<Chapter 42. Sun God's Hero - 7 [End of Volume 10]>
The Evileye General, Shurina Von Hegel, entered his residence discreetly, as if she didn't want to be seen, and instead of giving Lee Shin Woo a friendly greeting, she said...
"Honestly, the best way you can help me is by letting me kill you."
"You wouldn't be able to kill me, even if you brought all of the 12 Generals. You're well aware of this, so you came alone, no?"
Lee Shin Woo grinned at the Evileye General, who'd suffered a total loss. She had been watching him while hiding out of sight... Her eyes were so sharp that they resembled that of a killer's, but it wasn't surprising anymore, so he just ignored it.
"Let's start with the situation you're in. I've heard. Apparently, you're in a bit of a pickle, right?"
"Who do you think is responsible for all this... Keuk. Anyway, you're right. I'm being watched. Me, one of the 12 Generals. You have no idea how hard it was to sneak over here unnoticed!"
Did she really come unnoticed? Lee Shin Woo tilted his head, expanded his senses, and scanned the surrounding area. Nothing bad would happen even if she had been discovered, but... as she said, no one had followed her, as per her title of as one of the 12 Generals.
At this point, she was almost crying, and Lee Shin Woo smiled softly.
"It must've been tough on you. So, who can you trade for your life?"
"I... originally held the lowest seat amongst the 12 Generals. As you well know, I possess a special ability, so I was assigned to every important battle. But because I didn't have enough strength to protect myself, I wasn't able to go very far. My subordinates suffered the same fate, and they're not in the best position right now..."
In other words, there was no one she could even sell out. This part made her swell with emotion, as her eyes brimmed with tears.
Coercing her didn't seem like the best course of action, as she would be just more intimidated than before. Therefore, Lee Shin Woo decided to increase their level of intimacy first.
"Then let's talk. How much I can help you depends on what information you can give me."
"There's no rush. Why don't you drink a cup of tea?"
The Evileye General felt slightly immoral for selling out her country, but... Lee Shin Woo's tea was so warm that it made her forget the situation she was in, and ended up relying upon that warmth.
Even if she was the lowest seat, she was still one of the 12 Generals. She ended up telling him one or two things that he couldn't find out through the golem network. Moreover, this new info mixed with his old info, giving him more insight. And there was something particularly interesting amongst the information...
"Hmm, so the Emperor hasn't made an official appearance in years."
"Yes. The only ones who can see him are the 12 Generals and a small handful of high rank bureaucrats. But we can only see him at a certain time and at a certain place. I've never met him in the daytime."
Learning about the Emperor's appearance was huge. Information regarding the Emperor was top secret... and Lee Shin Woo felt like he was really suspicious.
"Of course, His Majesty is a remarkable individual, so we have no idea what he wants or what he's thinking about... But those who slander his name are coming up with all kinds of false rumors. For example..."
"For example, the Emperor's a Vampire. Something like that?"
The Evileye General stiffened. Lee Shin Woo shrugged his shoulders and continued.
"He only operates at night, so anyone would think he's a Vampire. So what is he for real?"
"You'll pay if His Majesty finds out that you've put him in the same boat as the undead! He's a human. His complexion and even his mana are completely human as well...!"
"Despite that, the rumors that he's a Vampire won't cease. Aren't you at least a little suspicious?"
The Evileye General stiffened once more. She was sensitive to any unfavorable remark made about the Emperor, as if she had been brainwashed.
At that moment, an alarm rang in his head. The feeling got even stronger, so he scanned his surroundings, but there was no one here 'besides the Evileye General'.
"That's... They just don't know how great His Majesty truly is, and aren't aware of what's in store for them. His Majesty is an Archmage and has realized something we haven't, so we cannot judge him..."
Hearing that, Lee Shin Woo had already considered the Emperor a Vampire, or considered other possibilities that might apply.
Before, when he'd gotten the report from Bisher Moon regarding the Red Moon, he had been surprised by how bold the Vampire had been, but... if the Emperor himself was also a Vampire, everything mades sense.
'If that's the case, then God wasn't referring to the Undead Emperor, but to the...'
She's said that the Emperor had sought immortality. What if she was referring to the Magic Emperor, not the undead one? Perhaps part of the reason for the rapid progress of golem development was for that very purpose.
And if that's true, then it explains the Emperor's current appearance, the immense magic he sensed from the far-off palace, and the Red Moon, which controls the capital at night. Lee Shin Woo thought and scoffed.
'Their goals are completely different, but their means are similar. This is no laughing matter. As expected of brothers...'
The Crown Prince had banished the 2nd prince hundreds of years ago, so he'd thought that perhaps the current Magic and Undead Emperors were different, but with what he knew now, he discarded all such thoughts.
Lee Shin Woo was sure that the surface and underground were ruled by the Crown Prince and the 2nd prince respectively. Nothing else would explain their lunacy and obsession.
'But if that's true, then... Does the Emperor not care if the others become undead? Is that why he just left the death energy as is? But what if the undead underground were to invade the surface? It didn't make sense that he wouldn't have something prepared. It seemed fine for now, as the undead curse was the only thing surfacing, while the undead themselves seemed to have no intention of invading...
But Lee Shin Woo was confused about something. The undead had overcome their greatest obstacle by becoming the undead, so why hadn't the Undead Emperor ordered his forces to invade the surface yet? What exactly was stopping him?
Was it Arema Steelworker? Seagald Von Retadane? Though they were forces independent of the Emperor's, they only held one of the 12 General positions a piece. On the other hand, the Emperor possessed the Archmage, as well as the remaining 12 Generals, so it made absolutely no sense that he couldn't come up to the surface because of them.
'But it's not like I can go and ask the Archmage, 'Hey, why aren't you guys going to the surface?'.'
"Why aren't you asking anything else? Did you get everything you wanted... If not, then are you thinking about something that she can't answer?"
At that moment, the Evileye General (who sat in front of him) said something out of the blue. The mood, which Lee Shin Woo had been controlling, had changed.
This time, Lee Shin Woo was surprised. Her body and voice hadn't changed, yet... the quality of her magic had changed! Moreover, Lee Shin Woo was somewhat familiar with that magic. He narrowed his eyes and voiced his assumption.
"Darkness magic... The Emperor?"
"If you were that curious about me, then you should've come to see me yourself. You see, I hate incompetent individuals like the owner of this body, but I like people overflowing with talent like yourself. Indeed, whenever, wherever."
Lee Shin Woo raised his head and looked straight at the Evileye General. He sensed darkness mana deep within the recesses of her eyes. It was an unseverable relationship that he must have made beforehand.
Lee Shin Woo had experienced this before; by giving one's name, an unbreakable link would be formed. And this link was formed between the Evileye General and the Emperor.
"Ha, so the Evileye General was disposable from the very beginning."
"She had a chance. But she wasted it. The contract is absolute, but she didn't realize that. How unfortunate."
The Magic Emperor spoke brazenly with the Evileye General's face and voice and shook his head. Lee Shin Woo snorted and simultaneously analyzed his mana. He came to an immediate conclusion. It was an innate element.
Darkness and... probably the lightning element. It would be simple to call it the 'Dark Lightning' element, but the dark lightning he felt from the Emperor wasn't so simple. Lightning's speed, power, and conductivity... It felt like he'd developed it in a completely different direction. And it was probably what was allowing the Emperor to perform such a feat.
"Do you all get such unique abilities when you reach level 9?"
"Hoh. You saw through my Lightning Bind with one glance. I suppose that makes sense. Since you managed to kill the divine bird that was on par with me..."
"Now that we're at it, let me ask you something. How did you imprison it?"
He didn't ask because he was really curious. When he absorbed the Garuda's bone, he'd know then. But he wanted to ask a good question to buy him some more time.
"Oh, I thought you'd ask me about that."
Was it because he was sure that he was stronger than him? The Emperor answered happily. Perhaps the Emperor was still underestimating him, he who had defeated the divine bird that had escaped its imprisonment.
"Its innate element responds when it recognizes external stimuli. If that's the case, then you make it so that it can't recognize it. If you prevent it from moving, then the next step is simple. You must've felt it, but my power, Lighting Bind, is quite powerful in that regard. Since you didn't even notice that you'd been affected yourself."
"Yeah, you're right."
Lee Shin Woo hadn't been able to move his body ever since the Emperor had shown up.
It would probably be easy to dispel with his innate elements, whether it be his Dark Shadow, Dark Flame, or his Shining Flame, but he was deliberately not doing so. If he did, the Emperor would just restrain him again.
This space was already filled with the Emperor's magic. It might be different if he had been facing another level 8, but it would be difficult for even him to take control of a level 9's mana.
"Did you spread your mana all over the Empire?"
"All the materials used to create the capital's buildings and roads are subject to the palace's approval. Each of those materials is saturated with mana, mana which I can change into my own whenever I wish. No one managed to figure it out, so don't be so frustrated, Sun God's hero, Kay."
Even Lee Shin Woo couldn't see through this elaborate trap. The Wild Card skill had its limitations. Lee Shin Woo couldn't break through the barrier set up over hundreds of years and see through the Emperor's mana.
Was this a level 9's power? Lee Shin Woo suddenly realized how wide the world was due to the Emperor's ability and unfathomable method of controlling the capital. He'd heard from Kratia that a magician's power would increase several times over within their workshop, but this bastard had turned the entire capital into his workshop...
"Do you have anything else you'd like to ask? As a parting gift, I'll answer any questions you have."
"Why are you ignoring the undead curse? At this rate, the undead curse will spread to the Empire."
"Ho. You're not going to ask if I'm a Vampire or what not?"
"Since there's no point."
Lee Shin Woo declared. He didn't know how the Emperor took it, but he grinned and replied.
"You must think it's so urgent, but that curse is still too weak. More people need to die to unite the Empire."
Did he not get a report from Arema Steelworker regarding the undead curse? The true power of the curse lies in its ability to kill the world itself, not just living beings!
No. The Emperor, with his high rank innate darkness element, should be able to absorb all of the curse's energy. If that's the case, then he could understand why he was speaking so peacefully.
"Don't worry. Everything is going according to plan. Humanity has been subject to danger a few times before, but each and every time we work together and overcome said danger. And every time, humanity dwindles in size and then repopulates itself. This is the way the world works. ...However, there's one problem this time."
"It's you. I was confident that with our golems, which are spread across the Empire, that we would know about all dangers and preempt them, but... I didn't know about you, one who possesses enough power to clear a level 8 dungeon by yourself, beforehand. And because of that, my plan has gone a bit awry."
The Evileye General's face became wrinkled. It didn't fit a young woman's face, but for some reason, he didn't feel like it was strange. It must've been because of the mood.
"I thought long and hard before I came to see you, but I couldn't understand. I struggled and looked at all the possibilities, but there was only one answer I came to... Though I couldn't believe it myself."
Then, the Emperor looked straight at Lee Shin Woo. The words that came next... Lee Shin Woo would probably never forget them.
"You're a hero, but also an undead. God sent you like that, right? To spy on the surface and the underground!"Previous Chapter Next Chapter
Sorry for the delay. Slept all day long.