Coke felt like he was sitting on a thorny cushion.
‘Am I misunderstanding something?’
On the day that the truce ended, this young knight would knock down all the Red Knights of the empire, and the young knight that Grid was pointing to was Coke. Coke had the lowest level among the people gathered here, so it was ridiculous.
‘Is he pointing at Royman instead of me? Yes, I misunderstood!’ Coke didn’t accept reality and looked at Royman on his left.
Yet, Royman was staring at Coke. The same was true for the other knights behind her. Everyone was looking at Coke.
‘No, it’s right?’ Coke’s panicked eyes shook. ‘I’m going to destroy the Red Knights?’
How...? What was this?
‘Ah...!’ It was naive of him to take this practical joke seriously. Grid lay a hand on the confused Coke’s shoulders just as he was thinking this was a joke. “Don’t be scared. There is still plenty of time. I will show you what it really means to be overgeared.”
Grid was serious. Coke was able to realize it since he had been steadfastly watching Grid as his fan. A fierce will shone in Grid’s eyes. It was a willpower he showed every time he spoke true words.
‘Does he really think I can go against the Red Knights?’
Coke was well aware of the power of the items that Grid showed but...
As his thoughts became complicated, Coke gulped.
He was happy that Grid trusted him, but he felt anxious that he couldn’t live up to Grid’s trust. Coke thought he was a failure before it even happened.
“How interesting,” Dulandal’s derisive voice entered Coke’s ears. Dulandal was laughing at Grid’s bluff. “I didn’t think there would be a person who would act so vainly before me... Interesting. It’s really pleasant. Is your occupation actually a clown?”
The prince’s mocking gaze moved from Grid to Coke. “The innocent lamb is already trembling with fear. Kukuk! Is this a cattle being taken to the slaughterhouse?”
The imperial prince wasn’t wary of Coke at all, treating him as a total nobody.
All the Red Knights were going to be defeated by this guy...? It was something that the imperial prince couldn’t imagine.
“...” Coke stayed silent.
After all, the imperial prince’s assessment was accurate. Coke was the peak of the second generation rookies and a player with exceptional talent, but that was all. He wasn’t at a level comparable to the strongest Red Knights on the continent. In fact, weren’t the high rankers who started the game a year earlier than him afraid of the Red Knights?
‘I will only be able to defeat a Red Knight after a few years.’
So, why did Grid trust him? Coke was full of doubts.
“It might seem funny now, but won’t it be different once he is overgeared?” Grid maintained his confident answer.
‘Ah!’ Coke belatedly realized it wasn’t that Grid trusted Coke. It was that Grid trusted his items. ‘He has the confidence to create the best knight!’
This was a confidence that only a legendary blacksmith could have! Duguen! Duguen! The anxiety dominating Coke’s mind was lifted, and expectations filled its place. Coke was curious. How much could he grow when armed with Grid’s items, and could he really defeat the Red Knights?
“Overgeared...? You are talking nonsense. Well, this is just a conversation. Empty talk is a waste of time.” Prince Dulandal had an unpleasant expression on his face.
Tsk! He clicked his tongue and warned as he turned his back to Grid’s party, “You better keep one thing in mind. Next time we meet and you omit honorifics, I will cut off your head immediately.”
The blood of the imperial prince was great, and he should be respected by everyone on the continent as a king above kings. To Prince Dulandal, Grid’s rudeness was an unforgettable insult. However, the reason he hadn’t immediately cut off Grid’s head was due to the emperor’s truce. No matter what sin Grid committed, the prince couldn’t ignore the truce that the emperor created. It would be a rebellion against the emperor!
‘Hut... Today’s patience will flow to His Majesty, and my position will rise.’
“Hrmm.” Dulandal evaluated his patience highly and left while smiling with satisfaction. Grid watched Dulandal’s back with a relaxed gaze. He was feeling relieved.
‘I thought an imperial prince would be a big shot, but he is ordinary.’
The prince was a type of person that Grid had often met. Grid judged the prince as being strong enough to stimulate his fighting energy, but that was the only thing Grid had to be wary about. He didn’t have the daunting feeling that Grid had felt from the emperor.
‘He is lacking compared to his father. I hope the other imperial princes are the same…’ Grid prayed sincerely.
He was anxious that if the emperor’s successor showed excellent skills, it would become ever harder to cope with the empire.
“Your Majesty...” Mercedes confirmed that the imperial prince had completely disappeared from view and began to speak. She was very worried. “I heard about Sir Coke’s actions last night. He is promising, but his talent isn’t fully proven. It is too early to declare that Coke will defeat the Red Knights.”
Of course, Mercedes knew what Grid was capable of. Considering the performance of the sword and armor that Grid had given her, there was room for the young knight to be stronger than she thought. However, the difference between the two couldn’t be easily overcome. The Red Knights were geniuses selected from among tens of thousands of nobles and were granted the swordsmanship that had dominated the continent for hundreds of years. They were also given the strength of the red energy, giving them the pride of the strongest. It might seem useless from Grid’s point of view, but Coke wasn’t Grid.
‘Furthermore, the new Red Knights will receive the great powers of the grandmaster.’
Mercedes knew that Susan was very clever and that her confidence wasn’t unfounded.
“Don’t worry too much. By the way, what is a grandmaster?”
“...” Mercedes looked at Grid with a strange expression. He was a person who had used the power of an individual to build a new kingdom, become a hero, and gotten recognized by even the emperor. Grid was certainly great. That’s why Mercedes was even more worried. She wondered if Grid had lost touch with reality due to being carried away by his greatness. Mercedes failed to conceal the frosty shadow on her face as she replied, “The grandmaster is a great person who has mastered several martial arts, magic, and academics.”
“He has mastered martial arts, magic, and academics?”
Mercedes’ answer surprised Grid.
‘In the end, it means that he is good at everything? A jack of all trades?’
A jack of all trades was familiar to Grid. It was because Grid was a typical jack of all trades himself. He knew blacksmithing, swordsmanship, magic, tailoring, and so on. Grid could do much more than a normal player.
‘However, the depth is shallow.’
He was exceptional with blacksmithing, but what about swordsmanship, magic, and tailoring?
‘My swordsmanship can’t escape the limits of a sword dance, and I’m often caught by how long it takes to use.’
Meanwhile, magic was difficult to use because of his low intelligence.
‘If I have to throw away the sword, I can arm myself with Belial’s Staff...’
He was able to bring down so many mighty enemies because he possessed a variety of items, titles, and fraudulent skills. Yet his tailoring was still at the intermediate level. Ultimately, he could never be afraid of a jack of all trades! This was Grid’s evaluation.
‘Like me, the grandmaster is outstanding in one field, but he isn’t an all-rounder like the world assumes.’
“To be honest, I don’t use the word ‘mastered’ for nothing. The grandmaster is outstanding in all areas. You should never take him lightly,” Mercedes warned him.
Grid frowned. “What exactly do you mean by outstanding in all areas? Can he use a sword better than a Sword Saint or use magic better than a great magician? And is he smarter than a sage?”
“There is no Sword Saint or great magician in our time who can reach the feet of the grandmaster. Since the grandmaster can freely enter and leave the imperial library, he is likely to boast more knowledge than Sage Sticks.”
It hadn’t been long since Kraugel became a Sword Saint. In particular, the limitations of a player meant he was weaker than the previous Sword Saint. The situation was similar for the great magicians. There were no legends among the current great magicians. It was understandable to some extent that the grandmaster was stronger than them. However, Grid couldn’t acknowledge that the grandmaster boasted more knowledge than Sage Sticks.
Mercedes said, “If the grandmaster had been watching the events in the empire, I assure you that all of Great Demon Astaroth’s tricks would’ve been blocked in advance. Additionally, if the grandmaster had been in the imperial palace on the day Astaroth revealed his identity...”
“If he had been there...?”
“Astaroth would’ve disappeared as a handful of ashes before he could summon the Storm Demonic Energy Field.”
It was due to their absolute trust in the grandmaster that the imperial princes weren’t afraid of great demons and legends. There had been a day when the Magic King said, “The Undefeated King was the only one who was able to fight the grandmaster. The moment the grandmaster reveals himself to the world and is stamped into history, a new legend will be born.”
“...” Grid was silent for a long time after hearing Mercedes’ explanation.
Mercedes saw that Grid was finally alert. “You can’t make fun of the new Red Knights who are being trained by the grandmaster himself.”
Grid was silent for a while before shrugging. “Mercedes, you are mistaken about one thing.”
“I am mistaken?”
“Yes. I’m not making fun of the Red Knights.” It was natural. The Red Knights had been raised by the legendary knight Mercedes, and now they were stronger than before. “I just want to say that my items are better.”
“I’ve been waiting, Overgeared King.”
As they were talking, the group arrived at the banquet hall. Grid followed the elders’ instructions and saw that in front of them was a table of delicacies across from the imperial prince. Prince Dulandal had a very unpleasant expression. He couldn’t understand the elders’ actions of treating Grid so well.
‘What am I? I am a blacksmith.’
The various titles such as Hero King, Great Magician, and First King were all secondary. Grid hoped this boring lunch would end soon. He wanted to hold a hammer in his hand and cleanse the sword. That evening...
“Are you ready?”
All of the royalty, including the imperial prince, left the Vatican. Then Grid headed to a small smithy in a corner of the Vatican. The holy sword had lost more light compared to when Damian showed it this morning. The speed of the petrification brought on by the Stone of Original Sin was very fast.
Grid had to first raise his understanding of the holy sword to 100%. Despite the holy sword breaking down in front of his eyes, Damian didn’t feel uneasy. He just believed in Grid!