A Monster Who Levels Up - chapter-12
“Will it really remain as a series of potions? It kind of looked like our
honoured genius alchemist is working alone without a workshopâ€¦. Ah, but
how could he meticulously craft this kind of potion all by himself?
Looking at things like this, you can really feel that geniuses do exist
in this world for real.”
Right now, they were taking a short break from answering the endless
deluge of phone calls. When the employee spoke in admiration, Hazeline
let out a sigh and leered at him.
“â€¦Uh-whew. What will I do, when even you start referring him as a
genius? Thatâ€™s just an empty shell of a praise tacked on the guy to
make the mass media and the Knights Orders sweat extra hard for a bit.
So, what dâ€™ya mean, heâ€™s a genius?! Just give it a rest, already. A
genius, a greatest, a maestro, a virtuoso – none of those words should
mix up with our profession, and neither should we try to use them.”
“Eiiiâ€¦ But itâ€™s all coming from the community chat room sites first.
Right now, even the Alchemy Cafe is in an upheaval. They are asking if
they could meet himâ€¦” (TL: a Cafe is not a physical coffee shop but an
internet forum a la Discord or Reddit. Just your everyday Korean slang
Feeling good in the knowledge that this great sales result would lead to
fat bonuses for everyone, the male employee was chatting away in a
high-enough spirit, but he calmed right down the moment he came in
contact with inexplicably icy gazes. He had stepped onto a potential land
mine without realising it. Seeing the sight of Hazeline lightly biting
her lower lip with the corner of his eyes, the employeeâ€™s forehead
broke out in drops of sweat.
“Hey, you. Are you still looking at those? Didnâ€™t I repeatedly tell you
not to waste your time in those damn gossip sites? Because thatâ€™s where
the f*cked up bastards hiding behind the veil of anonymity spread around
vile, baseless rumours!”
“Iâ€™m truly sorry.”
The employee apologised in earnest as he knew the Manager deeply hated
excuses and hasty explanations.
“Fuuâ€¦ No need to apologise, instead, just go and do your job. Iâ€™ll
make sure to ask what our genius alchemistâ€™s deepest thoughts are or
what the plans of his future happen to be.”
The employee left her side and as soon as all signs of people around her
were gone for good, Hazeline grabbed her mobile phone. She was acting
complete opposite to how sheâ€™d been coldly treating her subordinate
just now, her demeanor currently full of respect.
â€“ Ring, ring.
She waited for a while, but in the end, all she got was “The person you
dialled is busyâ€¦”
“He said heâ€™s got only a home number so why isnâ€™t he picking it up?”
Hazeline cocked an eyebrow in dissatisfaction. Sheâ€™s been calling the
number 10 times already, but for some reason she couldnâ€™t even get a
â€“ Ppiiiiâ€¦. Please leave a message after the tone.
“Helloâ€¦. Sir Alchemist? This is Hazeline speaking. Iâ€™m the only
person who knows this number so please relax. The reason for me calling
you this time, isâ€¦ I was wondering if youâ€™d like to have a
work-related dinner with me some timeâ€¦”
Thanks to Alchemy, his worries over money had been solved. The reserve
price for his potion per bottle was $450K US. On top of that, he had
already sold 2 through the sales commissions, one for over $620K, and the
other for over $530K.
Even after deducting the sales tax and the Alchemy Houseâ€™
;s cut, he would still end up pocketing well over $1.3 million US. This
was an amount heâ€™d never even dreamt of having in his life. However, he
also couldnâ€™t have imagined seeing this amount leave him in one go,
The minimum cost of a single, unattached house located the closest to
Gangwon Provinceâ€™s Monster field easily exceeded $1.3 million.
At first, when he heard the amount he just couldnâ€™t believe it but
after hearing the explanations, he understood the reasoning, just a
The house he looked at had a garden the size of 60 pyung, (nearly 200
square metres) an underground bunker equipped with a generator, and had
been “insured” with a Knights Order for a “prioritised protection” in
case of Monstersâ€™ appearance – and to top that all off, the whole
building was reinforced with magic engineering to withstand assaults from
Monsters of Mid Tier or lower. Hearing about all these points, even
Sae-Jin ended up thinking that 1.3 million was on the cheaper side.
He returned to the cave, thinking that spending all that money at once
seemed wasteful but he couldnâ€™t chance it in an apartment complex with
his condition as was, and also the issue with the time reared its ugly
head while considering locations further than this, so he decided to
settle in that house as soon as the money came in from the completed sale
of the potions.
â€کWell, thatâ€™s that, but I wonder when Iâ€™ll evolve again.â€™
The worries and fears he had certainly lessened with the promised income
but couldnâ€™t completely be assuaged. The core issue he had, “Can I live
on as a Human?” was still there.
Now, he could maintain his Human Form for 100 minutes but really, that
didnâ€™t exactly qualify as being a human, after allâ€¦..
â€کThe condition needed for the evolution of the Brown Wolf to the Grey
was the Minimum Reputation.â€™
He evolved together with the message that said about 100 people became
aware of his existence. If the rest of the evolution was tied to this
concept than that meant he had to deliberately expose his Grey Wolf Form
to as many people as possible.
However, that was easier said than done; most would try to hunt him down
the moment he showed up. Sae-Jin could only sigh out grandly.
But there wouldnâ€™t be any changes if he stayed put like this. Heâ€™d be
able to find even a sliver of hope only when he started moving his body
and hit the wall head on.
â€کWell, letâ€™s avoid the Knights for now, and show up only in front of
“Can we do it?”
“No problem, no problem~ No need to worry so much. Itâ€™s just a Low Tier
creature with a slightly bigger body. Other Hunters are just exaggerating
One was a Mid Tier, another a low Mid Tier, and lastly, another low Mid
Tier. This temporary party of three Hunters consisted of one woman and
two men. The woman was full of high spirits and took the lead but the
following two men had their shoulders slumped. It was as if they were
being dragged along by the woman in front.
“When three Hunters gather, we can bring down any Monster! Isnâ€™t that
what you guys have said? Thatâ€™s why we became companions, right?” (TL:
the last line said something about being step siblings, and it didnâ€™t
make much sense to me, so companions it is until someone can suggest a
better alternative. OG: ىکë‚¨ë§¤ ë§؛ى—ˆى–ى•„)
“Hey, that story is already 15 years old. And back then, we were Knights,
not Hunters.” (TL: this line also greatly confused me. Not sure if this
guy was saying they were Knights 15 years ago, which seem quite unlikely
as you will see in the next chapter, or the womanâ€™s saying about three
Hunters the previous paragraph was actually supposed to be three Knights
instead and he was pointing that out.)
“Whatever, dude!! Why are you guys acting so down, anyways? If itâ€™s a
Wolf the size of a tiger, then the remains would fetch quite a nice price
and if we find a mid rank Mana Stone in its heartâ€¦. you know what that
She spoke loudly and happily while making the round coin gesture with her
fingers but the dark shadows on the menâ€™s faces showed no signs of
There was a rumour floating around the Low Tier hunting ground of late.
The insidious rumour spoke of a unique Monster prowling the area, the
“Unique Grey Wolf.”
The number of Hunters witnessing this tiger-sized Grey Wolf had already
surpassed high tens, and after earning its nickname “Unique Grey Wolf”,
the various stories related to this creature had upended the mood of the
Hunters Cafe. In fact, the mood had almost reached a point where TV
stations might send people to investigate it. (TL: again, the Cafe here
is not an actual shop, but an internet forum.)
But quite unlike any other Hunters who would have prioritised their
safety first, this woman had dragged these two guys along while raising a
“I said, no problem, no problem at all~”
The unique Monster, or possibly a mutated one. The term referred to
creatures that had went through changes induced by an inborn condition or
acquiring something along the line, and began growing in an unnatural way
until it became far stronger than all of its peers.
The famous examples included the Sabre-tooth Tigers, the Manticores – a
Monster with a Human head, a lionâ€™s body, and wings of a bat – and the
These were top tier Monsters that even a party full of High Tier Knights
would find difficult to hunt, and these creatures were usually found in
the unreachable,unreachably high and remote parts of the Gangwonâ€™s
mountains where they would continue their lonely but battle-filled
But to think, there was a unique Monster roaming around freely in the Low
Tier hunting ground? This woman was thinking thatâ€¦ this was simply a
stupid, unrealistic rumour that even the resident Knights tasked with
combating the non-standard Monsters had found utterly laughable.
But the two men thought differently. A Grey Wolf with a size of a tiger.
They definitely saw its bright and fearsome eyes. Not personally, of
course, but online in the Hunters Cafe.
Its amazing figure standing proudly and staring at the Hunters with the
full moon serving as its backdrop, made them stunned at its gorgeousness
rather than stunned into fear, made them sense its nobleness rather than
“You also saw that, right?”
“I did, but so what? Iâ€™m telling you itâ€™s not a unique Monster. If it
was one, then the Knights would have mobilised by now. And if this
bastard was strong, then why the heck are there so many witnesses? They
all would have been dead already.”
What she said was true. Unlike the regular, garden variety Monsters,
those labelled as Unique were capable of unleashing special attacks based
around magic, which would create equally unique signatures. If that
signature was felt, then the resident Knights would be swarming the Low
Tier hunting ground, busy patrolling the place high and low.
Plus, the testimonies of the eyewitnesses were a bit weird as well.
They said that the huge Wolf just appeared like a ghost and blocked their
paths until the Hunters chose to retreat. They did add that they got
scared of its intense eyes and its size, and were too busy running away
with tails between their legs, but it meant that this creature didnâ€™t
come out to hurt people.
“Itâ€™s just a slightly bigger wolf. And we know that all bigger Monsters
have Mana Stones in their hearts. Sure, it should be as strong as it
looks, butâ€¦.. hell, as a Mid Tier Hunter, I didnâ€™t bring this bad boy
just for a show!!”
She pulled out a handgun from her back pocket. Called KM-758, it was an
expensive gun designed to chamber and fire rounds of armour-plated Mana
bullets that were especially effective against the beast type Monsters.
“Eh? Where did you get that from?”
“This Mid Tier ranked lady is on another dimension from you guys. I
bought it from the cash I earned by participating in hunting with various
other parties. With this bad boy, as soon as we find this Wolf, itâ€™s as
good as a dead meat.”
At the entrance of the weapon that was far more trustworthy than her
words, the men began to regain some of their former courage.
However, as soon as they gained some confidence, a powerful fear
assaulted them right away. The howl of the wolf piercing the night sky
easily swallowed up the budding seeds of courage in their hearts.
“What, what was that?”
Grey Wolves never howled. It was because not only their vocal chords were
deformed, the tactic of hiding in the shadows then stealthily assaulting
their prey was their most preferred method to hunt and also the reason
why these creatures could still live in the Low Tier hunting ground. In
other words, they wouldnâ€™t deliberately make a noise to spoil their
If thatâ€™s the case, then just what was making that howl?
All three of the Hunters, even the woman who was so full of bravado,
ended up sticking very close to each other, their bodies shaking like
The fear that struck them once more came from a lot closer than before.
In the end, all three Hunters fell on their butts while holding hands and
their bodies planted against each otherâ€™s. Even though it was simply a
cry of a wolf, they just couldnâ€™t recover from the assault of the fear
on their senses that made their bodies go numb.
These poor fellas could never ever had posited that there was a magical
effect applied in the howl itselfâ€¦.
“I, I, Iâ€™ve already lo, lo, loaded the gun so, no nee, need to wo,
She grasped the gun with her shaking hands. At the same time, the
shivering men recalled with some difficulty the rules of Hunters. They
must never surrender to the encroaching fear. The moment they fear the
Monster, their lives would be forfeit.
One man brought out a rifle, the other a shotgun. With the sounds of
firing pins being cocked, all three of them finished equipping their
They heard the sounds of grasses covered in descending darkness being
disturbed. The tightening, dreadful anticipation suppressed the fear and
terror, and the three briefly regained their cool-headed Hunterâ€™s
They placed their index fingers on the triggers and took aim towards the
direction of the sound.
A minute that felt like 10 passed by, and finally, the Monster revealed
But the Hunters couldnâ€™t find the right reaction to this totally
The sight of a green skin, a crude metallic weapon held in one hand, and
a bone necklace hung around its neck, stopped their mouths from
operating. Was this an Orc Warrior? No, it couldnâ€™t be. An Orc Warrior
lacked enough self awareness to decorate itself.
The creature that overtly showed off its body and busy sending combative
gaze over at the Huntersâ€¦. it was an Orc Jaguar. A confrontational
individual that possessed strength surpassing an Orc Warrior, it was a
low Mid Tier Monster that loved bloody battles. (TL: Yep, the raw
definitely said a Jaguar. ىک¤يپ¬ ى¬ê·œى–´)
A low Mid Tier creature. Something that shouldnâ€™t even be here in the
Low Tier hunting ground.
“â€¦I think, maybe the machine dividing up the Tiers is malfunctioning
Because of its natural inclinations towards combat, Orc Jaguars went
around searching for enemies to fight, but one of them coming down to the
Low Tier hunting ground was extremely rare. There was a machine installed
between the low Mid Tier and the Low Tier hunting grounds that was
designed to stop Monsters from getting all mixed up.
But it could only lead the Monsters to behave a certain way and was not
what one would call a foolproof system, so every now and then, there were
“accidents” like these.
“â€¦.Iâ€™m really sorry. We came to catch a wolf but something f*cking
worse showed up instead.”
“We ainâ€™t dead yet. And didnâ€™t I tell you to fix the way you speak?
How come for the rest of your lifeâ€¦”
Their conversation got interrupted by the Orc Jaguarâ€™s roar. The three
Hunters exchanged several knowing looks. If two of them bought time, then
one would be able to survive. So, you wanna live? Nope. What about you? I
donâ€™t want to.
As expected, the camaraderie built up over the past 15 years was
unshakeable. All three of them said no and just grinned. And finally,
they decided to just work together. (TL: so this “15 years” bit is here
again. I wonderâ€¦ Maybe I read wrong. Hmmâ€¦)
The male Hunter with the rifle took aim at the Orc Jaguarâ€™s neck and
pulled the trigger first. But the Mana bullet designed for the Low Tier
Monsters couldnâ€™t pierce the thick skin of the target.
The Monster got enraged by the attack that managed to tickle it and
pounced towards the Hunters.
Next was the Hunter with the shotgun.
The scattering Mana buckshots struck all over the body of the Orc Jaguar.
But again, there was no effect.
Finally, only the handgun was left. But she knew. This Orc wasnâ€™t a
beast type. This gun was them just struggling uselesslyâ€¦.
Rather than her own death, her eyes teared up in apology at the thoughts
of dragging her friends to their end here.
And in that moment when she squeezed the trigger of her gun in regret.
The movement of the Orc stopped.
The three Hunters stared in panic at the Orc that was literally a
stoneâ€™s throw away from them.
But it wasnâ€™t that the Orc had stopped.
Instead, it was busy looking at the right arm that held the crude weapon.
The eyes of the Hunters also followed the line of the sight.
And there was a lone wolf busy chewing on the arm of this Orc, having
appeared out of absolutely nowhere.
It was a Grey Wolf.
And it was the very creature the Hunters were looking for, the Grey Wolf
with a tiger-sized body.