Stop, Friendly Fire! Chapter 240
<Chapter 35. The Call of Death - 2>
"It's good to see you, everyone. Some of you I know, but there are also some new faces here."
"It's nice to finally meet you, Senior."
"Wow, you're Lee Shin Woo? You look nice. I totally thought a wild animal would show up..."
"Pot calling the kettle black there, Lloyd."
"So the lady over here is Kratia? The rumors were right, you are beautiful. I feel like God has been picking heroes based on their beauty lately."
"Hi, you're ugly. Unlike Shin Woo. Even his bones are good looking."
"And you look weaker than Shin Woo too."
"Senior Orun, those two are really skilled. Don't just sit there shaking and come over here."
Aside from Ye Jin Jin and Silene Viesa (both of whom couldn't participate due to their low levels), Lee Shin Woo was able to meet all of the other heroes face-to-face, which was deeply moving (of course, Yasunori Akira wasn't present, but he should be hiding somewhere nearby).
It was ironic, as it was difficult to meet with them when it was peaceful, but when it came time to fight the 12 generals, all the heroes gathered in one place and chatted.
"You have no idea how much I wanted to meet you."
"I as well, Senior. Please take care of me."
The handsome middle-aged man, Ethan Cruz looked right at Lee Shin Woo and initiated a conversation; in response, Lee Shin Woo flashed him a bright, clean, and confident smile and replied. He would have never even suspected that Lee Shin Woo was conspiring to kill him just a few hours ago!
"I trust you. You'll definitely be a huge help."
"I'm almost sick of hearing how you spare no expense to help your juniors."
Ethan Cruz and Lee Shin Woo laughed and conversed, but Jin, who was listening in, couldn't help but laugh. A big help? Spares no expense? They were both lying to each other, and Jin, who knew the truth, would probably say something like 'Can you really be talking to each other like that?'.
"Haha, you really do have a silver tongue."
"I said this before, but I'll trust in you, Senior. Hahaha."
But Lee Shin Woo was clearly the better swindler. Lee Shin Woo smiled, as he had already seen through Ethan Cruz's plan, but Ethan Cruz had no idea what he was planning.
At this point, Lee Shin Woo's Acting skill wasn't just perfect, it was peerless, as it fooled Ethan into thinking that he was just a junior that respected his senior. With the very modest nature that he'd shown everyone in the chatting channel! Who could know that there was another side to him hidden behind that face?
Lee Shin Woo's energy made him the superior con man. Although he wasn't showing his darkness magic at all, Ethan was different; he was covered in chaotic darkness.
'As I thought, his darkness energy is ridiculously strong. He sure is good at faking it...'
Ethan Cruz hid his specialty well; he was a specialist in darkness magic debuffs, though he acted like he was a buffer. On the other hand, he didn't hide his darkness magic.
Ethan told his juniors that he used some sort of darkness buff, but... because Lee Shin Woo was able to see it, as he could use a high rank darkness magic, and possessed a high affinity with mana. Eight threads that originated from Ethan Cruz trailed off to a place quite far away.
[I will begin pursuit. Would you like for me to do something else once I have found them?]
'You wouldn't be able to if they're grouped up, but it seems like there are two of them that are acting separately.'
Obviously, Ethan Cruz couldn't show his undead heroes to the other heroes. And it was also obvious why Ethan Cruz was mobilizing a portion of those undead heroes. After all, he had to prepare for someone like Yasunori Akira.
If someone from the outside learned of what he was planning, then Ethan Cruz would have to drop his facade, so he was using his undead to scout out for anyone who might interfere with his plan.
'In any case, the fact that he's sending two out means... that I have to assume that Ethan Cruz is prepared as well.'
Although Yasunori Akira was hidden, it seems like he hadn't fooled Ethan Cruz. He should've hidden better. If he just let them do as they pleased, Yasunori Akira may be in trouble, but it largely depended on Yasunori Akira's skill.
'I can't let that happen. After all, he's a precious ally who could have a huge impact on the battlefield.'
Of the Paul Corps under his command, Lee Shin Woo picked a few of the most powerful and fastest amongst them and gave them separate orders.
Their mission was obvious. They were to pursue the undead heroes and kill them! His subordinates' kills counted as his kills, so he gave the order without hesitation.
'Before the true hunt begins, I suppose I should cut off an ankle or two.'
[I will go and help them now. Beginning the program for optimized hunting and flight.]
'Alright. I'm counting on you.'
Lee Shin Woo made Rem, who had borrowed his darkness magic and was beginning to search for them, completely responsible for this task. Then, he looked at Ethan Cruz and smiled 'naively'.
Ah, the other 6 undead heroes were probably joining up with the 12 generals' troops. Since that was the simplest way to kill the other heroes.
"Hey, Lee Shin Woo. Let me see your skills."
"Oh my, Lloyd's the one challenging him?"
Lee Shin Woo, who had been looking at Ethan Cruz, heard someone call him and turned his head. There was a blonde haired, blue eyed man looking at him, who resembled a prince from a fairy tale; Lee Shin Woo wondered why this handsome man looking at him was emanating such a fighting spirit.
So much so that he wasn't even worried about the fact that a charming elf, Erian Ruparte, was glued to his side.
'Was he always this hot-blooded?'
Lee Shin Woo looked at Lloyd, felt dubious, and muttered inwardly. From what he remembered, Lloyd was always friendly to his juniors. In addition, he was also a popular guy who hogged Erian and Prince to himself... What exactly had changed? His eyes were looking at Lee Shin Woo as if he were a competitor, so Lee Shin Woo just naturally tilted his head.
"Senior, we'll be fighting against one of the 12 generals soon..."
"There's still time before their forces show up, and besides, it should be fine; it'll just be a light duel. I'd like to see those skills that everyone is always complimenting you for."
Lloyd sounded cool and collected, but he couldn't conceal the passion within his voice. No matter how friendly he was, once a warrior, always a warrior, huh. Lee Shin Woo shrugged his shoulders and softly gripped the Breath of the Lightning God. It would completely ruin the mood if he were to reject this challenge.
"Hey, Lloyd... Do you have to be so juvenile and fight to decide who's stronger? Are you a little kid?"
"Sit tight, Prince. It's just a duel."
Prince tried to stop him, but he wouldn't budge. Most of the other seniors watched on in curiosity. Since all of them wanted to see Lee Shin Woo's skills first hand.
What was the saying, 'a tall tree catches much wind'? If he thought from their perspective, then he and Kratia were both powerful and had popped up out of nowhere. It was obvious that they'd want to assess his skills. Moreover, it was difficult to test a magician's ability out of the blue, so it seems like all of them had 'aggroed' onto Lee Shin Woo.
"Damn, you're being a dumbass."
"Why are you getting all worked up over a duel?"
"Hoo... Whatever, go ahead you idiot."
Prince had already seen Lee Shin Woo's frightening abilities firsthand, so she knew that Lloyd would be humiliated if Lee Shin Woo went all out. She obviously didn't want to see the man she loved lose so badly.
"Then, shall we move?"
"You don't need to do that. We can fight here."
However, Lloyd hadn't taken notice of Prince's concern and just solely focused on Lee Shin Woo. His body shone and he became stronger than before, so it was clear that he had just buffed himself.
"Ah, you really are an idiot. I guess you won't understand until he kicks your ass."
"...Prince, aren't you a bit off today?"
"Hah? You want a piece of me? Your ears are long, just like a donkey's!"
"What did you say!?"
"If you're not coming, then I will!"
Prince and Erian argued 'amicably' and then, Lloyd, who acted like he'd give Lee Shin Woo the first move, spoke and came rushing over to him. Not only was he level 7, but he was also buffed as well, so he was incredibly fast!
'Oh, I can see it easily even without Jin's help.'
Unfortunately for him, Lee Shin Woo's stats were always being buffed by his Rebellion skill, while Rule of Bone also reinforced his body. His own buffs far outclassed Lloyd's.
Moreover, Lloyd had only just become level 7, while Lee Shin Woo was level 7 and had increased his stats exponentially, with a stat total of 9,200. Even if he doesn't use all of his skills... he could take on Lloyd with one hand.
However, Lee Shin Woo didn't unleash his full strength, and acted as though he could barely dodge Lloyd's strikes. Hiding his skills in front of Ethan Cruz was the optimum decision, but... it was also in Lloyd's best interest, or Lloyd's confidence to be more specific, to take it easy.
'If I want to do that, then I have to act perfectly.'
And because he possessed such peerless acting skills, it wasn't very difficult for him! It was his first time acting like he was unskilled, but it was nice in its own way. Lee Shin Woo clashed blades with Lloyd, and matched his swordsmanship just by acting.
"You're blocking me well!"
"Keuk, Senior. You're too fast...!"
It would look strange if he lost too easily, but at the same time, winning would count as a loss for him. Lee Shin Woo leisurely ran around in order to maintain that fine balance. He could only move like that because he had complete control over his body. And... in the midst of 'barely' matching up to Lloyd, he felt like his abilities were improving for some odd reason.
'The fact that I'm matching his level of swordsmanship might be increasing the precision of my own.'
He could see so many weak points, but he acted like he wasn't aware of them and wouldn't attack. Then, he would lead Lloyd into attacking where he wanted. He acted as though he had a weak spot, and then would barely block that attack. Doing all of that naturally was certainly very difficult.
That enabled him to improve both his swordsmanship... and his acting ability as well.
[The Acting skill has become Lv19. There is no limit to your acting ability. You can act anywhere. You can act as though you are losing to an ant, but you can also bluff a dragon into leaving.]
[The High rank Bursting Thunder skill has become Lv4. Strength and Magic have increased by 10.]
Lee Shin Woos movements became even smoother. He wasn't turning the course of the duel around, but he made the fight look much closer than before.
"Ah, I guess we should stop here."
How many times had they clashed blades? In the end, Lloyd smiled regrettably, as he hadn't been able to overpower Lee Shin Woo, and took a step back. His expression looked much more refreshed than it had just a little while ago; so much so that Lee Shin Woo felt better as well.
"Thank you for taking it easy on me, Senior."
"I wasn't taking it easy on you. You really are strong. Then again, there's no way you wouldn't be skilled when your level is so high. I feel like you have at least intermediate level 7 swordsmanship..."
"...I don't know what to say."
'I reached high rank level 4 because of you'... is something he couldn't say.
"It guess that makes sense. I'm the same. To be honest, God gave me another secret skill... It's a skill that always kills its target, so I can't use it on my allies. You have a skill like that too, right?"
"Of course, I don't know if it'll work on your or not, but I do indeed have another skill from God. Please use that skill on the 12 generals."
"Haha, alright. Take good care of me."
"That's my line. Please take care of me."
Lee Shin Woo and Lloyd sported refreshing smiles and shook hands. If an outsider had seen the fight, then they would've assumed that the two were rivals that had acknowledged each other after a fierce battle... though he just looked like a swindler to Kratia and Prince.
And that's how Lee Shin Woo succeeded in completely fooling the other heroes about his abilities.
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