The Legendary Moonlight Sculptor Volume 15 Chapter 8
Chapter 8 : Reconstruction of Niflheim Empire
This chapter was brought to you by AnmesicCat, Lastear, Lei, Thunderhamster, Yeong.
The linked quest already had 3 stages. It did occur to him that it was convoluted, however Weed continued on to the Kingdom’s Library.
It held a considerable portion of the general history of the Versailles Continent, but you would have to personally search for information on individual histories.
Count Savoid (Sur Empire Year 436~Year 479)
Received his Knighthood at age 17.
Returned from fulfilling Knightly duties at age 20.
Inherited his territory at age 36.
Possessed exceptional talent for swordplay and horseback.
Executed for rising in revolt at age 43.
There was only simple information in the Biography section. He also read the History and War sections, but parts involving Count Savoid were missing, as if someone had intentionally erased them.
“Where is it?”
“It says there’s a treasure hidden in this area.”
Adventurers and Magicians who’d been reading in the library hurried to leave. There were almost 20 users who, like Weed, had come to obtain information in the library.
A jackpot was hidden somewhere, but he would have to invest a lot of time and recovering the costs was difficult— this was the situation while hunting inside the library for information. It was also a condition in where many basic information was lacking, or there was simply nothing to be read.
‘Seems it’ll be difficult to find it this way.’
Weed was submerged in labor.
Finding a clue through a book was hard even for Adventurers with vast experience, so it seemed it wouldn’t be easy for his Sculptor self to gather information.
‘Is the method of my approach wrong? Alright. Since I’m a Sculptor, it might just be that I was supposed to look at the Sculptors first.’
Weed sifted through the art-related books.
« History of Monuments », « Excavated Carving », « Sur Kingdom’s Proud Sculptures ».
He saw a book titled, « Ancient Sculptures » entangled among the many books he was reading. The contents of the book, although the name was different, there was information about the sculpture he currently had possession of.
Figure of Rest : Symbol of Religion
It is the symbol of the worshippers who followed the God Matallost, who guides the dead. They did not have a flag or pattern, but were famous for having a sculpture.
The Priests of the Matallost Church had strong holy power and can guide the dead.
After the birth of the continent’s official language, rather than using their God’s name, they also called themselves the Resurrection Church.
They weren’t very high in public favor because they were close to and conducted research about Death. It was assumed they used as sculpture as their symbol primarily for preservation of secrets.
There was a story of some Matallost faith idol being special and sacred artifacts, very different from normal sculptures.
- You have acquired all of the required information for the quest.
He did flounder a little, but still finished the quest.
He went to the tavern and reported to Smith.
“This sculpture was apparently the symbol of the Matollost Church.”
“It said it was a symbol of an ancient religion. And it might even be an idol.”
“Old Smith’s Curiosity” quest completed.
You have answered the former mercenary Smith’s question about the sculpture he saw in his youth.
Now he will tell you the stories he knew of during his mercenary days.
- Sculpting skill proficiency has improved by 0.4%.
- Your Faith stat has risen by 1.
Since he could raise his sculpting skill proficiency while completing a quest, these kinds of commissions weren’t all that bad either. Though it took up too much time for going to various different places.
“So that’s what it meant after all. Hiccup.”
The old drunkard Smith was very intoxicated.
“As promised, please tell me stories of what you saw and heard when you were young.”
“Ayup! I was, ya know, a really reliable and well mannered Mer-mer-mercenary. I made lotsa money, too. Though I did use most of it buying drinks and women.”
With a loose-tongued way of speech, Smith told of how he came to be a mercenary and roamed the continent while fulfilling requests as a free mercenary.
For Weed, of course, it went in one ear and went out the other— there was no end to listening to each and every word of a drunkard.
After a long while, Smith finally spoke of the the main subject.
“This sculpture, ya see, at that time, the Count was going to escape through the castle’s basement together with this sculpture. Haaah, I’m gettin’ drunk.”
“Why do you think he did that?”
“I dunno either. Anyways I thought it to be really very strange. Hiccup. The alcohol tastes real good right now. What were we talking about again?”
With a befuddled look, Smith babbled on about more irrelevant stories for a long while.
He boasted of his job as a mercenary, and a drunkard’s preaching about the continent’s drinks!
Smith’s attention was directed at the sculpture once again, and as if he had regained his senses, he asked.
“Though I didn’t see this sculpture after long while… you’re not busy, are you?”
“I am busy though.”
“Could you take me to solve this mystery?”
Smith pulled out a rusty key from his bosom.
“If I remember correctly… after that time, the basement was sealed, so you can probably only go in if you have this key. Can you take me there with you and solve the mystery for me?”
Old Smith’s Second Curiosity.
The old, drunkard Smith has a question about the last time he saw Count Savoid.
In order to answer his question, search the Count’s mansion, find the basement, and dig up the secret.
Chain quest, leads to the long-cherished wish of the Matallost Church, which guides the dead, and the reconstruction of the Niflheim Empire.
Reward: A drink from Smith.
Quest Restriction: Limited to Sculptors. Quest failure upon Smith’s death.
If it was Niflheim Empire, it was a great empire that existed a dozen years ago in the Northern part of the continent, where Morata was part of, and Weed was her current Lord!
The castle and villages went up in flames due to the monsters around and Bone Dragon who descended from the Forest of Darkness. The emperor tried to seal them using the Serbian Beads, but it only resulted in lamentable freezing of the entire Northern area. Under the attack of the cold, the monsters, and division of the people, the empire collapsed.
If the Niflheim Empire were to be reconstructed right now, the North would stabilized on its foundation.
It was a little unexpected that a quest such as this would become available from a sculpture, and then linked to the Resurrection Church. But it wasn’t very surprising. The Resurrection Church and the Matallost faith were churches that had originated in the North.
If he solved mercenary Smith’s question, then he would also solve the quest relating to the reconstruction of Niflheim Empire.
‘I’ll be able to sell off Morata for a more expensive price.’
Weed nodded his head as he tore into a chicken leg as an appetizer.
“I will do my best to solve the mystery.”
- You have accepted the quest.
* * *
The Savoid County was made into an enormous hunting ground. Sur Kingdom was infested with level 150 to 200 monsters, so a considerable number of parties were out hunting.
“Recruiting people to hunt inside the mansion. Preferring People with experience or courage.”
Count Savoid’s Mansion was a region-class dungeon. The max level of the monsters was 282.
The astral Knights, Soldiers, and even astral maids spawns there.
Weed entered the mansion with the drunkard mercenary, Smith.
“Arghh. My insides are gonna die of heartburn.”
Smith complained as he followed.
“Won’t you give me just one bottle of booze?”
“I don’t have any.”
Weed firmly refused. There was, of course, a lot of liquor in his rucksack. All because he made brandy or whisky whenever he saw edible fruit or wheat, etc. There were a few cooking items that sold well, and easy to store like liquor. With its astounding taste, disinfectant properties, and since it even raised Health recovery speed, liquor received the most limelight among preferences.
Since well-distilled liquor could be priced expensively, it was no different from cash.
Although he distilled liquors in his spare time by plying his cooking skill, he was frugal with it to the utmost, to the point where if it wasn’t SwordNoob or the other elder brothers, no one would even ask Weed for it.
“Ahem, my mouth is dry.”
Smith grumbled as he followed.
In the old mansion, dust was piled thickly and pieces of furniture were scattered around. The mural was damaged to the point of unrecognition, and the chandelier had fallen to the ground, shattered.
He saw many other parties, but they were hunting ghost monsters.
Weed looked around the mansion a little before giving up. It was a colossal site, so it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to call it a castle.
Weed had wandered through many castles of Vampires when he was in Todeum, but this was different from those castles, even the estimate of the number of rooms in the powerful Count’s mansion was immense.
Weed asked, “Where is the basement?”
Smith just shook his head from side to side.
“It happened a long time ago, so I don’t remember. Though, I might remember if I drink a bottle of booze…”
‘Good-for-nothing alcoholic, drunkard!’
Other hunting parties were hunting all over the place in Count Savoid’s Mansion. If it was a basement they didn’t discover, it was either meticulously hidden or had to be an extraordinary place.
‘Even if it was discovered, it might not have been made public.’
They wouldn’t have been able to enter the basement even if they found it if they didn’t have the key. It was human nature to not want to do something that was good for someone else. Even if the basement’s entrance was discovered, it was possible it hasn’t been made public.
If so, Weed figured he had to cooperate with Smith to find it.
Weed opened his rucksack and pulled out a bottle of beer.
“Come to think of it, I do have liquor.”
“Harumph. Give it to me!”
“... I do remember. It’s probably down by the staircase.”
The place Smith had pointed out was the bottom of the stairs, leading to two additional floors.
Weed tried going behind the wooden staircase. There was nothing there, except thickly piled up dust. However, when he probed around with his hands, he could feel an imperceptible crack.
‘So it’s here.’
Weed cleared the dust and found a small key hole. Then, he placed the key he received from Smith and turned.
He had to push forcefully to barely open the old door.
Weed entered the basement together with Smith and closed the door. He didn’t forget to pull out the key, either.
Because it might be discovered by another party hunting in the mansion!
Weed was absolutely not one who would fall flat on his face when the prize is in sight.
You have discovered Count Savoid’s basement.
Fame increased by 50.
Through adventure, experience has slightly increased.
“Aha! So this is the Count’s basement.”
Smith had emptied his bottle of beer somewhere along the way and smacked his lips as if he was in regret.
“If it’s a done deal, why didn’t ya give me whiskey?”
“I absolutely do not have whiskey.”
Beer was at least common and cheap, but since decent whisky was at minimum a few gold, he had no intention of offering it.
Weed looked around the basement.
Many books were arranged in this place, which seemed to have likely been used by the Count as a secret study.
« The Basics of Flame-Based Magic »
« The Study of Wind Elements and its Affinity »
« Ten Law of Flatterly Elementalist Should Keep in Mind »
« Traveling the Versailles Continent on Foot »
« Money-Making Opportunities »
« Witch, the Sorceress Who’ll Read Books for You »
He could tell just from looking at the titles, a variety of books were adorning the bookshelves.
Weed stuffed every book into his bag.
‘I’ll make money if I sell them at a curio store or antique bookstore.’
Since the quest’s next chain was determined, he packed them away cleanly.
He also searched the Count’s desk.
There were gold coins worth about 300 gold in the drawer, and a carving knife as well.
‘I’ll have to sell this too.’
Weed was one to memorize the prices of a wide variety of items on the spot.
Even if a supermarket’s automatic price calculation system broke, if it was Weed’s store, there probably wouldn’t be a slightest reason to worry. It was all because Weed was the type who would thoroughly remember the buying price starting from the factory to the selling price, surtax, and even what applied to the “Buy 1 Get 1” marketing deal.
365 gold coins multiplied by 12 gold coins is 4,380 coins!
It was to the point where he made calculations in the blink of an eye.
When it came to money calculations, he beat math prodigies!
Weed saw a book spread open on the table.
« The Origins and History of the Matallost Religion »
He began to skim through it.
The ancient Matallost faith's congregation was the largest compared to others who arose from rituals conducted by the people who held death sacred.
They considered death as returning to the embrace of their god... as the Matallost faith was adhered to as the Kingdom's established religion, Warriors pay their respects to the Church before going out into battle.
However, the public perception of the Matallost church changed as the years passed.
Wars between tribes decreased, and a castle was built against invading monsters, establishing peace.
The Matallost faith became shunned as death was regarded with fear.
In addition, the Arpen Empire’s continent unification war, each kingdom competitively gave preference to the church in their own territory.
In particular, churches related to war received respect, and the Matallost Church was disadvantaged by its doctrine of being led and guided by Death.
Death became the last name the remnants of the Matallost Church yelled, and even mention of the name alone became abhorred in public regard.
Priest candidates of the Matallost Church decreased more and more, and the position became occupied by another Church.
The churches of Freya’s prosperity or of the God of Fighters, Belacus, increased.
...The Matallost Church lost its power, and the support of each Kingdom was severed. It was assumed they, who hid in the shadows, increasingly could not throw away their desire for power.
The power to guide through death!
They dreamed of revenge by using their strong holy power. Specifically what kind of revenge they’ve planned is unknown.
- Intelligence and Wisdom have both increased by 5 from reading advanced information about the Matallost faith.
- You have acquired information about the Resurrection Church.
Weed found something else from the desk. It was the robe worn by Resurrection Church Priests.
Matallost Church. Since currently they were more often being called the Resurrection Church, it didn’t matter if you spoke carelessly about them.
“Count Savoid must’ve been a Priest of the Resurrection Church.”
Weed guessed judging from how Count Savoid had possession of the Statue of Death, the symbol of the Resurrection Church.
“Huuh, look here a bit!”
Just then, Smith discovered a wide room.
A magical circle was drawn inside the room, and in the middle, on top of an object looking like a tombstone, was a bowl where something could be placed inside.
An image of the Statue of Death was drawn into the bowl.
“Maybe this is where it should be placed in?”
Weed took out the sculpture from his bosom.
The Statue of Death he’d acquired at the end of his duel with Death Hand in the Dwarf’s underground Kingdom, Kuruso!
The second coming of the Matallost faith and the reconstruction of the Niflheim Empire.
He didn't know what kind of effect it would have on the Versailles Continent, but when he recalled the contents of that quest, there was no reason for it to end here.
Weed placed the sculpture in the bowl. Then, as if it were given life, the scythe-holding malevolence flashed open its eyes.
The mansion shook, as if there were an earthquake.
A damp fog filled the basement, and a black vortex formed above the altar. A gate to another place had opened.
Smith staggered backwards in surprise.
The black gate.
Not only had he never seen a gate of this color anywhere, but the scythe-holding malevolence figure was glaring at him. An incomparably terrifying look.
However, Weed was not afraid.
There was nothing as terrifying as an empty account balance. It was so scary he had nightmares of negative interest even in his dreams!
- A gate to the River of Lamentation has opened.
Access is impossible for general users.
The quest will proceed in the River of Lamentation.
The success or failure of this quest will affect the Resurrection Army accordingly.
The message window popped up to all the users in the Versailles Continent.
Weed swiftly approached the gate, and the black vortex swirled as if it were going to eat him up. However, Smith hurriedly shook his hands.
"In order to solve my request, won't I also have to follow?"
Weed desperately wanted to leave Smith behind, but he had to take him.
"I have a condition. If I go in there, you have to make it so I can drink five bottles of liquor every day."
"If I don’t drink, I can't fall asleep, you see."
Weed nodded his head and agreed.
He couldn’t look after Smith all the time. It would be better to put him to sleep even if it was by drinking liquor.
"Also, recruit a mercenary."
"You’re a feeble Sculptor, aren't you?"
If Weed was feeble, then the majority of Warriors or Swordsmen would be crawling around on the ground for lack of strength.
Smith continued, "I don’t feel safe with just you. And we don't even know where we'll arrive if we go through that gate, so wouldn’t it be better to bring one mercenary?"
- It has become possible to recruit one mercenary to progress the quest together.
Hiring a mercenary in a Sculptor-only quest!
This meant there was going to be an actual battle.
'Even if it's low, it is an A-rank difficulty quest...'
If he considered the chain quests that would occur as Niflheim Empire's reconstruction or the Matallost faith's second coming, the actual difficulty could be much higher.
It was to the point where it wasn’t the end of the chain quest that was a burden.
He had to find someone to do the quest with whom he could trust to some degree.
Weed immediately sent a whisper.
Pale responded promptly.
- I'm doing a quest, but I need one mercenary.
- Really? Where are you?
- Hagen Village of Sur Kingdom.
- What to do? It'll take a minimum of twenty days to go from the North all the way to there.
- Might there be someone else who's in the Central Continent?
- Mapan-nim left towards Rosenheim Kingdom to trade, the others are all gathered here.
Mapan’s fighting strength was too lacking to bring him as a mercenary, so he was ruled out from the start even though he was a little closeby.
- Right now we’re also doing a quest called “The Secret of Manufacturing Ancient Breastplate.”
- Seems difficult. I understand.
Weed clearly had to give up. If he were to ask Pale to come, Maylon would be sad.
Irene would be a big help since she was a Priest, but there would be a lot of times when he’d have to protect her. In that aspect, Romuna was also in a similar position.
Surka was young and timid at times, so it was burdensome to go through thick and thin for a dozen days with just the two of them in a difficult quest’s dungeon.
Hwaryeong’s dance skill was good for increasing stats or putting monsters to sleep. Her usefulness was outstanding, but her actual attack power was weak so it was dangerous. Even if she was good in general hunting, it was a strain to bring her to a fight where he didn’t know what kind of difficulty might be waiting.
Zephyr was out from the start.
Though his Health was strong, Resilience was good, and he even had an AoE skill.
“Since he’s being friendly with my little sister, he is absolutely a no.”
Weed erased Zephyr’s existence from his mind.
How could he give his dearly raised little sister to a playboy. It was something never to happen even if the sky were to collapse.
“Since she says they’re just meeting, I’ll have to wait and see. Since my little sister has an eye for people.”
His little sister’s actions or demeanor hadn’t changed, so he was relieved for now.
A father’s ripping heart when his daughter when out on a date with her boyfriend wearing a short skirt!
Weed could also sympathize a little.
“Men are all wolves and thieves. If a man dies at the hands of a woman, she’s innocent. Because even if he dies, he was sure to have committed an inappropriate deed, or wanted to commit one!”
Even so, he couldn’t take Yurin either.
He sent a whisper to SwordNoob.
- Ahem! What’s up!
- What are you doing right now?
- I, I didn’t do anything. I absolutely wasn’t starting a conversation with a Dark Elf Lady. Disciple. There was just something I wanted to ask.
SwordNoob’s honest reply returned after a while.
- Shouldn’t I also marry? It’s difficult, but I should try a late marriage, at least.
- The other elder brothers are also busy, right?
- Yeah. They’re in the Orc village, and many are in the Dark Elf’s village as well. The Dark Elves with their dark-complexioned skin are healthy, so they like them very much.
- How are the Yuroki Mountains?
- There are many monsters. It’s alright since there’re a lot of monsters worth fighting. Making a party together with Orcs and trying out their hunting style is also fun.
SwordNoob and the other elder brothers were enjoying Royal Road. Flaunting their hearty masculine beauty as they protected the weak Orcs.
- Master, Dark Elves also like flowers.
- Oh, really? Alright. You should work hard as well. And call me anytime if you need help.
- Yes, master!
Weed ended the whisper with SwordNoob.
‘Who should I take?’
The Travellers of the Wilderness Guild!
A minority elite group of Armen Kingdom. A guild he estimated as having many unknown high-level users.
It was a guild Weed was a member of, but he hadn’t looked at the guild chat window for a while. It was turned off because the guild members frequently chatted idly amongst themselves! It was also a burden due to fact that he didn’t know anyone well enough to invite just one person from the Travellers of the Wilderness guild.
Just then, a whisper from Pale came.
- Weed-nim, you said you were getting one mercenary, right? Will you perhaps take one Shaman?
- What kind of Shaman are they?
- Her skill proficiency and utilization are to the point of being ridiculous. She is the most famous Shaman in Morata. She’s being a really big help even in party hunting together. I said spoke about Weed-nim just now, and she said she really wants to go.
Weed recalled his time as a beginner, when he hadn’t been playing Royal Road for very long.
‘I party hunted with a Shaman in the City of Heaven, Lavias.’
An unforgettable name. Dain.
She was exactly his ideal woman. It was difficult to say what exactly he liked, but his time together with her had been enjoyable. They talked a lot while dungeon hunting with just the two of them, and they had clicked even when they were hunting.
‘Although she left to undergo surgery… is she doing well now?’
Since there was no word, he could only hope for her wellbeing.
Weed brushed off thoughts of the past and spoke.
- It seems too dangerous a place for a Shaman to come.
A Priest-type profession was fundamentally a big help in party hunting, but they couldn’t protect themselves.
- Please convey my apologies for not being able to do it together.
- No. It can’t be helped.
He couldn’t call Hegel. If he called him, the news would soon spread all over through the Black Lions’ Guild.
The Thief Nide wasn’t an alternative, either.
‘A Thief is a profession with a lot of uses in a dungeon.’
A stereotype where Thieves or Assassins were vulnerable in a melee match!
Since he was getting a mercenary to help him in battle, a hiding, ambushing profession was unsuitable.
‘If it’s the strongest person I know, there’s only her…’
Weed recalled Seoyoon in his mind.
She, whose blade sliced up most monsters! A Berserker who grew stronger as the battle continued.
She had an outrageous level, and her utilization of skills was rapid.
The Berserker Seoyoon!
It would be the safest if she was here.
However, Weed shook his head.
His trust in Seoyoon was kindling a little, but it was too much to ask her to help him with a dangerous quest that had absolutely nothing to do with her.
‘Besides, I don’t even know where she is right now, and it would take lots of time if she were to come all the way here.’
He couldn’t get anyone he knew from around Sur Kingdom.
Weed made his decision.
“Call Death Knight!”
Death Knight Van Hawk appeared with smoke.
Since he’d been with him for a long time, he was used to meeting even Death Knight’s savage eyes.
“Did you call, Master.”
“Yes. Work has arrived.”
“I will knock down whomever it may be,” was steadfast Death Knight’s cry.
Weed turned his head and looked at Smith.
“If it’s Death Knight, we will not need another mercenary.”
Smith had not been that alarmed even when Death Knight had appeared.
“Seems like Death Knight can protect us. But the alcohol?”
Weed briefly opened his rucksack and pulled out several bottles of beer. There were dozens of beer bottles, he also had considerable amount of whiskey and wines. There was no need to purchase liquor separately, and if it was urgent, he could distill alcohol at any time.
Since there’s always a chance he could be called to leave for an adventure, he prepared plenty of bandages, a whetstone, or herbs and the like.
He was done with preparation for departure anytime..
“Let us go.”
Weed took the lead first, and Smith followed behind. The bodies of the two vanished completely with the black gate.
As the gate disappeared, the shaking of Count Savoid’s mansion gradually faded.
* * *
The scattered corpses of monsters!
Fragments of monsters fell whenever Seoyoon swung her greatsword.
The monsters who ambushed from hiding beneath the earth or assaulted by falling from trees!
Seoyoon simply swung her sword.
Every time her blade flashed, monsters turned to grey light.
In the past, she had fought to forget everything. While dripping wet with sweat, if she could fight, then it was enough, and she would blindly run towards a monster group.
The fate of Berserkers who grew stronger the more they shed blood!
‘This place is too weak.’
A Berserker had the characteristic of drawing enemies and monsters.
A group of monsters gathered in Seoyoon’s location. Her footsteps were naturally drawn to a place where there were increasingly stronger monsters.
The absolute sense of a Berserker who sought blood and battle.
When there was a Berserker, the place would quickly become a battlefield with ceaseless screams.
The high-level hunting ground renowned even in the North, Maban’s Forest!
Monsters were running en masse to Seoyoon’s location.
‘Nobody loves me.’
Although it was she who had thrown herself into battle so her past wouldn’t resurface, now her heart didn’t hurt compared to the past.
Whenever she recalled the friend she had, a part of her chest became warm. The time when they shared an adventure in Royal Road was not long, but they could also meet in reality.
‘I want to protect him.’
The sight of him dying quickly at the Bone Dragon’s Breath...
She was hunting for the sake of the feeble Weed as she amassed experience and skill proficiency.
Her level was 422!
Seoyoon entered an area with even stronger monsters.