Solo Leveling Novel, Chapter 121
Solo Levelingi 121
“What?! You got disconnected from Goto?”
Matsumoto’s face became pale. The staff member turned towards him and asked suddenly
“Would you like to check the recording yourself?”
Matsumoto nodded and took the receiver from the staff member. After fiddling with it for a moment, the recording started to play back.
“Are you the King?”
“Yes, I am the King.”
“Goto! Watch out!”
“What the hell are you!”
“That’s the last moment that was recorded.”
Putting down the receiver, Matsumoto’s face was haggard. Though the video was cut off in the middle of the Hunter’s confrontation with the abnormal ant, he could imagine their fates. From the noises he’d heard over the video, Matsumoto was certain that the worst possible scenario had come to pass.
“An ant speaking like a human? On top of that, it was able to kill Goto?”
Matsumoto knew this shouldn’t have happened. Their planning and preparations had been perfect for any conceivable scenario, yet the unimaginable had occurred. Matsumoto’s fingers trembled in fear.
A yell from nearby broke Matsumoto from his stupor. Realizing that the staff member’s gaze was fixed upon his shaking hand, he stuffed them into his pockets, then turned around.
“Goto….no, where’s that ant?”
Matsumoto stopped himself while speaking, changing his question to the staff member.
‘I don’t want to call that ant Goto’s killer, it doesn’t deserve the title.’
“Its energy signature disappeared sir.”
That ant had been able to kill Goto, Japan’s Strongest. Matsumoto couldn’t believe that the magic power detection camera on their satellite would be able to miss the creature, no matter where it was on Jeju Island. As if he was able to guess what Matsumoto’s next question would be, the staff member pointed towards the monitor.
“That dot of light represents the magic power of the thing that appeared, right before we lost contact with Goto and his team.”
The magic power detection camera recognized mana as light. The bigger and brighter the white dot on the screen was, the more mana the thing they were looking at had. As soon as Goto and the other Hunter’s lights were extinguished, the large dot representing the ant vanished.
“Oh my God….” Matsumoto moaned out in anguish.
He knew that this could only mean one thing, the creature was in complete control of its mana.
‘This is….that bastard….’
The research team had been unable to detect it, which was a huge failure, and now Japan had lost 10 S-Rank Hunters including the man hailed as “The Strongest”. This was a painful price for their mistake, and more losses were likely to occur before they could pull out of Jeju Island.
‘If that damn monster crosses the sea…’
Matsumoto tried to shake off his concerns, but he couldn’t help but let his imagination run wild at the threat this ant posed. But then
“I found its signal! It came back up!”
Matsumoto’s eyes shot open in surprise.
“Where is it?”
“The ant queen’s chambers”
Matsumoto knew that that the Korean Hunters were there, holding off the ants that were trying to return to the nest. Though they were probably struggling hard to stay alive, this new ant was an opponent that defied common sense.
“The Koreans are finished, they’ll be slaughtered by this thing.”
With that in mind, Matsumoto’s eyes widened. But suddenly
A new light appeared on the monitor, in front of the monster’s own.
“What the hell is that!?”
Matsumoto looked at the staff member in disbelief, while the staff member quickly shook his head to show his own confusion.
“I’ve never seen anything like this before.”
The light was almost as big and as bright as the monster’s. In fact, Matsumoto could hardly see any difference between them, unsure whether they were actually both equal. However, the surprising part wasn’t this new large light, it was the appearance of hundreds of smaller lights simultaneously. Even the staff member, who had been analyzing the detection images for years, had never seen anything like this happen before.
The lights were mesmerizing, all moving in a steady and uniform way. However, Matsumoto did not have the time to stand there admiring them.
“The Korean Team, they were filming the attack weren’t they?”
The fact that the Korean Team was still alive meant that there was a chance they were still broadcasting. Matsumoto couldn’t bear to just imagine what might be happening, he wanted to see the events unfolding with his own eyes.
“Their broadcast! Put the Korean Team’s broadcast up on the main screen now!”
Immediately after shouting, the Korean broadcast was brought up. Matsumoto was met with an unbelievable scene, a lone man confronting the abnormal ant.
Matsumoto gulped in surprise, his jaw wide open and sweat pouring down from his temple to his chin, as he stared at the face of the man on the screen.
“That man….is he the one producing all these mana sources?”
Matsumoto was also now able to see the ant-human hybrid as well, it was at least one and a half times larger than the normal ants. Even though he was viewing all of this through a screen, Matsumoto felt his heart rate increasing from the pressure being exuded by the two beings on video.
As the standoff between the man and monster continued, Matsumoto’s face continued to get stiffer, as he waited for their fight to begin. Then, in a single moment, the monster took the initiative and broke the standoff.
Listen to this here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z0nym-txjf0
It moved, closing the distance in an instant, as its fist connected with Jinwoo’s face.
Jinwoo’s body shook from the seismic blow, and his knees buckled. However, he remained on his feet, seemingly only slightly hurt by the attack. This surprised the Ant King. It had expected this single hit to easily crush this human’s upper body, like a hammer falling onto an egg.
A human that could withstand an attack with all of his strength? The Ant King was surprised such a being existed.
“You…you can survive against my strength.”
No matter. It would still end this fight quickly. Another fist whistled through the air at terrifying speed, aimed directly at Jinwoo’s windpipe. The Ant King felt the briefest moment of surprise as Jinwoo bent his head to the left at the last second and the fist sailed past him. It left him no time to react as Jinwoo cocked back his own punch.
The ant king couldn’t even process what was happening before he felt a 10 ton wrecking ball, condensed to the size of a fist, slam into his head, sending him tumbling headfirst across the chamber.
Cracks spread through the wall as the ant king slammed into the stone wall, creating a small crater with his body. The entire room shook from the impact, and small rocks fell from the ceiling, as if the entire chamber was about to collapse. Jinwoo looked over at the Ant King and spoke.
“What kind of ant talks this much?”
[Some time earlier]
When the broadcast had been interrupted and the message declaring the accident had occurred, many viewers had been devastated.
“The Hunters…what was happening to them?”
“What was that ant just now?”
“No, if we cut the broadcast now, what would we do?”
Despite the complaints, the last thing the station wanted to do was broadcast their strongest Hunters being made helpless against one little ant. Such a scene spoiled any happiness viewers had over the queen’s death. After a short delay, a spokesperson appeared on the television, replacing the “broadcasting accident” announcement that had been up before.
“We have some newly confirmed news regarding the Jeju Island raid…”
With a somber tone, he reported the death of the S-rank Hunter Min Byung-Goo to the public. He added that the other S-rank Hunters still in the dungeon were most likely in danger as well.
“Even if we got the queen, what’s the point if all Hunters end up dying!”
“What about the Japanese?”
“What the hell is Japan doing, wasn’t this supposed to be a joint operation?”
Some people were upset, others were worried, and many were sad. The news that Korea’s best Hunters might face total annihilation spread quickly. The number of viewers had increased more now, than when the raid had been going smoothly earlier.
The face of the spokesperson lit up, as he received an update about the raid.
“It seems that an unknown Hunter has appeared on scene, we’ll be continuing the broadcast again!”
These simple words were enough to reinvigorate the viewers who had become sullen in front of their TV’s. A moment after the spokesperson finished speaking, the broadcast was brought back on air.
People everywhere jumped back from their TV’s in surprise, startled by the army of black soldiers that now filled their screens. These black soldiers were locked in a massive battle against the ants who were trying to force their way into the queen’s chambers. Despite the mayhem taking place around the chamber, the camera was focused on a single person. But since he was so far away from the camera, it was difficult to even make out his features.
The spokesperson began speaking over the broadcast, delivering updates as he received them.
“It seems that the black armor-clad soldiers are this new Hunter’s summons. Also, it has been confirmed that most of the other Hunters are safe.”
People across the country cheered at this news, learning that the Hunters they presumed dead were instead alive and well. They were also rooting for this new Hunter who had mysteriously appeared, pinning their hopes for victory on him.
“Shut that dungeon down! Kill them all!”
As the nameless Hunter spoke, even more black soldier began to appear, and joined the others in their slaughter of the ants.
People were going wild and raising their fists in the air, unable to contain their emotions. There were people who had lost friends and family to the ants, now teary eyed as their wishes for revenge were coming to fruition. The spokesperson raised his voice again, as if trying to time his updates with the action unfolding on screen.
“The Hunter’s identity has just been revealed!”
This news grabbed everyone’s attention, their eyes and ears both locked to their televisions.
‘Who is he?’
What was the identity of the hunter who had the power to save S-rank hunters from a place full of S-rank magic creatures?
“It’s Korea’s 10th S-Rank Hunter, Sung Jinwoo! He’s a Mage-Class Hunter who is known for his special Summoning Magic!”
This made people even happier. Not only was this Hunter overwhelmingly strong, he was from Korea instead of Japan. Then, without warning, the waves of ants suddenly parted, making a path through the tunnel.
Viewers watched as the winged Ant King appeared, the same ant they had seen before the broadcast was cut off. There were already few winged ants in total, and their features were easily distinguishable. This unexpected event threw the viewers into confusion.
“What!” Wasn’t that bastard dead!?”
“Wasn’t that the monster that mopped the floor with our Hunters before?”
“Why is it back again!?”
The Ant King stood in front of Jinwoo. People who were knowledgeable of the two’s abilities were filled with dread, knowing that a mage would be massacred by this abnormal ant.
“He’s dead, oh my God he’s dead”
“What can a Mage-Class even do at that distance? He’s screwed!”
It was the same monster that had blown away the S-Ranker Cha Hae-in with a single blow. It wasn’t hard for the people watching to imagine how this fight would go. The two stood face to face, staring each other down. Then, the Ant King suddenly grew in size, becoming bulkier and more frightening than before. Suddenly, the Ant King lunged forward towards Jinwoo.
Some of the weaker-willed viewers were quick to shut their eyes. They knew that the moment he was hit, Jinwoo’s head would be blown clean off his shoulders. However, when they looked again, Jinwoo was still standing and seemingly unharmed.
‘Did a Mage-Class Hunter just endure the same punch that blasted Ma Doong-wook, the S-Rank Tank, into another room?’
Everyone who was watching the broadcast opened their eyes wide in shock. Then.
The Ant King that had been standing in front of Jinwoo was now stuck in the wall across the chamber.
It took viewers a while to comprehend what they’d just witnessed, but the moment the camera panned to the Ant King who was sticking out of the wall,
another loud cheer rang out.
The cameraman’s mouth hung open. He felt light headed after watching Jinwoo take that blow that had nearly killed Cha Hae-in instantly. . However, Sung Jinwoo had blown that ant away, the very same ant that had toyed with 6 S-Rank Hunters as if they were children.
The cameraman gasped reflexively.
‘Were the S-Rank Hunters just that weak?’
That simply couldn’t be the case. The team of Korean Hunters has successfully eliminated the Ant Queen, who was the boss of an S-Rank dungeon. It had to be that the ant who had treated the S-Rankers like mere bugs was simply abnormal. On top of that this meant that Jinwoo, who had easily blasted that same ant away, was even more abnormal.
The cameraman gulped in excitement, and the other Hunter’s responses were no different. As everyone stared at Jinwoo with looks akin to fervor, Choi Jong-In glanced around the room. Around them were the shredded remains of many ants.
‘I thought that the other Hunters had taken care of the ants while I was unconscious…’
But now, having seen Jinwoo’s strength first-hand, Choi Jong-In was having a different idea.
‘Don’t tell me that…Sung Jinwoo…alone?’
Choi Jong-In’s eyes trembled as he surveyed the carnage.
Choi Jong-In was brought back to his senses by the abrupt outburst, and quickly turned towards the sound. The Ant King, who had now freed himself from the wall, was visibly enraged.
Jinwoo cocked his head in surprise as he saw the Ant King emerge. It seemed like he had taken less damage than Jinwoo had expected.
‘Was it…his exoskeleton that protected him?’
A hard black shell covered the Ant King’s body, like an organic suit of armor.
‘If so, all I need to do is shatter it with brute force.’
‘It’s not a sword or a spear that’s effective against armor. The best thing to use is a big hammer.’
Jinwoo’s shoulders and arms suddenly bulged as he flexed and prepared to use his monstrous strength, his aura creating a heavy atmosphere. The Ant King stopped roaring, and turned his distorted face to glare at Jinwoo.
“How dare you.”
The two adversaries approached each other. Slowly at first, almost casually. Suddenly, they both dashed forward, closing the gap between them aggressively. In an instant, they were face to face. The Ant King glared menacingly, but Jinwoo did not shy away. Rather, he stared back with equal intensity. Neither fighter blinked as they furiously exchanged blows. Dozens of strikes were thrown every second, and dozens more met them in retaliation as the two clashed. The Ant King’s eyes were still locked onto Jinwoo’s as the pair refused to take even a single step back during the exchange.
Both the viewers in their homes and the other Hunters in the room were dumbfounded. The cave shook from the aftershocks of magic power erupting from the two’s blows. Even the S-Rankers, who were knowledgeable in handling mana, had little to say.
“Are you alright?”
“I- I’m fine.”
An S-Rank Hunter checked on the cameraman’s condition.
‘I feel dizzy just from watching this fight, I can only imagine how an A-Rank would feel.’
There was a reason he could feel happy, even as his face turned white from shock.
‘How can someone fight a monster like that on their own?’
What he saw in the exchange of blows between man and monster, was hope.
Although Sung Jinwoo was taking hits, it was the Ant King’s shell which was clearly being broken in their brawl.
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Solo Leveling Novel Chapter 121
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