<Chapter 24. Operation – Bro, why are you there? – 2>
“There aren’t that many magicians over here.”
It’d been three days since he’d patrolled the inner city, and this was the result he’d come to after comparing information with Jin. Hearing that, Jin was momentarily dumbstruck, but soon retorted.
“You said those guys were the ones you needed to be most wary of. That it wouldn’t be so simple; that it wasn’t just knights patrolling around.”
“That’s what I thought, but when I actually looked around, I found that it wasn’t all that. That’s what you found in your patrol too, right?”
“That’s… That’s true.”
There had been a time that Lee Shin Woo had assumed that all high leveled magicians would be on par with Kratia. However, that wasn’t the case. Kratia was the exception. Then again, she was a hero; she wouldn’t be a hero if she wasn’t the exception.
‘Moreover, it’s pretty obvious that their intellect went down considerably when they turned into the undead, though I’m not sure about their magic.’
Normally, there weren’t that many undead that could even use magic. Even if they could, most of them could only focus on one or two spells. That’s because they wouldn’t be able to properly cast the spells without the calculations; the spells that they could cast were ones that they’d often used while they were still alive and were deeply instinctual.
Of course, the higher leveled they were, the more they regained their abilities and intellect, so more higher leveled undead could use magic. However, the effectiveness of their magic was still a few levels down!
“Then what about that feminine looking undead? There’s a level 6 undead in the castle.”
“Yeah. There is one magician in this city that I have to be wary of.”
Though there were few that were defending the inner city, the reason that the lord was so willing to send most of his knights to the outskirts was because he had someone he could count on in the inner city. It was none other than the level 6 Magician Leader!
The Magician Leader was dreary and feminine (the fact that he could ascertain what gender she was made it clear that she was a high rank undead), and like the lord, looked emaciated. At first glance, she looked slender, but she possessed impressive magic. It was at a level that didn’t trail behind Kratia’s, whose magic he’d checked before they parted ways.
“But that just means I have to be wary of her during battle. That’s all. I’m sure of it. Her communication abilities, surveillance abilities, and even her skill in basic magic searching is worse than mine. Even if she saw normal patterns that moved magic, or if I used magic to secretly provoke her, her response was always the same.”
“If you provoke her, she might report it to the lord!”
“Including all that, don’t we need to see how she responds to such a provocation?”
That meant that he was confident that his identity wouldn’t be exposed, regardless of how she responded to the provocation. Jin felt sick of hearing Lee Shin Woo’s confident attitude. The most surprising thing was that it wasn’t arrogance; that confidence always came from a thorough analysis.
“And as a result of my tests, she wasn’t able to sense my magic until very late, and was barely even able to sense it. Next, I released magic a few times into the air. Ultimately, it seemed as though she thought she was seeing things and returned to what she was doing.”
“That trait of finally sensing magic but then not really doing anything about it really fits an undead…”
In other words, no matter how powerful they were, their brains were damaged, and thus, they were idiots. Her magic’s offensive capabilities were likely unquestionable, but this wasn’t the first time he’d fought against a powerful opponent; Lee Shin Woo was even confident enough that he could get close to and take care of her before she could even start casting her magic.
“The magicians aren’t really following the imperial command. The alarms in the city or the patrol routes aren’t covered by magic, and their only real purpose is to act as artillery troops…”
“Then there’s nothing to be afraid of now. Let’s go to the secret facility.”
“No, not yet. There’s just one more thing I have to do before we can move on.”
It was to find their communication line with the 12 generals. If he just found it, and either destroyed or secured it, then he would have nothing to be afraid of. And now that he’d figured out that the magicians weren’t all that strong, the thing he had to look out for was…
“You’re just doing this for fun, aren’t you?”
“I’m doing this so we can avoid danger and get a clean victory, you know? Ah, Jin. Starting now, figure out how to covertly get into the city without being seen.”
“Can’t we just kill the lord and prevent them from contacting the 12 generals?”
“Well, you’ll see.”
Lee Shin Woo wasn’t blowing everything out of proportion just so that he could fulfill Guillotine Steelworker’s request.
He wanted to use this chance of infiltrating the city to figure out how the Empire operated… He also wanted to take over the level 3 danger zone city as well. To do that, he couldn’t just kill the lord and run!
‘But if Jin knew about this, he wouldn’t really cooperate with me.’
He’d already experienced clearing several level 2 danger zone cities, but the level 3 danger zones and up were completely different. There were three level 6 elites in this city alone, and there also some normal level 6s on top of that… there were also hundreds of level 5s. If he added in the level 4 knights as well, they couldn’t take on those numbers.
It would be barely doable to fight straight-up if he had all of the Pauls and Golems with him. However, Lee Shin Woo couldn’t use up his valuable resources here.
‘Those guys… I should be able to use them.’
He left his lodgings and returned to doing his duty whilst his brain turned hectically. How could he destroy this city whilst completing his objective… He was gradually estimating how he would go about it.
[Now… give your regular report…]
It had only been a day since he’d marked the lord as his primary target, yet surprisingly, things were progressing much faster than he expected!
While Lee Shin Woo was on his regular patrol and wasn’t even bothering to hide his presence, he began to see a peculiar magic reaction, though it seemed like the lord hadn’t expected him, a ‘mere knight’ to see him.
[Where, here… this way…]
Lee Shin Woo didn’t miss the lord’s flow of magic from beyond the bedroom door, and clearly remembered it. It seemed as though the lord wasn’t guarded in the least and was letting the world see his magic.
‘It’s not really that difficult.’
To be exact, it was about the same level as the Anti-Skull’s security. It was so easy to figure out that he actually felt uneasy; after the magic pattern was displayed, he heard a small sound coming from inside the room.
At the same time, he felt an odd magic reaction… it seems as though the lord had just taken out an item that he had been hiding.
At that moment, the mana pattern that the lord exhibited changed again. If the first was to unlock the security around the castle, then this one was to activate the magic tool that he’d taken out.
‘This isn’t very tough either.’
It wasn’t very difficult for someone who possessed general administrative rights. Of course, if the other heroes knew, including Kratia, they’d be pissed. Lee Shin Woo’s magical ability had developed significantly; to such an extent that they couldn’t even begin to imagine.
[Greetings, Lightning General.]
After Lee Shin Woo had completely memorized the magic pattern, he listened carefully to the suddenly speaking lord.
Unfortunately, he couldn’t hear the other speaker, but he could at least tell that the one he was speaking to was one of the 12 generals, or more specifically, the Lightning General.
[There are no abnormalities. Yes, of course.]
[Our defense remains impenetrable. A golem, or even a single fly won’t be able to get through. But what kind of golem… No, it’s nothing.]
If Lee Shin Woo still had lips, he would be smiling bitterly right now. It was apparent that the lord’s back was bent and that he was kowtowing, even through the wall. Lee Shin Woo could also observe their one-sided relationship. That must prove just how high a General’s position was.
[Unimportant changes…? But, mm…]
Because the lord kept repeating the Lightning General’s instructions, Lee Shin Woo was able to hear what the Lightning General was saying. As he thought, once an undead gets around the General level, they’re able to surpass the limited intellect of an ‘undead’, which was slightly worrying to him…
[There’s nothing like that. Yes, you can trust me to carry out your orders.]
Fortunately, because the lord was an idiot, the lord didn’t mention Lee Shin Woo at all! Of course, even if he did mention him, he was still acting as though he was an undead loyal to the Empire, so it wouldn’t be such a big deal. However, it was obviously much better to just pass over him than to draw attention to him.
[Then in a month… Yes, of course. I’ll contact you if those golem bastards show up. His Imperial Majesty… it’s a relief that he’s still healthy!]
The lord was sycophantic to the very end of their conversation. Lee Shin Woo had acquired some information: he gave a regular report to the general once every month! Moreover, their conversation had ended without any mention of him, so as long as he stole the device that allowed the lord to communicate with the general, he would be able to clean everything up.
Lee Shin Woo had a hunch that his plan could move on to the next stage. However, he didn’t act immediately.
‘I’m going to aim for a time when I can kill the lord without any suspicion. What’s most important is the aftermath… I have to focus on that first.’
He patrolled through the inner city, and it wasn’t only the lord or the magicians that he was keeping his eye on. Lee Shin Woo watched the undead who regularly visited the lord, as well as the lord himself, as he called them and gave them their orders… in other words, he watched how the undead within the city communicated with each other.
The knights who were finished patrolling would have to report to the lord, so the lord wasn’t left alone most of the time. There was a reason that this was a level 3 danger zone.
‘But still, it’s not like the lord’s protected 24/7.’
High leveled undead accept their death and move on. They accept the fact that they have died, and build a new life and order for themselves. Obviously, these undead, who’ve accepted their deaths, are much scarier than those who roam around, rejecting that they’ve died.
Despite that, there was still one habit that they couldn’t leave behind: sleep. Even though they know that they can’t sleep, they lay on their beds in order to retain their sanity. The higher ranked the undead, the more likely they were to do so.
‘And this lord is the same as well.’
That time was now! The lord, who had activated the lock again and hidden the crystal, slowly walked outside. Lee Shin Woo acted as though he met him by coincidence as he passed by the area, and calmly bowed his head.
[Good work, Sir Seta.]
“This level of work is nothing if I can help uphold the imperial command.”
[Mm, very impressive. I’ll call you later separately and reward you.]
He responded, called over one of the knights nearby on standby, and went towards a different room. It was the room where the level 6 Magician Leader was staying in; it seemed as though these two were lovers before they died who always slept in the same place.
There was no way to tell if these two still were sexually active, but Lee Shin Woo prayed that they weren’t.
‘Nice. Then let’s see where they’re going.’
Lee Shin Woo saw the two join up and head to the bedroom, and naturally entered into the room the lord had once inhabited. He’d already perfectly memorized the patrol routes for the inner city, and knew that there wouldn’t be anyone guarding the lord’s room for 7 minutes.
[Code 0819 Communication Line]
[A high rank communication line that enables communication by using a special frequency.]
“Nice. Now I won’t encounter one of the 12 generals through this.”
He unlocked the extremely simple lock and had extracted the communication line that had been hidden in the room. After Lee Shin Woo had placed it into his inventory, he comfortably escaped the room. And realizing that he had time to spare, grinned, and went towards the lord’s bedroom.