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Stop, Friendly Fire! Chapter 290

<Chapter 53. The Final Stage - 1>


Lee Shin Woo had forgotten something: absorbing the Archmage's bone. Once he'd brought Erian and Lloyd to his base, he immediately absorbed the bone.

[Absorbing the Lv8 Archmage, Feotane Von Seldin's Parietal Bone. Magic has increased by 120.]

[You have learned the innate element, Beginner Dark Space Lv5. Magic has increased by 50.]

His expectations must've been too high; though he'd absorbed an Archmage's bone, his magic had only increased by 120.

Moreover, Lee Shin Woo hoped that by absorbing the bone, he would master the Lv9 High Rank Mana Bone or Mana Acceleration skills. The skills had certainly grown, but he wasn't able to master them.

'More useless memories. Though just learning his spatial magic is huge for me. ...Ugh. His magic seemed so complex and developed, yet it's still in the realm of enlightenment and elements. But wait a second. Why is this...?'

Lee Shin Woo tested the Dark Space element and tilted his head at the mysterious feeling. It was almost like this feeling was familiar.

An absolute ability that linked two spaces through the power of the darkness element. Yeah, this ability was similar to one of Lee Shin Woo's abilities...! However, that ability was in the form of an artifact. Lee Shin Woo couldn't understand the inner workings of the ability on his own, but by learning the Dark Space element, he would just gain the Heaven Door Key's power through his intuition!

[Dark Space and the Heaven Door's Key are resonating. You can now absorb the Heaven Door's Key through Bone Reinforcement.]

Lee Shin Woo widened his eyes. That's right. The Heaven Door's Key! When he'd first gotten it, he couldn't absorb it, so he'd given up on it. But he had found a way to absorb it now of all times!

"What if absorbing it causes it to change in some weird way?"

"The Heaven Door's Key has a similar activation mechanism to Dark Space. At the very least, I'll be able to create a gate just like before, so don't worry."

Lee Shin Woo wasn't worried about Bone Reinforcement's 'blast area' anymore. The artifact, the Heaven Door's Key reacted to Lee Shin Woo's Dark Space and kept buzzing... Lee Shin Woo grabbed the Heaven Door's Key and briefly closed his eyes. He'd activated Bone Reinforcement.

[Absorbing the Heaven Door's Key through Bone Reinforcement. Magic has increased by 500.]

[You have completely understood the fusion element, Dark Space, and the element is accepted by your karma. The unnecessary facets are removed, and the very essence of the element is strengthened. Dark Space has evolved into the new innate element, Heaven Space! The Beginner Heaven Space Element has become Lv10 and has evolved to the intermediate level. Magic has increased by 100.]

The Dark Space element, strengthened by the Heaven Door's Key's power, evolved, gaining the ability to merge all elements together, not just darkness.

He could not only use this element to transport himself, but others as well. Not only that, his spatial abilities had far exceeded the Lich's now!

This wasn't just a transportation ability. The Heaven Space element could merge his other innate elements as well; in other words, he would be able to use all his elements simultaneously, which would increase his attack power significantly.

"Hoo. Game over, huh..."

"Shin Woo! You're being really arrogant. It's your 'arrogance' passive!"

"Ah, right. Thanks, Jin. Maybe I already have it as an active skill!?"

Jin's desperate dissuasion kept him from going off the deep end. Now that he thought about it, the Lich had quite the overpowered ability, but he had killed him anyway!

Yeah. Though he'd finally gained spatial magic, there were several people who could resist its effects. An innate element can only be stopped with another innate element. And all the people he'd fight from now on should have innate elements.

'There's really no point in arguing over whose ability is better. I have to use this innate element's specialty to grasp my opponent's weaknesses... That's what's important.'

Another point in his favor was that the Heaven Space element was really compatible with his Wild Card skill. The space element was, like Annihilation Flame, the best skill for him to go: 'I'm here or maybe I'm not. I'm not here, or maybe I am?'.

Combining Heaven Space with either Annihilation Flame or Dark Shadow... the possibilities were endless. He already had a few ideas... He should get a chance to try them out in the field soon. If he used them in tandem with Wild Card, then an equally leveled opponent, or even a higher leveled opponent, wouldn't be able to easily notice him.

"Yeah. I guess you could say that I've only just assembled all the pieces..."

"All the pieces?"

"Yeah. Our goal is to attain victory with the least amount of casualties possible. But we had one problem before: that we didn't have anyone as strong as the Magic and Undead Emperors..."

"And that's also why you were so hell-bent on upgrading the Titan."

"Yep. But the Titan can only be used for a short period of time. If something happened (an emergency), there would be nothing I could do. But now... I think I can take them on with this."

Lee Shin Woo was a coward. So if he looked really confident, then it could only be for two reasons. First, when there was a clear-cut retreat path, and second, when there wasn't a clear-cut retreat path. Whether he was safe, or whether he was sure to die, there was no reason to worry about both of them.

And right now, he was closer to the former. Moreover, having gained Heaven Space had caused his stats to be...

'25,323, huh...'

Level 9 required one's stats to be a total of 25,600. He could reach level 9 with just 277 more stats. If everything went well, he might be able to level up mid-fight. And if he reached level 9, then he'd be on equal footing with those damn Emperors!

'Even I'm a bit shocked.'

To think that he, who had only been here for 2 years, would be on equal footing with the two level 9 Emperors that had ruled for hundreds of years. Even he couldn't have imagined this when he had asked God for a growth-type ability.

It was only possible by taking everything that they'd built, but it also wouldn't have been possible without his Joker karma.

The Joker. There was nothing better to describe him. It didn't just accurately represent his ability, but his position in the world as well.

"Shin Woo!"

Right then, the door swung open and Kratia rushed into the room. She held a small bead within her tiny hands... a small bead that was encased in bone, which resembled a shell of some sort.

"The Titan Core's ready. The energy's fully charged too. Not only can you transform whenever you want, but...I think the active duration time has increased by a lot too."

It was only natural that the core's capacity would increase when they had fused it with the artificial sun. Lee Shin Woo quietly took it and gripped it. The fire trapped within periodically thumped like a heart.

"And I'm also finished with the other installation."

"You did it."

"You pretty much did everything."

"Kratia, it would've been impossible if not for your ability."

Lee Shin Woo and Kratia exchanged meaningful smiles. Jin, in a fit of meaningless jealousy, raked the ground. Lee Shin Woo ignored the tantrum, got on top of Jin and declared.

"Alright. It's great that we finished in time. Call everyone and tell them to gather. ...It's time for the final battle."

"Finally..."

"Are we assaulting the capital?"

"Nope."

Lee Shin Woo cold-heartedly shook his head. Jin and Kratia just looked at him strangely. In response, he sported his own doubtful expression.

"Did you really think I'd launch a direct attack on the capital with this many forces?"

"You weren't going to?"

"Obviously not. There's no telling how many of ours will die if we attack head-on now that the sun is gone and the Emperor's power has increased."

It made a lot of sense. The Undead Emperor, Jissehanu, was monstrous enough to use the source of darkness itself as his life vessel.

Unlike the Archmage, the Emperor didn't possess such superb transportation abilities, but if you got in range of him, then you'd start the battle in a whole lot of pain.

Even though he had the golem train and the thorn wall was destroyed, they still had to get to the Emperor undetected!

"Then...?"

"Our forces will act as a diversion. They'll lure all of the Empire's undead away."

"The undead...?"

"To the surface."

Hearing that, Jin wondered whether Lee Shin Woo had gone crazy from all of the stress, or if the undead curse had finally gotten to him from the consecutive Bone Reinforcements.

However, Lee Shin Woo's expression remained serious. Had he seriously gone insane? Jin furtively raised a leg. If it's broke, then kicking it will fix it! She'd never tried it on a person before, but kicking him at light-speed should have some sort of effect!

"I'm not going to invade the surface. You've been by my side for a while now. You can guess what I'm thinking, right?"

Lee Shin Woo looked at Jin as if she were ridiculous for even considering it, and retorted. Indeed, Jin was always by his side. She'd also heard his thoughts the most out of anyone, albeit indirectly. Thus far... so...

"You were prepared to fight both sides. You were increasing your forces on the surface, as well as your forces underground..."

"Yep, that's right. I was prepping forces on both sides."

"Yeah! So, I thought you would use both your forces to... Huh? Wait a sec."

"...I've already mostly figured it out."

Unlike Jin, who was tilting her head, Kratia looked at Lee Shin Woo with shining eyes when he was in Heaven Defying General mode.

"Shin Woo wants to destroy both the surface and underground's Imperial Armies."

"Yeah. Thus far, we thought Shin Woo's forces on the surface would take out the surface's Imperial Army and his forces underground would do the same for the underground's Imperial Army. But he expects fierce opposition from both sides. At this rate, our casualties will be huge. At the very least, weaklings like Lloyd, Erian, and Prince will die."

"That's right."

Even though most of the Magic Empire's 12 Generals had died underground, the Underground Empire's 12 Generals were nearing extinction, and all of the level 5 or lower undead were all gone, both sides still retained a significant amount of forces.

Both sides retained their elites, the elites that had been there for hundreds of years. He couldn't look down on either the quality or the quantity of those troops.

"...Shin Woo must've never planned on fighting them straight up."

"Keep going."

"The forces that you've developed... Maybe they weren't meant for fighting."

"Huh?"

A diversion. Lee Shin Woo had definitely said that. If that's the case, then Lee Shin Woo's goal all along was...

"The surface and underground's Imperial Armies. Shin Woo plans on using the Heaven Defying General's troops to lure both armies towards each other, causing them to clash."

"...Is that even possible?"

Jin, who was quietly listening beside them, said stupidly. So the heroes, who risked their lives to fight and grow, as well as the religious orders' forces... They were all clowns on a stage?

"It is."

Lee Shin Woo grinned and said. Jin, who was connected to him, instinctively took a step forward.

"You'll see soon enough."

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