The National Competition’s third day.
The United States felt Lauel’s absence. In the Siege event, they were devastated by the strategies of the Chinese dragon, Hao. Disturbances, fireballs, ambushes, sudden raids, etc.—Hao’s operations worked together in an exquisite manner, pushing the United States to the defensive.
Kraugel, who had been isolated from the main force in the enemy camp and barely managed to return to base camp alone, stopped in place. Their castle where the star-spangled banner should be had turned into the enemy’s lair. The five-starred red flag flapped like it was laughing at Kraugel.
“Surviving that trap... I truly respect you.” Hao stood above the walls among the archers and advised Kraugel. “However, it’s already too late. Forget meaningless resistance and surrender obediently.”
There were only two people Hao acknowledged as being superior to him—Grid and Kraugel. In particular, he had long envied Kraugel and had been following Kraugel for many years. Of course, this didn’t mean he was a subordinate. Kraugel had no intention of creating a faction, nor did he think Hao was below himself.
“Kraugel, make a decision.”
Once Kraugel refused to discard his sword, Hao once again advised him. All the Chinese players, including him, were wearing barbed armor. It was armor with a sword breaker option. Hao had been truly impressed by Grid’s Sword Breaker that defeated Kraugel last year.
“It has been three minutes since our flag has been inserted. You have only two minutes left.”
The Chinese players started shouting. They were filled with a great momentum. There were 30 people occupying the castle while Kraugel was alone. It was overwhelmingly advantageous for China, who only had to hold on for two minutes. The Chinese participants calculated that there could never be a chance and no one in the world denied it.
The commentators and viewers, regardless of nationality, believed it was China’s victory. Only one person was different. All except for Kraugel.
The sword that Kraugel threw flew over the wall and the scared Chinese players withdrew to the left and the right. The sword was inserted into a gap between the Chinese players only to suddenly change positions with Kraugel who was below the walls.
The Chinese players were flustered about allowing Kraugel to invade and failed to capitalize on their numerical advantage. However, they soon recovered their senses and poured out their skills onto Kraugel. At this point, Kraugel’s ‘spear’ was spinning. The gentle spear flowed like water and slammed into the Chinese players’ barbed armor without being damaged.
The Chinese players couldn’t withstand the shock and flew into the air. Kraugel pulled out a new sword and threw it. The target was a tall spire 500 meters away. It was the location where the five-starred red flag was inserted.
The Chinese players who just landed threw their weapons as fast as they could. It was an attempt to not leave a gap for Kraugel but Kraugel was one beat faster than them. By the time they landed, Kraugel had already thrown the new weapon. By the time they threw their weapons, Kraugel’s position had already been swapped with the sword.
Kraugel’s new position was in front of the spire. The fluttering five-starred red flag was right in front of him. Kraugel was reaching for the red flag when a powerful force struck his back. It was a Breath shot by Hao, who had spread his dragon wings and flew to the spire from the moment Kraugel ascended the walls.
“You have to give up like Lady Mi did for Zhao Yun!” 
There were limits to being alone. Hao would use this opportunity to make Kraugel understand...
Hao shouted with a sense of duty and Kraugel failed to respond to the attack. It was because the surprise attack came when he was bending over and reaching out to take the flag. The timing of Hao’s surprise attack was perfect. If Hao had opened the willpower stat, he would’ve been the first person Kraugel lost to since Grid.
Hao’s spear stopped just before it pierced Kraugel’s back. An invisible sword energy was cutting at Hao. The ‘cuts’ were intangible willpower created by a Sword Saint’s Formless Will. In terms of sharpness, it was far more intimidating than Grid’s Formless Will.
The dragon scales on one side of Hao’s wings couldn’t withstand the shock as it was cut and blood spurted like a fountain. It was the moment when he lost his flying ability. In his falling vision, Kraugel’s back as he pulled out the red flag could be seen. The stars and stripes once again decorated the castle.
Hao didn’t give up. Rather than taking care of his falling body, he fired a Breath once more. Kraugel’s immortality would’ve been consumed before arriving here. Hao was determined to make it mutual destruction. If he could take out Kraugel then his remaining colleagues meant China would win.
That’s right. Like the Overgeared members, Hao was distinguishing between achievements and death. The yellow ray of light emerged from Hao’s mouth and cut through the sky. The Breath was the ultimate attack of the half-draconian. Not only did it consume the user’s health, there was the critical disadvantage of the skill cooldown time being random. The advantages were that the hit rate and power were comparable to a legendary skill. It might be trivial compared to the Breath of a real dragon but at the very least, it did absolute damage to players.
However, the current opponent was the worst. It was because a Sword Saint could cut the world.
The yellow beam of light was split in half. Kraugel’s sword had cut the beam of light. His newly created swordsmanship had ‘strongest enemies’ in mind and contained the power to delete skills.
Hao laughed as he crashed into the cold ground. His body lost the dragon wings and scales as his world became grey and silent. Standing below the star-spangled banner, Kraugel exuded an overwhelming sense of pressure that was higher than when he reigned as the supreme one.
Upon arriving in Yangzhou, the capital of Xing, Grid’s mouth dropped open. He was amazed by the size of Yangzhou, where 20 carriages could move side by side. He never dreamed there would be a metropolis larger than Titan, the capital of the empire.
“There is nothing small in this kingdom.”
From the food to buildings, they were all really big. Even the chests of the women were big.
Tosun poked Grid in the side as he watched the women on the street wearing cheongsams. “Overgeared God, Overgeared God. Wake up. People are looking.”
‘Am I the only one acting like a hillbilly among so many people?’
Grid shook his head and looked around. Then he was surprised. It was because the hundreds of thousands of people passing by on the street were watching Grid’s party.
Grid realized the reason.
“Where in the world did such a group of beauties come from?”
Tosun and Kyeongja, as well as Blue Tiger, Banguli, and the others of the Twelve Zodiacs—they were currently accompanying Grid in human form and were all peerless beauties.
‘It must be eye-catching.’
Grid knew the identities of the Twelve Zodiacs and wasn’t deceived by their appearance, but the situation was different for those who didn’t know the truth. The men seemed to fall in love with the Twelve Zodiacs at first sight while the women had expressions of longing.
‘An obvious situation will occur.’
It was obvious. Now a young master would come up to the Twelve Zodiacs. If things didn’t work out well, he would provoke the ladies’ servant and this was naturally Grid.
‘If an ordinary man is with these beauties then he will naturally be mistaken for the ladies’ servant.’
This time, it also included Braham. Today, Braham had a plain face due to the skin mask. This meant he would be treated just like Grid.
“Can you excuse me for a moment?”
It was as expected. Someone who was obviously a nobleman in luxurious clothing approached Grid. Grid watched and waited for this third-rate extra to say his lines. Surprisingly, the nobleman spoke to Grid, not the Twelve Zodiacs. It was even in a polite manner.
“I am Qi Jian, the eldest son of the Wolong Goods Office, the representative business group of Yangzhou. Based on your clothing, you seem to be a nobleman from the Cho Kingdom. Can I ask for your name?”
“Why are you wondering about my name?”
“I see that you have travelled with such beautiful people to a distant kingdom and you look like someone who knows romance. That’s why I want to get closer to you. I’m on my way to have a drink with my friends. Do you want to accompany me?”
Grid was engulfed in great emotions. He was regarded as a nobleman rather than a servant, as well as one having a romantic affair with beauties. Grid couldn’t help raising his shoulders. He had only recently been gaining confidence in his appearance and now his self-esteem rose sharply.
In his heart, he wanted to shake hands with Qi Jian and go drink straight away. However, Grid refused. “Thank you for the suggestion but I have work to do...”
Just then, Grid shook his head and closed his mouth. It was because Braham was glaring at him. Braham was very dissatisfied.
“No, what is it?” Grid whispered and Braham clicked his tongue.
“Do you want to miss out on a golden opportunity?”
“Ah...” Grid recalled the challenges facing him. First, he had to collect information. He had to figure out the exact location of the Black Tortoise Jewel and find a way to access it. The man in front of him introduced himself as the eldest son of the city’s representative business group. There was no loss conversing with him. There was no room to worry. “...Okay! Let’s have a drink!”
“Ohh! You really are a man of refined tastes!”
Once Grid answered vigorously, Qi Jian led Grid’s party to a large inn. It was an expensive inn where a glass of wine would cost gold, not silver. Grid was guided to the largest innermost room and felt slightly strained. It was natural to have high expectations at the chance to taste delicacies from a kingdom he was visiting for the first time.
“Cuckoo meat and Galaxy Wine.”
Qi Jian sat down with Grid’s group and ordered alcohol and food. The names seemed a bit strange but Grid wasn’t disappointed or anxious. Once he saw the storekeeper smiling while leaving, it seemed like a very expensive meal had been ordered.
‘Expensive food doesn’t taste bad. How delicious will this kingdom’s fine food be?’
In fact, Grid liked cheap and stimulating foods such as jjampong, ramyun, pork belly, canned tuna, and sausages. However, he had stayed at the Cho Kingdom’s palace for the past few days and became interested in fine dining food. The delicacies he ate at the Cho Palace had suited his taste.
Qi Jian asked with a smile, “Did you hear that God Red Phoenix has resurrected and blessed the south? Surely your living conditions have improved?”
Grid was trying to answer when he felt a strange sensation and shut his mouth. He stared at the smiling Qi Jian.
“How did you hear about the resurrection of the red phoenix?”
The news of the red phoenix’s resurrection was thoroughly blocked by the Hwan Kingdom. The news hadn’t yet been delivered outside the south. If Qi Jian was an ordinary NPC then it was impossible for him to know about the red phoenix’s resurrection. Qi Jian’s smile changed sharply. “You shouldn’t underestimate the information network of the Chivalrous Robbers.”
Dozens of masked people poured in through the door and windows. At the same time, Qi Jian got up from his seat and pointed a sword at Grid’s neck. His movements were as fast as lightning. Qi Jian stated coolly, “The south is isolated due to the barrier installed by the Five Seniors and the people of the Cho Kingdom can’t leave the south. If you were a normal person of the Cho Kingdom then it would’ve been impossible to come here...”
Qi Jian stopped before he finished speaking. It was because Grid used Earth God and the masked people, including Qi Jian, hardened like stone. No, they were turned into stone. Grid slowly drew his sword as he rose from his seat and pointed it at Qi Jian’s neck. Once the effect of Earth God was over and Qi Jian could move again, the situation had already reversed.
“Let’s move on quickly from this tedious sweet potato development . I am Overgeared King Grid, who defeated the yangbans and resurrected the red phoenix. Are you on my side or are you an enemy?”
“Of course I’m on your side!” Qi Jian replied immediately.
He was stunned by Grid’s presence that turned him and his companions into stone.
 In Romance of the Three Kingdoms, Lady Mi sacrificed her life to ensure that Zhao Yun and the infant Liu Shan were safe from their pursuers
 Slang used to describe a frustrating situationPrevious Chapter Next Chapter