‘He’s this strong?’
Earl Ashur was exposed to news about Grid’s actions in Reinhardt. The strongest golem army, that hundreds of thousands of troops couldn’t go against, was cut like carrots. But weren’t rumors always exaggerated?
During Grid’s novice adventurer days. Earl Ashur remembered that he had no talent and was a fool, so he had no choice but to laugh at the rumors. Grid might have the ability of a legend, but it was dulled because he couldn’t use it properly. The nobles must’ve intentionally inflated the rumors in order to boost the morale of the people.
But that wasn’t it. Now Grid was the hero in the rumors. At that moment, Earl Ashur’s memories of the beginner Grid were completely blown away. His narrow perception disappeared and he started to perceive the current Grid correctly.
‘Indeed, this is an absolute presence.’
The two eyes reminiscent of rotten fish. The mean eyes when facing the weak now shone as they contemplated the world in a much stronger face. The weak body that always shrank back. The pathetic flesh that ran away when hunting orcs and was killed by the orc captain, it was now standing firmly like a mountain.
That disgusting face. He didn’t care about how he looked and was always jealous of others. That horrible face now emitted a dignity that charmed all the people of the kingdom.
‘Is it possible for a person to change this way…?’
"You want me to beg for my life?”
Earl Ashur quietly observed Grid and the blue sword in his hand. The sword gleaming with a white light was something that could only be seen in legends. Earl Ashur felt a fear of death. His instincts were shouting at him to succumb to Grid.
This was the effect of Grid’s high dignity stat. However, Earl Ashur had the highest pride as the strongest person in the Eternal Kingdom and a great magician, so he didn’t give in easily.
“I’d rather die.”
He hadn’t been sure Pagma’s Rare Book actually existed.
Earl Ashur decided to use Grid, who was easy to take advantage of. However, he gave reasonable compensation and didn’t put a time limit on the quest. It was a quest he seriously entrusted to Grid, because he believed in Grid’s inherent tenacity. Did he give a novice adventurer the quest in an attempt to trick him?
No, it was Grid who abandoned the faith first. Grid was blinded by greed after discovering Pagma’s Rare Book and broke the promise, trying to take the book for himself.
‘That wasn’t all.’
His precious son Bland had been in love with Irene for many years. The woman who seemed likely to marry Bland had been taken away by Grid. It was better to choose death than to submit to Grid, who wasn’t just his enemy, but his son’s enemy as well.
Grid was baffled as he watched Earl Ashur tightly close his eyes.
'He really wants me to kill him?’
Grid had hated Earl Ashur since he was killed. But it was his choice to quickly find Pagma’s Rare Book without understanding the subject. He wasn’t forced by Earl Ashur. Nevertheless, whenever he suffered a trial, he blamed everything on Earl Ashur.
His habit of blaming others was the problem. Strictly speaking, there was no reason for Grid to resent Earl Ashur. If Pagma’s Rare Book hadn’t existed, Grid wouldn’t have found it or turned into Pagma’s Descendant.
As a result, Earl Ashur was Grid’s benefactor. Of course, that was just the result, and there was no need for Grid to feel gratitude. It was through Grid’s willpower that he found Pagma’s Rare Book and became Pagma’s Descendant. It was due to Grid’s own efforts that he could grow until now, and it wasn’t thanks to Earl Ashur.
Anyway, this was the conclusion.
‘I have overwhelmed him but... Looking at this, I don’t need to kill him.’
Grid still didn’t like Earl Ashur. In fact, he had the experience of being murdered by Earl Ashur’s knights, and he had been directly threatened with death by Earl Ashur, so it wasn’t easy to feel forgiveness.
But it wasn’t enough to feel the urge to murder him. His conscience didn’t allow him to.
“Sigh, okay. Forget it.”
“...?” Earl Ashur was confused as Grid sighed and took back his sword. "I tried to kill you. But you will spare me?”
Earl Ashur’s strength transcended his title, but he was still an earl. Grid was a duke, but Earl Ashur treated him badly and even tried to kill him because of a grudge of the past. Now that he discovered that Grid was really qualified to be a duke, Earl Ashur was aware that he committed a crime. He thought it was natural to be executed, so he couldn’t accept this.
"Is there something you will demand separately of me?”
Earl Ashur eyed Grid warily.
‘I had mercy on him, yet he’s still doubting me?’ Grid's heart beat faster. The Grid of the past would’ve been swept away by his emotions and spoken nonsense. ‘It’s better to ask for something in exchange for saving him.’
Grid had learned to take advantage of certain situations. He had learned it by watching Lauel for three months. What could he get from Earl Ashur?
Grid thought about it.
‘Money? Jewelry? Land? Items?’
He was greedy. As Grid was deeply troubled about what he should ask for, Lauel sent him a whisper.
-Grid, everyone has arrived in Reidan except for Euphemina. When are you going to arrive?
-I think it will take three more days.
-Three days? What is taking so long? Can’t you come quickly if you use Fly? Come quickly. There is a mountain of work to do.
-I have a companion. But my companion doesn’t want to ride a carriage, so we’re walking. Just handle things for a few days.
-Companion...? Who are you talking about?
-You’ll see when you meet him. It is good that you got in touch with me. I actually...
Grid briefly explained to Lauel about the relationship between him and Earl Ashur, as well as the current situation.
-...In these circumstances, what should I ask from Earl Ashur?
As one of the 10 great magicians on the continent, Earl Ashur was a huge celebrity. Lauel already knew about him, so he thought carefully before asking.
-There is a story I’ve heard from Vantner. I heard he caused a disturbance along with Earl Ashur’s son on the day of your wedding to Irene?
-Really? I didn’t know. I couldn’t pay attention to anything else on that day.
-Pay attention to him. Ask Earl Ashur to give you his son.
-Eh? What are you saying?
Lauel clearly predicted that Grid wouldn’t understand and added a detailed explanation.
-Earl Ashur is famous for his love for his son. If you keep his son, he won’t be able to go against you again and he will have to move according to your will. Earl Ashur’s mighty power will surely help one day.
‘What a great guy.’
Lauel looked at benefits rather than money, so Grid thought he was truly great. One day he would become smart like Lauel. A wicked smile appeared on Grid’s face and Earl Ashur’s anxiety was heightened.
Then Grid demanded, "Give me your son."
“What...?” It was like a bolt out of the blue to Earl Ashur. He absolutely couldn’t accept it. “You mean to take my son hostage!”
The 48 year old Earl Ashur was still young and beautiful. His appearance was like the protagonist of a manhwa, and he had been very popular since childhood. When he was a young man and still active among the social circles, dozens of women clung to him.
But Earl Ashur only loved one woman. She wasn’t beautiful, but Earl Ashur fell for her warm-heartedness. Their marriage was successful. They had two sons and lived happily.
It was a short moment of happiness.
Unfortunately, Earl Ashur’s wife suffered from a terminal illness and died at a young age. Earl Ashur tasted the pain of his heart breaking. However, he didn’t have time to mourn. He had an obligation to defend the kingdom and had to take care of his two young sons.
Earl Ashur was faithful to his duties and raised his sons at the same time. His first son became a royal mage, and his second son became a magic swordsman because he showed talent in both magic and swordsmanship. Earl Ashur was able to fill the blank spot left by his wife with his pride for his two sons.
But the heavens were too harsh on Earl Ashur.
Just two years ago. His first son went on a monster conquest and died. After that, Earl Ashur’s nature became somewhat strange. His gentleness disappeared. However, he still cared about his remaining son. Bland was his only blood, and Earl Ashur cherished him more than his own life.
"My flesh and soul might burn, but I will never sell my son. Just kill me.”
What should he do? Grid wasn’t smart, so the only method he could come up with was to use force. But this problem didn’t need to be resolved with force.
“I will follow you.”
A blond man appeared while Grid was feeling confused. The person was Bland.
"Why are you...!?”
Bland ignored the panicked Earl Ashur and bowed before Grid. "I, Bland de Ian, son of Earl Ashur, greet Duke Grid, the great hero of this kingdom.”
Bland and Grid had dueled once over Irene. But in the end, Bland was defeated and kicked out from the wedding. After that, he lived in pain for a while, but now he was determined.
"I will go to Reidan according to Duke Grid’s will.”
It was the only way to save his father. Earl Ashur’s face turned white.
“Bland! Why are you deciding this by yourself?”
Grid was the rival who deprived Bland of his beloved. Earl Ashur couldn’t tolerate his son being Grid’s hostage. He started to gather magic power in his pained body.
"I will kill you and give your soul to God Yatan if you touch one hair on my son!”
Bland came forward before Grid could frown. He fell to his knees.
“Duke Grid, my father lost his temper because he cares too much about me. Please show mercy one more time.”
He was begging to his rival because of his father! Earl Ashur was shocked by causing more humiliation to his son and fell silent. Then Bland reassured him. "Father, I will go and study under Duke Grid. Please trust in your son and wait for me to return. Don’t skip any meals.”
Earl Ashur was frustrated. His eyes had been clouded by his grudge, and now his son was taken as a hostage. Grid placed a hand on his shoulder.
"Earl Ashur, don’t worry. I will look after your son.”
Wasn’t he a demon? He could smile brightly and enjoy the pain and sorrows of others. To Earl Ashur, Grid didn’t look like a human. However, Grid was obviously a human.
'Please don’t overdo it. I won’t eat your son.’
Grid inwardly spoke before glancing at Piaro and Bland.
After a few moments. The only thing left was a disastrous scene where Earl Ashur looked completely insane and the wounded knights looked wretched.
OG: Glossary Link.
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