Part 2: Transport Hunter
Jiwoo fell deep into thought, unable to hide his perplexion. He wasn’t sure whether he should feel happy or sad about what he just heard. He even questioned if Gyutae was teasing him. But Jiwoo knew already. It wasn’t only one or two odd things that happened to him.
The incident had happened so quickly and immediately after that something else would pop up, so Jiwoo didn’t have enough time to reflect on the prior events. But if he were to sit down and think about it, it was weird. For instance, he got dizzy before the swamp had formed in his living room and almost collapsed on the spot. In addition, yes, he’s a Hunter with a tattoo, however, even with the help of Im Jeong, it was abnormal for him to be able to draw his chakra out so quickly.
There was more. In Jiwoo’s eyes, Kanghyun was a talented Hunter too. He couldn’t participate in raids because he wasn’t 20 years old yet, but Jiwoo knew he would be an intelligent asset. It was purely due to Taein that Jiwoo found out Kanghyun had an aptitude for chakra control. Taein was unintentionally playing a supporting role in letting other people shine.
When he looked at Taein and then at Kanghyun, Jiwoo came to realize not everyone can do the same thing as him. However, even Kanghyun lacked something more than Jiwoo. He was never a man without grit. If there’s a slight possibility, Kanghyun would try to imitate Jiwoo with unrelenting determination. However, at some point, Kanghyun began to give up. It was not a matter of his will bending. It was a decision made after objectively judging the task to be impossible for him to accomplish.
As a storm was brewing in Jiwoo’s head, Gyutae observed the man. He didn’t explain this to him to let him down. On the contrary, the surgeon was worried. He feared that Jiwoo could be attacked out of nowhere when he joined raids.
“There was once a rumor when I was still active in duty. Apparently, among the Tankers, there was someone who had the ability to use their own regenerative skills on others.”
“A Tanker may have regeneration but not all Tankers have it. It’s an ability that manifests to some people. The value of a Tanker with such a skill is already incredible. But then someone showed up being able to use that ability on other people.”
“That’s amazing, isn’t it?”
“It’s natural to think so, but if the power exceeds what one can accept, such power will become an object of eschewment, not something to awe. Humans will deny and reject it.”
As he listened to Gyutae, Jiwoo was curious what happened to the person in the rumor.
“I don’t know if it was simply talk or not, but I felt off as the rumor floated around. Nothing changed in my life, but I was getting more and more dissatisfied.”
“I don’t really understand.”
“Think about it. During the raid where I had injured my leg, if my assault captain had been a Tanker with that ability, I wouldn’t be in this state right now. If such a Tanker truly did exist, I would even try to improve my skills to get into their team.”
“As I brooded about it, I started to feel inferior. I kept wondering if I had the skills, I could’ve been in raids with them. And so my discontentment kept growing.”
“Does such a Tanker really exist?”
“I don’t know if they truly do. It’s vague if they exist, but it’s clear and official that they disappeared.”
“What do you mean by disappeared?”
“It was said they were killed in action in the middle of a raid. It wasn’t in the general news, but it was posted on the Hunter Association’s website.”
“That’s weird for the Hunter Association to suddenly announce that.”
“The Hunter Association may have detected the atmosphere of the raid participants.”
“Do you believe them?”
“If they did ‘vanish’, I believe the Tanker would more likely have been killed by another Hunter, rather than by a monster. The Tanker was someone with regeneration. Do you think such an individual would die easily? They could just use their regenerative skills when they get attacked by a monster.”
“Maybe they didn’t have enough chakra?”
“When you enter the swamp, the monster’s stamina shows up in the information window. You’re not entering alone either. It would have been predictable for them to determine what kind of raid it was going to be. They would’ve judged what was doable and wouldn’t die from it.”
“Also that Tanker was a B-rank.”
“Jiwoo, I don’t know if it’s just me, but I believe that wouldn’t have happened to the Tanker had they hid their abilities well or didn’t have it at all. It’s not something I’ve experienced in person either. It’s been traumatic for me, I’ve been afraid of meeting gifted individuals ever since. I fear they might just vanish.”
“I’m sorry, sir. To be honest, I feel like you’re pranking me right now. It takes me a long time to control my chakra compared to other people. What can I even accomplish like this?”
Gyutae stared at Jiwoo quietly. Jiwoo’s gaze already indicated he already knew the answer. Jiwoo let out a low sigh.
“You don’t have to be recognized by others. Don’t you agree?” Gyutae placed his hand on Jiwoo’s shoulder.
“It’s not like that. I’m just a little flustered. For years, I’ve felt like a bumbling fool, yet here I am being advised not to reveal that I’m a genius.”
Gyutae smiled at him.
“Think it over carefully. You’re a wise person, so I’m certain you will find a way. You should be getting rest, I’ve wasted too much of your time.”
“Nonsense. You don’t know how grateful I am to you, sir.”
“Well then, rest up this weekend and I’ll see you again on Monday.” Gyutae said as he stood up first. Jiwoo followed suit, when a text message notification sounded at that moment. It was from Body firm.
At first, Jiwoo thought the amount was 560,000 won and glossed over it. Yet noticing one more zero was attached, he looked closely to see it was actually 5.6 million won.
“Sir, the money from Body firm came in.”
While Jiwoo was still in a state of shock, Gyutae nodded.
“It was a groundbreaking discovery. It was unprecedented for the skin of a giant anaconda’s leg to sell at such a high price. For a single leg. It’s a shame three of them were ruined. But, you got the amount you deserved. I calculated the proportions and that’s how much came out.”
“Huh? It’s already sold?”
“Body firm knew it was no ordinary item either. In a case like that, they would send photos to their VVIPs first to induce an auction rather than have it appear in a public market. They listed it at the highest price and someone came to bite it.”
Jiwoo thought he would never understand the affairs of Body firm until the day he died.
While Jiwoo held the taxi for Gyutae, a question suddenly popped up in his head.
“Sir, the Tanker you mentioned is not a woman, right?”
“They said she was. Quite young too. So I felt even more sorry hearing news of her death. Some people were surprised that such a Tanker from the rumors did exist, while some doubted and denied her existence until the end. They would say there couldn’t have been a Tanker like that or that she was made up by the Hunter Association.”
“The Hunter Association?”
“We don’t have A-rank Hunters in our country. We’re trying so hard to become a powerhouse of Hunters, but there are no cases of such awakenings.”
Jiwoo couldn’t figure out why Im Jeong kept coming to his mind.
What had roused Jiwoo from a sweet weekend sleep was the sound of the ringtone. Without opening his eyes, Jiwoo tapped around, grabbing his phone to his ear, and answering with a half-dead voice.
“Ah hello, you’re Jiwoo, right?” An immediate reply came from the other end.
“Who is this?”
He felt like he had heard the voice before, but he couldn’t remember who.
“Hello?” When Jiwoo called out again, a bright voice answered.
“Hey Jiwoo, I don’t know if you remember this Hyung, then again, it hasn’t been that long so you should remember me.”
“Who are you?”
“It’s your Hyung. We worked at the same convenience store together.”
The caller was Seongmin.
“Ohhh, Hyung! Hey! How is everything? Have you been well?” Jiwoo greeted him, he was quite happy to hear from him. Though it wasn’t to the point where his call would have him jumping out of the bed.
“Yeah, I’m doing good. Jiwoo, are you busy today by any chance?”
“Today? No, I’m resting. Why? Is something wrong?”
“I feel bad for asking, but can you fill in for me for four hours today?”
“At the convenience store?”
“Yeah. Asking a Hunter to do this is too much, isn’t it?”
“No, it’s fine. I don’t mind, I still haven’t paid you back for the two hours from before.”
“Oh, really? It’s not because of that. There’s something urgent I have to take care of, but I want to do it without telling the boss. Lately, there’s this punk that’s been constantly wandering in and out of convenience stores trying to covet a part-time position. He lives near here. He keeps trying to suck up to the boss, saying he could wait 24/7. I’ll be left with the short side of the stick then. The boss will try to hire him, won’t he? He’ll do a good job, then I could get fired. So what if he comes right now? That’s why you suddenly came to mind since you wouldn’t want to steal my job.”
Hearing him out entirely made his argument incredibly effective.
”Hyung, that sure is the best place to work. It’s busy in specific hours but you get free time in other hours. The boss isn’t uptight either.”
“I know, which is why I’m asking you.”
“Okay. I’ll get ready and head there.”
“You’re seriously amazing. If I were someone who had just become a Hunter and some punk I knew asked for a favor, I wouldn’t even hear him out. I’ll say you got the wrong number.”
Jiwoo laughed. He felt it would be nice to go out for once since it’s been a while.
There were the things Gyutae had told him and the things he felt in his dreams when he beat Jaeheon up. Although it was an infuriating situation, he wondered if it was a justified reaction to reciprocate violence so naturally against the other man.
He needed some quiet time to tone things down. It worked out for him to hang out at his former workplace for four hours.
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