Originally, fighting energy—the resource of the Hero King—only accumulated in battle. It was a great pressure for Grid to use the Undefeated King’s Swordsmanship when it consumed fighting energy. Once his fighting energy dispersed and his stats fell, the danger was too great. Grid desperately wanted the ‘sword energy’ resource of a great swordsman.
Now at this moment...
This was an opportunity to look at how Pagma used sword energy in the past. Grid sensed it.
‘Sword energy will be released!’
So far, Grid had taken every opportunity to learn Pagma’s skills. He had gained them from hidden pieces, murals, quests, and the Hall of Fame. Grid had been able to acquire Pagma’s skills whenever he followed the arrangements Pagma had left behind. Then what about Great Swordsman Pagma’s Swordsmanship?
It was a skill that had evolved using the goddess’ blessing. Grid hadn’t learned it through any knowledge or hints left behind by Pagma. This meant it was half-completed.
‘I can’t miss this opportunity!’
Grid’s eyes widened. He hoped that in witnessing Pagma fighting Chreshler and understanding the Great Swordsman Pagma, Grid would be reborn as a genuine ‘great swordsman.’
“Huhu, look at this guy who has committed unpardonable atrocities against humans.”
Contrary to Grid’s expectations, a battle didn’t occur. It was because Chreshler stepped back.
“You want to point your sword at an old man who might die tomorrow? Hey, I’m 110 years old this year, 110. My blood pressure will elevate just from swinging the sword and I can die. Eh, you are a bad guy. I didn’t know that you would use such means.”
“...” Pagma, who had drawn his sword, showed no special reaction. He listened to Chreshler’s unusual words and replied quietly, “If you might die tomorrow anyway, does it matter if you die today?”
“Your Holiness, please be prepared to die and teach me.”
“Hah! I have never seen such a shameless fellow! The cooked stew doesn’t taste right, so you added some politeness and boiled it again? It is the first time in my life that I’ve met someone like you!”
“Your Holiness, the current peace isn’t eternal. If you die after the first pope, the power to suppress hell will disappear. The age of grief will occur again as the forces of the Yatan Church rise and the great demons run wild without fear.”
“You know that yet you still sealed our church’s three treasures?”
“It was a friend’s request.”
“A friend’s request? Huhu, what ludicrous words. An insane person like you has friends? You don’t know what loyalty is.”
“I will become stronger.”
“I will become strong and defend the world without the need for the Rebecca Church and Franz. I was prepared for this, so I fulfilled my friend’s request. Please cooperate with me.” Pagma raised his sword.
Chreshler clicked his tongue. “Protecting the peace of this world alone? As the descendant of a fallen god, you are arrogant. Tsk, you yangbans.”
“I’m ignorant about the history of the yangbans. I have never thought of myself as the descendant of a god. I just want to save humanity as a human.”
“Then are you going to kill this old man right now? Is that really the duty of a human?”
“...Your sacrifice will become an opportunity to save tens of millions of people, so it is righteous and justified.”
“Kuk, kukukuk! You are an arrogant and selfish man!”
Chreshler’s anger was transmitted to Grid who was assimilated with him. Chreshler was disgusted with Pagma. “From a human’s perspective, you are out of line. You don’t feel it yourself?”
“I am ready to take the blame.”
“Shut up! Your thoughts aren’t as sublime as you think they are! You don’t know? You don’t know because you are a yangban! You aren’t in a position to speak for humans!”
"What is the difference between a yangban and a human? A yangban lives longer and has gained greater power, but they are no different from humans. Our minds, our aversion to evil, and our appearances are the same as humans. We even bleed like humans. Every human is equal, so I will fight for humans.”
“Crazy bastard. You are crazy. A crazy maniac who doesn’t know he is crazy. Oh, good. It is better for you to die here. It was too risky to keep you alive.”
It was close to a miracle. Chreshler’s faith was like a sea that created infinite holy power. This holy power was exercised according to Chreshler’s will. Hundreds of thousands of spears of light poured out. Pagma looked like his limbs were pierced, and it seemed like he would die instantly.
However, the reverse happened. Pagma had already completed two linked sword dances. It was a readable move because Grid currently shared Chreshler’s vision.
‘...!’ Grid was astonished. Hundreds of petals containing sword energy bloomed as they revolved. All the spears of light that aimed at Pagma returned to Chreshler. Chreshler set up a barrier of light to absorb the spears and was honestly amazed. “It is a curious swordsmanship. You are the best after Muller and the Undefeated King.”
“I can’t compare to them in swordsmanship. That’s why I have to develop.”
“Even by selling your soul to a great demon?”
“Kukuk, you aren’t denying it.”
This man was dangerous. He shouldn’t be kept alive. Chreshler’s intuition told him this. He believed that his last mission was to kill this distorted man in front of him.
“The pope said this. He wouldn’t have chosen me as a successor if it wasn’t for the crisis. My martial arts were always too weak that he didn’t accept it. However, you are worse than me. You don’t sympathize with anyone. You are insensitive to the suffering of those who are sacrificed for your purposes. I don’t know if you were like this from the beginning or that you’ve changed but you are already evil.”
Chreshler’s body was covered with 12 colors of light. The sword and armor hanging on the wall were wrapped in five colors of light and flew to Chreshler. He applied over 17 types of buffs to himself and his battle gear. A too powerful force shattered the ground and shook the building. As Chreshler’s power overflowed, Grid felt naked. He could see the ‘world that transcendents saw.’
Time stopped. In a world where only light refraction occurred, Chreshler advanced by breaking through the stopped fragments in the air. As the distance between him and Pagma narrowed, Pagma’s eyes didn’t blink once. A sword that followed the light—it was only after it penetrated Pagma’s shoulder three times that a sound was made belatedly, and blood splashed out. Grid saw the gushing blood that consisted of numerous ‘droplets’.
‘He avoided it?’
Grid gulped. Pagma clearly avoided the pope’s sword that was fired like a flash of light. It was originally the heart that should be pierced, but the damage was minimized to one shoulder.
“...” Pagma’s physical body started to strengthen. Blacksmith's Rage was a buff that Grid knew, but the other four buffs were unfamiliar. They could be skills that belonged to Pagma’s items or Pagma’s own skills.
The swords continued to collide in the air, but there was no sound. The present world was like a paused movie. The blood that flowed from Pagma’s shoulder froze as thousands of droplets in the air. Against this backdrop, Pagma and Chreshler moved and exchanged blows. The sounds could only be heard after the collision. In that gap, Pagma and Chreshler had already exchanged dozens of blows.
“Transcend Kill Flower.”
“Transcended Linked Kill Wave Pinnacle.”
“Linked Revolve Pinnacle.”
“Linked Kill Revolve Pinnacle Chop.”
“Linked Kill Flower.”
“Transcended Pinnacle Kill Chop.”
The sword dances continued constantly.
‘Pagma admired the work of Dainsleif and Valhalla and gave an example. It is said that he showed off his swordsmanship while wearing Dainsleif, which has never been used by any hero. The beauty of it was unbelievable, and the swordsmanship seemed to pierce the sky, creating lightning.’ The description that Albatino, Khan’s ancestor, used to describe Pagma’s swordsmanship came to Grid’s mind.
A swordsmanship that pierced the sky—Grid had always thought it was an exaggeration. It was because there was a huge gap in the Pagma’s Swordsmanship that he had learned and the description of Pagma’s Swordsmanship. However, not now. This was the true Pagma’s Swordsmanship.
“Cough!” Pagma, who was covered in wounds, struggled to stand up. Meanwhile, Chreshler had only allowed one blow, but he was staggering. He used heal to restore the wound, but the 17 buffs were coming to an end.
“Damn rotten thing,” the pope’s disbelieving voice emerged from Chreshler’s mouth. He grumbled like a child, “Ah, I don’t know! No! I quit!”
“Pant... Pant... Pant...” Pagma didn’t have the energy to even speak.
It couldn’t be helped because his magic and swordsmanship had reached the limit. Chreshler took off his armor. “It is hard. My body is heavy.”
“You really tried to kill me. Shit. It is sad to be old.”
“Pant... Pant... Thank... Thank you...” Pagma, who had been holding on, finally flopped down. His fingertips were trembling. “Thank you for Your Holiness’ teachings... More sword dances are available...”
“Tsk,” Chreshler clicked his tongue. He was still worried. Chreshler thought that Pagma was dangerous and should be killed. However, he didn’t want to be hurt by such a disaster. Eventually, Chreshler chose to flee.
‘In any case, I’ll die soon, so the fate should be borne by those left behind.’
Ah, he didn’t know. He would just take a break. This was his last thought. Chreshler’s consciousness was cut off. He had died. Chreshler’s bluff that he would die if he did too much hadn’t been an exaggeration. In his darkening vision...
“Go peacefully. I will respectfully enshrine your soul in the Sacred Wood Coffin.”
Pagma’s figure could be seen bowing politely. Then Grid returned to reality.
[The past experience is over!]
[You have seen and understood the Great Swordsman Pagma’s Swordsmanship!]
[The title ‘Great Swordsman’ has been obtained.]
[The new resource ‘Sword Energy’ has opened because of the title effect.]
[The effect of the Sword Mastery skill has slightly increased due to the title effect.]
[The information of Great Swordsman Pagma’s Swordsmanship has updated.]
[The fusion of sword dances has become relatively free.]
[When using a sword, the resource consumed will be changed from mana to sword energy.]
[Instead of having an increase in level, the sword dances have been reset to level 1. The maximum level of all sword dances is three. However, the level of the fusion sword dances is fixed at one.]
[The new sword dance Flower has been learned.]
“...” Grid opened his eyes quietly in the coffin. He was licking his lips when Chreshler’s voice entered his ears, -There’s nothing special, right? That’s all I know about Pagma. He is a bit crazy—a liar and the murderer of an old man.
There were too many parts to argue about that Grid turned away. He shook his head and rose from the coffin. Grid felt himself becoming stronger.