<Chapter 19. Clean Up – 6>
[You have fought against all who have stood in your way. This is an expression of rage towards God, who brought you to this illogical world; at the same time, it is also a desperate struggle to find the essence of who you are.]
[Rebellion is a skill that uses strong emotions as fuel, the final destination of all skills. You resist in any unfair situation, and will never surrender. You can use this ability when you are ambushed, fight against an opponent a higher level than you, or fight against several opponents.]
[Whenever you attempt to overcome a particular situation with another, the effect of Rebellion will be further increased, based on your connection with the other.]
[You became undead through contract fraud. You intend to rebel against this situation. All stats are increased by 10% at all times. This effect is also shared with the contracted, Jin Taylor, who is also in the same situation.]
“Ah, so this is what I get…”
Lee Shin Woo felt the energy within his body rise, and sported a troubled expression. Jin, who suddenly gained an increase in ability due to their contract, was also completely shocked and leapt up suddenly.
“What is this? What the hell is this?”
“Mm, we just a got skill that gives us a way to fight back.”
Though he explained the core of the matter, Jin unfortunately didn’t really understand. Lee Shin Woo couldn’t be bothered, so he just explained it away as a special buff, and Jin could understand that much.
Changing one’s emotions into power was good enough for it to be called a highest level (MAX) skill. Since the moment he gained the skill, his stats increased by 10% because he was a skeleton.
It was probably able to manifest in this form because it had fused with his previous Avenger skill. Truthfully, its effect was quite similar to the Avenger skill. It was quite a versatile skill compared to Avenger, which was way too choosey as to when it could be used.
‘If there are several special situations overlapping, it may increase my abilities by as much as a level. Moreover, the skill level is still at level 1, so the growth is limitless… Tch, is that it?’
He’d secretly wanted an active skill befitting a Giant that would reverse a situation in one go, so he was slightly disappointed; but since he knew just how important stats were in this world, he soon changed his mind.
Moreover, he hadn’t completely lost a hold of a Giant’s ability. Since he’d memorized the flow of mana within Fenno’s body, as well as how he utilized it, he would be able to use that method someday soon. He hadn’t given up on his dream to turn into a Giant!
“Fine. In any case, I only have 600 stats to go before I hit level 6.”
“Now it’s time for us to go.”
“You have a place in mind, right?”
Honestly, he had a lot of places to choose from. It sounded fun taking control of all the golems in the various areas, and it wouldn’t be bad to start exterminating some of the undead heroes for God’s quest.
If not, he could use the faint memories held within the bones he’d absorbed to find the Bewitchers or Giants, which he didn’t feel would be a waste of his time.
“However, we have to go somewhere first. To be honest, I acquired some interesting info in the process of wiping out Vitas’ corps.”
In the process of directly or indirectly absorbing the memories of all the undead in the corps, he’d gained detailed information on one of the Empire’s 12 generals, Metafel.
He knew where the undead general was right at this very moment, as well as the movements of the soldiers he led.
“You’ve got guts… Oh wait, never mind. ”
“It seems like you’re misunderstanding me right now. I’m not crazy enough to go fight one of the 12 generals myself. I just got a hold of some interesting info while I was going through the memories.”
“You don’t still think that the way you think is normal, do you?”
Lee Shin Woo looked at the uneasy Jin, grinned, and explained.
“Vitas’ corps was supposed to be double in size. However, he lost half of his troops while they were on the move. Why do you think these guys died?”
“On the way, they encountered Treasure Eaters holding a choir competition?”
“Funny, but no. There’s something more formidable there.”
Lee Shin Woo said and nodded as if satisfied, but seeing that, Jin’s goblin fire swayed uneasily.
“You’re not saying that we’re going to go kill those formidable guys, are you?”
“Stop, you crazy bastard! You just said that they killed half of the corps!”
“Nope. Jin, listen closely.”
Lee Shin Woo experienced the same anguish that all the undead had felt, and that source was none other than acid. It was such a powerful acid that it melted away the bones filled to the brim with mana and nullified it! It was definitely a more powerful acid than the one used by the Great Slime or the Acid Ghoul.
“Vitas thought he might have to sustain heavy casualties to escape and ended up sacrificing half of his troops; then, he turned his corps around and marched. Why? It’s because most skeletons don’t possess Acid Resistance.”
Jin already realized what Lee Shin Woo was trying to say. Lee Shin Woo spoke in a strong-willed tone, as if he wouldn’t take back his decision, regardless of what Jin said.
“But we have it. We have Acid Resistance!”
“You said it had stronger acid than the Acid Ghoul!”
“Jin, a person can’t lose their aspirations. Just because we increased our magic or physical strength a little bit doesn’t mean we should keep fighting against skeletons or golems; if we do, we’ll eventually face an opponent that can use a powerful element that cannot be overcome with just stats and that’ll be our ticket to the afterlife.”
“We’re going to the afterlife right now. Right now!”
“Oh, c’mon. I keep telling you not to worry.”
He had been feeling troubled because he hadn’t had much of an opportunity to train his Regeneration skill lately, as most of his fights would end in a single round. However, he’d gotten information that there were monsters that used acid that inhabited a particular region, so he couldn’t not be happy!
“Then the reason you’re not telling Kratia about it is…?”
“Yeah. She’s definitely strong, but she’s not really helpful when I want to train my skills.”
That was the expected response. Jin was sure that he wouldn’t be able to change Lee Shin Woo’s mind, now that he’d made his decision, so he weakly asked.
“So, who are they? The ones that use acid. A Hyper Ultra Acid Ghoul?”
Jin couldn’t understand at all and tilted his head, but Lee Shin Woo couldn’t really say anything else to clear it up for him. Because according to their memories, the undead had indeed been killed by the acid poison spewed out by the numerous trees in the forest!
“In any case, they’re trees, so they can’t move, and there’s no way it’ll be a waste of time. That’s why I want to go there first.”
“Mm, they’re trees… so can you even get something from slaughtering all those trees? Aren’t they just plants?”
“You’ve adapted quite well to this world now, haven’t you? The fact that every action remains as karma. Don’t worry, it definitely won’t be a waste of time.”
After he had roughly explained the location, as well as their objective there, Lee Shin Woo lightly kicked off the ground and embarked on Jin’s back. Jin turned his body to the direction of their destination, even as he sighed. Due to the Assimilation skill, he didn’t need to be told where to go.
“With your speed, it shouldn’t even take a few hours.”
“Hoo, is this really a good idea…”
After the two skeleton heroes were finished with everything, they finally left Kehebe. Due to Jin’s speed, the sight of the city quickly became distant, and eventually, around the time they could only see it as a speck, Lee Shin Woo sighed (that kind of feeling); the sigh was mixed with both regret and relief.
In a short time, they had not only purified the city, but also discovered a winery nearby, met an elf hero, and even exterminated a corps under the direct command of one of the 12 generals. However, to Lee Shin Woo the most important moment was when he exchanged information and knowledge with Kratia.
‘Because of her, my magic fundamentals increased significantly too.’
It also wasn’t bad that he had secured an ally in a talented hero. Furthermore, Jin, who was in a similar situation to him, gained a sense of emotional stability, as well as other emotions from her due to their talks; though he wasn’t able to tell her that because he was shy, she played a huge part in helping him.
Though he had become a Joker who fabricated his own feelings, it didn’t mean that he didn’t need his feelings. Rather, it was because he had to do so that the exchange of feelings was so important. Kratia had filled in that deficit for him.
“You’re thinking about Kratia right now, aren’t you?”
Then Jin, who had silently been running, suddenly opened his mouth and spoke. Because they weren’t deeply using the Assimilation skill, Lee Shin Woo responded a bit surprised.
“You’re really sharp…”
“The fact that you’re talking about Kratia means that you like her, right? Ah, what is it? Why are you shaking?”
“The ground’s just bumpy, that’s all.”
Jin lied unconvincingly and harassed Lee Shin Woo. As expected, did Jin have some sort of complicated feelings for Kratia? The feelings didn’t seem romantic, but he couldn’t really make any sort of guess.
With those complicated feelings, he accessed the chatting channel. It had halfway become a habit to access the chatting channel when he travelled long distances.
[Mr. Lee Shin Woo has entered.]
[Lloyd H.K.: Oh, I was worried, but you came out safe.]
[Lee Shin Woo: It’s a relief that you’re safe, Senior. I was able to escape beforehand because of Senior Erian.]
No matter how complicated he was feeling, as soon as he accessed the chatting channel, he would unhesitatingly and skillfully begin to lie. If he were to say ‘actually, I killed them all’, it would become quite troublesome.
[Prince Altania: I would’ve been able to take care of them.]
[Lloyd H.K.: Though you might be able to inflict a lot of damage with a preemptive strike, it would be difficult for you to win against the entire corps. You’re still quite a ways away from level 7, right? Let’s not be unreasonable until we hit level 7.]
[Prince Altania: Ugh…]
[Yasunori Akira: It requires quite a bit of courage to realize that you can’t do something and back off. Good job, Lee Shin Woo.]
He didn’t even run, yet he was being complimented for running; Lee Shin Woo wanted to get out of this situation as soon as possible. However, he had just entered, so he couldn’t just exit immediately with the excuse that their attention was too burdensome on him. Like always, he would need to bear with it a bit more so that he could hear what’s going on from his seniors. However.
[Shino Rendu: But there are also situations where you can’t run away, no matter how much you want to.]
[Lloyd H.K.: Shino?]
[Mentes Orun: …Are you in danger?]
Ah, a senior he’d never seen before had appeared! Moreover, he seemed like quite the veteran! However, now didn’t seem like the time to introduce himself and say that it’s nice to meet him. Shino Rendu’s voice was unusual.
[Prince Altania: Hey, it hasn’t even been very long since Ye Jin Jin almost died. I thought you were good at running away.]
[Shino Rendu: Those pointless provocations of yours feel quite warm right now… But I don’t think I’ll last very long this time. I think I’ve been caught by one of the 12 generals.]
[Lloyd H.K.: What? You…]
[Mentes Orun: You should all know that the undead communicate with each other, starting from the level 3 danger zones. It’s possible to get caught by one of the 12 generals if they’re close by. And we’ve already told you guys about that once.]
[Shino Rendu: I’m not trying to blame you, Senior. Honestly, I’m not trying to blame anyone.]
[Yasunori Akira: You musclehead…]
Even Yasunori Akira, who always spoke coldly, spoke in a withdrawn voice. So much so that Lee Shin Woo could even hear his voice break. The mood was becoming the same as when Ye Jin Jin requested for help.
Of all the times that Lee Shin Woo could enter the chatting channel, this was the worst. He clicked his tongue. Moreover, he was caught by one of the 12 generals, so no matter who went, no one would be able to help him.
[Shino Rendu: Newbie… No, Lee Shin Woo.]
[Lee Shin Woo: Yes, senior.]
[Shino Rendu: Don’t die like me. Don’t overdo it for the sake of quickly advancing. Since the only thing on our side here is time.]
[Lee Shin Woo: …I’ll keep that in mind.]
[Shino Rendu: Is Seira not here right now… Someone please tell Seira that I always yearned for her. I know her heart’s frozen and she won’t accept anyone, but in the end, I…]
[Prince Altania: You surprise me, even to the very end. That’s the kind of thing that hurts people the most, you idiot.]
[Shino Rendu: And… no, that’s enough. At any rate, I was given a second chance at life. It’s been great.]
With that, Shino Rendu left the chatting channel. No one said anything, but then, Prince left without a word. Following him, Akira left, and then Lloyd. Lee Shin Woo was about to leave the channel, but the final remaining senior stopped him.
[Mentes Orun: You’re Lee Shin Woo, right? When you hit level 6, send me a private chat. …I’ll tell you about some level 3 danger zones that you can go through relatively safely.]
[Lee Shin Woo: Thank you, Senior.]
[Mentes Orun: It’s been a long time since I last entered the channel, but I feel really shitty… I’m going to go drink the wine that’s new at the shop now. Damn it.]
Finally, that senior left as well. This senior wasn’t superfluous, nor did he have any sort of suspicious, secret plan; he just purely wanted to help his junior as much as he could.
The fact that that senior was so sick of entering the chatting channel must have meant that countless heroes have died in the Empire. Then…
‘Ah, there’s another one now.’
There was another mark indicating a new undead hero on his minimap. He would be able to get there in two days with Jin. And that meant that it was highly likely that Shino Rendu was killed by the Mercenary King, Metafel, of the 12 generals.
‘I can’t go that way for now.’
To think that he was thinking this way, despite the fact that Shino Rendu, a senior that he’d conversed with a few times, had died. Lee Shin Woo was surprised by his composure, and smiled bitterly; then, he left the chatting channel.
There was still a bit of distance remaining until he reached the forest containing the trees that spewed Acid Poison.
 T/N: It’s an idiom regarding his liver again (being bold/reckless/gutsy). The second part is referring to the fact that Jin is belatedly remembering that Lee Shin Woo doesn’t have a liver.