As Khan turned to grey, Grid hugged him like he didn’t want to miss a single part.
"You must be happy.”
Khan wanted to say a lot but there was no time. Khan only left a single wish as his testament.
Finally, Khan’s two hands that wanted to hold Grid completely disappeared before they could wrap around Grid. Khan smiled brightly rather than showing any sorrow. It was Khan’s last appearance that would forever be kept in Grid’s mind.
Grid didn’t want to lost Khan’s touch, body temperature, and smell that was disappearing like a mirage. He eagerly stretched out a hand but it was useless. His hands only touched the air that had nothing left.
Tears constantly flowed from Ruby’s eyes as she watched the last farewell between Grid and Khan. Faker supported her as her nose turned red from crying.
"Let’s leave Grid alone.”
The first person who acknowledged him. The person who shared his sufferings, sorrows, and joy. Khan was his teacher, disciple, friend, and family member. He was always at the forefront when Grid was thinking about his ‘precious people’ in his head.
The empty smithy. Now in the place where there was no more Khan, Grid stared at the air with dry eyes before grabbing his chest and collapsing. How many hours passed since Khan left? He thought he had no more tears left but they once again flowed.
"...Terrible old man.” Grid cried with his head on the floor and finally opened his mouth for the first time. His cracked voice echoed through the empty smithy. "Didn’t you say you wouldn’t leave until you got all my skills? Then why...why did you break your promise? Huh? You bad...”
Bad person. Grid complained before stopping. He was worried that the gods were listening to him and might misunderstand, dropping Khan into hell.
Time flowed in the void. Grid felt a deep grudge as he looked at the smithy covered with traces of Khan. He felt bitter towards himself. Why didn’t he protect Khan? Why couldn’t he arrive a bit sooner?
“We spent 10 long years together.” Grid felt signs of someone being around and said, "But the time to say goodbye was only one second.”
How sad and lonely was Khan? Grid shouted ‘father’ and ‘grandfather’ in his heart but failed to show filial piety. He couldn’t even be there properly at the end.
Lauel comforted Grid, who couldn’t raise his head. "To Khan, that one second would be like an eternity. He wouldn’t have been lonely. He was happy to be able to see you.”
13 hours and 23 minutes after Khan’s death. Lauel had been doing his job while Grid was mourning.
“I used our information network to identity the members of Immortal. I’m investigating the radius and base of their activities, so please give a killing order.”
They dared to invade the Overgeared Kingdom and hurt Grid’s family and friends. Putting aside Grid, there was no forgiveness from the position of the Overgeared Kingdom. Lauel and the Overgeared members were ready to rain hell down on the Immortal members. They planned to trample on Immortal so that they would live in regret while suffering forever.
"In addition, Khan's funeral will be a state funeral in consideration for his achievements in life. His contribution to the development of the nation’s economy and military power was huge. And...”
Lauel shut his mouth for a moment while giving the report. He took a deep breath, calmed his trembling heart and opened his mouth again.
"The new legendary blacksmith who emerged...you guessed it, but it was Khan.”
He could be sure because the world message appeared the moment that Khan died. Khan hammered the iron to the end and became a legend only after he died. He might be a legend that existed for only a moment, but his feats would be forever. Lauel would make sure of it.
“The exact cause of death is natural causes, not the poisoning.”
A legend had a passive that caused resistance to all status conditions and five seconds of immortality. If Khan was in a normal state, the poison would’ve disappeared the moment he became a legend and his health should’ve remained fixed at the minimum. But that didn’t happen. Based on the testimonies of Faker, Ruby, and the priests, Khan had reached the end of his life.
“It’s fortunate. Khan could leave without any pain.”
In addition, he was able to meet with Grid thanks to the legend’s five seconds of immortality. Lauel hoped to slightly ease Grid’s mind but instead, Grid’s anger soared to the limit. His expression distorted and he said in a shaky voice, "His life span might’ve been shortened because of the poison.”
“Even if that wasn’t the case, Khan had to endure the pain of the poisoning.”
Khan was poisoned for several hours in an elderly state. As a player, Grid couldn’t fathom the pain and fear that Khan would’ve felt. Khan, who lived in sorrow after losing his wife and son. Grid was infinitely sad that he suffered even at the last minute.
Grid’s body shook with uncontrollable anger. He didn’t say anything special. He just clenched his fists. He needed more time to control his mind.
“I will make the arrangements.”
Lauel bowed his head and turned around. He was currently acting on Grid’s behalf and had no time to stay here. He had to move quickly.
'Looking at the state of the king, I think I should prepare to move the army.’
Lauel predicted that Grid would go on a frenzy. Grid wouldn’t be satisfied with a simple kill order and would slaughter Immortal by moving his entire army. Of course, this wasn’t a good development. It was the worst. War consumed soldiers, food, and an astronomical amount of supplies. If they fought a war with the necromancers of Immortal, the Overgeared Kingdom would suffer huge losses.
‘Veradin, you son of a bitch. Causing this incident during the time when there is a truce with the empire.’
Lauel planned to increase the national power of the Overgeared Kingdom by more than 20% during the armistice with the empire. Instead, it would become a negative. At the end of the armistice period, it would become more difficult to deal with the empire. Lauel’s eyes were dark. He felt powerless as he headed to the exit.
Behind him, Grid was rising from his spot. The full plate armor on top of Khan’s anvil belatedly caught his attention. Khan's posthumous work. Grid approached the armour and his eyes widened as he gripped it with trembling hands.
[Valhalla of Infinite Affection]
Durability: ??? Defense: ???
An armor containing the hidden story of the 2nd legendary blacksmith Grid and the 3rd legendary blacksmith Khan.
* Only ‘Grid’ can check the detailed information of the item.
[You are Grid.]
[The item information will be updated.]
[Valhalla of Infinite Affection]
* 20% increase in health recovery.
* 40% reduction in damage from physical attacks and magic attacks.
* Immunity to instant death and assassination skills.
* Maintains the body temperature.
* If you are in a party, defense will increase depending on the number of party members.
* Defense will increase every time the armor durability falls.
* Magic defense +300.
* When you get hit, there is a high probability of emitting the ‘Distinguished Poisoner’s Poison.’
* Passive skill ‘Immune to Ten Thousand Poisons’ will be generated.
* Passive skill ‘Moving Fortress’ will be generated.
An armor produced by the legendary blacksmith Khan while wishing for Grid’s safety. It is filled with Khan’s caring, affection, and devotion, and covered in poison. It is a work based on Valhalla, the masterpiece of Blacksmith Albatino which gave deep inspiration to Pagma.
The performance is beyond the original and there is room to become a myth depending on the wearer’s actions.
Conditions of Use: Grid.
Grid was able to see at a glance how much care and skills Khan put into this armor. He noticed it was designed solely for himself. In the end.
"I'm sorry... I’m sorry Khan.”
Grid once again cried in sorrow. He was a sinner. Why didn’t he give any presents to Khan? If Grid had given him such a wonderful gift, Khan’s fate might’ve changed. Grid realized how indifferent he was to Khan and felt guilty. He vowed to do better with his family in the future.
-Prepare for a news conference.
Grid calmed down and sent a whisper to Lauel.
-Huh? Press conference?
Lauel was stunned since he had been expecting Grid to say that he was going to find Veradin and Agnus right now. Grid explained to him.
-Denounce Immortal, who invaded another kingdom during the National Competition and caused enormous damage.
-...Are you planning to move public opinion through the media?
The continent was wide. It was practically impossible for the Overgeared members to search and punish the Immortal members scattered everywhere. Of course, they could kill a few people. However, that was it. The efficiency was too low.
-Thus, I will borrow other hands. I am going to give a kill command on Immortal to all two billion players.
‘I know that I can’t move the army.’
Grid was filled with anger and sadness but he analyzed the situation calmly. It was a king’s attitude. Lauel honestly admired it, but he felt negatively about moving public opinion.
Immortal’s raid and Khan’s death. It was a big disaster and source of grief for the Overgeared Kingdom, but the death of an NPC was just a small incident to a third party playing the game. Wouldn’t Grid condemning Immortal just cause ridicule? In particular, Grid had obtained huge rewards from this year’s National Competition. The many people jealous of him were likely to ridicule and criticize him.
-I think there’s nothing to gain if we use the media. Even if you denounce Immortal, it’s just someone else’s story. It is rare for players to act.
Lauel replied honestly.
-I’m not trying to use the media to ask people to cooperate. I want to advertise.
-Yes. After justifying why I am going after Immortal at the press conference, I will publicize that I will make an item for the players every time they hunt a member of Immortal.
It was a sure way. The moment Grid’s advertisement spread to the world, two billion people would become Immortal hunters. The people who would look for Immortal would grow like bamboo shoots and Immortal would be exposed to infinite PK without room to breathe.
However, this meant that Grid would be paying a lot. Making items for hundreds, maybe even tens of thousands of hunters would empty his pockets.
-...How can you afford it?
Lauel talked about a realistic problem and Grid immediately responded.
-I have a lot of money.
Grid’s assets had been steadily accumulating since selling the Red Phoenix Bow to Jishuka and he expressed his resolve.
-It doesn’t matter if I become broke. I will make those Immortal dogs quit the game. This is a command.
Now it wasn’t just items. Grid was learning how to take advantage of his wealth and position.