“I’m curious about the identity of this person!”
It was a place where two giants that shook the foundations of the continent were asleep. There were few places as special, even if the entire continent were searched. Thus, Grid was obsessed. A person who visited this place ahead of himself—Grid wanted to know their identity.
‘An ordinary person can’t endure Marie Rose’s evil influence. The first visitor must not be a normal person.’
It must be a presence similar to a legend. What was their identity, and why did they come here? Perhaps it would be profitable if the hidden story was heard. Information was power. This was the calculation of a seasoned player, and fortunately, Chreshler was cooperative.
-It was Muller.
“Muller? Ah, Muller? Sword Saint Muller?”
“Right... Huh?” Grid had been nodding only to stiffen like he was hit by a lightning bolt. Sword Saint Muller, the strongest human being—he was rated as the strongest among all the legends, not just the past legends. Grid was moved at the thought of hearing his story.
Then he had a question. ‘Wait… Muller is a person from the era before Pagma. Yet he visited here? Isn’t it right for Muller to have died before this place existed?’
The precise birth date of Sword Saint Muller hadn't been recorded. However, Muller’s period of activity recorded in official history coincided with the activities of the first pope. From approximately 320–400 years ago, he was the protagonist who sealed the great demons and ended the era of grief, dying around 250 years ago.
“How many years ago was it?” Grid asked the question.
-It was around 160 years ago? Chreshler gave a shocking answer.
‘Wasn’t that the age when Pagma was active? Ah!’ Grid noticed. ‘Muller also lived for hundreds of years like Pagma!’
In retrospect, someone said that Muller died 150 years ago. Grid thought it was distorted information at the time. Then he recalled Pagma who had lived for hundreds of years and thought he had likely lived through some type of technique.
‘Pagma didn’t know that.’
Pagma had thought that Muller was dead. If he had known that Muller was alive, he would’ve chosen to cooperate with Muller rather than contract with a great demon.
-I’ve told you, right? I’m going to sleep. It feels lonely to wake up in a world without Marie Rose.
“W-Wait a minute! Why did Muller come here 160 years ago? Additionally, when did he die?”
-You have a lot to say. Why do you want so much without giving anything in return? Pagma made this coffin but what did you do? Don’t you have any shame?
“...!” Grid was stung.
He was reminded that Chreshler had no reason to be favorable to him.
-I’m sleeping. Bye.
Chreshler shouldn’t leave this way. Grid had to hear the backstory. With this in mind, Grid shouted, “I know where Marie Rose is!”
Chreshler’s reaction was surprisingly lukewarm. -I know. She is somewhere in the vampire cities. So what? Will you bring her? Can you bring her?
-Don’t spit out words that you can’t handle. You can suffer the wrath of a fierce anger.
-Hmm... You have done enough good deeds to merit the blessings of the goddess of light and the three churches, so I will give you a bit more kindness. Okay. I’ll tell you what you want to know. Do you know Amoract?
“The great demon? He is the First Servant of the Yatan Church.”
-So, you already know.
The demon of conflict, Amoract—Grid had the experience of meeting his soul. The first time Grid lent his body to Braham, Braham visited Amoract and the pavranium received Yatan’s Blessing. Grid couldn’t forget the menacing presence that had emitted from just the fragment of a soul.
-He was afraid of Marie Rose.
Marie Rose was strong enough to ignite fear in a great demon?
-One of the nine great demons who deprived Beriache of her great demon status and deported the vampire clan from hell was Amoract. Since he directly took over controlling the activities of the Yatan Church, Beriache was an obvious risk factor.
“...!” Grid recalled the contents of the conversation between Braham and Amoract. It had already been a few years, but he vaguely remembered the conversation because it had been an impressive meeting.
“You were aware that I would look for you.”
[Of course. Braham needs the blessings of the gods to escape from his mortal body.]
“Will you give me Yatan’s Blessing?”
“Kukukuk, the Yatan Church seems to be hostile to Marie Rose.”
[God Yatan favors you, regardless of Marie Rose. Always remember this point.]
God Yatan was against Marie Rose. Braham had clearly said so. An opponent that bothered even the god of evil...
It wasn’t strange that one great demon was afraid of her.
‘Marie Rose is a much stronger presence than I expected. Amoract and Yatan gave Braham strength because they wanted Braham to keep her in check.’
Grid’s mind was elevated after realizing new facts. He felt he was getting closer to the world view, that he was becoming a special existence. Chreshler’s explanation continued.
-So, Amoract used Muller. He’s good at scheming. He spread the rumor that if Marie Rose wasn’t completely destroyed, she would work with the great demons to destroy humans. This reached the ears of Muller who was retired. The vampires were the main enemies of the school at the time. Muller didn’t have a chance to deal with vampires and didn’t understand the race called vampires. Thus, he believed the rumor and came to this place.
“It was to completely destroy Marie Rose.”
-Yes. Then he went back. I explained it well and sent him back.
“Excuse me... Your Holiness. How did Muller stay alive until then? Did he take away the lifespan of others or contract with a great demon?”
-You really don’t understand legends. A legend is an existence that became a legend due to the ‘feats’ that they built up. Legends don’t die easily as long as they aren’t forgotten by people.
A message window flashed through Grid’s mind.
[A legend doesn’t die easily.]
This was the moment he understood the background of the skill. Yet it raised another question. “However... Khan... was a great blacksmith that I knew couldn’t overcome the limitations of life even if he became a legend. He died as soon as he became a legend. I also haven’t heard that other legends have lived for hundreds of years except for Pagma.”
-He didn’t build up feats that people never stopped talking about. Moreover, production classes like blacksmith are difficult to obtain the benefits of their feats. People focus on the works they create, not the person who created them. Should I give you an example that is easy to understand? The man called the Undefeated King. He was the owner of a combat power that wasn’t inferior to Sword Saint Muller and was never defeated in a solo battle. However, these activities were confined to his homeland.
-His feats were only spoken about by his people, not the whole continent. It means his fame was weak and his status as a legend fell. He died in the hands of the Saharan Empire, but if he didn’t die, he wouldn’t have lived for long.
“Ah...” Grid understood somewhat. As a player, he was able to receive the benefits of immortality as soon as he became a legend, but the inhabitants of this world were different.
The first people Grid thought about were Piaro and Mercedes. Grid had stopped them from participating in combat as much as possible because he was afraid they would be in danger. Now it turned out not to be a wise move.
‘In order to keep them alive for a long time, it is necessary for them to engage in many battles and build up feats.’
In particular, Mercedes was the problem. Piaro’s farming could build up a certain amount of feats, but Mercedes was a knight. She was supposed to be on the battlefield to build up her feats.
“Why didn’t Pagma know about the concept of a legend? He believed that Muller was dead.”
-Even though he understood the concept, he wouldn’t have doubted Muller’s death. No legend has as many feats as Muller, and there is no precedent for a legend who has lived as long as Muller. Who would’ve imagined that Muller would be alive for hundreds of years? I didn’t imagine it until I saw him myself.
“Is Muller still alive?”
-No, Chreshler asserted, -He is dead. The world is constantly changing, and new things constantly occur. People are interested in new characters rather than praising a person who lived a long time ago. The number of times Muller was talked about decreased.
“...” Grid got goosebumps.
The formula of ‘being forgotten is true death’ was unusually cruel. He imagined Muller dying in solitude. Then Chreshler laughed. He was aware of what Grid was thinking. -Haha, it doesn’t make sense to be completely forgotten just because the number of times he is talked about has decreased. Aren’t we talking about Muller now? How many times have you heard Muller’s story while you’ve been alive?
Grid had heard it dozens or hundreds of times. Yes, Muller wasn’t completely forgotten nor did he die in solitude. It would be stranger if he couldn’t die after being talked about for every minute and second. Muller had been lonelier and more bitter when he was alone. He would’ve been the happiest at the end of his life.
Chreshler’s voice was mild throughout Muller’s story. Even Chreshler sincerely respected Muller. Maybe it was because Muller’s story made him feel better but Chreshler comforted Grid.
-The great blacksmith you mentioned. You called him ‘Khan’?
“Yes... That’s right.”
The name ‘Khan’ emerged from 2nd Pope Chreshler’s mouth. Grid felt somewhat overwhelmed and excited as Chreshler kindly told him, -The fact that he couldn’t overcome the limitations of life means that he enjoyed his natural life. It would’ve been a great blessing for him to leave when he had to leave. Imagine if he was forced to live as long as Muller. How old and lonely would he be?
“...Your Holiness is right. Khan was happy at the last minute.”
Khan had become a legend and fallen asleep in Grid’s arms. He had also been reunited with his family. Yes, he would’ve been satisfied. He would’ve been happy.
‘Khan. Are you watching? Chreshler is talking about you. You have really come a long way. You must feel good.’
Grid gained consolation thanks to Chreshler and smiled warmly. Simultaneously...
[Affinity with Chreshler has increased by 10.]
An unexpected notification window popped up.
-You seem to have no concept, but your nature is good. I like it a bit.
Chreshler gave him a good (?) evaluation. Grid was happy. Chreshler might be a coffin now, but he was still one of the greatest figures in history. Grid felt reassured about gaining affinity with him.
-Now I really will go to sleep.
Grid was about to bow to Chreshler when he suddenly had another question. “He isn’t a legend. Then what is a person who has lived for hundreds of years despite humans not speaking of his feats? Is he not human in the first place?”
-You are really annoying, Chreshler grumbled. Still, he explained, -He is either non-human or a transcendent.
Transcendent...! Grandmaster Zikfrector was close to a transcendent.
“What exactly is a transcendent? How are they different from legends?”
-The thing that both legends and transcendents have in common is that they have talent that transcends the category of humans. However, legends build up a presence through their feats while transcendents only concentrate on their own discipline. They can get a long life depending on what they trained and studied.
“Is a legend better than a transcendent?”
-If it is merely a discussion on their abilities, a transcendent is generally better than a legend. The legend wanders around here and there, wasting their time on solving problems. Meanwhile, transcendents only spend time on their own development. Of course, a legend’s experience is a strength, so there are many legends that are overwhelmingly stronger than transcendents. A typical example is Muller.
“...Then that means transcendents are usually selfish?”
-Who knows? Are they selfish because they don’t fight for world peace or development? Don’t you know? Sometimes it isn’t good to be conspicuous? Well, I’m sure they’re missing some screws.
-Most things that aren’t consistent with their purpose are ignored. From a general point of view, they might seem like a person who isn’t motivated or gives up easily. If it wasn’t for Marie Rose, I wouldn’t have received the position of 2nd Pope.
Why did the grandmaster simply retreat in the evil eyes’ village? One question was resolved, but Grid had a new question. Transcendent Zikfrector... Why did he serve the empire if he had no loyalty to the empire?
‘What is his purpose?’
It was uncomfortable. Grid was locked in deep thought when he saw the guild chat window. An exclamation point had popped up. It meant there was a notice.
Grid’s eyes shone as he verified the contents of the notice.
“Whose statue is this?”
Sky King Rigal occupied Bairan in less than half a day. He stood in front of a large statue in the square and cocked his head. It was the statue of a kind old man. His eyes were blazing like flames, but he had a friendly smile. The old man’s hand was holding a hammer.
“My lord is asking you something!”
When no one answered, Rigal’s soldiers lashed out and started beating the prisoners. The prisoners were the Overgeared soldiers who had been defeated and captured in battle. They had failed to fulfill their duty to protect Bairan and had to suffer the humiliation of being taken prisoner. Still, they felt determined not to answer the enemy’s questions, even if they were beaten to death.
Rigal scoffed, “Isn’t a statue meaningless? A country with no history is putting up a statue of a fictional person?”
When Rigal touched the statue in a mocking manner, one of the prisoners roared, “Hand. Put it away. Now!”
It was an Overgeared knight bound by chains. His name was Jude. He was great in battle, and catching him had been one of the hardest challenges in this battle.
“Hrmm.” A smile emerged on Rigal’s face. He looked gorgeous in the air force uniform with matted silver hair and blood-like red eyes. Rigal looked favorably at Jude. “If I listen to your request, will you become my subordinate?”
Rigal coveted Jude, who was a knight with excellent physical abilities, despite his low intelligence.
Wasn’t Jude a great person to have as a subordinate? An alpha dog who wouldn’t bite his owner no matter what...
Jude shook his head. “Jude. Only master. Overgeared King. One minute.”
Look, just like this.
“I will give you better treatment. It will be much better than the Overgeared King.”
It was impossible to give better treatment than the Overgeared King. Jude could become strong thanks to Grid’s efforts and attention. It was Grid who had discovered and trained his talent. If Grid hadn’t made items suitable for Jude’s characteristics, the current Jude wouldn’t exist.
Jude existed because of Grid. Without Grid, Jude was like a flat steamed bun, an account without any balance. However, Rigal didn’t know the situation. After all, he was one of the strongest powers of the Saharan Empire. So, he believed that he had the best resources and power on the continent and was much better than the Overgeared King.
One of the Overgeared members laughed. “You don’t understand the subject.”
The youth shouting in a loud voice was Ibellin. He was in charge of Bairan on behalf of Jishuka, who was in Reidan. Ibellin had fought desperately throughout the battle but was eventually captured. He had sacrificed his life to cut down the enemies, died, resurrected, and fought again. However, Bairan was still occupied.
Ibellin couldn’t forgive himself. He cursed Rigal for trampling on Bairan’s land.
“You will give more than Grid? It is impossible even if you cut off your head and offer it...”
Ibellin’s words didn’t last long. It was because Rigal approached and cut off Ibellin’s head. Notification windows popped up as Ibellin’s vision turned gray.
[You have died.]
[You have lost 35.6% experience.]
[You have lost an additional 10% experience from the war penalty.]
[The person who killed you has applied the ‘Poison to Immortal’ effect. You have lost 10% more experience.]
[You have died twice in 24 hours, resulting in a restricted access penalty.]
The war penalty was expected and convincing. It wasn’t unreasonable to lose experience because they were able to gain experience in the war. However, Poison to Immortals was unexpected and the worst poison. A total loss of an extra 20% experience. It was like hell.
‘It is dangerous. It is really dangerous. Everyone, be careful...’
Ibellin turned to gray. Anger appeared on the faces of the Overgeared members while the soldiers and residents were terrified. Jude roared, “Kill you!”
It was a meaningless struggle. Jude’s struggle just caused the chains to become tighter. Rigal dismissed him and directly read the words on the statue.
[Bronze Statue of Khan, Legendary Blacksmith]
[A great blacksmith who dedicated his life to creating countless weapons and armor for the Overgeared Kingdom.
My teacher, friend, and family.
-Overgeared King Grid-]
“Hoh? The rumored person...”
The empire’s intelligence network was excellent. It was impossible for them to not know about Khan, who had been closest to Grid.
‘It wouldn’t be strange even if statues of him were placed all over the kingdom.’
The person called Khan had very great meaning for the Overgeared King and his people. Rigal knew this fact and ordered, “Break the statue and throw it into the river.”
“No! Don’t do it!” Jude was becoming more and more berserk. His skin that was touching the chains was red, blood flowed onto the iron, and his hair became matted. Now even the soldiers and residents felt anger instead of fear. Someone begged him not to do this, but Rigal didn’t take back the command.
As the statue crumbled, Rigal declared, “The empire will thoroughly restructure this place. All symbols of the Overgeared Kingdom will be burned, and your spirit will be trampled on. Resent being born into a powerless nation and conform to the will of power.”