Chapter 1169

[The Red Phoenix's Breath has been strengthened!]


The smelting difficulty was proportional to the rating of the material. Grid spent a considerable amount of time and stamina every time he strengthened the sacred creature’s breath. However, it was different this time. Thanks to the sparks of willpower effect from Duke of Fire, Grid’s fatigue was greatly reduced compared to before. At least, it should’ve been so...

“...”

Grid’s face was dark as he looked at the Strengthened Red Phoenix's Breath. His current fatigue was higher than ever. It was due to the feeling of conflict sparked by the severe warning that struck at his sense of reason when he regained his composure once he got the result he desired.

‘This is a really crazy gamble.’

The breath of a sacred creature was an ingredient for a myth rated item. Discussing the value of this material itself was disrespectful. Was it right to throw it away on a gamble? He was afraid of the sense of loss he would feel if this failed.

‘...It is nonsense to worry about this now.’

He decided to give it a try. Why was he wasting time worrying about this again? Grid knew it was just a waste of time. Once the conflict ended, he gave the Strengthened Red Phoenix's Breath to the Red Phoenix Bow where the Spirit of a Sacred Creature Resides.

To be honest, his heart was pounding. Sweat dripped down and the saliva in his mouth dried up. For the Red Phoenix Guardian quest, the objective stated in the quest information was to give 20 Red Phoenix's Breaths to the Red Phoenix Bow. It was extremely unlikely that the system would permit the giving of the ‘strengthened breath’ to the Red Phoenix Bow. Yes, he was likely to suffer a great loss...

It happened the moment Grid closed his eyes...

The Red Phoenix Bow accepted the strengthened breath and red surged, beating like the heart of a giant beast. It was hotter than lava but wasn’t a life-destroying flame. Sparks rose and numerous plants grew on the ground where Grid was standing.

“...!”

A panorama unfolded in front of Grid. The chaos before the beginning—Yatan, Rebecca, and Hanul were there and they created the world. Rebecca planted the world tree to support the earth. Hanul, who created the gods that governed weather, injected new life into the earth. Yatan took Baal out of the abyss to prepare for destruction.

They weren’t actions or plans with any special significance. They were just moving according to the rules.

The first humans were terrified. They respected but didn’t rely on the almighty gods. The more they served and knew the gods, the more anxious they felt. Humanity wanted new gods. Gods they could believe in and rely on. Gods to protect them. Then flames appeared on the grey landscape that expressed the despair felt by the first humans. They were flames that could germinate the sparks of life without the help of the gods that Rebecca and Hanul created. A guardian god born only from humanity, which originated from their heart’s desire.

『... A call. 』

Flames swelled and a voice emerged. It was the first time he heard this voice and Grid noticed the voice’s owner. It was the red phoenix.

『 I... A call like this. 』

The flames burned more strongly and gradually took the form of the red phoenix. It was hundreds of times larger than the red phoenix called by the Fly Up! skill attached to Jishuka’s Red Phoenix Bow. Both wings seemed like they could cover a great mountain and it exerted a presence that was above material size.

Grid was overwhelmed. He honestly shrank back as the red phoenix stared at him. Nevertheless, he didn’t feel the extreme impression like he was a speck of dust. It wasn’t because the majesty of the red phoenix was lacking, it was just that Grid had grown.

The landscape surrounding Grid changed again. A red sky filled his vision.

“...?”

Grid quickly adapted to the sudden change and lowered his gaze. He could see a burning royal palace. Hundreds of thousands of troops surrounded the royal palace. The identity of the army was the Overgeared soldiers and the allied orcs. 

“Sir Piaro! Are you insane?”

‘Lauel?’

Grid heard Lauel’s voice and searched for him. Finding Lauel wasn’t difficult. He stood next to Piaro at the forefront of the battlefield. He was clearly tired. His eyes trembled as he alternated between looking at Piaro next to him and the rushing enemy.

“...!”

Grid was stunned. He immediately realized why Lauel was agitated. Many of the knights and soldiers of the Overgeared Kingdom were empty-handed. It was during a war. They abandoned their weapons in the face of the enemy. It was because they responded to Grid’s Request to Stand With Me.

“My mind is fine. The thing that matters to me is the safety of His Majesty, not the war in front of me.”

“...I will do as the commander-in-chief wishes.”

Lauel shook his head and raised both hands, the weapon in them disappearing with a flash of light. In fact, he was the same as Piaro. He knew that death wasn’t the end for Grid but he failed to ignore Grid’s crisis.

‘Lauel, are you going to follow rather than stop him?’ Grid’s eyes widened.

Then the landscape surrounding Grid changed again.

...Hup.” Grid frowned and held his breath. A land dominated by a sweltering heat—Grid knew the identity of this unpleasant space.

‘Hell?’

From there...

“Daring to disturb the ritual! It is hateful!”

Yura was running alone. A large frog with a crown was jumping as it chased after her.

“Yura!”

Grid immediately pulled out his sword and flew forward. He hid Yura behind his back and cut the frog. However, nothing happened. All the sights in front of Grid were the past and he couldn’t intervene. The crown-wearing frog aimed its long tongue past Grid toward Yura’s back.

Did she decide that she could no longer run away? Yura stopped running and fired her gun. Then she pulled out a sword and set it up as a shield. Thanks to the buffs she received in hell, she could accurately read the fast trajectory of the flying tongue, which was hard for even Grid to follow. No matter who looked, the defense was obviously successful.

Then just before the tongue and sword touched, Yura’s sword disappeared from her hand. It was because her spare sword was Grid’s work. Yura’s heart was pierced by the tongue.

“You aren’t as good as the old one,” the crown-wearing frog mocked her.

The gun in Yura’s hand converted into a green sword. For five seconds, she fought silently. The moment she turned to ash, there were no regrets on her face. Rather, she looked satisfied.

“Yura...”

Grid flopped down. He felt some responsibility watching her sacrifice herself for him and hoped to stand side by side with her.

The landscape continued to change. During the one-sided slaughter of hundreds of monsters, Jishuka lost her bow and was surrounded by monsters. Peak Sword lost his sheath and was unable to cope with Iyarugt running wild. He faced a disastrous end. Most of his colleagues’ circumstances in the ever-changing landscapes were similar. All of them made great sacrifices in response to Grid’s Request to Stand With Me.

“This... unbelievable...” Grid sighed.

Once he learned that his power demanded the sacrifice of others, he rebuked himself and regretted it. In front of the collapsed Grid, the huge red phoenix appeared again.

『 Human with the desire to become a god. 』

『 Your power isn’t almighty and you will repeat many mistakes and failures. 』

『 Don’t be overconfident in not knowing this and be buried in despair and regret. 』

『 Only a strong mentality and determination will give you an opportunity to change your providence, whether you can sustain it or not. 』

Don’t be like us.

The red phoenix seemed to be giving advice. The despair and regret that the red phoenix felt over the years could be glimpsed from the red phoenix’s eyes. Grid asked, “Do you believe that I can only stand up to the gods if I accept the sacrifices of those who believe in me and follow me?”

The red phoenix was silent—it meant confirmation. Grid shook his head. “No, that isn’t necessarily the case.”

It was the reason why Grid chose the path to become a god. He wanted to protect his people. The moment he turned away from them, the reason he had to walk on this path would disappear.

“I’m not going to sacrifice them.”

The beak of the red phoenix twitched—it looked like a smile.

『 Noble one, I will give you my heart. This heart will grow with your willpower and it will be a small boon to your future. 』

The appearance was holy but the exit was shabby. The red phoenix pulled out a heart and rapidly became smaller, quickly disappearing into sparks. The surrounding landscape of the dazed Grid returned to its original form. Then a notification window popped up.


[A hidden story has arisen due to the effect of giving the Strengthened Red Phoenix's Breath to the Red Phoenix Bow where the Spirit of a Sacred Creature Resides.]

[The sealed power in the Red Phoenix Bow where the Spirit of a Sacred Creature Resides has been greatly restored. The red phoenix admires your ability and feels great favorability toward you.]

[The ‘Red Phoenix’s 9th Heart’ has been acquired as hidden compensation for the hidden quest ★ Red Phoenix Guardian ★.]


[Red Phoenix’s 9th Heart]

[One of the 10 hearts that are the source of power for the red phoenix.

It is one of the hearts that the red phoenix kept to the very end.

The heart will respond to your willpower and grow with you.]

[The Red Phoenix’s 9th Heart has permeated you.] 

[Your blood is running hot with the holy flames. You won’t become tired easily in the future.]

[Health recovery rate is increased by 20%.]

[Stamina recovery rate will permanently double.]

[The Rune of Darkness can’t adapt to this hot heat and is running wild in your body.]

[The Red Phoenix’s 9th Heart has noticed the Rune of Darkness.]

[The Rune of Darkness is trying to hide itself.]


“...!?”

An increased health recovery rate and a doubled stamina recovery rate, Grid got more benefits than imagined from the heart but he couldn’t afford to feel joy. The Rune of Darkness—the hidden card that contained an explosive power seemed to be antagonistic to the red phoenix heart so he felt more frustration than joy. It was even more disturbing because the Rune of Darkness had been greatly diminished due to the disappeared demonic power.

Ugh!

As the heat in his body rapidly swelled, Grid felt the pain and sat down. The Red Phoenix Bow where the Spirit of a Sacred Creature Resides was quietly sleeping without being aware of the disaster its power caused.

‘This is a big mistake...’

In Satisfy, resistance was very important. It was natural that the Rune of Darkness, which was evil, would be countered by the red phoenix, one of the gods who could be defined as good. He shouldn’t have accepted the heart. Grid realized it was a serious situation and was trying to regain his composure when it happened...


[The sacred flame circulating from the Red Phoenix’s 9th Heart has succeeded in capturing and purifying the Rune of Darkness.]

[The circulating fire of willpower from Duke of Fire has responded to the sacred flames and have dominated the Rune of Darkness.

[The Rune of Darkness, which has harmed you even after becoming a part of you, is completely submissive to you.]

[The ‘demonic power increase’ penalty that occurred when Rune of Darkness is used will be deleted.]

[The powers attached to the Rune of Darkness will demand the fire of willpower in the future. This will change the name, effect, and direction of some of the skills.]

[Once the Rune of Darkness is opened, the dark attribute damage that was added to general attacks and skill attacks will be changed to the heart attribute damage.]

[The unique passive effect of Rune of Darkness is enhanced. In the future, you will absorb the unique characteristics of the target, even if you kill angels, half-gods, and gods, as well as named great demons, demons, and demonic creatures.]

[The name of the Rune of Darkness has changed to the Rune of Gluttony.] 


“...”

Runes were bound items where each account could only hold one. In Satisfy, bound items couldn’t be released or traded. According to various documents, there were hundreds of runes in the world. Thus, a player who obtained a relatively poorer rune than others would suffer irreversible damage for the rest of their lives.

In that sense, Grid had benefited greatly. The Rune of Darkness, which absorbed even the power of the great demon, was certainly the highest-level rune. Now it had been upgraded to a rune that could even absorb the power of a god. The Rune of Gluttony—the new rune that seemed to have developed under the influence of Grid’s inclination and purpose ignited Grid’s enthusiasm.

“...It worked properly.”

After a long time, Grid gave a relaxed smile and checked the status of the Red Phoenix Guardian quest. The quest stipulated that 11 breaths had been given to the Red Phoenix Bow where the Spirit of a Sacred Creature Resides. This meant that one strengthened breath was equivalent to 10 breaths.

On the East Continent, there were still a number of yangbans and forgotten shrines.

‘One, I just need one more.’

Grid turned his gaze in the direction of Kars, the capital of the Cho Kingdom. There were people there who wanted to help him. 

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Translator: Rainbow Turtle

Editor: Jyazen

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