Chapter 22: Fantasy Swamp (2)
Woohyuk overlooked the Lizardmen’s camp while flying from atop his Three Clawed Eagle.
A Watchtower, Altar, Shaman cauldron, Naga statue…
There were many things that caught his eye, but he was searching for just a single target.
The Naga temple at the center was a bit too difficult for him right now, so he would just leave it alone for now.
The Elder Lizardman however wasn’t all that challenging, so he feared that if he didn't take care of it himself, Isaac or one of the other groups might steal it from him.
It would have been possible to brute force their way through as a party, but it was simply easier for Woohyuk to go at it solo.
The Elder Lizardman had several Elite soldiers, Archers and Shamans to support him.
‘It was really tough back then.’
Since he didn’t have the Ghost Queen Star Serpent back then, he had the vanguard drink the Star Snake’s Protective potion.
It was the reward for slaying one hundred Star Snakes. And would erect a shield around the user that could absorb damage in proportion to one’s Intelligence, all without consuming too much Mana.
‘I’ll be able to save it this time around.’
Since it was a consumable item, it was important to save it for a rainy day. The Adventurer’s Canyon was still considered as an extension of the Tutorial, but it was very much a battlefield.
There was no knowing what situation he might encounter down the road.
It was a completely different dynamic compared to the first stage where one only had to survive a certain number of days while defending the camp.
As he flew lower, he entered the aggro range of the Lizardman Archer on the Watchtower, who drew his bow despite its surprise.
The arrow sprang energetically from the bow, but wasn’t able to hit its intended target.
The Archers eyesight simply couldn’t keep up with the sharp turns of the Three Clawed Eagle.
Hearing the commotion, Lizardmen began to flock to his location. A Shaman threw an Ice bolt at Woohyuk.
The Ghost Queen Star Serpent easily absorbed it however. Woohyuk then took the chance to toss his Vampiric dagger at the Archer up on the Watchtower.
It sank cleanly into him as the Lizardman Archer fell down all the way to the ground.
Seeing their companion’s corpse before them, the Lizardmen shook their Tridents angrily, but what could they do?
They were helpless as he was out of range. Like dogs barking at a chicken that had flown to the roof.
The only threats were the Archers and Shamans.
The Elite Soldiers with their superior physique could stab him with their Tridents if he got too close to the ground, but Woohyuk wouldn’t commit such a rookie mistake.
He took out the Archers one by one using his Vampiric dagger, as he continued to absorb any spells thrown his way.
‘It would be best if I can deal with them all at the same time.’
Although they were a type of lizard, they still had some level of intelligence. They were descendants of the Nagas, an ancient race that had once been a thriving civilization.
As soon as they found out that he could return the magic spells he had been absorbing, they would likely stop attacking him with magic.
As soon as he had accumulated enough of spells, that’s when he would strike at the Shamans.
The Vampiric dagger continued to claim the lives of the Archers one after another, and just as he was about ready to begin the massacre, a giant Lizardman appeared in the distance, leading a squadron of Elites.
It single handedly wielded a trident that was so large an adult man would struggle to simply lift it.
‘It actually came to me.’
That would make this even faster than he’d expected.
Woohyuk didn’t hesitate to send a fireball its way.
As the Elder Lizardman swung its Trident, a wave of frost burst out, negating the Fireball.
A magical weapon with considerable power.
Still, this had all been part of Woohyuk’s plan as it was merely a cover for the Vampiric dagger that sunk into the Elder Lizardman’s ankle.
Green blood began to flow from the wound.
The Elder felt something was off, and looked down to examine its ankle.
The Vampiric dagger had been coated in a deadly poison that was strong enough to overcome even the Lizardmen’s strong immunity.
Of course, the Elder Lizardman didn’t succumb quite that easily.
Although it felt its leg was a bit weak and paralyzed. It didn’t significantly hamper its movement.
‘I should be able to finish him off more quickly in close quarter combat.’
After taking care of all the Lizardmen Shamans, Woohyuk decided to go down.
As he approached the ground, the swamp’s Mirage began to affect him. Still, Woohyuk didn’t need to summon his Jabber work to validate what kind of terrain he would encounter beneath his feet.
There wasn't enough time to do so, and it wasn't necessary either.
Every single one of the Lizards would be rushing towards him, so he needed at least enough room to take three steps in any direction.
Woohyuk raised Grandia as he focused his senses.
Be it the ripples in the swampy water or the vibrations from the ground as the Lizardmen charged, he could clearly feel them.
He could even have a good idea as to which areas were firm ground and which he might sink in.
This was only possible due to his high Agility Stat, but naturally his 40 years of combat experience played a crucial role as well.
Woohyuk shifted over to the right as he swung his sword, sending spurts of green blood sailing through the air.
Tridents which had been split into pieces, sank into the depths of the swampy waters.
A Fireball made its way to an Elite Lizardman’s head. Unlike the Elder Lizardman, these guys didn’t have the necessary Magic resistance to survive it.
They were just a bit bigger and appeared more threatening due to their size. Of course if many were to rush at the same time it could become a bit troublesome, so Woohyuk focused on dispatching these Elites.
As their numbers started to plummet, the Elder Lizardman took action.
Due to his impressive regeneration, he had already fully recovered from his ankle injury.
Woohyuk gave him his undivided attention as the Trident continued to emit Frost magic.
The trident and sword were caught in a deadlock, as it became a battle of strength.
It was difficult to say who had the advantage as their weapons crossed, but the balance of power soon shifted.
The Elder Lizardman was using a two handed weapon while Woohyuk was using just the one.
The Vampiric dagger sunk into the Elder’s thigh, just as it was about to attempt to strike with its tail.
The Basilisk’s venom paralyzed it momentarily and Woohyuk didn’t miss the opening.
Woohyuk separated the Elder Lizardman’s body with a quick and clean slash.
Seeing the chief die, the other Lizardmen were frightened as they took a step back.
They had already succumbed to fear and were no longer a threat. Of course if he got too close to the Naga Temple then they would attack once more, but he wasn’t planning on doing so.
Woohyuk didn’t want to kill more Lizardmen than was necessary. It would be more beneficial to leave just the right amount of them behind to bog down Isaac’s advance.
‘I’ll give you a hard time.’
He recalled Isaac’s past actions.
He had held back some crucial piece of information, putting the entire alliance at risk. He had also anticipated what hunting grounds Woohyuk had aimed for, and purposely monopolized them first.
An English prince who was extremely cunning and would resort to any means, all the while publicly portraying himself as a white knight.
They had been on the same side and he had many followers then, so it hadn’t been easy to deal with him.
Of course, it was a very different situation this time around.
Looking at the Lizardmen that had begun to back off, Woohyuk picked up the loot from the ground.
[Elder Lizardman’s Trident]
Effect: +10 Strength, can Freeze a target, resulting in a drop in the movement speed. Able to neutralize Fire magic of equal power.
Elder Lizardman’s Fighting Spirit]
Effect: +10 Spirit. 20% increased resistance to Poison and Hypnotic magic. 20% increase in Health regeneration
[Elder Lizardman’s Ceremonial Jewel]
Category: Personal Item
Effect: Can be used as a material by Alchemists or Blacksmiths. Simply carrying will terrorize Lizardmen within a 15 meter radius.
All useful items. Although they weren’t good enough to be his main equipment, they would perform well when in swampy areas.
Most importantly the Elder Lizardman’s Ceremonial Jewel wouldn’t fall into Isaac’s hands.
‘He had crafted the Seven-Colored Rainbow Ring with this’
An overpowered jewel that could push the potential of seven skills beyond their own limits. It was powerful enough for a man that had been but an ordinary Head Knight, to rise up and become a full fledged Lord.
Therefore, when the ring eventually found itself in the hands of the Necromancer Logan, it was a disaster.
‘This time around it’ll be mine.’
He had absolutely no intention of facing another army of 100,000 undead.
There were seven crafting materials required, and they were all unique. The only way to obtain them was to be at the very front of the pack.
Placing his loot in his Pouch, he then climbed atop the Three Clawed Eagle.
* * *
Woohyuk’s party had managed to leave the Fantasy Swamp before noon struck. It had all been due to the Elder Lizardman’s Ceremonial Jewel.
Any Lizards that still hesitated to stay clear of their path would be taken care of with a single strike of his Trident.
Even when the Lizardmen collapsed to the ground, their wounds frozen over, the party didn’t ask any unnecessary questions.
The reason was simply that Woohyuk was not one to share information about his equipment, skills or history.
Naturally by history they meant his story since he’d been summoned to this world. They already knew all about Woohyuk’s past back on Earth.
How after a tragic accident his entire family had died, leaving him an orphan. Even during his military service there was this one time where he had been suspected even if he had been the victim. He had led a tough life.
No matter what he faced, it couldn’t be worse than the loss he had suffered. Perhaps it was that mentality that made Woohyuk so strong.
“Let’s take a break and eat something.”
As soon as Woohyuk finished speaking, Jung Sanghoon dropped the Lizardman he had been carrying on his shoulders.
While Yoo Kayoung and Song Anna proceed to bleed the corpse, Lee Jaesung took out any cooking utensils and set everything up.
“You guys pay attention as well. One day something unexpected might come up.”
Even if they weren’t in charge of cooking, they all had to know the basics.
The party members nodded as they gathered around the fire.
“The most important thing is to get rid of any poison. For Goblins and Lizardmen, this can be easily done by using their blood.”
More often than not it was a certain reagent in the monster’s own blood that could counteract the poison. That's why when bleeding the corpse one had to first prepare a wooden barrel to conserve a portion of that blood.
“If that isn’t possible, then simply wait an entire hour. There are still some cells that remain active even after death, so the wait time is necessary.
After Yoo Kayoung and Song Anne helped butcher the corpse, Woohyuk explained how to cook the edible parts.
“First, you can throw away the hands, feet and organs, since they usually have strong concentrations of toxins, that is unless you can use them as Alchemist material. For the rest you can either roast or fry it.”
The party members were engrossed in Woohyuuk’s explanation, as if attending a university professor's lecture.
He seems to know everything.
Almost as if he were someone who had lived in this world his whole life.
‘Just how long has he been here?’
At first she had simply thought that he had been a survivor of a previous Primordial forest stage. But, just how long ago was this ‘second time’ that Woohyuk had mentioned.
Yoo Kayoung let her imagination run wild.
It was said that a player’s life expectancy was tripled compared to previously, so it could be as much as 10 years.
Woohyuk still looked young. Then if she compared his age to hers…
‘It isn’t the time to be thinking about those things!’
Yoo Kayoung scolded herself as she shook her head to snap out of it.
Now was the time to learn how to survive. Not to mention that she was in charge of cooking. A single mistake on her part could poison the entire party.
“Are you okay?”
Woohyuk asked, seeing all the strange expressions pass through her face.
Yoo Kayoung panicked and quickly waved her hands.
“Oh it’s nothing….”
“If there exists any revulsion to this task, quickly overcome it. These meats are now in your hands.”
Woohyuk said as he pulled the skewers of meat from the wooden barrel. The Lizardmen’s sticky green blood dripped from the meat.
“No it’s fine, leave it to me.”
She had memorized all the recipes. Yoo Kayoung then began preparing some sauces to help improve the taste.
Using colorful ingredients, most of which she was first seeing, she focused on her work.
The party stared at her work in anticipation of the meal.
‘She is going at it pretty hard.’
Woohyuk nodded as he saw the determination in Yoo Kayoung and Song Anna’s cooking.
It was something he hadn’t expected.
‘Maybe this time around I can eat some normal food.’
He thought back to Leifina who had been a trusted subordinate of his in the past. Her cooking skill had truly been terrible.
No matter what, he couldn’t allow her to take that role once more.
Woohyuk made a firm decision deep within his heart.