Chapter 2 : Pyramids and the dignity of the King
At the construction site, Weed was cooking grass porridge and handing it out to workers for free.
"Good work, take your time and eat it slowly"
Exhausted from carrying stones, players took the bowl of porridge with gratitude.
Stamina has increased by 35
Hunger has been relieved.
Thirst has been quenched.
Intermediate 4 Cooking Skill and Intermediate 9 Handicraft!
It was no wonder that porridge made by Weed was delicious. Although he has neglected his cooking skills lately, the enhancement of the food was still ample.
People liked and respected Weed.
They were thankful not only for sharing his quest, he had also cooked free food for them.
Though the ingredients used, were literally grass, and was boiled to look like porridge, after receiving a bowl of boiling porridge, they gave their heartfelt thanks to Weed.
Among those who participated in the quest, some had really low levels and had little money. Weed had to cook grass porridge for these workers for free, and the players were thankful that they were able to work without dying from hunger.
Along with providing food, Weed also kept an eye on the atmosphere of the construction site. No matter how good-natured these people were, any complaints can grow into a strike, bringing an end to the construction. Such as being comfortable or lazy after being provided for, or from being full.
The main force behind the construction were the low-level players. They were more interested in the reward, and so worked harder. Watching them, other players unconsciously matched their speed.
"Thank you very much, Weed."
The girl, who just finished her serving, heartily thanked Weed. This cute little girl looked to be a 10th grade high school student.
"You're welcome, I'm happy you liked it." Weed responded with a smile.
Today, he had already given tens of thousands of such smiles. No matter how friendly you are, smiling so much wasn't easy. No wonder Weed's smile looked pretty strained! His eyes were smiling, but lips was slightly crooked, making his smile looked mocking. Nevertheless his voice was friendly.
"Lemon, you've moved 8 stones already!"
"Oh, you remember me?"
"Of course. You're one of those wonderful people, who praised my porridge with such pleasure... the sun isn't down yet, and if you manage to bring 1 or 2 more stones, you'll be one of those who worked the most today."
"Oh? I see. And I was just about to stop... I'll be right back!" The young girl Lemon, diligently ran towards the quarry.
After eating Weed's grass porridge, all the players felt energized, and became even more determined to carry stones to make the tomb. Though his porridge was called 'grass porridge', it wasn't made from grass alone!
Even if prepared by such a great cook like Weed, if you eat the same dish, you'll get fed up eventually. So, from time to time he was adding some meat and other ingredients, spending about 100 gold a day. Weed considered those expenses as investments to improve the level of his cooking skill!
Even though his dishes lacked refinement, since he cooked it in tremendous amounts, his cooking skill rose constantly.
Weed would have probably lost a lot of sleep if he had to lose 100 gold daily. Since the moment he started playing the game, he had been money grubbing over every single copper, trying to reach his goal as soon as possible.
But now the situation is a little different. Weed had hired workers to build the tomb, so he has to watch the process and bear the costs!
'No helping it. I won't be able to build it without their help, so I have to buy food and take care of them.' The thoughts of a dedicated, charitable businessman.
His facial expression, confident voice, and concern for the people—all of it created an image of an adult man.
However, Weed's true feelings were similar to a vicious python awaiting its prey.
'Eat fast so I can put you to work as fast as much as possible. Received 100,000 gold as operation costs for this quest, money spent so far is 700 gold so 99,300 gold still remains. In addition, earned more than 10,000 gold from the participation fees. Ultimately, it will be a surplus.'
Excessive labor! Exploitation! Eating grass porridge with a rotten smile while exhaustively putting them to work, vicious boss Weed!
* * *
On the Royal Road website, the construction of the tomb became prominent topic for discussion. And someone kindled the flames even more by posting another article.
Topic: People busy on the tomb construction.
Last time I posted a topic about a 'B' rank difficulty quest. Now I want to show you a short video from the construction site.
Please watch it.
He had recorded a video of what he had seen with his own eyes and posted it on the Internet.
Fresh news about the construction of the Royal Tomb!
Some people who had no interest in the event thus far were also intrigued. The moment they pressed the 'play' button, they saw what was an astonishing scene well beyond their imagination was.
Young boys and girls were grabbing heavy blocks of stones and carrying them on their shoulders.
"Unni, it's heavy."
"Hold on a little longer. In order to complete the quest, we must deliver it."
Emotional conversation between sisters!
Even the elderly carried stones. Thousands of people, regardless of age and gender were transporting stones. Sometimes players would get crushed beneath the stones. To add to their pain, the stones they carried collapsed and turned into rubble.
People, who watched the video, had their mouths hanging from shock.
What the hell is this!
'Is this a concentration camp or execution ground?'
In the distance, behind the working people, Serabourg was visible.
- This is the reality of sculpting.
- It was wise that I did not to select Sculptor.
- We need to raise money to donate to our unfortunate neighbors who started at the frontier kingdom.
Envy and jealousy towards players who were able to participate in the B rank quest for 1 gold was over.
* * *
Over time, blocks of stones were piled up at the tomb's construction site. The whole process took a lot of manpower and to cut and carry the stones from the quarry. The entire place was surrounded by all kinds of rocks enough to build the tomb!
Different kinds of stones were necessary to build the tomb of the King. The interior and exterior of the tomb will be built out of stones with different colors and shapes. If not for thousands of players who cooperated, it would have been impossible.
"We really did it."
"*Heu-heuk* I'm impressed."
Many players started crying from excitement. One of the hardest jobs they ever had to do was over. However, the tomb is yet to be built. It's the start of a full scale construction.
*Klang! Klang! Klang!*
The moment enough stones were accumulated, Weed started to work.
Using a hammer and chisel, he was smoothing the uneven surfaces of the stones and then using his sculpture mastery to shape them and place them on their permanent location.
Weed was lucky that he chose a simplistic design to build a large tomb. If he had attempted to make something of greater complexity, it would require more work.
"What kind of tomb is he building?"
All the players, who participated in mining and delivery of the stones were watching with interest.
While Weed was engraving the stones, other players helped piled up the completed product neatly to their designated places. Unexpectedly, this part of the construction went very smoothly, thanks to the help of the guilds in Rosenheim Kingdom.
Guilds, especially the ones from the center of the continent, were well developed and had larger manpower. Official guilds became a large group that made a lot of profit. Guild can save money and buy the ownership, or claim a market as their possession, which allows them to raise even more money and increase their properties.
If the guild has possession of a castle, they would have more possibilities of earning a bigger profit. Commercial taxes can be collected on a weekly basis and can be invested on various technologies to create more diverse local shops, and most importantly, purchase assorted good for bargain price.
In addition, local craftsmen would be able to start producing weapons and armors of greater quality and rarity. Therefore, most guilds invest all of their assets into trades, and craftsmen of those field, compete with each other.
The better the guild's business is going, the more players would want to join, and the wealthier the guild grew.
Some guilds became widely respected for their virtuous actions, benefiting not only them, but general population as well. Sometimes such guilds started from small villages, and end up building their own castle.
Other area, where guilds could direct their efforts was mining. Naturally, if they were to find a rich gold deposit during the work in the mines, it would not only improve the guild's wealth, but also the region's welfare in general.
However most of the mines were infested by dangerous monsters, so before guild could start mining, it had to gather forces to clear them out. Not only guild members were able to participate in the clearing of the mines, but even other player parties, given they have the guild's approval. In that case players were getting a job to clear the mine in form of a quest.
No wonder the guilds, especially those from the center of the continent, were had a constant struggle with each other. But in Rosenheim Kingdom, guilds newly formed. This is the perfect situation to take advantage of!
The edge of the continent was mostly populated by new players, and they were the ones who created first guilds of Rosenheim Kingdom. Therefore, even if a guild was to discover an unoccupied mine, they weren't able to claim ownership, as they didn't have enough reputation points within the kingdom.
Those guilds didn't have much money, so for them, the unexpected opportunity to participate in the construction of the royal tomb with Weed was like a rain in a desert.
"We agree to any conditions."
"Leave it to us."
Before he distributed the work amongst guilds, he contacted his master by whispering him.
- Erm... I'm talking to Ika guild, should I share the quest with them?
Not long ago Ika Guild had ambushed and killed all the Geomchis. Of course Weed knew of that incident and decided to contact his master. For a few moments there was only silence. Then the unexpected response came:
- Give them work.
- Wouldn't it be better to refuse?
- No real man should be narrow-minded. Men should have a big heart and tolerance. Wouldn't that be a nobler act?
- If so, then...
- If they ask for work - give them work. Now excuse me, I'm busy.
Others wouldn't show such generosity as the Geomchi did towards the Ika Guild. They were enemies, who had killed each other. To show such generosity when an opportunity for revenge arises - is a really hard and noble decision. But Weed knew his master better.
'How much could they offend Master... If he doesn't want to use other people for revenge. He wants to avenge them in person... Only then will he calm down.'
Weed equally divided the work between guilds in Rosenheim Kingdom. Then he proceeded to build the tomb with help from highly cooperative guild players.
At the base of the tomb, blocks were placed in a square, which was gradually growing upward. But every next level had smaller scale. The higher it went, the smaller were levels.
"Ah! This is..."
At that moment, people who were busy with construction, along with those who were hauling stones, became aware of the kind of tomb that was being built.
"It's a pyramid!"
"He's building a pyramid for the King!"
Once described as a scientifical and technological architectural building, is now being constructed right in front of their eyes.
However, it was not a facet of the ancient myths and legends of a pyramid. The internal structure was much simpler, because Weed had no experience with construction such as this.
Sculpture mastery in game only assisted with the improvement of outer appearance and shape. It was no wonder that Weed didn't have any knowledge on the internal structure of a pyramid.
'How is this supposed to look like?...'
Weed had been thinking about it ever since he decided on the outer appearance, but he still didn't have an answer. Therefore, there were no labyrinth, secret passages, or any other mysteries.
Of course Weed could have gotten a map of internal structure of a pyramid from the internet. But it'd take a lot more time to recreate such complicated labyrinth system. That's why Weed decided to use his imagination.
When he was a kid, before his parents died, he remembered how they briefly lived in an apartment. 30 flat apartment! And from those memories, he modeled interior of the tomb.
It looked like a pyramid from outside, but from the inside, it was a normal 3-room flat with 2 bathrooms. In other words, an ordinary Korean flat. Of course, Weed wasn't planning to add a balcony or terrace. However, construction was already in progress and it was too late to reconsider.
The interior was so simple that the entrance passage and the left side of the room was decorated with nothing but stones that were already piled up. Yet other rooms and the bathroom were decorated with works of art.
While working, many people began asking questions. And Pale and girls were no exception.
"Is a bathroom really necessary inside a pyramid?"
"There's no water here..."
"Do dead need to take a shower?"
"Ahem! Minds of great artist do not follow common sense. How can ordinary people understand the thoughts of Da Vinci? Before you try and understand an artist's intentions, you should look at the flow and the essence of nature."
"Then you should install a bath too, Weed."
* * *
Inside the pyramid, there was a room for a coffin, a living room, and 2 other rooms for art works. The latter was provided by Mapan, who personally rushed over and purchased those items at a cheap price.
During the construction Weed had only spent 1600 gold on ingredients for grass porridge. Only vicious businessmen such as Weed would be able to organize a large scale construction without having to pay their workers.
Even on the art works for interior decoration, he had spent 49,700 gold. He could have saved on the decorations as well, but decided that successful completion of the quest was more important.
'If I make a mistake I might fail.'
A simple monster hunting quest would always give him a second chance. If he was to die, he'd always be able to return in a day and start over. But this time he couldn't afford any failures. It's all or nothing.
He purchased the best and most expensive carpet and laid it out in the living room, and on the walls he hung paintings. And of course, he had also placed a few self-made sculptures inside.
However, the pyramid was still not giving off the vibe he envisioned!
The number of unused blocks was decreasing as the pyramid's height got higher, however he had a feeling that there was something still lacking.
Although the size was enormous and magnificent, it was still insufficient. The pyramid that was being built wasn't giving an impression of it being a tomb of a great King who ruled Serabourg.
The tomb of a prestigious King should be elegant and insinuate great power. A simple tomb was far too inadequate. A tomb of a King should be iconic and easily identified. The tomb still lacking something essential to project such impression.
"Aha! That's what it's missing."
Weed ordered a huge natural rock to be delivered to the pyramid. Large rocks were placed on top of each other, making it almost as large as the pyramid.
He already had experience hanging down on ropes to create sculptures of greater height. However, the material was very different. Stone is harder than ice, so it was going to take a lot of work.
Hit, crack, and slice the rock!
For several days, without stopping for a break, he hung at a great altitude holding on his engraving knife.
Creating a gigantic statue wasn't complicated, it was rather simple. No elegant lines and fine details were needed! The statue itself was overwhelmed by its size.
For the head of the statue, he carved the face of Kind Theodarren, and its body was shaped into a lion. The design was simple, but enormous in size. And this monstrous statue was carved out of the single rock.
* * *
Current King, Theodarren, had restored the peripheral Kingdom of Rosenheim, which suffered from constant monster invasions.
He won the war against an old enemy, Brent Kingdom, and had established and trained a large army, which became the foundation of peace and prosperity.
* * *
The King himself had told the tale with pride.
Weed remembered everything he was told. When you work on a sculpture, you can't base it on the outward appearance alone. The appearance is important, but the feelings the sculptor has put into his creation, were just as important. Because they are what they will pass on the essences that is portrayed by the object, to future generations.
Sometimes feelings have great power. Music, created by outstanding composers, can make people cry or laugh. Similar with books and paintings. If they were created without feelings, they are an incomplete work, and will be quickly forgotten.
King Theodarren told him a lot about his life, and Weed didn't forget his stories. He was mistaken when he thought it was just a prelude to the quest. Only now, when he was working on the sculpture, he understood how important those stories were, and that he wouldn't be able to create a sculpture without them.
'In the body of a lion, swift, and versatile, yet a profound heart.
Longevity of the King. Embodying the aura of might that can overwhelm any audience.
When he makes his move, even the most formidable opponent trembles in fear because of their predator's menacing steps.
The Lion acts as a protector of the citizens of Kingdom of Rosenheim.'
This poem was included with the statue of the lion.
The statue of the Lion overlooking the pyramid represents King's final resting place. Finally,overbearing eyes were carved to complete the statue.
Masterpiece! You created a Statue of the Lion Monster.
Created by a Sculptor with excellent handicraft skills, and the solidification of his sweat and effort. His fame and reputation will be spread throughout the continent.
The statue of the Lion:
The statue of the Lion is made out of solid granite, and has a strong and courageous temperament. This statue, resembling King Theodarren, will bring prosperity to the Kingdom of Rosenheim.
Artistic value: 4,700.
Lion's Roar applied:
This effect does not overlap with other sculptures.
Total number of masterpieces completed: 3
Sculpture mastery reached Intermediate 9th level. This allows construction of even more delicate and detailed sculptures.
Handicraft Skill reached Intermediate level 10, and transformed to Advanced level 1.
New Skill: Mind Hand
New Title! You earned a title of 'Artisan With Exceptional Dexterity'.
Weed, who was clinging on the lion's face, burst into laughter.
"AHahaha!" His spoiled rotten smile changed into a genuine one.
Ordinary people would always admire the first person to achieve master status!
In this case it was the Handicraft Skill. The marvelously complex hand movements, that can't be imagined by general public!
'I finally reached the advanced level!'
Mind Hand skill. It was obtained together with advanced level handicraft, so it must be exceptional.
Weed checked the acquired skill.
"Check skill, Mind Hand!"
After achieving a near-legendary level of dexterity, you can summon a "third hand" using your mind. Using the "third hand", it is possible to manipulate objects and even attack enemies.
However, it is not possible for your "third hand" to use any skills.
Mana consumption per second: 2
For a small amount of mana, he will be able to summon an additional hand. It'd be able to hold a carving knife or other tools. When working on a tall statue, the skill would be very useful to him. But it can't be used to apply skills in battles.
'Depending on how I use it, it may be of a great asset to me.'
To become an adept sculptor, one has to triumph over constant challenges and overcome many difficulties. And having created another Masterpiece Sculpture brought unspeakable joy to Weed as received enormous amount of stat bonus.
Sculptors get stronger by adding up little bonuses to make one significant increase. Masterpieces, however, gave a much greater bonuses, as they were rarely produced, but it didn't make a great significant increase.
Creating a masterpiece also gave Endurance, Stamina and Art attributes. Although those stats did help to survive in a battle and create new artwork, it didn't give much benefit when it comes to battles unlike Strength, Agility, Wisdom and Intellect.
Those Attributes were only growing by 1 point. That's why, no matter how great the created sculpture was, it wasn't making him much stronger.
* * *
While Weed was hanging from the sculpture, a large crowd had gathered near the base of the statue.
Carving a sculpture out of natural rocks was very difficult!
Most of the audience anxious and afraid, seeing as that Weed had stayed up there for a couple of days without food or drink, hammering on the rock.
It was a huge rock, so there wasn't any significant change in one given day.
However, their fear slowly changed to excitement, as the statue's shape was gradually being formed Until finally, the Lion statue was finished, radiating brilliance
Majestic and powerful! The embodiment of King of Rosenheim!
It also granted a variety of effects to those who saw it.
"My Stamina has increased!"
"Everyone, check out your stats!"
Players were opening their Status Windows and staring at them in shock. Until now most of the players thought that they could only raise their attribute points with certain items or buffs from Mages, Priests and Bards.
Now they realized, that sculptors could raise stats as well. Some of them already knew about effects of sculptures, but none of them had ever seen the absurd amount of effects of the lion statue.
"All stat attributes had increased..."
"Even magic resistance!"
"A day! The bonus will be working for a whole day! I think all parties will be visiting this lion before hunt from now on."
"Hmmm... The Sculptor profession seems useful."
After seeing lion's statue people's impression of the sculptor profession were changed.
'I should befriend some sculptors!'
None of them wanted to actually change their profession to sculptor. However, after witnessing a sculptor at work, they understood what they had to undergo.
No matter how alluring the sculptor profession was to them at that moment, no one actually wanted to put out the effort required. It was much easier to just get acquainted with one.
Yet, more new information continued appearing.
"Lion's Roar! It says it greatly increases the fighting spirit stat."
"What is the purpose of fighting spirit anyway..."
"Don't you know? The stronger level you are, the more your enemies' skills weaken. However, that works in reverse too. So the higher your fighting spirit stat is, the less your skills get reduced
Main reason for players gathering into parties was to hunt stronger monsters that they could hunt alone. The most common cause of such parties failing was their lack of fighting spirit. However even if it was high, it wouldn't ensure you a victory.
Usually, lower level players have to team up against the stronger monsters. However, with the increase provided by the statue, it allows the player to fight against stronger monsters on a more equal footing.
As the crowd buzzed about the stats provided by the statue, many of the Clans' message boards were overflowing with people talking about the Sculptor class.
- Guildmaster, I have found an amazing profession...
- Sculptor profession wasn't such a useless as we thought.
All the guilds started to make plans to recruit the sculptor, Weed. Meanwhile Weed was just hanging from the sculpture, overflowing with emotions.
Intermediate 9 Sculpture Mastery! Advanced level Handicraft!
Truly, the 'Artisan With Exceptional Dexterity' title wasn't given him for nothing. Usually game was granting more generic titles, like 'someone, who finished this task' or 'Someone, who hunted this rare monster'.
However, crafting skills had its own feature in assigning titles. The most important title could only be acquired by the best artisan on the continent. By the first person who reached the Advanced level in a certain crafting skills!
That fact the Weed was the first player to reach the advanced handicraft skill, it would be a small milestone in the Legend of Weed.
* * *
Pale greeted his friends and introduced Maylon.
"Hello. My name is Maylon. I'm a ranger and Pale's girlfriend."
"Nice to meet you."
Surka, Irene and Romuna greeted her with warm smiles as they welcome their new colleague.
Although Pale had a crush on Romuna for some time, as they were childhood friends, Pale found his true love with Maylon.
Comment: Really? Considering how he met her, the most he could fall in love with is her ass. (She was carrying a stone on her back in front of him! That's not very romantic...) - IcedLance
A man in love always looks confident and relaxed once he wins over his beloved. Romuna was first to notice this change and already knew what they were going to say.
"We haven't known each other for long, but we are in love."
"I am really glad I met Pale."
They said as they exchanged affectionate glances.
Understanding between lovers.
Suddenly Surka who was looking intently at Maylon's face exclaimed:
"Oh! Your face looks really familiar, have I seen you before?"
"Come to think of it, I think I've seen you before too..."
"Yeah. I've seen you lots of times... although your face is subtly different."
Irene and Romuna started staring at Maylon as well. They were sure, that they had met her for the first time in game. And yet, she still looked familiar.
Pale also started wondering.
"To be honest, I think I've saw you somewhere too."
Maylon fought away her hesitation and decided to reveal herself to them.
"Do you watch any programs associated with Royal Road."
"Eh? Oh! Come to think of it..."
"That's right, I'm Shin Hye Min."
After realizing that, Maylon's companions couldn't hide their astonishment.
"Sorry, I didn't intend to hide it, but didn't want to bother you. Didn't want to be subjected to prejudice..."
Maylon continued explaining, but no one was payed any attention.
"It's amazing to meet the anchor of one of the most Royal Road's popular shows."
"Didn't know program coordinators actually plays Royal Road."
"But your face on the screen looks a little different."
"I know. I didn't recognize her at first too."
"Stupid. They apply a lot of make-up on television."
"Oh! I see. But you're still pretty, Unni!"
"Th... thank you."
A program host and an entertainer were slightly different. An announcer of a broadcasting station was a similar concept.
"Say, do you hear of any secret information, unknown to the general public through work?"
"Well, sometimes. I'm just a host, so I know a little more than everyone else."
"Does your company give you any equipment?"
"Rarely. But that does happen sometimes."
"Wow! I'm envious. So why do you like Pale."
"I just realized the moment i met him, that he was my man."
Then Romuna suddenly asked:
"But is it ok for a TV show host to play games like this?"
"Well, I do have to gather information..."
"Information... about the pyramid? We can ask Weed for an exclusive interview anytime if you want. Should we?"
"No, but thanks, I'll have to refuse."
Maylon smiled brightly.
"I didn't get close to Pale to gain something."
Pale was touched by Maylon's words and smiled.
"Don't look at me like that. It's natural. But talking about business, I'd like to ask Weed for an interview, but that might offend him."
At that moment Pale and Surka realized how mistaken Maylon was.
'That certainly won't...'
'She doesn't know Weed at all.'
* * *
Lately a lot of guild representatives were coming to the construction site to meet Weed.
At first they were bragging about the advantages of being in a guild, while they actively tried to recruit him.
"Our guild is the biggest in Rosenheim. In this kingdom theres no one more influential or powerful than us. You won't regret if you join us."
"We will not only buy your sculptures at a reasonable price, but pay you a daily wage. And if you ever decide to go hunting, we'll accept you into a party without delay and provide equipment."
"Don't you by any chance want to leave this cramped kingdom and move to the center of the continent? I know you already received many offers, but ours has the best conditions..."
All those representatives were looking at Weed with superiority. They promised various benefits, like power leveling to level 200. They automatically assumed that artisan professions were all low levelled.
But Weed wasn't an ordinary artisan. His level was a lot higher than those of other players of crafting related professions. Also in all the offers he saw more restrictions, than advantages.
All the guilds wanted to have exclusive rights to his sculptures, and if they were providing equipment for hunting, they demanded them returned. Even if he was to agree and take rare and unique items to the hunt, he could end up with more trouble, than benefits. Weed had only hunted in most dangerous places. Every battle could lead to his death, and as a result to the loss of items, lent to him.
And Weed's strategy in general was aimed at fast levelling and auctioning the expensive items. Guilds would be more of a hindrance in those matters.
"Sorry, but I can't take your offer." Weed had rejected every offer.
The better the benefits of the offer, implied to him that the restrictions were tighter.
Constantly making sculptures just to be let into some guild's hunting parties...
Never! He'd become more famous and sell more works for greater money in the future.
After getting all their offers rejected, guilds resigned and gradually calmed down.
'Anyway, he's just a sculptor. Moreover you can't increase the bonus by using other sculptures.'
'One sculpture isn't enough, is it?'
'This is a big sculpture, and you can't claim it all for yourself. Other sculptures with bonus effects must be big as well and it wouldn't be possible to carry them.'
'Effects only last for a day. We can't be returning every day to our guild to look at the statue.'
They decided to acknowledge Weed's decision, as they started to understand sculpture profession a bit. Players like Weed must be constantly in motion, creating artwork in various corners of the continent. It wouldn't be possible to stay in one place and just create items, like other craftsmen.
After finishing the Lion statue Weed switched back to working on the pyramid. A lot of things were already done, but it was still far from being complete.
The higher the pyramid became, the harder it was for players to deliver stone blocks to the top of it. They even had to make a huge ramp with dirt and sand, and a lot of players used it to slowly carry the huge stone blocks to the top of the pyramid.