I Alone Level-Up

Chapter 33

Kahng Tae-Sik had been paying attention only to the daggers, so he got really stunned by the pain shooting up from his foot, causing him to hurriedly step back.

Jin-Woo didn’t miss this opportunity.

‘Dash!’

[‘Skill: Dash’ has been activated.]

[Your movement speed has increased by 30%. One Mana will be spent every minute during its activation.]

Jin-Woo rapidly got closer to his target.

Kahng Tae-Sik’s eyes grew wider still.

‘He got faster?!’

Jin-Woo had been displaying an already high level of agile movements, but now that he had gotten even faster, Kahng Tae-Sik found it quite disorientating.

Jin-Woo closed the distance in the blink of an eye and sank his Poison Fang of Kasaka down on Kahng Tae-Sik’s thigh.

“Kuwahhhk!!”

He aimed there precisely because Kahng Tae-Sik was focused on defending his upper body only.

[‘Effect: Paralysis’ has been activated.]

[The effect has been cancelled due to the high resistance of the target.]

[‘Effect: Bleeding’ has been activated.]

[The target’s stamina will decrease by 1% per second.]

‘Nice!’

The added effects of the Kasaka dagger kicked in as well. It was a bit regretful that the ‘Paralysis’ didn’t work, but still, this fight had become just a tad easier now.

However, Kahng Tae-Sik was a high-ranked Hunter himself! So, his resistance was nothing to scoff about. His dagger aimed at Jin-Woo’s vitals and continued to fly in.

Swish, swish!

Jin-Woo evaded the blade with only a hair’s breadth and also attacked Kahng Tae-Sik’s vital spots.

Even though his thigh was badly damaged, Kahng Tae-Sik calmly defended against Jin-Woo’s attacks, as befitting an experienced Hunter.

Clang! Cling!

Cold sweat drops formed on the foreheads of both men.

‘Our speeds are about the same!’

‘We’re moving at the same speed!’

Two men were inwardly admiring each other’s agile movements and continued to clash in a dazzling display of super-close proximity knife fighting.

Several powerful attacks, each one capable of ending this fight if hit, were exchanged without rest.

Swish, swish, swiiish, swish, swish, swish!!

It was a truly scary and gripping battle that caused the onlooker’s blood to go cold.

‘I gotta break this stalemate somehow.’

Jin-Woo gathered strength in his eyes.

[‘Skill: Intimidation’ has been activated.]

The moment his eyes met Jin-Woo’s, Kahng Tae-Sik flinched slightly for some reason.

‘What was that?’

[‘Effect: Fear’ has been activated.]

[The target’s (All) Stats will decrease by 50% for one minute.]

‘It worked!’

Jin-Woo knew that he had won now.

On the other hand, a small earthquake erupted in Kahng Tae-Sik’s eyes.

‘How come my body is…..?’

After he had met Jin-Woo’s gaze, his body felt as heavy as if he was floundering in deep water or some such. His trusty speed began decreasing as well.

Swish! Swiiish!!

Wounds on Kahng Tae-Sik’s body increased quickly one by one.

‘This, this isn’t possible!’

Kahng Tae-Sik’s thoughts became confused and messy.

This was, without a doubt, a debuffing effect. But, he had never, ever heard of a case where an assassin class was able to use a debuff magic.

‘Assassination was not his speciality, then?’

If that was the case, then what was up with his crazy speed?

However, Kahng Tae-Sik had stopped his train of thoughts there. His confusion had rapidly morphed into panic, instead. Because… he had spotted Jin-Woo abruptly rushing in closer.

Kahng Tae-Sik hurriedly took aim at Jin-Woo’s eyes.

Swish!!

Jin-Woo quickly tilted his head out of the way, but the dagger still managed to graze his cheek.

Of course, he knew he’d get hurt, at least by this much, or even worse. In order to get that decisive strike in, he decided to take the risk.

Kahng Tae-Sik’s expression crumpled.

‘F*ck.’

Jin-Woo succeeded in getting close to Kahng Tae-Sik’s chest and stabbed down on the latter with the Poison Fang of Kasaka.

Stab.

“Keo-heok!!”

Kahng Tae-Sik’s eyes shot open wider.

Both men knew right away at that moment. The victor had been truly decided with that one move.

Crimson-red blood pooled in Kahng Tae-Sik’s mouth. It was gushing up from his chest. As blood leaked out from the side of his lips, Kahng Tae-Sik formed a smirk.

To actually run into a Re-Awakened Hunter inside a lowly rank D dungeon….

‘Me and my seriously rotten…..’

The dagger in Kahng Tae-Sik’s hand fell to the floor.

He continued to pant heavily as he leaned his head closer and whispered something in Jin-Woo’s ear.

“…..”

Jin-Woo silently listened to those last words, before pulling the dagger out from Kahng Tae-Sik’s chest.

Just like a dress slipping off a clothes hanger, Kahng Tae-Sik crumpled to the floor, lifeless.

Plop.

Tti-ring!

[You have completed ‘Emergency Quest: Kill all the enemies’.]

The expected messages did pop up, but Jin-Woo’s expression wasn’t so good. Just like the last time, the aftertaste of killing someone remained bitter and nothing to feel too happy about. Even though the other guy attacked first and initiated this fight….

[Completion rewards are now available.]

[Would you like to confirm the rewards?] (Y/N)

If there were no rewards, then this would be one hell of a loss-loss situation, that.

Jin-Woo consoled himself with that line of thought and confirmed the rewards.

[The following rewards are available.]

Reward 1. Five additional Stat points

‘Huh?’

Jin-Woo formed a confused expression.

The reward on offer was far, far less than when compared to fighting Hwang Dong-Seok and his goons.

‘But, it was a far harder opponent this time, though?’

Did this mean the number of enemies was more important than the skills of the opponent? Or, was there something else he hadn’t figured out yet?

Jin-Woo tilted his head slightly.

It was here that Jin-Woo lowered his gaze and ended up spotting something rather odd. There was a spot of flickering light about as big as a coin gleaming on the corpse of Kahng Tae-Sik.

Jin-Woo’s eyes grew wider and wider.

‘No way, could it be….?’

Although he could hardly believe it, that light seemed far too similar to the one emitted by the loot found on the dead monsters from the instant dungeons.

That light also indicated the position of the magic crystal inside a monster from the Gates. But now, the dead Kahng Tae-Sik was emitting this light.

‘What does this mean?’

Jin-Woo calmed his trembling heart and quietly reached out towards the chest area of Kahng Tae-Sik where that flickering light was coming from.

Tti-ring.

Indeed, he wasn’t seeing things just now.

[You’ve discovered ‘Rune Stone: Stealth’. Take it?]

‘A Rune Stone?! Are you talking about THAT Rune Stone….??’

His heart began pounding even harder than before.

The skill Kahng Tae-Sik used had now become a Rune Stone and was waiting to be discovered on his body.

‘Stealth’ was a rare skill that only a select few Hunters could use. If this message was indeed talking about the Rune Stones he knew, then….

‘Acquire it.’

Suddenly, a small rock with mysterious runic letters carved on the surface appeared in his hand.

[Rune Stone: Stealth]

You can absorb the skill by breaking this Rune Stone.

….Absorbing skills by breaking the stone.

As the description said, this rock was definitely a Rune Stone.

By breaking it, he’d be able to use Stealth from now on.

He had not heard of a Rune Stone that taught one to use Stealth being put up for sale until now. So, it was impossible to estimate just how much this little Rune Stone would go for in the marketplace.

It was then, he heard the voices of two people coming from his rear.

“Mister Seong, are you alright?!”

“Mister Jin-Woo!!”

Jin-Woo hid the Rune Stone inside his pocket and turned around.

And he found Song Chi-Yeol and Yi Ju-Hui busy gawking at him with eyes filled with disbelief.

The rank E Hunter Jin-Woo, who used to struggle like there’s no tomorrow in a rank D dungeon, just defeated a rank B Hunter Kahng Tae-Sik.

As a non-combatant class, Yi Ju-Hui didn’t know this, but the rank C Song Chi-Yeol knew very well how incredibly crazy that notion was.

Jin-Woo checked out his own appearance.

“Well, yeah, I’m okay.”

From a casual glance, he was totally fine. He wasn’t feeling any pain, either. But, when he turned his head a bit, the blood pooling around his chin dribbled down. He reflexively touched his cheek and found that the cut he got earlier was bleeding now.

“Oh.”

“Let me heal that for you.”

For a second or two, a blue light danced around Ju-Hui’s fingertips, before that little cut disappeared from the view.

That was the confirmation; a rank E had successfully defeated a rank B without a single injury.

For the two people here that knew Jin-Woo, rather than the fact of a rank B Hunter trying to kill them, it was the fact of the youth before them defeating said Hunter that shocked them the most.

“How can you be able to…..”

Song Chi-Yeol couldn’t finish his sentence.

Jin-Woo, of course, knew what Song Chi-Yeol and Ju-Hui wanted to say here. That was why he opened his mouth first.

“I’m really sorry. When the right time comes, I’ll tell you both everything, so please, don’t ask me anything for the time being.”

When Jin-Woo made a request in a grave voice, Ju-Hui nodded her head first. Eventually, Song Chi-Yeol nodded, as well.

“If you’re saying that, then you must have your reasons. I understand, young man.”

Jin-Woo then turned his head in the direction where the boss was. Although the situation had become complicated somewhat, his plan of killing the boss hadn’t changed.

He wanted to kill the boss by himself if possible. Also, there was another thing he had to, meaning these two couldn’t be here.

Jin-Woo looked back at Song Chi-Yeol.

“With what has happened here, I think it’s impossible to continue on with this raid anymore. For the time being, you two should leave the dungeon and contact the Association. I’ll remain here and search for other survivors.”

Song Chi-Yeol instantly realised what Jin-Woo was trying to do.

‘He’s going to close the Gate all by himself.’

Even from the older man’s perspective, doing that would ensure the least amount of suspicion.

“That would be a good idea. Miss Ju-Hui, let’s go ahead first.”

Ju-Hui hesitated after hearing Song Chi-Yeol’s recommendation, but then, she quickly ran at Jin-Woo.

“You haven’t forgotten about our dinner date, right?”

Jin-Woo smiled gently.

“I haven’t. I still need to ask you for my change, remember?”

“In that case, you honour that promise, okay? I’ll be waiting on the outside.”

Jin-Woo nodded his head, and that must have relaxed her a lot since she took a step back without saying anything else.

Even as she was escaping from the dungeon, she continued to look behind her several times.

Jin-Woo only let out a sigh once the shadows of the two people were gone for good.

“Fuu-woo.”

And he really wanted to hide for as long as possible, but….

In the end, he got discovered.

There were two eyewitnesses, so it was impossible to talk his way out of this one now.

‘It’s not like I can threaten Ju-Hui or Mister Song ahjussi, either.’

Killing the rank B should be seen as self-defence. He had two eyewitnesses, so no worries there. The real issue would be with how a rank E managed to kill a rank B.

‘I guess being a Re-Awakened is the most plausible excuse there is, huh.’

He decided to go with that one, then.

He’d reveal himself to be a Re-Awakened Hunter and get himself a re-assignment test.

No one would believe him even if he told them about the System or levelling up and all the other stuff. There was also no reason for him to reveal that information voluntarily, anyway.

After he decided to go through with the re-assignment test, he kind of felt relieved on one hand, and a bit wistful on the other.

‘And here I was, hoping to do the test only after I got even stronger….’

But, since when did the world move as one wished?

There was nothing he could do about it now.

‘I wonder, how high will my new rank be?’

Since he fought on equal footing with Kahng Tae-Sik, was he slightly stronger than a rank B Hunter at this moment?

He thought that he had gotten really strong now, but as it turned out, those high ranking Hunters, starting from B all the way up to S, were indeed all freakish existences far surpassing his imaginations.

‘Oh well, let’s think about the future once I get out of here.’

For the time being, he had to get rid of the boss first.

The dungeon that emitted magical energy waves equalling a rank D only had a bunch of rank E Goblins inside. In that case, there was a good chance that the magical energy wave was actually coming solely from the boss.

A boss like that should give him enough experience points for a level up.

‘But before I do that….’

There was something else he had better confirm first.

Jin-Woo pushed his Perception to the limit and carefully combed over all auras present within the dungeon.

“Found you.”

Jin-Woo began waking to his new destination.

On the way, he discovered the cold corpses of Kim Sang-Sik and the other Hunter.

This was the power of a high ranked Hunter; if such a Hunter really wanted to, then killing a few lower ranked Hunters could be done in the blink of an eye.

Jin-Woo’s expression hardened as he walked past them.

< Chapter 33 > Fin.

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