[The mysterious magic that is turning all restrictions into nothing is forcibly transferring you.]
[You have safely escaped from the world of the gods, ‘Asgard.’]
[Gourmet Dragon Raiders has noticed your return and has taken back ‘Golden Protection.’]
“Gasp... Gasp... Gasp...”
Grid arrived back at the surface and immediately sank to the ground. He struggled to calm down as he let out rough breaths. His heart was thumping like crazy. His intact body proved his safe return, but the fatigue felt by Grid was comparable to when he fought fiercely with Trauka.
Searching for the key in the middle of enemy lines, accidentally meeting Zeratul, being isolated in an army of angels, the Great Robber of the Red Night being taken prisoner, etc. Every crisis he experienced in Asgard was deadly.
Of course, Grid had survived all the crises unscathed. It even gave him the results he wanted. However, it was purely luck. What if there was no Zeratul in the Prison of Eternity? Additionally, what if Raiders hadn’t given him Golden Protection? By now, Grid would’ve been in trouble in Asgard. It was clear that it would’ve been difficult to stay alive, let alone rescue Khan and Hexetia.
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Just as the celestial gods couldn’t invade the Overgeared World without permission, Asgard was perceived as an impregnable fortress by Grid. He didn’t want to get involved with it again. It was to the point where he made up his mind not to even pee in the direction of Asgard.
Asgard might be in the sky, but... in any case, he really meant it.
“How is it? Wasn’t it easily solved compared to what you were worried about?”
“...Do you have any shame?”
He calmed down as he criticized the Great Robber for making a joke. Grid thought positively. He didn’t have to visit Asgard again in the future. Yes, he rescued Khan and Hexetia, so it was all over. He really crossed a huge hurdle. In the future, he only needed to focus on Baal’s subjugation. Unravel the distortion of hell and allow the dead to find rest...
“You seem a bit angry, but most of what you went through in Asgard was consistent with my predictions.”
“Weren’t you almost killed by angels?”
“You obtained Golden Protection and safely broke through the siege of the angels.”
“Communicating with dragons has a greater value beyond what you think.”
“Think about it. You are a being who is regarded as an equal to dragons and have an understanding with them. You are the ‘only one in the world’ who deserves the favor of a dragon. You must be special to the dragons.”
It was the strength of an Only One title.
“Now do you understand why I described you and Raiders as an essential preparation for ascending to heaven?”
“...To be honest, I can’t believe it. I am special to the dragons...”
“Do you have no conscience?”
The Great Robber frowned and clicked his tongue. This was a reaction that Lauel often showed to Grid.
“Look back on it. How have the dragons you met so far treated you?”
After Fire Dragon Ifrit, Grid had met many dragons and had a good ending with them, even if they quarreled at first.
He had cooperated and communicated with the five dragons that invaded Reidan, including Xenon and Basque. Cranbel, the top dragon who made them cooperate, declared in a noble manner that he wouldn’t deal any retribution to Grid and humans.
Insane Dragon Nevartan talked nonsense about welcoming Grid as his son-in-law and personally asked Grid for a reconciliation. In the end, Gourmet Dragon Raiders gave Golden Protection to Grid. Evil Dragon Bunhelier even carried Grid on his back. It was a choice for himself, but if he hadn’t trusted Grid, he wouldn’t have allowed Grid on his back in the first place.
“As you know, dragons are pretty pitiful creatures. Most of them live in hiding alone for all their lives because they are afraid they will be preyed upon by their own kind. They aren’t in a position to trust anyone. But the dragons have relied on or expected things from you one time or another.”
This was the result that Fire Dragon Ifrit created.
Making a horn.
She grasped at straws as she was about to die and Grid did his best to grant her request. The conveyed sincerity led to the connection between Ifrit and Grid. After that, all dragons came to know Grid. At first, they harbored resentment. Then gradually, they came to acknowledge and rely on him. It was with the feeling that they also wanted to become Ifrit in the end.
“Poor creatures... Humans... Do dragons sympathize with humans?”
Raiders had whispered it when they arrived in Asgard.
[Keep this in mind. From a human point of view, we are better than the gods of Asgard.]
Looking back now, it was a statement that made him think a lot.
“A disaster that can destroy a city with a single flap of their wings... it is one of the expressions always used when discussing dragons. However, there are few records of dragons destroying cities. At least, that is the case in ‘this world.’”
Reidan had to go through something that was so rare that it could be counted on one hand twice. Anger suddenly flared up in Grid, but he calmed down.
“Of course, I know this is the result of the hard work of Hayate and the tower members. Yet it is too few even taking into account the existence of the tower. I always thought it was because of the dragon’s indifference, but... in fact, it isn’t that dragons don’t care about humans. It is that they actually feel sympathetic and considerate of humans?”
“That is a ridiculous guess.”
The Great Robber of the Red Night immediately shook his head.
“Do you feel a sense of sympathy for ephemeral dust? The reason dragons are harmless to humans compared to their power is due to sheer indifference. Didn’t I already say it? You are respected by the dragons as an ‘equal.’ Only you are special. You and ordinary humans shouldn’t be considered in the same category.”
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“...I see.” Grid, who had almost developed a liking toward dragons, shook his head. He shook off his premature speculation and asked for the most important facts.
“So... what treasure did you steal from Asgard this time?” f𝗿𝗲e𝒘e𝚋ｎ૦𝘃𝙚𝑙.com
If he thought about it a bit more deeply, it was highly likely that today’s Great Robber of the Red Night was close to his aspiration.
A treasure that was kept in Asgard—it was like getting the last hidden piece that he wouldn’t have been able to get in a world without Grid.
“It is the object that contains the most divine power of the Refractive Dragon. I have to figure out the exact usage.”
In a natural manner, the Great Robber of the Red Night didn’t hide the identity of the treasure from Grid. The problem was that the information of the treasure was marked with all question marks to Grid.
‘It seems to be an area that players can’t access.’
It felt like he was blocked by the system. It was related to the secrets of the world, so it wasn’t a riddle that players could somehow solve. It was an attitude that was saying that players didn’t need to be interested.
‘In the first place, the Great Robber of the Red Night said it. The dragon god isn’t something for me to care about.’
The dragon god, the Refractive Dragon—an object that humans who were nearing the end of the world relied on as a last resort. It had nothing to do with players preventing the apocalypse on their own.
“May this treasure be of great strength to you.”
“It should be humanity’s strength, not mine. Anyway, thank you... it is all thanks to you.”
[Affinity with the Great Robber of the Red Night has reached the maximum.]
[On blue days, cloudy days, or dark nights. Every time you need it, he will run to your side.]
Then he wouldn’t be called the Great Robber of the Red Night, right? Grid smiled and his eyes fell on Khan.
Khan had been standing silently ever since arriving on the surface. He was examining his surroundings slowly and intently, like a photographer trying to imprint a landscape that he treasured dearly. All types of emotions flashed in his eyes that were filled with water.
Grid didn’t bother to interrupt. He stood and waited silently for Khan to resolve it. Then after a while—
“Your hometown... would you like to go there?”
Grid saw Khan wiping the tears from his eyes as if he finished recalling his memories and carefully asked a question.
Hometown—it was a word that had a special resonance for most people. However, it was especially special for Khan. There was the smithy Khan ran that had passed for generations through his family, as well as the tombstones where Khan’s family, especially his son, was buried. It was also where he first met Grid. It was also one of the places with the most memories for Grid.
Surprisingly, Khan shook his head. “I would like to go to Reinhardt first.”
“You will be staying in Reinhardt from now on, so there is no need to hurry...”
“Isn’t there where you have been living since I left? I’ve always been curious about it. There are so many people I can’t wait to meet.”
Each person should live their own lives. This was the expression that was most suitable for the Overgeared Guild. The current Overgeared members, who pretended to be invincible everywhere, scattered all over the nation. They did their best so people didn’t have time to feel Grid’s absence as he was busy dealing with gods, demons, and dragons.
However, they all came together.
Khan—the members of the Overgeared Guild also had precious memories with him. Ruby’s reaction was particularly fierce.
It was when she had just stepped into this world. As Grid’s sister, Khan had taken care of her like a granddaughter.
“I wanted to see you! I missed you so much, Grandfather!”
“The same goes for me. I am happy to see you become a beautiful woman. Huhu.”
Khan patted Ruby, who was crying as she hugged him. Sniffles were heard everywhere. The people who joined the Overgeared Guild after Khan’s death knew the story of Khan well, so they were also thrilled.
Only one person.
“I’m sorry... I’m really sorry...”
Only Faker greeted Khan with the heart of a sinner. He still couldn’t shake off the memory of that day when he couldn’t protect Khan from Veradin. He had been plagued with intense guilt even though no one had blamed him. Not once had he ever forgotten the incompetence of that day.
Faker fell to his knees and Khan hugged his trembling body.
“Thank you. I am really thankful. Thanks to you who fought desperately to protect me, I was neither afraid nor lonely. Thanks to you, I was able to hold on until I said my last goodbye to Grid.”
Faker’s body collapsed in Khan’s arms. The burden on his mind had been bothering him for a long time and now it was melted away by the hot body temperature of the blacksmith who returned. It was the moment when the dagger, which had been worn out after being sharpened, was re-tempered.
Everyone present had a hunch. In the future, the Overgeared Guild would become more and more united. It would become uncontrollably powerful.
This was until Hexetia’s impatience revealed itself.
Grid and the Overgeared members hugged Khan while laughing and crying.
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