Yoshimura exclaimed under a splendid chandelier in the press conference room.
"Yoshimura will make Japan the most powerful Asian country!”
Among the Japanese, Yoshimura was known as the ‘Defeated General.’ His fight against the Korean Silver Knights Guild for Cork Island was a disaster. Then he was defeated by Damian, who was considered a traitor from the right side extremists.
Yoshimura had once been the 2nd ranked archer, but now his peak was over. Nevertheless, the Japanese still trusted Yoshimura. Yoshimura’s achievements in the past were so great that there were still a lot of expectations. Unfortunately, Japan didn’t have as many talented people as Yoshimura.
“It truly is Yoshimura!”
The reporters applauded at Yoshimura’s flamboyant appearance. But they didn’t ask any questions because there was no big interest. The reporters were interested in Damian and Katz who were sitting to Yoshimura’s left and right.
Yoshimura felt ashamed and sat down. The reporters first questioned Katz, who hadn’t appeared in public for a long time.
"Katz, I’m looking forward to seeing you after a long time. What have you been doing this whole time?”
“Bah, what a stupid question. Can’t you tell by looking at the list of rankers? I have been raising my level.”
Katz was the son of one of the largest conglomerates in Japan. He grew up with everything since childhood, causing him to become arrogant. Due to that, he had a lot of anti-fans around the world. But the Japanese didn’t hate Katz.
The reason was simple. Katz was one of Japan’s few hopes.
The third epic hidden class. Blood Warrior Katz, he dreamt of becoming the 1st ranked user and only focused on hunting for the past year and a half.
“That reminds me, you reached 19th on the unified rankings two weeks ago. At that time, all of the Japanese media outlets reported on Katz’ news.”
“You must be happy to be the first Japanese person ranked in the top 20.”
The reporters praised him, but Katz was offended. It was embarrassing. A year and a half ago. He declared to the world that he would take the first position in six months, but he hadn’t even entered the single digits yet. This caused Katz to go crazy.
19th out of two billion users. It was certainly a huge achievement, but Katz’ pride was too high. Katz wasn’t satisfied at all.
“What events do you plan to participate in this time?”
“I haven’t decided yet.”
"What are you expecting Japan’s ranking to be?”
“How should I know?”
Based on Katz’ attitude, it seemed unreasonable to ask him any more questions. The reporters were satisfied that photos and videos were taken of Katz and turned their eyes to Damian.
“The pope is known to have a special relationship with Grid. Will you be able to face Grid as an enemy in the National Competition?”
It was a question with hidden meanings. Damian chose Grid over his country. Would he be able to face Grid as an enemy in the National Competition? As Yoshimura felt tense and Katz indifferent, Damian declared with a proud expression.
"I know how to distinguish between the two. In the National Competition, Grid is naturally my enemy.”
The questions from the reporters poured out.
"What sort of events will you participate in?”
"Any combat related events are okay.”
"Does this mean you have confidence in battle?”
"Of course. I am really big.”
"What are you expecting Japan’s ranking to be?”
“Hrmm.” Damian glanced sideways at Katz. "At least in the top 10?”
Being in the top 10 out of 32 countries wasn’t low. It was likely to be the highest rank among the Asian countries. Damian, who had responded coldly to requests for cooperation from the right-wing groups, was now speaking favorably about Japan, causing the reporters to feel excited.
They were once again glad that a powerful presence like the pope was a Japanese. But some right-wing media groups questioned Damian.
“Is there still no play to build a Rebecca Temple in the territories that the Japanese Guilds rule over?”
"How about giving healers from the Rebecca Church as support for Japanese rankers?”
Questions not related to the National Competition started to pour out. Damian was silent. He couldn’t understand the psychology of the extreme right-wingers who wanted one-sided help just because he was Japanese.
"Tsk, I am building a temple in Reidan.”
"You really must be a Korean.”
The moment that the right-wing reporters made the atmosphere uncomfortable.
“What do you think about this balance patch?”
One young reporter asked a new question that reversed the mood. Damian’s answer was enough to excite the Japanese people watching the press conference broadcast.
"It’s a patch to benefit me.”
Damian had strong defense, recovery skills, and phenomenal buff skills. What person could damage him with this patch?
"At least in the National Competition, I am invincible.”
Japan was overturned. The expectations of Japanese people towards Damian skyrocketed. The Internet speculated that perhaps Damian could win three gold medals in the National Competition. However, Damian poured cold water on them.
"Well, as long as I don’t go against Grid.”
Why? Why did Damian praise Grid so much? The Japanese people didn’t know the details about the relationship between Grid and Damian, so they questioned it. More people wondered if Damian was actually a Korean.
The press conference held for the participants of the 2nd National Competition.
In the end, Kraugel didn’t attend.
Seoul, South Korea.
"Zibal doesn’t know anything. If he meets God Grid in the same event, he will eventually have to give God Grid the gold medal.”
Kang Daehan of the Korean Patriotic Association. His ID was Peak Sword in Satisfy and he was sitting in front of hundreds of reporters.
“And Hao? He doesn’t seem Chinese with how rude he is. Whether God Grid is nerfed or not, he is no match for God Grid.”
“Excuse me... Kang Daehan, why didn’t Yura and Youngwoo attend this interview…?”
Peak Sword didn’t answer the reporters’ questions. It was only 17 days until the National Competition. There was only one reason why Peak Sword attended this press conference despite being busy. It was to refute the words of rankers around the world.
Peak Sword slammed his hand on the table and shouted.
“Bondre, the French person who called Koreans uncivilized because we eat dog meat! The French eat foie gras, which is far more atrocious! A pot calling the kettle black. Bondre, I will make you feel ashamed, so be prepared! Understood? Hooray South Korea!”
It was the moment when the National Competition’s press conference was turned into a Korean Patriotic Association meeting. The reporters thought it was silly, but also nice to have a character like Peak Sword in South Korea. He made them feel much better.
As the whole world was paying attention to the 2nd National Competition, Grid was still wandering the labyrinth.
[You have killed a cavalry knight.]
[16,112,300 experience has been acquired.]
‘Heok... Heok... Wow, I’m going crazy.”
He had spent a fortnight of Satisfy time trapped in the labyrinth. It was hard to keep moving through the dark labyrinth without knowing how much was left until the exit.
‘It might be different if the monsters are weak.’
The monster that appeared in the labyrinth were between level 400~420.
It took Grid at least three minutes to hunt one. The monsters were strong. Allowing one attack would decrease his health by at least one-fourth. If he met three or more monsters at once, it was hard to deal with them without relying on his immortality passive.
‘If it wasn’t for the immortal passive, I would’ve died and gone back to the 50th island.’
Just imagining it was horrible. Grid gulped and used magic.
[Magic Detection (Enhanced) Lv. 1 (93.1%)]
-The cooldown time is 4 minutes and 42 seconds-
After entering the labyrinth, the newly acquired skill was almost at level 2. It was catching up with the level of Magic Missile. It showed how many times Grid had used Magic Detection, and how long he had travelled. Yet he still couldn’t find the exit...
Grid sighed and sat down. He would try and use Meditation to recover his health, mana, and stamina while waiting for the cooldown time of Magic Detection to end. But it was difficult to use Meditation since he needed the utmost concentration.
Grid was able to succeed in Meditation after two minutes.
[Entering a meditative state.]
[Increases health and mana regeneration rate by 50%, and stamina regeneration by 30%.]
[Skill cooldown time will be reduced by 10%.]
At first, it took him more than five minutes to succeed in Meditation. Grid was fairly satisfied with the current speed of Meditation while thinking back to that time.
‘The level of the God Hands’ Sword Mastery has gone up by quite a lot.’
Grid had certainly improved when compared to before he entered the Behen Archipelago. He was proud that he didn’t walk on this path in vain. However...
'When can I escape this labyrinth?’
He wanted to at least clear it before the National Competition began. Come to think of it, he should be able to use Magic Detection again. Grid got up and approached the three paths in front of him.
Mana poured out as Grid tried to find life in one of the paths. However.
No signs of life were detected anywhere. This was the first time.
‘What am I supposed to do?’
According to Braham’s advice, the closer he was to the exit of the labyrinth, the bigger the risk. But all three paths had no danger, so Grid couldn’t help feeling confused.
‘Should I ask Braham for help again?’
He already relied on Assimilation when he faced a big crisis three days ago. If he waited for the cooldown of Assimilation to return, wouldn’t he need to wait at least six more days here? It was too big of a waste of time.
‘In the first place...’
He felt like he degenerated every time he depended on Braham.
‘Yes, haven’t I been doing it all by myself so far?’
How could he overcome this situation? Grid took a deep breath and focused his mind to the limits. Then he discovered an answer.
So far, monsters were waiting on all the paths he took...
‘Maybe I have already passed the labyrinth?’
It was possible that the exit was right in front of him. However, he couldn’t go back after stepping on a new path, so he was terrified.
‘It will produce a much more valuable result than staying here.’
If his thoughts were wrong and he fell into a new labyrinth, he would just need to find the way out again. Grid raised all his courage and took the path in the middle.
At that moment.
[You have succeeded in breaking through the labyrinth!]
[You have acquired 2,150 challenger points for the mission success.]
[You have entered Treasure Island (the 57th island)!!]
[Escape from Treasure Island in the next three minutes.]
Grid was extremely excited. It was strange not to get excited as the island full of gold and treasures appeared before him.
'Today’s lunch is seafood jajang!’
The moment that Grid decided to summon Noe and Randy to get more treasures.
[Fog Island haunts this island.]
Treasure Island was covered with a thick fog.
Grid shed tears. They were deep tears of regret.
OG: Glossary Link.
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