Chapter 1853: The Last Moment
What was that?!
Every single player in the big city looked up at the sky.
They knew they were looking at an eye but… it was a first for many, seeing such a huge eye. Even Broker, who was prepared for this, wasn’t spared from the awe and shock.
Broker skipped a breath at the eye that took up more than half of the sky, but he managed to return to his calm self soon.
“What a pleasure! We meet again, Lady Witch,” said Broker as he bowed solemnly.
The huge eye did not care about him though, it was just looking at the people around Broker.
Then, it blinked.
The whole big city trembled fiercely following the blink.
Buildings shook and the earth trembled. It wasn’t just a simple quake, the blink actually shattered the whole city!
Huge cracks appeared on the ground and extended straight to the horizon, followed by the sky.
The buildings and rooms that were once an absolute safe haven for the players started to collapse.
Within a breath’s time, the whole city was shaken and in ruins.
The only thing left was a platform, a stone platform with all the players in the big city on top.
The players who stationed themselves in the big city and those who temporarily left the big city, everyone was gathered on the stone platform.
All the players exchanged puzzled and terrified glances, having no idea what had happened.
Then, before they could find out what happened, they started to disintegrate into white light, disappearing into the air.
The remaining players wanted to reach out to hold their comrades and friends but they failed, their hands going through the white light instantly. All efforts to save their friends and comrades were useless.
“Didn’t I tell you, what’s wrong with staying alive? Even if we are living in a cage, what’s wrong with taking another breath?” Ling had fallen on the ground and muttered to himself.
His voice wasn’t loud but it was heard by everyone on the utterly quiet stone platform.
Or more precisely, those who managed to stay, with their power level, were able to hear what Ling said clearly.
“What did you say?”
Blair and Garwen, who joined the solo players recently, were utterly confused.
“What I said? Why don’t you go ask that bastard opposite you?” Ling coldly chuckled and spat where Broker was standing.
Broker stepped away slightly to avoid the spit, then turned around to Ling, trying to continue the conversation but he was punched to the ground all of a sudden.
The punch was powerful to the point that Broker was embedded on the ground, but he wasn’t frustrated at all. Instead, he kept laughing.
Lawless, who threw the punch, delivered several more punches without hesitation.
He was finally stopped after Rachel held him back by the shoulder.
Broker was already beaten beyond recognition, his original face blurred out by swelling and blood, no need for the system blur to cover his face anymore, but he was still laughing.
“You know, I didn’t stop this idiot here to listen to your laughter,” Rachel said coldly.
But Broker continued laughing, his laughter filled with utter delight.
Everyone else was surprised.
They knew Broker by his reputation, the man was certainly not crazy or an idiot, but in this kind of desperate timing, he laughed his mind out.
What happened? What was worthy of his laughter and delight?
Everyone shared the same question.
“We all survived, right? Isn’t this good enough?” Broker said after a while.
“What do you mean?” Rachel frowned.
“Just like what you thought—Rachel, you’ve also come in contact with that bastard right? Didn’t you notice any difference? That unusual feeling that felt like the center of the whole world, aren’t you curious about why?” Broker asked.
Rachel didn’t speak anymore, the others were looking at Broker.
“It’s because SHE IS THE CENTER OF THE WHOLE WORLD!” Broker said in a maddening laugh under everyone’s gaze.
“She is the center of the whole world? Impossible. How could she be the center of the whole world, unless she created…” Aliritter paused all of a sudden and couldn’t continue, as if he was crushed by a giant mountain.
“Of course she didn’t create the whole world. She sought out the chance to acquire her current powers. Then, in order to strengthen her powers, she started to act on her own and cleansed those she couldn’t control,” Broker’s words made everyone look ugly.
They thought of the very first Witch’s Calamity.
“Yes, yes yes! That’s right! It’s exactly what you are thinking! She meticulously plotted the Witch’s Calamity, then she started to build her own forces, turning the big city into a giant cage. Us? We are nothing but slaves in the cage! She snatched out gains and rewards whenever she liked, she selected those who were qualified to join her forces. Then, she hid behind the scenes and became the one and only Witch who is the mastermind behind all of this. In order to make things more natural, I came into play, so did the Supernovas second only to the Witch. Back then I was just a puppet, and most of the ten Supernovas were puppets too, but the sad thing was, they didn’t even know they were being controlled as puppets, they were happy for being the top ten strongest players.”
Broker’s words had a trace of a sneer as he spoke. He then looked up at that huge eye.
“Oh respectful lady, the prideful lady, don’t you have anything to say? Oh, I forgot! You made a tiny bit of a mistake, otherwise how can I be here and talk to you in person?” Broker then laughed again.
Unlike the soft laughter before, he laughed his heart out this time.
The laughter made him curl his body uncontrollably and made him run out of breath.
“You filthy bastard! How dare you insult the lord even in this timing!” Ling angrily rebuked Broker.
Broker looked back at Ling with a pitiful gaze.
“What a pitiful soul. You really think that the reason you are alive is because our dear lady here showed us mercy? She didn’t kill you before because she can’t! Just like now! She must be dying to kill me now, but she can’t! Because there’s something wrong with her, and… didn’t you notice, the sun and moon are still here?”
Right after Broker finished his sneers, he stood up and bowed solemnly at Starbeck the mimosa behind Lawless and the others.
Compared to the fake bow that he showed the Witch, Broker bowed in a never before seen seriousness to Starbeck.
“Please forgive me for everything that I’ve done. I am forced to drag you inside this game, because you are the key to this game,” said Broker.
“Me?” Starbeck was shocked.
Then, under everyone’s gaze, Starbeck couldn’t help but shrink his body, hoping to get away from all the attention that he was receiving, but it wasn’t very effective.
“You are referring to this big, fat sheep? What a joke!” Ling rebuked once more.
On the other hand, Lawless and the others were thinking about something else.
Starbeck wasn’t stupid either, “Is it… 2567?” he asked softly.
“Yes. He is the key to fighting the Witch,” said Broker honestly.
A suspicious question entered everyone’s ears.
Then, everyone felt the chills without the cold and it started to spread quickly.
It was a natural reaction towards the predator at the top of the food chain.
Everyone looked around and checked their surroundings instinctively.
A figure soon appeared before everyone’s eyes.
The figure was enveloped in light, preventing others from having a clear look. Those who looked at the emanating light would be stung and burned but the more terrifying thing was everyone realized their powers had been sealed away.
Their bodies were as heavy as mountains, they could hardly stand still, and everyone was wobbling and almost falling.
Broker faltered. Bak! He fell on his knees.
“This is your freedom?” Ling sneered.
“Of course it’s not! Freedom is what comes after!” Broker replied and then started to pray.
“The heir of dawn, the bearer of sunrise, the controller of plague, the guide of mist, the devourer that consumes all in the world, the protector of table manners, I pray to you…”
Amid his loud and clear prayers, the sun and moon converged slowly.
Then, a huge door appeared in the sky.
A huge ball of Devil Flame with a diameter of a hundred meters gushed out from the door. The blazing flame burned hot as it flew towards the eye in the sky.
When the Devil Flame exploded, everyone heard a painful cry.
That figure covered in light even shook vehemently.
Then… shadow covered the figure in light.
A kick that tore the air apart landed on the figure in light, sending it flying backwards.
A crack then appeared on the figure in light, with sparks of ember spewing out from the crack.
The figure in light popped like a giant soap bubble.
“How is this possible?” Ling looked at the scene in disappointment.
In fact, not only the leader of the Guardians, even the other players present at the scene didn’t know what just happened. They were at a loss for thoughts when they looked at the figure that stood in the center.
The pressure from the Witch that they felt earlier was real, but now?
The figure in light was defeated by a powerful kick?
A ridiculous feeling rose in the players’ heart.
“That is just a clone. Taking it out with a single blow is nothing surprising,” said Broker.
He then looked at the figure of his memory, raised his hand up and said, “Don’t kill me, I’m still useful.”
Edatine was unified under one ruler.
It wasn’t just the old Northern Lands. The south, the islands, even the land on the other side of the sea was all united under one ruler.
Kieran used a year to achieve it.
Throughout the whole year, he had been waiting for the system notification to return to the big city, but there was nothing.
However, when he ascended to the throne as Edatine VII, he felt a calling! It was from Wu!
A door appeared before him.
Kieran was delighted to see the door. Although he was a little reluctant because of Wu, it didn’t stop him from acknowledging her powers. However, when Kieran was about to step through the door, a bigger door, as if it could pillar the sky and earth, appeared on top of the smaller door.
Starbeck’s voice came through the huge door, and… the smell of food!
Kieran was certain that it was the food Starbeck prepared for him! It smelled very good!
Without a second thought, Kieran chose to enter the door with Starbeck’s voice.
But the return to the big city took a much longer time than Kieran expected and the way to return was to move forward.
A stone path was beneath his feet.
Kieran strode and then he ran.
He continuously sprinted for three whole weeks before he saw the door at the end of the path.
When he touched the handle of the door, he heard Broker’s words and saw what happened in the big city.
Kieran looked at the huge eye of the Witch in the sky.
Without a second thought, he blasted a charged Devil Flame at the eye, then jumped out and fly kicked the Witch’s clone.
It was a very effective kick, but more clones of the Witch appeared.
The Devil Flame cleaned up all the clones and projections, everything the Witch threw out was burned to cinders, but a little while later, they reappeared.
“You need to locate her real self, she’s hiding in there! Kill her real body to end all of this, otherwise, no matter what you do, it’s useless! Leave this place to us. GO!”
Broker voiced his reminder loudly as he pointed to the direction of the remains of the big city, but right after his voice faded, a wave of projections and clones of the Witch appeared where he pointed.
There were millions! It was as if a wall of humans were blocking Kieran’s way.
The Witch’s projections and clones also started to appear in all directions and the numbers were endless.
Their goal was simple and clear: destroy the stone platform or flip it over to send everyone to hell.
“What a bad situation this is!” said Lawless. He took out the weapon that he put at the bottom of his box—a seemingly normal launcher of sorts.
Lawless carried it over his shoulder and took a deep breath before he pulled the trigger.
“PEACE!” shouted Lawless.
A blazing ball of light was fired out with a smokey trail and when it hit the army of the clones and projections, it exploded into a mushroom cloud.
The sea of clones and projections were vapourized.
Everyone was shocked, looking at Lawless blankly.
Lawless put his launcher vertically on the ground and said with the cigar dangling out of his mouth, “Who doesn’t have a trump card or two?”
“Yes! Who doesn’t have a trump card?” Rachel nodded. She raised her hand and a glass appeared.
She lifted the glass high and then smashed it vehemently on the ground.
Pillars of blue fire burst out from the ground, freezing the projections of the Witch on another side but even more of the projections swarmed over.
The projections and clones started to merge and form into a bigger Witch projection within a breath’s time, its monstrous clone charging towards the stone platform.
Hanses and Coll exchanged a quick gaze.
The former stood in front and the latter took a capsule out and tossed it onto the ground.
Smoke rose when the capsule broke.
A giant blue and red robot appeared from within the smoke, wielding a laser sword and a tower shield in both of its hands with Coll sitting in the cockpit at the center.
“Leave this to me.”
Coll piloted the robot and flew towards the battlefield.
The giant Witch’s clone was stopped by Coll and her robot, but in the shadow, something similar to the souls of the dead started to pop out.
“Tsk, trump card, eh?” Ramont muttered to himself. He merged the fire and ice swords together and formed a weird-looking axe in his hand. As he swung the axe in a flurry, a cyclone of ice and fire was blasted towards the soul of the dead in the shadow.
Raven the Loner glanced over Lemour the Alchemist.
Unlike the sneaky peak from before, he looked at the Alchemist brazenly this time, but it was just a quick glance.
After that, he turned around and revealed a stack of scrolls as tall as a person.
Wolf, tiger, lion, elephant, all sorts of animals were summoned out from the scrolls.
The most eye-catching animal of them all was a two-legged wyvern.
A blazing wyvern breath later, the beastly army started their march into the battlefield.
As the beastly army charged towards the Witch’s clone and projections, a holy light shone from their paws and limbs and buffed the animals with increased attack and defense greatly.
Raven turned around and Lemour winked at him.
The battle on the stone platform broke out fiercely and entered its climax in an instant with more and more players joining the fight, even Starbeck.
While he tried his best to protect himself, he pulled out scroll after scroll and tore them.
The scrolls Starbeck used weren’t just strong, he had a lot to spare too, the endless amount of scrolls that he used managing to block an entire wave of attacks from the clones, but danger always seeped in from the dark.
Ling’s shadow beneath his feet flew towards Starbeck.
He didn’t purposely choose Starbeck but he was able to tell that amongst all the players on the stone platform, without all the scrolls and tools, Starbeck was weak. He’d die in a single blow.
Then, Kieran appeared beside Starbeck and stomped on the moving shadow.
The shadow twisted in pain but it could not break free from Kieran’s stomp.
Ling wanted to attack but another figure appeared behind him.
A sharp chop sliced over Ling’s neck.
Bloody Mary bowed to its boss and then appeared beside Starbeck.
“Protect him,” ordered Kieran.
“Roger that!” Bloody Mary bowed.
Killing the enemy? Bloody Mary didn’t care.
Acting? It also didn’t care. All it cared about was its boss’ order, because it was the reason and value of its existence.
“2567!” Starbeck called out in shock and then looked down with a guilty face.
He felt like he was dragging everyone behind again.
“You’ve done well. You shouldn’t be here in the first place, I prefer to see you busy in the kitchen,” said Kieran calmly.
“I’ve prepared food, but, but… I guess it’s done,” Starbeck stuttered.
“You’ve prepared it for me?” Kieran asked.
“Yes,” Starbeck nodded affirmatively.
“It’s a pity that I don’t get to eat it. Now close your eyes and cover your ears,” said Kieran word by word.
“Oh, okay,” Starbeck closed his eyes and covered his ears as ordered.
Kieran didn’t want Starbeck to see or hear scary things about him. After all, he didn’t want to frighten Starbeck.
A fiery flame burned from his body, the heat starting to wreak havoc in the area.
“Devil form? I’ve seen it more than once, nothing in the big city can escape my eyes! I can know everything as long as it appears in the city,” The Witch’s voice echoed above his head.
“Then I am relieved. Let me show you something that you haven’t seen before,” Devil Kieran nodded.
His voice was louder than thunder.
With every single ‘on’ he shouted, Devil Kieran’s presence and size grew twice as strong and twice as big.
After he switched on all seven of the cardinal sins, when Devil Kieran extended his blazing wings, they were already big enough to cover even the sky.
Spikes grew out from Kieran’s body, making him look scary and ugly.
The scarier thing was the wicked and chaotic aura blasting the big city, which was already in ruins, like the milky way falling down.
All the projections and clones were wiped out instantly. Only the real self of the Witch was left and she was shouting in disbelief at Kieran.
“S-Seven personalities!? How is this possible?!” The Witch floated out from the ruins and questioned Kieran.
“Personality? No, this is a return. Humans are living beings with desires. Since the day we gained intellect, our desires started to form. Some succumbed to their desires, some suppressed them, and I? I choose both! I suppress and succumb to my desires!”
“During normal times, every single one of them grew on their own. Only when I need them did I call them back to me, becoming part of my powers once more. I call them… my Seven Grand Limits!”
All the emotions returned to Kieran, his voice no longer flat.
As he shouted, his gigantic body flew towards a corner of the city ruins.
The Witch tried to hide in the shadow again but she realized she was locked in by Kieran.
Air, gravity, space, time. Everything was suppressed in that moment.
Air and gravity were suppressed after Kieran activated Devil form and then started his Seven Grand Limits.
Space and time… were Broker’s doing!
Holding a golden feather, Broker waved at the Witch as if he was bidding her farewell.
And that was the last thing the Witch saw.
She could no longer move and Kieran was diving closer to her.
A single kick from Kieran sent her back into darkness.
Then… the city ruins started to collapse, everything fading away into nothingness, but a new city was also being rebuilt at exponential speed at the same time, as if everything that had happened had been an illusion.
All the illusions vanished, together with the players on the stone platform.
Only Kieran in his human form stood in the center of the rebuilt city.
[Player has killed The Witch, authenticating…]
[Dear player 2567, you have acquired control over the new city!]