Solo Leveling Novel, Chapter 26
Solo Levelingi 26
-11 . Arrangement-
It had been 3 days since Jinwoo had returned from the C-rank Gate . Having come home early on a Saturday, Jinah smelled something delicious and quickly threw off her shoes .
“What’s this? Oppa, did you order chicken?”
“Yeah, you got here right on time . ”
Jinwoo gestured to a seat next to him at the table, and Jinah shuffled towards him with a surprised look .
“But what’s the occasion? Did something good happen to my cheapskate oppa?”
“Hey, hey, now . Go put your bags away, you’re being too impatient . ”
“Ha! I’m good, the bag’s not that heavy . ”
This was the same girl who complained about the extra weight of an umbrella in her bag . Even as he clicked his tongue, Jinwoo struggled to hide the smile on his face .
‘Did something good happen?’
The numbers in his bankbook had increased from just 800 thousand to a whopping 180 million and 300 thousand . The 180 million was the income from selling the magic cores, and 500 thousand won was sent to the landlord as rent .
A hundred and eighty million won!
This was the incredible amount he had obtained from a single Raid . He had diligently worked as a Hunter in the past, but this was the first time he truly felt like one . After all, great wealth was associated with being a Hunter, but his past income was not that great . The face of the magic core exchange staff still remained fresh in his mind .
“You, you gathered all of this on your own?”
“Yeah, I managed it somehow . ”
“How in the… amazing . ”
49 C-rank magic cores . Initial estimates were little over 300 million, but the taxes on the sale took a bulk amount .
“Yes sir . A personal sale has a tax rate of 40% . On the other hand, a Guild sale has a tax rate of 10% . ”
“Is there a reason why Guilds get a much better rate?”
“Well unlike a private party, a Guild cannot ignore a mobilization order . ”
Now that he thought about it, he recalled that even the great Baekho Guild was pulled into assistance by the Association during the Double Dungeon incident . Because of the many benefits and leniencies they were allowed, Guilds would comply with the orders from the government and the Association . This made Jinwoo stop and think for a second .
‘Should I just enter a Guild and wait on selling these magic cores?’
But he quickly waved away the thought . If he became active in a Guild, the Gates he would be entering would be B-rank or A-rank . The income from those Gates would be much larger than the amount obtained from the C-rank Gate . There was no need to miserly count every penny on these C-rank magic cores .
‘I can’t just thoughtlessly enter a random Guild to save on taxes for just this amount’
“I understand . I’ll make the transaction . ”
And like that, 180 million won came into his account . As his sister had guessed, the chicken and beer were to celebrate the large windfall .
“Thank you for the food~”
Jinwoo flicked the forehead of Jinah who was coyly reaching for a can of beer .
“This is for you . ”
He placed a can of cola in front of her .
“Hiiing… I was just kidding…”
As Jinah rubbed the red spot on her forehead, Jinwoo took a swig of cold refreshing beer . An unexpected sound appeared in his head .
Jinwoo grimaced at the electronic tone .
‘A System message?’
A harmful substance has been detected . The effects of the ‘Detoxification’ buff will be activated . 3, 2, 1… Detoxification complete .
‘A harmful substance was detected? Is it talking about the alcohol?’
Jinwoo finished the beer and opened another can .
gulp gulp gulp
A harmful substance has been detected . The effects of the ‘Detoxification’ buff will be activated . 3, 2, 1… Detoxification complete .
As expected, the same message appeared . Even after chugging two cans of beer back-to-back, Jinwoo did not feel a hint of a buzz . The effect of the buff was clear .
‘But when and where did I get a buff?’
Jinwoo tilted his head . He had never met a Hunter would could place buffs on others . Hunters with such special abilities mostly worked for large Guilds . There was no chance of meeting someone like that under the Association .
‘Even if someone buffed me without knowing, I should’ve gotten a System notification . ’
That left two possibilities . Either he was buffed while unconscious or he had received the buff before the appearance of the System . Jinwoo’s thoughts leaned towards the latter .
“Oppa, what’s wrong? Indigestion? Should’ve ate slower . ”
Watching his face deep in thought, Jinah asked with concern .
“No, something just came to mind . You keep eating . ”
He went to his room . He ran through his memories, trying to remember if he had missed anything in the past .
‘Ah . ’
A realization flashed across his mind .
‘All the quests have had a reward so far, even the penalty quest . But there was one quest that I haven’t verified the reward for . ’
He quickly opened his message box . At the time, he did not know anything about the System or its rewards, so he had put the message aside, but that message definitely had mentioned a reward as well .
His heartbeat quickened .
Jinwoo scrolled to the last message on the list .
Welcome to becoming a [Player] . (Read)
He spoke with a shaky voice,
“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 .
As he thought . It had mentioned a reward . He thought back on the first time he heard the voice in his head, back in the underground temple .
[You have fulfilled all conditions of the ‘Secret Quest: The Weak One’s Courage’ . ]
A secret quest was a quest like any other, but Jinwoo had never checked its reward . All that was on his mind at the time was his impending death . Jinwoo scrolled down on the message,
. . . Non-compliance with this System’s instructions may result in a penalty . Your reward has been received . Would you like to verify? (Y/N)
‘Yes . ’
‘Secret Quest: The Weak One’s Courage’, Received Reward The Great Sorcerer Kandiaru’s Blessing  One-time effect, ‘Will to be Reborn’ applied on blessing . Continuous effect, ‘Longevity’ applied on blessing . ‘Will to be Reborn’: All damaged parts of the body are restored . ‘Longevity’: Become immune to all diseases, poisons and ailments . Sleeping will explosively increase your regeneration ability . Awed by your great courage, the Great Sorcerer Kandiaru has blessed you with a special gift . Blessed by the Great Kandiaru, you will live a long and healthy life “A bright future awaits the challenger . ”
Everything fell into place .
‘So that’s why my leg was healed…’
The severed leg that was reattached was due to this quest’s reward . Same with the fact that he could not get drunk off the beer just now .
‘Wait, immunity to all poisons?’
Jinwoo suddenly became alert . Perhaps even that would be…?
Jinwoo took out an item from his inventory .
Casaka’s Venom Gland Rarity: A Type: Elixir Buff ‘Casaka’s Armored Scales’ applied on consumption . Debuff ‘Weakened Muscles’ applied on consumption . ‘Casaka’s Armored Scales’: Physical Damage Reduction +20% ‘Weakened Muscles’: Strength -35 A pouch containing the refined venom of Casaka . Drinking will give you a permanently toughened skin, but the venom will also permanently damage your muscles .
‘If the muscle debuff was due to the venom, maybe the detoxification buff will block it . ’
Only one way to find out . Jinwoo closed his eyes and drank the substance from the pouch .
The thick liquid went down his throat . He ignored the bitter taste and finished the whole pouch .
‘Bleh, and they say medicine is bitter…’
As the pouch became empty, a message appeared .
A harmful substance has been detected . The effects of the ‘Detoxification’ buff will be activated . 3, 2, 1… Detoxification complete . The debuff, ‘Weakened Muscles’, has been removed .
Jinwoo raised his fist in the air in triumph and checked his status screen .
‘Stat . ’
Stats Strength: 53 Constitution: 30 Agility: 53 Intelligence: 30 Sense: 36 (Available stat points: 0) Physical Damage Reduction: 20%
As expected, there was no reduction in strength . It remained at 53 points, but a new attribute of physical damage reduction had appeared . An amazing power to reduce all physical damage taken by 20% .
As he celebrated his new stat, Jinah called to him from the living room .
“Oppa, do you know someone named Yoo Jinwoo? An Yoo Jinwoo is looking for you . ”
“I don’t think his name is Yoo Jinwoo…”
He went over to the living room and took the receiver from his sister .
“Hello . ”
-“Hyungnim, it’s me, Yoo Jinho . ”
Of course .
“…How did you get this number?”
-“I know someone in the Association . You weren’t answering your cell phone, so I decided to reach you through your home phone . ”
“Make it short . ”
-“Ah! I apologize, hyungnim . But there’s something I really want to discuss with you . It’s hard to explain over the phone, can we meet up somewhere?”
Jinwoo tilted his head .
‘After all that, you still want to meet with me?’
-“It’s really important, hyungnim . ”
He was a really strange fellow .
Jinwoo allowed Yoo Jinho exactly 1 hour of his time . They met at a French café near Jinwoo’s house . Even on a weekday afternoon, the café was packed with people .
“Hyungnim, over here!”
Yoo Jinho greeted him happily . Jinwoo had expanded his senses when he entered but did not notice any other Hunters . At the very least, this was not going to be an ambush for some retaliation . Well, Jinwoo didn’t exactly recall anything to be retaliated for .
He sat down opposite from Yoo Jinho . In front of him was half-eaten ice cream in a bowl .
“I didn’t think I’d see you again . ”
Yoo Jinho stood up and asked,
“Did you order anything? Shall I go grab some coffee?”
“No, it’s okay . ”
With a disappointed face, Yoo Jinho sat back down .
Jinwoo opened his mouth to speak,
“So what’s this all about-“
But he was interrupted by a group of students a table over .
“I’m telling you it’s true! You should’ve seen it, it was crazy!”
There were three strong looking boys wearing athletic-club uniforms talking with three girls . Jinwoo tried to focus on the conversation on hand,
“So what’s this all-“
“What are you talking about! Look at this fucker make up shit in front of girls again!”
“I’m telling you! Holy shit, you want me to show you the pictures? I got the proof right here!”
The male students’ voices were loud, but just as annoying was the giggling female students .
Unable to talk through the loud conversation next to them, Jinwoo got up and quietly walked over to the other table . The three boys’ faces turned to Jinwoo in unison .
“Could you please quiet down a little? There are other people here . ”
One of the boys mockingly bowed his head .
“Yes sir, yes sir . We’ll be quiet . Sowwy~”
The girls laughed at his apology .
Jinwoo just stared at them, then turned around . Suddenly, something soft hit the back of his head . A rolled-up napkin fell on to the floor .
“Stop it! Haha, stop it!”
The male students laughed out loud, while the female students pretended to stop them and laugh . Yoo Jinho’s face that was watching the scene started to freeze .
Jinwoo grabbed a spoon from Yoo Jinho’s ice cream bowl and went over to the counter .
“Look at that him, he’s going to tell on us . ”
“Waah- mommy, there’s some people being loud, waah . Hahaha”
Even as he walked, the students continued their mocking . Jinwoo asked the nervous looking shop employee,
“This spoon . How much is it?”
“I’m sorry customer, we don’t really sell those spoons . . . ”
“It’s less than ten thousand, right?”
“Sir? Ah, well… probably…”
Jinwoo placed a ten thousand won bill on the counter and turned around .
Jinwoo ignored the woman’s voice and walked towards the students’ table . Seeing him approach with a serious expression, the male students rose up from their seats .
“What, you wanna go?”
Every eye in the shop was focused on the scene that was unfolding .
Jinwoo held out the spoon that he was holding to the boys .
As they looked at him with confusion, Jinwoo slowly closed his fist around the spoon . The metallic spoon crumpled into an unrecognizable mess in his hand .
The boys’ faces began to turn white .
roll roll roll
The thing that rolled across the table could no longer be called a spoon . It was a piece of metal crushed into a ball shape .
Each of the boys gulped .
‘That’s not an ordinary human’s strength . ’
‘H-he’s a Hunter . ’
As they cast glances at each other, the boy who had thrown the paper napkin was the first to lower his head .
“I’m… I’m sorry . ”
The other two quickly followed .
“We made a mistake . Sorry…”
After repeatedly bowing their heads, the boys quickly ran out of the café with the girls in tow .
The other customers, also bothered by the students’ loud rambling, sent a silent gratitude toward Jinwoo . He returned to his seat . Yoo Jinho exclaimed with sparkles in his eyes,
“As expected of hyungnim!”
“Enough . ”
Jinwoo steered the conversation back to the start,
“So . What . Is . This . About?”
“Well… hyungnim . I gave it a lot of thought . Like, I really really thought about it hard . And there’s something I want to ask you . ”
Jinwoo tilted his head,
“Hyungnim, the truth is…”
Yoo Jinho’s face turned red with embarrassment . He gathered the courage to finish his sentence .
“…I’m trying to create a private raiding party-“
It didn’t even take Jinwoo one second to think about it .
“I refuse . ”
: “Detoxification” (해독): Literal translation of the word . Could also mean “neutralize/cure poison”
: “Great Sorcerer Kandiaru” (대주술사 칸디아루): “great” 대 + “sorcerer” 주술사 . 칸디아루 = khan – dee – ah – ru .
: “Will to be Reborn” (재활의 의지): “rehabilitation” 재활 + “will” 의지 . The word for “rehabilitation” can also be read as “rebirth” . “Longevity” (무병장수): Lit . translation of the word . “No” 무 + “sickness” 병 + “life” 장수
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Solo Leveling Novel Chapter 26
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