The Murray Kingdom was surrounded by mountains and the sea. It didn’t boast the excellent infrastructure of the empire or a variety of quests like the Overgeared Kingdom, but it had its own advantages and was quite popular among players. Tens of millions of players belonged to the Murray Kingdom, and one-tenth of them were active in the capital of Juden. There was a disturbance in the city. The guards moved quickly, and the army was dispatched. Then there was a sudden explosion and screams.
Thousands of players heard the noise and rushed to the scene. They felt it was a surreal scene as they saw a knight in red armor fighting against a soldier in shabby armor. They jumped into the air and exchanged blows at a speed that wasn’t visible. It was reminiscent of the confrontation between Grid and Kraugel in the PvP finals of the 3rd National Competition. No, this confrontation was far more devastating.
“Asmophellllll!” The knight in red armor, Singuled, roared angrily. Every time he wielded his sword, a glow broke everything in its path.
Even the high walls surrounding a mansion were destroyed after being pierced by the glow. It was terrible to imagine what would happen if a person were hit by that attack. Then what about the blond soldier facing him? He burned everything in his path, leaving a blaze of light. Dust rose due to the explosions, and it seemed like this entire area would turn into ruins.
“There were such NPCs?”
“Where did these monsters... Heok!”
The players watching the fight between Singuled and Asmophel panicked. This was because Singuled’s sword hit the ground and destroyed a 100-meter radius around it. Asmophel rose in the air due to the backlash that occurred from his collision with Singuled’s sword and groaned when he landed, “Keuk...!”
The sight of Asmophel’s face distorting with pain just stimulated Singuled’s anger. “This is merely pain from a stab...!”
Singuled had a homeland, and his homeland protected his family. He was all about his homeland. Singuled was proud that he was a citizen of the great empire that dominated the continent and was willing to devote himself to it. It had been the same 12 years ago. Singuled had embraced his homeland’s will and headed for the battlefield, fighting without shame. He had torn out the hearts of the enemies for the glory of his country and gotten wounded.
However, when he returned home, he wasn’t welcomed with the people’s cheers or the emperor’s praise. Instead, he had met with the sharp spears and swords of Asmophel and thousands of soldiers, whom he had believed to be his colleagues.
‘Enemy who betrayed your homeland, don’t resist.’
It had been the landscape of hell. The heads of his parents, his wife, and his children had been hanging in this beautiful city. On that day, Singuled fled and vowed with all his heart that he would surely get revenge. He would cut Asmophel’s tongue, dig out his eyes, cut off his limbs, and scatter them like trash in front of Asmophel’s family!
“Asmophel! Until you feel that much pain...!!”
How could he penetrate the empire to reach Asmophel? For the past 12 years, he had only been thinking of a way to sneak into the empire. Asmophel showing up here was an unexpected stroke of good luck for Singuled, and he didn’t want to miss this opportunity.
“Ohhhhh!” Singuled’s sword energy which was injected into the ground became stronger, and the earth was eroded. It was a sharp sword energy that collapsed the ground and led all living creatures above the ground to death. At the center of it all was Asmophel.
“Cough!” Asmophel’s skin had now turned blue. Every time he coughed, the blood vessels of his neck and face swelled like they were going to burst. Death was approaching, and Asmophel wanted to accept this death. He wanted to use death to escape the bridle of the sin he had committed, and he hoped it would release the grudges of his old colleagues.
However, his king had given him a mission. Asmophel couldn’t die until he accomplished it. A burst of flames exploded from Asmophel’s sword, neutralizing Singuled’s sword energy. The shaking earth stopped, and all of the plants and people standing on it were freed from death.
“I cut off your father’s head,” Asmophel confessed as he cut his neck with a knife. It wasn’t a deep cut, but it was just enough for blood to flow out.
“All the soldiers who hurt your family were following my commands.” Asmophel kneeled in front of Singuled and wounded himself all over. He cut his eyes, ears, mouth, neck, chest, arms, waist, and legs with a knife like splitting the skin of livestock.
“What crazy thing are you doing?” Singuled asked.
“When you kill me later on, dismantle my body and throw it to the beasts. I hope that you will feel more at ease,” Asmophel said to Singuled. “It will happen sooner or later. Until then, please hold off until I repay the favor I owe to the king I serve.”
“I don’t dare ask for forgiveness. I’m just sorry. I committed a great sin against you and your family.”
“...” An unpleasant feeling swept over Singuled. Perhaps the object of revenge that he had been cursing for 12 years...
“Singuled, come with me to the Overgeared Kingdom. Piaro is waiting for you.”
The results of his confrontation with Hexetia were a big joy for Grid. He was now the benefactor of a god, everyone in the world knew his name, and the blacksmiths, including himself, enjoyed a great benefit. Grid could feel a sense of pride and superiority.
Thinking of how the dwarves—who had inspired Pagma—were becoming interested in him, Grid was filled with nervousness and anticipation. However, not everything was good. His position had been captured by someone in hell, and the mention of 1st Great Demon Baal was worrisome. Who was the presence in hell, and why was Baal mentioned? Grid grew afraid after finding out he had become the target of someone in hell. At this moment, his fear became reality.
[The presence in hell who has captured your location has arrived on the ground.]
‘No, how did this happen?’
It wasn’t a great demon. After all, it would’ve been clearly stated if that was the case.
‘The presence was looking for me in hell, isn’t a great demon, and is motivated enough to appear on the ground as soon as my location was discovered...’
Grid was about to identify the presence as his clone. The clone who had been born in order to kill Grid... According to Yura’s testimony, this was still the clone’s purpose. He was still looking for Grid in order to kill him.
‘Yes, it is highly likely to be my clone.’
This raised other questions though.
‘How did the clone break out of hell?’
Yura had said the clone had looked like Grid when he used Blackening. His clone had died while using Blackening and had fallen to hell. It had maintained Blackening afterward and could exist in hell. In order to him to climb out of hell, he had to release Blackening. The moment he lifted Blackening, he would be pronounced dead and cease to exist. Of course, this was what Grid assumed based on his personal experience.
‘There might be other ways. In the first place, the clone is a different existence from me.’
Grid shook his head to get rid of the thoughts. The method that the clone used to escape hell wasn’t an important issue right now. The clone that even Great Demon Belial was wary of was already here. Furthermore, he wasn’t a great demon, so he wouldn’t receive a penalty. It was likely that the clone could boast more strength than Belial on Earth, and he was aiming for Grid. The clone would naturally advance to the Overgeared Kingdom, and there was a high possibility that many people would become injured in the process. Grid had to stop him.
‘Where is he?’
The clone knew where Grid was, but Grid didn’t know where he was.
‘What should I do?’
Grid wasn’t that worried about it. He had a person he could go to.
“Call the 10 meritorious retainers and Sage Sticks right now."
It was a problem that couldn’t be solved by worrying alone, so he would meet with his colleagues. The Overgeared King had so many talents that he didn’t feel any doubts.
A red light flashed, and sirens rang.
[TEX-214098 processor has started]
Yoon Nahee, the head of Satisfy’s management team, frowned at the warning. “Isn’t TEX the code for clones? What is the problem with this clone?”
Satisfy had hundreds of thousands of doppelganger monsters and spells that could create a clone of someone. It was extremely common. The actions of a clone couldn’t have an adverse effect on Satisfy’s world view. However, the supercomputer Morpheus was reporting a risk. Why?
‘...Ah?’ Yoon Nahee wasn’t convinced of the reason for Morpheus’ fuss. She bit her nails and thought, ‘Am I working overtime today for a ridiculous reason?’ Then she realized… there was one presence who survived all types of variables.
It would be a long day of work. Yoon Nahee put her bag back down and wore her white coat again.
“Checking code name 214098... G-Grid’s clone!”
The team members were reporting it right now. It was as Yoon Nahee expected. Hundreds of monitors in the office were broadcasting the image of Grid’s clone. What was wrong with the background? It wasn’t the dark hell filled with lava but a lush green forest.
“214098’s position isn’t hell? How did he appear on the ground?”
Her team members increased their typing speed. They planned to analyze the cause of this outcome by calculating 214098’s route.
“It is Baal’s entertainment,” Lim Cheolho appeared and spoke at this moment. His complexion was very good, and he looked excited. He seemed decades younger than his usual self.
“Baal...? Are you talking about S-003?”
“Yes, the 1st Great Demon Baal.”
As the presence equipped with the most advanced artificial intelligence, Baal experienced the first ‘tedium’ of all virtual creatures in Satisfy and pursued ‘entertainment.’ In Satisfy’s history, he was a simulation that preceded Satisfy’s formal opening and created all sorts of variables, such as helping Pagma. This made Satisfy’s worldview more extensive and complex. Now, this was happening.
“Following Agnus, Grid has stimulated Baal’s interest. Baal has sensed it. The presence of the Five Miracles who will soothe his tedium.”
“Then the reason why Grid’s clone was able to escape from hell...”
“Your guess is right. It is Baal’s will, not an error. In Satisfy, it can be described as a god’s blessing or a demon’s curse.”
On the monitors, Grid’s clone started to move. When Grid unlocked new skills with the goddess blessing, the clone also unlocked new skills. Grid grew stronger in the process of repeated battles and quests, and the clone was the same. Would the present players be able to withstand the huge catastrophe that had been brought to the ground by Baal?
‘...It will be hard unless the Five Miracles join forces.’
It might be possible with an army, but great losses would be suffered. The clone’s combat ability was too high, and he had too many skills. It was possible for millions to be slaughtered.
“...Hah,” Yoon Nahee burst out laughing.
Originally, most of humanity was supposed to have been wiped out by the insane dragon Nevartan event or the other species event. However, Grid had intervened along with Kraugel and Kir and saved humanity.
‘Now humanity is in danger due to Grid.’
What did this mean? It was fate. The unscientific reasoning that results were determined by something superhuman and couldn’t be jumped was being realized in virtual reality.
A scientist thinking about fate? Laughter could only emerge. While she laughed, Yoon Nahee suddenly heard Chairman Lim Cheolho’s voice. “I went through this a long time ago.”
Lim Cheolho noticed that Yoon Nahee was now thinking about fate.
‘Once this happens...’
Grid will do something big.