In the span of just a few hours, Grea City had transformed from its usual sight of a big metropolis full of engines into a vacant land with only a few important buildings. Even though the news about the dragon being expelled had spread, no player aside from the ones affiliated with the Wicked Union traveled into the city. With most of the buildings gone and no market in the city, it would take a long time before players paid this city a visit.
The Royal Armament Guild’s members spent their time moving their campsite from the forest’s edge into the city. Bluebird, as the Blue Pigeon Guild’s representative who donated a big asset to the union, had several things to discuss with Cross and the Royal Armament Guild’s leading figures.
Noticing that the discussion wasn’t related to him, Sila left the main camp.
“Where are you going, Big Brother Sila?” Someone called him from behind. Sila didn’t need to turn back to realize that the owner of the voice was Jundtrathep.
Tiger and his team members were sitting nearby, chatting. They all turned their heads to Sila.
“Hi, everyone. We didn’t get a chance to talk after that day,” Sila greeted them.
“That’s true, Big Brother. After the fight, this is the first we’ve gotten to rest. How about sitting with us, Big Brother? Let’s talk about what happened,” said Aek, to which Tod added.
“Yes, Big Brother, especially the fight of you and Big Brother Blue against the Emperor-Rank dragon. You have to tell us.”
“Eh? I thought Blue already told you all,” Sila wondered. In fact, he wouldn’t find it strange if Bluebird had told the tale to every single one of the players present in the city.
After the fight against Infernee, Sila lost all his power, so he had to spend his time recuperating. Therefore, he asked Bluebird to explain what had happened to everyone in his place, which Bluebird was willing to do.
“He did, but we also want to listen to the story from Big Brother Sila’s mouth. I personally think that what Big Brother Blue told us was too boastful.”
“What did he tell you?” Sila sat next to Tiger who was cleaning his already shiny shield.
After he finished hearing Aek and Tod recount Bluebird’s explanation, Sila didn’t know whether he should laugh or cry. He replayed the contents of ‘The Great Battle: The Eagle and the Tiger Subduing the Dragon’ in his head.
One was a young formidable tiger whose fearfulness was renowned throughout the land, and one was a great eagle who traveled in secrecy but always attained glory each time he revealed his strength. Both of them desired to eliminate the calamity befalling the masses without minding their personal safety. They stepped into the domain of the Dragon Empress without any fear in their determined minds.
The young tiger rushed and clashed against the female dragon in an intense fight while the great eagle was waiting calmly and patiently for an opportunity to deal a decisive blow. He was calm and collected no matter how tense the battle became. Even as he witnessed his dear colleague, the young tiger, make several mistakes and come close to losing both the battle and his life, the great eagle still waited while gritting his teeth as he believed in his friend.
Once the battle intensified and the young tiger was on the borders of life and death, the great eagle decided to execute an astute plan, making the female dragon lower her guard while opening a chance for the young tiger to resume his fight. Soon, the young tiger continued to trade blows against the female dragon.
The great eagle always hunted his prey with ultimate precision. Every single one of his attacks must be deadly. The battle went on with the female dragon always gaining an upper hand against the young tiger. Finally, once she showed the briefest opening, the great eagle’s dreadful claw flew and seized her head in an instant, sending the soul of the Dragon Empress to Nirvana in a single strike.
“...Why does it have to be the young tiger, the great eagle, and the female dragon? Everyone should know that they’re me, Bluebird, and Infernee,” Sila wondered.
“We also asked this question, but Big Brother Blue told us that we will know once we read the special volume, which will soon be published.”
“We want to know whether his story is true. It isn’t that we are suspecting him. We know that Big Brother Blue got the right to conquer the city from the system, and it implied that he really was the one who defeated Infernee. However, his story was too unbelievable. How was it possible that he could defeat Infernee in one move?” asked Tod.
Sila thought about it for a really long time. As expected from Bluebird, his writing skill as a newshawk was unparalleled. Even Sila, who personally took part in the situation, couldn’t find any lies in Bluebird’s tale.
Sila indeed rushed and clashed against Infernee, and he couldn’t argue that Bluebird was waiting calmly and patiently for the right timing. It was also true that he had lost against Infernee. She was far stronger than him. With the skills in her possession, if she were to fight without focusing on her defense, she would have killed him several times.
In the middle of the battle, Bluebird pretended to fall unconscious, which was undeniably an astute plan to make Infernee lower her guard. Not to mention the last part implied Sila had fought for a long time yet was always overwhelmed by Infernee, but Bluebird showed his power only once and could send her back to where she came from. It wasn’t a lie at all.
Today marked the first time Sila saw the truth in the saying ‘The pen is mightier than the sword’. Even he, who personally took part in the battle, felt his ability was severely lacking compared to Bluebird’s.
“Ermm... Not a single part of his story holds any lie, I’d say,” Sila muttered. He also wasn’t confident in his own words.
“Eh? Sila, do you mean Mister Blue could really defeat the Emperor-Rank dragon in a single attack?” Tiger asked as he was shocked.
“Erm... she is just a clone. I’m quite positive that her ability must be lacking compared to the real one.”
“Nevertheless, she is still the clone of an Emperor Rank monster, isn’t she? There was no way she was weak. The monsters of that rank are absurdly monstrous. My legs still shake every time someone mentions Lucifer,” said Tod.
“Talking about a monster... Mamon said he has something to give to you all... Release Mamon,” Sila said and summoned Mamon.
Mamon neatly made an appearance and looked at everyone with scornful eyes. “Hey, I didn’t say I would give them anything for free.”
“Easy, easy. It’s the same anyway.” Sila shrugged.
Mamon felt Sila’s disposition had changed yet again. Sometimes Sila was fearful and sometimes he looked harmless enough to make Mamon want to try breaking him. Mamon opened his system window and tossed several items onto the ground like they were worthless pieces of trash.
“What is this, Mister Mamon?” Tiger asked while lifting his hand up to prevent Aek and Tod from playing with the odd objects. Although they didn’t ask Sila who Mamon was, they had already discussed among themselves the boy’s identity and figured that he was another one of Sila’s Lord-Rank monsters.
“Weapons, obviously. You asked me to make something that you could sell. These are fit for your request. I produced and modified them personally. I guarantee that you can’t find them elsewhere.”
Seeing everyone’s confused expressions, Sila explained, “In the past, the Wicked Union asked me to come up with items that can compete against the Cloudy Baby Dragon Ring. Thus, I requested Mamon’s help and he finally came up with these.”
Everyone began to pick up the items on the ground. Dissatisfaction was clearly shown on Aek and Tod’s faces.
“A sword without a blade?”
“A ragged pair of gloves?”
“A bow without a string?”
“A half-broken spear?”
Mamon gritted his teeth. “You fools!! Are you looking down on the items I made? How about I bully you for a bit?!”
Sila quickly caught Mamon’s head to stop the boy from dashing forward. He explained, “They are laser-based weapons like what the androids in Lost Grea City use. You can’t find a place to purchase them no matter how hard you look. Please try pressing the blue button.”
Everyone followed Sila’s instruction and pressed the blue buttons on the weapons in their hands. Soon, the missing parts were replaced with lasers, giving off a surprisingly powerful aura. Inspecting the weapons, they found all of them were A Grade items.
“Aren’t laser-based weapons exclusive to the android race? I always thought players can’t use them,” said Pim.
Laser-based weapons were one of the unique traits of the android race. They were powerful weapons that couldn’t be easily defended against. Even Zazae’s body which was properly clad with energy reinforcement was still easily pierced by Mamon’s laser blades. However, the laser-based weapons normally required the energy being generated by the android cores. Thus, players couldn’t use them. Nevertheless, Mamon altered the weapons by reducing the energy generator’s size and directly embedding a small, replaceable version within each weapon. As a result, the laser-based weapons with built-in generators were born.
“I modified them, that’s all. They are what you want: the items which your comrades desire but are harmful to your enemies. The approach that the white-haired brat used is too indirect. True, that ring is decent. However, what everyone truly desires is power, and weapons are the simplest answer.”
Tiger waved the laser spear and found it was very suitable for him. “However, aren’t they also beneficial to our enemies?”
“No, the energy generator can only last five minutes. We can just sell them at a high price. We hold the monopoly, so we can set whatever price we want.”
“Five minutes? Isn’t that too short?” Aek wondered.
“Do not worry. The public-use version lasts five minutes, but the ones we will be using can last an hour. The cost of manufacturing energy generators is not high. However, craftsmanship skills at the level of the Android King or myself are required.”
“But... it’s just five minutes anyway. Considering the short period of time, people might not want to buy it,” Pond expressed her opinion while feeling reluctant to do so.
Mamon turned his serious gaze to her. “Listen to me, little girl. I will teach you an important life lesson. Power and authority are the ultimate addictive substances. Once tasted, the feeling of being able to defeat the opponents stronger than themselves will be ingrained into the deepest part of their mind. Afterward, no matter how expensive such a power costs, they can’t resist their desire to obtain it. Remember. You chose your words incorrectly. It’s not just five minutes but, five whole minutes. For five minutes, they feel like they are War Gods.”
Tiger agreed with Mamon. “What you said is right. However, isn’t it still dangerous for us even if our opponents can use such powerful items for five minutes? They can just spend money to purchase the energy generators in bulk.”
Mamon grinned. “I already thought about it. Have you noticed the three buttons?”
In fact, they had all noticed them from the first glance. The three buttons had different colors, going in order of blue, green, and red.
“Only the weapons for your group have three buttons. The public-use versions will only have one. The blue one is for activating and deactivating the laser.”
“What about the other two?” Aek asked while pressing the red button.
“The red one is for detonating...” Mamon said flatly, but Aek’s face immediately became pale. He didn’t dare to release his finger from the pressed button.
Pim promptly scolded her friend. “Stupid! Playing with a gadget without listening properly. Go away and explode elsewhere. Don’t blow yourself up near us.”
“Oi?! What should I do? Could you please cancel it, pleaseee?! Oi? Tod, you are my brother, why did you get the furthest away from me?” Aek panicked while everyone stepped away from him.
Mamon sighed wearily. “Calm down, brat. You are annoying. Release your finger. It won’t explode. The ones that will explode are the public-use version.”
Aek released a sigh of relief and removed his finger from the button. His friends returned to their seats, and Pim lightly hit Aek on the head once out for making everyone panic.
“For the red button, when you press it, you will detonate all of the public-use weapons within a kilometer. The more energy generators they carry, the more powerful the explosion will become. Those fools who get their hands on them won’t even be aware that they are carrying a massive bomb wherever they go. If they come at us with these weapons, we can just simply press the red button and send them to the afterlife.”
“What about the green button?” Tiger asked, while everyone shifted their gazes to Aek, who didn’t dare to play around anymore.
“It will generate a barrier to cover your body. It will be useful for defending against an attack. If the attack isn’t powerful enough, it can’t penetrate the barrier. Well, the energy consumption is quite high.”
“Wow. These are cheat items. As expected from Mammon, to be so devilish... Ah!” Tod said before covering his own mouth.
Mamon turned to Tod and let off an evil laugh. “For me, those are compliments. It’s my style to cheat and be devilish. Kiekkiekkiek.”
Seeing that the conversation had gone long enough, Sila said, “There, take the items and try using them. Mamon, please give everyone spare energy generators.”
Mamon poured dozens of mini energy generators onto the ground. Tiger attentively listened to the instructions for usage. Meanwhile, Jundtrathep secretly tugged on Sila’s sleeve.
“Hm? What is it, Jund?”
“Er... Why are you giving them to us, Big Brother Sila?”
“I remembered Pim’s complaint that the union favored the skilled members above others, like with the Qi of Little Divine Beings. These weapons too, if I give them to Cross, you all will have to wait before your turn comes. That’s why I decided to secretly give them to you first.”
Jundtrathep felt she saw a fascinating glow emitting from Sila’s eyes. Her cheeks were pink. She took a deep breath to muster her courage.
“Big Brother Sila, where are you going?”
“I’m thinking of going to the Information Building. I want to ask the NPC about the Lord-Rank privilege and the hidden potential of skills,” replied Sila.
“Jund knows where the Information Building is. I will bring you there, Big Brother Sila, in case you can’t find it.”
“Err... there are only four or five buildings though. I bet I can find it easily.”
“Think of it as me returning your favor. Big Brother Sila is always kind to us.”
“It may be boring though. Even I’m hesitant to go,” Sila replied honestly.
Suddenly, Bluebird came to join their conversation. He even naturally blended into the team as if he was a part of the Tiger Team.
“Sir Blue has arrived~ Have you been missing me? Come, come, I will tell you the heroic tale of when I defeated the Water Dragon Leviathan this time. It will be a fun story.”
Everyone joyfully welcomed Bluebird. It seemed the ability to get along with others was another one of Bluebird’s special abilities.
Jundtrathep tugged Sila’s sleeve again. “Please, let Jund go with you. I don’t want to be here and listen to Big Brother Blue’s story. I think it’s better for me to listen to Big Brother Sila’s version.”
Sila looked at Bluebird who was about to tell a story by creating special sound effects and flashes of lighting through his magic spells while matching his voice to the characters in the story.
Even though the Tiger Team’s members tried to act like they were uninterested in the story, their curiosities were piqued and they couldn’t resist the urge to listen to Bluebird.
“It was a stormy day. The sky rumbled and a death star was shining brightly in the sky. Three heroes rode a raft in a dangerous quest to encounter the Water Dragon—the Lord of the Sea. Everyone said that it was a suicide mission, though the three heroes weren’t discouraged.
The great eagle consoled the other two heroes, ‘Don’t worry, guys. I’m well prepared. Hunting a dragon is no different from catching a fish. See? I have a fishing rod with me.’
On the other hand, the young male merman trembled in fear. He clung to the great eagle’s leg and said with his shaky voice, ‘Oh, the great eagle, but this lowly one is so weak…’.”
Sila sighed as he listened to Bluebird’s tale. “Sure, let’s go. I don’t think I want to listen to his tale either.”
The two of them sneakily left without letting anyone know as they were busy listening to another one of Bluebird’s legends.
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