The seven malignant saints had betrayed the gods and deceived the people. Faith had declined, and great demons had appeared on the ground. That was the age of grief. The people who suffered from war and hunger resented the gods while a poor saint went on the path of penance—this was the birth story of the Rebecca Church.
The saint speaking here was the first pope. The holy sword of light had been given to the saint who completed the path of penance. The saint had defeated the great demons with the power of the holy sword and sang the goddess’ praises. Righteous heroes had been drawn to the song. They had built temples and statues for the goddess.
The saint had been crowned by the heroes and had become pope. The pope was above the heroes. This was the final chapter of the story. As could be seen from the overall picture, the first pope had been a very special person. He had destroyed the great demons and built up faith. He was the great person who had saved all of humanity. It was highly-rated compared to other legends.
The Rebecca members revered him as a god-class being. Would such a great person select just anyone as his successor? Absolutely not. The first pope had searched for someone more talented than himself to be his successor, and this was Chreshler. Hundreds of years later, he became a person who couldn’t leave a coffin but it wasn’t good to look down on him.
“It’s a lie? But I really wasn’t lying.” Grid tried to resolve Chreshler’s misunderstanding. “Your Holiness’ coffin was already empty when I arrived here. Marie Rose was already gone. Really.”
-You are a really bad guy.
-My ego was sealed in the coffin made of sacred wood and is designed to wake up when an intruder enters. This is the second time I woke up.
-The first time I woke up, Marie Rose was still sleeping in me. Now she isn’t.
So? He didn’t understand…? The pretend innocence of Pagma’s successor was abominable. If he didn’t let Marie Rose go, who did it? The coffin jumped on its own. It was an absurd sight! Grid tried to avoid the attack of the coffin but failed. The coffin was as fast as Faker using Lantier’s technique.
[You have suffered 33,780 damage!]
What the hell was going on? The unpleasant beating hurt too much. Grid would die with one or two more hits. Chreshler’s voice entered the ears of the bewildered Grid, -You’re still alive? I didn’t know I had become so weak. Is there a limit even though I took over the sacred wood?
“I-I don’t understand what you’re saying, but it is a misunderstanding.
‘I-Is this a human (?)?’
Grid sensed it. Chreshler had once been considered as the strongest pope ever, and he had been a great man who left his name in history. A conversation wasn’t going to work with him.
‘Let’s run away.’
Grid judged that he really could die here. He wanted Chreshler’s information about Pagma and the minerals, but he decided to give up. He didn’t want to die because of a coffin!
“Quick Movements! Blackening!” Grid used his skills to escape from this place.
-...Hmm, what? It does seem to be a misunderstanding. Chreshler calmed his agitation and stepped back.
Grid wished Chreshler’s attitude had changed one second faster. “...?!”
It was a higher power and instinct that transcended skills and the concept of magic. The existence of Chreshler denied any evil energy. Grid’s Blackening was lifted, and the haze of demonic energy melted away like snow under the sun.
[Blackening has been forcibly released!]
[The supreme divine power is denying your demonic energy!]
[There is a severe recoil in your body!]
[You have suffered 2,265,320 damage!]
[A legend doesn’t die easily. Your health is fixed to a minimum...]
“Cough! Cough, cough!”
What was this? Grid was astonished by the strong impact. Blood poured out from a hole in his body, and he trembled. Chreshler was stunned.
-You emitted demonic energy in front of me? Were you going to commit suicide? I’m surprised.
What skill was this? Chreshler came up to Grid who was coughing up blood. He was appalled by the sight of the empty coffin floating in the air.
-Well, you survived. This is why a legend is good. In any case, a cockroach is a cockroach.
“Kuoock... What did you just do?”
-I didn’t do anything. My presence as a pope detected and extinguished your evil energy.
-There is no need to look at me like I’m a monster. The pope’s presence doesn’t work on Marie Rose. Uh, I have to catch her and seal her...
-I guess the lifespan of the sacred wood was shorter than I thought. I think you didn’t release Marie Rose from the seal. It is that the divine power of the coffin weakened and Marie Rose woke up herself from the seal.
It was true. Grid might’ve stimulated Marie Rose, but he wasn’t the one to release Marie Rose’s seal. She woke up by herself and left this place by herself. Grid just gave her the smell of blood.
‘...In the end, I am a contributor.’
He wasn’t stupid enough to explain it though. Grid took a potion and asked Chreshler, "Were you killed when you sealed Marie Rose?"
-No? I sealed Marie Rose and lived well for decades, dying after a long time. I lived until I was 110.
“Then how did you seal Marie Rose before you became the coffin?”
-I naturally sealed her with my holy power. However, the third pope was short-lived, and the fourth and fifth generations were so weak that they couldn’t bear Marie Rose’s evil influence. I felt that Marie Rose was going to awaken, so I was forced to die and become a coffin. I placed my ego into the coffin made of sacred wood.
“Was it Pagma who helped you at the time?”
-Yes. That jerk... He cheated me.
-He told me that my senses would remain, so I could feel Marie Rose in me forever even when I'm asleep. It was fucking bullshit.
-I lose all my senses when I fall asleep. Thus, I never felt her. Sigh. I was looking forward to waking up and feeling her again...
It felt like Grid was having a conversation that was out of focus. Grid woke himself up by hitting his cheeks and corrected the direction of the conversation.
“Can you tell me about Pagma? Additionally, the first intruder...”
-What are you going to do if I tell you? Are you going to bring Marie Rose back?
He wanted Grid to catch Marie Rose? Grid thought it was ridiculous, and Chreshler laughed.
-You have a cute part, unlike Pagma. Your reaction is straightforward and not bad. Okay. I’ll answer your question. It seems you have been a great help to us since you have received the blessing of the goddess of light and the three churches.
The second pope instantly discerned the goddess’ blessing and the blessings of the Rebecca, Judar, and Dominion Churches.
‘Indeed, people should live a good life.’
There was nothing wrong with the saying ‘you reap what you sow.’ Chreshler spoke to the expectant Grid, -Lie down in me.
“...In your coffin?”
-Isn’t it better to see it once than listen a hundred times? I’m going to show you my old memories.
Still, wasn’t lying down in a coffin too much? Grid faced the wide open coffin and was forced to hesitate. As a living person, lying down in a place where the dead stayed was uncomfortable. However, this only lasted for a moment. Grid nodded and lay down in the coffin. Then...
[The Sacred Wood Coffin has accepted you.]
[The divine power has permeated you in a very small amount.]
[The advanced light elemental has responded pleasantly.]
[The light of the advanced light elemental has become a bit brighter.]
[Dark resistance has permanently increased by 5%.]
[In the future, there is a very low chance of adding 5% holy attribute damage to basic attacks.]
[Affinity with Chreshler has increased by three.]
He received an unexpected benefit! Grid was delighted as his vision turned dark. When he opened his eyes again, he saw a long-haired man standing in front of him. It was a beautiful man who looked like a painting of the Hwarang from the Silla Dynasty hanging in an art gallery. (TL: Flower youths, an elite warrior group of Silla know for their beauty.)
‘Pagma!’ Grid cried out unknowingly, but vocalization was not possible.
[You are in a frozen state in Chreshler’s past.]
[You are experiencing the past from Chreshler’s perspective.]
[You are in an observer state. You can’t intervene in the past.]
Chreshler opened his mouth on behalf of Grid, “Can you make a coffin out of the sacred wood?”
Chreshler’s past voice was different from the one Grid heard in reality. It was a much older and cracked voice. These must be Chreshler’s last years.
“You don’t fear the sacred wood?”
“I know enough and have handled the branches of the world tree several times. I believe that experience will help.” Pagma’s expression was confident as he answered.
Chreshler nodded as he sat down and stared at Pagma. “Okay. I will trust you since you are a person the fifth generation recommended.”
Once permission was given, Pagma immediately started working. His movements to suppress the holy power of the sacred wood were careful and delicate but not too slow. Grid admired it.
‘His workmanship is great.’
This was the person who developed skills in Grid with only knowledge. The process of turning a huge tree into a coffin seemed beautiful.
[The Sacred Wood Coffin production method has been acquired.]
[You have learned the techniques to handle the sacred wood.]
He didn’t know if it was useful, but it was an unexpected gain. As Grid rejoiced, time in the past flashed by, and Pagma completed the beautiful white coffin. Chreshler admired it. “Beautiful. It will be a good match with Marie Rose.”
“Is that title a habit? I am a retired pope.”
“I have accomplished Your Holiness’ wish and would like to ask for two things.”
“You are a brave man. Okay. Tell me.”
“I heard that Your Holiness held the funerals for the legends.”
“I want to know where they are buried.”
“I also want to honor their souls.”
‘...!’ Grid’s heart sank. He knew Pagma’s intention behind finding the graves of the legends. The poor appearance of the Undefeated King and the legends who suffered for hundreds of years passed through Grid’s mind.
‘...No, no. It is a leap.’
At this time, Pagma wasn’t Baal’s Contractor. He didn’t have the ability to make undead bodies. Pagma’s intention might be as pure as he stated. A chill went over his skin as Grid tried to believe it. However, he felt uncomfortable because of Pagma’s expression. Pagma had already predicted the future and was making preparations.
Pagma pulled out a sword. The Oriental longsword gave off a beautiful appearance.
“Teach me how to be strong.”
A resource that must be learned properly in order to utilize the swordsmanship of the Undefeated King. Sword energy was at the end of Pagma’s sword.