Chapter 11

03 – The S-classes are Falling from the Sky (3)


     “Jihwa! Have you come to see me?” Gyun Ji-woon cajoled.

     “As if.
I came to see Taeyang-ie.
You’re not hurt anywhere?”


     Kim Jihwa pushed away Gyun Ji-woon, who rushed at her, and went to check on Cha Taeyang.

     Cho Sung-hyun, who recognized the new face, was frozen and could only repeat, ‘What an honor to meet you.’ Most Hunters who met Jihwa-nim for the first time acted like that.

     If one were to ask, ‘Who is the strongest Hunter in Korea,’ public opinion would be divided.
After all, results will vary depending on enemy type compatibility, field properties, and equipment stats.

     However, when asked about who the most honorable Hunter in Korea was, everyone would give the same answer.

     The ‘Witch of the End,’ Kim Jihwa.

     Currently, Gyun Ji-woon held the title of Korea’s best wizard only because Kim Jihwa retired.

     As if she were laughing with those who called her a witch, Kim Jihwa wandered freely within and outside the World’s Towers wearing a wide-brimmed hat and a black cape.

     Thanks to Kim Jihwa, Korea was able to reorganize its neurocritical system for Hunters far faster than the other countries were able to right after the World’s Towers manifested.

     She also played a major role in contributing to the high rank of the relatively small guild, ‘Wilderness.’

     Although she retired after receiving a grave injury a few years ago, her name was still respected.

     “Yoon Gaho Hunter also did well; it’s not an easy, nor ordinary, job to lead these reckless, foolhardy troublemakers.”

     “What do you mean, reckless, foolhardy troublemakers?!”

     “Am I wrong?”

     Seo Young-woon, who could not refute Kim Jihwa’s description, entered the guild instead of giving him an answer.
Wrapping one arm around Cha Taeyang, Kim Jihwa guided the rest of us inside as well.

     As usual, even though it was dawn, the guild’s lobby was brightly lit.

     “You still haven’t left?” Kim Jihwa asked.

     “Aren’t you being too cold-hearted? I went all the way to Yeoui-do at your request even though it was the middle of the night.” Gyun Ji-woon simpered.

     “Taeyang-ah, did Ji-woon-ie help you guys?”

     “He arrived when everything was finished.”

     When Kim Jihwa glared at him, Gyun Ji-woon clung to her with a pitiful expression.
“I departed as soon as I got your message.
Rather, it’s impressive how they cleared the stage before I arrived.
Speaking of which, I want to ask…are all of your guild members like this?”

     “Our kids are a bit outstanding, yes.
Anyway, it seems you did nothing?”

     “You have an admirable, generous heart; cut me some slack.”

You did well this dawn.” Kim Jihwa patted Gyun Ji-woon’s head.
Despite the insincerity of her gestures, Gyun Ji-woon smiled, satisfied.

     ‘I knew Jihwa-nim’s personality was always like that, but…’

     I suppose Jihwa-nim also can’t do much against a weirdo like him.
From then on, Gyun Ji-woon continued to cling to her until Kim Jihwa kicked him out by punting his butt.

     It was well past midnight, so Cha Taeyang began to doze off while standing upright.

     Originally, we needed to write the concluding report immediately, but Kim Jihwa, rewarding our hard work and relieving us of our fatigue, delayed our deadline until tomorrow.

     Still, I had to deliver the details of what had happened so I stopped by Hwang Jae-hui’s office to roughly explain the sequence of events.

     “It seems everyone truly did their best.
We should have assigned more people just in case this kind of situation happened…” Hwang Jae-hui said.

     “Well, isn’t this akin to a natural disaster? We departed and arrived safely, so all’s well that ends well.
I have something else, though, that I’d like to tell you,” I replied.

     “Then, we’ll leave first.” Seo Young-woon quickly disappeared with Cha Taeyang and Cho Sung-hyun in tow.

     Hwang Jae-hui fixed her eyes on the documents we provided.
Taking advantage of this opportunity, I asked, “I’d like to ask for a face-to-face meeting…with the guild leader, if possible.”

     “I see–it must be a big deal for Hunter Yoon Gaho to request a face-to-face meeting.”

     Any guild member in ‘Wilderness’ can request a meeting with the guild executives.
This was only possible because of the guild’s small size; some said that this system was Wilderness’s greatest advantage.

     After all, how common was it to meet high-ranking Hunters without having to justify your request ahead of time? For them, their time was more precious than gold.

     I knew that fact well, but, to this day, I had yet to personally request a face-to-face meeting.

     It wasn’t for some significant reason… I just didn’t think I should bother others with C-class matters.
However, this time was different.

     “I received a new trait.
It’s rather unusual… I’ll tell you the details after the meeting.”

     “Ah, first things first, congratulations.
However, what should we do? It’s currently impossible to meet with Guild Leader-nim.
Recently, he said he was going to depart for the World’s Towers and then vanished.”

      “He disappeared again?”

Without telling me when he’d return.”

     ‘No wonder Hwang Jae-hui’s face looked a bit gloomy.’

      Suiting his reputation as the most free-spirited of the Hunters, Guild Leader Choi Kwon-young often disappeared.
Although he returned with amazing achievements every time he vanished, it was still unfortunate for Hwang Jae-hui, who was tasked with assisting him. 1

     I had a growing headache as well since I wanted to inform him of my skill as soon as possible.

     “As always, he has no set return time.
Could you speak with any of the other executives? If you tell me about the skill, maybe I can match you with someone suitable…”

     “Can’t I take care of this?”


     “Please, speak comfortably with me.” 2

     Kim Jihwa butted into our conversation.
Although her entrance was sudden, her suggestion was quite welcome.

     As someone with a lot of experience, she would be sure to provide beneficial counsel.

     She had the most authority in the guild right after the guild leader, so she might be able to help with negotiations, if that became necessary.

     More than anything, it was easier to converse with her than Choi Kwon-young, who was overbearing and willful.

     “If it’s Jihwa-nim, then I’ll be able to leave this matter to her confidently.” Hwang Jae-hui said.

      “Right?” Kim Jihwa placed her hand on her waist and smiled confidently.
She patted me on the shoulder.

      My body had been sore since a while ago; I bade my farewell to both of them and quickly returned to my home.
“I think I can breathe again…”3

      Now that I could finally relax, my exhaustion suddenly surged over me.

     This was truly a tiring day where nothing ordinary happened.
Hadn’t I overcome a life-or-death crisis? I should put off things like looking at skills or researching chimeras–after all, this *was* a life-or-death crisis.

     ‘I’ll solve all my worries tomorrow.’

     I lay down in my bed, ruminating on my irresponsible thoughts.


     The next day–


     A completely unexpected person was waiting for me in the meeting room.

     “Yoon Gaho, quit being a Hunter.”

     It was common knowledge that defense-type Hunters truly had a peculiar sense of responsibility.

     Then, what about S-class defense Hunters? To put it kindly, they’re devoted; if one wanted to criticize, they’re domineering and often oppressive.

     “Answer me, Yoon Gaho.”

     And Yoon Suho, the one speaking nonsense before me, was the epitome of people found in the defense world.

     The general public thought that Yoon Suho was someone with a lot of common sense, but that was completely untrue.
His feelings of personal responsibility 4 became intrinsically entangled with his stubbornness–just look at that face.
I never thought I’d see that guy here.

     “Answer you? You’d have to say something that makes sense in order for me to answer you.” I checked my watch–it was five minutes to eleven.
It would soon be time for my appointment with Kim Jihwa.

     Yoon Suho continued to stare at me–what, was he waiting for me to greet him or something?

     Looking at the bags of coffee-flavored snacks piled up in front of his seat, he must have been sitting there for a long time.
What was a freelance Hunter like him — to whom even 1 minute, 1 second was precious –doing here? 5

     “Hunter Yoon Gaho, you’re here early.” Kim Jihwa approached, waving her hand at me.
When she saw Yoon Suho, she clapped her hands, “I heard you two were family? I had no idea.
Now that I look at you two, you share some resemblance.”

     “Thank you for this morning,” Yoon Suho said.

     “Well, if a good neighbor can be considered family, then sure, he’s family,” I grumbled.

     Kim Jihwa raised her eyebrows at my words.

     What family? We had just been together ever since we were born.
Sure, we’ve been mistaken as siblings many times due to the shared lineage character in our names, 6 but we were undeniable strangers.

     “Hunter Yoon Suho had been standing in front of the guild building ever since early morning, unmoving as if he were a tree or stone.
I let him in since he said he was Hunter Gaho’s family.”

     “I’ve known her ever since we were born…” He started

     “We’re acquainted.” I cut off Yoon Suho’s bullshit.

     He willfully and one-sidedly came to me whenever he wanted to hang out.
We were raised like brother and sister, but I still could hardly comprehend this man.

     Still, I thought we had been on good terms, but Yoon Suho, that bastard, had cut off all contact since I became a Hunter–I doubted that he’d speak to me if I ran into him by chance.
For what reason did he come to my workplace?

     Well, I suppose this sort of behavior suited Yoon Suho’s temperament.

     “I guided him here since he said he had business with Hunter Yoon Gaho.
If you two need time to talk, I can give you a moment.” Kim Jihwa said.

     “No, it’s fine.
This guy just does what he wants…” I said.

     “You can stay.” He responded.

     “Aren’t you going to hurry up and leave?” I snapped at him.

     Despite my sharp words, Yoon Suho didn’t even lift an eyebrow.
I suppose his brain doesn’t even register a C-class Hunter’s words, huh?

     Kim Jihwa looked a bit troubled and awkward.
God, what is he even doing at someone else’s workplace?

     “Gaho-yah.” 7


     What bullcrap–people consider this guy the last bastion of conscience for S-classes? He only seems that way because the other S-classes were exceedingly weird or tacky–he wasn’t a normal human being either.

      Since I had no idea what he wanted to say to me, I should probably speak to him alone.
“Would you please excuse us for a moment–just a very short moment–please?”

     “If you can’t quit being a Hunter because of money, I’ll give you as much as you want.

     Ah… So incredibly frustrating.
A sigh automatically tumbled out of my lips.





TL: I love me a strong, charismatic woman who loves and supports other women in my novels.
Also, ngl, Wilderness sounds like a great guild to be in.

Kim Jihwa to Cha Taeyang: Bby, did the strange man help at all?
Cha Taeyang: He was fucking useless.


Though Choi Kwon-young’s gender wasn’t specified, it’s usually a boy’s name.
I’m assuming the gender here…but I can retcon if it turns out that I’m wrong.  Jihwa, means “drop the uber-formal honorifics” when she says “speak comfortably.  The Korean wording is closer to “I can finally live now,” meaning that she’s no longer uncomfortable, so the English “I can breathe again” is a close substitute, suggesting that the speaker was holding their breath and/or was very tense. Though this seems vague, I’d say that in Korean the nuance is somewhat akin to duty…although personal responsibility and duty are greatly entangled.  프리헌터 (free Hunter) I’m guessing is freelance Hunter.
If anyone else has any other guesses, feel free to tell me in the comments.  돌림자 is a shared character given to children of a certain generation within a single clan.
Coincidentally, that tradition also informs the tradition of giving siblings a similar character as well.
For example, both my sister and I share the syllable ‘lim.’  As I might have said in an earlier footnote, adding the suffix -yah, -ah, or -ie at the end of a name indicates closeness. 

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