Solo Leveling Novel, Chapter 75
Solo Levelingi 75
‘The upper floors are a different level . ’
Jinwoo recalled the first and only boss of the Demon Castle he had fought, the Overlord of the Lower Floors, Volkhan of Avarice . The bastard’s title was the “Overlord of the Lower Floors” . After going above the 50th Floor where the demon was, the difficulty of each floor increased rapidly . Before, he was able to climb 10 floors a day, 20 on a good one . Now, he was barely able to clear 7~8 floors a day .
Jinwoo was currently on the 74th Floor . The normal mobs here were the top-level demons and occasionally archdemons . They were in a different class than the demons from the lower floors .
A top-level demon size of a two story building fell with a tanto sticking out of its chest .
You’ve defeated a Top-level Demon . You’ve earned 1,700 experience points . You’ve earned 1 Demon Soul .
Jinwoo removed Baruka’s Tanto from the fallen demon’s chest . It was the last enemy of the latest group . Another battle was won . The victorious Shadow Soldiers all gathered before Jinwoo . He looked over his army . It was impossible for the undead army, but Jinwoo swore his soldiers actually looked tired . That was how tough the monsters were on the upper floors . Thankfully, an archdemon was not involved in the battle just now, so it was relatively easier than the others .
‘Each of those damned things are boss-class . ’
This was not a conclusion made idly . The description of the Marble of Avarice indicated that Volkhan himself was an archdemon . While Volkhan may have been the boss of the lower floors, the archdemons were just normal monsters on the upper floors . After the 70th Floor, they started appearing more and more commonly .
‘If it was just the monsters getting stronger, I can manage it…’
But there was a bigger problem . It was the change in the environment in the upper floors . Starting with the 51st Floor, the city was on fire . The fires became stronger with each floor . After the 70th Floor, the heat became strong enough to shave away at his health . Just moving his body a little bit increased his fatigue greatly .
Not a “Demon Castle” but a “Tower on Fire” . That feeling he had before entering the place was on the mark .
‘ . . . Let’s leave . ’
He would end his Raid here . He needed a way to deal with the heat of the flames .
‘I need to obtain an artifact that can increase my resistance against fire-type magic . ’
The equipment used by high-ranking Hunters were incredibly expensive . On top of that, if they were enchanted with protective magic, it would be doubly so . He recalled seeing on the news that the some of the more expensive items cost tens of billions of won . While he had earned quite a bit of real money while raiding with Yoo Jinho, Jinwoo wasn’t sure if it would be enough to buy the artifacts he needed . So he needed an insurance,
‘This should be good enough . ’
Jinwoo looked at the Marble of Avarice in his inventory and smiled . Any Mage-class Hunter would drool at the sight of such an item . What would happen if he put the marble up for auction? If its effects were proven, the high-ranking Mage-Class Hunters would line-up at the door . Jinwoo closed the inventory .
His goal in this Dungeon was to level-up . He had achieved that goal wonderfully . He did not feel any shame in putting off the Raid for the future . However, one thing lingered in his mind . He raised his head .
Collected Demon Souls: 9,624 / 10,000
‘Only 400 souls go to . ’
Just a little more, and he could finish the quest . Today was the 6th day . One more day would be more than enough to collect the remaining souls . A silver lining of the upper floors was the existence of demons that gave multiple souls . 400 could be collected in a flash .
‘Let’s leave after finishing the quest . ’
With that determination, Jinwoo headed forward . Because he had a solid goal in mind, there was more strength in his steps .
Floors 1 through 74 are open . Which floor would you like to go to?
In the middle of the magic circle, Jinwoo spoke,
“75th Floor . ”
What was this unexpected boon?
Jinwoo stared at the monster guarding the interfloor movement magic circle in the distance .
‘The Guide of Souls, Metus’ 
Looking at the name, it was clear that it was a boss-class monster . The monster was clad in a black robe, wearing a silver necklace .
‘And that must be the Monarch of Demons’ Necklace . ’
In his path to just complete the quest and leave, he had unexpectedly come across the next piece of the set items . However, the reason why Jinwoo was smiling was not because of the item . No matter how good the drops were, you couldn’t obtain them if you couldn’t kill the monster . Jinwoo smiled as he realized there was something critically different about this monster that would help him kill it . The Hunter held his two daggers in his hands and ran forward . The skeleton mage clad in black robes discovered him .
The Guide of Souls, Metus has noticed an intruder!
As expected of a boss-class monster, Metus completed its spell in an instant . A blood-red magic circle appeared at its feet and a gloomy energy gathered around it .
The Guide of Souls, Metus has used ‘Cursed Voice’ .
Receiving Metus’s calling, an undead army rose from the ground .
Their numbers were in the thousands!
A normal person would’ve suffocated just looking at this terrifying army, but Jinwoo was not phased in any capacity .
‘As I thought…’
He had predicted this . Out of the entire Demon Castle, this was the first place he saw that familiar black smoke rising from the ground . Looking at the strange phenomenon, it was easy for Jinwoo to tell what kind of a monster Metus was .
‘The Guide of Souls . ’
The boss’s title only added onto his suspicions .
And as expected, Metus had called forth a powerful undead army . However, in that area of expertise, Jinwoo had the strongest class .
With a piercing scream of pain, soldiers rose from the shadows of Metus’s undead army .
Their numbers were in the hundreds! 
It was a greatly lacking to Metus’ army, but it was more than enough . The ones doing the job would be his real army .
“Make me a path!”
And here was the real army . The pitch-black soldiers rising out of Jinwoo’s shadow . The hundreds of soldiers made from Shadow Extraction distracted Metus’s army . Meanwhile, the members of Jinwoo’s real army, having leveled up together with their master while clearing the Demon Castle, cleared a path for Jinwoo .
There was only one target!
Ygritte and Iron took the vanguard and cut down the undead with an incredible speed . The distance between Jinwoo and Metus had shortened in an instant .
‘This is good enough . ’
Jinwoo ran ahead of his knights .
‘Sprint’ has leveled up!
Having used it to run all over the Demon Castle, ‘Sprint’ leveled up .
‘Good . ’
Jinwoo smiled widely . Having escaped the encirclement of the undead army in a flash, Jinwoo stood before Metus . The two commanders of the undead met each other’s gazes .
‘Didn’t expect this, did you?’
While the light of victory filled Jinwoo’s eyes, Metus’s shoulders jumped at the sight of Jinwoo . At least, that’s what it looked like .
‘Do monsters feel fear?’
Well, this was not a moment to think of such things . The flashing daggers moved with such speed that they created dozens of afterimages .
The boss-class monster fell without a fight . Jinwoo knew through his experiences that mage-class monsters that commanded minions were incredibly weak at one-on-one combat . He knew this from the moment he laid eyes on Metus . The Hunter returned his weapons to the inventory .
You’ve defeated the Guide of Souls, Metus . You’ve earned 200,000 experience points . The Demon Souls sealed in Metus’ pendant were released . You’ve earned 220 Demon Souls .
You’ve leveled up!
You’ve leveled up!
Jinwoo pumped his fist in victory . He had earned 220 souls in one go . It was truly an unexpected boon .
Collected Demon Souls: 9,971 / 10,000
A smile bloomed on Jinwoo’s face .
‘Not many left now . ’
Just 29 souls to go . He just needed to kill a few more demons . Jinwoo quickly grabbed the items off of the boss’s corpse and moved to the magic circle .
Which floor would you like to go to?
“76th Floor . ”
Eastern Seaboard, United States .
A sleeping man struggled like he was in a nightmare, then awoke with a start . It was Hwang Dongsoo .
‘ . . . ?’
The first thing he saw was the white ceiling . In an unfamiliar environment, the man looked left and right .
Was it not a dream?
When Hwang Dongsoo wiped away a streak of sweat beneath his chin with the back of his hand, he discovered something . On top of the hospital gown, an IV needle was stuck to his hand . The man’s face hardened . A cold voice came out of his mouth,
“Just say what you’re here for and go . ”
The Deputy Director of the Federal Bureau of Hunters (FBH) stood across the room . He was a middle-aged american with more whites in his hair than black . The man slowly approached Hwang Dongsoo .
“I had something I wanted to ask you, so I was waiting here . ”
What did he want to ask? Hwang Dongsoo raised his head . The deputy director met his gaze and spoke,
“That man, Sung Ilhwan… Are you really sure he’s a magic beast?”
“Do you think I attacked an ordinary person?”
“It’s not that I don’t believe you . I just wanted to confirm what I saw with my eyes . ”
The deputy director handed the Hunter his phone . A video was playing .
“What is this…?”
“It’s a security footage from that day . ”
In the video, an asian man was rescuing FBH employees from the collapsing building . Hwang Dongsoo did not need to ask who the man was . How could he forget? It was the last face he saw before losing consciousness, Sung Ilhwan . The deputy director continued with a darkened expression,
“I’ve… never heard of a magic beast that helped humans . Are you still certain that that man is a magic beast?”
“ . . . He’s most certainly a magic beast . ”
“Is that so . ”
The deputy director put away his phone,
“Once you’re discharged, come to the FBH, there are few things we need to put on record . ”
As the deputy director turned around to leave, Hwang Dongsoo asked,
“What happened to that man?”
“He disappeared after fighting you . While the bureau’s working hard to track him down, we’re not sure if we can get someone who was able to defeat you…”
Before leaving, the deputy director asked one more question with difficulty,
“Do you… by any chance know of a place he might go to?”
“ . . . ”
Watching the Hunter close his mouth with a finality, the deputy director headed out of the hospital room . The moment the man left, Hwang Dongsoo ripped out the IV needle from his arm .
Hwang Dongsoo combed through his memories .
It was a humiliating defeat .
Before he realized what was happening, Sung Ilhwan’s foot was on his neck . He was sprawled out on the floor like a weakling . While he was coughing, Sung Ilhwan spoke to him,
“Do not take a step into Korea . This is for your benefit, not my son’s . If you do, you will not be able to rest even in death . ”
And he couldn’t remember anything after that . When he had opened his eyes, he was here .
‘I won’t be able to rest even in death?’
What did that mean? Was it a threat that he would be viciously killed?
‘You dare… threaten me?’
Hwang Dongsoo’s fists trembled . It was humiliating enough that he lost to a magic beast, but to think that he would be further disgraced by a threat .
‘I know where he’s going . ’
He will kill that thing .
But how? Whether or not he truly was a magic beast, Sung Ilhwan was undeniably strong .
‘I need a proper gear to take him down . ’
Fortunately, it would be easy to obtain such gear .
‘I’ll call the Guild . ’
The Guild Hwang Dongsoo belonged to, Scavenger, was one of the top Guilds across the entire world . Just the value of the artifacts owned by Scavenger was greater than a small country’s budget .
‘It won’t be a problem as long as I can borrow few artifacts . ’ 
Hwang Dongsoo’s eyes flickered with a powerful light .
To Korea .
The man decided on his next objective .
You’ve defeated an Archdemon . You’ve earned 2,200 experience points . You’ve earned 1 Demon Soul . You’ve earned 3 Demon Souls from the Archdemon’s slaves .
‘I’M ALL DONE!’
Jinwoo could not hide his joy . Luckily, the last monster he took down gave him four souls, just the amount needed to complete the quest .
Collected Demon Souls: 10,001
You’ve completed the ‘Ordinary Quest: Collect the Demon Souls! Part 1’ The reward for completing the quest has arrived . Would you like to verify? (Y/N)
With his mental reply, the rewards appeared .
You’ve received the below rewards . Reward 1 . Pick one item from every item possible Reward 2 . Stat points +20 Reward 3 . Unknown Reward Accept all?
Of course, every reward was amazing, but Jinwoo was most interested in the first reward . It would’ve been worth it to complete the quest just for that reward .
‘Accept Reward 1 . ’
You may pick one item from every item possible . Which item do you want?
An item I want .
There was one .
It was an item Jinwoo had thought about ever since he saw the quest . He took his memories back to the day he had to make a similar decision . What would’ve happened if he picked the other item? The possibility had plagued his mind ever since that time . He wasn’t sure if that item was even a possibility here but decided to try .
You may pick one item from every item possible . Which item do you want?
As if pressuring him, the System asked again . Jinwoo spoke after some thought,
“Cursed Random Box . ”
: “Guide of Souls, Metus” (망령의 인도자 메투스): pretty straightforward . “souls/spirits” 망령 + “guide” 인도자 + proper name (meh 메 too 투 ss 스) .
: “Their numbers were in the hundreds!”: I know he gained a ton of levels (and intelligence points correspondingly), but I didn’t expect his Shadow Extraction limit to increase by this much… Nothing else in the passage indicates that this is some special occurrence . Not sure if it’s plot-hole or rule-of-cool, but Jinwoo apparently can raise hundreds of soldiers through Shadow Extraction now . Shrug . OR, since all the other stats are weighted (i . e . gaining 1 point from 100 to 101 strength gives far more benefit than going from 10 to 11), maybe intelligence is the same (i . e . gaining 1 point from 109 to 110 gives far more Shadow limits than going from 50 to 51) .
: Just a small reminder all the way back from the first arc, but “artifacts” are what people call magic items (tools/equipment/gear) from Dungeons .
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Solo Leveling Novel Chapter 75
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