Chapter 20: Awakening
When Jiwoo called Kanghyun, he also said the same thing.
“Sometimes they hand out bonuses if you transport a lot.”
He said it like it was no big deal.
The consequences of the bonus were produced immediately. The next day, Taein did not come to work at all. Kanghyun didn’t come out until the evening.
A low-level Hunter not showing up to work was no ordinary matter. If their schedule got disrupted because of them, Body firm had to pay a penalty to the head of public affairs. They would not only receive financial damage, but their trust and reputation would also be at stake. Body firm would ultimately take responsibility, but the penalty would be greater for a surgeon like Gyutae. He would have to reimburse the costs that the company incurred as a result of his poor management of his juniors.
The penalty fee was not the issue. It was a matter of pride. However, Gyutae didn’t seem to care about the situation.
“What, a penalty? I can just pay it then. Trust, you say? There wasn’t any in the first place.” Kanghyun simply told the fretful Jiwoo.
“Why don’t you try to recruit someone now?”
Jiwoo asked because he was anxious for him. But Gyutae looked at him weird as though Jiwoo was the one acting the strangest right now. As if Taein and Kanghyun were not the ones being irresponsible.
Kanghyun had called in the morning to say he wouldn’t be able to make it on time, but Taein didn’t contact them at all. By now, Taein was probably like “Oh, it’s morning. I should get up but I’m so tired. Let me sleep a little longer.” Then he laid back down without a worry in the world. He may have thought he had only napped for a couple of hours.
That was what Gyutae was aiming for. He wanted to look into how much chakra Jiwoo had. But in his position he couldn’t pay attention to Jiwoo only, he had to treat them all equally.
Chakra was consumed to carry monsters’ carcasses. It may be incomparable to Hunters who do raids but there were people who say more chakra was used for transportation.
Gyutae deliberately adjusted the weight of the body packs the Hunters carried the previous day because he wanted to check Jiwoo’s chakra. Normally, each pack weighed 100 kilograms, but that day, it weighed 120 kilograms.
All three of them did think the body packs were heavier than usual, but whether they adapted to it or not, they carried the body pack without saying a word. The first person to feel the effects was Taein. Still, he persevered. He had no thoughts about outperforming others but he didn’t want to lag behind either. And so he clenched his teeth and went past his limits. And so, the burnt out Taein was sleeping in without realizing a new day had begun.
Kanghyun also did better than he had expected. The young man had gotten quite the hang of chakra control. This was the reason why Gyutae randomly added 70,000 won to their pay. Though he would’ve considered giving them more had he known it would put them out of commission for the day.
Since Jiwoo was not aware of all of this, he did not understand why the other two did not come to work on time. He looked at Gyutae with a worried expression and said he would do as much as he could do. Then they entered the swamp. Jiwoo forbade Gyutae from doing anything else other than to immediately start the dissection. He stood next to the man as he amputated the carcass and rushed out of the swamp with the body packs.
The time it took to finish the swamp was about the same as always. It was not a simple matter to overlook since Jiwoo took on the work of three people all by himself.
“I was able to finish one without any delay. I hope Kanghyun comes soon.” Jiwoo said as he wiped off his sweat.
Gyutae nodded. He had yet to fully grasp what this meant.
Jiwoo was completely passed out while Gyutae drove to the next swamp site. However, when they arrived and he was shaken awake, Jiwoo sprung to his feet and got to work.
By the end of the day, an odd picture was painted. In Gyutae’s car, there was a zombie-like Kanghyun, and a fast-asleep Jiwoo, who slept without realizing his neck was twisted.
Gyutae received no penalty from Body firm.
There was no word from Taein either. Taein should have woken up once in the evening, surprised, then fell right back to sleep again. The reason for his surprise was simple. He thought he slept for quite a long time but he would be perplexed to find out it was still evening. So he would pull the blanket back up to get some more sleep. There was no reason for him to feel apologetic when they met at the pizza shop the next day. Taein was completely oblivious that he had blown the entire day away.
They agreed on hiring other low-level Hunters on days the other two couldn’t come. Gyutae did so because he believed it wouldn’t be a good idea to duo the swamps and have others pick up on Jiwoo’s strange chakra.
Gyutae’s curiosity on Jiwoo only grew stronger.
Jiwoo now prepared a notebook to record information about monsters he came across. At first, he would disregard the monsters he had seen before. However, now he analyzed the body to see what kind of attack killed it.
“You’ve probably come across many lynxes covered in spines. But this one is a tad unique. The time it took to clear the raid was especially short. It usually takes about eight hours to defeat a 5th-class monster, but this only took three.”
Gyutae explained, showing no signs of urgency.
Jiwoo did notice that the lynx’s corpse looked different.
“Hunters often view this transportation job to be a chore. They only carry the dead bodies to fill the slot and get paid. But there’s much to learn from the process.”
He appeared to be in peak condition. Although, it was in fact the opposite. He had to take his medicine since the pain got unusually worse. Gyutae was in a state of high and was more talkative than other days. He was being excessively hospitable to Jiwoo. Jiwoo was still grateful.
Gyutae even showed where the spiny linx’s jugular was and demonstrated where it had been attacked.
“If you’re the ace of the team, you’ll be aiming here first. It’s easy to attack afterwards. It’s crucial how you tackle it in the beginning. The most important thing is knowing where its vitals are. If a Hunter grows to become outrageously strong, they won’t have to figure out their opponent’s vitals though.”
Jiwoo became curious.
“What does that mean?”
“They can kill them off completely.”
“How do I make sure to do that?” Kanghyun asked.
“By cutting their throats. Although it’s good to stab the heart, their location may be different depending on the creatures you face. The same applies to humans. Some people’s hearts are located on the left, others on the right. Sometimes their hearts are awkwardly positioned in the middle. They’re rare, but they do exist. That’s why it’s better to slice its neck than its heart.”
“Ugh.” Kanghyun grimaced.
“Monsters can heal their wounds at a terrifying speed even when they are attacked. If you cut them with a knife, they’ll heal themselves within seconds. However, if they receive a fatal wound, it would take them a few minutes to recover. Close-combat and Long-distance Dealers take advantage of the moment when the monster is defenseless. They focus their attacks then.” Gyutae continued.
“I’m sure that everyone is hanging on, hoping to raid someday. There will be a time when you will hit your limit while training with your chakra. Without weapons, it’s inevitable. It will be beneficial if you practice stabbing monsters by pouring chakra into a weapon that suits you.”
Jiwoo wanted to ask him if he was trying to make them do surgeon work under the guise of training because he was too lazy to amputate all the carcasses by himself. But Jiwoo kept his mouth shut. Even if it was for that reason, the practice would help.
“I’m not saying you should acquire an amazing weapon or buy weapons from the Extreme Hunter shop. Anyone who possesses chakra should be able to turn a simple tool into a real weapon.”
At first, this didn’t really strike Jiwoo’s interest since he didn’t think it was anything amazing.
Hunters were physically stronger than the average person. They could easily do things a normal man cannot. That was the reason why the Hunter Security Force existed. If Hunters decided to commit a crime and escaped, the general public could not catch them. To capture such Hunters, a specific organization was needed. If a person was not a Hunter, one could not catch or overpower the other Hunter.
After Jiwoo had become a Hunter, he had never stabbed anyone or anything with a chakra-infused knife. But he thought it would be easy.
The look on Gyutae’s face seemed to say, “It seems like a piece of cake, doesn’t it?”
“It’s okay to give it a try, there’s a lot of time remaining for this swamp. Taein, would you like to go first?”
As he said that he willingly handed his knife to Taein.
“Pour your chakra into it.”
It was easier said than done. Taein failed to cut the monster’s body.
“Even though you didn’t cut it, think that you left a trace.”
No matter how much Gyutae encouraged him, it was useless. It came to a shock to Taein when he saw that he couldn’t make a single cut on the monster’s body. He had boasted about doing raids without even knowing his skill level. It was truly an embarrassing moment for him.
“Who’s going next? Kanghyun?” Gyutae asked.
Kanghyun wanted to back out but he had no choice but to take the knife. He always thought he had a lot of time in his hands. He comforted himself with the fact that he couldn’t join raids due to his young age. He believed those constraints were the sole reason he couldn’t do them. He believed he could go into action at any time once he put his mind into it. He regularly practiced controlling his chakra and pouring chakra into his weapons.
Of course, he had no experience in stabbing or amputating a being. Even so, he never expected to be completely blocked off.
“I thought I’d be able to do it.”
Kanghyun looked quite flustered.
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