<Chapter 12. Joker Apprentice – 5 [End of Volume 2]>
[Unable to resist. Requesting reinforcements.]
[Blocking enemy until reinforcements arrive.]
The highland’s golems could only move simply, as per their prior inputted commands, but due to that, Lee Shin Woo was able to grasp their limitations quite easily.
When they realized that Lee Shin Woo was too much for them, they immediately switched to a defensive position, and waited until reinforcements came. They were certainly a lot different from the undead or monsters that just attacked while following their faintly remaining instincts.
“But your timing was off.”
Lee Shin Woo smiled bitterly and shattered their bodies one by one with his axe. They didn’t come at him aggressively, so the fight was boring; it was simple. No matter how long they waited, reinforcements wouldn’t come.
Perhaps those reinforcements did indeed exist when these golems were first built and were inputted with commands, but a lot of time had passed. It was highly likely that those reinforcements either no longer existed, or the connection had been severed.
“Isn’t that kind of worrying?”
With a single swing of his axe, he broke apart the golems; Jin, who was training the skill he’d just learned, ‘Steel Body’, tilted his head and replied to the words Lee Shin Woo had just thrown out.
“What do you mean that their connection’s been cut?”
“Well, it’s just that there are heaps of stone golems out here, even though they’re set up with an emergency call feature.”
[You have acquired 3,100 Perium.]
[You have acquired a Lv3 Stone Golem Bone Core.]
Lee Shin Woo picked up the loot and surveyed the area. Although they had returned to the highlands less than an hour ago, there was less than a quarter of the Stone Golems remaining.
“I feel like there’s a new dungeon here.”
“How about asking about it in the chatting channel?”
“I asked about it before. Apparently, some of our seniors hadn’t even discovered this area before, and there are also some who have passed through this golem infested area.”
Currently, Lee Shin Woo felt really suspicious, so how could his seniors not feel the same?
His seniors were sure that there was a dungeon somewhere nearby and told him that they’d disassembled the golems, analyzed the cores, thoroughly investigated the surrounding magic responses, and if all that didn’t work, they’d just dig up an area which seemed suspicious to them and searched the area. After all of that, the results were…
[Prince Altania: There’s no secret facility nor a dungeon. Definitely not. If it’s something that the extraordinary Fire Magician, Altania can’t find, then there should be nothing there. There isn’t. End of story.]
Apparently that. Meaning that his senior heroes couldn’t find it. However, Jin softly gazed at Lee Shin Woo and spoke.
“You’re going to go looking for it, right?”
“Yep. How did you know?”
“You’re easy to read.”
Truthfully, Lee Shin Woo was somewhat confident. He didn’t even need to mention his track record of finding the secret facilities in the sewers. Didn’t he have an ability that differed from his seniors? That ability was none other than Bone Reinforcement.
“Bone Cores… Will you really be able to gain the memories of it from them?”
“When I tried it last time, there was definitely some recorded information about it inside.”
But there was a problem: the memories were limitlessly vague and were difficult to accept. Was it best to describe it like reading a letter in computer code? It would be a difficult, long-term war, but Lee Shin Woo was confident. He already had an idea of what part he had to latch onto.
“I just have to keep absorbing them until I understand. It’s not impossible.”
“What exactly were you doing in your own world before all this?”
“I was just a normal salaryman.”
“You’re kidding me.”
If Jin knew how much effort someone had to put in to become a normal salaryman in South Korea, he wouldn’t say something like that. Lee Shin Woo just clicked his tongue.
While conversing, his hand didn’t remain idle. Whenever he discovered a golem, he would immediately dash over to it, break it apart with his axe, or throw his axe… It was only possible because his strength had increased by leaps and bounds after leveling up to level 4.
‘Moreover, Rule of Bone reinforces the bones that make up my body. Plus, the mana that I absorb in real time can replenish the maintenance cost…’
It wasn’t on the level of a skill that just launched a bone or controlled it from a distance. Rule of Bone was a cheat skill that would buff anything that was related to bones.
The buff wasn’t very significant right now, but the higher he leveled the skill, the more he’d be able to make full use of the ability. Maybe he’d acquired a skill that was like the Avenger skill, which allowed him to overcome the limit known as levels. He suddenly felt gracious towards the Treasure Eater.
“Have you sorted everything out now?”
“There’s nothing else, so… Probably?”
Three hours passed. Lee Shin Woo and Jin maintained their incredible mobility and searched the very outskirts of the highlands, all while neatly taking down all of the Stone Golems. Regardless of where they went, the Stone Golems would call for ‘reinforcements’, but they never appeared.
Yet the Stone Golems in the area adjacent to them wouldn’t move. He was absolutely sure by now. Their command system had already completely collapsed. They had either been thrown away or abandoned.
‘If that’s the case, then there’s only one question left. Why were so many golems left here, when there’s nothing even here? It’s unlikely that they moved here from where they were originally or that their previous owner told them to move here. There must be something around here that has a deep connection with their last command.’
He completed his thoughts and raised his head. He hadn’t yet absorbed the Bone Cores that he’d collected. Before he absorbed the Bone Cores, he studied them to confirm they’d have an effect on him. It’s likely that if he collected more Bone Cores, the outcome would be even greater.
“So if we go to the centermost area, you’re saying that level 4 golems will appear, huh.”
“That’s true, but they seemed really rusty. Apparently, they were called Bronze Golems.”
The Bronze Golems came after the Stone Golems. Based on the sequence of these names, wouldn’t a level 5 named, elite Iron Golem appear? Lee Shin Woo felt slightly excited and entered the middle of the highlands.
[You have hunted a Lv4 Bronze Golem. You have acquired 5,120 Perium.]
[You have acquired a Reinforced Autonomous Defense Type Core. The Reinforced Autonomous Defense Type Core has transformed into the Reinforced Autonomous Defense Type Bone Core.]
The Bronze Golem was definitely a lot sturdier and heavier than a Stone Golem, to such an extent that they could certainly boast that they were level 4 monsters. Though each of their strikes were powerful, they hadn’t been maintained over a long period of time, so just like Jin said, they were rusted.
“They’re seriously so slow.”
And while they were more powerful than Stone Golems, they were that much slower than them as well; it actually felt like it was easier to kill the Bronze Golems than the Stone Golems.
What’s worse, the Bronze Golems’ bodies were composed of bronze, so they couldn’t pick up nearby rocks like Stone Golems and use them to heal their bodies; and because of that, they couldn’t bombard them like the Stone Golems had either!
“Ugh, I can feel the recoil…!”
“Endure with Steel Body. This is all training, too! Let’s go again!”
Lee Shin Woo struck once, or even twice with his axe at maximum strength. Because their bodies were so damn tough and thick, his weapon would eventually get worn, but when his weapon became unusable, he would explode it and summon a new axe.
Lee Shin Woo was gradually starting to like Bone Armory more and more. And at the same time…
[The Bone Armory skill has become Lv2. Health and Magic has increased by 3. The number of equipment you can create and maintain has increased to 3.]
When Lee Shin Woo saw that line of text, he immediately summoned the Dire Wolf Bone Armor and equipped it. If he just increased its level by 1, he would probably be able to equip his lower body armor again!
Jin said it was better if Lee Shin Woo’s lower body was covered instead of his upper body, but he completely ignored him. There was no naked or not naked for skeletons.
“This way, kids!”
[Surrounding and eliminating…!]
“Nice, then… Synapse, burst!”
“So what the hell is a synapse!?”
When his Bone Armory had leveled up, the excited Lee Shin Woo began to use the skill more actively in battle. He would gather the slow Bronze Golems in one spot, throw his axe towards them, and blow it up!
Though the explosive force behind his axe was tremendous, there was something even greater; when he exploded his axe that possessed level 3 acid within, a powerful cloud of Acid Poison would accompany the explosion.
[Outer gloves… have disappeared. Need to… swap parts.]
[Impossible… No reinforcements…]
The powerful Acid Poison that resided within the weapon was amplified by the force of the explosion and engulfed the entire area. The Bronze Golems just melted away as they didn’t have any particular resistance to acid. It was really easy to take down ten Bronze Golems all at once as long as he gathered them up properly.
“Moreover, it’s great that the mana consumption’s much less than when I’d blown up the Lightning Tooth.”
“How far are you trying to go, anyway?”
“Hmm, about the Bomber level?”
However, the moment Lee Shin Woo responded and took a step forward to collect the loot, a message that he’d become familiar with finally appeared.
[You have defeated several powerful enemies with a horrific explosion. You have the ability to wait for opportunities, as well as make split second decisions. Above all, you have the impressive ability of blowing up whatever you want. You have acquired the Bomber karma token. Strength and Magic have increased by 5. The Joker karma absorbs the Bomber karma token.]
“I’m speechless. It’s not like I did anything spectacular.”
“Are you saying that on purpose to make me feel shameful?”
Lee Shin Woo smiled bitterly in response and collected the rest of the loot. However, the moment that the Bone Cores in his hand overlapped, it seemed as though his skill had misunderstood his intent and this message popped up.
[Would you like to reinforce the Reinforced Autonomous Defense Type Core by consuming a Reinforced Autonomous Defense Type Core?]
Then, he suddenly had an idea. A great hint had appeared that could topple this current situation!
Normally, Bone Reinforcement would either consume a piece of bone or bone equipment to either reinforce his own bones, or reinforce his bone equipment. While he had thought that he could use them to reinforce his bones or his bone equipment, he hadn’t thought that he’d be able to use the Bone Cores on each other and reinforce them…!
‘Would it be better to bet on this, or not….?’
Lee Shin Woo was conflicted. Of course, he was familiar with how a piece of equipment would transform when reinforced to +10, but what about cores?
There was a chance of failure, so he wondered whether he should use them separately, or combine them. Would there be some sort of new quality to the fused core? He had thought intensely for just a brief moment, but at the end of it he nodded his head.
‘Let’s take our chances.’
It was a decision that was very much like him, as he had never been let down from operating based on his intuition ever since he’d come to this world.
But now wasn’t the time. He needed to investigate further into the Autonomous Defense Type Bone Core and the Reinforced Autonomous Defense Type Bone Core, and he also wanted to try absorbing a few more of them. After that, he’d start his Bone Core reinforcement plan in earnest.
“Alright, Jin. Let’s go a bit faster.”
“I’ve always been running at full speed ever since we’ve met.”
Hearing Lee Shin Woo, Jin just briefly sighed and complied, increasing his speed. He’d already decided to help Lee Shin Woo, and he also didn’t hate going faster!
His proficient kiting skill steadily gathered the Bronze Golems in the middle of the highlands. If any heroes who could use magic saw them, they would all feel jealous of his ability to gather mobs! That ability was beginning to bear fruit on the outskirts of the Empire.