<Chapter 27. New Golem Maker - 6>
He was able to earnestly start making golems around the time he finished making the wine. His elite troops, led by Shino Rendu, had found an abandoned emerald mine! Lee Shin Woo couldn't help but be excited.
"There was nothing more I could hope for if it were silver or gold, but to think they would find an emerald mine!"
In this world, gems can generally store a large amount of mana, and was much easier to infuse mana into compared to regular metal. That was the reason most magical devices were created out of gemstones.
Of course, because gems were so valuable, Lee Shin Woo had previously thought that finding a mine with enough gems would be impossible, yet...
[We found a mine shaft, but it feels like it hasn't been long since it was mined. I believe it should yield enough for you to build hundreds of golems.]
"Alright. Just start collecting!"
Lee Shin Woo led the Pauls and the golems, finished with making wine, towards the emerald mine.
Who could stop them, when his troops were at least level 4 elites? They pushed ahead and went into the mine immediately. It seemed like there were monsters that were inside originally, but Shino Rendu and his group had killed them all without a trace.
"They're not at the entrance..."
[If you come in a bit more, then you'll see something like this.]
The gemstone, radiating a green light, was the size of Shino Rendu's fist. If he cut it a bit, then it would probably emit an even prettier light, but it wasn't like he was going to sell it, and their ultimate goal was golem production! He planned on getting rid of any unnecessary steps!
[But it seems like there's a small problem. Do you see the thick curse energy that has gathered inside?]
"Ah, you're right."
Mines weren’t dungeons. Which meant that they were continuously exposed to the curse. As emeralds absorbed any sort of mana, none of them had become weak or broken apart. However, they were filled to the brim with the curse's energy.
[A gemstone capable of containing a large amount of mana, as well as distributing it. But because it was exposed to the curse for hundreds of years, it is filled to the brim with the curse, and will not be easy to process.]
"It's not really such a big deal. It might take a while, but I just need to absorb it all. Above all, I've become able to use the darkness element, so... Ah."
He had definitely forgotten what his ability was for a moment. By the time Lee Shin Woo realized that, the emerald was already changing... in other words, it was ossifying.
But that process was quite dramatic. The curse within began to resist, but it soon seemed to realize that it was an unwinnable battle, and all at once, became pure darkness energy!
Magic spread throughout the ossifying gemstone, and radiated a calm, dark green light. It was an incredibly capricious and charming light.
[Dark Emerald Bone]
[A bone created by compressing the gemstone's essence. It is charged with a powerful darkness energy, and is now unmatched in terms of hardness and magic.]
"Oh... I don't know what really happened, but it seems like you've taken care of it."
"You're always like this."
Kratia, as though she had already expected this to happen, was given the Dark Emerald Bone. Though it was smaller than the original gemstone, its hardness and magic were much, much higher, so it had become a different class of material altogether.
"It's probably because this gemstone previously contained the curse's magic as well."
"Yeah. It seems like it responded to my darkness element, and the curse energy changed into pure darkness."
[The darkness element... I see, that's the reason you are able to fight against the curse that's covering the Empire.]
It seemed like Shino Rendu, who was listening to their conversation, was having a huge misunderstanding, but since it didn't matter what he thought, Lee Shin Woo just let it go.
"Then, shall we begin mining!? Everyone's ready, right!?"
[We're ready whenever!]
And so, 800 Pauls and 400 golems began the extensive mining. There was no way the mining wouldn't progress quickly, as there were 1,200 of them that were at least level 4, rather than being level 1 miners! Even if the mine shaft collapsed while they were at it, they would be able to get out unscathed due to their strong bodies, so there was no need to progress safely!
"What do we do in the meantime? Should we help with the mining too?"
"We've never been here before, so let's explore and clear any nearby dungeons we find. If there's a city nearby, it'll become a pain in the ass, so we’ll look into that as well."
Lee Shin Woo's party left the mine and began exploring. Fortunately, there wasn’t a city in the vicinity, and he thought that that might've been the reason that this emerald mine hadn't been properly developed.
"It's an empty area. We were lucky. The closest satellite city is an hour away with Jin's speed."
"Then, for the time being, we won't be getting into any fights."
Because there wasn't a city nearby, there was a high chance that there weren't any other heroes in this area either. However, as if waiting for him to say that, Rem, which was on top of Lee Shin Woo's shoulder, suddenly shook.
[Master, I sense golems.]
"You're not talking about the ones mining, right?"
[No. I sense golems that are under Stake Steelworker's control.]
"What a delicious sounding name..." 
The movement of golems under one of the Four Commanders’ control. Why were they here? Lee Shin Woo thought that their objective might be the same as his. They were looking for gems so that they could make new golems.
Fortunately, Lee Shin Woo's party had made the first move, but if they had encountered the golems on the way, it would've become a bit troublesome.
'They definitely don't know about how I cleared out the hidden facility and destroyed it.'
If not, then they might've sent a collection team over there, and simultaneously, sent golems over here as well. He did several things that hurt them, but... there was no way he could just let them go.
"Stake Steelworker? Has he shown up personally?"
[No. Twenty level 6 elite golems are moving secretly in a group.]
"If you say so."
He didn't need to think about it anymore. Lee Shin Woo raised his hand and removed his equipment, starting from the helmet all the way down to his boots. Then, his armor turned blue, and he held the Bifurcated Spine Whip, so he didn't look anything like his preexisting image.
"Rem, you go first. We've found some rare specimen, so there's no way we can kill them."
Arema Steelworker's Golden Army usually moved stealthily.
The reason Lee Shin Woo was even able to notice them in advance was because he had Rem, who possessed a specialized ability for sensing their presence.
'I think this is the first time I've seen (his) level 6 golems act.'
That's just how cautious Arema Steelworker was. That meant that this mission was important enough for someone as cautious as him to mobilize his golems, but why did they have to run into Lee Shin Woo? Perhaps... perhaps Arema Steelworker was giving him a freebie!
'There's nothing more I can ask for if I can study a level 6 golem personally before making them.'
"No, I'm good."
Though it hadn't been very long since he'd turned level 6, because he'd achieved so many feats, Lee Shin Woo's stats were greater than 4,800.
Plus, when he took into account his Rebellion skill, which passively increased his stats, no level 6 would be able to threaten him.
"Plus, it's not like I'm staking my life on their capture. They're golems, so they're not very dangerous. So just relax and wait here."
Lee Shin Woo said, and with his other hand, softly stroked Jin's back. Jin was shocked and his body shook.
"Don't make such strange noises. You're good now, right?"
He wasn't being crabby for no reason. With his soft hand movement, Lee Shin Woo had activated his Disguise skill on Jin as well. His armor was covered in ice, and Lee Shin Woo and Jin, as a matching set, looked like an ice spirit.
"Kuuu... Still, you should've told me something!"
"Oh, my bad."
Jin had been indifferent until now as he realized that patience and introspection were pointless with Lee Shin Woo. Lee Shin Woo reacted a lot stronger than he thought he would, which confirmed that he did indeed realize that he was in the wrong.
When working as a team, team members will often not need to speak their mind and will move without being told, as they trust their teammate. Though they faced life and death together, that may have been too much to ask for from Jin.
"In the future, I'll tell you beforehand. You see, I only recently thought about the fact that I could use Disguise on you as well."
"That's not the problem here... Ah, whatever!"
Seeing that, Kratia chuckled, but when her eyes met with Jin's blazing goblin fire, she closed her mouth shut. Jin thought about giving Kratia a good kick when he got back, and changed his back feet into springs. Now he could change them into springs in the blink of an eye.
"Then... I'm going!"
"Hey, you're too fast!"
Lee Shin Woo and Jin were soon able to see the golems that were moving slowly from afar. Even in the cloudy weather, their bodies shined, and they possessed an overwhelming magic. They were unmistakably level 6 golems. He gazed at their bodies, shining in silver, but even if he didn't see them, he would be able to figure out what they were.
[Lv6 Silver Golem]
"As I thought."
"Is it ok if we just leave them be until the cuckoo infects them all?"
"If we wait for that, then they'll find the mine. The lower the magic, or the weaker they are, the more effective Mana Parasite is. So, we have to suck out their magic."
And they ran towards them, unintentionally going at an outrageously fast speed!
[Encountering unknown enemy.]
[Intercepting. Preparing magic.]
[Long distance attacks... are impossible; the enemy is approaching!]
The golems noticed them, and each raised their weapons and magic, but before they could even attack, they were struck by a whip and stopped moving. Lee Shin Woo continuously attacked with his whip, which was clad in ice energy in order to quickly lower their magic resistance.
[Status ailment. Attempting to remove it by infusing mana. Failed. Trying again.]
[Judged as an intermediate status ailment. It is only minor damage, but it will take a long time to recover from the status ailment. Self-recovery is impossible.]
"Yeah, just keep talking!"
The Bifurcated Spine Whip emitted a horrifying sound, and stretched out. It was as if two snakes were moving through the air and had found their prey.
In an instance, Lee Shin Woo snapped the whip, and swung it. It bent flexibly, and in a short time, battered the golems dozens, if not hundreds of times, causing ice flowers to instantaneously spread on the twenty golems!
[Situation critical. Impossible to continue mission.]
[Reporting to superiors. ...Cannot connect.]
The reason they couldn't connect was because Rem had infiltrated into their ranks and disabled their reporting program while Lee Shin Woo and Jin were fighting them. If they prioritized disabling their means of communication, then Lee Shin Woo would be able to take his time. Going through their command system was next.
"Nice. Then, shall we finish this up quickly?"
At last, Lee Shin Woo summoned another whip and gripped it in his free hand. He turned all of his magic into ice energy and began whirling around his two whips. Jin could feel that and requested.
"Let me assimilate that."
"So... the ice?"
"Wait, why... I got it."
Lee Shin Woo constantly swung his two whips and the golems, which were slowly approaching from all sides, were slowed. On the other hand, he shared his mana with Jin. He could do it easily if he were to just apply a portion of the Lightning Sprint's mana pattern.
Then, Jin used that ice as a medium and gathered mana in his mouth. Lee Shin Woo felt the instantaneously amplified mana and his goblin fire swayed.
A thick cylindrical cannon came out of Jin’s mouth. No, that's what it looked like at first, but soon, it curved outwards. It looked like a trumpet, and the large quantity of ice within...
The mana was discharged through the trumpet shaped cannon, spreading everywhere! The twenty golems were well within the attack's range, and were instantly frozen solid.
"How is it?"
It wasn't just a simple 'Magic Breath'; he could create a varied cannon to adjust the attack to match the situation. This was Jin's first combined skill. Lee Shin Woo automatically clapped at the boasting Jin and said.
"If you had just told me about it from the get go, I wouldn't have had to rush in."
Lee Shin Woo really couldn't understand Jin, so Jin acted like it was a rodeo and shook his body. Then, Rem finished with his Mana Parasite. By attempting to resist the ice, they had completely used up all of their mana, so Rem could use his Mana Parasite without any resistance whatsoever.
[Awaiting your orders, Master.]
[Please command me.]
Seeing the twenty level 6 golems that had become his subordinates, Lee Shin Woo realized that he was just one step away from actually creating golems.
 T/N: Lee Shin Woo thinks Rem is saying "steak", rather than "stake" (stake makes more sense, as a stake is a metalworker's small anvil).
E/N: Stake Steelworker is another of the 4 commanders under Arema, Guillotine being one of them.Previous Chapter Next Chapter