Overgeared - Chapter 1233
“Please go back straight away tonight. This place is dangerous.”
Duke Steim’s whisper filled Grid with doubt.
Frontier—it was the very north and the end of the Overgeared Kingdom. It was surrounded by snowstorms and rugged mountains all year round so communication with the central government wasn’t smooth. The basic problem was that it was too far away. Frontier was a remote area where the anti-Grid forces operated in the dark.
However, things had changed. In the wake of the anti-coalition incident, the alert Grid stationed some of the Overgeared members in the north. He asked them to let him know if anything unusual happened in the north. They empowered Duke Steim, who defended the north alone from the monsters and barbarians beyond the walls and from the internal enemies.
That’s right—Grid was able to see Frontier’s situation in near real-time. Until yesterday, there was no incident in Frontier.
‘Then what is so dangerous?’
“Let’s go into the castle.”
A bright smile spread across Duke Steim’s face as he raised his head and guided Grid. The serious expression from just now disappeared like he was conscious of someone’s eyes.
“You look cold.”
Duke Steim took off his cloak and covered Jishuka. Jishuka was the owner of the Red Phoenix Bow and didn’t feel very cold, but she didn’t see the need to refuse the favor. Thus, she covered herself with the cloak.
“Your Majesty, you don’t need it?”
Grid tapped Valhalla and was guided by Duke Steim. Then the moment he arrived at Duke Steim’s office, he asked, “Why did you say it was dangerous? Is it the remnants of the Eternal Kingdom?”
“No, they have already been rooted out.”
“Some of the half-draconians have moved to the Chaos Mountains.”
Beyond the walls, the Chaos Mountains was one of the largest and most rugged mountain ranges in the West Continent. There were eight mountains intertwined like a whirlpool. There was a legend that it was a place where dragons once stayed.
–I heard there were level 400 monsters near the entrance? If you go in a bit deeper, monsters with a level of 500 or higher will appear. What type of guts do the half-draconians have to set up a nest in such a place?
The surprised Jishuka sent him a whisper and Grid shook his head.
–Level 400 or higher monsters will only appear a bit after the entrance. The level of monsters that inhabit the entrance area is an average of 200~300.
–Ah~ the rumors were exaggerated.
–No, not at all.
–Monsters above level 500 will appear if you only go in a bit deeper. Skunk told me.
The difficulty level of the Chaos Mountains rose sharply whenever a ridge was crossed. The first ridge was home to monsters ranging from level 200~300 and they were the enemies of the north. The northern army has been fighting with them for hundreds of years. In some cases, elite monsters who deviated from the second and third ridges appeared and were barely blocked by Duke Steim leading the knights. From the fourth ridge onward, the difficulty level was completely different.
Duke Steim had attempted to explore the fourth ridge several times but they always returned in vain. It was rumored that there were monsters twice as powerful as those on the third ridge.
“Is this information accurate? There are many threatening monsters in the Chaos Mountains, even for the half-draconians.”
“This is why they moved to the Chaos Mountains. It is said to be a great place to satisfy the aggressiveness of the half-draconians.”
“Who said that?”
“The half-draconians themselves.”
“The envoy from the half-draconians came early this morning.” Duke Steim started to tremble. He felt a sense of terror when he remembered the events from just a few hours ago. “The envoy said that by tomorrow morning, we have to bring the most powerful human in this territory to him. He will not invade this land for the rest of his life if he can be happy for even a minute.”
It was the butterfly effect from the Saharan Empire’s policy for unity with other races. The half-draconians had originally been isolated by the Saharan Empire. After regaining their freedom, they came to this faraway place.
“…Since they are a race with high self-esteem, I believe they will abide by their promise.”
The half-draconians were notorious. Even the empire, which once had an extermination policy, was unable to subdue the half-draconians and was wary. Half of the Red Knights, the anti-aircraft division, a great magician, and tens of thousands of troops were stationed there in order to prevent the enemies from crossing the border of the empire.
This meant it was impossible to fight against the half-draconians with the power of the north. The entire Overgeared Kingdom might be able to fight them but great sacrifices would be inevitable.
Duke Steim’s white face suddenly turned to Laden standing next to him. Laden’s expression was determined. “I will bring a lot of happiness to the half-draconians. Your Majesty, My Lord, you don’t have to worry.
Finally, it was revealed why Duke Steim had asked Grid to leave. It was because Grid was stronger than Laden. If Grid stayed here until tomorrow morning, he would be the one who would be sacrificed to the half-draconians, not Laden. That’s right—it was already determined that Laden would be sacrificed. It was ironic that the young person who would lead the future of the north must be sacrificed for the north.
“These bastards…!” Jishuka turned red after grasping the situation and shot up from her seat. She seemed ready to fight the half-draconians all by herself.
Grid grasped her wrist and stared straight into Laden’s eyes. “A knight… no, a human.”
Grid recalled it. The days at school where he was treated as a toy by people whose faces he didn’t even remember. He was dispensable to them. No, it shouldn’t have happened.
“You aren’t born to be someone else’s plaything.”
“You are being played by trash. Don’t wrap it up with fancy words such as calling it a great sacrifice.”
Laden’s expression quickly collapsed. His face twisted with pain and he clenched his fists. The blood that flowed from his hands dripped onto the marble as he spoke, “Then I… What should I do?”
He was born on this land. His family had suffered from the harsh cold and monsters so he deeply respected Duke Steim for protecting his people. He dreamed of becoming a knight. Fortunately, he found that he was talented. From then on, he vowed that he would defend the land and Duke Steim. That’s why he was determined to make the sacrifice. Now the king came and shook his world with a few words, causing him to feel a bit resentful.
Grid rose from his seat while staring into Laden’s shaky eyes. A teenager who was still baby-faced the first time they met had grown into a young man of similar age. Grid had heard that Laden already had three children.
Grid was deeply moved and checked the condition of Laden’s equipment. Helmet, armor, shoulder guards, gloves, belt, gaiters, shoes, cloak, sword, and shield—Grid contemplated everything using Pagma’s Eyes. It was as expected. As a northern knight, his equipment was in excellent condition. Duke Steim didn’t spare his support and Laden was armed with unique rated items. Unfortunately, since Laden had become a ‘symbol’ of the north, there was a lot of equipment that cared more about appearance than practicality. There was also an absence of set items. It was just fortunate that there were many factors involved in being strong.
“What should you do?”
Grid patted Laden’s shoulder and approached the window. As he opened the window as if trying to ventilate the office, he declared, “You just have to beat them and kill them.”
“Are you going to bring them joy? Bullshit. Just get rid of them.”
They needed to warn the arrogant invaders that the inhabitants of this land were strong. They weren’t toys who could be played with. Grid would make it that way. The determined Grid’s gaze shifted toward the Chaos Mountains beyond the walls. He continued to stare at a ridge until Shunpo activated.
“What can I do…?”
It was the moment when the absent-minded Laden muttered. Grid suddenly disappeared from his spot. Jishuka was left behind with the dumbfounded Duke Steim and Laden and grinned.
“It has been a long time since I’ve seen him like this.”
The reason why Jishuka liked Grid was his outspoken words and actions. She liked the imposing personality that expressed his feelings honestly without looking around him. She thought it was hundreds of times better than those who were a gentleman on the surface while having sinister plans behind the scenes.
“Beating them to a pulp… so cool.”
Duke Steim and Laden were silent because they were embarrassed by Jishuka’s sudden blush.
‘Oh, I think this place is okay for me?’
The Chaos Mountains were infested with high level monsters and weren’t used as a hunting ground because of the terrible environment. There were blizzards that cut the flesh, poison in the frozen air, swamps that corroded equipment, and traps naturally formed by all types of poisonous plants and thorns. There were too many restrictions for players.
According to Skunk’s advice, the basic conditions to act here was at least 90% cold resistance, 80% poison resistance, and level 5 advanced trap searching skills. It was said that if a player didn’t want to lose an item the moment they fell into a swamp, they needed equipment with at least 800 durability.
‘I’m worried about the traps but I can detect them with my transcendent senses.’
For Grid, the cold and poison were no obstacles. Additionally, most of his equipment had infinite durability. Grid lightly avoided all sorts of traps and crossed the fourth ridge. The monsters here were close to level 450 but they weren’t a threat to Grid at all. The monsters resembling an Archaeopteryx were difficult but they became relatively easy with the help of the God Hands.
‘It could be a bit dangerous here.’
Grid quickly crossed the fifth ridge and stopped for a moment. The lava golems who created flames in the cold made him feel puzzled.
Grid frowned when he saw the information of the monster that appeared on the snowy field covering the swamp. The enlightenment effect meant the experience he gained noticeably increased but he had no time to be happy. If the half-draconians’ base was deeper than this, it meant their average level was over 500.
It wasn’t possible. Laden was a named NPC called the best genius of the north but he was still only level 380. Perhaps it was due to his youth but the growth rate was on the lower side.
‘It will be difficult to narrow the 200 level difference, no matter how well equipped.’
The stats had an awakening effect every 100 levels. The difference between level 499 and 500 was as large as the difference between heaven and earth. The prerequisite for Laden to fight a half-draconian and win was for the half-draconian to be level 400.
‘As Teruchan proved, the level of other species was high but it is only for named NPCs.’
No matter how terrible the half-draconians were, the level of the ordinary ones should be in the 400s. The speed of Grid’s thinking increased. The deeper he went into the mountains, the noisier he became. In order to attract the attention of the half-draconians, he deliberately used loud skills and killed monsters with flashy skills. The effect was certain.
“A human? Hahat! You are too impatient! We said that we would see you tomorrow morning!”
A half-draconian appeared. The surprising thing was that this guy attacked the moment he found Grid.
‘The contract effect is useless.’
As the Different Species’ King, Grid signed a contract with Hao and enjoyed the passive effect of somewhat reducing the aggressiveness of the half-draconians. That’s why he thought it would be possible to have a conversation, but there was nothing like that.
The half-draconian race itself was violent. This was good from Grid’s point of view. Grid reflected the attack with Revolve and charged at the surprised half-draconian while smiling grimly.
‘Let’s see what their weaknesses are.’
The half-draconians would be dumbfounded when they were countered by Laden’s items. They wouldn’t enjoy it. They would regret it. They would taste the horror.