Grid’s apostles had a common characteristic—they showed greater value in team play. It wasn’t because their character was suitable for assisting others. It was simply that their abilities were extraordinary.
The energy of nature ruled by Piaro energized his allies, while Mercedes’ shield skills and chivalric code instilled a firm belief while protecting them. Braham’s very existence benefited all allies who used magic power while being a disaster for his enemies. Sariel’s divinity erased the fear of their allies, while Nefelina...
...In any case, among the apostles, the one who harmonized the most with their allies was Zik.
The time when he was Zikfrector, not Zik—in other words, from the days when he was just the ‘incarnation’ of the seven malignant saints, he mastered all types of martial arts and magic and was praised as the grandmaster. He basically boasted extensive knowledge.
He had a wisdom that could see through providence and could perfectly understand the structure and psychology of human beings. On this basis, he provided a buff suitable for each of his allies. He even adapted to the changing situation in real time. As a result, the Overgeared members who were in a party with Zik experienced a miracle.
[The meaning of the rune written on you has changed.]
[The attack power increase buff is released and your evasion rate has increased.]
The buffs that changed in real time were also a type of hint. The Overgeared members could perceive what type of situation they were in based on the contents of the changed buffs. It was the same for Peak Sword. He had cut the body of the demon who got close to him before hurriedly bending down, preparing to draw his sword again. He didn’t understand what was going on, but he rolled forward first before taking a look. There was a feeling that he looked somewhat unseemly.
-In any case, it doesn’t matter because you already don’t know dignity.
He was angry from Iyarugt’s scolding, but in any case, Peak Sword trusted Zik. He knew that the buff Zik gave him was based on a clear idea.
It was as expected. A magic bombardment fell on the place where Peak Sword had just been. The problem was that the direction in which Peak Sword rolled was included in the bombardment range. Fortunately, the evasion rate increase buff meant he avoided a fatal injury. However, Peak Sword’s face turned deep red.
‘I shouldn’t have rolled.’
If he was going to get hit anyway, he would’ve rather stayed still or cocked his head to the side. Then he would’ve looked as cool as Grid or Kraugel.
Contrary to Peak Sword’s concerns, the reactions of the others were good. It was because from the perspective of a third person, it seemed like Peak Sword had rolled and escaped the magic. Thanks to Ruby, who healed him while praising him, Peak Sword calmed his anger.
He widened his stride and took a lower posture. Iyarugt was drawn from the sheath. Blood swirled around the transparent red sword.
It had already cut. The swiftly drawn sword split one side of the battlefield in half. The target demon’s body was split from side to side and the demons around him turned to gray ash as they ran. The buff applied to Peak Sword also returned to the attack power increase buff right away.
Peak Sword gave a thumbs up to Zik in the distance. “Hey! You are the best! You are really the best!”
Would this cry be heard? The battlefield was very noisy and the distance between Peak Sword and Zik was too far.
Zik’s gaze was to the front, not the side. From the beginning until now, he had been advancing while staring at the toad at the end of the enemy’s formation. Nevertheless, he constantly gave new buffs to all the Overgeared members scattered throughout the battlefield. It was as if he had eyes attached to each and every Overgeared member.
At this point, they wondered if he had the same vision as Jishuka. It was a vision that could see the entire battlefield.
Just then, arrows fell. As if shot from the clouds, the baptism of arrows fell in a straight line, not a parabola, and was like a torrential rain.
A faint smile appeared on Zik’s face as he made his way along the path that was opened.
‘It is comfortable.’
He remembered the days when he roamed the battlefield with his six companions before he received the stigma of the seven malignant saints. His companions always paved the way for Zik and with their help, Zik was able to defeat many of his enemies.
In retrospect, the enemies were all innocent. It was because the war that Zik and his companions fought was by no means a holy war. It was nothing more than lowly violence that was wielded to fill the god’s stomachs.
Therefore, Zik didn’t deny the moniker of Seven Malignant Saints. He wielded enormous power in the days when he was behind the Saharan Empire, but he didn’t change the history associated with the Seven Malignant Saints. It was because they committed too many sins to claim that the Seven Malignant Saints were wrongly framed.
That’s right—Zik’s ultimate goal wasn’t to appease the vengeful spirits of his colleagues. It was just an incidental wish. His real purpose was pure, just as he stated before Hanul. It was to condemn the despicable gods and create a world that was more beneficial to humans.
Therefore, he was a hero. A great hero was supporting Grid. A god who didn’t put the words ‘holy war’ in his mouth and existed solely for the sake of humanity—Zik hoped the Overgeared World would cover the entire world.
“Croak...! Your arrogance is skyrocketing!” Chepardea exclaimed ferociously. One of the human beings he should be most vigilant about—while he acknowledged Zik’s skills as one of the Seven Malignant Saints, it wasn't the same when it came to Zik’s ideas.
“I’ve seen countless human beings with the same eyes as yours! They are the eyes of a fanatic! Croak!”
He saw it at the Yatan Church. The humans who served Yatan, the one who abandoned hell a long time ago, rather than the great Baal, the new master and only king of hell. The people who were completely misled by Amoract had no answers. They didn’t argue about right or wrong and only blindly believed in Yatan. That was the case with ZIk now.
The upright look in his eyes without a single doubt was so annoying that it made his stomach ache. Zik spoke as he finally succeeded in narrowing the distance with the one who reacted more sensitively than necessary, “You have doubts.”
“What nonsense...?! Croak!”
Chepardea’s long, thick tongue moved downwards. It smashed and dug into the hard ground. Shortly thereafter, it soared up from Zik’s feet.
A pus-like mucus was emerging from the bumpy skin on his large face. It was a mucus with a strong toxicity. Not a single drop touched Zik. It was because one of the many runes surrounding him had the meaning of immunity.
“What type of alienation do you feel in your relationship with Baal?”
Zik moved his sword and cut off Chepardea’s tongue. The blood that gushed out like a fountain turned into a foggy mist and was sprayed. It was a bloody fog that blocked the enemy’s vision and senses, poisoning them.
Chepardea’s body was made entirely of poison. Ordinary people would die just by breathing in the same space.
However, Zik knew that Chepardea had crossed the continent with Agnus, Baal’s former contractor. Originally, every path that he walked should be filled with human corpses, but this wasn’t the case. Calling him Baal’s right arm was a bit mild.
“Or are your instincts starting to reject Baal?”
“Stop talking nonsense, croak!”
Chepardea couldn’t understand it.
On what grounds does this person use to sever my relationship with Baal?
Baal is great. Only Baal can claim to be the master of hell and deserve my allegiance. I am ready to dedicate everything to him.
...Wait? So what is the difference between that fanatic and I?
Chepardea’s big eyes fluttered as he felt great doubts. There was a worry that he would explode from the way his body was bulging and rolling around.
“Do not serve a deceiver.”
Even the heavenly gods had deceived humans. Would the master of hell be any different? Considering Baal’s disposition, there was a high probability that most of Baal’s close associates were in a miserable position like the Seven Malignant Saints of the past.
This was what he thought and expressed in words. He didn’t have expectations that Chepardea was a good being. This advice just came from a simple sense of similarity. However, his hands didn’t show any mercy. Zik had a golden opportunity to catch and kill Baal’s closest subordinate, which Zik couldn’t miss.
Of course, Chepardea’s resistance was also intense. He used the mucus that surrounded his body to cause Zik’s sword to slip off. He immediately regenerated the severed tongue and spread open a net. It was used so that even one attack from the demons could reach Zik. He even summoned three great demons skilled in magic in an attempt to destroy ZIk’s runes.
At first glance, he saw through Zik’s tactics, which seemed invincible. This was why it was hard to ignore old beings. The experience and wisdom accumulated from a long life couldn’t be ignored.
Zik was worried that the time would be delayed when he suddenly made eye contact with Yura.
There was no need for any conversation. The two of them weren’t particularly acquainted, but they knew each other well. Zik noticed the relationship between Grid and Yura and had been keeping an eye on her. Yura had heard a lot about Zik from Grid. It wasn’t difficult to guess what the other was thinking as long as they were on the same battlefield.
Zik’s sword pierced Yura’s abdomen.
It was a completely incomprehensible situation. It wasn’t just the Overgeared members. Chepardea and the great demons were astonished as well.
‘Black magic...! Yes, he must’ve been subjected to black magic! His Highness Baal has helped! Croak!’
It happened as Chepardea interpreted it as positively as possible...
Zik’s sword, which had just pierced Yura’s abdomen, ended up piercing Chepardea’s large back. It contained immense power. Runes were wrapped around the Saharan Sword, Zik’s sword that pierced Chepardea. They were runes that made up destructive words. Not only was Chepardea’s mucus easily destroyed, but his skin and bones were split apart like tofu. Even the regenerative power was suppressed.
“Cowardly, bastard...” Chepardea barely managed to speak as he coughed up blood. He belatedly discovered that there was a black hole opened in front of Yura’s abdomen. It was the application of the Hell Leap skill. Zik’s sword, which he thought had pierced Yura, had actually only been swallowed up by the Hell Leap where the destination was Chepardea’s back.
From the standpoint of the victim, it was a perfect collaboration that could only elicit curses. It was cowardly even from the perspective of a demon.
“I can see why my god likes you.”
“I understand why you are trusted.”
Zik and Yura’s swords crossed with Chepardea in the center as they praised each other. It happened the moment when Chepardea’s eyes were turned upside down as he was cut into three parts...
A hand protruded from a crevice in Chepardea’s severed body.
The atmosphere of the battlefield changed. The bodies of all the Overgeared members and the kings of the different species, stiffened like stone statues.
Zik’s eyes narrowed. Who should be protected? A single word filled his mind as he contemplated Yura, Jishuka, and Ruby at the same time—annihilation.
[The 1st Great Demon, Baal, has appeared.]
Shock and horror—the Absolute of hell, who appeared while tearing apart Chepardea’s flesh, made everyone lose their minds. However, Baal wasn’t interested in the invaders. He only put his fingers into the head of Chepardea, who was smiling at him even at the moment of death, and wriggled around in his brain.
“It is no fun if you die like this.”
“Ugh...? Baal...! Baaaal!!” Chepardea’s eyes had lost their light and were dying, but now they suddenly widened. His gaze filled with anger and hatred was directed at Baal, not Zik. “You..! To God Yatan...!”
The memories he had forgotten filled his mind. It was along with the memories of being ridiculed and murdered hundreds of thousands of times by Baal. However, Chepardea felt more desperate and angry about the insults that his master had suffered than the pain he had suffered. He hated himself for cursing and forgetting his true master.
Baal’s expression hardened. “It doesn’t change no matter how many times it is repeated.”
This was the end. Baal, who trampled on Chepardea’s efforts, dragged his body to the ground and burned it with the flames of hell. Then he disappeared without a trace.
“That bastard is ignoring us now...! Oof oof!”
Vantner was shouting in a thunderous voice when he was suddenly silenced.
[The meaning of the rune written on you has changed.]
[The abnormal status resistance buff has changed to the ‘silence’ state.]
Surprisingly, it was done by Zik.
The dumbfounded Vantner tried to argue with Zik, only to stop. He noticed the cold sweat that was pouring down Zik’s body like rain. It was even more shocking because he knew Zik’s strength. Baal felt like a wall that was endlessly high.