I Alone Level-Up Chapter 35
Jinwoo picked up a stone from the ground. It also disappeared from sight.
'What about this?'
He went and put his hand on the shoulder of a dead hobgoblin, but it did not become invisible. Bit by bit, he was beginning to understand the limits of the skill. It seemed that it applied to something that he was wearing and something that he could hold in his hands. Suddenly,
You are out of mana. 'Stealth' will be cancelled.
The 'Stealth' skill had been cancelled.
'It's only been a few seconds, but my mana is already gone?'
He had been trying to get used to the invisible form, testing out its effects here and there. Jinwoo opened up the skill listing with a dumbfounded expression.
-(Unknown) (Lv. Max)
-Unyielding Spirit (Lv. 1)
-Sprint (Lv. 1)
-Bloodlust (Lv. 1)
-Stealth (Lv. 1)
What he wanted was the 'Stealth' information. The words appeared in the air before him.
Stealth (Lv. 1)
Mana Cost: 200 (+10/Second)
Activate to disappear (sight, sound, smell)
Costs 10 mana per second to maintain.
"Become invisible and hide the traces of your existence."
The activation cost is 200 and it uses up 10 mana per second?
No wonder his mana ran out so fast.
MP: 7 / 548
His remaining 7 mana seemed to laugh at him.
'It really hit rock bottom.'
With his current mana, he could maintain 'Stealth' for a little under 35 seconds. However, if he factored in other skills into calculation, it would be far less than that.
'Now that I think about it, even Kang Taeshik released the skill after few seconds.'
It was clear that the B-rank Hunter did not do so out of some dramatic flair. He probably did not have the magic power to maintain the skill for long. If the high-ranker Kang Taeshik was like that, low-rankers probably couldn't even activate the skill.
"Looks like mana is the problem."
He had invested points in every stat except for intelligence so far, but his mana did not increase. This told him that to increase his mana, he had to raise the intelligence stat…
'Do I have to start putting points into intelligence?'
But it felt a little wasteful to invest his valuable points just so he could use a skill for a little longer. Especially because Jinwoo felt that intelligence was not a stat directly usable in combat.
'Compared to the others, intelligence really feels lacking.'
Strength, constitution, agility, sense.
As each of those stats rose, he became noticeably stronger. But even when he had raised the intelligence stat through level-ups, he did not gain any worthwhile powerup. Compared to when he was level 1, his intelligence stat had nearly quadrupled, but the only thing it gave him was increased mana. That was it. To invest valuable points into the stat just for that was…
Using those points in the other four attributes equaled to directly strengthening his flesh and blood. In the end, Jinwoo decided that he would just increase his mana through level-ups. The stat points would be distributed into the other, more useful stats.
He remembered that he still had 5 points received from the emergency quest. After thinking about putting them into intelligence, Jinwoo instead put 3 points into strength and 2 points in to constitution.
(Available stat points: 0)
Physical Damage Reduction: 20%
'Yep. Multiples of five are a good thing.'
As Jinwoo smiled in satisfaction,
The Dungeon's interiors shook as if the world was ending.
'Has it already been one hour?'
There was no time to delay anymore. Jinwoo closed his stat screen. He had purposely waited inside until right before the Gate would close. Staying here any longer would mean that he would never be able to leave. Jinwoo did a final check before leaving the boss room.
'Let's see, I got all the magic cores…'
There was nothing he had forgotten. After going over every detail, Jinwoo quickly ran through the Dungeon.
As if telling him to leave, the Dungeon shook intensely again.
Right on time, the Association's investigators and employees had arrived. They watched Jinwoo exit the Gate just as it closed and asked,
"H-Hunter-nim! Are there any other survivors?"
The employee's expressions hardened. 9 people had entered the Dungeon; only 3 had come out alive. This would be yet another major incident for the Association in the area. Faced with the prospect of a second incident, the Association employees assigned to this sector grimaced. They wanted to enter the Dungeon themselves to check for survivors, but the Gate had already closed. This was the reason why Jinwoo had purposely waited until the last minute to exit.
'Can't let them know there was another survivor. Was...'
Now, the only witnesses were the three that had survived. An employee started talking hesitantly,
"Just now... we've received the confession of Gold Mountain Company's president over the phone."
Song Chiyeol stepped forward,
"The president of Gold Mountain Company?"
"Yes, he's one of the prisoner's victim's father who had contacted HSD Hunter Kang Taeshik for an assassination."
The employee explained that once he had heard that Kang Taeshik had succeeded in killing the prisoner, the president of the company had confessed to everything.
'Well, it wasn't Kang Taeshik, but me…' Jinwoo thought.
The police had gone to the company president, and the Association had come to the Gate.
After a moment of silence, Jinwoo asked,
"So there are no problems, right?"
The employee responded embarrassingly,
"Yes, I suppose so."
Kang Taeshik's crimes had a clear evidence, and the three survivors had fought him for their own lives. As Jinwoo said, there was indeed no problems. Except one.
The employee asked something that was troubling him,
"Who killed the B-rank Hunter Kang Taeshik?"
Having just arrived, the employees had not heard this part of the story yet. The distance to the Association HQ was far from here, and the employees had hurriedly made efforts to arrive before the Gate closed. They all looked very tired.
Jinwoo decided to tell the truth, then thought of Yoo Jinho.
'It's unfortunate but looks like I won't be able to help him anymore.'
If he told the truth, he would have to undergo a retest and have his rank raised. Once that happened, his part in Yoo Jinho's plans would be over. After all, what the young man needed was not only a skilled Hunter, but a low ranking one. Once he received his new rank, Jinwoo would no longer qualify.
'Hmm… what's with this feeling?'
Jinwoo imagined Yoo Jinho's disappointed face. Instead of feeling sorry, he actually felt like laughing. Still, it was a shame that he wouldn't get that building.
'Well, what could I do…'
Determined, Jinwoo started opening his mouth but was interrupted,
"It was me."
Jinwoo turned towards the voice. Lee Juhee was staring at Song Chiyeol in shock.
Before Jinwoo could stop him, the old man stepped forth.
"I was the one who killed Kang Taeshik."
The employee looked suspicious,
"Hunter Song Chiyeol-nim was the one?"
That was impossible. Song Chiyeol was a C-ranker; on top of that, he was missing an arm. His opponent was a B-ranker, whose existence would be called a high-ranker. Their strength exceeded imagination. The difference between a B-ranker and a C-ranker was incomparable to the difference between a C-ranker and a D-ranker.
Song Chiyeol laughed and replied,
"You all know who's standing behind me, right?"
All eyes fell on Lee Juhee, who lowered her embarrassed face.
Lee Juhee was also a B-rank Hunter. She may not be a combat-class Hunter, but she was still a high-ranker like Kang Taeshik. If a B-rank Healer supported a C-rank Hunter, there just might have been a chance that they prevailed. The employees all nodded understandingly. While they were thinking about the possibilities, Jinwoo went up to Song Chiyeol's side and quietly asked,
"Why did you lie?"
Song Chiyeol replied with a subdued voice,
"I felt like Sung-ssi had a reason to hide your abilities. Should I not have?"
Of course not. Thanks to the elder, Jinwoo would be able to avoid a thorn in his side for a bit longer. Jinwoo was impressed by the old man's ability to take a hint.
"No, no. I'm grateful."
"I'm the one who has to be grateful. I'm just glad I was able to help out a little."
An Association investigator approached the pair.
"Song Chiyeol-ssi, could you please come with us? We just have to wrap-up the details."
Song Chiyeol left with the investigator to the Association, along with the rest of the employees. Soon, only Jinwoo and Juhee remained. The sun had already set a while ago. Feeling awkward near the changed Jinwoo, Juhee shyly approached him and asked,
"Could we walk together for a bit?"
'Is this about the dinner promise?'
Jinwoo was hungry after moving around for a while and felt that it was a good timing. He happily agreed,
Under the streetlights, the pair walked, side by side, in silence.
Juhee stared at her feet as they walked. Everytime she looked up, she peaked a glance at Jinwoo. She wanted to ignore it, but she could not ignore the fact that the man felt a lot stronger than before. She had found him more comfortable to be near in the past. Now, it was hard to even strike up a conversation with him.
'Just what happened to him…?'
Not just the fact that he had easily defeated a B-rank Hunter. The man's presence felt completely different than before. He had asked for her silence, so she did not want to press the issue.
But his abrupt change bothered her for some reason.