Chapter 11 - Land of the Myth
Ghandilva, the elder of Baran Village, was in quite a dilemma. The village was once a peaceful village in the southern province of Rosenheim Kingdom and was a home to about 500 households, it was then invaded by monstrous lizardmen, and the villagers had either dispersed or were taken captive.
“I’d like to hear the story of where this seed comes from,” Weed asked.
Ghandilva’s colorless eyes shone with hope.
“W-would you help us when I tell you what I know?” ask Ghandilva desperately.
“Even if you don’t tell me, I will still help your people. When innocents are held captive by evil monsters, how can a fellow man leave it alone and go his own way?”
“Oh!” Ghandilva was struck with an urge to shout for joy. While everyone else dismissed his plea for help, here was a good samaritan who willingly offered his sword for the rescue of innocents.
“Darius-nim declined my request… because all I could offer in return was this seed,” Ghandilva dejectedly.
Certain that Darius was already out of earshot, Weed said carefully, “Those who would weigh the value of a good deed? It is unimaginable to me.” Weed replied.
“To think the world still has such great men left in it…” the elder murmured.
Weed’s eyes casually turned to Ghandilva’s clenched fist.
“Anyways, about this seed…”
“Oh, this? I don’t know what life it bears.”
“You don’t even know where it came from?”
“This seed has been passed down in my family. My ancient ancestors told me to guard it zealously, for it is invaluable. They have told me to give this only in return for a great favor or to a great warrior.”
“I see.” Everything clicked as if two puzzle pieces had finally fit together. Still, even then what he was planning was still a fifty-fifty chance of succeeding and was a big risk.
Was it the seed to show Weed the way to the City of Heaven, or just a plain seed of some random crop?
Among countless professions in Royal Road, there are gardeners and farmers as well. Unsurprisingly, they’re too few to find anywhere.
“Will you rescue my people?” the elder pleaded once more.
Quest: The Calamity of Baran Village:
Baran was a peaceful and lively village, until the Eastern Border was ravaged by hideous monsters. When the lizardmen raided the village, Ghandilva the Elder didn’t have enough time to save all his people.
He escaped, taking only the young. The adults decided to stay behind to stall for time. The wicked lizardmen captured the resisting adults and, instead of beheading them, enslaved them in a stronghold in the Western Valley.
Rescue the parents of the children. If the time runs out, the lizardmen will show no hesitation in killing the villagers one after another.
Difficulty level: D
A Nameless Seed
Number of captives: 55
A quest with D level difficulty. It was equal to the Punitive Force quest. Weed still had an A level quest that was to succeed Zahab’s will, but it was still far beyond his capabilities for the time being.
To his dismay and annoyance the ‘Zahab’s will’ quest took up one of the three valuable quest spaces in the quest window. This quest was more difficult than anything that Weed had ever done, but he read the quest’s description over and over, skipping the difficulty level part.
Parents. The memory of Weed’s parents ceased when he was eight years old. Since then, he could only summon up the darkest hours of his life, when the loan sharks had bullied him.
‘It was the only legacy left to me.’ he thought bitterly.
Still, Weed missed his father and mother. He would pay any price to bring them back to life if it were possible.
As the would-be savior was deep in thought, Ghandilva fretted and asked,
“I suppose you’re not satisfied with the reward?” he asked worriedly.
“Once my village is restored, we will pay back your debt over time.”
“No, the reward is more than fine. It is more than I could possibly ask for. I will finish the quest as soon as possible.”
You have accepted the quest!
“Thank you. The lizardmen headed toward the valley near a mountain west of my village. I will eagerly await for your return and good news.”
When Ghandilva left, Weed’s teammates came over.
“Weed-nim, what did you do?”
“Did you just accept the quest?”
Pale and Surka gazed at Weed in disbelief. He had just accepted a new quest that would reward them with a mere seed.
“Don’t ask questions and just accept the quest that I got.”
Weed was the de facto leader of the party. On Weed’s insistence, Surka trusted that there must be a reason, walked over to Ghandilva, and accepted the quest.
“I’m with Weed-nim.”
“We also want to join in rescuing the villagers.”
Your party has accepted the quest!
When the rest of Weed’s party accepted the quest, but they didn’t understand what the reason was. Pale’s head tilted to the side in confusion.
“I can’t understand why you gave up the punitive force quest and, instead, picked this quest after we came all the way here.”
“This quest will present a great opportunity if I’m not mistaken. And even if I’m wrong, it will still be better than participating in the punitive force quest.”
“What do you mean by that?”
“Suppose we fight the lizardmen with the punitive force… At our levels, we can’t gain much in terms of experience and fame.”
They agreed with Weed– their levels were far lower than those of Darius and his group.
They were originally interested in search and destroy missions that would take place after the troops drove the lizardmen out of town, so the large-scale battle meant little to them.
Sandwiched amid two hundred other users at similar or higher levels, Weed’s party couldn’t really do much.
“I have a hunch that we’d be better off switching to this quest,” Weed said.
“But the quest difficulty level is D… Don’t you think it’s too difficult for the five of us?” Surka asked.
“Don’t worry, I have a plan,” Weed said mischievously.
“Okay, Weed-nim. We’re with you,” Pale said resolutely.
Weed decided to accept Ghandilva’s quest, and with this decision made, him and his party, broke away from the ranks. Soon, two men came to Weed’s party. They were Becker and Dale, Denarions officers and soldiers within the Rosenheim Army.
“Commander! Where are you going?” Becker asked.
“We’re just about to go off and fight the lizardmen.” Weed answered with determination,
“My teammates and I are leaving to liberate the villagers, fathers and mothers of the now homeless children, from the lizardman's stronghold.”
“That’s quite a difficult mission!” Becker was startled by Weed’s statement. Dale looked in disbelief.
“Will the five of you be enough to accomplish this mission?” Dale asked with eyes opened wide with concern.
Dale sized up Weed’s party. He concluded that they appeared weaker than he, so he banged his chest and offered his service.
“Commander, we want to support you in this mission,” Dale said.
“Yes. Our commander will give us permission to join you if we explain the situation to him,” Becker said.
The friendship that Weed had built with these NPC’s had showed itself once again. Of course, according to the situation, there are times, such as mutiny or mass killing of innocent villagers, which would keep the soldiers from following orders regardless of their loyalty to their commander.
Charisma and good relationships cannot motivate soldiers unless it is supported by the leader’s fame and status, or a just cause.
In the eyes of the Dale and Becker, it was regarded as a heroic act that Weed had volunteered to rescue the villagers from peril.
As it was also largely associated with the original punitive force quest, they felt justified in helping him. However, after a moment of silence, Weed said, “I am more than grateful to hear that from you both, but that is not possible. You’re currently dispatched to help Baran Village under Darius-nim, are you not?”
“The fewer the people for this mission, the better! I ask you to do your best in your task. What if we succeed in bringing back these parents, only to find that there is no place to stay for the rescued families?”
“Aye, Commander.” they replied.
Becker and Dale were persuaded and gave in his refusal. If Weed could get the help of the 200 soldiers from the Rosenheim Army, it would make it easier to set the captives free from the stronghold of the lizardmen.
This was especially the case since these two Denarion, had at one time, used to serve under Weed. The quest would be less burdensome if he had accepted their support.
His high Charisma stat could turn them into a formidable force once more.
Unfortunately, the downside to allowing the two Denarion and there men to follow Weed and his party, would be that Darius would quickly become aware of such a disappearance of a great number of soldiers, once news of it happened and reached Darius’ ears he would be sure to inquire into why his men were deserting his force. Which would be bad for Weed and his party. As it was, Darius probably wouldn’t notice that Weed and his small party were deserting from the main punitive force of three hundred other users.
Weed and his teammates quickly headed for the mountain west of Baran Village, as described by Ghandilva. The Western Mountain had a gloomy and dark demeanor.
A humid fog arising from waterfalls in the valley created the best conditions for the lizardmen.
“I think their territory extends to over here.” Pale the ranger, had improved his vision and observation skills to match with his class. For rangers it was an essential skill, since it allowed them to intercept enemies at a distance. It also helped in analyzing diverse landscapes.
Pale was concentrating on the ranger’s passive skills, such as Rapid Fire and Penetration. As it was the easiest path up to the second job of the ranger class.
Meanwhile Weed, whose class was a sculptor, was stronger than the others on average in sword mastery, thanks to his sculpture mastery and Zahab’s sculpting knife.
“Yes, I think the lizardmen crossed the Eastern border and camped here.” Weed answered shortly, studying the landscape. It was called a valley, but it was larger than most. They were trembling in trepidation that the lizardmen could surprise them from the surrounding forest.
Finally, they encountered the lizardmen warriors. There were 5 lizardmen in a small group acting as sentries. The reptiles resembled giant lizards on two feet with slippery, greenish skin. Their level was around sixty.
“Ew, gross,” Romuna remarked.
Weed could not disagree with her. Monsters in general were repulsive and unsightly. Yet, they hardly scared him.
‘I’ll just use the same strategy as I did on the goblins.’ Weed thought as he was sizing them up.
The lizardmen levels were roughly higher by ten, than those of the goblins, but they were field monsters. Monsters in dungeons or at night were 50% stronger and give more experience. Overall, the lizardmen strength was similar to that of the goblins if you had to compare them.
Weed equipped himself with the iron sword, instead of his bow.
He had been so busy with cooking meals and selling statues, and away from the battlefield for so long that his body was itching for blood.
‘Now I can try one of the sword techniques.’ he thought back with a vicious grin.
The five movements recorded in the skill books were as follows:
Skill: Imperial Formless Sword Technique:
The First Form: Triple
With splendor, you strike an enemy three times consecutively. As the skill improves, the number of strikes and damage increases.
Mana Consumption: 300
The Second Form: Backstab
You instantly move behind an enemy and strike his back.
Mana Consumption: 400
The Third Form: Power Break
You destroy an enemy’s weapon by using five times your attack power.
Mana Consumption: 600
The Fourth Form: Sword Dance
You aim at an enemy’s vulnerable spot in a dance-like motion.
Mana Consumption: 1000
The Fifth Form: Sword Kaiser
You harmonize with your sword. Concentrate all of your mana and explode into a single point. Mana is consumed to zero, and if the amount of mana is below 2000, your health will be reduced as well.
The one footstep technique was an active combat skill to dodge an enemy attack with seven swift steps.
Weed nicknamed each form in the sword technique individually.
The first form was named Triple, and the rest, Backstab, Power Break, Sword Dance, and Sword Kaiser, respectively.
Weed’s mana totaled 940 points thanks to the Emperor’s Medicine Tablet. He could execute the skill Triple three times, Backstab twice, and Power Break only once.
Moves beyond the third form were out of the question because his mana could not even sustain them. He could activate the fifth form, Sword Kaiser, without mana, but it was too adventurous to gamble his life on a single attempt.
He labeled the footstep from the skill book as ‘Seven Celestial Step’. It alone consumed 100 mana. Fortunately, it lasted at least a minute once it was activated.
‘Let’s see what I can do.’
Weed hadn’t fought once since learning the Imperial Formless Sword Technique.
“In broad daylight, they are not as strong as they’re supposed to be,” Weed said to his teammates in a low voice, “The lizardmen can fight to the best of their abilities in swamps, but they’re far weaker in a valley. I’ll go first and fight them.”
Monsters that have adapted to a dry climate, such as poisonous scorpions and sandworms, are at their strongest in the desert or very hot and dry areas. The lizardmen, whose natural habitats are swamps, were weakened in the open.
Still, his teammates were surprised. Weed had just suggested they assault the stronghold of the lizardmen.
They had been following him to this point, but they counted on him to have a scheme to overwhelm the lizardmen, who outnumbered them.
“Wa-wait a sec Weed! Can we really just walk into their stronghold?” Pale asked.
“Yes, we can,” Weed replied.
“But this quest has a difficulty level D…” Pale said.
“For the difficulty level D, at least eight hundred lizardmen are encamped over there. Am I correct?” Weed asked.
Pale nodded dumbly at Weed.
“Eight hundred, give or take.”
“I’m sure that was exactly the case when we accepted Ghandilva’s request. But we have Darius helping us out.”
“Darius is helping us out?” Pale asked confused.
While Pale shook his head in puzzlement, Weed distributed tiny flasks to his other teammates.
“What’s this? Isn’t it a potion?” Romuna asked.
“This is a drink I brewed right before we left the Citadel. I bought empty flasks from a pharmacy at a cheap price,” Weed said.
“Why are you giving them out now–” Surka said.
“Drink it first, and you’ll see,” Weed said.
Weed gulped down the drink.
You have drunk: Brandy of Vitality
Decreases your sense of pain in case of an injury.
Weed’s teammates emptied the flasks and looked stunned.
“Can’t believe this brandy did…” Irene said.
Surka had recently reached the legal drinking age, so she was particularly susceptible to alcohol. Drawn to the fragrance of the brandy, though, she drank it to the last drop and found the pleasant sweetness rather tasty.
“It wasn’t fermented for a long time, so the effect is limited. The upshot is, though, you can drink it with meals without hangovers,” Weed said.
Weed, who had finished drinking the brandy, was already moving toward where he presumed the lizardmen warriors were stationed.
Darius counted himself lucky. If not, he could not have been assigned to such a rare quest such as leading the punitive force.
The punitive force quest bound to Baran Village. It could elevate his fame to a higher level. A higher level of fame was accompanied by many benefits, and quests were no exceptions.
He could meet distinguished figures in key positions that he would have been denied to him otherwise, and easily gain more high-risk, high-return quests.
With three hundred troops under his thumb, Darius already viewed himself as some sort of an army general. The punitive force that was led by him finally arrived in the vicinity of Baran Village.
The wooden fences, which had been set up to keep monsters out, had collapsed, and the door of every home had been kicked in and broken.
The troops looked at the scene from over the hill. There wasn’t a single monster to be seen in the village, but they couldn’t relax. Darius turned and asked one of his comrades.
“Parros, go scout the area.”
“Okay. Stay here and wait until I get back.”
Parros was a thief. With extremely high agility and observation skills, he swiftly slipped in the village. About an hour or so later, he returned, panting, and reported, “There are hundreds of lizardmen hidden inside! They’re waiting for us to come closer.”
“They’re aiming for a chaotic battle.” Darius muttered.
Darius’ eyes gleamed icily. Obviously, the lizardmen, outnumbering his troops, were trying to reduce them to a full-scale melee. On the other hand, he also welcomed this kind of combat.
In the climax of confusion of the battle, Darius and his group having the highest levels among the troops could score the most kills, and as a result, would get the most glory.
“An expected known ambush is not an ambush. Just charge ahead to Baran Village!”
The troops stormed to the village. Suddenly, all of the lizardmen that were hidden in the houses came crashing out like a scaly tidal wave.
“Humans!” They hissed.
The lizardmen, who were basically muscular reptiles, held a shield in one hand and swung a blade in the other.
Most users were shocked by the amount of lizardmen charging toward them. Darius had decided not to inform them that the lizardmen were hiding there. Beheading a lizardman warrior, Darius grumbled to himself under his breath, “I don’t need the weak. All I want is the strong who are loyal to me. So, why share experience and fame with these weaklings?”
Darius used these tactics on purpose, at great risk of heavy casualties, solely because he was concerned that his share of EXPs and fame would be reduced if they were equally distributed amongst the other three hundred user.
The soldiers in Rosenheim Army followed Darius from behind. Their commander was Sir Jovantes.
When the knight realized they were trapped in a melee, surrounded by lizardmen who were leaping out from all directions, he shouted, “Stand your ground! Form a circle by platoons, and fight back!”
Platoons of ten soldiers began to build circular human fences, the signature battle formation for Rosenheim Army. The platoon leaders were Denarions, such as Becker and Hosram.
“Going into defensive formation!”
‘Taking defensive formation!”
“Same for us!” Hosram yelled to his men.
Almost all of the Denarions who had been educated by Weed made the same decision. Defense comes first! Only Becker stood out, “Let’s go get ‘em!” he roared.
The Rosenheim soldiers who were forming defensive circles distracted and lured lizardmen into a honeycomb formation.
They locked down the enemy, who charged into a maze of endlessly twisting passages.
In and out of the defensive circles, Becker and his ten troops emerged from nowhere and butchered the lizardmen who got lost.
As Weed approached the lizardman warriors, they let out their usual aggressive shrieks.
“Foolish humans! You come to die?!”
The five lizardmen warriors charged toward him, brandishing their blades. The level of each lizardman was low, but it was compensated by their number.
If Weed was encircled by them, he had to face each of them from all directions putting him in a disadvantageous position.
Weed was confident though. He had raised forty points of strength, agility and vitality for a month in the Training Hall.
If you heard about it, you would probably think it was a simple thing to do. Then, you would wonder why no one else did the same thing.
With higher stats, it’s much easier to hunt monsters. But think about it carefully. It takes one whole month of beating the living hell out of a scarecrow. One looong month. Would you be able to tolerate the boredom and physical hardship?
If you do it for twenty hours a day, it will add up to six hundred hours within a month.
You have to repeat the same action continuously while in constant pain, which feels as if your muscles are being squeezed and burned at the same time, and even professional athletes don’t go that far.
Professional athletes in general spend no more than five hours a day on just focusing on exercising. Weed had been through 120 days’ worth of exercise that an average athlete would do.
If you look at it from a different perspective, it’s equivalent to earnestly working out for an hour every day in a fitness club for two years.
There weren’t many people who would sacrifice so much time in order to raise forty points of several stats.
The fact that Weed finished the course in only one month exemplifies how persevering he was. He also had the sword techniques that he hadn’t tried before. He rather welcomed the lizardmen.
Weed and Surka were standing on the front-line to confront the charging lizardmen. Given that their party lacked a warrior or a knight, those two had to take the role of the melee fighter.
“Eh, well, Weed-nim,” Surka said.
“Yes?” Weed asked back.
“If I die, please save yourself.”
Surka looked pessimistic in the face of the five lizardmen.
“Don’t worry, Surka-nim. If any of us go down, I’ll be the first. As I will be the one to aggro them,” Weed said confidently.
“Weed-nim, you’re a sculptor. Oh, by the way, what’s your level?” Surka asked.
“It’s 68.” he answered.
Weed briskly plunged into an opening in between the lizardmen.
“Watch out!” Surka said.
His sudden action threw his teammates into utter confusion, but he was composed.
“Seven Celestial Footstep!” Weed cried.
He confidently activated the footstep technique that he had named, a skill to dodge enemy attacks with seven eccentric, unpredictable steps.
Charging forward, he suddenly disappeared right in front of a lizardman, and emerged on the right of it the next second.
“First form, Triple!” Weed cried.
Weed moved dizzyingly and swung his sword. Three silhouettes struck the lower, middle and top part of the lizardman’s body at the same time.
*Bam Bam Bam!*
The lizardmen were stronger than goblins. Their body had the flexibility of reptiles, and high speed. Their overall attack power wasn’t that impressive, but what was terrifying was their greenish scaly hide.
The thick scaly hide was a defense of its own, and they were even wearing plundered armor that they had looted from other races, which made them even more difficult to deal with.
Damaged by Weed’s skill, the lizardman cried heavily in pain. It had so far lost 80% of its health and was near death. Mana consumption for Power Shot, Pale the ranger’s signature skill, was 25 points.
Compared to that, Weed’s skills were mana drain sinks. However, as much as it was a mana drain of 300, its power was just as deadly as the drain.
Surka, right beside Weed, watched the whole scene unfolding before her eyes. She had gone through a number of battles with him to date, but nothing like this...
Since he killed the wolf and saved his teammates selflessly, he had been the leader of their party. Ever since he became a sculptor, he had started cooking.
The whole thing was incomprehensible enough, but it seemed that his combat ability had not vanished.
‘I don’t know what skill it was, but that was awesome!’ Surka thought.
She felt as if three swords pierced the lizardman almost at the same time when Weed used Triple.
‘I can’t lose to him!’
Surka punched the lizardman that Weed had already attacked. She wanted one of them down for now. The lizardman had fallen, stunned by his Triple attack, so it could not avoid her punch.
“Rapid Shadow Fist!” (Yon-hwan-kwon).
Since the enemy had a higher level than Surka, she used her best skill to begin with. Clenching her fist, she threw five jabs in a row.
It was a basic, yet one of the most popular, combat skill for monks. Her expertise rating in Rapid Shadow Fist (Yon-hwan-kwon) was already at 65%.
The lizardman that was hit on the chest and the solar plexus turned into a gray flash.
Surka was petrified for a moment due to shock, even though she was in the middle of a fierce battle.
“Sure it was stunned. But why did it die so quickly?”
In stunned mode, a monster is unable to move, and is damaged twice as much when hit.
Still, Surka felt cheated that a lizardman, who at level sixty, was so easily knocked out by her punches.
The other lizardmen were not idling away, either. When their comrade was attacked, they roared in fury. Four blades were flying toward Weed almost at the same time, cutting off every possible option for dodging.
However, his body evaded like a reed in the wind. Three of the blades barely scraped his head, leg and shoulder. The last one that he could not dodge cut into his side, leaving a lengthy wound, but the damage was lessened to one third.
You have lost 350 Health Points! (-350 HP)
One of many penalties for the sculptor class is that they are not allowed to wear heavy armor made of iron.
Defensive gears made of non-metals are typically weak in defense unless they are made of special materials or enchanted with a permanent spell.
Though Weed was wearing a basic leather jacket that he had bought at a really cheap price from a second-hand store, even a single strike on him could be deadly if he wasn’t careful...
Weed’s sword, enveloped in a translucent flash, sailed toward one of the lizardmen once again. It was targeted at the neck that looked pretty sturdy.
It was another one of Weed’s signature skills that was aimed at a vital spot with great timing!
The Sculpting Blade, ignoring the enemy’s defense, and dealt great damage to the lizardman. The only flaw was that it consumed an enormous amount of mana. Had that not been the case, he would have used it every time.
Along came Romuna’s spell. “Fire strike!” she yelled.
A pillar of flame split into four fireballs in the air, and struck the lizardmen. The side effect of the spell was to push the enemy back, temporarily giving melee fighters a precious break to catch their breath.
Pale held the lizardmen in check with arrows. His arrows contained the element of fire that was fatal to them.
Irene quickly regenerated Weed’s diminished health. Then, she cast a spell of holy blessing.
“Goddess Freya, lay your protection of the Holy Spirit upon Weed. Strengthen him against evil powers. Bless!”
Holy blessings empower defense and strength. There are countless types of spells designed to boost various attributes.
A shaman’s voodoo art speeds up and increases strength and agility temporarily. A holy knight’s aura over an entire party is deemed pretty effective too.
But it is ultimately a priest or priestess’ blessing that beats all in the field of buffs. If you fight for a long time under the influence of a blessing from a priestess, you will feel almost powerless without them.
Once Irene finished what she was originally assigned to do, she pitched into Weed sharply.
“Weed-nim, you were too reckless this time.”
Weed nodded apologetically. In truth, he had fought a lizardman unprotected on purpose to experience their strength.
Moreover, he had been interested in figuring out how much damage the Imperial Formless Sword Technique could deal.
The outcome surpassed his expectations. Each and every one of the combat skills that Weed had at that time demanded an unsustainable amount of mana. So he couldn’t afford a prolonged fight because his combat skills simply consumed more mana that he could ever maintain.
But the skills were the most dominant in a small-scale battle. They gave Weed a ridiculous amount of power until his mana ran out.
When the amount of usable mana increased, in accordance with level ups, and the mana consumption for sword-related skills dropped, thanks to his better expertise rating in sword mastery and handicraft skill, the Imperial Formless Sword Techniques would shine.
However, in the eyes of Weed’s teammates, he just looked reckless. They didn’t know that his level was sixty-eight, and they had a prejudice against the sculptor class, thinking he was weaker than his counterparts.
It was true that the defense of a sculptor was pathetic. Except for spell-casting classes, the sculptor class was one of the most vulnerable ones in Royal Road.
Instead to balance this, Weed had the Sculpting Blade, and since his conversion, the effect of sculpture mastery had been fully blended into his unrivaled attack power.
A fragile sculptor. Though the future was yet unknown, Weed was more of a damage dealer than a stronger sword warrior for now.
He smiled at Irene’s buffs as his strength had risen by twenty percent, and he felt clad in comfort.
You have lost 230 Health Points! (-250 HP)
Weed let one of the lizardmen strike him again. He was damaged much less due to the holy protection of Irene. It showed that she had raised her expertise rating in the skill meanwhile.
‘That’s what I love about hunting as a party.’ he thought smugly.
Priests and priestesses are respected and valued everywhere for their distinct ability. Regardless of their skill level, any party is eager to invite them.
Even though Irene was a bit low in her level, she had sharpened her skills and was the most necessary asset in hunting monsters.
The bandage skill that Weed had learned only worked when he was not in combat. Although it was still incomparable to a priestess’s Healing Hand right on the spot. After reproaching him, Irene gave a small smile.
“But it’s just like you, Weed-nim, to charge at mobs.”
Weed never turned his back on monsters coming to get him – because in them, there were those lovely EXPs! Except for fighting monsters that he found it too difficult to face at his current level, Weed enjoyed jumping into the horde of monsters and slaying them.
While moving his arms and legs like crazy, he felt the wind of freedom. He collected EXPs, leveled up, picked up items and upgraded his skills.
Each step was so much fun, and the result was always worth every drop of his sweat and blood. Previously, in The Continent of Magick, and even now, Weed was always the first man to engage with monsters at the sight of them.
As soon as his mana was regenerated, Weed triggered his combat skills. It was his priority to raise the level of his skills. Consumed mana was being refilled, anyway.
You have failed to activate the skill!
Since his skill level in many combat skills was virtually close to zero, he often failed to activate the skill.
When the sword techniques didn’t arrive, he was stunned into immobility for a few seconds. During this moment, Weed counted on his teammates and persisted in trying out his combat skills.
He felt comforted to know that someone was always behind his back. His unassailable attacks took care of the lizardmen in the blink of an eye.
When the battle was over, his teammates looked at Weed in a daze. Their tension had been high at the thought of confronting five lizardmen, but it ended even before Surka or Pale came close to any serious danger there way.
“Weed-nim, that skill…”
“It’s too strong.” Pale and Surka complained almost at the same time.
“Uh, well…” Weed said.
“You’ve leveled up so much. I don’t think you really need us,” Romuna asked.
“That’s not true.” Weed shook his head. “It drains me of at least three hundred mana points, and that’s for the weakest movement. So I can’t use it more than three times in a row.”
“Ehhhhh!?” they all said at the same time.
Weed waited for the shock to sink in.
“I only have two hundred and thirty mana points total. This means I can’t even try it once… Then, Weed-nim, can you tell us how much mana you have since you can use it three times?” Pale asked in disbelief.
“A little over 900,” Weed said.
“Oh my goodness!”
Pale looked shocked. Romuna the mage and Irene the priestess had around 500 mana points.
Their mana points were rather above their level, but the incredible amount of mana that Weed claimed to have made their jaws drop.
Weed briefed them on what had happened to him. His quest in converting to the Legendary Moonlight Sculptor class was simply beyond any conventional wisdom.
A user selects his primary class by level five on average, and here was a man who converted to the sculptor class, at around level 60 and after weathering numerous trials.
Pale sighed, “You were not just a sculptor, but the Moonlight Sculptor. A hidden class. I didn’t know that you were also the rumored celebrity sculptor in town.”
“Rumored?” Weed asked back.
“We heard that some guy was making statues and selling them in the Citadel of Serabourg. We wanted to buy some, but we were short of cash,” Irene said.
Irene looked at Weed with yearning eyes. It was unmistakable what she wanted from him.
“I wasn’t really trying to hide it from you, but, anyway I’ll make a statue for each of you later.”
“Thank you, Weed-nim!” she screamed gleefully.
“I’d like to have one if you don’t mind,” Pale said.
Weed promised to make a statue for every teammate in his party.
“Now we have enough rest. Let’s go and kill some more lizardmen. This quest has a deadline, so we’d better finish it before it’s too late.”
Weed continued leading his teammates through lizardmen that got in the way. In most cases, Weed started with critical damage to the enemy, and Pale and Surka picked up where Weed left and finished them off quickly.
Romuna was responsible for eliminating one or two lizardmen in the distance if there were more than the others could handle.
The rest were taken down by Weed and Surka while the other teammates rested to recover some mana points. Their coordinated combat tactics were well matched.
In the past, lots of foxes, wolves and bears had fallen victim to them, leaving fur and meat behind them, and now the victims had switched to unsuspecting lizardmen.
The pace was much faster than when Weed had hunted on his own, and by contrast with the clean-up operations in the Lair of Litvart with Rosenheim soldiers, Weed and his teammates were synchronized in a party system, which meant that earned EXPs were collected and fairly distributed among them.
Weed didn’t need to try to give the final blow to a dying enemy. Had he stood idly, he would have received a minimum share of EXPs due to his small contribution, but that wouldn’t be like Weed.
“Wow! These reptiles are richer than they look, aren’t they?”
Surka exclaimed at the sight of the items dropped by the slain lizardmen. The booty included a steel gauntlet and breast armor. Besides that, they obtained a ring.
Item: Mana Ring:
+3% Increase to maximum Mana
It was the first time that the party had ever seen an accessory like a ring.
“Who’s going to take this?”
At Surka’s words, everyone looked at each other, but the mana ring ended up in Irene’s possession since they agreed that the battles would be safer as the priestess had more mana to support the others.
The rule for splitting spoils in the party was whoever picked up an item kept it. A rare item often changed hands according to the general will, but miscellaneous items otherwise destined for the general store were open game.
It sounded like a very unreasonable rule, but they found it acceptable given the nature of their party. If they had chosen someone to take charge of item storage, it would easily exceed the weight limit for how much he could carry. That was why they let anyone gather items up to their weight limit.
Weed and Surka, who were active in battles, were usually the last to pick up an item, aware that when they could not carry anything else, the battle was as good as over.
This was the current structure of the party so there really wasn’t much of a choice.
Once they began to fight, they went all the way to the end. Since they had already decided to penetrate all the way into the stronghold of the lizardmen, the battle would not be over until they had killed every last lizardman standing