At the Sword Grave, the word ‘grave’ had two meanings. It contained the works which Pagma had produced in his later years, and it was also Braham’s grave. The Sword Grave was a place with a deep connection to two former legends. It was likely to be one of the most significant places for Satisfy’s worldview, and therefore, Skunk’s Expedition Group were obsessed with the Sword Grave.
The moment they uncovered the mystery of the Sword Grave would be equivalent to when they uncovered the main Yatan Temple. No, maybe they could get even greater fame and riches for the Sword Grave. Skunk wanted to buy his own plane to travel around the world, Dog Woman wanted medical facilities that could prolong her terminally ill brother’s life, and Crocodile wanted to display more than 10 supercars in her garage.
Yes. Skunk’s Expedition Group had invested a year in the Sword Grave.
...And this would have continued until an uninvited guest appeared.
The person wore a crown on black hair and had a high nose. He had eyes as fierce as a bird of prey, and he had a muscular body that couldn’t be hidden with armor and a cloak. The Skunk Expedition Group felt hatred for him when they saw the uninvited guest and confirmed the ID above his head. Meanwhile, Grid cocked his head. “You are...?”
Players unrelated to Pagma's Descendant shouldn’t know about the existence of the Sword Grave, let alone its location. Grid felt suspicious about the group of people who had arrived at the Sword Grave one step ahead of him.
“Were you chasing after me?” Grid’s eyes narrowed with suspicion.
“No. Isn’t that impossible? Our encounter should be a coincidence,” Skunk responded quickly. He didn’t want the past year to be wasted, so Skunk didn’t have a stupid idea in mind like blocking Grid. If Skunk were a fool, he wouldn’t have become the leader of a group or the representative of his class.
Skunk sighed because of his heavy thoughts and struggled to relax his stiff facial muscles. He had a really bright smile as he faced Grid. It was a smile that might make someone misunderstand that he was Grid’s fan.
“Grid, it is an honor to coincidentally meet you here. I am the 1st ranked explorer, Skunk. It is a humble name, but... perhaps you’ve heard of it?”
“Skunk? Ah.” Grid couldn’t forget this name. It was a name that reminded him of farts, so it wasn’t easy to forget. He remembered that he had met Skunk at the Yatan Temple the first time Braham used Assimilation.
“I’m aware. You found the location of the main Yatan Church and made the news for a while.”
“I’m honored that you know me.” Skunk smiled, but he was inwardly surprised. Wasn’t Grid someone who talked nonsense and acted arrogantly in public? Why was he showing a polite attitude in a private place where he didn’t need to be aware of the eyes of others?
‘It can’t be because he is good-natured...’ Skunk was analyzing the situation from a negative perspective. Grid was the ruler of a kingdom. The level of his intelligence network was different from that of ordinary players. Depending on his choice and selection, it was possible for Grid to grasp the current status of the Skunk Expedition Group.
Thus, Skunk concluded that Grid must’ve been watching the Skunk Expedition Group for a long time and waited for them to dig out the secrets of the Sword Grave on his behalf. The Sword Grave was a special place to Grid. Naturally, he would have been paying attention to it. So, he took advantage of them completely...
‘He is using honorifics because he feels sorry for me.’
Skunk was stupid. He was aiming for a place related to Pagma, so he should’ve been alert to Grid. Yet he had been thinking about doing business with Grid without knowing the reality. This cost him.
“...Um.” Skunk found it harder to manage his facial expressions. He felt sorry for his colleagues, but he was also afraid of the wicked eyes in front of him. There was no place for Skunk to look. However, Skunk gathered his strength. He knew what he had to do. The eyes that had been flitting about in all directions calmed down, and he bowed deeply to Grid. “I’m sorry.”
It was an apology filled with various meanings. One meaning was that Skunk was sorry for trying to preempt Grid’s quest. He also felt sorry for pretending it was a coincidental meeting. The other people were upset by Skunk’s actions though. Skunk’s colleagues and even Grid didn’t know what was going on.
“Skunk! What are you going all of a sudden?”
“Why randomly apologize?”
The Skunk Expedition Group started to cry out. Then Dog Woman quickly realized what Skunk was doing and told her companions to be quiet. On the other hand, Grid was alone. It was very difficult for him to judge the situation. “I don’t know why you are apologizing to me.”
Upon hearing Grid’s words, Skunk’s heart sank. ‘He isn’t willing to forgive me.’
Skunk once again redefined the Grid that he knew. Grid was the ambitious person who married a high-ranking noble of the Eternal Kingdom in the West Continent, building up enough personal and political power to swallow the kingdom as a whole. He had set up his follower, Damian, as the pope and then manipulated him. After obtaining many NPCs using his power as a king, Grid had been cold-blooded enough to use an NPC as a shield in the Great Demon Belial raid. He was also the opportunist who had used the death of an NPC as an excuse to wipe out Immortal. Additionally, he had been the first to try using ‘diplomacy’ with the empire, but he wasn’t satisfied with making Yura and Jishuka his women. It was hard to measure him.
Grid was vicious, sneaky, oppressive, and clever. From the beginning, it had been unreasonable to hope for mercy from such a fearsome man.
“I see. Is this your will?”
This was frustrating. It seemed impossible to be forgiven for the act of daring to break into Pagma’s Grave.
‘I don’t mind being punished. It is just that my colleagues are different.’ Skunk glanced at his colleagues who had nervous expressions. ‘I won’t be able to forgive myself if they get injured because of my carelessness.’
His colleagues had wasted a year, and now they had to lose their lives as well? He couldn’t allow it to happen. Skunk had been biting his lips anxiously, and now he raised his head.
Grid still wasn’t saying anything. It was an attitude that forced them to decide the punishment themselves. In the first place, Grid didn’t think much of the Skunk Expedition. They probably seemed like a group that was just playing around. It would be unproductive for Grid to directly choose the punishment for the Skunk Expedition Group.
Skunk spoke with a bitter smile, “I would like to speak honestly. My colleagues have figured out how to unlock the secrets here. They will all be a great help to you. Please, Grid. Please direct your anger only at me. Please show them mercy...”
“Skunk! Shut up!”
“Captain, why are you trying to take the responsibility alone? Have you forgotten there is only one Skunk Expedition Group?”
After Skunk’s words to Grid, the expedition members belatedly noticed the situation and screamed. They didn’t want their captain to sacrifice himself alone.
“If Grid is going to kill us, then it is better to die together!”
“Yes! Shit! I don’t know why we have to die in the first place!”
“Captain! Don’t try to take on everything alone!”
They yelled in an agitated manner at Skunk and without knowing it, they all turned toward Grid. Skunk was the same. Grid turned away from the Skunk Expedition Group without saying anything. It seemed to be an attitude that meant forgiveness.
I didn’t see you today.
I’m not seeing you right now.
It will be as if nothing happened.
I will forget today.
Grid seemed to be saying this as he stared at the stars floating in the sky. Skunk was overwhelmed with feelings. ‘I misunderstood him.’
From Grid’s position, it was inevitable for him to dislike the Skunk Expedition Group. The Skunk Expedition Group had wanted to preempt the Sword Grave and then sell the treasure obtained inside it to Grid at an expensive price. Grid had obviously been watching, which was why Skunk discussed sin and punishment. However, Grid was showing them mercy. From Skunk’s perspective, Grid should be barely controlling the anger in his heart.
‘He has a heart as wide as the sea.’ Skunk was greatly shocked because he had analyzed Grid as a wicked person. With the benefit of hindsight, he realize that perhaps it was this meek and generous Grid who was the real Grid. Weren’t Chris, Faker, Pon, Regas, Damian, Yura, and Jishuka powerhouses? Would they have followed Grid for years if he were really a wicked person?
‘All of them know the real Grid.’
After realizing this, Skunk shivered and bowed deeply to Grid. “Thank you. I will never forget today’s grace.”
Skunk glanced at his party members. The Skunk Expedition Group glanced at Grid, who was staring at the stars, and moved to Skunk’s side. Then Skunk sent a friend request to Grid.
“With regard to the Sword Grave... No, please send me a whisper if you ever need my help in the future. I will surely help,” Skunk said these final words before departing with his colleagues. Even until the end, Grid didn’t look at them. Skunk looked back a few times, but Grid was silently staring at the stars.
‘He is a great person.’
It wouldn’t be strange for him to hold a grudge against the Skunk Expedition Group if he were anyone else. For Grid, the Skunk Expedition Group would be no different from robbers who tried to break into the grave of a teacher he admired. Yet he forgave them for everything.
“Overgeared King. The Overgeared Kingdom...” Skunk started to think of a new home.
Meanwhile, Grid had forgotten about the existence of the Skunk Expedition Group. He hadn’t heard Skunk’s voice in front of him. Right now, his five senses were focused on the stars.
[An unknown light was approaching you but stopped.]
[The unknown light claims to have never missed you.]
[The unknown light insists he has forgotten the days he spent with you. He says those days were insignificant and poor.]
[The unknown light doubts your quality as you are still weak.]
[The unknown light wanted to ask if you have been eating well but stopped.]
[The unknown light can’t endure it.]
-You’re still ugly. The voice that was transmitted to his brain was familiar to Grid, and he felt great to hear it. He had never forgotten this voice. Grid, who felt that the attitude of the unknown light was familiar, eventually shed tears.
“Aren’t you supposed to be a transcendent great magician? You are more like a dog magician,” Grid spat out with a frowning face.
He had noticed something. Why had Braham left him earlier than planned? How long had Braham been suffering after leaving Grid’s body? Grid could see everything from the soul fragments. Thus, his voice trembled because of his rising emotions as he said, “Really... I really wanted to see you, Braham.”
He didn’t know if he was laughing or crying. Grid smiled through his tears. Surrounding him, the soul fragments of Braham just shone quietly.