The Legendary Moonlight Sculptor

 
 

The Legendary Moonlight Sculptor Volume 50 Chapter 8 part3


[Note from Mimosab]  Here is the next part! And we “should be able” to post 2 more parts before sunday evening (if everything is ok with the new translator who start working with the current one).

Thanks to our proofreaders Re1er and Eternal 😉


 

"No items worth picking up… This is the worst kind of place."

Weed continued running down the Path of Struggle.

The next wave of enemies charging to face him was a legion of bull-like looking monsters named Zhevenods.

"Now, you lot, at least leave your hides behind as you die!"

Weed's sword danced in the air. He even pulled out Thunder Spear, an excellent weapon against groups, which he started swinging and thrusting.

*Boooom!!*

Bolts of lightning flashed and exploded, dealing damage over the whole area and paralyzing the enemies.


< You have successfully made the 19th serial attack.
Your Dexterity will be increased by 30%.
Enemy's weak points have been detected!
The effect of precise striking is activated. >



A sword and a spear: he was wielding two weapons simultaneously! With the Loa Sword he pierced and slashed, and with Thunder Spear he smashed and flicked. Weed was hunting and was keeping the enemies at bay at the same time.

A combat technique for facing multiple opponents using one's movements, speed and sense of distance!

This was possible because the Path of Struggle went only in one straight line, and the monsters kept charging at him rather than fleeing.


< Overpowering enemies!
With the bravery of a warrior, you have completely defeated the charging Zhevenods.
A combat accomplishment deserving the highest of praises!

Your maximum Life Force increases by 150 points.
Your Strength increases by 2.
Your Charisma increases by 3.
You have gained 2,381 points of Fame. >


< Your level has increased. >



On top of all the stats improvements, the amount of experience points he was receiving was also significant; it was even comparable to the ridiculous amount of points he would earn when he was hunting as a Necromancer and leading at least one hundred undead minions.

'This is a great place to train oneself to get stronger. Except that it's difficult to pick up all the junk items… and that's one critically big drawback.'

He felt as though he would never forget this particular time and place for the rest of his life. Even when he becomes an old man in his 80s or 90s, he might still feel bitter whenever he recalls this adventure in the Path of Struggle.

Weed picked up only the hides of the Zhavenods and moved on, leaving all the bones and meat behind.

As he pushed further into the Path of Struggle, the level of monsters increased and more dangerous situations unfolded before him.

'A new challenge every time. This is fun.'

Marching ever forward, Weed continued breaking through waves of monsters.


< Having engaged in a strenuous activity, you are now feeling a little hungry. >



The hollow feeling in the stomach.

'About six hours have passed since I started fighting. I guess that is equivalent to skipping lunch.'

He had been taking just enough rest to avoid suffering from exhaustion.

Currently, his remaining Life Force was 73,492 points.

'This should be enough to fight, and it's recovering well, too. It's certainly not impossible to take this challenge alone; just quite difficult.'

Stats were the basic factors that determined one's physical abilities. Weed had been improving his stats over various fields of skills including hunting, adventuring, sculpting and crafting.

1869 Strength and 1255 Dexterity; people would find these stats almost unbelievably high if he posted it on online forums, and he had achieved this through an outrageous amount of effort. Ever since his earlier days as a novice user, he had been constantly farming bonus stats through hunting while other people were looking for equipment that increased their Strength by 10 or 20 points. Those small accomplishments, which everyone else dismissed as a waste of time, had accumulated little by little to eventually result in his current status.

Another reason behind his high stats was the fact that he had not invested any points in Art whenever he leveled up.

'I cannot afford the luxury of increasing Art stats.'

This meant that he had to try several times harder than normal people to become a master sculptor, but he had endured that hardship.

His Stamina was 325, which was relatively low compared to his Strength and Dexterity, but it was still extremely high and he was not easily exhausted by any normal amount of activity. Additionally, he had 1321 Perseverance and 631 Toughness; these truly were his main physical stats, which overwhelmed those of warriors at a similar level and which he had improved by deliberately getting hit by monsters within an inch of his life. With Weed's current status, most common weapons wouldn't do any damage to him even without any armor. His Will and Endurance wouldn't lose out with 358 and 451 respectively; both were ridiculously difficult stats to improve, which he had tenaciously accumulated bit by bit through adventures and hunting, holding out in some of the most severe environments and defeating monsters all night long. On top of this, all of his stats were improved by an additional 405 points thanks to his sculpting skills and further adventuring.

A true stats hoarder: an accomplishment made through endless farming!

Of course, Bard Ray and the other top-tiers users of Royal Road who competed with him would possess one or two considerably high stats, too. Those who had warrior-class professions would have invested heavily in Strength and Dexterity; taking into account the combat accomplishments they could obtain frequently in addition to that, Weed's stats might even be lower than theirs in terms of those two abilities alone. However, when it came to numerical values over all stats, Weed was in a different league that absolutely flattened any user.

'My abilities are better suited for long-term fights rather than short ones. I think I can do this without too much trouble.'

He was a little suspicious of the Path of Struggle, but took it simple.

'I can't eat any food here. I'll grow hungry and weary the longer I stay in this place, which means I just have to endure it and push forward.'

A full-frontal breakthrough that makes use of all the stats he had improved so diligently!

The main reason why an advanced training hall was so hard to clear was the fact that one could not have any food, to which the simplest solution was just to fight your way through while starving. Minimizing stamina and mana consumption was something he was very accustomed to, as he had never relied on his combat skills alone. Depending on the type of enemies, he could also reduce the duration of combat by fighting effectively.

'I have plenty of experience in starving. I would probably be able to last up to 50 hours thanks to my high Patience and Endurance.'

One could drink water in the Path of Struggle. Weed was an expert when it came to going hungry, even in real life. Indeed, there had been numerous occasions where he chose to skip meals to cut down on food expenses, and he used to often fill his belly with some rice in a bowl of water without any side dishes.

'Just one day is fine. I may start to feel a little dizzy after that, although it could vary quite a lot depending on my body condition.'

The conviction that he could easily clear the Path of Struggle as long as he could at least fill his stomach with water while fighting! This was a strategy that was only usable by Weed, who had spent many days in starvation ever since his novice days, and by no one else.

'I must keep going, even if my stamina runs low and my body condition deteriorates. I choose the straightforward solution.'

Weed stepped forward, swinging his Loa Sword and Thunder Spear. The more you fight, the stronger you become… a familiar concept in Royal Road, but Weed on the Path of Struggle was getting stronger after every combat. He thought about nothing but the battle; everything else was unnecessary. In the face of a difficult challenge, he was even more focused than usual, and fully immersed himself in the fight. After dealing with a particularly shabby-looking group of monsters, he didn't even bother to rifle through their belongings in order to save some time, for even one or two seconds could accumulate into a considerable length of time.

9 hours, 45 minutes and 13 seconds.

This was the time taken for Bard Ray to beat the Path of Struggle. Given that he was supported by thirty Royal Guards, it was hard to estimate how much longer it would take for Weed alone. In this advanced training hall, the level of the monsters appearing on the path was adjusted in accordance with the challenger. If it was actually possible for a single person to pass through the Path of Struggle, Weed was confident that he would certainly be able to do it himself; he knew it was very rare to find someone who had trained oneself as painstakingly as him.

'Recover the lost stamina while walking. Aim for 100 percent efficiency in everything. Then I can surely break through this path.'

Weed began to enjoy the battle. As soon as he concluded that clearing the Path of Struggle was quite a difficult task, his concentration reached his peak and his senses became sharp. Vividly feeling inspiration lifting his spirit, he eliminated the enemies and moved forward.

He had slaughtered well over one thousand monsters so far since he stepped through the Gate of Trial, and right after he defeated a flock of strange alien creatures called The Eyes of Hollan a message window appeared:

*Ding!*


< You have surprised Batalli, the God of Fighting.
He is complimenting on your untiring strength, tough courage and splendid combat technique. The blessing of the God of Fighting has been bestowed upon the true warrior.

Your Strength increases by 4.
Your Dexterity increases by 2.
Your Stamina increases by 5, and your wounds have been cured slightly.

The Cleansing of debuffs by the God of Fighting has been activated; the effect of your Starvation status decreases by 7%. >



"Oh, this is nice."

Weed was quite content with the God of Fighting's blessing. Permanent stats improvement was one of the best rewards one could obtain in Royal Road.

'This also relieves my starved condition a little. I can now fight a bit more flashily.'

He thought this had greatly increased his chance of clearing the Path of Struggle; even just a single egg that one had eaten to sate their hunger could make a big difference when they were at the point of starving to death.

'I've got some stats bonuses too. This isn't half bad.'

The next enemy awaiting him was a corrupted demon soldier.

"Challenger. I see you have come to face the trial of Batalli. I am a soldier of massacre, from the land of blood that has gone dry-"

Weed jumped right at him, not having time to listen to the self-introduction of the demonic soldier.

"Radiant Sword Skill!"

The secret technique of swordsmanship that he had learnt from Zahab! In this particular place, where Divine Magic could not be used, this was the best skill against enemies of dark nature.

The demonic soldier attempted to quickly step backward, but Weed had already predicted his move. He tracked the monster, changing his directions seven times using Seven-Star Steps.


< A critical strike!
47% additional damage has been dealt.
This attack has cancelled the casting of the Black Magic spell 'Head Entombment' by the demonic soldier Hieger. >


Weed's sword thrust forward in a flash, and swished in the air as if dancing. In pursuit of the sword's pathway, his legs moved and his palm opened. Maintaining strength, speed and the balance of the body, he made a flurry of attacks covering various places and angles that were impossible to dodge, each of the strikes nearly as critical as a deathblow.

"M, my flesh feels like it's burning!!"

A demonic soldier at level over 560!

He pulled out a huge scythe that was well over 2 meters in length, but it was not enough to block the incoming strikes. Just as the definition of blitz tactics, Weed left no chance for the enemy to try or prepare anything. Even with his many powers including a range of killing spells, body enhancement and recovery, the enemy could not stand the series of chain attacks using Radiant Sword Skill for long, and soon perished; a death which was quite unbecoming of a demonic soldier. Weed's combat abilities were indeed excellent, but the core of his tactics was to focus fully on the fight and penetrate the opponent's weaknesses.


< You have obtained Hieger's Scythe of Dancing Souls. >
< You have obtained the boots of a demonic soldier. >



A few serviceable items had been dropped, as he had just killed a boss-level monster, and yet another message window appeared.

*Ding!*



< The eyes of Batalli have widened. Even among the countless battles he has witnessed until now, defeating Hieger is one of the more astounding accomplishments.

You now have the attention of Batalli, the God of Fighting. The blessing of unstoppable power has been bestowed upon you.

For the next 100 days from now, your attack power will be increased by 15% whenever you move forward.
Your Strength increases by 1.
Every stat related to combat increases by 1.
The effect of your Starvation status decreases by 4%. >



Weed read the message window quickly as if he was skimming through the receipt after having a shopping in a supermarket. He was also planning to appraise the value of the scythe and the boots as he ran further along the path. Receiving bonus stats was naturally a welcome event, but he assumed that he was rewarded with stats improvement particularly often simply because he was on the Path of Struggle. Hence he also guessed that Bard Ray and the other Hermes Guild users must have gotten just as many bonus stats while they made a number of combat accomplishments when they were fighting in this same place.

'I can't be the only special case here.'

However, as everyone else before Weed had chosen to step onto the path as a group, they did not, in fact, receive any blessings from Batalli. One must face the challenges of the Path of Struggle using their own strength, proving their bravery as a warrior and overcoming their limits — this was the true meaning of existence of the advanced training hall, and the blessings and rewards of the God of Fighting were only given when one managed to narrowly break through their limits. Therefore, making a lot of preparations to clear the advanced training hall only resulted in poorer rewards for the challenger.

At the end of the message window, Weed found out that the negative status effect of Starvation had further decreased by 4%.

'Again?'

This increased his chance of completing the Path of Struggle even more. In the worst case scenario where he was both famished and exhausted, he was determined to carry on even if he wasn't able to kill all the monsters, but as he received a blessing that relieved his hunger a little, he could afford to be more relaxed. Weed's eyes, which were presently full of venomous resolve just like they had been during his childhood years, also softened slightly.

'Doesn't this make things a little too easy, though?'

He had already embraced starvation as part of the difficulty level of this place, and now that he was provided with an unexpected solution, he was actually feeling discontent. Through rough and fierce battles his blood had boiled and his mind cleared, and now it felt as if he was suddenly taking a break, licking a cone of ice cream while sitting comfortably on a chair. Of course, ice cream would normally be delicious, but not in this specific situation.

'It will just get boring if this kind of rewards keep popping up. I hope there will be a lot of stronger monsters next.'

***

It had been two days since Weed went out of contact after heading into the advanced training hall.

Bellot, Seechwi and Seasoned Crab were so worried they could hardly eat.

"Will Weed-nim really be okay?"

"I'm afraid things aren't too good there. Tssskktt."

"He would have at least responded to us if the situation was manageable. Seeing that we've lost touch with him, it must be…"

Seasoned Crab gave out a subdued sigh.

'Why did he have to do such a stupid thing? The public opinion among the users in the Garnav Plain has turned quite unfavorable…'

Pale and the other companions had sent him private messages, but none had been answered.

'By now, he must be regretting his decision to go there alone so stubbornly. I thought they would at least have a bit of chance if they had stuck to the original plan and let Python-nim clear the path in the frontline while Weed-nim supports him at the back…'

From the beginning, Seasoned Crab objected to the idea of making an attempt at the advanced training hall. He thought it would be better to put it off for later and find more allies, considering the fact that they were expecting a very crucial battle soon, but it seemed that Weed and Python just could not help stirring up some more trouble. Even worse, Weed had decided to step through the Gate of Trial alone.

'Crazy, that guy. He as good as dead.'

Seechwi and Seasoned Crab were already convinced of Weed's death.

'Even if he hasn't been killed yet, he must be starving and exhausted, as it's already been 37 hours after he's taken the challenge of the advanced training hall.'

'Maybe he's collapsed on the ground, unable to even move his body after fighting a bunch of monsters. That's going to be one solitary death, quite unbefitting of Weed-nim.'

But while they were anticipating the news of Weed's demise in dread, another group of people sitting around the table just next to them were having a small feast with roasted and fried chickens.

"*Burp*. Help yourselves, everyone. This city has some really good fried chicken."

"The beer tastes amazing."

"I really like the spices they use in this region, too. Did you say the chef is a gnome? People will be able to enjoy some nice food if he joins the Arpen Kingdom later."

"…"

Weed's oldest companions including Maylon, Pale, Surka, Irene, Romuna and even Hwaryeong showed no signs of concern.

'Have they always been his good friends in show only? I have no idea what kind of people they actually are…'

'Maylon-nim… I've only seen her as a calm, professional broadcaster, and now I see she's in fact a beer maniac.'

'How could they just sit there and eat chicken now?! We only have about 14 hours until the battle in the Garnav Plain begins, and in this crucial moment that has the very fate of the Versailles Continent at stake, they are having a chicken party?"

As their disappointment grew, Pale the Battle Slave turned and spoke to them.

"Come here and have some chicken. Trust me; you'll regret it later if you don't have it now."

Seasoned Crab asked him, not moving a step from his position, "Why?"

"Because Weed-nim is someone we just don't have to worry about."

"…"

As this was an incredibly unconvincing argument, he still refused to eat the chicken. Sure, they all had gone through a lot of hardship while hunting with Weed ever since they first got themselves somehow tangled up with him. But still, people should at least show some respect if they have even the remotest concept of honor and loyalty, for heaven's sake!

However, not long afterwards, Weed sent a message on their private chatting channel.

– Weed: It's almost over now.

The first word after almost 38 hours of silence.

– Seasoned Crab: Where did you-… *sigh*. Never mind. Just don't worry too much about your level and the skill proficiencies you're going to lose. I've found out that the skills you have already mastered do not lose any proficiency.

There were a lot of things Weed would lose or suffer penalties if he died in the game; namely, his character level and various skill proficiencies. However, a master sculptor's expertise in his field of profession should not regress just by dying once.

– Weed: Pardon?

– Seasoned Crab: It would probably be better to just take your own life if you're feeling too hungry. That would at least save some time. The advanced training centre sure is a tough place, right?

– Bellot: I understand. I've seen the video footages of that place, too. It looked really difficult.

Bellot chimed in even before Weed had any time to respond. Pale and the rest of Weed's old companions were still eating chicken, even as they were beginning to think 'Did he really…?'

– Weed: This advanced training hall… it's pitifully easy.

– Seasoned Crab: …What?

– Weed: Sure, the rewards are pretty big, but it was really a piece of cake, overall.

– Seasoned Crab: That just cannot be true. I remember how hard it looked when Bard Ray and the Hermes Guild were trying to break through that place…

– Weed: You just have to fight and kill everything inside, what's so difficult about that?

– Seasoned Crab: ???

An advanced training hall was certainly a very difficult place to clear. As it was meant as a test of one's worth by the God of Fighting, one could not guarantee that they could successfully beat it even if they had a high level. The place summoned increasingly stronger enemies according to one's level, skills, and the overall competence they displayed during combat.

Yet Weed possessed unnaturally high overall stats, and a vast range of combat experience on top of it. He had even improved his mental abilities such as judgment and reflex as he trained sword techniques in the Dojang.

All of these factors resulted in Weed completely destroying the difficulty level of the advanced training hall.

– Seasoned Crab: This is so weird. It really doesn't make any sense…

– Weed: What doesn't make sense?

– Seasoned Crab: If those walkthrough videos aren't wrong, you must have encountered the 10 Knights of Velhodan in the middle. How on earth did you defeat them?

In the recent videos of the Hermes Guild going through the advanced training hall, the 10 Knights of Velhodan could be seen making their appearance. They were some of the most powerful knights, each of them at a level above 550.

– Weed: Well, they only came at me one at a time, talking about their chivalry and such.

– Seasoned Crab: Still, they must have been extremely strong. And you'd have to fight them in succession, without giving them any break.

– Weed: They still die once you hit them hard enough, all the same.

– Seasoned Crab: They aren't the sort of lot you can beat so easily, though…

– Weed: Well, they all had developed a few bad habits in sword wielding, as well as some structural flaws in their armor… but even when not counting all of those, they were still weaker than the subordinates I used to have at my side in the desert.

The expression on the faces of Pale and the other companions soon changed to 'Yeah, thought so.' They had yet again confirmed that gnawing at drumsticks was a far more meaningful thing to do than worrying about Weed.

– Pale: Well, we'll wait for you at the entrance of the Path of Struggle, then.

The two days of sweet holiday was now coming to an end. But just as they were about to put aside their lingering holiday mood and leave,

– Weed: You don't have to. I'll go to the Central Square in Taho when I'm done here.

– Pale: You've had a long day; it's the least we could do to go and pick you up. We'll bring some fried chicken, too.

– Weed: Well, I have already completed the Path of Struggle.

– Pale: …What?

Even Pale could not help but be startled by this.

– Pale: That quickly, all by yourself? I mean, in terms of the time taken, it might be possible for you… but where are you now?

– Weed: I've made some accomplishments while I was in the Path of Struggle. This led to a new event, and… right now, I'm in the God of Fighting's Coliseum.

– Pale: I've never heard of that place. But judging by the name…

– Weed: Yep. Batalli the God of Fighting is here.

(Continued on next part…)

 



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