A man struggling to stay afloat in the swamp waters cried for help, but not one even so much as took a second glance at him.
The battle against the Lizardmen was now in full swing, and everyone was busy taking care of themselves.
They were completely outnumbered. A situation where even if you managed to kill one, two would take its place and there was no end in sight.
Lee Shinwoo ground his teeth while watching the guy sinking into the swamp, until he couldn’t even see his hair anymore.
Despite the fact that they couldn’t move around properly due to the ongoing Mirage, the Lizardmen just kept on coming.
The sharp sounds of metal clanging rang out across the battlefield.
There was simply no time to catch your breath.
Lee Shinwoo threw the Trident in his hand.
It nailed a Lizardman Archer in the head, causing it to collapse.
Resorting to long range attacks using whatever weapons he could find around him.
For now it was just the safer way to fight.
‘I shouldn’t take any unnecessary risks.’
In order to survive until the very end, he had to resort to some tricks.
This was also a kind of strategy game, and the survival rate varied greatly depending on what role you played.
‘I’m not some cannon fodder like those guys out there.’
He was someone who had gained recognition from their leader, Na Sangyoon.
When it came to strategizing, there where none better than him. An ability that pro gamers had developed back on Earth. His value was completely different from those adventurers that had been allowed to join simply to fill the numbers.
Even if he wasn’t too active in the battle, no one would blame him.He was someone that had to be protected.
Without his brilliant strategies, they wouldn’t even have won their last battle.
This current map was very similar to a game he had played long ago, ‘Aeon Of Strife’.
He had played a key role in his team winning multiple trophies in global competitions. If he were to help Na Sangyoon to the best of his abilities, they were sure to emerge victorious.
The problem was only the right timing.
If he were to divulge his tactics all at once, then his value would drop drastically.
‘It’s important to take my time.’
Pro gamer Lee Shinwoo, everything was a game for him. Survival games, strategy games, psychological games…. The rules may be different, but at the core they are the same. There would always be winners and losers.
‘I’m going to trample over all the competition!’
In order to win, there was nothing he wasn’t willing to do!
Making that promise to himself, Lee Shinwoo picked up another trident. As he searched for a suitable target, the sound of loud footsteps approaching rang out.
The Elder Lizardman
It appeared along with his escort of Elite Lizardmen, violently plowing through the exhausted adventurers that had already been on their last legs.
The number of casualties continued to increase, until Na Sangyoon couldn’t hold it in any longer and ordered the retreat.
“Get back into formation! Fall back!”
They had already been at their limit, so there was no way they could face this new enemy.
Na Sangyoon led the party back along the path where they had come from.
It had been Lee Shinwoo’s idea.
Marching in single file, while the last in line dragged a branch across the ground, marking the way. That way they could make a hasty retreat if necessary.
After some time, they had managed to lose the Elder Lizardman and its minions. Na Sangyoon called for them to halt and take a break.
“Huu! Huu… I thought I was going to die there.”
After the last battle, it almost looked like they would be wiped out before even encountering anyone from the opposing Red faction.
A high level of difficulty.
Worried about their situation, Na Sangyoon turned to look at Lee Shinwoo.
“Do you have any good ideas?”
Lee Shinwoo took his time to carefully craft a response. What Na Sangyoon was looking for was a strategy that allowed them to keep advancing, but that minimized their casualties.
‘Is it necessary to follow the path?’
The three paths were separated by two mountain ranges. Although the terrain was rough, by moving along there they might be able to make better time.
“I think it would be best to bypass this area entirely.”
“Do you mean climbing the mountains?”
“Yes, if there aren’t any monsters then it’s the safer option.”
It was definitely worth a try. Nodding in response, Na Sangyoon placed his hand on Lee Shinwoo’s shoulder.
“Take some people with you and go scout the terrain ahead before coming back.”
Na Sangyoon’s orders were absolute. He was definitely a good leader who served in the Special Forces, so he had solid fighting skills to back it up.
Lee Shinwoo bowed slightly as he headed towards the mountain range along with ten scouts.
They didn’t advance very quickly, since they were still in swampland and could only prod ahead with a wooden stick like blind men.
“Let’s advance carefully. You have to knock on a bridge before crossing it, even if it is made of stone.”
The scouting party stared at Lee Shinwoo after his comment, seeing him walk casually with his hands folded behind his back.
He is someone who only knows how to nag without actually doing anything.
However, because he had Na Sangyoon’s trust, they could openly go against him.
As he noticed the frustration in their eyes, he began humming to himself.
‘This is true power.’
He could basically be considered as the second in command of their group. Although he couldn’t fight as well as Na Sangyoon, he used his mind instead.
He was an invaluable asset to Na Sangyoon who was trying to increase his influence.
It was also the case that other members had come to recognize his worth. Even if Na Sangyoon were to die, he was confident that the party wouldn’t turn their backs on him.
‘Only those that prepare for any eventuality will be able to survive in this world.’
He was known as ‘Zhuge Liang’ Shinwoo among pro gamers, due to his creative fierce strategies.
It was an innate talent of his that he had often used to overcome opponents in countless competitions.
For him, this was simply his new battlefield.
No matter what challenge was thrown his way, he would overcome it with strategy.
As Lee Shinwoo went clenched his fists, reminiscing about his glorious past, suddenly…
A Vampiric dagger lodged itself into his neck.
Lee Shinwoo fell to the ground, letting out soft groans as he coughed out a mouthful of blood.
Immediately, a System announcement rang out in everyone’s mind.
[Chun Woohyuk from the Red faction has achieved First Blood!]
The startled group of scouts pulled out their weapons as they looked around.
It was simply too unlikely that the Red faction had been able to make it to their side of the map so quickly.
However the scouting party could only see the truth that was staring them in the face.
“Did anyone see anything?”
They were certain that the assailant must be hiding nearby, after all with a name like Chun Woohyuk, it couldn't simply be some Ghost minion.
“Shit, request for backup…”
An archer with a bow tried to send a message to Na Sangyoon by touching his Ring.
Grandia ran the man through his stomach, as the sword stuck out from the other side.
“Wh...When did he…”
They hadn’t sensed him at all.
After realizing how strong he was, they all rushed him as one.
“Die you assassin scum!”
“How dare you kill our comrade!”
It was a situation where it was many against one, so they were able to shake off their fear due to these odds.
In combat, fighting spirit was crucial.
Whichever side was the one to back down, would be at a disadvantage.
A large double-edged axe swung down towards Woohyuk’s head.
A rather dangerous attack, but for Woohyuk it moved much too slowly.
As he ever so slightly moved out of the way of the axe’s trajectory, he punched lightly to middle age men, his body floating in the middle.
A straight punch to his stomach.
Even if he didn’t practice much these days, the power of his punch was enough to burst his inner organs.
A young woman wielding a staff collided with the middle aged man and they both fell down.
After that, she couldn’t stand up any more because her shoulder was dislocated.
As Woohyuk raised his fist to finish them off, a young man wearing glasses appeared, swinging his longsword with all his might.
It was a decent attack, but that was all.
Before the sword could connect, Woohyuk delivered a spinning kick to the young man’s face, causing it to sink in.
The remainder of the scouting party was likewise quickly taken care of.
Woohyuk moved so fast that ordinary people couldn’t follow his movement, and the power behind each strike was quick and deadly.
He was still far from true martial artists that had great Lightness Body Skill, Shadow Steps, Exploding Bow or Eight Consecutive Spins. 1
Looking down at the scouts’ corpses scattered across the ground, Woohyuk let out a bitter smile.
‘I’m a bit rusty..’
When he had been wandering around a bit aimlessly, he had encountered and studied under a man who was known as the strongest martial artist.
All his movements and sword skills had been learned from him.
Unfortunately he wasn’t able to fully exhibit his skill due to the lack of practice these days.
‘Anyways this should be enough for now.’
Either way, he had already achieved his goal. It was better for them to die of internal injuries or smashed in faces, compared to having their limbs cut off or even be split at the waist.
As Woohyuk raised his hand, everyone including Lee Shinwoo, rose as undead.
They seemed to be in good condition, which was the reason Woohyuk had gone out of his way to kill them without inflicting too much damage on their bodies.
Their eyes had turned red and they looked very much like zombies, but were more useful since they could wield weapons.
That was especially the case for Lee Shinwoo, as he had been the only one to maintain a certain part of his individuality.
[Undead Lee Shinwoo]
-Class: Dark Shaman (Humanoid)-Abilities: Leadership (98), Aura of Death (+10 to all Stats of allied Undead within a 35m radius) Bondages of Death ( decrease target’s movement speed by 20%, for 10 seconds.)
‘He’s become a Superior Undead.’
Apart from the Necromancer’s actual ability, the quality of the undead also depended on the ability and characteristics of the corpse.
Lee Shinwoo had been a famous pro gamer.
He excelled at controlling and commanding multiple groups of units in real time. That was the reason he had such high Leadership, as well as the Aura of Death that would buff his nearby allies.
‘It was a good thing I left his head undamaged.’
Woohyuk looked at his undead Lee Shinwoo with a satisfied smile.
A mage type rather than a melee fighter.
He even knew a Crowd Control skill that could significantly slow the opponent’s movement.
“You shall be their leader.”
As the undead Lee Shinwoo made a strange cry, the others quickly fell into rank.
Woohyuk nodded as he watched him lead them from the front, while they marched behind.
‘He will be quite helpful.’
It was incredibly difficult to properly control countless undead at the same time.
Having a basic command system would greatly simplify things. In this regard, his undead Lee Shinwoo had truly been a hidden gem.
For the time being, he didn’t even need to worry about having his position as leader threatened.
‘It isn’t easy to wrest control from me.’
Only if a summoned undead surpassed its owner in ability, was betrayal even possible. To literally be swallowed by death itself.
Still, so long as he was mortal, there would be certain limitations as to how far he could progress as a Necromancer.
Of course it wasn’t like that was something he could do anything about.
‘While I’m here, I might as well increase my numbers a bit.’
He had only read the first 30 pages of Nakron’s Grimoire, so his ability to raise undead wasn’t all that high.
If the quality of those revived was low, he would have to make up the difference with numbers.
Woohyuk equipped his Airwalker Boots as he made his way to the Elder Lizardman’s camp.
* * *
The undead Elder Lizardman ended up being pretty good as well.
He had relied on several stacks of the Basilisk’s Poison in order to kill, so the corpse had been mostly undamaged, meaning that there was little loss in terms of its abilities or defense.
It was also a Superior Undead.
Unlike the undead Lee Shinwoo however, it was a melee type with an affinity to fire.
When it came to an Undead’s affinity, it wasn’t unusual for it to be the opposite of what it had been while it was living.
It wasn’t always the case however, since Lee Shinwoo didn’t previously have any affinity to Light.
It possesses two abilities. Spirit Swamp, that was able to confuse the opponent’s senses with an Illusion. The second was Elder Lizardman’s Wrath, which was able to cause any nearby undead Lizardmen to explode.
In certain respects, it was even better than his undead Lee Shinwoo, who apart from his high Leadership, didn’t have any great abilities.
‘But if he were to grow, that would be a different story.’
Undead were also able to increase their Stats and Skills by gaining experience. The souls of the dead had been trapped inside, so for the most part they hadn’t changed much, just that their consciousness was no longer there.
Logan’s elite undead guards had even been strong enough to carry out assassinations against some of the weaker Lords.
‘That was what happened to Isaac.’
He was letting Isaac live even if he was a constant irritation, because he would still be useful for the final Canyon Battle.
Back then he wasn’t able to punish Isaac for his transgression, but not this time.
After using a Return Stone to arrive at their Fortress, Woohyuk contemplated what he should do with his new Leadership skill point.
‘It is basically between Command and Call to Arms.’
Since for the moment he was planning to maintain his small group of elites, the Negotiation skill wasn’t all that important.
Barrier, Stronghold and Authority were all useful, but the immediate benefits or raising them wasn’t all that apparent.
After some time, he decided on raising Call to Arms.
He wanted to make sure that he could bring his team over to him whenever they were needed.
‘I should get in touch with them.’
After obtaining Nakron’s Grimoire, his plan had changed a little.
He had returned a bit earlier than he had planned, in order to properly read through the book.
[Are you guys ready to return to the Fortress, I will use Call to Arms]
[Hey Boss, is it urgent?]
[Not really, what is going on on your end?]
[Miss Yoo Kayoung was cooking some Penguin meat and we were just about to eat. Is it okay if you call us over after lunch?]
They seemed to be quite curious about its taste. Woohyuk's mouth couldn’t help but curl into a wicked smile.
[Take your time and enjoy your meal.]
Lee Jaesung replied excitedly.
‘That is something you only need to try once.’
It tasted like a fusion of pig’s blood, a snake’s scale and a cow’s leathery hide.
It’ll be a good experience for them. In the future they will be able to appreciate all kinds of foods.
As he imagined the tragic lunch his team was about to enjoy, Woohyuk skipped his way over towards the central fountain.Previous Chapter Next Chapter