A knight’s face armor represented integrity, while the goat horns symbolized the devil. The helmet in the lava waterfall was in the shape of a bird with goat horns attached to the knight’s helmet.
‘It has a terrible stench.’
Grid was curious about the creator. As Grid observed the helmet, the helmet was also aware of the situation.
-That's right. Are you Pagma's Descendant? Do you want to ask me to liberate the empress’ soul?
Sure enough, it wasn’t wrong. It was a helmet, so it had a good mind. The strangely convinced Grid made a bold demand, “Liberate the soul of the empress.” The God Hands hovering around Grid slowly flew toward the lava waterfall. The name of the helmet was ‘Talima’s Shame.’
-Kukuk, it wasn’t a comedy or a drama, but a tragedy. It has been split up. Sure enough, you truly are Pagma's Descendant.
-I’m talking about the empress’ soul.
The red light from Talima's Shame’s swept over the four God Hands followed by Grid’s equipment in turn. Each item that received the attention of Talima's Shame had something in common. It was an item made out of Greed, which contained pavranium.
Grid understood. Originally, the soul of the empress inhabited the mineral called pavranium. However, pavranium was split apart several times and repeatedly reborn in a new form. Could the empress’ soul be safe during the process? It wasn’t possible. Even Braham had suffered from the aftermath of his soul’s damage.
‘The empress’ soul wouldn’t have been complete from the beginning.’
By the time Grid started collecting pavranium, the pavranium had already been torn apart into dozens of pieces. The empress’ soul had been broken the first time she met Grid. It was the moment when it was revealed why communication with the soul of the empress (pavranium) wasn’t smooth.
“...What is the current state of the empress’ soul?”
-She is just a rag. What else? She is an idiot with only her instincts left.
Guilt struck Grid. However, Grid hadn’t known about the empress’ soul. He hadn’t intended to harm her. Grid tried to shake off his guilt and continued asking questions.
“Is there any way to heal the soul?”
-She will ascend if you liberate her soul. Is there any need to heal it?
-A soul that has lost its body will be recovered to heaven or hell. It is the same for us, who use the battle gear as our body.
“What if the soul refuses to ascent?”
-Hahat, voluntarily refusing to ascend is only possible for monsters.
He was glad. In any case, the empress’ soul would rise to heaven as long as she freed the soul. The relieved Grid prompted Talima's Shame. “Then free her.”
-Do you seriously mean it? Won’t your battle gear be reduced to ordinary scrap iron the moment the empress’ soul is free?
This didn’t mean that the item’s functionality would deteriorate. It would become an ordinary item that was unable to make judgments or act for itself. Grid was naturally aware of it.
“I will just inject a new ego.”
In any case, he would learn how to make an ego the moment he safely completed the quest. From then on, a separate ego would be infused into the items made with Greed. The weapons would have a more aggressive ego while armor would have a more cautious ego. It wouldn’t be any worse than it was now.
-A new ego? Kukuk, have you found a new toy to replace the empress’ soul?
“It isn’t like that. I’m different from Pagma.”
He had no intention of confining someone’s soul to objects...
It was why Grid was reluctant to use the Granting an Ego skill and kept away from it. Talima's Shame stared at the determined will in his eyes. He shook the chains that bound him.
-Hahahat! Pagma's Descendant is denying him! How interesting! Well, it isn’t a bad choice. Only someone second rate would force souls into battle gear.
The conversation was good. The nervous Grid sighed with relief once Talima's Shame showed a cooperative attitude. Then his expression soon stiffened.
-By the way. Why should I help you?
The chains binding Talima's Shame were longer than expected. They seemed to be 50 meters long as the helmet flew through the lava waterfall toward Grid on the cliff. However, it couldn’t get further than that. Talima's Shame stopped just before the tip of Grid’s nose and whispered grimly.
-Didn’t you leave one door open when you came here?
The chains that had been stretched to their full extent contracted. Talima's Shame was pulled back to the lava waterfall and shouted.
-I will control your body and escape this place! Kukuk! Kuhahahat!
Grid had forgotten—all the battle gear trapped in Pandemonium were called evil existences and he couldn’t trust them. It was impossible to control them apart from oppressing them with force.
Grid was flustered by the change in the attitude of Talima’s Shame and looked back in a startled manner. There was a loud roar and he could see as many as 2,000 battle gear passing through the corridor toward him. They were the items from the 10th room. Various weapons, armor, and accessories rushed toward Grid.
Nothing was ever easy. Grid frowned and brought the God Hands to his side. Then he summoned Noe, Randy, and the Overgeared Skeletons.
“Focus on the weapons.”
Clack clack! Clack clack clack!
All the opponents were ego items. They used their skills and magic even without a wearer. It was the same as the God Hands using weapons and shooting Magic Missiles.
Grid’s body gradually developed wounds due to the bombardment of battle gear. However, the situation wasn’t too bad. It was thanks to the outstanding performance of the armor with the weapon breaker characteristic. Most of the weapons that attacked Grid failed to deal great damage to him. They were broken in reverse, fell into the lava, and melted.
Randy’s performance was also great. Randy’s level had risen significantly in the Chaos Mountains and now had 50% of Grid’s stats. His attack power exceeded high rankers and he quickly damaged the durability of the weapons.
Talima's Shame watched the situation and shouted.
-I am the dwarf’s wish! The pinnacle of all battle gear! I command the soulless puppets to retreat!
Grid and Randy were amazed. The equipment they were wearing were being removed.
‘Is it a wide range disarming skill?’
Grid went beyond dismay and felt admiration at the power of Talima's Shame. Armor, footwear, gloves, boots, cloaks, and all sorts of accessories were forcing themselves on Grid’s body. The purpose of the ego items was simple. It was to move Grid’s body according to their will. In other words, it was to dominate him.
Just then, the chains binding Talima's Shame started breaking. It was the result of the ego swords cutting off the chains.
-Kukuk! Kuhahahat! I will finally escape from this tiring prison!
Talima's Shame shame accelerated after getting away from the lava. It flew toward the head of Grid, who was struggling for control of his body. Talima's Shame was placed over Grid’s head. The giant horns reminiscent of a goat emitted a red glow.
-Now your body and mind are mine...?
After hundreds of years of waiting, it finally got a human body. Talima's Shame laughed happily only to suddenly stop. It couldn’t laugh any longer.
-W-What is this?
It felt like its body wasn’t its body. Talima's Shame was puzzled by the sensation it felt for the first time in its life and struggled. However, it was useless. It couldn’t move. The other ego items on Grid’s body were already the same. Notification windows were being updated in Grid’s field of view.
[The class effect of Pagma’s Descendant has allowed you to equip the Armor of Destruction.]
[The class effect of Pagma’s Descendant has allowed you to equip the Gaiters of Disillusionment.]
[The class effect of Pagma’s Descendant has allowed you to equip the Quattro Gloves.]
[The class effect of Pagma’s Descendant has allowed you to equip the Concave Ring.]
[The class effect of Pagma’s Descendant has allowed you to equip...]
[The class effect of Pagma’s Descendant...]
[The class effect of Pagma’s Descendant has allowed you to equip the Talima's Shame.]
“...What are you doing?”
-T-This is crazy!
The dwarves were arrogant. They believed their works were the best. There were no doubts and their desire to prove it was very strong. Making the best work—it wasn’t an exaggeration to say that this was the aspiration of all dwarves, and it was the same for the dwarf royal family.
‘Works should be created by one person.’ They broke the dwarves’ unwritten rule and passed down their works. At first, it was a sword—two generations devoted their lives and a masterpiece was born. Next was the shield—three generations devoted their lives and a masterpiece was born. After that was the helmet—five generations devoted their lives to create the world’s greatest masterpiece and a monster was born.
It was the result of too many people’s ideas and greed. The result of the work completed by five generations was ugly. The royal family regarded it as a shame and sealed it in Pandemonium. At this moment, the seal was released. It was based on Grid’s class characteristic to be able to wear all items unconditionally.
-Take it off! Take me off now!!
It was being dominated by a human when it was supposed to dominate them? Talima's Shame struggled but it was useless.
“Liberate the soul of the empress.”
-Y-You! Do you think I’ll listen to you?
“It is useless.”
Talima's Shame was now on Grid’s head. It was meaningless no matter how much Talima's Shame refused. Grid used the unique skill attached to Talima’s Shame.
The power to control the soul—the skill created by the dwarf rulers’ desires pulled out the soul pieces of the empress from the God Hands and Greed. Fragments of light appeared and started to merge together. Grid showed a bitter smile as it soon took the shape of a cute dwarf girl who told him, “I’m grateful.”
It was time to say goodbye.
‘It should be over by now.’
It was before Trauka built a lair near Talima. The dwarves believed that Pandemonium was the most dangerous place in the world. The heat of the lava, the temptations of the egos, and the existence of the monsters called Talima's Shame. Those who entered Pandemonium would just be killed unless they were part of the dwarf royal family who had the ability to suppress egos.
King Charles believed that Grid would’ve died in Pandemonium after two hours of silence. “I’ll move to the seal array.”
The seal—it was a space that temporarily bound the bodies and souls of the dead in Pandemonium. King Charles and the dwarves moved to a place that resembled the players’ resurrection point. They were waiting for Grid’s body to appear.
Pelot’s expression darkened and Antrino shook his head. No one doubted Grid’s death. However, it was a bit strange.
One hour, two hours, three hours... even after half a day, Grid’s body didn’t show up. As night fell, the flustered King Charles had an incredulous look on his face.
“Did the seal fail to take effect?
Or was he still alive? No, it was impossible.
‘Then is the seal broken?’
This couldn’t be the case. The seal was the essence of magic engineering.
The dwarves were falling into turmoil when a noise was heard from the entrance of Pandemonium. It was a loud sound that made them feel like a great mountain had collapsed. It was the sound of the entrance to Pandemonium being opened.
He came back alive? Did he really liberate the soul of the empress?
‘What tricks did he use?’
How could he persuade the monsters of Pandemonium?
The dazed King Charles forgot his dignity and ran to Pandemonium. Then he witnessed something along with the people who followed him. It was Grid with a monster on his head.
“Gasp... Gasp... It is heavy.”
Pelot and Antrino ran to Grid who collapsed with no strength in his legs.Previous Chapter Next Chapter