Stop, Friendly Fire! Chapter 245
<Chapter 35. The Call of Death - 7>
Lee Shin Woo obviously noticed the Beast General's skill activation before Retadane. Since he possessed the Rule of Bone skill and was a Breathing Bone Joker, he was more sensitive to anything regarding bones and could react more quickly than anyone else.
'But this is...'
However, that wasn't all. The moment he'd created the Garden of Thorns, Lee Shin Woo felt a new possibility. The giant bone thorns had certainly originated from the Beast General, yet he felt like he could control them himself.
Rule of Bone was originally a skill that allowed him to control his own bones and reinforce them. It made him even stronger than before and allowed him to freely use the equipment summoned through the Bone Armory skill.
'There are exactly 17 thorns coming for me. Their sizes vary, but they're at least 5 meters. They're connected through darkness magic and they simultaneously bind their target and inflict persistent damage. It's a malicious, but also effective attack. I can see it all. I can see it as if it's only natural...'
But it was different now. He instinctively knew how these bones, which were created by the Beast General, looked, their structure, and even how they would move. Lee Shin Woo knew now how he was so easily able to avoid the Beast Generals attacks earlier. It was obvious, wasn't it? He could understand the Beast General's bones as well as his own!
Since that was possible, then it should be possible for him to steal control over them. A hunch and being deluded were two different things. But he was sure.
[The Rule of Bone skill has become Lv11. All stats have increased by 15. You have become able to interfere with another's control over their bones. The effectiveness of all bone related abilities has increased.]
It was only natural that his skill would level up here. Through it, Lee Shin Woo gained a deeper understanding of bone (the material) and gained the ability to steal control over another's bones and use them as his own.
For now, he would need to split the bones from his main body, like the Beast General's Garden of Thorns, limit the number of connections, and use his darkness magic as the foundation to control it all, thus requiring a magic technique that was way too complicated. However, if he practiced and further refined this technique, he was sure that he would reach an even higher level. Since most living organisms possessed bones.
'It sounds almighty...'
'So if your skill didn't level up, wouldn't we have just died without being able to do anything?'
'You might've died.'
Lee Shin Woo had used his Rule of Bone to get out of the Garden of Thorns and decided to temporarily lay low underground with Jin. It was only possible because the Garden of Thorns had significantly softened the ground.
"Damn. It would've been nice if the Beast General was level 8."
"You with your big head as soon as you stand."
"Even if we wait, he's not going to become level 8 any time soon... Tch, I guess we should end it."
Although he had stolen control over the Beast General's bones, it wasn't like he could take him down easily. It was only possible because Retadane was unleashing her light magic to its fullest and blocking the Beast General head on!
"You look tired, Jilun Pelta."
[You do too... You were only able to hit me with that crude iron mace because of that man. You didn't know? What do you plan on doing now that that man has run away?]
"Hoo. ...I'll show you."
"Yeah, that's the way, old lady!"
"You keep going and I'll hit you."
Retadane had done her job well. Once the Beast General focused all of his attention on Retadane, Lee Shin Woo stole control over all his thorns and used them against him. And then exploded them! He had even exploded the Beast General's magic within the thorns, so the damage inflicted was unimaginable.
[You have hunted a member of the 12 generals, the Lv7 Beast General, Jilun Pelta! All contributing heroes acquire 30,000,000 Perium, and all stats are increased by 100. You have acquired 10 permits to God's secret shop. Proficiency in all combat related skills has increased dramatically!]
[Lucky Strike has activated! The Lucky Strike skill has become Lv2.]
[The Mana Acceleration skill has become Lv3. Magic has increased by 10.]
[You have received God's grace. The Invisible Heart skill's max level has increased by 10.]
He did it. With this, he had killed three of the 12 generals by himself! Lee Shin Woo had also succeeded in turning the situation on its head and made it progress in a direction that Ethan Cruz couldn't have expected. However, Lee Shin Woo knew that Retadane would be suspicious of him if he appeared before her right now, so he and Jin hid amongst the group of undead. If he used the vibrations, the smoke, and the light from the explosion, then it would be easy to hide.
"What about the bone then? Are you giving it up?"
"Give up the bone of one of the 12 generals? Are you insane?"
Lee Shin Woo said, and something flew towards him from the center of the explosion. It was the bone that Jilun Belta had left behind. He snatched it and grinned at Jin.
"This much is no problem for me with Rule of Bone."
"Shin Woo. Looks like something came along with it."
[You have acquired the Bayran inner map.]
"This again? ...Though it does look a bit different from the last one."
According to the other 12 generals' memories, Bayran was a huge city, directly connected to the capital. They would have to reach it before moving on to the capital.
I felt natural to gain the Bayran inner map from defeating the 12 generals, but it was also suspicious as well. He couldn't shake off the feeling that someone was leading him there on purpose.
'Moreover, the maps all differ in crucial points. They're all slightly different in terms of the traps and the monster habitats. Even so, they don't seem to be fakes... I'll need some more of them before I make a decision.'
Lee Shin Woo was sure that he'd be able to make a proper map with just two more of them. The 12 generals probably don't think that one person could hold five pieces of the map. He needed to work hard, if for no other reason than to screw them over.
"Let's assume we'll go to Bayran later and put it aside for now... What are you going to do now, Shin Woo?"
"All the heroes should know that one of the 12 generals has been killed. If Ethan Cruz has something up his sleeve, then he'll put it out right now. Moreover, there's a chance that his plan will speed up now. ...So, we'll keep up with him and prepare as well."
Fortunately, they were in the heart of enemy territory. The huge beasts were easily hiding them. It was all too easy for them to hide a single hero. ...And if the 13th general were to suddenly appear from within, then no one would know the reason.
"But I think I should absorb this bone right away. Keep an eye out for me while I'm absorbing it."
"You got it."
He hadn't had any expectations before they'd met, but he was sure that he would be highly compatible with the bone, as Jilun Pelta had been able to freely control his bones. So sure that he was willing to execute Bone Reinforcement in the middle of the battlefield!
Lee Shin Woo left everything to Jin, grabbed the bone, discarded any lingering doubts, and executed Bone Reinforcement.
[Consuming the Lv7 Beast General, Jilun Pelta's tailbone to execute Bone Reinforcement. Strength has increased by 25, Agility by 30, and Health by 17.]
Although he'd acquired a ton of stats, this was just the beginning. He hadn't even absorbed half of the bone's power yet. Immediately after, a huge explosion erupted within his body, as if to prove that. An explosion of creation that broke apart the old and replaced it with the new.
[The High Rank Combat Sense skill has become Lv4 and Agility has increased by 20. The High Rank Regeneration skill has become Lv3, and Health and Magic have increased by 20. High Rank Lightning Sprint has become Lv4, and Agility and Magic have increased by 20.]
With the huge increase in skill proficiency, a few of his skills leveled up and he gained the accompanying stats that came with them. Was it because the Beast General had more actual combat experience than the other 12 generals? The amount of skill proficiency he'd gained was no joke.
However, that wasn't the end. Not yet. The most important thing remained. Lee Shin Woo felt the mana seethe within him; the torrent of mana made his bones feel as though they would break and explode any moment now. Lee Shin Woo calmly regulated and circulated his mana, and waited for that moment.
All of his bones were shaking, and some of them were split and regenerated. At the end of this intense evolution, he got what was he waiting for.
[The Bone Armory skill has become Lv10. Health and Magic have increased by 20. You can now summon and control ten pieces of equipment at once. All the information of equipment stored within the Bone Armory is shared and reinforced.]
He'd finally gained the ability he'd been waiting for. Although they were on the battlefield, Lee Shin Woo wanted to laugh, and there was a good reason for that.
[You have become able to bestow the equipment stored within Bone Armory with Lv6 Fire, Ice, Acid, or Lightning. However, this excludes some of the equipment that already has an innate element.]
[You have become able to summon the Lv6 Drake Bone Full Armor.]
[You have become able to summon the Lv7 Titan's Fortress.]
[You have become able to summon the Lv7 Lightning God's Fury.]
[You have become able to summon the Lv7 Fire Dragon's Scale Greatsword.]
[You have become able to summon the Lv7 Giant Drake Horn Lance.]
[You have managed to fuse and evolve several pieces of equipment. The Bone Reinforcement skill has become Lv12. You can extract a large amount of information and abilities from a bone lacking in information.]
'Finally... I finally got it!'
Everything had most likely opened up for him once he upgraded the Bone Armory skill. The miraculous possibility that came from fusing bone equipment. A piece of equipment that was one of its kind and that only he could create.
Lee Shin Woo raised his head. He switched out the level 5 bone armor he wore with another. His new armor was pitch black, as though it would suck in everything. With the Drake Horn as its base, this armor was created by combining all the advantageous aspects of the bones he'd absorbed thus far.
[Drake Bone Full Armor]
[Durability - 3,700/3,700]
[Defense - 1,500 - 1,650]
It lacked options, but it would change when Lee Shin Woo added an element to it.
Before discussing the elemental aspect, the armor he wore now had a much greater defense stat than the one before, so Lee Shin Woo was incredibly satisfied. But what was even more amazing was...
'The innate elements of the Lightning God's Fury and the Fire Dragon's Scale Greatsword are too strong, so I can't add any other element yet, but the Giant Drake Horn Lance is different. A level 7 artifact with a level 6 element...'
However, when Lee Shin Woo was about to summon the new Giant Drake Horn Lance and observe it, Rem passed on a brief but powerful signal. Lee Shin Woo stopped what he was doing and looked up. There was something faint that he could see across the sky.
"Yeah, I feel it too."
He had originally planned to buy some more time, but Lee Shin Woo and Retadane had defeated the Beast General too quickly, so Ethan Cruz's plan had gone awry. Not properly assessing Lee Shin Woo's abilities was the cause of his defeat.
[It is the Vulture General's airborne undead troops!]
"What? Another one of the 12 generals...!?"
Ethan Cruz must've ordered the Vulture General to enter the battle. He had probably forgotten about the two magicians that hadn't been blessed by him and had run away. And where they were and what they were preparing...
"Give them a big one!"
Lee Shin Woo heard a cute girl's voice from the faraway mountainside. It was Kratia's voice, a voice he was more familiar with than anyone's.
Of course, it was unlikely that anyone forgot that she existed, but right now, the girls' magic was more important than whether or not anyone forgot about them. Kratia said something about a 'big one', but the giant ice spear that manifested in the air was large enough to topple an entire mountain.
An airborne undead caught notice of them... It was probably the Vulture General who had noticed, but it was already too late. Once the battle had begun... No, she had prepared a spell just for him, long before the battle had even started.
"I'm here too... I'm going!"
Prince followed suit, casting the spell she had prepared. She summoned half of the Fire Demon's body into the air, wild magic that would strike at any of the airborne undead!
The gigantic ice and fire dyed the air and forced these invaders, who had trespassed onto a sacred battlefield, onto the ground. One of them was definitely the Vulture General.
"Nice. Very nice."
Lee Shin Woo confirmed and grinned inwardly. It wouldn't be a bad idea to depart and kill the Vulture General right away, but... it was about time for the traitors to make their move. After all, his original goal was to protect the heroes.
"Then, shall we begin Jin?"
Jin smiled as well. Although it shouldn't be noticeable on a skeleton, one could easily tell how the two skeletons were feeling.
Who had sprung whose trap? A grand festival had begun, one which would determine the predator and the prey.
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