<Chapter 24. Operation – Bro, why are you there? – 5>
[Mr. Lee Shin Woo has entered.]
[Lloyd H.K.: It’s been a while. I’m glad you’re safe.]
[Erian Ruparte: I’m glad you’re safe.]
[Mentes Orun: Oh, you’ve come.]
When he couldn’t move, the chatting channel was the best. He had to stay in position right now, so Lee Shin Woo entered the chatting channel, though it had been a long time since he’d last entered the channel. Like always, there were several of his seniors that happily greeted him upon entrance. Lee Shin Woo very naturally began to act and replied.
[Lee Shin Woo: I’m glad you’re all safe as well, Seniors.]
[Mentes Orun: What are you doing right now?]
[Lee Shin Woo: I’m waiting for the right time.]
That’s right. The right time. Lee Shin Woo was waiting for the right time to attack. Life was all about timing, and it was even more important against the undead. And right now, Lee Shin Woo was beginning to realize how to adjust that timing.
[Mentes Orun: The right time…?]
[Lloyd H.K.: Is it an ambush? That must mean you’ve figured out where the undead troops are going.]
[Lee Shin Woo: Something like that. I have to ambush the undead troops, as the size of their force is a bit too much for me.]
To be exact, it wasn’t a group of undead, but an entire city’s worth; it felt like he was attacking both the inner city and the outskirts simultaneously, not through physical means, but mental. They wouldn’t understand, even if he explained it to them, so he just concocted a story for them.
[Silen Viesa: I’ve been hiding and picking off the undead one or two at a time, but you’re amazing, Senior!]
[Mentes Orun: Those one or two undead are at the same level as you; plus, they’re elites. Man, it’s been tough holding out over here, but I feel a lot better with such talented juniors appearing.]
[Lloyd H.K.: Now that you mention talented juniors, I met that girl before. That newbie that entered the chatting channel briefly, but then left. Don’t be shocked, but she’s not weaker than me.]
[Erian Ruparte: …That strong girl, who happens to be unnecessarily beautiful as well. You’re talking about her, right?]
[Mentes Orun: Eh, why are you getting upset again, young lady?]
Lee Shin Woo had already heard about it from Kratia. That she’d managed to come across other senior heroes. She thought that they might be trouble, but because Lee Shin Woo had given her information on them beforehand, it seemed like nothing bad happened.
[Prince Altania: You don’t think she was level 7, do you?]
[Lloyd H.K.: I’m not sure, but I’m sure that she’s either at my level or stronger. Ah, and she’s a magician too.]
[Prince Altania: A magician… Hoo, then we’ll just have to see who’s better sometime! Show her who’s boss, am I right?]
[Lloyd H.K.: Heroes shouldn’t fight amongst each other, you dumbass.]
Lloyd spoke, and it seemed like the conversation was briefly paused… but then, a calm voice continued, as if it were a commander deciding whether or not he should press the nuclear missile button.
[Lloyd H.K.: Perhaps… we’ll be able to take on the 12 generals soon.]
[Prince Altania: …]
[Lloyd H.K.: You (their seniors) told us before. There are level 7s amongst the 12 generals. If that’s the case, we should be able to take down one or two of them if we work together.]
[Mentes Orun: Don’t be hasty, Lloyd.]
[Lloyd H.K.: …Senior.]
[Mentes Orun: I’ve seen four level 7 heroes die all at once because they were just as hasty as you. …So become stronger while it’s still safe. Don’t be too hasty, nor too lax… since we’re still going to die here.]
[Lloyd H.K.: …]
[Prince Altania: …]
Ah, the mood in the chatting channel suddenly turned for the worst! They had finally gotten over Shino Rendu’s death, but it seemed like they were still deeply affected by it.
Lee Shin Woo softly sighed. Who would think of them as heroes, acting like this!? But then, he received a message. Kratia had arrived.
[Kratia Melloi: We’re in the middle of gathering them all and leaving… Shin Woo, save me.]
“Nice work. You gathered them a lot faster than I expected. Then I’ll get going now too.”
[Kratia Melloi: Wait, no. Help me first…!]
Kratia sounded like she was dying, but it probably wasn’t from a severe injury. It probably wasn’t easy for her to ride atop Jin when she had neither the Horseback Riding skill nor the Assimilation skill.
He pictured the small, almost doll-like and beautiful Kratia, dizzy and banging her head atop Jin’s back, and grinned. Then, he stood up, wore some clothes over his wrinkled and dirty flesh, and finally, looked over at the broken mirror.
“Nice. It’s perfect.”
The mirror reflected the appearance of Kadinan’s lord, Count Nellopa.
“Ah, aah. Aaaaah.”
The Disguise skill was also capable of changing one’s voice. Lee Shin Woo smiled after confirming that his voice had indeed changed to the lord’s dreary and dismal one. As if reflecting his mood, the reflected emaciated flesh twisted around.
‘How could I feel like I’m worse than this undead?’
He couldn’t hide his misery or his distress, but it didn’t matter; the lord was dead. He couldn’t ‘stand’ again. In any way!
“Hoo… Nice, it’s a lot better than I thought it would be. It’s almost perfect.”
He had somehow managed to raise his Disguise skill to level 4 in the past few months, and contrary to when the skill was level 1 and he had to be familiar with the target to barely imitate them, he could now imitate an undead with a similar form with just the information from one bone (this was also due to his Bone Reinforcement developing as well).
However, he had been uneasy as he didn’t know how Disguise would work with the Undead Commander; after all, he was a completely different species… But he hadn’t expected him to drop two bones simultaneously! At that moment, Lee Shin Woo was sure of it. The fact that he’d be able to progress with Plan A.
That’s right. Lee Shin Woo’s Plan A of Operation – Bro, why are you there? is…
“As Kadinan’s lord, I command you. All forces, assemble! To battle!”
[The lord came personally… what’s going on…!?]
Plan A was unbelievable: kill the Undead Commander, act as him, and commandeer Kadinan’s forces!
[The Lord has given the command. To battle!]
[Do you plan on defying the Lord’s command!?]
[No, of course not!]
The knights were considerably flustered once they saw the lord yell out his command right after exiting his bedroom. Even so, they couldn’t defy the Lord’s command and immediately relayed his command to all of their forces. The once stagnant satellite city became excited in the blink of an eye.
[What about the soldiers charged with a mission…?]
[Recall them all! It’s the Lord’s command!]
[Magicians! Equip your magical devices and get ready to depart immediately!]
[But, the leader isn’t…]
[Wait, now that I think about it, the leader isn’t here…?]
Only after creating a huge fuss did the undead realize that the Magician Leader was absent. Both the Magician Leader and the Knight Leader were missing, and the undead didn’t know what to do; they shifted responsibility, as if playing hot potato, but ultimately, one of the level 5 Elder Knights who had heard his command approached him.
[My apologies, but wasn’t the Magician Leader with you, my lord?]
This was the question he had been waiting for. He couldn’t tell them himself, but he could wait for someone to ask! Lee Shin Woo took a deep breath without anyone knowing and simultaneously activated Acting and Instigate, and opened his mouth.
“The place we were protecting… There was an intruder at the ‘Sanctuary’. The Magician Leader was the first to notice and attempted to defeat them, but was defeated instead.”
[As expected of the Magician Leader!]
The Sanctuary was slang for the area they protected under the imperial command. Of course, they were dumbasses that couldn’t tell that his lie about the Magician Leader was bullshit, but it seems like the words ‘Magician Leader’ were quite effective on the undead, as they didn’t find his lie suspicious at all.
But because it was a lord’s castle filled with level 5 undead or higher, not everyone let it go and questioned him.
[If that’s the case, then wouldn’t it be prudent to contact one of the 12 generals first, my lord…?]
“That was my first course of action; I contacted the general and reported what had happened. But even so, do we just stand still and do nothing? When we couldn’t prevent the intruders from entering the Sanctuary?”
[T-That’s not my intent…]
“I cannot wait until the Lightning General arrives. It’s not only to prove my loyalty to the Emperor. I must punish these intruders myself. This is… this is…”
Lee Shin Woo replied. He briefly evened out his breathing and looked as though he were pushing down his anger. The Elder Knight saw this intense anger and gulped, even though he didn’t have any saliva to swallow down, and stepped back. Lee Shin Woo was satisfied with that.
‘Good. It seems like faking my facial expressions is perfect as well.’
He’d never been in a relationship before, so he obviously didn’t know what it felt like to lose a lover. However, he remembered how sad he was when his scary friend in elementary school stole one of his grilled beef patties from his precious lunchbox that his mother had bought for him, so when he recollected those feelings, they completely bought his lie.
“We will uphold both the imperial command and at the same time, beef patties… I mean, it is also vengeance for the Magician Leader, Soulrit. …Understood?”
Lee Shin Woo’s simmering anger and regret lead to one thing: vengeance! His feelings were clearly conveyed to the rest of the undead, causing them to feel both grief and pity! And sure enough, at that very moment, his skill leveled up.
[The Instigate skill has become Lv4. You amplify the emotions of your listeners and can cover for any contradictions or scanty evidence.]
Whenever his skill leveled up, the skill explanation would always be nothing more than ‘is this really ok like this?’, but Lee Shin Woo kept a positive mindset, thinking that it’s a great skill and decided to completely ignore the message.
He needed to concentrate on all the undead focusing entirely on him right now. Ah, and he needed to focus on his partner, as well as his temporary partner, who were being chased from afar!
[Everyone, line up! We go to uphold the imperial command! Remember that, and focus!]
[As you command, my lord!]
Lee Shin Woo saw more than 10,000 troops lining up outside of the outer walls, and yelled without even twitching an eyebrow. The knights, charged with missions and that were in other areas, led soldiers and assembled as well; their numbers began to swell once more.
[I trust that you know what the situation is!]
Lee Shin Woo used Instigate with each and every one of his words, his voice resonating and relaying his orders to the troops. This was to ensure that none of them became suspicious of him while simultaneously being a show of strength that would inspire them.
[The ones who dared to invade the Sanctuary are there. Our mission is extremely simple. Executing all those who oppose his majesty! Do you understand!?]
[As you command, my lord!]
Thousands of undead shouted all together, responding to his call. Hearing that, he calmly nodded his head, and if anyone were to see this, they would see him as an unimaginable big shot.
“Jin, when the two groups start fighting, take Kratia and run. I may be controlling them with my skill, but I don’t know how they’ll react to seeing someone alive.”
[Jin Taylor: I got it. I got it, but… how exactly are you going to do that?]
Lee Shin Woo didn’t reply. Instead, he ordered his entire troops to advance.
[Don’t die in vain! You may not die until you uphold the imperial command!]
Around that time, most of the knights and soldiers that had been guarding the Sanctuary (there were several undead that had already been killed from Jin and company) had come under his leadership, so he had around 20,000 soldiers under his command. It was truly a reassuring sight.
“All forces, halt! I see our enemy!”
[Our enemy!? But… our enemies are coming!]
That moment came faster than Lee Shin Woo had expected. After leading his troops and advancing for only a few hours, he saw a horse kicking up a dust cloud on one side… as well as formidable monsters that were chasing after him fiercely.
“Wow, that’s crazy. What the hell are Golem Chimeras…?”
He didn’t know if the group that chased after Jin and Kratia would be at least level 5 or not, but when he checked the levels of the thousands of monsters, he smirked. But once his subordinates, the other undead, saw a mob of powerful enemies appear, they felt uneasy and took up their battle positions.
[Jin Taylor: Hey, I can see the undead troops! But where are you!?]
He’d gathered mobs and even ran whilst allowing Kratia to ride on his back. Ultimately, Jin saw the undead force and was shocked at the force that numbered in the tens of thousands; he opened a private chat and messaged Lee Shin Woo. Lee Shin Woo calmly replied in the private chat.
“I’m right over here.”
He said and calmly waved his hand. At first, Jin couldn’t see where Lee Shin Woo was, as he was protected by the level 6 Knight Leader, as well as a number of high leveled undead. However, he soon realized what Lee Shin Woo was doing and gaped.
[Jin Taylor: You’re…]
He was at the center of the undead force; he was protected by them, instead of being the recipient of their attacks. No, from first glance, it just looked like Lee Shin Woo had just become the Undead Commander.
[Jin Taylor: Why are you there!?]
Once he heard that, Lee Shin Woo was sure that Operation – Bro, why are you there? had succeeded perfectly.