A few months ago, Grid had owed money to creditors. He suffered all types of persecution under the Mother's Heart is Happy employees.
He did hard labor every day in order to pay back the interest and practically lived as a slave with no signs of a better life. He couldn’t even dream of being loved by others, or enjoying himself over a bottle of soju.
But now it was different.
Grid had got a legendary class and barely succeeded for a while. However, now the debt had been completely cleared and he became rich.
Since the Malacus raid, he produced the Thorn of Deep Grievance for Ibellin and earned 4.61 billion won in revenue. He still had 2.95 billion won left, despite paying 5% of the gold sales commission fee to the item trading site, paying off his family’s remaining debt, and purchasing a car.
Nowadays, Grid could eat chicken once every two weeks. He could eat one chicken in one meal without having to share. Now that he could enjoy such luxuries, he wanted to collect 10 billion won to buy a piece of land and build a residence!
But before starting that, he thought he needed to produce Failure first. Then he moved to purchase blue orichalcum, which was the main ingredient of Failure. However, there were no blue orichalcum at the auction site in the game or on the Internet.
It might be because no users had raided the Guardian of the Forest, or the drop rate of blue orichalcum was low, or another blacksmith had bought the blue orichalcum. Grid didn’t know the exact reason why there were no blue orichalcum for sale. But he knew the answer to obtain blue orichalcum.
Wasn’t it a simple task to collect them directly from the Guardian of the Forest raid?
‘I obtained three blue orichalcum when selling the Sword of Self-transcendence to Administrator Vladi... I need 12 more blue orichalcum to produce Failure.
Grid was currently in front of the Guardian of the Forest.
The deepest part of the forest. There was a huge crater where the forest used to be. Grid started to observe all the topographic features, including the trees tinged with grey ash.
‘The soldiers don’t have enough cover to depend on. The trees will be crushed like cookies... It will be a frontal confrontation.’
Grid wasn’t particularly worried. As long as the knights and soldiers marked the golems summoned by the Guardian of the Forest, he could defeat the Guardian of the Forest in that gap. But the knights and soldiers were afraid.
“E-Excuse me Viscount... Shouldn’t we go back now?”
“Please save us! If I die, my wife and children will be sad!”
“I’m still young...”
Despite Grid showing his strength on the way here, the morale of the knights and soldiers was still low. In the end, Grid threw off the broad-brimmed hat he had been wearing. Then he wore the Holy Light Crown and pulled out the Commander's Sword to raise his dignity stat.
“The Guardian of the Forest? Didn’t I get rid of Malacus, who filled the world with terror? You just have to believe in me. Yes?”
Grid’s current dignity stat was 364 points. If he added 200 points from the Holy Light Crown and 30 points from the Commander’s Sword, his dignity stat neared a huge 600 points. This was comparable to the dignity stat points held by the top NPCs that represented each nation, even if they weren’t kings. The general soldiers as well as the knights, Romeo and Deck, couldn’t help bowing to Grid.
"I have great faith in the viscount. We will follow you with no more complaints.”
The troops fell silent. Grid felt satisfied and started to look around again.
‘By the way, why isn’t the Guardian of the Forest appearing? Shouldn’t it appear now?’
Grid had confirmed the raid timetable through a website in advance. Today was the day that the Guardian of the Forest was supposed to respawn, and the timing was right as well. He also had to be careful of other raid parties, so he had deliberately hid his face and identity with a hat.
But when he arrived here, there were no raid parties and the Guardian of the Forest couldn’t be seen.
‘Don’t tell me the site is a scam?’ It was a paid membership site. Grid was angry since he had paid 130,000 won in order to check the raid timetable. ‘I trusted it because it has a lot of members...!’
Grid was convinced that he had been cheated of the price of six chickens and kicked a rock furiously. Then the small rock started to shake loudly.
Jude clapped with wide eyes, “Amazing. The rock you kicked is dancing.”
“That’s not it...”
The knights and soldiers became frantic. The rock that Grid kicked was moving and growing larger? Like a turtle hiding inside its shell, it was the moment when the crouched up Guardian of the Forest fully emerged.
However, it was a little strange.
“What is this guy?”
Grid was confused. Originally, the Guardian of the Forest should be over 5m and large. However, this one had a height similar to Grid and was sleek looking.
‘Isn’t it like a human?’
There were five fingers and toes on each extended limb, just like a person. Except for the back that was made of hard rocks, the whole body was composed of transparent ores and flashing above its head was the name ‘Awakened Guardian of the Forest.’
“You, what are you?”
He tried to measure the combat power but it was ???. There were only question marks. Grid instinctively perceived the danger and became alert. Then the Awakened Guardian of the Forest narrowed the distance in an instant.
There was a storm in the aftermath of his movements. The ash scattered all over the place and the roots of the trees were shaken.
It was like watching Regas. The Awakened Guardian of the Forest aimed a sharp kick. Then Deck, standing next to Grid, coughed up blood and turned into light.
[The knight Deck has died.]
Killing a level 185 knight in one blow? Grid hurriedly exclaimed, “Avoid it! Especially Jude! You absolutely must survive!”
The knights and soldiers wouldn’t be any help. The tense Grid put a hand into his inventory. The black greatsword was pulled out and Dainsleif showed its majestic appearance.
It had now been 47 days.
Grid had promised to make a new armor for Vantner. Following Pon and Ibellin, he was fortunate enough to be the third winner of Grid’s production item.
‘Now I can be born again as an overgeared person!’
When armed with the strongest armor that Grid would produce, his defense would be sufficient and he could run amok! Vantner was excited. It wasn’t an exaggeration to call him the most delighted person in the world.
But what was this? An absurd thing happened. Grid abandoned the armor production for a quest? Then there was no news.
From that day, the time of waiting begun. Vantner waited every day for Grid to return. A fortnight passed and he waited indefinitely. Whenever he walked the street, he would frantically look if he heard any grumbling. If he saw an Asian man, he would think it was Grid.
Grid didn’t return until a month and two weeks later. Vantner wasn’t able to contact Grid because the guild chat and whispers were blocked. It was enough to make Vantner curse. He honestly didn’t know how many times he insulted Grid.
But as he waited for Grid, Vantner fell in love.
Then four days ago! Grid returned to Winston as Vantner dreamed of. Vantner’s long wait would be repaid.
‘I can finally get my armor...!’
Vantner was thrilled to tears. He ran off to meet Grid, like he was reuniting with a lover. Then he became frustrated. Instead of producing an armor, Grid suddenly announced his marriage. It was also to Lady Irene who Vantner had been longing for!
On the day of the wedding ceremony, Vantner was in turmoil from the unexpected developments and couldn’t hide his hostility towards Grid. Rather than bringing up the wait, he was angry at Grid taking away Lady Irene. Then he became drunk during the wedding, cursed Grid, and was kicked out.
He regretted it the next day. He realized that he had lost control. Irene was just an unrequited crush, so how could he be angry at Grid for taking her away? Vantner felt ashamed and sorry. He was worried about Grid’s reaction.
‘Surely he won’t refuse to make my item?’
He was well aware of what a narrow-minded person Grid was. So after the wedding, he stayed for three days at Khan’s smithy. He wanted to apologize to Grid for his actions and to ask for the production of his item.
But Grid never showed up in Khan’s smithy after his marriage. Khan knew the reason why. But he wouldn’t tell Vantner Grid’s whereabouts, no matter how he asked.
"Hey, look Old Man. Why won’t you tell me where Grid went?”
"Didn’t you swear at Grid on his wedding day? I don’t want someone like you becoming involved with Grid.”
Khan was a twisted old man. There was a reason why he was a good fit with Grid. Vantner failed to find out Grid’s whereabouts for three days and eventually asked Jishuka.
-Master, can you go and see Irene?
-You want me to ask about Grid’s whereabouts?
-Okay. I also think that now is the time for Grid to work.
The Tzedakah Guild recruited Grid because they needed his blacksmith abilities. Grid also joined the guild to act as a blacksmith. As the guild master, Jishuka had to remind Grid of his duties.
She went to see Irene. Then she was shocked by Irene’s words.
“Huh? Grid... No, Viscount Grid has gone to defeat the Guardian of the Forest?”
“Yes. He said that he wants to defeat the Guardian of the Forest for our sake. Isn’t he like Prince Charming? So cool.”
“...This is a headache.”
Like other games, Satisfy was a thoroughly competitive society. All users and guilds struggled for their own interests. One of the easiest ways for a guild to profit was to control a hunting ground.
Guilds controlled hunting grounds where honey flowed and prohibited outsiders from entering. This was called guild monopolization. It was a natural occurrence. The Tzedakah Guild also controlled two hunting grounds around Bairan without opening them to outsiders.
The first place was Ruger Dungeon where monsters over level 250 appeared, and the second place was the Grey Forest where the Guardian of the Forest appeared.
The Guardian of the Forest was very strong. It was a level 245 field boss, but it was stronger than a dungeon boss. Its stats were abnormally high and it had a wide range of CC and summoning skills, making it very difficult to deal with.
It also possessed a passive skill to reduce physical damage and along with its natural defense and health, it took the current Tzedakah Guild at least three hours to defeat it. But Grid only led 100 soldiers and two knights to the Guardian of the Forest raid.
It was also during this cycle!
‘The Awakened Guardian of the Forest is several times stronger than the normal Guardian of the Forest.
Blue orichalcum is a mineral born with the power of moonlight and the Guardian of the Forest. Was that why? The Guardian of the Forest and blue orichalcum were very sensitive to moonlight.
Once every four months, the two full moons would rise at the same time and the blue orichalcum, which made up most of the Guardian of the Forest, would show an infinite power and awaken the guardian.
Right now, it was the awakening cycle. Four months ago, the Tzedakah Guild wasn’t aware of this and was annihilated after challenging the Awakened Guardian of the Forest. The Awakened Guardian of the Forest had significantly less health and defense than the normal one, but it exerted overwhelming attack power and agility.
‘It is much stronger than a pope, who was a priest. This time, Grid can’t avoid death.’
Even the Tzedakah Guild have given up on the Guardian of the Forest raid during this awakening period. Therefore, they didn’t bother controlling the Grey Forest. They planned to try the Awakened Guardian of the Forest raid in four months.
No matter how she thought about it, the odds of Grid succeeding in the raid alone was 0%.
‘This is better.’
If Grid ever participated in the guild’s community, Grid would’ve found out that the guild monopolized the Guardian of the Forest raid and would’ve been able to ask for the blue orichalcum that he wanted.
But he didn’t. His ignorance of the guild community and his insistence on personal activities led to this. Jishuka hoped that Grid’s habit would be fixed. She wanted him to realize the importance of the guild community with this incident and hoped that he would refrain from personal activities in the future.
In front of Khan’s smithy.
“Really, that Grid...”
Vantner clicked his tongue after receiving Jishuka’s explanation through a whisper. He wanted to help Grid, but it was impossible because he was too far away.
‘He will be angry from the experience loss after dying and might not want to make my item...’
A man arrived at the smithy while Vantner was feeling worried. Khan, who only treated Vantner badly, enthusiastically welcomed the man.
“Ohh! Hasn’t it been a really long time? Has it been a few months?"
"It’s good to see you. Has My Liege been well?”
"Huh, you haven’t heard the news about him these days? He’s become tremendously successful. Now he is once again on a brave raid...”
Khan suddenly paused in his conversation and whispered in the man’s ears. What was he saying? The man was happy.
“As expected from My Liege... Really amazing. He tried to run away from the frostlight orc chief and now he is raiding a monster alone? I will go to meet him.”
The man said goodbye to Khan and exited the smithy. Then he blew a whistle, riding the drake that was called and soaring into the sky.
Vantner was confused.
“I’ve never seen that ID among the rankers who use drakes as pets.”
Was a new rookie popping up again? The stagnant Vantner became frustrated.
OG: Glossary Link.
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