<Chapter 27. New Golem Maker – 5>
Lee Shin Woo mashed grapes with its skin and seeds, and placed the gruesome looking contents safely into an oak barrel and then placed the stopper into it. After that, he sighed, and declared that their work was done. That was their last oak barrel just now.
“We don’t need to worry about these for about two days. Bring all of them to the fermenting room.”
The hundreds of golems moved the oak barrels to the fermenting room one by one. Due to the magical equipment set up by the wine makers, the temperature was thoroughly regulated 24 hours every day, all year around; thus, it was one of the two facilities that served as the core of the winery. The other was obviously the ripening room, which was used after the fermentation process was complete.
“The other processes are helpful, but… if I master how to ripen and bottle the wine, I can just keep a few golems here to make sure everything goes smoothly.”
“That’d be a real wine factory…”
At the very least, the golems possessed a good grasp on how to copy a human’s movements. Moreover, they were strong and possessed infinite stamina, so only a few golems had been needed to manage this huge winery.
Moreover, so long as he had the Dryads’ aid, he had an infinite supply of grapes, and he could keep the winery’s equipment semi-permanently active!
“Let’s say that we can sell that wine at a good price… What are you going to do with that money? Are you going to buy the secret shop?”
“Mm, you bring up a good point.”
To be honest, there wasn’t really much for Lee Shin Woo to buy in the secret shop. Skill books were so popular that whenever they came in they were immediately sold, and he didn’t need food from the very beginning. Bones… they might work on the Pauls, but Lee Shin Woo and Jin had grown too much to develop further through the secret shop’s bones.
Then equipment? Unfortunately, Lee Shin Woo had already absorbed a variety of level 2, 3, and even level 4 equipment.
Of course, when he absorbs a new and unique piece of equipment, he does gain some stats, but the more those types or characteristics overlap, the less he gains from them, so even they were limited.
What about finding a way to use Perium independently? Unfortunately, Lee Shin Woo’s abilities were still lacking for him to do so. Lee Shin Woo had already made up his mind from the start.
“I’m planning on buying materials for golem cores. Since I want to start that properly first.”
“It’d probably be a good idea to buy other materials that make up a golem’s body. Though it would be best if the Pauls find a mine.”
“A wine factory and a golem factory…”
It was the collaboration of the century. If he were to successfully create wine and sell it, and obtain golem cores and create golems… what would be the result? Even the very thought of it was scary, so he decided not to think about it.
“Kratia, let’s begin in earnest.”
“Hoo, I’ve been waiting for you to say that.”
Because he was fermenting the grapes, Lee Shin Woo used the remaining time to study golems with Kratia. They read all of the books that they took from the secret facility, and remodeling the techniques that were out of their reach was their first priority.
Next, Lee Shin more thoroughly analyzed his transformed Bone Core, and would adjust it to design golems. He decided to form a broad plan that could respond regardless of what material was used for the golems.
“In the end, you’re going to make them with all bones, right? The materials have the same core properties, so it shouldn’t be very hard.”
“Let’s assume I turn them all into bone. It feels like we won’t need this part…”
“But I feel like this joint region should be reinforced.”
“How about making specialized armaments that are split into various patterns, depending on the characteristics of the transformed bone?”
“Ah, that sounds good. Cool.”
Jin felt alienated as their uninterruptible conversation progressed; he saw Kratia’s face, who was excitedly chatting with Lee Shin Woo, and he felt a feeling that was difficult to describe.
“But if you do that, then the movement formula over here is… Jin?”
“I’m going to go for a walk.”
Jin remained still, and thought he might end up venting his anger on Lee Shin Woo again, even though he was innocent, and went outside. Contrary to the inside of the dungeon, which overflowed with life energy, the outside was still filled with a bleak and heavy air.
The curse that permeated the Empire. Though the mana and essence Lee Shin Woo had gained was similar to it, it had manifested in a completely different form, and Jin absorbed it. Lee Shin Woo had taught him the know-how, so if he wanted, he could absorb the curse four to five times faster than before.
The curse’s mana rushed towards his body, and during the duration of the absorption, he felt refreshed. Because of that, he could get a hold of himself.
“…Seriously, what the hell am I doing?”
He remembered how much he’d overreacted when he saw his partner interact with someone else and sighed.
No matter how preposterous Lee Shin Woo’s actions or words were, he was only focused on becoming stronger. That was the whole point of making wine as well as creating golems.
And he didn’t really think about his relations with the Dryads, Kratia, or the shopkeeper, Pleine. That’s because he was nothing more than a bony skeleton.
‘Thinking about it doesn’t help me at all. I have to work harder.’
He’d pledged several times that he wouldn’t slow Lee Shin Woo down, yet whenever he seemed to catch up, Lee Shin Woo would already be a step ahead, which made his efforts seem laughable. However, he couldn’t allow that to happen anymore. They’d already taken down one of the 12 generals. All he’d done to contribute in that battle was allow Kratia and Lee Shin Woo to ride on his back and run.
Lee Shin Woo told him that that was plenty, but Jin couldn’t accept that. If he was just going to run fast, then he wouldn’t be any different from his past life. He wanted to be a bit more helpful to his partner.
[If you’ve decided to give it everything you’ve got to keep up with him, then this ability will surely shine brighter. Mm, I’ll make it an ability for you alone.]
Then, Jin remembered what God had told him. When Lee Shin Woo had acquired a new element from God, Jin obviously gained a new ability from her as well.
He’d wanted a powerful ability that would be effective against the powerful opponents Lee Shin Woo faced, and God refined his skill. That was Jin’s first high rank skill.
‘Good. Let’s surprise him.’
He grinded his teeth, and began to run. Because Lee Shin Woo was busy with his manufacturing, Jin decided to use his free time to practice this skill so that he could use it freely in battle.
[High Rank Magic Breath Lv1]
[You draw magic to your body, change it into destructive energy, and shoot it in a straight line. It can contain the power of an element, and if it does, the destructive force increases.]
The skill was one of the two skills he’d gained from the Treasure Eater’s jawbone (the other skill was Lv1 High Rank Lightning Resistance), and God had reinforced it with her power.
Because the skill was originally only usable by those who could wield lightning, it was completely useless to Jin at first. God had processed it so that Jin could use it.
‘It’s funny, an undead breathing… But alright, I’m gathering it.’
Once Jin had gathered enough mana, he opened his mouth and spewed the energy. A highly compressed, soft blue mana laser was shot out in a straight line; after he emptied about half his energy, a undead panther roaming around the plains was completely melted away, creating a giant hole in the ground.
‘It’s pretty weak for a high rank skill… it’s like I’m firing a blank.’
He could use the skill like this, but the skill could only unleash its full power by using it in tandem with an element. Jin couldn’t use the elements, but if Lee Shin Woo were to help him a little, he would be able to contain acid, fire, ice, lightning, everything.
It would be completely useless without Lee Shin Woo. Jin was finally able to gain a skill like this. He’d grown significantly since he had first been dropped into the Empire, just running in order to escape reality.
‘Alright. Let’s make sure I got it down and then go.’
Jin steeled himself and began to move. First, he needed to be able to freely control the output of Magic Breath, and then, he needed to be able to use it whilst sprinting, or at least several times in battle… He considered every application of the skill and went through intense training.
‘If it were Shin Woo, he wouldn’t allow it to feel unnatural.’
Lee Shin Woo was both hot-blooded and calm during combat. How could he contribute in a way that removed all the variables and achieved victory… Jin kept those in mind and moved his body around, losing track of time.
Three weeks had passed in no time, and then, Lee Shin Woo contacted him.
[Lee Shin Woo: We’re about to make history here, where are you? It’s my fault, so come back.]
“Make history? Are you finally making a golem?”
[Lee Shin Woo: No, the wine’s done.]
This guy, he’s definitely making wine to get stronger, right…? Now that he thought about it, Jin remembered that this was just the type of guy Lee Shin Woo was, sighed, and returned to the winery.
Jin, who had run everywhere and practiced his skill, had even gone through a level 3 danger zone; when Lee Shin Woo wasn’t riding him, he could run at a speed akin to light, so he was able to return in just a few hours.
“You’re not late!”
“What about the golems?”
“We finished adjusting the basic equipment just yesterday, but the Pauls haven’t come back yet.”
Recreating the technique of making golems, considered the most difficult field in magic engineering, in a few weeks was quite impressive; but Jin didn’t really understand any of it and just nodded his head.
“Then let’s put the wine into the bottles I bought from the secret shop…”
[As you command, Master.]
His assistants, no, the golems followed Lee Shin Woo’s demonstration and busily moved around, bottling the wine which had finished ripening. Lee Shin Woo raised the first completed wine bottle and checked its information.
[Kerr Century Elemental 451]
[This wine was created by Kerr Century Winery’s successor, with grapes that thrived with the love and affection of the spirits and an elf. It’s still somewhat lacking in terms of technique, but the raw materials, which are extremely difficult to obtain, emit a rich smell and have the right acidity to mask that flaw.]
[It is a masterpiece that shows the quality of the ingredients. Even after it was bottled, the magic within the materials causes the wine to ripen gradually, so the longer you leave it, the more valuable it becomes.]
“Did you fail?”
“No… That’s not it.”
Lee Shin Woo had put his heart and soul into the gathering and juice extraction, and then the fermentation and the ripening, so there was no way he could’ve failed. He saw the quality of the grapes and they would make a great Nouveau, so that’s what he made, yet… the completed product wasn’t a Nouveau.
“Is it because they’re grapes affected by the Dryads…?”
“But it just means that you can sell them for more, right?”
“Yeah, you can say that.”
He was still tilting his head, but he decided to let it go as it had turned out well. No, before that.
“Kratia, I’m counting on you to try it.”
“…It’s an honor.”
Kratia, looking slightly anxious, held out her wine glass, and Lee Shin Woo poured the wine. She took a sip of the wine, and Lee Shin Woo, Jin, the Dryads, and the golems all focused their attention onto her.
“How is it?”
“…If it sucks, you can spit it out.”
[I want to try it too…!]
A brief moment passed, and Kratia, who’d swallowed down the wine, quietly gave him a thumbs up. Then, she carefully pushed her glass forward once more, so it seemed like she really liked the wine.
Through the power of the spirits, the Kerr Century Winery had returned.