Grid was fascinated by the flames in the roaring furnace.
A small and unattractive portable furnace—the heat in it was hot. It easily melted a dragon’s bones and claws, but it wasn’t ferocious. An explosive heat that could melt even the largest furnace was being contained in the portable furnace. There was a strong feeling of protecting himself from disappearing in the heat. It approached him kindly. The word ‘warmth’ came to mind.
‘It is responding to Ifrit’s will.’
It felt like the flames were alive and breathing. It was different from other flames that sought combustion, extinction, and destruction. The appearance of a clear willpower and putting forward different possibilities resembled the flames of the red phoenix. It might not have the strong vitality of the red phoenix’s flames, but it was hard to see it as a flaw. Instead, the destructive power that exceeded the flames of the red phoenix wriggled from inside the core.
In other words, the flames of Ifrit and the flames of the red phoenix were equal. They had different strengths, but it was difficult to discuss which one was inferior or superior. This was shocking considering that the Four Auspicious Beasts represented the East Continent. The strength of the Four Auspicious Beasts might not be as strong as their prime due to being sealed for many years, but for their willpower to not be as strong? It meant that a normal dragon, not even an old dragon, was equal to them.
Other than the old dragons, Grid only knew Nefelina and Gujel among the dragons. He had subconsciously measured the level of dragons based on them. It was a big mistake. The Gujel that Grid had experienced was just a remnant of thought remaining after death, while Nefelina was a hatchling. It wasn’t enough for them to be used as the standard.
‘I almost messed up...’
He couldn’t understand the subject. He took dragons too lightly.
‘I had a narrow perspective.’
It was true that he became anxious after chasing after Baal as his goal. He was overwhelmed by the pressure to be strong enough to kill Baal. To put it simply, he lost his composure. It was worth blaming himself. However, there was no need to shrink back. He avoided the worst case scenario. This was simply a lesson.
‘Let’s be polite to dragons in the future.’
It was just like when he entertained Raiders. Being that polite was enough.
‘In the first place, she doesn’t seem to hate me.’
Ifrit had given Grid a stern warning. She awakened the dangers of killing a dragon and asked for cooperation. She even showed trust by cutting off one arm on her own. Of course, for dragons, arms were just degraded things. It was more than ten times smaller than the two heavy legs. They normally didn’t use it, unless they polymorphed into human form.
Still, it was true that she gave away a part of her body. She took on a new wound while she was seriously injured. It was not a minor act. Of course, it might be because she was in a bad position. Other dragons were likely to have different attitudes from Ifrit.
However, it should be noted that Ifrit understood Grid’s personality perfectly. The other dragons were also likely to know Grid well. Nevertheless, no dragon had ever harmed Grid so far. At the very least, it meant they were neutral. Future relationships with them depended on Grid’s attitude.
‘Since it is like this, I should get along well with them.’
Grid recalled the duties of the tower members. Their purpose wasn’t to harm the dragons. The focus was on reducing the scale of events that dragons would cause. He should’ve noticed it from this point. Antagonizing the dragons was a taboo.
“Fire dragon, a precious body was hiding in this land.”
Just then, the three masters opened their mouths. The gaze toward Ifrit was sharp. It was natural. For them, Ifrit was an aggressor. She hid in their territory, caused an incident, and slaughtered at will. In the aftermath, several yangbans were killed. Of course, the cause of the incident was Baal’s power fragment and the culprit who killed the yangbans was Grid... in any case, it wasn’t strange for Ifrit to be misunderstood and held accountable.
[That’s right. My situation is no different from yours.]
The atmosphere was serious. Grid listened to the conversation between the three masters and Ifrit. The time attack quest was in progress. The battle would soon begin. Grid had to focus on responding to risks at any time. He didn’t rest his hands. He just listened carefully while removing the skin from Ifrit’s arm.
Grid was determined to complete the dragon weapon. Since the quest reward was limited to ‘survival,’ the dragon weapon was likely to end up in Ifrit’s hands. For Grid, the experience of making a dragon weapon was a profit and his reward. In order to live and to even gain experience, he had to complete the dragon weapon.
Grid was quick to cut the thick skin without hesitation. Even before the smelting of the bones had begun in earnest, the skin to be wrapped around the handle was complete. It was the power of the automatic production and the quest correction system.
Grid didn’t care about Mir. Mir also didn’t pay attention to Grid. The two of them turned away from each other. They buried the past of fighting for each other deep in their hearts. Mir had to be like this due to his position, and Grid was considerate toward such a Mir.
Was it made from the feathers of the red phoenix? Pungsa clicked his tongue as he covered his mouth with a fan bursting with flames. He seemed to be very annoyed with Ifrit’s tone. “How dare you compare yourself to us when you were attracted by Baal’s power and ran wild like a beast? You are as shameless as your thick skin. The sin of harming the half-gods...”
[Elixirs made from me will be really powerful. How am I the same as a low-grade group who digs into the weaknesses of lower species and dazzles them with strength?]
“You will pay for your sin of running rampant in the land of the great gods...”
[I have a question. The master of this land is someone else, so how can you pretend to be the master?]
“...Don’t try useless provocations.”
[Then you should shut up as well. Just confess honestly that you ran over without breathing because you covet my body. Why be so wordy?]
“Pungsa, stop it.”
Usa and Unsa restrained Pungsa and stepped forward.
The sky and earth moved with them as the center. The sky tilted according to their hand gestures and the earth moved along with their footsteps. It felt like the world was in tune to their will. The anvil and furnace tilted 90 degrees and the startled Grid gulped.
‘Is this the mental world of the three masters? When did they open it?’
It was magic that the three masters performed in cooperation. It was convincing to say that it was used so rapidly and powerfully that super sensitivity couldn’t detect the change.
“Your arrogance pierces the sky and you don’t know how to respect the gods...”
[You stole this land because you don’t respect the gods.]
“...As it has always been said, you will surely be destroyed.”
[You still haven’t changed even though you were kicked out of Asgard for speaking such nonsense.]
“You aren’t qualified to breathe.”
The faces of the three masters didn’t look very good every time they spoke. In particular, Pungsa’s face was dyed a bamboo color. They somewhat nervously recited the spells and dozens of spells were completed in a flash. The sight of the magic filling the sky was reminiscent of stars in the night sky.
‘It is dizzying.’
The sky and earth started to react more sensitively to the actions of the three masters. Every time one of the three masters moved their hands, the world turned upside down once. By the way, the three masters consisted of three people. Even if the three of them only moved their hands once, the world would be turned over three times.
Grid’s transcendent senses were gradually overshadowed by motion sickness. His mind and body weren’t balanced.
Grid was clinging to the hot furnace and somehow using the bellows when he became surprised. It was because he witnessed Ifrit’s two eyes coming right in front of him. These eyes were much bigger and fiercer than Grid’s body. Naturally, fear rose.
A clear voice was engraved on the brain of Grid, who was shrinking back.
[The mental world of the three gods can’t hold you.]
Ifrit completed the words and coughed up a large amount of blood. They were Dragon Words. The world, which was gradually accelerating and rotating, suddenly returned to normal.
Grid was overwhelmed by the sight spreading out in front of him. The hemisphere-shaped barrier, which couldn’t be seen from the inside, came into view. It was the mental world of the three masters. It was where the three masters, Mir, and Ifrit were...
“It is a surprisingly quick reunion.”
...No, Mir was in reality. The voice that came from behind him made Grid tense.
“Mir...” Grid turned back. His feet were still busy moving. He sped up the bellows. It was originally an unsightly action, but it wasn’t ugly because his dignity stat was so high.
“Do you know the dragon Trauka?”
Mir slowly drew his sword. A blue light shook around the cold sword blade in a dizzying manner and a tangible storm was felt. It was very sharp and threatening.
“Dragons are called dragons for a reason. It is said that there was a time when the old dragons hunted gods for fun because they were particularly powerful and ferocious. Then the gods of Asgard and the dragons signed an agreement not to interfere with each other.”
“Ifrit is the bloodline of Trauka. Therefore, she is a fire dragon. She should’ve been eaten by Trauka, but she survived and reached this land... putting aside her immediate level, it means her potential isn’t normal. The gods see her as a living mass of elixirs.”
“What are you trying to say?”
Grid was using auto production to make the items. After smelting them into a molten form, Ifrit’s combined bones and claws were put into the mold for quenching. It was an act that didn't suit the situation. However, his eyes were as firm as a warrior whose life or death was at stake. This made Mir hesitate for a moment, but he soon continued calmly, “Leave here. I can’t afford to care about you right now. If you leave like this, no one will stop you.”
[A new unexpected quest has occurred!]
[Give up on the production of the dragon weapon and leave. The yangban, Mir, will bet his honor to ensure your survival.]
[Upon accepting the quest, the preceding quest to produce a dragon weapon within 30 minutes will be canceled.]
[If you accept the quest, Ifrit will die and the power of the Hwan Kingdom will be greatly strengthened.]
‘This is crazy.’
Wasn’t it enough to have one sudden twist? He would be in trouble if he did this or that. At this point, he was suspicious that the system was suffering from bipolar disorder.
Grid checked the time and frowned. Nine minutes had passed. In the next 21 minutes, the dragon weapon would be completed using the power of the system. The bones, claws, skin and blood—the condition of the materials was incredibly good, but the production time was too short. This meant the quality would decrease. Still, it didn’t matter. The purpose of the quest was to make the dragon weapon. It was up to the client to use it. Maybe it wouldn’t lead to a good result.
“I don’t want to,” Grid answered without much thought.
The new quest window disappeared and Mir’s eyes shook.
“I can't back down and leave after hearing the conversation between the three masters and Ifrit.”
The depths of the three masters was shrouded in insults and disgust toward dragons.
One of the reasons why the expelled gods rebelled against Asgard was the dragons. They were dissatisfied with the treatment of the dragons. If the power of the expelled gods became stronger than it was now, the Hwan Kingdom was likely to go to war with not only Asgard, but also the dragons. It would naturally affect the surface as well. Human beings would experience a disaster they couldn’t handle. Grid had a duty to prevent this situation.
“I’m sorry to you, but I need to take Ifrit’s side here.”
Gujel’s Dao that was held in Grid’s right hand hid its appearance. Noe, Randy, and the Overgeared Skeletons lined up on Grid’s left and right sides, while the direct descendant vampires protected his back. The moment they arrived, the God Hands stood in the front.
Taang, taang, taang.
The hammer held in Grid’s left hand started to pound on the anvil. It was a bizarre scene. It was far from reality.
“...You don’t have to be sorry. We are enemies.”
It happened the moment Mir pretended to be casual and tried to hide his regret...
The Blue Dragon Dao caused a flash of light. Mir’s quickness played an even more unreasonable role in the domain where Shunpo was sealed.
20 minutes—this was the time that Grid and Ifrit had to hold on.
He just came to crush Baal’s power fragment. How did so many things happen...? It was ridiculous no matter how he thought about it, but Grid remained focused.