The Chimeras roared ferociously as soon as they saw Vulcan.
Vulcan instinctively activated the Thunder God’s Might and injected mana in to the beast bird KinaKina.
He was going to borrow the Blue Dragon’s power because he was facing monsters that would be difficult for him to fight alone.
However, Vulcan soon realized that there was no need, so he retrieved the mana from KinaKina.
After that, with his mind at ease, Vulcan observed the bastards.
“Hit me all day long. It’s not like it’s going to make me tired. It will just make you exhausted.”
Vulcan ignored two Chimeras that were attacking him repeatedly. Instead, Vulcan focused his mana.
Flowing along Vulcan’s left arm, a flame was ignited and it started to add more heat.
The Chimeras in front of Vulcan were powerful like the Commander Tree. However, instead of defense, their attributes were focused on offense and speed.
With a magic attack generated with enough effort put in to it, it was possible to destroy them with a single strike.
The two Chimeras beat on Vulcan like blacksmiths pounding on steel.
To one of the Chimeras, Vulcan swung his fist.
It was a strike with Ifrit’s Fist coated on to Vulcan's fist using a third of his mana.
‘As I thought, this isn’t making my exploit go up. Does it not count because I was aided by the protective blessing? It didn’t give me any experience points, and it didn’t give me any exploits either. What worthless turds.’
With moments to spare, Vulcan mumbled as he focused mana again.
After a moment, Vulcan watched the other Chimera falling just like the first one. As he watched it collapse, Vulcan thought,
‘Could this place be… the base of operation for the Chimera maker?’
The situation more than warranted such a speculation.
The Poisonous Crater Field was a hunting ground that nobody came by for a year.
There were over a hundred craters in this field. If the base was created in secret among the craters, it was not going to be exposed to the outside world so easily.
Not only that, the Chimeras that were standing guard as the gatekeepers were fairly high in levels, so they would have easily handled anyone that came to the Poisonous Crater Field.
‘He probably didn’t think someone with the protective blessing for newbies would come.’
Vulcan tapped his head with his finger.
It was good that he destroyed the Chimeras that were coming at him earlier. However, Vulcan have not decided if he should go in further or make a run for it now.
Vulcan couldn’t even make a guess about what could be inside.
However, he didn’t think about it for long.
Vulcan had the protective blessing.
That filled Vulcan with boundless confidence.
‘It’s not like there are monsters inside. I have an invincibility cheat key. Why should I be afraid of anything?’
Vulcan entered further into the depth of the pathway.
He walked with confidence like an inspector that came to punish a corrupt governor.
To begin with, Vulcan was already targeted by the Chimera maker.
Players were rarer than Demi-gods. With a Player’s body now in the realm of Act 2, the Chimera maker was not going to just sit quietly and watch. It was more likely that he was waiting with his eyes locked on Vulcan like an eagle, waiting for the protective blessing to expire.
All these meant it was not like the Chimera maker was going to say ‘thank you, I will not target you anymore’ if Vulcan left quietly.
‘Now that we have bad bloods between us, I might as well give him a present before leaving here.’
Having thought about it, Vulcan realized it would be best for him to deal huge damage to the Chimera maker while Vulcan was still a newbie.
Vulcan marched forward relentlessly while taking mana potion.
It didn’t matter if this was the Chimera maker’s main base or one of his secondary bases.
Vulcan was intending to destroy everything inside.
Time went by like that.
Around the time all of the thoughts inside Vulcan’s head was getting organized, a large underground cave appeared in front of Vulcan.
In silence, Vulcan looked around the place.
There were all sorts of strange tools, parts of bodies reeking foul stench, and fluids of various colors.
However, there were something else special in the place that were overshadowing the rest.
There were large cylindrical glass tubes.
They were completely filled with unidentified clear liquid, and inside, there were fearsome looking monsters, the kind from anyone’s worst nightmare.
Having more than four limbs were among the normal sides.
Some of them looked as if someone collected only the strongest parts of various monsters and fit them together like assembling toys. They looked more evil than the devils from the depth of hell.
There were over 50 of these tubes.
Vulcan cringed and used the SYSTEM.
[Incomplete Chimera D-001]
[Incomplete Chimera D-002]
[Incomplete Chimera D-054]
“… A Chimera Factory, well, something like that?”
It seemed that the Chimeras that had been targeting Vulcan were made in this place.
Their appearances and levels were completely different from the completed Chimeras that he encountered. However, having checked them with the SYSTEM, Vulcan confirmed that their names were similar in format.
Also, even though they looked different, there was one similarity.
They looked bizarre. They looked like things were taken from here and there and stitched together. They lacked coherence.
‘This place is definitely a Chimera factory. The owner… does not appear to be here.’
If he was here, there was no way he was going to just sit still.
Of course, there was nothing he could have done even if he came at Vulcan all infuriated.
Vulcan looked around the inside of the cave again.
He carefully looked at each of the 54 incomplete Chimeras and the glass tubes. As if he made a decision, Vulcan nodded once and drew the Heavenly Lightning Blade.
Golden aura extended out in length.
An incredible power could be felt from the blade, enough to make even 750 level boss monsters to feel fear.
Vulcan’s Thunder God Blade energy possessed greatest destructive power among all single strike techniques. He focused this energy into the Heavenly Lightning Blade.
The Thunder God Blade technique drew in Vulcan’s mana and the Demi-god’s power at a fearsome rate.
Its size was smaller than the one used during the fight against the Commander Tree. However, its destructive power far surpassed the last time.
During the battle against the Commander Tree, Vulcan drew the technique in a hurry. This time, he was taking the time to carefully adjust and compress the power.
It was only natural for there to be a difference.
The technique’s power was immensely more powerful now. Although it was the same technique, it would have made anyone feel almost sorry to even compare this to the last time.
The incredible power was making the cave shake. Feeling the power, the Chimeras inside the tubes started to twitch.
They were unconsciously responding to the immense power that was about to be unleashed to them.
In their incomplete states, several tens of Chimeras were trying to escape the tubes in order to survive.
However, Vulcan’s Thunder God Blade didn’t let them be.
The majestic light was almost blindingly bright.
It was swung with raw intensity, enough to sweep away everything on its path.
Boom! Ba Ba Boom!
The power that was shot from Demi-god Vulcan’s hand destroyed all Chimeras in an instant.
* * *
The Chimera maker was leisurely eating a cookie. However, the old man ran to the monitor room after hearing the loud alarm.
The alarm was not the kind for when a useful prey was discovered. This time, the alarm was the kind that signaled there was an intruder.
‘I had two of B rank Chimeras there. He couldn’t have gone through them, could he?’
The place was a new Chimera factory that he made 50 years ago.
With the goal of adding poisonousness to Chimeras he had created so far, he made the place in secret, deep inside the hidden place of the Poisonous Crater Field.
Unlike other craters, this one didn’t have any monsters coming out. Also, when he went in further into the place, there was a spacious cave inside, so he found it surprising.
He was immediately impressed that such a perfect, natural hidden place existed, so he moved his materials there right away.
Saying the place was made by him would not have been accurate. It was more accurate to say that he simply moved there.
He liked the place better than his own main base where he carved the cave himself.
There hasn’t been anyone coming by in the past 50 years, so the Chimera maker was thinking about moving his main base there, however…
‘That place was attacked? This bastard must have absolutely nothing to do… Who is… It is that Player!’
Before long, the old man saw Vulcan in the cave. The old man started to pull out his hair.
‘Really. What does he have to gain by going all the way inside the poisonous crater? What’s he doing there?’
The old man didn’t even consider the possibility of Vulcan going in there knowing what’s inside.
Even others in Act 2 who had long history of badblood with the Chimera maker have not found this place.
He figured that the chance of a complete newbie finding the place to screw with him was close to zero.
‘Kuk… Anyway, that’s not the important part. That runt… it looks like he is up to something…’
Extremely concerned, the old man watched Vulcan through the screen.
He wanted to rush over there right now, but he couldn’t.
It would have taken him time to get there, which was a problem. Moreover, the bigger problem was that there was nothing he could to even if he went over there.
‘Even if I went there, that bastard is a newbie with the protective blessing… Damn, fuck!’
The old man just prayed.
To just sit there and do nothing, he hated to see all the effort and resources poured into the place going to waste.
‘Please, just think there are some mysterious stuff there and leave quietly.’
The old man hoped for that. Feeling desperate, he prayed to every gods that he knew, and then he prayed again some more.
However, it didn’t go as he hoped.
There was Vulcan aiming his fully drawn out gigantic lightning blade toward the glass tubes.
Seeing Vulcan in the stance, the old man shouted loud as if Vulcan was right next to him.
“No, you bastard!”
Boom! Ba Ba Boom!
Obviously, his voice didn’t reach Vulcan. Along with destructive explosion sound, the visual to the underground cave was cut-off.
Before the video feed was cut-off, the old man saw glimpses of the remains of incomplete Chimeras.
Thinking about what he saw, the old man plummeted to the ground without any strength.
‘Ugh, fuck… It was really hard to make all that…’
The old man suddenly lost astronomical portion of his forces. He slowly mumbled.
“The protective blessing… Isn’t this too unfair?”
He was okay with the blessing preventing people from harming each other.
Without it, countless newbies in Act 2 would have died before having the time to adapt to the place.
However, he felt that this was too much. Vulcan just destroyed his properties at will. However, the Chimera maker was not able to have his vengeance for the damage.
‘Rumithus, that runt… He is so thoughtless…’
The old man cursed at Rumithus inside for bestowing protective blessings to newbies.
It seemed the old man was completely ignoring the fact that he was desperately praying to gods only a moment ago.
Actually, the old man was faulting Rumithus for the wrong reasons.
Of course, a newbie could abuse the protective blessing, say ‘gut my stomach later if you can’ and destroy others’ properties.
However, no newbies in the right mind would do something like that. 10 years later, they would just become targets to powerful beings who far surpassed them in strength. This fact was obvious.
Anyone doing something like that had to be insane.
Of course, the old man, who sustained damage, was not going to feel any better to know any of this.
“Ugh, ugh. This son of a … bitch… I’m going to catch you no matter what. I’m going to study you down to the individual cells of your body and research them…”
The old man glared at the cut-off screen as if he was going to burn a hole through it with his gaze. The Chimera maker vowed vengeance.
That day, their badblood deepened.
* * *
Due to a huge shock, the cave shook as if it was going to collapse.
The ceiling started to form spider web like cracks. The walls were broken all over the place due to not being able to withstand the shock from the Thunder God Blade.
The floor was also cracking as if it was going to sink immediately.
‘Maybe it was fortunate that the damage to the cave itself was only this much.’
Vulcan carefully adjusted so that the power won’t leak out, but still, Vulcan thought it was fortunate that the damage ended with this much after being exposed to the technique’s power.
Vulcan watched the shaking cave for a moment and then turned his body around.
Now that his business here was concluded, all he had left to do was to just leave the place.
Vulcan, disappointed, thought about,
‘It’s good that I reduced the number of Chimeras, but I was hoping this place would be a hidden quest…’
Vulcan was about 80% sure that the place was a hidden quest. Now, he was going back empty handed. That made him feel full of disappointment.
“Well, it cannot be helped.”
Vulcan quit his pointless thought.
It was not like this place was in the guidebook.
Based on the information from The Six, Vulcan actually had another place where he speculated that it must be a hidden quest. He just needed to try there.
Vulcan shook his head about three times and shook off his disappointment. Vulcan headed to the entry way.
Finally, the underground cave’s floor collapsed.
Thinking it was a good thing, Vulcan peeked a smile and quickly left the entry way.
The entry way was still holding without any damage as if it was being held by an unknown power. However, he could never know for certain.
‘If it collapses, getting out of here could get bothersome… Um?’
Vulcan stopped all of sudden.
Vulcan, who was in deep thoughts for a moment, turned his body around and traced back the way he just came through.
It was because there was something that was bothering him.
‘Why is the floor collapsing?’
If it was an underground cave created by carving the ground, it would made sense for it to develop cracks, but it was odd that the floor would collapse.
Unless there was an empty space below, it was not possible.
Vulcan was starting to get excited. Suppressing his excitement, Vulcan headed to the collapsed cave.
He was thinking there might be something. The anticipation was making his steps faster.
He didn’t have high hopes for it. He didn’t want to be disappointed twice in a day.
‘I’m just going to see it. It probably is not it, but I never know, so…’
Vulcan put up a face that pretended he had no greed what so ever. With heavy steps, he walked past the entry way and got to the destination.
As he thought, there was an empty space under the cave.
It was a deep, wide crater, enough to make one think of the abyss to hell.
He carefully gulped and sent a large light magic to the crater.
And then, there was a notification from the SYSTEM.
[Hidden Quest – Eradicate the Master Gang-Shi, the boss monster of the Ancient Gang-Shi Factory.]
[Difficulty – B+ (Asgard Standard)]
[Reward – Choose one from skills or items]
Pierce through Poisonous Gang-Shi and Blood Gang-Shi, the cursed existences created by the ancients using extraordinary manufacturing technique, and eradicate the Master Gang-Shi]
*The limit on the number of people who can participate in the hidden quest – One person
*Boss room level limit – 650Lv (Recommended level, 750 or above)
*Sturdy body, swift movement, deadly poison on its claws… You could lose your life in a moment’s notice if you are not careful. Be cautious.
“I was lucky.”
Vulcan finally let it all out in joy.