Chapter 10


03 – The S-classes are Falling from the Sky (2)



     “I’m incredibly ashamed.
I apologize.”


     When we exited onto the field, two people bowed, heads low, as if they had been waiting for us.

      One was a woman with a ponytail who looked to be the superior of the younger-looking man.
The young man had a probationary necklace dangling from his neck.
I see–so that’s what happened.

     I dissuaded Cho Sung-hyun from raising his voice while exchanging looks with Seo Young-woon, who had also noticed how haggard that young man looked.

     ‘He can also roughly guess what happened.’

     Though Cho Sung-hyun might not know this yet, it was an open secret that the Abnormal Phenomena Bureau overworked new recruits during their probationary period.

     If any of us had been hurt, I would have been the first to be angry at him, but what’s the use of anger now.

     I knew his circumstances; I couldn’t be cruel.
Besides, the guild will receive a large amount of compensation anyway.

     “We were lucky this time.
However, it wouldn’t be strange for there to be casualties in a future incident.
Please take care not to let this happen again,” I said.

     “Yes, I’m truly sorry.
The medical staff is over there–I’ll accompany you.”

     “Hoo~ How cool~”

     Ignoring Gyun Ji-woon’s whistles and flirting, I went to the tent where the medical staff was waiting.

     Everyone looked fine, but they might have forgotten their pain as their adrenaline levels were elevated during battle.
Cha Taeyang and Cho Sung-hyun were rushed to see the doctor.
Fortunately, the two were only exhausted from battle and were not hurt.

     Rather, Seo Young-woon, who stood at the front of our party, was the one treated for various wounds all over his body.

     ‘Tsk, defense-oriented folks are so foolish; they don’t say when they’re hurt…’

     While treating Seo Young-woon, the doctor came up to me, startled, “Why didn’t you say anything to me until now?! Those people are A-class and won’t get injured easily.
And, if they do get injured, they’ll recover faster as well! Though Hunter-nim may be stronger than ordinary folk, you’re a paper doll compared to these guys.
A paper doll!”

     “I only covered the rest at a far distance…”

     “Haah, quickly come this way.” The doctor began to pull me by the arm.
“You do nothing but worry us!”

     Cha Taeyang and Cho Sung-hyun giggled as they watched me get into trouble.

     The doctor nagged at me as he disinfected a small wound.
“You esteemed Hunters are all so careless! The human body is not a renewable resource that recovers indefinitely! You shouldn’t rely too much on potions, either.”

     “Ah, yes.” I sent pleading looks–cries for help–to other people with my eyes, but everyone turned away from me.

     After treating me in the blink of an eye, the doctor hurried back to Seo Young-woon.

     “Kim-seobang-ah~ Are you alright? I didn’t know you were so vulnerable.”

     “Yes, I’m fine.
They’re all only small wounds.”

     “You know, Unni…Do Hunters do this every day?” Cha Taeyang asked, sitting on the bed.
I wanted to say that today was a rare case, but I closed my mouth.

     This was rare for lower-class Hunters like me, who spent their lives on the fields; however, that might not be the case for Cha Taeyang.
This was the first battle this child had seen, but she fought excellently.

     Probably Jihwa-nim brought Cha Taeyang to this team so she could gain experience and join the raid teams.
If she finds her way onto a raid team, which fumbles through unknown and dangerous floors, these kinds of happenings would occur more frequently in the future.

     Therefore, I chose my words carefully, “Interferences are a very rare phenomenon.”

     “That’s a relief, Taeyang-ah!”

     “However, danger always follows Hunters.
In that sense, yes.
Like today, Hunters work in the midst of uncertainty.
Our line of work isn’t safe.”

     After thinking for a long while, Cha Taeyang smiled brightly and said, “…You’re all so amazing!”

     “Did you become a Hunter without even knowing that?”

     “It could happen! Besides, I’m going to learn lots from now on.
And, you can quit whenever you grow to dislike being a Hunter.”

     “Hey, are you crazy? You got into ‘Wilderness’ of all guilds, and now you want to quit?”

    “Who said I wanted to quit!?”

     Seo Young-woon, who finished his treatment, knocked the bickering duo onto the ground.

     During the uproar, Gyun Ji-woon popped his head into the open tent.
Honestly–when is that person going to leave? Isn’t he busy?

     Although not everyone in the tent welcomed him, Gyun Ji-woon grinned.

     “We’ll be going back now.
Guild-leader-nim should return as well…” Seo Yyoung-woon said.

     “How cold-hearted.
Are you kicking me out?”

     “He merely meant that ‘Wilderness’ can take care of itself, and you needn’t worry.” When I spoke in the place of the speechless Seo Young-woon, Gyun Ji-woon narrowed his eyes and stared at me.

     “How difficult 1 I promised Jihwa I’d see you all back safe.
If I send you back like this, I’ll be too embarrassed to show my face in front of Jihwa.”

     “…You can accompany us to the guild’s entrance.”

     “Mm, Well, I’ll think about it.” Gyun Ji-woon took the wheel of our van on my behalf as if he were sincere about his desire to help.
Well, I was happy about not being forced to drive.

     Thanks to that, I was able to sit in the back seat with Cha Taeyang and Cho Sung-hyun.
My body finally felt the exhaustion of the day when I comfortably sat in the chair.
Ignoring Ji-woon’s chattering, I closed my eyes and buried myself deep in the seat

     ‘I’m sure Seo Young-woon will deal with him.’

     Then, it suddenly occurred to me that there were too many things to check and confirm.
I forced myself to open my eyelids.



Player Name: Yoon Gaho

Comprehensive Evaluation: C+

-Stamina: 27 (+13)
-Strength: 30 (+7)
-Magic: 45 (+22)
-Agility: 36 (+19)
-Digital Dexterity: 4

Traits: Immortal, Ever-lasting Blessing (S), Marksman (C)
–Additional Skills: Enchant (S), Magitek2 (A), Explorer’s Eye (A), Rising Moon (B), Bow Assist (C)]


     My dexterity improved! … though the amount of improvement might only be as small as a sparrow’s tear.And, I’ve gained two new additional skills.

     I could roughly guess what Magitek entailed, but what was ‘Rising Moon’? I checked the skill window straight away.


[Magitek (A)

  : You’ve tasted the essence of magical engineering! You can now interpret mana flow.]

[Rising Moon (B)

  : You can cause continuous damage by touching a target’s Mana Root Path.3 30% of the damage you inflict will be drained to recover your mana.]


     A mana recovery skill! This can, to some extent, compensate for the mana exhausted using the ‘Overlap’ function of the ‘Enchant’ skill.
The corners of my lips curled up secretly–this skill was like the sweet rain after a period of drought.

     Although I had received only one S-class skill, the other additional skills appeared to be useful as well.
Though, to be sure, I’d have to run some experiments.

     ‘I should check my quest rewards as well.’

     The best item would probably have been claimed by Cha Taeyang, the top contributor in this quest, but… I still would have received a main quest reward.
My expectations remained high.


[C-rank mana stones x 7]
[Umanta Flower Petal]
[Disposable Maze]
[Fainting Potion x2]
[Chimera egg] 4 


     ‘What the… The rewards are more ordinary than I thought they would be.’

     It was nice to receive the Umanta petals which could be sold for a high price, but this haul still fell short of my expectations.
That was when an unfamiliar item, the ‘Chimera Egg,’ caught my eye.

    ”Charity,’ the guild that targeted the 19th floor, never said anything about receiving an egg…’

    At that moment, I bit my lips; an uneasy feeling passed through me.
‘It’s not going to hatch, right?’

     “Oi, is something the matter?”

     “Ah-it’s nothing.” I replied.

     What ghost-like senses. 5 Even though he was driving and his gaze was focused forward, Gyun Ji-woon must have sensed something strange from me.

     ‘Let’s calm down, Yoon Gaho.’ This item might not be what I think it is.
I could afford to worry after I checked its item description.


[Chimera Egg (B)

   : Something created by the Black Wizard in his old age–his life’s greatest masterpiece.
It feeds on mana to grow.
(Incubation Rate: 0.1%)

 ※ Non-tradeable item]


     Aargh! As expected, this thing hatches! It can’t even be traded to someone else.

     ‘Honest, Mr.
World’s Towers.
Won’t you take into consideration my situation?’

     When I imagined a chimera, I could only think of the ragged lifeforms seen in anime or cartoons.
Furthermore, weren’t the undead used as ingredients to make this egg? I’d like to refuse this reward.

     It’s also B-rank.
Even as an egg, this thing is stronger than me.

     ‘If it hatches when I’m alone…’

     I didn’t even want to imagine that situation.

    This was an undeserved reward for a fragile C-class Hunter.

     “What should I do?”

     Was there any Hunter around that was proficient in black magic? When I rifled through the connections I had in my mind, I met Gyun Ji-woon’s eyes through the rearview mirror.

     ‘There he is: the black magic expert.’

     Furthermore, he was one of the world’s best dark wizards.
When would I have another chance to meet him? Cautiously, I pushed my luck, “Excuse me, Guildmaster Gyun Ji-woon.
May I ask you something?”

     “Ask away, ask away.
Good timing–I just happened to be bored.”

     “Could you make something like a chimera with black magic?”

     Ji-woon fell momentarily silent.

     He wasn’t the type to be quiet.
I hurriedly continued, worried that I had asked something off, “It’s just on my mind.
Most of the monsters on the 19th floor were like animals, but they were a little strange.
It looked as if someone had mixed animals from various different environments and locales.
Like they were artificially created.”

     “How fun.
Tell me more.”

     “There were traps installed on the third floor; thinking back on it, that’s quite suspicious.
If someone wanted to prevent intruders, the traps should be on the first floor and not the third.”

     “Hmmm, is that so?” As he spoke, his voice grew louder.
Perhaps he was persuaded by my logic.

     “The appearances of the undead were also quite unusual.
Many of the corpses were bandaged, and a few had their limbs cut off.
They weren’t normal.”


     “Perhaps the dark wizard was conducting experiments in secret?”

     Seo Young-woon, sitting nearby, also nodded as if my words made sense.
Gyun Ji-woon’s eyes, reflected in the rearview mirror, sparkled with interest.
“So, you’re saying the monsters were being used in an experiment to make a chimera?”

     “I’m saying it’s a possibility.” My argument was made hastily, but the logic somewhat fit.

     Wasn’t that really the case? Furthermore, the chimera egg that dropped as a reward from this floor further solidified my conclusion.

     But, why? For now, at least, I felt as if the chimera egg’s existence shouldn’t be revealed.
A Hunter’s hunch should not be ignored.

     I had purposefully not mentioned the chimera egg, but Gyun Ji-woon seemed to be convinced.
After brooding a little, fiddling at the steering wheel with his index finger, he opened his mouth, “It’s not impossible.”


     “However, manufacturing a chimera is still quite difficult.
The wizard’s chances of success would have been slim.”

     Gyun Ji-woon hummed as if he debated telling me more.
When I looked at him with a blunt, deadpan expression, he giggled, “Ahh, I’ll become shy if you look at me with such a burning gaze.
I thought you were a cold-blooded person.”

     “Guildmaster Gyun!”

     “To stitch together monsters, one would need a highly sophisticated magical diagram.
As to what that is… Hmm, think of it like a disposable mana circuit.
And, even if he succeeded, the result would quickly be ruined from all the parts that were forcibly attached together.
It’s close to impossible to create a working chimera.”

     Gyun Ji-woon added lightly, “Ah, of course, I’ve never tried.”

     What a totally unbelievable thing to say–I’ll bet my wrist that he’s tried to make one.

     Afterwards, I asked a few more questions, but Gyun Ji-woon slyly avoided answering.
That was expected–if stories of him trying to create a chimeric monster spread, he’ll be severely criticized.

     ‘He’s answered more than enough.’

     Still, it was a relief to hear that the chimera would break down quickly.
If the hatched chimera were to attack me, I had the ability to avoid and dodge the baby’s attacks momentarily.

     ‘I should take a closer look when I return home.’

     Using my newly acquired skills, I might learn more about the item.

     While I was lost in thought, the van had arrived near our guild.
Perhaps Cha Taeyang felt stuffy; as soon as the vehicle stopped, Cha Taeyang leaped out of her seat.


      Someone snatched the dokkaebi that had almost fallen off Cha Taeyang’s shoulders in the young woman’s frenzy to leave the car.

     “Taeyang-ah, you should be careful.”


까탈 is a more harsh way to say 가탈 which means fussy.  Magical engineering skills. Essentially, this Mana Root Path is a predetermined network of mana that is inlaid within a person’s biological body.
It governs how mana circulates around your body, the attribute of your magic…and often how proficient with magic you’ll be.
It’s a common trope for Korean Fantasy novels.
Think of it as the role of meridians in circulating spiritual qi throughout the body-root equivalent in Xianxia novels.  ‘Chimera’ is a term from Greek mythology that has come to mean any monsters or mythological creatures whose bodies are made up of parts from several different kinds of animals.  As fantastical beings, they can be depicted as being powerful in a neutral sense or as embodying deception, hypocrisy or evil.  So, really, who knows what is in that egg? – Ewstegasaurus PR  Koreans use the idiomatic phrase ‘ghost-like’ to describe something supernaturally good (or uncanny). 

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