༺ Annalise (4) ༻
The moment Vera’s blade stretched out, Annalise felt the seconds stretch into infinity.
It was as if everything had come to a standstill: the spell lump she had fired, the approaching sword of the Apostle, and the rest of the world.
The space was warping and tearing at the tip of the Apostle’s sword.
A tearing noise entered her ears.
The sword, moving ever so slowly, swept away her spell.
In the midst of it all, Annalise witnessed ‘Providence’ from within.
It was visible in the infinite void beyond the torn space.
Her spell was sucked in, as well as her thoughts. The anger that had burned in her heart, the desire she had longed for all her life, and her very own existence.
All of them were being sucked into the empty void before her very eyes.
She reached out, and her outstretched hand was sucked into the space. Her arm was cut off. Her chest was cut off, and her shoulders collapsed.
Even so, she still reached out her hand.
A glimpse of her lifelong desire was right in front of her, so she couldn’t help but do so.
She felt her body being split into two by the sword cutting through her. The world, which had slowed down infinitely, soon regained its speed.
Her vision lowered and the world spun.
Annalise realized a moment too late that the reason why the world was spinning, was because her head had fallen off and was now rolling around.
Annalise shed tears.
Why is it that ‘Providence’ was granted to that ignorant barbarian bastard, instead of someone like me, who had pursued it all my life?
It was the sound of the flower garden being crushed to ashes.
Annalise’s eyes looked around, trying to find the source of the noise.
It was the Apostle.
“Where did you get the serum?”
It was a merciless question. Annalise replied with a voice of despair.
“You piece of shit.”
Tears fell, but whether they were tears or blood leaking from the corner of her eyes, Annalise didn’t know.
No, maybe it was both. Annalise felt sad.
“Kid, you… you don’t even understand what you’ve just done.”
It truly saddened her that this person, who was unable to comprehend the great achievement he had accomplished and instead asked a trivial question, held a portion of Providence in his hands.
“Stop speaking nonsense and answer me.”
Vera’s expression crumpled from a sense of urgency.
It would be impossible to restrain this old hag unscathed, so Vera cut her throat. He needed to get the answers before she died, and he needed to find out who the owner of the serum was, the variable that caused this terror.
With that in mind, he stomped on her head while interrogating her.
The response that came back was a taunt.
Vera’s expression twisted, and a cynical smile emerged on Annalise’s face.
“You won’t know. No, you won’t know until that day comes. You don’t know how much of a mistake you’ve made by killing me. You have no idea how unstable and precarious this world is.”
Insanity crept over her cynical smile. Her facial muscles tore and twisted in all directions. It was eerie and repulsive, but even so, Vera could tell that her changed expression was a genuine smile.
“Destruction will come. The Land of Beginning will come. What can you do in the face of that?”
Vera’s body trembled, dread emerging on his face.
It was because something came to mind right away at that word.
“…the Demon King.”
Annalise’s eyes widened, and then a wide smile emerged.
“Is that what you call it?”
Vera’s foot slammed down on Annalise’s nose bridge.
“Tell me what you know. Who gave you the serum? Tell me everything you know.”
“Why should I do that?”
Annalise cackled, and Vera’s expression grew more vicious.
She knows about the Demon King. No, she knows about the origin of the Demon King.
Vera thought quickly.
‘The Tower Master didn’t find out on her own.’
He never thought of the Demon King’s origins in his past life. It was because no one knew about the existence of the Demon King until his reign of terror began.
Vera quickly thought again.
How did the Tower Master find out in this life?
Something came to mind.
Gillie and Galatea had already moved, even though the Demon King’s absolute reign hadn’t begun yet, and this incident as well.
‘It’s the same person.’
The culprit behind all of these events. The Demon King’s proxy. That would be the right way to call it.
Vera looked at Annalise with eyes devoid of life.
“I said, who gave you the serum?”
Vera interrogated her again. He took his foot off her face and lowered his head, then he grabbed Annalise’s cheek with his hands.
All of the other questions disappeared from his mind. Only that one question dominated his thoughts.
If there was anything related to a different Demon King, he had to find out about their existence first.
“What do they know? What have you heard?”
“Keuk, cough, kahaha…!”
Annalise cackled while looking at Vera’s desperate face.
“Try and struggle all you want.”
The ground rumbled.
As Vera flinched at the sound, Annalise laughed louder and spoke.
“Let’s see. Weren’t there slums under the Aurillac?”
Vera’s pupils dilated.
The meaning behind those words was clear.
The shaking must be the sound of the Aurillac collapsing. The Tower Master must be making the Aurillac self-destruct to destroy the slums.
“Do you have time for this? Shouldn’t you be going down there to save the people?”
It was the sight of Annalise with only her head left, excitedly shaking.
“Isn’t that right, Apostle?”
Vera quickly clenched his teeth together.
He had to interrogate her. He had to get to the bottom of this.
However, if he wasted any more time, everyone in the slums would suffer, just as the Tower Master said.
Vera’s expression contorted in frustration.
At that moment of choice, Vera stopped clawing at Annalise’s cheeks and stood up. He headed for the passageway that led outside the Magic Tower.
As Annalise watched his back fading into the distance, she let out a long, hard laugh.
As Vera jumped off the Aurillac and fell, he looked up to check it.
It was breaking apart from the outer walls to the inside, shattering into pieces. Although the fragments were still floating in the air, when the Aurillac broke apart completely, they would also fall to the ground and turn the slums into ruins.
Vera couldn’t allow that.
It wasn’t because he had any lingering attachments to his hometown. It was just, he simply had the urge to save the people down there.
The gateway to the Heavenly Realm was still open in the sky. The Holy Sword was in his hand.
He had enough power.
Vera opened his mouth, his divinity bursting.
As all of his oaths were erased after the battle ended, he had to make another oath.
“From now on, I will abstain from all acts of physical combat, and I will be compensated with an equal amount of magical prowess.”
It was impossible to stop the falling fragments with a sword. The only way to stop them was by using divinity.
“If I break this vow, I will lose not only my ability to wield a sword, but also all of my ability to use magic and magical spells.”
His divinity overflowed, and condensed over and over again. A dense concentration of divinity emerged above the blade of the Holy Sword.
Vera began to weave a spell using the Holy Sword as a medium.
He had to defend, to lessen the impact of the fragments crashing.
Divine Arts [Sky Step].
Divine Arts [Guardian’s Blessing].
A golden divinity enveloped Vera’s body as he descended through the air with [Sky Step].
In the middle of that, he spread out [Guardian’s Blessing] and began striking, forcing the condensation of divinity within.
‘I can do this.’
He had to increase the size to cover the entirety of the slums, so that the fragments of the Aurillac wouldn’t reach it and flow away.
As the divinity that was added to the blessing increased, the size increased as well. From barely covering Vera’s body to the size of a building, to the size of a road, to even beyond the size of a district.
A golden light covered the slums.
Upon landing on the ground, Vera took a deep breath and thrust the luminescent Holy Sword into the center of the slums.
The divinity flowing through the ground surged into the sky, and transformed into a massive golden barrier.
In an instant, the Aurillac shook and collapsed, slowly beginning to fall.
The fragments crashed against the surface of the blessing.
A deafening roar that could be called an explosion filled the slums.
Vera clenched his teeth firmly at the impact that was passed onto him and exploded his divinity. He had to endure.
Until all of the fragments had fallen, and until the trembling came to a halt.
Vera focused solely on that singular thought, erasing everything else from his mind. And like that, he endured for a long time.
He shut his eyes and poured all his strength into the hand holding the sword.
The divinity of the Heavenly Realm descending from the sky was purified through the Holy Sword and seeped into the ground.
A brilliant golden light emerged.
A long time passed like that, until all of the shaking stopped.
A little kid’s exclamation tickled Vera’s ears.
Only then did Vera open his eyes and examined the surrounding area, taking a deep breath. Residents of the slums who had come out of the buildings due to the sudden situation were visible.
All of the slums’ residents who came out onto the road looked up into the sky with astonished looks on their faces.
Vera followed their gazes and looked up into the sky.
He saw a white sky, with golden wings in front of it, enclosed like a barrier.
Vera finally realized that he blocked all of the Aurillac’s fragments, and then released the barrier.
Cheers erupted from all around.
“Wow, the sky!”
“The tower is gone!”
The light, which had been obscured by the Magic Tower for centuries, now shined upon the slums. The voices of the people there were expressing emotions that couldn’t be described in words.
A pure white light that Renee had envisioned surrounded the slums.
The people of the slums examined their bodies and their tears began flowing down.
“It doesn’t hurt…”
As Vera observed the residents of the slums and the pure white sky, he felt all the strength drain from his body.
He collapsed to the ground and took a moment to catch his breath.
Someone approached Vera, splashing muddy water.
Vera raised his head.
In front of him was a little kid covered in thick dirty water.
“Mister, did you do that?”
The kid pointed at the sky.
Vera stared at the radiant pure white sky and mumbled.
“The Saint did that.”
Wasn’t she amazing? It felt like Renee was being cruel for some reason, telling him not to push himself and then doing something like this.
“Wow, the Saint is amazing.”
Because of those feelings, Vera responded to the kid’s words while laughing.
“She’s a truly cruel person.”
Maybe this is revenge for what happened at the mountain range.
That thought occurred to him.
Annalise looked up at the sky with only her head remaining.
The spot where the Aurillac should have been was now occupied by a white sky.
‘I wish they would all just die.’
The thought of her own home being destroyed made her feel as though her stomach, which wasn’t even there anymore, was churning.
As she was snickering to herself…
It was the sound of humming.
The sound of splashing mud was heard.
Annalise rolled her eyes to look at the source of the sound.
Long pink hair swayed. A pure white frilly dress that ended right above her knees danced around.
At the end of her gaze, a truly docile beauty looked at her, showing a heartfelt smile.
“What’s wrong with your appearance?”
A voice so clear, as if purifying the whole world.
Annalise replied with a horribly contorted face, cackling.
“Isn’t this what you wanted? You bitch.”
“Why do you think that? I’m so sad.”
Alaysia’s eyebrows drooped. At the sight, Annalise felt disgusted.
“Don’t say bad words.”
Alaysia approached Annalise and hugged her tightly, holding her head in her arms.
“I told you so. Why didn’t you listen to me? Why do you always move as you please?”
“You bitch, I would rather die than follow you.”
“Mmm, I see.”
Alaysia’s cheeks reddened.
“You know, I’m so excited.”
“You will fail, you bitch.”
“Last time was my first time, so I made a mistake. I’ll definitely succeed this time.”
“Your whole body will be torn to shreds and roll around as dog food.”
“You’ll praise me, won’t you?”
“Ah, yes. At least your lower body will remain. The horny puppies will pass you around and have fun for quite a while.”
“I’ve been waiting for a long, long time. I don’t think I can take it anymore.”
“Mm, what a shame I won’t be around to see that.”
They continued their long conversation, not listening to each other’s words and just talking about their own thoughts.
Annalise stared at the source of this evil with venom-filled eyes.
“Fuck you, whore. Is that what you wanted?”
“Aru will definitely hug me tight.”
“No, that thing will resent you.”
At Annalise’s final words, Alaysia, who had been laughing brightly until then, froze.
Annalise felt an extremely satisfying feeling while watching Alaysia.
She saw herself in those eyes, with a face identical to Alaysia’s.
Annalise smiled, and Alaysia smiled back.
“That thing will curse you. It’ll tear you apart and kill you. Deny your very existence, and leave not even your soul behind…”
Alaysia slapped Annalise’s cheek, and her jaw popped out from the impact.
Feeling her jaw half-dangling, Annalise grinned delightfully.
She laughed at the foolish ancient species that believed she would definitely succeed.
“You’re a liar. Liars are bad.”
As Alaysia spoke, her mouth opened so wide that a human jaw could not match it.
Annalise cursed inwardly as she watched that black throat widen.
A feeling of desolation arose.
Will this be how I meet my end?
At that thought, irritation arose.
‘Everything will be ruined.’
It was all because of that stupid Apostle.
Since the plan failed, and she was cut down, everything that would happen will be his fault.
Annalise thought these things as she faced her end.
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