The person who shouted Grid’s name was Blood Warrior Katz. Grid was very surprised because he was an unexpected person.
‘Why is he coming to see me?’
Grid had no connection to Katz. In the days when he was still a beginner. Grid enhanced the Ideal Dagger to +6 and went to the market to boast, only to witness Katz’ +8 weapon by chance.
"What do you want?”
Katz spoke bluntly to the puzzled Grid.
“Make me a growth type item! I will give you as much money as you want!”
As expected from a diamond spoon. Grid shrugged as he was reminded that Katz was the son of a prominent conglomerate in Japan.
"Unfortunately, I’m not accepting production commissions.”
To be precise, Grid wouldn’t accept it from him. Grid wasn’t in a position to always make growth type items, and even if he made one, the priority would be selling it to the Overgeared members.
Katz frowned as he received the negative answer. Katz was called rogue, trash, arrogant, and other words. Grid thought that Katz might take a threatening attitude. But reality was different. He might treat others with contempt, was selfish and said foolish things in public, but he wasn’t a fool. He knew that his position was inferior to Grid, so he suppressed his nature and lowered his posture.
“Your... No, what do I have to do to qualify for your items?”
‘Look at this guy.’
Grid was able to get a glimpse of Katz’ desperation. He was a person prepared to do anything to get what he wanted.
‘...Can I use him?’
Katz’ value was very high, despite his nature. Grid considered it and made a decision.
“Go and ask Lauel.”
"Your chief of staff?"
"Yes, if you want one of my items, try and fulfill Lauel’s request. I will make you an item depending on Lauel’s decision.”
Grid was sure that Katz would be useful to Lauel.
Katz nodded and left this place. Grid looked at him walking away and was filled with joy.
‘A person who didn’t acknowledge me two years ago is now bowing to me...’
It wasn’t just Katz. Since his abilities as a blacksmith had been revealed, it was clear that many prominent figures would approach him in the future.
‘I am a real big shot.’
He could assert that he already had a successful life. Pride boiled inside him. But Grid already knew that this pride shouldn’t transform into arrogance.
‘It isn’t good to be too excited. I have to act more carefully.’
The attention on him was too high. He had to be careful of every action. Otherwise, there might be a backlash. Grid took a deep breath and moved to the waiting room.
“God Grid! I knew you would do it!!”
The Korean team’s waiting room.
Yura and Peak Sword welcomed Grid. They were delighted by Grid’s victory. Thanks to Grid’s gold medal, South Korea now had a chance to take first place on the overall rankings, but that wasn’t why they were happy. They were delighted solely due to their liking for Grid.
“Thank you for always encouraging me.”
Grid replied in an unusual tone and sat on the couch. Peak Sword was confused.
‘Why is God Grid acting like this? Did he eat something bad?’
Ah, he thought about it. It seemed like Grid’s mental state was a mess because he was deprived of the growth type item he made. Would he be able to demonstrate his full ability in the pet marathon if he was in this state? The anxious Peak Sword started thinking up plans to fix Grid’s mental state.
"I'm going to close my eyes for a while.”
Grid lay back on the couch and closed his eyes. Grid wanted to go back into Satisfy and check Noe’s status again, but he didn’t have time.
Indeed. He had barely closed his eyes for 10 minutes when a call came. As a pet marathon participant, he was invited to attend the press conference.
“There are no breaks.”
"Time is limited, so it can’t be helped...”
This was why other players refrained from participating in two events a day.
‘Will Grid’s concentration and stamina last?’
Peak Sword couldn’t hide his worries as he asked.
“You must be tired from hammering for eight hours. How about you take a break while I go to the press conference?”
"I don’t know about Huroi, but making you my spokesperson...”
Grid was worried it would be a repeat of ‘Do you know?’
'Still, I would rather it be Peak Sword than Huroi.’
Grid imagined Huroi cursing at the reporters, shook his head and got up.
“Hoh... Grid said something like that?”
One of the audience seats in front of the pet marathon. Lauel heard the story about how Katz came to him and felt amazement. He realized that Grid was learning how to deal with people.
‘Taking advantage of Katz’ position to send him to me... He really is growing in many ways.’
Originally, Grid was a slow learning person. He experienced the same conditions as others, but was always behind. However, that changed the moment he visited the Behen Archipelago. His growth rate had accelerated.
“Kukukuk, this is interesting.”
Katz’ hands and feet shrivelled due to Lauel’s unique laugh.
Considering his power, financial strength, and position in Japan, Katz was an S-class person. He had many available things. The disadvantage was his personality, but most members of Overgeared were already strange, so it wasn’t a problem.
‘It’s better to obtain him.’
Lauel decided and asked Katz.
"I know you have the power to join guilds, so why haven’t you?”
“I don’t like being interfered with. I dislike rules.”
"Wow, you. You would’ve fainted if you were born a South Korean. You would’ve had to go to the army.”
“...I would’ve gotten out of it. No, why are you suddenly asking this?”
“Join the Overgeared Guild.”
“You want me in Overgeared?”
Katz’ face distorted.
“I don’t want to.”
Katz refused without thinking about it. However, Lauel expected this and just laughed.
“You don’t have to if you don’t want to. You will never be able to obtain Grid’s items.”
Katz's eyes shook. He really coveted Grid’s items.
‘Well, it’s natural.’
Katz was aiming for the top. He already declared two years ago that he would reach first in the rankings. However, he wasn’t able to achieve his goal because of his lacking abilities and items.
‘Anyway, there’s nothing to lose.’
Lauel was overflowing with confidence. He made a wicked grin reminiscent of Grid and made the offer again to Katz.
He swallowed down the words, ‘become Grid’s slave.’
“However, if you want to join Overgeared, you have to beat Grid in PvP.”
"Yes, you’re able to defeat him. Your fighting style is a good match against Grid... How about it? If I tell you how to beat Grid, why don’t you try it once?”
Wasn’t Lauel the closest person to Grid? Why did he want Grid to be eliminated? Katz didn’t question it. He grew up watching friendship be snuffed out like a candle in front of greed. Now Katz only felt one thing.
"You will teach me how to win against Grid? Stop talking nonsense! I can beat Grid with my own power, even if you don’t tell me!”
Katz’s character had changed a lot compared to when he just became a Blood Warrior. He realized that everything in the world wasn’t solved by money and there were a limit to his talent. From that time, he gave up on his arrogance. In other words, his declaration that he could beat Grid was a judgment based on reasonable grounds.
“Okay, I will beat Grid. In addition, I don’t care how you use me. I will do anything if it means getting Grid’s items. However, if you use me and then hit me in the back of the head, be prepared. I will put my whole power into killing you in the game.”
“Huhuhut... Our agreement has been established.”
Goose bumps formed on Katz’ skin.
There were 53 people participating in the pet marathon. An average of 1.5 people from each country participated. They sat facing hundreds of reporters.
“Grid has hell’s best demonic beast, a memphis. In last year’s National Competition, the memphis showed its dominance by beating dozens of wyverns alone.”
"It is the opinion of many people that the winner of the pet marathon this year will be Grid. What do you think about this?”
Did the other players have the power to fight against Grid? Most people around the world were curious about this part. The players answered easily.
"There is nothing perfect in Satisfy.”
"We have already grasped Noe’s weakness and figured out a strategy.”
“Noe won’t win a gold medal for Grid!”
“...Isn’t this tiring?”
Grid looked tired as he watched the players shouting with confidence.
‘Isn’t the repertoire of every event the same?’
Before the start of the game, it was a pattern of confidence and then eventual defeat.
The pet marathon started 30 minutes after the press conference.
Noe appeared at Grid’s side. He had been eating well over the past year, meaning his black fur was shiny and his tongue was a vivid pink. The soles of his feet were softer.
“The best demonic beast of hell has emerged! Nyang!”
Noe shouted as his stomach protruded! The ㅅ shaped mouth opened with a complacent expression, making people realize.
“Fearsome guy... The level of cuteness has increased so much that his level must’ve risen tremendously!”
“He will be a tough opponent.”
The other players who summoned wyverns couldn’t help admiring Noe’s strength. But they still didn’t lose confidence. It was because in the last year, they gained a lot of information and fully understood the memphis’ weakness.