A Monster Who Levels Up
– Among those missing from this disaster is the Chairman of the Society, The Monster, Kim Sae-Jin…
Although the number of victims numbered in the thousands, there was one particular missing person that caused much hullabaloo around the world.
And that missing person was Kim Sae-Jin, the leader of the Society rated C+. As he was being seen as the guy to lead the Monster-related industry in the future, his disappearance caused quite a bit of shock.
"Fuuh… Just what the hell is this…"
Thanks to the news of him going missing, a proverbial storm had ravaged through the mansion of Yu Sae-Jung’s family and the people working for them.
Of course, it was all Yu Sae-Jung’s handiwork.
Currently, the Monster field had turned into a hellhole where Monsters of all different Tiers ended up chaotically mixed together with no clear separation whatsoever.
Thus, Knights Orders only selected Knights ranked Mid Tier or higher to enter the field. Knights with lower Tiers were ordered to remain at stand-by behind the defensive line set up around the perimeters.
At first, Yu Sae-Jung followed the order without much complaints.
But that was only until she heard the news of Kim Sae-Jin going missing.
It was a pure coincidence how she got to hear this piece of news and after becoming really nervous, she tried to call him on the phone multiple times. When her attempts all failed, she then tried to jump over the defensive line and enter the Monster field.
Obviously, she was stopped by other Knights and the soldiers stationed there, and after causing a scene while shouting at them to let her go, Yu Sae-Jung was dragged back to her home about one hour ago.
However, she didn’t give up. Instead, she clung onto her grandfather and sobbed and begged him.
Her grandpa, Yu Dae-Ho, was taken back at her actions which he had never witnessed before until now. But he also knew well enough not to send his granddaughter to a definite killing field. So, he promised her that he’d mobilise all of the considerable resources of the Dawn to find Kim Sae-Jin’s whereabouts.
Even then, Yu Sae-Jung searched for a chance to escape her confinement from the Yu household mansion, and in the end, the resident Wizard was called in to imprison her in her own room.
But still, she continued to throw a fit in a manner Yu Dae-Ho could never truly understand, such as breaking the windows and pounding on the door endlessly.
"What is Sae-Jung doing now?" (Yu Dae-Ho)
"She has fallen asleep at the moment, sir."
The butler of the Dawn household, Park Hyun-Oh replied with mixed feelings.
"Did you give her that potion with relaxation or whatnot effects?"
"Besides that, just what kind of relationship does my granddaughter have with that bastard Kim Sae-Jin that makes her behave like this?"
It was in poor taste as the guy in question had been swept away in this crisis and it was still unknown whether he was alive or not, but as the grandfather of Yu Sae-Jung, Yu Dae-Ho just had to express his anger and hostility at the man.
At the Chaebol’s words, Park Hyun-Oh scratched the back of his neck and shook his head.
"Their relationship isn’t what you think it is, sir. Rather… it’s our Miss who has developed a one-sided crush on him."
"…What did you say?!"
For Yu Dae-Ho, that was even more unacceptable. Just who the hell was having a one-sided crush on who?! From his perspective, it wouldn’t even be enough for countless men to throw themselves in front of Yu Sae-Jung’s way, but this was…
"How the f*ck do you know about this???"
When a momentary bout of anger exploded out, Yu Dae-Ho had to forego his status as the most powerful elder ‘statesman’ of t
his household, at least temporarily.
"Haha… Ah, that is… I checked the messages received and sent on her phone…"
"WHAT DID YOU SAY?? Why the hell are you bastard looking at the messages of my granddaughter?!"
"….But sir, you have ordered me to ‘manage’ our Miss until she becomes a full fledged adult."
The replies of the butler were calm and concise. Yu Dae-Ho, with his face crimson, tried to calm himself as well and leaned his back against the sofa’s backrest.
"…Fine, but what is the progress made so far?"
"Searching of the low Mid Tier hunting ground where Kim Sae-Jin has allegedly gone hunting is 70% complete as we speak. However, we still have not located a person nor remains that could be identified as our target as of yet, sir."
"Hmm…. Wait a minute, 70% complete already?"
Yu Dae-Ho tilted his head slightly in confusion.
The current low Mid Tier hunting ground was now a field full of Mid and higher Tier Monsters due to the distortion of the earth’s crust. But how come the search had advanced by that much in such a short amount of time?
"This was something even I was not aware of either, sir, but it seems that several international Knights Orders, including the likes of Allene and Veritas, have sent their Knights in to assist with the search."
"…Hu-uh. They are doing something so easy to see through. They didn’t even bother to show up during that Africa incident…"
Yu Dae-Ho shook his head in a disapproving expression.
All this, just for the benefits called the Athany doll and/or the Orc’s weapons. Their foolish intentions were so easy to see through - hoping to be rewarded for their generous efforts if and when Sae-Jin was found alive.
"Well, I’ll go and talk to Sae-Jung’s father, so you take full responsibility of stopping that girl." (Yu Dae-Ho)
Yu Sae-Jung’s current set of abilities were more than enough to become a Mid Tier Knight, but she was still a low Mid Tier right now. And what’s more, during these tumultuous times, it’d be a great luck just to avoid dying a dog’s death by going over there.
As a man who deeply loved his granddaughter, he’d do anything to avoid losing her at all costs.
"Yes, sir. Please leave it to me."
"It’s Kim Yu-Rin!!"
The survivors cried out loudly while pointing at the Knight revealing herself from behind the thicket. With the situation being such a chaotic mess, people here simply didn’t have much mental leeway to remain polite and stuff.
"Is everyone alright?"
Kim Yu-Rin asked the survivors while her chilly blue-coloured, Mana-infused sword pointed at the ‘Demon’ Orc.
"Yes. Everyone’s doing okay, thanks to this Orc…"
"….This Orc? Whatever, just come over to this side, now."
Almost right away, all the survivors ran over to the back of Kim Yu-Rin.
Sae-Jin felt quite bitter at that. This was why the old saying of ‘never take under your wings a dark-haired animal’ was invented…. (TL: "검은 머리 짐승" it loosely means humans are ungrateful animals, or something similar to that effect.)
"Uhm, excuse me, Miss Knight? I think it’s fine to lower your weapon now. That Orc is…"
"There are other Knights to the rear of my position. Please make your escape from this place with them. Hurry!!"
But, Kim Yu-Rin didn’t lower her sword. With an unshakeable attitude, she evacuated the survivors first, all the while continuing to stare down at the Orc often referred to as the Hero.
Throughout all this, her sword tip pointed unflinchingly towards the Orc’s head.
‘…What should I do now?’
Kim Sae-Jin the Orc’s lips were drying up real fast. Even if his strength had gone through the roof as the Great Warrior, taking on a Highest Tier Knight was still impossible.
After all, she was ranked 9th in South Korea, and 33rd in worldwide rankings as a Highest Tier. Even the Orc’s instincts were cowering before the huge gap in their power level.
One second. Three seconds. And then, five seconds. Time continued to tick by, but the female Knight remained silent, while the Orc was busy shedding cold sweat drops.
A chilly wind blew across the night sky. Under the bright glare of the moonlight, Kim Yu-Rin brought out Mana sleeping within her body outside.
Mana that was boiling like the dancing flames soon became a thin layer that covered her entire body. It was the Mana barrier, the greatest protective shield only the Knights boasted about using.
She was finally done with her preparations, and as things had come this far, even Sae-Jin had to grab hold of his mace tightly.
*SFX for a low grumbling growl*
However, just as she was about to launch into Sae-Jin’s direction…
From somewhere, a low growl of a Monster resounded everywhere like an unpleasant vibration.
At this suspicious noise, the taut tension between Sae-Jin and Kim Yu-Rin eased somewhat.
Yu-Rin quickly surveyed the surroundings for a moment, before her eyes went extra-round at the large head that poked out from the forest behind Sae-Jin’s position.
At her strange reaction, he too got surprised and turned his head around to see what was going on.
And a hideous dragon-type Monster was there.
A giant snake-like body covered in jet-black scales; a face that resembled a still-growing dragon.
The legendary creature often seen in the oldest of old folktales, sometimes even referred to as the ‘Little King’ in Greek - Basiliskos.
It was a Monster that resided in the deepest caverns within the High Tier Monster fields. It was an infamously powerful Monster that, in the case of a fully matured individual, a minimum of six High Tier Knights were needed to hunt.
And the reason for such a terrifying creature to roam around here? Most likely, the location of its residence - the deep caverns - had become all mixed up due to the earth’s crust distorting about.
And judging by the concerned reactions of Kim Yu-Rin, it was quite clear that this Basilisk was a fully matured one as well.
*SFX similar to ji~~~ but instead, done by a Basilisk*
The Basilisk raised its head high and surveyed the area around it. Then seemingly having found its next meal, the Monster shot forth its powerful glare towards their directions.
In that moment, Sae-Jin sensed a strange feeling of his feet becoming heavy. It was probably the ‘Eyes of Petrification’ that the Basilisks obtain upon fully maturing.
This effect also affected Kim Yu-Rin as well; and so, two people - more specifically, one woman and one Monster - ended up rooted to the spot, staring at each other.
And sure enough, Sae-Jin could fully understand the complicated light gleaming in Yu-Rin’s eyes.
The subjugation of the Basilisk by partnering up.
Without saying a word, he grinned slightly. He then showed her his answer by gripping his mace tightly.
No matter how friendly it was to humans, there was something scary about an Orc’s smile. But Yu-Rin was not in any position to worry about such a thing right now. If she could not defeat that Basilisk here and now, the survivors and her fellow Knights busy making their escape would fall into great danger.
She withdrew the sword pointing towards Sae-Jin.
And that became the signal.
"*SFX for an Orc’s roar*"
Sae-Jin roared out and instead of his mace, he swung his claws around.
Currently, he was busy deploying the Eyes of the Wolf and the Claws of the Wolf as well. Since he was in the Orc Form, their powers were lessened somewhat but still, it was enough to erase the effects of the Eye of Petrification.
He quickly scattered the darkish brown ‘energy’ between himself and Kim Yu-Rin, and sent her a signal with his eyes.
And at that moment she nodded her head, Sae-Jin rushed towards the Basilisk as his feet let out thunderous explosions.
His reddened muscles bulged until they might burst under the activation of Skills ‘Whirlwind Dash’ and ‘Warrior of Reversal’; he then powerfully jumped into the sky.
His aim was to hit the head of that lizard with the Fierce Strike.
But of course, the Basilisk wasn’t going to let him get an attack in that easily.
The bastard opened up its mouth very wide and spat out thick green-coloured breath towards the airborne Orc. It was the Basilisk’s Breath, capable of melting pretty much anything it touched.
But that green Breath was blocked by a wall of Mana that suddenly popped out of nowhere.
This time, it was Kim Yu-Rin’s turn.
Well, she was a Highest Tier Knight who had transcended the limits of the ‘High’ Tier and reached that certain plateau, after all.
The ferocious battle only lasted for ten minutes. The magnificent and showy battle was probably enough to wow the entire world but, it was inevitable that there would be incredible damage caused to the actual arena itself.
The acidic blood of the Basilisk had spread all over the place and as a result, the powerful rotting stench came from everywhere. And within the radius of 500 metres, all vegetation was either uprooted or was cleaved in half.
The battleground was so devastated, it was simply impossible to even imagine that this place was a lush forest only five or so minutes ago.
And finally - propping her body with her sword acting as a cane, Yu-Rin was doing everything she could to hold onto her consciousness, but in the end, with a short whimper, she collapsed on the ground.
‘…But seriously, that was just too damn amazing.’
With some extra stamina provided to him by a spare potion ‘Spiritualised’ and stored within his body, Sae-Jin was able to remain standing; he recalled the short but fierce battle that took place just now and exclaimed out in deep admiration.
The tirelessly dancing sword aura of Kim Yu-Rin - the adjective ‘beautiful’ perfectly described the clear Mana-infused sword auras that were simply wondrous to behold.
He searched his surroundings for a bit.
As a Basilisk had shown up here, there was a good chance that Monsters with lower ranks would have scurried away from this place.
So, it was probably safe to relax somewhat.
Kim Sae-Jin then carefully searched for any signs of people around the vicinity before changing back to his Human Form. He then approached Kim Yu-Rin lying on the ground. And when he slowly lifted her up…
Kim Yu-Rin’s muffled voice leaked out from between her lips.
In that moment, Sae-Jin’s head blanked out. He thought she had passed out but instead, her body was trying to move…
But fortunately for him, she was just mumbling in her sleep.
After sighing out in relief, he carried her in his arms and quickly moved his feet.
"Uh! It’s a person!!"
Sae-Jin didn’t have to walk too far to meet the searching Knights. These Knights discovered Sae-Jin walking closer from the distance with Kim Yu-Rin in his arms and hurriedly ran towards his position.
"Mi, Mister Kim Sae-Jin!! We were looking for you. We are dispatched from the Goryeo Knights Order…"
"Can you take care of Miss Kim Yu-Rin first?"
As his consciousness was all hazy and stuff, all Sae-Jin could think of at the moment was to head home as soon as possible.
< 19. The Dead Ball (2) > Fin.
(TL: 3/10 of the scheduled chapters.)
(TL: also, I forgot to put this on yesterday’s chapters – the amount remaining for the fourth sponsored chapter is: $11.)