It was well into dawn.
The Mysterious Forest, which looked like the landscape of an Oriental painting, had long been devastated.
Dark blue paint smeared the sky. A man was standing with flames behind him. He had black hair that was thicker than silk and his white skin was dusty and scarred.
Dozens of of enemies were reflected in the lonely eyes. The humans fell down, got up, and fell down again. It wanted to kill them so they couldn’t fight again, but it wasn’t easy.
They were getting stronger over time, and there was an excellent human who protected them. He probably showed half the strength of my original master. I couldn’t do anything because he easily overwhelmed me.
How long could I hold on?
In the past, a human army came. One day there were countless monsters. I had defended this forest from all types of beings for a long time, but this was my first moment of great crisis. But I soon calmed my mind.
I had to defend it. She was on the hill beyond this forest. She was the only one who didn’t hate me, when I could do nothing but imitate the image of others. I didn’t remember the last time I saw her, but her warmth was still vivid. I wouldn’t let these intruders make it through this forest to ruin her happiness.
One of the humans spoke a familiar technique. It was the same technique used by my original master. It wasn’t hard to cope with. I also used the same technique. I was much faster at using the technique than the human, so it was a simple matter.
The human’s movements changed in the middle. The footwork suddenly changed from Kill to Link.
The man dodged Kill and fired dozens of energy blades.
I couldn’t deal with the dozens of energy blades alone. In other words, blood spurted from the body of Pagma’s doppelganger. One fifth of my health gauge was lost at once. The human was excited after succeeding in the attack.
“How is it? You were tricked? Isn’t it amazing? Eh?”
Grid. It was his 83rd showdown with the doppelganger. He changed sword techniques in the middle, and had now become a clever warrior. A brave warrior.
“Wonderful.” Piaro praised him. Piaro truly felt admiration.
‘The journey from Patrian to Reidan...’
Piaro had seen that Grid’s talent was already facing limitations. Grid was so clueless that he was deemed virtually impossible to teach. But now there was a good teaching material. That’s right, it was Pagma’s doppelganger. Pagma’s abilities might not be completely copied, but the doppelganger was far superior to Grid.
Piaro gave directions to Grid. As the battle with the doppelganger continued, Grid gained enlightenment and grew.
‘The mentor gives their student a glimpse of the bowl, a good opponent strips off the limits, and an ideal opponent makes them forget about the limits.’
Those were his master’s words. An ideal opponent. Piaro also wanted to find it. Just like the current Grid.
Pagma’s doppelganger made a sound. He emitted an immensely strong killing intent. He showed extreme survival instincts now that his life was in danger.
“From now on, it is the real battle. Duke Grid, I wish you the best.”
After receiving Piaro’s encouragement, Grid stepped forward with confidence. The doppelganger aimed an entirely new technique at him.
Pagma’s Swordsmanship, it was made up of skills that dealt additional damage in proportion to physical damage. In addition, most of them were non-targeted skills and often missed. But Pinnacle was different. It was a targeted skill and had an additional option of ignoring the enemy’s defense. The range of movement was proportional to the length of the weapon.
It was the culmination. It was an attack that was impossible for Grid to respond to.
Holy Light Armor. It was the ultimate armor made by the legendary blacksmith Pagma out of the god mineral, adamantium. But it couldn’t boast a complete defense in front of Pinnacle. Grid fell down while Piaro was amazed by the manifestation of an amazing sword technique.
‘Pagma! The more I see your swordsmanship, the more I want to meet you, not the fake ones...!’
A blacksmith, but also a master of the sword. The sword technique that could separate the sky and the mountains. Indeed, the best swordsman after Sword Saint Muller...
‘They are stronger than my current self!’
Piaro resented that he was born in this age. Why couldn’t he be born in the same time as Muller and Pagma? If he had lived under the same sky as them, he would’ve been able to stand shoulder to shoulder with them eventually.
However, there were no such people in the present age. He was alone and stagnant. The moment that Piaro was lamenting this,
“...Kuk, okay.” A pale green light flashed around Grid’s bloody body. “It was good that I managed to wear Doran’s Ring in advance.”
Grid said as he got up. His appearance was normal. The huge wound on Grid’s chest disappeared without a trace, and there were no other signs of injuries. The power of items. The healing of Doran’s Ring was amplified by the Holy Light Armor, completely restoring Grid’s health.
Piaro was shaken. Even a legendary Saintess couldn’t completely heal a dying person all at once, let alone Grid, who wasn’t a Saintess.
Grid stretched his body. He prepared for a new strike.
"I can learn it as well.”
Pagma’s Swordsmanship usually consisted of three to seven steps of footwork. It was extremely simple, but it was possible to unfold the ultimate swordsmanship with this simplicity. It was difficult to imitate Pagma’s Swordsmanship, and it was impossible to activate even if it was imitated.
But it was possible for Grid. He could make Pagma’s Swordsmanship his own, just by looking. How was it possible when he had no talent?
The reason was simple. He was Pagma's Descendant. For that reason alone, Grid had managed to learn Pagma’s Swordsmanship after looking at the murals. But now there was a person to teach him the forms of Pagma’s Swordsmanship directly. It was optimal.
The heavy weight of Grid’s boots shook the ground. Grid expressed the essence of a warrior god with this sword technique.
[You have learned a new skill.]
[Pinnacle Lv. 1]
A sword that expresses the essence of a warrior god.
Deals 700% of your attack power to a single target. This skill will ignore 60% of the target’s armor.
Skill Usage Conditions: Have a sword type weapon equipped.
Skill Mana Cost: 750
Skill Cooldown Time: 3 minutes.
It was an intermediate skill between Kill and Link. It also consumed much less mana and had a shorter cooldown than Kill. The important thing was that it was a targeted skill, unlike Link or Kill. If this skill had been recorded in the murals at Loran Falls, the past Grid would’ve found it much easier to raise his level.
Failure moved in a half moon shape. The slash covered Pagma’s doppelganger. But the doppelganger was already prepared.
A counterattack used at the perfect timing. Pinnacle was caught by the vortex and returned to Grid. The energy blade faced Grid. Could he afford to endure this attack now that Doran’s Ring was on cooldown?
[Revolve Lv. 1]
Like the eye of a storm, it is calm and powerful.
It will return all attacks that hit it within 0.5 seconds of casting with 100% of the power.
Skill Usage Conditions: Have a sword type weapon equipped.
Skill Mana Cost: 2,000
Skill Cooldown Time: 2 minutes.
The Overgeared members were exhausted after fighting the doppelganger while Grid was resting. Their eyes watching the battlefield became wide with shock. Piaro was the same.
‘This is impossible!’
Everyone was shocked. Yesterday and today, Grid’s control abilities had made a breakthrough, but they didn’t think it was at the level of counterattacking at the perfect timing.
Counterattacking was a difficult technique to do. It was necessary to use the technique in the right place and at the right time to neutralize the enemy’s attack. It was a technique that wasn’t easy to use without making a lot of effort.
But Grid had succeeded. He reacted to a counterattack with a counterattack. This meant he had predicted the behavior of the enemy. Grid’s growth level exceeded everyone’s predicted range.
[The +9 Failure’s option effect is activated, causing the skill ‘Bisect’ to be generated.]
[The +9 Failure’s option effect is activated, causing the skill ‘5 Joint Attacks’ to be generated.]
[The Holy Light Gloves’s option effect is activated, causing the skill ‘5 Joint Attacks’ to be generated.]
[You have dealt 1,375,900 damage to the target.]
The doppelganger’s right arm was cut off. The jade sword was separated from its master and fell to the ground. Grid’s eyes became sharper than ever.
‘If you catch a chance at victory, link the attack!’
Piaro’s cry that he heard yesterday rang loudly in his ears.
As the doppelganger was struggling with losing one arm and his sword, Grid used a skill. It was a skill that surpassed Transcended Link. Linked Kill.
A shark, the predator that ruled the world’s oceans for 415 million years! Failure tore at the body of the doppelganger in succession. One time! Two times! Three times! Four times! Five times! Six times! Seven times!
[All of your stamina has been depleted due to the maximum number of Linked Kill blows being triggered.]
[Your stamina will fall to 0 and you can’t move.]
Grid’s vision blurred. He tried to hold on but eventually collapsed like a puppet whose strings were cut. Then notification windows appeared in his vision.
[You have defeated the Doppelganger of the Mysterious Forest that has existed for 153 years.]
[8,450,109 experience has been acquired.]
[The party leader ‘Grid’ has acquired 6,300 gold.]
[The party leader ‘Grid’ has acquired the Guardian’s Necklace.]
[The party leader ‘Grid’ has acquired the Guardian’s Bracelet.]
[The party leader ‘Grid’ has acquired the Doppelganger’s Greatsword.]
[The party leader ‘Grid’ has acquired 13 weapon enhancement stones..]
[The party leader ‘Grid’ has acquired 15 armor enhancement stones..]
[The party leader ‘Grid’ has acquired 4 blessed weapon enhancement stones..]
[The party leader ‘Grid’ has acquired 6 blessed armor enhancement stones..]
[Your level has risen.]
When he checked the time, he had been fighting for 23 hours and 21 minutes. In the meantime, Grid had been defeated 82 times and the Overgeared members had tasted at least 10 defeats. But in the end, the battle was their victory.
Grid laughed. He couldn’t lift a finger, so he just lay on the cold dirt floor and laughed. He had gone beyond his limits, so an unexplained pleasure gripped him. The Overgeared members ran to him.
"My Lord! Great!”
“Grid! You were really cool!”
“Grid! You are such a great guy! Hahat! Puhahahat!”
Laughter echoed in the Mysterious Forest, which had been filled with screams for a long time. Pagma’s doppelganger couldn’t help smiling as he heard it.
Memories of the past came to mind. The pure laughter in her childhood. The sharp laughter when she was a girl. The tender laughter when she was a young lady...
His vision darkened. He couldn’t think anymore. Then the voices of the humans were heard.
“Eh? He isn’t dead? He’s squirming?”
“He’s lost the cloned appearance, but the nucleus of the body is still alive. However, it might as well be dead because there is a huge degeneration in both abilities and intelligence.”
“Should we kill him?”
“Considering the tendencies of a doppelganger, I think it’s worth exploring him. Let him recover.”
The doppelganger became like a melted tire and didn’t move.
On the other hand, Piaro had the shivers. He once again realized after witnessing Grid’s power. He might not be born under the same sky as Muller or Pagma, but he was under the same sky as Pagma’s power.
‘It is you.’
The person who would lead him to the realm of a sword saint.
OG: Glossary Link.
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