Kirinus and Rachel—their confrontation, as the best spearsmen of the continent, was as fierce as expected. Still, the dignity and majesty of the duel between the absolute best couldn’t be seen. They fought for days and nights across two mountains, and it eventually turned into a dog fight. There were times when they grabbed each other by the collar and rolled across the ground.
‘It is one month as of today.’
Both sides would fight until they were exhausted. Then after having a break, they would start again. Kirinus and Rachel had already done this for the seventh time. The confrontation between them had continued for a month.
‘The result can’t be concluded.’
Both of them were masters who had reached enlightenment with the spear. Since their attack and defense had reached unity, it wasn’t easy to come to a conclusion. It was difficult for them to fatally injure each other because their attack and defense were linked by a single action.
This was Kraugel’s insight, but it was a meaningless interpretation. The game system recognized Kirinus and Rachel as the best in their class and gave them great health and defense in recognition of the fact that ‘the absolute person shouldn’t die easily.’ They could eliminate players with a strike, but against each other, the damage was only enough to expose each other’s gaps but not come to a conclusion.
If this were a world of fantasy or martial arts novels, the two people would receive all types of descriptions. Unfortunately, this was reality. It was a reality confined to the framework of the ‘game’, so they couldn’t escape the absolute value of the system. Nevertheless...
‘I can learn a lot.’
A month would be tedious and irritating for both parties involved, but for Kraugel, it was a time that couldn’t be traded for any amount of gold. Kraugel’s knowledge expanded after watching the two people fight for a month. Kraugel was watching the duel with full concentration.
Behind him, Rachel’s knights were kneeling down politely. The 30 of them, each with skills of a Red Knight in the 20s, had been completely overwhelmed by Kraugel. Of course, it wasn’t like this from the beginning. On the first day, the 30 knights overpowered Kraugel and were on the verge of taking away his life. Then Kraugel did something and poured out blue clouds. The clouds covered the knights, and they failed to take his life.
Kraugel recovered during this gap and fought the knights again. He did the same thing over and over for a fortnight, until the knights couldn’t overpower Kraugel anymore. Finally, a week ago, the 30 knights were defeated by Kraugel and raised the white flag. Kraugel didn’t—or couldn’t—take away their lives because of two reasons. It was because the knights who held the spear specialized in protecting each other and because they were told that the imperial army invading Reidan had retreated several days ago.
Kraugel received news about the war and was amazed and thrilled. Grid was truly amazing. He had caused the empire to retreat.
‘The discovery of the ruins is a good opportunity for the empire.’
It was a justification to retreat from the situation where they would have been trampled on by the Overgeared Kingdom.
‘It is a pity. If the ruins hadn’t shown up, the Overgeared Kingdom could’ve fought the empire to the end.’
Kraugel watched all the war videos of the Overgeared Kingdom.
There were the active players—Katz, Chris, Faker, and the other 10 meritorious retainers—and the transcendent abilities of Noll, Piaro, and Mercedes. Additionally, there were the variables of the water clan, evil eyes, and Ul Clan, as well as the Overgeared Cannon.
Each one was awesome. The empire might have the advantage of troops, but Kraugel saw the endurance of the war-torn empire as poor compared to its physique. As time passed, the Overgeared Kingdom would gain the advantage and Grid would swallow up the empire. However, the discovery of the ruins ruined that scheduled process.
‘Grid, don’t be too discouraged. You still have the historical site.’
Kraugel would tie up the feet of Rachel and her knights so that they couldn’t go to the ruins. He could help at least that much, and Grid would gain a new treasure in the meantime, getting closer to the dream of being an emperor. Kraugel supported Grid in the depths of his mind. It was a cheer that was possible because Kraugel appreciated his strong rival who continuously defeated him.
Simultaneously, at Cork Island...
“...Who is talking about me?”
This was the place where Grid had defeated Hell Gao and met Noe. Grid stood on the shore of the special island, which previously belonged to the Overgeared Kingdom, and felt his ears prick up. Katz approached and told him, “I have obtained a ship. Let’s depart.”
“Wow...” Grid once again realized the greatness of financial power. There was a large-scale warship that couldn’t be built yet with the Overgeared Kingdom’s shipbuilding technology. It cost an astronomical amount, and the average person couldn’t afford to see it, let alone buy it. Grid clicked his tongue.
Then Katz said casually, “This is nothing. The items you make are treasures that no amount of money can buy.”
“Hrmm... By the way, what did the captain say?”
“He read the route and thinks it will take at least 10 days to reach the historical site.”
“Even with a ship like this? I heard this ship is really fast?”
“The captain’s opinion is that it can’t be helped because the Red Sea is so dangerous. If we encounter sea monsters along the way, the journey’s duration might increase exponentially or even fail.”
The time would be greatly shortened if they departed from Galest, but unfortunately, Galest was an important point in the empire. They wouldn’t be able to conceal their identity easily.
“In any case, isn’t there still time?”
Grid boarded the warship with the 10 meritorious retainers. He summoned Randy, Noe, Tiramet, and the Overgeared Skeletons, placing them all over the deck to be lookouts. Then he handed Katz a mineral.
“What is this?”
[Iron Ore with the Power of Transcendence]
[-An iron ore imbued with the power of an existence that isn’t subject to death.
Anyone who can cope with the evil influence of the iron ore can obtain the hidden strength behind it.
* There is an option to add stats when using it as an item-making material.
However, there is a high possibility that all types of restrictions will arise due to the evil influence.
Weight: 5 ]
Grid explained to the confused Katz, “You see, it is a very good production material. It is just that nobody can handle it because it is cursed.”
“...” Katz noticed what Grid was trying to say.
A Blood Warrior...
A warrior who craved blood...
In the Satisfy setting, the existence of this class itself was a curse. In fact, Katz was immune to all types of curses, and he could convert them into a beneficial effect. A characteristic of the class was transforming a curse into a beneficial effect. It was a power that even Grid didn’t have. His title of First King had the effect of ‘reflecting’ debuffs when all conditions were met, but he couldn’t turn them into an advantage for him. After agonizing over it for the past month, Grid determined that Katz was the right owner for this transcendental iron ore.
“I’ll make you a sword with this.”
“Don’t you still have the gold medal reward? Did you pick the White Tiger’s Breath for your reward?”
“It is worth so much...”
“This? It isn’t worthwhile if I don’t use it for you. Besides, it is something I can get again later.”
Katz was an extremely arrogant person. Born into money, power, fame, and even appearance, Katz had come to believe that the world was under his feet. He lived life like he was the master of this world. Then through Satisfy, he realized there was a limit to his own strength. After joining the Overgeared Guild, he realized there were many people better than himself.
A typical example was Grid. Others didn’t know it, but Katz had learned humility from Grid. Grid was like a teacher to him. So, Katz was thrilled that Grid was giving him a big present.
Katz bowed his head and blushed, with his body twisting on its own.
“What are you doing?” Grid burst out laughing. “Quickly give me the White Tiger’s Breath.”
Grid pulled out his portable furnace, anvil, and hammer. There was also the white phosphorus wood. Now he only had a few pieces of wood left. In any case, it was possible to do blacksmithing work on the ship.
‘I have to go back to the East Continent soon.’
Piaro was struggling with growing the white phosphorus tree and golden walnuts. As expected, mass production would be difficult since they were items with a high value. Grid would eventually have to go back to the East Continent to replenish his white phosphorus wood.
‘...It is scary.’
He shuddered as he thought about Yangban Garam before starting to make the item. Grid refined and strengthened the White Tiger’s Breath and then smelted the transcendent iron ore. He tried to repeat this process many times to strengthen it like the White Tiger’s Breath, but it didn’t change. The strengthening of the transcendental iron ore wasn’t systematically possible.
‘As expected, the breaths of the sacred creatures are special.’
Grid had hundreds of item production methods. Among them, the method of making ‘Muksabal (White Tiger Sword)’ he had created with Kraugel was at the top.
‘If I replace the metal used in the White Tiger Sword with the transcendent iron ore...’
What would happen?
Grid was full of anticipation as he kept hammering. His expectations were higher than those of the owner, Katz, who was watching from the side. It was an expectation he could have because he precisely grasped the value of the materials.
‘By the way, Katz is also very clever.’
The reason why Katz chose the White Tiger’s Breath as the gold medal reward was that he knew its characteristics of resilience and defense were suitable for him. Katz, who had the ability to absorb blood like a vampire, was right to pursue tanking rather than damage. Thus, the White Tiger’s Breath was a wise choice.
Three days passed since Grid started making the item.
[You have completed the item production!]
[White Tiger Sword Full of Craving]
[Rating: Normal (Growth)
Durability: 390/390 Attack Power: 307 Defense: 65
* Attack speed is reduced by 10%.
* Physical attack power is increased by 3%.
* Physical defense is increased by 3%.
* Magic resistance is increased by 3%.
* Maximum health is increased by 6%.
* 8% bonus earth attribute damage.
* There is a low chance of the sword’s weight increasing when attacking. At this time, the physical attack power that ignores the target’s defense will increase by 33%. However, the speed of retrieving the sword is increased by one second.
* The wearer’s three highest stats will increase by +30.
* There is a corrosion effect caused by the evil influence.
If the target is classified as an ‘item’, ‘building’, or ‘weapon’, its durability will be greatly reduced and its power will be temporarily reduced.
* There is a curse effect caused by the evil influence.
Causes a decrease in the stats of the target hit.
* The skill ‘Howl!’ is still inactive.
A sword that will become a myth beyond legends.
Grid’s and Katz’ eyes widened after they checked the finished product. Katz was amazed by all the options for the normal item, even if it was a growth type. Meanwhile, Grid was impressed when he compared it to the Still Crouching White Tiger Sword. Its attack power was low compared to the White Tiger Sword he had made for Kraugel, but it was highly defensive and had three more options.
‘Furthermore, there is a new skill.’
This meant that the transcendent iron ore exerted a great effect. It was also a possible result because Grid’s techniques had improved. Grid hadn’t met Hexetia yet when he made Kraugel’s sword. Knowing the items increased in value due to his improved blacksmithing skills gave Grid confidence.
‘As expected, it was better to leave the two skill points.’
It had happened when Pagma’s Swordsmanship was promoted to Great Swordsman Pagma’s Swordsmanship. Grid hadn’t tried to use his skill level up points on Pagma’s Swordsmanship. This was because the blacksmithing skills could be upgraded through certain opportunities, and there was room for the level to be reset. It was harder to raise the level of a production skill which accumulated experience value every time an item was made, compared to combat skills that accumulated experience in every battle.
Grid’s judgment was reasonable. He thought about the skill points while handing the new White Tiger Sword to Katz.
“Do you have anything you want?” Katz asked after accepting the sword with a blank expression.
“What do I want? A private plane?”
“...?” Grid had responded after a moment’s thought. He didn’t expect that Katz really would give him a private plane as a present. Meanwhile, on the deck...
Clack! Clack clack!
Clack clack clack clack clack clack!
Noe and the Overgeared Skeletons, who had been watching the sea to the east, suddenly made a fuss. Noe’s tail and fur were raised while the Overgeared Skeletons were dancing.
“That is a sea monster!”
The 10 meritorious retainers ran after hearing the fuss and were dismayed to see the monster blocking the route. It was an octopus that was larger than a 30-floor-high building. They couldn’t check the octopus’ name because it was so huge that they couldn’t see the top of its head. The situation was truly daunting.
Suddenly, thunder and lightning hit the sea. It was such a violent storm that the huge warship shook.
“Gulp.” Vantner was tense as he took a defensive stance. He watched the octopus closely to make such the octopus’ attacks didn’t damage the ship. Meanwhile, Jishuka and Yura fired the Red Phoenix Bow and sniper rifle. The fire arrows and jade bullets flew through the storm and pierced the octopus’ skin...
...They bounced off. The octopus’ skin was very thick and sticky, causing it to resist physical attacks.
“Start with cutting the sticky film.”
Faker and Chris moved through the air while Peak Sword took the posture of drawing the sword. Three sharp swords started to cut at the octopus. However, the octopus’ defense was incredible, and it was difficult to accumulate damage because the eight legs waved randomly, causing waves to shoot up. The interference of the storm was also tricky.
The 10 meritorious retainers failed to intercept the octopus and stepped back on the deck.
“The attack pattern is simple so the difficulty isn’t high.”
“The defense is too fraudulent.”
The eyes of the 10 meritorious retainers and the octopus intertwined in the air. The battle entered a lull.
“You were here?”
At this moment, Hurent appeared on one of the octopus legs. He alternated looking between the 10 meritorious retainers and octopus before muttering to himself, “Indeed... Leaving the clean-up jobs to me...”
Hurent used the skill Grid had presented to him in commemoration for joining the Overgeared Guild. Dozens of auras spread out in the air. They flew around the octopus and exploded like firecrackers. The pained octopus started floundering, and its sticky film was stripped off. The defensive power was meaningless before aura, which ignored the defense and resistance of the target and dealt fixed damage.
It was a frenzied ritual that lasted dozens of days.
“No more... We can’t stop the summoning from happening.”
Rebecca’s Daughters, who used the three treasures to interfere with the ritual, fell down out of exhaustion. Even Isabel, who stayed standing up to the end, finally fell to her knees. Numerous notification windows popped up in front of Damian’s eyes.
[The ritual of summoning a great demon is back on track.]
The masses dismissed the summoning of Belial as a small event. It was an event that was only for a few high rankers. Many people criticized the Overgeared Guild, Kraugel, and Damian for monopolizing Belial and the rewards. This was natural. It was because they hadn’t tasted Belial’s power. They were able to yell because they hadn’t received any damage from Belial.
On the other hand, Damian had participated in the Belial raid and was well aware of it. The advent of evil was a disaster, not an event. If a great demon were summoned here without Grid, the Overgeared Guild, Kraugel, and Piaro being present, it would be a huge disaster. Damian was reflecting on this when he heard someone’s laughter in his ears.
It was God of War Ares. “Is the event finally starting?”
“Ah...” Damian's apprehension grew. The current Ares Army was far more powerful than the Overgeared Guild had been in the past. Just like the general public, they weren’t afraid of the great demon.
[The door to hell has opened.]
[The 22nd great demon Berith has appeared.]
It turned into hell.
[A vast knowledge of the past, present, and future defines you as insignificant.]
[All stats are reduced by 32%.]
[All skills and magic power are reduced by half.]
[All magic casting speed is reduced by 50%.]
It happened while the Overgeared Guild and empire left the continent.
[A cunning tongue that mixes a single truth in a thousand lies will ruin you.]
[Resistance to the ‘confusion’ state is fixed at 0%.]
[All skills and magic that deceive or mislead the target, such as hiding skills or cloning skills, are blocked.]
Countless people would experience nightmares.