The ministers had died. The place where they barely built their lives had collapsed.
All the people who suffered because of their incompetent king, the Overgeared soldiers who struggled to help them, and those who died...
The evil eyes' king clenched his hands into small fists as he sat on his throne. The only thing he could do was destroy. It was impossible for him to protect others. This power was useless because it was too powerful.
"Are you the king of the evil eyes?"
The intruder asked him a question. As he approached, the smell of blood thickened. The evil eyes' king wanted to open his eyes and inflict the pain of eternity. He wanted to kill this intruder and soothe the grudge of his people. However, he remained patient. His lips were tightly closed from anger, and blood flowed from where he had bitten his lower lip.
He hadn't forgotten the Overgeared prime minister Lauel's words about how the White Dragon's Eyes were dangerous and that he should never open his eyes. The will of those who fought for them, who were forsaken by their homes... He couldn't break these things.
If he did now, he wouldn't be able to face the souls of the Overgeared soldiers who had sacrificed themselves for him. He had to live.
"Not even resisting," the intruder said in a ridiculing manner. He approached, grabbed the king's collar, and pulled him off the throne. An incompetent person who couldn't protect or get revenge for his people didn't deserve to sit here. At this moment...
"Let go of that hand!" Someone appeared and shouted. The evil eyes' king remembered the owner of this voice. He recalled the first time he encountered it in his life. It belonged to a man who had exchanged glances with the king and laughed without being exterminated.
He had come to help. Why did Grid want to be entangled with a useless person like the king? Regret preceded gratitude. Grid had chosen the wrong person. This was the moment when the evil eyes' king was crushed by guilt.
"100,000 Army Massacre Sword!"
A mighty energy flew over the evil eyes' king. The evil eyes' king bled from the blow and woke up.
'H-He is trying to kill me.'
Grid didn't come to help...? The evil eyes' king was shocked by the terrible pain. Then grandmaster released the band around the demon king's eyes. The red and blue eyes of the evil eyes' king appeared in the world. His gaze was facing the White Dragon's Eyes. The evil eyes' king had a gut feeling that...
He would die. The red flames that burned everything would burn his body to ashes, and the chill that froze even the flames would break his soul.
'I'm sorry. The sacrifices of your people have been wasted,' the evil eyes' king apologized as he faced his death. It was an apology for the Overgeared soldiers who had died.
"Wear this!" Then Grid appeared using Mass Teleport and covered the king's eyes with glasses. The magic power that rose from the eyes of the evil eyes' king felt like a lie.
"Ah...!" Behind the sunglasses, the eyes of the evil eyes' king were shaken. He saw a world that wasn't destroyed. This was the first time the evil eyes' king had seen the ordinary landscapes of life since he was born.
"This... Why is this...?"
He was a person who wasn't allowed to see. As such, the joy that this solitary being, who had been cut off from the world, felt after facing the world for the first time was incredibly huge. The evil eyes' king forgot the terrible reality and gazed at the marble pillars with trembling eyes.
He saw a boy wearing a crown. It was the king of the evil eyes himself.
"Ah... Ahh..." The evil eyes' king touched his face. The boy on the marble confirmed that he was himself. Then he raised his head and looked around. He examined every corner of the world like a dragon who had just hatched.
Grid said, "Let's get out of here. The bigger world is awaiting you."
"Grid..." The evil eyes' king turned toward Grid. Grid was smiling as brightly as the day they first met.
His big hand seemed to be saying, 'Your loneliness is at an end.'
"I... I can't do anything."
The evil eyes' king was incompetent. Was he worthy of holding Grid's hand? Consequently, the evil eyes' king hesitated. Yet Grid grabbed the king's small hands that were like a child's.
"Can't you do many things in the future? Now, let's go. Everyone is waiting. Your people and my soldiers are hoping that you are safe."
"They... are alive..."
He was glad, really glad. The evil eyes' king gave strength to the hand that Grid was holding. Then Grid glanced at Sticks who nodded because he had already chanted the spell for Mass Teleport.
The spell was activated. Grid, Sticks, the evil eyes' king, and the grandmaster—all four people were transferred out of the castle.
Why was there four?
"W-Why is he here?" Grid pointed to the grandmaster.
Meanwhile, Sticks looked like he had seen a ghost. "I didn't bring him out. He just rode along with the spell."
"What? This is possible?"
"It is impossible."
"Then what is with the current situation?"
"That's right. Very interesting."
Grid was bewildered while Sticks was feeling inquisitive. As the two of them were making a fuss, the evil eyes' king was looking at the crowd gathered at the gate. People could be seen. They were just as beautiful as he had imagined thousands and tens of thousands of times.
The Overgeared members and soldiers moved into action. Grid's group surrounded the uninvited guest and pointed swords and spears at him. The grandmaster stood silently despite being surrounded by thousands of soldiers.
Grid threatened him, "You should go back. Hasn't the plan already failed?"
The grandmaster nodded. "Certainly. It's a failure."
The grandmaster's aim was the death of the evil eyes' king. The problem could be solved cleanly by inducing the self-destruction of the evil eyes' king with the White Dragon's Eyes that King Valhalla had handed over. However, it failed when Grid appeared.
"How did you get the Ether Diamonds that a high-ranking demon is guarding? Hmm, it seems I was scammed by Sima Qian."
Simo Qian of the east—as the subordinate of the Valhalla King, he had given many demands to the empire in exchange for the White Dragon's Eyes and the empire had agreed to most of them. It was because the value of the White Dragon's Eyes was too great.
Now, the value of the White Dragon's Eyes had fallen due to the Ether Glasses. At the very least, it couldn't be used to destroy the evil eyes' king. In other words, the empire had been pushovers.
"It can't be helped. I have to withdraw." The grandmaster gave up surprisingly easily. He moved back toward Goldhit and the Black Knight who were waiting for him.
Jishuka came to Grid's side and told him, "Kill him."
She was aware of the dangers of the grandmaster and fully expected that he would one day be their greatest enemy. This was an opportunity. If the grandmaster's offensive power was neutralized due to the truce agreement, shouldn't they use the numerical advantage and pour attacks toward him? The militant Jishuka thought so, but Grid thought differently. "We will just be wiped out."
Goldhit would cast several wide-range spells, and the Overgeared soldiers would be swept away. There was no guarantee that the skill Magic Contemplation of Duke of Wisdom would activate, and there was also a cooldown problem. No, the biggest problem was the strength of the grandmaster.
In the empire, there was Bain who was the emperor's shadow and his most powerful force, Goldhit who symbolized the ultimate magician and was the master of the Tower of Eternity, Kyle who was the genius that received the favor of the emperor, and finally, the Armored Cavalryman Chensler.
Unlike the above four people, the grandmaster Zikfrector had a low reputation among the Five Pillars. That was natural. He had no heroic achievements. There was nothing on the surface, so his reputation was smaller. However, Grid had a vague grasp of the grandmaster's reality.
'The empire's strongest!'
Mercedes had mentioned that the other four pillars were afraid of or respected the grandmaster. He was a critical figure that Chairman Lim Cheolho had advised Grid to be careful of. Additionally, the Hero King system classified the grandmaster as a 'power that transcended the time', not a 'powerhouse of the era.' Grid perceived the threat of the grandmaster to be no less than Garam. At this point, Grid couldn't fight him and win.
'I must become stronger quickly.'
There were too many mountains to transcend. Still, all these mountains could be surpassed eventually. He was convinced after seeing Kraguel's huge growth in just one year. The potential of a player was limitless.
'I have to become stronger,' Grid once again pledged before turning his gaze to the evil eyes' king. Thanks to the Ether Glasses, the king could see the faces of the people one by one. He held his beloved wife and son in his arms. It was a sight that warmed the heart... if only the Ether Glasses hadn't cracked.
"Eh? W-Wait! Hey! Close your eyes! Quickly!"
Feeling frightened, Grid ran to the evil eyes' king and handed him a helmet. It was a helmet with Ether Glasses.
"I'm now in Reinhardt, the capital of the Overgeared Kingdom!"
There was a boom in the number of blacksmiths flowing into the Overgeared Kingdom. There were more people gathered than usual, and reporters from various broadcasting stations competed for coverage. It was due to an unfamiliar group of demonkin visiting the Overgeared Kingdom—the evil eyes species.
"I heard they are demonkin, but they look cute."
"Yes, I imagined them as terrible hybrids."
"I think of them as dolls walking around."
"By the way, why are they wearing glasses?"
1,000 evil eyes were walking behind the 10 meritorious retainers. The proud chibi-like demonkin captivated the attention of the people. Grid and the evil eyes' king were at the head of the procession. Before them was the scenery of a big city drenched in golden sunshine. The evil eyes' king admired the magnificent and beautiful appearance. "It is really wonderful... The sky, the sun, the city... Everything is grander and more beautiful than I ever imagined."
Grid laughed. "Get used to it. How long will you admire the scenery that you will see every day?"
"...It's like a dream."
Then the evil eyes' king stopped walking. Grid was also forced to stop, and the entire procession paused. Everyone on the streets stared at the evil eyes' king. The reporters around the world focused on the evil eyes' king.
"Thank you. Really... Thank you."
As everyone watched, the evil eyes' king bowed deeply to Grid. The same was true for the rest of the evil eyes' people. A few evil eyes lost their balance when their big heads tilted, but this wasn't seen.
"Our evil eyes will repay your grace for the rest of our lives." The evil eyes' king fell to his knees. Grid was at a loss and tried to pull him up, but the king refused Grid's touch. "I will serve you. Grid, please accept us."
It was a natural step. The evil eyes were a race living in a village. It wasn't proper to establish an exchange between them and the Overgeared Kingdom. Moreover, since they had lost their home and become dependent on the Overgeared Kingdom, it was predictable for them to come under the Overgeared Kingdom.
However, Grid didn't expect this declaration to be in a place with so many people watching. After all, the demonkin perceived humans as a subspecies. Since the evil eyes' pride was as great as the vampires', their current actions were unconventional.
"You have uprooted our cursed fate. You saved me when I was sitting absentmindedly on my throne in despair while my soul became as cold as ice. You washed away the red blood that saddened the dark flames white ice castle. Grid, I will be loyal to you. This is my new fate and the 'way' that the evil eyes' people will walk eternally. I will rise from the seat of being an unqualified king and stand at your feet."
Something unbelievable had happened. The tens of thousands of people present were silent for a moment. It was so silent that they couldn't even hear a small breath. Lauel covered one side of his face with a hand and muttered, "Ahh, this is a scene where time has stopped."
In any case, articles were released:
[Grid has become king of the demonkin]
[Once again, Grid has achieved a feat that's a first for a player!]
[How far will the power of the Overgeared Kingdom rise?]
[(Column) Let's learn about the evil eyes]
[Pope Damian reveals that he wants to be a companion of the evil eyes...]
(The Walt Disney Company, the world's best maker of animated films, wants to make a movie with the evil eyes as the main characters. Is there a guarantee for the Overgeared King?]
Grid had gotten his hands on a valuable power. Of course, it had only been possible due to the sacrifice and activities of his colleagues. Moreover, it wasn't just the evil eyes that Grid had obtained. An encounter with a small dragon was waiting for Grid.