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Sunday, November 2, 2014

Chapter 8: The Lost Treasure of Freya




“Huhuhuhu.”


Weed perched atop a hill overlooking all of Lavias, and laughed in satisfaction as his cape danced in the wind. Hunting had raised his level to 175.


*Ting*
————————————————————————————————
Item: Gray Cape of the Dead:


Durability: 20/20
Defense: 12


The tattered cape of a skeletal warrior. Still provides some protection despite its poor condition.


Restriction:
Level 150
150 Strength


Equipped:
Increases speed when traveling long distances.
————————————————————————————————


*Ting*
————————————————————————————————
Item: Graham’s Steel Belt:


Durability: 25/25
Defense: 7


Has 10 quick slots for small items such as daggers, potions, antidotes, etc.


Restriction:
Level 110
200 Strength


Equipped:
Quick slots for potions and antidotes automatically refill from inventory.
————————————————————————————————


*Ting*
————————————————————————————————
Item: Graham’s Leather Armor:


Durability: 30/30
Defense: 25


Light and hard, yet sturdy, armor infused with the soul of the Skeleton Knight Graham.


Restriction:
Level 130
300 Strength


Equipped:
+20% chance to evade magical or ranged attacks
+20 Strength
+5 Agility
————————————————————————————————


From fighting the undead, Weed received boots, gloves, and even rings. For every 30 Skeleton Knights he killed, he received Farrot’s Ring, which improved mana regeneration by 10%.


Since Royal Road allowed players to equip rings on 8 fingers, and even allowed multiple on the same hand so long as they did not have opposing attributes. Weed had persevered until he had a copy of the ring on each finger.


The rings now increased his mana recovery rate by 80%, showing how many Skeleton Knights he had killed.


Weed camped spawns and mercilessly slaughtered any monsters that gave significant rewards in experience or items.


The powerful Skeleton Knights of Memphis Hall were simply no match for Weed.
With his new rings, he could use the Imperial Formless Sword Technique nearly twice as often, and his other equipment further improved his effectiveness. Thanks to the new sword, rings, and other equipment, Weed finally looked like a respectable adventurer.


‘I feel like I’m flying with the wind. This freedom. This solitude!’ With his arms spread wide, Weed enjoyed the gusts of wind playing across his cape. But the world didn’t let him relax.


*Ting*
————————————————————————————————
The durability of your cape has been reduced
————————————————————————————————


Undead. None of their drops were normal. The items degraded quickly, even when not in use, and tended to have low maximum durability. Thus, although Weed looked great wearing all his items, appearances were deceiving.


Weed quietly untied his cape and put it down before him, then struck it saying, “Repair!” This action was sufficient for the task. After he tied his cape, Weed felt the wind once more, as if nothing had happened…


He had enjoyed this feeling in Continent of Magick. The aftertaste of clearing a dungeon; savoring the results of his own artistry. Now it was time to leave it all behind and continue onwards…


…Then a sudden gust pelted his armor with small pebbles.


*Ting*
————————————————————————————————
The durability of your armor has been reduced
————————————————————————————————


It was the rare leather armor obtained from the Skeleton Knight called Graham. An item incomparable with newbie armor! Even better, it hadn’t cost him a single coin!


“Repair!”


Unfortunately, Weed was forced to constantly use his Repair skill as he returned to Lavias. Equipment with low durability was very fragile; so he might have looked quite dashing when fighting monsters, but in truth he was paranoid about damaging his items. Due to his inherent need to recycle, Weed persistently used these items, which others would have discarded or sold at a cheap price.


Indeed, it was the greatest sign of poverty. However, this kind of life would end soon: Once he attained Intermediate Repair skill, he would be able to restore any losses to maximum durability. Then he could pose without feeling restless.


“Do you believe in destiny? It doesn’t seem like saving our town and us along with it, was a mere coincidence.”


“Huh?”


“A while back, a priest of the Order of Freya had come to warn us of evil armies on the rise. They exert their influence in places in the lower, colder, and darker reaches of this world. The priest told me that only a truly courageous champion can stop them! Then he gave me the authority to choose that champion.”


“……”


“I didn’t understand what he meant at the time, but now I do. There is a secret I didn’t tell you: the seed that has been passed down in our family serves to guide one to a new place.


“The priest said that to find Freya’s lost treasure, one should seek out Seagull. Please become a hero who defeats evil!”


*Ting*
————————————————————————————————
Obtained information regarding the Lost Treasure of Freya
————————————————————————————————


Weed had not forgotten the clue he’d received from the Elder of Baran Village, Ghandilva.


‘I need to find Seagull and discover the Lost Treasure of Freya!’


This was definitely a chain quest and smelled of large rewards. Most quests from temples were difficult to obtain but were very rewarding, since temples and palaces could only be entered by those with fame over ten thousand.


‘I will find Seagull!’


Although Weed knew every area in Lavias, he had never encountered anyone named Seagull. He tried asking everyone he met for information, but received no response. Only when he talked about the Lost Treasure of Freya did he finally get some answers.


“Seagull? Of course I know him. He’s a Herbalist who goes into dangerous dungeons without a second thought and has courage enough to face the undead.”


“You didn’t know? All the herbs sold in the shops are from Seagull.”


Each Avian provided some information about Seagull, but not his location. Weed headed to the market and inquired further.


“You want to know where Seagull is? He might be in Barkhan’s Crypt.”


“Barkhan’s Crypt?”


“That place always echoes with the screams of ghosts. We tried to subdue them, but failed, since they have no physical bodies. I wouldn’t recommend going there, but I won’t stop you either. The entrance to the crypt is on the mountain behind the city. Look for a patch of blue flowers near the fifteenth large boulder.”


Once prepared, Weed enthusiastically departed the city, in search of Barkhan’s Crypt.


‘Great. Such helpful directions’ he thought sarcastically. Weed sighed at the ridiculous situation. Avians could fly, so when going outside the city, they took to the skies.


Their eyesight was also remarkably good; so good infact, that they could even see the bugs crawling on the ground.


The Avian’s directions, therefore, made no sense from a human perspective. The fifteenth large boulder on the mountain…


What does that even mean?! Damn birds!


He couldn’t see all the boulders at once, since he was on his feet. In the end, he simply searched around every suitably large rock.


To make matters worse, when he did located the blue flowers he was supposed to find, they were hidden by tall grasses!


Nonetheless, after a long, persistent and painstakingly thorough search, he finally managed to find the entrance.


There was a small building accessed by a steel gate. That was all. The rest was underground. A crooked, poorly maintained sign bore the following message:


*Ting*
————————————————————————————————
The dead.
Those whose blood and flesh has rotted away.
Those whose mortal bodies exist no longer.
This grave be for them.
————————————————————————————————


After taking a quick glance, Weed pushed open the steel gate and entered with an emotionless face.


*Ting*
————————————————————————————————
New Dungeon: You are the first to discover Barkhan’s Crypt:


Benefits:
Fame increased by 200 (+200 FAME).
Double experience and 2x normal item drop rate.
The first monster killed will drop the best quality item it can drop.
————————————————————————————————


Before coming here, he had gathered some information from Avians about this place. He only knew that Barkhan’s Crypt contained Spirits, Ghosts, and Specters of level 130. Spirits were souls bound to the world with wicked desires. Ghosts were just blurry apparitions.


‘This place is weaker than I expected.’


Weed slowly looked around the graveyard.


Ghosts and Specters came out sometimes, but he simply ignored them, and they left without bothering him. The cause was the killing intent emanating from Weed, which was an effect of the Fighting Spirit stat.


————————————————————————————————
Fighting Spirit:
You can call on superhuman strength temporarily, or bring weaker monsters to their knees with your force of will from your eyes alone. You are prohibited from distributing any bonus points to this stat, and it will rise spontaneously, depending on the avatar’s action, or especially if you're fight monsters for a long time, or often confront monsters stronger than your current level.
————————————————————————————————


Fighting Spirit for most warrior-type players was usually about 20 to 30. Close-quarters fighters like Monks or Assassins might have had a bit more, but it was rare to see anyone with over 50 points in the stat.


Though there were numerous comments and analyses regarding the Fighting Spirit stat, most concluded it was useless. Unlike Strength or Agility, increases to Fighting Spirit didn’t show any obvious effects.


Many intelligence-based characters like Mages didn’t possess the stat at all, yet had no more difficulty in hunting.


Although some players worked to achieve a high Fighting Spirit stat, they all had to raise their characters with that goal from the beginning. In other words, it didn’t have much effect.


Though Fighting Spirit increased automatically, it wasn’t easy to improve. Even killing tough opponents with every ounce of strength was often insufficient to raise the stat by a single point. Additionally, the stat decreased whenever one died or fled from combat. Thus, there were very few people who possessed a high Fighting Spirit stat.


Weed’s Fighting Spirit stat, however, was 193; addition of the 35 bonus points from the L. Moonlight Sculptor class, which made it 228. Since he fought against stronger opponents like crazy, the stat grew immensely. Monsters of the same level no longer tried to fight him. If Weed engaged first, the monster would fight, but in a severely weakened state due to the force of the killing intent.


Weed wandered through the maze-like crypt, warding away monsters with a mere glance. After searching extensively, he spotted a wounded Avian.


“Damn…!”


Weed hurriedly approached the Avian, whose body was covered with scars and feverish from poison.


“Bandage!”


He put some herbs over the wounds and bandaged them. If it was very near death, he would have needed a potion, but for normal injuries, the Bandage skill was sufficient. After attending to its injuries, Weed gave the Avian a potion.


“Uhh…”


After a while, the Avian woke up, shaking its head.


“I… I passed out. I was so injured that I couldn’t do anything and almost died here. Anyhow, who might you be?”


“I’m Weed.”


“Weed? You must be the human who came to Lavias. My name is Seagull.”


Seagull! Finally, Weed had found Seagull. “Yes. I’ve noticed. But where is the Lost Treasure of Freya?”


“The Treasure of Freya? How did you learn of it?”


“Well, in truth…”


Seagull listened with a pained expression as Weed told him what had transpired in Baran Village.


*cough*


“You’ve done great work. May Freya be with you. The Lost Treasure of Freya is here, in Barkhan’s Crypt.”


Weed nodded. He had read something similar in the history of the Versailles Continent on Royal Road’s homepage. ‘Barkhan referred to him, didn’t it?’  Barkhan Demoph was a dark mage who mastered necromancy. He sought immortality and kidnapped many children for experimentation. Although his search for immortality ended in failure, he plotted a conquest with an army of undead.


His army seemed invincible. Barkhan’s necromancy allowed him to constantly expand his army as the battle progressed, providing an obvious advantage. His undead horde consisted of several thousand Zombies, Skeletons, and Dullahans led by Death Knights and fouler creations that could only be the stuff of nightmares.


Only after kingdoms from all over the world united their strength were they successful in putting an end to Barkhan’s menace. Weed learned of this after coming to Lavias. Indeed, the City of Heaven had been built to isolate the undead.


“Would you retrieve the Lost Treasure of Freya from Barkhan’s servants?”


*Ting*
————————————————————————————————
Quest: The Stolen Treasure of Freya:


In the time of chaos, when dark magicians made contracts with demons and killed thousands, the continent was soaked with blood in a war between mad kings. Holy influence declined and the world descended into anarchy. Those with strength flaunted it while fools who held swords upside down and those with light lips gained power. The deceased could not gain eternal peace, and the living writhed in pain and despair. It was at this time that the Treasure of Freya was stolen.


Difficulty: C


Penalty if Refused:
-100 Fame.
Relationship with the Order of Freya becomes sour.
————————————————————————————————


Weed paused for a moment, and then nodded.


“I will retrieve the Lost Treasure of Freya.”


*Ting*
————————————————————————————————
You have accepted the quest!
————————————————————————————————


“Thank you. According to what I’ve heard, the Holy Grail will be guarded by a Death Knight. I will wait here while I recover from my injuries. Please return the treasure to its rightful owner.”


“I will.”


Weed passed Seagull and ventured deep into the crypts.


Even against Death Knights, Weed couldn’t feel much tension anymore. After Dullahans became too easy for him, he stopped avoiding Death Knights and fought them instead.


In his first battle against a Death Knight, he failed to block its attack, and died. The penalty was a 24-hour ban on logging in. Additionally, his level decreased and his Skill Mastery was reduced by 5% on all skills. Raising his level again would be easy enough, but the lost Skill Mastery was fatal. Crafting skills like Sculpting or Cooking were difficult to improve.


Thankfully, there was no one around to steal his items.


In this matter, however, Weed was very stubborn. He actively avoided Death Knights, but when he met one accidentally, he stayed and fought. In the end… he died five times. Five days banned from Royal Road, decreased levels, and 25% reduction in skills!


After that, he increased his level and gained experience until he was able to fight Death Knights equally. Of course, the level gain was important, but he thought the experience of fighting stronger monsters was more valuable. If he didn’t think like that, he would have gone crazy with regret over his losses. If not for the Death Knights, he could have had 10 more levels. He felt miserable about the days he couldn’t log in during the double experience and item window.


With his uniquely high stats, Weed could fight against Death Knights at level 115. He always enjoyed fighting stronger opponents. Normally, the Sculptor class was a support class, for which it would be normal to be weaker than warrior classes, but the Moonlight Sculptor provided many strong advantages for combat. Craftsmanship, strengthened abilities, additional stats, and Sculpting Blade! It was an ideal job with nothing to complain about. In dungeons or on dark nights, it strengthened his abilities by a further 30%, so monsters of equivalent level were easy prey.


Ghosts and Specters wandered around, tempting him with experience points and items. However, he ignored them and concentrated on finding Death Knights. This was very unlike Weed, who normally cleared out any dungeons he encountered without exception. Weed had double the experience point and item drop rate, but he just let Spirits and Specters leave.


‘No need to fight them now.’ Weed was waiting for tougher prey: Death Knights.


However, they rarely dropped useful items, and the few remaining Death Knights were difficult to find. The one guarding the Lost Treasure would undoubtedly be stronger than any others, so he was Weed’s target.


Weed was the first discoverer of the dungeon. On the first kill, the best item that a monster could drop would come out. Now, Weed could afford the luxury to exploit such an advantage.


Ghosts, Specters, and Spirits trailed behind him as he searched Barkhan’s Crypt, creating an eerie sight. It was deep underground that Weed finally encountered the Death Knight.


“Kuku, Si…silly human. Di…did you come here to di…die?”


Weed stared at the Death Knight expressionlessly. The Death Knight wore a cape, sword, and helmet over his bony body. His shining silver helmet seemed like a very rare item.


‘Th…That’ll be a very big catch!’


Weed smiled. Incidentally, he had no helmet of his own, and now he could finally get one.
Helain’s Grail, which was evidently the Lost Treasure of Freya, was enshrined behind the Death Knight. It was definitely a unique item, for it shone with a bright light even in the depths of the dark dungeon.


“Hyaaa!” Weed charged toward the Death Knight without warning. At such an opportune time when experience points and item drop rates were doubled, he didn’t have time to spare.


Sculpting Blade!” Weed started off with his signature move, known to be lethal to the undead.


The Death Knight raised his sword, now writhing with a dark aura, and attacked. Sculpting Blade clashed against the Death Knight’s strike, sending shocks through both combatants.


Just as he felt the impact, Weed jumped while holding his sword against the Death Knight’s, and landed a kick to his skull.


“Kuk!”


While the Death Knight staggered back a step, Weed quickly took two steps toward him.


Between enemies, there was no need to exchange pleasantries, only attacks with killing intent. With only an arm’s length between them, they fought. This was an advantageous distance for Weed: although the danger increased with proximity, for Weed, who could react only by reading the Death Knight’s shoulder movements, this was safer. If the Death Knight, at a level of over 200, used his attack skills, things would get difficult.


“Die, human!”


The Death Knight swung his sword in excitement.


Weed welcomed the attack while keeping it away from his vitals. Pain rushed through him, and filled him with the ecstasy of battle! He could feel the tension in the atmosphere, the killer intent and enmity emitting from Death Knight. He endured the attacks from the enemy, fought head-on, in order to crush him. A lion would never underestimate its prey, even if it’s a rabbit.


It would bide its time, the second the rabbit moves, it would pounce.


*Ting*
————————————————————————————————
Perseverance has risen by 1 point (+1 PER)
————————————————————————————————


The reward for taking an enemy’s attack, and enduring all the pain, was this. Weed took hits in almost all his battles; the result was tremendous defense from an amazing Perseverance. When he fought enemies of higher levels, the stat rose even faster. While increasing his level was important, improving his stats was even more so.


After each battle, his Bandage skill also improved quickly. If one thought of investment as a waste, he could not gain anything in his entire life. The lower the level, the more an investment in Bandage is necessary. When Weed had 205 health points left, he started to attack seriously.


He dodged the Death Knight’s attack in close quarters, confusing the enemy by moving left and then right. Then, with fierce attacks, he defeated the Death Knight.


“Ku…uk.”


The Death Knight who had been fighting with excitement now felt the pressure of Weed’s amazing Fighting Spirit, and thanks to his fabulous sword skill, the Death Knight was easily defeated.


“Now Death Knights are getting boring,” Weed muttered as he sheathed his Clay Sword. He had defeated Death Knights at level 125, so by now it felt a bit boring to fight them.
The one he’d just fought was about twice as strong as most of the others, perhaps because he was Barkhan’s servant. Otherwise, Weed would have taken a few more hits before starting to fight seriously.


Even so he couldn’t feel much threat to his life. Many people thought fighting in close quarters was dangerous, but looking the enemy in the eyes and feeling his killing intent during battle was invigorating.


The enemy’s breath had to be felt. Although Weed was holding a sword, he fought at a much closer distance than normal. If one acclimated to fighting in close proximity, fighting at longer distances became a walk in the park.


Even if the Death Knight had used its skills and fought with all its might, there would have been very little difference. However, if Weed allowed huge blows, there was a risk of having his armor broken and his Perseverance wouldn’t rise as quickly, therefore, he fought up close.


Repair!


Weed took off his equipment and struck them with a hammer. Armor and other equipment that had been about to break was quickly restored to maximum condition.


Unfortunately, his Repair skill was still only level 8, so it only looked as good as new: the durability of each item was at its minimum. If other people wore this kind of equipment and fought, it would have broken even before the duel ended. Wearing such equipment would have been impossible without painstaking care, akin to handling a very old car.


The Repair skill increased in level quicker than Sculpting or Cooking because it was a sub-skill, not a main skill. It was a sub-skill related to Blacksmith, so it had a fast growth rate.


On the other hand, he could do Sculpting anywhere, Cooking increased due to the Art stat and hard work, but Repair could not be improved without broken weapons or equipment. To Weed who hunted alone in Lavias, Repair was something that couldn’t be improved easily.


Weed checked the loot from the Death Knight.


*Ting*
————————————————————————————————
Item: Van Hawk’s Magic Helm:


Durability: 90/90
Defense: 25


Helmet worn by a Death Knight. It’s dome-shaped and covers the head completely; offers great defense. Van Hawk’s strength is contained within.


Restrictions:
Level 200
400 Strength


Equipped:
+30 Strength
+10 Agility
+15 Vitality
+10 Intelligence
+15 Resistance to dark magic
+10 Affinity with undead
Allows you to command undead of up to level 50.
The rank and number of undead commanded will depend on Leadership.
————————————————————————————————


*Ting*
————————————————————————————————
Item: Kalamorian Sword:


Durability: 65/65
Damage: 35-40


Used by a knight of the Kalmor Empire – Van Hawk.
Personally presented by Emperor Theodore to honor Van Hawk on the 651st year of the empire. Conveys a fierce spirit and an air of nobility.


Restrictions:
Level 200
300 Fighting Spirit
May only be wielded by Knights


Equipped:
+20 Strength
+10 Nobility
+10 Elegance
+10 Loyalty
+30 Fame
————————————————————————————————


*Ting*
————————————————————————————————
Item: Crimson Necklace of Life:


Durability: 50/50


Manufactured with ancient dark magic. Contains mysterious strength.
Created by undead ruler Barkhan for his servants.


Restrictions:
Unknown


Effects:
Unknown
————————————————————————————————
Weed took a huge breath.


“This… this is a big catch.”


In the first hunt, he received the best items the monster could give. But they were too good.


Van Hawk’s Magic Helm— Van Hawk was most likely the Death Knight’s name.


The items, with their excellent defense and effects, exceeded his expectations. Kalamor’s Sword had way better attack than his Clay Sword.


There was no additional frost damage, but it was a great sword used mainly by knights.


Right that was the problem: this sword was a Knight’s sword. Weed, who was a Sculptor, couldn’t use it. Of course, if he truly wanted to, there was an easy way to equip it: he could go to an empire or a kingdom, pass a test, pay a fee, and become a certified knight.


Unlike swordsmen, who had to undergo a second trial to be a Knight, he merely had to go get a license. If he did that, he could use this sword. However, he couldn’t use these items now anyway because of the level limitation.


“Identify”
————————————————————————————————
You have failed Identify the Item!
————————————————————————————————


“Identify”
————————————————————————————————
You have failed Identify the Item!
————————————————————————————————


The Crimson Necklace of Life couldn’t be identified despite several tries to identify it; his Identification skill level was simply too low.


“Well, I can’t do anything if this is my luck.”


He collected all the loot and went for the Grail, which rested on an altar. It was made of gold, and when Weed’s hand touched it, it shone brightly.


‘It’s hot!’  Weed’s hand felt as if it was on fire.


He could feel the Holy power wrapping around him strongly. His scars from battling the Death Knight a few moments ago were healed completely; his fatigue vanished as well…


*Ting*
————————————————————————————————
Item: The Church of Freya’s Treasure: Helain’s Grail has been recovered!
————————————————————————————————




The light from Helain’s Grail slowly dimmed, leaving behind a pure, clean feeling. Weed examined the grail, full of curiosity.


“Identify”
————————————————————————————————
Item: Helain’s Grail:


Durability: Infinite.


One of the three holy items bestowed by the Goddess Freya. A symbol of the goddess’ beauty and abundance. Gives infinite strength to those with strong belief. Turns water into Holy Water after a day. Holy Water is lethal to the undead. If spread on soil, will bring a plentiful harvest.


Restrictions:
Class related to clergy, or those accepted by the Order of Freya.
900 Faith


Effects:
+100 Faith.
+300 Fame.
Generates Holy Water.
————————————————————————————————


An item that infinitely generates Holy Water… as expected of a holy item of the Freya religion, it was a priceless treasure. When the Holy Water was used on soil, that year’s harvest increased by tenfold. To the undead, it was the most lethal of weapons. Only classes related to the clergy could use it, leaving Weed slightly disappointed.


‘Not bad.’


Weed repaired his sword, ready to continue to hunt the Spirits and Ghosts he had simply passed without a second thought.


The double experience point and item drop rate would last exactly one week in Barkhan’s Crypt; he couldn’t miss such a golden opportunity.


Just then, he heard a voice… “Hurry. Wake up, Oppa.”


The only one who would refer to Weed as “Oppa”, was his younger sister, Hayan. She was calling Weed through the microphone attached to the game capsule.


‘Hah… Now of all times…’

Weed looked around and logged out.

{ 9 comments... read them below or Comment }

  1. I just realized that person from last chapter was probably in a group of people who were all about to die, like that arc of SAO where the guild was made for people with terminal illnesses. The other members of her party probably all died.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. *SPOILERS*

      the people in the first group that da'in was in built the soon to be greatest clan in the continent with the highest level player (and she's one of the founders).

      Delete
    2. yep. The terminally ill plot reminded me of SAO

      Delete
    3. Don't give useless spoilers. Let people think what they want and find out for themselves.

      Delete
  2. Didn't he got a quest that'll canceled when he dies? What happened to it?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was the one to get the legendary moon sculptor class

      Delete

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