Chapter 403

Chapter 403


[It’s possible for a great demon.]

“What?”

Pagma was a great demon? It was ridiculous.

‘Wait.’

Grid attempted to deny it when he suddenly stopped. He didn’t know enough about Pagma to judge, and Braham’s nature was also odd.

‘In fact, isn’t Braham a vampire, rather than a human?’

A legendary great magician was a demonkin, so it wouldn’t be strange if a legendary blacksmith was also one. But why?

‘Why isn’t it mentioned in the legends?’

Braham sensed Grid’s confusion and laughed.

[Aren’t you an idiot, to take my words at face value?] 

Grid frowned.

"I have taken the intelligence elixirs, so why are you still seeing me as an idiot? No, what does that mean?”

[To put it more accurately, Pagma is a human who accepted the power of a great demon.]

"He accepted the power of a great demon?”

[Baal.]

“...!”

Grid was startled. Did he know the weight of the name Baal? No. It was because Grid felt Braham’s anger. The anger was deeply imprinted in Braham’s soul like an abyss and it slowly boiled up. Grid held Braham’s soul, so he was also angry.

[Pagma was Baal’s contractor.]

“...!”

Grid was once again surprised. Questions filled his eyes.

"What is Baal’s contractor?” 

[...Hah.]

It was the first time Grid discovered that souls could also sigh.

***

The 1st great demon, Baal. As the peak of the 33 demons, he reigned as the master of hell. It was easy to call him the demon king. He was an absolute existence that even the dragons guarded against.

[He is more faithful to his instincts as a demon than anyone else. He is proud, destructive, and does anything for pleasure. Plantings seeds of chaos through contracts with humans is very entertaining for him.]

"Why did Pagma sign with such a bad demon?”

[Ironically, he had to borrow Baal’s strength to protect the Behen Archipelago.]

“Eh?”

The words were confusing. Pagma wanted to protect the Behen Archipelago from the great demons, so he borrowed the power of a great demon?

[It’s as you said. Baal likes taunting and deception.]

"So?"

[It is irrelevant to Baal whether the target being deceived is a human or a great demon like himself.]

"...”

The Grid in the past would’ve been frustrated without understanding to the end. But now it was different. He properly interpreted Braham’s remark using his developed thinking ability.

“Baal wanted to enjoy the entertainment of protecting the invasion of great demons with the power of a great demon, so he signed a contract with Pagma?”

[That’s right.]

In other words, Baal screwed over his own people. Grid couldn’t understand Baal. Braham laughed at his confusion.

[Don’t look at great demons with the prejudice. Don’t humans also betray and hurt their own people?]

"But isn’t Baal the master of hell? Isn’t he the king of the great demons? A king sacrificing his servants just for entertainment... I guess there are some.”

When he thought about it, there were many crazy people in the world. Grid was convinced and defined Baal as a psychopath great demon.

“Um... Yes, this is why the Behen Archipelago changed in this way.”

If so, there was another question. Why did Pagma leave the Behen Archipelago in this state? He protected the Behen Archipelago with a contract with a great demon, and then the Behen Archipelago eventually deteriorated and the original function was lost. If Pagma truly wanted to protect the Behen Archipelago, he would’ve returned it to its original state after the great demons were repelled.

But he didn’t...

‘Was there a chance that the great demons would invade again?’

Or maybe Pagma had no more power left.

Grid asked a question.

“What happened after Pagma contracted with a great demon to protect the Behen Archipelago? Did he die? Or is he still alive?”

[Why do you think he is still alive?]

“He contracted with a great demon, so wouldn’t his lifespan increase?”

[That’s a ridiculous notion. The reason why demons contract with humans is to basically take their life force and soul.]

“Isn’t something strange? Pagma lived for a long time, right? Didn’t you say that he lived for hundreds of years? Wasn’t it because of his contract with the great demon?”

[You are mistaken. Pagma made the contract with Baal 100 years ago, not 300 years.]

“...Ah!”

Grid belatedly recalled that Sticks mentioned the Behen Archipelago being fine 200 years ago. Then a new question arose.

"Does that mean that Pagma can live for hundreds of years, regardless of the contract with a great demon?” 

What was Pagma’s identity? 

“How can a human live that long?”

[...]

The silent Braham didn’t answer, anger filling him again. Grid’s spine became soaked with cold sweat before Braham finally broke the silence.

[The reason why Pagma could live for hundreds of years, despite being a human, was because my lifespan was taken.]

“What?”

His words didn’t make sense. Obviously, Braham was a vampire. Unlike humans, they had a life expectancy close to infinity so there might be a way to transfer his lifespan to someone. It wasn’t strange for a non-human and legendary great magician to do something that was beyond common sense.

However, Braham said that his lifespan was ‘taken.’

“Does that mean you didn’t give it willingly? Weren’t you and Pagma close friends?”

[What if I was deceived and betrayed?]

"...”

He wanted to hear more of the story. Grid was curious, but Braham didn’t want to talk about it anymore.

[Well, if you want to know more about Pagma, reach the last island. Move to the 61st island. Then after experiencing the difference between your skills and Pagma’s, see if you can challenge it again.]

What on earth was on the islands in the 60s that Braham was so sure he couldn’t overcome? Braham spoke to the troubled Grid.

[It is your duty to break through this place, so don’t think about giving up.]

“I won’t give up, even if you hadn’t said this. I’m just a little worried about how dangerous it can be.”

[What do you have to fear with an immortal body? As I said repeatedly, challenge it once.]

It was as Braham said. The Behen Archipelago was deeply related to Pagma, and there was a high possibility that a quest related to Pagma’s Descendant was hidden here. Grid felt a need to investigate the islands.

"Okay.”

Grid moved towards the gate of the 61st island with determination. Then Sticks, who had been watching silently, urgently called out.

“Braham is a demonkin. You must not be misled by him.”

"I know that elves and demonkin have a bad relationship. But shouldn’t you cool your head? Aren’t you the one who is the most desperate for the Behen Archipelago to be purified? I can also get rewards, so I have to move forward.”

"...”

That’s right. He wasn’t someone who would be dazzled by Braham’s existence.

The enlightened Sticks followed behind Grid.

***

[You have entered the 61st island.]

Kuooooh!

An island covered with fire. The lush forest was burning and the river running through it was an ominous red.

[The temperature is very high.]

[You are affected by the heat.]

[Health and stamina are being continuously consumed.]

[You have resisted.]

‘The legendary passive is a scam.’

Satisfy fully implemented the five senses. Users naturally felt the heat and cold, causing climate to be a disaster to them sometimes. However, Grid didn’t feel it due to being Pagma’s Descendant. He was able to maintain a proper body temperature and play the game in a much more pleasant environment than others.

“Pant pant...”

Unlike Grid’s refreshed face, Sticks standing behind him was sweating like a dog. It wouldn’t be strange if he collapsed immediately.

"If you’re a sage, shouldn’t you have a countermeasure for the heat?”

“There are a few ways, but I don’t have the materials...”

"Can’t you use magic?”

"It’s hard to use mana because of my illness...”

"...”

Please don’t die. Grid desired Sticks as a tutor for Lord, so he prayed while moving forward.

‘There are no monsters or missions.’

The shape itself seemed different from the other islands.

"...”

Grid crossed the blazing island, looking to the left and right.  His attitude was more cautious than ever. He was extremely concentrated as he prepared for any sudden attacks. However, it was meaningless in front of an strong enemy that couldn’t be defended against.

Step, step.

The footsteps moving through the forest sounded relaxed and proud. The owner of the footsteps didn’t seem to care at all that Grid discovered his position.

‘Who?’

Grid turned his gaze in the direction of the footsteps. Then he frowned. He couldn’t see anything because of the smoke.

‘The smoke has thickened?’

Step, step.

The footsteps were getting closer. Grid urgently pulled out his weapon and was surprised when he used Magic Detection (Enhanced) Lv. 2.

[No life has been detected.]

‘What?’

There was no life detected despite the footsteps? Grid was baffled, but he wielded Iyarugt in the direction the footsteps came from. But the smoke. No, it was darker than mere smoke and he couldn’t properly see the target.

Puok!

[You have suffered 50,040 damage.]

“Keook...!”

The enemy had moved? The attack was supposed to be in front of him, but it turned in a flash and struck his back.  Grid’s eyes widened as he lost more than two-thirds of his health with one blow.

[That’s right. It’s Lantier.]

Braham penetrated the identity of the enemy hidden in the smoke.


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