<Chapter 51. Underground's Sun - 6>
Lee Shin Woo tested out the Fire Shadow Element several times and felt as though this element suited him more than Seagald.
Fire Shadow would connect him to his subordinates, strengthen them, and protect them... This ability, which would buff his contractees, was similar to the Lightning Bind Element, but also completely different.
"...It feels a bit unpleasant. It feels like you're right beside me at all times."
"I'm testing out the ability, so bear with it."
"This is strange. It's a buff? It feels like some unknown power is strengthening my every move."
"My fire-using subordinates will likely experience the most extreme change."
While the Magic Emperor's Lightning Bind specialized in controlling his subordinate's power, Fire Shadow was the opposite; it used the user's power to strengthen their subordinates.
Lightning Bind forcefully took control of one's body at long-range, whereas Fire Shadow allowed the user to transport to their subordinate's side. They were both opposite extremes.
...The reason Seagald's soldiers were forced to immolate themselves to summon him was all due to his inexperience with it. Seagald's skill in the light element had far outstripped his skill in the darkness element, thus disallowing him from using the Fire Shadow Element properly.
'...This is fun. Plus, it's really useful. It was definitely something I needed.'
Lee Shin Woo hadn't been able to strengthen his subordinates with the darkness element, so he was overjoyed that he'd gotten an innate element with the ability to do so.
Fire Shadow would likely strengthen his darkness as well. To be more specific, he felt as though he would find new possibilities. Like with the overlapping ability.
"Oh, this works?"
Lee Shin Woo found that he could 'only' transfer the effects of his skills or elements. With this, Lee Shin Woo could have some fun. But because Jin and Seira resented him for this, he soon stopped.
"If you do it again, I'll get mad for real. I'll cry for you. Do you understand what this means?"
"Do you have any idea how much strategic value lays in this ability..."
"Stop. Use it when you need that 'strategic value'."
"Yes, ma'am. I'm so sorry."
After he'd gotten familiar with the Fire Shadow Element and raised it to Beginner Lv8, Lee Shin Woo lifted the next item. It was none other than the level 9 bone.
Was it just him, or was there light coming from the bone? He soon realized that it wasn't him seeing things. This bone, which had undergone a deep fusion with the artificial sun, was already part artifact. He took a deep breath and tightly gripped the bone. Then, he activated Bone Reinforcement.
[Absorbing the Lv9 Light Tinged Annihilation Flame Sword God's Frontal Bone through Bone Reinforcement. Strength and Agility have increased by 200, Health by 100, and Magic by 300. The High Rank Light and Fire Elements have become Lv10 and have been maxed out. Magic has increased by 480.]
Lee Shin Woo somewhat knew what to expect, as he'd absorbed the level 9 Garuda's bone before. Yet, he was absolutely gobsmacked.
It wasn't just the effect of Seagald's bone; the abilities from the bone fused together with his own, causing him to reach a new level. He had maxed the Light and Fire Elements in one go!
'...It's hot! Shit, it's really hot!'
He'd been looking forward to this, but the aftereffects of mastering two elements simultaneously were huge. It felt as though the bright light and the hot flames were erupting from his cells and exploding.
When he'd mastered the Darkness Element, all he needed to do was feel and think about the darkness element, but this was different. The various elements asserted their existence within him and went wild. Lee Shin Woo's mind was in a daze.
Fortunately, he had a close association with both the Fire and Light Elements. A flame-wielding swordsman appearing within the Retadane family, which had inherited the Light Element for generations, was no coincidence. Lee Shin Woo studied these two elements in-depth and then closed his eyes.
[High Rank Fire Resistance has become Lv10 and has been maxed out. Magic has increased by 50.]
Eventually, his Fire Resistance had been maxed out as well. The element had been maxed out, so it was only natural that the resistance would follow suit.
Then, the unpleasantness, which was akin to wearing clothes that didn't fit, disappeared; he felt great, as though he'd just dipped into a warm hot spring.
'Yeah, I shouldn't overthink it. I shouldn't separate myself from the two elements. Just like how I can become darkness and the other way around, I can become fire and light as well.'
When he'd mastered the Darkness Element, Lee Shin Woo had transformed his entire body into darkness; like that time, he transformed his body into fire and light, filling the entire area with the two elements.
When he became one with the darkness, he had collected it at a single point. But it was different with the fire and light elements; he switched between expanding and contracting them, as well as heating them and cooling them. Surprisingly, his Manatization skill, which had leveled up not too long ago, had leveled up once again.
[The Manatization skill has become Lv7, and Health and Magic have increased by 20.]
[You have reached the peak of light and darkness. You have satisfied the conditions required to fuse the two elements together. You have acquired the title, 'Chaos Spawn'. All stats have increased by 30. The power of all your elements increases by 10%.]
Ultimately, the light and fire completely disappeared and nothing remained. Then, Lee Shin Woo appeared from within the void and landed on the ground.
The Darkness Element is strengthened when the Light Element is maxed out. It was a natural phenomenon. Contrary to others, who geared more to one side or the other, Lee Shin Woo had chosen the right path.
"Have you become a god?"
"You'd become like this too if you max an element."
"Isn't that what a god is?"
"At first, that's what I thought too, but I found that gods aren't pushovers. I have no idea how they all become gods so easily."
Seira asked and Lee Shin Woo teasingly replied. Then, he caught his breath. He knew that it wasn't over yet. He'd won big, of course, but he had yet to receive Seagald's greatest ability.
[You have acquired the fusion element, Intermediate Annihilation Flame Lv1. Magic has increased by 100.]
It was the Annihilation Flame, which was both a fusion and innate element, and was created by combining the essence of both the Fire and Light Elements. Because he had mastered both the Light and Fire Elements, the Annihilation Flame started off at the intermediate level, despite it being Seagald's innate element! Though there was still the matter of it being capped at intermediate level 10!
'They're fundamentally similar, but it's also completely different from Shining Flame.'
Shining Flame was used to vaporize anything and everything. On the other hand, the Annihilation Flame was collected inside one's body and burned one's self.
But that didn't mean that it would vaporize the user. The burnt body and soul wouldn't be destroyed, and something else would be substituted in their place. And thus, the user would appear in a completely different state, unbeknownst to their opponent. That's why he felt as though Seagald's Annihilation Flame was greater than the Garuda's Shining Flame.
'And that's why I had such a hard time dealing with him, but... It ultimately became my power.'
It was a complicated ability, so he would need to practice with it to use it to its full effect, but Lee Shin Woo was quite talented himself. When he fought against Seagald, he'd gotten a good grasp on how the Annihilation Flame worked, so if he just practiced it a little bit more, then he could truly make it his own.
[Your Magic stat is over 10,000! You have acquired the title, 'He Who Begins to Resemble Mana'. Magic has increased by 100. Your body is saturated with a higher quantity and more powerful mana. The Manatization skill grows more quickly than before.]
Lee Shin Woo felt relieved, as he thought his body was finished with all the changes. However, another unexpected happened.
He'd gotten a title for passing the 1,000 Magic mark before, but apparently, there was a version of it for passing the 10,000 mark too!
Lee Shin Woo really had no way of knowing that this existed beforehand. Regardless of Kratia's genius, or Jin's Child of Light, their stats were nowhere near close to 10,000!
'As expected, Manatization and this title's goal align.'
Honestly... He was really lucky. His priority was the Manatization skill, yet by passing the 10,000 Magic mark, his body had been transformed to be more suitable for the skill.
His stats, which had originally been balanced, were completely all over the place, but it didn't really matter. Once the Joker mastered the Manatization skill, their preexisting body wouldn't matter!
"A single battle caused you to change so much. Is this man always like this?"
"That's not the first time someone's asked me that."
"Normally, one needs time to digest what has happened and will grow from it slowly, but... He grew so much all at once."
"That's why Shin Woo got so strong in such a short period of time. Is there really any other reason besides that?"
"...Ha, he truly is loved by God."
'So is that the recent trend? If God loves you, she turns you into a skeleton?' is what she wanted to say, but Jin remembered everything Lee Shin Woo had done thus far and just kept her mouth shut. It really did feel like Lee Shin Woo was loved by God.
Whereas, Lee Shin Woo had no idea what they were talking about and was drawing out the remaining essence from Seagald's bone. It consisted of memories of Seagald and the Archmage creating the artificial sun together, and even then, Seagald was already level 8.
[This sun will continually shine upon the Empire, and no one will be able to drop it from the sky. One day, when we return to the surface, this sun will become unnecessary. When that time comes, I will come and collect it. - Seagald Von Retadane]
...How ironic. Before he'd died, Seagald had said that 'if he died, then the sun will never shine upon the Empire ever again'.
Seagald had stated that he'd collect the sun once they return to the surface... Did he keep his promise, since he assimilated with the sun, or should he say that he was indeed an undead, as he had forgotten his promise?
'Well... Anyway, it'll turn out exactly as you said, Seagald.'
There was no longer a need for the sun underground, as there would soon be a victor. By retrieving his light, Lee Shin Woo felt the Empire fill with darkness and took a deep breath.
With this, the Empire's darkness would become even stronger, and anyone who had relied on the artificial sun would lose their way. The end was near. Neither side would back off now. The unavoidable final battle was approaching.
"...Shall we make a break for it?"
Lee Shin Woo checked his Mana Radar and confirmed that the Sun Spear General, who stayed back to stop Leofield Von Tariman, was dead. He then checked that the remaining golems had accomplished their mission (of collecting the bone he left behind), nodded his head, and opened a gate.
His party soon disappeared from the capital. Though the underground capital, which had lost all traces of light, had regained its silence, that silence would certainly not last for very long.Previous Chapter Next Chapter