<Chapter 41. The Second Advent of the Sun God - 3>
Lee Shin Woo decided to call the dark flames that the Fiery Sand's Dark Flame Ghosts wielded a 'fusion element'.
Though the elements could exhibit extraordinary power based on the one wielding them, the dark flame was well beyond that. It wasn't a simple fusion of the two elements, fire and darkness, with the end result retaining properties of both; instead, it was a completely different element.
"Jeez, that was dangerous! We're done for if they eat your skill, so be careful!"
"I... know! Uaaaaah! They're coming again! They're coming from over there too!"
If he had to use one word to describe it, it would be 'plundering'. The dark flame erased anything it touched, and it would then be given to the element's wielder.
How would darkness and fire fuse to result in something like that? Moreover, when one is afflicted by the undead curse, they usually just become an undead; so then how did they awaken the darkness element and fuse it together with the fire element!?
"Damn it. These guys are copying my Absorption ability...!"
"You're still joking around, so I guess we're still ok."
"My bad, Jin. It's not a joke. I think we're really going to die."
Jin's Fly skill continued to level up, even though they were in the midst of battle, so Jin continued to fly faster and faster. He disappeared from afar and then reappeared as if he were a bolt of lightning. The only reason they were still alive was because of Jin's exceptional flight.
However, the dark flame was not only far-reaching, but it also began to eat into the very fabric of space itself; they were slowly losing places to run away to. Yeah, they had to dodge the dark flames for now.
"So... You still can't absorb that dark flame?"
"If I want to absorb that element unscathed, then I need to understand it. Even I can't fully understand it by just looking at it once! But I'm trying my best to..."
Lee Shin Woo knew he needed to risk his life to grow. Lee Shin Woo tried to analyze their dark flames with one of his bones, but one of the Dark Flame Ghosts ended up eating his Fire Dragon's Scale Greatsword, gaining its Countercurrent and Fire Eater effects. As a result, the danger of this battle increased sharply.
Seeing that, Lee Shin Woo was shocked, as the scale greatsword was completely erased. The dark flame almost controlled all the space inside the dungeon, so they would be able to devour any of his bone armaments before he could hit them. But what would happen if his main body was devoured by the flames? He didn't even want to think about the skills they might gain.
"It's our chance! Rising Thunder!"
"Ugh! They're coming!"
Their saving grace was the fact that they could beat them with a powerful element, as the dark flame couldn't consume it all. They occasionally landed some hits while they avoided the dark flame and hectically ran away. Before the Dark Flame Ghosts could retaliate, they would just run like hell.
But at this rate, they would die before they took down one of them. It had been a long time since he was in such danger. Lee Shin Woo saw the dark flames dot the dungeon with large cavities and slightly, very slightly thought of death.
Couldn't he just take these guys to the Underground Empire? They would take care of the Undead Emperor for him. But then he'd have to pledge his loyalty to these bugs, as they would be the new Emperor!
"Shin Woo, should we run away?"
"Let me think about it for a bit longer. I could bring these guys to the capital and see how the Emperor reacts, but if I do that, then it'll be all over for me, the Sun God religion, and Lawrence once the situation is resolved. Then, everything I've done thus far will go up in smoke."
If he had no other options, then he would ride the Titan Bone Golem and vie for supremacy. But if they were to devour that as well and they were able to imitate the outer shell of a golem, then it really would be the end of the road for them. ...Wait a sec.
"They eat it and then they're able to use it..."
"If you've thought of something, then hurry up. At this rate, we'll really die!"
"Wait a sec. I'm not sure it'll work. If it fails, then it'll just increase their defense... But."
It was a lot better than running away. Now, he had no choice but to trust in his abilities and brave the risks! Lee Shin Woo resolved himself. Then, he summoned seven giant pieces of armor around him. They were just huge pieces of armor that held no element within them.
Because he'd used Gigantification, he consumed quite a bit of mana, but Lee Shin Woo was undeterred and launched the seven pieces of armor in every direction. The dark flames rushed over as if they were ants that had found a piece of candy, but it would take a long time for them to fully consume the armor due to their size. By using them as a distraction, Lee Shin Woo was somewhat able to erase the dark flames that filled the dungeon.
"We can take a breath now, but won't it become a problem if they eat those?"
"Let them eat first and then let's think."
The dark flame wasn't absolute. Was it because it was a fused element? While using the dark flame to eat something, their main bodies became sluggish. Lee Shin Woo took advantage of this opportunity (of them eating the pieces of bone armor) and used Lightning Sprint, causing a deep scar on one of their jet-black heads.
"Good boy. Now explode!"
If he could, he would use his combination attack (Lightning Sprint and explosion) to kill the one that had consumed his Fire Dragon's Scale Greatsword, but the explosion had barely broken the exoskeleton around its head. And it had to take that moment to finish eating and begin to change.
The broken and unbroken areas were all covered in... black bones.
"See, I knew this would happen!"
"Yeah, I knew that would happen too."
The Fiery Sand's Dark Flame Ghost finished eating the bone armor and began to change. The bone armor they'd absorbed was obviously tougher than their own shells. They, who had stolen an ability from their enemy, looked quite imposing.
"Hey, I don't think we can even get through that anymore..."
"Of course we can't. The dark flame's even wrapping around the armor."
"Then you made them stronger on purpose? Are you trying to use them to kill the Magic Emperor?"
"Nope. Now I have to try something."
Lee Shin Woo gazed at the giant bugs and tightly clenched his fist.
Either way was hard. However, this way was much more likely to work than absorbing the dark flame. He gritted his teeth.
'I've been practicing. Ever since I came to that realization against the Beast General...!'
Although they'd eaten the giant armors, it seemed like they were still hungry, as their tongues darted in and out of their mouths and they lunged towards them. Lee Shin Woo relied entirely on Jin to dodge them and then concentrated on a single skill.
He concentrated so hard that even his Assimilation skill was released, but Jin didn't realize, as he was flying around, dodging the dark flame that came at him from each and every direction.
"If they could move, then we would already be dead... Shin Woo, are you almost done?"
Lee Shin Woo was silent, even though he usually talked throughout the battle. His silence made Jin feel uneasy. The dark flame he'd erased through the armor was beginning to spread gradually once more. At this point, they had to choose whether to cut down their numbers or to run away from the dungeon; if they didn't, then they really would die.
Although they possessed revival abilities, they had no way of overpowering the Dark Flame Ghosts. Would they be able to win if they self-destructed every single time they revived, causing the Dark Flame Ghosts to accumulate damage?
'I should've known ever since this guy came into the dungeon all smug.'
Normally, Lee Shin Woo made his choices very carefully and then made his move, but there were times when he became overconfident; whenever he did, something unimaginable happened, which would put them in a puzzling situation.
They were always able to adapt and overcome their enemies, but that meant that if they couldn't adapt, they would die right then and there. True, Lee Shin Woo's abilities and his combat sense were incredible, but what would he do against these beasts...
Then, Jin saw one of the monsters flinch.
It was the most fearsome of the three, the one that had eaten Lee Shin Woo's Fire Dragon's Scale Greatsword and had absorbed its Countercurrent and Absorption abilities. However, it suddenly twisted its body in pain. At the same time, a portion of the dark flames that surrounded them collapsed, making it a lot easier for Jin to move around.
"I did it. Nice...!"
"Wait. You're the one doing that!?"
"Just a little more...!"
Lee Shin Woo's body had also twisted atop Jin. However, the monster's reaction had been far more intense. At first, it seemed to be twisting its body left and right, but now, it was knocking into the other Dark Flame Ghosts!
It couldn't escape the underground, and its head and body moved in every direction. It resembled a balloon figure that wobbled around in front of a newly opened store.
The other two Dark Flame Ghosts couldn't hide their unease at the sudden onset of their comrade's insanity. Even while getting hit here and there, they tried to communicate with their comrade in their language, but their comrade was completely out of it. It just screamed in pain and repeatedly tackled the other Dark Flame Ghosts!
Due to the sudden internal conflict, the dark flame ceased its advance, allowing Lee Shin Woo and Jin to rest. Although this was their best chance to attack, Lee Shin Woo continued to tightly squeeze his fist and focus on something. Seeing that, Jin finally got it.
"Shin Woo, are you using the bones to...?"
Lee Shin Woo looked at the Dark Flame Ghosts and nodded his head. He was using none other than the Rule of Bone skill. He was controlling someone else's bones; to be exact, he was controlling the Dark Flame Ghost's newly acquired bone armor.
Ever since he fought the Beast General and learned of the Rule of Bone's potential, he trained diligently. As a result, he was better able to meddle with another person's bones, and in the end, he was able to control the Dark Flame Ghost's bone armor and use it to control its movements!
"It's really strong, but it's still a lot easier than doing something about that dark flame...!"
"They're ignoring us and have started fighting amongst themselves!"
The other two Dark Flame Ghosts realized that there was nothing more they could do, so they concentrated their attacks on the crazed Dark Flame Ghost. Lee Shin Woo and Jin were left completely alone. That's because the Dark Flame Ghosts knew that Lee Shin Woo and Jin wouldn't be able to hurt them.
'I had something ready, just in case they figured out I was the culprit and attacked me.'
But this made things a lot easier on them. Lee Shin Woo took a deep breath and then concentrated even harder. Honestly, this part was even more crucial.
The Dark Flame Ghosts shot their dark flames at their comrade. The Dark Flame Ghost under his control took the dark flame head-on with its black armor and was able to mitigate the damage by absorbing it.
The magic reaction that arose from the collision between the dark flames they shot out and the dark flames around their armor... All those feelings were relayed to Lee Shin Woo. It was only natural, as it involved the bones he was controlling. In an instant, his understanding of the dark flame skyrocketed.
'...Nice. Now I'm at the starting line.'
Lee Shin Woo smiled.
This battle had just begun.Previous Chapter Next Chapter