The Primal Hunter



Chapter 374 - Jake's Laboratorium & To-do List


A note from Zogarth

Already top 200 (barely) for the book release on Amazon with Audio doing even better! Imagine hitting top 100 with the first book :P

Links: KindleKindle Unlimited & Audible

Remember, just downloading the book if you have KU adds to the ranking!

Jake carried the heavy as fuck gate down towards the underground, having left the still-sleeping Sylphie back in the lodge as working with a bird on your head while working on construction was considered a safety violation by Haven’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (HOSHA).

Hank was also carrying one as they tried to get them all down and in position. The two other workers had tried to carry one, and while they could, they quickly noticed a problem… the ground beneath their feet.

See, the problem for them wasn’t necessarily that they couldn’t lift it using certain skills, but that it would be like walking through a bog with your feet sinking down to your knees due to the sheer weight with every step.

Hank managed to avoid this by using some skill a lot like water walking, except it made so every one of his steps seemed to hit a far larger area. On the other hand, Jake used a few different methods, like wrapping it in strings and lifting it up, while condensing platforms of mana to step on to lessen the stress caused by his feet on the ground.

Now, while Hank could carry the gates himself, that wasn’t all one had to do to get them installed. When Jake reached the tunnels, he saw that the tunnel had been equipped with what looked like a large doorframe that went a few meters into the soil around it.

Currently, they were in the tunnel dug into the cave leading down to the biodome with the dungeon in it. This tunnel led into the alchemy lab under construction and served as one of two entrances. The first entrance was directly below the lodge itself, while the second was through this cave. They had also discussed having another tunnel connect the biodome and the lab but had decided against it for a few reasons. Primarily that the biodome area would likely become a bit more populated once more people began actually using the dungeon.

Something Jake learned Neil and his party were planning on doing soon. Felicia and Roman would probably also want to try it shortly after getting a few more people to go with them. Or they would do it as a group of two… though Jake didn’t think they could currently.

The doorframe itself was heavily fortified once they got to it. In fact, the entire tunnel was enchanted and reinforced with several pillars and beams to keep it stable and – perhaps more importantly – incredibly durable. Jake could still break it, but he doubted anyone below D-grade could, at least not without a lot of effort.

Of course, it would all be made stronger with time, but for now, it was fine, and once they got some barriers and stuff in place, it should be even better.

“Yeah, hold it just like that,” Hank said as they had finally managed to get the gates into the large tunnel. Jake was amazed how well they fit but learned this was because the man had spent part of the week Jake was gone to make sure it would.

Jake was holding it all up as the man attached the two gates on hinges, dropping them down as the ground shook a bit. Hank did some stuff on them one by one, as the two people with him got to work. They did something that almost looked like welding to fasten it even more and reinforce the entire thing.

“So, how will the gate open?” Jake asked as they were working on attaching it fully.

“By having enough strength to make the gates move,” Hank answered. “There are methods to enchant the hinges and implement an opening mechanism, but doing so right now will be incredibly difficult. We will also have to isolate those enchantments as the metal the door is made from almost gives off a magnetic field isolating itself from other energies. Great for not caring about having small gaps in the side of the doorframe, not that good for making automatic door-opening devices. Maybe an analog one can be made, but it will need a lot of force.”

Jake shrugged. “Works for me fine so far. Any plans on how to make the door work at the other entrance?”

“Made some modifications adding a small entrance area once you drop down where the gate can be put. The drop itself is not large enough to support getting a gate through, so we will have to carry it through the underground complex through this entrance. Anyway… before that, let me show you around the place,” the builder said as he and Jake went through the newly-installed gates, leaving the two workers Hank had brought with him to continue their work.

The tour made one thing clear… Jake really was getting a bit more than just a lab. It was an entire underground complex, and he even saw that a part of it had several stories. A lot of the multi-story part of the complex was what Hank described as the living area, which included a few bedrooms, a meditation chamber – that was apparently popular, Hank said – and a massive library.

One of the biggest rooms by far was the lab itself. It was large and currently mostly bare, with tiles covering the floor and what looked like a black glass-like coating on the walls and ceiling.

“The tiles, walls, and ceiling are all covered in three layers of materials. Towards the outer edge is a coating of a metal a lot like Tungsten, which is incredibly durable and will keep outside energy from leaking through the soil. The middle layer is a silver-like metal that is very mana conductive and enchanted with several enchantments to strengthen and isolate. The last layer is the glass you see, which is incredibly suitable for reflecting and containing energies. In fact, you could view this entire room as a big bottle,” Hank explained.

“So, nothing leaks out of here?” Jake asked.

“Should be able to contain all kinds of poison you toss at it, including nearly all kinds of acids. But be careful because it is still somewhat susceptible to physical damage, so don’t begin shooting that bow in here. Overall I am quite proud of it, and for the entrance to the lab itself, the plan is to make an air-lock type system.”

“Wouldn’t it work to just put another gate there to isolate the lab?” Jake followed up.

“For a time, sure. But the gates are made to resist energies, while I know your poison can sometimes get more than purely energy-based. From what I understand, these gates were made to isolate from curse energy and not poison. Finally, while they resist magic, they are not immune to it at all. Prolonged exposure to poison as you described you wanted to make would be a bad idea,” Hank shook his head.

Jake nodded in understanding. His plan was to make the alchemy lab into a poison-filled hellhole for anyone but himself to create poison in. The atmospheric poison would provide him with increased mana regen at all times, help feed his Palate, and even allow him to place a few plant boxes in there or something like that with poisonous plants in them.

Potions and elixirs and what-not he would just make somewhere else like the meditation chamber. When making poison, the problem was that you pretty much needed an isolated lab due to the fumes and escaping energy being harmful. Energy also escaped while making potions or elixirs and other beneficial products, but getting a whiff of health potion fumes wasn’t going to kill anyone, while a good whiff of Necrotic Poison fumes could melt your nose off and erode your lungs.

He still remembered when he made poison in the valley above and the black patch of grass where he had done it.

The rest of the tour was not that interesting as it was all still under construction. There was no furniture of any kind, and the walls were still only halfway done. Jake had to admit, he had expected it to just be an underground cave, but they were cutting out the walls, hardening the soil to turn it into stone, and then shaping it to make the walls look like concrete. Hank even asked if he preferred a certain color to paint them. Jake didn’t and just let the interior designer handle it. Because that was also a thing. It was slowly taking the form of a modern-looking apartment if you ignored the lack of windows.

After the general tour, Jake helped get the second gate in position on the hinges on the gateway directly below his lodge. As a final thing, Hank brought him to a room Jake had wondered about, especially as he had noticed some rather complicated work done above around it.

The room, which was more a cave, looked like some kind of basin and sat directly below the pond above. Jake saw pipes in the walls leading upwards, two on each side, as he asked.

“A swimming pool?”

“… no, it was actually meant to be a water storage as I know alchemists tend to need a lot of water,” Hank answered, giving Jake a deadpan look.

“Oh… that’s also smart,” Jake agreed.

“Well then, wanna see it fill?” the man asked with a smile as he showed Jake some controls over at the side.

“This entire system is created by Arnold. I will be honest, I don’t quite get it, but you can use the system to take water from the pond above and even reverse the flow on other pipes to jump water up there. The pond itself has a natural drainage and the waterfall provides a source, making it quite a good place to get water from. Ah, and the pipes are enchanted, so nothing living can even enter them, meaning you don’t have to get scared of any of those small eels getting through. You can even use these controls to raise barriers and section off certain parts if you want to create water with specific affinities,” Hank explained.

Jake nodded. The basin, in his defense, did look like a large swimming pool. It was around thirty meters long, twenty meters wide, and an impressive five meters deep. As he stared at it, Jake got an idea.

“Can you show me how to do that sectioning off thing?” Jake asked.

“Sure,” the man answered, giving Jake a quick rundown of the control panel. The panel looked like a mix between an eighties computer and a sci-fi machine, featuring overly large buttons, levers, 3D displays, a screen with a horrible resolution, including blocky words and illustrations.

Jake had to admit… Arnold was stupidly smart, if weird as fuck, and possibly a bit insane. Then again, who wasn’t these days?

The entire pool was made so underground pipes connected every different section, meaning one could transfer from one end of the pool to the other without any issues. The way to create sections was just walls of that glass-like material used in the lab, and the more he played with it, the more sure he became of this plan.

He manipulated the basin as a wall of glass appeared and sectioned off an area around two and a half meters long and wide area, creating a box. It was the smallest he could do, and it was just fine.

“Before we fill it, let just toss this bad boy in there,” Jake said as he took out a small stone and threw it into the empty section of the basin he had just created. He had actually planned to use it on the pond above, but this seemed even better.

The stone he tossed?

It was the Dewstone from the Treasure Hunt.

[Dewstone of Serenity (Legendary)] – A small stone created by the combined effort of a group of water nymphs to help heal a close friend. A powerful vampire eventually acquired this stone and brought it to Yalsten, where it has been ever since. Will passively transform surrounding water by infusing the power of serenity into it. Effect lessens, and transformation progresses slower the larger the pool of water. Has many alchemical uses.

With it, he planned on infusing a section of the basin and create his very own special Serene Water. Hank saw him throw it and shook his head. “That stone looks more expensive than this entire complex.”

Jake shrugged. “Maybe it is, but now it’s part of the complex and adding to the value. Anyway, let’s get started?”

The builder agreed as Jake and Hank began draining a bit of water from above. He first filled up parts of the larger pool but set it to only drain a little to not empty the pond above. Then he redirected a bit of the water into the cube he had sectioned off. Ah, but again, only a little bit to raise the water a couple of centimeters, not even submerging the Dewstone.

Minutes passed as the pool was slowly filling, and Jake felt the water around the Dewstone be affected. Then, a few more minutes later, he felt like a switch had been flipped, and the water began giving off a faint glow as he Identified it.

[Serene Water (Rare)] – This water calms the mind of anyone who consumes it, allowing them to more easily focus while suppressing the effects of most mental afflictions. Continued consumption will help heal minor soul injuries. Has many alchemical uses.

“Great success,” Jake commented.

Hank agreed with a thumbs-up, saying: “Well, this was what this sectioning feature was built for.”

Jake spent a bit more time manipulating the control panel and filling up the cubicle of water with the Dewstone in it. He also set it to only fill the basin slowly to not drain the water above too much before putting the entire system to “automatic water renewal mode,” which would -as the name suggested, automatically fill the basin with water whenever he drained it.

Leaving the basin room, the two of them were done with the tour, and Jake had to admit… it was way better than he had expected.

“Honestly, you guys went above and beyond,” Jake said with a smile once they were back up in his lodge, just chilling with Hank and the two workers who were taking a break after finishing some preliminary work on both gates.

“Just doing our jobs, and it was Louise who did all the designing, and besides, you saved our lives. I would be dead right now without you, and even if I was still alive, I doubt I would have ever made it to D-grade,” Hank answered.

“You’re good at what you do; I think you could have,” Jake answered. “But thanks… I really appreciate all the work you and Louise did. The work all of you did.”

The last part was to the two workers, who gladly accepted the words. Jake wasn’t wearing his mask either as he was beginning to feel a bit better with going without. Months ago, he wouldn’t even have considered it, but now he felt like there wasn’t any need. He could feel how the two workers had an almost unhealthy level of respect towards him, and Hank’s sincerity was unquestionable, so hiding his face before them was unnecessary.

The group kept chatting a bit more, and Jake gave a few potions he had to Hank for him and his workers as they took their leave. Jake honestly didn’t have that many anymore due to selling them at the auction… which meant he knew what he had to do.

A to-do list to do.

First up: Grind potions and create a good stockpile for himself and even some for the city if necessary.

Secondly: Stock up on elixirs and get himself fully capped out using those too. Perception all the way, of course.

Thirdly: All the research. Investigate rituals, curses, methods, and what-not to create the cursed Chimera Sin weapon. Also, research rituals related to the Pollendust Bee Queen and finally methods on creating an artificial sun.

Fourth: Begin growing a garden or at least make plans to. Maybe even talk to Miranda about if there were other alchemists in the city or willing to join the city who could assist in this.

Fifth: Through the effect of prior points, get levels, become able to equip, and become familiar with at least a good portion of his newly acquired equipment.

Finally: Begin the trek towards the insect plains to do the curse ritual.

But before going, and after all his other preparations, he had one other thing to do…

He had a King to awaken.

A note from Zogarth

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