[(Breaking News) Grid is missing!]
[Overgeared King Grid was hit by lightning during the opening ceremony of the Hexetia Temple...]
[Grid disappeared like smoke... None of the hundreds of cameras can find him.]
[(Column) Is this a warning from the great demons about humanity serving a new god? Grid will certainly receive a big penalty.]
The world was in upheaval as Grid disappeared during real time. The way he disappeared without a trace caused all types of speculations.
“Grid is safe. He just logged out.”
Logging out during an important event...? The Overgeared Kingdom’s explanation couldn’t be understood at all and provoked greater turmoil. People started speculating that Grid had disappeared because of the curse of a great demon and that he had been forcibly taken to hell. Then the disturbing testimonies of the Rebecca Church players were added, “The senior priests have stated that Grid has received the goddess’ wrath for serving another god.”
Half a day had passed since Grid disappeared. Where was he and what was he doing now? Many people assumed Grid was in danger. The conclusion was that the construction of the Hexetia Temple had an adverse effect on him.
[This is the signal of his downfall.]
These exaggerated headlines spread across the world.
Grid was upset by the penalties that would be gained when the quest failed. It felt like the extremely honorable painting had been arranged for this exact moment. A duel with a god after obtaining the extremely honorable painting... The timing was too good. It was as if the episodes were linked naturally. There was nothing for Grid to worry about if he lost. He could use the skill in the extremely honorable painting to regain his skills and stats... It was as if someone was whispering this to him.
Grid found it hard to understand. ‘Picasso is a player. It doesn’t make sense that she knew what I would go through and painted a map for the future. No... Wait?’
Satisfy’s freedom was infinite. The history of the world moved according to the actions and choices of the players. It was possible that one painting drawn by one player might have a great influence.
‘...Maybe the extremely honorable painting is one of the causes of this episode?’
Among all the reasons for Hexetia to request for a duel, one of them might be jealousy due to Grid becoming the main character of the extremely honorable painting. In the end, it could be interpreted that now was the right timing to use the extremely honorable painting.
‘I can get away without a huge penalty even if I lose to Hexetia.’
So what if he lost?
‘No, I must win.’
The quest reward was telling him that this was a battle he must win. This was also Grid’s wish.
Yes, Grid wanted to win unconditionally. He wanted to get rid of Hexetia’s envy and release the curse on the First Holy Sword. Grid’s ultimate goal was to receive the goddess’ blessing twice and enhance Pagma’s Swordsmanship and blacksmithing at the same time.
The person Grid was facing right now was a god, despite the fact that he had the image of a human. Hexetia lived in a shabby cabin that was unlike the giant castles of the great demons, but he was one level above them. The heat and the flames on his nipples were evidence of that.
Yes, Hexetia was an enemy more fearful than anyone Grid had ever fought. Sweat flowed down Grid’s cheek as he was reminded of this. It was difficult for him to remain calm against a god, despite being the Overgeared King.
Hexetia said, “You humans might’ve forgotten, but when I received the goddess’ will, I created a million tools and spread them across the earth. I created all of them, from ordinary items such as tableware and farming tools to luxury items like jewelry and weapons.”
What did Hexetia want to say? It wasn’t simply taking credit. Noticing that Hexetia was trying to explain the rules of the match, Grid focused thoroughly in order not to miss anything.
“Yes, humanity has produced the tools and weapons I created. Yet they became deluded and thought it was due to their own talents. It is to the extent that they built up people as ‘new gods’... just like you.” Anger started to spread on Hexetia’s face. He was really angry. “I feel sick every time I see people who are just imitating me get praised...! It is disgusting to see the stupid people who don’t know their true benefactor! Therefore—! Therefore—!!”
Hexetia had attempted to destroy humanity as he had seen that the same things would be repeated again. However, this blacksmith who was ‘beyond a god’ was somewhat unusual. He announced Hexetia’s merits to the world and claimed to respect him. To be honest, Hexetia was happy. He felt a throbbing sensation in his chest. It was an emotion he felt for the first time in his endless existence. Hexetia was deeply grateful to Grid. However, unlike his heart, his mind had doubts. A human different from the others had appeared for the first time in tens of thousands of years, so it was natural for Hexetia to have doubts.
‘I want to resolve my doubts.’
This was Hexetia’s home. Hexetia wanted to acknowledge Grid’s abilities. He wanted this person to stand firm without him. Only then he would be able to trust this human. Therefore...
“Prove your skills! If you prove that you aren’t a simple subordinate, I will acknowledge and trust you!”
Hexetia requested for a duel. It was a completely different desire from the past, back when he didn’t want to be pursued by a human. Then how did Grid respond?
“Okay,” he accepted the duel without hesitation. “I’ll prove it.”
It wasn’t just a matter of compensation now. Grid didn’t want the effort and experiences he had accumulated to be in vain. He wanted his strength to be acknowledged by Hexetia.
“A good attitude! I’ll give you mercy! You decide the theme of the match!”
A sword? Armor? A spear? No, Grid wouldn’t dare choose a battle gear as the theme. They were the best out of all the tools Hexetia had created. That’s right. Hexetia predicted that Grid would avoid a frontal match with him. He also hoped for that as he wanted Grid to improve his chances of winning.
Unlike Hexetia’s hope, Grid chose a frontal match.
“Let’s see who can make the more powerful sword.”
“You really...!” Hexetia’s expression distorted. He felt like Grid was ignoring him. It was obvious that Grid’s outwardly respectful manner was all false. Hexetia trembled with fury.
“The source of my confidence isn’t a heart that ignores you,” Grid explained. “I merely believe in the experiences and efforts that I’ve accumulated over the years.”
“Hat..! Talking about experience when you only started learning blacksmithing 10 years ago?”
“For me, 10 years is a long time. I spent every day of that time struggling.”
Grid wasn’t exaggerating. He had been working around the clock since becoming Pagma's Descendant. Starting from the bottom, he had been more stubborn about climbing to the highest point.
“It won’t be easy to deal with you,” Grid declared with deep eyes before pulling out his portable furnace. Then he put in the white phosphorus wood and started the fire.
Hexetia watched the scene and scoffed, “You take so long to make a fire. Take a look. This is the power of a god.”
While exposing his chest, Hexetia raised both hands.
‘Divine power?’ Grid gulped. He didn’t dare imagine what the power of a god would be like.
Then at that moment...
“Haap!” Hexetia made a serious expression and twisted both nipples with the index finger and thumb of his hands. Then a blue flame flew out from the left nipple and a red flame from the right nipple, hitting Grid’s furnace and igniting the white phosphorus wood. Grid couldn’t help feeling a sense of admiration as the best timber of the East Continent was easily set alight. The temperature of the furnace exceeded Grid’s desired level.
‘This is the power of the blacksmith god.’
It was definitely great. However...
‘XX nipples… No, let’s not think about Hexetia’s actions.’
Grid could deal a larger wound to Hexetia’s low self-esteem. Shaking his head, Grid expressed his thanks to Hexetia. Then he called the four golden hands to him, “God Hands.”
Why? Was it because he needed more help to go against the god? No. There was a specific reason why Grid called the God Hands to him. It was to obtain pavranium, the mineral created through the collaboration of the legendary blacksmith, Pagma, and the legendary great magician, Braham. Once Grid gave the order, the God Hands jumped into the furnace and started to melt. It was the moment when all the experience of the God Hands, which had been steadily building up since the completion of the growth type items, was lost.
‘I have to take some damages in a confrontation against a god,’ Grid soothed his bitter heart. In fact, he had faith. He believed that if he recreated the God Hands with his current skills, he could complete a masterpiece which transcended the old God Hands he’d made years ago.
‘I’ll revive you again, God Hands. But before that, I have to make a hammer and sword first.’
Ttang! Ttang! Ttang! Grid smelted, tempered, and quenched the pavranium on the anvil. He was making a hammer. Once he produced a blacksmithing hammer containing the best mineral which was made by combining Pagma and Braham’s knowledge, Grid planned to produce a sword with this hammer.
“Can I go slowly? There is no time limit in this match, right?” Grid grinned at Hexetia and summoned the light elemental, turning it into a Sword of Light and ordering it to train the mithril. Technique, knowledge, materials, and tools—Grid poured everything he had into this match. Maybe this was the ‘first’ time. He would eventually be making battle gear out of pavranium for the first time.
Every time the pavranium was hit with the hammer, it emitted a white light intense enough to make the golden cloud fields turn white for a moment. It was a splendid sight that soothed Hexetia. Hexetia already realized that the reason why Grid made the temple wasn’t for the sake of simple flattery.
‘Truly... He truly respects me!’
Hexetia’s poisonous gaze gentled. He held the hammer made of divine stone and felt the feeling of ‘joy’ for the first time.