The Wheel Tactic. It was a war strategy that alternated a large number of troops to encircle a smaller number of enemies to weaken them slowly.
It was also called a piecemeal attack, but despite the fancy names, it was really just a meaningless wasting of troops.
After all, it was unnecessary for them to divide their troops as they had more than enough numbers to keep alternating the units. They also could not leave out the possibility of the enemy defeating them one by one. In the end, they were practically offering up their army piece by piece.
However, it was a different story if their objective was not merely killing the target.
One reason that the Parasite Queen had ordered the Wheel Tactic without hesitation was that most of the troops were easily expendable and could immediately be recreated even if they died.
The Nests that were evenly positioned throughout the area were giving birth to new species without rest. The number of newly created parasites from just the already existing mother species and Nests was sky-high. Adding the numbers produced by all the Medusas, Temerators, and Reginas made the total simply uncountable.
On top of all that, the troops stationed at the borders had been called back, causing the total amount of parasites present to be more than enough to flood several cities with much to spare.
Such a terrifying force marched towards one place under the command of the Parasite Queen.
In the middle of a fierce battle.
With bloodshot eyes, Seol Jihu charged towards the troops that surrounded him in layers. He viciously roared out and tore open the encirclement like a beast.
All sorts of attacks flew at him from all directions—weapons and arrows, rotten claws and corrosive acids, and even brute physical attacks.
Just as all the attacks aimed at one person were about to convene into a single point, Seol Jihu clenched the shaft of his spear with both hands. He powerfully twisted his waist to rotate his body and started swinging his spear like a windmill.
An angry storm raged. Accompanied by piercing winds, the spear cut through swords and blew away arrows. Even before the claws could touch him, entire arms were sliced up into the air while the corrosive acids dispersed like a spray of water. The monster that had charged at him was cut in two at its waist before collapsing.
However, even before the upper portion of the body hit the ground, attacks that were twice as fierce than before ensued.
But what was more shocking was that their opponent actually countered such intensified attacks.
He had only thrust once with his spear, but tens of invisible spears suddenly flooded out and crashed into the space in front of him. A ruckus was heard as a gaping hole was created in the middle of the enemy ranks.
Taking advantage of their confusion, Seol Jihu quickly narrowed the distance. He promptly approached a giant that was well over two meters tall. It looked like it had been struck by his Formless Spears as it was staggering from the many holes pierced through its body.
A sword qi that was over four feet thick shot out from the spear that Seol Jihu slashed down. The sword qi reached the top of the giant’s head, causing a spurt of blood and flesh before cutting down till its groin. With power left to spare, it slashed through the ground and left a deep crevice.
At that moment…
Seizing the moment that Seol Jihu attacked, several air units dove at his face.
In that split second, Seol Jihu widened his eyes and rotated his arm that grasped the spear. The spearhead that had been stuck in the ground came loose and smashed into the air units faster than when it had vertically slashed downwards on the giant.
The giant’s body was cleanly split into two while simultaneously, the bodies of the air units were smashed into smithereens like they were forced through a grinder.
He could finally see his vision clear up.
He had broken through. However, the troops on his sides and rear roared out and desperately attempted to hold him down.
Their suicidal attacks were extremely vicious. However, Seol Jihu reacted calmly.
Seol Jihu threw the spear in his hands with all his might. With a piercing shriek, the Spear of Purity shot through the enemies approaching him from behind in a straight line. Seol Jihu stretched out his hands to his sides at the same time.
When his left hand pressed down, the enemies on his left side started collapsing and tripping over each other. From his right hand, multiple golden sword qi shot out and swept through the mob on the right.
And when he stretched his hand out in front of him, a slippery spear covered in blood and bits of flesh was caught in his grasp.
A follow up with a continuous barrage of Flying Spears, Grand Cosmic Shifts, and Mana Spears left the majority of the enemy troops on the floor.
After rubbing his spear once, Seol Jihu started dashing all over the place to slaughter his enemies.
The Parasites doggedly retaliated against him, but every time his spear danced, at least four bodies fell to the ground. And with every occasional execution of his skills, several tens of parasites were butchered.
As the hundreds of troops fell hour by hour, the mournful cries and screams that filled the battlefield gradually quietened.
Just as the mangled corpses stacked up and their blood dyed the ground crimson…
One person was left standing in the area strewn with blood and corpses.
And this was how yet another battle closed its curtains.
However, an end was always the start of something new.
He hadn’t even been able to collect his breath yet, but the undead army and the Death Knights led by Unsightly Humility appeared far off in the distance. Of course, Evil Phantoms, Basilisks, Hydras, and other upper-ranked parasites could also be found advancing with them.
After spitting out blood mixed with saliva, Seol Jihu’s bloodshot eyes grew even fiercer.
Seol Jihu had noticed the Parasite Queen’s strategy on the second night.
He noticed a strange regularity to the attacks where he was forced to engage in battle 24/7 without rest, and needless to say, without eating or sleeping.
When he defeated the lower-ranked parasites like Bugs and Cockroaches, intermediate-ranked parasites would appear with a corpse army composed of humans and other species.
When he fought back that wave, the Parasites’ elites would appear led by Army Commanders and their personal Army.
The same sequence kept repeating.
An army composed of the lower-ranked parasites would swarm him with overwhelming numbers like moths to fire to drag for time.
Intermediate-ranked parasites and the corpse army would then prevent Seol Jihu from advancing and desperately attempted to wound him.
Then, an Army Commander would lead their army and high-ranked parasites to deplete Seol Jihu’s energy.
Only the Army Commander and their troops changed. The rest remained the same.
He had been skeptical at first, but seeing Vulgar Chastity appear after fighting through two identical battles back to back, he became convinced.
And in this way, when he fought a total of nine cycles, the sequence would restart.
For example, even if he battered the Second Army Commander and chased him out, Unsightly Humility would recover during the time Seol Jihu fought eight battles and reappear with new troops.
Seol Jihu gritted his teeth. The battle would have been many folds easier without the presence of the Army Commanders.
However, the Army Commanders never approached him more than necessary. Sometimes, Unsightly Humility would only fire energy attacks from a distance before retreating.
Exploding Patience and Vulgar Chastity were trickier to deal with. They would unleash curses and magic while keeping their distance and would immediately flee without looking back as soon as he used a skill or tried to close the gap. They didn’t hesitate to throw away all the troops that they brought with them.
They didn’t react in the slightest, no matter how he provoked and ridiculed them. They refused even to reply as if they received such an order from the Parasite Queen.
The enemy’s intention was clear. He could tell just by the absence of Sung Shihyun, Abhorrent Charity, and Twisted Kindness.
They were probably waiting for the perfect chance to strike. The Parasite Queen obviously wanted something more than just his death.
He felt an ominous premonition well up inside him, but he had no choice but to continue fighting alone. There was no one there to fight by his side. He only had himself to rely on.
Just when he was thinking this, yet another wave of troops surrounded him before charging at him. Seol Jihu tightly clenched his spear.
He roared as he ran towards the enemy.
He slaughtered, massacred, and fought a bloody battle, as the time ticked on and the days slipped by.
The sun set, and the moon appeared, then the moon fell as the sun rose again.
Seol Jihu continued to swing his spear.
Soon, day and night alternated three more times.
Seol Jihu was still on his two feet, advancing forwards.
And again, six days passed by.
Despite this, another Parasite army was steadily blocking Seol Jihu’s path.
Their numbers did not decrease even a little.
Eleven entire days had passed after he had split up with his companions. Or was it twelve days?
Seol Jihu shook his head. He didn’t know. There was no point in counting the days. The important thing was how far he had advanced; he had lost track of time a while ago.
Seol Jihu swept up his hair while standing on the ground, where fresh blood pooled to form a large puddle. When he made a fist while running his hand through his hair, large droplets of blood dripped down.
With a body completely covered in fresh blood, Seol Jihu’s appearance was difficult to describe as human. He looked like a Yaksha that had jumped out from the sea of blood.
Seol Jihu threw back his head while letting out the breath he had been holding in.
Dawn must have arrived as the darkness started receding and the sky began to brighten. It looked like another day had passed.
Unsightly Humility had appeared around this time the day before, and he had just repelled the attack of Vulgar Chastity. He had fought almost nine battles over the course of one day.
It was not a good sign. Immediately after sending away Seo Yuhui, Flone, and Little Chick, it had taken him only about half a day to cycle around back to Unsightly Humility.
Now the time taken to run a full sequence increased from 6 hours to 24 hours. His power had fallen.
He didn’t even hope for an hour or two of sleep or a proper meal. It was good enough if he could just sit somewhere for a moment.
However, he knew better than anyone that it was an empty wish. Even if he did sit down, he would have to quickly stand up again, and it would be difficult to get back up if he sat down.
‘But this much should be…’
Seol Jihu froze just as he was about to lean forward to rest with his hands braced on his knees. He immediately threw his spear behind his back.
It pierced through the head of a parasite.
He thought he had taken care of all of them, but it seemed like one of them hid in between the corpses, looking for a chance to strike.
At that moment…
Seol Jihu’s eyes widened just as he had swung the body aside. Alarm bells rang in his head. Just as he was about to move aside hastily…
Gunshots rang out.
He had quickly pulled back his body, but a single shot grazed his side. His ribs burned. Seol Jihu immediately stared in the direction the bullet had flown from and activated the Spear of Purity’s ability.
[Crescent Blade Spear Technique, Fourth Ultimate Art — Mind Spear has been activated.]
A spray of blood sprouted on the foot of a mountain in front of him. An Evil Phantom without a head staggered before falling down.
Seol Jihu threw another Mind Spear. However, it produced no results as they had fled the moment their location was discovered. Because he couldn’t waste any more of his already lacking energy, he withdrew his mana.
Seol Jihu clenched his teeth. No wonder the number of Evil Phantoms that had appeared were less this time. He had not thought they would snipe at him from a distance.
He had a bad feeling that they would target him like this time in future battles. It meant that they would not allow him a single second of rest. He would be forced to remain vigilant at every second.
…Rather, there hadn’t been a second of rest in the first place.
He was using Mana Technique, which had evolved from Righteous Heart, to constantly protect his body and resist attacks. However, ever since he had trespassed into the Empire, he felt his body’s vitality and mana slowly but surely leak out. After all, this was the territory of the Parasite Queen.
However, exhaustion was inevitable. The fact that he couldn’t evade the Evil Phantom’s attack just now was evidence of this. He had clearly sensed it through his intuition, but his tired body did not respond as he wished.
Seol Jihu sighed.
‘By the way, when did I use my cloak’s special ability?’
Blood spilled out from his rib. He felt like he received internal injuries with that wound as his insides felt like they were burning up every time he breathed.
Seol Jihu fumbled around his belt while grabbing the wound. His hand grasped at nothing but air for a while before finally finding a healing potion and opening the stopper. He roughly sprinkled half of it on his injury before emptying the rest in his mouth.
Seol Jihu suddenly bent forwards the moment he drank the potion.
He tried to swallow back the blood that suddenly rushed up, but in the end, he couldn’t fight back the gag and vomited out everything.
He only felt better after vomiting out large amounts of blood several times. In return, however, he felt a wave of light-headedness hit him.
He had to focus his eyes as his sight momentarily blurred.
Foams of blood formed around his already bloody mouth.
It was dangerous. The injuries he had been suppressing had almost flared out all at once.
He hadn’t been aware that he was kneeling on one knee.
It seemed like even his senses were starting to fail him. His entire body was sending him warning signals.
‘I know. But endure just a little more.’
Smiling bitterly, Seol Jihu unwittingly looked up in front of him. He could then clearly see it.
It was just as he had suspected. The elites of the Parasites appeared in the distance with Exploding Patience in the lead.
Seol Jihu let out a short breath before wiping his mouth and getting up. Then facing the endless flood of troops marching towards him, he brandished his spear.
He had expected this since the start. Rather, it was what he wanted. He had no thoughts of complaining now that he had come to this point.
But in any case, one thing was clear.
He wasn’t able to rest for eleven, maybe twelve entire days.
He had to fight through the nights without sleeping.
The number of enemies he had killed was uncountable and the number of times he had swung his spear was unfathomable.
And as a result.
He began to feel his limit, little by little.Previous Chapter Next Chapter