The pope shouted.
“Don’t you know who I am? I am Pope Drevigo! I am the parent of 70 million people and as the agent of the goddess, the most sacred being in the world! You dare point a sword at me? This infidel, you aren’t afraid of divine punishment!”
“Hrmm.” Grid listened quietly before saying something. "You spat at me.”
“W-What? Disgraceful person!”
He had never been insulted like this until now. A paladin was helping the traitor and now this? The pope’s head turned red with anger.
"I will punish you myself! Don’t think about leaving here alive!”
Grid glared at him coldly. "You are always talking about divine punishment... Pope, you haven’t grasped the situation yet? I have come here to inflict divine punishment on you. You are the one who will be punished, not me. So shouldn’t you act a little better? Tsk.”
It wasn’t just the pope who wasn’t happy with this situation. Grid felt the same. If the pope was a normal person, it would’ve been easy to clear the quest to get the pavranium blessed. However, the pope was a corrupt man and endangered the Rebecca Church, causing Grid to struggle unnecessarily because of the quest changing.
"The introduction I received from my father-in-law is useless... You, this is really annoying.”
Grid nervously squeezed Dainsleif. Then his sword aimed at the pope. But the pope wasn’t going to stand still. He responded by launching light magic power.
A powerful explosion occurred as a white flash and black flash collided. Due to the aftermath, 10m of the long carpet was burnt to pieces. The remnants of the carpet fell like red eyes looking at Grid with disapproval.
‘My sword was blocked?’
Grid’s sword was enhanced by the red lightning bolt and Damian’s buff skill. The fact that he couldn’t win against the pope’s magic was basically proof that the pope’s magic power was stronger than Grid’s sword.
‘My attack power right now is higher than Malacus’ magic power. Malacus himself would fail to stop me, even if he unfolded a three-layer shield.’
Grid couldn’t understand it. His increased insight showed that the pope had a combat power of 24,000. Given Damian’s combat power of 12,500 as a level 227 ranker, 24,000 didn’t seem very high. Just looking at the numerical value, two Damians would be able to exert combat power over the pope.
‘Based on Damian... The Tzedakah Guild has an average combat power of 12,000 at the time of the Malacus raid...’
17 guild members were involved in the Malacus raid. If the average 12,000 combat power of each person was combined, the total combat strength would be over 200,000. But didn’t they get overwhelmed by Malacus’ strength, even with a combined combat power of over 200,000?
In other words, Malacus should have at least 200,000 combat power and the pope in front of him should be 10 times weaker than Malacus because he only had 24,000 combat power. But after an exchange of blows, the pope felt stronger than Malacus. It was curious.
Grid’s high insight allowed him to understand the concept of combat power.
'A small gap in combat power is, in reality, a large gap to cover.’
Grid’s assertion was correct. While Rebecca’s Daughters, the pope, and Damian’s attack power were all valued in the tens and hundreds of thousands, actual combat power was delicate enough to feel when there was even a single digit difference.
The concept of combat power wasn’t 1+1=2.
Let’s assume that an attack power of 1 was an ant and an attack power of 2 was a praying mantis. It was impossible for two ants to beat a praying mantis.
Therefore, combat power was 1+1 < 2.
This was how the 17 Tzedakah Guild members were overwhelmed by the lone Malacus.
"The sum of combat power is meaningless. 17 cats gathered together can’t beat one elephant. And the pope is a top predator that can devour an elephant. Isn’t he incredibly strong?”
“Cat? Elephant? What are you saying?”
The pope couldn’t understand Grid’s words. Grid grinned at his confusion. “I am a cat or an elephant. This is an opportunity to gauge which one.”
"I don’t know what you are talking about. Infidel, are you crazy?”
“Don’t worry too much about it.”
Grid wasn’t discouraged despite learning that the pope was much stronger than Malacus. Rather, his blood was boiling with excitement.
‘I wonder how far my strength will prevail!’
Grid had learned how to use his weapons freely during the Guardian of the Labyrinth raid. Lacking destructive power could be covered with control.
In Grid’s hands, Dainsleif slashed at a different angle each time, the sword auras all flying in different orbits. Some flew to the front, to the side and to the rear of the pope. Unless the pope had eyes all over the place, it was impossible to intercept them all with magic!
Grid smiled with satisfaction. However, the pope was more formidable than Grid expected. The pope continuously unfolded his light magic power and intercepted Grid’s energy swords one by one.
“This won’t work!”
A wide area light magic attack was emitted along with the pope’s shout.
Kwa kwa kwa kwang!
It was an overwhelming sight. The white magic power spread like sunlight and shattered the black energy swords.
“Wow.” Grid stared at the brilliant light that was slowly disappearing and truly admired it. "Really strong.”
Was he feeling discouraged? No, that wasn’t it.
“Okay! I have to do my best!”
There was a unique buff skill just for Pagma's Descendant. He could only use it for himself, but the effect was extraordinary.
[Blacksmith’s Rage has been activated. Your attack power and attack speed will increase significantly for 20 seconds.]
Grid doubled the speed with which he wielded Dainsleif. It meant that his attack speed had doubled.
Kwa kwa kwa kwang!
The attacks poured down like a heavy rain due to Grid wielding the sword without a break!
The pope’s face turned white. He continuously fired light magic, but the speed of the light magic couldn’t keep up with Grid’s speed. Once again, the pope released light magic around himself. He was planning to sweep away all of Grid’s energy swords again.
But this time, the result was different.
Kwa kwa kwa kwang!
Blacksmith's Rage strengthened the power of the energy swords, causing the power of light to be destroyed instead. Then the swords landed on the pope’s body.
“You have become stronger? Kuaaaaak!"
The light magic couldn’t withstand the power of the swords, and the pope’s body was hit again and again. The pope’s terrible scream echoed in the hall as notification windows appeared in front of Grid.
[You have dealt 13,300 damage.]
[You have dealt 13,910 damage.]
[You have dealt 14,080 damage.]
[The Best Gauntlets option effect is activated, causing you to attack the target twice.]
[You have dealt 28,300 damage.]
[You have dealt 31,050 damage.]
The pope’s health gauge was dwindling at an incredible pace. Grid was able to determine the pope’s total health by comparing the amount of damage suffered to the pope’s health gauge.
‘Is it around 300,000?’
The Guardian of the Labyrinth had a total health greater than 1.2 million. But it was a golem, not a human. The pope was a human being. His inherent health was lower compared to monsters, so this increased Grid’s confidence.
‘I can catch him with around 20 more hits?’
He might be able to overcome the pope without Isabel’s help.
“Puhahahat! The pope should die and drop some items!” Grid burst out while expecting victory. He attacked the pope relentlessly and the health gauge ended up dropping to a quarter. Then the duration of Transcend and Blacksmith's Rage was over.
“I’ll drive in the last wedge here!”
The pope was in a dying state. His white garments embroidered with gold thread had been torn to pieces a long time ago. Grid ran towards him. He narrowed the interval to 10m in a short amount of time and used the strongest skill.
“Pagma’s Swordsmanship, Kill!”
The overwhelming killing intent heated up the atmosphere. A dark haze surrounded Dainsleif. The moment Dainsleif was about to be stabbed into the pope’s heart.
The pope used magic. Then the pope’s health gauge was refilled in an instant.
‘A heal that restores hundreds of thousands of health?’
The pope’s magic effect didn’t end there. A green translucent shield was unfolded and completely neutralized Kill. Grid was scared. “What skill is this? Damn, is he a guardian knight?”
The pope used the invincible skill only meant for guardian knights! Grid was surprised by the unexpected move and retreated. Then the pope ridiculed him.
"The goddess’ divine blessing fully protects my body and soul. No matter what you do, you can’t harm me!"
The pope was fundamentally a priest. If Rebecca’s Daughters were the peak of the paladins, the pope was the peak of the priests. The bloody body was restored and he used a broad heal for the paladins who were severely wounded and had withdrawn from battle. He ordered them.
"What are you doing? Kill that infidel right away!”
The paladins didn’t like the pope. They didn’t want to follow such an evil existence that made their church corrupt. But no matter how depraved the pope, he was obviously an agent of the goddess. The high rankings paladins were deeply religious and couldn’t imagine rejecting the pope’s order, grabbing their weapons. Then they simultaneously rushed towards Grid.
“No, Damian. What are you doing? Are you just doing to watch?”
Grid reacted nervously as he looked at all the opponents in front of him. Damian, who had been watching Grid with shock, belatedly recovered his spirit.
A person who was only level 150 had overwhelmed the pope! What the hell was Grid’s identity? It was suspicious. Despite his deep skepticism and confusion, Damian added his power to Grid’s in order to defend Rin.
Chaaeng! Chaeng chaeng!
Damian blocked a paladin’s sword with a shield and fought back. His sword was sharp and the paladins couldn’t easily defend against it. Then blood started to pour out of the paladins. Damian was awakened by this quest and received the strongest buff skill. This made him strong enough to overpower the church’s senior paladins.
Both Damian and Grid were unaware of this, but Damian was now stronger than Toban, who was number one on the paladin rankings. He might not be able to defeat 23 paladins with his power alone, but he could tie up their feet for a while.
“Okay! I’ll leave this to you!”
Grid determined that Damian alone was enough and rushed to target the pope again. However, the pope had no intention of allowing his approach. The pope blasted him with light magic power to stop him.
Pepeng! Kwa kwa kwa kwang!
The magician bombardment was concentrated on Grid. Grid wanted to avoid it, but it was hard because the pope grasped his movement patterns and reaction rate, using the power of light efficiently.
A white ray narrowly passed over the top of the frightened Grid’s head. Then another ray aimed at his face without giving Grid any room to breathe.
Grid hurriedly used the Divine Shield to defend. Then a notification window popped up.
[The durability of the Divine Shield has decreased by 78.]
The Divine Shield was famous because it was strong against dark magic. But even without such features, the Divine Shield had excellent defense. Even with that, the pope’s blow had reduced the shield’s durability by 1/8th.
‘If only I was holding the legendary rated Divine Shield...!’
He wanted to get rid of the pope quickly and regain the legendary rated Divine Shield. Grid placed the shield in front of him and continued to move forward.
"How dare an infidel carry our battle gear! It is disgraceful!”
Kwaang! Kwaang! Kwaang!
Every time Grid stepped forward, a ray of light magic power flared and struck the Divine Shield. The Divine Shield rapidly distorted and cracks started to appear. It happened when Grid took his seventh step. The pope thought that his next strike would completely shatter Grid’s shield.
But Grid had no intention of letting his item be destroyed.
Grid identified that the white flash was approached and put away the Divine Shield. Then he armed himself with the Ideal Dagger and used Wind Blast. The swirling wind slightly twisted the orbit of the white flash. Then the ray brushed past Grid’s cheek.
Jjejeok! Part of the Frostlight Orc Chief’s Helmet was broken and a little bit of Grid’s face was exposed. Grid endured it.
"This method worked.”
The pope gritted his teeth, "You still have a lot of tricks left!”
The pope was annoyed since that explosion should’ve blown off Grid’s head, and was about to attack again. Two golden discs appeared out of nowhere and stuck to his back.
The moment that the pope was panicking. Grid used Quick Movements and succeeded in narrowing the gap with the pope. Then he fired Pagma’s Swordsmanship, Link.
The attack speed of the dagger was incomparably fast compared to the greatsword. Then Quick Movements maximized his agility.
Grid used Link after equipping himself with the Ideal Dagger and managed to unleash 22 attacks. While the damage inflicted was less than that of when he used Dainsleif, the dagger’s delicate control made sure that the pope was persistently hit.
The pope screamed and launched a counterattack, aiming precisely at Grid’s heart.
Damian screamed as he confirmed that Grid’s health had fallen by more than half with a single strike. Those who lost more than 40% of their health in a single hit would be stunned and unprotected, meaning Grid was in considerable danger. Damian wanted to run over to Grid to give him healing and protection, but he couldn’t move because of the paladins.
‘This is the end! This quest will fail! I won’t be able to save Rin-chan!’
At that moment, something strange thing happened: without taking a single potion, Grid’s health still recovered as he remained unaffected by any abnormal status effects. Grid coolly plunged his dagger deep into the pope’s heart.
OG: Glossary Link.
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