Hunter Academy’s Battle God
[Translator – Bob ]
[Proofreader – ilafy ]
“Did that… really…”
Arden was muttering to himself with a dazed expression on his face at the completely unexpected result.
His granddaughter had lost.
On top of that, YuSung had used the Black Dragon’s Body Armor, which was the fourth form of the Battle God Style. As Yu WonHak’s old friend, he knew just how strong of a technique it was.
“Kuhaha! How was that? My YuSung’s technique, that is!”
“…Incredible. A first-year in high school and he’s already mastered the fourth form. So you weren’t bluffing back when you said that… he has greater potential than you.”
“ Of course. Now that the match is over, why don’t we go and have another round of drinks?”
The two men still had plenty to talk about with each other, especially on Arden’s end.
“Now that I think about it, YuSung probably considers you as his father.”
“Well… I guess you could say that.” Yu WonHak’s forehead creased horrifically. “Why are you bringing up an embarrassing topic like that.”
Arden’s expression was serious. “…What do you think of my Adela?”
“…Nothing much?” Yu WonHak picked his ear.
Arden grimaced. “Then start thinking!”
“Your habit of putting your own interests above others is incorrigible. Tut tut!”
The two kept bickering on as they headed towards the bar they had reserved, but they looked like they were enjoying doing so.
* * * *
The Sevens dorms…
“Waah, Y-YuSung-ssi! YuSung-ssi… actually won!”
Sumire, who had been watching Amy’s broadcast, had tears of admiration pouring down her face.
YuSung winning in the Selections more or less meant that he was the strongest in South Korea among the first years. A historic moment for those with F-rank Traits.
Soon after, cheers could be heard from the direction of the first-year classrooms. Sumire stared at YuSung being displayed on the screen with a wide smile.
‘He’s different from me…’
He was the person she idolized.
Back when the ‘berserk incident’ had happened in Japan, Sumire had run away from the country in order to escape it.
Her classmates and friends, hurt by her own hands… Her teacher, suspended… Most importantly, the hatred she felt towards herself… Sumire couldn’t endure it any longer.
She hated the fact that she ruined everything she tried to do. It frustrated her that she kept hiding away whenever the thought of wanting to change herself emerged in her head.
If it weren’t for YuSung’s help, she would still be stuck in the same place she had been before. Of that, she was certain.
YuSung was special to Sumire.
She thought of him as someone who lit up his surroundings, unlike her who was pitch-black.
It was the reason why she especially wanted to be by his side. She wanted to be his party member and to be of help to him.
Her heart wondered: if she helps someone who shines, won’t she begin to shine herself?
To the current Sumire, though, just being with him was enough.
‘Even this much is too generous…’
Sumire chuckled, a complicated expression on her face. Part of it looked like relief, but also bitterness. Now that she thought about it, it wasn’t like every choice Sumire made had ended up as a mistake.
‘Since leaving Japan…’
Even if running away felt like a mistake, the place that she had arrived in was her haven.
‘Let me meet Shin YuSung-ssi.’
And Sumire was satisfied with that.
* * * *
The Shinsung group’s mansion…
EunAh, sitting on the sofa, rapidly blinked her eyes.
“Whoa, she really… lost? That Adela?! Really?”
She knew YuSung was strong, but Adela was one of the students considered to be the strongest in the nation among the first-years. Even in Gaon, her skills were out of the question.
“Just how powerful is this guy?”
SuHyun lifted the chopsticks full of noodles to her mouth. “Agh! Hot! Puff… puff! Slurp! He’s pweddy ‘mazinm…”
“Argh! Come on! Don’t talk while you’re eating!” yelled EunAh. “And where did you get those cup noodles from, anyways?!”
“Hm? Oh, Miya brought this over from Japan. You have to eat some carbs every once in a while if you don’t want to get stressed out. And you told me that snacks are fine, no?”
SuHyun narrowed her eyes at the other girl as she took a sip of the soup.
EunAh rubbed her forehead. “How does an entire cup noodle count as a snack?”
Even as she was complaining, it was obvious that they had already become a bit too close to each other. SuHyun easily dismissed EunAh’s words.
“…It really waz imcredibul. Slurp! That wasm’t a fight om a sdudent level, y’know? Ramk 5, eazy.”
Her face was serious, even as she drank the rest of the soup in her cup.
EunAh, arms crossed, nodded in agreement. “Both Adela and YuSung are really strong… And they’re my rivals, after all.”
She insisted that they were her rivals without missing a beat. SuHyun found her insistence adorable and forced herself to not smile at it.
“Is that so?”
“I’m still a little behind them both, but it’s only a matter of time. I also ate an artifact recently. I can feel it strengthening my abilities every day.”
Quick bursts of static rose up from EunAh’s body as she said so.
“Well~ I guess it worked out. It’d feel bad if YuSung lost here since I wouldn’t be able to pay back my debt to him.”
She said that statement in a nonchalant manner, but it seemed like she was hiding how pleased she was on the inside. SuHyun, seeing a chance, used the opportunity to ask her something she had been curious about.
“Speaking of, Young Miss. Are you really going to leave his party after the International Competition?”
EunAh began pondering.
That would eventually be what happened if she followed her original promise. But the longer she stayed in the party, the more EunAh was opening her heart towards to its members. And oddly enough, a corner of her heart got heavier the more she got friendlier with them.
She began to reply in a quiet voice. Right then, SuHyun’s Pocket began to vibrate.
“Yes, this is Lee SuHyun, Head Secretary of the Shinsun group. What is the matter?”
SuHyun placed an earphone in one of her ears so that EunAh wouldn’t be distracted by the call. The girl in question was staring at her with a pout on her face, dissatisfied by the fact that she had been cut off.
But SuHyun’s reaction stayed serious.
“Is-is this true?”
EunAh’s eyes narrowed at the other woman’s grave tone of voice.
“What’s going on? Tell me, I wanna know.”
SuHyun thought about what to say. Eventually, she made her decision and opened her mouth.
“That is… Young Master Kim JunHyuk has woken up.”
“M-my brother… is awake?”
EunAh seemed to be reacting shockingly calmly about the news on the surface, but her body was giving her true feelings away. Her hands, pale, were trembling.
“You aren’t lying… right?” asked EunAh, her voice dry.
SuHyun nodded in response, face more sober than it had ever been before.
“…Young Miss, I’ll take you to Metro Hospital posthaste.”
* * *
Translator - Bob
Proofreader - ilafy
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* * *
A booth prepared by the Hunter’s Association…
Amy turned off her broadcast and sunk into her chair, looking much like ice cream melting in the sun.
“…62 million won in donations in one day? 70,000 live viewers? I… can now die in peace.”
TL/N: Almost $48,000 USD by current conversion rates.
Just how many records had she broken?
First off, her subscriber count had increased by 20 thousand in just a few hours. Second off, she had gotten the most donations that time around… And the highest amount of live viewers, as well.
An incredible amount of money, even after paying the streaming platform her commission fee and giving YuSung half for his share. And that wasn’t even considering the amount of prominence she had gotten. Moments like those were what made Amy love her job.
“I… I love this… fufufu, Team Leader-nim’s star quality is off the chain, as I thought it would be!”
And she, once again, swore her allegiance to him.
* * * *
Shin HaYoon basked in the lingering emotions that remained after the end of the match.
The fight between the strongest among the first years—YuSung and Adela—was incredibly entertaining. Even she, the student council president, couldn’t help but turn her attention to their skills.
Even deep in thought, she managed to evoke an aura that left others in awe.
But only for a moment.
“Ku, kuku… Kukuku!”
Left to her lonesome, HaYoon began giggling in a deranged manner. It lasted for some time until she finally wiped her tears from her eyes with a stray finger.
“What’s that about F-rank? What’s that about having no talent? They swore he would never become a hunter, and now…”
HaYoon was making fun of her father, the head of the Shin-oh family. Ever since she was little, the girl had grown up in the skill-above-all environment that had been curated by her household.
And the person who enforced that philosophy the most, the one that insisted that the elite ruled over all, was him.
“…A man of your position being this wrong? You’ve practically spit in his face.”
HaYoon’s insults were relentless.
“My mother, too, who agreed with him, and everyone else… Idiots, all of them.”
She opened her eyes and let out one long, drawn-out breath. Her smile reached her eyes.
“As I thought… I’m the only one in this household who’s qualified to be the head.”
HaYoon’s finger lightly tapped the surface of her desk as she continued to speak to herself.
“Then all I have to do is… bring my ta~lented little brother of the same blood back home with me.”
With nothing but evidence of his skills, she was amicably calling YuSung, a boy whom she had had no contact with for twelve years, her little brother.
“Won’t that be fun?”
HaYoon stared at a photo of YuSung, taken from a news article, and chuckled darkly. Then she turned back to the screen and began to talk.
“…How’s about it, YuSung-ah? I think we’re going to be the best of siblings.”
* * * *
Right around the time that the Selectios were coming to a close…
YuSung was sitting in an office prepared by the Association.
‘I wonder what they want me for? The proceedings regarding the winner have already ended as well.’
Face set in a serious expression, YuSung was dropping sugar cubes into his cup. The black tea that the Association had prepared for him was much too bitter.
He tasted the concoction and nodded, satisfied only after the beverage had been reduced to nothing but sugar with a hint of tea.
While he was enjoying sucrose-in-a-cup, Mei Lin opened the door to the office and stepped in.
She greeted him respectfully. “Congratulations on your victory, Student Shin YuSung.”
He grinned. “Thank you very much.”
“The reason as to why I prepared a separate place to talk to you with was to offer you a raid request.”
“Is that so… does that mean this is another request relating to Academy City?”
The last time he had been there, he had gotten the task of defeating the lake dragon. It had become a great opportunity for his party member, EunAh, to grow.
But Mei Lin shook her head.
“No. The one giving the request this time is the head office of the Association. The destination being the Castel of Phantasms in Japan.”
“That means this is…”
An expedition raid.
YuSung had already heard from Sumire that the representative chosen by the Selection would be sent by the Association on one.
The reasoning behind it, on the surface, was for the sake of unity and cooperation between countries. But that was not actually the case. The expedition raids were more like opportunities for the hunters going to scope out and experience any peculiarities or distinct teaching methods employed by the other country.
“…So this means I’ll have to go on an expedition in Japan?”
Mei Lin then revealed the actual identity of the one who had requested the raid.
“The Association President strongly wishes for you to take the job, Student Shin YuSung.”
Kang YuChan. One of the Fist King’s, Yu WonHak’s, irreplaceable comrades. It was a request that YuSung couldn’t refuse.
In fact, it was one that he didn’t even have a reason to refuse in the first place. The opportunity to go on an expedition to Japan was too good to pass up.
The woman smiled at YuSung’s enthusiastic assent. Soon after, information regarding the job popped up as a hologram above his Pocket.
[Boss Subjugation Request]
[Habitat: Castle of Phantasms]
[Boss Name: Succubus Queen]
[Difficulty: Rank 5]
[Time Limit: X]
YuSung slowly pored over the contents, eyes stopping at the line detailing the number of participants. The Academy City manager smiled lightly at his reaction.
“The total number of participants will be four; two will be from Korea.”
“Then does that mean the other two are…?”
“Yes, I’d wager they’ll be from the representative team from Japan.”
Mei Lin had previously had the chance to see Choten Academy’s students for herself.
Seiji, who used shadow arts…
Sakura, the archer in full bloom…
Kirishima Isshin, Choten’s samurai…
They were the best of the best in Japan, geniuses that were as skilled as those grandiose labels suggested.
But in Mei Lin’s—an active hunter’s—opinion, skill wasn’t necessarily what was going to be the most important during that raid.
What was going to be important was cooperation.
‘Of course, I don’t think Shin YuSung will get pushed around by the Japan party, but…’
The Japan team had its own strategies, their own pace they followed. Considering that, it would be impossible for one party to completely defer to the other’s lead.
‘Will both parties be able to work together in the dungeon despite their differences?’
It was something that could only be achieved if one had the sort of popularity that made others follow them, or if they had overwhelming charisma that swept up the other team members. In other words, important qualities that made a good leader.
“I’ll start right away.”
But YuSung accepted the request enthusiastically. He had always had confidence in himself.
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