This chapter was brought to you by AnmesicCat, BeatJumper, Fei, Grisia, Lastear, Lei, and ThunderHamster.
Weed returned to Nekan Castle with a haggard face.
The hunting without breaks inside Kramado Dungeon!
He could still a gain considerable amount of levels and items, but with his exhaustion, he incurred an Overwork Hex and fell into critical condition. His current Vitality and stats weren’t even a third of what they originally were.
Weed entered a Tavern after purchasing a sack of peanuts, an onion, and garlic.
“Give me one half stout!”
He ordered beer and took a swig.
– A small amount of Vitality has been restored.
You are in a state of severe Overwork.
He felt he might live now.
‘It wasn’t just hunting; the festival was wearisome too.’
The first festival of his youthful college life and it was boring to him!
‘I can’t relax like the others when it’s time to make money. If I ate whatever I wanted to eat, played everything I wanted to play, and did whatever I wanted just like other people, then when would I be able to make money?’
These days, even little kids knew about the gap between the rich and the poor.
In Weed’s perspective, a child who comes to kindergarten riding the foreign car their parent drives is full of confidence and dignity. However, a child who comes riding a school bus is somewhat intimidated.
“You use a Monami ballpoint pen for writing.”
[T/N: Monami is the name of a Korean company. It’s a little more expensive to use a Monami.]
“My mom was laid off… Next month, I’ll replace it with a Japanese-made pen.”
It was a conversation between kindergarteners from Weed’s dream.
In truth, having money or not made a difference in even little things.
When eating the food on their lunch trays, a kid from a well-off family will dip their sausage in ketchup and eat it first. But kids from poor families ate their bean sprouts or vegetables first.
The obsession that the sausage needed to be saved for last.
Lee Hyun acknowledged his inferiority complex.
‘Kids who grew up drinking white milk can never be the same as those who grew up drinking strawberry milk.’
His heartfelt theory on strawberry milk struck a chord in his heart!
As he drank his beer, Weed recalled the things that happened in the festival.
Jung Hyo Rin’s live concert lasted until dawn.
It kept going as encores continued to be called out, and since she was grabbing onto Lee Hyun’s hand, he had to stay with her.
‘And that wasn’t all, was it?’
If it had just ended there, his vitality wouldn’t be so severely exhausted like this.
* * *
On the last day of the festival, the seniors spoke to Seo Yoon.
“Seo Yoon, you’ve gotta enjoy the festival too. Are you just going to work here?”
90% of the pub’s customers came to see her, but her upperclassmen gave her freedom.
“At least go out and take a look around. Everyone should participate in the festival together. Is there maybe someone you would like to go out and play with?”
In response to her seniors’ goodwill, Seo Yoon reflexively stared at Lee Hyun.
Lee Hyun immediately smiled brightly for her.
“Alright. Don’t worry about the pub and go enjoy the festival.”
The pub was a success and since the orders went well, it seemed there were almost no ingredients left. If they closed early at 8 pm, he could go home and log into Royal Road.
Lee Hyun was one to refuse even a date with Seo Yoon if he had 2 hours to spare in Royal Road.
The reserve forces who came back from the army did not miss the delicate matter.
[T/N: In Korea, all able men are required to train in the army for two years. They come back as reserve forces.]
“Although we can’t believe it, looks like Seo Yoon wants you. Go guide her around the festival.”
Since he couldn’t refuse his reserve force upperclassmen, Lee Hyun was forced to take on the role of a festival guide.
“Argh, I envy him.”
“Ah, I can guide you well too…”
In the midst of the seniors’ and customers’ envy, Lee Hyun and Seo Yoon left the pub together.
She changed from the wedding dress into casual clothing, but her beauty was still enough to make the eyes of the men who came to check out the festival pop out. The men who passed them looked back again with expressions of disbelief and did not move.
“Shall we go?”
Lee Hyun suddenly grabbed Seoyoon’s hands.
Jung Hyo Rin had liked holding hands to the point of not letting go, so he held Seo Yoon’s hand first believing that she probably wouldn’t dislike it. It wasn’t manly courage, but the festival crowds were large, so his main reason was that it seemed they were going to get separated if they didn’t hold hands.
Soft and tender, her hands were surprisingly warm.
He felt Seo Yoon’s body go rigid after he grabbed her hand, but she soon relaxed.
“Is there something you want to do?”
When Lee Hyun asked, Seo Yoon couldn’t answer.
Although her voice got stuck whenever it came to speaking, it was also because she had never looked around a college festival before.
“Then I’ll guide.”
Lee Hyun went to play Whack-a-Mole with Seo Yoon because the price was not very expensive and the reaction had been considerably good when he played it with Jung Hyo Rin.
The students of the mole event who had seen Lee Hyun before were resentful.
“It’s the same guy from yesterday.”
“Sunbae! It’s that guy who came with Miss Jung Hyo Rin yesterday… And today he’s with Miss Seo Yoon.”
The people from the moles event could not hide their severe jealousy.
As if it wasn’t enough that he was with Jung Hyo Rin yesterday, so today be brought Seo Yoon.
Moreover, Lee Hyun’s behavior was incomparable and extremely despicable.
‘Yesterday when Jung Hyo Rin was holding onto his arm, he acted as if he was shy… but today he’s enthusiastically holding onto Miss Seo Yoon’s hand.’
‘He’s the player among all players.’
The moles surged in anger.
“You have to grab onto this plastic mallet and hit them.”
Under Lee Hyun’s advice, Seo Yoon raised the plastic mallet.
Pyok pyok pyok pyok pyok pyok!
]T/N: A pico hammer makes squeaky noises on impact.]
It was extremely different from playing with the clumsy Jung Hyo Rin.
Even while holding Lee Hyun’s hand, Seoyoon didn’t miss a single mole with her swift strikes.
Compared to her simpleton personality, her athleticism wasn’t normal.
Every time they got hit by the pico hammer, the moles simultaneous felt bitter and sad.
‘It wouldn’t be as unfair if it was a guy with a handsome face or had a whole lot of money.’
‘What kind of charm does such an ordinary guy have…’
They also went to shoot plushies. Thanks to yesterday’s experience, he was able to easily shoot down a small carrot and a kiwi plushie.
Lee Hyun gave Seo Yoon the carrot plushie as a gift.
“I have to give the other plushie as a gift to my little sister, so you can only have one.”
Seoyoon grasped the carrot doll firmly in her hand.
Since it was the last day of the festival, Lee Hyun took Seo Yoon to sightsee the festival until late at night.
They were such a sight that a lot of people stared at them with looks of wonder as they went around various events.
Seo Yoon didn’t burst into radiant laughter, but she was blushing bright red. When passing a crowded place, she went where Lee Hyun led her, and she even grabbed his hand tightly.
“Would you like to dance?”
Lights were brightly lit on the grass lawn where the main stage was.
A ballad piece was playing and couples were dancing, so Lee Hyun also asked Seo Yoon if she wanted to dance.
Seo Yoon nodded slightly, with a face flushed red.
Lee Hyun held her hand and brought her closer.
Their bodies moved naturally in beat with the music.
The piece wasn’t extremely hard to dance along to, but they were both clumsy. They couldn’t determine who was going leading, so they both stepped on each other’s feet a couple of times.
Lee Hyun was very uneasy because he didn’t know when Seo Yoon would explode.
* * *
“The accursed festival is finally over. Seems like I’ll be able to return my usual routine now.”
After drinking his beer, he stretched and yawned.
It was a restful and restorative when in an Overwork state. While in a Dwarven body, drinking beer and resting had a huge effect.
‘When my body goes back to normal, I think it will be the right time to release the Sculpture Transformation.’
* * *
Each race had its advantages and disadvantages. Dwarves were advantageous in terms of Vitality and Endurance, but because of their short limbs, they were considerably disadvantaged in actual combat. If one couldn’t adapt quickly, that alone would make a fight more difficult.
Barbarians had the best physical ability. With their vast height and muscle strength, made their bodies optimal for becoming a warrior. However, they couldn’t use Mana and have the disadvantage of being easily seduced by charms.
The Humans could be said to be right in the middle. They were good at using divine powers or magic and supplemented their weak points for each other while party hunting. Special races like Orcs, Elves, Fairies, or Hobgoblins were also in the spotlight, but the most commonly selected race was Human.
They also occupied the largest kingdoms and exerted the greatest influence in the Central Continent.
“They said the army of Demonic Spirits led by Daymond are currently engaged in a back-and-forth battle with the allied forces in Odin.”
“Fort Odin is showing its power, right?”
“Probably! Ain’t the fort notorious for being impregnable. It’ll probably be difficult to break through Fort Odin’s line of defense even if they’re giant Demonic Spirits.”
As the Versailles Continent fell into chaos, the allied forces gathered at Fort Odin to block Daymond and his Demonic Spirits.
Over 100,000 allied forces had gathered in one place, and another 100,000 reinforcement troops were concentrated on attacking them from behind.
Just the fact that some 10,000 attack spells were cast from Fort Odin each time the Demonic Spirits made a charge alone was magnificent!
“Heroes, come to Fort Odin!”
“We welcome Magicians to join the war.”
The Empire of Prosperity Guild was in Fort Odin, including the gathered mercenaries. They were desperate because their territory would be stolen from them if the Demonic Spirits were able to break through Fort Odin.
Even nameless high-level users joined. Since massive amount of mercenaries participated, Versailles Continent’s attention was focused on Odin.
The overwhelming battles occurred daily from the walls of Fort Odin to a point where it was difficult to make a hasty prediction of the victor.
When the Demonic Spirits climbed the wall, the allied force’s defeat was predicted. However, the Demonic Spirits were barely driven back by the miraculous fighting spirit of the mercenaries, Warriors, and Knights.
The allied forces had been able to push the Resurrection Army back, but soon additional Demonic Spirits joined the battle and the allied forces had to retreat back into Fort Odin.
Battles by the regular armies of every kingdom were dispatched as expeditions to recapture territory seized by the Resurrection Army were also raging.
Dark Gamers had plunged into Fort Odin with a sword strapped to their waists, so the market for weapons, armor, and combat goods was skyrocketing.
The whole Versailles Continent was raucous from the aftermath of what could almost be called the first large scale war.
* * *
Weed pulled out the statue of Death from his bosom.
This was the reward he’d earned by defeating Death Hand in Kuruso. It was an item he suspected was related to another chain quest.
“It probably isn’t a quest that’s related with the Resurrection Army, right?”
The difficulty of winning the match against Death Hand had been considerably high. He wouldn’t have been confident of his win if he had made a normal sculpture out of wood or stone instead of a light sculpture.
“It’s an evil sculpture holding a scythe…”
The appearance of the sculpture brought considerable suspicion.
The Resurrection Army had first appeared at a place not too far from Morata. As adventurers discovered the original location of the Resurrection Church, the shape of their symbol was revealed.
It looked exactly the same as the sculpture Weed was holding.
It was bad for Weed if the sculpture had any connection to Resurrection Army!
He never thought it might be a quest to fight against the Resurrection Army who was fighting 100,000 allied forces.
“Surely it won’t be such a ridiculous quest…”
Weed’s expression became serious.
In all actuality, Weed hasn’t been able to complete a difficult and ridiculous quest without any sacrifices.
Even though seriousness hardened in the wan-faced Dwarf’s expression, it made his wretchedness worse.
An employee approached him.
“The merchant sir over there have sent you a pitcher of beer to drink.”
His miserable attitude went as far as to induce sympathy!
It was Weed, who had virtue, power, and charisma far from what heroes possess.
After waving his hand to express his thanks, Weed drank the beer.
– Your body is becoming languid.
Taking a nap will increase the speed of recovery from fatigue.
His overwork and abused body kept demanding rest.
Weed made up his mind after careful consideration.
“Even though it’s a difficult quest, if I avoid it completely, I won’t be able to advance. Essentially, it’s because I’ve succeeded the previous quests given by Church of Freya that I’m where I am now.”
His battle with the Death Knight Van Hawk, Vampire Lord Tori, the war against Lich Shire and the Undead Legion, and even becoming the Lord of Morata were all related to quests he had accomplished.
If he hadn’t been able to find the Helain Cup in the City of Heaven, Lavias, he might’ve become a Dark Gamer who only knew how to hunt.
Even way before that, if he hadn’t received the quest from Sage Rodriguez, he would have become a Warrior or a Knight and progressed normally.
Iron becomes stronger the more you temper it.
Whether it was increasing his fame faster than others by becoming a Sculptor or the difficulties he faced as he acquired Sculpting techniques, they were all precious related occurrences.
He did not want to avoid any quests.
‘Even if it’s really difficult, I won’t know before I try. Nothing will come out of it if I just avoid it.’
Weed cast his skill with resolute determination.
– Your skill has failed.
You have failed to identify the item due to lack of concentration.
He was completely disappointed.
His elevated alcohol exhaustion had made the usage of his skill fail.
– Your skill has failed.
– Your skill has failed.
A wooden toy box.
The toy’s appearance had been sullied by dirt.
It is the appropriate size for children to play with.
Artistic Value: Too shameful to mention.
Special Options: You can stop crying children.
A child around seven years old with candy in his mouth left a toy hidden underneath the fence.
“Hyung absolutely can’t find out about this, because hyung will steal my toy again. Hyung is mean, he always takes my toy and breaks it. He’s a really bad hyung.”
The young kid hid his toy while uttering bad remarks about his older brother.
It was a heartwarming scene communicating the bond between families.
The wooden box was hidden between thorns underneath the fence so it wouldn’t stand out.
Then, Death Hand saw the toy as he was passing by and picked it up.
“This is… a wooden box worth using.”
A toy a boy named Brave, who lives in Hagen Village in Sur Kingdom, used to play with.
If you return the toy to Brave, he will give you one of his precious candy.
Quest Restrictions: If play with it instead of returning it and get caught by little kiddos, you’ll build up massive notoriety and receive the title ‘Toy Snatcher’.
He was so shocking that he completely sober up from his alcohol daze.
A sculpture he had identified with resolute determination yielded nothing but a rank F difficulty quest.
“Of all the places, I have to go all the way to Sur Kingdom… What a pain.”
It was annoying to go find the place just to solve a minor quest.
Weed heaved a sigh.
Although he usually avoided annoying and common quests, since he has heard bad rumors about them, he never expected a rare request from Kuruso Kingdom to be an F-rank.
“But since I’ll be able to get there quickly if I fly… It’s a little better.”
Flying was only possible if he has recovered from exhaustion. If he crashed because his Mana flow got cut off while he was flying in the air with the Overwork hex, then it would lead to his death.
Weed decided to rest up while drinking beer.
“The cost of the beer I’ve had so far… Ack.”
He drank his beer while cracking peanuts and peeling onions and garlics.
No matter what he did, there wasn’t time for any luxury or pleasure. Even as he drank beer in the tavern, he intended to recover his expenses.
* * *
Hagen Village, a village famous for its baking ingredients!
The town’s main products were sugarcane, flour, walnuts, grapes, corn, and the like. The quality of the produce was made to attract chefs. Now, homemade cakes, cookies, and sweet wine sold well.
It was a town where couples sought out intentionally to enjoy the romantic atmosphere.
“Oppa, eat a lot!”
“Honey, honey has to eat a lot too. Should I feed you?
Couples were scattered everywhere like cockroaches!
Weed ignored them and walked with level shoulders, like a person who had a lover; a man who would come to buy a cake for his girlfriend.
“Please take a quick look at the cakes before you go!”
He didn’t forget to glance at the wares the peddlers were selling, either.
While wandering around, he spoke to aunties he met.
“Do you happen to know about a child named Brave?”
The uncles might not know something like the names of children. However, he had a feeling that aunties who had kids of a similar ages would have a higher chance of knowing children’s names.
“Brave? Jeez, has he gotten into some kind of trouble again?”
“Him’s a nasty, mischievous prankster in the town. He pays no attention to what adults say. My child shouldn’t play with that kid, but…”
“Where can I meet Brave? I have a toy to return to that child.”
“It’s still early in the evening, so it’ll be difficult to meet him even if you visit his house… You’ll be able to see him iffen you go to the backstreet or the playground.”
It was a small town, but finding Brave wasn’t easy. Although he found and looked through all the places the aunties had suggested, he was still unable to find Brave’s whereabouts.
Eventually, he found Brave in a warehouse behind a bakery. The rascal was in the middle of stealing and eating bread while smearing tons of cream and bread crumbs around his mouth.
Weed said gladly, “Kid, this sculpture is a toy you’ve lost, right?”
“Huh? It’s a Dwarf. A Dwarf is talking.”
“You see, I found the toy you lost.”
“Your mustache is really funny. Are your legs shorter than mine?”
“This is your sculpture, right?”
Brave took the sculpture Weed had handed over to him.
The quest “Lost Toy” has been completed.
You found and returned the toy to Brave, a boy in Hagen Village.
Quest Reward: If Brave is in a good mood, you will be able to receive one candy.
That annoying quest was completed.
Weed waited patiently to receive the candy.
‘It was a quest that doesn’t even pay the labor cost, but I can get about 3 coppers if I sell the candy at the store.’
Instead of a candy, Brave returned the sculpture.
“Yeah, this is mine. Although I thought my hyung stole it… But I don’t need this anymore.”
“I’m no longer a kid. I’m eight years old. You see, I’ve passed the age to play with toys and the like. Mister can go play with it.”
The sound of Weed grinding his teeth could be heard. But he was patient, and remained patient.
The profits were greater the more you maintained the possible friendly relationships with the residents of Versailles Continent.
The basics of service mentality were friendliness, assistance, and dedication.
Endure even if you’re angry, and if there was something unfair, you must never bring it up.
You could call it a grievous ironclad rule of a Dark Gamer.
“Even so, you should take this toy, since it’s yours. Take it as a consideration of my sincerity; I came here especially to find you. Don’t you think you should give me a candy?”
“I said I don’t want to play with it!” Brave suddenly shouted. “Mister, do you want my candy that badly? How’d you know my cinnamon flavored candy was delicious…”
“Anyway, I’m not gonna give you my candy, so you can take the toy and play with it. Oh yeah, try giving it to the drunkard mister Smith, who wanted that toy.”
“He’s just an old uncle with nothing better to do. But well, I guess he’s better than a Dwarven mister who goes after a kid’s candy.”
The Toy the Old Drunkard Smith Wants.
The toy the drunkard Smith from Hagen Village is asking for.
Smith who drinks in a tavern until he becomes dead-drink, wants Brave’s toy.
Reward: There may be none.
Quest Note: There is no penalty even if you abandon it.
Brave grinned as he added, “He’s an old, incompetent uncle who always pushes left his alcohol tab unpaid. He doesn’t have any family, either. I’ll never get old and useless like him. Hehe!”
Weed breathed out a sigh.
An F-rank difficulty chain quest.
Since the tavern was nearby, he’ll go in to see Smith at least once.
“Alright, Kid. I’ll see you later then.”
“I said I’m not a kid. And there probably isn’t any more reason to see mister anymore. If you maybe bring me the iron sword that I want, then we’ll see.”
Weed quietly put the sculpture in his bosom and disappeared.
Brave was intent on stealing another fresh bread from the warehouse.
After a short while, a dreadful Orc leapt out from the place where Weed had disappeared.
The Orc Karichwi!
A powerful existence that reduced even vicious criminals to gentle lambs with his face and body!
“KYAAAK, IT’S AN ORC!”
“Chwiik! Found you. Little human boy!”
Weed did not say much.
He gave him a scare, to engrave respect for adults into the very marrow of his bones.
* * *
When he showed the sculpture to the tavern’s drunkard Smith, a glimmer returned to his bleary eyes.
“Where did you get this sculpture?”
“It’s a sculpture a kid named Brave used to play with.”
“I did want to have the kid’s sculpture… Did you perhaps steal it from him?”
Weed shook his head.
After his transformation into Orc Karichwi, he cancelled his Sculpture Transformation and returned to his Human form.
“No. I found the lost toy with difficulty and tried to return it to him, but he said he no longer wanted to play with it. Brave told me an elder wanted this toy, no, this sculpture, so I brought it here.”
“Is that so. Will you lend me the sculpture to me for a bit? I wanted to examine it when Brave had it, but he only let me see it very briefly.”
“Here it is. You can have it.”
The Toy the Old Drunkard Smith Wants has been completed.
The drunkard Smith got his hands on the sculpture he wanted.
Although it’s still midday, you will be able to get a drink from him.
Quest Reward: Get it directly from the drunkard Smith.
– Your Fame has increased by 1.
Smith examined the sculpture carefully.
“This sculpture… I’ve seen it once before while traveling during my youthful days.”
“Did Brave ever tell you where this sculpture is from?”
“He did not say.”
“This is a story goes back from 20 years ago. The time when I roamed the continent as a mercenary… Ahem! Back then, I was an extremely prominent mercenary. You might not believe it, but I even commanded a mercenary squad.”
Of course, Weed didn’t believe it.
Drunks were one and the same— there was no one who hadn’t been a big merchant or first-class mercenary in the past. Their boasts didn’t encompass one or two days, so he agreed to his claims and let it slide.
“Under the command of Her Majesty the Queen, I executed the traitor Count Savoid together with the Royal Forces. There was a sculpture that looked exactly the same as this one inside Count Savoid’s warehouse.”
“It’s regrettable, but I didn’t know what kind of piece the sculpture was either. It’s not as though I didn’t have my suspicions… Do you think there might be a story about this if you went to check the local library?”
Weed somehow had a strong feeling the quest wasn’t going to end here.
“Why don’t you look into it a little for me? If you do, I’ll tell you the stories in my old days as a mercenary.”
Old Smith’s Curiosity.
The former mercenary, Smith, has questions about a sculpture he saw in his youth.
If you gather information about the sculpture and give it to him, it appears he will tell stories he gathered as a mercenary.
Reward: Smith’s Story
Quest Restrictions: None