The Legendary Moonlight Sculptor Volume 50 Chapter 4 part1
[Note from Mimosab] Hi guys! Hope you had a nice christmas 🙂
A 2nd part will be released shortly…
When the mood of the dinner party was sufficiently heightened, Weed beckoned Yellowy and Nile to come closer.
"I'm so sleepy. Can't I at least have a solid rest on a day like this?"
The sculptural creatures complained.
"Allow me to introduce them to you; both of these sculptures are my own creation."
Geihar cocked his head with a surprised expression in his face.
"Sculptures? You mean they are…?"
"Yes. I bestowed life upon them."
"Life bestowal? But that is my specialty. How on earth did you manage to use that skill?"
Weed straightened the creases on his novice adventurer's garment with his hands; this was one of the planned-out acts for the ultimate flattery he had designed to win the favor of the emperor, in order to squeeze the last drop of usefulness out of him.
"I think it's time to introduce myself more properly, master."
"Master? What do you mean?"
"My imperial majesty Emperor Geihar von Arpen, I am your student from the future, who once came across a piece of parchment left by yourself and thereby chose to become a sculptor."
Geihar's jaw dropped in amazement. Weed began to tell him the old story.
His path as a sculptor had been initiated in a place called . With all things considered, it could be said that Emperor Geihar was Weed's true mentor.
"Well I'll be damned… so you became a sculptor after reading my letter?"
"Indeed, it was an expertly written piece of work that captured my interest at once."
As a proof, Weed took out the parchment which he had been keeping all along. He never threw away anything, even if it was just some old miscellaneous item. As for this letter, he had chucked it in an obscure corner of the Black Castle before finding and bringing it with him for this adventure.
– A letter from a legendary emperor to the future generations.
My name is Geihar von Arpen, the Emperor who united the Versailles Continent for the first time in history. However, I confess that the last days of my life have not been too happy, for there was none who recognized my torment, and my talent. Why doesn't anyone understand the greatness of my profession? Why do people scorn and dismiss it as some worthless job? Blinded by prejudice, nobody made an attempt to understand the true intention behind my choices, nor did they show willingness to carry on my legacy as a sculptor. Even my own children were no exception — foolish, ignorant things! They do not deserve to become my successor; thus I leave all my secret techniques of sculpting here.
The letter was full of complaints as well as denunciation on one's children.
"This indeed looks like my own handwriting."
"Yes. I had always been very interested in the art of sculpting, and after reading your letter, I immediately made a decision to become a sculptor."
"So none of my own children became a successor to my legacy…"
"I do not know much about that, but that was what was written in the letter."
Although people say backbiting a person together was a classic way of bonding with a friend, it wouldn't be wise to have the said friend's own family as the subject of the slander, even if he hated them. It might feel satisfying at first, but a person was bound to get angry eventually at the insults towards his own kin.
"After that letter of your majesty's opened my eyes to the world of sculpting, I have been through so much pain and suffer-I mean, *ahem*, so many wonderful adventures with a burning passion in my heart. I've come to know more about the sculpting techniques as I travelled across the continent."
After listening to Weed's explanation on all that had happened, Emperor Geihar nodded.
"That's indeed the power of sculpting. Travelling in time itself wouldn't be a difficult task at all if you have the endless possibilities of sculpting by your side, the art of creating miracles."
Weed wetted his lips profusely with saliva.
"Of course. Sculpting is the best skill one can have."
"Do you realize that while all the combat skills are quite simple to master, creating life is something only a god would be capable of? Art is one true power, the limit of which is beyond our estimation."
"You are absolutely right. That's what I always say to other people as well. Sculpting is an everlasting technique."
"It seems we talk the same language; because you are my pupil, perhaps?"
"Allow me to refill your cup, your Majesty!"
"No need for such formality; just call me master."
Weed was getting along smoothly with Emperor Geihar, enjoying a glass of beer with him.
"By the way, you could have come to meet me straight away after you arrived; why were you staying in this place?"
"There will be a monster invasion in a few days, an invasion by which this beautiful sea of the Arpen Empire will be destroyed."
He added some more explanation about the coming assault of the monsters upon the great coral reef. Geihar's eyes narrowed and a hint of suspicion appeared on his face.
"Invasion and destruction. Aren't those all the more reasons why you should have come to me?"
"Of course, I yearned to find you and seek your help, master. But at that time I was worried that we wouldn't be able to have an audience with the great Emperor himself… so we decided to stop the invading monsters by joining our strength, meager though it may be."
"That is very commendable attitude, nothing less than what I'd expect from my student."
Emperor Geihar had an easy-going disposition and was quite susceptible to flattery.
'I didn't have to worry so much. I should've guessed he would be such a simple person to deal with from that letter he left for the future generations.'
Weed's honeyed words were absorbed by the emperor as smoothly as an instant coffee mix dissolving into hot water. From the next day onwards, Geihar joined the rest of the adventurers in their effort to stop the monsters.
"The sculptural lifeforms… After I bestowed life upon them, all of them have been living as free spirits. I will ask these friends of mine for their aid."
Emperor Geihar summoned the sculptural creatures living in the nearby regions by blowing a shining bugle. Every day there were more than a thousand creatures answering his call; on the first day, they consisted mainly of small animals resembling raccoons or badgers.
"Kekeke. Here I am!"
As soon as they arrived, this race of creatures called Boroks started to eat the significant amount of fish that Zephyr had caught.
Emperor Geihar spoke to them.
"There will be a fight."
"Kukeke. Sounds scary! I'm scared!"
"Our enemies are fish."
"Food! We eat them!!"
Weed thought that those creatures that had gathered on the first day would be quite useless.
'They are small, weak, yet consume a lot of food. That's the worst combination I could think of.'
The next day, various kinds of herbivores streamed into the beach, including some tiny ones that looked similar to rabbits. At least they did not need any provisions as they searched food in the woods on their own, but it was still unclear whether they would be able to join the battle.
'The best sculptural lifeforms are those that can complete any given tasks efficiently and know to follow orders. Those small creatures might be better suited for using in the character industry, seeing their cute appearance.'
But as Weed's disappointment grew, there was another group of creatures arriving, this time consisting of reliable-looking crocodile-like combatants.
"We have answered your call, your Majesty."
"A battle will take place very soon. Your task is to protect the seaside."
"Yes, my Emperor!"
The crocodile combat troops were stalwart soldiers. The Croco Legion, the name given to these creatures, was also mentioned in historical books of the Arpen Empire, and was known to possess tough skins and formidable strength.
The march of the Croco Legion, armed with swords and shields!
These combat troops were capable of swimming their way through any rivers or swamps, which granted them high mobility.
Examining all the sculptural lifeforms summoned by Geihar, Weed tried to guess the emperor's taste.
'First mice and rabbits, and now crocodiles. He's fond of animals, perhaps? He is surely a peculiar man, as some of old records say.'
Flattery was a delicate art which required thorough study of its subject. Weed had deliberately brought Nile the Crocodile in order to pander to the emperor's taste. Weed spoke to Emperor Geihar covertly.
"Those crocodiles are very imposing and magnificent to behold."
"You think so? They are actually my failed works."
"Yeah, I just carved them with the top of my mind when I was drunk. But they breed extremely quickly; that's why there are so many of them now."
A dark spot in the history of sculpting!
No sculptor would be fully satisfied with every piece he had worked on, as is the case with all the artists.
From the next day, the true main forces of the Arpen Empire started to make their appearances.
A squadron of flying creatures that covered the whole sky — with their wings fully spread they were far larger than dragons, with long sharp beaks and muscular shoulders and legs. Their bodies were huge yet agile; truly a species created solely for fighting.
"What do you call those birds?"
"They are Baraags. Aren't they big and cute?"
According to historical records, they were ferocious monsters that could slay things like wyverns or griffons in their sleep. The legendary creatures that were known to have destroyed several cities later during the Warring Age, and currently there were none less than thirty of them in the sky.
"Exactly how many Baraags are there in the continent?"
"I don't know. I've made those sculptures when I was a child… I guess there would be around a thousand of them by now."
Weed said to himself, 'With these monsters on his side… no wonder he managed to unite the whole Versailles Continent. Sure, every child is dear to his parents, but some children are bound to be more competent than others.'
If those Baraags spread their wings and threatened humans, their very lives would be at stake; the sculptures Emperor Geihar had crafted as some 'big and cute' things were at the very top of the food chain.
The day had come on which the sea monsters would make their appearance.
Schools of fish swarmed in near the shoreline, triggering a quest for Weed and his companions.
An assault of Poratts!
The monsters that have been devouring everything in the depths of the ocean were freed in great numbers! They are now heading towards the Wulhoff Reef because of the vast quantities of food that the place provides. By joining strength with the sculptural lifeforms of the Arpen Empire, stop the Poratts from destroying the sea of corals.
Difficulty Level: A
Rewards: Contribution points for the Arpen Empire
Quest Restrictions: Proceeding with a historical adventure
The occurrence of the quest was as it was expected.
'This way isn't too bad either.'
It would be a basic practice of adventurers to carry out quest and hunting simultaneously.
Emperor Geihar agreed to lend them some of the equipment he owned, as a token of his goodwill.
"Both your attire and weapons look quite worn-out. Here, use these; you are fighting for the residents of my empire, after all."
What the emperor in rags took out and offered them were some of the sleekest dwarf-made gears.
– The Sword of Glory and Justice
– The Crimson Blood Armor
– The Armor of Star, Wind and Cloud
– The Shield of Deep Underground
– Sea Flower-patterned Boots
– The Ring of an Overlord.
Most of the equipment had level restriction of late-400s, which meant that they were far better than what Pale, Romuna and a few others had been using. Presently, Emperor Geihar was the richest man on the face of the Versailles Continent.
Seasoned Crab and Python were both content with continuing using their old weapons, as they preferred the grips of them which their hands were accustomed to.
Surka picked up a few pieces of equipment from the emperor's collection, and asked, "Do you normally carry so many items and gears with you, your Majesty?"
"There's a bit more in my bag. Would you like to take a look?"
From a very battered-looking leather backpack the emperor pulled out some more items.
– Mynedrin's Legendary Armor Set
– Legendary Sky Sword
– Legendary Dragon Sword
– Legendary Spear of Trembling Earth
– World Tree's Reverberating Thunder Bow
– Bow of Sun Piercing
– Arpen Emperor's Greatsword
– Staff of Absolute Flames
The eye-poppingly magnificent collection of weapons enveloped in brilliant auras! The adventurers were all completely absorbed in examining these precious items.
"This is incredible."
"They are all real treasures, with level restrictions of 600 or 700. So many legendary weapons in one place…"
Weed's voice suddenly became very low and quiet.
"How did you obtain all of these?"
"Oh, some of them were given to me as presents, and I found the others during adventures with my friends."
Such was the extent of the power which the emperor of the whole continent wielded.
Weed's hand silently reached towards the Loa Sword. At this moment, he'd forgotten everything about the Hermes Guild, even the battle in the Garnav Plain. He seemed ready to bury the body of the emperor in some place hidden and escape the scene using the Travel Sculpting skill any minute.
'Some of these legendary items will be forever lost to history if I don't take them.'
Quite naturally, Weed was engulfed by greed the moment he laid his eyes on the emperor's treasures.
But as he was looking for a chance to strike Emperor Geihar from the back, Maylon approached him swiftly.
"Weed-nim, you are going to give an interview to KMC Media later, right?"
The moment he heard the word 'KMC Media', he immediately came to his senses.
'I'm on air right now. On air. At least one hundred million viewers are watching what I'm doing through broadcast. Still… even if I get reviled for now, once I've secured those gears I could use them forever…'
Even after Weed was reminded of the watchful eyes of many broadcasting stations, Emperor Geihar's life was still in grave peril.
But this time, as Weed was on the brink of selling his sense of morality in exchange for legendary gears, Python opened his mouth.
"By the way, is this greatsword for your own use, your Majesty?"
Python was pointing at the largest sword in the emperor's small pile of weapons. Geihar smiled and nodded.
"I learned to wield it a little, just as a hobby."
At last, Weed's brain that had been paralyzed by the greed for treasures began to operate again.
'That's right, Emperor Geihar was a master swordsman… just like Zahab.'
Indeed, there were records mentioning that Geihar had once mastered the techniques of swordsmanship, although it was a long time ago from now. Python spoke to the emperor, as if challenging him, "So I assume you can handle this sword very well?"
"True, I used to swing this sword a lot in the past, but my strength has diminished while I raised my children."
The penalty of Sculptural Life Bestowal skill: the user is weakened as his level drops. Emperor Geihar had once been a remarkable swordsman, but his power had grown weaker although his techniques remained masterful. Instead, the emperor was now surrounded by monstrous Baraags slowly blinking their gigantic eyes. While the chance of Weed succeeding in killing the emperor using his Loa Sword was quite high, the reprisals he would have to face after the murder would be extremely problematic.
'This is such a shame…'
Albeit barely, Weed eventually regained control of his reason that had been blinded by legendary items, and stepped back.
"Let's start the hunt, then."
With Emperor Geihar joining them, Weed and his party members ceased all the crude preparations they had been making so far. Their initial plan was to cast steel nets across the sea in the hope of blocking the movement of even a portion of the swarming Poratts, and try to buy some time using Disaster Sculpting and other various skills while hunting the Essen Poratts directly. Considering the unbelievably vigorous life force of the sea monsters and their habit of hiding deep under the sea when feeling threatened, it wouldn't have been an easy battle. But after the army of sculptural creatures serving Emperor Geihar arrived, they turned the direction of their plan towards a head-on fight.
The legions of sculptural lifeforms continuously showed up even on the very day of the battle. Among them, Weed pointed at the gigantic monsters made of pure-white snow.
"What are those?"
"They are snowmen. I made them for my daughter."
"…I see. You are saying that they can… move about?"
"Yes. They wander around the Imperial territories every winter."
The height of one of those snowmen with a broom was no less than 180 meters. With each of their frosty breaths they sent a gust of a terrible chill, freezing the trees and the ground around them. The sight of this snowman monster drawing closer with their thunderous footsteps would probably make a child have several nights of insomnia from fright. The scale of the emperor's sculptures could trample the innocence of childhood down into tiny miserable pieces.
"Your daughter must be quite fond of them."
"Oh, she loved them. I've heard that ever since she saw those snowmen, she started to eat her food without complaint and even stopped throwing any more tantrums."
"Of course she did."
The army of sculptures summoned by Emperor Geihar stood in line along the shoreline. The core part of it consisted of crocodile soldiers that looked similar to Nile, but various races of Avians could be seen as well. The most imposing of them were gigantic sculptural lifeforms carved out of metals, wood, water or fire.
Metallic giants with their shining bodies.
"There are a lot of big guys here."
"The bigger they are, the cuter they look, don't you think so? Those smaller ones are more solemn."
The legion of sculptures with sizes of 100, 200, and 300 meters — as these creatures marched forward, an army of men would have no choice but to surrender without even getting to fight.
(To be continued…)