The Legendary Moonlight Sculptor Volume 16 Chapter 4
Chapter 4 : Strategy of Invincibility
This chapter was brought to you by AnmesicCat, BeatJumper, Grisia, Haikai, Lastear, Lei, and Masadeer. Special thanks to PeculiarAshes.
Weed agonized over discovering a method to destroy walls.
"There's a long way to go before the fortress walls collapse, so we can capture it."
As a blacksmith, he could create siege weapons. However, his proficiency to do so was still severely low.
"I don't know how many siege weapons I'd have to make before I can get a useful one, either..."
If it requires as much weapon production proficiency as making a Great-Sword, it would take several long weeks! Material supply was also a problem, and the alliance tribes might try to return to their tribes again.
"Well, it's not like I really have the confidence to beat the Embinyu Church's Knights and Priests even when the walls fall down."
Weed's mind was eased. Since the solution wasn't in siege weapon production, he had completely given up on it.
"A normal siege battle won't do. Of course there isn't an answer."
No one would dare to attack the high, thick walls of the fortress when the people inside were well prepared to defend them.
The alliance tribes were outnumbered and at a disadvantaged when it comes to a group battle. The greatest roles the individuals could play were only in dogfights and hunting.
Weed had used his Tailoring and Blacksmithing skills to touch their gear up a bit, but with the alliance tribes' fundamentally crappy armor, most of them would die from a concentrated attack even before they climbed the walls.
"Should I have listened to Smith's advice and brought another person with me?"
But Weed shook his head. It was too late to regret it, and he couldn't go back, either. Even if Pale, Zephyr, or SwordNoob were to come, the situation probably wouldn't change much. Having personally experienced the enemy's strength, it seems like the quest success would, at the very least, take a combat profession in the mid level 500s. It would take a force capable of destroying the gates with a sword blow or highly destructive skill, capable of subduing the Embinyu Church's Priests with an ambush!
As a Knight, he could command the alliance tribes by demonstrating the peak of his Leadership. Although the tribes have gathered, they were merely rag-tag troops, but he made the alliance tribes fight past their limits with his Leadership and Charisma. Even if the alliance tribes took a lot of damage, he had to bring out their maximum potential to use them and look for an opportunity.
It could become a mighty victory worthy of being left in the Versailles Continent's history.
Weed didn't rate his own ability to command very highly.
"I only won the wars I could win."
He didn't have a scrap of desire to fight a battle with only a tiny chance of victory with the alliance tribes. Overcoming the quality and quantity of his troops, the terrain, and the state of their equipment wasn't as easy as it sounded.
There was also a limit to granting life, a Sculptor's advantage. He'd want to give it a go if he just had 100 sculpted lifeforms or so. He'd be able to see a chance of victory, too. But if he did that, Weed's level would fall by at least 160.
"Even if I succeeded the quest, there'd be nothing left."
At best, the life-granted sculptures would die brutally in the siege war.
If he successfully completed the quest but over half of his sculptures died, it would be a tremendous loss! He'd also have to start again from the beginning with a level below 200. Even if the quest succeeded, there'd be nothing left.
"This is what they call an unprofitable business."
Weed decided to return to the basics and construct his plan again. Before starting the battle, he had to nitpick on many variables and choose a battlefield favorable for his forces. For now, Weed logged out for the first time in a long while to rest.
* * *
"Is this the library?"
Lee Hyun sought out the library for the first time since his admission into Korea University. He had neglected it until now because there weren't any comic books at the university library.
"Though it was my dream ever since I was young."
Reading comic books and making ramen to eat when he was hungry — it was a happy fantasy he'd wished for in his middle and high school days.
He was also a reader who diligently read the daily published comics while delivering newspapers.
"For a library to not have comic books, this school is truly rotten!"
Lee Hyun criticized the school library's policies without reserve. Many other libraries collected comic books, but Korea University hadn't put comic books out on their shelves yet.
The generous scholarships, study-abroad benefits, large state-of-the-art classrooms, and research facilities the school arranged to provide for the studying students were not subjected to his consideration.
"Seems like a backwards school if it lacks comic books. Rotten, it's rotten. Where are they using all the tuition fees?"
The number of novels, economic books, dissertations, history books, and books about art was enormous. The whole building was a library.
"You came, hyung?"
His classmates from the Virtual Reality Department recognized Lee Hyun and greeted him quietly. It seemed they were studying in groups of twos and threes in the library study rooms.
"Ah, yeah." Lee Hyun simply nodded his head lightly.
It was the most important thing he had to watch out for while attending university.
'I absolutely must not get close to those who are younger than me.'
If he became a senior, he would treat his juniors like robbers, because they'd have the impudence to chase him around asking to be treated to a free meal!
In Lee Hyun's case, he'd already been asked a few times by other students to buy them food, since he was older than his classmates.
"I have to consider my health. I pack and bring my own lunch from home."
He narrowly averted the crisis.
The views of the students had changed now.
'A family man oppa who thinks of his health.'
'He'll never buy us a meal.'
Nevertheless, Lee Hyun was always careful. He didn't know when someone would ask to be treated a meal. They could also ask for something to drink at the cafe or a snack at the cafeteria.
'This damn school, is it some kind of a restaurant? Why's there so much to eat?'
It was so bad he had to avoid the vending machines, located in every building.
"Did you come to study?"
"No. I came to read books," Lee Hyun replied as he lightly walked forward.
"Hyung, literature novels are on the 2nd floor."
"I didn't come to read a novel. There are just a few things I want to look for."
"What did you come here to find?"
"Strategy, tactics, warfare. Y'know where they are?"
"They're on the 7th floor, but..."
"Mm. Thanks for telling me."
Lee Hyun pressed the button for the 7th floor in the elevator.
The 7th floor held Eastern Philosophy, history books, and other old related books, so students didn't frequently visit it.
After Lee Hyun went into the elevator, the students whispered to each other.
"He must've been pretty interested in Eastern Philosophy."
"Though he's usually not talkative at all... his level is really high."
"He must have depth to him somewhere, and many good points to have even dated such pretty unnis."
Since Lee Hyun had a date with both Seoyoon and Jung Hyo Rin during the school festival, he had become a famous figure.
Rather than jealousy, many men had endless respect for him, and for women, he became a mysterious man concealing a host of charms.
"But he must be pretty good at Chinese, too."
"I've gone to the 7th floor out of boredom before, but most of the books on the shelves were untranslated originals."
* * *
"Holy sh—!" Lee Hyun hurled out a swear.
"Why they hell would they have foreign books in Korea? It should be published once it's all translated!"
He couldn't make heads or tails of it.
About half of the shelves were filled with foreign books, and the rest were Korean, but written with many ancient Korean characters. Since they weren't written out in modern Korean, they were extremely difficult to read.
"I have to find a book on strategy..."
The books Lee Hyun was looking for happened to be rare and weren't well translated. As he rummaged through the bookshelves, of course it was difficult to understand. Despite seeing the titles, he couldn't find what he was searching for.
"Most bookstores order by title, but why is it so hard to find stuff in a library?"
It would actually be easier to find the strategy text Lee Hyun wanted in the novels section. Books such as «The Art of War», «Admiral Yi's Tactics», and «Wuzi» had been published as novels. With the Korean explanations, they were easy to understand and even had illustrations.
However, trying to find the book he wanted in the untranslated, original-lined shelves of the Eastern Philosophy section was hell.
"I need to find a strategy or tactic that can be used against the Embinyu Church to win."
It was obvious why Lee Hyun spent his precious time to come to the library. It was difficult to strengthen the might of his troops. He had to utilize his current force to the fullest. If strategy and tactics shone through, he needed plans at a high enough caliber that extraordinary generals might attempt them.
"I have to find a strategy like that..."
No matter how much he looked at the strategy texts, simply reading them was impossible.
The strategy texts he managed to find in modern Korean had phrases such as this—
— Know thyself and know thy enemy and you will be ever-victorious.
If you compared Lee Hyun's Weed and the alliance tribes with the Embinyu Church's forces, it was really too much.
"Ever-victorious, as if... looks like the quest is gonna fail." Lee Hyun grumbled as he looked for other books.
As he was doing so, he spotted a novel on the shelf.
«Romance of the Three Kingdoms»!
Apparently, someone had read it and then left it on a random shelf.
"«Romance of the Three Kingdoms»... other than the name, it's a book I've never read before."
Lee Hyun glanced through the «Romance of the Three Kingdoms». It was a story about the oath of the peach garden sworn by Liu Bei, Guan Yu, and Zhang Fei.
[T/N: It is a novel written by Luo Guanzhong during the 14th century. It is a true story based on the happenings during the Han Dynasty with some fictionalization.]
He didn't read the mighty «Romance of the Three Kingdoms» in detail, but merely skimmed through the stories volume by volume.
The best part was where Liu Bei visited Zhuge Liang three times to recruit him. It caused a complete reversal from a totally disadvantageous position.
Lee Hyun discovered the strategy to deal with the Embinyu Church from the «Romance of the Three Kingdoms».
* * *
The Embinyu Church's great army!
After Weed and the alliance tribes' attack, their vigilance had greatly increased. The personnel posted on the wall had grown considerably, and there were also more Archers with bows. It was evidence of the continuous growth of troops and the expansion of military weaponry even within the Embinyu Church's fortress.
"Bingryong." Weed spoke from behind a rocky mountain, a spot that couldn't be seen directly from the fortress.
"Scout how many there are over there and report."
Bingryong flapped into the sky. Without going near the Embinyu Church's fortress, he reported after observing them from afar.
"The humans on the wall alone are a little over 5,000."
"That's quite a lot. How about the ones wearing armor?"
1,000 Dark Knights alone! He had to assume the rest were Normal Soldiers, Priests, or Magicians.
Including the ones who weren't on the wall, their overall number had at least more than doubled!
Weed had anticipated the siege, so he had elicited and destroyed the pursuit forces in advance. The strategy of dividing and conquering! He had lured and annihilated the weak enemies first.
Despite it all, an enormous number of forces still remained inside the Embinyu Church's fortress. Moreover, given the great might of the Embinyu Church, it wasn't an exaggeration to say they dominated over the nearby tribes. As the battle wore on, reinforcements would continue to arrive from other tribes.
"It means the enemy's at least over 2 times larger... it'll be totally impossible like this."
"Master, surely you're not going to attack the fortress again?"
Since Bingryong had been caught in the middle of the quest, he didn't know what kind of quest Weed was doing.
The retired old mercenary, Smith, did not come and had remained in the Salmere Tribe's village. He refused to participate since he said that fighting the Embinyu Church was suicide.
"I want to listen to Master's plan. The fortress looks really dangerous."
His intelligence had grown, so he had the admirable thought of finding out what Weed's plan was in advance.
Weed gladly responded, "There's something called the Power of the Deliverer. It can even call forth an amazing Versailles Continent boss monster. Remember the Bone Dragon? I'm going to bring one stronger than him."
"You're going to bring another monster although we can't handle the current enemy?"
"Yeah. I'm going to call it here. And we'll fight together."
"But what if the monster you bring attacks us?"
"We'll have to be careful to not get attacked."
Bingryong nodded as if he was satisfied with the answer.
"Master is a genius."
"Well, it's true that I'm pretty smart."
Weed pulled out the Wand of Promise in order to use the Power of the Deliverer. Unlike normal magic, he had to recite a spell for a holy blessing.
"Thy servant desires to use the strength of the blessing the divine Matallost granted upon the world. I beg for permission."
— You have used Power of the Deliverer.
At that moment, all of the Versailles Continent was projected into Weed's eyes.
He could summon any kind of monster if he looked through any area and chose a monster. Of course, with Power of the Deliverer, if he brought an unmanageable monster, there could be a negative effect.
"Kuhuhuhu. Humans are scary."
Goblins running around in the dark were passing by.
'Anyways, I have to bring a strong monster. Or an NPC worth making a comrade.'
Weed scoured canyons, mountains, and rivers.
As ever, there were many boss monsters and unconquered monsters in the Versailles Continent. Punitive expeditions were often made in the Central Continent, but in the East, West, South, and North, the likes of half-baked punitive expeditions were stamped out by boss monsters who trampled them lightly.
Monsters lurking in undiscovered dungeons.
The levels or characteristics of many such boss monsters were not known to the public.
'For the quest to succeed... the answer can only be a truly strong monster.'
Ridiculous, jaw-dropping monsters! He intended to bring a monster such that even a prestigious guild would have to gather over 500 people to fight it.
The minimum standard was Vampire Lord Torido or Bone Dragon-class!
Weed spent 6 hours carefully looking for suitable monsters.
A terrible, terrifying monarch recorded in the history of the Versailles Continent! It was a figure deeply related to a quest Weed had resolved before.
'I'll bring this to start the battle.'
The next was a monster which had become famous after annihilating a prestigious guild who had devoted themselves to attacking it!
The last was taboo to even be spoken of. A symbol of power and authority!
It was a destructive existence that could sweep away an entire Kingdom overnight.
"I've got to pick something of this level, at least."
Weed showed great satisfaction as he used the Power of the Deliverer.
It was all or nothing for an S-class difficulty quest anyway. It was not a quest that could be completed through normal, non-committal means.
"The worse possible outcome is for me to die twice. Let's try it with all we've got!"
Weed felt his mind was at peace. He was only at conflict before the decision, but once he set himself to it, he didn't have any regrets.
"Well, with the little time that I have left, should I try making a sculpture?"
He was going to try and sculpt using the rocky mountain before the monsters were summoned. He couldn't hope for a Masterpiece since he was tight on time, but if there was another useful sculpture, it would help in its own way.
Weed pulled out his sculpting knife and headed towards the rocky mountain.
* * *
The station received and looked at Lee Hyun's video in real time.
There were parts that naturally lagged a little due to the time differential in the processing speed within the capsule.
Since there was so much they had to work with, staying up all night was a given!
However, the unnecessary parts, like when he was cooking or moving, were fast-forwarded, so they were seeing Lee Hyun's adventure in real-time.
Director Kang grabbed the back of his neck.
He was so dumbfounded that he was dizzy. It was all because he had seen the monsters Lee Hyun had summoned using the Power of the Deliverer.
Not only Director Kang, but also over 50 of the staff were fascinated.
"Is he crazy?"
"He's completely insane!"
"UWAAAHH! What are those monsters...?! Even the one coming out first is ridiculous!"
Director Kang and the station staff thought he would summon a moderately strong and manageable NPC or monster.
The Royal Knights of Rosenheim Kingdom, if he asked them, were good, since Knights mounted on drakes would be considerably helpful on the battlefield.
Summoning a Royal Magician wasn't bad either. Weed could exchange the contribution he had with Rosenheim Kingdom to ask for help Or, since he had contributed to strong nations in the Central Continent, he could summon from there too.
Kallamore Kingdom's Knight Kolderim! For the station people who knew about the quest of the Vampire Kingdom Todeum, summoning the somewhat attractive- and currently on a winning streak; Kolderim, was a fairly good choice.
The Lu Church's Paladins and Priests would also have been an effective choice! The Embinyu Church were their enemies, so if they were summoned, they devote their strength without another word. Using the priest's divine power as a backup to raise the overall power of the alliance tribes and going out in an all-out war would have been the choice of a normal person. Of course, it would still be very unfavorable for the alliance tribes. Completely changing the war situation was difficult with a few Drake Knights or Priests.
Having to attack the Embinyu Church's fortress without even a proper siege weapon would leave an expectation of an atrocious amount of damage.
It was a situation where he could never raise the chance of victory, but you could still be a little hopeful.
But all of these were somewhat ordinary monsters and NPCs that people would normally summon. However, Weed only summoned the grotesque monsters that made you tremble.
"No, bringing just one of those monsters would be enough to cause an uproar..."
"Won't it be no problem to get 15% viewer ratings even if only one of those appeared?"
"One? Forget the ratings, they're enough to cause an uproar on the Versailles Continent."
The staff members chattered wildly.
However, inside the broadcasting station, a faint light of hope was beginning to bloom.
For those who had quested before in the Versailles Continent, they knew how hard a C-class quest was. If you had a high level and your team-mates helped, you could do a B-class difficulty quest. A truly outstanding user or guild could even try challenging an A-class.
Still, the only person who could progress through an A-class quest alone was Weed. Despite a favorable view, many considered the quest this time to be way too much and were in despair.
However, the station's atmosphere was changing now.
Anyone could feel that the indication of some kind of change was ripening.
Director Kang raised his receiver. It was so that he could report to the Director-in-Chief, but the phone connected and the Director-in-Chief spoke first.
— Director Kang? I'm looking at that video too.
"Is that so, Director-in-Chief."
— It's really amazing. Indeed... he's Weed. I envy his reliable image. Is it because he's young? There's something special about him.
"Yes. I think so as well."
Director Kang spoke while bowing as he held the phone.
"Yes yes, we will do that. Yes, of course. We will do as you say, Director-in-chief."
Director Kang put down the receiver and blew out a long sigh. "Pheew."
Tension was always high for a salary-man. But he then he vigorously rose up from his chair.
"Bring Supervisor Yoon from the Programming Department."
At Director Kang's words, the station staff members focused their attention on him for a while. Then, Supervisor Yoon, who'd been in the adjacent office, opened the door and came in.
"Director Kang, what's going on?"
"Cancel all the regular programs from this moment onwards!"
"What? Then there would be massive grievances from the viewers."
"What program is broadcasting right now?"
"Tree and Monsters. It's a broadcast that introduces the peaceful monsters of the Versailles Continent and is popular among women and children."
"The average ratings?"
The popularity of Royal Road was growing to no end. As viewers who had never looked at game broadcasts before were drawn in, the general ratings had also risen considerably.
A rating of 3.3% was not bad for KMC Media.
"Stop it! I received full authority from the Director-in-Chief. An official document will arrive electronically in the Programming Department soon as well!" Director Kang urgently explained.
His sense of duty to cancel all the broadcasts before the quest's end!
Considering the monsters Lee Hyun had summoned, it was the jackpot. It secured the audience rating for sure.
The fight against the Embinyu Church would be interesting after all.
If the result was leaked after the battle finished, the excitement would be spoiled.
Even if the station completely maintained their security, with a quest of this size, you may never know what might happen.
Since it would impact the Versailles Continent based on the result, you could guess the quest's conclusion from the words of the residents, or a change in the situation.
From the station's viewpoint, it was a chance laid out with a feast— side dishes, richly roasted meat, and even the delicacy of soy sauce crab legs. A situation where you could starve to death while agonizing on what to eat! Though the meal was laid out, the dishes clamoring to be eaten would be your ruin.
Before such a disaster occurred, there was an order from the Director-in-Chief to immediately cancel all broadcasts.
"Production Supervisor Shin! Where is the starting point of Weed's linked quest?"
"It was the confrontation with Death Hand in the Dwarven Kingdom Kuruso."
"Broadcast that quest quickly. For the editing, just hide the truth that it's the God of War Weed... but can we hide it?"
"It will be possible until the battle starts for real. It could be difficult depending on how the battle goes."
"Broadcast anyway. Hand over the footage to Programming now, start broadcasting as soon as it's ready."
The main screen on the homepage of KMC Media changed.
A sign announcing a war!
The Undead were pressing in, and the Orc Karichwi, who looked like he flossed with iron bars, let loose a scream. Part of the extremely popular Undead Legion video appeared on the main screen.
There was also a change in the broadcast schedule.
— 12:30 Tree and Monsters
— 14:00 Exploration Team for Sabain's Treasure
— 15:00 Eastern Great Adventure
— 15:50 Adventurer Milestones
— 17:00 Versailles Continent Story
— 19:00 Challenge! Monster Hunting, You Can Do It Too
— 20:20 A Road to Money, the Life of the Merchant
— 21:30 People For Whom the Stage of Their Dreams has Changed
— 22:00 The Searoute of Captain Urgan
— 23:30 Continent's Home
The schedule occupied by the regular broadcasts disappeared, and a new schedule was registered.
— 12:45 ~ 24:00 Weed
An incomparably simple schedule.
It was the incredibly flashy revival of the program, Weed.
On television, a caption alerting the cancellation of Tree and Monsters popped up.
— A few words of information for the viewers.
Soon, Weed's adventure will be broadcasted.
As it is an emergency change, we apologize for not being able to inform you beforehand.
The linked quest of the Great Sculptor Weed and his war against the Embinyu Church will be broadcasted continuously.
This quest, which is currently progressing on the Versailles Continent, has a quest difficulty of S-class, and there are more linked quests left.
The broadcast end time is undetermined, our entire current production staff are doing their best, but as it is an emergency broadcast, there may be insufficient points.
We ask the viewers for a lot of understanding.
It was a rather lengthy notification, but it was enough to throw the viewers into a frenzy.
— Sculptor Weed? Isn't it the adventure of the person who built the Pyramid and the Tower of Light?
— They say KMC Media is broadcasting the fight against the Embinyu Church that made such a ruckus in the Versailles Continent not long ago. Apparently it's a chain quest of S-difficulty.
— I'll tell all of my friends too.
The news was conveyed through various Royal Road fansites and forums. People turned on their TVs and changed the channel to KMC Media.
3.3%, 3.8%, 4.2%, 5.1%, 7%, 7.6%.
In a moment, the ratings sky-rocketed!
The number of posts written by viewers on the forum increased by 10 times more than usual.
— Why aren't you broadcasting?
— You said it was a little later, but when are you broadcasting?
For smooth broadcast preparation and the viewers of Tree and Monsters, the content wasn't changing immediately.
— I have been a fan of Tree and Monsters since the 1st episode and seen them all without fail. Please turn on Weed's adventure immediately.
Even the fans of the show were clamoring for them to end it quickly and broadcast 'Weed'!
A 10 minute counter appeared on part of the broadcast screen. The counter decreased every second!
The competing broadcasters felt like their blood was drying up at their decreasing ratings.
While receiving enormous attention from the viewers, the broadcast of the program Weed began.