Reidan was a three or four days' walk away from Patrian. However, Grid's party encountered monsters all the time. They didn't avoid it, so their journey was delayed several times.
'The experience is really good.'
It had been six days since leaving Patrian.
Meanwhile, Grid hunted the strongest monsters in the west and reached level 273. In addition, his experience gauge was at 60%. It was a stunning level-up speed that users couldn't dream of matching, simply due to the fact that he leveled up every two days.
Grid didn't know this, but even Kraugel wasn't able to level up as quickly as Grid currently was when he was level 270.
'I will be level 275 by the time I reach Reidan,' Grid excitedly thought to himself. Even the top rankers would find it hard to hunt these western monsters, so he was proud of his items and his skills.
'This game is truly about items. Control? That was something that only losers who didn't have good items worried about. Puhahat!'
In the first place, control was a means used by the weak to try and win against the strong. He didn't need control if he had overwhelming power. Grid had such a narrow mindset ever since his success in the Malacus raid. He had no doubts that items were the best.
But that firm belief of Grid's was about to be shaken.
"Pant pant... Wow, this is really dirty. The giant worms before were just exercise."
Grid was exhausted as he walked through the vast desert towards Reidan. Thanks to his passive resistance, he didn't get heat stroke. However, the heat was enough to make his stamina fall faster than usual. Moreover, he couldn't adapt to the desert terrain.
On the other hand, the monsters kept becoming stronger and stronger. Four basilisks, monsters that were treated as boss-grade monsters in the north, appeared before Grid. Grid succeeded in unleashing all sorts of skills against the basilisks, but he was pincer attacked by the monsters and faced a crisis.
"Ah, really! Let me take a break!"
He was at his wit's end. His control was immature so he constantly allowed the monsters to attack him, so even the best armor couldn't endure and he lost health. In the situation, it wouldn't be strange if his invincible passive was activated.
'Even Braham's golem army wouldn't be able to exert much power against the monsters here.'
The western monsters were strong and numerous. It was the reason why the kingdom chose to let the giant worms spread instead of subjugating them.
'It is impossible for the kingdom to manage the west properly. So the king sent me here.'
It was a correct guess. King Wiesbaden wished for Grid to cleanse the west that had become barren because of the mighty monsters, giving him Reidan. It showed absolute confidence in Grid. However, Grid thought he was used by the king and couldn't help cursing.
As Grid cursed the king, a massive desert toad stretched out its tongue, its sticky mucus flopping out from its mouth and covering Grid's body. This mucus was a type of poison that paralyzed the target in an instant. However...
[You have resisted.]
Grid resisted and fought back. The +9 Failure passed through the toad's fat belly. However, the western monsters were so weak to die from one of Grid's blows. The toad moved its tongue like a whip for a counterattack.
Grid's reaction was too late as he was buried deep in the toad's stomach. Ku tang tang tang!
Grid was stronger than steel and full of resilience, but he was struck in the head and fell. Other monsters swarmed to his fallen body.
"Kuak...! Transcend and Transcended Link's cooldown time isn't over!" Grid tended to depend on skills as he lacked control, but there was a fatal weakness. If the skills weren't available due to the cooldown time, he couldn't help being weak. "Piaro! Help me... Eh?"
In the end, Grid tried to rely on Piaro. However, he was surprised. It was because Bland started moving. Grid hadn't been paying any attention during the last six days, but Bland had become extremely strong during that short period.
'What is this all of a sudden?'
This was the person who struggled against the level 280 horned goblins only six days ago. But now he was fighting one-on-one with the western monsters that were at least 50 levels higher than him, so he had truly developed.
'Surely, it isn't a bug...'
What was the secret behind this sudden growth? Grid questioned as he moved to the rear after Bland pulled aggro. Then he equipped the Great Lord's Sword and examined Bland.
Age: 25 Gender: Male
Occupation: Magic Swordsman
Title: Great Magician's Son
He has inherited the magical talents of his father, Earl Ashur. Receive a bonus to his magic casting speed and mana regeneration speed. Every time his level increased, his intelligence will increase significantly.
Title: Marquis Steim's Disciple
He once learned swordsmanship from Marquis Steim, a swordsman of the north. When a blade type weapon is equipped, attack power will increase by 20% and attack speed by 10%.
Strength: 1,331/1,990 Stamina: 420/1,030
Agility: 519/1,401 Intelligence: 2,540/4,550
Skills: Northern Swordsmanship (B), Spell Casting Acceleration (S), Magic Power Concentration (S), 9 C-grade Spells, 5 B-grade spells, 2 A-grade spells.
* Click on the details to examine the spells that the target has currently acquired.
Bland. In his childhood and adolescence, he studied magic under his father and swordsmanship under Marquis Steim. He followed the typical elite course, and was a young genius considered to be the cornerstone of the Eternal Kingdom in the future.
'There is nothing special?'
Grid had observed Bland's details shortly after obtaining him as a hostage. The difference between then and now was only five levels, and a small rise in stats.
'Then why did he become so much stronger?'
Grid was curious.
"That's it. You understood correctly. You shouldn't play around when holding a sword in your hand. Rather than avoiding the enemy's attacks, it is better to aim for defense or a counterattack. Even if your opponent is stronger than you, they will be easier to defeat if you keep moving your sword."
Piaro was talking to Bland. Then Grid realized.
'It is thanks to Piaro's teachings!'
He might be a great swordsman, but was it possible for a person to grow so quickly just from his advice? Grid started to observe Piaro and Bland. Unlike before, he didn't go ahead alone and hunted monsters near them.
"You are too tied up with being a magic swordsman. Magic casting and swordsmanship can't be done at the same time, so a gap will occur. However, this doesn't mean you should throw away magic. You have more talent in magic than in the sword, so if you are facing a stronger enemy, you should concentrate on your magic. Your swordsmanship is ideal for minimal defense.
Piaro would give advice and Bland would apply the teachings in real time whenever a monster appeared. Bland's rapid growth had a big impact on Grid. Learning how to fight properly. In other words, the power of control was more than he thought possible.
'...If I combine control with items, how much stronger can I become?'
Grid finally became aware of it. He was able to understand that he would reach his limits in the future if he just relied on his items. In the end, he asked Piaro, "Please teach me as well."
"Didn't you say that there was no need before?"
"Originally, a person's mind is flexible. Now I want to learn from you."
'Is he because he can no longer sit back and watch Bland grow alone? Did he lose his confidence as Pagma's Descendant?'
Piaro was able to understand that Grid was an unprincipled person. He was the type of person that Piaro disliked. But Piaro readily accepted Grid's request. It was in the hope that he could enhance his strength by raising Grid's.
Piaro's frozen mind that was obsessed with revenge was slowly reviving as he met Grid and Bland. It was a small but significant change.
"Don't move your head. How many times do I have to tell you?"
"Isn't it natural to shake my head every time I move? How can I control my body?"
"Try to make an effort. Think while you are fighting. And don't rely on Fly. Warriors must become accustomed to various terrains, so fighting in the desert will be a valuable experience for you."
"How can I wield my sword when my feet are buried in the sand?"
"Put your weight on the tip of your sword, not your feet."
"So how do I do that?"
"... How many times do I need to explain that you have to move your muscles well?"
"No, how do I move my muscles?"
The reason why Bland could grow rapidly was that he was a genius. The best teacher and best disciple met, so the synergy exploded. But Grid was a stupid person. It wasn't easy for even a great swordsman to teach him.
Piaro suffered as he taught Grid, who lacked comprehension and was slow to learn. He started to feel pain.
'I thought he was a smart person, but that isn't it...'
How could such a stupid person have gained Pagma's power and inheritance? Piaro wondered. He honestly wanted to give up on teaching Grid. However, he couldn't take back his words so he kept teaching Grid.
Grid grumbled that it was difficult and complex, but he did his best to follow the teachings. Grid repeated this in the three days before arrived at Reidan and finally improved.
"He is a little bit ordinary now."
Grid was able to build up the basic skills of a swordsman. This was the limit of his capabilities and of a great swordsman's teaching ability.
'I don't think it is possible for Grid to grow beyond this.'
Piaro was overwhelmed with a sense of defeat. Then Grid's party arrived at Reidan.