[TL Note]: Small note since people seem to be misunderstanding something. Weed is making a sculpture of a star that will be seen in the Versailles Continent’s night sky, not an actual star.
Volume 46 chapter 8: ‘The G.o.ddess Hestia has given him a new opportunity. Use the power of the G.o.ds to create a sculpture of a star!’
It is just like any other sculpture he made, except he is making it in the universe.
Chapter 2: Baby Star
Luxury cars were parked in a row outside Lee Hyun’s house.
Not only Korean broadcasters, but gaming broadcasters around the world jumped on the popularity of Royal Road.
Major overseas broadcasting stations sent executives to engage in negotiations regarding the Sculpting Master Quest.
“I’m been here so often that I’m familiar with this street.”
“I even memorized the address.”
The station executives exchanged greetings with each other.
“Director Son-nim, your weekend ratings are quite high these days. The broadcast theme is also novel.”
“I tried out a new program where girl groups go on adventures. Featuring Morata also raises the ratings. They aren’t tired of pretty girl groups walking in such scenery.”
“That is very good. These days, singers also hold concerts in Royal Road. It is easy to find a place, stage devices, and an audience so it is better.”
“I know. The venues in Morata and Dawn City are already full for a year.”
“Can’t additional concert venues be made? Isn’t ORK Communications planning a venue in the Arpen Kingdom?”
“It seems they are busy with other constructions… There are many people in the north.”
Compet.i.tion with real singers was also a good thing.
A wide variety of singers and musicians created characters in Royal Road, competed with their singing skills as bards and became famous.
The reaction of the viewers was also hot and it was one of the crazes in the Arpen Kingdom.
The meeting time was 3 o’clock in the afternoon.
At a time exactly between lunch and dinner, the door to Lee Hyun’s house opened.
“Puppies, you grew up well.”
The station officials hurried to enter Lee Hyun’s house.
The employee of KMC Media brought expensive ribs for Lee Hyun’s dogs.
“Good. Eat a lot.”
Dogmeat and her puppies chewed at the ribs.
The staff of the other stations questioned what he was doing.
“Is that even necessary?”
“True. This isn’t the Joseon era where the dogs need to be greeted.”
The station officials smiled and entered the living room where Lee Hyun was waiting.
* * *
“Director Son, please sit here. Director Park, congratulations on your promotion. I have prepared comfortable seats for you.”
Lee Hyun’s house didn’t have a s.p.a.cious living room. Guests only occasionally came to visit so the number of chairs wasn’t enough.
“It won’t be comfortable but please sit down.”
Lee Hyun distributed cus.h.i.+ons for them to sit on the floor and the foreigners naturally accepted.
“Thank you, Mister Lee.”
However, the South Korean broadcasters waged a subtle psychological warfare over the cus.h.i.+ons.
The division of cus.h.i.+ons among the station officials seemed random but they had a common point.
‘I sat on the ground the last time I came here, but I sent him wild ginseng for New Year’s and this time I got a chair.’
‘My holiday gift set was poor. Kuooh. I received a cus.h.i.+on with holes due to the public relations department! Those guys!’
There was also a difference in the drinks Lee Hyun gave them.
Cold water was given to those who came for negotiations without any gifts.
Orange juice was given to those who gave gifts while entering.
Despite the orange juice being those sold at marts, those who didn’t receive it felt a subtle sense of deprivation.
‘I heard he was stingy but this…’
‘Fabulous. He gave me half a gla.s.s of orange juice! It means he liked the quality of the gift but the quant.i.ty was too little.’
‘I’m glad. My orange juice was filled up. The negotiating process will be a little better.’
The officials from the foreign broadcasting stations were laughing and having fun.
‘Weed? It feels like something is wrong. I thought he would harsher. Nice.’
And the broadcast contract that followed. Lee Hyun briefly described the quest that was currently in progress.
“As you might have known, I am on the Sculpting Master Quest. It is also the final step!”
The station officials rose from their seat.
The compet.i.tion to see who would become a master first was still ongoing. However, many abandoned the Master Quest before they were extremely difficult.
The amount of risks involved in the quest!
People didn’t want to lose their lives just to master a cla.s.s.
‘Weed the G.o.d of War, he is on the last stage of the Master Quest.’
‘The G.o.d of hard work.’
‘He is completing all the quests. He really looks ordinary… He is different from what he seems.’
‘A strong guy. CTS Media should have obtained a monopoly earlier.’
‘What type of people are the Koreans? The virtual reality world is being dominated by the South Koreans.’
Lee Hyun arrogantly looked at the station officials.
“But I’m not doing a general master quest. I arrived at this process after developing a new sculpting technique. Perhaps you will never see another sculpting master again. Kuuck. I felt both sorrow and regret.”
His memories and experiences were filled with hards.h.i.+ps, but there were occasionally nightmares.
Lee Hyun wasn’t uncomfortable but in order to create an atmosphere, he pinched his side and squeezed to form terms.
“Anyway, if this work is successful then I am likely to be the first master. Being the first to sculpt a star sculpture is also a separate thing. There are many viewers who want to see it.”
There was no need for a long explanation.
It was enough for the broadcasting stations to decide that high ratings were guaranteed.
‘This is good.’
‘It will be the best selling item.’
Weed’s quest always got high ratings.
Weed just making and selling sculptures in the market got 10% ratings so the audience for the master quest was certain.
‘Right now many users are watching the stars at night.’
‘The Gra.s.s Porridge Cult. They are big fans of Weed so we need to resolve their cravings. That is the only way we can stop the attacks on the bulletin boards.’
The bulletin boards for the broadcasting stations were occupied by viewers shouting.
It was a jackpot every time they showed Weed’s quests and hunting.
Approximately a year ago, the stations were sick of the gra.s.s porridge members commenting on the boards.
The administrator of the bulletin boards carried out a wide deletion of posts without looking at the contents. And the stations regretted it deeply afterwards.
The number of users on their site rapidly plummeted!
The Gra.s.s Porridge cult members were enthusiastic fans of Royal Road.
It hadn’t been long since they started Royal Road but they were more active.
Not only the activity on the internet site, but their ratings were also hurt.
Now the bulletin boards allowed the gra.s.s porridge members and they consisted of two thirds of the members.
Especially in South Korea.
Not only the major broadcasting stations a.s.sociated with Royal Road around the world, but all of the internet’s major sites were being taken over by the gra.s.s porridge members.
The gra.s.s porridge members actively engaged in social communities such as Weibo, Facebook and Twitter.
Reporters and entertainers frequently mentioned that they were members of the Gra.s.s Porridge Cult in articles and interviews.
Even a famous economic newspaper in Britain published an evaluation.
The Gra.s.s Porridge Cult revolutionized digital media.
The Gra.s.s Porridge Cult in Royal Road were born for freedom, adventure, and happiness.
As they had more fun playing, they were less concerned with cold reality.
The expansion of the Gra.s.s Porridge Cult was amazing.
More than a million people joined every day, and there was no limit on age and abilities.
Ordinary people joined the Gra.s.s Porridge Cult and there were many affiliated organizations.
The members were brave, diligent, dedicated to learning and developed their skills for a hopeful future.
The Gra.s.s Porridge Cult could be called a new leap forward in citizens.h.i.+p.
In addition, the influence of the Gra.s.s Porridge Cult on the economy couldn’t be ignored.
Worldwide department stores, outlets, airlines, hotels, amus.e.m.e.nt parks, mobile communication, and high end restaurants all offered members.h.i.+ps to the Gra.s.s Porridge Cult.
The services offered had no annual fee since all the members were loyal and friendly to each other.
Hundreds of companies and economic research inst.i.tutes studied the economic ripple effects of the Gra.s.s Porridge Cult.
-What if the Gra.s.s Porridge Cult starts a social networking service? Wouldn’t it be possible to dominate the global social networking market with hundreds of millions of users?
-What about opening a Gra.s.s Porridge broadcasting station?
-From station to fas.h.i.+on, children toys, sports, luxury goods, and mobile communication, it would be easy to market if the Gra.s.s Porridge’s brand is utilized.
[Global companies and research inst.i.tutes have foreseen a digital economic revolution based on virtual reality.
In addition, the doctrines of the Gra.s.s Porridge Cult are fully capable of opposing dictators.h.i.+ps in third world countries or becoming a political revolutionary force.]
The station officials had to reach a contract with Lee Hyun.
Lee Hyun handed out a piece of paper to them one by one.
“Write down any amount you want.”
…Director s.h.i.+n of New Management Media received the paper first.
“Write down an amount?”
“The contract will be decided through an auction. Regardless of the country or broadcasting share, I will only deal with the seven companies that offer the highest amounts. There will be no restrictions on the number of times it is broadcasted a day and I will get the average industry royalties.”
The station officials thought furiously as they accepted the pieces of paper.
‘How much should I write?’
‘The price will definitely rise. The major stations will definitely try.’
‘There will be plenty of profit on my investment. Especially considering the ads that companies will place on our stations. But what is the proper amount to write down? The problem is the other broadcasting stations.’
While the station officials were troubled, Lee Hyun calmly continued.
“You should also give me 15% of the advertising for the live broadcasts and replays.”
“It is an important part that has to be acknowledged.”
The station officials wrote the maximum amount that was possible.
The broadcasters from the United States, China and j.a.pan had many viewers and were willing to pay a large sum.
The domestic broadcasters, including KMC Media who had the highest average ratings, immediately decided on the spot.
Lee Hyun handed out business cards to the station officials who were going to leave.
Unlike normal business cards that contained a name and position, Lee Hyun’s was different.
Lee Hyun: 5th October
Seo-yoon: 22nd April
Lee Hye-yeon: 9th July
Grandmother: 7th January
“What is this?”
The director of KMC Media took the business card and asked.
“The birthdays in my family. It would be good if you remember these days.”
Lee Hyun had the upper hand against the broadcasting stations.
* * *
Weed decided to temporarily name the star sculpture.
“How about B612?”
The star in the Little Prince!
He saw the name in a storybook he read as a child.
“Um. But the times had changed. Let’s call it by a simpler name, Baby Star.”
It was a rounded star sculpture that hadn’t been properly shaped.
Although it was immense, it was just one of the many stars in the universe when viewed from a distance.
It wasn’t a blue planet with white clouds like Earth, and the features other than minerals were difficult to distinguish.
“It has to look good.”
It was habit to take out Zahab’s sculpting knife but stopped when he saw that it didn’t make a dent in the huge size.
Even a disaster would only cause a small scratch.
“Let’s do it.”
Weed moved away and held both hands in front of him.
A firestorm rose in both hands.
Hestia had the power to melt anything.
He threw the firestorm towards the baby star from 10,000km away.
At first, the baby star had no response but the surface soon turned red and started to melt.
“When I was a child, I wanted something like this.”
Weed was deeply satisfied.
He remembered when some neighbourhood children tried to cook sweet potatoes after lighting some rotten twigs.
Now he obtained a fire that could burn something the size of a planet!
Moreover, he felt a sense of accomplishment after working a few hours.
“But what should I make? It is really the last piece before becoming sculpting master.”
Weed lost some energy as he became lost in thought.
Sculpting was a field of art with limitations like any other field.
He needed to think of new ideas within those limits.
“There is a feeling of burden from creating a star sculpture in s.p.a.ce. There is always risk when it involved a new area.”
The size and materials were beyond the existing limitations of sculptures, but there were still some constraints.
The stage was too large so he couldn’t make an ordinary sculpture.
“It needs to be a sculpture that suits the universe. I have to make sure it matches the light and background. What type of star would be cool?”
In the middle of the universe, he couldn’t hear a sound so he felt lonely.
While living in the world, he sometimes felt like he was alone but there would always be a person if he opened the door.
In the universe, the physical distances between objects were very far apart.
“At a minimum, I have to create a Magnum Opus.”
The burden on Weed’s shoulders was heavy. However, he didn’t worry about it for too long.
It was the final piece before becoming a sculpting master.
If so, it would be best to make the sculpture that he wanted to make.
“At this moment, the sculpture I most want to make… It is clear.”
A sly smile appeared on Weed’s mouth.
It wasn’t much different from his usual rotten smile.
It was a smile like if he won the lottery when there was a 1 in 100 chance.
* * *
“Shush. He is making it. The appearance of the star has changed a little bit.”
“What differences are there? I’m curious.”
“If you are curious then watch it on the television. Kyaah. A really nice sculpture will emerge.”
The people in every city on the Versailles Continent was looking up at the night sky.
The squares were crowded with people eating and drinking while watching the sky, and users were also crowded on the terraces.
A small number of users were curious and went to the Archer’s Guild to learn eyesight skills.
Mapan’s Trading Company were able to buy a large number of telescopes and earn extra money from selling them.
Many users on the Versailles Continent watched as Weed made his baby star sculpture.
For a few days, a large chunk of the surface was cut and melted away.
Users watched as the top right corner of the star formed a round watermelon shape.
“The last sculpture will be of a person.”
“Then the target is the G.o.ddess?”
“It is likely. If a star in the night sky is in the shape of a G.o.ddess… I can see that face every night. Kyah. Take it.”
“Perfect. I really don’t want anything else.”
G.o.ddess Hestia and Freya were famous on the Versailles Continent, but they were already pushed back.
People called the G.o.ddess of the Gra.s.s Porridge Cult just the ‘G.o.ddess.’
The Ice Beauty sculpture was a famous sightseeing spot where hundreds of thousands of pilgrims visited every day.
The Arpen Kingdom was a place of art and culture, with many paintings and sculptures.
Many sculptors and painters imitated Weed’s sculpture, and G.o.ddess Seo-yoon was a fantasy and a dream.
A number of sculptors tried to sculpt Seo-yoon but were frustrated by the attempts.
“N-no. It doesn’t even express a tenth of her beauty.”
“It looks roughly similar… Why don’t I feel anything? There isn’t enough emotion. The sculpture I made is just like a machine.”
The members of the Gra.s.s Porridge Cult were filled with expectations as they watched the stars in the night sky.
“If the G.o.ddess becomes a star, then the Arpen Kingdom will never perish. I will wait every night.”
“Kuooh. Martyrdrom, martyrdom.”
The viewers could only see the right side of the star being sculpted. The shoulders were narrow and the round part that was probably the head was being trimmed.
“This is nonsense. G.o.ddess-nim doesn’t have such a big head.”
“The sculpture has a simple form. Won’t he refine it afterwards? It is just the beginning to the eyes, nose and mouth.”
“From the beginning, it is impossible to sculpt a perfect figure. However, Weed has often made sculptures of G.o.ddess-nim.”
“We will be able to see G.o.ddess-nim’s charm through Weed’s quest. That is the only way her original beauty can be expressed.”
“Yes. It is already beyond the scope of art.”
“After seeing G.o.ddess-nim, I felt my soul changing.”
The thick and rounded shoulders were out of proportion with the head size. As short legs and a plump upper body were created, the users of the Versailles Continent became confused.
“It isn’t the G.o.ddess?”
“How can that be? Is Weed-nim betraying us at such a crucial moment?”
Apart from the Gra.s.s Porridge Cult, Weed’s anti-cafe already had 100 million members.
-t.i.tle: A pet.i.tion against Weed’s sculpture.
Weed doesn’t seem to be carving the G.o.ddess.
Isn’t this frivolous behaviour?
It is an opportunity to create a sculpture of the G.o.ddess that will always s.h.i.+ne on the continent.
Life is short.
I can only feel completely happy and restful when seeing the G.o.ddess.
A statue of the G.o.ddess can’t be replaced and will bring joy and happiness to millions of people.
Weed has become drunk on his success and betrayed us.
This unscrupulous act deserves condemnation. But we will give him another chance, even if we hate him.
If he stops making this sculpture and starts sculpting G.o.ddess-nim then we will forgive Weed.
The Versailles Continent was sad at not being able to see Seo-yoon’s legendary beauty.
Weed continued making the sculpture.
“Shouldn’t there a pure feeling? A wide smile? Um… I need to decide on the gender. It can’t be reversed if I continue sculpting any more.”
Weed planned the sculpture but the size was too big and there were many variables.
The approximate form was there but he didn’t know how to sculpt it specifically.
“It resembles Seo-yoon to some extent. I need to give off a similar feeling.”
Chubby little hands, short legs.
A relatively large upper body and head.
Only the general form of the sculpture was created.
“Eh, I don’t know. I will just follow what I feel. As the image comes into my head… I can’t decide. In the end, this is the answer.”
The flames continued to melt the sculpture.
He recalled all the pretty and beautiful scenes in the world.
However, when he thought about Seo-yoon, affectionate and cute were the words that popped up.
Someone lovable with thick cheeks and small chin.
“The gender is a girl. It is hard to choose between a son or daughter. Still, I think that a daughter would be more beautiful.”
Weed was making a sculpture of a baby. Was there anything as beautiful or sacred as the birth of another life?
The sculpture would completely change depending on a boy or girl, but he chose a daughter.
“There is a saying that the firstborn being a daughter will bring fortune to the family.”
There would be a bond as the child grew up.
It was hard for most humans to live a hundred years. In the meantime, their time was consumed with studying, working, loving, and living in this world.
They felt joy, sorrow, anger, and thankfulness.
Bringing a baby into that life was valuable.
Young babies grew up differently.
They learned to turn over their bodies, crawl, and speak in the arms of their mother and father.
In his poor days, Weed had imagined the future while looking after his sister.
‘Can someone like me get married and have a family?’
He could only sigh in those days.
The value of diapers and milk formula seemed too expensive.
‘I don’t want to love without any money. This is too hard. I would rather live alone than hurt anyone else.’
Being unable to love due to a lack of money was a natural reality to Weed.
‘I can’t like a person because of money. I can’t bear it.’
Weed often saw parents holding onto the hands of their children who were smiling brightly.
When a man and woman met and fell in love, they got married, would have children and grow old together.
It was an ordinary routine but a young baby could be called a marvel of love and happiness.
‘I have to overcome the price of milk formula and diapers. I need to be firmly decided before embarking on this path.’
Weed dreamed of raising a baby in the future with his love. He wanted to make a lot of money in order to live happily with people.
‘My heart needs to be determined in order to make a really good sculpture.’
* * *
Seo-yoon was busy managing the Arpen Kingdom.
As commerce developed throughout the Northern Continent and the borders widened due to cultural influences, there were many trivial things to pay attention to.
No matter how much money was raised, it was used sparingly and the population of the wide kingdom was growing exponentially.
Depending on how the policies were implemented, development would total change.
Seo-yoon asked Lee Hyun to act in his place.
“Give me permission to manage the Arpen Kingdom.”
“What and how much?”
“Administrative, judicial, the budget, and military rights.”
“It is just like being the ruler.”
“I will do it well.”
“Surely you aren’t thinking of spending all the money in the Arpen Kingdom?”
Lee Hyun looked at her with suspicion.
Seo-yoon didn’t reply.
Therefore, Weed’s imagination ran wild.
“Making a backroom deal with the Haven Empire or sell places like Morata, Dawn City, and Puhol Water Park. Or selling 50 pyeong real estate. Becoming rich with money…”
Lee Hyun’s imagination ended there.
Seo-yoon was living right next door and she didn’t have a reason to do that.
In addition to property, she had plenty of money so there was no reason to do so.
She was able to earn money with only a few appearances on television.
“I understand. I will allow it.”
Seo-yoon took the position of a queen and proceeded with appointing lords for small villages.
She didn’t raise her level in the hunting grounds but her contribution to the development of the Arpen Kingdom was great.
She was busy with a lot of work in Royal Road, but Seo-yoon was also interested in Lee Hyun’s everyday life.
She heard stories about how he delivered strawberry milk and newspapers at dawn in order to live.
She knew that Lee Hyun wouldn’t eat if left alone.
She even fed Dogmeat and the puppies.
The number of puppies kept on increasing.
Seo-yoon was especially interested in Lee Hyun’s sculpture in Royal Road.
The memories of his sculptures were vivid.
She had seen him make a sculpture many times.
They were the best gifts that Lee Hyun gave her.
‘Will he make a sculpture of me to become the sculpting master?’
She waited for the day when the sculpture would be completed.
Carving her figure in the sky would be a romantic and wonderful gift.
‘I won’t ask him directly. I will wait. But…’
Seo-yoon entered the capsule and connected to Royal Road.
Seo-yoon sent a whisper to Mapan as soon as she entered.
Seo-yoon was also a G.o.ddess to Mapan.
“I need a large telescope to see the sky.”
-Ah… Yes. I understand. I will contact the best blacksmiths to produce it.
“Do it quickly.”
-Yes. What is the budget you are thinking of? It is okay to receive the money afterwards.
“2 million gold.”
“I’ll pay with my money. Please make a large telescope that allows me to see clearly with 2 million gold.”
Seo-yoon’s face was red with antic.i.p.ation.
She waited for the large telescope she had commissioned.
She stared up at the night sky every night.
Seo-yoon temporarily bought a small telescope so that she could see the star Weed was sculpting.
The appearance of the star was gradually revealed, but it didn’t look like her.
Seo-yoon quietly picked up a sword and headed to a dungeon.
She wiped away all the monsters in a high level dungeon.
The characteristics of a berserker meant she wasn’t tired from hunting all night, as she blew away all strong enemies.
If this was a long time ago then she would have finished her hunting.
“…It is still lacking.”
Seo-yoon swept away seven dungeons.
It also affected reality.
Seo-yoon had been taking care of the food for Lee Hyun and Lee Hye-yeon.
Lee Hyun didn’t say anything but she always bought great ingredients at the market and cooked for him.
Now there was no pork in the kimchi stew and the boiled eggs that were the highlight in tteokbokki were gone.
There was only strawberry milk in the fridge and she didn’t give any snacks to Dogmeat.
“Oppa. What did you do wrong?”
“I don’t know.”
“There has to be something. I think it is really important.”
Seo-yoon didn’t speak and kept her head down when she went to the market.
As she pa.s.sed, the traders gathered together and chattered.
“Lee Hyun. What did that crazy guy do?”
“It must be something unscrupulous. I don’t have any doubts.”
“Is there another woman?”
“Don’t tell me… Cheating on her?”
“People don’t know what can happen.”
In the whole neighbourhood, public criticism towards Lee Hyun was rising.
The bright image that Seo-yoon usually showed was gone.
And then Seo-yoon looked up at the night sky in Royal Road. She was still curious about what sculpture was being made.
She absolutely wished that it wasn’t the appearance of another woman.
‘That looks like… A Baby?’
The head was sculpted and the ratio was a bit strange originally. Once the body was created, the feeling of a cute baby became clear.
The face was still being sculpted, but the eyes and mouth were smiling. The baby had a cute, innocent, and playful expression.
‘And… It looks like me. The eyes and mouth…’
Seo-yoon stared into the telescope for a really long time.
The next day, Lee Hyun’s dinner was eel, abalone, octopus, and ginseng chicken soup.