Ranked players had exceptional talent, passion, effort, and perseverance. They were highly proud of their own accomplishments. Faker was the same. If he were the best among two billion players, then at least he could feel proud that he didn’t shame his grandfather.
It’s just that this changed with one person. This story changed in front of Grid.
“You should’ve learned this.”
Faker acquired Fly on Top of Grass through Grid, and he felt truly indignant. The effect of Fly on Top of Grass was much greater than expected. Faker judged that Grid should’ve learned the skill, not him. He blamed himself for failing to refuse Grid’s goodwill. Even Faker, who had the reputation of ‘not losing in PvP’, was modest in front of Grid.
Grid sighed. “No? It is great that you learned this.”
He was serious. The effect of a 20% increase in all speeds would be a great help to Grid, but Grid already used buffs to maximize his speed. If he recalled the ‘world that he saw through a transcendent gaze’, this speed was probably the maximum possible for him right now... Still, it was doubtful.
In any case, Grid didn’t regret giving Faker the secret technique. The main reason was the effect of movement speed doubling in forests or on grassland. Unlike Grid, Faker had to collect a lot of information across the continent. He had always felt sorry for Faker, who sacrificed his time by crossing the continent several times a month. Now Grid was happy that he could reduce Faker’s burden. Moreover, Grid was far more dependent on Faker than other people thought.
‘Faker must continue to grow stronger.’
Grid often sparred with his colleagues. He had sparred more than 500 times over the years and had experienced the crisis of losing his immortality dozens of times. The one who caused the most trouble to Grid was Faker. In the past, Faker’s ability to kill a single guild alone was already unrivaled in the Overgeared Guild, and he had grown steadily since then. Grid thought that if there was a colleague who would go beyond him one day, it would be Faker.
In fact, the war god had pointed to Faker. The war god expressed that Faker was only just becoming stronger. Unlike Grid who had to break through his limits to become stronger in the future, Faker would grow stronger quicker and more easily. Grid wished for that day to come. He hoped that Faker would replace him in his frequent absences.
If he failed to overcome the limits of being Pagma's Descendant... If he lost his top spot to Kraugel and the Overgeared Kingdom was in danger...
‘At that time, Faker must become the best and support everyone.’
Grid entrusted this wish to Faker. It was why he gave Fly on Top of Grass to Faker despite being able to learn it himself. Of course, this trust wasn’t confined to Faker. All the colleagues here had Grid’s trust and expectations. It was for their sake.
“The imperial soldiers and the Skunk Expedition Group have arrived.”
Grid was prepared to secure all the secret techniques in this historical site. There was a limit to being alone, no matter how strong a person was. People had to be strong together to respond to crises and valuables. Grid listened to Lauel’s report and watched the faces of his peers and the dukes who were waiting for him outside the barracks.
Duke Grenhal approached and told him, “I have instructed the soldiers to build a new camp here. We will challenge the next gateway while the Skunk Expedition Group will remain here and study the murals.”
“Okay. Let’s start straight away.”
Grid took the lead, and the dukes followed behind him. The dukes followed Grid naturally now.
After passing the 53 waterfalls, they reached the end of the valley and saw a long river and a mountain in the distance. It was only around 1,000 meters above sea level and wasn’t very high. The unusual thing was that the mountain didn’t have a single blade of grass on it. It was literally a barren mountain with gray rock.
The sharp peak was covered with a thick fog, making it impossible for even Jishuka to see what was on there. It was too dark.
“Something is ominous...” Hurent muttered with a rapidly darkening complexion. There would obviously be a greater trial waiting there. At present, Hurent’s ability was only enough to hunt one follower. He honestly thought it was meaningless for him to join this march.
Of course, hunting in these ruins would be impossible if Hurent was on an expedition by himself. However, he wasn’t alone right now. They passed by the river and started climbing the rocks.
“What are these secret techniques?”
The followers constantly challenged them.
“I’m coming out! They are my prey!”
The Overgeared members became accustomed to the followers and hunted the followers with shining eyes. The thorough cooperation bypassed the followers’ attacks and counterattacks and turned them to ashes. No matter how strong the followers were, they were still classified as normal monsters and forced to be helpless in front of the high rankers. Thanks to this, Hurent didn’t feel much fatigue and was pleased to see his accumulated damage and experience.
‘This is a true party play.’
Hurent had little experience teaming up with talented players. It was hard for him to meet a person stronger than himself, so he had felt that team play was painful and that he was more comfortable alone. Now, that was beginning to change. He knew he could pursue a much more efficient hunting method by working together instead of being alone and that he could grow stronger more quickly this way. Hurent felt thrilled by the cooperation with powerful people. The thrill of the hunt, which he had forgotten after many years of working in the fields, gave him great pleasure.
‘Shit. I can't go back to the old days.’
It was interesting. The more primal pleasure that was pursued in games was dominating Hurent’s mind and body. Hurent sensed it. After being absorbed in this feeling, he would never be able to leave the Overgeared Guild. In fact, he would like to continue with them in the future.
There was one decisive cause for this. Grid’s presence at the forefront made it easier for his colleagues to hunt. One strong person made hunting several times faster and safer. That’s right. In fact, Hurent was experiencing a bus. Moreover, it was a Grid bus. He couldn’t help being attracted to the pleasure of the bus that resembled farming with Piaro.
[You have found a War God Temple!]
It was hard to find. The group easily climbed the rocks and soon reached the top of the mountain where they found a temple surrounded by dense fog. It was an old and shabby temple. Would this place be guarded by a follower who had learned 10 secret techniques?
The tense Grid, dukes, and Overgeared members held their breaths for a moment. They observed the surroundings without getting close to the temple. Then someone’s voice rang out, “I was wondering who else could’ve reached this place.”
Step. Step. Step. Hundreds of footsteps came closer. The party members looked toward the entrance of the temple. Familiar faces were seen. Zhang Jian, Liao Wei, Mei Xiao, and so on—they were Chinese rankers who played a major role in the National Competition in the past. There were around 200 people in total, and among them, there was a person with a deep relationship with the Overgeared Guild.
“The Overgeared Guild. It wouldn’t be strange if you reached here this quickly.”
It was China’s strongest person. All the gathered rankers acknowledged him. The first player to become a half draconian—it was Hao.
China was a country where the Communist Party’s judgments and orders were given priority over individual rights. Once the Ruins of the War God emerged, the Chinese government gave orders to all Chinese rankers, including Hao. They were directed to immediately depart for the Ruins of the War God and secure as much of the war god’s power as possible.
China’s greatest strength was its population. There were many Chinese players in each field. Hao’s party took some time, but they succeeded in securing the route to the Ruins of the War God. By the time they arrived at the ruins, that was when Grid’s party was tied up in the valley for a few days. Since the jungle traps had already been cleared, the party had no difficulty overcoming the jungle and came to the temple without passing through the valley. They were able to arrive at the temple ahead of the Overgeared members.
“Grid, I’m sorry, but you’ll have to step back here,” Hao stated with a somber expression.
The Chinese rankers, apart from his sister Mei Xiao, had already pulled out their weapons and were pointing them at the Overgeared members. Hao sighed and explained the situation, “The leader became interested after the National Competition. It is rumored that he is angry about the fact that China didn’t take first place in the National Competition. This is the result. We have to secure the secret techniques and become stronger. We have to make good progress for next year’s National Competition. This might be a shameless favor, but I hope you will yield it to us.”
Originally, Hao had a bad relationship with them. He was once the enemy of the Overgeared members. In the process of several repeated fights, Hao acknowledged Grid’s abilities and became favorable to Grid and the Overgeared Guild. He then went to South Korea to give Grid news about Kraugel.
It was painful. Hao didn’t want to block Grid and the Overgeared Guild for ridiculous reasons, but he couldn’t step back. Foreigners living in a modern society might not understand, but the command of the Communist Party in China was absolute.
“I roughly understand the situation...” Grid made an embarrassed expression, but before he could say anything—
“Do you dare to stand in front of our way?” Beast King Morse interrupted. One of the empire’s Seven Dukes jumped into the Chinese rankers’ midst on the saber tiger. (TL: changed it to saber tiger from the previous name)
“Who is that?”
“Is this Grid’s new subordinate?”
The Chinese rankers didn’t recognize Morse’s identity. The empire’s dukes were famous, but they never dreamed the dukes would be with Grid. It was natural. Just a few days ago, a great war was being fought between the Overgeared Kingdom and the empire. Grid and the empire’s dukes became companions? The man with Grid was a duke of the empire...?
A person with a normal mindset wouldn’t have these thoughts. Morse’s power was accompanied by thunder-like explosions. He ignored the counterattacks of the Chinese rankers and punched them, causing dozens of Chinese rankers to be swept away by the explosion.
Grid was sorry for the Chinese rankers who were stunned by the incredible destructive power. An awkward silence filled the area. Morse shouted, “It is a sin to stand in the way of a duke of the empire and king of the Overgeared Kingdom! I, Beast King Morse, will punish you!”
“Ah, no, what? What is this?” The Chinese rankers paled as they doubted their ears.
‘It is really great.’ A delighted smile spread across Hao’s face.