Piaro returned with the soldiers from digging potatoes and noticed that His Majesty had returned. His fighting energy soared like it was provoking the sky. Piaro could perceive the ferocious spirit that made even Mother Nature nervous.
“Mercedes must be sad.
You just embraced her only to apply for a duel.”
Piaro assimilated with the wind through Natural State and ran to the training ground.
He was happy to see Grid and Mercedes sharing a hug. Mercedes showed her love for the first time and rather than responding to her courage, Grid applied for a duel.
Mercedes must be feeling hurt. Mercedes immediately removed the faint smile she showed to Grid and faced Piaro with an expressionless face. “We never shared a hug.”
“I’ve already seen it.”
“I was just dizzy for a moment.
His Majesty supported me.”
“Hehe, it is refreshing.”
Mercedes didn’t know that her cheeks were slightly red. Piaro smiled at the rare sight of her being distracted and knelt down in front of Grid. It was a tribute to Grid, who gave the Red Knights a second life.
He was also thankful for Grid’s safe return. “This Piaro eagerly welcomes Your Majesty who has returned from your exploits that threatened the skies.”
“I heard you captured the Gauss Kingdom perfectly while I was away You’ve really worked hard.”
“This is the life Your Majesty has given me.
If you hadn’t taken me away, I wouldn’t be who I am now.
The only reason why I was able to win the war was due to Your Majesty’s grace, so Your Majesty shouldn’t praise me.”
Piaro was originally lacking in thought. No matter the position of the people around him, he just smiled and went his own way. It was rare for him to be so excited. Grid smiled when he saw that Piaro’s always wrinkled and dirt covered clothes were ironed today. “Why does it feel like your spirit is soaring into the sky Are you happy these days Is it because of your wife”
“...Hum hum, I won’t deny it.
How can I not be happy when Your Majesty made me a human again and Beniyaru gave me love” Piaro frankly replied and then activated his pure energy.
The mud stuck to the hand plow and sickle were burned away by the strong pure energy.
The hoes and sickle showed a sword-like sharpness that was intimidating.
“I, Piaro, will accept Your Majesty’s application for a duel.”
“It is good that you’re so straightforward.”
[The duel with ‘Piaro’ has started.]
[In dueling mode, no one will die even if they reach the minimum health.]
[The battle is decided the moment one side’s health reaches the minimum.]
Just as Grid had grown steadily, Piaro had also grown. In particular, his Natural State had reached a deeper stage since being taught by Braham.
“The greatest strength of Natural State is the variability of energy.”
Piaro engraved Braham’s teachings once again into his heart and entrusted his body to the wind. He closed his eyes and read the nature of the wind touching his skin.
Then he reproduced it with pure energy.
Grid and Mercedes’ eyes widened. Piaro’s pure energy, which was originally hard and sharp, changed so it was as soft as water and as flexible as the wind.
‘It is a property that can’t be broken with force.’
Mercedes looked anxiously at Grid. Piaro was entering a new phase she had never seen before. Mercedes was concerned that Grid would become frustrated.
“Ah...!” Mercedes exclaimed. It was because Grid enhanced his power and speed and was rushing straight at Piaro. She obviously thought that he would be swept away by Piaro’s pure energy, which was like the wind itself. The same was true for others.
“His Majesty is acting recklessly.”
Dante, the white-haired knight—he didn’t have Keen Insight like Mercedes but he had experience.
Based on his many years of experience, he noticed that Piaro’s pure energy contained a peak strength. He had come running after hearing a commotion while training the soldiers and thought that Grid would soon fall.
‘His Majesty will be swept away by Piaro’s pure energy and his back will touch the ground.’
Dante clenched his fists. He could feel his heart boiling.
He was overwhelmed with the desire to teach Grid, who had greater possibilities than anyone else.
There would be no regrets if he could give even a bit of help to his benefactor and new master.
On the other hand...
“Isn’t it too early for His Majesty to compete against Piaro”
Singuled arrived at the scene after following Piaro, who had suddenly run off instead of digging for potatoes.
Now he showed skepticism. He had witnessed Grid’s skills many times but thought that Grid wasn’t a match for Piaro. However, Hurent’s thoughts were different. “We’ll see.
You don’t know Grid very well.”
Singuled cocked his head. Didn’t Hurent regard Piaro almost like a god Yet he doubted Piaro’s victory Hurent shrugged as he put down the sack of rice and sat on it.
“Yes, he will be beaten by Grid.”
Just then, there was an explosion.
The first one to be surprised was Mercedes. The moment when the airflow formed by Piaro’s pure energy collided with Grid’s sword, Grid’s body should’ve been swept up in the airflow.
Instead, he unexpectedly held still in the midst of the airflow.
‘White Tiger’s Posture!’
That’s right—Grid crouched like a tiger and was rooted in the ground, similar to a giant tree. The ‘immobile’ effect of White Tiger’s Posture was supposed to be a restraint but now it was used to support the body that should’ve been swept away by the air currents.
The next one to be surprised was Dante. He didn’t miss Grid staring straight at Piaro’s sickle that was heading straight at him.
‘He didn’t avoid it’
Reading the attack in advance but not responding meant there were probably hidden intentions. It was as expected. Piaro also seemed to notice it. However, his sickle was already aiming at Grid’s brow. There was a noise like metal colliding with stone. Piaro’s wrists cramped like crazy while Grid was fine despite being struck in the forehead. He was immune because he linked White Tiger’s Posture with the Rock skill.
The last person to be surprised was Singuled. His sentiments were simple.
‘A stone head...!’
A pointed sickle. Was Grid’s skull hard enough to endure a sickle wielded by Piaro. Piaro kept wielding his sickle as Singuled clicked his tongue. He repeatedly stabbed at one spot as if to deny Grid’s hardness. Once Grid didn’t budge, he finally gave up and stepped back for a while.
‘Is he immune to blades’
Piaro tried not to frown at his pained wrists. He finally showed his true skills. The First Style of Free Farming, Sowing Seeds, unfolded splendidly. Hundreds of small, round seeds were scattered around Grid. Previously, Piaro had linked it with Polishing to explode it or it was planted in the ground.
Now he was able to grow plants without planting the seeds in the ground. It was due to entering the deepened phase of Natural State. The seeds he threw were already holding the pure energy of the earth. He could immediately sprout new buds even if he didn’t borrow the power of the land.
“Free Farming 2nd Style! Super Growth!”
Some of the hundreds of seeds in the air around Grid sprouted and enlarged. Dozens of sweet potatoes larger than an adult man released stems that tangled together and took control of the space around Grid. Piaro weaved the dozens of stems into one and started to wield it.
“Sweet Potato Battering!”
Sweet Potato Battering was one of the techniques of Free Farming and it was originally a technique that could only be used by linking Sowing Seeds, Rapid Growth, and Harvest. It was a concept where seeds were planted in the ground, the sweet potatoes grown and then harvested.
Naturally, it had to go through all these steps.
Now Piaro was able to grow sweet potatoes just by scattering the seeds.
It was possible to start Sweet Potato Battering immediately without going through all those processes. Dozens of sweet potatoes hanging from the stems struck and devastated the land. He swung the sweet potato stem like he was determined to crush all of Grid’s bones. He knew he shouldn’t control his strength.
The soldiers gathered to watch the fight were flustered. Every time the stem of sweet potatoes struck the ground, the entire training ground shook and the soldiers felt dizzy.
“It might be a spar but this is too ruthless against His Majesty...”
He saw Piaro smashing the training ground and recalled memories of the past. For Piaro, who usually became a demon the moment he held the sword, a spar was no different from a real battle. He was eager to fight against the strong in order to reach the realm of Sword Saint.
Singuled was someone dissatisfied with this aspect of Piaro’s personality. What knight was there who would fight against his liege with all his strength
‘Did he lose his sense of chivalry after becoming a farmer’
Meanwhile, Hurent spoke some nonsense to Singuled, “The sweet potatoes are being cooked.”
“...Are you hungry”
No, why did he suddenly talk about sweet potatoes being cooked in the middle of a serious battle Singuled felt it was absurd only to become shocked and his nose shook. It really smelled delicious. It was the smell of delicious cooked sweet potatoes.
Singuled started to focus on the confrontation that he knew was about to end. He captured the moment when the sweet potatoes smashing the ground appeared through the dust. Then he saw it. Piaro’s sweet potatoes were all golden-brown in a cooked manner. Once the cooked sweet potatoes slammed into the ground, they were only crushed and were no longer a threat. The dust cloud gradually died down. Then—
The outline of the veiled flames started to appear little by little.
“T-This is impossible!”
How hard did Piaro wield the sweet potato that he created a huge dust cloud that managed to cover the storm of flames The startled Singuled’s vision shone red. There was a storm of flames in the landscape he was seeing. Grid stood in the center and was unscathed while Piaro had large and small burns all over his body. The confrontation that seemed to be led by Piaro was actually dominated by Grid.
“...I heard that you killed a half-god.”
Piaro put down the stem of sweet potatoes he was holding and grew the seeds he planted earlier.
They rapidly became watermelons. The hundreds of watermelons contained the moisture of the ground and calmed the heat of the fire storm. Grid felt admiration and spoke sincerely, “A half-god isn’t a god.
Most of them were weaker than you, Piaro.”
“However, I’m sure there was someone who was superior to me.”
A huge shadow covered the sky. It was a shadow created by a strong pure energy.
“With my lowly skills, I can only handle Your Majesty if I’m prepared for death.”
A stone mortar appeared in the turbulent sky. The ultimate technique of Free Farming used to target Grid’s enemies was now aimed at Grid.
“...I was looking forward to it.”
Grid felt the eerie tension and used Open Potential. Pounding Mortar had a variable where it would be a three-stage hit if a critical hit occurred. It wasn’t easy to fight back so he was determined to face it with strength.
“Transcended Linked Kill Wave Pinnacle.”
Grid dominated the space.
The space dominated by Grid was crushed by Piaro.
Dante and Singuled were shocked. Mercedes clenched her hands hard and Hurent rose from his seat, once again carrying the rice sack on his shoulder.
Grid was silently lying on the ground. He looked up at the clear sky and murmured, “Um, it is much stronger than when I used it.”
Over the past month, Piaro had grown so much. Piaro’s Pounding Mortar that contained the energy of nature far exceeded the power of Pounding Mortar that Grid had reproduced. This really...
‘...It feels good.’
Piaro’s voice was heard above the smiling Grid, “I’m ashamed of my past self who didn’t recognize Your Majesty’s capabilities.”
Piaro was also lying on the ground, his head aimed in Grid’s direction. It was a draw. If it was a real battle then both of them would’ve entered the immortal state the moment their health reached the minimum.
It was unclear what variables would’ve occurred after that but at least in a duel, it was a draw.
Both of them were smiling brightly when someone came to shout at them. “Lord Piaro! You won’t receive your salary for the next seven months!”
It was Administrator Rabbit. The image of Piaro, who was as agitated as hearing bad news out of the blue, showed the weight of the head of a household.