Episode 60

Magnetite Mining (2)
1 month ago
Click or tap inside the chapter body to show/hide the bottom settings

Turning toward the source of the sound, Kang-hoo saw a hunter perched on a difficult-to-reach five-story structure.

The building appeared unfinished, with the hunter barely protruding the barrel of a gun from the railing, aiming at the opposite side.

Given that the dungeon’s theme was ‘abandoned mining city,’ deserted buildings were not unusual.

“Hey! Don’t freeze up, keep mining!”

“Stop just running your mouth and try climbing up yourself! See if you can mine with her sniping right there!”

“Damn it! I’ll go, I’ll go…”

Bang!

“…!”

A hunter climbing a spiral path up a small hill screamed as a bullet met its mark.

The magic bullet, which pierced right through his temple, sent him directly to the afterlife.

Despite the distance, the accuracy of the sniping was astonishingly precise.

[Precision Aim]

Kang-hoo activated the Precision Aim skill to magnify the image of the hunter sniping from the opposite side.

His view enhanced, he saw a woman in the crosshairs.

In his expanded vision, the woman had already turned her barrel toward him and was about to pull the trigger.

“…?”

[Swift Evasion]

Kang-hoo immediately activated a skill.

Simultaneously, she fired three shots where Kang-hoo had been.

Her aim was not at Kang-hoo’s previous location.

She shot about 5 meters ahead.

All three shots hit the same spot.

‘Warning shots.’

The message was clear.

Surprised by Kang-hoo’s instinctive evasion, the corners of her mouth twitched slightly.

She had aimed near Kang-hoo’s feet to intimidate him, but he had evaded swiftly.

She wore special goggles over her eyes, glowing red, undoubtedly an item of some significance.

“Hmm.”

Seizing the opportunity, Kang-hoo targeted a nearby rock and executed a lateral movement to conceal himself.

Approaching the hill that was in plain sight would have put him directly in line with her relentless sniping.

It seemed she was engaged in a skirmish with the hunters who had secured the hill, resulting in a stalemate.

The hunters hesitated to approach her, fearing a bullet would find its way to their heads.

She had taken her position as well but seemed unable to determine the right moment to flee.

They were engaged in a cat-and-mouse game.

In such situations, stalemates could last quite a while.

‘Breaking the balance usually requires reinforcements to arrive.’

He moved towards her.

Although she was busy searching for Kang-hoo, who had disappeared from her sight, she couldn’t pinpoint his location.

[Shadowless]

He used the Shadowless skill to virtually erase his presence.

Her plan to track Kang-hoo using all her senses had been thwarted at that point.

Meanwhile,

Kang-hoo had quietly entered the building, swiftly reaching the fifth-floor railing where she was positioned.

Standing beside her, who was absorbed in scanning the surroundings, he spoke in a low voice.

“What do you need?”

“Ah…!”

Startled, she turned to the sudden voice of Kang-hoo, who had just vanished but was now right beside her on the building.

Had Kang-hoo harbored the slightest intent to kill her, she would have been dead already.

“I’m curious whether you’re after magnetite or just looking to fight those guys.”

“Who are you?”

“Me? I’m here to mine magnetite.”

Kang-hoo gestured towards the hill.

If magnetite could be mined here, there would be no need to venture deep into the Lateus Dungeon.

There would also be other hunters who had already claimed spots there.

If the struggle was inevitable, she preferred to be here where backup was available.

She responded.

“I need magnetite.”

“Good. Then our objectives are the same. How much do you need?”

“500 grams.”

“That’s a reasonable request. What if I mine your share of magnetite and we work together?”

“Wouldn’t that take a long time?”

“That’s my concern. Just let me know if you can contribute your strength. Don’t worry about the rest.”

Kang-hoo chuckled.

Mining magnetite required a substantial amount of mana.

It had been the same when he mined mana stones in the Cheongmyeong Detention Center.

Kang-hoo was often taken to the mines because he used mana highly efficiently.

Of course, they were unaware of his innate hypersensitivity to mana, which facilitated his mana supply.

For Kang-hoo, using mana was not an issue, so reaching the top of the hill was his sole objective.

“I can do it.”

“Then, let’s form a temporary team. Deal?”

“Deal.”

They struck a strategic collaboration.

She inquired.

“What’s your name? I’m Ban Se-yeong, twenty-four years old.”

“Jeong Sun-kyu. Twenty-nine.”

Kang-hoo nonchalantly provided a false name. Ban Se-yeong probably did the same; her name was likely fictitious too.

“Then I’ll call you Sun-kyu oppa.”

“You probably won’t need to call me. Just spot the route for me. Focus on direct shooting, not covering.”

“Understood.”

Whoosh!

As Kang-hoo vanished from view, Ban Se-yeong extended her senses once more.

Yet she still couldn’t discern Kang-hoo’s location or movements.

It wasn’t mere stealth; it seemed as though he had employed a skill to obliterate his presence.

The world is immense, and encountering a skilled hunter is no small matter, but stumbling upon an assassin of this caliber was extraordinary.

Unbeknownst to her, she had launched three magic bullets as a warning, right in front of his feet.

If Kang-hoo had been hostile, she considered with a sinking heart, she would have been doomed.


Shortly thereafter.

“What the hell is this guy?”

“Who are you?”

As Kang-hoo emerged in front of the hill, the hunters were taken aback and adopted a defensive posture.

At least ten were visible.

None displayed constellation information.

Their levels were likely around 100.

Ban Se-yeong’s constellation information, which he had glimpsed earlier, revealed a total of three.

By a rough estimate, Ban Se-yeong’s level would exceed 200.

The fact that she hadn’t overpowered these lower-level hunters suggested a significant vulnerability.

“The biggest dilemma of every gunner is that they can’t handle close combat. If you only focus on one thing, you’ll fail.”

For high firepower, a gunner inherently has to carry a longer gun.

She held a rather long one. It became poison for any hunter who tried to get close.

Kang-hoo, his sword held in a reverse grip, raised both arms and spoke as ‘politely’ as possible.

“Guys, I just want to dig up two pieces of Magnetite and then I’ll leave. Can I just rest somewhere for a moment?”

“What are you talking about, you idiot?”

“Do we, Kalbaram, look like fools to you, you newbie?”

“Ah, so your group is called Kalbaram. Nice name. Makes me want to send you to hell.”

“Where do you get off making jokes like that?”

The Kalbaram group growled in response.

Amidst this, Ban Se-yeong’s sniping seemed to worry them, as they busily chattered behind their iron barriers.

“Useless fools.”

It was disappointing that none of the hunters contracted with constellations, but it was time to stay focused on the goal.

Kang-hoo was more worried about the traps around the rocky mountain than the hunters guarding it.

If a skilled technician had set up the traps, approaching even after clearing out the hunters might be difficult.

“It’s a good thing that she’s already annoying me. Hey, let’s take care of this guy first!”

The leader gave the command.

It was a strategic decision, thinking that Ban Se-yeong wouldn’t be able to provide cover fire easily if they were mixed up in a melee.

Surely it was a very logical and right decision from the leader’s perspective. The plan looked good.

The only problem, however, was that their opponent, Kang-hoo, preferred ultra-close combat.

“I welcome it.”

Kang-hoo greeted the breakdown of negotiations with a happy expression.


As soon as the battle began.

“Hmm…”

Ban Se-yeong, her index finger on the trigger, straightened it and peeked out.

She realized there was no need for her to lay down cover fire to make way.

Though Kang-hoo was encircled by ten members of the Kalbaram group, he was not at a disadvantage.

In fact, his stance was stable.

He wounded those who came at him first and only targeted parts essential for combat with precision.

Indeed, it was a mockery.

To such a degree that Kang-hoo didn’t let the Kalbaram group land a single effective blow.

The gang members scattered across the rocky mountain were quite agile.

Their rapid movements meant that there were few casualties despite Ban Se-yeong’s prolonged sniping.

Hence, Kang-hoo had anticipated he might face some difficulty.

But that concern was unnecessary.

Every time Kang-hoo blinked, his position changed so dramatically.

So much that it was the perfect time to confidently use the phrase, “Now you see him, now you don’t.”

Especially when he employed illusion and Shadow Step simultaneously, even Ban Se-yeong couldn’t help but shout in astonishment.

Determining which silhouette was the real Kang-hoo was impossible.

She felt a chill once more.

Was this not the same person she had marked as an enemy and at whom she had fired a warning shot?

To have survived that encounter, she felt as though she had been aided by the heavens.

“Aaaack! Ahhh!”

“My leg! My leg…”

All members of the Kalbaram group caught up with Kang-hoo at the entrance of the rocky mountain screamed in agony.

Not one remained unscathed.

A battlefield that had been effectively swept clean.

A flawless victory with no opportunity to even fire a single additional shot.

At that instant.

Thump!

Kang-hoo flicked his finger, delivering the coup de grâce.

Blood Flower.

The members of the Kalbaram group were perfectly positioned within the blast radius.

Boom! Boom! Boom!

“Insane.”

Ban Se-yeong witnessed it clearly.

The blood blossoms that burst forth in midair from the wounded bodies of the Kalbaram group were a gruesome sight.

Blood Flower was the most savage and yet the most magnificent spectacle among all the skills she had witnessed.

Of course, for its victims, it was a fast track to hell.

“What kind of hunter is he?”

Ban Se-yeong reassessed Kang-hoo.

The situation had already been resolved, and her curiosity about him piqued.

She considered herself well-informed about hunters, yet she knew nothing of Kang-hoo.

From his flawless stealth to stylish skills like Blood Flower, he was an ‘assassin’.

An assassin with such versatile abilities should have been renowned.

Jung Sun-kyu’s name and face were too unfamiliar to her.

Yet, for someone newly emerged, the depth and refinement of his skills seemed too advanced.

He was a ‘manufactured’ skilled person, not a ‘lucky’ one who had merely stumbled upon his abilities.

Perhaps that was why.

Gulp.

She found herself swallowing dryly as she observed him.

📢 New! Donation Section - Support early translations!

👀 Seeking Korean Translators - Get paid per chapter!

Your support helps keep our chapters free. Consider subscribing, purchasing, or joining our Discord for updates and discussions!

Enjoying the series? Leave a rating or review on Novel Updates.

⚠️ Do not post a spoiler without a spoiler tag ⚠️

<spoiler>INSERT YOUR TEXT</spoiler>