The branches, which were longer than humans, were as threatening as sharp blades, while the lush and overgrown foliage interfered with one's vision. The giant trees eagerly reached for the sky. Was there anyone who wouldn't feel reverence when standing before this scene? They would feel so overwhelmed that they couldn't breathe.
However, Piaro was a legend. Nature was familiar to him as he immersed himself in the fields. The clean air and nature stirred up his mind and body.
"I'll clean you up!!" Piaro yelled as he moved like a flying squirrel between the trees. Every time Belial's sickle moved through the air, the branches of the giant trees fell to the ground. It took less than 10 minutes for a giant tree to be trimmed neatly.
Grid's expectations were met. The legendary farmer had a high understanding of plants as a whole, giving him spectacular pruning skills. His hands gave life to the trees.
[Your subordinate, Piaro, has completed the pruning. (1/2,000)]
Ttang! Ttang! Grid started hammering a metal plate on top of the hole in the portable furnace. It was a move that was more reminiscent of a drunk soldier dancing.
In the case of quests that required hunting a certain number of monsters, those killed by his party members who accepted the quest and his pets would also count. So, Grid had thought about it. Why did he need to do the pruning himself? Couldn't he get his pets or subordinates to clear the quest for him?
His idea was reasonable and actually came true. Thanks to the legendary farmer, Grid was able to proceed with the pruning quest much faster than if he did it on his own.
"I didn't realize there could be a human who is so close to nature and understands nature better than us."
"Look at how he has become one with nature. He is a few times better than our elves. If I was going to have a baby, I would like to have that man's children."
It seemed there had come a day when the noble elves would fall in love with a mere human. The female elves now realized why the species called half-elves existed. Their eyes were wet as they watched Piaro prune a tree. Mercedes felt a strange pride. 'This is the attraction of a true hero that transcends even species. Piaro is truly amazing.'
He was indeed the person she admired. Mercedes dipped a finger into the honey and licked it. She seemed to be the most leisurely one out of Grid's group. During a time when she should be protecting her king, she was actually eating honey? Anyone who didn't know the situation would misunderstand Mercedes if they saw this scene. However, Mercedes had her own troubles.
'I have to eat sparingly.'
The Media Mountain honey—this expensive honey that Grid was reluctant to eat was extremely fragrant and sweet compared to the premium honey Mercedes had tasted previously. It was so fresh that she could keep eating without getting tired of it. This honey was so delicious that the legendary knight Mercedes felt a desire to eat it indefinitely. Yes, it was hard to resist the honey which had a demon-like temptation.
She wanted to eat it all at once! Mercedes looked more beautiful than usual as she barely suppressed this intense desire, taking a little bit of honey with her fingertips and bringing it to her tongue. Grid stared at her blankly while hammering and realized, 'Why haven't I seen a bear-wolf yet?'
It had been 20 minutes since Mercedes first started eating the honey. 100ml of honey cost a huge 50 gold. It meant that 60,000 won was wasted on the uselessly expensive honey.
'Am I going to waste money in vain?'
Ttang! Ttang! Grid kept hammering as his nervousness reached the peak.
"Hah... Hah... Y-Your Majesty. It is difficult to endure any longer." The look in Mercedes' eyes changed. She started breathing hard, and more and more honey began to cover her fingers.
[Mercedes has entered the 'intoxicated' state.]
It couldn't be resisted even with a legend's passive resistance. This was the terrifying power of expensive honey!
"N-No...! My money...!" Grid screamed as 60,000 won worth of honey was about to enter Mercedes' stomach at once.
Did his desperate cry reach the heavens?
Finally, a bear-wolf that Grid had been waiting for so long showed up.
[The bear-wolf is enticed by the sweet scent!]
[The atrocious cry incites fear in all those who hear it!]
[You have resisted.]
[The cry of an atrocious beast has filled the ears of those scattered throughout the forest. If you can't hunt the bear-wolf within five minutes, a new bear-wolf will pop up! Be careful! The bear-wolves have excellent collective hunting ability and will become stronger as their numbers increase!]
"Hah!" A smile appeared on Grid's face as he sighed with relief. As soon as an enemy appeared, Mercedes recovered from the intoxicated state. She licked the honey on her hand without swallowing all of it and pulled out a shield with her other hand. The bear-wolf leaped with a wolf's nimble body and struck Mercedes with a big paw that was reminiscent of a bear. Mercedes blocked it with a shield and took two steps back.
Grid, Mercedes, and Piaro, who was pruning the trees, were all surprised.
'Isn't this strength equivalent to an ogre's?'
At this point, it was difficult to classify the bear-wolf as a normal monster. If Grid couldn't hunt the bear-wolf within five minutes, a new bear-wolf would pop up. Grid had been glad about being able to save the honey by hunting the bear-wolves slowly, but now it wasn't a positive message.
"The bear-wolves are also a threat to the elves!" Beniyaru's shout rang out. She felt a great affinity toward Piaro and was concerned about Grid's party.
It was an urgent atmosphere. Grid was a bit embarrassed as he shouted the name of the skill, "C-Can you Become the King of the Dead?"
Clack! Clack clack!
Two skeletons rose from the ground. They were Overgeared Skeletons One and Two.
The bear-wolf didn't respond to the skeletons, but the elves were different. The elves, who adored nature, disliked the undead that went against the providence of nature. As such, they aimed their bows at the Overgeared Skeletons reflexively.
"These children aren't bad undead, they are good undead," Piaro explained as he jumped down from a tree. There was no basis for his argument. Undead were undead. What was a good undead and bad undead? It wasn't logical at all. Yet the elves were persuaded to believe it. Words from those they respected were the most powerful thing in the world.
What would happen if an ugly man talked to a beautiful school junior? He could be called a molester. Then what if a handsome man was nice to the junior? They were likely to directly become a couple. It was similar to this.
"I see. They are good undead!"
"I looked again, and their appearance is really good!"
Haha, hoho! Piaro and the elves formed a cheerful atmosphere. Piaro was surrounded by a flower field, and this was a pleasant feeling for any man. Moreover, the elves had a much milder attitude than usual.
'Is he going to marry an elf?'
There had already been the precedent with Povia. Marriage between humans and elves wasn't impossible. It was good to see the affinity the elves had toward Piaro due to their common love of nature. Grid began to imagine it. If Piaro married the elves, an alliance between the elves and the Overgeared Kingdom would be born...
"No, now isn't the time to be thinking about this."
Mercedes' small shield cracked as she defended against the bear-wolf's paws. After leaving the empire, the equipment Mercedes used was terrible as they were what she had used during the days when Piaro was a captain. The level of the sword, shield, armor, boots, and gloves she used were all in the 200s. It was a level that would cause any poor man in the army to tremble.
"Kyaaak!" Randy was summoned after the Overgeared Skeletons. He fought the bear-wolf and was blown back. The good news was that the Overgeared Skeletons were still safe. The bear-wolves ignored them because their low-level attacks couldn't penetrate the bear-wolf's leather at all. It didn't care even when it was attacked by the skeletons.
In fact, the damage that the Overgeared Skeletons dealt to the bear-wolf was fixed at 1 damage. Not only did the bear-wolf's defense power exceed the attack power of the Overgeared Skeletons, the gap between their levels was overwhelmingly great.
As such, Mercedes' role became even more important. It would take at least 20 minutes to accumulate damage on the bear-wolf to the extent that the Overgeared Skeletons gained experience points. In the meantime, Mercedes had to steadily endure the bear-wolf's attacks as well as avoid the attacks of the new bear-wolves that appeared.
However, was that even possible? Mercedes' shield was about to break. It would be too risky for her to fight with just her swords if her shield broke. Grid couldn't let that happen and opened his inventory. The item he took out was the World Crushing Sword of the Noble White Tiger that he had designed with Sword Saint Kraugel.
The usage condition of the White Tiger Sword was that the user had to be one of the top three rankers in each class capable of using a sword-type weapon. Could Mercedes meet this condition? Of course, Grid thought she could meet it. She was a legendary knight and would naturally be judged as the top ranker of her class.
It was as he expected. Mercedes caught the sword Grid threw over to her. She blocked the bear-wolf's paw with her shield without looking, while she examined the White Tiger Sword. Then Mercedes got goosebumps. It was the aftermath of examining the White Tiger Sword with her insightful eyes. The small shield could no longer endure the impact of the bear-wolf's paw and cracked, splitting apart completely.
Kwaaaaah! The bear-wolf roared as it swung its sharp claws. However, its claws couldn't reach Mercedes' face. Instead, the White Tiger Sword struck the bear-wolf's abdomen. Simultaneously, a stone pillar rose and hit the bear-wolf's big body. The pillar was several hundred kilograms heavy and caused the bear-wolf's body to fly up five meters.
"Unbelievable...!" Mercedes was amazed by the power of the divine sword which couldn't be seen even in legends. Grid's voice entered her ears, "I congratulate you on becoming a legendary overgeared knight, Mercedes."
A product of the worst naming sense, which would've caused someone else to cry, made a stir in Mercedes' heart.
'Legendary overgeared knight...'
She was an overgeared knight of the Overgeared King. Mercedes felt a strong sense of belonging, and her loyalty to Grid increased even further. She was now a real member of the Overgeared Kingdom.