Chapter 340. Freeze, World! (4)

“Att…!”

As Vulgar Chastity was about to yell, ‘Attack!’ she flinched out of instinct.

“...Huh?”

She didn’t know why she suddenly flinched or why she cowered her neck.

There was no change to the scenery in front of her.

The World Tree was still burning, and so was Tigol Fortress.

“....”

It was just… she felt something was out of place ever so slightly.

No, should she say that something felt different?

It was like the reality in front of her wasn’t true.

Unnatural and somewhat disharmonious… right… almost as if two worlds were overlapped on top of each other.

When her thoughts reached here, Vulgar Chastity drew a deep breath.

“The Astral… World…?”

The feeling of separation between reality and what was in front of her quickly strengthened. By the time her suspicion turned into conviction…

[My, my…]

“?”

[What a coarse laughter.]

A cold, mocking voice suddenly flowed out... Chak, along with a clap.

“!”

Vulgar Chastity lifted her head in a startle, opening her eyes wide.

The scenery in front of her quickly went up.

Her face turned pale. She was floating in the air just a moment ago, but now she was falling without her knowledge. Before she could move the wings that had inadvertently stopped, her foot landed on the ground.

“...!”

A hint of confusion mixed into her already dazed expression.

The pillars of fire that had embroidered the fortress had disappeared before she noticed.

The World Tree wasn’t burning either.

The scenery was exactly the same as when she first arrived in this place.

Almost as if she had a dream.

Just what happened?

Looking around the surroundings in a daze, Vulgar Chastity...

[That’s quite the expression you’ve got there.]

...raised her eyes at the sudden voice.

A slender, long-haired woman was sitting on top of the withered tree. With her legs crossed and her chin resting on the back of her hand, this woman was looking down at Vulgar Chastity with a cheerful expression.

Vulgar Chastity became momentarily speechless as she felt the extraordinary energy emanating from this woman.

Her eyes met the woman’s pupils that were as calm as the ocean.

[What’s wrong?]

Her coquettish eyes with a beauty mark curved into a beautiful crescent shape.

[Did you have a nice dream?]

She spoke mockingly.

Vulgar Chastity snapped out of her daze in an instant. Then, she gritted her teeth.

While she wasn’t sure on the specifics, she knew fully that she was played by this damned wench.

“You whore…!”

Vulgar Chastity stretched out her arm with widened eyes.

Kwaaaa!

A pillar of fire shot out of her palm and flew toward the dead tree.

But just as the fiercely flying blaze was about to reach her—

Chwaaaa!

It split into eight directions as if an invisible barrier was blocking its path.

Vulgar Chastity frowned while the woman’s smile grew deeper.

[Fufu.]

With a laugh, the woman suddenly vanished.

“Blink?”

A high-rank spell that swapped two spaces with each other.

Vulgar Chastity was shocked that a magic spell of such level was activated without a chant.

Next, as the shocked Vulgar Chastity hurriedly turned to the side—

Clang!

A giant thorn of ice suddenly shot up from the ground and pierced through her stomach.

“Aaaaack!”

Koong!

Vulgar Chastity spat out a mouthful of blood as she slammed into the fortress wall.

Cough, cough!

Vulgar Chastity’s pupils faintly trembled as she coughed hard.

She failed to understand the situation for a moment.

[Why are you pretending to be in pain?]

The woman landed on the ground lightly.

[That was a simple greeting. Surely you won’t die from just that, no?]

When the woman asked with a smiling face, Vulgar Chastity’s lips trembled. 

There was another thing she became sure of. 

This woman was no human.

She was overflowing with a powerful energy that should not be amassable within the lifetime of a normal human being.

It was around this time that the other Army Commanders noticed that something was off. They had sacrificed two armies to allow Vulgar Chastity to break through in one go.

She should have had more than enough time to blow up the central area of the fortress, yet there was no news of her.

“What’s going on…?”

“....”

Exploding Patience and Abhorrent Charity turned around simultaneously.

Meanwhile.

“You…”

Feeling a formidable pressure slowly pressing down on her, Vulgar Chastity asked with a deep breath.

“Who… who are you!?”

[Who am I…? Does that matter in this situation?]

The woman shrugged as she fiddled with a small block of ice in her left hand.

[Well, since you were once the luxury escort of the Empire, there is a chance you may have heard of my name.]

“What did you say!?”

Vulgar Chastity blurted out in shock.

The Empire’s luxury escort.

This was a term commonly used before the invasion of the Parasites when the Empire was the master of Paradise.

Back then, succubi were nothing more than lowly creatures that were hunted down by humans.

Due to their outstanding appearance and their exceptional skill in sexual intercourse, they were often captured and given to high-ranking members of the Empire as slaves.

That was why they were called luxury escorts. At the same time, it was also why Vulgar Chastity detested humans.

The fact that this woman knew this term could only mean she was a human from the era of the Empire.

“Impossible! I’ve never seen a Magician of your level in the Empire!”

[I’m sorry.]

The woman smiled brightly.

[This lady is not someone from a few dozen years ago, but someone from hundreds of years ago.]

“W-What?”

The woman giggled before abruptly sighing.

[Anyway.]

Looking around, she clicked her tongue.

[A Necromancer, a Banshee, a Succubus, and an Undead… I’m surprised. This queen of yours somehow managed to bring the filthiest creatures together.]

Then, the block of ice in the woman’s hand melted down. The ice flower that was trapped inside came into being, and the woman plucked off a small, transparent essence from its pistil.

When she pushed the ice essence into her small lips—

[Hm!]

Her aura changed instantly.

As her already powerful energy began to emit an extreme chill, the temperature of the surrounding area plummeted.

Coldness, so bitter that it was capable of scraping her flesh out started emanating from her.

[I wanted to avoid using something like anti-evil energy… but I guess it doesn’t matter since this isn’t my body.]

“It isn’t your body…?”

Vulgar Chasity muttered blankly before going ‘Ah’.

“Soul Manifestation!”

She finally came to the realization.

A titan from another dimension was borrowing this woman’s human body to speak.

Why didn’t she realize it earlier? It should have been evident from the fact that her voice was ringing out rather than coming out of her vocal cords.

It was then.

[I better get ready to greet the new guests that are coming.]

The woman’s body shone with a faint light.

A witch’s hat appeared on her head, and her outfit changed to a long, violet robe.

A bright orb then formed in front of the woman’s eyes before transforming into a long, broom-like object and flying under the woman’s butt.

[Welcome to the banquet, my dear first guest.]

With a wink, the witch gently sat on the broom.

The floating broom circled around the air before flying off into the distance.

Vulgar Chastity’s jaw slowly dropped as she looked up in a daze.

The flying woman’s left and right fingers formed mudras.

She opened her mouth at the same time—

“——. ———. ——. ———.”

...and started chanting.

It was a trio that composed three spells simultaneously.

Moving her ten fingers in the air as if to play the piano, the way the woman shut her eyes and repeatedly opened and closed her mouth was like seeing a beautiful recital held in front of a large crowd.

Seeing this, a name crossed Vulgar Chastity’s mind.

Hundreds of years ago, during the Empire’s Golden Age, there was a woman who was said to have reigned supreme among the Empire’s countless Magicians.

Simultaneously chanting three spells at once in perfect harmony and even going as far as to amplify the power of the spells, this Magician known as the Dreaming Witch had once single-handedly brought the Empire to the brink of destruction.

“...That can’t be!”

Vulgar Chastity shouted in denial and released her energy.

Clang! The crystal shattered and her body was freed.

Scowling from the pain spreading from her stomach, she quickly pointed in the air.

“Stop her!”

Hearing her high-pitched scream, the succubi flapped their wings in a hurry and flew forward from all directions.

Meanwhile, the corner of the witch’s mouth curled up slightly as she watched with one of her eyes half-open.

Next, as the succubi surrounded her from all sides, the woman spread out her arm like the maestro of an orchestra.

Then...

Pang!

Something surprising happened.

The succubi that were rushing in were all blown to pieces without being able to do a single thing.

Meanwhile, the witch’s chanting and finger-twiddling did not stop.

Vulgar Chastity muttered with an exasperated gasp.

“Roselle… Recital…”

Roselle’s eyes waned as if to ask how a lowly succubus knew her name.

Fury surged up within Vulgar Chastity as she saw this arrogant gaze, but a sudden, sharp gale caused her to flinch.

Whiiiiiish!

A giant whirlwind emitting cold energy blew around the witch.

The raging storm swiftly decreased in size until it was compressed enough to fit in the witch’s open palms.

At that moment, Vulgar Chastity saw two armies coming closer and muttered unwittingly.

“N-No.”

It was because she could feel a compressed killing intent from the small orb in the witch’s hand.

[Yuri, you said you wanted to walk on the Path of Mana, correct?]

Regardless.

[Look closely.]

Eun Yuri, no, Roselle, who was borrowing Eun Yuri’s body whispered.

[This the supreme art of the Mages pursuing the Path of Mana!]

And seeing two Army Commanders flying toward her, Roselle grinned.

“D-Don’t come!!” 

As Vulgar Chastity urgently shouted, Roselle raised her hand up high.

—FREEZE!

Crack!

The orb fissured, and the extreme cold energy that was trapped inside erupted.

Front, back, left, and right — in all directions — a total of forty-eight beams of energy stretched out. Space where they crossed paths cracked and the severed areas froze.

As the beams shot out, encompassing the entire battlefield, Roselle shouted at the top of her voice.

—WORLD!!

Roselle’s signature ultimate move, Final Solo, exploded out.

A sirenic voice carrying powerful mana echoed out, mixing into the beams. Then, the cold energies spreading out while violently tearing through space all transformed into shockwaves—

Paaaaaaaaat!

And they rippled out far and wide.

In an instant, Vulgar Chastity’s hair fluttered wildly.

Kwang!

Though she had only just pulled herself out of the fortress wall, she was slammed back in and shoved even deeper.

“Kyaaaaaaaaa!”

Eventually, she could not withstand the raging gale of frost and screamed while covering her face.

“W-What!?”

Exploding Patience, who came near, was also blown back.

“Shit…!”

Abhorrent Charity came to a stop in a hurry and tried to turn back.

However, it was already too late.

Like how a raging, fierce storm sweeps away everything, a subzero energy blanketed the sky.

The clouds froze, snow precipitated, and hail poured down. The earth froze as well. Wherever the freezing shockwave swept past became icebound with frost.

Before long, the land turned into a tranquil snowfield. Including the fortress, frost-emitting, bitter coldness enveloped everything within the battlefield.

It was as if dozens of powerful Blizzard spells were used simultaneously, as though the world had really frozen.

But what was truly surprising was that the members of the Federation and humanity were unaffected. Although they were standing stiff from this sudden turn of events, the ice had not affected them in the slightest.

Roselle’s superhuman mana was already surprising, but her control over it was like a divine art.

With a single spell, she had temporarily silenced the Parasites that were raging like a wild bushfire.

Even the Parasite Queen was greatly astonished by this sight.

She was already half-standing. She was so surprised that her butt was no longer touching the throne and her neck was craning forward toward the frost-covered image.

[What….]

She was at a complete loss for words.

She had received a premonition of great danger. But there was still some hope left. That was why she urged the Army Commanders and ordered an all-out attack.

She fully expected to succeed when Vulgar Chastity broke through the fortress wall and reached the central area, but…

[This is…]

A powerful witch had seemingly appeared out of nowhere and obstructed her well-made plan.

She could tolerate having a wrench thrown at her near-complete plan once or twice. But now she was simply dumbstruck from having such absurd incidents happen at every crucial moment.

Of course, it wasn’t over yet.

The Army Commanders were only pushed back from the sudden storm of coldness. They were still alive.

The storm must have exterminated the weaker members of the armies, but the more powerful ones should break out of the ice at any time.

Even if that wasn’t the case, the army could simply be replenished on the spot.

Right, the war wasn’t over yet.

But the problem was that the previous attack delayed the fall of Tigol Fortress’ central area by a few dozen seconds.

One might say it was only a few dozen seconds.

But what happened just now definitely could not be described as ‘only’ a few dozen seconds.

These seconds were enough to twist the history and future of the Federation and humanity, and thus the whole of Paradise.

[....]

Staring with a stunned expression, the Parasite Queen slowly raised her head.

Soon.

[...I.]

Her eyes gazing at the celestial bodies closed slowly as if they intuitively foresaw what would happen in the near future.

[Was I wrong again…?]

Inside the empty grand-hall, the Queen’s hollow voice rang out.

Meanwhile…

The chaos that befell Tigol Fortress quickly died down.

“What happened…?”

A Sky Fairy, who was crying on her knees, looked around her surroundings with a stupefied face.

Then.

“...Ah?”

Seeing the air, she blinked rapidly in disbelief.

A tiny spark of light fluttered down from the sky toward her. Reflexively chasing the movement of the light, the Sky Fairy’s head dropped down.

The glowing light fell squarely on the back of her hand and seeped inside. Then, her strength suddenly left her body and she felt something resonate inside her.

“Ah… Ah…!”

The Sky Fairy’s eyes widened and her jaw dropped.

It was a familiar and reminiscent sensation.

How could she forget this feeling?

The Sky Fairy carefully raised her hands even as she shivered from the temporary resonance.

“My power is returning…?”

It was the power of Spirits.

In the next moment, the Sky Fairy raised her eyes with great difficulty.

“!”

It wasn’t just her.

Countless glowing lights were fluttering down from the sky, illuminating the whole world. Dancing down from the sky, they found their masters and fell on to their hands.

Not just to the Sky Fairies, but also to the Cave Fairies.

“Ah… Ah….”

Gasping from the emotion welling up inside her, the Sky Fairy turned toward the World Tree in the distance.

She then moved her gaze up toward the sky above it. The dark clouds filling the sky had split open, and a light was shining down from the crack in the sky.

No, the light was falling down.

She wasn’t seeing things nor hallucinating.

The light was really coming down.

Kwaaaaaaaa!

From the split sky, a cluster of light poured down. The light enveloped the dead tree, and soon, a large pillar of light connecting the tree and the sky was built.

Right, what everyone in the Middle World was longing for was happening at last.

It was the revival of the World Tree—

“Ah…!”

And the return of the King.

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FudgeNouget's Thoughts

Sorry for the delay guys! - Momo