Volume 53 Chapter 7 – Tormented Weed
Seoyoon constructed defensive fortifications against monsters all across the continent and launched the reconstruction of all the deprived cities.
The person in charge of all government activity and spending was Weed.
She was just making investments as a representative of Weed.
The citizens of the Arpen empire, the people residing in the north and central continent began chattering.
“Have you heard that the benevolent emperor Weed has untied his golden pouch for us? They say he has endless fortune and thus, he spends it for our well being!”
“Of course… His majesty is the most honorable in all of the continent. There were false rumors about his manipulative evil powers… I don’t believe that.”
“I can understand why our empire is growing. A nation that emphasizes in technology is meant to grow significantly.”
“You’re an architecture major? You have to move hastily. This entire continent is a construction zone!”
“You should be grateful that you’re living in the Arpen empire.”
“Sewer maintenance! That never happened how many times we put in a request. The last time there was a major flood muddy water flooded into the streets. This time, his majesty has committed to it. I didn’t think he’d grant the request from such a small outskirt village…”
“Do you all know of Han’s child living in a hut deep in the forest? He needed surgery on his eyes… His majesty provided for his surgery fees. What a miracle. The citizens of Ritten will all obey his majesty. We are thinking of participating in the fort construction.”
The citizens of the central continent had a change in attitude and were now praising the Arpen empire. Normally, a small release of money into domestic affairs usually did not make citizens too satisfied.
An enormous amount of money was spent, enough to get rid of all anxiety, nervousness and fear all at once!
Even the thugs living in back-alleys with almost no security spoke.
“The Arpen empire is the boss.”
“Yeah. We gon’ live on for Weed, his majesty.”
“Unconditional obedience is an honorable thing.”
“I can’t trust my own father, but I can trust Emperor Weed.”
Users of the northern and central continent were thrown off by what the citizens were talkingabout.
“What? Just how much did he invest?”
“Seems to be a bigger fuss than when Weed-nim completed an S-rank quest.”
“I heard from my friends in another region, and there has been investments in practically all the cities and villages. Apparently, things have changed in my homeland as well.”
“For the great landmarks to be constructed, that is amazing. Great landmarks… When they were constructed in Morata, people went crazy for them.”
“It’s not just here. My friends tell me that there is a great landmark being constructed in all major cities of the continent.”
“At every major city?”
“Yeah. Investment has begun all across the Arpen empire’s territory.”
The northern users were cheering madly. However, the large-scale investment this time around was shocking news to many users. This was only a few days after the battle of the Garnav plains had ended.
For such a massive investment to happen while the Arpen empire’s territory was still expanding out in the central continent and while Kaybern was wreaking havoc!
“To be honest… This is now at a point where we can’t say anything about Weed-nim making some profit of his own.”
“So, this lord recruitment was his grand scheme for an upright Arpen empire. I fought for no meaningful cause. I just fought because I hated the Hermes guild. I had no idea that things would turn out this way.”
“So, the northerners praising Weed-nim wasn’t for nothing. I mocked the Grass Porridge Cult for taking his side even after people were buying out their lord seats. Turns out the dumb one was me.”
“At this scale, couldn’t he have used up all the money gained from recruiting lords?”
“No way… He should have reserved some.”
“I think the guy is right. There isn’t a place that’s unchanged. A man needs to go on a loan for this much investment.”
The central continent users were deeply touched.
Now that they were associated not under the Haven empire, but instead the Arpen empire, the official tax rate had been reduced to a tenth of what it used to be.
“Everything is perfect.”
“Ever since the Arpen empire conquered the central continent, it turned into a livable place.”
“The difference is like the earth and the sky. It’s that much.”
Kaybern’s existence was a concerning threat, but the investment from the Arpen empire wiped out all worries.
< The Arpen empire is making a leap into the golden age.
Emperor Weed’s investment has brought out the empire’s potential in production.
Construction has reached a level never seen before with renovation everywhere from the damp sewers to the scout towers on tall forts.
New architectural styles and construction methods can be researched.
The loyalty of all citizens of the empire is increased by 79.
National reputation is increased by 32.
10% bonus effect on the production of goods.
Architectural technology advancement is improved. Taller, larger buildings can be constructed.
Culture will expand more rapidly.
The political relations with other nations are improved.
Other kingdoms may offer gifts on occasion.
Reputation of aristocrats and knights is increased and elegance is permanently increased by 2.
The effects of legislative buildings are now added 50%.
The production rate of goods by artisans is increased and additionally contribute to the regional reputation.
Chances of bandits spawning due to the unstable security is reduced.>
< The blessings of friendly gods are applied.
Freya, Lu, Batali, and Minae bestow the god’s blessing over the Arpen empire. >
A golden age in the history of the Arpen empire!
Message alerts kept popping up on screen for Weed who had continued to roam the hunting grounds with the undead.
< Your name is spreading all across the Arpen empire as the respected emperor.
Reputation is increased by 132,500.
Charisma, elegance and charm are increased permanently by 18.
Your title changed to ‘A generous king who gives his all’.
The loyalty of knights accumulate quicker. >
< Citizens of the Malzain village wish for the well being of the Emperor.
Reputation is increased by 861.
Honor is increased by 2. >
< The free knight Tartaros swears his loyalty.
He is eager to teach you the sword technique passed down in his family. >
< The Pugel village wishes for the Emperor’s health… >
< The trades city of Zenota hosts a party for the Emperor… >
< The Maltan village is hosting a celebration party for the Emperor… >
“What is this?”
The message alerts were endless even though he was in the hunting grounds.
“Is this some kind of error?”
Weed observed the stats like honor, elegance, charisma and charm increasing consistently though they were not related to combat.
< Boron village hosts an art exhibition for the emperor.
Art is increased by 1. >
Even the art stat!
Weed felt like he was struck on the back of his head.
“So this is what it’s like to be emperor.”
An empire’s leader was such a pleasant position. He could stand idle and his honor would increase and infamy would decrease all on their own. Stats were improved in the same way.
“Authority is really something. Bard Ray had all this to himself until now.”
Many important tips were released due to the growth of the users, but some extremely great tips will be kept away intentionally. These were positive elements that could only be discovered by becoming the emperor or the king.
“I wonder how many stats Bard Ray gained from this.”
Weed felt very envious, but in truth Bard Ray was not privileged with any significant benefits.
Despite ruling the central continent, his reputation was too low and he gained little honor or stats.
Instead, whenever a Hermes guild member caused trouble, his infamy stacked up. The effects of his job class as the dark knight resulted in more complaints and discontentment from the knights and citizens.
Bard Ray on individual terms had suffered a loss in a way.
“Anyway… How much gold did you invest?”
Weed intentionally did not ask after he left Seoyoon in charge of affairs, until now.
He didn’t want to seem like a cheapskate.
“Should I ask? Or should I let it go? Hmm… I am really curious though.”
While the undead were clearing the dungeon, the thought did not leave his mind.
“Van Hawk. Don’t slack and run! Torido, your wings seem to be slower in bat form. Sevil and Gernica. You both need to be more aggressive!”
He scolds them badly but still couldn’t relieve his curiosity.
When he truly wanted to know about something, he would often spend sleepless nights.
Especially when it involves a huge fortune of money!
Weed was hesitant in his whisper to Seoyoon.
“Did you finish with the affairs?”
– Seoyoon : Yes. The basics anyway.
“Good job. You went through all the trouble. I think the response is great.”
– Seoyoon : I am glad.
“How much did you invest anyway?”
Weed hoped that the spending would estimate around 500 to 600 million gold. He would have been able to dream about spending so much in the past.
‘I’ve grown some guts over the years.’
In the times of Arpen kingdom, he reinvested all the income from the north. Although he constructed many things like the great landmark, he repaired living spaces with shanty town and did not construct any castle walls nor forts.
He reduced the production costs of city construction to a tenth and only expanded in areas absolutely necessary.
‘Money slips away when you use it. It remains if you don’t.”
He had invested diligently until this moment and was thinking about collecting soon.
– Seoyoon : All of it.
“All, all of it?”
– Seoyoon : Yes. I used it all up.
Weed felt a shudder travel through his entire body.
‘The tremendous fortune in my pocket has been sprinkled all over the world?’
The feeling of loss and emptiness was greater than the pride from a righteous deed. He thought rationally, that he had misunderstood her.
“Ah… You mean that you used up all the income from the Puhol waterpark cottages. I misunderstood you because you missed out on the details.
– Seoyoon : We used that all up last time, and all of the lord duty fees this time.
– Seoyoon : You collected duty fees in order to invest in the development.
Of course he did say such things.
‘A good thing is good for the other… I just said that as an excuse to exploit for some money. Every merchant on average uses these lies.’
He wasn’t as devastated even when Kaybern appeared. Not even when he had to stop the immortal legion, nor the time the volcano erupted at Jigolath. At this very moment though, he could not move a finger due to the shock.
“All that money…”
– Seoyoon : I think the essential and important investments are taken care of. The people are really satisfied.
Weed lost all motivation as if suffering from a bad cold. His arms and legs trembled and his fingers did not fold properly.
“Yes. Of course… The people would love it for sure. They will run around screaming.”
His mind would not be this clouded even after hunting all day 30 hours straight.
– Seoyoon : I constructed forts as well. It would defend against the army of monsters before any significant damage can occur.
“Yeah… Of course you built forts too. You used all that money. For sure.”
– Seoyoon : I also took care of the old forgotten projects of the cities in the central continent. I could not cover all of them, but I prioritized on the ones that would result in the highest return. You’ll be able to see triple the results after a month.
“Yeah I would. Maybe…”
Weed was drenched deep in a sense of loss. A loss in the battle against Bard Ray would not have felt this tragic. A streak of failures on S-rank quests will not feel like such.
Money, money, money.
Money, the source of all temptations had left him without him even witnessing its existence.
The industrialized cities displayed impressive production capabilities. The northern region as a whole was concentrated on crop and agricultural production, but the exceptional artisans were mostly in the central continent. If the investment results in remarkable improvement to the Arpen empire, the revenue will once again flow back to Weed.
Rationally, it could be taken as a good investment, but in the spur of the moment he felt overwhelmed by thoughts of dejection.
“Yes. I got it. I am busy now, so let’s talk later.
– Seoyoon: Okay. I will look after the affairs a bit more.
“Is there any money left after spending it all?”
– Seoyoon : Someone sent 84,000 gold from Morata just now.
The big fortune had left, but a small fish came in.
It was pocket change compared to 9 billion gold, but it brought a bit of warmth to the corner of his heart!
– Seoyoon : I will also invest this money into the regional development.
“Even that precious, honest gold…”
– Seoyoon : You seem to be discontent. Did I do something wrong?”
“No. I am really grateful… I mean it. I really, really appreciate it.I’m busy hunting, so I will contact you later.”
– Seoyoon : Call me anytime.
Weed ended the whisper with Seoyoon and assembled his subordinates.
A long silence.
Yellowy cowered in anticipation.
He knew that it was time for his foul master to begin his scolding!
The northern users were on their way back to Morata after the end of the battle on Garnav plains.
“I can see various animal tracks.”
“Could it be dangerous?”
“I have no idea. According to the news, there was a huge increase in the population of monsters.”
The northerners moved as a group with a minimum of a hundred people.
This was after the news of multiplying monsters due to Kaybern’s activity, and high-level users were among these groups.
“Everyone, just trust me. Haha. I am Hegel of the Black Lion Guild.”
Hegel inspected the tracks on the ground and smiled confidently.
“These are just wolf tracks. The wolves that spawn around this area are around level 200. The ones with white fur are 300s, but I can defeat them all.”
“Of course. Wolves are a piece of cake… I can handle up to several of them. If they appear, I will hunt them down and distribute the fur to everyone.”
There was a reason for Hegel’s confidence.
From level 100 to 200 he had tediously hunted down wolves.
The reason being was that the wolves in the Tulen region had very specific characteristics. He knew well the traits of wolves and how to hunt them.
‘I’m not who I once was, so they should die relatively easily. I think.’
Nide, the thief with significantly higher level than him was by his side, so there was nothing to be afraid about.
“By the way, Hegel. There’s a lot of wolf tracks here. They’re strangely steep too.”
Nide spoke after having carefully investigated the footprints. Being a thief, he wasn’t as good at investigating tracks like adventurers, but he had a good eye for details.
“Still, they’re just wolves.”
“It’s fine. It isn’t just us here in the first place.”
“I mean, I guess it’s fine.”
Hegel and Nide turned to the rear.
They had been moving ahead of the group, and they could see several groups of users following them in sight.
As they got closer to Morata, more northerners were gathering.
“I can see many central continent users as well.”
“They should be curious of Morata too.”
“Whoo…. Big bro Weed is really something.”
Hegel noticed that every time he boasted about his friendship with Weed, he could see the sparkling eyes of the girls.
The night before on their camping out in the fields, users gathered around them.
“Pale-nim and most of the other comrades became provincial lords. Aren’t you going to apply for the Arpen empire lord position, Hegel-nim?”
“K-hmm. I have no desire for lord position.”
That wasn’t true.
He desperately wanted to become a lord, but no one appointed him.
“Do you meet with Weed-nim often?”
“Yes. I see him every day. Did I mention that I used to eat out with him?”
His popularity was at its peak!
A bulky barbarian warrior approached with a grin.
“Huh-huh-huh. This dagger ain’t too shabby. Would you like to take one?”
“A void dagger? That’s an advanced item.”
“Since you are a comrade of Weed-nim, I would like to offer this as a souvenir.”
There were users more famous and higher in level, but all respected Hegel.
‘I am not who I was a while ago.’
Hegel had pride believing that he fought valiantly until the final moments in the battle of Garnav plains.
He extracted his sword and charged at the 3rd legion, worried that he would die in vain. However, it seemed that all the luck in his lifetime was granted that day.
A wolf howl ripped through the air.
“It can be dangerous for the novice players, so let us step up.”
“Alright. I was getting bored anyway.”
The ones out of the northerners over level 250 with confidence against the wolves sprang to the front.
“Wolf hunts are exciting.”
“Yeah… Gotta keep your guard up.”
“Nide. Let’s dash in there.”
The central continent users that were more capable in comparison thought of this situation as a small enjoyment, but things began to shift.
Beyond the fields were swarms of wolves streaming in continuously.
“What is all that?”
“There are large monsters too.”
They were giants over 4 meters tall driving the wolves with the swing of their whips.
“You can only find those in dungeons.”
“Wolf wardens. They have exceptional physical defense traits, capable of firing arrows and buffing the wolves.”
“That many wolves?”
“Damn. We can’t outrun them on the fields. This could turn out into a massacre.”
The users were turning pale. Skilled users quickly joined from the rear groups.
“We must defend. Let the novice players fall back.”
“More reinforcement are on their way. If we hurry, we can save many users.”
Except for those over level 300, the rest decided to escape.
As they were finalizing the moment.
A scream burst from the skies and something pierced through the clouds, travelling at fearsome speed.
“It’s a mons… No, a wyvern.”
The archer with keen eyes shouted.
Simultaneously, all the users glanced up to the sky, Wy-3 the mascot of the north was plunging.
“There’s a man on it.”
“A man, could it be…?”
“I think that’s him.”
Weed’s whereabouts were being tracked live by the broadcast station.
It was said on the news that he was hunting down the monsters in the north on Wy-3, but for him to appear at this location!
“Weed-nim. Over here. Right here!”
“Kyaah. I’m a fan!”
“Grass Porridge, Grass Porridge.”
“Hurray for Arpen empire!”
Users forgot all about their tension with the monsters and waved wildly.
“Weed-hyung. Hegel is over here!”
“Nide is here as well.”
Hegel and Nide tried to greet him, but they were drowned out by the crowd of users.
The arrow fired by Weed from on top of Wy-3 travelled down like a ray of light and struck directly onto the wolves.
The wolves were either burnt alive or were frozen solid.
“From such a far distance…”
“His attack is so powerful.”
The crowd couldn’t cease to be amazed.
The wolf corpses burst like tide currents, leading to sequential explosions.
– The grudges of the dead do not fade away and they rise to destroy the life and land in this area.
Corpse Chain Explosion!
The destruction from the corpse explosion spread and detonated the entire area.
Moments after, skeletons rose from the grounds!
They were enveloped in violet auras, the effects of the death aura.
As the power of the dead accumulated, the basic phase of death aura was enabled.
“The overlord commands us. Slaughter them.”
“Fight until your bones come apart. You slowpokes!”
Skeletons sprinted with swords and shields in hand and slaughtered the wolves in a threatening fashion.
They ran at similar speed as the wolves and were in a systematic formation under the command of Van Hawk.
They were on an outright massacre of the tens of thousands of wolves that had appeared in the fields.
“A necromancer’s combat power is on this level?”
“Weed-nim is the best in Royal Road. That’s why he can fight this well.”
“It’s truly fearsome.”
The users were all observing blindly without any thoughts of fighting.
The undead were fighting well on their own, and soon after that the baraag army showed up and roasted the land.
It was a spectacular display of combat tactics!
The users waved and praised him.
“Weed-nim. You are the best!”
“God of War, Weed!”
“Thank you for your investments into the continent.”
“You spent a fortune, and I apologize for having misjudged you! You are magnificent!”
“Weed-nim is awesome, spending all his money into investment!”
Weed channeled a magic spell furiously.
“You all shall be sacrificed. I offer my body and call forth darkness onto this land… All that in existence shall disappear.”
He used a magic spell instantaneously, a most destructive spell sacrificing health points and mana.
He could easily wipe out the wolves with just the undead, but he bombarded attacks out of frustration.
< 10 health points remaining. >
< 10 mana points remaining. >
< Overstrain of magic use has surpassed the physical limitations. You possess high endurance and perseverance.
Maximum health and mana points are increased permanently by 20.
Mana recovery rate is reduced by 32% for 48 hours. >
He drove thousands of wolves into their demise, using 120,000 health points and 80,000 mana all at once with the use of a single spell.
< 3 health points have been absorbed. >
< 2 mana points have been absorbed. >
< 5 health points have been absorbed. >
< 1 mana points have been absorbed. >
The effects of death aura.
Health and mana points were supplied consistently by the skeletons conducting battles.
Even with the recovery, Weed’s combat tactics were not like this.
He likes high speed hunting, but he would never spend health and mana with such inefficiency.
It was pure frustration!
He was venting out his anger on the wolves clustered on the ground.
“That’s sick. So overpowered.”
“Wow… He’s the apex of necromancers.”
“Weed-nim displays something new every time he gets hands-on.”
“Being that powerful and composed is why he can invest that much into the Arpen empire.”
“The rich are different. Even one good act for the people involves a free-handed spending.”
“Save penny after penny to pour all of it for a single moment.”
Weed’s remaining rational conscience turned into a state that even made seasoned spicy and fried chicken unrecognizable.
“You all shall be sacrificed. I offer my body and call forth darkness onto this land… All that in existence shall disappear.”
He channeled the Great Extinction towards the users!
< Insufficient health and mana points for activating the magic spell. >
Fortunately, a catastrophe was interrupted in its tracks frankly due to a lack of mana.