<Chapter 17. Disguise – 2>
[You have absorbed the Great King Slime’s Bone Core. All stats have increased by 1. Proficiency of Rule of Bone has increased by 2%.]
“So stingy. I went through all that trouble to make a level 5 elite monster, but I only get 4 stats in return… It’ll take several months to get to level 6 at this rate.”
“Isn’t that still really quick?”
Even some of his seniors, who’d arrived in the Underground Empire long before him weren’t level 6 yet, so it was indeed quick. However, Lee Shin Woo, who had the disposition of a thief, thought he’d be able to continue developing at a rapid pace, so he couldn’t be happy about this.
“Most of my skills have gotten to the intermediate level, so I probably won’t be able to get much stat growth from leveling up my skills… The only things left remaining are achievements.”
“Don’t tell me you’re going to go around looking for high leveled elite monsters. Just go step by step like you’ve been doing.”
Hearing Jin’s astute observation, Lee Shin Woo clicked his (nonexistent) tongue, and examined the treasure chest. Unfortunately, there wasn’t anything noteworthy within.
“A Low-Rank Swordsmanship skill book? It seems like there really are people who don’t have this level of skill before they clear this dungeon. There’s a pair of useless level 2 Iron Boots… at least this is a little better.”
A level 3 Tempered Steel Shield. As soon as he held it, the material turned to bone, and was absorbed by him; it felt as though he had satisfied some sort of condition and at that moment, his skill leveled up.
[The Bone Armory skill has become Lv3. Health and Magic have increased by 5. You can fuse the materials and special characteristics of the equipment you have absorbed with another piece of equipment and supplement it, but the level is still too low, so it’s only half-effective. Updating information regarding the equipment stored in Bone Armory.]
Lee Shin Woo was flustered at the sudden series of events. In the blink of an eye, the shield, as well as armor and helmet he was wearing disappeared. Lee Shin Woo stood, flustered, and a message slowly appeared before him!
[Bone Armory Lv3:
Lv4 Acid Bone Armor (Defense 250 – 410) – Acid Type Effectiveness +10%
Lv4 Acid Bone Leg (Defense 210 – 320) – Acid Type Effectiveness +10%
Lv4 Acid Bone Shield (Defense 350 – 400) – Acid Type Effectiveness +10%
Lv4 Acid Skull Helm (Defense 250 – 310) – Acid Type Effectiveness +10%
Lv4 Lightning Tooth (Attack Power 450 – 480) – Lightning Lv4, Effectiveness of Bursting Thunder +20%
Lv4 Melting Bone Double Axe (Attack Power 480 – 760) – Acid Lv3, Acid Type Effectiveness +20%
Lv5 Drake Horn Lance (Attack Power 1,000 – 1,200) – Effectiveness of charge-related skills +40%]
“How is this…”
Of course, he had a rough idea. He thought of each and every piece of equipment separately before, but now he could combine the characteristics and materials of absorbed equipment into another piece of equipment to create a sturdier and more powerful one!
Lee Shin Woo examined the updated description of the equipment stored within Bone Armory and he became even more sure of it. Through the Bone Armory skill, the Acid Skull Helm’s materials and characteristics were fused with the other defensive equipment and reinforced; because of that, the once level 3 armor all became level 4.
“They really were reinforced…”
Lee Shin Woo summoned his upper and lower body armor, equipped them, and interjected. Not only had the armors inherited the Acid Skull Helm’s materials and characteristics in its entirety and gotten much tougher, but the magic within these armors covered in a slight green energy was definitely improving Lee Shin Woo’s acid element.
If he were to equip the Acid Bone Armor, Leg, and Helm, while wielding the Melting Bone Double Axe, the effectiveness of the acid element would increase by 50%! Though it was impossible right now since he could still only summon three pieces of equipment at a time!
‘In other words, I can create a full matching set of equipment with just one piece of the set now. As I thought, it was a good idea to get information on the undead heroes.’
But the limitations to the skill were quite clear for now. He couldn’t transfer the characteristics of the Lightning Tooth or the Drake Horn Lance to other pieces of equipment yet. It was without a doubt because these two pieces of equipment were at a higher level than the Bone Armory skill itself.
However, the skill level will gradually go up, and if that happens, someday… Lee Shin Woo imagined himself wearing Drake Horn Armor and shuddered. He could also obtain an even more powerful piece of equipment and transfer those characteristics to another piece of a equipment!
‘I thought it might be possible someday, but… I should start gathering equipment that possess various special characteristics. Do they sell equipment in the secret shop too?’
The dungeon reward by itself was trifling, but he didn’t lose out, as it had caused his Bone Armory to level up.
Lee Shin Woo looked much more consolidated and stylish than before (in the process of being affected by the Acid Skull Helm, the upper and lower body armor both changed in appearance, similar to the Acid Skull Helm) and after equipping the armor, he returned to the purified city. Kratia was still struggling with the core.
“Is it going well?”
“It’s going really well. I can do it if you give me one more day.”
Kratia bluffed and Lee Shin Woo could tell. That competitive magician was going to figure out everything regarding the core no matter what. For the time being, he just needed to let her be.
“Then we’ll go and clear out the surrounding area, so you just keep studying the core. You guys, follow me.”
[It’s an honor.]
[In the name of Steelworker!]
When they were about to leave, Kratia hastily grabbed him. Did she want to extend the duration of the contract? Lee Shin Woo tilted his head and turned around, and Kratia, while still holding onto the core, requested honestly, even whilst looking extremely embarrassed.
“If you find any… things like wild fruit in the dungeon, then…”
“I got it. Since there’re no living organisms nearby that can eat fruit, anyway.”
Kratia said, and looked over at Jin. Seeing that, Lee Shin Woo sighed again. Fortunately, Jin didn’t say anything.
“I’m just saying this because it seems like you’ve misunderstood me, but I’m not envious of that girl just because she’s alive. And I don’t hate her either.”
Kratia saw them off, and the rest of them left the city; Lee Shin Woo found a trace of mana and Jin suddenly spoke while running slowly (since the golems were accompanying them). Lee Shin Woo just tilted his head.
“Then what is it?”
“It makes me feel really narrow-minded admitting this, but… besides just being human, Kratia is…”
“…Nah, it’s nothing. Actually, I’d rather not say.”
“You were the one who started, so how can you stop midway… Sorry, it wasn’t me. It’s my secretary’s fault.”
Jin seemed to be quite concerned about it, so Lee Shin Woo decided to lighten the mood with a joke, but all he got in return was an intense shaking from Jin. Even though he suffered through Jin’s reprisal, he remembered when he was young and played with his friends and was very slightly pleased.
For a few days, Lee Shin Woo, Jin, and the three Iron Golems used the purified city as their base camp and swept away the undead in the vicinity.
They were able to clear a few patrolling battalions of undead that hadn’t fallen with their city, killed the undead roaming about, and cleared a few dungeons as well. It seemed as though most of the low level dungeons were ignored by their seniors, thus Lee Shin Woo and Jin were able to hog them to themselves. Along with that…
[Level 4 dungeon – You have acquired a permit for the Kerr Century Winery. All stats within the dungeon increase by 30. The dungeon information is added to your minimap. All of your actions are buffed within the dungeon.]
[The Intermediate Mana Bone skill has become Lv2. Magic has increased by 10. You can now maintain your magic for a longer period of time.]
Five days after their clean up of the city’s vicinity had begun, Lee Shin Woo struck gold, finding a dungeon that was completely hidden.
“How the hell did you find this dungeon!?”
“With my senses.”
Lee Shin Woo used Mana Bone as the foundation for his mana detecting ability, and in the process of creating a golem’s mana, he realized the elemental categories; that was the start of his explosive growth, and now he was able to find all of the hidden dungeons with just one look of the area.
The other day, Prince Altania had boasted how good he was at finding dungeons in the chatting channel, and sure enough, now that he had a knack for mana, it had become much easier to find dungeons. Probably much more proficiently than the Prince at that.
“It should be fine since it’s just a level 4 dungeon, but I suppose we should tread with caution.”
[We will protect you.]
[We will take point.]
The golems, which were strengthened from having their limiters removed, gladly took point. Truthfully, whenever he gave them an order, they would respond way too passionately. Lee Shin Woo cursed at the Steelworkers for having bad taste and followed behind the golems.
“Something smells sweet.”
Only after he entered did he ruminate over the dungeon’s name, Kerr Century Winery. That’s right. A winery. It was a place where they made fermented foods like alcohol or vinegar. And between those two, this smell was distinctly…
“Did you like wine before?”
“I told you, I was a sprinter. I didn’t drink, and I didn’t smoke. But that doesn’t mean I’m totally clueless of wine.”
The two were completely calm. Even if the most expensive and delicious wine popped in front of them, what could they do? It’s not like they could drink it. Jin was already really depressed, but now he was even gloomier than before; Jin spoke less, and Lee Shin Woo patted his head as they continued onwards. Soon, one of the golems reported.
[There are no monsters. I believe the dungeon was sealed in order to protect goods.]
“Yeah, I agree.”
When they progressed a bit further, they found the cause of that sweet smell: the ripening room. The sight of countless lines of wine barrels was nothing else but magnificent. But there were two things that concerned him.
“It’s become vinegar or has evaporated. One of the two…”
“Definitely not based on the smell.”
Lee Shin Woo came close to one of the wine barrels and examined it. The material was clearly different from the oak from Earth. It was probably a type of wood that only existed in this world.
The barrel possessed a mark that came about due to being singed with flame, and it was clearly in the shape of a letter; it was likely a magic letter that allowed the application of magic on all of the barrels.
“It truly is a fantasy world. They use magic to ripen wine as well, huh?”
“C-Check it. Hurry.”
Jin had totally forgotten that he couldn’t even drink the wine and was extremely excited. Lee Shin Woo smiled bitterly and calmly placed his hand atop the wooden barrel. Whenever he wanted to, he could instinctually use his mana and examine something; he felt like it was natural now. It was all because of his singular focus on the golems, as well as Kratia, who taught him a systematic approach.
To be honest, it wasn’t very difficult to ascertain the contents of the barrel compared to the Limited Order Bone Core, and was soon met with an organized message in front of him.
[Kerr Century Dellocus 395]
[The year prior to the Empire’s fall, mother earth seemed almost aware of the Empire’s fall, and shined brilliantly with the last of its life. The grapes harvested at that time held the highest value ever, and the businessmen of Kerr Century Winery did their best to prepare and create wine.]
[The alcohol contained in this barrel was kept in tip-top shape and slowly ripened. However, there wasn’t anyone left to drink it by the time it was finished ripening.]
[The wine is at its highest value and will never decrease in value under any circumstances. There are 52 liters of Kerr Century Dellocus 395 within this wine barrel.]
[This wine was created prior to the fall and was stored properly; the karma of this wine is not light under any circumstances.]
Normally, the wine within would be full, but as a result of evaporating for dozens of years, there were only 52 liters left. It was kept in tip-top condition through the ripening room and the magic on the barrels and had continued to ripen, so he could tell just how good the wine was without even drinking it.
“There should be a total of about 3,000 liters in here.”
“Should we just spill it all at once and take a shower in it?”
“That’s not such a bad idea, but…”
Lee Shin Woo looked at the last line added to the explanation and thought deeply. Then spoke after making up his mind.
“Couldn’t we sell this at the secret shop?”