‘What? What’s this?’
Dong Pao was greatly confused.
The road from Rolling to the Vatican was originally very peaceful. The paladins regularly scouted, so it was difficult to find thieves, monsters and beasts. It could be called one of the few safe zones on the continent.
However, today the monsters popped out without any hesitation. Just like water pouring from a collapsed dam, the monsters swooped down and attacked Grid and Dong Pao.
“Pant... Pant... There are so many monsters in the vicinity...”
Thanks to that, Dong Pao was exhausted.
It had been less than a hour since they left Rolling, and they had already fought over 100 monsters without a break. His mana had been depleted a few times, making him drink mana potions. Now his stamina was going to be depleted.
“Pant pant! Strange! Really strange! I’ve used this road several hundred times, but it is the first time I’ve seen this! Pant pant!” Dong Pao couldn’t accept the current situation. He struggled to use Heal on Grid, who was killing the lizardmen surrounding them. "Why are there so many monsters here... Strange!”
They needed to move 15km more to reach the point he was supposed to lure Grid. But monsters kept showing up, so it seemed like the two people would lose their lives before even reaching the target. How many people met and died from monsters in the safety zones? Perhaps he would be the first. How unfair and embarrassing was this?
Dong Pao despaired.
Then the source of this incident, Grid furtively took off his cloak.
‘I currently have a healing shuttle... Unfortunately, it’s time for a break.’
[Malacus’ Cloak has been unequipped.]
Malacus’ Cloak gave off a bloody scent that attracted all types of monsters hiding in the vicinity. As soon as Grid put the cloak into the inventory, no more monsters appeared. But Dong Pao was too busy to observe Grid properly, so he didn’t realize that Grid was the source.
Grid dealt with the remaining monsters.
[You have defeated a giant salamander.]
[Party leader ‘Grid’ has acquired the salamander’s gallbladder.]
[Party leader ‘Grid’ has acquired the rare pearl.]
[203,000 experience has been acquired.]
[You have defeated an iran clan lizardman.]
[Party leader ‘Grid’ has acquired the Usable Scimitar.]
[Party leader ‘Grid’ has acquired a sapphire.]
[255,000 experience has been acquired.]
Dran Valley, where crystal clear water flowed!
The monsters here were much stronger than the monsters of Suaz Mountains. They had a minimum level of 190 and higher, so even Grid struggled if there were more than seven monsters. However, he had Dong Pao’s healing, so he could successfully hunt them.
'The Heal of a level 160 priest is truly tremendous. Kukuk, I can wait to go to the Vatican as long as I have this heal shuttle.’
Grid was delighted because he gained a tremendous amount of experience, despite being in a party with Dong Pao. However, he made a disgruntled facial expression and groaned. “Phew, I thought I was going to die. This is the first time I’ve seen so many monsters. Was this area originally like this?”
Dong Pao shook his head at Grid’s words. “I don’t know what’s going on. Originally, this is a place where monsters rarely pop up... I didn’t even know that there were so many monsters here. I have goosebumps... Sigh...”
Dong Pao peeked at the dagger held in Grid’s hands while he was lamenting.
'There is a deep blue aura like sea around that dagger... It’s a weapon enhanced to at least +8. Huge.’
It was after he joined the party with Grid. He originally thought that Grid managed to come to Rolling alone, despite being only level 147, was purely because of luck.
Now that they’d fought together, he realized that Grid was really strong compared to his level. The reason Grid was able to cross the Suaz Mountains wasn’t because of luck, but because of strength.
‘The secret of his strength is that +8 dagger... A dagger might be weak in attack power compared to a one-handed sword or blunt weapon, but... A dagger enhanced to this extent can deal more damage than a blunt weapon.’
A dagger had a fast attack speed, but weak attack power. However, Grid’s dagger had both excellent attack speed and attack power.
‘He must be quite rich if he is carrying that weapon. Okay, I can get more profit than I thought. If I can take this dagger...!’
‘This is enough rest.’ As Dong Pao was smiling nastily, Grid put on Malacus’ Cloak. He got up from his seat and urged Dong Pao. “It is time to move. We don’t want to be too late.”
“Yes... But before that...”
Dong Pao stared at Grid with sharp eyes. Grid thought Dong Pao noticed Malacus’ Cloak and gulped. Then Dong Pao said to him. "Item distribution... Can you change it to sequential distribution instead of party leader distribution? Brother, let’s be fair.”
"...Just keep it as party leader distribution for now. With sequential distribution, the expensive items might be given to only one person and that isn’t fair. We’ll split the proceeds in half once we arrive at the destination, so don’t worry.”
Grid’s destination was the Vatican. But Dong Pao’s planned destination was a place where Grid would die before he arrived at the Vatican. If the item distribution method wasn’t changed now, Dong Pao wouldn’t receive the items. So he wanted to change it to sequential distribution.
But Grid was stubborn. Ho was already walking.
‘Damn bastard!’ Dong Pao cursed to himself. Then he tried to think positively. 'Yes, I will get a lot of money from him.’
Dong Pao smiled as he watched the quickly walking Grid. He thought that Grid’s urgent demand was funny. But the smile on Dong Pao’s face quickly disappeared. Had it been five minutes since they started walking again? New monsters appeared like a cloud and Dong Pao went crazy.
"What the hell is this? Why do these monsters keep constantly appearing?”
"Didn’t you do hard quests as part of the Rebecca Church? Perhaps this is a trial from Goddess Rebecca?”
Grid was using method acting. He was good at pretending that he wasn’t the source attracting the monsters. As a result, Dong Pao didn’t suspect Grid at all.
“No! I’ve never heard of a trial that involved hunting monsters! And a quest window didn’t pop up...!”
“Hrmm... Please support me while I’m taking care of them. Thank you.”
Dong Pao was depressed at the thought of consuming so many expensive mana potions. On the other hand, Grid was rejoicing.
‘I have a free heal shuttle so I should use it as much as possible!’
That’s right. Grid had been aiming for this since he got a party with a healer for free. Until they arrived at the Vatican, he was going to rely on Dong Pao’s healing for infinite hunting. Dong Pao was aiming for Grid’s life while Grid was aiming to use him.
The two men continued the repeated hunting and...
[Your level has risen.]
[Your level has risen.]
“Ohh! I also levelled up...!”
Just 12 hours after leaving Rolling! Grid gained three levels while Dong Pao gained one level.
It was surprising for Dong Pao. They were hunting high level monsters with only two people, so their level rose quickly. It was better than hunting with a few high level parties. Like Grid, he wanted to stay in this place for a while to hunt. If he could do that, he could challenge becoming a ranker. But he was soon reminded of his original goals.
‘Money is more important than levelling.’
Originally, they should’ve arrived here 3 hours after leaving Rolling. But it took them 12 hours. Dong Pao wondered if the assassins were tired and resentful from waiting. He felt anxious and urged Grid.
"Brother, let’s take a break in that cave over there.”
Grid turned his head in Dong Pao’s direction and was able to discover the entrance to a cave. Then he said with a reluctant look.
"Do we need to rest? Shouldn’t we go straight to the Vatican with this momentum?”
Dong Pao tried to convince him, “Unlike Brother, my stamina has reached its limit several times. I need sufficient rest. My mana regeneration is too slow right now... It is to the point that I can only use Heal a few times.”
“It can’t be helped.”
“Thank you for your consideration.”
Grid received Dong Pao’s guidance and entered the cave. Then a notification window flashed.
[The Vampire Countess Marie Rose is sealed in this space.]
[Marie Rose’s evil influence makes your magic power turbid. All types of spells and skills aren’t available.]
[You have resisted.]
Grid was bewildered.
“Is this a raid room? Vampire countess? The vampire barons are fearful enough, yet this is a vampire countess? Are we going to have our blood sucked and die here? Why are we resting in this dangerous space...?”
Dong Pao shook his head.
"Don't worry. Marie Rose has been sleeping for hundreds of years since she was sealed by two of Rebecca’s Daughters... She never wakes up. It isn’t Marie Rose you should be worrying about right now.”
Grid was startled.
At the end of Dong Pao’s words, three shadows appeared from the darkness. They were assassins who were with Dong Pao. They blocked the entrance of the cave so that Grid couldn’t escape, and glared at Dong Pao.
“Why are you so late?”
Dong Pao explained, "Strangely, monsters kept showing up. We were forced to slow down while handling them.”
The 13th ranked assassin, Sniffer didn’t believe it.
"Monsters? If you want to lie, do it properly. Isn’t it hard to find one wolf in the area, let alone monsters? This is why I hate the Chinese. You bluff every time you open your mouth!”
“It isn’t a lie. If you don't believe me, check it out yourself later.”
“Okay. I understand, so stop.” The 11th ranked Kerb didn’t want to waste any more time. He calmed down the situation and aimed two daggers at Grid. “Hey. If you don’t want to die and lose experience, give us your money. Then we’ll spare your life.”
Assassins were specialized in assassination.
Their class change quest was assassination, and they received additional rewards depending on how many people were assassinated. The assassins steadily performed assassinations and gained a lot of experience fighting people.
Assassins were able to show off their unique presence in this place where all types of skills were suppressed due to Marie Rose. They also had numerical superiority, so Kerb didn’t doubt that they could handle Grid.
On the other hand, Grid grasped the situation and asked Dong Pao.
“Dong Pao, don’t priests of the Rebecca Church have to obey the laws? Isn’t it against their doctrines to harm the lives of travellers for money? This act of betraying Goddess Rebecca, doesn’t it have fatal consequences to you as a priest?”
Dong Pao shook his head. “A lot of people are confused. They think that Rebecca priests must always follow the laws and doctrines to keep their position. But the reality was different. We have to only obey the law during the quest period. It doesn’t matter what wrongdoings I do if it isn’t discovered by the church.”
Grid didn’t understand.
“Isn’t your divine power stat strengthened by following the laws and doctrines? Rather than acting for immediate profits, isn’t it better in the long run to follow the laws and raise your divine power?”
To Dong Pao, Grid seemed desperate to live. He felt very sympathetic towards the pathetic persuasion.
"Brother, have you forgotten what I said earlier? We have something called prayer. Divine power can be raised through praying, so I don’t need to worry about following the laws. I don’t deny Goddess Rebecca, despite committing evil. I deeply believe in, admire and love the goddess in my heart. My loyalty to the goddess is so deep that even now, my divine power is rising slowly and steadily.
"It is still unknown to the outside, but the Rebecca Pope is a very depraved person. The pope often breaks the laws and doctrines of the church. But his divine power is enough to transcend common sense. His belief in Goddess Rebecca is absolute.”
"That’s just a contradiction.” The 7th assassin Shay came forward. He thought that the Rebecca Church was very silly. "The Yatan Church is the one that stands for pure evil. They believe that evil is the right way. But the people from the Rebecca Church commit atrocities, even though they realize they have to do good deeds. The front and back are different, so they are far sneakier and more dangerous than the Yatan Church. Well, it has nothing to do with us... Give us your money.”
Grid examined Shay’s body.
‘He is armed with top-notch items. At least level 200...’
The Legendary Blackmsith’s Discernment skill allowed him to gauge the level of the items that Shay was wearing. Thanks to that, Grid could see that Shay wasn’t an ordinary opponent.
‘Rankers. The other two people are even higher than Dong Pao.'
'... They are boring compared to Faker.’
Grid was in the same guild as the 1st ranked assassin, Faker.. He had witnessed Faker’s skills several times. Therefore, he didn’t feel afraid in front of these people.
“You guys, you have picked the wrong prey to hunt.”
Grid armed himself with two items that had been in his inventory the entire time he was with Dong Pao.
[Dainsleif (Reproduction) has been equipped.]
[Frostlight Orc Chief’s Helmet has been equipped.]
Dong Pao and the assassins were astonished when they saw Grid pull out a black greatsword and a bizarre skull helmet. Wasn’t he the famous slaughterer who wiped out the Giant Guild not long ago? They didn’t expect it at all.
OG: Glossary Link.
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