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[The Overgeared Kingdom and the elf species have signed an alliance.]
“Why is this happening?”
The numerous players and reporters. They all stiffened like statues as they searched the World Tree’s Forest for the site of Resh’s broadcast, which cut off at the critical moment. The sight of tens of thousands of humans across the continent stopping at the same time were scenes that would be talked about for a long time in the future between the S.A Group’s staff. The title of the scene was ‘Statues of Fools.’
The reporters hurried out of the game. Those who were judged to be in ‘combat’ and couldn’t log out still forced the logout, even if it meant dying. Didn’t everyone know the nature of the elves? The news about the Overgeared Kingdom allying with the elves was something that couldn’t be missed.
“Wow, the Overgeared Kingdom is doing as well as always.”
Pearl Island. It was a place where only the traces of a country lost a long time ago remained. This was the stage of the 1st National Competition’s PvP event and one man and one woman were fighting side-by-side. The female’s ID was Jishuka and the male’s ID was Bondre. They didn’t seem to have a good relationship.
“Isn’t an alliance with the elves beyond the standard? Is there a genius in diplomacy in the Overgeared Kingdom? Or…”
The air froze. The transparent particles gathered together in a flash to complete the shape. The moment the barrier of ice was erected, a rusty iron sword stuck into it.
Bondre’s expression stiffened. A chill went down his spine at the thought that it would’ve pierced his face if his reaction had been a bit slower. The iron blade unleashed a storm of energy blades. The magic that Bondre used to confront this contained ‘ice’ as the basis.
Bondre repeatedly used magic that was merely an act of ‘making ice’ and struck the iron sword’s energy blades, which was very effective. The iron blade’s accurate trajectory was twisted slightly. Bondre avoided a serious injury several times, sipped a potion, and continued.
“Or is Grid simply just good at picking people? He had placated the orc lord so the naive elves would simply be easy for him. Isn't that right?”
By now, Grid would be enjoying the elves. This was the meaning. Bondre was clearly taunting Jishuka. It was to vent his anger. It was Jishuka who put him in the current crisis.
Jishuka was silent. Her arms trembled as she concentrated to the limit. It was a charging process to maximize the power of her arrow.
He wanted to resolve his anger but she didn’t give him any room. Annoyed by Jishuka’s unshakable appearance, Bondre clicked his tongue. He was stabbed in the shoulder and pointed his hand at the death knight rushing in front of him.
Pearl Island entered an ice age. The environment changed. Everything around Bondre was frozen and he stood on the back of a gigantic mountain of ice.
In front of the breathless Bondre, the death knight stopped as it was about to wield its sword. However, this wasn’t a phenomenon that lasted forever. Bondre gritted his teeth.
‘Dammit, I have no luck.’
He hadn’t heard of any boss monsters here on Pearl Island. It had been an hour of struggling and all his resources were consumed. There seemed to be no hope. He would soon be killed. It was because that wicked woman Jishuka pushed the enemy to his side.
It happened as Bondre was thinking this.
“Don’t look at me like that. We can catch it if we join forces.”
In the world that had turned to ice, Jishuka was able to escape the ice due to being in a party with Bondre and she finally fired her bow. Then the fiercely rotating red arrow started to collapse the icy world. The arrow pierced through the ice in the way, reached the death knight, and instantly smashed the death knight’s skull.
[The specter of Lion Castle, Deodore has been destroyed.]
[Your level has risen.]
[Your level has risen.]
[The party leader ‘Jishuka’ has acquired Specter Knight’s Gaiters.]
[The party member ‘Bondre’ has acquired Specter Knight’s Headgear.]
[The party member ‘Bondre’ has acquired Skillbook: Mana Arrow]
[The party leader ‘Jishuka’ has acquired Magic Book: Ice Tray.]
“Wow! It’s amazing!”
Bondre cheered wildly. He was so excited that he clapped hands with Jishuka, who he had been hostile to until now. He thought he was going to die so he was ecstatic about succeeding in the raid.
Bondre quickly regained his rationality and took an awkward step back. He frowned and grumbled, “Dammit. I am the magician. Why did the magic book go to you?”
“We can swap. I will give you the magic book so give me the skill book.”
“I think the price of Mana Arrow is much higher.”
“Are you obsessed with materialistic values? We fought for our lives together so we should get along.”
“Tsk tsk, you should live in South Korea.”
“South Korea? Hat, I’ll never visit Grid’s country again in the future.”
Bondre was once France’s top ranked player. However, he had been on a downward trend after losing to Grid in four seconds at the 1st National Competition. His guild was disbanded after Faker killed all the guild members, he lost to Grid again at the 2nd National Competition, and he was PKed by Agnus…
It would be a lie to say that Bondre didn’t have a grudge against Grid and the Overgeared Kingdom. Bondre was reluctant to be friendly with Jishuka. Even so, he knew. His defeat to Grid was purely due to his lack of skill and he had been arrogant regarding Faker. It was shameful to forever hold a grudge against them. Rather, the incident where he raided the Overgeared Kingdom as part of the Seven Guilds was an act that could be condemned by them.
“Sigh… That's it. Just take it and get out of here. Let’s not get tangled up twice over this.”
Bondre pressed the ‘accept’ button of the trading window that Jishuka created.
The trade of the Ice Tray and Mana Arrow, which had a market value difference of at least three times, had been completed.
Jishuka grinned at her good fortune.
“I’m in your debt. I’ll pay you back later.”
“No need. Didn’t I say not to get tangled up in this?”
“You show a cold shoulder to kindness.”
“It isn’t kindness, it is an apology. In the first place, I wouldn’t have been successful without you.”
“Yes, I couldn’t have succeeded without you either. So thank you.”
They met here by chance. They had naturally hunted separately without cooperating with each other. Then the death knight appeared and Jishuka brought the death knight to Bondre’s location. Naturally, Bondre started swearing. Naturally, he had refused Jishuka’s offer of a party. However, he was forced to accept after they both died several times. Then the memories weren’t so bad once a good result came out.
“Bondre, you’ve really become strong.”
It was safe to describe him as the ‘Faker of magicians.’ Bondre’s control far exceeded the realm of common sense. In particular, his control when creating ice to shift the trajectory of the incoming attack was unbelievable even when she saw it with her own eyes. It was almost a miracle.
“It is the same for you.”
Bondre also acknowledged Jishuka’s skills. They had accumulated enough damage in the one hour battle but Deodore was still a death knight over level 400. Yet she blew his skull away…
He didn’t know the exact nature of that charging archery but once it was charged for more than 10 seconds, it even exceeded Grid’s attack power. It was a correct assessment since he had watched Grid’s battle with the orc lord many times.
‘Is it possible to charge for minutes? I can’t imagine how high the destructive power will rise…’
“By the way, why did you come here to hunt?”
Just before Bondre left the party, he stopped and asked a question. He was curious. The biggest advantage of the Overgeared Guild was that they could hunt in the vampire cities around Reidan. It was easy to hunt so he couldn’t understand why she was alone in this remote place. It was hard to believe that she was aiming for the boss raid from the start.
Jishuka was an archer. She could never raid a boss on her own. If she had been aiming for a raid then she would’ve come here with her colleagues, not alone.
Jishuka shrugged. “I’m training.”
“Training… that's good."
Bondre laughed. He felt a sense of kinship since he was in the same position as her.
“I’m sorry for saying bullsh*t earlier. I know that you like Grid so I said it to anger you.”
Yes, in a word, it was bullsh*t. It was impossible to transform an alliance between nations into a pure male thing. Jishuka’s thoughts were different.
“What if your guess is right? It is highly likely that Grid is attracted to the elves.”
“I’m telling the truth. You should know how popular Grid is.”
“If this is true, isn’t it bad for you? Grid might be having some fun with the elves right now.”
“It’s a game.”
“I don’t care who Grid meets in the game. Rather, I welcome the accumulated experience.”
Satisfy was different from reality. In reality, Jishuka had no intention of conceding Grid to anyone but she didn’t want to restrain Grid in Satisfy.
"…You are an open South American.”
“I liked Grid when he was already a married man. I’m not in a position to argue.”
Bondre was strangely convinced and left. Jishuka was left alone and looked at the notification window.
[You are eligible to surpass the legendary archer Povia.]
[It is recommended to visit the World Tree’s Forest.]
[The 12 Te or the ruler of the elves will give you an important hint.]
Jishuka had long been qualified to become Povia’s Descendant. She had refused because Povia wasn’t the strongest. Povia was only in the middle according to the rating of the previous legends. Jishuka wanted to carve out a better path than Povia’s Descendant.
On this starry night, the 10 meritorious retainers scattered across the continent were developing. They met powerful enemies, felt frustration, overcame them, and developed their skills while developing many relationships.
Grid embraced Irene after returning with the knights and Beniyaru. He was generally good at expressing affection but it was seriously too much today. He kissed Irene without any awareness of the ordinary players still wandering around the city gates.
“Ke ong is waiting for you.”
Lauel finally spoke and Grid nodded.
“Yes. Would you like to come with me?”
“No. I don’t want to interfere with your public affairs.”
“You aren’t interfering at all. Let’s go together.”
Grid held Irene’s hand and led her into the castle. Grid noticed the wrinkles around Irene’s eyes were a bit deeper but didn’t show any reaction. He was afraid and resented the approaching time but he would do his best to love her every moment.
Grid marveled as he returned to the castle after a long time. The Overgeared Palace was becoming larger and more gorgeous than before. It was amazing that the interior was both focused on aesthetics and efficiency.
'It is scary how much easier things have become.’
This was architecture. Grid looked over every inch and was seriously troubled.
‘If I learn the architecture skill… will I be able to use the imperial palace’s blueprint?’
A blueprint of the imperial palace that he obtained thanks to former Emperor Juander. It was a huge hidden item that could be compared to the deteriorated version of Pagma’s Rare Book. The condition of use for the blueprint was being an architect and opening it gave craftsmanship level architecture. This meant that if Grid learnt Beginner Architecture then he could quickly become a craftsman.
Still, Grid had to be cautious. He couldn’t jump to rash conclusions. It was like a deteriorated version of Pagma’s Rare Book. It had astronomical value. He couldn’t be blinded by his greed of the moment. The value was too high for him to master. He had to use it as a carrot when recruiting a person he needed.
‘It isn’t normal for me to construct a building.’
A blacksmith took several days to create an item while an architect took weeks to months. How could Grid act as an architect when he already lacked time to make items and hunt? It was a pointless luxury.
‘I just need to learn enough to be able to build a small smithy.’
Could he learn it?
Grid gulped nervously and approached Ke ong, who was trimming a stone in the distance. He then asked in a blunt manner, “Is it possible for me to learn architecture?”
“It seems Your Majesty has thought of a way.”
Ke ong had a strange personality but he was clever. He had stated that a portable smithy was impossible. The moment he heard Grid speak about learning architecture, he saw that Grid had an idea.
“Do you want to build a smithy with the mineral you created?”
Greed could move on its own and had infinite power. There were no flight requirements or advancements needed when building a smithy out of Greed. Ke ong shook his head. "Unfortunately, it's not possible. A blacksmith can’t learn architecture quickly because the work is completely different.”
“I have confidence in my dexterity. Is there any possibility based on that?”
"Building doesn’t only need dexterity. It is a very mathematical approach that requires different talents.”
Eventually, the truth was revealed. The reason why Ke ong was able to do this construction work was because he was a dwarf and it had nothing to do with blacksmithing.
Grid was greatly disappointed. A moving, flying fortress… no, smithy. He thought he would be able to ride it around the world without needing extra control or power but his imagination was ended. Grid was feeling a deep sense of loss when Ke ong spoke meaningful words, “By the way, do you know? I don’t think the architecture technique is needed to make a smithy out of Greed.”
Grid pricked his ears.
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