The Legendary Moonlight Sculptor Volume 5 Chapter 1
Chapter 1 : Tomb of the Great King
Accompanied by Royal Knights, Weed walked down the hall as he considered multiple hundreds of artistic designs for the tomb.
'A tomb that will leave a mark in history. A legendary tomb. Great and Majestic. A monument worth of a King.'
It wasn't going to be easy to build such a tomb. But Weed wasn't known to give up before trying.
'Having no talent in art makes no difference. It is determination that allows you to succeed.'
Is there anything that can't be achieved by hard work!? Weed knew no such thing.
In any business, hard work is the assured way to success. No wonder they say that progress is "1% inspiration and 99% hard work".
No matter how talented you are, if you don't put any effort, you can't reach your goal.
'There's nothing I can't do!' Weed was inspired.
The size of the tomb had to be overwhelming. Any flaws on sculptural design will be compensated by its size. Similar to his greatest creation, the Ice Dragon, the bigger, the better.
'I'll build the most majestic royal tomb! And of course, I will succeed!'
Upon completion of this quest, Weed would not only receive a large amount of experience, but also receive a rare or unique weapon. However, the most important issue was how he should build the tomb, was still unknown to him.
- Weed, did you finish your audience with the King?
Pale suddenly whispered him. He was worried for his friend when he was dragged away by the Royal Knights.
Weed whispered back:
- Yeah, I'm on my way out.
- We're all worried about you. Is everything okay?
- Yeah. I've received an important quest from the King.
- I see. So you're leaving again...
Pale's voice was filled with sorrow.
Surka, Irene, and Romuna felt the same. It's been awhile since they've last met; not since their hunting expedition in Lavias. And now, just a few hours later, they'll have to part again.
- No! For this quest, I'll need help, Pale.
- Really? But the quest is from the King himself!
- Anything is possible.
- By the way Weed, there's a huge crowd gathered at the entrance of the Palace. To be honest, I've never seen so many players in one place. If you get involve with the commotion, it'll be a problem.
- There are lot of people?
- Beyond your imagination. And if you don't come out soon, they might start storming the palace.
Pale's description of the situation was vivid. The people swarmed around like storm clouds.
The King's Quest!
Hard work and artistry! The Majestic Tomb!
At that moment, Weed's thoughts gathered to construct a scheme, and his mouth widen into an insidious smile.
'Yes, that's it! That's the way I'll build the tomb!'
* * *
Pale, Irene, Romuna and Surka, quietly cheered for Weed.
"It's hard to believe that the quest is from the King!"
"Tell me about it, something interesting is bound to happen"
Weed's quest was given by the King himself. Therefore, the four friends whispered cautiously to prevent anyone from overhearing them.
"Are you sure we'll be able to participate?"
"Yes, Weed said he needed help. So don't worry about it"
"I'm more concerned whether Weed will make it out safely" Irene said anxiously.
Multitude of players swarmed the Palace walls. The moment Weed appears, players might start bombarding him with questions, and wouldn't stop until their curiosity is satisfied.
For someone like Weed, who sold his soul to money and greed, being assaulted by hordes of players might be an unpleasant experience.
"Please let Weed come out of there unharmed" Irene prayed silently.
* * *
Weed came out of the Palace through the front gate where immeasurable amount of players had gathered.
Players abandoned their activities after hearing rumors of the first player to have an audience with the King.
People also blocked the back exit, with the possibility that Weed might use it to sneak out.
But through the front gates, where the crowd gathered, Weed exited boldly and was immediately the center of attention.
"How were you able to meet the King?"
"Tell us how we can have an audience with the King!"
"We also want to meet the King, please tell us!"
A number of people started asking questions at the same time, which resulted into nonsense chatter.
In the meantime, Weed examining the crowd's equipment.
'You can buy those travel clothes for 3 gold'
Weed started making computations.
'That shield costs 6 gold, but considering how worn out it looked, he probably bought it off someone. If he's good at bargaining, he might have bought it for 2 gold'
Amongst the crowd were some veterans, but the majority were novice.
Due to their low levels, they have yet to venture out of the city. The areas around Serabourg were perfect hunting ground for beginners! So when the rumors spread, they were the first to the scene.
"Ahem" Weed cleared his throat
To build a tomb wasn't a difficult job. But to build a royal tomb in accordance to the King's preference that would be able to mesmerize anyone with just a glance, was another matter.
If he tries to construct it alone, it would take more than a year. Thus, to get the job done fast, it will require a large manpower. Workers who will follow Weed's orders unquestionably.
'These people will be my workers'
Weed used his Advanced Level 3 Lion's Roar to address the gathered crowd; otherwise, he would not have been heard by all.
"I will now inform you that I have just received a quest from His Majesty, King Theodarren, the ruler of Rosenheim Kingdom"
You have used Lion's Roar
His loud voice reverberated throughout the crowd.
Sounds hit their ears as if it came from right next to them, an audible, articulate voice. For the majority of the beginners, it was their first time to hear such dynamic voice.
The curiosity of the crowd, have once again, been inflamed.
"What, really? A quest?"
"Meeting the King was remarkable, but..."
"A quest from the King himself?"
"First time ever in the entire Versailles continent?"
"The first. It is the first time in the continent that a King has made a request"
The surrounding players became even more excited.
"Please tell us what the quest is!"
"Help us meet the King too!"
As their chatter became incomprehensible, yet again, Weed stimulated their excitement even more:
"I've been commissioned to build something special. Fortunately, the quest can be shared!"
"Let us be part of it!"
The crowd naturally responded. A quest directly from the King!
They wanted to participate in such a commission even if they'd have to beg!
"Of course I would share it with everyone. Is it not our duty to help each others on the continent of Versailles, who live and breathe the same air? However, getting to this stage was not an easy process, so I would like to receive an entry fee of 1 gold per person"
Everyone's expectations amplified. Blinded by Weed's words, they thought sharing the quest was an act of virtue.
"That's fair. I absolutely agree with you"
"Such a great man..."
"A trusted person, I'll follow!"
In the eyes of public, Weed was the most noble and righteous player in the continent of Versailles.
The quest was a B rank difficulty. Even with a quest of a D rank difficulty or easier, if the referral is rare and has good rewards, it is often shared expensively.
However, Weed was willing to share his quest for just 1 gold.
People only saw what seems to be Weed's gentle expression. And it led them to believe that Weed was a sincere man, but in reality, he was busy calculating his future profit.
'We'll feel guilty if we obtained the quest for free...'
'So that's why he's asking for a small amount of money!'
People finally understood Weed's intentions. After having heard his speech, their doubts were dispelled, and they began to respect him.
The food that suits your taste is more likely to be unhealthy for your body!
Everyone, in their lifetime, will make this mistake at least once, to get backstabbed by seemingly reliable and trustworthy people.
Those words are not enough to describe Weed.
- What do you think Weed is trying to do?
- I'm suddenly feeling extremely nervous.
- What is his purpose addressing all these people...
- The King's quest isn't that bad, is it?
Pale, Irene, and the others knew about Weed's personality, so they were whispering each other, discussing the situation at hand.
Something strange was going on!
They walked closer to the crowd, just in time to see that people that gathered had already fallen for Weed's scam.
Weed, with his charismatic expression and dignified speech, made people believed in him, but those who were acquainted with Weed, knew that he was looking suspicious.
"Now then, I'll share the quest with you."
Weed raised his voice even louder that the veins on his neck became visible because of the tension.
"First, I should warn you, that given the difficulty of the quest, you have to promise me that you'll follow all my orders. I will only share the quest to those who makes the oath"
The crowd was given a chance to reconsider their decisions, but in the end they all decided to follow Weed. They didn't question the reason why someone would share a quest commissioned by the King.
There was no time to think! The uproar of having an impending quest given by none other than the King of Rosenheim himself, caused people the inability to evaluate the current situation. And if you act quickly, you could participate.
Another uproar flared up and players made haste towards Weed to receive the quest.
"Move over, I'm first!"
"What are you talking about, I was here before you!"
In a moment, people formed a long queue to receive the quest. The line started from the Palace gates, to the streets, and continued to grow even longer.
Those who weren't able to see how the event started also lined up, with hopes of joining the expedition and receive something of value.
"Will you follow my commands until the quest is complete?"
"Of course. Thank you for letting me join."
After receiving the quest, Weed received 1 gold.
Help prominent Sculptor Weed to build a prominent Tomb
King Theodarren of Rosenheim has little time left to live. In preparation for his death, he desires for an imperial tomb.
Reward: If successful, you will receive at least 50 points of reputation with Royal Court.
Depending on the amount of work you've done, additional Fame and rewards might be granted.
"Really, you have my gratitude."
After receiving the quest, players gratefully thanked him.
Because the quest was originally given to Weed, he had the authority to select who he wanted to join him. Though the rewards for other people were different from the initial quest, people were still happy to be able to join a B rank quest given by the King.
Finally, it was Pale and his party's turn.
"Wow, a B rank quest..."
"You said you needed our help?"
Pale felt like his heart was about to burst out of his chest.
Why did he ever believe Weed?!
The moment he saw Weed with his innocent expression, he should have suspected something. And once he heard Weed announced that he will be sharing the quest, he should have thought of an excuse and ran away.
He should have felt something was strange. The B rank quest.
Pale and the girls knew exactly how Weed had completed a similar quest back in the province of Morata, so now they were in the state of panic and dreaded what was coming.
"I will follow your every command."
"Assign any task to me, I won't fail you."
Almost every player who was present wanted to participate in the construction of the tomb. Getting such a quest was the cause of excitement for everyone in the crowd. This was no surprise since the majority of the people were beginners and never before had someone commissioned a B rank quest, usually restricted to higher level players, for just 1 gold.
While commissioning people, Weed started visualizing a plan in his head.
"First of all, I need to pick a good spot to build the tomb. An open area with a good view of mountains and rivers. Does anyone know of such a place?"
As soon as Weed asked, a couple of people raised their hands.
"I know a place like that!"
"Me too. It's closed to the Serabourg's castle on the eastern plains. It has a river to the north, and mountains to the south."
"What about the hill north of the castle? It's a sunny area with a great view"
One of the most important elements of a creating successful sculpture is to take its surroundings into account and take advantage of where the sculpture will be built.
For a greater chance of success, he needed to choose a perfect place. Weed decided to personally visit the suggested sites before settling for the best.
When Weed moved, thousands of players followed. Along the way, other players started join, similar to resonating a snowball.
Finally, Weed stopped in an area East of Serabourg's Palace. The area was spacious enough for the construction, and there were large boulders everywhere.
'If there are a lot of stones, then the ground's pretty solid... The scenery is decent. This is the one.'
Usually, tombs were built in ravines or mountains. But to make a grave to Weed's concept, he needed a broad and flat area.
"Now that that I've decided on this place, we'll need a lot of building materials to construct the tomb. Does anyone know of any nearby quarries? We'll need stones that can withstand a great deal of weight."
"I know of one" an answer was immediately heard from the crowd.
People usually overlook places such as quarries, however, the people in the crowd knew of many places.
Weed decided to visit the quarries.
Incredible large stones were piled up like a mountain
Though with some work, they will be able to harness the stones into proper building materials for the tomb.
Once again, Weed instigated the people gathered in front of the quarry.
"Now then, let's get started on the B rank quest!"
"As you know, the rewards will be given according to your performance, so we'll start working as soon as possible, and that means now. For those who are unwilling to participate now, can begin tomorrow"
"Let's get started!"
"We've got no time to lose!"
The fame and reward they receive depends on their participation. Naturally, people wanted to start at once.
* * *
There are many Kingdoms and adventurers in the continent of Versailles! However, despite the great distances, rumors traveled at the speed of light.
On Royal Road's website, someone wrote an article:
Topic: B rank difficulty quest.
Something incredible is happening in Rosenheim Kingdom.
For the first time ever, a player appeared and received an audience with the King. And what's even more surprising, he announced that the King commissioned him to a B rank quest and shared with amongst other players.
Sharing a high ranking quest made no sense.
Generally, higher level players had to form parties for a slim chance to complete such quests.
And in Rosenheim Kingdom where majority of people are still low levels, sharing a significant quest is reckless.
I was there to witness the event, but negative to the idea.
To my surprise, the player's profession was a sculptor. The B rank quest was to build a Royal tomb. Yet everyone joined the quest as it seemed to yield great rewards.
The somewhat exciting post of a B rank quest instantly caught the attention of a large amount of people. The article created a chain reaction.
Coincidentally, most of the posted topics on Royal Road's website were written by players from the center of the continent.
Many players gathered their information from stories of veterans in the center of the continent. Therefore players who started on the edge of the continent were disregarded.
The center of the continent was thought to be exemplary, as most of the good weapons, armors, and information came from there. And it was the first time players from the central regions were envious of those who started in the Kingdom of Rosenheim, which was once considered as an 'undeveloped frontier'.
- Do you really think it's a B rank difficulty quest?
- If this is true, it'll be big.
- And they said anyone can participate... Players from Rosenheim Kingdom sure are lucky.
- I'm from Dor Kingdom, but I'm going to Rosenheim as fast as possible.
- A sculptor... I didn't know such profession existed. I'm surprised that he met the King and received a high ranking quest.
An illusion about the sculptor profession was ingrained into the minds of people. An exclusive right to a quest commissioned by the King was given to a player with a rare profession!
The number of novice sculptors holding engraving knives had escalated, and often sculpture shops were filled with customers.
* * *
Players swarmed the mountains around the quarry like ants.
"O ye wind, collect thy power and slay ye foe of mine! The Wind Blade!"
Mages used all their mana to fire spells one after the other. With rocks as their goal!
"My axe rivaled no one! Shatter any obstacle! Double Strike!" Barbarians yelled as they swung their axes.
Players used various skills, spells and techniques to divide the stones and shaped them into squares, then mages used spells to decrease the weight of the stones and the remaining players carry them to the construction site.
"Now everyone, one, two, three, lift! Heave-ho!"
Dozens of players hauled the stones to the foot of the mountain. No one rushed, as carrying a large boulder down the steep mountain slope was dangerous. Stones were then loaded into wagons and carts to be dragged the rest of the way.
"We can carry these by ourselves"
With great effort, stones were begun to pile up in the area east of Serabourg's Palace. Players carried stones through sweat and tears!
'It's so heavy, that I want to die.'
'This weight will drive me crazy.'
Every player who carried stones was tempted to quit a hundred times. But once they delivered the stone they are currently carrying, they always returned for the next one.
The prestigious B rank quest distracted their ability to reason. However, that wasn't the sole cause. Weed racked his brain and devised an effective scheme to brainwash the people. Whenever a player delivers a stone, Weed would tell them how much work they had done.
"That was your 12th stone. At the moment, the record is 14 stones."
In addition, majority of players who were in front of Serabourg's Palace joined the quest. They were blinded by the King's quest as differences in levels and professions were not an issue. No matter how tired they were of the job, they did not give up. Even when they promised not to carry another stone, but when they reached the quarry, they changed their minds completely.
'I'll carry one more stone'
'I'll definitely succeed!'
That was the temptation of the B rank quest.
* * *
Pale felt shivers run down his spine.
He looked down and saw countless of people carrying stones. People of all ages and gender were carrying stones. There was no end to the line.
'People have to do hard labor even in game...'
At the tremendous sight, Pale couldn't hold his admiration. Weed solved everything with hard work and his enthusiasm spread to the people.
"Oooiii! Pale, move faster!"
Pale turned suddenly turned around. Irene, Romuna, and Surka who were following him almost ran into him.
"Pale, you're slowing everyone down!"
Pale was speechless. What can else can he say? They were already in Weed's clutches! Even Pale was carrying a stone. He could not resist the temptation of the fame and rewards promised for completing the B rank quest.
* * *
KMC Media were periodically browsed blogs, forums, and websites dedicated to Royal Road. To make a good report, they had to cover large quantities of information and react quickly to situational changes. Most of the information in the internet was garbage. However, there's still hope that even in a pile of rubbish, an interesting material will appear!
First the experts separate interesting bits of information, and then a special team verifies its authenticity.
Information of the B rank quest in Rosenheim Kingdom got caught in their Information Network.
The Production Director, Experts, and Script Writers immediately gathered for a meeting.
"How reliable is that information?"
"Production Director, the source is still unknown, but the information seems to be true. All the players of Rosenheim Kingdom are familiar with the event. Some of our reliable sources are among them."
"Then shouldn't we send a special correspondent immediately?"
"I think Shin Hye-Min is in Rosenheim Kingdom at this moment. A while ago, she said she was going there to do some quest"
Shin Hye-Min was considered one of the best hosts of KMC Media's Royal Road division.
"Well, that's a relief. Have Shin Hye-Min cover that story"
"Wait a minute. This morning she contacted and said that something urgent came up and asked not to call her for a while..."
"Hye-Min did? That's unusual" The Production Direction doubtfully said.
Shin Hye-Min was never late for a shooting, and thought to be a very responsible reporter.
"What in the world could be so important. When there's an event going on in Rosenheim Kingdom"
* * *
"Wow, this is difficult"
Maylon carried a stone with a moan. The heavy stone was lying on top of her fragile shoulders, supported by her slender arms.
'I'm doing this for the fame'
She had experienced a lot of hardship because of her low reputation. In the beginning, she wasn't familiar with the game and died a lot while hunting. Because hunting monsters in parties means sharing experience with the rest of the group, it was hard to gain a level.
She thought that she had talent for this game because she was leveling faster than others. However, later on when she began her broadcast in Royal Road, a variety of activities had to be given up. It required network intimacy.
'I going to have a great adventure'
Maylon dreamed of a future filled with adventures. A righteous ranger helping others in times of crisis!
Until now, she only told adventures of others during her broadcasts. She was envious of others, henceforth she wanted to have her own adventure to tell.
"But this stone is too heavy." Maylon said in despair
Her eyes were filled with unshed tears that could come pouring out any moment.
Maylon didn't have high strength. She invested most of her stat points in dexterity, as it more useful for hunting in mountain terrains where Rangers usually operate. Thanks to her exceptionally low strength, the stone seemed heavier.
It was so heavy that she was on the verge of collapsing. Willpower is all that's keeping her from falling, but her physical strength was reached its limit and she was in the risk of being squashed by the stone at any moment.
"Are you okay?"
A hand kept the stone from falling. She lifted her head and saw another archer had reached out to help her. His expression wasn't no different from hers.
Rangers and Archers use bows as their main weapon, so dexterity was their main attribute.
Small streams of sweat were running down his forehead. Nevertheless, he stopped to help Maylon.
"Well, don't mind me... It must be heavy for you too."
"It's okay, the destination is close, so let me help you."
"But you don't look so good"
"I'll manage" The archer said as he sweat profusely.
Usually, a favor of this degree wouldn't impress her. But in this situation, when the archer was struggling himself, this simple act of kindness touched her heart.
"Ummm... What's your name? My name's Maylon. Don't get me wrong, I was hoping we could be friends and exchange whispers from time to time..."
"Pale, my name is Pale."
Maylon and Pale were both sweating profusely, smiled at each other.