The Legendary Moonlight Sculptor Volume 50 Chapter 2 part2
[Note from Mimosab] Today is a big day! … what a great day for an extra release 😉
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… what a great day for an extra release 😉
Next day at sunrise, Weed announced to his companions briskly:
"Now that we all have had enough fun, I think it's time to get to work."
"What, after just one day?"
"Yes, I mean, just fooling around is fun and all for about ten, twenty minutes, but after that it just gets boring, don't you think so?"
After all the hardships and ordeals they had had to endure through countless hunting expeditions and quests, he was now saying that one day of rest was quite enough.
Weed pointed at the sea in the far distance.
"In just a week, a great army of monsters will come invading from that sea."
"How many would there be?"
Seasoned Crab, who had joined the company later with Maylon and the others, asked; having both earned some stats and enjoyed the beautiful scenery in such a fantastic place, he was quite content to lend his strength in the coming battle in return. He tended to enjoy a fight, and there was considerable fun to be had in knocking down the monsters together with Weed and his other reliable companions.
"You can pretty much assume that the sea over there will be fully covered by the monsters."
"Yeah. Nothing but monsters as far as your eyes can see and even beyond the horizon. The entire depth of the sea will be packed with them, in fact."
"The name given to the race of those monsters is Poratt. Just imagine sea serpents and you have a pretty good idea of them. They like to eat meat but they'll devour anything on their way."
"And their level?"
"It varies a lot. Here, I have brought a record about them from the Great Library in Morata. Their species also became extinct later."
– An illustrated guide to extinct monsters written by pirates, #391
A monster species commonly found in clear oceans. They have a shape of a serpent and they are not particular about their prey. Their strength can be categorized by size.
Up to 50 centimeters: Ordinary. Good to have as sashimi. Good for men's virility, too, according to some stories. Pirates scramble for their meat.
Up to 1 meter: Tasty. The tastiest stage of their life. You could down a whole bottle of rum with each piece of meat.
Up to 10 meters: Need to be careful. Quite a few pirates were swallowed alive while being too greedy and trying to catch them. Still, not too difficult to hunt with a harpoon.
Up to 30 meters: Scary. They can ram into the ship and damage it.
Up to 50 meters: Best to avoid. The whole pirate ship could go down if things go south.
100 meters or bigger: You need to spread the sail and flee, but they have wings, so they'll chase you. Just accept that you're dead and leave a will at least.
When a Poratt lives longer than 60 years, it sprouts out wings and are able to fly. Such older ones are separately called Essen Poratts, and they are legendary creatures of the sea, as there are few pirates who encountered one and survived.
After the companions took turns to read the document, Weed went on.
"The majority of the monsters coming to this sea will be small, but there will also be quite a few of them that are larger than 100 meters."
Surka raised her hand and asked a question.
"Isn't there some possibility of inaccuracies in this record? Old rumors among pirates often have a lot of errors."
"I don't think there is in this case, as both Golden Bird and Bahamorg fought in this battle at that time."
Weed had heard the stories directly from Bahamorg, who once lived in this age although he died and was resurrected again, and Golden Bird, whose lifespan was incredibly long. If he really needed more information about the quest, he could also obtain it through Sculpting Resurrection skill, although of course this was not a skill that could be used too often.
Pale asked Weed seriously.
"But how are we going to stop them just by ourselves? According to what you explained to us, not only will there be a large number of monsters with the size of at least 100 meters, but also enough of the smaller ones to fill the entire sea as they swarm in!"
"We'll just have to try our best."
Weed drew a map of the terrains and the coastlines of the area on the sandy ground of the beach.
"We don't have to worry about those monsters landing on the shore. The army of living sculptures of the Arpen Empire will arrive here and stop them."
"Then what is our role?"
"We'll have to buy some time and prevent the destruction of the sea, as well as the extinction of this coral reef and the sea creatures living in it. The Poratts will devour all of them if we don't interfere."
The objective was now clear to everyone present: the plan was to just hold their ground, not to kill all the monsters that will crowd the ocean.
Zephyr also raised a question, with a grave look on his face.
"So, how long do we have to hold them off?"
"Golden Bird says it would be about 2 to 3 hours."
"Then… this might actually be worth giving a shot."
Each companion took a short while to mull over Weed's plan.
'There are at least some odds of us winning.'
'All we have to do is to survive the invasion… this could work if we just focus on buying some time.'
Most people would still say this was quite impossible, but those who gathered around here thought that they would stand a fair chance; partly because they were confident in their abilities, but also because they knew that Weed had never actually taken a chance on something completely ludicrous. In case of this particular adventure, rather than just a simple fight, they could make use of the special sculpting skills to turn things to their favor. It was also a good opportunity to effectively use Zephyr's fishing skills.
At that moment, Bellot furrowed her brows slightly and muttered, "Hold on a second, I think we're missing the easiest and the most obvious way to stop these monsters."
"What? You sure?"
"What would that be?"
Suddenly the focus of everyone's attention, Bellot explained confidently.
"We know what is going to happen from now, don't we? So can't we just go meet Emperor Geihar and tell him what we know, so he can come and stop the monsters?"
"Huh, now that I think about it, you're right!"
It was a plausible enough suggestion — since the adventuring party knew in advance about these pelagic monsters' plan for the invasion, it was possible to thwart it by relaying that knowledge to a right person. By simply changing the course of a past event in history, they would be able to successfully defend such a beautiful sea.
'If we manage to preserve this wonderful landscape, it will also change the same region when we get back to the future time. That will make a lot of users of Royal Road happy, too.'
'It didn't occur to me that there would be… such a perfectly simple way to protect this sea.'
It seemed Bellot had found out the quickest and the easiest measure to prevent the damage to the wildlife of this place. However, Weed firmly shook his head.
"That would be an absurdly wrong move."
"Because the whole point of this adventure is to flatter the Emperor!"
They needed to put this entire beautiful ocean at stake while trying to stop a gigantic horde of monsters, all for the sole purpose of buttering up a person.
Thus Weed started to devise defense plans with his companions in the sandy beach.
The first of their plans: construct some traps far away in the sea. This had been Zephyr's suggestion.
"Let's prepare a lot of barbed nets and cast them in the sea by linking them to the rocks below. They probably wouldn't stop them for long but in the billowing sea, they'll be able to make those monsters get tangled among themselves."
"That's a good idea. They're said to eat anything so they could eat each other as well."
They decided to work all night to craft as many steel nets as possible. Bellot and a few others sighed dejectedly, but in the end they had no choice but to accept it.
The second plan was to use a phantom ship, which was brought up by Pale.
"Weed-nim, you are a Necromancer; could you summon a phantom ship? I think the undead can be of much help here."
Truly, nothing would be as effective as a fleet of phantom ships for distracting the sea monsters.
"Hmm. It should be possible, when I transform into a lich. My skills have been improving quite a lot so I expect I will be able to summon a greater number of ships than before."
An entire squadron of ghost ships could make it much easier for them to fight against the monsters. In fact, considering the conditions of this quest, without an operation of such a scale it would be impossible to hold off the horde of Poratts even for a short while.
The third plan was the bait. This time they didn't even need anyone in particular to bring up the idea, as it was the first thing that dawned on everyone's mind when they looked at Yellowy.
"We need something to draw their attention… and I think everyone here would agree that Yellowy is the best candidate for that role."
Seasoned Crab voiced the idea first, and Romuna agreed instantly as she smacked her lips.
"Those gluttonous monsters won't be able to swim past our Yellowy."
"I'm not saying it's not a reasonable plan, but I'm not sure if it will be effective against the Poratts since they are not land monsters."
Only Irene felt sorry for Yellowy and wanted to spare him, until Surka laughed and said, "Don't worry sister, Yellowy told me not to share this with anyone, saying it was a secret, but he actually has a taunt skill! It will be quite effective for distracting the enemies."
Zephyr took a look at Yellowy and nodded.
"Then he will make excellent bait. We could use him as top-quality bait for those monsters."
The fourth plan was preservation. Taking into account the worst case scenario where this defense operation fails miserably, they decided to collect as many different corals and sea animals as they could, so that when they were released to the ruined sea after the war was over, at least some life could breed and multiply again.
The fifth plan was a disaster; Disaster Sculpting was one skill that was pretty much a must under such circumstances. While it will inevitably cause some damage to the coral reef, the effectiveness of this skill was such that not using it was not an option they could afford.
The sixth and the final plan was death: except for Weed, every adventurer of the party was determined to put their own life at risk in this fight, as they couldn't bear the thought of such wonderful beach and ocean being destroyed into nothingness.
"Even if we die we just have to go offline for a day. We'll still be able to join the battle in the Garnav Plain without much trouble."
"It'd be a shame to lose the skill levels, but we can always improve our skills again."
Part of the reason behind their resolve was the broadcast. Just by being Weed's companions they raised their profiles enough to shoot a handful of commercials themselves. In case of Surka, it was an ad for an air conditioner brand; the concept was a female boxer sweating and punching a sandbag in a gym, and the ad was quite well-received by the public, too.
On the other hand, Romuna had shot a commercial for a mobile phone; she had been very happy when she first got the offer from LG, as such advertisements were usually reserved for extremely attractive actresses or members of popular girl groups, until…
"What? You want me to smash this phone?"
"Yes! Throw it at the wall and strike it with a hammer, and just blow it to pieces with a fire spell, and THEN make a call with it. That's the main flow of this commercial."
"But what would all of that achieve, exactly?"
"A very spectacular shot, obviously!"
"But… what about my public image?"
"Why, this commercial was designed precisely based on your public image."
It was a too good an offer to refuse, so Romuna ended up accepting their request and shooting the commercial after all; the director lauded her to the skies.
"Every single shot is perfect. The posture of your body when throwing the phone, the way you handle the hammer, even the look on your face as you burn the whole thing with the fire spell! Would you be interested in taking up acting at all?"
As the rest of the companions were famous as well, they all solidified their resolve to willingly sacrifice themselves for the good of the general public, and for the preservation of the sea.
In the Garnav Plain where the festival was in full swing, Mapan began to gather people around him.
"We need to make some large sculptures now, everyone."
The famed users of the Grass Porridge Cult, who had even given up their quests and hunts in their rush to join the battle, got enthusiastic twinkles in their eyes when Mapan explained to them that it was a special request from Weed in order to conquer the Versailles Continent.
"We've got a lot of time. Just make about ten thousands a day and that'll make a hundred and thirty thousand already!"
"But he said a large number alone wouldn't help. Let's just settle with eighty thousand, but instead we'll make each of them in about the size of the Goddess Freya Statue."
"I was an engineering student, and if we assume we'll have about two thousand people working on each statue, then… Whoo, I don't even need to use any math to figure out it's going to be a piece of cake."
"I think this will change the name of this place into the Plain of Statues in the future."
Sometimes the Grass Porridge Cult was compared to a horde of orcs. Whenever Weed shouted out an order to them, they came swarming in with a mighty "Yaaaaargh!!!"and completed any task they were given, be it a battle or a manual chore. A few people criticized their collective behavior, saying it was foolish, but those who actually participated in such activities did not complain. It was one of those exciting enjoyments that could be experienced only in Royal Road, and besides, they were proud to lead the Versailles Continent to the path of righteousness as they mingled with other people.
After Weed's request was received by Mapan, the Grass Porridge Cult even issued an emergency call.
"We need to concentrate all our spare forces on this project."
"I was planning to just enjoy the festival before joining in the war… but it looks like that's not an option anymore. Ahem."
"Let's all stay sharp. We don't know when we will get another chance to join in an event like this once the whole Versailles Continent become united, do we?"
"We, Grass Porridge, are gradually becoming a highly honorable group, not only in Royal Road but in the entire world. Let us all return this favor by behaving in a way that befits the status of our cult."
An urgent notice was sent to the users who were drinking beer and idling away in the festival.
– This is Priority One Grass Porridge Emergency Call. A decision was made to build supersized statues in the Garnav Plain. Members of the Grass Porridge Cult are requested to participate immediately.
Although it was an emergency call it did not possess any authority to force people to follow it. Still, the people sprawling on the ground across the Garnav Plain stood up at once.
"A Priority One call!"
"That's the one they issue only when the very existence of the Grass Porridge Cult is at stake!"
People put down their unfinished plate of food; men and women who were hanging out together stopped their chatter.
"An emergency call! Let's go!"
"Poisonous Mushroom Porridge, move!"
Those who had been taking a rest rose from their seats and began to flock in, holding the banner of their squad. The people who had just arrived in the Garnav Plain and were getting ready to enjoy the festival got a grip on themselves as well.
"Join in the labor. Let's get to work! Where did I put my shovel?"
"Let's move, quickly!"
It was a magnificent sight; five hundred thousand users gathered in the Garnav Plain rushing out to carry out their share of work, kicking up a cloud of dust behind.
"What, what is this…?"
"Wow. It's been a second and already they're all moving!"
The users of the Central Continent were all left sitting there, dumbfounded by the whole situation that happened so quickly.
– This is Lemon from the Grass Porridge. We need your help right now. Please come ASAP.
The main force of the Grass Porridge Cult that had been descending from the North — a single message changed the movement of the entire army, whose soldiers had been taking in the sights and sauntering merrily as if on a holiday trip.
"Begin the march!"
The high-level users shot forward at once, running at a great speed. The mages used flying spells and moved towards the South as they soared in the sky. The average level of the main force of the Grass Porridge Cult was not high, but even the common users began to move in earnest.
"Those who are riding on horses or cows can move ahead!"
"Anyone with an empty carriage can pick up ten, no, twenty people each."
"I've just sent a request to the Avians. A squad of twenty thousand sparrows is on their way to give us a ride."
Every carriage drawn by a horse or a cow was belting along the barren road, with people sitting on its roof and holding onto the side walls.
The entire main force of the Grass Porridge Cult began their rush towards the south with a terrible speed. Their destination was the Garnav Plain.
(To be continued)