Ttang. Ttang. Ttang...
Back in the smithy, Grid overcame his mental fatigue. It was different from the concept of recovery. It wasn’t such an exaggerated thing after seeing through the trap hidden in the mental image enhancement and feeling the existence of the myth predators. It was a level of holding on and waiting for the forced log out time. It was comforting that his stress had been relieved in the process of testing Michael’s Power.
Grid was absorbed in the blacksmithing when he was startled by something detected with his developed senses. He smelled the faint scent of wax mixed with the burning white phosphorus wood.
‘Wax?’ The smell of ammonia also grazed the tip of his nose. It was a smell that didn’t fit the smithy. It might be weak, but it was right to classify it as a bad smell.
Grid turned his head without stopping his actions. A familiar middle-aged man was entering the smithy. It was an impressive-looking man with thick eyebrows and strong eyes. Looking at the sleek muscles of his arms, he might seem young, but in fact, he was an old man who had lived for hundreds of years.
A tower member who had done a lot for Grid.
The 1st Seat, Hayate, acquiesced to the presence of the insane dragon iron and Nefelina while giving him the infinite sword energy and dragon scale as a gift. The 3rd Seat, Radwolf, gave him the magic machine production method and the moon night iron. He also gave a lot of advice. However, Biban particularly helped with the Undefeated King’s Swordsmanship. He generously taught (?) Grid the Matchless Heart Technique and allowed it to be gifted to Mercedes and Piaro.
“Welcome. I’m glad to see you after so long.” A smile appeared on his face. The grinning Grid put down the hammer and greeted Biban.
“Haha, how have you been?” Biban also smiled brightly.
It would be frightening if anyone who knew him saw it. The founder of the Matchless Style, Biban was famous for having a temperament that was violent like the Matchless Swordsmanship and for his difficulty in being caught, akin to flowing water. Biban rarely revealed feelings of affection toward others. He paid respect and praise to Muller, who was a greater talent than himself, but he had never shown such a proper and careful attitude.
“The quality of your work has become even better. I can see that you’ve been working tirelessly.” Biban looked at the items displayed in the smithy and sincerely praised ‘Blacksmith Grid.’
“Biban as well...” Judging from the smell of wax and ammonia, he still seemed to be trying to clean the tower. Grid respected him for fulfilling his responsibilities. Grid was trying to express his thought to show favor and praise, only to close his mouth in surprise. He quickly looked for another word to add, but he was too late.
“Um...?” Grid stopped talking and made a subtle expression, so Biban sensed something suspicious. He cocked his head as Grid continued, “...I guess you’ve grown. Biban, the last time I saw you, I thought you were just a great man. Now I’m seeing you after so long and I feel respect toward you. I realize exactly what it is like to feel respect and fear.”
As Grid’s words continued, Biban’s expression gradually changed. He was still smiling, but his eyes were stiff and cold.
‘Did I make a mistake?’ Grid fell silent out of concern. Biban couldn’t bear it anymore and told him, “I tried to understand because I know you are a new generation, but I can’t stand it anymore. Look at Muller. The moment he found my traces, he was startled and was busy bowing. He deeply respected his great predecessor. It was much worse when I was young. I used to bow whenever I saw the shadow of a predecessor who left their name in history. Yet you barely have any respect for me? Hehe, this isn’t a matter of your discerning eye, but a matter of basic manners.”
“How am I supposed to react when you say that you finally respect me? Hey, should I thank you for respecting me now? I am older and I should be careful of falling leaves. Then what if you try to hide your unpleasant inner mood only to lose control? Will you be responsible if I become angry and die?”
Why did this person come here? Grid’s joy disappeared like it was a lie and he started suffering. He hoped that Biban would get to the point soon. Biban’s inner thoughts were beyond his comprehension.
“Are you uncomfortable just because I said a few words? I gave you my own flesh and blood advice because I wanted my junior to do better. What can I say if you take it in such a manner that you’re afraid? Are you going to just shut up like a mute?”
“...I’m sorry.” Grid remembered that Biban was originally such a person and bowed without saying much. He learned in the past that it was better to apologize in a gentle manner. If he refuted even one word, saying it was unfair or not right, he might hear 100 more words.
Grid had truly apologized even if it was below Biban’s expectations. The new generation these days... Biban clicked his tongue. “It is to this extent. I’m angry and sad, but as an adult, I should understand and be generous. You seem to have grown a bit in strength. I can understand that you made a slip of the tongue because you were excited about a small achievement.”
Biban was somewhat lacking in terms of perception. Unlike how he looked at himself perfectly, he couldn’t see others well. It wasn’t because he was a tower member. The problem was that his temperament itself was violent. It might be a symptom of the eccentricity of a genius. He evaluated a target based on level. He saw it at face value. It wasn’t a bad method. It was true that levels were skills.
The problem was that the other person was Grid. Grid shouldn’t be evaluated based on level. His status should be discussed. However, Biban was overlooking this fact. He made the same mistake even though he acknowledged his mistake in the past. He didn’t change. This was why he worked to clean the tower every time.
The Tower of Wisdom had been clean for hundreds of years thanks to Biban’s constant mistakes and him needing to clean the tower to correct them.
“It is a small achievement?” Grid reacted somewhat emotionally. Putting aside his liking of Biban, he couldn’t help frowning.
The first player to become a myth class. Like the tower member, he climbed to the realm of skills beyond the ordinary, so he was interested in why Biban regarded it as no big deal. He wondered about the basis for the undervaluation. His competitive spirit rose and his mental fatigue was completely swept away.
Grid once again realized. The fact that the driving force behind his development, his ‘unbreakable willpower,’ stemmed from external stimuli, not internal ones. Yes, he was too comfortable these days. It was natural to be a bit arrogant when acknowledged by people. He relaxed when he succeeded in raiding Michael. Even though he still had a long way to go, he didn’t realize this and counted the time until he could log out. “I’m curious about on what grounds do you rate my achievements as low.”
“Hoh?” Biban, who had been pouting because he hadn’t been respected by Grid so far, smiled again. He had given great favors so far, such as fixing the Undefeated King’s Swordsmanship and giving life advice. Now this junior who forgot his kindness suddenly looked pretty again. It had been a long time since he had seen someone direct a competitive spirit toward him. Even Muller respected him as the Sword Saint who created the Matchless Style. It was because few people met the tower members, but this wasn’t important.
“I used to think that kids these days have lost their ambitious spirit.” The cold eyes were once again filled with a golden glow. It was a sharp light like a blade. It was a product of the ‘heart examination’ that entered the target with just willpower and it penetrated into Grid. “You are a human god. You aren’t like a normal kid. Yes, so you aren’t convinced by my evaluation? Then shall you use your body to check it directly?”
It happened the moment Biban asked the question...
[The maximum affinity has been reached with the 9th Seat of the Tower of Wisdom, ‘Biban.’]
[The hidden quest ★Duel with the Former Generation Sword Saint ★ has occurred!]
A quest window popped up in Grid’s vision.
[Duel with the Former Generation Sword Saint]
Sword Saint Biban, founder of the Matchless Swordsmanship and member of the Tower of Wisdom, wants to teach you.
It is a favor so he won’t kill you.
Quest Clear Conditions: Win or lose in the duel.
Reward for Defeat: Depends on the content of the battle.
Rewards for Winning: Stone Dragon’s Fang]
It was a quest he had no reason to refuse. The quest would give him a reward no matter the outcome. It was even at the highest difficulty level. It was a hidden quest that everyone dreamed about.
“I will check,” Grid answered.
Biban was very pleased with this attitude. A swordsman should traditionally do this. The original matter disappeared from his mind. He forgot why he had come here. It was close to short-term memory loss and it showed a glimpse into how his single-track swordsmanship-filled life was possible.
That’s right. Sword Saint Biban was a monster who had been pursuing and honing his swordsmanship for an immeasurable number of years. It was because he was still alive. He survived and moved forward, surpassing the prime of Muller, who was more talented than himself.
In fact, it was right to say that the strongest Sword Saint ever was Biban, not Muller. However, Biban was forgotten by the world, so history didn’t change. Unless Kraugel transcended Muller, the title of the strongest Sword Saint of all time would belong to Muller forever.
Biban wasn’t upset about this. If Muller was alive, then Muller still would’ve been the strongest. It was just that Biban survived...
Biban thought so. Putting aside actual skills, Biban still respected Muller as the best swordsman.
“Get rid of the cleaner.” Biban moved to the vacant land and pointed to Haster, who was standing there.
“Cleaner? Ah, yes.” Why was Biban introducing himself all of a sudden...? The flustered Grid found Haster and nodded. He asked Haster to leave for a bit.
‘Who is he?’ Haster wondered about the identity of the middle-aged man who appeared, but he obediently left his spot. He maintained a proper distance so that he couldn’t eavesdrop on the conversation between the two people with his developed hearing. It was natural because it was polite.
“I’ll concede the first blow. Come on.” Biban’s chin gesture toward Grid showed a completely different attitude from before. He seemed like a completely different person compared to the past when he was training Grid.
‘This is the real Sword Saint...’ Grid gulped before activating all his buff skills and opening the rune’s power. He was determined to take advantage of this first blow that Biban gave to him.
Biban’s eyes filled with life. It was because he belatedly noticed the orange light that started to dye the darkness of the night wasn’t light from the smithy. His left hand, which was placed over his sword’s sheath, quickly moved and narrowly deflected Grid’s sword dance.
It was a method of ‘softness subduing the hard.’ It meant that Biban, a member of the Tower of Wisdom and someone who had confronted dragons, was pushed back even after using all his strength.Previous Chapter Next Chapter
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Translator: Rainbow Turtle
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