<Chapter 52. War's Scenario - 2>
[Lloyd H.K.: Shin Woo, Silene is...!]
[Lee Shin Woo: Senior, I get it already, so please don't cry and take your time.]
[Erian Ruparte: We've been anxious lately since Retadane disappeared, but... Lee Shin Woo. I'm sorry. You're the one who's suffering the most...]
[Lee Shin Woo: No, it's fine, so please go ahead and explain.]
Wait, why would he suffer from Seira's death? He urged them to get to the main point whilst tilting his head. Then, Erian continued, as if she understood what he was thinking.
[Erian Ruparte: Anyway... We've been really anxious lately, but all of a sudden, Silene Viesa came into the channel.]
[Lee Shin Woo: He did, did he?]
Lee Shin Woo checked, confirming that Silene was still accessing the chatting channel. However, he wasn't talking, likely because he was in a situation where he couldn't.
That meant he wasn't dead yet... He was really surprised since he expected Silene to be dead already, but he pretended like he wasn't.
'Wait a sec. This is... What is this? Ha, that's hilarious.'
More importantly... He didn't want to believe it, but he felt like something was off with the chatting channel. It wasn't the normal chatting channel! Contrary to Lee Shin Woo, who was feeling a bit anxious, Erian calmly continued with her explanation.
[Erian Ruparte: But I think he encountered one of the 12 Generals. I don't know which one he met, but... I believe he's been captured. He's been imprisoned.]
[Lee Shin Woo: One of the 12 Generals, huh...]
...Lee Shin Woo thought about which of the 12 Generals it could be.
[Lloyd H.K.: Those damn undead. To think they'd take Silene hostage...!]
[Lee Shin Woo: I see. So he's been captured alive. I wonder why they've taken such a merciful approach? How shocking...]
It was so obvious what was going on; Lee Shin Woo's Acting ability couldn't handle their stupidity and he let his insincerity slip. Erian noticed, seemingly more anxious than before, and yelled desperately.
[Erian Ruparte: We know how shocking it must've been to lose Seira. However... Lee Shin Woo, we would appreciate it if you helped us. We can't just leave him out to die! He's your junior, someone who greatly respected you!]
Who lost who exactly? He was shocked because of who? Their delusions had run this rampant during the time that Lee Shin Woo and Seira were out of touch...? Lee Shin Woo was astounded and remained silent, but then Lloyd continued where Erian had left off with a loud voice.
[Lloyd H.K.: If we work together, we can take down one of the 12 Generals. We have to hurry. It'll get even harder if he calls for reinforcements. Shin Woo... Help us.]
[Erian Ruparte: Lee Shin Woo.]
Both seniors asked seriously. Lee Shin Woo closed his eyes in thought. He already knew what to say to these incorrigible idiots, but he wanted to organize his thoughts before doing so.
[Lloyd H.K.: Shin Woo, if we work together, then we should be able to save our comrade from certain danger...]
[Lee Shin Woo: I'm sorry, but...]
They were about to try persuading him once more, but then Lee Shin Woo firmly said...
[Lee Shin Woo: I can't go right now. I'm sorry, but it looks like you'll have to give up on Silene. Please don't go anywhere. ...I'm sure you already know about the underground's sun, yes?]
[Lloyd H.K.: Lee Shin Woo!]
Lee Shin Woo didn't even reply and just left the chatting channel. He then checked his Mana Radar and sighed deeply. He'd hoped that he was wrong.
Then, Seira and the rest of his party trickled in. He only called Seira, so why were all of them here? He tilted his head and asked.
"Seira, I want to ask you something."
"What is it?"
"Can a person use the chatting channel to affect another's mana? In other words, is it possible to use darkness mana to find the other heroes' location or info?"
In response, Seira sported a strange expression. It was as if she was saying 'I never even thought of that'. She looked straight at him and said.
"What's with you all of a sudden? You know that the chatting channel is a part of God's domain."
"Yeah. I thought so too, but I sensed darkness mana within the chatting channel. Isn't that strange?"
That's right. That was the main source of Lee Shin Woo's uneasiness. What's worse, he felt an attempt at a 'forced connection' in order to figure out his location.
He'd led that mana to an entirely different location, but it wouldn't have been possible had it not been for his maxed out Darkness Element and Dark Shadow.
"The chatting channel is a domain comprised of God's mana, so how could another person's mana interfere with it? That's extremely hard to believe... But if you sensed it, then you're probably right. It seems like you were able to control your mana as you please within the chatting channel too."
Seira was well-versed in Lee Shin Woo's abilities. She'd felt it was strange and thought about it, furrowing her eyebrows, and then said.
"This has never happened before. If it did, I wasn't aware of it."
"I could've asked Ethan Cruz if he were still alive."
"That really makes me feel sorry for myself."
He ignored Seira's sarcastic remark and heard Kratia's cautious voice.
"...Shin Woo, the fact that they've intruded upon God's power means that..."
"Yeah. If we make a mistake, then no new heroes will be summoned... So, we have to end it. I don't think I have to worry about you two, but just in case, Jin, Kratia, don't go into the chatting channel."
While he was at it, he sent Prince a private message telling her not to enter the chatting channel. Fortunately, he wasn't too late and she obeyed his warning.
[Prince Altania: Silene Viesa? He's already dead to me.]
"As expected of a veteran hero."
Prince was busy exploring dungeons on the surface, so she didn't have the time to come down and save Silene. It was quite fortunate actually. Silene Viesa was likewise already dead to Lee Shin Woo as well.
If Silene Viesa had brought the darkness mana within him by entering the chatting channel, then he was playing in the palm of their enemies' hands. It was already too late to even consider saving him.
Did Erian and Lloyd not realize this? They probably didn't. They were unsure if they could even take down the weakest of the 12 Generals, yet they wanted to save him? It was all just hot air.
[Prince Altania: Lloyd'll probably trust in his abilities and try saving him himself... He's probably cursing at us too.]
"I'd be happy if that's all that happens."
[Prince Altania: We weren't originally good friends, so it's not surprising. Still... Junior... Lloyd's in danger, isn't he?]
Lee Shin Woo replied honestly. The battle had already begun. Their foes had succeeded in hacking into Silene's hero abilities and were attempting to track down the other heroes, so... it didn't matter whether the two heroes went to save him or not, they were in danger.
"They're in incredible danger, as they have no way of stopping the enemy from tracking them down. Of course, they won't be caught immediately, as they're still quite far away."
[Prince Altania: But if the Archmage himself goes, then...]
"...I threw them off their trail too, but it shouldn't slow down someone skilled enough to hack into the chatting channel for very long."
[Prince Altania: ...]
Prince was dead quiet. Lee Shin Woo could easily tell how she was feeling and smiled bitterly.
"Why're you being so honorable now? It's not like you."
[Prince Altania: You're one to talk! Even I have a sense of shame, ok? I know how much you've helped me and I know that I'm leaving all the tough stuff to you (the fight between the surface and underground).]
He's glad she knew. Lee Shin Woo nodded his head and said.
"So what are you getting at?"
[Prince Altania: ...Well... Junior, can't you save Lloyd for me? Is it too much? Is it impossible?]
"I can't believe you're actually asking me that."
[Prince Altania: You told me to ask! You told me!]
"I'm shocked. There's a limit to how brazen you can be."
[Prince Altania: Hey!]
It really was fun playing around with her... Err, it was fun talking to her. He felt the stress from those idiots, Lloyd and Erian, wash away and took a deep breath. And then he said...
"I'll try. Don't hate me if it doesn't work. Since I'll bring you Lloyd's bone."
[Prince Altania: What's the point of bringing me his bone!? I don't like bones you know!?]
"I'm being really generous here. I guess you don't know me that well."
[Prince Altania: ...Junior.]
Despite his small talk, Prince's voice died down. Since she knew just what she was asking of him.
[Prince Altania: Thanks. Aside from the bone issue... Thanks for everything.]
"So just relax and clear the dungeons, Senior."
[Prince Altania: Don't die. You're not allowed to die.]
"I don't die even when I'm killed, so don't worry about me."
After he was finished, he stood up. Everything was looking at him, but they already knew what he was going to say. If he was going now, then that meant...
"Total war? I really wanted to combine the Annihilation Flame Bone Core and the Titan before then."
"We haven't practiced enough... Sseup, I guess it can't be helped."
"Would you like me to bring the others from the surface? They're all waiting for your order, Hero."
"I'm ready to cry whenever you need me. Crying for you is... I guess I'll tell you at the end."
They all seemed much livelier than before, especially Seira, whose change was surprising. It was as though Seagald's death had released her from a heart demon , as she acted her age now. But unfortunately...
"Sorry to rain on your parade, but it's not yet time. I only called Seira, remember? Go back to work. Especially you, Kratia. I'm leaving the Titan to you."
"Think about it. Why is the capital only now trying to find where the heroes are? There's no way they'd focus on the heroes. Think about it. They've basically taken no damage from the heroes. They took the most damage from either Anti-Skull or the Heaven Defying General. Of course, the Heaven Defying General is actually a hero, but they don't know that."
"They're trying to clean up. In other words, they're trying to reduce the number of variables. Thus, the Archmage, not the Emperor has come forward."
That's right. Lee Shin Woo had already figured out that the Archmage had messed with the chatting channel.
How did he do it? It was simple. He had used darkness mana within the chatting channel, so Lee Shin Woo was not only able to hide his location but could also trace the Archmage's mana back to its source (and found Silene Viesa's location as well), as well as locate Lloyd and Erian on the side!
"So I checked with the Mana Radar and ta-da! The Archmage was there."
"I see. Our enemies are trying to kill the heroes to reduce the number of unknowns."
"So, as a result, you not only figured out that the Archmage is outside of the capital, but what his motives and location are as well...?"
Since he knew the Archmage's plan and location, he was now in the driver's seat. All he needed to do was wait for the right opportunity!
"You're not going to save Lloyd. You're using him to lure the Archmage out of the palace so that you can kill him... Am I right?"
"You're... the same as ever. You don't need to be so thorough. You don't have to be so cautious..."
Lee Shin Woo just shrugged his shoulders. To be honest, he had already sent his Erem brigade to the coordinates and planned to use Fire Shadow to get there when it was time. But he didn't really need to tell them that.
"Then, I'll get going."
"Didn't you say you would wait for the right time?"
"Ah, that's not it."
Lee Shin Woo used one of the permits to God's secret shop and smiled bitterly.
"I was just wondering if the secret shop was affected like the chatting channel. I'll be quick."
"...The secret shop."
'This'll probably be my last trip to the secret shop', he thought and was about to activate the permit, but then... someone grabbed onto his hand. It was none other than Seira.
She sported a complicated expression, but she was definitely holding onto his hand. She briefly hesitated but soon mustered up her courage.
"...May I come with you?"
 E/N: A thought that was weighing her down mentally. Though you should know that as you are reading this on Wuxiaworld. ✨Previous Chapter Next Chapter