<Chapter 45. Heaven Defying General's Stage - 4>
The darkness swayed and spread. However, that very darkness was ripped apart by golden mana. While the Metal Army and Anti-Skull fought against the Golden Shadow, Arema Steelworker played a game of hide-and-seek with the Golden Shadow General, Vellun Von Dorthe. Their mana mixed together messily and continuously exploded.
The two level 8s were so imposing that some of their troops were unable to maintain their balance and fell to the floor. However, the situation was so urgent that they had no time to worry about them.
[He's gone that way!]
[Damn it, block... Kuhahk!?]
The Golden Shadow troops hid within the Golden Shadow general's shadow, and even the Four Heavenly Commanders were no match for them. They truly were the Emperor's personal assassination squad. If the Metal Army or Anti-Skull were to have faced them alone, it would've been twice as hard to fight them off.
'Plus, the Golden Shadow General's ability works well in several situations.'
If his shadow expanded and covered the entire area it then starts obscuring the line between friend and foe. But the Golden Shadow troops, which were used to said phenomenon, could move with ease and execute their foes. However, their enemies were a different story.
They would either attack incorrectly and harm their allies, or they would evade an attack but their movements would overlap with another, causing them to both expose weak points. The confusion was quite entertaining. On the other hand, the Chi Pauls were doing just fine against the Golden Shadow, so much so that Lee Shin Woo was shocked.
'The key to this battle is the Golden Shadow General. And if we kill him, then we need someone who can keep up with Arema Steelworker.'
If Seagald Von Retadane had been here, then the battle would be progressing a lot differently. Unfortunately, his representative, Tarian Von Retadane was slightly lacking in terms of ability.
No, he looked like he was holding back. He was only focused on protecting his allies from harm and wasn't actively trying to fight back...
'There's a limit to how suspicious you can be.'
Lee Shin Woo had been quietly watching Tarian and smiled, dumbfounded. He was delaying on purpose. He was trying to extend the battle as long as possible while keeping Anti-Skull's casualties at a bare minimum.
What was more hilarious was... he must think that no one had noticed, but he was looking at Lee Shin Woo and trying to find a weak spot. He knew that Tarian couldn't conceal his killing intent, but he didn't think he was this foolish. To think he wouldn't even be able to properly assess his opponent's abilities! Though Lee Shin Woo was concealing them!
'So we have the same idea.'
The faint, lingering idea of maintaining their alliance broke at that very instant. If that's what he wanted, then he had no choice but to respond in kind!
'Jin, just hide for a little bit.'
While the Golden Shadow attacked Tarian and obscured his vision, Lee Shin Woo's body melted into the air. He had discreetly spread his mana everywhere. Lee Shin Woo's darkness was mixed with the Golden Shadow General's darkness.
[Die, you rebel!]
[Hmph. It's laughable that the undead curse has so much influence on one such as yourself !]
He said roughly and swung his sword, pushing the Golden Shadow towards the golems. When he was finished dealing with them, Tarian looked for Lee Shin Woo once more, but... At that moment, something pierced through his back. What appeared behind him was clearly a member of the Golden Shadow.
"I cannot permit you to live, as someone who opposes our great Emperor!"
His sword seemed entirely comprised of darkness. It was a shadow sword created through his Wild Card skill, which also doubled as all of his combat skills as well.
This sword, which simultaneously possessed the properties of Shadow Horn and Thorn Shadow, was quite powerful indeed, but by fusing with the surrounding darkness, it also paralyzed the attacked foe. A level 8 would be able to use their own mana to eliminate the ambient mana, but it would be impossible for Tarian.
[The rebel's stopped moving!]
[One of ours has beaten Tarian Von Retadane!]
[This is our chance. Attack while he's still weakened!]
Lee Shin Woo's attack was merely the precursor. Soon, the Golden Shadow rushed crazily towards him and mounted a full-on offensive. The Anti-Skull were clearly flustered and rushed over to stop them. Unfortunately, the darkness that covered them was completely different now.
[Protect Lord Tarian... Keoheok!?]
[W-Why!? I didn't attack you...!]
[D-Don't move. This is their trick! Cut through the darkness!]
[But Lord Tarian... Keok. Kaaaah!]
They had definitely aimed for the enemy, yet they had cut down their allies instead. They moved towards Tarian, yet they got farther and farther away. The power which had helped them resist the undead curse and maintain their intellect wasn't helping them here.
[The Beginner Dark Shadow element has become Lv8 and Magic has increased by 20.]
It was chaos. The Golden Shadow went wild, while the Anti-Skull cried out and cut through the darkness. Since their commander, who could've righted the situation, was paralyzed, Anti-Skull's forces began to noticeably dwindle.
[Keok. Damn you... With my light...!]
"Stop struggling. It won't work."
Lee Shin Woo grinned and whispered to Tarian, who was desperately trying to gather his mana.
Because Tarian was a part of the Retadane family, who specialized in light, it was clear that he was trying to use some sort of light spell. But even if he tried, it wouldn't matter. Even if he could create light, he was just level 7 as well as an undead, so he wouldn't be able to beat back Lee Shin Woo's darkness, would he?
Even if he could create light powerful enough to undo his binds, he could just use Dark Shadow to reverse the light into darkness. So long as he wasn't level 8 or possessed MAX light mastery or maybe even high rank mastery, he wouldn't be able to overcome his Dark Shadow.
[As I thought, you aren't... Golden Shadow...!]
"I want to ask you something. Why do you hate me so much? Did you really think you could beat me?"
[How dare you oppose the Retadane clan's light!]
"Mm. Oh, so that's it."
Perhaps Lee Shin Woo had been misunderstanding him. He'd thought that Anti-Skull, like his own troops, possessed a clear ego and would be able to move forward and develop, but... Perhaps these guys were the same as any regular undead.
"Hoo. If Seagald's like this too, then I will be extremely disappointed.”."
[Do you think... someone like you could defeat him...]
Lee Shin Woo decided not to listen anymore and gave him the peace of death. There was no reason to listen anymore.
[You have acquired 5,698,100 Perium.]
[You have acquired the Lv7 Tarian Von Retadane's finger bone.]
The Golden Shadow delighted at the sight of Tarian's body disappearing in the air, while Anti-Skull screamed. The golems were also tense, as someone much stronger than even the Four Heavenly Commanders had been so easily killed.
[Golden Shadow. I know it was strong before, but to think it'd become even stronger after becoming undead...! We can't drag this out any longer. Paul Zero, if we're really allies, then please help our lord!]
Guillotine Steelworker had no idea that Lee Shin Woo was the one who'd killed Tarian, yet he became warier of Golden Shadow and requested for Lee Shin Woo's help! Lee Shin Woo came out of the darkness, revealing himself, and replied naturally.
In that short period of time, he returned to his Heaven Defying General form and was sitting atop his horse, as if they'd never been apart.
[You dare fight me with darkness... Huh? Ugh!]
Once Lee Shin Woo got involved, the Golden Shadow General attempted to retreat, but that was impossible. Lee Shin Woo had already finished analyzing his darkness. By the time Lee Shin Woo had mixed his darkness with the Golden Shadow General's, Wild Card had already activated.
He could only move through the shadows because he was the source of the darkness. There's no way he'd be able to move properly if another person's darkness was mixed with his. As it was a level 8 authority, he should be able to turn it back to his entirely, but that was impossible right now. Because Lee Shin Woo's darkness dwarfed his own.
[What is this...!?]
While the Golden Shadow were hesitating, Arema Steelworker took the opportunity to unleash a killing blow. It might fall behind the other 12 Generals in terms of speed or special ability, but the force behind metal element mana concentrated at one point was unmatched!
The golem's fist and the enemy's armor colliding erupted in a sound akin to a mountain collapsing. Even Lee Shin Woo wouldn't be able to replicate such physical force. This combination of tremendous mass and magic, which was only possible in a golem's body, struck the Golden Shadow General.
[Impossible. That person's darkness...!]
The Golden Shadow General had, up until this point, remained untouched, but when the Golden Shadow saw their general fall, they were shocked and altogether attacked Arema Steelworker. However, the golems didn't just stand still. Moreover, the Anti-Skull joined in, furious at their commander's demise.
"Hey, you gotta leave my share too."
Arema Steelworker was going to follow-up, without giving the Golden Shadow General a chance to recover, but Lee Shin Woo immediately stopped him.
The Golden Shadow General had escaped from the brink of death as if proving that investing almost all of his stats into Agility and Magic wasn't for nothing. If one more of Arema's attacks went through, then the Golden Shadow General would die and Lee Shin Woo's contribution would lessen. In order to safely procure the bone, Lee Shin Woo had to be the one to kill the general.
"I told you before, didn't I? The bones are mine."
[You were just watching this entire time, yet you want to land the final blow?]
"I was analyzing his darkness in order to nullify it. If I didn't, then would you have been able to defeat him this easily? You haven't forgotten that he's level 8 and one of the 12 Generals, have you?"
[...You're not wrong.]
He definitely wasn't wrong, as Wild Card could only fully activate when he'd fully analyzed his opponent. It looked like they'd taken him down so easily, but this was all due to his unseen efforts! Lee Shin Woo snorted, piercing the Golden Shadow General's body with his lance and embedding it into the ground.
"Tch. It's not like I'm teaching a fish how to swim."
This would probably be his last-ditch effort. The Golden Shadow General tried to switch his body with a fake, like in Japanese manga, and hide within the darkness, so Lee Shin Woo cut through both the false and real bodies. If Lee Shin Woo hadn't reached peak darkness mastery or didn't possess Wild Card, then he might've been fooled.
[How did you so easily...]
"It can't be helped. You weren't a good match for me. Regret the fact that I'm good at using the darkness element."
Lee Shin Woo grinned and put more pressure into his lance. The Shining Flame, covered on the outside by darkness, kept the Golden Shadow General from escaping and completely burned him away.
[You have hunted one of the 12 Generals, the Lv8 Golden Shadow General, Vellun Von Dorthe! All heroes who contributed gain 50,000,000 Perium and all stats are increased by 100. You have acquired 15 permits to God's secret shop. Proficiency in all combat-related skills increases significantly!]
[The Wild Card skill has become Lv3. All stats have increased by 30.]
Thus, Lee Shin Woo killed another one of the 12 Generals. And he'd killed him so easily too!
...He could've taken care of the general himself quite easily, but he decided not to tell anyone that.Previous Chapter Next Chapter