Hunter Academy's Battle God - Chapter 2
The headmaster’s office of Gaon Academy.
Jin ByungCheol, the headmaster, was looking at Shin YuSung with a pleased expression.
“So, you’re the disciple that WonHak, no, no! That the Fist King personally raised?”
Gaon was an academy that measured a student’s worth by the skill they possessed. Jin ByungCheol bared his yellowing teeth in a grin at the fact that Shin YuSung was trained by the Fist King himself.
“Your Trait must be incredible! The Fist King has an S-rank one, after all! And, you must have polished it while you weren’t going to the Academy, huh-huh! Go ahead, tell me what it is!”
Headmaster Jin ByungCheol asked this, expectations high. Shin YuSung shook his head.
“No, I’ve never used my Trait until now.”
“Hu-huh! Wh, what is that supposed to mean? If you are a hunter, you must surely be using your Trait…”
Jin ByungCheol’s words were the most common of common sense, but they didn’t register as such to Shin YuSung. Jin ByungCheol scratched his bald head* and tried asking again.
“So you know the rank of your Trait, right? You must have had it evaluated?”
But Shin YuSung shook his head again.
Jin ByungCheol’s expectation-filled face contorted. It passed through his mind then that the Fist King had tricked him again.
‘He tormented me so much during his time as an active hunter, and now he’s foisting off a defective product like this on me?’
With none of the consideration that he had shown before, Jin ByungCheol glared at Shin YuSung and slammed his hands on the table.
“What kind of…? The disciple of the Fist King has an F-rank Trait? Are you messing with me?”
“But Master always told me to become a hunter who doesn’t rely on their Trait.”
Shin YuSung replied plainly without losing his composure, but Jin ByungCheol waved his hand as it to say that he didn’t want to hear any of it.
“Who’s saying that kind of crap? Even your master, the Fist King, was a hunter with an S-rank Trait!”
He looked at Shin YuSung disdainfully, hopping mad.
“I’ll just check your Trait right now. Give me your hand.”
As Shin YuSung obediently extended his hand, Jin ByungCheol pricked the boy’s fingertip with a needle attached to a machine.
A drop of blood was on the tip of the needle. Soon after, Shin YuSung’s Trait was displayed on the screen.
[Trait: Heightened Focus]
[Effect: Heightens focus based on the amount of mana used.]
Jin ByungCheol leaned his forehead against his hands at the shocking results.
“Yu WonHak! You tricked me again! Calling someone with an F-rank Trait your disciple?!”
Shin YuSung watched the hopping-mad Jin ByungCheol without saying a word.
“Can I attend…? As expected, I don’t have what it takes to become a hunter.”
The headmaster’s rage towards Yu WonHak was needlessly spilling over to Shin YuSung. Jin ByungCheol felt that it was already unfair that he had to enroll F-ranks to meet the government’s quota and felt displeasure at the idea of having more joining the Academy.
‘I’m more pissed off by the fact that he tricked me! I thought he’d be of help this time, but he’s just giving me his dregs!’
Jin ByungCheol forcefully tamped down his anger, and said to Shin YuSung with a cold tone:
“…If you want to attend our Academy, you have to fulfill a condition I ask of you. Can you do that?”
Shin YuSung was someone who had not gone through the proper channels to attend the Academy.
His enrollment was entirely in the hands of Jin ByungCheol.
“Yes, whatever it is.”
With no other choice, Shin YuSung replied so in a civil manner. The headmaster gave a fishy smile.
“My condition is… a simple spar. If you win at a spar against a student I choose, I’ll let you enroll. How’s that? Will you do it?”
Shin YuSung’s Trait was F-rank.
But the headmaster was thinking of pitting Shin YuSung against a student with a D-rank Trait. Traits didn’t denote skill, but it was an indication of a hunter’s strength that could not be ignored.
Shin YuSung started thinking deeply. It was discouraging even just recalling the hunters his master, Yu WonHak, had told him about. But there was no other option, no matter how much he looked for one. If he wanted to become one of the hunters that he had so admired, Shin YuSung had to graduate from the Academy.
Finishing his thoughts, he gave a nod to Jin ByungCheol and energetically shouted,
“I’ll do it!”
* * * *
[First years – S Class]
The elite class of Korea’s finest academy, Gaon Academy. In Gaon Academy, classrooms weren’t decided by one’s skill, but by the rank of one’s abilities.
Of course, there was a pinnacle even in the elite class made up of S-rank abilities.
First place among the first years…
Her name was Adela Ortensia.
She was a young woman with sleek, glistening silver hair and a cold expression.
“…The disciple of the Fist King?”
Adela was considered the pinnacle of the students attending Gaon Academy. Even among the S class, who represented the school, she was considered especially talented. As soon as she opened her mouth to say something, the students around her started bombarding her with affirmations in a show of excessive devotion.
“Are you interested, Adela?”
“Should we go and investigate?”
“They probably aren’t that strong, I heard that they’re looking for their opponent in D class……”
Adela didn’t respond, even as she was being barraged with questions. She propped up her chin with her hand and looked outside the window with a detached expression.
‘…The Fist King, the sole hunter who defeated my grandfather.’
She was a little intrigued, but shortly after closed her eyes and immersed herself in thoughts of the past. It was due to her grandfather that she had flown from Italy to Korea to enroll in Gaon Academy.
—Adela, the strongest hunter I’ve ever met is in Korea. If you also wish to attain the title of the strongest, go to Korea!
But to Adela, who was a genius among geniuses, even Korea’s Gaon Academy was too dull. Her record as her grade’s top student was ‘zero losses’. She had become the undisputable pinnacle of the first years.
‘If the Fist King’s skills are as real a deal as my grandfather implied… they’ll climb up here on their own, at the very least.’
So Adela had no interest in the situation.
If the new student really was the disciple of the Fist King, and showed a level of skill befitting it, she could test his strength then.
* * *
* * *
[First years – D Class]
The disciple of the Fist King.
The rumor concerning Shin YuSung’s enrollment was spreading even faster among the lower rank classes. Among them, one student raised their voice and shouted:
“They’re giving you 50SP if you win?!”
SP (School Points) were an extension of the school’s store system. Headmaster Jin ByungCheol was announcing that the student who won against Shin YuSung would be given 50SP.
It was a prize that anyone would covet.
The students’ conversations grew louder.
“Wow, shit… how many outing passes is that?”
“Like… 10? Whoa… should I apply?”
“Are you all crazy? How are you going to win against the disciple of the Fist King?”
“Didn’t you hear, though? Their Trait is apparently F-rank.”
“What? F-rank? It depends on how skilled they are, but isn’t this still totally free?”
At those words, one of the students kicked a desk aside.
He slowly walked over to the table which was the focus of the discussion happening.
“Are you telling me that the Trait of the Fist King’s disciple is only F-rank?”
“Uh, yeah, HaJin-ah**… t-that’s what they’re saying.”
He was fairly high up in the student rankings among those in the D class. The students who had lower rankings than him smiled awkwardly in an effort to get on his good side. As if pleased, Joo HaJin placed a hand on one of the students next to him and smirked.
“What the hell is that. That’s weird.”
“Yeah, it’s fucking weird. Either that little shit is trying to con us, or the Fist King is all dementia-addled and washed up. Has to be one of the two, don’t you think?”
Joo HaJin thumped his classmate’s back then peeled the notice off the desk.
“I’ll be the one participating in the spar. If you’ve got a problem with that, let’s settle it with a fight.”
The students did want the 50SP, but didn’t have the courage to fight Joo HaJin for it. Of course, there were those in D class who had a higher ranking than him, but they were currently off doing extracurricular activities.
Joo Ha-jin, who had ended up taking care of the situation, looked at the notice and darted his tongue out.
“How should I pulverize this fraud?”
* * * *
Shin YuSung was taking a stroll and looking around Gaon Academy.
“This place is huge.”
He couldn’t help but be impressed. The size of the artificial island the school was built on could rival a city. You could tell how much support Gaon Academy was receiving from the government.
Hunters were the people’s hope, entertainment, and profit. Citizens and corporations both wanted strong hunters.
Monster parts could be sold for money, and corporations advertised themselves by using the good reputation of hunters.
“…Of course, Master said those kinds of hunters were fake and hated them.”
As if drawn to it, Shin YuSung went off the path and into the forest. Gaon Academy’s forest was a humongous, wide, and beautiful plot of land. Satisfied, Shin YuSung got into a stance. He had not missed a single day of training after meeting his master 12 years ago.
The Academy was currently in the middle of class, so there weren’t any other students roaming around. If nothing else, the forest Shin YuSung was in was tranquil.
‘It’s a perfect place to warm up.’
Shin YuSung closed his eyes.
He didn’t know this himself, but Shin YuSung was subconsciously using his Trait. [Heightened Focus] didn’t have much to it, as expected of an F-rank Trait. To a hunter like Shin YuSung who had honed his skill in martial arts, however, it had a completely different effect.
As he started to concentrate, all of his senses started to freshly awaken. He could clearly hear the sound of the wind passing through the forest and could feel the minute tremors of his skin and his own breath.
Thanks to his Trait, he could use his meticulously honed senses to focus all of the mana in his body into his hand.
‘Expel the gathered mana from one, singular point.’
Shin YuSung, with his eyes closed, thrust his palm out in front of him.
Battle God Style – Savage Dragon’s Boulder Crushing Palm
As his palm touched the giant tree, the destructive mana blew a large hole through the trunk.
The tree, destroyed from the roots, lost its balance and fell. The shock of the fall created a gust of wind, lifting dust off the ground in a large cloud.
“So it’s only around this much.”
Shin YuSung looked at the fallen tree as if it was nothing. His master, the Fist King Yu WonHak, could destroy a tree of this size with one finger. So, to Shin YuSung, this level of training was nothing special.
“Starting with actual combat…”
He let out a sigh and turned his gaze towards the sparring arena.
‘He said the opponent’s Trait was D-rank, right?”
Even if Shin YuSung didn’t know who his opponent was, if they were someone with a D-rank Trait—much higher than his F-rank Trait—he assumed they would be incredibly strong.
‘Even if the level of my talent and Trait are both low, I have no choice but to devote myself to using them to reach my goal.’
Shin YuSung hated giving up more than anyone; it was a mindset that had been hammered into him while training to the point of death under the Fist King.
“I should start making my way there.”
Nine blocked yin pathways.
An abundance of bodily yang.
A combination of a talent that hadn’t existed in the world prior and the worst-of-the-worst F-rank Trait. After finishing his extravagant warmup, Shin YuSung walked towards the sparring arena.
*He’s balding in the novel but has hair in the illustrations.
**-ah: An honorific for those of a similar social standing and age, denotes some casualness or closeness.