Chapter 19 – Item Production (2)
Kim Tae Hoon was looking at some photos on his smartphone.
– Increases Mana rating when consumed.
– Increases Magic Resistance rating when consumed.
– The Hobgoblin ability [Hobgoblin’s Intuition can be learned when consumed.
Kim Tae Hoon swiftly flicked his finger and turned the page on his phone.
– A Hobgoblin’s horn houses a mysterious power. Some of the power may be exerted when consumed.
He flicked his finger again and went on to the next picture.
– Strength : 69
– Stamina : 45
– Energy : E Rank
– Mana : E+ Rank
– Telekinesis: A Rank
– Physical Defense : E Rank
– Magic Resistance: E+ Rank
– Black Skin (6th Grade)
– Troll’s Vitality (6th Grade)
– Hobgoblin’s Intuition (6th Grade) : Allows the user to more accurately sense the presence and strength of an enemy stronger than the user.
Kim Tae Hoon focused his gaze on the photo of his right hand.
Kim Tae Hoon lifted his head.
In a fairly large military training yard, there were monster corpses all throughout and the soldiers who were practicing dissecting the monsters to retrieve the monsters’ hearts. He saw soldiers who had finished practicing dissecting walk out of the training grounds and smoke a cigarette with their blood covered hands.
He listened in on their conversation.
“Huu, I do not know how to dissect the monster. My hands are still shaking.”
“I am the same as well.”
“Fuck, but whether it’s because of this shitty task or not, the cigarettes taste even better.”
The soldiers who were exhaling smoke while taking had a tired expression on their faces.
“It was a really ridiculous day.”
“Was it really just a day? The time seems wrong.”
“I can’t believe it’s only January first. It feels like it’s been ten years.”
It had felt like this one day had been an eternity.
What more, the entirety of the day was full of Kim Tae Hoon’s face.
‘So a day has passed.’
Kim Tae Hoon looked up at the sun that signified the new year, and quite frankly, it was quite difficult for him to believe it.
Kim Tae Hoon sighed. White mist from his breath plumed in front of his eyes.
He started to recall old memories from his past where he was forced to work without rest for over 24 hours.
Various people’s faces flashed in front of his eyes. They had long since become faces he could only see in his memories.
Kim Tae Hoon’s expression began to settle.
A woman approached Kim Tae Hoon.
“We’ve loaded up two dump trucks, two military trucks, and four SUVs with weapons sir.”
It was Second Lieutenant Kim Su Ji.
Sitting on a crude wooden bench, he gave Kim Su Ji a short reply. He didn’t turn to look at her.
However, instead of turning around, Kim Su Ji instead chose to stand there and look at him. Looking at her, Kim Tae Hoon finally said something.
“If you have something to say, do it.”
“What was your rank sir?”
A little surprised, Kim Su Ji nodded at his words.
She didn’t know how old Kim Tae Hoon was.
However, he didn’t seem that old. He looked like he was in his early 30’s.
That was why she was surprised. [TN: Just an FYI, in the US army, Officer ranks go from Second Lieutenant -> First Lieutenant -> Captain -> Major]
In the Korean Armed Forces, logically speaking, anyone who could reach the rank of Major while being in their early 30’s was someone who completed the elite course in the shortest amount of time.
What more, it would have to have been the best elite course that promoted the soldier nonstop. Anyone who accessed such an elite course would have their name spread throughout the military.
If Kim Tae Hoon had only completed normal tasks as an officer, then there was no way he could have become a major.
In other words, Kim Tae Hoon had completed extraordinary tasks.
“Excuse me, but can you tell me where you were assigned sir?”
“I was under Major General Chang Young Sung, anything more than that won’t matter.”
“What do you mean it won’t matter?”
“There won’t be any official records in the archives. No matter what I say, there won’t be any evidence to what I say.”
“Evidence doesn’t matter now sir.”
Kim Tae Hoon raised her head at Kim Su Ji’s repeated questions. He saw the determination in her eyes.
‘Brigadier General Kim Jae Ryong wouldn’t have said anything positive about Major General Chang Young Sung······.’
Her grandfather, Kim Jae Ryong, was well aware of Brigadier General Chang Young Sung’s role.
Because of that, he would have warned his grand daughter.
To not get involved with Chang Young Sung in any way.
However, her asking questions meant that she had made up her mind.
To Kim Tae Hoon, Kim Su Ji was an exemplary soldier. She was a soldier who felt guilt while constantly questioning her superior.
Because of that, Kim Tae Hoon answered her question.
“A secret black ops team created to assassinate and annihilate dangerous groups or factions that pose a threat to the nation.”
A unit consisting of himself.
“It’s a unit that doesn’t have a name belongs solely to me.”
It was a brief explanation, but it was enough. One could only guess what Kim Tae Hoon had done as a soldier.
Being a member of such a top secret and specialized unit, one could only guess how many successful missions he had embarked on during active duty.
Because of that, Kim Su Ji began to understand her grandfather’s warnings.
“Thank you for telling me sir.”
Without answering, Kim Tae Hoon closed his eyes.
With his eyes closed, the face that he had recalled earlier once again appeared before him.
It began to speak to him.
You must survive, even if it’s only you, captain, you must survive······.
Recalling those words, Kim Tae Hoon could only swallow a bitter smile.
‘I did not become a soldier to survive, but ever since then, survival became my only purpose.’
Kim Tae Hoon opened his mouth.
“Do you have any more questions?”
Kim Su Ji thought that there was another opportunity to ask a question, so she asked.
“Why did you decide to organize a clan? Wouldn’t it have been more convenient to remain active in the army in name?”
“I joined the army and chose to hunt monsters in the name of the army because I cannot ignore the people or the country. Of course, if you had seen what the ROK army had done since the monsters appeared, anyone would see flaws, but they wouldn’t be too big.”
Kim Tae Hoon didn’t comment on what she said. It was unreasonable to adhere to a soldier’s mentality since you would have to break it for the sake of survival. Without saying anything, his meaning would be clear anyways.
An uninvited person suddenly appeared.
Kim Su Ji looked at Chang Sung Hoon who just appeared with a sour expression on her face.
Furthermore, she wasn’t very approving of the title that the self-invited Chang Sung Hoon gave Kim Tae Hoon.
“Is it alright if I make a suggestion?”
Ignoring Kim Su Ji, he asked Kim Tae Hoon.
“Wouldn’t it be a good idea to use monster leather to make some sort of armor?”
Kim Tae Hoon had a surprised expression on his face.
“It wasn’t something that I thought of. It was something that came up while I was talking with the other soldiers. Since the world has turned into a sort of game, we can try making items from monsters.”
You can make items from monster parts in games, so would it work in real life?
It sounded ridiculous.
“No, just what kind of······.”
Kim Su Ji began to criticize the idea without even realizing it because of how ridiculous it sounded.
However, Kim Tae Hoon had an idea.
‘The black orc, its skin was extremely tough.’
The monsters that had appeared were far stronger and tougher than the beasts that humanity had already encountered on Earth. The monster’s’ skin could stop bullets.
So it made sense.
All the evidence was in the history of humanity.
Weak humans reinforced their fragile body with the stronger parts of other beasts.
They used the poison from poisonous creatures, leather armor from beasts, and tools and weapons from the sharp teeth and claws of animals for the sake of survival.
It was not strange to turn monster parts into tools for survival, but rather natural.
“What about the tools?”
“To be honest, I don’t even think we can make a good pair of shoes with what he have right now.”
“But, the Oh Jung Dong Industrial Complex is right in front of the barracks. You can even make a nuclear bomb if you had the necessary materials. We can make it there in about 20 minutes if we go on foot.”
It would house the necessary tools.
“What about technicians?”
So the only thing left were technicians or engineers who could use the machinery.
“There hand may not be covered in oil, but there wouldn’t only be soldiers born with a gold spoon in their mouths, right? In society, it was the army that appealed to those kids whose hands were caked in oil and worked hard. It would be strange if there wasn’t a factory worker amongst the soldiers. Besides, even if there weren’t any factory workers amongst the soldiers, there would certainly be some survivors in the factory. All we need to do is obtain their help.”
Kim Tae Hoon nodded his head as he stood up.
‘It’s different from when you’re just asleep.’
Making clothing from animal skin wasn’t something one could do in one day.
It took a considerable amount of skill and sophisticated tools to properly skin the bodies, but even after the skin is properly extracted, it would again take a considerable amount of time and skill to dry and process the skin to turn it into leather.
So naturally, it would impossible to make any sort of gear with the monster leather in a short amount of time.
Furthermore, Kim Tae Hoon didn’t want to leave the barracks just yet.
If they were to move, they would have to do so as a whole, and the efficacy and necessity for goblin armor wasn’t proven yet, so it wasn’t exactly a necessity.
That was the key.
They had to gauge the benefits of the goblin armor first.
“How is it?”
“Overlapping three pieces of the skin, we can’t pierce it with a knife.”
“If you stack at least three, the thickness is good. If it’s this much, will goblin teeth be able to pierce through it?”
“Also, if you overlap three, won’t it be too heavy and make it difficult to move?”
“Well our main weapons are guns aren’t they? As long as you can aim it’s ok, right?”
“Honestly, it’s better than bulletproof vests. Besides, it’s not like the goblins are going to shoot us with guns.”
They were testing and discussing the strength and benefits of the roughly peeled goblin skin when used as armor.
Along with the soldiers, Kim Tae Hoon was experimenting.
Meanwhile, the first one to make an item was none other than Ahn Sun Mi.
“Using the hob goblins horn, the mud troll’s flesh, and the Goblet of Healing’s liquid, I made a healing pill.”
Ahn Sun Mi displayed a picture of a bottle cap sized pellet on her smartphone.
– Resistance to fear slightly increases.
– Recovery ability slightly increases.
– Focus during combat slightly improves.
– Slightly reduces pain.
– Rapidly consumes stamina.
Ahn Sun Mi, using the materials that Kim Tae Hoon and his subordinates had collected, had made an item.
What tremendous utility!
‘That’s more profit that I had expected.’
A gun was a very powerful weapon when dealing with monsters.
One armed platoon would be able to take care of a hundred goblins. That is if they received proper training and good commands.
Problems arose when monsters that possessed the power of Fear, like the black orc or the mud troll, appeared.
Even the awakened couldn’t help but stiffen when exposed to the Fear.
Additionally, the nature of the Fear was so that you couldn’t withstand it with your spirit. The rank of your Energy was important. A higher Energy rank you could recover, endure, or completely ignore it.
Even if you organized a large army, if your Energy rank was low or you simply didn’t possess the Energy ability, then you would simply be incapacitated by the Fear, that was one of the biggest reasons why Kim Tae Hoon was so wary against the monsters.
In such a situation, Ahn Sun Mi’s pill was the light and the salt. [TN: Something that is a necessity]
So what if this medicine was able to grant both the awakened and the unawakened resistance or immunity to the Fear?
‘It will be more effective for soldiers and weaker awakened, and with it, they can withstand the Fear and increase the effectiveness of various tactics and firepower.’
Of course, it would be necessary to kill stronger monsters to create more effective drugs, but of course, they would have to test whether or not the effects can improve based on dosage.
Ahn Sun Mi had rendered tremendous merits.
“Since you created a new drug, you should be the one to name it.”
“We’ll be making more items in the future, so we should have names to classify them.”
“That······ yes, understood. In the end, I am still a doctor.”
A different proposed an idea to Kim Tae Hoon’s words.
“Noonim should name it after yourself and call it Sun Mi Dan. Isn’t it intuitive and nice?”
“Do you want to die?”
Ahn Sun Mi looked at Bang Hyun Wook as though her were delusional.
Bang Hyun Wook turned to Kim Tae Hoon to avoid her gaze.
“Hyungnim, instead of this pill, shouldn’t we name our clan first?? Or have you already settled on a name?”
Kim Tae Hoon stroked the area around his mouth.
He hadn’t really thought about it. To Kim Tae Hoon, the name of the clan wasn’t important. He had made the clan so he could operate outside the army’s jurisdiction.
However, it was just like Bang Hyun Wook said and the clan could not be nameless forever.
The power behind a name was powerful.
“I have a good name sir. I learned a bit of hanja before. Lighted(光) Path(道), we can be a clan that serves as a guiding light! What do you think?”
Ahn Sun Mi immediately shot down the suggestion.
“Then does noonim have a better suggestion?”
“Just sticking a cigarette brand onto the clan name would be better than that trash name.”
“Marlboro clan then?”
Ahn Sun Mi turned her head away from Bang Hyun Wook, not wanting to deal with him anymore. They acted like siblings. Bickering, like brother and sister.
But of course, Kim Tae Hoon also ignored Bang Hyun Wook.
If there was one thing he could be sure of, it was that Bang Hyun Wook would be of no help when coming up with a name.
So, Kim Tae Hoon instead sought the opinion of the person with the most in-depth literary and archaeological knowledge in the clan.
“A name for the clan? I’ve forged fake ID’s many times, but this is the first time I was asked to come up with a clan name. If an art forger were to come up with a name, wouldn’t it carry a negative view?”
Chang Hyun Wook forced a smile at Kim Tae Hoon’s request.
“So what are you looking for in the name?”
“What do you think will be good?”
“Usually, battle groups like this will take on the name of a legendary figure. Three-legged crow, Hatch, Mek. [TN:
I’m not sure what the last two are] It attracts a lot of gods and such, but they tend to work well. I personally like the vermillion bird. Vermillion bird!”
[TN: The Hatch, or the Haitai, is a unicorn lion often depicted in Chinese, Korean, and Japanese folklore. It is also known as the Xiezhi in Chinese and Kaichi in Japan. The Mek, also known as the Baku in Japan, is a creature that looks similar to the Malayan Tapir, and is known to be a dream/nightmare eater.]
“What about it?”
“It’s best if the name rolls off the tongue. In the end, the meaning will attach itself.”
After hearing that, Kim Tae Hoon chose a word that he felt wasn’t uncomfortable.
The name I choose is none other than Mek.
“What are Mek’s characteristics?”
“It varies from region to region, but generally Mek is a divine that eats nightmares. Mek Clan, it’s not bad. So what’s the next destination for the Mek clan? Are we going to the factory······.”
“We will go to Bucheon Stadium tomorrow morning.”
The next destination for the Mek Clan is the Bow Museum located in Bucheon Stadium.