Volume 54 Chapter 9 – The Plan of the Dwarves
“That is my sword technique.”
Weed stopped the swing of his sword and walked closer to the Half-elf.
“You are right.”
“Were you the one who sought for me?”
“I have arrived to this place in order to fight against Kaybern.”
The adventurers that led the maze expedition had backed away to a distance and listened quietly to the conversation between them.
Vishur raised her lean body.
“Kaybern is truly a dreadful dragon.”
“I’m fully aware of that.”
“Has attacked again, causing the humans to fight against the dragon?”
Weed started to talk about Kaybern who destroyed cities and raised monster invasions. He did not forget to criticize him in the midst of his explanation.
“The peace of the continent will never revisit us until we slay that smokey dragon.”
“I see. So, the reason for Kaybern’s attacks is because of its egg?”
“That may not be a real dragon egg.”
Vishur’s next story was a shock in its entirety.
The Black Dragon Kaybern had thought of the elves as a nuisance since long ago.
Unlike the dwarves that it could rip off through its harassment, the elves were a noble race with pride.
They were untouchable under the protection of the World Tree and the Green Dragon.
Then, Kaybern devised a scheme that would give him a cause for harassing the elves.
The dragon egg!
It sent a fake dragon egg forged from magic into the elven forests, and when it broke, it used the egg as an excuse for the assault.
“Black Dragon Kaybern burnt down the forest and murdered elves. Even the World Tree, the genesis for the elves burnt to ashes. From that day on, the elves lost the forest.”
“So, that’s what happened.”
It was surprising, even for Weed.
What Kaybern committed were the actions of a bunch of thugs.
‘Is that why it claimed its nickname as the Black Dragon? If a fake dragon egg existed, this quest would have come up sooner or later.Even if the Hermes Guild wasn’t involved.’
The fake dragon egg would never hatch in a natural way.
After some time had passed and the egg was destroyed, Kaybern would have attacked the humans.
It was just then the Hermes Guild destroyed it before it would have been destroyed ordinarily, to screw him over. Meaning that they only sped up the process of what was inevitable.
‘To think that the dragon’s assault was a predetermined danger… Though it would have been much easier, if I dealt with him later.’
<Half-Elf Vishur Complete.>
At last, they discovered the Half-Elf Vishur within maze Zode.
They succeeded in waking her with the Sword of Regeneration, who had turned into a plant from the depletion of health points after a long life span.
He learned that the Black Dragon Kaybern’s plot occurred for the elves, and it was about to begin for the humans as well.
Even so, it was too early to give up.
Just like how the Half-Elf Vishur revived, the spark of hope was unextinguished.
< You have gained a level. >
< Wisdom increased by 2. >
< Adventure achievement increased all stats by 2. >
He gained experience and adventure progress from the quest completion.
Thanks to the help of many users, he was able to complete it easily, but it was no easy quest given the process.
Vishur summoned a water elemental and spoke after she healed herself.
“I was in search of comrades to fight against Kaybern. If you seek vengeance too, why don’t you fight alongside me?”
Weed nodded instantly.
“Of course, I will join your journey.”
He was immensely excited for the Half-Elf Vishur to become a comrade.
‘I’ll exploit her thriftily as I did with Hestiger.’
Elves were gifted in archery and elementals and were highly efficient with their nimble bodies.
Half-elves were nothing like the normal pure-blooded elves, but they compensated with their sword technique and endurance.
“Alright. I have studied over 200 years for a way to eradicate Kaybern.”
“For 200 years?”
“I knew that if Kaybern were to begin its activity, it would come to torment the elves. I considered many options, but they were not sufficient enough to fight against a dragon. The final method we discovered was the Brazier of Sacrifice.”
“Brazier of Sacrifice?”
“It is a legendary item owned by the dwarves. The dwarves are the race that follow the sacrifice of fire and new birth. There is a myth that if one offers himself to the brazier, he will acquire the power to fight against a dragon. Do you wish to go on the search for this brazier with me?”
< The noble artefact of the dwarves.
Dwarves live with the fire their entire lives..
With their short stature, they raised so many flares in history, but there are three mystical braziers they hid away from all others.
The Brazier of Bugta Volcano.
The Brazier of Sacrifice.
The Brazier of Birth.
However, there was a great secret within the Brazier of Sacrifice.
“Dwarves are weak? We make everything from the breath of flames. Like burning lumber in the fire, we can make miracles from burning our own life. Magic? Magic is nothing compared to the power of the brazier.”
The Brazier of Sacrifice was an artefact that was dormant for 500 years.
If this dwarven artefact were to be discovered, it could grant enough power to confront the dragon.
One of the dwarven elders will know about the Brazier of Sacrifice.
Quest Requirement: Savior of the Continent, Highest adventure reputation. >
< This quest cannot be declined under any circumstances. >
< Quest has been accepted. >
‘Hmm. Brazier of Sacrifice…’
He had never heard of it before, but the fact that it was a dwarven artefact hyped him up.
‘If I can get the power to face the dragon, that would be terrific but…’
The problem was that the artefact was named the Brazier of Sacrifice.
The word Weed despised the most was sacrifice.
“It burns the user’s own life?”
“I don’t know in detail. But, it won’t be something like dark magic because it is a dwarven artefact.”
“Mm-hmm. I don’t have a good feeling about it.”
Dwarves hated dark magic or evil deeds, and they themselves did not tell lies.
Users that did not keep their promises with the dwarves had their reputations dropped to the point where they had trouble with their activity in the village.
‘This is an S rank difficulty linked quest for facing the dragon. Indeed it will have traps and danger. For now, I need to look into this.
He, who was the leader of the Cold Roses Guild, was also the lord of Castle Vent under the Arpen Empire.
‘I wonder how dreadful I will feel if Kaybern were to destroy my castle.’
He observed Weed’s adventure with nervous eyes.
He couldn’t watch every single moment of the hunts, but he did make sure to watch the crucial scenes.
“The Brazier of Sacrifice…?”
“Boss. Isn’t it what we heard about that time?”
“Uh… Yeah. The 3rd dwarven treasured brazier.”
The dwarven warriors in the Cold Roses Guild also chimed in.
“I have to inform Weed-nim right away.”
Oberon spoke on the chat channel for Arpen Empire’s important lords.
“Weed-nim. I know about the Brazier of Sacrifice.”
It was only after 2-3 seconds.
Ropener: “Awesome. As expected from Oberon-nim.” Pia: “Wow… That’s Oberon-nim for you, indeed.” Lemon: “You’re so amazing. Now that we have the info, the proceeding for the next quest will be a lot quicker.” Flame: “This will certainly be a huge help in stopping Kaybern.”
The lords cheered, and Weed checked the communication channel soon after.
He expected reports from the users as his meeting with Vishur during his quest will be broadcasted live.
Weed: Oberon, I will be on my way right now. Send me your current location.
A moment after, Weed arrived with Yurin through the Picture Teleportation Skill.
“What kind of information is it?”
“I know what the Brazier of Sacrifice is.”
Weed thought that it would bring incredible assistance to the quest as it would resolve the aspect that bothered him most.
‘This is a good start.’
If he knew what was the exact role of the dwarven artefact, he could deduce the direction of the quest.
“Yes. At that time, I didn’t pay much attention to it… But I heard that you could burn your life force with the Brazier of Sacrifice.”
“What does it exactly mean to burn your life force?”
“It is exactly as told. Health points. The user can burn their maximum health points and levels at the brazier.”
“… And then?”
“The use of the Brazier of Sacrifice results in the decline of maximum health points, and your level is lowered as well. In return, you become stronger until the flames die out.”
“Just how much power?”
“I heard it is 10 times the loss of health points or level.”
“That is a high multiplier.”
“Though it can be dangerous too. No, it is surely dangerous.”
Burning 10,000 maximum health points in the Brazier of Sacrifice resulted in a temporary boost of 100,000 health points.
Weed was at 120,000 health points, meaning that it could become almost double the amount. Burning 100 levels will result in 1,000 levels temporarily.
“There would be conditions?”
“I don’t know that in detail. I’ve only heard the basic stories about it.”
Weed crossed his arms and became lost in his thoughts.
‘Time duration is the problem, but combat-wise I can become immensely more powerful. This way, I could even try hunting down Kaybern…’
It was a far stretch of an adventure that required a considerable amount of maximum health points and levels to be deducted. His maximum health points were already lower than other users and this meant that his consequences would be more severe.
He could raise his health points with the Goblet of Flames and other equipment, but a loss was still a loss.
‘If I have to pay such a sacrifice and fail, I won’t be able to taste any bitterness from coffee.’
Lately, life has been easier on him, and he decided to drink one can of coffee every day.
‘I saved up until now, so a can of coffee per day sounds fine, right?’
Popping a can of coffee early in the morning, laid back, enjoying life in comfort.
‘This is the happiness in life.’
Just dying once had a detrimental impact on level and skill proficiency, and he forbade thinking about failing, after using the Brazier of Sacrifice.
That being said, if he hunts down the dragon, he could earn an enormous number of combat achievements and treasures.
That moment, Oberon pulled out his axe from his back and spoke.
“Weed-nim. I want to assist in hunting Kaybern as well.”
“I believe I accumulated all these levels for a time like this. I want to join the Kaybern hunt and give up about 100 levels.”
Weed suddenly grasped Oberon’s hand.
“Thank you. You are a true hero.”
Instinctively, he touched Oberon’s luxurious axe.
It is only natural for people to check prices when they’re near expensive items.
“Your words are kind. It is also my duty as lord of Castle Vent. Weed-nim, you are the emperor of Arpen Empire with all the burden of continental peace on your shoulders.”
“It is rightfully my responsibility to protect the peace of this continent.”
“I have always envied you,Weed-nim.”
Only Weed’s old companions knew of his true side.
‘The users will be watching this as well.’
Viewer rating would easily reach 15%.
After Arpen Empire conquered the Central Continent, the popularity among the users heightened even further.
There were going to be more users signing up for the Kaybern hunt like Oberon, however,he could no longer back out from the quest.
‘It’s not like my stand can neglect the destruction of the continent… Sigh. The Hermes Guild will be joyful and throw a party about this. Even if the hunt succeeds, would it be a profit?”
He was stuck in a swamp of dilemmas.
Even if he were to obtain the Brazier of Sacrifice, he had to bet everything on the line for the Kaybern hunt.
The dwarves lived with anxiety as they were close to the Black Dragon Kaybern’s territory.
“Ah. I shouldn’t have chosen to be a dwarf…”
“The race itself is not only adorable but also has powerful combat abilities. Besides, they can forge a bunch of stuff, making it easy to make money as well.”
“But, little did I know I would be subject to the dragon’s tyranny every single day.”
“Dwarves are truly a sorrowful race.”
Each mountain in Thor contains good quality minerals, which makes it easy to enhance blacksmith skills and dexterity. This also results in merchants visiting the area frequently.
There was also a surplus of hunting grounds, making it the ideal environment for gaining experience points for level growth.
Even though they had all the resources that they could need, the dwarves often left the region and scattered around the continent. The peculiar characteristic of the dwarves was that, once they left home, they never went back.
“This is why I’m familiar with all the elders”.
Weed and the blacksmith Herman travelled around Thor as Weed transformed himself to look like a dwarf.
The Dwarven villages, which were scattered around the Norn, Ulta and Saigo mountain passes, were estimated to be around 2,300 in number.
Even in regions which had been experiencing monster activity, dwarven pioneer villages and small mining villages existed, and many had no interaction with outsiders.
“The Brazier of Sacrifice could not possibly be in some secluded village… Actually, it is possible, but it will be undeniably tricky given the difficulty rank of the quest”.
Weed thought the knowledge of where The Brazier of Sacrifice was hiding couldn’t be obtained easily, so he knew that he had to conduct some investigation starting with the residents of known villages.
The fall of the Black Dragon Kaybern was something that the dwarven users of Thor profoundly wished for, and they were participating in the search as well.
“The Brazier of Sacrifice… I don’t know where you heard of its name, but I cannot tell you its whereabouts.”
The dwarven elders of the head village shut their mouths tight and refused to say anything.
Though it wasn’t too difficult to open up dwarvens’ mouths compared to humans’ or elves’.
Weed slid the bribe that he prepared toward him.
“Would you like to try a taste of this stout beer? It is the speciality of Morata. I brewed it from the best quality barley with the richest flavor.”
“Ahh… This hits the spot.”
“Is it for sale?”
“Of course. It’s extremely popular and difficult to find, even if you have the money. But I brought three bottles for all of you.”
“I appreciate that. Going out for orc hunting after chugging this, will be fantastic.”
“So, about that Brazier of Sacrifice that I asked about earlier…”
“Mmm, yeah. I did hear the name when I was young. However, no dwarf has seen it in person so that it may be just a myth.”
The dwarven elders that Weed had met through Herman did not have any real knowledge about the Brazier of Sacrifice.
“Brazier of Sacrifice existed long ago… I heard it just suddenly disappeared.”
“Woah. This beer is delicious. There’s nothing nearly as good in our village. I can swear that on this beer.”
“You’re on an adventure to kill the Black Dragon Kaybern? Ho-ha-ha-ha. That is the funniest joke I’ve heard since I heard someone saying, “I first drank beer at the age of 2!.”
Dwarves rarely lied, and their words were faithful.
Herman asked as he felt awkward.
“I introduced you to all the elders that I know, and we’ve got nothing. So, what do you plan on doing now?”
“I’m not sure. It’s hard to work something out right now, but we will find a way soon. We just have to wait”.
Weed uploaded a post that asked all users for information. The reward was 1 million gold, along with a position as provincial lord. However the most important part of the reward was that the land was to be located in the highly coveted mountainous region.
If someone were to find a dwarven elder that knew the secrets, that person would count as a useful individual.
Placing those skilled individuals in the right places would benefit the growth of the Arpen Empire.
“Dwarven lords increased the production rate, so it is even better.”
The Earthly Shadow party was also working for a quest.
< Kaybern’s wretched preference. >
< The memory of the old tree. >
< Under the damp rock. >
< The egg which must break. >
“Wow. All of this was part of Kaybern’s plot…”
Silver Ring, Ben and Elix discovered over a hundred dragon eggs in a pit.
There was clear evidence that pointed to Kaybern’s egg being fake.
< In search of the great magician. >
Tracking the magician who was deemed as a legend in the history of humankind was the next quest that appeared.
“A glacial type…”
Ben’s eyes sparkled.
Of all quests, he loved the ones that were related to magic. If he didn’t end up being an adventurer, he would have been a wizard for sure.
Ben spoke to two other people.
“I think the Brazier of Sacrifice would not be in an ordinary place. It must be in one of the ten forbidden regions; if it is not there, then it is definitely either in the south or the north end.
“We will have to gather some evidence, but I’d say south. You guys remember the lines? “‘Walking past the desert will lead you to the end of the earth’?”
“I do remember. The ocean appears, and then you see a continent formed from ice.”
Silver Ring took a map out of his bag after hearing about Ellix.
The Southern Continent.
They obtained the information that there is a mystic, glacial continent located in the south, similar to the continent of Jigolaths which is found in the North.
“It was also the place we were planning to reach someday. Let us depart after gathering a bit of information.”
“I’m with you.”
The Earthly Shadow party possessed various skills and experiences.
They wandered cluelessly due to a few big quests, but they had solved many commissions in between. Especially for places they have been to previously, no matter how far the distance, they followed the quest route and arrived within a day.
Earthly Shadow, whilst gathering information about the quest, came to learn that Weed figured out the dragon egg was fake.
“As expected of Weed.”
“Even Kaybern cannot underestimate him.”
“We should move on quickly as well.”
Two weeks passed.
Countless dwarves searched for information, but they couldn’t find anything, since all the information was completely hidden away.
“Where in the world is the Brazier of Sacrifice?”
“I have no clue. Perhaps it already disappeared?”
“Quests are surely difficult. It is extremely tiresome to roam around the world as an adventurer.”
“If by any chance the Hermes Guild destroyed it…”
“No way. Well… that may be quite plausible..”
After a long search without news, the Hermes Guild became the target of suspicion for its whereabouts.
During the two weeks, the free cities under the Britten Alliance territories were destroyed by Kaybern, and Castle Ukten of Haven territory became the next target.
“We drew the short straw this week.”
Weed thoroughly explored the maze, but continued raising his skill levels and engaging in battles.
It was swarming with monsters everywhere!
There was a battalion he had gathered to hunt Kaybern, but after he advanced into a sun warrior, he started to roam alone.
He jumped off the back of Wy-Three into the middle of a monster swarm.
Weed got off in a place filled with powerful monsters invading villages and cities.
“Shall we go for a blade dance?”
Weed blended all his art stats into strength using Sculptural Destruction.
That swine. He’s the leader of the humans.
Kill him. For Kaybern-nim!
The monsters surrounded him from all directions like a swarm of bees.
Kural was a demon servant who stood 4 meters tall and wielded an axe.
He rode a gigantic demon beast named Tabola Gon and rushed to the battleground while stomping over the demon soldiers in his path that were a little too slow to move out of their lines.
What made the situation worse was the fact that there were also poison frogmen, who were a twisted mix of frog and human, standing at the tail of the beast. The monsters raised by Kaybern were ready-made armies, they were born already in formation.
Kural acted as the commander while riding on the demon beast Tabola Gon and served as the cavalry. Monsters fit for land troops overflowed in large numbers, and they had significant amounts of frogmen following him from behind.
They focused their saliva and projected it like arrows from their mouths, travelling great distances, to ultimately poison their foe with their toxins.
Incredibly Weed jumped right in the middle of the enemy lines by himself.
The God of War, Weed. Like his nickname, it seemed like he was about to fight a war by himself.
Monsters were smashing into one another as they were stomped towards their deaths. The path of Weed could only be described as mayhem.
The commentators at the broadcast stations screamed as if they were spewing blood from their mouths.
Absolutely insane. Now, this is a battle. A real battle.
“Many warriors in Royal Road engage in battles. Some charge valiantly, but what are you supposed to make of this scene? Take us to a higher view of the scene so we can see it more clearly, please. All the monsters are charging at a single target; Weed.”
The force of the monsters was powerful enough to destroy a village or a city.
From time to time, Weed took reckless decisions during quests.
‘The head of this swarm is an assault-type monster. There are indeed a lot of them, but not many can face me at the same time. I think it’s worth a shot.’
Even so, the moment he descended from the back of Wy-Three, all the monsters came after him. He did picture this scenario, but once it became a reality, the pressure made him feel overwhelmed.
“Sword of Regeneration!”
Weed cast the Sword of Regeneration.
His overpowered sword techniques that raised defence and boosted recovery.
He planned to hold his ground by deflecting and slashing the monsters.
< You have been struck by the horns of Tabola Gon.
Health points decreased by 1,420. >
A variety of effects from different equipment and the Sky Ruler’s Armor!
Weed wrapped the Loa Sword in holy flames and raised lava from the earth, preventing the monsters from advancing.
He thought of facing the monsters from one direction, but the monsters rushed through the lava.
“I will rip you to shreds.”
Raging monsters overtook one side while the other was covered with monsters looking like fireballs running through the lava river.
The rest was a rain of black darts.
Mediocre poison status’ could be healed with necromancer skills, but it had to be consistent, and it still resulted in the loss of health points.
A smile appeared on Weed’s face.
“Yes. This is fun. This is how it should be.”
He got damaged from the monsters as he swung his Sword of Regeneration.
The Loa Sword slashed through them like a ray of light.
< Batali is filled with joy while watching over you.
“Fight. Warrior. Bathe in your power!”
Batali’s blessing is applied.
Mana consumption of attacking skills is reduced by 30% and power enhanced by 25%.
All abnormal and negative status are lifted.
Increased gain of experience points when enemy is killed >
Monster birds that transformed into malignant spirits mid-air struck down on him with their beaks.
It was a gruesome battle taking place without even a moment to breathe.
“The battle wasn’t about fighting well, it was about displaying 200% of his capabilities.”
The enemy was set on fire and the poisonous darts spewed by the frogmen turned into miasma and covered the surroundings like a fog.
Everything happened within the span of 10 minutes as Weed was fighting in a near-death crisis battle.
< Combat Achievement!
You have completed the Lone Battling Warrior.
The attack power of sword techniques are increased by 3%.
Stamina and health points recover quicker when fighting against multiple enemies.>
Dangerous battles sometimes led to unbelievable results, such as combat achievements.
Rows full of monster corpses surrounded Weed.
The number of monsters who died in the actual battle was far less than the one of monsters who were stomped to death.
More monsters climbed over the bodies and charged at Weed endlessly.
The amount of monsters and monster corpses near Weed was so massive that there was no room to set foot on.
“Alright. Corpse Explosion!”
<You have gained experience.>
<You have gained experience.>
<You have gained experience.>
< You have gained a level. >
The corpse explosion was big enough to shake the earth.
With the undead skill, he blew away the corpses and caused a mass slaughter.
At least a thousand monsters met their deaths all at once.
“Return to the land from whence you came. Rise from the darkness. Ye who are black and corrupted. Engrave the everlasting rule of darkness upon all beings. Undead rise!”
A large number of dullahan knights were summoned!
“Summon the death knight Van Hawk. Summon the vampire Torido!”
Weed even summoned Van Hawk and Torido as he continued the combat.
– He’s a disgusting necromancer!
– Fool. You cannot stop us!
The undead were mercilessly trampled upon by Tabola Gon.
They were weak against the gigantic creature and could not hold it back, due to their lack of defense and vulnerable bones.
On top of this, Weed was wearing the Sky Ruler’s Armor and warrior equipment instead of Bar Khan’s full equipment set, making them even weaker.
“Fight all you want. You incompetent idiots.”
Weed wrapped some bandages around his own body and continued the battle.
The undead split the attack force and created a moment for him to breathe.
This was when his mana replenished sufficiently.
“Day of apocalypse!”
“The ultimate skill of the solar warrior!”
All of his mana was burned, causing waves of smoke to spread in all directions.
The power was enhanced by the holy fire and Goblet of Flames, discharging nearby undead and swallowing all the monsters in the path of its endless spread.
– I’m on my way. Master!
Weed jumped on top of Wy-3 who flew low, close to the ground, before up into the sky again. He was going to leave freely after having spent all of his health points, stamina and mana.
– Don’t run away!
– Sly rat. Come back.
Kural was causing a ruckus from the ground.
It was a powerful monster legion, but the force dwindled down to about half, which made it easier to defend against their siege.
Aside from Kaybern’s doings, 7 cities and 31 villages of the Arpen Empire were destroyed by monsters.
Weed put in a lot of effort, but there were cases where monsters would behave unexpectedly.
There were cases where forces of greater numbers that should have been able to defend easily did not fight effectively and crumbled before a monster invasion.
Old prestigious guilds had a better time, but most of the lords of the Arpen Empire had little to no experience in large-scale battles.
It was only logical that the casualties in the Arpen Empire got out of hand.
After 3 weeks of waiting, an importantreport came in.
– Shaysha: I am at Debrado village right now. This village is not marked on the maps and is in close proximity to Kaybern’s territory. We have found a dwarf who knows about the Brazier of Sacrifice.
It was a dwarven village in the heart of the Ulta mountain pass.
The dwarves in this village produced high quality weapons with refined metal.
Their existence was shrouded in mystery, but the adventurers combed through the Thor region for the Kaybern quest.
Areas near Kaybern’s territory had also been subjected to the search, but dangerous monsters roamed in considerable numbers and the dwarves had had to put their lives on the line.
Dwarves could freely travel in and out of places that weren’t in close proximity to the dragon lair, but every time they ran into Kaybern’s underlings, they had to offer money or jewellery, in exchange for their survival.
After many dwarves had exhausted all their treasure, the fruit of passion and effort was beared.
– Weed: I will be there right away.
Weed moved to a safe location with Yurin’s Paint Teleportation Skill and carved a dwarf sculpture.
His body turned into a dwarf with a nicely groomed beard. He had a round, protruding belly as well and picked up a decent axe.
The area near the dragon’s territory restricted spatial travel skills like teleportation.
Weed ran through Ulta mountain pass in the appearance of a dwarf and reached Debrado village.
“This way. You are Weed-nim, correct?!”
Shaysha, who was waiting at the entrance, gave him a warm welcome.
“Yes. I am Weed.”
“It is such an honor to meet you. I’m sure you must tend to your business first. The village elder is at the blacksmith shop.”
“Thank you for your assistance in this quest.”
“It’s nothing. I am a dwarf living in Thor, but I think of myself as a citizen of Arpen.”
Shaysha’s face turned pink.
An up-close meeting with Weed who had accomplished countless achievements made her tense. Weed had an ordinary face and was currently transformed into a dwarf but felt like he had unique features.
His arms and legs were short but thick, and his nose especially was red; the look of a dwarf who drinks well and works diligently!
The village elder too was an excellent blacksmith dwarf with a valley of muscles on his arms.
“Shaysha, and a face I’ve never seen before. A young dwarf. What brings you to this village?”
“I am grateful to be in the presence of you, elder. I have come to ask about the Brazier of Sacrifice.”
Weed bowed his head slightly in the dwarven tradition. The effect of being emperor did not work that well for dwarves, and he was under Sculptural Transformation for the time being.
The village elder grabbed the beer on top of the table and gulped it down.
“Brazier of Sacrifice… Our artefact that we held so long ago. I thought no dwarf would ever seek it.”
“What could be the reason for that?”
“It is very important and I must know. Is the Brazier of Sacrifice in this village?”
“Hu-hu. The beer is bitter.”
The elder of Debrado village turned his head elsewhere. He was trying to divert the subject.
“Here, try this beer from Morata.”
“What beer is this? The foam is out of this world!”
Weed had a way of disarming the heavy mouths of the dwarves.
“Have another glass. One-shot.”
The dwarves hardly ever get drunk, but the Morata beer had a trick.
‘7:3 of beer and whiskey. This is the golden ratio.’
It was a bomb shot designed for dwarves!
Weed with his peak dexterity mixed up a good glass. Then, the elder began to tell the secrets that he was reluctant to tell before.
“The Brazier of Sacrifice… Hick. The truth is, we lost it.”
“The dwarven artefact was misplaced?”
“K-uuh… It’s always the same with all our treasures, taken away the moment the dragon lays its eyes on them.”
“If it was taken away by a dragon, Could that dragon possibly be Kaybern?”
“Yes, that is right. That greedy dragon took our brazier.”
Weed felt like he ran into a wall.
The artefact needed to hunt Kaybern had already been stolen!
Once the elder finished telling the story, he could not control his temper.
“Do you know what Kaybern did after it took our treasure?”
“It was used as a heating stove. Even the brazier was used a few times before it got tossed in a corner and was forgotten.”
Weed wasn’t in the least surprised even if Kaybern used the brazier for roasting sweet potatoes.
Dragons are not beings that could be assessed with logic.
“Then, the brazier should be inside Kaybern’s lair.”
“It isn’t far from here, but it is in a place where us dwarves cannot reach.”
The elder’s voice became sentimental and Weed sensed it.
‘It won’t end like this. With no doubt, this will lead to a quest.’
It was an intuitive sense that came from experience.
The dwarven elder laid down his beer glass and spoke heavily.
“If someone were to take back the Brazier of Sacrifice, we can call him the hero of the dwarves. It is something that no one could ever succeed in.”
“But, Kaybern is unbeatable. There are too many guards around as well.”
As a sculptor, Weed once offered a gem sculpture to the dragon for the sake of a quest. That time, he managed to approach the entrance of Kaybern’s lair.
Let alone the steep, dangerous terrain, but it was a haven of menacing monsters.
‘Defeating those monsters is troublesome alone, and there were too many dragon soldiers. There will be magical traps set up as well, and I will die at Kaybern’s hands after infiltrating.’
It was truly an impregnable fortress.
“Hmm. It is indeed too difficult. However, as you may know, us dwarves do not know when to give up. This is actually a secret between dwarves, but there is a reason for this village being so close to the lair.”
“Why is that?”
“It is to do what dwarves do best. If you’re a quick dwarf, you probably understood already.”
“Could that be…”
“Hmm-hmm. I won’t say more. Unless you’re willing to help us out here.”
< The Dwarves Secret Plan
The dwarves had their precious Brazier of Sacrifice taken away by Kaybern.
The dragon was the natural predator against the brave dwarves.
They offered countless treasures, but the Brazier of Sacrifice was an item related to the origin of the dwarves.
Return with the Brazier of Sacrifice stolen by Kaybern.
It is a dangerous task, but the dwarves will reward you greatly if you succeed.
Reward: Rare dwarven treasure.
Quest Requirement: Dwarf.>
< The race quest of the dwarves has been activated.
You are in the perfect appearance of a dwarf under Sculptural Transformation and thus capable of proceeding with the quest.
If this task is declined, the dwarves will consider you a coward.
Honor will be decreased by 10,000 and friendship with the dwarves will become negative. >
An S rank difficulty racial quest!
‘I had to take the Brazier of Sacrifice no matter what… I guess the racial quest popped up since I’m in this form. Two birds with one stone ain’t half bad. It’s also what dwarves are good at.’
Something that short dwarves excel at!
A dwarven village close to Kaybern’s lair.
Something sparked in Weed’s mind from the conversations.
“I will return with the brazier.”
< You have accepted the quest. >
Weed began to scout around Debrado village.
‘Dwarven population is 325. Most are elders,and I don’t see any young ones.’
Dwarves were a race that could usually bear over 3 children.
The fact that the village was comprised of elderly townsfolk was unique, and the number of blacksmiths were far less than other dwarven villages.
*Clang! Clang! Clang!*
The dwarves were working and only produced weapons and armor in large quantities.
‘There are rarely any merchants and adventurers, but they keep producing as if they’re preparing for war.’
His suspicions deepened!
Dwarves tended to invite others into their homes if gifted with good beer, and the interior was dressed with premium swords, axes and armor.
Even after considering that these were crafted by dwarves, the quality was very impressive.
‘What the dwarves are good at… The standard of the warriors is excellent too. They are old, but only the born warriors reside in this village.’
His suspicion was quickly developing into certainty. He had to check one more thing before it was perfect.
He asked one of the nearby dwarven townsfolk.
“I want to acquire some minerals. Which way is the mine?”
“It is up north. It’s quite the walk.”
Weed ran to the mines with a pickaxe.
The mines in the rocky areas of Ulta mountain pass seemed to have no significance other than that it was huge and steep.
*Clang! Clang! Clang!*
The deeper he went, the more dwarves he saw, busy swinging away and mining iron and silver.
“Did you just dig this up?”
“Yes, I did..”
He examined the iron and silver ores stacked up to the side.
< Low-quality iron ore. Several minerals are mixed in small quantities.
Iron is present, but purity is on the low end. >
Usually, the dwarves used the highest quality iron ores. If it wasn’t a rich vein, the race would never have built a village near it.
After he checked out the mines, he was certain.
There was an unusual ratio of the population with no children, endless production of war supplies, and the mine of low-quality iron ores was wide and steep.
‘Considering the direction this mine has been dug… Of course. I figured out the real purpose of this village. The dwarves here are trying to dig an underground tunnel to rob Kaybern’s lair!’
A spark traveled throughout Weed’s body, just like when he had his first kiss with Seoyoon.