Chapter 17 - Awakened Test (2)

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Name: Park Hajin
Gender: Male
Age: 26
Strength 16 Agility 15 Stamina 16 Magic 12
Stat Points: 0
Coins: 1,580
Occupation: None
Unique Ability: Lethal Sneak Attack
Skill: Lv3 Accelerate, Lv2 Stealth, Lv2 Shallow Breath

He had already checked Park Hajin’s status with the Eye of Truth.

An assassination ability that had a strong chance of success one-on-one.

In particular, the ‘Shallow Breath’ was also a covetable skill.

‘It’s a passive skill useful in prolonged battles.’

It was definitely helpful for this work.

So he liked it

[Copy Condition: If you increase the target's affinity to the maximum, you can copy the 'unique ability.' If you increase the target's hostility to the maximum, you can copy one desired 'skill.']

To satisfy these conditions…

‘Raising his hostility wouldn’t be difficult.’

Jin-hyuk smiled. On the other hand, Park Hajin’s face became more distorted.

“This jerk… you are smiling in this situation?”

Srng!

But when he drew his sword, Jin-hyuk moved half a beat faster.

He held out the water bottle in his hand in front of him.

Chak!

He then sprayed the water from the bottle onto Park Hajin’s face.

‘What?’

Park Hajin closed his eyes. It was for less than a second, but even a brief moment could be crucial in battles.

The sword that was drawn late only cut through the air. Of course, the expected spray of blood and scream of pain didn’t come.

He didn’t feel any resistance.

Something felt wrong, and the moment he realized it…

Throb.

He felt a sharp pain in his thigh.

“Kuaaak!”

His body collapsed to the ground as he grabbed his thigh and groaned in pain.

A strike that had been aimed quickly and precisely. Park Hajin knew he couldn’t get up right now, let alone fight.

“W-what happened?”

“Did he attack and fall over too?”

“I don’t know.”

An absurd mistake or unexpected luck.

That was what it looked like for the spectators.

Of the hundred people present, only three managed to fully comprehend the movement.

They were Lee Taemin, Yoo Yeon-hwa, and Kim Gitae of the Fathers of Fighting guild.

‘I knew he was better than us, but this level is insane!’

Lee Taemin gulped. The timing of that surprise attack. The timing to use that small gap in the form and attack Park Hajin’s thigh.

It all looked like a fluke to the other people, but everything there was calculated.

Park Hajin’s leg wasn’t in a normal condition now, either. He wasn’t even sure how severe the injury was.

“Ugh…”

A sad sigh came from Yoo Yeon-hwa’s mouth.

That was because the appearance of someone completely overwhelming had overlapped the image of this man with her grandfather’s.

‘No, this man is worse than grandfather.’

At that time, her grandfather had the purpose of training her. But now?

There was nothing the victim could learn. It just looked like he was doing it for fun.


‘W-what?’

Park Hajin couldn’t understand the situation at all.

Obviously, the other person should have been the one on the ground.

Then why…

Was he feeling the cold marble on his cheek?

“Damn it!”

He cursed out loud. How dare he do something like this while Kim Gitae was watching?!

Even if he was careless, this was an irreversible mistake.

“This bastard, for real!”

Park Hajin tried to get up from the ground but felt intense pressure pressing down on his neck.

Crush!

“Kuak?”

“Your neck is broken. Lie down.”

Jin-hyuk looked down at Park Hajin from above.

“Ugh! Ugh! Foot… Your foot! Don’t you clean it?”

Park Hajin struggled. He tried to shake it off, but the opponent’s leg didn’t even budge.

“O-oppa!”

Park Hana’s voice sounded from the crowd. Having heard the commotion, she ran to the front.

“What kind of bastard!?”

Park Hana glared at the person who had attacked her brother, but the moment her eyes registered who it was.

Tremble.

Her entire body began to tremble.

“Uh, uh?”

A person she had never wanted to meet again.

A devil she didn’t even dare look at was standing in front of her.

“Oh my. I didn’t expect to see you so quickly. Intern.”

Jin-hyuk smiled brightly.

“W-why are you here… sir?”

“Why? For the test. I was upset since this guy was pushing and shouting too loudly.”

Jin-hyuk pushed his foot down a little more.

“Kuaak!”

Park Hajin began to wriggle in pain and stopped screaming.

The hall became a little bit quieter now.

‘But the condition to copy the skill isn’t complete yet?’

He thought that doing this would bring his hostility levels to the max. Apparently, the conditions were more demanding than he thought.

‘Well then, the only choice is to go harder.’

Just as he thought that…

“Enough.”

He felt a heavy pressure on his shoulder

Kim Gitae.

['Eye of Truth' has been activated]
[The skill activation has been canceled because the level difference has exceeded a certain level!]

He couldn’t see the man’s status window with his eyes. Right, that meant…

‘He is well over level 20.’

The domination and monopoly of hunting grounds.

This was the reason everyone wanted to join a large guild.

Jin-hyuk looked at the hand on his shoulder and then mumbled.

“… I didn’t know.”

“What didn’t you know?”

“That this guy would bring along a nanny.”

It was a provocative statement, but there was no change in Kim Gitae’s expression.

“He is a hard worker, so it cannot be helped. There are some areas where this guy is useful in his own rights.”

“A good one then…”

Jin-hyuk smiled.

“Is it because you are providing a supply of ‘Korean Ginseng’ to China?”

“What?”

Unlike before, these words made Kim Gitae’s expression change.

His eyes shook visibly, and even the hand on Jin-hyuk’s shoulders trembled for a second.

“How do you know that?”

“The question is a bit wrong. You aren’t supposed to ask how I know.”

If this information was known, if anyone could get such information.

Then…

“You should be asking if I can solve the Korean Ginseng’s side effects problem.”

As soon as those words left Jin-hyuk’s mouth.

Woong!

[Kim Gitae activates Lv3' Blackout Barrier']

A black curtain began to open around them as Park Hajin, Park Hana, and everyone else around them vanished.

In a world cut off from the outside, Kim Gitae looked at Jin-hyuk.

“You… who are you? How do you know all of that?”

This guy had been interesting at first. A random person in the testing location had played around with Park Hajin.

He had even admired his quick reflexes for a moment. But the words from Jin-hyuk had turned that interest into an uncomfortable and ominous curiosity.

In the end, it turned to hostility.

He had no choice but to feel as such. This man…

…knew too many things.

“I think you are asking the wrong question again.”

Jin-hyuk shrugged.

“It doesn’t matter what and how I came to know. You should have asked if I could exchange the information I knew for something.”

This wasn’t a time for questions. The results of this chat would decide his actions.

The motive and process were irrelevant to him.

“An exchange?’

“Yes. Well, I will be telling you all about reducing the side effects after all.”

Kim Gitae pursed his lips.

But it was only for a moment.

“It sounds like you had already prepared the deal ahead of time?”

If this was improvised, it would be impossible as there were too many things to consider.

A stage was prepared only by knowing the target in advance. If things were made to happen that way, it made sense that everything up till now unfolded as it had.

Jin-hyuk just shrugged his shoulders.

“Right. Actually, I knew you would be here.”

As soon as he heard from Lee Taemin yesterday that a test was being held here, he considered things that could happen.

A place to showcase the self.

Park Hana, who made it into the Hall of Fame and had raised her reputation, would not miss this chance. Of course, she would move in the morning.

And that brother of hers was anxious about their guild’s growth.

But the considerations didn’t end there.

Would Park Hajin, who wanted to strengthen his reputation, come alone?

No way.

He must want to attract the attention of strong people. Of course, the other side, too, wouldn’t miss the chance to promote itself through the media.

Consolidation of interests.

So he had been confident.

Dangun or Fighting Fathers.

Someone from one of the two would come, and they would be a strong person too.

‘It was all just a possibility, but I expected that Fighting Fathers would be more proactive since they were aiming for first place.’

And that hunch had been proven correct.

“… if what you say is true. Is there evidence for it? Anyone can say such things.”

Evidence?

Of course.

“If you consume the Korean Ginseng raw, symptoms of magic poisoning will occur. Of course, if you adjust the dosage using ‘Purified Water’ from the 2nd floor, the symptoms will be relieved. However, that isn’t a fundamental solution.”

“And what is?”

“You will need a total of 3 items.”

Jin-hyuk raised three fingers.

“Extract of Karasian, Moonlight Stone and the Mandragora Root. The first two can be found on the 2nd and 3rd floors of the tower, but that doesn’t matter. The problem is that you don’t know where the Mandragora Root is, don’t you?”

That’s right.

The recipe book obtained by the research team and explorers under the Fighting Fathers Guild matched what this man said.

Despite having obtained two items, they needed one more.

The Mandragora Root was difficult to find.

They didn’t even know which floor it was located in.

‘If he already knows the recipe and materials… well, that has to be it.’

It meant that there would be a minimum requirement to make the transaction, and his worries wouldn’t last long.

“Fine. I will let your words pass. But.”

At that moment, Kim Gitae pulled his sword out.

Srng!

The blade’s movement was so quick that it couldn’t even be compared with Park Hajin’s clumsy attack. The tip of the sword stopped in front of Jin-hyuk’s nose.

“If you plan to use some clumsy trick, then be prepared.”

“Be prepared if it is a trick?”

“Right. And you will not be able to get away this time.”

Right… seriously.

It seemed like he misunderstood something.

Jin-hyuk scratched his head. At the same time, his hand grabbed the sword.

“You don’t have to hold my hand.”

Kim Gitae smiled.

And at that moment…

Wheik!

[Lv2' Element of Fire' has been activated.]
[Due to the level difference with the target, the 'Rift' state has been activated!]

The flames flickered as the blade turned red.

The heat was so extreme that even his skin felt like it was being burnt.

Even the moisture in the air around was evaporating completely.

“…what?”

Kim Gitae hurriedly tried to pull back his sword, but it was too late.

Kuak!

Suddenly, Jin-hyuk pulled out his own dagger with his other hand.

He then pulled it close to his own hand. A thin golden line was drawn on Kim Gitae’s sword.

Too light to be called a crack, but it was still a clear line.

And at that moment…

Tuk!

The blade split in half and fell to the ground.

‘He destroyed my strengthened weapon?’

In one hit?

‘That’s absurd….!’

Kim Gitae looked at the broken blade on the floor and what remained of the sword in his hand with a blank expression. The opponent was obviously a player with a single-digit level.

Then what was this?

This vicious force that was cornering him? It felt like their levels had no meaning.

His instinct was warning him.

And Jin-hyuk said,

“Don’t get me wrong. I made the suggestion, and I am the one who can give you a chance.”

A voice colder than before.

“I am doing this kind of thing because it is a waste of my time to play tug-of-war with people like you.”

Right now, he had to go to the ruins on the 1st floor. He had already spent a month in the labyrinth.

However, since someone who knew nothing was acting like a top dog in front of him, he needed to teach them a lesson.

“You should remember one thing.”

That was right here

“If you make a sneaky move…”

He would be drawing the line.

“The entire Fighting Fathers Guild will be destroyed.”

And this will be the only warning.

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