Grid highly appreciated Noll's value. At least in the field of combat, he was superior to Piaro. Not only were his stats superior to Piaro, he also had great healing skills and defense buffs. Above all, there was one thing Grid liked.
'He has a strong desire for survival.'
The reason why Grid was reluctant to participate in battle with named NPCs like Piaro and Asmophel was because their lives were finite. Unlike players, they couldn't be resurrected. Grid didn't want to lose them. However, Piaro and Asmophel had the chivalrous spirit of a knight. They threw away their lives too easily for Grid. Grid was afraid. He didn't want to let them go to war.
Noll was completely different from them. His motivation for life was too strong. If he was in danger he would forget his purpose and retreat. Some people would mock him for being a coward. But Grid's thoughts were completely different. He considered it worthy of praise to cherish your life, not criticism.
'I can use him without being burdened... No, I should send him to war.'
Grid's expectations were amplified as he envisioned Noll taking over the battlefield as a general of the Overgeared Kingdom. His heart pounded. Imagine it. A named NPC. The shockwave that would occur when the world found out that a direct descendant became a user's subordinate!
'Ah, they will make a fuss again.'
Grid laughed. His shoulders and nose had already risen into the air. It wasn't a bluff. He was proud of his new achievements.
The smile disappeared from Grid's face. He was reminded that there was a real problem with Noll. It was the food problem.
'...I have no choice but to do what Piaro said.'
Piaro was certain that he could grow new crops here in the vampire city and these crops would be Noll's food. Grid was forced to look forward to it. The determined Grid spoke to Noll who was still roaring at Piaro.
"Noll, for the moment, help in the field by Piaro's side."
Noll's face became pale.
A vampire. He was an earl yet he was expected to work in the fields? Noll couldn't imagine it so it must be a joke.
"Bah! I'm not accustomed to the pun in human words!"
He was certain that Grid was joking. Grid explained to him.
"I'm sorry, but I'm serious. It can't be helped. I'm afraid of what will happen if you go outside in this state."
"Shit... This is a moral issue? Don't worry about it. I won't hurt your people. I will take the people of other kingdoms as food."
"No, it will cause a diplomatic problem. And in the long run, it's better to solve your food problem."
"Kuk...!" Noll gritted his teeth. He was really angry. "You're going to make me work in the field because you fear for the lives of a few humans? Don't you know my value? My power! I am a powerful force! It's a power that can make you the ruler of the human world! Yet you want me to work in the fields?
Grid could understand why Noll was offended. Grid's pride would be hurt if he was in Noll's position. But what could he do?
"Humans have their own circumstances and society has its own rules. You should understand this part if you have to live with humans in the future."
"I understand what you mean! But working in the field is too much!!"
Grid flinched at Noll's words and whispered to Piaro, "I also think it is a little too much. Making a direct vampire work in the fields... Do you really need Noll's power for farming?"
"Yes, that's right." Piaro answered without any hesitation. "A vampire's blood will be a great help in growing new crops. In addition, field work is a good experience for learning how to live in the human world, as well as cultivating the mind and body."
Grid's confidence in Piaro was absolute. Grid nodded without denying it and asked something he was curious about.
"By the way, how is the golden walnut cultivation going?'
"There is no answer yet."
"Yes... It won't be easy."
It was a half elixir. There was no easy way to grow elixirs. Maybe it would be impossible forever. It was because the wavelengths generated if a user grew one would be too big. It was possible that the S.A. Group had blocked it.
"Well, okay. We will all return except for Piaro and Noll."
"Hey! Really?" Noll shouted. His voice was as loud as a train compared to his young appearance.
Lauel approached Grid. "Wouldn't it be nice to capture the rest of the cities with this much power?"
"I don't think it's worth it."
Grid decided that at the present time, it was impossible to raid Marie Rose and Fenrir. There was absolutely no chance against Marie Rose and Fenrir should only be challenged after the fourth advancement since he was several times stronger than an earl. It would be a big blow to lose so many troops if he challenged them now. Then he had to target cities that didn't have the two. They were cities without direct descendants.
"There are few rewards that can be obtained if we capture a city without a direct descendant. There isn't much time left until the National Competition. Until then, I think it's better to raise our growth."
"I admit it." Lauel was convinced and nodded.
"Return the whole army."
The king's order was absolute. The tens of thousands of soldiers moved the moment Grid gave the order. The power to move tens of thousands with one word...
Grid felt refreshed.
'King. Yes, I am a king.'
Now he was responsible for numerous people. He had to remember that his honor was their honor.
In that sense...
'I will give a good show in the National Competition.'
He wouldn't lose. Even if his opponent was Kraugel.
'This time I will win.'
He would pay Kraugel back for last year's defeat and take this year's victory. Grid's eyes were blazing. He was full of enthusiasm and joy just thinking about Kraugel.
"How active can Japan be in the National Competition this year?"
Camera flashes went off here and there. Damian was surrounded by hundreds of reporters. He was one of the top-ranked players of Japan and the first user to become the pope of the Rebecca Church. Despite the fact that he was a fan of the Korean Grid, Damian was a hero to the modern Japanese people.
Putting aside personal tendencies, his abilities were recognized by the Japanese people and they had a great expectation for him. In particular, this year's National Competition would be held in Japan and people wished for Damian and the Japanese rankers to play a bigger role than usual.
"A century ago, Japan was classified as country weak in e-sports. But that is due to the Japanese people's tendencies to neglect online games, not because they lack gaming talent. The Japanese have excellent gaming skills because they are placed in an environment where they can easily access the game from a young age."
Indeed, this fact was proven in Satisfy. There were quite a few Japanese on each class rankings list. Damian believed in them.
"This year, Japan will be able to reach the top 5. I think this is enough to be proud of as the host country."
Most reporters nodded silently. Damian's analysis was realistic. On the other hand, some reporters questioned it.
"Aren't you evaluating Japan too low? There are many talented people in Japan including you and Katz. There are a lot more rankings compared to China and India, which has 10 times the population of Japan. When it comes to population ratio, aren't we the country with the most number of rankers?"
"Won't Japan be in at least the top three? In particular, this year's National Competition is different from the previous year. It is a system where one excellent person can't monopolize medals. We might not have a dominant person like the United, States, Canada, Brazil, and South Korea, but isn't Japan's average power enough to rank in the top three?"
'It's starting again.'
Damian frowned. He already knew based on previous experience. They were speaking with unnecessary malice.
"Maybe you want to claim that South Korea will be in third place?"
Indeed. The journalists of the right-wing media outlets wanted to create a conspiracy around South Korea.
Damian looked like someone else when he sighed. The reporters who saw him sighing at the official press conference were surprised. In the Japanese society that emphasized manners, Damian's behavior was very rude. Damian shrugged without caring.
"Even at this year's National Competition, whose rules are aimed at suppressing South Korea, you're still conscious of them? It's pitiful. Are you unable to sleep every night out of fear of South Korea?"
"What a rude person!"
The reporters were red with agitation. The same was true for the right wing Japanese watching the press conference broadcast. The Internet was filled with posts condemning Damian. But Damian wasn't conscious of it at all. He was a person with strong beliefs. He wasn't afraid of irrational evaluations.
"Perhaps the most interesting party of your question is how I evaluate Grid? There is always a good story when I mention Grid."
He saw through it exactly. No reported denied it.
Damian opened his mouth. "Two gold medals."
"Due to the S.A. Group, people can only participate in two events. Thus, this year's Grid can only win two gold medals."
Other players would find it hard to obtain one gold medal but Damian evaluated Grid as obtaining 'only' two gold medals. Questions poured out.
"So far, Grid has always been involved in PvP. He actually won a gold medal in it at the 1st National Competition. But in the 2nd National Competition, a barrier called Kraugel appeared and he missed the gold medal."
"This year, only a handful of people believe that Grid will beat Kraugel. But Damian, you are promising that Grid will win two gold medals?"
"In other words."
"Grid will avoid the PvP event this year?"
This was the point. Grid would avoid fighting with Kraugel. The quietly listening Damian laughed.
"There is no doubt."
"He will chase Kraugel!"
"Grid will take part in both of Kraugel's events and beat him. Maybe that is Grid's goal this year. I know that he is such a person."
Not being afraid of losing after last year! The reporters started to write the breaking news.
[Can Grid reach the sky above the sky this time?]
[Grid, aiming at Kraugel!]
And so on.
The exciting titles caused a stir overseas. Thanks to that, Grid was suffering.
"Oh, that brat Damian."
If it wasn't PvP, Grid was planning to avoid Kraugel. He wanted to reliably secure at least one gold medal. He wanted to play in the blacksmith event. However, the atmosphere meant it wasn't possible. Grid would be branded as a coward if he avoided Kraugel.
"Ah... This bastard treats his benefactor like this."
He was unhappy. As usual, Grid had many things to think about.