I Alone Level-Up Chapter 103
Edited from MTL Hell by SlimIcee and peghius. Thanks to our Korean speakers acquaintedwithnight and lonelywave. Also thanks to our Beta Readers!
With Elisa`s explanation and Jinwoo`s assurance, the Lord managed to calm down. He sat back in his throne.
'The permit and directions. Does he really want them? Is that really all he wants?'
'Ever since I was trapped here, a voice constantly told me to protect this area, but it didn't force me to abide. It felt more like a nagging feeling in the back of my mind. Similarly to how your instincts tell you to eat or sleep, I had always felt that I must follow this order - so when the news of black soldiers hunting down demons came to me, I thought 'the end is finally near', and my heart sank.'
The nervous Lord had ordered these invaders to be eliminated. Of the groups of black soldiers, two had been surprisingly easy to mop up. However, the Lord's scouts reported that among the black soldiers, there were much stronger enemies.
The troops were led by a fire-casting mage, a large heavy armored knight, and another adorned in a feathered helmet. Against these, even with the entire military might of the Radir Clan, the Demon Lord could not guarantee victory. In the face of such a fearsome foe, the army of the Radir Clan had been preparing to fight for its very survival. However, this entire time, there had been no reports of a young man. In short, it could be assumed that the main force of the enemy was not among any of those squads, but was instead this single individual.
'If I knew that such a monster was the master of the black soldiers, we wouldn't even have dared to attack.'
The Lord couldn't believe his eyes. Numerous black soldiers were gathered within the throne room, hiding in that man's shadow.
'Even now, those murderous gazes from the countless soldiers hiding in his shadow are giving me goosebumps.'
'Compromising with a human is a humiliating thing, but..'
'The orders we have to follow include the safekeeping of an item called the "Floor Entry Permit". However isn't the cost of protecting a single piece of paper too high?
'No, forget protecting, I don't know if I could defeat this man's soldiers even if I sacrificed my entire army. Furthermore, this man..'
'… he's hiding his skills.'
"I don't know what you're looking for, but you're hiding something. You yourself are like the tip of an iceberg: the depth of your power is immeasurable."
It was a terrible feeling to confront an enemy whose power you cannot grasp. The Lord said with a nervous smile.
"Is that really …enough?"
'There is no reason as to why I shouldn't be able to give him a permit and keep everything in order. It isn't against the voice command because it is for the protection of this area.'
Jinwoo nodded his head.
"You won't harm my daughter?"
While feeling somewhat surprised, Jinwoo could feel Elisa`s burning gaze on his back.
'This monster's worrying about his daughter…'
Jinwoo hid his amazement for the demon's humanity and nodded again. The Demon Lord, who seemed concerned for awhile, now smiled
"Then let's do it."
'Now that I've agreed to hand it over, I can't help but feel relieved.'
'If a single piece of paper could prevent the disaster this man could cause, would it not be a blessing?'
" No, in fact, I'd appreciate it if you did."
Jinwoo laughed, surprised by the smiling Demon Lord and his sudden change of attitude.
'Like father like daughter I suppose.'
'Elisa is a dead ringer when it comes to sharing her father's personality.'
Is this something programmed by the System, or, is it as she said… Jinwoo dismissed the thought, and responded to the Lord who was waiting for his answer.
"I keep my promises."
When the Lord snapped his finger, a knight brought over a large scroll and offered it to Jinwoo, who then opened it to check its contents.
'It's really an entry permit.'
A smile fell on Jinwoo's lips, as he reviewed the item's information.
[Item: Entry Permit]
This is a permit to go up to the 81st floor. This permit can only be used on the 80th floor.
Jinwoo had been doubtful that it was possible to get items from monsters through diplomacy, but, contrary to his beliefs, there he was with the Floor Entry Permit in his hands. The difference between the lower-level authorization and the upper-level authorization was that the crest of the Radir Clan was stamped in a bloody red color at the bottom of the permit.
'From now on, will I be able to keep obtaining permits from each clan I encounter?'
The corners of Jin-woo`s mouth rose in satisfaction. This way of obtaining the permit was much more to his liking, rather than wandering around killing demons while waiting a random drop --- Jinwoo rolled the permit and put it in the storage.
"You're ready to depart now, right?"
Jinwoo headed towards the exit of the hall, but was stopped by knights of the Radir Clan who had blocked his way. With a suspicious gaze Jinwoo looked towards Elisa, who in turn smiled happily. While Jinwoo was trying to figure out what was going on, The Clan Lord walked in front of him.
"We can't send off a guest of the Radir Clan just like this."
The Lord spoke in a pleading tone. Despite being powerful enough to give off an intimidating pressure, the Lord's familial smile seemed genuine.
"Why don't we have a meal as a commemoration of our negotiations? Moreover my daughter still needs to make the proper preparations for such a long journey."
Jinwoo`s gaze fell on Elisa. Her expression was filled with the hope that Jinwoo would accept her Father's offer.
Jinwoo thought to himself
'She kept her promise, so isn't it fair to sit down and enjoy a meal? I need to eat anyways and I'm tired of having that same bread and meat from the System Store every time.'
"…Sure, I'll stay and eat."
When Jinwoo accepted, the Lord burst into a happy laughter.
The faces of Elisa and the knights also lit up. Immediately, the Lord began shouting at his servants.
"What are you doing? Hurry up and prepare the meal!"
Since Jinwoo ended up spending quite a lot of time on the 80th floor, he had no intention of wasting more time on the remaining levels. He was currently waiting in front of the interfloor magic circle with Elisa, waiting for her to transfer them to the next floor.
[Demon Noble Elisa wants to join your party.]
[Would you like to accept it?]
[If accepted, party members will be able to move with the Interfloor Magic Circle and share the experience according to their contribution.]
'Distribute experience according to their contribution?'
The notion of sharing experience points was a bit annoying, but when Jinwoo looked closely, it was clearly stated that it was based on contribution. In other words, it was like saying that if you don't give your companion a chance to fight, you don't have to share your experience. Jinwoo's stare fell firmly on Elisa.
"If there's a battle, don't interfere. I'll take care of everything."
Elisa answered shyly.
After having accepted her as a party member and gone through the interfloor magic circle, they arrived on the next floor. Jinwoo wished to waste little time, causing him to hasten his pace.
With a luggage several times her size, yet not too heavy, Elisa barely managed to follow Jinwoo's pace who was forced to occasionally stop and wait for her to catch up.
"Look over there."
While looking at the map of the 81st floor, Elisa pointed to a castle that was outlined in the distance. Jinwoo, who had noticed it earlier, nodded in return.
"Wait a minute."
Elisa put down her large bag and rummaged through it, until she took out a flask filled with some unknown liquid. Looking at it, Jinwoo asked
"What is that?"
"It's the liquor that Lord of the Garsh Clan likes. If you take this with you, you can negotiate…"
Jinwoo grinned and called out the Shadow Soldiers.
The soldiers summoned by Jinwoo appeared in unison.
There were three black soldiers with strength equaling the Higher Noble Demons. In the hands of the man who had summoned them, two dagger were held aloft. Jinwoo was also emanating such a sharp aura, that Elisa felt as if her skin would be cut from simply being in his presence. Elisa doubted her senses, questioning if this was truly the same man she had been speaking to before.
"You're going to negotiate, aren't you?"
Without answering Elisa's question, Jinwoo asked
"Are you guys close to the Garsh Clan?"
"Oh, no. The nobles have always been fighting each other over their ranks. However Garsh Clan's Lord is a good talker."
Hearing this, Jinwoo laughed.
"Good to know."
One exception was enough. More than getting a permit, it was also important to raise his level and that of his soldiers.
"You're waiting here."
Jinwoo told her, as he proceeded to lead his Shadow Soldiers towards the castle.
Elisa's eyes shot open in surprise at Jinwoo's sudden departure. She attempted to match his speed as he went towards the castle, but to no avail.
By the time she reached the castle, the Garsh Clan's stronghold was already ablaze.
A giant monster breathed fire towards the gates and walls of the castle, creating enough heat to melt them down. The shock from this sudden attack and its destructive results, caused such panic among the Garsh Knights, that they began to flee from their posts. This allowed the Shadow Soldiers to cut them down easily from behind.
There was a voice that rang out, which sounded like a cross between a moan and a sob.
The sight of the annihilation of Garsh Clan's castle, which was several times stronger than the castle of Elisa's Radir Clan, was so gut wrenching, that Elisa couldn't help but feel a knot of fear in her throat.
'If my father had not given him the permit …'
Elisa imagined the Radir Clan facing the same fate as the Garsh Clan. The mere thought of it made her dizzy.
At the same time, she thought she was lucky that the Radir Clan had been able to get along so well with Jinwoo.
Another deafening series of crashes and tumbling, signaled the collapse of yet another tower inside the castle walls.
'How do you fight monsters like that?'
Elisa wiped the sweat off her head with the back of her hand, sighing in relief. She could hardly imagine having to survive the onslaught she had just witnessed.
Officials from the Japanese Hunter Association and the Japanese government gathered for an important meeting. The air within the conference room was heavy, as the Association`s President quietly opened his mouth.
"These days, South Korea is in a tumultuous state with the awakening of the tenth S class."
The dignitaries laughed at that statistic. In Japan, the number of S-Rank hunters had already exceeded twenty, while in Korea the people were still elated by their tenth. No, it would be natural for an S-ranked Hunter to be celebrated in a country with only eight others, excluding the two who had been lost in an accident and through emigration.
Regardless, today's meeting was not meant to mock South Korea. If that were the case, there would be no reason for the somber atmosphere. The defense minister, who sat down with a frown, opened his mouth.
"What does Korea's tenth S-Rank have to do with today's topic?"
His agitation was evident from his tone.
Jeju Island, currently located on the southern tip of Korea, was occupied by monsters after a failed Dungeon clear four years ago. And it didn't become the nest for just any kind of monster, it was changed into the breeding ground for an ant-type colony, who boasted a strong life force and an extremely fast reproduction rate.
The main problem was that they were damaging the mainland of Japan. And it was believed that the destruction of a small village the previous day was caused by an ant that had flown from Jeju Island.
The threat was no longer negligible. And as of now, from the minister's point of view, the most urgent problem was to sate the anger of the prime minister as soon as possible. So in front of such an useless chatter, especially with their necks on the line, it was only natural for him to frown.
But the association president of the JHA continued.
"People are more likely to make mistakes when they are excited."
The president of the association's white hair and wrinkle-filled face was a sign of his old age, as well as his vast amount of experience.
"I think now is the right time."
The inside of the conference hall, which was somewhat distracted by meaningless remarks, focused on the speaker.
"What… do you have a good plan?"
Unlike his previous outburst, the defense minister asked his question in a lower tone, betraying the tension he felt from speaking to a man of such high caliber.
"Rather than good, it would be best to say this is the most appropriate plan..."
After the association president started speaking, all the dignitaries and officials both from the association and the government, including the defense minister, stopped speaking and paid attention to the figurehead, wondering what he would say.
The association president deliberately waited for this moment to speak.
"Can we really recognize the Koreans as the owners of Jeju Island just because they've claimed it as their own, even though they don't have the strength to protect it?"
Silence reigned in the audience. They all wondered what the president of the association was trying to say. Considering the relationship between Korea and Japan, it couldn't be dismissed as an old man`s absurd remarks. Moreover, wasn't this the man who was currently leading the Japanese Hunter Association.
"So what are you telling us?"
The Deputy Minister asked carefully. The president of the association looked around the audience with confidence.
"We're going to get rid of the monsters on Jeju Island."
The room became noisy for a moment.
The noisy interior was silenced again by the association president, as he continued to speak.
"We will take over Jeju Island"
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