Light Novel: The Legendary Moonlight Sculptor
Lee Hyun is now old enough to work... legally that is. Since his parents died, Lee Hyun has taken on all sorts of jobs as a child worker because he needed the money for his grandmother and sister, but now he is old enough to work legally. Just before he goes to bed to sweet dreams of working three part-time jobs a day, he decides to auction off his Continent of Magic (an old but dominant MMO) character at the starting bid of $50. Maybe it'll sell for enough to buy a suit for interviews.
Online, some people find his auction of a maxed out legendary character from Continent of Magic. At first they cry fake, but as more and more people look at it, the steady realization comes that it's real. Since Hyun only gave 24 hours for the auction, people begin a frenzy of bidding. The price quickly climbs to $100,000 when TV stations notice the auction. At this point, TV stations bid for a publicity boost. The next day Hyun receives a call saying that his avatar has been sold for $3.09 million dollars. Hyun, bitter at the practical joke, nonetheless checks his bank account... and lo and behold, he has $3.09 million dollars! However, before he can celebrate, loan sharks appear and take the money. Turns out his parents owed them some money and 8 years of interest really builds up. Devastated but also enlightened, Hyun figures that what was done once can be done again.
One year later, he logs in to the famous Virtual Reality MMO Royal Road under the name Weed, and in due time is offered the class of 'Moonlight Sculptor', which he summarily rejects
. Intent on getting the best class possible, he completes a long, painful quest for a sage and attains an amazing new class... the ''Legendary'' Moonlight Sculptor
Thus begins the adventures of Weed.
This series provides examples of:
- All Girls Want Bad Boys : Every heroine with Lee Hyun/Weed. Even though he hates women because he hates giving them gifts or going on a date because it costs money. He's also a cheapskate and always try to scam people out of their money.
- Averted a bit in that everyone who knows Lee Hyun (that he's a money grubbing cheapstake) also knows he's the ultimate family man. He always looks out for his family first and foremost.
- Alternative Character Interpretation: In-Universe; his fame as Weed and notoriety as Lee hyun give way to this:
- Weed is at first seen as a Non-Action Guy and Jack-of-All-Trades; he's trying to keep his combat mastery a secret to prevent the horde of enemies that would go after him.
- Lee Hyun is known first in his school as an antisocial slacker retaking the class; he sees his time in school as a waste of time as he learned all that is being taught long before so he's bored, and was older than the norm when he was admitted.
- Later he's seen as a resourceful, well-versed in extreme sports, master playboy... retaking the class. Well... he is resourceful and has a well trained body; the girls were the ones who took the initiative, not him and... yeah, he never quite explained the last one.
- That last one is explained to others when they find out he was "taking time to take care of his family".
- Artificial Intelligence: In a rare example, AI control each and every NPC in the game, and yet this trope is not a plot device. AI is merely to create a world that is as real and living as possible. The concept is non-intrusively explored at many moments.
- Weed treats the AIs just as he would any other player... whether with a silver tongue as a Manipulative Bastard, or with a rough hand as The Dreaded.
- The entire game's contents are run exclusively by the game's goddess-like AI. Unicorn does not even manage the game directly, as the AI does this for them. The AI is not shown to have any agenda other than the game and AI's creator's goal: to find/create an emperor of the game's continent. This may explain why many different barely mentioned characters and Weed himself are given quests that oddly steer them towards creating or aiding an emperorship no matter their previous playing background, for example, sculpting.
- Multiple times, the game, because of its AI, is remarked as allowing any skill or play style to become a player skill; the game's overarching AI seems to allow or sometimes aggressively drive players towards enhancing their capabilities, even when the player's behavior would otherwise hurt their chances at progress.
- Seoyoon is a mute solo-player which would otherwise hurt her chances of leveling. Instead, she finds herself with the berserker class, which combined with her play style enables her to play alone. At some point her lonely play style and odd sense of empathy for both monsters and animals leads her to be given a skill to talk with animals.
- Weed is a solo-player who is overly-suspicious of all other players. He won't join a guild for help in completing truly large quests, but the game seems to leave hidden ways for players like Weed who take complete advantage of everything the game has given them to succeed in these quests.
- Back from the Dead: As a reward for completing an epic serial-quest, Weed unlocks the Necromancer class for players, and is rewarded with a high-level, as of yet unknown power called "The Power to Reject Death" "What it does", you ask?
- Battle Cry: Weed sings, horribly, before going all out, so maybe is more like a battle song(?)
- He does give some battle cries, is mostly just him screaming what he wants to steal from the ones he attacks though.
- The Berserker : Seoyoon, it is her class. She plays alone and has grabbed the highest level gear.
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing : When Lee Hyun/Weed is playing nice, it means he's thinking of ripping people off.
- Blood Knight: Weed and Geomchi's group are the most prominent.
- Even Cha Eunhee, a psychiatrist, and Seoyoon, an actual berserker think they are abnormal.
- Cult: An organization named Grass Porridge Cult that has an oath to blindly follow Weed
- Cute Mute: Seoyoon
- Determinator: Lee Hyun/Weed.
- His companions to a lesser degree; you have to be one to hunt with a Blood Knight willingly and on regular basis.
- Dramatic Irony : Most of Weed's adventures count.
- Drama Bomb: A lot of it. Such as when Seoyoon find Lee Hyun "dead" in the living room, minutes after she mourned and cried he suddenly wakes up; he's just sleeping on the floor after eating too much
- The Dreaded: Several, examples include:
- Bard Ray and his guild "Hermes", a bunch of PK Jerkasses who gang up on every one who doesn't bow to them; just like most big guilds, but theirs is the largest/strongest.
- Seoyoon becomes this for Weed; it's all in his head, ironically, as to her, him being her only friend, protecting him becomes one of her highest priorities.
- Weed was this in "Continent Of Magic".
- Dreadful Musician: Weed has several times shown that his singing will make enemies of all his listeners, no matter how much sweet talking he has done. When posting one of his battles on the internet while transformed into an orc people think it is a parody of how the they have no culture. He is completely unaware of how bad he is.
- Evil Cannot Comprehend Good : Weed isn't so much evil as really greedy, but he can't understand Seoyoon at all
- Glass Cannon : Weed considers his non-combat title-class to be this, he calls his class a "glass sculptor" as his unique attacks do a lot of damage, but because he is a crafter class, he cannot equip heavy armor, and does not receive the ordinary damage reducing skills of, say, a warrior. Until his persevering, has the game award him with the occasional defensive ability; the new abilities just allow him to place himself in even more precarious situations.
- Greed : Weed's main motivation, as a means of security after a childhood of poverty.
- Heart Is an Awesome Power : Sculpting is this though in terms of mythology, this is averted as many fantasy mythologies commonly tell that the TheOldGods sculpted the modern races of clay or stone.
- Hilarity Ensues : A lot of Weed's schemes work like this because of his bizarre single mindedness.
- Jack of All Stats : Weed is like this with the basic stats (dexterity, strength, wisdom, vitality, intelligence) and several more stats that are normally class related (art, fighting spirit, endurance, sustenance, faith, charm, charisma.)
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold : Lee Hyun/Weed He's scamming/ripping off practically everyone for the sake of his sickly grandmother that needs money for proper healthcare, and funding his sister's education.
- He even cares for the elderly people in his neighborhood
- He takes a commission for 1 copper coin out of empathy for parents who lost a child. He works on it for a month and in the end walks away lamenting his lack of skill and embarrassed that he could not do the father's request justice, and chooses not to name it, thus losing the ability to gain credit and stats for the work. The work ends up a mythical sculpture. The first person who saw it after Weed was given a title and the ability to gain audience with any noble or king on the continent to talk about the discovery of a mythological work.
- Loan Shark
- Manipulative Bastard: Weed and his sister, of course.
- In the Blood: Aparently they can both be outsmarted by their grandmother.
- No Damage Run : His stream-of-conscious narration states that he is perfectly capable of this in ordinary battles due to his training in martial arts and developing top notch sword skills, his use of dodges and parries are not in-game mechanics... however, he will allow his health to be in the red the entire time he fights as fighting in the red is the game' condition for raising the endurance stat (endurance reduces incoming damage).
- Oh, Crap : a lot of times for Weed
- And a few times for other people or his minions/slaves/pets, because he is The Dreaded.
- Sometimes, some of Weed's minions/slaves/pets manage to get away from Weed for awhile because their contracts ended or Weed ran off somewhere else on a quest. And while they are happily enjoying themselves away from their evil master, sometimes, they find some random guy trespassing their newfound territory. And sometimes, that random guy might just be Weed. Cue frantic backpedaling and failing that, the Suspiciously Specific Denial about who they are.
- Parental Abandonment : Averted, it is speculated early on that Weed is all alone with his grandmother and sister and in debt with loan sharks because of his parents, and it's true, but that's because they died in a car crash after taking the loan. They would have otherwise been able to pay it.