The Legendary Moonlight Sculptor Volume 8 Chapter 9
Chapter 9 : Valley of Death
Shortly after he opened his eyes, Weed walked out of the Teleport Gate and found himself inside a cave. Cold wind blew in from the cave's entrance.
It was a situation he had to get used to every day!
Due to having experience shivering in the cold, he could be unfazed by strong, cold winds.
"Looks like I had to return to this place eventually."
He ended up coming to this harsh place with Seoyoon.
Weed changed his clothes quickly to avoid catching a cold.
It was clothing made from the furry leather of the Yetis!
It did not look all that appealing from the outside, but it provided good insulation.
'Being warm in the winter really is the best.'
Some people tried to look cool by wearing light clothing.
Weed looked upon those people and laughed at them.
'They're going where while wearing clothing like that?'
Traditionally, thicker clothes were the best. Warm clothes that did not let any cold air in.
New clothing made from good, light materials had to change as fashion moved on.
However, the clothing he wore was very special.
Clothing stuffed with a lot of fur and cotton!
It resembled the clothing that the older men who sailed on the boats near beaches wore. It was the thickest clothing. Because the clothing is thick and durable, you can wear it every year.
As a negative side effect, one would never appear to be young while wearing clothes like these!
The first time in his life, he had been called an "old man" while he was out on his milk delivery route.
It was a painful memory filled with shock, something he would never want to recall.
As Weed searched his surroundings, he found Alveron and Seoyoon.
The pope-candidate Alveron. It was comforting to travel with him due to his high level and his knowledge of higher-tier divine magic.
Without Alveron, it would have been impossible to win against the True Blood Vampire Clan.
This time, he had to rely on both Alveron and Seoyoon in order to complete the quest.
Weed faced Alveron and gave him an order.
"It's cold. For now, see if you can get a campfire going."
After Alveron politely answered, he gathered some nearby wood and started a fire. Kind and pure Alveron fulfilled his orders without complaint.
Meanwhile, Seoyoon's lips turned a deep blue.
Alveron was wearing a robe that did not allow the elements through, because he was a candidate for papacy. Weed was similarly wearing Yeti leather, which let him withstand the cold to some extent.
However, Seoyoon did not have specially insulating clothing, so she could only remain exposed to the full brunt of the extreme cold.
Weed pulled out sewing equipment and materials from his backpack.
Since he had no choice but to travel with Seoyoon, he was going to make her some clothes. Luckily, there were some materials leftover from making the Geomchis' clothes.
Weed cut the leather and, with more care than usual, began sewing.
Women's Leather Clothes:
Clothing made from a long-lived black boar.
A tailor with great insight made this clothing using intermediate sewing materials.
Since this clothing is not thick, it allows natural movement of the arms and legs and is comfortable to be active.
Weed finished sewing the clothing, and held it out to Seoyoon.
All while trying to force the unnatural politeness!
The clothing that Weed made was average leather clothing. It was something that one could wear underneath heavy armor.
While the wizard and priest classes lacked the strength to do so, the classes that could wear heavy armor usually wore leather armor in addition to that, resulting in an even more exceptional defense.
He made the clothes using Seoyoon's measurement, which he already knew in advance.
However, Seoyoon did not take the clothes.
She fixedly stared at the clothes that Weed held out for her.
A thought passed through Weeds mind.
'She must have some difficulty receiving it from an acquaintance.'
There was a time when they traveled together for a number of days while he was the Orc Karichwi, but Seoyoon was unaware of that fact. Since she only recalled meeting him while eating barbeque at the Instructor's log cabin, it was understandable.
With those thoughts, Weed smiled favorably towards her.
"It's okay. You may wear it. Since it was made particularly for your use, please hurry up and take it."
However, Seoyoon shook her head without saying anything.
'Why is she behaving like that?'
Weed, puzzled, followed her line of vision. Seoyoon was expressionlessly looking at the Yeti leather clothing he was wearing.
The fleeting thought that passed in a second!
Weed investigated Seoyoon's location. She was right in front of the campfire. She was so close to the fire that if she moved a little closer she would burn.
'She must hate the cold. That means the reason why she refuses to wear this is...'
The reason she refused was not that she found accepting the favor to be difficult. She was silently demanding the slightly warmer clothing.
The clothing that Weed made properly reflected the exposure of women's clothing, and he did not layer it in to reduce the amount of materials used.
She keenly observed this and wanted different clothes.
Weed had no choice but to make her a new set of clothes. Using the leftover materials, he added on some layers and eliminated the exposed areas of the clothing to make thicker clothes.
It was at this point that Seoyoon grabbed the clothes and went behind a boulder to change.
After somehow completing the preparations for weathering the cold, Weed turned to ask Alveron a question.
"Where is the Valley of Death?"
"It's known as the Sendeim Valley."
"It has an original name. Is that place also related to the Undead Army?"
Weed asked the question because most of the high-ranking quests he received had involved the Undead Army in some way.
However, Alveron shook his head.
"The Church is investigating the Undead Army that Balkan controlled. They revealed that this quest and the Undead Army are not related. It involves the ancient Niflheim Empire. You should be able to obtain more information on the Sendeim Valley from the Morata Village's Elder."
Weed went to the outside of the cave.
A large darkness was visible in the distance.
It was the Morata Castle, where he fought against the True Blood Vampires.
It seemed as though they splendidly renovated the houses in the outskirts of the manor, which were ruins in the past. The residents were also moving about here and there.
"Then let's go."
Weed trudged towards the village of Morata.
Alveron and Seoyoon followed him.
The village residents welcomed him warmly.
"Warrior! We welcome your return to this place. We will never forget the grace by which you saved our lives."
With the completion of the quest, the village revived.
Weed was the village's best contributor! Thanks to that, he could receive a lot of favor from the village residents. Weed began by seeking the Elder.
The largest house that, in the past, was completely destroyed so that not even a skeleton could be found was repaired and became the Elder's house.
Inside the house, the wood in the fireplace was burning, spreading a warm atmosphere.
"Warrior, I sincerely thank you for revisiting us in these hard times. "
"I wanted to come again even if that wasn't the case. I'm glad to see that you and the village residents are doing well."
"It's thanks to the protection of Freya's knights and priests."
Monster infested villages could become invaded at any time.
As in the case of Baran village, monsters could kidnap people and force them to become their slaves. However, thanks to the efforts of the Church of Freya, this village became safe.
The Elder brought out a basket laden with sweet potatoes that were puffing with steam.
"As it so happened to be, it's about dinner time; would you care to join?"
"I won't refuse."
Weed sat down at the table and began to peel the sweet potatoes.
Seoyoon also sat down next to him and quietly began peeling sweet potatoes and eating them.
In the past, there was a time they also ate together like this in the Instructor's log cabin.
'Every time we meet, we seem to end up eating something together. If we're this tied together, could it be fate?'
The sweet potatoes that they put into a campfire and grilled. The sweet potato eaten at night was puffy with steam and had an aesthetic golden meat.
Weed took a mouthful of the sweet potato.
It was savory while being sweet!
'It would've been perfect if I had some kimchi to go with this.'
He had enough proficiency in cooking to make some kimchi. He also had the necessary ingredients.
However, it was impossible to start marinating kimchi when one wanted to eat it. That was why special foods, such as kimchi, usually sold at exceedingly high prices.
Because it became a widely spread universal food that even the Westerners could eat, it was available in most restaurants.
People loved to eat kimchi to the point where chefs would learn how to make it first.
Weed diligently peeled and ate the sweet potatoes. Ever since coming to the North, there was very little to eat, so they were in a hungry state.
Alveron tried to eat politely at first, but he started to eat hastily. After he started traveling with Weed, he began to gain an appreciation for food.
The basket filled with sweet potatoes began to rapidly empty.
Weed and Alveron did most of the eating, but the amount Seoyoon was putting away was also substantial. It was then that Weed looked at the Elder's expression.
A mooch must always gauge the state of his benefactor in order to live and eat.
The glaring eyes and the furrowed brows!
Unsurprisingly, he was feeling sensitive about the dwindling amount of sweet potatoes.
Weed put the sweet potato down and asked a question.
"I want to hear more information on the Sendeim Valley."
Even without receiving a quest, the Valley of Death offered monsters to hunt and treasures to find. However, it is better to obtain one because it offers necessary information and rewards.
The Elder looked out of the far window, as if to throw away the attachment he had to the sweet potatoes. A layer of white snow covered the entire view.
"Are you aware of the past glory of our Niflheim Empire?"
"No, I'm not aware of it."
Weed had separately studied the history of the Versailles continent. It was the stories of the rise and fall of each kingdom and their respective heroes.
If he comprehended the background stories, it would help with obtaining important quests. However, in this kind of situation, it was better to feign ignorance. That way, one could hear more stories, and it could serve as an important hint to another question. The Elder made a sad face.
The diminishing sweet potatoes might have had a big part in that sadness. He could be regretting the invitation he extended to Weed and his party.
"When we were caught in that evil curse that left us petrified, the Niflheim Empire was still a thriving nation. It wasn't as cold as it is now, and it was very suitable for living in. I was one of the Niflheim Empire's border aristocrats."
It could be said that all of the village residents in the Morata province were important people to the history. If seen from another view, it as an important village that had no choice but to contain many quests.
If the North became explored in earnest, the village would become completely crowded with adventurers.
"However, due to a sudden invasion of monsters at the capital when I was young, the residents faced annihilation. When the emperor, who swore always to live honorably, had to put his life at stake, he became cowardly and abandoned the capital while fleeing with his guards. The monsters left to chase after the fleeing emperor, and there were rumors that they eventually caught up and captured him. The place where this occurred was the Sendeim Valley."
"The emperor must have died by now."
"Yes he would have likely died by now. Due to the cowardly death of the emperor, the empire lost its constitutionality and shattered, while the nobles entered a power struggle that consumed them all. However, these are all simply uncertain rumors! We can't find out the truth. That's why we'd like to find out the truth, whatever it may be, of what happened back then.
Truth and Glory
The Niflheim Empire produced many stories of glory, which became broken. Emperor Eben Niflheim VI was an outstanding knight, and was a warrior who did not know the meaning of retreat. However, he was condemned for being unable to maintain his chivalry in the face of his death.
Found out the true history of events that occurred in the Sendeim Valley.
Another quest with a difficulty of "A" rank appeared.
Weed breathed a sigh of relief.
'Still, it's lucky that it's only an 'A' rank.'
His thanks that it was only an "A" ranked quest, and not the "S" ranked quest that was only known to exist, swept through his body.
Weed furtively glanced at Seoyoon.
Clear eyes and an unblemished and translucent skin.
She, who had the beauty that would make people hesitate to call her pretty out of fear for disrespect. She was exuding a mystical charm that was hard to describe.
Although she was wearing the simple leather clothes that Weed made, she radiated elegance. Seoyoon had the kind of absolute beauty that could turn any clothing into a luxurious masterwork.
However, all Weed could see was a simple brawler.
'Even though it looks like I received another hard quest this time, since I have a person who could help, it'll be alright.'
Judging by what he saw, Seoyoon's combat ability was no joke. Powerful skill, outrageous vitality, indefatigable stamina, and even surprising damage!
As one of the combat classes, it could be said that only the strengths were gathered and put together.
Although there players, like Weed or the Geomchis, who also displayed outstanding melee abilities, it was not bad to rely on the class' skills.
The flexible and gentle movements that were unique to women.
Combined with flawless execution of the high-end skills!
It was a faster and safer way of hunting, if one had the mana.
On top of that, as Seoyoon engaged in a fight, her mood shifted. With her eyes glittering while she fought, it was the specialty of the Berserker class.
As a Berserker, whenever a monster was killed, health and mana were replenished. While the amount was negligible, but if one were to fight in a place with many monsters, the results were overwhelmingly different.
If the Martial Artist class the Geomchis chose was strong against small groups of enemies, then the Berserker class was specialized for defeating multiple monsters without rest.
Since that Seoyoon was with him, Weed could feel much less pressure from the quest.
"I will go to the Sendeim Valley and investigate once I arrive."
You accepted the quest.
After readily accepting the quest, the Elder became very friendly.
"Thank you. That you're willing to do such a hard task for us..."
"It's nothing. It was something I had to do. Rather, I want to apologize for being unable to come to visit sooner. If, in the future, there are any more difficult tasks, please look for me."
Hunting was great, but quest rewards were also valuable!
Since he could make money off the ad revenue from uploading it to the Hall of Fame or entering into a contract with a broadcasting station, it was a good proposition.
In order to raise the intimacy sufficiently higher, he used the situation. As if to demonstrate the substantial effect it had, the Elder's face showed admiration for the younger man.
"Until now, those who wanted to learn the truth dispatched an innumerable amount of expeditions and knights, but none of them returned. After that, the Sendeim Valley came to be known as the Valley of Death."
After hearing the Elder's words, Weed wanted to scream.
'Aren't you supposed to tell me those kinds of secrets ahead of time?!'
However, the truth was this level of difficulty was to be expected of a rank "A" difficulty quest. Since he always started from the ground up, he had nothing to fear. There was no reason to change his mind after coming this far. The Elder continued speaking.
"Then, this person will also come along, right?"
He was referring to Seoyoon.
The girl who was making a face that was colder than the cold North!
However, in order to receive the shared quest, she needed to join the party.
Weed extended a hand.
"Please join my party."
You invited Seoyoon-nim to the party.
Because she had joined another party as though they were merging when she was with Seechwi, it was her first time getting an individual invitation to join a party.
However, Seoyoon just stayed as she was.
Weed began to have a sense of foreboding.
'There's no way she'd refuse to join the party after coming this far, right?'
It could turn into a situation where she would not accept the quest and left Weed to suffer by himself!
He began to think there was a good possibility of it happening.
Of course, Seoyoon was not as cold a person as she seemed on the outside.
Although she liked fighting, she was not greedy. One could tell that from observing how she did not fight a monster unless it attacked her first, even if it was a rare monster that came out once per day and dropped a good item.
However, Seoyoon was completely indifferent to these things.
As much as she never uttered a single word while following the Orc Karichwi around, she could have ignored Weed's quest.
As Weed was getting nervous, Seoyoon, herself, lightly put her hand on top of Weed's.
You have gained a new member in your party.
Even Seoyoon could not understand her emotions. That she would be travelling like this with a stranger, and an unfamiliar man at that, was unthinkable.
While this happened thanks to the unknowing Seechwi's encouragement, even taking that into consideration, if the person did not want it they would have separated here.
'Strangely, I'm not uncomfortable.'
Seoyoon became puzzled.
That was the person she had only ever met in the Instructor's log cabin. However, for some reason, he exuded a familiar feeling.
* * *
Ever since she hunted with Seechwi's other colleagues she felt this feeling.
"Lee Rien, hurry up with Seoyoon's treatment!" (Lee Rien is the name of the nurse treating her.)
Seoyoon did not speak a word. Even if you say that her health was deteriorating, she could not express it in words.
Whenever that happened after battles, Weed always made sure that they had spare time, so that she could receive her treatment.
Whenever the fights ended, he applied bandages and repaired armor and weapons.
There was also a time in the past when she had this feeling.
The feeling she got when she travelled with Orc Karachwi at the Yunopu Gorge.
Orc Karachwi, whose face was appallingly ugly, but whose eyes were good-natured.
Even the way they repaired weapons was very similar.
She did not talk; she carefully observed the facial expressions and eyes every time she saw someone. Although she never engaged in conversation, she was able to determine people's moods and temperaments because of her observations.
At that moment she felt the same vibe coming from Weed that she felt from Karichwi
Seoyoon didn't understand Weed's intentions, but she knew it was him who took the appearance of Karichwi, who observed and protected her.
Although it is not always accurate, she trusted her feelings and instincts. Which was why she chose to travel with with.
* * *
After Weed left the Elder's house, he walked around the Morata Village and gathered information. The villagers and Freya's Paladins and Priests became his goal. The Freya's Priests had remained in Morata Village in order to protect it.
For now, Weed was gathering supplies for the journey and was asking the storeowners about information on the Sendeim Valley.
"Sendeim Valley? It's a place that became better known as the Valley of Death. They say that there are a lot of monsters there."
"Can you tell me what kind of monsters?"
"Hmm... There will probably be some Ice Trolls. The Ice Trolls often gather in places like the Valley of Death."
They have an amazing ability to regenerate health, and since their ability to use the extreme cold is great, they are not easy monsters to fight against.
However, Weed would not cower at this level of danger.
Whatever the case, they could hunt the Ice Trolls by luring them one at a time as long as it was a valley and not a dungeon. It might take a long time, but using bait to lure them one by one and beating them was not an impossible task.
Of course, there would probably some viciously strong ones, but since that was a daily occurrence, they had no reason to fear.
'Ice Troll blood sells for a lot. It offers better effects than most common medicinal herbs, and it can also be used to make potions.'
Weed, who tried to estimate a value for everything!
He was not scared of strong monsters; he was scared of monsters that only dropped leather. In fact, he found nothing to be as horrific as a monster that dropped only cheap leathers.
'If it's a valley, the landmarks will be extremely important.'
If you could shoot an arrow from one side of the valley to the other, it could turn out to be a much easier hunt than expected.
However, if the Ice Trolls dominated the upper portion of the valley and expanded their territory, then it may be much more challenging.'
Weed had no information on their territory.
A mission to recapture the monster's domain!
There was no other way besides having an effective siege.
The situation was different than fighting the True Blood Vampire Clan with Alveron and a few Freya's Paladins in the past.
Back then, the number of vampires was small, and there wasn't a feeling of a siege.
Even though Weed used different words to ask the residents, he received the same information.
"If you're looking for the Valley of Death, it's quite far from here. At best, it'll take 1 month of travel. Why does it take so long to get there? That's because the Niflheim Empire's territory is vast."
"Ice Troll? Of course, there should be some Ice Trolls. However, it's not only the monsters you need to be wary of. This is a story I heard from my grandfather, but there is supposed to be a treasure storehouse in there. That's why there will be much more dangerous hazards.
Monsters and the chances of dying to the myriad of traps!
"They say that some kind of terrible feeling spills out from there every morning. Due to that, even some flora cannot grow near the Valley of Death."
"There have been people who also spotted something that was pure white and flying around near the Valley of Death."
"I don't know very well, but they say that the flying thing was enormous. They say that the body alone was over 300 meters long. Since it's so unbelievable the people who saw it must have mistaken the length."
The Freya's Paladins also had something to say.
"The Valley of Death? That place is very dangerous. Monsters other than Ice Trolls also gather there."
"From the church's investigation, it seems likely that it's a place that's congested with monsters."
"Given how many monsters gather there, no matter who saw it they would say that it could only be an unusual situation. There must be a boss monster leading the others. It can't be a normal monster since it has been leading the other monsters for several hundreds of years, so you must pay extra care. It would behoove you to avoid the boss monster at all costs."
"Since the blessing of the Goddess Freya is with you, may your courage remain unfaltering."
As Weed was gathering the information, he got a general picture of the situation in the Valley of Death.
The Paladins from the Church of Freya usually did not falter over typical matters.
If these Paladins were wary enough of this boss monster to be frightened, then there was no doubt that it was a very high level.
'It probably won't be easy.'
However, one must experience everything firsthand in order to gain an accurate understanding of it. There was no need to feel diminished when you were not even sure of anything in the first place.
'There must be some way through this.'
Even with the information on the Valley of Death, there was no way to obtain more details in the nearby villages. In places that were widely separated like this it was impossible to obtain anything other than very simple information.
While he was taking Seoyoon and Alveron around Morata Village in this way, Weed met a small girl.
It was the little girl who was turned into a statue by the Vampire Lord Tori.
The small and cute Prina was carrying a small bag.
"Hey old man, you're the one that saved me, right?"
That old man title he had no choice but to hear often.
However, Weed smiled widely.
"That's right. I'm glad to see that you're up and about."
"Thank you. I think that being turned into stone is a very sad thing. The heart doesn't beat, blood doesn't flow, the body that hardens and becomes a prison to your body...Oh! Do you happen to have an interest in flowers?"
Of course, Weed had no interest in flowers. However, he would never answer like that.
"Flowers have a good scent. I love the peaceful scene of butterflies and honeybees hovering around beautifully blossoming flowers. There's no pleasure like lying in a field of grass and taking in the refreshing air."
This was Weed, who would become immersed in hunting in a dark dungeon while only carrying a torch.
A dungeon with stale air, disgusting smells, and unknown things appearing the further one travels. Weed found pleasure in hunting like a maniac in places like that.
It was a depraved sensitivity!
However, he always showed care when dealing with Prina. It was because he did not want to shatter the dreams of a little girl yet.
Prina became happy while clapping her hands.
"Is that so? That's great. Then will you listen to a small favor of mine?"
"Speak your will."
"I heard that you were headed to the Valley of Death. Do you think you could sow some seeds there? If only the flowers of hope would bloom in the place where the aura of evil and death gather. Looking after these small seeds until the bloom into flowers will take a lot of effort. If they do blossom, then my newly-made friend would be happy."
The little girl who loves to cultivate the land, sow seeds, and watch them sprout through the ground wants to be a farmer in the future.
If you sow the little girl's seeds and nurture the plants so that they repaint the Sendeim Valley, the little girl will be forever happy and introduce you to her friend.
Introduction to Prina's friend.
The plants that sprout from the sown seeds.
Must have a particular amount of care and vigilance in order to protect the flowers from monsters and let them grow in safety.
Weed looked at the seeds that Prina held out with a huge sense of devastation.
The burlap bag that the little girl was dragging about! It was filled to the brim with seeds.
It was an amount that was hard to count.
It was a request to make a field of flowers with this at the Valley of Death.
The ambition of the little girl who wanted to cover the entire world with flowers!
'It's an extremely difficult request.'
It was a hobby to plant a few cluster of flowers.
If the quest was only getting hundreds of seeds to bloom, then it would be hard, but possible. However, if the number was in the tens, hundreds of thousands, then this was not a typical job.
In addition, that he had to protect the flowers from the monsters while they were growing made this a formidable task.
'I have to sow these seeds in the Valley of Death. I get why it's difficulty is "A" rank.'
Weed was about to shake his head and refuse. Setting aside the issue the high difficulty, it seemed as though there would be many tedious tasks. Suddenly, the quietly following Seoyoon grabbed the burlap bag that contained the seeds.
"Thanks, big sister!"
The party member Seoyoon has accepted the quest.
Seoyoon was always like that. She had not verbally accepted even a single quest, but she never refused someone's request.
In the end, Weed had no choice and accepted the quest.
"I also love to plant seeds and cultivate the land. Thanks for requesting such a pleasant task."
You have accepted the quest.
His face was crying, but he was forcing a smile!
It became a rotten smile as time wore on.
* * *
Lee Hye Yeon registered on Royal Road filled with expectations.
She chose her character name to be Yurin.
It was a cute, youthful, and feminine name. It was definitely not a name that was meant to be youthful.
Yurin was an abbreviation of sorts.
Human Rights Violation!
"Monsters! I will defeat them all."
Yurin wanted to earn a lot of money. She also liked to gather as many items as possible. Since she had a lot of time before she could attend university, she intended to work hard and raise her levels.
Yurin selected Rhodium as her starting city. It was because she had the expectation that, if she was lucky, she might be able to meet Weed.
"Does anyone want to hunt with us in front of the village?"
"We're looking for a Minister."
"I'm a sculptor who is looking for a party. I have a 7 damage sculpting knife."
"I'm a level 35 Bard who has the "Song of Healing" and wants to join a party. It would be ideal to find a party that will hunt for about a week."
The people were crowding Rhodium's central square as usual.
There were many beggars to one side, but there were also people looking for parties in some spots.
On the other hand, there were thousands of people who flocked the plaza where there were beautiful sculptures dressed in various costumes. There were many third-year high school students you just passed University exams; wearing beginner clothes and staring wide-eyed.
However, Weed had unfortunately left Rhodium by this point.
Yurin thought that it was for the best.
"Good. It doesn't matter. I didn't want to start the game by owing anyone, anyway."
Yurin rolled up her sleeves and looked for a job to make money. When one starts to play Royal Road, they cannot leave the city for the first 4 weeks.
She wanted to make some money during this time.
"We're looking for help in a restaurant who is deeply interested in cooking."
"My child loves books. Is there someone who will read to him about cool heroes?"
"Hm, Lately, there have been too many flies in my store. Do you think you could catch flies for 5 hours for me? I'll compensate you with 20 copper."
This was about the level that Yurin could find work for.
Like Weed, she also quietly hit scarecrows to train. However, the stats that she raised also resulted in training her body.
'I should become a pretty female mage.'
The magician that Yurin wanted to become was an omnipotent mage.
They used large-scale, wide area-of-effect magic in order to turn hundreds of monsters to dust. The mages that could call upon rain in dry lands, destroy mountainsides, and studied highly offensive spells!
The Valley of Death is called "Sendeim Valley"