[You have suffered catastrophic damage!]
[The body that has become a living dead has been severely damaged.]
[The blood of the victims trapped in your body is flowing backward, causing your body to collapse.]
There were three penalties that a player who changed race to an undead type would experience—their agility was significantly reduced, some skills were sealed, and the effects of recovery magic were reversed. However, the black horse jiangshi didnt have the reduced agility and skills sealing penalties.
This was why the combat power of the black horse jiangshi was overwhelming. The flying horse jiangshi were regarded as legends but the black horse jiangshi was actually the strongest. However, it wasnt universal. The black horse jiangshi had frightening side effects.
The cost of death was huge. This was because he lost a considerable amount of the blood of 300 people he was injected with during the 33 day ceremony. The amount of experience lost when a black horse jiangshi died was nearly double that of a typical player and it took as long as two days to revive. It was rare for him to die but this time, he met a bad opponent.
“Grid! Gridddd!” Veradin roared. He gave up his human dignity in the spirit of revenge on Grid but he suffered a great loss in reverse, rather than getting revenge. He was so furious that he felt like crying.
Grid didnt even look at him. The sense of alienation that Veradin felt was indescribable.
‘To him, Im nothing.
There was a rush of futility. In the world that turned grey, Veradin pressed the log out button. It was his final logout—Veradin didnt want to return to Satisfy again.
Grid broke through Veradin and the jiangshi and met the daoist. The daoists name was Sabaek.
 He wore a black robe and hat and his face was painted white.
He looked like a messenger of the underworld.
“Are you the daoist who turned that trash into a jiangshi”
Im also the one who created the mark you have.”
What was the mark he had Grid cocked his head to the side in a puzzled manner before recalling an item. He only had one mark.
[Mark of Evolution]
A functional marker developed by the alchemy facility.
If this mark is attached to your body, one of your strength, agility, stamina, or intelligence stats will increase by 200.
User Restriction: Level 200 or higher.
The Mark of Evolution was one of the reasons why Grid became obsessed with the alchemy facility. If he hadnt encountered this mark then Grid mightve stopped investing in Reidans alchemy facility.
“Did you make this” Grid felt a strong distrust. It was puzzling that the daoist, who was associated with Veradin, would suddenly talk about the Mark of Evolution.
“I know that the mark was made by an alchemy facility in the Hwan Kingdom.”
The Hwan Kingdom was a kingdom of the Five Seniors and the yangbans. Humans werent permitted to visit. The Cho king had clearly said so.
Sabaek questioned the suspicious Grid, “Do you see the yangbans as great men who will study and hone alchemy”
“...!” Grid noticed his mistake. He was reminded of the scene where Garam mocked Pagmas sword dances and blacksmithing.
It is clear that the yangbans would think of alchemy as insignificant.
However, they had high-quality technology. This meant they borrowed the power of humans. There was a high possibility that the daoists argument was correct.
Grid pointed a blade at Sabaeks neck. “Last time, the blue tiger told me that the wicked daoists are the minions of the Hwan Kingdom.”
Jiangshi were undead that could only be manufactured at the expense of people. It meant the daoists who made them were wicked daoists. The blue tiger said that 10 years ago, a wicked daoist scattered garlic and mugwort around the area of Bukdu Mountain to deceive the spiritual creatures.
“I was told that spirits who ascend will become subordinates to the society of gods and are forced to become minions of the Five Seniors.
The reason you sprinkled mugwort and garlic around Bukdu Mountain is to eventually turn all spirits into the minions of the Five Seniors.”
“The reason you create confusion is for the yangbans.
Every time they calm down the confusion you have created, their faith will build up.”
Grid was certain and cornered Sabaek. Grid recognized Sabaek as an assassin sent from the Hwan Kingdom. However, Sabaek responded in an unexpected manner, “Your reasoning is very simplistic.
I was looking forward to meeting you since you revived an old god but Im disappointed.”
“It is true that those who belong to the society of the gods cant disobey the will of a god.
It is just that the concept of a god doesnt only mean the Five Seniors.
The red phoenix you have resurrected this time is also a god.”
“The resurrection of the red phoenix gave a choice to those who ascended.
Im sure the daoist immortals of the Peach Blossom Spring are currently considering if they should stand on the side of the Five Seniors or the red phoenix.
In addition, most of the spirits who become daoist immortals will be on the side of the red phoenix.
It makes sense for sacred creatures to follow the Four Gods.”
“Are you trying to make the intelligent creatures ascend to empower the Four Gods who will be resurrected one day” Braham stepped up on behalf of Grid who didnt understand. As he approached, he stood by Grid and observed Sabaek with an interested gaze. “There are transcendents in the east.”
A chill went down Grids spine. If Sabaek was a transcendent then the problem was serious. Grid couldnt detect Sabaeks status. This meant that Sabaeks status was above Grids. A smile spread on Sabaeks face.
He seemed pleased that there was someone he could converse with. “My name is Sabaek.
To the world, I am known as the boss of the evil daoists.”
I am a magician who serves Grid here.”
“...Overgeared King Grid.”
Grid was discontent as he was forced to introduce himself. It was because there were many parts that were unconvincing.
“There is still something I need to ask.
Why sacrifice people to make the jiangshi”
“Human power alone cant stand against the Hwan Kingdom so I am gathering an army of immortals.
It is for the peace of the world.”
“Can you seriously consider the peace of the world when damage is being done to civilians”
“It cant be helped.
Most of the daoists who follow me are actually wicked.
They make jiangshi and enjoy hurting people.
I cant control them.”
“I cant openly say that I want to rebel against the Hwan Kingdom.
None of the daoists who follow me know my reality and purpose.
I am forced to match them on the surface.”
“It is a necessary evil.
In order to gather the strong, I need the cooperation of the wicked daoists.
In order to gather the wicked daoists, I need to disguise myself as one...
well, there is no need for anger.
Once peace is restored to the world in the future, I will make the wicked daoists pay the price for their sins.”
The short conversation allowed Grid to notice it—Sabaek was similar to Pagma.
“Are you on your way to meet the sacred creatures Please let me accompany you as well.
I have to persuade them to let all the intelligent creatures ascend.” Sabaek politely requested. He told them that he had struggled for the world longer than anyone else and noticed a world that was wrong before anyone else.
“I dont want to.”
Sabaeks expression stiffened and his smiling eyes cooled. Grid flinched back somewhat but he didnt avoid eye contact. “Your justice is wrong.
Your way is wrong.
I dont intend to cooperate with you.”
“Haha...” Sabaek burst out laughing. He shook his head with a ridiculing expression. “My justice is wrong I am wrong Were my ears mistaken just now”
Grids heart thumped. His transcendent senses warned him of danger. Grid reflexively prepared for battle but Braham stepped forward and stared at Sabaek. “What will you do if you are offended”
“......” Sabaek shut his mouth. He took a step back like he had been living a lie. “I will back down today.
Think about it until we meet again.
It would be good for you if you work with me.”
Sabaeks body disappeared like he vanished into the ground. Braham stood still for a moment as he tracked Sabaek.
Then he looked back at Grid. “Relax your expression.
He was already a transcendent when you were normal.”
The second pope Chreshler was also a transcendent. Sabaek might be better compared to Chreshler. Chreshler was a strange pervert while Sabaek was pursuing peace for the world. The problem was that Sabaeks method was wrong.
‘Peace built up using peoples misery isnt true peace. Pagma had already proved it. Grid recalled Pagma, who felt regret in his last moments, and urged Braham, “Hurry.”
Grid used Shunpo while Braham teleported. They leapt through space again and again and soon arrived at the community of toothless tigers.
Zibal proved the great power of the magic machines in last years National Competition and was one of the strong candidates to win this years PvP. Many viewers were looking forward to Zibals participation in PvP. Surprisingly, ZIbal was absent from PvP. It was because Kraugel had vowed to join PvP.
‘Going to an event where Kraugel will win the gold medal will just be in vain.
Zibal was a master among masters. He had already witnessed the explosive potential of Sword Saint Kraugel several times. Kraugel had the potential to someday catch up with Grid. It was Zibals decision not to compete against Kraugel, even if he had the magic machine.
This year, Zibal would be really serious.
‘I will give up my pride in this years National Competition and win for the United States.
There was no Grid in this years National Competition. If the United States didnt win then the face of his people would be lost. He had to win. Therefore...
『 The American player Zibal is entering! 』
This year, Zibal participated in the target processing event. High rankers from Canada and China, as well as Yura of South Korea, were the strong candidates. Zibal planned to eliminate the variables.
‘If I win a gold medal here, it will deal a big blow to the other powers.
Zibal looked at Yura, who was in a duo with a player whose ranking was below 1,000.
She wasnt competing together with Jishuka, who had naturalized to South Korea this year. “What is South Korea thinking”
“Target processing is an event that can maximize the strengths of both you and Jishuka.
If the two of you were to be sent out as a duo, South Korea would be more likely to win a gold medal.
Why did they only send you”
If Yura and Jishuka competed together in the same event then he wouldve been wary. However, he wasnt nervous of a South Korea without Grid. It was sad that they lost their possibility of winning just because they wanted to spread out their talents.
The sound of bells announced the start of the event.
try and win a silver medal,” Zibal encouraged Yura as he boarded Raiders.
“Fire,” Zibal commanded.
The eight guns installed on Raiders upper body and the six on its lower body opened fire at the same time, firing missiles at the targets floating in the sky. He imagined himself winning the gold medal while achieving the best record in the target processing history. However, he witnessed the explosion of dozens of missiles before they reached the target.
Zibal was shocked for a while because he couldnt understand the situation.
Then he looked at the situation around him through Raiders eyes. All the projectiles fired by the hundreds of players were exploding in the air, just like the missiles Raiders fired. Hundreds of projectiles were scattered to ashes before they reached their targets.
“This is ridiculous!”
A blackened world—thousands of bullets emerged from the black hole rising under the Hell Moon and destroyed all the targets and projectiles in the area.
Zibals gaze shot toward Yuras position. She was still standing at the starting point. She stood in place and inserted her guns muzzle into the black hole she had summoned, continuously shooting. It was utilizing the Hell Leap skill that wowed Kraugel last year to the absolute limits.
『 South Koreas representative, Yura, has destroyed all targets! 』
『 The record is 23 seconds...! It is the fastest record ever! 』
Zibal closed his mouth. He vowed that in the future, he wouldnt only be humble to Grid and Kraugel, but also to Yura.
 Can mean 400/eldest brother/master poet