The Legendary Moonlight Sculptor Volume 51 Chapter 4 part3
[Note from Mimosab] Hi everyone! You know, this project exists with the help of some people. So I would like to thanks especially
– our translator Jeeyoon for her GREAT work for the community. Ok, we all would like to get things faster but let say the truth : it’s really hard to find someone skilled like her that could work with her efficiently. We tried to test with some extra translator.. but she would still need to rewrite at least half of the work…
– the proofreading who take their free time to resolve small details that make the difference. I’m talking about Eternal, SoreLoser, Re1er, Arun7, PuszekSE, Ecrin, Seviper7, Weed, Dragoma… haa, I may have missed someone!!!
– Phil1403 who unified the community by creating the Wikia and the Discord channel, and Nomendil, Maxximal, Arieszai for their hard work.
– …. and you, the community to have bring this project to life nearly one year ago. It was a bit strange to create like a crowdfunded translation project but.. hey it worked !! 🙂
The crowd moved, creating a vast empty ground in the plain for Ultar and Weed to fight in without any obstacles. The Imperial army retreated to the South, and the opposing users occupied the space in the North, settling down to spectate.
"Wow. Who do you think will win?"
"But Ultar… He IS one of the very top rankers in the game. I doubt he has ever been defeated by anyone, save for Bard Ray."
"I've heard rumors that he is just as strong as Bard Ray in one-on-one combat."
"You really can't know that unless you actually fight him. Rumors are just rumors."
"What is certain is that our eyes are going to be in for a treat, witnessing such an epic fight. And that Weed-nim, the God of War, will win."
Their names alone were enough to make the watching crowd get tensed with anticipation.
Weed drew his Loa Sword, readying himself for the duel. Fabio and Herman had not yet finished making his new armor.
'I didn't expect him to actually accept my challenge to a single combat. I should enjoy this when I can.'
Still in the form of Karichwi the Orc, he had to suppress a nasty smirk that was threatening to spread over his face.
'Dueling is not something I'm particularly accustomed to, but I'm not too bad at it, either.'
He had heard that knights and warriors had lots of opportunities to take part in single combat as part of their quests, mostly through requests to defeat some people in such and such places. Those duel quests were quite important for building one's connections and fame as well as improving one's prowess in combat, but they were mostly irrelevant to a profession like sculptor.
However, Weed had a tendency to find a way to win, by any means necessary.
'The fantasy of an honorable duel… Such a thing doesn't exist in real world. There are only the winner, and the loser.'
Concealing the inner thought that was blacker than squid ink, Weed grinned.
"Tsschwik. Let's make this a memorable fight, Ultar."
"Of course. I didn't expect to be able to face you so soon. My thanks."
"Why are you thanking me? Chhhwick."
"Because we may be able to finish this battle earlier than we thought. You have saved both me and the Hermes Guild a lot of trouble."
Ultar was armed with a sword and a crossbow in each hand. Naturally, both weapons were imbued with powerful enchantments.
"I'm warning you in advance — you'll have to be very, very wary of my crossbow. The moment you let your guard down, there will be a bolt stuck in your head."
Ultar's fighting style was quite famous among users. Since his level reached over 200, his favored way of combat had been switching to his crossbow after taking some time fighting with the sword.
Weed responded with a smile.
"That is a good weapon. No method is too shameful so long as it makes you more powerful. Tsschwit. I have a feeling that this will be a fun fight. Chhwick!"
"How about finding out exactly how hard it can hit before talking so big?"
Ultar felt his body go a little stiff with Weed's confident remark, but he was still one hundred percent convinced of his victory.
'I'm not going to lose to a damn sculptor… Besides, he wouldn't even be able to use undead summoning skills that's become somewhat problematic recently, would he? Coming to a duel in the form of an orc of all things; it's almost laughable.'
Orcs were nothing more than a race of monsters he had slain countless times in the past, having plenty of experience in raiding their villages and fortresses.
'Their main ability is to channel Fighting Spirit in order to boost the power of their comrades. Orcs may be a race of warriors, but in the current circumstances, he won't even be able to gain any advantage from their racial strength.'
Orcs could grow in strength over a short span of time, but Ultar thought no matter how strong one may become, an orc would never be anything more than an orc. They may possess superior muscle power and highly robust physique, but since they lacked the ability to use various skills in combat, their limitations became increasingly apparent as their level grew. Their great size could also be another weakness, as it gave plenty of space for an opponent to attack. On top of all that, Weed didn't even bother arming himself with proper equipment after he transformed into this orc. He was wearing some shabby looking orc armor that looked like he had picked it up somewhere, and its mediocre quality couldn't even be compared to that of the Armor of Mother Earth he had borrowed from his friend.
'He must have underestimated me; how absurd. I will prove to you that there are a lot of people in the Hermes Guild other than Bard Ray who are more than capable of defeating you, Weed.'
Truth was, Ultar had no idea what kind of thought was on Weed's mind presently as he stepped forward to begin the duel.
'That crossbow looks pretty expensive. And all of his other gears look far from cheap. Excellent.'
'I will win this no matter what. I will be the one to kill you, Weed!
At this very moment, an innumerable number of users were focusing their attention on the single combat between Weed and Ultar.
Yoo Byung Jun was also watching this fight through his monitor, as Weed was one of the contenders who might unite Royal Road and succeed his entire legacy.
"Ultar. Who the heck is this guy?"
– He is a user currently ranked 77th in terms of player level, and 124th by combat strength.
What the AI Versailles said was very different from what was known to the general public. Ultar's rank by level was commonly said to be around 23rd in the whole game, but in fact this ranking did not take into account the silently active users whose profiles were not public. Even though the Hermes Guild was currently monopolizing quests and hunting grounds in the Central Continent, there were still many users living in the obscure corners of this land. Some users had long hunted in labyrinths unknown to the rest of the world, and others stayed secretly in forbidden grounds.
The Dark Gamers, to whom Royal Road was a way of earning money, naturally had non-public profiles, cooperating with each other in private. They grew in power, exchanging goods and information on black markets. As Royal Road was their job, they maintained a secret life and avoided the eyes of the Hermes Guild. There were also other users in the Northern, Eastern and Southern regions who had grown their strength in seclusion, diligently and persistently building up their skills despite many obstacles. It was partly due to the redoubtable power of such users that the reign of the Haven Empire eventually became unstable even though it looked so absolute from outside.
Yoo Byung Jun found himself getting irritated by the sight of Ultar, so full of confidence with his long sword and crossbow in each hand.
"Does this one seriously think he's going to win?"
– Inferring from his gaze, expression and the emotions in his voice, it is estimated that he is about 98.4% convinced of his victory.
"What a stripling."
He could not hold back a sigh, seeing the whole situation. Since Yoo Byung Jun had long been closely monitoring Weed's adventures, he was even better acquainted with Weed's darker secrets than the companions around him such as Pale.
"This is Sculptural Transformation, for starters. And he chose to transform into none other than Karichwi the Orc…"
He knew that one must be ready to get suspicious of any move Weed makes. He might have opted to change into the popular orc in order to excite the crowd. Or it was also quite probable that he did it because of the food advertising deals he had recently made using this character Karichwi.
Ramyun, pizza and chicken ads!
He had free-handedly entered into contract with three different franchises at the same time. The advertisements showed Karichwi eating the said food with relish, and he was to receive some bonus payment depending on the increase in sales. As the making of these ads had to take place in Royal Road he also did the cooking himself, and the sight of him enjoying the food with great enthusiasm was said to make the advertisers shout "Jackpot!"
'Weed would never miss such an opportunity.'
However, one still could not say they knew Weed well if they thought he only chose to assume the form of the orc for commercial purpose.
'This sly bastard always aims for AT LEAST two birds with one stone, maybe more.'
He wasn't entirely confident, but he still had an inkling of what Weed's true intention was. When a person temporarily changes their race into something optimal for physical combat like Karichwi the Orc, their stats also changes accordingly. The wide assortment of different stats possessed by this jack of all trades will reorganize themselves, focusing on Strength and Dexterity. Weed was perfectly aware of the new size, center of mass and even various racial characteristics of his new form, and knew how to make use of them.
'That's why you shouldn't dismiss him as just another orc. He will be in a completely different league from all other orcs you have possibly faced until now.'
And this was not the end of Weed's hidden tricks.
There were several different blessings from the God of Fighting that still had a little bit of duration left after he received them on the Path of Struggle: Swordsman's Flourish, Unyielding Fighter, Unmatched Physique and Piercing Blade. The effect of the ordinary blessings given from priests could not compare with those bestowed directly by the God of Fighting himself. And Gloves of Dimension Door which he had earned as a reward after completing the quest in the Palrangka War were another critical factor. He will flash from place to place in the blink of an eye, and his attacks will jump over the boundaries of space to hit from unexpected directions. Granted, it was quite a difficult combat style to master and Weed had not had a chance to practice it yet, but one would be wise to take into account his adaptiveness that could match a cockroach.
'He will make an excellent use of it. Most probably.'
On the other hand, Ultar had stubbornly stuck to using a sword and a crossbow and that made his fighting style rather inflexible.
'Sure, it would be quite effective for getting on the nerves of the opponent and distracting them, but there's no way it will work on Weed.'
Ultar was wearing the Armor of Mother Earth that he'd borrowed, but it would be making too simple of an assumption to think that taking less damage from the hits would make you win the fight.
'Worst of all, that's still not everything he's got up his sleeve.'
Weed's undead summoning skill was presently at Intermediate 8 level. While it was unlikely that he would conjure up things like Doom Knights in the middle of a duel, there were various other skills he could make use of.
This Necromancer skill with a name that sounded like it was right up Weed's alley could be learned when one's undead summoning reached Intermediate 8 level. A skill that steals part of the opponent's Life Force and Stamina whenever the user successfully makes an attack or defend! It was a spell recorded in Bar Khan's spell tome, and naturally Weed had already studied it. Although it hadn't been long since he first learned Leeching Hand, but even a skill at its 1st level was better than nothing. More importantly, being able to constantly absorb the opponent's Life Force in a duel could be a tremendous advantage.
"Weed has so many different tricks hidden behind his back… And this idiot is being all confident just because he's got a crossbow and some decent armor."
Yoo Byung Jun wanted to see Weed having some real struggle, but it seemed that would not be the case here. Ultar was nothing more than an extra character that would be used to help make Weed shine even more.
"The real problems will be the Summon Flaming Meteor spell and the Alkin disease."
For this war, the odds of the Hermes Guild seizing their victory seemed extremely high. As many as 20 different Legions were carrying out their swift assaults, slaughtering the users who had sided with the Arpen Kingdom. Even if they succeed in driving back the charging Imperial Army through some difficult means, time was on the Hermes Guild's side.
"When those meteors strike again, there will be another mass killing. Weed might manage to evade the impact somehow, but many of his followers will die."
The more high-level users concentrate on one spot, the easier it would be for the Hermes Guild to wipe them all out in one go.
"An infectious plague, is it…? Everyone shall perish if this Alkin disease is not stopped. And that will eventually lead to the Arpen Kingdom's defeat in this battle."
Yoo Byung Jun asked Versailles:
"By the way, what exactly is this Alkin disease?"
– It is a contagion crafted by the combination of alchemical technique and a hex. It was sealed under a red rock for 374 years after its creation, until it was discovered by an expedition team sent by the Hermes Guild.
"And the danger level?"
– Extreme, possessing a very high rate of infection. It is estimated that at least 86% of the users assembled in the Garnav Plain will contract the disease in 35 hours.
The Alkin disease was truly horrible. With the battle raging on in the Arpen Kingdom's camp, it was difficult to even properly assess the accurate amount of damage.
"Then it would be pretty much impossible to stop the spreading infection."
At last, Yoo Byung Jun became convinced: this time, he would finally witness Weed's failure!
He did think that Weed would be a better choice than Bard Ray as his successor. Still, it wouldn't hurt to let people see him fail just for once, rather than always being successful at everything.
"This war will most certainly end with Weed's defeat. No matter what kind of trick he might come up with."
Yoo Byung Jun was muttering this to himself, but the friendly AI responded nonetheless.
– Shall I calculate the probability of winning for both sides?
It would suck all the fun out of this war, just like stumbling into a spoiler for the ending of a movie you have long been looking forward to. For now, what made him uneasy the most was this unexplainable hunch that told him Weed would somehow find a way to win once more, despite all the disadvantages.
"Kill! Kill him, kill!"
"Weed the God of War will be victorious!"
"Ultar, show him the power of the Hermes Guild."
"Finish it with a single blow!"
"Weed! Weed! Weed!"
The wild shouts and cheers from the crowd could be heard everywhere. Those who supported Weed outnumbered the opposing side by more than a hundredfold, but the crowd's support was not a very important factor in a duel.
Karichwi the Orc!
They prowled round and round in a circle, staring intensely at each other. Both of them were running meticulous calculations inside their heads, deciding how they should begin the fight.
Ultar was the first one to attack; he lunged forward suddenly, taking a shot with his crossbow.
Weed deflected the bolt by jerking his sword slightly, but he could feel the heavy impact made by it.
'This amount of power means that that crossbow has some bonus stats like extra punch, penetrating shot and knockback effect on top of its high damage.'
Crossbows usually came with weaknesses such as slow reloading speed and inability to make quick consecutive shots. However, this crossbow which Ultar was holding could shoot Mana Arrows, and even reloaded itself automatically. It had none of the common weaknesses of ordinary crossbows; it was a weapon that could be used freely even from a close distance.
'It must be really expensive.'
Ultar approached Karichwi's huge body from the right side. The direction of the attack would fall in the blind spot for the slow orc. Judging by the fact that his sword was shining with brilliant light, he must have used some kind of skill that boosted his attack power as well.
'Not a chance.'
Weed began to rush forward in the same direction, swinging his arms lightly. Instead of a glaive commonly used by orcs, the Loa Sword that looked as slim as a chopstick sheared the air.
The moment their blades clashed, Ultar felt his wrist snap from the terrible impact. It was an exchange of blows between two swords, yet it felt as if his arm and shoulder were about to fall off.
< A powerful impact!
Your Life Force has been reduced by 3,487 points.
The durability of your sword has been reduced by 1 point. >
Ultar had never seen his weapon's durability go down during a fight, as it normally happened only when there was a severe gap between the levels of the two opponents.
It was truly an overwhelming force beyond imagination!
'An orc has a skill that can exert this much power?'
As one of his many tricks, Weed had turned all of his Art stats into Strength using Sculptural Destruction skill. The great force with which he swung his sword formed only the basis of this attack; his natural shift in weight as well as the movements of his shoulders and waist all resulted in such a great impact.
"Haah! Orc Triple Smash!"
Weed made another attack, kind enough to shout out the skill name loudly. The attack consisted of three successive swings with increasing speed, and the last blow even had an effect of stunning the target.
Ultar retreated hurriedly, swinging his sword and shooting another bolt.
He only managed to dodge out of Weed's reach after deflecting the first two swings, and a chill was running down his spine from such an unexpected attack.
Weed held out his muscle-covered left hand that was as good as any lethal weapon.
He jerked his fingers inward, making a gesture that invited his opponent to attack this time; their duel had only just begun.
( Continued on next part…)
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