Chapter 345. The Queen Descends 1
“Don’t block it! Avoid it!”
Baek Haeju shouted, and the five women split simultaneously.
Seol Jihu, who was dragged back by Baek Haeju, widened his eyes in surprise. He didn’t hear any sound, not even an explosive pop.
The white sword qi that reached the ground cut through the dirt and quietly disappeared inside. All that could be seen was a thin, severed cross-section. It was truly a terrifying cutting force.
At that moment, Sung Shihyun raised his longsword up, and Seol Jihu’s senses sent urgent alarm bells. As he shot back with a double-take, lo and behold, a line was drawn where he just stood and something shot up from the ground.
It was the same sword qi that had disappeared a moment ago.
Sung Shihyun shot down toward Seol Jihu while cutting the threads filled with holy power that were trying to coil around him.
Baek Haeju quickly cut in between the two, but Sung Shihyun vanished as though he expected it.
At the same time, Seol Jihu’s left arm moved automatically.
As the startled Seol Jihu turned left, he saw Sung Shihyun, who appeared before he noticed, stabbing his longsword forward.
Clang! The spear that moved of its own accord struck the longsword before its blade stabbed into him.
The Spear of Purity seemed to have sensed danger and moved to protect its master.
Seol Jihu was dumbfounded. Not even Flash Thunder was able to follow Sung Shihyun’s speed. To react to his movements, Seol Jihu could only predict them like before.
“Be careful! He can switch positions with…”
Baek Haeju shouted while quickly turning around. However, a strong doubt was cast over her eyes in an instant. It was because Sung Shihyun instantly moved behind Seol Jihu.
He used it consecutively?
“Are you surprised?”
Sung Shihyun sneered at Baek Haeju while sliding towards Seol Jihu.
“Want me to tell you something?”
Beating back the attacking Oh Rahee and Phi Sora with a single attack, he rushed closer.
“The divinity of Undying Diligence— I’m the one who ate it!”
Seol Jihu’s bangs flew back from the fierce gale that blew against him. Widening his eyes, he hurriedly thrust his spear.
“I even absorbed it fully!”
Sung Shihyun grinned.
“This is nothing—!”
Pop! The air exploded, and the voice rang out behind Seol Jihu.
Sung Shihyun was tilting the longsword in his left hand backward.
“Watch out for this foot!”
The shocked Seol Jihu leaned back as he turned around. Something sharp brushed past the tip of his nose by a paper-thin margin.
However, Sung Shihyun twisted his foot as soon as he missed his target and struck down with it again.
A black smoke quickly intervened and just barely blocked the foot.
“The hell is this?”
Sung Shihyun got annoyed and shook his foot hard before striking down with the left hand that was tilted back.
Along with an intense shockwave, the white sword pushed back Chohong’s mace and Hugo’s halberd flying in from both sides. Sung Shihyun then pointed the sword tip at Seol Jihu and stabbed forward.
As Seol Jihu followed his intuition to confront the attack, he strangely felt like dozens of longswords were lunging toward him from all angles.
At that moment, a white barrier formed in front of him.
Tang, tang, tang, tang! The barrier shook as it blocked the longsword.
Seol Jihu wasn’t mistaken. Although the longsword struck at only one point of the barrier, several cracks appeared on it simultaneously.
Sung Shihyun’s complexion distorted.
“God fucking damn it!”
The barrier shattered to pieces, and the longsword emitting white sword qi broke inside.
When the longsword clashed violently with the spear blade, Seol Jihu’s eyes almost popped out.
Sung Shihyun’s speed was one thing, but the powerful force that was unheard of tore Seol Jihu’s palms apart. Only after rousing his mana to the limit did the rapidly falling Spear of Purity stop.
As Seol Jihu sighed seeing the sword blade that had almost reached his nose, Sung Shihyun abruptly twisted the hand holding the sword.
The longsword and the spear crossed each other’s path.
Seol Jihu felt like his spear was being sucked in. At the same time, Sung Shihyun flicked his hand up.
The Spear of Purity spun and flew into the air.
Sung Shihyun vanished in the middle of his speech. Agnes struck down on the spot that Sung Shihyun was in a beat late, then hurriedly looked over Seol Jihu’s shoulders.
Light flashed the moment she yelled out.
Sung Shihyun released his divinity to blow away Baek Haeju, who rushed in after reading his movement. He looked down at Seol Jihu with an arrogant gaze while holding his longsword up.
“You’re nothing special.”
The longsword fell as if to split Seol Jihu’s head in half.
In that instant, Sung Shihyun furrowed his brows. Seol Jihu was looking back at him.
Tak. The longsword was stopped above his head. It refused to go down any further as if something invisible was blocking it.
Recalling his own Formless Sword technique, Sung Shihyun dropped his jaw.
It was then.
A bloodthirsty energy shot down toward his head.
The Spear of Purity that he had sent flying was descending from the sky at a terrifying speed.
Sung Shihyun hurriedly jumped back.
The white spear brushed past his face by a thin margin and struck down on the ground.
Then, he immediately saw Seol Jihu pulling the spear out and rushing toward him.
As Seol Jihu sliced with the spear, Sung Shihyun grunted and activated Ethereal Shift. He moved behind Seol Jihu to attack him from the back, but he was shocked the instant he completed his movement.
It was because Seol Jihu turned back as if he had expected his movement.
In an instant, the two men’s faces drew closer.
“You sure like to aim for people’s backs.”
The meaning of Seol Jihu’s words was clear. He had predicted Sung Shihyun’s movement despite being unable to read it.
In the next instant, Seol Jihu headbutted Sung Shihyun before he could use Ethereal Shift again.
Sung Shihyun’s head tilted back with a heavy thud as his face contorted with humiliation and shame. At the same time, he somersaulted back up and stabbed his longsword angrily.
The white longsword clashed with the white spear that rushed in, and the formless sword blades and spear blades mingled together to form explosive thunders.
“I don’t believe it. How can someone like you be in the same realm as me…?”
Sung Shihyun fixed his posture before clenching his teeth and abruptly raising his eyes. Seeing Roselle and Philip Muller who were close to finishing their spells, he screamed in frustration.
“God damn it!”
He stretched out his arm, and his longsword enveloped in light elongated out.
Hundreds of sword qi instantly rose up like a wave and rushed toward the two Magicians, forcing them to unleash their spells in haste.
Despite the two powerful Magicians using their full strength, the storming wave of sword qi did not lose out in the slightest.
In fact, it indiscriminately stabbed into the bitter cold storm and the sun-like fireball and butchered them.
Though Seo Yuhui soon pitched in and helped eradicate the three clashing attacks, this brief exchange showed Sung Shihyun’s transcendental strength.
He was no longer comparable to when he was a human.
Sung Shihyun backed off a few more steps and shouted angrily.
“Aren’t you gonna help?”
—W-What? Can’t you see I’m stopping the Arcus Spirit?
“Fucking hell, you can’t even take care of a damn bird?”
Sung Shihyun grumbled and spat on the ground.
Vulgar Chastity looked completely dumbfounded. She couldn’t believe what he was saying when the duration of her divinity release was about to run out.
“You son of a bitch…”
However, Sung Shihyun didn’t seem to care about the aftermath at all. He must be really pissed off as he was glaring at Seol Jihu with killing intent.
Seol Jihu also stared at him with a renewed gaze.
‘He’s strong… really strong.’
That was his honest evaluation.
It wasn’t just his swordsmanship that was impressive. The way he used his body like a sword, he seemed to have profound knowledge over mixed martial arts.
His character was childlike, but his strength was a step above anyone else he had met so far. Supposedly, it was difficult for him to find his match even when he was an Earthling, so it made sense where his previous confidence came from after fully absorbing Diligence’s divinity.
Seol Jihu even felt that his aura and potential were above that of Twisted Kindness’.
On the other hand, Sung Shihyun was about to explode from frustration. He thought he had become invincible after receiving divinity. He was even confident in crushing the Seventh Army Commander if he could fully control his energy.
He finally had the strength to turn his wishful thinking into reality, so he couldn’t help but explode with anger, not being able to take care of a single Earthling.
Fixing his gaze on Seol Jihu, Sung Shihyun let loose a deep breath and roused his energy even more.
Then, the halo-like light on his back spread out brilliantly, and his white longsword quivered like a living creature. Faint, wavering sword qi rose from his five fingers as well.
Sung Shihyun muttered with an expressionless face.
“Here’s phase 2. Let’s see if you can block my attacks again.”
Seol Jihu clenched his teeth and tensed up at Sung Shihyun’s threat.
Although they were in an advantageous position, the current situation wasn’t necessarily favorable for them.
‘We just need to hold out a little longer…!’
It was at that moment.
As Sung Shihyun took a deep breath and tried to release the energy he had roused up—
His arm suddenly exploded.
Sung Shihyun staggered to a stop while rushing forward.
He grabbed the area that exploded with his remaining hand and fell on his knee.
His eyes widened, clearly flustered from the unexpected situation. His mouth also dropped down—
And a mouthful of reddish-black blood gushed out.
It didn’t end at just once.
Twice, thrice, and a fourth time…
Vulgar Chastity shut her eyes as she moved to protect Sung Shihyun who was vomiting out blood.
—Idiot… Falling for such an obvious provocation.
She had been on her toes the entire time, and her worries were proven to be well-founded. Sung Shihyun’s sorry state was the result of him using his divinity near the World Tree while he wasn’t used to controlling it.
Sung Shihyun shook and barely eked out a word.
Baek Haeju, who originally thought somebody succeeded in delivering a sneak attack, flashed her eyes.
“Now that I think about it… you said you received Diligence’s divinity? Aha, is that why you got so strong all of a sudden?”
Sung Shihyun gritted his teeth and glared at her.
“You blabbered on so confidently, and this is the result? You can’t even control that power!”
Sung Shihyun dropped his head at Baek Haeju’s taunts.
Seol Jihu clenched his fists hard.
A golden opportunity had presented itself.
Although he couldn’t let his guard down just yet, if all went well, they might be able to kill both Vulgar Chastity and Sung Shihyun.
But just as he thought so—
Muffled laughter suddenly rang out.
Sung Shihyun was laughing quietly with his shoulders faintly trembling.
Sung Shihyun struck up a conversation with his head faced down.
“Do you remember the Imperial Oath expedition?”
“You know, the time we infiltrated the Empire. We went to find the token of the Gorgonu Family that served the Chief Deity of Paradise. You remember, right?”
Baek Haeju furrowed her brows.
She remembered the expedition but couldn’t understand why he was bringing it up now.
He might be trying to buy time, but that didn’t make sense either as every passing second would only make things more disadvantageous for him.
“The expedition was a success, but strictly speaking, it was only half-successful. Remember? We thought we could banish the Parasite Queen from Paradise at first. But that wasn’t the case. We only limited the scope that the Parasite Queen could move in, and she could also remain in Paradise.”
“What are you trying to say?”
“This is something I found out only after I turned to the Parasites… Did you know that the Parasite Queen is an existence that surpasses our wildest imaginations?”
Sung Shihyun raised his head slightly. The mouth that was revealed twisted to a smile.
“Don’t underestimate her.”
“The Parasite Queen is a god. A literal god that is incomparable to the lowly Seven Sins. Never mind a single planet, she is a lofty being who once reigned over an entire galaxy!”
Sung Shihyun got up with a grunt.
He was still missing an arm and was swaying greatly.
His face wore a distorted smile.
“I got pissed off in the middle, but— thanks to that, I was able to buy time.”
As Baek Haeju was about to retort, she subconsciously swallowed her words.
Before anyone noticed, the battlefield had turned silent. The ruckus inside and outside the fortress had disappeared completely.
Moreover, everyone in the expedition team felt an indescribable sense of foreboding. It was as if something was filling up the area fully.
They felt an immeasurable being descending on the land, an existence so absurdly unfathomable that even the combined forces of the Federation, humanity, and even the Parasites and the Army Commanders would not compare.
“I-In the sky…!”
The expedition team along with Sung Shihyun and Vulgar Chastity, turned toward the sky beyond Tigol Fortress.
Soon, everyone except Sung Shihyun became lost for words.
The sky was roaring.
There was no other way to describe it.
An untimely vortex fused the clouds together, and the sky was twisting and wrinkling like a crumpled piece of paper.
Then, after a moment of silence, Seol Jihu realized that this phenomenon was centered around the image in the sky. Although it was too distorted to be even called an image, he could faintly see a shadow inside it.
Then, the shadow slowly grew closer.
In the next moment, Seol Jihu’s skepticism was blown away as his breathing halted.
A dark gray leg that was surrounded by bones ripped through space and popped out of the image.
Vulgar Chastity drew a deep breath.
It was no hallucination.
Although the leg didn’t seem all that big in the image, when it came into being, it was large enough to shame most wooden logs.
Boom. A shockwave rippled out just from the leg stepping on the air.
As soon as the leg stepped outside, large amount of vapor steamed up as if dry ice was placed inside water, or as if a scorching branding iron was pressed on tender flesh.
White smoke frothed out, almost as if the world refused to let this thing exist in this space.
But there was one thing that was certain.
An existence, capable of temporarily ignoring the oath if it so desired, was trying to come into being in this place.
The Parasite Queen was descending on the battlefield.