The Legendary Moonlight Sculptor Volume 12 Chapter 1
Chapter 1 : The Day of the Showdown
Finally, it was the day to conquer Todeum.
Mapan was anxiously waiting for the timing.
"No matter what, the quest needs to be successful."
Since the Merchant would not participate in combat, he was very desperate.
He brought a wagon full of goods from Versailles continent on this quest!
If they fail to conquer Todeum, then the investment would come to naught.
Until now, while hunting, he bought loots to refill his pocket, but that was pale in comparison to the good he traded and planned to sell.
"I can't believe that last town didn't take tax."
On Versailles continent, at every town, he had to pay a toll and taxes on the trades.
Even at Morata, he had to pay income tax and various taxes placed with each of his earning.
Furthermore, larger metropolitan area had addition taxes.
Among them was the village of the Orcs, where the growth of the society was based around taxes.
But the Vampire was a race exempt from taxation.
Mapan trembled with excitement.
"No matter how much of a profit I'll make, there's no tax on them."
Even in Economic class, the most interesting subject to him was the laws of taxation.
For instance, here's an interview for a company based around knowledge.
Nowadays, many people have several skills.
"A Master in English."
It is rare to find people without 1~2 foreign languages.
"An excellent computer literate."
Knowledge in computers at the modest should be around those of a middle schooler.
Have to have corporate internship, volunteering activities, winning awards in competitions, or strength are crucial for the interviewee.
"What do you think is the most crucial?"
When asked by the interviewer on what is the most crucial aspect of an employee that stands above all of this!
"Tax evasion. Need to be an expert on tax evasion!"
"Up until now, I've successfully never having to pay my tax once."
This was indeed the best talent for any company!
* * *
Hwaryeong pulled out the red dress to wear.
Along with the exposure of her body, there were luxurious jewels dangling from the gown.
She turned about with her body and nodded.
"With this, it's not bad."
Saying 'it's not bad' wasn't enough. It was a powerful magic to seduce men!
No men could have enough will power to pry their eyes from that.
Hwaryeong hummed and danced along to her own tunes.
She was dancing her seductive dance under the moonlight.
The mysterious and alluring spectacle of expressing herself was a good view to behold, for there was a simple reason behind her dancing.
"I've enjoyed being with Weed nim in a large-scale battle before. This time as well!"
It was for Weed that she danced in the moonlight.
A slight habit of hers before any large battle.
It was something that can easily wipe out the bad atmosphere.
* * *
In the middle of the night, the three moons rose over Todeum, Weed went on one of the small hills.
"Finally, it's time for the showdown."
He had on the light absorbing Talroke's black armor, the Noble Grace black helmet, Vampire's cape and black boots.
The complete knight outfit.
Weed raised one of his legs and placed it on a rock, gripped his fist as he set his elbow on his thigh, and gazed down the hill.
Overlooking the Kingdom of Vampires, Todeum.
The appearance of dozens of old castles connected to one another was a very quaint spectacle.
As dawn approaches, the three moons: Pallun, Gorun, and Seirun were descending below the horizon.
In fact, since the sun did not appear, Todeum's night and day had no distinction from one another.
At certain times where the three moons reached their peaks, it then plainly resembled that of day.
Since then, the morning began.
The light of Seirun shone on the hill Weed placed himself.
And the wind blew exquisitely.
This was the moment Weed waited for!
In this great scene with such fine atmosphere, while the wind softly flow its path.
'I gotta quickly take advantage of this moment.'
Weed, in his most elegant way, splendidly took off his helmet.
Weed formed a light smile.
His hair caressed by the wind, while the cape flapped to its will.
With the guaranteed of a tough battle ahead; he mimicked the elegance of a champion: alone in solitude, and enjoyment!
'Gotta relish this!'
He held this form for a long time while still gazing down the hill. Then suddenly, he drew his sword with his right hand.
The Cold Lott Sword.
Within it contained the spirit of ice, a sword of ice.
With this in hand, his damage output could be very high incorporated along with Weed's level; the blade shone sharply from the daily grind.
'This isn't all.'
On Weed's left hand was the Ancient Shield.
A shield forged by the best blacksmiths of the Dwarves.
A shield made from mithril and bones of unknown monsters.
The original beautiful patterns carved were unrecognizable due to the effect of time.
The lackluster shield was impossible to repair.
Nevertheless, it was a high class Unique item.
In order to fully utilize the shield, he needed to increase his stats and level to take advantage of it; but thanks to his Intermediate Blacksmith skill that he was able to use it.
Also, he also had on one the treasure of Nippleheim Empire, Baharan's Bracelet. (when I sounded this out, it sounded like Val Hallen, the Viking God of Rock in Dexter's laboratory. But keeping baharan for consistency for my fail last vol.)
But because it was a valuable item and he wanted to pamper it, along with the fact that his arm gotten cold, he removed it.
The added glamour of the finely crafted jewels on the bracelet didn't fit his overall image.
"This is for the best."
Weed with one sword in a hand while a shield in the other, stood as the wind reintroduced itself to him.
He deliberately didn't wear the white gloves because it didn't match this particular image.
He wanted to keep up the charismatic image and went barehanded!
Weed opened his mouth.
The created armor
The timeless armor
In the sun and the moon
Through the wind and the rain
Let's make an imperishable armor
Through the beatings
Rumbling bang bang bang
Appearing for just a moment
Only to be sold expensively
Up to where can this go?
No, no, no...
Now much will it cost...
Must be at least seven gold
In this trade, it only comes to a deficit of I go along with the first customer
He slipped away from the three moons as morning emerges.
Weed descended from the hill to where his party members gathered.
Their eyes were bloodshot red; it seemed as if they lack the necessary amount of rest.
Weed asked curiously.
"Did something happen?"
"N...no. It's not a big deal."
Hwaryeong shook her head, but she really did have a nightmare at dawn.
Pale, Maylon, and Irene all connected earlier than the promised time due to the building tension.
Since before dawn, some gathered their thoughts, while the others were warming up to get into forms.
Then in the midst of their growing optimism, Weed sang!
'Worse tone deaf ever!'
'What kind of lyrics are those?'
Weed's singing was like a splinter stabbing at their minds.
But that wasn't even the end of it.
He sang four songs in total!
They vaguely remembered the lyrics of the first two.
Shortly after that, they were in stupor, and could not recall anything afterward.
I'm going to make the cape in the wind
Flapping like a flag flapping
I can sleep at night with this covering me
Should never wash it after usage
Because when you try to use to avoid enemies
They will smell
The strange odor of the cape
"But...that really did happen to me."
At the end of that, the party firmly kept their mouth shut.
Since, it was almost time to barge into Todeum, they didn't see the point of increase the already existing pressure with such triviality.
Then the Geomchis connected one after another.
Most of them connected simultaneously because it was reaching the appointed time.
"You've come, Master, Sahyeongs."
Geomchi took a relaxed stroll and greeted the members.
Pale and Mapan eyes widened.
'It's just Geomchi nim, the others will be filled with tension.'
'Maybe he's a little uncommon, but the others will beg to differ just a bit.'
As usual, Geomchi2 retained his trustworthy countenance; Geomchi3 and Geomchi4 were seemed somewhat excited.
"This will be on TV?"
"That'll make it a bit harder to fight."
"We'll just show them our usual things."
"Also, find good angles too."
The broadcast of 'Weed'!
The show's ratings started low, but having it as a regular program on KMC Media was a very encouraging fact.
The Geomchis were enjoying the situation.
However, Zephyr looked around Weed with a relatively flustered face.
"By the way, Weed nim, I don't see Yurin nim."
Everybody else came, only Yurin was the sole absentee. So the question was thrown.
Weed knowingly nodded unconcern.
"Yurin won't come."
"She's spending a nice time at home today."
The party's anxiety jumped.
'So you hid your sister from this!'
'If it's the usual Weed nim then he wouldn't have done this.'
In fact, their thoughts weren't misunderstandings.
Weed expected that this battle will actually be very hard.
'Assembled here are those why survived.'
When they first arrived to the Land of the Vampires, the Geomchis alone was at 505 people.
Together with their companions such as Weed and Pale, totaled to 516 personnel.
But throughout each of the numerous battles, their group declined by almost a third.
The Geomchis without considering their companions, dropped to 353.
And the other colleague's safety could not be guaranteed.
Since Seechwi and Mapan lacked the attacking power in the first place, they would face all kinds of risks.
With the imminent battle in mind, the silence crept on since nobody was talking.
"Please trust me. I'll see to it many of us will come out alive."
Facing Weed's grim determination, Maylon and Seechwi hearts trembled a little.
'Finally I can see the God of War true aspect.'
On Continent of Magic, every quests and dungeons fell to the legendary Weed!
Now, Weed was to defeat the Todeum before him.
* * *
Weed made an unusually hearty breakfast.
"I will eat well." (it's a common saying.)
"Yes. Enjoy your food. This maybe our last meal in this place."
Until now, he had been making considerably tasty food with low grade materials; but this meal was made from Advanced materials that took many difficulties to obtained.
Intermediate level 6 cooking skill!
In this Land of Vampires, having to take care of the Geomchis, the bustling of cooking finally gave him Intermediate level 6.
The secret of having higher skill level was simply work on it like doing chores.
While traversing the road, he looked for herbs amongst the wild grass.
As he kept on doing that, his Herbal skill also suddenly climb its way to Intermediate level 9.
With having the skill at this level, he could even find and unearthed sweet potatoes hidden deep with the crust.
And also, his Handicraft skill reached Advanced level 4 in this place.
Weed poured all of this into his cooking!
With the combinations of various Advanced materials collected, nothing made could be better than that of porridge.
Body have eaten very good food.
The materials contained in each bowl were at whopping 53 Gold!
Needless to say, this was the most expensive food Weed had ever cooked.
In the cities, the collective ingredients would cost around 200 Gold to start making the meal.
But here, the materials were collected through hunting.
The effects given were a clear indicator of the precious resources that went into the food.
The aromatic meal melted as it entered one's mouth and spread its taste thoroughly.
At this point Weed took out a bottle.
"Here's a bottle to drink."
A drink made from mountain fruits and herbs!
Although it had not been a while for it to be fermented well since it was made here in Todeum.
Nevertheless, the Geomchis each took a shot.
Pale, Zephyr and other party members did not drink since they were filled with tension.
This was the first time they've encountered a grade A difficulty quest.
Whether it was the Pegasus or the Unicorn, individually they were still too powerful of a monster.
They were imagining themselves going head to head against such monsters.
But they didn't realize that the added tension along with these thoughts would stiffen them further mid battle.
They could not drink the drink, because they were already tension filled.
In combat, just as stats and skills, having morale was just as important.
With so many people gathered together to fight, they could not ignore the psychological factors of the group.
'Everybody seems to be nervous.'
Maylon shot a question towards Weed to try to boost their morale.
"Weed nim, I've been curious about something. Do you mind if I ask?"
"It's about back then in CoM, the Ibanpolten Island's labyrinth."
Weed somewhat vaguely remembered.
'It was the sealing place of an Archdemon.'
It was a very famous place in Continent of Magic.
It was the nastiest of labyrinths that remained undefeated until Weed!
It was an incomprehensible maze that wouldn't allow Weed another attempt at it after he had finished exploring it.
"So, how did you break into it?"
Maylon was expecting a great answer.
She figured if they listened to Weed's adventure for a bit, it'd calm the mood of the party.
Weed had a simple answer.
"Did you know that that labyrinth had many sewer rats in the basement?"
"I entered it through those sewers."
The answer was too simple!
That was too much of a simple solution to come to.
Maylon had to throw in another question.
"Do you remember the Inferno Skeleton King?"
A monster with a body of bones and smoldering flames encompassed him.
"That was another monster that Weed nim killed. Great physical attacks, as well as magic defense so great that it was expected to be at the level of dragons, it was considered as the worse of monsters; how would you handle him?"
"I would immerse him in water to kill him."
Maylon drooped tremendously after her useless attempts.
However, if she had known of the situations behind them, she wouldn't think it could be so negligible.
He had to make detailed mapping of everywhere, all to predict where the Archdemon was sealed.
Just to locate the nearest entrance to that location, and it was a sewer entrance no less!
The Skeleton King too, after a dozen deaths or so to figured out his weakness, and was finally able to drag him to the lake.
The reasons for Weed's successes were through thorough investigation and preparation.
Although it was easy to give an immediate answer while leaving out plenty of the intermediate steps; in actuality, he suffered a lot throughout the process.
'Regardless, it was much easier than trying to earn a living in real life.'
To Weed, any quests given weren't that hard.
They were much easier comparing to him being a high school dropout trying to take care of his sickly grandmother and younger sister.
With no education degree, his payroll wasn't much.
The workload, the risks, and being dirty; his pay would get cut immediately from any one of these simple reasons!
He even had to compete with foreign workers.
Quests are just simple comparing to that of the job market!
Maybe if it was a grade Special S difficulty quest! (dunno if SS is a real grade or not in this game, no1 achieved it yet.)
Comparing to real life, doing quests was a relatively simple shift.
Breakfast was over.
Weed stood up from his spot.
"Are you all ready?"
The party nodded slowly. Regardless of their confidence level, they cannot not go.
"Now let's move. Everyone are to take care of yourselves."
At last, Weed led the tension filled party through the gates.
Within the expanses of the collective castles in Todeum, the Unicorns and Pegasus were in flight.
They would romp from roof to roof, and sometimes they would whiz by on the plaza.
"I'm prepared for this."
Geomchi2 solidly said.
He saw the abundance of monsters, but his aim was to pounce them all anyway.
This was the reason why the party, more than before, culminated themselves to the utmost.
To go against what could be called the ultimate power.
Having just seeing what he visualized as objects of terror before him; at last, it was the moment to fight.
But Weed shook his head.
"This isn't it. There's a better hunting ground."
"You'll know when we get there."
Weed crouched closely to the earth, and crept on all fours.
Therefore, his party did the same thing. More than 300 people, moving in unison, crawled on the ground.
All were crawling at formidable speed.
It used twice the amount of Stamina comparing to running, but everyone tried their best to keep up.
"Heokheok! Well Weed nim."
Mapan was struggling onward, because he was the Merchant, really weak when it comes to combat abilities.
It was a steep price to pay for his high amount of Wisdom.
In the first place, other than Knowledge, Wisdom, and Charisma, most of his stats were waived.
But since he gained a bit of Stamina from the meal, he was barely able to keep up zigzagging around.
Mapan asked while relaxed.
"I don't know why we have to zigzag from alley to alley."
Weed absolutely did not take the main street.
As soon as they past the gate, he passed through an alleyway where there were plenty of empty boxes stacked on one another.
He only used the extremely narrow alleyways among those were there.
Weed spoke in a low voice.
"If you look carefully at the behavior of animals, there are a lot to learn."
"They know many laws of survival to live a long life, so they have a lot more advantages over you."
"So now, what kind of animal are we going to copy for survival?"
Not a lion or a tiger, Weed was going to learn from a cockroach!
Thus they were moving like the insect with the highest rate of survivability.
The two arms and legs moved very quickly.
His head moved violently from side to side, as if it was a moving antenna.
His rolling eyes moved constantly to determine of there was an oncoming monster.
Fortunately, thanks to effort put into this, they did not encounter any monster and were able to arrive to their destination.
The first destination was the vampire Tori's black castle!
The party entered the castle and made it safely to the basement.
With the tension dwindled down a bit, Pale asked as he took a relaxed breath.
"Whew, what is this castle?"
Weed replied simply.
"This is where I found Tori, and this is also his home. Our first battle is here. Sahyeongs, please take out your bows."
Geomchi, the instructors, and all the practitioners took out the overly large bows they received from Weed.
"You're talking about this?"
Geomchi had the biggest bow.
Then from Geomchi2, Geomchi3, the size, in increments, got smaller and smaller.
Even the bows had rankings!
Only after then that Pale and Maylon understood why.
The bows seemed to be too big and sluggish, making them difficult to use; but that would not matter since they were going to fight within a castle.
It'd be an inconvenience to use during combat, but along with a shield, they will be able to survive.
Weed looked at his dirt covered body, then removed his Talroke's Armor, Lott Sword, Ancient Shield and cleaned them at lightning speed.
"Ah so. Please take out your shields."
The Geomchis each removed the shields that could cover their entire body that they have equipped.
It was hard to say whether the shields' form and usage were good or not.
It can deflect oncoming arrows from their enemies when equipped, also increased their defense by at least 50%.
Problem was they were two-handed weapons; along with the inability to equip swords, their Agility reduced dramatically.
"Sword go, shine armor, shine shield!"
Exercised the Blacksmith skill!
Geomchis and other colleagues' weapons were grinded and armors wiped; albeit temporarily, stats increased through these means.
"It's over. Then Irene nim, please bless the group."
"Yes. To fight against the wicked and evil, please let his strength reach its peak, Bless!"
Weed and the Geomchis' bodies were covered in slight divine radiance.
The Unicorns and Pegasus broke their ways into the cellar through the door.
Due to the fact they were creatures made from divine magic, they could sense whenever divine magic was used within a certain range.