Sung Shihyun woke up with a start.
He looked around with frightened eyes and saw his room, his bed, and the succubus lying next to him, in the said order, all shrouded in darkness.
Sung Shihyun stared down at the succubus with mixed feelings.
A year ago, he tried to retaliate against Vulgar Chastity for using him as a shield, but forgave her when she proposed to offer him an infinite supply of succubi every night.
So last night, he picked a girl who suited his taste exactly….
He had heard it but forgotten it already.
All he knew about her was that she used to be an Earthling, and a quite famous one at that, just like himself, before Vulgar Chastity captured her and depraved her.
When his thoughts reached that point, Sung Shihyun finally realized that the nightmare was over and dropped his head.
“Fuck…. It’s that shitty dream again….”
With a heavy sigh, he scratched his sweaty, damp hair.
Sung Shihyun had been having nightmares lately, or more precisely, since the day the Parasite Queen showed him outer space.
He didn’t know who the man in his dream was. He couldn’t even make out his face.
What he remembered of the man was his pitch-black armor, crimson cape, and the bladeless sword.
Sung Shihyun chewed his lips. Fear swept over him again as he recalled the sight of the man slowly rising to his feet, pressing his palms against the armrest of his throne surrounded by women.
The man approached Sung Shihyun slowly, step by step.
The pressure he felt then that made him shiver still lingered inside him.
“Damn…. Fucking hell….”
Sung Shihyun tried to calm his breathing before suddenly grabbing the succubus’ arm and pulling her towards him.
The succubus opened her eyes halfway and looked up, still drowsy from sleep.
Then she extended her arms towards Sung Shihyun like she was used to this sort of treatment.
He felt better when the warm flesh touched him.
“Fuck, stop showing up in my dreams. Adults shouldn’t meddle in kids’ affairs. Let kids play with other kids.”
Sung Shihyun mumbled to himself and then lay back on the bed.
He wrapped his arms around the succubus with an alluring scent and looked up at the ceiling.
His eyes began to burn with jealousy and envy.
“No freaking way.”
Sung Shihyun’s lips distorted.
“I’m the main character of Paradise…. I’m the protagonist….”
He said as if to reassure himself, and then closed his eyes and attempted to go back to sleep.
Suddenly, the door burst open. Sung Shihyun’s face crumpled in an instant.
“Argh, who is it?”
He sat up, and the succubus who had just opened his door quickly knelt before him.
“…Didn’t I say I’m too tired lately for a threesome?”
“No, that’s not why I…. There’s an important message from my lord to the First Army Commander….”
“From Vulgar Chastity?”
Sung Shihyun crossed his arms with a snort.
“Alright, speak. And if it’s trivial, you’d better get ready for punishment. In bed, of course.”
The succubus trembled in fear.
“Yes, well, humanity is….”
She did her best to convey the message succinctly because she knew how sadistic and perverted Sung Shihyun was in bed.
As her voice continued, the expression on Sung Shihyun’s face changed from annoyance to confusion.
“Yes. Not entirely, of course, but now they’re now tied to Valhalla through a contract, and their director is due to resign soon….”
Sung Shihyun commanded and the succubus bowed her head and left in a hurry.
Sung Shihyun brooded over the news that the succubus had just delivered.
He looked unusually serious.
“That Yun bitch is withdrawing…? The Yun bitch …? Unbelievable.”
Sung Shihyun tilted his head to the side.
“That’s amazing if it’s true. I didn’t think that crazy bitch knew how to give up….”
He mumbled in a bitter voice, and….
“Seol Jihu. I won’t deny you’re special, but… you’re too soft.”
“You should’ve killed her when the chance came. Why did you let her live?”
The Yun Seohui that Sung Shihyun knew couldn’t be trusted.
He never knew when she would turn against him.
“He’ll learn when he gets stabbed in the back like me. There’s no way that Yun bitch will go down like this…. What should I do….”
Sung Shihyun licked his lips.
Part of him wanted to watch Yun Seohui’s plan unfold, but nevertheless he didn’t think it would succeed.
After witnessing the Brightest Star, he couldn’t think otherwise. That star wouldn’t fall easily.
This could be their chance.
The last chance to strike before humanity finishes regrouping and fully unites with the Federation.
The thought suddenly struck him.
Sung Shihyun quickly organized his thoughts and stormed out of the room.
He exited the building and stomped towards the Imperial Palace where the Parasite Queen resided.
[I’ve been waiting for you.]
Their meeting took place quickly.
The Parasite Queen sat on the Corrupted Throne as usual and looked down at Sung Shihyun kneeling down on one knee.
[Are you feeling better?]
“Yes, I feel a whole lot better. Thank you for your concern.”
[Does that mean you’re ready to talk now?]
“That’s right. I realized I have no time to be wasting.”
[You must have heard the news. You may rise.]
With the queen’s permission, Sung Shihyun slowly rose from the floor.
He looked at the Parasite Queen, resting her chin on her hands, and smiled bitterly.
“First of all, I’d like to thank Your Majesty for showing me that scene from the other day.”
“The truth is, the last time you summoned me, I was going to tell you not to worry about the Brightest Star, that I would kill Seol Jihu for you…. I might as well have raised the death flag.”
“Yes, it’s something that appears frequently in animes or movies. A character, usually a villain, says or does something with extreme confidence only to end up as a stepping stone for the main character’s growth.”
The Parasite Queen didn’t recognize the concept at all, but she roughly understood its meaning through the expressions, “stepping stone” and “main character’s growth.”
[I’m glad your arrogance has subsided.]
She sounded content. How could she not be? The only star that could rival the Brightest Star finally began to confront his opponent seriously.
“‘Why is she so afraid of one human?’ That was what I thought before I saw what I saw…. Now my thoughts have taken a 180 degrees turn and changed completely. Now I think, ‘Why did she leave him alone for so long?’”
Sung Shihyun continued.
“So I looked into it, and…. Well, I guess you did do something.”
‘For example, there was the Arden Valley War,’ he added.
He could easily guess that even for the queen, it came as a surprise that a Level 4 Warrior survived the battle against three Army Commanders and even eliminated Undying Diligence.
“I see you’ve given him some attention. However… After some review of the sequence of events, I think I know why you’ve been losing to him for the last few years.”
“So before I start, I have two questions I’d like to ask you…. May I?”
Some might consider his attitude rude.
Instead of getting angry, however, the Parasite Queen raised her head and observed the sky.
When she saw Sung Shihyun’s star, a corner of her mouth curled up.
The Parasite Queen extended her arm towards Sung Shihyun.
[I give you permission to speak your mind freely. From now on, you may speak whatever you wish to speak without worrying about the consequences.]
“Thank you for your generosity.”
Sung Shihyun bowed lightly and began to speak.
“Then I’ll ask right away. First, am I right to assume that your divinity has been greatly damaged?”
“Why haven’t you recovered?”
[Those who injured my divinity were quite thorough in their work.]
The Parasite Queen smiled at Sung Shihyun.
[There was nothing I could do then, and our victory seemed certain even without my divinity. So I thought I’d recover it later.]
There was nothing wrong with what the Parasite Queen had said.
Of course, they both knew the phrase, ‘that was before Seol Jihu appeared,’ had been omitted.
“Alright, I’ll take that answer.”
Sung Shihyun nodded.
“Secondly, I think you knew from the moment the Brightest Star appeared that what you just said might not work out as planned.”
[I did, but didn’t know it would get this bad.]
“If you knew, then why didn’t you give up on other things?”
The Parasite Queen’s eyes widened. She had not expected this question.
“Now that I have your permission to speak frankly, I’ll do just that. Your Majesty, you’ve been trying to grab more than you can handle.”
Sung Shihyun cleared his throat.
“The Parasites are indeed powerful, but you’ve been dispersing our troops in every important war. On the other hand, humanity—no, the Brightest Star, has confronted us with all his might every time.”
“Of course, as I said before, I don’t think you did it on purpose. Perhaps you were gathering forces to avenge those who defeated you in the past, or perhaps your intention was to bring this planet under your control as quickly as possible….”
“Certainly, if you had succeeded, the Federation and humanity would be long gone by now. If you had succeeded, that is.”
Sung Shihyun slowly raised his head and looked up at the Parasite Queen.
“But in the end, you failed, and that’s why we’re in this mess.”
The Parasite Queen listened to him, feeling somewhat refreshed. Sung Shihyun shook his head with a serious look, an expression that he didn’t usually wear.
“You can’t do that from now on. Even lions go all out when hunting rabbits, and our opponent is no longer an ordinary rabbit. He’s a super-rabbit.”
[Do you mean to say that we should change our main target to humanity?]
“Not at all. I see you still haven’t rid yourself of greed.”
[Then what do you mean?]
“Forget about the Federation and humanity. You have to focus on getting rid of the Brightest Star first, no matter what happens.”
The Parasite Queen let out a long sigh.
It wasn’t that she hadn’t thought about it before.
She had but just didn’t know how to make it happen.
“I suppose you’re aware of what’s been happening to humanity these days.”
“And that things will get more complicated in the future if we just let them be?”
[I would assume so.]
“That means we have to attack the Brightest Star before the change he’s leading is complete. No matter how strong the wind of change may be, it will scatter when the force holding it together disappears.”
Their exchange continued, and….
“Now, let’s get back on track.”
Sung Shihyun finally got to the point.
“We have to drag him out.”
[…Drag him out?]
“Yes. To be honest, all the Brightest Star has to do now is wait. Because if he can just let this moment pass, a bright future awaits him. The Federation is currently in the process of integrating into humanity, so he won’t budge until that migration is complete.”
“But we shouldn’t attack him recklessly. A hasty decision is likely to lead to a repeat of the Arden Valley War or the Tigol Fortress War. And then, the Brightest Star will surely grow beyond our control.”
The Parasite Queen gave a short exclamation of surprise.
Sung Shihyun had accurately identified her concerns.
Suddenly, she felt glad to have shown “that scene” to the First Army Commander.
His prudence seemed to hint at the existence of a sure solution to their problems.
The Parasite Queen sank into contemplation.
So far Sung Shihyun had centered all of his talk around one person.
Upon reflection, she could see where he was going with this.
Abandon greed, drag the enemy out, and then….
[Do you mean to say that we should lure him with bait?]
“I wouldn’t call it that.”
Sung Shihyun shrugged.
“From now on, every move we make must come after careful planning and consideration. One small mistake can be fatal.”
This meant they only had one chance.
It was then that the Parasite Queen finally realized Sung Shihyun’s true intention.
[I see. Whether we succeed or fail to drag him out, our plan needs to benefit us.]
“Correct. That’s why bait isn’t enough. We need something that will definitely capture his attention, something that will make him want to run to us.”
[Something that will capture his attention….]
“Something, for example, that could destroy or at least greatly harm the changes he has brought about.”
[Ha! Do you really think such a thing exists?]
Sung Shihyun grinned.
“Come to think of it…. You descended on the battlefield during the Tigol Fortress War a year ago, right?”
He continued in a secretive whisper.
“I thought it was a bad move back then, but now that I think about it, it could be used to our advantage.”
The Parasite Queen’s eyes narrowed.
“Just think about it. You ruled this entire planet in the past. If the news spreads that you’ve regained your power…. Nevermind the Federation, but what would humanity, who’s just beginning to grow, think of the situation?”
[…I told you, there’s nothing I can do at this point.]
“But now I am with you. So why are you so worried?”
Sung Shihyun put his hand over his chest with a grin.
“One of the three heroes who forced you to sit on that throne is here.”
[Does that mean…?]
The Parasite Queen leaned forward from her throne.Previous Chapter Next Chapter