The Legendary Moonlight Sculptor Volume 51 Chapter 3 part1
[Note from Mimosab] It’s time for a new chapter!
Thanks to SoreLoser, Eternal and Arun7 for the prooofreading 😉
In front of the eyes of Miretas the farmer, laid the sight of the whole Garnav Plain in flames.
"No… How could they do such a thing…"
Some pointy-eared Elven users were standing around with him.
"This is so gruesome."
"People are screaming everywhere. Spirits of fire are also running berserk in fear."
The Elves, who had the ability to hear and understand the speech of Spirits, spoke of the misery that befell this place. As an aftereffect of the Summon Flaming Meteors spell, Spirits of every element had been thrown into a confused state.
"We should go help the people there. They'll need our Spirit Healing skills."
After the Elves had left in a hurry, Miretas stood there alone, deep in his own grave thought.
'So this is what Royal Road is like? People with great power having no qualms about harming others just because they have the power to do it?'
He recollected his past as a novice user.
Because of the expensive land price in cities, he had picked out gravels and dug waterways in a wasteland outside of some castle to grow vegetables. The happiness and satisfaction he felt, watching the seeds he had planted begin to sprout and grow inch by inch… When other users made money through quests and monster hunting, he had made his living by selling the vegetables he grew himself in the markets.
"Miretas, let's go hunting together. We've found a good hunting ground and made 10 Gold last time. Plenty of EXPs to earn, too."
"I'll go next time."
"Just leave him be. Farmers are no good in hunting."
Gradually he had begun to spend less and less time with his friends, those who he had known since his childhood. During every heavy rain and drought he would tend to his crops worrying that something might happen to them. Sometimes his crops would indeed get ruined by monsters or wild beasts, but he would plant seeds and plowed the field again and again.
During the early days of Royal Road, there had been very few users who took interest in farming. With the whole vast Continent full of adventures awaiting everyone, growing simple vegetables for days to sell them for a petty amount of coins just didn't feel like a fitting task for them. However, as a farmer Miretas had diligently grown various crops and become friendly with the merchants in seed stores or markets dealing in agricultural products.
"You're always working hard. Try planting these seeds too."
"I haven't seen them before. What are they?"
"A kind of flower… It is known to be favored by nobles. I hear this flower is treated like something of a specialty product in the Britten region, so it would be nice if we can grow it here as well."
These mysterious seeds had some hidden conditions for germination, and seemed quite tricky to grow too. Even after he had managed to make the seeds sprout with much effort, the saplings withered and died if the sunlight was too hot or the wind was too strong. The plants also needed a very specific amount of water; with just a little more or less than the appropriate amount they soon went limp and perished.
Through passion, thinking and observation, Miretas had eventually succeeded in growing the Paradoria flowers into blooming.
"This is it! The nobles will all love this beautiful flower!"
His Paradorias were traded at high prices in the local market, and were later registered as one of the region's specialties after further quality improvement. Having been able to sell all the flowers he had been personally growing for more than a year straight away as specialty goods, Miretas had made a fortune. He could have enjoyed fame and wealth, yet he challenged himself to cultivate various other plants too. He had purchased a piece of land and planted many different kinds of herbs, fruits and flowers as well as various rare, magical and marine species. By growing various magical ingredients that were known to exist in only extremely small quantities he had once more earned a great amount of fame, made a fortune, and he had also succeeded in developing improved breeds of plants.
Even when the prestigious guilds had been devastating the land through their wars and imposed heavy taxes on people, he had merely endured.
'This world is a beautiful place. I'll use my farming skills to help enrich everyone's life.'
In the former territory of the old Dale Kingdom, he had continued his farming enterprise in order to provide delicious and filling meals not only for the users, but for all the residents of the region. He had eventually moved to the Arpen Kingdom after much enduring, but he still hadn't expected that the Hermes Guild would go to such brutal length to destroy their enemy.
'I was being too complacent, thinking that just preparing some combat-purpose plants would be enough. I was content with doing just one man's share of work… But now I'll show them the full extent of the power of land and trees.'
"Urrgghh… I can't believe this is how I die…"
The users who had contracted the Alkin disease were lying down on the ground; as it was an extremely contagious disease, this was their way of enabling other people to identify the patients and thus preventing them from coming close.
"Hold on just a bit longer. Mass Cure!"
Even the healing spells from the most determined priests did not have any effect. The condition of the patients rapidly deteriorated, and the illness ate away their Life Force little by little.
"Force of holy spirits, save this person suffering in agony. Healing Touch!"
"There's a sick person here, too. I think he's about to die."
The priests tried to replenish people's lost Life Force, but the number of users sprawling on the ground only increased over time. Eventually the priests depleted all of their Mana to the point that they could no longer use Holy Divine magic.
< You have contracted the Alkin disease.
The disease found its way into your system as your body's resistances became weakened. Your limbs are quaking, and you are beginning to feel dizzy.
You suffer 11 points of damage to your Life Force every second.
Your maximum Life Force and Mana have been reduced.
Your Holy Divine magic becomes less effective. >
Even the priests, with their excellent resistance against diseases and curses due to divine protection, began to be infected by the Alkin disease one by one.
"Stay away! There's nothing we can do about this."
"Don't get close to them!"
"Everyone, please, save the others even if you'll have to abandon us here."
"I'm sorry. I'm so sorry."
Despite everything they had tried in order to cure the patients, in the end even the users with holy divine professions had no choice but to avoid contact with the infected.
The users that were left out were lying on the ground, quarantined and perishing slowly.
"*Sob*. I really wanted to put up a good fight, even though I would lose… But now…"
"My level is over 300. I never thought I would be killed by some disease."
"Those dirty Hermes bastards…"
Some of the users still had not abandoned hope, and were trying to hold out for as long as possible by chewing the herbs that help recover one's Life Force. Despite their effort they could not avoid the inevitable; those who were at higher levels could last for a longer time than others, but they all eventually met their demise.
People were attempting to solve the problem by isolating the users who had contracted the disease, but the range of infection of the Alkin disease was quite extensive; even the users who had fled far distances became infected, and the number of patients continued to grow before the quarantine took effect.
Halma, Margo, Rewiss and Gran.
The quartet of backstabbers had been enjoying themselves in the Garnav Plain.
"Let them have battles all they want, I couldn't care less."
"True. It's really none of our concern."
"Kukuku. I hope they'll have a huge fight. We've come all the way here to watch the war; I want it to be worth our trouble."
They had visited famous restaurants in the food alley where all kinds of delicacies could be found, and made friends with some users from the Grass Porridge Cult as well.
"A backstabber needs some personal connections for his job, too, you know."
"Damn right. We need to find out who are the easiest pushovers here first and accompany them to a dungeon. And then… Stab!"
The quartet had not had a single care in the world as they had spent their time in the Garnav Plain; with good reason, too, as it was their plan to steer clear away from any fight and just enjoy the show from afar. This group of four backstabbers would still be enjoying themselves if the Versailles Continent itself was to be destroyed.
Even when the flaming meteors struck the Garnav Plain, they were merely impressed. A gigantic mushroom cloud rising from the ground, the trembling earth, and the scorching hot storm of flames blowing from the impact sites that seemed to suffocate them even from such a far distance… It was truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
"This is amazing. This is the true scale of a war!"
"The Hermes Guild sure doesn't disappoint."
"I wish we were like Lafaye or Bard Ray. Then I would make it my hobby to cast meteors on cities."
"Yeah, knocking down all those towns… It sure would be so much fun."
It was an emotional moment for the backstabber quartet. What a beautiful sight it was to behold… And even better was the opportunity which would present itself once this confusion has passed: an opportunity to take advantage of the wounded users.
"Let's find some people who are dying from the injuries."
"Yes. We can pretend to help and approach them, and then… Slit!"
"Kuhuhuhu. Are we already setting off to do some nasty things so early? This is exciting."
The four backstabbers ran towards the impact sites of the meteors at full speed. The air was heated up like a frying pan, and blazing flames were shooting up from the ground.
"This place is dangerous."
A user stepped in to block their path, but Halma spoke in a grave tone.
"That's no problem. We need to get there to help people."
"You might all die if you go further!"
In the past they probably would have gotten past this user by force, but over time the quartet had turned into a more advanced form of villains.
"What do our lives matter when we're trying to do the right thing? What's the point of holding my worthless life so dear?"
"We'll go there. If there's anyone who's still alive we'll find them and bring them back."
Having deeply moved the users standing nearby, they got closer to the area where the meteors hit.
"This used to be a food alley only a while ago. I remember there was a seafood restaurant here. I was pestering the owner to get some extra abalone."
"But there's nothing left now."
The ground had caved in deeply, and the buildings had turned into ruin. A few people here and there were still moving, but they didn't seem like they'd be able to last long due to the fires that were leaping up from the cracks on the land.
"Hey, there's someone alive."
The backstabber quartet moved toward him in delight. Although the surroundings were quite brightly lit because of the fire, they could carry out some evildoing while the nearby people's sight was blocked. The person they approached had his lower body under a large rock. Even so, they could see his broad shoulder, well-developed neck muscles and dumpling ear .
He was none other than Geomchi3.
"Oh, are you here to help?"
His low and strong voice followed the intimidating first impression. Hesitation engulfed the backstabbers as they were about to draw their blades behind the back.
'He's giving out a really dangerous aura.'
'Is it really okay to kill him?'
'We sure we can get away with this?'
After exchanging calculating glances with one another they cautiously stepped closer to him, but their human instinct was preventing them from attacking.
'Wow, look at this mister's killer gaze.'
'Does he really have to look so fearsome? I'd rather fight a monster.'
It was the first time they felt a terror from simply looking at the muscles in someone's arms bulging. At the same time, they realized who this person was.
'This is one of those devilish swordsmen.'
Geomchi and his trainers and pupils were all very well known in the Arpen Kingdom.
Gran spoke to him worriedly.
"You're hurt, sir."
"Nothing too serious. Would you be able to move this rock?"
"Sure. We'll help. Everyone, we've found a survivor over here, please assist!"
The four backstabbers removed the big rock that had been crushing Geomchi3's body together with a few other users.
"Ah… Your leg's broken."
Geomchi3's thigh was bent outward at a gruesome-looking angle. As people can feel pain in Royal Road, naturally he must have been feeling quite hurt in such a situation. He was probably able to survive the meteor strike thanks to his high level, but it was also evident that he must have lost a significant amount of his Life Force and Stamina.
The four backstabbers just wanted to get out of there.
"We will go and bring a priest for you right now, sir."
"A priest? No need, I can cure this myself."
"You don't look like a priest… Might you perhaps be a paladin, then?"
"No, not really. Do you have any medicinal herbs?"
Rewiss took out some red colored herb that helped treat wounds from his backpack.
"I have a little, but it wouldn't help much."
"Thanks, this will do."
Geomchi3 lightly applied the red herb to his broken leg, and then grabbed it with both hands.
* Crrruuunch!! *
With the sound of the bones being forcibly snapped into place, his leg assumed its normal shape again.
"Yes. I haven't done this for quite some time but it always works well. Well, this was the first time I did it while I'm in Royal Road, though."
Geomchi3 wrapped a bandage around his wound as he hummed a tune. Curious, Halma asked him:
"That still wouldn't be enough to make you move again, would it? You will need a priest to cast a healing spell for you, sir."
"Well, I'm a Destroyer of Struggle."
"You mean Battali Church's…?"
"Yep, that one."
The title 'Destroyer of Struggle ' had suddenly become famous recently because of Weed.
"What do you call it, 'Fresh Power of Recuperation'? Thanks to this ability I can recover from any injuries quickly. That actually led me to a new hobby."
"What would that be?"
Geomchi3 put his left arm to a nearby fire.
* Blaaaze! *
His flesh caught the fire and started to burn, yet he watched it completely unimpressed.
"This should be just enough to give me a fourth-degree burn. It's pretty fun to increase my fire resistance like this."
Although people did not feel the same amount of pain in Royal Road as they would in real life, this would still hurt quite a lot. It would also inflict mental damage that would be difficult to endure for any normal person, as one had to watch their own flesh burn.
"I've found out that if I burn my body until I'm just about to die, sometimes it will increase my Toughness and fire resistance. It's quite a neat trick, don't you think so?"
"Royal Road is sure fun, but recently I began to feel that I've been living too carelessly in this world. I think it's about time I try harder to become stronger."
"I, I think you've become sufficiently strong, sir."
Incredibly, Geomchi3 rose to his feet and grinned.
"So, my kind friends, let's go and save some people together."
In the end, the quartet of backstabbers accompanied him on the mission to rescue other survivors, meek as a group of lambs.
The users who belonged to the Emergency Situation Room of the North were bitterly feeling their own carelessness.
"We couldn't have imagined they'd be so strong. The military power of the Haven Empire is incredible, capable of mobilizing 20 Legions into one battlefield."
"We must assume that they've continuously improved their combat strength several folds as they ruled over the Central Continent."
"I didn't expect they'd use such extreme means from the beginning."
The Haven Empire might be called invincible, but the Northern users had always won against the empire. They had trusted the countless number of people gathering in the Garnav Plain, but now they were all cornered into a pinch in the earliest stage of the war.
Regret and self-questioning pierced deep into their hearts, but the fact remained that they had been subjected to attacks that were very difficult to counteract.
"The enemy troops are striking us from all directions. It is impossible to resist against them with our novice users."
"They say we're hardly doing any damage to the enemies."
"Can we deploy some defensive units?"
"Needless to say, it's not easy. It's already difficult to block all of the 20 paths they are advancing on, and on top of that our high-level users' strike forces have suffered too much damage."
"The strike forces, too…? The enemy has been monitoring our every move."
The Hermes Guild had sent out spies to scout the Garnav Plain. They had selected the places which had a lot of famous or influential users and cast meteors upon them. As some of the most important areas entirely evaporated on impact, many Northern users were instantly killed from the very beginning of the battle.
"We need to focus on dealing with the Phanzellope Order only. We must stop them by any means."
"That's difficult. Those phantom knights are all at levels over 600. Users under level 200 would be overwhelmed with fear just by getting close to them and be unable to fight."
"They are immune to all physical and magical damage as well as holy divine spells… But surely they must have some kind of weakness too, right?"
"This Alkin disease is even trickier. More than 30 thousand users have contracted it."
"But didn't the report say only 7 thousand just half an hour ago?"
"The disease has spread further during that time. It might have reached over 100 thousand by now."
There was an absolute mayhem in the Emergency Situation Room of the Grass Porridge Cult, as well. They had started making military preparations in order to slow down the advance of the Imperial Army, which was currently marching along 20 different routes, and to strike back, however meager their attempt might be. They issued mobilization orders to various porridge squads that had been waiting for the battle, and urgently came up with combat strategies including the composition of troops, positions and direction of attacks. However, they couldn't help but feel quite lost with regard to the Phanzellope Order and the Alkin disease, as they were unable to find any way to act against them.
"We cannot just sit and let everyone get killed!"
"Yet what can we do? There's no solution to this…"
"This is beyond frustrating; we need to do something…"
Lemon, the saint of the Grass Porridge Cult!
A university student in real life, she usually was something of a mascot for the Grass Porridge Cult, but now she had tied her hair back tightly with a string.
"I've just got a private message from Weed-nim!"
With her words, a sudden silence fell on the tent that had been full of rumbling voices.
While there was no official command structure in the Grass Porridge Cult, there still existed a person who was capable of leading everyone in any kind of situation.
"Weed-nim said he's going to come here right now!"
( Continued on the next part…)
Note from the translator
 I'm not really sure what this 'dumpling ear' actually means, I think it is one of the distinctive features of the Geomchi family (maybe their ears have some unusual shape?), so I decided to just translate the words literally.
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