Chapter 335. Promise (5)
The beam of light that shot out of Raging Temperance’s mouth fully engulfed Twisted Kindness and pierced through the sky. Looking from afar, one would mistakenly think that a giant pillar of light was erected in the sky.
A high-pitched scream that seemed to tear apart the fabric of space erupted. It was Twisted Kindness’ scream, without a doubt.
To reiterate, Raging Temperance under Divine Manifestation was not an opponent that could be looked down on. Setting aside the side-effect unique to him and comparing only the difference in their energy’s league, he was not far behind Twisted Kindness. Moreover, Twisted Kindness was struck without being able to make proper preparations.
Soon, by the time that the pillar of light slowly faded away and the cluster of light dyeing the air white subsided, what Seol Jihu witnessed was Twisted Kindness swaying down like a willow branch shaking in the wind.
She did not fall straight down. She was trying to desperately steady herself, but she fell constantly while drawing a gradual arc like a butterfly with a torn wing.
Tak. Her left foot touched the ground, and she immediately swayed in a big motion.
Chiiik! White steam rose up from her heated body.
Her miserable state was already a sight to see, but her heavily panting face was even more of a spectacle.
Her previous dignified expression was nowhere to be seen. Her proud pupils had disappeared leaving only the sclera behind; it looked like she had gone mad.
At that moment, her slowly swaying body halted. Twisted Kindness had balanced herself by just barely planting her foot on the ground. Her half-tilted body trembled, and her eyes came into focus again.
“Kuk, kuhuk, kuhuuuk!”
Was the injury she suffered that severe?
Twisted Kindness coughed as if even breathing was difficult.
Soon, she finally managed to straighten her back, but—
What she saw when she stood back up was a giant breaking the earth wall and charging toward her.
Raising his foot back, Raging Temperance kicked Twisted Kindness as though she was a soccer ball.
Pang! Before she could collect herself, Twisted Kindness was sent flying into the sky. Scattering a large amount of fresh blood in the air, she quickly cut through the sky and became a dot in an instant.
Flying endlessly, she broke through dozens of trees, boulders, and other terrain features before hitting a large cliff and coming to a stop.
Koong! Twisted Kindness’ back curved like a bow. Streams of blood burst out of her nose and mouth.
“Cough! Cough! Wuuuuuuk!”
Coughing violently, she shot open her eyes. Perhaps because of the powerful impact, her faint consciousness became clear.
Koong, koong, koong, koong. She raised her eyes as soon as she heard the rumbling earth. Looking at the giant stomping toward her, her face contorted with rage.
A curdling voice rang out, and her pupils seethed along with it.
Now that things had come to this, Twisted Kindness decided it was a do-or-die situation. Though she wasn’t sure what happened, she decided that Raging Temperance was no longer her ally.
“Fool! Don’t you know you are being toyed with by these insects!?”
Seeing Raging Temperance, who had already shortened the distance and was pulling his hand back, she clutched her twin swords.
“Fine! If that is what you want, I will play along with your farce!”
An alarming shockwave pulsated out from Twisted Kindness. With her twin swords carving the way, she shot forward like a bolt of lightning. In an instant, the twin swords clashed with the titanic, towering fist.
The two energies entered a fierce tug of war. The cluster of light spreading out in all directions illuminated the surroundings as if the sun had descended, and the terrain features that could not withstand the clashing energies shattered into dust and scattered away.
Eventually, the surrounding area turned into a strange landscape that lacked a single landmark and even blocked out all sounds.
As this fierce clash, in which neither side lost out, continued, Twisted Kindness’ twin swords advanced forward ever so slightly. In the next moment, Twisted Kindness let out a roar and shook her arms.
As the intersecting twin swords cut down diagonally, Raging Temperance’s energy split apart, revealing a gap.
The fierce energy filling the surroundings vanished out of the blue. The giant’s titanous body slanted, and Raging Temperance took a step back.
Twisted Kindness had surprisingly suppressed the rampaging Raging Temperance with her strength!
And not missing out on this gap, she rushed in like a tiger.
Slash! Raging Temperance’s thick arm was cut off like tofu.
“A lowly creature of the Spiritual Dimension dares to contend with me!?”
Twisted Kindness shot up to the sky. Although she planned to ride this momentum to behead Raging Temperance—
Before she swung her longsword, her eyes shot open.
Raging Temperance’s body had expanded before she noticed, and it was looking like it would blow up at any moment.
An explosive aura flowed out from its body as well. Doing a double-take, Twisted Kindness hurriedly spread her wings and flew back.
At the same time, Raging Temperance’s body expanded even more and radiated a blinding light.
Kwang, kwang, kwang, kwang, kwang, kwang, kwang!
The light shot out into all directions like falling stars and exploded without distinguishing between heaven and earth.
It was clearly a desperate, do-or-die attack neglecting the safety of its user! Given Raging Temperance’s identity as a Darkshini, it would not be unharmed after using so much energy at once.
However, an attack that put its user’s life at risk worthily carried immense power. Even Twisted Kindness had no choice but to clench her teeth and move out of the way.
The same applied to the expedition team. The aftereffects of the mindless Raging Temperance’s attack flooded over to their vicinity. Although it was only a small aftershock, even this had enough power to annihilate several dozen people with ease.
As the shockwave shattered the earth wall and came crashing in, Seo Yuhui immediately scraped up her power to cast a barrier. She was a legend of Paradise and also one of the only two Level 8s. Worthy of her title as the greatest Priest, she managed to block the shockwave.
However, even that was only temporary. Soon, the barrier began to shake noticeably.
Seo Yuhui clenched her teeth while sweating profusely.
Philip Muller quickly chanted a spell. A magic circle floated up from his book and surrounded the expedition team in an instant.
Only after moving back via Teleport did the expedition team breathe a sigh of relief.
Seol Jihu also relaxed a bit, but he became lost for words when he looked back to the front.
The heaven and earth were shaking from the torrential rain of light. After carpet-bombing the entire area, the light exploded in its entirety and created a mushroom-shaped cloud.
Seol Jihu could not take his eyes off this chilling scene. In a way, this was their perfect moment to slay Twisted Kindness.
However, he soon erased this thought from his head.
A battle between two divine beings was occurring.
The life-or-death battle of two gods was far beyond the comprehension of any mortal beings. Not just heaven and earth, but even the very fabric of space was being torn apart.
The world was quite literally blowing up. Interfering in a battle of such scale was out of the question. Not when one wrong move or one minor accident could easily seal fate.
It was then.
Pang! Along with a powerful explosion, Seol Jihu caught sight of Twisted Kindness being knocked back.
She tumbled on the ground before gritting her teeth. She ended up being hit just as she was about to escape the range of Raging Temperance’s attack.
Standing up just barely, she scowled at the scorching pain tearing through her body.
This couldn’t continue.
It wasn’t that she believed she would lose. However, Raging Temperance was attacking relentlessly without a care for the aftermath while she was in a position where she had no choice but to dodge.
She had to think about the expedition team, and more importantly, she had to keep in mind the World Tree that was growing at a frightening rate.
Disadvantageous. The situation was simply too disadvantageous.
‘This can’t go on.’
The time for her to make a decision had come. Although she knew she shouldn’t, the situation was forcing her to make a decision.
The moment she thought so in her subconscious mind, Twisted Kindness’ eyes widened.
Forced? I am being forced?
She had never felt anything like this. Not only since the moment she received her divinity, but since the moment she hatched out of her egg.
Koong, koong, koong. Raging Temperance charged in without giving her a chance to rest.
In the end, Twisted Kindness came to a decision.
She threw the left hand’s longsword up to the sky and conversely threw the right hand’s longsword down to the ground. The twin swords that left her hands slithered out as though they had a mind of their own.
Soon, something mystical happened.
The longswords melted down and changed into blood-like liquids. Then, they spread out like a drop of paint in a glass of water, and two magic circles filled with incomprehensible symbols were created from them.
The racing giant passed through the two magic circles at the same time that Twisted Kindness raised her left arm up high.
“Come! Six Domains of the Desire Realm!”
The sound of the space being cut was heard. Next, the spinning magic circle in the air, dripping with blood, radiated a terrifying blood-light. Then, blood-colored lightning bolts struck down from the vertices of the hexagram.
The giant, charging in like a raging bull, finally stopped. A blood-red electric current flowed through the light enveloping its body, and it convulsed as if it was electrocuted.
Likewise, a near bucketful of blood spurted out of the shaking Twisted Kindness’ mouth.
This time, the magic circle on the ground turned red. Splitting left and right like a monster opening its mouth, it began to suck in the giant like a black hole!
—Kua, kua, kuaaa, kuaaaaaa!
Raging Temperance struggled desperately, but it was already being sucked in from its legs.
Twisted Kindness also gave her all, pushing more of her energy into her two hands.
“Return to the Spiritual Dimension, lowly vermin!”
At last, the magic circle devoured more than half of the giant’s body. What was important was that the black hole only sucked in the internal darkness.
Indeed, what Twisted Kindness was trying to do was forcefully separate the two fused energies inside Raging Temperance.
Opening the Six Domains of the Desire Realm where a sixth heaven-rank god resides to trap the divinity, and then opening the door of the Spiritual Realm to return the Darkshini’s true body. With this, the divine energy that lost its place should naturally go back to its original state.
Twisted Kindness’ guess was spot on.
Once the darkness was sucked in completely, Raging Temperance’s aura drastically lost its cohesiveness. Getting smaller bit by bit, it eventually turned into a small spherical object and dropped to the ground.
Only then did Twisted Kindness lower her arms.
And so, by the time the magic circles disappeared completely, the world regained its silence. The only thing that remained were piles of ashes.
It was like looking at a scene after a nuclear war.
Seol Jihu’s jaw dropped.
He was a little skeptical as he watched the exchange, but Raging Temperance had really perished and returned to the origin.
Twisted Kindness had triumphed in the end!
Of course, she wasn’t in her best condition either.
Staggering side to side, Twisted Kindness dropped to her knee at last. Her body was in such a pitiful state that it would be wrong to describe her as anything but grotesque. She was bleeding from every surface of her body.
Furthermore, her skin had cracked up like a land wrought with drought, making her look like a being of blood.
In a way, it was to be expected. She had borrowed the power of the Six Domains, which came from the Desire Realm, one of the Three Realms of Samsara. And on top of that, she had forcefully opened the door to the Spiritual Dimension.
Each of them was a magic spell that went beyond the level of a grand magic, so even an existence of her level was not able to ignore the terrifying recoil.
Of course, she was prepared for the side-effects ever since she decided to resort to this method.
Bitterness appeared on Twisted Kindness’ face as she wiped the blood off her mouth.
‘To think I would be pushed to this extent…’
The current situation was naturally something she could not have foreseen.
Who was Twisted Kindness?
She was the only Army Commander that the Parasite Queen treated with respect! Being called the strongest Army Commander was not a simple title. Since birth, she was in a different league than the others.
She was a member of the Dragon race, one of the half-god races of the universe. Even among the Dragons of Paradise, she was the strongest one that survived until no other remained!
‘How did I end up like this…?’
Calmly checking her condition even in such a situation, Twisted Kindness made an accurate judgment.
‘With this body, it’s no longer possible to do anything about the Spirit Realm.’
To be more precise, she had to choose between two options. The first was to turn back, destroy the World Tree before it reached adulthood, and then escape. The second was to ignore the World Tree and kill the expedition team— no, Seol Jihu, at the very least.
She did not need to think for long.
After barely getting up, she gazed at Seol Jihu, who was staring back from a far distance. She knew that destroying the World Tree would help in taking down Tigol Fortress.
However, Twisted Kindness’ scale judged Seol Jihu to be of much greater weight than the World Tree.
In truth, she did not know why.
But having fought him on this day, there was one thing she could be sure about.
If she let this man escape?
Twisted Kindness bit her lower lip.
She could not fathom what incredible plans he would carry out in the future, and how much he would grow and hinder the Parasites’ plans.
So she decided on her option. However, it wasn’t as if she had no hesitations.
She had revealed almost every card in her hand. She still had a final trump card that she did not use, but this also meant having this card stopped would leave her with absolutely zero resources.
If the opponent took out yet another unexpected card….
Twisted Kindness clenched her teeth and shook away the worry rising up in her mind.
‘I must kill him. That is the right choice no matter what.’
She had a strong feeling that letting this man reach the Queen was the one thing she absolutely could not allow.
Steeling her resolve, Twisted Kindness spread her wings open.
Seol Jihu collected his breath as he watched her slowly fly up.
Although they were a fair distance away, Twisted Kindness’ voice rang out in his ear clearly.
“I did not think I would be pushed to the corner to this extent. So— you can be proud.”
Seol Jihu furrowed his brows.
‘I can be proud?’
Frankly speaking, the expedition team wasn’t in a fantastic state either. They had already met their limit when they subjugated the Unicorn. In other words, everyone had surpassed their limits to hold off against Twisted Kindness.
But despite most members being in a groggy state, their situation was far better than before.
Raging Temperance had bought them ample time, and it was clear that Twisted Kindness was on her last leg. It might even be possible to kill an additional Army Commander.
That was what Seol Jihu thought.
But a vivacious voice tickled his ear.
“Did you think you were the only one with a trump card?”
Seol Jihu’s eyes shot open. It was then.
Flash! A brilliant light erupted from the distant sky.
Enveloped by the light, Twisted Kindness’ body expanded. However, this was unlike the time with Raging Temperance. Without brewing a violent storm, the light took shape instantly, quietly and noiselessly.
This showed the perfect degree of control Twisted Kindness had over her divinity.
The final shape was that of a Bone Dragon.
From the head to the tail, an almost 10-meter-long Dragon made of bones revealed itself.
“F-Fuck! Another Divinity Release!?”
She was half right and half wrong. Because Twisted Kindness already had full control over her divinity, releasing her power would not make her divinity increase explosively.
But, the significance lied in the fact that she revealed her true body.
Although Twisted Kindness fought in a human body until now, her real self was a Dragon through and through.
Humans and Dragons had fundamentally different bodies. Now that she transformed, it was only natural that her output would change on a fundamental level.
Twisted Kindness looked up at the sky and roared.
Dragon Roar — a skill demanding obedience from all living beings — rang out.
The members of the expedition team blocked their ears as the world seemed to growl at them. Ultimately, they fell on their butts after much struggle.
Next, the Bone Dragon’s hollow eyes flashed.
Philip Muller, who was preparing to use Teleport, abruptly screamed in pain.
“Mister Philip Muller!”
Seol Jihu called out with a grimace, but there was nothing he could do. Philip Muller was convulsing on the ground, crackling with blood-colored electricity.
But that wasn’t the end. Looking back, Seol Jihu felt a frightening energy gathering in the distance.
The Dragon floating in the air was opening its mouth at the expedition team. And inside it, an inestimable flux of light was being compressed into a sphere.
By the time Seol Jihu realized what it was...
—This is it!
A huge beam of light was already shooting out of the Bone Dragon’s mouth.
It did not touch the ground, but everywhere it passed flared up with colossal flames. The breath of light pounced toward the expedition team as if to incinerate them along with the entire surrounding area.
The beam cut through hundreds of meters in an instant.
Seol Jihu did not even think to dodge it.
Seo Yuhui jumping in front of him and casting a barrier.
And Baek Haeju holding him in her embrace.
Seol Jihu did not perceive either of them.
He only looked up at the approaching beam of light with an entranced look.
It was then.
A fierce wind blew.
Seol Jihu’s fluttering bangs tickled his eyelids.
Next, something lightly hopped off of his shoulder.
Opening the eyes he subconsciously closed, Seol Jihu strained his eyes.
He had only blinked once.
But there was something in front of him that was not there before.
Although it became translucent, if he was not seeing wrong, it was Little Chick.
Right, Little Chick was flying past Seo Yuhui.
The beam of light rushed closer. Facing this devastating breath, Little Chick spread out its tiny wings.
At the same time, five colors dyed its tiny body, and it opened its small beak.
The translucent Little Chick roared.