"Yes, what was the reaction of the Overgeared King?"
The Saharan Empire, the castle of Sword Duke Limit.
Kwa kwa kwa kwang!
The four swords that Limit deployed in the air devastated the field. It was the swordsmanship that he trained. Limit was confident that his swordsmanship transcended great swordsman Piaro and even Sword Saint Muller. But due to a lack of achievements, he couldn't claim to be a legend or a sword saint. Mercedes kneeled in the rising dust and answered his question.
"Hah... He bowed?" Limit shook his head with surprise. He gazed with hollow eyes at the kneeling Mercedes. "The rebel who faced a force of 100,000 troops alone accepted the imperious demands of the empire without protesting? He didn't run wild?"
"Yes, he followed it very quietly. On the surface."
"Is it different?"
"That's right. Grid is like a beast who can't be tamed. He was kneeling, but couldn't hide his sharp eyes."
'Asmophel's Eyes' was widely used among the imperial knights. It meant the eyes were filled with enthusiasm for the future without being frustrated by the trials of the moment. It was the eyes of the eternal No. 2, Asmophel, when he looked at Piaro.
"Hrmm, that's good. Yes, that's the Overgeared King."
Limit was one of the six dukes of the Saharan Empire. From a general point of view, he was the most loyal person to the empire. He wasn't angry when he heard that Grid didn't truly yield? If someone witnessed this scene, they wouldn't understand it.
But Mercedes was tranquil.
The Red Knights were a group rebuilt by Empress Marie, not Emperor Juander. On the surface, they were knights under the direct control of the empire. However, reality was different. They were no different from the limbs of the empress. Limit, chief of the Red Knights, moved according to the will of the empress.
In fact, it wasn't like this from the beginning. Limit dedicated his loyalty to the emperor when he was first appointed as chief of the Red Knights. But the emperor betrayed him.
The five pillars. Emperor Juander called them talents to support the empire and preferred them more than the Red Knights. The Red Knights were forced to feel deprived and this led to Limit turning completely away from the emperor.
"Mercedes, I want you to tell His Majesty the Emperor your thoughts about the Overgeared King. Try to convince the angry emperor to dispatch troops to the Overgeared Kingdom. In that gap, Empress Marie will have time to reorganize the political factions."
Mercedes responded politely and left. She struggled as she rode her white horse towards the imperial palace.
'I don't know what is best for the empire.'
Was it really right to deceive His Majesty the Emperor? The struggle between factions increased over who should become crown prince. Mercedes was worried that the empire would be torn apart. There was a person who was watching her closely.
'Ha, my goddess.'
It was Mercedes' retainer, Sky. An unofficial ranker, he had been acting in the empire ever since Satisfy opened. He joined the Black Knights and was recently admitted as a reserve in the Red Knights. His talent was enough to become a retainer of the 1st knight.
'I will stand by the goddess forever.'
A huge smile. Mercedes was a beautiful woman who made him smile just looking at her. Sky's love for her was very deep. It was equal to Damian's love for Isabel. However, it wasn't pure.
'My goddess Mercedes, I will surely make you my slave.'
This was the East continent. Since the entry rate of players was still low, more than 99.9% of the population were NPCs. Unlike the West Continent, people rarely recognized Grid. No, it didn't exist at all. Yet this person recognized him with one glance. Grid turned towards the man approaching and confirmed the name above his head.
'...He must be considerably skilled to be on the East Continent.'
Grid was alert. Muto came close without hesitation. It was even a nice expression! 'The expression is so good that it's ridiculous. Usually these are bad people.' It was a prejudice. But he was right to be wary. The world of Satisfy wasn't an easy place where all strangers in unfamiliar areas were friendly. In particular, Grid was concerned about the eight people accompanying Muto.
[Legendary Blacksmith's Eyes]
It was a skill that allowed him to peek at item information when observing it for more than three seconds. Based on this skill, the eight people with Muto were at least level 280.
'A person who has such tough subordinates won't be ordinary.'
Muto spoke as Grid became increasingly alert.
"I don't have any combat power. I was able to cross to the East Continent purely due to my speaking ability. I'm a merchant. I ran the Muto Company, which is named after me."
"A man with acumen."
Grid spoke without letting down his guard. Muto scratched his head.
"Unlike Grid, I'm not at the level to be on the unified rankings. But you'll be able to find me if you check the merchant rankings."
Grid immediately checked the rankings and was surprised. Muto was the third ranked merchant.
'It isn't a bluff that he runs a company. Come to think about it, Lauel said repeatedly that the market must grow in order to boost the economy.'
Lauel spoke of the need to attract a large influx of merchants. However, it was difficult because most merchants were active in the empire. In particular, the Overgeared Kingdom had a clear limit on the population. From a merchant's point of view, it was a kingdom with little value.
'For the sake of the kingdom, it's better to build a relationship with a merchant.'
Grid controlled his expression. He didn't completely get rid of his vigilance and shook Muto's hand.
"Ohh! It's an honor to shake hands with the prestigious King Grid of the Overgeared Kingdom!"
Indeed, he was a merchant. The cheerful Grid asked Muto a question.
"Who are these people?"
"They're mercenaries I hired on the East Continent. As you know, the monsters here are really strong, so mercenaries from the West Continent are useless. I'm currently moving to Kars. Is it the same for Grid?"
"That's right. What are you going to Kars for?"
"My goal is to meet the Cho King and make a commercial exchange with him."
Grid's expression became uncomfortable. Grid had to rescue the Han Seokbong father and daughter, so the king might become an enemy. Muto read Grid's expression, roughly noticed the situation and laughed.
"Maybe there's a bad relationship between you and the Cho King? It's surprising. I thought Grid was going to Kars to form a diplomatic relationship with the Cho Kingdom."
"I would be glad if I could, but the situation isn't simple."
Maybe he would need to harm the Cho King. Grid couldn't reveal his purpose when Muto still couldn't be trusted. Muto retreated. The conversation turned to Idan and Yang Fei.
"Who are they? They're unusual colleagues."
Rather than strong warriors, he was crossing the East Continent with a middle-aged man and a young woman? It was only possible because it was Grid. Muto watched on with admiration as Grid explained.
"They are my exclusive chef and tea master."
How many players in this world had a dedicated chef and tea master for adventures? A rich person would be able to hire a chef for gourmet meals. But Grid was the only one with a tea master.
'He's a king for a reason. The scale is different.'
It was a famous fact that the Overgeared Kingdom was poor. But just because the kingdom was poor didn't mean that Grid had to be poor. Grid was rumored to be quite wealthy and came up with the money to construct the kingdom himself.
'I should get close to him.'
From a trader's point of view, there was nothing wrong with exchanges with the rich. Especially if the person was the king of a country! Muto looked at Grid with shining eyes.
"Would you like a meal?"
Chef Idan handed a plate to Muto. It was a plate of soup.
"Can I really accept?"
"I have just finished preparing lunch. There's a lot remaining."
"I'll eat thankfully!"
What person could resist a freebie? Muto was thrilled by Idan's favor and gladly took the soup. At this moment, a sharp smell pierced his nose. But his stamina was low, so he put the soup to his mouth and swallowed it. Then he tasted hell.
[You have consumed something that shouldn't be eaten.]
[You have been poisoned (large).]
[1,840 health is consumed per second and your skin has started to rot.]
Muto felt danger to his life. He had to take the highest grade antidote in order to treat the poison. It was an expensive antidote to pay for a free meal.
"W-What is this...!"
Was it an assassination attempt? Muto's eyes were alert as he looked at Grid, but it was only for a moment.
"You have no idea about cooking. Spitting out the best dish I made, tsk tsk."
Ah, Idan was such a character. Muto belatedly realized and looked at Grid grimly.
'To hire a potential killer as a chef... It is obvious that Grid's palate isn't right.'
Grid lived his life without knowing the pleasure of great food. Yes, a poor man. Muto felt sympathetic towards Grid. Muto frowned and suggested.
"If you don't mind, can I accompany you? Our purpose in meeting the Cho King is different, but the direction is the same. I think it would be good to be companions. I will personally be happy if I can interact with Grid."
"Okay. But a party won't be formed. I don't want to share experience."
"However, if the items are shared by the party leader then I am willing to offer a party. Your escorts seem quite useful."
"...No, I will pass."
"Will you refuse my favor?"
"Of course, I will distribute the items fairly."
"...I understand. The king of a kingdom wouldn't cheat a merchant..."
The two people moved together for five days before arriving in Kars. In the process, they talked a lot. Grid tried to make friends with a merchant ranker while Muto analyzed Grid's words and ideas in order to see his vision of the Overgeared Kingdom. The result?
"Is it possible for you to accept the Muto Company in the Overgeared Kingdom?"
The blessing rolled into Grid's hand. In addition, Grid got to know new facts thanks to Muto. First of all, it was possible to move between continents without using a scroll. Secondly, the economic power of the empire was great enough to far exceed his expectations. Third, an ordinary person without a passive conditional resistance would get resistance to poison if they constantly ate Idan's cuisine.
It was a beneficial companionship.