Between level 398 and 399, it might only be a one-level difference, but the experience required to level up was at least twice as much. Grid had speculated this. However, he was mistaken as it wasn’t twice as much, but 10 times as much. It had been a fortnight since he had gotten stuck in the Ruins of the War God. Apart from when he visited Reidan for the Ultimate Transformation, Grid had hunted continuously, yet he had only gained 0.09% experience. Since the Ruins of the War God was currently the most difficult hunting site, this wasn’t a natural phenomenon.
‘It is because it is like this that I couldn’t level up by hunting Berith. Shouldn’t I level up at this point?’
Grid was well aware of his own strength. He knew he was much stronger if his level was equal to that of an ordinary ranker. Could other people fulfill the demanding experience requirement when they didn’t have overwhelming hunting abilities? Grid thought it was hard.
‘In a year or so, there might be a perception that level 399 is an interval level.’
There would be a period when most users were stuck at level 399. Thinking about it, Grid realized how precious a quest which gave levels truly was. At this time, the minus levels he experienced when he just became Pagma's Descendant was more precious.
“It’s hard, it’s hard...”
Grid was suddenly overwhelmed. He thought the operators would be giggling while watching him be in pain, and they would do it while ripping at fried chicken.
‘...No, even they aren’t perverted enough to watch while ripping at fried chicken.’
While Grid was shivering, a whisper came. The whim of the war god was still maintained, so the ruins didn’t restrict communication or magic transfers.
-Grid, Grid! I’ve received a request for a quest that looks good!
-Oh, really? Congratulations.
-I can do this with Grid!
-With me? Is it a cooperative quest?
Grid was intrigued by Coke’s whisper. He wasn’t curious about the contents of the quest but the rewards. If it was an experience quest, then he wanted to participate in any way.
-What are the quest rewards?
-One unique rated skillbook! Coke shouted confidently.
It was a chance to earn a unique rated skill! For Coke, it was a dream come true, and he thought Grid would be happy. However, Grid didn’t have a very excited response.
-Is that all?
-Ah, no! It also gives a title! We can obtain an affinity with someone!
During the time he investigated the Overgeared Guild, the high ranking players had an average of 12 titles. On the other hand, Grid had overcome all types of trials and had more than 30 titles. Additionally, most of his titles were superb. He didn’t have much expectation for a new title. The thing that interested him was affinity with someone.
-Affinity with who?
-I want to know that too...
-Our Coke has grown a lot~ He can joke around now~
-I-It also increases the level!!
-Where’s our pretty one?
In the capital of the Overgeared Kingdom, Reinhardt…
“It is suspicious in many ways,” Lauel responded in an uncertain manner. “Who would share a hidden quest with someone whose face they don’t know? I think there is more than a 99% chance of it being a trap or a prank.”
“Rash Guard is a senior member who has been active on the Chivalry site for over 15 years, and he usually behaves very well. I don’t think his credibility is low.”
“Look, Coke. Do you think the Internet is a good space? Additionally, how great is the website called Chivalry that 15 years of activity can be an indicator of trust?”
“Chivalry is a community site where knight enthusiasts come together to discuss knights. There is a 20-year tradition...”
“It is a place where you just gather. Half of the medieval knights were ruffians who plundered the people to live or bragged whenever they opened their mouths.”
“Prime Minister Lauel!! Those words are overkill!”
“No, I’m not talking about Satisfy’s knight players but medieval knights.”
“Do you know Jude? You are mocking knights right now!”
“Hey, don’t fight. Just calm down,” Grid, who was listening quietly, calmed the situation. He had a slightly different idea from Lauel, who did not trust the unidentified informant.
“Lauel, you are talking curtly because I know that you’re worried about us. However, your suspicion is a bit wrong. Is there anyone in the world who would share a hidden quest with a person whose face they don’t know? It is possible if you don’t have any friends.”
It was a cheap and low sensibility. Grid once had no friends and fully understood the position of Rash Guard.
“There is a quest that requires two more people to clear, but you don’t have any friends. What do you do then? You have to find people on the Internet.”
“...It is a possibility.”
“Let’s go quickly. It is better to get together first to find out if the quest is true or not.”
“In any case, it could be a trap so be careful.”
“I’ll block him if I feel it is fishy.”
“I understand. Request to be that person’s friend and set your level and affiliation to open mode. I think it is better to naturally encourage them to reveal their level and affiliation.”
It was a process to determine if they were a trustworthy person. The convinced Grid nodded and sent a friend request to ‘Resh##3.’
##3 meant he was the third person to create that username. Out of two billion players, there would be thousands or tens of thousands of Resh. Being third meant he was an early player. It was as expected.
“High ranker Resh!”
Coke was stunned when he saw Resh’s information on his friend’s list. Lauel watched from the side and was somewhat surprised. Only Grid was bewildered.
“Why? Who is it?”
“He has been in the top 1,000 rankings for five years. He has never appeared in public and hasn’t done any guild activities. Thus, everything is veiled, but his name is one of the best.
Everyone would suffer twists and turns. As long as they weren’t a genius like Kraugel or the Overgeared members, even the most outstanding person would suffer a drop in the rankings. It was great to maintain a steady top ranking for five years despite all the competitors.
“Wow, Resh is Korean.” Coke was a bit excited. It seemed he had been interested in Resh for a while.
Lauel’s doubtful and distrusting attitude softened further. “I think you can make contact. He is someone with a lot to lose and is less likely to set a trap for Your Majesty.”
The capital of the Saharan Empire, Titan—Grid and Coke met Resh here and were amazed. They never dreamed that Resh would be a knight of the second imperial prince. The player must’ve accumulated a lot of achievements to be promoted to a position directly under an imperial prince.
“I was actually a bit hesitant... Then I remembered that Grid has a close relationship with the dukes, and this gave me courage,” Resh said everything honestly.
This quest was inside the empire. He was very concerned if he should cooperate with the Overgeared King—the king of a kingdom they were at war with. However, his worries only lasted a short time. During the Berith raid, Grid had shown off his friendship with the empire’s dukes.
“This... The situation is serious.” Grid felt uneasy after he received the quest information and grasped the full story. The dukes he thought would improve the relationship between the empire and the Overgeared Kingdom were currently in crisis. In the worst case, the emperor might persecute the dukes without wanting to improve relations with the Overgeared Kingdom.
Resh comforted him, “A few days before the dukes arrived, the emperor had already left the capital. It is extremely unlikely that the emperor is behind this. There is only one suspect, 4th Imperial Prince Edan.”
Edan—he was the son of Empress Marie, who brainwashed Asmophel and demonized Piaro as a traitor. Grid gritted his teeth. ‘They are in a crisis because of me.’
It seemed to be due to Piaro’s exposure. Edan must have felt a sense of crisis and handled the dukes in the emperor’s absence.
‘I think it will be serious if the Yatan Essence comes out here.’
One of the most fraudulent items in Satisfy was the Yatan Essence. The Yatan Essence showed the ability to destroy personality using the power of the evil god. Grid had already seen the power of the Yatan Essence through the Asmophel and elf episodes.
‘Empress Marie is in partnership with the Yatan Church. It isn’t strange if Prince Edan also has the Yatan Essence.’
He needed to hurry. If the dukes were brainwashed by the Yatan Essence like Asmophel in the past, the situation would become twisted.
“Let’s enter the Abyss straight away.”
Now Grid didn’t care about the quest rewards. As king of the Overgeared Kingdom and friend of the dukes, he felt a sense of obligation.
“We have to rescue the dukes before it is too late.”
“Our mission isn’t to rescue the dukes but to secure a list of prisoners.”
“If we rescue the dukes, we’ll get the list.”
“...” Resh’s eyes looked shaken. The fact that Grid’s greatest potential was his ‘human network’ was already famous, but Resh had thought there were many exaggerated parts. Most celebrities were less than what was portrayed in the media, and he thought Grid would be the same.
However, this wasn’t the case. Grid was helping NPCs out of personal friendship. He was going into danger for enemy nobles. For Grid, the value of friendship was the beautiful concept that was seen in movies.
‘There is a reason why those talents trust and follow him absolutely.’
Resh saw Coke, the young ranker who was serving respectfully behind Grid, and his forgotten passion was ignited.
“I understand. My lord will also be delighted if the dukes are rescued. I will cooperate actively.”
The empire’s worst dungeon, the Abyss, was so deep and huge that it couldn’t be measured. The reason why the continent was split in half was that a huge meteorite had fallen down here. There were such doubts, and the dark tunnel stimulated human fear to the limit. Perhaps that was why there were no signs of life around it.
“A tunnel that exists in the wilderness. There are no outside guards because no one bothers to visit this place.”
“There is a reason why no one is here. I shiver just getting close.” Coke trembled. He wasn’t joking around. He was really scared.
Grid slapped him on the back. “Straighten your spirit. It isn’t a place to let down your guard.”
In fact, his transcendent status was making itself known.
[Your intuition senses danger.]
[Caution is required when acting.]
Wouldn’t it be better to summon colleagues now? It was a notification window that caused him to worry. Nevertheless, Grid didn’t act rashly. The quest was limited to three people. There might be system constraints if the number of people was exceeded.
“There is a story that the bottom of the Abyss is another world. It is a place that is in contact with hell and infested with demonic energy. I heard that non-human existences are guarding the inside, and there is a high possibility of a difficult battle. I wish you good luck and will take the lead.”
Resh didn’t delay any further. He didn’t forget that he was the subject of the quest and took the lead to enter. Darkness encroached on the group’s vision.
In the evening, the celestial palace made of mysterious timber and stone started to emit brilliant colors. It was shining brightly enough to break the boundary between night and day. This was the palace of the grandmaster, and it was splendid and magnificent.
“Is this an opportunity to get a peek at the answer?”
There was a subtle interest in the eyes of Grandmaster Zikfrector as he observed the magic crystal. In the crystal ball, the image of Overgeared King Grid in the Abyss spread out like a video.