The Legendary Moonlight Sculptor Volume 9 Chapter 2
Chapter 2 : Operation Acquire Food
After the night of celebration, Weed left Morata along with Seoyoon and Alveron.
"From now on genuine travel?"
He gathered as much information as possible about the region he was heading to in advance.
He meticulously learned the general direction and the paths he had to cross.
But food supply was the one thing he needed the most at the moment.
"Let's see, how long will the food last?"
Shuffling through his bag, the food supply that was always filled to more than a certain size was frozen in one piece. Nowhere in that piece remained essential food.
At the Morata Festival, he could only spend it all on villagers eating and drinking in large quanitites.
Fortunately, the alcohol bottles were still there.
Before leaving the Yoroki Mountains, he plucked and immersed the wild grapes in them!
Sitting there, it silently ripened.
But Weed shook his head.
"Alcohol will not fill the fullness factor."
Alcohol cannot fill one's stomach. Of course, you will get some degree of fullness, but there was a problem. As the amount of alcohol rises beyond a certain point, decline in strength and agility. In more severe cases, disabled in battle! In the worst case scenario, you may die due to excessive drinking.
'Still, later on drinking just a glass will be fine.'
In life, alcohol is absolutely a useless thing! However, alcohol also had its advantages. In Royal Road, after getting attacked, it doesn't end with only just a temporary drop in life.
You should give immediate treatment by rubbing herbs or potions and wrapping bandages. Also, when there is swelling in the wounded area, it has the effect of disinfection that will help prevent additional damage.
Furthermore, alcohol is good medicine against the cold. When it's cold, drinking about a cup of alcohol will allow you to withstand the cold much better.
'I can't use this precious alcohol. Conceivably, when it matures quite a bit, I'll be able to receive money........'
Leaving the wines in his bag as they were, Weed went to obtain food.
* * *
Terose felt refreshed stepping on pure white snow.
'Finally the beginning of our resurrection.'
The imposing Barbarian Warrior Pline's forehead frowned slightly.
"It's very cold here."
Dane covering his face with a robe spoke.
"It's fine. Fighting will warm you up quickly."
Terose looked at his colleagues that believed in him and followed him all the way here and nodded.
"We must fight for sure."
Scorpion King's Tomb Quest!
Due to that incident, the Crimson Wing Guild disbanded, but the people that formed the core did not leave.
Magma Witch Psyche and Light Bearer Marker. Assault Captain Bastien. The elite of Crimson Wing Guild hid their name, switched armors, and took part in Frozen Rose Guild's expedition.
From the beginning, the last thing in the world they wanted was to mix in with another guild's expedition. Crimson Wing tried to directly set up their own expedition group. But bad things happened all at once and the situation continued to worsen. Guilds seceded from the alliance. As a result, the towns they held were attacked from the front and because of the Scorpion King's Tomb, they were pressured with funding.
This chain of bad events was enough to crash Crimson Wing from the top 10 guilds in Versailles Continent. As a result, the guild inevitably had to disband. The heads remained till the end defending it to the death, but the slowly crumbling guild was seen to not even number in the tens of thousands.
'But we will rise once again.'
Terose wanted to regain his honor and revive Crimson Wing.
'The place will be the North.'
To reverse everything and revive the guild, the expedition!
'To return the continent to normal is our responsibility that cannot be passed to anyone.'
Terose smiled coldly.
* * *
The expedition led by Frozen Rose Guild was still in trouble. They confidently brought a large number of people, but all kinds of problems appeared one after another.
The expedition brought a massive number cooks! Nothing went well in the early days of the expedition. To raise the morale of the expedition crew, they made lots of food to give them. Eating delicious food would bring up their spirits.
To Oberon and Drum, it looked like they bought enough supples to not be overburdened. But the amount of food ingredients used by the expedition was beyond imagination. Those who had nothing much to do in this cold place relieved stress by eating food the cooks made.
"Wherever you go you have to eat good food."
"Yeah. It was a good idea to follow the expedition. There's a reason Frozen Rose Guild is famous."
The expedition gave their thanks as they reasoned about the name of the guild.
Cooks also became enthusiastic.
"People are eating the delicious food we made."
"Opportunity is knocking, we must imprint on to them that the Cook Job is important."
"Of course! The ingredients aren't even ours so let's use to our hearts' content!"
The cooks, due to the abundant food ingredients had peace of mind and instead of what they usually created, they dared to develop novel fine cuisine.
"Matsutake mushroom and crab dish!"
"Snail in honey!"
Making good food improved their cooking mastery even more. Therefore, the cooks spared no expense in ingredients to make food. Since expeditione also gave a positive reaction, they didn't hesitate.
Ingredients were rapidly consumed. At that time, at least those managing the supplies should've stopped them. But those responsible for managing supplies were completely relaxed.
"Well, we can get food materials anytime we want."
"Captain Oberon did order us to raise morale so give them supplies in large quanities as they want."
They did nothing even though the food ingredients were decreasing very rapidly. When they realized the remaing ingredients had been reduced to almost 30%, the mood finally changed a bit.
"From now on, save a little food before the main course."
"Need to get food ingredients."
"Right now it will be better to generously fill the inventory stock."
Then the big problem occurred. It was very difficult to obtain food ingredients in the cold North. In the mountains of the center of the continent, chestnuts and acorns, fruits like apples were readily available, and they could even hunt.
Even if there was a food shortage that made their stamina decline or stiffen their movement, cases where they died from starvation were quite rare. With money, it was possible to buy food ingredients from passing travelers. But in the North, because of the cold they couldn't get fruit. It was also impossible to obtain food from travelers.
Inevitably, the only option left was to hunt, but this was a formidable task. The monster infested areas were limited. It was unreasonable to provide food for the many number of personnel in the expedition through hunting. It could only be attributed to them overlooking the importance of food.
As the food ingredients rapidly decreased, the morale of expedition fell as well. Food quality declined and the situation of saving food to eat later came up. Not only did the quality of food drop, they had to save as much food possible.
"Please bring me something to eat."
The expedition wallowing in hunger! If they started off poorly in the beginning instead of stopping in the middle of eating well, in theory it would be much more difficult to go hungry. Frozen Rose Guild took the initiative and starved themselves.
However, even in the midst there were those that did not starve. They were not part of the elite Frozen Rose Guild. There was no way the righteous and highly respected Oberon would give them permission to eat their secretly packed food.
The Geomchis! Geomchi 306 pulled out barley bread that had been hidden away in his backpack and secretly chewed. Old, cold, hard and frozen bread, but as saliva moistened it, he ate as it gently dissolved.
"No matter what, barley bread tastes best."
Ever since starving to death, they decided to always have a plentiful amount to get ride of hunger. So barley bread always generously went in their backpacks. Basically, in Royal Road was an inseperable relationship between the Geomchis and barley bread.
However, a majority of the expedition was forced to endure as they clutched their empty bellies. They realized this fact at the end of such a failure.
'Difficult to find food in the North. Must conserve food ingredients as much as possible.'
* * *
Weed embarked on gathering food.
"Have to gather as many edible things as possible."
Since enough seasoning remained, he just had to gather food ingredients.
"No choice but to hunt."
Weed in the past thoroughly set the principle of local procurement. Apart from not having to pay money, it was easy to obtain fresh gredients. Piling up food ingredients for a long time in one place will just end up rotten and uneatable, that's law.
"Alveron, let's go!"
Using Alveron like a subordinate, Weed moved to the mountain behind Morata Village.
Woof woof woof!
Usually wandering like lost souls in the mountain behind Morata Village, Wolves! Their wild instincts sparkled as they acted in packs eating animals nearby, however, the Wolves trembled at the advent of Weed.
'This wicked bastard......'
'He's looking at us as food.'
'He ate our parents. My mother met her end at his hands, he didn't even leave the leather. Woof woof.'
'My brother got cooked whole. He has returned.'
Weed's high fighting spirit!
It had the effect of decreasing morale of monsters similar to or lower than his level. In addition, Weed hunted Wolves several times already. For monsters, Wolves have fairly high intellect and excellent memory. Hunting and extracting the meat and bone, then stripping off the leather for sewing, the Wolves did not forget the cruelty of Weed and trembled in fear.
'Still, we are wolves.'
'To protect our pride.'
Woof woof woof!
The Wolves rushed as a pack while Weed lightly drew his sword.
"Moonlight Sculpting Blade!"
The enhanced and definitive version of Sculpting Blade! A sword of serene light. With a far longer range, Weed brandished the sword of light and slaughtered the Wolves. Weed's level could not be compared to before, Wolves originally weren't even considered as opponents.
He separated bones, meat and leather of the Wolves he caught on the spot.
Seoyoon simply watched.
Weed gently told her.
"Don't just stand there and watch, help me."
Seoyoon didn't say anything. But through her eyes expressed the feeling of sorry was passed. She felt sorry for Weed suffering alone in this cold weather, but if the Wolves did not attack her first, she would not attack them. Weed shook his head.
'This person can't be called an ally.'
Somehow he needed to improve his position over Seoyoon through power, because if she just folds her arms every time there's a fight, it won't be helpful. The predicament was enough to put pressure on him.
Like the saying being powerless is a sin, Seoyoon's fighting ability was far superior to Weed's.
Weed was still struggling in the early level 300s. In order to proceed with the quest, he inevitably had to give life to sculptures so his levels hadn't risen.
'Wouldn't have made it through the quest if I didn't grant life to sculptures.'
Though he hunted hard in the recent months, because of this reason his level didn't rise. Still, while his level went up and down, various skill masteries went up. Getting hit by monsters whenever he had time also raised his toughness a lot.
Weed's method of faithfully raising stat and skill mastery built up substantial foundation, so it wasn't some unspeakable plight like no income at all. Stats and skills certainly help when hunting monsters. But Weed surmised Seoyoon's level was at least in the late 300s.
'Maybe even over 400.'
Hermes Guild's Bad Ray unveiled his level at his coronation. Surprisingly, his level was revealed to be no less than 412. In Royal Road and on the Internet, there was a lot of excitement. Even when considering the amount of time passed after his level was known to be in late 300s, his level up speed was still fairly rapid.
'Probably because the guild is herding monsters for him. As the head of Hermes Guild, of course he's receiving benefits.'
Actively utilizing supplies and equipment, as well as collecting information on hunting grounds. Blacksmiths crafted for him and Bards were always on standby. In addition, in most of the battles Bad Ray would deliver the finishing blow to the monsters. Receiving such strong support, it was no surprise his fast leveling speed remained unchanged.
Originally, Bad Ray was a famous gamer in other games. There are a lot of forces that would follow him. In Continent of Magic, those who followed Bad Ray were very common.
Weed did not clash with Bad Ray because he was the first to quit the game. Bad Ray in Continent of Magic was one of the top 5 Warriors and his guild was the strongest force there. According to an unconfirmed rumor, his actual fortune was so enormous you could hear the sound of wealth.
The scene of Bad Ray revealing his level at his coronation brought about a large topic in the Hall of Fame. Not only that, all game broadcasters treated it as a major news issue. Furthermore, the revenue of bars in Versailles Continent increased by more than 5 times.
"Bastard looks good at whatever he does."
"We slowly walk and he just flies off the shelves quickly."
"I'm still level 357. When will I be over 400?"
Crowds tried to resolve their so called bitterness with alcohol. Immediately known up to the present, Bad Ray recived all their attention. King of the Continent. Officially named Emperor, he challenged for supremacy with with his ability apparent. Of course, Hermes Guild's scale and breadth of their forces had just as many enemies.
In the wide Versailles Continent, though not as strong as Bad Ray, users with the level to restrain him numbered at least a dozen people. There was also quite a lot of tension between Hermes and other guilds. Single guilds capable of standing against Hermes were only 7, but when considering guild alliances, more than 15 were able to deal with Hermes' hegemony.
Although not as desired, all users in Versailles Continent focused their attention on Bad Ray. They all envied the strongest on the continent. Such was the person Bad Ray.
* * *
'Dark Gamers Union revealed combat videos. Compared to the Mercenaries in the late level 380s, Seoyoon was by far stronger. The monsters the Mercenaries took quite a while to hunt, Seoyoon would murder in an instant.'
Depending on the method of battle and the primary used skills according to the hunt, a speed difference was bound to occur. But even when considering those points, Seoyoon was far stronger than Weed himself.
'Between a minimum of 390 to beyond 400. It probably won't stray too far from that range.'
An estimation made by Weed. Comparing combat abilities based on monsters would probably not be wrong. Combat abilities rarely went counter to his eyes' intuition. As such, he couldn't force Seoyoon to do this and that. He needed to make her into a companion who would help him voluntarily.
'It'll be pathetic if I get beaten by a girl!'
Weed spoke in an insinuating tone passing through. Like a merchant selling self-preservation food!
"You never ate Northern Wolves before right?"
"Actually, they're so thin they don't have much meat. Their bones are uselessly strong too. But the taste is incomparable. This is an absolutely true story!"
"Firmness and longevity together in the meat. The pleasure of eating after carefully separating them from the bone!"
Weed reproduced the appearance of tearing ribs with both hands. Truthfully, Wolf Galbi covered in spices was the best. Weed licked his lips imitating the feeling of not being able to forget the taste ever again. Weed added these final words.
"And the delicacy that comes from immersing the bones later on. Drinking one sip of the piping hot broth in the cold is just........"
Listening up to that point, Seoyoon headed toward wolves with her sword unsheathed. Meaning to hunt. Without a single flaw, clear eyes and white jade like skin, her beauty was only really expressed in the morning dew.
After Seoyoon went out and hunted Wolves, Weed extracted leather, meat and bones from the bodies of the Wolves. With the proper division of labor, they could gather food ingredients quickly.
"We can eat for long time with this much."
Weed smiled with satisfaction as he looked at his bag full of Wolf meat. In the past, he had the experience of feeding dozens of Paladins. The Paladins liberated from the statues. To handle even 1 more growing mouth, he had to increase hunting. Through it, he learned of locations where you can gather lots of meat. That memory was helpful even now.
Weed didn't gather Wolf meat only.
"Cannot eat only one thing for too long."
You would be concerned about loss of appetite as well as the dish effects. If you eat only food made from the same ingredients, its efficiency will reduce until it dies.
Cooking Wolf meat dishes was simple. You either boil or grill it. Eating Wolf meat dishes increases health by 300 and increases strength and vitality by 20. It also has the advantage of health regeneration 2% faster than usual and improved fighting spirit.
But when eating only similar foods, the cooking effects are reduced until it only gives the feeling of fullness. At such times, other delicacies are needed to provoke the taste buds.
Weed took Seoyoon and Alveron and went beyond the mountain behind them. There was very broad ice path. The land did not consist of soil and stone but of pure ice! Originally, this area was a huge flowing river. However, due to the far too low temperature, thick ice covered over it.
"Well then, let's go get something to eat."
Weed along with Seoyoon and Alveron walked to the center of the ice.
Seoyoon and Alveron were both curious. Basically, food ingredients are bought at stores. It was usually enough to buy from there. Few people had become proficient enough in the Cooking skill to obtain ingredients from the wild like Weed. In addition, the thick, frozen ice was devoid of any kind of herbs or fruits. To make matters worse, there was not even 1 monster nearby. So preparing food in a place like this sounded like nothing but nonsense.
Tremendous winds were blowing.
The ground rang minutely.
Something unknown. It wasn't like earthquakes did not happen in Versailles Continent. But the situation around seemed far too peaceful. The mountain they just came down from did not shake even the slightest bit, gradually their bodies moved toward the minute sound.
After looking downward, Seoyoon's face became pale. Below the thick ice, rapids were flowing! A huge river was flowing beneath the ice at a furious pace. Through the currents charging at the ground of ice, the minute sound emerged. Seoyoon and Alveron were instinctively engulfed by fear.
If it was just monsters, they would not be afraid of dying. But if the ice breaks and they fall into the river below, they would helplessly freeze to death.
'Down below is going to be incredibly colder.'
At their current location was a sharp cold, the temperature of the river down below need not be said. Seoyoon and Alveron were completely tense.
Weed pulled out a sculpting nail and chisel, scratching the ice to draw a circle. Then he pulled out a Blacksmith hammer and began ruthlessly slamming the ground.
Every time Weed slammed down the hammer, the ice rang. Blood drained from Seoyoon and Alveron's faces.
'If you want to commit suicide, do it alone.'
'Goddess Freya bless him. Grant me salvation.'
Then they heard Weed's muttering voice.
"Very solidly frozen and not even cracked. Then with greater force........"
At the end of this, a tremendous fear surged upon Seoyoon and Alveron. Soon, Weed swung the hammer with all his might. He accurately concentrated the force toward the center of the circle he made.
Every time Weed slammed down the hammer, Seoyoon and Alveron felt faint. Goosebumps encroached all over their bodies. After looking at each other and nodding, they located a safe place and backed up. Meanwhile Weed swung the hammer several more times and the ice finally broke off, making a round circle. Around the line made at the beginning with the sculpting knife! A big hole formed there. A hole where the cold river flowed through!
Weed squatted down on the spot and sat, pulling items from his bag one by one. A long fishing rod, pots and a net capable of holding fish.
"Shall I go catch some now?"
Weed cast the fishing rod into the ice hole. Smelt fishing in the dead of winter. Weed became proficient in the Fishing skill to the point he could procure food to survive in this place. Through the cracked ice, the riverbed seemed transparent. Inside the river, fish were swimming energetically.
Weed busily moved the fishing rod.
You have caught a 20cm long Sweet Fish.
You have caught a 22cm long Pond Smelt.
You have caught a 57cm long Fresh Water Eel.
You have caught a 1m 20cm long Gold Fish. A catch that'll remain in history of fishing!
Fishing skill mastery has risen.
Luck rises by 1.
Unrivaled fishing spot! Catching completely defenseless fish. Guys spirited enough to rise out of the tempestuous rapids! Above the ice ground nearby Weed, was filled with fish splashing vigorously.
A fish with thin and flat body. Only lives in clear water. Dark blue color.
Can be caught in various ways. Thrives in a fairly wide region.
Sweet fish is common, but people can never forget the taste.
Food 3rd Rate Fish Ingredient.
Body is thin and flat on the side. Light fishy smell. Can be made into good sashimi.
Fish tastes best in winter. Can be cooked in a variety of ways.
Food 2nd Rate Fish Ingredient.
Fresh Water Eel
Eels are great for male stamina! Common fish, but many people seek it due to its effect and taste.
Usually caught during winter, but sometimes there are odd ones.
Taking care of the many bones is tricky, but incredibly delicious after seasoning and eating.
Food 2nd Rate Fish Ingredient.
A rare fish that shines with golden skin. Luck follows those who catch.
Inhabits living and breathing nature. Likes cold places.
Enhances flavor of any dish, improves stamina by 1 and helps with detoxification.
Taste in any cooking, and increases vitality by 1 and helps with detoxification.
It is a rare fish that all anglers want to catch at least once in their lifetime.
Food 1st Rate Fish Ingredient.
Watching the lively and fluttering fishes, Weed's mouth was filled with a heartwarming smile. They couldn't be compared to rare Blacksmith or Sewing items, but still, in their own way, the fish he caught were valuable. In the case of Gold Fish which permanently raised stamina by 1, its value was indescribable.
The first fish Weed pulled out he gutted and stored separately. The one advantage of the North was that valuable food did not spoil because of the low temperature. Since it had a very long shelf life, it was possible for him to collect food to his limits.
From time to time, he also gathered dry branches separately for lighting a fire. Fire was needed not only for cooking, but also for melting snow to make water. Snow was everywhere so he filled the canteen with only a little bit of water and instead put the branches in his bag. Fishing learned for survival skills!
Eating too little food for a long time, he learned the secret of survival. Weeds that survived anywhere, Weed's appreciation of such life was evident.
While Weed was busy procuring food through fishing, Seoyoon and Alveron checked for safety and slowly approached.
Seoyoon and Alveron now had considerable interest in fishing. They slowly put the fishing rods into the cold water and before long the caught fish emerged toward their forearms. The act was quite marvelous, but the fish were also considerably beautiful.
Priests were generally opposed to death, but Alveron was a follower of the Goddess Freya that believed in beauty and abundance! Like delicious and pretty things. Alveron swallowed his saliva as he watched the fish.
Seoyoon stared down at the flapping fish with curious eyes. Seafood was quite expensive in Versailles Continent. It was not that she didn't have money, but she was not deliberately picky with the food she ate. She had never experienced eating fish in Royal Road.
Weed asked while wiping the pot with white snow.
"If you're hungry, I can fix you something to eat?"
Seoyoon thought for a moment and then nodded. She wasn't that hungry, but she had expectations on what kind of dish he would make.
"Then wait for a bit. It'll take some time."
Weed started a fire with the branches he collected in advance. Cooking over the river, to prepare for the off chance of unknown danger, capable of blocking heat, he took off the cape he was wearing and laid it on the ground.
Although it did not have very good stats, it had the strong attribute of blocking fire so he used it as a mat underneath the fire. The fire quickly became large. Weed hung a big pot over the fire and poured in plenty of oil.
To cook fish dishes, would you take out a pot and use it that way, it was incomprehensible. Instead boiling several ingredients to make fish stew, he filled it to the brink with oil.
While increasing the temperature of the oil in the pot, Weed eagerly prepared the newly caught fresh pond smelt into sashimi. He extracted the meat from the bone and after covering the meat with tempura powder, he placed them in the pot.
Jigeul jigeul jigeul!
The fish meat fried in oil turned yellow.
'What kind of dish is that?'
Seoyoon tilted her head.
The food Weed wanted to make was none other than fish tempura. Fish tempura was not common. Separating the meat into thin layers and then frying. All that remained was the crunch and deliciousness. What was burdensome was you had to reduce the tempura part as much as possible.
"Now, let's eat."
Cooking was completed quickly. Lightly frying thin meat so not much time was needed. Seoyoon carefully put the fish tempura into his mouth.
'Delicious. Really good.'
The flavor of the light, crispy fried fish harmonized exquisitely. The freshness was best when eating shortly after the fish is caught. In addition, there was the atmosphere since it was outside where the cold wind blew.
Seoyoon usually hated fried stuff. But this time, she ate as many as 8 until her stomach was satisfied.
'What did I just do?'
It was so delicious that she ate without thinking.
Seoyoon stealthily glanced at Weed. But he did not say anything.
Weed in his heart smiled with satisfaction.
'She enjoyed eating a bunch.'
Now he felt more comfortable going around Seoyoon in the future. As long as he cooks for her, she wouldn't attack him or kill him.
Body and equipment equaling property, Weed was fearful of the bloody presence of a killer. But there was a bonus. Seoyoon would now aggressively do battle with monsters. If she knows the taste of a monster that appears, she will hunt even more thoroughly.
Feed them well. Handle them well.
Suddenly, Seoyoon was being treated similar to the Geomchis.