‘Is it the 5th pope...? No, it can’t be. That’s impossible.’
5th Pope Franz—he was said to be close to Pagma and the true master of the Holy Light set. It wasn’t a false history. Pagma was the maker of the Holy Light set. Furthermore, Pagma had sealed the Rebecca Church’s three artifacts as a favor to Franz. The relationship between the two men was likely to be deeper than what was known.
‘I can’t seal the soul of a close friend into a sword unless I am crazy...’
Grid shook his head to dispel such absurd suspicions. Pagma had a history of killing a friend called Braham. It didn’t make sense to place him in the category of an ordinary person.
“Are you Pope Franz?” Grid questioned. He was hoping for an answer, no matter how unlikely it was. Grid hoped that Pagma wasn’t as bad as he imagined. Unfortunately, the holy sword’s answer was ‘YES.’
-I’m surprised that you can guess who I am. You are truly a person associated with Pagma. You must be very familiar with Pagma. You can use Pagma’s power, right?
The voice of the holy sword was clear and bright. The expression ‘youthful’ was appropriate to describe it. Grid got goosebumps for many reasons. Pagma was cruel enough to imprison his friend’s soul in a cold sword. Meanwhile, Pope Franz retained his bright personality despite having been trapped in a sword for hundreds of years.
‘It seems to be the area of personality rather than mental power.’
Was he an infinitely positive person?
The holy sword questioned the stiff Grid, -Did you visit here because of Braham’s soul that you are harboring?
“Can you feel Braham’s soul?”
-At first, I couldn’t detect his magic power. I didn’t think that a soul could radiate such arrogant energy.
The holy sword seemed to be smiling. The present situation was pleasant.
“Is that why you are guarding this place?”
-You guessed correctly. I am guarding Braham’s body, which is preserved in the glacier dungeon under the Sword Grave.
At this moment, Braham’s thunderous voice rang through Grid’s mind, -The dog of Rebecca is trying to control my body, which is in his hands!
‘Calm down, Braham. Didn’t he say he was guarding it?’
-Guarding it from me! It is to prevent me from getting back my body! That Pagma who is eviler than a great demon—he is bothering me even after death!
Braham’s anger and anxiety were too strong. His soul fragment was small and weak and couldn’t afford the pressure from his emotions. It was dangerous. Grid decided to speed up with the quest in order to calm Braham down. He moved closer to the sword. The information of the holy sword was analyzed using Pagma’s Eyes.
[Sword Guarding the Grave]
Durability: ??? Attack Power: 8,395
Divine Power: ??? Defense: 2,029
* A legendary-grade ego is nestled inside.
* The passive skill ‘Pope Who Lost Faith’ has been generated.
It is a work left by the legendary blacksmith Pagma in his last years. It is a treasure that will be remembered in hundreds, even thousands, of years.
The Sword Guarding the Grave is imprinted with the ego of 5th Pope Franz and exercises his own will.
* Unavailable item.]
‘Pagma’s last years...’
The pieces left behind by Pagma varied depending on the time of production. Pagma’s earlier works were less complete than Grid’s works while Pagma’s works from his middle years were more or less equal to Grid’s, and the works of the Pagma’s latter years were far beyond Grid’s. It was the power of experience and age. The works were at a height that Grid would reach eventually since he was acknowledged by God Hexetia.
“Please guide me to Braham’s body,” Grid asked politely. He didn’t know when Franz had become a sword—if he was forced by Pagma and how many years he had been like this. Grid had many things he wanted to ask, but he first had to find Braham’s body.
Unexpectedly, the holy sword was uncooperative. -Isn’t my role guarding the glacier dungeon from invaders? How can I just let you in?
“Invader?” Grid was upset.
Didn’t the holy sword know that Grid was related to Pagma and that he had Braham’s soul? Why was he treating Grid as an invader and stopping him from entering? Grid frowned and proudly introduced himself, “I’m the one who inherited Pagma’s skill, and I’m protecting Braham’s soul. Why are you treating me as an invader? Aren’t I the only one eligible to enter the glacier dungeon?”
-You have inherited Pagma’s skill, but that doesn’t mean you have his will. It is also unknown if you are protecting Braham’s soul or holding it captive.
[A new hidden quest has occurred!]
[★ Hidden Quest ★
Pass the test of the Sword Guarding the Grave!
Quest Clear Conditions: Pass the test.
Quest Reward: Qualification to enter the glacier dungeon.]
It was a sword with over 8,000 attack power—a work that was produced by Pagma in his later years and had the soul of a former pope imprinted in it. Was it possible to fight against this fearsome sword when the fraudulent effects couldn’t even be seen?
‘Still, I have to fight.’ Grid gulped and pulled out the Enlightenment Sword.
-Now I will give the first question! What was Pagma’s cause?
“...Eh? W-World peace?”
-Ding dong daeng! That is the correct answer!
-The second question! What idea did Pagma consider most important?
“H-Humanitarian ideal of using blacksmithing to benefit other people?”
-Ding dong daeng! That is the correct answer! Then this is the third question. What is Braham’s identity?
‘Braham’s identity…’ Grid’s dumbfounded eyes calmed down at this question. He replied in a voice that was as deep as the look in his eyes, “He was a vampire, a human, and a legendary great magician. He was a man who was praised as the Duke of Wisdom despite not reaching the truth.”
“He was a man who hated Yatan, the god who expelled and cursed his mother. He was also a person who was betrayed by his only friend.”
-You… Braham’s soul shook. He could feel it as Grid spoke in a clear voice. This wasn’t the trivial emotion called compassion. At this moment, Grid had a complete understanding of Braham. Perhaps he was the only one in the world who did.
-Great. It is the right answer. The voice of the holy sword, which was bright and excited enough to feel frivolous, calmed down. -Finally, the last question. Do you sympathize with Pagma?
Was it because he felt that the mood of the holy sword had become strange...? Grid was wary and answered truthfully, “I understand him, but I don’t think his actions are right. I will never betray a friend.”
Was he mistaken about the sword’s mood? The attitude of the holy sword was gentle. The sword rotated twice from the left to right, and the blade embedded more deeply in the ground. The terrain of the Sword Grave started to change. The center of the plains rose like a hill and turned into a form suitable to be called a grave, revealing a firmly closed iron door hidden at the bottom of the hill. The true appearance of the Sword Grave, which the Skunk Expedition Group hadn’t been able to uncover for half a month, was revealed in just a few moments.
-Braham, I can’t hear your voice, but can you hear me?
The iron door slowly opened. A chill emerged from the open iron gate and descended the hill, freezing the ground.
[★Hidden Quest ★ ‘Proof’ has been cleared.]
The holy sword conveyed the truth, -Braham, Pagma sincerely regretted betraying you and hurting you. After protecting the Behen Archipelago from the great demons, the first place he came was to the glacier dungeon where he buried your body. Pagma anticipated that one day you would regain your body and be resurrected. He made this Sword Grave in the hope that your body would be safe. Then he summoned my soul and asked me to protect you.
-Shut up, shut up, shut up!
-It wasn’t an act to ask for your forgiveness. Pagma knew that the sins against you could never be forgiven. He might’ve just wanted to reduce his loathing toward himself.
-Check your body. I hope that someday you will be resurrected. Hell and Marie Rose, the Hwan Kingdom and the gods... The problems that Pagma couldn’t solve, maybe you...
“Braham...” Grid held his chest. Braham’s soul was incomplete and in disorder. Grid was afraid that he might vanish.
-Pagma's Descendant. The holy sword was saying goodbye. -Based on your attitude toward Braham right now, you are the opposite of Pagma. I personally want to cheer you on. Now, enter the dungeon. The door will soon close.
“I will see you next time.”
-Yes. I will guard this place until Braham is resurrected. Please come back whenever you need to.
This was karma—the karma of the foolish pope who weakened the church instead of regarding Rebecca’s Daughters as disposable tools. Franz, who had been a cold sword for hundreds of years, had never once regretted his choice of having Pagma seal the three artifacts.
The iron door closed once Grid entered the glacier dungeon. The hill once again became a plains and 4,179 swords stood silently.
Was the human language that lousy? Grid had this thought when he witnessed the man with white hair trapped in the ice. He quickly realized that it was impossible to express the beauty of the man in the ice with his heart and intellect.
Braham’s soul was stabilizing.
-It is safe.
-You look even more like a squid after I can see myself again.
“...” Grid couldn’t refute these words. He even felt grateful. Based on Braham’s body in the ice, Grid wasn’t a squid. Calling him a squid would be overrating himself. (TL: squid is often used to call someone ugly in South Korea)
[★Hidden Quest ★ ‘Braham’s Request’ has been cleared.]
[Intelligence has increased by 50 as a quest clear reward.]
[You can’t learn any new spells in your current state.]
[The quest clear reward has given a new hidden quest.]
[★ Hidden Quest ★
The reason why Pagma left his book in this world is for the sake of his old friend, Braham. Braham knows the value of pavranium. Pagma knew that Braham would seek out Pagma’s Descendant and ask them to make the Vessel of the Soul.
He is deeply grateful for you bringing Braham here and will give you a gift.]
[★Hidden Quest ★ ‘Pagma’s Arrangement’ has been cleared.]
[The hidden piece skill ‘Mineral Creation’ has been acquired as a quest clear reward.]
-I don’t intend to forgive Pagma. I will hate him forever. If we ever meet again in hell, I will kill him with my own hands.
“You do that.”
‘Perhaps this was what Pagma wanted,’ Grid swallowed back these words.