Part 2: Transport Hunter
Obeying Im Jeong’s firm command, Kanghyun exited the swamp, unable to last much longer. Taein followed suit while Jiwoo waited for Im Jeong.
“Go ahead and leave. I can escape at any time.” Im Jeong said to Jiwoo.
“Yes, I’m aware that you can. Besides, I can do that on my own too, so let’s go together.”
Im Jeong stared at him blankly. Scundell then flapped its wings and charged at her. Jiwoo gathered his chakra instantaneously and took a leap forward at a frightening speed, snatching her up and making a run for it.
“Don’t you know that it isn’t over until it actually is?” Jiwoo admonished.
He looked angry. For some reason, he hated imagining her getting hurt. Jiwoo didn’t know when he started to feel this way.
The two left the swamp, Im Jeong’s arms around Jiwoo’s neck.
Awaiting them were two riled individuals. Kanghyun was even stamping his feet.
“I’m going to work really hard from now on. We were so close. It’s the first time I realized I only had this much chakra.” Kanghyun said, unable to contain himself.
“You had a lot of chances to find out about that though.” Taein retorted.
“If chakra was limitless, then there wouldn’t be any need for ten people to enter the swamp. Infinite chakra means that F-rank Dealers would be able to confront Class 5 monsters to an extent.” Im Jeong calmly explained as she and Jiwoo lifted the lid and moved it to cover the swamp. The other two couldn’t help because they didn’t have the strength left to help.
“Let’s go. I’ll bring you all back. You guys did a great job today. Everyone did much better than I expected, so I’m looking forward to the future.”
Taein shook his head to the Tanker’s offer and put his arm around Kanghyun’s shoulder.
“That’s okay. Thank you so much for today and we’ll go back on our own. I did some foolish things today, but I think I can do better in the future. You really were incredible.” Taein replied, giving a thumbs-up to Im Jeong. Kanghyun still seemed to have a lot to say, but Taein forcibly dragged him.
“Hyung, Hyung. We’re going to Extreme Hunter tomorrow. I’ve already decided on it with Taein Hyung.” Kanghyun shouted to Jiwoo, as he was getting pulled away.
“Alright, call me.” Jiwoo said, waving to them.
“Shall we go then too?”
When the two of them were left, Im Jeong asked Jiwoo about the things she was curious about. She asked why he and others had been fighting Scundell around a particular area to which Jiwoo explained about the Querencia they heard from their surgeon.
“Before when we transported carcasses, we got an explanation about the maps and monsters from Mr. Gyutae. It’s almost a habit now for us to find the monster’s Querencia whenever we enter the swamp. On every map, there is an area with a lot of the monster’s footprints.”
“Querencia? I’ve never thought about that.”
“It’s a given though. The same applies to monsters and humans. A long-lasting battle will result in immense stress and they’ll lose their composure if they lose the place where they can go to get a breather.”
Im Jeong bobbed her head as she listened to him.
“Like Kanghyun said, make sure to go to Extreme Hunter tomorrow. By the way, I don’t want you to completely give up on the Blade either. It can serve as a sub weapon.” She added, convinced of the matter.
Jiwoo asked a question he hadn’t wanted to ask. It was because he feared being seen as the only one who didn’t understand when others did. However, he knew after participating in the real raid, he had to understand it completely before he moved forward.
“There’s something I’m curious about. I get how the severity of the injury and how deep the wound depends on the attack power of the Dealer. But what’s the point of training to attempt to deal a fatal wound?”
“The monster is very resilient. Let’s say you stab it in the heart or slice its throat, the monster’s HP will only decrease as much as the Dealer’s attack power. Then it would recover after a few minutes.” Im Jeong explained.
“It can recover?””
Jiwoo looked at her with a confused expression.
“Yes, but until it recovers from a deadly blow, it’s completely vulnerable. That’s when everyone can concentrate their attacks. Whether it be a Class 2 monster or a Class 3 monster, it’s difficult for Dealers to attack once or twice in a minute and during the 7 seconds they’ll need to regather their chakra. The issue isn’t if they could recharge or not, but rather, whether they find the right timing to approach and attack afterwards. If a giant 15 to 20 meter monster took a leap instantaneously, it’ll be hard to catch up with their speed.”
Jiwoo’s mouth hung open by itself. He had never thought about that.
One needed some basic foundation on the matter to try to imagine something out of the bounds of their knowledge. Since Jiwoo had no foundation on the subject, he couldn’t imagine it in the first place.
He had always envied F-rank Dealers with 200 attack power. He had never tried to imagine how Dealers fought Class 3 or Class 2 monsters in swamps. He had little to no concept of how extremely monsters fought or what kind of situations Dealers go through during their fights. All this time, this was abstract knowledge shrouded by a fog. Having heard her explanation, Jiwoo felt as though he was beginning to grasp it.
Watching Jiwoo’s surprise, Im Jeong continued to explain.
“If they can cut off the monster’s neck and render it defenseless, then heavily-armed B-rank and C-rank Dealers can rush in and launch an attack. Even if their chakra level is 5, B-ranks have a base attack power of 1000. Triple 1,100 if you’re fighting with a weapon that amplifies your attack power by 200%. It will become enormous. In this case, nine Dealers will fight, and the tanker will also add to their attack power. Hence, if they attack all at once, their damage will come up to 40,000.”
“40,000 at once? They’ll clear the floor if they run a Class 5 swamp, won’t they? Class 5 monsters have around 4 million HP at most and the Scundell has 2.7 million.”
“Not all Scundells have 2.7million HP. You don’t know how hard it was for me to find this thing.”
“Oh, nothing. Anyway, with that in mind, your solution will be to train harder in the future.”
“I can’t believe it, 40,000. That’s incredible. But in that scenario, because there are more long-distance Dealers, they can only attack three times a minute, right?” Jiwoo asked.
“Well, there’s a reason why a single attack has a long recharge time. You have to gather a lot of chakra to attack from a distance and damage the monster. However, during the period where the monster is fatally wounded and incapacitated, there’s no issue with closing in on it and attacking it. Then the attack would have a recharge time of 7 seconds, not 20. The time it takes to recover depends on how fatal of a wound it suffered, but it’s still huge if they’re stunned for two or three minutes. I wonder, wouldn’t it take about four minutes for the monster to recover if its throat was sliced? I’ve been in so many raids, but I’ve never seen a Dealer accomplish it before so I’m not sure.”
“There hasn’t been a Dealer who cut off the monster’s neck?”
“I’ve never seen it during my time in raids. There might be someone somewhere. But I don’t think anyone has the drive to do that in the first place. Who would deliberately expose themselves to more danger just to fatally wound the monster? Wouldn’t it be fine to attack moderately within the given time frame, and stop if it doesn’t work?”
“Ah… Is that so?”
“If there really is a Dealer who can cut off a monster’s neck, and could completely immobilize the monster for up to four or five minutes, their clear time would be significantly reduced. Well, there’s none who can consecutively attack like that. There’s probably no one in this world who could. In order to accomplish that, their chakra output would have to be tremendous. It’s impossible no matter how much I think about it.”
Jiwoo nodded, which meant he understood what Im Jeong was getting at. Then Jiwoo parted his mouth, suddenly remembering something.
“You know the Hunter that we discovered while we transported corpses? They sometimes inflict a fatal wound on the monster.”
“Oh, the one who used a dagger?” Im Jeong asked.
“I’m curious about him too. When you go to Extreme Hunter, look for those types of weapons too. You know the length and width of the weapon, if you search around, you’ll be able to reduce your choices. Don’t be misled by the handle, and examine the blade carefully.”
“Can’t you come with me?” Jiwoo asked, expressing his disappointment.
“I have work tomorrow.”
“I don’t know if they will have the weapon in Extreme Hunter but if they do, rent it. Extreme Hunter also do weapon rentals. It’s too expensive to buy something once, then have to change it because it doesn’t fit you. The store’s pretty smart to have such an option. Anyway, there’s a weapon like an arrowhead. It’s about 60 centimeters long. It pierces in smoothly, but it gets caught on the end as it exits so a lump of flesh comes out with it. It’s quite literally an arrowhead. We’re going to fix it and make it bigger then create a handle so you can use it like a knife. Ask them to show you the critical hook too.”
“I thought I didn’t have to go so far to fatally wound it?”
“Yes, but it would be useful if you’re targeting the heart. If you succeed in delivering a fatal blow to the monster’s heart, you can completely immobilize it for about four or five minutes.”
“That’s a sub weapon too. In my opinion, it would be good to study and approach things this way, that is, if we can keep this team going. If so, won’t you all be able to target Class 3 or Class 2 swamp monsters soon? With a Dealer, capable of swift and powerful blows to fatally wound a monster, and Dealers who could launch powerful burst attacks, it would be possible.”
“Are the three of us that amazing?” Jiwoo asked, genuinely surprised.
“Well, there’s four of you. Your surgeon, Mr. Gyutae. Wait, by then, he’ll be called your Dealer, won’t he? If he joins as a Dealer, your team will be very powerful.”
“I’m a little worried though. Mr. Gyutae has been looking forward to the surgery a lot, but it could end up not working out. He might be very disappointed then.”
“Yes, for starters, won’t it be better for us to trust in him and wait?” She replied with a smile.
She didn’t think it was time yet to reveal her abilities to Jiwoo.
“Something like a simple sword would be fine to use as a weapon. That will be your main weapon. Browse it together with the others when you visit Extreme Hunter.” Im Jeong advised.
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