Solo Leveling Novel, Chapter 34
Solo Levelingi 34
Having focused on the clash of daggers, Kang Taeshik was caught off guard by the sudden surge of pain shooting from his foot and backed off .
Jinwoo did not give the man any room to breathe .
Sprint has been activated . Your movement speed is increased by 30% . While active, 1 mana will be used up every minute .
As Jinwoo rapidly chased after the man, Kang Taeshik was surprised once more .
‘He got faster!’
Up until now, he had felt that his speed was matched by Jinwoo’s; maybe he was just a smidgen faster . But seeing Jinwoo suddenly speed up a level, Kang Taeshik could not afford to lose a moment of focus . Jinwoo closed the gap in an instant and stabbed his dagger into Kang Taeshik’s thigh .
It was an attack that slipped past Kang Taeshik’s defense that had been focused on his upper body .
Paralysis has been inflicted . The target’s resistance was too high . Effect cancelled .
Bleeding has been inflicted . The target will lose 1% health per second .
One of Casaka’s Poisoned Fang’s special effects went through . It was a shame that it wasn’t ‘Paralysis’, but ‘Bleeding’ would still make the fight much easier .
But Kang Taeshik held his pride as a high-ranking Hunter!
His resistance was not at all low . He leaped after Jinwoo with his knife .
Jinwoo dodged the knife by a hair’s breadth and counterattacked towards Kang Taeshik’s vitals . Even with a wound on his thigh, the man skillfully blocked Jinwoo’s attacks .
Both of the fighter’s brows moistened with sweat .
‘The speed is about even!’
‘Our speed’s the same!’
The two men praised the other’s speed and continued their ultra short-range battle of speed . A single misstep would mean defeat; the duo mercilessly attacked each other with attacks meant to kill .
slash, slash, slaaaash, slash- slash!
A spectacle that would drain the blood of those watching, it was truly a fight to the death .
‘I have to break the balance . ’
Jinwoo focused strength into his eyes .
Bloodlust has been activated .
Kang Taeshik looked into Jinwoo’s eyes and flinched .
Fear has been inflicted . The target will lose 50% of all attributes for 1 minute .
Jinwoo became assured of victory . On the other hand, Kang Taeshik’s eyes were trembling .
‘What’s happening to me?’
After meeting Jinwoo’s eyes, it suddenly felt like he had been submerged in deep water . His body felt heavy, as if he was struggling to move underwater . The speed that he was so proud of was cut drastically .
The stalemate had been broken . Jinwoo’s attacks began to land . One by one, wounds started appearing on Kang Taeshik’s body .
‘This, this can’t be!’
The B-rank Hunter was in panic . This was definitely an effect of a debuff skill . He had never heard of an Assassin-class that could use a debuff magic .
‘Is he not an Assassin-class?’
But if not, how was his speed possible?
Kang Taeshik could not finish his thought . His panic quickly turned into terror . Jinwoo was charging straight at him from the front . Kang Taeshik swung his knife at Jinwoo’s eyes with all of his speed as a final resort .
Jinwoo quickly twisted his head but was scratched by the knife on his cheek . But this amount of damage was in his calculations . He had thrown his entire body into the deciding blow, anticipating to dodge the desperate counterattack .
The two men had fought in a world where time had slowed down . In their final infinitesimal moment, Kang Taeshik frowned in realization .
‘Shit . ’
Casaka’s Poisoned Fang dug itself deep into Kang Taeshik’s chest .
Kang Taeshik widened his eyes in pain . In that moment, the two men knew it was over; the victor had been decided . Blood seeped out of the corner of Kang Taeshik’s mouth . He smiled with a blood-filled mouth . Of all the days, he just had to meet a Reawakened Hunter in a D-rank Dungeon today .
‘I really have shitty luck…’
The knife in his hand fell to the ground . As he gasped for breath, Kang Taeshik whispered something into Jinwoo’s ear .
Jinwoo allowed the man his final words, then removed the dagger from his chest .
Kang Taeshik’s body slumped to the ground, like a puppet with its strings cut .
You’ve completed the ‘Emergency Quest: Deal With The Enemies’ The reward for completing the quest has arrived . Would you like to verify? (Y/N)
Jinwoo grimaced at the message . Like before, killing a human being left a bitter taste in his mouth, even if the opponent had instigated it . If not for the reward, this affair would’ve been a red in his ledger . Jinwoo tried to comfort himself with that thought and checked the reward .
You’ve received the below reward . Reward 1 . Stat points +5
Jinwoo stared at the reward incredulously . It was much smaller than what he had received for dealing with Hwang Dongseok’s party .
‘The difficulty this time was much higher!’
Did the number of enemies matter more than their skill? Or was there some other factor involved?
Jinwoo tilted his head in question, then, something caught his eyes behind the screen . There was a dime-sized light coming from Kang Taeshik’s corpse . Jinwoo’s eyes widened,
He could not believe it, but it was the same light coming from monsters’ corpses with drops . The same light also appeared in magic beasts’ corpses with magic cores . And now, the light that signified a drop was coming from Kang Taeshik .
‘What could it be?’
He calmed his beating heart and stretched a hand toward Kang Taeshik’s corpse .
He was not mistaken!
You’ve found a “Runestone: Stealth” Would you like to acquire it?
‘Runestone? Wait, Runestone?!!!’
His heart started pounding again in excitement . The skill that Kang Taeshik used had been left behind as a Runestone on his corpse . ‘Stealth’ was a rare skill that only a handful of Hunters had . If Jinwoo was able to obtain a Runestone with that skill…
‘Acquire . ’
A small stone with runes inscribed on it appeared in his outstretched hand .
Runestone: Stealth Break the Runestone to absorb the skill .
He had to break the stone to absorb the skill . This confirmed that this was truly a Runestone . Breaking this would give him access to ‘Stealth’ . Jinwoo had never heard of a Runestone granting ‘Stealth’, that alone made the item priceless .
Two people’s voice cried out from behind him .
“Sung-ssi, are you alright?”
Jinwoo quickly hid the Runestone in his pockets and turned around . Song Chiyeol and Lee Juhee was staring at him in disbelief . To think that an E-rank Hunter Jinwoo, who used to tremble in fear in D-rank Dungeons, defeated the B-rank Hunter Kang Taeshik . The noncombat-class Lee Juhee might not fully grasp the situation, but the C-rank Song Chiyeol understood just how unbelievable this was .
Jinwoo looked over his body .
“Yes, I’m alright . ”
At a glance, everything seemed to be alright . There wasn’t any specific place that was hurting . But as he turned his head, the blood that had pooled beneath his chin dripped to the ground . Jinwoo touched his cheek; the cut that he received during his final attack was bleeding .
“Ah . ”
“I’ll heal it . ”
A blue light gathered in Juhee’s hands, and even that small wound quickly disappeared . The E-rank Hunter had defeated the B-ranker without any major injury . To the two that knew Jinwoo, this was more shocking than the fact that a B-ranker had tried to kill them all .
“Young man, how did you…”
Song Chiyeol could not finish his sentence . Jinwoo knew what he wanted to say, so he opened his mouth instead,
“I’m sorry . I’ll be able to tell you the full story someday, but right now, please don’t ask me any questions . ”
As Jinwoo asked with a stern and sincere voice, Juhee nodded her head . Song Chiyeol hesitated, then nodded as well,
“If you say it like that, I’m sure you have a good reason . I understand . ”
Then, Jinwoo turned his head towards the direction of the boss room . They had hit a bump on the road, but he wanted to complete his original objective . However, he had to send the other two away . He wanted to solo the boss, and there was something he wanted to do without the others watching .
Jinwoo asked Song Chiyeol,
“I’m sure continuing the Raid after all this is too much for the two of you . Why don’t you leave the Dungeon and contact the Association? I’ll stay behind and see if there are other survivors . ”
Song Chiyeol intuitively understood what Jinwoo was asking for .
‘He’s going to close the Gate . ’
“That sounds good, Ms . Juhee, why don’t we leave . ”
Juhee hesitated, then ran over to Jinwoo,
“You didn’t forget our dinner promise, right?”
“Of course not . I still have to get that change . ”
“Then don’t forget . I’ll be waiting outside . ”
Jinwoo nodded, and Juhee, satisfied, left with Song Chiyeol . But even as she walked out of the Dungeon, she repeatedly looked back .
Confirming the two had left, Jinwoo sighed .
“Sigh . . . ”
He had hoped to hide his abilities for a bit longer . But now that there were two more witnesses, he could not delay it much longer .
‘It’s not like I want to threaten Juhee or Song-ssi ahjussi . ’
Killing the B-rank Hunter would be ruled as an act of self-defense . Since he had two witnesses, there would be no problem . The problem was explaining how an E-rank Hunter had defeated a B-rank Hunter .
‘Best explanation is that I went through Reawakening…’
And so, he decided to go with that route . He would claim that he was a Reawakened Hunter and undergo the retest . Nobody would believe the truth about the System or level-ups, and he didn’t particularly want to reveal that detail .
Having determined that he would undergo a retest, Jinwoo felt a slight sense of disappointment .
‘I planned to do it after getting just a bit stronger…’
But sometimes, things just did not go according to plan . There was nothing he could do .
‘Wonder what my new rank will be?’
He felt evenly matched with Kang Taeshik, so perhaps he was a little above B-rank?
Jinwoo had thought that he had become stronger, but the increases in strength from B-rank to S-rank Hunters were beyond his expectations .
‘Well, I’ll worry about that later . ’
Right now, he had to focus on the boss . The D-rank Dungeon had only shown E-rank magic beasts so far, this meant that the magic power that was detected when measuring the Dungeon’s difficulty mostly came from the boss . If that was the case, he could probably earn some experience points still .
‘Before that . ’
There was something he had to check . He focused his energies and expanded the range of his senses .
“Found him . ”
Jinwoo started walking . On the way, he found the corpses of Kim Sangshik and the other Hunter . This was the power of a high-ranking Hunter . If they wanted, it was nothing for them to quickly dispatch a lower-ranking Hunter .
Jinwoo passed the bodies of his former comrades with a hardened expression .
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Solo Leveling Novel Chapter 34
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