‘What is this...?’
‘He actually appeared at this critical timing?’
Haster and Hurent each had a plausible plan. Haster was planning to deal the final blow to the exhausted Hurent, while Hurent planned to fight back using the ‘Developing into a Legend’ title. Yes, both of them were aiming for victory. They had no doubt that they were in a position to win. At this time, the uninvited guest named Grid appeared, rendering their plans useless.
‘I can’t help thinking that he aimed for this.’ Haster missed his chance to win because of Grid and started to feel doubtful. How could Grid emerge at this exquisite timing? There was only one truth.
‘He emerged on purpose. That’s for sure,’ Haster thought this.
He was the strongest talent who could see through other people and felt a sense of alarm from Grid.
‘Grid was guarding against me. He must’ve received my location from Asmophel and has been monitoring me.’
It seemed that Grid was worried that Haster would go one step further by defeating Aura Master Hurent, which was why he had appeared when Haster was on the verge of victory.
‘This is a method of someone who keeps the highest position. It is truly scary...’
Haster got a grasp of the situation thanks to his reasonable (?) line of thought. Meanwhile, Hurent was disturbed by the situation. ‘Grid knew about me?’
Hurent was reminded that Piaro served Grid. It was likely that Piaro reported many things to Grid.
‘That’s right. Grid must’ve known that I’ve been a farmer in the Overgeared Kingdom for many years.’
In the first place, the Overgeared Kingdom belonged to Grid. There was little chance that Grid didn’t know what was happening in his country. He had even known that Haster and Hurent were fighting right now. Hurent got a strange feeling.
‘Grid, are you angry at your fields being ruined?’
In other words...
‘It means that he respects my hard work in the fields under Piaro... This polite attitude is a means of showing respect.’
Hurent’s heart thumped. Originally, Hurent had possessed no good feelings toward Grid. It was natural. He was an American, yet Grid had knocked him down in only five seconds. Due to Grid, Hurent—one of the strongest rankers in the world—had lost his reputation and went on wandering around for a long time. There had been times when he became depressed as he thought about how his life had been ruined by Grid. Hurent held a grudge against Grid and wanted to beat him someday.
Yet, at this moment, Hurent realized that those emotions were useless. Why?
‘Grid clearly knows that I am working in the Overgeared Kingdom... He knew that I would mature and look for him... Rather than kick me out, he has been watching me silently. Then when I experienced a crisis, he rushed to help...’
Grid didn’t dwell on the past.
‘The current Grid... How wide is your heart?’
Grid was definitely a person with a big heart. After all, there was a reason why Piaro served Grid. Enlightened, Hurent became ashamed of himself for being obsessed with the past. He wanted to beat Grid? Was this why Grid hadn’t appeared in front of him for the past few years?
Yes, Grid knew the truth. He had to know that Hurent had led the soldiers of the Eternal Kingdom to invade Reidan. Grid knew everything, yet he forgave Hurent. He just watched silently because he forgave Hurent. Then the moment when the fields got damaged like this, Grid ran over on his behalf. Despite this, Hurent was still obsessed with the past and wanted to get revenge on Grid...?
‘Pathetic.’ Hurent felt he was egotistic and selfish. ‘If Grid’s heart is like the sea, my heart is like a well. I am truly a small person.’
Hurent saw the entire truth. He was ashamed of himself and respected Grid. In the meantime, it had been silent for a while.
“So, who will pay the compensation?” Grid asked another question. His fields had been damaged due to a personal fight between outsiders! Grid couldn’t overlook it as the king of the Overgeared Kingdom. He knew the value of the blood and sweat that the farmers had shed.
‘I don’t know why Hurent is here or who Haster is.’
Grid didn’t wonder why they were fighting in his territory or why Piaro didn’t stop their fight despite being nearby. These were also secondary problems. There was an order to everything. Grid decided that the first thing to handle was the compensation issue.
“Of course, he will reimburse you.” Hurent pointed at Haster. “He is the one who damaged your field.”
“Hrmm...” Grid was slightly upset after hearing Hurent’s words. Grid definitely remembered Hurent. They had met in the past during the 1st National Competition. Hurent was the best American player who made him taste bitterness during the target processing event.
Despite having defeated Hurent in five seconds, Grid never belittled him. Grid was well aware of Hurent’s strength. What if Hurent had known about Pagma’s Swordsmanship, Restraint? Grid wouldn’t have been able to win so easily. At present, Grid vividly remembered Hurent’s insight. It had blocked Grid’s swordsmanship and the power of his aura, which dealt fixed damage regardless of target’s defense. The first time they met, Hurent had treated Grid like he was a child.
‘Now he is acting politely to me...’ Grid noticed that this was the power of etiquette. He acted politely first, so the older person had to be polite back. Grid felt proud.
Haster blushed. “I ruined the fields? Just because I stepped on two buds?”
That’s right. Hurent was the reason why the fields were damaged. He had misunderstood Haster and started a duel. Yet he was now holding Haster responsible? Haster felt wronged. He strongly rejected Hurent’s claim, “Hey Grid. Try acting like a man. I’ve already noticed your intentions. Didn’t you create this situation intentionally?”
Grid frowned at Haster’s shout. ‘This man continues to talk down to me.’
Haster was the opposite of the polite Hurent! Grid’s first impression of Haster was the worst. Hurent bowed and spoke using polite speech while Haster spoke nonsense. At this point, Hurent seemed like a great gentleman.
“Sigh... Yes... I’ll get the compensation from you,” Grid said. It was an extremely personal decision! Grid saw that Haster was the cause of the destruction and demanded an apology and compensation from him. “Haster? Be sure to reimburse me for invading the kingdom, making a disturbance, and causing material damage. Apologize to the farmers who have been working hard.”
“...You are still keeping up the pretense.” Haster’s convictions deepened. Now he was sure that he had fallen into a trap.
‘Yes, this was his plan from the beginning.’
Why else would the Aura Master be pretending to be a farmer? Wasn’t this the Overgeared Kingdom? There were no coincidences in this world. Haster believed that Hurent disguising as a farmer and then fighting him had all been planned out thoroughly. He thought that Hurent was a member of the Overgeared Guild who acted upon Grid’s orders.
‘It is to keep me in check and examine my skills...’
Grid tested Haster without even raising a hand. Was this the so-called power of a king?
Haster was shocked by the power of Overgeared King Grid and took a step back. “Okay. Grid, I understand you now. I have learned that accompanying Asmophel is poisonous, so I will do my class quests on my own in the future.”
What was Haster saying? Why did he mention Asmophel’s name all of a sudden? Grid was bewildered. Haster jumped as hard as he could and kicked the air several times. It was close to acrobatics. Every time Haster kicked the air, his body propelled one meter forward.
“What?” Was Haster trying to escape paying compensation? Grid frowned and shouted, “Arrest him!”
Who was he giving the order to? Haster let out a ridiculing scoff in the air. He had already escaped the range of Grid and Hurent, and there were only farmers in the fields. The knights and soldiers of the Overgeared Kingdom weren’t present. Who could capture him?
‘Grid, I have been hit by you many times. I won’t lose my wariness again.’
He would show Grid that he wouldn’t bow down no matter what means and methods were used to contain him. Instead, he would grow and see the throne. Haster vowed this.
Then two pillars of fire rose and caused an explosion. It was the continuous manifestation of top fire magic. This was deadly for Haster, who had already received great damage from his battle with Hurent.
‘Kuk...! Who is it?’
There was a slight time difference between the two Fire Walls. Thanks to this, he got the chance to use Heroic Story. If he had been hit by the two Fire Walls at the same time, he would’ve died. Haster turned his eyes toward the direction the Fire Walls came from.
“Gulp. Huh, he’s fine?”
“I am still lacking. My magic power is weak.”
The people speaking were farmers who were eating boiled potatoes.
‘This is ridiculous!’ Haster denied reality. The two high-level magic spells that threatened to kill him were cast by them? He couldn’t understand it at all.
‘In the end, they are like Hurent...’
Grid had disguised the powerhouses of his guild as farmers. Haster’s heart thumped as he ran away.
‘Grid, how far ahead did you look? What do you want to do after grabbing me like this?’
Grid was definitely a different existence from Kraugel. The combination of power, status, and insanity made Grid a difficult opponent. Fear settled deep in Haster’s mind.
“...” Grid felt a heavy sense of burden. It was due to Hurent, not Haster escaping. The man, who was at least 40 years old, was staring at Grid with sparkling eyes. Grid found it difficult to understand and felt uncomfortable.