From the first time Grid met him, Braham had already been in an incomplete state. He had lost his life and his physical body, with only his soul still surviving. Braham hated the god who had cursed his mother, and he cursed the friend who had betrayed him. His fragmented soul burned with the fire of rage.
Nevertheless, Braham wasn’t insignificant. He was a flame that could never be put out. His soul fragments had endless power and courage, all of which evoked Grid’s reverence. Braham had been able to exist in this world despite his imperfect form. This absolute figure was the legendary great magician, Braham.
Now, a few years had passed, and the Braham whom Grid met was different. Braham’s soul fragments were weak and shabby. They seemed like flames that were about to go out. Braham didn’t burn anymore. His smaller soul pieces looked like ashes left behind after death.
He had forced Grid to submit, seen the whole world, and dominated the Red Sea with one spell. Yet the dignity of this legendary great magician had disappeared for no reason. Why—
“...Why did you leave me?” Grid’s smiling and crying face crumpled. Now he was only crying. He even felt angry. “You look so shabby.”
Braham’s strength was weak.
“If you were going to wander like this...”
He should’ve at least regained his body.
“Why did you leave?” Grid repeated the same question as he suppressed his rising anger. He couldn’t forget the day he had separated from Braham.
I have gathered all my strength and will leave.
You were just a vessel I needed temporarily while gathering my strength.
It is easy to part because we merely had a contractual relationship.
Braham had left after saying these words.
“It was bullshit that you had gathered all your strength.”
Braham had actually become weaker.
“What damn vessel?”
He loved Grid.
“It’s easy, my ass.”
Now that they had met again, Grid discovered Braham had missed him after parting. In the end, Grid was unable to repress his emotions and shouted, “You what? Why did you lie to me and leave me? Why did you suffer alone? Tell me! Tell me!!!”
[The unknown light is expressing doubt.]
-What’s wrong with you? Why did your mind become so strange?
“Is that all you have to say to me?” Grid was the idiot who was angry and cried alone. He was upset that Braham trivialized him instead of answering the question. Funnily enough, it was this that made him regain his calm and suppress his surging emotions.
Braham spoke lightly, -There is no need for a long explanation. Things were different from what I expected. That’s all.
It was a lie. Braham had known from the outset that he would fail. The amount of magic power he had recovered while staying inside Grid hadn’t met the amount required for resurrection. Braham had known his soul would collapse the moment he left Grid.
Yet he still left. It was because he had known Grid would suffer greatly if he stayed on with Grid. Of course, Braham didn’t speak the truth. He didn’t want to place a rock in Grid’s heart. Instead, Braham changed the topic, -By the way, why haven’t you changed in three years? You are still so weak. It’s pathetic.
During the separation from Braham, Grid had made rapid progress. He had absorbed the power of the direct vampire descendants, gained the great demon Astaroth’s strength, acquired the light elemental, and improved his blacksmithing skill to the limit. Grid was confident that he had grown significantly.
However, Braham ridiculed him. After all, Braham saw all vampires as insignificant beings, except for his mother and Marie Rose. He also knew that Astaroth had lost his body to Muller hundreds of years ago and that his power had been halved. As for the light elemental...? Putting aside the rating, it was a young being that had just been born. It wasn’t worth evaluating yet.
-The magic formulas I gave you are still sealed. How stupid are you to not unseal a single formula in three years?
“Braham,” Grid called out to Braham, who kept speaking harsh words.
Grid was able to completely calm down after watching Braham pretend to be cold. The soul fragments in the sky looked at Grid.
“You’re right. I am weak.”
It was true. Grid was confident in his strength, but this was only against other players.
The ‘world’ that Grid saw was far beyond the other players. That’s why...
“I need you. Come back to me.”
Grid was completely honest. This was his desperate wish.
[The unknown light is silent.]
“Let’s be together again. There are many things I want to learn from you.”
[The unknown light is silent.]
“You don’t want to? Okay, I’ll concede. You don’t need to teach me anything. Don’t do anything. Just stay with me.”
Grid showed no signs of pretenses. He didn’t covet Braham’s knowledge and magic or the hidden quests the great magician might generate. Grid just didn’t want a second Khan. He didn’t want Braham to die in solitude and pain. Instead, he wanted to support the weakened Braham.
“Use me as a vessel. I will lend you my body until the time you restore your strength. You can leave again the moment your strength is fully recovered.”
[The unknown light is shaking.]
[The unknown light tries to stop his shaking.]
[The unknown light doesn’t want to get caught up in your emotions.]
[The unknown light is shaking strongly.]
[The unknown light can’t endure it.]
-...I will bother you.
-Lich Mumud is strong, and some of his restraints will be lifted when he meets me.
-The master of Mumud is under the protection of Great Demon Baal. He may be young right now but someday the world will revolve around him.
-You will continue experiencing a crisis if you are with me and eventually, you won’t be able to resist the crisis.
These were the words which had been buried deeply in Braham’s heart when he decided to leave Grid a few years ago. Braham released these desperate words. Yet Grid wasn’t unsettled at all.
“I will become stronger.”
Grid’s eyes didn’t shake.
“I will become strong enough to defend you.”
He had no intention of hiding his feelings.
“A crisis that I can’t resist? There won’t be one.”
This was the reason Grid had been working so hard. The reason why he kept wanting to work in the future.
“I will protect my family and friends.”
His wish was to protect his precious ones. Grid—who used to only pursue individual profits—changed, changed, and changed again after going through many incidents. He wasn’t satisfied with becoming rich, a celebrity, or a hero. Instead, he was constantly working.
This was why Grid could say it clearly, “I have been happy for a long time. I’ve been happy since the moment I left the life where I was lacking, weak, and despised. It started from the moment I could eat the food I wanted... I felt happiness from the moment I made friends who liked me.”
“I want to share this happiness with my precious people. I want to share the happiness I am feeling with the people who are important to me.”
Grid looked at the stars. They were small lights the size of pebbles. The dozens of dim lights all stared at Grid.
“You are one of them.”
Grid knew Braham. He knew about the curse Braham had received and the pain he had suffered. Braham actually felt deeply distressed at turning his back on his brothers and betraying his disciple. Grid knew all of this. Braham hadn’t had a chance to rectify his regrets as he had been betrayed by a friend and killed.
Consequently, Grid wanted to offer Braham a new life—a blessed life. He wanted to pay back the countless things he had received from Braham.
“Braham, trust me and be with me,” Grid reached out.
[The unknown light is silent.]
[The unknown light tells the truth.]
-I am weak.
-I can’t give you any help.
-I am a burden and poison to you.
[Yet the unknown light still wants to be with you.]
-...Is it still okay for me to be with you?
Grid lit up. “It’s great.”
The dozens of light fragments started to enter Grid’s body, and a thread of fate tied Grid’s and Braham’s souls together. Then a notification window popped up.
[The Soul of a Great Magician Who Lost his Power has been acquired.]
[The second class ‘Great Magician’ will be changed to ‘Duke of Wisdom’.]
[You have obtained a legendary rated second class twice in a row!]
[The number of additional stat points you gain for each level has increased from 2 to 4.]
[Every time your level rises, half of the stat points acquired will be invested in intelligence.]
[The Soul of a Great Magician Who Lost his Power is currently in a ‘disabled’ state.]
[You can’t learn any new spells in the current state.]
[You can’t use Assimilation in the current state.]
[The Soul of a Great Magician Who Lost his Power will recover with every year that passes or whenever your intelligence rises by 1,000.]
[The Soul of a Great Magician Who Lost his Power is divided into the five states of ‘disabled’, ‘weakened’, ‘improved’, ‘recovering’, and ‘complete.’ It is important to note that something special will happen in the ‘recovering’ and ‘complete’ states.]
[The skill Magic Contemplation is created.]
[Magic Contemplation Lv. 1]
The knowledge and wisdom of the Duke of Wisdom will penetrate through the providence of all magic.
* Deciphers the magic used by the enemy. There is a 50% chance of breaking down the magic and a 4% chance of replicating the magic.
* Deciphers the magic used by an ally, and there is a 30% chance of strengthening it.
* This effect is applied to magic of all attributes.
* It isn’t yet possible to contemplate multiple spells at once.
Magic Resource Consumption: None.
Cooldown Time: 3 seconds.]
This wasn’t what Grid wanted. He wanted to be helpful to Braham, not receive something from him. However, Grid was honestly happy with the new power. In fact, he was filled with admiration.
‘How strong was Braham during his active days?’
Then Braham’s voice entered the ears of the open-mouthed Grid. It was a precursor for a quest.
-Pagma was wary of me to the last minute.
[A hidden quest has occurred!]
-He placed my body in ice and hid it somewhere here so that I can’t even approach without the password. Grid, I must reclaim my body one day. I want to make sure it is safe.
[★ Hidden Quest ★
Braham is frustrated that Pagma is tormenting him even after death.
Braham is dreaming of resurrection and wants to make sure his body is intact.
Quest Clear Conditions: Find Braham’s body.
Quest Clear Reward: Braham’s affinity +30.]
[Your affinity with Braham has already surpassed the maximum.]
[The quest clear reward has changed.]
[Quest Clear Reward: Intelligence +50. A linked hidden quest.]
Should Grid talk about it? It might be better to tell Braham in advance. Grid agonized over the contents of the quest before carefully opening his mouth, “Braham, Pagma regretted betraying you.”
“After realizing that the one who incited the great demons to invade the world was a god, he realized the act of distinguishing between good and evil was meaningless and regretted what he had done to you. He felt sick to the extent of shedding tears. The reason he placed your body in ice and hid it wasn’t because he was wary of you and wanted to torment you. Rather, it was to protect your body...”
-Shut up. I’m not using you as a vessel to listen to such bullshit.
Braham’s voice shook Grid. The huge confusion that Braham felt was passed on to Grid. Grid sensed it. A new story would start the moment he broke through the traps of regret and hatred that bound the two legends. There was only one person in this world who could start the story, and it was Pagma's Descendant and Braham’s friend. It was Grid.
Grid decided to take it step by step rather than acting hastily. Then his eyes shone with a blue light. The Sword Grave entered his field of view, and the 4,179 swords started to dig into his eyes. Pagma...? No, was it someone else?
There was only one among the 4,179 swords that responded to Grid. It was an ego sword. The sword was highly reminiscent to the Rebecca Church’s treasure, the First Holy Sword.
Grid got goosebumps. The ego embedded in the holy sword must surely be a saint, and among Pagma’s old friends, one of them was a pope. At this point, Grid was afraid of Pagma.