I Alone Level-Up Chapter 13
He did not want to attract unwanted attention. The gazes that fell on him were uncomfortable, and he did not want to reveal his strange phenomenon to others. What was the saying? "Let sleeping dogs lie."?
He wanted to increase his attributes away from prying eyes.
'I don't think there are any issues with leaving now.'
Thankfully, all the tests they ran came up positive; there was nothing wrong with his health. He was able to discharge whenever he wanted. Rather, both the Association and the hospital appeared to want him to leave… They probably felt that it was a waste to spend all that money taking care of a mere E-rank Hunter. Compared to the S-rank Hunters who received a small portion of a country's budget if they required healing, Jinwoo lived in another world.
As such, he felt that it was about time he left the hospital.
There was also something he wanted to check out.
"Where did I put it…"
Searching his pockets, Jinwoo took something out.
It was a golden key.
Due to its simple design, the key almost appeared to be decorational.
After looking at it for some time, Jinwoo put the key back in his pockets.
As he was in the middle of the discharge procedures, he saw a young nurse running to him in a hurry.
"Pant... pant...! Sung Jinwoo-ssi, are you leaving right now?"
"Huh? Oh, yes."
It was his assigned nurse, Choi Yura. She looked to be sad at the news of his discharge. Not understanding her expression, Jinwoo became confused. He wondered if something had happened, but could not place his fingers on what. After fidgeting, she held out a small notepad.
"Could I have your contact information?"
"My contact information?"
"Yes… if it's okay with you…"
Did she want to send some test results later? Not thinking too much about it, Jinwoo took her notepad. Then he realized all she had given him was the notepad.
As he blatantly stared at her, Yura blushed.
"What, what is it?"
"Er… I don't have a pen."
"Oh, oh! Sorry, one second."
She must've forgotten in her hurry. She quickly turned to leave.
'Oh, wait. If it's a pen…'
In a blink of an eye, he was suddenly holding a pen in his hand. As if responding to his thoughts, the pen had automatically appeared from his inventory. It seemed that he was able to freely store and retrieve the items from his inventory just by thinking about it. It was a rather convenient function of the inventory. Confirming what was in his hand, Jinwoo stopped Yura,
"Oh wait, it looks like I had one in my pockets."
"Oh? Phew, that's good."
Yura clutched her chest and sighed in relief. Jinwoo smiled as he wrote his phone number on the notepad. This was not the first time something like this had happened. The items that came out of the Random Box often found a way to be useful, in one way or another. The day after he received a raincoat, it rained. The day before his water cooler ran out of cups, a cup had appeared. Although he did receive few unneeded items like the bandages, most had found their use.
"Here you go."
Yura received the notepad with a happy expression, then bowed her head.
"Then I'll be in your care."
"Hmm? Ah, yes. Me as well."
Turning around, Yura quickly disappeared around the corner. As he watched her shuffle away, Jinwoo tilted his head.
'Be in my care? Huh?'
She seemed like a cute nurse with good manners.
With that in mind, Jinwoo left the hospital with a spring in his steps.
The first place he went to was the Hunter Association building located in the Guro district of Seoul. As he had lost his phone in the Double Dungeon, he needed a replacement. A Hunter's phone used special mechanisms and could only be obtained directly from the Association.
The Association staff told Jinwoo after looking at his monitor,
"It looks like Hunter-nim's phone will be available in about 2 weeks."
"Really? That long?"
Jinwoo exclaimed in surprise. His old phone was smashed to pieces when he was running from the Statue of God, and now they were telling him it would be 2 weeks before he could get a new one.
"If you have an urgent need for one, we can lend you a temporary phone. The rental fee is 50 thousand won."
50 thousand won… Just the rental fee was that high. At his current status, it was too expensive.
'Well, it's not like anyone's going to call me.'
If they could not contact him through his phone, the Association would call him at home. So there wasn't a need for him to use money on a rental.
Jinwoo shook his head,
"I'll just wait."
"Understood. When your new device is ready, we'll send it directly to your home."
He stood up. His errands were now over. He had already finished the daily quest, and the process of requesting a new phone at the Association was over as well. As he exited the building, he took out the golden key again.
'Is it time for this thing?'
The key's information was outlined in green letters on the floating screen.
Key to access an Instant Dungeon.
Usable in Hapjeong Subway Station #3.
It was one of the rewards from a Random Box. At first, he was confused at the appearance of a key, but looking at the first instance of a "rarity" on an item, he knew it was not something ordinary. It was one of the main reasons he had decided to leave the hospital.
'A key to access an Instant Dungeon…'
Even if it was called "Instant", a Dungeon was a Dungeon. It was a word that brought back a lot of painful memories. Once, he had participated in an E-rank raid but received a big injury and had to be hospitalized for a week.
'At least at that time, no one else got hurt in the party…'
However, if he entered a Dungeon with this key, it would have to be completely alone.
Jinwoo made the decision after thinking for some time.
'I could just check it out and leave.'
There was always the option of running away. Diligently running 10km everyday, Jinwoo was confident in his ability to run away.
That confidence was a mistake.
"This is… a wall?"
He pounded on the invisible barrier and tried to scream towards the outside, but there was no response. The people outside walked by, taking no notice of him. Occasionally, someone would walk down the stairs into the subway station, but the moment they reached the invisible wall, they disappeared. Compared to the outside, it seemed like this place was in a separate dimension.
As Jinwoo used all his strength to try and force his way out, he received another message.
You cannot exit the Dungeon.
Please defeat the boss or use a "return stone"
It was the same message he received when he first tried to leave.
The dungeon key that he was holding disappeared the moment he took a step into the Subway Station #3. When he panicked and turned around to leave, an invisible barrier was already blocking his way.
He had initially expected to find a Gate or a secret entrance somewhere in the station, but his expectations were off the mark. And worse, contrary to a normal Dungeon, it was impossible for him to leave.
"Contrary to a normal Dungeon…"
With a heavy sigh, he turned around.
The station had transformed, combining its natural interior with elements of a jungle. The walls were covered in vines, and the smell of rotting corpses stabbed at Jinwoo's nose. From a distance, he even heard something resembling an animal's cry.
Instead of finding an entrance somewhere in Hapjeong Subway Station, the entire station had become the Dungeon.
Jinwoo retrieved the steel sword from his inventory.
Kim Sangshik's Steel Sword
Attack Power +10
If retreat wasn't an option, the only way was forward.
Jinwoo gulped as he slowly descended the stairs into the station. He held his breath and looked around, but did not sense anything. Yet he could not relax; carelessness was not allowed. Even among the lower level magic beasts, there were ones that could hide their presence. Rather, it was because they were lower level that they had to hide their presence and attempt an ambush.
He passed by a bathroom and came upon an underground shopping center. The various storefronts were in a state of deterioration. With no humans in sight, the dimly lit area was reminiscent of an apocalyptic movie. A hair-raising chill washed over Jinwoo.
As if on their last legs, several of the ceiling lights flickered on and off.
Walking on weeds that grew out from broken tiles, Jinwoo looked around anxiously.
His surroundings were empty, but he felt something looking at him.
'And this smell.'
A strong stench of a rotting corpse was coming from somewhere. Having entered many Dungeons before, it was a familiar smell to Jinwoo.
'It's a beast type magic beast'
However, he could not pinpoint its location. It was almost as if it was waiting to ambush a prey.
'So you're gonna hide and wait for an opportunity, eh?'
Then he'll give it an opportunity.
Jinwoo turned around and showed his back on purpose, then slowly walked in the direction he came from. Predators tended to attack a prey's exposed back; the beast type magic beasts were no different.
It was after he took his third step,
The windows of a clothing storefront broke apart as something leaped through it from inside. The moment it landed on the floor, it immediately jumped again towards the back of Jinwoo's neck.
Having already anticipated the attack, Jinwoo responded to the creature's roar by swinging his sword as he turned around. It was an impressive reflex!
The sharp sword caught the chin of the attacking beast as it swung through the air. Falling away, the beast shrieked as it rolled on the ground.
It was a large wolf with red furs. Having lost its entire snout, the wolf tossed and turned on the ground in pain. When Jinwoo looked closer, he was able to see a name above the beast's head, similar to the centipedes from the Penalty Zone.
'Steel-teeth Lycan' 
However, unlike the centipedes whose name was in red, his current enemy's name was in white.
'No time to think about it!'
With the beast writhing on the ground in pain, the opportunity to finish it was now. Jinwoo ran across the distance between the two. He brought down his sword as he reached the beast. Its head was cleanly separated from its body.
The Lycan let out a death rattle as it passed.
You've defeated the Steel-teeth Lycan.
But he did not have time to celebrate. From the broken window, two more Lycans that were hiding in the darkness came out.
'Ah, it had friends.'
Jinwoo's eyes widened,
Baring their scary fangs, the two beasts closed the gap toward Jinwoo in an instant. Jinwoo furrowed his brows. In his excitement to slay the first Lycan, he had brought down his sword with too much force, and now the sword was stuck in the ground.
While he was struggling to pull out the sword, one of the Lycans pounced towards his face.
He quickly lowered his head to evade. The Lycan that missed his head could not control its speed and crashed into the ground.
The ground where its fangs struck cracked.
'Guess "Steel-teeth" isn't just a name'
But there was no time to be impressed, the other Lycan was now coming at him. The sword did not appear to be coming out anytime soon.
Having no choice, he abandoned the sword and swung his fist at the Lycan in midair.
Making noise like the wind, his fist flew through the air.
Upon impact, the Lycan's head exploded. The headless body of the Lycan struck the ceiling then fell to the ground.
Jinwoo looked at his fist in surprise.
Its destructive power was not something he had expected.
: "Rarity" (입수 난이도): Lit. "to obtain/get/acquire" 입수 + "difficulty" 난이도 > "the difficulty in obtaining this item" > "rarity"
: "return stone" (귀환석): Lit. "to return" 귀환 + "rock" 석 > a return stone. In some video games, it's an item that allows the user to return to the nearest safe place (towns, save points, etc…). Called "hearthstone" in WoW.
: "beast type magic beast" (짐승형 마수): Lit. "beast/animal" 짐승 + "type" 형 + "magic beast" 마수; the two words for "beast" are different in Korean. A bit awkward to say "beast type magic beast", but Jinwoo clarifying the "type" of the magic beast here has the implication that "magic beast" just refers to any hostile entity in a Dungeon (meaning their forms are not just limited to beasts and animals).
: 'steel-teeth lycan' (강철 이빨 라이칸). Pretty literal translation. "Steel" 강철 + "tooth" 이빨. Someone told me "Lycan" is the korean pronunciation of lycan, short for lycanthrope. Thanks to /u/Zarryiosiad for the reference.