I Alone Level-Up Chapter 66
Park Heejin had learned something in the last Raid: the terror of a high-level Dungeon and just how powerless she could become.
'In the end, I ended up learning the lesson Sung Jinwoo-ssi was trying to teach Hang Songyi...'
It was embarrassing, but it was true. To stubbornly claim that something terrifying wasn't scary was just foolishness. What happened in the Red Gate was certainly a terrifying experience. However, she did not want to give-up the benefits of working as a B-rank Hunter. A high salary! Multiple career choices! And the acknowledgment of society on top of that! If you put aside the danger involved in the job, being a Hunter was the perfect profession. If anything, it was because of the high risks involved that the rewards were just as high.
However, Park Heejin had found a way to reduce that risk.
'It's to raid with Raid Leader Sung Jinwoo-nim.'
The person she was most jealous of in the Red Gate was in fact Han Songyi. The reason was simple. It was because of the promise Sung Jinwoo made to Han Songyi on their first day:
"I brought you here, so I'll be responsible for your protection."
In other words, Jinwoo had no responsibility to protect anyone except Han Songyi. Park Heejin and the two C-rank Hunters were just added baggage. The woman had always held a fear that they would be thrown aside. And on the 6th day, Sung Jinwoo cleared the Dungeon and protected Han Songyi until the end. The man had kept his promise. Watching all of this, Park Heejin obtained an assurance.
If she raided under that man, she wouldn't be in any danger. After she had realized this, her heart began to race. In fact, her heart was still beating vigorously right now.
The ability to cooly make decisions. A powerful strength. And a sense of responsibility to boot.
She wanted to be at Sung Jinwoo's side in the next Raid. And that was her condition.
'Place me in Sung Jinwoo's raiding party.'
Baek Yoonho and Ahn Sangmin talked among themselves for a bit. Soon, they came back to Park Heejin,
Baek Yoonho laughed excitedly,
"Then Park Heejin-ssi will be acting together with Chief Ahn for a while."
Of course, the recruitment would not be easy. Sung Jinwoo was someone who knew the value of his ability.
'He was so confident in the Red Gate too.'
Convincing him would not be an easy task.
She obtained the opportunity to see him again. Park Heejin smiled in her head.
Meanwhile, after thinking about something, Baek Yoonho opened his mouth with difficulty,
"I would like to know Sung Jinwoo-ssi's contact information."
Ahn Sangmin finally explained his experiences with Sung Jinwoo. How they had first met. Why he had hidden the man's existence up until now. Listening to his story, Baek Yoonho nodded understandingly,
"If he had that amount of power, it makes sense that he would want to hide it. After all, there are certainly people in this world who do not want the attention of society."
However, that man had shown his abilities in front of many people this time. Of course, it was during an emergency, but it also meant that the man was ready to show himself to the world.
"I'm sure as long as it doesn't get out of hand, Sung Jinwoo-ssi won't blame Chief Ahn."
Ahn Sangmin nodded. Of course, there was no chance what they discussed here would be leaked to the outside. Sung Jinwoo had his reasons, but at the same time, Baekho had no intention of inviting unwanted competition by revealing the truth.
"I understand that, but…"
What Ahn Sangmin was worried about was something else. The chief was afraid that, not knowing Sung Jinwoo's stern personality, the Guildmaster might mess things up with his impatient personality. He wanted to avoid that at all costs,
"I think the Guildmaster contacting him directly is a bit…"
Baek Yoonho understood what Ahn Sangmin was worried about,
"Oh, I'm not trying to contact him about the recruitment."
"Oh? Then why…?"
"It's as Sung Jinwoo-ssi said last night."
Baek Yoonho realized it after listening to Park Heejin's story; Sung Jinwoo was the savior of the Baekho Guild. The man had rescued three of the new recruits of the Guild; on top of that, he had prevented the Dungeon Break of a Red Gate in their area and saved their reputation as well. Even if it was the Association's fault, how much would the Guild's image fall if they lost all of their new recruits in this incident? Just imagining it made Baek Yoonho's stomach sink.
'To think that I was being so hostile to that savior.'
Baek Yoonho understood why Jinwoo was in a bad mood. Now knowing the full story, there was something the Guildmaster had to do,
"As a representative of Baekho, I would like to give my gratitude to Sung Jinwoo-ssi. I also have to apologize for my behavior last night."
'Oh, if it's just that…'
Ahn Sangmin fully agreed with his Guildmaster. Knowing the man's personality, the chief knew the S-ranker would not do something as low as bringing up the idea of recruitment while thanking Jinwoo.
Ahn Sangmin took his phone out and found Jinwoo's number.
"What's his number?"Baek Yoonho also took his phone out.
Ahn Sangmin was about to read off the number when he realized something weird. The chief raised his head,
"Er, Hunter Park Heejin-nim, why do you have your phone out?"
"Oh, er… haha…"
Park Heejin smiled awkwardly and put away her phone.
South Korea's #1 Guild, Hunters Guild. 
The Guildmaster and active S-rank Hunter Choi Jongin was going over an interesting report.
"Is… this all true?"
Well, would he have bothered the Guildmaster with a false report? The Head of Recruitment, Jo Myunggi, nodded.
"Yes sir. It's the information we've obtained from the Association today."
Every large Guild had a discrete line of contact in the Association, a spy of sorts. It was a little underhanded, but it was necessary to obtain information on new high-ranking Awakened Beings. And today, the Hunters Guild's line of contact had leaked an interesting tale. After looking over the report, Jo Myunggi decided to bring it to the Guildmaster's attention.
'The recently rising Baekho is one of the large Guilds after Hunters Guild's position.'
The man thought it was worthy enough to look into. As expected, Choi Jongin was greatly interested.
"A C-rank Gate became a Red Gate? And the lone A-ranker and multiple B-rankers died, but two C-rankers came out alive? And they cleared the Dungeon? This is completely impossible."
Even if there was a single B-ranker among the survivors. Reading up and down the report, Choi Jongin shook his head,
"There is someone, a helper, who was left off of this report."
Choi Jongin was completely sure. His extensive raiding experiences were telling him so. Jo Myunggi replied,
"The Association had also suspected as much, but…"
"Baekho closed their mouths on the incident."
"And the Association's just going to let it go?"
"Well, I heard that there was some fault on the Association's end this time, so it looks like they don't want to escalate the issue."
Choi Jongin put a hand to his chin. It was the man's habit whenever he fell into thought. If they had made a mistake, the Association's attitude was understandable. But why was Baekho also maintaining a silence? There was one answer,
"Looks like Baekho received help from someone that they don't want to reveal."
"I also think that way."
The two men were in agreement. Choi Jongin's head ran with quick calculations,
'A nameless helper that was able to save the low-rank Hunters in a difficult Dungeon where multiple high-rankers died…'
The S-ranker became filled with curiosity,
'A new recruit that didn't even receive a rank yet? Or a criminal that couldn't reveal their identity?'
It didn't matter. If it was a newbie, they would be recruited by Hunters Guild. If it was a criminal, they would use it to besmirch the name of Baekho. Choi Jongin's eyes sparkled,
"We have to find out who that was."
"Do you have a plan?"
"To smoke out a tiger, you set fire to his den."
Jo Myunggi could not hide his shock,
"You want to set Baekho on fire?"
"What?! No, I'm not crazy enough to light someone else's company on fire."
"Ah, sorry. But you know you have a reputation for your magic…"
There was a reason why Choi Jongin was called the "Strongest Soldier". If the Mage-class Hunter wanted, it was an easy feat for him to blow away a building or two. Anyways, Choi Jongin continued,
"No, no, I meant that we'll create a fire."
"Okay, you keep using that word, 'fire'-"
Jo Myunggi shut up when Choi Jongin's eyes flared,
"I mean. Let's leak this to the press."
Jo Myunggi finally realized what his Guildmaster was saying,
"Just imagine the headlines, 'The Association's Mistake, a Large Guild's Misfortune, and the Mysterious Hunter behind it all.' Isn't this just what the press loves?"
The head of recruitment nodded. Choi Jongin chuckled,
"Once the media's attentions fall on Baekho, they'll have to eventually reveal the identity of their mysterious helper."
"That could work!"
Jo Myunggi also laughed. This was the opportunity to strike at Baekho, who was steadily coming after Hunters Guild. The corner's of Choi Jongin's mouth rose,
"Contact the reporters immediately."
You've entered the Dungeon.
Jinwoo took in the Dungeon's air when he entered.
Having being stuck in a field-type Dungeon for several days, the cave-type Dungeon's air felt new to him. Yoo Jinho followed in after him,
"What do you think the magic beasts this time will be?"
'I definitely sense something nearby.'
But he did not see anything. However, the moment he took a step, bodies started rising here and there from the floor of the cave.
The humanoid magic beasts made out of rocks. Yoo Jinho remembered their names,
"Hyungnim, it's the stonemen."
Jinwoo nodded. Of all the magic beasts that could be found in low-level Dungeons, the stonemen boasted the strongest defense. Basic logic called for magic to overcome the tough exteriors of the stonemen.
"Here, hold this."
The man for whom basic logic did not apply handed the cylindrical object to Yoo Jinho.
Not knowing what was inside, Yoo Jinho flinched as he took the object from Jinwoo, but nothing happened.
'Is it not a weapon?'
Meanwhile, Jinwoo stepped towards the stonemen and summoned Baruka's Tanto and Knight Killer.
In an instant, a stoneman's head fell to the floor. Jinwoo looked at Baruka's Tanto with satisfaction,
The smiling figure of Jinwoo moved faster than the eye could see.
The Hunter reappeared behind the group of stonemen. Ten magic beasts fell to the ground.
'My body feels a lot lighter since the Red Gate.'
Of course. The man was currently Level 60. Hunting the bears and White Walkers had raised his levels by 9 from Level 51. The magic beasts of the C-rank Dungeon now felt like the goblins from E-rank Dungeons.
'I don't think I need take out a weapon if it's only this much.'
His warm-up was complete.
'Time to raise the speed.'
It was time for them to mobilize. Right on cue, more stonemen appeared from further down the cave.
As his order fell, the Shadow Soldiers waiting in his shadow all appeared behind him. A scream followed their appearance,
Oh right. Jinwoo facepalmed.
'Forgot about him.'
In his excitement, Jinwoo had forgotten about Yoo Jinho.
The young man was on his rear wagging a finger at the Shadow Soldiers,
"W-what are those?"
"It's hard to explain… Just think of them as my skill."
"Y-you can make something like that with a skill?"
Jinwoo nodded. Yoo Jinho could not close his mouth.
This was his 11th Raid with hyungnim. The young man had thought that he had seen everything with Jinwoo. That was a grave mistake. As always, hyungnim was someone who surpassed all expectations.
Feeling a dangerous presence coming from the soldiers clad in pitch-black, Yoo Jinho gulped. Jinwoo turned back to the magic beasts. The lumbering stonemen had already arrived before them. Jinwoo raised a chin.
The Shadow Soldiers had been waiting for that order.
STEP STEP STEP STEP
When the soldiers that neared 40 in number charged at the enemy, their combined movements shook the floors of the cave. As the army included Iron and the Shadow Beasts, the weight of the army had certainly become heavier.
'Feels like I've added a tank division in my army.'
Jinwoo looked at the scene with satisfaction. Once his forces were mobilized, the Dungeon was cleared in a blink of an eye. All that remained were the destroyed corpses of the stonemen. The C-rank Dungeon was obliterated in an instant.
Jinwoo was in awe.
'At this rate, we can finish the remaining Raids in no time.'
It looked like the remaining eight Raids would be over soon.
step, step, step
After the battle, the Shadow Soldiers collected the magic cores and lined-up in front of Jinwoo. At their head was Iron and Ygritte. The two knights stood at attention. When the Shadow Soldiers stopped their movements, Yoo Jinho was finally able to move. The young man nervously approached Jinwoo,
He returned the plastic bag with the cylindrical object back to Jinwoo. Jinwoo took out the tumbler and started drinking from it.
"Hyungnim, what is that?"
"It's not bad."
When the tumbler was nearly empty, Jinwoo asked,
"Jinho, how many Gates did we reserve today?"
The young man was in the middle of reaching out to touch the fur of a Shadow Beast and froze,
Four today, then five after that. There was no need to delay it any longer.
"Then let's end it tomorrow. It doesn't matter if we have to travel a bit."
Yoo Jinho looked around. The traces of the massacred stonemen were all around them. The young man nodded,
'With this speed, it's more than doable…'
"Understood, hyungnim. But…"
The young man hesitated then spoke with difficulty,
"...Is it okay if I pick up the magic cores?"
"I feel like my job was taken away from me, hyungnim."
'He's really an amusing guy.'
And a day later, Jinwoo completed the 19 Raids he had promised to Yoo Jinho.
: Okay, I wondered how I would distinguish "Hunters" (guild) from "Hunters" (profession). I'm just going to always make sure their name is followed by the world "Guild". Please note that the guild's name, "Hunters", is straight up english written in korean. It is not possessive like "Hunter's Guild". "Hunters" is their name.
: Strongest Soldier (최종병기): Pretty literal. There is a little pun in Choi Jongin's name. The "Strongest Soldier" is pronounced Choi-Jong-Byung-Gi. Btw, anyone remember a certain Hunter called the "Weakest Soldier"? Now we meet that Hunter's opposite, hue hue hue…
: Okay, so the passages up until now haven't gotten into detail, but it's assumed that Jinwoo's maximum storage limit had been increasing with either level-ups or intelligence increases. This has not been specifically clarified yet. Right after class advancement, the storage limit was 20. During ice bears part in the red gate, the storage limit was 30, and now, the storage limit is "nearly 40".
: Not sure if people were joking or not, but best girl Ygritte is a man.