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Jun 16, 2011

Moonlight Sculptor v1c03

Disclaimer: We DO NOT own this translation! This is simply the text version of the official translation.
[The official translation has been dropped at volume 1]

Chapter Three: The Instructor's Request

Weed first walked to the fountain. He filled his canteen with water, then headed for the sculpture shop. The street was crammed with users and NPCs.

As a matter of fact, it was Weed's first trip down the street.

"We need a cleric at level seventeen or above."

"Hey, guys! We're going to make a raid on Cave Lasok. Anyone want to squeeze in?"

Plenty of users were on the street, but none of them gave a passing thought to Weed. He didn't mind it, though. Wandering in a traveler's outfit, deprived of even a breastplate revealed that he was yet to meet the minimum requirement of four weeks' play before he could leave the Citadel.

Weed entered the sculpture shop. Among the innumerable stores that operate in the capital of Rosenheim Kingdom, the sculpture shop holds a special position.

Most ordinary adventurers can barely recall where in the world the sculpture shop is located because it is meaningless to them. An extremely small number of users learned in sculptural art visit sporadically. But the sculpture shop stands right next to the jewelry store on Central Avenue. It is one of few stores frequented by noblewomen.

*Chime*

"Welcome to--what brings you here, stranger?"

The shopkeeper was receiving a new customer with a gentle smile until he saw Weed's outfit, at which point he suddenly changed the tone of his voice.

Weed looked around, only to find there was no other customer except for him.

A blacksmith's workshop or a grocery store is always full to the hilt, but the sculpture shop entertains only a few customers a day, if any. Comparing daily revenues, however, the sculpture shop does not lag behind the blacksmith's workshop.

In other words, the sculpture shop sells expensive merchandise.

Weed adjusted his collar and asked politely, "I have come here to find an answer to the question which troubles me so dearly, sir."

"So you want to ask me a question, stranger?"

“Yes, sir. If you can spare me only a second--"

"I am busy now. I bid you depart."

The shopkeeper rejected him right away. He sounded very annoyed. As Weed's fame was zero, and they were unacquainted, he had every right to do so.

Weed smiled brightly instead of getting into a rage.

"Yes, sir. I will see you later," he said.

"Goodbye," the shopkeeper said.

Weed was taking his time to retreat to the doorway. Then, he casually shot a glance at the statues that were put out on display.

"How grand!" Weed exclaimed. "The grandeur of this statue fascinates my soul. Do you supply this to the Rosenheim Court?"

The shopkeeper could not help but lend an ear to Weed.

"Which one art you talking about, stranger?"

"This two-headed eagle made of pure gold. I dare not guess which master carved this, but I can sense the excellence of his workmanship. Dignified beyond dispute. It is so full of life that I almost mistook it for a real eagle, and I am blessed in visiting this place. This store deserves this class of item. They have opened my humble eyes to a heavenly beauty descended to Earth."

The shopkeeper realized that his mouth was forming a horizontal crescent.

"Are you interested in sculptural art, traveler?"

“I daresay I am - I am only wishing to feel peace of mind at the sight of outstanding statues, and my soul craves to be even a small part of the magnificent spirit embodied in them.”

"Come over and sit down. You may be good company to arouse me from boredom."

"Thank you, sir."

"Would you like a cup of tea?”

"Only if you are kind enough to offer me cold honeyed water. I will be satisfied with a cup of cold water."

"Sure! Of course I have it.”

Weed drank the honeyed water blended by the shopkeeper, which soothed the exhaustion accumulated over the last three weeks.

"Now tell me what has been troubling you so much," the shopkeeper said.

"Yes, sir. But can you please forgive me for asking for a brief tour of these statues on display before everything else? I have a business mailer that demands your guidance, yet it is less urgent than comforting my poor soul that wants to have a good look at these masterpieces of art,” Weed said.

"You may look at them as long as you wish. Isn't it the raison d 'ĂȘtre of fine statues to please those who appreciate their value?"

The shopkeeper consented to Weed with a content smile. Weed felt that it had won his goodwill enough to get on a little more friendlier terms.

The route that Weed had taken could not be applied to any store. It worked in the sculpture shop, one scarcely disturbed by visitors and away from public attention. Suppose that you asked to look at various items in a grocery store -the next second you would be kicked out.

Weed relished the statues on display at leisure. But he had his own agenda.

I doubt sculpture mastery will make a pile of money.

The most expensive of all the statues present was thirty silvers.

Quality statues were made of stone or rare wood, and in spite of impressive workmanship, the materials themselves were not costly in the first place. They were nothing more than wooden carvings, or engraved stones.

Weed knew there would be money if he could erect a gigantic lion statue or bronze statue, but he wasn't fooled by a possibility that was so far off.

What kind of nobleman with so much money could order a new statue every year? He needed to reach the top of the ladder in order to do really well in sculpture mastery. Little competition guaranteed that it wouldn’t need too much effort to become a top cat of the industry. Still, it was a niche market, too small to count on.

The surest way to make a fortune was as always to target other users as potential consumers. They were always leveling up and demanding better equipment and so forth.

Fine weapons. strong equipment, enchanted bracelets and rings were popular among users, but statues were valueless to them except in rare instances.

"Waste of time, waste of money."

The primary purpose for Weed in starting this game was every inch money with a capital M. He looked around the display for the last lime and passed his verdict on sculpture mastery.

This skill's worth a dime a dozen.

Weed sat down across from the shopkeeper.

"Now, what are you looking for?" the shopkeeper asked.

"I am interested in a past event. I was told that someone had carved the moonlight in the Royal Palace fifty years ago. I would like to know if it was true or not," Weed said.

"O that event! It is a legendary tale that has passed down among the sculptors. I also heard it from some trustworthy patrons from the Royal Court."

Weed had thought that carving the moonlight was impossible, another urban legend, but the owner of the sculpture shop also knew the rumor that the instructor at the Training Hall had claimed to hear.

Quest complete!

A Mystery Sculptor Who is Rumored to Have Visited the Royal Palace

The rumor that had reached the instructor's ear really took place. A sculptor carved the moon­light, and it was widely, yet secretly, known among the Serabourgians, though it remained an enigma how he carved the moonlight.

Quest Reward: return to the instructor to claim it.

Weed grinned broadly.

This was, after all, a simple quest as the difficulty level was the lowest, E. At the same time, unless he had succeeded in making friends with the shopkeeper, it could have turned out tricky.

Now that he was done with the quest, the next move was to return to the Training Hall and earn a reward from the instructor.

As Weed was looking for the right moment to get to his feet and bid farewell, the shopkeeper, absorbed in thought, finally spoke out.

"But I have not heard how he carved the moonlight."

"Did not the patrons from the Royal Court tell you about it?”

"Hmm, they always omitted it in their tale. They refused to confide it to me. They said Queen Evane of Rosenheim, O may her soul rest in peace, was involved in the event. Can you do me a favor to took into this, so my curiosity shall be gratified?”

The Sculptor's Past
The rumor has it that Queen Evane was involved in the event when the sculptor presented himself in the Royal Palace and carved the moonlight. The shopkeeper of the sculpture shop wonders what link existed between the two of them.

Difficulty level: E

Warning: If you are found to be investigating the rumor in question. You will be exposed to hostility from Royal Knights.

Weed's clenched fists were shaking in excitement.

This, it's a serial quest.

Even when the difficulty level of a quest is awfully low, the level of rewards shoot up in the case of serial quests.

The more stages you pass through, the more difficult the quest becomes, so most serial quests are likely to make it highly difficult for Weed at his current level to solve.

All that Weed could complete for now were indoor quests, asking around and gathering information from people.

“I am still incompetent. I am afraid I may not be worthy of your request," Weed said.

"I am certain you are up to this task. Your prudence shall lead the way to safety," the shopkeeper said.

"If you say so, I will take it willingly," Weed said.

You accepted the quest.

"Thank you, traveler. A bard learned in ancient tales and street gossip is the one who you should ask about Queen Evane. Beware! This matter is very sensitive, so you should not cause trouble that might lead to any defamation of the Royal Family."

Keeping down a sudden impulse to hum a tune, Weed headed straight to a pub across the street.

"Good afternoon."

Returning the greeting from a waitress, Weed looked around in search of a bard. There were a few conditions to meet.

First, he counted bard users out when he looked for the right man.

It was a long shot that any user had ever heard of an event that had happened in the Royal Palace half a century before. Weed would be better to find a Serabourgian native, possibly elderly.

Whether he could sing ballads favorably or not, an old bard was reliable when it came to worldly gossip.

Weed stopped by several pubs until he found the bard who lived up to his expectations. It was a middle·aged bard in his forties, experienced but with both charm and youth.

Clapping both hands, Weed approached the bard.

"Thank you for a fine ballad, sir. forgive me for interrupting you, but I want to ask you a few questions... Do you know what happened fifty years ago in the Royal Count of Rosenheim?”

The bard's palm thrust out.

Weed could not miss what this gesture implied.

He frowned immediately, his mouth twitching with the grave sense of responsibility that he would not waste a penny.

"You have such a charming voice. I appreciate your talent in writing both words and music for that ballad. Also, your skills in the instrument were more than impressive..."

“......”

"I bet you broke the hearts of many Serabourgian ladies back when you were a young ray of sunshine at the peak of your career. Of course, I do not doubt that you are still stealing ladies’ hearts. For a bard, adventure and romance is everything. I also love romance."

The palm didn't go away.

The bard snapped, "I'm sick and tired of cheap compliments from the likes of you, foreigner. Show me the money. Or get lost."

Weed was momentarily lost.

Do I just give up the quest in the middle? Anyway, the quest doesn't penalize me even if I decide to drop out. But maybe it would give me nice rewards later, and I would hate to miss them.

Weed's hand slipped into his pocket and fished out a coin before he realized his mistake.

Two silvers!

There were two silver coins in the pocket, everything the instructor had given him as a retaining fee for the previous quest.

The bard snapped the silver coin from Weed's palm.

It was a basic mistake that he had forgotten to exchange his money into smaller coins in advance.

“I can't believe I made such a stupid mistake!" he said to himself.

Weed's body shook in distress and grief.

"Humph, this is a secret, so you must keep it to yourself," the bard said under his breath. "Queen Evane and the sculptor had been on intimate terms since they were children."

"What do you mean by intimate terms...?" Weed asked.

“You fool! I know nothing else for intimate term between man and woman - they loved each other."

"Point taken."

Weed now realized why the fact that he was poking his nose into the rumor had to remain a secret from the Royal Court.

Given that the former Queen's sacred name was mentioned in that scandalous matter, Royal Knights would be willing to silence anyone at any cost to keep her honor intact.

The bard glanced around the pub and added cautiously, “They were born in the same village, and grew up bearing each other dearly in mind. The boy's name was Zahab. The girl was always carrying ornaments carved and given by him when she was a child, with a dream that she would become his wife someday. But Destiny played tricks on them! The girl was chosen to be the Royal Maid, and the boy left her. But in the end, there was a promise between them."

"What promise, if I may ask?" Weed asked, now curious.

"Zahab promised to show the girl the most beautiful statue under heaven."

"I guess it was not kept, then. The queen must have a great number of beautiful, magnificent statues in her place."

"No, he kept it. Many years later, Zahab presented himself as a guest to the Royal Court. It was said that, at the sight of his work, she was most touched, saying it was the most beautiful creature under heaven."

"Then, what statue, for Freya's sake, did he present to Queen Evane? A queen doesn't easily cherish an ordinary piece."

"True. Pay a visit to a lady's maid who witnessed the day, and hear the rest of the story. This is as far as I can tell you because I also heard it from someone else."

"Is she still alive?"

"Yes."

The bard told Weed the way to the house of the lady's maid.

Weed went to visit her. She had retired as an old lady, and when he mentioned Queen Evane and the sculptor, she gave him a joyous welcome.

"Her Highness was a very virtuous and gracious lady. So do you want to hear what happened back then?"

"Yes, ma'am."

"You have found the right person to ask. I personally served Her Highness. She first resented Master Zahab when he visited the palace."

"Why so, if I may ask?"

"It was his promise. When they were young, they made a promise. A promise that Master Zahab would present Her Highness with the most beautiful statue under heaven. But when he appeared in the palace, he was carrying a sword, not an engraving knife. To the eyes of everyone, he looked like a fine swordsman who was proficient in the sword. You should have seen how heart-broken Her Highness was. It was indescribable! Her Highness so believed in Master Zahab that, even if the world turned upside down, he would be the same eternally, and likewise, the promise between them was divine."

“......”

"On that day, Brent Kingdom, which bordered on Rosenheim, dispatched a band of assassins. They revealed a treacherous ambition to seize our kingdom, and Freya only knows how shocked I was when the assassins stormed in and assaulted Her and His Highness in the garden."

"Those wicked scoundrels!"

"Yes, young traveler, you can say that again. A couple of Royal Knights were trapped, thus incapable of holding them in check-and we were left to face death. At that very moment, Master Zahab walked into the garden. As you can see, right in the middle of the fighting. Her Highness warned him and ordered to him leave, but Master Zahab only smiled--"

"He smiled in the middle of such a dangerous situation?"

"--and he said he would show her the most beautiful statue that he had ever carved under heaven. To everyone's surprise, the moonlight shattered into pieces at Master Zahab's sword. Its beauty was really striking. He was singing a song while he carved the moonlight. I cannot remember the lyrics word by word, but the title was A Sculptor’s Heart. Listening to the song, Her Highness spilled tears. It was really the most beautiful statue Milady had ever seen. Had Master Zahab only inscribed his name on a crude plank, Her Highness would have taken it for the most beautiful sculpture in the world, but I tell you, the sight that he was carving with the moonlight was literally heavenly. The assassins scattered at the inconceivable sight, and Master Zahab kept his promise. Many years have since gone, but I still cherish that moving memory,"

Then. a mysterious flashback nilled across before Weed's eyes

*Whittle*

A boy is holding a tiny engraving knife in his hand. As the engraving knife slides up and down, a piece of wood is shaping into a form.

It seems he is carving a maiden.

A little, lovely maiden.

Through his craftsmanship. the piece of wood is endowed with life.

A girl, blushing up to her ears, is watching him.

The boy's hand moving the engraving knife, and his serious look.

The girl loves him, everything about him.

Soon the boy hands her the completed statue. It looks so much like the girl.

"For now, all I can do is carve a piece of wood, but someday I will give you the most beautiful statue in the world”

"Thank you, Zahab. I'm looking forward to that day."

The boy and the girl make a promise to each other, hand in hand.



As the girl grows up, she blossoms in beauty.

She comes under the king's notice. She eventually becomes queen. But the girl is not happy al all.

Her Highness is still unhappy the day Zahab comes back to see her.

Zahab carries a sword, not the engraving knife.

Taking a walk alone in the garden, Her Highness gives way to a fit of passion and clutches a thorny rose. Her palm bleeds with ruby red blood.

"Why did you forget our promise? Your promise was everything to me...”

Her Highness grieves over the broken promise.

That evening, the assassins raid the palace. Brent Kingdom, a hostile neighbor as always, has sent assassins.

Knights of Rosenheim Kingdom collapse one after another, desperate.

Her and His Highness are fearful of imminent, inevitable death.

Zahab clutches his sword.

The moonlight begins dancing.

Quest complete!

The Sculptor's Past
The promise between the boy and the girl was honored. The bluish moonlight shattered into pieces. Which in turn defeated the assassins. Moonlight Sculptor Zahab - his sculpture mastery has reached the stage of a Master, presenting the most beautiful statue to his childhood friend.

You leveled up!

You leveled up!

To Weed's surprise, two levels went up for a single quest.

That wasn't the end of it.

A message window popped up before Weed. To his surprise once again, it was a class conversion window.

Class Change!
You can convert to a secret class Moonlight Sculptor. If you accept it. You can learn exclusive skills for the class that are withheld from the primary classes. Do you want to convert to Moonlight Sculptor?

An infinite number of users are bustling about to unearth secret classes in Royal Road, but fewer than one out of a thousand actually discovers one.

Weed answered, "I refuse."

Please confirm your decision. You can convert to a secret class Moonlight Sculptor. Do you want to convert to Moonlight Sculptor?

"I refuse."

To Weed, being stuck in the comer of a closet and making unwanted statues wasn't considerable. He had to admit that being a sculptor could make quite an amusing class if properly trained. But he needed a financially lucrative class for his personal gain.

When Weed came to his senses, the old lady's maid was watching.

"It was a wonderful story. Thank you very much, ma'am."

"You're welcome. It's my pleasure to tell you their story like this. So, young adventurer, I want to give you a small present. Will you please take it?"

Wouldn't it be unkind to reject a present out of goodwill?

Weed was not so cruel as to decline anything offered to him. A man should accept any present with gratitude.

"I will gladly take it, ma'am."

The old lady's maid took something bundled up from deep inside in a drawer.

It resembled an ancient scalpel.

''This engraving knife used to belong to Master Zahab. He left it to Her Highness, and I happened to keep it now. And this is a wooden statue carved by Master Zahab. Please take these," the lady's maid said.

"I shall long treasure your nice present," Weed said.

He received two items from her.

Item: Engraving Knife

Item: Zahab’s Legacy

Weed thought these items, for they had been left by Zahab, one of the Masters in the sculptural art, uncommon. The wooden statue looked class even at a casual glance.

"Please keep Master Zahab's engraving knife with great care."

"Yes, ma'am."

Weed calculated that this might sell at a good profit.

"The wooden statue will show you where Master Zahab's resting place is located. I hope his sculpture mastery will not be buried forever."

"I hope so too, ma'am."

"If only I could hear the song of that day again... Everything about sculpture mastery is concealed in that engraving knife."

“Excuse me?”

"In Master Zahab's engraving knife."

The moment Weed looked at the engraving knife at the old lady's maid's words, he had a gut feeling that an irresistible destiny was drawing near.

Follow Zahab's Last Wish.

Zahab did not die that day. He left for a faraway continent to test his sculpture mastery. Once you graduate in Sculpture Mastery. You should find Zahab to learn the song A Sculptor's Heart from him. Then, you should come back here and sing it to this old lady's maid. The tradition runs that Zahab was last seen heading for the Graypass region.

Difficulty level: A

Quest requirement:
You must complete the quest before the old lady's maid passes away.
Cancellation not permitted.

Reward:
You learn Item Identification skill, Sculpture Mastery, Repair Skill and Handicraft Skill.

A serial quest with a difficulty level of A, rewarding four skills.

Weed could not tell if he was lucky or not.

For one thing, he knew that it was extremely difficult to acquire skills unrelated to his own class.

Those skills, such as Item Identification and Repair skills, which he had learned without convening to the sculptor class, could come in handy in numerous ways. but an A-level quest was far beyond his ability for a long time, possibly many years.

The average level for Royal Road users is currently a hundred or so. The highest ladder is in the low three hundreds.

The difficulty level of a quest that requires a balanced party of power rankers at level three hundred to finish is known to be B-level.

That means Weed had just accepted the quest that unless he climbed up to a level of above four hundred, he would be unable to cope with it, let alone finish it.

As if it were not bad enough, the Graypass region is the most perilous of the perilous areas, inhabited by the most forceful monsters.

It is one of the top Ten Forbidden Areas on the continent. where you are absolutely guaranteed to be chopped to pieces the moment you step in.

Damn it.

The number of quests that a user can store at a time is only three.

Now that one of them was taken by the quest Follow Zahab’s Last Wish, Weed was left with only two spaces for new quests.

But in the case of serial quests, it is unpredictable what rewards await the user in the end. This serial quest introduced a secret class at the second stage. Even after he refused to convert to the class, he was given four practical skills. Imagine what rewards in the final stage would be like.

Weed wasn't stupid enough to say no to a good opportunity. Yet, it remained unknown when and how this would be cashed in. He said farewell to the old lady's maid, and went back to the sculpture shop.

"O Master Weed, I appreciate your hard work to bring a result to me so soon. I am once again assured that it was the right decision to entrust you with this quest," the shopkeeper said.

The shopkeeper paid Weed a reward for the request.

Weed received two silver coins, recovering a silver coin that had been virtually robbed by the bard.

When he returned to the Training Hall, he received another silver coin, along with a word of commendation, from the instructor. Therefore, it was a total of five silvers that Weed had earned so far.

His level also was increased by two to level three. He distributed those earned stat bonus points equally to dexterity and strength.

“Why aren't you taking on another quest?" he asked himself.

Weed wrestled with a sudden temptation, but picked up the wooden sword again.

A quest that is as undisclosed to the public as his was rare, and that was why Weed earned generous rewards for his level.


****************** V1C03 END ******************

4 comments:

  1. If I were him, I'd consider selling knowledge of the secret class and quest.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. but knowledge is power, if one knew, then another would, it would not be a generous and rare quest, making others race to the finishing line for the chain quest's final reward. thus, it would be a pain if pests got in your way to the end.

      Delete
  2. Maybe, maybe not. Items you can sell, and those stay exclusive. Information, once given out, can be shared and copied and resold with no loss. How could he be sure a buyer wouldn't turn around and suddenly become a competitor?

    ReplyDelete
  3. There would always be the risk of someone killing the old maid. It's better to proceed in secret I think. Of course, there should be no problem in disclosing the info once he's ended the quest if it's repeatable.

    ReplyDelete

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