He dearly wished that this wouldn’t be the case and was even slightly hopeful, but the reality was callously cold.
Scheherazade, seen at a close distance, was a scene of chaos.
Thick clouds of black smoke rose from the city engulfed in fire, and dozens of screams were erupting from multiple locations.
Seol Jihu had finally arrived at Scheherazade, but after flying up with Flone’s help and looking down at the city, he couldn’t help but become speechless.
Pandemonium! There was no other word better fit to describe this living hell.
Scheherazade had already been seized completely. Not a single show of resistance could be seen.
Most were running toward the gate, trying to save their lives above all else, and the enemy was freely killing the escaping people.
Seol Jihu became more and more impatient as the situation grew tense.
Perhaps due to the effect of Clear Mirror Still Water, his head cooled off, and he regained his composure.
After doing a quick scan of the city, he saw a couple of things worth noting.
First, people were only heading to the city gates, not the temple. Second, there were succubi visible in sight.
What these two signified was clear. The warp gate was disabled, and at least one Army Commander, and likely more, had appeared in Scheherazade.
Seol Jihu bit his lower lip.
Though it wasn’t confirmed, he considered the fall of Nur as a matter of fact.
To conquer a city in a single night, a suitably sized force was needed.
As such, he expected the appearance of Army Commanders to an extent.
But the fact that the warp gate was disabled meant something else.
[…I had no choice.]
[Damn it! Our path of retreat vanished as soon as the siege started. What was I supposed to do when we were attacked from both the inside and outside?]
A part of the future he saw back then had come true.
Though he couldn’t be sure, it probably had something to do with Gorad Boga’s activation.
In any case, it seemed like the golden hour had already passed.
But that obviously didn’t mean he would take his hands off and do nothing.
Soon, Seol Jihu’s eyes lit up while thoroughly scanning the city.
He saw a group inside the Scheherazade Royal Palace, resisting with all their might without anywhere to go.
He saw a familiar face behind the group.
Judging by the way she was kneeling on the ground, panting, it seemed she had exhausted her mana.
There was no reason to delay.
“Flone! Fly to the palace!”
Flone flew toward the palace before letting go.
While descending, Seol Jihu put his left hand forward and roused his mana.
Several Mana Spears instantly formed in front of his palm before transforming into sword qi and shooting down.
Kwang, kwang, kwang, kwang! The lightning-clad sword qi mercilessly bombarded the area around the gate.
Succubi that were driving the Earthlings into a corner screamed. Their heads and limbs were blown up by the sword qi that suddenly descended from the sky.
Those that survived looked up at the intruder, but Seol Jihu had already landed on the ground and was swinging the Spear of Purity in a wide, horizontal motion.
Golden sword qi shot out of the spear blade, drawing an arc and severing the bodies of the succubi that were left standing, in half.
“Are you okay?”
Seol Jihu turned his gaze after subduing the palace in an instant.
Yun Seohui sat with her mouth agape. She was not expecting Seol Jihu to come this quickly.
“What happened? Why did Scheherazade suddenly…!”
“W-We survived! Let’s hurry up…!”
The Earthlings that saw the reinforcement chattered in relief, but Seol Jihu kept his eyes on Yun Seohui.
“Where’s Roe Scheherazade?”
“…I don’t know.”
Yun Seohui collected her senses and quickly shook her head.
“The city changed after a sudden earthquake… and then the Parasites invaded….”
Her face was pale, and she was having trouble talking.
Seol Jihu realized why.
She was slowly being drained of her mana.
This had to be the effect of Gorad Boga as well.
It went without saying that this wasn’t a good thing. They were already in a disadvantageous position, and the draining effect only made it harder.
Seol Jihu could understand why people gave up on defending the city and were running away.
“Flone, take care of Miss Yun Seohui.”
The black smoke floated over and coiled around Yun Seohui’s arms.
Seol Jihu cut himself off.
He had two choices, either to retreat from the city or to remain and fight until reinforcements arrived.
Of course, he knew the latter choice was near impossible.
He only rushed to the city ahead of his comrades because he was confident in escaping alone if things went wrong. Gathering the remaining forces and holding the ground wasn’t even an option he considered.
Moreover, he didn’t know the exact strength of the invading force.
And so, just as he was about to ask Yun Seohui, he hurriedly turned to the main entrance.
Next, Seol Jihu’s expression distorted gravely.
Hundreds of succubi were folding their bat wings and descending from the sky.
There was one particular succubus that gave off an enormous presence.
“Oh? Who’s this?”
To no one’s surprise, a violet-haired being with blood-colored eyes walked out from the crowd with light steps.
“Did Prince Charming come to save his princess?”
The Sixth Army Commander, Vulgar Chastity, appeared.
Seol Jihu slicked his hair back and glared at Vulgar Chastity, who was arrogantly holding her head high.
‘How did she notice and get here so quickly…?’
Then again, it wasn’t so surprising given how he shredded the succubi in the area.
“You should have given me a call if you came~ You surprised the heck out of me, you know?”
Seol Jihu collected his breath as he stared at the taunting Vulgar Chastity.
Now wasn’t the time to go easy.
It was best to go all-out from the start.
“But didn’t you come just a little too late? The city is already….”
Vulgar Chastity, who was murmuring with a shrug, suddenly flinched.
It was because Seol Jihu’s glaring eyes turned red. At the same time, an indescribably fierce killing intent swept over her.
Seol Jihu’s mouth dropped open in a split second.
Level 7 Star Seeker, Awakening Skill — Berserk.
A scream that could hardly be called a human being’s burst out.
While Vulgar Chastity flinched, Seol Jihu raised his arm and brandished his spear. Each time the spear blade cut through the air, an invisible golden ripple hurled out and transformed into a gust of wind.
A storm erupted in the blink of an eye.
Level 7 Star Seeker, Secret Art — Mutilation.
Chweek! A sharp blade of wind brushed past Vulgar Chastity’s face. If she hadn’t turned instantaneously, her head would have been severed in half.
Vulgar Chastity spread her wings and flew up in a startle. Then, she gritted her teeth as the army she gathered were being mutilated by golden lines.
However, she couldn’t afford to get angry because Seol Jihu was running at her with bloodshot eyes.
Vulgar Chastity reacted swiftly.
The two seemed to cross paths in midair before intertwining back and forth and soaring up to the sky.
Boom, boom, boom, boom! Vulgar Chastity doubted her ears while frantically dodging a flurry of thrusts.
Her head almost exploded when she flinched.
Seol Jihu was retracting his spear, but a formless spear had targeted her head.
That wasn’t all. Each brandishing of his spear followed a huge boom as if explosions were going off. She could not look down on the power of his attacks.
Vulgar Chastity didn’t just take it lying down. Tens of thousands of hair strands soared up in an instant and hurled toward Seol Jihu like venomous snakes.
In the next instant, however, Vulgar Chastity was shocked speechless.
Seol Jihu had only swept the air with his hand, but the hair strands that were flying toward him had all circled back toward her.
It was the Grand Cosmic Shift.
Taken aback, Vulgar Chastity reflexively retrieved the energy she put into her hair strands. When she looked forward again, she saw a flurry of sword qi flying toward her.
‘What!? How is he… so strong!?’
It wasn’t to this degree at the time of the Tigol Fortress War.
Vulgar Chastity hurriedly shot up while screaming internally.
She became dazed immediately afterward. Tong! It was because the sound of air exploding rang out, followed by a bone-chilling killing intent that crept up on her.
When she subconsciously turned her head and looked up, she saw Seol Jihu aiming his spear at her head.
He had predicted her movement and moved accordingly with Ethereal Shift.
The spear blade cut down with an earth-severing intensity.
Vulgar Chastity twisted her head, narrowly dodging it by a tiny margin, and then gritted her teeth.
She grabbed the spear shaft and instantaneously pulled hard, and Seol Jihu’s face got closer.
As they exchanged a glance at close quarters, Vulgar Chastity’s eyes glowed with neon light. She tried to hypnotize him, but it was futile.
She was expecting as much anyway, so she opened her mouth, letting out a poisonous gas that swallowed Seol Jihu.
“Hah! Serves you right for being so cocky…!”
Vulgar Chastity muttered with the Spear of Purity in hand. However, her expression turned sour in the next moment.
A tri-circular shield was floating above the left arm he held in front of him.
Blessing of the Circum.
One of the tri-circular shields turned black and fell.
Vulgar Chastity stared in a daze before she abruptly felt a shiver run down her spine.
How could he have such relaxed eyes in the middle of this chaotic battle?
For someone who had eyes that were dripping with red light, he was paradoxically calm and collected. It was as if he didn’t care about anything other than taking her life.
They were close enough to have their noses touch each other.
After the merest fraction of a second, Seol Jihu pulled his head back and then rammed forward.
Crack! The dual horns on Vulgar Chastity’s forehead broke as a powerful force traveled into her brain.
While Vulgar Chastity gaped her mouth from shock, Seol Jihu let go of the Spear of Purity. He then embraced his enemy, rubbed her back, and then grabbed her protruding wings.
Vulgar Chastity held her breath.
Before she could finish, she felt a powerful force pulling on her wings.
Chwaaak! The bat wings tore off easily.
A piercing scream burst out at last.
Vulgar Chastity plummeted to the ground, and Seol Jihu chased after her, the Spear of Purity flying back into his hand.
KWANG! As he crushed down on Vulgar Chastity’s stomach after she struck the ground, streams of blood poured out of her mouth.
She wanted to release her divinity, but Seol Jihu was already striking down with his spear as if he would not give her the chance.
Then, just as he was about to skewer her—
Clang! The Spear of Purity flew into the air with a metallic ring.
Seol Jihu glanced to the side, having let go of his spear from a sudden impact.
He couldn’t feel anything until it came up to him.
Rather than energy, it seemed right to say that he was struck with sound.
As if to prove his conjecture, he felt a ringing in his left ear.
He also felt two presences that rivaled Vulgar Chastity’s.
‘Two Army Commanders.’
Along with this thought, a high-frequency soundwave dug into his eardrums.
Seol Jihu briefly breathed in through his nose.
This attack seemed difficult to stop, so he had to fall back and avoid it. But he also didn’t want to let go of the fish that he had hooked up.
Seol Jihu quickly took something out of his pocket and stuffed it into Vulgar Chastity’s mouth.
Then, before the high-frequency soundwave that struck him pierced the rest of his body, he used Ethereal Shift and got out of the spot.
The panting Vulgar Chastity felt her mind blank out. Looking down, she saw a large piece of rock, half of which was peeking out of her mouth.
The rock was reacting to Seol Jihu’s mana and letting out blue light.
Realizing what it was, Vulgar Chastity tried to spit it out in a hurry. But—
The palm-sized rock cold heartedly erupted with a powerful light.
Next, a cross-shaped blue light flashed from the center of Vulgar Chastity’s mouth.
A thunderous noise echoed out, and a terrifying explosion rippled out on the land.
Exploding Patience, who came to help Vulgar Chastity, drew a deep breath as she saw the frightening explosion.
“How… even a Thunder!?”
It wasn’t a normal Thunder.
It was a special Thunder that the Dwarves gifted to Seol Jihu for his help in the Tigol Fortress War. As far as its potency went, it had the same power as ten normal Thunders combined.
Soon, when the explosion subsided, Exploding Patience gasped under her breath.
Vulgar Chastity was in such terrible shape that pitiful didn’t begin to describe her.
The way she spasmed periodically, it didn’t look like she was dead, but her chin was blown off completely, gushing out blood like a fountain, and her upper body was also eaten, revealing charred bones.
Her scorched skin foamed with bubbles or cracked up like an arid land suffering from a draught.
At this point, her broken horns and torn wings didn’t even look like injuries.
Pzzzzzzt! At that moment, another crackling of electricity was heard.
Exploding Patience’s expression contorted.
Having activated Thousand Thunder, Seol Jihu turned around, discharging electricity from his entire body.
He then kicked off the ground and flew toward the Banshee Queen that was floating in the air.
Pang! Pang! Pang! Activating Festina Earring three times, he shot toward his target like an arrow.
It was as if he was saying, now it’s your turn.
Seeing his terrifying charging speed surpassing her wildest imaginations, Exploding Patience flew back urgently at full speed.
As much as she hated acknowledging it, the enemy was strong.
It might be a different story if she was Sung Shihyun or Unsightly Humility, who were both well-versed in close-combat, or an all-rounder fighter like Twisted Kindness. But as an Army Commander who was specialized in curses and witchcraft, fighting this man at close range seemed like a surefire way to end up like Vulgar Chastity.
Exploding Patience certainly did not make the wrong judgment. However, she immediately made a confused face.
It was because Seol Jihu, who had been charging at her like an enraged bull, saw her flying back and immediately circled back.
“Son of a bitch—!”
Realizing that she had been tricked, Exploding Patience shot out a soundwave accompanying her anger. However, she was growing more and more impatient on the inside.
It was because Seol Jihu had used Ethereal Shift and was just about to reach Vulgar Chastity.
At this point, it was almost given that he would reach her comrade before her attack would reach him.
A Parasite Army Commander was going to die without releasing her divinity?
Seeing Seol Jihu striking down with his spear, Exploding Patience became stunned.
It was then.
“Come! Six Domains of the Desire Realm!”
A subliminal shout resounded on the battlefield.
From the vertices of the hexagram, which had appeared in the sky before anyone noticed, six bolts of lightning struck down.
Each of the blood-colored lightning bolts flew toward Seol Jihu who had approached Vulgar Chastity to finish her off.
Seol Jihu’s eyes widened for the first time.
He remembered seeing the same attack in the Spirit Realm.
It was the attack that instantly sent Raging Temperance into a groggy state.
If struck, he would die without a doubt.
In that instant, Seol Jihu moved swiftly. Having used Thousand Thunder earlier, just to be safe, came in handy.
The electricity dyeing his body congregated to the tip of his spear, becoming a dot.
Seol Jihu’s Unique Spatial Ability — Hell Severing!
Shooting out the lightning simultaneously, a terrifying flurry of lightning erupted out.
The lightning of the Six Domains, which could incinerate even the gods, and over three thousand golden lightning bolts intertwined and fought in a magnificent scene.
Sensing the high-frequency soundwave aiming at his back a beat late, Seol Jihu gritted his teeth.
There were three Army Commanders.
While he managed to take one out of commission from the start, Twisted Kindness, who was said to be the strongest Army Commander, appeared.
In the end, judging that there was no other choice, Seol Jihu used Ethereal Shift to avoid Exploding Patience’s attack.
He realized his mistake immediately afterward.
He felt a chilling sword-strike cutting toward his flank.
It was Twisted Kindness.
The Seventh Army Commander was swinging her twin swords at the exact spot he moved to. It was as if she knew what he would do and where he would go.
Seol Jihu instinctively came to a realization as soon as the sharp blade touched his body.
‘I can’t avoid this one.’
The blade would cut him apart before he could even use Ethereal Shift.
And this thought was quickly becoming a reality.
In the next instant, Twisted Kindness furrowed her brows.
Her sword certainly sliced through the right area, but it looked like Seol Jihu’s body disappeared for a second before reappearing.
‘Don’t tell me.’
Right, Seol Jihu had activated the Blessing of the World Tree, the special power of the Ego Te Defendere that Vidalif had gifted him.
By phasing his body and soul to the Spirit Realm for a second, Seol Jihu had completely nullified Twisted Kindness’ attack.
The price of allowing a turn was a counterattack. By the time Twisted Kindness noticed this, Seol Jihu was already holding the Spear of Purity up high.
Next, as Twisted Kindness raised her left arm, the Spear of Purity drew an arc, shooting out golden sword qi.
Zzzzzk! Twisted Kindness felt a sizzling pain invade deep into her forearm while teleporting out.
Upon securing a safe distance and inspecting her injury, she saw her left forearm gushing out a fountain of blood.
She couldn’t put her strength into it, and the rate of recovery had slowed down as well.
Clang! The sword in her left hand slipped out and fell to the ground.
After a moment of violent wriggling, the arm went limp.
Twisted Kindness stared dazedly with a dumbfounded face.
Seol Jihu lightly landed on the ground.
Twisted Kindness stared at the man, fighting against three Army Commanders and quietly collecting his breath, in disbelief.
Suddenly, she recalled a conversation she had with Unsightly Humility.
Right after the Tigol Fortress War, they were comparing Sung Shihyun and Seol Jihu.
[I don’t plan to fault you for seeing the First Army Commander in higher regard.]
[I’m sure the judgment comes from your experience.]
[But it seems… what you experienced is different from what I experienced.]
[It might sound like I’m talking about someone else, but if you were to ask me…]
At the time, when she said Seol Jihu was no match for Sung Shihyun, Unsightly Humility said this.
[That man is stronger. Far more than the First Army Commander.]
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