“H-How are you…?”
Soft flesh and fluffy fur. Grid was in turmoil as he was held in the arms of a large hamster. The rat queen—the first time Grid saw her, she was wearing a crude crown, a ragged cloak, and had died. It was also by the hands of Grid. That person was now showing herself in front of him.
The rat queen released the fl.u.s.tered Grid and smiled. The face that used to be full of venom was now looking at Grid with a round, gentle gaze.
“I was resurrected due to the resurrection of the red phoenix. It is because there is a myth that the Twelve Zodiacs serve G.o.d Red Phoenix.”
Mythical beings couldn’t be killed in ordinary ways. Just like the hydra, they were immortal unless a unique attack strategy was discovered or the people’s belief in them was destroyed. Grid was reminded of this fact and felt a flash. Yet no matter how he looked, he didn’t see ‘him.’ Only ordinary (?) hamsters could be seen.
“Ah…” Grid was constantly searching everywhere only to make eye contact with the rat queen. Then he avoided her eyes.
The rat queen smiled bitterly. “My husband is in my heart.”
“My husband was an ordinary spirit, unlike me. He can’t be resurrected because he isn’t a sacred creature.”
The first time Grid discovered the rat queen, she wasn’t alone. She had been with her husband, a strong male rat. Then her peace was broken. Grid murdered her husband. Of course, the rats at that time had fallen to mere monsters. They were monsters who harmed people. Grid killing them was a worthy achievement and actually benefited the people. Still, he was sorry. Grid felt guilty.
‘This doesn’t mean I will ask for forgiveness.’ The rat queen’s heart would only become more uncomfortable. In any case, she wasn’t in a position to blame Grid. Apologizing to her would be nothing more than a selfish act to relieve Grid’s own guilt.
‘At that time, I had to fight them and it was the right thing to do. It is just to that causality that occurred from that act that I managed to resurrect the red phoenix.’
The rat queen reached out to Grid, who was thinking deeply in a silent manner. “Don’t mind it. I, no, we don’t blame you. If you hadn’t beaten us, we would’ve killed more people and that would’ve been a great sorrow for us. So let go of that expression. Please take care of us in the future, Benefactor.”
“I would like to ask you as well, Kyeongja.” (Name means year of the rat)
The resurrected rat queen had a name added to her. He didn’t know why the rat’s name was Kyeongja. However, it was true that there was a sense of friendliness. It was similar to the name of a grandmother.
“Myong! Myong! Myong! Hooray, Her Majesty!”
“Myong! Myong! Myong! Hooray, human friend!”
The rats stared at Grid and Kyeongja’s figures emotionally and struck the ground with the trident in their hand, cheering. They were so short that their feet covered with fur were adorable. The image of the monsters who poisoned and attacked him disappeared from his memories. In the midst of the turmoil…
Braham was silent. The person who killed the strong male rat was Braham, not Grid. Braham had used a.s.similation to dominate Grid’s body and demonstrated the power of Alarm magic against the strong male rat and that rat had died because of him. However, Kyeongja didn’t know that. Grid was taking responsibility for Braham. There was no reason for Braham to go out and reveal it.
“Was the black cow resurrected?”
Grid questioned as the hamsters started dancing and Kyeongja nodded. “Yes, he is part of the Twelve Zodiacs as well. The moment he was resurrected, he transformed into a human and left for the village. He wants to play as soon as possible.”
Suddenly, the rat queen fell down. She was twice as big as Grid but her feet were small, so it was hard to stand for long.
“Did you come here because you’re curious about the blue tiger and Tosun?”
She seemed to have met the blue tiger and Tosun after her resurrection. Grid nodded. “Right. However, based on your condition, they must be safe.”
“Yes. Still, you should stop by. The kids are looking forward to their reunion with you…”
It was at this moment that the voices of the blue tiger and Tosun could be heard from a distance.
There was a cloud of dust in the distance and dozens of tigers rushed over. At the forefront was the blue tiger and Tosun was sitting on the blue tiger’s shoulder.
Grid rejoiced. The blue tiger, Tosun, and the toothless tigers who sacrificed themselves to help him escape were still alive. He thought they died because of Hangyeol so he was very happy to see they were safe. The tigers approached Grid and spoke with their dentures.
“What is this reaction? Aheung. Human, were you worried about us?”
“Ahuheung, it is a useless worry. We are healthy enough to be alive. Aheung.”
“Grid! Thank you for resurrecting G.o.d Red Phoenix! I believed in you!”
The tigers scrambled out of the way while the blue tiger hugged Grid.
[You have suffered 18,500 damage!]
Indeed, a tiger was a tiger. Unlike the fluffy arms of the rat queen, the blue tiger’s arms were hard and painful. Grid felt the pain of his spine bending.
“Uhuh! Too imprudent!”
Tosun pulled the blue tiger away from Grid. As she stroked the back of Grid who was trembling in pain, she spoke, “I will never forget that you sacrificed yourself for the rabbits to get away. We will honor your merits forever. A new G.o.d… G.o.d of Virtue…”
The birds were chirping and he was surrounded by cozy animals, but he couldn’t help frowning. He was glad that everyone was safe and welcoming him but why call him the G.o.d of Virtue? Grid denied it. “Don’t call me a G.o.d. I’m still a human.”
“It hasn’t happened yet. However, your virtues will continue to build up and you will eventually become the G.o.d of Virtue.”
“What about the G.o.d of Rice Cakes, heung?”
“I want to eat rice cakes. Aheung.”
“…Please shut up.”
Unlike the hydra, who became a mythical being by going against the G.o.ds, they became mythical beings by serving the G.o.ds. They were the sacred creatures. They were very nice, as they had been taking care of humans for the good G.o.ds, but they were tactless. There were limitations to beasts, such as being unable to read the expressions of human beings. This was why they kept calling him G.o.d of Virtue despite his terrible expression.
“Ohh… You have the heart of G.o.d Red Phoenix.”
The blue tiger stared at Grid and turned pale. The rat queen and Tosun also observed Grid belatedly and marveled. “Amazing! You really have the heart of G.o.d Red Phoenix!”
“Ahem, it is natural. The G.o.d of Virtue resurrected G.o.d Red Phoenix and he would be rewarded.”
“Ah…” Grid only realized it at this moment. He had the heart of a G.o.d. The reason why the Red Phoenix Heart had the ability to change the nature of the hidden item, the ‘rune,’ was because it had such a high level value and effect.
“Did G.o.d Red Phoenix give its 1,000th heart?”
“No, it must’ve shared its 999th heart.”
“No matter what he did, it shouldn’t be a triple digit heart. A triple digit heart is a power that G.o.d Red Phoenix has held for a very long time…”
“Right, that’s right. It is too much of a sacrifice for G.o.d Red Phoenix. I still remember crying when the Five Seniors s.n.a.t.c.hed its hearts.”
The hearts of the red phoenix builds up over time. Every year, a new heart was created and the heart contained the life and strength of the red phoenix. The older the heart, the greater its vitality and strength. The age of the removed heart was directly linked to the amount of pain and weakening experienced by the red phoenix.
Nevertheless, the blue tiger guaranteed it. “Grid is our benefactor. He would’ve surely been given the 999th heart.”
He hadn’t foreseen this situation when he left the sealed bow to Grid. He thought it would take a really long time for Grid to resurrect the red phoenix or that he would fail to resurrect it. The blue tiger had realistically faced the situation. It was impossible for one human to fight against the Five Seniors and the yangbans who had sealed the power of the Four Auspicious Beasts. However, the result wasn’t what he expected. Grid revived the red phoenix in just a few days. He believed it wouldn’t be unusual if the red phoenix gave its 999th heart to Grid.
The unsuspecting blue tiger was staring at Grid when Grid finally opened his mouth, “I got the 9th heart…”
The eyes of the sacred creatures and spirits widened with surprise. It was almost like their eyes would pop out.
“Is this that great?”
Grid couldn’t comprehend the intense reaction. He admitted that the heart of the red phoenix had value in the world as long as it was the ‘heart of a G.o.d.’ It was obviously a great thing that the 9th heart had transformed the Rune of Darkness to the Rune of Gluttony but the main effect was ‘increased health recovery rate’ and ‘doubled stamina recovery rate’ In terms of practical performance, it was somewhat lacking.
Grid felt that the reaction of the sacred creatures was somewhat exaggerated.
Tosun shouted, “Of course it is great! A single digit heart is the real heart of a G.o.d that can’t be regenerated!”
On behalf of the noisy Tosun, the blue tiger finally explained, “I’ll explain it easily. The only way to kill G.o.d Red Phoenix is to destroy the nine single digit hearts. Yet even the Five Seniors couldn’t touch the nine hearts. They had so much strength and vitality that no one could intervene from the outside. If the nine hearts are perfect then G.o.d Red Phoenix can exist forever.”
In other words…
“The nine hearts are the lives of G.o.d Red Phoenix. It is also the key to the fate of the southern part of the continent that G.o.d Red Phoenix is in charge of. You have one of those keys in your body.”
Grid closed his mouth. He realized what the red phoenix was feeling when it shared its heart with him.
‘You chose me as your companion.’
Grid touched his chest. He felt two heartbeats and thought of the fourth epic. He had vowed to be a G.o.d. He had declared that he would protect the world from destruction.
The red Phoenix supported him.
Grid’s eyes were half open. HIs face, shaded by the sun, was quite different from usual. He stood still for a long time before opening his inventory. He pulled out the items obtained from killing Garam and a blacksmithing hammer. He thought of the best he could do.
“Let’s move step by step.”
[Open Potential has been used.]
[Choose a skill tree to open the one grade higher skill(s).]
[Genuine – (Fighting against the G.o.ds) Legendary Blacksmith’s Craftsmans.h.i.+p Skill (Mastered) will change to Blacksmith’s Skill Comparable to a G.o.d Lv. 1.]
[Blacksmith’s Skill Comparable to a G.o.d is cla.s.sified as a production skill. The effect is maintained until one item is completed.]
“Let’s start with being overgeared.”
[A verse of the first epic has responded to Blacksmith’s Skill Comparable to a G.o.d.]
[His body, tempered by hammering……]
[The epic effect has increased all stats and skills that affect production by 20%!]
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