The Legendary Moonlight Sculptor Volume 50 Chapter 3 part1
[Note from Mimosab] Another big day guys!
For me, because it’s my birthday… and so for you too because I decided to release 2 parts today 😉
Thanks to Ecrin, Eternal & Re1er for their hard work!!
Rhodium, the city of artists!
It was a place normally filled with sorrow and despair, for its residents bemoaned their poor choice of profession day and night. However, the news of giant sculptures being built in the Garnav Plain reached their ears as well.
"Our skills can be useful for that kind of project. Finally we'll be able to find some meaning to our lives."
"But, those sculptures… Did you see the construction plan of the red dragon they uploaded on the Grass Porridge Cult homepage? The statue that is going to be 800 meters tall?"
"The scale is just beyond imagination."
"They'd probably have to carve it out of a building, no, a mountain even."
"Apparently they are going to connect some steel to rocks… I'm in awe just by imagining it."
The scale of the project was enough to astound many sculptors who were used to making sculptures with heights of one or two meters. Even Weed had never created a statue of such an enormous size.
"They're making it in the Garnav Plain, so all the stone and sand will have to be brought in from other regions first; will it really be possible to complete the construction there?"
"You don't have to worry about the materials. About a million people have been deployed to collect all the materials needed."
"There's also a plan for making a floating statue. It is said that they're going to hang the sculpture in midair and make it move."
"Well, they said they're going to figure out a way from now…"
It was truly exciting news to all the sculptors who had been whiling away their time in Rhodium without anything to do.
"Ugh. Why on earth did I choose to become a painter?"
"I should've listened to my friends. Everyone else is out their hunting and making a fortune, and I'm just sitting here wasting my money on paints."
"Those sculptors must be really happy to have Weed as one of them."
The painters were idly doodling on the ground while staring enviously at the backs of the sculptors setting off to the Garnav Plain in a hurry, but soon another notice from the Grass Porridge Cult arrived.
"They're asking painters to gather in the Garnav Plain as well."
"They need painters too? But I thought they are only making sculptures…"
"Well, obviously they're having a large number of people working together to build each sculpture; they need the painters to draw the diagrams first so that people can construct the sculptures based on them."
"Aha, I haven't thought of that!"
Thus every artist who had been begging in the streets of Rodium began to travel to the Garnav Plain.
A decisive battle between the Arpen Kingdom and the Haven Empire was imminent, and the Garnav Plain — the very place where the fate of the Versailles Continent will be determined — was turning into a gigantic construction site the likes of which had never existed in human history before.
< Your level has increased.>
Bard Ray's level has finally reached 592. His power was growing at an overwhelming rate, as befits his nickname, the Godly Warrior.
"I should be able to achieve level 600 soon."
Ever since the door to Royal Road first opened up, he had maintained his place as the highest-level player. He had monopolized many beneficial quests and hunting grounds and, by exploring dungeons that had not been discovered by other users, he and his royal guards had been devouring twice as much experience points as normal. As a result, he could boast an unmatched power even among the top rankers of the game, yet as the day of the battle drew near he was finding it hard to shake off the anxiety.
"I'm feeling strangely uneasy…"
Something about the thought of fighting against Weed oddly made him tense up. He himself was aware of the fact that he had not achieved the victory as easily as expected during the battle in the Melbourne Mine.
'The way he effectively used a wide range of skills, and his technique of stealing the perfect timing from his opponent… quite surprisingly, in terms of talent in combat he surpassed my abilities in many aspects.'
Most of Bard Ray's experience in battles consisted of monster hunting with little risk involved. Even during occasions where he hunted a boss monster for the first time ever, rather than fighting alone he always had a group of his royal guards or a backup force supporting him. Together they coordinated their attacks to deal with the boss monster or other weaker thralls, and as a result Bard Ray was more adept at fighting in collaboration with other users than going into a battle alone.
On the other hand, Weed, as his name suggests, had been beaten and trodden down throughout his many adventures and the ordeals lain in his path, and thus the sole purpose of his fighting was survival.
'And that's why I couldn't let my guard down when I faced him.'
Bard Ray was used to overwhelm his opponents with his high level and flashy combat skills. Even when fighting against other famous rankers like Roam or Calis, he could get the start on his enemies even before the actual battle thanks to his reputation as the Godly Warrior.
However, such a methodology had no effect whatsoever against Weed. Which was why even after his victory in the Melbourne Mine, Bard Ray still counted him as one of his most difficult rival.
'No doubt, Weed too must have been very conscious of my power ever since.'
Even in the middle of a heated battle, Bard Ray would renew his resolve whenever he thought of Weed. In order to compensate the weaknesses in his fighting style, he had studied videos of Weed's battles and learned the technique of focus-fire attacks. He had also concentrated his strength on perfecting his swordsmanship as well as learning to better coordinate his skills.
'Maybe Weed has been looking forward to meet me again, too, in order to determine the strongest player of Royal Road once and for all.'
Sadly, this thought was a one-sided delusion of Bard Ray, as Weed was busy making his living, earning money, farming to increase skill proficiencies on top of all the quests.
'I need to cast the dice on the coming battle. If I lose in the one-on-one fight by any chance… then the nickname 'God of War' will be claimed by Weed, too. '
And if that happens, it would be an even bigger personal trauma to Bard Ray than the fall of the Hermes Guild itself.
– Lafaye: I need to talk to you about something for a moment.
Bard Ray received this message while he was fighting some bandaged monsters called Gollaps in a hunting ground.
"What is it?"
– Lafaye: There's something strange going on in the camp of the Grass Porridge Cult.
Bard Ray already knew as much after watching the broadcast.
"I hear that they are planning to make some sculptures while having a festival…"
– Lafaye: My guess is that those activities are related to a certain emperor named Geihar von Arpen.
The Arpen Emperor!
Bard Ray was not too well versed in the knowledge concerning quests or history, as he only had to focus on fighting while Lafaye and the intelligence bureau gathered all the important information and provided all the hunting grounds for him. Nonetheless, he knew quite a lot about the background story of Weed's founding of the Arpen Kingdom.
"Do you mean the Emperor of the Arpen Empire who once united the Versailles Continent?"
– Lafaye: Yes. Among many skills of sculpting, there is one that can inject life into a sculpture, making it come alive.
The Hermes Guild had been consciously researching Weed's secret sculpting skills. Disaster Sculpting, Spirit Creation, Sculptural Life Bestowal, Sculptural Resurrection, and Sculpting Blade skills. Not only did they know about them all, but they were also currently studying Moment Sculpting. While they hadn't figured out the detailed requirement for using this skill, all the researchers agreed that it was an extremely dangerous and complex skill to deal with; Bard Ray himself hadn't even come close to a solution against an opponent who could stop time. Although it was true that he had become remarkably powerful as a Black Knight, Weed's strength had been growing just as much as his.
"Are you saying… that they are going to give life to all those giant sculptures I saw on broadcast, make them move?"
– Lafaye: that's the only explanation I can think of as for what they're doing it. Every single one of those sculptures will attack our Imperial Army.
Bard Ray's mind automatically worked to imagine a terrible sight; already there were hundreds of thousands of people working on that grand construction project in the Garnav Plain, to build sculptures of ridiculous size. After about thirteen days, a huge number of those jaw-droppingly gigantic sculptures will be spread over the whole place, and the mighty legion of statues will trample and sweep all over the Haven Imperial Army. The Imperial troops became a top-elite force through repeated wars, but a battle against such an army of sculpture would be simply too dangerous.
Bard Ray hesitated for a second, but in the end he couldn't help saying, "Isn't that going to be hopelessly disadvantageous for our side?"
– Lafaye: It seems that Weed… has played the best card he had in his current circumstances.
Despite his nickname as the Godly Warrior, Bard Ray did not want to deal with such monstrous sculptures.
"Any countermeasures? Shouldn't we stop them from making those sculptures? I don't think it is fair to rally their users like that to build weapons in advance before the war begins."
– Lafaye: We have considered making formal condemnation, but I don't think that will be enough to stop them.
Due to the popularity of the Hermes Guild among the general users having hit rock bottom, it would be unlikely that people would listen to them even if the guild demanded for a fair fight and asked them to stop the construction.
"Looks like we have a difficult situation."
– Lafaye: We have come too far to cancel the battle now… I'm afraid the only option left to us now is to fight. We'll have to deploy the Air Force to deal with those sculptures.
"We're going to waste one of the secret weapons for protecting the empire like that?"
– Lafaye: what with holding off those statues on top of fighting the Avians, we have no choice but to use the Air Force.
"It's going to be one confusing fight."
– Lafaye: Whatever we imagine now, it will be more than that — it's going to be remembered as the greatest battle in human history.
In the sky, the Air Force, one of the secret weapons that the Hermes Guild had kept hidden until now, will be tangled in the fight against the Avians. On the ground, an army consisting of tens of millions of people will face the top elite troops of the Haven Empire, the conqueror of the Central Continent.
With Lafaye in the center, the entire military force of both the Haven Imperial Army and the Hermes Guild was preparing to assemble.
Bard Ray felt the blood in his veins boil with excitement as he imagined the moments of war.
'I haven't felt such a strong emotion even during the conquest of the Central Continent… There was only a sense of accomplishment back then. But this time, I feel like I can truly enjoy the war itself.'
Numerous rankers in the Hermes Guild were honing their swords for the coming battle as well. Not to mention the fact that they had suffered a series of defeats against Weed and the Northern users, it would be a very meaningful experience to do their part in such a legendary war. The Hermes Guild may have become covetous now, but it too had started with its members dreaming of achieving strength and greatness.
'The greatest battle in the whole continent… that would be worth the time and effort I have put in all the hunting.'
Bard Ray was slowly beginning to loosen up. There was certainly the burden of living up to his name and reputation, but such a magnificent battle would not happen often in his life.
'Wait. But what if we lose?'
Weed and his colleagues were busy making preparations for the coming fight against the sea monsters. They made steel nets, put traps in place, and even studied the seafloor terrain. It was a continuation of a countless number of manual tasks, and no matter how hard they worked they were making very little progress.
"We'll need some people to help us; we cannot finish this by ourselves."
Hwaryeong claimed that they needed some more workers, and visited a few nearby villages on the back of Yellowy.
"There is going to be a monster invasion. Please, let us gather our strength and stop them together."
"We will do that."
< Your earnest plea has persuaded the local residents.
They will now lend a hand with your work for four hours each day.>
The skill of a dancer with a high Charm stat!
As there were a lot of fishermen among the residents living near the sea, they were of great help in weaving the nets.
In the meantime, Weed, after much consideration, was forced into a conclusion that they had a lot of obstacles ahead to overcome as the battle would be taking place in the vast sea. Stalling those monsters even for just two, three hours was not a simple task in any way.
"I wonder if I'll have to spread some green algae in the sea…?"
A plan to fight the monsters with terrible marine pollution! Weed stared at the sea seriously trying to estimate the amount and pathway to spread, but soon gave up.
"I wouldn't be able to protect the fish and the corals in the sea that way."
Thus, most fortunately, he dropped the idea of attempting to create the worst environmental pollution on the face of the Versailles Continent.
"We'll just do whatever we can, and if I sculpt a disaster as well… We should be able to stop them for about two hours, even if we might have to lose a portion of the coral reef."
He had managed to stop even the Immortal Legion by winging it somehow, so there was no reason he couldn't do it again this time.
As Weed and his companions were working in the late hours of the night, an old man with a long silvery beard approached them.
"What are you all doing here, young lads and lasses?"
While stringing fishhooks to a net, Zephyr waved his hand at the old man as if shooing him away.
"Sir, there's going to be a monster invasion in this sea. Leave this area and take refuge; it's not safe here."
"He's right. You need to leave right now."
Surka said with a concerned expression as she rose from her seat. Having a kind heart, she didn't want to see the villagers die, even though she knew that these people only existed in old history.
"Here, I'll take you to someplace safe. Where is your house?"
"Home is wherever I am."
With this curious remark, every party member's gaze fell on the old man at once; he looked like he had been wearing the same raggedy cloths for at least ten years, and there was not a hint of dignity and command in his dirty face.
'He's a homeless, perhaps?'
'I know this sort of conversation often leads to a quest…'
Travel Sculpting was commonly linked to a great number of quests, probably based on the idea that artistic skills such as sculpting required diverse experience through much travel, although if you asked Weed, he would say that all he wanted was to sit still in one spot until he was hit by a shower of money.
Irene rummaged in her backpack and offered a small pouch to the bearded elderly man.
"Here. Have some nice meal with this. I'm sorry it's not much."
The other companions were more sorry to see the money go, but they thought that her action was understandable under current situation; sure, those few gold coins they put in the hands of some poor local man from the past would be a meaningless expense, but human compassion did not always work in a logical and reasonable way. Still, the smile they made at the old man was somewhat stiff and frozen.
"The beautiful lady is so kind!"
The bearded grandfather took the pouch from Irene and poured the content on his palm.
The pile of large coins looked like it would be at least 200 gold.
"Kind lady, might you have some time to spare? As the fate has guided us to meet, would you care to come with me to some quiet place, and…"
She had come all the way to the distant past for a grand quest, and now she ended up with a local grandpa making advances to her. Irene was scrabbling for words as she didn't know how to respond, when she was greatly startled by the old man's next words.
"…And allow me to make a sculpture of your beautiful self?"
Notes from the translator
I'm not sure what exactly the author means by this phrase (I think maybe he is referring to Weed's Moment Sculpting skill), so I translated the phrase as literally as possible.
I was also a bit confused by this sentence, because Weed is already called the God of War by people. As I mentioned in one of the earlier chapters the actual nickname in Korean of Bard Ray is not exactly "the God of War" (it's closer to "the God of Combat" or "the Warrior God") so I first thought maybe Bard Ray is afraid that Weed will steal his nickname from him, but the original Korean text also clearly says "God of War". If anyone in the community could clarify this, I'd appreciate it.