Solo Leveling Novel, Chapter 130
Solo Levelingi 130
Unless it was an unusual occurrence, Jinwoo didn’t usually pay much attention when people stared at him . As long as no one annoyed him, people could watch him all they wanted . He didn’t even care about his face being revealed in all of the recent news . Indeed, if this were anywhere else, he would not have been bothered by the fact that people blatantly stared at him and whispered about him .
If this were anywhere else .
However, as he considered the weight of all the stares and the annoyance of the low murmurings, he thought that they should at least consider where they were and give proper respect,
‘At the very least, you shouldn’t be yammering on about me, but give proper consideration to where all of you are . ’
Was this not a place to pay respect to Hunter Min Byunggu? The man had given his very life for every single one of them . All of this whispering and attention was disrespectful to Hunter Min Byunggu’s sacrifice .
Disgusted, Jinwoo unleashed a portion of his magic power . Just the tiniest fraction . It was so small that it wouldn’t even be considered a portion .
‘ . . . !’
It was more than enough .
The atmosphere of the room became heavy and silence descended upon the crowd . Even ordinary humans found it difficult to breathe, as they pushed down their gasps and silenced their breathing .
“ . . . ”
“ . . . ”
Finally, the commotion that had risen from the mourners was suppressed in an instant .
‘Good . ’
Jinwoo continued his walk, but then a woman crossed Jinwoo’s path and faced him, blocking his way . She was too young to be called an old lady but too old to be called an ahjumeoni .
It was Hunter Min Byunggu’s mother .
Seeing what looked like a showdown, the mourners became uneasy,
‘Is he going to get yelled at and chased out?’
But within moments, they realized their worries were unfounded . The reason was simple,
“You’ve come . ”
“Yes, ma’am . ”
It was because the person who had requested Jinwoo’s presence was none other than Min Byunggu’s mother .
“I called you because I wanted to speak to you in person . I hope I didn’t cause any inconveniences . ”
“Not at all . ”
“I heard that it was thanks to Hunter-nim clearing out all of the monsters that they were able to bring my son back from that place . ”
As if wanting to confirm the truth herself, the mother stopped and looked up at Jinwoo .
He’d had many reasons to eliminate the remaining ants of Jeju Island . But, without a doubt, he definitely wouldn’t have let Hunter Min Byunggu’s corpse rot away in that deepest part of the ant hive .
And so, Jinwoo nodded at her words,
“I did what I could . ”
“Thank you . For not letting my son rest his eyes in that cold, dark place . ”
Hot tears streamed down her face .
“Thanks to Hunter-nim, I was able to see my son again . Truly, from the bottom of my heart, thank you, Hunter Sung Jinwoo-nim . ”
What does one say to comfort the mother who had lost her son? As Jinwoo remained silent with an agonized face, the relatives of the deceased came over and gently escorted Min Byunggu’s mother away . Even as she was led away with their support, the woman continued to turn around and lower her head in gratitude to Jinwoo .
Jinwoo saw the face of his own mother imposed over Min Byunggu’s mother . The same face his mother made when she received news that his father had died in a Gate ten years ago . His heart sank to his stomach .
‘Still . ’
Just as his father’s sacrifice resulted in saving the lives of many of his comrades, Hunter Min Byunggu’s death was not in vain . If not for his dutiful healing, all of the Hunters during that time would’ve fallen long before Jinwoo got there . Even after death, Min Byunggu was able to use his powers to save another Hunter . Jinwoo recalled how the shadow of Min Byunggu looked
relieved as the color returned to Hunter Cha Haein’s face . At that moment, Jinwoo truly understood just how much the man cared for his teammates .
On the way to lay flowers before the deceased, Jinwoo caught a glimpse of Cha Haein’s face in the distance . The woman met his eyes and flinched, as if she was panicking .
‘So everyone came here,’ Jinwoo realized .
Around Cha Haein, the other members of Korea’s team greeted Jinwoo with light nods . Yet, the woman looked like she was at a loss on what to do .
‘Huh, so she could put on a face like that . ’
He only remembered her expressionless face of the past . Seeing her face now, he was reminded again that you can only learn more about a person over a long period of time . He barely even knew her . The future would tell all .
Turning away, Jinwoo finally stood in front of Min Byunggu’s portrait . The healer’s face in the picture was smiling widely, without a care in the world .
Jinwoo laid the flower before the picture and closed his eyes,
‘I hope that you can find rest . ’
After a moment more of expressing his gratitude and prayers for peace, Jinwoo turned around to step away . Immediately, he was greeted by a familiar face,
“Hunter Sung Jinwoo-nim . ”
The deep, baritone voice belonged to Association President Go Gunhee .
“Association president . ”
“I actually wanted to talk to you about something . How fortunate to see you here . ”
“Talk to me?”
There weren’t very many reasons why the Hunter Association would look for a Hunter .
When Jinwoo flashed an anticipated gaze, Go Gunhee chuckled and shook his head,
“It is not what you are thinking of . ”
“Ah, right . ”
Jinwoo hid his disappointment .
“I was hoping to talk in private, could you give me a moment of your time?”
In fact, Jinwoo also wanted to talk with the association president about the matter of the Guildmaster’s license; he easily agreed to the elder’s request . The two men moved to an area where it was easier to talk .
“I have a matter to take care of at the Association . Why don’t we talk over there?”
“A matter at the Association… What is it?”
“I need a Guildmaster’s license . ”
A question mark appeared on Go Gunhee’s face,
“Why does a man with an S-rank Hunter’s license need a Guildmaster’s license?”
“Can S-rank Hunters make a Guild without a license?”
“Of course . ”
Go Gunhee smiled warmly and continued,
“If you wish to make a Guild, all you have to do is make a single call to the Association . We will take care of the rest . ”
“ . . . ” Jinwoo was speechless .
Less than half a year ago, all of this would’ve been a pipe dream to Jinwoo . The thought of attaining the highest rank never entered his mind, and it looked like he had greatly underestimated the privileges and benefits of the title . He was taken aback by the new information .
‘But I guess it worked out in the end . Looks like I should take some time to learn about the many benefits that came with being an S-rank Hunter . ’
On top of that, he had direct access to the association president . As long as all conditions were fulfilled, it seemed that he could make his Guild in no time .
They say luck and opportunity are two sides of a coin . Having close relations with the association president, who others had difficulty even meeting, was proving to be a great benefit to Jinwoo .
The elderly man spoke up again,
“Also, we do not have to go anywhere so far . ”
Jinwoo nodded .
Then Go Gunhee’s face turned serious as he asked,
“Have you perhaps placed some sort of a seal on Jeju Island?”
‘Why was sealing magic being brought up?’
“What do you mean?” Jinwoo asked .
‘Did something happen on Jeju Island after I left?’
Go Gunhee explained,
“There was an incident . All of the Hunters and military members who went to retrieve Hunter Min Byunggu’s corpse lost consciousness during the task . More accurately, they described it as falling asleep rather than being knocked out . ”
All of them fell asleep at the same time?
Jinwoo tilted his head,
‘It does sound like an area-of-effect debuff spell . ’
Much like the stun inflicted on Shadow Soldiers who fell under Demon King Baran’s area-of-effect lightning attack . The problem was that the Hunters at that place should’ve been elites .
“Weren’t the Knights’ elites in charge of that operation?” Jinwoo asked .
Go Gunhee nodded,
“Yes . All of their A-rankers are at the pinnacle of the rank, and even their B- rank Hunters are borderline A-rank . ”
To think that not just one or two but every single one of those powerful Hunters were put to sleep at once . It was something an average S-rank Mage could not do, let alone try .
“That is why I wondered if it was Hunter Sung Jinwoo-nim . Perhaps our nation’s strongest Mage placed a seal and forgot about it . ”
The theory was a testament to just how highly Go Gunhee and the Hunter Association regarded Jinwoo . However, the status-effect magic seal was not Jinwoo’s area of expertise; additionally, there was little chance that he would’ve created such a scary magic and then forgot about it .
Jinwoo shook his head,
“No, sir . I didn’t do anything like that . ”
“As I thought…”
A worried frown appeared on Association President Go Gunhee’s face . It was because the most hopeful situation in his mind was just disproven .
“What did the Hunters say?”
Go Gunhee looked like he had difficulty explaining . After a pause, the elder spoke,
“Both the military and the Hunters said they could not remember the moments before they lost consciousness . ”
With an absent voice, he added,
“Truthfully, we are not even sure whether it was magic or something else . ”
Jinwoo was confused . Ordinary military soldiers might’ve fallen to some sort of plain sleeping gas, but there was no way A-rank Hunters would fall to such conventional weaponry .
‘Did the damn ants leave behind a trap or something?’
Jinwoo briefly thought about calling up Ber to ask, but he stopped himself when he realized the memorial service would turn into a bloody Raid . Just at a glance, the number of high-rankers in the room numbered in the dozens . Of course, it was not Ber he was worried about .
Suddenly, a young man, who looked like an Association employee, went over to the association president and whispered something in his ear .
The elder turned to Jinwoo with a disappointed face,
“A guest has arrived sooner than expected, and I have to leave . Thank you for your time . ”
“It was nothing, sir . ”
With a brief goodbye, Association President Go Gunhee left the area with the employee .
Having taken care of his task with the Association, Jinwoo decided to go home and went over to where he parked his car .
However, an unknown presence had been following him for some time .
Jinwoo tilted his head,
‘If you’re tailing me, shouldn’t you make an effort to hide yourself?’
Well, any person in their right mind would probably not even dare to think about secretly following after an S-rank Hunter .
With each step Jinwoo took, the distinct echo of the person’s footsteps followed him . Since he didn’t hear a camera, it was probably not a reporter . The stranger was making zero efforts to hide their presence . Curious how long this presence would follow him and what they wanted, Jinwoo merely walked up to his van without a word . As expected, the stranger diligently followed after him .
Jinwoo was at a loss . If the level of the stranger amounted to just this, he did not feel like taking it seriously . He grabbed the handle of the door to get into the van when a voice rang out from behind him .
“Excuse me . Are you Sung Jinwoo-ssi?”
‘So we’re finally doing this, huh?’
Jinwoo hid his smile and turned around,
“Yes, that’s me—”
Confirming the face of the stranger, Jinwoo was briefly taken back,
Because the man’s Korean was so flawless, Jinwoo did not expect to turn around and see a foreigner . He was a young, blond-haired westerner, dressed in a clean suit and wearing a smile .
“Here . ”
The man took out a business card and handed it to Jinwoo .
Jinwoo took it and read the information on the card,
[The United States of America, Federal Bureau of Hunters, Senior Staff Adam White]
What was the elite employee of America’s most influential organization coming to him for? Actually, Jinwoo could think of only one reason why the U . S . ’s FBH would look for him .
He raised his head and considered the man before him .
Adam White introduced himself with a lively voice,
“Please just call me Adam, Hunter Sung Jinwoo-nim . ”
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Solo Leveling Novel Chapter 130
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