‘The seven malignant saints failed because they didn’t rely on the expelled gods.’
This was the confession of Grandmaster Zikfrector. He was insistent. In order to bring down the gods of the present, he had to meet the expelled gods. The way to meet them hid in the Abyss. What were the expelled gods? Grid was filled with intense curiosity. He vowed to explore the Abyss as soon as he had the power to raid the hydra.
“Tell me about the expelled gods!”
Then a war god follower he met by chance referred to the expelled gods. He even acted like he knew them well. Unlike the grandmaster, this person viewed them in a negative fashion.
Grid released Link with as much strength as possible. Dozens of energy blades struck but Lee Jeong used a mysterious way of protecting himself and blocked them all. No, he thought he blocked all of it.
Lee Jeong was surprised. A knife cut into a corner of his eyes hidden by the blindfold. There were a few additional scratches scattered around his body, causing him to bleed. It was the effect of every blow activating Braham’s Wind Cutter. Of course, the improved Wind Cutter was still weak in power. It couldn’t cause him to suffer at all. However, Lee Jeong was surprisingly shaken.
‘It is something I’ve never imagined.’
To think that swordsmanship and magic could be so harmonious...? It was something that no great martial artist or supreme magician could reproduce.
‘Is this the power of being overgeared?’
He had to admit it. This would surely be one of the ultimate combat techniques. He would’ve suffered a major loss if the power had been greater.
‘Catching a glimpse of the ultimate technique without the help of the war god...’
Lee Jeong became serious when he recalled Mercedes stating that her king was already like a god.
‘He is a harmful man.’
Grid must be killed here. If Lee Jeong didn’t completely cut down the bud here, it would be a huge threat one day. This was the moment when the confident Lee Jeong tried to counterattack after a series of strikes. He felt the heat. Then a great pain struck Lee Jeong’s back. Asmophel revealed his blooming swordsmanship, and his surprise attack was a success.
[You have joined forces with people you absolutely trust!]
Caught in the heat that burned his intestines and evaporated his blood, Lee Jeong gritted his teeth and unleashed a new technique. He reached Grid in an instant and dug his fingers into Grid’s neck. The shield created by the First King title shattered in one blow.
Where did such a person suddenly pop out from? Grid got goosebumps as he once again confirmed Lee Jeong’s strength. Even so, he wasn’t afraid. After all, he wasn’t alone.
“Kuaaaack!” Lee Jeong screamed as he tried to subdue Grid. It was because Mercedes’ White Tiger Sword pierced his side.
[The player common hidden piece, ‘Cooperative Skill’ has activated!]
‘Now!’ Grid didn’t miss the time that Mercedes earned for him.
He barely controlled his shaky vision and released a sword dance. “LInked Kill Flower Pinnacle!”
[The power of all skills have increased by 240% thanks to the Cooperative Skill!]
The Cooperative Skill was a hidden piece that occurred when linking skills with people he trusted. Grid had experienced this effect in the past with Piaro, Asmophel, and Maxong. Additionally, there was the achievement of being the first player to find it.
[You are the first person to uncover the existence of the Cooperative Skill.]
[The achievement has increased the power of your skill by 260%!]
The basic effect of Linked Kill Flower Pinnacle dealt 1,850% physical damage. It was an attack power that couldn’t be ignored, even by great demons possessing high defense and health. Now it soared by several times due to the effect of the Cooperative Skill, and it was a damage that Lee Jeong couldn’t afford when he was classified as an NPC, not a boss monster.
“...!” Lee Jeong couldn’t even scream. He slammed to the ground, and his health gauge quickly fell to the bottom. He had already suffered critical injuries from dealing with Mercedes.
“Cough, cough...!” Lee Jeong coughed up blood. He dodged Mercedes’ next linked attack and then shook off Asmophel. His eyes were fixed on Grid as he drank a potion with trembling hands. “Do you really not know?”
“The expelled gods? I don’t know. I wouldn’t be asking if I knew.”
“Kuk...! Kukukuk...!” Lee Jeong burst out laughing. He wasn’t laughing at his situation. He was laughing at Grid. The heir to Pagma’s Swordsmanship didn’t know the identity of the expelled gods. What was funnier than that in this world?
Anyway, he was glad. This person didn’t seem to be the minion of the expelled gods. Lee Jeong laughed and opened his mouth to continue speaking just before Grid’s patience ran out, “Do you know that there is another continent beyond the Red Sea?”
Grid nodded. “If it is the East Continent, I’ve already been there.”
“There is a place called the Hwan Kingdom.”
“....?” Grid jumped with surprise.
“It is a nation ruled by immortal humans.”
The yangbans. Perhaps...?
Lee Jeong smiled as he stared into Grid’s wide eyes. “Yes, they are the expelled gods.”
“W-Wait a minute.” Grid had already experienced how the yangbans regarded humans as insignificant. Thus, he denied it. “There is no way. It isn’t possible.”
The reason why the seven malignant saints denied the gods and rebelled was the gods’ original sins—jealousy, betrayal, deception, and so on. It was because the sins of the gods harmed humanity that the seven malignant saints fought. They were ultimately fighting to protect humanity. Was their hope the yangbans?
...The yangbans who enslaved and killed humans easily, unlike today’s gods who gave the illusion of blessing and caring for humans? There was a constant ringing sound in Grid’s ears. He was caught in extreme confusion and stared blankly at Lee Jeong. “That... Are you lying?”
“Hat...! Kuhahaha!” Lee Jeong laughed again. Mercedes witnessed Grid’s red face and flew forward. Lee Jeong, who had released his restraints, blocked her attack. Both of his hands were freed now, making him much stronger.
“Didn’t I say it? The expelled gods aren’t the lanterns of humanity.”
“They were just banished and deprived of their rights because they were weak. They aren’t cast out noble beings who will defend humanity from the present gods.”
“Then why are the seven malignant... The seven malignant saints are seeking their help...”
“Of course, they are seeking help. The seven malignant saints might’ve won the past war against the gods if they borrowed the expelled gods’ power.”
“Did you say your name was Guldu?”
“Don’t call My Liege’s name so casually. First and foremost, his name is Grid, not Guldu.”
“My pronunciation isn’t good,” Lee Jeong said, parrying the annoyed Mercedes’ attack. Then he spoke again, “Guldu, I don’t know who among the seven malignant saints you have met, but don’t lose sight of the main point.”
“Did they say that the expelled gods were good?”
There was no such thing. The grandmaster had merely stated that he could bring down the present gods by borrowing the power of the expelled gods. He never spoke about the tendencies of the expelled gods.
“The gods are all evil. This is just from the perspective of a human. If you raise a flower in a small pot and sometimes envy the peace of the flower or the beauty of the flower, are you evil? Are humans evil when using plants as fertilizer? The history of this world and the events we will go through in the future are all just providence.
“However, one thing is certain.”
Lee Jeong was born in the East Continent. Like everyone else there, he had worshipped the yangbans as gods. He recalled the daily life he went through hundreds of years ago. The emotions he felt after reaching the end had only been anger and resentment.
“...The present gods are better than the expelled gods. It is easy to think of it as the difference between an owner who treats the growing plants well from time to time and an owner who constantly abuses the flower he is raising.”
It was an unpleasant metaphor. Still, it was so appropriate that it was a problem.
Lee Jeong stared at Grid, who had no answer. “You’re definitely... You aren’t the minion of the expelled gods. Then there is no reason for us to be enemies.”
“My name is Lee Jeong. I am one of the Triad who explored the mysteries presented by the war god. I will surely defeat the expelled gods with the ultimate martial arts. Definitely...”
What did he suffer because of the yangbans? A deep grudge could be felt from Lee Jeong. Well, it made sense when Grid thought of Garam’s personality.
The silent Grid finally asked, “The seven malignant saints—are they good?”
The grandmaster must know the tendencies of the yangbans. Nevertheless, he wanted to cooperate with them. His only reason was to bring down the present gods. Was it really an act for humanity? Rather, wasn’t it an act that endangered humanity?
Lee Jeong snorted at Grid’s question. “Didn’t you listen to everything I’ve said? In any case, it is a matter of your own judgment.
The distinction between good and evil varied depending on the position. Grid agreed. In the first place, the tendencies of the seven malignant saints had nothing to do with him. He had already chosen once. It was his choice to not become hostile with the gods.
“...Yes, I understand. Go on your way.” He wouldn’t take the time to chase Lee Jeong. After all, Grid had no confidence he could fight Lee Jeong and win without any sacrifices. “Oh, leave Kyle behind.”
Lee Jeong hesitated as he was going to take Kyle away. This person was going to stand in his way despite confirming through the conversation that they didn’t need to be enemies...?
“You are surprisingly unwise.”
Grid smiled at the hostile Lee Jeong.
“Our positions are different, right?”
Grid was reading the eyes of the surviving elves. There were a handful of survivors. They had once again been trampled on by humans and focused their anger on Kyle, not the followers of the war god. The culprit of this event was Kyle, so Grid had to hold Kyle accountable.
Lee Jeong determined he couldn’t speak to Grid and glanced at Mercedes. “Tell your master. I don't know about the distant future, but you can't beat me right now.”
His restraints were released. Mercedes’ Keen Insight would’ve been able to gauge his level. This fight was pointless. Lee Jeong was certain of this.
“Summon Knights. Piaro, Noll, Teruchan.”
“I have responded to My Liege’s call.” A farmer holding a hand plow...
“Ah! I was asleep! Asleep!” A vampire with red potatoes in his mouth like a squirrel…
“Grruk. Underwear. Didn’t take off. Grruk.” An orc wearing yellow underwear...
“...” The sudden appearance of these new figures forced Lee Jeong to change his attitude. In particular, he was wary of the farmer. “I understand... I will leave Kyle to you.”
“Che.” Had he ever experienced such humiliation since leaving the Hwan Kingdom? Lee Jeong clicked his tongue and was about to leave without Kyle when Grid stopped him.
“Finally, I want to ask you two more things.”
“Do you know the Abyss?”
“Are you talking about the end of the world? I naturally know it. You have to go through there if you want to access the Hwan Kingdom without permission.”
‘So that was it.’ Grid nodded and asked the last question, “Are you planning to be active on the West Continent?”
It was the most important question. The followers of the war god were too strong. In particular, Lee Jeong was at least on the level of the grandmaster. There was a risk that the Overgeared Kingdom would be swept up in the aftermath if Lee Jeong were active on the West Continent.
Lee Jeong shook his head at the wary Grid. “I don’t have time to play here. If we meet again, it will probably be in the East Continent beyond the Red Sea.”
There was no further conversation. Lee Jeong’s consideration for Grid went up to here. He stepped on the air and quickly disappeared from Grid’s field of view.
Meanwhile, Noll and Teruchan were fighting.
“Y-You—this orc dared to take away my food?”
“Raw liver. Gruruk. It tastes like that. Gruruk. Delicious!”
“Hey! I’m going to feed on your blood today!”
Grid was tired. He grabbed his head while Piaro reunited with his former colleagues. Then Skunk’s exhausted group belatedly arrived at the scene.
Kyle gave up on life and stood still. It was meaningless if he tried to flee because he was caught by Mercedes’ Keen Insight.Previous Chapter Next Chapter