I Alone Level-Up

 
 

I Alone Level-Up Chapter 9


I Alone Level-up: Chapter 9

"Did you hurt your head?"

His little sister asked from the door. Jinwoo shook his head.

"No."

Not comforted by his words, his sister's eyes were filled with concern.

"You're really okay, right?"

"I told you, yes."

His little sister huffed and puffed as she started approaching him with a piercing gaze. Used to her reactions in situations like this, Jinwoo put up his guard as his little sister started hitting him.

"I told you to stop getting hurt! Do you know how much I was worried?!"

"…Sorry."

"Everyone else seems to do just fine, why are you the only one getting hurt all the time!"

"…Sorry…"

The hands that were striking him slowly lost their strength. Eventually, Jinah stood with her head hung low, tears falling down her cheeks. Jinwoo patted his sister on the back, doing his best to comfort her. He held back the tears forming in his own eyes.

'To think I was prepared to die… to leave her behind…'

Thank god he had returned alive. Looking at this moment, he realized just how many times he came close to death. It was like being in a nightmare.

Jinwoo turned his gaze toward the words suspended in air.

You have unread messages.



'And it still feels like I haven't woken up…'

He could not understand the meaning behind the words. Still, what could he do? The most important thing was the fact that he was able to return to his family alive.

"Sniff"

Fortunately, his sister had stopped crying. Unfortunately, her rant at his condition continued for another hour…

"-So do you understand? If you get hurt again, I'll give up my studies and go straight into working, so you won't be able to work as a Hunter ever again!"

A sharp, piercing gaze that was unbecoming of her pretty face, she was truly her brother's sister.

"I got it, I got it."

Jinwoo nodded in resignation. After receiving his confirmation multiple times, Jinah got up, satisfied.

"Where are you gong?"

"School. I just got permission to leave briefly to come and see you, but I have to go back."

"Right, right. The college entrance examinations are next year."

Although he could not afford to provide a tutor or send her to a private school, Jinah still managed to become one of the top students in the school. Her goal: to become a doctor. The little girl who could not distance herself from video games suddenly became a fervent student when their mother fell ill few years ago.

Jinwoo wanted to make sure her dreams came true.

'Wait… video games?'

His eyes suddenly shot open.

"I'm going."

Jinwoo quickly caught his sister, who was leaving,

"Jinah."

"What?"

"When you play a game…"

Jinah smiled, "I don't play games these days. There's so little time until I'm in my final year."

"I know, I know, but I still wanted to ask,"

"About what? Oppa, have you been playing games lately?"

Although she had put them behind, she was very good in her past. As such, her brother's question flared her interest. Jinwoo continued to stare at the floating letters and asked,

"If I have an unread message in a game, how do I open or access it?"

"First, you have to open the message box."

"Open the message box?"

ring~

The moment he spoke the words "open", an electronic beep followed the opening of the message box.

You have 2 unread messages.

Welcome to becoming a [Player]. (Unread)

[Daily Quest: The Preparation To Become Powerful] has arrived. (Unread)



Jinwoo felt himself being filled with joy.

'It worked!'

Surprised by the sudden appearance of happiness in his face, Jinah anxiously asked,

"What? What game is it? Do you need my help?"

Jinwoo firmly shook his head,

"No, I want to try it out alone."

How would his sister react if he told her everything that was happening to him?

'Don't want to hear from my own sister that I'm crazy.'

So Jinwoo swallowed the words he wanted to say and bid her goodbye.

-

After confirming that she went down the elevator out of the hospital, Jinwoo returned to his room.

'Can't repeat the same mistake.'

click-

lock-

To avoid any unwanted attention, he locked the doors. Finishing his preparation, Jinwoo sat on the side of his bed and started reading the messages floating before his eyes.

Welcome to becoming a [Player]. (Unread)

[Daily Quest: The Preparation To Become Powerful] has arrived. (Unread)



The first message seemed familiar to him.

'Where was it, I've definitely heard this one before.'

He started with the first message.

'Open.'

ring~

This System will help with the growth of the "Player".

Non-compliance with this System's instructions may result in a penalty.

Your reward has been received.



"Ah…"

He remembered now. It was the words he heard before losing consciousness.

'It said something about a player back then, too…'

But just like that time, he had no idea what that meant.

System. Growth. Penalty. Reward.

It was a parade of unclear meanings.

'Just what is it helping grow, and what is it rewarding?'

He found it difficult to apply these words that he saw in video games before.

Ignoring the meaning of the words for now, he went onto the next message.

[Daily Quest: The Preparation To Become Powerful] has arrived. (Unread)



Gulp.

Jinwoo swallowed at the suspicious title of the message. His heartbeat sped up.

'Open.'

ring~

Daily Quest: The Preparation To Become Powerful

Do 100 Push-ups:

(Incomplete) (0/100)

Do 100 Sit-ups:

(Incomplete) (0/100)

Do 100 Squats:

(Incomplete) (0/100)

Run 10 kilometers:

(Incomplete) (0/10)

*Warning: Failing to complete the Daily Quest will result in a Penalty Quest.



Jinwoo moaned after confirming the message.

"Sigh… what is this…"

Daily Quest. On top of that, a "preparation to become powerful". He expected more than just simple exercises with a title like that. At least, it was certain if he completed the exercises in the quest, his body would probably improve a little. Was this the growth and reward the System spoke of?

'Now that I think about it…'

He recalled reading "those with inner problems should listen to their inner voice" in some book before.

'Guess I'm just hallucinating what my body's telling me'

His urge to become stronger must've been so strong that he was now seeing these nonsensical words in the air. More so than how laughable it was, he was disappointed.

"If you can just become strong like this, who wouldn't have done so already…?"

He shook his head in disbelief. He felt pathetic in the expectation that he would find all the answers in these messages.

'Eh, I don't care.'

Jinwoo went to lie down in the bed. He stared up into the ceiling.

"..."

Although he was not doing anything in particular, time passed by quickly. As he began to feel the weight of silence throughout the hospital, he suddenly sat up.

'Still…'

What if this did bring about change? Half in anticipation, half in suspicion, the thought of 'should I just give it a try' occured in his head.

'Can't hurt after all.'

What if he just lightly tried out one of the motions?

After some thought, he made the decision to give it a try.

Lightly stretching after getting off the bed, he attempted do half-hearted push-ups. Instead of getting on the ground, he stood up at and angle and pushed off the bed.

"1, 2, 3…"

Starting at 1, he rapidly went down the line.

"...97, 98, 99, 100."

Finishing what he started, he reached his 100th "push-up". Contrary to his expectation, nothing seemed to change. Except for his slightly sore arms.

"...So now what…"

He stood up with a smile on his face.

Welcome to becoming a [Player]. (Read)

[Daily Quest: The Preparation To Become Powerful] has arrived. (Read)



The previously "unread" messages had become "read". The words telling him that he had unread messages had disappeared, but he no longer had any intention to continue entertaining these delusions. He felt he had done enough.

Without any regrets, he closed the message window.

With a yawn, he returned to his bed. In response to moving after such a long time, he started feeling sleepy. The window outside glowed orange from the sunset.

'Is it this late already?'

The man from the Hunter Surveillance Department explained earlier that his hospital bills would be footed by the Association. With that in mind, Jinwoo was not in a rush to be discharged.

'Maybe I'll have the hospital run some tests, make sure I'm completely healthy.'

He thought as he lay in bed.

'I'm sure the hallucinations should disappear after some time.'

His eyelids slowly closed. Soon, he fell into deep slumber.

tick tick tick

As he slept, the clock on the opposite wall continued to tick. As time passed, the hands of the clock eventually pointed to 11:59:57.

tick

58.

tick

59.

tick

60.

The clock pointed to 12:00:00.

ring~

[You've failed to complete the Daily Quest. You will be moved to the 'Penalty Zone' for a set duration.]

-

SHAKE!~

Jinwoo opened his eyes to an intense trembling that shook his entire body.

"E-earthquake?!"

He shot up and grabbed the bed frame at the foot of the bed. The trembling was so strong that he found it difficult to hold on.

SHAKE!~

But with each passing second, the tremors became worse.

Suddenly,

psssh~

The bed frame he held onto for his life broke. No, it had disappeared from his hands. His checked his hands, there was no sign of the bed frame. Instead, there was sand on his palms.

'Sand?'

psssssh~

Rest of the frames on the bed turned to sand, and the trembling became even stronger.

SHAKE!~

"Uwaaak!"

Unable to hold on, he was eventually thrown off the bed. Jinwoo screamed as he bounced up and down in his room. One by one, all the furniture and items in his room turned into sand.

"Uwaaaaaaah!"

Crash!

Jinwoo suddenly found himself embedded in something. His fingertips felt the softness of sand around him. The earthshake had stopped.

spit spit

As he spat out the sand that entered his mouth, he raised his head.

"...?"

He found himself in the middle of a vast desert. Patting the sand off his body, he stood up and looked around. In every direction, he saw an endless field of sand, stretching to the horizon.

"A desert…?"

There was no logical explanation for this. Until moments ago, he was resting on a hospital bed in the middle of Seoul.

He grabbed a handful of sand and let it fall. The sand fell in a straight line to the ground.

'There's no wind.'

Not just wind, looking up, there was no sun, moon or even stars.

An empty sky like black ink spilled across a canvas.

Even stranger, despite the lack of a visible light source, he had no trouble seeing his surroundings.

"Where am I?"


 
 


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