Grid was intimidated by Maru. Maru’s stats might be worse than Garam’s, but his technical level was higher.
So Grid felt a pressure comparable to the first time he met Garam.
He admired Old Sword Demon lasting 10 minutes against Maru, but simultaneously, he felt frustrated.
‘It will be hard if I’m caught by him even once.’
If it wasn’t for the resurrection of the red phoenix, Maru would’ve been stronger than Garam. There would be no chance of winning then. Grid had consumed so many skills in his previous fights that there was a high probability of losing even if his health was 100%.
Due to the land that was fluctuating like waves, Grid struggled to regain his balance. The harsh storm interfered with his senses, but he barely escaped by relying on his transcendent status. He ignored the thunderbolts that fell toward his body and quickly raised his concentration.
‘It is best to borrow Mercedes’ power to increase the chances of winning.’
The fraudulent nature of Keen Insight had already been proven. It was the power to contemplate the target’s thoughts and actions, forcing fate. Its absolute power had been fatal against Garam.
‘If Keen Insight is implanted in my body, I’ll be able to avoid the attacks while striking at Maru’s weaknesses.’
First, Grid had to take the initiative. He had to deal as much damage as possible and buy time for Old Sword Demon and the high rankers to recover. This was the first step. Grid was planning for a long battle, only to become startled. Maru, who had been standing in the distance, bent his knees and narrowed the distance in an instant.
‘A long fight is bull**!’
Grid seemed to be falling behind right now.
[You have suffered 190 damage.]
[You have suffered 257 damage.]
[You have suffered 231 damage.]
[You have suffered 305...]
The closer that Maru got, the more the ground shook.
The storm became so intense that it was hard for Grid to regain his senses despite relying on his transcendence.
The number of thunderbolts falling on his body increased rapidly, and the overlapping damage became a burden.
This was it. It was the real prestige of the yangbans. Grid faced Maru, who used three breaths to improve his stats, and felt that the fierce battles against Garam where he had suffered were passing by like a lantern. Feeling nervous, Grid hurriedly attempted to use Request to Stand With Me. It was at this time that...
[You have assimilated with the breath of the White Tiger and entered the Earth God state.]
...a skill, which occurred with a very low probability when stepping on the ground, was triggered in a timely manner. This was a timing that could only be interpreted as the help of the good luck stat.
[Three skills are activated.]
Grid had already become accustomed to the use of Earth God. He used a skill even before the notification window gave the explanation.
[Earth’s Embrace has been triggered.]
[All targets in a radius of 10 meters will be petrified for 10 seconds.
The petrified target will be immune to all damage.]
Earth's Embrace—it was a skill with a warm name that didn’t match its terrifying effects.
It seemed that the white tiger originally used this skill to protect humanity.
Grid glanced at Maru’s fist that had stopped in front of him in a mocking manner and used his skills sequentially. Following Blacksmith’s Rage and Quick Movements, he combined two swords together to gain the maximum attack power. Then his plan changed. “Request to Stand With Me.”
[The power of Duke of Virtue is requesting help from your knight, ‘Piaro.’]
[Piaro is happy to respond to your request.]
[The Free Farming Style ultimate technique, ‘Pounding Mortar,’ is activated.]
[The sword energy resource will be temporarily changed to pure energy.]
[If the resource consumed when using a skill is sword energy, it will be replaced by the consumption of pure energy.]
[If using a skill that consumes pure energy, the attack power of the skill will increase by 20% and the hit rate will decrease by 30%.]
The reason why Grid changed his plan was simple. The petrification meant Maru would be unprepared and would allow the next attack. It was much more efficient to launch an ultimate blow than to engage in a long battle with Keen Insight.
[Just as a mortar grinds the grain, the mortar made of pure energy will smash the target.
Inflicts 6,200% attack power to a single target, and there is a probability of ignoring the target’s defense.
It will ignore a minimum of 30% and a maximum of 80%.
Inflicts half the damage to enemies around the target, and there will be a probability of ignoring their defense.
Ignores a minimum of 10% and a maximum of 60%.
★ There will be a three-stage hit if a critical hit occurs.
Resources Consumed: 1,000 pure energy.
Skill Cooldown Time: 1 hour.]
‘A three-stage hit’
It meant the 6200% damage stacked three times. It was the moment when it was revealed why Piaro relied on Pounding Mortar instead of Fated to Perish during every important moment. The attack coefficient of Fated to Perish was higher than Pounding Mortar due to its nature of instant death, but Piaro liked to use Pounding Mortar even if the target wasn’t immune to instant death. There was only one reason for that. It was because the maximum damage of Pounding Mortar went beyond that of Fated to Perish.
‘He created such a powerful technique by himself...’
This was indeed Piaro. Compared to the legends of the previous generation, Piaro had yet to fully mature, but he would one day surely be reborn as the strongest existence comparable to Braham or the Undefeated King. It would happen alongside Mercedes.
Then an unexpected notification window popped up in the vision of the unsuspecting Grid.
[The Matchless Heart Technique that you have learned has improved the power of the Free Farming Style.]
The rare swordsmanship, Supreme Swordsmanship, had been handed down from generation to generation through Piaro’s family, and Piaro had created his Free Farming Style based on it. Meanwhile, Biban’s swordsmanship and his Matchless Heart Technique cut off one wing of the stone dragon Gujel.
A chill went down Grid’s spine as he synthesized the information. ‘Is the Supreme Swordsmanship passed down in Piaro’s family derived from Biban’s swordsmanship’
There was a theory that Supreme Swordsmanship originated from the East Continent, but it was just a theory.
It could even be a rumor.
Biban’s Matchless Sword might have originated in the East Continent.
[The effect of the Matchless Heart Technique has increased the attack power of Pounding Mortar by 1200%, and the effect of ignoring defense is strengthened.
Resource consumption is halved.]
The intensity of the pure energy launched by Grid was much greater than Piaro’s pure energy. It was enough to scatter the storm in the area and completely penetrate the sky, making it look impure in Maru’s eyes. He believed it was a blasphemy to damage the sky, which was Hanul himself.
What is this guy...’
Maru had noticed it from the moment the cry of the white tiger was heard from a distant place. The human in front of him was able to perfectly reproduce some of the power of the white tiger. He seemed to reproduce a power that Maru was only capable of reproducing by borrowing the power of the black tortoise.
Maru wondered if it was pure talent or a blessing.
In fact, Grid actually recreated it using items.
‘This guy has reached a level similar to Mir with his human body...’
Comparing Grid to Mir was too great of an exaggeration. Mir was able to reproduce the power of all Four Auspicious Beasts one by one, but he was the most talented one among the yangbans. He was so perfect that rumors circulated he was the most perfect yangban Hanul had created.
Despite the lack of faith, he had set foot into the realm of a god.
Humans weren’t comparable to him. However, at this moment, a human was showing a greatness reminiscent of Mir.
‘This is ridiculous!’ Maru wanted to deny it. He couldn’t admit that he was inferior to a human. It felt like he would forever move away from being a god if he acknowledged it. ‘Will I be beaten’
Maru controlled the Black Tortoise’s Breath. The energy of destruction rose from him. It was designed to destroy the stone that caused his body to stiffen.
The petrification around his joints started to loosen. Then it happened the moment that Maru felt joy.
The turtle standing among the humans emitted a red glow. The energy of destruction that Maru operated disappeared like it was a lie, and the petrification that was about to be eliminated became powerful again.
‘The black tortoise!’
Was the ego of a god interfering with him
“Yooou!” The screams recurring in his head finally emerged from his mouth. The war of nerves with the black tortoise was meaningless because the petrification was naturally removed. Fortunately, the duration was short...
A chill went down Maru’s spine. Once the senses of his petrified body were revived, it was possible for him to measure the total amount of energy falling from the sky.
It was an attack with enormous power reminiscent of the War God. Maru reflexively chose to evade. He didn’t even think of confronting that huge power head-on. However, he couldn’t take a single step. It was because Grid coordinated the time at which Pounding Mortar hit the ground to match when the petrification was released.
The arms Maru raised above his head were crushed. Unable to bear the weight, his waist twisted, and his knees were bent. Maru started bleeding all over and tried to endure with gritted teeth, but he was soon crushed by the mortar and buried deep in the ground.
Pounding Mortar still wasn’t over. The ground was crushed again by a larger weight. It was the aftermath of the three-stage hit created by the critical hit.
[The effect of the title ‘Death in One Shot!’ has been activated, adding 40% critical damage!]
[The target has received 35,690,650 damage!]
[The target has received 38,820,100 damage!]
[The target has received 37,705,244 damage!]
[The target’s arms, shoulders, back, and legs have been fractured!]
Was it the aftermath of the shock The land shook in all directions, and the high rankers got motion sickness. Meanwhile, Grid avoided the waves by floating in the air and saw traces of the disaster that the mortar had created. He saw a deep crater. The area was small compared to the craters caused by Braham’s meteorites, but it was twice as deep. There was a dot in the middle of the crater.
The identity of the dot was Maru who was coughing up blood. His arms and legs were angled at bizarre angles, and his shattered chest caused his breathing to be rough. A Garam-level yangban was incapacitated with a single blow.
To be honest, Grid had goosebumps. Grid’s Greatsword increased the critical hit rate, while Death in One Shot! increased the critical hit damage.
Additionally, there was the increase in attack power from Item Combination and the Matchless Heart Technique...
With all of them combined, Grid’s Pounding Mortar was made far superior to Piaro’s. There was even the interconnection with Earth God, so the hit rate was guaranteed to be close to 100%.
It would be hard for a god to avoid it, let alone a yangban.
‘No, a god can resist the petrification of Earth God.’
In any case...
‘This is my ultimate technique now...’
Grid was overwhelmed when he accurately measured his growth. It might be necessary to meet the harsh preconditions, but once all conditions were met, he could send a yangban to death in one shot. It was a huge difference compared to when he first arrived in the East Continent.
Even so, Grid wasn’t satisfied. It was impossible for it to be seen as a perfect force when it was a strength that relied on luck. However, the high rankers watching Grid didn’t know what was going on. All the high rankers, including Bondre and Bubat, fully accepted Grid’s power that destroyed the yangban and felt fear beyond admiration.
Meanwhile, Old Sword Demon was showing his lost hope. ‘Grid...
Perhaps if you go to Kaya...’
Step. Grid descended to the ground. He pointed his sword at Maru, who was trying to raise his trembling body. Maru was smiling despite death being around the corner. “I am like this because of a human...
It is more absurd and funnier than any comedy I’ve seen.”
“Don’t be too depressed.
Accept your punishment as you are reminded of those you have deceived and sacrificed.
“Punish... Kukuk, kuhahahat!”
There was nothing to be gained from talking to this type of guy. Grid made this judgment based on several of his past experiences and was silent.
Then it happened the moment he was about to cut off Maru’s head prior to Item Combination ending.
“Punishment is something that a god gives to humanity.
That’s how it is.”
Heat rose from Maru’s body. Grid’s senses noticed that the breaths of the Four Auspicious Beasts in Maru’s body were running wild. Maru stared at the bewildered Grid and made a sound with his mouth. Then Maru’s body exploded with enough power to fill the huge crater, and Grid was swept away.
“Grid!” Bubat’s and Bondre’s faces paled, and they immediately ran forward. Bondre suppressed the heat caused by the explosion with cold air while Bubat ran through the smoke to find Grid.
They fought together only for Grid to die alone... Bondre didn’t want to be in debt to Grid and couldn’t accept this. Then while Bondre was chasing after Bubat in the smoke, he heard Grid’s voice.
“What” Grid emerged, looking completely fine. He stood up with Bubat’s help and was holding a cloth in his hand that had been seen once before.
“It is once again the power of items...
Damn bastard.” Bondre couldn’t hide his joy. At least for today, Grid was a colleague and friend, so Bondre welcomed his safe return with a smile. Bubat and the other rankers were the same. Just then, a blue light rose from the peak of Mount Baekmi in the distance.
The rankers were puzzled, but Grid had an accurate grasp of the situation.
‘Hwang Gildong has resurrected the black tortoise.’
This was as expected. Currently, it was raining. It was a clear rain that gave the protection of the black tortoise to all things in the north. This was the same phenomenon as when the red phoenix was resurrected. By the way...
“Why are you still here” Grid asked the black tortoise who looked like a turtle.
The black tortoise replied awkwardly, 『Due to the involvement of the strange human, we are resurrected in a state where our egos are divided.
We are two now.』
[The content of the ★Hidden Quest★ Protect the Black Tortoise has changed.]