Hunter Academy's Battle God - Chapter 26
Hunter Academy’s Battle God
To become the best at Skyscraper Academy, Liú Jùn had brought a great number of rivals to their knees.
His acceleration Trait that was classified as S-rank…
Swordsmanship that was polished under the tutelage of the greatest mentor, the Sword God…
He also spent half of his days, at minimum, refining his skills by devoting himself to training. As proof, he was 1st place in the day’s competition.
‘…I can’t even laugh.’
Even so, Liú Jùn was not drunk on his victory. In fact, he was feeling a sense of loss while he was staring at Shin YuSung.
Even though his time was overwhelmingly faster than the other boy’s, their runs were on different levels. Unlike the Chinese team, who had defeated one werewolf with their two members, the Korean team had each defeated a lich and a Dullahan. In fact, taking into account what Shin YuSung had done at the end, the entire raid could be considered a solo run.
‘This is not my victory.’
Shin YuSung’s path towards becoming stronger, though difficult, was more effective—and he had eventually proven it. Liú Jùn did not appreciate this bitter sense of victory, despite his name being spread across news stations all across China.
‘…It seems like I still have a long way to go to become the greatest.’
It just so happened that what Liú Jùn wanted was the same as what the Hunter Association from China wanted for him.
China wanted an invincible hunter who would surpass his master, the Sword God.
Only with their backing could Liú Jùn protect what was important to him.
‘…This won’t happen next time.’
Liú Jùn turned his back on Shin YuSung and started to walk away. Only then did Han SeolAh, who had been giving him looks, call out towards him.
“Hey, uh… thanks for earlier.”
Han SeolAh was thankful for the fact that Liú Jùn had saved her from the werewolf. Liú Jùn turned his head and looked down at her. Some bandages, meant as first aid, were wrapped around her arm.
Han SeolAh scratched her head as she figured out what he was looking at—as if feeling awkward about the situation.
“Oh, this? I’m just gonna heal it back in China since our schedule right now is so full…”
Liú Jùn coldly glared at Han SeolAh’s arm.
“It’ll be in the way, then.”
“Uh, yeah, sorry…”
Wilting, Han SeolAh averted her gaze. Liú Jùn ignored her and moved on.
* * * *
When all of the raids had been completed…
The Association, after concluding all of the planned events, finally began the ceremony to award the artifacts for the dungeon raid competition.
[1st – Liú Jùn (The Moonlit Holy Land)]
[Awarded Artifact – (Silver Moon Blade)]
Liú Jùn walked up to the podium as his name and detailed information popped up on the screen.
Kang YuChan, the Association president, let out a hearty laugh while looking at Liú Jùn below him.
“Watching you reminded me of my old comrade, the Sword God. No, your talent may even surpass his!”
“It is an honor.”
Liú Jùn gave a light nod to Kang YuChan and took the Silver Moon Blade. The blade of the sword was pure white as if it had absorbed the light from the moon, creating a wondrous effect.
[2nd – Adela (Astella Ice Castle)]
[Awarded Artifact – (10,000-Year-Old Ice Crystal)]
Adela, who was next in line, stepped up on the podium. She received the jewel box containing the crystal without a single word.
The 10,000-Year-Old Ice Crystal was an extraordinary artifact that was imbued with frost energy. Taking it as an elixir would strengthen her ice Trait.
As Adela left the podium, the Japanese team went up. Right after them, it was Shin YuSung’s turn. Kang YuChan was delighted.
“So they say you’ve completed a double raid, correct? The first in this competition’s history?”
“Hur hur! So you decided to pursue strength, even during an event where you need to set a time record?”
Shin YuSung nodded his head. Kang YuChan laughed uproariously.
“That’s an answer any hunter worth their salt would give! It’s not like a student would have many opportunities to face off against a boss monster, after all! Hur hur!”
Kang YuChan had practically been treating Shin YuSUng like he was his own student after they had met at the Academy.
“To think that the Black Dragon’s Hide has passed down from master to disciple. Yu WonHak must be completely beside himself!”
The Black Dragon’s Hide was a beautiful martial arts uniform made of black fabric and embroidered with gold.
Mei Lin, the manager of the competition, carefully spoke up.
“Mr. President. What should we do about the artifact that had dropped…”
“Hm, the dungeon itself is under the jurisdiction of the Association, but… we can’t just take away an artifact that a student has earned themselves. Give it to our YuSung.”
“As you wish.”
Mei Lin nodded at Kang YuChan’s words. As long as this man was here, the Association would be on Shin YuSun’g side.
“Thank you very much.”
“Yes. Do your best to become a shining beacon for Korea since we’ll be contacting you for the International Competition soon enough. Hur hur!”
As Kang YuChan left, Shin YuSung stepped down from the podium. He could see Sumire smiling and waving her hand among the throngs of students and spectators.
Even though Shin YuSUng had been Sumire’s partner during the school exam, this was the first time that he had ever seen her smile so brightly.
“Shin YuSung-ssi! Over here!”
Shin YuSung grinned and headed towards her.
* * *
* * *
While on the way back to the Academy, the internet was flooded with headlines and news articles about the competition.
[Shin YuSung VS Adela! Who will be the representative for Korea in the International Competition?]
[Double raid successfully completed with an F-rank Trait!]
[Student earns artifact during the raid. The first time this has happened in the Association’s…]
Sumire began to mutter while checking the news with her old-fashioned phone.
“…I can’t believe we actually won a reward from the competition.”
Sumire still could not believe that what had happened was real. Until just a short while ago, Sumire had only the lowest grades among the first years so show. But now… she had won a competition.
It was completely unbelievable.
Sumire took her eyes off her phone to turn her gaze towards Shin YuSung.
“Of course… it was all due to Shin YuSung-ssi, though.”
Sumire thought back to her fight with the lich. Even though she had victory in her grasp, thanks to her plan with the undead, the lich’s artifact had instantly turned her efforts into a failure.
“If Shin YuSung-ssi didn’t arrive in time, I would have…”
Her worries had no basis in reality, however. Due to her efforts, Sumire was able to make the lich resort to using its artifact’s power earlier. Due to that, Shin YuSung was able to shorten the amount of time it took to clear the raid.
If he had beaten the raid too late, and the team had come in 5th place instead of 4th, they would not have been able to get any artifacts as a prize, despite successfully carrying out a double raid.
“No, Sumire. Thanks to you, the time needed to clear the dungeon was shortened considerably. …So you had a crucial role in this competition.”
Sumire’s expression cleared as if finding comfort in Shin YuSung’s calm reply. Shin YuSung took something out of his Pocket and offered it to Sumire.
“…Speaking of. You should take this, Sumire.”
“Eh, what? Hieek! Th-this is!”
Sumire physically backed up, showing an incredible reaction to what was in his hand. It was the skeletal ring that the lich had been wearing.
“B-but this is an artifact…”
Sumire tried to refuse the offer by shaking her head. When she did so, Shin YuSung pressed a button on his Pocket.
“Look at this.”
A hologram appeared from the band.
Info – The ring owned by the ruler of the Graveyard of Despair, the lich. It has a power that boosts the power of the undead.
Keeper of the Dead (Skill) –
Summons undead monsters based on the amount of mana used by the caster.
Fog of Despair (Skill) –
A dark fog moves to cover the sun. It strengthens the undead underneath its shade.
The ring’s powers suited someone like Sumire, who was a necromancer; it was completely useless to Shin YuSUng, who used martial arts.
“I don’t need this.”
He also had the Black Dragon’s Hide. It was obvious that Sumire, who had participated in the competition with him, should also have her share of the artifacts.
Shin YuSung placed the ring in the girl’s palm. Sumire looked up at the other boy and saw kind eyes and a smile looking down upon her. Sumire looked at the ring in her hand with a dazed expression.
“Shin YuSung-ssi gave me this ring…” she muttered under her breath.
“Try it on,” he suggested.
Sumire became startled, and her face, along with her ears, quickly turned into a shade of red.
“M-maybe next… I… I-I! I-I’m sorry!” she replied hurriedly.
Sumire walked past Shin YuSung and made her way back to the Academy at a faster pace.
* * * *
In the concentration room, located in the west training room of the Academy, Adela opened the jewel box in the soundproof room.
A white mist began to emanate from the orb-like ice crystal. At first glance, it resembled any old piece of ice, but it held enough chilly air to freeze someone to the bone.
Adela looked at the 10,000-Year-Old Ice Crystal for a good amount of time.
‘…So this is the Ice Crystal.’
The 10,000 Year Old Ice Crystal was an artifact mainly used to imbue a blade or an accessory with the power of ice.
But to hunters like Adela, who had ice-related Traits or Skills, the Crystal could be used in a different matter.
Adela picked up the 10,000 Year Old Ice Crystal with her fingers. Even to Adela, who controlled ice, the crystal was too cold for her.
‘If I put this in my mouth…’
It meant that she would have to bear the incredible chill from the crystal with just her body. It was an unreasonable challenge—a normal person’s insides would be completely frozen over.
Adela blankly stared at the 10,000-Year-Old Ice Crystal. Adela didn’t really need the help of an artifact like this.
She was the strongest in Gaon Academy, the one who had never lost. Despite being an exchange student from Italy, she had become the strongest student among all the first years in South Korea—a country known to produce strong hunters.
But Shin YuSung had made her, someone who had never lost a fight, nervous.
He had attempted a double raid during the competition and had succeeded.
[This man could…]
Adela had felt anticipation as she watched Shin YuSung’s exploits during the competition. She remembered the heart-pounding stories of combat that her grandfather had told her when she was young. Her desire to win, something that she had never experienced before, was pumping blood through her heart.
Shin YuSung was a turning point for Adela, whose Academy life had been cold and dry due to her overwhelming strength.
This was why Adela had to be at peak condition for the greatest match.
Adela placed the Ice Crystal in her mouth.
The 10,000-Year-Old Ice Crystal, once hard as ice, instantly melted as soon as it hit Adela’s tongue. All that was left behind was the violent chill that the crystal had contained.
Adela felt frightened.
It felt like the blood in her veins was freezing over.
Adela scrunched up her face and held her breath. To absorb the artifact and strengthen her Trait and Skills, she had to spread the chill throughout her body.
She closed her eyes.
The chill from the crystal began to permeate her body, inflicting unimaginable pain. But Aedla did not so much as let out a whimper.
She merely concentrated quietly.
Like that, one hour passed.
Adela, who had fallen into meditation, slowly opened her eyes as if waking up from sleep. Frost covered the area around her.
“…It’s cold,” she mumbled in the middle of this winter-like scene.
Adela crossed her arms over each other and shivered. The Queen of Winter was—despite her impressions—the sort of person who got cold easily.
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