Stop, Friendly Fire! Chapter 181
<Chapter 26. New Element - 3>
A dark secret and a buried testing facility. Within that facility was another hidden area. It was an area that could only be opened with the Steelworker seal, not the general administrator seal. ...Wait a sec, Steelworker?
The Steelworker seal was revealed, and while he was studying the lock, he discovered some information; Lee Shin Woo grinned because he didn't think his hypothesis would be confirmed immediately.
"Only a Steelworker can enter."
"The Emperor can't go in?"
"Yep. It's not just Arema Steelworker who can access it; Guillotine Steelworker and the other level 7 golems can get inside as well. Aside from them, there's no one who has permission to enter. Which means that the Emperor can't go in."
"How did you figure that out by just looking at it... Nope, never mind. Don't look at me like that."
Jin looked quizzical and was about to ask further, but thought better of it. He kicked Lee Shin Woo's eye sockets with his forelegs, as Lee Shin Woo had turned around to look at him. Lee Shin Woo hastily evaded his kick and continued with his explanation.
"If I hadn't heard what the Chi Pauls had said before, I might've just thought that this place was for 'staff only'. But after hearing what they had to say, and seeing another hidden installation..."
[Are you saying that Arema Steelworker, as well as those who hold the Steelworker name had a different secret plan? So... a plan that he started not out of loyalty for the Emperor?]
"Mm, it probably wasn't a pure motive."
[How can that be...?]
Once they heard Lee Shin Woo's conclusion, the Chi Pauls were infuriated. Of course, they didn't have even a shred of loyalty towards the Emperor anymore. However, when they thought about the fact their pure feelings had been used, they felt an unrestrained rage!
However, these infuriated Chi Pauls focused on Lee Shin Woo's calm voice.
"Calm down. You can't do anything with just anger."
"Arema Steelworker is a powerful level 8. He has a few level 7 elite subordinates around him, and he has several level 6 golems under his command. I'm saying that he's not an opponent you can overcome with just your powerful emotions."
His rational and cool-headed statement caused the Chi Pauls to be silent. Lee Shin Woo placed a hand on one of the Chi Pauls and softly laughed. He didn't speak to just one Chi Paul, but spoke loud enough so that all the others could hear him.
"Don't let your emotions just burn; use them as fuel and temper them. There are countless ways for you to get stronger in this world, and if you work at it, it's not impossible for you to surpass Arema Steelworker. Do you want to be controlled by your emotions and be a tiger moth, or do you want to take control over your emotions and become a phoenix? That's up to you."
The Chi Paul, no all the Chi Pauls must've felt something from Lee Shin Woo's speech, as they nodded their heads in silence. Lee Shin Woo smiled faintly, and Jin hit his back.
'Shin Woo, you're so sickening that I feel like I'm going to throw up.'
'Speaking earnestly works on these types of guys. Look, their eyes are sparkling.'
'You're really scary...'
Lee Shin Woo, who had silenced Jin with a short reply, confirmed that the Chi Pauls had calmed down, and returned to the main topic.
"The existence of a secret facility that only a Steelworker can access, and the Emperor who ordered the undead to watch this entire area... This has made it clear. The Emperor knew that something was hidden here. And he must've known that this was what Steelworker was aiming for."
"And Arema Steelworker is..."
"He knows what the Emperor is doing. That's why he wanted us to attack from the front. After I had diverted the Emperor's attention and had taken care of the vestiges of the testing facility... he must've been planning on coming here quietly later."
[Either side is... ridiculous...!]
The Chi Paul was right. You could only look down on people so much. Of course, it was a relief that Lee Shin Woo wasn't someone who took things lying down, but... Lee Shin Woo's expression was actually relaxed. There was no shaking in his goblin fire.
"If I completely clear this place and return unscathed, then they won't be able to look down on me anymore. That's when it'll start in earnest. Will they perceive me as a threat and try to take me out, or... will they try to use me?"
Lee Shin Woo thought it would be the latter. Like they had said, their enemies were the same; that's the only thing he was sure about. And to be honest, that wasn't really a bad thing for Lee Shin Woo. Why...?
"If I know what they're thinking to a degree, then it shouldn't be difficult to get them onto my stage."
He finished speaking and simultaneously, the Steelworker mark above his hand radiated light. It looked a bit different from when he had first used it, but he had been continuously studying the mark. This was the result of his improvements and calculations.
It possessed some additional function as well, but... the most prioritized additional function was 'secrecy'. Lee Shin Woo was concerned that the information would get back to Arema Steelworker, so he had added this function in; it was an additional function he had created so that wherever he was, or whatever he was doing wouldn't be reported. It was a fundamentally high level and shocking security feature.
[Opening the facility. Welcome, Steelworker.]
They wouldn't know right away that Lee Shin Woo had even entered the facility. Of course, even if they came to find him themselves, they would have no way of knowing that Lee Shin Woo had entered the facility!
Jin and Kratia simultaneously exclaimed. It was only natural as the lock was released, revealing a secret passageway.
Contrary to the outside, where the passage of time was readily apparent, as it was corroded everywhere and had accumulated dust, the passageway was ridiculously clean and refined.
There was no rust anywhere. Rocks which radiated light by themselves were embedded everywhere and illuminated the passageway. There was no way of knowing how they had made such a thing.
"For now, let's take these with us since they seem expensive."
There wasn't a use for them really, but they looked expensive, so he decided to extract them. He'd benefited off of collecting all of the wine from the winery before, so Lee Shin Woo thought he might be able to profit again.
"Why don't you take some too?"
"It seems like it'd be useful for when I want to read a book in the dark, so I'll just take one."
"That'll make your eyes go bad, so don't do it too much."
Lee Shin Woo ordered the Chi Pauls to collect all the rocks. He told them to bring one over to him, and when he looked it over, he found that it was made of sunlight stone. It possessed the energy of the sun, and would emit a light equivalent to the rays of the sun; it was an incredibly rare ore.
He checked the information and thought that perhaps the light that shined on the Empire came from here. No, when he thought about it, the magical device set up in the vineyard the Dryads were staying at was seemingly made of the same ore.
"But there was only one of them there, so what were these golems indulging..."
"As I thought, they seem like a separate group."
"Hey, on your hand."
Lee Shin Woo was speechless and Kratia suddenly looked at the Steelworkers as enemies; at that moment, Jin suddenly called out to Lee Shin Woo. When he checked why he was calling him... the sunlight stone made a frightening sound and began transforming.
[Through Bone Reinforcement, the sunlight stone is transforming! You have acquired the Solar Fossil!]
"I told you, fossils aren't bones... Ah, whatever."
Before the change, the sunlight stone looked like a rock that emitted light, but once it had finished changing into a solar fossil, it turned into a gray color and emitted powerful light and heat from within. Its properties had definitely been reinforced.
Unfortunately, the diffusion of light decreased, so he could no longer use it as a light source, but Lee Shin Woo didn't really care about any of that.
"...I'm going to trying absorbing it."
Lee Shin Woo tried to absorb one of them. Then, surprisingly, his magic increased by 1, and his fire element proficiency increased by a little! At that moment, his eyes became serious. He thought that these stones might be more important than whatever was hidden within the facility.
"Bring all of those to me."
Besides the one sunlight stone that Kratia wanted, Lee Shin Woo changed all of the other sunlight stones through Bone Reinforcement. He had obtained a total of 223 Solar Fossils!
If he could, he would absorb all of them right here, but it seemed as though it wasn't such a simple matter; so he would set some time later and patiently study them.
"Ah, that's right. I'll give you one too."
Lee Shin Woo, who had finished changing the sunlight stones into solar fossils, called over a Chi Paul and allowed him to absorb it. He had only given them one as he didn't want to be the one who hoarded all of them, but it had a surprising effect.
[How can this be... Look at this, Sir Paul Zero.]
Flame burst forth from the Chi Paul's hand, which emitted an intense heat. The Solar Fossil allowed him to control fire!
Of course, Bone Reinforcement was a cheat skill that allowed one to absorb a bone's abilities, but even so, absorbing one of those bones and gaining the ability to wield fire was plenty amazing. Perhaps this was only possible because it was a Chimera?
[Uooooooooh, fire is coming out of my hand!]
[Keuk, Kukeuk... The Black Flame Dragon sealed within my right arm is finally...!]
The excited Lee Shin Woo finally made the other Chi Pauls absorb a single Solar Fossil each, although only a third of the Chi Pauls awakened an intermediate level of fire.
It was obviously impossible for them to handle it so naturally like Lee Shin Woo, but despite that, they were still at the level of an intermediate monster who could manipulate fire. The Chi Paul force's power had been upgraded instantly.
[Thank you, Sir Paul Zero!]
[To think that you could bestow a new power upon us so simply...!]
The Chi Pauls had gone beyond admiration or loyalty and looked to be in awe of Lee Shin Woo now. He had just been lucky!
Kratia and Jin, who had both been watching the process from the side, thought that Lee Shin Woo looked like some sort of pseudo religious sect leader, but they didn't actually say it out loud. If they argued about what was right or wrong, it felt like the Chi Pauls would start to stare at them unkindly.
"Are there no more sunlight stones?"
"Ah, there's a really big one over there."
"Remember to extract it before we leave."
At their unexpected increase in power, all the Chi Pauls were excited, and at that moment, they arrived at their destination. The sunlight stone embedded into the high ceiling illuminated every area of the facility. There was a bookshelf on the surface of one of the walls filled with materials. He assumed that this was both the laboratory and the conference room.
"These materials... They're all related to golems!"
Lee Shin Woo was sure he'd hit the jackpot. The more Lee Shin Woo surveyed these lottery ticket... no, lotto... no, these Powerball! materials, the more excited he got.
He looked over the materials detailing a golem's inner structure, and an anatomical chart that detailed the part that connected the golem's body to a core, and felt his excitement reach its peak. His goblin fire blazed so much that it threatened to engulf his skull!
"...With these, I should be able to make my own golems, right?"
"...Oh, holy crap."
Jin was freaked out by Lee Shin Woo's muttering. But Kratia, who had just as much interest in golems as Lee Shin Woo, managed to find another area while he was looking over the materials. She called for Lee Shin Woo, though her voice was quivering.
"Look here, Shin... Ah, I mean Paul Zero."
Lee Shin Woo placed the entire bookshelf into his inventory and turned around. It seemed like there was another small passageway in the corner of the facility, and when they followed that path...
"How many of these... are there?"
The moment he discovered it, Lee Shin Woo thoughtlessly clenched his fists. The sunlight stones are more profitable than the contents of the facility? What a joke.
There was a laboratory there, with countless rows of gleaming silver cores.
 T/N: I'm pretty sure this is another reference to "Love, Chunibyo & Other Delusions". I think this refers to the main character's "chunibyo" persona, the Dark Flame Master. Don't ask me how a golem knows what that is.
E/N: They dont have to reference a show to be a chunni.
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