The Legendary Moonlight Sculptor

 
 
 

The Legendary Moonlight Sculptor Volume 49 Chapter 8 part3


[Note from Mimosab] Here is the last part of the volume 49! Please be patient, we still need some time to work on the next volume before releasing the first part.

I also removed comments from the “Chapters” section because it’s a land for trolls too lazy to read the … but any feedback is welcome on Discord 😉


Pale had had no intention to set off to the Garnav Plain on the day of the battle.

'I am willing to go if Weed-nim calls me, but not before he makes a polite request first.'

He had heard the rumor that was widely spread among the users. There was also the matter of a certain extremely popular video posted In Royal Road's Hall of Fame.

– Pale: Weed's battle slave[1] !

The video was an edited compilation of Pale's appearance in every battlefield Weed had fought in, showing his actions in combat. It also included the clips which had been taken during the days the two of them were hunting together as novices, and it scored a staggering 370 million views—a number that surpassed any moderate-sized nation's population count by several times, which had been possible due to the popularity of Weed and Royal Road.

– This video pretty much certifies that he is officially a battle slave for Weed. There's no way he can deny it.

– I'm not sure if he can even be called a slave. He's closer to a worker bee than to a human.

– You sure he doesn't make 'moo' sound when he speaks?

– By the way, the length of this video is just DISGUSTING. With all that editing it's still 19 hours long!

– There's a part where the whole day's fighting was cut into a 3-seconds scene; this is as compressed as it can get and yet it's still a marathon.

– 4:29:43. It's just so sad when he stoops down to pick up the loots on the ground under the moonlight.

– I have always thought there must be some sort of trick behind Weed-nim's strength, but this video proves that I was mistaken. If a mere slave of his is that powerful, then I cannot even imagine how strong Weed-nim himself would be…

– Haven't you seen him carving those gigantic sculptures while hanging on a wire in the air for days? I felt sick just by looking at it…

– I'm a Northern user and a Grass Porridge fundamentalist. People say we are having a hard life, but we really cannot complain when we see Weed-nim at work. Guy's just obsessed with farming[2] .

– If a man could be reborn as a god when he dies, then the seat of the God of Farming would be reserved just for him.

– I'm head of a labor brokerage company for construction workers. Pale-nim, please contact me. I'm offering a special recruitment. Payment will be double the usual daily wage, guaranteed.

– I'm tearing up watching this video. I just realized what a happy life I'm having, just sitting here and munching an apple…

– Slave's trying haaaaaaaaaaard[3] .

This video in question caused Pale to rethink his relation with Weed.

'So, during all that time I have been exploited by him like this? I never realized…'

Exploitation did not only mean refusing to give a person booty and experience points that they earned; depriving a person of their freedom and spare time was also one type of exploitation.

Pale the battle slave was slowly beginning to become aware of his own self.

'I'll have to fight to death once again when I go to the Garnav Plain, to protect the Arpen Kingdom. And going there voluntarily without even being asked by Weed-nim is exactly what a slave would do.'

He was a person with his own free will, and he was determined to firmly refuse any unreasonable requests or calls to hunting.

'I'm going to live like a human being from now on!'

Pale sent a whisper message to his father.

"How's it going with you? Do you need anything?"

His parents, brothers and even cousins were all deeply addicted to Royal Road now, and Pale sent them private messages from time to time as they occasionally needed something or requested for his aid.

-Zentor: No. Don't worry about us, son. You have a great mission ahead.

"What?"

-Zentor: We are all looking forward to seeing you have an epic fight in the Garnav Plain. Your mother's so proud she's talked all about you to the other women friends in the monthly meeting.

"…What, what did she tell them, exactly?"

-Zentor: Why, that our son is none other than famous Pale himself!

Pale gulped. That monthly gye-meeting [4] was very large in size, and most of the residents in his neighborhood were members of it. Now that his identity in the game had been revealed to all of them, he wouldn't even be able to have a quick trip to the nearby supermarket without drawing attention from people.

"And how did those ladies respond?"

-Zentor: They were all really envious, of course. There isn't a single player of Royal Road who hasn't heard of Pale the Archer, you know. There're even statues of you in Morata and the Earth Palace.

…And those statues, Pale thought, were part of the problem. The sight of him drawing his bow while standing right beside Weed was exactly a portrayal of a slave in arms.

"Aren't you even angry when your son is called a 'battle slave' by people?"

-Zentor: Hey, don't talk like that! Why on earth would I be angry? You are the closest associate of Weed-nim; it's like a king's minister[5]  in the old days. I reckon that's equivalent to the Chief Secretary of the president.

"I don't think that's the case for me here…"

-Zentor: That's exactly the case. And have you any idea how much our family benefit from your status while living in this Arpen Kingdom? You see, your older brother is a merchant."

"Yeah, I know that."

-Zentor: So when he goes to the town square to do some business, he hangs a flag that says he is the real brother of Pale the battle slave, and his whole inventory is gone within ten minutes with all the customers swarming in!

Pale was finding it difficult to stop his face from burning with humiliation.

'My honor and dignity…no…'

-Zentor: I was intending to keep this to myself, but let me tell you something else: Weed-nim as good as paid for your university study, too.

"What? Now what is THAT all about?"

-Zentor: You know, Weed-nim and that goddess lady of Grass Porridge came to visit our restaurant a few months ago.

"They did?"

Pale's parents had retired from their teaching profession and were now running a small restaurant that sold gomtang (beef-bone soup). As they were generally friendly with the local residents and there were quite a lot of public officers visiting frequently, the restaurant had been doing a reasonably good business.

-Zentor: They came and had a bowl of soup each, and the next thing I know our restaurant was on TV, and has been bursting with customers since. Did you know that we are now having as many as 150 orders in the evening?

"No…I had no idea…"

Pale realized that there was no hope of him escaping from the giant net that Weed had cast.

Free will? Why would he need it, when he was already a loyal and faithful thrall of Weed?

Then a thought suddenly occurred to him which sent a chill down his back.

"By the way, dad, did Weed-nim pay for the meal he ordered?"

– Zentor: After he had the soup he even ordered another set of boiled beef slices for takeaway, saying that he enjoyed the meal and he would recommend our restaurant to people. Oh, and he added that we needn't worry about your future from now on.

"So, the payment?"

– Zentor: Yes, of course, I wasn't going to accept it, but he insisted on paying us for the food, almost forced the notes into my hand before leaving.

Pale felt his face going red once again, although this time it was because he was ashamed of himself. Even after all the time he had been with Weed, for a short moment he doubted him.

'I forgot…he is not that sort of guy.'

Weed might be a penny pincher, but he would never bilk a restaurant. It was easy to see him as a person who mistreats others around him, but Weed always showed great consideration for people in need.

'He's always looking to minimize small spending, but never hesitates to pay a great sum when necessary.'

After all, he was the guy who invested his entire fortune in Morata, and built the Puhol Water Park. Pale thought that Weed was a kind of person who really knew how to spend his money.

***

Mandol was heading to the Garnav Plain together with the users who had died while fighting in the battle of Shelgium.

"Gee. What a pointless fight it has been."

"I can tolerate having my level drop, but all those skill proficiency points…Uggh…"

"I've even lost my equipment."

Those who had been slaughtered in Shelgium grumbled with discontent. Although it had been for a good cause, they couldn't help but regret their decision after they lost their lives.

"I hope we are not going there just to die again?"

"No way…Think about the number of people who will gather in that place. Some won't even get a chance to fight."

"Hmm. I'm certainly curious to see how they'll fight…but I feel afraid too."

"Well, it's just their loss if they died."

These users had been harboring certain bitterness, thinking that one could act as sanctimoniously as they liked and still no one would acknowledge their effort. They had fought, desperately and to their last breath, in Shelgium, yet all that was left of that fight was regret.

It was when they arrived in the Garnav Plain that an unexpected event changed their attitude[6] .

Already there was a huge number of the Grass Porridge Cult users congregating; what had been a secluded flatland with nothing but grass just a day ago was now a makeshift business zone set up by the merchants, and there was even a tent village that had been built for the users to sleep in. At least one million people were already making preparations to eat and play in the Garnav Plain.

"Wow. I must say, the size of the Grass Porridge Cult is sure great."

"Yeah. Just look at the scale of it. It's incredible."

The users from Shelgium were finding a place to quietly settle in, when several users who had spotted them yelled, "Wooow…The heroes are here!"

"Heroes?"

"Haven't you seen the broadcast? They are the ones who fought in Shelgium. I watched the rerun of that battle several times."

"You're right. It's them!"

"Hey, let's all applaud for them. Applaud!"

Clap, clap, clap!

The applause that had been initiated by a few users near them was soon joined by other users, who were all rising from their seats on the ground. The sound of the people clapping spread in all directions, until finally everyone in the Garnav Plain was welcoming them with an ovation.

"Welcome, heroes!"

"Such brave souls. You have all done so well!"

"You must be exhausted. Anyone who wants to have some food, please come over here. We will cook anything you like. Money? What money? For you it's all free!"

"We mustn't forget to give them a cold draft of beer; they'll need it after such a hard day. I'll serve your drinks first before everyone else."

The users who gave their lives in Shelgium were treated like absolute heroes in this place.

"Wha, what's this? What's going on?"

"Are they really all welcoming us?"

The users who had just arrived in the Garnav Plain with their body limp and their mind dejected could not repress their bewilderment. The enormous clapping sound alone that was resonating throughout the place was enough to make them feel dazed. Many of the users even stood up to give them a salute, and they had never experienced something quite like this.

Mapan, who had been conducting preparations for the festival, came rushing when he got the news of their arrival, his great belly swaying as usual.

"The soldiers from Shelgium, I assume?"

"*Gasp*. I-it's Mapan-nim!"

The users of Shelgium were startled to see that even a person as famous as Mapan had come over to greet them. Mandol also looked quite flustered, as he had not expected this kind of special reception even when he had fought for Weed.

"Ah…Yes, we are."

"I was wondering if any of you have any appointments for the evening."

"Well…nothing really…"

Mandol and the other users looked at one another. Most of them did not have any previous engagements; they were just planning to enjoy the festival and watch the world go by. A few of them had promised to meet their friends or family who had started the game in the North, but they were too overwhelmed by the whole atmosphere to say anything.

Mapan continued, his chubby cheeks wobbling up and down as he spoke.

"In that case, would you join us for dinner? Weed-nim is going to gut a boar for cooking."

"Weed-nim himself is going to do that for us?"

"Yes. In addition to the boar, he said that he will arrange for a special banquet with various other top-class ingredients. There's some fresh seafood we have urgently obtained from the Ritten Region, too."

"…"

The users of Shelgium were simply lost for words. Not only was every nearby user in the Garnav Plain watching this heartwarming sight, but it was also being relayed through broadcast.

"There will also be a gold medal award ceremony after the feast."

"A gold medal-what's that about?"

"Weed-nim will present each of you with a gold medal which he had carved by himself for the heroes of the Arpen Kingdom. The ceremony will take place in front of everyone, of course."

The face of every user from Shelgium turned red. They wanted to forever erase from their life the short moment of feeling regret after experiencing death. Instead, a great pride filled their minds for having fought for the Arpen Kingdom.

"I…I haven't been acknowledged like this by anyone before, not even by my family."

"*Sob*. This is the first time I received a compliment since my elementary school days."

"So this is how it feels. I can see why…it is worth dying for the Arpen Kingdom."

The ten thousand users who had once lived in Shelgium felt that they would willingly give their lives again if it was for the Arpen Kingdom. And that feeling they had was spread across the whole Garnav Plain, through broadcast and through word-of-mouth.

(Continued on next volume…)



Clarifications and questions from the translator

[1](For proofreaders) I'm not sure whether I'm happy with this translation. I like that it sounds simple and intuitive, but it also feels like the translation is too direct. I was considering 'slave-in-arms (which I actually used later in another sentence)' or 'slave-for-combat/battle', but they all sounded a bit too long to me. Any suggestion would be appreciated.

[2](For proofreaders) This is a gaming jargon that refers to when people repeatedly play the same quests or dungeons to improve their character's stats or to find some rare loots. I have been using 'manual labor/work' for the same word before, but since the novel takes place in a game world I thought this might be a more appropriate translation. Let me know what you think.

[3]'trying hard' or 'putting more effort' became some sort of fad words among Korean people a couple of years back, when life had become very hard for the younger generation of Korean with high unemployment rate and general mistreatment of the employees and laborers overflowing the Korean society. The older generation often responded to the younger people's complaints with a remark such as "you are not trying hard enough", or "we had been worse off when we were at your age", which (I think) was the origin of this fad words/ catch phrase. To make the sarcastic undertone clearer people often stretch the vowels (as shown in the translation) when using these fad words.

[4]gye, a kind of traditional private fund popular among Koreans, whose members chip in a modest amount of money and take turns to receive a lump sum share. (Extracted from Naver English dictionary website)

[5]Highest-rank government position during the Joseon Dynasty era. In the next sentence Zentor actually says "…to the minister or the Chief Secretary of the president", but since the same word is repeated twice (with different meanings) I thought it best to just omit the latter one to avoid confusion.

[6]The original text in Korean only says "It was when they arrived in the Garnav Plain" , so this bit here is entirely my own invention.