<Chapter 15. New Relationship – 1>
‘I didn’t think I’d get a quest here. Not to mention that it’s a quest that pretty much read my mind…’
Lee Shin Woo examined the quest details and was speechless. Of course, it was true that he wanted a high rank administrator’s authority in order to create a high rank administrative seal, but to think, it was connected to his Joker’s karma. What’s worse, it showed up as a quest?
Plus, the quest acted as though it was only natural that he should possess an ability like that as a Joker, so he did feel a bit spiteful.
“Huh? A quest?”
Kratia, whose mana affinity was comparable to Lee Shin Woo’s, sensed the flow of mana before her.
Lee Shin Woo nodded his head and Kratia’s lips slightly budged, but she soon slightly shook her head. It seems as though she was going to ask him about the quest but decided not to.
“It seems like your mana has increased considerably.”
“You’re right. It’s because of you.”
“Mm… It feels like I’ll succeed too.”
Kratia froze the mana in the air and attempted to make a statue. He couldn’t tell in any detail what she was talking about just by watching her draw upon the ice element and utilize some sort of magical catalyst.
“I feel like I’ll need to try the magic out in battle. Let’s go hunting.”
It wasn’t an item originally included in their contract, but… Lee Shin Woo had just received a new, worrying task; though as worrying as it was, her offer didn’t sound so bad. In other words, he was escaping reality right now, but it wouldn’t be so bad to empty his head out first.
“Jin, what about you?”
“I’d like to run a bit, too.”
Jin was in full agreement, as his head had been crammed with complicated theories regarding mana all week long. His ability to handle mana had improved significantly as well, and he wanted to apply that knowledge in live combat.
“Then, shall we go? By the way, I was thinking we should start skipping to the level 2 danger zones (commercial cities).”
“I feel like we could go directly to the level 3 zones.”
“What’s your level, anyway?”
He had a rough idea before, but she was at a much higher level than them. Lee Shin Woo recollected their previous encounter and broke out into a cold sweat thinking, ‘I sure blocked her magic well, despite her being such a higher level than me.’
“We can’t, since we’re still too weak. In any case, let’s go at it step by step.”
Lee Shin Woo got on Jin’s back and Kratia used her magic to float into the air. When Lee Shin Woo asked her how long she could stay in the air like that, she replied that she could maintain it all day.
“The mana consumption isn’t severe, so long as I don’t use teleportation magic.”
“Magicians sure are scary.”
“It’s not something that any old magician can…”
“Then, let’s get going!”
Jin pretended to listen to Kratia, who was overflowing with pride, and began to sprint. It was a perfect dash, befitting one who used to be a sprinter! It seemed like the shock would unearth the ground, and in the next instant, the landscape had already begun to change.
Kratia was about to say something more, but stopped in shock and followed behind them. Lee Shin Woo softly flicked Jin’s head, who had elatedly dashed forward ahead of her. He wasn’t a little kid teasing the girl he liked, so what the hell was he doing?
“Let’s go south. There should still be a commercial city down there that our seniors haven’t found yet.”
“It’d be nice if there was a dungeon there. A dungeon with growing fruit trees.”
Because Lee Shin Woo and Jin were undead, they didn’t need to eat, but that wasn’t the case for the other heroes. So after they ate the provisions they were given at the beginning, they would have to look for dungeons with either plants or animals, or buy supplies from the secret shop.
Lee Shin Woo only went to the secret shop whenever he leveled up to buy some good bones… he thought of it as a more of a butcher’s shop, but the other heroes considered it a place to buy food, a facility with more importance than any other.
“I like fruit too.”
“Jin, you can’t start thinking like that.”
“It’s not your fault.”
The most saddening thing from becoming undead wasn’t the loss of sexual desire, or even the loss of their hair. It was that they couldn’t eat anymore. They didn’t even have the desire to eat anything, so that in itself was shocking to them, but if they started to think deeply upon the subject, they would truly become hopelessly depressed.
They had been ok until now, since it had only been the two of them, but they’d become pointlessly conscious of it since traveling with a living being who requires nutrition, Kratia.
“I’ll kill that god someday.”
“Yeah, that’s the way to think.”
Lee Shin Woo and Jin were fostering a hatred towards God. Who the hell could look at them and call them heroes!? Kratia was just startled by their vigor.
How long had they been running like that? If he was still in South Korea, it felt as though they had travelled from Seoul to Busan, and at that time, Kratia, who had been floating in the air, at a higher altitude than them, discovered something.
“Good. That means we’re slowly getting closer to the city.”
Fundamentally, the undead had a tendency to repeat what they had done while they were still alive. The undead troops would flock to the cities to defend them, and it was highly likely that they were in the vicinity of a city.
“The undead are fighting amongst themselves, though.”
Soon, Lee Shin Woo sensed it. Countless undead were fighting against a small minority of undead, possessing a powerful energy… to be exact, it was the magic of level 3 elite undead! Lee Shin Woo suddenly realized what this magic was, which seemed to be drawing him somewhere, and yelled.
“Is it the Pauls by any chance!?”
“Could you please do something about that naming sense of yours…”
“Jin, run fast!”
“Tch… Full speed sprint!”
At that moment, Jin, who was plentifully fast enough, got even faster. Whether it were a tree, a rock, or even a forest, he would break through it all and run in a straight line to reach his destination!
Through training, Jin could use his stats to their utmost for an instant, and Lee Shin Woo inwardly named his ability to run like lightning the Pope  Sprint.
[Yeah, those guys are…!]
[Captain’s come to save us!]
[Everyone, raise your heads; Paul Zero is here!]
Even in the midst of battle, the undead were quick to notice Lee Shin Woo and Jin, who had approached quickly. There were twenty two Pauls that Lee Shin Woo had personally named there, and they were fighting fiercely against a group of 300 undead.
Against a group of undead that were at least level 2 or 3! Amongst them, there were even some level 4 undead mixed in; Lee Shin Woo was surprised that the Pauls kept fighting and hadn’t sustained any casualties yet.
[Paul Zero…!? Are you perhaps on the same side of these crazy traitors!?]
He didn’t know how they had come to fight one another, but for starters, Lee Shin Woo decided to help the Pauls. He naturally took out a Melting Double Bone Axe, threw it, and yelled.
“Love! Comes back! ”
[How foolish of you to throw your weapon away! Oh!?]
“I said that it would come back, didn’t I?”
The level 4 Skeleton Knight at the forefront easily parried the axe, but the axe, which had bounced into the air, flew back towards the knight, as if a rewind button had been pressed, causing its weapon to spring out of its hand.
[You bastard. I don’t know what cowardly magic you used, but…]
However, the Skeleton Knight panicked and the moment it bowed its head to pick up its weapon, the axe blew up in a grand explosion and spewed acid mist everywhere! The Knight, who had been wide open, didn’t even get the chance to raise its mana to resist, and was swept away by the explosion and completely destroyed.
Lee Shin Woo satisfyingly watched as the following acid mist melted away the undead battalion and yelled firmly.
“Pauls, retreat for now!”
[I understand, Captain!]
[In the time we haven’t seen him, our Captain’s abilities have improved even further!]
The Pauls were awed at how commanding Lee Shin Woo appeared, after taking down the level 4 Skeleton Knight, and retreated from the battlefield. Right on time, Kratia arrived on the battlefield, and gazed at Lee Shin Woo disbelievingly.
“You can command the undead? What exactly are you…?”
“Call me Paul Zero right now. Also, there are good undead in this world too, you know. I’ll explain later, so take down those undead for now.”
“Paul Zero…? Good undead…?”
[How can this be? She’s alive!]
[Ooooh, so it was possible to break free of the curse!]
Lee Shin Woo’s words were like a riddle, and Kratia tilted her head; the Pauls who had seen her cheered. Rather than burning with hatred towards the living, they were actually happy to see her!?
“What is happening…?”
Kratia was much too unfamiliar with the Pauls’ response, and thought that her understanding of the undead until now had been wrong.
Yet, while confirming that, she turned her head, only to find that a battalion of undead had discovered her, and were yelling in hatred.
[A living person!]
[A person with flowing blood and fresh flesh!]
[I hate you. That woman’s definitely the person who made us like this!]
[Let’s make her just like us; we’ll rip out her hair, rip off her flesh, and suck the blood out of her!]
Truly gruesome and brutal lines just kept coming. Ironically, their statements set her at ease. With her mind at ease, she cast her magic upon the skeletons.
“Ice Arrow Shower!”
[Call our magicians!]
[But our magicians are guarding the walls!]
The large scale spell that came from a level 6 magician was tremendous! Several hundreds of ice arrows formed into the air, packed tightly, and poured upon the battlefront. Even level 3 skeletons couldn’t easily approach, and the level 2 weaklings were just immediately destroyed by the arrows.
‘Normally, I would buy time like this and would press my advantage with a more effective spell, but…’
But she didn’t have the spare time to do so right now. Why? Because Lee Shin Woo would take them all down if she wasted time. At least, that’s what Kratia thought; in reality, that’s what was currently happening. Lee Shin Woo and Jin had already gallantly charged in with Lee Shin Woo swinging his giant axe, breaking them into pieces!
“We could’ve become good friends, too. Sorry, Pauls!”
[N-Now I’ll finally be able to rest in…]
The weak skeleton that had once needed to act in order to barely defeat a Skeleton Soldier didn’t exist anymore. Even if Lee Shin Woo was trapped in a drill ground filled with level 3 skeletons, they wouldn’t be able to handle him.
His long distance explosive attack through Rule of Bone wasn’t the only thing powerful about him. He had accumulated various knowledge regarding magic, and developed a solid foundation for close quarters combat where such magic could be applied. Lee Shin Woo’s axe was now covered in lightning, albeit weak, and the skeletons in the area were brutally burned or crushed.
The rare weapon technique, Bursting Thunder was finally starting to bear fruit!
‘But I’m not there yet. When I’m finally able to produce lightning all on my own with my mana, maybe I’ll get some kind of hint that helps me with mimicking a golem’s mana…!’
He had come here to clear his mind, yet even as he fought, he thought about that damn golem. Lee Shin Woo smiled bitterly while rotating his arm and swinging his axe.
Then, a Skeleton Knight attacked from behind, and Lee Shin Woo’s axe clashed with its sword; he shattered the sword without much difficulty. His reaction was only possible because of his exceptional, developed mana senses.
[How is this possible? My sword, tempered with my loyalty to the Emperor, has been…!]
“It seems like you just weren’t loyal enough.”
He replied uninterested and cut off the knight’s head with Power Slash. Beyond the corpse of the dead knight’s crumbling body, he saw the leftover bones littering the battlefield.
The battle was over in the blink of an eye. It was a complete victory.
 T/N: Could be a reference to Willian Popp, the soccer player, as the name could be translated as Popp as well. I’m not well versed in soccer, so I’m not sure.
 T/N: Apparently, it’s a famous quote from the Korean drama “Stairway to Heaven”.