It was almost time for the rooster to cry. It would be better to hurry up.
Biban raised himself and Grid—who had recovered thanks to Biban waiting—followed by standing up.
“Madra’s swordsmanship is extremely simple.”
Up to now, Biban had kept praising Madra. The ultimate compliment was when he revealed that he couldn’t fully reproduce Madra’s Swordsmanship. Yet now he said that it was simple. Biban seemingly understood the question and added an explanation. “It is simple and complete. It is much more efficient and exquisite compared to your sword dance, which has many complex movements and trajectories.”
Grid closed his mouth. He didn’t know what type of confrontation he would face if he replied without knowing anything, so he thought silence was a good thing. It was the wisdom of an ordinary person.
“It is one crushing blow.”
Biban held the sword with his fingers and took a posture. He stood tall and faced forward, then he twisted his back and lowered his arm. He tried to put strength into his waist in this position. The peculiar stance that caused people to feel doubts was the basic form of 100,000 Army Massacre Sword.
“A single blow is the essence of Madra’s swordsmanship. This is the same for the 100,000 Army Swordsmanship and One Million Army Swordsmanship.”
Grid was puzzled. This was correct for 100,000 Army Blockade Sword and 200,000 Army Crushing Sword. They might have the separate effect of ‘restraining actions’ and ‘crushing skill’ but they had something in common—the sword cut all targets in view just once. The exception was 100,000 Army Massacre Sword. 100,000 Army Massacre Sword was a sword technique that struck all targets within a 10 meter radius a total of 30 times. It was more powerful than the other two. This meant there was no way to define Madra’s swordsmanship as a single blow.
“Would you like to argue?”
“Yes, Teacher. As you saw, the 100,000 Army Massacre Sword isn’t a single blow but dozens of flying sword energy.”
“It is altered. It is intentionally dispersing the power in order to reduce the burden on the user... no, why am I your teacher?”
“You are teaching me swordsmanship? Doesn’t this mean you’re my teacher?”
“Never mind. You are qualified to be taught after passing the test. I am merely teaching according to the rules of the tower.”
Biban drew a line and Grid was depressed.
‘He must think it is disgraceful to have me as a student.’
Grid was forced to accept it. Naturally, Biban had peeked at his talent. It was absurd for Biban to accept him as a student. Then he listened to Biban’s next words and realized he was mistaken.
“There are three teachers who had played a hand in making the current you. Wouldn’t it be rude to them? Compared to them, I’m not a teacher just because I gave you a bit of help.”
Grid’s impression of Biban changed. The first impression might be absurd but he was actually a very deep figure. Of course, the truth was different. Biban merely respected the strong.
Biban cut to the chase. “As I said earlier, Madra's swordsmanship is indeed a single blow. However, as you know, the 100,000 Army Massacre Sword has been transformed into 30 energy blades. I don’t know why but I can only interpret it as an intention to minimize the burden on the user’s body.”
Biban’s interpretation was correct. All of Madra’s sword techniques learnt by Grid were used by Death Knight Madra. Death Knight Madra’s bones were weak to shock and this was reflected in his weakened swordsmanship. It was clear that his body would’ve shattered if he had implemented the full swordsmanship.
Biban finished off his words and demonstrated the sword technique. 30 energy blades flew just like when Grid used it and it looked like the perfect 100,000 Army Massacre Sword. 30 energy blades were engraved on the walls of the barrier, which had remained intact despite Grid using his full power. This was a sword wielded with only his fingers, making the power of the ensuing swordsmanship even more shocking.
Biban took a breath in the same position as before and his muscles swelled slightly. It was just that when his sword was wielded, the wall of the barrier split apart with a huge roar. Part of the wall, which had been cut off by the barrier, was revealed.
Biban restored the barrier to prevent anyone from peeking and stated, “It uses the same power but the difference is dispersing it or collecting it at a single point. If you collect it at one point, the speed and power will naturally increase and this can be considered as perfect. Of course, it is too much on the user. In particular, Madra’s swordsmanship contained a trick that maximizes the flow of air so the consumption of mental strength, physical strength, and sword energy is very big. Those who haven’t trained above a certain level can’t afford the backlash.”
This was why the deteriorated version of 100,000 Army Massacre Sword was divided into 30 energy blades. Grid definitely understood but new questions arose. “Then why isn’t there a backlash despite 100,000 Army Blockade Sword and 200,000 Army Crushing Sword being one blow?”
The reason for the health consumption when using 200,000 Army Crushing Sword was the recoil that occurred when colliding with the target’s skill. It wasn’t a problem with the swordsmanship itself.
“The power itself of these two sword techniques are weak.”
“The blockade sword and crushing sword are techniques with intangible will applied. Besides cutting down the enemy, there is an additional effect so there is no need to focus the power. On the other hand, 100,000 Army Massacre Sword is a technique that focuses on cutting down the enemy so it is important to preserve every bit of power.”
Then he became curious about something. A question couldn’t help emerging from Biban’s mouth. “If you don’t mind me asking, how did you learn Madra’s swordsmanship? He died without leaving his secret technique behind.”
“That...” Grid talked about what happened in the Behen Archipelago. He delivered the entire process of winning and gaining the diary from Madra, who had become a death knight thanks to Pagma. “At that time, Madra had suffered from many years passing and was in a greatly weakened state. He fought the demon army and still had the wounds.”
“He would’ve been mentally exhausted because he was forced to be an undead. The only thing his body could use was the deteriorated swordsmanship.”
“In any case, Pagma doesn’t do anything halfway. The sublime spirit that fought for the world deserves respect but there are many areas where he was too much.”
“...Excuse me, Elder.” Grid expressed the question that he had long buried in his heart. “What was the Tower of Wisdom doing at the time?”
Why didn’t the Tower of Wisdom help Pagma, who was isolated by the gods and fought the great demons alone? It was significant since the existence of the Tower of Wisdom was for the peace of the world.
Biban smiled bitterly. “Gujel woke up at the time.”
“A dragon. He was recovering from a major wound dealt by Insane Dragon Nevartan and aimed to absorb the magic of the great demons to recover. He was attempting to intrude on the battle in the Behen Archipelago.”
The power of a dragon was too mighty. It was likely that the entire Behen Archipelago would’ve been destroyed if he shot one breath at the demon army.
“Our association fought to stop him. The purpose of the tower is for disasters that humanity can’t prevent. It is about stopping the dragons.”
Grid couldn’t feel the limit of Biban’s strength. Unlike other NPCs, it was impossible to guess his level. Now the reason was revealed. It was the story of a world that players couldn’t intervene in. This was a powerful organization that handled dragons.
“I never imagined that a dragon could be hunted.”
“What hunt? There isn’t a chance. Our main task is to protect the dragon’s territory, keeping it satisfied and asleep as long as possible. It is a type of zookeeper. In that sense, the proliferation of the insane dragon iron can never be permitted. The insane dragon is the target of all dragons.”
“Ah...” Grid clearly knew why the Tower of Wisdom was wary of the insane dragon iron. He got goosebumps at the thought of what would’ve happened if he let Greed continue to multiply. At the same time, he noticed two sinister facts. “Aren’t the tower association members all as strong as Elder? It is impossible to hunt a dragon even if you work together?”
“We can hunt a wounded dragon like Gujel or a hatchling, who hasn’t become an adult, but it is usually impossible.”
“You said you defend the territory of the dragons. Does this mean you prevent any invasions to the region? Even if they’re humans?”
The reason for this question was the dwarf city, Talima. Grid had to visit Talima, which was in the territory of the Fire Dragon Trauka. He could be a target for the tower.
Fortunately, Biban shook his head. “The dragon’s magic power gives the monsters in the region increased strength and wisdom. There are many monsters in a dragon’s territory. It becomes a natural protection making it difficult for humans to exert influence, even if they are transcendent. That’s why we don’t need to come forward to stop intruders.”
“Then your comment about defending the territory of dragons...?”
“A guy called Baal sometimes plays pranks. There are times when he tries to awaken the dragon by opening a gate in its territory. We block it every time. Baal is a little bit weaker than a dragon thus ordinary people can’t bear it, hence we are forced to go out.”
The 1st Great Demon Baal. Grid had once met one of the pieces of his ego. Definitely, this wasn’t normal. Grid was worried about Pagma’s soul in the grasp of Baal.
“Time is running out. Now stop chatting and concentrate.”
Biban took a posture again. This time, it was the posture of 200,000 Army Crushing Sword.
The street where Biban’s barrier unfolded...
It was a place that connected the Overgeared Palace with the smithy district and was originally sparsely populated. There were no private homes and shopping areas in the vicinity, so few people came here. At most, only the blacksmiths and soldiers travelling to and from the castle used the street.
Nevertheless, Mercedes was prepared for unforeseen events. Knights and soldiers were called in to thoroughly block the area around the street. Not one ant would be able to see the barrier containing Grid.
A long time passed. In the barrier, Biban tried to teach Grid as much as possible and Grid worked hard to digest it. Then it was finished. The barrier of sharp swords that Mercedes didn’t dare to approach was lifted. Biban looked tired while Grid had a satisfied expression.
Mercedes knelt in front of Grid and requested, “Kill me.”
What happened? Mercedes confessed to the honestly baffled Grid. “I watched Your Majesty inside the barrier and dared to steal Your Majesty’s technique. It wasn’t intentional but I naturally understood it. I stole Your Majesty’s technique and I deserve to be executed.”
Grid understood what she was saying and rejoiced while Biban’s face was white.
‘This child’s eyes can penetrate even through the barrier?’
Then a creepy voice entered Biban’s ears. “It is Keen Insight. It is a power that even the gods are vigilant about.”
Biban looked back and saw a woman with dark makeup concealing the wrinkles on her face. She was 190 centimeters tall, tall enough that Biban and Grid had to look up.
“Who is this distinguished person?”
‘She managed to infiltrate through all the guards?’
Mercedes pulled out her sword and stepped out to protect Grid. Somehow, Biban also hid behind Mercedes.
The woman grinned. “Pretty child, you don’t have to be so vigilant. I just came to pick up that shameful person hiding there.”
Biban almost clung to Mercedes’ back as he held his breath. Even now, he believed he could hide if he erased his breathing. It was an almost cat-like thinking.
“Elder...” Grid gazed at Biban with pitying eyes. He had heard about the punishment so he felt sympathetic.
Biban felt wronged. “The fact that you could see through the barrier...! Why did you only say that now?”
Biban left with this scream. The send-off was just as loud as when he appeared.
[Let’s meet at the tower soon.]
The sound transmission of the woman’s voice filled Grid’s mind.Previous Chapter Next Chapter