Solo Leveling Novel, Chapter 10
Solo Levelingi 10
“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!”
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 .
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 . ”
“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?”
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 .
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 . ’
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 . ’
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 .
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)
Jinwoo swallowed at the suspicious title of the message . His heartbeat sped up .
‘Open . ’
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 .
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 .
The clock pointed to 12:00:00 .
[You’ve failed to complete the Daily Quest . You will be moved to the ‘Penalty Zone’ for a set duration . ]
Jinwoo opened his eyes to an intense trembling that shook his entire body .
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 .
But with each passing second, the tremors became worse .
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 .
Rest of the frames on the bed turned to sand, and the trembling became even stronger .
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 .
Jinwoo suddenly found himself embedded in something . His fingertips felt the softness of sand around him . The earthshake had stopped .
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 .
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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Solo Leveling Novel Chapter 10
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