SOLO LEVELING NOVEL, CHAPTER 240
I ALONE LEVEL-UP CHAPTER 240
The elite Shadow Soldiers numbering over 130 thousand that managed to survive the last war under the guidance of their Sovereign erased their presence as much as possible and hid within the human’s shadow.
It was a trap.
Now suddenly finding itself coming face-to-face with the Shadow Army, the Sovereign of Iron Body felt this dizzying sensation of being sucked into a quagmire.
‘They got me.’
Currently, the army manning the western battlefront didn’t possess enough power to face off against the Shadow Army. Not only that, the ones leading this Army of the Dead were Bellion and Igrit, so the Sovereign in charge now had to worry about its own neck, instead.
Most likely, the Shadow Army – no, the Shadow Sovereign, was aiming for this result.
‘….I need to let them know.’
The Sovereign of Iron Body urgently tried to communicate with the Dragon Emperor. However, some kind of ‘power’ was blocking its attempts to send the word out.
‘Could it be….??’
Did the Shadow Sovereign plan this far ahead?
The Sovereign of Iron Body hurriedly activated its sensory perception to locate the source of the ‘power’ interrupting the contact with the other side. When it did, it discovered a certain High Orc Shaman standing next to Igrit, diligently murmuring out some kind of an incantation while holding onto something small in his hand.
That d*mn creature’s spell was disrupting all forms of communication with the other Sovereigns.
The spell from the Commander-grade Fangs, now that he had experienced a rebirth as a true Shadow Soldier, as well as borrowing the power of the Bead of Avarice, was more than strong enough to perform that role.
Fangs blushed slightly when his gaze met that of the king he used to serve. Even then, he didn’t try to stop casting his spell.
The King of Monstrous Humanoids, the Sovereign of Iron Body felt as if it was being made fun of after looking at Fangs’ smile. An uncontrollable rage welled up from deep within.
[You pathetic insects dare to…!!]
No, hang on – this tactic was not something the Shadow Sovereign would have cooked up, never mind his Shadow Soldiers. Indeed, this was not how the Shadow Army conducted its business; this army used to proudly announce the approach of unavoidable death right in front of their enemies every single time.
‘….A human’s way of thinking.’
The current Shadow Sovereign, the human, had perverted how the war was supposed to be fought. Didn’t he possess any pride as a Sovereign?!
Now thoroughly enraged, the Sovereign of Iron Body expanded its muscles. As his body ballooned up to a near-bursting size, thick veins bulged up on its various muscles.
The Sovereign of Iron Body roared out.
[That b*stard is not qualified to be called a Sovereign!]
It then arrived right in front of Fangs in less than a blink of an eye, but its path was suddenly blocked off by Beru.
The former ant king grabbed both hands of the Sovereign and began a contest of pure physical strength. He glared at the enemy and growled in the language of the monsters.
[What you said just now…. Retract it. Or else, you shall pay a heavy price for the sin of insulting my liege.]
As a reply, the Sovereign of Iron Body exerted enough power to twist and yank off Beru’s arms while shouting out even louder than before.
[How dare a measly little soldier try to stop a Sovereign!!]
And when that happened….
An ear-splitting screech exploded out from Beru’s mouth as his entire body quickly expanded to double his previous size.
The Dragon Emperor saw it.
It saw the corpses of countless soldiers of the Chaos World that died during its brief period of hesitation, as well as the number of Shadow Soldiers that matched those that had fallen.
Figurative flames erupted out from the Dragon Emperor’s eyes as it strode outside the Gate. The end of its glare was locked onto Jin-Woo, currently swallowing whole a portion of the Chaos World’s army after becoming a literal giant storm in their midst.
‘That b*stard must die!!’
The Dragon Emperor didn’t even have the necessary time to transform back to its original appearance, so it hurriedly fired the Breath of Destruction, instead.
A flash of light flared brightly in the distance and Jin-Woo, even though he was in a trance-like state while butchering the forces of the Chaos World, didn’t miss that blink-and-miss-it moment.
Jin-Woo’s figure vanished from the spot. Right afterwards, all the soldiers of the Chaos World as well as the new Shadow Soldiers were exposed to the Breath and got incinerated without a trace.
Jin-Woo made his timely escape and settled down on a location not too far away.
Ending its Breath attack, the Dragon Emperor glared right at him. Countless Gates opened up behind it and through them, Ancient-class Dragons and Dragonewts revealed themselves.
And so, the King of Berserk Dragons, the Sovereign of Destruction, had entered the fray. What appeared now alongside it was the main portion of the Army of Destruction.
Forces capable of destroying this planet in one day had been mobilised in their entirety just to deal with the lone Shadow Sovereign. And in front of them stood the King of Kings, the Sovereign that lorded over other Sovereigns – the Dragon Emperor.
Jin-Woo had to quickly swallow back his saliva after sensing the truly vast, seemingly-limitless sea of power from the Dragon Emperor.
At once, every single Shadow Soldier still fighting against the forces of the Chaos World stopped and retreated according to his new command. Just like the army of Dragons choosing to stand behind the Dragon Emperor, the Shadow Soldiers also stood right behind Jin-Woo.
The leader of the Army of Destruction formed a mocking grin.
[Are those pathetic soldiers everything you possess?]
There were several thousand Shadow Soldiers hurriedly ‘recruited’ to his cause after killing the enemy forces. However, he was facing off against nearly ten million soldiers, hundreds of Dragons, and most importantly, the truly dangerous existence called the Dragon Emperor.
Of course, Jin-Woo knew full well the differences in the size of their armies. That was why he chose to enact this plan from the get-go.
Jin-Woo had his Shadow Soldiers, initially brought to one location, march forward again. An expression of confusion floated up on the Dragon Emperor’s face.
‘He saw my soldiers, yet he wishes to confront me head-on?’
Those were the actions of an insane fool!
As if to mock the Dragon Emperor’s suspicion, the Shadow Soldiers simply rushed forward towards their enemies. Dragons immediately fired powerful, vicious flames at them.
With that, Shadow Soldiers were enveloped in flames before disappearing away like expendables, with nary a hint of regeneration happening among them.
Almost instantly, the Dragon Emperor realised that these were simply decoys to buy time.
‘Where is he….?!’
It quickly expanded its sensory perception. The Shadow Sovereign was using his shadow to escape to somewhere.
Seeing this shameful sight, the Dragon Emperor formed a mocking grin. It seemed that the human b*stard was planning to slowly shave down the forces of the Chaos World by repeating the tactics of hit-and-run, but he had made one crucial oversight, something he had failed to consider.
And that would be the fact the leader of the enemy’s forces could chase after him no problem. The Dragon Emperor easily traced Jin-Woo’s shadow now being connected to the western front.
‘There you are!’
It’d never let him get away.
The Dragon Emperor quickly generated a Gate connected to the exact spot where Jin-Woo had fled to and jumped in without hesitation.
Just as it took the first step out of the Gate….
….It was greeted by the sight of the 130,000-strong great army surrounding it.
That wasn’t all.
Jin-Woo had been waiting for the Dragon Emperor’s arrival and spoke in a calm voice when it did show up.
Just one command and every single creature belonging to the Western portion of the Chaos army that were killed at the hands of the true Shadow Army rose up as new Shadow Soldiers.
The Dragon Emperor took a sweeping look at the Shadow Soldiers that now numbered well past two hundred thousand and spoke.
[Is this what you were aiming for?]
Draw your enemy to the battlefield of your choosing and establish the upper hand – since the Shadow Army was facing an overwhelmingly disadvantageous number of enemies, the current tactic could be seen as a must, but still, a mocking grin didn’t want to leave the face of the Dragon Emperor.
It finally understood what the scheme of the Shadow Sovereign was. Although the process of uncovering the plot resulted in the loss of the western portion of the Chaos World’s army, that was not a large cost to bare as long as the Shadow Sovereign could be killed here today.
‘Even losing half of all the soldiers would not be a loss.’
‘Fear’ would bloom in one’s heart when one couldn’t predict the events of the future. But its opponent had been laid bare here.
[Oh, Shadow Sovereign.]
The Dragon Emperor chuckled and looked back at Jin-Woo.
[You must’ve thought that only I was capable of chasing you down, but….]
‘You are wrong.’
In reality, there stood a certain Sovereign that could be seen as the greatest sorcerer in the Chaos World waiting right behind the Dragon Emperor.
Not too long afterwards, the Sovereign of Transfiguration waiting for the surprise attack from the Shadow Army created countless Gates that connected two battlefields.
Before long, a seemingly-endless number of soldiers from the Chaos World poured out before the measly two hundred thousand or so Shadow Army.
‘So, how do you feel now?’
With this, your plan has been smashed to bits.
Your miscalculation will result in your death today.
The Dragon Emperor stared at Jin-Woo with a triumphant expression on its face.
[This is your defeat.]
However, Jin-Woo grinned as his reply.
He actually smiled right back at the Dragon Emperor and his satisfied expression.
‘He got suckered in.’
Indeed, the Dragon Emperor had acted exactly according to his will.
The King of Berserk Dragons, of course, didn’t miss that brief flash of a smile on the human’s face.
Sure enough – the summoning of the Shadow Soldiers was cancelled in an instant, and they all got sucked into the dark shade below the Shadow Sovereign’s feet.
Just what was this human thinking?
Withdrawing his soldiers now was no different from trying to kill himself. If he had no soldiers to buy him time, then he’d not even be able to escape to somewhere else, either.
Even if he didn’t want to lose his precious Shadow Soldiers, no one would’ve taken him for a fool who would expose his back to his mortal enemies while hurriedly scurrying away!
Before Jin-Woo could do something else, the Dragon Emperor closed the distance first. At the same time, the entirety of the forces of the Chaos World also pounced towards Jin-Woo’s direction.
The gazes of tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of soldiers still breathlessly emerging from the Gates were locked on Jin-Woo and Jin-Woo alone.
It was then – just as the Dragon Emperor arrived right before Jin-Woo’s nose and reached out towards him…
….At that moment, Jin-Woo’s eyes changed to resemble a Dragon’s.
Only then did the Dragon Emperor realise that something had gone terribly awry.
A moment of stillness came and went.
From Jin-Woo’s mouth, a loud and vicious roar exploded out. It was the cry from the soul that pushed every single being near him, every single being weaker than him, into a state of pure despair!
It was the Dragon’s Fear. The vilest and cruellest Skill of Dragons he learned from Kamish’s Rune Stone. He hadn’t been interested in it since its powers didn’t differentiate allies from enemies, but now…
‘But now, it’s different!’
The skill that drove hundreds of elite Hunters gathered to hunt down a Dragon to the pits of hell had now been used against the Dragons, instead.
Just like how Kamish had done to the human Hunters all those years ago, the Shadow Sovereign froze up all the soldiers of the Dragon Emperor, too.
There was no being alive that could break from the effects of Fear produced by the near-bottomless supply of Mana belonging to the Shadow Sovereign, save for one lone individual, and that would be the Dragon Emperor.
After making every single one of the enemy forces freeze up in an instant, Jin-Woo reached out and grabbed the Dragon Emperor’s arm next.
The brows of the King of Berserk Dragons crumpled.
Jin-Woo gripped the arm tighter as a grin suffused on his lips.
“You, come with me for a sec.”
< Chapter 240 > Fin.