The book that identified itself as Bertelgia opened its covers. Inside of the wide open book was as bright as the sun.
The assassins of the Order of Extinction sensed danger and wanted to step away, but the poisonous cloud completely blocked the path behind them. They had no choice but to move forward.
The woman standing at the vanguard pulled out her cutlass and walked towards the blinding light, and the others followed.
The glowing book spoke.
The assassins quickened their pace. Their intentions were to rush past the book to attack the defenseless hermits.
But the moment the woman with the cutlass was about to pass the book, something glowing with a blinding light jumped out of the book to block their way forward.
The followers of the Order of Extinction felt that a formless barrier had been cast in front of them, and slowed down. The woman with the cutlass tapped on the formless barrier with the tip of her blade.
Something was in the way. It was as transparent as glass, but with an entirely different density and hardness.
It did not take long for them to realize that the invisible wall was airtight and completely blocked them from moving forward.
The woman ordered her subordinates to break the wall. But no matter how much they pounded against the wall, no matter what spell or scroll was brought out to bear against the wall, the wall remained strong.
As the assassins were busy with trying to siege the invisible wall, the lethal cloud of death was getting ever closer. And this made the assassins impatient. The sense of desperation was capable of allowing an individual to perform far better than they normally could.
A full powered strike from a man caused a small miracle. The invisible wall had finally developed a crack. Naturally, all the other assassins focused all their attack on the fracture that had formed.
They used Ice Lance, FireBall, furious strikes with the sword, and even the primitive body slam.
The heavens must have recognized their effort because the transparent wall finally broke apart. Just as the assassins shouted in celebration, something else popped out of the book named Bertelgia.
Like an invisible net being cast at them, something created another thing in front of the cheering assassins. Again, the cutlass probed the way forward.
Another wall had appeared.
All the eyes of the followers of the Order of Extinction were instantly filled with dread and terror.
A purple colored toxic cloud enveloped them amidst their cries of despair and erased them from the Tower of Recluse.
A loud victorious cheer erupted amongst the hermits.
“All hail the Tower of Recluse!”
“The Scroll of Calamity will never burn!”
Those sounds were picked up by Sungchul who had been listening between the crack the Lesser God had created.
‘They already wiped them out? The hermits are unexpectedly impressive. I thought they were mediocre at best in fighting last I checked.’
Now there was no reason for him to rush into the tower. Sungchul concluded his thoughts before returning his gaze towards the sky.
The grand fleet of the Human Empire covered the skies.
There were at least three separate fleets present and the combined firepower they possessed were truly remarkable.
Though it would not be enough to fully annihilate the Lesser God, it was more than sufficient in destroying the chanting cultists on the ground without a trace in moments.
The area, where the cultists who were serving as batteries for the Lesser God had been sitting, now resembled the disfigured surface of the moon with many sizable craters.
The only thing remaining now was the final member of the Order of Extinction burning in white flames and the Lesser God that formed around her like a shadow.
The Lesser God had wanted to put up a struggle to the end by shouting unholy incantations in an indecipherable language. But the time that was given to it came to an end.
The caster acting as the Lesser God’s anchor began to burn in white flames the instant her connection to others were broken.
Amidst her gruesome cries of agony and fear, her very being was completely consumed by the flames. The white fire erased her from existence itself.
The moment the now-vacant robes hit the floor, the Lesser God evaporated with a bizarre roar.
Those watching witnessed the unnerving sight of tens of thousands of crows fly out in all directions as the Lesser God lost its form.
It was a moment so supernatural it was difficult to believe it was happening.
Now that the Lesser God was gone, the purple colored cloud of death lost its power and vanished instantly.
Through the dissipating cloud of death, Sungchul looked up at the airships without a word.
“Oy. What are you doing without picking me up? Cough! Cough!”
Krumbui that had been left alone in the middle of the poisonous cloud was making complaints but Sungchul ignored it completely. He focused on the Airship Fleet of the Human Empire with Fal Garaz in his hands. It was because this wasn’t the end of it.
Though the Lesser God was gone and the Order of Extinction defeated at the moment, those were not the main concern.
The problem was that Sungchul who held the title of the Enemy of the World was publicly known to be not an ally but the enemy of the Human Empire which represented the law and order of the world.
Laxing his guard was not an option here.
Sungchul had no intentions to make the first attack, but he was also not going to avoid the fight if they were to try and engage him. He was mentally and physically exhausted and was not in a state of mind where he could forgive transgressions.
Shortly after, there was a flicker of light from one of the ships of the fleet. It was a message using a mirror and light. Sungchul who had once held the title of the Imperial Commander in Chief naturally knew how to read the message. The message read as follows.
[We offer a ceasefire with the former Imperial Commander in Chief.]
There was no reason to refuse. Sungchul nodded and then turned around. The Empire responded by immediately breaking the battle formation it had been holding against Sungchul and headed towards the south where the airships of the Order of Extinction had come from.
“I suppose this is about it for the show for today.”
On top of the airship from the Ancient Empire, Schnellmerker made a subtle grin as he spoke softly to his future customers.
“Although it was interrupted midway through, you all should have witnessed the sight of our humble weapon of war chase away the strongest hermit as well as fight the mighty Enemy of the World on even footing.”
Schnellmerker turned around to glance at the representative and the captain of the Ancient Empire after he was done speaking.
Though they maintained a poker face and spoke little, Schnellmerker could see it as clear as day. Of what they were thinking. Of how deeply impressed they were against their expectations. The fact that what they considered to be just another cult possessed such powerful weapons of war.
Schnellmerker smiled with his eyes as he continued.
“You might have guessed already, but the Order of Extinction has more of those weapons of war. And we are more than willing to sell them to the legitimate kings of long traditions and history who are being suppressed by the baseless upstart empire.”
These words caused the eyes of the representative of the Ancient Kingdom glimmer with the light of greed. After all, it was undeniably attractive to be offered the power to oppose the powerful fleet of the empire that covered the evening sky, perhaps even overpower them.
Schnellmerker noticed the imperial fleet change their heading towards the airstrip he was in, so he addressed the envoys of the Ancient Kingdom respectfully to bid his farewell.
“It appears it’s about time for us to take our leave. Please expect a member of our organization to visit you once more in the not-too-distant future. We hope to hear a positive answer at that time. Now if you’ll excuse us.”
Like the way they came, the members of the Order of Extinction vanished into dark smoke. This happened not only on the ship from the Ancient Kingdom but from the deck of all the ships of the airstrip all at once.
The Order of Extinction demonstrated that they wielded power strong enough to contend with the Empire, and that this power was available for sale to them. Though many kingdoms gave no reply to this offer as of yet, it was obvious to everyone who witnessed the battle what was going to happen.
As the Empire’s Pursuit fleet engaged the Order of Extinction’s airship in the skies above the Tower of Recluse, other actors were preparing for their reunion.
“The Emperor desires meeting the former Imperial Commander in Chief, sir.”
A sturdy looking Wyvern knight dismounted from his mount and knelt on one knee respectfully before delivering his message to Sungchul. Sungchul wordlessly nodded in response.
“… As he wishes.”
There was no reason to meet with the Emperor at this point.
Even if there were some sort of justification for this meeting to take place, the people of the Empire witnessing the interaction between the Emperor and he was bound to cause all sorts of negative and undesirable side effects.
The present era demanded that there be but a single ruler. And Sungchul had enough power to personally select the sole sovereign over the world. Even if there were unavoidable circumstances that had led to their meeting, it would still look awful from an outside perspective, especially since Sungchul was still considered an enemy.
Sungchul himself also thought this was a terrible decision. But perhaps the reason why he still accepted the invitation anyway was due to the fatigue and listlessness that came to dominate him before he noticed, as well as the overwhelming sense of emptiness that washed over everything else like a waterfall.
Once evening fell, most of the warships of the Imperial Navy left the skies above the Tower of Recluse. There was only the Flagship Emperor and a few Frigates that stayed behind. It was a long time since the Airships of other nations had already vacated. There were certainly a fair number of reasons for them to be nervous. They greeted the Emperor to go through with the formalities before racing to the Airships.
There was a large dragon fast asleep next to the Tower of Recluse. Of course this Dragon was none other than Kha’nes.
She hadn’t received any life threatening injuries, but she was covered with big and small wounds all over her body that left her unable to move. Several of the hermits were by her side to treat the injuries. Marakia gave a levelheaded assessment as he watched her from afar.
“The nerve of that Dragon. What does she think she did that she feels entitled to being treated in the Dragon form? She could have been treated in her human form too. She’s just making things more difficult!”
Marakia was impetuous. Not only had he contributed greatly to the battle today, he also displayed an impressive feat of agility that was worthy of praise.
But that was all.
There were no changes to the hierarchy, nor the otherwise-common congratulations. The only thing he got was Sungchul telling him good work. Marakia was very unhappy about this.
He had let it slide at first. But when he witnessed Stew, who had close to nothing in comparison to he, be surrounded by her human comrades in a rowdy bout of celebratory congratulations, it made him sick to the stomach.
‘Wait, why is it that dumb human woman getting more congratulations than I?’
Marakia made a vow to make Stew pay for this. He turned his head to look at Sungchul who was looking up at the sky all by himself.
Sungchul had not spoken a single word in a while. Even though Sungchul was a man of few words, it seemed as though even that meager amount was dwindling still.
And showing up in front of Sungchul was the group of well-dressed officials of the Human Empire. They greeted him politely. Sungchul turned his eyes away from the sky to gaze upon them. The officials lowered their gaze hastily before beginning to speak with a trembling voice. As expected of an Imperial Official, the message that he conveyed was completely tangled with unnecessary adjectives and idioms. In fact, it was possible to cut out all of the unnecessary fluff and summarize the main point in just one sentence.
He came to give Sungchul a change of attire.
Hello everyone, we apologize about the delay. We’ve been having steady release of chapters for a few months now but last week of feb gamja’s health suddenly detoriated. He has gotten better now and we were able to push out a chapter. Trust me during our audiobook launch last month we wanted to keep pushing chapters but couldn’t. No releasing only hurts us.
Lastly, I would like to thank you all for your continuous support. As per our estimates we have crossed 1500 copies of audiobooks sold in our first month which is something we did not expect at all. Thank you for your ratings and reviews. The audiobook has received praise for its story and especially its performance by narrator Nick Podehl(4.9/5 rating on performance by listeners) and we couldnt be happier with the result!
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