<Chapter 26. New Element – 4>
[A power source capable of producing Lv6 golems]
There were of 277 cores lying around. Lee Shin Woo and Kratia were mesmerized by the cores, and just watched them silently.
The Original Core. They were definitely the original form of the Original Bone Core. Lee Shin Woo had barely gotten one or two of them by destroying all of the low ranked golems in an area, yet there were so many gathered here.
Lee Shin Woo spoke automatically.
“If there were this many cores gathered here, it makes sense that they’d want them back.”
“This many cores would interest not only Arema Steelworker, but the Emperor as well.”
“That’s probably why he kept a general on standby.”
Though that general was now dead. He didn’t know when the Emperor would get news of that, but he didn’t need to worry about that right now.
“You get stronger if you absorb these, right?”
“No. When you absorb bones with the same power, the effectiveness drops. Now I can’t really get anything out of them. So, with these…”
“You’re going to try making golems?”
Kratia was quick on the uptake. Her eyes glittered with curiosity. That was what Lee Shin Woo was looking for; no matter how talented he was at magic, it was still just talent. Because he wasn’t knowledgeable in magic theory, he knew that he would need someone else’s help if he really decided to make a golem.
To be honest, he could’ve taken down the general by himself if he did well; the reason he had asked for her help was because he knew something like this would happen once he discovered the facility that Arema Steelworker tried to hide.
“It’d be hard to make them right now, so let’s move the equipment for now.”
“Let’s say that you can move them because you have an inventory, but do you have the space to store them?”
“Of course I do.”
Lee Shin Woo grinned and spoke while Kratia just tilted her head. He let her be, and deliberated on what he should do with the Original Cores. The main point of deliberation was whether he should just store the Original Cores or change them into Bone Cores first.
“It would probably be ok to change them. Since all of the materials for making golems will be changed through that ability of yours.”
“Giving the materials a sense of unity… Hmm, you’re right. It doesn’t sound like a bad idea.”
Kratia’s recommendation was decent. Of course, Bone Reinforcement wouldn’t always upgrade the material, but the cores were one of the few exceptions, as the quantity of magic within wouldn’t change with the transformation.
It wasn’t like he couldn’t use them as cores once they transformed into Bone Cores; also, there wouldn’t be a loss from transforming them, so there was enough value in doing so. Lee Shin Woo changed all of the cores in one go and stored them into his inventory. Because his inventory had expanded significantly following his level up, there was a lot of free space.
“Now, shall we start storing them?”
“Alright. I’ll take the left side.”
“Then I’ll go over there.”
The party collected the cores, turned around, and removed and collected the equipment as well. To be honest, there were some amongst them that shouldn’t have been thoughtlessly removed, but Lee Shin Woo and Kratia, who had a good grasp of magic, skillfully separated them, meticulously inspected them, and collected them so that there wouldn’t be any trouble.
Only five minutes had passed, yet nothing valuable had remained within the facility.
“The golems will probably get mad if they see these later, right?”
“It’s alright. They won’t see it.”
Lee Shin Woo said, and ordered the Chimeras to collect the large sunlight stone. Because the sunlight stone was so large, the transformation was an incredibly unusual sight. Once he placed it into his inventory, the facility immediately became dark. The only words that would come out of his mouth were ‘oh, come on’.
“You guys go first.”
“I need to install a bomb before I go.”
“…Are you serious?”
They hadn’t noticed the six Drake Horn Lances floating in the air from behind Lee Shin Woo. No, when they thought about it, there were three or four of them floating behind them when they first entered… Jin recollected that and realized that that’s when Lee Shin Woo had decided to blow up the facility.
“You can make it so they don’t know it was us?”
“There’ll probably be no traces left.”
Lee Shin Woo laughed briefly and sent the rest of the party away. Then, whenever a Drake Horn Lance was fully charged, he would burrow it here and there.
Because he’d already demolished much of the equipment that protected the facility, so long as he calculated the location and installed them properly, the six Drake Horn Lances should be able to completely destroy the place.
“Nice. This is perfect.”
However, while Lee Shin Woo was finishing with the bomb installation and leaving the passageway, he felt his chest vibrate. It was the communication line that Kadinan’s lord had possessed that enabled him to communicate with Hansen.
Hansen was already dead, so who was it? He didn’t plan on asking something so boorish. Who could it be? It was obviously either the Emperor, or one of the Emperor’s men.
Lee Shin Woo grinned and raised the communication line. He inputted the bothersome mana seal, and accepted the call. It was then, he’d left the facility, closed the door, and turned around.
[Kadinan’s lord, Nellopa. Did the Lightning Shadow General return?]
He could feel the military discipline within the extremely stiff voice. As expected, it seemed like the Lightning Shadow General had someone supervising him, even though he worked alone. Also, considering the fact that he didn’t add an honorific to his name, it was possible that he was talking to someone really high up. And if that’s the case, there was a high chance that this person was one of the 12 generals as well.
Obviously, showing this guy his identity, even a little bit, wasn’t a good idea. He activated Acting and Disguise simultaneously. It happened in the blink of an eye.
“The Lightning Shadow General is…”
Nellopa’s voice naturally flowed out of Lee Shin Woo’s mouth, and he heard the other whisper, ‘so he was just late’. The sound of his small sigh had to be a sign of relief. He decided to break that apart.
“The Lightning Shadow General… passed away.”
Lee Shin Woo reported, sounding as though he were stifling his tears, and quickly turned the situation around. The other individual raised his voice immediately.
[Who dares!? How!? A golem!? Was it a golem!?]
“Kuheuk, that’s correct. Arema Steelworker…”
[We expected the four commanders, but to think Arema Steelworker would act in person. Is he starting an all-out war…!? But it’s too early. How can he be so confident!? Moreover, how did he conceal his energy and move so secretly!?]
That’s right. Arema Steelworker was probably too scared to act in person, as he didn’t want to be seen. That’s why he had sent someone from the outside, like Lee Shin Woo, despite it being an important mission to collect more than 200 cores!
Lee Shin Woo, who knew that it wouldn’t be easy for them to believe it, gave them something to convince them.
“They’re… on the same side of these guys called Anti-Skull! Kuahk!”
[Anti-Skull!? Seagald…! Tell me in more detail! …No, is there someone else there?]
“They’re listening in on us! You have to close the connection… Kuaaaaaaahk!”
He said, and forcefully broke the communication line. Plus, the six Drake Horn Lances exploded early, making it so that the sounds of the explosions were transferred through the communication line.
With this, they would think that, ‘the enemy was watching Nellopa, and after communicating for a bit, he resisted at the very last moment. He was hit by one of the enemy’s powerful attacks, lost his life, and the communication line was destroyed.’
Lee Shin Woo’s acting skill had improved rapidly. He then walked away from the collapsed facility and laughed. Even from his own point of view, his acting was pretty good. Now they couldn’t be unaware of Steelworker or Anti-Skull anymore.
“Now that I’ve finished everything up, let’s go.”
However, when the party, who were just watching Lee Shin Woo, were about to leave, Jin retorted.
“Why did you drag Anti-Skull into this all of a sudden!?”
“Hmm? Their headquarters is way too hard to find, so I thought I could use the Emperor’s side to draw them out. Plus, it would make me sound more credible.”
“Of course, I want the Steelworkers to expose what they’re planning as they come outside and act, so I involved Anti-Skull… Why are you looking at me like that?”
“I won’t be mad, so tell me honestly… You’re a demon, right?”
Lee Shin Woo wanted to pass it off as a joke and laugh, but Jin’s burning goblin fire looked extremely honest. He ended up getting slightly hurt.
[What an amazing act!]
[As expected of Sir Paul Zero!]
Though the Chi Pauls revered Lee Shin Woo, they were likewise shocked. No, he’d just done something anyone could do, so why were they…!?
Lee Shin Woo looked at Kratia as his last hope. As expected, Kratia didn’t betray his trust and gave him a thumbs up.
“Nice explosion. So much so that I want to recreate it with magic.”
“Ah, is that so?”
When he looked back, because of the huge explosion inside, the entire area had caved in. It seemed like the fissure would affect them soon, so they prioritized evading that area first. He decided to part ways with the Chi Pauls there.
[I’ll get stronger no matter what!]
[I’ll collect a lot of bones! Call me whenever you need me!]
[I’m sure that if we’re with you, Sir Paul Zero, that we can kill the Emperor and Arema Steelworker. I will only follow you from now on!]
It seemed like his acting had left a huge impression on them, and their attitude towards Lee Shin Woo suddenly changed to that of military discipline.
Lee Shin Woo ruminated over whether he should be happy or sad about that… In any case, he had formed a subordinate relationship with them, so he decided to just accept reality.
“Go well, Chi Pauls! Get stronger, so much so that you can take on a general!”
The Chi Pauls gathered in one place and quickly sprinted off. Lee Shin Woo waved his hand at them as they began vanishing into the distance. Then, Kratia quietly asked Lee Shin Woo a question.
“Shin Woo, how many of these guys have you been ‘catching and releasing’?”
“You won’t believe me even if I told you.”
“I’m confident that I’d believe you, even if you said you were the hidden 13th general.”
“Whenever you talk with a hero, you just say whatever you want.
They exchanged jokes as they moved towards the golem production facility, or in other words, the golem train that led to Arema Steelworker’s headquarters. Of course, it didn’t take very long for them, and when they reached the top of the hill, they suddenly realized exactly what they had done.
Kadinan was wiped out, and the secret facility had blown up and collapsed… there was no way anyone would be able to tell what had happened by just looking at it!
“Then, I just have to go here and wait?”
“Yeah. You shouldn’t take very long, right?”
They temporarily parted ways with Kratia. She, who was a level 7 and possessed the ability to teleport, checked the designated location and nodded her head.
If need be, Lee Shin Woo would test out the Bone Gate he had received, but she left without saying a word, so he felt a bit disappointed.
“Then let’s get going too.”
“But Shin Woo, if they’ve already figured out what we’ve done and try to kill us, then…!”
“Then we can just die a few times and then get out. Don’t worry so much.”
Jin was afraid of Lee Shin Woo’s bold plan, as he was marching over to Arema Steelworker’s headquarters just to flip him off, but in terms of their results, the golems weren’t yet aware of what they had done.
…No, rather than be aware of what they had done, they actually greeted them affectionately.
[Did you put them all to rest?]
“…Hmm. I just wanted to let you know how disappointed I am in you guys. If we made a mistake, we would’ve had to fight against a general.”
[As expected, they… Ahem. We just wanted to know if we could work well together in the future. Listen, you already knew, right?]
“Ha. So with this, you’ve realized that ‘I’m’ no pushover, right?”
[Of course. We know now that ‘you guys’ are skilled enough to fight alongside us.]
I wonder. It seems like you don’t really know yet… Lee Shin Woo inwardly mocked Guillotine. Then, Guillotine unexpectedly extended a fist. Is he asking for a fist bump? Without even realizing, Lee Shin Woo extended his own fist, but then, Guillotine opened his hand, revealing the contents within.
[This is the reward we promised. Treat it well. Since it’s something that we poured all of our technical skill into making.]
Guillotine said, and Lee Shin Woo automatically nodded his head. He opened his own hand. Above Guillotine’s hand lay a… golem that resembled a small bird.
[Lv6 Observer Golem]
This quest was now complete.