Leveling Up From Rank F Chapter 42


Part 2: Transport Hunter

Chapter 42


Jiwoo explored Im Jeong’s tender lips with his tongue once more before he got off of her. He was regretful and expectant at the same time.

Taein and Kanghyun couldn’t be cooped up in the car forever and he also couldn’t waste his energy before his first raid either.

Jiwoo stood first and gave her a hand, which she took with no hesitation. After they were both up, he rubbed the back of her hand with his long thumb for a moment. He then pulled her hand behind his back causing her to stumble and hug him.

“This hug’s also part of the tuition.” Jiwoo said.

“Was this a deferred payment? This is the first time you’ve paid your dues.”

“I guess so?”

“I think I’ll like to get paid in advance starting next time.”

“Should I pay the tuition every day?”

“That would be nice too.”

Taein and Kanghyun walked in, clanging their swords to announce that they were back.

“As I was saying, the speed just now was good. I hope we can maintain that pace.” Im Jeong said to Jiwoo. 

Jiwoo smiled. His expression was completely different from how it was a few minutes ago. He looked at her confidently, proudly knowing he was her special somebody. 

Seeing Jiwoo’s gaze and smile, Im Jeong felt like something had shot through her heart. She felt she could get a heart attack from that expression alone.

Jiwoo squeezed her hand before he let it go, indicating he didn’t want to let go but he had to. Subsequently, Im Jeong took the lead and stepped forward.

She suddenly called Jiwoo’s name as if she remembered something. 

There was a log about 1 meter in diameter in front of her.

 “Wait. Everyone, come here. Taein and Kanghyun, too.” 

Taein and Kanghyun felt awkward after witnessing their scene, but Im Jeong’s tone indicated their moment was over, so they rushed to her side.

“All three of you, pour chakra into your fists and try to break this. Don’t think about saving your chakra and release everything. Oh, wait no, we do have a raid later.

“What? We’re really going to do it?” Kanghyun asked.

Taein shook his head first.

“It’s too much to start today. We can’t do a raid this quickly.”  Taein firmly rebutted.

“I’m not telling you to capture the monster or anything. I told you, it’s completely within our capabilities to flee when things get dicey.”

Even when she reassured him, Taein continued to shake his head. There was no need to persuade him anyway. She knew he would follow them if the others did. 

Although Im Jeong retracted her previous statement about pouring everything into it, Jiwoo hesitated.

“What are you trying to find out? I think I still have a lot of chakra left.”

As soon as Jiwoo spoke, Im Jeong’s eyes sparkled.

“Oh, that’s true for you isn’t it, Jiwoo? Then you can try first. There’s nothing to feel bad about since these are just logs anyway. Punch it with your fist. When you get a feel for the perfect strike, you’ll be able to control the chakra to a finer detail. When that happens, try it with your fingers. Strike with your finger, thinning out your chakra, and quickly piercing it deep enough so that you can inflict an internal wound to the organs.”

“There are people who do it like that?” Jiwoo asked.

“Of course. That’s what all high-level Hunters do.”

Jiwoo bobbed his head in admiration. Her excessive confidence was proof that she was not lying. However, this had not fully sunk in for Jiwoo yet. 

“You’re going to practice pushing your chakra out. I’m not telling you to punch it directly with your bare fist.”

“Yes, I understand.”

A chakra-infused fist was as strong as a giant hammer. The relentless punching could’ve hurt, but the back of Jiwoo’s hand appeared unscathed. 

While Jiwoo was practicing to sense the feeling through those repeated strikes, Im Jeong turned to Taein and Kanghyun, who were still wandering about. She didn’t say anything to them. Lost in thought, she tilted her head. When she finally spoke, the words that left her lips were, “What should be good for him, I wonder.”

It was only then that the three of them realized Im Jeong had been thinking about Jiwoo’s main weapon all this time. However, this didn’t mean she would simply reveal what it was. 

Her commands were endless from that point onwards. She told him to take a jump using chakra, and when he did, she wasn’t disappointed how his jump didn’t double in height. She didn’t have a specific height in mind in the first place, so it was exhausting to have a teacher who wasn’t quite satisfied with the results.

For Im Jeong, she had seen many people jumping and leaping about, so she wasn’t particularly impressed by someone doing a “decent” job.

They all walked on eggshells around her as time passed by. They had hoped Im Jeong had forgotten about the raid, but after she judged they got a rough mastery of their weapons, she led the low-level Hunters to their destination.

It was a familiar road. The four of them arrived at the swamp at the shopping mall’s parking lot in less than ten minutes. The three men did not know the mall had been so close to their training site. As such they got out of the vehicle without being able to collect their minds and ready themselves.

“No need to brood over it so much.” Im Jeong reassured.

There was nothing wrong with her statement. On the off chance one of them did end up at death’s door, she was more than confident she could save them. She couldn’t disclose that fact though. 

The three men, unaware of her ability, had a grim expression as if they were walking to their graves. Just thinking about how they were about to confront a real monster from this point onwards, made the weapons they were holding feel different too. While they prepared themselves, Im Jeong did the same. She put on armor, protective gears, and grabbed all the aggro equipment and her favorite weapons.

The lives of three Hunters were in her hands. She also knew this first raid experience would completely change their future.

Im Jeong took out a wide piece of material that looked like a cravat bandage and tied Taein’s hand to the ax’s handle.

“We’re only attempting it and nothing else, then we will exit the swamp. We’re focusing solely on doing that, alright?”

They nodded. They starten to loosen up since they knew they’ve come this far.

“Even though you won’t gain EXP today, today’s raid will definitely help you improve your skills. Just trust me for now.” She encouraged them one last time. Then, she approached the lid.

Im Jeong also talked to someone on the phone for less than 10 seconds. When she looked back after the call, she saw them staring at her so she explained what happened.

“Since we’ll be entering the swamp now, I asked them to prevent other Hunters from entering. Let’s say that we’ve almost succeeded in our assault, but another Hunter enters, then the monster’s HP will reset. It’ll be terrible.” Im Jeong lamented, but no one sympathized with her. 

They were curious about her mentality and whether she actually thought they could actually attack the monster with only four members.

At last, Im Jeong made eye contact with each person and entered the swamp first. Jiwoo followed, then Taein, and Kanghyun, last.

The map wasn’t anything special; it was a meadow. It was a map they commonly saw when they went around transporting carcasses, meaning it didn’t feel anything special.

It also occurred to them how they didn’t even check the map area the first time they entered. Back then, they were shocked by the fact that there was a living creature inside. They couldn’t think about anything else, but to quickly escape the swamp.

They saw an information window inside. The three low-level Hunters didn’t wander off and checked the timer and the monster’s HP. The number, 12h:00m:00s, immediately ticked down to 11h:59m:58s as they stared at it.

It now sunk in that they were about to begin the raid. The three Hunters grabbed hold of their weapons. The window displayed a stamina of 2.7 million HP, which was a great stroke of luck for them.

The monster slowly raised its heavy body upon the raid members entering its territory.

“It’s a Scundell. It’s not a difficult opponent. I’ll be tanking it, so look for an opportunity to attack.” Im Jeong said while she raised her shield and sword.

The monster called Scundell had an unique appearance, which was difficult to explain when comparing it to any of the creatures on Earth. It  was shaped like a four-legged beast, its mouth resembling that of a bird’s snout, and it had rakes for feet.

“It should be about 3 meters and 70 centimeters.” Taein inputted.

Everyone knew that fact thanks to observing Gyutae’s dissections for a long time.

They had seen it as less dangerous than a monster with sharp claws, however, such thoughts dispelled the instant they saw its wet wings beginning to spread.

“If its wings spread, it’ll be about 5 meters and 40 centimeters, but it’s not that big of a deal.” Taein said.

It was big talk coming from someone who was trying to calm himself.

“It can’t fly that high. Its wings have atrophied.”

Im Jeong ran, luring in the monster. The Scundell flapped its bat-like wings and flew towards her. She used chakra to enhance her speed as such she could easily mess around with the monster.

“If you see an opening, attack. Get into position!” Her voice boomed.

Although the three low-level hunters were terrified at first, they gradually shook it off. If they didn’t help in the slightest, it didn’t matter whether Im Jeong was a B-rank Tanker or not, she couldn’t handle it all by herself. Their bodies thus moved automatically.

Taein was the first to attack Scundell. No one expected it, but he had been preparing for the actual raids for a long time, so he was different. The others ran around, evaded, and attacked here and there. While they did so, it crossed their mind that encountering the Scundell had been no coincidence.

The Scundell was inferior to other monsters in various respects. It was small in appearance and size, on top of that it was slow. It did look intimidating when it spread its wings, but such feelings dissipated after looking at it two or three times. 

It appeared as though Im Jeong had wandered around swamps under the pretext of patrolling the area, and found the easiest monster for them.

As time went by, they were able to fully grasp Scundell’s movement pattern. Taein attacked the monster with his chakra-infused ax and then looked at the window. This got him scolded by Im Jeong. His action was the reason why the Scundell, enraged at getting hit by the ax, immediately went wild and tried to charge at Taein. It was difficult to say what would have happened to him had Im Jeong not been there to immediately aggro it’s attack. 

The Tanker was so furious to the point she questioned if Taein was actually a psychopath.

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