Chapter 18 - Awakened Test (3)

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At Jin-hyuk’s words, Kim Gitae flinched.

“You will… face the entire guild alone?”

This was arrogance and ignorance.

From the beginning, a guild was a group that came together to overcome the limitations of being alone.

And wasn’t Kim Gitae’s guild now the 2nd largest in Korea?

“If you have come to take the test, your level must be low.”

“It is low. Still level 1.”

“This is absurd. And you think you can go ahead with your words?”

The average level of the upper-ranked people in his guild was 20 or higher. There were at least ten players stronger than Kim Gitae.

But…

“If you try to judge someone based on level alone, you are completely wrong about the Tower of Trials.”

Jin-hyuk spoke with no emotion in his voice.

‘He means it?’

Kim Gitae gulped.

This wasn’t a lie or a bluff. This man was simply stating what he could do.

Of course, defeating a guild with hundreds of people was impossible.

But…

‘He is stronger than me.’

That, at least, he was sure of.

Kim Gitae, who had been silent, then said.

“The terms of exchange…”

“Uh?”

“What are the terms of exchange?”

He seemed to have come to a decision on the deal.

“Simple. I will tell you where to find the Mandragora Root, so you must hand over 10 exclusive dungeons owned by the Fighting Fathers.”

Exclusive dungeons.

Unlike the general dungeons that anyone could enter, each guild had its own exclusive dungeon. Although the risks were low, the rewards from them were excellent.

Therefore, each guild was frantically trying to secure its own exclusive dungeon.

But to simply hand over ten of them?

That number was equal to 30% of all the exclusive dungeons that the Fighting Father guild owned.

“The price is outrageous.”

“The price is for resolving the symptoms of magic poisoning. Of course, it has to be expensive, right?”

Just look at what the effect would be and stop grumbling.

Ten dungeons or a relationship with China.

Which was more important to Fighting Fathers?

“…”

Kim Gitae was losing it.

He cleared his emotions and calmed his head as he began to weigh the gains and losses.

Ten exclusive dungeons.

It was a waste to just give them out, but if they could find the location of the ingredient, then it wouldn’t be a loss.

The problem lies elsewhere.

The existence of this opponent.

‘If he is this strong at just level 1…’

How much stronger would he get once he leveled up?

It was scary.

Growth rate, potential, and even the future.

Everything.

However, it wasn’t up to Kim Gitae to decide it all. It was not a matter light enough for one person to decide.

“I will tell the executives in the guild. I will discuss the terms and conditions you mentioned and give you an answer.”

“Wise decision.”

Jin-hyuk smiled, and the conversation between the two ended.

[Lv3 ‘Blackout Barrier’ has been dismantled.]

The curtain around them disappeared.


“H-He is out!”

“Ohhh!”

“What were they talking about?”

When the two reappeared, the people anxiously waiting outside began to ask questions.

“P-Put the camera down. Yah! Can you not hear me? I said put the camera away!”

“If you don’t want to go crying out that the Freedom of Press was taken away, return the footage. I believe everyone knows about the revised Act on Special Cases for Awakened Persons.”

The players that belonged to the Black Crow Guild and Fighting Fathers Guild stopped the press.

‘Ah. Quite convenient.’

He was a little less concerned about having things leaked thanks to this.

He wanted to end it quickly.

Kwaang!

“Kualk!”

With a roar, someone hit the floor.

Did someone get hit by an ogre or what? The man’s nose bridge completely collapsed.

‘Must be painful.’

Jin-hyuk glanced in the direction that the man had flown off. He then looked at the person who did the hitting, a woman wearing sportswear.

“Move. If you all. Don’t. Want. To. Die.”

A player who made a name for herself as the Nuclear Fist of Bukwang District.

Yoo Yeon-hwa.

And after that, he saw Lee Taemin.

“Hyung! Are you fine? If something happened in there, just tell us! I will throw them to the ground and trample on them!”

“Mr. Kim Gitae. I am disappointed. I didn’t think of you to act like this. What are you doing with the barrier?”

The two showed clear hostility.

At first, they were reluctant to get into an argument with another guild…

As soon as this happened, they didn’t back down. Bad feelings had arisen in them.

They were standing up for Jin-hyuk. This meant that they would stay by his side.


‘From Yoo Yeon-hwa to Lee Taemin…’

Kim Gitae’s face became stiff.

He thought that they were just being friendly because there was no way that these two famous people would have this kind of rapport with another person.

But they seemed different. This wasn’t just simply knowing each other.

If someone touched that man…

He felt like a full-scale battle would break out.

“We just had a little conversation. There is nothing to worry about.”

“For real?”

“Right. He is a person who is better at talking than I thought.’

Jin-hyuk told them.

“If oppa says it, then…”

“We understand.”

The two of them released the magic that they had been gripping tightly.

The tense air subsided. Kim Gitae, who was about to turn around, paused for a moment.

And looked at Yoo Yeon-hwa.

“Ah, man. I almost forgot. How is elder Yoo Cheon-young?”

“Grandfather is flying around, so you don’t have to worry about it.”

“Hmm. Well, I see. Then it is good.”

With a distorted smile, Kim Gitae hastened his movement.

On the other hand, Yoo Yeon-hwa clenched her lips.

As the two passed by each other, it was Park Hajin who became anxious.

“W-wait for me! I mean, are you going to send them like that?”

He had been humiliated, so he wanted a chance to get revenge. Yet why was everyone just suddenly walking away?

Park Hajin couldn’t understand it.

It felt like he had to destroy the man who had humiliated him now to ensure no such opposition came up again.

“Leave him alone. There is no way someone like you can do anything.”

Kim Gitae drew the line.

“B-But!”

“But?”

“Ah… nothing. I just want another chance…”

“Chance? Right, a chance for you. A chance for your head to still be on your neck till now. The luck in not knowing that you would die to the monster due to your reckless action.”

“…”

“If you speak shit again, realize that you will regret it. Keep that in mind. Those who want to partner with us needs to be strong.”

“I…understand.”

Park Hajin gritted his teeth. This was another incentive to fuel his desire to kill Jin-hyuk one day.

At that moment…

Tring!

[Condition has been met]
[You succeeded in copying the skill ‘Shallow Breath (D)’]
[The Copied skill is saved in ‘Memory of the World’]
[Shallow Breath (Passive)
Acquisition Difficulty: D
Description: you can control your breathing rate and sound (The limit varies depending on the skill level.)]

It seemed that his hostility had reached the maximum.

And all it took was being abandoned by the person he wanted to look good in front of.

But that was his thing to deal with.

‘Let’s put this to good use.’

As he saw his newly acquired passive skill, Jin-hyuk smiled.


After the chaos cleared up, the testing resumed.

Of course, the number of applicants had decreased.

The fight that had happened broke the spirits of some of the people. Many of them noticed the gap and even gave up taking the test.

In the end, only those who wanted to take the test on a first-come, first serve basis was allowed.

[1. Park Hana. Measurement: 1755 A rank.]
[2. Han Minhee. Measurement: 989 B rank]
[3. Oh Jeon-hoon. Measurement: 845 B rank.]
[…]

‘Oh.’

Jin-hyuk looked at the numbers on the signboard and exclaimed softly. No matter what else happened, Park Hana still took first place.

By an overwhelming margin too.

‘Did she eat some wild ginseng?’

Due to the nature of the test being conducted individually with an examiner in a room, he couldn’t check.

This looked like a joke.

And after a bit of time…

“Next person, please come in.”

It was Jin-hyuk’s turn.

Tremble!

When he opened the door, a fairly large room appeared in front of him with a big magic stone at the center.

Next to it was the Awakened Association examiner holding a tablet PC.

“H-hello.”

When the examiner saw Jin-hyuk, he trembled.

It was probably because of what happened earlier.

He could understand that reaction.

Totally understand…

But he’d prefer if the guy would explain the test.

“What am I supposed to do?”

“Ah. Yes. All you have to do is hit the magic stone in front of you. You can even use unique abilities. You can also use items. The essence is the size of the potential that appears when you hit the magic stone.”

In a word, it was simply ‘Hit the stone as strong as you can.’

‘Simple.’

There was nothing difficult here.

Jin-hyuk stood in front of the stone and pulled out his dagger.

“A dagger. Are you going to use the weapon without any unique abilities?”

“Yes. This is enough.”

“All right. You can start.”

As soon as the examiner finished speaking…

Woong!

Magic flowed along into the dagger, and its tip trembled with a bright red light.

And at that moment.

Kak!

The blade moved like lightning and scratched the surface of the magic stone. It was a quick yet long slash through the stone.

A blow with the right combination of speed and power.

But…

[589. Kang Jin-hyuk. Measurement: 91 F rank.]

“You did well. You are… F rank.”

The examiner read the number with a shocked expression, and Jin-hyuk just smiled.

It was no surprise.

Why?

There are always a few cliches in novels.

The talented protagonist takes the awakening test for the first time and gets the cliché F rank.

There were many possible reasons, such as a system error or a defective magic stone.

“I have been quite curious for a long time.”

Jin-hyuk took a step forward.

“Why do they simply accept and move on when the result is strange?”

If the person got the proper rank.

Many of the main characters in the novels would have grown more quickly and smoothly.

They would have gotten access to dungeons, areas, and information that an F-rank wouldn’t receive.

It was a twist from the start.

But…

He wouldn’t let the same thing happen in the real world he lived in.

“Excuse me, examiner?”

“Y-yes?”

The man looked around, a bit shocked.

His body trembled. He couldn’t help it.

The scene of Jin-hyuk taking down Park Hajin was still vivid in his eyes.

A low-level civil servant like him was bound to be scared by that.

“Are there any other examiners here apart from you?”

“Yes! Yes! None. I am the only one. So how can I help you?”

“The magic stone, it seems strange. Can you change it? Not a low, but a mid-grade stone.”

“Magic stone? What about the magic stone all of a sudden?”

So frustrating.

“Can you see the crack in the stone here?”

Jin-hyuk pointed to the surface of the stone. It was faint, but there was a blade mark there.

“I… don’t see.”

“The magic stone didn’t budge from any attack. But there is a wound from an F-class person like me? Does this make any sense?”

Did everyone live with their eyes as just decorations, or were they just acting ignorant?

Either way, it was frustrating

But…

“You’re still here?”

Jin-hyuk said in annoyance.

“I-I will change it right now. 1 minute. No. Give me 30 seconds.”

The examiner ran towards the warehouse.

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