Chapter 342. Counterattack (2)

The great counterattack began.

The allied forces of the Federation and humanity, which had been losing since the start of the siege, had finally found a way to turn the tide against their enemy.

The first sign of change appeared at Tigol Fortress.

—Keu…!

Abhorrent Charity groaned, waving his tentacles.

The situation suddenly became so chaotic that he could not tell what was happening.

However, the cause of the change was clear.

The World Tree — fully grown and at its prime, to make matters worse — had appeared out of nowhere.

As the avatar of the World Tree took root, the land surrounding the tree became sacred, blessed, and protected by the divine tree.

For that reason, even after the unsealing of his divinity, Abhorrent Charity’s power was greatly limited. Moreover, the duration of his divinity, which had been short from the beginning, was further reduced.

—Damn it!

Abhorrent Charity, who rarely showed his feelings, flew into a rage.

The revival of the World Tree had certainly boosted the strength of the enemy.

He now had no choice but to produce more soldiers, even at the risk of a further decrease in the duration of his divinity, just to match the strength of their opponents.

—Arise!

The energy emanating from his billowing robe became stronger.

Abhorrent Charity extended his tentacles toward a mountain of corpses piled up on the cliff.

But the Federation didn’t sit back and watch.

“Everyone, to your respective positions!”

A Sky Fairy elder cried out.

The vengeful Sky Fairies immediately began to move as if they had been waiting for this moment.

Most of them flew over the fortress wall, but some slipped into a path near the middle of the staircase and quickly hid inside the engine devices prepared by the dwarfs.

“Open!”

A small, shaggy Dwarf shouted.

Then, the most surprising thing happened.

Rumble. Rumble.

Rattle! A door opened on the impregnable Tigol Fortress. What opened wasn’t the fortress gate but a vertical gap stretching from the bottom of the cliff to the base of the fortress.

The gap was only slightly spread out like a half-open door.

“Veni, Domine Spiritum Terra!”

Sky Fairies inside the fortress stretched their arms toward the gap.

Instantly, bumpy, reddish, human-like figures rose like moles from the ground and rocks.

The Earth Spirits pushed the fortress wall, and the small gap widened instantaneously.

The huge gate surrounding the cliff swung open, knocking over the bodies piled up on the edge of the cliff.

“La Altum Volat, Quasi Spinam!”

Another group of Earth Spirits rose from inside the gap as Sky Fairies chanted their spells again.

The newly formed Spirits soon turned into sharp, cone-shaped rocks, each about 2-30 centimeters long.

It was as if a ferocious beast had opened its mouth wide, to expose its sharp teeth.

All Sky Fairies backed away.

Meanwhile, the Earth Spirits who had pushed the wall earlier exited the fortress and began pushing the gate in the opposite direction.

Boom! The entire cliff shook.

The gate closed at once as it did when it opened.

And while closing, it dragged into it the corpses struggling to move after receiving energy.

All the bodies scattered near the fortress disappeared in an instant.

From inside the cliff came a mushy, unpleasant sound.

It was the sound of bodies being needled by thorns and crashing against the wall.

Abhorrent Charity’s tentacles trembled.

He needed those corpses in order to produce more blood golems and the undying army.

Corpses trampled to the point where there was not a drop of blood left inside were simply useless.

With the revival of the World Tree and the restoration of the Sky Fairies’ spirit power, Tigol Fortress regained its prior status as the impregnable fortress.

“The fortress…!”

Exploding Patience’s jaw dropped.

Hundreds of thousands of vines poured out from the fortress walls like waterfalls and began mercilessly chopping the skeletons driven into a corner by the beastmen and infantry.

“You vermins!”

Exploding Patience yelled condescendingly but looked nervous.

She was recalling the past when the five Army Commanders unsealed their divinities at once but still failed to break down the iron wall.

Still, she couldn’t just stand there and watch.

Exploding Patience drew a deep breath and prepared to launch a high-frequency attack.

She first planned to dampen the opponent’s enthusiasm through a curse called ‘Wailing of the Banshee Queen’, which could affect many enemies at once.

She paused, however, when she saw dozens of iron cannons lined up on the fortress walls.

“Take aim!”

Sweating profusely, the dwarfs carried the cannons to the top. Arriving at their destination, they rushed Thunders into the artillery.

Sky Fairies chanted.

“Per Aerium, Comprimuntru!”

The air in the nozzle was quickly compressed.

The Dwarfs picked up the cannons and aimed them straight at the targets in the air.

“Shoot!”

BOOM! Pushed by the pressure, blue stones burst out of the cannons. These stones were already twice as powerful as arrows, but this wasn’t the end.

“El Jin Accelletio!”

Suddenly the wind blew hard.

The wind pushed the already speeding Thunders forward. At this point, they could no longer be likened to arrows or even cannonballs. After numerous accelerations, the blue stones reached their targets faster than the blink of an eye.

It was then that the Air Spirits guarding the bombs disappeared, and Thunders began to radiate blue light after coming in contact with the air.

Exploding Patience’s eyes became as big as a cannon nozzle.

FLASH! Azure light covered the sky.

“Keuk!”

Unsightly Humility deflected the giant sword and the chained arrow of the Executors and clenched his teeth looking up at the sky.

He tried to summon his undead army, but it wasn’t easy.

The parasites that the Nests were spitting out tried to clear the way, but humanity’s cavalry and the Fallen Angels stood in their way. Moreover, Cave Fairies and Spirit Kings were also attacking them from the side.

The combined might of the enemy forces was impossible to penetrate.

The Parasites were undoubtedly at a disadvantage.

However, Unsightly Humility soon realized that this was not the time to worry about others.

“What!?”

Hiiing! His spectral horse faltered and neighed.

A thunderous roar rang from above and below, and the ground was shaking as it split.

A hand made of light came down from the sky and grabbed Unsightly Humility’s neck. From the ground, a crimson hand came up and grabbed his legs.

The hands began to pull Unsightly Humility in both directions as if competing against each other over the ownership of the Army Commander.

“Keuuu!”

Greatly astonished, Unsightly Humility tried to fend them off but failed. The energy of light and darkness easily surpassed the power of the five Spirit Kings. It was not something he could avoid.

He felt his joints break and his bones crack. He screamed in pain.

Seeing that Unsightly Humility couldn’t move, the Executors gladly rushed at him.

Laughing hysterically, Taciana Cinzia ordered the Valkyries to charge, and Unsightly Humility shattered his teeth from grinding them too hard.

It hadn’t been long since he recovered from the side effects of unsealing his divinity during the Arden Valley War, but at this point, he had no choice.

“Damnnnnnn!”

At last, the light exploded and Unsightly Humility swelled up.

A dark knight dressed in black iron armor from head to toe roared furiously.

Unsightly Humility had unsealed his divinity at last.

“Even you….”

Vulgar Chastity looked behind her shoulder in disbelief.

She couldn’t believe that not only Abhorrent Charity but also Exploding Patience and Unsightly Humility had unsealed their divinity.

Given the side-effects that they had to endure, relying on their divinity was the last resort, and rightly so.

“This is how bad the situation is?”

Vulgar Chastity quickly shot up to the sky.

Now that the World Tree had been revived, staying inside Tigol Fortress would be no different than committing suicide.

She had planned to retreat and assess the situation from afar, but an ice wall suddenly shot up in front of her.

The soaring wall bent its ends inward, drawing a curve.

Vulgar Chastity stopped as she noticed that the wall was coming at her like a tsunami.

“━━. ━━━━. ━━. ━━━━.”

Eun Yuri, no— Roselle was singing, waving her hands delicately. Her facial expression seemed to say, ‘Where do you think you're going?’

Vulgar Chastity clenched her teeth.

“…You really wanna try me?”

She hissed, and at once, white light enveloped her body.

The unsealing of Vulgar Chastity’s divinity wasn’t as flashy as that of Raging Temperance. It was calm like that of Twisted Kindness, but she didn’t suddenly get larger.

Instead, a shiny, transparent cloth enveloped her body, white feathers covered her bat wings, and her violet hair turned white and grew until it almost touched the ground.

[It’s like a magical girl transformation? Yuri, what does that mean?]

Roselle asked curiously while shifting her gaze to her enemy.

With her shiny, silver hair, flowy cloth, and fluttering, white wings, Vulgar Chastity resembled an elegant goddess.

The change intensified the overall feeling of incongruity coming from her. Her outward appearance contrasted sharply with her slanted crimson eyes brimming with vulgarity.

—…What was it again? Freeze, world?

The corner of Vulgar Chastity’s mouth curled upward.

‘Bullshit.’ She snorted and fluttered her long eyelashes.

—Fine. Then I’ll say this. Burn, world!

Vulgar Chastity widened her eyes and stretched her arms to the front.

Whoosh! All the cloth floating around her turned into flames that rushed towards her enemy.

At the same time, Roselle completed her spell and spread her hands.

—Freeze, world!

The spell summoned a huge blizzard. Flames shot out like laser beams and covered the frost storm.

Chiiiiiiiik!

An immense amount of steam formed where the two energies collided with each other.

The inside of the fortress became clouded with steam.

The two energies pushed and pulled against each other for a while until finally a strand of flame managed to penetrate the storm.

The flame quickly crossed the sky leaving a long afterimage, and Roselle hurriedly raised the altitude of her broomstick.

—Aha!

Vulgar Chastity tilted her head back.

It was just as she had expected. Roselle might be a big shot in another dimension, but she was still no match for an Army Commander with unsealed divinity like herself.

[Ow ow ow….]

Roselle smiled as she shook her aching hands.

[I see, you had a trick up your sleeve.]

—That’s right. You should’ve just stayed put in your dimension.

[I like your confidence. But judging by the constant fluctuations in your energy, you must not be able to control it well. Are you sure you can last long enough to defeat me?]

—Hah, don’t you worry about it.

Vulgar Chastity hissed.

—The World Tree might be close, but it can’t stop me from defeating you and getting away.

As she said so, her silver-white hair spread out like the tail of a peacock. The strands of her hair spouted out with whiplike elasticity toward Roselle. They moved like snakes with venom dripping from its mouth.

A witch, no matter how great she might be, was no different from an ordinary person if she didn’t have time to chant spells. At best, she would fly around on her broomstick, dodging the attacks. If she made even a single mistake, she would get pierced to death by a strand of Vulgar Chastity’s hair.

—A recital, huh? Enough with the singing. Instead, why don’t you dance like a whore for me? And say goodbye while you’re at it!

Convinced of her own victory, Vulgar Chastity smirked. But soon, she furrowed her brows.

[You’re the whore, you motherfucking bitch.]

Contrary to Vulgar Chastity’s expectations, Roselle snorted in place rather than running away.

[A prostitute who’s been rolling around in a brothel dares to say that to me? Ah, aren’t you forgetting something?]

A scornful voice rang out. Roselle smirked and shrugged her shoulders.

[You and I are not the only ones here.]

—If you’re talking about the World Tree….

Vulgar Chastity stopped midway through her sentence.

Suddenly, a giant bird pierced through the thick fog and landed in front of Roselle.

The bright red flames surrounding the bird burned like phoenixes, obstinately offsetting Vulgar Chastity’s attack.

—…A phoenix?

‘No, It’s the Arcus Spirit!’

Shocked, Vulgar Chastity hurriedly looked ahead.

Golden sparks crackled up.

She could see about three or four faint shadows in the fog.

Before she knew it, a young man in a torn coat and a woman in a white traditional robe rushed out of the thick fog.

—Ah!

Vulgar Chastity’s breathing stopped.

She recognized both of them.

How could she forget?

One was the Sacred Empress, and…
—Yo… You!

The other was the demonic spearman, who humiliated her during the valley war.

But they weren’t the only problems.

Light poured down like a meteor from the sky, and dozens of magic circles twirled above, emitting light.

The Star of Lust and the Star of Greed. Two Executors had arrived.

—Q-Queen…!

Vulgar Chastity’s gaze wandered up and down as she muttered in despair. Like a child who lost her mother, she kept calling the queen’s name.

**


The Parasite Queen looked down at the battlefield.

After a series of scuffles, the war had become a complete mess.

The situation was, of course, unfavorable for the Parasites.

That much, she could tell from the colors that filled the battlefield.

Not long ago, the battlefield was full of gray. But since the World Tree appeared, colorful lights were beginning to fill the view.

The color of the Federation and humanity was growing as they pushed the gray color away.

The Parasite Queen’s eyes twitched slightly when she realized the Parasites were losing.

She was okay with struggling a little, but to be actually losing— she wasn’t used to that sort of thing.

But then she thought of the past. Capturing Tigol Fortress was something the Parasites barely managed to succeed in doing after weakening the World Tree, sacrificing the five Army Commanders with unsealed divinities and concentrating hundreds of Nests on the fortress.

The Federation was now stronger than ever, and Tigol Fortress was even sturdier than it was in the past. On top of that, humanity had come to help.

So perhaps it wasn’t too surprising that the four Army Commanders were losing even after unsealing their divinities.

The biggest problem was the World Tree.

The divine tree at its full power continuously stimulated the fundamental conflict in the makeup of the Army Commanders — the divine energy, which came from the divinity of the Seven Virtues, and the dark energy, which was the fundamental attribute of the Army Commanders.

The tree was slowly destabilizing the divinities of the Army Commanders, trying to disrupt their assembled bodies internally.

This was the reason that the Army Commanders’ divinities were weakened in a sealed state and their duration shortened in an unsealed state.

As if that wasn’t enough, the Queen had just received another piece of unfortunate news.

It seemed the Earthlings were finally on the move.

They were quickly descending the mountain and attacking the Nests that were busy giving birth to the mother species.

As shameless as they were, these attacks were effective.

In a situation when all the Army Commanders were in danger, the future of the Parasites would be bleak if they lost their Nests as well.

[…It’s all my fault.]

There’s a saying that history was result-oriented.

Dwelling on the past was meaningless now.

She never imagined her decision to send the Army Commanders to the battlefield would bring about such repercussions.

Although they were somehow holding out, time wasn’t on the side of the Parasites.

What would happen after the Army Commanders ran out of time?

Having imagined the worst, the Parasite Queen closed her eyes and lamented.

If only she had summoned Raging Temperance or sent only Twisted Kindness, if only she had the Seventh Army Commander that could do twice the work of the other Commanders, if only she hadn't given those orders earlier…!

Many thoughts raced through her mind, but the Parasite Queen quickly shook her head.

It was simply impossible to pinpoint where exactly it went wrong.

The time had come for her to make a decision.

It was time for her to play her trump card.

[…]

But calling it a trump card was putting it nicely. A trump card was simply a secret that was kept hidden and unused.

It would have the biggest impact when used at a decisive moment. Using it because she had no other choice only made her bitter.

No, it was more than just bitter— it was painful.

But right now, she really had no other choice. It would be better to use it than to risk losing everything.

Determined, the Parasite Queen shifted her gaze.

There, a young man sat on a hill, looking down at the battlefield nonchalantly with a piece of grass in his mouth.

He was once a hero who made a series of great contributions to humanity. But now, he was a traitor to mankind.

And though still lacking in control, he was the only one besides Twisted Kindness to fully absorb his divinity and the only constellation comparable to the ‘resurrected Star’.

The Parasite Queen opened her mouth quietly.

[Sung Shihyun.]

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