I Alone Level-Up

 
 

I Alone Level-Up Chapter 23


I Alone Level-up: Chapter 23

With the eyes of a predator sizing up prey, Jinwoo moved his gaze from one Hunter to the next.

Hwang Dongseok gulped.

The fact that a dagger had appeared out of nowhere in his hand was surprising, but what shocked him even more was Park Joontae's death.

'How did an E-rank kill a D-rank in one hit?'

Regardless of what trick he used, he could no longer be underestimated. They had to become focused. Hwang Dongseok cast a glance to his side, 'give him another one.'

Jo Gyuhwan nodded. He would not make the same mistake! The determined hands once more gathered light in them.

But before he could fire the arrow of light, Jinwoo appeared before Jo Gyuhwan.

"Huh?"

Jo Gyuhwan's mouth opened wide in surprise. Jinwoo's eyes were fierce.

'First, the Mage-class Hunter with strong firepower but weak constitution.'

He had already made all the calculations.

The dagger embedded into Jo Gyuhwan's neck.

stab!

cough!

Jo Gyuhwan grabbed his neck and fell.

thud

"Kill him!"

"Ahh!!!"

The man's death signaled the start of the fight; all the Hunters came at Jinwoo. Jinwoo sharpened his nerves and focused on each of their movements.

Sound disappeared, and time slowed down.

The power of the agility stat, raised to 38 points, began to show off.

He blocked and dodged the torrent of swords, spears and arrows that were coming at him.

The Hunters' eyes widened,

'How, how is an E-ranker moving like this?!'

'He's too fast!'

'I can't hit him!'

Their faces became pale.

Speed was relative. To their eyes, Jinwoo's movements were terrifyingly swift.

Jinwoo weaved between the Hunters, stabbing them one by one.

Paralysis has been inflicted.



Bleeding has been inflicted.



Paralysis has been inflicted.



Casaka's Poisoned Fang inflicted its debuffs left and right, throwing the Hunters into chaos.

"I-I can't move my body! Uwak!"

"Magic? Is this magic?"

"This son of a bitch!"

Bleeding has been inflicted.



Paralysis has been inflicted.



Paralysis has been inflicted.



"Ahh!"

"What, what the hell is he?!"

"Uwaaaak!"

All around the room, the Hunters' screams spilled forth. Five of the surrounding enemies had already fallen.

thud

thud

ring~

Enemies to deal with: 1

Enemies dealt with: 7



Jinwoo faced the last man remaining.

The hairy man with a large physique, Hwang Dongseok.

With a determined face, he threw aside his shield and gathered his energy.

"Waaaaaah!!!"

He kicked the ground and charged.

boom boom boom boom!

As he ran, he thought to himself. He was a Tanker who shone in the upper echelon of C-rankers. The target was probably a Dealer. His movements were fast, but there was no way that he would have the power to go through his body, reinforced with the 'Strengthen'[1] skill.

'You cannot give me a mortal wound with a mere dagger!'

The one who would be destroyed in their clash will be Sung Jinwoo!

He tackled with his shoulder as the distance closed.

"Strengthen!"

The room suddenly spun around him, and the Dungeon's ceiling appeared before his eyes.

Slam!

His head shook and he felt a great pain on his neck and back. He tried to rise but his body did not listen. The struggling Hwang Dongseok sprawled on the ground.

"cough!"

Blood came out of his mouth.

'Did… did he just throw me?'

He, Hwang Dongseok, just lost in power?

In a contest of strength?

"A mere E-rank trash like you…"

He realized his mistake. 5 C-ranks and 4 D-ranks were defeated in an instant. There was no way Jinwoo was an E-ranker.

Jinwoo stood next to Hwang Dongseok. The man could not even move his body. The results of the fight was clear. If this was a competitive sport, this is where it would end.

It was not going to end here.

"W-wait."

Hwang Dongseok raised a feeble hand.

"P-please, let me live. If you want money, I'll give you money. Plenty of it, just let me live…"

"Three times."

Jinwoo replied with ice in his voice,

"Aren't you embarrassed to ask someone you tried to kill three times for mercy?"

One. Through blocking the entrance.

Two. Through ordering Yoo Jinho.

Three. Through Jo Gyuhwan's magic.

Hwang Dongseok had made three attempts on Jinwoo's life, discounting the fight just now.

Give and Take.

After returning alive from the temple, Jinwoo had made this creed.

To give as much was given, and to take as much was taken.

Whether it was good or bad.

There would be no compromise.

Realizing he could not beg for mercy, Hwang Dongseok opened his eyes wide and foamed at the mouth,

"You, you think you'll just get away with this?! Do you know who my little brother-"

Snap!

Hwang Dongseok could not continue with his crushed neck.

His eyes rolled back to reveal their whites.

ring~

Enemies to deal with: 0

Enemies dealt with: 8



The quest was finally over.

"Phew-"

Jinwoo's lengthy sigh carried many meanings. He took his hand off Hwang Dongseok's throat and looked at it. Although it was a one-sided battle, his hands were shaking at the fact that he had just taken eight lives.

'Is this really okay?'

He placed the hand on his chest and felt his heart.

ba dum ba dum ba dum

It was beating normally.

'I wonder…'

From the day that he had returned from the underground temple, perhaps the System wasn't the only change within Jinwoo. But his worries were brief, interrupted by the familiar electronic tone.

ring~

You've completed the 'Emergency Quest: Deal With The Enemies'

The reward for completing the quest has arrived.

Would you like to verify? (Y/N)



He had expected this. Without delay, he confirmed the rewards.

"Verify."

ring~

You've received the below rewards.

Reward 1. Status Recovery

Reward 2. Stat points +10

Reward 3. Skill: 'Bloodlust'[2]

Accept all?



'10 stat points and even a new skill?'

Jinwoo's eyes widened at the incredible reward. Putting the attribute points aside, the idea of a new skill piqued his interest greatly.

'If I didn't have 'sprint' while fighting the spider…'

The reason he was able to defeat the boss was thanks to a skill. Their effectiveness in battles could not be understated. There was reason why Runestones were insanely expensive.

Jinwoo immediately checked the 'Bloodlust' skill.

'Check Reward 3.'

ring~

Bloodlust (Lv. 1)

Active Skill

Mana Cost: 100

Activate to inflict 'Fear' on a target for 1 minute.

Multiple targets can be selected.

'Fear': All stats -50%

"You emit a murderous intent."



Although temporary, it had a very desirable power to lower every attribute of a target. Jinwoo was sure it would not work against targets with high resistance, but to the ones that didn't, they would become food before his hands. On top of that, it was able to affect multiple targets.

'It's amazing.'

As the penalty was great, so was the reward.

'Well… it makes sense, right?'

His life was on the line this time. Not only that-

Jinwoo looked around. He frowned at the scene of massacre. He had witnessed the death of many Hunters before, but he was still not used to the sight of their corpses. This was the result that the quest wanted. Compared to the number of lives he had taken, the reward now seemed small. Not that he would've been able to avoid all this, even without the quest.

'There's no end to man's greed…'

He shook his head.

The cave shook again.

Shaaaaake!

It was a lot stronger than before. It was time to leave the Dungeon.

But there was a loose end to tidy up before leaving.

Yoo Jinho.

Jinwoo turned his gaze towards the young man. The pitiful form of Yoo Jinho, frozen from fear, cast his eyes down at Jinwoo's gaze.

'What to do with him…'

Of course, he wasn't thinking of killing Yoo Jinho. There was no reason or need.

But if everything that had happened here leaked, it would become very bothersome.

'Let's thoroughly ensure his silence.'

As if on cue, Yoo Jinho ran forward and knelt before Jinwoo,

"Hyungnim! Please let me live!"

"..."

Jinwoo realized this would be easier than he thought.

-

Yoo Jinho trembled heavily. His face was completely pale. After all, he had just watched Jinwoo slaughter eight people. One of the most powerful weapon to rule over a person was 'fear'. So Jinwoo decided to use that to his advantage.

"Why should I?"

Jinwoo swore he heard Yoo Jinho's heart literally sink.

'Was that too much?'

"M-money- if you n-need money, I can ask my-"

"What are you taking me for?!"

Jinwoo flared with a genuine anger. He lived his entire life in poverty, but he had no intentions to use someone as a hostage for money. If he did that, he would be no different than Hwang Dongseok.

"I-I apologize."

If Yoo Jinho was not shaking in fear, he would've smacked him on the back of his head. But if he did, it felt like the young man would keel over with a heart attack, so Jinwoo stayed his hand.

Seeing Jinwoo's hardened expression, Yoo Jinho gulped.

'Now that I think about it, he also refused Hwang Dongseok's offer of money… Is he a man who abandoned material wants and walks a path of flesh and blood?'

The image of Jinwoo in Yoo Jinho's head became stranger. But it was too early to make that call,

'Then why did he collect the magic cores?'

Just moments earlier, Jinwoo was cutting open the spider's stomach to grab every last bit of the magic cores. A source of great power, the magic cores had many uses beyond just crafting magic items. But to a Hunter, they were no different than money.

Yoo Jinho's head spun with thought.

'Then it must be that!'

It was the price of blood. The reason that he dirtied his hands to look through the corpse was because he had fought the spider boss for it. He would have no mercy towards those who went against him, but he would also have nothing to do with that which was not earned with sweat and blood. A true patron of effort[3]!

'To think that I tried to buy such hyungnim's mercy with money. Of course he would be mad at me.'

Then, what he needed now was not 'his father's money', but a 'worthiness' to spare his life. He glanced over at Jinwoo's face, but the man still appeared to be mad.

Yoo Jinho quickly spoke,

"Hyungnim. If you spare me, I'll turn over all the income from this Dungeon to hyungnim."

"Hmm?"

As he expected, Jinwoo was interested.

"Think about it, hyungnim. If nine of the ten people died in this Dungeon, and hyungnim took home all the profits, anyone would be suspicious, no?"

Yoo Jinho was sure that Jinwoo was a false ranker. Not only that, a powerful false ranker who enjoyed killing! A person like that could not afford the attention of others falling on him.

"So?"

"On the other hand, if hyungnim and I leave here together, according to the contract, all of the magic cores would become mine. Even with the eight others dead, since there was no benefit to hyungnim, nobody would suspect you."

Of course, nobody would suspect Yoo Jinho either. He was the son of one of the country's most powerful chairman. The magic cores wouldn't be of any worth to him.

"Of course, the money would belong to you, hyungnim. It's the 'fair price' for killing Hwang Dongseok's party and saving my life."

Translator's Notes:

[1]: "Strengthen" (강화): lit. "reinforce/strengthen"

[2]: "Bloodlust" (살기): "murder/murderous" 살 + "energy/spirit" 기. Directly translates to "bloodthirst/bloodlust". Also could be "Killing Intent".

[3]: "patron of effort" (피의 수도자): My apologies, my translation is actually completely different than the original korean. The literal translation would be "ascetic of blood", which I had felt did not convey the meaning of the passage in English. Jinho's image of Jinwoo is basically that he only takes what he has earned. In Korean culture, "blood" carries a very common symbolic meaning of effort, hence the "ascetic of blood" title.


 
 


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