Solo Leveling Novel, Chapter 38
Solo Levelingi 38
The Gate that stood behind them was big even for a C-rank Gate . The waiting Hunters approached Jinwoo and Yoo Jinho who got out of their Bongo . None of them were… normal .
Some of them appeared to have trouble moving, others looked like patients, while some even gave off the impression of an alcoholic . There was even an underage girl, whose age would mean that she would not be accepted by the Association or the Guilds; she appeared to be a highschool student .
“Is it okay to bring that one?”
“I went ahead and got some legal counsel . There isn’t any legal reason why she can’t join us . It’s just going to be a big problem if she gets hurt . ”
Jinwoo nodded .
‘That should be alright, then . ’
As the only ones entering the gate would be him and Yoo Jinho, there was no chance that she would get hurt . All that the gathered Hunters would be used for is to fill the minimum headcount to enter the Gate . The other Hunters were well aware of this . Although they had their Hunter licenses, they could not work as Hunters due to various reasons . Having lived an ordinary life because of those reasons, they readily agreed to be recruited as just filler members .
Yoo Jinho stepped forward,
“My name is Yoo Jinho . I will be this Raid’s leader . And this person is Hunter Sung Jinwoo-nim . He’s the only other person who will enter the Dungeon with me . The rest of you can just wait near the Gate until we return . ”
One of the Hunters cautiously raised a hand,
“Er… So if we just wait out here, you’ll pay us three million?”
There was no need for the rest of them to hunt . There wasn’t even a need for them to enter the Dungeon . Yet they would be paid 3 million per Raid . For just filling the headcount for the Association’s records, this was an incredible compensation . But because of the large reward for doing so little, many of the Hunters were cautious .
“Yes, that is the promise . ”
Yoo Jinho gathered strength in his lungs; his eyes became serious .
“There is one condition . You must not speak of what you see here to anyone . There will be a non-disclosure clause attached to your contracts . Upon breaking that contract, you will be required to pay ten times your pay as penalty . ”
The Hunters whispered among themselves . Just what did these two plan to do in the Dungeon that they would offer such a contract? They were curious, but they could not ask any questions . That was also part of the non-disclosure clause .
[“No questions on what’s going to happen in the Dungeon . ”]
Jinwoo wanted to keep his special circumstances secret, while Yoo Jinho wanted to keep his plans to become a Guildmaster secret . As such, they thoroughly planned to maintain the silence of their filler teammates .
Instead of asking the duo questions, the Hunters just whispered among themselves about the situation .
“Wait, could just two people even do anything in a C-rank Dungeon?”
“They don’t seem that strong…”
“If they were good enough to clear a C-rank Gate with just the two of them, why wouldn’t they be working for a large Guild?”
“Yep, you’re right…”
They were all suspicious, but not one of them wanted to back out . The reason was obvious . The conditions were too good . Even Jinwoo had accepted similar conditions for 2 million before . Compared to the Hwang Dongseok incident, they pair had decided to add an additional 1 million to the contract for the non-disclosure clause .
They’ve wasted enough time explaining everything . Looking at the time, Jinwoo approached Yoo Jinho,
“We should get going . ”
“Understood, hyungnim . ”
Yoo Jinho replied politely, then grabbed everyone’s attention with a clap .
“Well, I think we’re done explaining the details . We won’t be forcing anyone to sign . Is there anyone who wants to backout at this point?”
Of course, there was no one who raised their hands . Now, the pair could enter the Gate-
“Ah, hyungnim, one moment . ”
As if remembering something, Yoo Jinho quickly ran to the Bongo . He took something out of the car and started putting it on, then slowly lumbered toward Jinwoo .
“What… are you wearing?”
“It was made by a Craftsmen Guild in Italy . It’s a full set of strong armor, hyungnim . If it’s just going to be us two in the Dungeon, I should prepare at least this much, right?”
Jinwoo facepalmed .
Covered from tip of the head to toes in armor, Yoo Jinho looked like a giant walking piece of metal . Even just looking at him gave off a sense of claustrophobia .
“What’s wrong, hyungnim?”
Unable to take it any longer, Jinwoo walked over and unsheathe the sword at Yoo Jinho’s side and dropped it at his feet .
Yoo Jinho lost his balance trying to pick up the sword and fell flat onto the ground .
Jinwoo held back the rage that was forming inside of him and spoke sternly to the young man,
“I’ll say this once . Go take it off . ”
Yoo Jinho started getting up then spoke,
“Could you please help me up . ”
Jinwoo sighed deeply at Yoo Jinho’s outstretched hand .
“Is this okay, hyungnim?”
“Yeah, that’s fine . ”
In the end, they agreed that Yoo Jinho would at least wear the helmet . The young man entered the Gate with a satisfied expression; Jinwoo wordlessly followed suit .
After the pair entered the Gate, the Hunters approached it one by one and stared . One of them spoke with a worry,
“They didn’t exactly inspire confidence…”
Their words broke the dam of silence of the other Hunters . They all had something they wanted to say .
“What happens if those two just kick it in the Dungeon?”
“Well, we already received the money…”
“Wait, what were their names again?”
“Hmm, it was…”
A man with a cast on one of his legs quickly took out his phone and looked their employers up .
“Yoo Jinho, Sung Jinwoo…”
Whether they were concerned for the man standing up with a crutch or they were curious on what he had found, the other Hunters helped the man stand while looking at his phone .
“What? The Raid leader’s a D-rank?”
The Hunters groaned at this news . The next bit of information surprised them even more .
“And the other one’s an E-ranker!”
“Isn’t is dangerous for an E-ranker to even enter a C-rank Gate?”
“A D-ranker and an E-ranker is going to clear a C-rank Dungeon?”
“Is that possible?”
“Hell, the Raid leader doesn’t even have any prior experiences!”
“Why would someone so young do this?”
To the other Hunters, Jinwoo and Yoo Jinho’s actions were just suicide with extra steps . There was a reason why the Association placed a restriction of a minimum headcount for C-rank Gates: 10 Hunters, with at least half of them being above C-rank .
“Tsk, tsk . ”
A man with greying hair took out a cigarette and placed it in his mouth .
“I tell you, rashness is the death of many youths . ”
A white smoke filled the air .
The Hunters became at a loss for words . Having felt like they’ve assisted in someone else’s suicide, they did not feel good . Even if it was a complete stranger, no one wanted to see, or rather, know that someone was about to die in the Gate in front of them . Not only that, they felt disappointed at the idea that they would not be paid for the remaining 18 Raids . It was regrettable, but there was no way those two men would be coming back alive .
“Should… should we call the Association?”
“No, what if we get blamed during the investigation?”
At that time, the Gate rippled, and Jinwoo and Yoo Jinho came out of the Dungeon .
“pant, pant, pant . ”
Yoo Jinho was taking vigorous breaths . The two men’s faces were filled with exhaustion .
“They escaped safely!”
“Thank goodness . ”
The Hunters greeted the pair with welcome . Because of the short time they were in the Dungeon, the Hunters had thought that the pair wandered aimlessly at the entrance and managed to run away . But suddenly, the Hunters’ expressions started changing . Someone shouted,
“Th-the Gate! The Gate is closing!”
They all turned towards the Gate .
“They-they took down the boss?!”
As it always would when the boss was taken down, the Gate was rippling and blurring, signaling its closing . While the Hunters opened their mouths wide in surprise, Jinwoo quietly slipped away from them and asked Yoo Jinho,
“Where’s the next one?”
“It’s about an hour drive from here, hyungnim . ”
“Let’s go . ”
Jinwoo and Yoo Jinho got in the Bongo . The Hunters were watching their backs with dumbfounded expressions . Realizing the other Hunters were not moving, Yoo Jinho shouted after them,
“Let’s go please, Hunter-nims . We have to cover two more Gates today . ”
The other Hunters’ mouths opened even wider . The middle-aged Hunter with the greying hair didn’t even realize his cigarette had fallen out of his open mouth .
‘They just smashed a C-rank Dungeon and they’re going on another Raid?’
He wasn’t the only one with the thought . All the other Hunters were thinking something similar .
‘Just what are those two?’
Day 1 .
The zombie horde approached .
“Hyungnim, here they come!”
“Alright . ”
Jinwoo smoothly slipped through the approaching zombies . As he passed them, the heads of zombies fell onto the ground . Their numbers diminished quickly .
One left .
As Jinwoo stabbed its chest with the dagger, the familiar electronic tone rang .
You’ve leveled up!
Watching from the rear, Yoo Jinho clapped rapidly in awe .
“Hyungnim! You look so cool!”
“The magic cores . ”
“Ah, right . ”
Yoo Jinho quickly started to gather the magic cores into his bag . Meanwhile, the electronic tone that only Jinwoo could hear continued after the level-up message .
You’ve learned ‘Advanced Dagger Proficiency’ (Lv . 1)
You’ve learned ‘Vital Stab’ (Lv . 1)
‘Sprint’ has leveled up!
Jinwoo’s expression became bright .
How long has it been? Jinwoo immediately opened his skill screen with joy .
Skills Passive Skills -(Unknown) (Lv . Max) -Unyielding Spirit (Lv . 1) -Advanced Dagger Proficiency (Lv . 1) Active Skills -Sprint (Lv . 2) -Bloodlust (Lv . 1) -Stealth (Lv . 1) -Vital Stab (Lv . 1)
Having used it so often, ‘Sprint’ had leveled up to level 2 . And he gained a passive skill and an active skill, ‘Advanced Dagger Proficiency’ and ‘Vital Stab’ . 
: “Advanced Dagger Proficiency” (상급 단검술): “high level” 상급 + “dagger” 단검 + “arts/skill” “술” . Took a video game approach and decided to call it “Advanced Dagger Proficiency” .
“Vital Stab” (급소 찌르기): “vital point/pressure point” 급소 + “stabbing” 찌르기 . Condensed to “Vital Stab”
: Heheh, in the original Korean, there is actually a mistake here . The author forgot to put ‘Stealth’ in the skill listing . I added it in .
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Solo Leveling Novel Chapter 38
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