Chapter 109 – Heaven’s Fall (2)
“Maria spent all her strength and has returned to the Heavens,” The Holy Knight said with a serious expression.
“The rest of the soldiers and I have decided to offer our souls to the Heavens. Her blessing is still burning from my insides…!”
His sword shone.
The Holy Knight’s sharp attack cut the monster that wanted to launch a surprise attack.
“I’m sorry, I don’t have time to talk right now.”
After saying that, the Holy Knight returned to the battlefield.
Countless undead were cut by his sword.
Maria’s will was shining in the Holy Knight’s sword. No, it was inside of everyone who belonged to the Heavens.
She had chosen to sacrifice herself for the humans.
Louise kept watching one place even after the Holy Knight disappeared.
It was at that moment…
Hyun suddenly felt his body trembling.
Not only that, but breathing became harder.
A Transcendent was sensitive to the sensation of ego burning out.
Louise was also a Transcendent.
The reason why she’d said that she felt Maria’s presence everywhere was because she’d felt Maria’s ego that had been scattered away.
It didn’t take him long for Hyun to understand Louise’s feelings.
Louise had nowhere to go. The one who’d brought her to Iluna was Maria.
It seemed like she hadn’t taken the role of guardian, but that was probably because she was busy with a Heavenly Being’s work.
But to Louise, who felt that she was alone in the world, she had probably been someone very important.
Suddenly, Hyun’s field of view became blurry.
One couldn’t control the change in feelings, even with control priority.
Hyun quickly wiped away the tears.
Unlike users, NPCs’ tears didn’t disappear.
Just like in real life.
He had to avoid feeling overwhelmed since that could hinder the decision-making process.
He had to return to his senses and run to where Radiette was.
Louise opened her mouth after Hyun was able to run past a group of monsters.
“This body will die if touched by the sun…”
Hyun let Louise mumble.
Louise was speaking with her real voice.
“Until now, I’ve only seen the sun through images. I think it will be okay to see it at least once.”
Hyun used the wind over his feet to run as fast as possible.
Before Louise spoke, he knew what she wanted to say.
It was the first time he’d felt an emotion so vividly through «Assimilation».
—Louise had decided to accept death.
Everything she’d gone through had made her accept death.
Hyun felt his heart sink.
He felt scared and wanted to throw up.
Were those also her feelings? Or were they his?
He couldn’t make a correct judgment in his anxiety-ridden state.
Louise had almost lost her life at the hands of unknown assassins.
That situation had been very nerve-wracking, but his breathing was rougher than that time.
Hyun didn’t notice that he was clenching his teeth too hard.
‘Okay, let’s calm down.’
‘Louise isn’t just another NPC.’
She also wasn’t just a character of the main quest.
Could someone who felt such vivid emotions be dismissed as another virtual NPC?
He didn’t understand why he felt like that only in regards to Louise.
He felt that, if she died, he wouldn’t be able to forget her for a while.
‘It’s over for you if you die…’
The blizzard had stopped, but the sky was still dark.
But soon, it would brighten.
The moment the magic circle went off, the sun would shine over Iluna.
How long would Ain be able to resist?
Hyun’s sight turned to the tower.
Flying monsters had successfully gone through the tower’s defense and were wandering about the tower.
Hyun, who had become nervous, hurried his steps.
Remains of the snow fluttered around Louise’s feet.
While he was in a hurry, a group of skeletons had blocked Hyun’s path.
With Louise’s specs, they wouldn’t be able to defeat them.
But they were still far from the South gate, so they had no time to waste.
‘I’ll have to go through them.’
Hyun thought of all the possible ways.
He opened his friend list and checked out Jini and Practice’s locations.
After checking out the locations of them both, he sent them a whisper.
It was Jini who answered first.
Without explaining the situation, Hyun asked her a question.
「Where are you?! Is the Heavenly Being near you?!」
「Hyun? What happ—」
「I don’t have time to explain. Tell me your location and the Heavenly Being’s if you know it.」
Unlike when they were fighting against Betty, he seemed in a hurry and desperate.
After quickly noticing the situation, she briefly answered.
「We’re in a place where there are lots of high buildings! We’re here along with NPCs! In regards to the Heavenly Being… I’m sorry, I’m not sure about that.」
After hearing Jini’s explanation, Hyun quickly sorted out the situation.
They were most likely at the West gate if they were in a place with many high buildings.
Thankfully, it wasn’t that far away from him.
That meant that he would be able to ask for help.
‘They’ll both probably die, right?’
Hyun knew how his request would affect them.
Practice and Jini’s powers were insignificant compared to the enemies.
Just by going there, they’d be putting their lives at risk.
Even if they did help him, they’d become victims of the undead.
But Hyun was willing to use their lives if he could distract the enemies.
「Can you come to the center of the city? Grab their attention with Practice, please!」
「Eh, us two? But if we get far away from the NPCs, we will probably die almost instantly…」
To be honest, Hyun wasn’t sure how much they would be able to help.
But if that increased the chances even a little, he would make a bet on it.
After hearing Hyun’s trembling voice, it seemed like Jini felt something, so she didn’t ask any further.
「We just have to drag their attention, right?」
「Yes… For as long as possible.」
「Okay. Well, it seems like there’s no way to survive this quest, so I guess it doesn’t matter how I die.」
Jini immediately accepted.
While feeling sorry and thankful, he suddenly heard Louise’s voice.
“Hyun, be careful!”
Paf-! A silver light beam brushed past his cheek.
Translator – Daniel Shin
Proofreader – ilafy
* * *
A skeleton archer had targeted Louise.
Hyun tilted his head while running, not slowing in the slightest.
「It’s okay. I’m also looking.」
Hyun made air explode under his feet and rose to the sky.
Then he began running over the roofs of the buildings.
He’d chosen to run above them to avoid as many enemies as possible.
—But ghosts roamed around in the sky.
The moment he felt there was a piece of cloth fluttering, he jumped.
After landing on the roof again, Hyun quickly looked around.
Numerous enemies were looking at Louise.
As the war moved to the streets, the Heavens’ commanders gave up on entire areas.
Even if they were in the middle of the city, they couldn’t expect help from allies.
As he ran across the street while making air explosions, he grabbed the attention of the enemies.
With their eyes shining, hundreds of enemies approached them.
‘I can’t go through here!’
He couldn’t get himself to go through all those monsters.
Louise’s stats were too low.
Trying to go through would be like throwing himself into the mouth of a monster.
“Ugh… If Ain were here… What…?!”
Suddenly, Hyun’s face turned pale.
Ain’s status appeared as offline.
He reflexively turned his head around to the top of the tower.
Iluna’s last light was starting to fade.
—The last magic circle had been turned off.
That was the signal that announced that Ain had died after fighting until the end.
Hyun’s heart began beating faster.
Radiette said that the moment the last magic circle went off, Iluna’s orbit would change.
How long did he have until the sun shone over Iluna…? A few minutes? Maybe a few seconds?
That was the remaining time Louise had left.
Hyun shouted desperately.
But the answer he was waiting for couldn’t be heard.
Hyun’s shout that echoed through the city ended up being buried by the cries of monsters.
She also felt what Hyun was feeling, so she knew what he was thinking.
「It seems like I always bother you whenever we meet.」
Tears dripped from Louise’s cheeks.
It was more painful because of how frustrated she felt.
「Still, I’m glad we’re going to be able to see the sun together.」
Hyun shook his head and brushed off the tears.
He thought of another possibility.
Even if the orbit had started to change, the sun still wasn’t visible.
There was some time left before the eclipse ended.
Maybe he would be able to meet Radiette before the time was up.
Hyun didn’t lose hope until the end.
Suddenly, Hyun’s eyes shone.
He saw someone that was alone in the field.
The person was swinging his sword and fighting against monsters.
Hyun was able to obtain a piece of information from his appearance.
‘He’s a user!’
Judging from his height, appearance, and atmosphere, he seemed to be neither Practice nor Jini.
But a user would be killed if separated from the rest, so there was no reason for him being there.
Then, why was that person alone fighting against monsters?
Before answering that question, Hyun began running toward him.
He thought of a certain possibility…
Maybe it would be pushing things too much…
‘But I don’t have any other choice…!’
Hyun decided to bet everything on his last plan.
* * *
After the cameras disappeared, he tried his best to stack combos.
But maybe because his concentration had broken, he couldn’t reach a thousand combos.
“Who took away my spotlight…?!”
Salon had been unlucky.
He looked around but could only see many different monsters and undeads.
It seemed like he’d tried too hard to stack combos and had moved away from the rest of the Heaven’s Forces.
He had barely been able to hide in a back alley, but by doing that, he was only delaying his death.
The only good thing was his ranking.
Thanks to having accumulated lots of combos, he’d been able to obtain a lot of contribution points.
Salon’s job did not derive from Magician, but a Thief, so he thought that he’d done a good job.
It had been worth participating in the quest.
‘I need to practice more.’
He’d been able to objectively grasp his skills.
Once again, he realized how amazing TarrTarr was.
To be honest, the first time he’d seen that video, he’d thought that he would be able to do it, too.
He’d thought that, in a place full of enemies, just swinging one’s sword should be enough…
But that was a mistake.
The fact that there were enemies everywhere made him more wary of his surroundings.
‘Once I die, I should spend two days researching more about movements. It’s because it hasn’t been long since I did the job ascension… TarrTarr, I’m going to surpass you soon!’
He noticed something strange after he had almost cleared up his thoughts.
Salon saw someone that was on the roof.
White robes… A girl wearing clothes similar to a Priest NPC was running across the city while using the buildings as bridges.
How she dodged all the monsters while doing that seemed like a magic trick.
Salon’s eyes widened after seeing that.
Salon analyzed the girl, who was running along the rooftops. Lots of ghosts were trying to snatch her away…
But the girl somehow found a gap between the monsters and managed to sneak off!
Like dust flying in the wind, he couldn’t sense any weight in the girl’s movements.
Salon strangely thought that her movements resembled someone’s…
He couldn’t understand why he’d thought of that person.