“This is the feeling of being a novice.”
“Yes, I don’t know how long it’s been since I felt this helpless.”
The difficulty of the East Continent was more than rumored. They came here with thorough preparations and planning but there had never been a smooth day. Their determination to use the new stage as a springboard to leap forward was on the verge of dissipating.
“The difficulty of the quests is too high overall. I thought it would be something like a kobold when I was asked to hunt the monster harming the fields in front of the house, only for a cyclops to show up.”
“The quests involving monsters have a high difficulty. Here, the level of the monsters troubling the farmers is over 300.”
“Right. I think we need to sort between quests for the time being. Let’s gradually adjust to the atmosphere while refraining from quests that could lead to combat. The more information we gather, the better it is to deal with monsters. This is wiser.”
“Yesterday, a ranker said the same thing. Then he received the wood cutting quest and died shortly after.”
“That person died chopping wood.”
“The tree exploded.”
“...There is a reason Grid gave up.”
There was no one who wasn’t aware that Grid had come to the East Continent. Indeed, many situations proved the history of Grid’s visit to the East Continent. The inhabitants who praised Grid’s achievements were gone but they still knew that Grid was quite active here.
Then Grid remained silent for a while. He went back to the West Continent and didn’t return to the East Continent again in a few years—as far as they knew. Although there were arguments that the stage of his epic a few days ago was the East Continent, Grid had abandoned it for years.
After a few days of dying, the players who were gathered together to discuss things became quiet. What could they do on this land where even Grid was forced to stay away from for several years? It seemed they had come too quickly. Deep regret struck the players. However, the mood soon reversed itself.
“...Let’s use strength.”
“I came all this way and can’t give up. Let’s hold on and make a small achievement.”
“No, let’s just stay for a few years and get it over with! We will do what Grid can’t and catch up with Grid!”
People who came to the East Continent would exceed the normal level. Players who experienced the difficulty of the East Continent were more motivated than despairing. They were filled with the expectation that they would be enormously rewarded if they overcame the hardships that even Grid couldn’t overcome. They had a great opportunity to lay the groundwork for catching up with every player’s goal, Grid.
“Wash your clothes in the stream? Okay! I accept!”
“Harvest strawberries from the strawberry field for a day? Okay, I’ll do it!”
“Sending a letter to a friend... Huhuhu, how romantic. My role today is the cupid of love.”
“Y-You said to go to the back mountain and cut firewood? Hik! No! Pass!”
Kars was the centre of the Cho Kingdom’s economy and was always lacking manpower. Hundreds of players took care of all types of chores, helping the people of Kars.
“...What are they doing when they come all the way to the East Continent?”
The doctor Hera—she was able to arrive unharmed in Kars thanks to Kentrick. She witnessed players doing chores all over the place but it wasn’t a convincing sight.
Gust Ranger, Enthusiastic Shot. Hound Hunter of the Dominion Kingdom. Casey, master of the round cross-stitch, etc. It was absurd that famous rankers and promising players in the community who weren’t ranked were doing chores that even children could do.
‘Why bother coming to the East Continent and doing things like this...?’
Well, she guessed there were some connected quests. Once she thought about it deeply, her head became complicated. Hera shook her head and stopped paying attention to others. She focused on her own purpose. She remembered the boy who didn’t have a single comfortable day due to a congenital disease and a client who felt guilty for not giving birth to a child in good health.
‘I’m the only one who can help them.’
The identity of the child was really questionable. The man who wanted his son to recover didn’t live in a city with shrines or doctor’s clinics. Rather, he lived alone with his son in a ruin with no other humans. He couldn’t be unaware of the Saintess’ reputation to heal all diseases but he didn’t think about contacting her. Maybe he couldn’t show up in the world. She wondered if he was a person with a great deal of notoriety in the past. Even so, she knew the pain of losing a child and was unable to turn away from the client. She came to the distant East Continent for him.
Hera had toured Kars for four days. She visited all the herbalists in the city and asked how to buy or obtain the ingredients for the medicine he needed. Then she faced a challenge...
“Huh, you’re looking for Kunlun Ginseng? Do you want to save the dead?”
The last ingredient was the problem. In the recipe provided by the quest, the difficulty of obtaining it was classified as ‘atrocious.’
Hera replied, "Saving the dead... it doesn’t seem incorrect. My client’s physical condition is bad enough to be called dead.”
“Are you planning to revive him as a jiangshi?”
“Revive him as a jiangshi? Haha, a joke like this...”
“The yang energy in the Kunlun Ginseng is great enough to invigorate the body. It isn’t an exaggeration to say that the efficacy of the Kunlun Ginseng is enough to revive the dead. Of course, it is only possible with the appropriate knowledge and skills.”
A chill went down Hera’s spine. She recalled the strange feeling she felt when she met her client and was filled with various doubts. Then she was suddenly awakened from her thoughts.
“Puhaha, I’m going to cry,” the herbalist burst out laughing. He told Hera who was standing there with a stiff expression, “Well, it is true that the Kunlun Ginseng can be used to save the dead. Some evil daoists used the Kunlun Ginseng to make jiangshi and disturb the hearts of the public. This led to the royal family banning the distribution of it as private goods. However, as I said earlier, reviving the dead requires the right magic knowledge and skills. It is also the highest level of knowledge and skills.”
“What does that...?”
“You are the one who will make the medicine with the Kunlun Ginseng? Your identity isn’t an insidious daoist and the medicine you make can’t revive the dead. So don’t be so scared.”
“T-This bad person! How do you treat your guests?”
The herbalist’s smiling face changed at once. His sharp eyes pierced Hera sharply. “I had to test you since you could be an evil daoist.”
“Well, it is hard to doubt you when you listen to the words of a man who sells herbs like me. Go to the palace. It can only be purchased at the palace. If the palace examines you and your herbal recipe and doesn't find anything wrong, they will give you the Kunlun Ginseng. Ah, you naturally have to make the medicine in front of their eyes.”
Thanks to the friendly herbalist, Hera got the information and regained her composure as she headed to the palace. The soldiers obediently opened the path for her when they heard she was coming to acquire the Kunlun Ginseng. They guided her to the annex opposite the king’s hall.
Ttang! Ttang! Ttang!
There were several experts active in the annex. In some buildings, blacksmiths were gathered to make weapons. In other buildings, scientists gathered to test the performance of artillery. In another building, doctors like Hera gathered to observe the appearance of patients, and other professionals minding their own businesses.
Gulp. Hera swallowed her saliva as she walked along an endless corridor with thick pillars. She noticed that the atmosphere of the soldiers and warriors patrolling was unusual. She seemed to know why the soldiers had guided her to this point without any special checks.
‘They are confident that they can respond no matter what happens.’
She had heard and experienced that the level of the East Continent was generally high but the level of the palace was highest among them. Even the acclaimed rankers on the West Continent would shrink back here and be treated as rats. Hera was thinking this when she heard something.
“The level is too low.”
It was someone’s sighing voice. The voice was unforgettable. It was as expected...
She turned her head and saw the unknown ranker called Kentrick who helped her a few days ago. A few blacksmiths were gathered together and were being admonished by him, “You haven’t fully unlocked the potential of iron. In particular, tell the blacksmiths making the sword to invest triple the time in smelting.”
A ‘warrior’ from the West Continent was admonishing craftsmen? Hera stopped when she heard this and stared blankly at Kentrick. Kentrick’s saw her and his words continued, “...This is how my friend would’ve advised you.”
The pressure Kentrick gave off disappeared suddenly and ended with a polite attitude. He turned to Hera and looked very surprised.
“Hera, why are you here?”
“Ah... T-that... This is the only place where I can get the last ingredient for my medicine. I never thought I would be reunited with Kentrick here. Have you been well?”
“Yes, of course.”
“By the way... Kentrick, what are you doing here?”
“It isn’t a big deal. I have a friend who asked me to give advice to the blacksmiths of the Cho Kingdom, so I stopped by for a while.”
Hera’s eyes lit up. “A person who is good enough to give advice to craftsmen... is your friend Grid?”
“A-Amazing! You are friends with Grid! I saw from the beginning that you’re not an average person but you are more amazing than I thought!”
“Haha, I only know Grid a little bit... then I’m going.”
Kentrick—to be precise, Grid disguised as Kentrick—hurriedly left. In a situation where he had to work secretly, it would be very troublesome if Hera had doubts.
The blacksmiths followed Grid. They already deeply respected Grid, who gave them advice during the short period of time waiting for the furnace to rise. They wanted to learn more.
The smithy was located in the innermost part of the annex. He checked the condition of the furnace that had been slowly heating up thanks to the God Hands and warned the blacksmiths following him, “If she looks for me, tell her I have already left.”
“Yes, I understand!”
Grid heard a satisfactory answer and slowly relaxed. The Red Phoenix's Breath was the crystallization of fire. In order to smelt it, a high temperature should be maintained. It was a task that required tremendous stamina and long patience. This was why he had been cooling his head for a bit.
“...He is coming soon.”
Grid had to finish everything before Garam came. Grid had to resurrect the red phoenix and the Cho king had to rally his forces to spread the truth. Only then could they resist Garam and the Hwan Kingdom.
The blacksmiths sat down in pain as heat was emitted from the giant furnace The average person couldn’t withstand this high temperature that made it hard for them to even breathe. The basic condition of smelting the Red Phoenix's Breath was a high temperature that wasn’t accessible to everyone. This was why only Grid could strengthen the breath.
Grid ordered the God Hands to support the blacksmiths out and approached the furnace. Flames devoured the Red Phoenix Breath. The flames that flooded out of the furnace stretched in all directions, covering the entire smithy.
Meanwhile, the Cho king had summoned all his ministers and officials and was preaching the truth. “This is the reality of the Five Seniors and the yangbans.”
The followers of the Five Seniors denied it and denounced the king. Then blood was sprayed. There was no time as the Cho king tearfully started the purge.
At the Abyss...
Shortly before reaching the depths, Braham met with Biplonz and asked, “Are you the gatekeeper here?”
Then Goldhit’s head being held in his hand started laughing.
“Hahahat! Biplonz! He is a demonkin born here! He is much stronger than I am if he takes off his restraints! Braham! Even you will find it hard to deal with him... Kuock!”
Braham’s face was dark as he used a whip made of magic power to hit Goldhit’s head. Grid would’ve been shocked by the sight, let alone anyone else.
“You were born in a strange place after your previous life.”
“Previous life...? Do you know me?”
“Do you want to know?”
He naturally wanted to know. No, he had to. Born in the Abyss, Biplonz knew nothing except for the fact that he was a demonkin. Who he was, why was he born here with nothing, and what type of scenery did the outside contain? He had so much he wanted to know. Then why? He felt afraid when he was about to face the truth. It was a much deeper fear than the abyss-like darkness encroaching on the gap here.
Braham nodded. “If you're not ready yet, there's no reason to force it. Get out of the way.”
Biplonz got out of the way. He felt from the beginning that he couldn’t win if he fought the opponent in front of him.
Thanks to this, Goldhit was going crazy.
“T-This damn thing...! There is a hydra underneath!!!”
She didn’t want to die. She might only have a head left but she didn’t want to die. Goldhit tried to convey her will but it didn’t work. Braham entrusted himself to the darkness and was already falling over the edge.Previous Chapter Next Chapter