The Immortal King Grenhal, Beast King Morse, Drunk Duke Diworth, Golden Crown Basara—they led the army of their respective territories and drove the water clan out of the port cities around the empire.
There was no battle. The water clan fled whenever the armies appeared. The dukes took it for granted. They thought there was no one in the world foolish enough to go against them.
“Is everybody healthy? We are gathering together for the first time in a few years.”
The final destination of the four dukes was Galest. Galest was the largest port city responsible for the empire’s economy. Just two days ago, the ships were paralyzed and unable to sail because of Maxong, the water clan king. Maxong was like the god of the sea, and Galest’s troops couldn’t resist him. Yet even the fearsome Maxong fled as soon as he heard the dukes had arrived.
Beast King Morse licked his lips with regret. “I thought it was a chance to tame the water clan king, but he ran away. I knew the different species were uncivilized, but I didn’t expect that even the king would have no honor.”
“A king of beasts is also a beast. There is no honor.”
“In any case, hasn’t the sea path opened? We can move to the rear of Reidan.”
“There are no ships that can depart immediately. The water clan king destroyed all the ships.”
“A beast used his head? This is embarrassing.”
“Do we need to hurry? Rigal has already taken over Bairan, so we can move at a leisurely pace.”
“Again? That Rigal is always fast.”
“The air force of the Gelder Family is the pride of the empire for a reason.”
Rigal had inherited the position when his father passed away. He had fought a total of 39 wars over the past 17 years. The air force he led had always been the first to strike and unconditionally won. It even boasted a 100% survival rate. This meant there had been no casualties in the 39 wars. It was a record that showed the dignity of the air force that shot at the enemies one-sidedly from a high altitude, making the air defense facilities of other countries meaningless.
“Wait until the ships are ready. Rigal will finish it anyway.”
The other dukes easily agreed to Drunk Duke Diworth’s suggestion. For them, a war was merely a game. The victory of the empire was natural. Thus, there was no anxiety or nervousness for them, unlike Rigal who was obsessed with building up his achievements.
The blue petals flew in the dark sky, and a subsequent black heat emerged. It was more colorful and beautiful than the fireworks produced at modern festivals. People were stunned. They felt a sense of loss when they thought that this rare sight would soon disappear. The flowers and the heat wave were so beautiful that they thought, ‘I wish time would Fkstop.’
They were amazed that the cause of it was one player.
『 Grid...! 』 The commentators conveying the Overgeared Kingdom’s desperate situation started shouting. This was the best they could do. It had been less than four months since the end of the 4th National Competition. Grid’s combat power had reached a higher level. The current Grid couldn’t be summed up by the commentators’ knowledge and skills. Their words were limited.
『 T-The skill that Grid used in the sky...! 』
『 C-Casualties have started to appear in the air force! 』
『 The griffons who one-sidedly defeated the thousands of Bairan troops are falling! 』
『 Sky King Rigal...! He is bleeding!! 』
“Linked Kill Flower Pinnacle.”
It was only for one second. Seven blows were dealt per second and penetrated Rigal’s chest in succession. Simultaneously, 10 flowers with the energy of Pinnacle were automatically generated in the air and aimed at Rigal. Rigal suffered great damage after having Ultimatum returned to him, and he couldn’t stop the series of attacks.
[Linked Kill Flower Pinnacle]
[Four sword dances have been sublimated into a single field.
Fires seven energy blades per second that deal 1,850% physical damage. Every time it attacks the target, ‘Disarm’ will be triggered. Additionally, there will be a bleeding and desperation effect.
If there is a mark on the target, two energy blades will be summoned that ignore 65% of the target’s defense and deal 961% physical damage + 10% magic damage.
Skill Usage Conditions: Have a sword type weapon equipped.
Skill Sword Energy Cost: 400
Skill Cooldown Time: 1 hour.]
This was a skill that proved why Grid still valued the combination of Link and Kill. It also proved why he was obsessed with Flower. The previous ultimate technique was Linked Kill Wave Pinnacle. Thanks to the goddess’ blessing, it dealt seven blows per second with 300% physical damage while also activating the effects of Wave and Pinnacle. It was somewhat incomplete, but the new Linked Kill Flower Pinnacle preserved all effects of Kill being fired seven times per second while maximizing the effect of the marks.
The biggest advantage was the relatively fast cooldown time and casting speed. The cooldown of Linked Kill Wave Pinnacle was three hours while the cooldown of Linked Kill Flower Pinnacle was one hour. Additionally, the sword energy was spontaneously ignited during the seven blows per second, making it possible to suppress the enemy much faster than Linked Kill Wave Pinnacle. Even the attack power was stronger.
Linked Kill Flower Pinnacle was stronger than Linked Kill Wave Pinnacle, even if five marks weren’t left. Since the effect of Disarm was maintained throughout the attack, the target couldn’t receive the effect of their items.
[The target has received 1,250,900 damage.]
[The target has received 1,199,320 damage.]
[The target has received 1,301,010 damage.]
[The black flames option effect of the Enlightenment Sword...]
[The target has received 699,000 damage.]
[The target has received 678,300 damage.]
[The target has received 730,950...]
[The target has received 16,409,200 damage.]
“...!!” Kill struck Rigal seven times. Simultaneously, Rigal was also struck by 10 petals which were filled with sword energy, preventing him from screaming. It was all he could do to endure the terrible pain that was worse than when he was hit by Ultimatum. The fast and powerful attack was also a burden on the caster.
“Pant. Pant. Pant.” Grid breathed roughly as he felt a sharp drop in stamina the moment Linked Kill Flower Pinnacle finished. In front of his eyes, Rigal’s health gauge was just over 20%.
‘I thought this would kill him. It is damn hard.’
Grid never expected that Rigal would be fine despite being hit by his strongest combination. Moreover, Rigal had a low level in comparison to the other members of the Seven Dukes. During confrontations with the other Seven Dukes, Rigal had always emerged inferior. In particular, his level was several times lower than Spear Saint Rachel and Sword Duke Limit. Despite having the strongest air force that disregarded air defense facilities, it was obvious that his individual combat power was lower. Rigal was the weakest.
“Allentica!” Then the moment Rigal shouted the ancient wyvern’s name, his health gauge turned purple and recovered to 60%. Upon a closer look, the health gauge over the wyvern had disappeared. It was synchronization. Rigal’s health and Allentica’s health had combined.
‘A boss mob!’
What was the biggest weakness of named NPCs? The ‘humanoids’ had a limit on their health. However, Rigal overcame this weakness through his interaction with the wyvern. It was a boss monster phase.
‘This is a duke...’
It was greater than Grid had expected. Grid didn’t know about the Five Pillars, but he initially thought he could win in a one-on-one match against a duke. This was a misjudgment. His gaze wavered. Then the appearance of a giant evil influence burst out with a loud roar.
Rigal’s archery was the complete opposite of Jishuka’s archery. Unlike Jishuka’s arrows which were invisible and couldn’t be heard by the ears, Rigal’s arrows overwhelmed the opponent with their energy.
[You have suffered 14,500 damage.]
[The strong impact has caused a stiffness effect.]
[You have resisted.]
The arrow, shot from a close range, hurt Grid. It was much more painful than when firing from a distance. Grid collapsed with approximately 30% of his health left, and Rigal pulled the bowstring again. He intended to end Grid without giving him time to resist.
It was awesome. Ignoring the fact that he was the king of a small nation, Grid was too strong to spare. Rigal fired another arrow, and it became a signal. The thousands of air force soldiers behind Rigal also aimed at Grid with their arrows and magic.
『 Ah...! 』 The commentators of the international broadcasting companies were silent. A massive bombardment filled the sky. Grid’s death seemed inevitable the moment it hit. Now, Grid would lose his immortality and slowly die without finding an escape route.
The commentators didn’t explain it, but the tens of millions of viewers watching the battle were able to predict the result. The same was true for the Overgeared soldiers and the people on the ground. Their captain—the king—would die. They screamed desperately at the undeniable reality. Only one person... Only Grid smiled as he flung himself back as hard as possible.
“I’ve been waiting.”
Sky King Rigal was a person who had earned a high rank as the leader of an army, rather than an individual. As such, Grid had been waiting for Rigal to command the army. There were thousands of air forces. Grid wanted and hoped for the bastards, who had trampled on his land and people, to attack him in unison.
“Belial’s Power. Queen of Mocking and Violation.”
Grid divided into two people. On top of that, Rigal’s arrow struck him. Then there were three and four of Grid. The effect of Tiramet’s Power created an orange shield around his body, and his health was restored to 30% thanks to the First King title. Even so, it wasn’t reassuring. Numerous arrows and spells filled the sky and then poured down toward Grid. Rigal once again fired his bow.
“Flower Revolve.” The four Grids did a short sword dance while observing as many arrows and spells as possible. Pagma had fought Chreshler and read the thousands of light spears with his eyes, recognizing them as targets and counterattacking all of them.
This was impossible for Grid. The current Grid was dealing with arrows and spells that were comparatively slow to Chreshler’s light spears. Nevertheless, he couldn’t see all the attacks and recognize them as targets. Compared to the non-human Pagma, Grid’s perception and wits were lacking. It was why he opened up Belial’s Power and shared his vision with the clones. He used four fields of view to target thousands of arrows and spells, summoning hundreds of petals in the air. If someone looked closely, a fine rotation could be seen.
The hundreds of petals centered around Grid. They collided with the thousands of arrows and spells flying toward Grid and sent them back.
It was an unbelievable phenomenon! The air force stiffened at the sight of their arrows and spells returning to them. The sky and the world were in a state of turbulence. The returned arrows and magic turned hundreds of air force members to ash. Meanwhile, Grid was hit by some arrows and spells, and he fell to the ground. The tens of thousands of cameras simultaneously shook and caused the viewers to get headaches.
The viewers became dumbfounded.
Grid confronted thousands of enemies alone in the high sky. His appearance of returning some of the intense bombardment already caused him to go beyond the realm of a human being. People couldn’t measure or comprehend his strength. They were just admiring him while feeling astonished and thrilled.
[A legend doesn’t die easily. Your health is fixed to a minimum.]
Five seconds of immortality... The final notification window rose in Grid’s field of view as he lay on the ground.
‘Shit... I only managed to use Flower Revolve three times.’
The difficulty of using the skills with the clones was too high. Right when he had been about to use the fourth Flower Revolve, the enemies’ attacks had already arrived. Thus, he couldn’t deal as much damage as he expected. Grid was disappointed, but the position of another person was completely different. Rigal, who was the symbol of imperial nobility, had a red-tinged face. “You...! You!!”
The griffons and wyverns had been raised by the Gelder Family. Had Rigal ever experienced losing them? No. Yet for the first time today, Rigal saw his men screaming and dying. The number was almost 1,000.
“Your... Your head alone isn’t enough! I will destroy everyone in this place!”
The extremely enraged Rigal fired five arrows at once. He poured all his magic power into the arrows. He was determined to annihilate the Overgeared King lying on the ground as well as the residents of Bairan. At this moment, a voice emerged from the wounded Grid and entered Rigal’s ears.
The red disappeared from Rigal’s face like it was a lie. He recovered the magic power that he had poured into the arrows. It was instinct. The presence of the two knights who appeared in response to the Overgeared King’s call was so enormous that he judged he had to save his strength in order to survive them.
“W-What is this?” Rigal’s eyes shook as he watched the two knights appear to the left and right of Grid. He knew that His Majesty the Emperor had sent away Mercedes and that she became Grid’s knight. However, he hadn’t imagined this. That person was the Overgeared King’s knight? He was alive?
“S-Sir Piaro,” Rigal called out the name with a trembling voice.
“It has been a while. Since you are wearing the Gold Dragon Armor, your father must’ve died,” a response was heard. It meant it wasn’t an illusion. Rigal felt like he had seen a ghost.
Piaro spoke to Rigal who had completely lost his soul, “We can talk later. Let’s meet in hell.”
Rigal was floating 800 meters above the ground. There was a shadow over his head that swallowed even the moonlight. He looked up and saw a huge mortar.
It was dangerous. The wound Grid had inflicted was serious. The fear of death won over confusion. Rigal regained his composure and quickly pulled on Allentica’s reins. It was necessary to escape the range of Pounding Mortar, and it was possible with Allentica’s fast flying speed. However—
“I can’t let you go.” Mercedes flew and blocked his way.
“You! Mercedes! You ugly traitor!”
The Gelder air force that made the air defense facilities of a kingdom meaningless—they were the strongest but why didn’t they act in the Lubana war in the past? The reason was simple—they were helpless against a transcendent’s strength. Just like Grid, the powerhouses who occupied the sky and the ground could hurt the air force with a single blow. Hundreds of years ago, the Gelder air force had been brutally trampled on by Undefeated King Madra. The advantages of flying were useless in front of Legendary Knight Mercedes.
A whirling silver sword cut Allentica and Rigal at the same time. It was as destructive as Grid’s swordsmanship, but it was faster and more sophisticated, managing to connect and hit a number of times. Rigal lost his balance, and a mortar fell on his head. The thousands of air force members were swept away by the pressure and turned to ash.
The survivors, including Earl Baron, didn’t run away. They headed toward Rigal, who had been crushed by the mortar and had fallen to the ground. A bitter smile flashed on Grid’s face. If only they had run away... Then he could’ve slaughtered the disloyal troops without any regrets.
“My Lord! My Lord!” Rigal’s soldiers were a symbol of loyalty. They knew they would soon die, but they still helped and escorted Rigal. It was a meaningless sacrifice.
“Cough, cough...” Rigal had been hit by the legendary farmer and knight. He was in a seriously injured state that he couldn’t recover from. The gray light symbolizing death rose from his body.
“S-Sir Piaro. Please. Please...” Rigal wanted to leave a last will, but he couldn’t finish. The time given to him was too short. However, his eyes showed what he wanted to say. He was earnestly pleading for his men to be returned safely to their homeland and their families.
‘Piaro, don’t forget that you were their hero.’
“What should I do?” Mercedes asked while Piaro was stiff-faced.
Grid gazed at the remnants of the air force who stared at him with fear, confusion, anger, and killing intent. “Kill them all. Catch as many griffons and wyverns as possible.”
If he was going to spare them, then he wouldn’t have used the Undefeated King’s swordsmanship or summoned Piaro. He couldn’t leave anyone alive. In the first place, war wasn’t a game. He was risking his life and the lives of his precious people. Additionally…
“...” Grid saw the destroyed statue of Khan.
A warning window appeared in his vision as he made a sad expression.
[The Saharan Empire’s duke ‘Sky King Rigal’ has been defeated.]
[It is a great accomplishment that no one has achieved.]
[Your reputation throughout the continent has increased. You have acquired 2,000 reputation points.]
[Your level has risen.]
[Your level has risen.]
[The Duke Gelder Family’s Gold Dragon Armor has been acquired.]
[The Duke Gelder Family’s Giant Greatbow has been acquired.]
[Your knight ‘Jude’ has experienced a fight against the strong and has succeeded in breaking through his limits. His stats limit has increased.]
[You have gained a special opportunity and understood the concept of a legend, transcendent, and status.]
[From now on, the achievement system—which is the basis of the title system—will be applied to not only you but also to your knights.]
[Your knight ‘Jude’ has accomplished the achievement of ‘Loyal Knight.’]
[Your knight ‘Jude’ has accomplished the achievement of ‘Unquenchable Fire’]
[Your knight ‘Jude’ has accomplished the achievement of ‘Battlefield Miracle.’]
[Your knight ‘Mercedes’ has accomplished the achievement of ‘Battlefield Miracle.’]
[Your knight ‘Piaro’ has accomplished the achievement of ‘Killing One of the Seven Dukes’.]
“Piaro, I’m sorry.”
“Don’t say that.” Piaro bowed politely. Mercedes was silent. Jude got up and looked for a meal. Along with the three knights who had started to build up their ‘status’, Grid examined the people of Bairan.