Stop, Friendly Fire! Chapter 275
<Chapter 40. Fake Hero Saga - 5>
First off, Lee Shin Woo visited the Lawrence shop's capital branch, checked the interior, and dumped items from his inventory into the storehouse. He was then led to the residence Bisher Moon had acquired for him. Seeing the huge size of the house was an indirect confirmation of Bisher Moon's success.
Jin complained as he was the only one who couldn't enter the building, but there was no helping it. Lee Shin Woo once again thought that he needed to hurry up and master the Disguise skill.
[It's been a long time, Lord Paul Zero.]
"Long time no see. It seems like you've exceeded my expectations."
[It's an honor that you feel that way. I've made a list, albeit poorly, of all the forces and goods we've acquired, so I'll present it to you later.]
As promised, Bisher Moon met with Lee Shin Woo in the evening; he wore a stylish suit and was refined, so much so that Lee Shin Woo would believe it if he said he were a noble's butler.
He was a handsome man that evoked a cold feeling, with gray hair and reddish-brown eyes. No matter how you looked at him, he looked like a proper human. He didn't look like an undead at all.
"Alright. It's a relief that you were able to properly transform into a human."
[Yes. I was a bit concerned, as I had never made the attempt after becoming an undead, but...]
Bisher Moon's original species was the Moon Wolf. They were a race of werewolves who hovered between the boundary of human and wolf. Bisher Moon's kind were the elites, blessed by the moon more so than any other werewolf tribe. The 'Moon' title was a dead giveaway; amongst the Moon Wolves, Bisher Moon was equivalent to royalty.
However, he had become undead and degenerated into a mere ghoul. Lee Shin Woo had played on Bisher Moon's desire for revenge and as a result, Bisher Moon had pledged his loyalty to him and evolved into a completely new species: the Wolf Avenger. He regained his abilities as a Moon Wolf and had even gained the title of Avenger, so if he excluded the fact that he'd turned into an undead, he had become much stronger than before.
'No, wait. Avengers are undead created only after one has experienced death before and then revived due to their thirst for vengeance... In other words, it seems like a class that only the undead can get.'
In any case, Bisher Moon had regained his long lost power as a Moon Wolf, and by subordinating himself to Lee Shin Woo, his darkness magic had become even stronger; this was especially true regarding his original transformation skill. He had been influenced by Lee Shin Woo's innate abilities and had become noticeably stronger.
That's right. While incomparable with Lee Shin Woo, Bisher Moon could also use his magic to disguise himself as a living being. This was one of the reasons that Lee Shin Woo had picked Bisher Moon to accompany him, despite having so many subordinates to choose from.
[It's supposed to be difficult to obtain the ability to disguise an undead's mana unless you're a vampire. However, by subordinating myself to you, I was able to obtain that ability. I'm in awe of your abilities, Lord Paul Zero.]
"Thanks for the compliment, but you saying that makes me feel kind of tense; I feel like I'll meet a vampire somewhere down the line."
[To tell you the truth...]
"Damn it. I knew this would happen...!"
What he said next was classic. The darkness within the capital would deepen at night, and there was a group that hid inside said darkness. Both Bisher Moon and that group fought against each other to increase their power!
With the goods Lee Shin Woo had entrusted to him, as well as his own skills, Bisher Moon was quickly able to increase his power, but by doing so, he had come into contact with the capital's deepest darkness. With the backing of a Count that resided within the capital, the organization went wild; however, the organization had a huge secret.
[And I was recently able to figure it out, just barely. A vampire lurks within the 'Red Moon' faction, the group that opposes our own 'Moon Shadow'."
"Yeah, I saw that coming. By the way, everyone sure loves the moon."
The Underground Empire had been filled with things he'd never experienced before, but once he'd come to the surface, he repeatedly experienced things that would happen in any fantasy novel.
But a battle between the vampires and the werewolves in this city of the night? Aside from the original, he couldn't acknowledge or understand it. Moreover, both factions had the word 'moon' in it! It was a relief that his side only one had werewolf in it.
"Don't waste your time on such a pointless fight and end it already. Want me to help?"
[Not only do they have a noble in their group, but information on our group has spread, so it would be difficult to fight them head on. If we attack them half-baked, then we'll lose our standing in the capital. If we're going for it, then we have to strike at their core. Perhaps then I'll ask you for your help, Lord Paul Zero.]
"Alright, I got it."
The Count that Bisher Moon had found was likely under the control of a vampire. The fact that Bisher Moon could easily find information on them meant that there was a key figure in the 'Red Moon' that used them as shields.
A giant force that had power over day and night... It probably wasn't the Emperor, but it had to be someone close, like a high ranking noble.
'Both sides are really daring. When all the undead were forced into the underground, they weren't purged and instead have been operating in the capital and raising their forces all this time. Which means...'
They were powerful and daring enough to fool even the Emperor. An unexpected competitor had shown up. Knowing this information beforehand would prove indispensable.
"Wait a sec. Then, what's most important is..."
[It's to ensure that they don't figure out the link between us, Lord Paul Zero. But you don't have to worry about that. Since I can use darkness magic as well.]
"Are you sure you're up for it?"
[Of course. You can count on me.]
"Alright. Then I'll leave it to you."
After that, Lee Shin Woo accepted and read Bisher Moon's report. The report summarized Bisher Moon's successes, including how many troops he'd gathered and managed, important figures, and an account of their finances.
With feats like this, Bisher Moon could raise his head up high. He was surprised that Bisher Moon had gathered so many troops in such a short period of time (less than a month).
"300 buildings, with at least a hundred of them in the capital's main street. As expected, they're disguised as either shops or inns. Moreover... you won over a noble too?"
[My identity wasn't revealed, but I was able to recruit those who opposed the Red Moon, which is where most of the low ranking nobles gather. In the process, I tried to imitate you, albeit poorly and was somehow able to resolve the issue well. Now they're completely loyal to the organization (Moon Shadow).]
They say a child learns from their parents. This was a good example of that. Lee Shin Woo didn't know when Bisher even had the opportunity to watch and learn from him, but this was quite the success!
"Good. You've done well. Now I don't have to meet them one by one."
[There were several people I couldn't persuade. If you just give me a little bit more time, then...]
"Leave them to me. I just got a title that might work here."
[As expected of my lord...!]
Lee Shin Woo had originally planned on spreading Lawrence and Kay's names far and wide, and slowly build his position in the capital, but due to the Sun God religion's support, his plan had been sped up by a few months.
As the hero, Kay, he had cleared unconquered dungeons one after another, ones which had been untouched by mankind, and regained human territory. Plus, he made the Sun God's light more well known! He was powerful enough that a low rank noble wouldn't be able to deal with him.
[You really get along with him (your subordinate)...]
[If we can deal with the Emperor somehow, then you should be able to seize control over the entire Magic Empire, Lord Paul Zero.]
"Why do I have to carry that burden?"
Lee Shin Woo wanted to live freely, he didn't want to live for others. It may sound like this was coming out of the blue, as he was now the Heaven Defying general, but managing his subordinates was a real pain in the ass. He imagined managing something as large as the Empire and just sighed.
"Being a peddler (Lawrence) is plenty enough for me."
"Mr. Shin Woo. It's too late, so please just accept it."
Ye Jin Jin laughed and Lee Shin Woo felt his dreams being cut apart. Lee Shin Woo twisted Ye Jin Jin's nose as punishment (she seemed happy for some reason, but she was a pervert, so it wasn't all that new) and then gave her his orders.
"We'll officially start up the Lawrence shop tomorrow. The shop's not well known enough in the capital as of yet. We'll focus on increasing our power for the time being."
[I acquired a few small shops, so I should be able to help you discreetly, Madam.]
Ye Jin Jin blushed and twisted her body around. How did he find out? He hadn't shown any signs, but Bisher Moon had found out regardless; Lee Shin Woo felt quite uneasy.
[I figured it out based on the space between you two, the way Ms. Ye Jin Jin looks at you, and various other factors. The spirit you're traveling with as well... Ah, I'm right.]
[As... expected of one of Paul Zero's subordinates.]
'It sure is a relief that Jin couldn't come inside,' Lee Shin Woo suddenly thought and smiled bitterly.
No, now wasn't the time to be engaging in this love comedy. Lee Shin Woo shook his head and asked Bisher Moon.
"Bisher Moon, did you get what I asked for through Rem?"
[I thought it would be quite difficult to obtain, as it is stored in the heart of the Empire, but... I was somehow able to procure it with Rem's help. I was shocked when I witnessed Rem's ability to nullify level 7 golems.]
"Yeah. Rem might be the strongest when there're a lot of golems around. I'll take over later, so bring it to me personally.]
"What are you talking about? Was there an item hidden within the capital that you wanted, Mr. Shin Woo?"
She didn't directly ask if he stole something, but went about it in a roundabout way. In response, Lee Shin Woo smiled meaningfully.
"It's the best loot I've gotten from the surface."
Once he'd carefully looked over Bisher Moon's report, Lee Shin Woo discussed the direction they'd go from now on (concerning the cooperation between the Lawrence shop and Moon Shadow, or what the hero Kay would be doing), as well as any urgent problems. After that, he told them to break up.
[Then, I'll give you my report.]
Now it was Rem's turn. He wanted to know how it had acquired the golems without the Emperor's notice, how the golems were arranged, and how many there were. He'd heard about it on his way here already, but if he reviewed it again, then he'd be able to adjust their future actions.
Of particular note was the discovery of a few spirits. Golems were placed across the Empire and sought out spirits under the Emperor's command, so they were able to find spirits faster than anything else. It was important that he let the Spirits' Spring spirits know so they could take care of it.
[Of course, I deleted all of the golem's previous orders, but I cannot force them to act outside of their designated routines. Thus, the spirits must act quickly.]
"Let's ask Sinea for help with that. You don't need to report each and every matter to me. Just inform the spirits through Sinea."
[Understood. Aside from that, I acquired information from the capital in order of importance...]
While Lee Shin Woo was organizing and analyzing Bisher Moon and Rem's information, Sinea and Ye Jin Jin were fighting; starting tomorrow, Lee Shin Woo would be busy with his work as Kay, so they were fighting for the right to be with Lee Shin Woo this evening.
"With this, I have 4 wins and 3 losses...! I win!"
[It's a deuce. If you lose the next game, then it's invalid. Hurry up, go on to the next game!]
"When did we have such a rule!?"
If they were fighting with pure strength, then Ye Jin Jin would lose instantly, but because they were using the board game Lee Shin Woo had created to determine victory or defeat, they weren't getting a clear winner or loser. Ultimately, Lee Shin Woo, who'd finished with his work, ended their dispute by promising that he'd bring both of them to his bedroom. Even though he was disguised as a human, his infinite stamina as an undead remained.
"Mr. Shin Wooooo."
[Can't you give me another hug?]
"Seriously, do some work. Work!"
That would end Lee Shin Woo's unpaid leave. Sinea and Ye Jin Jin thought it'd be nice if the night would go on forever, but there was no way their wish would be fulfilled. Lee Shin Woo calmly shook off Sinea and Ye Jin Jin and stood up. He was hit by the rays of the morning sun and equipped his armor once more.
He had gotten a report from the Sun God religion; they had procured the level 7 dungeon.
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