The Second Coming Of Avarice Chapter 75
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(Thanks for the wait, folks. My electricity problems have not been sorted out yet. Expect more hiccups in the coming days….)
Cho Hong lightly kicked the ground. That’s all she did, yet she was literally flying like a silver petal before softly landing near the Nest’s position. The creature visibly panicked and withdrew the tentacles currently creeping towards the two unconscious male and female duo. It then flung three, four of them towards Cho Hong standing right beside it, but….
All of its attacks were blocked off by her inverted triangular s.h.i.+eld s.h.i.+ning brightly in silvery light. The Battle Maiden didn’t even budge from her spot. She only had to raise her arm slightly to throw the attacks off. As she did so, silver flames seemed to burn brightly within Cho Hong’s eyes.
She swung her mace and right away, all those tentacles literally exploded into pieces. The bodily fluids being scattered didn’t even have time to wet the ground; they evaporated in the air from the divine conflagration burning all around her.
The Nest issued ear-piercing scream as if lengthy appendages were gradually burned alive from the silvery flames. Realising that its opponent had gone through a transformation, the creature withdrew all of its tentacles in a hurry, bar one still extended out beyond the exit.
However, all those hurriedly-gathered tentacles began hesitating unsteadily as if they had all fallen into confusion. Because….
Cho Hong had disappeared?
Seol Ji-Hu was busy dragging the unconscious Mikhail and Veronika to where Maria was, but now, even his own jaw fell nearly to the floor. He only blinked once, but Cho Hong was already floating in the air. Her dignified, unwavering eyes were glaring down at the Nest. She elegantly descended in an arc and thunderously slammed the Nest’s main body with her mace.
The tumour-like surface crumpled until it couldn’t endure and burst right open. Reddish fluids shooting out like a fountain were also swallowed up by her divine conflagration that suddenly expanded its size.
For the first time in this battle, its main body was attacked. The Nest let out another loud scream and hurriedly backed away.
Too bad for it, Cho Hong’s speed had exceeded it. She stuck close to the creature and swung her mace one more time. Another horrifying hole exploded open on the Nest’s body and was set alight in silvery flames. It wildly thrashed about in pain.
Cho Hong disappeared from its sight again. That was as good an evidence as any that her movement speed had greatly exceeded that of the Nest’s ability to perceive movements.
The creature must’ve been greatly incensed. Thirty-odd tentacles shot up as if to puncture the ceiling, and began to slap, thrust, and viciously pound away in every direction.
Rumble! Blam!! Slam!! Cras.h.!.+
The ground violently shook around and choking dust spat up in the air. The tentacles were now accompanied by the sounds of air being torn apart as they proceeded to indiscriminately attack all of its surrounding vicinity. The frenzied attacks from the Nest after it sensed danger to its life was so shockingly powerful that Seol Ji-Hu, sneaking closer to lend a.s.sistance, had no choice but to reflexively retreat.
‘I can’t interfere with this.’ (Seol Ji-Hu)
What was even more unbelievable was the fact that Cho Hong was in the middle of that violent thras.h.i.+ng.
Just from hearing those Shwing! Shwing!! noises made him nearly wet his pants, yet all those flexible whip-like tentacles storming around and sweeping everything within their vicinity still missed her by paper-thin margins.
Cho Hong slithered around like a flowing river. Her eyes were half-closed; the sight of her brus.h.i.+ng aside the tentacles with her extended arms was reminiscent of a graceful figure skater doing her thing. It was so much so that the description of the tentacles being sucked into her arc before they all slipped past perfectly described the current situation.
Cho Hong elegantly spun her body around, and her silver hair spun alongside like multiple hulhoops. Silvery streaks of light were left behind her wake as she seemingly floated in close to her target, and eventually, she broke past the wall of tentacles and accurately landed one more mace hit on the Nest’s main body. With that, the third scream broke out.
Seol Ji-Hu gasped out in excitement. The dying embers of hope was being rekindled again.
‘We can win this!’ (Seol Ji-Hu)
He tried to seek out for a gap he could exploit, but then, realised that Cho Hong’s condition had become strange once more. Her once-serene expression had crumpled ever so slightly. Her pale cheeks were flushed red, and her breathing had become rougher, as well. He thought he saw the briefest flash of anxiety in her face, too.
He wasn’t sure what was going on, but regardless, he knew that the situation was beginning to change again. The powerful Nest that seemed to be undefeatable was now shaking around rather greatly. Over half of its tentacles were no longer useable, and quite a lot of its body had been scorched black. Most important of all, the biggest gain this time was its giant body shrinking to a noticeable degree.
However, the Nest didn’t remain static. The remaining tentacles suddenly expanded greatly. And then, along with sounds of air leaking out of balloons, green-coloured thick liquids vomited out of them in all directions.
It wasn’t just one or two tentacles spitting out the liquid so he mistakenly thought that water was flooding out from a giant broken fountain just then. Even then, Cho Hong was nowhere to be found. To be exact, she had already pulled herself far back by the time liquid landed on the ground.
When its final trump card only managed to melt down the ground around it, the Nest exploded in pure rage.
Cho Hong was also gritting her teeth. She raised her s.h.i.+eld in front of her and dashed forward desperately. This must’ve been that opening she spoke about earlier - Seol Ji-Hu matched his timing with her movement and, while gripping his spear tightly, he too sprinted forward.
There was only one opportunity here. He was preparing to split his internal energy surging like a rising dragon into two and pour them into his spear and his earring, but then….
Cho Hong slapped away the tentacle angrily thrust forward by the Nest but began to unsteadily falter on her feet.
"Cho Hong?!" (Seol Ji-Hu)
Seol Ji-Hu was greatly taken aback and belatedly realised that the silver light surrounding her had grown a lot fainter than before.
….No, he was wrong. The light dispersed altogether. Her armours, her s.h.i.+eld, everything.
"Ahh!!" (Cho Hong)
At the same time, Cho Hong’s expression resembled someone just waking up from a deep sleep. She could only take a couple more steps before falling down on one knee. She panted and her slack jaw dropped open, leading to the pooled sweat to dribble down her chin. As if she was overcome with bitterness, her face crumpled unsightly.
The reason for that was simple. The spell of Valkyrie Skirt raised the combat prowess of the caster by summoning the spirit of the Battle Maiden. Meaning, it allowed the caster to wield the level of combat prowess matching those true top rankers, but it could only be maintained for between 30 to 40 seconds at most. Afterwards, an extreme case of enervation would follow.
She felt all of her strength seep out with every pa.s.sing second but desperately tried to control her breathing. The Nest right now looked like it was in a groggy state. Just one more hit, one single hit, and then it might be the end.
"I haven’t….." (Cho Hong)
‘….Even made a proper opening yet.’ (Cho Hong)
Her calculation was off all thanks to the Nest’s extraordinary level of resistance that exceeded her imaginations.
Now that Cho Hong had to retire from this battle, Seol Ji-Hu had no choice but to hesitate. The Nest and its urgently quivering, expanding body also realised her strange state as well.
The Nest finally decided to raise one of its tentacles, but it flinched greatly again. Cho Hong still showed no sign of moving, but yet another, different but still powerful energy was rising up from someplace way behind her.
Maria took a deep breath and slowly stood back up. Seol Ji-Hu saw the crucifix on top of the altar scattering away into dust before her, and his eyes shone brightly in understanding.
She looked as if she’d collapse at any given moment, yet Maria somehow managed to regain her balance and raised both of her hands high up.
"Mall Te Oculorum Meorum!!" (Maria) (TL: This line was written in Latin in the raw. Don’t argue with me if it’s wrong, ‘kay? LOL.)
Soon afterwards, white cackling light beams suddenly whipped up in the middle of the air and coagulated into a large hammer. The Nest freaked out in sheer surprise. The weapon made up of energy grew in size rapidly while emitting a dangerous, unnerving aura.
No one in here could wait around watching anymore. Seol Ji-Hu immediately activated the Festina Earring. Meanwhile, the Nest freaked out and shot a tentacle out towards Maria with everything it had. Her brows rose up high as she cried out.
The blinding light exploded. Seol Ji-Hu’s eyes, as he was about to dash forward, opened incredibly wide. Cho Hong, too, quickly looked behind her in sheer shock. Below the hammer of light falling like the divine retribution, a lone tentacle flew out like a shot arrow towards the Priest. And Maria was dazedly looking at that with a sweat-soaked, stupefied expression on her face.
In that briefest of moments….
What were the thoughts entering Seol Ji-Hu’s head when facing the single opportunity created through everyone working so incredibly hard?
He knew for sure that Maria would get killed. Even Warriors found it hard to endure against the tentacles and tried to dodge them, so there was no chance that a Priest could survive the direct hit.
His steps previously directed towards the Nest did a 90-degree turn.
He activated the stacking ability of the earring. And he summoned up every ounce of energy he could and ran. He thought he heard someone call out his name, but ignored it and simply dashed forward. Maria squeezed her eyes shut as the tentacle approached her position in an instant.
Next moment, the underground cavern was filled up with a ma.s.sive, blinding flash of light as well as the accompanying explosion. It was so loud that the sensation of someone embracing her, even the screams of the Nest itself, were all buried within.
A short while later, Maria’s eyes cracked open just a little, and she hurriedly sucked in her breath. Seol Ji-Hu was tightly hugging her. She thought that he sacrificed himself for her, but against her expectations, he was completely fine.
He was also fl.u.s.tered by this development. He didn’t even have enough time to raise his guards up. He simply pulled her in thinking that he’d be able to guard against that one hit somehow. But then, both he and Maria were completely unscathed. He blinked his eyes several times but discovered the reason soon after. Cho Hong was standing in front of them, with her left arm raised up.
"C-Cho Hong!!" (Seol Ji-Hu)
Seol Ji-Hu was momentarily taken over by relief, but then it dawned on him and he cried out loudly. Cho Hong’s back was shuddering heavily. Creak, creak. She turned her head around like a puppet with its strings cut, and with an energy-less face, her lips trembled up and down.
"….Hey, you… dumb… idiot…" (Cho Hong)
She roughly breathed in and out and lowered her left arm agonisingly slowly.
"I told you…. to take the chance…." (Cho Hong)
"….Cho, Cho Hong?" (Seol Ji-Hu)
"But… you just had to…. save her…?" (Cho Hong)
"W-wait." (Seol Ji-Hu)
Seol Ji-Hu finally sensed something was very wrong. Cho Hong’s left arm couldn’t be seen. To be exact, there was nothing below her elbow. And when he took a closer look, her back was being gradually dyed in the colour of crimson. Seol Ji-Hu’s face became dazed.
"….But, then again…." (Cho Hong)
Seeing the reaction on his face, Cho Hong’s lips arched up. It was a lonely smile of sadness.
"….That’s just like you…." (Cho Hong)
With that, her long black hair wavered in the air. Slowly. Cho Hong slowly fell. Only after she fell did he notice a large hole in her left chest. Her broken armours, her lost arm, even her sharp nose that rose and fell with so much difficulty - they all stopped moving.
At first, there was no change in Seol Ji-Hu’s expression. However, his eyes began quaking powerfully and his face seemed to have aged by over ten years in an instant.
He couldn’t do anything. He shouldn’t have been waiting for a chance, no, he should have been the one making it for others. Even if that cost him his life. But he couldn’t even do that.
Regret rushed in belatedly. And also, this sense of powerlessness, this realisation of his feebleness.
Suddenly, his heart angrily pounded. His pulses sped up.
Meanwhile, Maria had been staring at Cho Hong and her condition, before raising her head just a tad. To her shock, the d*mn Nest was still alive. It got pummelled by Cho Hong’s mace, and it even got hit straight up by the spell ‘Mjolnir’, yet it was still alive. Sure, its condition was rather wretched at the moment, but regardless of all that, it was still drawing breath. Its tenacious vitality made her grit her teeth.
That wasn’t all, either. Suddenly, it issued gulping noises and began to regenerate some part of itself.
‘Mjolnir’ definitely inflicted a fatal wound on it. However, bubbles boiled over and the ash-coloured flesh continued to rise up. And then, it spat out a spear and a s.h.i.+eld, too. Maria saw that, and let out a bitter chuckle.
If her eyes weren’t wrong, then those armaments belonged to Gierszal. Meaning, he was trying to escape all by himself and got killed in the process. And the Nest with serious injuries was absorbing the dead body to recover itself. She inwardly wondered why it so desperately tried to reel in the fallen humans, but now she understood why.
‘F*cking idiot. Even in death, utterly useless.’ (Maria)
On one hand, she felt remorseful. Perhaps she should have prayed for a stronger spell. Rather than wanting to reduce the backlash, she was trying to get her timing right and chose a spell that would let her end the ceremony on time. And that decision would be her final regret.
"….I shouldn’t have come with you lot." (Maria)
Maria mumbled in dejection. The Nest have now recovered a few parts of itself and raised several of its tentacles to wiggle them around. It even issued Wookikiki, which kind of sounded like a laughter of ridicule to her ears.
"Why didn’t you let me die?" (Maria)
Maria pouted her lips. And she weakly leaned her head against Seol Ji-Hu’s chest.
"If you aimed for that opening, at least you and Cho Hong would be…….?!" (Maria)
But then, her eyes grew wide enough to almost fall out of their sockets.
Bthump, bthump, bthump, bthump!
The rate of his heart beating was far too fast to be normal at all.
She even felt his entire body shudder uncontrollably, too. And it happened, then.
She heard the sounds of gritting teeth so soft yet bone chillingly-eerie that she couldn’t believe it was made by another human being. Maria flinched and cautiously raised her head up.
In that moment….
Maria definitely saw it.
She saw the youth and a thin line of blood trickling down his lips. No. She saw the youth and his face crumpled to resemble a demon king of slaughter and madness.
As if in a trance, he separated from Maria. He grasped the spear so tight that its shaft might shatter.
Death - a clear and distinctly murderous intent wrapped him up. The intent was so ominous that simply by being near it sent s.h.i.+vers down one’s spine.
"Don’t…." (Seol Ji-Hu)
Like a beast howling, a tightly-suppressed growl leaked out of his mouth.
"Don’t f*ck…." (Seol Ji-Hu)
His bloodshot eyes began emitting a crimson glow. An unbelievable amount of energy rippled out and the ground below fractured, vibrated, and quivered.
The final battle.
This was the second coming of the Demon of the Battlefield who used to rampage unchecked and unrivalled on so, so many battlefields.
"Don’t f*ck with me, you piece of sh*t!!" (Seol Ji-Hu)
The moment his enraged roar shook the entire underground cavern…
The Nest’s bodily fluids sprayed out. Maria formed a disbelieving expression and quickly looked to her side. There it was, one spear that blew up a part of the Nest. Even the creature itself reacted one step later. Its tentacles wiggling around in a dance of ridicule all recoiled in fright.
"B-be caref…!" (Maria)
Maria was about to cry out "Be careful!" but she couldn’t as her jaw was. .h.i.tting the floor now. A tentacle flew towards Seol Ji-Hu’s direction, but he simply extended his hand out to it. He then roused an enormous amount of Magic Power and managed to grab it, before utterly crus.h.i.+ng it with his bare hand!
The tentacle flapped around as if the Nest was going on a frenzy from the intolerable pain of its flesh being ripped apart in pieces.
Seol Ji-Hu discarded the tentacle as his spear began resonating loudly. It sounded as if it was crying. Almost right afterwards, an ice-coloured blade aura about four cha long shot out from the tip of the spear. (TL: One "cha" is about 30 centimetres long. It’s an ancient length measuring system used in Korea.)
‘Oh, my G.o.d?!?!’ (Maria)
Just how many more times would she get hit on the head by surprises today?? Maria saw that clear-as-day aura blazing out icily from the spear, and she screamed inside her mind in pure astonishment.
‘That, isn’t that the skill accessible only to the seriously high-ranking Warriors…??’ (Maria)
To be more specific, it was a skill only a small handful of high-ranked Warriors could use. And if her memory was correct, then she had seen it only once during her entire career as a Priest inside the Lost Paradise.
The ‘Bee-jeon Geuk-eui’ of the Level 7 Highlander. (TL note at the end)
Seol Ji-Hu angrily swung his arms around. The icy-blue blade of energy flashed to left and right as if it was putting on a light show. In the blink of an eye, all the tentacles attached to the Nest’s main body were chopped off, and they fell down with loud thuds. The d*mn things that remained so tenacious and stubborn until then were rendered completely useless now.
That wasn’t the end, though. As if to announce that he was only getting started, Seol Ji-Hu grasped the spear tight with both of his hands and crazily slashed and pounded with his weapon. Chunks of its flesh and bodily fluids spewed out all around the Nest as if saw blades were cutting it up every time the blade aura touched the creature.
"Uwaaaahhh!!" (Seol Ji-Hu)
From a certain point in time, the Nest stopped moving altogether. However, his spear didn’t stop. His enraged state was so scary that Maria was busy backing off while looking frightened as well.
And so, he pounded and sliced away until the state of the creature went past the level of being merely destroyed and straight into that of ground meat paste.
Just how long went by like that?
His spear ended up smas.h.i.+ng into the ground. He had been pounding into the thing for so long that its main body had pretty much disappeared now. The only thing barely remaining on the ground was finely beaten piece of darkened red flesh.
"Pant…. Pant…." (Seol Ji-Hu)
Seol Ji-Hu rapidly drew his breath within this sea of mangled body parts and fluids before finally regaining his senses. He only looked around him in a daze for a second or two. He snapped his head behind him and shouted out.
"Maria!!" (Seol Ji-Hu)
He quickly ran over to where she was. Maria flinched grandly and instinctively retreated away, but stopped moving when she saw the look in his face and the way he was behaving now. His complexion had reverted back to normal. The change was so extreme that she couldn’t help but think that the expression on his face only a little while ago had to be a hallucination on her part.
Maria cautiously opened her mouth, her eyes still disbelieving and distrusting.
"You…. Just what are you??" (Maria)
"Excuse me?" (Seol Ji-Hu)
"Are you b.l.o.o.d.y kidding me?! If you possessed a power like that, then why didn’t you, from the get-go…..?!" (Maria)
Maria yelled out loudly, further adding, "We wouldn’t have gone through this much hards.h.i.+p, then!! Do you have any idea how much I’ve lost today?!"
"I, I also don’t know what happened. I saw Cho Hong falling, and my head just blanked out…." (Seol Ji-Hu)
Seol Ji-Hu shook his head hard. Maria formed an expression of even greater disbelief. She kept spitting out bitter groans non-stop.
"Stop f*cking around, will you? Isn’t this the same bullsh*t as the dying main character suddenly jumping up full of renewed energy when a heroine sheds a couple of tears?" (Maria)
"B-besides that, where’s Cho Hong?!" (Seol Ji-Hu)
Seol Ji-Hu quickly realised his mistake. Didn’t Maria already perform a ceremony? Could she be able to perform another one? For some reason, though, she hurriedly felt for Cho Hong’s pulse for a second or two, before her brows shot up high.
"Go and fetch her arm. Now!" (Maria)
"Pardon? B-but, what about the backlash…?" (Seol Ji-Hu)
"You think ‘Mjolnir’ is a high-cla.s.s spell like ‘Cure Colossal Wounds’? I can take care of it somehow, so just go and fetch the d*mn thing already, will you??" (Maria)
If true, what a relief that was. Seol Ji-Hu rapidly located Cho Hong’s separated arm and came back.
"She’s still not dead yet. It’s faint, but I can still feel her heartbeat. Besides, it hasn’t been that long, so I can still treat her." (Maria)
She emphasized the word ‘treat’, and like an expert, rolled her sleeves up. She quickly chanted the spell into life.
"Cure Ma.s.sive Wounds." (Maria)
Warm ray of light gently wrapped around the entire body of Cho Hong. Maria thought that one hit wasn’t enough, because she recited one more spell as well. The hole in Cho Hong’s chest closed up gradually, and the separated arm was reattaching itself.
"Will she be okay? She will survive this, right?" (Seol Ji-Hu)
"I’ve already done what I can. The rest is up to the patient herself. Well, this chick’s been plying her sh*t in the Paradise for a long time now, so surely, she wouldn’t die from some simple shock like this." (Maria)
Maria curtly replied and got up to leave, perhaps to examine the status of Mikhail and Veronika as well.
Did she mean to say that the odds of survival were very good? Indeed, Cho Hong wasn’t some weakling, to begin with. She was a strong woman. As long as she still drew breath, she’d be treatable - that’s what Maria must’ve meant.
Feeling relieved now, Seol Ji-Hu let a sigh escape from his mouth.
Only then, the terrible sense of enervation and vertigo came knocking on his consciousness. This was the price of rousing his Magic Power beyond his limits just so he could utilise a high-cla.s.s skill several realms higher than what his current level was. He plopped down on his b.u.t.t, but couldn’t stay upright anymore and simply laid down on his back. He glanced at Cho Hong’s sleeping face, now looking rather serene and calm.
He couldn’t quite recall what had happened here. His memory was cut off from the moment he saw the message about the ‘Future Vision’.
But, regardless of what happened, they had made out of it alive. He thought he was going to die, but he was alive now. More importantly, Cho Hong wasn’t dead, either. More than anything, he wanted to be happy about that, and celebrate it to his heart’s content.
"Would you look at this guy?" (Maria)
Maria returned to his side and bitterly chuckled after seeing him and Cho Hong lying side by side.
"Look here, man. I hope you ain’t telling me to carry four people outta here, right?" (Maria)
"C-can’t we take a short break? I’m really exhausted at the moment." (Seol Ji-Hu)
Maria leered at him for a while. The sign of her being still not fully convinced was clear on her expressions. Out of the blue, though, she began rubbing her eyes rather vigorously.
Her tears fell on Seol Ji-Hu’s face, and he formed a bit of a frown.
"Okay, now. You can move, right?" (Maria)
Seol Ji-Hu momentarily became speechless.
"I don’t want to stay here any longer. I wanna get out of here right now." (Maria)
Seol Ji-Hu agreed with her 100% per cent, but too bad, he was this close to falling into a deep slumber from the sense of enervation flooding into him. That’s how badly exhausted he felt right now.
"What’s the matter? Aren’t you getting the second wind or something again? Aren’t my tears enough for you?" (Maria)
Maria sarcastically muttered out, her eyes still wet from tears.
"No, well, that’s not really it….." (Seol Ji-Hu)
Seol Ji-Hu fell into a bit of contemplation, before frankly speaking up what his tired mind could come up with.
"I think it’s because you aren’t the heroine of this story, Miss Maria." (Seol Ji-Hu)
Maria glared silently at him before powerfully kicking him in the side.
< 75.="" king’s="" wrath="" (2)=""> Fin.
(TL: ‘Bee-jeon Geuk-eui’ = 비전 극의(秘傳 極意) Literally translates to "well-hidden extreme will" or, as close as I can think of, "Super secret combat manual". I thought none of them sounded as cool as the original, so I left the Korean Hanja words as they are. It’s the same story for the ‘Gum-ki-sang-in’ = 검기상인(劍氣傷人) which can be translated into sword aura hurt person. I think the author made a mistake with the third Hanja word and instead of ‘hurt’, he probably meant to say "upper/superior" to make it "sword aura master" or "expert". The Hanja words for ‘hurt’ and ‘upper/superior’ sound the same, you see.)
The Second Coming Of Avarice Chapter 75
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The Second Coming Of Avarice Chapter 75 summary
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