I Alone Level-Up
As soon as he muttered that out, a gentle blue aura enveloped him.
‘Uh… isn’t this sensation…. that?’
Right away, he recalled Yi Ju-Hui’s face. When he was getting healed by her, he felt the sensation similar to what he was feeling right now.
If he were to put this feeling into words, then it’d be like a refreshing blast of air entering his lungs before leaving again – something like that?
He felt the blue aura slowly dissipating. For some reason, he kinda felt a bit rueful.
Jin-Woo got up from the floor and lightly jumped up and down on the spot and stretched his body this way and that.
“How can this be?!”
His heart that felt like it might explode was beating calmly now, and his rough breathing had stabilised as well. He didn’t even feel a speck of fatigue. His body that was on the brink of collapsing, felt refreshed as if he just got up from a night of good rest.
The effect, in other words, was top-notch.
‘Isn’t this really amazing?’
Jin-Woo’s eyes now resembled circles. He wasn’t sure whether this was some kind of magic or not, but this phenomenon could change him in the most astonishing way, without a doubt.
In that case, would those ‘Stat points’ be the same?
When Jin-Woo shifted his gaze around, he spotted a small box resting on top of the bed as well as his own Stat Window floating in the air.
‘I guess that thing over there is the random box….’
The important thing was his Stat Window, though. This window displayed simple information about himself.
Name: Seong Jin-Woo
(Available points to distribute: 3)
– (Unknown) Lv. Max
– Tenacity Lv. 1
– Dash Lv. 1
The stat he saw was quite similar to a starting character from an online game he used to play many moons ago.
‘Is this my current Stat value?’
His current level was 1. All of his stats were also at the bottom of the heap, too.
If he thought about the current reality of what he was like, the one where he was ranked as the weakest even among the rank E Hunters, then there was nothing to be surprised about there.
What he paid attention to was the ‘Skills’ column.
A passive skill called ‘Tenacity’ and an active one called ‘Dash’.
For some reason, he felt rather familiar with them.
“Ah. I remember now. Yesterday….”
Yesterday, or to be more precise, back in the early dawn of this morning, he remembered hearing those words while being chased around by the centipedes in the penalty zone.
It happened probably after three hours of him constantly running for his dear life. He was suddenly greeted by a couple of new messages.
[‘Skill: Dash Lv. 1’ has been learned.]
[‘Skill: Tenacity Lv. 1’ has been learned.]
Back then, he was far too busy running to think about what they could mean, but it was a different story now. Jin-Woo confirmed the explanations available for the skills.
[Skill: Dash Lv. 1]
Mana required to activate: 5
The constant running fortified your legs. When this skill is activated, your movement speed will increase by 30%. During its activation, 1 Mana will be spent every minute.
[Skill: Tenacity Lv. 1]
Mana required to activate: None.
You possess untiring tenacity. When your stamina drops below 30%, this skill will automatically activate and reduce all damage received by 50%.
‘Did I learn ‘Dash’ and ‘Tenacity’ because I stubbornly ran around like there’s no tomorrow?’
That seemed to be about right.
In other words, if he kept on repeating a certain action over and over again, and happen to meet the requirement conditions, he would be able to learn new skills.
Wasn’t this an incredible advantage?
The thing was, the skills individual Hunters used were acquired when they went through the Awakening process, or learnt through the items called ‘Rune’ Stones that dropped very rarely from monsters ranked A and above.
Understandably, the prices of these Rune Stones would start from the lowest of several hundred thousand Won to dozens of billion Wons at the top end.
At the last auction, the most expensive Rune Stone was sold for around ₩70,000,000,000. (TL: over $62 million)
Apparently, this Rune Stone contained a skill that could revert many injured people back to their original conditions in one go, and it was snapped up by an anonymous overseas rank S Healer who had reputedly emptied out his entire life savings.
Jin-Woo’s heart began beating faster.
A skill that increased his movement speed, as well as another that decreased the amount of damage received.
Sure, they weren’t as good as those skills that sold for billions of Won, but they were still amazing to him regardless. And he got to learn those for free, too!
His overall magic energy value was too low, so it’d be hard to use them properly, but still, it was better than not knowing them, wasn’t it?
‘Besides, the Tenacity skill doesn’t even need Mana to activate, too…..’
It seemed that this Mana thing was his magic energy. If that was the case, then even though he didn’t have a lot of magic energy, he’d be able to freely use the Tenacity skill. That alone was a huge gain.
“By the way… what could this ‘unknown’ thing be?”
The ‘Unknown’ that occupied one whole slot of the passive skills column.
Since it was located in the passive column, that meant it activated automatically, but there was not one explanation or any information on it.
‘Not even a single clue, huh.’
The amount of information he could learn was just too limited. Even if he burst his brain trying to figure it out, he knew there wouldn’t be any answers. So, Jin-Woo shifted his gaze to elsewhere.
‘Stat points, is it….?’
Three additional Stat points he got as a reward remained there, still to be distributed.
‘I’m sure this means I can increase any one of my Stats by three points, right?’
There were five categories in the list of Stats. Maybe because he was a mere level 1, the values of each stat were ‘simple’, to say the least. However, if he considered how reality operated, he couldn’t take these stats lightly at all.
If his abilities changed for real with a moment’s decision, then who in this world would be able to casually make such choices?
Jin-Woo’s expression became serious.
‘Strength is no doubt talking about my physical power….’
He could more or less figure out what ‘Strength’, ‘Stamina’ and ‘Agility’ could mean. After all, those were the kind of ‘Stats’ one would often encounter in video games.
The question was with the last two Stats, ‘Intelligence’ and ‘Perception’, then. And just like before, the unfriendly System didn’t provide any answers whatsoever.
If he increased ‘Intelligence’ would he get actually smarter, for instance? And, if he increased ‘Perception’, then would he become more sensitive?
Whatever the case may have been, he felt that those two Stats didn’t really seem all that useful to him right now.
He was a melee-type Hunter, to begin with. What he needed was power, speed, or even stamina.
‘If you were to ask me to choose between the three, I’d inevitably go with Strength.’
If he got physically stronger, many things would become that much easier for him.
Also, he wanted to find out what kind of change would take place with his body once the Stat values had been increased. Since he thought that this change would be much more prominent with the increase in the Strength stat, he ended up investing all three points on it.
“All three points to the Strength stat.”
(Available points to distribute: 0)
‘Is that…. all?’
Indeed, it looked like it.
The only change he could tell was the Strength stat value floating in front of his eyes like hologram projection changing from 10 to 13. Unlike how it was in cartoons or movies, his body didn’t feel like it was overflowing with uncontrollable power or anything like that.
“Did anything actually change or not?”
He decided to use his muscles to find out. Jin-Woo stood next to the bed and lifted it. He felt a bit of weight, but he was able to pick it up easier than he thought. However, he found it impossible to tell whether this was because of the bed being light, or his Strength having been improved.
‘I should’ve lifted the bed first before spending the d*mn points….’
Since he had already spent all the points before confirming, it was hard to tell the difference between ‘before’ and ‘after’.
‘Only if I had some more points to spend….’
Jin-Woo licked his lips in regret only for a certain memory to jump out at him.
“The rewards from the Penalty Quest!”
Today wasn’t the only time he got to ‘complete’ the Daily Quests. He might have nearly died, but he sure as hell did complete the Penalty Quest, and he remembered seeing the message about the rewards being available as well.
Jin-Woo hurriedly opened the mailbox.
[Rewards for completing the Penalty Quest is now available.]
[Would you like to confirm the rewards?] (Y/N)
“I knew it!”
Jin-Woo clenched his fists tightly.
Of course, it’s a resounding “Yes!”
[The following rewards are available.]
Reward 1. Three additional Stat points
Reward 2. One random box
[Would you like to collect them all?]
Unlike the Daily Quest rewards, the option of the full status recovery was absent, but well, what he needed right now was the additional Stat points anyways.
He was momentarily worried about there being a huge difference in rewards since they were from a Penalty Quest and all, but he was relieved to find three points waiting for him.
Jin-Woo hummed joyously to himself.
“Add all three points to the Strength stat.”
His Strength jumped up from 13 to 16.
Jin-Woo stood next to the bed again and put some strength in his arms. And he was able to lift up the bed a lot easier than before. He could definitely tell the difference now.
“It’s for real….!!”
His physical strength had really improved.
If he were to consider the change purely through the Stats alone, then the starting value of 10 had increased by 60% so how could he fail to notice the improvement?
Now feeling completely elated, he went around the room and began picking up not just the bed, but everything he could lay his hands on, and generally made a mess of things inside.
Only after the chief nurse passing by heard the commotion and scolded him did he stop his tomfoolery.
“….I’m very sorry.”
As soon as the chief nurse left his room, Jin-Woo spat out a sigh of relief.
However, he couldn’t calm down at all. His heart was beating like crazy.
Thud, thud. Thud, thud!
As a matter of fact, his chest actually hurt.
The Daily Quest that would continue to show up every day, and the Stat points as the reward!
As long as this unexplainable phenomenon didn’t come to a sudden end, he’d be able to live a completely different life to the one he’d been leading until now.
This was an unbelievable opportunity for him.
Besides that, the Stat Window also showed his ‘level’.
‘Does this mean I can also increase my level, too?’
Eventually, though – Jin-Woo shook his head.
‘Eiii, there’s no way.’
Now that would be too good to be true. He wasn’t hoping that far, anyway. The rewards from the quests alone were plenty enough for him.
He’d use the Stat points to increase his abilities. Every day he’d grow to be stronger – compared to yesterday, he’d be stronger today; compared to today, he’d be stronger tomorrow.
‘Me, getting stronger? The rank E Hunter, and also, always mocked as the weakest weapon?’
He didn’t even think about climbing up as far as the rank S or A. Even the notion of getting to rank C or D, like those Hunters he’d been working with, would surely be seen as a laughable one.
Indeed, they’d disparagingly point their fingers at him and guffaw their heads off.
Seong Jin-Woo was getting stronger? That Seong Jin-Woo, the one and only on this planet?
However, he didn’t care if they laughed at him. No, he was already used to being the butt of many jokes. He was just happy that an opportunity had fallen on his lap, that was all.
Suddenly, a question mark floated over his head.
‘Could this be the process of my Re-Awakening?’
Although extremely rare, the cases of bottom-tier Hunters climbing up to the top through Re-Awakening had happened before, for sure.
If so, then could those Hunters who got stronger through Re-Awakening experience a similar sort of situation as he was in?
‘Let’s find out.’
Feeling genuinely curious now, Jin-Woo settled down in front of a computer located at the corner of the hospital room.
Since he was staying in a VIP room provided free of charge by the Hunter’s Association, this computer wasn’t the only item of convenience found here.
Jin-Woo’s fingers typed rapidly on the keyboard.
Searching, searching, and then, more searching…..
He visited countless websites.
He even entered those websites that one couldn’t even get anywhere near without a Hunter’s licence. He even resorted to paying for information and continued to rummage through every document and article he found.
However, rather than finding similar events as his, he couldn’t even find a single mention of a precedence, either.
His Re-Awakening was completely different from the normal ones, as it turned out.
Most other Hunters who underwent Re-Awakening process gained their new found strength through roughly the similar process as their first Awakening as a Hunter.
Not one of them had experienced hearing weird voices at the brink of death, nor did they get to increase their strength through Stat values and such.
< Chapter 11 > Fin.