We were armed to the teeth. Since we could keep adding more and more weapons and gear to our arsenal, there was a good chance that we would keep adding things to our collection with time.
At the same times, items that boost the same ability do not work together. Instead, the effects of the higher level item is shown. So there is that.
For example, if you have a ring that boosts power by 30% and another ring that boost power by 50%, the latter boost will be the only boost you see.
Circling back to what I mentioned before, it is better to have one quality item than several low quality items. For this reason, most hunters will sell their lower level items and graduate to a higher level item instead.
But there are some special cases where low level items could come in handy too.
Right now, because we know the level of the monsters, it is more advantageous to have 2 level 4 items instead of 1 level 5 item. Because with 2 items, you can use one towards defense and the other against offense.
The next day, we went to pick up the truck we had purchased from the dealer. This new truck even had enough space for Park Hanbum’s bike, so he was actually the most excited.
This truck, designed specifically for hunters, was designed a bit different than normal vehicles.
WIth its standard 4 wheel drive capability, it also came with steel plates that protected the wheels from monster attacks.
The bulletproof glass on all the windows should make it sturdier against monster agains.
The seats were also customizable. When the vehicle was not in use, the seats could be moved to create a makeshift bed.
The top of the vehicle also had a solar panel. Though it wasn’t alot of power, it could still make some kind of energy output.
Anyway, the vehicle had been modified to be able to keep up with our hunting for at least over a month. And the price came out to more than we had expected 80,000 dollars.
Though it was way more expensive than the 30,000 we had guessed, I felt like it was a worthy investment. It’s not as if we were lacking for money or anything.
After taking care of all the finishing touches, we all got into the truck.
Cho Youngoo climbed into the driver’s seat and, to keep him company, Han Joonseok rode in the passenger seat. The front seat were connected to the back, so moving around from the front to back was not a problem.
“There are more people than monsters huh.”
Sooah spoke as she opened the window and looked outside.
After returning to the Southern Marsh, we saw that there was indeed a sharp decline in monsters already.
We were in the Yellow Sea City for just two days. Things shouldn’t have changed so drastically in that short time.
But since level 1 and level 2 hunters could only come here to hunt, it was understandable.
Most could travel on the Southern Marsh to get to other parts of the new land, but it was too much trouble for low level hunters to hunt far away.
“I think we might need to go further in.”
There should still be monsters lurking somewhere. We just needed to look for them. And it was probably better to look for them where there aren’t too many hunters already gather.
“Should we just leave the marsh and go beyond here?”
Han Joonseok asked.
There were only two paths we could take from here. Further south or move west. But in the west, there was the danger of running into Chinese hunters.
“Based on the announcement, the south side has not been claimed yet. All the famous raid teams have moved towards the north and west.”
The top 5 raid teams of Korea were: Mercenary, Galaxy, SA, Immortals, Tiger, and the Professionals.
Among them, Galaxy and SA were endorsed by major corporations while the Professionals was endorsed by the country’s Department of Defense.
You could think of the Professionals as the raid team that hunters go to serve military duty.
Mercenary, Immortals, and Tigers were independent teams like us.
And all five raid teams were now in the new land.
But since they were all hunting in the north and west, they had probably closed off the roads in that direction.
At first, I had assumed that all five teams just happened to congregate in that area.
But while we were at the Yellow Sea City, we confirmed that the area those teams were stationed in were assigned to them by the government.
Seeing this, Ezekiel had tried to copy those other teams.
Of course they didn’t have the government’s consent to do so as the other teams did, but that was too bad.
“We can’t go north. Let’s just continue to plow through the marsh and keep going south. Since it will have a lot of forests, it will be more dangerous than here, but we should be fine since they are all low level monsters anyway.”
“It will take us about 10 hours to get there. Why don’t you take a break in the meantime and take a nap.”
The truck traveled at a leisurely 30km/hr speed. If we were able to go straight, it would have taken a much shorter time, but there weren’t any proper roads so we had to take a roundabout trail.
We made a stop where the marshes ended. There was a large river blocking our path.
“Hm. What do we do about this? I don’t think the truck can pass through this way.”
Cho Youngoo asked while scratching his head.
We all got out of the truck, checked to make sure it was safe, then sat down to take a meal break.
Since we had been cooped up in the truck for almost 10 hours, everyone started to stretch and get all the kinks out.
Sooah, whose eyes were swollen from just waking up, said.
“Isn’t there like a bridge or something somewhere?”
“How could there be when this is brand new land?”
“Hm. I’ll go check how deep it is and come back.”
“Just by looking, I could tell it’s several meters deep. Do you even know how to swim?”
“Hey, I was the ace swimmer at my neighborhood swimming pool.”
“Is there any sport you can’t do?”
Sooah threw off the robe she had on in dramatic fashion.
A weird sound escaped out of Cho Youngoo’s mouth. The shiny black leather of the Arachne armor clung to Sooah’s bodyline.
She didn’t have curves like Yeonkyoung, but she was fit enough that it would definitely turn heads.
“Here I go!”
She jumped into the water. Since the armor acted like a second skin, there was no reason for her to take it off.
Basically, it just looked like a swimsuit that covered the entire body.
The river was about 30 meters wide.
Sooah came up for air after swimming all the way to the opposite site of the river.
“Ha, it’s not as deep as it seems. Most of the river is about as deep as I’m tall while the deepest point is probably about 2 meters deep.”
“Why don’t you tend to the seaweed that you call hair first.”
“It doesn’t look like seaweed ok?”
She quickly tied her hair into a ponytail. My eyes naturally went to the now bare neck.
I could also see that everyone was looking at herjust as I was.
Even Bae Yeonkyoung was gawking.
She wasn’t an obvious beauty but, with an athletic and proportionate body, she did have something about her that drew the eye.
I’ll at least admit to that much.
This girl, if she was born as a guy, she would’ve been mighty popular with the girls.
It would be too much to ask for to try and cross the river with the truck.
“What do we do then?”
Sooah asked. I’ve been pondering the same thing but there was no solution that jumped out at me. I could see the forest on the other side of the river.
Could we maybe chop some trees down and use those as a makeshift boat?
We had 3 rubicon swords in our party right now. If it was sharp enough to chop down monsters like pieces of paper, it could be just as easy to knock down a few trees.
Though the makeup of each tree is different depending on the type, most should have between 50-75% moisture.
If we used a 1 ton tree, we should be able to load about 300-500 kilograms on top of it.
So we would need about 10 tons of wood to be able to safely cross our truck over the river.
It wasn’t impossible. If we had the time, we could do a few trial and errors until we got it just right.
But if we had the time, we could just hunt somewhere else instead.
We needed some other method.
“Can’t we put the truck in that thing?”
She was probably referring to my manual. Except for the small fact that everyone thought storage was due to my effort skill rather than the glasses.
“The truck isn’t an item.”
“Ah. Oh yeah.”
“Let’s start out by doing some scouting around the area. You never know, there might be some spot where we can just drive through.”
I left the party members on stand by with the truck while I scouted one way and Park Hanbum scouted the opposite way on his bike.
I saw small clusters of monsters here and there. I considered maybe just hunting those monsters on the way, but decided against it. Finding a road was priority.
We could always come back and hunt these monsters if we couldn’t find a road.
So I continued scouting for about 5 km in this way. But no matter how far I went, I wasn’t able to find any roads that the vehicle would be able to cross.
Unfortunately, the new land’s terrain seemed to elevate the further north I went.
This river was probably flowing down from the higher elevation.
Ultimately, I had to turn back without any fruit from my efforts. Upon returning, I saw Park Hanbum being treated after being wound with bandages.
“I was attacked. Luckily it wasn’t fatal.”
He explained how a dark the size of a finger had lodged into his shoulder. It seemed he was attacked while passing a group of goblins.
Due to muscle damage, I took out a healing potion so that he could drink half and pour half onto his wounds.
“I’m sorry that you have to waste it on something like this.”
“These are exactly the kinds of situations these potions are supposed to be use in. But how did the scouting go? I didn’t see anything useful in my area.”
“There was a bridge.”
“Is that true?”
“It was made out of wood, but it was definitely a bridge. I went closer to the bridge to check if the truck would be able to cross it, but that was when I got attacked by the goblins.”
“Goblins you sayI guess it’s not impossible for them to have such a weapon but…”
Goblins were one of the most intelligent of the monster variety.
But they were weak. No matter how many goblins there were, it would not have been possible for them to create a bridge.
“There was also a sasquatch.”
They were a hairy humanoid monster. Usually about 2 meters tall, they were pretty stupid and slow so they weren’t too hard to hunt.
“Yes, I think they probably used the sasquatch to help build the bridge.”
“Were you able to check how many of them there were?”
“That’s….since I ran away as quickly as I couldI couldn’t really count them”
Park Hanbum shook his head. I guess it was too much to ask for him to do all that while he was trying to run for his life.
We waited a bit for him to get better before we started heading towards the bridge, goblins, and sasquatch.
“It’s close by.”
At Park Hanbum’s words, Cho Youngoo brought the truck to a stop. Everyone geared up and carefully followed Park Hanbum to the bridge.
After walking about 1 kilometers, we saw a group of goblins sitting at the bottom of a hill.
Compared to anywhere else in the area, there were actually quite a lot of places to hide. There were lots of shrugs on this side but, once you cross the bridge, dense trees covered the land.
“Will you be alright? What if you get hurt again?”
“Well I have this.”
Park Hanbum pointed to the mockingbird feather. This was an item that allowed the wearer to blend into their surroundings, so they are difficult to spot.
If he just moved carefully, he should be able to go unnoticed at least by the goblins.
Park Hanbum returned after about an hour.
“Near the shrubs, there are about 30 goblins and 12 sasquatches.”
That meant a total of 42 monsters.
Though there were a lot of monsters, at our current level, it was definitely doable. In fact, I think it would take at least a hundred or more level 1 and level 2 monsters to be able to take down our party.
“Should we go in?”
Park Hanbum asked. I nodded my head in response.
Now that we’ve fought in quite a number of battles together, everyone pretty much knew their general roles and positions.
Park Hanbum usually rode his bike to distract the monsters. And while the monsters chased after him in a group, it was Cho Youngoo and my job to get in front of the group and attack them from there. Usually, the element of surprise was enough for us to take on all the monsters ourselves. But if this doesn’t work, we usually slip behind the monsters and work as a group with everyone else to slay them together.
Then, at some point during battle, we usually release Kelby to finish it up.
This would be how it played out again except for one small change due to the shrubs everywhere.
Park Hanbum revved his motorcycle and drove noisily past the area where the monsters were hiding.
As soon as he drove by a dart, as long as the entire length of a hand, flew out of the shrubs.
The dart landed in the exact spot the bike had been in just a moment before.
Park Hanbum shot out an arrow. The way that he shot his arrow, halfway turned on his bike mid-riding, was very reminiscent of a mongolian warrior atop a horse.
After Park Hanbum drove away, the shrubs started to shake violently before several goblins jumped out from within.
We succeeded in luring them out. Not all. But no matter.
I took out a bottle of thinner from our backpack. I had packed about 10 bottles, so it shouldn’t be a problem to light the shrubs on fire.
I lightly tossed the glass bottle about 20 meters into the bushes.
I didn’t need to light it on fire myself. Yeonkyoung had the flame enchant, which she used on her arrow.
The arrow flew across the sky in a red flame and lodged in the shrubs.
In mere seconds, all shrubs in that general area caught on fire.
About 20 goblins jumped out from the shrubs with a squeal. And the sasquatches joined in leaving their fiery hiding place.
We killed all of the monsters still in shock from the fire quite easily.
Kelby, as usual, ripped the remaining monsters to shreds with its powerful jaws. Manager Kim didn’t even have time to cast his sleep spell.
The monsters had dropped 2 level 1 items and 10 ores. Park Hanbum walked back towards us with 2 more ores in tow.
Then we waited for the fire in the shrubs to completely die down.
After we confirmed one more time that all the monsters were dead, I carefully walked to where the bridge was.
“So it’s made out of wood.”
The structure of the bridge was wide enough and looked sturdy enough for our truck to safely drive across it.
I was certain that amongst the monsters they’d had a skilled craftsmen.
But aside from its commendable structure, I was still unsure whether or not wood would be capable of withstanding the weight of the truck.
“It’s not as if I could just lift it and carry it across.”
I wanted to try and test putting something else onto the bridge first, but there was nothing that would’ve weighed close to the 3 ton weight of the truck.
I kept looking around for a large boulder when I spied the trees on the other side of the bridge.
They all had large trunks and were fairly tall.
I thought that trees of that size should be considerably heavy.
I crossed the bridge to the other side and cut down a tree with my Smash Sword.
With a cutting sound, the 50 cm wide tree was too easily sliced right through.
As soon as I shoved the tree, a large woosh sound preceded the tree before it fell crashing to the ground. Since I could lift the entire thing to the bridge, I cut the tree into 5 pieces and placed them all onto the bridge.
The bridge moved a bit and made some strange noises, but it didn’t seem it was in danger of collapsing.
“I know, how could something like a goblin build such a sturdy bridge as this…”
“I was talking about you, Sunbeh Oppa.”
“Not only did you cut down such a humongous tree in one swing, but you carried it all the way to the bridge. No matter how you look at it, that’s not something a normal person should be able to do.”
“I cut them into pieces so they weren’t that heavy.”
“But they should still weigh about 500 kg each.”
“I could do that much easily…”
I didn’t think it was difficult at least for me. I threw the tree pieces into the river from atop the bridge.
After throwing all five into the river, we slowly started to drive over to the bridge. With an anxious face, Cho Youngoo carefully drove onto the wooden goblin bridge.
A sound like a rusty hinge makes reverberated in my ears as the bridge shuddered.
But the wood is naturally a resilient material. We were safe. At least we were as long as we didn’t hear the bottom of the bridge actually breaking.
It might have broken more easily were it older, but the bridge still looked relatively new.
And so the truck finally made it over the bridge. Every single party member let out a sigh of relief almost as soon as we made it across.
“Ha. I thought I’d pass out from holding my breath so long.”
Cho Youngoo shook his head and got out of the truck. He looked back at the bridge in wonder.
“But do you think it’ll still stay up by the time we come back?”
“It looks sturdy enough to be just fine even for a few months at least.”
We didn’t even need that much time. We should be able to load up on plenty of dropped items in a month.
I turned to look back in the direction of the marshes. We were now in the forested area.
The only thing connecting the two lands was the one wooden bridge. And if the bridge breaks, we would have no means of getting back.
Of course, worst case scenario, we could take the long way and walk until the river ended. But that was a hassle.
I walked back to the bridge to inspect it more carefully.
Seeing that there were areas that were considerably weakened by the truck riding across, I considered doing a bit of reinforcement work.
While I continued to inspect it in this way, a strange thought began to creep into my thoughts.
Would a goblin really be able to build such a sophisticated bridge as this?
I mean, they are clever I’ll admit that much. They could do as much as create their own simple crossbow type of weapon to fire darts and other projectiles.
And there were some even more high level goblins who could create something even more complicated.
I’ve even heard stories that Level 10 Goblins could create items even beyond human comprehension.
If I considered this, it wasn’t too strange to think they might have created the bridge.
But the problem was, all the goblins we had hunted were level 1s.
If you were to compare the intelligence of a level 1 goblin to human standards, they were the equivalent of a 10 year old.
Would those monsters really have been able to use a sasquatch to create this kind of bridge?
I found it more and more difficult to believe as I kept thinking about it.
And then I became pretty sure that the goblins just happened to be near the bridge. The bridge itself was probably manmade.
If this was true, who was it that made this bridge?