<Chapter 27. New Golem Maker - 8>
A Necromancer. A magician who raises the dead and controls their bodies. And because the Empire was teeming with the undead, one could say that an individual who could control them was a necromancer as well.
Lee Shin Woo had his suspicions early on, but it wouldn't be an exaggeration to say that he himself was also a necromancer. But the way in which he controlled them differed. Rather than using magic, he used a variety of innate skills to control them.
"But it... doesn't feel like he found those undead heroes through luck."
"...Are you saying that he deliberately killed heroes so that he could make them his subordinates?"
If not, then he couldn't explain why Ethan Cruz had directed him to a special area. He wanted to help him level up quickly? Probably. Since he didn't want weak undead.
"Then can you really call him a hero?"
"I wonder. At the very least, God considers him a hero. For now."
"...Disgusting. So much so that it makes what you've done thus far look cute."
"Why are you getting me involved?"
They remained on guard and maintained the barrier until they could hide thoroughly from Ethan Cruz and his group of undead heroes. When they were about an hour away with Jin's running speed, they let go of the barrier.
They had noticed their opponent's advance beforehand, and had completely avoided them, but... even so, Lee Shin Woo couldn't hide his bitterness.
'As I thought, I'm still too weak.'
No matter how many skeletons had become his subordinates, or the fact that he could now manufacture golems, he still had to put in this much effort just to avoid one person. Even if he took into account that Ethan Cruz was special, it was still quite frustrating.
'...But this'll be the last time. It won't be long before I come for you.'
Lee Shin Woo had discovered Ethan, while Ethan still knew nothing about Lee Shin Woo. This would become a deciding factor in their fight later. Lee Shin Woo was sure of it.
In the close future, Ethan Cruz would stand upon his stage. If that happened, he would pay him back for treating him like a chess piece!
"It seems like their goal is... Ah, it's where you died."
They had been so busy maintaining the barrier until now, and Shino Rendu, who was on standby beside them, replied in a truly bitter voice. Until his death, he had respected and followed Ethan Cruz, so Lee Shin Woo could understand how he felt.
"Yeah. It seems like he just figured out where you died and came here. ...Hmm, then that means that there's someone who's following his orders and scouting around for him."
If he got the chance, he would catch and extract some information from the scout. Lee Shin Woo nodded his head and Shino Rendu was still unable to accept reality, wrapping his large fists around his head.
[Why would a hero not care about following God's command...?]
"It must be more entertaining that way for him. He's strange. He looks like he'd be able to easily defeat one or two generals."
The undead he brought along with him were at least level 6. There were a few level 7s mixed in as well, and Ethan Cruz's own magic was quite extraordinary. If that's the case, then he should be able to defeat generals like Hansen... Then why wasn't he doing that?
"Moreover, why does he only use undead heroes? ...Ah, does his necromancy only work on other heroes?"
"It's likely. Though darkness mana is the power to link the living and the dead together, I've heard that if the previous relation is of enemies, then the link won't work well. However, just by them previously being heroes, their karma is quite similar. It makes sense that the darkness element would work then."
Kratia, who would talk at length whenever the subject was on magic, explained and Lee Shin Woo acknowledged her. If that's the case, then it made sense why Ethan Cruz wasn't actively hunting the 12 generals.
He would continuously wander the Empire, waiting for the heroes to die so that he could make them his subordinates. There was no need for him to hurry and attempt to kill the 12 generals. Rather, they were a precious fighting force that would kill heroes for him.
[...Are you saying that they're the reason that I died and became an undead?]
"Yeah. In any case, he's still a hero, no matter what anyone says, and he's fighting against the Emperor, so when he thinks that his army is ready, he'll fight against the Emperor. If you look at it that way... you could say that he's definitely an outstanding hero."
[Everything else about him disgusts me, so I can't help but laugh.]
The goblin fire within Shino Rendu's eye sockets blazed intensely. He was a special species of undead that fed off feelings of vengeance. With just their conversation about Ethan Cruz, Lee Shin Woo was sure that the next time they met, Shino Rendu would be stronger than before.
However, if Lee Shin Woo were in Ethan Cruz' shoes, he might've done the same thing as him, so he couldn't say anything more. If there was a more effective way to get stronger, then it was obvious that one would take that approach. But then, Shino Rendu added something surprising.
[It's such a relief that I became your subordinate, rather than his.]
[Paul Zero, you accept us as we are. You didn't lead us; you gave us the will to go where we want to go ourselves.]
What the hell is he talking about? He'd only said that to them so he could better control them... While Lee Shin Woo was taken aback, Kratia chipped in from beside him.
"You can tell by just looking at the quality of Shin... Paul Zero's mana."
She was talking about Lee Shin Woo's darkness element. Indeed, Lee Shin Woo was capable of forming contracts with regular undead, undead heroes, golems... or even humans like Kratia through the darkness element, which was definitely different from Ethan Cruz' application.
Just by looking at another darkness element user like Ethan Cruz, one would be able to tell that that wasn't normal.
"I feel like your karma's affecting it too. Since the way in which magic of a similar element is used depends on the individual."
"...Yeah, you could be right."
It seemed like the Joker karma was outside the norm in many ways. But it was ultimately because of his Joker karma, not his consideration for others, that caused people to follow him.
However, it would look bad if he were to correct Shino Rendu's misunderstanding by explaining his wickedness, so he just kept his mouth shut. ...This seemed like something he had thought about just a little while ago.
"Then, get back to work. We'll return to our base once we've completely cleared out the mine."
The golems immediately returned to mining. At longest, it should take about another day for them to completely empty the mine. With so many raw materials, he should be able to create golems with the cores he had and still have a lot of materials left over.
"Then I have to go to Pleine to sell my wine."
"Though I wonder how many cores you can make with the money you get from selling the wine."
"I should be able to make a lot."
Kratia spoke, not knowing just how much the Kerr Century Winery's wine had increased in value, and Lee Shin Woo replied with a grin. Then, he took his party to the dungeon that they had found two days ago and cleared it.
[Level 6 dungeon - You have acquired a permit to enter the Eagle's Cliff. All stats are increased by 20 within the dungeon. The dungeon's information will be added to your minimap. All actions will be buffed within the dungeon.]
Surprisingly, it was a level 6 dungeon with large, flying monsters. However, by keeping in step with Jin, who turned his hooves into springs, and fiercely swinging his whip around, they were able to safely clear the dungeon.
They couldn't forget about Kratia, who cast a large scale debuff on their enemies, which slowed down all of their movements.
[Executing Bone Reinforcement on Jin Taylor by consuming the Lv6 Shadow Cliff Eagle's wing bone. A considerable amount of the effect is shared. Agility has increased by 2, and Magic by 1.]
[Kyuruuuuuuuuuuuu! Kihiooooooh! - King of Eagle's Cliff]
"How is it? Does it feel like you'll grow wings?"
"Tch. As I thought, it had to be a level 7 elite for that..."
Anything between 3,200 and 6,400 stats constituted level 6. In a level 6 dungeon, the dungeon boss would possess stats much greater than the ordinary monsters, yet they would often not reach level 7 and would still be level 6. So it made sense that Bone Reinforcement's effects were getting weaker!
But contrary to Lee Shin Woo, who was disappointed that Jin didn't sprout wings, Jin looked at him with frigid eyes. It seemed only Kratia was allocated a reward that she actually wanted.
"Then let's go back. It seems like the golems are finished mining."
"How much did your stats go up, Shin Woo?"
"If I include the stat gains from my ice element and my intermediate elements, my stats increased by 50."
"...You really are a cheater."
Lee Shin Woo thought that they might encounter troops under a general's command, or another hero on the way back to their hideout, but fortunately, that didn't happen. Instead, on the way back there was one topic of interest in the chatting channel.
[Lloyd H.K.: It feels like the high rank undead are on the move more.]
[Prince Altania: Tch, why now? Lloyd, do we need to group up?]
[Lloyd H.K.: I'm fine, since I'm with Erian right now. I'm actually worried about you.]
[Mentes Orun: Those bastards periodically make a huge fuss, so don't be so worried. The Emperor probably ordered the 12 generals to go on a large-scale patrol.]
[Ye Jin Jin: Ugh, danger level 2 zones should be fine, right...? Mr. Shin Woo, are you ok?]
[Lee Shin Woo: No problem as of yet.]
Lee Shin Woo replied as he sweated profusely. It seemed like they hadn't noticed his unease and went on with their conversation.
[Ethan Cruz: Even so, their movements are a bit excessive... Would I be overreacting if I were to say I feel like they're going to war?]
[Mentes Orun: War...? Who's fighting who?]
[Ethan Cruz: I wonder. I don't know that much. However, you know that there're several groups that move independently aside from us.]
[Lloyd H.K.: The 12 generals' agents are already too much for us, but you're saying that there're other groups out there...?]
[Prince Altania: Heng! Lloyd, wait a bit. I'll come over after I get to level 7.]
[Lloyd H.K.: Yeah, yeah. You're really reliable. I trust you.]
[Seira Von Retadane: ...Everyone, please keep yourselves hidden and do not make any large movements. It isn't the right time yet.]
[Prince Altania: You be careful too, Seira. Though I have no idea where you are!]
[Seira Von Retadane: Please call me Retadane.]
Lee Shin Woo couldn't take it anymore and exited the chatting channel. Including the questions he wanted to ask Seira, which made his mouth itch, there were many things on his mind right now.
It was too clear that Lee Shin Woo was the cause of this 'war' that Ethan Cruz was talking about. Was his misinformation making the Emperor uneasy right now!?
"For the time being, we shouldn't go to the golem main base."
"I really like your way of causing trouble for others and then getting out of the situation by yourself."
It seemed like his misinformation regarding the secret facility that both the Emperor and the golems wanted was in full swing, and causing chaos within the Empire. The reason Lee Shin Woo hadn't known about any of it was because he had been concentrating on making wine and golems!
"In any case, let's think positively. They can't just ignore Anti-Skull anymore!"
"How can you be so evil..."
Lee Shin Woo led his party (including his recently acquired Silver Golems) and safely returned to his base without anyone knowing.
Regardless of whether or not the Empire's undead found the golems or Anti-Skull and caused chaos, Lee Shin Woo wouldn't get himself involved.Previous Chapter Next Chapter