I Alone Level-Up
Foreman Bae’s eyes went extra-round.
“Heok….? Was there some kind of an accident? Should we ask the Guild for additional personnel?”
“No, no need. It’s a personal matter. I just wanted to talk to him about something private, so you don’t have to worry.”
“Oh… I see.”
Cha Hae-In spun towards the Gate.
However, her side felt rather empty, then.
‘Ah. My weapon…..’
She felt around her waist, only to belatedly remember that she had left her sword back home. Since she never imagined that she’d be entering a dungeon on her off day like this, well…..
Cha Hae-In’s forehead beautifully creased up.
‘As a leader, Mister Ki-Hoon is someone totally trustworthy, and the rest of the team are made up of capable Hunters. But….’
But, it was still unimaginable to enter a dungeon without a weapon in hand. A short deliberation later, she turned around to face Foreman Bae once more.
“Is there something else, Miss….?”
Foreman Bae looked at her with confused eyes.
“Mister Foreman, can I borrow a weapon from you?”
Foreman Bae hesitated somewhat, before calling out to a Hunter passing by.
“Hey, over here, Mister Seok. Please bring me one of our equipments.”
The ‘equipment’ Mister Seok rapidly brought over was a pickaxe, as used by the mining team.
Cha Hae-In’s expression stiffened.
“Excuse me…. Don’t you have anything else?”
“Uhm, such as….?”
“For instance, swords or spears.”
“But, if you ask us for such things, well…..”
Cha Hae-In sighed out under her breath.
She then carefully rejected the pickaxe Foreman Bae tried to hand over and quickly walked towards the Gate. He anxiously asked her as he watched her distancing back.
“Cha Hunter-nim, will it be fine for you to be empty-handed in there?”
Cha Hae-In came to an abrupt halt and stood there for a moment, before hurriedly walking back to take the pickaxe from Foreman Bae. He guffawed out in a genial manner.
“I think that’s for the best, miss. I mean, it’ll be dangerous to be weaponless inside a dungeon, regardless of what.”
As she turned around to hurriedly leave, Foreman Bae unluckily didn’t get to see her ears dyed in deep shades of crimson.
The looks of determination were clearly visible on the faces of the raid team members. They kept their mouths resolutely shut as if to imply that they knew their fate already. Meanwhile, the female Healer approached Jin-Woo and began rummaging through the luggage.
Jin-Woo turned his head towards her and asked.
“What are you doing?”
What she took out was a small ladies handbag.
“I kinda feel a bit uncomfortable if I’m too far away from my bag, you see.”
He didn’t even ask her, yet she provided him with an explanation oh-so-kindly. She took out a memo pad and a pen from the bag and then began jotting something down on said memo pad.
Because she wasn’t looking in front of her, she kept bumping into Jin-Woo’s shoulder with her head.
Eventually, though – she closed the memo pad.
Her bag, which she slung around her shoulder while writing on the memo, was pushed back inside the luggage again, but that memo remained in her hands.
Jin-Woo observed her with a bit of interest, wondering what she’d do with that, but she simply pushed the memo towards him, instead.
After taking it, Jin-Woo tilted his head, prompting the female Healer to tearfully spoke up.
“I wrote down what I wanted to say to my family. When you get outside, please make sure that they get it. Please.”
If he burst out in laughter, she’d probably get hurt, no? Jin-Woo suppressed his rising laughter and pocketed the memo.
“I’ll hold onto this for the time being, but I’m pretty sure I won’t get to deliver this.”
“It’s going to be fine.”
The female Healer nodded her head.
‘With High Orc warriors zealously keeping tabs on us like this, it won’t be easy for him to get out of here unscathed.’
After all, Mister Porter was only a rank E. She hadn’t figured out yet what Jin-Woo meant, though.
Soon, their eyes caught the sight of the boss room. The anxiety felt by the Hunters came over the air and could be felt on his skin.
They were greeted by a huge open space.
Jin-Woo scanned the boss room. It was smaller than yesterday’s boss room with the giant in it.
However, quite unlike yesterday, he didn’t get the impression that the boss room was huge at all. And that would be all thanks to countless High Orcs completely filling up the chamber.
As a matter of fact, there were over twice as many Orcs here as those that ‘escorted’ the raid team.
‘At least a hundred… no, maybe it’s a bit more than that?’
While there were no monsters inside the rest of the dungeon, they had been gathered inside the boss room, instead.
Seeing the masses of High Orcs waiting inside, Sohn Ki-Hoon’s complexion paled in an instant.
‘If this many High Orcs manage to escape from the Gate, then….’
This was a large enough horde to utterly destroy a small city, even before the top Hunters had the chance to do something about them.
Cold sweat trickled down his backside.
‘At the very least, we gotta eliminate the boss.’
Just like how he resolutely swallowed the dry saliva, he did his best to keep his determination burning in his heart.
The High Orcs of the boss room parted to make way.
The leader High Orc beckoned again. The raid team and the escorting High Orcs walked over to an altar located in the corner of the boss room.
One of the Hunters pointed towards the top of the altar.
And that’s where the High Orc Shaman stood, dressed in all manner of accessories adorning its entire body, including a mask, bone necklace, and earrings.
‘So, that’s the boss….’
Sohn Ki-Hoon’s expression hardened.
He immediately realised that the terrifying magic energy filling up the interior of this dungeon was being emitted from that creature. And then, surrounding that b*stard was….
From the four ‘guards’ possessing an air of alertness standing around the boss, he also sensed a rather ominous aura as well.
‘This isn’t good.’
Could the raid team get past those guards and kill the Shaman in one fell swoop? The Hunters were all thinking roughly the same thing.
The Hunters stopped in front of the Shaman.
A certain intangible tension flowed in between the High Orcs surrounding the human Hunters as they kept a certain distance away.
However, the Shaman didn’t seem to care about the mood of the place; it simply opened its rather malformed jaw, visible below the mask, and cackled out.
“Oh humans, welcome.”
The Hunters of the raid team exchanged glances.
‘As soon as Sohn hyung gives us the signal….’
‘We attack together.’
‘Aim for the Shaman, no matter what.’
It was for the purpose of coordinating their attacks.
Suddenly, the air around them began freezing up.
Hunters of this raid team were some of the very best out there. They all shifted their gazes at the same time at this sudden outpouring of chilling aura. The source was the Shaman.
The creature finally took the mask off. When it did, the magic energy it had been hiding until then exploded forth, unchecked and unhindered.
The freakish magic power spread out in circular waves with the boss as the centre.
As if they were normal, powerless civilians that ran into a lion or a tiger, the Hunters froze up on the spot like a bunch of statues.
“O-oh my god….”
“How can a magic power of such magnitude be….?”
“We, we gotta fight against something like this?!”
Despair, lamentation, resentment, even regret. The Shaman formed an ominous grin when facing these varying forms of hopelessness.
“Are you scared of me, humans?”
Sohn Ki-Hoon bit down on his lower lip, hard, and took a difficult step forward before asking a question.
“Why did you summon us here? Your warriors would’ve been enough to kill us back there.”
The Shaman grinned again. Simply looking at the grin chilled the backs of the Hunters.
“It’s for entertainment.”
Sohn Ki-Hoon was left utterly speechless.
Were they brought here just for that purpose?
The Shaman continued on.
“While we wait out the remaining time, I will kill you one by one and entertain the soldiers!”
High Orc warriors all roared out in frenzy and excitement.
Hunters were ruthlessly forced down by the enormous pressure emitted from the Orcs and couldn’t even breathe properly. One of them even began crying, no less.
The Shaman briefly stopped talking, then.
The boss’s gaze shifted and stopped at the rear of the human’s group – where Jin-Woo was.
“…..I see that a strange being is mixed among you, humans.”
It was then, Sohn Ki-Hoon’s eyes gleamed dangerously.
‘With the Shaman looking elsewhere, this is my chance!’
Veins bulged in his neck.
Sohn Ki-Hoon roared out at the top of his lungs, unsheathed his sword, and rushed out. However, it was eerily quiet behind him.
He glanced behind him while running, and discovered his comrades rooted to their spots, not daring to move an inch. They had lost their fighting spirit a long time ago from the display of the boss’s overwhelming might.
Sohn Ki-Hoon’s heart fell to the pit of his stomach.
Still, someone had to do this. He couldn’t stop now.
His gaze shifted back to the front.
Perhaps his attack wasn’t expected, the Shaman was still smiling, and its guards weren’t showing any urgent reactions, either.
This could be his one and only chance.
Didn’t matter if it was pure luck. He’d accept fluke, too. As long as his sword could reach….
Sohn Ki-Hoon fiercely rushed forward and cocked his sword behind him.
But, even before he could swing the sword with all his might, he collided with something invisible and was flung away.
At first, it was shield magic.
Flung away from the rebound, Sohn Ki-Hoon landed on the ground and rolled backwards. But, that lasted only for a short while.
“Looks like we have our first volunteer.”
Along with the Shaman’s mocking words, Sohn Ki-Hoon’s body was lifted up into the air.
And now, it was the anti-gravity magic.
The lips of the Shaman were moving up and down non-stop. When Sohn Ki-Hoon was lifted up as high as a two-story building, the Shaman began chanting a different spell.
Next to come was gravity acceleration.
Sohn Ki-Hoon was slammed into the ground.
He didn’t even have the time to writhe in pain as he was lifted up in the air again.
Not only the Shaman, but the rest of the High Orcs were cackling in derision as well, their fangs fully bared now.
The Shaman continued to toy with Sohn Ki-Hoon by lifting him up and slamming him down.
When he landed on the ground for the fourth time, Sohn Ki-Hoon vomited out a mouthful of blood. Seeing that scene, the complexions of the Hunters got paler and paler. However, none of them dared to step forward to stop this.
They simply stood there trembling while witnessing Sohn Ki-Hoon being broken into pieces.
The female Healer collapsed on the floor as if she no longer had any strength left in her legs.
The Shaman raised Sohn Ki-Hoon in the air for the fifth time.
“You sure are a tenacious b*stard, aren’t you?”
A pained moan leaked out of Sohn Ki-Hoon’s mouth. However, he still didn’t let go of the sword as if he hadn’t given up yet.
As he was thrown up and down between the air and ground several times more, Sohn Ki-Hoon finally lost his grip on the sword.
It happened then.
Just as Sohn Ki-Hoon was thrown down to the ground once more, he vanished from the view.
The Shaman’s eyes opened wider.
Where did the human disappear to, when all of his bones should be broken by now? The Shaman searched for the whereabouts of Sohn Ki-Hoon.
In a corner not too far, it discovered Sohn Ki-Hoon, unmoving on the ground. And at the same time, found a certain man crouching nearby.
Of course, it was Jin-Woo.
Jin-Woo carefully laid Sohn Ki-Hoon down and glared at the Shaman.
“Hey, mister leader. I want to ask you something.”
Until now, Sohn Ki-Hoon hadn’t figured out what happened to him.
“Will it be okay if I kill all of the monsters in here?”
“You… What are you….?”
The Shaman frowned and gestured with its chin, and one of the guards swung about its scimitar and ran to where Jin-Woo was.
As Jin-Woo glared at the monster rushing towards him, a light of fury lit up in his eyes. He reached out with his hands.
When he did, it was as if a giant, invisible hand grabbed the Orc guard, and the monster was cleanly picked up from the ground.
The monster kicked and struggled in the air.
The eyes of the Shaman opened wider.
Jin-Woo pointed down towards the ground.
The guard crashed down to the ground. The impact force was so great that deep cracks spread out on the ground. However, Jin-Woo didn’t stop there; just like how the Shaman manipulated Sohn Ki-Hoon’s body, he lifted the guard up in the air again.
Like a basketball bouncing between the ground and one’s hand, the Orc guard continuously slammed into the ceiling and the ground non-stop, a helpless cry coming out from its mouth. Eventually, its head pierced into the ceiling.
With that, debris from the ceiling fell down.
While staring at the dangling Orc guard with its head buried deep into the ceiling, both groups of the High Orcs and the Hunters couldn’t hide their astonishment.
Sohn Ki-Hoon trembled and questioned Jin-Woo.
“You… Just what is your….?”
“I’ll ask you again.”
This here was a hunting ground the Hunters Guild paid for. And there was only one person present that could speak for the Guild at the moment.
Jin-Woo asked for the last time.
“Monsters in this place…. Can I have them all?”
What was this?
Sohn Ki-Hoon realised now that the identity of the porter or whatever didn’t matter anymore. No, he was just p*ssed off. He was angry at himself for being toyed around with by the monsters like that. Tears rolled down Sohn Ki-Hoon’s face.
“Please…. I beg of you, do something….”
With that, it was done.
When Jin-Woo stood back up, High Orcs approached him. The Shaman was behind them. The boss began smirking in derision.
“For a measly human, you know some interesting skills, don’t you?”
The boss gestured, and the High Orcs quickly surrounded Jin-Woo.
“However, just how far do you think your tricks will get you?”
Jin-Woo’s glare became so much colder. He never really cared for any of the monsters he killed so far, but this would be his first time wanting to slice one up this badly.
“I’ll take care of you last.”
If the boss knew the meaning of enjoyment, surely it’d know what fear tasted like.
Jin-Woo slowly murmured out.
Two daggers appeared in Jin-Woo’s hands.
“….Come out and play.”
< Chapter 88 > Fin.