The Legendary Moonlight Sculptor

 
 

The Legendary Moonlight Sculptor Volume 50 Chapter 8 part1


[Note from Mimosab]  Haaa guys, you helped so much in the past 10 days, more than 10 parts 100% funded!!! Please be patient, we “should” go faster starting next week. As explained in the Discord Channel last week, the translator had to arrange her VISA to stay longer in Australia… now it seems to be ok.

.. and thanks to Eternal for the proofreading 😉 



Although there had been some delay, the news of Weed and Python challenging the advanced training hall reached the Garnav Plain, with various broadcasting companies delivering the information as breaking news even in the middle of their regular programs.

"An advanced training hall?"

"According to LK Games, only those who have mastered an intermediate training hall are eligible to face those trials."

"They say you might as well not bother going there unless your level is at least 400."

"But that's just some minimum stats requirement. We all know level itself doesn't mean much when it comes to Weed-nim."

"Yeah, he'll succeed, as always."

"It's not like that. People say it's beyond comprehension that only the two of them have gone to take the challenge. Just look at how flabbergasted those MCs are."

KMC Media, CTS Media, LK Games… every broadcasting station quickly made arrangements to set up a studio to directly report the news about the advanced training hall. The video of Bard Ray and the Hermes Guild members arduously struggling their way through the said training hall was on screen as well. The show hosts seemed as if they were quite unsure what to say.

– I just can't wrap my head around this. Of course, Weed and Python, they both possess tremendous competence and skills.

– Yes. They are truly strong. Both know how to put up a good fight.

– However, I can't help but think that going headlong into the advanced training hall is too reckless, even for them. Weed won't be able to use his strongest skills such as sculpting techniques or summoning undead.

– Abilities like stopping time or summoning undead are indeed extremely powerful weapons. Even the Hermes Guild would have a difficult time dealing with them. But none of those can be used in the advanced training hall. They have no unexpected going for them.

– They need to get across the whole path using only pure combat skills… the problem is, there are simply too many monsters inside.

– Well, technically, you don't have to eliminate all of the monsters on the Path of Struggle like the Hermes Guild did. You just have to pass through them, in any way. You could even run away from them.

– But avoiding the fight is not an easy thing to do in that place either, as you'd know.

– How about taking things slowly and making their way forward just one fight at a time?

– Even warriors with their great stamina will eventually get tired after a long battle. There will be some decrease in their life force, as well. They could recover by taking a rest, but taking too much time in the path will only lead to them starving to death.

– The difficulty level of that path is atrocious beyond one's imagination. It is simply impossible to beat it with just one person.

– Some even say that clearing an advanced training hall is more difficult than mastering the combat-class skills.

"Watch this video showing the Hermes Guild. It isn't possible to clear this with just two people."

"Then why did they decide to take up the challenge?"

As more information about the advanced training hall spread, users of the North were feeling quite confused.

"They're just going to die, at this rate."

"Dying for nothing? Just like that?"

"And if they HAD to die, why now? We're facing the most important battle in Royal Road!"

"Maybe they were planning to have an epic one-on-one fight against Bard Ray after clearing the advanced training hall?"

"This is ridiculous. I can't believe they're acting in such a foolhardy way."

"If things go south, Weed-nim might not even be able to attend the battle."

If they die in the advanced training hall, they cannot go online again for the next 24 hours. That was equivalent to 4 long days in the game, considering how the time flows differently in Royal Road compared to the real world. This meant that Weed would arrive late for the battle in the Garnav Plain, or might even fail to show up.

"It wouldn't come to that… would it?"

"Considering the difficulty of an advanced training hall, it wouldn't be too surprising even if they really die there. You can see what kind of place it is just by watching the videos or broadcast."

"But Weed-nim has made so many miracles possible… Seeing all of his accomplishments, I think he will succeed this time, yet again."

"Didn't you see the broadcast? He can't even use sculpting skills there. There's no way to go through the place other than fighting your way through countless battles."

"Weed-nim is not a Knight or a Fighter, after all."

As the words began to spread, the users gathering in the Garnav Plain were struck by a sudden feeling of apprehension. This anxiety got even worse when a newsflash appeared in the middle of a live program on KMC Media.

– Weed is challenging the advanced training hall alone.

Even the Northern users who always trusted and followed Weed could not help their puzzlement at the moment they received this new report.

"We're about to have a big battle to save the whole Versailles Continent. He can't do this if he truly understands the gravity of it."

"It's as if he said a big 'Screw you' to at least a hundred million people."

"If Weed dies, he sure will leave a big mark in history… in the worst possible sense, of course."

One after another, many users in the Garnav Plain began to react against Weed's sudden decision to enter the advanced training hall, as the whole situation was too absurd for them to expect Weed to succeed this time.

"Whoa. It's already hard with just two people, yet he…"

"It's the Weed-nim we know, all right."

"Yes, one can never realize how reckless he can be until they really get to know him."

"What on earth was he thinking…?"

Pale and the rest of Weed's companions who were waiting at the entrance of the Path of Struggle heard the news as well. None of them were surprised; they merely felt that yet another mishap had occurred, which, frankly, they'd almost grown used to at this stage.

'He's always been like this, come to think of it.'

'Simple and violent. Well, he gets things done, in the end.'

'Compared to all those adventures he'd been through… it might not be a piece of cake, but I guess he was confident he could handle this.'

These companions, who all knew Weed well, thought positively about Weed's trial in the advanced training hall. Pale, Surka, Irene and Romuna… Each of them was a high-level user, with plenty of combat experience. From a common-sense point of view, one would predict that he would fail this venture, based on the information that had been revealed about the advanced training hall. However, their view of the world had kept getting broader and broader as the time they had spent by Weed's side increased. The moment they heard the news of Weed stepping into the training hall alone, they came up with a more fundamental question.

'An advanced training hall that cannot be completed by one person alone? That sounds fishy. If that's really true, they should only accept people coming in groups in the first place. It doesn't make sense that there is the Gate of Trial in the middle, where people can choose to go alone.'

'Fighting the thousands of monsters blocking the way without using any other profession skills? Hmm. Few users train a variety of skills of many kinds to a high level of expertise like Weed-nim does anyway. And you can't even eat anything in that place? Why do such restrictions exist?'

Based on the rules of the advanced training hall itself, they suspected that there would be a hidden solution. However, a vague hunch was all they could come up with at this time.

The users who had managed to clear the advanced training hall had all been members of prestigious guilds, mostly the Hermes Guild. A few of them had had a similar suspicion about the training hall, but they did not dig any deeper.

'There's already a walkthrough of the advanced training hall.'

'I can join the next shock troop and break through.'

Once one fails to pass through the advanced training hall they cannot make another attempt, but fortunately there was a known solution to clear the path, which meant that the users had no reason to take unnecessary risks and put everything they had on the line.

Pale was convinced of Weed's success.

'Weed-nim could do it alone. Being the first to do something is nothing difficult for him.'

The fact that cockroaches still exist in this world was the biggest evidence that supported his confidence: there was no way that Weed, possibly the only living being that is more tenaciously resilient than cockroaches, would fail.

***

Many broadcasting companies including KMC Media were facing a serious enigma.

"Why did Weed make such a dangerous decision and enter the advanced training hall? Why now?"

"I think he must have thought of some hidden plan."

"Plan? What plan? Unless he's planning to drive everything in complete ruin."

Almost every broadcasting station around the world had made a contract to broadcast the battle of the Garnav Plain. So naturally, they had all been put on emergency alert, unable to decide what steps they should take from now.

"Mr. Kim, what is the current situation? Any news from Weed yet?"

"Nothing yet, sir."

In the project meeting room of KMC Media, even the director general had made his rare appearance. The whole company was taking this issue very seriously, with every team director and manager attending the meeting.

"It's already been quite a while…"

"Yes, it's been 30 minutes since we received the news."

"And how are users responding to this?"

"After the newsflash was broadcast, it appears that all of them have fallen into a state of panic. Most of the sculpture construction work has been suspended as well."

"I see… indeed, they wouldn't be able to carry on with making the sculptures after all this mess."

The director general let out a deep sigh. The company had mobilized the entirety of its equipment and manpower for the upcoming battle. And then there were the problems of advertisement contracts with major corporations, the promotion cost that they had spent until now, as well as the crews and guest stars. They had put off the entire broadcasting schedule until after the battle in the Garnav Plain, and now Weed had entered an advanced training hall.

"Well, this is not a situation that can be reversed; what happens to the battle if Weed dies?"

"I believe the battle will proceed as normal, since it has been prearranged."

"Wouldn't it be better to postpone the battle for a few days? If it can be delayed by three or four days, Weed will be able to revive again and fight."

"There are a hundred million users in that plain, sir. Besides, do you really expect the Hermes Guild to agree to put off the battle?"

The people of the broadcasting stations were all feeling quite lost as to how they should deal with the situation, but one thing was for certain: nothing could be more futile than Weed perishing inside that advanced training hall. This could potentially become the worst catastrophic event in the history of Royal Road.

The director of the Foreign Cooperation Team suggested tentatively, "Perhaps we've made a wrong decision taking the side of Weed?"

The grim face of the director general turned towards him.

"What do you mean?"

"Well, it looks like things will not go favorably for Weed from now on. If he loses to the Hermes Guild by any chance, our company will also be put into quite an uncomfortable position."

The uneasiness was quite plain in the faces of the other staff members, too.

"Should the Hermes Guild win, it will also pose a problem in negotiations for broadcast rights in the Central Continent."

"Some users are outright refusing to give an interview to our company. The loss we'll have to suffer will be tremendous if this kind of hostility continues."

"This battle means a lot to people. If Weed dies and fails to show up, he will be subjected to a hail of backlashes and blames, and will not even be able to bounce back ever again."

"We'll also need to take into account the possible scenario in which the population of Royal Road itself suffers after Weed's downfall. Viewing rates are sure to plummet if a hero disappears."

The people in the meeting room saw one thing and had to worry about ten possible bad things that could happen because of it. Weed's defeat would have a harmful influence on their company in many ways, too. Most of the broadcasting stations related to Royal Road had established a cooperative relationship with each other and agreed to side with Weed. The reason was nothing complicated: the broadcasting companies needed viewers to sustain themselves. Weed was the biggest draw of the entire game world, and the passion of the Northern users for their Arpen Kingdom was like a wildfire blazing furiously. It was quite a natural move for the companies to take the side of Weed instead of the Hermes Guild which was full of negative images in the eyes of the public, for the sake of viewing rate. In particular, KMC Media especially could not let itself be left out from this trend because broadcasting Weed's adventures was the crucial factor behind its huge success and which led them to the position of major broadcasting company with high average ratings.

Manager Kang shook his head.

"I understand these concerns shared by you. However, considering the countless achievements Weed had made thus far, I don't think this kind of crisis would be enough to shake him."

"But this was such an incredibly reckless move, don't you think?"

"What if he was truly confident that he can clear the training hall? He just has to clear this and that's all the problems solved, right? The situation will turn positive again."

"Hmm."

The other board members of the company who had been watching this conversation between Manager Kang and the Foreign Cooperation Team director didn't quite know what to say. Weed had gained popularity with the users by walking the hard and difficult path (so insistently one would even suspect that he was doing this deliberately at times), and every time he did this the viewing rates increased dramatically as well. They wouldn't have such enthusiastic viewers if Weed had always played it safe in the normal way. But, as absolute a living legend Weed might be, a successful outcome was the most critical factor this time. Whether he really manages to pass through the advanced training hall would determine which of the two extreme directions the whole situation would take.

As the people in the meeting room were struggling to decide on the company's stance, the youngest member of the writing team opened the door carefully and entered.

"We've just received a call from Miss Jeong Seoyoon."

"…!"

There wasn't a single person in the whole staff of the broadcasting station who didn't know who Seoyoon was — the person who once took care of all matters big and small in the Arpen Kingdom, and the Goddess of the Grass Porridge Cult. A sudden liveliness returned to the eyes of the men who had been feeling drained by this endless meeting that didn't seem to go anywhere.

"Ahem."

The director general cleared his throat and asked, "What did she say?"

"She said that she wishes to meet the representatives of the broadcasting companies, including KMC Media."

Naturally, the gaze of the staff members in the meeting room turned to Manager Kang, as he was the person in charge of all matters related to Weed. Manager Kang's bald head broke out in a cold sweat as he felt the furious stares from the other male coworkers.

"Well, I think I need to go and meet her, for certain. I should hear her opinions on the current state of affairs."

The meeting was adjourned until Manager Kang returns from his visit to Seoyoon.

"So, when and where are we meeting?"

"In one hour. And the place is…"

"Yes?"

"In Gimbap Heaven[1] , across the street in front of the company building."

"…"

***

The directors and executives of various broadcasting stations related to Royal Road from across the world were gathering in Gimbap Heaven, including those from Korean companies.

The US, China, Japan, Russia, India, Thailand, the UK, Brazil, France, Germany… the number of countries alone was 32 in total. As each of these international companies had a branch in Korea, those who were in charge of this matter were rushing their way in.

"Um, so…"

"Haha, this is just…"

The staff members from various broadcasting stations were sitting around the tables, looking embarrassed. There were still 45 minutes left until the time at which Seoyoon promised to show up.

"What should we order?"

"Well, some gimbap…"

"There's still some time before the meeting, so I guess we can go for some fried rice, even?"

When in a Gimbap Heaven, one had to order something once they had taken a seat.

"Excuse me, I'll join this table since there are not enough seats…"

"…Okay."

People representing rival companies were forced to squeeze in the same table. Some of them thought the choice of place was rather inappropriate, but that was nothing compared to the topic they would discuss later.

'She's bound to look worse than she does on the screens, even just a little.'

'Maybe there's some effect of the stats. She might have increased her Charm stat abnormally high…'

Before long, at the moment when Seoyoon finally showed herself in Kimbab Heaven, the representatives were instantly bewitched.

'Beautiful.'

'She's beautiful.'

'Exactly as she looks in the videos… it's as if a halo appears around her head.'

Even in a simple t-shirt and a pair of jeans, Seoyoon dominated the sight of those who beheld her — the beauty that enraptured people regardless of their nationality!

"I'd like to thank you all for gathering together in this place in response to my invitation. The battle in the Garnav Plain will proceed according to plan, so please, trust us and make all due preparations as normal."

Seoyoon spoke in her clear voice that sounded like morning birds tweeting pleasantly.

"…"

JHG of Japan.

The representative member of this giant broadcasting company boasting overwhelming viewer rates in Japan had intended to make some severe criticism in regard to this matter.

'He has decided to head to the advanced training hall without any consultation with our company in advance, which has seriously jeopardized our broadcasting schedule. If things lead to an unfavorable outcome, we will make sure to demand some compensation for the breach of contract, and…'

He had prepared enough lines to shoot at her for more than twenty minutes, but the moment he laid his eyes on her he felt as if his head was hit by more than one bolt of lightning.

'I… I can't say such things. Never mind my job, this is not a way to respect such beauty.'

Not only would he be targeted by angry and blinded rebukes from the delegates of the other broadcasting companies, it would leave a memory which he shall regret for the rest of his life.

"If you have any other opinions or inputs, please tell me."

There wasn't a single person who showed any sign of complaint about Seoyoon's words.

"Also, feel free to speak up if there have been any inconveniences in general when you were collecting news."

"…"

"…or if there is anything lacking in the current policies or direction of ruling of the Arpen Kingdom."

"…"

A simple unification of the press, without a single conflict of opinions!

At that moment, Manager Kang tentatively raised his hand.

"I have my utmost faith in Weed-nim and trust he will clear the advanced training hall, but as we all know, an advanced training hall is not an easy place to beat. It is even more absurd that just one person should go to face the trial of that place."

Other representatives also nodded their heads in agreement. This was the reason why they had decided to assemble here, while in a state of huge shock. Taking up a challenge to beat the advanced training hall in such a crucial moment… It made them worry about the possible failure caused by his decision to venture alone. When Weed went on all those numerous adventures alone, they didn't make an issue out of it because they didn't know exactly how difficult those adventures could be. But in case of the advanced training hall, everyone was aware of its extreme difficulty level (especially when faced by a single person) thanks to all the resources available.

"Yes, I agree."

"So… does Weed-nim have any secret strategy to clear the advanced training hall?"

With this question from Manager Kang, Seoyoon recalled a certain moment that happened a while ago. After watching the video of the Hermes Guild, she also gave Weed a passing question as to whether he was really confident that he could clear the advanced training hall. What Weed had said to her in reply still made her cry whenever she recalled it.

Seoyoon answered Manager Kang's question, clear drops of tear streaming from her eyes.

"He said he can just starve."

"…What?"

"He said… that he couldn't understand what was so difficult about starving. He said that he was used to it, though other people might not be."


(Continued on next part…)



Translator notes
[1]This is an obvious parody of the name of a famous Korean snack food restaurant franchise, the main menu of which is (unsurprisingly) Gimbap. This is as if Seoyoon requested to have such an important meeting in Subway, which is why Manager Kang is so taken aback.

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