"A glass of beer."
Red Deer, Canada. It was a small town in southern Alberta. In this small city with 80,000 residents, the black-haired foreigner was conspicuous. But today was an exception. Due to the live broadcast of Battlefield, the streets were quiet and most people were focused on the TV.
Thanks to this, the black-haired man was able to sit in the seat without receiving any attention. His white skin, small lips, less developed brow bone, and ebony hair showed that he was a man with Asian blood in him. The eyes behind dark sunglasses were also black.
His name was Ray and he had a Korean father and a Canadian mother. His ID in Satisfy was Faker. Of course, people didn't know his identity.
"You never take off your sunglasses. It has been a while since you've come. Jennifer often asks about you."
A middle-aged man running the shabby pub alone handed him a beer. Was it because he didn't want to indulge in useless chatter or because of his original reticent nature?
Faker nodded silently and drank a mouthful of beer. Like the other guests, his gaze was on the TV.
"Oh, Grid's movements are fantastic.
"But Chris is a level above him."
"Hahaha! Chris is Canada's pride for a reason."
"Have strength Chris! Forget that Grid is your king for the moment!"
The customers were enthusiastic. They praised Grid's skills in protecting the stairs alone and were excited by Chris' skills, which overwhelmed him. On TV, Grid was continuing to read the scriptures. However, he was being overwhelmed. There was too big a difference with Chris' skills.
'But Grid is doing well enough. If he puts in a bit more effort to protect his health, he will be able to hold on.'
This was Faker's impression.
'If it was last year's Grid, he wouldn't have been able to face Chris in Battlefield.'
It was a bright growth rate. And the root of this growth wasn't talent, but effort.
Faker wasn't aware of it himself but he had a habit of smiling every time he observed Grid. If Grid found out Faker had such a good impression of him, he would be moved to tears. A normal class user who was strong enough to beat sun-grade powerhouses. Faker was above a sun and Grid was one of his targets.
"What's Chris doing all of a sudden?"
At this point, Faker's glass of beer was half empty. The development of Battlefield changed rapidly. Grid, who was being one-sidedly pushed by Chris, starting pushing back as if he had awakened. As Chris was on the defensive, Grid caught the other rankers in the confusion. The enemies turned to grey one by one.
Faker's gaze was fixed on a woman. Her name was Yura, one of the rankers allied with Chris. A South Korean representative.
'Her movements are limiting Chris' actions.'
Faker's saw her actions accurately. In fact, Yura was interfering with Chris. She blocked his path every time Chris tried to respond to Grid's attack. Of course, it wasn't blatant. The movements were very fine. There were few people in the world who would see that she was bothering Chris. Even the people in Battlefield couldn't read her intentions. Only Chris probably noticed her interference.
"Young Master is in a crisis... Yura's heart is for Grid."
Faker heard an old man's voice as he was concentrating on the TV. Faker turned his head and was surprised. The old gentleman had neatly brushed white hair. Zirkan. He was once the first ranked swordsman. But at some point, he devoted all his energy into raising Chris. He was Chris' mentor, a captain in the Giant Guild, and now a solid power in the Overgeared Kingdom.
"You... Why didn't you go to Japan with Chris?"
Faker wasn't surprised to see that Zirkan had found out his position. He knew what a big influence Chris' family had in Canada. It was easy for Zirkan to find out when he was a steward of Chris' family.
"It isn't easy to travel long distances at this age. Isn't it better for me to rest at home than to be a burden?" Zirkan laughed and sat across from Faker. The old man laid down his cane and tapped his knees. But Faker could see the solid muscular body beneath the coat. "Grid is blessed. He has the love of so many beauties. I would be jealous if I was 10 years younger."
Zirkan didn't have any hard feelings about Yura interfering with Chris. Yura was also a valuable colleague in the Overgeared Guild and above all, he liked her feelings towards Grid. It was from his years of experience.
"Love is good. Really good." Zirkan neatly folded his coat and gave an order to the owner. "A glass of Coke over here please."
"Yes, I understand."
The owner was very kind to Zirkan. It wasn't just because he was an elderly person. It was a pleasure to know that this young man had a friend.
"He's a good person."
'That's why I have been going to this store for a few years.' Faker swallowed back the words he wanted to say to Zirkan. It was better not to advertise this place.
"Please understand why I am only drinking Coke. My body is getting old and can't handle the alcohol properly. That's why I'm trying to stay away from alcohol."
Zirkan spoke shamelessly. Faker bluntly asked him, "Then why did you come here from Toronto?"
"I thought you would be lonely."
The words were unexpected. What was this old man saying? Zirkan smiled benignly at the rarely embarrassed Faker.
"You have more talent than anyone else and are more passionate than anyone else. Like Chris and Grid, you can also play in the sun. You would surely win medals."
"But you're forced to stay in the shade because of your position. That's why you can't participate in the National Competition this year."
"Your blood will be boiling."
That's right. Zirkan saw through it exactly. Faker felt a desire to act in the National Competition. He wanted to compete with Grid and the other talented people in front of the public. He wanted to publicize his existence to the world. However, Faker was a person who could control himself.
"This boiling blood is easily settled. I know that much. Even if I don't participate, the public is already aware of me. This is sufficient."
"...Excellent." Zirkan was happy. "You're much better than the me last year. Was I like this at your age?"
The reason why Zirkan was focused on Chris' education was because Zirkan was old. Once he determined that international activities were difficult, he decided to concentrate on his role as Chris' steward and teacher. But he soon regretted it.
Zirkan liked the game more than he expected. He enjoyed standing in front of the public. He regretted it and realized that his retirement was too soon. When he failed to compete in the National Competition last year because of his rusty skills, his stress was very great. That's why he came to Faker. Zirkan wanted to heal Faker, who would feel a similar grievance to him. However, he was mistaken. Faker was already well-centred.
'At a young age, your heart is mature without being overburdened by your talent... Is it the blood of your grandfather?"
Decades ago, when South Korea was still called a powerhouse in e-sports, there were many legendary gamers in South Korea and as a young man, Zirkan was fascinated with them. One of them was Faker's grandfather. The information wasn't officially disclosed, but Zirkan could see it when he first met Faker. Faker was the spitting image of his grandfather.
"...This talent might've been inherited from your grandfather."
Faker's gaze returned to the TV as he answered. Grid was rampaging.
"I have learned about hard work from Grid."
It wasn't a lie. Faker was originally a diligent person full of tenacity, but he was reasonable. No matter what, he didn't do anything that violated common sense. There was a limit. But Faker changed as he met Grid and watched Grid's changes. Now there was no limit to his efforts. That's why he could grow enough to defeat a sun-grade powerhouse.
"There's no greed to be in the sun as long as there is Grid. I will let Grid be the king in the sun while I will be king of the shadows."
"...Even your spirits are similar." Zirkan's eyes were blurred with memories as he called out to the pub owner. "A glass of beer over here please. I will have a drink. It's rare to get a chance to drink with a legendary bloodline."
"God Grid! God Grid!"
"Yura! Yura! Yura!"
The airport staff rushed to the Korean representatives after the immigration process. They requested for the representatives to wait while they extended the security.
'I knew there would be a lot of fans waiting.'
Peak Sword saw the crowd and clicked his tongue.
'It's beyond imagination.'
It wasn't thousands, but tens of thousands. Over 10,000 people gathered here to meet Grid and Yura. They were even Japanese. Peak Sword felt very proud.
'Koreans are truly great! We have a small population, but we're steadily becoming a global giant!'
He didn't intend to denounce foreigners. He just 'objectively' saw Koreans as superior to foreigners.
Peak Sword felt proud as a member of the Korean Patriotic Association. He nodded with satisfaction.
"Player Grid, there are evaluations that you control skills have improved dramatically in one year. Can I ask about the secret to your improvement?"
"I did well from the beginning. It was just buried by my items."
"The Overgeared Kingdom is the first of the West Continent countries to establish an alliance with the empire. As a result, it's speculated that the composition of the continent will greatly change. Now that you have the strong backing of the empire, what will happen to the Overgeared Kingdom?"
"It isn't an alliance with the empire. We just signed a temporary truce agreement. It isn't right to describe the empire as being behind me."
"Is there anything you like about Japanese culture? For example, manga."
"Hey... Hum hum, hum! I like baseball videos."
"Baseball videos? Do you mean recorded videos of the Japanese Baseball League?"
"Ah, yes. That's correct. Baseball is a representative sport of Japan... No, it's significant in developed countries. I have great interest in it."
"As a Japanese person, I am happy and proud that you like Japanese baseball. If you don't mind, can I ask what team your cheer for?"
"Es O di?"
"Huh? There isn't a team like that?"
"Too bad... No, I was confused for a moment because of all the questions at once. I like and cheer on every team."
"You encourage everyone while cheering on a particular team? You are very considerate. As expected from the leader of a kingdom."
"Excuse me. I have a question. What is your favorite food?"
"I like wraps."
"You mean the popular style of wrapping beef or pork in lettuce?"
"Isn't it eaten with canned tuna?"
"I don't eat meat with vegetables... The taste of the most expensive meat with the taste of vegetables is a bit..."
They were specific questions for Grid. In the past, he would've refused most interviews because he was uncomfortable or annoyed. But now he was well aware of his position. He never forgot that he represented a kingdom and answered all questions faithfully.
【 Lettuce, canned tuna, and hot pepper paste are temporarily out of stock. Sorry. We hope to secure more quantities quickly. Thank you. 】
Such signs were attached to various marts and convenience stores in Japan. It was the moment when a new Korean dish (?) was spread to Japan. This was the ripple effect of a huge star.