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Stop, Friendly Fire! Chapter 205

<Chapter 29. Level 7 - 4>


Once Lee Shin Woo reached level 7, he was able to more easily control the surrounding mana through his mana breathing ability.

"Shin Woo, you've finally become a catalyst!"

"Nah. I'm not at that level yet..."

Kratia insisted that Lee Shin Woo's body had become a catalyst and was even happier about it than him, but Lee Shin Woo calmly denied her assertion.

Of course, his level up had drastically increased his control over mana, and he was somewhat able to draw and use the ambient mana around him. But after testing it out a few times, he realized that he wasn't able to replicate Kratia's Catalyst Magic yet.

"But you'll get there eventually. Let's study together."

"Nah, I'm not the studying type. I'll try to figure it out in the field."

"Tch..."

Kratia's eyes became really sullen. She was so mature when they had first met, yet she seemed to act younger and younger as time went on. Was that just his misunderstanding? It was probably proof that she was opening up to him, but it honestly made him feel a bit uncomfortable.

"Well, we'll be going now."

"See you later. I'll make sure to give you updates."

"I'm counting on you."

Lee Shin Woo touched Huginn's Eye for the last time, but he received a message that his Bone Reinforcement skill wasn't at a high enough level yet to absorb it. He'd checked when he first stole the artifact and carried it out of the facility, but despite his level, as well as Bone Reinforcement's level increasing, it was still beyond his reach.

"Is it a higher rank than the Bone Gate...?"

"Your compatibility must not be great. If there comes a day that you can absorb this, then..."

"I'll leave it with you until that day comes."

"Ok."

Finally, Lee Shin Woo gave Kratia a soft embrace and left the base with Jin. Rem came along with them of course.

"Shin Woo, you haven't equipped your gear."

"Ah, that's right. I'd forgotten that my gear was unsummoned as my body changed from the level up."

In the process of leveling up, his gear was released. Right now, Lee Shin Woos face had returned to that of a skeleton, but it was much whiter than when he had been a level 6, and even looked a bit transparent. It was proof that he was becoming more like mana.

He would elicit a response like 'H-He's strong!' from anyone now, as he looked like such a powerful skeleton. Lee Shin Woo was fine traveling like this, but Jin urged him to wear his gear, so he summoned and equipped it. It seemed like his equipment had improved as well, perhaps because Bone Armory had gone up to level 9.

"You don't need to go to the shop this time?"

"Mm, I'd like to sell my wine, but..."

That wasn't all. He didn't know this was how it would turn out, but because he killed tens of thousands of monsters, and level 7 elites as well, he'd amassed a fortune of 100 million Perium. He wanted to chat with Pleine and go shopping, but...

"God told me something before I left her garden last time. That I should try saving my secret shop permits."

"Ah, I think she told me that too. So how many do you have?"

Jin did his job as a hero, same as Lee Shin Woo, but because all of his permits were passed onto him, Lee Shin Woo currently possessed 18 permits. It wasn't exactly unexpected, but it was still a ridiculous amount.

"But Shin Woo, you can share the effects of the permits with people in a contract with you. If that's the case, then if all the other heroes were to form their own partnerships, then wouldn't they be able to amass permits really quickly?"

"It seems like it's not that easy to form a contract as we did."

"Yeah, I suppose so..."

He hadn't really known before, but Lee Shin Woo was able to form contracts because of his darkness mana.

Moreover, if the two parties don't trust each other completely, then it'll be difficult to form a contract between them; even Prince, who likes Lloyd so much, hadn't gone beyond just friendship, so it was understandable.

"Now that I think about it, I wonder if Prince leveled up."

"You're about to go into the chatting channel again, aren't you?"

"I'd also like to see how everyone is doing. Plus, I want to make sure that Prince didn't say some weird stuff about me. Oh, and I'm counting on you to take us to our destination."

"You asshole..."

Lee Shin Woo had reached level 7, but Jin was still level 6. Thus, rather than rushing into the level 4 danger zones, they decided to clear the level 3 danger zones that they hadn't gone to yet. 

And if it were at all possible, untrodden land that hadn't been found by the heroes yet. His main priority was to avoid Ethan Cruz at all cost.

'I know now. Ethan Cruz is level 8.'

He hadn't been entirely sure when he had watched him from afar, but he'd figured it out after meeting with the level 8 Archmage. He could sense something in common amongst the Archmage, Arema Steelworker, and Ethan Cruz. Their domination over magic.

'When I leveled up, I just barely learned how to subjugate the ambient mana around me, but... those guys are doing it passively.'

Lee Shin Woo recalled Ethan's black aura and shook. Level ups raised the level of one's 'existence', and thus, one could more naturally control mana.

Everyone had this in common, regardless of what their karma was.

'Hoo, I still have a long way to go. I have to work even harder...!'

Lee Shin Woo not only understood this but also possessed the power to dominate mana as a level 7. If a level 8 were to hear about this, then they would pass out while screaming, but unfortunately, only Lee Shin Woo was unaware of what exactly he had achieved.

Although he possessed the ability to dominate mana like Ethan Cruz and had figured out that Ethan was level 8, he gave himself a rough assessment, which was so like Lee Shin Woo.

'But why is he killing other heroes if he's level 8? Damn it, he should just go straight to the capital...'

They had a level 8 hero on their side, so why did they have to be wary of him? That fact pissed him off, and he entered the chatting channel. However.

[Mr. Lee Shin Woo has entered.]

[Ye Jin Jin: Oh, you're here! Mr. Shin Woo, I have a lot of questions for you! A lot!]

[Yasunori Akira: I heard, Lee Shin Woo!]

[Lloyd H.K.: How did you already...]

[Mentes Orun: It's all luck. Luck I say.]

[Silene Viesa: Senior! You're so cool!]

[Ethan Cruz: Ooh, I was waiting for you. Our super rookie, Lee Shin Woo!]

The moment he entered the chatting channel, he was bombarded by voice messages, which completely rid him of any list of to-dos, Ethan Cruz, or the issue with the Archmage.

[Lloyd H.K.: You... We all heard. You temporarily teamed up with Prince. Plus...]

Lee Shin Woo realized at that moment. Prince had told them everything in such a short period of time. Of course, she had promised not to tell anyone about his abilities, but there was no provision stating that she couldn't say anything about his level! Damn it!

[Ye Jin Jin: I heard that Kratia is really beautiful and her chest is really big! Why didn't you tell me that you made a new 'friend'? No, wait, where are you right now? Are you with her right now?]

No matter how he thought about it, he had no choice but to think of her as a necrophiliac, as she continuously bombarded him with questions.

[Yasunori Akira: Level 7... You're really level 7? Hoo, I'd thought that you would level up quickly, but this is... it's quite surprising.]

[Lloyd H.K.: To think you're level 7. Even I just got there... There's no way Prince is lying, but you're really...]

[Erian Ruparte: How exactly did you... Even then, you were a lower level than me...]

There were some who were shocked by his level and didn't know how to respond as well.

[Mentes Orun: Did you receive a growth acceleration skill from God? I heard that there was a hero like that before, but I didn't think that you'd have one too. I'm happy. And I'm truly thankful, Junior.]

[Silene Viesa: You're so cool, Senior! I heard that you killed an elite monster that was a higher level than you! She said it seemed like you were used to it... You really are cool! I really look up to you!]

They didn't even think to ask about how he had reached level 7, and there were some who were just happy about his level up.

[Ethan Cruz: You really... You really surprised me. My heart's pounding. Haha, you're a really cool junior.]

Ethan was like a venomous snake that was licking its lips (at least, that's what Lee Shin Woo felt). Lee Shin Woo sighed and spoke. He had to somehow smooth out this situation.

[Lee Shin Woo: A lot happened in a short period of time, so...]

[Lloyd H.K.: A lot happened? 'A lot happening' doesn't explain this, you rascal.]

[Yasunori Akira: You must've risked your life. Probably... a countless number of times. I thought you were a calm and cautious guy, but you're actually more reckless than anyone. But you won and survived, so I can't really criticize you...]

[Erian Ruparte: I'd like to ask you something. Perhaps... At that time, when I told you to run away from one of the 12 general's troops, did you...]

[Lee Shin Woo: ...Haha.]

[Erian Ruparte: As I thought. I feel embarrassed that I assumed you were at my level. Could you please forgive me?]

Lee Shin Woo replied as humbly as he could to move on, but it was impossible. Everyone thought Lee Shin Woo was a monster who went around risking his life! What was most infuriating was that there was nothing wrong with what they were saying. This is why he had tried hiding his level!

No, there was no way he would have been able to hide his level forever, so he knew that he would have to reveal it someday. Because his Disguise skill had leveled up a fair bit, he thought it'd be ok to tell them, but someone else revealing his level was different from he himself doing it!

[Lee Shin Woo: I was just really lucky. As you said, Senior Yasunori, I risked my life several times. Senior Prince also helped quite a bit as well.]

[Prince Altania: Hmph, of course I did. There's no way you could've done it without me.]

She chose to shamelessly appear at that moment. Lee Shin Woo promised that he'd spank her later when they met again.

[Lee Shin Woo: Senior, were you able to get to level 7?]

[Prince Altania: Of course I did. Who do you think I am? From now on, call me Archmage Prince. Kratia's no match for me now.]

[Lee Shin Woo: Of course, Archmage Prince.]

It seemed like she'd completely recovered from the damage she'd sustained from encountering the Archmage. Even though there was a part of her that was cocky, that cockiness allowed her to bounce back quickly. As expected, she was indeed a hero.

[Ethan Cruz: Anyhow, now... Lloyd, it might be time for us to take on one of the 12 generals.]

At that moment, the chatting channel froze. Only Lee Shin Woo could tell what his true intentions were, and soon, the other heroes responded explosively.

[Lloyd H.K.: Are you sure, Senior!?]

[Ethan Cruz: Yeah. You reached level 7 just a little while ago, and both Prince and Lee Shin Woo have become level 7, so... We still need to be careful, but we should go looking for one of the weak ones who doesn't have that many troops.]

[Lloyd H.K.: Senior, I'd like to participate!]

[Prince Altania: The 12 generals... I-I'd like to participate as well!]

[Mentes Orun: Ethan, you...]

[Ethan Cruz: Will you fight with us, Mentes?]

[Mentes Orun: ...Tch.]

It wasn't a good development. Of course, Lee Shin Woo also wanted to take down the 12 generals, but this was all part of Ethan's plan, so everything was taking a turn for the worst. Only he could tell exactly what Ethan was planning.

Indeed, Ethan was definitely planning on 'harvesting' them now. He'd already experienced this before, so he knew exactly what he was thinking.

[Lee Shin Woo: I'd like to participate as well, Senior. I'll tell Kratia as well.]

[Ethan Cruz: What a reassuring response. It'll be some time before we stand on the battlefield, as we still need to locate one of the 12 generals, but during that time, make sure you get used to your new level!]

However, Lee Shin Woo didn't show any signs of him seeing through Ethan's plan and naturally accepted his request. At the same time, he lightly tapped Jin and said.

"The plan's changed. Mm, let's change directions. I'll tell you where."

"What are we going to do there?"

"Mm, I was going to start doing this after you got to level 7 too, but... the circumstances have changed."

The reddish black goblin fire within his eye sockets shined dismally.

He was originally going to avoid Ethan until he knew he could beat him, but he couldn't just eat out of the palm of his hand. Therefore, he had no choice but to take him on.

"If I want to beat a Hero Hunter, then... I need to take down some heroes too."

Lee Shin Woo said and marked several dots on Jin's minimap. There they would find undead heroes that weren't under Ethan Cruz's command.

Lee Shin Woo couldn't put it off any longer. He would now begin Gods quest in earnest.

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