"The richest person in the world is stingy." Yerim, who had become more bewitching as the years passed, clung to Youngwoo's forearm and looked at him with shiny, teary eyes that captured a person's soul. "Didn't he come to celebrate Oppa's birthday? Why did he just leave without giving Oppa a gift?"
"No, I got a great gift." Youngwoo patted Yerim's head in a familiar manner. No matter the type of offensive she took toward him, Youngwoo only recognized her a sister. This was natural as Yerim was Sehee's best friend after all!
"A great gift?"
When would this person see her as a woman? Yerim sulked when she saw that Youngwoo wasn't shaken no matter how close she was to him. As she wondered when the seal on her would be released, Youngwoo gave her a meaningful smile and said, "Yes. It is a gift that is too big to be valued."
He wasn't exaggerating.
[The blacksmith god is closely related to the class quest of Pagma's Descendant.]
Chairman Lim Cheolho's hint was more precious than gold. If Grid's affinity with the blacksmith god fell to -10, he would receive a curse. The thought of this curse made Youngwoo feel uneasy and placed great restrictions on his behavior. However, he could now feel expectant rather than afraid.
'Will an event occur when I receive the curse?' Youngwoo's heart beat faster in anticipation. He wanted to access the game quickly. His family members and friends noticed this.
"Don't you have an hour and a half left of connection time? We can have the birthday party after that."
"Sehee..." Youngwoo was touched. Where in the world could you find a sister who would know and give consideration for her brother's Satisfy access time? He hugged Sehee firmly before heading straight to the capsule.
In the midst of the calm morning forest, a quiet wind blew through the leaves. Mercedes was sitting alone on a large rock. She closed her eyes and recreated the battle with the giant cave cricket in her mind.
She was convinced that she would've been able to withstand the cave cricket's barrage if she had a sturdy shield. Mercedes judged that a shield would be more efficient than double swords when dealing with enemies stronger than herself.
'The swordsmanship of my family isn't that good.'
Mercedes used double swords because her swordsmanship was based on the Vaintz swordsmanship. She had always believed that the sword techniques she learned since childhood were the most suitable for her. However, she realized she was mistaken after becoming a legend. The Vaintz swordsmanship might be useful for killing many enemies but it exposed too many gaps to strong enemies. This was a clear limitation of the Vaintz swordsmanship.
In fact, hadn't she ultimately relied on the Supreme Swordsmanship during the Astaroth raid?
'So, there is no reason to be obsessed with the double swords.'
King Grid had known this from the beginning, which was why he had said he would make her armor and a shield.
"..." While Mercedes was thinking about her new armor, she suddenly opened her eyes. Her keen insight pierced deep into the forest, and she could feel the presence of thousands. They couldn't just be the elves coming back with companions from the village. Some of these presences were clearly human. Moreover…
'The elves have lost the strength of the elementals.'
It was unusual. This was just shortly after the giant cave cricket raid. Grid had left to go 'rest' while Piaro finished pruning and then returned to the vampire cities. As such, Mercedes was currently alone in this place. "..."
Her task was to wait until Grid finished his rest and came back. She thought for a moment before climbing up a tree and hiding her body. It wasn't comparable to how an assassin would have done it, but it was still a sufficiently stealthy act. Soon after...
"Why are you trying to call the elementals? Don't be silly and just walk quickly."
A procession of humans and elves appeared. Thousands of elves were tied up together in a line, while hundreds of humans mocked as they watched over them.
'What...?' Mercedes was confused. Hadn't Beniyaru said that her 'friend' had arrived in the village and that she would come back after meeting her friends? Then what was this situation? Mercedes gritted her teeth. She had a vague idea of what Beniyaru and the elves had been through. The elves had lost the light in their eyes, and the wounds on their slender bodies incited Mercedes' anger.
However, she thought inwardly, 'I'm not qualified to be angry.'
Mercedes' heart cooled down as she thought this.
After all, who was she? She was a knight of the empire who had invaded countless nations and destroyed numerous immigrants. Of course, she hadn't done those things because of her own will as a person but because of the emperor's commands. Although she might not have enslaved them or mocked them, she had still taken their lives.
'...I was also like them.'
She didn't deserve to criticize them. As Mercedes realized this, she closed her eyes, wanting to turn off this horrible sight. In the first place, she was in a position where she had to ignore it. She didn't have the right to act freely and save the elves without Grid's command. So, Mercedes sat on the branch and clenched her fists.
However, someone on the ground sensed her presence.
"Hrmm." It was Knight. He was someone who had won a small PvP tournament in Russia.
Knight had even beat Alexander, who was known to be the strongest player in Russia so far. However, his identity was close to obscure at the moment as there was a high level of awareness of him only in Russia. This was because Knight was a person who didn't want to be influential.
Still, his skills were undoubtedly excellent. This was the reason why Merchant King Kir had squeezed out a lot of money to hire him. Discovering that Knight had stopped his horse, Kir approached him. "What is it?"
Knight thought for a moment before shaking his head. "It isn't a big deal."
Of course, that was a lie. His passive skill, Death God's Sixth Sense, told him that the presence he sensed from the top of the tree was classified as the 'highest risk.' Fortunately, she didn't seem to have the will to fight. It would be nice if they didn't encounter each other and just passed by.
Knight judged this would be the best situation and rushed Kir. "Don't we have to arrive at the nearby temple before the duration of the Yatan Essence finishes? We should hurry."
"Ah, yes." Kir listened to Knight's opinion and sped up the speed of the march. He whipped the elves' backs and urged them to walk faster. A few players acted like they were having fun as the sound of whips rang through the forest constantly.
Beniyaru ground her teeth together. Why had she believed in humans? Her foolishness had once again placed the elves in a great crisis. She wanted to bite her tongue and die. However, she couldn't die. Beniyaru pledged that she would survive and someday save all the people who suffered today because of her. She had to persevere through this shame and pain.
Kir noticed her mindset. "That is a good expression. No matter where you are, try as hard as you can. I look forward to the moment when your will is broken. Kukukuk."
"Dirty human!" Beniyaru's anger reached its peak. She lost her temper and made another attempt to gather her mana and call the elementals. However, it was just an act of giving pain to herself. "Kuaaack!"
The Yatan Essence had penetrated deep into her body, burning Beniyaru's mana and blood. Beniyaru's eyes turned white, and she struggled with the terrible pain. Kir's eyes became like crescent moons as he watched her spew out blood from every orifice in her body.
"Money is truly the best. The more expensive the goods, the better they are. Isn't that right?"
For the sake of this day, Kir had traded with the Yatan Servants and spent as much as 40 million gold, which was around 48 billion won. Why did he pour so much money into a game? Ordinary people couldn't understand Kir's behavior. However, this expenditure was an obvious investment from Kir's point of view. It was also a successful investment.
Kir thought that 40 million gold was a cheap price for obtaining a whole species.
'Once sold into slavery, the elves I captured today will earn me more than 40 million gold.'
However, the real profit that Kir gained from this incident wasn't the elf slaves. It was the right to the world tree. If he continued collecting and selling the fruit, branches, leaves, and bark of the world tree, Kir estimated that his income would be equal to that of a country.
'Father, are you watching? Your son was able to grow brilliantly, unlike you who met a miserable and humiliating end.'
He would live differently from his father. There was only one step left in the oath Kir made at the miserable funeral.
"Sigh." Kir took a deep breath. He stepped forward to hasten the speed of the march when he saw something. A pale red pillar of light was formed right before his eyes. It was the effect that occurred when a player logged in.
Had someone else discovered the forest of the world tree? Kir's group was confused, but they weren't very wary. After all, they knew that the stupid elves had removed the ward to welcome them. That's right. The forest was now a place where any dogs could enter. It was no longer a place that only special people could visit. Moreover, there was only one opponent, so there was no reason to be vigilant.
"Let's go." Kir's group planned to ignore the player who had just logged in. However, they couldn't ignore the person.
It was because the person who logged in was a huge player. This wasn't an illusion, this was real.
"What is this situation?" Grid faced the thousands of people as soon as he logged in. His eyes gradually narrowed as his confusion grew because he was witnessing thousands of elves being captured by unidentified players.
Kir hurriedly approached on his horse to shake Grid's hand. "Are you Grid? It is an honor to meet you. I am the 1st ranked merchant, Kir."
As usual, Kir displayed a smile that made people feel good. However, Grid didn't respond to Kir's handshake. Grid was reminded of the 3rd ranked Muto's words as he looked at the elves and opened his mouth, "Beniyaru, can you hear me?"
"Grid?" Kir stood in front of Grid to block his view because Grid's eyebrows twitched when he looked at the elves. "Aren't you busy?"
Grid showed him an indifferent attitude! Kir's eyebrows twitched, but he made an effort to maintain his smile. "Your attitude isn't very good. You are the king of a nation and one of the top players. Don't you know the basic manners?"
"Hah." Grid was no longer a fool and became aware of the situation. He knew clearly the terrible treatment that the thousands of wounded female elves would receive in the future. As such, Grid's expression hardened.
Then Kir said to him, "Isn't this frankly none of your business? I think it would be good if we just pass each other by."
Kir was also a ranker who was called the best. His sense of rivalry toward Grid was much greater than he had expected, and he unknowingly spat out those provocative words. Grid asked, "Good for each other? Isn't it only good for you?"
As he scoffed at Kir, Grid scouted the elves with his high insight.
"..." He soon discovered the wounded Beniyaru. Grid suppressed his boiling anger and asked, "Can I help you?"
"...Why...?" All types of things were implied with that question. Grid stared at the shaky Beniyaru and gave her his first gentle smile since their initial meeting. "I have received a lot of help from the high elf called Sticks. I want to help you to repay him."
"Do you think I will let you act as you like?" Kir smiled and raised his killing intent. It was a signal.
"Look at this dirty jerk! Do you think you are so great just because you won once against Kraugel?"
"Why are you interfering with others in the first place?"
Kir's colleagues cried out and pulled out their weapons. Grid was still staring at Beniyaru as he waited for an answer.
"..." Beniyaru's eyes shook. In her despair, she had just made a promise not to trust another human. Now she wasn't convinced that she could once again believe in a human. However, Grid had pulled out the name Sticks. Furthermore, Grid hadn't hurt her in the past despite having the opportunity to do so. In the end...
"...Help us," Beniyaru begged. "Please! Help us!"
Her eager cries struck Grid in the heart. "Yes. I will act as the apostle of justice."
A fist quickly hit them...? The faces of the Kir's Company members distorted as they were hit by Unbreakable Justice.