"Sigh." Grid was able to breathe once he escaped from Titan. He utilized the stealth function of the Hooded Zip-up to avoid the magic power detectors and lively soldiers. Was it because his control skills had risen? No, his senses were a bit sharper now.
Grid could still see a small fraction of the huge exterior walls of Titan. The sky above it was completely gray. The gathering of heavy clouds foretold rain and thunder would arrive after a while.
'What great demon is he?'
Hell Gao, Furfur, Drasion, Morax, Astaroth—this was the list of great demons sealed by Sword Saint Muller, the greatest legend in history. Gyuratan was certainly one of them.
'He isn't Hell Gao.'
Hell Gao was the owner of hellfire and had descended on an unspecified cycle in the body of a low-grade demonkin. It wasn't in the empire but on Cork Island.
'He isn't Drasion.'
According to the information that Grid gained from Kraugel in the past, he already guessed that Kraugel had raided Drasion. If it had been in the middle of the empire, a few witnesses would've seen Kraugel raiding him.
'Of course, it isn't Furfur.'
After recalling that Agnus had used Furfu's power, Grid reduced the possibilities of Gyuratan's identity to Morax or Astaroth. Among them, Astaroth probably had the power of lightning and it was likely he was related to the thunder stone, but Grid didn't know about Morax. (TL: I think I previously translated thunder stone as ure stone. It will now be changed to thunder stone.)
'Mercedes must be safe.'
He knew her well. It wasn't likely that she would be easily caught by pure force. The weakened great demon was so low in power that it couldn't compare with the complete great demon.
'I think that guy called Gyuratan is very cunning.' Grid recalled the great demon and shook his head. 'But it isn't a problem for me to worry about.'
This was a matter within the empire. He had no choice but to hope that Mercedes overcame the crisis. The moment that Grid turned his back to Titan...
Grid was approached by a suspicious figure in a hat and forsythicolored robes. Thanks to his high insight stat, Grid became alert. "You know me? Who are you?"
The person took off their hat. Then the color of the name was revealed, showing he was an NPC. "I am Raji, a magician of the Tower of Eternity. The owner of the tower, Goldhit, is looking forward to your visit. I hope Your Majesty will respond to the invitation."
'The Tower of Eternity?'
Grid could use the Magic Missile and Magic Detection which had been given to him by Braham. Additionally, he had the potential to learn Fireball if he increased his intelligence. However, he wasn't a magician. He had never heard of the Tower of Eternity.
'What is the Tower of Eternity?' Grid's kneejerk reaction was to ask this, but he judged that it wouldn't be good to expose his lack of knowledge to a stranger. In such a situation, he relied on Lauel.
-Yes, Your Majesty, a reply came as soon as Grid sent a whisper. It seemed that Lauel had been waiting since Grid infiltrated the empire alone.
-What is the Tower of Eternity?
-A magic tower belonging to the Saharan Empire. It is rumored that the emperor relies on the Tower of Eternity as well as the Tower of the Sun. The master of the tower, Goldhit, is one of the ten great magicians on the continent.
'Isn't this huge?' Grid was startled.
-Then why do they want to see me?
-Huh? Have you been discovered in the empire? Are you currently in danger?
-No. I quietly handled my work and left Titan. Then a magician was waiting for me. He knew my identity and invited me.
What? They came to invite Grid instead of arresting him?
-Invite... no, maybe not. Lauel's voice was excited. -It is true that the magicians of the Tower of Eternity are part of the empire's forces, but that is only a story for wartime. Usually, the Tower of Eternity is an institution that is secluded from the world and is unlikely to be involved in the empire's political situation.
-Then it is a pure invitation?
-Yes. Please accept the invitation. The Tower of Eternity is famous as a place to give hidden quests. There are many magicians lining up to be invited to the Tower of Eternity.
There was a reason for Lauel's excitement. The giddy Grid was about to respond to Raji's invitation straight away only to stop. There was a part that was suspicious.
-By the way. The magician called Goldhit knows that I am a king yet they didn't invite me in person. Instead, they sent their man? Isn't it polite to come personally?
This wasn't a sensitive reaction but a common sense one. It was clear that the person named Goldhit was making fun of the Overgeared Kingdom. With his status, Grid couldn't just overlook it.
Lauel explained, -Goldhit isn't an opponent to discuss manners with. The masters of the Tower of Eternity and the Tower of the Sun are the magicians of the king. Goldhit would be over 120 years old this year. They have been the strongest magician for more than a century. If Emperor Juander wants to see Goldhit, he has to come to the Tower of Eternity.
'A person who can make the emperor move directly?'
Grid's expectations gradually grew. Why would the master of a tower famous for giving hidden quests want to meet Grid?
'Will I get a huge hidden quest?'
In the end...
"I understand. I will accept the invitation." Grid nodded to the waiting magician, Raji.
The 80th floor of the Tower of Eternity...
There was only one person who could climb to the top of the tower, which was so high that all of Titan could be seen at a glance. Goldhit was a great magician who boasted unique strength among the 10 great magicians. People said that if she pursued power, she would be a person of authority right now.
In fact, many people believed that she could've built a huge magical nation comparable to the Saharan Empire. Goldhit was that great of a figure. However, she had little influence on Satisfy's present worldview because she secluded herself from the world. Unless they were high-level magicians, normal players would never see the name 'Goldhit.'
"I wasn't fully trained in Teacher Braham's enhancement magic."
Braham's fourth disciple was a genius. It was said that there were no magicians more talented than her on the entire continent. However, that was a story among ordinary people. Her talent was mere dust before Braham's talent, and she couldn't follow her mentor's teachings.
Goldhit was resentful that she was his student. She became aware of the existence of enhancement magic, but she was frustrated because she couldn't receive the important magical theory. Just a little...
If she could really understand the theory behind enhancement magic, she could strengthen her talent and awaken as a legend. For Goldhit who had spent many years grumbling about reality, Grid's appearance was like a ray of light. Goldhit didn't know how excited she became when Grid assimilated with Braham's soul and learned the enhancement magic. Now, finally...
"The opportunity has come." Goldhit looked at Grid in the crystal sphere and smiled. "Magic Detection."
The master-level detection wrapped around the Tower of Eternity. Simultaneously, all of Goldhit's nerves were focused on feeling Grid's mana.
"Come on, show me Braham's reinforcement magic. Yohohoho..."
After Grid was guided by Raji to the Tower of Eternity, he spotted an extra large stone at the top of the tower. It was a transparent stone containing a huge thunderbolt. This made it seem like an enlarged thunder stone was decorating the top of the tower.
'I don't know what it means. In the first place, how did the thunder stone get that big?'
Grid was feeling doubtful when he heard Raji's voice, "You have to go up alone from the 10th floor to the 20th floor. It is a field to test whether you deserve to be a guest of the tower and is part of the tower's history. I hope that Your Majesty isn't offended."
Inviting a guest only to test them? Grid felt somewhat uncomfortable, but it was difficult to say anything if it was a tradition of the tower. Then he quickly noticed, 'This test should be a quest.'
As such, his expectations rose further. Grid followed Raji and reached the 10th floor of the tower. Raji then politely said goodbye and withdrew. "Good luck."
[A quest has been created.]
[The Tower of Eternity]
[★ Hidden Quest ★
The Tower of Eternity is the tallest tower in history. Not just anyone can access it.
Your mind will gain enlightenment every time you climb a floor that contains the essence of knowledge and wisdom.
Quest Clear Conditions: Break through the gateways to climb the tower. Currently, you can break through up to the 20th floor.
Quest Clear Compensation: Every time you climb a floor in the tower, your intelligence will permanently increase by 2.
Quest Failure: Return to the 10th floor.]
"Amazing!" Grid was forced to cheer.
Every time he climbed a tower floor, he would permanently get 2 intelligence stats. The reward was beyond imagination.
'It is intelligence.'
If Grid were an ordinary blacksmith, it would be a rather useless reward.
However, Grid was Pagma's Descendant and Braham's disciple. His skills consumed a lot of mana and he had the potential to acquire all of Braham's enhancement magic. As such, the intelligence stat was important to him. It was true that his priorities were strength and stamina, but it was a bit tricky that a fixed number of stat points were forcibly invested in intelligence every time he leveled up. How happy was he to get a chance to raise his intelligence stat?
'I can go up to the 20th floor, so this is 20 intelligence points?'
The excited Grid opened the firmly closed door on the 10th floor. There was a circular arena inside. Unlike what he could see from the outside, the inside of the 10th floor was very large. It was bigger than the training grounds which could fit hundreds of the Overgeared soldiers.
[The Tower of Eternity's Guardian has appeared!]
The guardian's identity was a golem. The enemy who had just appeared seemed to make the entire tower shake as it instantly struck at Grid. It was very big. However, due to the golem's very slow nature, Grid wasn't burdened. He avoided the golem's attack and swung the Enlightenment Sword.
It was a powerful blow! The gray golem's thick waist was hit with the Enlightenment Sword. However...
[You have dealt 1 damage to the target.]
"Full physical resistance?"
The golem was fine. It ignored Grid's consecutive attacks like they were mosquitoes flying about and just waved its arms.
The golem's arms hit the ground instead of Grid, but this alone was a threat to him. The massive weight behind the attack caused Grid's balance to collapse. Goldhit smiled as she watched Grid's crisis through the crystal ball.
'The tower's guardians can only be handled with magic. In the end, you will have to use magic. Come on. Use the sweet enhancement magic and let me get a glimpse of the glory.'
The moment that Goldhit was becoming desperate...
Inside the crystal ball, many flames flared up in succession and swallowed up the guardian. This was the power of the 'fire emission' attached to the Enlightenment Sword. The flames dealt 5,000 fire damage to the target.
"...????" Goldhit was stunned.