“Wait a minute. Let’s wait. We have to wait and observe a bit more.”
Kraugel appeared with Rachel and Kirinus and caused a worldwide stir. Most people had predicted the raid’s success and headed for Fort Taleren. It was to benefit from the raid that would succeed anyway. The opponent was a great demon. They would get a great reward even if they made a small contribution. That’s right. If it wasn’t for Fort Taleren blocking teleportation magic, all the rankers scattered throughout the continent would already be gathered at Fort Taleren.
‘By the way, why is there such a stupid sight?’
Box, a ranker of the Haken Kingdom, was the first ranked Linker—a class that was classified as the most difficult to grow after the Asura. He was the closest aide to Zibal during Zibal’s prime and became the leader after Zibal abandoned the Snake Guild and left Haken.
Presently, he came to Fort Taleren in order to gain a free ride from the Berith raid. He had been staying near Fort Taleren, so he could arrive at the scene on time. Box imagined a dying Berith surrounded by tens of thousands of rankers. Yet once he arrived at the scene, the sight in front of him was completely different. He couldn’t see the rankers who should be defeating Berith.
In fact, he only saw a few people like himself hiding in corners of the canyon. It was due to the magic barrier. The other rankers didn’t arrive on time because of this magic barrier.
The situation was bad. The continent’s best spearmen, who were considered the strongest NPCs by the media around the world, started to struggle against Berith. Kraugel’s group was still struggling against the demons. Among the demons, there was a distinction between ‘normal’ and ‘elite’, and the elite demons weren’t easily struck by Kraugel’s sword.
In particular, the plant-type demons that had multiple tubes coming from their bodies seemed tricky. Once smoke emerged from the tubes, the battlefield was covered with fog. Then when sounds emerged from the tubes, the soldiers of the Haken Kingdom were brainwashed and attacked each other. Meanwhile, the insect-like demons consumed the honey flowing from the tubes and were temporarily strengthened as they focused on attacking Kraugel.
Their combat power and intelligence were better than all field boss monsters in all respects. They were the core power of Berith’s army. Box, who thought the raid would fail, clicked his tongue and stared at the nobles on the wall.
‘They are fools. I can’t believe they raised a barrier against teleportation magic in a situation where they have to borrow other people’s hands.’
Still, Box knew the reason for their decision. The danger was too great if outsiders were allowed access. The raid difficulty would rise due to the appearance of hostile forces like the Yatan believers or those hoping for the collapse of the Haken Kingdom.
However, weren’t they just going to die like this? Box felt that the Haken royal family was pathetic for blocking hope in order to prevent some risks. Well, they were one of the smallest countries on the continent because they were so timid and stupid.
“This is a failure.”
The ultimate alchemy...
Kirinus and Rachel were caught in the crossfire of a sharp metal rain. Kraugel, the Hao siblings, Alexander, and the Russian rankers changed their formation as if they had already given up. He ignored the demons in front of him and gazed at the retreating Kirinus and Rachel.
‘We can’t enter this battle.’
Apart from dying and losing experience, they would have the disgrace of being added to the list of raid losers. The reputation of the Snake Guild would be lost.
...Box almost drove his guild members to their deaths. He sighed and ordered the guild members, “Let’s leave. There is no hope here.”
“Don’t you want to help Zibal?”
The Snake Guild—Zibal founded it, but the prestigious guild was now led by Box. The members had a glimpse of Box’s heart. He had shouted about a free ride on the surface, but the reason Box came to this place was because of Zibal. It was because of the old emotions Box held toward the only person he had served. However, Box was someone who led 300 guild members. He wasn’t stubborn enough to drive his guild members to death because of personal feelings.
“Zibal? I don’t care about that retired person.” Box pretended to be casual and started moving. The direction he headed in was outside the canyon, which was the opposite direction of the city he originally stayed in. He was about to leave the Haken Kingdom.
‘I don’t want to lose the fame and achievements I’ve accumulated in Haken, but I have to let it go. I will change to the Saharan Empire.’
A small country had its own advantages. There were relatively few active players, and there were many opportunities to monopolize the high-level quests and hunting areas. Compared to the more populous countries, competition in all sectors of Haken was low. This was a particularly beneficial environment for rankers like Box. It was being the head of a snake, rather than the tail of a dragon. Box wanted to live like that in the Haken Kingdom, rather than being at the bottom in the empire.
However, the recent situation with Berith dramatically changed his idea. He realized it when he saw the fall of the Rotemon Kingdom. It was foolish to live in a nation that couldn’t protect its people. A person had the right to choose a better country.
‘It is different from knocking while sitting on the streets and knocking while the door of your house is still open.’
He had to go to the empire before the Haken Kingdom was destroyed, and he had to negotiate while his value was still high. Box was moving along the river when his nostrils flared. Everywhere he looked, he spotted people heading to the canyon. They wanted an easy ride on the Berith raid. They never dreamed that the raid would fail.
‘They will go back soon with regret. Huh?’
Box was glad. He found a procession of people moving in the same direction as himself. They were refugees. They foresaw the destruction of the Haken Kingdom and were leaving their homeland. Box was relieved when he saw them. It wasn’t just him who abandoned the country. They were many people like him who gave up. His choice was wise, and he wasn’t a traitor...
These thoughts revolved around Box’s mind.
“...” Box was leading the guild members when he stopped in place. Perhaps it was because he found himself in the procession of refugees that he felt guilty about his choice. This question soured Box’s heart. It reminded Box of the past.
At the beginning of Satisfy, Haken was the first country he chose. He had grown up interacting with the people of Haken. At the time, he met Zibal and the Snake Guild. He could be what he was now because of Haken. Did he really want Haken’s destruction?
Why was he being foolishly nostalgic? Why did he keep looking back even when he knew it was useless? The guild members spoke to Box who had frozen like a stone statue, “Let’s go back.”
“If we leave this way, we will regret it for the rest of our lives.”
In the end...
“Yes, we should go back.”
If he ran away every time there was a crisis, he would eventually lose a place to flee to. Then it happened the moment Box turned to go back the way he came.
There was a huge shadow cast over him, and he heard someone’s voice. By the way, this voice was somewhat familiar.
“...!!” Box’s eyes slowly widened.
A black-haired man on the back of a mountain-sized hippopotamus was looking down at him. “Did you come from the fortress? What is the situation there?”
“...” Old memories came to Box’s mind. He couldn’t forget the man in front of him who was the cause of one of his few failures.
“...They will all die if this continues.” Box felt like he was grasping a straw as he spoke to this man—the man who became the new supreme one.
“I guess I better hurry,” the man who had Box’s attention said. Then he urged his colleagues, “I’ll go ahead. Catch up as soon as possible. Faker, Piaro. Let’s go.”
“Quick Movements,” the man shouted the name of the skill and quickly disappeared. The surprising thing was that there were five people who kept up with his crazy speed. There were four big NPCs with flashing golden names. By the way, the names of the NPCs were a bit strange. They were familiar names. He had heard them before.
A woman approached Box with a smile. The world’s most glamorous beauty emanated an irresistible force. “You, follow us. You are the number one Linker and should be useful.”
“Don’t talk nonsense and come with us.”
The woman’s eyes sharpened, and Box nodded.
『 This raid has also failed. Still, I want to applaud them. 』
『 Yes. They fought well enough. 』
Unlike the gorgeous appearance, the result was rather futile. Even so, there were few people in the world who would deny Kraugel’s performance. They stopped the advance of the demon army, which no one had ever stopped, and dealt a terrible wound to Berith who ridiculed the people.
It deserved respect. They were heroes who stood up for the suffering people even though they knew it would be a tough fight. In other countries, the broadcasters praised Kraugel’s party. Hundreds of millions of viewers applauded them, but there were no cheers.
““There are many souls.””
Berith gathered the bodies of the Haken soldiers and summoned a fourth army. The people were gloomy as they saw Berith build up an even greater force.
“Avoid it!” Kraugel was blocking Berith’s path.
He had yet to surpass Kirinus and Rachel, but he still stepped forward. Kraugel hid the two people behind his back and confronted Berith alone. Kirinus shouted, “Are you making fun of me? I will open the retreat, so you avoid it!”
Since his only love, Aria, became empress, Kirinus lost his purpose in life. On the day she died, Kirinus’ life became meaningless. He was the only one who could die. Kirinus had no intention of sacrificing the proud disciple he had accepted late, the Sword Saint who was the last hope of humanity.
Kraugel shook his head. “You know that I am an immortal. For me, death is a concept I can afford.”
‘However, you are different. Death is the end for you,’ Kraugel sent this message to Kirinus with his eyes.
“You might be immortal, but I know that death is still a loss. It might not be the end, but you will weaken.”
“I can afford it.”
“No, the Sword Saint shouldn’t crumble.”
“The Sword Saint is the lantern of humanity. They shouldn’t see you being beaten.”
Rachel also stood alongside Kirinus. “The game isn’t over yet. I will have the title of the continent’s best spearman.”
“...” Kraugel frowned. He sighed at the mortal who wanted to sacrifice himself for a player. In the end...
“I’m asking the both of you,” Kraugel asked Hao and Alexander. Hao and Alexander nodded and grabbed Kirinus and Rachel’s wrists.
“Let’s go. You must not die for Kraugel’s sake.”
“Survive so that you can train Kraugel even further.
““You are all fooling around.””
The rain of blades finished. Berith watched the humans talking in front of him and shook his head as if it was absurd.
‘“I will kill all of you. It's pointless to discuss it among yourself.””
Hundreds of magic circles appeared around Berith. It was the precursor to a massive attack.
““The other world exists as a pasture for us.””
The hundreds of magic circles started to transform the entire canyon into metal. Tens of thousands of blades emerged from all types of topographic formations.
““Humans are livestock for us.””
Berith’s white eyes formed a half moon shape.
““All you have to do is become food. That is what destiny means.””
The alchemy was complete. Tens of thousands of blades aimed at Kraugel’s group. This was the first time the ultimate attack of 22nd Great Demon Berith was revealed. It happened months after Berith appeared in the world.
“Shit!” Zibal swore and hurriedly boarded Raiders. He wanted to deal at least one blow to this damn guy, even if he died.
『 Ah... Ahh... 』
It was a sight that was bound to be alarming. The broadcasters were dumbfounded when they witnessed the tens of thousands of blades floating in the air. They couldn’t say anything. In the face of Berith’s overwhelming force, their knowledge and words became meaningless.
-It is really turning around in circles.
-Yes, the next ruined game.
The viewers were already disengaged. Seeing that Berith easily overpowered a duke of the prestigious empire, they abandoned their dreams and hopes. Who could stop Berith after he summoned a fourth army? They thought that even the Saharan Empire wouldn’t be useful now.
““Go to Heaven.””
It was Berith’s worst curse. The moment that the tens of thousands of blades were going to hit Kraugel’s group.
“200,000 Army Crushing Sword.”
A massive explosion occurred. The tens of thousands of blades scattered in ash.
““....!?”” Berith was more surprised than when he witnessed the emergence of the Sword Saint. Kraugel’s gaze shifted to one side, and hundreds of cameras followed him. On all the broadcast screens around the world:
The name of the man with fluttering black hair was captured. There were four named NPCs by their side. Were they Grid’s famous Four Heavenly Kings? The spellbound people concentrated on observing the names of the NPCs. Then they doubted their eyes. They rubbed their eyes a few times and double checked the names of the NPCs.
Then they soon realized it was real. The Immortal King Grenhal, Beast King Morse, and Golden Crown Basara—the dukes of the Saharan Empire were standing alongside Grid. The funny thing was that they were all looking at Grid like he was a monster.
-...A great game.
The supreme person was the object of envy and a target. The viewers saw their future through Grid and no longer shouted about the game. The hearts of people all over the world pounded.
“I have been waiting.” Then Kraugel opened up all the power he had stored. Hundreds of swords appeared around Kraugel. It was the execution of Control Sword, which had been strengthened compared to the National Competition.