<Chapter 7. Three way – 4>
This was the greatest impact he’d experienced since being dropped into the Empire. The sound of the explosion, the shock, and above all, the pressure that struck his entire body; he wasn’t able to resist and Lee Shin Woo rolled raggedly onto the ground.
It just hurt, and hurt some more. The moment his arm had been severed, as well as the moment a huge explosion occurred, he felt pain that transcended the limits of his perception. Despite only aiming for the Ghoul and activating the skill, it felt as though there were several dozens of holes perforating his body.
[The Low Rank Self-Destruct skill has become Lv2. Magic has increased by 1. The force of the explosion increases.]
However, he was sure of its effectiveness. The fact that everything above the Ghoul’s neck had cleanly disappeared from the Ghoul’s body was proof of that.
No, to be exact, it wasn’t a corpse yet. Despite it losing its head, it was still alive. It was filled with wounds, and flailed its arm about; seeing it fumbling around the floor to find Lee Shin Woo, the culprit that made it this way, made him feel goosebumps. From its throat, of which around half was remaining, a truly grotesque voice trickled out.
However, Lee Shin Woo resolved himself, and when he was about to grip his weapon, the Skeleton Horse appeared like lightning and struck the Ghoul, dropping its front legs onto it. It was so powerful that he thought that this was what Thor’s lightning hammer might be like!
The Ghoul wasn’t even able to spread its Acid Poison and was stuck in that area, wriggling around a couple of times. In the end, it stopped moving, and the battle was over.
[You have commanded different individual species and successfully hunted a monster a higher level than you. All stats have increased by 2. Beginner Command has become Lv7.]
[This is a term that only those who have been saved, not the one who saves, can speak. You have acquired the Savior’s karma token with great success. Strength and magic have increased by 4. You have acquired the active skill, Sacrifice Lv1.]
[You have superbly succeeded in executing your revenge. The Beginner Avenger skill has become Lv4. When you meet the one who defeated you again, all abilities increase by 30%.]
Was it because the Ghoul persistently hung on until the very end? Despite the message that the party had successfully hunted the Ghoul, Lee Shin Woo couldn’t believe it and just blankly stood there.
However, he did so only briefly. When the Ghoul turned into mana and disappeared, leaving behind the dropped items in its place, reality hit him. None of them had died, and had amazingly defeated the monster.
“It’s all because of you.”
“It was all because you appeared at the right moment that we were able to win so easily.”
The Undead Hero and the Skeleton Horse Hero exchanged compliments. Truthfully, they both didn’t even have the energy to stand, but while fighting against the Ghoul, the ground had become completely covered by the Acid Poison, so they barely endured, and stood.
“T-Thank you very much!”
And the last remaining hero cut in. It was none other than Ye Jin Jin, who was dressed in tattered clothing. Of course, Lee Shin Woo had indeed saved her, but he hadn’t expected her to bow her head in front of an undead and even thank him… It was honestly something he hadn’t expected. It was only really possible if one was extremely pure.
“This was the first time I’ve realized that there are also good Undead in the Empire! I-I was really about to die… Thank you very much for helping me!”
However, at that time, the Skeleton Horse tilted its head, and then, turned its head towards Lee Shin Woo, and asked.
“You weren’t the one who was in danger? The quest or whatever definitely said that there was a hero who was in trouble, and when I got here, you were fighting with that Ghoul…”
“No, I also received the quest and came to save her.”
“Huh? You came to save… me? Wait, just a second. A hero…?”
The misunderstandings that the party had were all meshed together in the same place. Lee Shin Woo had roughly grasped the situation, but the Skeleton Horse, and Ye Jin Jin looked as though they couldn’t understand what was going on at all.
Would they be able to understand each other just by talking? Lee Shin Woo sighed and spoke briefly.
“Let’s talk in a calm and orderly way. Ah, before that, wear some clothes.”
[You have acquired 50,000 Perium.]
[Strength has increased by 5, Agility by 10, Health by 3, and Magic by 7.]
[You have acquired 3 permits to God’s secret shop, the Intermediate Ice Resistance skill book, and 5 Lv3 equipment reinforcement permits.]
Now this was definitely a quest reward. He had acquired 50,000 Perium, and secondly, he had gained a total of 25 stats! He had inwardly been looking forward to the skill book, and was disappointed that it was an Ice Resistance skill book, but even when he considered that, it was truly a shocking reward.
“To think that both of you were heroes… God just granted your wish, yet you became an undead.”
Lee Shin Woo checked his rewards and when he sported a satisfied expression, Ye Jin Jin (she had safely changed) looked on disbelievingly, alternating between the two. The Skeleton Horse noticed her disbelief and spoke somewhat bitterly.
“You probably won’t understand what I say, but I don’t know what she did to me. I don’t know what happened to my brain…”
Rather than something like supernatural powers or a miracle, he spoke as if he had experienced a taste of something far worse, and Lee Shin Woo nodded his head in agreement.
Of course, he realized that he was too greedy, but still, he hadn’t thought that she would just abruptly turn him into a skeleton. It if weren’t for the sense of composure that was forced upon him by becoming a skeleton, it would’ve also been difficult for him to bear.
“It might be difficult to believe me, but… just trust me when I say that I, as well as this guy, are your allies.”
“I trust you. If you think about it, it would’ve been difficult for you to save me at that precise timing had you not been heroes. It’s just…”
Ye Jin Jin wavered, and then, quietly added.
“It seems like it was really difficult for you.”
There was no doubt about that, but the meaning differs depending on how it’s said. Lee Shin Woo was momentarily speechless when he heard Ye Jin Jin’s simple, honest, and careful words.
He felt slightly, extremely slightly guilty that he had acted in order to receive the reward, rather than save this girl. Rather, he felt happy about those emotions.
“You’re a good kid.”
“Not really. …But what good does it do me? Strength is everything in the Empire.”
“You’re the same level as me.”
“I just feel more shameless hearing that.”
They had already finished their introductions. Lee Shin Woo’s lie that he was level 4 had been exposed, but since it’d been revealed that he was an undead already, it didn’t really matter anymore. Honestly, it didn’t really matter if they figured it out, but if they weren’t in a special situation like Ye Jin Jin, his seniors wouldn’t easily accept that he was an undead hero, so he had been pushing it back.
“I’m level 4, but I’m weaker than you. So it’s alright.”
“You said you were level 4 ever since you became a Skeleton Horse, right?”
‘Jin’ was none other than the Skeleton Horse. He was obviously a human before, not a horse.
In his original world, Jin was a sprinter, and had answered like this when God asked him what he desired.
‘I just want to keep running, faster than anyone else.’
No matter how he thought about it, God was definitely crazy. To grant that request, she turned him into an undead, and a horse at that!
Lee Shin Woo could accept that she turned him into a skeleton and could even understand why, but turning Jin into a Skeleton Horse made him want to ask God, ‘Do you really want the heroes to fight off the Empire?’
“So you’re saying you just continuously ran, huh. Without even clearing a single quest?”
“Yeah. I don’t know how long it’s been since I’ve been dropped onto this world, but I don’t get exhausted, hungry, thirsty, or even tired, and I didn’t know what to do, nor did I want to fight monsters… I just ran. I didn’t even know about the chatting channel, and until I received this quest, I didn’t even know that there were other heroes.”
If one were to make a wish and the next morning become a Skeleton Horse, they would obviously be stunned. He just felt that it was frightening that Jin relieved all that stress just by running.
He didn’t know about anything else, but Jin had probably grown considerably in sprint related skills. He could completely understand his acceleration speed in such a short distance, as well as the force of the tackle that followed.
On the other hand, since he hadn’t fought a monster face-to-face even once before, the fact that he responded so sloppily in a combat scenario was natural… Lee Shin Woo, who had some sort of pride in being the one amongst the heroes that had the most unusual history, meekly passed over the crown to Jin.
“That’s why I think you’re really amazing. You said you’ve only been here for 3 weeks? I don’t know how you became such an experienced warrior in just 3 weeks…”
“He’s right. That sword strike, or that shot were really…”
It was undeniable that Lee Shin Woo had played a crucial role in hunting the Acid Ghoul, but… he turned away as the two looked at him as if his face were golden. Just in time, he saw the loot that was rolling on the ground.
Ye Jin Jin, who checked which way his head had turned, smiled ambiguously and took a step back.
“Ah, the loot… I’ll sit this out. Since you guys saved me…”
“Please take some, based on how much you contributed with your javelins. You have to be the one that handles the karma that you’ve sown.”
“…It’s really only been 3 weeks since you’ve first been here, right?”
She couldn’t believe what she was hearing; it seemed as though Lee Shin Woo knew much more about the truth of this world than she did, and had to ask back. Of course, it turned out exactly as Lee Shin Woo had said. There was only one monster and there were individual drops for each of them, but how their splits would be shared was already determined.
[Acid Ghoul’s Thumbnail]
[Lv4 Acid Skull Helm]
70% of the total Perium was deducted from his share, but he got two items.
Though he was able to acquire new information that this world did indeed recognize nails as bones due to the Acid Ghoul’s Thumbnail (a skeleton doesn’t have nails, but they honestly don’t need them), but there was something more important than that.
[Acid Skull Helm]
[Defense: 250 – 310]
[Options: Magic + 10, Effectiveness of Acid Type Skills + 10%]
“A helmet made of its skull; this is really valuable…”
“It’s a level 4 helmet… I’m really jealous.”
“Wow, it’s really tough.”
Lee Shin Woo as well as the other two began touching the pale green and sleek helmet, and couldn’t stop from being moved.
It was beautiful, to the point that he couldn’t believe that it was made of bone. It started from the neck, and completely protected the head; there wasn’t a separate visor attached, but there was a small crack that he could see through.
‘An undead’s head is central to their life. There isn’t much to think about; it’s more important than body armor.’
He equipped the helmet at that very spot. Compared to the Dire Wolf Bone Armor, which increased his health by 20, it seemed like the additional 10 magic didn’t compare, but it had other options besides that.
The effectiveness of acid types skills would increase by 10%. It wasn’t just a valuable option because it would increase the effectiveness of his Acid Resistance…
‘It’ll probably help with the skill that I gain from the Acid Ghoul’s Thumbnail, too… Yeah. I have to absorb that quickly as well.’
He turned around and spoke to the black haired girl, and Jin, who were conversing quietly.
“The battle’s over and you’re safe now, so I’ll get going.”
It seemed as though Ye Jin Jin hadn’t expected him to say that, as her complexion became ashen, but soon, she nodded her head stiffly. He also had things to think about after this incident. At the very least, he hoped that he wouldn’t be negligent during battle or have to roll onto the floor again in the future.
“Thank you very much for saving my life. I’ll probably greet you again in the chatting channel, but let’s definitely meet again in the future.”
“Alright, as long as you don’t die, we should be able to see each other again.”
“Let’s meet again.”
The Skeleton Horse, Jin, also said his farewells to Ye Jin Jin. Honestly, Lee Shin Woo had somewhat been expecting that.
He smiled slightly and turned around. Jin also turned his body in a similar direction. Ye Jin Jin then shouted at them as loud as she could.
“I’ll help you next time!”
“Say that after you get stronger.”
Lee Shin Woo walked quietly until he couldn’t see Ye Jin Jin anymore. He was trying to get back to the underground tunnel he had dug up to return to the dungeon.
However, before he found the underground tunnel, Lee Shin Woo suddenly paused, and opened his (nonexistent) mouth.
“Shall we start talking?”
Jin, who had been quietly following behind, replied in a beautiful voice that didn’t at all match with his exterior appearance.
“I was waiting.”