He knew the meaning of the word ‘worry’, but he was never worried about himself. After all, the purpose of his birth was clear. Ahead of him, there was a dimensional gate swirling with magic power.
There was no hesitation in the clone’s footsteps as he approached it. Baal’s voice rang out, -Poor being, the world beyond the door is the real hell. No one will welcome you. Only pain and solitude are waiting for you. Even so, do you still want to cross the gate?
“Reply. Do the great demons here welcome me?”
‘In the first place, I don’t know how to feel anything other than pain and solitude,’ the clone wanted to add. He didn’t say it for some reason though.
-At the very least, the great demons don’t hate you. They are just afraid.
“Meaningless. There is no Grid here.”
-Kuk... kukukuk! Yes, go. Show me what awaits at the end of your fleeting life that had only one purpose. I will enjoy the pain, loneliness, and despair that you will feel in the future.
The clone was already entering the dimensional gate. His body and vision spun as the endless universe spread out before him. Then he emerged in the sea—the Red Sea. The clone who arrived in the center of the world removed Blackening.
His sharp eyes which resembled Grid’s faced the western sky.
[You have suffered catastrophic damage!]
[A legend doesn’t die easily. You can resist all attacks for 5 seconds with a minimum of health.]
When the world’s first virtual reality game—Satisfy—was released a few years ago, Yura had been shocked to find infinite freedom and a vast worldview. She had no doubt that Satisfy would set deep roots in people’s lives at the level of replacing online games and social networks, and she predicted that Satisfy’s success would have a major worldwide impact. This was how she had started Satisfy.
Yura had set the goal of escaping from the confines of her family by becoming successful and recognized in Satisfy. Then she did it. She became one of the best rankers and a star beyond predictions. The whole world had enthusiastically thrown money at her, and she escaped from the image of a rich girl who happened to have good parents. Yura then became a walking company and was liberated from the bondage known as her parents. She gained a true sense of freedom and felt a full sense of pride.
There were two billion players in Satisfy. Yura had been able to realize how superior a talent she possessed when she was crowned the top five of a game that a quarter of humanity played. She had been confident that she could become a player with a unique place, not just the top five. However, it wasn’t that easy in reality.
Yura was a true genius. Yet she realized that in front of someone else, her talent which everyone praised was trivial and the amount of knowledge and experience she had been gaining was shameful. That someone else was Kraugel. It was then that Yura had sensed her limits. She realized that no matter how much effort she put in, she couldn’t go beyond the records of the real genius called Kraugel.
Nevertheless, she didn’t become frustrated. Satisfy was a game, not reality. She still had countless opportunities before her. Following that, Yura sought to evolve her class to jump over Kraugel. The first step was choosing to become Yatan’s Servant. She tried to narrow the difference in talent by establishing a better environment. The person she met in the process was Grid. At the time, Grid was just an unknown person, but he showed Yura a sense of disappointment and frustration. He shattered Yura’s pride, dreams, and hopes in a single blow.
‘It has been many years since then.’
Yura had gone on to become involved in all types of incidents and feel complicated emotions, leading to her changing her path several times. The result was that the legendary class, Demon Slayer, landed in her grasp, and she became confident that she was gradually narrowing the distance with Grid and Kraugel. However, she was mistaken.
“I-It is the power of items. I’m sorry.”
Grid’s attitude of rushing and apologizing to her created a new crack in Yura’s pride.
“You aren’t weak, I’m just overgeared... A-Are you okay?”
Grid was restless after knocking down Yura in a single blow. He was worried that she had experienced a great shock. It was a cautious attitude that he would never have shown if he recognized Yura as an equal. Had Grid comforted Kraugel like this after beating him? Had he shown pity? No. Currently, Grid was treating Yura like a weak lamb, not a competitor. From Yura’s point of view, it was a terrible attitude, since she was someone who dreamed of becoming his competitor.
“I know. I’m not weak.” Yura’s cheeks puffed up as she ignored Grid’s hand and got up. It was obviously a sulky appearance. This was a long way from her usual intellectual and cultured appearance. “I’m not agitated. Wasn’t it just an experiment? If it wasn’t an experiment, I would’ve used my defensive skills and wouldn’t have been knocked down in one blow. Don’t you know? I wouldn’t have been knocked down under normal circumstances!”
“Ah, t-that. That’s right.”
Was this woman showing her feelings? It was an unfamiliar and exciting sight for Grid, who thought of Yura as a cliff flower living alone.
‘She looks younger.’
Yura was three years younger than Grid, but he often had the illusion of her being older due to how mature she acted. Grid once again thought Yura looked cute. His heart which was always nervous when facing the most beautiful woman in the world calmed down for the first time. He looked at Yura who rarely expressed her emotions and thought she was adorable.
The atmosphere between the two people wasn’t bad, causing Jishuka to twitch from where she was watching. “...That fox.”
-What are you doing here?
Grid suddenly received a confusing whisper. It was a whisper from Euphemina.
-Your Majesty, why are you in Juden?
No, what was this? Where was Juden?
“Ah...!” Grid had been feeling confused by Euphemina’s words when he suddenly shouted at Lauel, “Where is Juden?”
“It is the capital of the Murray Kingdom. The Murray Kingdom is a sea kingdom connected to the beginning of the Red Sea.”
“I think the clone has shown up there.”
All of a sudden...? Everyone felt surprised by the sudden development. Yura regained her cool and explained, “It is one of the paths between the ground and hell.”
Grid was already sending a whisper to Euphemina, -That isn’t me! It is the enemy! Get out of there right now!
The answer that he got in return was: -Sir Asmophel is already...
It was a series of unexpected appearances. Asmophel had shown up and caused her to miss the timing of a deal with Agnus, and now there was this. She couldn’t understand why Grid had personally come to this faraway country.
‘Sir Asmophel is on a mission to find and persuade the old Red Knights members.’
It was hard to see Grid working with Asmophel when he was busy as a high ranker and king. Grid’s appearance was likely to be separate from Asmophel’s mission. In fact, Asmophel was also shocked. “Y-Your Majesty? Why are you here?”
Grid didn’t reply to the confused Asmophel. He didn’t even look at Asmophel. In fact, Grid ignored all the attention focused on himself.
-What are you doing here? Your Majesty, why are you in Juden? She sent a whisper, but there was no answer.
Euphemina started to feel suspicious as Grid walked alone without speaking. The armor, boots, and weapons that Grid was armed with were both familiar and strange.
‘Aren’t they the items he used in the old days?’
They were even rusty like years of weathering had passed. It was strange that the blacksmith Grid would wear such shabby items and not repair them. Then she received a whisper, -That isn’t me! It is the enemy! Get out of there right now!
This Grid wasn’t Grid...? Euphemina’s eyes suddenly widened. It was because Asmophel had suddenly gotten up and stabbed Grid in the back.
“Who are you?” That’s right. Asmophel had detected it. He knew that this Grid wasn’t the real Grid. “An evil great demon who dares to copy His Majesty’s appearance... Ugh!” Asmophel—who was stabbing the clone in the back—was blown away, and he collapsed on the side of the street. The fist that flew at his face came from golden hands, the God Hands.
‘What is this?’
This Grid had old equipment and the God Hands? Euphemina’s confusion deepened, while Haster was intrigued after seeing Asmophel attack Grid. “It is highly likely this is a fake... but can’t I use it to measure Grid’s power?”
“Kik... kikik... I am busy...” Agnus left this place during the confusion.
“Who are you?”
“Drop your weapon now!”
The Murray knights and soldiers were on the move, unable to tolerate an unidentified person causing turmoil in their kingdom. They lined up in place of the already exhausted Singuled and pointed their spears and swords at Grid.
“Pagma’s Swordsmanship, Wave.”
The clone used the sword dance that symbolized the Overgeared King and massacred the soldiers. No, he tried to kill them. The sword energy that flowed out in all directions was blocked by dozens of golden shields. The identity of these shields was a spell, and the person who cast the spell was a young girl standing on the roof.
“Don’t act up. I can’t allow you to damage Grid’s reputation.”
The clone’s aggro was attracted by Euphemina. He jumped up and aimed his sword at her, while she blocked him with skills she duplicated. A spectacular confrontation beyond the battle between Singuled and Asmophel began to unfold.