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Stop, Friendly Fire! Chapter 185

<Chapter 27. New Golem Maker - 3>


In order for Lee Shin Woo to set up golem manufacturing equipment, he first needed to poke a hole through the passageway that was connected with the winery. Just in case, he strengthened the passageway's foundation so that it wouldn't collapse. He then placed a sturdy pillar in the center, allowing him to expand the corridor.

It wasn't as easy as it sounded to make more space in a dungeon, but Lee Shin Woo and Jin were assisted by Kratia, a level 7 magician, so it actually wasn't that difficult either. Moreover...

[I just need to make it here, right?]

"Yeah, thanks."

[First I'll toss it... Alright, grow!]

Because the Dryads realized that Lee Shin Woo was doing something underground, they kept coming out of the vineyard and meeting with him; since they were there, he asked them to help out with the construction. They were surprisingly helpful.

He used their power to cut off a branch of the grapevine, plant it, and make it grow, causing it to support the ceiling whilst supporting the ground as well. It was extremely durable and reduced the construction time significantly. In fact, it was so tough that he couldn't believe it came from a grapevine.

"Dryads... as I thought, they're amazing."

[Compliment us more!]

The environment down here was much too different from that of the surface. Technology was much less efficient than magic! Lee Shin Woo cheered at the reduced estimated construction time.

As long as he came up with a proper design, it seemed like he would be able to expand the dungeon about ten times more without worrying about collapse. However, he didn't have any plans on expanding the dungeon that much as of yet, so he stopped at a suitable point.

"There's a lot of space left over, even if we put in the golem equipment."

"Yeah. There's a lot of space remaining."

"Then... how about a bedroom for me?"

Lee Shin Woo wanted to snort at her wishful thinking, but unfortunately, he didn't have a nose to do so. Seeing how hard she was trying to get her own room, Lee Shin Woo could only shrug.

"I'm thinking of making the remaining space into a waiting room for my subordinates. Of course, I told them to roam around the Empire and hunt undead, but... we need a place for them to store the loot they pick up on the way, as well as a place to meet for emergencies."

"When they do gather, and the other heroes accidentally find this place, I wonder what they'll think..."

If the other heroes were to see this mixed force of Skeletons, Golems, Chimeras, and Dryads, they might assume that they are the Undead Empire's secret taskforce and may make a huge fuss over it.

"Alright, this way. The wires will go through the walls."

"Uaah, this is heavy."

"Is the device broken? ...I'm going to kick it softly."

"Hey, don't!"

After Lee Shin Woo had finished setting up the equipment and tested them (he had brought the equipment that could manufacture golem cores, but he didn't have the resources to use it right now, so he would have to leave it alone for a while), he worked on the entire area's security, so three days just flew by.

"Is that it? Nice, we're right on time."

"What do you mean?"

Lee Shin Woo took a look around the facility and muttered in satisfaction. Seeing that, Kratia tilted her head. He grinned and led his party outside towards an empty area outside of the winery. A ferocious wind was blowing.

Where did this wind come from, and where did it go...? Kratia thought absentmindedly, but then just tilted her head. She saw something that she hadn't seen before the winds had started blowing.

"Is that... no way."

"You're right. I told you I'd use it as a waiting room."

Lee Shin Woo lightly nodded his head. He spent three days organizing the facility, but at the same time, he was waiting for them. So, who were they? They were...

[Captain, we've come!]

[We've gathered just like you asked.]

[Complying with Steelworker's call.]

The Pauls and the golems who were spread out through the Empire's outskirts! Aside from the Chi Pauls, who he'd just sent away, all of his forces had gathered here. Aside from occasionally calling a portion of these guys and reinforcing them, they'd never fully gathered before.

"Wow..."

Kratia just laughed at the sight of a force exceeding 1,000 at the very least. Of course, the Limited Order Bone Core that Lee Shin Woo had let her borrow allowed her to control golems, but she couldn't even imagine that it would lead to something like this.

[Sir Paul Zero, it's been a while.]

"Yeah, it has. Thanks for coming."

The Undead Avenger, Shino Rendu was there as well. He'd made him the commander in chief of more than 800 Pauls, and Shino Rendu had taken the elite Pauls who were close to level 5 with him and hunted in the danger zones.

Though his strongest subordinate was technically the level 7 Chimera Avenger, Chi Paul, Shino Rendu possessed an ability that quite closely resembled his authority as a hero, so it would be laughable to say that one was stronger than the other.

[But is that girl next to you a...]

"I met her by chance. She's a hero. Since she's not as rigid as the other heroes and I could actually talk to her, we've decided to cooperate."

[...As I thought, you truly are amazing, Sir Paul Zero. I'm...]

"Did you meet any other heroes?"

[I couldn't even think of myself doing so.]

Since Lee Shin Woo had given him that command. However, even if Lee Shin Woo hadn't given that command, Shino Rendu wouldn't have attempted to make contact with another hero. Because he, as a hero in the past, knew exactly how heroes reacted to the sight of an undead.

"Not all heroes are like her. Try to avoid other heroes from now on if you can."

[...I understand.]

"Hi."

Lee Shin Woo said and then, Kratia greeted Shino Rendu, who was nodding, with a clear voice. It seemed like he had flinched for a moment, but he soon nodded his head and greeted her back.

[I'm an Undead Avenger.]

"Yeah."

[You're that magician from back then!]

[I'm awed by your open mindset of working together with humans, Captain.]

"Yeah, yeah. Just follow me."

Around the time the past hero and the current hero finished exchanging pleasantries, the other Pauls cut in and began praising Lee Shin Woo. Because he was already used to this, Lee Shin Woo just nonchalantly ignored it and led them all to their new meeting place.

In the process, he taught the team leaders or higher the magic password necessary to enter. It was hard figuring out something from nothing, but memorizing a magic pattern wasn't hard, so they were able to memorize it without much difficulty.

"This is your meeting place from now on. If I call, you just need to gather here. Also, all the loot you gather from around the Empire should be stored in the storehouse here."

[I understand!]

[Ooh, it's a truly secretive facility.]

After gathering all of his subordinates, Lee Shin Woo's first agenda was using Bone Reinforcement on the Pauls. With the bones that they and the golems had gathered thus far!

Of course, level 1 or 2 bones were pretty insignificant, so he gathered them separately. He was planning on using these bones as consumables for the gate that would transport him to other places.

[Ooh, Sir Paul Zero! Because of you, I have...!]

[I feel my bones becoming tougher. The acid within me is becoming stronger...!]

In the process, the Pauls grew to level 4 elites, and dozens of Pauls starting from Paul 41 became level 5 elites! The Pauls who were once Doom Factors gained a new, cool name: Doom Soldier.

"Even so, their growth is way too fast..."

"Isn't it because you awakened your darkness element's mana?"

"Mmm."

The darkness element's mana had an effect that strengthened one's ties with the contracted target. Thus, it was safe to assume that his darkness mana had a positive effect on them, who were contracted with him through a master and servant relationship.

Moreover, his use of Bone Reinforcement on them was like a type of baptism! He was sure that the darkness element strengthened the effect of Bone Reinforcement. After he pushed the joyous Pauls to one side, he called over the next hitter up to bat.

"Now, next up are the golems."

[I understand, Steelworker.]

"Rem, let's start."

[I understand, Master.]

Contrary to the Pauls or the Chi Pauls who completely recognized Lee Shin Woo as their superior, the golems only followed him because he possessed the Steelworker seal. If another Steelworker were to appear, then he would have to terminate them! That's why he had been ignoring them so that he wouldn't catch their attention.

'But now, the situation's different.'

Rem, which had been infused with Lee Shin Woo's darkness mana, flew between the lined up golems and spread the mana.

Its ability, Mana Parasite, was an absolute ability that was effective so long as its target was a golem, but because these golems obeyed Lee Shin Woo's commands, it didn't take much of his mana. With just a small spray of mana...

[Bug modification complete. It's a pleasure, Master.]

[I await your orders, Master.]

[Scrapping Steelworker's authority. Modifying program...]

Hundreds of level 4 Bronze Golems, as well as the dozens of level 5 Iron Golems,  recognized Lee Shin Woo as their sole master instantaneously. With this, even if they were to meet Steelworker later, or were destroyed, they would never obey Steelworker again!

"Nice. Since we're scrapping the unnecessary code, they should be able to disperse their magic and ultimately increase their average amount of magic. These guys can't even level up, so I have to at least strengthen them like this."

"You do such ridiculous things as if it were nothing."

Unfortunately, he couldn't expect regular golems to grow. They were puppets that followed inputted orders and acted accordingly, and they weren't autonomous. That was one of the reasons that the Emperor wanted to implant knight souls into the golems.

Golems don't accumulate karma. Thus, one couldn't expect them to change. But in return, when they hunt, they gain a large amount of Perium. It's as if the karma that should've gone to them is turned into Perium instead.

"But will it still be like that in the future?"

"What?"

"These golems... Can they really not grow?"

"That's one of the prerequisites to a golem. They obviously shouldn't be able to, right?"

Kratia didn't immediately reply to Lee Shin Woo and she just gazed at the cuckoo golem, Rem, which had finished its mission and had returned to Lee Shin Woo's shoulder. Rem, as if knowing that she was staring at it, tilted its head, its appearance like bone craftwork.

"It awakened a skill it didn't have before, so I thought maybe they could grow too."

"Huh?"

Lee Shin Woo thought what she said wasn't entirely wrong, and observed Rem, but like with Kratia, it just tilted its head. Now that he thought about it, he definitely remembered seeing a message saying that the Mana Parasite ability would grow...

'I just have to wait and see I guess.'

If it was the involvement of the darkness element's mana that brought about the change, then he would be able to figure it out immediately; Lee Shin Woo thought that would be entertaining and clapped.

"Then shall we start in earnest?"

"Finally!"

Kratia's eyes shined. Lee Shin Woo vigorously gave out commands.

"Pauls, you guys have to find an underground mine. Silver or gold is best."

[I understand!]

"A gemstone mine is fine too. In any case, you need to find a mine with metal that can contain a large quantity of magic. For the time being, you guys won't be fighting, and your main priority should be searching!"

[I'll keep that in mind!]

The Pauls responded vigorously, and they soon departed, but contrary to Lee Shin Woo, who looked at them imposingly, Jin and Kratia looked on vacantly. They were expressions that seemed to indicate that they couldn't understand why he gave them that order. Lee Shin Woo shrugged his shoulders and explained.

"Did you really think we'd be able to make golems right away? We can't make them with just the cores. We obviously need the metal that makes up their bodies."

"How can you not make them with the materials you have on hand?"

Lee Shin Woo knew exactly what Kratia was talking about. She wanted him to make golems with bone. Of course, Lee Shin Woo knew that it would eventually come to this. And thus...

"I have to use the high leveled bones to strengthen the Pauls. So, I'll change metal or gems into bone and create bones that way. The right man for the right job."

He didn't know if using high leveled monster bones would be beneficial in the construction of golems, but to be blunt, it was a huge waste of resources. One golem would require hundreds or even thousands of bones to create, so using those high leveled bones on the Pauls would be much more effective in comparison!

However, what if he were to transform the gemstones or the ore? They were inefficient to use on skeletons, but they should be effective in the creation of golems!

"I'll definitely be able to create golems that won't lose out to the ones Arema Steelworker has."

"Then... what are you going to do while the Pauls are looking for a mine?"

Kratia, who thought they'd be able to manufacture golems once the facility was complete, was disappointed and asked. Lee Shin Woo grinned and turned around. It was there. The Kerr Century Winery's equipment that was used for the best wine in the Empire...!

"We have to make wine with our obedient golem friends!"

"..."

Kratia wanted to back out, but she realized that Lee Shin Woo's cooperative contract forbade her from leaving whenever she wanted, and bitterly hit the ground. That was the moment that the newbie hero, Kratia, had realized that she shouldn't recklessly sign a contract.

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