༺ Uninvited Guest (7) ༻
After he cursed Ea, a chilly silence filled the air.
The situation would be less terrifying if she had erupted in anger and ran around in a frenzy.
Not long after, her cold anger subsided, but it lingered in her pupils as she sent Siwoo an intense gaze.
It felt like a venomous snake crawling over his bare skin.
However, there was no time for him to be afraid.
From now on, he couldn’t afford to just defend himself.
The twins slipped from right under her nose and on top of that, he flipped her off, she would definitely focus on her fury at him.
Now was the time for him to stake his life and struggle for his final stand.
He raised his spear.
From his outstretched arm, a jet-black shadow rose, forming a lance over five meters long.
It was a cavalry lance designed solely to pierce through his enemies.
He didn’t need the extra mental strength to manipulate the shadow or to establish the teleportation formula anymore.
With the lance aimed at Ea, using the ‘Water Lizard Stride,’ Siwoo lowered his body and charged at her.
His spear, created by a dense structure of shadow, achieved the highest level of hardness.
Shadows ejected from his back and spread out like wings, accelerating his body.
As a result of this acceleration, his range of vision became narrowed.
He rode the wind.
Resulting in him narrowing the considerable distance between him and Ea in a split second.
“I’m tired of this now.”
Among the dozens of fluttering ribbons.
Only one of them slashed through the air.
And clashed with the spear.
Siwoo came to a halt in his tracks.
Three more steps.
He only needed to take three more steps forward for his lance to reach Ea.
“I had only been playing around with you. Did you expect a different outcome?”
His lance shattered.
The lance with the highest level of hardness, created by utilizing a grid structure, shattered like a bamboo being split as soon as it came into contact with the ribbon.
Even his gauntlets were blown away by the shockwaves. His hand was destroyed to the point that its original shape was hardly recognizable.
If it weren’t for his armor and gauntlets, his arms would have been ripped apart the moment his lance collided with the ribbon.
A rush of hot blood gushed out from behind his throat.
The pungent scent of iron stung his nose and his already blurred vision was painted with the hue of blood.
Blankly, Siwoo looked down at his hands.
‘My nails are gone.’
His fingers, bent, broken and looked so twisted that it seemed he could tie them into knots.
‘Is this painful?’
‘I’m just surprised that a human hand could deform into this.’
His determination to squeeze out everything that he had was shattered by a mere ribbon.
From the beginning, all of her strikes that he had barely managed to defend against was nothing more than a child’s play.
This overwhelming difference in strength had existed from the start, she had just decided to show him that harsh reality.
‘She knew it all along.’
‘In the end, I would never reach her.’
“Cough! Cough! Cough…!”
Blood burst out from his mouth.
It was the backlash he had to pay as he lost control of his own magic as it forcibly collapsed.
His body trembled as he spat blood onto the ground.
In the pool of blood that formed a puddle the size of a small cushion, there were pieces of flesh that one would be terrified to identify mixed in.
The black armor that had enveloped his body disappeared.
His mana was completely depleted.
His legs were bent and stiffened like a log and they refused to budge an inch.
One of his ears had lost its hearing capability.
His eyes were glued shut by the congealed blood.
His fingers transformed into something grotesque, resembling sculptures crafted out of flesh.
With every beat of his heart, the pulse echoed like a pounding drum that felt like it would split his head apart.
‘I did well enough.’
‘Has any slave ever given such a hard time to an Exile like her?’
Ea walked steadily towards Siwoo.
She looked down at him, who was unable to move, with a cold gaze.
“Where did the twins go?”
“I don’t know…”
Before he could finish his reply, Ea’s shoe struck his nape as he struggled to raise himself up.
But, not even a scream escaped his lips.
It wasn’t a blow propelled by mana, but it was still a strike that dug into his vital point. With his disheveled state, he ended up losing his consciousness.
“Ugh, seriously, this is so annoying…”
A sound of slap echoed as her hand fell onto the back of his hunched head.
“I finally got an opportunity for revenge, but because of you, everything is ruined…”
Her slender fingers seized his hair as she forcibly tilted his head up.
“What are you going to do now? How are you going to compensate me? I’m so irritated, I feel like I’m going crazy!”
Her hand caressed his cheek.
Then her pointed thumbnail slowly dug into his left eye.
The adrenaline that had momentarily eased his pain became meaningless in the face of the excruciating torment of her digging through his eyeballs.
Bizarre groans escaped from his gaping mouth.
“You… Guh… Damn… Bitch…”
“Sure, sure, why don’t you make more cute sounds?”
His venomous glare, filled with the anticipation of death, locked onto Ea.
“Honestly, I don’t feel comfortable letting you go so easily like this. After all, your master seems to be returning soon.”
Ea withdrew her hand from his eye socket.
A mix of vitreous and blood dripped from her fingertips.
Then a single strand of ribbon slowly drifted towards Siwoo’s empty eye socket.
“Wait a minute.”
As Siwoo sensed the impending death.
The barrier rippled as someone entered it.
From her disheveled hair and clothing, it was clear that she rushed to come here.
For a brief moment, he couldn’t help but think that it was so out of character of Amelia to do something like this.
Amelia’s face turned pale as she spotted Siwoo and Ea amidst the turmoil surrounding the mansion.
As Amelia called out Siwoo’s name, Ea transformed her ribbon into a sharp point and plunged it directly into his head, as if she had been waiting for this moment.
Blood dripped from Siwoo’s eye sockets, nose and mouth.
Within the torrent of blood that poured out like an open tap, there was a slick, transparent liquid mixed in.
In Siwoo’s dazed mind, thoughts emerged like fleeting whispers.
‘Shin Siwoo, the twins who crossed the barrier, Sadalmelik, who was at the edge of the fountain. I’ll make you cum on my face. I want to drink cola. How does human thirst get quenched? There’s always a full moon in Gehenna. The beauty of creation, the value of intricate circles – pi: 3.14159165355820…3025… What came next? Ah… Did I memorize up to 152674450? Finally I reach the first 999999, Feynman’s point. I open my eyes, whispering and if I rewind my memories, I’m free, singing. Shadows, be reborn within the world of zeros, consume this body for eternity.’
Then, his consciousness was engulfed in total darkness.
“Nice to meet you, Baroness Marigold.”
Ea’ pierced through Siwoo’s eyes all the way to his brain before flinging his body aside like a ragdoll. Then she spread her arms wide to welcome the prey that she had been waiting for.
Amelia kept on running without stopping.
Hundreds of particles enveloped her body.
She shot forth with speed dozens of times faster than when she used the ‘Water Lizard’s Stride.’
Something urged her to hurry as she continued running.
The urge intensified as a single determination arose strongly within her mind.
“Siwoo… Siwoo… Siwoo!”
The name she kept uttering on her lips.
She wanted to convey her newfound emotion to him.
Gratitude, apology, and…
She was no longer scared.
Her anxiety and unease were quelled by the warm light that swelled up from within her chest, leaving only her overflowing confidence.
With each step, countless particles of light converged and exploded.
Like a bird, she soared through the sky.
The mansion was in her sight.
The same mansion where she had been living with Shin Siwoo for a brief period of time.
‘Is he still here?’
‘Maybe he ran away already?’
Amelia quickened her pace.
Then, something caught her eyes.
A barrier in the shape of a water bottle surrounded the mansion.
It briefly became translucent before returning to its originally transparent state.
Without slowing down, Amelia sprinted across the field.
It wasn’t hard to recognize the identity of the transparent barrier.
An interdimensional barrier.
Within it, embedded a unique magic formula that separated everything that was inside the barrier from the outside world.
Considering that she hadn’t detected any feeling of discomfort until the barrier was hit with some kind of interference, it seemed like a high-level barrier with a well-crafted formula.
Anxiety surged from within her.
Interdimensional barriers were something that was mainly used by the witches in the modern world to avoid getting into trouble.
It was also used to hide the fact that one was a witch to avoid catching the eyes of an Exile or to minimize the damages to the modern worlds when one was hunting for Homunculus.
However, this was Gehenna, there was no need to do any of those.
Then, why would a barrier suddenly appear around her mansion?
Because someone wanted to conceal the fact that they were using magic.
But, who in Gehenna would want to hide their magic?
They would be the Exiles.
The wicked witches whose hearts were filled with malice.
Amelia felt like she was falling into a world of darkness.
Regardless, her body raced through the air at a much faster pace than usual.
The appearance of the mansion was the same as usual.
However, she knew that it was a disguise so that one couldn’t tell any abnormal situations happening from the outside.
As Amelia reached out her hand, countless clusters of particles emanated from her fingertips and tore the barrier apart.
What greeted her inside the barrier was a garden that seemed like it was hit by a typhoon.
Various plants in the garden were yanked out by their roots, the grassy lawn was turned upside down, revealing the soil underneath.
In the middle of that, an unknown witch was holding Shin Siwoo captive.
‘Miserable’ wasn’t enough to describe his appearance.
There wasn’t a single spot on his body that wasn’t touched by blood.
Amelia extended her hand to cast her magic.
The mana contained within her womb surged all at once and formed droplets on her hand.
She couldn’t think of anything but to get him away from that witch’s grasp.
As she burst in, Siwoo looked at her with his remaining eye.
Siwoo parted his lips to say something, but before a word could come out of his mouth, the ribbon that had been aimed at him struck his head deeply.
It pierced through his face effortlessly like a fork skewering a steak.
There wasn’t enough time to stop her.
Things were happening too quickly, Amelia couldn’t protect him with her magic.
As the witch stood up, Siwoo’s body dangled at the ribbon’s end.
His wrecked body was discarded by her and flew towards Amelia.
Amelia instinctively extended her arms and caught it.
“Nice to meet you, Baroness Marigold.”
In Amelia’s arms was a body drenched in blood, sweat and an unknown viscous substance.
It convulsed like a dying insect.
Blood foam oozed from his mouth while crushed vitreous, nerves and blood vessels tangled in his empty pupil.
“Ah… Ah… Aaahh…”
It was like a scene out of a dreadful nightmare.
‘Why is this happening?’
‘I haven’t apologized to him yet.’
‘I haven’t thanked him yet.’
‘I haven’t told him that I want to go to the modern world with him and stay together with him in the future.’
“P-Please wait… I-I’ll heal…you…”
White particles emanated from Amelia’s body toward Siwoo’s body.
Amelia wasn’t skilled in healing magic.
No, even if a more proficient witch was placed in this situation, it would be impossible to heal such injuries without proper equipment.
The unknown substance mixed with his blood that flowed out from his nose and mouth was the cerebrospinal fluid.
The blow from the Exile had pierced through his brain.
As she held onto him, his life force continued to drain away.
“Ah… W-Why now… W-When I finally have…something…that I want to say…”
All she could do was to embrace him.
Her ethereal dress was drenched in blood.
“My name is Ea Sadalmelik, I’m here to take your brand away. I hit a roadblock in my research and I acquired your perfume by chance, so I figured that your brand will be useful for me.”
“I see you seem to hold that slave quite dearly. That’s great. Until the moment of his death, he cried, ‘Ms. Marigold! Please save me! It hurts so much!’, he kept on crying your name while moaning pitifully. I should have shown you that scene, shouldn’t I?”
Siwoo’s body stopped convulsing.
While Ea continued to chatter away, Amelia gently caressed Siwoo’s cheek.
His once rosy complexion had turned terrifyingly cold.
It felt like she was touching a plaster statue, not a human’s skin.
Her chest felt suffocated by her anguish.
The suffocation didn’t even allow her to think about her agony.
‘It ended up like this again…’
‘Am I being left alone again…?’
She hugged Siwoo’s body dearly in her arms.
The familiar feeling of solitude and loneliness blossomed into a single black rose within her heart.
Within that rose, the venom of anger became crystallized like dewdrops.
Her eyes began to emit a sky-blue light, accompanied by her chants.
To Amelia Marigold,
Magic was always a poem of tears, written to mourn those who had departed.
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