Levelling Up In An Exclusive Dungeon - Chapter 22
At a high-rise apartment, 1,500 meters away from the dark cloud in the middle of the sky.
Kang Jinhyuk and Lucia stood on the roof of the 30th floor of the apartment.
Lucia, who covered her face with a mask, frowned as she looked up at the sky.
“The air here is really bad. Every time I take a breath, I feel like years are being taken off of my life.”
Lucia didn’t appreciate the outside world that Kang Jinhyuk has led her to.
The half-elf couldn’t handle the pollution of Seoul without a mask.
She feels like taking deep breaths would damage her lungs.
“You manage to live well in this kind of neighborhood?”
“…Yeah, well we don’t have much choice.”
Dry coughs came consistently out of Lucia, even as she was aiming her bow.
“This won’t do, I have to hold my breath to get it right.”
Lucia held her breath as much as possible and kept her distance from the dark cloud to stop herself from going into a coughing fit.
She placed an arrow on her bow, and she’s confident that this distance and the wind would be enough to hit the target well.
“You promised to bring me unlimited sweet food every day. You better know that if you break that promise, the next thing to be pierced by my arrow is your head.”
Jinhyuk inadvertently shrugs his shoulders at the sincere threat.
It was ridiculous that his life is now entrusted to his ability to bring as many sweet foods as he can.
“You can hit it right?”
“What are you talking about? How can I miss such a huge thing?”
Lucia held her breath and gathered vast mana from her whole body than she has ever shown before.
The overflowing flow of mana was clearly visible to the naked eye.
When the blue aura coated her entire body, she pulled on her bow and mana started moving toward the tip of the arrow.
Compared to Lucia’s tremendous aura gathered at the tip of her arrow, the aura that Kang Jinhyuk can use was still at a very low level.
“Take more than five steps away if you don’t want to get caught up.”
After giving a short warning, Lucia immediately let go of the bow’s string.
As Jinhyuk was stepping back, he was surprised when a huge sound broke out from Lucia’s bow.
To make matters worse, Jinhyuk fell backward and lost his balance.
As Jinhyuk fell on his butt, the arrow flew in a straight line at full speed like a sun’s ray towards the enemy.
The monster hiding in the clouds had no time to respond, and the arrow reached its target in a blink of an eye.
The monster’s body took on the overflowing blue aura of the arrow.
All of it was absorbed into the monster’s body.
After a few seconds…
It caused an explosion with an even louder noise than when the arrow was fired.
The person who created such an amazing scene lightly shrug her shoulders.
“Pff, that monster’s no big deal.”
In the aftermath of the explosion, the dark clouds surrounding the monster’s body had disappeared.
Thanks to that, the identity of the monster hidden by the clouds was revealed.
However, the monster is still too high up in the sky that it’s difficult to confirm with the naked eye.
Jinhyuk took out a piece of telescope-like equipment from his inventory and checked the monster’s information.
“That’s… Is that a turtle with the head of a crocodile?”
The monster’s appearance was something that Jinhyuk had never seen before in his life.
His eyes opened wide, and he had to remind himself to take a breath.
Jinhyuk couldn’t stop himself from being surprised even further after seeing the monster’s level.
“Level 300? That’s the highest level monster I’ve ever encountered.”
It wasn’t a tricky opponent for no reason.
Even if the Leviathan appeared in the ground and not in the sky, there’s no other way to deal with it except for using S-rank hunters against it.
“It’s a relief that only one of it appeared…”
It gave him goosebumps when he imagined something of this scale appearing in groups just like goblins or orcs.
“What’s with the fuss? This is no big deal.”
Lucia smiled at Jinhyuk who was still lost in his thoughts.
For her, even level 300 monsters didn’t seem to pose much of a threat.
Jinhyuk had no choice but to acknowledge Lucia’s greatness.
All the hunters back at the site were struggling, yet it only took one arrow for Lucia to deal with it.
“Thanks for your help.”
“I don’t need your gratitude. I’m not helping you for free.”
Lucia said it wasn’t that big of a deal, but the help that she made was really big.
If Lucia wasn’t here, who would’ve caught that monster called Leviathan?
No, would it even be possible to catch it?
They don’t know if the magicians from the Getia would cooperate, and if the situation had been prolonged, the defensive line might have completely collapsed and civilians would start getting hurt.
Even though Lucia helped them get out of such a huge crisis, the only price she had asked for in return is sweet food.
From Jinhyuk’s perspective, even lying down and bowing deep to Lucia isn’t enough to thank her.
Jinhyuk was surprised at the sudden loud cry.
He thought everything was settled, but he was wrong.
The Leviathan hasn’t died yet, even with the huge wreck and damage across its chest.
Jinhyuk became nervous. He was worried that the monster might shoot lightning in all directions.
“That thing isn’t dead yet. Can you finish it off?”
“There’s no need for that. It’s just saying its last words before it dies.”
As Lucia said, the Leviathan showed no further action except for its loud cries.
Even If it wanted to do something before it died, most of its body, including the mana stone in its chest, was completely crushed already.
Screaming was the only thing that it could do.
After venting its resentment, the Leviathan slowly lost its breath.
The heavy body lost control and immediately started falling from a height of 35,000 feet above the ground.
“Look at that. I told you it won’t endure the damage after being hit.”
Convinced that the Leviathan was dead, Lucia took out a counter that she had kept in her arms.
“Alright, this means that the monster is captured now right?”
The counter that Jinhyuk made Lucia hold had a shocking high score.
It’s obvious that most of it was thanks to Lucia killing the Leviathan.
“Does that really prove that you caught the monster?”
“Of course. That high score clearly indicates that the monster is caught.”
Jinhyuk spoke confidently, but Lucia’s expression looked a bit sour.
“Don’t trust people too much. You don’t know how many times I’ve been tricked while I was an adventurer.”
Even if the evidence was clear on the counter, it does make sense that humans are bound to take back their words somehow.
One piece of evidence wasn’t enough to get the fair reward.
Jinhyuk knew at least that.
“Don’t worry. I think their leader is on my side, so I know I’m not getting backstabbed just yet.”
Jinhyuk had confidence because of Seo Sangho’s presence.
It was Seo Sangho who kept wanting to recruit him to the guild, so the leader is more likely to support the fact that Jinhyuk caught the Leviathan.
But of course, Jinhyuk was still not 100% sure.
If even Seo Sangho tries to betray him, Jinhyuk was planning to visit the association with the counter given to him.
This counter was officially recognized by the association, so just that evidence was sufficient.
The item that the secretary gave him was now Jinhyuk’s biggest weapon.
* * *
A big commotion started on the ground when the Leviathan died and began to fall.
The monster was so big that even though two-thirds of its body flew away, its size still exceeded 100 meters.
It would be a big problem if such a large corpse collided with a high-rise building.
But Jinhyuk wasn’t too worried about it.
Seo Sangho wouldn’t be convinced that the monster was truly dead, so Jinhyuk’s sure that Sangho would strike the monster’s body at least once.
And just as he expected, Seo Sangho came out of the shelter and was waiting in advance for the dead body to fall.
“How in the world did he do this?”
Seo Sangho still had his doubts when he received Kang Jinhyuk’s call.
No, to be honest, he didn’t even half-trust the guy.
Who would think that a bat-wielding C-rank hunter would catch the new monster?
On top of that, the new monster was an opponent that Seo Sangho, an S-rank hunter, felt uncomfortable facing.
“The more I see his skills, the more I want him to join the guild.”
Seo Sangho smiled to himself as he faced the falling corpse of the Leviathan.
Just before hitting the building, Seo Sangho’s fist welcomed the monster corpse.
At the moment, the corpse which was falling at a terrifying speed stopped in its place like a still screen.
When Seo Sangho swung his fist once more, the Leviathan’s corpse was sent to an open wide space.
“That should do it… Now, shall we start wrapping up?”
The monster in the sky that interfered in the battle was officially defeated.
The only thing left for them to do was to sweep all the remnants back on the ground.
Seo Sangho took out a microphone to inform the hunters who were still hiding at the shelter.
“The new monster is caught!”
Seo Sangho’s voice resonated through all the speakers installed everywhere.
The hunters gathered in the temporary shelter began to crawl out one by one.
“That guy caught it?”
“Is this for real?”
The hunters who came out to confirm if the news was true witnessed the Leviathan’s body collapsed in an open area.
“Did the Titan Guild Leader catch it?”
“Anything is possible for S-rank hunter Seo Sangho!”
The hunters thought that it was Seo Sangho and the other guild members of the Titans who managed to hunt the new monster.
That was understandable.
Even Seo Sangho himself couldn’t believe that all of this was thanks to the C-rank hunter.
Seo Sangho did not try to explain even after hearing the other hunters misunderstand the situation.
But it wasn’t for the purpose of stealing achievement or taking away the honor that belonged to Jinhyuk.
There was still work that needed to be done
“I can just explain the details after we’re completely done here.”
For Seo Sangho, cleaning up the mess and the monsters that remained on the ground was more important than clearing up misunderstandings.
They can’t afford to sacrifice any more people.
Seo Sangho gathered hunters to rebuild the defense line and push the monsters that were just around the corner.
The monsters on the ground were demoralized at the death of the Leviathan.
Hunting the monsters who lost their morale wasn’t that difficult.
It did not take long for the hunters and Seo Sangho to sweep up the remnants.
When Kang Jinhyuk returned, all the monsters had already been hunted.
Seo Sangho was currently working on restoration with the executives.
Seo Sangho saw Jinhyuk and approached him with a welcoming face.
“You’ve worked very hard, and done a very good job. It was a truly great performance.”
Jinhyuk was quite surprised to hear Sangho’s greeting.
He didn’t know that the Guild Leader would voluntarily acknowledge his achievements.
Sangho shook the confused Jinhyuk’s hand and asked him a question.
“Can you tell me how you caught the monster?”
“Ah, that’s my secret.”
‘I asked a favor from the half-elf at the dungeon, and she shot the monster with her arrow.’
Jinhyuk couldn’t just honestly say the answer, so he decided to avoid the question.
Just then, Han Youngseok appeared from behind Seo Sangho. He complained as veins popped out from his neck.
“What do you mean ‘secret’?! You can’t say how you caught the monster because it wasn’t YOU who caught it!”
Jinhyuk was quite relieved that the one making a fuss didn’t seem that powerful.
‘Yeah, I expected this from you guys.’
It makes no sense for those who have been monopolizing monsters to suddenly be generous and gently acknowledge other people’s achievements.
Jinhyuk almost lost grasp of common sense because of the strange and odd Seo Sangho.
“Look at this if you don’t believe me.”
Jinhyuk scoffed as he took out the counter that the secretary gave to him.
The executive who was screaming around suddenly had his eyes widened at the sight of the score accumulated on the counter.
“2…240 points?! That’s impossible!”
The score on Seo Sangho’s counter was 173.
The fact that Jinhyuk had 70 points higher than Sangho was a testament to his great abilities.
However, the Titans executive still didn’t want to admit and acknowledge the score even after seeing it personally.
“Don’t be ridiculous! He obviously just brought a counter with that score already before coming in here!”
“How can I do that when I just received this counter today? Right here in this place?’
“Y-you got it from here? Who gave this to you?!”
It was Seo Sangho’s secretary.
She approached the executive and told the truth.
“I gave it to him in case he tried to lie about his achievements from today.”
When the executive heard her explanation and looked back at the counter, he saw the guild symbol of the Titans engraved in it.
It was absolutely impossible to switch to a different counter, because it even had the unique identification number on it.
When the situation became clearly against his side, the executive clucked his tongue roughly and made an annoyed face.
“Then you just need to get paid in the back. Why did you come here?”
“Why do you think? I’m here because I had something to bring.”
“What do you mean?”
Instead of answering with his words, Jinhyuk pointed to the Leviathan’s corpse with his finger.
The executive saw it and jumped as if he was having a seizure.
“What nonsense are you trying to say?! Why would you take that?!”
“Well, I caught that monster so I have the right to take it.”
“We’re the guild that prevented it from falling! If it weren’t for the guild leader, do you think that body would be left intact?!”
Even if the executive could afford to give money to Kang Jinhyuk, he couldn’t bear to just hand over the Leviathan corpse to Kang Jinhyuk.
The material of such a new monster was very precious for them.
At least hundreds of millions of Won could be collected just by handing it over to the association, and profits were most likely to snowball if it’s auctioned.
Jinhyuk just sighed at the attitude being shown by Han Youngseok.
“I told you this before. I told you not to whine at me when I bring back the monster corpse later on.”
“W-what did you say?!”
Kang Jinhyuk’s argument was indeed valid.
Even if they resorted to a legal battle, Jinhyuk’s demands would still be deemed legitimate.
Even Han Youngseok knew that.
However, he couldn’t just bear to hand over the monster corpse to someone like Jinhyuk.
Han Youngseok decided to use his power as an executive of the large guild.
Han Youngseok tried to do something stupid. He wanted to permanently shut Jinhyuk’s mouth.
However, before he could do anything, Seo Sangho came out first.
“Stop it with your ugly antics and give him what he deserves. We already have a lot of money, why are you being so greedy?”
As it was the Titans Guild Leader, Seo Sangho, Han Youngseok couldn’t do anything more.
He just has to watch Kang Jinhyuk take the Leviathan’s corpse.
Han Youngseok glanced at Seo Sangho, who was holding on to his arm, with poisonous eyes.
‘Just on whose side are you on?’
Although Seo Sangho was the Guild Leader, his attitude of prioritizing the C-rank hunter over the guild was simply incomprehensible for Han Youngseok.