Seol Jihu did not go back home immediately.
He walked. He walked without a destination.
He wanted to cool his mind, but the more he wandered around, the bigger the flames in his mind burnt.
Seol Jihu walked all around the city and engraved the scenery into his mind.
When his aimless steps finally stopped, he was at the temple.
The temple of Gula.
Seol Jihu climbed the stairs slowly. Although he didn’t have any business here, he wandered in as though he was entranced.
Perhaps because it was the middle of the night, the temple was empty.
As soon as the stone statue came into view, Seol Jihu stopped and bowed.
He emptied his mind as well. He simply wanted to.
Gula didn’t initiate a conversation either. She simply reached out toward Seol Jihu’s head, stroking it quietly.
In the beautiful night, a warrior stood in front of a stone statue with his head bowed, and a goddess placed her hand on his head.
How much time went by? As the gentle touch continued, Seol Jihu felt his rapidly beating heart slow down.
He finally cooled down.
[We aren’t turning a blind eye because we want to.]
Around this time, Gula’s voice rang out.
[Just like how you humans are bound by an oath, we gods are also bound by the law of causality forming the world. Overturning what we brought upon ourselves would be no different than forfeiting our arms to the Parasite Queen.]
[Of course, we do take action when we can, eliminating them through the Banquets, or…]
Gula paused for a moment…
[Using you as my spear.]
Before completing her sentence calmly.
[Why do you think Luxuria gave you that class name?]
Nemesis, the goddess of vengeance who, regardless of righteousness or evil, enacted retribution against those who crossed the line.
The Earthlings had crossed this line long ago, and Seol Jihu was Gula’s spear.
[Child, we do not have much time. The Parasite Queen is scheming something again.]
[Something far more sinister than the Arden Valley war…]
Seol Jihu usually couldn’t understand Gula’s riddle-like words. But this time, he understood them perfectly.
‘We do not have much time.’
Evidently, with the threat of the Parasites looming over his head, his current worries were simply not worthy of his time.
[What are you hesitating for?]
Seol Jihu closed his eyes and shook his head.
[A feather can only cause a small ripple.]
Gula’s voice started out calmly…
[But a titan can raise a tsunami with a simple step…!]
Then it suddenly grew fierce.
Gula’s voice echoed in his head, and Seol Jihu shuddered with excitement. The blood flowing through his veins turned hot.
[And carry out your will in the name of Nemesis!]
The slumbering titan woke up.
Kim Hannah was sitting in the lobby, raising her head at the sound of footsteps coming from the entrance.
The moment she saw Seol Jihu walking towards her from a distance, she shot up from her chair.
“Just where have you been!?”
“The library, and a shop.”
“You should have said something then. Going off alone…”
Seol Jihu cut her off, continuing immediately.
“You said you knew a thing or two about this city, right?”
Kim Hannah flinched at his serene tone.
“Prepare a report on all the organizations making a mess out of Eva. Don’t miss a single detail.”
“And summon everyone who’s Level 4 and above other than Master Jang and Yuhui Noona. Now.”
Seol Jihu left these words behind and climbed up the stairs in big strides, crossing three or four steps each time.
The dumbstruck Kim Hannah suddenly felt something amiss. She immediately thought, ‘No way’. She quickly chased after him, and as expected, Seol Jihu was in his room, putting on his armor. They were cheap goods easily found in stores.
Becoming sure of her suspicion, Kim Hannah darted forward in fright.
“H-Hey! Are you out of your mind? What are you doing?”
Seol Jihu didn’t answer and silently tightened a leather strap.
When Kim Hannah jumped up and down, throwing a fit…
“There’s a tale from the Romance of Three Kingdoms.”
He finally spat out a line.
“When Cao Cao was in the Army of the Western Garden as the Colonel Who Arranged the Army, Jian Shuo’s uncle, an influential eunuch of the Ten Attendants, broke the law. Cao Cao promptly flogged him to death, and ever since, no one dared to break the law.”
Kim Hannah snorted, but soon regained her composure and calmly refuted.
“That’s in the Romance of the Three Kingdoms, a novel. This is Paradise.”
Instead of replying, Seol Jihu lightly waved his hand. With a heavy thump, a thick book dropped down to Kim Hannah’s feet.
Eva’s law book.
Kim Hannah’s eyes narrowed.
“Federation-related War Law, Article 22 Clause 1. Earthlings shall not use excessive battle power in the Federation Border Region, except for military purposes or self-preservation. In addition, they shall be executed if the collateral damage resulting from their use of battle power is deemed too excessive.”
Seol Jihu continued.
“Relating to Article 22 Clause 1, if a prisoner of war results from the outcome of a battle, the Eva Royal Palace shall be the arbiter for all following proceedings. Earthlings shall not enact physical or mental violence upon a prisoner of war. Regardless of type and degree, all acts of violence beyond what is necessary for military purposes is strictly prohibited. Those found in violation shall be executed.”
Kim Hannah became lost for words when Seol Jihu emphasized the word ‘prohibited’. She barely managed to spit out a line.
“You know that I’m not talking about a law that might as well not exist.”
Seol Jihu turned his gaze and pushed newly bought javelins into his storage belt. Kim Hannah drew a breath before approaching Seol Jihu with a forced smile.
“Jihu, I fully understand how you feel. I really do. But you need to give this more thought.”
“It’s not as if you don’t know what kind of result your action will bring about, right?”
Seol Jihu snorted.
“Well, this is unexpected.”
“Wasn’t this what you wanted?”
Kim Hannah’s breath stiffened.
“The nightlife scenery might be one thing, but we didn’t need to go down to the auction house’s basement.”
Seol Jihu’s voice was calm, yet a blade-like coldness could be felt from it.
“You brought me there. To show me.”
It finally hit Kim Hannah that something was off.
The Seol Jihu in front of her wasn’t the Seol Jihu she knew. His usual carefree attitude was nowhere to be seen. Instead, he had transformed into a demon radiating a chilling aura.
Almost as if he was possessed.
It was a mistake if she could call it that. Kim Hannah wanted to enrage Seol Jihu and for him to direct that fury at the eight organizations ruling Eva.
The problem was that she overshot the mark.
Never in her wildest imaginations did she think he would draw his sword on his first day here.
In fact, this was the first time that she was seeing Seol Jihu with his ‘switch’ on. If she had seen him in this state at least once before, or if she had heard what Phi Sora usually called him, she would have stopped where appropriate without ever turning on this switch.
“…Give it more thought.”
Even though she knew it was too late to turn back, Kim Hannah spoke with a trembling voice.
“We can grow our size and slowly dominate them. When the time comes, they will crawl beneath us on their own. Right now is when we should be biding our time.”
Her plan wasn’t wrong, just different.
Moreover, they lacked time.
Seol Jihu stopped responding to her, unwrapping the blue cloth covering the Spear of Purity. The spear was still heavy, and he could still feel resistance from it.
Seol Jihu sighed and put down his spear. Then, just as he was about to gather his comrades… he caught sight of a red egg sitting in the middle of the doorway.
What was it doing there? The moment he thought this…
Woong! Along with a vigorous ringing sound, formless energy burst out from the egg.
Although his eyes could not see it, the flow of the energy spread out like a ripple. It passed Seol Jihu and touched the Spear of Purity.
Woooooong! As the energy pulsated, a mystical phenomenon occurred. The translucent spear began to fill up with color.
It only took a few seconds for the silvery-white light, spreading like water paint, to completely dye the spear.
What looked like an object carved out of ice now looked like it was crafted with white snow.
Seol Jihu unknowingly picked up the Spear of Purity, which was emitting a silvery light. His eyebrows immediately went up.
The heaviness and resistance were completely gone. It was light like he was holding a pool noodle, and he could move it as he wished.
He couldn’t feel anything beyond this change, but what mattered was that the Spear of Purity was now usable.
Seol Jihu stared at the red egg.
Until now, it didn’t even pretend to listen to him, so why was it allowing him to use the spear now?
The answer was easy. The Arcus Spirit was an examiner, observing its owner’s actions and permitting the spear’s use as fit.
Seol Jihu’s eyes flickered. This must mean that the Arcus Spirit approved of his plan.
“What’s up? Are we fighting someone?”
His teammates rushed inside even before they were called because loud voices had gone back and forth along with a powerful undulation of energy.
“I have something to say.”
Seol Jihu calmly spoke.
Feeling the heavy air, everyone became quiet. Yi Seol-Ah stared at Seol Jihu with an anxious look.
“Can you… trust me this one time and follow me?”
It was out of the blue. Chohong and Hugo justifiably wore expressions that said, ‘What crap are you spouting?’
But that only lasted a moment. After seeing the armor on Seol Jihu and the spear in his hand, they exchanged glances with each other.
And then they turned around and left at the same time.
By the time they came back, they were fully armed with their own equipment.
Chohong placed the Thorn of Steel on her shoulder and nodded.
She agreed readily.
“I don’t know what’s going on, but you must have your reason. Let’s go. You can explain later.”
Hugo also agreed as he cracked his neck.
The trust Seol Jihu had built up since the Forest of Denial was showing its worth.
Marcel Ghionea, who was standing with his arms crossed, also turned around and left. He must have gone to get his own equipment.
“It’s only the first day… huaaam.”
Maria yawned as if she didn’t really care.
“This guy’s at it again…”
Only Phi Sora sent doubtful glances.
Seol Jihu walked forward. As he was about to leave, he saw Jang Maldong standing silently and paused.
“Are you really going to do it?”
“…Can I not?”
“Earthlings will see you as a madman.”
His voice was grave. For some reason, he seemed to be dissuading him.
‘Am I a madman?’
Seol Jihu knew.
[A world where people only pursue their own freedom and success, throwing aside all morals and responsibilities. A world poisoned by self-indulgence.]
That Paradise wouldn’t change just because of this.
What the eight organizations would do, how the royal family would react, and how the Earthlings would view this matter— these things were all obvious.
Some might say that he was acting up. That he would need to get badly burnt before he would snap out of his fantasies.
[It’s good to be angry at your losses. It’s not bad to scorn yourself and reflect on your actions. That’s all good, but—]
[But… is that all?]
The world wouldn’t change if he stayed still.
Do unto others as they do unto you. That was what he learned at the Banquet.
He had told Sorg Kühne. That he wouldn’t sit still.
During the war, just as he was about to give up in hopelessness, he had thrown everything aside and decided — that he wouldn’t hold back any longer.
To Seol Jihu, Earthlings were madmen.
To Earthlings, Seol Jihu should be the madman.
Paradise was mad too.
And it was only falling deeper into madness.
Then, fine. So be it. Even if he were to become a madman—
[The bastards who threw away their duty and didn’t even participate in the war. Doesn’t seeing them hold their heads up high fill you with disgust?]
[The sons of bitches who secretly scheme to undermine anyone who threatens their self-interest. Don’t you want to gather them up and kill them all?]
He would confront them, no longer avoiding them.
[Don’t you have any thoughts about becoming a King?]
Now, it was time to keep the promise he made with himself and everyone else.
“…I don’t know if what I’m about to do is the right thing.”
Seol Jihu spoke calmly.
“But I do think it is something that must be done.”
“Something that must be done, you say…”
Jang Maldong reiterated what Seol Jihu said and stepped aside.
Hearing this, Seol Jihu bowed and moved his steps. Kim Hannah’s hope crumbled down, having hoped Jang Maldong would stop Seol Jihu.
“Ah… just what the hell did you do to him…”
Phi Sora scratched her head fiercely before nudging the dazed Kim Hannah.
“Hello? Can I get my equipment back? Hurry.”
Kim Hannah didn’t answer. She absent-mindedly stared at the teammates walking down the stairs.
Seol Jihu was heading for the world, not by anyone else’s will but his own.
Soon, as he exited through the door, Kim Hannah shut her eyes tightly.
The die had been cast.
A party of six cut through a desolate boulevard. Passing through the night street, they headed to the outskirts of the city, where the VIP auction house was located.
A shabby building came into view from a distance.
Chohong and Hugo walked in silence. Marcel Ghionea loaded his crossbow, and Maria quickly chanted a spell.
“Are you really going?”
Phi Sora asked again with a look of disbelief. This was already the eighth time.
“Are you really going?”
“You know that doing this is waging war against all of Eva’s organizations, right? Are you sure you can han—”
Phi Sora couldn’t finish her sentence. It was because Seol Jihu glared at her with an irritated look.
Although he didn’t say anything, his intent had been delivered.
Leave if you’re going to ask again.
“Hmph, I was just worried about you.”
Phi Sora grumbled in a burst of anger. And she redirected this anger to the poor building in front of her.
Before they noticed, they were in front of the building. Because they didn’t sneak around and directly approached the building from the front, the three or four guards at the entrance turned to face them.
Rather than asking for the tenth time, the grumbling Phi Sora unsheathed the longsword she borrowed again.
“Fine, but just for the record, you’re the one who wanted this.”
Seol Jihu slowly nodded his head.
In the next instant, the air around her changed. She stopped and bent her knees.
On the other hand…
“Who are these guys?”
One of the guards who detected her hostility stepped up.
“Over there, st—”
Whish! Before he could even finish, a fierce wind blew forth. The guard looked up instinctively, seeing the longsword in the woman’s hand flying up like a butterfly and stinging like a bee.
Swish. The blade cut through its target like tofu. Blood flowed down from the severed surface.
Having been beheaded in the blink of an eye, the guard’s body dropped down. The guard standing behind him opened his mouth in shock.
Boom! His face exploded before he noticed. As filth mixed with brain matter and blood splattered everywhere, the two remaining guards turned their gazes in a daze.
There, with a young man shaking his arm, a group of people was gradually coming closer.
They could also see two Mana Spears, hurling toward them at frightening speeds.
With a split second time difference, their heads popped like balloons. Suddenly having lost their heads, their bodies dropped down one by one.
Starting from this point, a terrifying storm raged up from Seol Jihu’s body. The killing intent he had been suppressing shot out freely.
And just like that…
“We’re at a landfill.”
On the first night of their arrival at Eva…
Carpe Diem, under Seol Jihu’s command…
“Annihilate them all.”
…opened fire against Eva’s eight organizations.Previous Chapter Next Chapter