“Knight of Destruction Singuled, I greet you.”
This person knew his name, which had become a taboo and was forgotten? Singuled was bewildered when he arrived at the Overgeared Kingdom with Asmophel and Asmophel’s friend. The person who came forward was somehow familiar. The deep eyes that seemed like they could see through him... They were unusual.
“...Mercedes?” It seemed to fit. She had long become a lady, but the more he looked, the more vivid the memories became. The girl who was Captain Piaro’s aide—wasn’t she a person of loyalty? Why was she in the Overgeared Kingdom? Confused, Singuled doubted his memories.
“I am honored that you remember.” The white-haired beauty didn’t deny it; she acknowledged that she was Mercedes.
Singuled was furious. “Dammit, that Asmophel...! It is a trap!”
His eyes became as sharp like a wolf’s, and he pulled out his sword. He had consistently been gathering information on the empire while staying in the Murray Kingdom. So, he naturally knew that Mercedes, Piaro’s aide, had become the First Knight of the Red Knights. Singuled misunderstood that Mercedes had come to arrest him and even doubted the relationship between the empire and the Overgeared Kingdom.
“The empire asked for a truce with the Overgeared Kingdom? A truce?! Hah! It is just an act, and the Overgeared Kingdom is actually a tributary of the empire!” Singuled gave off killing intent as he shouted.
“For your reference, I am currently serving the Overgeared King.”
Mercedes’ ridiculous explanation restrained Singuled’s killing intent. Asmophel stated to the confused and hesitant Singuled, “It is the truth. She is no longer a Red Knight.”
“Do you expect me to believe such nonsense?”
There were numerous stories of Mercedes fighting for the empire. Singuled had heard these stories from within the Murray Kingdom. Yet the best hound of the empire left it to serve the Overgeared Kingdom? It was impossible.
“It is true.”
Great Swordsman Piaro, who Singuled trusted the most, appeared to give weight to Mercedes’ claims.
“Singuled, you are pretty old now.”
Singuled no longer felt any doubts. He couldn’t control his tears as he embraced Piaro. The previous Knight of Destruction, who slaughtered every enemy of the empire and was an object of terror, became a mild sheep in front of Piaro.
“You have experienced many hardships. You really had a hard time.”
They were both middle-aged colleagues now, and Piaro knew how badly Singuled had suffered as he had been in the same situation.
“Captain! Captain!! Sob! Sob sob sob!”
Piaro watched the sunset with red eyes while Singuled cried in his arms. Asmophel looked at the ground and couldn’t raise his head. Mercedes’ heart ached as she witnessed the sadness of the old heroes.
[The goddess’ blessing has been used.]
[(Fighting against the Gods) Legendary Blacksmith’s Craftsmanship Skill has been enhanced.]
[(Fighting against the Gods) Legendary Blacksmith’s Craftsmanship Skill has evolved into Genuine - (Fighting against the Gods) Legendary Blacksmith’s Craftsmanship Skill.]
[Genuine - (Fighting against the Gods) Legendary Blacksmith’s Craftsmanship Skill]
[The production button has been enabled, and the time it takes to make an item is now greatly reduced.
A minimum of epic rated items will be produced.
There is a somewhat high probability of producing unique rated items.
There is a certain probability of producing legendary rated items.
If certain conditions are met, there is a rare probability of making a myth reproduction or myth rated item.
* All stats of a production item will increase by 30%.
* When myth rated items are produced, all stats will permanently rise by +20 and reputation throughout the continent will rise by +1,000.
* Something special will occur with every three myth rated items created.
* The enhanced skill is fixed at master level.]
Grid shook off the temptation of the seven malignant saints and cleansed the First Holy Sword. He didn’t hesitate after receiving two goddess’ blessings and proceeded to enhance his blacksmithing skill as scheduled. Now, he held the Blacksmith Hammer to Go Against the Gods in his hand.
Grid was full of excitement. Finally, he could produce items automatically like everyone else.
‘First, select the production method and prepare the materials for production. Then press the production button.’
Grid read the novice blacksmith’s guide and chose to make one of the Grid mass-produced items. He prepared the necessary materials and clicked the button floating on one side of his field of view.
[The item production has started.]
Ttang! Ttang! Ttang!
Something amazing happened. Grid’s body moved by itself to raise the temperature of the furnace, smelt the iron, and then carry out the hammering. He didn’t have to think as his body took care of everything.
Ttang! Ttang! Ttang!
‘Isn’t this really easy?’
Grid admired it. So far, he had been making items manually and had too many things to worry about—starting from controlling the temperature of the fire and the quality of the hammering to the timing of the quenching and trying to maintain the specifications of the items. He had spent hours or days making an item, exhausting his body and his mind.
This all changed now that he could automatically make an item. Grid didn’t need to worry about anything. He saved a lot of mental power because his body made the items for him.
‘Wow, shit. The other blacksmiths live such a sweet life...?’
He was relaxed. This method was too easy. His body was moving hard, but it felt like he was slacking.
‘Can this help me?’
Grid’s only talent was hard work. He believed that other people would catch up with him as soon as he stopped trying.
Grid had some room for relaxation and decided to use this. He entered an area completely separated from his body that was making an item.
‘I’m going to practice triple casting.’
It was an option attached to the myth rated Belial’s Staff—an overpowered option which allowed him to cast three spells at the same time. He could cast three spells in the time it took other people to cast one.
‘It is a complete scam.’
Still, there was one problem. For triple casting, he had to think of three magic spells at the same time. For instance, if he wanted to triple cast Magic Missile, Wind Cutter, and Fireball, he had to remember the three names of ‘Magic Missile, Wind Cutter, and Fireball’ in his mind at the same time. It was a naturally difficult task.
‘I was fortunate enough to succeed with double casting, but triple isn’t an area where I can succeed with luck.’
Grab a random person and have them try it. No, if people were asked to recall three names of their favorite celebrities in their heads at the same time, how many would succeed? Grid bet that 100 out of 100 would fail. As such, Grid judged that triple casting was an area he had to train. He wouldn’t be proficient unless he practiced it over and over.
‘Magic Missile, Fireball, Bean Cup... Magic Missile, Bireee, Wind... Magic Missile, Pire...! Damn!’
Ttang! Ttang! Ttang!
His body moved by itself to make items while he constantly repeated these names in his head. His thoughts kept on getting ruined, making Grid totally frustrated. Sweat flowed down his body, and he was annoyed and nervous to the point of tears.
‘Magic Missile, Fireball, Wind… Magic... Fire... Wind...’
However, he continued to practice without giving up. No matter what he felt, he repeated it again and again. It was something he knew he couldn’t achieve overnight, so he tried to persevere without becoming nervous.
“Yes, the Murray Kingdom’s king...”
In the vast agriculture fields, Piaro and Singuled sat beside each other and had a conversation. Piaro was deeply grateful to the Murray king for helping Singuled, while Singuled had mixed feelings after learning the truth behind Asmophel’s betrayal of the Red Knights.
“Still... I can’t forgive Asmophel.” Singuled still remembered that time vividly. The families being captured and executed... The traitor Asmophel who pointed a sword at Singuled and his colleagues... The hellish scenes never left his mind. It was a nightmare that repeated every night.
He would stab a blade into the hearts of Asmophel and the emperor. This had been Singuled’s desire for the last 12 years. Despite finding out the truth, Singuled couldn’t forgive Asmophel.
“I’m not telling you to forgive him.” Piaro placed his hand on the shoulder of the angry, confused, agitated, and pained Singuled. “Asmophel doesn’t want to be forgiven either. However, you need to know. The fact is that the empress was behind Asmophel. She is our true enemy.”
“Asmophel’s fate will be decided after getting revenge on the empress.”
“...Yes, I understand.”
The wind blew. The golden wheat fields swayed like a wave while the leaves of the rainbow potato plants fluttered, luring the birds in. A hawk descended from the sky and grabbed a leaf of a rainbow potato before flying up again.
‘Piaro...’ Red Sage Haster was watching Piaro. The great swordsman who boasted one of the best swordsmanship, the pillar who was loved and respected by the emperor and people of the empire…
Piaro—the greatest person whom his master Winfred kept praising—made Haster nervous.
‘He was more active in the Belial raid than Grid.’
As an NPC who grew steadily, wouldn’t he be stronger than Grid’s clone? Haster’s mind and body heated up. Haster was looking forward to the learning opportunities and rewards he could gain from having a confrontation with a powerhouse.
‘I will experience a breakthrough if I confront the Red Knights. I can grow to a level comparable to Grid’s before the National Competition.’
If he lost, he could just challenge Piaro again.
‘Thus, let’s get started.’
Haster stepped forward in order to ask Piaro for a duel. The moment Haster was about to reach where Piaro was sitting...
“Hey, why are you stepping on a bud?” A farmer sitting in a corner of the field grabbed Haster’s ankle.
“...?” Haster stopped walking and looked down. He realized that he was about to step on a blue leaf. “I’m sorry.”
Haster was a professional gamer and believed there was no status distinction between different occupations. Additionally, he wasn’t biased against NPCs because he had been with his mentor Winfred for so long. He apologized politely even though the other person was an NPC farmer. Haster bowed and stepped back.
“What? You’re stepping on it again?” The farmer spoke once again. Haster quickly moved his feet.
The farmer was already angry though. “No, why are you here in the first place? Why is an outsider hiding in these fields? Are you a mole sent by the empire?”
The farmer who growled and removed his straw hat wasn’t an NPC but a player. His ID was Hurent. Haster knew this person. ‘Aura Master?’
Why was Hurent—the one digit ranker who suddenly disappeared many years ago—working in the fields here? Hurent glared suspiciously at the baffled Haster. “You are a spy, right? You were approaching Piaro like a rat. Are you an assassin sent to hurt Piaro?”
“No, why are you making unreasonable assumptions? I am trying to request for a duel, not assassinate him...”
“What? A duel? Who are you? Haster? Do you think Piaro is free enough to deal with trash like you?”
“...Trash? Haven’t you heard my name before?”
“Do I have to listen to this a second time?”
Haster was one of the best pro gamers in history. This was Haster’s pride. He believed that anyone who liked playing games should know his face and name. However, Hurent didn’t know Haster, and this caused Haster’s pride to crack like broken glass. Hurent swallowed the potato and attacked Haster, firmly mistaking Haster for an enemy.
Haster didn’t feel the need to clear up the misunderstanding. “First, I have to teach you manners.”
“An assassin who sneaks onto other people’s fields wants to talk about manners?” The person saying this was Hurent, who had led an army to invade the Overgeared Kingdom. Haster’s patience reached its limit. The vein on his temple pulsed as he pulled out his sword. This was the moment when one of the Five Miracles and the person with the power to defeat Kraugel emerged in the world in earnest.
However, his opponent wasn’t simple. Hurent had been a Sword Saint candidate, could freely manipulate aura, and had been trained by Piaro over the years. He was someone who had been chosen by Piaro.
“...?!” Haster was hit by a sokuri and felt a dizzying pain. (TL: Sokuri = Woven basket used to strain washed grains, dry vegetables or drain fried food in Korea)
The sokuri was too light and flew off without a sound. A chill went down Haster’s spine at the unpredictable trajectories and unexpected destructive force.
“You are the same as us....!”
“Who is us? Aura Snake!”
The fields shook. Far away, Piaro was laughing heartily. “That Hurent, he wants to increase his workload tomorrow. He is a model farmer.”