Solo Leveling Novel, Chapter 97
Solo Levelingi 97
Surrounded by reporters, Jinwoo was at a loss on what to do .
‘Why are they doing this in front of me? Aren’t they here for Lee Minsung?’
He thought maybe Lee Minsung was behind him, but turning around, he only saw Baek Yoonho and Choi Jongin . In that moment, something vibrated from his side,
It was his cell phone in his pocket .
‘Why is Jinah calling me?’
When he picked up, the excited voice of his little sister rang out,
– “Oppa! Oppa, you’re on TV!”
Well that made sense . There were so many different channel’s cameras here . Initially worried that something had gone wrong with his sister, Jinwoo sighed in relief,
“Mm… Everything’s alright with you, right?”
– “With me? What do you mean?! What do they mean by Reawakening?! And you’re an S-ranker now?!”
Hearing her voice, Jinwoo realized she must’ve been quite shocked . However, this was not the time to calmly explain everything .
“Hey, oppa is a bit busy right now… I’ll talk to you later at home . ”
– “Oppa? Oppa?!”
He ignored her shocked voice and hung up the call . Looking at the phone, he realized what was happening .
‘…There’s a message . ’
The Hunter Association sent live updates through a phone app . Normally, it was to warn the public of A-rank Gates or Dungeon Break locations . However, today’s message was a little different .
Jinwoo went to the Association website to confirm the contents of the message .
As expected, the ink on his license wasn’t even dry, but the highest-ranking Hunters listing was already updated .
[Sung Jinwoo, S-rank, Mage-class]
It was exactly as written on his Hunter’s license .
‘…They sure are quick when it comes to these kinds of things . ’
Putting his phone back in his pocket, Jinwoo looked forward again .
“Sung Jinwoo-ssi! Are you really the E-rank Hunter Sung Jinwoo-ssi under the Association?!”
“You’ve just become a rare Reawakened Being! How are you feeling right now?!”
The reporters fought among themselves to try and get a better look at Jinwoo . They would’ve been satisfied with just a hint of his voice . But to Jinwoo, their explosive attention was but an annoyance .
‘I have to get out of here . ’
It did not feel like they would make way if he asked politely . Jinwoo’s brows twitched . Should he just summon the Shadow Soldiers and force his way out of here?
“Over here! Sung Jinwoo-ssi! Please look this way!”
“Sung Jinwoo-ssi! The entire nation is watching! Please smile!”
As the camera lenses became closer and closer, Jinwoo seriously considered bringing out Tank or Tusk for about two seconds .
Meanwhile, behind Jinwoo, Choi Jongin stared at the new S-rank Hunter surrounded by reporters . Baek Yoonho approached him,
“Looks like our new recruit’s a little uncomfortable at the excessive attention . ”
“Excuse me, just who do you think you’re calling your ‘new recruit’?”
“Can’t I make a joke? I’m just joking . ”
The two men again entered a contest of spirit . Choi Jongin decided to back off . With a deep sigh, he spoke,
“Anyways, if we wait too long, we’ll be giving the other Guilds the opportunity . ”
Baek Yoonho agreed . Putting aside Grim Reaper’s Guildmaster Lim Taegyu who was here because of Lee Minsung, the other two top Guilds would soon try and contact Hunter Sung Jinwoo . Baek Yoonho looked over to the reporters,
“So what Guildmaster Choi is saying is…”
“Before the flies could get here, why don’t we combine our might and help Hunter Sung Jinwoo-nim out of here? We could even have a word or two on the way . ”
Instead of inviting more rivals, the two Guildmasters would work together for now . No matter how powerful the man was, Hunter Sung Jinwoo would need a Guild’s help to raid high-level Dungeons . If everything went well, the new S-ranker would join Baekho or Hunters Guild after today . Choi Jongin was confident that he could convince Jinwoo .
“Alright . ”
Baek Yoonho was equally confident . Baekho may not have been as big as Hunters Guild, but they certainly had an equally large vision .
‘Our Chief Ahn already has a friendly relationship with Sung Jinwoo-ssi from before . ’
At the very least, Baek Yoonho believed that Baekho had a better relationship with Jinwoo than Hunters Guild . Regardless of their thoughts, the two men were in agreement . After exchanging strange glances, the two S-rankers approached Jinwoo . The first to speak was Baek Yoonho,
“Hunter-nim . ”
Jinwoo turned around,
Choi Jongin kicked himself in his head for missing the opening shot, but remembered their cooperation and kept still . With the brightest smile he could muster, Baek Yoonho continued,
“It’s a bit annoying with all these reporters, right? Why don’t we escort you out of here back to your house? We’re a bit familiar with these kinds of proceedings . ”
It was a bit of an exaggeration, but not entirely without truth . The two men were also in similar situations in the past . After all, they were also once freshly Awakened S-rank Hunters in the country . On top of that, they were currently operating two different top Guilds respectively; they understood how to deal with the press in situations like this .
Choi Jongin also entered the conversation,
“Yes, please allow us to help . There are few things we want to discuss on the way too . ”
However, Jinwoo politely declined their offers with a smile,
“I’m alright . ”
He firmly pressed the hood on his hoodie over his head,
“There’s somewhere I have to be right now . ”
“Hmm? The reporters are blocking the way all the way to the road, how will-”
Choi Jongin did not get the chance to finish his sentence . When he turned his head over to the reporters, Jinwoo had already landed behind the gathering and disappeared into the crowd . The Guildmaster of Hunters was at a loss for words . Even as an S-ranker himself, he could not react to Jinwoo’s movements just now . Of course, there was no way that any of the reporters’ ordinary eyes saw that leap . Choi Jong in chuckled,
‘The moment you’ve become an S-rank Hunter, you’re playing Superman?’
To think that he had that level of physical abilities as a Mage-class Hunter . As a Mage-class Hunter himself, Choi Jongin was a little miffed . He wondered how that movement looked to an S-rank Fighter-class Hunter .
“So just now,”
When he turned his head to ask Baek Yoonho, Choi Jongin flinched and took a step back reflexively,
“Baek, your eyes!”
Choi Jongin was so shocked that he forgot to add an honorific .
“Ah…! S-sorry . ”
Baek Yoonho quickly covered his eyes with a hand and turned around . When he turned around again, the beast-like eyes had returned to that of an ordinary human . However, the Guildmaster of Baekho was still shocked .
‘How could this be…?’
The man’s entire body shuddered . When Jinwoo focused the strength into his legs just now to jump, for the briefest of moments, the new S-ranker revealed the magic power that he was hiding . However, no matter how skilled one was, it was near impossible for someone to detect that magic power in that infinitesimal moment . But Baek Yoonho had instinctively called forth his special ability, ‘Beast Eyes’, and succeeded in observing Jinwoo’s powers .
‘Strong . ’
He already knew this .
‘It’s not that he’s just strong . ’
When he had antagonized Jinwoo in the past during the Red Gate incident, he had also instinctively activated the ‘Beast Eyes’ without realizing . During that time, Baek Yoonho had ascertained Jinwoo’s level of strength . He was definitely strong back then . Even if it was him, Baek Yoonho knew that he would have to sacrifice an arm to win . But that was just it . With sufficient sacrifice, the Guildmaster of Baekho knew that he could defeat Jinwoo back then .
But now .
What was with this strength? It was a magic power incomparable to the one he had felt during the Red Gate incident .
He had become… strong
Much stronger than before .
If it was a Reawakening, it should’ve been over a long time ago . So how?
In that moment, a single idea floated in the chaos of Baek Yoonho’s mind,
‘Could it be… that he’s capable of growth?’
Not a Reawakening, but through an ability to grow… When Baek Yoonho reached that line of thought, he was interrupted,
“Hey, Guildmaster Baek, are you alright? Your face is…”
Choi Jongin asked out of concern . Baek Yoonho rubbed his face and shook his head .
“I’m feeling a bit light-headed . I’m alright now . ”
“You’re a young man… you should take care of yourself . ”
Even as he continued to talk with Choi Jongin, Baek Yoonho stared off into the distance where Jinwoo disappeared to .
‘He’s already stronger than an average S-ranker . If he could continue to grow…’
Baek Yoonho’s entire body shook with a chill .
“Taxi . ”
After getting away from the reporters, Jinwoo hailed a cab on the side of the road . As he wanted, he had obtained an S-rank license . Leveling up and Dungeons were a priority, but right now, the most important thing was his mother’s cure .
‘The Holy Water of Life…’
That item really might be able to cure his mother .
‘Even if there was a one in a thousand chance, no, a chance in a ten thousand…’
His highest priority was to finish clearing the Demon Castle and obtain the ingredients to craft the Holy Water of Life . Jinwoo spoke the destination from the backseat,
“Korean Hunter Auction, please . ”
Glancing at him through the back mirror, the driver smiled,
“Looks like you’re going to sell something crazy . I heard that the items exchanged in the Hunter Auction cost at least several dozen millions . ”
Instead of replying, Jinwoo just smiled .
The driver gulped . If this man was on the way to the Hunter Auction to sell something, that meant that he was a Hunter . Ordinary people had to be careful around Hunters . Among the Hunters, there were people with personalities as terrible as their powers . An unintended slight could result in a big incident .
‘That young man doesn’t look like the type, but I should be careful . ’
Reading Jinwoo’s mood, the driver shut up, and the taxi became quiet . On the way, Jinwoo pulled up the Hunter Auction website on his phone . While navigating the internet, Jinwoo realized that every single website, whether it was social media, news or content aggregation site, was displaying the news of the new S-rank Hunter . Just this morning, the number one search keyword was “Lee Minsung” . Now, the actor’s name didn’t even show up on the top ten trending searches .
Jinwoo clicked his tongue .
‘I didn’t think it’d be this bad . ’
He had expected some level of attention but did not realize it would be this great .
Well, it made sense .
Only ten people in South Korea . If you discounted the dead and the expat, there were only eight S-rankers in the country now . The people’s attention made sense .
‘But why was it so quiet during Cha Haein’s time?’
When Korea’s ninth S-ranker Cha Haein appeared two years ago, her news did not make the rounds in the media . Jinwoo had hope that he would’ve been the same . After looking into a bit, he realized that it was because Cha Hain had asked the Association to put a moratorium on her information after becoming an S-ranker .
‘Oh? If you just ask the Association, both Guilds and the press can’t talk about you legally . ’
There was such a convenient method, why didn’t the association president let him know?
Jinwoo recalled the question he was asked on the way to the testing area . The association president had asked him,
“Do you perhaps have a Guild in mind to join?”
“Not yet . ”
Was this why the elder had asked? Perhaps the association president did not want to prevent the Guilds from approaching him and did not bring up the idea of an information block .
‘Well, that’s that . ’
Jinwoo sent a quick request for an information block through the Association’s website, then made a call to the Korean Hunter Auction .
– “Hello, this is the Korean Hunter Auction . ”
“There’s an artifact I would like to appraise . I’m on the way to the Hunter Auction, is that alright?”
– “Of course . What kind of an artifact is it?”
“It’s a marble that amplifies your spell power . ”
– “Oh? A spell amplification tool… If you know its effects, have you already received an appraisal from somewhere else?”
“Yes, but I wanted to obtain a second opinion from the Hunter Auction . ”
– “Haha . You’ve made a good choice . We are number one when it comes to appraising the value of an artifact . ”
The employee briefly became silent as if writing something down then spoke again,
– “From your past appraisal, how big was the amplification effect?”
– “Excuse me?”
“The amplification effect is by a 100% . ”
The voice spoke after a moment of hesitation,
– “I’m sorry, but are you, the seller, a Hunter?”
“Yes . ”
– “For a smooth appraisal process, we’ll need the seller’s identification . Could I have your name and rank?”
The corners of Jinwoo’s mouth rose .
‘I knew it would be like this . ’
If an E-rank Hunter tried to sell this insane and unheard of artifact, the Hunter Auction would’ve just hung up then and there . In a way, it was for this moment that Jinwoo went and got a retest . The S-rank Hunter spoke calmly,
“S-rank . My name is Sung Jinwoo . ”
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Solo Leveling Novel Chapter 97
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