Leveling Up From Rank F Chapter 32

L

Part 2: Transport Hunter

Chapter 32

“I see. The security forces came because its opening was approaching and the expedition had yet to finish.” Gyutae explained.

The Hunter Association prioritized assigning swamps near its opening date to raid teams. Depending on the assault team’s capabilities, the monsters they could handle varied. Even if by chance, an assault team composed of all B-rank Hunters were mobilized, they were by no means invincible. Yes, they could find out about what type of monsters they’ll face and the HP ahead of time. Going down to the swamp, reading the information window, checking the monster’s stamina, searching the map, and exiting the field had no effect on the swamp or the monsters themselves. However, gathering information and preparing for the raid in advance, doesn’t mean variables didn’t exist. They always did. The same monster type did not have the same movement patterns, habits, or personalities. 

It’s natural for people to want to avoid the creature that injured someone in a raid. For example, if there were rumors that a Dealer got hurt while fighting a Yoko, the Hunters would avoid it. Their worries about getting harmed couldn’t be helped.

The higher the swamp’s class, the more monsters there were, and the greater the threat. The radius of Class 1 swamps did not expand and because they stopped growing, they didn’t pose a real threat. This was not the case with Class 2 swamps which ceaselessly grew in size. It would be nice to have the skilled raiders take care of them, truth be told, reality wasn’t that simple. The Rupstones from monsters dwelling in Class 3 swamps traded for 2 billion whereas the ones from Class 2 swamps traded for 5 billion.

After deducting the 40 percent tax, the gain portions out to 1.2 billion and 3 billion won, respectively. The issue was that many people preferred to do multiple low-level raids than to risk their life participating in one dangerous raid. Consequently, the number of Class 2 swamps approaching its opening date stacked up. Hence, an assault team composed of the SF² members stepped in as it was dictated that further negligence would be dangerous.

Essentially, they were in charge of cleaning up treacherous monsters that the other Hunters avoided. To compensate for the risks, the rewards were enormous. The government could easily provide them tax benefits and offer aid in weapons and equipment. If they succeed in their assault, they could pay just 10 percent in taxes from any proceeds of sales such as Rupstones or carcasses.

The additional income on top of their annual salary made for an attractive incentive so long as they were confident in taking the hefty risk. Thus this was the situation where the security force raided the swamp where Jiwoo’s transport team was dispatched.

The ferocious monster from the higher class swamp was enormous in size.

“Still, I’m glad. It looks like they succeeded.” Kanghyun said.

Jiwoo thought they could pass by them without a commotion. Yet who would’ve thought Taein would have razor sharp vision.

“Oh! Isn’t that her? Jiwoo’s girlfriend.” When Taein pointed it out, everyone turned their heads to where the security forces were. 

Having just finished a raid, the Hunters were struggling to walk. Im Jeong had taken off her helmet making her hair flutter in the wind.

“Go say hi, Hyung.” Kanghyun was pumping with excitement. 

“Huh? Oh, right.” Although he said that, he was deliberately stalling, hoping Im Jeong would leave first.

Just then, she noticed the transport team. Her eyes had been roaming around skipping over the ordinary folks, when she saw Jiwoo.

“Oh!”

The expression on her face was a welcoming one.

“She must’ve seen you, Hyung. Hurry up and say hi.” Kanghyun was getting excited for no reason when this wasn’t even his business.

“Uh, yeah, but she’s busy.” Jiwoo made an excuse. A Hunter who had just finished a raid was busy? He knew it was complete bs.

Im Jeong was slowly making her way to where they were.

“I’ll take my leave later, so you please go without me. Great work today everyone.”. Im Jeong said her goodbyes to the SF members. She already decided she was coming over to them.

“Umm…. Aren’t we busy? We still have three swamps left. What if we get a penalty for not meeting the quota after running into a SF member again.” Jiwoo said, while looking straight at Gyutae. He was blabbing whatever nonsense came up in his head.

“It’s hard to run into SF even when you’re in Body firm. We have plenty of time. We can hang out for 30 more minutes then enter.”

Gyutae certainly nailed his coffin. Jiwoo raised his hand toward the completely oblivious woman who was approaching them.

“Uh, hey, Jeong. You finished your raid?”

She stopped and made an expression which indicated her confusion at thr way he spoke. However, one look at Jiwoo’s sad face and his teammates around him, made her pick up on it. 

“I can’t believe we’re meeting like this. I heard a lot about you from Jiwoo.” She said with a lively tone. 

“You’re the surgeon here, right? I’m Im Jeong.” After seeing Gyutae, Im Jeong greeted and bowed first.

“I’m Seo Gyutae.” Pleased, Gyutae welcomed her. 

She wasn’t wearing any makeup so none of Jiwoo’s teammates noticed she was the same person as the queen of the ad industry. The power of makeup was truly amazing.

Kanghyun was speechless, he dragged Taein’s hand and placed it on his chest. His heart was thumping like crazy. It wasn’t just Kanghyun who was like that. When Taein opened his mouth to talk, it felt as though his heart was about to pop out of his mouth, so he kept it shut.

A B-rank Tanker from SF came to greet low-level transport Hunters first.

“You’re… very beautiful.” Taein said.

“Oh, I had plastic surgery. The surgeon was skilled.” Im Jeong casually replied.

“I’m just admiring the good results.”

No one knew Taein viewed plastic surgery in a positive light,

“Did you think that was appropriate?” Kanghyun interrupted.

While Kanghyun was making a fuss to Taein, Jiwoo quickly approached Im Jeong. He was hoping he could convey to her to leave through ventriloquism.

“We’ve seen each other so you can go home now.” Jiwoo said to her with a smile, his eyes were not smiling though. He scrunched up his eyes like he had botox surgery.

“I’m finished with all my work. I’ve heard a lot about you, Mr. Gyutae. It’s a great honor to meet the legendary C-rank Hunter, with chakra level 1 and maxed chakra proficiency. I’m very interested in the work of surgeons too.” She said.

“Really? Would you like to come into the swamp with us? While you’re there, we would appreciate some help too. I’m guessing the thing inside is a pretty big fellow.” Gyutae suggested.

Jiwoo stared at Gyutae in disbelief. It felt like someone had struck him hard on the back of his head. 

“The creature is not that big. We’re only here because the raid Hunters all avoided it.” 

“I’m assuming it’s a leopard, right?” Gyutae asked.

“Yes.”

Everyone looked excited except for Jiwoo. Every time Im Jeong took a step, he could hear a knife clatter. The low-level Hunters walking beside her, slowly observed the woman.

The scales on her leather armor seemed like it was alive. Her arms and shins were covered with shiny protective gear, even with a glance they looked robust. Despite it all, Jiwoo believed it would have been better if it had been constructed with materials from Hiro’s hard shell. 

The long gloves, which covered her entire arms, and her shoes as well, were made of monster’s hide. It was a product that raised the defense amplification rate to the max. This meant her armor wouldn’t immediately crack even if she was tanking the monster’s attacks.

Im Jeong wore a chainmail on top of her regular clothes and was clad in armor on top of all that. Her back and chest were completely protected. Moreover, if she was holding a shield and wearing a helmet, it would be difficult to find a gap in her defenses.

“Ah, I’ll hold this for you, I’ll hold it.” Jiwoo intended to speak to her formally, but noticing Kanghyun next to him, with his ears wide open, he dropped to a casual tone.

When Jiwoo reached out a lending hand, she smiled and shook her head.

“I feel more relaxed with them in my hands. Rather, I’m more anxious when I’m empty-handed. It’s better if it’s heavy. Besides, it’s not that bad.”

“How much does it cost to be as equipped as you? How much does a knife like that cost? I haven’t decided on a weapon yet.” Taein asked. Upon receiving a blank stare, he then explained to her that he would join raids soon.

“It’s a totally different story for Dealers. I’m a Tanker, so I focus on amplifying my defense. Dealers should choose from weapons with high attack amplifiers.”

“I see.”

“It would help to have armor and protective gear. It’s a little expensive. This has a 300% defense amplification rate.”

She pointed to the armor covering her chest and back.

“A B-rank Dealer has an attack power of 1000. If you increase your chakra level and chakra proficiency to the max, you can amplify your attack and defense by 100%. With a 200% amplifier from a weapon, you can raise your attack to 4000. You’re already aware of that, right?

“Yes.”

There were not many opportunities for a person to get advice from a B-rank SF Tanker, so Taein was concentrating on what she said.

“Every time your Chakra level increases from level 6 to 1, your defense and attack amplification rate go up by 10% with each level. After your Chakra level hits 5, every 20% increase in your chakra proficiency will raise the amplification rate. If you max out your chakra level and proficiency, you can still see the effects of 100% amplification rate with nothing equipped. But it’s very hard to increase one’s chakra proficiency.”

Taein nodded fiercely.

“Let’s say the Chakra level is 1, proficiency is maxed, then a B-class Dealer could inflict 4,000 damage to a monster with a single attack. Theoretically speaking, a Dealer like that could solo a monster with 4 million HP by hitting it a thousand times. That’s not including the time it takes for a Hunter to recharge and the fact they have to evade attacks too during their onslaught. In reality, it’ll be hard to pull off even 100 hits. People who invest in weapons do so because they already ran the calculations. Later on, when they rank up and hunt higher-level monsters, they can make back as much money they want. If you look at it like that it’s not surprising a weapon would exceed 3 or 4 billion won.”

Taein, who had been listening intently, dropped his jaw.


Footnotes

¹ To elaborate, there are different levels of speech in Korean such as formal and informal. When speaking to strangers, acquaintances, people who you aren’t close to, you should be using formal polite speech. To avoid suspicion, Jiwoo dropped it and was speaking casually, which can come across rude. 

² SF: For the sake of fluidity, the Hunter security force will be abbreviated to SF.

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