A Monster Who Levels Up - chapter-7
It was an ordinary afternoon.
And just like any other day, Sae-Jin came to the Monster Store to unload
the Monster materials when, out of the blue, the lady government official
demanded to see his Hunter Licence.
“Here, please take this newly issued Hunter Licence.”
After the official did this and that with the new card, he noticed that
there were new and different words from before added to the front of it.
“TheHeavenlyGifted Hunterâ€¦? What is this?”
Sae-Jin asked, his head tilting slightly.
“Ah, that is what you call a Titleâ€¦. Itâ€™s just a nice, simplified way
to describe your current set of abilities.”
“Didnâ€™t you bring in Monster carcasses worth 23 creatures within your
first month as a Hunter, Mr. Kim Sae-Jin? Because you satisfied the
conditions, a prefix was added to your job description. Overflowing with
a great talent, thatâ€™s what the title Heavenly Gifted means. Itâ€™s
really a rare and wonderful Title, you know. You canâ€™t receive it if
youâ€™ve been a Hunter for over 6 months, and also, the Knights Orders
actually do prefer this Title over the likes of The Seasoned Pro or The
Distinguished Individual.”(The latter one was something called
“ê´€ë،ىˆëٹ”” Iâ€™ve no idea what this is, and Google was no help
either, so, I made stuff up. Oh wellâ€¦)
The government official explained with ardent fervor and zeal, but
Sae-Jin showed little interest as he lightly nodded his head. After all,
this wasnâ€™t a very helpful tale for someone like him who could only
maintain his Human Form for 80 minutes a day.
“â€¦Thanks, I guess.”
When Sae-Jin turned around to leave, the government official shot up from
her seat and lightly held onto his sleeve. As he frowned and stared at
the official with questioning eyes, she quickly pushed forward a paper at
him while her cheeks reddened in a bashful manner.
“Thisâ€¦ Please take a look at this!!”
A government officialâ€™s trying to sell me something? Even though
Sae-Jin was slightly speechless, he ended up finding the shy female
official twisting her body in embarrassment, objectively speaking, rather
adorable in his eyes.
There was stillâ€¦ 66 minutes left.
“What am I reading here?”
He asked out aloud as he checked out the writings on the paper. The large
words “Public Recruitment for Hunters by Pabaek Knights Order” were
written on top, and below that were some fine prints detailing whatâ€™s
“Pabaek is a government-owned Knights Order with its headquarters located
in our neck of the woods, and currently, they are looking to hire capable
Hunters. Of course, itâ€™s true that only the ranks of Mid Tier or higher
can possibly apply, butâ€¦. Iâ€™m sure that Mr. Sae-Jinâ€™s Title will
receive a favourable consideration in this case! Besides, the plan was to
upgrade your ranking to low Mid Tier or higher as soon as Mr. Sae-Jin
satisfied the required amount of hunting experience, you see.”
To clarify, the widely accepted definition for a low Mid Tier Hunter was
“Can hunt a Low Tier Monster if three people with similar skill sets
gather”. And for a low Mid Tier Knight, it was the exact opposite – “Can
deal with more than three Low Tier Monsters at the same time, alone.”
Thatâ€™s why Sae-Jinâ€™s existence was a little, no, very special to the e
yes of this lady official. In most cases, Hunters formed parties of three
or more when moving about, yet here was a man that always came in alone,
and always left by himself as well.
“Well, are youâ€¦ interested in taking this opportunity? If you want,
itâ€™s possible to apply right here and now. Mr. Sae-Jin will be accepted
right away when you submit your application, Iâ€™m sure of it! In the
past, Hunters with the Title Heavenly Gifted all got scouted by the
famous Knights Orders even before theyâ€™ve been active for less than a
year. Heck, some even went and converted their professions and became
Knights in the end, you know!”
She became slightly desperate and her grip on Sae-Jinâ€™s sleeve got a
He was going to decline right away, but then, he found it a bit regretful
too, looking at the lady officialâ€™s round, clear and sparkling eyes. It
was a sight of a woman actively pursuing him, something he had never
experienced before in his life yet.
A manâ€™s worth was indeed judged by his abilities, thought Sae-Jin. To
see a cute woman, a well paid government employee to boot, acting so
aggressive like thisâ€¦. It was indeed a mystical yet somewhat difficult
new world for him to tread in. If it werenâ€™t for his Trait of being a
“Monster” he wouldnâ€™t even have a chance to do so, but at the same
time, he couldnâ€™t really go around boasting his achievements either,
precisely because of his condition as a “Monster”â€¦
“â€¦..Is that so?”
When Sae-Jinâ€™s lips wiggled and formed an indecipherable smile, she
mistakenly thought the talk was proceeding swimmingly, and so she smiled
happily and added a bit more to the sales pitch.
“Yes, of course!! Heheâ€¦ By the way, thereâ€™sâ€¦ a favour Iâ€™d really,
really love to ask you related to thisâ€¦”
It was right at this moment. Sae-Jin swallowed that mysterious smile back
down. His intuition, forcibly cultivated by being subjected to many
painful things at a young age, went off like an alarm bell in his head.
It said, donâ€™t listen to the rest, just leave as soon as possible.
“Soâ€¦ when you are recruited, please, would you mention my name, Kim
Hye-Jin, as the person who recommended youâ€¦. What the, wait a second!!
Please, just a second!! Mister Sae-Jin!!” (Another Kim?! Iâ€™m telling
you right now, there are other surnames in Korea, tooâ€¦.)
Before she could finish her sentence, Sae-Jin was already leaving the
Monster Store at a walking speed that bordered on a full-on sprint.
Hunting became a lot easier, after his Goblin Form morphed from being
what he previously thought of as a useless burden to one of the most
valuable assets in a single day. That was all thanks to, of course, the
Body Strengthening potion and its effects.
After “doping”, the Orc Form now exhibited strength that equalled an Orc
Warriorâ€™s. But as Sae-Jin went around with a steel mace bought from the
local Monster Store, when it came to the matters of overall destructive
power, he could easily overwhelm an Orc Warrior that only knew how to
wield a crude weapon.
His doped Grey Wolf Form might have displayed a similar level of
increased destructive prowess, but unfortunately, the Wolfâ€™s limbs
strengthened so much that he couldnâ€™t fully control the resulting speed
boost so, for now, until he got more familiar with the changes, he had to
hunt in a form that most resembled a humanoid shape – an Orc.
And the warcry he made just now before the battle, was completely
instinctual. When in the middle of the battle, the rabidly-boiling
fighting spirit made him feel like he was an invincible warrior from some
legends of the distant past, and it became harder to endure the
rapidly-mutating madness without roaring out aloud. (Jesus on a pogo
stick, this sentence was so choke-a-full of tough Hanja characters my
brain actually imploded trying to TL this sh*t up. WTF, indeed.)
But his opponent didnâ€™t respond at all. Par for the course, really. Its
entire body made up of bleached bones, this bastard was not much
different from a corpse reanimated by a Lich using Mana.
A dull-bladed scimitar collided with a steel mace. There was no need to
even confirm the end result. The forest shook violently from the
explosion of noise and the shockwave from the collision, while the skull
and the scimitar of the Skeleton Soldier were literally blown into
smithereens. Standing proudly amidst the broken white bones scattering in
the air, an Orc was busy enjoying the wonderful taste of his victory.
[Condition Complete: Required Experience Points Attained]
â–؛ Trait Level now increased to 4.
â–؛ All Stats rise by 1, and all Stats related to Forms will be adjusted
And his happiness could only double while silently observing the message
window popping up into his view.
His elation couldnâ€™t last for long, though.
The tall grasses shook, and there were sounds of feet leaving traces on
the ground. He had sensed peopleâ€™s presence nearby.
They werenâ€™t close, but neither could they be described as far, so
Sae-Jin quickly assumed his Human Form. His survival depended on it.
In truth, the most dangerous element for Sae-Jin in the Monster field
wasnâ€™t Monsters but fellow humans. With the notable exception of
Trolls, he could more or less contend with the rest of the Monsters found
in this Low Tier hunting ground, but then, there were the existences
called the “Knights” whose powers were just too ridiculously beyond the
realm of the common sense. One mistake, and if he got spotted by one of
them, then itâ€™d be curtains for him, just like that.
Thatâ€™s why he always maintained all five of his senses at the highest
possible state of awareness. The clothings he wore during his Monster
Forms were different from when he was in the Human Form, and thankfully,
when he changed, the clothes changed along with him like magic, making it
possible to pull the ruse off rather splendidly.
“â€¦.Huh, it was just a person?”
Just in time, as Sae-Jin was relaxedly reaching down to grab the Mana
Stone from the fallen Skeletonâ€™s remains, a party of Hunters emerged
from the bushes. This 4-person party carefully studied Sae-Jinâ€™s
apparels for a bit before offering greetings when they saw the mace in
“Ah, hello there!”
Hunters were not “friendly” with Mana, and as a result, their bodies
werenâ€™t as powerful, so they couldnâ€™t utilise close-range combat
weapons. The only remaining weapon of choice for them was the type of
guns that fired Mana bullets. Thatâ€™s why these Hunters mistook Sae-Jin
as a Knight instead. Plus, there was that deafening noise earlier, so
they assumed his Knight rank was, at least, a Low Tier.
“Haha, what a coincidence. Itâ€™s quite a rare thing to run into other
humans in a Monster field, seeâ€¦.”
A guy who seemed to be the leader of the party approached Sae-Jin while
carrying a disarming smile. But when Sae-Jin showed no reaction and
simply stared back at him, this Hunter promptly produced a business card
from his inner pocket and handed it over.
“Weâ€™re Hunting Team 1, from the Taereung Knights Order. My name is Kim
Ji-Han, a upper Mid Tier ranked Hunter, and these guys areâ€¦ well, it
doesnâ€™t really matter. They are just still young hatchlings, after
all.” (OMG. Another Kim?! I swear, this author hates other surnames. Has
to be it.)
On the face of this rather expensive-looking business card, the letters
“Upper Mid Tier” were embroidered in gold ink. It seemed like that a
veteran Hunter employed by the Knights Order brought along a bunch of
promising eggs on a demonstration hunt for the express purpose of
educating the young â€کuns.
“Is that right.”
“Yeah, hahaha. These guys here somehow managed to hit the rankings of
lower Mid Tier within 2 years, but the fact they are still clueless
hatchlings, that havenâ€™t changed at allâ€¦ Oh, if itâ€™s not much
trouble, may I inquire which Knights Order youâ€™re affiliated withâ€¦?”
Kim Ji-Han asked in a friendly voice. He figured that making a friendly
connection with a Knight would never be a bad thing and only prove
advantageous for him in the long run.
Of course, that was only if Sae-Jin was a Knight in the first place.
“â€¦Ah, I think youâ€™re mistaken about something hereâ€¦ Iâ€™m not a
Sae-Jin replied while pocketing the business card.
At the unexpected answer, Kim Ji-Hanâ€™s head tilted slightly while
carrying a confused expression on his face. Then his gaze drifted towards
the scattered remains of the Skeleton Soldier on the ground. To utterly
annihilate a Skeleton like this singlehandedly, and to claim he wasnâ€™t
“â€¦..So that meansâ€¦”
“Ah, Iâ€™m also a Hunter. Good to make your acquaintance. My rank is a
Ignoring the flabbergasted expression of Kim Ji-Han, Sae-Jin offered his
hand for a shake while smiling amiably. Somehow grabbing hold of the
offered hand, Kim Ji-Han continued his disbelieving expressions.
“Ahâ€¦ well, that was a jokeâ€¦ right? Haha, well, your sense of humour
is pretty good, I must say. But, you know itâ€™s not permitted, right? A
Low Tier Hunter isnâ€™t permitted to hunt in the Low Tier hunting ground
alone. I mean, if a Low Tier rank can chase down a Monster alone, then
why stay as a Hunter and not become a Knight instead, right? Ahahaha!!”
“Hahaâ€¦ is that so? But itâ€™s the truth.”
Sae-Jin could now maintain his Human Form for 90 minutes thanks to his
level up just now, but that was still not enough. He quickly pulled out
his Hunter licence and showed it to Kim Ji-Han.
“Uh? This is a real Hunter licenceâ€¦. eh?”
Ji-Hanâ€™s eyes and mouth widened as he discovered something incredulous
on the card after he examined it back to front.
“The Heavenly Giftedâ€¦? Could this beâ€¦”
Ji-Han momentarily stopped talking and simply studied the man in front of
him. The Heavenly Gifted – this was one of the greatest Titles available
among the Hunters, only granted to those who could, within the space of
half a year from the beginning of oneâ€™s career as a Hunter, kill over
20 Monsters in a month.
Those possessing this Title were all invariably got scouted by the
biggest Knights Orders and it was a common occurrence to see many of them
switching their profession to that of a Knight instead.
At the back of the licence, there was Sae-Jinâ€™s hunting record, and as
expected, it was quite a remarkable thing. Maybe it was all down to the
difference in talent. 23 Monsters in a month, and to top it off, all self
dismantled and disposed of. This record was so overbearing that, even
though Kim Ji-Han knew this guyâ€™s ranking was two tiers lower than his,
he found it impossible to say anything about it.
As Kim Ji-Han studied the licence some more, his eyes lit up brightly all
of a sudden. He finally noticed the space for “Affiliation” was blank.
Regular Hunters hunted in either one of two ways. One was to form a
temporary party with other Hunters, and the other was, like Kim Ji-Han
here, to become a Hunter employed by a Knights Order and hunt in a
But it wasnâ€™t a given that the former was a worse choice than the
latter, and that the latter option wasnâ€™t always a better of the two.
There were enough Hunters out there choosing the first option simply
because they didnâ€™t enjoy being in a strict group environment and all
its accompanying rules and regulations, even though they possessed enough
skills and abilities to enter a Knights Order.
“Youâ€™re not affiliated with anyone yet?!”
“â€¦.Ah, yeah. Somehow, itâ€™s like that, but I like moving solo. Iâ€™m
not thinking of joining anyone.”
Sae-Jin was adamant, but Kim Ji-Han thought that he was clearly the
latter case. So, with a smile on his face, he presented Sae-Jin with
another business card.
This time, it was for the “Taereung” Knights Order.