This chapter was brought to you by AnmesicCat, Fei, Grisia, and Lei.


Ill-Fated Relationship With Bardray

Destruction of the Embinyu Church 11th Sect was a B-rank quest.

“Woaah!”

“Are we gonna fight the Embinyu Church’s fighting force?”

“Won’t it be too dangerous?”

“Seems really fun.”

Weed sold off the quest and made a whopping 130,000 Gold. He sold to the people who got word from Morata and came late until evening. An exhaustive cash business!

Yellow swayed his pendulous rump happily.

Moooooooooooo!

If his Master was rich, Yellowy hoped that Weed would allow him to chew a stalk of mugwort.

[T/N: Mugwort is an herb used as an ingredient in many dishes.]

However, Weed was heartless. “Even barley bread is expensive, so you’d only be able to pick up some crumbs on a holiday or something… but mugwort? I can’t afford to give it to you. I’ll mix it with your meat later. Korean cow with mugwort, veggie bibimbap!”

Yellow blinked his big eyes sorrowfully, but that happened every day. Even so, Weed always prepared hay for him, and he got fed herbs from Yurin or Hwaryeong, too. He had no other complaint, but purposefully acted limp, as if he was hungry and had no strength from hunger. He’d been forced to do so much work with his robust physique and strength right after gaining life. Even Yellowy was gaining wisdom about life.

“Looks like it’s time to identify this now.”

Weed pulled out the seal he had received from Mercenary Smith. He could basically tell its use from the appearance. It was probably a seal that verified Lords or Nobles as themselves, like Jorudia’s Signet. Weed rubbed the dragon part as he examined the unique points of the sculpture.

“Identify!”

Unknown Emperor’s Royal Seal
Durability 3/20.

A precious royal seal that has weathered the history of the Versailles Continent.

It was made by a sculptor whose limit of skill is hard to estimate.

It is damaged and not in perfect condition.

Artistic Value: 39,600

Options: Dignity +60. Charisma +25.

50% resistance to all magic harmful to the owner’s body.

Can intimidate nobles and knights.

Ding!

For examining the Unknown Emperor’s Royal Seal in detail, Art stat has risen by 49.

Weed was also a skilled Sculptor who had made many Masterpieces and Magnum Opuses. Every time a sculpture of his was completed, it noisily shook the Versailles Continent.

“Cough!”

A work so incredible that it could even make such a Weed go into convulsions!

The broad stamp made of jade and the golden dragon that looked like it was flying in the sky possessed liveliness and beauty.

“It’s old… and feels worn because it’s been touched very much, but it’s an extremely outstanding work.”

The parts that hands could reach were severely grimy, and much of the pattern had also disappeared. With the long passage of time, its natural dignity had grown.

Jade and gold. The seal had been made with a perfect understanding of the characteristics of the material.

The parts that weren’t damaged were detailed and made with a level of skill that even Weed wouldn’t have been able to achieve. It looked like a dirty golden dragon from afar, but up close, it felt as if it would come to life and move at any moment.

“I knew it wasn’t a normal work, but who could really make such a sculpture?”

There was one person who vaguely came to mind.

If it was an emperor’s royal seal, then it didn’t need to be said more than once that it would be treasured preciously. Even so, the royal seal had endured so much time that it had become this worn.

A video of some kind began to play for Weed– it was a memory kept within the sculpture.

An old man wearing ordinary cloth attire was sculpting.

In a huge royal palace, knights and magicians were lying prostrate with extreme politeness.

Slice, slice.

The form of a dragon was being made under the old man’s sculpting knife. The knife moved slowly, as if time itself was holding its breath.

He shaved the places needing to be shaved and added to the places needing to be added. Only normal movements of the hand could be seen, but the golden dragon that was being created possessed such nobility that one could not tear their eyes away from it.

Whenever the sculpting knife moved, there was a worry that he might possibly make a mistake that would ruin this great work. However, when the sculpting knife sliced past, the figure was transforming into statue steadily nearing completion with such surety that the nervousness was laughable.

A treasure! A golden dragon and stamp that seemed as if they would heighten even his dignity with their radiant beauty!

It was the birth of the royal seal.

“May this be the item that symbolizes me,” declared the old man who made the seal.

The knights and magicians then cried out. “We accept the will of His Majesty!”

It didn’t end there. There were countless sculptures across the royal palace! They were similar to the humans, but the sculptures with superior physical conditions, the animal sculptures, the bird sculptures, and sculptures that looked like monsters all opened their mouths at the same time.

“We accept the will of our Master!”

* * *

SwordNoob let out a deep sigh.

“I’m really too old. Even meeting a woman is difficult because I’m old.”

The instructors and disciples were meeting Orcs, Dark Elves, or Humans and more or less getting along. They made girlfriends and also hunted in parties.

“I heard even SwordNoob16 held hands with his girlfriend.”

“When?”

“Within thirty-seven days, apparently.”

“Woah, that’s fast! Is it okay to progress so quickly?”

“The truly fast one is someone else. SwordNoob401 already went arm-in-arm to the movie theatre.”

“Damn, all the way to the movie theatre! He’s a fellow who unusually disliked things like movies, isn’t he. Didn’t he fall asleep snoring while watching the movie?”

“I’m told he watched an action movie. After the movie ended, he showed his girlfriend brick smashing and a two-tiered roundhouse kick and she liked it, calling him reliable.”

The legend-like love stories that came from among the disciples gave them hope, though there were also many cases where couples didn’t meet very many times and dropped contact, friend registration was cancelled, or were sent a text that said sorry.

“Phew, those things all happen when you’re young.”

SwordNoob envied the passion of the disciples. If he had just been at the age of the instructors or so, he would’ve been able to meet a woman somehow. After all, becoming an oppa from a mister took no time at all these days.

[T/N: Oppa is an informal way to call an older male, used for both familial and external relationships. “Oppa” indicates a lot more closeness than “mister.”]

However, because SwordNoob was a seasoned middle-aged man, he was very awkward with young girls and women. Granted, his fighting ability was fearsome, so despite being only in the late 200s for level, he was welcome in any party. If SwordNoob just went to the square, everyone tried to recruit him.

Only, it was just that the atmosphere was difficult in the hunting ground.

“Um, SwordNoob-nim.”

“…”

They would regularly use honorifics with him. The young and youthful party members used informal speech with each other and got along intimately, but it wasn’t easy for SwordNoob to fit in with them. SwordNoob tried to find a woman in the same age group as him.

“It shouldn’t be hard since all kinds of people gather in the world of Royal Road.”

There were many in their early 30s or 40s, of course. They were very commonly seen in a city or village. If the men fished, the ones that looked like their wives would make spicy seafood stew for them.

“Honey, please eat some spicy stew before continuing.”

It was a very heartwarming sight.

There were also cases where they set up a shop and conducted business, but their young children would occasionally come to buy a weapon, armor, or miscellania.

“Son, can you buy arrows from us for 20 Gold?”

“Mom, what kind of harsh joke is that?”

“Honey, our son says he’s leaving the house.”

“Alright. As his parents, it’s probably our duty to at least call over a mover, right?”

There were affectionate scenes of children getting daringly ripped off by their parents.

SwordNoob went around cities and towns as he roamed. He massacred monsters that came at him in the wilderness, and also leapt into nests of monsters whilst holding one sword.

“When I was young, I did things like this so often.”

He held a sword in his mouth and leapt into the river water. When he got hungry, he skewered fish in a deep part of the clear river. It was truly difficult to overcome the water’s flow and strength and swing his sword to catch fish. However, SwordNoob actually succeeded easily. That was because he didn’t push forcefully, but followed the current’s flow to catch fish.

Ding!

Sword Mastery skill proficiency has improved.

His Sword Mastery skill went up even while catching fish. They weren’t high leveled monsters, but it seemed he could gain Sword Mastery as a characteristic of the location. Like Sculpting, the Sword Mastery skill grew on diverse experiences.

“While I’m like this…”

SwordNoob floated to the top of the water, took in a big breath, and went into the river again.

Swiiiisshh!

The sword he swung in a single breath slid past the body of a fish.

Swordsmanship that was thinly slicing sashimi!

The fish was become sashimi while blinking its eyes, alive. And while underwater, as well!

Sorriness filled SwordNoob’s eyes. ‘Looks like I can’t do this because it’s cruel.’

It had been a long time since he had properly shown off his swordsmanship skills. After that time when life and death had been separated by a second, he had never done his best. Even Royal Road was simply entertainment. It was so that he could try testing his still-honed swordsmanship, but he was sorry for the fish. SwordNoob almost never even hunted herbivores like rabbits, squirrels, or deer in the Versailles Continent, either.

‘Something I can’t even eat… there’s no need to take their lives pointlessly.’

Feeling sorry, SwordNoob wrapped the fish in bandages. They were still alive, due to his marvelous swordsmanship.

“Gasp!”

Then he rose to the top of the water and moved downstream. It wasn’t that he determined his destination, he was just wandering randomly.

There were people downstream the river. He heard a conversation of a middle-aged man raising a fishing pole and his wife.

“D-dear.”

“Hm?”

“We just… caught sashimi!”

A live catfish with its bandages almost fallen off had bitten their fishing pole’s bait and was coming up.

“The world is truly difficult.”

SwordNoob sat down under a large old tree.

His Sword Mastery skill was Advanced level 6 at 89%. With growth at an unbelievable speed, it was at a stage where Master level of Sword Mastery was not far. But what worth was there in raising his level and polishing his Sword Mastery skill?

“This is the vice of an old dog. Might there not be a middle-aged woman wandering around alone?”

Even trying to start a conversation with pretended friendliness with a woman he’d never seen before was awkward. A husband coming to take her away while he was observing and agonizing over whether it was fine to talk to her had happened to him a couple times, so he didn’t even have the will to try anymore.

When SwordNoob was condemning himself, a girl who looked to be in her late teens approached him.

“Mister, what are you doing here?”

“…”

SwordNoob didn’t reply and flicked his hand as if to shoo her away. Looking like a player, the human girl was considerably cute and pretty.

‘She’ll probably just ask me about the hunting ground.’

Normally he would answer her kindly. It wasn’t because he wanted to do something bad to the adorable and young girl, but so that he could give her at least a little help.

‘Zephyr also gave advice. It’s important to have lots of conversations with women.’

Actually, a girl starting a conversation with him only numbered a few times in SwordNoob’s life. He was big, so his appearance was one that women couldn’t easily approach. But more than that, his eyes and spirit were on a different level from normal people, so even gangsters avoided him.

Right now, he wanted to be alone because he felt like wanting to quit it all. However, the girl sat down in front of SwordNoob with no intention of leaving.

“Hey mister, are you alone?”

SwordNoob only slightly nodded his head. ‘Seeing as she’s intentionally asking on, is she a merchant who’s trying to sell something? Or does she want help? Guess I should give her a roughly useful weapon if I’ve got one left.’

The girl hesitated for a moment before asking again. “Would you like to hunt with us?”

At the words that differed from his expectations, SwordNoob was a little curious. “Are you inviting me to your party right now?”

Towards his disciples, he stuck to a short and stern way of talking. He tried not to alarm the girl, but his voice was even more low and grave because he didn’t have much experience with talking to the opposite sex.

Sp