I Alone Level-Up Chapter 82
'Wind? In a Dungeon?'
Jinwoo raised his head. The moment he entered the Dungeon, he felt an ominous wind blowing over him. It was coming from deep within the Dungeon. A chill ran down his back; at the same time, he realized what it was.
'It's not wind.'
It was waves of magic power. Magic power strong enough to be given substance, released by the boss of an A-rank Dungeon and washing over the E-rank Hunter, giving him the sensation of wind. Considering the fortunate rarity of the S-rank Dungeons, it could be said that the owner of this magic power is one of the highest-level magic beasts that Jinwoo could come across realistically.
'An A-rank Dungeon's boss…'
He wanted to see it with his own eyes. And if there was an opportunity…
Even standing before waves of magic power that raised the hair on his body, Jinwoo could not hide his smile. Was this a Hunter's drive? Like a hunter that wants to point a gun at a strong animal, the Hunter wanted to fight the strong magic beast.
Someone tried to push him on the shoulder from behind.
"Hey, how about you keep moving?"
Lee Sunggu scrunched his face and spoke antagonistically. The interiors of the A-rank Dungeon were wide. There was plenty of room to walk around. However, the man had purposely picked a fight because the temp worker standing still annoyed him. So he thought to embarrass the temp a bit and pushed him… Or at least tried…
'What's with this fucker? It's like pushing a boulder.'
When the man pushed Jinwoo, Lee Sunggu was the one who was pushed back. This increased his annoyance.
'What kind of an E-rank shit is this sturdy?'
Whatever. This brat was an E-ranker. Lee Sunggu was a C-ranker. Even though he worked as a miner because his skills were on the low end of C-rankers, he was not about to lose in a contest of spirit against an E-ranker. However, the temp worker did not show so much as an inkling that he noticed Lee Sunggu. Lee Sunggu's eyes narrowed.
'What the fuck, look at this shit.'
The anger slowly building up inside of him, Lee Sunggu flared his eyes and strengthened his voice,
"Hey, aren't you going to apologize for bumping into me?"
Jinwoo turned around. Lee Sunggu flinched and took a step back.
'What the hell?!'
Jinwoo's eyes looked like they were glowing with a powerful light. Lee Sunggu became flustered; his breath was stifled by the oppressive amount of pressure coming from the man he was trying to bully.
Lee Sunggu stuttered and managed to squeeze out a response,
"It happens from time to time… sir."
The man added an honorific without meaning to. Turning red, he lowered his head and quickly walked away from Jinwoo.
Lee Sunggu was finally able to breathe after creating some distance away from the temp worker.
'What the hell was with those eyes? Also, what the hell was he smiling about?'
Meeting Jinwoo's eyes for a brief moment made his entire body freeze up, and it even became difficult to speak. The fact that he did not lower his eyes was the small amount of pride he was able to walk away with.
'...Is he really an E-ranker?'
Lee Sunggu thought back on how Jinwoo was not pushed back. And those eyes the E-ranker looked at him with.
Eh, fuck it. Lee Sunggu shook his head violently as if to expel strange thoughts, then quickened his pace.
Jinwoo stared at Lee Sunggu and scratched his temple.
'I was on edge because of the boss…'
He did not mean to frighten the man. His training was still lacking. Jinwoo scolded his demeanor just now and ran after the mining team. He reached them in an instant, then slowed down to match the team's pace.
'If I walked at my pace, no one will be able to catch up.'
Yes, he had to match the pace of others. However, the deeper he went into the Dungeon, the waves of the magic power coming from the boss became stronger.
'My Sense stat really rose a lot.'
To think that he could feel the presence of the boss all the way from here. The boss was in its room, at the deepest area of the Dungeon, while the mining team was far, far away near the entrance. Because of that, his heartbeat sped up.
'Can I focus on the work like this?'
As if replying to his thoughts, a loud shouting came from ahead.
"One! Two! One! Two!"
The collection team that had entered ahead of the mining team was already hard at work. They were pulling a giant magic beast's corpse with ropes.
Because the team was composed of strong Fighter-class Hunters, they did not particularly need the help of machinery to work on their task. Jinwoo observed the jobs being done in a high-level Dungeon.
'First, the attack team enters and clears the Dungeon of all magic beasts except for the ones in the boss room.'
After that, the collection team would collect the corpses of the magic beasts. Finally, the mining team would mine the various ores on the cave walls. To maximize the income, not a single job could be slacking. Magic cores and magic ores were obvious, but even the corpses of the high-level magic beasts were a great source of money.
'Bones, hides, flesh, etc… There's nothing to be throw away from corpses of high-level magic beasts, eh?'
That was the difference between the magic beasts of low-level Dungeons and high-level Dungeons.
And after everything worth anything was cleanly removed from the Dungeon,
'They'll take down the boss and close the Gate.'
Once these four jobs were finished, it could be said the high-level Dungeon was completely cleared.
At least, from the point of a Guild.
'If it's this simple level of work, my soldiers should suffice, right?'
Jinwoo thought while passing by the sweating Hunters of the collection team. The Shadow Soldiers that had leveled up were far stronger than the C-rank Hunters of the collection team. If he distributed the Shadow Army so that there was a unit for hunting, a unit for collecting, and a unit for mining…
'I could really solo clear a high-level Dungeon on my own.'
Jinwoo smiled in satisfaction. The goal of coming here was to obtain information. He was rather glad that he came here during his free time.
"Something good on your mind, Sung-ssi?"
The team leader came up to him and struck up a conversation. Looking at an E-rank Hunter quietly smiling in a high-level Dungeon, the man was curious.
"Oh, I was just surprised by the size of the magic beasts."
As if satisfied by his half-assed explanation, the team leader chimed in enthusiastically,
"Oh that was it? Yeah, I was the same way. I remember just staring with a wide open mouth the first time I saw those."
Feeling like it was a good opportunity, Jinwoo decided to ask a few things,
"Even if the normal magic beasts were taken down, isn't the boss still alive?"
"Of course, the Gate will close if the boss is dead."
He meant that until the collection and mining teams finished their work, the boss would not be taken down.
"What happens if the boss leaves the boss room?"
"Well, I don't think that's ever happened… but if it did, we'd all die."
It was an obvious truth. The raiding party that left the Dungeon would rest until the time came to kill the boss, and there was no power among the collection and mining teams that could face an A-rank Dungeon's boss. Fortunately, it was basic knowledge that the boss would stay in the boss room until a Dungeon Break occurred. Because of that, the team leader did not look at all afraid.
"Still, to think that such a terrifying thing is at our backs. Aren't you afraid?"
Team Leader Bae was confident,
"I've worked at Hunters Guild for three years. During that time, we've never had an accident due to a boss coming out like that. You don't have to worry, Sung-ssi."
The team leader tapped Jinwoo's shoulder and grinned. For a moment, Jinwoo envied the man's carefreeness.
'They say ignorance is bliss.'
Even now, Jinwoo was making an effort to calm his nerves while being assaulted by the waves of the boss's magic power. It looked like he was the only one who could feel the boss's energy in this group.
"Alright, this is our spot!"
Team Leader Bae happily exclaimed as the group came upon the veins of magic ores decorating the cave's wall. The experienced members of the mining team took their spots upon the walls without being need to told to do so. They dropped their bags and picked up their pickaxes. Jinwoo also went up to an open spot of a magic ore vein.
'Do I just hit it with this?'
He was a little uneasy. It felt like it he struck with his stupid strength, both the pickaxe and the magic ores would be obliterated.
'What to do…'
Jinwoo could not start the work immediately and hesitated. Suddenly, he noticed the veteran miner referred to him by Team Leader Bae, Mok Jinsoo.
Swing! Crack! Swing! Crack!
Mok Jinsoo was rhythmically mining away at the magic ores. Every time he struck the walls, pieces of magic ores fell off with a nice sound.
It was a skill worthy of a veteran. The man was working at twice the speed of his peers around him. A light flashed across Jinwoo's eyes. He focused his senses, slowing down the world around him. In slow motion, he carefully studied Mok Jinsoo's posture, form, breathing and the movement of the man's muscles. The veteran miner's effective moments were repeated over and over in Jinwoo's head.
'I think I got it.'
Jinwoo picked up the pickaxe. Soon, he looked like the mirror image of Mok Jinsoo.
Swing! CRACK! Swing! CRACK!
However, even if it was the same movement, Jinwoo possessed a strength incomparable to Mok Jinsoo. Everytime the E-rank Hunter struck the walls, a large amount of magic ores rolled away from the veins.
Swing! CRACK! Swing! CRACK!
Realizing there was an incredible sound coming from one of the workers, all the mining team Hunters slowly turned their heads.
"Look over there."
"What's with him?"
One by one, the miners stopped and stared at Jinwoo with a dumbfounded expression. Even Mok Jinsoo stopped to observe the temp worker.
Everyone was at a loss for words. The E-rank Hunter that had never worked as a miner before was now effectively shaving away at the magic ore veins with skilled movements!
"What's going on here?! We're here to work, people! What are you all staring at?"
Team Leader Bae had been recording the amount of magic ore veins when he realized nearly every member of his team had stopped working.
"Team leader, look at that."
"Look at what?"
Team Leader Bae turned his head. His eyes opened wide.
The team leader reacted the same way as the other miners. He could not help but be awed at Jinwoo, who was working three times as fast as anyone else.
"Team leader, didn't you say this was his first day?"
Lee Sunggu, who had been curious about Jinwoo's identity, spoke up,
"Are you sure that man's an E-ranker?"
"Of course, we check those kinds of things thoroughly. You think I would've accepted a stranger without looking at his Hunter's license?"
"So how do you explain that?"
After silently observing Jinwoo, Team Leader Bae gulped.
"Sung-ssi… is a miner blessed by the heavens."
Even during the interview process, Jinwoo's muscles stood out to the team leader.
'I've got a good eye for people.'
A smile bloomed on Team Leader Bae's face.
beep, beep, beep
The alarm went off on Team Leader Bae's watch. The man looked at his wrist and checked the time.
'Whoa, it's already this late…'
It was lunch time.
"Everyone, let's go eat!"
All the miners dropped their equipment and wiped their hands. When Jinwoo showed no indication of moving while everyone else was leaving, Team Leader Bae approached him,
"Sung-ssi, aren't you coming?"
"Oh, I'm not really hungry."
"Still, you need to eat to work."
"It's alright, I had a late breakfast."
"Oh? Well, okay."
The team leader wanted to share a meal with Jinwoo and talk about some serious matters, but he did not want to force the man. Disappointed, Team Leader Bae walked towards the Gate. Watching him leave, the corners of Jinwoo's mouth rose.
'I can't miss an opportunity like this.'
Finally, he was alone. Both the collection and the mining teams had left the Dungeon. He would have about an hour's time to himself in here. It was the opportunity to go find the boss-class magic beast deep in the Dungeon. Jinwoo dropped the pickaxe and looked towards the direction of the boss room. The presence of a magic beast came strongly from that way.
'I'm just going to take a look.'
He wasn't going to do anything. He just wanted to take a look at the boss.
ba dum, ba dum, ba dum
At the thought of seeing the boss, Jinwoo's heart already began to race. He forcibly calmed his beating heart and started walking. Following the energy of the boss, he walked deep into the cave's interior.
How long had he walked? After some time, he finally came across a giant room. It was the boss room. The tunnels of the cave were incredibly wide, but the boss room was even bigger than that. Were all the high-level Dungeons like this? When he asked that question in his head, he looked at the boss and received an answer. There was a reason why this Dungeon was so huge.
'If that thing leaves this place…'
A giant humanoid magic beast with a single eye was standing all the way at the end of the boss room. Jinwoo looked like a child who was standing in front of a toy that he wanted.
'Giant-type magic beast.'
He had heard of them before, but this was the first time seeing one in person. Corpses of giant-type magic beasts were too large to be moved out of the Gates. Unless there was a Dungeon Break, it was impossible to see one in the real world. Standing in front of such an existence, Jinwoo's heart fluttered.
Enough to raise the hair on the back of his head. However, it did not feel impossible to take down.
'If it's the current me.'
It would be enough. The moment that thought entered his head, Jinwoo gulped.
How much experience points would this thing give? After toiling away at the Demon Castle, Jinwoo had raised 15 levels in one week. But if he could take down a single boss and obtain two or three levels…
'Wait, I shouldn't be doing this.'
Contrary to his thoughts, the Hunter's hands were already holding Baruka's Tanto and Knight Killer. His face also did not match his thoughts.
Should I just go and stab it?
Even his mouth was curled up with too much excitement.
Suddenly, while the man was contemplating his actions with a smile, a woman's voice came from behind him.
"Excuse me, but what are you doing here?"