-Before Pagma was born, there was a blacksmith called Bultar. Was he worshipped as a legend like you and Pagma? No, he was a very ordinary blacksmith. However, he worked hard. For the sake of those who needed his skills, he never left the furnace and his skin was always red.
Who was the owner of this cold and cynical voice? Grid was still unaware of who exactly this second voice belonged to.
‘God’s Command is the power of the fourth evil, so is it Taren’s voice?’
In any case, it wasn’t important. Darkness encroached Grid’s eyes and then his location changed from the Vatican’s warehouse to a shabby smithy.
Ttang! Ttang! Ttang!
There was a blacksmith making various tools with crude workmanship. The blacksmith’s skin was red from the heat of the furnace, and he was covered with sweat. It was Bultar. He hammered desperately despite his fatigue and suffering.
‘Why is he going so far?’
The reason was immediately apparent.
“Hey! Bultar! Isn’t it ready yet?”
“I’m almost done!”
How many days had he gone without sleep? Bultar, who was dozing off and almost fell into the burning furnace, woke up when he heard the voice. The person who called out to Bultar was a villager. A small village covered in pouring rain could be seen through the gap of the smithy’s open door. The levee had broken, and the village was being flooded. The villagers were struggling to minimize the disaster, and the only blacksmith in the village, Bultar, had been working day and night to make tools for the villagers.
“Bultar! I need 20 more shovels!”
Everyone had a limit. It was the same for the legendary Grid. Working one more day or night would be difficult, but Bultar had to withstand it. He stayed in one place for four days, hammering constantly. The amazing thing was that Bultar never showed any villagers he was having a tough time. He knew that his strength was needed to protect the village.
Additionally, he knew that if he talked about his limitations, the villagers would feel greater anxiety. Therefore, he worked without saying anything. He persevered to the end. This was the moment his mind transcended his flesh. Once he succeeded in protecting the village, a voice entered his ears.
-He heard Rebecca’s voice.
Bultar was called by the goddess of light. The goddess claimed that he had sacrificed himself for the sake of others and overcome his limits. She promised to give him strength that would make up for his lacking abilities. It was a situation where Bultar was blessed by the blacksmith god, Hexetia. Blessed by Hexetia, Bultar became an incomparable superior blacksmith, praised by the people as one of the ‘seven selected.’
-Afterward, Bultar kept trying hard. He was filled with a passion to become the best blacksmith to repay Rebecca and Hexetia who blessed him. Nobody expected for this passion to be poisoned.
Bultar was able to exert the ‘Creation’ power after polishing his skills. In addition to the millions of tools already on the ground, he started to create tools that were beneficial to humanity, and he soon made new minerals. The result?
-Hexetia got jealous.
Hexetia became furious once a human, whose achievements were trivial when compared to a god’s, started to be praised by humanity. The blacksmith god then destroyed the human race. All types of minerals fell from the sky, and the ground boiled with lava.
-Bultar watched the people die, and the last piece he left behind was the Stone of Original Sin.
The First Holy Sword was the greatest achievement Hexetia left behind. It was the reason why humans couldn’t forget Hexetia. Bultar denied it. He sealed the sword with the sin of envy that Hexetia left behind and exterminated the evidence of Hexetia’s achievements with humanity. It was the ‘seven selected’ who fought against the gods and helped humanity. Like Bultar, they were blessed by other gods. This was the birth of the seven malignant saints who the gods deemed evil.
-In the end, we didn’t stop the gods. The gods preached that the seven malignant saints were the original sin who threatened the earth. We fought for humanity, yet we became villains.
The voice didn’t express negative emotions such as resentment or anger. The main character of the unknown voice remained sarcastic to the end. He had learned how to control his grudge after hundreds or maybe a thousand years.
-The seven of us were sealed between the ground and hell... Yes, the seven of us watched the gods. We hoped that their brilliant ‘light’, which once blinded us, would be revealed to the next generation.
It was the feeling of grabbing at straws. The seven malignant saints wanted to believe in the compassion of the gods.
-Yet the same thing repeated again. Hexetia felt jealous of Pagma and threatened humanity. The other gods ignored it or helped, but we were convinced. The rise or fall of humanity is only determined by their whims. This world is merely something created for their entertainment.
The seven malignant saints were desperate. They thought that a generation without their presence would suffer from the crisis of annihilation, that the human race would disappear from the world. However, the result was different from what they expected.
The gods had consumed a great deal of power in the war against the seven malignant people and weren’t in perfect condition. This meant they were forced to borrow the hands of hell. 1st Great Demon Baal received the demands of the gods and stood on Pagma’s side. This time, the gods were Baal’s entertainment.
Humanity was saved thanks to Pagma and Baal. Since then, 200 years passed.
-It is now this era.
The seven malignant saints were weaker, and the talents of the legends were infinitely weaker than the previous generations. In particular, the fact that Pagma’s Descendant won the title of Hero King instead of the Sword Saint and that there was no substitute for the Undefeated King was huge.
What if Hexetia’s jealousy were triggered now? Humanity would once again step on the path of destruction. The seven malignant saints were determined. They wouldn’t wander as ghosts any longer and would give their remaining power to the inexperienced heroes of this time. Although they would perish, they hoped humanity would be protected. However...
-...You changed the flow.
To think that Grid removed the envy, the source of one of the seven sins...? The seven malignant saints were amazed at Grid’s ridiculous accomplishment of changing Hexetia. This Hero King had seemed so infinitely small compared to the past generations, yet they now realized that he was greater than anyone else.
-The next six sins that the gods will commit are delayed, and for a time, humanity will walk on the path of peace.
Of course, the peace that was discussed here was merely avoiding punishment.
-The war between humans, who commit more sins than the gods do every day, will continue for a lifetime... Well, that isn’t a problem for us to intervene in.
The conversation was coming to an end. As the voice faded out, Grid asked, “Who are you?”
It was said to be the greatest sin.
-I am the 7th evil, ‘Corruption.’
After this last answer, darkness exploded. Grid’s consciousness became distant as he couldn’t see anything in front of him.
Once he opened his eyes again, Grid found that he was being supported by Damian and the elders of the Rebecca Church. This was the moment when Grid’s spirit, which had been flowing with the quest, returned to reality.
“Ah...” Grid noticed that he was holding the perfect form of the First Holy Sword.
“The curse was released!”
“Oh, you are really great! King Grid is always helping the church! I can’t help respecting the faith that you always show to Goddess Rebecca! Hahaha!”
The elders shook and made a fuss. Even if they hadn’t witnessed him doing it, they believed that Grid had cleansed the First Holy Sword. It was an infinite trust. Well, it was natural. All of them were already on the verge of deifying Grid.
“...This isn’t a big deal.” Grid felt burdened as the elderly people stared at him. He handed the sword to Damian, who was still looking anxious. “The sword won’t be eroded by the curse again in the future. The symbol of Rebecca will last forever.”
“That...” Damian held the sword and opened his mouth, only to stop. He opened and closed his mouth several times. “Did you enjoy the adventure?”
Damian had witnessed the world message like everyone else. In fact, there was something else he wanted to say. He wanted to thank Grid but also apologize for the suffering Grid received every time he got tangled up with the Rebecca Church. Yet Damian suppressed his words because he didn’t see any shadows on Grid’s face. Instead, there was a smile on Grid’s face as his eyes stared at a distant place. He didn’t seem tired at all. It would be rude to say these words when Grid was ready to explore a new world.
Grid replied, “Yes, I had a great time.”
Having seen a god and changed the world, he felt like a hero in the myths. Grid was filled with a huge sense of achievement as the protagonist of the world.
[The quest has been completed!]
[In the course of completing the Cleanse the Holy Sword quest, a new Pagma episode had opened and a new swordsmanship had been acquired. You have gained the goddess’ blessing as compensation.]
[You have heard Goddess Rebecca’s warm voice.]
Now, Grid had two blessings from the goddess. Prior to enhancing Pagma’s Swordsmanship and blacksmithing, he was filled with a strange sense of goosebumps.
‘What is Goddess Rebecca’s sin?’
Goddess Rebecca was the supreme god. She knew everything that happened in the world. However, she still had a great liking instead of wariness toward Grid who interfered with the seven malignant saints and blocked Hexetia’s envy. It was an attitude of denying that she was even involved with the seven malignant saints. Still, the seven malignant saints were wary of the goddess, and Braham called the goddess wicked.
‘Hrmm.’ An unknown opponent was truly scary. Grid’s wariness towards the goddess increased. That didn’t mean he resisted her blessings though. It was a blessing he’d won after putting in hard work, and he was prepared to use it thoroughly.
“Ah, before that,” Grid asked Damian on the way out of the warehouse, “Do you feel like a spar?”
“Huh?” Damian panicked at the question and replied after thinking about it, “I can’t damage you even if I hit you, and if you hit me, I can die in one shot. Therefore, I feel a lot of pressure to try not to get hit as much as possible while hitting you, but the barrier of the God Hands is difficult...”
“...I see.” Grid was agonizing over the new sword he’d made in Asgard.
The God Hands were a trump card made to supplement what he was lacking. Therefore, he wondered if it was okay to bind the pavranium in its current form of a sword.
‘There is a certain chance of summoning a God Hand when attacking, but it won’t last indefinitely.’
The Blade Aiming at the Gods might have an advantage in physical attack power, but it didn’t affect magic attack power and its wide area damage was far below that of the Enlightenment Sword.
‘Contempt For the Weak doesn’t work on transcendents.’
For ordinary players, it could cause death with one blow, but he could do that through other methods. The usefulness of Contempt For the Weak wasn’t as significant.
‘I have to experiment and determine what the lightning and golden clouds are.’
He needed confirmation. Feeling determined, Grid grabbed Damian’s shoulder and laughed. “How long has it been since we sparred?”
“...Huh?” Recalling that the last time had been when Grid made the Enlightenment Sword, the pope’s face turned white. “Yamete kudasai!”
“What if I don’t want to? Hmm, then I will ask Isabel.”
“...I will spar with you.”
How many men in the world would allow the woman they loved to be a punching bag? The weeping Damian accepted the match. The stage of the confrontation was the beautiful garden that the Vatican was proud of. After hearing the rumors, the players belonging to the Rebecca Church came over. The players knew Pope Damian’s skills, which had become incomparably stronger since the 3rd National Competition, and couldn’t easily guess who the winner of the spar would be. Damian’s growth might be less developed than Grid’s, but Damian was already one of the best in the world.