“I am Grid,” Grid introduced himself in a simple manner and looked around the conference venue. There were maybe over one thousand people...? The reporters filled up the conference room like bean sprouts. Despite this, Grid wasn’t nervous at all. He was accustomed to this kind of situation as the king of a nation.
Grid leisurely examined the reporters’ faces before pointing to a blonde reporter. “Ask a question.”
The lucky person who got to speak first was a reporter for Canada’s national television station. She didn’t have positive or negative intentions toward Grid. Instead, she just showed her genuine passion as a reporter. That’s why Grid selected her. Grid read the reporters’ different intentions with a quick look and led the press conference to begin smoothly.
“I am Caroline from the CBC Cultural Department of Canada. First of all, congratulations on your win. Please tell us how you feel about fighting against 400 rankers alone and winning.”
“I am naturally delighted.”
“Did you expect to win from the beginning?”
“That’s impossible. I was just lucky.”
“What exactly are you calling luck?”
First, the timing of Duke of Wisdom’s Magic Contemplation was too good. The players misunderstood that, so Grid managed to be safe from the magicians throughout the battle. The greater luck was that Kraugel didn’t engage in the fight. However, Grid had no intention of disclosing these facts. He didn’t want to expose his own limitations, and he also didn’t want to raise a topic that would cause Kraugel to be criticized.
The question was passed onto the next reporter. “Director Yoon Sangmin said that you weren’t given any preferential treatment. The ability to reflect magic and summon the magic machine should be interpreted as your unique ability. Is that correct?”
“Yes, that’s right.”
Grid had revealed all of his powers in the Demon King Subjugation. It could be somewhat dangerous, so he started bluffing. He didn’t explain the effect of Duke of Wisdom or that the magic machine was the result of copying rather than summoning. Instead, he just allowed people to keep misunderstanding.
‘In the first place, they don’t know about the item duplication.’ It wasn’t possible for anyone other than Grid or his aides to understand the concept of duplicating an item.
Then a sharp question emerged. “The appearance of your magic machine is exactly the same as Zibal’s magic machine. Not only that, the emblem of the empire was carved in the same place. Doesn’t this mean that Grid’s magic machine was originally owned by the empire? How did you get an empire weapon?”
It was a reasonable question, but he hadn’t predicted it in advance. Grid was struggling to answer when a reporter made a guess.
“Did you receive a gift when you visited the empire with the emperor’s invitation?”
The emperor was crazy enough to give him a gift...? Moreover, it was an ancient artifact? It was absurd, but it wasn’t unfounded. The Saharan Empire had been the first to propose the peace treaty, and Grid had visited the imperial palace at the emperor’s invitation. Was the relationship between the Saharan Empire and the Overgeared Kingdom more special than the world knew?
The relationship between Grid and the emperor couldn’t be simple if the emperor gave Grid a gift. Grid was silent, and the reporters started typing because they interpreted it as a positive response. Articles such as ‘Grid has the Saharan emperor’s favor?’ and ‘The Saharan Empire and the Overgeared Kingdom are eternal allies?’ appeared on the Internet.
‘Well... I don’t dislike him.’
Certainly, Emperor Juander was a person different in comparison to what was known. He was a tyrant who dominated the continent in a violent way, but he had also given a great gift to Grid who would someday become his obstacle. The gift was Mercedes the legendary knight. She was much more valuable than the magic machine.
‘To be exact, it wasn’t a gift he gave me.’
The emperor had sent Mercedes to the Overgeared Kingdom for Piaro, not Grid. Tricked by Great Demon Astaroth, the emperor had declared his friend and loyal knight a traitor. Once he learned the truth, he sent Mercedes to Piaro’s side in the hopes that Piaro could spend his last years comfortably.
Of course, the emperor never imagined that Piaro would be a farmer and living well. Additionally, Piaro was still sharpening his sword of revenge toward the empress.
‘Piaro’s heart is complicated.’
The third question was from a Chinese reporter. It was a reporter who stared at Grid with grim eyes from beginning to end. “In the early stages of the battle, you used a skill that brought hundreds of players to their knees. In that short time, you killed Player Mei Xiao. What were your intentions behind this action?”
The Chinese people hated Grid. Having defeated their hero Hao, Grid looked like an eyesore to them as he stood in the position of the greatest. Thus, the Chinese media couldn’t be sympathetic to Grid. The Chinese media criticized Grid according to public opinion. It was reported that Grid did a malicious act against China by assassinating Mei Xiao.
Of course, Grid also knew these facts. That’s why he behaved more carefully. “Mei Xiao is incredibly good as a new generation player. Early in the battle, she was one of the most threatening players, so she was the first target. If I failed to kill her, I definitely would’ve been defeated in the Demon King Subjugation.”
“...Are you acknowledging Mei Xiao’s abilities?”
“I think anyone would acknowledge her considering what she showed at the National Competition this year.”
“T-That’s right.” The Chinese reporter blushed and sat down like he was embarrassed by asking such an obvious question. Then he started to write an article with an excited expression.
The Chinese people watching the broadcast also softened their hearts. Grid showed a casual expression. He acted like praising Mei Xiao was as natural as flowing water. The Chinese people became aware of two facts. Mei Xiao was a true rising star from China, and Grid had no prejudice or malice toward China.
-If he hated China, he wouldn’t acknowledge Mei Xiao.
-Grid’s favorite food is jjampong! Chinese noodles!
-Grid is pro-China.
-Simple fools. You are deceived by lip service.
-It's lip service to acknowledge Mei Xiao’s skills...? He is telling the truth. Why is it lip service? Aren’t you an offensive jerk?
Looking at this, the offensive jerks were split up between China and Korea. The friendlier Grid was, the better the situation became. Since the loss of Khan, Grid became even more aware of this important fact. He should refrain from acting emotionally and making too many enemies. The effect was great.
A reporter from Argentina asked gingerly, “Did you kill Seuron first for the same reason as Mei Xiao?”
‘No, it is because Seuron spread rumors about hemorrhoids.’
...Grid suppressed the words rising in his throat and barely managed a smile. “That’s right. I was wary of Seuron, who becomes stronger as the casualties increase.”
30 minutes passed by. The questions and answers continued for a short period of time.
“You used a skill two times in a row. What type of ability was involved?”
“I will only say it is a hidden card.”
“Did you promise a one on one match with Kraugel in advance?”
“It is rumored that there is criticism among a very small number of people in South Korea. They say the overall ranking of South Korea is lowered as a result of you participating in the competition as an individual rather than as part of South Korea. What do you think about this reaction?”
“I fully understand their feelings.”
“How do you rate Zibal who has returned after a long time?”
“I am impressed with his rapid development. He is one of the players to be most cautious about.”
“People are calling God of War Ares as the most likely candidate to be the next Demon King. What do you think about this?”
“I also expect Ares to be one of the candidates. The other one is Pope Damian. I think it will be really scary if the gates are guarded by Rebecca’s Daughters.”
“The power of the Overgeared Kingdom has grown over the years. Do you have any plans to expand the Overgeared Kingdom?”
“Please only ask questions related to the National Competition.”
...And so forth. Time flowed on very smoothly. Reporters asked questions that the audience might be curious about, and Grid responded to them with skill. The ‘most viewed news’ all over the world was filled with Grid’s press conference.
The press conference itself ended smoothly. The reporters showed expressions of slight disappointment, but most of them wanted to maintain their relationship with Grid and didn’t ask any inflammatory questions.
At this moment, a reporter raised his courage and asked a question, “It is known that Grid has received offers to be an advertising model for Bentley, Rolls-Royce, Maybach, and other luxurious car brands. Then shortly after the Demon King Subjugation ended, you made a remark that suggested you’ve signed a contract with Daejin Motors. Is the reason why they were able to grab you over the world’s best brands related to Player Yura?”
Daejin Motors had become famous because of Grid’s words. Now, everyone in the world knew the brand Daejin Motors, and they also knew that Yura was the granddaughter of the chairman of the Daejin Group. It was easy to make the relationship between Grid, Yura, and Daejin Motors. Still, the reporters hadn’t asked blatantly because it was a personal question. Indeed, the sharp-eyed staff members were trying to pull away the American reporter who asked the rude question.
However, Grid stopped them. Surprisingly, Grid had been waiting for this question.
He faced the dozens of cameras lined up like a wall and pulled out the answer he had prepared. “I chose Daejin Motors because I personally like the new luxury King General Sys from Daejin Motors. Originally, I was going to sign with a supercar that you know well. Then I happened to walk past a Daejin Motors car dealership and saw the King General Sys on display. I entered the sales office in a bewitched manner and tried it out with the recommendation of a friendly staff member. It was unbelievably beautiful and drove well. Of course, there was a part that was regrettable. It was released as a luxury brand, but the price was quite inexpensive compared to the world’s top three cars. Thus, some of the specifications didn’t satisfy me 100%. I wanted to have a King General Sys and put in an inquiry with Daejin Motors.”
“...What was the inquiry?”
Grid was openly doing promotion. The reporters knew the truth but had to ask the question. This was why Grid stopped talking at that part. Grid looked somewhat excited as he said, “Daejin Motors were willing to design the God General Sys just for me. I was impressed by the prompt customer service of Daejin Motors and decided to become their model.”
“...” The atmosphere of the press conference became awkward.
“What is the God General Sys? Did we decide to make it for Grid?” The Daejin Group employees doubted their memories. Grid was so earnest that it was confusing whether it was fiction or fact.
The president of Daejin Motors started sweating. “...We need to make it.”
“It is a car that the whole world will be interested in. It needs the best design and specs that aren’t lacking compared to the Rolls-Royce.”
Along with protecting his valuable colleague, Grid got the advertising fees and a new car. Of course, the Daejin Group enjoyed astronomical advertising, so it wasn’t a loss.
‘This great guy is helping me?’
After the press conference, Grid came out of the conference room and found Yura waiting for him. Had she been crying? Her eyes were slightly bloodshot. Her appearance stimulated his protective instincts.
“Are you okay?” Grid couldn’t help reaching out.
“Would you like to eat ramyun in my room?” Yura suggested.
Click. Click click!
The reporters who left the conference room one step later than Grid let out a burst of camera flashes.
Unlike the embarrassed Grid, Yura stood close to him. The reporters looked like they had gained a scoop.
Peak Sword watched from a distance and asked Coke, “If Yura and Jishuka fight, who will win?”
“I don’t even dare imagine such a thing...”