<Chapter 11. Lightning Tooth – 1>
[Lee Shin Woo: Then I’ll get going now. I’ll come back later.]
[Lloyd H.K.: Alright. Don’t die, Lee Shin Woo. Hmm… yeah. Anyway, let’s talk later.]
[Erian Ruparte: Are you leaving already? Jin Jin will be disappointed.]
[Prince Altania: Hey, I’m just putting this out there, but don’t go overboard with the romance. If your relationship gets too deep and one of you dies first, the other will go crazy.]
[Lee Shin Woo: Romance? Hahaha…]
It seems that his senior heroes who, after hearing that he’d saved a hero of the opposite sex, thought it was plausible given the situation and had misunderstood, but… so long as Ye Jin Jin didn’t have an extremely peculiar disposition, he didn’t think they had anything to worry about.
Indeed, if his seniors were to ascertain his true identity, what would they think? Lee Shin Woo couldn’t stop laughing at the thought. However, around the time when he’d quickly left the chatting channel, Jin called to him with some nice timing.
“Shin Woo, we’re here.”
It had only been a few minutes since he started talking to his seniors, yet he realized that the landscape had completely changed in that short time and exclaimed. It had definitely been flatland just a little while ago, but right now, it was the edge of a plateau.
“The view’s nice.”
“You think the view’s nice? It’s terrible compared to my homeland’s natural environment… To the point that I feel nauseous.”
Lee Shin Woo laughed bitterly at Jin’s statement. There wasn’t anything remaining in the underground empire to call ‘natural’ anymore, so he wasn’t wrong.
As an aftereffect of the curse, all the grass, flowers, and trees decayed, so all this empire really had left was rock, dilapidated buildings, filth, and undead. But when he looked down from up high in a remote location, he admired the view; it looked quite nice.
It felt like the moment Charlie Chaplin won 1st place again. When one looks at their life, their battles, or even this dirty and crude underground empire from afar, it actually looks quite nice.
“You’ll have to survive in this Empire as well from now on, so try your best.”
“I’m really jealous of that mentality of yours.”
They tried to find the traces of where they had just been. They had left it just a little while ago, and as such, they saw the city they had departed from not very far away; strangely, the surrounding area was completely covered with a black mist, yet only the city was covered in a faint mist. It seems like it was an effect of them clearing out all of the undead.
At that moment, Lee Shin Woo discovered something peculiar. He wanted to see what lay beyond the city, but there was a truly huge wall that blocked his vision, so he couldn’t check. Seeing the wall that was god knows how high, he gasped.
However, when he looked thoroughly, he saw a huge hole at the bottom of the wall. It was a passageway that allowed access to the city.
“That means… that’s the external passageway that leads to the surface. Does this mean this is the end of the Empire?”
“How do you think they made a wall like that…?”
“It’s the opposite. They dug through the ground here and created the Empire, so they probably weren’t the one who made the wall. Though they were probably the ones who strengthened the wall.”
In a sense, that was even more amazing. They had dug a tremendous depth and width underground to fit the Empire, and fixed it so that the ceiling or the walls wouldn’t collapse… After listening to Lee Shin Woo, Jin seemed to have realized something and sported a vacant expression.
“It’s something I couldn’t even imagine happening in my home world.”
“So your world didn’t have magic either, huh.”
“I’m more surprised that you came from a world without magic.”
Lee Shin Woo chuckled at Jin’s reply and turned around. They couldn’t be overwhelmed by the scale of the Empire forever. Rather than figuring out the magic that they used to create the Empire, it was more important to improve his stats right now.
He looked around, and pondered where he should start his conquest. However, it was troubling that this vast area was a plateau, as there were no undead in sight.
Indeed, there was nothing to think deeply about; ultimately, undead were beings which had once been alive and had been reborn, so they would appear in environments which could foster life, not a place like this where there were only rocks and boulders.
“I don’t sense any undead here.”
“You said you wanted to find monsters. I never said anything about them being undead.”
“You’re right, but… From the start, most of the monsters that can move around in the fields are undead, aren’t they?”
Lee Shin Woo recollected the unwavering thesis regarding the curse that covered the Empire, and spoke. The curse would kill all living organisms and transform them into the undead. It had already been several dozens of years since the curse had emerged, so there shouldn’t be any other living organisms within the Empire, aside from the heroes.
The only exception would be the living organisms living in an environment cut off from the Empire, the dungeons. Even so, the individuals who bore the curse, entered the dungeons, and died would ultimately become undead. Like the Pauls who were in the secret facilities.
“Nope. There are some, you know?”
However, Jin stubbornly persisted, and disagreed. Lee Shin Woo sighed, as he didn’t know where to begin with this newbie hero, but soon, he was faced with the proof that Jin wasn’t wrong.
[Sensing mana response from living bodies. Beginning movement.]
[Stopping outside entry. Unless directed otherwise, automatically removing trespassers.]
[Lv3 Stone Golem]
[Lv3 Stone Golem]
“See, what did I tell you?”
Lee Shin Woo, who saw the neglected rocks and boulders within the plateau gradually gather together and form into a huge shape, stared dumbfounded while listening to Jin’s proud boast, and just nodded his head.
‘They weren’t alive from the beginning, so there’s no way they’d be affected by the curse. However, even so…’
To think he’d sees slimes and then golems so soon after being dropped into the Empire; after all, they were regulars in fantasy. He just needed to meet goblins, elves, and dragons now, and it felt like he wouldn’t have any regrets. Though it was probably impossible.
He raised his weapon whilst thinking of something so idiotic. He wasn’t wielding Bone of Thunder Lasting, which had established itself as his main weapon; instead, he wielded the Melting Bone Double Axe, as he felt a weighty axe would be more effective against huge and crude enemies like golems.
[Beginning attack in order to figure out the enemies’ magic patterns.]
The huge golems, which seemed to be about 3 meters tall, spoke politely and then dashed towards them, stamping on the ground while doing so. They gave off a truly bizarre pressure, but Lee Shin Woo didn’t fall back. He tightly gripped the axe that was almost as tall as he was, exerted his strength, and his (nonexistent) eyes gleamed.
“Grasping my magic pattern, huh… I’m doing the same.”
Seeing them run was enough for Lee Shin Woo to tell that their agility was low for level 3s. But they were definitely a lot higher than him in terms of strength and health. However…
“I heard you just say that you’re definitely weaker than them just now.”
“Let’s take down the leftmost one first, so that we don’t get surrounded. Charge!”
Even while complaining, Jin followed his command and rushed towards the leftmost charging golem. Jin sprinted at such a speed that the golem couldn’t even react!
Lee Shin Woo desperately focused so that he wouldn’t be treated like a package again. He instinctually activated his Combat Sprint and focused all his attention in front. They quickly passed by the surrounding landscape, and in that accelerated time, the golems moved extremely slowly… Then the golem they had chosen as their target soon appeared!
‘I already knew, but he’s really fast! Plus, he’s so precise that it makes me feel goosebumps…!’
Indeed, Jin’s ability was astounding. He applied his agility, which was incomparable to that of the Stone Golems, and had superb control, getting them close to the golem without ever touching it.
Though their communication was still poor, if they took into consideration the fact that Jin hadn’t received any special training as a horse, his skill was amazing.
Was it because he was communicating with the highly agile Jin? It wasn’t enough that his dynamic visual acuity had been enhanced, but he was also starting to hear things at a slower pace as well. It was funny, as the golems sounded like they were bugged, as they kept cutting off.
The end came quickly. One breath was divided into ten, and he then divided them into another ten; when he counted six of those, he found his timing! He wasn’t as surprised at Jin’s shocking speed so much as he was able to match and respond to it.
‘Now! Power Slash!’
The moment Lee Shin Woo passed by the left golem, he narrowly matched the timing and struck with his axe. As quick and powerful as lightning! While only muttering those words!
Though it was the first time he’d wielded the axe, the superlative martial arts technique, Bursting Thunder was amazing, and though the strike wasn’t sharp, it allowed him to pack the weight of the axe within the strike.
The moment his axe struck the golem’s flank, the slowed down passage of time instantaneously returned to normal. An absurd roar spread throughout the plateau.
The outcome was truly brutal. The golem wasn’t able to bear the force of his attack and crumbled right on the spot. After breaking the golem into pieces, Lee Shin Woo and Jin couldn’t be at ease, as they were struck by a rebound force that shook their entire bodies; it was to the point that it was momentary difficult for them to stand.
[You have hunted a Lv3 Stone Golem.]
Lee Shin Woo hadn’t expected this development, and spoke perplexedly. He thought it would’ve taken at least two or three hits to beat it, but a one touch kill? Moreover, he had moved so fast and had taken care of the enemy so quickly that the other golem hadn’t figured out his location yet.
“You… you’re so overpowered.”
“From my point of view, you’re the overpowered one.”
The two heroes looked at each other in amazement. They realized that they made up for what the other lacked, but this was still too ridiculous.
Of course, Jin’s role in helping Lee Shin Woo take down the Stone Golem, which was rumored to have an especially high defense, was huge.
It was obvious logic that the faster they moved, the more powerful the attack would be, and Jin’s speed had changed a normal attack into a killing blow. Though, it required him to adapt to that speed and be able to control it during the moment before striking to optimally use it.
If Jin’s part was 60%, then 30% of it was the weapon. The Melting Bone Double Axe was a suitable intermediate weapon to fundamentally gather all his strength into one point and burst it out all at once, and its level was also higher than the Stone Golem, being a level 4 weapon.
Furthermore, since the weapon had an option that increased his strength by 25, it was the most suitable weapon for destructive power. Besides, it had an option for acid. Even if he didn’t finish his enemy off in one hit, the Acid Poison that came after would pour out into the area and melt them.
The remaining 10% was obviously Bursting Thunder, which allowed him to use the two elements properly and land a hit on his enemy.
Just by learning the skill, the practitioner is able to properly wield a weapon they’ve never held before, keep their center of gravity whilst gripping the weapon, and deduce the enemy’s weaknesses; if he didn’t have this skill, regardless of how amazing the individual elements were, he wouldn’t have been able to finish off the Stone Golem in one hit.
[Confirming the destruction of 1 Autonomous Puppet.]
[Adjusting the assessment of enemy’s strength upwards.]
[Impossible to respond to enemy’s speed. Initiating long range bombardment mode.]
While Lee Shin Woo briefly spaced out due to the much too unexpected result, the golems recognized the severity of the situation and began to move differently. Lee Shin Woo felt slightly anxious when he heard about their long range bombardment mode, but Jin looked confident as ever.
“Those are slow too. Don’t worry.”
“Right, you said you came here before.”
If that’s the case, then he had the time to collect the loot. Lee Shin Woo bent his body and collected the loot from the floor. He was really looking forward to the appearance of a ‘pet that collects the loot for you’ that always appears in games, but it would never happen.
[You have acquired 3,700 Perium.]
[You have acquired an Autonomous Defensive Type Core. The core is changing. You have acquired an Autonomous Defensive Type Bone Core.]
“A core, huh…”
“Is this another material for Bone Reinforcement by any chance?”
“Of course it is. Plus, I don’t even need to burn them one by one, so it’s better than the slimes.”
He had felt slightly anxious when he’d stood atop the plateau and seen the golems, but after picking up a core, he thought differently. He didn’t have time to waste when his growth was right before him!
Lee Shin Woo counted the number of golems that had revealed themselves in the entire area, and the moment he raised his axe for the second time, Jin, who he had communicated with, kicked off the floor without even needing a signal.
Before the golems could even fire their prepared bombardment, Lee Shin Woo and Jin had already closed the distance. Then, Lee Shin Woo swung his axe with all his strength.