“My Lord! There are 15 cacti in a cluster 400m ahead! It is presumed to be mine cacti in disguise, so pay special attention..."
"Advance and destroy them!”
“My Lord! Two golden toads in the oasis are mating! It is wiser to bypass them...”
“Two field bosses appeared at the same time? This is a jackpot! Charge!"
"My Lord! Dozens of desert toads are chasing us 800m in the rear! We have to speed up or they will catch us...!”
"Do they want revenge for the golden toads? Okay! Stop! We will meet the prey who are willingly coming to us!”
“My Lord... There is a small nest of giant worms below the mountain...”
"Go in and sweep them up!”
From the sky, Huroi was able to grasp the terrain in advance and discover the enemies. If he depended on his scouting ability as master of a drake, he would be able to minimize their clashes with monsters until they reached their destination.
But who was Grid? He was enthusiastic after not hunting for a long time, so the monsters of the west were destined to be destroyed. If Huroi discovered an enemy, Grid rushed in, rather than avoiding it. Due to that, the Overgeared members became tired.
“Pant pant! Damn, doesn’t Grid get tired?”
“I feel it every time, but Grid’s stamina is much higher than we think.”
“Uhh... It’s unbearably hot."
It was very hard to march through the desert. The Overgeared members were top rankers, but they were also users. Due to the repeated battles and heat, their stamina was quickly depleted. On the other hand, Grid was fine. His stamina was twice as high as the Overgeared members thanks to his persistence stat, which he raised through labor and blacksmith work.
‘No matter how strong the monsters in the west are, fields bosses have obvious limits.’
Field bosses were weaker than quest bosses or dungeon bosses, and their item drop rate was also low. Grid and the Overgeared members hunted one large cactus and two golden toads, but only obtained two epic items and five enhancement stones.
As Grid was feeling disappointment, “River!”
“We've finally arrived!”
The group arrived at the Hebend River. It was only 10 hours from Reidan. If they fully exploited Huroi’s scouting ability, they would’ve been able to arrive within three hours. However, Grid made their journey at least three times longer.
“Grid, all the guild members are tired. It’s late at night, so why don’t we take a break?” Pon suggested.
Grid checked the status of the Overgeared members.
"I understand. Get ready to camp.”
Stamina recovery was slow outdoors. Meals and simple rest weren’t sufficient, so it was better to take a short nap. The Overgeared members gathered near the river and pulled out a tents from the inventory. They were impressed when they saw Grid setting up his. It was because Grid’s setting up skill wasn’t ordinary.
"Wow, isn’t this great? It is the first time I’ve seen someone build a tent as quickly as Grid.”
"Has he set up a lot of tents in reality? Does he go camping often?”
Grid didn’t have any friends to go camping with. The reason why Grid’s tent building skill was so good was because he was thoroughly trained in the army. Grid had over 3,000 dexterity points, so he could set up a tent several times faster than ordinary users.
Were there any advantages to building a tent quickly? No. It wouldn’t be helpful in reality unless he had a lover to go on a camping trip with.
Once the setting up of tents was complete, the Overgeared members sat down in front of a fire. The food they prepared was common. It was the rainbow potato, the only food currently grown in Reidan.
"I’m sick of eating this for every meal.”
The rainbow potato had seven flavors. The red portion had a meat flavor, the yellow portion was fried shrimp flavor, the orange portion was tangerine sauce, and so on. It had a soft, strong or delicious taste, but in the end, it was just a potato. Basically, it was hard because they had to eat this for every meal.
"It would be nice if we had a good chef.”
In the case of a chef with high cooking skills, it was possible to make food using wild grasses and monsters. In addition, the dishes would give a small buff so it was a very useful ability.
‘Euphemina can duplicate the cooking skill...’
Euphemina wasn’t included in this raid. Currently, she was making a great contribution to the security and internal affairs development of Reidan by duplicating skills like the monster taming, blacksmithing, alchemy, building, etc. It was too much to rely on her for cooking as well, so Grid shook his head.
‘We can’t always depend on Euphemina.’
She might leave the guild. In fact, there was a limit to relying on only one person, so Grid decided that it was better to recruit users with various secondary classes like chefs.
“Now my eyes are tired.”
“What should we do?”
The guild members finished their meal. Grid rose from his spot and proclaimed, "Leave the lookout position to me. Everybody, you should get a good sleep.”
Grid had matured and was now sacrificing himself for his colleagues. But the Overgeared members refused.
“Grid is the core power of this raid group. You can’t overdo it.”
"Don't worry. I’m still okay because I have a lot of stamina.”
"It isn’t enough just to be okay. You have to be well prepared. The opponent is strong.”
In the end, Grid was excluded from being on guard and the members started to consult among themselves. The scheduled break was four hours. In the meantime, eight people should stand guard in intervals of 30 minutes.
“The eight people with the highest stamina stat will have to sacrifice 30 minutes.”
The higher the stamina stat, the higher the maximum stamina and the quicker the recovery speed. Therefore, the guard positions were always taken by the tankers. Vantner and Toban groaned.
“I’m tired of being a tanker all day long...”
"A tanker is a sinner.”
It might be a reasonable method, but the tankers couldn’t help complaining. Lauel watched them and made a wise suggestion.
“Why doesn’t Piaro stand guard?”
On the way here. It was obvious but Piaro didn’t take part in any battles. He just had to walk. Lauel guessed that Piaro still had a lot of stamina left.
‘A legendary farmer should have high basic stats... A four hour guard shift shouldn’t be a huge burden to him.’
Piaro readily nodded at Lauel’s suggestion. "I understand. Leave it to me and get a good night’s sleep.”
The faces of the Overgeared members brightened. They didn’t know why Piaro participated in this raid, but they were delighted that he was here. However, some people showed negative reactions.
"This is a danger zone, so we shouldn’t leave the guard position to a farmer.”
"That's right. What if monsters hide in the fog at dawn and attack? A farmer wouldn’t be able to detect the attack of a monster, so we will be vulnerable to danger.”
‘They don’t know the honor it is to have a great swordsman standing guard...’
Grid found this situation hilarious. How long would they mistake Piaro for a farmer? It was interesting to watch since he knew the truth. He smiled and settled the situation. “You shouldn’t doubt Piaro’s ability to be a lookout. Don’t you know that he is a legendary farmer, not an ordinary farmer?”
The Overgeared members were confused.
"Why should a legendary farmer be good at being a lookout?”
“Explain it so that we can understand.”
Grid was stressed because the members asked for clarification. It was impossible to give a convincing explanation since it was just a thoughtless remark that he spoke.
At that moment, Lauel made a guess. "Farmers have to protect their fields from ice, beasts and monsters. A legendary farmer should have an excellent ability to defend his fields, meaning that his ability to sense beasts and monsters is sharp. This is the reason why Grid told us to trust the legendary farmer.”
Grid agreed with Lauel’s interpretation. The Overgeared members with a negative reaction started to understand.
“I see... Farmers have this ability...”
“Okay then. Piaro, please work hard for four hours. It is a request.”
The Overgeared members entered their tents. Pon was the last one to enter and he spoke to Piaro.
“There is a huge monster that lives in Hebend River. It’s extremely powerful, unlike the golden toads that we hunted during the day. If it emerges, let us know without any delay.”
Pon finally entered his tent. Piaro sat in front of a campfire alone and recalled the past.
‘It reminds me of my days as a knight.’
During his time in the Red Knights, they went on many expeditions and set up campsites. At that time, he was with his colleagues. But due to Asmophel’s false accusation, they were all dead.
Piaro was organizing the branches for the campfire when he suddenly shifted his gaze to the river. It was early dawn. Something was moving silently in the fog. It was hard to detect even by the most skilled person. But who was Piaro? It was extremely rare that anything could succeed in an ambush in front of a great swordsman.
"You are the monster of Hebend River.”
Piaro threw the branch he was holding into the river. As he threw it into the river, something let out a sharp scream.
On this day. The top predator of the Hebend River for the last decade met its end.
Grid and the Overgeared members slept for four hours and recovered enough stamina. They ate a rainbow potato and moved straight to their destination. They finally reached the edge of the mountains after passing through large and small ghost villages.
Grid and the Overgeared members no longer encountered monsters. Grid was puzzled by the bamboo forest that stretched along the mountain path.
"How was this forest preserved without being turned into a desert? Is this place safe from the giant worms?”
Lauel explained. “The doppelganger here blocks the path of monsters as well as humans. Thanks to it, this forest and the mine in the mountains behind it are safely preserved.”
It was a strange phenomenon where a monster defended the land from another monster. Grid felt great interest as he stepped into the bamboo forest. At that moment.
[You have entered the mysterious forest.]
[Your mind has become calm.]
[You will be helpless in the midst of this tranquility.]
[You have resisted.]
“Ugh...! This feeling is so disgusting.”
"I just want to sleep.”
With the exception of Grid, the Overgeared members were overcome by the helpless feeling. Their bodies became limp and they had pained expressions on their faces. On the other hand, Grid kept moving forward and was astonished.
The center of the forest where bamboo soared into the sky. One man was sitting on a flat rock. He had an egg-shaped face on a slender body. White skin and red lips. His long eyes that were smiling. He gave off such a beautiful and neat impression that it was hard to believe he was a man. He looked exactly like Pagma, who Grid had seen depicted on the murals at Loran Falls.
Pagma sat quietly on the rock and slowly moved. The silk clothes that seemed to come from the Joseon Era flapped as he moved and shifted his gaze towards Grid. The look in those eyes contained outright hostility.
OG: Glossary Link.
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