<Chapter 10. Partner – 3>
[The Low Rank Combat Sprint skill has become Lv8. Agility has increased by 2. Your instantaneous acceleration, as well as dynamic visual acuity increase proportionally to your agility.]
[The Low Rank Horseback Riding skill has become Lv3. Agility has increased by 1. By communicating with what you’re riding, you can control it more easily.]
How long had he been holding out on top of Jin’s back? At the end of this rigorous albeit short period of time, his extreme training resulted in his Low Rank Horseback Riding skill to rise to level 3; Lee Shin Woo’s and Jin’s senses were very gradually starting to overlap as a result.
“Hoo, I feel like I’ll survive now.”
Since their senses had started to overlap, Jin had no choice but to slow down his pace. If he ran at a speed beyond Lee Shin Woo’s ability, then he would start feeling dizzy as well!
“Wouldn’t it be better if you didn’t level up your skill!?”
“No, since you’ve been running around like you’ve been lugging around a package on your back. You’ve been running up until now like a freight train and now you’ve barely ‘class changed’ into a trolley, you know?”
When they began to converse, Jin definitely slowed down for the first time, and it was a speed that Lee Shin Woo was likewise able to bear for the first time. To be honest, if he didn’t use his Combat Sprint to its very limit, even this speed would’ve been too fast for him, but in any case, it was important that he was able to endure it.
“It’s too slow. I’m bored…”
“For me, it still seems like the surrounding landscape is passing by a little too fast…”
By the time he noticed, they were near where Jin started running. In other words, in a few hours, they were able to run a lap around the city! …No, it might’ve even been a few laps.
“We haven’t found anything yet. Let’s take another lap.”
“It can’t be helped I guess…”
Jin began to sprint again. For the first time, Lee Shin Woo realized that he was riding atop a horse and galloping away, and started to survey his surroundings.
Ever since he had acquired Mana Bone, his mana senses had become more sensitive, and after using these senses to search the area, there was something that stood out immediately. From behind at that.
“Hey, the undead are following behind us!”
“It’s only natural that they’d be following us around like that. After all, we’ve been running around in the same city, and on the same route. Honestly, while we were travelling around the city, I got rid of a few of them.”
Hearing Jin’s calm response, it seemed like this wasn’t his first or second time doing something like this. Well, all this guy did was run until now, so it made sense that he’d have experience with the undead chasing behind him.
By running around the city, Jin had gathered all of the undead, and managed to gather them all into one group; such control was amazing.
“Hey, have you thought about talking with them?”
“What kind of conversation could I have with monsters like them!?”
This won’t do. This guy’s head isn’t normal! He’s been just idiotically running away from them, even though they were also undead; if he just lied to them, he would’ve been able to pass by without incident!
Lee Shin Woo just shook his head, but he didn’t realize that he was in actuality, the one who was strange between the two. After all, not everyone could obtain the Acting skill.
“There’s no good way of kiting the mobs… Wait. Kiting the mobs?”
“…I don’t really know what that means, but why does it feel slightly ominous?”
Kiting mobs was a term commonly used in RPG settings; when it was too troublesome to hunt down the monsters one by one, a nimble player would aggro all the mobs in the area, gathering them all into one group.
If they worked together with a class who could use wide area skills, their effectiveness would increase by an absurd margin, and right now, Lee Shin Woo had…
“Alright, let’s take care of them and then move on.”
“Ugh, as I thought…”
Humans could always turn danger into an opportunity to grow. Lee Shin Woo naturally turned around. No, to be exact, when he thought about wanting to turn around, his will was relayed to Jin, and Jin instinctually turned his body around. The effects of the leveled up Horseback Riding skill were definitely showing.
“Guh, this feels really weird.”
“Sorry, but try to bear with it since it’ll help in battle from now on.”
As he spoke, he thoroughly surveyed the surrounding area. While he desperately endured so that he wouldn’t fall off from Jin’s back, Jin had very shrewdly drawn all of the mobs, so they were clumped in one place; the undead chasing after them numbered at least several thousand.
They were mostly skeletons, but he quite frequently saw Ghouls mixed in, as well as animals and monsters which had died and become undead. But since zombies were so slow, they lagged behind in the back.
“So you drew all the undead in this city, huh.”
“It seems like it’s the undead’s nature. When the mob begins to gather, they cause a commotion, and that commotion causes other undead to gather as well; when they get a hold of themselves, they seem to form a huge group like that.”
Seeing the calmly replying Jin, the stunned Lee Shin Woo seemed to blurt out.
“If a newbie hero was unlucky enough to get involved during that process, they would’ve died right there.”
“T-That’s… I didn’t think there’d be any other heroes besides me…”
“No, it’s fine as long as you don’t do it from now on. You won’t need to do it from now on either.”
Lee Shin Woo raised his hand, extended his index finger, and aimed at the undead that were grouped together in one place while also chasing after them. Then, Jin asked doubtfully.
“I know how powerful your skill is, but will you hit them with it…? You’re still at least 1 kilometer away. Should I get closer?”
“No, it’s fine. Since I have something I need to prep before I shoot it.”
The first skill Lee Shin Woo had to activate wasn’t his Catapult skill, but his Acid Poison Spray skill.
Of course, he wasn’t talking about spraying his Acid Poison everywhere. He recollected how the Acid Ghoul and the King Slime concentrated their Acid Poison into a single point, and focused his attention on the tip of his index finger. The poison, which converted into mana, began to gather at that single point!
“They’re gradually getting closer.”
“I’m almost done.”
If he hadn’t acquired the Mana Bone skill, which was considerably helpful in processing the mana that saturated his bones, it would’ve taken a considerable amount of effort to complete the task. The skill made the difficulty of controlling his Acid Poison much simpler.
Lee Shin Woo pushed all of the Acid Poison he could into the tip of his index finger, and next, activated his Flames of Revenge. Poison on the inside, flames on the outside!
With his know-how, just like last time, he focused on his flames, and those flames darkened to their limit; it felt as if there was dark matter in that space. At the same time, he also saw the presence of the flames disappear, as if the middle of his index finger had been cut off.
[The Low Rank Flames of Revenge skill has become Lv2. Magic has increased by 3. The diffusion force of the flames has increased.]
Was it because he concentrated the skill into one place? It had been a long time since his Flames of Revenge had leveled up. At the same time, the flames blazing atop his index finger intensified. It was at that moment that Lee Shin Woo figured out a new way of training his skill.
“I don’t have flame resistance, though.”
Jin started to feel a gradually increasing heat from atop his back, and shook as if he were uneasy. Because of the Acid Poison Resistance skill book he had received from Lee Shin Woo, he learned Acid Poison Resistance and was able to resist Acid Poison to some degree, but he wasn’t resistant to this level of fire!
“It doesn’t burn allies, so don’t worry. Then… I’m firing it!”
Lee Shin Woo’s index finger was launched with a simple, weak sound. Just by seeing that, Jin looked like he himself was hurt by it, but Lee Shin Woo was accustomed to this kind of pain now, and didn’t even feel an itch.
He checked the trajectory that his index finger drew in the air, and nodded his head in satisfaction. It was flying towards the center of the group of several thousand undead.
“How many of them do you think you’ll kill with that?”
“All of them.”
“All of them?”
“Yeah. As long as I take one more step.”
Jin thought he was out of his mind, but when Jin tilted his head, Lee Shin Woo’s Grenade had arrived at the center of the group of undead; with his command to self-destruct, it exploded grandly. At that moment it burst forth with a fearsome force of flames and poison!
Hundreds of level 1 undead at the center disappeared without even being able to scream, and even the level 2 and higher undead took significant damage. Moreover, since the poison and the flames had the quality of diffusing into the surrounding area, they were quickly expanding to encompass them within their range!
“Oh jeez, even the mana that’s escaping is no joke.”
“That attack was definitely incredible, but what are you going to do now!? Even if they’re low leveled, there’re several thousands of them!”
“So what we’re going to do now is…”
Lee Shin Woo measured the distance between them and the monsters. It was roughly 300 meters. Even by human standards, it wasn’t very far, and it was a distance that quick monsters would be able to reach in only a few seconds.
“Cover your ears.”
“I don’t have any ears, and I don’t even have hands to cover them.”
“Well, I guess it can’t be helped. Tough it out.”
And sound could travel the distance in only a second.
[You used Low Rank Shriek of the Dead, and the enemies in the entire area fall into a frenzied and fearful state!]
[You have succeeded in using the skill while engaging more than 1000 foes! You have acquired a large amount of skill proficiency. The Low Rank Shriek of the Dead has become Lv5. Magic has increased by 3. The skill’s effect has become stronger, and the skill can affect a larger area.]
Jin screamed in anguish from Lee Shin Woo’s momentary, horrific shriek. However, since Jin was Lee Shin Woo’s ally, he wasn’t affected by the skill in the least. Because of that, it took him a bit of time to realize the effect of the skill.
“What the hell are you doing all of a sudden… Huh?”
Jin abruptly shouted, and then quickly scanned his surroundings. The group of undead, which looked furious and would dash at them at first chance, didn’t approach them anymore. To be more exact, they weren’t worried about Lee Shin Woo or Jin any longer.
[Enemies. To think that there are this many enemies…!]
[My body is made of bones…!]
[Haha, I’ll kill all the enemies of the Imperial Army!]
They each spat out a peculiar noise then stabbed with their swords, and swung their clubs at each other; seeing that, Jin looked puzzled and asked Lee Shin Woo.
“That’s… What the hell is this?”
“The best tactic for not smearing your own hands with blood is using your enemies to defeat themselves. This’ll show up on the test, so make sure you remember it.”
While Jin was speechless, the monsters fought intensely amongst themselves, confirming Lee Shin Woo’s statement.
Furthermore, the monsters didn’t really wander, and fought in around the same area, so the flames and the poison soon covered the entire battlefield. Thousands of monsters were being harmed by the DoT damage in real time.
“It probably wouldn’t be very effective against high level monsters, but at least it’s not out of my reach to slaughter a mob of monsters now. As expected, you can only do it with a large-scale ability.”
“A large-scale ability…”
Why doesn’t a level 3 skeleton have so many frightening abilities!? However, if he said that, it was obvious that Lee Shin Woo would just tell him it was all due to Bone Reinforcement, and that he should work harder, so Jin just kept his mouth shut.
While Jin kept his mouth shut, Lee Shin Woo concentrated on drawing the surrounding mana in order to recover the mana he was using to maintain his Flames of Revenge. The mana instantaneously entered and escaped him, so it was as if his entire body had become a passageway for mana.
Lee Shin Woo was busy harmonizing with the mana, so he didn’t notice the passage of time, but honestly, everything was finished within 20 minutes.
The zombies, which arrived late, completely merged with the group, and the flames shifted and latched onto them. After they died horribly, they left Perium and bones in their place, and when all the undead had completely disappeared… a message appeared in front of Lee Shin Woo, one he hadn’t expected at all.
[You have removed all the death within the city, ‘Derita’. Though you haven’t removed the curse, all the death energy in the entire area has faded, so no more undead will spawn in this area.]
[You have acquired 1 permit for God’s Secret Shop. You have acquired 10,000 Perium. The proficiency of all your combat related skills increases.]
[The Beginner Avenger skill has become Lv8. When you meet the target of your revenge again, all abilities increase by 36%. The Beginner Power Slash skill has become Lv9. The power of the skill increases.]
Of those, Lee Shin Woo’s attention lingered upon the message that appeared last.
[You have proven your qualification as a hero who lifts the darkness underground as a substitute of God’s will. You have acquired the Hero’s karma token. The growth rate of all skills increases by 10%. If you gather 10 of these tokens, you will become a true hero… but what a shame, it seems like this would be impossible for you.]
It seems that because Lee Shin Woo was the one who mostly ‘purified’ this city, Jin didn’t receive this message. Lee Shin Woo replied like this to his question.
“It’s nothing. It seems like I can’t be a hero.”
“What are talking about all of a sudden?”
Lee Shin Woo just shrugged his shoulders and smiled. Whenever he got a karma token up until now, he would obtain a stat increase as well, but this time, he received a blessing that would increase his skill growth by 10% instead. He couldn’t hold back his curiosity of what would happen if he obtained just one more token.
However, was it good or bad that he had become unable to gather all of them…? Even though he felt slightly complicated inside, he moved to collect all the loot with Jin. Right now, he needed to do what he could.