Solo Leveling Novel, Chapter 96
Solo Levelingi 96
10 Minutes Ago . In front of the Hunter Association .
Since his plans to pull up the ranking test went kaput, Lee Minsung decided to say something with an impact in panic,
“I, Lee Minsung, regardless of my rank, will retire from being a celebrity and work as a Hunter for the people!”
At the mood that was downed after the appearance of Go Gunhee, this was the actor’s last ditch effort to improve his image . Thankfully, it worked .
“Lee Minsung is going to retire?”
“Regardless of his rank?”
The mood was raised again in an instant .
flash flash flash!
A multitude of cameras turned toward Lee Minsung, and the excited reporters launched a barrage of questions .
“Lee Minsung-ssi, over here!”
“Are you saying you could throw away the title of Asia’s Top Star and become a low-ranking Hunter?!”
“Are you going to throw away everything you’ve earned as an actor?!”
Lee Minsung was greatly satisfied by the attention focused on him again .
“No matter what my results are, even if I receive a low-rank, I will respond to everyone’s love and fight with the magic beasts . ”
Of course, it was a blatant lie .
Just two years . He planned to “work” as an A-rank Hunter with a high salary for just two years and help with Grim Reaper’s marketing . He was already starting to receive negative attention for dodging the military draft with the help of his father, and it didn’t help that scandalous truths were slowly coming out here and there about him . This was the best way to suppress those negative truths and raise his image again .
Walking away from the top to protect the people with his life! It was an opportunity to obtain a shield from negative rumors for the rest of his life . As if satisfied that everything was going his way, Lee Minsung happily continued the interview with the reporters,
“And here is Grim Reaper’s Guildmaster, Lim Taegyu . He is the man who will help me in my service for the country . ”
It was when the reporters were all perked up and focusing on Lee Minsung’s words,
ring~ ring~ ring~
A cell phone went off .
The reporters glanced at each other . The owner of the phone quickly turned his phone off and lowered his head in embarrassment . The noise briefly halted the moment, but Lee Minsung ignored it and continued,
beep beep beep
Someone else’s phone went off .
“Whose phone is it?”
“Shouldn’t your phone be off in an interview?”
“Whoever it is, please turn it off . ”
Seeing an opportunity to show off his “kind” demeanor, Lee Minsung smiled and spoke,
“I’m alright . Why don’t everyone just take a quick call?”
At his quick wit, laughter rang out here and there from the reporters .
But this was only the beginning .
vibrate vibrate ring ring ring beep beep ring ring
Suddenly, phones started ringing, vibrating and beeping left and right .
“Huh? Me too?”
Even the first reporter who quickly turned his phone off realized something was wrong .
The reporters who actually answered their calls opened their eyes wide in shock,
“A news from the Association?”
“Why are you telling me this only now?!”
With haste, the reporters quickly accessed the Association website from their phones . As if prepared beforehand, the front page was decorated with a new posting .
It was the new S-rank Hunter’s picture and name .
The testing results were announced today .
‘But didn’t they say the testing room was booked up in the morning?’
‘Wasn’t it because of Lee Minsung?’
‘Then the reason why the testing room was booked up was not because of Lee Minsung but this new S-rank Hunter?’
And with that, a face of a man flashed across the reporters’ minds .
Could it be?!
The man who just followed Association President Go Gunhee into the building!
The only other candidate who could’ve used the testing room today was that man . If they hurried now, they could get a glimpse of him!
With face like a predator eyeing a prey, the reporters ignored Lee Minsung and ran towards the Association building .
Woo Jincheol quickly gave a signal, and the HSD Hunters held out their arms and made a barricade .
“Let us go in!”
“You said there’s a new S-ranker! Shouldn’t you let us know these kinds of things ahead of time?!”
“Please let us in!”
The reporters fiercely tried to get through, but the ordinary men could not do anything against the wall made by Awakened Beings .
“W-what the hell?!”
Having being left behind like garbage, Lee Minsung looked at his manager with a flustered expression . The manager quickly held up his cell phone .
The color left Lee Minsung’s face .
“Of all the days, an S-rank appeared today?!”
He had become an A-rank Hunter . He was going to grab the attention and love of the entire nation today . To think that his plans would be destroyed by an appearance of a new S-ranker . Lee Minsung shook his head in disbelief .
‘No, there must be some mistake . ’
S-rank was not some casual thing that happened everyday . Perhaps one of the reporters would know . With a good timing, Lee Minsung noticed a reporter going up the stairs a little later than everyone else had . It was the same reporter who was discussing tomorrow’s headlines with him .
“Hey, Reporter Lim!”
Even at the pleading voice of Lee Minsung, the reporter hastily replied and ran past,
“Oh, Lee Minsung-ssi, I’ll talk to you later . ”
“Huh? Reporter Lim, Reporter Lim!”
As the man disappeared off into the distance, Lee Minsung was able to overhear the reporter’s words speaking into the phone,
“…Yes, tomorrow’s headline, ‘The tears of E-rank, washed away by S-rank . ’ Yes, put that up there right now . ”
With the strength gone from his eyes, Lee Minsung looked around him .
There was no one remaining .
The actor collapsed onto the ground .
“What… the hell…”
While the man uttered in disbelief, the Association’s doors opened and South Korea’s 10th S-rank Hunter showed his face .
flash flash flash flash flash click flash click click flash flash flash flash!
Jinwoo opened his eyes wide .
‘What… the hell…?’
The cameras took nonstop pictures of the S-rank Hunter . Jinwoo’s face filled the entire image . At his back was Baek Yoonho, who looked a little apologetic, and at his side was Choi Jongin, who was smiling widely .
Lunch Time .
The mining team who had completed their morning work were comfortably sitting around here and there, eating their lunch . Even though they were just miners, since the job had never resulted in any accidents or issues, their moods were carefree and happy . There were Hunters that filled their plates with food, Hunters spending free time on their phones, and Hunters who even enjoyed a drink during the day with snacks .
A Hunter that was on his phone suddenly shot up in surprise .
“Isn’t this Sung-ssi?”
Lee Sunggu’s ears perked up .
“Sung-ssi’s on the news!”
His hearing was not off,
“I knew it!”
His face slightly red from the day drinking, Lee Sunggu quickly ran over to where his teammates were gathered . His mouth did not stop talking on the way,
“I knew it from the moment I saw that fucker’s eyes! Let me see! What crime that evil-looking shitbag commit! Let me see!”
Was it because Lee Sunggu’s voice was too loud?
“Sung-ssi committed a crime?”
Including Team Leader Bae, all the Hunters of the mining team gathered around . The Hunter who was on his phone held out his screen for all to see . Jinwoo’s face was on it, and below his face, a caption:
[…Following Hwang Dongseok, then Cha Haein, South Korea’s 10th S-rank Hunter, Sung Jinwoo-ssi just…]
Lee Sunggu fainted .
Yoojin Construction’s Chairman Room .
In front of the door, Yoo Jinho sighed lightly,
Across the open doors, his father did not even look up from the documents he was looking at .
“Come in . ”
Even as he invited his son in, Yoo Myunghan continued to sign documents here and there . Yoo Jinho went up to his father . The man quickly looked at his son’s face then went back to his documents .
‘He hasn’t changed, this father of mine . ’
In the past, Yoo Jinho would’ve been suppressed his father’s presence and probably ran off without saying what he came to say . But the young man had changed .
“There’s something I have to say . ”
“Is it about Hunter Sung Jinwoo?”
“Yes, sir . ”
Yoo Myunghan finally raised his head,
“So, how did it-”
Suddenly, Yoo Myunghan’s phone rang .
“Hold on . ”
Yoo Myunghan held up a hand to silence Yoo Jinho . Looking at the message on his phone, the chairman’s eyes slightly widened .
‘Whoa, to think that father could actually be surprised by something . ’
Yoo Jinho tilted his head .
“…There is something you need to see . ”
Instead of explaining, Yoo Myunghan quickly worked his remote to turned on the large TV on the wall . The news came on,
[Yes, we’ve just received confirmation . The S-rank Hunter revealed today is a Reawakened Being . We’ve heard further reports that he had worked as an E-rank Hunter under the Association . His name is Sung Jinwoo . ]
The elated voice of the reporter gave clear indication of what the mood was like in the media . Yoo Jinho was listening calmly until the name “Sung Jinwoo” was spoken . The young man nearly jumped out of his skin,
The image on the screen changed . A very, very familiar face was looking around the scenery with an expressionless face .
It was hyungnim .
‘I know that expression . Hyungnim’s annoyed right now . ’
Having spent a long time next to hyungnim, Yoo Jinho was able to read his mood even when the man was expressionless like now .
Wait, forget that, an S-rank?!
He had always held a high opinion of hyungnim, but Yoo Jinho realized just how much greater the man was . At the same time,
‘He had that much power, but he still trained in Dungeons every day?’
The respect and awe overwhelmed Yoo Jinho . As the TV’s reports continued to speak Jinwoo’s name, a powerful sense of pride filled the young man who had watched Jinwoo until now .
The TV turned off and hyungnim’s face disappeared . Yoo Jinho looked disappointed .
“Continue . ”
His father had bid him to say what he came to say . Yoo Jinho lowered his head and spoke the words he had prepared,
“I apologize, father . I could not convince hyungnim . ”
Yoo Myunghan’s face darkened,
“…So, what did Hunter Sung Jinwoo say when he refused?”
Hesitating a little, Yoo Jinho raised his head a bit and continued,
“…He said he’ll make his own Guild . And if I want to be the Deputy Guildmaster, come on over…”
He had expected his father to become angry . Instead, the man’s face froze for a split second .
And then .
Yoo Myunghan silently laughed . The man known as “Pokerface” showed a change of expression in front of his son .
‘Why is he…?’
Yoo Jinho did not dare to ask the reason . Yoo Myunghan stifled his laughter and asked,
“Do you know why I wanted to make Yoojin’s own Guild?”
“Isn’t it because Hunter-related businesses have a lot of money involved…?”
“That is not it . ”
Yoo Myunghan firmly spoke,
“If it is money, we have more than enough to last a dozen generations . You think I would start a competition with the large Guilds to just earn a little more on top of that?”
It wasn’t because of money? Yoo Jinho stared with round eyes .
Yoo Myunghan placed the pen that he was holding quietly on top of his desk .
“It is for our protection . ”
As his father’s serious gaze, Yoo Jinho gulped .
“The powers of the Hunters are rising every day . There are even those whose strength matches the might of nations . ”
The appropriately called “Nation-level Hunters”, the strongest beings in the world . Yoo Myunghan was speaking of such existences .
“Even now, there are Hunters that rule as kings in third world countries . In a world like this, how long do you think society’s laws and authority could protect us?”
Yoo Myunghan’s voice was heavy . However, listening to his father’s explanation, Yoo Jinho realized he was strangely happy . Why was this?
The young man realized he was included in the “us” that his father spoke of . It felt like the first time in his life that he had received his father’s love; the young man couldn’t help but feel a small joy . Yoo Myunghan’s explanation continued,
“I want to raise a Guild and collect honorable and dependable Hunters . Not for money or connections, but to place Hunters that we can trust as human beings around us . ”
A faint smile appeared on the chairman’s face again,
“It seems… You have already found such a man . ”
“Yes . ”
Yoo Jinho replied without a hesitation . He could not fully understand the type of man his father spoke of, but he knew from the bottom of his heart that his hyungnim was someone he could trust and depend on .
Yoo Myunghan nodded,
“Very well . ”
“You have passed . ”
Passed what? Yoo Jinho raised his head .
“I will leave Yoojin Guild to you . ”
“Take care of and raise Yoojin Guild . Bring trustworthy, dependable and strong Hunters to your side . They will be treasures more valuable than any money in the future . ”
Yoo Myunghan spoke with a voice filled with confidence . Hearing that confidence in him, his son was greatly elated . This might’ve been the first time in his life that he was acknowledge by his father,
“Thank you, father!”
With a bright smile, Yoo Jinho bowed his body in a 90-degree angle . Yoo Myunghan looked at him with pride .
However, the words Yoo Jinho spoke next snapped the chairman out of his joy,
“But I don’t think I can do that . ”
Yoo Myunghan’s brows twitched . With the backing of Yoojin Construction’s assets, Yoojin Guild had the potential to become one of the top Guilds of the nation . The company was already in contact with multiple S-rank Hunters for potential enlistment . His son should be aware just how great the Guild would be in the future .
‘And isn’t that why he wanted the Guildmaster’s position?’
To think that he would refuse, just what was happening? Was he frightened of the responsibility? Yoo Myunghan suppressed his disappointment and anger and spoke with effort,
Yoo Jinho raised his happy face and replied without an ounce of regret,
“I’m going to join hyungnim’s Guild . ” 
[N/A]: Oh man, I got chills when I realized I would no longer have to substitute “E-rank Hunter” for Jinwoo, T . T
: YOO JINHO MY BOY .
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Solo Leveling Novel Chapter 96
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