I Alone Level-Up
The first thing Cha Hae-In thought of was summoning when she saw the Shadow Soldiers. However, there were simply too many of them to say that this was the result of summoning magic.
The thing was, the mage-type Hunters specialising in summoning magic could only control one, or two at a push. If one could control two, then the treatment one received improved greatly, and she hadn’t yet heard of anyone capable of controlling three or more summon creatures.
Just how many of them were here?!
‘This makes no sense!’
One man summoned over 100 in one go. And, he didn’t even need a lot of time to summon them, too. No, he only needed a moment to summon dozens and dozens in one go.
‘I wouldn’t have believed it if I didn’t see it with my own two eyes.’
She might be one of the top-ten ranked Hunters in South Korea, but another Hunter’s ability had managed to leave her totally speechless now.
‘This isn’t the time for me to stand around like this.’
Her gaze immediately shifted past the Shadow Soldiers and locked onto the raid team. Their complexions were not good at all. Some of them were squatting on the ground as if they no longer had any energy left.
Didn’t matter what the identity of the man named Seong Jin-Woo was, didn’t matter what kind of ability he possessed – her priority lay with lending him aid by taking care of these High Orcs right away.
The results of her thought process might be simple, but she was incredibly quick to put them into action. Cha Hae-In tightened her grip on the ‘weapon’ in her hands and took a step towards the High Orcs.
However, it happened then.
Her eyes met Jin-Woo’s. And his eyes were telling her in no uncertain terms.
….That it was not necessary; that she shouldn’t interfere.
That she should just observe from the sidelines.
Cha Hae-In couldn’t understand why.
‘But, how come….?’
She could easily tell that Seong Jin-Woo was capable of controlling countless summons. However, there were just as many High Orcs standing, and there was also the boss possessing greater power, too.
Because he had to summon that many creatures, and he had to maintain them constantly too, his magic energy reserve should be running empty by now. Yet….
‘What is he trying to do on his own?’
She was puzzled, sure, but in the end, Cha Hae-In lowered her weapon. It wasn’t because the so-called weapon just so happened to be a pickaxe she borrowed from the mining team. No, she became curious with what the Hunter named Seong Jin-Woo would do against the army of High Orcs, instead.
Her cool-headed reasoning and her expectation had a fight in her mind, and the latter achieved a resounding victory. For some reason, her heart began palpitating faster now.
‘Whew, that’s a relief.’
Jin-Woo inwardly breathed a sigh of relief after seeing Cha Hae-In’s response. Seriously, the real thing was about to begin, so it wouldn’t do for some interference to suddenly pop out, now would it?
Heck, he even had to let the poor Sohn Ki-Hoon go through that crap until the very last moment humanly possible, just for a chance to monopolise all the monsters in here.
‘Well, he’s the kind of a guy who’d try to fight alongside if he has some energy left still.’
That was why he only acted the moment Sohn Ki-Hoon let go of his sword. Even though he had to suppress his urge to rush forward and kick the head of that d*mn Shaman.
It was all for this moment.
‘As expected of a quick-witted woman.’
What a relief it was that Cha Hae-In turned out to be a smart girl. She backed off without him needing to raise his voice, after all. Jin-Woo turned his attention back to his front while a deep smile formed on his face.
Jin-Woo loud yell reverberating within the boss room prompted the shadows to take the battle stance all at once, not one of them deviating from the formation ever so slightly.
Only a moment later, an eerie silence filled up the chamber.
The thing that broke this silence was the single word Jin-Woo threw out while pointing at the High Orc Shaman.
With that, over a hundred Shadow Soldiers rushed towards the cowering group of High Orc warriors.
The black soldiers and their controlled march shook the ground, the cavern, and even the eyes of all those witnessing this scene.
Woo Jin-Cheol was running breathlessly.
“Pant, pant, pant….”
He ran so hard that he now tasted sweetness in his mouth.
He bent over and tried to catch his breaths, before raising his torso up – only to spot a woman with a short hairstyle standing near the entrance of the boss room. He immediately recognised who she was.
Where would you find a female Hunter possessing an aura like hers?
‘….However, why is she standing still like that?’
Woo Jin-Cheol found it strange that she didn’t try to participate in the battle and simply stood by, so he quickly walked up next to her.
And it was at that point he got to see clearly the situation inside the boss room.
“This…. What is this?”
Soldiers wearing jet-black armour were one-sidedly massacring the supposedly-powerful monsters, also known as High Orc warriors.
The pitiful screams of the High Orcs even managed to deafen Woo Jin-Cheol’s hearing.
Also, he might have been less shocked if there were only human-shaped soldiers present. But then again, just what were those nonsensically huge black bears with smoke coming out of them, as well as High Orcs kitted out in various black-coloured armours?
“Been a while, Chief Woo Jin-Cheol.”
“Ah, yes, miss. It’s been a while… but, what are they? They don’t seem to be simple monsters….”
“They are summons that man called out.”
Cha Hae-In greeted Woo Jin-Cheol first before pointing at Jin-Woo in the distance.
Woo Jin-Cheol quickly took his sunglasses off and stared at Jin-Woo, now standing in the middle of the battlefield. While wielding two shortswords that looked like daggers, he was busy destroying the formation of the High Orcs.
‘No matter how I see it, doesn’t he look like a top-ranked melee-type Hunter?’
However, he could even use summoning magic, too?
And, sure enough…
When Jin-Woo’s lips moved a little, dozens more summons rose up from the ground.
“Oh, my god!”
Woo Jin-Cheol’s jaw fell to the floor.
Just how many summons could that man control?!
‘This… this is the true ability of Hunter Seong Jin-Woo….’
He couldn’t close shut his slack jaw at all.
Could the Association President Goh Gun-Hui have recognised the skill set of Hunter Seong Jin-Woo already? If so, then his sky-high interest in Hunter Seong Jin-Woo made plenty of sense.
Cha Hae-In couldn’t rip her eyes away from Jin-Woo for a long time, but she belatedly did manage that and asked Woo Jin-Cheol.
“By the way, why are you here, Chief Woo? Was the call made to the Monitoring Division already?”
When Cha Hae-In asked him that question, Woo Jin-Cheol somehow managed to regain control over his emotions and replied.
“No, that’s not it. We were in the neighbourhood, just passing by. But, it was a coincidence that we discovered the Gate’s abnormal condition, and we came here to help facilitate the evacuation of the raid team, but well….”
Woo Jin-Cheol stopped talking there and stared at Jin-Woo again.
“However, looks like that won’t be necessary.”
This would be his first time witnessing Hunter Seong Jin-Woo’s true skill. And that just so happened to be the spectacle of him clearing a rank A dungeon with his own power.
It didn’t look like other’s help was necessary.
“Yes. I think standing still is the right call to make here.”
Cha Hae-In too agreed with that assessment.
That man’s battle didn’t leave any gaps for a rank S like her to butt in at all.
“Do you know who that man is?”
Cha Hae-In asked.
Woo Jin-Cheol was clearly admiring Seong Jin-Woo’s skills, and obviously not worried about his identity, at least not outwardly. Also, he was an agent of the Association which did block Jin-Woo’s information from leaking out, too.
‘So maybe, Woo Jin-Cheol might know who that man is.’
Her expectation was on the money.
“Yes, a little bit.”
“That man… just who is he?”
Woo Jin-Cheol put his sunglasses back on and replied.
“I can’t reveal that information.”
The Shaman was furious.
When it first opened its eyes in this place, only one order was filling up its mind.
However, what was the meaning of this pathetic display?
Wasn’t a lone human easily hunting down every single member of its tribe? This wasn’t supposed to happen. No, such a thing must not happen at all.
The Shaman’s eyes reddened even further as it witnessed the massacre of its subordinates.
‘You insect-like b*stard! I’ll step on you!!’
If hexes didn’t work against the enemy, then all it had to do was to bless itself and fight!
“The song of rage! The song of strengthening! The song of the giants! The song of the fire dragon!”
With the completion of the various spells, the Shaman’s body suddenly ballooned up to nearly ten metres tall. Its strength, agility, stamina, and even its confidence increased greatly as well, power filling up every square inch of its frame.
Right away, the Shaman used its gigantic arm to swat away the Shadow Soldiers, and then took a deep breath.
When the Shaman spat out its breath, reddish black flames erupted out of its mouth.
The soldiers immediately dissipated and scattered away when they were struck dead-on by the flames. Even those grazed by it were no exception. Parts of their bodies were blown away and they were rendered unable to carry on fighting.
The flames didn’t end with one attack; the second wave of flames spat out of the Shaman’s mouth in a row.
The Shaman was able to greatly reduce the number of the Shadow Soldiers with its continuous attacks. Having received a boost to its confidence, it roared out at the top of its lungs.
“Do you still find this great Karugalgan funny now?!”
The reply came from above its head.
The Shaman flinched and raised its head, all the while hurriedly trying to chant a defensive spell, but…
But, Jin-Woo was one step quicker.
The Shaman’s head smashed down into the ground. The floor shattered and spiderweb-like cracks rapidly spread out.
Jin-Woo had already experienced blowing away Vulcan with his bare fist. And that demon was much, much larger than this arrogant Shaman, too.
[You have killed the owner of the dungeon.]
When he lightly landed on the ground, feel-good messages began popping up in his view one after the other.
“There you go!”
Jin-Woo pumped his fist.
Back when he was fighting using ‘Stealth’, he levelled up once. When he was killing these Orcs, another level up. And, after killing the boss just now, another level up. Clearing this rank A dungeon netted him three level ups, in other words. This was a result well above his expectation. He even felt very grateful towards Foreman Bae for suggesting yesterday that they should work together again.
‘This is very good.’
With an elated mind, Jin-Woo walked closer to the boss. The once-buffed up Shaman’s body had reverted back to its original size already.
He saw an egg-sized magic crystal embedded in the dead boss’s necklace, but he decided to not to get too greedy.
‘Earning experience points is good enough.’
This was the Hunters Guild’s dungeon, at the end of the day.
If he wanted to get his hands on a magic crystal from a rank A dungeon, he didn’t need to enter someone else’s dungeon – he’d just buy himself a permit for a dungeon of his own, instead.
No, what Jin-Woo was aiming for was something else. And that would be the black smoke beginning to rise up from the boss’s corpse.
Jin-Woo licked his lips in anticipation.
He couldn’t help but remember the corpse of Baruka, the one that slipped through his fingers back in the Red Gate.
‘But, my situation is a lot different compared to then.’
Compared to now, his Stats weren’t that high back then.
Also, killing that b*stard took a lot out of him. Only after receiving the aid of two knight-grade soldiers, Igrit and Iron, did he manage to beat that boss down.
However, he was able to kill this Shaman comparatively easily today.
A week spent inside the Demon’s Castle – this was the definite proof that the events of those short seven days weren’t in vain.
Jin-Woo issued a new order at the rising, wavering black steam-like smoke.
At the same time, an ominous wind brushed past his two cheeks. He instinctively realised it right away.
A radiant smile bloomed on Jin-Woo’s face.
As the soul-tearing scream resounded out, a mage covered in black robe rose up from the shadow of the dead Shaman.
Jin-Woo sensed something was different about this guy, and so he checked the information window.
Elite Knight grade
‘An Elite Knight?’
Previously, Jin-Woo was able to confirm that there were three grades to the Shadow Soldiers.
And then, the Knight grade.
But now, for the first time ever, the ‘Elite Knight’ grade appeared.
He began to think that, seeing the word ‘elite’ tacked on to the already-existing grade ‘Knight’, this new guy had to be a realm higher than either Igrit or Iron in terms of combat prowess.
‘For sure, I can sense that its magic energy is far greater than that of my two knights.’
As expected of turning the boss of a rank A dungeon into his Shadow Soldier.
[Please set the soldier’s name.]
And also as expected, he got another System message telling to name the new guy, now that another Knight-grade Shadow Soldier had appeared.
‘A name, is it….’
Well, its face was hidden under the hood of the robe now, but still, High Orcs and lengthy fangs went hand in hand, no?
‘Right, let’s name it Fangs.’ (TL note at the end)
He didn’t need to issue a separate order; just thinking about it meant the new guy’s name would be set.
Elite Knight grade.
Instead of question marks, the new name appeared in the information window.
If the Shaman who remained utterly arrogant right till the moment it died heard this name, the poor guy might have fainted on the spot. But well, who cares? It was already dead, anyway.
With a satisfied grin on his face, Jin-Woo recalled his Shadow Soldiers.
He could now store almost 130 of them. Although it was a bit regrettable, he had to return the rest back to the void.
‘This much is more than enough, though.’
He stepped off from the altar with a big smile on his face, but then, several people rushed over to him. They were – Hunters from the raid team, Cha Hae-In, and finally, a group of men wearing matching black business suits.
Jin-Woo recognised one of the faces among the black suits.
‘Since when did Chief Woo Jin-Cheol show up?’
Seeing the expression on Woo Jin-Cheol, he probably had witnessed the Shadow Soldiers in action in full.
“Mister Seong Jin-Woo.”
“Seong Jin-Woo Hunter-nim.”
Everyone called out to him at the same time, then they took glances at each other.
Well, it was all fine and dandy that he got to fight to his heart’s content since he no longer had any reason to hide his powers, but…..
‘….How am I supposed to get out of this now?’
Jin-Woo looked at all these people surrounding him and scratched the back of his head.
< Chapter 91 > Fin.
(TL: Right, for some reason, this author keep using the Korean word for molars when describing the characteristics of the High Orc. So, he named the new Shadow Soldier “Molar” but I just couldn’t use that in my good conscience and swapped it out to “Fangs” which, to me personally, make more physiological sense. I mean, lengthy molars wouldn’t be practical at all, right? And I’m pretty sure Orcs have long fangs, not long molars….)