<Chapter 42. Sun God's Hero - 5>
Lee Shin Woo wanted to put everything aside and just collect the loot but now wasn't the time. By killing the Garuda, which plugged up the hole, Lee Shin Woo had allowed the underground curse to leak from the partially destroyed dungeon.
First, Lee Shin Woo placed all the Perium, the wing bone, the sphenoid bone, the Phoenix's Feather, the Death God's Shining Bone Sword, and the Sun Fossil into his inventory. After that, he called the Pope's party over. The Evileye General eyed Lee Shin Woo as if she were going to kill him, but everyone else looked at him with admiration.
"Sir Kay... You truly are amazing."
"I could feel the power of a god. The Sun God must've chosen you to represent Him."
"I would like to duel you someday."
He could understand why the believers in the Sun God were acting so ardently towards him, but he was taken aback by the reactions of the other three religions.
They worshipped different gods, so he thought they'd ostracize him, but the power he'd displayed had broken down all barriers among the religions and they looked at him with pure reverence.
"Sir Kay, I admire your faith. Although the God you believe in is different from my own, that determination of yours is something to admire. I'd really like to learn that sword aura you used at the end."
"Oh, mm... I'll teach you if I have the time."
Maria Eldaletz, the beauty whose blonde hair was tied up, looked at him with a bright expression, which was especially burdensome to him. Seeing that, Jin began to feel worse and worse.
'You're so popular. You must be loving it.'
'You're popular too.'
'This isn't being popular. I've become a clown! Even though you're the Joker!'
That's right. Before, Jin had been considered just a strong horse that Kay rode on, but now that he had steel wings and could fly, the paladins were curious and were checking him out. After all, it was any knight's dream to fly in the sky atop a winged horse!
"So it wasn't just fast."
"Is this horse a divine creature sent by the Sun God...?"
"A divine creature... It probably is. I thought it was quite the beautiful horse before."
Jin saw Maria Eldaletz flirt with Lee Shin Woo and felt unpleasant, so he kicked the approaching paladins with his hind legs. The paladins misunderstood his actions and thought 'it truly is a divine creature that chooses its owner'.
"The undead curse, huh. Do you think we can just leave it like this?"
Whereas, the Pope remained the most calm out of everyone there. He and the Evileye General knew how serious the situation was. He also knew why Lee Shin Woo had prioritized exploring the bottom of the dungeon first.
"Yes. I should be able to do something about it with the power I just acquired."
"It's not power you already possessed?"
"I'm telling the truth. Seriously."
While teasing Lee Shin Woo, the Pope exchanged glances with the Great God's Archbishop, Bykel. Right now, they were keeping the Evileye General in check.
If word got out that the undead curse had appeared at the bottom of the dungeon, a dungeon which was close to the capital and was managed by one of the 12 Generals, then the Emperor's image would worsen. They didn't know what the Evileye General would do, so they were keeping tabs on her. Lee Shin Woo soon saw what they were doing and understood why they were doing it.
"There's nothing to worry about. That woman won't be able to do a thing."
"If you say so."
"Yes. So long as another one of the 12 Generals doesn't try and kill us."
It wasn't the Pope that was startled, but the Evileye General herself. Lee Shin Woo grinned at her. There was a sharp edge underneath that congenial smile.
"The Evileye, was it? They're quite beautiful."
"I-Is that so?"
"Now, get a move on while being mindful of others. So that those beautiful eyes don't get hurt."
The Evileye General shook. Those who saw her awkward movements instantly understood what was going on. She was hiding something, and that secret of hers involved being one of the 12 Generals in some capacity. And Lee Shin Woo had seen through it all...
'Is it a skill that lets her establish a target? It's quite unique, but it's easy to understand.'
At first, Lee Shin Woo hadn't realized this, but he could tell with ease now that he was level 8. The Evileye General's ability was a support focused ability, rather than an offensive ability.
It was an ability that allowed her to 'target' someone. She could share this ability with her allies, and it increased the likelihood of hitting the target and/or landing a fatal strike. It was a good ability for her own use, but its true value lay in its ability to be shared with allies!
And Lee Shin Woo felt the presence of a powerful foe waiting from afar. They were probably sharing the Evileye General's targeting ability and specialized in long range attacks.
'It's a nice ability, but... Killing her and taking that ability is pointless since it's a rank lower than my Wild Card skill, which allows me to control the situation in its entirety.'
Moreover, although its use was unquestionably simple, countering it was also incredibly easy. It would be easy for him to erase the targeting with his Shining Flame, or he could reverse the attack with Dark Shadow. No, he even knew how much damage they would inflict if he decided to tank the hit.
But this was limited to Lee Shin Woo alone. He wasn't sure he'd be able to protect everyone else. If that's the case, then he had no choice but to kill that general (the one lying in wait). But because that meant that he'd have to fight against the Emperor, he wasn't too happy about the situation.
That's why he'd warned the Evileye General. He basically said, 'If you don't want to die, then be good and follow me'.
"As I thought, the Evileye General is..."
"Protect Sir Kay. He is currently carrying out God's will."
Although she was a member of the loyal 12 Generals, she had no reason to risk her life. She bit her lower lip and followed the group from the rear. This meant that she wouldn't try anything.
Seeing that, Lee Shin Woo smiled thinly and led the group into the dungeon. Due to the clash between the Titan and the Garuda, they were pretty much descending a rock face, but most of the people here were stronger than level 6. No matter how steep the slope, they could follow him with ease.
"By the way, if you find any loot, please pick it up for me."
"How can this be? Aren't these the bones of level 8 monsters...? To think that there are so many of their bones laying around."
"But why are there only bones as loot?"
Even if they were the ones that killed the monsters, Lee Shin Woo had claimed ownership over the loot. His karma would change the monster's loot to bone, but bones already had a high drop rate, so they weren't really suspicious.
With the paladins' help and his discreet use of Rule of Bone, he was able to collect the bones that had been left behind.
'Nice. Level 8 dungeons are on another level. It'll be close, but if I give him the Garuda's Wing Bone, then Jin should reach level 8 as well.'
'...Wait a sec. The Garuda's Wing Bone? You're going to give that thing to me? Hey, don't! What the hell are you thinking!?'
Lee Shin Woo had been so focused on his fights with the Dark Flame Ghosts and the Garuda that he hadn't noticed, but during those bloody battles, the level 8 Solar Scarabs had been climbing up from the bottom of the dungeon and died in droves.
He didn't think that there would be that many of them, but... He didn't know why insect-type monsters were so fearsome. Though they couldn't be compared to cockroaches, in which finding one meant that there were a hundred more of them, but the Solar Scarabs had been breeding for hundreds of years at the bottom of the dungeon. Thus, there was a surprising amount of Solar Scarabs that had been in the dungeon...!
"What if we had to kill all of these ourselves?"
"In a sense, it might've been a tougher battle than the one we had with the divine bird."
Once they arrived at the bottom of the dungeon and followed the path, they occasionally found some shaking Solar Scarabs that weren't dead. Since there was really no point in killing them, Lee Shin Woo allowed Jin or the members of the Sun God religion to kill them for karma.
They were just finishing them off, so they wouldn't get much karma from it. Even so, they were still killing level 8 monsters, so either their stats or their skills would grow.
"There's nothing we can use these bones for, but they dropped quite a bit of Perium. So much that you could buy a city with it."
"Haha. I suppose the Lawrence shop won't need our support anymore."
"By the way, why did you accept Lawrence's help? With your power, you should've been able to attain whatever you wish, regardless of his monetary support."
"It's the opposite. I'm helping Lawrence out. Since he's my friend."
"A friend, huh."
Lee Shin Woo replied, but for some reason, some of the female paladins and priests turned their heads away and blushed. From their reactions, Lee Shin Woo could tell what the 'friendship novel' that was being sold in the capital was all about and felt strange. A gay romance between himself and himself? That's impossible!
"This place is... Ahem."
How much longer did they go on like that? Soon, the group arrived at the hole that the Garuda had escaped from. The barrier had been broken into pieces, and they could see the black energy leaking from within. The expressions of any priest that neared the energy darkened immediately, but when Lee Shin Woo extended his hand, they were ok again.
"W-What did you just do...!?"
"I burned it away with a clean flame. But be careful. If you approach it without me, then you'll become undead soon."
"That firebird was undead as well. Because of this energy."
"Even that bird, which possessed a god's power, was affected by this energy...?"
Lee Shin Woo pondered briefly. Should we talk about the barrier that had originally imprisoned the Garuda? No, that would be a huge mistake. He shouldn't reveal any more information than is strictly necessary.
When the Emperor gets word of his actions here, he'll become wary of him anyway, so there was no reason to reveal more information and make him an even larger threat!
"I don't know why the firebird was here for so long. But I do know that if it hadn't been weakened and degenerated by this energy, then I wouldn't have been able to beat it."
"An energy that leaks from underground... We've experienced this in a few of the other dungeons. We can't hold onto the notion that they're turning into the undead naturally anymore. This is critical."
"The God of Life will not tolerate this foul energy. If you've found this kind of energy elsewhere, then I cannot overlook this. We'll have to mobilize all of our members and respond!"
They adopted grave expressions and chattered about just by watching the darkness energy leaking out. Even the Evileye General was in a cold sweat.
"Why did the Emperor turn a blind eye to this until it'd become this bad?"
"The golem network that the Empire is so proud of couldn't even pick up such clear signs that this was happening?"
"...I trust that you're not going to say that the Emperor left it here on purpose."
"The monsters aren't the issue here. If this energy reaches the capital, then...!"
The Evileye General cowered at the interrogation. It would've been nice if they had managed to kill Lee Shin Woo before all this was revealed, but Lee Shin Woo had seen through her plan! Lee Shin Woo clapped his hands and calmed everyone down.
"Now, let's collect some of the energy. We also need to form a barrier to stop the energy from leaking; a temporary one works too. It's no time to be going around abandoned dungeons and playing hero anymore."
All eyes were on Lee Shin Woo. The Evileye General looked like she was about to cry.
"This is a holy war. A holy war between us and those trying to turn us into the undead!"
Thus, Lee Shin Woo had become commander of the surface's undead resistance force in place of the incompetent God.Previous Chapter Next Chapter