“...” Grid’s expression was serious as he faced his opponent. It wasn’t much different from when he met Kraugel in the PvP finals. It was because the opponent was Damian. This was despite the fact that Grid’s winning percentage against Damian was 100%.
‘He is dangerous in his full buff state.’
Damian’s unique class, Goddess’ Agent, and his status as the pope undoubtedly made him the best among the players. In particular, Damian used various buffs and was able to compete with Grid in terms of firepower.
‘The important thing to take note of is Goddess’ Wrath.’
Once Damian drew two big magic circles in the air, it was a good idea to avoid a frontal battle. The magic pillars fired from the magic circles boasted overwhelming firepower reminiscent of an anti-tank gun. Previously, Grid had the protection of the God Hands and could win relatively easily, but...
‘Right now, I don’t have the God Hands.’
Grid had to weigh the pros and cons. He had sacrificed the Sword Mastery, blacksmithing skills, and the possible development of the growth of the God Hands to make a new sword. It was necessary for him to confirm the value of the item that replaced the God Hands.
‘Based on the performance, the sword is much better than the God Hands. However, I need to look at its effectiveness in a match.’
Grid wanted the current form of the pavranium to be better than when it had been the God Hands.
First of all, he liked the blacksmithing hammer too much. He didn’t want to give up the Blacksmith Hammer to Go Against the Gods which increased the probability of making myth rated items while decreasing the probability of making normal and rare rated items to 0%.
‘The difference when I have the hammer is like the difference between heaven and earth.’
If he devoted the same amount of time, money, and effort to make an item, the result would be influenced by ‘luck.’ From the viewpoint of Grid who was always careful when making an item, it made him ill if the finished product had a normal or rare rating. The damage was serious. If he used the Blacksmith Hammer to Go Against the Gods, he would be able to make an item that was at least epic rated and would avoid any damages. As such, he couldn’t avoid feeling greedy over the hammer.
‘However, if my blacksmithing ability increases in return for my combat ability falling, there will be many limitations on my activities. I have to be careful.’
Grid took a deep breath and pressed the button of the Pulling Device, causing the Enlightenment Blade—which was connected to the silver thread—to spin in the air. It spun dozens of times per second around Grid, making Damian feel tense. The pulling device joined the items together into the shape of a clear sword.
Damian’s face was already pale since early on. He had experienced being beaten like a dog by the Enlightenment Sword, so he couldn’t help feeling fearful now. Damian shrank back and lost his fighting spirit.
“I will cheer for Your Holiness!”
“Receive Goddess Rebecca’s blessing!”
However, Damian couldn’t back down from the moment he agreed to duel with Grid. How could he show weakness to the hundreds of church members who were cheering for him?
The woman he loved was also among those gathered. Damian wanted to be a great guy in front of her. Despite having no chance to win this match, he wanted to show his best abilities to the end.
‘Watch me, Isabel-chan! I’ll show you a man’s fight.’ Damian’s eyes were filled with this desire as he looked at her.
“Please fight in moderation before yielding. I don’t want you to get hurt.” These were Isabel’s words. She said this because she was worried about Damian, but she was also telling Damian that he wasn’t a match for Grid. It was something that Damian acknowledged himself.
‘Still, I am a bit sad.’
He wanted to be the best person to the woman he loved! Damian’s fighting spirit was once again ignited.
“Divine Protection, Incarnation of Light, Goddess’ Blessing.”
[Divine Protection increases the defense of you and your party by 30% for 5 minutes.]
[Incarnation of Light increases the attack power of you and your party by 20% for 5 minutes.]
[The Goddess’ Blessing increases you and your party members’ stats by 15% for 7 minutes, negates one strike, and will create a shield that absorbs 12,000 damage.]
Flash! Flash! Flash!
Damian’s body became surrounded with light as he continuously used buff skills. The performance of his buffs had improved compared to the time of the 3rd National Competition. This was natural since the skill level had increased. Damian had also grown, and although this growth could be a poison, it was just enough to stimulate the Hero King.
[You have discovered a strong person of this era!]
[The Hero King’s fighting energy has started to boil!]
As Damian used his buffs and became stronger, the red and purple aura around Grid started to thicken. Damian jumped with surprise and shouted, “It won’t be easy!”
Conscious of Isabel’s gaze, Damian didn’t lose his fighting spirit. A small golden magic circle appeared above Damian’s left shoulder as he held his sword. It was like a miniature version of the magic circles which appeared when Goddess’ Wrath was used.
The moment that Grid became alert of this, a flash of light emerged from the small golden circle. The power of Goddess’ Anger was four times weaker than Goddess’ Wrath, but it was possible to always keep it activated as it consumed lesser resources. Grid was hit by the flash of light. An explosion occurred at the point where Grid was standing, causing the Rebecca followers to feel in awe while the elders groaned.
“Your Holiness! Why are you attacking so suddenly? Don’t you dare kill him!”
“No, that person...”
Why was the pope being treated as the villain? Since when did the elders like Grid so much? Damian was embarrassed by the elders’ attitude and started sweating nervously. Then the smoke was slowly removed from the area of the explosion, and Grid appeared there unharmed.
Goddess’ Anger consumed less magic power and had a higher minimum damage. No matter how high Grid’s magic resistance was, it should be possible for Damian to deal Grid 7,000 fixed damage. Damian found it hard to understand why Grid had no wounds.
“What is that?”
Damian was confused while the elders were shocked, although they didn’t show it because of their status. Meanwhile, the ordinary members of the Rebecca Church couldn’t even close their mouths. A sight beyond common sense was unfolding before them. A beautiful ivory blade was moving alone in the air and guarding Grid.
That’s right. A blade had replaced the role of the God Hands.
‘What is this?’
Pavranium was the exclusive item of Pagma's Descendant. Other people didn’t know the secrets and functions hidden within it. So, it was impossible for Damian and the other followers to know that the blade that just appeared had been made out of the God Hands. Meanwhile, Grid analyzed the Blade Aiming at the Gods.
‘The reaction rate is the same as when it was the God Hands.’
This was natural. The pavranium protected Grid and reacted to the enemies at the same speed, whether it was in the form of a disc or the God Hands. It was easy to predict that this would stay the same even after it became a blade. There was just one surprising thing.
‘It seems that the total damage it can receive has increased?’
The pavranium would normally freeze for a while once it received damage beyond a certain amount and lose its original function. The discs and God Hands would become stiff for one second every time they received more than 10,000 damage, yet the blade endured 10,000 and was still fine.
‘It is because the amount of pavranium in the blade is more than there was in the God Hands? Or is it the result of combining it with other minerals?’
It was likely to be due to both. Grid smiled with satisfaction and provoked Damian, “Why don’t you try a proper attack instead of this small one?”
Grid’s insight was now above normal. He was aware that Damian was conscious of Isabel in the crowd.
“If you want it!” As expected, Damian wanted to show a nice appearance to Isabel and responded to the provocation. If Grid were the ‘enemy’ and if this were a real battlefield, he would be laughing. Two large magic circles, which were three meters in diameter, were created above Damian’s shoulders. Grid knew what this phenomenon was. It was the precursor to the strongest skill that showed the dignity of the pope.
“Goddess’ Wrath!” Damian first triggered only one of the two magic circles. A flash of light was fired and hit Grid. It was incomparably larger than Goddess’ Anger. The shockwave that followed shook the entire garden, and the church members started to fall.
“Are you insane?” There was a barrage of criticisms from the elders. They resented Damian, who launched an enormous attack on the church’s benefactor.
“Who cares now?” Damian dismissed them as he looked in front of him. The pillar of light was clashing with the ivory blade. This was the moment when the pope’s strongest technique was easily weakened. The flash faded, and the blade froze in place, shaking.
Grid’s lips curved as he watched it. ‘30,000!’
It was a huge 30,000 damage. The Blade Aiming at the Gods would only become frozen if the damage was over 30,000. It could absorb 20,000 more damage than the God Hands.
“Maybe it isn’t bad... Eh?”
The frozen state of the Blade Aiming at the Gods wasn’t over yet! Damian attacked during this gap. A new flash of light was fired from one of the two huge magic circles, and it reached Grid.
‘This is bad!’
This blade was still frozen! It was burdensome for Grid to receive this attack that would deal at least 70,000 damage.
‘...Wait?’ Grid stopped just as he was trying to swing the Enlightenment Sword to offset some of the damage. Then he pulled out the Blacksmith Hammer to Go Against the Gods from his inventory. The hammer met the flash of light that was about to hit Grid’s chest.
“Hat..!” Grid burst out laughing. He recalled that the hammer was also made of pavranium and then started a sword dance. It was the sword dance for Transcend. The atmosphere surrounding Grid boiled. His attack power increased, and his attacks were transformed into ranged ones.
Wasn’t this a scam? Damian could only fight in close combat, so it became more difficult for him to deal with Grid, who started to fly into the distance. Damian had to set up a shield and crouch like a turtle while slowly narrowing the distance. Unlike Grid who could freely move while swinging his sword, Damian had to shoot magic while hiding behind a shield. This caused his hit rate to drop substantially. At this time, Damian’s shield was pointed upward in front of him. It was set up like a wall to constantly block the many strikes. This meant that the Blade Aiming at the Gods pierced Damian’s unprotected side easily.
[You have suffered 8,170 damage.]
Grid didn’t swing it, but it moved by itself. To think that the blade which could only exert its own attack power actually dealt so much damage to the fully buffed Damian...? The damage wasn’t much different compared to when he was directly hit by Grid.
A chill went down Damian’s spine.
“Link.” Grid used Freely Move to appear by Damian’s side and used a new sword dance.
“W-Wait a minute! Time!” Damian cried out, but Grid didn’t stop. In the course of the sword dance, the Enlightenment Blade fell off the sword and was replaced by the Blade Aiming at the Gods. This was the birth of the Sword Aiming at the Gods.
“Isn’t it okay to die in sparring mode anyway?”
“It doesn’t feel good...!” Damian shouted urgently, but Grid still had many things to check. It wasn’t worthwhile to Grid for them to stop the spar now. Grid swung the sword, and a lightning bolt fell over Damian’s head while golden clouds appeared in the sky.
Then a transparent God Hand hovered around Grid. Grid felt it was still lacking and asked the enraptured elders, “Elders, can you participate as well? Help the pope in his spar with me...”
The elders shook their heads. They were incredibly terrified as they looked at Grid, who was completely fine, and then at Damian, who was injured on the ground.
‘We can’t make him angry...!’ In the minds of the elders, Grid’s presence was becoming so big that he was comparable to the goddess. It wasn’t too long before Grid gained a new deity stat point.