[You have suffered fatal damage!]
[You have become ‘stunned’.]
[You have resisted.]
Kraugel lost nine-tenths of his health in one blow. He endured the pain and hastily jumped back. Luck didn’t bother going after him. He was confident that he could kill Kraugel at any time.
"Level reset and stun resistance… Did you obtain a legendary class? In particular, it’s likely to be the first tier Sword Saint. Oh my, I need to tell Brother Ares to grow to the legendary rating quickly.”
The top players performed more quests than regular players and their information gathering was excellent. In particular, the Ares Guild’s main activity was invading and conquering cities, giving them many opportunities to gain old literature.
They had already identified many features of a legendary class.
"Well, it was somewhat expected. Still, it’s shocking that the immortal passive wasn’t activated. Did you collect around 20 titles?”
Even if Kraugel had titles that enhanced his health and defense, Luck was level 335. Kraugel was only just past level 100, so it was surprising that Luck couldn’t kill him in one blow. Kraugel regained his expressionless face and opened his mouth.
"I’m not weak enough to fall because of a swordsman’s punch. You have to pull out a sword to knock me down.”
"Hahat, now you feel like Kraugel. That’s right. Kraugel is prideful. It’s because of this that people call you the sky above the sky. Do you know why I came?”
“It is funny to ask me that after attacking randomly. Don’t you want my head?”
"Yes, I am going to take your head. No just this time, but hundreds of times.”
Kraugel was constantly looking around while talking to Luck. He was looking for an exit.
‘There’s no way other than to use that rock.'
Kraugel noticed a rock rising in the middle of the swamp. He would make use of the White Light Steps that he learned again after becoming a Sword Saint and leap for that rock. Movement speed fell by 90% in the swamp, so he judged that he could escape if he made it into the swamp.
The problem was that the rock was 11 meters away. It was a distance he could reach with two consecutive White Light Steps, but the current Kraugel had low mana because of his level. It wasn’t enough to use White Light Steps two times in a row.
‘I need to take a mana potion the moment I use the first White Light Steps.’
The act of taking a potion out of the inventory while unleashing his footwork in the air. It wasn’t easy. Among the top 10 players, only four of them could pull it off. However, Kraugel had to perform this sequence of actions within 0.7 seconds. In order to reach the rock without falling into the swamp, it was necessary to link the second White Light Steps within 0.7 seconds of the first.
"I'm sorry. This is cowardly. Trying to keep you in check when you’re weakened. It’s truly shameful.”
"But you must understand my side. I can’t just sit back and watch you become a threat to Ares. Three months. Endure it for three months. I will kill you for only three months.”
It meant Kraugel wouldn’t be able to hunt for at least three months. This wasn’t unusual behavior. There was an organization that focused on brutally harassing and crushing players. In the past, there were many attempts on Kraugel. The best guilds hadn’t known Kraugel’s true strength at the time and tried to kill him to keep him in check.
But at that time, Kraugel was stronger than anyone else. He destroyed all enemies and reigned at the top. However, things were different now. Now Kraugel was weak. Over time, he would become several times stronger than he was in the past. But right now, he was only level 109. Compared to the Grid of the past who took a year to reach level 89, Kraugel’s level up speed was unmatched as he reached level 109 in a fortnight.
“What? There isn’t any shaking at all? Haven’t you thought about begging?”
Kraugel’s face consistently remained emotionless, making it no fun for Luck. Then Kraugel asked him, "Are there any tigers who would shake because a dog is barking?”
Luck’s expressions twisted.
Kraugel immediately took action. He used White Light Steps, kicked off from the ground and moved at an angle that allowed him to enter sunlight. At the same time, Stealth was used. It was only for one second, but the effect was enough. Luck panicked as he lost Kraugel. Kraugel pulled out a mana potion and immediately used White Light Steps after drinking it.
Kraugel quickly crossed the swamp. He was about to step on the rock that was his destination when he heard Luck’s voice in his ears.
“Oh my, amazing. I should’ve expected this much.”
Luck pulled out his sword and wielded it. A red aura stretched out in a straight line. The target was naturally Kraugel.
Kwa kwa kwa kwang!
The swamp where the aura passed was shaking. If the depth was a little deeper, a large wave was likely to happen.
Kraugel leaned back in order to avoid it. The aura passed by the tip of his nose and collapsed a tree on one side. Kraugel became dismayed. It was because the rock was caught in the storm of the aura and shattered.
He hoped that Kraugel would fall into the swamp. However, Kraugel easily broke his expectations. The level and stats were inferior to before, but Kraugel was Kraugel. He used his godly control to step on the fragments of the rock and quickly left the swamp.
“What?” Luck was astonished. He never imagined that Kraugel would move on the rocks flying through the air.
Kraugel secured a safe distance from the swamp and declared to Luck, "Once I recover my strength, I will surely repay today’s debt.”
Luck fired his aura again. But this was Kraugel. He used his Super Sensitivity passive and his innate abilities to avoid the aura and leave his position.
"Damn! Where can I learn how to do that?”
Luck had missed his target. The scream that lamented at his own stupidity echoed through the serene swamp.
‘It was too dangerous.’
Kraugel’s complexion was dark as he left the swamp and checked his status window. His stamina was on the verge of depletion. This was the sorrows of a low level.
‘It can’t be helped.’
Kraugel was worried about Luck and decided to log out. The sky above the sky. The person praised as the sky above the sky was running away. Some people might be shocked about this. However, Kraugel didn’t care. Unlike what people thought, he wasn’t invincible.
He had experienced defeat and running away numerous times. Of course, it was mainly from NPCs and monsters. He only had one experience of being defeated by a player.
“Mother? You woke up early.” Kraugel panicked as he left his capsule and found his mother cooking in the kitchen. “Leave this to the housekeeper. Why are you…?”
His mother smiled at the worried Kraugel. It was a kind smile that warmed up the heart.
“I want to cook the son I love breakfast.”
Thank you, thank you again. He felt thankful to his mother who fought against the illness. In addition, there was Grid and the Overgeared members who prayed for his mother’s recovery. Kraugel was suddenly reminded of Grid.
‘If Ares’ forces continues expanding this way, it will be seen in one year.’
Kraugel was well aware that Overgeared was the strongest guild. But the Ares Guild was an army. They were more systematic and had powerful soldiers. Ares’ wide area buff passive, originally used on the battlefield, was a fraudulent power that tilted the balance. In addition, many of Ares’ subordinates like Luck and Scott had threatened him in the past.
'Luck is a level below Scott, but...’
He was believed to have the passive skill ‘Unconditional Counterattack.’ An absolute passive skill that couldn’t be evaded, there was a 100% chance of a counterattack every time Luck was hit. He was likely to serve as a perfect counter to the Overgeared members, who had strong attack power.
'In the end, I must grow quickly.’
Kraugel was sorry towards Grid, but he had no intention of joining Overgeared. But wasn’t there a way for him to help without joining the guild? Of course there was. Kraugel set up a plan to help Grid, and one of them was containing Ares’ forces. Kraugel vowed that Ares’ ‘Plundering’ skill would never include Grid and Overgeared as its targets.
‘Before that, my position is a problem.’
His mother passed a bowl to the sighing Kraugel. Kraugel took a sip of the bubbling stew.
‘Mother’s taste... It’s still the same.’
Kraugel blinked and gazed at his mother.
“Mother... You should leave the meals to the housekeeper.”
His mother had no talent in cooking.
Luck barely escaped the swamp. He judged that Kraugel wouldn’t have made it far with low agility and stamina, so he started to search the area. But Kraugel's trail was gone. Kraugel disappeared completely without leaving any footprints behind.
“It seems like he logged out, but I can’t figure out the location. Erasing all traces, isn’t this at the level of an assassin?”
No, there was nothing impossible for Kraugel. He was too universal.
‘Nevertheless, Kraugel is dangerous. We can’t leave him alone. But it will be hard to keep him in check with me alone... Damn, I need more people.’
Why did Luck cling to Kraugel? It was because he had a bad experience. In the past, Ares and his troops invaded a small town, only for Kraugel to receive a ‘Protect’ quest there. Kraugel grabbed their ankles and Luck realized it. A person with a strong power could be a danger at any time, simply by existing.
Thus, Luck wanted to stop Kraugel from restoring his power. At least, he wanted to slow Kraugel down. It was all for the sake of the construction of the Ares Empire.
Damian became an international star after the National Competition and was being interviewed. Normally he refused all interviews, so why did he specifically agree today? It was because the contents of the interview involved Grid.
"Why do you think Grid registered in the rankings now?”
“It’s proof. Grid is going to prove that his levelling speed is faster than others and show his greatness.”
"Does it make sense to say that Grid’s levelling speed is fast?”
At the 2nd National Competition. According to the report of an ‘anonymous Korean player’ who partied with Grid in the siege, Grid was level 306 at that time.
"It has been 16 days since the National Competition and Grid’s level is the same. Doesn’t this prove that his levelling speed is bad?”
South Korea was ranked second in the National Competition and received a huge 27% experience buff. In addition, many ideal hunting grounds for level 300 players had recently been released on a large scale. In this situation, Grid couldn’t gain one level in the 45 days of gaming time. Anyone could see that his levelling abilities were terrible. It was normal to gain at least three levels in the past 16 days.
Damian asked the reporter, “Isn’t Grid’s currently level 307?”
“Huh?” Wasn’t it 306 this morning? "Ah, he must’ve accumulated a lot of experience before registering in the rankings. It explains why his level went up in just half a day.”
Damian hummed as the reported interpreted it arbitrarily.
"You want to deny Grid’s greatness, but I will tell you one truth.”
“The 1st place in the rankings will be occupied by Grid.”
That evening. Damian’s interview was released and Japan’s websites heated up. Damian was accused of being a Grid otaku who didn’t know the world.