Book 1 Chapter 7 - Central Lake (1)

Game of Divine Thrones

[Central Lake]

It was the area within the Primordial Forest where one could find the highest grade items, but simply arriving there was quite risky. One had to cross hordes of monsters, and despite Ghost mushrooms being quite effective at the lower levels, there was a limit to how many monsters it could evade detection.

‘I had a lot of trouble that time around as well.’

Regardless, the Central Lake was only the final destination, and he was in no hurry to get there right away.

‘We can fight our way there.’

They had to cull the overwhelming number of monsters, using the opportunity to grow in strength as well. It would take some preparation before the operation ran smoothly.

[Hunter’s Totem]

Type: Consumable

Effect: +20% Agility to allies within a 10m radius (2 hours)

[Hunter’s Flute]

Type: Musical Instrument

Rank: E

Durability: 700 (can’t be repaired)

Effect: Monsters are attracted to the sound of the flute.

[War Drum]

Type: Musical Instrument 

Rank: E

Durability: 800 (can’t be repaired)

Effect: +20% Strength and Vitality to allies within a 12m radius 

‘This should be fine.’

As of the third day one could choose their daily reward items based on contributions. Ten Hunter Totems, although they were mere consumables, their effects were more than worth it.

‘Unnecessary equipment would just be a burden.’

It was one thing to store it within the Sage’s Pouch, and another to use it freely in combat. Equipment that was stored in the Gladiator’s Belt could be accessed at a moment’s notice, but that wasn’t the case for the pouch.

Regardless, other than Hidden pieces, the utility of regular items wouldn’t be that high, so he was better off investing in items that could support his growth in the short term.

“Let’s begin here.”

Woohyuk gathered the party around him as he activated the totem. A blue aura spread out, raising everyone’s agility by 20%.

“Should I start?”

A woman, Song Anna, blinked innocently as she asked.

Woohyuk nodded back and she began to play her Hunter’s Flute.

A peaceful melody drifted through the trees, but it didn’t take long for it to take effect.


A group of angry goblins came into view. They were equipped with various items that made them look like a hunting party.

As soon as the female high school student, Yoo Gayong saw them, she began to beat the drum with a branch she had picked up along the way. A red aura spread out, increasing everyone’s Strength and Vitality by 20%.

“If you follow the plan, no one will get hurt.”

To which Woohyuk’s party members nodded back.

In fact, the plan wasn’t anything fancy. It consisted solely of eliminating the incoming monsters while protecting the backline in Song Anna and Yoo Kayoung

‘Buffs are crucial in group battles.’

It was the main reason for bringing them along. If he were to be fighting alone, he would constantly need to be watching over them, but with the buff at least they could now take care of themselves.

‘It’s a bit annoying, but….’

Considering that it was still early, it was worth it to invest some effort in training them, rather than dragging around dead weights the whole time. The plan was to start off with the relatively easy Goblin area, and then work their way up to higher levels of difficulty.

Woohyuk walked up to the incoming goblins, wielding a machete in each hand.

* * * 

Hu Huu….”

Lee Jaesung sat on a goblin’s corpse as he tried to catch his breath. He looked down at the Longsword and Iron buckler in his hands, his body completely exhausted.

“Good job everyone.”

Song Anna said as she looked to her teammates. She still seemed to be surprised by what had just occurred.

It was an entire hill of goblin corpses. A ridiculous number, especially considering that only 2 hours had elapsed.

“Is there a secret to fighting so well?”

Huang Dongwhan asked Woohyuk as he casually tinkered with his Adventurer’s Watch. 

It hadn’t been so much a battle, as a one-sided slaughter. It had been quite thrilling to watch Woohyuk single handedly dispatch so many goblins.

“Just raise your stats.”

A straightforward reply, but Woohyuk felt it was the most honest one.

‘If you are lacking experience, then you need to try just about anything.’

At the end of the day stats are just another resource to make use of. Later on, skill would become more important, but not nearly as much at these early stages where your stats played a much more significant role.

“Do your stats grow as you kill more monsters?”


“Yes, but they have to be at a similar level to you.”

This was a world based on a game system, so common sense didn’t necessarily apply. Woohuk then made use of their break time to teach his party the basics of stats.

“I see, so as Agility rises, your Perception improves….”

“Magic resistance is related to Spirit, thanks for sharing.”

While all the party members were nodding their heads, Song Anna handed Woohyuk something.

“Is this edible?”

[Clown mushroom]

“If ingested in small doses it acts as a hallucinogen, but can be lethal poison if one eats too much. It is used in alchemy, but it is dangerous for beginners to experiment with.”

Song Anna immediately dropped the Clown mushroom to ground, her face turning blue with worry. Woohyuk then proceeded to pick it up, and handed her a Ghost mushroom instead.

“If you find yourself in a tight spot, use it to lower your presence, it can save your life.”

“Oh, can I have one more? I have a sister ....”

“I’ll consider it if you have something useful to trade.”

[The Law of Equivalent Exchange]

He wasn’t planning on giving any handouts, preferring to be strict in order for them to learn this basic rule.

“Then what about this?”

She pulled out a scroll from her leather bag.

[Fire magic:: Fire Bolt]

Woohyuk stared at her in surprise.

“Where did you get that?”

“From a treasure chest I found in the forest.”

She had indeed been very lucky to find it while simply collecting firewood near the camp.  Although it was a decent item, Woohyuk shook his head.

“You should use it.”


“You are the only mage in the party, it makes sense for it to be with you.”

For the scrolls one obtained in the forest, the skills could be mastered immediately.

Woohyuk made sure she learned the Fire Bolt skill and then handed her another Ghost mushroom.

‘It isn’t yet time for me to focus on magic.’

Generally an adventurer could only have two classes. If we included the Elixir of Paradise that could be found in the Central Lake, then a maximum of four. Still, the mage class wasn’t something he considered as being absolutely necessary.

If he were to learn the Fire Bolt skill, there was a good chance that the Apprentice Mage class would be forced on him.

‘I’ll only settle for Hidden classes.’

Any other mundane classes would make his return meaningless.

Woohyuk then stood up as he exclaimed.

“Pack your stuff, we still have a long way to go.”

* * * 

His decision to be the leader of this party was all a planned investment on his part. He wanted to nurture a dependable force that would be on his side.

Woohyuk didn’t want to lead the whole camp, so he decided to raise Jaesung into that role. He didn’t want the two-faced Ma Gwangpil who only appeared respectful in his presence to end up running things.

‘He even helped me back then.’

In the long run, he knew that investing in Lee Jaesung would surely pay off. He had all the right qualities for leadership, making him a suitable representative.

He was planning on pushing him into the leadership role after this Central Lake adventure.

‘They will be my elite force.’ 

Despite the grueling schedule, his party members followed his instructions without any complaints. It was all because of their firm resolve in joining him in the first place.

“That’s all for today.”

Everyone let out a breath of relief upon hearing Woohyuk call an end to the day. Lee Jaesung immediately plopped down as he attempted to catch his breath.

“It feels great to be alive.”

“I feel the same, although Chun Woohyuk killed most of them by himself.”

Huang Dongwhan glanced at Woohyuk. He felt that he was on a completely different level, one that he would never be able to catch up to. 

“Aren’t you tired?”

“It’s still manageable.”

Woohyuks physical strength was quite high due to the harsh goals he had set for himself. Seeing the piled up giant spider corpses, Huang Dongwhan stuck out his tongue as he asked.

“What are your current stats?”


Not only stats, but any information from one’s Adventurer’s watch was personal and shouldn’t be shared casually, so Woohyuk made sure his party members learned that as well.

“I agree, you can’t trust people completely, even if we are adventuring together.”

“That’s right, even just the other day…”

As the others talked among themselves, he took the time to examine his own status.

[Chun Woohyuk]

- Job: Human adventurer

- Title: Legendary Explorer (20% increase in Item drop rate from monsters, 20% increase in Perception and Speed when in a Historical site]

- Stats:

Strength:        18 +5 (Vampiric Dagger)

Vitality:           16 +5 (Gladiator’s Belt)

Dexterity:        17  +3 (Black Machete) +3 (Black Machete)

Intelligence:    9

Spirit:              12 

‘Not quite there yet.’

The growth of his stats was twice that of last time, and the additional stats from his items helped a lot.

‘Only passive effects of items that are in a slot will register.’

It was another reason why his belt was so useful. Any item that increased the amount of slots was highly sought after.

‘As expected, Intelligence hasn’t increased much.’

Although there were still some ways for him to increase his Intelligence, having given up on magic his options were rather limited. His Spirit however had grown rather nicely since he had constantly been pushing himself to his limits.

‘Looks like we are on schedule.’

It would take another three days to reach the Central Lake. They couldn’t dawdle too long since there would be other teams aiming for it as well, which could complicate things.

“Quickly grab the loot and let’s keep moving.”

“Are we going back to camp?”

Woohyuk shook his head in response to Song Anna’s question, as he pointed towards the bushes.

“We are going to find us a proper meal. You can’t replenish your health by simply relying on the combat rations.”

That meant that they would be hunting for regular animals, instead of the usual monsters.

The party members nodded and followed behind him.

“Let’s have boar for dinner.”

Woohyuk said as he threw a spear into the bushes. Shortly after a pig’s squeal rang out in the forest.

* * *

Every monarch was always on the lookout for talent, and Woohyuk was no exception. He would carefully examine the many adventurers in the base camp during the night, trying to find any that were particularly skilled. 

He mostly focused on those that hadn’t survived in the past, due to his unfamiliarity with them.

‘Yoo Kayoung is definitely skilled in magic.’

Despite it being her first time encountering magic, she exhibited high sensitivity. Although he hadn’t asked her about it, her starting Intelligence stat was probably rather high.

‘Could she achieve a second tier?’

Classes wouldn’t be fixed forever. Even after changing from human adventurer to apprentice mage, if one was qualified, they could achieve a higher class like Royal mage or Archmage.

‘I’m more worried about Song Anna....’


Although she was doing quite well for a nine year old girl, she still hadn’t learned any magic skills nor had she chosen any class. 

Since she is part of my group, I will help her out in her path.

‘I know something which would be very useful for her.’

It could end up being a good investment, at the very least it will be beneficial to Yoo Kayoung as well to not be held back by her.

“What are you up to?”

Woohyuk asked Song Anna as he stepped into the tent.

Her and Yoo Kayoung were just about ready to go to sleep.

“Looking over my Adventurer’s Log”, Song Anna replied. Her right hand that was fiddling with her watch, held a Goblin’s ring which raised her Strength by +2. It was the reward for completing the kill 100 Goblins achievement, and could be obtained by simply being part of the party, and not necessarily completing the action oneself. 

“Take this.”

Woohyuk handed her a scroll

[Healing Magic: Heal]

He had received it from killing Jang Taeseok.

At best it could only heal minor injuries, but it was still useful early on.

“I only have this ring right now….”

“It’s fine, think of it as me making an investment.”

“Okay, thank you.”

Woohyuk left the tent after making sure that she learnt the skill properly. Lee Jeaseong who had been waiting for him outside asked curiously.

“What do you mean by investment?”

“You’ll find out later.”

Only focusing on survival during his time in this forest would be a mistake. An intense competition awaited them after this and the size of the factions would only grow bigger. In order to prepare for that eventuality, he had to start growing his own forces early on.

‘In the past I only thought of surviving by myself.’

He didn’t have a monarch’s mindset from the very beginning, causing him to have missed out on a lot. One’s own strength was still very important, but building up a force couldn’t be neglected.

‘They will be my first 10 subordinates.’

As they continued to risk their lives on countless occasions, their growth rate would also skyrocket. He had great expectations of them and was willing to nurture them, especially with regards to skills, of course that was so long as they never turned their backs on him.

With overwhelming strength, anyone can destroy or steal from others. On the other hand, leading from example and obtaining the respect and admiration of others, that was the correct path for one who wished to challenge the Divine Throne.

“Is this all part of your plan?”

“Of course.” 

Woohyuk stared at Lee.

“I never do anything that doesn’t benefit me.”

Previous Chapter Next Chapter