Fourteen pairs of bone wings moved like the hands of an Asura.
He saw nothing. He heard nothing. But he still felt the presence of a giant hand trying to grab his body.
A huge palm smacked Seol Jihu, and the shock pushed him back.
He had instinctively raised the Spear of Purity in front of him to defend himself, but blood still dripped from his ears and nose.
In addition to the physical pain, he could almost feel his soul escape his body.
The next attack surprised Seol Jihu even more.
Palms flew at him from 108 different angles, all at the same time.
Seol Jihu quickly connected with Black Seol Jihu to dodge. They utilized several different techniques but could not avoid all the palms.
—Damn it! This can’t be helped! Get ready for a…!
Before Black Seol Jihu could even finish his sentence, a pair of palms slapped Seol Jihu’s back with a terrifying force.
Both men let out a yelp of pain.
—Fuck, what the hell is this…!?
Even Black Seol Jihu was puzzled. He had never experienced anything like this in his previous life.
—Just keep moving!
Only after barely escaping did the whole situation come into Seol Jihu’s sight.
Kwang, kwang, kwang, kwang, kwang!
Seol Jihu fell speechless at the sight of an endless series of explosions rocking the battlefield.
—Ten pairs are for us, and the other four are for… damn it.
It was just as Black Seol Jihu said. Twenty bone wings targeted Seol Jihu, and the other eight were flying towards the others.
Each time the Parasite Queen’s wings spun, countless lost their lives.
Even the core members weren’t an exception.
Following the sound of an explosion, Kazuki was thrown into the air.
But Seol Jihu couldn’t even afford to check his condition, because….
Almost immediately, another explosion occurred.
This time, Marcel Ghionea was flung across the battlefield, his legs torn from his body.
What remained of Marcel Ghionea rolled across the ground a few times before turning his head toward Seol Jihu’s voice.
His lips drew back in a faint smile as he stared at Seol Jihu in the air.
His eyes closed and he stopped moving.
A long scream rang out before Seol Jihu could even recover from the shock.
When Seol Jihu turned around, Maria was no longer there. He only saw two bloody feet partially buried in a palm-shaped pit.
Despite the considerable distance between her and the enemy, Maria still got hit.
It was proof that this technique was indiscriminate and fast beyond imagination. And even now, it was accelerating, flying toward the Allies’ headquarters at a terrifying speed.
To make matters worse, the golden light surrounding Seol Jihu’s body began to flicker.
This was a sign that Spear God was coming to an end.
—You know, you sure do act like you have a ton of time to spare.
Black Seol Jihu’s sarcastic voice rang in Seol Jihu’s head as gusts of wind blew past him.
‘I know. But…!’
How could she still be so… energetic?
Seol Jihu clenched his teeth and glared at the Parasite Queen.
The origin of this technique was her bone wings. As such, it seemed evident that he had to get close to the enemy to stop it.
But Seol Jihu couldn’t quite figure out how he would do that.
He knew that if he approached her, all the wings would target him.
He couldn’t even dodge ten. He didn’t think he could dodge 14.
‘I just don’t see any opening….’
—Then perhaps we should make one.
That was when a silvery voice echoed in his ears.
It belonged to Roselle.
—I feel like I’ve already told you this, but… take a look below.
Seol Jihu’s gaze fell to the ground at Black Seol Jihu’s voice.
His eyes widened in an instant.
There, he saw his comrades resisting against the Parasite Queen’s attack.
Seo Yuhui, Eun Yuri, Cinzia, and Philip Muller had formed a barrier together.
Even though the barrier had already been more or less destroyed, they struggled to maintain it to the end. Even going as far as to calculate the angles at which the attacks were coming in.
All four of them knew just how terrifying the Parasite Queen was, obviously. They were also aware of the deaths of their comrades.
But in spite of everything, they remained calm and composed.
Seol Jihu finally realized the reason for their tenacity.
His comrades had been telling him to use them for a while now.
The moment he realized this, he was already descending—towards his comrades.
The moment Philip Muller shouted, the three magicians exchanged glances.
There was no time to waste.
Philip Muller crafted a magic circle, and Cinzia summoned the Valkyries as they charged together toward the enemy.
The sudden and simultaneous attacks from the two Executors caught the Parasite Queen’s attention.
She wasn’t afraid of them, of course. She merely saw this as an opportunity to exterminate two ‘relatively’ annoying bugs simultaneously.
However, this shift in attention gave a certain person a chance to attack.
The raging storm briefly subsided.
Hugo gripped his halberd tight.
Thanks to the World Tree, the wound in his stomach had been healed completely.
Nothing was holding him back now. He’d already done this once before. There was no reason why he couldn’t do it again.
Two screams rang out in succession as Hugo kicked the ground.
With a roar, he began to sprint. Eun Yuri’s spell and Yi Seol-Ah’s Aura helped increase Hugo’s speed to keep him from falling behind Seol Jihu.
—This fight will end in an instant.
Black Seol Jihu’s voice rang in Seol Jihu’s head as he, too, began to run.
—You’re running out of mana. Don’t waste it on anything else but that.
He urged Seol Jihu to save his strength for the crucial moment, even if it meant that he had to sacrifice his comrades.
—This is especially important. Don’t go off on your own just because you’re pissed. Do you understand?
Seol Jihu nodded instead of answering.
At that moment, the Parasite Queen turned her head toward the storm rushing at her. Seeing their terrifying speed, she quickly moved her bone wings.
Palms flew in from everywhere.
Seol Jihu swung his arm.
The Spear of Purity spewed out dozens of Sword Qi as several massive explosions erupted in succession around Seol Jihu.
Suddenly, a palm ripped through the smoke.
Hugo’s eyes widened.
He clenched his teeth and brought his halberd forward.
The shining halberd shattered into a million pieces and then scattered into the air.
Hugo, who received the attack with his entire body, was far from fine. Blood spurted from all over his body as the force of the blow pushed him back.
He wobbled as if about to fall, but managed to pull himself back up seconds before it was too late, thanks to Chohong and Phi Sora, who each extended their arms to support Hugo from behind.
Hugo’s blood-covered face winced with pain, but his lips curved into a smile.
Suddenly, he felt grateful for all the time he had spent trying to climb that slope. It was because he had worked so hard to reach that peak that he was able to take this step forward.
He was able to run again, holding what remained of his weapon.
A look of perplexity crossed the Parasite Queen’s face.
There was nothing Hugo could do about the palm that flew in at him the next moment.
He struggled to fall sideways so as not to obstruct Seol Jihu’s way.
Seol Jihu passed Hugo as he fell.
Hugo’s hand flailed a few times in the air in search of Seol Jihu’s back before brushing past Seol Jihu’s right arm.
Seol Jihu glanced briefly at Hugo’s thick arm, and the blood splattered across it, then turned his head forward again.
Another palm was coming for him.
He clenched his teeth and fired Reinforced Sword Qi.
Eun Yuri shouted and flew up toward the newly-appeared palm.
When she finished her last spell, a snowstorm was unleashed onto the battlefield.
But it did not last long. Both the freezing cold and Eun Yuri’s voice quickly faded into silence.
In the meantime, all Seol Jihu felt was the warmth of the blood splattering on his flesh.
At least she managed to delay the Parasite Queen’s attack once.
Although it lasted for only a brief moment, it was more than enough time for Seol Jihu to move forward.
Seol Jihu soon reached the center of the attack range.
He was now close enough to see the Parasite Queen’s face clearly.
The raging winds came to an abrupt halt.
The Parasite Queen’s attack had stopped.
It was nothing to rejoice about. All 14 pairs of wings were pointing at Seol Jihu now.
With a roar, the Parasite Queen resumed the attack with even more ferocity than before.
Left, right, up, and down. The palms came from all directions. Seol Jihu destroyed them as quickly as possible, but the number of palms continued to remain high.
Suddenly, Chohong and Phi Sora stopped simultaneously as if this had been part of their plan from the beginning.
Oh Rahee and Vlad Halep also stopped and turned around.
All four of them jumped into the air at the same time.
Boom, boom, boom, boom!
The palms that were coming down toward Seol Jihu burst in the air.
He didn’t even hear a scream. He didn’t even have time to look up.
Seol Jihu just ran silently through the rain of blood falling from the sky.
The Parasite Queen’s eyelashes trembled. She found herself backing away again.
The remaining opponents were six, including Seol Jihu.
At this rate, it wouldn’t be long before the Brightest Star reached her.
And at that moment, all hesitation disappeared from the Parasite Queen’s face.
She quickly stepped back as if running away, operating her bone wings.
Pride was the least of her concerns now. Her only wish was to remain standing when all was over, as she always had.
There were only about ten steps left between Seol Jihu and the Parasite Queen.
It was then. Another round of palms was fired again from the Parasite Queen’s body.
The first scream that rang out belonged to Yi Seol-Ah.
“Aura! Forget about me and…!”
She sensed a palm’s presence aiming at Seol Jihu’s back and threw herself towards its course.
Seol Jihu couldn’t hear what she shouted at the end, for she drifted away too quickly.
—I’m up next!
Suddenly, five brilliant colors filled Seol Jihu’s view.
The Arcus Spirit wrapped himself around Seol Jihu’s body to protect his partner from incoming attacks.
But as Black Seol Jihu had said, the protection lasted only a few seconds.
As more and more palms flew towards their way, the colors faded quickly until, at last, the Arcus Spirit collapsed with a burst of light.
Despite his sacrifice, the palms still remained, and more were coming toward him.
There seemed to be no end in sight to the influx of palms.
But not everyone was down yet.
Following the sound of a robe fluttering in the air, a green Reinforced Sword Qi shot forward.
It had come from Baek Haeju’s spear.
And when the remaining ten steps were reduced to seven….
Jihu. A soft voice brushed past Seol Jihu’s ears.
His view suddenly brightened.
Seol Jihu almost looked back but stopped.
Both Little Chick and Baek Haeju were gone, but the barrier around him was still strangely strong.
He felt a warmth touch his right arm.
With the help of Aura, Seo Yuhui had finally caught up with Seol Jihu.
With a smile, she gave Seol Jihu a small nod, then turned her head forward.
A gust of wind blew past them.
Seo Yuhui armed Seol Jihu with layers of barriers and then threw herself in front of him, clasping the Proof of Castitas tightly.
Pung, pung, pung, clang!
When the barriers shattered in just four blows, Seo Yuhui was no longer there.
Seol Jihu was now completely alone.
The remaining steps: six.
He couldn’t have come this far without his comrades’ sacrifices.
With a renewed determination, he quickly gathered his remaining strength and was about to activate Thousand Thunder, when suddenly….
—Wait, hold on…!
He saw a palm, and that was it.
His vision shook violently.
His tense body quickly lost its momentum.
Both Black Seol Jihu and Roselle let out a groan.
That palm was not a part of Infinite Buddha. They had already destroyed all the palms.
It was just that the Parasite Queen had suddenly stopped.
She read Seol Jihu’s movements and stopped running, and instead chose to strike the enemy with her own hands at the very moment that he was about to launch his technique.
It was then. As Seol Jihu was about to lose his focus….
“What are you doing!?”
An angry shout rang out.
“I’ve told you countless times not to let your guard down until the end!”
The voice pulled Seol Jihu back to reality.
He managed to keep his consciousness awake and opened his eyes.
His body, which had almost fallen, was being pulled up by an invisible force.
This was neither his nor Black Seol Jihu’s doing.
“Wait for one more step!”
Finally, Seol Jihu discovered the strands of silk wrapped around his arms. These strands were lifting him back to his feet.
[Apostle of Superbiaaaa!]
The Parasite Queen’s enraged shout shook the battlefield.
Agnes’ voice was cut short by an explosion.
Her glasses shattered to pieces and scattered in the air.
Seol Jihu shook his head as if to clear it, then fixed his gaze forward.
Only five more steps left.
The palms were all gone now, and the Parasite Queen was standing still. This was his chance.
Seol Jihu stamped the ground with all his might.
Lightning sparked from his two legs, which then swiftly glided forward.
At the same time, as he tightened his grip around the Spear of Purity, someone put his hands on the back of Seol Jihu’s hands.
With Black Seol Jihu’s shout, Seol Jihu’s eyes shot wide open.
No fancy technique was needed at this point.
He only rushed forward like a bolt of lightning, bent his arms back over his head as far as he could, and then launched his spear toward his target with every ounce of strength left in him.
The spear, emitting a glorious golden light, shot through the air.
This blow reduced the remaining distance to zero in an instant.
[Class Ability ‘Basic Spear Technique - Thrust (EX)’ has evolved to ‘Basic Spear Technique - Thrust (Divine Beginning)’.]
Because this attack had come from the Spear God himself, it was enough to split an entire continent in half.
Suddenly, a strange sensation swept through Seol Jihu as the edge of his Reinforced Sword Qi reached a hard surface.
The same phenomenon happened to the Parasite Queen. Both felt as if they were alone in a white void, separate from the rest of the world.
Seol Jihu’s eyes met the Parasite Queen’s.
And at that moment, a myriad of thoughts crossed the Parasite Queen’s mind.
What was it that she saw? Was it the twilight of dawn? Or was it the twilight of dusk?
She would soon discover the answer.
The Reinforced Sword Qi cracked through the Parasite Queen’s outer shell.
The Parasite Queen’s facial muscles trembled as the tip of the spear moved further forward, reaching even the deepest parts of her interior.
All of her bone wings tilted downward.
Just before the palms reached his back, Seol Jihu mustered all his remaining mana and twisted his spear with every ounce of strength left in him….
Level 9 Divine Spear, Class Ability — Secret Art: Sword Qi Wave - Explosion.
…With his hands covered with the blood of his comrades.
Rays of golden energy poured out of the Parasite Queen’s body one after another.
A long scream echoed throughout Gloria Aeterna.Previous Chapter Next Chapter