The Legendary Moonlight Sculptor Volume 48 Chapter 4
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Chapter 4: Seeds of Attack
The emergency strategy room of the Grass Porridge Cult.
Behind Morata’s back street and the empty houses on the hill, there was a shabby shrine that escaped the surveillance of the Haven Empire.
50 users were sitting on cheap matting placed on the dirt floor.
“Yes. I will enjoy this food.”
There was high quality grass porridge with abalone, ginseng and beef.
“This soft neck is smooth in the grass porridge.”
Great people were gathered to discuss the Haven Empire’s invasion and indiscriminate destruction of the Arpen Kingdom.
At first, the emergency strategy room was formed to stop the war, but now they had a clear purpose.
-Free adventures and trade.
Defeat the Hermes Guild who are dictators for the peace and freedom of the continent.
Hooray the Arpen Kingdom!
“We won’t back down from the Haven Empire.”
“Their weakness will be short-lived. Once their rule becomes stable in a few months, they will reorganize and invade us again.”
“Grass Porridge Cult… The fate of the north hangs by a thread.”
“At this point, we have to be strong. But it is difficult to gather the northern users…”
“Many players don’t want a war.”
The emergency strategy committee prepared for the future.
There was a plan for Weed to lead the northern users to attack the Central Continent, but that was excluded because there were too many weaknesses.
The military power of the Haven Empire was still strong.
It was a question of how many northern users would join as well as ruling the conquered territories.
“What is the trend of the Central Continent?”
“It is stable.”
“The tax cuts seem to be doing well in the short term.”
“It is unfortunate but the complaints are gone.”
The users in the emergency strategy room eating grass porridge had absurd specifications.
There were senior officials, diplomats and soldiers of every administrative branch of the country.
People experienced in various fields came to the Arpen Kingdom in the north after starting Royal Road.
A grade 5 clerk who passed the administrative examination couldn’t help wanting to eat grass porridge!
Members of parliament and politicians also tried to join the Grass Porridge Cult.
“I am a member of parliament. Can’t I get a bowl of grass porridge for free?”
“Is that so?”
In the early days, there were members who did bad things but that was no longer the case.
If someone acted wrongly under the name of the Grass Porridge Cult then their image would be recorded and released to the entire world.
Although the politicians might have lied or committed irregularities in reality, it was impossible in the Grass Porridge Cult.
Even politicians could mess with Royal Road due to their family members who played it.
“A way to undermine the power of the Hermes Guild… It is hard since our military is weak.”
“If they attack first then the strategies we can use are limited. Take a look at the past where we were hit hard at the Earth Palace… Every time a battle is fought, the Arpen Kingdom continues to suffer damage.”
“If a full-scale war breaks out then the north will be decimated. Once the Central Continent is stabilized, the Haven Empire will focus on the north.”
“A preemptive strike is the correct answer. Organizations such as the Hermes Guild will quickly collapse if they are weakened. Those who gathered have no loyalty in the first place.”
“They are united due to their interests. As long as they occupy the Central Continent, they won’t scatter.”
“If we conquer a part of the Central Continent then it won’t be any better…”
There were numerous discussions on how to attack the Haven Empire.
They didn’t know about Mapan’s economic penetration but a number of similar methods emerged.
One of the comments was that if the Pallos Kingdom was established in the south, the Grass Porridge should give support to strengthen it.
Then while doing errands, Soft Tofu raised his hand.
“I remember something Weed said in the past.”
“What is it?”
“He told Geomchi that he would rip the Haven Empire to shreds.”
“He said it when the Haven Empire was at its most powerful.”
“There has to be some degree of distribution…”
“He is the person who created the Arpen Kingdom in the north.”
The users gathered in the emergency strategy room were filled with admiration.
When the Haven Empire had invaded the Arpen Kingdom, Weed had spoken simple words.
-They want to aim for my rice bowl? I can’t leave it alone. I will tear them to shreds!
It was like tearing up the notebook of the creepy person in kindergarten.
The elites in the emergency strategy room interpreted the meanings deeply.
“Tearing apart… Then it means winning the war against the Haven Empire. But the form and results are different from what is expressed. At the time, didn’t he tactically destroy the Earth Palace?”
“There is a difference between overthrowing and tearing them down. There seems to be a hidden meaning.”
“Perhaps he wasn’t referring to that moment but the distant future?”
“Destroying the Haven Empire. Doesn’t it mean something like that?”
“Weed-nim’s words. It can’t just be a rough interpretation. We need to understand his words to change the flow of the continent.”
“I think we need someone to figure out the meaning of his language.”
“We should bring someone majoring in Korean literature or who has a doctorate in humanities.”
“Will that be enough? We should invite the Harvard and Yale professors.”
The elites of the Grass Porridge Cult invited the world’s scholars to delve deeply into the meaning of those words. And the conclusion!
The South Korean soldier, who provided information about body armour corruption to the media, said.
“It is right to interpret it literally. He is going to tear up the Haven Empire.”
A soldier, who retired after reporting about submarine irregularities, spoke next.
“Tearing into multiple pieces? How?”
“Send the best troops of the Arpen Kingdom to destroy many areas…”
The soldier, who was outcast after reporting a connection between the jet fighter business and the defense companies, shook his head.
“Our power isn’t that much. The Hermes Guild has a lot of personnel and will be prepared for this.”
“Or we can tear up their power by exacerbating the relationships between the lords of the Central Continent.”
“It is convincing.”
“We are in a situation where we can try it but… Well. Would they foresee this?”
“The complaints of the lords towards the Haven Empire are significant. There was Darius’ exposure and their profits are reduced due to lowering the taxes.”
“Even so, we aren’t likely to succeed.”
“If we defend the Arpen Kingdom then there will be no losses.”
“Then in order to worsen the relationship with the Hermes Guild…”
The plan steadily formed.
There could have been a heated debate but they decided to follow Weed’s words.
“We can divide it into stage 1 and stage 2.”
“When the plan is finished… The Versailles Continent might fall into chaos.”
“We have to distinguish between success and failure in stage 1. Only then can we push on with Stage 2.”
“It is about whether we can move the people’s hearts but… The plan doesn’t show any other loopholes.”
“It is Weed-nim’s plan. We have to believe and pursue it.”
“We need to keep it secure so only bring in trusted users.”
“In any case, keep your mouths shut. You can’t be bribed by the Hermes Guild.”
“Fortunately, we have many qualified users.”
“The Toadstool Porridge unit is also reliable.”
The Grass Porridge Cult established a specific plan and reported it to the Arpen Kingdom. Seo-yoon made the final decision!
She took a look at the final proposal and stamped it.
* * *
South of the Haven Empire. He was a top ranker in the Hermes Guild and ruled over the vast area that once consisted of the Gradian Kingdom and the Nest Kingdom.
He was robbed by Weed and attacked by rebels at Node Krape, then he went to the north to take revenge.
“Kuuuok. It was a thorough defeat…”
Myul abandoned his plan of revenge and used the remaining griffon troops to retake Node Krape and his territory.
The rebels were silent but the desert warriors’ attacks led to an endless call for support in the area of the Great Plains.
-For the stability of the region, dispatching troops is necessary. Please save us!
-You must help. The Great Plains is being conquered.
-The desert is looting us. The gates are already open as I write this…
Myul quickly moved at the Hermes Guild’s request, but the desert warriors had already retreated.
“Ahh. It is over.”
“It is over. There is nothing left in the warehouse.”
“All the soldiers were dragged. Now we have to start from the bottom up.
The southern lords who returned from the evacuation were devastated as they sat on the ground. The golden grains of the Great Plains had been pulled up. It was the symbol of abundance for the Great Plains. It was the same for the apples, pears, pomegranates and fig trees planted in the streets.
Even the unripe fruits had been taken away.
After the plunder of the Great Plains, the grain prices skyrocketed on the Central Continent. Big hands moved first so it was hard to find it on the market.
“This damage… Kuk. Over half of this year’s yield from the Great Plains was taken away.”
“It is a really big deal. Shouldn’t the empire be more vigilant?”
“That’s right. They only worried about the cities or towns. Now all the food has been swept away.”
“That isn’t the problem. I hear that they took many residents?”
“Engineers and young people were forced into captivity and dragged to the desert.”
“No… Such a cruel thing.”
The lords were shocked to hear the news.
When the prestigious guilds fought, they tried to reduce the damage to the people as much as possible.
Manpower was hard to control in battle so it couldn’t be helped if excited users sometimes burned the city, but they were punished afterwards.
Even during wars, these acts greatly increased infamy. The penalties for quests and ruling were large so those with common sense didn’t do such actions.
Building or property damage could be recovered, but it was impossible to recover in a short amount of time if residents were moved.
However, the lords of the Central Continent didn’t know about the difference in culture.
The act of robbing or taking captives from a civilized land had a large penalty and increased infamy.
But in the desert area, they were praised for being capable of capturing a large number of prisoners.
“They aren’t very smart or don’t care about their bad name.”
“According to the users, they only follow the laws of the desert.”
“They are thieves.”
“Their swords are their only strength.”
Myul ruled Node Krape and thought that the southern lords lacked economic knowledge.
After spending more than half of the taxes to the Haven Empire, the rest was wasted restoring the damage caused by the rebels.
“Just as we were regaining some stability in the area, the desert warriors…”
“There is no more room to lower the tax rate.”
“In the south, warriors say they will establish the Pallos Empire.”
“Now we must bury the desert!”
“Let’s get back our lost residents and property.”
The lords of the Great Plains and the southern defenders of the Hermes Guild came up with tough countermeasures.
Myul, one of the greatest powers in the area, didn’t like it.
“The griffons can’t wander around the hot desert searching for enemies.”
“We should be together in this.”
“How many troops will be committed?”
“I will send 200,000. Pull out the roots of the desert before it can grow more.”
“Are you going to take control of the southern desert with 20,000 troops?”
“I will send elite troops. The Imperial Army isn’t invincible… but they are strong.”
“Do you know how wide the desert is? If traffic isn’t developed then wandering the middle of the desert isn’t the answer. Isn’t there any reinforcements from Aren Castle?”
“They can’t afford it. It isn’t the time for war and the Hermes Guild has a lot of land to keep.”
“They have no interest in the remote south.’
“Then there will be an expedition into the desert.”
“Those guys will come again…”
“Even then, we will stop it somehow. Next time, we have to respond much more quickly.”
The debating lords couldn’t come to a conclusion.
Many of them were asking for salvation without wanting to go out.
* * *
The knights of steel that dominated the skies.
“These guys. They had another baby.”
Myul was busy taking care of the griffons at Node Krape.
The young griffons were hungry so he put large pieces of cut beef into their beaks.
“Eat a lot. Don’t stay cute like this.”
The number of griffons was reduced a lot due to Weed’s raid and the war in the north.
It was difficult to regain 5,000 again so the young griffons would be the strength of the griffon corps in the future.
“Huhuhu. You will completely control the skies of the continent. Once the sky is ours, the ground will come naturally. This isn’t the big picture.”
While Myul was smiling, he received a warning that an intruder was approaching.
A man wearing a novice outfit was flying on a wyvern towards Node Krape!
“Don’t tell me…”
Myul confirmed the wyvern from the top of the tower.
“Isn’t that wyvern Wy-3?”
The wyvern who carried Weed around all the time.
There was no wyvern more famous on the continent.
‘Is Weed invading? It is likely he didn’t come alone. Large forces will come.’
Myul was on the verge of making an emergency call to the griffons and his army.
Then he saw the white flag and the face of the user on Wy-3.
‘That isn’t Weed?’
Weed’s face was so normal then he forgot it after a while.
The user on Wy-3 was fairly different from weed.
‘Weed can change appearances… This might be a trick.’
However, Myul didn’t lost his confidence.
From the early days in the Hermes Guild, he had led a number of battles to victory. He had high pride and didn’t think he would be easily defeated by Weed in a one-on-one battle.
Node Krape was a fortress built on a cliff.
It wasn’t a fortress that would easily fall even if a war occurred.
‘I can fight. But I don’t think Weed would change his face and come bearing a white flag.’
Myul gestured at the window and guided the visitor to the griffon nest at Node Krape.
* * *
Myul welcomed the visitor in the novice clothing. After descending from Wy-3, he straightened his shoulders and introduced himself.
“I am Tokkung from the Toadstool Porridge unit.”
“Toadstool Porridge unit?”
“Yes. Weed-nim sent me here.”
Myul was disappointed despite expecting that the other person wasn’t Weed.
‘Too bad. If he had been alone then I would have killed him.’
Although it was cowardly, it would be worth it for the fame he would get from killing Weed. But he was interested in what the Grass Porridge Cult had to say.
If it was something trivial then they wouldn’t have sent a Toadstool Porridge member on Wy-3.
“What do you want to say?”
“Huhu. I have a good offer for you.”
The user called Tokkung grinned.
“I will omit the long introduction. Do you have any thoughts of becoming independent from the Haven Empire?”
Tokkung explained the Grass Porridge Cult’s proposal.
The Myul-controlled areas of Gradian and Nest would become independent and remain free from the reign of the Haven Empire.
The Grass Porridge Cult would use their influence and stop the desert warriors from attacking.
“If the relationship improves then you can trade with northern specialties. A large trading team from the Arpen Kingdom will visit by sea.”
“So the desert warriors won’t make peace with the empire? That is the proposal?”
“Of course. The desert warriors will be active in other areas but this one will receive no damage.”
Myul thought it was ridiculous as he listened.
“I still can’t understand it. You want me to get away from the solid fence of the empire?”
“Yes. If you change to the system of the Arpen Kingdom, many northern users will head to Myul’s kingdom. Myul’s kingdom will become more active. The development… You should know. New villages will be created and it will be a large kingdom when joined with the southern desert area.
“What about the relationship between me and the Hermes Guild?”
“It is like Weed-nim said. People should know when to go to the bathroom for things to come out. Isn’t now a suitable time to come out?”
Myul was silent for a while.
‘The desert warriors are annoying.’
It was true that the attacks from the south were annoying.
As part of the Hermes Guild, he couldn’t ignore the lords’ requests for help. But the damage hadn’t occurred in his territory yet so it was only an annoyance.
‘But going to the bathroom. The situation is certainly different.’
Myul had been with the Hermes Guild from the beginning.
As a knight and managing to tame the griffons, he played a great role in the conquest of the Central Continent.
The mobility of the griffon unit meant he was at the forefront of the territorial expansion every time. Thanks to the repeated combat achievements, he possessed a formidable army.
He was handed the Gradian and Nest areas because of the high regard for his abilities and military power.
‘I’m no longer getting anything from the Hermes Guild. Even if the Haven Empire conquers the Arpen Kingdom, I won’t receive any benefits.’
He had to dedicate half of the taxes collected from his territory.
The only reason he hadn’t complained was due to his loyalty to the Hermes Guild. However, if he became independent then he would no longer have to pay taxes in the future.
He wouldn’t be part of the Haven Empire or the Arpen Kingdom, but the independent king of a large area.
‘It isn’t a totally useless proposal. It is profitable for me. There is just one crucial issue.’
He wanted to raise a flag apart from the Haven Empire but common sense said it wasn’t possible.
The military power of the Hermes Guild and the Haven Empire was so powerful that it couldn’t be ignored. What if he was trampled on as soon as he declared independence?
Tokkung laughed like he read Myul’s mind.
“Once Myul is ready then the Arpen Kingdom will move from the north.”
“You will fight the empire? The Arpen Kingdom’s military power won’t be enough.”
“There is a crowd. But even if it is only near the border of the Arpen Kingdom, we will be able to strike the nerve of the Haven Empire.”
“It won’t mean anything. The Hermes Guild is strong enough to prevent such interference. It will be the worst situation for me if the Imperial troops come to the south.”
“The Arpen Kingdom and Myul’s new kingdom. The Haven Empire will receive damage from both sides simultaneously. Can they afford the cost of war when taxes are lowered?”
“The Arpen Kingdom can’t afford to go against the Haven Empire either.”
“In the worst-case situation, the Arpen Kingdom will accept Myul. You can be a lord who rules over a wide land.”
Myul shook his head and didn’t respond.
He was too busy making calculations in his head.
There were benefits to Tokkung’s proposal but he couldn’t accept due to the damages.
“The reason for this proposal…”
“It will be beneficial for the Arpen Kingdom if the Haven Empire is divided.”
Tokkung honestly replied.
‘I’m not the only one they are making this offer to.’
The Grass Porridge Cult had gathered a vast amount of intelligence and connections.
It was possible for them to propose independence to some Hermes Guild users.
The elite members of the Toadstool Porridge unit were secretly dispatched to a few lords or governors with jurisdiction over an area.
Tokkung travelled on Wy-3 because the southern part of the Haven Empire was far but there were members of the Toadstool Porridge unit visiting other people at the same time.
No one knew how many of them would change their minds.
Some of them might agree but there was a high possibility of failure.
‘A plan that assumes failure.’
In the 1st phase of the plan, the Arpen Kingdom had nothing to lose. Making this proposal wouldn’t damage them.
The northern users wouldn’t condemn the Arpen Kingdom or Weed.
On the other hand, the Hermes Guild would become anxious and suspicious.
Myul was troubled as he thought about it. The Arpen Kingdom could gain tremendous benefits from his choice.
‘I don’t want to do something for Weed. If things go wrong then the damage will be big.’
His feelings towards Weed!
When he thought about the events that happened to him, he couldn’t accept.
“I will not accept the offer.”
“Yes. I understand. You can do that.”
“Will you go back on Wy-3?”
Myul asked out of pure curiosity.
The wyvern could be called a match to the griffon and this was a chance to see Wy-3 up close.
“Nope. I will go back to the Arpen Kingdom another way.”
“That is a long way to go.”
“You can always get something in life when you go back the long way.”
Tokkung said as he pulled out something from his backpack. Myul momentarily thought it was a bribe or a weapon.
But Tokkung took out a cup and unknown powder. He poured boiling water into the cup and made powdered tea.
“I like having a cup of tea after negotiations.”
“Would you like some?”
“Nope. I’m okay.”
Myul wasn’t friendly so he immediately refused the offer. His refusal was the right decision.
Tokkung drank the tea and collapsed.
“Indeed, toadstool tea…”
-Tokkung has died.
* * *
Myul was troubled after Tokkung’s death.
The Grass Porridge Cult’s sweet proposal.
Betraying the Hermes Guild was a big gamble but he would benefit greatly if he succeeded.
‘The Arpen Kingdom. If I take a position like Weed the users in this region might help me. It is a little bit positive.’
As one of the roots, he knew several things about the Haven Empire.
Even if a large army struck, he could intercept using the griffon units or hold out using Node Krape.
If he endured for a month or two then they would recognize it as a loss.
In the future, he wouldn’t have a strong foundation like Bardray or Weed.
Even if everything went wrong, he could bring all his assets and the griffons to the Arpen Kingdom.
‘Interesting but dangerous. I won’t accept at this time. But if things change…’
Weed’s words in the emergency strategy room of the Grass Porridge Cult planted the first seeds in the Haven Empire.
-The northern users are attempting to take our lords.
“Don’t leave any loopholes.”
Several lords of the Haven Empire confessed that they had been contacted.
Lafaye was on the roof of Aren Castle when he heard the news.
There were countless stars shining in the sky and a cool wind was blowing.
The capital of the Haven Empire was shining brilliantly.
“I have been driven to this edge…’
Lafaye’s eyes narrowed as he thought about the insults he received recently.
He became angry after being insulted by the little girl on the street.
As an elite, he lived his life receiving respect so he wasn’t accustomed to the word failure.
It was true that his achievement with the Haven Empire was weakening.
The news coming from the intelligence network wasn’t much better.
-There is a massacre of ordinary users by the Hermes Guild in the Luhen area. It is our error so investigate.
-There is a request for support from Godessa Castle. The spending for the part celebrating the conquest of the continent was too large.
-Jolot Trade City. A large-scale development project to revitalize the tourism industry by referring to Puhol Water Park in the north. The development cost is 30 million gold. 340 users per day are required until completion.
Many ridiculous things happened as he ruled every corner of the empire.
Lafaye and the leaders consumed an astronomical amount of funds.
They had to make allowances for tax cuts so the leaders cursed the trade in each city.
Darius indiscriminate revelations about the Hermes Guild also inflamed him.
As new facts were broadcasted, public opinion towards the Hermes Guild was becoming increasingly worse.
In the south of the continent, the founding of the Pallos Empire through invasion was underway.