Stop, Friendly Fire! Chapter 168
<Chapter 24. Operation - Bro, why are you there? - 6>
Lee Shin Woo yelled, as if he'd found the bully who had taken his short rib patties.
"Those wicked beasts are our enemies!"
[The lord has given the order: annihilate them!]
[Follow the lord's command!]
Once the Knight Leader repeated Lee Shin Woo's command, the surrounding undead responded by raising their weapons and advancing. It was as if their spirits could even topple a mountain! However, a few of them hadn't been caught up in the mood, and timidly asked.
[I feel a living being's energy in front of them...]
"Is that really important right now!?"
Lee Shin Woo yelled. To an undead, being hostile to the living was paramount over all else; no, he supposed that their deeply ingrained instincts were just as important, so they wouldn't just meekly nod their heads and obey his order when a living being is present!
Therefore, he needed to request that they overcome their base instincts.
"We're upholding the imperial command! We can take care of them later!"
Because of how intimidating Lee Shin Woo was, the thunderstruck undead halted any hostilities towards Kratia and Jin, and focused their attention onto the Golem Chimeras.
Lee Shin Woo sent a message, telling them to take this opportunity and get out, and Jin, though dumbfounded, instinctively moved his body out of range of the undead. Though they were well within the range of the undead magicians, the undead magicians were now focused entirely on the Golem Chimeras and thus, let Jin and Kratia go unscathed.
[We... will... enemy...]
[Kuhik... Kill them, kill them!]
[You're... trying to kill us again...!?]
[I'm sick of... the Empire... and the Emperor...!]
[Kill them! Kill them all!]
Around that time, the Chimera troops, which had been chasing after Jin and Kratia like madmen, turned their attention towards the undead troops led by Lee Shin Woo.
Though the Golem Chimeras, who had been asleep within the facility and recently awakened by magic stimuli, deeply resented Kratia, who possessed a healthy, living, and intact body while they themselves did not, their resentment towards the knights and soldiers that charged in the name of the Empire was considerable as well.
'Jin and Kratia sure did well gathering those guys.'
Whether it was a chimera with a normal golem's body, but with human limbs attached, or one with two cores inserted into a human body's twisted flesh, all the chimeras had a similarly bizarre fighting spirit, which was truly an astonishing sight. However, the undead troop's morale was no joke either.
[How dare you murder the Magician Leader! Kill them with extreme prejudice!]
[As you command, my lord!]
[Stop these awful beasts from reaching the rest of the Empire! We have to take care of them ourselves until one of the 12 generals comes!]
Thus, thousands of level 5 Flesh Golems, and the undead force, six times the size of the Chimeras and averaging at level 4, crashed into each other!
"Hoo... Nice. Shall I try acting like the Undead Commander?"
In this world, numbers alone cannot overcome a qualitative difference in strength; thus, it was quite obvious that Kadinan's forces should lose. However, Lee Shin Woo's level 7 intermediate Command, as well as his Instigate skill could make up the difference! Now was the time for him to test just how much better his Command skill had gotten after absorbing the Undead Commander's bone and leveling up!
[They're just worms rebelling against the Empire! Are you going to lose without even fighting back!?]
[We are... knights of the Empire! The swords of the Empire!]
[The swords of the Empire! We are the swords that cleave evil! ]
The synergistic effect between Instigate, which steered people's emotions a certain way and amplified them, and Command, which boosted the morale and combat abilities of his troops, was ridiculously high.
But the effects were so pronounced that even Lee Shin Woo himself was thunderstruck; almost as if on cue, organized messages courteously appeared before him.
[Instigate amplifies the effect of the Command skill. All friendly forces' morale has almost been raised to its limit. All offensive and defensive capabilities of your forces increase by 20%! A part of your subordinates can now use Bone to Bone; staking their lives to inflict a critical injury upon their enemies no matter what.]
His voice reached all of his troops due to his Instigate skill, and a faint red energy covered their bodies. Moreover, a portion of his troops, picked at random, would gain a skill that would even enable level 4 Skeleton Knights to inflict a critical injury onto level 5 enemies!
'A skill? Does this effect manifest when my Command skill levels up even more? If not, then is it because of the Instigate skill? ... And more importantly, Bone for Bone is kind of...'
It wasn't flesh for bone, but bone for bone . Lee Shin Woo didn't really feel like that change was necessary, but he soon realized that it would be incredibly disrespectful to the skill if he kept thinking like that.
He heard the sound of bones cracking across the battlefield, as well as powerful strikes that caused the Chimeras to clearly falter and retreat.
[Proud knights of Kadinan! Give up your lives for the lord!]
[If I can help the lord, even with this rotten body, then I will do so for so long as he asks it of me!]
[Should this body die again and again a hundred times over...! ]
Lee Shin Woo was deeply moved as he saw the weak knights resolve themselves and sacrifice themselves to inflict damage upon the Chimeras. What a profit!
[Knights of Kadinan, show them your loyalty towards the Empire! Magicians of Kadinan!]
[We'll burn all those wretched worms and show our loyalty to the lord!]
[We (Kadinan) are one!]
Lee Shin Woo enthusiastically raised his voice, inciting the troops further, and the undead responded in kind; they raised their swords and wands, and shouted along with him. An outside observer might think that Lee Shin Woo had been their lord for 30 years!
"Is that really Shin Woo?"
"Why is Shin Woo there?"
"I don't know. But I'm kind of curious as to who the 'Bro' would be in Plan B..."
Meanwhile, Jin and Kratia had successfully completed their mission and had escaped from the battlefield. They watched as the undead troops led by Lee Shin Woo, and the Chimeras that they'd gathered from the facility fiercely fought against the other, and cordially voiced their opinions vacantly.
Upon reuniting, they both instinctively watched the other (obviously, there was no ill will there) and even argued with each other, but upon watching the spectacle laid out for them by Lee Shin Woo, they had no other choice but to put aside their differences.
"You might be right. I can't keep up with that. The genre's completely different."
"What did I tell you?"
They watched the battle between the two forces whilst resting and relaxing the overwhelming tension from gathering the mob from the past few hours.
The difference in strength due to the level disparity was clear, but Lee Shin Woo's Command and Instigate skills were still being used. Actually, Lee Shin Woo's troops were starting to win, bit by bit! Perhaps his skill in commanding was even better than the Undead Commander, Count Nellopa, who possessed the Commander karma.
"What exactly have you guys been doing...?"
"You saw a bit of it before when you were with us, didn't you?"
Then again, this was Lee Shin Woo, who had split apart an army and caused them to self-destruct. If she thought back to that, it wasn't really that surprising that Lee Shin Woo had commandeered an entire army to fight against another army.
"It seems like he's gotten a lot stronger too."
"Actually, his increase in strength is a lot more pronounced than these other abilities. He's been fusing skills..."
"Fusing skills... It must be tough travelling alongside a monster like that..."
"Don't call my partner a monster."
She'd thought that they'd completely reconciled by now, but it seemed like they were still at odds. Kratia pondered whether or not she should say anything at this point and her lips parted, but she ultimately decided to change topics. Not to mention that there was something that was bothering her.
"Are you sure you've stopped one of the 12 generals from coming?"
"Seems that way."
"The seniors I met before told me go unnoticed in the level 3 danger zones. That I shouldn't make a fuss, and if I did, a big shot would show up."
"I feel like it's been several hours since Shin Woo started making a fuss."
From the very beginning, the reason Lee Shin Woo infiltrated the city and acted was to avoid an encounter with one of the 12 generals. He had used all the means available to him to tie up all the loose ends and move as quickly as possible; so long as the general didn't have rockets on his feet, he wouldn't be able to catch Lee Shin Woo.
Lee Shin Woo was daring, but he wasn't an idiot. He'd made this plan after carefully assessing his own abilities.
"That's whats scariest: it wasn't made out of pride."
"I'm a bit scared too."
Fortunately, things got a little better between Jin and Kratia again. They watched the undead free-for-all, as if they were enjoying some sort of war movie. Eventually, Kratia finished recovering her magic and stepped forward, as if she intended on helping.
"It seems like they're evenly-matched, so it should be fine if I were to cut down both sides, right?"
"But you can't let them aggro onto you."
"I know at least that much."
Kratia replied leisurely, and covertly raised her magic. Jin's goblin fire blazed immensely as he observed her.
Jin hadn't noticed before, as they had only intended on provoking the Chimeras in the testing facility, but now that he had a chance to watch her draw upon all of her magic, he realized that the quantity was absurd.
Kratia simply offered a subdued smile to the shocked Jin and displayed her magic. First, she would look for a wide area, and once cast, the large-scale debuff would freeze the mana of all those within that area, as well as disrupt their teamwork.
Before she could cast the spell, she had to completely understand all of the magic in the area, so it was an incredibly difficult task. While it was difficult to use, its effects were covert and immediate, so there was no better spell to use... in this situation...
However, she couldn't continue with the spell. Kratia's face momentarily paled. Though her face was normally quite pale, her complexion was pale enough to now resemble an ice statue.
"Did you fail?"
"No, that's not it."
Kratia firmly denied, and demanded a clear answer from Jin.
"You said one of the 12 generals wasn't coming!"
"They're not. Shin Woo guaranteed that they weren't."
"Then what the hell is that!?"
"I have no idea what you're talking... about... huh...?"
Jin replied in frustration, but finally saw what she was talking about with his high agility. The moment he saw it, he looked into its identity and was dumbstruck; then, he messaged Lee Shin Woo.
[Jin Taylor: Shin Woo, is that part of your plan!?]
"Advance more aggressively... Huh? What do you mean if it's part of my plan? It's perfect."
[Jin Taylor: No, it's become imperfect just now!]
Lee Shin Woo had noticed its approach later than Kratia or Jin, not because his abilities were worse than theirs, but because his command over the undead was just that important. In any case, it was fortunate that he was able to figure out what they was talking about after listening to Jin's warning.
There was something pushing through the dense, rotten trees beyond the mountain range at an incredible speed.
It was violently emitting a ridiculous amount of mana, and his eardrums, which he didn't even have, threatened to burst from its scream; the familiar face that was violently running towards them was...
Lee Shin Woo couldn't help but acknowledge that his plan, Operation - Bro, why are you there? had been completely derailed.
[Lv7 Treasure Eater]
"Steve, why are you there!?"
 T/N: Could be a reference to Sanger Zonvolt from Super Robot Wars.
 T/N: A Chinese saying adapted to Korean. Sacrifice your flesh to take their bone. Basically, take a superficial injury to inflict a severe injury. But Toy Car replaces the "flesh" part with bone because they're skeletons and they have no flesh. It really doesn't translate well as a skill name.
 T/N: A reminder. The words of Jeong Mong-ju of the Goryeo dynasty. It describes one's steadfastness, loyalty, etc.
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