I Alone Level-Up
‘Should I get started, then?’
Shadow soldiers were summoned behind Jin-Woo. Not just the regular foot soldiers, but also the magic soldiers, the beast soldiers, as well as the two knights, too.
And in front of them stood Jin-Woo.
The two knights strode forward and stood on either side of him. Jin-Woo took a glance at Igrit to his right, and Iron to his left, and a grin formed on his lips.
‘Feels so reassuring.’
Even though this was his own skill, the fact that he had comrades watching his back helped greatly to calm his mind.
‘Still, it’s a bit too much to go with a frontal assault, isn’t it?.’
The whole thing looked kinda dangerous. And that was all thanks to that wooden-looking club held tight in Vulcan’s grip.
‘It’s just unbelievable that a tree that big actually existed, right?’
He guessed from the size of Vulcan and the wooden club that one swing from the demon would be enough to wipe away his entire platoon.
‘It’s fine if they get swept away, but….’
The real problem would be the MP required to regenerate the fallen soldiers. Without a doubt, continuously regenerating his soldiers that got repeatedly obliterated by that thick blunt weapon would bottom out his MP in no time at all.
In that case, there was only one way to do this.
‘I’ll have to take care of the boss.’
In other words, he’d let his boys deal with Vulcan’s underlings, while he himself would fight the boss.
This was the best plan he could think of.
‘Well, all I have to do is hunt it without getting hit.’
Unlike with his soldiers, Jin-Woo was confident of dodging Vulcan’s attacks. In order for his plan to work, though, he had to separate Vulcan from his underlings first.
Jin-Woo ordered his magic soldiers to initiate the assault first.
‘Use the ranged attacks to summon Vulcan’s lackeys over here first, and I’ll fight that big guy lumbering along at the rear.’
It was a simple enough plan to carry out.
When Jin-Woo gave his signal, flames flew out from the hands of the magic soldiers.
The flames exploded near the subordinates of Vulcan, signalling the beginning of the operation.
[The Sovereign of the Lower Floors, the Avaricious Vulcan has discovered the intruder!]
[Vulcan’s loyal guard has discovered….]
Tti-ring, tti-ring, tti-ring!!
The warning beeps resounded out in his head at a frightening pace. And at the same time, Vulcan and its lackeys all turned their heads towards Jin-Woo and his army.
He succeeded in drawing their attention.
In order to hit Vulcan coming up from the lackeys’ rear without getting discovered, Jin-Woo activated ‘Stealth’ and hid himself.
Everything seemed to be unfolding according to plan.
That’s what he thought, but then….
Thud, thud, thud, thud, thud, thud!!!
Vulcan broke his expectation and bolted forward like a streak of lightning.
‘What the hell?? What is up with that movement? It’s like I’m looking at video footage sped up several times!’
Quite literally, in the blink of an eye! Vulcan had ran past its lackeys and arrived before the shadow soldiers.
Jin-Woo’s eyes widened considerably.
This demon with a huge, mountain-sized body mass managed to exceed his imaginations.
Vulcan lifted the club up high.
Just before the club pointing to the sky fell down on the defenceless magic soldiers, Iron jumped out of nowhere and raised his black shield.
The attack was defended against somehow, but…. Both arms of Iron were shattered into pieces. The sturdiest, toughest among the shadow soldiers couldn’t withstand a single attack and was rendered unable to fight any further.
The shattered pieces of Iron’s arms fell to the ground and scattered away.
Perhaps finding its previous attack not to its liking, Vulcan tilted its head this way and that, while staring deeply at its club. But that was only for a brief period.
The b*stard slammed down with the club once more.
Iron, who had lost all means to defend himself, as well as the magic soldiers behind him, were crushed to oblivion next.
Witnessing that event unfold, something inside Jin-Woo loudly snapped into two.
‘This son of a b*tch dares to….’
Jin-Woo bit his lower lip.
What he did next wasn’t because his head told him to do it.
When he regained his senses, he was already in mid-air, leaping towards Vulcan.
His target was already set. And that would be that surprisingly beady little head attached atop the mountainous body.
Jin-Woo twisted his body in mid-air. The muscles of his shoulder and the arm cocked rearward ballooned up. When he focused all his might on his clenched right fist, ‘Stealth’ came undone automatically.
Belatedly, Vulcan discovered Jin-Woo.
Too bad, Jin-Woo’s fist was not slow enough for the giant monster to dodge when it was already near its nose.
His fist punched out like a bullet and slammed into the side of Vulcan’s face.
Vulcan was flung away. The giant demon rolled away on the ground for a long, long time, before crashing into the skeletal remains of a building and came to a stop.
Then, the barely-standing remains all tumbled on top of Vulcan, burying the demon underneath.
Jin-Woo lightly landed back on the ground, his eyes quite wide open.
‘Why did it fly away that easily??’
Unable to comprehend what just happened, he stared at his own fist in disbelief. He couldn’t even spot a single nick or a scratch on his fist that managed to blow away such a huge creature.
Then, he suddenly recalled something.
‘Ahh… now that I think about it….’
Jin-Woo raised his head. He summoned the Stat Window, and it quickly floated up there.
‘….That’s how it was.’
He may have learned several assassin-related skills, and his Class was set as a magic type, so he had been forgetting about a crucial part until now.
He had been using up all the spare bonus Stat points on Intelligence, yet Strength was still ahead by 1.5 times.
‘Well, uh, I really did invest in Strength blindly, didn’t I?’
On top of this, his level had increased explosively, as well.
Just from checking out each of his Stats, he could definitely feel the results of all that grinding. One of those results was this.
Jin-Woo stared at Vulcan, still buried underneath the rubble with a dumbfounded face, before a wry chuckle left his lips.
It was hard to feel it when he was busy massacring the ‘regular’ monsters, the Low-Ranked and Mid-Ranked Demons. But, after punching the boss-level creature, he was certain of it now.
‘I’ve definitely…. become stronger.’
He felt strength flowing into his clenched fists. Heightened excitement filled every inch of his body.
It was then.
The familiar mechanical bleep rang inside his head.
‘What was that?’
Jin-Woo raised his head.
The fallen Vulcan used the club to prop itself and stood up from the rubble.
‘Did the warning chime go off because the monster is getting up?’
Was his System that friendly, to begin with? As Jin-Woo tilted his head, the culprit for that beep popped up in front of his eyes.
[The Sovereign of the Lower Floors, the Avaricious Vulcan, has activated ‘Skill: Rage’.]
Tti-ring, tti-ring, tti-ring.
The warning chime went in his head one after the other.
[The ‘Rage’ state will be continuously maintained.]
[All of Vulcan’s Stats will be increased by 50%.]
[Vulcan will feel less pain.]
‘Isn’t that skill from…?’
Even before Jin-Woo managed to recall the memories of Cerberus, Vulcan, with its two reddened eyes, rushed towards him like an unstoppable tidal wave.
Thud, thud, thud, thud, thud, thud!!
The ground rumbled, accompanied with the loud rumbling footsteps.
Jin-Woo sneaked a glance behind him. Vulcan’s lackeys were currently engaged in a bitter battle with the shadow soldiers there.
In the midst of this confusing melee, Jin-Woo still could locate Iron. The impact force must’ve been too great, because Iron was still in the middle of regeneration.
Jin-Woo called out.
Iron quickly threw his shield to Jin-Woo.
After catching the shield, Jin-Woo shifted his glance away to find Vulcan standing right before him.
‘If I back off here, my soldiers will get wiped away.’
Without his soldiers, it’d become far too difficult to hunt down Vulcan and its subordinates. So, Jin-Woo chose the method that could ensure the safety of his soldiers.
He raised the shield, and his arm muscles tensed up.
Shortly thereafter, Vulcan slammed down with its club.
Fearsome attacks that rocked the earth landed several times in a row without rest, but Jin-Woo patiently endured them all. His high physical defence and Endurance Stat allowed him to block these attacks.
When its attacks did not work, Vulcan became even more frenzied and pounded away with that massive club.
Slam!! Kwang!! Boom!! Kaboom!!
However, Jin-Woo was steadfast and his knees buckled not even once.
Still, standing around like this blocking all the time wouldn’t let him hunt the boss down.
Deep frowns formed on Jin-Woo’s forehead.
The thing was, unlike how it was with Cerberus, Vulcan’s ‘Rage’ skill didn’t have a time limit, the trade-off being the skill not as overpowered as the gatekeeper’s version.
Meaning, he couldn’t remain passively defending forever like this.
Jin-Woo gritted his teeth.
‘Constantly getting pounded on isn’t my thing, either….’
Just as the club bounced off of the shield for the last time….
Jin-Woo had been getting ready to counter-attack and took the opening to leap towards Vulcan’s head.
However, he wasn’t the only one waiting for an opening.
Matching the timing of Jin-Woo’s jump, Vulcan quickly leaned its upper torso back.
And then, the club flew in towards him from the side while drawing an arc in the air.
‘….He got me.’
If there were places where his hands or feet could touch, the story might have been different, but there was no way he’d be able to dodge the attack in the middle of air.
And, even if he managed to block it, who knew just where he would end up from the rebound?
As the time slowed down in his perception, Jin-Woo stared at the club approaching ever closer and leaked out a groan.
‘A way…. There must be a way!’
If he could move his body, then surely, he’d be able to dodge this no problem.
When his thoughts arrived at this point….
‘Moving my body?’
An idea suddenly popped up in his head.
There was no time to think about this. As soon as the idea formed in his head, Jin-Woo activated the skill ‘Ruler’s Reach’ and pushed at Vulcan.
Of course, the power behind the skill ‘Ruler’s Reach’ was far too low to move the massive body of Vulcan. However, the rebound meant that it was Jin-Woo who was pushed back, instead.
The tip of the club missed him by a hair’s breadth.
‘I did it!’
Jin-Woo was flung away some distance and rolled on the ground a few times, but compared to what might have happened when hit by that club, his landing this time should be seen as far, far gentler.
Jin-Woo managed to find his balance and sighed in relief.
On the other hand, Vulcan’s expression had crumpled quite unsightly. It attacked, feeling proud and all, but in the end, it was all for nothing. That fact caused its fury to reach the peak.
Jin-Woo scratched the side of his head while staring at Vulcan’s reddened face.
‘Now what should I do about this?’
If he jumped to its front, the d*mn thing would evade him with not much difficulty.
But then, attacking other body parts instead of its head didn’t look like he’d be able to critically wound it, what with all those layers of flesh getting in the way.
‘Is there a way to make it impossible to dodge?’
It was at this point that yet another, and an arguably excellent, idea popped up in his head.
The corners of Jin-Woo’s lips arched up.
Suddenly, he turned around and ran. Vulcan mistook this action as him trying to escape, and hurriedly chased after him.
Rumble, thud, thud, thud!!
Jin-Woo moderated his running speed so Vulcan could chase after him. As soon as he discovered a suitable remnant of a building, his eyes began gleaming brightly.
On the other hand…
When the distance between Vulcan and Jin-Woo closed up, the giant demon lifted its club high up in the air behind it.
To squash this bug-like creature!
Finally, the chance to crush this annoying pest once and for all was here!
A disgusting smile formed on Vulcan’s face.
And so, as the club came down with a whoosh…
The insect-like creature suddenly sped up and ran up on the outer wall of the destroyed building.
Something felt wrong here, but it was too late for the demon to slow down the descent of the club.
In an instant, the insect had run up high enough to be at the demon’s eye line, before he powerfully kicked the wall.
As the spiderweb-like cracks spread on the wall, something shot towards this demon with never-before-seen speed.
It was none other than that insect.
Vulcan’s eyes grew wider.
A smile spread on Jin-Woo’s face as he looked into those large eyes.
The ‘Baruka’s Dagger’ gripped tightly in his right hand sliced past the bulging artery of Vulcan’s neck.
From the blood vessel as thick as a grown man, blood spurted out like an overflowing fountain.
Vulcan hurriedly discarded the club and tried to stem the loss of blood with both of its hands.
Unfortunately, it was insufficient to block the overflowing of blood.
At that moment, there was a visible tremor shaking Vulcan’s eyes.
Before it had the time to notice it, Jin-Woo had climbed up the demon’s back, and buried the blades of his daggers deeply into that thick neck.
‘I guess, once isn’t enough, huh?’
Jin-Woo tilted his head and pulled the daggers out, before activating his skill once more.
‘Vital Points Targetting!”
Two daggers stabbed deeply into Vulcan’s neck again.
Only then did the messages he was waiting for pop up.
[You have killed the Sovereign of the Lower Floors, the Avaricious Vulcan.]
[You have earned 150,000 experience points.]
[The souls of demons trapped inside Vulcan’s stomach have been released.]
[You have acquired (72) Soul of Demons.]
< Chapter 72 > Fin.