<Chapter 52. War's Scenario - 1>
[Lee Shin Woo]
[He Who Begins to Resemble Mana; 24 others]
[Lv - 8 (Status Effectiveness 300%)]
[Strength - 4,255 Agility - 4,505 Health - 4,308 Magic - 10,545]
[Passive Skills - Soul Strike: MAX, Combat Sense: MAX, Wild Card Lv5, Acting Lv21, Invisible Heart Lv4/Lv209, Rebellion Lv8, Mana Acceleration Lv9, High Rank Mana Bone Lv9, High Rank Command Lv9, High Rank Assimilation Lv8, Lucky Strike Lv7, Soul Seeing Eye Lv6, Manatization Lv7]
[Active Skills - Disguise Lv9, Instigate Lv9, Bone Reinforcement Lv12, Rule of Bone Lv11, Bone Armory Lv11, High Rank Regeneration Lv5, Sacrifice Lv1]
[Elements - Darkness: MAX, Light: MAX, Fire: MAX, Intermediate Dark Shadow Lv3, Intermediate Annihilation Flame Lv1, Beginner Shining Flame Lv7, Intermediate Dark Flame Lv7, Beginner Fire Shadow Lv8, High Rank Water Lv4, High Rank Wind Lv3, High Rank Earth Lv3, High Rank Metal Lv4, High Rank Ice Lv1, High Rank Acid Lv4, High Rank Lightning Lv6, Absorption Lv15]
[Resistances - Holy: MAX, Darkness: MAX, Light: MAX, Fire: MAX, Beginner Shining Flame Lv1, Intermediate Dark Flame Lv1, High Rank Water Lv3, High Rank Wind Lv3, High Rank Earth Lv4, High Rank Acid Lv3, High Rank Ice Lv1, High Rank Lightning Lv5]
"23,613, huh... It was just a joke, but if things go well, I think I can really get to level 9."
"...What do you have to do to get your stats to rise by the thousands?"
"Who knows. It just comes naturally to me."
Following the battle, Lee Shin Woo had returned to the Metal Army base. His loyal subordinate, Erem 290, presented the Sun Spear General's bone to him, and he then reexamined his stats.
Compared to Seagald's bone, the Sun Spear General's wasn't anything special, but it leveled up his Water Resistance and Element (which he seldom used), causing his Magic to increase significantly once more. Even if it's rotten, it's still a herring. Or, even if he's just an extra, he's still one of the Four Heavenly Commanders.
"But Shin Woo, are you really ok with just absorbing other's bones all willy-nilly like that? That was a huge problem for you before."
"Mm, my shoulders hurt a little, but this much is fine. Honestly, it's just a scam. I can just fool the world into thinking that I'm the legitimate owner of this karma."
"That's how it works...?"
Jin couldn't understand him and just tilted her head, but to Lee Shin Woo it was a simple matter. It was unclear how the world perceived a 'legitimate owner' of karma, so as long as Lee Shin Woo fooled the world into thinking he was that legitimate owner, everything would be fine.
"So I can just kill the Heaven Sundering General, Leofield Von Tariman."
"Is it really that simple!?"
"His Dark Shadow lets him distort order."
That's right. To put it bluntly, Lee Shin Woo was using Dark Shadow, which reversed cause-and-effect, to act like a gangster! If he'd gained this power earlier, then he would've acted like a swindler even earlier and plunged this world into chaos!
"How will you handle all that karma...?"
"Think about it this way: Just put it back before you get caught!"
"Stop. It sounds like you're a high school girl sneaking out of the house in her older sister's clothes!"
Lee Shin Woo joked around with Jin and was greeted by Kratia. Once he was done giving her a progress report, Kratia immediately rushed outside and was mesmerized by the sunless underground night sky.
There had always been a slight presence of light, even during nighttime. But now that the artificial sun was gone, it was completely dark. Now, morning would never come for the underground. Like it had been when the first residents of the Underground Empire had come.
"...The sun's gone. The yang energy has dwindled, but in exchange, the yin energy has gotten even stronger. ...It's great that I've gotten stronger and all, but the Emperor and the Archmage probably got stronger too."
Lee Shin Woo knew he couldn't have allowed the sun to remain, especially because Seagald had fused with it. ...Despite that, he couldn't help but worry.
He was worried about the powerful Archmage, Feotane Von Seldin (even so, Lee Shin Woo had destroyed his physical body twice), and was especially worried about the Emperor, who he assumed to be at least level 9!
If those two's darkness was further strengthened, then could Kratia even do something against them? Unlike Prince, Kratia didn't want to be useless (as always, she was being really disrespectful towards Prince) and furrowed her brow in anguish.
Her helping Lee Shin Woo study the Titan may have been good enough, but that wasn't enough for her. Now that it's come to this...
"I studied the Titan and gathered plenty of data. And because of you, Shin Woo, I've gotten a grasp on innate elements. ...Maybe it's time for me to change too."
She'd prepared herself for this, but she hadn't taken the plunge. So, in a way, it may have been for the best. It was better for her to throw away her pride as a magician.
While she was making a huge decision, she suddenly overheard someone speak.
"It truly is dark. It would usually brighten around now, like the surface. ...Though I haven't known about the surface's brightness for very long."
It was Dana, once the princess of the Underground Empire, now an Immortal. She, who should've been in the Spirits' Spring training with the spirits, had shown up in a one piece outfit and was heading towards her. In that short period of time, she had seemingly fully adjusted to her body, as she seemed much stronger than before.
"When did you get here?"
"I came right over once I heard from the Hero. ...I believe the Hero was going to call me if the situation worsened."
As Seira had pointed out, Lee Shin Woo had prepared several 'cards' for Seagald. One of those cards was the squad stationed in the Spirits' Spring.
Because Lee Shin Woo had formed a contract with the Spirits' Spring, he could create a gate to the Spirits' Spring anytime, anywhere. Thus, he could call over more personnel (surpassing the gate's limitation) more quickly than usual.
Dana had been prepared to jump into the fight against Seagald if necessary. But as you are well aware, Lee Shin Woo hadn't needed Seira, let alone Dana.
"It... truly is dark. I've never seen such darkness, even when I was strapped to the Heaven Rending Cannon in Bayran. This is the first time I've seen such a thing... ever since I was born."
"Yeah. It's scary since it's so dark."
"Hoo, hoo. I'm not scared at all. Since I now know that there's a true sun on the surface."
Contrary to everything she'd learned, the surface was very different from what she'd expected, and she was deeply moved by what she'd seen.
The underground was changing so quickly due to the machinations of just one man. And regardless of how events progressed, the Underground Empire would soon meet its end.
What would happen to her then? She thought about it and then smiled bitterly. She dare not think about it. After all, she hadn't expected that she'd be sublimated into a greater existence, an Immortal.
'The Hero must have some sort of scenario mapped out already. Everything will go as he wishes, and I have no complaints there. On the contrary, seeing such exceptional ability from the man I love causes my heart to pound. ...But how much can I really do on his stage? Can I really help him?'
Coincidentally, she was thinking along the same lines as Kratia. Lee Shin Woo was so talented that they felt stupid for pledging their aid.
Kratia, who had no idea what she was thinking, tilted her head at Dana, who was vacantly gazing at the sky and asked.
"Are you sad now that your fiance's dead? ...Or did you want to be there when it happened?"
"...Pardon? Fiance? Ah, you're talking about Seagald. I'm not sure. I regret not being able to sock him in the face, but we weren't close enough for me to feel sad over his passing. He was my fiance in name only... And I also have someone I love."
"You sound like the main character of a romance novel."
Kratia said, dumbfounded, and Dana looked askance at her and repeated.
"You seem to not have any dreams; it must be because you're a magician. Most Elementalists are pure and have a wild imagination. Everyone carries a story within their hearts. It's just that my story is a romance."
"Then what about Shin Woo? Shin Woo's an Elementalist too."
"Mm... I heard there was a darkness magic book on the surface made of human skin."
It sounded more like a book a demon would carry around, rather than an Elementalist, but Kratia could understand completely.
"You can appraise someone so calmly, yet still like them, huh..."
"He's extremely cruel and not considerate of others, but he also cares for us immensely. I like him. But sometimes, I think he spoils us too much."
"I don't really get it. His Heaven Defying General persona's really cool, but... I think I'll need to study love a bit more."
Kratia always thought he'd been the prime candidate to practice on. If he, a mere skeleton, was able to draw the affection of so many women and form such complicated relationships with them, then he would be really helpful in her understanding of love and human feelings. If Lee Shin Woo had heard her, he'd probably be really mad.
"You were both out here?"
"Oh, it's you, Seira."
Dana was somewhat perplexed at Kratia's speech, as she spoke as though she wasn't human. But then, Seira appeared at such perfect timing. She floated over to them and then looked at the night sky, which had once occupied the two's attention.
"The Empire will soon disappear without a trace. You know that, right?"
"Yes, somewhat. Were you perhaps thinking about what your role was in all this, Seira?"
"No. As long as the Empire perishes, I'm happy. Since it's no time to be worrying about our methods. I don't care if Lee Shin Woo uses me as a chess piece or puts me on his stage, so long as he destroys the Empire. ...You were thinking quite lavishly, it seems, Dana."
Seira wasn't concerned with Dana's petulance or her puffed up cheeks and just said what she wanted to say. Her attitude had changed so dramatically that it was hard to believe that just a short while ago she was praying for the dead.
"If you have any unfinished business on this curse-ridden world, then you should deal with it before everything ends. ...Oh my, I should get going."
"What about the Hero? It's just you, Seira?"
Dana's cheeks puffed up even more. Seira, feeling her gaze, smiled as if entertained, and turned around. At that moment, Lee Shin Woo entered the chatting channel and was met with...
[Lloyd H.K.: S-Silene is... Shin Woo, Silene's been captured! We have to go and save him!]
[Lee Shin Woo: Oh, no. What sad and surprising news...]
What an obvious trap! Moreover, there was an idiot right here who wanted to go head long into that trap!
A signal for battle had been lit in such an unexpected locale.Previous Chapter Next Chapter