“From now on, you must answer all my questions honestly.”
“You must not refuse no matter what I ask of you. You can never be hostile to me.”
Every time Grid voiced his requests, the contract became more binding. The piece of paper that had penetrated their hearts turned into a solid chain that connected them.
As soon as he confirmed that the contract was working as intended, Grid didn’t hesitate to ask, “What did you demon cultivators do in Asgard?”
He had a hunch that the demon cultivators had been to Asgard. He didn’t trust the deer man, who reacted as if he didn’t even know what Asgard was.
Grid’s hunch was correct.
“Asgard... somewhat resembles our ancestral realm that is in the upper world. It’s like the upper world of our hometown. Having studied the civilizations and myths of this world, we determined that Asgard must be a special place.”
The demon cultivators were no different from human cultivators. As soon as he sensed he was in danger, the deer man became humble and polite. He’d folded his hands in front of him and bowed down. He couldn’t even make eye contact with Grid.
“Asgard is a place where those who claim to be gods gather. We hoped that we might be able to find a way to return home if we went there. But when we actually went to Asgard and met the gods, we were greatly disappointed. They weren’t nearly as powerful as we expected them to be.”
It was disappointing. The Refractive Dragon was chasing Rebecca, the supreme god. Meanwhile, Grid had killed Judar, who used to be her second-in-command. Dominion, who was in charge of Asgard now, was rumored to be training behind closed doors. This made sense, given that he hadn’t bothered to show up when Judar was in trouble or when he died.
‘Even if the Gods of the beginning had been there, they wouldn’t have obtained the results they wanted.’
No one born in this world could open the door to a higher dimension. Not even Rebecca could do that, and she was a God of the beginning.
This was because this world was just a game. As characters in the game, they weren’t qualified to move to a higher dimension. This was easy to comprehend when thinking about Judar.
The dimension that Judar had created... Judar himself believed it to be a different world, but it was actually just a data file for a scheduled update.
“So, you didn’t get the results you wanted?”
“That’s not it. There was a very wise angel. After talking to him, we came to the conclusion that we can make a replica of the Full Moon Fortress.”
“A wise angel...? Are you talking about Mumud?”
“That’s right. He must be famous.”
“Why do you want to make a replica of the Full Moon Fortress? Why don’t you just make one yourself?”
“Our demon cultivators can’t afford constructing a fortress from scratch because it requires a lot of manpower and costs too much money. As I said in the beginning, only a small number of demon cultivators came to this world...”
“Asgard has agreed to help you build the Full Moon Fortress?”
Grid frowned. According to the deer man, something similar to the Full Moon Fortress was being constructed in Asgard. He now had to deal with that too, and he evidently didn’t like that.
What he found most annoying was that Asgard was willingly cooperating with the demon cultivators.
“Was Metatron involved? I don’t think they would’ve cooperated with you if there had been a guy called Raphael there.”
“We have made a contract with both of them.”
“...They are like frozen corpses with nothing but pride, yet they decided to cooperate with you?”
“They have shown great interest in the Full Moon Fortress.”
‘Is that so?’
Grid now understood what was going on.
Asgard’s glory days were gone. Rebecca was having trouble with the Refractive Dragon, Judar was dead, and Dominion had shut himself off from the world. Meanwhile, the Overgeared World kept getting stronger. Of course Asgard would feel uneasy and nervous.
They wanted to escape being conquered by the Overgeared Guild if possible. However, they didn’t didn’t know that this world was just a game.
‘They don’t know it’s impossible for them to escape.’
Grid gestured at the deer man. “Tell me one more time what you are doing in Asgard, your exact purpose, and how you stumbled upon me.”
“We are working with the angels to create a replica of the Full Moon Fortress. Through it, we will summon a large number of our people from back home. With the resources the angels will bring and with Mumud’s help, we plan to open a door to return home... But before doing that, our most important goal is to secure the two super galaxy treasures that exist in this world.”
The two super galaxy treasures: the God Incarnation Body and the Falling Moon Sword.
But the deer man didn’t know Grid was the possessor of those items.
“There is no particular reason I came to see you specifically. The angels of Asgard said that we should be most vigilant of you, so I tried to keep an eye on you just in case...”
The deer man paused for a moment and his gaze fell on Noe.
“...That child suddenly used the Yuri Clan’s Wind Escape Arts and got too close to where I was. I thought you would discover me anyway if the rumors about you were true, so I just stepped forward first.”
“Then you proposed the duel to turn the tides in your favor.”
Noe proudly straightened his back, placed his paws on his waist. He looked somewhat proud, triumphant even. If Grid ignored him again, Noe would speak up again. Therefore, Grid patted him on the head and praised him for his good work.
Grid had caught the deer man by accident, but it was true that Noe played an important role in his capture...
“But if you open that door, will you really be able to return home?”
“That’s unlikely, since this world is classified as such a lowly dimension.”
“If you fail, will you be stuck here for the rest of your life?”
“Not exactly. We’d have to take a big risk, but we can escape via the ancestral realm. Since the immortal world is one of the highest dimensions in the universe, communication with any world is possible. So, if we can prove that we are qualified enough to ascend, we can open the door to the ancestral realm anywhere.”
Grid frowned. Based on what the deer man had just said, it meant that Satisfy could be connected to the ancestral realm regardless of whether it was a game or not. Worst case scenario, there was the possibility that an immortal would appear in this world.
Of course, for something like that to happen, multiple things would have to go wrong.
‘It’s ridiculous to worry about immortals already. The game has just been updated.’
Still, he was a bit nervous. Didn’t he meet a demon cultivator when he thought he would never meet one?
‘Let’s refrain from speculating since things often go against my expectations.’
Grid regained his composure and continued asking questions.
“Are all the demon cultivators staying in Asgard?”
“How many are there? What realms are they?”
“There are twenty-seven of us, including myself. Fourteen of them are in the great ascension realm. Half of them are in the early to mid stage of the great ascension realm, four are in the late stage great ascension realm, and the other two can ascend to immortality at any time.”
“What is the size of the reinforcements that would join when the Full Moon Fortress is completed?”
“Around eight thousand, a small number, really. However, it will include those from the nascent soul to great ascension realms.
“So they are the elites.”
“It is one of the most elite forces in the entire cultivation world.”
The deer man had no choice but to be honest. He decided to make Grid extra wary of their forces. He wanted Grid to believe that it would be impossible to oppose the demon cultivators.
However, that backfired.
“How long will it take you to build the Full Moon Fortress?”
“...It’s going to take longer than normally. First of all, we have to set up the heavenly cauldron, and attack...”
“What is the heavenly cauldron?”
The deer man hesitated. The chains of the contract emitted a strong magic power. The deer man struggled and his eyes rolled like he had been electrocuted. He barely managed to speak.
“The heavenly cauldron... As the name suggests, it is a cauldron from heaven. It’s a treasure that fell from the ancestral realm a long time ago. We use it to create instance dungeons, as you call them.”
‘Isn’t this the ability of Eat Spicy Jokbal?’
Certainly, Eat Spicy Jokbal was the heavenly cauldon that heaven had given the players... No, it was fair to just call him a great guy. How many dungeons created by Eat Spicy Jokbal had helped the Overgeared Guild and the empire?
Grid suddenly felt grateful.
The deer man went on. “We set the desired rewards and create a dungeon... Once that’s done, it will take us a month to get the necessary materials to construct the Full Moon Fortress.”
Grid couldn’t believe what he was hearing. “You can set rewards? Then why don’t you get the super galaxy treasures as well?”
“The higher the level of the reward, the higher the difficulty of the heavenly cauldron. We can’t just set super galaxy treasures as rewards. It’s not realistic.”
Grid really wanted that cauldron. The deer man scoffed in his mind when he saw the greed in his opponent’s eyes.
Grid was probably as powerful as the angels had said, but he didn’t dare oppose the cultivators. How could Grid recklessly go against the demon cultivators when there were as many as fourteen great ascension cultivators?
The deer man had lost the duel because he couldn’t measure the level of Grid’s Earth Escape Arts and made an unfavorable deal. It was ridiculous to feel a vain desire for even a moment.
As expected, Grid quickly said, “As long as there is still time, I have to postpone dealing with Asgard for now.”
He used the excuse that he still had time, but anyone could see that he was intimidated. The deer man failed to keep his face neutral. He grinned.
Grid saw this and smiled at him.
“Give me everything you have.”
The grin disappeared from the deer man’s face.
“I wonder what type of technique books and mystical arts books a demon cultivator carries. I also really want that mace.”
“You are no different from a thief.”
The deer man’s eyes widened. He was filled with killing intent.
Grid hadn’t expected this response. Cultivators tended to succumb quickly when they were in a dilemma, but the deer man was confident despite the fact that he was about to be robbed of all his possessions.
A smile spread across the deer man’s face again.
“Like a lowly bastard, you blindly trust the Breaking Soul Contract. The contract isn’t all-powerful. If you are too greedy and demand more than what it is worth, the effectiveness of the contract will weaken and eventually break.”
This was why the deer man had set the condition to granting three requests. Just then, the chains of the contract connecting Grid to the deer man’s heart shattered with a loud noise.
“You’ve learned too many secrets. You have dug your own grave.”
The deer man gripped his mace and aimed it at Grid’s head, distorting the space around it. Dozens of shock waves broke out one after another, tearing apart the surrounding area.
Grid responded with a fusion sword dance centered around Revolve. The deer man’s mace couldn’t handle the impact and he got pushed back again and again. Finally, the mace got cut like a radish.
“I have to kill you for you to listen.”
The deer man’s eyes widened and his vision spun around several times. It wasn’t until he saw his own decapitated body that he realized he was dead.