A Monster Who Levels Up
Owner: What? OMG, you can’t be serious! Am I hearing this right? There were donations just recently and now two chapters of A Monster Who Levels Up Will be released tomorrow?!! …
People. Come prepared…it’s about to begin.
At first, Sae-Jin howled in order to warn them of the incoming danger. There was an Orc Jaguar heading towards the three Hunters, after all.
Unfortunately, it seemed there was an unexpected effect of a skill attached to his howl.
►[Condition Complete: Drove a minimum of one person to the state of terror with the wolf’s howl] Passive Skill "Howling" acquired.
– While in the Wolf Form, the host can affect the emotional state of targeted individuals with his Howling. Example: Fear, Terror, Mysteriousness, etc.
‘What the hell…’
Instead of running away, the Hunters that heard his cry fell on their asses after their legs gave up on them. And the Orc Jaguar was slowly approaching those poor suckers.
A short time later the Hunters and the Orc clashed. The trio had fallen into a state of panic but somehow recovered just in time and started firing their guns.
Sae-Jin dashed towards the scene as he listened to the sound of the gunshot. He just couldn’t sit back and watch, knowing that he was partially responsible for this mess, even though he didn’t plan things to happen this way.
Fortunately, Sae-Jin arrived in the nick of time. Moving fast enough to cause a storm of winds, the wolf opened wide its maws and bit down hard on the right arm of the Orc Jaguar.
But what he got was a sensation of blockage, the lack of the satisfying penetration. It was not possible even for the incredible biting strength of a Grey Wolf to pierce the tough and thick skin of an Orc Jaguar. When the Orc looked at his way indifferently, Sae-Jin couldn’t help but busily move his eyes and take a glance at the creature.
The Orc roared in irritation and swung its arm hard, throwing Sae-Jin off it. He quickly regained his footing after being thrown off and took some distance, but the explosive speed of the Orc Jaguar was much faster than his expectations. As befitting of the moniker, "Jaguar". Its speed didn’t lose out to that of a Grey Wolf at all.
It seemed to take only a couple of steps, but it had arrived at Sae-Jin’s location and slammed down its weapon at him.
Sae-Jin just about dodged the strike by twisting his body.
Annoyed by the agile movement of the Wolf, the Orc Jaguar began pounding away like crazy with its blunt weapon. The accuracy was pretty damn low but the destructive power behind each strike was no laughing matter. Sae-Jin twisted around like a snake and avoided the crazed attacks. But the ground below could not withstand the aimless poundings and became overturned like a crop field ready for seeds to be planted, while numerous debris - pebbles, soil, weeds - flew up in the air.
Meanwhile, the three stooges Hunters sat there and stared at this scene in a total daze. It was like they were stuck inside a dream. It had to be a dream since this event they were seeing couldn’t be reality, as the Low Tier Monster Grey Wolf was fighting tooth and nail with an Orc Jaguar that was considered to be one of the strongest even in the low Mid Tier rankings.
As they watched the proceedings in a daze, t
he woman suddenly raised her gun towards the battle.
"Hey, hey, what are you doing?"
One of the men panicked and tried to stop her. The other guy did the same. The two of them thought that instead of trying to agitate the two Monsters, it would be a far smarter choice to escape during this time of reprieve.
"An Orc Jaguar is known as an obsessive Monster. It’s got a good nose too, and it will never let a prey it found escape like that. Dunno if that Wolf intervened in order to buy us time to run, but it’s the correct choice to help it out right now."
What if the wolf targets us next after the Orc Jaguar is dead?! The male Hunter couldn’t spit his words out. If it weren’t for that wolf, they would have died already, and if that wolf couldn’t defeat the Orc, then they would still die anyway.
"Aim mainly at the eyes, between the eyebrows, mouth, and under the arm."
They had received the ranks of low Mid and Mid Tier at the age of 23, meaning all three of them had enough skills to roll around in this rough world by themselves. They quickly reloaded their guns and took aim at the battle of a Wolf and an Orc. Even though the Orc exposed a lot of openings because of its lack of palpable intelligence, all of them proved to be useless in the end. The Hunters had to aim at those weak spots where there wasn’t much covering of thick skin, or where there weren’t any to begin with.
The Orc pounded hard once more, but it was yet another miss. It ended up destroying the poor ground again, so it widened its eyes in anger and searched for the slippery Wolf.
And when it stopped its movement for a brief moment, an oval shaped object with a pointy tip sliced past the wind and and struck one of the Orc’s eyes.
It was a Mana bullet. As the bullet that was densely infused with Mana came in contact with the Orc’s retina, it exploded - and the hulking creature spouted blood as it stumbled backwards just a little.
As the flurry of bullets flew at it aiming for the weak spots, the Orc raised its arm and easily swatted them away.
With one of its eyes gone, the focus of the Orc Jaguar’s fury switched its target from the Wolf to the three Hunters. Its anger boiled so much that it’d pounce on the three humans at any moment.
"It’s coming!! Separate, now!!"
When the Orc unwisely started moving towards the Hunters while ignoring the Wolf, Sae-Jin’s chance had come.
He activated the skill Warrior of Reversal.
Almost immediately, his muscles grew at an incredible speed and vitality filled his body. When the fighting spirit that could not be doused burned powerfully inside him, Sae-Jin decided to relieve this feeling with him ripping out the back of the Orc’s neck.
The Wolf, with its body completely transformed, assaulted the back of the Orc like a raging, crashing storm wave.
He only needed two full steps. Wind gathered below his paws and using the propulsion from them, he charged into the Orc’s back.
Sae-Jin finally succeeded in piercing through the skin. But, it still wasn’t a fatal enough wound. So, he shook his head around in order to further tear open a larger chunk of the wound.
The Orc screamed in pain and tried to pry the Wolf off from its back. But Sae-Jin’s temporarily enhanced jaw strength could ignore the creature’s desperate shakings. While biting deeper into the neck of the Orc, he sent out signals with his eyes at the Hunters. It was their turn to shine, now.
The woman Hunter aimed the handgun with her imperceptibly trembling hands. The target was the Orc’s left eye.
The Orc raged around powerfully, but she didn’t hesitate one bit as she squeezed the trigger.
The steel-encased Mana bullet drew a clear trajectory as it flew towards the Orc. Literally, it was clear to see. Its speed wasn’t of a regular bullet. As if it was a flower petal blowing around in the wind, the Mana bullet slowly approached the Orc.
It was a built-in feature of this high priced firearm designed to maximise accuracy.
The damage from the speed of the bullet would lessen but since it was going to explode once entering the target, the design of a steel-encased Mana bullet was also focused solely on achieving high accuracy.
She manipulated her Mana and guided the trajectory and the direction of the bullet in real time. The bullet constantly changed its aim as the Orc violently struggled until finally, it struck the creature’s eye.
A small explosion followed right after. A fountain of blood poured out from the Orc’s eye.
It was a bull’s eye. She breathed out a sigh of relief.
Even though the Orc had become completely blind, the Wolf remained biting into the neck for a few more seconds before separating from the creature.
The back of the neck chewed out by the Wolf looked as if it’d split apart in any second, and from the eyes damaged by the bullets blood poured out like a fountain. The Orc Jaguar let out a weird whimper and threw its two arms around, but even that didn’t last long.
The creature fell on top of the grass and stopped moving shortly thereafter.
When the battle ended, the three Hunters fell on their asses again as the strength abandoned their legs.
Sae-Jin was breathing heavily as he spat out the blood pooled in his mouth. And before long, a new message window popped into his view.
⸢Condition Cleared: A Cooperative Hunting.⸥
– Succeeded in a cooperative hunting with at least the minimum of 1 Human.
– It’s now possible to change into the Ebony Wolf Form instead of a Grey Wolf. All Stats related to the Forms will be adjusted accordingly.
– The skill "The Scent of a Wolf" will apply even while in Human Form.
►Passive skill, "The Scent of a Wolf" [Level: F]
– The strong odour of the Ebony Wolf. Depending on the gender, race, characteristics and tendencies, the effects will vary.
– This skill will also remain active during the Human Form.
It was a joyous message no matter how many times he looked at it. But just like before, he couldn’t shout out in happiness as the timing proved to be a bit wrong as well.
"…Hey, hey!! Look at that!!"
The woman Hunter suddenly raised a ruckus as she began pointing at Sae-Jin.
Actually, he had no idea what the process of his evolution looked like. All he could derive from the dazed, mouths-wide-open appearances of the three Hunters were that, maybe, it must have been rather mysterious or somewhat bizarre to look at.
Sae-Jin remained standing proudly for a bit and gazed at them, before rapidly dashing away.
And the only ones left behind were the three dazed Hunters still acting like they were swimming inside a dream.
"Hey, did you see that?"
"Its fur changed while brightly shining and all that, right?"
When the Wolf’s body was enveloped in the mysterious azure light, the previously grey coat became dyed in jet black colour. This was a kind of an incredibly rare event that couldn’t be seen again even in a dream.
It was at night. With a full moon looming large, a huge crowd of people had camped in the the Monster field’s Low Tier hunting ground. But it wasn’t just people only. There were also numerous trucks, antennae, cameras and mics that couldn’t normally be seen in a place like this; in other words, they were news crews and their accompanying vehicles. Under the curious gazes of one or two onlookers, the reporters were all in the midst of busy reporting on something while being protected by the Knights.
"….Can you tell me what is going on here?"
Sae-Jin cautiously approached one of the Knights on duty and asked. He assumed the Human Form and ran all the way out here, after suddenly catching the whiff of so many people and getting surprised by that.
"It’s to film a report. You probably have heard of the rumour, too, right? They say it’s a Spirit Beast or something… Obviously it’s all nonsense. But nowadays, what with folks being emotionally dried up and all, stuff like this…. Tsk, tsk."
The Knight who was normally stationed around these parts clicked his tongue in annoyance as if he didn’t like getting called out in the middle of the night.
There was this hot new story tossing around on the Internet as well as on various newspapers. It was about a certain Grey Wolf that morphed into an Ebony Wolf - a story of a Spirit Beast. This story came to life after three Hunters gave a clear, concise eyewitness testimony as well as uploading the photos of the Orc Jaguar’s remains to the Hunters Cafe.
The Hunters all spoke of the event where, after the Grey Wolf aided them in defeating the Orc Jaguar, its body suddenly became dyed in the azure light, then all of its fur turned black in colour.
The eyewitnesses guessed that this wolf was one of those growth-type Monsters, but as the story spread out like a wildfire, people, including the so-called experts, concluded from the creature’s actions that it must be a Spirit Beast instead.
The reason was simple. Monsters tried to devour humans, but this particular wolf helped them out. And after the part about its fur changing colours were emphasized, a certain persuasive speculation gained traction where people wondered if this wolf was the same one that saved the Hunter Kim Tae-Jo way back then.
"What will happen if this wolf shows up?"
Sae-Jin carefully asked again.
"Probably nothing more than getting shot at by the cameras."
"Huh… So it’s not going to get hunted down?"
"Fuhut. Hey, Mister Diligent Hunter, I get your dedication to your work, but if we try anything here, the public will crucify all of us."
"But man, between us, aren’t these news reporter people dumb as hell? I mean, a wolf is a very skittish creature, so why raise so much fuss as a group….?"
The Knight stopped talking and looked around. The Hunter he was talking to just now had suddenly vanished.
"Where did he go?"
He just dropped the matter and switched his focus back to the guarding duty.
5 minutes passed, and then 10 minutes flowed by.
The original aim was to film the approximate location where the Spirit Beast had appeared while expecting nothing much to happen, so when that was all done, the reporters got ready to pack up and leave.
But it was at this very moment.
A cry of a wolf resounded loudly in the air. The cameraman busy loading the van with the equipment and the lady reporter climbing aboard the passenger seat all stopped in utter shock and quickly turned their heads towards the origin of that sound.
And they saw a lone wolf, framed by the full moon on its back atop the nearby mountain peak, gazing back at them. The dignified stance that couldn’t have possibly belonged to a wolf, the majestic body overflowing with confidence. The black fur coat that seemed to shine softly under the moonlight, and a pair of golden eyes that burned brightly. And finally, a mysterious howl that could shake their souls.
A wolf was not a tiger, but everyone gathered here could definitely feel the same thing. The wolf that was proudly surveying the ground here was definitely the "Sangun". (TL: it’s a Hanja word that means a few things - one, meaning the guardian of the mountains, two, literally a fierce tiger, and the MC from a Naver webtoon, Brother Tiger Bar Khan. I thought the author meant the first two, so left as is.)
"….Hey, wake up!! Start filming already!!"
The dazed members of the press began to move in a hurry. They hefted the cameras and began hunting for the best angle to capture the view of that proud creature.
The Knight who sneered in contempt just now was left speechless as he stared at the distant wolf. He scoffed and said there was no such thing as a Spirit Beast. But even he couldn’t call that creature a Monster. Certainly, not after seeing this unexplainable aura of divinity wrapped around the Wolf.
"What the hell?!"
There was a sudden collective cry of shock. Not content with just the appearance alone, there were several blue coloured blobs of Mana rising all around the wolf like the ghostly flames of the Underworld.
"D, d, did you get that?? Hey, I said, did you film that sh*t?!"
It’d be a huge scoop if captured on film. A guy that looked like a producer or a director yelled loudly while making a shocked expression. At this shout, the cameraman nodded his still-dazed face but at the same time…
"Hey, where did it go?!"
As if the previous event was nothing but a passing dream, the Wolf’s presence had disappeared completely.
< A Spirit Beast, the Divine Wolf (2) > Fin.