Irene and Marquis Steim hugged tightly.
It had been nine months since they had seen each other, so they couldn't control their emotions. They checked each other's health and shed tears of joy. In particular, Marquis Steim sniffed with a runny nose.
Irene used to follow her father around everywhere. Now his daughter was going to be a mother, so he felt strange and lonely. Marquis Steim confirmed her appearance and shifted his gaze towards Grid.
"I hope you will always love and cherish my daughter like you do now."
Grid answered with a genuine heart, without hesitation.
"I will love her more than I do now."
At the same time.
[The child in the belly has felt the true love of the couple, increasing all stats by 1.]
Grid whispered words of love to Irene every day, but there had been no response from the baby in the last few days. There was five days left before she gave birth. Perhaps today would be the last prenatal education.
Grid was chatting with Irene and Marquis Steim.
Outside Irene's bedroom, the knights of both families were standing side by side. The eyes of a young man suddenly sharpened. His name was Laden. After Phoenix, he was the best talent in the north.
"There are four people, not three in the bedroom. Does Duke Grid have a shadow?"
Piaro and Asmophel were confused at Laden's question. They could only feel three people in Irene's bedroom. Duke Grid, Irene and Marquis Steim.
'Does this young man want to show off his skills?'
A knight of the marquis. He was making something simple, bigger.
"Did you say you are Sir Laden? Are you certain enough to interrupt the duchess?"
Irene needed absolute stability. Taking the risk to go into Irene's bedroom and making a disturbance? What if there was no third person? It was obvious that Duke Grid and Marquis Steim would be furious.
Piaro warned Laden that he would be held responsible. Laden understood and nodded, "I will take responsibility."
If so, there was no need to delay. Piaro knocked on Irene's bedroom door.
"What's going on?"
Piaro and Laden confirmed Grid's response. Then the knights of both families entered Irene's bedroom.
"What's going on?"
Irene became upset at the crowd entering, so Grid frowned.
"Why is it so loud?"
Laden took a step forward.
"There is a rodent."
Rodent? Grid was feeling confused while Laden pulled out a sword at his waist. Then he kept stabbing his sword at the ceiling?
It was the worst. Piaro hit his forehead and Grid's expression distorted. Laden explained, "A little while ago, I felt someone hiding on the ceiling. But now they have disappeared."
Grid was dumbfounded. His insight was a huge 1,550. Faker couldn't even secretly approach within 3m without Grid noticing.
"There was a rodent hiding above me? If this is true, why didn't I know about it?"
Laden couldn't say anything. He just bowed his head and waited to be punished. Grid asked Marquis Steim, "Who is this person?"
Marquis Steim replied with a little bit of embarrassment.
"An outstanding person. He's still young so he sometimes makes mistakes, please understand."
The Northern Nova, Laden. It was the moment when he was branded as a bluffer by Grid.
King of Shadows, Kasim. He was the strongest assassin in the world. It was surprising that he was caught by a young man.
'Time has given birth to talent.'
The Eternal Kingdom. Compared with the Saharan Empire, a great number of talented people were being born in the small kingdoms. In simple terms, the Saharan Empire had 10 times the population of the Eternal Kingdom, so they produced more talent. This wasn't a good thing from the viewpoint of Kasim, who was burning with vengeance towards the empire.
'Anyway, I'll have to be more careful for the moment.'
Kasim disappeared into the darkness.
Ttang! Ttang! Ttang!
Grid went to the smithy for the first time in a while. Two anvils were lined up next to him and on top of them, four hands were hammering like Grid. The young blacksmiths were amazed by the sight.
Khan approached Grid, "You look upset. What's wrong?"
"Marquis Steim brought a young knight and he made me upset."
"Huhu, giving you a bad impression. The young man is pitiful."
"Irene is sensitive because of the child... Ah, I want to block his career path."
"It's a bad idea in your position. You've witnessed it from the side of the victim, that persecuting the weak can cause bad feelings."
"...Indeed. I wasn't thinking."
Up until two years ago, Grid was also weak. He knew how terrible it was to be persecuted by strong men. But now that he had power, he was thinking about abusing it? Grid was disappointed in himself.
"Thank you. You're too good for me."
"Huhu, you are also very very good."
"An old man should keep his dignity."
Grid smiled and leaned his head against Khan's shoulder for a moment. It was like a grandchild leaning on his grandfather. But the young blacksmiths thought differently.
'These two are very close.'
'A love that transcends status, sex and even age?'
'Umm... They should watch their mouths.'
In the midst of this deepening misunderstanding, the God Hands kept working. They produced the necessary basics for the Mass Production Set and delivered it to Grid, who only trusted himself with the high quality materials.
[The skill level of the God Hand's Blacksmithing has increased to advanced level 2.]
[The skill level of (Understanding of Gods' Weapons) Legendary Blacksmith's Craftsmanship Skill has increased to level 7.]
[The number of times the Legendary Blacksmith's Creation skill can be used has increased by three. Number of items that can be created at present: 13/21.]
Grid's growth continued today.
Reidan's training grounds. Thanks to the 'Will of Duke Grid!', the soldiers were being overworked today. They rolled over sand that was burning from the sun, crawled out, jumped over dangerous obstacles, and endlessly stabbed their swords and spears.
'How long will this last?'
These questions were on the verge of disappearing. It felt like all thoughts were being swept away due to the pain. It was the process where their muscles were being reconstructed. They wanted to give up many times.
"The more you sweat, the more you guarantee your family's safety."
"Do you want to go back to the old days of starvation! Then withstand it! Protect your home!"
Piaro and Asmophel cried out every time their hearts weakened.
'Yes, stand up!'
The soldiers' eyes were filled with hate. Wasn't it funny to give up now? They had always been training with the idea of overcoming these trials. Still, they swore at Grid when they were tired.
'If I think about it, there isn't a war right now, so why do we need to be trained like this?'
'Duke Grid must be bullying us on purpose!'
'Damn Duke Grid! Curse Reidan's sun! Fall on the road and break your nose!'
[The loyalty of Reidan's soldiers has dropped by 7.]
[Rumors have spread that the soldiers of Reidan hate you.]
Loyalty could be raised at any time. Grid thought this and ordered that the training be gradually increased, not decreased. Now he started to feel alarmed. He was being hated? Wasn't this a stage beyond resentment?
'It is time to give them a carrot.'
Grid looked at the list of Reidan soldiers. The list briefly listened the information of Reidan's 1,003 soldiers. It was their name, gender, level, and occupation. The detailed stats, skills and unique story could only be checked with the Great Lord's Sword.
Grid's eyes widened as he sorted the list of soldiers in order of level. One person. There was one soldier who achieved level 150? Compared to the average level of the other soldiers, which ranged between 136~139, it was a tremendous growth rate.
Grid summoned Piaro.
"Did you call?"
After Lauel and Rabbit, Piaro was the next busiest person. It couldn't be helped, since he had to manage the fields and army at the same time. But unlike Lauel and Rabbit, who were always tired, his color was very good. It seemed he had no concept of tiredness because his basic stamina was so high. He was busy, so Grid immediately cut to the chase.
"When I saw the list of soldiers, Royman stands out. What happened? What special training did you give them?"
"Nothing. Asmophel and I instruct all the soldiers the same."
"Then why is Royman's growth rate so different?"
"It's the difference between talent and motivation. There are soldiers who follow the training schedule without thinking, but there are also soldiers who try to make it work better for their growth."
"Hrmm, can you give extra training for the soldier called Royman?"
"Do you want Royman to grow faster?"
"Yes, to at least level 160."
"I understand. I had already planned to configure a special group, so I will direct my training towards Royman."
It seemed to be something great. What would be the name of this special group?
'Overgeared Task Force?'
It happened when Grid's eyes were shining like lanterns.
"Duke Grid! Irene had gone into labor!"
Her expected due date was supposed to be in two days. Grid abandoned the items he was making and ran to the castle in a hurry. Piaro also followed. A notification window appeared in front of Grid.
[When the baby is born, do you want it to be a boy or a girl? Your answer will have a profound impact on the child's gender.]
Grid answered without hesitation.