TL: For some reason, the end sections of the last three parts have been cut off, despite me being pretty sure I saw them when I posted. Please read 881, 882, 883 again just to double check that you didn't miss anything.
‘It is uncomfortable.’
Grid was in a sky garden with a panoramic view of the Vatican. He sat in the center of the garden which was carved in the middle of a mountain. As he sat alone at a table made of silver, his hair scattered in the breeze. His appearance was quite striking while he drank tea. The Vatican members present flushed red. How could the hero who saved the Vatican not be appealing? Yet, this view was quickly removed.
Spit! Spit spit spit!
It was because Grid spat out the black tea that he had just poured into his mouth. He couldn’t enjoy this bitter taste, and his current appearance was far from graceful.
‘Ah! I forgot to add honey.’
Grid put down his tea and drank some cold water. He had been so deeply immersed in his thoughts that he even forgot to put sweet honey in the bitter tea!
‘Creepy. It is terrifyingly creepy.’
Grid was full of doubts.
‘Why do they keep trying to tempt me?’
The Crossroad of Good and Evil and Cleanse the First Holy Sword quest gave the reward of strengthening God’s Command. This passive skill which deleted the ‘cooldown’ of a skill would then have a 100% chance of activating. The fraudulent nature of the enhanced God’s Command could easily be inferred by even an idiot. It made Grid feel uneasy.
‘The S.A Group has been keeping me in check the whole time, and now they want to give me this...?’
It was strange.
‘A normal class user would gradually become as strong as a hidden class through steady advancement.’
Lim Cheolho had stated it directly, showing that the S.A Group was very sensitive about Satisfy’s balance. Even a legendary class couldn’t be the strongest forever.
‘Then why do they keep giving me a chance to strengthen God’s Command to a 100% activation probability?’
It was obvious that the power of Pagma’s Swordsmanship would be beyond imagination if it could be used twice in a row.
Kraugel, Agnus, and the dukes of the empire? War God Ares’ army? The true blood vampires? They were likely to all be equal in front of Grid.
‘Who can endure a series of blows from fusion skills, including Linked Kill Wave Pinnacle?’
The strengthening of God’s Command was no different than becoming invincible. It was a power that was far away from what the S.A Group was aiming for. Grid had no doubts about this.
‘Does the S.A Group want me to become a unique powerhouse in the world? No, it is impossible. The strengthened version of God’s Command is likely to be a trap. There must be a tremendous penalty.’
For example, if God’s Command were used a certain number of times in a row, his stamina would drop to zero and he wouldn’t be able to lift one finger.
‘I’m certain. The S.A Group wouldn’t give a benefit without a price.’
He shouldn’t be caught here. It was a trap. The S.A Group was filled with people who enjoyed watching the suffering of others, so he was likely to experience severe pain if he bit the bait. It was a judgment that Grid could make due to being hit in the back of the head many times. He completely abandoned any lingering affection for the enhanced version of God’s Command.
‘In the first place, the goddess’ blessing is more important.’
Grid had thought this several times, but there was a limit to the strength of an individual. It was much better to receive the goddess’ blessing and enhance his blacksmithing.
‘So I need to cleanse the holy sword...’
Was there a method to get rid of the blacksmith god’s envy? Grid pondered on his worries for a long time.
“Overgeared King, here you are.” A group of people approached Grid.
They were elderly people dressed in clean white clothes. These people were the elders of the Rebecca Church who only served Goddess Rebecca. The people, whom even the pope and the emperor didn’t dare go against, gathered by Grid.
“Elders, did you come here to rest?” Grid spoke in a polite manner.
This caused the elders to laugh.
“Do old people need a break? We were just loafing around.”
“We aren’t as diligent as Your Majesty, who takes care of us like we are your family."
“...?” Grid was confused. The elders showed a great liking toward him. Of course, Grid had a high level of affinity with the Rebecca Church, but...
‘Weren’t these elders always nagging at Damian?’
Grid knew the tendencies of the elders. Didn’t they treat even the imperial prince coldly?
‘Of course, I helped them a lot...’
However, it was strange that they were only showing Grid this attitude. Grid once again felt suspicious. ‘Do they have other ulterior motives?’
Maybe they were trying to give him another troublesome task? The elders spoke unexpected words to the wary Grid, “Your Majesty is truly special.”
“Yes. You are a divine existence like a god.”
“...” Grid belatedly realized that the eyes of the elders closely resembled Isabel’s eyes.
That’s right. These people...
“You appeared with perfect timing whenever we were in danger, saving everyone like a god from a legend.”
“Right, right. You truly are a hero among heroes.”
“Haha...” Grid shrugged. He didn’t respond with much humility because he naturally deserved praise.
Were the elders exaggerating? No. There had been the incidents involving the evil Pope Drevigo, the pope candidate Pascal, saving Isabel, and now protecting the Vatican when it was attacked. Grid had appeared at the right time to destroy evil and save everyone. So, it was natural for him to be appreciated. Noticing that the elders’ affinity was at the maximum, Grid thought they could help him. “Do you know about the blacksmith god, Hexetia?”
“Of course. He is one of the six gods who serve the goddess of light. Hexetia taught humanity how to deal with fire and the usage of iron. Humanity was able to evolve thanks to him.”
“Yes, I see.” Grid nodded in response. He couldn’t express his personal feelings about Hexetia since he was in a position where he couldn’t reveal Hexetia’s true nature to the Rebecca Church. Still, he listened to the elders’ stories.
“However, Hexetia’s actions were all based on the will of Goddess Rebecca... In the end, the merit should be given to Goddess Rebecca.”
“Right, right. Didn’t Hexetia tell humanity about fire and iron purely due to the goddess’ command? The truly wonderful one is Goddess Rebecca, and Hexetia is just her messenger.”
The excited elders started to make a fuss. It seemed easy to guess why Hexetia was so easily jealous of others.
‘He has low self-esteem.’
Hexetia had taught humanity, but the one being appreciated was Goddess Rebecca, not Hexetia. In fact, Grid didn’t remember seeing any religion that served Hexetia. He had never even seen a statue of the blacksmith god.
‘I would’ve felt sad if I were Hexetia.’
Hexetia must’ve felt angry, yet he hadn’t been able to complain about the goddess. Then a human who threatened his talent appeared, and the various emotions became intricately intertwined, causing the arrow of resentment to point at humanity.
‘...He is pitiful in some ways.’
Self-esteem was important. Grid knew this better than anyone. During his unfortunate past, Grid had low self-esteem, and he had been overly conscious of others due to having been a victim and easily felt jealous of others.
‘Hexetia became crooked.’
Grid started to understand Hexetia. Of course, this didn’t mean he would defend Hexetia’s past sins.
‘...I need to comfort Hexetia.’
Once Grid started to understand Hexetia, he figured out a way to deal with him. Grid tapped on the table while the elders’ excited chatter became background noise. He finally came to a conclusion. ‘What if he is acknowledged now?’
If Grid recognized Hexetia’s hard work and conveyed his gratitude, would Hexetia’s twisted nature be eased a little bit? The moment Hexetia lost his envy, the holy sword would be freed from the curse.
‘It is possible.’
The opponent was a god. It would be better to solve this amicably rather than by using a hostile method.
‘Let’s get rid of the sense of alienation.’
The method was simple, and there was also justification for it. Grid was reminded that he was a blacksmith and gave his opinion to the elders.
“I want to build a temple for Hexetia.”
“Huh...? A temple for Hexetia?”
“Why do you need to do that? Serving Goddess Rebecca is the way to respect all gods.”
“That’s correct. Hexetia himself wouldn’t be happy. He would be embarrassed.”
The elders protested. Then Grid frowned. “Then what about the Dominion Church and the Judar Church?”
“No. It is different. God Dominion and God Judar are those who have many achievements, unlike God Hexetia.”
“Then what about God of War Zeratul? I heard there are those who follow God Zeratul.”
“Well, Zeratul’s achievements might be small, but a god is a god... It isn’t strange that there are those who honor him... Ah, I see. Your Majesty is a blacksmith, and you want to honor God Hexetia?”
In the end, everyone was selfish. Grid made a bittersweet expression as he looked at the elders. With the benefit of hindsight, the elders started to agree.
“Well, the legendary blacksmith serving God Hexetia... I think it is fine in many ways.”
“That’s right. The meaning of Your Majesty’s service to God Hexetia means you will serve Goddess Rebecca, who Hexetia serves. Goddess Rebecca will be glad."
“Yes, Your Highness. Our elders will permit the construction of a new temple. Build a temple to serve God Hexetia. However, you must build a larger statue of Goddess Rebecca next to God Hexetia.”
“Everyone shouldn’t forget that God Hexetia exists because of Goddess Rebecca.”
“...Yes, I will.”
It was necessary to get the permission of the Rebecca Church to build a temple serving a god besides Goddess Rebecca...? Grid nodded with a somewhat stiff expression after finding out this fact. He was blinded by the attitude of the elders who served Goddess Rebecca. Honestly, they served Goddess Rebecca to an extent that didn’t look good. That’s why he got goosebumps.
‘They serve Goddess Rebecca almost to the level of brainwashing. Yet I have reached a status where they are at the point of deifying me.’
In particular, didn’t Isabel worship him as much as Goddess Rebecca? Maybe...
‘Did I help the Rebecca Church more than I thought?’
He felt both glad and afraid. In particular, he didn’t want the goddess’ wrath to descend upon him.
‘No, now isn’t the time to think about it.’ Grid shook off his complicated thoughts and rose from his seat.
He would ease Hexetia’s envy by building a temple for him. It was imperative to confirm if this method would work.