Leveling Up From Rank F Chapter 4

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Chapter 4: Awakening

In-Ah had no plans of stopping or answering him.

“I’m talking to you, Kim In-Ah!” Jiwoo yelled again. His patience had reached its limit.

“If you have any complaints, tell me what you’re not satisfied about.” Jiwoo said, holding onto her. He turned her to face him.

“I don’t have any.”

“You’re lying.”

“I said I don’t!”

“Haah, fuck. You’re getting upset over something so insignificant. Hey, is it because you’re ashamed you have to live your life paying installments?”

“When did I say that?”

“Then what is it? You were head over heels for me in the beginning. Now why are you throwing tantrums like this all of a sudden?”

“I told you it’s not like that.” She said, narrowing her eyes.

“Forget it. I’m the dumbass. Me.” With that, Jiwoo went back to the check-out section.

“I won’t be buying this. Please give me a refund.”

The clerk canceled the transaction on the card.

“Yeah, I’m the dumbass! Ugh, fuck! That’s right. I’m a goddamn fool!” Jiwoo shouted again, unable to repress his anger.

He checked the text message on his phone to confirm the canceled transaction and then took a step forward.

In-Ah, on the other hand, couldn’t budge from her spot. She stood there as if she was glued to the ground. She knew Jiwoo went along with her wishes and how he didn’t get mad easily. But she also knew he was a piece of work when he actually did. The moment she glared at Jiwoo and started to speak, he opened his mouth.

“Just shut it.”

“How can you do this to me?”

“I got fired, you idiot. Oh? I suppose you’re not interested but I got cut from my company with no money to spend for this month. But I still tried to pay for your 890,000 won shoes like a dumbass. Yet you’re acting like this? Ha. Thanks for bringing me to my senses.”

“How could you, Oppa?”

“Did you think I was someone special? You stuck with me because you already knew I wasn’t. Did you date me because you liked me? No, it’s because no one would be blind enough to fall for a bitch like you.”

In-Ah’s face turned completely pale. Jiwoo didn’t feel the slightest bit better either. He shook his head as if to say “forget it.”

In-Ah couldn’t stand the embarrassment any longer and ran toward the escalator. He waited for the elevator alone.

“Agh, shit! That fucking bitch! I’m such an idiot. A damn idiot.” Jiwoo screamed by himself since he couldn’t calm down easily.

The elevator had stopped on the 1st floor so he had to wait for a long time. It was then he saw the Hunter from the shoe store. He was walking over to him with both hands full of shopping bags.

He felt embarrassed that someone had been watching him while he was making a fuss and putting on a show. He looked in a different direction. The Hunter cleared his throat while he approached him. They were complete strangers so Jiwoo bowed his head awkwardly. It wasn’t much of a greeting.

At that moment, the Hunter asked how old he was.

“Me?” Jiwoo pointed his finger at himself, thinking how weird it was to ask someone they just met such a question.

“Yes. You remind me of my younger brother.”

“I’m 26.”

“Oh, you guys are the same age .”

“…”

“My brother is also under a lot of stress because he hasn’t gotten a job yet. It seems like everything is difficult these days.”

“Hunters are popular though.”

“That’s true.”

They quickly ran out of things to say. The two continued to wait for the elevator absentmindedly.

“By the way, what’s it like to be a Hunter?” Jiwoo asked.

As usual, he was the one with a lot of questions.

“When you boil down to it, this is also a hierarchical society. A Hunter’s life may look glamorous on the outside, but it’s intense in its own way.”

“Hunters are in a different class though.”

“You are right.”

“…”

“Cheer up. I hope you find a job at a good place soon.”

“Thank you.”

The Hunter smiled at him.

He wasn’t exactly handsome. But just like how there is no Hunter without the tattoo, how one carries oneself says a lot about the person. The man seemed to be brimming with confidence because of his Hunter’s aura.

“I’m telling you this because you resemble my brother; there are plenty of fish out in the sea. It may seem like a big deal right now, but trust me, things might be better off this way. You could bump into a nice chick on your way out. The elevator could come up, the doors would open, and you could find a wonderful woman standing right in front of you. You’re a free man now so go hunt around as much as you want.”

“I’m not in any state to do that right now. I don’t think I’d catch anyone even if I did. Anyway, thank you for the advice.”

“Men need to be confident. Look at me. Honestly speaking, I’m not good-looking.”

“True.”

“Why you, you’re not supposed to agree with me. You should say, ‘That’s not true, you’re handsome. What makes you say that?’”

“Ah, you’re right. Why don’t we go again?”

The Hunter laughed at Jiwoo’s joke.

“No, there’s no need. After I got the tattoo, people started to look at me in a completely different way. They treated me differently even though nothing else about me had changed.”

“Of course they would.”

Jiwoo was so jealous of him that he could feel his heart throb.

“What’s it like to be a Hunter?” Jiwoo questioned.

The elevator arrived but the Hunter didn’t get on. He seemed like he was going to chat with Jiwoo more, for which he was grateful. The Hunter sat on a chair nearby to continue their conversation.

“You become a Hunter when you get a tattoo, right? Or do you get a tattoo when you become a Hunter?”

The Hunter laughed and then showed him his arm. Fancy handwritten letters were printed on it.

Hunter Grade – E/Dealer
EXP: 0/600
Attack: 400 (+40).
Defense: 100 (+10).
Chakra Level: 5.
Chakra Proficiency: 3%.
Rate of Amplification Ability: 10%.

“You’re an E-rank Dealer?” Jiwoo asked while staring at the tattoo. It looked like a noble crest.

“Yes.”

“How do you level up your rank?”

“You need to increase your experience points. You have to clear raids if you want to gain EXP. Monsters in 5th class swamps have 10 EXP. If 10 Hunters enter the raid, each person gets 1 EXP. If you raid solo, then you’ll get 10 EXP.”

“Huh, what? Is it possible to raid solo?”

This was a new world to Jiwoo.

“It is if you’re an A-rank Hunter. A-rank Dealers have 1,200 in attack. If they equip gears with an attack amplification rate of 300%, their attack becomes 3,600. They’ll be able to raid it alone if it’s a 5th class swamp.”

Jiwoo’s mouth gradually opened wider as he listened to the Hunter.

“Do we have an A-rank Hunter in Korea?”

“No, not yet. They say there are only three worldwide.”

“It must be incredible if someone becomes an A-rank Hunter.”

“If they do, yes. Then they’d be the first A-rank Hunter in Korea, wouldn’t they?”

“Wow, that’s really amazing.”

“The higher you rank, the more time it takes and the more EXP you have to gain. If you keep raiding and steadily gaining EXP, it’s not that difficult for low-level Hunters to rank up.”

The Hunter stopped to check on Jiwoo’s expression. He thought he was yammering on by himself too much. But Jiwoo was completely focused on his words. He was gaping at him almost to the point he was drooling.

“Well, I’m just a mere E-rank right now.”

“Oh my god. That’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve heard so far. What do you mean just an E-rank? It feels like I’ll be friends with a God even if you’re a F-rank.”

“No way. It’s not that big of a deal.”

While they were talking about this and that, the elevator came up to their floor again. The two men got up from their seats simultaneously to head to the elevator. When the doors opened, there was no wonderful woman inside. They both laughed out loud.

He didn’t achieve his purpose for coming to the mall. On the contrary, he saved money, he completely rid himself of a pest, and even got to meet a Hunter. For that, Jiwoo almost felt thankful towards In-Ah.

***

Jiwoo was planning to head straight home, but decided to stop by the shopping area in his apartment complex. The store was crowded with people who came to buy groceries for dinner.

He bought the energy drink advertised by a famous Korean Tanker. Being a Hunter is the most popular and influential job nowadays. This not only applies in Korea but also all around the world.

As he left, he called around to see if anyone heard from his manager. However, there was no news of the guy.

Some people had egged Jiwoo on. They would say they knew where the manager lived. Then they’d tell him he should go over there and fight to get their money back. They texted him the manager’s home address when Jiwoo didn’t even ask for it.

He knew why they weren’t willing to step up themselves. It’ll be nice if they could get their money back if they did so. But it’s easy for matters to steer off in a different course. For example, if a person ran into someone on the streets who had borrowed money from them, the said person could not search the other’s body to take back the owed money. It was against the law even if the money was rightfully theirs. There might be times where the settlement they had to compensate exceeded the original money owed to them.

One might ask where such a law exists. The authorities would respond by saying they would find some provision and precedent in the law to provide as proof.

This was why people stayed behind rather than risk doing anything themselves. They sent Jiwoo out so no repercussions would fall upon them. If he got their money back, it was a win for them too.

“Do they think I’m a pushover? How did I end up like this? Everyone sees me as a loser.”

He was at a loss. Even so, he didn’t delete the text with the manager’s address.

The problem with reality was it’s always tricky to deal with. There were no signs that the issue would resolve itself. It was also taxing on the mind. Although Jiwoo wasn’t the type to enjoy alcohol, lately, he keeps finding himself having a drink. It wasn’t to the point of addiction, but he kept seeking it out because it could get him high in a stupor and help him pass out.

As he walked home, Jiwoo remembered he had run out of alcohol. He went back to the store, which was crowded just a while ago. It was pretty peaceful inside now that the crowd died down.

The cashier was watching TV. The program that Jiwoo and Yongha saw back at the coffee shop was being broadcasted. He wasn’t able to see the second half since he had to meet up with In-Ah, so he paid more attention to that part.

“You’re also jealous, aren’t you? Tsk. A Hunter tattoo should’ve formed on my arm too.” The young cashier lamented while he watched the show.

Jiwoo smiled, quietly nodding.

“Isn’t that the documentary on Extreme Jobs?” He asked.

“Yes. They’re going to tell us about the Hunters responsible for moving the corpses.”

Jiwoo got curious after hearing that. The cashier raised the volume while the reporter was talking.

“The jobs I’ll introduce this time are Hunters, specifically lower-ranked Hunters who are in charge of transporting monsters’ carcasses. Once the raid on the swamp is over, the Tankers who carried out the raid will receive their portion of the share and hand over the corpses to Body firm.”

Body firm was a company in charge of purchasing and processing the dead bodies of monsters. They buy the carcasses from the raid’s Captain. The company would then cut, transport, and process the corpses so that they could be utilized by Hunters.

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