The woman moved her trembling fingers. She could feel a smooth, slippery surface on her fingertips.
“Kinda slippery, right?”
Seol Jihu said with a smile.
“I had no choice. It’s transparent. You guys might have noticed if it reflected moonlight, so I applied a special coating that minimizes the reflected light.”
However, none of his words entered the woman’s ears.
Her mind was in chaos from realizing what she had done.
After meaninglessly sweeping her hand on the ground, she managed to grab hold of something.
No, no, it can’t be… She muttered inwardly while slowly picking the object up to her eyes.
When she saw the transparent crystal orb riddled with mud and rainwater, she held her breath. The crystal orb that was faintly shining in her trembling hand…
…was none other than a communication crystal.
Going back in time to when the group ambushed Valhalla’s main team, Philip Muller was impatiently waiting in Odor’s central plaza.
Then, his eyes shot open as soon as the crystal orb emitted a faint light.
He immediately infused his mana into it, connecting the bi-directional call and displaying a certain scene on the orb.
“Reporting. All members waiting at each of the gates have received the call.”
A timely report came in.
“What should we do?”
“…Start right away.”
Philip Muller replied a beat later from being too focused on the video.
The middle-aged Magician who came to report on the situation nodded his head with a somewhat nervous expression.
“——. ———. ——. ———.”
He quickly chanted a spell before raising his hands up high.
“Arc · Se · Acedia!”
In an instant, a formless orb formed on this palm and swiftly shot up to the night sky.
A terrifying explosion resounded in the entire city.
Crepitus — a spell that creates a clangorous noise.
Crepitus did not end with just one use.
As the entire area of Odor shook, people drinking liquor at the pub and people enjoying their dreams all rushed outside in a startle.
The city turned clamorous in an instant.
Philip Muller looked around his surroundings before opening his palm toward the communication crystal in his left hand.
He then muttered calmly.
Immediately, something surprising happened.
The crystal orb floated up before shooting up to the sky and enlarging the scene being played inside.
Like a ripple, the scene spread out and turned into a huge cinema screen like something from a movie theatre.
People, who were running to the plaza, slowed down as they caught sight of this screen and tilted their heads.
This didn’t just happen at the plaza. Large screens floated up one by one in the east, west, north, and south of the city.
The screen in the plaza showed the entire layout of the campsite while the eastern screen showed Seol Jihu and the western screen showed the woman and the group of mysterious assailants.
Each screen was showing a different point of view of the same place.
The city that had fallen dead silent began to stir.
“Notify that Odor’s screening has started and tell the man on the east gate to zoom in on the male lead’s face.”
As Philip Muller muttered quietly, the middle-aged Magician immediately took out a new communication crystal.
Philip Muller slowly sat down at the fountain in Odor’s plaza while maintaining his mana.
—How? Don’t you get what’s happening?
The movie screening finally began.
A mockumentary, using every single one of humanity’s cities as theatres, and the audience being every Paradisian and Earthling.
It wasn’t just Odor where this sequence of events unfolded.
And in Scheherazade.
The seven cities under humanity’s jurisdiction all erupted with explosive booms before five screens popped up in the center and the four cardinal directions.
—What do you mean? Isn’t Gorad Boga what you want? Isn’t that why you’re here? To steal it from us?
—This isn’t Gorad Boga.
—What… The bishop said he confirmed it personally…!
—Can you be any more stupid? And here I was thinking you’d at least have a brain.
In Eva, Charlotte Aria was watching the movie, snacking on desserts that her maid brought over. Meanwhile, Odelette Delphine was sitting next to her, busily maintaining an enlarged screen.
And in Haramark.
Teresa ran out in a startle, thinking that the Parasites had initiated an attack, and then became dazed.
But even that only lasted a moment.
—We’ve been waiting here in ambush for several days now. In other words, we knew you would be coming here.
—Don’t tell me.
—Finally! That’s right. You’ve been running circles on the bishop’s palm this whole time.
In a few minutes, Teresa was leaning on the terrace, resting her chin on the back of her cupped hands, and watching the movie with an engrossed look.
—Let me ask you something.
It was the same for Cinzia and Agnes.
—Attacking Yuhui Noona in Haramark… Trying to besmirch my name… Were you guys responsible for those things as well?
—Did the bishop order you guys to do that too?
—You just figured it out? Well, our bishop is pretty scrupulous in how he does things.
They stared at the screen for a long time. Then…
—You guys… Huh?
—Ah… sorry. I must have gotten too absorbed in my role.
—Yes, you can come here now. Looks like we already got most of the important information out of her.
After hearing Seol Jihu’s last line, Cinzia tilted her head back.
She burst into laughter, clapping loudly.
Even Agnes was holding back her laughter with her head lowered.
“What a twist! Is this a mockumentary? Comedy under the guise of a serious documentary? How comedic. The rawness of this film is an obvious sign that it’s a B-grade movie.”
After laughing to her heart’s content, Cinzia evaluated the movie while wiping her tears.
“It’s quite excellent for a low-budget, independent film.”
Agnes also chimed in.
—Thousand Sword… So Sinyoung is involved in this too?
Yun Seohui had woken up from her sleep and was also watching the movie.
Standing by her window, she stared at the giant screen encompassing the night sky. Her dazed eyes seemed hollow for some reason.
How much time went by?
—You guys… joined hands with the Parasites?
—I had my doubts. Who would have thought they would actually come? So the bishop was right!
Next, as the Evil Phantoms summoned by the woman’s call aimed at Valhalla’s members, Yun Seohui turned her gaze down.
A large group of men was running toward the plaza.
However, hundreds of people were already occupying the plaza.
The group of men that rushed to the plaza flinched after seeing another group of men clad in black suits.
“Turn that screen off this instant!”
The man at the head of the group shouted.
“Who dares to be so bold in Scheherazade! Turn it off now! Do you want to die!?”
The men in black suits snorted at the laughable threat.
The man at the head turned red with anger.
“Now, now, why don’t you calm down a bit?”
At that moment, a relaxed voice rang out.
In the center of the plaza, a man raised his hand, sitting in front of a table that was covered with a white cloth.
“I’m trying to enjoy this movie. Why are you raising a fuss? Where did you learn your manners to be yapping in the middle of a movie?”
He spoke while swirling a glass of red wine.
“Not to mention, we’ve got a lady here too.”
The chief of the Triads, Hao Win, subtly tilted his body to the side and smiled at the woman sitting next to him.
“Excuse me, Mademoiselle. I’m thinking of cleaning up these intruders….”
Crunch, crunch. The hand of the woman watching the movie while munching on popcorn halted. She turned to the side with her hand still inside the popcorn box, and the man’s face contorted with shock.
Baek Haeju, the woman wearing a white ceremonial robe, stared at the man fixedly and then wiped away the caramel stain around her mouth.
She then grabbed the jade-colored spear leaning against the table.
Hao Win smirked, seeing the man back away hesitantly. He leaned back on his chair and calmly went back to watching the movie.
—G-Get away from me…. Don’t come….
—You just noticed?
The movie was nearing the end.
The screen moved, spinning slowly until it showed the woman up close. The scene shook faintly from the trembling hand of the woman holding the crystal orb.
The woman’s dazed face slowly got bigger as she brought the crystal orb closer to her eyes. Then, as her face filled nearly half of the screen…
With a blunt thud, a short scream rang out and the screen shook crazily.
The scene inside the screen rolled three or four times. It seemed the woman had dropped the crystal orb.
And soon, as the screen stopped rolling, it showed the woman helplessly collapsing to the ground.
Inside the pouring rain, blood flowing out of the woman’s mask mixed into the mud and spread out.
Perhaps because the muddy water got on the crystal, the screen looked dark overall.
Almost like the scene was fading out.
The movie was almost over, but Hao Win didn’t get up from his seat.
“…What will you do?”
When Ming Jie walked up and asked, Hao Win waved his hand dismissively.
“We haven’t gotten to the most important part, so we gotta stick around.”
After watching an inspiring movie, it was proper manners to stay seated until the very end. As such, Hao Win planned to see the end credits, which would show the names of the cast and crew, no matter what.
On the other hand, Luxuria’s temple was in the middle of a late-night chaos.
No, to be more precise, it was engulfed in awkward silence.
The tension was rapidly reaching a breaking point.
A female Priest walked up and urged the stiffly frozen old man.
Only then did Bishop Roberto Servillo finally come to his senses.
He still couldn’t make out exactly what was going on. But one thing was for certain.
Things had gone wrong. Majorly wrong.
“We sealed off the entrance. Let’s hurry…!”
In the next instant, the bishop pushed the female Priest aside and ran out of the room.
His name was mentioned directly, clear evidence had been provided, and even the Parasites had appeared.
He couldn’t think of a way to spin himself out of this situation, so he planned to escape to Earth.
As expected of someone who rose to the position of a bishop, his quick-judgment and instantaneous reaction were worthy of praise.
The problem was that his enemies were more than a few steps ahead of him.
He rushed down to the first floor and raced toward the warp gate, but the tightly shut temple gate burst open.
Around five or so people walked in with big strides.
“Hello~! This is Valhalla’s Team 1!”
The red-haired woman leading the way shouted sonorously.
“As for why we’re here— well, I’m sure we don’t need to tell you.”
Chwiing! Phi Sora unsheathed her longsword and aimed it at the shell-shocked bishop.
“We only need one guy to come with us, so the rest of you may continue watching the movie. Of course, you’re welcome to get in our way.”
“What are you doing!?”
The female Priest, who hurriedly followed the bishop, shouted after seeing the intruders.
“Where do you think you are? This is the sacred home of Goddess Luxuria! You do not belong here!”
“Well, even if you say that…”
“The Temple will not be ordered around by outsiders! We will take care of our own problems, so leave this place this instant!”
“…Ugh, why do I even need to respond to such bullshit?”
Phi Sora snorted.
“Fine, I guess the goddess might not be too pleased. I’ll pray to Luxuria-nim later and work this out. Is that okay, Luxuria-nim?”
[Sure, go ahead.]
Before the female Priest could say anything, a sensual voice resounded in the temple.
The female Priest flinched in shock. Even Phi Sora looked flustered as she didn’t expect Luxuria to reply back.
“Hah, I guess she’s had enough of traitors cosplaying as Priests and operating her temp…”
Flash! Before she could finish her sentence, a flash of light burst out.
A cluster of light came hurtling from the stairs before going back to its original location and striking the female Priest holding a crucifix.
The female Priest fell down the stairs screaming.
Phi Sora blinked.
Before she noticed, Yi Sungjin was standing in front of her with his shield.
“…That’s a good shield. Was that a reflection ability?”
Phi Sora asked, seeing steam rising from the shield.
“Yes, I got it from my last expedition.”
Yi Sungjin answered as he adjusted his glasses.
“Hoh. That’s pretty generous of those guys. Anyway….”
Grabbing Yi Sungjin’s shoulder and launching herself forward, Phi Sora flew up.
“I’ll say it again. You’re welcome to get in our way.”
Landing on the floor, she stabbed her longsword into the female Priest’s back as she was slowly picking herself back up.
A short scream burst out.
Phi Sora lifted the skewered female Priest and then waved her around.
“But don’t blame us if you end up like this, alright?”
The sword blade, which pierced through the female Priest’s stomach, twisted left and right.
Phi Sora then swung the Priest off, saying she was too loud.
As the female Priest fell to the floor in tatters, the dazedly staring Priests subconsciously took backward steps.
It was then.
Koong! The sound of something falling rang out.
The path to the warp gate had been blocked off by Marcel Ghionea before anyone noticed. Even so, the bishop turned around and ran.
It was in the direction of the temple’s storage.
Kirik! Marcel Ghionea, who was preparing to shoot, lowered his bow.
It was because he could see one of his teammates running after the bishop.
The madly running bishop suddenly felt himself lose control over his body.
Should he say that the surrounding air got heavier? The surrounding gravity seemed to have gotten stronger all of a sudden.
It wasn’t a delusion. Beads of sweat formed on his forehead, and his arms and legs were flailing around against his will.
Despite this, the bishop did not stop running.
“Hiya! It’s a lovely day, isn't it?”
But in the next moment, he jumped in a startle.
A girl was running in the air next to him. Though, it would be more correct to say she was flying.
“But where are you going? This isn’t the way to the warp gate. Is there something in the storage room?”
The girl asked while jogging in the air.
The bishop stared at the girl with doubtful eyes before reflexively grabbing the crucifix hanging on his neck.
Yi Seol-Ah, who was running next to the bishop with an innocent smile, furrowed her brows.
“You’re supposed to reply if someone asks a question!”
Yelling angrily, she twisted her body in the air. Her spinning leg struck the bishop’s throat perfectly.
Just as the bishop tried to get up after tumbling down in an unsightly way…
He was forced to freeze with the sound of breaking glass.
He could feel something shaking above his head.
As he stealthily rolled his pupils up, he saw a wobbling arrow fletching that dug deep into the temple’s wall.
“Ah, I missed… Huh? What was that? We’re not dealing with a Parasite so he’ll die if we hit his face? Ah, I guess you’re right, Aura. But shouldn’t we treat traitors like Parasites?”
The bishop stared at the mumbling Yi Seol-Ah while looking as if he had instantly aged by 10 years.
Unless he was seeing things, the arrow had created a deep, whirlpool-like crater around its point of impact.
Realizing that no tricks would allow him to escape, his limbs went limp.
As the bishop stumbled down, Maria came running in and then pounced on the bishop.
“You dare to scheme against us, against Valhalla!? You dare to call yourself the bishop of the Temple of Luxuria? You damned traitor!”
She slapped his face again and again with tears flowing down her face.
Considering how shocked she must be as a fellow Priest of Luxuria, it was understandable for her to be angry to the point of crying, but why did it look like she was crying tears of joy?
Regardless, what she said was perfectly fine.
The problem was with her hand movements.
After capturing an enemy, the normal thing would be to neutralize them or tie them up. But…
“You’re the bishop! You’re a Level 6! Hmm!?”
Maria was busy stealing various accessories including the mitral and the crucifix artifact.
“This is it…? You hopeless son of a bitch!”
Maria undressed the bishop in a flash before grabbing him by his hair.
“You evil son of a bitch, I’ll have to investigate you thoroughly! Who knows what you’re hiding!? Open your personal storage box! You better listen if you don’t wanna die! Got that!?”
Maria bellowed and then dragged the bishop through the corridor by his hair.
Yi Seol-Ah was about to ask where she was going but flinched in fright.
Dollar signs were spinning in Maria’s pupils.
Phi Sora dropped her jaw as she stared at Maria walking off hastily.
“Can she get any more obvious… Ehew. Why isn’t there a single normal person in my team?”
She shook her head before shaking off the blood dripping from her longsword and running after Maria.
She did not notice Yi Sungjin looking at her uncomfortably.
“You’re the one to talk, Team Leader….”
Yi Sungjin muttered quietly after recalling how Phi Sora killed the female Priest.
“You’re not wrong.”
Marcel Ghionea walked up and placed his hand on Yi Sungjin’s shoulder.
“But if you’re a man, you need to learn to speak your mind in front of the person in question.”
“…I don’t know. Why don’t you demonstrate it for me, Ghionea Hyung?”
“Not passing your responsibilities onto others is also what a man should do.”
With that, Marcel Ghionea quickly ran forward.
Yi Sungjin quietly heaved out a sigh.Previous Chapter Next Chapter