[An unknown person is writing the second epic.]
[The beginning of the narrative comes from the underground passage that was dyed with the light of the night stones.]
There was no one who didn’t know the identity of this unknown person. The incident of Grid’s epic was so famous that even those who didn’t play Satisfy knew about it.
[He silently watched the back of the Absolute for the last time.]
The 10 meritorious retainers saw the world messages rise in succession. They were scattered all over the kingdom but instantly became rigid. The retainers understood that Grid’s epic was only triggered when experiencing an event which was a major milestone in human history.
The world message which popped up shortly after Grid left for the imperial palace with Basara suggested that Grid had been involved in a major event. The Absolute must be the emperor, and the emperor’s life was in danger. The 10 meritorious retainers judged that Grid would be in a major crisis if the imperial family was in danger.
Lauel’s message entered the guild window, [&All players who were registered as Grid’s knight, please prepare for a summoning.]
Grid appointed only a few players as his knights, and they were mostly the 10 meritorious retainers. Lauel’s advice was aimed at the 10 meritorious retainers, [&Regardless of your current position, please respond to Grid’s call immediately. The most important thing for us is Grid’s safety.]
Lauel’s warning was pointless. Everyone intended to do so in the first place. It was natural for them to run when their most cherished friend was in a big crisis. Those who arrived at their destination after a long journey, those who were raiding bosses that only appeared once a month, and those who were going through hidden quests that would never come again...
‘Grid, quickly summon us!’
They all waited for Grid’s call with the same emotions.
Watching the back of the Absolute for the last time...
The narrative of the system was implying the emperor’s end. It couldn’t be certain that the ‘last’ mentioned here meant death. However, Grid had a gut feeling that the emperor would die. Someone equal to or better than Garam... No, the grandmaster was an incarnation of the seven malignant saints, so he would naturally be stronger than Garam. Meanwhile, Edan got his hands on the sword of the founding emperor Saharan, who had been deified by the imperial people for hundreds of years.
It was nothing more than a suicide act if the emperor, who was their first target, came before their eyes. Yet Grid didn’t stop the emperor. They were two people who shared a subtle connection through an agent called Mercedes, but they had virtually no relationship.
Yes, Grid and the emperor only had a distant relationship. There was also the intense relationship called ‘Piaro’ between the two, but that was it. Their births, environments, and positions were different, and there was no personal relationship at all. Rather, this relationship was closer to a bad relationship. The emperor was an object of fear for Grid while for the emperor, Grid was just an individual.
It was a relationship where they tried to eliminate each other’s existence. Grid didn’t have the right or any reason to stop the emperor. So why? Grid felt a seed of sorrow.
It was better for the emperor to die. Then he and Basara would live, and Basara could become the emperor. Basara must be the emperor, and everything would work out. There would be more harmony than he hoped for. Grid’s sense of reason clearly knew this.
Then why? Why was he so sad? Since when had he started liking the emperor? Grid felt confused and quickly realized why.
Emperor Juander—he was literally absolute power. He was able to get everything he wanted, and he could cover up his shortcomings easily. Yet he didn’t. He turned away all the beauties of the world and loved only one woman in his life. He was always worried about the old friend who lost everything because of his sins. He repaid the grace of the king of another country by sending over his most loyal knight, and he worried about his children in the moment when he would lose everything.
The emperor was a person who valued connections more than anything else in the world. It was just like the grandmaster mocked. Maybe he was an incompetent emperor like Edan and Benoit denounced. He might’ve committed sins from his ignorance. However, the emperor was never a wicked person. He was a fool who couldn’t even be corrupted.
That’s why Grid unconsciously felt fond of him. Perhaps Grid felt something similar from him.
[The last of the Absolute, a pilgrim walking on the path of atonement—he sacrificed himself to take responsibility for his sins without hiding from his sins.]
“My choice today will be a model for the next generation.”
Did he ever imagine a day would come when he was threatened with the throne? The emperor, who had fled from his son’s attack, corrected his crooked crown and brushed off the dust from the cloak stained with blood that was caused by his son. He held a sword in the hand that had covered his beloved Aria’s cheek and held the shield in the hand that had stroked Marie’s head. His face that had smiled as his children grew up was now deeply shaded, but his eyes were filled with the will to take away the darkness.
The emperor stood in front of the exit that led to the audience hall and turned his attention to Grid. “Those who will later become emperors of Saharan won’t repeat the same mistakes as me.”
They would learn from him. Of course, he didn’t protect the throne. He had become distant the moment his vision was buried and an irreversible sin was committed. The later emperors who learned about the foolish Emperor Juander would always be alert and wise.
The emperor believed this as he opened the door. Simultaneously, Saharan’s red energy poured in and revealed the interior of the secret passage.
“Emperor!” Edan’s voice roared like a beast. Loud sounds followed. Someone groaned, but there was no sound of falling. The emperor, two pillars, Edan, the magic machines, the grandmaster, and the Red Knights—all of them stood firm because they knew this was the most important moment.
[The Absolute knew. His blood won’t wash away his sins.]
“Your Majesty!” Then Basara’s voice was heard. Damn, things were moving too quickly. She would be in danger. Grid became anxious and was about to rush out to the audience hall.
“Basara! You must survive and lead the empire to power!”
Was the source of the vibration the origin true energy? The emperor’s red energy exploded to a level that had never been seen before, and this was followed by Edan’s groans. Concurrently, Basara’s delicate body flew into the passage that contained Grid’s group.
[However, the Absolute sacrificed himself at the end. His blood might not wash away his sins, but he hoped to cause a ripple in the history of the decaying empire for generations.]
[It was in the hope that no sinner like him would ever be born again...]
[A fool who was aware that one Absolute could put countless people into misery.]
Grid and the dukes hurried to Basara who was lying on the ground. The exit was closing. Basara jumped up from the hands of the people and rushed over, but it was too late. She grabbed a tightly closed door.
Basara’s mind returned to memories of decades ago. The young Juander’s bright smile. Basara found it good to see the sunny smile of her cousin, who was once condemned as being insincere. She used to think of him as a white paper that would never be dyed red. Then at some point, he lost his smile and became filled with sorrow and anger.
Why didn’t she take care of him? What was she doing when his son pointed a sword at his heart?
[The Absolute’s desire ends an era of history.]
[He has witnessed it through the Absolute.]
[He saw the responsibility of the highest-ranked person to guide a new millennium of history.]
[He has seen the end of an age.]
[At the center of the previous and the new era, he felt the great narrative that couldn’t be achieved with personal power become a part of him.]
[An unknown person has completed the second page of the epic!]
The world messages ended. A creepy sound was coming from beyond the exit. The constant screams, metallic sounds, and explosions gradually subsided, and an ominous silence came.
The dukes guessed the situation outside and closed their eyes. Basara choked on her sobs while Piaro struck the wall with his fists. In Grid’s field of view, a notification window appeared.
[The second page of the epic has been completed.]
[The history that will never be forgotten, ‘The Birth of a New Millennium of the Empire’, has become part of you. You are part of the history of the millennium empire.]
[The effect of the completion of the epic has made your relationship with the Saharan imperial family special.]
[The Saharan imperial family will consider you special from generation to generation.]
[The effect of the completion of the epic has made you a witness of a new era.]
[You have achieved a feat that can never be accomplished in a human’s short lifespan. The new title ‘Protagonist of Two Eras’ has been acquired for the remarkable achievement.]
[Protagonist of Two Eras]
[If you were someone who died easily, then you couldn’t have witnessed two eras. You will never die easily.]
[The effect of Indomitable is enhanced.]
[Your status has risen to the next level with the completion of that epic.]
[Your status has risen an addition level due to the large-scale reward from the completion of the epic.]
[Some of the upper-grade species are considered to be lower than you. Species that are a lower grade than you will deal less damage and receive additional damage.]
[You feel less attached to the concept of space. Yet it is still looming.]
[Your Deity stat has increased by 2.]
“...” Grid closed his eyes before opening them again. The dukes who seemed scarily strong only a few months ago now felt a bit comfortable. This wasn’t ridiculing the dukes. Grid didn’t evaluate a target just by a difference in strength. Just... It was literally a comfortable feeling. Now he wouldn’t shrink back so much when meeting Garam. Of course, this didn’t mean his strength had grown as much as his courage.
“Your Majesty?” Piaro was startled.
The dukes turned their heads belatedly and looked blank for a moment. They had an indescribable feeling as they faced Grid’s serene gaze. It was just like the first time they saw the grandmaster.
Grid’s hearing and sixth sense captured the situation outside. “The army is coming. Edan’s strength is also weak, so let’s go.”
“Wait a moment...” Grenhal tried to stop Grid. The grandmaster should still be alive. His death was unimaginable. He was hiding at best, but it was unknown what type of disaster would be encountered if they went outside. They had to wait for the troops to arrive.
Grenhal thought this, but Grid ignored him and was already opening the exit. Originally, the stone wall only opened in response to the emperor’s red energy. Perhaps it was due to the emperor’s death or the shock, but it was now easy to open.
The audience hall, stained with blood, was empty. The grandmaster, the Red Knights, and the magic machines had disappeared without a trace. The emperor, Chensler, and Bain were no longer visible.
“You came just in time...” Somebody’s voice rang out.
Did Saharan’s sword get taken back by the grandmaster? Rather than the sword, Edan held the crown as he sat on the throne. It was the aftermath of using too much power. He was dying like he was poisoned.
“An imperial… order.” Cough, cough. The bloodied Edan commanded the dukes with blank eyes. “My mother... Mother...”
Edan’s last wish wasn’t conveyed. He failed to place the crown on his head with his shaking hands and eventually turned to gray ash.
1st imperial prince Roland and 2nd imperial prince Dulandal entered the audience hall. The moment they noticed the change, they had gathered their troops and led many soldiers. However, it was too late.
“My stupid and slow self...! I killed you! Kill me!”
In the empty throne, Roland found the crown rolling in blood and ran over, holding it in his hands. Dulandal just stood blankly.
The aftermath was handled by Basara and the dukes. Grid glanced at Piaro before standing in front of Basara.
“The princes... He asked for you not to treat them too harshly.”
“I’m not good enough to care for them.”
She had an attitude like this after what happened with Edan. The first impression seemed cold and serious, but the more they knew her, the warmer and more affectionate she became.
The smiling Grid left the audience hall.
“I’ll soon arrive with a big gift!”
“Please stay strong until the day we meet again, Your Majesty!”
Basara and the dukes bid goodbye to Grid. The reaction of the princes was ignored.
Had Basara rallied them? The 30,000 cavalrymen of the dukes who entered the palace saluted Grid and Piaro in unison. The sound of the salute raised by 30,000 people echoed to the blue sky.
It was the day when the supreme existence of the West Continent, which had existed since the opening of Satisfy, disappeared.