'I didn't want this to happen...'
Grid wanted to show off the numerical superiority he could wield as the king of a kingdom. It was absolutely upsetting to see a person who didn't know what the real power of numerical superiority was. Thus, Grid assembled the main force in Reinhardt.
The final number was over 30,000. It was a large army worthy of the Noll raid. It was enough to make Noll experience the fear of a numerical superiority. Grid didn't want any more troops. Yet things became twisted.
"Maxong, king of the water clan, has led his army to help the Overgeared King!"
"Laden and the Gale Troops have arrived! Duke Steim sent me!"
"Bland. My father has commanded me to protect Your Majesty."
-Grid-sama, I heard rumours that you are in danger. I'm running over with Rebecca's Daughters right now, so hold on for a while.
-...Please don't come.
The power of a royal order was much bigger than Grid imagined. The lords and players at various places misunderstood that Grid was in danger and constantly sent troops to Grid. It was hard to even enter the vampire city. It was useless.
'All the food consumed moving here... What should I do…?'
The soldiers consumed more food in wartime than in peacetime. A simple march consumed more food than usual, which was a real economic burden on a kingdom. In particular, the Overgeared Kingdom tended to depend on food exports as an agricultural kingdom. Food was precious. Grid sighed as the troops gathered like dogs.
'What is this...'
From the first time he convened the troops, Grid only need Piaro and Asmophel's power. He had no intention of the soldiers participating in the battle. He just wanted the soldiers to stand in place and scare the vampires. Why? The first reason was that if the soldiers joined the battle and died, it would be a big loss for the kingdom. There was a second important reason.
'I don't want to share the experience with many soldiers!'
Grid knew that even if only Piaro and Asmophel joined the raid, the experience of the party members would be greatly reduced. Grid didn't want to dispatch soldiers who would gain the experience. How impractical would it be to raid a direct vampire and only gain experience the size of a rat's dropping? Thus, Grid tried to make the soldiers wait and only take Piaro and Asmophel into the raid...
"Help the alliance! It is time to repay the favor!"
"Cause a tsunami!"
This plan was wiped out when Maxong, who led an independent army, told the water clan army to participate in the raid. Now it was a war, not a raid. Grid and the party members couldn't hope for experience even if they hunted Noll.
Grid sighed as he lost motivation. He stood idly as he watched Piaro, Asmophel, and Maxong's struggle. He didn't think of participating in the raid. There was no enthusiasm. But he couldn't lose his motivation for long.
"I will kill all of you!"
Noll started to run wild as he became furious at Piaro, Asmophel, and Maxong. His huge magic was invoked without rest, causing damage to the Overgeared soldiers. It was a scene that woke Grid up. Grid stopped regretting the missed experience and came back to reality. He defended the soldiers and used all sorts of buff skills before attacking Noll.
[You have joined forces with people you absolutely trust!]
[The player common hidden piece 'Cooperative Skill' has been opened for the first time!]
[As a reward for first opening the skill, the damage when using the Cooperative Skill has permanently increased by 20%!]
Piaro, Asmophel, Maxong, and Grid. These four people didn't intentionally link their skills. They just read the perfect timing and trusted each other. The result was amazing.
[The power of all skills have increased by 240% thanks to the Cooperative Skill! Your skill damage has increased by 260%!]
Piaro's Splitting the Sky, which boasted the power of Pounding Mortar, was deadly to Noll.
Asmophel's sword contained a similar power. The effect of the sword perfectly sealed off the target's healing effect.
Maxong's ultimate technique, which boasted a proportional damage to the target, also showed a power reminiscent of Piaro's Fated to Perish.
The skills of the three people hit at the same time and Noll's health gauge dropped to a dangerous level in an instant. The Cooperative Skill of the three people was extremely lethal to Noll, who lost his defense ability in his berserk state. Noll lost momentum and coughed up blood. In his blurred vision, he could see Grid's appearance.
"Linked Kill Wave Pinnacle!"
It was the four linked sword techniques that Noll clearly saw kill his brother. Noll couldn't help sensing his death. Of course, he wasn't willing to accept this. He was hundreds of years old. Due to the Curse of Idleness, he could only sleep. He finally overcame the Curse of Idleness and was going to enjoy life. He didn't want to see this world disappear. He had to live no matter what. He would get out of the city, get out of the desert, and walk the world.
Puk! Puk. Puk! Puok!
The power in Grid's attack was enough to exceed Noll's imagination. It was the havoc of the Cooperative Skill. Grid's attack was a death penalty itself to Noll.
Noll was continuously pierced and stabbed as black flames swallowed his body. It was a momentum that would turn him into ashes.
Noll's mind became increasingly blurred. He no longer felt the pain that dominated his body and mind. Now he felt only one thing. Foolishness. It was only a craving for life.
'This is also a curse...' Noll thought.
If he was still suffering from the Curse of Idleness, then this moment of death wouldn't be so scary and sad. He was convinced that leaving the world wouldn't be so bad if he thought it was a nuisance. But now Noll had overcome the Curse of Idleness. He was in a state where he desired to enjoy life. It was terrible for him to be killed in this state. The feeling of sadness dominated him.
Energy emerged from Grid's sword like a wave and then sunk like a thunderbolt. It was the final blow.
'Mother... This stupid son who shouldn't have been born... This unworthy existence is leaving the world. I wanted to make you feel like it was worthwhile giving birth to me, but the fate of a natural curse is difficult to overcome.'
The only things he saw in the kaleidoscope of life was the coffin that was his bedroom and his mother's face. Noll felt empty as he realized this. He was sorry towards his mother.
'If... If another chance comes to me...'
He wanted to live a life completely different from this one. But it was just wishful thinking. It was already the end. Noll closed his eyes. He was ready to accept death. Grid's sword was now right in front of his nose.
Noll had a question as he was ready to die. It was because Grid's sword, which should have split apart his skull like a watermelon, seemed to stop in front of his nose.
'Am I mistaken?'
Had he already been killed and his soul was wandering in the eons of chaos? Yes, he had already died. It was without feeling any pain. After a short amount of time passed, Noll arranged his thoughts opened his eyes. He feared the landscape of 'Chaos' that his cursed soul would live in forever. However.
It wasn't the scenery of 'Chaos.' It was Grid breathing roughly. The gigantic greatsword held in his hands stopped just before Noll's eyes.
There was an awkward silence. Everyone was paying attention to Grid. They all wondered why he didn't kill Noll.
Noll's gaze was the same. He couldn't understand Grid's intention behind not killing him,
Grid didn't say anything. He just swung his sword, only for it to once again stop in front of Noll's nose. Noll frowned.
"What...? Why aren't you killing me?" It couldn't be. "You... Are you sympathizing with me?"
Grid didn't say anything. He just had a complicated expression on his face as he opened and closed his mouth repeatedly. Noll was convinced.
"Right... You sympathize with me. You realized my yearning for life and my weak heart..."
Noll had an unbelievable experience for someone who lived for hundreds of years. He had the appearance of a beautiful 13 year old boy. His delicate body and voice started to tremble.
"Human...! This human...!! Feeling sympathy for a direct descendant...!"
Tears flowed from Noll's eyes as he cried out. Did he feel shame that a human felt sympathy for him? No. It was because he was glad. He was a person who hadn't been able to prove his reason for being born and just existed. He never even dreamt that someone would sympathize with him and save him.
Yet that person appeared in front of him. It was also an opponent who had fought with him several times over the past few days. Noll dimly noticed it.
"Yes... You... You must've noticed my value. Through your experiences over the past few days, you have become convinced that I am a good vampire."
"...Thank you. For not denying me, for giving me the benefit of the doubt. I am moved for the first time since I was born."
"I am able to live thanks to you. My remaining life will be given to you. I will prove my value and repay your favor by your side."
Grid didn't say anything to the end. Noll thought it was because he was excited. It was natural. A human becoming the master of a direct vampire. It was unheard of. It was a legend that no one would believe, even if it was written down in history. Of course Noll thought that Grid was excited.
At that moment, Piaro opened his mouth instead of Grid.
"It is a good idea to serve King Grid. Work in the field with me."
Noll couldn't help cursing. This crazy Sword Saint kept pretending to be a farmer and was treating him as a fool was very unpleasant for Noll to deal with. Noll liked Grid, but was hostile towards Piaro.