Volume 55 Chapter 1 – Sneakthieving
It was night by the time Lee Hyun got out of the capsule.
Logically, going into Kaybern’s lair and stealing the Brazier of Sacrifice was almost impossible.
Furthermore, robbing a dragon was just plain suicide.
“But the thing is… Kaybern crawls out of his lair to destroy a city every week. In other words, it’s actually robbing an empty house.”
Stealing from an unoccupied lair!
The world was a place where people steal from right under your nose, so how could it be any different for stealing from a lair without the dragon?
Under normal circumstances, there would have been much effort and secrecy in preparing for an infiltration mission.
However, if the dragon was to empty its seat, the quest atmosphere would change completely.
“Normally, this would have been a quest of atrocious difficulty. But, the Brazier of Sacrifice is no longer an issue, now that it turned out like this. We might be able to rob the entire lair and its treasures.”
Lee Hyun stuck the large map of Thor region on the wall.
He marked the location and direction of the dwarven village, the mines and Kaybern’s lair.
In the past, he carried out quests for offerings to Kaybern.
A dazzling Kaybern sculpture made of the crystal of Agathe.
He referred to his experience when he got inside the lair to offer the crystal sculpture.
“The monsters were mostly guarding the outside. If the underground tunnel is constructed well, we can get in without getting discovered.”
Kaybern’s lair was filled with an enormous amount of treasures and jewelry, so means of transportation was also needed.
“This should not be approached with the mindset that we are stealing something. It has to be a complete wipe-out with a moving company… Yeah. That kind of an approach.”
Lee Hyun had worked part-time in a moving company, even though it was only for a few days.
The company wrapped all necessities quickly and loaded onto the truck. The tasks were well-divided and more rapid than anything.
Clearing an apartment unit 100㎡ wide, was finished before lunch.
“For Kaybern’s lair, there is no need to separate and pack things individually. The focus should be on speed and quantity while taking everything.”
A robbery, a wipe-out!
Weed whispered to Mapan right after logging into Royal Road.
“There is a big job to be done.”
– Mapan: What kind of job? It must be serious coming from you, Weed-nim.
Even back in the war in the Garnav plains, he did not use such an expression. However, robbing Kaybern’s lair was of utmost importance.
“I need skilled workers. They have to be outstanding wagon drivers.”
– Mapan: I don’t know just how skilled you want them to be.
“They have to be able to drive fast on steep mountain tracks on a fully-loaded large wagon. They have to dodge obstacles as well. It will be great if they are confident in diverting monsters from chasing in order to escape.”
– Mapan: That kind of task will require at least Intermediate level wagon driving. They’re expensive workers.
“The wage doesn’t matter. I need those who I can rely on.”
– Mapan: How many do you need?
“At least 500.”
– Mapan: Excuse me?
“The more, the merrier. I have lots of treasures to be transported.”
– Mapan: Just what exactly are you going to do with that many people?
The footage of Debrado village had yet to be broadcasted.
The stream posed the danger of exposing the quest in progress, and no one knew what Weed was going to do next.
– Mapan: What?
“I’m going to rob Kaybern’s lair.”
Soonjo Park was on the bus to Korea University when his phone rang.
– Ku-wa-wa-wal Kuwala. Orc. Orc. Sh-sh-shk!
“What is that sound?”
“Someone must be calling.”
Royal Road’s orc song played as the ringtone, grabbing the attention of other passengers.
Soonjo Park hurriedly picked up the call once he saw the caller ID “Arpen Empire Emperor Big Bro”.
“Hey, Hyung. It’s been a while.”
– Yeah. How have you been?
“I’m doing well. When are you returning to school?”
Lee Hyun was a legend to the students who majored in virtual reality!
His school life was nostalgic and becoming the emperor of Arpen Empire spread his name among the community of Korea University.
Even professors from different majors were desperate for a chance to meet Lee Hyun.
– Whenever. I have a favor to ask you.
“No worries. Tell me, Hyung.”
Soonjo Park with his friendly personality, was happy to do any kind of favor.
– The call has to be short. Anyways, let’s do a job together.
“What kind of a job?”
– Your class is thief.
The Thief Nide.
It was a character that Soonjo Park trained well since the release of Royal Road, and he had learned a variety of skills.
Most job classes were combat-oriented, which set the thieves aside just a little bit, but he did not slack with training class-exclusive skills.
– I saw you last time, and you did really well.
“Haha. Are you thinking of all the times we’ve stolen together?”
The bus passengers stared at Soonjo Park again with his innocent remark.
– Yeah. You up for it?
“Stealing is my profession.”
– How many times have you been caught?
“I’ve never been caught. Though I have backed out when I felt like I was going to be caught half-way. I steal with speed and certainty.”
The passengers responded with a bit of suspicion, but Sangjoon Choi and Sora Min were sitting across from him.
“We are talking about the Royal Road. Don’t get the wrong idea, folks.”
“My buddy’s job class is a thief.”
The passengers, mostly being Korea University students laughed and turned heads.
– Brace yourself for a surprise. It’s okay to be blown away. This time, it’s going to be Kaybern’s lair.
“Robbing Kaybern’s lair!?”
Soonjo Park raised his voice without himself realizing it. He brought together the attention of the other passengers once again, but he couldn’t care less about it.
If this came from someone else, he would have laughed it off or say it was crazy, but this was from the emperor of the Arpen Empire and a hero of Versailles Continent!
Not just Kaybern’s lair, but anywhere in the world he were to mark for robbery, he knew it would be true.
– That’s right. The lair is going to be penniless.
“Kyah. That’s going to be extreme.”
– It’s dangerous, but can you join?
“Of course. Lee Hyun-hyung. Please let me in.”
Of all things that Soonjo Park said, mentioning Kaybern’s lair was big, but saying Lee Hyun’s name hit it home.
The character name Weed was known by just about everyone in Korea University.
Let alone the bus passengers, even Sangjoon Choi and Sora Min were staring with round eyes.
Mibullo was deemed the best architect of Versailles Continent, but Pavo’s influence was unmatched. He was a famous architect who got well-known early in Morata and raised the great landmarks in the North!
Pavo was involved in the recovery project of Free City Somren.
“Please move the material over there safely. Also, it will be best if we recover the industrial areas first. It will push us back from building homes for the users, but utilities for better accessibility should be our priority.”
Pavo was appointed as the leading architect!
He was proceeding with clearing debris in the city and construction tasks simultaneously.
“It’s good that the users stayed behind… Even if the city was a complete ruin, it won’t take long to rebuild.”
The production facilities in Somren were still standing which was a huge asset.
– Weed: Old man Pavo. Are you busy?
“No. Weed. What’s up?”
Pavo just spoke like usual.
Instead, the users nearby got excited.
– Weed: There is an important job that’ll need your assistance.
Weed personally got in contact with the people he needed.
At first, he planned to prepare the means of transportation from Mapan’s council and carry out with a few trustworthy comrades, but he changed his mind.
“The mine is pretty deep. There are lots of treasures in the lair too…”
The treasures would be stacked like mountains.
Sneaking them out through the mine would require significant time.
It was a dwarven mine with narrow passages and the fact that the large transport wagons won’t fit through inside was another issue to overcome!
“Finishing the job before Kaybern returns will need more manpower.”
Weed decided to increase the number of people to take part in the robbery.
“I cannot leave any treasure behind. Yeah, no way.”
This quest began with the Brazier of Sacrifice, but Weed could smell out the money to be made!
“I need the Black Lion Guild to mobilize 30 dwarves. The most skilled ones.”
– May I ask what you need them for?
“It is related to Kaybern. It may be dangerous, but please account for that.”
– I will find worthy users.
The factions agreed to join before knowing what they were getting into.
After Weed won the war in Garnav plains, his fame and influence were unconditional.
Furthermore, the Kaybern hunt was crucial for the city lords as well.
The development of the Britten Alliance was so high, and their own establishments were conversely on the decline. In the end though, Tullen or Idern would soon become targets as well.
If the Black Dragon appears and destroys their cities, they would suffer greatly, and in that case, they were willing to send workers.
In just one day!
Weed’s call gathered over 800 dwarven users in Debrado village.
“A village so deeply hidden.”
“It’s a small and secluded village. It’s not visible at all from afar due to the trees. Though I’m kind of shivering knowing that it’s close to Kaybern’s lair.”
“Are they preparing for war? I haven’t sparred much recently because I was busy making swords.”
The best dwarves with proven skills in Versailles Continent stood by the entrance.
There were associates from guilds like the Black Lion and Roam Guild and other regular users, all with excellent skills
Weed’s popularity and influence were having a powerful impact on the dwarves.
“Now, I will explain the details for everybody here.”
He explained to them the reason behind the dwarven village’s existence and that the mine was being dug in the direction of Kaybern’s lair.
“Judging by the depth, it should already be close to the lair. The exact location still needs to be determined, but everyone should possess basic mining skills, and if we are diligent, we should easily get inside the lair within five days.”
The dwarven users got overwhelmed with excitement. The more they listened to the plan, the more hopeful they became.
“If it’s sneaking underground, we have a good chance!”
They were starting to genuinely believe that they could steal treasures from Kaybern’s lair.
If they were to succeed, it would be a moment they could never forget.
Oberon asked with caution:
“Let’s say we get inside the lair, then what do we do about Kaybern? If we need someone to act as bait, I will take the lead.”
The words were fitting for someone like Oberon who had great responsibility and leadership.
A head-on battle against Kaybern was impossible to win, so he intended to risk his life to divert attention.
“Oberon-nim is cool like that.”
“He lives by his reputation.”
“I’m sure he will become more popular when this goes live on broadcast.”
The dwarves were sincerely touched, but Weed thought the opposite.
‘To step up like that and sacrifice for the others… That kind of person lives an honourable life, but his wife and children will suffer!’
Sacrificing one’s body for justice will only cause misery for one’s self and their family in this world!
From the beginning, Weed thought poorly of a plan that required the use of a bait.
If it was absolutely necessary, he could consider following such a plan, depending on the returns which they will gain from the success, but sacrifices should be left as a last resort.
‘The users playing bait could die out easily,and it could lead to other variables.’
Weed had a different plan for that very part.
“By the time we’ll empty the lair, Kaybern will be out to destroy a city. It’s sneak thieving, so to speak!”
The dwarven users who gathered in Debrado village felt a jolt all over their bodies. They hadn’t heard a word more impressive in their entire lives.
“I’m getting goosebumps all over my body. This is the deal.”
“An empty lair. An unoccupied house.”
“Yeah. Usually, it would be impossible. But, the lair is free when Kaybern is gone.”
Each of them lived a path far from robbery, but just how appealing was the word sneak thieving?
The temptation was powerful!
“When Kaybern decides on the city to be destroyed, our plan will begin. Firstly, the architects will have a great deal of work to do.”
Weed announced that he asked for assistance from the Northern architects, including Pavo.
“They will buy us as much time as they can.”
One of the dwarves raised his hand.
“In what way?”
All the dwarves were attentive to Weed’s words! They were mindful of even the lightest speech. One would pass any kind of exam if they studied with this kind of concentration.
Weed smirked ominously as he spoke.
“It is to build a ridiculous number of buildings in the city which is determined to be destroyed next, extending the time it takes to destroy it. It doesn’t take experienced architects. We can actually get away with poor construction.”
“That’s some method…”
“Sneak thieving, poor construction. I can understand each part of the plan to the letter. So amazing.”
The dwarven users at the gathering were in awe.
‘Look at this appropriate and versatile plan. Weed isn’t an emperor for no reason.’
‘I should have befriended him earlier. My greatest regret in life is not becoming Weed’s comrade.’
‘It’s so fortunate that I took vacation leave from work and came to his call. In Royal Road, I just need to follow Weed.’
‘From my pessimistic view, this won’t be as easy as it seems. Though the view count will be high.I will become famous and get to shoot some advertisements.’
‘I need to get noticed this time around and stick right by Weed’s side. Then my life’s going to be a blast.’
The dwarven users each had a different perspective, but they shared the same excitement.
It was a great opportunity to be working with Weed, who was practically running the market.
Furthermore, they were convinced by his plans.
Normally, robbing a dragon’s lair would be an outrageous plan.
A few kilometer radius near the lair was considered forbidden territory, and no one would dare to approach it.
But, using Kaybern’s city destruction to their advantage, they will dig an underground tunnel and wipe out an empty house!
The Northern architects will leave out materials and conduct poor construction to their heart’s content, preventing the dragon from returning early.
This plan even accounted for Kaybern’s meticulous personality of turning cities into complete ruins.
‘For some reason, I can’t back out of this.’
‘I have to do it even if the chances are slim. I’m absolutely in.’
‘Rob the treasures. All of it.’
Weed observed the dwarven users’ faces turn red in excitement and was reassured.
‘People are all the same. They can’t get more united than when they plot bad deeds!’
Weed’s plot to rob Kaybern’s lair!
It went viral on the internet after the dwarves spread the news.
– Dear lord! Robbing a dragon’s lair? What on earth are they trying to do!?
– They say class is permanent… I thought adventures nowadays were boring but darn.
– Honestly, I did not expect this at all.
– I watched the teaser, and the elite dwarves were cheering for Weed’s robbery. LOL.
– The selected users over there will be having so much fun. And it looks so tense. It’s a rare chance for someone to go inside the dragon’s lair.
– Would it just be “fun”? If they succeed, they will carry out legendary items on wagons.
– The herd of bulls of the Arpen Empire are on the move. My guess is that they will be utilized to pull the wagons.
Weed’s robbery was considered as an innovation, more a historical event than a quest.
– This is a guaranteed, 100% failure. How stupid. Going to rob a dragon’s lair? It’s guarded by magical traps or monsters, for sure.
– Goes inside the lair. Meets eyes with the dragon. Waaak. Dead.
– Those of you who are just blind with jealousy. It’s an empty lair robbery, so the dragon won’t be home. That is the beauty of it.
– The beauty of robbery is the thrill of getting caught or not, and I wonder?
– Treasures in the lair… My eyes would be delighted if Weed goes in and shows me around.
– Can’t say that he will fail. Those are obvious problems, so how could he be oblivious?
– Weed will come out ahead. It’s meaningless for us to debate about it. It’s always been that way. He always pulls miracles, so let’s wait.
– It will be hilarious if they get discovered and chased by the dragon.
In the urgent surveys conducted by the broadcast stations, only 62% of viewers predicted success, which was startlingly low given Weed’s popularity. It was because the dragon’s lair had been infamous beyond the ten forbidden territories until now.
– Personally speaking, the difficulty is way too high. It’s S rank quest… It means it is that dangerous.
– Not all S ranks are the same. Since it involves a dragon, this should be considered SSSSSSS rank.
– I have hunted Ausoleto in the past… An ex-dragon. Kaybern is on another level.
– The confirmation by many users until now shows that difficulty rank is only a standard, and they turn out very differently depending on how you progress through them.
– Plans are important. Luck has to follow as well.
– Difficulty? Weed already isn’t human since he possesses the job class final secret technique.
– When Weed was on the adventure for the final secret technique, all the lights in the main branch building of Unicorn were on. The promotion team in their live interview the next day mentioned that they were knocked out of their minds because Weed succeeded in an unbelievable adventure.
– Honestly, I thought Weed would fail every adventure, logically speaking. I’ve given up on predicting his failure. Now Weed will outdo himself.
– Weed accepts Weed-like quest, makes Weed-like plans, executes it in Weed fashion and becomes Weed.
– I wish I could live like Weed in Royal Road…
Broadcast stations confirmed live streaming and waited for the plan initiation, as the introduction of the participating dwarves took place.
Nide though human, joined especially as a thief and engaged in an interview in the Northern architect group.
– Har-har. Us architects are already done with preparations.
– We do not know which city the construction will have to take place yet, so what are the plans to transport the materials?
– We’re just going to go with the flow.
– Go with the flow?
– Construction is quicker when you just do it roughly! We can gather the materials anywhere nearby. It took us so long to build the Earth Palace… But, if we built sloppy it wouldn’t have taken a month.
– How many of you are preparing?
– With a shovel in hand, anyone can be a builder. You can even just stack blocks. Oh. This time there is no need for blocks.
The builders were waiting patiently. They will work hard when it gets to the project, but now was the stage for relaxing.
– Pale: Weed-nim. I think you are too busy and forgot to contact me, but I am ready.
– Surka: You aren’t thinking of going ahead without us, are you?
– Python: We can head over now. Where do we have to go?
– Seasoned Crab: K-hmm. Cough-cough. Hmm. I was just bored.
The comrades that were friends with Weed willingly offered to join the robbery.
Even if they were to die in the hands of the dragon, they were going to participate anyway, out of loyalty, and if the plan succeeded, it would be a windfall.
‘Being a human, anyone can fail. However, Weed-nim is no ordinary human. Even if things completely fail, he will still scavenge a thing or two.’
‘You have to understand Weed-nim’s language. ‘A little tiring’ means it’s an okay job. ‘The situation isn’t that bad’ means it will be difficult. ‘You’ll have to work hard,’ means that it will be close to impossible.’
The people coveting Kaybern’s lair wasn’t just his comrades but also the best users in Versailles Continent.
The higher the level, the more dependent a user becomes on equipment.
A few unique options change hunting speed and heightened the impact of skill and stats.
– Mule: Weed-nim. Hu-hum. This time, Kaybern’s lair will be…
Even Mule who fell so many times contacted Weed directly.
Weed wasn’t expecting so many people to join in the first place.
‘Excluding the transport team and the dwarves, it should be a small elite team. Thieves do not have to excel in combat.’
Thief was a job class that was difficult to raise levels.
There were very few job class skills that were related to combat.
Even so, they possess skills that silenced their footsteps while running or hiding traces, extremely advantageous for stealing.
‘The dragon’s lair isn’t just a house, it is surrounded by many traps.However, the real problem is the magical traps. Unfortunately, they can’t be broken.’
It was the same reason why he did not think of participation of mages. Even if they were to find magical traps, they didn’t have the ability to defuse them.
There were so many mages in Royal Road, but no one was perverted enough to master not offensive nor defensive spells, but magical trap defuse.
– Haruna: Yes. Weed-nim.
“Come this way.”
– Haruna: Really? I am honored.
The magical traps were a real concern, so he asked elf Haruna to get her assistance.
It was best for her to uncover the traps along with thief Nide. It could turn into a disaster if the magic were to explode by mistake. Nonetheless, to be prepared for everything was impossible.
‘It will become a war against time. We have to pick and pull out before Kaybern returns. Secretly and swiftly. But, if the magical traps activate and we get discovered by the dragon’s soldiers that defend the lair… It’s going to be sink or swim.’
Weed changed his mind and decided that he would bring some of the users with combat skills who wanted to participate.
If everything went wrong, he was planning to wipe out all the dragon’s soldiers and monsters that he could before the dragon returned.