Chapter 460. Preparation for the End 2
After the talk ended, Seol Jihu and Flone immediately traveled to Nur and crossed the Mariposa Sea.
In the past, Flone had to carry Seol Jihu in her arms, but this time she didn’t have to. Because Seol Jihu’s flying speed, driven by the mana of Divine Beginning, was much faster than that of Flone.
Level 9 Divine Spear, Class Ability — Aerial Movement.
The surface of the water shook violently and split open as Seol Jihu flew over it at the speed of a bullet.
[I wonder if we’ll be okay?]
Flone’s voice rang out from the pendant that hung around Seol Jihu’s neck.
“What do you mean?”
[Our destination is within the Parasites’ territory. They’ve already attacked us from here once before…. What if they’re waiting for us?]
“Well then… Let them wait, by all means.”
Seol Jihu answered in a nonchalantly.
His calm reaction amazed Flone.
[Wow, look at how much you’ve grown! Seems like it was just yesterday that you shuddered at the sight of an Army Commander.]
“I’m not taking them lightly. I just meant that I could escape should the worst happen.”
[I don’t know~ If they really are waiting for us, I think you’d actually beat them up.]
“That depends. I’ll fight them if the situation permits. If I could somehow get them to release their divinities, that would certainly help in the upcoming battle.”
[Oh my, so dependable.]
A pair of translucent arms popped out of the pendant and wrapped around Seol Jihu’s neck.
Flone was again playing the game of ‘a married woman in a secret love affair.’
[If you’re that confident against the Army Commanders, then the ghosts at the mansion won’t be a problem at all.]
“Yes, if they haven’t changed since our last visit. You don’t have to worry about anything, Flone. Just get ready to eat.”
[Yes! Please let me come! With the biiiiiig thing you put inside me…!]
“Stop being weird.”
[What~ What did I do now~]
“What are you even talking about?”
[I meant that I want to come with you to the ancient emperor’s villa since you’re the one flying right now.]
“Then what about the big thing?”
[You gave me the Authority of Gluttony. This power is a god’s blessing, so of course, it’s huge. I can’t wait to try it out.]
Seol Jihu let out a sigh and the pendant buzzed with a giggle.
[Anyway, hurry up and take me to the villa so that I can eat to my heart’s content.]
“Flone. If you don’t watch out, you might get full for 9 months.”
Flone demanded an explanation, but Seol Jihu kept silent and quickly crossed the sea.
Before long, he came across a building on the edge of a cliff.
It was the ancient emperor’s villa, Sacrificium.
Seol Jihu opened the door with a bang.
As soon as he stepped inside, his mana, which spanned the entire villa, sensed several oddities.
These were the ghosts who became consumed with revenge after they died unjustly under the emperor’s rule.
Their vengeance was the cause of Emperor Gorgonu’s tragic death, although Seol Jihu couldn’t be sure whether the Emperor had died in this villa or that his soul had been dragged here after his death.
‘I feel bad for them, but….’
In the hundreds of years following their death, they became evil spirits full of resentment toward the living.
That’s why Seol Jihu promised Flone that he would liberate the evil spirits from this villa and help them return to heaven once everything is over, forcibly, if necessary.
They were currently inside the Parasites’ territory, so it would not be wise to waste time. Seol Jihu hurriedly began to climb the stairs to get things done as quickly as possible.
[This place sure is gloomy.]
As Flone said, an eerie silence had settled upon the villa stained with resentment and grief.
But one thing was different from their last visit: they could not sense hostility anywhere. Instead, the villa was filled with fear.
Clearly shaken by Seol Jihu’s presence, evil spirits fled as far away from him as possible, toward the highest floor.
[Busy, aren’t they~?]
Flone seemed to be enjoying the current situation.
While climbing the stairs, Seol Jihu suddenly raised his head high.
He saw something quickly disappear with a swish of its white cloak near the banister above his head.
But before the ghost could even reach the middle of the staircase….
…She came to a halt. The human, who had been behind her until a few seconds ago, was now waiting for her at the end of the stairs.
Seol Jihu’s nonchalant eyes gleamed with an eerie light, further terrorizing the ghost.
“You’re that ghost from before. The one who asked Flone to give me up.”
“I remember you. Come here.”
As Seol Jihu took a step forward, the ghost took a step backward, its eyes hollow with fear.
“Be good. I know you want to get out of here.”
“Help me just once. I'll cleanse your soul and release you when everything is over. I’ll even hold rituals for you. It’s a promise.”
The evil spirit remained silent.
According to Flone, ghosts who failed to enter the afterlife gradually lost all the emotions, leaving only the strongest desire they had when they were still alive. This phenomenon was especially evident in evil spirits.
The evil spirit, incapable of understanding Seol Jihu’s words, continued to move further and further away, trembling with fear.
Little did the ghost know that she was getting closer to Flone, who was climbing the stairs toward the ghost with her mouth wide open.
The sound was cute, which only increased the creepiness of the scene that followed.
Flone swallowed the evil spirit’s head in one bite.
The evil spirit struggled, waving her arms wildly, but Flone quickly ate her up like she was sucking noodles.
[Mm…. I don’t know if that made me stronger, but I do feel like my presence has grown.]
When Seol Jihu became the Apostle of Gula, he was granted the right to appoint Servants. He could share his Authority with up to five people.
But appointing many Servants wasn’t always good.
With only one Servant, the power of Authority remained as strong as usual, but starting with the second, individual power decreased because the shared Authority was ‘divided’ evenly among the Servants.
“That’s probably because she’s tiny. He will be different.”
[Right? Hurry up and bring me more food. I want to eat more!]
Licking her lips, Flone hastened Seol Jihu. She seemed to have grown attached to the taste of ghosts.
Nothing unusual happened even after they reached the highest floor. Ghosts continued to stray away from Seol Jihu.
Seol Jihu could not see the great evil that had haunted them in the past but sensed that his energy was nearby.
He did something he couldn't have imagined doing in the past. He walked all the way down the hallway to the room at the very end.
The ghost of Emperor Gorgonu was shivering in the corner of the room.
With every step Seol Jihu took in his direction, his body rippled like black slime.
It had instinctively sensed danger.
The Spear of Purity, Godslaying, Gluttony, anti-evil energy, Righteous Heart…. Seol Jihu had all these dangerous abilities in perfect harmony.
They could kill even Unsightly Humility, the King of Undead, in one blow if he let his guard down.
So, even though Emperor Gorgonu was the most powerful ghost in this villa, he still had no chance against Seol Jihu.
Seol Jihu roused his energy as he tilted his head left and right to stretch his neck, and the Spear of Purity began to release Reinforced Sword Qi.
He pointed his spear forward, and the black slime curled himself further against the wall.
“Answer me, you!”
“I won’t ask you twice. Will you surrender now, or will you surrender after I beat the hell out of you?”
The evil spirit howled defiantly, squeezing the last of his pride out.
Once a shining sphere rose behind Seol Jihu….
…And as lightning enveloped Seol Jihu and a fierce thunderstorm began to build up in the sky above the mansion, the evil spirit hurriedly knelt back down.
Seol Jihu snorted, slowly waving his spear in front of him.
“Got something to say?”
“What can you even do?”
The black slime went limp. It seemed to have completely lost the will to fight.
Smart choice on his part, considering Seol Jihu’s three strongest techniques—Reinforced Sword Qi, Supernova Explosion, and Hell Severing—were all directed at him, ready to launch at any moment.
“I’m not going easy on you. You’ll have to come at me with your life on the line.”
[He says he’s already dead.]
Flone interpreted the ghost’s murmur.
Seol Jihu thrust the Spear of Purity forward.
The black lump wiggled desperately.
“…Stupid. I'm not here to play word games. The point is that you’ll have to work hard. If you’re fine with living as a slave or being tortured for an eternity, then, by all means, resist.”
Seol Jihu pulled back the spear and eyed Flone, who was gulping down her saliva. When the Servant saw the cue, she rushed at the evil spirit.
Seol Jihu watched Flone devour the evil spirit attentively, in case anything unexpected happened. As he did so, he caught a glimpse of something near the doorway.
He turned his head and saw a very large evil spirit at the door, though smaller than Emperor Gorgonu.
Seol Jihu straightened his shoulders.
There was only one evil spirit in this mansion as big as the emperor.
“Sir, it’s a pleasure to see you again.”
Seol Jihu bowed politely.
He had to—because that evil spirit was Flone’s grandfather, whose act of handing over the Promise of Temperance saved Seol Jihu’s life in the Spirit Realm.
[Nyom, nyom, nyom.]
Flone was so focused on eating that she didn’t even notice her grandfather’s arrival.
“Oh, it’s not what you think. I’ve recently become the Apostle Of Gula….”
He tried to explain, but it wasn’t necessary. He could sense that the evil spirit was smiling as he watched his granddaughter enjoy a hearty meal, even though the said granddaughter looked a little odd….
“Thank you, sir, for trusting me with your precious oath last time. It was through your generosity that I was able to come this far.”
“And… if you’d allow me the privilege… I’ll make it quick. My only hope is that you rest in peace….”
Seol Jihu titled his head slightly as he spoke.
‘What’s wrong with me?’
He was nervous for no reason, like a prospective son-in-law seeking a father’s permission for his daughter’s hand in marriage.
“If I’ve somehow offended you….”
Flone’s grandfather said nothing, only drew near and patted Seol Jihu on his shoulder. Because this felt like approval, Seol Jihu’s face brightened.
After they finished the strongest ghost and obtained permission from the second strongest ghost, the rest happened very fast.
Seol Jihu waited for Flone to devour all the ghosts in the mansion and then set off together.
[Ah, I’m so full.]
Flone smiled contentedly with both hands on her belly. Seol Jihu smiled at the sight.
Now, they had one more weapon they could use in the upcoming battle.
Not only did Flone become stronger, but she had also gained the ability to release the ghosts she had eaten, similar to how Seol Jihu pulled out the divinity of Diligence from Sung Shihyun.
In short, they acquired an army of evil spirits that could rival the enemy’s Four Armies.
The evil spirit army would especially be effective against the spectral army that phased through the battlefield in translucent form.
“Well then, should we get going?”
[Yes, my new husband! You’re the best!]
Seol Jihu and Flone soared to the sky, laughing merrily.
When the two returned from their secret honeymoon, the rest of Valhalla had already finished preparations for the departure.
Seol Jihu took them to the temple. He offered three divinities and made a wish as promised.
As a result, Yi Sungjin rose from Level 4 to Level 5 ‘Royal Guard’.
Yi Seol-Ah rose from Level 5 to Level 6 ‘Aura’s Aria’. Richard Hugo earned the title of ‘Barbarian Mighty Warrior’, and Marcel Ghionea became ‘Der Freischütz’.
Ayase Kazuki rose from Level 6 to Level 7 ‘Seeker’, and Eun Yuri became the ‘Light Of Unquenchable Wisdom’. Chung Chohong was now a ‘Guardian’, Teresa became the ‘Empress of the Battlefield’, and Phi Sora rose to ‘Ruthless Vanguard’.
Finally, Baek Haeju and Seo Yuhui, who were both Level 8, became Level 9 Sacred Spear and Level 9 Saint Empress, respectively.
After the promotion, Valhalla now had five new Unique Rankers. They truly were a fearsome bunch.
Seol Jihu clicked his tongue in mild disappointment.
He knew he shouldn’t wish for such things, but had secretly hoped at least one of them would have a strange Class name. However, they were all normal.
‘I knew it. It’s just Gula-nim….’
Grumbling, Seol Jihu calculated the remaining contribution points.
After giving Little Chick plenty of holy power, who complained with fierce peeps that he was the last of the bunch to be upgraded, Seol Jihu finally ran out of contribution points.
‘Gula-nim. My wish is….’
He used his last Wish right away….
[I accept your wish.]
And Gula accepted without hesitation.
He heard the sound of boulders rolling down.
And also, screams.
Standing still in his place, Seol Jihu soon witnessed Phi Sora resurrect at the starting point.
Phi Sora rushed forward, but lost her footing and fell right down.
As she raised herself on her elbow, her arms shook violently.
She had never experienced death before, and as courageous as she was, this was a shocking experience for her.
“…Damn it! I’ll resurrect again anyway!”
At last, Phi Sora stood up and began to run again toward the slope.
The place where Seol Jihu took his comrades was the space of ordeal, created explicitly for Earthlings who either were not chosen by the Seven Sins or refused to serve them of their own accord.
It was the Path of the Soul.