There was a concept of understanding items. He could get up to 100% understanding by observing, using, disassembling, and assembling an item. Once he succeeded in acquiring 100% understanding, he could gain the method to make the item.
Grid intended to increase his understanding before cleansing the holy sword. The more he understood the holy sword, the easier the cleansing process would be.
‘It might not be possible to raise my understanding to 100%.’
Why? Wasn’t this holy sword the symbol of Rebecca—the goddess of light—and the pride of the supreme religion on the continent? It was exceptional among myth rated items, so was it impossible to raise the understanding of this item with a human’s ability? No, all myth rated items were equally special. The performance might vary, but there was no arguing about the ‘meaning’ of a myth rated item. The reason why Grid thought it would be difficult to raise his understanding to 100% was that the holy sword was a quest item.
[First Holy Sword that is Becoming Petrified]
The first holy sword of humanity. It was sealed by the Stone of Original Sin, but Pagma’s Descendant—Grid—has temporarily unsealed it.
It still isn’t completely free from the curse.
The Stone of Original Sin is encroaching back on it.]
At the time of the Crossroad of Good and Evil hidden quest, the name of the holy sword had still been Sword Stuck in the Stone. Information, such as details about the attack power, durability, and the options, hadn’t been shown at all. It had only been a brief description. When he saw Damian deal a serious injury to Aliburn in a single blow, Grid had gotten convinced that...
‘The holy sword is a quest item. It can’t be used as a normal item.’
Quest items were items which didn’t have any special function apart from in special moments. After all, it didn’t make sense to mass-produce items made for specific quests.
‘In order to preserve its symbolic value, the system would prevent a 100% understanding.’
However, it could go up to 99.9%. Grid couldn’t learn how to make the item, but he could fully grasp the item’s hidden functions and intentions.
‘Just this much will give me a glimpse of how to cleanse it.’
First, he had to see how the curse had eroded the sword. As Grid judged this, he used the hammer in his hand.
Grid hit the church’s relic without hesitation! It was a sight that would make the thousands of members of the Rebecca Church furious. However, Pope Damian watched Grid silently.
Ttang! Ttaaang! Ttatatang-! Ttaang-!
It didn’t matter that Grid used various tools on the holy sword. Damian didn’t shake at all despite the sword being thrown into the furnace. He just watched as his trust in Grid was absolute. Ultimately, Damian had no choice but to trust Grid. After all, Grid had already demonstrated his power, having disassembled and assembled Lifael’s Spear dozens of times while saving Isabel!
‘By the way...’
30 minutes must’ve passed. Damian gradually started to feel anxious as he watched Grid. When Grid placed the holy sword in the furnace, it maintained its full form instead of changing or breaking down.
‘Am I mistaken? Why does it seem like there is no progress?’
It didn’t seem to be a mistake.
‘Is something wrong?’
The anxiety that Damian felt was correct.
“Pant pant... Damn?” Grid was cursing as he hammered and used the bellows repeatedly. He was about to go crazy.
[You have failed to find the melting point of the metal that makes up the target item.]
[The smelting has failed.]
[You can’t find the binding section of the target item.]
[The disassembly has failed.]
‘Why isn’t my understanding rising?’
It might be a myth rated item, but Grid thought that his understanding of the item would gradually rise while disassembling the item. However, the method of understanding the holy sword was unconventional. Despite Grid’s repeated attempted disassembly, his understanding was kept at 7%.
‘I’m not hoping for 100%... I just want 99.9% or a clue toward cleansing the sword.’
No, there was nothing wrong with it.
‘Will it rise if I keep trying?’
Grid’s greatest strength was his persistence. Instead of feeling frustrated or demotivated after seeing his low understanding, he just controlled his emotions and started the disassembly again.
If he didn’t understand after disassembling it 10 times, then he would have to do it another 10 times.
If he didn’t understand after disassembling it 20 times, then he would have to do it another 20 times.
If he didn’t understand after disassembling it 20 times, then he would have to do it another 30 times.
If he didn’t understand after disassembling it 30 times, then he would have to do it another 40 times.
Grid continued trying.
“Pant pant! Pant! Keok!”
Suddenly, something came to Grid’s mind. Blacksmithing was a heavy labor class that required high stamina, and he felt like he was on the verge of dying.
‘Will I meet Khan if I die?’
Grid, whose tongue was hanging out like a dog, suddenly came to his senses. It was because a voice woke him up. He looked around and saw Damian right beside him with a worried expression.
“Shouldn’t you rest now?”
“How long has it been?”
Grid routinely took a few days to make one item. He must’ve spent one or two hours trying to improve his understanding of the item...
“Huh?” Grid was looking at Damian when he became confused. The window behind Damian showed that it was currently the brightly lit daytime. “Have I been working all night?”
“It is already past noon. You have been working for 15 hours.”
Wasn’t it an hour or two at most? A chill went down Grid’s spine.
‘Did I enter a trance state?’
It meant he had sufficient concentration. However, the efficiency was zero. His understanding gauge of the holy sword was still stuck at 7%.
Grid became desperate. This was the first time he had gotten a horrible result despite having entered the trance state.
‘Dammit!’ Grid glared at the holy sword that was set up on the anvil. He didn’t like that it maintained a perfect state in spite of all his troubles. Damian sighed. “There is a saying that the holy sword is made from minerals created by the blacksmith god Hexetia himself. It is in the realm of the gods, so this might be difficult for Grid.”
“Hex what? Xe what?”
[You have learned about the blacksmith god Hexetia.]
[Intelligence has permanently increased by 10, and the experience of all blacksmithing skills has increased by 2%!]
The acquisition of new knowledge was sometimes a great power. This was why people tried to read as many books as possible in the libraries of each city and kingdom. Grid was confused when he got the bonus effect of hearing about the blacksmith god for the first time.
[You have discovered the maker of the First Holy Sword that is Becoming Petrified.]
[Your understanding of the First Holy Sword that is Becoming Petrified has increased by 5%!]
[You have roughly identified the materials that make up the First Holy Sword that is Becoming Petrified.]
[Your understanding of the First Holy Sword that is Becoming Petrified has increased by 7%!]
These notification windows rose in succession.
“...Ah,” Grid moaned. Was he happy? Not at all! Grid tried to suppress his soaring anger. He smiled awkwardly and asked Damian, “What exactly are the materials of the holy sword?”
“I heard it is divine stone. As I mentioned earlier, this is a material created by the blacksmith god Hexetia himself.”
[You have obtained information on new minerals!]
[The base of your blacksmithing technology is expanding!]
[You have discovered the material that makes up the First Holy Sword that is Becoming Petrified.]
[Your understanding of the First Holy Sword that is Becoming Petrified has increased by 15%.]
This was akin to doing something embarrassing when lying down to sleep like kicking off the blanket. Grid had countless similar memories, and one of those memories was when he first received Pagma’s Swordsmanship. He had followed the movements of Pagma’s Swordsmanship which had been drawn on the wall mural...
“Hah... XX!” He cursed properly for the first time in a while. Grid had forgotten the basics of a quest because the client was a player, not an NPC.
‘I forgot to get the minimum of information from the client...’
He was embarrassed and angry about having lost time.
‘...No, it isn’t my fault. Shouldn’t Damian have come forward and explained when he noticed?’ Grid trembled.
“Don’t be too sad. Sometimes things don’t work out. Why don’t you have a meal first and rest before working again?” Damian suggested with a smile. He didn’t notice that Grid was angry at him. “Ah~~ I’m hungry. What if my Isabel didn’t wait for me before eating?” Damian was about to leave the smithy with a wide smile.
“Wait there.” Grid called out to him with an eerie expression as he stared at the innocent-looking Damian.
“You will sit next to me and not go anywhere until my work is done. Don’t even think about eating.”
“Sit down and cough up all the information you know.”
“How can you eat in this situation?”
Why was Grid suddenly mad at him? Damian thought it was strange at first, then he realized...
‘He isn’t angry! My thinking was too shallow!’
The curse on the holy sword hadn’t been released yet, so how could the pope eat alone while an outside guest was struggling to solve the curse on the holy sword? The church members would be disappointed. They would whisper about how he chose to eat over tending to the holy sword. Damian would lose public sentiment, and his position would be lowered. He might even lose the pope’s position next year.
Damian’s eyes became teary. He felt a deep gratitude and respect toward Grid. “Once again, you are saving me and teaching me great lessons! Truly... You truly are God Grid-sama!!”
“What? What are you saying?”
“Your humility...! Kuock!! It is truly amazing!”
It was clear that there weren’t many normal people around Grid. Grid realized this once again as he threw the sword into the furnace. Then the smelting began. This time he wouldn’t fail.