A Monster Who Levels Up
(This extra chapter is brought to you by these explorers of the great unknown: Keneth P. Fiennes, Jared S. Fiennes, Koolpin Fiennes, Julien H. Fiennes, Dale B. Fiennes, Robert R. Fiennes, Justin C. Fiennes, and Zain Z. Fiennes. Thank you for your support!!)
(Also, 100 Internet Points for those who got the reference first!!)
4th of April, the time when the skies would slowly become clearer.
With her training ending sooner than expected, Yu Sae-Jung was left with nothing much to do, so she decided to head to the HQ of The Monster located in the Gangwon Province.
It was to check out how things were progressing in the Society, as well as to share a conversation with the Chairman, Kim Sae-Jin.
"The HQ building looks really nice."
However, there was a fly that had just landed in her ointment.
An upper Mid Tier Knight, Joo Ji-Hyuk.
His eyes went round as he studied the building of his own Society. It was a bit hard to believe such a stylish and elaborately constructed structure was reserved for the exclusive usage of a single ‘C- Class’ Society.
"Yes, well… It’s quite obvious, isn’t it? The Dawn Corporation had built it, after all. So, of course it’s nice."
Yu Sae-Jung answered disinterestedly and entered the building while making that characteristic noise from a pair of high heels. Joo Ji-Hyuk carefully followed in right behind her.
As soon as they entered the reception, an unbelievably beautiful woman greeted them. The ground floor counter was manned by a female Elf. Yu Sae-Jung’s brows narrowed almost immediately the moment she spotted the Elf, and while carrying a strange expression, she approached the receptionist.
"…Are you an employee here?"
"Yes. I was working as a manager in the Orc’s Forge before being promoted to this position."
Even when facing Yu Sae-Jung’s wary voice, the Elf replied in a very polite manner.
"Hmm… Well, okay. That’s that, but where is Sae-Jin Oppa right now?"
"The Society Chairman came in the early hours of this morning but he has returned home now."
Yu Sae-Jung lightly bit her lower lip. She was feeling irritated for some reason. If Sae-Jin just replied to her messages, then she’d not have wasted time coming over here like this… Just what the heck could he be doing during these three hours?
Yu Sae-Jung replied tersely and turned on her heels to walk out of the building, but then…
"Oh, that’s too bad. Ah, by the way, can you tell me where the training facility is?"
Joo Ji-Hyuk started asking about a training facility she didn’t even know about. With a dumbstruck expression, Yu Sae-Jung glanced at him.
"A training facility?! Now why would a…"
"It’s on the 1st Basement Level." (Elf receptionist)
"…Excuse me? It’s really here? I mean, but why is it here?" (Yu Sae-Jung)
"Pardon? I am not aware of the reasons, but the Chairman commissioned two to be built. One is on the basement, while the other on the top floor. The top floor facility is reserved only for the Chairman’s private use, but it’s not completed yet." (Elf receptionist)
Yu Sae-Jung got surprised at the Elf’s words, and began glaring at Joo Ji-Hyuk instead. Her gaze seemed to contain several complex meanings, including one that said, how the heck did you know something that I don’t even know until now?!
"Ah, that, well… The Chairman gave me a call not too long ago. He said that a prototype Athany doll version 2.0 is installed there so I should come and test it out when I find some free time."
Joo Ji-Hyuk scratched the back of his neck and slowly advanced towards the elevator’s entrance. And Yu Sae-Jung just dazedly stared at his back.
While Yu Sae-Jun
g was feeling let down by Kim Sae-Jin, the man himself had completed his quota of hunting for the day and was returning to the Rest Stop of the Monster field in a relaxed fashion.
– There have been simultaneous and frequent occurrences of Monster Outbreaks around the world. Currently, many cities in the United States of America, Japan and China are beset with these Outbreaks, but not only that, the world is shivering in fear at the revelation that the causes of these Outbreaks are not the Fissures….
As soon as he arrived in the Rest Stop, the first thing to enter his ears was the news broadcast from the TV installed to the side.
The resting Knights and Hunters were paying careful attention to the unusual nature of the news while discussing it among themselves, but Sae-Jin didn’t have the time to do that.
He only had five hours as a Human everyday. And that sure was way too short to live like a human, too. On top of that, he had to go to the bank today as well.
So, he quickened his pace.
"Thank you for your patronage!!"
Sitting inside the VIP room of Gangwondo Bank, Kim Sae-Jin checked the latest balance printed on his bank book while being treated with utmost courtesy by the branch manager.
And boy, were they enormous or what. The American Knight Angela paid close to $18 million US for the weapon so that was understandable, but he sure didn’t expect her to send another $18 million again….
"Perhaps, if you haven’t given a concrete thought on managing your personal wealth, may we recommend skilled asset management specialists…"
The bank’s branch manager carefully made his suggestion, while busy rubbing his hands like a house fly. However, the colour visible in his eyes were badly leaning on the wrong side, so Sae-Jin coldly shook his head.
"No, thank you. I shall take care of…"
It was then - out of nowhere, a powerful blast could be heard from the outside. Then, it was followed by an eerie tremor right after. At these ominous events, both Sae-Jin and the branch manager froze on the spot.
"What was tha… Eu-euht?!"
An explosion even louder than the one before could be heard this time. Sensing something had gone very wrong, Sae-Jin quickly pressed onto the window and tried to gauge the situation outside.
"…What the hell is that?!"
And that’s how he started muttering in a total daze without realising it.
Maybe, the news he half listened to while exiting the Rest Stop must have been the sign.
*SFX for loud screeching noises of Monsters*
The downtown of Gangwon had turned into a scene from hell. It even felt like deja vu of the Seoul Monster Outbreak.
Gigantic Wyverns hung in the blue sky like gathering dark clouds, and Gargoyles were firing off evil magic spells towards the ground while being backed by those Wyverns.
Not only that, there were countless Monsters lining up the pavement. Not just Wolves, Goblins and other low Tiered Monsters, but even Lichs, Ogres and also, a dang Manticore.
It was enough to make him wonder whether this was a Monster field or the middle of a city.
"Hey, man!! You need to…"
Sae-Jin was going to ask the branch manager about how he’d deal with this suddenly-unfolding emergency situation, but the motherf*cking manager had already ran out of the VIP room like a released arrow.
As expected, a person’s body would never lie.
Sighing out deeply, Sae-Jin was about to break the windows and make his getaway from here.
"Kyaaaahk!! Wha, what’s going on here?!"
"Eu-ah ah ah!! Run!! Run away!!"
But before he could do that, screams of people coming from downstairs weighed heavily on his mind. He could confirm with his nose that the closest Monster just happened to be Orcs and a Manticore.
He could somehow deal with Orcs, fine, but in Human Form, Kim Sae-Jin had no hope in hell against a Manticore.
*SFX for window glass breaking up*
Sae-Jin gave up. He slammed his fist against the glass and it shattered so easily. And he was about to jump downstairs and escape, when…
*SFX for a young child crying*
His body froze after hearing the belated cries of a child from below.
He gritted his teeth and quickly took a look around the VIP room.
The Eyes of the Wolf could also spot hidden things just like how he could spot people’s auras. Thankfully, he didn’t see any CCTV cameras installed within this VIP room.
He spat out a sigh.
When he concentrated his olfactory senses, he could sense many signs of Knights hurriedly mobilising with haste since this was the downtown area - but all of them were quite a distance away from where he was.
‘And I’m not even a Superhero from a 60s comic book…’
One more intake of a deep breath…
And then, inside the VIP room, instead of Kim Sae-Jin, an Orc was standing there.
The Orc took a step back, before roughly pouncing on his feet and dashed towards the window.
*SFX for concrete wall breaking apart*
Not just the windows but the section of the bank’s wall crumbled down and within this gap, a giant Orc fell down like a falling meteor.
A powerful shock wave spread out as it made landfall. At that moment, citizens running away from the Monsters, as well as the Monsters busy chasing said citizens, froze on the spot and stared at the Orc that fell from the sky.
With its entire body covered in blue scales and an ominous aura oozing out from its eyes, the Orc swapped the ends of his gaze between humans and Monsters, before smashing its mace towards the nearby Monster.
The moment unidentified Monsters descended on the city, the bank’s deputy branch manager came up with an ingenious idea on the spot and activated the security systems of the building. And thanks to that, customers inside the bank were temporarily safe.
Kwang- Kwang- Kwang-
But as the word suggested, it was just a temporary respite. The Mana-reinforced metal security sheets blocking the exits were cracking under the strain of constant barrage from the Monsters.
There could only be two outcomes if things continued this way. The metal sheets would break before the Knights arrive, or the whole building might collapse from the Monsters’ attacks instead.
The deputy manager sighed. There were too many people to protect here. However…
*SFX for metal ripping open*
From one particularly strong impact, the gaps between the metal sheets widened as if they might break apart at any moment. There really was no time left anymore. He had to decide now.
The deputy manager clenched his fists tightly and shouted out.
"Everyone, stand up and head for the bank’s vault!!"
The one place in the bank that best protected money was its vault, and it also could just as well protect people, too.
But that idea came about one step too late. Before anyone could act…
The Mana-reinforced metal sheets gave in first.
*SFX for a Monster’s footsteps*
The serene footsteps of the Monster that contrasted with the chaos of outside, rebounded within the walls of the bank and it was enough to give despair to all the people present here.
The face that resembled that of a person, a body of a lion and a pair of bat-like wings on the back - a hideous Chimera-type Monster.
An upper Mid Tier Monster infamous for its wickedness and also its physical might - the Manticore.
The creature entered the bank with what looked like a smile on its face, and then leisurely scanned the crowd of terrified humans.
And then, it trudged towards a woman holding a child in her arms first.
Even as the Manticore approached her, the mother never let her child go as the flood of fearful tears fell out of her eyes.
However, Manticore seemed to enjoy her appearance, instead. It licked its lips and broke out in a laughter. The sound coming from the crooked lips on that human-like face also sounded pretty close to that of a person.
Manticore didn’t wait any further. The Monster continued to laugh out in that evil and vile manner, as the tentacle acting as its tail began dividing into tens and then to hundreds of strands. It was preparing a cruel and vicious attack that would turn every single one inside this bank into meat paste in an instant.
And as people closed their eyes in fear of the horrible deaths to come…
A roar filled with fighting spirit that could not be described in words rang out to everywhere.
*SFX for loud, powerful footsteps*
And right after that, accompanied by the violent-sounding footsteps, a giant silhouette rushed towards the Manticore and swung its weapon.
The weapon smashed into the face of the Manticore as it folded the air; and the Manticore was launched into the deeper parts of the bank like a kicked empty can of soda.
The person, no the lifeform, that blew away the Manticore with a single shot was… an Orc. And it was an Orc with its body covered in blue scales.
It was a creature famous enough for some people here to recognise it - also known as the Demon Orc.
Silence fell on the bank at this sudden entrance of an unlikely ally.
Of course, that silence didn’t last for long. Monsters poured in from the bank’s now-broken doors. And the Orc firmly stood there like the guardian and began destroying everything that came his way.
Whenever it swung its mace, the limbs of Monsters got easily torn off like pieces of fabric, and the torn bits flew around in the air. Blood spurted out like fountains and coated the interior of the bank, leaving behind a strange and sticky mess.
No matter what, it was a gut-wrenching sight. But, for the citizens staring at the back of this Orc, they sensed this inexplicable feeling of trust.
‘…Sh*t. It didn’t die.’
As the Orc was fighting, the laughter of the Manticore came out from a distance. Sae-Jin bit his lips at this troubling turn of events.
He tried to kill it with a single shot so he even activated the ‘Warrior of Reversal’ and the ‘Fierce Strike’, but… Manticore did live up to its infamy.
*SFX for heavy footsteps*
He could hear the sounds of a lion running behind his back. However, the front of him was also packed with Monsters so how could he pay attention to his back? He then decided to leave everything to Leviathan’s Scales.
But contrary to his hopes, the fangs of the Manticore easily penetrated the Leviathan’s scales. At the scalding pain bursting out from his shoulder, Sae-Jin had to scream out in anguish.
And that pain soon morphed into anger. He roared out powerfully, before grabbing the Manticore’s tail and threw it against the wall, hard.
But that meant he could not deal with the Monsters in his front.
This time, it was the turn of a ‘Spartoi’. True to its fame as the undead skeletal warrior formed from the bones of a dragon, its might was considerable.
*SFX for a blade cutting against skin*
The cold bone sword swung by the undead Monster left a deep wound on the Orc’s side.
‘I gotta get out of here…’
After receiving two critical blows, and with the time limit for the Warrior of Reversal coming to an end, his consciousness became dizzy. Thankfully, he still had a means of escape in the form of ‘Whirlwind Dash’, so it was now prudent to stop here and leave everything to the Knights…
But before that, he just had to smash that ugly-as-sh*t Spartoi apart or he wouldn’t feel better, so he swung the mace hard at the head of the bony Monster.
*SFX for things scattering*
The Monster’s cranium that got struck by the Fierce Strike containing all of the Orc’s strength exploded into tiny bits and got scattered in the winds. Then, strength abandoned Sae-Jin by the bucket loads, making his legs falter. Even though the Manticore still lived, this was clearly his limit…
However - suddenly, anger rushed in.
Orcs detested retreating more than defeat; and hated defeat more than death itself. Was it something like the instinct of its race, or the chain of logic for Orcs that had to be followed no matter what - from somewhere deep inside him, indeterminable desire for battle and anger whipped around violently.
It was just impossible to contain all these emotions and so, Sae-Jin let out a powerful roar without even realising it.
The Orc then tightly grasped the mace once more.
And right in that moment…
An unexpected alert window floated up to his view. Simultaneously, the sleepy consciousness sobered up and the excruciating pain from his wounds subsided immediately.
< 17. The Omen (1) > Fin.