Solo Leveling Novel, Chapter 6
Solo Levelingi 6
Jinwoo’s shout reached all the Hunters’ ears .
Hope returned to their eyes . Unlike the time where Jinwoo asked them to bow, the Hunters this time did not hesitate to respond . Of course, if Jinwoo was wrong on his guess, they would be massacred when they approached the statues . But in this moment, there was not one Hunter who remained suspicious of Jinwoo’s directions .
Mr . Song was the first to arrive at a statue holding an instrument .
Holding his breath, Mr . Song slowly looked up at the statue . As if responding, the statue’s fingers moved, and it started playing the harp in its hands .
It was a beautiful sound .
“He was right!”
“Move to the statues with instruments!”
Each Hunter, with renewed hope, ran towards the various statues holding instruments .
Trumpets, flutes, lyres . Soon, the harmonious melody of different instruments filled the entire temple .
Mr . Kim, who had been running until his breath ran out, collapsed and knelt before a statue holding a mandolin .
As the mandolin’s melody rang through the air, the Statue of God that was chasing Mr . Kim slowed to a stop . Unable to hold his emotions back, Mr . Kim burst into tears where he knelt .
And the Statue of God turned away from him . Scanning the rest of the temple, it found its new target .
Meeting its eyes, Jinwoo cursed . And he started running, his heart beating like it was about to explode . His sweating back was soaked .
‘Why! Why is this one not playing?!’
Jinwoo glared at the statue he had arrived at with resentment . Holding drums in its hands, its silent figure made no indication that it would play its instrument .
With terrifying speed, the Statue of God closed the gap between them . As the Statue, which had been at the opposite end of the room only moments ago, neared them, Jinwoo gulped .
‘Is it because Juhee and I are both here at the same time?’
That must’ve been the answer . As he looked around, no other Hunter had trouble with their statues .
‘I don’t have time to think about this,’
He put down Juhee and prepared to run to a different spot .
A terrified Juhee held onto his sleeves . Jinwoo calmly whispered into her ears,
“We’ll both die if I stay . ”
As he saw tears forming at the corners of her eyes, Jinwoo knew that there was no time to explain . He gently pulled away her shaking hands from his sleeves, then ran with all his might towards another statue .
*Ba-Bum* *Ba-Bum* *Ba-Bum*
He heard the beat of the drum starting from behind him as he ran .
‘Thank god . ’
There was only one thing left . To safely make it to another statue!
Jinwoo was now the only one who had not made it to the protection of statues holding instruments . Accordingly, the complete rage of the Statue of God was now focused solely on him . Jinwoo ran away from the crashing footsteps of his chaser and sped across the room .
As he barely dodged and rolled away from the Statue’s stomps, his panting became heavier and heavier . Although he was the lowest of the E-rank Hunters, as a Fighter-class Hunter, his body offered what little help it could in this situation .
‘Just a little bit more!’
Taking notice of the Statue of God’s footsteps closing in on him, he focused and strengthened his legs . His speed increased . There was but a few steps until he reached his target statue .
“NO, NOT THAT WAY!”
Mr . Song had shouted at him .
Having focused on the Statue of God’s movements until now, Jinwoo turned his attention to the statue he had arrived at .
‘It’s not holding an instrument!’
He now realized what appeared to be an instrument in the statue’s hands was actually a shield . Without mercy, the statue raised and brought down the shield in its hands .
Jinwoo threw his body to the side .
Juhee screamed .
As he rolled across on the floor, he looked up . The Statue of God was almost upon him .
“Out of the frying pan…”
His tumble on the ground had opened a cut on his forehead . Blood flowed down to his eyes, obscuring his vision . Jinwoo rapidly looked left and right .
But no instrument registered in his eyes .
The Statue of God raised its foot .
Jinwoo barely evaded the stomp by throwing his body to the side . But he was reaching his limits . Feeling faint, he found it hard to maintain balance for some reason .
If there was a God, he wanted to pray to it . In that moment, Jinwoo noticed a statue that was neither holding a weapon nor an instrument .
He crawled with last vestiges of his strength, placing his hopes on the statue . With a final twist of his body, he threw himself at the feet of the statue with a book in its hands . Facing the Statue of God that was heading toward him, he realized he had no strength left to move . Panting heavily, he looked at the face of the Statue of God . As if made worse by his persistent resistance, the anger in the face that looked down upon Jinwoo was greatly magnified .
It stopped before Jinwoo .
Faced with a giant as tall as a building, Jinwoo struggled to breathe .
‘Guess I’m a cornered rat…’
The Statue of God simply continued to stare .
‘This is the end…’
Certain of his impending doom, Jinwoo saw his death in the eyes that were looking down at him .
In that moment, he heard a beautiful and melodious singing coming from behind him . With effort, he turned and looked at its source . The statue that he was resting on was now singing with a holy voice; its sound echoing throughout the temple . Looking back, Jinwoo saw the Statue of God’s face starting to relax . The traces of its demonic rage disappeared as the Statue’s face returned to its original emotionless visage .
As the statues’ music ended, the Statue of God turned and returned to its seat, appearing as if nothing had happened .
The sound of the giant sitting down rang throughout the temple .
“Hah . . . Hah . . . Are… we… safe…?”
Jinwoo faintly smiled through his heavy breaths .
Juhee quickly ran to him,
Having reached him after running with all her might, Juhee collapsed next to him in tears .
“Oh my god… oh my god…”
She used all the mana at her disposal and tried every healing magic she knew . But it had no effect .
One by one, the scattered Hunters gathered before Jinwoo . Their expressions equally dark .
“Oh no… Jinwoo . . . ”
Amidst their pitying looks and words, Juhee cried without ceasing .
‘Why are they looking at me like that?‘
Jinwoo wanted to ask, but he lacked the energy to speak . So, he tried to gather his strength and stand up .
A pool of blood had gathered where he was sitting . Jinwoo finally was able to understand the situation he was in .
His right leg had disappeared below the knees .
He looked across the room to the statue holding a shield . The base of the shield was covered in blood .
His missing leg below it .
He turned and saw blood dripping down from Juhee’s nose . Her body had reached its limits . A B-rank Hunter’s healing was insufficient for the regeneration of a body part . Yet she continued, her efforts like collecting water with a broken pitcher . And as she continued, both her mana and vitality quickly decreased .
“It’s okay, Juhee . You can stop now…”
“No! I can heal this! I’ll heal you!”
The Hunters watched the pair with pity .
Of the 17 that had entered, only 6 remained .
Of the 6 remaining, 2 had received a seriously injury .
Mr . Song and his arm, and now Jinwoo with his leg .
Although their lives were saved, no one could put on a smile .
Suddenly, a thundering noise rang throughout the temple .
At its center, the ground with the magic circle inscribed upon it started rising, forming an platform .
Jinwoo realized the final trial had arrived .
‘Prove your Faith…’
He had already been contemplating its meaning .
-5 . The Final Trial-
The rising ground stopped at waist height .
Jinwoo absent-mindedly spoke to himself .
‘Did he just say an altar?’
The man who had saved their lives not once but twice; Jinwoo was not a high leveled Awakened Being, but a lowly E-rank Hunter that they looked down on in the past .
‘If it wasn’t for Mr . Sung, we would be…’
The Hunters’ thoughts were in union . Jinwoo’s words up until now were a lifeline to them . And now this man had uttered the words, “altar” . The quick-witted Mr . Kim was the first to speak,
“I think I understand . ”
He unsheathed the sword at his waist . Normally a weapon to be used in slaying magic beasts, its purpose this time was different .
“Even an idiot like me can understand what you mean by ‘altar’ . ”
The Hunters looked at Mr . Kim’s drawn sword, gleaming with sharpness, and gulped .
“Hey, Mr . Kim! Why are you taking that out now?”
“Let’s talk about this, talk!”
Mr . Song’s C-rank was the highest in the party . With him out of commission, there was no one else in the party would could match Mr . Kim, whose skill shone even amongst the other D-rankers .
Mr . Kim pointed his sword at the altar .
“The last Commandment was, ‘Prove your Faith’, and now this altar appeared in the middle of the room . ”
Mr . Kim’s gaze shifted to Jinwoo,
“We have to sacrifice someone at the altar, right, Mr . Sung?”
Jinwoo nodded . It was his guess as well . One of the living 6 had to become a sacrifice .
‘That’s probably the last rule…’
As he raised his head, he saw Mr . Kim approaching him with a strange look in his eyes . A streak of sweat fell down the side of Jinwoo’s head .
“Ahjussi… what are you going to-”
“Just sit there quietly!”
Mr . Kim pointed his sword at Mr . Song, who had been sitting next to Jinwoo looking over his injuries .
“Who is the one who dragged us all here? It’s Mr . Song right here! Then shouldn’t he be the one to pay the price for all this?!”
Jinwoo yelled and tried to get up, but Mr . Song’s hands stopped him . Jinwoo turned and look at the man .
“ . . . ”
Mr . Song shook his head without a word . His eyes begged Jinwoo to stay quiet . Jinwoo wanted to say something, but swallowed his words . Mr . Song slowly got up .
“Mr . Kim is right . I have to take responsibility . ”
“Then we’re in agreement, old man . ”
Mr . Kim gestured towards the altar with his sword .
“If you’re in, then let’s hurry up . 11 people died because of you . ”
: “Awakening Being” (각성자; gak-sung-ja): “to awaken” gak-sung + “person” ja > a person who had underwent Awakening . All Hunters are Awakened Beings . Not all Awakened Beings work as Hunters .
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Solo Leveling Novel Chapter 6
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