The existence standing in front of the Parasite Queen narrowed his eyes at the Queen’s serious tone.
“That doesn’t sound very favorable for us.”
[You’re right. If we let things continue as is, the future will distort even further, and Eva will be the starting point of this distortion.]
“Storm, you say. Aren’t you overestimating the gravity of this situation?”
[It is only a gale now. Of course, if it makes landfall in its current state, there’s a huge chance it will stop before long. But…]
The Parasite Queen trailed off for a bit as she observed the constellations.
Seeing the several gold-colored threads touching a star, she furrowed her brows.
[There are more than a few elements fanning the Star’s rotation.]
“I don’t know. Even though he killed Undying Diligence—”
[When a feather touches the surface of the water, it only causes a small ripple.]
The Parasite Queen spoke quietly.
[But even a single footstep of a titan raises a wave.]
The existence’s eyes turned sharp.
[Even a footstep raises a wave… so if he grits his teeth and starts running…]
Most likely, a terrifying cataclysm and hail would storm forth.
“…What shall we do?”
The existence loosened his crossed arms at the Parasite Queen’s lamentation.
“If you want, I can charge into Eva immediately. Just lend me two army corps.”
[That’s not a bad plan.]
The Parasite Queen cupped her chin with her hand in a relaxed manner.
[But we already failed once. We cannot repeat the same mistake.]
Sending three armies in a hurry to the valley turned out to be a serious blunder.
It wasn’t just the loss of military force that hurt. What made the Parasite Queen most bitter was that the invasion had facilitated the dead Star’s revival and had even hastened its growth.
As a result, a substantial part of the future that the Parasite Queen was drawing had fallen into utter chaos.
“Are you saying you will wait and see how things turn out?”
[I’m not saying I won’t do anything.]
The Parasite Queen smirked faintly.
[Lust and Gluttony seem to have made many preparations. So it’s about time I draw a card to catch them off-guard. I’ll take my time and do it carefully.]
“By catching them off-guard, you mean…”
[It is time.]
The existence raised his head in the middle of his question.
The Parasite Queen did the same. She tilted her head and looked up at the ceiling.
It wasn’t as if there was a huge change. There was no vibration nor a powerful flow of energy.
But, the two of them could clearly see with their eyes.
In the sky beyond the lofty ceiling, a terrifying storm cloud was raging.
It pulsated, quickly but surely.
[Let me introduce him.]
The Parasite Queen grinned.
[This new god will be your partner.]
[You and he will make a good pair.]
The Parasite Queen spoke with confidence.
[Because this child is the only one other than you to have digested divinity on his own.]
The existence’s eyes curled up.
Right, the one who just exclaimed in awe was the sole existence among the Army Commanders who succeeded in accepting divinity alone.
He was the sole survivor of a race long known to have gone extinct, an Army Commander of unparalleled destruction who had the power of a one-man army— the last Dragon, ‘Twisted Kindness’.
Twisted Kindness abruptly examined his body. The large wings protruding out from his back had been withdrawn, and the long tail stretching out from his sacrum shot up stiffly.
His body had reacted just by seeing the phenomenon of the sky distorting.
Huup. Twisted Kindness took in a deep breath before pushing up his grey, waterfall-like hair. His red, reptilian eyes appeared underneath his hair and split vertically.
“This is truly interesting.”
The last Dragon revealed an animated smile.
Kim Hannah decided to go to Eva again as she needed someone to oversee the construction that would take place.
She planned to room and board at a nearby inn while searching for a qualified person.
Seol Jihu volunteered to go with her to serve as her guard, but Kim Hannah surprisingly refused. It wasn’t that she refused a guard. She had rejected Seol Jihu specifically.
She made another request instead.
“It’s going to take at least 3 months before the construction finishes. It might take even longer than that.”
With that, Kim Hannah gestured at Seol Jihu.
“You said so yourself, right? That you became a Level 5, but didn’t acquire any skills befitting one.”
Seol Jihu nodded his head. It was true that he had not paid attention to training since he leveled up.
“If the frightening strength you displayed during the war was the result of relying on Awakening skills, raising your true strength should be your top priority. At the very least, you need to get 4 or 5 times stronger than you are now.”
“Proper High Rankers are usually at least that strong.”
When Seol Jihu thought about Phi Sora, who was supposedly the top 0.01 percent of Level 5 Warriors, he quickly acquiesced.
“We’re moving to Eva, but we don’t know how the established organizations there will react. No, considering your goals, we will clash with them without a doubt. When that happens, strength is the only thing we can rely on.”
This was something Sorg Kühne touched upon as well.
In the worst-case scenario, there was a chance Carpe Diem would go to war with another organization.
He had been waiting to train anyway. And since the Parasites could invade again at any time, training constantly was only natural.
Seol Jihu happily nodded his head.
“Okay, I’ll come back far stronger than I am now. Wait for me.”
“Hey, if you put it like that, it sounds like we’re the main couple of a drama who has no choice but to say goodbye.”
Kim Hannah scolded him while giggling.
Just like that, they decided to split the team into two.
Kim Hannah would go to Eva, and Chohong and Marcel Ghionea would go with her. Given how many enemies Kim Hannah had, she needed someone to protect her, and having one High Ranker Warrior and the Archer of Steel with her made Seol Jihu feel at ease.
Jang Maldong, of course, was going with Seol Jihu to train. There was no need to even mention Flone.
As for the rest, Seol Jihu decided they could do what they wanted.
“I’ll go train too.”
Yi Sungjin was the first to raise his hand.
And Hugo surprisingly took it upon himself as well.
“I understand Sungjin wanting to come, but you too?”
“Yeah. Did you eat something strange this morning?”
Even Jang Maldong and Chohong were surprised.
Hugo looked at each of the High Rankers in the room, stopping at Seol Jihu and then averting his gaze.
“I’m going to Eva—!”
Phi Sora shouted while shooting her hand up into the air.
But, she dropped her jaw at Jang Maldong’s firm rejection.
“W-Why!? You said we’re free to choose!”
“It can’t be helped. We need you for this training.”
Phi Sora stopped protesting and blinked.
“Grandpa, don’t tell me…”
“Stop. We’ll talk later. Anyway, we need your help.”
Hearing this, Phi Sora closed her mouth. The way she kept glancing at Seol Jihu, she definitely knew something about the upcoming training.
Jang Maldong ignored her sideways glances and continued.
“What are you going to do?”
Yi Seol-Ah spoke carefully while rolling her eyes.
“I want to go to Eva… I’m curious to know what the place is like…”
“Go ahead. You and Sungjin went not too long ago anyway.”
Jang Maldong readily agreed. Then, he turned to Yi Sungjin and asked.
“Sungjin, do you really want to come with us? You can take this opportunity to rest. To be honest, I won’t have much time to look after your training this time.”
He had revealed straight out that Seol Jihu would be his main focus.
But Yi Sungjin replied firmly.
“I’ll have more than enough task at hand to try to digest what I’ve already learned.”
Jang Maldong chuckled.
“Okay, go ahead.”
Just as Jang Maldong told the trainees to start packing for Huge Stone Rocky Mountain—
“Um, Master Jang.”
Seo Yuhui spoke quietly.
“Do you mind going somewhere other than Huge Stone Rocky Mountain?”
The unexpected request took Jang Maldong by surprise.
“Of course, Huge Stone Rocky Mountain is fine too…”
“Do you have a place in mind, Lady Seo Yuhui?”
“Yes. It’s not a safe zone, but there’s a place near Eva that I sometimes go to pray.”
Jang Maldong’s eyes widened.
There was no rule saying that one had to pray in a temple.
It could be done anywhere so long as it was full of miraculous energy.
But such places were usually only known by Priests.
Seo Yuhui was intending on revealing a secret place of sorts.
“Will that be okay? Unless you’re at the temple, miraculous energy is a limited resource….”
“Of course, it’s fine.”
Seo Yuhui cupped her hands together and smiled brightly.
“It will be very helpful for the training as well.”
Teresa anxiously called the king.
“Eva’s royal administrator just left.”
Prihi nodded his head while raising a steaming teacup.
“Are you really going to sit still and do nothing?”
Prihi replied inattentively while savoring the tea’s flavor.
“This tea is quite excellent. Fufu…”
Teresa, who was staring at him fixedly, raised her fingernails with a “Kyaak.”
Prihi escaped, screaming.
“Damn it. Just what is Father thinking…”
Haramark’s greatest war hero was about to go to another city. Unable to comprehend what her father was thinking, Teresa headed to the Carpe Diem office.
The way she left last time had been constantly bothering her. She was stopping by to apologize and to hear Seol Jihu out.
After arriving at the building, Teresa took a few deep breaths before walking up the stairs.
After clearing her throat, she knocked on the front door.
However, no answer came back.
She knocked again to no avail.
Teresa tilted her head and pressed her ear against the wall.
The office was quiet. She couldn’t hear a peep.
Teresa’s eyes widened as her mind reeled in disbelief.
“Seol, Seol! Seol!”
Tang, tang, tang, tang!
Even when she slammed on the door crazily and raised her head, there was no answer.
Teresa rushed down the stairs in fright.
Calling Seol Jihu’s name yearningly, she ran frantically.
She went around the east, south, west, and north gates in order, but she couldn’t find any trace of Seol Jihu.
She went to the stable just in case and, as expected, every member of Carpe Diem had apparently left for Eva.
When Teresa heard this news, she barely stopped her legs from going limp and left the stable.
‘He… really left? Without saying anything?’
She thought he would come to see her at least once before he left. Rather, she thought he would tell her when he would leave.
‘Didn’t you say you’d convince me!?’
Teresa resented Seol Jihu at the same time as she blamed herself.
I shouldn’t have left like that back then. That must have hurt his feelings. I shouldn’t have done that.
Murmuring inwardly, she trudged around the streets aimlessly.
In the end, she ended up coming back to Carpe Diem’s office.
‘He… really left…’
Teresa looked around with slightly moist eyes.
It was then. Her lifeless eyes caught sight of a piece of paper in the corner.
The wind must have knocked it off the door.
Teresa picked up the paper in a daze.
And she found this written on the paper—
—We’re going to go train! If you need us for anything, contact us through the communication crystal! :D
Teresa stopped breathing as her face simultaneously grew stiff.
Plop. She dropped down to the ground.
For some reason, the ‘:D’ really shored up her anger.
After sobbing for a while…
“I hope you get absolutely crushed while training!”
Teresa shut her eyes tightly and yelled resentfully.
Seol Jihu, who was overly excited about training and had forgotten all about Teresa, led the members of Carpe Diem to Eva.
There, he dropped off Kim Hannah, Chohong, Yi Seol-Ah, and Marcel Ghionea before immediately starting back up.
Seol Jihu felt his heart palpitate the whole way.
A part of the excitement came from the fact that this was an entirely new place, but the main reason was that he could finally train as he had been hoping to do for a while now.
“Eva is a city that is built at the foot of a large volcano called Mount Peléeom. If you pass that volcano…”
Just like Seo Yuhui explained, the group passed a volcano that was endlessly shooting up into the sky, and a little while later, they saw a ridge spread across a vast plain.
Getting off the carriage at the mouth of the ridge, the team was guided by Seo Yuhui into the valley.
The terrain wasn’t as rough as that of Huge Stone Rocky Mountain, but its depth couldn’t be compared in the slightest.
One hour, two hours… After following Seo Yuhui deep into the valley, the group finally arrived at their destination and was struck speechless.
The scenery boasted an ultimate harmony of nature, and practically no traces of human touch could be seen.
Even though they weren’t at the peak of a mountain, a holy white fog blanketed the area. The way a transparent stream of water ran down and trees ripe with abundant fruits were densely packed, it was as if they were looking at a paradise for mountain sages.
Jang Maldong exclaimed in astonishment.
Seol Jihu took in a deep breath and couldn’t hide his awe at how refreshing it instantly felt.
“Amazing! Training in this place must be four times as effective as training on Huge Stone Rocky Mountain. With the vital energy in the air here, the effect of recovery for sleeping should be sizable as well. I’ll be able to train you to my heart’s content!”
The last bit worried Seol Jihu a little, but he steeled his resolve. That was what he had been hoping for anyway.
‘Mm… it’s a little cold.’
Seol Jihu shuddered slightly. He felt like frost was setting on his body.
But in the next moment, he simply chucked it up to his imagination running wild.
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