I Alone Level-Up
Igrit’s elite soldier army was the first to arrive in Tokyo.
Fang’s High Orc army was the next to arrive.
Igrit discovered the approaching High Orc army and lightly nodded his head as his greeting to their Chieftain. The corners of Fang’s lips, hidden under his black hood, arched up as he too, nodded his head.
The elite soldiers army, the division of Ice Bears that acted alongside them, and the High Orc army had now gathered in one spot. And a short while later.
Tap, tap, tap.
The sounds of marching footsteps uniformly resounded out in the surrounding air. Just beyond the ash-grey fog, a large-sized battalion of Shadow Soldiers approached the location.
As befitting of the soldiers that had taken the longest route but also hunted down the most Giants, Beru and his ant army were the last to arrive. The former ant king led the pack and emerged from the settling fog of dust first.
Just like before, Igrit sent out a greeting first.
However, Beru didn’t display any hint of acknowledgement and walked right past Igrit, strode up to Jin-Woo’s back before kneeling down on one knee in a dignified manner.
“Ah. You all have arrived.”
Only then did Jin-Woo tear his eyes away from the distant Giant to take a look behind him.
“Everyone, you all did well.”
As he welcomed them all, every Shadow Soldier followed after Beru’s example and knelt down on one knee. Ice Bears couldn’t physically kneel down, so they simply prostrated, their noses pressed to the ground below.
Everyone, including the elite soldiers, Ice Bears, ants, High Orcs, and Nagas, as well as other types of Shadow Soldiers he had recruited in between – nearly one thousand of his Shadow Soldiers had gathered in one spot.
“All of you, stand up.”
Jin-Woo gestured them to rise to their feet and his soldiers all stood up straight. It was truly a mesmerising spectacle.
Yu Jin-Ho was utterly arrested by this sight and stared dazedly at the Shadow Soldiers.
‘What a relief that this is just one of hyung-nim’s skills, otherwise if these were real monsters….’
Even though he knew no bad things would happen, his body still shuddered as he imagined the scene of these many monsters that also boasted such levels of power moving around as one.
It was indeed a relief that these guys were allies. Where would he find anyone more appropriate to attach that description to other than his hyung-nim?
Unfortunately, there was an even more shocking scene waiting for him right behind him.
Yu Jin-Ho just barely managed to swallow his dry saliva and cautiously took a look behind him. There was a lone Giant standing over yonder.
The size of this Giant-type monster was on another scale altogether compared to the others he saw during his trip to this place.
Simply by staring at the head of a Giant so, so, so far up in the sky, he couldn’t tell whether he was looking at an actual monster or a high-rise building, instead.
A gasp of shock leaked out from his mouth.
There was just too great a difference between seeing it from a video clip and with his own two eyes like this.
Jin-Woo smiled and placed his hand on top of Yu Jin-Ho’s head, as the latter found himself unable to shut his mouth at all.
“Hey, dude. Your jaw will fall off at this rate.”
Yu Jin-Ho finally regained his wits and embarrassedly scratched the back of his head. Jin-Woo withdrew his hand from the kid’s head and wordlessly glared at the boss-level Giant-type monster.
‘How can a massive being like that even exist?’
That life-form was simply far too large.
The horrible magic power oozing out from that thing even made him think about getting away from this place as soon as he could. It was that unpleasant to behold.
There were two ways of getting rid of this unpleasantness he felt.
Either running as far away as possible from the source of this unpleasantness and forget about everything, or, root out the cause of the problem itself.
Which choice he’d go for was set in stone the moment he left Korea – no, the moment Jin-Woo had Awakened, as a matter of fact.
He closed his eyes and quietly enjoyed the tireless beatings of his heart and before abruptly opening them back again.
“Get to a safe distance.”
Yu Jin-Ho nodded his head with a determined face and quickly ran in between the Shadow Soldiers to get away from there.
Jin-Woo patiently waited for the kid to get to a safe enough distance away, and then summoned up his newly-added family members.
Although not as huge as the boss-level Giant, several massive Shadow Soldiers rose up from the ground.
From No.1 up to No. 13.
Jin-Woo named his Giant Shadow Soldiers No.1 to No.13, according to the order of who got extracted first.
He felt rather pleased from the sight of these massive figures standing in front of his Shadow Army, which made his entire troop seem even more dependable than before.
‘This should be enough.’
Jin-Woo figured that this was enough preparation and raised his hand. As his fingertips pointed to the heavens above, all of the Shadow Soldiers got ready to attack.
His soldiers, all decked in black armour and enveloped in rising smoke – Jin-Woo scanned his Shadow Soldiers one by one before turning back to face the boss-level Giant.
The creature was indifferently staring down at him as if any opponents not entering in its fixed range wouldn’t interest it at all.
‘And that’s what I don’t like about that guy.’
Jin-Woo was quite unhappy at the fact that a measly monster was looking down on him from that high up.
A vicious grin broke out of his face, then. And the hand pointing to the sky was pointed towards the Giant next.
“Advance!” (TL note at the end)
Beru raised his head up high and screeched loudly.
Ants, Ice Bears, Giants – no, almost every single Shadow Soldier gathered there dashed forward all at once towards the boss-level Giant monster.
The fierce march of the Shadow Army rocked the ground below. The earth shook and mighty dust storm kicked up. And soon, Jin-Woo’s soldiers entered the territory of the Giant.
It happened then.
The surrounding air suddenly transformed.
“What the hell?!”
A scream-like cry of shock exploded out from Jin-Woo’s mouth.
The boss Giant had disappeared from his view, and when it reappeared, already half of his Shadow Soldiers had been annihilated.
‘It did a sliding tackle??’
There was no other fitting term to describe the boss Giant sweeping away his soldiers with its stretched leg other than a ‘sliding tackle’.
It was an unfathomable destructive power.
With that single attack, a huge entity that was the Shadow Army got split in half. Of course, his soldiers weren’t simply standing back to get massacred out there, either.
Even before the dust kicked up from the Giant’s foot had settled down, Fangs finished gigantifying himself and stood before the monster’s face.
He then sucked in a deep, deep breath as his chest expanded greatly. A nonsensically massive pillar of flames erupted out from his mouth.
This attack from Fangs was capable of even melting down those monsters with innate resistance to fire in a single breath. Unfortunately, the Giant blocked this blazing inferno with the palm of its hand.
Jin-Woo could sense Fangs getting astonished by what was happening.
While still in the lowered position, the Giant snatched up the ankle of a Giant Shadow Soldier in the vicinity.
His Giant soldier, as big as a regular building, resembled a small child after it got caught by the hand of the boss-level monster. And this creature threw the Giant soldier straight at Fangs.
He was about to suck in another breath for his second attack, but he was struck down by the flying soldier before he could and got disintegrated.
Jin-Woo’s eyes narrowed to a slit like a blade as he witnessed Fangs get scattered away in black smoke.
It proceeded from that point on – one thousand against one.
The proper battle between his Shadow Soldiers and the boss-level Giant truly began. No – this was a far too one-sided display of violence to be called a battle.
Shadow Soldiers were crushed constantly and endlessly by the Giant’s attacks.
A punch, a slap, an elbow drop, a knee, the back of the foot, and the bottom of it – one movement from the boss-level Giant, and dozens of soldiers were swept away.
The boss-level Giant’s flashy movements easily exceeded that of the highest-ranked melee-type Hunter’s speed.
Beru watched the ant army being trampled on and was about to dash forward, but Jin-Woo raised his arm and stopped him.
Beru took a step back.
Both Beru and Igrit standing next to Jin-Woo and waiting for his orders displayed visible hints of wanting to join the battle.
‘However, now isn’t the time yet.’
Jin-Woo’s lips were shut tight in a straight line.
The soldiers repeatedly went through destruction and revival, resulting in his MP decreasing at an alarming rate. In fact, the rate was so severe that even the massive reserve of MP he possessed now thanks to the ‘Black Heart’ wouldn’t be able to keep up.
However, Jin-Woo remained patient and didn’t move. He calmly observed the Giant from the distance.
He sent out his immortal army as bait and searched for the creature’s weaknesses. That was his plan for this raid.
The Giant crushed Shadow Soldiers with its knee, and proceeded to punch the ground with its fist.
The ground shook as if there was an earthquake breaking out and dozens of soldiers disappeared in black smoke.
It was a nightmarish battle situation created by the perfect defence and the horrifying destructive power of the monster.
However, he did gain something from all of this.
Within this desolate wasteland that once used to be the centre of Tokyo, Jin-Woo’s irises were gleaming brightly from his frightening level of concentration.
‘As I thought….’
As expected, no attacks could damage the hardy skin of the Giant as it had worn its enormous magic energy around itself like an impregnable carapace.
The creature must’ve been aware of its own defensive capability, because it didn’t even bother to defend itself and continued to pour out one attack after another.
However, there was one single exception. There was one moment that the Giant chose defence instead of offence. That would be when Fangs spat out the ‘Fire Dragon’s Breath’ in the face of the Giant before.
Only then did it raise its arm to protect its face.
If, by chance, that was not a simple coincidence, then…..
Jin-Woo summoned out his Sky Dragon.
Kaisel emerged out from the shadow at once and spread out its massive wings in a spectacular fashion.
Jin-Woo quickly climbed aboard Kaisel’s back.
Beru’s wings extended out from Jin-Woo’s call, while Igrit climbed up behind his Sovereign. Soon, Kaisel flapped its wings and took off while carrying his two new passengers.
The ground quickly grew further away.
The four of them flew up high in the air and flew in a straight line towards the Giant monster’s head. It was then.
The eyes of the Giant shifted to its side.
Even though it was in the middle of a violent tangle with nearly a thousand Shadow Soldiers, it still had time to discover Kaisel and Beru approaching it at an ultra-high speed.
Seeing that, Jin-Woo nodded his head in understanding. That solidified another one of his theories.
This monster could definitely split time itself during the battle and use it to its advantage just like Jin-Woo would do with his Agility Stat. And that was why this thing could display such an astonishing level of speed compared to other Giant monsters.
The boss twisted its body around. Jin-Woo’s vision caught the sight of the creature’s massive shoulders moving.
Jin-Woo and Igrit kicked away from the back of Kaisel.
A blink of an eye later, the Giant’s fist slammed into Kaisel.
Jin-Woo watched Kaisel explode into black smoke, his brows quivering. It was still a rotten feeling to watch his soldiers get destroyed like that.
If there was one saving grace, then that would be the fact that the target for his anger was right in front of his face.
Igrit was the first to attack. He jumped high up in the air and swung the ‘Demon King’s Longsword’ down.
A blue streak of lightning crackling into life from the end of the sword rained down on the Giant’s face. The boss rapidly tilted its head back to evade the lightning.
‘Did it again!’
Once more, it dodged an attack aimed at its face. Jin-Woo was now sure of where its weak point was. He immediately used ‘Ruler’s Authority’ to reel himself in closer to the Giant’s face.
Beru followed closely behind.
‘Demon King’s Shortsword.’
Jin-Woo tightly grasped the two shortswords suddenly appearing in his hands. Beru’s claws had been extended to full in no time, as well.
The combined assault of Jin-Woo and Beru unfolded in the sky high up above. The Shadow Soldiers on the ground succeeded in fully reviving themselves, took aim at the Giant’s ankles, and pounced on their targets.
Flames flying away from the hands of the Magic Soldiers crashed into the Giant’s body and continued to explode. Bolts of Lightning crackled and stormed down, pillars of flames erupted forth, and Giants continued to bite and tear.
Yu Jin-Ho watched this hallucination-like battle from beginning till end without missing a beat.
He was completely at a loss for words.
This was no longer a battle between a Hunter and a monster. No, it was a fight between a monster and another monster.
The monster the size of a high-rise building, and hyung-nim commanding nearly one-thousand summons all at once – if someone asked Yu Jin-Ho who was even more monster-like in this picture, he thought that he wouldn’t be able to answer right away.
It was truly a lamentable thing that he was the only one witnessing this battle. Yu Jin-Ho did his absolute best to calm his heart, that was ready to explode in his chest, and kept his eyes firmly locked on Jin-Woo’s position.
That was also the moment when Jin-Woo’s shortsword stabbed deeply into the eye of the Giant.
The boss rocked its head violently from side to side and desperately rampaged around. However, Jin-Woo wasn’t flung away from his spot despite all the shaking.
He grasped tight the shortsword digging into the eye of the monster and activated a skill with his other hand.
This particular eye of the Giant was soon torn to shreds. The monster contorted its upper torso and resisted, but still, Jin-Woo remained impossible to shake off.
While he tenaciously clung onto the Giant’s eye, he took a look behind him.
‘Your wish is my command!’
Beru understood immediately what his Sovereign wanted and flew in at an unbelievable speed to enter the hole in the Giant’s eye.
On the outside, Jin-Woo, while from the inside, Beru. The combined attacks from the two began ripping apart the giant face from inside and outside simultaneously.
The Giant monster’s mouth shot wide open as it issued a soundless scream.
Just as the huge monster stopped attacking for a moment, ants focused their efforts on the creature’s ankle and finally succeeded in their goal.
After losing a tendon in one of the legs, the Giant powerlessly crashed down on one knee.
The ground couldn’t deal with the massive collapsing weight and quaked quite viciously.
Even then, Jin-Woo and Beru’s combined assault continued on.
The Giant thrashed about in pure madness, but the more it did, the more intense and crafty Jin-Woo’s attacks became as he clung onto the monster’s face.
From a certain point onwards, the Giant’s resistance stopped. Its humongous body slowly began tipping to the side. And finally…
The Giant’s truly huge body came crashing to the ground.
It was then, Jin-Woo heard the familiar mechanical beeps going off in his head.
[You have defeated your enemy!]
Jin-Woo’s clenched fist gripped even harder.
‘I did it!’
Jin-Woo lightly landed back on the ground and was about to sigh out in relief, but then, he realised something was amiss and stopped his movements altogether.
< Chapter 173 > Fin.