Chapter 377

Chapter 377


At the time of the National Competition’s opening video shoot.

A total of 224 players from 32 countries gathered in France, where the S.A. Group had created a temporary server. They were the top performers that represented each country and Satisfy. The most prominent person among them was the 1st ranked Kraugel.

"Wow, being able to see Kraugel in real life, I am really rewarded for being a ranker.”

“He’s surprisingly young. He isn’t even 30 years old and is already at the peak of two billion users...”

"I’ve been a fan of Kraugel for a long time. Can we bribe him to enter our guild?”

"If he was easily bribed, he would’ve already joined a group. Most of us here are probably fans of Kraugel.”

Kraugel’s greatness was better known by the rankers than anyone else. The higher the level, the harder it was to raise the level, so rankers could experience it more than ordinary users. For the rankers, Kraugel was a transcendent being who was beyond the realm of a genius.

Buzz buzz.

Like children who had never seen a celebrity, the rankers kept their eyes on Kraugel and made a fuss. Most of them wanted to speak to Kraugel. However, no one dared to approach Kraugel. They just gazed at the distant sky.

It was the same with Zibal.

‘I am shrinking back...’

Zibal. He was the leader of the Snake Guild and 2nd on the unified rankings. He had failed against Overgeared, but there were few people who could deny that he was one of the best in the world. Yet even he flinched in front of Kraugel. 

In the midst of this awkward atmosphere.

“Hello.”

Someone reached out to say hello to Kraugel. It was Grid. The rankers laughed at him.

‘The Overgeared Guild is trying to cling to Kraugel.’

‘He will be despised by Kraugel.'

The rankers didn’t know about the relationship between Grid and Kraugel. They thought that Kraugel would show contempt to Grid, who would become ashamed. But they were wrong. Surprisingly, Kraugel welcomed Grid. It seemed like the two men already knew each other.

“It has been a while.”

“Have you been well? I saw the rankings list. You’ve widened the gap with the 2nd place?”

“This is all thanks to you. The performance of White Fang has been upgraded, increasing the efficiency of hunting and raids. Thank you.”

"I ought to be thanking you. Thanks to you, I was able to visit the Behen Archipelago and grow.”

"Were you able to reach the 30th island?”

The 30th island. The trials of the past were reproduced, causing Kraugel to be eliminated. Then Grid gave a shocking answer.

"I’ve just arrived at the 40th island.”

"...”

Kraugel’s expression stiffened. He acknowledged Grid’s abilities to reach an area before him, but this frankly exceeded expectations. He felt like he had been hit in the back of the head with a hammer. But it was a positive stimulus.

"It’s the first time I’m worse than anyone else.”

Interesting. Existences that could drive him forward, how many were there?

Grid smiled meaningfully and told Kraugel the truth, "I didn’t set a high record because I’m better than you. The trials of the Behen Archipelago are just suited for me.”

“You don’t need to be humble.”

Grid and Kraugel suddenly stopped talking while walking next to each other. It was because they felt the others following them.

"There are many ears listening. Tell me the details next time.”

“Wait.”

Grid called out as Kruagel was saying goodbye to him. He declared with a provocative gaze.

"Have you seen the plan for the opening? The last scene ends with me attacking you. I will do my best, so be careful not to die.”

He was curious. As his skills grew, who would prevail between him and Kraugel? Grid’s eyes blazed with determination and Kraugel nodded.

“I’m looking forward to it.”

And on this day.

“Pagma’s Swordsmanship, Transcended Link.”

Kwa kwa kwa kwang!

One of Grid’s ultimate skills, Transcended Link was avoided by Kraugel. There was exactly 20 of them. It wasn’t frustration that Grid felt.

‘I still have a long way to go.’

He had to keep growing. Grid was full of motivation, while Kraugel felt admiration.

‘The orbit is sharper.’

During the spar that occurred two months ago in Satisfy time, the Transcended Link sent by Grid hadn’t given Kraugel any sense of threat. It aimed in a straight line towards the target, making it easy for Kraugel to read and avoid.

But this Transcended Link was different. The orbit wasn’t in a straight line, with different directions mixed together. If the orbit became even more irregular...

‘It will be very interesting.’

Among the players, the only ones who could provoke him were the malicious ones. A prime example was Agnus. But Grid was different. It was really positive that he met someone with pure intentions. The more time he spent with Grid, the more convinced he was that he would develop further.

‘Also.’

He couldn’t easily overlook the fact that Grid was ahead of him in the Behen Archipelago.

Chaaeng!

Kraugel swung White Fang at Grid, who blocked it. This verified Kraugel’s determination.

‘I also need a new challenge.’

He would keep developing until the National Competition began. He promised himself as he received a signal stating that the filming was over.

“Kraugel, it is nice to meet you. I am the 2nd ranked Zibal and I’m just below you on the rankings.”

Zibal approached and held out a hand to shake. He thought that Kraugel would accept his greeting after talking so nicely with Grid. Kraugel sent him a sorry look.

“My mother is calling.”

“...?”

In front of more than 200 rankers and 100 S.A. Group officials.

Pahat!

Kraugel refused to shake hands with Zibal and logged out.

“Pfff!”

Zibal’s face became hot as Chris started to laugh.

***

A shabby housing complex on the outskirts of Moscow, Russia. One of the crumbling houses was Kraugel’s residence.

Kraugel.

He was a Koryoin (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Koryo-saram) who grew up in poverty.

Due to this, he was the target of prejudice and discrimination, suffering many crises in his life. But thanks to the teachings of his kind and wise mother, he didn’t give up and was able to enter a prestigious university, eventually getting a good job.

She was a gigantic existence and he could never pay back what she had done for him. Recently, his mother had become thinner.

Pipipipipi!

The emergency light installed on the capsule started flashing. As soon as he heard it, Kraugel logged out of the game and left the capsule. The place he headed was his mother’s bedroom. She had an incurable disease that couldn’t be cured with modern medicine, Alzheimer’s.

He tried to invite the world’s best medical staff with the money he earned, but his mother’s condition didn’t improve.

"My son! Where is my son?”

His mother gazed at Kraugel with a mad look. She threw things around her in a rage, until Kraugel hugged her.

"Don't worry, calm down. You will be able to meet your son soon.”

Kraugel never smiled. In order to cure his mother’s illness, he quit his job and devoted himself to Satisfy, never giving up. The wealth he accumulated through Satisfy was poured into his mother’s treatment, and he believed that one day his mother’s warm touch would return.

Until then, in order to endure without despair, Kraugel watched his mother with all his heart, while feeling pleasure playing Satisfy. He always committed himself to everything, so the negative thoughts didn’t invade his life.

***

『 We have learned one thing from the fact that the Silver Knights Guild was absorbed into Overgeared. The Overgeared Guild has a total of three territories. Reidan, Bairan, and Cork Island. 』 

『 Isn’t it unheard of for one guild to be running three territories? There is speculation that the Overgeared Guild is accumulating a lot of wealth. What do you think about this 』

『 Of course they are making a huge amount of money. Reidan is a large city, Bairan has many hunting grounds with various levels and Cork Island is famous for its tourist attraction. They will be sweeping up a huge amount of taxes every month. 』

『 The Overgeared Guild’s funding ability will evolve every day. At this moment, there are many reasons why so many players want to join Overgeared. 』

The opening video for the 2nd National Competition was available. The media focusing on Kraugel started to shift their attention to Grid and Overgeared. It was because of the lack of information on Kraugel. Thanks to Lauel’s plan, the Overgeared Guild became a hot topic and their popularity rose every day.

"There are too many fanciful stories. Overgeared is rich? Nonsense. We are living in poverty every day.”

Vantner snorted. All the revenue was poured into Reidan, so it was funny that the experts were predicting that they were a rich guild when they were actually suffering.

“Reidan is so isolated that there is a lot of futile speculation. It is unlikely that anyone can guess the actual situation of Reidan.”

Lauel was very satisfied. As the reputation of Overgeared expanded, the number of hostile forces would reduce while talents would come swarming.

“By the way, when are we departing for the Behen Archipelago?” Regas asked.

He was always dreaming about becoming stronger, so he had great enthusiasm towards the Behen Archipelago. Most of the Overgeared members were the same. Lauel rose from his seat.

"We will depart in an hour. Sticks will guide us.”

“Grid?”

"Grid will stay in Reidan for a few days. He wants to try the combination of blacksmithing and alchemy.”

"Will combining alchemy and blacksmithing recreate the dwarves’ unique techniques?”

“That is a long story for later. For the moment, adding a unique option to an item is the limit.”

Lauel believed that this one option might upset the battlefield.

***

[Baby’s Blacksmith’s Hammer]

Rating: Epic

Durability: 28/28  Attack Power: 10~12

Odds of Making a Rare Rated Item: +2%

Odds of Making an Epic Rated Item: +1%

* Dexterity +5.

A hammer made of a solid, but light, black stone.

The legendary blacksmith Grid made it for his young son, so the focus is on making it easy to use.

Conditions of Use: None.

Weight: 3

"Lord, you will be working with Papa for awhile.”

It was funny that the son of a legendary blacksmith was learning the techniques of a beginner blacksmith. During his stay in Reidan, Grid planned to train Lord.

“Ba! Bababa!”

Lord was excited. Lord really wanted to share this with his father.

Ttang! Ttang!

Dung dung! Dung!

The two people started hammering at an anvil. Kasim’s covert skills and vigilance rose every day as he watched the similar father and son.


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