Chapter 7: Hermes Guild’s Endless Greed

7) Hermes Guild’s Endless Greed

Weed once again accessed Royal Road.

‘There are many people in the square today.’

It was possible to feel Morata’s development when looking at the square. He heard stories from merchants and users walking by.

‘Now there is only 6 days left.’

The quest required him to last 1 month. He was bored staying still as a statue but it was a quest he could fulfil safely.

There were also people who showed up in the square in the late hours. Dawn passed and more people came. He saw birds as the sun came up and also received warm light from the sun.

‘There isn’t anything serious today either.’

There was unlikely to be a dangerous incident in the middle of the square so it was fun watching people.

Weed often engaged in business at Serabourg Castle in Rosenheim Kingdom. He did business as a sculptor, cook and blacksmith so he was able to overprice customers as time passed.

Merchants who succeeded in a big adventurer and gained wonderful profit from trade regularly appeared in Morata.

“It is said that Spenson-nim has found the Church of Lugh’s sanctum in Argoldia.”

“Ah, they finally did it.”

“They are in the process of restoring the sword’s power. Those who stayed until the end of the quest have received a complete jackpot.”

It was also possible to hear news about adventurers and goods that were popular. He also had information about the Class Master Quests that a wide variety of people were now qualified for.

The skill proficiency required for combat classes was a little low. Even if they weren’t famous, people who raised the basic skill plunged into the Class Master Quest.

They didn’t think they would be the first to succeed but it was still worth doing it. And it was possible to raise their fame so the number of people completing the Master Quest grew to 54.

Weed was almost at the final step so he wasn’t interested in other competitors.

‘News about Bardray is sparse these days… I don’t know what he is doing. I hope he is planting pumpkin seeds somewhere.’

The hatred generated due to Tallock’s Armour!

★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★

The day of decision for the Hermes Guild.

“War will start at dawn today.”

Lafaye declared at a meeting of leaders. The army was already waiting at the borders of the Lasalle Kingdom. Bardray also stopped his Master Quest progression in order to command Haven Kingdom’s army.

Lafaye spoke to make it certain.

“We will leave the United Supremacy alliance when we strike Lasalle Kingdom.”

It was a big alliance of prestigious guilds on Versailles Continent. United Supremacy. Rather than expanding and fighting each other, they would join forces and keep their own occupied territory.

The Hermes Guild had precedent for breaking this thanks to the invasion of the Black Lion Guild’s Melbourne Mine.

They had already received warnings from the other prestigious guilds in the United Supremacy alliance so mobilizing an army against Lasalle Kingdom was like a declaration of war towards the entire continent.

The leaders were somewhat worried because of this point.

“Have any counter measures been taken for when we leave the alliance?”

“Our Hermes Guild is might but it will become difficult if they join together against us.”

The plan for the occupation of Lasalle Kingdom had already been decided but it was impossible not to feel anxious.

Lafaye carefully explained.

“According to the current situation, the other guilds haven’t completed their territory expansion yet. They are still battling their enemies in the kingdom so it will be difficult for them to throw military power against us.”

Lafaye was the guild’s external cannon.

Bardray exercised substantial control in the Hermes Guild but that was because Lafaye gave him permission. The important goals and detailed plans for the guild were determined by Lafaye and his advisors. Things like the development of the kingdom, measuring personnel, military education and diplomatic negotiations were done by Lafaye.

The Hermes Guild had grown thanks to Lafaye. Thanks to the intelligence staff behind Lafaye and the support of his advisors, his decisions were at a wonderful standard.

“And I’ve prepared some pre-emptive measures against some guilds that we should pay attention to.”

“I’ve never heard about this. What is the plan?”

The Hermes Guild’s territories were large and they had 100 leaders. Thus not all of them would know everything about the plan.

“It was still too early to tell you. I gave power to the hostile forces opposing them. There is sabotage, assassination of key figures and support such as in the case of the Beden Guild taking control of Tullen Kingdom.”

“It was very successful in the case of the Black Lion Guild and Tullen Kingdom. If the plan goes well then we’ll be able to make them flustered. But do we have the troops and funds to pay for war with the Lasalle Kingdom?”

“I decided to use the troops I dispatched to Morata to take care of Weed. Other secret battle companies are also prepared. The taxes from the Kallamore Kingdom are huge so we can afford it.”

“We’re stepping on a long tail. If they notice what we did then won’t we be in an even more difficult position with the other guilds?”

“Everybody is already watching us. Our forces are greater at present even if they attack. There is no meaning if the United Supremacy alliance breaks and an alliance that sets its sights on the Hermes Guild forms. It is better to be the person that strikes first.”

Anyway, the Hermes Guild needed to fight against the prestigious guilds if they wanted to conquer the continent. The temporary cooperation was just for their own interests!

The Hermes Guild hid their power and was able to quickly occupy the Kallamore Kingdom. The prestigious guilds had become tense and watched them.

Thus they decided on the strategy of striking first. The expansion of the Hermes Guild’s military power was smooth thanks to Bardray’s fame.

They stood as the pinnacle of overwhelming power that other guilds couldn’t compare to.

★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★

The Hermes Guild’s shock invasion of the Lasalle Kingdom!

The magician units moved on a large scale, destroyed a castle and commenced the war. The knights were trained to the best standard while the infantry and armoured troops were the best army on the continent.

The scene of the troops marching on the plains of the Lasalle Kingdom was a truly fearful sight.

Breaking news! The Haven Kingdom that is one of the major powers on the continent has declared war against the Lasalle Kingdom.

The Lasalle Kingdom won’t be able to hold up and it is only a matter of time until they are occupied!

The Haven Kingdom’s quick advance will have a great impact on the continent.

The ripple effect meant there was no news more important than this. Battles frequently happened on the Central Continent but a war between kingdoms didn’t occur that easily.

The Haven Kingdom was ahead in territorial area, population, military strength and economic strength. Therefore it was a one-sided invasion and the broadcasting stations were reporting it heavily. The Lasalle Kingdom wouldn’t even last 5 minutes against the Haven Kingdom considering the difference between them.

To make matters worse, the quality and quantity of the military was no comparison.

-The Hermes Guild has invaded? Are there any who surrendered?

-I’m a merchant. Everyone has closed up shop and is moving on but what way is safe?

-I know how Bardray fights. The war will end in the Lasalle Kingdom’s defeat so let’s go sightseeing.

The knights in the Hermes Guild were trained in various assault tactics that were useful against the weak army of the Lasalle Kingdom that was full of plains.

The Haven Kingdom’s troops completely overwhelmed the Lasalle Kingdom that it was only a matter of time before it was completely occupied.

-A war has happened again. I’m sick and tired of it.

-The Hermes Guild is too terrible. Do they really have to cause a war to broaden their territory while the Central Continent is suffering from the Embinyu Church?

-That is because of their strength. The person who suffers damage is someone weak. Of course, not many were thinking with their heads.

The viewers went on the boards and blasted the Hermes Guild’s ambition. The Guilds that belong to the United Supremacy also had an emergency meeting to prepare countermeasures.

The Hermes Guild’s invasion of the Lasalle Kingdom was clearly them leaving the alliance. But they were already engaged in war so it was impossible to prepare a large scale military. It wasn’t possible to stop the Hermes Guild with a small army.

“Will the Roam Guild help us?”

“The Cloud Guild can afford it so we will join you.”

“The Black Sword Mercenary group?”

“We have recently been commissioned for a difficult request so we can’t spare many people.”

The United Supremacy guilds sympathized with each other but each of them wanted to reduce the damage as much as possible. There were other prestigious guilds but the Hermes Guild had secretly obtained their support.

The meeting continued but the collection of forces didn’t formally become an alliance.

★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★

The best equipment, skills, hunting ground and mercenaries hired for a shaman.

Dain received all these benefits when hunting in a dungeon. The Hermes Guild treated her differently from the general users in the guild. The Hermes Guild had a policy of preferential treatment based on their abilities but Dain received more special treatment than normal.

“Who is she?”

“I don’t know. Guild Master-nim knows her personally. He told us to give her any support she needs.”

Dain possessed a high skill proficiency as a shaman so her level quickly rose. The guild’s support team periodically contacted her.

“Do you need anything more?”

“Right now I’m okay.”

“If you need any consumable items then tell us. And if there is a city or castle that you want to govern then just request it.”

Those with ability in the Hermes Guild were offered a territory. However if they didn’t demonstrate their skills on the battlefield then they would be stripped of their position.

They would still give Dain a position even if she didn’t have the skills. Including Bardray and Lafaye, she was one of the original 7 core members that founded the Hermes Guild in the early days of Royal Road. Even if the Hermes Guild gave priority to those with abilities, they couldn’t help treating the founders differently.

Dain didn’t care about power but she was interested in the Kallamore Kingdom.

After being plundered by the Hermes Guild, there was barely enough food left for the residents to the extent that they died from starvation.

“Any territory that belongs to the Kallamore Kingdom is fine.”

“Permission from Guild Master-nim is required for the Kallamore Kingdom… I will contact you after confirming it.”

The guild gave a reply in just a few hours. The Kallamore Kingdom didn’t matter so they offered her a territory.

“Please save the population as the security there is low.”

“A place with low security? Indeed… Those places are favourable for hunting so it will be good to raise the fame. I understand.”

The following day, the Hermes Guild decided to give Dain Evaluk Castle. It was one of the most populated areas in the Kallamore Kingdom but there were currently riots occurring due to excessive taxes. Monsters also frequently appeared there so it was a really dangerous place.

“The knights and infantry will also support you. And you don’t need to pay taxes for 3 months.”

It was the continuation of the exceptionally privileged treatment.

Once Dain was the lord, she cut taxes for the residents and focused on repairs of facilities and the walls. The invasion of monsters decreased so the rate of decline of the residents’ loyalty slowed. The first priority was to earn back the residents’ trust.

She was the only lord in the Kallamore Kingdom who invested in art. An exhibition space was prepared for sculptors and painters.

Kallamore, the kingdom of knights. After it was occupied, the flower of art started blooming.

★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★

Weed heard news about the war while he was still a statue in the square. The merchants walked the streets and spread rumours but the only stories were related to the war.

“The users in the Lasalle Kingdom only fought a few times before they died. I heard that seven castles have been occupied in 1 day.”

“Wahh, this is really frightening. Why is their advancement speed so fast?”

“I heard that the army was divided into three parties and used a wave offensive. Each division has 150,000 troops… I can’t even imagine it.”

The merchants in the square were anxious. War on the Central Continent would also have an influence on them.

There were massive amounts of refugees and the prices of things like grain and iron became unstable due to massive inflation.

Weed prayed as he constantly heard news of the Hermes Guild’s victories.

‘Fall. Fall completely.’

He had a hostile relationship with the Hermes Guild so it would be troublesome if they grew larger.

An adventurer ran up and said.

“It was difficult this time but the Hermes Guild has managed to occupy Suokun Fort!”

But Weed wasn’t disappointed. The Hermes Guild was huge but there were many variables in a war.

‘Lose. Lose.’

The merchants engaged in business around the statue also chattered away.

“I heard they just received Ellabas Plains. The occupation rate is really fast.”

His body couldn’t move and he was forced to listen to news about the Hermes Guild’s victories. Sometimes he also heard news about the Roam Guild or the Black Sword mercenaries.

They started to sneak out of their own kingdoms and launched a war of aggression against other kingdoms. The Hermes Guild’s invasion of the Lasalle Kingdom spread like a shockwave across the Central Continent.

Once the United Supremacy alliance was broken, the members indiscriminately rushed into war.

“Now it really is a time of war.”

“Our lives will change thanks to what happens on the Central Continent.”

“This fight might be the birth of an empire. Then we will have to live under their rule in the future.”

The news of the war decreased people’s interest in the Master Quests. The number of people in the square and broadcasting stations talking about the quests noticeably decreased.

The Master Quest was a fierce competition but the Adventurer Chase, Warrior Python, Farmer Miretas and Weed didn’t progress that quickly. They had to go to distant places, defeat legendary evil or find something legendary.

The Class Master Quest revealed the hidden history of the Versailles Continent. The quests were difficult, the progress speed was slow and the knowledge they obtained wasn’t shown on broadcasts.

If they were the first one to complete the Master Quest then they would get honour and be acknowledge as the most outstanding in their profession on the continent.

But the Versailles Continent was once again engulfed in war and the Embinyu Church was spreading like wildfire so the users’ interest turned to the war stations.

“Weed-nim is the only one people can believe in.”

“Yes. The God of War will protect us.”

“Weed-nim has to kill Bardray.”

A lot of people were searching for Weed but he was actually the statue covered with rain and dust. The weather became dark and damp as night fell.

There was only 2 days left until his quest completed. The period was only one month but he was bored so he wanted to go hunting.

‘This weather must be annoying Yellowy…..’

Weed spent 2 more days as a statue before finally completely the quest.

Ddiring!

-Sculpture’s Eyes has been completed

You have successfully understood being a sculpture for the required time.

-The skill proficiency of Sculpting has improved.

-2,002 Fame has been acquired for being a sculpture that changed the city.

-Your Perseverance has increased by 39 for spending time as a sculpture.

-Endurance has increased by 17.

-Luck has increased by 21.

-Thanks to the new experience, your Art stat has increased by 51.

-The cultural value of the Arpen Kingdom has risen.

-Sculpting skill proficiency has increased by 0.9%.

Weed realized something when doing the quest. He didn’t know the purpose of the quest but now he could understand the heart of a sculpture a little better.

“It is tedious.”

That was everything! The sculpture was nice from the viewpoint of the person who passed by and saw it but for the sculpture it was completely boring.

“It won’t be hard to sell.”

His sculptures were the most popular. Weed’s philosophy in life was to try and buy things even 200 won cheaper.

-The quest Sculpture’s Eyes has been completed.

So far as a sculptor, you have discovered Razteberg the first city on the continent.

The Elves’ question has been settled.

The Orcs have been taught sculpting.

The Dwarves have recognized your sculpting skills.

The sculpting of the Arpen Emperor is expanding into the world again.

The Ellyon race has been found.

The Arnin race has been rescued.

You have created new history while walking along the path of a Master Sculptor.

The continent’s artists and sculptors will look up to you. Now it is possible to advance to the next stage of the Master Quest. Please meet the Ellyons and listen to their story.

-The effect of the Sculpture Formation skill has ended.

His stiff body returned to normal. The corners of Weed’s eyes trembled like a sad movie has been seen. But the tears never flowed! He had gone on a long journey with the Sculpting Master Quest.

‘Now it is almost at the end.’

He remembered the way he felt when he first learnt sculpting.

‘I really thought my life was ruined… Even in the difficult situation I didn’t give up on the arts.’

In the beginning he was immersed in selling off sculptures for 2 silver. He made sculptures even while hunting and questing.

‘I’ve had a lot of fun though.’

He also made Bingryong after coming to the cold north and fighting the vampires.

‘I received an important enlightenment about art during the ice storm. Art isn’t different from nature.’

He could make sculptures using everything in nature. The damaged pyramid and sphinx destroyed by the Embinyu Church were also treasured memories.

He used the strength of sculpting in order to fight against the Immortal Legion.

Even the wyverns he gave life to were still useful today.

Weed accomplished his adventures with sculpting so it was impossible to separate them. Morata’s development also stemmed from sculpting. Blacksmithing, Sewing, Fishing, Mining, Sailing were all skills learnt with the help of sculpting.

This was the fateful path of a sculptor. The important memories naturally surged when he thought about it.

‘Once I’ve mastered sculpting then I need to master blacksmithing.’

Of course he would also master his Sword Mastery skill when fighting against monsters.

Weed’s goal was to master all his skills!

Anyway, now his priority was to leave Central Square. He had spent 1 month as a sculpture so it was awkward for him to suddenly move. There were still people talking around the fountain so Weed maintained his posture as a sculpture. He was holding the Daemon Sword and Sculpting Knife while staring at the sky. He didn’t even blink his eyes when people looked at him.

‘Hrmm…..’ It is harder trying to stay still when I can move.’

No events happened in Morata’s Central Square but it was always full of people.

‘A chance will come.’

Evening was approaching so Weed persisted in maintaining his posture. And after complete darkness fell, he saw a carriage approaching his area. Weed moved the moment the carriage passed. He quickly wore a robe and used Quadruple Run to leave his position.

“Eh? Weed-nim’s sculpture is gone? It was here a little while ago.”

“Where is it?”

“I don’t know. It is gone all of a sudden.”

“There’s no such thing. It’s not like a sculpture can move.”

★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★

Weed met the Ellyons working in the mines.

“Please tell me what I need to do.”

There wasn’t much left to the long journey so his heart was a little urgent. The Ellyons put down their pickaxes and received the beef jerky Weed gave them.

— If it is you then we can believe it. This is a story I haven’t told you. In the past, humans started going to war after the Arpen Empire split. There were lifeforms like us who scattered across the continent and lived elsewhere.

Weed nodded.

“It seems like that. Would you like me to collect another species?”

His target was to grab another sculptural lifeform and make them work!

— No, that’s not it. There was a friend who didn’t live with the humans and protected us on the continent.

“Who is it?”

ㅡ The hero Bahamorg of the Arpen Empire.  He is an existence born with us.

The now familiar videos appeared in front of Weed.

★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★

After the Arpen Empire split apart, the humans warred among themselves.

During this era of war, the Britten Alliance, Kallamore, Tullen, Masen, Gradian, Norton, the now disappeared Mapon and Bromba kingdoms were formed.

The power of humans weakened and monsters invaded once again. The sculptural lifeforms of the Arpen Empire were either caught as prisoners or found new settlements.

Bahamorg.

When the Arpen Empire unified the continent, he was the hero who led the sculptural lifeforms.

“Kurehah!”

He yelled in a large voice as he fought the enemies and monsters. He was a hero who played an active part in a place where magic was dancing wildly.

There were no weapons he couldn’t handle and he defeated large monsters and senior magicians.

★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★

‘He is very strong.’

Weed thought as he watched the video. Judging by his fighting, he was far stronger than Golden Bird. He might even be equivalent to the one who plunged the sword into Barkan! As the guardian of the former Empire, he was part of the strongest class of monsters.

‘It is good if I can make him work.’

While the Ellyons and Arnin were steady workers, Bahamorg was a hero born for war.

“So what happened?”

— He fought at a settlement for some other friends. If it wasn’t for him then it would probably be difficult for us to survive directly. He never rested and moved to other places to fight for the safety of our friends.

Weed also liked that point. There were lots of strong monsters. But if they were sincere then he could make them work really well.

Weed would exploit a target once he made them work.

— But when we saw him at the end, Bahamorg was full of wounds and poisoned that he would’ve died at any moment.

“Oh!”

Weed thought it was a waste. A really wonderful sculptural lifeform that he could put to work had died.

— I’m sorry for Bahamorg. Can you find out what happened to him? He probably returned to the capital of the Arpen Empire. It has been a long time since he died but any news is good.

-Hero Bahamorg

Bahamorg who endlessly pursued strength!

A sculptural lifeform that Geihar Von Arpen, the Arpen Emperor made after envying the strength of the Barbarians.

He was an illustrious warrior who stood at the forefront of every battle. After the Arpen Empire split, Bahamorg’s fate is unknown.

The Ellyons want to learn about his last moments.

This is the last adventure in the Class Master Quest.

If you accomplish this mission then it will lead to the final process to become a Class Master.

Level of Difficulty: Sculpting Master Quest

Quest Restrictions: Level 8 Advanced Sculpting

Sculpture Life Bestowal is necessary.

“Finally the end of a long adventure.”

As expected, the request this time wasn’t that easy. It was like dropping a 100 won coin and trying to find it again 1 year later. Or when the pork roast he bought disappeared without a trace.

But he didn’t want to give up. Weed was the type to breakthrough if he was put into a corner!

“The capital of the Arpen Empire… I will find it.”

The great Antarosa!

Once ruins were left of the Arpen Empire’s Imperial Palace and city buildings.

Monsters swarmed the place at night but the shattered rubble everywhere made it even more dangerous. There was no protection from walls and no guards were stationed there!

In the early days of Royal Road, there was a boom of adventurers going on expeditions there. Numerous magic items and history books were discovered.

A large number of knowledge and treasure on the Versailles Continent came out of Antarosa. In the past, it was the capital of the Arpen Empire and there were all kinds of buildings.

Historical or high value artwork and treasures were still being unearthed now so there were still many adventurers who aimed at finding a jackpot.

“I’ll do my best to investigate.”

-You have accepted the quest.

ㅡ I will wait for the good news. Bahamorg was a hero who protected us.

“I’ll complete your request to the end without giving up. He has to be alive….”

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