Mercedes left the great hall after receiving the emperor's command.
"Your Majesty! Are you okay?" The other Five Pillars, apart from Bain and Goldhit who were guarding the emperor and the indisposed Kyle, came running belatedly.
They were Grandmaster Zikfrector and Armored Cavalryman Chensler. Zikfrector looked at the traces of the battle, while Chensler examined the emperor's body. "Are you hurt?"
"I'm fine," the emperor gave a brief answer, but he didn't rebuke Zikfrector and Chensler for not coming sooner. In the first place, they had been outside the imperial palace. This was actually a fast arrival time.
"You must've destroyed the thunder stone," Zikfrector opened his mouth as he realized Astaroth's death. "It looks like an overwhelming battle... The fact that you can overcome the situation meant there was an extra variable?"
Goldhit nodded. "That's right. I was able to overcome the crisis by ordering my disciples to destroy the thunder stone."
Clearly, Goldhit didn't intend to announce that it was Grid who destroyed the thunder stone. She had already lost the thunder stone, so she planned to gain benefits from it. After all, she hadn't done anything during the Astaroth raid. However, Zikfrector was cynical. "You gave up the thunder stone? That's a funny joke."
Zikfrector knew Goldhit's desires, so he was convinced that Goldhit would never destroy the thunder stone herself. Goldhit's face reddened. "Do you doubt my words?"
"Don't get too agitated." Zikfrector didn't pay anymore attention to Goldhit. After all, he was the pinnacle of the Five Pillars. From his point of view, the magician king was trivial compared to the new legend.
"Your Majesty." Zikfrector stood before the emperor and saw through everything, making it hard to believe that he had just arrived at the scene. "Was Mercedes the one who dealt the final blow to Astaroth?"
"If she isn't here, does this mean that Your Majesty sent her away for some reason?"
"...Grandmaster has seen it correctly."
"I won't ask anymore. There's just one thing," Zikfrector even dared to speak in such a casual manner to the emperor. It was estimated that he had lived longer than Goldhit despite having the appearance of a young man. Zikfrector told the emperor, "You might respect her work, but don't give her any spoils of the battle. You need it."
"If you're embarrassed, I will go and get it from her."
"No, I will give the order." The emperor listened to Zikfrector, wrote a short order, and delivered it to a soldier.
"I will forever keep the loyalty I have learned from you."
There were dozens of knights gathered at Mercedes' mansion. They were in the garden saying farewell to Mercedes. On the other hand, Mercedes was indifferent. "Why are you gathering to send me off when the palace is in disarray from all types of disasters? Even now, people are in misery."
"...It's the last time. Please let us say a final farewell."
"We will return to the front lines as soon as we confirm your departure."
"You aren't kids," Mercedes scolded them even at the end. However, a smile was spreading across her face. She was secretly happy about being able to share a final farewell with the colleagues she had been with for 12 years.
"I respect and love you."
"Blessings for you and the heroes of the past."
One step, another step...
As Mercedes moved through the garden toward the gate, the speed of her footsteps was slower than usual. There were tears in the eyes of the knights as they saw her off with their swords.
'Sir Dia, Sir Lorex, and the other knights who passed on... Are you watching us from heaven?'
The Red Knights had the highest regards for Mercedes, the noble knight. There were many people who wanted to leave with her. However, their master was the emperor. They had learned from Mercedes that knights must be loyal to their master until the end.
It was a solemn atmosphere. In the garden, Mercedes faced a young soldier.
"This is an imperial command," the soldier said. Then he read out the imperial letter, "Mercedes, I wish you luck."
"Is that the end?"
"Yes, that's right. Dear Captain Mercedes, I also wish you good luck." The eyes of the young soldier were shining like a star as they stared at Mercedes.
"Thank you, Mr. Soldier. I wish you luck," Mercedes responded with a smile that was more beautiful than the stars.
[Storm Demonic Energy Field- Weakened State (3)]
[-Summons a lightning storm with a radius of 200 meters.
-Field Effect 1-
A maximum of 11 lightning strikes will occur at least four times per second. The struck target will suffer 10,000 fixed damage, resulting in paralysis, stuns, burns, and other status conditions.
* Lightning bolts will fall randomly. In addition, the lightning bolt won't distinguish between enemies and friends. It will be a threat to all except for the caster.
-Field Effect 2-
Strong winds will lighten the user's body. Under the effect of the strong winds, the user's movement speed will increase by 20%. On the other hand, everyone apart from the user will be unable to cope with the pressure of the strong wind and movement speed will drop by 20%.
-Field Effect 3-
The heavy winds will interrupt the visibility of all targets except the user, reducing the accuracy rate by 10%.
-Field Effect 4-
The sound of thunder in the ears will cause confusion. The skill and casting speed of everyone except the user is reduced by 10%.
-Field Effect 5-
Sealed due to the weakening. Will be opened in Weakened State (2).
-Field Effect 6-
Sealed due to the weakening. Will be opened in Weakened State (1).
-Field Effect 7-
Sealed due to the weakening. Will be opened when released from a weakened state.
Resources consumed when field is activated: 1,000 mana per second.
The time it takes to summon the field: 30 seconds.
* Activated immediately in places where the weather is already cloudy.
Skill Cooldown Time: 20 minutes.]
Field magic was one of the symbols of a boss monster. The field that the boss summoned created enormous pressure by strengthening the boss, weakening the players, or exerting aggression. This powerful force was now obtained by one player—Grid. It was more appropriate to say it was crazy than to say it was great. This was almost a collapse of the balance!
'However, the mana consumption is very large.'
It was a magic that exerted all types of influence over a 200-meter radius. He couldn't think of it as a waste of mana. Grid thought that if he used this field magic in conjunction with Blackening, it would be like giving himself wings. This was despite its weakened state.
'What are the other sealed effects?'
It almost made up for missing the rare talent called Mercedes. This was the excitement of a game. Unlike reality where trying hard gave a reasonable reward, the world of games gave huge rewards as a player moved through new quests, raised their level, and overcame trials. Who wouldn't love games?
Grid smiled as he comforted his past self, 'Shin Youngwoo, the game isn't a refuge for you. It's hope.'
Thanks to the power he gained today, many things could be achieved in the future. Grid formed a fist and called out to Noe, "Let's really go back now."
It was good. He had accomplished his purpose and got more than he had expected. This was enough to appease the regret of having to give up Mercedes. Grid led the children along with Noe. If Grid were alone, he would be able to fly to Reinhardt in one month. However, it was impossible with dozens of young children. Their movement speed was as slow as a turtle's.
'What should I do with these children?'
Should he leave them at a village? But would these children be welcomed? Wouldn't these innocent children, who were victims without knowing the reason, suffer new pains? Grid was more concerned for the children than for how long it would take to return to the Overgeared Kingdom.
'It might be better to summon a knight.'
Euphemina could use Mass Teleport and take all the children with her at once. Grid was about to make a decision when he heard Noe's excited voice in his ears.
"That is a flower, nyong."
"That is a mountain, nyong."
"That is the sky, nyong."
"Nyahahat! The best demonic beast of hell Noe is your teacher, nyang!"
The children had been trapped in the magic tower for as long as they could remember, while Noe had spent a lot of time in the pet inventory. Now the children's faces were full of happiness as they received freedom and saw the picturesque scenery. In the end...
'Let's walk a bit more.'
Grid didn't want to ruin the atmosphere and summoned Randy and the Overgeared Skeletons instead.
Clack! Clack clack!
"Hello. I am Randy."
Hell's best demonic beast, the strongest doppelganger, two skeletons, little children who didn't know anything, and the 'strongest player'—this unusual party crossed the river and passed through the forest. Anyone who saw them would feel it was absurd. Additionally, the party...
"You! Give me your money! Keok!"
It was incredibly powerful. In the process of walking, Grid destroyed more than 10 groups of bandits and at least 1,000 monsters, giving a good amount of experience to the Overgeared Skeletons. However, a crisis soon arrived for everybody. People who always won were rare in this world.
"Dammit! Why is the medusa here?"
They encountered a field boss monster as soon as they entered the Lamia Forest. It was a boss with a level in the low 300's—a weak field boss that Grid could hunt alone. The problem was the children. They could die just by having their gazes meet the medusa's eyes. Grid encouraged the medusa to focus on him, but the children didn't cooperate.
The bizarre appearance of the medusa's snake hair was horrifying to the children who didn't know the world. The children screamed, and the medusa' eyes turned straight toward them.
Were these children's lives were going to end after only a short life of suffering? Grid felt desperate.
A number of arrows flew from the side and successively pierced the medusa's head. It was done with an archery skill reminiscent of Jishuka. Grid's and the medusa's gazes headed in the direction of the arrows. They saw a knight. Armed with old leather armor instead of red armor, she put away the bow and pulled out an axe.
The medusa was hit in the neck with the thrown axe and the knight rushed toward it. Two swords flashed in a fast and powerful manner. The medusa's heart was pierced, and its head was separated from its body. Then the medusa turned to grey.
"Wandering knight Mercedes greets the Overgeared King."
The two people were reunited.