Book 1 Chapter 23 - Bronze Rock Mountain

The Lizardman meat grilled by Yoo Kayoung and Song Anna ended up tasting rather good. The chewy texture just melted in their mouths, as the spicy sauce gave it just the right kick.

Not to mention, that it provided a 20% increase in Health regeneration for one hour’s time.

An impressive result considering that it was their first attempt. Still, for one that had talent on the path of a Mage, becoming a simple cook felt lacking.

That was because they weren’t aware that there existed a Hidden Class associated with the profession. 

Woohyuk had already collected any details he could from information brokers before returning.

‘Of course I know all about it.’

Hans, the King of Cooking, had been acknowledged by all for his culinary skills 

He had gone to serve under Zhang Wei, one of the Overlords, demonstrating his skills to the world. He had been responsible for the food supplied to soldiers in the rear of battlefields. Any soldier that ate his food, would receive several buffs, greatly increasing their abilities. Even if their opponents were stronger, they would still manage to hold on until reinforcements arrived.

[Food Chef]

It had been Han’s secret, a Hidden Class. However, because the class was a reward due to a special achievement, it wasn’t possible to obtain it without having a talent for cooking on the same level as Hans.

The only other way was to rope him in early on.

‘It’s not impossible.’

The question was how to tempt him.

As a proud chef, he wouldn’t succumb to mere monetary incentives.

Perhaps some kind of rare ingredients?

Stymphalian birds

They lived in flocks, around the Bronze Rock mountain which he was currently heading to.

[Stymphalos Lake]

It wasn’t quite as large or deep as the Calm Sea, but it likewise had an island within and was a decent size for a lake.

A solid ship was absolutely necessary in order to cross its waters.

The normal boats wouldn’t be enough against a flock of Stymphalian birds, which sent out their metallic feathers. Even if your team’s Leader used the Barrier skill to defend against them, the Aquatic monsters would then be a problem. Archer Fish were able to leap out of the water and shoot a jet of water from their mouths, while Thorned Lizards would attempt to climb and occupy your boat.

If one was unfortunate enough to fall into the water, there were Electric Eels waiting. With attacks that had an average voltage of over one thousand, unless you had high magic resistance, most would die from the first charge.

In many ways, it was even more dangerous than the Fantasy Swamp.

However for Woohyuk, it was the easiest of areas.

“Where are we going next Boss?”

“I think heading to that mountain range is a pretty good idea.”

Jung Sanghoon spoke up and answered Lee Jaesung’s question. He argued that by occupying the high-ground of the rugged mountainous terrain, they would be able to exert their presence over all three paths.

Although it was a good idea, Woohyuk shook his head.

“It’s too dangerous.”

That mountain range was the Griffins’ habitat.

Although they resembled eagles at first glance, they were far from easy opponents since they were even bigger than elephants.

“Then should we start cutting down some trees…”

“A ship has already been prepared.”

Woohyuk walked up to the lake shore and raised his hand. The space above the water shimmered momentarily, and then the Abyssal Ship appeared.

The party members' eyes widened immediately upon seeing it.

“It’s a pirate ship!”

Kya! That’s awesome!”

Kim Dogyun and Nam Kiryang cried out as they excitedly climbed the net hanging from the side of the ship, making their way up.

Drake then made his appearance on the deck

“You’ve brought some rookies on board, Captain.”

Eeek! Ghost!?”

Yoo Kayoung and Song Anna’s complexions turned blue.

Drake erupted in a fit of laughter, enjoying their reaction.

“Hahaha! Your wife and daughter seem to be scared of me. Did you bring them along to tour the ship?”

“These are my teammates, and they all already have a Class.”

Woohyuk replied with a serious expression.

Drake nodded back as if it had been expected.

“As expected, you are explorers!  Where are we headed?”

“That island, we can set off immediately.”

Drake and his entire crew had sworn allegiance to Woohyuk, ever since he had lifted their curse.

As the Abyssal Ship sailed across the water, it carried with it a black mist. 

A sailboat with unrivaled speed and firepower. Not to mention that there was the additional Pirate King’s Curse buff.

At least when it came to naval warfare, there would be no Lords that could match Woohyuk.

The same would hold true now, since no one would be able to cross the lake so long as Woohyuk was staying there.

‘The Kraken might be a bit too much.’

Although the waters were deep enough for a large ship to navigate comfortably, anything more than that would be overkill.

Woohyuk then pulled out his Deep Sea’s Orb as he stared at the distant Bronze Rock mountain covered in white snow.

‘This might work as well.’

It indicated that it would control the Seas, but it appeared to work on bodies of fresh water as well.

As Woohyuk injected his mana into the crystal orb.

Although there wasn’t much of a change, at least the annoying fish and lizards were mitigated to a certain extent.

For now they only had to focus on the Stymphalian birds

Woohyuk stared at the flock of monster birds flying in the distance.

A crane-like with a beak and feathers made entirely out of bronze.

Their dung was poisonous as well, so it was best to dodge any falling excrement. To avoid any unnecessary hassle, he summoned Triton.

Although he still suffered from the same debuffs, his ability was still considerable.

The Stymphalian birds’ magic resistance would easily be overcome with his magic.

“Take care of them, but make sure to keep a few of them alive.”

Following his orders, Triton silently advanced. With a wave of his hand, dozens of Ice Arrows flew out towards the Stymphalian birds

Pik!

The Stymphalian birds that had their head pierced, dropped down into the lake.

Angered by their loss, the other Stymphalian birds shot their sharp feathers towards the Abyssal Ship

Whuic! Whuic!

For the most part however, these attacks were neutralized by the Barrier skill he placed on ships prow.

The occasional Bronze feather would embed itself on the deck, but the party wasn’t scared.

They were being thrown from a rather long distance, so it wasn’t at all hard to avoid. The black mist that enshrouded the ship was invisible to allies, and didn’t hamper their line of sight.

Whuiiic!

Yoo Kayoung with her magic and Park Taesoo with his arrows stepped out to aid Triton.

Two more Stymphalian birds dropped down into the water. As the battle proved to be unfavorable for them, they soon turned around and escaped.

Woohyuk turned to look at Triton. 

“Please go ahead and fetch them.”

“...”

Although it was clear that he felt such a mundane task was below him, Triton had no choice but to obey. If Woohyuk had ordered him to commit suicide, he wouldn’t even be able to let out a word of protest.

Leaving Triton behind in the lake, the Abyssal Ship continued on to the island.

Influenced by the increasingly colder air, the party members couldn’t help but shiver.

“I never expected this kind of place.”

“It feels like we are in Alaska.”

“Will we encounter a polar bear?”

Icebergs could be seen floating in the water beside the ship.

It wouldn’t be strange even if Penguins which were supposed to live exclusively in the South Pole, appeared.

“Listen closely to what I’m about to tell you.”

As soon as Woohyuk spoke up, their excitement died down as they became focused, staring at the bronze feathers he held in his hand.

“There will be Bronze Rock Golems in the caves of that mountain.”

It was one of the trickier monsters to deal with because their entire bodies were made of a Bronze Rock, giving them an absurd level of Defense. Not to mention that their Bronze properties made them highly resistant to magic as well, an absolute defense.

Hunting them with magic simply wasn’t an option.

“Special tools will be more effective than regular weapons, because the only way to break through their defense and reach their core, was to focus all of your strength on a single point.”

It was the same principle he had used to hunt the Queen Star Snake.

When trying to break apart a rock, a hammer and spike worked far better than an iron sword.

“It might not be possible with the ones we have in our Tool Kit, they are simply too small…”

“We can make our own spikes.”

They just happened to have some good material on hand, the Stymphalian bird feathers.

Their melting point was lower than iron, so it wasn’t all too difficult to cast. The only difficulty lied in making the mould, but even that wasn’t much of a challenge. After all, the shape of a spike was rather simple.

Upon arriving at the island, they disembarked from the ship, and Woohyuk asked his teammates to start a fire.

He took the time to buy all the things he needed for forging from the General Shop. A small semicircular furnace and a stone mould.

Although it was rather primitive, it would do just fine to make the bronze spikes.

As he hammered a chisel in order to create the proper mold in the stone, the party focused on finding timber to feed the fire.

Hukhuk... I was almost shocked to death.”

“I didn’t expect there to really be polar bears....”

They had also spotted arctic animals such as emperor penguins and arctic foxes within this Bronze Rock Mountain.

That was one of the reasons that the Gremlins living in the caves would often come out to hunt.

“You will have to get used to this place, I’m planning on staying at least three days.”

It would be troublesome if any of his party members were to get injured while he was away. Throwing a wrench into his plans.

Woohyuk immediately started forging the spikes as soon as the mould was done.

“You seem so experienced in this, as if you were a blacksmith.”

“A genius in so many things.”

His party couldn’t help but praise as they watched him work. Shortly after the liquid bronze was poured into the spike’s stone mould.

As soon as what appeared to be a large bronze nail had cooled off, he removed it from the mould and tested it by hammering a nearby stone. 

Quazic

Cracks appeared on the rock as it began to crumble. 

Decently sturdy. The bronze feathers from the Stymphalian bird were imbued with some magic, so it was a great material, equivalent to black iron.

“Lend me your hammer weapon for the next little while.”

“Sure thing Boss, I can just fight with a different weapon.

Huang Donghwan replied as he held an axe in each hand. They were weapons that he had previously obtained from the Minotaurs.

They looked rather impressive, but Woohyuk shook his head.

“Gremlins are faster than you think. Here, use this instead.”

Elder Lizardman’s Trident.

It was no longer useful for Woohyuk since they’d already left the swamp.

Huang Donghwan bowed enthusiastically with a beaming smile.

“Thank you Boss!”

“Use that axe to cut some trees down, we will be here for some time and need a place to stay.”

Tents and a campfire weren’t enough to stay in such a cold climate if a blizzard were to suddenly strike.

After finding a suitable location with a flat area, Woohyuk used a branch to draw on the floor. Designating where each building should go.

“Just think of it as building a camp in the North Pole.”

It wasn’t going to be some temporary camp that they’d abandon.

Since this location had strategic value, it was worth investing some time into building a proper camp.

Following Woohyuk’s instructions, they quickly went to cut down some trees.

As they struggled to drag a log, an Emperor Penguin suddenly appeared next to them.

“Oh, it’s a penguin.”

“Isn’t this supposed to be more like the North Pole, not the South?”

Curious, Jung Sanghoon tried to reach out to touch it, as the Vampiric dagger flew out, sinking into the Penguin’s neck.

“Kill them as soon as you encounter them. If you let them live, they will bring  back other penguins and try to steal our things. ”

These Penguins were scavengers and thieves.

Their image as adorable plushies was instantly shattered.

“What about their taste? Penguin meat shouldn’t be too bad with all the fat they had to keep themselves warm.”

Woohyuk however shook his head in response to Kim Dogyun’s question.

“It has a fishy taste and is too chewy, so it isn’t edible. Unless there is absolutely no other food, I wouldn’t recommend it.”

Even the legendary Cooking King, Hans, had said that penguin meat wasn’t meant to be eaten.

Hearing Woohyuk’s explanation, Nam Kiryang appeared to be quite sad.

“Okay, well at least we still have those Stymphalian birds we can roast. ”

“Today’s dinner will be fish.”

In order to win over Hans later on, he had collected several live Stymphalian birds. As Triton approached holding the live birds in each hand, Woohyuk simply handed him some fishing gear.

“Catch enough for 12 people.”

“...”

Triton received a fishing pole and a net with a sad face, as he was instructed to catch them some fish.

Sending a half-fish fishing, it was too cruel but he simply had no choice.

“Boss, what are the Gremlins like?”

Lee Jaesung asked upon his return.

“It is similar to a Goblin, but more intelligent and crafty. They can resort to all kinds of trickery.”

The big difference between the Gremlins and their cousin Goblins that could be found in Squally Mines, was that the Gremlins were good with tools. They could build rudimentary machinery and were adept at handling weapons.

“Incredible, they are like smart Goblins.”

“Originally they were nothing special.”

That is until they were brainwashed by someone.

Woohyuk looked up at the Bronze Rock mountain.

Jake, the genius mage that had long ago disappeared from the Eeth continent. His hideout was now right under their noses.

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