Grid had been convinced from the time that 100,000 Army Blockade Sword failed to cut Leraje’s mucus. He knew he couldn’t defeat Leraje in a normal way. If it wasn’t for God's Command’s triggering three times in a row, he wouldn’t have won this fight with overwhelmingly favorable conditions.
“I was lucky,” Grid honestly admitted it. It was easy for a winner to be relaxed. Now that he had won, it wasn’t a loss to act humble.
Grid’s attitude made Leraje even more flustered. She denied defeat while stomping her feet, yet this person humbly said it was thanks to luck that he won. It was a complete defeat. As expected, the demons on the scene started mumbling again. The eyes that were filled with envy toward Leraje not long ago were not filled with distrust. Some of them even laughed at her.
‘It’s ruined! Ruined!’
A surprising thing happened as Leraje increased the strength of her hands holding the armrest of the throne. The armrests were terribly broken, becoming dust and scattering. Grid’s face stiffened.
‘Is this real?’
Grid was a mythical blacksmith. He could instantly see what the material of the red throne was made of. Bloodstone—it was the strongest mineral in hell. The red throne made of bloodstone had at least the same durability as legendary rated items. Yet she simply crushed it to powder using her hands...
He wondered if he could endure it if she used skills with such power.
‘I think a head-on confrontation would be suicidal unless I use Saleos’ power.’
It meant that a fight itself wasn’t possible. Did that make sense?
Grid was clicking his tongue at the absurdity when he saw the smoke rising over the dust.
‘Ah...’ Grid realized something and his gaze fixed on the broken armrest. A cross section was pouring down. It was flowing down like it wasn’t crushed by force, but corroded by some type of acid.
‘It is like this.’
The mucus dissolved substances that were insufficient by halving physical force. In many ways, Leraje’s ability was very powerful. The duration of Item Combination ended and the Enlightenment Sword and Fire Dragon Sword were separated. The Fire Dragon Sword had infinite durability and it was fine, but the Enlightenment Sword was greatly damaged.
‘It will be virtually impossible to raid Leraje.’
However, it might be easy to raid her if Braham was present. The 10th great demon was certainly a great existence, but it couldn’t be close to Mir, the half-god. Her physical power was so strong that there was a high probably that she would be weak to magic due to the recoil.
As Grid was thinking, Leraje’s expression distorted even further. ‘I have become weaker.’
Two consecutive defeats left a stain on the history of struggle that had been built up over a thousand years. Her status fell and her strength weakened in proportion to the fall. The evidence was that the armrest she originally intended to turn into powder still maintained its form.
‘Should I kill them?’ Leraje’s eyes gleamed with killing intent. The thousands of demons and the Demon Slayer. If she killed all those who witnessed today’s events, the loss might be restored to a certain extent. But...
Leraje failed to act quickly. It was due to her deputy command Kalbaba and his men who were shedding tears of blood.
“You! Master of the Undefeated King! Cowardly hiding your strength and pretending to be the successor of the Undefeated King, proceeding with an unfair fight! Aren’t you ashamed as a human being? Where are the morals and ethics that you humans usually cry out for?”
Kalbaba fiercely criticized Grid. He wasn’t defending Leraje because of loyalty. In fact, he was analyzing the situation more objectively than anyone else here. The reason Leraje had an unfavorable confrontation was because she evaluated Grid’s ability as one step below the Undefeated King.
In reality, Grid’s sneakiness and cowardice was reprehensible in terms of human morals. He was actually much more powerful than the Undefeated King, but he covered up the truth to win in a despicable manner. The problem was that this was hell. Ordinary demons didn’t have the concept of morality.
“You are using tricks and wagging your tail to defend your master... the 10th hell is truly gone.”
“A group of losers. Kukukuk.”
Leraje had invited various demons to this event. Those who should’ve been eyewitnesses to the victory and improve Leraje’s reputation instead sided with Grid. They were demons obsessed with winner-takes-all and focused only on the results. No matter what, Leraje was defeated in the end. Falling for the opponent’s cowardly trick was just a sign of incompetence.
“These guys! If you have something to say, come forward and speak confidently! However, you need to be prepared to get your heads cut off!”
The demons were startled and shut up when Kalbaba couldn’t stand their gossiping and roared at them. A chill went down Grid’s spine. He was the close aide of the 10th ranked great demon for a reason. He didn’t have a ranking, but the pressure he gave off was great.
‘It isn’t inferior to the great demons I’ve fought so far.’
Of course, this was only a story when compared to ‘great demons in the human world,’ but it was clear he was very powerful. He was one level ahead of Andras, who was Baal’s subordinate. Grid glanced at Yura behind him. Her expression was stiff as expected. For her, who had an obligation to purify all of hell, she couldn’t help shrinking back when more powerful demons appeared.
‘Don’t worry. I will help you.’
One of the reasons why Grid looked back at Yura and was concerned about her was that he personally experienced hell. Grid was worried and sad for her, who fought alone in this huge and terrifying world and was determined to fight alone in the future. Both reality and the game seemed harsh to Yura, so he wanted to help her. Perhaps this idea was the decisive moment in developing his heart for her.
“Is no one coming forward? Trivial cowards who distort the essence of the confrontation and say that the 10th hell is gone, you are shameless trash just like that human being!”
Kalbaba’s anger as he yelled at the demons turned toward Grid again. He was noticeably quite angry. It was an atmosphere where he would apply for a confrontation just like Leraje.
‘There is nothing good about continuing to fight here.’
Grid quickly made a decision. He didn’t forget that this place was the middle of enemy territory. If he was swept up in the atmosphere and fought against Kalbaba, he would have to fight against the chariot corps that he led. Leraje was bound by the ‘contract’ that she couldn’t hurt Grid, but it was impossible for Grid and Yura to cope with the demons of the 10th hell. There was a high probability they would die.
“First... I pay homage to the abilities of Supreme King Leraje.”
So far, Grid had experienced and solved numerous episodes. He was accustomed to analyzing the character’s personality and taking the situation into account to create a favorable development. It wasn’t a problem to warm up people.
“Kalbaba, your master is worthy of being a ruler of hell. She is really strong. I would’ve lost if it had been a fair confrontation. This is why I acted cowardly after confirming that the content of the confrontation was overwhelmingly favorable to me. Yes, I admit that I am cowardly.”
“Look at your master being silent. Your master is the strongest, but she seems to be trying to understand the position of the weak by remaining silent. Shouldn’t you be considerate of your master’s position and refrain from causing a further disturbance?”
All the demons in the great hall, including Kalbaba and the chariot corps, were greatly shaken. As mentioned earlier, demons were obsessed with winner-takes-all. The conventional logic of hell was that the winner could seize everything and claim rights. It was shocking for the winner, Grid, to call himself weak and flatter the loser. The corners of the stiff-faced Leraje started twitching.
“Hmm hmm, Kalbaba.” Leraje spoke to Kalbaba, who was speechless because he was flustered by the unexpected reaction, “The words of the Undefeated King’s master are true. I am fully aware of his position. He is certainly very strong, but he is fleeting compared to this body, one of the rulers of hell. I fully understand the feelings of the weak who cowardly hide their identity because they have to accept the confrontation. I, Supreme King Leraje, will show mercy as a strong person and forgive him.”
The demons of the 10th hell were quite different from ordinary demons. Fight, win, and prove their strength. Leraje practiced this simple and fair motto, and was extremely different from other demons. It was the same for her men. In other words, they could talk with each other.
“If this is Master’s will, we will also forgive his cowardice!”
“I will forgive him!”
Leraje’s castle was as huge and complex as a labyrinth. Leraje’s subordinates watching from all over the castle repeated it in unison. The expressions of the demons who laughed at Leraje had no choice but to be contemplative.
“Hum hum, follow me. I am much, much, much stronger than you, but in any case, I was defeated in the confrontation. I will give you the gift I promised.”
Leraje’s expression was bright as she got up from the throne and called out to Grid. Why did demons keep talking about cowardice...? Grid didn’t like the way that Leraje and her subordinates handled it, but he followed her without expressing it. Then he found something in the treasure warehouse that captured him. Bloodstones that shone more beautifully than gold and silver treasures, a famous hell steed that released blue flames, the sword that the famous Zepar used for a time...
In the midst of all these rare treasures, the object that caught Grid’s eye was an old, thin book. Behen Archipelago Record—this was a book about what Leraje went through in the Behen Archipelago.
“Why are you interested in this among all the treasures? It is my diary...”
I wanted to publish the great battle, but I met the Undefeated King and the contents were twisted, so I sealed it...
Leraje was blushing with embarrassment, but Grid just opened the book indifferently.
[The Behen Archipelago Record has been chosen as Leraje’s gift.]
One of the two rewards he chose was an old diary. Other people wouldn’t understand Grid’s choice, but Grid had already estimated the value of the book.
In the Behen Archipelago Record, the impressions of Leraje who witnessed Madra’s swordsmanship were written. Madra’s diary had many contents omitted because he became a death knight and gradually lost his sense of reason, while Leraje’s records were detailed and full. It was enough to get a glimpse of the 400,000 Army Swordsmanship.
Meanwhile, in the 32nd Hell...
“Dammit! Damn Grid!”
Rose, who had been standing close to Leraje, was killed by 100,000 Army Massacre Sword and screamed after resurrecting at the resurrection point.
“How many times do you have to grab onto my ankles?”
Rose couldn’t overcome her anger and screamed, attracting the attention of demons all around her. The 32nd Hell that lost its master. The demons were competing every day in real time for the vacant throne. Dark clouds fell on the road ahead of Rose as she caught the demons’ attention by causing a useless disturbance.