8. The Location of Ratzeburg
Translated by End, Proofread by BloodAdept, Froshi, Baconator, Britsch.
In the middle of his painting, Petrov learned that Weed has returned.
“Finally, my fated enemy has returned.”
In his time painting in Vargo Fortress, Petrov was coming to like the place. Compared to other regions, Vargo Fortress had many high level players and just past its gates were the sights of a great prairie. The number of players and residents grew rapidly and as time passed, the place began to gain a presence of oldness and ancientness about it. Petrov thought, he wouldn’t mind being the Lord and a Painter in this place.
“I just heard the Lord is hosting a meat party!”
“He opened up the storehouse for everyone to take meat for free. You can eat as much as you want! And if you go to where the Lord is right now, they said that he will cook the meat for you personally!”
“Then what are you waiting for?!?”
Just the simple arrival of Weed caused a ruckus greater than when an army of monsters was attacking Vargo Fortress. Players were on a wild spree as they grabbed meat from the storehouse. While the players did not take to much as it would become a burden, they also could not refuse what has been given to them by Lord Weed.
“Khya! The experience of eating rich boar meat is amazing every time!”
“Yeah! I think the quality of the meat is higher because the game are so healthy, running around the mountain.”
Petrov, who was painting a ceiling mural, unconsciously swallowed his saliva.
‘I can’t bear it anymore. Should I just eat first and continue then?”
He did not want to be in Weed’s debt. But he would be challenging Weed soon... and wasn’t getting to know the competition important?
‘Let me just have a taste.’
Petrov walked to where they said Weed was roasting the meat personally.
At the place, there was already a long line of players and residents waiting eagerly for just a morsel of food.
“Do you think we will have a chance to eat it today?”
“The line is shrinking fast so… I think in an hour’s time we will get a chance to eat.”
Petrov gave a huge sigh and queued up at the back. He would have to wait a long time, but seeing how so many people were lining up, he couldn’t help but wonder how the meat would taste.
Without him noticing their approach, the Sculpture Lifeforms also dropped in. Trays were brought outside the Fortress for the Lifeforms that were too large, but at this place was the Cerberus alongside the Knight Serbil Prestin, who were already receiving meat from Weed.
Seemingly taken by the taste of the meat, Cerberus wagged its tail and when that didn’t work, it rolled on the floor begging for more. It was intimacy that Petrov never saw from the Cerberus before.
“The taste of the meat is phenomenal. I think that Weed-nim’s cooking skill is better than my swordsmanship.”
Even the Knight Serbil Prestin seemed to have a heightened respect for Weed. With his exceptional control over the fire, the meat Weed roasted was still rich and juicy, with just a dash of garlic salt.
All the effort Petrov put in to earn the hearts and minds of the Sculpture Lifeforms was washed down the drain.
‘No, no. Everything is still alright. If I put in more time later, I will get another chance.’
As he was waiting in line with such a conundrum, he listened to the chattering of the people around him.
“Lord Weed seems popular with the ladies.”
“Yeah, they are also really beautiful.”
The line had shrunk and where Petrov was standing, he could see Weed. Weed had summoned the Fire Elemental, Hwadori, to roast the meat en masse. His motion of sprinkling pepper and salt, carving the meat was fast and natural.
“Cough! Can’t be that beau… beautiful?”
At that moment, Petrov caught sight of Hwaryeong. She was a seldom seen beauty that was sticking right next to Weed and helping him cook. Her face seemed aglow from the blaze of the fire.
‘How could such a beauty be next to someone like him?’
This just threw more fuel on Petrov’s hatred for Weed.
And right at that moment! Petrov saw Weed picking a portion of meat and putting it into a woman’s mouth. A woman Petrov could never forget about, Yurin whom he had met at St. George Castle was eating meat cooked by Weed. The time the two had spent was short but she had left a fiery impression in his heart
Seeing how Yurin was giving such an affectionate smile to Weed pierced his heart. Petrov wanted to dearly meet her again, but not like this, when he was waiting in line to get some meat.
‘I should man up, turn around and leave Vargo Fortress completely.’
Petrov wanted to bury everything and leave. But the reason his feet wouldn’t let him was that he knew, the image of Yurin sticking next to Weed would be forever ingrained in his mind. With his mind perturbed by the event, chattering seeped into his ears.
“Who is that woman?”
“I heard she was a painter……”
“Don’t you know? She’s Weed’s younger sister. She was with him when he was adventuring at the Vampire Kingdom.”
“She’s really cute. I wouldn’t mind having her as my girlfriend…...”
“If Weed becomes your brother-in-law, I am sure opportunities would just open up.”
Petrov’s half turned motion stopped and he turned straight in the line again.
“So she was his sister...”
He finally understood the graffiti Yurin drew on St. George Castle.
The cost of all the food and drinks the Geomchis consumed was paid for by Weed.
“I, I think I am going to die, my stomach is going to burst.”
Through their gluttonous eating, their health actually fell drastically. But even then, they cheered when fresh meat was brought for them.
“It’s rib stew.”
“It’s rib stew that has been flavored with herbs.”
Weed continuously provided food and the Geomchis couldn’t refuse it without being seen as impolite. It was a situation where all the 504 people could die due to overeating!
‘A Cook is a dangerous profession.’
‘I never knew people who didn’t even know the meaning of tiredness when they were fighting the Bone Dragon could be defeated like this….’
Even just looking at meat made the rational minds like Pale and Zephyr sick and tired of it. They couldn’t help but be amazed that the Geomchis could continue to gulp it down and clear their dishes. Just at the moment when the tower of meat was almost finished, the Barbarians returned from their hunt and stacked up another higher tower of meat with fresh game.
The other players sat near the Geomchis and ate.
“Look at you director Kim!”
“Don’t overburden us. We want to leave work early!”
“We need rest on weekends. Forget humans, even machines would break!”
“Exams, work, qualifications, exam, work, qualifications. Rwaaar! I can’t handle it!”
Through their voracious gorging, the players relieved their stress they built up in real life.
- Let’s eat as much as we can.
- The meat Weed-nim roasted is the best!
The Fairies flew around, tearing into their meat. They were so gluttonous that some of the Fairies couldn’t even fly anymore, no matter how much they flapped their wings.
When night was about to settle, several bonfires were started and the Geomchis huddled around them. They were roasting chitterlings for a last meal. Then Geomchi spoke:
“There seem to be many enemies targeting Weed these days.”
“I saw on the news that Hermet or something is trying to kill him.”
Geomchi4 and Geomchi 5 put in their own observation:
“I heard those bastards were no good at all. They are vicious and greedy lots.”
“They are apparently the strongest bastards in Versailles Continent. No one can seem to stand up to those bastards.”
The Trainees were quiet and listened attentively. Geomchi was setting the mood of the talks and their masters were talking in a serious tone. It was not a conversation any Trainee could just jump in.
Geomchi nodded his head.
“There is no absolute need for us to step into our youngest’s fight. He probably has ideas already.”
Weed, of course, had countermeasures against Hermes Guild’s plots. The Hermes Guild had yet to conquer the whole Continent and he would resist until the end. At present, Weed could use the Sculpture Transformation to sneak around so his main priority was to find the last of the secret Sculpture legacies and finish the Mastery Quest. Even after all that, if he couldn’t escape the clutches of Hermes Guild… he would play the bedfellow.
Geomchi3 was of the same thought:
“Correct. Our youngest must have an idea so leave him to his own devices….. But, I, as a Master, cannot bear to see our youngest fighting alone like this.”
Geomchi3, hurriedly corrected his thoughts in the middle.
“I am sure if we leave him to his own devices, he will perform exceptionally. But us, as Sahyungs, we must help. You spoke correctly.”
Geomchi lifted his head and looked to the night sky filled with stars.
“This Versailles Continent is truly a mysterious place. But also filled with freedom. I have learned the way of the sword my whole life, but even I could have never imagined a day would come when I had such freedom to explore.”
The Trainees and the Master could all sympathized with Geomchi’s words. Even if they had trained their body and mind to the extreme, it had little practical use in reality. There were all sorts of complicated variables like stats, levels, skill mastery and such, but Versailles Continent was a place where they could live with their swords in their hands. They could fight against strong enemies, have adventures and meet new colleagues. This was a world all men dreamed of.
“If a man is strong, I believe he has the right to conquer the Continent. But one thing I cannot stand is them, gathering these weak, vulgar bastards to tyrannize the Continent.”
“We are of the same mind.”
Geomchi gave them a big smile.
“We had plenty of fun at this place, right?”
“We enjoyed our time.”
The Geomchis weren’t ordered by anyone to defeat monsters and train their swordsmanship, it was something they did by their own motivation. Sometimes, they did crazy things and enjoyed the full measure of freedom given by Versailles Continent.
“I think, it’s time to become strong. Strong so that no matter what kind of gales blows against us we will not fall. Let us test if an individual’s strength, not the strength of a group, can change the world.
The ability to resist a storm came from strength. Geomchi and the Trainees swore in their heart to increase their levels according to the framework of Royal Road and become strong.
Lee Hyun was on his computer searching for the city, but it was not a name that had been mentioned once in any forums related to Royal Road. Rather, it was like a dam had burst and the forums were awashed with players trying to join Hermes Guild or organize an opposition against the Embinyu Church.
“It’s most likely that I will be the first person to discover the city.”
If he searches the whole Continent resolutely, he might just be able to find it. He would have to deduce the location and reduce the search area.
“Fortunately, it’s nowhere close to the polar regions.”
Using nature for his inference, it would not be anywhere tropical, desert or glacial regions.
“An area in which the four races lived together before they dispersed… The probability of it being an island is low.”
He might have to explore those moderately large islands, but that would only be after not finding the city on the Continent.
“A place with a wide river and a plain.”
Lee Hyun got a map of the Versailles Continent and began to search. Places that had not been explored fully were still clouded by fog of war and the information had to be taken with a grain of salt.
“It has to be a geological area that is flat enough for the four races to establish a great city.”
Even with this much, the number of regions he had to search reduced considerably. While forests could grow, it was impossible for a large mountain to be built.
“They built their houses out of stone. I am sure they had methods to build their houses out of sand or wood… Wait, maybe the Elves rejected such methods? No, no, the important point was that there were stones nearby for them to build their houses in such ways. There would have to be a ready deposit of the maroon stones they could mine for their houses…..”
As Lee Hyun dissected further, the Free Cities of Britten Union and the Ritten Kingdom had many such geographical features.
“If I take into consideration the migration of birds and the regional flowers and trees.... the chances are high the city is in one of these Kingdoms.”
It was closer to the south from the centerpoint of the Continent, but not by a large margin. The land there was quite fertile, and there weren’t so many monsters roaming its plains. The extensive region also had 24 great rivers flowing in between the Kingdom and the Free Cities. Using his talent for stones and based on the geographical data, he managed to reduce the number to 130 possible locations near the river basin.
“It’s not so easy trying to find a city that existed in Versailles Continent several thousand years ago.”
Just the detailed analysis of the map took three days. Even then, he still had to search the possible locations manually.
“I should look through the tourists photos.”
When a player explored a new area or visited famous places, they captured the scene and uploaded it onto the internet. Lee Hyun could just search for the places he wanted and most of them popped up.
“This is not remotely similar. Even if you count on the fact that trees and grasses grew over the period of time… the flow of the river and the direction the sun is setting is all wrong. The plains are filled with rocks and it would be impossible to grow crops there. It must be a place where, when the wind blows, the crops give off a brilliant golden hue.”
The land he searched had no trace of any agricultural activities.
Lee Hyun even joined groups to view the photos in Royal Road.
-The farmer's dream in Royal Road. The Royal Farmer.
-From the seed to harvest. Farmer’s Guild.
-Looking at a well cultivated flower brings joy to the heart. Honey and Butterflies.
-Invest in land speculation. Become rich without doing any work. The Land Merchant Guild.
It was groups with interests in land. He used the photos uploaded onto these groups, and any places that couldn’t be confirmed as Ratzeburg with certainty, he discarded them without remorse.
“Huk, deductive reasoning is not easy. It’s not an easy job at all.”
Checking every photo one by one was difficult, but it was a much better alternative than going their personally to investigate. After sifting through and deducing for two days, the number of places that were left was down to 68.
“The city must be at one of these locations. It’s a puzzle game now. A game that will require all my brain power.”
From the 68 places, 42 locations had human villages or cities. Lee Hyun shifted his thinking. Ratzeburg should be in a region where it would be suited for all the races to live in. A place where the river twisted like a snake, a geographical area that could be easily defended from monsters.
“If I would ever build a house to live in then…..”
Deducing the place by imagining where he would actually want to live in! There was no need to think of the price of land back then, so he could choose any location he wanted.
“I should look for the best place possible.”
To Lee Hyun, the Albas region seemed preferable. There was a wide, fertile plain and at the area that looked perfect for a village, it was surrounded by a large river that protected the area from three sides against the monsters. On top of that, beyond the plain a rocky mountain that could be seen jutting out in the landscape.
“If you stationed a contingents of Orcs here, you could fight quite efficiently. Because no matter what happens, the granary cannot be raided.”
It looked like a fairly easy place to defend when the monsters came to raid the granaries, and there was an abundance of maroon stones in the vicinity. The other five locations weren’t so bad and all were habitable lands.
“It’s fairly certain that the city will be in one of these locations….”
Lee Hyun fell into deep, mental agony. The 6 locations were all very far from each other, and to visit each place one by one would take a considerable amount of time. The possible locations of Ratzeburg he scouted out in Ritten Kingdom and the Britten Union had cities built on top.
“I should visit the Albas region first. It will be difficult to navigate back, but I might get lucky and find it on my first try.”
He finally made his decision after pondering for so long. In his pondering, he still attended University, and in Royal Road he stayed in Vargo Fortress plodding away at sculptures to raise his skill mastery.
“Oppa, you are still awake?”
In the middle of the night, the door to his sister’s room opened and Lee Hye Yeon walked into the living room, still wearing her pyjamas.
“Yeah. I have many things to think about right now.”
Taking out milk from the fridge, Lee Hye Yeon asked as she began to drink.
“What’s the problem?”
“It’s that I received a quest to find the very first city in Versailles Continent.”
Lee Hyun explained to her the whole story in detail. The information and resources he printed out from the computer were equivalent to three volumes of a thick book. He had also brought a glass blackboard from somewhere and it was filled with scribbles and sticky notes here and there. It was like Lee Hyun had recreated a scene from a drama to find the location of Ratzeburg.
“And this is the video I saw of the city. Using the video, I gathered all these materials to pinpoint the possible location of the city.”
Lee Hyun spoke in a low, subdued voice. He had perfectly captured the mood of an older brother that wished for his younger sister to realize how smart he was all over again.
“Ah! So this picture is the image of the city?”
With Lee Hyun’s drawing skills, he drew frogs into dinosaurs, worms into rivers, and ants into transforming robots. But from the video, and using the various photos of Royal Road he had made an accurate topographical map.
“Isn’t this Boronis in Aidern Kingdom?”
“What? No, it’s probably among the Free City in Albas region.”
“No Oppa. I went there once to look at the Butterfly festival they held.”
Yurin moved around the computer mouse and the video of Boronis popped up on the screen.
“Look here. It’s this place.”
It was exactly like Lee Hyun saw on the video back then. The river that twisted like a snake, and a wide plain with birds and flowering trees… it was as if all of it was untouched by time. Even if the river course changed slightly, the mountain range that could be seen far away was exactly the same.
“Look, there is the Olgoro plateau and the Great Plain of Iles, Oppa?”
Glaring at the monitor, no matter how much he scrutinized to find a flaw in the video the resemblance to Ratzeburg was uncanny.
“Hmph! Then, we will make a small detour before heading to the Albas region.”
September has been one of the most hectic moments in my life. I have been involved with the Shell Eco Marathon for almost two years now, and the last month me and the team finalized the car and won the South African Shell Eco Marathon. The car below did 343.8 km/kwh which means it can travel 343 km on 10 cents USD worth of electricity. It’s shells completely made of carbon fiber, the rims made of carbon fiber and if we could, we would have like to make all the mechanical components with composites. With 343 km/kwh, this puts us in top 20 in Europe, number 3 in America and number 2 in Asia.
Then this whole week was ruined by one of the team member making a power play and taking all the credit when did nothing on the car. I can tell you, that this week has been one of the most soul crushing weeks of my life. I can’t go into details as too many parties are involved that could ruin their future, but yeah, it’s bad enough that the university had to disbanded the whole team and is selling the car to another research department. So apologies for me not keeping my schedule, but translating LMS was the last thing on my mind.
Onward with the translating problems:
화돌이 or Fiery Pebble, as have been translated by others has been changed to ‘Hwadori.’ Fiery Pebble is not a bad attempt, 화 is probably 火 the fire ‘hwa’, 돌이 or ‘pebble’ is… well 돌 is translated as rock but 돌이 is usually a suffix added to make a nickname cute and stuff. So I am just going to translate ‘Fiery Pebble’ phonetically and call him/her/it ‘Hwadori.’
The farmer's dream in Royal Road. Royal Farmer.
Here, it’s not farmers but I can’t make the sentence sound short and good otherwise. The actual korean used is 귀농. And this brings up the difference between 귀농 vs 농부, 농부 is the actual representation for a farmer. 귀농 is like a city boy going to a rural area and becoming a farmer. The difference is still there, contextually.