“What is that?”
The glasses that Grid wore had an odd aspect. The transparent gleam made it seem like they were made from extraordinary gemstones, but the black liquid that had a purple sheen was jarring.
‘What type of liquid was injected separately?’
It seemed like a wrong choice if Grid wanted the feeling of sunglasses. They weren’t practical because they interfered with the wearer’s vision.
“They will be the eyes of the evil eyes’ king.”
Did he need to explain things in words? Grid shared the item information with those gathered in there.
* Incomplete ether effect.
* Charm +80.
* Vision -2.
* The abnormal ‘blurred vision’ state will occur once per second.
The accessories maker Elizabeth, whose reputation has risen sharply in recent years, crafted these glasses from ether diamonds.
The beauty of the ether diamonds is gorgeously expressed. It would be great if someone who wanted attention wore them.
The ether has a partial magical effect, and the field of view is disturbed because the ether is injected into the lens. There will be some discomfort.
Glasses were classified as accessories, and among all the accessories, they were items that were easiest to wear.
“Try it.” Grid handed the glasses to Lauel. That’s right. Items called glasses could be easily given to others by the owner. There was no transfer procedure. It was simple as long as the other party didn’t resist, since it had to be worn on the ears and nose.
[You have received the Ether Glasses.]
[Your eyesight has fallen. Your vision is blurry.]
“...It’s uncomfortable.” Lauel wore the glasses and narrowed his eyes. The cloudy fog and ripples interfered with his vision. “The ether effect is incomplete.”
Lauel took off the glasses and tried casting magic against the lens. The condensed wind on his palms struck the lens. The lens didn’t even crack, and there was no repulsion. The magic was extinguished like it was a lie. The word ‘absorption’ seemed correct.
“Wow! Isn’t this great?”
Grid explained to Lauel and the 10 meritorious retainers who were admiring the glasses, “Ether is a substance from another world that absorbs magic power. Once the evil eyes’ king wears these glasses, all the magic emitted from his eyes will be absorbed by the lens. Thus, the magic can’t be reflected by the White Dragon’s Eyes, and the possibility of destruction will be gone. The evil eyes’ king will be able to see the world.”
Grid described it casually, but this was actually the core point. The evil eyes' king had his eyes sealed from the moment he was born. The power of the evil eyes, which destroyed all objects it touched, was an amazing and powerful curse. He wanted to see the world. The item that could fulfill the evil eyes' king’s earnest desire was the Ether Glasses.
“It is the best gift for the evil eyes’ king. He will like you more than you think.”
It was an item that could turn the evil eyes' king that even the empire was wary of into a perfect ally. Lauel was convinced that the value of the Ether Glasses was astronomical. It was a treasure born from the combination of information from Kraugel, Elizabeth’s techniques, and Grid’s power in the Demon King Subjugation.
“Go to the evil eyes village right now. We must secure the evil eyes’ king before the empire acts.”
The 10 meritorious retainers were motivated. They had a feeling that the grace period given by Ares wasn’t very long. The 10 meritorious retainers expected that Valhalla was likely to consider negotiations with the Overgeared Kingdom as the next best option. Negotiations with the empire could already be underway. Valhalla would gain a much bigger benefit from establishing a friendly relationship with the empire in return for giving the White Dragon’s Eyes to the empire.
Lauel was immersed in his thoughts. “Certainly, we have to hurry, but I’m worried that the ether effect is incomplete. Is it because the ether effect is incomplete that the durability is quickly consumed?”
The durability was at 187 when Lauel received the Ether Glasses. Once it absorbed basic magic, the durability was reduced to 186. Grid nodded with a dark expression. “That’s right. The durability is consumed every time it absorbs magic.”
“Is the amount of durability reduced dependent on the magic power?”
“No, fortunately it isn’t. I have experimented with Zednos and Laella, and the durability decreases by the same amount regardless of magic power.”
“Then the amount of magic power emitted by the evil eyes' king shouldn’t be a problem.”
“No, there are many problems. The magic power that is emitted from the eyes of the king is close to infinite, meaning this level of durability will only last a few minutes.”
“I don’t know if it is limitless or infinite, but I’m sure that it is inexhaustible. That’s why I’ve decided...” Grid opened his inventory and pulled out a new ether diamond—a palm-sized diamond with a small amount of purple black liquid inside. “I will go through the process of disassembling and reassembling the glasses made by Elizabeth in order to raise my understanding to 100% and gain the production method.”
Grid received seven rewards from the Demon King Subjugation (8 when including the Demon King’s Appearance event).
For three of the rewards, he chose the ether diamonds.
He chose only three for a few reasons. First, Elizabeth’s help was needed to craft the ether diamonds and make the glasses. Second, after learning how to make Elizabeth’s glasses, Grid could recreate the glasses with a higher quality.
Finally, the third reason was that Grid couldn’t separate the ether from the ether diamonds, no matter what physical methods he used. It was a substance from another world, so even Sticks and Braham didn’t precisely understand the ether. After some distress, Grid tried to separate the ether by destroying the diamond, but the ether that touched the air evaporated without a trace.
It meant Grid wasted one of the three ether diamonds he had obtained.
‘I would be ridiculously overgeared if I could get pure ether...’
For example, what if he mixed the ether with Valhalla of Infinite Affection? Grid could gain more magic protection than the Duke of Wisdom. The magicians wouldn’t be able to hurt Grid easily.
“Then we will first go to the evil eyes’ village to protect the king. Your Majesty should join us after making new glasses.”
Although Grid had a portable furnace, it was better to make items in a smithy equipped with various facilities and tools. The better the working environment, the more likely it was that a higher-rated item would be created. Grid nodded. “Don’t overdo it. There are some strong bastards in the empire.”
The surest way to deal with the empire was to send strong people such as Piaro, Mercedes, Noll, Asmophel, and Singuled, but nobody wanted to do that. Those people only had one life.
“There is still time in our truce agreement with the empire, so it won’t be a big deal. Don’t worry.” The reliable Lauel snapped his fingers. A group of kids with chibi bodies poured in from outside the conference room.
The Destiny Guardians—they were the 16 evil eyes that Grid had rescued from the dungeon in the past and given to Lauel as guards.
“You who wants to transcend and see into the past and future... We have responded to your noble soul and come to this place. From this moment on, we will defend your destiny. This is the fate that is weighing on the Destiny Guardians’ backs... Kukukuk!”
The appearance of the evil eyes was chilling. It was because they spoke nonsense every time they appeared. The 10 meritorious retainers made embarrassed expressions while Lauel swept back his bangs. His silver hair reflected the moonlight and seemed to scatter stars.
“My soul, trapped in solitude, is in a turbulent state as it faces your destiny. I pay tribute to the eyes covered by a black cloth and will ask you something in the name of Lauel. Destiny Guardians, do you have the courage to encounter a furious storm of fate?”
“Kukuk... courage? It is one of our ‘sources’ that will never fade... Kukukukuk!”
“You don’t feel fear? Amazing! I can feel the power of language from your answer! The black dragon sealed in my arm is starting to move...!”
“Huhuhut... The master of the great evil eyes has never felt fear since being born. Even if the black dragon sealed in your arm wakes up, we will never back down... Eh?” The evil eyes were talking excitedly for a while only to become shocked. It was because they discovered Grid standing behind Lauel.
“Y-You are the symbol of a past life reincarnation who has made a connection with our great king that deals with dark flames and white ice and sees the truth of the world!!”
The astonished evil eyes started sweating nervously and looked away. They were afraid that they would be dragged into a cave and given pickaxes if they met Grid’s eyes. When the evil eyes suddenly became mute, the 10 meritorious retainers couldn’t help feeling in awe of Grid.
‘What? Overwhelming the evil eyes species with his gaze...?’
‘He shut up the evil eyes who aren’t afraid of the world!’
‘My Liege! I respect you!’
In fact, the evil eyes were a very strong species, unlike their pretty appearance. The moment they released the seal on their eyes, they could harm or restrain the target just by looking at them. Yet even the great evil eyes species would fall down before Grid. Anyone could see that Grid was amazing!
“...Then I’m going to make glasses. I’ll meet you in the evil eyes’ village as soon as possible.”
Grid left behind the silent evil eyes and ran to the smithy. He was resolved to make sturdy Ether Glasses.
‘If I can control his power, it will be an opportunity to recruit someone who might be stronger than Piaro. I can’t afford to miss this opportunity.’
“Wouldn’t it be better to wait for a response from the Overgeared Kingdom?”
The God of War Ares—the second player to build a kingdom after Grid—visited the empire with his military adviser, Sima Hui. He wore a deep helmet to hide his identity and was followed by the best players of Valhalla. By the way, the person they were escorting was Sima Hui, not Ares. Of course, this was at Ares’ command. He didn’t want to lose a named NPC that he finally obtained after six visits to the East Continent.
“The Overgeared Guild will delay the answer as much as possible. The White Dragon’s Eyes will lose their value if we wait for their answer.”
The reason why Ares and Sima Hui visited Titan directly was to negotiate with the empire. They were going to hand the White Dragon’s Eyes over to the empire and establish a friendship between Valhalla and the empire. Ares wanted a friendship with the Overgeared Kingdom over the empire, but Sima Hui’s thoughts were different.
“The Overgeared King is a highly skilled technician who restored the treasures of the reapers. Unless I am overestimating him, it is likely he already understands the substance of ether and it’s likely he’ll to use it to help the evil eyes' king. He will be prepared for the White Dragon’s Eyes and will have no intention of negotiating with us until he sees some damage.”
“Isn’t that way of thinking too extreme? Like us, the Overgeared Kingdom thinks of the empire as the toughest challenge. They helped the founding of Valhalla to keep the empire in check. Why would they be so cold to us now?”
“They will be afraid.”
“Your Majesty’s ability to conscript and nurture your soldiers’ strength means it is inevitable that Valhalla’s power will soar into the sky. Cooperating with Valhalla to overcome the empire is like riding a tiger’s back to chase the lion. Thus, they will be worried even if the empire has been defeated.”
Ares had felt it. He was intrigued by Grid’s ability to make items and had been trying to establish a friendship with the Overgeared Kingdom because of the grace he had received. However, Ares became bitter as soon as he realized this, ‘The Overgeared Kingdom is very wary toward us.’
He was locked in thought for a while before speaking with half-closed eyes, “Okay. I will actively agree with your plan to strengthen our relationships with the empire and to consume the resources of the empire and the Overgeared Kingdom. I won’t hesitate anymore.”
“You have decided well. There is no need to be directly hostile to the Overgeared Kingdom just because we are holding hands with the empire for a while.”
“Umm... By the way, are we really going to the imperial palace? We might be bringing the White Dragon’s Eyes, but I am still the king of an enemy kingdom. Will the emperor truly meet us? I would be glad if he didn’t kill us...”
“We don’t have to meet the emperor. The grandmaster has already captured our movements. He will probably attempt a meeting.”
“He is the most powerful person in the empire and has the authority to wield military power. His reputation from 100 years ago was so great that his name was heard even in my country.”
“Reputation on the East Continent...? 100 years ago? Huh, he seems to have a considerable degree of longevity.”
“He is a transcendent. Maybe you can think of it as a different form of immortality?”
“Transcendent...? Immortal? Do you mean a legend?”
“Well, it’s a little different.”
“...” Ares sensed the grandmaster wasn’t ordinary.
When he was just about to ask for more details, Ares was interrupted by a knight who approached them. “I came to meet you at the grandmaster’s command. Are you the king of Valhalla?”
Ares thought the knight was a Red Knight due to the red armor, but the shape of the armor was different. In the absence of light, the armor looked more black than red.
“Isn’t it polite to introduce yourself before asking about the other person?”
“I am Susan of the Neo Red Knights. I’ll ask you again. Are you the king of Valhalla?”
Sima Hui nodded on behalf of the wary Ares. “That’s correct. You are speaking to King Ares, father of Valhalla and distinguished God of War."
“Follow me.” Susan guided Ares and his men to a castle. She must have a considerable position in the empire as she led Ares’ party toward a grand castle, which was too large to measure with one’s eyes, without passing through a single checkpoint.
“...!” Ares rose on the horse for dozens of minutes and was speechless when he saw the appearance of the palace. The palace, which had been built with mysterious timber and stone, was shining with brilliant hues. It was shining brightly enough to break the boundary between night and day.
“This is the celestial palace where the grandmaster resides.”
The celestial palace! A palace where the emperor wasn’t staying had such a grand name...? Ares found it hard to understand. He was filled with a greater vigilance as Susan urged him, “Come in.”
“They can come in as well.”
Their weapons weren’t even collected?
‘Is it impossible to harm the grandmaster at our level?’
How great was this person? Feeling nervous, Ares entered the palace. The grandmaster was seated deep inside the palace. His eyes slowly examined Ares.
“I was thinking that Valhalla’s actions were unusually fast. So, it turns out that a precious asset of the east is serving Valhalla. It is nice to meet you. I think we can maintain a good relationship in the future.”