Stop, Friendly Fire! Chapter 301
Let's turn back time a little bit to when Lee Shin Woo had come across the source of darkness.
[Lv10 Source of Darkness - Lich Emperor's Life Vessel]
Once he'd placed his hands upon the source of darkness, Lee Shin Woo came to a realization. That no one individual could bear this by themselves.
The level 9 Undead Emperor hadn't stored this here and used it as his life vessel for no reason. He'd done this because no one could handle it. He had given up on controlling it and had used it as his life vessel instead!
'I prepared myself for this, but... Shit, this is way too much!'
What's worse, there was an even bigger problem. Once Lee Shin Woo had approached it, the source of darkness recognized him and began unleashing a torrent of mana towards him.
It must've been affected by his maxed out darkness element. However, that wasn't good for him right now. The source of darkness was so much stronger than Lee Shin Woo. If it kept unleashing its mana, then Lee Shin Woo's body would disintegrate. It wasn't on the level of Manatization. He would just become mana itself.
"Shin Woo, Shin Woo!?"
"Don't assimilate with me! You'll die!"
Lee Shin Woo screamed in anguish, and Jin froze solid. But she wouldn't condone his death.
"What am I supposed to do if you die!? Then I really will die... You have to keep your promise and turn me human again!"
"I won't die right away. I can handle it with Invisible Heart. But you can't! Your revival relies on darkness!"
He was absolutely right. Jin had gone completely stiff. In the midst of that, Lee Shin Woo tried to absorb the source of darkness whole without getting sick.
He tried using his Manatization, Mana Acceleration, and Mana Bone skills to control the flow of mana, as well as all of his innate elements to twist cause-and-effect.
But it didn't work at all. It was only natural! Ultimately, what it came down to was that all elements were controlled by mana! The pure darkness mana demolished all logic and cause-and-effect, and flooded Lee Shin Woo's body.
'Uaaaaaah! It hurts and it stings! But it's also relaxing and feels good... Damn it, I really will die at this rate! It's like I'm right about to lose consciousness atop a mountain!'
The term 'source' was truly a fitting title for it. It was indeed the source of all darkness in this world. It felt as though half of this world was within it.
Absorbing it by himself? What a joke. It was like taking in half of the world's population; it was impossible from the very start. Lee Shin Woo had miscalculated. It was a crucial miscalculation at that.
'Then what am I supposed to do? If I don't do something about this, then I can't kill Jissehanu!'
Jissehanu had already begun using this as his life vessel. To completely eliminate the undead curse, Lee Shin Woo had to kill him, and to do that, he needed to destroy his life vessel as well. He hadn't had any other choice from the very start.
Then why!? He'd dealt with any absurdity his own way thus far, but he wasn't able to deal with this one! No, if something like this actually existed, then God should've given him some warning beforehand!
'What if I turn into a Titan? I may be able to contain all of this overwhelming mana... No, that's not enough.'
If he were to use the Titan, then he'd only be switching his small soy sauce bowl for a soup bowl. He needed to absorb half the world itself, so it wouldn't make much difference. On the contrary, by increasing the size of the medium, he might actually find it harder to control the mana.
'There's a solution somewhere. There has to be. If I were to fuse the innate elements together, then... Heaven Space? Dark Shadow? Use Annihilation Flame to sever the link? What if I were to eliminate the mana with Shining Flame as soon as I acquire it...'
No, it wouldn't work. That would only work when Lee Shin Woo was in control of the darkness mana in question; it wouldn't work since he couldn't control this mana.
The situation was reversed. Lee Shin Woo wasn't the master of this mana. Rather, the source of darkness was. The source of darkness was eating Lee Shin Woo, not the other way around.
Using the Titan? If he had, then it would've been a huge issue. Right now, the Titan Core was composed of the Demon Heart that originated from the Evil Eye ore; the Demon Heart had come from the source of darkness itself. If he'd used the Titan, then he would've been devoured in the blink of an eye.
He was really out of options. The Undead Emperor's security hadn't been lax; there had been no need for security in the first place. No, the fact that Jissehanu had managed to process such a great artifact and use it as his life vessel proved that he was a genius. A man extraordinary enough to aim for the surface!
'What do I do? How do I go about this? What do I have to do to absorb all this mana? It's not possible unless I were to become a god! It's just way too much for me to absorb...!'
Despair would always arise without a moment's notice. And there usually wasn't any way to deal with that despair. Lee Shin Woo recollected his long past death on Earth.
Yeah. This is what despair felt like when one was at the cusp of death. It had been such a shocking affair that Lee Shin Woo had asked God for immortality. He'd forgotten all about his original personality, beliefs, and skills, and pursued such a childish dream instead.
As a result, he was able to progress this far, which was shocking to him, but... ultimately, he was faced with despair.
'This is unfair.'
Everything's unfair. Everyone he'd met must've thought that Lee Shin Woo was unfair.
'This is absurd.'
Everything's absurd. Whenever he'd been faced with an absurd situation, he'd dealt with it with an equally absurd solution, so he really had no leg to stand on.
'What's worse, I can't trick this thing.'
Tricking someone required that they have the minimum emotions, will, or what-not. However, the source of darkness didn't have any of those. The reason this thing was emitting mana was purely because darkness was there.
He could understand how mountain climbers felt. There was a mountain there, so they climbed it. Though he wasn't going to actually climb a mountain or anything.
'...I guess there really isn't anything I can do.'
Lee Shin Woo acknowledged his inability. It felt as though he wasn't able to get to level 9 because he'd given up. But it couldn't be helped. Others had often called him stubborn or overpowered, but Lee Shin Woo was fundamentally still a human who followed his set criteria and logic.
Every situation, which changed due to his silver tongue or skills, was nothing more than an event where he calculated the rate of success and/or failure.
And so, the fact that he'd determined that he was out of options meant that this was truly the end. There was nothing he could do. After dying 210 times, he really would die.
When he'd given up on everything, he thought of something.
'Who said I couldn't absorb this thing?'
Who'd said that?
'Who said I wasn't a god?'
Who'd said that?
'I don't think it was me.'
Lee Shin Woo thought about it. Since when was he a mortal? Since when had he become an imbecile that couldn't absorb this small bead of darkness?
He didn't think it was him. There was no reason he couldn't absorb this thing.
'No... I am a god.'
When he thought about it, he was one. He'd eliminated the limitations of space, could nullify all barriers, had created a new race, had found the elusive Spirits' Spring and had gone so far as to form a contract with it, and had even met another god, who was shocked by his existence.
If he wasn't a god, then who was? Everything always went his way, so what else could this be but omnipotence?
'I... can absorb it.'
Lee Shin Woo said naively. He forgot about everything else. He only briefly thought of logic, but soon couldn't, as he sank through the surface of the ocean of thoughts.
That's what he was doing within his subconscious. These ideas, that he wasn't a god, that he wasn't omnipotent, that he couldn't absorb the source of darkness... all this logic that emerged within his mind was cast aside and ultimately eliminated.
And when none were able to even comprehend what this stupid and hopeless man was attempting...
'There's no way I can't absorb it. It's only half the world. It's nothing compared to what I've done thus far. It's a piece of cake.'
Lee Shin Woo truly believed that he was a god. He truly believed that he could absorb the source of darkness.
At that moment, everything changed.
[The Acting skill has been maxed out!]
[The Wild Card skill has been maxed out! All of the Joker's innate skills increase its power! For anyone connected to you, cause-and-effect flows however you wish! The Combat Sense skill has been absorbed by Wild Card.]
First off, the Acting and Wild Card skills were mastered. Better yet, the Combat Sense skill was also absorbed by his Wild Card skill!
When he had first acquired the Wild Card skill, he had realized that by absorbing his other skills, it allowed him to wield them more naturally and with greater power than before.
However, Lee Shin Woo didn't feel inspired by it at all. Not only was it not important right now, but why was it leveling up right now?
He soon underwent a full-blown change.
[The Manatization skill has become Lv10 and has been maxed out! Health and Magic have increased by 200! You can now convert your entire body into mana. However, with your talent, you can 'define' yourself however you wish! The skill has been absorbed by Wild Card!]
[With a body of a mortal, you have dared to define yourself as a God. This is, above all else, an act of rebellion against the gods! The Rebellion skill has become Lv10 and has been maxed out! All stats have increased by 200! You now have the right to destroy all rules! The Rebellion and Soul Strike skills have been absorbed by Wild Card!]
[The Disguise skill has become Lv10 and has been maxed out. A disguise must be so perfect that it fools even oneself! You have realized this truth, and have ultimately become a true Joker. You now have the right to become level 9! All the Joker's innate skills have been absorbed by Wild Card!]
In order to master the Disguise skill, as well as become a true Joker, one must first fool themselves.
While he was able to fool others rather easily, he'd feigned ignorance, knowingly tying himself down to reason and logic. Only be completely fooling himself could he become a true Joker!
[The Mana Acceleration and High Rank Mana Bone skills have become Lv10, and have been maxed out. Magic has increased by 500. The two skills have been absorbed by Wild Card!]
[The High Rank Assimilation skill has become Lv10 and has been maxed out. Agility and Magic have increased by 150. The skill is absorbed by Wild Card!]
In an instant, half of his skills had been absorbed by Wild Card, but Lee Shin Woo didn't feel empty at all.
Because it meant that Lee Shin Woo had mastered all of his skills to such an extent that he could use them through Wild Card now. However, the true change would now begin.
[Assimilating with the source of darkness. It has now lost its ability to function as the Lich Emperor's life vessel.]
[You have acquired the level 9 Joker's karma.]
As if his efforts to resist the source of darkness were in vain, Lee Shin Woo's body briefly dispersed and assimilated with the source of darkness. Jin screamed, but there was nothing for her to be worried about.
He was just in the process of leveling up. There was such a nice tank of mana right before him, so he decided to use that for his level up first.
[Absorbing the source of darkness's magic by assimilating with it. Magic has increased by 2,000.]
[You have gained a deep understanding of all abilities that handle bones, and you can now use your abilities even if the medium is not bone. The Bone Reinforcement, Rule of Bone, and Bone Armory skills have been absorbed by Wild Card. You can now absorb, reinforce, and store all of creation as you wish. All stats have increased by 500.]
[Absorbing the source of darkness's magic by assimilating with it. Magic has increased by 1,968.]
[The High Rank Command skill has become Lv10 and has been maxed out. All stats have increased by 50. You have surpassed the limitations of species and mediums, and are now able to command all creation. The skill has been absorbed by Wild Card.]
[Absorbing the source of darkness's magic by assimilating with it. Magic has increased by 278.]
[Absorbing the source of darkness's magic by assimilating with it. Magic has increased by 1,109.]
While his existence was being upgraded, he continuously absorbed the source of darkness's magic. His form hadn't coalesced yet, so he could just define it as he saw fit. That was, of course, after he'd fully absorbed the source of darkness.
[Absorbing the source of darkness's magic by assimilating with it. Magic has increased by 1,879. It is no longer possible to absorb any more magic; your soul has reached the maximum capacity.]
[You have become a Joker. You can choose whatever form you wish, and are the world's clown, one who can define all of creation as you see fit.]
[You have fooled your own soul and have completely absorbed the source of darkness. Your magic is temporarily increased by 29,873. However, if this magic is not dealt with soon, then you, as well as the world, will be in danger.]
[With the sudden surge of magic, you have, for an extremely short period of time, become a god. However, not only is this unstable and temporary but if you do not resolve this quickly, then you and all you are connected to will receive negative karma.]
Lee Shin Woo panted. At that moment, Lee Shin Woo's body reappeared. He looked similar to how he did before he'd disappeared, but there was one thing that was different. His existence had become so great that it made breathing difficult for Jin.
"Shin Woo, are you ok!?"
"I'm not ok. I feel sick to my stomach."
Lee Shin Woo spoke with a haggard expression and dry heaved. By reaching level 9, leveling up all his skills, and absorbing the source of darkness 'normally', his Magic stat had increased by a whopping 37,327.
Compared to before, it was shocking. Since he'd gotten to level 9 with 12,000 stats to spare! 
[Lee Shin Woo]
[Immortal Hunter; 25 others]
Lv - 9 (Status Effectiveness 400%)]
[Strength - 5,265, Agility - 5,695, Health - 5,578, Magic - 20,789]
[Passive skills - Wild Card: MAX, Invisible Heart Lv4/Lv210, Lucky Strike Lv7, Soul Seeing Eye Lv6]
[Active skills - High Rank Regeneration Lv7, Sacrifice Lv1]
[Elements - Darkness: MAX, Light: MAX, Fire: MAX, Intermediate Dark Shadow Lv3, Intermediate Annihilation Flame Lv2, Intermediate Heaven Space Lv1, Beginner Shining Flame Lv8, Intermediate Dark Flame Lv7, Beginner Fire Shadow Lv8, High Rank Water Lv4, High Rank Wind Lv3, High Rank Earth Lv3, High Rank Metal Lv4, High Rank Ice Lv1, High Rank Acid Lv4, High Rank Lightning Lv6, Absorption Lv12]
[Resistances - Holy: MAX, Darkness: MAX, Light: MAX, Fire: MAX, Beginner Shining Flame Lv1, Intermediate Dark Flame Lv1, High Rank Water Lv3, High Rank Wind Lv3, High Rank Earth Lv4, High Rank Acid Lv3, High Rank Ice Lv1, High Rank Lightning Lv5]
But the problem was that in spite of his efforts, he still couldn't fully absorb the source of darkness. He'd managed to fool himself and absorb the source of darkness, putting it under his control, but that was only temporary.
In other words, Lee Shin Woo had acquired an excess of 29,873 magic, and as a result, his stats had surpassed 51,200... He had temporarily become level 10 and had become a god.
"I really can't eat this thing. Well, I can... but I can't. You get me?"
"I get it. I get it, alright, so don't explain it to me!"
He knew he wasn't in good shape. Lee Shin Woo's current situation was akin to him eating something until he was full and stubbornly saying that 'No, I can keep eating!'. He had kept eating until he'd gone past his limits and as a result, he'd managed to eat all of it. But if he were to move, he felt like he'd vomit the source of darkness up, look indescribable, and fall over.
"I told you not to explain!"
'I have to deal with it. I have to take care of it right away!' Lee Shin Woo thought and soon came up with a good idea. By that point, he was already within the palace's hall. Yeah, in the very same hall where the two level 9 Emperors were fighting.
Lee Shin Woo could now teleport wherever he wished with but a thought. Unfortunately, this was something that any level 9 could do, so he couldn't waste his magic experimenting with it.
[T-The source of darkness... My life vessel, did you...!?]
"Hey boys. Sorry, but I don't have the time to talk with you right now. Rest in peace!"
Lee Shin Woo swept his hands at the equally shocked Jirold and Jissehanu. That was the end for them. The Vampire and the Lich without his life vessel died. He didn't concern himself with their history, their regrets, or their situations; he just mercilessly killed them. What futile deaths.
The process was even worse; it was close to a miracle. Lee Shin Woo had so much spare magic to spend that he could perform miracles! With a god's power, he could easily deceive and patch up this world's unstable karma.
[By senselessly using a god's power, Magic has permanently decreased by 32.]
"It's not enough!"
In the midst of that, Lee Shin Woo collected the bones and Perium that Jirold and Jissehanu had left behind, and widened his eyes. When he thought about it, it truly was outrageous. Originally, Lee Shin Woo had learned not only magic but also innate elements and martial arts.
He had reached level 9 and was already at a level where he could easily kill the two Emperors; even though he'd used such an outrageous technique, the penalties weren't very high!
"This is nothing! What exactly do I have to do... Ah, that's right!"
A greater miracle. The more people affected by it, the greater the penalty. God herself had explained it, hadn't she? The more she influences others' karma, the greater the penalty!
'Then, let's think,' Lee Shin Woo thought. What place could he enact a miracle where the most people would be affected? It was obvious! It was none other than the Setoin Plains, where the undead and the humans were fighting their very last battle!
"Jin, I'm going ahead!"
Before he left for the surface, Jin had rushed out of the cave with speed befitting a 'Child of Light'. She was just completely shocked. To think he'd killed the two Emperors so quickly! When did he even do that!?
"Hey, what exactly did you..."
"I don't have much time, so I'm going ahead. Ah, Jin! Congratulations on becoming human again!"
Once he'd 'informed' her of this, Jin changed. It was such a dramatic, yet natural transformation that Jin had no choice but to accept it.
She, a skeleton horse, was in the process of changing into a human... She closed her eyes at her truly miraculous transformation and at the end of it, had turned into a true human. She opened her eyes, saw Lee Shin Woo, and was able to move. Of course, Lee Shin Woo had already disappeared from the underground.
"Damn it. You asshole! You're always so confusing... Ugh, I like it though! Still, I don't like it! Wait, no, I like it, but... Ugh, who am I even talking to."
The sprinter who represented the U.K, the blond-and-blue-eyed beauty, Jin Taylor.
Contrary to when Lee Shin Woo had used Disguise on her before, she was naked; she pointlessly looked over her beautiful, nude form and eventually used Steel Heart to cover herself in metal armor.
She had instantaneously become a battle angel, like the ones who came from North European myth, a Valkyrie.
Jin meticulously looked over the joints of her armor, and then folded the steel wings on her back...
"Wait for me, you dumbass partner of mine!"
She ran like lightning across the Underground Empire. Jin made it to the surface in just 1 minute. ...Though by then, everything was over.
[Stop, friendly fire!]
Lee Shin Woo, who've come to the surface, yelled out. Everyone's attention was drawn to the powerful mana he was releasing.
[Fighting against each other is pointless!]
'Though, I was the one who instigated this fight,' he thought.
[There's no need to divide yourself into human and undead. You just briefly went astray due to unfortunate events!]
Though calling 'hating each other for hundreds of years' going astray was a bit much.
[I'll set you straight. I'll give you another chance so that you can all work together and start anew!]
Of course, no matter how many chances humans were given, they would eventually fight amongst each other. Therefore, his actions would have no lasting effect, but he couldn't say that 'this is all for my sake!' or 'this is just for show!'.
[Those who want to live will live, and those who want to die will die. The righteous will receive, and the unrighteous will lose!]
Whenever he spoke, Lee Shin Woo could feel the bloated mana quickly begin to dissipate.
He was quite satisfied. As expected, what he was doing could truly be called a miracle!
"How... How did the deceased Sir Kay return?"
"A dead person has come back."
"The undead... are becoming human."
"How exactly did he...? Sir Kay? Sir Kay has become a god and returned to us! To save us!"
[There's no need to doubt. Just graciously accept what you've been given. Stop fighting. You're all in the same position, so hate has no purpose here!]
He was repeatedly saying such contemptible words that he'd never say in a thousand years.
However, his actions had stopped the fighting, so in a way, he'd succeeded.
"Aah, Sir Kay...!"
"I was definitely an undead! Did he make me human again!?"
They weren't the only ones who'd experienced changes; his subordinates had as well. Dana, who was in the boundary between life and death, hadn't experienced much change, but Shino and Seira, who were completely undead, were absolutely speechless.
"Lee Shin Woo, what exactly..."
"Did you finally become a god...?"
Even Seira kneeled before his miracle. Like the others, she was overcome by the emotions welling up from within her and bowed her head.
It didn't really matter that he'd turned his well-planned scenario on its head! After all, a play was the most fun when something unexpected happened!
'Ah, I don't think that'll be enough.'
Whereas, Lee Shin Woo, who was performing a miracle, saw his Magic rapidly declining to its original values and felt slightly impatient. But if need be, he had a solution ready. He felt like if he were to use the reserve stock of Invisible Heart and Sacrifice, then it'd work out somehow!
'Moreover... Perium! Yeah, it'll work out if I just use all this as well!'
Though it was only temporary, Lee Shin Woo was level 10. Lee Shin Woo's instinctual understanding of the world's karma had increased greatly. Thus, he could understand.
That Perium was the energy that acted as the very foundation of all karma and was the smallest unit of karma. And that Invisible Heart was the crystallization of God's power!
By using those two to support his miracle, he came to a natural realization. And thus, he took another unplanned step forward.
[By performing a miracle, which is only possible for gods, you have demanded admiration from all. You have acquired the title, 'God's representative'. You have fulfilled a portion of the conditions of becoming a god. You have acquired the right to wield divinity.]
[You have learned the fusion element of light and darkness, the 'Chaos' Element Lv1. The Chaos Element is categorized as divinity and is the most powerful element. It will eventually lead you to creation. Born as a clown, you have become able to overturn the laws of destruction and creation, and you are now prepared to accomplish everything and anything with only the chaos element. All stats have increased by 100.]
[You were able to absorb a portion of the source of darkness's indigestible magic! Magic has increased by 1,597!]
By acquiring a title and the chaos element, Lee Shin Woo's soul had advanced a step further! If he took into account everything he'd used up, then... He was good now! Lee Shin Woo had used up all the magic and successfully digested it! He finally got a hold of himself and raised his head.
All of creation were subordinating themselves to him.
Lee Shin Woo was level 10 no longer. He was definitely no god. However, the people's gazes remained fixed on him in the sky and they prayed. The people and the once undead did as well.
It was just an impromptu performance to rid himself of the excess magic, yet the result was, well... They were giving him so much support that it felt like he was a performer on Broadway!
'The hell? In the end, nothing went my way... It's chaos. If I knew it'd turn out like this, then I wouldn't have gone through all the effort to make the play!'
Lee Shin Woo looked around with an insufferable expression.
Towards Seira, who was bowing halfway towards him, Shino Rendu, who was outright prostrating himself, Chi Paul, who was looking up with such respect, the stiffened Lloyd and Erian, who couldn't figure out what was going on, Prince, who'd already fainted, Kratia, who was looking at him with sparkling eyes, Ye Jin Jin, who looked at him with love-struck eyes, Dana, who was long past affection and looked upon him with reverence, Sinea, etc...
"Shin Wooooooooo! Why weren't you there when I wanted to share my joy with you!? You have to at least let me thank you!"
Now he looked at Jin, who was hacking and looking up at him... Lee Shin Woo finally let his shoulders slump. It felt like he had been brought back to reality. It was as if he was astonished himself and spoke with a weak voice.
"Mm... I somehow managed to change everyone. Jin, it worked out well for you, right?"
"Can you really... say that now!?"
The angered Jin rushed towards Lee Shin Woo. Obviously, those watching Lee Shin Woo rushed towards Jin. At this rate, Jin would get hurt!
Lee Shin Woo hurriedly hugged Jin and yelled. His voice was loud enough that it covered the entire world.
"Stop, friendly fire! Don't fire! She's an ally!"
And thus, the curtains were drawn for the Joker's performance.
What started as a battle between the humans and the undead had ended in a miraculous unity. The events of the day were the talk of the town and became known as the most important day on the continent.
"So, Shin Woo. What about the Titan? How was it? Was it strong? Since it was made by me and you. It was really strong, right? You killed the Emperor in one hit with it, right?"
"Ah... About that, Kratia. You know what a MacGuffin is, right? If you don't, then I'll explain it to you. You see, the term MacGuffin originated in the northern mountains of Scotland and was used when capturing lions, but it's actually..."
 T/N: He doesn't include the 29,873.
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