10. Escape from Serabourg CitadelTranslated by EE, Proofread by Bloodadept, Britsch, Froshi, Shadowlink, MrBaconator
“Yeah, you only live once. Receiving condemnation for being manipulative and stingy is nothing!”
Weed made his decision. He would escape together with Seo Yoon.
At that precise moment, Selina who owned a flower store in Serabourg Citadel approached him.
“I beg of you, please save us!”
“I don’t have that kind of power...”
“I heard it from the flowers and the trees. You are the one that can save us.”
Evacuation of the Civilians
From the plants, Selina has found out the truth of your many achievements. While it is a difficult task, the only person who can defend the denizens from the Embinyu Church is you. In Serabourg Citadel, the only person who can save the civilians in this perilous situation is the one who has experienced the most adventures.
Reward: A bracelet made of flowers from Selina.
Quest Restrictions: Fame decreases every time a civilian dies.
If you reject the quest, infamy will spread.
After this, it will not be possible to perform quests from Rosenheim Kingdom.
Just by accepting the quest your reputation will improve.
Quests that came round the clock. His fame and quest achievements were at such a level that not only people, but flowers and trees were delivering requests!
“Huk, this path is fraught with difficulty...”
Weed furtively glimpsed at the flower bracelet Selina wore from the corner of his eyes. Selina’s flower bracelet was exactly as described, a bracelet weaved from flowers. The flowers looked to be made by children in their playtime, but as Weed observed carefully it was not an ordinary item.
These precious flowers were purported to be found only in the High Elves’ forest. The flowers had special strength as they did not wither or die after they were plucked and even now, they were still alive on Selina’s arm.
‘I heard of stories about this kind of items being worn by the High Elves.’
An adventurer who visited a High Elf village reported seeing it in their store. It was said that the price was astronomical but imbued within was a generous amount of Elemental and Power of Nature. If he could equip Selina’s flower bracelet on top of Baharan’s bracelet he was wearing, then he would no longer want any other bracelet.
Weed changed his tune.
“Even though I lack the strength, I was planning to do my best to save the people. Though I don’t know if it’s within my power to do so, I will still give my all regardless!”
While the quest was unexpected, the number of civilians Weed could take with him while facing off with the Embinyu Church was not many. How many people could he possibly lead beyond the wall to somewhere safe?
The square of Serabourg Citadel had tens of thousands of newbies who lost their will and just sat around. With their low level, it was easy for them to succumb to the feeling of helplessness in this large battle and give up. The same newbies who threw themselves into the bush as they got scared of a single deer running toward an apple tree far away!
But there were some who did not depart due to family members being novices, some who were ill prepared to evacuate, and some who were lost and wandering around looking for their party members. It wasn’t just the NPCs, but players as well that were both floundering around hopelessly. But there were about 200 high level players staying behind to fight due to their guilty conscience.
Given the uproar of battle that could be heard from the walls, there wasn’t much time left.
Weed canceled his skill.
“Release Sculpture Transformation.”
His form changed back from the transformation and returned to it’s original state. It would be impossible to lead the people to safety with a general form.
“I will have to craft it quickly.”
Taking out his sculpting knife, Weed went toward the ornamental statue nearby. It was a big, decorative dragon statue.
Every time Weed’s sculpting knife moved, the stones chipped away revealing an existence that would ring out and abandon men, women and children.
Every station was relaying the scene of Serabourg Citadel, centering around the wall and the Embinyu Church.
“It’s astonishing. At this rate, it will only be a matter of time till the Embinyu Church gains control over Serabourg Citadel.”
“With the Embinyu Church’s influence spreading from even Rosenheim Kingdom, they can only become a huge threat in the future.”
“In the Central continent many players are especially flocking to Haven Kingdom as it has largely avoided the Embinyu Church’s wave of destruction.”
“Another Rain of Fire Stone is being cast! The walls and the houses nearby are burning..”
The hosts were explaining their concerns on the expansion of the Embinyu Church. They chatted about the spells being cast, about the race and level of monsters comprising the Embinyu Church and their attack methods.
As the show continued, the NKS station switched their view to the square to show the despair and misery of the players.
“The players need to set up an escape plan quickly. Once the wall of Serabourg Citadel falls, death is inevitable. This is really cruel to the beginners.”
“Death is unavoidable for these people gathered at the square bereft of all hope whatsoever.”
As the host was speaking, it was not the same scene of people slumping weakly just a few minutes ago. Tens of thousands of people were now standing, looking over at something.
“What is that?”
“It seems like something is being shaped. The person is using a sculpting skill.”
One man was making a sculpture. The decorative statue of the dragon was being transformed into something else. With never before seen, astounding elaborateness and daring handling of the sculpting knife.
“It’s a sculptor!”
“Perhaps… But no, it couldn’t be.”
“There is no way it could be him. But this is his starting place...”
The person who the players all hoped for, the War God Weed.
Once Weed started sculpting, few people nearby became curious. Then as the sculpture progressed, everyone forgot the impending disaster and watched.
The sculpture Weed was creating was far from being beautiful. Weed was only known to make breathtaking sculptures, but still the people hoped against hope that this sculptor might be Weed.
“Something ordinary won’t do. I have to completely relieve the battle. It must be something tenacious and durable. Something with the vitality and health to survive till the end.”
After agonizing through several choices, the form of the sculpture he chose was a troll. An ice troll. Compared to an orc, it was twice as big with longer arms and well developed muscles. But it also had a large pot belly.
“Power comes from the belly after all!”
Furthermore the limbs were thick and sturdy like a polar bear.
When a sculpture was expressing a particular race, it’s appearance and figure could be made more distinctive. The unused sculpting skill Weed developed while making figures of the male orc warrior endlessly was being re-discovered while he was sculpting the troll.
“This won’t do. The face is way too placid like that of a goat. There is no way a face like this would cause terror on the battle field.”
Weed really didn’t like how the face of the Ice Troll turned out. The eyelids were too sunken making the cheekbones look to protruding. It had a large head with equally large teeth reminiscent of a crocodile. Because of the size of the head, there were a minimum of 6 knife marks gouged on the forehead and chin.
If Orc Karichwi was to be picked as the number one thug in the nation, then this appearance was enough to take the heinous Orc Karichwi’s lunch box!
The women and children among the denizens of Serabourg Citadel started crying as they saw the sculpture. Due to Weed’s sculpting skill, the troll look like it was alive and animate.
“It’s truly a shame that this is a rushed work.”
If he could have made it as he imagined, the forehead would be more bumpy, the chin would be further jutted and distinct in its two halves and the ears wouldn’t have looked so normal.
“It would have been better if the tongue was split into three strips and darted in and out repeatedly.”
The sculpture was already the sum of the best traits picked from the whole Ice Troll species to give the most menacing impression, but Weed was striving for a higher state of artistic mastery.
“Battle Hungry Ice Troll.”
Weed chose such name as it was possible he would have to fight till the bitter end.
“Yes. Let’s fight till I die.”
Sculpture ‘Battle Hungry Ice Troll’ has been completed!
A reinterpreted work created by deconstructing another sculptor’s piece.
The Dragon has been converted to an Ice Troll.
The previously completed work was not so substandard, but a sculptor that has ascended to mastery state has had his hand on it.
Still, leaving it as it was might have been better.
Artistic Value: 3
Special Option: Anyone who has seen the, ‘Battle Hungry Ice Troll’ will regenerate health and mana 8% faster for one day.
Healing of any injuries will be 7% faster.
Intelligence and Wisdom decrease by 25.
Charm has disappeared.
Strength increased by 41.
Agility increased by 5.
Weed was okay with whatever criticism people had of him.
“The most important thing about art is self-satisfaction.”
The completion of the sculpture was seen by many people gathered in the square and those who were watching through the live broadcast.
The noise of mayhem and chaos coming from the walls was indescribable. Each group was readying themselves to escape. With this frantic activities in the background, Weed hid himself in a large fabric and activated his skill.
Sculpture Transformation has been activated.
The endless love for sculpting has created the bridge between sculptor and the sculpture!
Weed’s body became bigger, his belly bulged out. His skin became completely white. The white, rather than giving off a noble or pure feeling, just made him look more dangerous due to his fierce expression.
Because of the mismatched size of your equipment with your changed shape, most of your equipped weapons and items cannot be used.
You can now wear the intermediate steel armor.
Please acquire necessary equipment based on your race or appearance.
Due to the effect of Sculpture Transformation, your strength and health has increased greatly. Because of the race trait, your health regeneration became faster. Intelligence and Wisdom has been reduced to an insignificant level. Failure rate of battle related skills has been steeply increased.
Intelligence, Wisdom, Art, Faith, Charm, Dignity has all declined greatly.
Applicable till Sculpture Transformation has been released.
Affinity to Nature has been applied, strengthening the cold effects emanating from the Ice Troll. +239%
Weed liked the change to his physical condition.
“With this overflowing strength, the only thing left to do is fight. Status Window!”
*Ice Troll race traits are active.
Health and Vitality regenerates faster, cold is emanating from the body.
Following the change, skill mastery has been adjusted to beginner level 8.
Such one sided conditions! Stats increased proportional as level went up and it could be increased further with effort. Through questing, Weed had managed to raise his battle and sculpting stats quite high. But all that was converted to strength, agility, vitality, resilience and perseverance.
“This is good.”
Weed’s voice changed, becoming deeper but still resonated loudly.
When the fabric was pulled off people became shocked in finding that the number of Ice Troll sculptures increased to two. The new Ice Troll’s skin was snow white and even began to move. This was a huge reveal to the rest of the world on the secret of the Sculpture Transformation but it did not matter as others could not use the skill until they learned it.
Weed shouted loudly rather than using the Lion’s Roar, due to the mana expenditure and the possibility of failing the technique.
“I am Weed!”
Surka, hearing the news about Serabourg Citadel, was restlessly worrying with her party members.
“What if something bad happens to Weed-nim? Moreover, Weed-nim has many enemies already.”
In Royal Road, it was a common occurrence for the auspicious players to find a knife behind their backs or be ambushed in dungeons. And for a player that Hermes Guild was publicly targeting to be trapped in a castle surrounded by the Embinyu Church! Could there be anything more awful than this?
Pale patted her softly.
“Someone of Weed-nim’s caliber can escape from anywhere so don’t worry too much. Even if someone wants to kill him, he won’t die.”
“Yeah, you are right. No matter how many weeds you pull out they just grow back, even if you spray insecticide on cockroaches they just don’t die.”
“Yes, you are totally right.”
If it was Weed, he would be perfectly fine. He was a person who would try to make money by creating a hot spring in the fiery pits of hell!
The party was currently hanging out in Morata’s tavern, watching the broadcast about the situation. Though the Embinyu Church’s invasion force was tremendous, they were confident that Weed, a user of any unscrupulous methods, could escape easily.
But as the view turned to someone who was making a sculpture, people in the tavern turned white.
“Could it be Weed-nim…..”
For a person to be making a sculpture where all the newbies were!
“I just can’t imagine Weed-nim to be doing something so out of character.”
This was the same Weed who grumbled about how hard it was to exploit the newbies, they remembered this vividly. Was it really this Weed who stayed behind for these beginners?
On the screen, it showed Weed turning into an Ice Troll and shouting.
“I am Weed!”
At that moment the deafening cheers of newbies and players gathered at the square of Serabourg was shown on the broadcast.
“It’s Weed-nim. Weed-nim is in the Rosenheim Kingdom!”
“War God Weed is on right now.”
The streets of Morata were in a pandemonium.
“Since when did Weed-nim go to Serabourg Citadel?”
“As expected! There is no way he would leave the weak behind and run away by himself. I knew it.”
“Do you think he knew the Embinyu Church would attack and went ahead? You know, to save the people there.”
“Yeah, it might be like that.”
“We don’t respect Weed for nothing.”
The players in Morata were once again misled about Weed!
Pale, Zephyr and even Mapan were becoming uncertain.
‘Is it really like that?’
‘I don’t think I knew Weed-nim’s true character till now, he’s a soft hearted and very kind person.’
‘I thought he was greedier than me. Now I know that’s only the disguise he wears with the intent to value and save the people.’
Seeing how Weed’s closest associates, those who met with him regularly and thought they knew all about him were so shaken in their beliefs, there was no need to speak about the state of the players of Morata.
All development of Morata was started by Weed and a staggering number of policies for the players were currently in progress. Even though he was a sculptor, no one who specialized in Arts and Culture could compare to his planning!
‘Weed-nim has a big heart, he can definitely pull it off.’
‘He did not spare anything and used his own funds to develop Morata from the ground. Other lords only cared about taxes.’
No one could help but admire Weed if they saw the various successes in Morata.
“How could such righteous person exist in this world...”
“It’s because there are people like Weed-nim that the Versailles Continent is not swept up in darkness.”
“Grass Porridge! Grass Porridge!”
Weed gathered the players who were over level 300 in the square. With their current strength it was suicide to fight against the Embinyu Church so they had to find a way to escape.
“How about going through the South? A lot of them are assembled there, if we break through their encirclement I think we will be fine.”
“There are less Embinyu Church forces arrayed on the Western side. If we just avoid the demons then I think we are clear.”
These were high level players who could not bear to leave. But as they saw a smidgen of hope of survival, they began to earnestly speak out their way to escape.
Weed was sympathetic to their plea.
“South or West, they are both dangerous. We are too many and too burdensome for the other escape groups to include us.”
“What if we follow the path they clear?”
“Then the monsters chasing after them will target us. There are many of us so our movements will be slow, and it is difficult to protect everyone from the monsters.”
While the number of players was high, there weren’t many who were skilled enough to protect the players and fight off the monsters. If demons came scrambling in, the casualties would be catastrophic. No one could easily decide where to go as many lives hung in the balance. They were all waiting on Weed. Though they may all die in this place, their heart was consoled by the fact that Weed was trying to save them.
At that moment, Seo Yoon sent Weed a whisper.
- There is a secret passage that can lead you outside the castle.
- A secret passage?
- A secret passage in the royal palace. I haven’t actually been there, but I received this from a knight earlier.
Seo Yoon gave him a piece of a map.
You have acquired the map to the secret escape route in the Rosenheim palace.
Weed hurriedly scrutinized the map and saw that it was an escape route used by the royal family when a crisis arose in Rosenheim Kingdom.
- How did you get this map?
- When I was heading toward the Star Palace with PK status, the knights in the palaces attacked me. I got it after I killed them.
Usually, beating a palace knight to death in retaliation was something completely unheard of. And on top of that, to receive such a map suggests multiple opponents at once! But discounting the process of acquiring it, the map was absolutely necessary right now.
‘It’s a passage that leads outside Serabourg Citadel. There are even six escape routes.’
He felt there were many escape routes as it was for the king or the royal family to evacuate through.
‘The main problem is that the passage doesn’t take you very far away from Serabourg Citadel...’
Even if they did escape through the passage, the distance was short enough for the Embinyu Church to find them. But the most urgent thing right now was for them to escape the castle.
Weed decided to give hope to the despondent players first.
“We are now going to proceed toward the secret passage in Rosenheim palace and escape through there.”
He was confident that no matter the slim chance of survival, if there was weight to his words people would follow him.
The news spread through the crowd one by one.
“Weed-nim said he’s going the save us all!”
“What are you talking about?”
“We are escaping through the secret passage of the royal palace.”
“I trusted him from the start you know. I just knew, Weed-nim would save us.”
“Ah, what are you worrying for when Weed-nim is here. He's just not Weed-nim. He’s the War God!”
The crowd had unquenchable faith in Weed. Usually, with such significant decisions where the lives of tens of thousands hanged in the balance, heated arguments arose and everyone had conflicting opinions. But as one, they all decided to follow Weed. The NPCs of Serabourg Citadel followed suit due to Selina’s quest.
“Then, let’s proceed.”
Weed, Seo Yoon, and other strong players ran ahead, leading the way to the palace.
“Uwah.. we are going.”
As one, the players gathered in the square and ran toward the palace. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that the situation looked like a riot.
“Hyung, where are we going?”
“Weed-nim is rescuing us. We just need to follow him.”
The players in the square ran as one and the residents of Serabourg Citadel followed as well.
Guards were still posted at the entrance to the palace, but they were too busy mobilizing to fight off the Embinyu Church. The knights guarding the palace were no where to be found, but they probably left to escort the king or the royal family to a safe place.
“Look, they ran away first!”
Weed had the map open in front of him as he moved. It was not difficult for him to navigate through the palace since he frequented the Star Palace recently to hunt.
“There are many escape routes, let just go toward the closest one...”
In any palace where the royals were staying, there was always an entrance to a secret passage.
“We will now proceed toward the third prince’s palace.”
“I understand. I will go ahead and scout the place out.”
As Weed laid out his plan, the high level players who stayed behind and the average players who could not join any other groups, volunteered to scout the place.
Through the scouts, they found out that there was no one in the palace or even any valuables left.
While the third prince’s palace was considerably smaller than the others, it still had a well kept garden with several pieces of artworks. Even while leading the players, Weed still checked on the artworks and ripped off the expensive ones for himself.
“We can enter through here.”
In the prince’s bedchamber, the secret passage was located in the wardrobe. The players with adventure class had scouted out the place and had already opened the entrance to the passage.
Dungeon, you have entered the Underground Passage of the Palace.
Privileges: Fame increased by 315.
Double experience and item drop rate for one week.
Monsters hunted for the first time will drop the best possible item it can.
“Ara, it’s a dungeon. Please wait a moment, I will check it out.”
Adventurer Nadal stepped forward and looked around.
Dungeon, Underground Passage of the Palace
An underground passage made for the royal family of Rosenheim Kingdom, for use in times of crisis. As the kingdom has not experienced any upheaval for a long time, the royal family has been using the passage for questionable activities. The wide underground passage has been occupied by monsters for an unknown period of time, but as they consumed the emergency rations they multiplied rapidly.
Difficulty: Extremely High.
Dungeon Size: Immense.
It was an identification skill that could be used after acquiring a certain amount of information about a special area through reading and conversations! Adventurers had an easier time of finding facts and information.
“Oh my, this says there are monsters here. Considering the difficulty, I feel the monsters here are around mid level 300.”
The adventurer spoke worriedly.
There was nothing for this, as Weed's allies had already informed him of the situation.. A group of fairies glowing like fireflies, appeared before him once he entered the dungeon.
- The Queen sent us.
- This way is dangerous. That way is dangerous.
- Even then, Weed-nim here should be able to easily clear the way. Kyaa, the Ice Troll is cool. It’s so lovable.
- I think you can go this way… Or was it this way?
The fairies flew around engaging Weed in conversations. Only a noble person could see the fairies, and if they wanted to, the fairies could even hide their appearances from the Spirit Shamans. Though Weed’s morality went back and forth, it was fortunate that it was currently on the good side. Also, because of the quest he accepted from the Fairy Queen, they appeared before him and offered their help.
TO BE CONTINUED