The moment the Parasite Queen’s scream rang out, Seol Jihu’s back also curled halfway.
Blood spurted out from his mouth, nostrils, and ears. A strong sense of dizziness swept through his head, perhaps from the severe loss of blood.
His vision blurred and shook. However, Seol Jihu did not fall.
Black Seol Jihu and Roselle’s voices continued to ring out in his head.
That this was the end, and he was only a single step away.
Moreover, Seol Jihu could not let go of the Spear of Purity stabbed deep inside the Parasite Queen’s stomach. He felt like everyone who had helped him reach this point was holding his hand.
And so, Seol Jihu gripped the Spear of Purity hard and tilted his head up. As soon as he looked up, he roused his energy again.
Reinforced sword qi detonated again. The Parasite Queen’s scream grew louder.
Seol Jihu did not stop. Kicking off the ground…
And pushing the Parasite Queen back…
He continued to detonate reinforced sword qi.
Kwang, kwang, kwang, kwang!
As if to settle the score for his fallen comrades.
A brilliant light dyed the world white. No sound reverberated. The only thing that could be seen was light — the white light emitted by the Parasite Queen and the golden light detonated by Seol Jihu.
Within the blinding light of glory, Seol Jihu felt something touch the tip of the Spear of Purity. Then, feeling a terrifying resistance, Seol Jihu squeezed out every last bit of his energy.
Although he already used up all of his mana and did not have any left, he forcefully twisted and wrung out the very last vestiges of mana in his circuit and poured it into the Spear of Purity.
It was an attack containing all his might.
As he detonated his energy, the counter-elastic force increased. Seol Jihu’s feet left the ground, his body floating up. He shook violently like a flag fluttering in a storm. He felt like he was at sea in the middle of a fierce storm.
However, Seol Jihu did not let go of his spear. He stood strong and opened his eyes wide. He wanted to confirm the Parasite Queen’s final moments.
A cough escaped Seol Jihu’s mouth. Opening his eyes, Seol Jihu blinked rapidly.
The first thing he saw was a shattered marble flooring. He had fallen to his stomach without even realizing it.
A faint pain wrung out in his arms. Looking up, he saw his arms stretched out. The Spear of Purity was still in his hands. He had not let go of it even until the very end.
‘Where am I…?’
He saw a place that resembled the grand hall of a royal palace. Looking around, Seol Jihu felt a bright light flowing in from the front.
His gaze, which slowly went up the spear shaft, stopped at the spear tip. The Parasite Queen was sitting at the throne.
...No, it was hard to say that she was sitting. The throne was half broken, and it was more suitable to say that the Parasite Queen was skewered to the throne by the Spear of Purity than sitting.
She was half strewn on the throne, looking up at the ceiling with her chin up. As far as Seol Jihu could tell… she looked like someone who was quietly awaiting the moment of her death.
This was especially so because of the sparkling light coming out of her body.
Seol Jihu quickly got up. He pulled out the Spear of Purity and began to stab the Parasite Queen again.
He did not dare to be complacent. It wasn’t over until the very end. After all, the enemy he was facing was the Parasite Queen. If he gave even a little opening, there was a possibility she might revive while shouting, ‘I’ll show you my true self!’ He had to finish her off when he had the chance.
And so, he stabbed the Parasite Queen again and again. It was then.
[...Why don’t you give it a rest.]
A feeble voice rang out.
Seol Jihu stopped his spear.
[You should already know… that it is over.]
It was true.
“But you can never be too sure.”
The Parasite Queen stared fixedly at the nonchalantly retorting Seol Jihu.
[There is something I need to tell you before I go.]
“A final excuse from the loser?”
[Cheeky until the end, huh! Just listen. It will not be a bad thing for you to know.]
“Yes, yes, go ahead.”
I’ll hear you out until you perish. Seol Jihu murmured as he resumed stabbing his spear.
[You have an incredible talent.]
The Parasite Queen shook her head in disapproval but continued unfazed.
[To be precise, I should say that you obtained the qualification.]
[Though you might find it hard to believe, you, a mere mortal, have achieved the level of existence to become a god.]
[Of course, you are not the first one in the history of this universe, but what is certain is that you have the potential to achieve a level of existence that is higher than anyone else in this world.]
[With this battle, I became sure. You can surpass the Seven Sins and even myself.]
Seol Jihu’s spear stopped. For a moment, a barely visible smile appeared on the Parasite Queen’s face before disappearing.
Seol Jihu’s eyes widened. He gulped and scanned the Parasite Queen’s body.
[That is not what I mean.]
The Parasite Queen quickly added.
[I am telling you to consume my divinity.]
Seol Jihu tilted his head.
“Won’t you leave your divinity behind when you die anyway…?”
[That is true, but that is my essence. Do you think you will be able to fully absorb my divinity just because you achieved your current level of existence?]
[You must have heard how difficult it is to absorb even the Seven Virtues’ divinity. You must also take your Authority of Gluttony into consideration.]
[No matter how special you are, you are still a human.]
[But with me around, things might be a little different.]
When Seol Jihu showed a hint of interest, the Parasite Queen slowly raised her upper body.
[Do you not want to achieve an even higher level of existence?]
A suggestive voice flowed out.
[Do you not want to leave this world and see a broader universe?]
Looking at Seol Jihu, who was staring in a daze, she lowered her head slightly.
[All of this can be achieved if you so desire.]
[And, if you want…]
[I will help you.]
It was then. The Parasite Queen abruptly closed her mouth. It was because Seol Jihu raised his hand as if to tell her to stop.
“This must be it, right, Lady Roselle?”
He murmured to himself before suddenly looking up at the Parasite Queen.
“I understand what you’re saying, but… let me ask you a few questions.”
“Are you asking me to spare you?”
[You seemed to have misunderstood me.]
“I misunderstood you? How are you going to help me in your current state? If I accept, aren’t you going to ask me to help you recover?”
For example, like giving you one of the Seven Virtues’ divinities or something. Seol Jihu murmured.
“What are you going to do when your divinity recovers? Escape? Hide and look for an opportunity to strike back?”
The Parasite Queen’s eyes narrowed.
“Ah, and one more thing.”
Seol Jihu continued.
“Did you make a similar offer to Paradise’s Chief Deity?”
The Parasite Queen kept silent.
Seol Jihu waited for an answer before smirking.
“Well… it didn’t sound bad. Perhaps you might have been telling the truth.”
Even if the Parasite Queen was being genuine, even if such a future was possible…
“I don’t want to become a pawn to help you exact vengeance on the Martial God.”
The Parasite Queen’s face stiffened.
[How do you know that much…?]
A groan escaped her lips.
“It’s still a hard offer to pass up…. Ah, I’ll consider it seriously if you can grant my request.”
[To become your concubine?]
Seol Jihu laughed. He raised the Spear of Purity and held it up to the Parasite Queen’s face like a microphone.
“You and me.”
Then, he spoke.
“Let’s say it together. I say ‘Ang’.”
“And you say ‘Ang’. Okay?”
Seol Jihu pushed the spear further up. The Parasite Queen closed her eyes.
Sighing deeply, she leaned back down as if she had given up completely.
[Even at a moment like this….]
Feeling humiliated, a despondent look appeared on her face.
[How infuriating. This is nothing like the ending I had in mind….]
Soon, the Parasite Queen’s body began to shine. She could last a little longer if she wanted to, but she knew very well that Seol Jihu had no intention of letting her live.
She had chosen to perish rather than be ridiculed any further.
[Just what did I do to meet someone like you…? To think I will meet my end from someone like you….]
As she despaired, beams of light began to shoot out from her body.
“Don’t think too badly of it.”
The Parasite Queen’s final moment wasn’t ostentatious or splendid. Only tranquil rays of light quietly flowed out. Just that was enough to fill the grand hall with light.
“It’s just that I want to remain a human for now.”
Seol Jihu placed the Spear of Purity on his shoulder.
Seol Jihu raised his hand as he saw the Parasite Queen scattering away.
Smiling beamingly, he waved his hand.
[...Son of a bitch.]
Those were the Parasite Queen’s final words.
As the light detonated, a giant pillar of light soared up. Then, when the pillar that pierced the sky subsided…
The Parasite Queen could not be seen any longer. All that was left was an orb that was slightly bigger than the Seven Virtues’ divinities and a larger, clearer essence.
‘They must be the divinities of the Chief Deity and the Goddess of Parasitism.’
Bending down and picking up the two divinities, Seol Jihu looked refreshed. The world began to look different. Perhaps he was relieved to finally have everything off his chest.
It felt like it was only yesterday that he ran away from the Bugs, Cockroaches, and Medusas at Arden Valley.
‘It’s really over.’
He had mixed feelings, but the strongest emotion out of them all was a relief from defeating a seemingly undefeatable enemy.
After standing still for a moment, Seol Jihu did a double-take as he heard the sound of footsteps behind him. Looking back, he saw a familiar face.
“Mister Hao Win?”
Hao Win greeted him playfully. He was in a sorry state. The black sunglasses he always wore were nowhere to be seen, and his gloves were drenched in bodily fluids. It didn’t look like he had major injuries, most likely from the World Tree’s help, but Seol Jihu could tell at a glance that he went through a fierce battle.
Hao Win saw the same thing. After seeing a grand hall filled with light, a broken throne, and two orbs held in Seol Jihu’s hand….
“Some were lucky enough to have survived.”
Hao Win pointed at the group of fireflies that was leaving his body and flying away.
“Some, unfortunately, died.”
Seol Jihu sighed. He knew it couldn’t be helped, but it still stung a little.
“This isn’t the time to be standing here then.”
“Don’t worry too much.”
Seol Jihu looked at Hao Win with a questioning look.
Hao Win took out a transparent crystal from his pocket. It was a communication crystal.
“We’re already taking notes of the casualties. Information about the main unit was the first to get reported.”
“The dead should have made preparations beforehand on Earth. Miss Foxy also left to take care of Valhalla’s members.”
Seol Jihu breathed a sigh of relief.
“Our war is over now. Now, it’s their war. All you have to do is go back as soon as you can.”
Seol Jihu nodded.
‘Contribution points won’t be a problem, but….’
He felt better after hearing what Hao Win said, but he wasn’t entirely relieved. Having experienced the death penalty, he knew how dangerous it could be.
To lessen his comrades’ pain, he had to go back as soon as possible.
“I understand what you’re feeling. I don’t plan to stop you either.”
Hao Win approached Seol Jihu with a grin.
“But can’t you say a word or two as the hero who killed the Parasite Queen?”
“Come on, let’s go! Do you have any idea how many people are waiting for you outside?”
“What do you mean…?”
Hao Win dragged Seol Jihu outside. It didn’t take long for Seol Jihu to find out.
A loud cheer erupted when Seol Jihu went outside. He became dazed as countless fireflies danced in the sky. Underneath the setting sun, the half-destroyed imperial capital ironically gave off a snug feeling.
Countless people were crowding together. Paradisians, Earthlings, foreign races… Everyone was gathered together, and more people were coming close.
“He’s out! He’s out!”
“Is it true? Did we win?”
“What happened to the Parasite Queen?”
“Is she really dead?”
Questions shot out from left and right. Rather than answering them, Seol Jihu raised his hands and revealed the orbs inside them.
Despite this, the questions continued. They couldn’t be blamed. Many of them had been tormented by the Parasites for dozens of years. The Goddess of Parasitism was an immortal god that they did not even dare imagine killing. It made sense for them to want to check twice, thrice, and more.
The problem was that Seol Jihu wasn’t a fan of such atmospheres.
It was good to be happy. But the problem was the stares he was getting. Everyone looked at him with respect and admiration, and they were shouting heatedly as if to expect something.
‘I need to go back quickly….’
He didn’t feel like he could leave in such an atmosphere. Hao Win was only shrugging his shoulders behind him.
Just as Seol Jihu was scratching his face in embarrassment, he caught sight of someone.
Agnes was alive. She was staring at him while leaning on a broken wall in a sorry state.
If Agnes didn’t help him up at the very end, the one standing here would not be him but the Parasite Queen.
When their eyes met, she gave Seol Jihu a gentle smile and shook her head. But then, she flinched after watching the corner of Seol Jihu’s lips curl up.
Suddenly getting a bad feeling, she tried to move. However, Seol Jihu was already facing the crowd.
“Yes, it is true.”
He spoke with a bright smile.
“The Parasite Queen has perished. Paradise is no longer under threat. We are all safe.”
Seol Jihu spoke clearly. A heaven-shaking roar broke out when Seol Jihu made his announcement. The crowd was now looking at him fervently like religious zealots.
“It’s true! It’s really true! Hoorah! Hooraaaaaah!”
“Did you really kill a god!?”
“We woooooon! Uwaaaaaaah!”
They held each other and rejoiced. Still, the questions did not stop.
“It was thanks to one powerful spell.”
Once Seol Jihu spoke with a mana imbued voice, the cheers subsided a little bit.
“Do you want to know what it is?”
Seol Jihu said with a beaming smile.
“Do you want me to tell you what this spell is?”
Everyone shouted at the same time.
“Good, then I’ll tell you.”
Kuhum. Seol Jihu cleared his throat and then threw out his arms.
Then, he really shouted.
The dazedly staring Agnes’ eyes shot open.
“...W-What? A color?”
The crowd bustled. It seemed too random.
“What does that mean…?”
It’s not Hoorah, Seol Jihu?
It was then.
Someone shouted after Seol Jihu.
Seol Jihu grinned as if to egg on the crowd.
Another random shout came out of him.
“HOORAH! HOORAH! HOORAH!”
However, more people shouted after him. It was because of the atmosphere. Everyone was enjoying the taste of victory after a fierce war. These were also the words coming out of the hero who led them to victory.
...In truth, most of them were just shouting to express the emotions pent up inside them.
That was how mob psychology worked. Once a few people started shouting it, the rest were swept along.
Soon, everyone was shouting the same thing, screaming from the top of their lungs and shaking their weapons in excitement. They didn’t know anything about what they were shouting.
Seol Jihu shot his arms up with a look of satisfaction.
“HOORAH, EVIL BUTT!”
—HOORAH, EVIL BUTT!
Words of a public execution echoed out in the imperial capital, all the way from the location of the allied force’s main camp to where the World Tree was located.
“TING TING TENG TENG FRYING PAN BUTT, HOORAH!”
“Kuhahaha! What a funny spell!” Ting ting teng teng frying pan butt, hoo…!
A small explosion broke out. A man who was hitting two weapons against each other in a clamor suddenly fell to the ground, rolling. After coming to a stop, he rubbed his cheek in tears.
He seemed to be asking why he was hit.
Agnes turned her fuming, red face.
Seol Jihu was gone. He was way off in the distance, running away.
“Stop right there!”
Agnes began to chase him after him.
“Stop! Stop, I said! You better get your ass over here now!”
Screaming angrily, she pursued him as if her life depended on it.
“You’re dead! You’re soooo dead!”
However, she couldn’t close the distance in the slightest. Having regained a little bit of energy thanks to the World Tree, Seol Jihu was getting farther away by the second.
—Just wait ‘til I catch you!!!!
Agnes eventually gave up, her scream echoing out in all directions.
As for Seol Jihu…
He was laughing.
Running fast, he tilted his head, looked up at the sky, and laughed. Tears came out, and he was running out of breath, but his laughter never stopped.
A beautiful twilight was cast over the sky. It was more peaceful than ever before.
Soon, Seol Jihu’s feet left the ground. Soaring up, he glided across the sky and flew at full speed.
He headed to Earth, where his comrades would be waiting.Previous Chapter Next Chapter