V50C6P1 Myul visit
As the leader of the Griffon Knights, he silently snuck into the Garnav Plain as the day of the battle got closer.
He applied the special fairies’ cream that subtly altered the shape of his face and the color of his skin. It was an expensive item that cost one thousand Gold per bottle, but he had a few bottles that he had once bought just for fun. He wanted to visit the Garnav Plain in person, to see the sight of the land bustling with the crowd and the ongoing festival.
“h.e.l.lo, we are Chicken Porridge squad. Please come and try our porridge.”
“c.o.c.kles Porridge group here. We’ve put both fried c.o.c.kles and seasoned c.o.c.kles in the porridge.”
“Ahem. I’m from Whale Porridge. Why don’t you have a bite, if you haven’t had lunch yet?”
The moment Myul approached the Garnav Plain, several users came to surround him.
‘H-how on earth did they know it’s me?’
At first he was startled, thinking that people had seen through his disguise, but fortunately those users were just the porridge promotion staff of the Gra.s.s Porridge Cult.
Myul, while slightly fl.u.s.tered, asked:
“Uh… so, how much is the porridge?”
“Um, it’s all free.”
“These are just samples, so we don’t take any money.”
There had been a lot of users who had rushed to the Garnav Plain in a great hurry from all across the Continent. Most of them had run all the way after they arrived at a point that was around a day’s travel from the plain, without even stopping to have a meal. For those users, each group of the Gra.s.s Porridge Cult had decided to form a porridge promotion unit which would provide some free food.
Excluding a few unusual cases such as Loach Porridge or Stone Porridge, many skilled chefs from each group had joined the promotion unit as there was a compet.i.tion to produce the best-tasting porridge of all.
Myul took a bowl of chicken porridge first, as it was his most preferred kind.
“Whoa. It’s really delicious! Very savory.”
Your strength will be temporarily increased by 3 points. >
The bonus increase in stats aside, what was far more incredible was the excellent taste of the porridge that filled his mouth the moment he put the spoon in.
“Hehehe. Chicken porridge is indeed the best, right? Everyone likes it.”
The Chicken Porridge member smiled proudly. It was the result of more than a thousand cooks researching together to find the most optimized recipe possible.
“Try our porridge this time!”
By eating a dish that has been prepared through skills and kind heart, your luck has been permanently increased by 1 point. >
All other kinds of porridge were also well worth having a taste. A smile appeared on Myul’s face, whose stomach was now full with various gra.s.s porridges.
“Thank you. But I cannot help but feel guilty for having all this excellent food for free.”
“Would you like to make a donation, then?”
“We have a collection box. This is part of the Versailles Continent Happiness Donation, with the purpose of supporting the war effort for the coming battle or helping novice users in general. We’re not forcing anyone to make a contribution, so don’t worry if you’d rather not pay.”
The collection boxes for this donation campaign, which had been founded by the Gra.s.s Porridge Cult, could be found in every city and town square of the Arpen Kingdom. For the convenience of the donators, some were even placed in government offices, castle gates and famous hunting grounds.
Making contributions was entirely up to the free will of the donators, and there were many users who benefitted from it. The collected money was used to lend basic equipment for cheap prices to the users who had just started playing Royal Road. If the novices showed a rapid progress and reached level 50, they could further rent more advanced gears without paying any interest for the first 3 months, no questions asked. Houses were built in the shantytowns and sold to those who needed them with dirt-cheap prices, and help was given to the inexperienced farmers whose crops were ruined or merchants who suffered heavy losses, due to disasters or monster a.s.saults.
The Happiness Donation box to rescue those who were going through a difficult and desperate time!
There was just one small issue: n.o.body knew exactly who the manager of those collection boxes was. Some said that they belonged to Mapan Store, and others claimed that Saintess Lemon herself managed the boxes. A few more skeptical people spread the rumor that the caretaker of those collected money was in fact Weed’s back pocket, but it was met with fierce refutation from those who saying that he would never do such a thing.
Myul nodded his head gladly.
“How much should I pay for donation?”
“There’s no ‘correct’ amount. Even if you give just 1 Copper, it’s the thought that counts.”
“Ah. I see.”
Myul put 100 Gold into the collection box, as his high prestige demanded.
‘Looks like they are working for the good of the Arpen Kingdom… this amount should be fine.’
Pa.s.sing through the entrance to the Garnav Plain, he walked towards the location where the festival was taking place. He was not intending to join the people in the sculpture construction site; he didn’t come all the way here only to do more physical work.
‘I hear music.’
In the festival site, there were more than three thousand bards playing their instruments. In the centre of that crowd of minstrels was another bard: Marey! The music led by him turned into a wild storm that flooded into the vast land.
♪♫♪ We sing
of victory, of glory, of love and future.
With a cheerful, merry heart,
with the courage we possess, we rise. ♪♫♪
♪♫♪ You, who sculpted the stars,
a.s.sembled the grounds,
and lead the people onwards… ♪♫♪
Marey was playing a harp. After he took the lead with his harp first, the rest of the bards playing all sorts of instruments followed in response, forming a giant harmony.
Myul thought he was beginning to understand how it feels to have music make his whole body tremble. The sound of the instruments, as intense and destructive as a fight in battlefield, and the sweet, gentle notes resembling a confession of love, mingled with the bard’s singing.
♪♫♪ The footsteps ahead, the traces of greatness,
put a warm smile on the faces of those
who follow them, hand in hand. ♪♫♪
♪♫♪ You who wishes to dream,
do not be afraid to answer the call of fate,
for we are not alone,
and will walk this path together. ♪♫♪
Whenever the music went on to the next movement, it felt as though he was experiencing the pa.s.sing of spring, summer, fall and winter compressed into an instant. The fact that this piece was being played by more than three thousand bards together was in itself amazing, but Marey’s play had the power to call forth real wind and rain… A performance that could summon large raindrops through music!
‘I’ve never seen anything like this before. This is not an ordinary performance skill… maybe it’s a Special Skill of Bards?’
The Bard Special Skill that was revealed to the world for the first time by Marey; it was Music in the Wilderness, a skill that could be used to perform in front of a large audience in an open, expansive place. The power of music ultimately relied on sound; one could not fully appreciate the music if they couldn’t hear it properly due to them being too far from the source. The Music in the Wilderness skill provided the audience with the crystal clear sound quality they would have if they were each wearing a set of extremely expensive, high-performance headphones. On top of that, by using this skill the performer could also conjure any stage effects they wanted such as lighting and rainstorm; they could even strike somebody in the audience with a bolt of lightning.
A rumbling sound of thunder, then… BOOM!! Ma.s.sive cracks of lightning struck across the sky, and dark clouds gathered, blocking off the suns.h.i.+ne. The power and intensity of this skill was determined by the performer’s affinity to nature, but this magical sight created by the bards was in itself magnificent to behold. As long as the bards kept on singing and playing, Music in the Wilderness would dominate the entire area. And there were currently three thousand bards all playing their instruments and harmonizing with Marey’s performance.
Marey and the rest of the bards raised their heads and let the falling raindrops splash on their faces.
Sing even louder!
You, who listen to the sound of forming wind,
the clear drops of water,
and the great tremor of the land… ♪♫♪
♪♫♪ Your pulsing souls burst
and shake the whole world. ♪♫♪
Raise your eyes and behold.
Let us all march in unison.
You, the people who share this time of miracle! ♪♫♪
As the bards’ performance was coming to an end, the clouds began to clear. At the same time, the rainstorm stopped and the sun came out again to s.h.i.+ne brilliantly, perhaps as a natural course of an effective stage directing.
The audience who had been completely mesmerized by the music also came to themselves. They soon noticed the land was full of beautiful flowers with various colors and shapes that had just sprouted out from the ground, which was yet another gift presented to them by the performers; a miracle that turned the whole area within the sound’s reach into a flower bed. To perform this one piece of music, all of the bards including Marey himself had completely depleted their mana.
The audience rose from their seats on the ground in a thunderous round of applause. Marey and the bards were filled with the overflowing joy from having played such a fantastic and thrilling piece.
A total of 812,239 people have listened to your music.
You have set a new record for the largest audience in the continent!
You have managed to elicit astoundingly positive reactions and praises from the audience. Currently 810,988 people have joined in a standing ovation.
Playful fairies and spirits are staring into s.p.a.ce dazedly, utterly enraptured. They seemed to have forgotten to even complain and chafe at everything as they were so wont to do. >
A message board popped up for Marey and the other bards; during usual street performances, bards were able to check their increased fame and skill proficiencies immediately after they finished a song. In case of a large-scale concert such as this, the amount of fame, stats and skill proficiencies they could gain depended on the reaction of the crowd.
Clap, clap, clap!
“This is such a moving song.”
“This is the most unforgettable piece of music I’ve heard in my whole life.”
The acclamations and praises had been continuing for more than ten minutes. Even as they stood to shower in the cheers of the crowd and confirm the success of their music, they felt a hot wave of emotion welling up in their heart.
‘Yes, this is it. This is why I became a bard.’
Singing songs, and playing musical instruments! Through sound and expressions, they could soothe the pain in people’s hearts, or laugh with them in joy.
‘I can’t help but love music.’
The pride in one’s profession!
Almost half of the bards were even beginning to tear up, overwhelmed by emotions. They wouldn’t have been able to imagine that such a glorious day would come to them when they first chose to become bards, practiced handling their instruments with their clumsy hands, and composed their first songs. It was one of those moments that turned their life into something so wonderful; a moment to forever cherish in their memory.
Twenty minutes had pa.s.sed in a flash, and Marey felt the necessity of calming down the still applauding crowd. As much as they loved to see people’s pa.s.sionate reaction to their music, they still had a lot of songs ahead in their playlist, and the night was too short. Rather than enjoying the audience’s cheers for any longer, they wanted to let people hear more of their music.
“We will begin with the next song. This is the first time we play this song in public, and the t.i.tle is ‘G.o.ddess of a Star’.”
Marey and the bards sat down once again and started playing their instruments. Silence fell on the Garnav Plain which had been full of excited and noisy sounds from the cheering audience just a second ago, and a quiet, tranquil melody began to flow. The various musical instruments were being played in harmony, creating such a pure and beautiful sound that seemed to cleanse the listeners’ ears.
Slowly the sky began to grow dark, but it was not due to dark clouds this time; night was falling. Sparkling stars embroidered the heaven in beautiful patterns. The Milky Way stretched out, a mystic veil of aurora streamed and green rays of light were spilling down from the sky.
“It’s begun again!”
The audience had to restrain themselves from making too much noise out of excitement. The beautiful sounds of music made by the instruments, in combination with the fantastic sceneries — it was a precious opportunity for the people to face their own happiness while being immersed in the music. As the new song began, Marey and the bards also got a chance to check the overall statistics they had achieved by playing the Song of Courage.
A standing ovation was given from 784,014 listeners, which lasted for 23 minutes and 19 seconds in total.
9,284 people were moved to tears, which were not easily stopped. >
By breaking the record for the greatest size of audience in the continent, your fame has increased by 83,193 points. >
The one who has claimed the hearts of countless people! This is a t.i.tle that only those who know how to speak and show through music can have. >
A long message window popped up to Marey who was playing the next song.
One characteristic of this profession was that a bard could rapidly gain an incredible amount of fame, even when compared to other artistic professions. Just by singing or playing instruments in cities and villages a bard’s fame easily increased by hundreds of points at once, provided that they were reasonably competent. But even so, Marey had never seen over 80,000 points of fame piling up, on top of all the increases in level and skill levels, after playing just a single piece of music.
‘It would have been impossible to have such a good opportunity if it hadn’t for Weed-nim.’
He wouldn’t have gotten a chance of holding such a miraculous concert anywhere outside the Garnav Plain.
The skill proficiency for Music in the Wilderness increased more rapidly as the size of the audience got larger. The various effects brought forth by the music would also grow more intense as more bards joined in to play. There were more than three thousand bards playing together, and an additional six thousands who had not yet joined the performance and were still practicing the pieces. The bards from the Northern Continent were not proficient in more than a couple of instruments, and their skills were still somewhat lacking. Nevertheless, the sight of them all trying their best to present the audience with a beautiful performance made Marey’s heart swell. On the day of the battle against the Hermes Guild, a total of ten thousand bards would put on a joint concert.
‘This sight, this music, and this happiness I feel… Royal Road is such a wonderful place.’
Marey played his instruments even more energetically. The performance of the bards who were experiencing similar feelings as Marey also began to echo through the crowd more profoundly.
(Continued on next part…)