Solo Leveling Novel, Chapter 23
Solo Levelingi 23
Good timing . He was thirsty after the fight . Still, Jinwoo took the cup with a confused look .
gulp gulp gulp
The cold water went down refreshingly down his throat .
“How is it, hyungnim?”
Now that he thought about, Jinho’s title for him had gone from “hyung” to “hyungnim” .
“Mm, it’s refreshing . ”
He returned the cup to Jinho .
“So what you just saw here-”
Jinho interrupted before Jinwoo could finish his sentence, almost as if to tell him not to worry .
“Of course! I’ll carry this secret with me to the grave . ”
“No, you don’t have to go that far…”
“How can I not? It’s my promise with hyungnim . ”
“Well… Okay . If you feel that way . ”
“Don’t worry about me, hyungnim . ”
Besides, there was no way someone would believe that an E-rank Hunter took down a C-rank Gate’s boss on his own . Still, Jinwoo was thankful that Jinho promised his silence on his own .
‘Thought he was bad at taking a hint . He sure doesn’t seem like it now . ’
“Is there anything else, hyungnim?”
“ . . . No . ”
It was strange . Jinwoo looked up and down on Jinho’s figure that was standing at attention .
‘Well, I guess I did save his life . ’
After all, it was normal for someone to be respectful towards the person who saved their life . It was understandable if that was the case . Of course, the truth was a little different .
The Dungeon lightly shook again, then stopped . The shaking was the signal that the Gate would be closing soon . The tremors would increase as time passed, until right before the Gate’s closing, when it would feel like an earthquake .
“Let’s go . ”
“Yes, hyungnim . ”
Jinwoo started walking towards the blockage . Suddenly, the collapsed rocks blew apart with a flash .
Hwang Dongseok and co . entered the boss room . Seeing the collapsed spider behind Jinwoo, their looks were incredulous .
“What the, it’s dead?”
“Those two took it down?”
“Was the only thing scary its size?”
“Well, if it got taken down by an E-rank and a D-rank . . . ”
“Hwang hyung, what do we do now?”
Hwang Dongseok looked at Jinwoo and Yoo Jinho and scratched his chin . With the spider dead, the Gate would close soon . It was too late to start mining the mana crystals now . They weren’t prepared for it, and the time remaining was less than an hour . He had to change the plan .
He shouted toward Yoo Jinho,
Yoo Jinho flinched and took a step backwards, face was full of nervousness .
Hwang Dongseok smirked,
“Your equipment really caught our eye, so we did a little investigation . Your daddy turned out to be someone crazy! Yoojin Construction’s chairman, Yoo Myunghan . ”
“So- so what?”
“Well, we’re giving you a chance . We have some things we want to talk over with your daddy . But if what happened here got out, our situation would become a little uncomfortable . So if you want to live, become our accomplice . ”
Hwang Dongseok raised his chin towards Jinwoo . At his unpleasant gaze, Jinwoo grimaced .
“Kill Sung Jinwoo . ”
Yoo Jinho panicked, but Hwang Dongseok looked at his face and laughed . Their original plan was to kill Jinho as well . But they had discovered that Yoo Jinho’s father was the chairman of one of the top construction companies of the country . With that in mind, a devious thought came to him . What if they filmed Yoo Jinho killing Sung Jinwoo, and used that to blackmail Yoo Myunghan?
‘Yoo Myunghan’s known net worth is about 10 trillion . ’
If everything went right, they could earn several times more than what they would’ve gotten from the mana crystals .
“That is your way out of here . We’ll let you live if you kill Sung Jinwoo with your own hands . Otherwise, we’ll kill you both . ”
Hwang Dongseok’s eyes became murderous .
“What are you waiting for? No one’s going to know what happened in a Dungeon anyways . Is a D-rank cowering before an E-rank?”
Yoo Jinho looked to his side . Jinwoo just shrugged in response . “Do what you want” was what he was telling him . Yoo Jinho took out his sword with a determined face .
‘Looks like he made his decision . ’
Hwang Dongseok smiled .
But the results were not what he expected .
Yoo Jinho took his sword and stood at Jinwoo’s side .
“Oh? Going to team up against us?”
Hwang Dongseok spoke to himself . The young master sure got gutsy after luckily taking down a C-rank boss .
Jo Gyuhwan whispered to him from his side,
“Hyung, what should we do?”
Hwang Dongseok whispered back,
“For now, take care of Sung Jinwoo . We’ll hold on to Mr . Moneybags for now . Our loss was too big today . ”
“Got it . ”
A bright light appeared in Jo Gyuhwan’s hands . Jinwoo’s eyes narrowed .
‘So we’re doing it this way, after all . ’
This would be his first time fighting a Hunter . However, he had no plans on being merciful to those who had threatened his life multiple times .
The electronic sound rang in his head .
An emergency quest has been created .
He raised his head . He did not give the command to open it, but the quest screen had opened up on its own . This was the first time this had happened .
Emergency Quest: Deal With The Enemies! Those with murderous intent towards the ‘Player’ have been detected . Ensure your safety by dealing with these enemies . Enemies to deal with: 8 Enemies dealt with: 0 Non-compliance will result in a penalty .
Jinwoo’s eyes were open wide .
‘The quest requires me to kill Hwang Dongseok’s entire party?’
Something behind the screen flashed . It was the arrow of light released from Jo Gyuhwan’s hands .
Jinwoo’s body was thrown from the explosion and crashed into the wall with great speed .
The wall broke apart on impact and the pieces landed on Jinwoo .
Yoo Jinho tried to run to Jinwoo in panic, but Hwang Dongseok stopped him,
Yoo Jinho flinched and stopped .
“You better not pay any mind to a dead person and come here . ”
Hwang Dongseok gestured him to come over . Yoo Jinho turned and looked at where Jinwoo was . Like Hwang Dongseok said, Jinwoo was buried in rocks and did not appear to be moving .
“You… you murderers…”
Tears gathered at the corner of Yoo Jinho’s eyes . Hwang Dongseok and his party laughed at his words .
It was the truth, after all . They lost count of the number of people they had killed in Dungeons .
As they laughed at Yoo Jinho, Jinwoo was questioning his eyes below the rubble . This was because the quest’s contents were changing before his eyes .
Emergency Quest: Deal With The Enemies! Those with murderous intent towards %*@## have been detected . Ensure your safety by dealing with these enemies . Enemies to deal with: 8 Enemies dealt with: 0 Non-compliance will result in #$%^%@$#$%#^ ! ^$%^$ .
Several of the letters broke apart and reformed into new words .
Emergency Quest: Deal With The Enemies! Those with murderous intent towards you have been detected . Ensure your safety by dealing with these enemies . Enemies to deal with: 8 Enemies dealt with: 0 Non-compliance will result your heart stopping .
It was a very clear threat, “I’ll kill you if you don’t do the quest . ”
‘Kill if I don’t want to be killed?’
It was a shocking message, but his confusion did not last long . The confusion quickly turned to comfort . He could not believe it, but it was true . From the day the quests and stat screens appeared, a single thought had plagued Jinwoo’s mind .
“What if this strange occurrence ends?”
If all this happened out of coincidence, could it end just as suddenly?
Such worrisome thought always followed him .
But now, with the appearance of this quest, he obtained a certainty .
This was neither coincidence or kindness .
If the System came to him out of some kindness, it would’ve given him the option to avoid the danger . It would not use a penalty to force him to kill .
The System had a goal .
Not “to make Sung Jinwoo become strong”, but “need Sung Jinwoo to become strong” .
‘Depending on the situation, even kill fellow Hunters…’
That was what he gathered from the appearance of the quest .
Still, Jinwoo found comfort in the thought .
‘Thank god . ’
Because it was not a coincidence .
There was a clear purpose .
Every time he faced danger, he wanted to become stronger . He wanted the opportunity to rise above his life that felt like holding onto the edge of a cliff . And on that day, in the most dangerous moment of his life, the opportunity came to him .
The System’s goals were perfectly aligned with Jinwoo’s desires .
‘The System uses me, and I’ll use the System . ’
That’s all he had to do . As long as it had a goal, he would be able to hold on to this phenomenon .
Jinwoo rose from the rubble .
Health: 1360 / 2600
He really did get hit by a C-rank Hunter’s magic . A single hit took half of his life down . There was no room for error going forward . A coldness crept into Jinwoo’s eyes . He began to walk towards Hwang Dongseok .
Having surrounded the cowering Yoo Jinho, Hwang Dongseok’s party noticed Jinwoo .
“What the, he’s alive?”
“Gyuhwan hyung, looks like you’ve lost your touch . ”
“How embarrassing, against an E-ranker, too . ”
Hwang Dongseok scratched his chin,
“Gyuhwan, do it right next time . ”
Jo Gyuhwan’s face reddened with embarrassment,
“I-I got it . ”
No . He definitely used his most powerful spell . It was an attack that used up a third of his magic power, how could he get up? Did he miss? No, if he missed, it wouldn’t have made such a loud sound . He had many questions but did not get the chance to ask .
Because Jinwoo was the first to speak,
“You’ve played with people’s lives . ”
Hwang Dongseok’s group’s eyes were fixed on Jinwoo . Jinwoo stopped before them . Yoo Jinho was surprised, but the other Hunters were nonchalant . Few of them even had a mocking expression .
Jinwoo continued dryly,
“You’re ready to pay the price, right?”
At that phrase, Hwang Dongseok snorted .
“The hell is this fucker saying?”
“Hyungnim, I got this . ”
A Hunter with narrow eyes went over and draped an arm around Jinwoo’s neck .
“It looks like you’re not really understanding the situation here,”
The narrow-eye’s expression became strange as he put strength on his arm .
‘ . . . What? Why is he not bending?’
He used all of his strength to try and put Jinwoo in a headlock, but no matter how much he flexed, Jinwoo’s body did not bend .
Wasn’t this fucker an E-rank?
The narrow-eye’s brows moistened with cold sweat .
‘What’s with this pow-’
The narrow-eye’s head fell onto the ground .
Hwang Dongseok’s eyes shook .
“When did that fucker get a dagger?!”
“Where did it come from?!”
Hwang Dongseok’s party quickly drew their weapons and took a step back . In Jinwoo’s hand was Casaka’s Poisoned Fang he had summoned from his inventory .
The dagger dripped with blood .
Enemies to deal with: 7 Enemies dealt with: 1
‘7 left . ’
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Solo Leveling Novel Chapter 23
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