“It’s a mess out there right now.”
“Why? What’s going on?”
“It seems that migrants have filled the territory that General Piaro conquered.”
“The territories of the Gauss Kingdom...? Already? Ah, it can’t be.”
“Truly. All villages and cities are no longer receiving migrants and are sending them back.”
“Huh... The territory was conquered in less than a month and the people filled up in another month.”
“This means our country is good to live in.”
Reinhardt’s dungeon was the darkness of the Overgeared Kingdom. There were terrible things going on that couldn’t be said and it was a place to house high-profile criminals. After giving the inmates chicks to raise to chickens, they would then threaten to cook the chicken in front of the inmate who had become attached to it. Some fatal and cruel torture methods were still discussed among the guards. If good news wasn’t heard steadily from outside then the spirits of the prison guards would’ve been destroyed over time.
The man who listened to the cheerful guards’ conversation was devastated. His name was Burang. He was the best knight of the Gauss Kingdom, which had perished two months ago. He held his face and recalled the last mission he received from King Nemesis. It was to secure the Overgeared Queen so they could negotiate with the Overgeared Kingdom. This was probably the only way to stop the war.
Burang had done his best to defend his kingdom. Half a year before the war, he left his homeland, disguised himself as a refugee and even succeeded in infiltrating the Overgeared Kingdom. Yet he eventually failed. His failure accelerated the destruction of his kingdom.
‘All... it is all because of my incompetence.’
Burang was recalling his weakness at not even being able to defeat the young prince when a strange voice was heard. The prisoner, who had remained silent since the first day Burang was imprisoned, opened his mouth for the first time. “Are you from the Gauss Kingdom?”
“Don’t worry about the guards. They are just trying to shake you by bluffing.”
“Gauss might be a small kingdom but it has a history of hundreds of years. The Overgeared Kingdom isn’t good enough to conquer it in a matter of weeks.”
“What else? The territories are being filled up by a flood of new migrants? Do you think that makes sense? There are so many nations on this land, including the Saharan Empire. Who would migrate to the small nation that is the Overgeared Kingdom?”
“The guards here are crazy. Around half a year ago, they said that the Overgeared Kingdom allied with the empire. The orc lord of the Twilight Orcs pledged allegiance to the Overgeared King? Kukuk, how about that? Isn’t only laughter possible? Those jerks... how ridiculous is it to tell a lie that wouldn’t even work on a chicken?”
The guilt of failing to live up to the king’s expectations and the despair of losing his homeland. The frustrated Burang tried to ignore the prisoner’s wails from behind the wall. It was just that after listening, he couldn’t let it spill out the other ear. Did this person not know what was going on in the world? Where in the world was there anyone who would call the Overgeared Kingdom a small nation?
“I don’t know who you are but everything the guards said is true. The empire has claimed itself as a blood ally to the Overgeared Kingdom and the Twilight Orcs’ lord has become a faithful dog following Grid. Unfortunately, the destruction of the Gauss Kingdom would also be true.”
“...You are also with the guards.” The prisoner’s voice from behind the wall cooled down. The strong killing intent that could be felt through the thick walls made Burang nervous.
‘Is there such a big master?’
Was he a survivor from the Eternal Kingdom? “Who are you?”
The prisoner replied to Burang’s question, “My name is Reidorn. I am the 6th Knight who is considered to have surpassed Piaro, the pillar of the empire.”
“...!” Burang’s eyes widened.
‘He is someone who can cross the fortress with just one step...!’
He was alive? One of the best talents of the era was living in such a dark and stuffy dungeon in this humiliating manner!
‘All people are equal in front of the Overgeared Kingdom...!’
King Nemesis was right. From the beginning, the Overgeared Kingdom was someone they shouldn’t have been enemies with. Burang only realized it at this time.
“Who is it?!”
There was a lot of noise in the corridor through the iron bars and then it became quiet.
Step. Step. Step.
The footsteps of someone unknown got closer.
Next door, Reidorn breathed like a beast and released a stronger killing intent. Then suddenly...
“Y-You...?” The killing intent disappeared like it was a lie. At this moment, Reidorn sounded like a frightened dog, not a wounded predator. “The grandmaster...!”
“Reidorn, Sixth Knight of the previous Red Knights. As expected, you haven’t been returned to the empire.”
“Eh...? Why do you mean by the previous Red Knights?”
“The world has changed and the empire’s new regime doesn’t want your return. So Reidorn, grab my hand. This is the only way for you.”
It was an incomprehensible conversation. The thick walls blocked the view so Burang couldn’t fathom the situation going on. The cutting sound was as clear as a bell and reverberated through the hall. The sound of metal falling on the ground continued. It was estimated that the bars holding Reidorn in the solitary cell were cut off.
‘This is ridiculous!’
Cutting black iron like it was tofu? Burang trembled at the incredible situation and a shadow was cast over his eyes. The unidentified intruder approached the iron bars keeping Burang trapped. He was a young beauty. It wasn’t in line with the desire in the old and tired eyes.
He watched Burang with an expressionless face. “The prime minister of the Overgeared Kingdom is a very silly person. He shouldn’t have locked you up like this if he judged that you have a use.”
“Choose if you will die here forgotten or if you will challenge the opposite side of the world with me.”
“You... who are you?”
“Someone who will bring the expelled gods back to this land to punish the fallen gods. The incarnation of the seven malignant saints, Zikfrector.”
The alchemy that caused Grid’s blood pressure to rise every day and the knowledge of the Great Sage Sticks meant that the technology of the Overgeared Kingdom grew day by day. What was originally a rare magic was installed all over Reinhardt.
“It’s fast.” Lauel muttered as he watched the situation of the dungeon through the magic crystals. He felt very good because this situation occurred the moment the dungeon’s location was leaked to lure Grandmaster Zikfrector.
‘From the grandmaster’s point of view, Reidorn is an irresistible bait.’
From the standpoint of the Overgeared Kingdom, Reidorn was a problem. When he was initially captured, the empire was the enemy of the Overgeared Kingdom and the Overgeared Kingdom could get a lot of information from Reidorn, but the situation had changed dramatically.
Now Lauel knew the empire better than Reidorn. There was no longer a reason to be greedy for Reidorn’s information that he protected with loyalty and pride. This didn’t mean Lauel could send Reidorn back to the empire. Reidorn was the one who tried to kill Grid while all the major and minor officials of other kingdoms were watching. There would be an internal backlash if he wasn’t properly punished.
Of course, the imperial side also didn’t welcome Reidorn. Reidorn had been missing for many years. There would be many doubts if he just suddenly returned to the empire. In particular, Reidorn had a history of being under Limit. His actual alignment was unknown but the present imperial regime wasn’t pleased with his past. He even tried to kill the Overgeared King so it was just asking for trouble if the empire accepted him back.
‘I planned for him to grow old and die in prison.’
It was fortunate that he could be used as bait to lure Zikfrector.
“There were no casualties among the guards. Everyone just passed out for a moment.”
Lauel’s heart grew comfortable when he heard the report from a soldier.
‘He is closely aligned with good.’
The seven malignant saints were good, not evil. They united for humanity and fought against the gods for the peace of the world. They became evil because they were called so by the gods. Lauel had trusted the essence of Zikfrector, the incarnation of the seven malignant saints.
‘So go to the East Continent as soon as possible. Witness the reality of the gods who have been cast out and stand by Grid’s side. I can’t sacrifice the power of the Overgeared Kingdom so I’ll leave it to you.’
Lauel’s expression was bitter as he murmured. He was prepared to sacrifice the guards and his essence was probably evil. Lauel himself was aware of it but he wasn’t ashamed. He wasn’t afraid of people’s accusations. All his choices and actions were to help Grid and the Overgeared Kingdom.
‘There should be one person like me.’
A group of solely good people couldn’t last long.
Lauel had no doubts.
One week after the Call of the Heavens quest.
“It is here.”
The northernmost area of the East Continent—the rankers quickly arrived at Chiaotzu in Xing. Sure enough, the top 0.00005% players were people with a huge information network and could take action.
“Have you been called by the heavens?”
The quest receivers were welcomed by the soldiers. The rankers who arrived in Chiaotzu were met by soldiers and guided to the castle. The red walls and golden tiles formed a gorgeous and intense coordination. This magnificent sight slightly suppressed the spirits of the rankers.
“I can't see the earth, I can’t see the earth. The castle’s lord has a lot of money.”
“It is a lot richer than the Cho Kingdom.”
“Quiet.” A training ground that was decorated with large marble—the rankers chattered together when an eye-catching beauty stood on the podium. She sighed as she looked around the people in the hall with a rather dissatisfied look. “Welcome those who responded to the Call of the Heavens."
This was just it.
The high rankers earned the promised reward just as they arrived at their destination.
[The Call of the Heavens quest has been completed.]
[You have gained two levels from the quest reward.]
[Call of the Heavens has succeeded and the quest rewards have been earned.]
[Protect the Artifacts of the Four Gods]
[★ Hidden Quest ★
An unknown wicked man has already infiltrated Chiaotzu. The treasure can be targeted at any time so be vigilant and protect it.
Quest Clear Condition: Protect the target until the unknown wicked person dies.
Quest Clear Reward: Level +2.
Quest Failure: Level -4.]
The system was always fair. This caused the players to be frustrated.
“Dammit! What is with the penalty of dropping four levels?!”
Someone’s shout mixed with a curse echoed through the heavy atmosphere. Now it was a life or death decision.