<Chapter 46. Death's Companion - 5 [End of Volume 11]>
[This is... a contract. Contract mana?]
[Exactly. It's the most peaceful of the darkness element's powers.]
[These memories... Kuheuk!]
What Lee Shin Woo had done was simple. He had increased the darkness between himself and Seira, and had used the most fundamental feature of the darkness element, the 'contract'.
They would be connected together, so in a lot of ways, it was a really convenient ability to use. But there was a condition automatically added to a contract: that one cannot lie during the contract process.
And he used that fact to quickly and concisely relay some truthful information to her regarding himself. Telling her who he was, why he looked like this, what he had been doing thus far, as well as what he wanted to do from now on.
And what she wanted to do.
[How did you...? Why... Ah!]
[There's no point in giving you the long story. You don't have that kind of time anyway. You know that I'm not lying to you. Since a contract is sacred.]
Lee Shin Woo was capable of violating the contract through his Dark Shadow and Wild Card skills, but it was unnecessary to tell her that. In any case, what he was relaying to her were... only truthful memories of his past.
[Keuk. How did this happen...!?]
[You can do stuff like this when you reach peak mastery of an element. You pretty much understand now, right?]
[I can't believe it! But still... Why would God!?]
[Want me to ask your older sister? Moreover, I already told you why she did it. Everyone else did fail, and I'm close to clearing the mission. No... you said it yourself. That you'll leave everything to me. So don't go dying and leaving everything to me. It pisses me off.]
Lee Shin Woo could feel her anguish quite clearly. If she were still alive, then she would've gone completely nuts after hearing his story. Since she couldn't restrain her deep-seated hatred of the undead.
But she was dying right now; her life as a human being was already over, and she was progressively turning into an undead. That's why she could assess the situation 'calmly'. And she realized that everything Lee Shin Woo had been saying was true.
...No, she had actually realized before then.
[Perhaps... I had my suspicions. That you might be the Heaven Defying General himself... If that were true, then it would explain all of my questions and all of your secrets. But I thought it was impossible. Since there was no way I would confuse a human with an undead! Since there was no way that you, who personified a hero who only showed up in stories... could be an undead!]
[My acting was great, right? If I was honest and told my seniors that I was an undead, then they'd either try to kill me or attack me, so I couldn't tell them the truth.]
[Ah, I trusted you... I thought a human that could completely purify the Empire had finally appeared.]
Her voice sounded lost, as if she were wandering through fog. He heard her bewilderment, and happily thought that he was indeed not normal.
However, he couldn't help being happy! It was so sweet; watching a woman who'd held on with only her belief as that belief shattered in front of her!
[I am planning on killing them all. And it doesn't really matter whether someone's dead or alive.]
[How can you say that so nonchalantly? How... How are you unaffected by the undead curse?]
[God's the one who made me like this. ...Isn't it because I have Darkness Resistance? The reason your older brother's relatively sane is because of the light element. On the contrary, it's more unbelievable that you were able to wield the light element with such ease. ...Though I've pretty much figured out why.]
Lee Shin Woo wasn't the only one who revealed things about himself. Seira also had to reveal her past or whatever her feelings were.
[Don't snoop around someone's thoughts as you please.]
[I just shared some basic information for the contract.]
[Easy for you to say! To think that you were this kind of person!]
[I'm not a human, I'm a skeleton.]
[Kuuuuuu! I hate you!]
She was deeply affected by the curse not only because of how long she'd been down here, but also because she somewhat knew why the Underground Empire had turned out like this.
The Emperor and Seagald, as well as the countless citizens of the Underground Empire... It was because of their greed and their obsession that lead the Empire to ruin. She had hated them from the very beginning. Thus, her hatred towards the undead was greater than anyone's, so much so that it devolved into madness.
[But now you know. That there was an undead that stood against them from the very beginning. And that you can also become like that too.]
[I can't believe it. I can't believe it...!]
[Stop throwing a tantrum. If this goes on any further, then I won't be able to do anything for you anymore. You'll become a part of Anti-Skull. Considering the Annihilation Flame's effects on you and the curse, you'll become one of the top members of Anti-Skull... There's a high chance that you'll become unconditionally loyal to General Seagald.]
Their discussion of whether she wanted to form a contract with him and become an undead, or become a part of Anti-Skull and follow Seagald, was perhaps quite laughable.
But at the very least, she shared a common goal with him, and he didn't really care what happened to her after that mutual goal was achieved.
Whereas, Lee Shin Woo didn't know what Seagald's goal was. He had no idea whether Seagald's goals differed or aligned with the Emperor's. But he did know that Anti-Skull was filled with psychos. He thought talking to her would be a pain while she was still alive, so he'd also thought about killing her, turning her into an undead, and then talking to her!
'I should've just killed her and taken her bones.'
...It might not be so different. Lee Shin Woo did his best to ensure that these thoughts remained hidden from Seira. He didn't know if she knew what he was thinking, but she was still struggling to make her choice.
[So kill me before I become like that...!]
[You don't want revenge? You hated the undead so much. I can give you another chance, but you're just going to run away?]
[But I'll have to become an undead!]
Lee Shin Woo had been really curious about something and decided to ask. Perhaps it was more of a question to himself, who could define himself however he wished.
[If you yourself don't believe anything has changed about you, then what's the difference whether you're an undead or not? Are you taking some sort of regular qualifying examination or something? If not, then is it because the undead can't kill other undead? Or is it because undead can't fight for humanity?]
[You're just biased towards the undead. You don't understand even after looking at me? No, you just don't want to accept it, right? That's what you call being stubborn.]
He wished she'd just agree already. Just undergoing the contract process allowed him to see about half her thoughts. Lee Shin Woo was getting frustrated and asked curtly.
[Do you want to live?]
[...I do! I do, but...!]
[Then there's your answer. Contract established.]
He didn't have any more time to waste with her. He still had some precious comrades of his to save. Lee Shin Woo firmly declared.
[Then live. Think about the rest later.]
[Hey, wait. No, this... Geuk. Guaaaaaaaah!]
Thus far, she had only experienced superficial pain. Because her own mana had been resisting the ambient mana, she hadn't turned into an undead.
But once he finished speaking, the undead curse, the light, Annihilation Flame, and his mana equally covered her, initiating the change.
Death had given her a kiss and passed by. And the next stage had come right after.
[You're just going to change a little bit.]
Seira screamed however, at the changes her body and soul were undergoing. The white light and the jet-black darkness entwined together and began to change her body and soul.
[Oh, she's changing quite a bit.]
Lee Shin Woo just watched vacantly as she let out her horrific screams, and enjoyed the fact that the mana explosion was more intense than he'd expected.
'Ah, maybe it's more intense because she could originally use light?'
The undead opposed light. Thus, Seagald Von Retadane, who possessed the light element, could act in opposition to his instincts as an undead... But at the same time, the process of becoming an undead must've been quite difficult for him.
So, Lee Shin Woo was relieved that he was supervising her undead transformation himself. He was an undead and the possessor of both the light and darkness elements, so he knew how to handle them so that they wouldn't oppose each other. He controlled the flow of mana that was changing her calmly and meticulously.
[Calmly follow me. Calmly.]
It was a mysterious experience. It felt like he was creating Seira's new body. And 'in order to live', Seira followed his instructions and moved her mana accordingly. Her human body, which had endured over several years, broke apart naturally and her mana began to construct a new body for her.
It was more powerful than her old one and ironically, possessed more life force and magic than before. Like when Jin had reached level 8, Lee Shin Woo used all of his innate abilities to create the body Seira wanted.
'...Good. It's going well. She really is beautiful.'
Fortunately, her starting point was really good, so he was able to create a new body for her without her physical appearance/features changing much. Her accumulated karma, her inventory, and her Perium must've had an effect on her.
The equipment she'd been wearing broke apart. In exchange, her naked body was covered by a deep gray dress. It was far greater than any equipment she'd worn in the past!
Lee Shin Woo felt it was actually something you would wear at a funeral, but it was indeed quite beautiful.
"Alright. We're all done."
Could he call her an undead right now... It was hard to answer. In terms of her dying and coming back, she was indeed an undead, but he couldn't really say what the difference between her past body and her current body was.
Her light element had remained unchanged, and was actually more powerful than before. In the process of destroying the Annihilation Flame's mana, a part of that mana was analyzed and imbued to her. Lee Shin Woo was the same.
What's worse, he had used his darkness after Seagald's attempt at converting her. Because Lee Shin Woo had gone after Seagald's clumsy attempt, Seira had become even more powerful than expected. Or, at least in terms of pure power.
[The Lv8 Undead Banshee Princess Seira has been born and has entered a subordinate contract with you.]
[You have analyzed another fusion element of light and fire. The High Rank Light element has become Lv6 and Magic has increased by 20. The High Rank Fire element has become Lv7 and Magic has increased by 20. The Beginner Shining Flame element has become Lv6 and Magic has increased by 20.]
[You have acquired a similarly leveled powerful subordinate. The High Rank Command skill has become Lv9 and all stats have increased by 5.]
After everything was over and Lee Shin Woo had checked his messages, he took a look at Seira and smiled bitterly. A banshee, huh. That was truly...
"A Banshee... It really does fit you."
Seira had finally become a new entity, but it seemed as though she couldn't accept reality, as she continued screaming. As she cried, her eyes and her hair had, at some point, burned and turned into a dark gray, like used-up charcoal.
"I guess this is where you cry for a while. I understand. But you'll get in my way, so let's talk later."
"I don't understand...! I don't understand anything. Why! You!"
"Yeah, yeah. You're going through puberty. I understand."
Lee Shin Woo thought of her as a young girl going through puberty! He waved his hand and the Heaven Door's Key activated and sucked her in. Where did she go? That was something only Lee Shin Woo and Seira knew.
"Alright. Now that the urgent stuff has been taken care of..."
'You're mine, level 8 Banshee!' he said, as if he were a Pokemon trainer, and then turned around. He saw Jin coming towards him. Fortunately, she was safe, but it seemed like she wouldn't be if things went on for just a little while longer.
"Come over here. At this rate, we'll all die!"
"...A-Alright. I got it. Sorry about that."
"Just hurry up!"
Lee Shin Woo was, of course, not given any time to rest. He got atop Jin's back to fight against Seagald.Previous Chapter Next Chapter