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The Zyelok started losing its strength as its screaming dwindled into whines. Its thick leg shook and it soon fell to the ground. However, no one let down their guard. They waited until the Zyelok’s head fell to the ground, breathing heavily. At that moment, Howen pulled out his sword, ran toward the neck, and slashed it. He then moved to the other side.
Joonbum expected him to cut off the head in one swing, but Howen only made a light cut. The Zyelok gasped for air as the wound started to bleed.
“Are we not finishing it off?”
“No. We will wait for it to bleed to death. We can’t drink its blood so we’ll let it bleed now. This is necessary for the meat too.”
It was as Doral explained. When the Zyelok finally gave in to its doom, the warriors started working their way around the body.
The first thing they did was pluck out all of the feathers. It began to look like a chicken.
“Are the feathers going to be used for an arrow?”
Doral nodded, smiling.
“Yes. The small ones are for the children’s arrows. The really big ones are for decorations as we can’t use them for arrows. ”
They stacked the feathers neatly into the basket. It was a simple and daunting task, but they worked quietly. The featherless Zyelok looked grotesque. Joonbum then looked at the lump of flesh protruding from the forehead.
“That contains the Zyelok’s venom.”
“Venom? Don’t we already have poison?”
“That only paralyzes it. This one is deadly. Regular animals, including us, can die even with a small dose.”
“Is there any antidote?”
“No. That’s why it’s deadly.”
“Isn’t it dangerous?” Joonbum still asked even though he thought the question was foolish. Doral nodded.
“Yes, that’s why you have to be extra careful with it. We need it for our next hunt.”
Joonbum asked a question in response to Doral’s words, but he could not continue as a terrible smell entered his nose.
He retreated and turned to the head of the Zyelok. Black liquid spilled out of the sliced lump.
“Amazing, right? That’s the venom.”
Two Ainos men covered their noses and mouths and started gathering the venom with gloved hands. They filled the prepared bottle with venom until they had enough and backed away.
“Joonbum, that’s all on you.”
Joonbum realized that they were using the stainless bottle that he had given to the Ainos as a gift. The flesh was burned after they gathered the venom from it. When the venom was removed, they continued to work on the head.
It was Joonbum and Doral’s turn to work. They neatly packed all the Zyelok meat into the cooler together with an ice pack. When it was all over, they had twenty coolers full of Zyelok meat. After they were finished, they cooked up some meat and intestines that couldn’t be preserved and ate them.
The liver meat that was cooked with fire had a very thick taste and smell that made it feel a bit disgusting. As Joonbum ignored it and ate the meat, however, a delicious taste started spreading throughout his mouth.
“Oh, it’s better than I expected.”
Joonbum looked confused. It was like eating durian. The smell was awful, but the taste was good.
“Yeah, it smells really bad, but it’s good. Only warriors can taste this.”
Gazlow walked up to Joonbum as he noticed his reaction to the meat.
“So is this soju? It’s so bitter.”
Pree-an drank the soju and shook his head at its bitterness.
“But it does clean up the aftertaste well.”
After the meal was over, Joonbum handed cold water out to the people and everyone started cooling off while drinking it. When it was all over, about twenty men took up the coolers and started traveling back to Joonbum’s fortress. Their job was to store the meat in the large commercial refrigerator that Joonbum had bought a while ago.
Not long after they left, another group of warriors came back with an empty cooler.
Zyelok hunting was dangerous but very simple. The monster had no intelligence, making the hunt easier.
‘How can it be that dumb?’
It seemed as if its big size and strength made it so that there was no need to be smart.
‘It IS the strongest monster here.’
The beak was strong as steel. No animal could survive its peck. Not to mention, the claws were as big as human thighs and they could penetrate through almost anything.
-That monster is too strong. We need to control the population, otherwise it will destroy the balance. If it destroys the balance, they will come out of this swamp and cause more problems elsewhere.-
That was one of two reasons why the Ainos hunted Zyeloks. They continued to hunt them for over a week, killing a total of ten Zyeloks. Joonbum traveled back to Earth twice in between hunts.
“Son, do you know what this is?”
Joonbum was taking a break from unloading continuously since the morning when Sunsook happily waved the silver bottle in front of him. His eyes followed the bottle, asking what it was in return.
“What is it?”
He knew what it was. It was the gift that Howen had handed over to them as a token of gratitude for saving his son. He just did not know what was inside. It was sealed tight and he never bothered to find out what it was.
“Don’t be surprised. This is amazing.”
“This is healing potion!”
Joonbum let out a laugh, doubting her words.
“Haha, that’s funny… or. No?”
Joonbum looked puzzled. He started to realize that his mother was not joking.
It was unbelievable. He watched the silver bottle for a moment and suddenly shouted, “Do-Doral! Doral!”
He stood up and quickly looked around to find Doral. He was up on the watchtower, smoking. Joonbum ran towards the tower.
“Oh, hey. You want cigarette? Or beer?”
Doral offered both his hands as Joonbum replied. Doral grinned and handed over the beer, which Joonbum drank. He gulped it down as he regained his calm.
“What’s going on?”
“Oh, yeah. Uh, that bottle. Remember the bottle you gave me with the watum extract? What is it?”
“You mean the healing potion?”
“Yeah. Healing potion.”
“The one you use to heal?”
Doral nodded as Joonbum asked again.
‘Maybe it’s different from what I know.’
Joonbum remained unconvinced as Doral seemed to be certain about his answer.
“Effect? It’s the best you can have for a physical wound. Even the big wounds can be healed in an hour. You know, when your arm is cut off or something…”
“What? Does it connect the arm back?”
Joonbum was astonished. It was a medicine that worked miracles. Doral nodded casually.
“Why? You seem like you’ve never seen it. It’s not that common, but I’m pretty sure nobles have a bunch stacked up in their bedrooms. Good to have for emergencies, you know.”
Doral stopped and drank some more beer. He continued after letting out a burp.
“It’s good for diseases too, but it can’t heal everything. Say, if your arm is cut off, you’ll bleed to death before it connects it back. Also, if you don’t have the part with you, it’s not going to grow it back. If you die instantly the moment your neck gets cut off or a bow penetrates through your head… it might heal the wound but you’d still be dead. It also doesn’t grant you immortality.”
Doral explained its cons. Even with all of its cons, it was still astonishing.
‘This- this is amazing.’
“How much is this worth here?”
“Worth? Hmmph. We have one for each family. I heard that it’s only the nobles who have them for humans. Or some rich merchants, knights, and those sorts. I think the ones humans use are the weaker versions unlike the one Chieftain gave to you.”
“Yeah. Remember I told you it’s good for disease?”
“The ones that the humans use don’t have any effect on diseases. It’s only for physical wounds. I heard even that costs them a small castle.”
“Yeah, a castle.”
Joonbum took out a notepad from his pocket and started going over the pages, looking for the picture.
It was a picture of a medieval castle.
“Oh, wow that looks amazing. Yeah, but not anything crazy like that. Much smaller and dull. I think this kind of castle is worth at least ten middle-grade healing potions. But you probably can buy about two of these castles with the one you have.”
Joonbum glanced back and forth between the picture and Doral. The cost of the potion he had was not easily conceivable.
‘So, these people have one or two of these potions in each of their households?’
He always thought he was being very generous with all the gifts. He even thought he wasn’t being treated well compared to how much he had given.
‘What I gave them doesn’t even come close!’
The potion was worth two big castles. The castle that was used for comparison wasn’t some old, ragged place – it was a well-decorated giant castle that was still being preserved on Earth.
‘What if I sell a few of these?’
He imagined how much he could bring in just by selling a few of them.
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