Solo Leveling Novel, Chapter 31
Solo Levelingi 31
Jinwoo had expected the inquiry and replied calmly,
“It was just there when I woke up . I don’t know what happened . ”
Song Chiyeol nodded . Since the day the first Gate appeared 10 years ago, many incredible things had happened in the world . One of them was the phenomenon of Awakened Beings, now called Hunters . Among the S-rank Healer-class Hunters, there were those that could completely restore the body of a teammate that had their bodies ripped apart . As long as the victim had a shred of life left in them, they could be made whole . So it wasn’t crazy to think that some high ranking Healer had restored Jinwoo’s leg .
“It wouldn’t have been right for such a young person to become a cripple . Thank goodness for that . ”
Song Chiyeol sighed in relief . Jinwoo’s eyes moved over to the old man’s left arm . The sleeve that covered it was clearly empty . Song Chiyeol laughed at his gaze and rubbed his left shoulder .
“Don’t worry about this . It’s normal for a Hunter my age to get into an accident in a Raid . I was just lucky that I got this far before having one . ”
Song Chiyeol spoke to put Jinwoo’s mind at ease, but his words did not reach the onlookers .
“Oh my, that man…”
“How terrible, it must’ve been from a magic beast . ”
The people passing by whispered to each other at the man’s missing arm . Some children stopped and blatantly stared .
Jinwoo hoped to rescue the man,
“Should we move to somewhere quieter?”
There were too many people walking buy . Feeling uncomfortable from their gazes, Song Chiyeol nodded in agreement . There were still few things he wanted to say to Jinwoo .
“Yes, that would be good . ”
The two men tried to find a small corner to continue their conversation . While walking, Song Chiyeol noticed something,
Jinwoo’s footsteps were incredibly light . Even standing right next to him, Song Chiyeol had difficulty detecting the man’s presence . How could this be? The veteran Hunter felt that if he and Jinwoo fought in this moment, he could not even touch the young man . Even if he was a C-ranker, while Jinwoo was an E-ranker .
‘What am I thinking now…’
Song Chiyeol shook his head . None of that mattered in the moment . There was something he wanted say to Sung-ssi . No, it was something that had to be said . Having found a suitable place, Song Chiyeol stopped and Jinwoo followed suit . Turning around to face him, Song Chiyeol bowed his head to Jinwoo before the young man could stop him .
“Sung-ssi . I have to thank you . ”
As the man who was old enough to be his father bowed to him, Jinwoo became somber . Even as the young man tried to stop him, Song Chiyeol did not relent and continued with his head lowered .
“Eleven people died because of me . Thanks to you, six of us were able to live . As my responsibility was the heaviest in that place, I thank you on behalf of everyone else . ”
Every word he spoke was out of his heart . Even Jinwoo was able to feel the man’s sincerity . It was an unexpected situation, but Jinwoo did not feel bad . Rather, he felt a twinge of pride . But he could not have an elder bow to him like this forever .
“Ahjussi, please raise your head . ”
At Jinwoo’s pleading words, Song Chiyeol raised his head . Just then, his phone rang . The old man apologized and turned away to pick it up .
“Got it . I’ll be right there . ”
Ending the call, Song Chiyeol’s face was hardened . He turned to address Jinwoo,
“I have to go somewhere now . ”
The elder spoke as if he had a private business to take care of, but Jinwoo had already heard the entire conversation through his ears . Thanks to his raised sense stat, his naturally good hearing was improved even more . The phone call just now was from the Association, who was notifying Song Chiyeol of a Gate that had appeared . Worrying about the recently discharged Jinwoo, the old man hid this information and was trying to walk away, but Jinwoo had no intention of letting this slip from his hands .
“It was the Association, right?”
“You… you heard all that?”
The Association will call all of its affiliated Hunters in an area in the event of a Raid . If Song Chiyeol was contacted, surely Jinwoo would’ve been too, if he had his phone . This was the call that Jinwoo had been waiting for .
“I’ll go too . ”
Song Chiyeol’s eyes looking at Jinwoo was quickly filled with defeat .
The two men arrived at the appointed location . Because the Gate had appeared in a residential area, the police were already around, cordoning off the area . However, there was little need, as there were no noisy civilians watching . The Gates that the Association ended up taking care of were those on the verge of Dungeon Break, so the people stayed away in case of danger . Besides, it wasn’t as if they could watch the Hunters battle in the Dungeon anyways . Every now and then, a curious child might approach with mischief, but they would be chased away by the police .
Jinwoo and Song Chiyeol got off the taxi and were stopped by the police .
“Could you please show me your identification?”
Song Chiyeol took out his Hunter license from his wallet .
“C-rank Hunter, Song Chiyeol . This is my fellow Hunter, Sung Jinwoo . ”
Satisfied, the policeman let the pair through .
“We’re in your care, Hunter-nims . ”
“We’ll do our best . Thank you for your service . ”
After exchanging light greetings, the two began to walk towards the Gate . Jinwoo walked behind the old man . In front of the Gate, an Association employee was waiting . It was a young woman with glasses . She approached the pair,
“Hunter Song Chiyeol-nim! Huh? How did Hunter Sung Jinwoo-nim get here? You weren’t picking up the phone . ”
Song Chiyeol replied for Jinwoo,
“We were together when I got the call . ”
“Oh, is that so? We just thought Hunter Sung Jinwoo-nim was avoiding the call again . ”
The employee smiled in jest . A long time ago, she would have been correct . Having received a major injury during a Raid, Jinwoo once even turned off his phone in fear . However, he had to eventually relent and show up because refusing the Association’s call three times would result in an expulsion . Thinking about the past, Jinwoo smiled bittersweetly .
“Ah, right . The other Hunters are already here . Why don’t you go and say hi?”
The employee gestured to the other Hunters . There were only two of them waiting . After the incident at the Double Dungeon, the number of Hunters in the area had decreased greatly . According to Song ahjussi, two of the surviving Hunters even chose to retire out of trauma .
‘And Juhee-ssi was one of them…’
Jinwoo looked around but did not see Juhee . As the two men approached, the Hunters who had arrived before them avoided his gaze . Jinwoo’s eyes narrowed .
It was two of the men who had abandoned him back in the underground temple, Kim Sangshik and the man who cast aside Jinwoo’s injured body to the ground . It made sense that they were avoiding him .
Kim Sangshik gathered his courage and tried to make a late greeting but was rebuffed by Jinwoo’s cold eyes .
The man closed his mouth and walked away . From a distance away, he looked at Jinwoo and tilted his head .
‘Is that human really the Sung Jinwoo that I knew? His eyes were fierce like a magic beast’s…’
Kim Sangshik’s body shuddered . His arms were covered in goosebumps . It was not his fault, Jinwoo had lightly applied a killing intent in his gaze . Thankfully, the man had taken the hint and avoided him . Jinwoo had hoped he would continue to do so going forward .
Song Chiyeol, who was standing next to Jinwoo, suddenly smiled .
“There she comes . ”
Jinwoo started turning his head towards where the elder was gesturing, but before he fully could,
Something soft hugged him tightly .
As Jinwoo panicked, Juhee examined his body with tears in her eyes .
“Are you alright? Are you hurt anywhere? Your leg! How is your leg-?”
Juhee looked back and forth between Jinwoo’s face and legs with surprise . The magnitude was different, but her response was the same as Song Chiyeol .
Jinwoo’s explanation was interrupted by a loud voice,
“Ah, young love! Hot hot hot!”
A man in prisoner’s uniform was whistling towards them, having just gotten out of a car .
‘Are they filming a movie nearby?’
As Jinwoo stared with confusion, a man wearing a suit got out of the passenger seat of the car . The man gave a stern warning to the prisoner,
“Shut your mouth . ”
The prisoner avoided his gaze and looked away . While the man in the suit turned back to the car, the prisoner winked at Juhee . Jinwoo’s forehead furrowed . From the car, two additional men got out . They were all wearing a prisoner’s uniform and handcuffed . The man in the suit led the three prisoners towards the Association employee and greeted her .
“You’re finally here . ”
“Sorry . There was a little traffic on the way . ”
The Association employee handed the man some papers, and he began to sign them one by one . Meanwhile, the Association employee called over all the Hunters .
“These men are prisoners on a work-release program that will be going with the Hunter-nims into the Raid . ”
The Hunters’ expressions darkened . Kim Sangshik stepped forward,
“Prisoners on work-release? You’re telling us to Raid with criminals?”
Hunters who had committed crimes had two choices . Fulfill their sentences away in a prison or cooperate with the Association and reduce their sentences . Most chose the latter . These criminals would be on “work-release” . The employee apologetically bowed before the Hunters .
“I really have to apologize . The number of Hunters in our area had decreased too drastically . The Association said we had no choice for the time being . Thankfully, a Hunter from the Hunter Surveillance Department will be accompanying you, so you shouldn’t have to worry . ”
Kim Sangshik asked suspiciously,
“The HSD Hunter will be going with us too?”
: “prisoners on a work-release program”(대체 복역자): Not gonna lie, I have no idea what this means . I just used my best guess based on context… Sorry . . .
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Solo Leveling Novel Chapter 31
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