Grid toured dozens of departments and was able to find a total of 11 talented people. Even so, Bethell was the only one with great talent. The remaining 10 were just ordinary. They wouldn’t be able to reach the top of their field. Of course, he had no intention of disparaging them. Not everyone could be the best.
‘It is painful that there isn’t anyone from the magic department, but... it isn’t bad.’
Grid felt regret. Then he thought about his current results and was convinced that the harvest was sufficiently large enough. Moreover, the Overgeared Academy wasn’t a prestigious school. Rather than only selecting and enrolling qualified people, they also accepted ordinary people, even those who couldn’t read, and started the education from the basics.
In the first place, talented people didn’t knock on the doors of the academy. Talented people would go to talented people in the field to become their disciples and receive higher education. It was a remarkable and grateful miracle to find 11 talented people who met Grid’s standards here.
At the auditorium...
it was the place that the elemental department usually used for practice and it was where the graduation ceremony today would take place. After arriving there, Grid adjusted the Overgeared King’s Crown and wore the Ruler’s Cloak. Then he opened the door to the auditorium while repeating the carefully written speech in his mind. There were a thousand people in the room and their gazes turned to Grid.
“You punished the corrupted pope and saved our church from a crisis.”
“You restored the authority of our church by unsealing the First Holy Sword.”
“I greet Overgeared King Grid, the benefactor of tens of thousands of Rebecca followers, friend of Pope Damian, and the one who is favored by Goddess Rebecca.”
The excited atmosphere in the air quickly subsided. The moment Grid appeared, the Rebecca Church’s envoys participating in today’s activities knelt down and saluted simultaneously. It resembled the scene of praying to a god. Isabel, one of the renowned Rebecca’s Daughters, was known to not even bow her head to the empire’s ruler, yet she was infinitely polite and reverent in front of Grid.
Making a messenger of a god kneel when she was only loyal to the goddess—the graduates realized how great their king was and shouted loudly. The water clan and Twilight Orc envoys also shouted loudly like they were competing against each other.
“Bless the rescuers of the water clan!”
“In awe of the strongest warrior!”
Soundproofing magic was used, but the sound was about to leak out.
Stone-like skin and a big stature—the warriors of two races reminiscent of golems overwhelmed the graduates. The graduates saw all types of wounds on their tight muscles and noticed that these people were warriors who dominated the battlefield. It was amazing that they were like gentle sheep in front of Grid.
“Kelpato, duke of the Arc Kingdom, greets the great hero, King Grid.”
What duke? The power representing one nation was completely humble in front of Grid. The rumor that Grid defended the Arc Kingdom by fighting against the 13th Great Demon Beleth alone was an unexaggerated truth. Additionally, figures from the East Continent, like the Han Seokbong father and daughter, as well as ethnic minorities like the Ul clan, silently bowed to Grid.
Every time Grid took a step, people’s stature lowered. The graduates thought there were no more surprises, but this was a mistake.
“I’m glad I’m not late. It has been a long time, Overgeared King...”
Immortal King Grenhal—the most powerful among the dukes of the empire and the absolute power that made kings of other nations bow down. He could be called an existence that was ‘below one person and above 10,000 people.’ He came here and greeted Grid in such a happy manner?
The graduates and the high-ranking officials of the Overgeared Kingdom were so surprised that their mouths dropped open. Grid was also amazed. No, he was already in a daze.
‘Why are all these bigshots coming to the academy graduation ceremony?’
It was ridiculous that these distinguished guests were more excellent than those who came to the founding ceremony several years ago.
Lauel smiled happily. ‘This is what you’ve accomplished over the years.’
It was why Lauel didn’t complain to Grid despite needing to work hard every day. In the past few years, Grid had never wasted time. There was a good reason every time he was away from the throne. Grid was active all over the world and the status of the Overgeared Kingdom was elevated.
“The Hero King Grid, who purified the Behen Archipelago, is stepping on the stage.”
Sticks had fun watching the situation and now he joined in on praising Grid’s past achievements. It made Grid more embarrassed, but he didn’t show it. How could he show agitation in front of the people watching? He was a king. He was the face that represented them.
Grid stood on the stage and calmly opened his mouth, “You’ve worked hard and suffered in the last seven years.”
His voice spread to every corner of the large auditorium even though he didn’t use the speech amplifier technique installed by Sticks. He had the strange power to make people focus on his bold, yet calm, voice. It wasn’t just the graduates. The distinguished guests present also listened to him intently.
“The end is another beginning. In the future, every step you take forward in society, you might suffer new failures and encounter various setbacks. However, every time that happens, remember the seven years you spent at the academy and overcome it. The moment you are afraid of failure and turn away from the challenge, you will become a loser. So you shouldn’t be afraid of failure and you should constantly challenge yourself. Don’t forget that new glory is waiting for you just like the glory of graduation that you achieved today.”
In the speech written by Huroi, there were many parts that resonated with Grid. Everyone suffered, but only those who endured through the trials and tribulations would find success, and be honored. Grid did it—the guests here proved it.
The graduates looked at Grid with a hot gaze like they felt something.
The internal situation of the empire that had changed after a civil war wasn’t so comfortable. In particular, the number of high ranking nobles had declined sharply and the responsibilities that had fallen on the shoulders of Immortal King Grenhal were greater than ever. He was busy every day. So why did you go to another kingdom to attend an event, in particular, a graduation ceremony? The reason was simple—he wanted to see with his own eyes the result of ‘equal education for all people.’
The result was amazing. According to Grenhal’s research, the students of the Overgeared Academy all had ordinary talents. From today on, there were many graduates who could be active in every field.
‘Talent doesn’t care about social standing.’
These were the words of successive emperors.
‘Passion rather than talent.’
This was the sentiment that Grenhal felt today. Grenhal realized the importance of equal learning opportunities. He realized that ‘people who want to learn’ can be reborn as talented people.
‘I must open academies for the people in all my territories.’
Of course, enormous resources would be consumed, but he shouldn’t be stingy.
“I have heard the reputation of Great Sage Sticks since I was a child. You are really deserving of this reputation. You must be proud of all the graduates.”
The students leaving the academy with their diplomas reminded him of birds leaving the nest. Sticks was blessing the graduates who will be spreading open their wings to live a new life. Then he smiled as he heard Grenhal’s words.
“What did I do? It was only possible due to the support of the kingdom.”
He was too humble.
Grenhal knew that Great Sage Sticks was a high elf who lived for a thousand years and thought Sticks would resemble the arrogant scholars. However, in reality, he had a gentle personality with a benevolent smile. It was really unexpected. This made Grenhal like him even more.
“Please visit the empire whenever you have time. It isn’t just the citizens of the empire. Her Majesty will also welcome your visit and treat you with the utmost courtesies.”
“Thank you very much for your words, but as a person of the Overgeared Kingdom, how can I go see the empress at will?”
He didn’t expect Sticks to draw a line like this. Grenhal was surprised and fell silent when Sticks declared he was a person of the Overgeared Kingdom. A person many emperors wanted as a prime minister or a teacher—who would’ve expected Sticks to settle down in a kingdom when he used to refuse everyone in order to enjoy his freedom? It made Grid become a bigger giant in Grenhal’s perception.
“Sticks!” Grid interacted with the graduates and distinguished guests until they left. Then he rushed to find Sticks and asked frantically, “How did you do it?”
“What are you talking about?”
“The elemental department students. All of them are really amazing?”
The excited Grid’s eyes shone like lanterns. He put down the dignity he showed during the graduation ceremony and became purer. It was also a familiar appearance for Grenhal. Grenhal was very fond of Grid’s usual appearance.
“I feel the same way. They can enter active duty right now.”
Grenhal had also noticed it. He was amazed by the fact that all 31 graduates of the elemental department had developed great skills.
Sticks nodded. “That's right. They signed a contract with an elemental and learned elemental magic. They are children who can play their role well. I’ve already asked them to be the foundation of the Overgeared Elemental Division.”
“Overgeared Elemental Division?”
“It is a name made for convenience. It was a name that was given in consideration of Your Majesty’s taste and usual naming. However, if you don’t like it then I can give it a new name.”
“There is no need to change it. I quite like it?”
Lauel was buzzing from where he was listening nearby, but Grid ignored it. Grid was very excited. There were only 31 graduates of the elemental department, but all of them were excellent enough for Talent Search to activate. It was amazing and he was curious about what magic Sticks had used to teach them so well.
“I don’t have any secrets. This is a natural result. In the first place, elemental magic can only be learned by those the elementals respond to. Of course, finding people like that isn’t easy. In the last seven years, there have been tens of thousands of people who applied for the elemental department, but only 59 of them could see and feel the elementals. 31 of them graduated this year.”
“I see... it is a field where you have to be talented.”
The convinced Grid nodded and the silently listening Grenhal cautiously added, “Just because they react to an elemental doesn’t mean they can become an elemental magician. Even in the empire, we have been working tirelessly to raise elemental magicians, but we have only produced one or two every year. Your ability to teach is excellent.”
“As expected of Sticks...”
Grid once again realized the power of Sticks. He stared at Sticks with eyes full of friendliness and respect. Then he suddenly brought up something, “I want to share our thoughts, but I have a schedule. I will have to postpone it until next time. Sticks, please send Mercedes and I to Cokro Island.”
Even today, Sticks was faithful to his role as a movement vehicle. Sticks consumed a lot of magic sending them to an island far away and the professors supported him as he gasped.
“Would you like me to show you to the warp gate we created this time?”
A magic tool that allowed a person to go to and from a specific area. He succeeded in making something that existed only in the ancient age of magic? Sticks saw Grenhal’s awe and shock, and waved his hand.
“Don’t be surprised. It is a test piece that only applies to some regions of the kingdom. The degree of completion is very low.”
“Isn’t the warp gate installed on Cokro Island working properly?”
Sticks first installed warp gates in places far from the kingdom, such as Cokro Island. Fortunately, this was successful. The professors were curious about when Sticks would announce his achievement to Grid. It was regrettable that it was kept a secret today.
Sticks just smiled lightly. If the commercialization of the warp gate was successful, he was afraid that Grid would no longer look for him. However, he couldn’t say this in front of these people. His life was saved thanks to Grid and he left the Behen Archipelago. He cherished and loved Grid more than the people who attended today’s event.
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