“Ah, it is really dirty.”
Was it because the weather was too hot? Grid quickly stopped this line of thought. The Comet Group’s diamond capsule, which was favored by Grid, helped maintain the ideal body temperature. South Korea might be experiencing a heat wave of 36 degrees Celsius but Grid’s temperature was perfect as he connected to Satisfy and his discomfort index was zero.
Still, Grid continued to be annoyed and felt unpleasant. Swear words kept coming out from his mouth involuntarily. He had been in this state since he went to the Gauss Kingdom. He felt like there was a constant ringing in his ears. Why? What was this? Grid thought about it and realized the cause of his anger was Euphemina.
He couldn’t concentrate. Grid, who had wanted to make an item while waiting for Skunk, finally left the smithy. Then he sent a whisper to Euphemina.
Two hours ago—it had been before he met Lauel.
Grid returned to Reinhardt and contacted Euphemina first. It was to check if she was okay. Grid had asked anxiously several times and Euphemina had smiled and replied that she was fine.
-Are you still worried? I’m really fine.
As usual, Euphemina responded with a voice that was as bright as possible.
-I didn’t drop any items and the experience can be recovered quickly. Compared to you, I’m still at a low level so the experience is good...
-I heard earlier that you are fine.
Grid interrupted Euphemina. His voice was slightly shaking. It was a shaking that came from anger.
-I can’t stand it so I have a small bone to pick.
-You, didn’t you say you wanted to become stronger to help me?
-Was that a lie? In fact, you just needed time to chase Agnus and lay down your life for him, rather than becoming stronger.
Euphemina was very surprised. Grid always cared about his colleagues. He unconditionally respected and understood his colleagues’ choices and actions, yet he suddenly became sarcastic and annoyed.
-Is Agnus so good? Are you fascinated by him?
-It isn’t like that. I just...
-You can only use the excuse of pity once or twice!
-Is he your pet dog that can’t live without you? Is it normal to remove your gallbladder for a stranger out of compassion? You’ve already helped him many times! That jerk helped Irene and Lord so I tried to understand him many times and repaid him! Yet what is the result? That son of a bitch killed you! You died!
-It wasn’t Agnus who killed me but the different being who possessed him...
-Shut up! Why do you always try to understand him when you are betrayed every time? Are you his family? His lover? Or do you want to become his lover?
The angrily shouting Grid was stunned and shut his mouth. His colleagues, friends, and family. He always felt gratitude and affection for those who led him to who he was today. One of them was Euphemina. Without her, he wouldn’t have obtained the water clan or gained so many victories in the process of founding the Overgeared Kingdom. He had subconsciously appreciated and cared for Euphemina.
Then why was he acting so angry and bitter toward her? Was he crazy?
...No, he wasn’t crazy. This was a very lowly feeling. It was jealousy. He didn’t like that his colleague was caring about others more than him. It was enough to overshadow his gratitude and commitment.
Grid was filled with self-loathing when Euphemina’s voice was heard in his ears.
-No, no. I’m the one who is sorry.
-No, it’s my fault. I couldn’t fathom your heart. I was obsessed with Agnus because he was poor and pitiful, not because I didn’t care about you. I was aware that Agnus is your enemy and has damaged you on several occasions, yet you care so deeply that I thought you would understand my selfishness.
-How many times have you been disappointed and angry with my selfishness? I'm sorry. You can be angry. No, you have to be angry. Really... I’m really sorry.
Euphemina’s voice trembled. It was a tremor that came from sorrow, not anger. She was really apologetic to Grid. He had silently indulged her behavior over the past several years and tried to understand her. It wasn't because he was strong. It was because he had a wide heart. She believed he would understand her forever.
‘How angry must he have been every time he saw my selfishness...’
Euphemina’s heart shook. She had been unaware of how harsh and selfish she had been to Grid. Now she realized how much patience Grid had endured and how much he sacrificed.
-I'm sorry... In addition, thank you.
-Thank you for sacrificing your feelings, hiding your wounds, and always smiling at me instead of showing anger.
Expressing honest emotions wasn’t something that anyone could do. Euphemina was happy after knowing this fact.
-Now I think that I am recognized as your friend.
-...You know that I’ve always thought of you as a friend. However, thank you for telling me this.
-Kukuk... Do you know?
-When I talk to you, my heart is warm. I’m happy because you’re so supportive and warm.
-I don’t think so. I just become angry or confused every time I encounter something I don’t like.
-Okay. Please carry a whip around. I’ll stick out my butt at any time.
-What the hell? Who do you think is a barbarian?
It felt like his old age was peeling off. Without his knowledge, the sadness deep in his heart was washed away and his heart and mind became refreshed. Sometimes he needed to be honest...
If he cherished the other person, took care of them unconditionally and only said good words, it would make him tired. A refreshing smile appeared on Grid’s face as he learnt a new fact. At this moment...
Grid was stunned. Once his displeasure and stuffy mind were released, he realized that he had overlooked something. He whispered to Lauel.
-...Kukuku, I answer in the name of the demon king. Red blood flows through my eardrums to my throat...
-Agnus has taken the body of the dark elf.
-...Hmm. Agnus’ purpose must’ve been the dark elf from the beginning.
-Yes. What do you think is the reason?
-The reason is obvious.
It was revealed during the Stone of Life incident. There was only one purpose behind Agnus’ actions. It was the resurrection of his old lover. In other words...
-He is trying to use the body of the dark elf as a ‘crafting material’ to make a doll resembling his old lover.
The dark elf taken by Agnus wasn’t real. It was just a fake. It couldn’t produce the result that Agnus wanted. A different being would definitely be born. What if the resurrected lover was a monster he hadn’t expected?
‘He will go berserk.’
Grid had seen Agnus’ madness over and over. Agnus was often rational enough to make people wonder if it was real or acting, but in any case, he wasn’t normal. If the berserk Agnus recalled that Grid and Euphemina were at the scene when Agnus acquired the ‘fake dark elf’, it wouldn’t be unreasonable for him to fire the meaningless arrows of resentment at the Overgeared Kingdom.
Grid felt it was urgent.
-Lauel, I think you have to figure out the exact identity of the great demon who possessed Agnus.
-Wasn’t it Amoract?
-I just mentioned a name I knew. Don’t you know?
-Yes, I noticed that you found it annoying and unpleasant to talk about Agnus so you didn’t think much.
-Am I too pathetic?
-No. You sometimes get agitated when talking about people you don’t like. It is like the cat next door that often loses its temper.
-Cat next door...?
-Every time he comes out for a walk, he always poops in my garden. Initially, the smell varied but it was so plentiful and the smell so severe that I was stressed out. Despite spraying a bottle of perfume, it was useless.
-Ah, the great demon who possessed Agnus is indeed Baal.
-I went to talk to Sticks because Your Majesty seemed to be in a bad condition. Sticks is convinced that the great demon’s identity is Baal.
-Yes, it isn’t speculation based on circumstantial evidence but a conviction based on clear evidence. In Genesis, Baal is the only one among the great demons who can proclaim himself as the ruler of hell.
-...Amazing. Baal had no force...
-The next time you meet, Baal might be different. The Baal that descended into the human body was nothing more than a piece of his ego.
-A piece of his ego?
-Yes, the Baal who descended into Agnus didn’t have his strength limited. He was just a small section of Baal. Depending on the next part of Baal that descends, his tone and personality might completely change.
-In any case, Agnus has a terrifying power. Maybe we’ll have to help him make the right doll.
Lauel had already reached the conclusion that he had to stop Agnus from running wild. He reassured Grid.
-I’ll take care of it so you don’t have to worry. Your Majesty should focus on Your Majesty. The promised meeting time is approaching.
Grid nodded as he saw a familiar face in the distance.
-Thank you, Lauel.
Everyone knew the Black Knights and the Red Knights were the strongest knight divisions of the empire. However, not everything was revealed to the world. Out of the hundreds of knights that existed in the empire, 99% might be arranged in the line of the Black Knights but there were rare exceptions. One exception was Dulandal’s Black Knights.
They were the best knights division raised with a tremendous amount of money and effort. It was an organization that Dulandal, who liked to brag, called the ‘royal guards.’ Among them, the high ranker Resh was just the rank and file.
‘...It is easy to get a medal.’
Resh and the Black Knights had already explored seven forests. He gained a medal every time he cleared the ‘Reclaim the Forests’ quest and he was already on the third linked one. This meant the process of reclaiming the forests was extremely easy. Only approximately 10 elves and hundreds of beasts guarded each forest, so they weren’t the opponents of the Black Knights.
Resh tracked down the elves with his senior knights and sighed deeply as they turned to ash. He wasn’t happy at all that he gained two medals which increased all stats by +2. He couldn’t be happy. The elves had believed in the empire’s declaration of liberation and entered the forests of various kingdoms.
After hundreds of years of suffering due to humans and finally being able to defend the rights of nature, they were slaughtered by the imperial knights without knowing why. For them, they were betrayed again. Resh was pained since he knew the history of the elves through his many quests. He felt like a terrible villain and that his hands were dirty with filth.
“It is a holy war for humanity.”
A senior knight saw Resh’s dark face and patted him on the shoulder, yet Resh didn’t feel any comfort. This massacre wasn’t a holy war. He knew it was a tragedy just to satisfy Dulandal’s ambition.
‘Of course, the actions of the elves when taking over the forests were wrong. Still, can’t there be a conversation?’
If they wanted to know why the elves occupied the forests. If they wanted to know how to liberate the forests, ask the elves for a conversation. The elves weren’t idiots and their actions obviously contained this meaning. However, the kingdoms that had been deprived of their forests didn’t attempt to communicate with the elves. Wasn’t it enough that they were deprived of their forests by a different species? Now they had to have a conversation to reclaim it? They thought it was shameful.
Resh was gulping water in this self-destructive mood when he doubted his ears.
One of the Five Pillars, Kyle. He was dubbed as the ‘lightning god’ by Dulandal because he kept emitting lightning after visiting the Ruins of the War God. “This war of attrition won’t end. In any case, the elves are scattered throughout the continent. It is better to take over the forest of the world tree, which will currently be empty.”
‘Is he crazy?’
The senior knight protested on behalf of Resh, who was so shocked that he forgot to swallow the water. “Sir Kyle, the forest of the world tree is the sanctuary of the world tree. Entering there with weapons can be considered an act of blasphemy... Keok.”
The senior knight that Resh had longed to be like. He was a very loyal knight despite his frustration. That’s why Resh had been drawn to him and thought of him as an ideal. He died of a slit throat.
Just like that? In Resh’s dazed field of view, he saw Kyle holding the senior knight’s head. Kyle’s current appearance—where lightning, instead of red blood, flowed through the blood vessels of his eyes—made him look inhuman. To put it nicely, it was like a celestial god had descended. To put it badly, it was like the devil had climbed up from hell.
“I didn’t know there was a heretic among the prince’s knights.”
“The only gods recognized by the empire are the gods of Asgard, such as Goddess of Light Rebecca and War God Zeratul. The world tree? What type of heretic sanctifies a tree?”
“Prince Dulandal has given me the authority to lead you. Don’t say anything and just follow me. Let’s go. I know the location of the world tree.”
At this moment, Resh was convinced. This couldn’t be allowed. If Dulandal rose to the throne, no one could handle the tyranny of his right arm, Kyle.
‘I have to film this to make sure that no player supports Dulandal...’
Resh’s vision was blurry with tears as he started to record the video.Previous Chapter Next Chapter