Solo Leveling Novel, Chapter 109
Solo Levelingi 109
As Eshil had told him, the raiding difficulty rose explosively starting on the 90th Floor . The level and number of the monsters protecting the noble clan’s castles were incomparably greater than the previous floors . Despite his raised Intelligence stat, his mana plummeted with each battle . It was a testament to just how much his soldiers had to regenerate .
Jinwoo had not reached the 90th Floor out of some luck . From the 1st Floor to here, he had ceaselessly hammered experience points into himself . His level that had reached the 90s was the result of those efforts . When the archdemon nobles fiercely put up a resistance, Jinwoo and his army broke through their defenses with a greater ferocity .
As he came out of the castle with the 97th Floor entry permit, the Hunter’s body was steaming . The heat from his movements that surpassed humanity’s limits combined with his sweating was creating actual steam . The battle just now was that fierce . Jinwoo’s face was filled with satisfaction from the victory .
Having waited while hiding, Eshil discovered the human and ran toward him . Behind him was a burning castle . In his hand was the entry permit .
[‘The fifth ranked Ricardo clan… And now the fourth ranked Faetoss clan…’ ]
Eshil had long since lost the strength to be surprised . If every intruders were like this man, forget protecting their territory, they probably couldn’t even run away .
[“Are all humans strong like you?”]
Eshil asked worriedly . Jinwoo combed over his memories then replied–
[“Maybe about two others?”]
Go Gunhee and Cha Haein . Those two certainly felt stronger than the other S-rankers he had seen . However, other than those two, the S-rank Hunters like Baek Yoonho, Choi Jongin and Lim Taegyu didn’t particularly feel strong to Jinwoo . Especially Choi Jongin . It seems that the man’s title of the Strongest Soldier was an exaggeration due to his status as the Guildmaster of the nation’s number one Guild .
‘Just going by their energies, Cha Haein is several steps above Choi Jongin . ’
Indeed, the difference between the S-rankers were that great . If anything, because the ranking was given to those whose magic power could not be measured, the differences between Hunters of S-rank were greater than in any other rank .
Jinwoo smiled widely–
‘Once I get out of here, I wonder how they’ll all feel compared to me . ’
Just as Baek Yoonho’s attitude toward him had completely changed from the first time Jinwoo met him, would Association President Go Gunhee also look at him with a different light? Thinking about his growth again, Jinwoo’s heart sped up .
He had to focus on finishing the Demon Castle . There were only four floors remaining . The clearing of the Dungeon was on the horizon .
The human turned to the female demon–
[“Okay, you can head down now . ”]
Eshil, who had been crestfallen at the idea that there were two more humans as strong as Jinwoo, raised her head in surprise–
[“I can find my own way from here on . ”]
Thanks to Eshil’s guide, he was able to quickly find the nobles’ castles in the previous floors . However, he no longer needed her help .
‘There’s my Sense stat, which has gone up, but…’
At this point, the energy released by the archdemon nobles were so strong that the Hunter was able to easily locate their bases from any distance . Since he no longer had any use for a guide, Jinwoo thought to put down a baggage . When he explained as much–
[“A-am I useless to you now?”]
Eshil’s face was pale .
‘She’s amusing to the end . ’
Jinwoo had often swallowed a laughter at Eshil’s reactions to him . The Hunter went up close to the female demon .
[‘Oh no!’ ]
Eshil’s eyes widened as Jinwoo approached her closely–
[‘Is–is he going to kill me now?’ ]
BA DUM BA DUM .
The pounding of her heart sounded like thunder . She saw Jinwoo raise his hand toward her . In terror, Eshil closed her eyes as Jinwoo’s hand slowly approached her face .
The man’s hand was gently placed on her shoulder . At the warmth of the hand on her shoulder, Eshil opened her eyes a bit . Jinwoo’s face was right in front of her . As if waiting for her to open her eyes, the human put on a warm smile–
[“You did well until now . Thank you . ”]
This should be good enough . Satisfied that he bid her proper goodbyes, Jinwoo quickly walked over to the interfloor movement magic circle .
Floors 1 through 96 are open . Which floor would you like to go to?
Turning around, he saw a mix of surprise and disappointment on Eshil’s face . Fear, concern, surprise, disappointment…
The monster with intelligence had shown him a variety of emotions . Were they truly denizens of another world as Eshil said? Or was this all just something made up by the System?
‘I don’t know right now but,’
Gathering all the clues and evidences bit by bit, perhaps he could understand the true nature of the System someday .
Having hesitated, Eshil called out to Jinwoo–
At the same time, the human replied to the System– “97th Floor . ”
* * *
97, 98, 99 .
Jinwoo finally obtained the key to the demon king’s lair .
Entry Permit Rarity: ??? Type: ??? A permit to enter the 100th Floor . Usable in the interfloor movement magic circle on the 99th Floor .
Just how much had he toiled for this thing? Before going up to the 100th Floor where the demon king was waiting, Jinwoo went over his status–
Before he knew it, the next milestone for his levels was 100 . He felt his increased stats with his entire body . Strength poured out from everywhere, and his senses were greatly improved . His condition was perfect .
‘Alright . ’
Jinwoo called up the shop . With potions, he completely refilled his health and mana . On top of that, he purchased some wrappings . Just like back in the class advancement quest, the man bound his dagger tightly in his hand . It had been a long time since he felt this tense . Completing his preparations, Jinwoo slowly moved his body .
He began to increase his speed bit by bit . As expected, his body moved perfectly according to his thoughts .
After creating afterimages all around him, the blurred form of the Hunter stopped . Steam rose from his shoulders again .
His warm-up was complete . “Whew–”
With a deep breath, Jinwoo stepped into the middle of the interfloor movement magic circle . As it did in the past, the System asked him where he would like to go .
The Hunter replied with calm– “100th Floor . ”
In a blink of an eye, the scenery changed before him .
* * *
Jinwoo looked around .
The terrifying flames that enveloped the cities below were all gone . All that remained was blackened traces of the world . Raising his head, Jinwoo realized it was snowing–
Wait, not snow . Realizing the color was a bit off, the Hunter held out a hand . Whatever fell on his hand did not melt . Taking a closer look, he realized it was ash .
Ash was falling from the sky like snow .
Suddenly, a familiar electronic ring ran out . The sharpened human looked to the distance in the sky .
Soon, the System’s message alerted him to the appearance of an enemy–
The Demon King, Baran has noticed an intruder!
A black dot approached him from the air . Coming closer and closer, the black dot landed some distance away from Jinwoo . It was an animal like a winged lizard . After landing, the lizard flapped its large wings and screeched .
On top of the lizard’s head, there was a demon with a blue light surrounding his face . Wearing an elegant armor fitting of royalty, riding a giant lizard, the words above the demon’s head reached Jinwoo’s eyes clearly–
“Demon King” (악마왕): As explained in previous chapters, the word use for “king” here is different than “monarch” .
The thing was giving off a powerful aura . Jinwoo’s brows glistened with sweat . It was a dangerous presence worthy of being called the boss of this entire Dungeon . Something else caught Jinwoo’s eyes–
Even the lizard that the demon king was riding had a name–
Looking at the name and its appearance, it did not seem like a demon-type monster .
‘Hold on… If it’s not a demon, could I…?’
No matter how many of them he took down, none of the demons were eligible for Shadow Extraction . He had long since abandoned the idea of finding a useful shadow in this place . But this monster that was capable of flight–
‘ . . . I want it . ’
If extraction was possible, for sure . It had been a while since he had found a desirable shadow since the ice elves’ leader, Baruka . The Hunter gulped in anticipation .
In that moment, Baran raised a hand to the sky .
‘Army of Hell?’
Ring~ ring~ ring~
“Wyvern, Kaicellin” (비룡, 카이셀린): 비룡 could be translated as “flying dragon”, and in some ways “wyvern” or “drake” . I went with “wyvern” . No big reason . Kaicellin is just a proper name, “ka” 카 + “ee” 이 + “cell” 셀 + “lin” 린 >
“Army of Hell” (지옥의 군세): “hell” 지옥 + “army, troops” 군세
The warning tones came one after the other .
Demon Soldiers have been summoned! Demon Soldiers have been summoned! Demon Soldiers have been summoned!
With repeated messages, the demon king’s surroundings became filled with an army of demons . At a quick glance, they numbered about a thousand .
‘Are we getting started?’
Jinwoo also unleashed his magic power .
Meanwhile, Baran moved his hand shot to the sky toward Jinwoo, and the demon army charged .
STEP STEP STEP STEP–
The ground trembled at the force of the demons . Watching the demon king’s army approach him, Jinwoo smirked–
‘If it’s soldiers, I’m not exactly lacking . ’ The Hunter’s mouth opened– “Shadows,”
At the same time, the shadow beneath his feet started spreading out .
‘Domain of the Monarch . ’
Once his shadow reached the demon king’s army– “Assemble . ”
The soldiers rose as one .
[‘ . . . !’ ]
The enemy’s surprise was noticeable .
Not missing a beat, Iron and Tank took the vanguard . The two giant Shadow Soldiers
clashed with the enemy army .
At the two Knight Grade soldiers’ monstrous strength, dozens of demons died while screaming . Behind the vanguard, the Shadow Soldiers numbering over a hundred spilled forth like a wave .
At their head was expectedly Ygritte!
The elite knight leaped over Iron’s head and started massacring the demons with twin swords in his hands .
The knight’s combat prowess had truly improved, fitting of his new grade as an elite knight .
‘But he’s not my only elite knight . ’
Jinwoo looked to his side .
Already finishing its giantification, Tusk stepped forward as if it was his turn . The giant high orc’s steps shook the ground . Jinwoo stared at Tusk’s back with pride .
BREATHE IN .
Tusk took in a deep breathe . The high orc’s chest expanded . In order to let him attack freely, Jinwoo mentally moved back the Shadow Soldiers near the high orc . Melting into their shadow forms, the soldiers commanded by Jinwoo moved to a different location indicated by their master .
And with that–
A giant pillar of flame spewed out from the giant high orc’s mouth and vaporized the demons . The attack did not stop there .
Tusk moved his head and the line of fire continued to obliterate the demons . The demons swallowed by the flames did not have the time to scream .
Meanwhile, the other Shadow Soldiers were fiercely clashed in battle against the demon army . They struggled against the greater numbers, but as long as their monarch willed it, they could regenerate .
Jinwoo clenched his fists . His army numbering a little over a hundred was matching an army ten times their size . The demon army was starting to be pushed back .
However, in that moment .
Having watched the scene in silence, Baran entered the fray . The demon king opened his mouth wide and countless blue sparks flashed .
At the same time, a blinding flash of blue fell upon the Shadow Soldiers .
Jinwoo’s eyes widened . The soldiers swept up by the blue storm were destroyed in an instant . The ones who avoided an instant death appeared to be immobilized .
‘It’s not an ordinary lightning . ’
With a terrifying destructive power and a stun effect to boot, fierce lightning fell upon the entire area . Of course, the blue storm even lashed out at Jinwoo .
However, unlike his Shadow Soldiers, Jinwoo did not receive any damage . The heat portion of the damage was completely absorbed by the Robe of Wind . And as for the stun effect…
Abnormal effects have been detected . The effects of Immunity buff will be activated .
* * *
Jinwoo charged toward Baran . If the demon king’s area of effect magic was not stopped, there was a chance the tide of the battle could turn . Baran also noticed Jinwoo .
Wat . A human-made artifact is able to completely nullify the attack of the boss? Just how much did that thing cost, Jinwoo? o . O
Roaring with a wide open mouth, it brought forth more blue lightning around Jinwoo .
FLASH– FLASH– FLASH–
When Jinwoo shrugged off the concentrated attacks, Baran flinched .
[‘ . . . !’ ]
Jinwoo felt its agitation . Using the max level ‘Sprint’, he closed the gap in a blink of an eye and leaped from the ground . Baran also unsheathed his sword .
Baruka’s Tanto and the demon king’s sword clad in blue flames clashed fiercely .
With an explosive sound, Baran fell from the wyvern and Jinwoo was also blasted back by the rebounding force . Rolling on the ground, the two kings got on their feet at the same time . Their gazes met only for an instance .
Sparks spewed from Baran’s mouth again .
The blue streaks of lightning came toward Jinwoo . Having placed faith in the robe, Jinwoo felt something was off .
‘ . . . It’s getting hotter?’
Looking back, the tip of the robe was on fire . Jinwoo quickly took the robe off and threw it aside .
‘So that’s the limit of its protection . ’ 
Oh okay . At least there was a limit .
In the end, it was a mere artifact made by human hands . If anything, the fact that it lasted this long was quite a feat . From now on, Jinwoo had to rely on his own skills .
The Hunter gulped .
Sensing that the opportunity was here, the demon king raised the level of his attacks . Jinwoo raised his senses to the absolute limit .
‘I can do this . ’
No, he had to do this .
As the world slowed down around him, Jinwoo evaded the blue streaks of electricity coming at him .
Why was it?
As he slowly closed the gap toward Baran, Jinwoo started remembering everything that had happened in the Demon Castle . The Hunter dodged another streak of lightning–
His heart beat quietly .
With absolutely no room to breathe, Jinwoo truly had dodged the demon king’s lightning with a hair’s breadth . The Hunter stood in front of Baran .
‘Ah . ’
Jinwoo realized why the past memories of the Demon Castle had flashed across his mind . It was out of gratitude .
‘Thank you . ’
For giving me the strength to fight with this strong monster . Every single floor he had climbed had a purpose . To strengthen him . Perhaps all for this single moment . Thanks to that, the things that would’ve been impossible in the past had become possible .
How could he not be thankful?
Baran’s sword came at the human diagonally . The Hunter blocked it with Baruka’s Tanto in his right hand, then stabbed the demon king’s shoulder with Knight Killer in his left hand .
The dagger specialized in piercing armor dug itself deep into Baran’s shoulder .
[‘ . . . !’ ]
It felt like a silent scream was coming from the demon king .
Jinwoo removed Knight Killer from Baran . The monster’s eyes flared with rage . It spat out a rough breath .
Baran moved into action .
The human’s daggers and the demon king’s sword made countless exchanges . Wounds started appearing on both of the combatants .
CLANG! CLA CLA CLANG! CLANG! CLACLANG!
Every time the metals met, the clash of magic powers cracked the ground around them .
Jinwoo furrowed his brows .
‘Even with that wound on its shoulder…’
As fitting of its title as the demon king, Baran was strong . Jinwoo started to feel pain in his wrists . The Hunter realized that he would only lose if this continued .
‘I have to break the balance . ’
Both of the combatants had two hands . However, Jinwoo had a hidden hand .
At the sudden oppressive force pressing down on him, Baran took a knee out of shock .
[‘ . . . ?’ ]
Before it could gather its thoughts again, Jinwoo’s fist struck the demon king’s face .
Baran could not help but roll for several dozen meters . However, it could not get up . Jinwoo had gotten on top of it .
It did not get the chance to summon its lightning . Jinwoo shoved his left hand into the demon king’s mouth and stopped its spell .
[‘ . . . !’ ]
Baran’s eyes shook . Instead of using the dagger bound to his hand, Jinwoo just struck with his fist repeatedly .
SMASH! SMASH! SMASH!
The Strength stat that was now over 200 was showing its full power . The boss-class monster’s health was shaved away quickly .
Jinwoo raised his right hand again and focused every ounce of his strength into it .
In an instant, his flexed shoulders and arm bulged with muscles and the surrounding atmosphere became unfathomably heavy . The magic power gathered in the Hunter’s right arm stilled the air and a silence fell upon them .
‘ . . . ’
In that brief moment of silence, Jinwoo spoke with a subdued voice to his enemy below him–
[“Thank you . ”]
There was no reply .
The demon king just glared at the human with eyes filled with hatred .
‘I know you’ll never understand the meaning of those words . ’ But he had to say the gratitude that was filling up his entire heart . With that earnest goodbye–
The Hunter’s fist came down on the demon king one last time .
You have defeated the Demon King, Baran . You have obtained Baran’s Soul . You have completed the ‘Ordinary Quest: Collect the Demon Souls! Part 2’ 
You have leveled up! You have leveled up! You have leveled up! You have leveled up!
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Solo Leveling Novel Chapter 109
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