Stop, Friendly Fire! Chapter 173
<Chapter 25. Hansen Von Dorthe - 4>
Lee Shin Woo released his 'lord cosplay', betraying the guilt-free skeletons and massacring them. Yet the Lightning General and the Treasure Eater had no idea, as they were still fighting against each other.
The Lightning General didn't have the time to look away, as his opponent was freakishly strong and tenacious!
[Tch. What's making you so desperate?]
Since they both knew that lightning wouldn't work on each other, they instead used their mana purely to reinforce their bodies. It seemed as though both were thinking 'why did it have to be him?', regardless of who was more intelligent or not.
Hansen swung his bastard sword with enough power to topple a mountain, and the Treasure Eater matched his reinforced blade with a reinforcement of its own; it concentrated its mana into its tail to reinforce it, and then used it to block the incoming sword!
The moment the sword and tail met, there was a large boom and the land quaked; the entire area sunk. Their collision caused the geography of the land to change; so much so that either side had the credentials to be called a calamity.
[Tch, another draw...]
Though it was frustrating for Hansen to admit, their strength was about equal. Hansen possessed higher strength and agility, but the Treasure Eater was a monster that possessed an unusually high amount of magic, even when compared to other like-leveled monsters! It covered its weakness in strength and agility with its magic, and as a result, they were evenly matched.
If that's the case, then killing it quickly was no longer an option. He'd have to take advantage of its mistakes and cause it to accumulate injuries over time. If not, then he'd have to use large scale techniques... he was going to continue like this for now and observe.
'There's no way a monster like this would appear anywhere... There's still something here that I don't know about.'
A Treasure Eater wouldn't appear in a place devoid of treasures. The item had to be amazing to entice a level 7 Treasure Eater... Hansen thought of taking the treasure that the Treasure Eater was hoarding, as well as the treasure that it sought.
With that in mind, Hansen was relieved that he hadn't reported to the Emperor regarding this excursion. He'd thought that it was unnecessary to bother the Emperor when it wasn't regarding the golems' capture, yet it was an opportunity for him to get something on the side!
'Is it the lord? Yeah, he had to have obtained a treasure recently.'
He'd already figured out prior that the Treasure Eater's target was the lord. The lord must be happy that he can use him to take care of the Treasure Eater, but after he'd taken down this guy, he would snatch that treasure off the lords hands as the price for telling a general to come to him!
'So, smile while you still can... Huh!?'
However, during the small moment after he'd dodged the Treasure Eater's charge, Hansen turned his attention to the lord atop the castle walls and couldn't believe his eyes. To the point that he believed that his eyes had finally rotted away completely after dozens of years of being an undead.
The lord who was smiling and looking down from the castle walls was... completely different from before! Especially because the skeleton, who stared back at him with black goblin fire in his eyes while riding a horse, possessed power that caused him unease, albeit for a mere moment.
'W-What's this!? Is that the lord? Plus, I don't see any of his subordinates atop the castle walls; am I seeing things wrong? No, I remember the lord's face and energy; I remember everything!'
All beings possess an inherent energy that they cannot change. That is represented by magic. Even though there were cases where the shape of mana continuously developed, changed form, and developed again, it wasn't possible to instantaneously change its fundamental nature.
'But that guy is... Kuheok!'
Is it because he paid too much attention to this unbelievable situation? Hansen was hit directly by the Treasure Eater's body tackle and was thrown into the air. He wasn't the only one aiming for his opponent's weaknesses; the Treasure Eater was as well. Because Hansen was so shocked, he had momentarily forgotten about the current battle!
Once he'd been struck by the Treasure Eater and was thrown into the air, he barely managed to land and return to a proper stance. Even so, Hansen couldn't take his mind off of Lee Shin Woo. Even as he swung his bastard sword and blocked the Treasure Eater's charge, he continued to think about Lee Shin Woo.
'How did he disguise himself as another? If that's truly possible, then when did he start? Was it when he called me? No, it shouldn't be that easy to release the lock on the communication device...!'
The more he thought about it, the less he understood his current situation. No matter how he thought about it, he came to the conclusion that 'it was impossible'! Of course, it was Lee Shin Woo's ability that had caused the general such confusion. That's what it meant to step onto the Joker's stage.
Until now, Hansen had a slight advantage against the Treasure Eater, but because of his confusion, the tides of battle had turned. The Treasure Eater rushed him, as though it was capitalizing on this opportunity. Even though he knew that he shouldn't get distracted, his head was still in the clouds.
'Did I fall for a trap? If so, then whose? Is it Anti-Skull... No, that's unlikely. Then the golems? Is it Arema Steelworker? Yeah, it wouldn't be impossible for them to make a golem with such a strange ability...! The one thing I'm sure about is that that skeleton isn't the mastermind behind all this.'
From that point, Hansen had already gone astray. He couldn't believe that Lee Shin Woo had planned this all by himself and surmised that there had to be someone behind him!
But unfortunately, Lee Shin Woo no longer made him feel afraid or tense. Rather...
'...There's no point in thinking about this anymore by myself. Pull yourself together, Hansen!'
'Even if it's rotten, it's still a herring.' No, actually it's a general. He halted all thoughts that came about from this chaotic situation and instead raised his fighting spirit.
Realizing early on that using his brain isn't his job, and focusing on what he's good at is. That was the first thing he realized in his life!
'It doesn't matter. Whoever it is that's pulling the strings... I'll show them that a general isn't to be taken lightly...!'
At the very least, the only level 7 he could sense here was the level 7 Treasure Eater. If that's the case, then it didn't matter what obstacle he faced; he would be able to overcome it with his strength. He, the Lightning General, was sure of it. He possessed the strength that would make that possible!
'No matter who it is or what they do, I'll just burn them to a crisp...!'
Once he was finished taking care of the Treasure Eater, the skeleton atop the castle walls with chaotically burning goblin fire was next. He was surprised by the fact that he had been vexed by the lord just a little while ago, as he was sure that the lord wouldn't be able to match him in strength.
Of course, there was something that was waiting for him after too. But it didn't matter. They would burn from his lightning!
[I'll burn you and break you into pieces! Witness my true strength, the strength of the Lightning Shadow General, Hansen Von Dorthe!]
He fended off the Treasure Eater, and the moment it was pushed back, Hansen's body was covered in lightning. If he knew that lightning was useless against his opponent, then why? Of course, the lightning wasn't for an attack.
[Watch, you insignificant creature. This is how you use lightning...!]
He forcefully discharged the lightning and slowly gathered the lightning inside his body. At the same time, his body started becoming fainter and fainter!
No, it wasn't becoming faint. The lightning covering his body was rotating much too quickly and was emitting sparks; he was making it so that it was difficult to see where his body even was. In the midst of that, his body and mana surpassed their limits, and it was almost as if his body and the lightning had become one.
'Holy shit, that's really intense...!'
Seeing that, Lee Shin Woo held his breath. Lee Shin Woo had never met anyone outside of monsters with such a strong elemental affinity, and it goes without saying that Hansen's technique interested him. From the position of someone who could use the lightning element, he couldn't miss a single moment of this!
[This is... true lightning!]
Lightning Shadow described a lightning so powerful that could only be seen as a shadow. It wasn't merely something like attacking quickly and covertly. The key point of this technique was to hide one's body within the powerful energy!
[How much longer do you intend to trouble me for... Die!]
It was difficult to even ascertain the true nature of the technique, and it was similarly difficult to avoid it or defend against it. Even if he possessed lightning resistance, it couldnt be easy to focus that tremendous magic and heat, that surpassed that of ordinary lightning, into a single point!
The Treasure Eater channeled its energy in an attempt to resist. However, before its defenses were ready, Hansen forcefully struck out with his bastard sword. The energy surrounding his bastard sword made it look like a several meter long greatsword. No, it was like the lightning of a god that descended onto the mortal world!
Hansen had pierced a giant hole in the Treasure Eater. Seeing that outrageous sight, Lee Shin Woo thought that he might've made the wrong decision. That attack that the Lightning General had unleashed wasn't something that could be blocked with mere lightning resistance.
'Then I guess I really will have to be prepared to die one or two times... Huh?'
But then, the Treasure Eater showed its own secret weapon. Hansen grinned from landing such a huge attack, but the Treasure Eater then spawned dozens of tentacles from its injured area that attached to Hansen.
Lee Shin Woo thought 'I've seen that somewhere before' as the tentacles wriggled around, sucking Hansen's energy.
Both Hansen and the Treasure Eater screamed. The Treasure Eater absorbed the powerful lightning that surrounded Hansen's body and was healing its injuries! Absorbing elemental power was an offshoot of an element; it wasn't just the Lightning General who had been waiting for his opportunity.
[You... You bastard!]
Hansen, who'd lost a tremendous amount of energy, swung his bastard sword, and severed all of the attached tentacles. There's no use crying over spilled milk. The Treasure Eater had almost fully healed the injury it had sustained by absorbing Hansen's mana.
[You dare... push me this far!]
Lee Shin Woo watched both Hansen and the Treasure Eater as they gasped for breath; both of them had run low on magic and health. And judged strictly, earnestly, and solemnly.
"Mm, this is a draw."
"I was wondering why you weren't saying anything."
"But more importantly, Jin, it's about time we started moving."
If one were to ask if Lee Shin Woo was just leisurely watching the fight, then the answer would obviously be no. He had absorbed all of the level 5 and level 6 bones from his betrayal (he'd stored all of the level 3 and 4 bones in his inventory, which totaled in the tens of thousands), and increased his stats significantly. At the same time, he had infused the Drake Horn Lances with his replenished magic and had been waiting for the right time.
'Two, three, four, five... My armor's all set too.'
He had the five Drake Horn Lances, and because he had returned to his original form, he had unsummoned the Lighting Tooth and had instead summoned his armor set. He decided to act when he had finished infusing his armor with magic as well!
"They went back and forth, but the general's still stronger, right?"
"Yep. If it keeps going on like this, the Treasure Eater will definitely lose."
And from Lee Shin Woo's position, that wasn't a very fun conclusion. It was time to add another variable.
"Alright... Finally, it's time to set [Operation - Bro, where are you going?] into motion."
"Man, all that means is that we're running."
As expected, he didn't get fooled anymore. Lee Shin Woo clicked his tongue and got onto Jin's back. He'd collected all of the bones and had finished absorbing them as well, so there was no point in being here any longer. Jin jumped from the castle walls and began to run!
Their destination was obviously where the Golem Chimeras that were experiencing PTSD and rolling on the floor came from... the Sanctuary, the Empire's testing facility!
 T/N: Naruto reference to Raikage (Lightning Shadow). Lightning Shadow General is more literally correct than Lightning General now that Toy Car has given us the Chinese characters ().
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