“Gramps, I want to be stronger,” William said with a serious expression. “Please, help me.”
William had thought long and hard and finally came to the decision to ask James for help in order to build his foundations in Martial Combat. He believed that with the help of his passive skills, he would be able to fill the gap that was left when he lost his magic powers.
“You want to be stronger?” James asked. “Getting stronger is always good, but what is your purpose for wanting to get stronger?”
“Purpose to get stronger?”
“Everyone must have a reason to become strong. Imagine yourself as the sharpest sword. Sure, you are sharp and powerful, but if there is no reason for your wielder to use you, you’re just nothing but a sword. A weapon that serves no purpose is nothing compared to a kitchen knife that is used to cook food.”
William was dumbfounded by his grandfather’s explanation. He had long thought of his Grandpa as a battle junkie. A man with brawns, but no brains. For James to speak such scholarly words made the red-headed boy realize that he still didn’t know the true character of his happy-go-lucky grandfather.
‘Purpose? What is my purpose for getting stronger?’ William was at a loss. He hadn’t thought that far when he decided to ask his Grandpa for help. He thought that the reason people sought strength was just to become stronger. The young boy didn’t think of the reasons behind their desire to gain power.
James nodded in satisfaction when he saw William’s reaction. He had seen many youths who desired to get stronger, but they didn’t have any goals in life. Without a destination in mind, these youths were then led astray by others who used their strength for their own convenience.
James didn’t want his grandson to become someone else’s chess piece. He wanted William to control his own destiny and trudge down the path that would allow him to reach his own goals in life.
“Come back to me when you have found your answer,” James patted William’s shoulder. “When you finally find your purpose, I promise that I will do everything in my power to help you gain the power you seek. Until then, think carefully.”
William nodded his head and left his Grandpa’s room without a destination in mind. Soon, he found himself on the hill overlooking Lont.
When he left his hometown to go to the temple, he met Est, Ian, Isaac, Herman, and Nana. They reminded him that Lont was only a small speck of dust within the Southern Continent. Out there, in the vast world of Hestia, many kingdoms and empires could be found.
It made William feel so small. Like he was just an insignificant boy in a world filled with billions of people. Like a grain of sand found on the beach, and a star within the starry skies. What can a small boy like him achieve, in this vast world that is filled with geniuses and experts that look down upon the mortal realm like Gods?
It was at that moment when William’s gaze landed on the ring on his finger.
“The Ring of Conquest,” William muttered absentmindedly at the ring that started it all. If not for this ring, William wouldn’t have entered the Goblin Crypt and unlocked the Shepherd Job Class. He might have lived his life differently compared to the life he had lived up to now.
Suddenly it dawned on him. The ring belonged to his father. Because his father died, his mother had no choice but to send him away from the Silvermoon Continent in order to protect him.
She wanted to protect him from whom? What are the circumstances behind his father’s death? Why was there a need for him to separate from his mother?
William had thought about these questions before when he was younger. However, he had set them aside with the excuse of “I’ll find the answer when I get older”. He didn’t think much about it, but now that he was thinking of what he really wanted to do in his life, his focus had locked onto this mystery that had plagued his childhood.
The red-headed boy hurriedly left the hill and returned to the residence. His purpose was to ask his Grandpa, James, to tell him about the events that had happened in the past. He wanted to know the truth about his true identity and the identity of his parents.
He went directly to his Grandpa’s room, but it was empty.
“Will? Are you looking for your grandpa?” Helen asked as she walked behind him, carrying a broom.
“Aunt, do you know where Grandpa is?” William asked.
“The Master went to Owen’s house to discuss a few things,” Helen answered.
“Thank you!” William gave Helen a quick hug before heading towards Owen’s house.
Ella and the rest of William’s herd were currently in the valley with the other goats and sheep of Lont. It had been a while since the goats had returned to their grazing area and William decided to allow them to head to the valley to feed on the fresh grass that had grown in abundance since the time of the Beast Tide.
Ella was there in order to supervise them, just in case something unexpected happened.
Just as Helen told him, James was indeed inside Owen’s house. The two old men were sharing a bottle of red wine that Owen had been keeping in his wine cellar for many years. William felt a bit awkward as he sat between the two men who were drinking red wine and munching on lamb sausages.
“Have you found your purpose for getting stronger?” James asked. “You can talk freely. Owen is someone who knows how to keep secrets. Also, my purpose for coming here is to convince this old bugger to help with your training.”
“Who are you calling an old bugger?” Owen snapped. “You come here to drink my wine, and eat my sausages, and you dare to call me old bugger? Do you want me to whack you?”
James laughed awkwardly as he returned his attention to his grandson.
William gave Owen a brief glance before clearing his throat. “Gramps, I want to know the truth about me and my parents.”
The lively atmosphere in the room immediately cooled down as James and Owen stared at William with a serious expression.
“Should I leave?” Owen asked. “I think it is better if the two of you speak in private.”
“Sorry for the trouble,” James replied with an apologetic gaze.
“It’s fine.” Owen stood up and patted William’s shoulder before leaving the room. He made sure to properly lock the door behind him and cast a soundproof barrier to ensure that his wife wouldn’t accidentally overhear their conversation.
The grandfather and grandson pair stared at each other for a few minutes before James sighed and broke the silence.
“I was planning to tell you this when you were a little older, but I guess now is also a good time for it,” James said as he emptied the wine in his glass. “Do you want the long version or the short version?”
“The short version please,” William replied.
James nodded his head. “Your father, Maxwell, was a great man. Before you were born, he was hailed as the most powerful man in the Southern Continent. He rose up like a firework and burned brightly like a comet.”
James sighed as he remembered William’s father. “Your father was a Dungeon Conqueror. He had the ability to fuse the dungeon cores with his body. Once he conquered a dungeon, he could summon the monsters that ‘belonged’ to that dungeon. Basically, he was a one man army that has thousands of monsters under his command. Isn’t that cool?”
“That’s so OP…” William gulped.
“It means Overpowered, Gramps.”
“Yes. Your father was OP.” James chuckled and nodded his head. “Perhaps due to how strong his profession was, the Gods themselves placed a limit on it. There can only exist one Dungeon Conqueror in every generation. As long as that person still lives, no one else can acquire this incredibly rare profession.”
William imagined himself sitting on the head of a dragon as legions of monsters conquered the land under his command. The sight was similar to the grand battles in the fantasy movies that he had watched on Earth. William was half-tempted to ask the system about the requirements necessary in order to obtain the Dungeon Conqueror Job Class.
James didn’t know what William was thinking as he continued his tale. “Your father was indeed very strong, but he has one weakness and that was… he was very weak against beautiful women. Back then, the elves were losing the battle against the Demon Lord who was hell bent on conquering the Silvermoon Continent.
Out of desperation, they conceived a plan in order to turn the tables. That plan was to use a ‘Honey Trap’ in order to lure your father to the Silvermoon Continent.”
James gave William a teasing grin as his eyes twinkled in delight. “Guess who was the lady that they used to honey trap your father?”
“Of course it would be none other than the most beautiful lady in the Silvermoon Continent,” William raised his chin in an arrogant manner. “My Mother.”
“You’re right, and the Elven Council has regretted their decision to this day.” James’ laughter boomed inside the room as if to ridicule the long eared bastards who thought that they could one-up his son with their schemes.
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