Hunter Academy's Battle God - Chapter 10
A gigantic luxury cruise.
The cruise liner was cutting through the ocean on its way towards the testing grounds, Jewel Island. The first years of Gaon Academy had forgotten about the test in the face of the beautiful scenery, and an amicable air had sprung out of the freeing atmosphere.
And among those students was the strongest member of S Class and first in the student rankings, Adela.
Adela was feeling the cool breeze while leaning against the handrails of the cruise line. The wind lifted her silver locks into the air. Even Adela, who felt stifled by her life in the Academy, felt freedom at that moment.
“Hey, what’re you doing? With that cheeky, fulfilled expression on your face, no less.”
Kim EunAh leaned her face towards Adela while standing right next to her. When Adela didn’t give her a response, Kim EunAh ended up talking into her ear.
“Can’t you hear me? What are you doing?”
Adela made a face at Kim EunAh and walked away. Kim EunAh started to follow her around like a puppy.
“Hey~ let’s fight. There’s a sparring area on the cruise ship, did you know?”
As if annoyed by Kim EunAh, Adela clicked her tongue and said:
“It’s only been three days.”
“…Since you lost.”
Adela kept dismissing Kim EunAh’s invitation.
“Huh? Hey, wait, where are you going! Fight me!”
Kim EunAh ended up blocking Adela’s path.
“Agh! Please! Let’s fight just one time!”
An earnestly pleading Kim EunAh.
“I don’t want to.”
Of course, Adela refused her again.
“Ugh, really! Just once!”
Adela glared as Kim EunAh blocked her path again.
“…Why are you so persistent?”
“I told you! I can’t just go on with my life knowing that I lost.”
It was when Kim EunAh grinned that Lee SiWoo’s voice was heard ringing out loud from below them.
“Wow! The ocean is so cool!”
But the person Adela’s gaze was drawn towards was not Lee SiWoo, but Shin YuSung next to him.
“That man is…”
When Adela started to show interest in him, Kim EunAh glared and sneered.
“Ah, it’s him, right?”
She dragged Shin YuSung into the conversation to get a reaction out of Adela.
“The only disciple of the man who defeated your grandfather, the incredible~ Fist King!”
Shin YuSung, who was in F Class, was taking the exam with the so-called lower rank classes — C, D, E, and F Class.
This meant that S Class Adela and A Class Kim Eun-ah wouldn’t be making any contact with him during the exam.
Thus, he was an opponent that neither had the chance to face off against. Kim Eun-ah, as if disappointed, muttered under her breath while staring at Shin YuSung.
“I want to fight against him, too. The Fist King’s disciple must be really strong, right?”
“…Focus on your exam.”
Adela tried to end the conversation, but Kim Eun-ah smiled cheekily and tried to provoke her even more.
“Huh, why? …Because Gaon’s 1st place could change? It could happen, who knows?”
Unfazed, Adela gave a relaxed smile.
“Then you would come in third.”
Adela used those words to mark the end of the conversation and walked away. Kim EunAh huffed while glaring at Adela’s back.
“Why, that little!”
Whenever Kim EunAh got angry, sparks flew around her as if to reflect her mood.
“Tch! All that did was spoil my mood.”
Kim EunAh stared at Shin YuSung on the lower floor while upset. The man that her rival, Adela had taken an interest in. Slowly, a playful grin grew on her face.
“…Maybe I should steal him away?”
* * *
* * *
After boarding the cruise boat, Lee SiWoo had stuck close to Shin YuSung and started chatting without stopping.
“Wow, this is kind of scary. YuSung-ah, aren’t you afraid?”
“But, YuSung-ah! Your partner is Sumire!”
Lee SiWoo glanced around to check if Sumire was in the vicinity, then continued in an excited voice.
“I didn’t finish explaining last time, but… if you keep being close to her, bad things keep happening…”
As he was trying to scare Shin YuSung, somehow, Sumire had arrived and was muttering while emitting a gloomy aura.
Lee SiWoo clutched his stomach at Sumire’s sudden appearance.
“Um, YuSung-ah. My stomach is hurting a lot, suddenly…”
Lee SiWoo swiftly ran away. A silence flowed between the two for a moment. Even during the awkward atmosphere, Sumire had managed to subtly sit herself down next to Shin YuSung. She began to lament again under her breath.
“…I’ve been used to those rumors for a while. People called me offputting back in Japan as well… once, I showed my friend my skeleton summoning technique, and she said, “Kyah! A skeleton made from my hair? That’s disgusting!”…”
“…Oh, I see.”
Shin YuSung listened to her story.
Sumire, as if comforted, continued to wax poetic about her past.
“But even so… the skeletons are offputting, but, it’s not like I was cursed, or that I’m possessed! I’m not…”
“Hm, yes, nothing suggests either of those had happened to you.”
“Right? So… even if Shin YuSung-ssi stays next to me… you won’t fall ill, or get into an accident, or have a ghost latch onto you, or die…”
Sumire sniffled and kept mumbling.
“I don’t care about any of that,” Shin YuSung said with a stern voice.
Sumire widened her eyes, as if touched, and stared at Shin YuSung.
“Y-you’re the first person to ever say that to me… Actually, even my parents looked at my skeletons and said, “I’ve never seen such a repulsive Trait before!”, and were incredibly disgusted with me. So Iii…”
As Sumire tried to say more in her moved state, Shin YuSung covered her mouth.
“Stop. Sumire, from now on, focus only on the exam.”
Sumire’s mouth was covered by Shin YuSung’s hand, so she moved her head up and down to show that she understood.
“C-can I really do this?” Sumire timidly asked Shin YuSung, as if she had no confidence.
Even though she had nodded before. Shin YuSung looked down at Sumire and nodded without putting too much thought into it.
Shin YuSung pulled out a few of his hairs and put them in her hand.
“During the exam, feel free to use as many of my hairs as you’d like.”
Sumire stared at Shin YuSung’s hairs like they were a treasure.
“Wow… Shin YuSung-ssi’s hair! And five strands of them!”
She carefully wrapped the hairs in a napkin and put them in her pocket. Afterward, she looked at Shin YuSung’s hands and carefully asked:
“N-next time… can you give me your fingernails, as well? My summoning is a bit stronger with them than with hair!”
Shin YuSung gave a reluctant smile as Sumire aimed her sparkling eyes towards his fingernails.
“…I’ll think about it.”
* * * *
The instructor in charge of the first-year lower rank classes.
Lin Xiao. He shouted at the students:
“Your time limit is just two hours! During that time, collect as many jewels on Jewel Island as you can!”
That was the testing location, Jewel Island.
There were a variety of monsters on that island like the carbuncle, baby salamanders, and jewel snakes. The one thing all of the monsters had in common was that they had a jewel embedded somewhere on their body.
“On this island, the monsters with higher ranks have bigger jewels! Of course, you’ll get more points if you defeat higher rank monsters, right?”
After finishing his explanation of the exam, Lin Xiao gave one last request to the students.
“I, as the instructor, understand that the further you go along in your exam, the more intense you’ll get. However, this isn’t a sparring test! Don’t fight with each other! If you break this rule, you’re getting kicked out of the academy!”
As he ended, the students immediately dispersed. The K Channel staff that had been riding on board the cruise with them were setting up a booth for Yu HanNah.
Instructor Lin Xiao started to throw barbed words at this scene as it was something he had never seen before.
“I know that hunter programs are popular, but… broadcasting the students’ exams?”
Yu HanNah shook her head and her index finger at his face.
“Oh~ my god! That sort of old-fashioned or anachronistic thinking is a complete No!”
She tilted her sunglasses down and smirked.
“This item is the fantastic~ brainchild of K Channel’s one and only head producer. The headmaster also approved of the filming! So this is all a complete No problem! Understand?”
Lin Xiao was displeased but responded that it was fine for the moment. This was because the headmaster, Jin ByungCheol, had asked him to not cross Yu HanNah.
‘What kind of Korean uses English like… what a weird woman.”
Yu HanNah was already sitting at her booth, befitting her status as the main anchor. She was personally checking if everything was ready for the broadcast.
“Have you released all of the drone cameras?”
“Don’t worry. We have so much manpower here that fifty people alone are controlling the drones.”
The male staff member assured her while thumping his chest. Yu HanNah nodded while peering into a mirror.
“Good. Shin YuSung is a must, and his partner, um… what was her name? In any case, that Japanese girl. Make sure to stick a drone camera on her.”
“Yeah, yeah. All of the footage we film is going to be edited then broadcasted, anyways, so take as much as possible. Overlay my commentary wherever it fits. Okay, if you’re ready, let’s hurry and film GO~!”
Fifty monitors were installed outdoors.
The amount of preparation K Channel had put into this broadcast exceeded the imagination. It meant that Shin YuSung was just that popular and that the news station had hopes that were that high.
* * * *
Shin YuSung stared at the drone camera in the sky.
‘I know it’s important for a hunter to stick out, but…’
He was a little embarrassed that everything was being broadcast, including the Academy exam. But, in order to pursue the title of the strongest hunter like the Fist King, having prominence was the most basic of basics.
‘…I have to endure at least this much.’
Shin YuSung awakened his senses and calculated which direction the wind was blowing towards with the tips of his fingers.
[YuSung-ah! If you want to catch a monster in the wild, especially the weak ones, you need to be downwind of the prey—then you’ll gobble them up! Whether it’s an animal or a monster, the weaker they are, the more sensitive they are to smells!]
This was the hunting method that the Fist King had taught him. Shin YuSung walked forward in the direction where the wind was hitting him directly. While doing so, he made sure to keep track of footprints left behind by prey in the dirt.
‘…There’s traces of something passing by. It hasn’t been long since these were made.’
The forest’s distinctive wet soil had some sort of long marks in it. Shin YuSung moved quickly, following the marks. At the end of the markings, Shin YuSung found a large snake.
The identity of the snake was the gem snake.
As a rank 3 monster, a regular F Class student had no chance of defeating it by themselves.
The gem snake, who had belatedly noticed Shin YuSung, stuck out its tongue and began to observe him. The gem snake moved slowly towards Shin YuSung while upright to attack him.
Soon after, the gem snake coiled its long body like a spring. Shin YuSung narrowed his eyes.
The gem snake threw its body along with a hair-raising cry. Shin YuSung, who had not been in any sort of stance, grabbed the neck of the gem snake in an instant.
The sound of muscles snapping under incredible strength.
The gem snake’s body became limp. Shin YuSung laid the snake down and pulled out the jewel from its skull like nothing had happened.
Let alone the combat ability to overpower a rank 3.
It was rare to see first years with the ability to be this calm even in the middle of a fight. But, Shin YuSung had easily done both.
‘…Is killing monsters like this really the exam?’
This was the location where both Shin YuSung’s F Class and the upper-rank classes, like S Class, took their exam. But the difficulty was much too low for him.
‘It’s too easy to even call it easy…’
But the reality was different from Shin YuSung’s thoughts. The monsters weren’t weak; he was just strong.
A member of F Class with an F-rank Trait.
But Shin YuSung had an innately powerful physique and body. Coupled with the Fist King’s harsh training, Shin YuSung had been reborn as an irregular hunter who threatened to take the title of the strongest.