A Monster Who Levels Up
“Ouch… Seriously, this son of a bi*ch…”
Bathory was rolling around the floor, tears forming on the corners of her eyes. Obviously, she wasn’t wounded heavily. She was simply faking it.
“I’ll definitely, without a doubt, kill you with my own hands, so you better look forward to it! I’m gonna so rip apart your bones, your muscles, your organs and, and…” (Bathory)
Ignoring Bathory’s venomous curses, Sae-Jin quickly looked through his Skill windows. Unlike every other Skill he possessed, this new one didn’t have a Proficiency Level indicator, just a whole bunch of explanations instead.
[Senses of a Wolf]
– A unique set of senses possessed by only the excellent individuals of Lycanthrope species.
A Lycanthrope who has awakened this ability will see his or her five senses, as well as the ‘sixth sense’, become extremely perceptive when transformed into the Wolf physique. Can be referred to as the ‘transcendental senses’, and when certain conditions are met, performing a faint premonition of the future becomes possible.
– Also, by absorbing blood of certain specific targets, it also becomes possible to understand and accept a part of the target’s powers. This is the result of the instincts of the Wolf perfectly aligning with the ‘transcendental senses’, and the more blood the host absorbs, the deeper his understanding will become.
-The current target: Bathory
[Degree of Progression: 0.35%] [Items possible to absorb (understand) currently] – unique structure of the muscles, unbelievably high bone density – [Degree of Advancement: 3%]
Although the two terms with rather similar definition, ‘Degree of Progression’ and ‘Degree of Advancement’, were separated into different categories, it wasn’t all that hard to figure out what was going on.
The former indicated the percentage left until he could absorb every bit of Bathory’s powers, while the latter most likely indicated the percentage left until the parts of her power – in this case, her endurance and strength – were fully absorbed.
And, to increase both the Degrees of Progression and Advancement – in other words, to become stronger – he had to drink Bathory’s blood.
“….Hey, you. You think you can escape from this place alive or something?” (Bathory)
While he was deeply immersed in his thoughts, Bathory sneered at him.
He replied full of spirit, but thanks to this new development, thoughts of escaping had vanished, at least for now. There was a mountain of experience points that would never run out right in front him, after all.
“Truly, what a pitiful idiot.” (Bathory)
Bathory smirked. Sae-Jin glared at her for a while, before throwing a question at her. He was trying to piss her off, and thereby create a situation where he would be able to drink her blood.
“Oh, really? So, you really think you’re all going back to your original home world?” (Sae-Jin)
Her brows furrowed slightly. However, the answer he heard afterwards was way too resolute and at the same time, quite easy-going as well, as if to deny that faint possibility of uncertainty.
“…Of course we are.” (Bathory)
“You too are also a pitiful idiot.” (Sae-Jin)
In the blink of an eye, Bathory’s Mana flew out in the shape of a spike and stabbed him right in the shoulder. While suffering from this immense pain, a strange scene that could either be the past or the future brushed past his mind.
“Watch… Keheuck. You better watch your mouth.” (Bathory)
At the same time, t
he pain Sae-Jin was going through was shared in full with Bathory as well, but still, while shedding sweat drops, she coldly warned him. Sae-Jin wordlessly stared at her for a bit, before…
“….Yeah, you’re right. Maybe, you can go back.” (Sae-Jin)
…He spoke while recalling the images that had faintly etched within his minds.
Kim Yu-Rin gritted her teeth as she glared at Hazeline. Unfortunately, Hazeline lacked the spare willpower to receive such a gaze, so she lowered her head at an oblique angle.
Between the two, a sharp atmosphere as keen as a prized sword hung about.
And the rest of the members present who didn’t know the full story could only tilt their heads in confusion.
“Wha, what are you doing, Captain?” (Yi Hye-Rin)
Yi Hye-Rin hurriedly shook the shoulders of Kim Yu-Rin, who was standing stiff in cold anger as if she was ready to draw her weapon out in the open. However, Kim Yu-Rin didn’t even react to that call, simply glaring at Hazeline and spitting out words filled with rage.
“….Oi.” (Kim Yu-Rin)
Everyone present shivered at her tone, filled to the brim with killing intent.
“Look at me.” (Kim Yu-Rin)
Hazeline weakly lifted her head up.
At the very moment her face was revealed, Kim Yu-Rin couldn’t hold her anger back anymore.
She knew this wasn’t the time nor the place. However, how could she hold back her rage when the very enemy who nearly ended her career as a Knight after destroying the paths of her Mana circulation, was right in front of her eyes?
Back then, Kim Yu-Rin definitely gave her a warning after chopping her arm off.
If she appeared once more before Kim Yu-Rin’s eyes, then Yu-Rin wouldn’t hesitate at all and cut off Hazeline’s ‘Mana’ as well.
“I definitely told you back then, didn’t I?” (Kim Yu-Rin)
“I know, but… now isn’t the right time for us to fight. We need your help so Mister Sae-Jin can be…” (Hazeline)
Even Hazeline’s powerless answers sounded like f*cking excuses to Kim Yu-Rin’s ears.
“Your dog’s not right to fight, you…” (Kim Yu-Rin)
Kim Yu-Rin shouted out in anger and reached down towards her waist. However, the quick-on-the-uptake Yi Hye-Rin had already absconded with Gungnir and escaped far, far away by then. Still not giving up, Kim Yu-Rin pounced at Hazeline with her bare hands.
“No, don’t you come here!! We shouldn’t be doing… Euahahck!!!” (Hazeline)
Kim Yu-Rin struck Hazeline’s jaw with her fist, and swiftly climbed on top of the fallen Elf. Then, began raining down her fists on the helpless Hazeline’s cheeks, nose, throat, collar bones, chest, pit of her stomach, and lower abdomen…
Suffering from earth-shaking pain that seemed to break her body into pieces, Hazeline reached out and reflexively grabbed Kim Yu-Rin’s hair in a desperate attempt to save herself.
“Euh!! Let go, now!!” (Kim Yu-Rin)
“We, we shouldn’t be doing this!! Right now, Mister Sae-Jin is…” (Hazeline)
Hazeline looked deep into Kim Yu-Rin’s eyes and pleaded with her.
Unfortunately, Kim Yu-Rin’s anger soared even higher. Those eyes of Hazeline’s that showed her worries were… exactly the same as the eyes looking at ‘that guy’ in the past.
“Again?! You, you, you crazy bi*ch!!!!!” (Kim Yu-Rin)
Completely losing her sh*t now, Kim Yu-Rin screamed out the second-ever curse word she spat out in her entire life, and grasped Hazeline’s hair. And soon enough, a sorry excuse of a tug-of-war unfolded in earnest.
It was a fierce tug-of-war where no one could predict who might end up as a baldy first…
“Stop it, please!!”
“What is the matter with you two?! What are you all doing? Break them up!!”
Members of the raiding team rushed in towards the two bickering females, but completely enraged Kim Yu-Rin shoved everyone away and grabbed another handful of Hazeline’s hair.
“Hair, my hair’s gonna fall out!! My hair!! Yu-Rin-ah!!! Unni’s hair is gonna fall off!!” (Hazeline)
“Yu-Rin-ah?!?! Who does this crazy bi*ch think is talking to…?!” (Kim Yu-Rin) (TL: Just in case you don’t know, -ah is a suffix in Korean that’s attached at the end of a person’s name. It usually means someone younger or a child, but can also be used between friends. It’s similar to -chan or -kun in Japanese.)
Suddenly, with a short sound of something being pulled out, Kim Yu-Rin and Hazeline got finally separated.
There was a heavy silence permeating in the room.
Finally freed from Kim Yu-Rin’s death-like grips, Hazeline felt around her head while moaning out in pain.
And having felt something was off, she quickly turned her head to look, and…
Within the hands of Kim Yu-Rin, who had fallen on the floor due to the momentum, she could see two clumps of blonde hair being tightly held.
One second, two, then three… Before long, thick tear drops began forming in the eyes of the totally-dumbfounded Hazeline.
“My, my hair, my hair… I told you, it might come loose, didn’t I… *SFX for a serious bout of uncontrolled sobbing*”
The Guild ‘The Monster’ was currently showing remarkable results in the fields of defense industry, Monster subjugation, artifacts, as well as pension investment schemes. Many people predicted that the Guild’s sister company, ‘TM’, would enter the top 10 in the rankings of the worldwide corporations. And, after becoming a landmark of sorts in Korean peninsula, the piece of land in Gangwon Province where the Guild’s and the company’s buildings were located on, began generating millions in tourist revenue alone.
On top of this, they even succeeded in penetrating into the closed-off, secretive and snobbish world of Wizards. It was all due to the Wizard of Bangbae-Dong, who showed much favouritism towards The Monster. And the members-only library of The Monster where every grimoire published by the Bangbae-Dong Wizard was stored, even got voted as the number one library Wizards wished to visit.
Whatever the case may have been, an enormous Guild that had surpassed its supposed rival Trilogy a long time ago, was holding a party aboard a cruise liner.
The invitation card of this particular party, where the top performers of The Monster Entertainment, as well as famous Knights and the current members of the Guild were supposed to attend, had somehow became a barometer to determine the level of fame and influence a person of high standing possessed.
Those who didn’t receive the invitation raged out in regret, while those who did, proudly readied their attires for the party.
“So, the plan is, we apprehend the Vampire Elder who will attend this party stealthily, yes?” (Kim Yu-Rin)
There was a certain calmness present within the conference room where the proverbial storm had swept past.
“Yes, that’s correct…” (Yi Hye-Rin)
Yi Hye-Rin answered while continuously studying the mood.
She couldn’t help but think about the sobbing Hazeline, busy isolating herself in the corner of the room while trying to concoct a certain potion. It was probably to mend the… ‘bald spots’ on her head. Its possible name, ‘Hair-Growth’ potion; if she succeeds in inventing it, she may end up making a profit of ten billion dollars, easy.
“With that, we can find where Mister Sae-Jin is being held?” (Kim Yu-Rin)
“There’s no guarantee, but still, we should try everything we can…” (Yi Hye-Rin)
Suddenly, Kim Yu-Rin stood up. A small stuffed doll of an Orc hanging on the scabbard of her sword dangled along.
“Wha, what?! What are you going to do now?!” (Yi Hye-Rin)
Yi Hye-Rin, as well as other members, hastily got up as well. They were worried about her pouncing on Hazeline once more. Thankfully, other than shooting a sharp glare at the back of Hazeline, Kim Yu-Rin didn’t act out as others had feared.
“….I’m done doing that, for now. I need to go back to my Order and report that I’m returning to active duty first. I got the okay for my vacation because of the post-op trauma, so if I attend a party like this, I will end up with a disciplinary action, you know.” (Kim Yu-Rin)
“Aha. In that case, let me go with you.” (Yi Hye-Rin)
“By the way, Hazeline. Did you bring the potion to regenerate Rejen’s arms already? Just how long must she remain without arms?” (Yu Baek-Song)
It was then, the slightly tactless Yu Baek-Song asked the back of spotted head belonging to Hazeline.
“No, it’s okay, White Tiger-nim. I’ll be fine even if it’s later…” (Rejen)
The Soo-in Rejen lifted her upper torso from Yu Baek-Song’s lap where she had been laying down until now, and tried to take care of the Divine Beast’s lack of respect towards good timing.
“Uh-huh. I’ll take care of this so you keep resting.” (Yu Baek-Song)
However, the desires of Yu Baek-Song to take good care of her fellow Soo-in was a truly touching thing, and also…
“….In my pouch.” (Hazeline)
…Also, Hazeline muttered without even glancing back once.
The party above the cruise liner was scheduled to start at 8 in the evening, but the members had a need to prepare this and that beforehand, so they arrived three hours early. They then performed the final inspection of the torture chamber (?) hidden at the depths of the cruise ship.
“By the way, how did you explain this to Yu Sae-Jung?” (Kim Yu-Rin)
“We sort of told her that he went on a business trip…” (Yi Hye-Rin)
At Yi Hye-Rin’s reply, Kim Yu-Rin’s brows narrowed.
“Seriously, you guys… Whew. When Sae-Jung arrives later today, you tell her the truth.” (Kim Yu-Rin)
“Eh? But, then she might end up worrying…” (Yi Hye-Rin)
“Of course she must worry. How can she be his girlfriend, if she doesn’t even know anything at all?” (Kim Yu-Rin)
Yi Hye-Rin shut her mouth. Her lips itched to be opened, but she endured. If she could say this one thing, “But you’re a Moh-Tae-Solo”, then she would not have anything more to wish for, but it was prudent to keep her mouth shut. Definitely. (TL: Moh-Tae-Solo – 모태솔로 The literal translation is “mother’s womb, solo”. It’s a slang term for “someone who’s never been in a romantic relationship in his or her entire life.”)
“And, also….” (Kim Yu-Rin)
Kim Yu-Rin took a glance at Hazeline’s direction. Still stuck in some random corner, she was busy with creating the elusive hair-growth potion. The sounds of mortar and pestle – tongtongtongtong – seemed rather sad and forlorn, for some reason.
Kim Yu-Rin returned her gaze back to Yi Hye-Rin. Famed for her quick wits, Yi Hye-Rin got her drift soon enough, and asked Hazeline instead of Kim Yu-Rin.
“Miss Hazeline, do you by any chance know a mental manipulation magic?” (Yi Hye-Rin)
“….A little bit.” (Hazeline)
Hazeline’s voice lacked energy, but that was fine. The effects of such magic was wholly dependant on the target’s mental resistance. And something like that would be taken care of Kim Yu-Rin’s fist, laden with her unique Trait.
“That’s all solved, then.” (Kim Yu-Rin)
“Miss Sae-Jung has arrived!” (Kim Sun-Ho)
The door was shoved open abruptly, and Kim Sun-Ho entered while shouting out. The complexions of everyone present became rather clouded.
“Should I go?” (Kim Yu-Rin)
Kim Yu-Rin made a suggestion.
“I’ll go with you.”
“Let me come with you.”
Joo Ji-Hyuk and Yi Hye-Rin spoke up at the same time. Kim Yu-Rin assumed a wry smile.
With the somewhat sad background noise of the mortar and pestle pounding away, three of them left the torture chamber.
Entering the deck of the cruise liner, Yu Sae-Jung smiled and greeted the trio of Kim Yu-Rin, Yi Hye-Rin and Joo Ji-Hyuk.
Initially, she complimented on the layout of the party itself, but then, after glossing over the pleasantries, got down to business and began asking for Sae-Jin’s real whereabouts.
With a serious face, Kim Yu-Rin answered as truthfully as she could.
And everytime her lips moved, Yu Sae-Jung’s complexion paled further and further.
In the middle of the explanation, she even shouted out “What are you talking about? Is there a candid camera thing going on here or something?” But when Kim Yu-Rin finally got to the part “Mister Sae-Jin has been kidnapped”…
Yu Sae-Jung lost her consciousness and crumpled to the floor like a blow-up doll that lost all its air.
< 42. Rescue (1) > Fin.