Chapter 419. The Future That Could Not Be Avoided (3)

Roe Scheherazade waited for the commotion outside to intensify before leaving the ruin.

The road to the center of Gorad Boga was a complicated maze, so she went to greet Sung Shihyun and Abhorrent Charity to guide the way.

“For the queen to personally come to greet the invaders of her kingdom…. That’s some really messed up shit. But if what they say is true, I understand why you’d go to such lengths.”

“So you have heard about me?”

Despite Sung Shihyun’s sarcastic tone, Roe Scheherazade remained smiling.

“Of course I did, I used to work for Sinyoung. I’m sure you know better than anyone that there are a lot of perverts among their executives. Disgusting bastards who fulfill the perverse desires that they are unable to show on Earth, in Paradise.”

“Yes, well, you have accurately described their former representative. So what exactly did you hear?”

“Was it at a bar? One of the executives bragged that you had to go to the restroom, but he made you go in front of him. It was disgusting. Even I can’t get it up looking at someone else’s shit…. Ugh, just thinking about it again makes me sick.”

Abhorrent Charity covered his face with his tentacles, clearly disgusted.

“Did that really happen? He’s lying, right?”

“…So they’re telling that story like it’s some sort of heroic tale. I expected as much.”

Roe Scheherazade replied without batting an eye.

“Do you want me to bring you that son of a bitch? You’ve done a lot for us, so I’ll give you a chance to do the same to him.”

“I appreciate your offer, but I’m fine. I don’t enjoy watching someone defecate like some kind of an animal.”

“Shit. So it really was true…?”

Sung Shihyun was about to click his tongue, then stopped.

He glanced behind him with narrowed eyes.

Then he told the rest to go on without him and disappeared like the wind.

Roe Scheherazade only shrugged and continued through the maze with an elegant gait.

At last, they reached the center of the ruins, though Sung Shihyun was no longer with them.

“Is that…?”

“Yes.”

Roe Scheherazade nodded at Abhorrent Charity’s question.

“The pillar of light you’re looking at is the source of the power of Gorad Boga.”

“Hoh….”

Abhorrent Charity could not conceal his awe when he saw the surface of the mana inside the pillar of light slowly rise to the top.

“It looks like the pillar is almost full.”

“Only the first phase has been activated currently. Once the mana reaches the magic circle on the ceiling, we’ll be able to activate phase two.”

“Phase one changes the structure of the ruin to draw mana from all over the city…. So it’s essentially a preparatory step for phase two.”

“You’re right. Once the mana is fully charged, we’ll be able to activate a large, powerful barrier that covers the entire city.”

“A barrier triggered by such an enormous magic circle…. The center of the circle is that source over there. Even if the barrier is damaged, it can be repaired as long as the source is intact, and even if the mana is depleted, once recharged, the barrier can be used repeatedly…. Hoh? This barrier can turn a small amount of external force into mana and use it to repair itself? Indeed, this magic circle is much too advanced for humans to make!”

Roe Scheherazade smiled at the hooded monster muttering to himself.

The Third Army Commander of the Parasites was called the Necromancer, but before that, he was an Archlich, and much before that a revered grand magician and sage.

Perhaps that was why he was able to recognize Gorad Boga’s true nature from the limited information given.

“This barrier would’ve lasted for dozens of days even against all seven of us. That is, assuming the enemy provided the magic circle a steady supply of mana, of course. This could have been troublesome to get rid of. I thank you for your cooperation.”

Abhorrent Charity bowed lightly at the queen.

Roe Scheherazade gave a mystical smile.

“How come you’re more human than…. Ah, you used to be one, right?”

“Pardon?”

“It’s nothing.”

The queen giggled to herself and then pointed to the pillar of light.

“Anyway, the stele inside the pillar is what you want, right?”

“Well. It would be best if I could take it with me….”

A limp tentacle stretched out of Abhorrent Charity’s sleeve and stroked his chin.

“But the source itself is a powerful barrier…. It will take at least a month of working together for Twisted Kindness and me to be able to put our hands in….”

Huhuhu. Low laughter escaped the hood.

“But you don’t have to worry. Now that we’re here, your dream will most certainly become reality.”

“It is, in fact, already in the process of becoming a reality.”

Roe Scheherazade straightened her shoulders and looked up at the pillar with eyes glistening with hope.

The mana inside the pillar was only seconds away from reaching the ceiling.

*


“Kyaheuk!”

Blood spurted from Vulgar Chastity’s mouth.

Her eyes, white with shock, slowly regained their light.

Her eyeballs circled in their sockets with great difficulty, and when they found Seol Jihu, they began to shake.

The same was true of other Army Commanders.

Not only Exploding Patience but also Twisted Kindness hesitated to approach Seol Jihu.

The Seventh Army Commander was especially shocked.

She recalled that the enemy wasn’t as strong as he was now back when they fought in the Spirit Realm.

Only a year had passed since then, yet he had become a monster on a whole new dimension.

His speed of growth was extraordinary and unprecedented.

‘Could it be….’

Suddenly, the Parasite Queen’s words crossed her mind.

According to the queen, the Brightest Star could grow on his own without anyone’s assistance, but when put under pressure, his growth rate would increase exponentially.

The Spirit Realm Expedition and the Tigol Fortress War seemed to have triggered the Brightest Star’s growth.

And the Parasites had only recently begun to move again.

This time their main target was humanity, and as a result the Brightest Star appeared before them faster than ever before.

If they fail again….

“….”

The muscles of Twisted Kindness’ throat moved as she swallowed.

She took a step back unwittingly.

She dared not attack him, for in her mind there was the image of the Brightest Star shining even brighter than he was now.

Not one, not two, but three Army Commanders were struggling against one human.

But the truth was that Seol Jihu wasn’t in his best condition either.

He went all out from the beginning and beat up Vulgar Chastity and left a deep scar on Twisted Kindness’ arm.

Perhaps this was as far as he could go.

He had used numerous artifacts during the earlier brawl.

Blessing of the Circum and Festina Earring had already reached their maximum number of uses.

The same was true of Ego Te Defendere after saving his life.

That wasn’t all.

The successive use of advanced skills greatly exhausted him. On top of that, he could feel his remaining mana slowly draining out of his body.

And he had already used a special Thunder that he had only a few from the beginning. Now the choice of a prolonged war was basically gone.

‘What should I do?’

Originally, he had planned to enter Gorad Boga no matter what, alone if necessary, but now he was unable to move because of the two Army Commanders in front of him.

Seol Jihu glanced around quickly, chewing on his lips.

It seemed that all the trapped Earthlings were able to escape because there was no one nearby.

The only comrade he had was Flone, whose face was hardened with anxiety, and Yun Seohui in Flone’s arms.

He knew that running away wasn’t a good choice.

The enemy’s goal was to capture Scheherazade.

But there wasn’t much time for hesitation.

He was becoming more and more disadvantaged over time.

If another Army Commander appeared now, Seol Jihu would surely die.

It would be best to wait for his comrades to arrive before trying anything.

Finally, Seol Jihu decided to retreat before it was too late.

“Flone!”

[Yeah!]

Flone quickly soared to the sky with Yun Seohui in her arms.

Seol Jihu also rose to the air using Ethereal Shift continuously.

“I won’t let you escape!”

Exploding Patience hurried after them, but stopped in astonishment when Seol Jihu pulled a handful of blue stones out of his pocket and threw them at her.

It wasn’t just one. It was a fistful.

“C-Crazy bastard!”

Exploding Patience hurried back, for she saw what had happened after the enemy stuffed a special Thunder into Vulgar Chastity’s mouth.

Twisted Kindness also jumped back in surprise and used the spatial movement magic to escape the bombing range.

Tk, tk, tk, tk! The sound of blue stones rolling on the ground resounded.

Exploding Patience, who had been running as fast as she could, stopped suddenly.

She glanced back slowly. There was no explosion, no nothing.

She saw nothing but a bunch of blue stones on the ground.

Upon closer examination, she realized that these weren’t Thunders, but ordinary stones painted blue.

“…”

Exploding Patience lifted her head with a puzzled look.

But Seol Jihu was nowhere to be seen.

He had already retreated beyond the walls.

Her body shook with fury.

“Son of a bitch!”

Twisted Kindness also gave a dumbfounded laugh.

“Why are you calling him names? You should be blaming yourself.”

Suddenly they heard a sarcastic voice.

Twisted Kindness turned around and saw Sung Shihyun walking towards them.

“Where have you been?”

“At Gorad Boga. I wanted to see it with my own eyes at least once.”

Sung Shihyun replied simply, then clicked his tongue as he looked around.

“But… I quit halfway through. I was getting bored, and I felt like something might have happened here.”

He said as he watched Vulgar Chastity slowly pull herself up from the ground.

Then Sung Shihyun shook his head and spoke with a sigh.

“Well, I commend you for letting him escape at the right time. As I said, our battlefield isn’t Scheherazade—”

“He escaped.”

Twisted Kindness interjected.

Sung Shihyun arched one eyebrow.

The dragon grasped her limp left arm with her right hand and lifted it.

The long scar on her arm was still bleeding.

She had accepted the Parasite Queen’s Authority into her body and completely digested her divinity, so the wound had to be healed immediately.

But instead, it continued to reopen.

Sung Shihyun frowned.

“…Godslaying Authority. Fuck, does that mean he’s already an apostle? So he’s at least Level 7.”

“It’s not just Godslaying.”

Gazing into the deep wound, Twisted Kindness clenched her teeth.

“Spear of Purity, the spear that annihilates evil…. The power of lightning, the most destructive of all anti-evil energy…. He also added the effects of Righteous Heart and strengthened his circuit to boost their power.”

The Seventh Army Commander was saying that Seol Jihu’s skills were designed to inflict the greatest damage on evil, and Godslaying was only one of the many skills in harmony.

And she was right.

Seol Jihu’s hardware was obviously amazing, but his software, or the way he configured his settings, was all the more special.

The Seven Sins had succeeded in making the ultimate weapon to combat not only with the Army Commanders but also against the Parasite Queen.

“…I understand now.”

Twisted Kindness murmured, looking down at her own wound.

She finally realized why the Parasite Queen was so worried.

“We can’t put this off any longer. Forget about the stele. We have to kill him now. We have to. That’s the right thing to do.”

Twisted Kindness lifted her gaze from her arm and asserted firmly.

“She’s right.”

Exploding Patience agreed angrily.

“First Army Commander, you said you had a plan. A plan to kill that son of a bitch for good!”

“What should we do now?”

Vulgar Chastity staggered to her feet.

Her body was covered with wounds, but her face gleamed with resentment towards Seol Jihu.

The eyes of the three Army Commanders met.

Sung Shihyun was a bit taken aback.

Earlier, they were clearly dissatisfied with his plan.

And now finally their hearts had united and become one.

Sung Shihyun repeatedly blinked and began to nod.

“…This may be the first time I’m glad I changed sides.”

‘Took you long enough.’ He muttered calmly and grinned.

“You were right not to chase after him. Who knows? His friends may come at us from all sides. Maybe the Federation, too.”

Again, this was assuming the worst.

This time, however, no one refuted.

Because they just witnessed the ‘what if’ scenario Sung Sihyun had warned them about.

The difference wasn’t a single step, but a half step.

What if the enemy had arrived half an hour— no, just 10 minutes earlier than them? What would have happened then?

“Like I said, we can’t fight here. Scheherazade is right in the middle of the enemy territory. It’s an ideal place for him to create new variables.”

The heart of Sung Shihyun’s plan was that they had to fight in a place where they could kill Seol Jihu with utmost certainty.

Rather than chasing after the enemy and risk being caught up in what could be a trap, it was better to create a situation in which they could win 100 percent, even if it took more time.

“The fact that they arrived this early means they know what we’re after. But you don’t have to worry.”

Sung Shihyun continued.

“Now that Scheherazade is in our hands, half of my plan is already done. And… he’s a complex thinker. If we move as he expects, he’ll move as we expect.”

“And if he doesn’t?”

“Doesn’t matter. All we have to do now is keep an eye on the enemy’s movements and respond accordingly.”

Sung Shihyun finished and turned to the Scheherazade Palace.

“Well then.”

A smile spread across his mouth as he stared at the ominous palace.

“Shall we begin?”


*

Seol Jihu stopped only after a considerable distance was between him and Scheherazade.

He looked back to check, but no one was following.

He only saw grey smoke rising above the walls of the city.

The capital of humanity, Scheherazade, had fallen.

The lucky ones might have been able to escape through the gate, but most were probably killed during the invasion.

Yun Seohui would have been one of the victims if Seol Jihu had not rushed in and beat Vulgar Chastity to a pulp to save her.

Looking at the city burning with flames, Yun Seohui said quietly.

“Thank you….”

Her voice sounded weak.

“You saved me.”

Seol Jihu let out a long sigh.

Yun Seohui trembled slightly as the action seemed to impose some sort of blame on her.

She turned her eyes carefully.

The only hero of humanity to be revered by the Federation.

The Brightest Star, feared by the Army Commanders and the Queen of the Parasites.

The apostle candidate of Gula, loved by all gods.

Level 7 Star Seeker — Seol Jihu.

“Representative Seol….”

“I begged you.”

She was about to say something, but Seol Jihu interrupted her.

His voice was cold.

Yun Seohui flinched when she met a look of hostility.

She clenched her teeth and opened her eyes sharply.

“I had no choice.”

Then she raised her voice to defend herself.

“It’s not that I didn’t, I couldn’t. The situation didn’t allow me to grant your request. I didn’t have the resources to do anything.”

“If you thought you couldn’t, you should have—”

“As soon as our communication was over, the city began to shake and the warp gates stopped working and the Parasites came. All in the blink of an eye! Tell me, what should I have done?”

Seol Jihu shut his mouth.

Somehow this situation, this conversation… felt familiar.

What did Black Seol Jihu do back then?

And Yun Seohui….

[I don’t need anything anymore. I just need to see that merciless bastard’s face in despair. I need to see him kneel down in regret.]

[Fine. Do as you like.]

When the scene from the past, in which Yun Seohui voluntarily handed herself over to the enemy, unfolded again in his head, Seol Jihu raised his chin and sighed one more time.

This time, instead of Kim Hannah, Sung Shihyun was in Scheherazade.

“Representative Seol, I….”

Just as Yun Seohui was about to speak in a pitiful voice….

Seol Jihu flinched and Yun Seohui’s eyes widened.

The next moment their eyes turned in the same direction.

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