The Legendary Moonlight Sculptor

 
 

The Legendary Moonlight Sculptor Volume 50 Chapter 2 part1


[Note from Mimosab] Here is the beginning of a new chapter with the help of the proofreading team! Tanks to Eternal, Seviper9 & Ecrin, and welcome back to SoreLoser 🙂


 

Just a single day of honey-sweet holiday!

Yurin, Pale, Zephyr and the rest of the adventuring party decided to spend the whole night making merry. Weed created a massive bonfire that was about as tall as a five-storey building.

"I say, fire is the most fun thing to play with."

As there was no one around to lecture them about safety issues, they built a tower out of firewood and let the flame grow high. Under the shining stars in the night sky, Weed and his companions idled away, watching their building-sized bonfire that was blazing on furiously.

"It would be better to use those fat ones for baits on your rod; there are a lot of large fish here."

Zephyr was teaching Yurin how to fish by night.

"Slow down and relax. Fishing is all about enjoying the wait, the thrill of anticipation, and the silence around you."

Cast the fishing rod, wait for a fish to come, and hook it up. As there was a wide variety of sea creatures living in the coral reefs, many different species of fish could be caught. Not only were they delicious when roasted over Weed's bonfire, but catching them also provided an excellent way of improving the proficiency of the Fishing skill and earn some extra stats.

"On a day like this, I would love to go on a fishing trip."

Zephyr closed his eyes while feeling the cool sea breeze blow towards him. In the middle of the usual hustle and bustle of daily life, these occasional moments of peaceful contentment were precious beyond words.

'Travelling together with a person who could be my wife someday…'

Zephyr opened his eyes again and turned to look at his side, with a smile on his handsome face. Yurin had mixed something in her paint box and was now pouring the content into the sea.

"What are you doing?"

"Fishing."

"What?"

"There's Poison Making skill as part of the profession skills for a painter, you see."

Yurin emptied the entire paint box of toxic liquid into the sea. After a short while, the surface was thick with the bodies of hundreds of fish floating limply.

"They wouldn't be completely dead because of my low skill proficiency! We'll need to catch them before they recover and flee."

"But, the romance, the art of waiting in fishing…!"

"Hurry up and move!"

Zephyr had to roll up his trousers to the knees to pick up the fish. It was definitely far more effective than catching fish one by one using a rod.

"Lalala.."

Yurin was humming merrily as she collected all the fish.

"Golgolgol."

"Heheheh!"

Irene, who was fond of animals, cooked the fish in the bonfire and fed them to Gumini, Nile and White Tiger.

"The fish taste nice. Golgol."

"Wild fish is the best."

Gumini was sprinkling some golden dust on top of the fish before having them as it was to his liking.

"It's so lonely…"

Meanwhile, Pale was wandering around the seaside alone. So far as he was concerned, it was as lonesome a night as any. But when he took a look back at the bonfire around which Weed and his company was sitting, he found some familiar faces that hadn't been there before.

"Huh…?"

Hwaryeong, Bellot, Seechwi, Maylon, Seasoned Crab and Python… Some of them were old friends while the others had been companions in recent hunting adventures, and they had all freshly arrived to join Weed and the others. After Weed's vacation was broadcast on TV, they expressed their regret for not having come with him, and thus he used Time Sculpting skill again to bring them to this place. But despite the presence of all those people, Pale's eyes only found Maylon's face.

"Ahh…!"

Pale rushed towards her, his eyes streaming. Maylon, while waiting for the fish to be cooked, suddenly found herself tightly locked in the arms of Pale who was bawling like a baby.

Romuna shook her head.

"One would think he's reunited with a long-lost family member, looking at him like this."

Surka agreed lightly.

"I know. And they had breakfast together just this morning."

***

"Bring all the liquors over here! We don't have time to take out all those crates so just keep your carriages there for now."'

Mapan was making preparations for the festival in the Garnav Plain together with the merchants from the Northern Regions who had been urgently summoned. The festival that was to be held was of such a scale that it was needed to provide enough food and enjoyment for at least a hundred million people. Various corporations approached Mapan voluntarily once they caught the smell of profit.

"I'm from LG Electronics. Our company is hoping to promote our products like refrigerators, washing machines and television sets; is there any way we could make some negotiation to that end?"

Mapan gave out a light sigh, heaving his great belly.

"Well, we are hosting a sacred festival here, so naturally we need a lot of aid from many different sources…"

"Of course, we are willing to pay some… hum, street tax."

"Ahem-hem! Street tax! Why? Such wording makes it sound like we are extorting money from your companies. Is it what you think of it?"

"Oh. My apologies; it was just a slip of my tongue…"

"We will accept some donation, however."

"…?"

Samsung, LG, Hyundai [1] and other IT groups from China and the US… Mapan collected a massive amount of sponsorship funds from these companies in return for providing special promotion booths for them. This money in turn was generously spent over the whole Versailles Continent.

"We need more beer, side dishes, and every edible kind of local specialties from every region."

"But… a lot of those specialties need to be cooked properly first."

"We'll hire any number of professional chefs as necessary."

"Can… can we really do that?"

The resulting expense was so colossal it made even the merchants of the Mapan's trading company jump from their seats in alarm; as they needed to feed a hundred million people for at least a few days, the cost involved had to be astronomical as well. In addition to a portion of the Arpen Kingdom's budget and the sponsorship from the corporations, even some of Mapan Store's own wealth was invested in this particular event.

"This is the special mission given to us by Weed-nim himself."

"Yes! understood, sir!"

Thus they started making orders and commissions in the message board of every community website for the merchants in the North and Central Continents in Royal Road, which meant that simply an enormous amount of food products were to be collected in one place.

As it was not something they had to keep secret, merchants would talk eagerly about this big event whenever they met each other.

"A festival of an unprecedented scale… I'm just in awe at the resourcefulness and drive of Weed-nim and the Mapan Store to have made such an event possible. Rumor has it that the number of carriages alone that are bringing food from across the entire continent is about ten millions."

"Yes, it would have been quite impossible if not for Weed-nim's influence and quick decision-making."

"Listen up, listen up!"

In every town square of every city including those in the Central Continent, stories about the great festival in the Garnav Plain were spreading.

A merchant user who was wearing a novice's equipment butted in the conversation among a group of users.

"By the way, did you know that this festival is an event that is meant to be held in honor of all the users?"

"What?"

"It's true: Weed-nim is spending such a generous amount of money for the users of the Arpen Kingdom, who have overcome so many difficulties together with him."

"But I've heard that the users from the Central Continent are free to join as well?"

"Of course, Weed-nim didn't set any restrictions as to who can come and enjoy the event. It is going to be a festival for everyone in Royal Road."

"That's the Weed-nim I know!"

Weed, spending a huge sum of money just for the enjoyment of common people! This information also started spreading in every city and every message board on the web.

– Hooray for Weed!

– War, hunt, destruction… these are some of the words every user of Royal Road would be familiar with. However, in case of the Arpen Kingdom, the most common and natural concepts are things like festivity, happiness and freedom.

– Kyaah[2] . And Weed-nim himself would be as broke as a stray dog [3] if he loses the coming battle. What an amazingly broad-minded man!

– I guess this is the kind of world Weed-nim wishes to build for everyone one day.

– I've always criticized the Grass Porridge Cult, but… I think now I can see why so many people take sides with Weed-nim.

The public sentiment was absolutely in favor of Weed.

– Did you see how everyone in the Garnav Pain welcomed those users who died while fighting the Haven Imperial army in Shelgium? That was such a touching moment it brought tears to my eyes.

– Would there be any better feeling than having your effort and hardship acknowledged? I wish my boss was like Weed-nim.

– Think about Morata and Puhol Water Park; it's obvious that Weed-nim's many accomplishments are not only made of great adventures and hunting expeditions. It can be said that a significant portion of the happiness the Royal Road's Northern users enjoy today is the result of Weed-nim's hard work.

– This kind of endeavor is something that is not possible without having a deep affection for the people; hosting the largest festival in history right before the war, just for the enjoyment of everyone who joins!

– Wow, a festival… Let's all go and have fun!

The users from the Northern and Central Continents, and even some from the Eastern regions including the Rosenheim Kingdom, started heading towards the Garnav Plain in a hurry. The popularity and reputation of Weed who was holding this massive event were at their peak.

"I didn't expect things would go so well. Weed-nim's clever tricks are truly capable of changing the course of History itself!"

Even Mapan who was in the Garnav Plain from early on hadn't predicted that the reaction from the public would be so explosive.

"The Poisonous Mushroom Porridge squad is here!"

"Welcome, everyone!"

Whenever there was a big group of visitors newly arriving in the Plain, loud cheers and applauds resounded. The festival, whose purpose was to empty the pockets of every user gathered in the place, caused wild excitement from the crowd at every moment. As there were still many things that had not been prepared on the second day in the Garnav Plain, people voluntarily stepped forward to help cook the food, build the stages, and even set up the tents.

'Weed-nim said he will hold a festival every year like this if he wins a victory in the coming war. Of such a scale that it will excite the whole Versailles Continent, no less. That would be some sight to behold.'

Witnessing how this festival in the Garnav Plain would improve every year would be something to look forward to in itself, not to mention the astronomical profits they would be able to make during each event. The margin from selling the staggering amount of food  they had massively invested into would be enough to bring forth further prosperity to the Arpen Kingdom.

In the meantime, Mapan had to deal with some giant merchant groups from the Central Continent as well, which were all under powerful influence of the Hermes Guild. Although the Mapan Store also boasted high influence on the market and traded almost any item in Royal Road, in terms of the sheer amount of capital it couldn't compare with those large merchant groups.

"We are from a guild of merchants trading brewage in the Britten Region. We are going to sell high-quality liquors here."

"What would be the price range?"

"At least 300 gold for each bottle."

Mapan and the head of the merchant's guild caught each other's eyes.

'This little thief… he's looking to take this opportunity to rake it in.'

'*Gasp*. That stare. He must have sensed my intention already.'

Mapan spoke in a low voice.

"This festival is for everyone's enjoyment. Lower your prices."

"Excuse me? Isn't the price of an item something that is decided by the free will of the market? When there's a lot of demand, naturally those who supply the desired item can raise its price."

"Look, we both know what's really going on here so just throw away your pretense and stop trying to rip people off. Are you really going to keep doing your business like this?"

"…"

"Make an honest living for a change. Seriously."

"Al, alright."

Mapan had no reason to flinch from the delegates of those big Central Continent merchant groups. No matter how wealthy they were the operation of any merchant group was based on dealings and spending made by common users. The influence of the Mapan Store had grown with the expansion of Morata until it reached across the whole Northern regions, and after the store was assigned the task of conducting this festival it was gaining even more power, so much so that it could now affect the entire business world of the continent. The heads of the merchant groups of the Central Continent only had the Hermes Guild to direct their anger to.

"God damn it! What on earth is the Hermes Guild doing at this time?"

"Those guys are good for nothing except when they're taking some lands for themselves. After all the money we have laid on their feet, and now what have they done for us in return?"

Mapan's tasks also included assigning the business area to each merchants group; if the merchants got greedy and started doing their business in a disorderly manner, it could potentially ruin the fun of the festival.

On the second day in the Garnav Plain, the minstrels began to sing and the dancers began to dance as early as in the midday.

"Lalala. Lalala. Lalalalalala…"

Whenever the musician ladies played their instruments, the bonfire that had been lit since the night before swayed and danced. Beautiful elven girls ambled past, which drew much admiration from the surrounding crowd.

"Wooooow."

"They're so pretty. Where did they come from?"

Some brave men struck a conversation with them.

"May I ask where you are from?"

"We're from the Elven Alpine Club."

"Ahh. That famous guild…!"

One of the strongest guilds of the elf race, the elf hunters of that guild learned to embrace the essence of the forest as they perfected their skills. They became the brave warriors who were permitted to hunt in the Dragon Mountains, and a video showing the sight of dozens of elves simultaneously rushing up the face of the mountain in a hiking event was hugely popular among the users.

"Wow… aren't they the members of the Black Lion Guild over there? If I remember correctly this is the first time they've joined a public event ever since the guild lost its power."

"There's Roam from the Roam Guild and Halden-nim, the warrior of Garakon as well."

"Already there are so many famous people arriving!"

Despite the fact that it was only the second day, the top-ranking users from the Central Continent were making their first appearances. The war of the prestigious guilds, and the conquest of the Haven Empire — even for those famed users who had been leading a quiet life, this decisive battle in the Garnav plain sounded too intriguing to miss.

As Mapan was working busily, a whisper was sent to him.

– Weed: Mapan-nim,

"Yes. Weed-nim."

Mapan responded in a quiet voice, as any conversation between them had a possibility of having to be kept out of hearing from other people.

– Weed: I believe things are going well?

"I'm having my men make every possible preparation. The souvenirs are being sold quite well, too.

– Weed: And the profit we are making?

"The gain is about seventeen times the production cost, but since the other items are so cheap there have been few complaints."

– Weed: Remember, when conducting this event you need to have a proper mindset as if you are going to do a whole year's worth of business within these few days. Whether we win or lose, this is one opportunity the like of which we will never encounter for the rest of our lives.

"I shall do my best. I have already checked on some lands we [4] could buy with the money we'll make after this is over."

– Weed: huhuhuhuhu.

"Kyakyakyakyakyaaat!"[5]

The partnership between Mapan and Weed was like that of a crocodile and a crocodile bird.

– Weed: I know you are busy, but there's something more in addition to the festival that you need to prepare.

"Your wish is my command."

– Weed: You need to organize some users and make a lot of super-sized statues. Just as when we built a pyramid in the Rosenheim Kingdom.

"Statues?"

– Weed: Yes, the bigger and the more they are the better. About five times the size of Binryong — no, maybe even ten times.

Mapan's brain was working rapidly. There was always a specific reason when Weed made this kind of request.

"Could I ask why you need them in more detail? It'll help me to make preparations if I know their exact purpose."

– Weed: Those statues will join our fight against the Haven Empire.

Sculptural Life Bestowal!

Mapan couldn't repress his surprise when he realized what that meant.

"But that way it will result in a decrease in your level. Even if we win the battle, wouldn't the cost be too much? Giving life to just a hundred sculptures would already be… and if we lose the war by any chance, there would be no way to recover that loss."

Weed's colleagues had a rough idea about the penalties of using the special sculpting skills. In case of Sculptural Life Bestowal, it wasn't a skill that could be used without any restraints as it caused the reduction in the user's level in exchange for creating a powerful servant. Should they get defeated in the coming battle and lose all the sculptural lifeforms, they would have to suffer a huge damage that couldn't be undone.

'Why would Weed-nim make such a reckless move?"

Even if those living sculptures could be of some help during the fight against the empire, in the current circumstances it was simply impossible to change the outcome of the war with a handful of statues.

As Mapan was about to persuade Weed out of his plan, Weed sent another whisper message.

– Weed: It's not me who's going to bestow life on them. There's another person and I'm currently working on making him do it.

Mapan immediately guessed who that might be.

"You can't mean… Geihar von Arpen?"

– Weed: Huhuhu. I'll have to make every use out of every person I can manipulate.

"Kya-ha, indeed, there's always more to learn from you when it comes to trickery."

Geihar von Arpen, the Emperor! He was the first person in history to have united the Versailles Continent, but Weed was not one to just sit there and admire his impressive accomplishment.

'He's going to exploit this emperor to the limit…'

Reusing him in the war that would lead to the unification of the entire continent once again!

A big picture was completing itself in Mapan's mind.

'The users will build large statues in the Garnav Plain, and Emperor Geihar will bestow life on them in turn. Then the remaining question is how Weed-nim is going to bring him back… Oh, of course, he's going to revive him with Sculpture Resurrection.'

One drawback of the Sculpture Resurrection skill was that there was no way to stop the revived person from refusing to help the user who brought them back and leaving. So, making the resurrected person use his own skill to give life to some sculptures would require a very close friendship, or a very good cause. In order to make this possible, Weed travelled back in time using his Travel Sculpting to get on the good side of the emperor while he was in the past. All these schemes were tied together like clockwork, making use of each of the special skills of sculpting in close coordination.

'There is a high probability that it will work.'

Mapan could already imagine the resurrected Emperor Geihar von Arpen making large statues come to life for Weed; the giants and other colossal creatures standing hundreds of meters tall spouting their deadly breaths towards the troops of the Haven Empire.

"I will start making as many sculptures as possible right away. There are Northern users flocking to this place; I will make thousands of them if necessary, before the war begins."

– Weed: That's the spirit! You need to make all sorts of terrible monsters, including those that can fly.

"You mean things like Squashy Wriggler?"

– Weed: Correct. I'll also try to send at least rough designs to you whenever I get some idea.

"I shall also prepare some artworks or phrases that praise Geihar's achievements, so he would be more willing to help us. I could search through the history books in Morata's Great Library to find out what food and drinks he was fond of in life and prepare some of them too."

– Weed: This conversation is going as smoothly as silk.

"Kyakyakyakya!"

– Weed: And the labor costs…

"We could just give them some grass porridge. There'll be tons of people who'd want to come and help anyway."

– Weed: Marvellous!. At least mix an egg in each bowl, though; we shouldn't leave anyone feeling mistreated.

(To be continued)



Notes from the translator

[1] I'm not sure if it is entirely appropriate to put the names of the real companies, but that was the case in the original text so I just followed suit.

[2] I know this sound is generally known as a high-pitched scream made by a girl in Japanese animation or Manga, but in this case this is describing a very guttural sigh Korean people often make to express their delight or admiration. (You could imagine the sound one makes after glugging beer or fizzy drink.)

[3] The literal translation of this line would be "become as dog's fur." which describes the status of a person who has lost all their money, and become as worthless as a "dog's fur".

[4] In the original Korean sentence it is actually not clear who exactly will buy those lands. I know Weed's very interested in purchasing lands, but I thought Mapan was also planning to buy those lands because he checked on them first.

[5] Both of these sounds are describing Evil Villain Laughter.