Chapter 9

03 – The S-classes are falling from the sky (1)



      “Spirits in all four corners of the world–All you souls!” Cha Taeyang, blue fire lit in both hands, stretched out her arms and moved lightly as if she were dancing.
A blue line was drawn along the trajectory of her hands’ movements.
Even to my undiscerning eye, it looked quite extraordinary.

     What an amazing skill for it to encompass the entire greenhouse…

      Cha Taeyang, reciting an activation sentence that was half-song, half-prayer-like chant, drew a large circle with her hands.
Following those movements, her skirt billowed to resemble flower petals before sinking again.
“The way the wind blows, the way the water flows… As promised, be guided towards the waters of the Ruo River past all of Korea.” 1


      The dokkaebi was still, but I heard a bell ring from somewhere.

     Subsequently, a blue luminescence hovered in the dark sky; the rich scent of flowers covered the undead odor.

      Simultaneously, the wind began to blow crazily.

     “Sanayo, Sanasosa. 2 Look to paradise, become malleable, and return to your original state!” Alongside Cha Taeyang’s cry, an unfamiliar design emerged in the circle she drew.

      Standing in front of the circle, Chae Taeyang joined her hands in a clap; a fog illuminated by colorful lights surrounded the greenhouse.

Thud– Bang, Thud–!

     Four giant doors plummeted from the sky.

     The strange, glossy door resembled an Ilji Gate 3that usually sits in front of a temple, but the door had a dokkaebi pattern on it.
The pressure flowing from the doors was so immense that I sweated rivers despite knowing the doors were there to protect us.

     Closing her eyes as if she were extremely focused, Cha Taeyang drew a 人 sign with her fingers. 4

     “Open the Door to the Underworld!”

     The huge doors opened silently.

      Across the open door was an endless field of flowers.


     Feeling a strange energy in the air, the undead screamed and ran away.
However, the auspicious door that swallowed the dead didn’t miss any of them.

      The monsters were pulled inside the door as if they were attracted by magnets.

      Ceaselessly– incessantly–

      The corpses that were crammed into the vacant lot were all sucked in through the door.
Then, inside, they turned into handfuls of dust before scattering into the air.

     We all couldn’t help but hold our breaths at the strange yet compelling sight.

     The door, which seemed to stand forever, finally closed silently after the last undead was swallowed.
Then, it suddenly disappeared as if it had never manifested in the first place.

     *This* was an S-class skill–the power to cleave the sky and cause miracles.

     Our party exhaled belatedly after holding our breaths for so long.
Cha Taeyang, after terminating her skill, collapsed like a puppet whose strings were cut.
Seo Youngwoon hurried to catch her; Cho Sung-hyun, who looked as if his soul left his body, could only chuckle in vain.

     ‘I’m sure he’s even more shocked since they’re both A-class.
No–even if that weren’t the reason…’

     Aside from the dokkaebi who fussed around as she bounced on Cha Taeyang, no one else could say anything for a long while.

      At that moment, the sound of a bell ringing broke our silence.

Ding– Ding–


[Main Quest, ‘Dancing with the Dead’ (B+) is now complete.]

[The ‘Quest Clear’ reward has been given.]


     The small bell hung atop the mansion shook.

      The rings announced that the 19th floor has been cleared.

      That was a sound I thought I would never hear in my life.

      “I see it’s over.” Seo Young-woon muttered in a voice that didn’t suit the usually curt man.
Cha Taeyang smiled brightly.

      I belatedly bit my lips, body shuddering; my heart felt as if it would pop out of my mouth.
“Yes, we did it.
We did it!”

      We cleared the main quest.

      Everyone looked disheveled and unsightly, but, unlike before, our eyes shone with joy and a sense of achievement.

      Now, I could understand why people said you couldn’t forget the first time you hear that bell tolling.

      “Isn’t that totally crazy?”

      “Taeyang-ah, you’re truly the best! Your family will be totally surprised when they see you now!”

      “You know, I’m hungry; let’s leave quickly.”

     “Thank you for all your hard work.”

     Trying to make it inconvenient for us to exit, Cho Sung-hyun broke the glass greenhouse’s ceiling by stepping on it.
Seo Youngwoon glanced at him, but Cho Sung-hyun pretended to be ignorant and grinned.
“I’ll be the only one who has experienced something like this out of those of us who received field practice.”

     “I don’t want to go through this again, but… This really was a rare experience,” I said.

      Our party, now relaxed, walked back to the gate while chattering about nothing in particular.

     ‘Ah, when I return, I’ll soak myself in a warm bath and get a can of beer and some hot chicken.
Then, I’ll sleep as if I’ve died.
The report… Ah, forget about it.’

      My body felt limp.


[Will you move to the field, ‘Wizard’s Garden’ (C)?]


     Just as we were about to enter the gate, a large shadow popped out.

      What’s this–did the reinforcements just arrive?

      The man who walked out of the gate smiled straightforwardly and waved his hand, “Hey–everyone looks so ragged.
Sorry, am I a bit late?”

      “And you are?” Cho Sung-hyun asked.

      “Haha, I feel embarrassed, seeing how worked up you all are.”

      ‘Why is that guy here…’ That person had one of best, well-built figures among all the other Hunters.
An eye color stained by the influence of his Hunter Awakening; ankle-length cape; a mana-stone–the same color as his eyes–embedded on a staff adorned with a feather ornament.

      I was certain of his identity.

      The man approached us without hesitation.

      “Kim-seobang, who are you?”

      “Aya, is that bell talking? Can I touch you?” The man, calmly talking to the dokkaebi, was Gyun Ji-woon.

     He was Korea’s best Wizard, the guild leader of the guild ‘Hold onto the End of the Night,’ 5 also known as the ‘Midnight Sun‘ guild.
He wasn’t the type of person to be called as reinforcement.

      ‘Why is a person that may as well be worth at least five Hunters in a place like this?’

      Gyun Ji-woon, as if he were acquainted with Seo Youngwoon, laughed loudly as he hit the tanker on the shoulder.
Cho Sung-hyun briefly had an idiotic expression before returning to his senses and observing Gyun Jihoon with shining eyes.

      One rarely met this man.
I had no idea when I saw his TV appearances, but the man’s aura was so immense that I felt numb just by being in his presence.

     “Hmm, why isn’t the quest window popping up?”

      “We just cleared the stage.”

      Gyun Ji-woon raised his eyebrows, as if he couldn’t believe what he heard.

      Seo Young-woon tried to explain the situation but soon looked at me.
He wanted to know if he could mention my skill.

      I shook my head softly.
I hadn’t informed my guild yet of my new development; I could hardly let another guild know first.

      Gyun Ji-woon looked my way before smiling flatly.
As our efforts and accomplishments were quite laudable, it seemed that he was willing to turn a blind eye.

      Seo Young-woon calmly explained what had happened today.
His smooth explanation was quite unlike him–after all, he usually was quite short with his words.
In the middle, the dokkaebi intervened to emphasize Cha Taeyang’s performance.

     As our explanation continued, Gyun Ji-woon’s eyes shone with interest.
At the end, his fascination was so blatant that his gaze felt piercing.

      Even among the eccentric S-classes, Gyun Ji-woon was known to be an oddball of a different caliber; I stealthily avoided his eyes.

      Fortunately, his eyes glanced past me and focused on Chae Taeyang.
“Wow~ I’m glad that I came.
I guess something fun happened here?”

      “We were lucky; we were almost wiped out.”

     “Though, I suppose it’s a little unfortunate for me.” Gyun Ji-woon briefly explained the situation outside.
The delay in reinforcements was due to a mistake made by an employee of the Abnormal Phenomena Bureau.
Apparently, the employee observing the gate had fallen asleep.

      “Honestly, does that make any sense?” I asked.

     “I suppose he wasn’t in his right mind.”

      My temper suddenly peaked at that moment.
He dozed off? Sure, three A-class Hunters were assigned to this C-class field; however, that was careless.
Thanks to that person, I nearly witnessed the afterlife.

      Gyun Ji-woon giggled as he watched our dumbfounded expressions, “Whew~ how scary.
But, bear with me.
It’s no use getting mad at me.”

     The employee’s boss had stopped by coincidentally, and only then did the Bureau notice the abnormality.
They urgently sent an emergency signal to all the nearby Hunters, but…

     “And, I’m the one who responded to that signal.”

     “Though, this wasn’t something that would be worth Guild Leader Gyun Ji-woon’s presence.”

     “Ah ah.
Humbly speaking, I just happened to visit the 19th floor for an item I needed, to be honest.” 6

     Was this an item needed for him to manage his activities on the front line? And that was on the 19th floor? Perhaps it was a dark-attribute item–there weren’t many floors that related to dark magic.
If so, then his presence was understandable.

     Gyun Ji-woon continued, stroking Cha Taeyang’s hair, “And, to be entirely honest, I was urged by Jihwa’s impatience.
You’re the little miss that Jihwa bragged about, right?”

     “Uh, are you close to Witch-Unni?”

     “Of course.
Ah, but it’s a secret I said that.”

      Jihwa… Kim Jihwa-nim? I could make a vague guess due to Cha Taeyang’s ‘Witch-Unni’ clue.

     Kim Ji-hwa, the former guild leader of ‘Wilderness,’ was nicknamed the ‘Witch of the End.’ Although she was retired now, she still remained a part of Korea’s Hunter Association.

     “She threatened to curse me if you were hurt even a little… Though, that wasn’t going to happen.” Gyun Ji-woon said.

      “The party members are very tired.
Can we continue the rest of the story outside?”

     “Yeah, sure.
Despite the hardships, you all did great.”

      I wondered what we should do if he refused, but Gyun Ji-woon merely nodded–perhaps he had more common sense than I thought.
He looked at me as he placed a particular emphasis on ‘hardship.’

      ‘He probably thinks I did nothing.’ I thought bitterly as I exited the gate.


The Ruo River is an ancient body of water in China.
Apparently, the water density was light enough that feathers would sink.  A Buddhist chant    人  is the Chinese character for human  This is a reference to this song:  Gyun Jiwoon actually says ‘Modest Modest or Humble Humble’at the end of his statement. This is a little difficult to explain.
The way the world is usually used is to note that someone is talking humbly.
He’s saying it to be like ‘OH HOW MODEST OF ME.’ Taken  literally, it’s as if he said: ‘Talking modestly uwu.’ 

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