[Grid has obtained the raid’s 1st place prize.]
[Rachel and Kirinus have gained the raid’s 2nd place prize.]
[Piaro has obtained the raid’s 3rd place prize.]
[Kraugel and Yura have obtained the raid’s 4th place prize.]
[Basara has obtained the raid’s 5th place prize.]
[Grenhal has obtained the raid’s 6th place prize.]
[Morse has obtained the raid’s 7th place prize.]
[Zibal has obtained the raid’s 8th place prize.]
[Faker has obtained the raid’s 9th place prize.]
[Chris and Jishuka have obtained the raid’s 10th place prize.]
[★ Saintess Ruby has obtained extraordinary rewards in exchange for annihilating the soul of the great demon!★]
[Other personnel will be rewarded for participating in the raid.]
The viewers who saw the world messages were buzzing with activity. Kirinus and Rachel had shaved off the most health from Berith, but that was only during phase one. It wasn’t strange that their contribution was less than Grid. Piaro’s contribution was also convincing because he had played steadily, no matter the phase.
The thing they honestly wondered about was Yura’s fourth place ranking. Of course, Yura had joined more quickly than the rest of the Overgeared Guild. She had also neutralized the hell summoned by the great demon. Additionally, she utilized Hell Leap and arrived at the canyon ahead of schedule, serving as a great help in the raid.
However, it was too much to say that her contribution was the same as Kraugel’s, who had strengthened the party members with Sword Saint Aura and reduced Berith’s health at a level similar to Grid. The audience weren’t convinced of Yura’s contribution, but Kraugel and the Overgeared members took it for granted. In the first place, they had the premise that ‘it is impossible to fight a great demon without Yura.’
In the somewhat raucous atmosphere, Grid read his personal notification window.
[The title Savior of the World has been strengthened, increasing the 200 points stats increase to 300 points!]
[You have acquired Berith’s Human Skin Mask for being first in the raid!]
[You have acquired Berith’s Hoof for being first in the raid!]
[You have acquired two vials of Berith’s Blood for being first in the raid!]
[You have acquired five pieces of Berith’s Mane for being first in the raid!]
[You have acquired 30 blessed weapon enhancement stones for being first in the raid!]
[You have acquired 60 blessed armor enhancement stones for being first in the raid!]
[Berith’s strength is engraved on the Rune of Darkness.]
[Three great demons have been sealed in the Rune of Darkness! This is the evidence that you have killed at least three great demons and proof that you are following the great demon achievements of Muller and Pagma! If you someday achieve the same level of achievement as them, your status will rise greatly!]
It was good so far. Of course, it was all good news. Grid was pleased that seven guild members had earned the top 10 rewards. Additionally, his relationship with the dukes had become more solid, his understanding of the magic machine Raiders had increased, and all the rewards given by Berith were satisfactory.
One of the most disappointing aspects was the absence of Mercedes. It was a shame that he missed the chance to raise Mercedes’ status. However, it wasn’t a big problem when he recalled why she wasn’t present. She had gone on a business trip at Asmophel’s request. Since Asmophel was in charge of exploring and tracking down the whereabouts of the former Red Knights, Mercedes’ business trip meant a new alliance.
‘The items are unusual...’
The hoof, blood, and mane were made of metal. Grid checked the items that Berith had dropped. Suddenly, something strange happened to him.
[Too much of the great demons’ power is contained in the Rune of Darkness. The capacity of the rune has been exceeded, and the rune is running wild!]
‘What? Hey, this!’
The Rune of Darkness—the item that belonged to the inventory—started to shake and scream. Grid had been enjoying the attention and cheers of many people, as well as sharing the joy of his colleagues. Then a chill suddenly ran down his spine. The Rune of Darkness exploded. Surprised by the sudden shock, Grid groaned and flopped down.
Ruby, Sexy Schoolgirl, Jishuka, and Yura turned pale and rushed toward Grid. The frowning Grid was gasping while grabbing at his chest. In his inventory, the shattered fragments of the rune were slowly melting.
“W-What? What is this? Don’t mess around! It’s scary!”
“Get your spirit together, Youngwoo-ssi!”
What was happening all of a sudden? One, two... More people rushed to Grid’s side. They were Piaro, Kraugel, and the Overgeared members. Each of the expressions contained a different intensity, but they were equally concerned about Grid. Meanwhile, Grid was in a great deal of confusion.
Thump thump thump thump.
His heartbeat was so loud that it rang in his brains. Cold sweat flowed like rain and ate away at his field of view. He couldn’t regain his senses at all. The Rune of Darkness had shattered. It completely melted and lost its shape, turning into black demonic energy that permeated Grid’s body. The black demonic energy entered his skin, blood, bones, and heart. The bizarre sensation was unfamiliar and frightening.
His heart, which had been beating like it was going to explode, regained its composure.
“Pant... Pant...” Grid barely regained his mind and breathed in deeply. A new notification window appeared in front of his trembling eyes.
[Your high demonic power has guided the Rune of Darkness to you.]
[The Rune of Darkness, which was in danger from being unable to cope with the excess capacity, has joined with you, saving it from extinction.]
[In the future, the Rune of Darkness will become part of you.]
[The activation of the Rune of Darkness will cause the demonic power stat to rise by 200.]
[Your demonic power is currently over 30,000...]
Demonic power—it was a stat that Grid had obtained when he raided Hell Gao, simultaneously gaining Noe and the title of ‘Man who has Touched Hell’. So far, demonic power had benefited Grid. It was thanks to demonic power that Grid could tame Noe, use Blackening, and have the function of Blackening upgraded.
However, from Grid’s point of view, demonic power was an unstable element. It was a force to be vigilant about, rather than trust fully. As the name suggested, the essence of demonic power was to demonize humans. Grid’s conjecture was that increased demonic power allowing free access to hell was the process of demonization.
‘It isn’t good if it is too high.’
Anything else was good. If he were forced to become a demon then the aftermath of the mutation... then it was best to just avoid it in advance. Thus, Grid had tried not to kill as much as possible. During the Eternal War, the clash with the Red Knights, the battle against Kir, and so on, he had slaughtered a large number of people in unavoidable circumstances. However, he had always tried to avoid killing humans. It was a means of suppressing the demonic power.
Now all his efforts were wasted. His demonic power would rise by 200 when the Rune of Darkness was activated. This was a little too much. The frowning Grid quickly controlled his mind.
‘It’s okay. It isn’t a skill I use often.’
The only time when he used the Rune of Darkness was when he faced a situation or enemy he couldn’t handle with his own strength. So far, it was nothing new.
‘Well, the increase in demonic power will increase the power of Blackening.’
Due to his status increase, Grid was liberated from the top speed limit. Precise experimentation was needed, but it seemed possible for him to do 10 basic attacks per second when he fought Berith. The value of Blackening—which increased his attack power, magic power, and agility by 50%—had risen even further. It meant that he wasn’t in a position to take demonic power as the worst.
Grid tried to think as positively as possible. He was also thankful that the Rune of Darkness hadn’t been destroyed.
“Ah. I’m okay.”
Grid grasped the situation belatedly. His colleagues were standing around him with a worried expression. In particular, Ruby and Jishuka were cute as they looked like they were going to burst into tears at any moment. Yura looked like she was trying to stay calm.
“Your Majestyyy!!” Piaro let out a big wail.
“...” Grid calmed the mood and checked the rewards earned by his colleagues. The participants received a small number of blessed weapon and armor enhancement stones, but his colleagues who received compensation for their contribution were able to secure at least one mane. The stretched out mane looked like fur on the surface, but once it was touched directly, it would feel like a hard and sharp metal.
‘If it’s applied as a neck armor, both fashion and defense are possible.’
Maybe they could get the reflect damage option. Then it would be the best. The power of a set of reflective items made by the by-products of a great demon was terrible just imagining it. Grid was sitting with his colleagues and checking their items when the dukes approached him.
“We’ll be going back.”
Aside from Rachel, the dukes looked happy as they glanced between Grid and the still tearful Piaro. Rachel, however, was staring at Piaro with a surreal expression. Grenhal bowed politely on behalf of the dukes. “Overgeared King, we have been indebted to you since the historical ruins. We will never forget our journey with Your Majesty.”
“You aren’t going to the ruins? Don’t you have to go back to the ruins as soon as possible?”
“I think it is a priority to report to His Majesty the Emperor about the great demon subjugation. We’re going to seriously discuss our relationship with the Overgeared Guild.”
“I see. I look forward to the changing relationship between the empire and Overgeared Kingdom in the future.”
“Yes, look forward to it.” Grenhal bowed politely and turned around with the dukes.
“Wait.” Rachel approached Grid with a rather distasteful expression. The blonde in the red dress shone under the sunlight. Her beauty was greater than that of the Rebecca’s Daughters, and her innate dignity gave her an aura that was comparable to that of Marie Rose, the vampire duke. She hesitated for a moment before opening her mouth, “Rigal’s death happened during the war. I won’t let my personal feelings affect how I deal with you. Rest assured.”
Grid had already heard that Rigal and Rachel were friends. Honestly, he was afraid of her resentment. However, she was a duke of the Saharan Empire. As a duke, she was a powerful person who knew how to control her emotions. She was aware that her misjudgment could cause huge wavelengths and clearly distinguished between public and private matters.
‘By the way, Rigal was killed by Piaro.’
He felt a bit of displeasure, but Grid decided to accept Rachel’s heart. Rachel turned around.
“I’ve heard a lot about you from my disciple. You are a man with great potential.” This time, Kirinus approached Grid to shake his hand. His deep eyes observed Grid.
“I’m sure I’ll meet you again someday. Huhu, then I’ll be going.”
“Stay well, Grid.”
“The dragon wings... I believe they will be shown in a more wonderful scene next time.”
Kirinus, Kraugel, the Hao siblings, and the Russian rankers also left.
“Let’s postpone our game for next time.”
“What? I won.”
Kirinus and Rachel were bickering, but Grid didn’t know why. Kirinus, Kraugel, and the dukes gradually disappeared from Grid’s sight. The somewhat unhappy Zibal and Box approached Grid.
“Honestly, the raid succeeded thanks to my magic machine, right? Do you admit it? Thus, I’m not very grateful,” Zibal snapped this out with a sulky expression and disappeared.
“...Thank you. In addition, I’m sorry. Someday I will clean up my mistakes.” Box bowed politely and led the Snake Guild members to the south. Now, only the Overgeared members remained at the scene. After a few minutes of silence...
“Let’s go home,” Lauel smiled and said.
Simultaneously, at the end of the canyon...
“I have captured the scene of a rebellion.” 4th Imperial Prince Edan smiled on a black magic machine that looked ominous and wicked, unlike the pure white Raiders. He clearly witnessed the dukes bowing and greeting an enemy king instead of executing him. Edan also confirmed the appearance of the living Piaro. He could predict the conversation that had occurred between them. One of the main causes behind Piaro being declared a traitor was Edan himself.
“I must first hit them before they hit my mother.” Edan looked behind him with a smile. “My mother must be present if I want to be emperor. Isn’t that right?”
Edan’s legion of magic machines bowed their heads with firm expressions.