Chapter 14.2: Different from Before (1)
Seon Tae Woong’s interview changed a lot of things in one day.
The entire country was buzzing about Shin Jiho.
As long as two people met, they talked about Shin Jiho; as long as you turned on the TV, they talked about Shin Jiho; and the trending topic on all sorts of communities and social media platforms, as well as MeTube, was Shin Jiho.
However, Jiho kept himself isolated from the public for four days.
Having been swept up by rumors once in the past, he didn’t want to experience the same thing again.
Still, he couldn’t completely isolate himself from the issue and rest.
Only his parents, older brother, and friend Son Kyung Hyun came to visit the quiet hospital room since then.
Kyung Hyun was a friend that Jiho had known for a long time.
The amount of time they knew each other was second only to that of Joo Yiwon, and the two were very close.
Jiho graduated from elementary, junior high, and high school together with Kyung Hyun, and they often hung out together.
Kyung Hyun was also one of the few friends who truly believed Jiho when the rumors broke out one year ago.
This time, Kyung Hyun made time to visit Jiho with a large basket of fruit.
Jiho’s eyes widened at the sight of the basket that was as big as Kyung Hyun’s torso.
“Why’d you buy such a big one?”
“It’s not from me alone; Min Jae, Woo Jin, and Dong Hyuk also paid for it.
Since they can’t come here.”
Kim Min Jae, Shin Woo Jin, and Cha Dong Hyuk were friends that Son Kyung Hyun, Joo Yiwon, and Shin Jiho had known since junior high.
They were also friends that firmly believed in Jiho when other schoolmates suspected him.
Although Son Kyung Hyun was an F-rank awakened one, the others were normal people, so they weren’t allowed in the hunter-specific hospital.
He should thank them in the group chat later.
As Jiho held up his terminal, Kyung Hyun sighed.
“Shin Jiho, why are you always hurt whenever I see you?”
“That’s because unlike you, I’m running around on the scenes.
If I was only working in the office, I wouldn’t be getting hurt either.”
Kyung Hyun was an F-rank awakened one and an employee for the Hunter Association.
When Jiho had peeked at Kyung Hyun’s status window, his stats were so low that he wouldn’t be able to even dream of fighting.
Kyung Hyun pouted at Jiho’s remark.
“Hey, Joo Yiwon doesn’t get hurt either.”
“Don’t bring up that bastard’s name.”
“Why? Did you fight?”
Kyung Hyun smirked as he looked at Jiho, who was grumbling angrily.
Jiho started to complain.
“I don’t know, that bastard’s annoying.
Only plays weird jokes too.”
“That’s because your reaction’s so funny.
You know that Joo Yiwon has a pretty nasty personality.”
“Why’d you get so mad? Well, if it were me, I’d be pissed too.
You had always lost to him before, but now, you’re being left far back in the dust…”
Jiho glared at Kyung Hyun, who was carefully scratching at Jiho’s anger with his teasing.
Kyung Hyun didn’t care and set down the plate of apples that he had carefully cut.
Eat this and feel better.”
“Giving me a disease and then offering medicine…”1
“It wasn’t a disease but a fact.”
“You want to die?”
As Jiho waved his fist, Kyung Hyun grinned and handed him a forked apple.
Jiho put his fist down and calmly accepted the apple.
“Still, the opinions this time are pretty good.
Though it’s unclear if you can catch up to SS-ranked guildmaster Joo Yiwon, people have high expectations for you, so keep your chin up!”
“Like that’ll make me feel better.”
“I’ll add my love too, so try to feel a little better.”
As Jiho pretended to throw up, Kyung Hyun made a fuss.
Although Kyung Hyun’s words that he called “facts” hurt, they helped distract Jiho from his heavy thoughts and lightened his mood.
Kyung Hyun left after making Jiho feel better.
Like Son Kyung Hyun said, the public’s attitude was rather positive.
There were some people asking whether people were going to fall for it again and some saying they were going to wait for the assessment, but… most people were taking Seon Tae Woong’s words as the truth.
Jiho thought back to one year ago.
Back then, the people that had expected something from him like this were disappointed and attacked him.
Whether the past will repeat itself, or if the situation will be different this time, all depends on whether or not Shin Jiho succeeds in proving himself.
Shin Jihye, who had thrown a fit telling Jiho to come home, heard about Jiho’s new skill and thought about it for a long time, before deciding to see for now.
‘If you really want to continue to be a hunter, show me your results in three months.
I think this is a good chance too, so I will help you take care of the press for now.
But this is the last chance.
If what happened one year ago happens again, come back home.
I won’t force you to do anything besides stopping as a hunter.
Aren’t you a student? Go back to school, or if you don’t want to do that, go play outside of the country.’
Although he could’ve refused the sudden condition, Shin Jiho accepted.
He too thought that if he couldn’t make it with this skill, it would be better to quit.
Although three months was rather short, it was enough to try.
Shin Jiho strengthened his resolve again.
After a short period of grace, the day to discharge arrived.
Like last time, Heo Sori came to help Jiho with the discharge process, but her face was deathly pale.
Because of Seon Tae Woong’s explosive press conference, questions flooded the guild.
Even though Chungram was helping them, No Name couldn’t just completely take their hands off of the issue, so it seemed that Heo Sori had suffered a lot.
With a tired face, Sori took out a glove and a palm-sized box out of her bag and handed them to Jiho.
The glove was the item Jiho had lended to Seon Tae Woong.
“Hunter Seon Tae Woong…”
Heo Sori’s fierce voice made it sound as if she would grind Seon Tae Woong up and drink him right then and there if he was standing in front of her.
“…What about Hunter Seon Tae Woong?”
“He said he wants to thank you separately and pay you back in person.”
“Yes, that son of a b*tch.”
“You don’t have to go that far…”
If it was before, Jiho would have gone along with it, since that guy had always insulted Shin Jiho and No Name.
Yet he didn’t feel the same hatred anymore.
They went through life and death together, and Seon Tae Woong’s press conference had shifted public opinion.
Of course, after receiving Sori’s fierce glare, Jiho wasn’t that loyal enough to stand up for him so he closed his mouth.
“That son of a b*tch told me to ask Guildmaster-nim first before answering.”
Please set it up for a day when I’m free.”
With Jiho’s nonchalant answer, Sori’s eyes sharpened like a fierce cat.
“Are you a pushover, Guildmaster-nim? How can you meet with that bastard when you know how much he looked down on us?”
“But he said he’s giving something.
The person who doesn’t accept that here is the pushover.”
“That’s… that’s true.”
Heo Sori was quickly appeased.
After convincing Heo Sori, Jiho put the returned glove back on.
As he did so, he looked at the item’s window.
|Black Dinosaur Leather Glove
|A leather glove made out of black dinosaur leather and threads of mana.
Increases the wearer’s MP by 20%.
Please note that the name of the creator cannot be pronounced by the people of this world so it was automatically translated into something that can.
Close this announcement [X]
A pop-up window appeared with the information.
Jiho checked it and closed both windows.
When he checked the glove with his [Understand] skill, the options it offered were not far off from what he already knew.
Although it was surprising that an item from a dungeon had a creator, based on the additional information, it seemed that the item had been dropped in by its creator from the world the dungeon had come from.
‘Then are dungeons connected to different worlds? Then is there a dungeon of Earth? What is the principle to this?’
Jiho cut off the questions that were popping up one after another.
Even though there were a lot of scholars researching dungeons and other worlds, there is no clear result.
Jiho opened his skill window and checked the level of his [Understand] skill.
Even though he used the skill several times while in the hospital, the [Understand] skill was still at Level 1.
In games, the level of skills rise as you use them.
Jiho didn’t know if the reason the skill’s level wasn’t rising was because of his lack of experience or if there was another way to raise it.
As an S-rank skill, it probably did require a lot of experience.
Still, it was a given that the more you use a skill, the better you get at using it and the stronger the skill gets, so Jiho used it regularly.
While he was at it, Jiho checked the status window for Heo Sori.
|No Name guildmember
|Ambition ( B )
Heavy Fist ( C )
Strong Blow ( C )
Improved Agility ( E )
The skills were typical skills for combat hunters.
[Ambition] raises all stats when the desire to improve oneself is strong, and the remaining three skills are suitable for close combat.
The skill list wasn’t bad, but it couldn’t be considered good either.
However, thinking back to Seon Tae Woong, if Shin Jiho were to help, Heo Sori should be able to be stronger.
I was lost in thought just now.
But what is this box?”
“Hunter Seon Tae Woong’s present.”
“You should open it first.”
Looking at Sori’s wide smile, it seemed that something quite valuable was in there.
Jiho touched the luxuriously wrapped box.
The box wrapped in many layers of protection reacted to Jiho’s mana and unlocked.
Jiho carefully opened the lid of the box.
Checking what was inside the box, Jiho’s two eyes opened widely.
A magic stone3 larger than three average stones was in the box.
The stone was pitch-black, as if it had absorbed all of the light around it, and any awakened one could tell that the mana spilling from the stone was unusual.
|Gem from the Deep Abyss
|The nucleus of the S-rank dungeon’s boss monster [Deep Abyss].
Darkness, horror, confusion attributes.
(Click on the numbers to return)
1. 병 주고 약 준다 is an idiom used when someone first does something bad, and then offers something good as if to make up for it.
Usually used in manipulative situations lol.
2. Not sure if this is the right spelling, but I’m trying my best to romanize all of these Korean names.
They’re spelled with Korean letters, but they’re definitely not words typically seen in Korean, so I’m going with my best guess of what the English equivalent would be.
3. I’ve been thinking for a long time about how I should translate this.
Its literal translation is “magic stone,” but I think I’ll leave it as “stone” for the rest of the story unless the magic part actually plays a big role.
Just be aware that this is a stone that contains magic in it.
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