The doppelganger couldn’t completely reproduce Pagma’s power in its entirety. Nevertheless, its stats were equivalent to Hell Gao. Since Grid had a tendency to rely entirely on skills, it was natural that he was completely defeated in the first battle after Pagma’s Swordsmanship was blocked.
This horrific monster...
Grid was unwilling. Wouldn’t the result be the same even if they fought a few times? He would be much more comfortable if Piaro went out and took care of it. But he quickly fixed that idea.
‘Piaro said to absorb Pagma’s Swordsmanship. Yes, this is a chance to become stronger.’
More and more strength. He needed enough strength to do the things he had to do.
Grid hesitated before taking a deep breath.
The doppelganger stabbed forward. The attack was deafening, and despite being 5m away, seemed like it would reach his stomach.
Piaro exclaimed from behind him. “There are obviously limits to a greatsword. It’s big, dull and hard to move on the fly. The stabbing of a greatsword is extremely simple, and can easily be seen. Don’t worry about hidden weapons and block.”
It was convincing advice. Grid’s confidence was elevated and he moved calmly. Utilizing the footwork of Link to move left and right, he avoided the doppelganger’s stab.
The jade greatsword passed by the side of the Holy Light Armor. Sparks scattered like firecrackers and the doppelganger could be seen beyond them.
“Once the stab misses, a gap will be exposed. This is an opportunity to hit back.”
A greatsword was big and heavy. What if the greatsword was stabbed but didn’t hit the target? The person holding the greatsword would lose their balance and their posture would collapse.
Grid smiled with satisfaction as he counterattacked. His greatsword curved from the bottom up and aimed for the doppelganger’s heart.
It was avoided. The doppelganger demonstrated his agility by twisting his upper body to avoid being hit. However, the front of his clothing was loosened, clearing revealing the doppelganger’s upper body.
Laella, a member of the party, let out a sound of appreciation. The doppelganger copied Pagma’s appearance and was so beautiful that he caught her heart instantly. It wasn’t an exaggeration to say that the sleek muscular body was the creation of a god. But the body wasn’t an important factor in battle. Only the strong would win.
Failure passed over the doppelganger’s head and once again descended.
Heavy. Grid took full advantage of Grid’s boots, so the weight at the end of his sword was incomparable to before. He could even easily disintegrate a rock. Could the doppelganger withstand it?
Of course, it was possible. This doppelganger had been a named boss of the Mysterious Forest for at least 100 years. Apart from its stats, its health would be in the millions.
[You have dealt 17,790 damage to the target.]
‘Indeed, there isn’t a single scratch on him.’
Grid was dismayed when he saw that the doppelganger’s health gauge didn’t seem to decrease at all. Then the jade greatsword aimed at Grid’s side.
A chill went down Grid’s spine.
The seven golden blades moved to protect Grid. They combined into one to form a barrier that defended against the greatsword. But they couldn’t fully absorb the shock and became stuck in place.
Piaro spoke again. “The biggest disadvantage of a greatsword is that it will take a long time to recover the weapon after an attack. You forgot this point and allowed a counterattack.”
Then what should he do?
As Grid was confused, the momentum of the doppelganger rose again. He started an endless onslaught and didn’t allow time for Grid to take any countermeasures. The pavranium moved to protect Grid, but there was a limit since it stiffened every time.
“The opponent’s behavior is correct. You should do it as well. If you take advantage of the recoil that occurs when you attack, you can link more strikes.”
Grid felt the need to stop the doppelganger’s attacks. If so, he should evade rather than defend. In fact, Piaro had advised ‘don’t play around when you have a sword in your hand.’ However, the enemy’s attack speed was much faster than Grid’s attack speed, so it wasn’t easy to react.
Then what should he do? Grid finally allowed an attack and the next blow aimed for his neck. Then.
Piaro stepped forward again. He blocked the doppelganger’s sword and saved Grid’s life once again.
“Why do you only use the golden blades as a defense tool? Optimize your control and use them as weapons if possible. Now fight again.”
The same thing was repeated many times. Grid listened to Piaro’s advice, dealt with the doppelganger and when faced with death from an error, he was saved by Piaro.
Grid felt like he was in a game room.
‘Just when I think the game is over, the neighborhood boy will put in another coin.’
In fact, he had never met such a good person.
“If you have an opponent with higher health, you must go all out on attack instead of defense. Fight again.”
“The technique of lifting from the bottom to the top is inevitably weaker because the force is countered by gravity. You might be using this technique to damage the enemy, but it is actually having an adverse effect. In the first place, is it possible with such a huge weapon? Fight again.”
"Don’t neglect the golden blades just because they can’t kill the enemy. If you make them persevere to cover the enemy’s view, they can be a bigger help than a few colleagues. Fight again.”
“I explained why stabbing a greatsword is a simple technique, but I don’t know why you are so obsessed with it. You should only stab in a situation where you can definitely knock your opponent away. You should know that the greatsword is designed for both stabbing and slashing. Don’t forget to use the right greatsword technique when appropriate. Fight again.”
“Again! Again! Again!”
How many times did he need to repeat this damn battle? It hadn’t been dawn when they arrived here in the bamboo forest but now the sun was high in the sky. Grid was mentally and physically exhausted.
On the other hand, the Overgeared members...
"Yum yum. Grid is suffering a lot.”
“The strongest NPC is teaching him swordsmanship and protecting his life, so how is he suffering? I would be excited.”
“It’s exciting, but hard.”
"Is it easy to fight for over half a day?”
“Indeed... If I was continuously fighting against the enemy like Grid, my stamina would’ve reached its limit already.”
The Overgeared members were already freed from the helpless feeling and were eating in front of a campfire. They baked and boiled the rainbow potatoes, relaxing as they watched Grid fight.
It wasn’t because they were lazy. The Overgeared members also had a desire to join the raid. Growing through struggles was the joy they desired. But they couldn’t move. Piaro was training Grid against Pagma’s doppelganger, so there was no room for them to intervene.
"Anyway, Grid’s growth rate is remarkable.” Lauel remarked.
The Overgeared members agreed.
"That's right. It’s a tremendous growth.”
The doppelganger had completely overwhelmed Grid in the first battle. He was attacked without being able to hit back once, and faced the crisis of death. In the second battle, Grid managed to strike once. The third battle, it was two attacks and the fourth battle, three attacks and so on. And in the 51st battle, Grid was exchanging blows at a level comparable to the doppelganger. It was especially impressive the way he avoided death every time.
“Grid is a blank slate. It’s obvious if he grows even a little bit.”
The synergy of the best teacher and best sparring partner (?) raised Grid’s control. What user wouldn’t want to experience something like this? The Overgeared members really envied Grid.
“I wish I had a mentor like that...”
“How did Grid obtain such a great NPC?”
“It’s creepy that he was doing a farmer cosplay for a while.”
What was Piaro’s identity? And what circumstances were there that led him to teach Grid? It happened when the Overgeared members’ questions were deepening.
Grid eventually collapsed. His stamina was completely depleted. On the other hand, the doppelganger was still fine. Grid had fought for half a day, but the doppelganger’s health was still at 9/10ths.
Piaro stopped him from finishing off Grid and turned his gaze to the Overgeared members. Then he pointed to Regas.
Regas felt irritated when he saw that Grid was getting stronger and trained alone. He imagined Pagma’s doppelganger as a virtual enemy in his mind, and started sparring against it. Therefore, he was stunned when Piaro suddenly pointed him out.
Piaro instructed. “You will deal with this enemy while Duke Grid is resting.”
Regas’ eyes shone like jewels. "Are you going to train me?”
Piaro didn’t deny it. "I have been watching your potential from a distance.”
Regas was jubilant. It was an opportunity to be trained by Piaro, who was stronger than anyone he knew. Piaro started the lesson as soon as he came running.
“What is this…? That NPC will teach anyone?"
“Amazing! We can receive his teachings?”
The Overgeared members were excited. They expected to become stronger after being taught by Piaro. And that expectation became reality.
Piaro switched the members in turn and allowed them to spar against Pagma’s doppelganger. He also developed the Overgeared members by pointing out the strengths and weaknesses that he had observed while staying in Reidan. It was in the hope that they would become stronger and make him stronger.
The great swordsman Piaro would be a great fortune to Grid and the Overgeared members.
OG: Glossary Link.
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