Counter attack soon began. The Lesser God undid the mudra with its hands and resumed holding them palm to palm, once again bringing devastating explosions to Sungchul’s surroundings.
Sungchul evaded them easily enough, but the Lesser God somehow switched his weapons to the rapier to follow up the attack.
Sungchul doubted his eyes for a moment. It wasn’t just one rapier. The Lesser God was wielding two rapiers at once. The rapier in his range of view was blocked by Fal Garaz, but the other attack that came from his blindspot could only be blocked by Gorgot.
Gorgot blocked the attack brilliantly. But the debt owed by Sungchul to Gorgot increased yet again.
[Debt to Gorgot: Life and a half]
[Interest rate: 10%]
In the midst of the unforeseen chaos, Lesser God Sidmia pulled its hands apart to finish off Sungchul.
This explosion caused significant damage to Sungchul. The clothes were reduced to rags and the shoulder of the arm holding Fal Garaz became dislocated. Getting burns and abrasion all over his body goes without saying.
Sungchul popped his shoulder back as he stumbled back into a fighting stance and glared at the Lesser God. But the Lesser God didn’t give him any breathing room. The two rapiers came to harass him and test his mobility to its limits. Sungchul squeezed every bit of strength he had to defend against the Lesser God’s attacks. And as the fierce and persistent attacks continued, the debt owed to Gorgot only continued to grow endlessly.
[Debt to Gorgot: Life three and a half]
[Interest rate: 10%]
Any more than this was dangerous. There was a strong need for a change in strategy. The moment Sungchul thought so, Lesser God Sidmia created a slight gap between its two closed palms to deal Sungchul his killing blow. Sungchul opened his eyes wide.
A thin… no. Compared to a fight of this scale and magnitude, a nearly nonexistent sliver of light was fired from Sungchul. The identity of this beam of light was glare. The tiny sliver of light that appeared without any incantation or windup headed towards the two hands that were pressed palm to palm.
Since the hands were able to deflect even Starlight, it was difficult to guess what the Glare was supposed to achieve, but the target of the Glare was not the hands. The target it was aiming for was the projectile spilling out of the palms.
The projectile appeared so briefly that it was difficult to detect with the eye, but Sungchul attempted to intercept this projectile in this small frame of window the moment when it left the Lesser God’s hands.
Something was burnt up by the Glare’s thin beam.
Lesser God Sidmia instantly knew something went wrong. And in the very next moment, an enormous explosion went off. It was right in front of the two clasped hands.
While the Lesser God’s scream reverberated in the air, the two hands which were reduced to chunks of meat were severed from the wrists and fell to the ground.
Lesser God’s most powerful weapon was lost.
A satisfied grin appeared on Sungchul’s face as he charged straight towards the Lesser God Sidmia with Fal Garaz in his hands.
The two rapiers flew towards Sungchul to intercept him, but they were ineffective due to Sungchul already having memorized their pattern.
Appearing to be at a loss was simply an act on Sungchul’s part. He had been managing and mitigating the damage he was sustaining the best he can as he bided his time for that one moment of vulnerability. All the while having stored one cast of Starlight in the 4th Soul Stone.
Sungchul cast Starlight from right in front of the Lesser God before flying up into the air.
2nd Fairy Light
3rd Fairy Light
4th Fairy Light
Escorted by three Fairy Lights that proclaimed his victory, he alternatingly brought down his Fal Garaz like a bolt of thunder upon the rapiers.
It was a marvelous strike that could only be described as godly.
Fal Garaz, said to be forged with the fragments of the sky itself, broke through the defenses of the two rapiers and landed a thudding blow on the head of the Lesser God shrouded in dark fog.
It was a familiar sound of impact.
‘What a nostalgic sound.’
What the sound represented was the same for humans and Lesser Gods alike.
The two rapiers fell from the Lesser God’s hands and the body of the Lesser God fell like a statue. The dark fog slowly dissipated and was replaced by a rainbow colored luminescence that covered the Lesser God. Sungchul detected the lifeforce of his enemy ebbing away.
There was no text declaring his victory nor was there a reward, like it would normally do for most things. That was because it was never supposed to be possible for a mortal to pull off such a feat. Sungchul just committed a taboo that was supposed to be neither feasible nor permissible for a mortal being.
From within the illumination, a profane yet unopposable voice could be heard.
“Why are you here?”
Sungchul gazed towards the dissipating Lesser God without any emotion.
The Lesser God spoke once more.
“What is the reason you are here? How are you, you who possess a power no mortal is permitted to have, still able to remain in this world while maintaining the form of a human being?”
He couldn’t understand the Lesser God nor what it wanted.
Eventually, Lesser God Sidmia let out a self-depreciating laughter.
“Is that so?”
He was talking to himself.
“Is that how it is? Kukuku…”
“What are you talking about?”
Sungchul asked the Lesser god. The Lesser God replied with an unholy but overpowering voice.
“Finally, play time has come to an end for the fake Gods.”
Lesser God was almost completely disintegrated. When only the dark head remained, the Lesser God Sidmia spoke in a faint voice.
“Farewell… tool of God…”
Sungchul opened his eyes wide. Lesser God disappeared. But after he left a final word.
“…Of a true, genuine God.”
Lesser God was gone. Sungchul felt his chest fill with a sense of emptiness as he looked behind him. There was nothing left.
The city of Ixion, said to be build overnight, was annihilated in a single day.
Upon the ruins she created and subsequently destroyed, Vestiare squeezed out the last bit of her strength to cast a final spell.
The Magic formation enveloped her and she disappeared beyond the portal. But she would not have long to live.
She was far too weakened in body and mind to withstand the tolls of Oom Bruuk. The fate of Ivory colored city of Ixion was no different from her own.
“Ho…How did you do this?”
The happiest one to see Sungchul was Bertelgia. She orbited around Sungchul like a satellite as she examined his condition. The coat he was wearing was reduced to rags and this clothes were ripped to pieces. But otherwise he was intact. Bertelgia discovered a small shield tied to his left arm and stared at it closely.
“It’s a weapon of Calamity. I had no choice but to use it, so I’ll be forced to carry this one along for now.”
The weapon of Calamity Gorgot could not be put down until the interest was repaid. Although it was annoying to do, there was nothing that could be done to release Gorgot except to feed it his lifeforce everyday as he healed.
The one who was most shocked was Marakia.
‘I…I knew he was strong, but to be strong enough to destroy even a Lesser God…’
He had intended to rebel at some point. He was dreaming of a moment when he would grow up and recover his strength, to defeat Sungchul and rise as the central figure of the world once more. But Sungchul’s overwhelming display of might was more than enough to squash such a small dream of rebellion.
‘Let’s at least settle with the restoration of my kingdom…’
McRaed was among the survivors. As the princess of Ixion and the steward of New Ixion, she did not hesitate to find and rescue the survivors who managed to escape the attack of the Harvestors. Once she finally received the word of Sungchul’s return, she walked up to him and held both of his hands to show her respects.
“Thank you, really. I don’t know what to say…”
The flames of berzerk energy could no longer be seen in her eyes. It might be because she witnessed a sight that far exceeded the madness of humanity.
Sungchul turned his disinterested gaze towards the lined up survivors.
Ixion that boasted of tens of thousands of citizens was now reduced to barely over a thousand.
Not a single shred of hope could be seen inside the traumatized eyes of the survivors who stood leaning upon each other. Revival of the Eastern Regions, unification of the East, all of their goals and dreams were shattered in a single tragedy.
But not everything was lost. McRaed saw beyond the Survivors, towards the masses of people approaching them from beyond the city walls.
They were the people of the Settlements.
Because they were outside of the city, they were spared from being turned into sacrifices for the advant of the Lesser God. And once the ruckus was over, they came peering into the city to see what was going on.
“What will you do now?”
McRaed looked towards those who survived as she wiped away her tears with her sleeve.
“We have to start again. To revive New Ixion.”
Before disappointment could appear in his eyes, McRaed spoke boldly.
“I will not borrow the power of the Colossus any longer.”
Sungchul appeared surprised.
“Now that I know what it’s like to be the one sacrified… I can’t use that woman’s methods anymore. Not to mention it would be difficult to do so anyway.”
“A wise decision. But it will be a difficult road ahead.”
“I know. I know it’s going to be rough from now. But even so, along with the people that are still left… relying only on our own strength… We will rebuild Ixion once more and revive the Eastern Regions. I know it will take a long time though. For that reason, I’ll cancel our trip together.”
She gave Sungchul a brilliant smile before returning to the people watching her. As he watched McRaed’s red hair flowing with the wind, the word growth came to his mind.
‘Even she is capable of maturity.’
There was still things he needed to do. Sungchul opened his hands and summoned one bell to ring. The toll of the bell seemed to come from a great distance.
‘She’s far away.’
But there was no reason to pursue her. She would not survive for very long. Several hours at best?
Vestiare was doomed to writhe in agony before being dragged into the abyss. It was a well deserved fate, considering everything she’s done.
Sungchul thought to himself so, before turning his gaze towards the book that suddenly appeared without any warning.
“This imitation. It’s good at preserving itself.”
It was not often that Sungchul was passive aggressive and sarcastic. The book shivered and groaned upon being called an imitation again, but it replied in a clear silvery voice
“I understand you’ve been through a rough time, but we don’t have any time left. Desfort is trying to cause a terrible disaster that can’t be compared to one caused by that Lesser God.”
Even before the book was done speaking, a portal was opened. Sungchul considered the perspective of the book that had no choice other than to be insistent or thoughtless.
‘Does this one even understand what it’s doing?’
No matter how he looked at it, this book was a tool. Although it could speak and display a range of emotions, it was still a being that was incapable of ignoring the command given to it. Sungchul felt compassion for the fate of the book that had no choice but to act the way it did as he responded.
“I have many things I wish to ask but I’ll do as you wish for now.”
Sungchul calmly walked towards the portal. Bertelgia was shocked and quickly chased after him.
“Don’t you have to rest for a day… no, a month first? You’ve just finished such a huge fight…”
“Finishing this as soon as possible is also in my best interest.”
The reason why Sungchul was hurrying was not simply out of his compassion for the book. It was also because of his debt to Gorgot.
He currently owed more than three lives to Gorgot. So for the foreseeable future, he had no choice but to pour all of his energy into replaying his debt. And doing so would take a significant amount of time.
Therefore he had no choice but to defeat Desort immediately.
Sungchul placed Bertelgia into his pocket and walked towards the Portal. Sungchul turned to look at Marakia.
“It appears that the Curse of Extinction is completely undone.”
The Curse did not return even after the destruction of the city. Marakia was safe. Sungchul turned his head. It was expressing that Sungchul did not intend to choose Marakia’s future from this point onward. But despite being granted his freedom, Marakia wordlessly followed behind him.
Not only did he have nowhere to go, he had already decided in his mind to travel alongside Sungchul.
‘If I am with this monstrosity of a human being, I’ll be able to experience unusual things to my heart’s content. Not to mention there’s bound to be boons to reap along the way!’
Under the gaze of McRaed who watched on from afar, Sungchul and company walked through the portal, to the far away lonely island where Desfort was.