The moments of joy and crises—which kind of moment would people remember longer? For Grid, he remembered the moments of crises longer. It was in the realm of instinct, a type of defense mechanism to avoid going through the same crisis. One of the biggest moments of crisis for Grid was...
[You have heard Bentao’s bad laughter. You can’t stay calm after listening to it.]
[You have lost your composure. The deployment of all active skills will be canceled.]
[You have heard the enticement of the half god, Insane Clown King Bentao. Resistance has failed.]
[It will take over one minute to overcome the ‘frenzy’ state.]
[During the frenzy, your base damage will increase slightly, but your defense will decrease slightly. Additionally, the casting speed and resource consumption of all skills will increase greatly.]
[Bentao has stretched out his hand while you are losing your cool. Your health has changed with the owner of Bentao.]
It was the first battle with Agnus. Grid remembered the contents of the notification windows that emerged the moment the situation flipped over. It had been too shocking. A half god... What kind of existence was Bentao who managed to hit the Seven Malignant Saints and how was Agnus able to use his power? It was a mystery that Grid couldn’t solve.
“Blacksmith God Hexetia gave tools to humanity.”
Now, Bentao was right in front of him. Was this Bentao the same Bentao? The phantom of the insane clown king that appeared when Agnus used Bentao’s Mockery had let out an evil and cruel laugh. On the other hand, the Bentao in front of Grid now had a kind and trusting smile. The only thing that could be seen from his deep gaze was a feeling of charity. The madness was nowhere to be seen.
“It was War God Zeratul who taught humanity how to use those tools.”
They followed Bentao inside the temple, and Grid—who was closely watching Bentao—felt a sense of discomfort. Finally, Bentao stopped in front of a stone status with no face.
“Stab the beast with the sharp spear. Cook food to fill the stomachs of you and your family every day. If someone craves your food, cut off his hand with a sharp knife. If someone harms your safety, slice open his stomach. The sharper your sword and spear, the safer you will be.”
Bentao clapped loudly and bowed his head in front of the statue. Then he looked back at Grid’s party. “These tools, they exist for violence.”
“Violence is the way for you and your family to live peacefully.”
“It is the greatest blessing of humanity that the war god gave martial arts to humanity.”
Grid’s party got goosebumps. Bentao was speaking with a benign expression and voice, but the contents were ruthless and fierce, giving him an even stranger feeling. That’s right. Unlike his appearance, the presence of Bentao was far from charitable. This was Insane Clown King Bentao, who fought against the Seven Malignant Saints that hoped for the peace of humanity. Grid was filled with this conviction.
“You glorify violence. Is this Zeratul’s doctrine?” Lauel asked on behalf of the agitated party.
Bentao nodded. “That’s correct. I’m sure you are sympathetic to the doctrines of our church?”
“Isn’t it because you trampled on the followers with violence that you’ve reached this place? You are qualified.”
At this moment...
[A hidden piece has occurred!]
A common notification window emerged in front of all the Overgeared members.
[You can convert to the hidden class ‘War God Follower’!]
[As a war god follower, your strength, stamina, and agility will permanently increase by 15%, and you will randomly acquire four secret techniques!]
[However, you will lose your existing class and the class specific skills.]
[Do you want to become a war god follower?]
This was one of the rewards that could be obtained from the Ruins of the War God. It was the hidden class, ‘War God Follower.’ This was an opportunity only given to those who passed the trials, reached Zeratul’s temple, and were qualified.
‘This...!’ Grid immediately refused the class change and turned his gaze toward his colleagues. His companions dreamed about becoming stronger than anyone else. For them, the class ‘war god follower’ would be attractive. In particular, it was an irresistible charm for those with a normal class.
Grid had peeked at the reality of the war god followers. A war god follower was a slave to the goal that couldn’t be reached in a lifetime. If a player became a war god follower, the system would harass the player by presenting them with a quest that could never be cleared. They must never become a follower. If they were blinded by the stats and secret techniques that could be obtained immediately, they would suffer forever.
The concerned Grid reached out to stop his colleagues.
[Do you want to become a war god follower?]
It was too late. The Overgeared members saw the same message window at the same time as Grid. They made their choice before Grid could stop them. Their choice...
“Hoh...” Bentao’s eyes flashed. “All of you refused to become war god followers?”
“...!” Grid was startled.
They all refused the hidden class...?
In particular, Vantner and Pon often expressed dissatisfaction with their classes. Grid’s colleagues grinned at his confusion.
“We can’t change our classes now, right?”
“I’m aiming to be the strongest guardian knight. I have no intention of following the war god.”
“...Ah.” Grid glimpsed the trust and enthusiasm in his colleagues’ gaze. The Overgeared members had been with Grid for a long time, and they envied him—far beyond how much the normal player envied him. For them, Grid was the goal and the dream, not the war god. The war god follower class had no charm.
“Kukuk...! Kuhahaha! Kuhahahat!” Bentao grabbed his belly and started laughing. The frivolously cheerful laughter, rather than a warm one, resounded through the room. The Overgeared members, who were wary of him from the beginning, were filled with tension.
Bentao formally introduced himself, “I am the half god Bentao. After a lifetime of training, I came to the Peach Blossom Spring but didn’t peek at the reality of a god.” (Peach Blossom Spring = Utopia where people live in harmony with nature. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Peach_Blossom_Spring)
Energy slowly started rising around Bentao. A majestic white aura round from his round body. The spiritual aura emitted an icy chill but repeatedly warmed up like the sunshine of spring. Surprisingly, it contained the power to promote life. Flowers and trees started to grow from between the old tiles which had been lain on the temple grounds.
“A long time ago, I went down to the ground to carry out the god’s will and punish the seven wicked people. In order to pick out those who were confused by the seven evils and find their tracks, I wandered the entire continent as a clown. The thing I saw at the end was the darkness hidden in the bright light... The seven evils weren’t evil.”
Bentao waved his hand, and the landscape of the temple disappeared. The place where the party members stood turned into a paradise covered with beautiful flowers and trees. Rich rice fields were visible, and there were large floating lotus leaves on the lake. Far away, beyond a stone wall, there was a tree with white peaches. A sweet smell shook the earth and sky.
[You are the first player to discover the Peach Blossom Spring!]
[You got a white peach as compensation for discovering the Peach Blossom Spring!]
Suddenly, a big and fat peach appeared in the Overgeared members’ hands. Bentao stared at them briefly before turning around. “I heard that the Ruins of the War God were opened, and I was worried that evil aroused by the aesthetics of violence would appear. Thus, I tried to deceive your eyes for a moment. Forgive me.”
This was the end. The wind blew, and the scenery in front of them flipped around. Then Bentao vanished like mist.
Grid shouted hurriedly, “There is a person using your power on the ground! How can he use your power?”
“It was Baal who killed Insane King Bentao...” A faint reply that got interrupted in the middle was heard. Then the vision of the party members were once again obscured.
“...” Grid’s party recovered their minds and found they were standing at the top of the mountain.
“What are you doing?” The voices of the dukes rang out. Looking back, their appearance hadn’t been seen since going into the temple. When had the party fallen into Bentao’s illusion? This was unreal. It wasn’t easy to distinguish if what they just experienced was reality or an illusion. It was like the group had fallen asleep, but it was clearly reality. There was a white peach to one side of the Overgeared members’ inventory.
[A mysterious peach that grows only in the Peach Blossom Spring.
It has a heavenly flavor and amazing potency.
When eaten, all heath and status abnormalities will be recovered and character experience will increase by 30%, regardless of level.
* Can only be taken once in a lifetime.
If they chose to become a war god follower, they would be standing at the resurrection point right now. Basara urged the thinking Overgeared members, “The temple is empty and doesn’t contain anything. Let’s go to the next place before the day is over.”
Below the mountain, there was a field of reeds that rose as high as a human’s height. Three or four followers were gathered together and wandering around the field. In the future, it would be impossible to defeat the followers individually.
Now it was starting for real. They would have to fight without any rest. The prepared Overgeared members descended the steep mountain, and the followers wandering in the field welcomed them. The Overgeared members and dukes crossed the field in search of secret techniques. The more wounded their bodies got, the stronger they became.
There were no more humans in the ruins that had been the capital of the Rotemon Kingdom just a few days ago. Only the dead and demons roamed the ruins, while Great Demon Berith sat on the throne of the fallen kingdom.
[The Rotemon Kingdom has been destroyed.]
It was a shocking world message.
[22nd Great Demon Berith will launch a new march with two armies.]
[Berith’s next destination is the Haken Kingdom.]
There was the following warning. The camera showed Berith get up from the throne and start to walk.
『 According to a survey by the US Bureau of Statistics, this incident has left 42 million players without any place to go. It was estimated that approximately 280 million quests were permanently destroyed. The economic losses resulting from this will affect reality... 』
-Ah, shit. What should I do if I belong to the Haken Kingdom?
-There is a hidden quest to protect my hometown but how...
-The king of Haken’s brain seems to have come to a halt. There is no military gathering.
-What about the Saharan Empire? They usually get involved in other countries’ affairs, but they are wiping their mouths at a time like this.
-What should the empire do? The empire would have to suffer great losses if they fight the great demon. Why would they do that for another country?
-No, this is a nation-wide affair. The entire continent is in danger.
-Even the Overgeared Guild isn’t doing anything ㅋㅋ. The game is screwed.
-S.A Group, what are you thinking sending out a boss that is so strong??
-Sigh, it is a really messy operation...
-When is the new virtual reality game Briton releasing?
-It is delayed indefinitely due to the harsh criticism from the closed beta ㅎㅎ.
-Ah, this really sucks.
Experts in each field believed that this situation would destroy half the continent. Players from all over the world trembled with anxiety and fear. Some rankers argued that all players should unite to block Berith, but it was extremely rare for people to come forward and take action. People just wanted the empire to stop Berith before he invaded their kingdom. Additionally...
“Hey! Zibal! Are you crazy?”
In the capital of the Saharan Empire, Titan...
The Magic Machines Unit of 4th Imperial Prince Edan was turned upside down. It was because one of the riders of the four magic machines, Zibal, moved his magic machine without permission.
“...Damn, I’m from the Haken Kingdom.”
Zibal, the former second ranked in the unified rankings, had risen to the rank of earl in the Haken Kingdom. Most of the ties he’d made in the Haken Kingdom continued to this day, so he couldn’t just watch as the Haken Kingdom fell. The destruction of the Haken would not only cause him substantial losses but it also sickened his mind. There was also a hidden quest to protect his hometown.
“Shit! I’ll just take a look!” Zibal closed his eyes, shouted to his superiors, and left.
4th Imperial Prince Eden, who belatedly came running after hearing the news, laughed as he saw Raiders disappearing into the sky. “It is a good excuse.”
The emperor had used all types of reasons to block the launch of the Magic Machines Unit. It was to stop Eden from building up achievements. Eden was angry at the emperor’s actions, so he welcomed this incident.
“What can I do if a soldier moves on his own? Isn't that right? Kukuk, the whole world will finally know the greatness of the magic machines.”
Simultaneously, at Kirinus’ hut...
“Stop.” Spear Saint Rachel threw her spear. The declaration was too abrupt.
Kirinus frowned. “The winner hasn’t been determined yet?”
Rachel was suddenly angry. “Dammit, we’ve fought for close to two months? How can the winner be decided? Hit me. I will stop.”
In fact, Rachel’s motivation had disappeared from a month ago. However, Sword Saint Kraugel constantly provoked her and she couldn’t retreat. Rachel had reached her limit. She would give up. She thought it was a waste of time to fight with Kirinus, who was equal to her. There was nothing to learn, and it was impossible to compete with him.
At this time, Kraugel interrupted, “You have surrendered, so Sir Kirinus has won.”
Rachel felt a momentary rage.
“Sigh. I won’t fall for your taunts anymore.” She controlled her mind. Rachel wanted to go to the historical ruins soon. She failed to defeat Kirinus, and this increased her desire for the war god’s secret techniques. This was what Kraugel tried to stop. Kraugel wanted Grid to monopolize the rewards of the ruins. He didn’t want this monstrous woman to go to the ruins and take away Grid’s rewards.
Thus, he made a suggestion. “Why not change your method of fighting?”
“What about the one who deals more damage to Great Demon Berith?”
Both Kirinus and Rachel showed interest. Rachel’s knights looked like they were going to cry.
Meanwhile, Kraugel sighed with relief.
‘If I can slow down the destruction of the Haken Kingdom...’
He could reduce the number of people suffering until Grid returned from the Ruins of the War God. Then once Grid returned, Berith would be raided by both him and Grid.