The extremely honorable painting was a product of chance. The best painter in the present day had been lucky enough to draw an extremely honorable painting. It was a great fortune for a painter.
How easy was it to make an extremely honorable painting? Picasso created the first new extremely honorable painting in 177 years and gained a high reputation, high level, and hidden quest achievement. On the other hand, Grid...
[Protagonist of the Extremely Honorable Painting]
[*One time limited skill.
When used, your information will return to what it was when the extremely honorable painting was made.
However, it will only be the stats and skills information. Additional information such as titles, class, status, race, age, and so on aren’t affected.]
...He only received this intermediate skill. This was a skill with a save-point concept. It could be effective in the worst situation, but the possibility of actually using it was low. The moment he returned to the save point, Grid would lose all the stats he had built up. Grid was never going to use the extremely honorable painting. He had convinced himself he would never need it.
However, the story was different on the National Competition’s server.
[You recalled yourself at the time the extremely honorable painting was drawn.]
[The past memories, glories, and flesh will permeate the present you.]
[You have returned to the point when the extremely honorable painting was drawn!]
[Your level has fallen. All stats have fallen. Some skill information has changed.]
The wind blew, and his long hair was gradually shortened. The fangs and claws that were like those of a beast became smaller. The muscular upper body became covered with black armor, and the pair of wings turned into a red cloak. The three horns on the forehead became a beautiful and graceful silver crown. Grid removed the image of the Demon King and returned to his appearance from the time of the extremely honorable painting.
He was clearly weakened. Grid had lost three levels. The blacksmithing skill and Pagma’s Swordsmanship enhanced by the goddess’ blessing returned to their pre-enhanced state, and Pagma’s Eyes (Baal’s Contractor Version) and the stats from the 234 random elixirs were all lost.
The main changes that caught Grid’s attention were how the enhancement value of the Enlightenment Sword fell back to +1, the broken Valhalla was restored, and the cannon on the battlefield had reverted to the form of the God Hands. It seemed that the extremely honorable painting didn’t just affect stats.
In other words, the stats level included the effect of items that were being worn or in use at the time of the painting. Fundamentally, it was a skill to integrate with the figure in the painting. Thus, it was natural to return to his armed state in the painting.
‘It was just a few months ago.’
It felt like he had returned to a very long time ago. He was proud as he realized how hard he had lived. Grid first invested the remaining stat points he had saved and then used the goddess’ blessing.
[295 points have been invested in agility.]
[Pagma’s Swordsmanship Lv. 4 has been enhanced to Great Swordsman Pagma’s Swordsmanship.]
[Mastering the swordsmanship has increased physical attack power by 40%, the chance of a critical hit by 50%, and critical damage by 80%.]
[The time required for the footwork of the sword dances has decreased by half.]
“What is this?” This wasn’t a question Kraugel wanted to answer. He didn’t know how to answer it. It was rare for the always composed Kraugel to be shaken like this. Grid’s recovery of his items and his damaged body was an unknown area that couldn’t be accepted by Kraugel’s knowledge and information.
“I will tell you one thing. There is no more bonus benefit I can get from continuing to play the Demon King.”
From now on, ‘Grid’ would fight Kraugel without any lies. That’s what Grid was saying. However, he didn’t mention that he was actually weaker because he had returned to a few weeks ago. It was only two years ago that Kraugel had fallen to level one, so it would be embarrassing for Grid to make an excuse for his current state.
First of all, he wasn’t that greatly weakened. Most of the points from the elixirs had gone to dexterity.
It felt like he had finally gotten the right clothes that fit. Grid felt lighter after being restored to his original shape and took one step closer to Kraugel.
The sky really fell. The swordsman used the authority of the sky to challenge Kraugel. As the Demon King, this was the skill that had made dozens of rankers fall into a crisis. Above all, the great advantage was that it was an instant skill. Kraugel defended against the sword. The White Tiger Sword threw out thorns and resonated as it clashed with the Enlightenment Sword.
Duguen! Duguen! Duguen!
The present supreme person and the former supreme person—in the midst of the flames and thorns, the sounds of both of their hearts intertwined as one. Grid felt deep gratitude along with extreme excitement. The reason why Kraugel participated in the 4th National Competition was due to Grid’s request. It was his insistence that they play a final match. Grid was thankful to the Kraugel who had waited for this moment, even preparing to take on the world’s criticisms so that this fight wasn’t ruined.
“I won’t disappoint you.”
It seemed like they had made a promise. The two men simultaneously shook off the interlocked swords and made a big turn. At first glance, they seemed to rotate equally, but the intentions of the two people were completely different. Kraugel didn’t deny the repulsive force and instead used it to strengthen his next attack. Meanwhile, Grid used the repulsion caused by the collision between swords to link the next sword movement.
“Transcend Storm Sword.”
The shock wave that occurred at this time—from a blow to smash someone and a blow to cancel the other attack—rippled through the battlefield. On the slippery ground, the two men focused on each other without losing balance. It was like they were the only two people who existed on this planet.
The God Hands in the air fired Magic Missiles, while four swords spread out and guarded Kraugel. Suddenly, the weight of the White Tiger Sword increased, and Grid fell to one knee. Grid activated Fly from his kneeling position, and his pointy knee struck Kraugel’s chin.
Kraugel grabbed Grid’s ankle as he ascended, throwing him to the ground. Valhalla vibrated and emitted a poison. Kraugel rotated his sword, and the wind caused the poison to go in the reverse direction. Grid activated Kill, and Kraugel used White Light Steps—which boasted hundreds of different paths—to dodge Kill by a narrow margin.
It seemed like Kraugel’s counterattack would be blocked by Lantier’s Cloak and fail to hit.
Despite this, he moved beyond the cloak—making the concept of defense useless—and damaged Grid’s body through Valhalla. Grid shook like someone trapped in a collided car.
The sword moved in a circle like a full moon and devoured Grid’s chest. Blood flowed down as Grid lowered his head. The camera couldn’t catch his face, but he was smiling. He was happy. It was the self-confidence he had been longing for. He could see that his friend and competitor was back on track.
The earth shook unceasingly. Kraugel didn’t get a chance to breathe. Grid couldn’t even wipe the spilled blood because he was busy avoiding and preventing sharp attacks. It was too soon to use the overgeared tactic of just hitting and hitting. The power of the White Tiger Sword that had grown to a unique rating was a threat to Grid. He couldn’t face the sword head on because of the weight increase.
‘I have to be careful. Let’s aim for a clear gap.’
Kraugel’s attacks stopped. It was because he was forced to defend against Grid’s instant skill, Unbreakable Justice.
The power was so great that Kraugel couldn’t defend completely and started bleeding. He twisted his body and attacked Grid from bottom up. Grid avoided the counterattack and stared up at the sky. The sword energy was soaring into the sky. The clouds were torn apart, and it interfered with the deployment of the Storm Demonic Energy Field. It was extremely creepy if this was what Kraugel intended.
Feeling thrilled, Grid used Link. It was faster than the Hero, so Kraugel had yet to fully adapt to the speed of the sword dances. He failed to block it with Control Sword and chose to dodge.
He was already short of breath due to the quick collisions. The two men stared at each other without trying to show their tiredness. Kraugel placed the White Tiger Sword back in its sheath and took the posture of drawing the sword. It was an attempt to take advantage of the distance.
A dopo with a yellow dragon embroidery on it—the flamboyant outfit fluttered in the wind, capturing the attention of people watching the National Competition. Two serene eyes stared at Grid through black hair that was matted with sweat and blood.
As Peak Sword had proven many times over the past few years, the posture of drawing the sword was no different from an archer pulling the bowstring. Grid would be a target even if he retreated back or rushed forward. He was already within Kraugel’s range.
Peak Sword watched the monitors with the eliminated players and spoke quietly, “...Time will flow again from the moment Grid moves.”
Time passed and the fight would resume. Peak Sword couldn’t bear to say that Grid was in a very disadvantageous position.
Kraugel and Grid were standing still. Only the four hands and sword floating over their heads proved that time hadn’t stopped. They had been swept away by the explosion and had been fighting for a long time.
Without taking his eyes off Kraugel, who was preparing to draw his sword, Grid used a skill. The Immediate Item Completion Scroll that he had obtained from the Reputation Store was in his inventory.
The commentators and spectators had already stayed silent for a few minutes. In retrospect, there had been many hints. The S.A Group had always said ‘it will be a competition created by players’ when they discussed the 4th National Competition. The players who recognized the weaknesses of the four heavenly kings the earliest had been the Overgeared members. Additionally, Kraugel hadn’t fought alongside the players despite knowing that people would criticize him.
『 ...The puzzle pieces are aligned. The person fighting against Kraugel now is the real Grid. 』
Even after the Demon King used a skill similar to the Hero and even after Zibal shouted out the name ‘Grid,’ people still had not been able to admit that the Demon King was Grid. This was because their notion of ‘common sense’ would have completely collapsed the moment they did.
Now, they had to admit it. They could no longer deny the reality when the Demon King revealed his true appearance. It was now time to recognize and analyze him.
『 Demon King Grid is much stronger than the current Grid. His health is 20 times higher than normal. He must’ve received many benefits after becoming the Demon King. 』
『 That’s right. Otherwise, it wouldn’t be possible for Grid to deal with 400 players alone. I think it is right to look at the current Grid as separate from the Demon King. 』
They were thinking with common sense rather than downplaying Grid.
The crowd and viewers were silently focused on the fight. They couldn’t hear the trembling voices of the commentators. Regardless of whether the situation was rational or irrational, the important thing was the direction of the fight. Grid and Kraugel—this was the third match between the former supreme player and the current supreme player.
Who would be the final winner among them?
People from all over the world felt that this match was likely to be the last confrontation and couldn’t help gulping.
“It doesn’t matter who wins! I’m cheering for both!!”
Now, the people finally realized that this was why they had been so interested in the PvP event. They had wanted to see Kraugel and Grid fight again. Yes, they had been looking forward to the story that hadn’t yet ended, not the PvP event. Countless people had been waiting a year just for this moment.
“Take the win, Grid!”
“Win this time, Kraugel!”
“Aish, both of you should win!”
It was the moment that the biggest issue of this year, the Demon King Subjugation, became the opening stage for the confrontation between the two players. This was an unexpected result even for the S.A Group.
“I am worried that the names of the two people will overshadow the National Competition.”
Yoon Sangmin was half joking, but no one laughed. The atmosphere of the executive boardroom of the S.A Group was somewhat uncomfortable.
On the other hand, the executive boardroom of the Daejin Group executives was festive.
“Grid is our car. No, he will be the face of our group.”
“Grid. No, God Grid will be my grandson-in-law.”
Their reactions were surprisingly similar to the comments on the Internet...? The executives were embarrassed when they heard Chairman Lee Jinmyung say ‘God Grid’, while the president of Daejin Motors raised both thumbs.
“God Grid will be your grandson-in-law! As expected of the God Chairman!”