<Chapter 18. Corps Destroyer – 2>
Around the time Kratia was able to somewhat use the Limited Order Bone Core, the core vibrated and the three Iron Golems came back. She obviously thought that Lee Shin Woo and Jin would return with them, but that wasn’t the case.
[Steelworker ordered us to return first and protect Kratia Melloi.]
[Henceforth, we will obey the core’s orders. Our top priority is to protect Kratia Melloi.]
“Shin Woo’s not back and it’s just you guys…?”
She wanted a more detailed explanation, but so long as the golems had their orders, they wouldn’t say anything more. Still, if there was one thing she realized, it was that Lee Shin Woo was worried about her safety and had sent the golems to protect her. In other words, something dangerous was coming towards this city.
‘As long as I know that, it’s fine.’
Then, she drew out her magic and focused on the Orb of Eternal Ice, the growing ice artifact she’d gotten from God. One second of her preparation would mean the death of 100 enemy soldiers.
When she was almost finished with her task, she sensed the huge force of undead on the move. Not only was it indeed a huge army, but she could easily tell that each and every one of the undead were elites.
“How did Shin Woo know about this…? No, I shouldn’t be surprised at this point.”
Kratia thought of that villainous skeleton and shook her head.
She thought that what he’d shown her thus far was certainly impressive, but she was well aware that there was a lot he still hadn’t shown her. However, what was most impressive was his imagination and his mental condition, which allowed him to limitlessly expand the ways in which he could use magic.
‘If he was a magician, he would’ve been a legend.’
It was so unfortunate. Kratia clicked her tongue and meticulously examined the undead force. The force was mostly comprised of level 3 undead, which she didn’t need to worry about, but she had to be a bit on guard against the level 4 Skeleton Knights and Skeleton Magicians. Obviously more so when it came to the level 5 Elder Knights.
“Protect the front gates. Keeping that safe is the same as keeping me safe.”
[Judged as a rational command. Following order.]
[Following the core’s command.]
Kratia realized that it would become tough for her if the undead got through the front gates and into the city, so she hurriedly commanded the Iron Golems.
Lee Shin Woo had already released all their limitations, so even if the Elder Knights attacked them all at once, they would last for several minutes.
She dispatched the golems and stood atop the walls, but when she noticed the level 6 elite, her face stiffened. Its skin was extremely pale, like an emissary of death, but its body was filled with mana!
It was neither a zombie nor a skeleton; if it wasn’t for the artificial sunlight, she might’ve thought it wasn’t dead. It barely retained what could be considered a human form, and the power she sensed from the undead was considerable.
‘A ghoul… That’s a ghoul. Plus, it’s eaten several corpses and regained its reasoning. When I consider that magic pattern… could it be a Ghoul Wizard!?’
The Ghoul Wizard was located furthest in the back and was guarded by level 5 Elder Knights, so that couldn’t just be a coincidence. At that moment, Kratia realized how dangerous this corps was. They not only had a solid system of command, but also a clear goal; it wasn’t an army that had turned undead, but rather, an army composed of undead!
Of course, the undead that inhabited this city, Kehebe, had relied on their memories to maintain an army, but the difference between this city’s undead and them was like the difference between a sleepwalking patient and a normal person.
‘If that’s the case, I have to take out the leader first. If he gets closer to the walls, it’ll become tough. But because those knights are guarding him like an impenetrable wall…’
There was no way to retreat; it would all be decided with a single spell between magicians. If she couldn’t kill him with her spell, she would lose.
Currently, she’d discovered the enemy first, and had already gathered her magic, so Kratia looked like she was in the lead, but it was already prepared for an ambush, as the knights guarded it. No matter how she attacked, she would have to deal with the knights first.
If that’s the case, did she even have a means of dealing with both the knights and the wizard in a single blow? It would be possible if she developed her Catalyst Magic some more, but she had just created the spell, so that was impossible right now.
‘If Shin Woo were level 6, he would’ve been able to do it.’
Kratia thought she wouldn’t lose to anyone in terms of talent, but she naturally thought this. She was just amused with herself.
However, she also thought that if she didn’t accept reality, she wouldn’t be able to progress in the future. Because of that, rather than feeling inferior, she felt a greater desire to improve herself. When a magician accepts that something is not impossible, they are then able to make the impossible possible.
‘He sent the golems already, so Shin Woo should be coming. If that’s the case, I just need to last until he comes. I can keep them from getting close to the walls by using my Catalyst Magic.’
She didn’t even think about running away. Kratia was fundamentally a hero, and diligently performed her duty as one; plus, she wasn’t the type to get scared when she didn’t even know how the battle would turn out.
[Crush the golems!]
[The golems protecting the living are our enemies!]
[Executing the trespasser!]
Then, the undead vanguard clashed with the golems. Of course, level 3 undead couldn’t beat the golems and were helplessly crushed, but the problem was that there were thousands of them attacking!
“Sseup, it can’t be helped.”
Kratia grit her teeth and came forward. Her Eternal Ice floated in the air, and the mana in the entire area was influenced by her own. She would stop them, even if it meant freezing the entire wall! However, as she bravely resolved herself, she saw something.
Hundreds of level 4 golems were charging with considerable speed. Were they aiming for the wall? No way. Their destination was clear. They locked on to the level 4 and level 5 knights and were attacking them! There were way too many of them to just make a dent in their formation!
‘Then that means…’
Kratia hurriedly turned her gaze. She had studied his magic for the past ten days, so she could sense a faint presence from beyond. He was… not fighting together with the golems! Lee Shin Woo was charging straight for the leader!
‘He really is bold. ’
Ah, there’s bold, and then there’s Lee Shin Woo bold. She thought that if she were to tell Lee Shin Woo that, she would get hit, and instantaneously modified her spell.
She knew now that both of their goals were the same, so she had no reason to hesitate. If they both struck the boss, one of them should succeed!
[Grand Ice Spear!]
Her miraculous artifact absorbed the world’s mana, and gradually chilled the area; through her deep study of magic, she could agglomerate mana and change it with frighteningly high efficiency. Finally, using those two as a catalyst, she changed the world’s mana and clumped it together, creating a giant ice spear that went beyond a level 6’s ability.
After taking a short deep breath, she poured all of her mana into the ice spear and shot it in a straight line towards the wizard. The midair ice spear homed in on the Ghoul Wizard’s magic, and sped up like crazy!
[The living being’s attack is coming. Move it!]
[As you command!]
[We’re protecting the Third Corps Commander! Get to your positions!]
[Don’t look down on our defense zone!]
The Elder Knights in Kehebe had looked as though they had run off far away; on the other hand, when these Elder Knights heard the ghoul’s command, they really did look like knights of the Empire, as they stepped forward to protect the Corps Commander.
They would eliminate anything that came in close proximity to their defense zone; if one knight couldn’t cover an area by himself, another knight would help, creating a tight perimeter around the Corps Commander. That was the reason the Empire’s knights were powerful.
‘A defense zone… I knew about this since I’ve roughly absorbed their memories, but I suppose that’s how you make it, huh.’
Even Lee Shin Woo, who was running straight for the magician, was impressed seeing them. At the same time, he thought that he’d be able to add an element to that to make an even more perfect defense. At the very least, there was some value in trying it out once!
‘But not now.’
Finally, the Grand Ice Spear struck their defensive zone. The knights at the forefront died without a trace, without even being given a chance to retaliate. However, the knights on standby behind them shaved a bit of it with their spears and the third row of Elder Knights were able to cut even more of it, managing to slow down the speed of the Grand Ice Spear.
[Knights who pledged their loyalty to the Empire. We will attain victory through your sacrifice! Show that impudent living being how frightening and powerful black magic is!]
The Ghoul Wizard watched as the knights were sacrificed and began casting a spell. He traced the ice spear back to its source, Kratia, and was casting a spell to intercept her.
However, right before he completed the spell, while the knights were busy with the ice spear, Lee Shin Woo forcefully shot his lance at the completely wide open Ghoul Wizard’s back!
“I see your backkkkkkkkkkk!”
All the conditions for his ambush had been met. From the start, the Ghoul Wizard’s target wasn’t Lee Shin Woo, but the living being, Kratia. His subordinates were busy with the Iron Golems, Bronze Golems, or the Grand Ice Spear, so they couldn’t check their surroundings, and the Ghoul Wizard was likewise busy casting a spell to intercept Kratia.
Furthermore, his Shadow Sprint, using Assimilation as a base, was much too perfect such that even Lee Shin Woo lost sight of where he was. However.
[So there was an undead who wasn’t loyal to the Empire!]
Despite that, the split second that Lee Shin Woo threw his lance, the Ghoul Wizard diverted all of his magic to defense and blocked Lee Shin Woo’s attack.
To be more exact, the Ghoul Wizard possessed an ability that automatically diverted his mana to defense when it was hit. The spell seemed to consume at least 30% of his mana, but he still had an awful lot of mana!
Dozens of layers of mana shields formed in the extremely small gap between the Ghoul Wizard’s head and the lance; the force behind the lance, as well as Bursting Thunder’s lightning was canceled out by the shields.
The moment they crashed into another, at least half of the shields instantly broke and the remaining shields broke one by one. But at this time, Lee Shin Woo realized that his ambush had failed. That’s because there wasn’t enough force remaining in the lance to pierce through the wizard’s head and kill him.
As expected of a level 6 enemy! Lee Shin Woo gritted his teeth and prepared to follow through; in the middle of preparing his next attack, the Ghoul Wizard pushed aside the lance before his head and yelled as loud as he could.
[Protect me from that coward who ambushed me from the rear…!]
“How about this!?”
However, the knights didn’t come back in time. The lance broke through all of the shields and had seemingly lost all of its power, yet somehow forcefully shot forward like a cannonball; the Ghoul Wizard was pushed into the air!
Obviously, this was done through Lee Shin Woo’s Rule of Bone; this was the result of him controlling the bone.
The Ghoul Wizard had invested all its mana into the shields, so he couldn’t resist properly, and was thrown into the air. In an instant, the lance pushed the ghoul hundreds of meters into the air! That sight was akin to seeing fireworks being shot into the sky.
“Man, that ghoul sure is flying.”
[Rescue the Corps Commander!]
The knights who had survived the Grand Ice Spear didn’t think about attacking the ambusher, Lee Shin Woo; rather, they each jumped into the air to save the Corps Commander. When they became about level 5, they may not be able to use magic, but they could at least jump hundreds of meters high no problem!
A few of the knights were able to jump high enough to barely touch the Corps Commander with their hands. Obviously, at that time, Lee Shin Woo exploded the lance! With all of the mana he had left remaining!
The explosion was truly magnificent. The lance, tinged in his dark red mana, split into hundreds of thousands of pieces and scattered!
Since the lance had already pierced halfway through him, the ghoul couldn’t block at all, and broke into bits and pieces. The nearby Elder Knights were also heavily injured and helplessly fell to the ground. Lee Shin Woo looked up at the fancy explosion, seemingly blinded from it, and spoke enthusiastically.
“Man, you really got to look at fireworks from below.”
“It doesn’t matter whether you look at it from below or from the side. Remember, that thing ain’t a firework.”
Jin, who had focused all his efforts into charging with Lee Shin Woo, replied in a discouraged voice.
They’d somehow managed to kill the Corps Commander. All he had to do now was to somehow get through this outrageous number of undead with no mana and get away.
 T/N: She actually uses the common Korean idiom of one’s liver being outside their belly, which means they’re bold/reckless. The next sentence literally talks about how all of one’s inner organs would have to out of their body to be like Lee Shin Woo, but I already translated the idiom to English.