Book 1 Chapter 8 - Central Lake (2)

Game of Divine Thrones

Huang Donghwan

The return of Woohyuk’s party to Base Camp brought along some significant changes. Lee Jaesung had surpassed Ma Gwanpil for the very first time taking second place in the rankings. Huang Donghwan and Yoo Kayoung had managed to respectively finish fourth and fifth.

It was quite the embarrassment for Ma Gwanpil who thought of himself as the leader of the camp.

He then tried to worm his way into the party, only to be shut down right away by Woohyuk.

“We aren’t recruiting anymore.”

Ma Gwanpil felt quite troubled, knowing that if things continued this way, he wouldn’t even be able to hold on to his current ranking.

‘What are they up to?’

But following Woohyuk’s orders, none of the party members spoke about what they had been doing lately.

He even felt that they were purposefully avoiding him

‘I don’t like him ever since that time.’

He was especially upset with Lee Jaesung who had taken the Metal Breastplate reward from him.

‘Tomorrow, I will definitely reclaim my second place.’

He blamed it on his confusion upon seeing the swarm of Giant Mantises attack earlier today.

As he attempted to comfort his own ego, Ma Gwanpil led his followers into the forest.

The next day….

[Contribution Rewards]

1. Chun Woohyuk (60.8%)     E-grade equipment and consumables (X2)

2. Lee Jaesung (8.4%)      E-grade equipment and consumables (X1)

3. Yoo Gayong (6.2%)      F-grade equipment (X1)

4. Huang Donghwan (5.3%)     F-grade consumables (X1)

5. Song Anna (4.7%)         Daily necessities

‘No way….’

Rather than catching up to Lee Jaesung, he had been completely knocked out of the rankings. Ma Gwanpil’s situation was so desperate that he had even been outdone by a 9 year old girl.

‘The future looks grim.’

He couldn’t even complain about his current situation, after all it had been him who suggested that the prizes be given according to the contribution ranking

‘Still I have some hope.’

Woohyuk only had a group of 10 followers, whereas he had 40 people behind him. If he were to put important decisions to a vote, using his majority he could at least restrict Woohyuk from doing as he pleased.

So as to not lose what little power he had, Ma Gwanpil desperately focused on expanding his influence.

Meanwhile, Woohyuk’s party was making some last minute preparations for their trip to the Central Lake.

“Why do you need a toolkit and fishing gear?”

Lee asked out of curiosity. He was equipped with an  imposing Metal breastplate as well as greaves, very much looking the part of a proper knight.

“You will know once we get there.”

Woohyuk never revealed his plans before it was necessary.

Huang Donghwan nodded as it was the expected answer.

“Well, at least now this place is well fortified, so they won’t miss my toolkit too much.”

They had created several structures to aid in their defense against monsters or even other camps. Sentry towers, barricades, palisade, a warehouse, weapons storage, etc….

Since they were all overseen by Woohyuk, the defenses were now quite solid.

“Are we all ready?”

“Yes, all good.”

Hearing Lee Jaesung’s reply, Woohyuk raised his Black machete into the air.

“Then let’s head out.”

As usual they were just a small group.

* * *

Lost Paradise

It was the name of the large island located within Central Lake. There were differing opinions as to what purpose it served and why the Creator had built it in the first place, but one thing was certain.

‘It is no paradise, but rather hell.’

At the very least it was a place that it was difficult to return from with your life. The island itself was already difficult enough, but there were also the competitors to watch out for. All those that managed to make it to the Central Lake would have decent equipment and skill, so one could only imagine what would happen if they were all competing to obtain the best rewards.

‘We need to make a go of it today.’

The world was a big place and there would always be many hidden talents.’

If he were to encounter strong fighters, the competition for the best items would become very fierce, making it less likely for him to obtain the Paradise Elixir. Something which was crucial for Woohyuk who was aiming to have an additional hidden class.

‘Charging straight ahead is the right answer.’

After two days of continuous hunting, his party members had all grown magnificently. Yoo Kayoung and Song Anna who were originally after thoughts, had now become key members of the party.

“Make sure to take the items that drop after killing the monsters.”

While hunting, there was a low chance to obtain items from monster’s corpses. Repair kits, Magic crystals, pieces of Treasure maps, Health potions, Ancient coins, etc….

There were many useful items that were sure to come in handy, so even if they were in a hurry, they would still take the time to collect the loot.

“Don’t forget to use the herbs at the appropriate time.”

Bay leaf, Rosemary, Elemental grass, Fire plant, The Aspen Tree skin, Cloud mushroom. Even ordinary plants which had existed back in the real world, would often have some special effects.

His party members had stared at him suspiciously when he first taught them about it.

‘How does he know so much?’

It wasn’t something one could learn in a mere 15 days

A survival expert. Perhaps if he were to be abandoned on a deserted island, he’d be fine, was what went through everyone’s mind.

‘He doesn’t look that old.’

Yoo Kayoung thought to herself as she stared at Woohyuk’s back with a smile.

There were many things which she wanted to ask him about, but because of his cool and aloof persona, he was difficult to approach for a casual conversation.

‘At least he isn’t a bad person.’

Woohyuk was a perfect gentleman compared to those men who would try to eat her with their eyes every night. She was determined to follow him. Something about him just oozed with confidence, it was a woman’s intuition.

One couldn’t cower in the face of danger if they wanted to survive, else they would fall behind too much. It was much better to stick with him than to stay back at the camp.

That had been Yoo’s original judgement and the last few days had proven it to be right.

‘Did he lose all his previous party members and he’s the sole survivor?’

It was a story that somehow fit his current personality. He didn’t want to get too close to others since he had recently been scarred by a traumatic event. 

As Yoo was lost in her own thoughts, Woohyuk suddenly stopped advancing.

“What is it?”

She looked to the front only to spot another party.

“Oh, aren’t you Chun Woohyuk?”

A woman with bright, long hair stepped forward.

She had a great body, clearly she was very fit and cared a lot about her appearance.

Upon seeing Yoo Kayoung somehow lost some confidence in herself.

“Do you know her?”

Lee Jaesung who was standing next to Woohyuk whispered.

For him, it was simply too surprising that Woohyuk even had any acquaintances.

“It’s been a while, Hong Yuri”

“Ah so you remembered my name? Anyways, it’s nice to see you. Although the meeting place is a bit weird, how have you been? Are we still friends?”

Hong Yuri approached as she gave Woohyuk a wink.

She wore a bright red shirt, exposing skin in all the right places.

“On your way to the Central Lake?”

“Yes, I think there should be decent items. You too?”

Woohyuk nodded back, causing Hong Yuri to smile.

“Great! Why don’t you join us then? The monsters around here are quite troublesome.”

Hong Yuri was part of a decent sized group, being around twenty people strong.

‘They seem to have a decent fighting spirit.’

It was a level of strength that was similar to his own party, at the very least they had seen some battle and wouldn't flee at first sign of trouble. 

“Don’t be so nervous, they are all good people.” 

Hong Yuri whispered as she placed her hands behind her back and leaned forward ever so casually to give a view of her ample chest.

A natural temptress, but such a honey trap wouldn’t work on Woohyuk.

‘This annoying girl is getting too close.’

They had attended the same college, but weren’t at all close. She was indeed quite pretty and popular at school, so they weren’t even in the same league back then.

‘Beauty is a dangerous thing.’

It would attract men’s desire and need to control them. Although he would have preferred to keep his distance from her, it wasn’t really possible given the current situation.

“There is one condition.”

“And what is that?”

“I’ll take the lead.”

Hong Yuri stared at him curiously.

“Did you find some kind of map?”

“No, I’ve simply memorized it during the tutorial.”

Woohyuk replied as he placed his index finger on his temple.

“Oh, can you wait a little bit? I need to discuss this with my party members.”

“I’ll be waiting.”

“Can’t you be less stiff? It feels too awkward.”

“But I’m comfortable like this.”


She shook her head, shortly after returning with someone else.

“Nice to meet you, I’m Seo Changseop. Did you really memorize that map?”

“Yes, especially the area around the Central Lake.”

It was the map of the forest which Eve had shown them early on, marked with various kinds of information including monster’s habitats.

Seo Changseop was naturally rather skeptical considering the amount of information that had been displayed.

“The Hunter’s ring is an item which we’ve recently acquired, do you happen to know where we found it?”

“Southeast, about an hour’s walk from here.”

Woohyuk pointed out the direction.

Taking out a piece of his treasure map, Seo Changseop’s eyes widened in admiration as he realized how accurate the approximation was.

“That’s correct, we will let you take the lead with your knowledge of the map.” 

* * *

As they moved forward, Woohyuk made sure that his group was at the back. He had never discounted the possibility of them betraying his party.

“Well, I don’t think they’ll be so stupid….”

Still, it was best to be prepared either way.

Their current friendly relationship was only temporary.

‘It’s better off like this.’

In the future he would come across many situations where he would have to cooperate with other groups.

Also, with his many years of experience he could easily judge if someone would betray him later on. Not only was the risk not that high, it would actually shorten their travel time to the Central Lake.

‘There’s not much downside.’

As long as he kept the key information to himself, they wouldn’t be able to act against him too early on.

Anyways, they’ll never be able to overcome the final hurdle.

Woohyuk glanced at Hong Yuri who was walking beside him.

She in turn gave him a beaming smile.

“I’m so glad to have met you. I felt so lonely since I didn’t know anyone else.”

“It must have been hard on you.”

“Of course! The last thing I remember was going out drinking with my friends, before appearing here. I thought I had been caught up in a case of human trafficking!”

“Hong Yuri then went on to explain all the many times she had suffered, trying to elicit his compassion. Like how on the very first night she had almost been raped in her own tent.

Woohyuk sighed.

‘So annoying.’

She was obviously tempting him, but he wasn’t the least bit interested in her. 

Perhaps if it had been 40 years ago, he would have fallen for her moves.

“How have you been? You seem to have changed quite a lot since we’ve last met.”

“I’ve undergone some things as well.”

He recounted his recent experiences, while heavily redacting any parts that were too exceptional.

Hong Yuri however was still more than surprised.

“Wow, that’s awesome. So what happened to her?”

“She died.”

“Oh my….”

‘Such an annoying reaction.’

Woohyuk sighed to himself.

‘It would be better if she cut to the chase when she spoke.’

All her unimportant filler anecdotes were really starting to annoy him.

“Woohyuk, why don’t you come back with me to our camp. We have plenty of space, so there’s nothing to worry about.”

He had been expecting her to bring up the subject eventually.

“I’ll think about it.”

“I feel comfortable around you, lately I’ve been surrounded by men who can only think about getting in my pants.”

She whispered the last part so that the others wouldn’t hear.

Although he felt it was mostly flirting, he could still feel some truth behind her words.

Of course Woohyuk still had no intentions of going along with her.

‘In the long term, it is truly too hard for a beauty to survive.’

He had seen many cases of attractive women acting as entitled queens, only to later become nothing more than sex slaves.

In some extreme cases they would even be abandoned and later raped by humanoid monsters. Only through one’s own personal strength can one escape such a fate.

“I’m a bit embarrassed to say this but I’ve always had a bit of a crush on you….”

“Let’s talk about that later.”

When Yuri tried to continue playing her little coquettish games, Woohyuk quickly shut her down by pressing his finger to his lips.

The bizarre sound of a chicken squawking rang out.


It was a Cockatrice.

“Time to fight.”

“The roaming area of  these mutant chickens was quite large.”

As Hong Yuri’s party members prepared themselves for the battle ahead, it didn’t take long for several Cockatrices to appear around them.

“Eat it now for it to be effective.”

Upon hearing Woohyuk’s order, his party of ten including Lee Jaesung began to chew on some Rosemary.

It would increase their immunity towards certain toxins.

‘The Cockatrice’s saliva is very poisonous.’

If one were to ingest it by accident, it would almost certainly be fatal. The same was true if they drew blood by pecking with their sharp, pointed beaks. At least by ingesting the rosemary, they could decrease the chance of fatality by about half.

‘I am not sure how well prepared.they are.’

Woohyuk had already mentioned the Cockatrice’s characteristics to their party, just in case they were to meet some. Still, they at least had some skill and so far there were no losses. 

“You guys better pray that they aren’t on the menu for dinner.”

Although they looked like chickens, their taste wasn’t all that good and the cooking process was actually a bit tricky.

“Can you eat its snake tail?”

Woohyuk shook his head in response to Lee Jaesung’s question.

“That is where its poison is produced, so your tongue will melt before your taste buds even register anything.


In everyone’s mind their image of it being likened to a chicken completely vanished. 

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