“This uncle is cute.”
Even if the mantle of duke were stripped away, Grenhal’s power had accumulated over generations and was great. He was one of the best in the West Continent. If the imperial family abandoned Grenhal, he still had the power to build a nation if he could safely return to his territory. Yet this girl dared to poke their respected master’s cheek with her finger? It was a blasphemy that they had never imagined.
“Daring to poke Duke Grenhal in the cheek...!”
“Get your hands away immediately! You might be in the Saintess’ party but you should show the basic manners!”
Some of the retainers roared. It felt like they would draw their sword at any moment, and all types of notification windows appeared in front of Sexy Schoolgirl.
[You have fallen into the ‘fear’ state.]
[You have fallen into the ‘oppressed’ state.]
[You have fallen into the ‘chaotic’ state.]
[The passive skill ‘Defender of the Miracle’ has allowed you to resist the ‘fear’ and ‘chaotic’ states.]
[The effect of the passive skill ‘Person Who Put a Foot in the Miracle’ has reduced the duration of the ‘oppression’ state. Transfers the ‘oppression’ to the target for as long as the reduced time.]
[The target has resisted.]
[The target has resisted...]
“...!” Grenhal's retainers were stunned. She didn’t shrink back and even confronted their momentum...? This weak-looking girl actually contained a powerful force.
‘She is a great talent. There is a reason she is accompanying the Saintess at this early age!’
This was a country that hadn’t succumbed in the war with the empire. The Overgeared Kingdom was small but powerful. The retainers admired her, but it was only for a moment. They were still furious as they looked at Sexy Schoolgirl. Sexy Schoolgirl stuck out her tongue and laughed. “I’m sorry. This uncle is just too cute. Please excuse my rudeness.”
“Eek...! You keep saying he is cute, cute! You know who he is yet you keep talking nonsense!”
“What if I don’t know?”
She didn’t know...? The retainers didn’t know what to say and were at a loss for words. It didn’t matter. Sexy Schoolgirl Yerim stroked the hand of Grenhal who was lying asleep. It was a hand full of deep wounds.
“I think you’ve been through a lot. It must be hard. Get some rest.”
“...” Grenhal’s eyebrows trembled. Maybe it was because of this extremely harsh situation, but a few words of comfort from an unnamed girl stimulated Grenhal’s weakened heart. The imperial family, whom he had devoted his entire life to, had threatened him and turned a blind eye to him. Yet the king of a distant country protected him while its people comforted him. This was...
“...” Grenhal’s eyes twitched slightly as he bit his lips.
An existence who reigned at the top... It was only after being protected that he realized he was also an ordinary person.
All sorts of thoughts shook his mind.
‘They’ve become friends.’
At first glance, Sexy Schoolgirl Yerim was surrounded by imperial nobles. Ruby had felt anxious when she heard why she suddenly had to return to Reinhardt from hunting, but that mood had dissipated.
‘They will soon become closer.’
Saintess Ruby had a bit of a shy personality. She didn’t get close quickly to new acquaintances, so she was still unfamiliar with many Overgeared members. On the other hand, Sexy Schoolgirl was different. She always faced people with curiosity and was straightforward and bright. Thus, she quickly became friends with others. WIthout her, Ruby might still have yet to adapt to Satisfy.
‘I would’ve been hiding behind my brother’s back and not become interested in the game.’
Although Ruby didn’t want her as a sister-in-law, her friend was really great. Ruby smiled while thinking this.
She was still hitting Morse and continued to do so with the wooden staff in her hand.
“M-Morse...” Morse’ retainers were restless. They thought they should stop the Saintess from assaulting their master but couldn’t because the Saintess wouldn’t commit senseless violence. A Saintess...
It was the empire who interpreted the Saintess as the ‘agent of the goddess of light’ in the famous legend. For the empire, the Saintess was an incarnation of a god and an existence to be worshipped. There had long been rumors among the nobles of the empire about the Saintess who carried out many good deeds and miracles in the Overgeared Kingdom. It wasn’t yet clear if she was a legendary Saintess or heretic, but the person who recommended her was the Overgeared King. They had more trust than doubts.
“...” In the tumultuous room, Ruby was quietly focused. In her vision, she saw a ‘red dot’ attached to Morse’s body. It showed the damaged body parts and was an effect derived from the skill ‘Regenerative Healing’ that Ruby gained when she reached level 180.
[Regenerative Healing Lv. 3]
[Activates the ‘Hand of Kindness’ to promote the regeneration of wounds with abnormal physical conditions.
* If the target is a player:
The moment the Hand of Kindness touches the wound area, the wound is restored. If the physical injury is a ‘cut’, the Hand of Kindness must touch the body for at least 10 seconds.
*If the target is a pet or a player’s pet:
The Hand of Kindness must touch the wound for 3 seconds for the wound to recover. If the physical injury is a ‘cut’, the Hand of Kindness must be in contact with the body for 20 seconds. The health of the target will be restored while the Hand of Kindness is in contact with the target.
* If the target is a NPC:
The Hand of Kindness must touch the wound several times for the wound to recover. The number of touches depends on the severity of the injury. If the physical injury is a ‘cut’, it can’t be healed with the current skill level.
Skill Mana Cost: 3,000 per second. Or 3,000 per use.
Skill Cooldown Time: None.]
A skill that could only be activated through touch was a bit difficult to use in combat. Furthermore, the mana cost was very large, especially for players who used a number of skills. Therefore, Ruby wasn’t able to take advantage of the skill. It was a skill that could only be used during her daily quest ‘Good Deeds.’
However, that story changed after the Berith raid. The extraordinary reward obtained for annihilating Berith’s soul was to evolve the Wooden Staff one step further.
[+7 Wooden Staff]
[Rating: Unique (Transcendent)
Durability: 830/830 Attack Power/Defense: 733
* All stats apart from intelligence increased by 200.
* Intelligence increased by 300.
A staff made of unidentified wood. It is very hard and can’t be cut by a sword.
*All healing effects +7%.
* Grants a random buff to two party members every 5 minutes.
* Deletes a party member’s debuff every minute.
* 10% reduction in the resource consumption of all skills.
* Hand of Kindness can be given. Damage can be eliminated when Hand of Kindness is used.
* 10% increase in the effect of Hand of Kindness.
Conditions of Use: Saintess.
It had a very ordinary name and appearance, but it was the only weapon of the Saintess. Grid had enhanced it to +9, but this was lost after Ruby tried enhancing it further. After learning that the enhancement value was reset every time the rating evolved, she became satisfied with a +7 enhancement.
This staff originally only had one option, ‘increase all stats.’ However, like other players, Ruby had grown. She had gained many achievements from the repetition of her daily good deeds, and she had gained hidden pieces from doing hidden quests and leveling up. She had also destroyed the souls of the great demons Belial and Berith.
Every time Ruby grew, so did the staff. The staff now had seven options including the stats upgrade, all of which seemed like treasures. If anybody who knew the game saw these fraudulent options, they would suspect that Chairman Lim Cheolho was the grandfather of the Grid siblings.
In particular, Ruby liked the Hand of Kindness option. In addition to Regenerative Healing, Hand of Kindness was activated with the skills ‘Strengthening Healing’ and ‘Waves of Punishment.’ When using Hand of Kindness directly, it was difficult to actually utilize it because the premise was that she should approach the target. Now that the staff could be used as a mediator, a distance of 2 meters was secured, and it was relatively easier to use.
‘Who did this...’
Despite using Hand of Kindness with the staff to touch his wounds dozens of times, the red dots imprinted on Morse’s body didn’t fade away. This meant that Morse’s wounds were deep, and Ruby’s heart grew heavier. Just imagining how much pain Morse might have suffered caused her to be in distress. If she didn’t restrain herself, she would be crying tears of fear.
“...” Morse was staring at Ruby.
Why was she making a face like she was going to cry? He was just a stranger. Why was she grieving for him?
‘This is... a Saintess...’
...A person who gave lifelong service and devotion to others. Morse hadn’t liked the legendary Saintess very much. She seemed like a so-called pushover. Life was short, and one should live for themselves and their family. Why should they take care of others? He even laughed at those who admired the Saintess, but that wasn’t the case anymore. Her kindness was healing the scars of his heart.
He felt like he had fallen to the hell of despair and was then pulled up. Her goodwill was saving his life.
‘Now... I understand...’
This was why so many people admired the Saintess. A smile appeared on Morse’s face at the realization. His eyes that were as sharp as a beast’s became gentle. He declared, “If I recover, I will surely—”
“I want to protect you by your side.”
What was going on all of a sudden? The confused Ruby’s hands fell. The staff missed the red dot it should’ve hit.
“Eek!” Morse’s piercing scream rang through the room.
“Drung...” Grenhal, who woke up from his thoughts, started snoring again.
“...” For a moment, an awkward silence swirled around the room.
[Regenerative Healing was successful!]
[The target's wound has been fully recovered!]
“That’s it!” Ruby exclaimed with joy. Her thin neck, collarbone, and face were covered with sweat. It had taken six long hours. She had repeatedly rested and healed the two dukes, so it was natural to be exhausted.
“Congratulations on your recovery!”
“Thank you! Thank you, Saintess!”
The retainers cheered. Grenhal’s eyes, which had been covered with dark scars and lost their light, reopened while Morse’s limbs were restored to normal. Everyone present had witnessed a miracle. Even though their masters might not recover completely, the retainers were happy as long as their masters could see and walk on their feet. They felt so grateful to Ruby that they had an urge to pull out their gallbladders and everything else to give to her.
Ruby felt just as much joy as them. It was an indescribable happiness to be able to correct the misfortune of others.
‘If my brother had met someone like that in the past...’
Notification windows were rising continuously in Ruby’s vision.
[You have healed the great noblemen of the empire, strong representatives of the current age. It is an achievement that will remain in history!]
[Reputation throughout the continent will rise by 8,000.]
[You have become a very important person. You won’t fall down easily. The special reward has increased your maximum health by 10,000.]
[Affinity with Duke ‘Morse’ of the Saharan Empire has reached the maximum.]
[Morse is willing to live for you.]
[Affinity with Duke ‘Grenhal’ of the Saharan Empire has reached the maximum.]
[Grenhal wants to give you many things.]
She didn’t know about anything else, but it was really good to improve her health. It seemed that she wouldn’t die easily now. Then someone stroked Ruby’s hair.
“Thanks for the hard work.” It was Grid. He was smiling as he watched his sister from afar, not wanting to disturb her. “What do you think about healing Duke Basara?”
“Her wounds are different, so I think I need to look a bit more closely.”
Facing the gazes of those filled with anticipation, Ruby approached Basara who was lying down, staring silently at the ceiling. Then Grenhal and Morse approached Grid and bowed to him.
“I promise that our family will always repay the grace of the Overgeared Kingdom.”
“More than that... I’m glad you have recovered.”
“Take a break. Won’t you return to the empire as soon as Duke Basara is restored?”
“No. I want to be near Duke Basara, but time is pressing. We need to go to the empire right now. I’m afraid His Majesty might be hit.”
Edan was running completely wild. It wouldn’t be strange for him to harm the emperor since there was a hidden card Edan seemed to believe in. They were particularly concerned about the grandmaster.
“It is our duty to protect the imperial family. First, we should try to fix the royal family.”
“Take care. I will cheer for you from afar because I can’t get involved... Huh?”
What was he worried about? The dukes exchanged meaningful glances at Grid’s words and bowed low to their waist. Then they promised to meet Ruby and Sexy Schoolgirl again before urging their subordinates.
“Go to the capital. If you detect even the slightest thing suspicious, immediately return to our territory and raise the entire army.”
This was right before the storm. Many things would change. At the center of the changes were the Grid brother and sister.
“Hihit! Hi, Oppa!”
...Oh, Sexy Schoolgirl as well.