I Alone Level-Up
The corners of his lips bust open from that hit.
While being forced away from the impact, Thomas Andre was reeling from the shock of the freakish power that smacked him in the face.
‘How could… how could such a power be…?!’
That punch was heavy enough for his head to shake around. But, that wasn’t all.
That man also possessed the ability to apply physical power with nothing but his thoughts. Even then, he didn’t resist against the pulling force and willingly got himself dragged in.
Who’d have thought of such a thing?
Unexpectedly, not only did he not use his version of the ‘invisible hand’ to resist the pull, he instead used it as a distraction to divert the attention of his opponent, and then threw the real attack that couldn’t be easily avoided.
The acceleration from the pull became the double-edged blade cutting into the one activating the ability and ended up causing even bigger damage. Now that was a shockingly well-tuned instinct for battle.
‘Just how many fights did he go through to even come up with a tactic like that?’
Thomas Andre had been looking down on Jin-Woo as some random kid even though he willingly acknowledged the Korean’s powers. But now, having been struck twice in the face, his thoughts had gone through a rapid change.
Thomas Andre stopped bouncing away and landed back on his feet.
The friction destroyed the cement floor below and threw up pieces of broken-off pebble and a dust cloud into the air.
As expected, Jin-Woo didn’t give the American time to recover and dashed towards him. That was the sight of an experienced hunter. It seemed as if he had aimed for that moment before his target had regained the balance. However, his prey was the quicker of the two to react this time.
Thomas Andre discarded all arrogant thoughts from his head. He also realised that he might lose today if he continued to fight while being considerate towards his surroundings.
His opponent this time was far, far tougher than his initial expectation.
When he muttered out those words, his body, armed with muscles that had transformed into solid armour, suddenly ballooned up explosively.
His near two-metre-tall physique transformed into a monster over three metres tall in the blink of an eye.
Thomas Andre roared out like an angry beast and raised both of his arms, now as thick as a marble pillar, high above his head. All of this happened way too fast!
Jin-Woo, in the middle of his sprint, sensed danger up ahead.
‘What could it be?’
His brain fell into a dilemma. The thing was, not once did his instincts lie to him in moments of great peril. Jin-Woo hurriedly stopped his forward movement and almost at the same time, jumped backwards.
With the difference of a millisecond, Thomas Andre’s massive fists pounded on the ground below.
Everything caught within the radius disintegrated from the horrifying shock wave.
His skill, ‘Demolition’.
That incredible might forced Jin-Woo to take several more steps backwards, even though he had already escaped to a safe zone.
Debris flung up into the air fell down like raindrops.
As befitting a Hunter who subjugated a Dragon, his sturdiness and destructive power were second to none. But, there was no time to remain stunned. Another loud roar exploded out from Thomas Andre’s mouth.
A powerful gravitational pulling force with Thomas Andre as the centre began yanking everything within the range towards him. It was as if he had become a black hole. Shadow Soldiers and Hunters all got into a messy tangle and flew towards his position.
Jin-Woo might have been one of the targets of this skill, ‘Capture’, but he used ‘Ruler’s Authority’ to repel away the pulling force.
And when he finally managed to break free from that powerful force and jumped rearward one more time….
….Thomas Andre’s ‘Demolition’ skill burst forth yet again.
Not just the Shadow Soldiers, but even the Hunters of the Scavenger got swept away by the shock wave.
Screams rose up from here and there.
The Vice-Master had discovered this horrifying situation rather late and yelled out at the top of his lungs.
“Get away from the Master! Now!!”
Three, four fleet-footed Hunters quickly retrieved their injured colleagues and escaped to the back. Meanwhile, Thomas Andre and his emotionless face viciously dashed towards Jin-Woo’s location.
A rank of ‘Special Authority’ implied one was afforded the same level of rights as an independent nation. That was why he needed to demonstrate what the punishment for disobeying the king was like.
Thomas Andre arrived in Jin-Woo’s location in no time at all and threw a powerful punch forward.
His fist scythed the air.
He already knew it all too well.
He knew better than anyone that he was too slow to land a punch on this b*stard possessing the nimbleness of a wild beast. Especially so, when he was in his reinforced state.
His strength and defence would be enhanced to an unimaginable degree, but at the same time, his speed would drop proportionally. Fortunately enough for Thomas Andre, though, he possessed a skill that could easily cover for that drawback.
He extended his hand out to Jin-Woo who was rapidly creating distance between them.
Once more, a powerful, incredibly attractive force activated between the two men. The American knew he’d not miss his prey now.
With his body fortified through the ‘Reinforcement’ skill, his attention wouldn’t be stolen away from some measly diversionary tricks.
As expected, Seong Jin-Woo was yanked back in with ease.
Leaving his extended left hand as it was, Thomas Andre pulled his right hand back and clenched it into a tight fist. An enormous amount of magical energy, enough to smash the torso of a top-ranked Hunter apart into a gory mess, gathered into his right fist.
Skill, ‘Power Smash’.
Thomas Andre’s fist, carrying a gob-smacking level of destructive power, slowly moved forward. But then, it happened.
His eyes opened wider. He saw Jin-Woo’s own right arm muscles suddenly expanding greatly in size.
‘Could he be… thinking of directly confronting me?’
Finding this incredulous, Thomas Andre increased the pulling power. However, Jin-Woo didn’t try to evade it but actually used his ‘Ruler’s Authority’ to further increase his momentum, instead.
The American cried out in shock.
Jin-Woo approached far quicker than Thomas Andre had anticipated and threw a punch a little quicker than his counterpart could. At the same time, he lowered his head and lightly evaded the American’s own belated punch.
Thomas Andre saw a flash of light before his eyes and finally realised it.
‘The first attack he hit me with was….’
The attack he failed to see back then was precisely this one.
Thomas Andre flew away like a rocket, demolished the wall of the disused factory and rolled around on the dirt for quite some time. The deep and lengthy pit left behind on the ground by his sliding body resembled furrows on a field.
He hurriedly pushed himself off the ground, but Jin-Woo was already standing before him by then. Thomas Andre roared out and threw countless punches.
Every time his fists flew past, the ground exploded and the air was split seemingly into pieces. Each hit was ferocious enough to utterly destroy a person’s body from just a light touch.
Unfortunately, none of those could actually touch Jin-Woo.
He simply dodged all of Thomas Andre’s fists and accurately landed every one of his counters on the American’s vital spots.
Kwang!! Ka-boom!! Kwahng!!
Little by little, blood pooled in Thomas Andre’s mouth.
How could this be….?
‘How can a Mage-type Hunter be this powerful and this fast?’
The more confused he got, the greater the physical damage he suffered.
‘Am I… Am I losing?’
But, that couldn’t be happening.
No, that must not happen.
His ability to overwhelm his enemies with pure physical violence was the sole reason for his existence, the only thing proving that he was him and not someone else.
Thomas Andre gritted his blood-soaked teeth. His eyes under the arched-up brows emitted a maddened glow.
He punched with everything he had, but Jin-Woo evaded that again and smacked the American’s chin.
Thomas Andre shook his head hard to get rid of the impact force ringing in his head. But, in that brief gap, Jin-Woo had dug in until he was right below the American’s nose and attacked consecutively and without mercy.
Boom! Boom! Boom! Boom!!
Thomas Andre, who once resembled a towering fortress, now began faltering around.
He unsteadily tottered about as he backed away. He somehow managed to regain his balance and cried out venomously.
“I am none other than Thomas Andre!! You think you can bring me down with only that much?!”
“That’s why I told you before.”
Jin-Woo punched Thomas Andre’s chin upwards and spoke.
“It doesn’t matter who you are.”
Thomas Andre’s head was shot up towards the sky, but he stopped it from going any further. Enraged beyond himself now, the Goliath raised his tightly interlocked fists up high above his head.
The ground exploded and quaked violently as he slammed down with all his might. Too bad, Jin-Woo was no longer there.
Thomas Andre’s glare hurriedly wandered around to find Jin-Woo.
It was then.
He belatedly realised that a lump of incredible magical energy was falling from above him.
He quickly looked up.
Jin-Woo had leapt up before the skill ‘Demolition’ was activated and now, he was descending towards his American target.
His elbow powerfully slammed down on Thomas Andre’s face.
Dozens of vehicles stopped almost all at once in a location fairly far away from the abandoned factory. It was decided that getting any closer would be dangerous for them.
The folks climbing out of the vehicles were elite Hunters affiliated with the Hunter Bureau. Every single one of them was a distinguished, excellent Hunter in their own right.
However, despite being with such great Hunters, Adam White couldn’t feel reassured at all right now. But, that was understandable when these people were being compared to Hunters Seong Jin-Woo and Thomas Andre, plus the entirety of the Scavenger Guild’s elites.
The rank S Hunter tasked with commanding the Bureau’s own Hunter forces, a man named Brent, could only shake his head with a stiff facial expression.
“Oh, my god…..”
Just what kind of monsters were fighting right now to emit this much magical energy?
His feet didn’t want to budge from the spot, but Adam White was right behind him, waiting to be guided forward with a pair of pleading eyes. Brent had no choice but to give up and spoke in a resigned voice.
“It’s over there. However, it truly is dangerous, so my advice is, you need to be dead sure about this.”
Adam White nodded his head.
It was at that moment something shot up high in the air along with a loud, explosive noise, before crashing back down to the ground.
Adam White looked in the direction of that noise, before quickly shifting his gaze back to Brent. The rank S Hunter couldn’t bring himself to close shut his slack jaw.
Adam White urgently asked him.
“W-what was that just now?”
“If, If I haven’t made a mistake, then that was…..”
How could Brent, a rank S Hunter, make a mistake with his identification? Even then, he hesitated greatly before carrying on.
“It was Mister Thomas Andre falling from the air.”
“What was that?!”
“Even I can’t be sure….”
Adam White’s eyes grew incredibly large as he hurriedly shouted out.
“Hurry! We need to go there right now!”
Brent watched Adam White run over there and gestured to other Hunters to follow them.
The Hunter Bureau’s group soon arrived at the location where two gigantic masses of magic energy were colliding against each other. And then, they all saw it.
They saw the scene of the one and only Thomas Andre being pummelled into a rag by a lone Asian Hunter.
Pow! Pooow! Powww!
Brent freaked out and pointed at that sight.
“T-Thomas… Mister Thomas Andre is being beaten up by Hunter Seong Jin-Woo!!”
“I can also see that!”
Adam White repeatedly stamped his feet on the ground in pure vexation. Even from this far, he could tell that Thomas Andre’s condition as he was getting beaten to a pulp by Jin-Woo didn’t look so good.
Brent hurriedly asked with an expression of someone not knowing what to do.
“What should we do now?”
“We need to stop them! Are you planning to stay back and watch a Special Authority-rank Hunter get beaten to death?!”
“You want us to stop that?? You mean, stop that man?!”
Brent stared dumbfoundedly at the Asian Hunter emitting a truly nonsensical amount of magic power – it was so enormous, in fact, he didn’t even want to go anywhere near that maelstrom if he could help it.
But, before he had a chance to say those words out loud, Adam White dashed forward.
He might be a Hunter Bureau agent, but still, he was a regular person. He could lose his life simply by coming into contact with magical energy being emitted from a top-ranked Hunter.
Brent’s expression crumpled as he weighed options, but eventually, he spat out a pained groan and chased after Adam to run towards Jin-Woo.
Thomas Andre’s face was stomped on by the elbow and he knelt down to the ground. Both of his hands dug deep into the earth below.
He somehow managed to raise his upper torso up and continued with his attacks. Unfortunately, he had sustained too much damage to his physical body and his fists couldn’t attack with the same level of destructive force anymore.
Jin-Woo saw those now-sluggish punches and re-confirmed the tide of battle turning towards his favour. These powerless flailing arms of Thomas Andre now only contained the losing man’s ultimately meaningless rage and desire to kill Jin-Woo.
The Korean Hunter smoothly and easily evaded those punches and counter-attacked once more.
Unlike Thomas Andre’s attacks, Jin-Woo’s hits constantly raining down aimed precisely at the American’s vital spots and as a result, the poor man couldn’t even regain his wits anymore.
Every time Thomas Andre’s head snapped in one direction or to the other side, blood spat out from his face. He lost his balance and tottered around unsteadily. Jin-Woo remained merciless as he kicked the American man.
The colliding magic energy exploded and Thomas Andre’s body rocketed up into the sky.
He yanked at the American man flying up endlessly into the air, causing his victim to crash-land back down to Earth with no resistance whatsoever.
Thomas Andre lay sprawled on the ground and vomited out a mouthful of blood. Jin-Woo mounted on top of him.
And just like when he was fighting against the demon king Baran back in the Demon’s Castle, he grasped Thomas Andre’s neck and slammed down with his other fist.
Pow! Slam!! Boom!
He could sense Thomas Andre’s resistance weaken gradually.
Pow! Boom! Pow!
And finally – just as Jin-Woo raised his fist high up to land the finisher, he heard a certain someone’s desperate cry.
“Seong Jin-Woo Hunter-nim! Please, stop! I beg you, stay your hand, please!”
Jin-Woo disinterestedly stared at Adam White running towards him before clenching his fist tightly again. A horrifying amount of magical energy roiled around his greatly-expanded shoulder muscles and his fist.
Just before the fist could slam down on the target…
As Adam White cried out, his hand reaching out in desperation…
….Thomas Andre finally opened his mouth.
Jin-Woo’s fist stopped millimetres away from the American’s nose.
As if he had used up all of his energy just to surrender, Thomas Andre lost his consciousness right afterwards and went limp.
Only then did Jin-Woo withdraw his fist and wordlessly got back up.
Soon afterwards, Hunters affiliated with the Bureau cautiously filed in around him and Thomas Andre on the ground.
“What the f*ck… What the hell is this? Did this really happen? Seriously?!”
A certain reporter was muttering to himself as he continuously snapped one photo after another.
Originally, he planned to snap a few shots of the Scavenger Guild Hunters getting ready for a raid. But now…
All he did was to simply follow after the Hunters who inexplicably cancelled the raid and began moving to somewhere. So, how on earth could he explain this?
The reporter initially thought that there was a dungeon break happening somewhere. But the spectacle unfolding before his eyes easily exceeded his wildest imaginations.
He used the zoom function to confirm the face of the man lying sprawled on the ground once more time.
That was a rather familiar face, that’s for sure.
Without a doubt, that face belonged to the Special Authority-rank Hunter, Thomas Andre.
‘Oh, my god…. Just who can beat Thomas Andre up like that?!’
The reporter spat out a shocked gasp as he scrolled through the images he had taken so far.
And at the same time, his heart trembled in excitement after realising that the photos contained within this little camera would net him a huge wad of cash.
< Chapter 192 > Fin.