“Why are you telling me this now?”
Did he think that good news was waiting for him? It was a waste of time and energy. There was only one moment of relief before the anger rose. Grid exploded while Biban asked in a bewildered manner, “Why are you arguing with me? You aren’t even giving me a chance to talk?”
“Didn’t you have plenty of time to talk?”
“I didn’t know your identity, so I couldn’t bring it up.”
“I think you spoke very well from the beginning.”
“It was a mistake I made because I was a bit excited.”
“Is there a law that you can’t commit a mistake twice?”
“It seems you don’t know who I am. Do you think a great man like me would repeat the same mistake?”
“Such a great man didn’t even know my identity?”
“Ah, young children shouldn’t speak.”
“Hah...” Biban clicked his tongue. He was already annoyed from talking to Grid. ‘I’m tired of dealing with unruly children.’
It was similar to being disgusted by someone similar to him.
Grid’s head was pounding as he shook his head. ‘I didn’t expect to get this quest.’
Look for himself—it was a completely easy quest. He could obtain the reward by creating Greed and then giving the remaining insane dragon iron to the tower. The reward was even a dragon scale.
The dragons were absolute creatures that reigned over all the species in this world, and they had power comparable to that of a god. A dragon scale was the ultimate production material that went beyond the breath of a sacred creature or the byproducts of the great demon. He had ignored it because there had been no way to obtain it, but now there was a new acquisition route. Grid was filled with joy when he imagined himself armed with a dragon set.
‘By that time, I can beat Garam easily.’
In fact, Grid had felt despair when Biban first appeared. New strong people kept emerging endlessly. He wondered if raising his strength was really worth it when people as strong or stronger than Garam kept constantly appearing. If he worked every moment of his life to become stronger only to remain weak, why did he bother struggling?
Then at this moment, Grid regained his motivation. He learned that he had a strange fate with Biban, and this despair turned to hope.
‘Won’t he be suspicious if I hand over the insane dragon iron right here?’
There was no time limit on the quest. It was wiser to clear it at the right time. Determination flashed in Grid’s eyes as he bowed politely. “Thank you for the assignment. I will resolve the mission as soon as possible and live up to the tower’s expectations.”
“The Tower of Wisdom and the Pioneer have a relationship of cooperation. There is no need to act like you are below me. Well, thank you for being polite to your seniors.” Biban, who had just been showing a bad expression, was now smiling. He was a simple person, and staying angry wasn’t part of his personality.
“I listened well. I will leave to do the mission, so I’ll see you at the tower next time.”
“I am very satisfied with that active attitude. I can really feel a hero’s spirit.”
“Thank you for the compliment. Then I’m going...”
“Wait,” Biban called out to Grid who was about to leave. “Shouldn’t you hear the location of the tower before leaving? Take it.”
[You have obtained the map to the Tower of Wisdom!]
[I have to measure the strength of the Pioneer according to the tower’s tradition. It is something the Pioneer will experience while climbing the tower, but now that the situation is like this, I will do an abbreviated version. You are a swordsman, so you are extremely lucky to spar with me.]
Grid didn’t know Biban’s identity. It was because the second generation Sword Saint wasn’t well-known among the people. He was a figure from far in the past, and few people were interested in the second generation Sword Saint when Sword Saint Muller was known as the ‘strongest of all time.’
Nevertheless, Grid instinctively knew this was a big opportunity. It was because his transcendent status told him that Biban was also transcendent. In fact, Biban was stronger than Mercedes.
‘I can’t give up the opportunity to learn.’
“Then I’m starting.” Biban’s sharp energy started to spread out like a tent. A small street in Reinhardt turned into a spherical shape. The nervously watching Mercedes and Noe disappeared from Grid’s field of view.
This was a space that was completely blocked from the outside. It was definitely a barrier. Some named boss monsters had this ability, and Biban definitely had it. Biban smiled as if he liked Grid’s surprised response and explained, “This is a space made of sword energy.”
“Wow. This is possible with sword energy?”
“It is easy for a great person like me.”
Grid touched the outer wall of the space. It felt sharp. It felt like his wrist would be cut off the moment he touched it. It was clear that this huge tent consisted of thousands or tens of thousands of blades.
A person obsessed with swords...
Swordsmanship that was superior than Mercedes’...
A flexible use of sword energy that ordinary people couldn’t imagine...
Grid vaguely inferred Biban’s identity and asked this question, “...Senior, who are you?”
Biban easily replied, “My name is Biban. I am the 2nd generation Sword Saint.”
“...!!” Grid was shocked like he had been hit by a hammer. Sword Saint Muller had lived hundreds of years ago. How old was the second generation Sword Saint? “Are you alive?”
“Don’t treat a living person as a corpse.”
“Is the Tower of Wisdom a gathering of old legends and transcendents?”
“That’s right. It is an organization of elderly people who felt lonely and decided to leave the world. Well, that doesn’t mean we are like normal old people. We are fighting to defend the world, so every day is fierce.”
“Perhaps... are the legends of the previous generation present? For example, Pagma.”
Grid didn’t like Pagma very much. It was natural since Pagma betrayed his friend, Braham, for the sake of world peace and insulted the other legends by turning them into death knights. Even so, Grid was thankful to Pagma. The reason Grid’s current self existed was Pagma’s Rare Book. Additionally, Grid was sympathetic toward Pagma. His image of being betrayed by the gods and fighting for the world alone remained vivid in Grid’s mind. Grid wanted to meet Pagma. He wanted to at least tell Pagma that he had done his job.
Unfortunately, Biban shook his head. “How can someone who is dead climb the tower?”
“...You are certain he is dead.”
“That’s right. Why? Did you want revenge after he stabbed you in the back?”
The Tower of Wisdom must know Pagma well to say he stabbed someone in the back.
“It is because he signed a contract with Baal. He couldn’t climb the tower even if he was alive. Baal’s Contractor isn’t free from Baal’s gaze, so the tower would stay away from him.” Biban’s expression was bitter. “Well, don’t blame him too much. He is already paying for it.”
“What is the price?”
“He is a torn soul that will wander through hell in eternity suffering. That is the fate of those who contract with Baal.”
It was karma generated from signing a contract with Baal. Did Pagma not know this before signing the contract with Baal? No, he had to know. He knew and contracted with Baal out of his own beliefs.
‘Pagma was such a person...’
From the moment he betrayed his only friend Braham, Pagma was determined to take on all his sins and fight alone, even in life and death. The more Grid knew, the more pitiful Pagma seemed.
‘I should trust my friends and rely on them.’ Grid gritted his teeth. He was trying to make sure his face didn't crumble.
Biban misunderstood. “Being mad to the extent of gritting your teeth... Your grudge against him must be very deep. Still, what meaning is there in resenting the dead? Stay calm and restore your composure.”
“...I understand,” Grid said, calming the expression in his eyes. Then he asked a question, “Didn’t you say you were going to measure my skills? If you feel that my skills are below par, will I be disqualified from the position of Pioneer?”
“No, a Pioneer doesn’t need to demonstrate your skills because you have already proven yourself. The tower completely trusts the Pioneer. We just want to help the Pioneer.”
“You already know that the Behen Archipelago is a place of succession for legends. You can think of the Tower of Wisdom as a place of succession for the Pioneer. In the future, the members of the tower will evaluate your abilities and give skills that match your abilities. However, don’t be too disappointed. There is no one worthless.”
“Now, I will get started.”
The quest began the moment Biban drew his sword.
[The 9th’s Test is occurring!]
[Sparring mode is activated!]
The 9th seat of the Tower of Wisdom, Biban is assessing your skills.
Do you best to get a good evaluation.
Quest Clear Condition: Last one minute in the spar. It is considered to be an elimination when you enter the immortal state.
Quest Clear Rewards:
No rewards if eliminated within 10 seconds.
Acquisition of a ‘Dragon Pill’ if you last more than 10 seconds.
Acquisition of ‘Matchless Heart Technique ’ if you last more than 30 seconds.]
“Do your best. The Dragon Pill is a miraculous medicine made from a dragon’s heart. You just have to hold on for 10 seconds and you will obtain it.”
Pagma, Braham, and Madra had all showed wild expressions when they met him. Yet Grid showed little interest in the Dragon Pill.
“What is the Matchless Heart Technique?”
“It is my technique. If you keep honing it, you will get a sword energy that never runs out.”
“Well, focus on getting the Dragon Pill. I’ve never had a Pioneer last more than 10 seconds against me.”
“How many seconds did the last Pioneer last?”
“Huhu, you are conscious of Kraugel. It is good to be young. Unfortunately, he didn't last more than two seconds.”
At that time, Kraugel would’ve been level 200 or 300. The current Grid was over level 400.
“What will I get if I last a minute?”
“I don't know because I haven’t thought about it.”
“You are going to have to think about it now.”
Hands emerged around Grid. Each of them held a sword or a hammer.
This person wasn’t a simple swordsman...?
‘He has hidden something. Who is he?’
A knight who could handle a variety of weapons? An assassin? A magician who could move objects without touching them? Well, it didn’t matter. It would be hard to last 10 seconds against Biban, even if he had some skills.
“I’ll let you attack first,” Biban said while taking the posture of the Matchless Sword. Taking this posture meant he would fight in the spar with all of his power. It was justified. This was an official test that would remain on the tower’s record. It wasn’t a game, unlike the fight against Mercedes.
“Blacksmith’s Rage. Quick Movements. Blackening.” Grid didn’t miss this opportunity to attack first. He wrapped himself in all his buffs from the beginning and activated the Blue Dragon Boots, triggering Lightning Speed. “Transcended Link Flower!”
The distance between Grid and Biban narrowed as energy blades flew and petals fluttered. Grid reached his maximum speed, and a bursting sound rang incessantly in Grid’s ears. His vision was spinning. Grid continued to shift his position, swinging his sword while keeping Biban in the center of his field of view. It was to force Biban along a certain path and induce the baptism of fluttering petals.
Biban sighed. “I see. You are Pagma’s descendant. These hands are your artifacts.”
Biban held a God Hand disturbing his vision with one hand while holding his sheath in the other. His sword was only slightly pulled out.
“Do you know why Pagma contracted with Baal? It was because he knew there were limits to his skills.”
Biban’s sword was pulled up in a diagonal line. The dozens of black energy blades and petals were scattered temporarily. Biban’s sword energy destroyed Grid’s sword dance by separating the energy blades and petals.
“The sword dance is a means of staging the ceremony during a body ritual. It is a technique that a priest learns, not a swordsman.”
“It might have a deep meaning spiritually, but it can’t be called swordsmanship without a proper form. It can never overcome swordsmanship...?” Biban’s eyes widened as he was regretfully explaining Grid’s sword dance.
It was because the black energy blades, which had lost their path and scattered in all directions, suddenly changed their trajectory like they had been given a will and rushed toward Biban. This was a phenomenon that occurred due to Braham’s Detect Force, which contained a magic that chased the target.
“Magic?” Biban, who had drawn his sword to cut down the sword energy, was amazed once again when he saw the sharp winds that inhabited the sword.
‘Is it a spell that ignores my magic resistance?’
Biban’s eyes shook. Blood flowed from the cheek that was slightly cut by the wind. It was the first time he had bled in decades.
‘A spell that ignores resistance... It can’t be!’
Biban’s gaze shifted to the air. Grid, who was engulfed in a white light, could be seen flying in the sky.
“Are you the descendant of both Pagma and Braham?”
“I just learned it in a rough manner.”
The modest Grid twisted his hips. Biban once more determined that the magic sword energy would fly at him again, so he gathered sword energy at the tip of this sword. It was intended to cut Grid’s energy blades and magic at the same time.
‘It has already been 10 seconds.’
The Dragon Pill could be given easily but not the Matchless Heart Technique. Biban was determined to end the spar here. Meanwhile, Grid was preparing a sword technique, not a sword dance. The sword dance was likely to be destroyed, so he had no choice.
Grid used swordsmanship. “100,000 Army.”
The swordsmanship of Undefeated King Madra—its power was weak because it was a degraded version, but Grid was convinced that Madra’s swordsmanship couldn’t be crushed, even by a Sword Saint. The world might not know Madra, but Grid knew Madra’s greatness.
There was a huge explosion, and Biban shook.
Meanwhile, outside the isolated space...
‘Have strength, Your Majesty.’
Mercedes was cheering Grid on. Her Keen Insight allowed her to look through the enchantment and see the situation inside. That’s right. Biban was constantly leaking information about the tower to outsiders.Previous Chapter Next Chapter