Side Story 57. And That’s Where the Pantyhose Comes In 1
The Seven Sins descended after the battle came to an end.
Seol Jihu stared fixedly where the Seven Sins’ energies were gathered.
He couldn’t help but wonder, Are they planning to backstab me somehow?
Though he did not point his spear at them because of not feeling any hostility, Seol Jihu stared at the Seven Sins with displeasure.
The Seven Sins walked up a little before stopping. Next, Gula stepped forward and bowed respectfully.
Seol Jihu’s eyes narrowed.
“Why are you coming out now?”
“I would have felt much better seeing you all if you had helped out even a tiny bit.”
Seol Jihu had every right to be disappointed. Of course, he knew that Earthlings were summoned to fight in the gods’ stead. But Seol Jihu was agitated from the attack on Seo Yuhui and their unborn baby in her womb.
[We wanted to help but couldn’t.]
Gula lowered her head even further and spoke.
[We would have rolled up our sleeves and assisted if we could have been of any help.]
[But the enemy was one of the closest aides of the Father of Darkness, an otherworldly god worshipped by the Dimensional race.]
[How could we, mere specks of dust in the universe, dare to interfere in a battle between such grand existences?]
[Rather than being of help, it was more likely that we would have been a hindrance. We would like you to understand that we could not participate in fear of distracting you…]
In short, there was nothing the gods of Paradise could have done about the otherworldly god.
Indeed, to the otherworldly god who existed in a far higher dimension, the Seven Sins and Earthlings might not have been much different. It would only have been a matter of a small bug versus a slightly bigger bug.
The expedition team was the same in that they couldn’t help. Seol Jihu also recognized that it was beyond anyone else’s capabilities to fight the otherworldly god.
[All we could do was transport the injured to safety and maintain their life.]
Once Gula added this, Seol Jihu’s sharp eyes softened a little. After all, he could not tend to the members he found underground due to the situation’s urgency.
Seol Jihu sighed and scratched his head.
“That aside, why did you suddenly appear?”
[First, we want to congratulate you on your magnificent victory.]
“Huh? What was that?”
It was then that Seol Jihu realized something was off. Gula’s attitude and manner of speech were different. She was no longer treating him like a kid.
It wasn’t just Gula. The rest of the Seven Sins were also bowing their heads in a show of respect.
Thinking about it now, Gula had referred to the fight as a battle between grand existences. Meaning, he was on the same level as the otherworldly god in the Seven Sins’ eyes.
[It may be impertinent of us to ask… but if you will allow it, there is something we would like to say.]
Seol Jihu was taken aback.
Taking his silence as an affirmation, Gula continued calmly.
[Could you take over Paradise in our stead?]
The bombshell she dropped caused Seol Jihu’s eyes to widen.
[Paradise has been suffering from invasions from alien races ever since the appearance of the Parasite Queen.]
[Several incidents have happened in succession in the last twenty years in which the galaxy centered around Paradise has almost been taken over. This can be considered an extremely rare occurrence in the universe.]
[After putting our heads together, our discussions led us to conclude that Paradise has become an easy target for interference from foreign powers due to the Parasite Queen messing up the laws of the world once. We fear that this planet has become a tasty target. That would explain why the otherworldly god refused to return and forced his way in….]
[And so, as lacking as we are, we beseech you for the sake of Paradise.]
Gula paused briefly before continuing.
[If Asura, one of the Eight Legions protecting Dharma, stays in Paradise… we do not doubt that most of the forces eyeing Paradise would give up.]
Simply put, the Seven Sins currently did not have the power to protect Paradise. So they wanted Seol Jihu to accept them as his subordinates and rule over Paradise in their place.
To be more precise, they were asking him to give up living as a human being and officially take the first step as a god.
Seol Jihu stared at Gula fixedly at the unexpected offer.
He then spoke quietly.
“There’s one thing I want to know before I give a reply.”
Seol Jihu raised the Sura Demon Spear and pointed it at Gula.
The Seven Sins jumped in fright at the sudden turn of events.
Gula was also surprised, but she closed her eyes as if to accept any outcome.
Seol Jihu must have realized by now why they guided his growth in a different direction than the path he currently stood on.
Ironically, the Seven Sins had raised a hero of justice.
Of course, they did not think they made the wrong choice. Choosing the path of the Divine Spear was not a bad choice with the Parasite Queen being present.
But that did not change the fact that it was the path of growth that stunted Seol Jihu’s true capability.
Furthermore, it was an undeniable truth that the Seven Sins feared him becoming a demon lord if they guided him on the path of the Demon Spear.
When Seol Jihu spoke, Gula prepared herself. If needed, she would forsake her divinity to seek forgiveness.
“Why did you insist on putting the word mana in my class name?”
But Gula came to a sudden halt at what Seol Jihu said next. When she opened her eyes, she saw Seol Jihu smiling while retracting the Sura Demon Spear.
“I’m just kidding. Just don’t do that from now on.”
Gula blinked rapidly.
Seol Jihu spoke clearly while resting the Sura Demon Spear on his shoulder.
“It’s not like Paradise doesn’t have a god. And you said so too. That you would revive the Seven Virtues and birth a new Chief Deity.”
Hearing this, Gula and the rest of the Seven Sins looked dejected.
That was indeed the case. But after what happened today, all of that was meaningless.
What would reviving the Seven Virtues and giving birth to a new Chief Deity do at this point?
To the Seven Sins, Seol Jihu was like a nuclear bomb. No, an antimatter bomb.
He possessed the level of existence to easily destroy Paradise whenever he wanted. How could they not be careful around him when the otherworldly god he beat to death was an existence worshipped by even the mighty Dimensional race?
That was why they wanted to hand Paradise over to him. Unfortunately, he refused.
“And didn’t I talk to you about this last time?”
Seol Jihu spoke.
“I still want to remain a human being.”
With a smile, Seol Jihu turned around. He seemed to be saying this was the end of the discussion.
“Oh, by the way.”
Seol Jihu turned his head after picking up a piece of the Spear of Purity stuck in the ground.
“Next time you see me at the temple, change the way you talk and act around me.”
[That is obvious.]
“No, I’m saying go back to the way you were before.”
Seol Jihu shrugged.
“I’m more comfortable with that.”
That way, it will be more worthwhile to pull pranks on you.
Gula stared in a daze as Seol Jihu ordered his comrades to gather around the World Tree, checked Seo Yuhui’s condition, and then ran off to pick up the broken pieces of the Spear of Purity.
Just like that, another expedition came to an end.
Seol Jihu’s comrades all returned alive. The Seven Sins had transported them to a safe location, and the World Tree had healed them and imbued them with lifeforce.
Though a few of them suffered from trauma, Seol Jihu was satisfied at having everyone survive. And most of them overcame their trauma.
Paradise thus overcame an unprecedented danger. Though there was no telling what would happen tens or hundreds of years later, Paradise would be peaceful for the near future.
Seol Jihu also went back to work. Despite his new achievement, he did not make a big deal of it and quietly operated his ramen shop.
Then one day, an unexpected guest came to his ramen shop.
Seol Jihu, who was cutting green onions with the Spear of Purity that he used a Divine Wish to fix, turned his head at the sound of the door opening.
Two familiar faces showed up. One was an awkward-faced Kim Soohyun, and the other was a burly man with an intimidating look.
Upon closer inspection, Seol Jihu remembered him to be SY Apartments’ security guard.
Gong Chanho growled.
“Hey, hey, calm down.”
“I asked if that’s him.”
Kim Soohyun tried to calm him down, but Gong Chanho did not listen.
“Give it back.”
Stomping up to the counter connected to the kitchen, Gong Chanho put out his hand.
“My spear. Give it back.”
He glared sharply and roused his energy. It seemed like he would cause a scene at any second.
The restaurant turned silent. Customers, or rather gods from various dimensions that came to enjoy Seol Jihu’s ramen, turned their gazes with intrigued looks.
Seol Jihu stared blankly before suddenly putting down the Spear of Purity.
It was then.
The atmosphere inside the restaurant sank.
At the same time, Gong Chanho’s vision turned dark.
In a dark space, all he could see was one blue light. It was Seol Jihu’s destructive existence, observing his every move with a sharp gaze.
A cold voice flowed out.
“This is not a place for fighting, but a place to enjoy food. Can you quell your energy, please?”
Though he spoke politely, Gong Chanho could feel an indescribable pressure and dignity from his words.
Gong Chanho flinched, feeling as if he would be crushed to death at any second. He subconsciously pulled back his energy and took a few steps back.
“Picking a fight with Lord Asura. That insignificant creature must be out of his mind.”
“Humans and their foolhardiness. It seems that is one thing that never changes.”
“By the way, shouldn’t we bail? If a fight breaks out between the Martial God and Sura Gluttony….”
“Let me finish this first. If I perish while eating this ramen, I’m sure I’ll have no regrets.”
The surrounding customers whispered while eyeing Seol Jihu.
Kim Soohyun smiled bitterly.
“My friend is a little impatient.”
“No, it’s fine.”
Seol Jihu smiled too.
“It’s only obvious to be attached to your weapon. In a way, your weapon is your partner for a lifetime. I would have gotten angry too if someone took and used the Spear of Purity without my knowing.”
The Spear of Purity in Seol Jihu’s hand shook up and down.
“I’ve been wondering where the spear came from. I’m glad to know now.”
“I apologize if it was unnecessary meddling on my part.”
“Oh no, of course not. I should be thanking you. I was able to resolve the problem without sacrifices, thanks to you.”
“If you say so…”
Kim Soohyun scratched his head and glanced at Gong Chanho. Seol Jihu wasn’t so dense as to not understand the situation.
“Hold on. Rara?”
“Ah, yes, Sura didn’t feel quite right, so I gave it an awesome name.”
Seol Jihu spoke proudly and then looked around.
“Where did it go? It was here just a moment ago.”
The Sura Demon Spear that Seol Jihu put in the kitchen was crawling under the kitchen counter.
“Rara, why are you going there? No, why are you hiding?”
When Seol Jihu tried to force it out, the Sura Demon Spear threw a tantrum by shaking violently.
“What’s wrong? Your owner’s here. It’s time to go back.”
“Come on, be a good spear.”
Seol Jihu pulled out the Sura Demon Spear and placed it in front of Gong Chanho. Though it would be more proper for him to hand it to him directly, the Sura Demon Spear refused to leave his hand.
“Thank you. This spear helped me out a lot.”
Gong Chanho, who was staring in a daze, tried to take the Sura Demon Spear.
It was then.
A loud sound rang out.
Gong Chanho’s eyes widened. The Sura Demon Spear had slapped Gong Chanho’s face when he tried to grab it.
Seol Jihu was taken aback.
Guessing what the Sura Demon Spear was thinking, Kim Soohyun coughed and stretched out his hand.
“Okay, just hand it back to me for now.”
Kim Soohyun’s jaw dropped. With his head turned slightly, he placed his hand on his cheek.
“I-It hit me?”
Kim Soohyun blinked.
—What have you ever done for me!? All you do is use me to boost your strength! You’ve never wielded me properly once!
Kim Soohyun felt like he could hear the spear screaming.
—This man is different! That donkey over there doesn’t even begin to compare, so let’s not talk about him. And unlike you, this man doesn’t treat me like a sword! He will use me properly!
The spear seemingly added.
“Tsk, tsk… The Martial God was wrong on this one.”
“Lord Asura is praying so earnestly. Just let him go.”
A couple of gods in the ramen shop chimed in.
Seol Jihu pointed his finger at the Sura Demon Spear before suddenly turning his head left, right, and then up. He then gave a flustered look.
“Why are you crying so sadly, Ra Noona? And why are you so sullen, Rak Hyung? You should say something too, Ryun Ajusshi. Don’t just stay quiet.”
An ordinary person might see him as a madman. But besides Gong Chanho, no one saw him as such. It was because they could all see the three-faced, six-armed being protesting behind Seol Jihu.
“...One. I have one question.”
Suddenly, a deep, low voice rang out.
“Has the Sura Demon Spear changed form?”
Kim Soohyun’s eyes widened. This was the first time he saw Gong Chanho talking in a polite manner of speech.
“Huh? Ah, yes, it changed form multiple times.”
“Yep. It became a scythe once, and then a hand, and then a really long staff…”
Gong Chanho gasped quietly. He tilted his head up and sighed.
In truth, he already knew. A user who just acquired the Sura Demon Spear knew more about it than him. What this signified was obvious.
“Don’t worry. I’ll convince Rara to go back.”
Gong Chanho replied shortly.
“To tell you the truth, the Sura Demon Spear has left me long ago.”
Seol Jihu’s eyes widened.
“I tried all sorts of things to get it back, and this guy also tried to return it… but the Sura Demon Spear refused. It must mean I still have lingering attachments.”
Gong Chanho stared at the Sura Demon Spear before clenching his fist tight.
“Of course, I have no plans to give up on the Sura Demon Spear.”
“But that doesn’t mean I will force it to come to me when it doesn’t want to.”
Gong Chanho continued.
“The Sura Demon Spear is a very picky weapon. It acts as it pleases and changes its owner often.”
The Sura Demon Spear snorted.
“That means it can choose me again in the future.”
Gong Chanho spoke with strength.
“My original plan was to build up strength, challenge this guy, and gain the Sura Demon Spear’s approval, but….”
Gong Chanho glanced at Kim Soohyun before turning his gaze to Seol Jihu.
“It seems like I will have to change my target.”
Gong Chanho took a deep breath. Then, he spoke with a solemn look.
“Will you accept my challenge?”
Seol Jihu looked taken aback. He wasn’t a fan of fighting. He didn’t think he was in any position to be accepting someone’s challenge either.
But for some reason, he did not want to avoid Gong Chanho’s gaze. Rather than his competitive spirit being provoked, it was because he felt Gong Chanho’s sincerity.
And so, Seol Jihu accepted the challenge of No Equal Under Heaven, Gong Chanho.
“If it’s to gain the Sura Demon Spear’s approval and not for a bet… I’d love to help.”
“That’s enough for me. Thank you. And sorry for causing a disturbance.”
Gong Chanho had an impatient, fiery temper but was also straightforward. He bowed and then turned back without a glance at the Sura Demon Spear.
“Ah, you’re leaving already? Why don’t you grab a bowl of ramen here? It’s amazing.”
Kim Soohyun grabbed Gong Chanho’s arm.
“Yes, please have a bowl.”
When Seol Jihu offered as well, Gong Chanho couldn’t refuse. After all, he had accepted his one-sided request.
“Come sit here… Hmm?”
Seol Jihu made a confused noise while trying to guide the duo to a table connected to the kitchen.
Kim Soohyun also fumbled around his waist in confusion.
Two customers were sitting at the table. Excalibur and the spear of Purity were seated across each other with a steaming teacup of unknown origin placed in front of each of them.
‘What are they doing…?’
Ah, what the heck. Seol Jihu shook his head and put his hands together.
Next, six arms stretched out from his back and began to boil water, knead the dough, and prep ingredients.
It was a peaceful scenery as always.