is nothing.”
-Congratulations in advance on becoming a sculpting master. You’ll become the first master on the continent. But if you don’t mind answering… What do you intend?
“A star that s.h.i.+nes brilliantly at night.”
Weed also sent a whisper to Yurin.
“Pretty little sister who I love.”
-What is it? Do you want me to boil ramyun?
“I want you to go to a place in Royal Road.”
“I want you to move to several places with Picture Teleportation. Please travel to different regions around the world and draw a picture of the night sky.”
Painting 100 images was hard work.
-I understand, Oppa. Give me until tomorrow.
It wasn’t that much work for Weed’s sister.
By default, Yurin did things like the flooring, cement mixing and installation of the toilet.
She also shoveled the ground in the back yard when he asked.
“Bury it deeply. Hehe.”
Even his sister found it creepy how eager Weed was to sell land.
‘You will need to meet a good man later. My sister can’t get blood on her hands.’
* * *
Lee Hyun left the capsule and saw the images Lee Hye-yeon drew on the monitor.
Even though the regions were different, most of the images were similar.
“There isn’t much difference in the constellations of the Versailles Continent. The star… I need to create the sculpture.”
It needed to have a big, bright presence as well as match the surrounding stars.
It would illuminate the night sky in a romantic manner.
People would open their minds and feel happiness as they watched the starry sky on a cool evening.
“Happiness is close if you open your minds.”
He was very pleased when he lived on a monthly rent of 250,000 won then when he moved to a rented house with a deposit of 10 million won and a monthly rent of 230,000 won.
There is a difference in the toilet and bathroom tiles.
“It can be seen from the north of Morata. The location is good. Something is still missing. What is it?”
Lee Hyun ate rice with Seo-yoon before going back into the capsule.
* * *
Weed decided the size of the sculpture after considering the size and brightness of the surrounding stars.
Except for the moon, it would be the largest and brightest.
“Unfortunately, this isn’t enough. I have to consider processing it.”
Weed felt something lacking but decided up to this size was satisfactory.
In fact, it looked small if distance wasn’t taken into account. However, if compared directly, it was big enough to crush the moon.
The size of the star had been determined.
He could choose five major minerals to make up the materials.
The minerals he chose would become more abundant.
Weed’s quest window showed the details of various minerals and stones. If a geology professor saw it then their eyes would widen. All the metals and minerals on the planet as well as in the universe were cla.s.sified.
It was a small portion of the amazing technology that made up Royal Road!
“The stones are all here. Why are there so much?”
In Weed’s case, he skipped past most common minerals and headed to the precious metals.
“It is really here.”
He could pick things such as gold or diamonds.
“A planet full of gems… Kya. This is truly a luxurious land speculation.”
A sculpting master needed to make magnum opus, but he couldn’t resist the temptation of land speculation.
It was impossible for a cat to pa.s.s by an opened can of tuna.
“There will be diamonds. Given the standards of the star, three or four diamond mountains should be enough.”
Diamonds were determined.
“I also need gold. It would be awesome to have gold rivers and sea flowing.”
Gold was also decided.
“And the value… Ruby. Won’t the plains feel warm if they are made out of rubies?”
Rubies were also decided.
“At this point, I need to think about the overall balance and harmony. Sapphires and platinum. Sapphire hills and platinum valleys would be great.”
Sapphires had been determined.
Platinum was also decided.
The five precious materials that made up Weed’s star!
At this point, becoming the sculpting master wouldn’t be a problem.
The jewels on this planet were worth tens of thousands of times those present on the Versailles Continent.
“I need to raise my level diligently. One day I will come back to this place.”
Weed was filled with ambition to conquer the universe.
* * *
A back alley in Aren Castle.
Late at night, local merchants flocked to the slums.
“I came to buy olives.”
“Whose invitation did you come with?”
“Owner Pahal of the weapons store told me.”
“I see. You came at just the right moment. These are fresh items. Huhuhu.”
“You can trust me. It is the finest quality. Look at it and decide.”
The local merchants entered an underground warehouse stacked with olives and various dried fruits before shouting in delight.
“Kyah. This is the first time I’ve seen so many groceries.”
“Mapan’s Trading Company… Not only do we supply generous quant.i.ties, we are also distributing them at a low price. We encourage you to buy as much as you want!”
Mapan’s Trading Company!
They made a huge fortune from the war and Puhol Water Park.
In order to widen their influence, the company had entered the Aren Castle in the Haven Empire.
They brought in cheap, quality goods from the north to the Central Continent, and supplied them at a cheap price to the local merchants.
|-The trade is a success.
Merchant Jenta’s satisfaction is very high.
Fame has increased by 20.
Intimacy, influence and tax evasion!
In the Central Continent, Mapan’s influence was spreading despite the lowered taxes.
There was a minimal profit margin but Mapan’s Trading Company grew like mushrooms.
“Buying goods made by craftsmen of the Haven Empire.”
“This margin is less than the purchase price.”
The merchant users questioned Mapan.
Mapan’s success story was close to legendary, but they couldn’t understand Mapan’s reason for trading when there was a deficit.
“Get to know the artisans. No matter if they are NPCs or users.”
“Can’t we buy things without getting acquainted?”
“Our purpose isn’t to buy things. It is to get the people.”
“We need to get people to come to the Northern Continent.”
A terrifying plan to spread the influence of the north through the trading company!
Early in the Central Continent, technology development and the economy flourished.
Despite being hit for a while by the wars, their roots went deep.
Mapan had a secret meeting with Weed after Puhol Water Park was created.
A meeting at night where no one could see them!
“Give 50,000 gold for every artisan higher than level 200.”
“Well. That is too much.”
“I am also taking risks. How about 30,000 gold?”
“Think about the amount of time and money needed.”
Weed and Mapan had a tense eye fight.
The first to blink would be defeated!
But as always, Mapan was the first to be defeated.
“Kuhok. I will accept it.”
Mapan’s Trading Company had plans to attract all the worthy NPCS in the Central Continent. Mapan’s company extended their business into human trafficking.
* * *
In Royal Road, it was popular to hunt at night.
By default, there was no distinction between day and night in the dungeons. However, the animals became more energetic at night.
Even if they didn’t have a hunter’s cla.s.s that received more experience and loot at night, they couldn’t give up hunting.
Users couldn’t hunt for 24 hours like Weed so they wanted the highest efficiency.
“Over there. I have something to confess.”
There was a couple sitting on the walls of the Earth Palace.
They were a male magician and female swordswoman.
It was common for couples to hunt together.
The male magician was about to say something when the female pointed towards the sky.
“Look over there.”
“What is it? Did a wyvern pa.s.s by?”
Avians were common in Morata and seeing wyverns could be considered a lucky day.
The man was about to say ‘of course there will be a star’ when he raised his head. And he was surprised. A bright star approximately half the size of the moon was visible in the north direction.
“What is that?”
“It is the first time I have seen such a star. It certainly wasn’t there a few days ago.”
At that time, people from every corner of the Versailles Continent was talking about the s.h.i.+ning star.
Users in the fields, mountains, rivers and cities looked up at the sky.
The same was true for captain and pirates sailing in the seas.
“What is that star?”
“It is weird. Is there a quest going on?”
There were many legends and mysteries in Royal Road.
The users felt a little excited.
In modern society, it was hard to see the night sky due to the pollution and smoke.
The only things that shone in the night sky were satellites and airplanes!
When hunting at night in Royal Road, it was romantic to see the glistening stars in the night sky like jewels. Even if they didn’t go to scenic places, the best place for a date was under the clear night sky. Lovers especially liked to see the night view of beautiful cities like Morata or Dawn City. And the residents started to speak.
“The oracles at the Temples of Hestia have received a message.”
“Do you feel it? A great birth is coming. It is a nice surprise after a long time.”
The users ran to the Temple of Hestia in each area.
The users were full of questions for the Hestia priests.
“What is it? What is it going to be?”
“What type of oracle?”
The NPC high priest said to the people.
“G.o.ddess Hestia is testing the best artist this world has ever produced.”
The users in the temple muttered as soon as they heard the high priest’s words.
Weed was the only person who could do such a thing.
The bard Murray politely asked.
“High priest, what is the best artist doing?”
“In an infinitely wide s.p.a.ce, the artist is making a single piece with the power of G.o.ddess Hestia. He is on an adventure that will give the biggest honour and achievements…”
“He really is on an adventure. This! I can’t miss this chance to make a great song. Oh, this is a sculpting quest.”
Murray felt regret while the users were filled with envy.
“He is making a sculpture in the universe. Amazing.”
“A lot of fame is needed in order to receive a legendary quest like this.”
“The dimension is completely different.”
“Weed. He is still hiding like a rodent.”
“Ah. He is far away from the Hermes Guild.”
The star s.h.i.+ning in the night sky became famous among the users.
High level archers with magnificent eyesight could see the star through telescopes and magicians also had similar observation spells.
“Eagle eye magic that will show you Weed’s star. Only 2 gold!”
There were long lines of users outside every magician business in the cities.
The prices of telescopes surged by more than ten times.
“Have you heard the news? Weed’s star sculpture is s.h.i.+ning in the north.”
“Does that make sense? Making a sculpture in the sky.”
“It isn’t the sky but the universe? Making a star sculpture. He will become a sculpting master.”
Rumours about Weed’s adventure spread throughout the Versailles Continent in a few hours.
Regardless of cities or fields, the users looked up at the sky.
“What is that? It seems to be s.h.i.+ning even brighter.”
“Is that gold? An gorgeous gemstone star.”
“So I’m told. I think the result will be really huge.”