The Legendary Moonlight Sculptor - Volume 54 - Chapter 3
Thanks to proofreaders for their work on this new part:
Armada, UnrivaledH & Idzuwan 🙂
The Northern region faced great danger due to the monster invasion.
The monsters freely roamed the earth while travelling users lost their lives.
The users headed to the hunting grounds also had to be cautious.
"Why are there so many of them?"
"They're all clustered. Drawing their attention will be troublesome."
"Shh. I can see a green monster over there."
"By its appearance, isn't that Warek? He's not supposed to spawn in this area."
"It's a reptile-type monster over level 400."
"It saw us just now."
"It is Warek. We are all dead. All of us…"
The Northern Continent had become a dozen times more dangerous due to the changes in the monster's habitat and range of activity!
The Central Continent users shared the same fear of death as the national security became unstable.
When Royal Road first began, each Kingdom had its own stable army and soldiers stationed at the cities and fortresses.
These knights, soldiers, and mercenaries were NPCs.
The army automatically protected against the monster invasions and eliminated bandits, providing security.
Haven, Kalamore, Gradian, Nest, Dale, Aidern, Tullen, Harpan, Lasalle, Bremen, Sur, and Subain.
The armies that they commanded diminished over time in the wars between the prestigious guilds.
When the Hermes Guild united the Central Continent, their numbers were already below half, and the elite forces that struggled to the end, disappeared altogether in the Garnav Plains.
The vast Central Continent of various cities and fortresses had no traces of an army.
"Looking for a companion on the way to Singleton Village. The security is unstable, so I am looking for someone to travel with me."
"Haven't you heard? That village is long gone."
"What do you mean gone?"
"It was overrun by monsters yesterday. The monsters took over the village and are now residing in the houses."
Many users at the town square near the fountain were in a state of confusion.
"Weed shouldn't be focused in protecting just the North. This place is his land too."
"Yeah. If Weed came for us, we would have been safe as well."
A lot of them showed feelings of disappointment towards Weed. If nearby cities or villages were to be conquered by monsters, the danger would creep closer to the gates, which would add fuel to their fears.
"That may be so. However, we cannot ask of him to protect the entire Central Continent as it's only been a few days since we all became a part of the Arpen Empire."
"Weed has been eradicating monsters every single day… Who can blame him?"
"It seems the monsters suddenly multiplied tenfold. A wrong turn of events and we will die surrounded by monsters. It looks truly dangerous outside the gates."
The users were shaken by fear within the cities of the Central Continent.
The major cities and trade hubs with frequent activity of high-level users, and other regions with combat guilds were better off in this crisis.
Even so, the cities in regions with less users were wary of being taken over by an immediate monster invasion.
Weed assembled his comrades and the executives of the Grass Porridge Cult for a countermeasure conference.
This time around, various high-level users and job classes joined the Arpen Empire.
'I will award them with adequate titles and root them with responsibilities.'
The overissuance of titles without any salary!
Even the most popular users in Royal Road stared at Weed in awe.
"Wow… It really is Weed-nim."
"To see him up close like this, it is giving me goosebumps."
They each had their own contributions and reputation, but Weed's honor and achievements were far more greater than all of them combined.
Weed took a sip of Grass Porridge Tea and spoke.
"I believe that the large hordes of monsters in the Northern regions can be taken care of. I cannot say the same for the smaller groups of monsters roaming around, causing substantial damage across the continent."
He excluded the part about him having a blast summoning the Undead.
He mass slaughtered the approaching monsters at the fort wall day and night, enjoying the opportunity for leveling up to its fullest.
Among the users, a good proportion of them were glad for the chance to slaughter monsters.
Even the monsters that dwell deep within the dungeons and are tricky to hunt, swarmed towards the wall and fell prey to the slaughter.
Magical materials, production materials, equipment, and the rise of new combat related quests were derived from these battles.
At Varden Fortress, a boss-level battle occuring every day caused high-level users to camp there.
Weed frowned lightly.
"High-level users can brave this situation, but there are more monsters across the entire continent. It has become too cruel of a world for novice players."
"Gosh… How can Weed-nim look out for novice players even at a time like this?"
Saintess Lemon of the Grass Porridge Cult!
Her sparkling eyes were rose-tinted completely over him.
'He's such a great person.'
The achievements he had accomplished until now were countless, and even his actions and attitude were gracious towards the weak.
While she was still in her late teens, while she was still impressionable, she had come across Weed!
'Will I ever meet someone like him again?'
Lemon desperately wanted to be in a relationship with Weed. But, she gave up on it because her competitor was Seoyoon.
Surka clicked her tongue as she observed Lemon's envious stare.
'It's going to take about 3 months until she discovers Weed-nim's true side…'
Weed's closest comrades understood it.
Weed was not a bad guy. However, there was an ominous scheme behind his special, kind words!
Mapan saw through the deception the best.
'The novices have to grow well. There are many high-level users in the continent, but the structure of the Arpen Empire is built upon the novices… Also, you cannot underestimate their spending. The novices are the future.'
Weed grinned generously like he was grooming his home-grown chicken Half-Seasoned Half-Fried.
"The novices are the same kind of citizens to me. Of course I must tend to them."
"We really picked the right guy."
"If Weed-nim wasn't here for us, Royal Road would have turned into a harsh place."
With treacherous greed, he convinced the hearts of the users present at the conference.
Weed looked to the continental map marked with the terrain and cities, and continued to speak.
"Our crop harvest will decline due to the contaminated rain. Isn't that so, Miretas-nim?"
The continent's best farmer, Miretas was also present in the conference.
He rose to one of the most influential figures in the Arpen Empire due to his honor, skills, and achievements.
"We will continue to observe further on exactly how much of the crops will die out, but given the activity of the monsters, we will have to brace for half the total amount."
"If the amount of harvest declines, the price of it will increase."
"That is likely."
"Overall, that will lead to a downslide in the tourist industries. The danger is not our only problem, as the scenery will be affected if the grass and trees wither away. The cities in the Central Continent are prone to destruction… and the taxes too…"
Weed could not bear the sadness. He could bide physical pain, but a decline in the income was terrible.
"We, the North will defend ourselves, so how about Weed-nim descends down to the Central Continent?"
Surka made an abrupt suggestion.
Weed pondered for a moment, then shook his head.
"A few hordes of monsters can be dealt with, as it currently stands. But, if the situation becomes too grave, we may have to resort to your suggestion."
Gathering the users and fighting against the monsters was only slowing down the progress of the given situation.
The destruction of cities and villages could not be prevented.
Seamstress Dragore slowly raised his hand.
He was on the final step of his job class master quest, where he had to look for a spider only mentioned in the legends.
The quest was to find the essence of sticky spiderwebs. He was unsure how to progress for the time being, and he had joined the conference.
"Um… So, I think that it isn't just a matter of the monsters. Oh, of course the monsters are dangerous. However, I think the real problem lies in our territory."
Surka repeated after him, and Dragore collected his thoughts before speaking again.
"The small villages with few users will not be able to withstand the monsters. Moreover, there will be damages to be suffered in the merchants' trades."
Mapan nodded his head. Speak of the devil, a few locations of the Mapan Merchant Association were being pillaged by the monsters.
"Yes. The trades of the Association has become significantly more risky. Thanks to that, market prices are rising."
"If the merchants are faced with losses, they will eventually stop doing business in those locations, yes?"
"Well… Some may risk it, but it won't be easy."
"I agree. If merchants are avoiding those locations, I think that the only users going there will be adventurers. The regions will not only have their cities razed, but they will become the territory for monsters."
Lemon who had been daydreaming came back to her senses in a snap.
"It will be horrible for that to happen."
If the users' are negligent, the monsters will take over these territories.
This will not only add instability to the Arpen Empire's security, but will also allow the monsters to build strongholds and reproduce.
Locations like Vargo Fortress, where surrounding regions of undeveloped lands and mountainous terrain prevent monster invasions served as critical strategic points.
The monsters were being defeated frequently at such locations, but if the territory of the monsters were to expand, such events could occur anywhere in Versailles Continent.
Architect Mibullo uttered.
"As time passes, the territory of the monsters will indeed expand further. After all, there is no such thing has a perfect defense. The cities will be deserted, and the crop harvest will decline…"
Python who usually hated being a part of discussions also spoke out.
I can only suspect that the situation will become more problematic the longer we drag this on. If it gets to a point where the users themselves have to defend their home cities and villages, they will not have any trust left over in the government of the Arpen Empire.
Those who participated in the conference felt that the crisis was no ordinary one.
The reason that they were able to hold on despite Kaybern destroying the major cities one by one was because Versailles was massive. In the perspective of the Arpen Empire, the users could bite their teeth and transfer their establishment to another city. Though, if the monsters continue to multiply in numbers and their conduct becomes more active, user activity will be daunted significantly.
The Arpen Empire will also collapse instantaneously if the users all decided to turn away.
'The Haven Empire, and now the Arpen Empire. The losses across the Versailles Continent will be tremendous.'
'We may have prospered until now… We may have lived through battles only to perish now'
'More monsters, more powerful than before. It will become really dangerous. The world will become nothing like it was before.'
The higher level users felt excitement, as this was a complete shift in balance.
Until now, it was about a war between factions of users. From this point, they must defeat the monsters in order to survive.
The broadcast stations including CTS Media were concerned about the extinction of Versailles Continent, but the users at first felt that it was exaggerated.
The high-level users were welcoming of more prey to hunt, while the low-level users thought this situation had nothing to do with themselves.
Some users treated Kaybern's appearance as an exciting event.
The fact that a certain catastrophe was behind the continental danger could only be grasped by those that were present in the conference.
"A war for human survival…"
Weed felt the pressure and responsibility as the Emperor of the Arpen Empire.
'These people will not stick by my side forever. Same goes for the Grass Porridge Cult.'
He even refused to trust the Northern users who had proven themselves willing to sacrifice themselves for him.
The dissatisfaction of the users would increase inevitably as territories dwindle and cities were destroyed.
'The world must be looked over with a realistic perspective. Everyone hates to face losses. Without hope, they will rage and turn their backs. I wanted to save this resort until I had a clear estimate after training in the warrior class. Time may not be on my side until then.'
Weed struck down with a decision.
"Let's hunt down Kaybern. Send the word out to all users that I plan to assemble a dragon slayer squad, and share with everyone the quest that has S rank difficulty and is related to the dragon; the True Savior quest."
This was destined to be a real struggle!
There are always those that want to become a savior of the world.
He decided to assemble all of them for battle and proceed with the Savior's quest simultaneously.
(To be continued…)
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