[The lower wind elemental whispers that it will make your arrows faster.]
[The lower wind elemental whispers that it will make your spear lighter.]
[The lower wind elemental whispers that it will make your mouth lighter.]
“Why is it my mouth?”
Jishuka, Pon, and Huroi contracted with wind elementals.
[The lower earth elemental promises to make your body more solid.]
Regas succeeded in contracting with an earth elemental.
It was a bit disappointing after seeing Grid contract with an advanced spirit, but they didn’t express it. After all, if it wasn’t for Grid, they wouldn’t even have the opportunity to contract with an elemental. It was an undeserved honor for them to even contract with a lower elemental.
Jishuka and Pon had their attack speed and attack accuracy increased slightly due to the lower wind elemental, while Huroi had his talking speed increased thanks to the wind elemental. Regas gained more resistance and defense due to the earth elemental, making him fully satisfied. He was particularly joyful because his low defense had grabbed his ankle several times.
Meanwhile, Faker and Chris received great fortune.
[The lower wind elemental notices that you are faster than it and has retreated with frustration.]
[The intermediate wind elemental whispers that it is going to have fun with you.]
[All lower elementals have felt the qualities of a tyrant and have run away.]
[The intermediate earth elemental promises to govern your rough nature.]
After seeing the people who successfully contracted with the intermediate elementals, Chris established a hypothesis that the most important factor when contracting with a higher elemental was a ‘higher rated class’. The basis for this hypothesis was the two men who managed to make contracts with intermediate elementals. Faker had received the second class ‘Shadow Master’s Student’ after Khan’s death while Chris had the second class ‘Tyrant.’
“It is highly likely. Isn’t this why Grid contracted with an advanced spirit?”
“Hrmm... We will know for sure when we see the result of Yura’s contract.”
Would Demon Slayer Yura succeed in contracting with an advanced elemental like Grid? Grid and all the members of Overgeared were filled with expectations.
There was a thick fog around the poisonous river. It was a terrible fog that caused the ‘poisoned’ state when it was breathed in. The volcanoes in the area were active and the earth was shaking with agitation. The sense of balance was lost. The boiling lava melted skin with heat alone and didn’t allow any living thing to enter.
This was the 32nd Hell. It was full of chaos after losing its ruler, Belial. Creatures were no longer controlled, and its residents had long since left their homes. Only hungry demonic creatures were left wandering aimlessly. In this place, gunshots rang out, announcing the deaths of the demonic beasts.
Tatang! Tang tang!
A demonic beast turned to gray whenever the gun fired. Dozens of pillars of gray ash kept rising through the fog. The demonic beasts witnessed their kin being killed and lost momentum. Their tails dropped, making them seem like puppies as they ran away.
However, the beauty didn’t miss any of them. She jumped through the space between them and shoved her sword into the mouths of the retreating demonic beasts. The Demon Slayer’s beautiful white skin looked red as blood splashed on her.
Any communication with the human world was blocked in hell. It was impossible to live alone in this barren landscape with a normal mentality.
Yura had never lost her composure apart from when she dealt with Grid. However, life in hell was hard. Her body and mind had long been exhausted. Now, she couldn’t tell if the screams that constantly rang in her ears were real or false, and her thoughts were a mess.
Nonetheless, Yura kept moving forward. She walked without resting in the unchanging scenery that she had seen for several months already and pointed her gun at a demonic beast.
She longed to be qualified to stand at the same level as Grid, who had collapsed the sky to become the new sky. Yura wanted to feel proud again. Desperately wanting to be the best again, she wanted to prove that the Demon Slayer class she had selected wasn’t lacking compared to Sword Saint and Pagma's Descendant. She didn’t want to feel ashamed when she faced Grid. Furthermore, she didn’t want to be a burden to Grid after abandoning the Yatan Church for the Overgeared Kingdom.
“...?” Yura stopped in place as she was moving forward. Then her eyes shook. It was because she felt a change in the landscape of hell that had been the same for two months. In the distance, she saw a black castle covered in fog.
‘Belial’s Castle?’ Yura gulped as the light of the castle reflected in her eyes.
She was filled with hope that perhaps something left in the ownerless castle would help her. There might be a fierce monster, but she was convinced there would be a treasure to help her grow further. This wasn’t without basis. Considering the symbolism of a great demon’s castle, Yura’s expectations were reasonable.
A huge dusty gate opened instantly under Yura’s hands.
“...” Yura’s eyes narrowed as she observed the scenery outside the castle. Had the demonic beasts eaten themselves after becoming hungry? The outside of the castle was filled with the stench of rotting corpses. Yura’s footsteps were careful while she moved forward. As the distance to the front doors narrowed, she started to detect ‘something.’ She wasn’t mistaken.
[The Demon Slayer’s intuition has felt a strong demonic energy.]
[You will enter the Prepared to Die Posture. The extremely concentrated magic bullets will have a 10% increase in the creation speed and physical defense will increase by 15%. Magic resistance has increased by 20%.]
The passive skill that hadn’t activated when she faced the 32nd Great Demon Belial told Yura something. The gift beyond the door would be much larger than her expectations. Yura gulped and controlled her thoughts. ‘I am over level 300 now.’
This place was also hell. It was a stage that maximized a Demon Slayer’s abilities. The present Yura was incomparable to during the time of the Belial raid. Yura recognized this fact and overcame her fear, pushing open the door with her small, fine hands. The rusty iron made an unpleasant sound as it was opened, but it was the ‘man’ on the throne in the dark great hall that caused chills to run over Yura’s skin.
“Why are you here?” Yura’s voice trembled as she asked the man sitting on the throne. The last time she was so blatantly shaken had been when she faced Grid.
Why? Grid was the one who always transcended her expectations. Yes, like right now.
The man raised his body from the throne. He took one and then two steps forward before dancing. His sharp eyes, reminiscent of a bird of prey, stared at her.
“Transcended Linked Kill Wave Pinnacle.”
The atrocious surge of energy moved with a fierce momentum and hit Yura.
The giant castle that was the symbol of the 32nd Great Demon’s supremacy collapsed like a sand castle.
In the past few years, the Overgeared members had actively utilized Grid’s reputation and abilities. They had called in people by using Grid’s name, and Lauel had selected talents to join the Overgeared Guild.
Now, the Overgeared Guild had reached 620 people. It was unbalanced since more than half of them were production-oriented classes. However, it was natural since the ‘army’ of the kingdom meant production classes were more valuable than combat classes.
“All the blacksmiths have contracted with the fire elementals?”
“Yes. Panmir as well.”
“Shit... Why am I the only one with a light elemental? Isn’t Pagma's Descendant a blacksmith?” Grid’s obsession with the Duke of Fire was greater than imagined. It couldn’t be helped since he was pursuing Pagma’s shadow.
Lauel soothed the grumbling Grid, “Isn’t the light elemental a higher class spirit? I heard that they are elementals of the royal family. Isn’t it better than the fire elemental? Be calm and satisfied.”
“I know that. However, it isn’t very good if the target isn’t of the dark attribute.”
“Isn’t the water elemental a counter for the fire elemental? What result would ever give 100% satisfaction?”
“No, think about it. How convenient would it be if I had a fire elemental? It would be comfortable when I’m making an item and it’d be easy to cook rice while traveling.”
“...You only eat beef jerky anyway.”
Grid’s words were just petty grumbles, so Lauel gave up trying to calm Grid and looked outside. Hundreds of Overgeared members were standing before the world tree. Their contracts with the elementals were successful, and they were full of happiness as they cheered for Grid.
“In any case, it is really great. I always admire your performance.”
“Did you sign with an elemental?”
“Of course. I followed the attraction of my soul and communicated with an elemental as soon as I entered the forest.”
As he stared at the laughing Lauel, Grid asked carefully, “Did you contract with a dark spirit?”
“That’s right. I hesitated for a moment between the fire and dark spirit due to the black flame dragon sealed in my arm, but I eventually decided on the dark elemental.”
At this point, the game system was creepy. It seemed to penetrate the personality of the target person perfectly. Lauel asked for a final confirmation from Grid, “If the Overgeared members team up in groups of eight, they can raid the ancient species called the bear-wolf... Are you sure there is nothing wrong with this command?”
“Don’t you know that the current full power of the Overgeared members can attempt the Belial raid again?”
“The bear-wolves are that strong?”
“They are strong. That’s why I’m leaving Mercedes and Jude behind. They will take responsibility for the safety of the guild members when they’re hunting and growing together in the forest.”
“Really... Will you really go alone?”
Grid had declared that he would invade and destroy the city of Merchant King Kir alone. As such, Lauel couldn’t help feeling worried. Although Grid had taken care of Kir’s elite knights, there were still thousands of troops left in the city. There would even be hundreds of players. There were also dozens of high rankers who had ties to Kir due to the items he had given them. Did it make sense to be able to defeat them with one person? Despite having a grasp of Grid’s strength, Lauel thought it was impossible. The recent growth of the rankers was scary, and the trend was gradually rising.
Grid shrugged. “Don’t worry. I have become much stronger.”
Kir’s chance of escaping had disappeared the moment Agnus became a legend. He had to shatter Kir to a level that made it impossible for him to recover. This was a natural need when considering Kir’s personality.
“I have to hurry. Kir might’ve already made contact with Agnus.”
The Saharan Empire, Immortal, the Yatan Church, and the great demons...
Grid had no intention of neglecting a variable in the upcoming wars which couldn’t be avoided. The determined Grid left the World Tree’s Forest and headed for the city of Merchant King Kir.