Hunter Academy's Battle God - Chapter 32
10 PM, past curfew…
Kim EunAh, however, left her room and walked towards the 1st floor. So HaeJung, who had been guarding the lobby, saw her and grimaced.
“What on earth are you doing? You can’t leave after lights out—”
“I have permission, though.”
Kim EunAh cut off the older woman with an easy smile. So HaeJung was speechless at the girl’s confident attitude.
“How many times do I have to say it? I have permission from the headmaster.”
“…From the headmaster?”
The phone happened to ring at that time. So HaeJung checked the text with an incredulous expression on her face.
[Jin ByungCheol: Student EunAh said that she has an urgent matter to deal with, so just let her go. She has my permission, so definitely do not get on her nerves!]
The text was sent through their personal numbers instead of through the school’s messaging system as if he knew himself that this was an embarrassing situation to be in.
“…I told him to tell you earlier,” Kim EunAh grumbled under her breath.
She looked back at So HaeJung with a smile.
“Then I can leave, right?”
So HaeJung let out a laugh, exasperated at the girl’s demeanor.
The reason that they could hold a school exam at a giant theme park was all due to the Shinsung group’s support, and Gaon Academy itself received a lot of funding from it as well. It was no wonder that Jin ByungCheol had agreed to this.
However, So HaeJung deeply disliked Kim MinAh’s attitude.
“Yeah. You have the headmaster’s permission, so go ahead since that’s the rule. But…”
So HaeJung continued with a frosty lilt to her voice.
“You really should mind your manners.”
Instead of being scared, however, Kim EunAh gave a carefree reply.
“I don’t need manners. I have a lot of money, after all.”
Ki EunAh made her way to the lobby without a second look. As she did so, a tall and handsome bodyguard opened the doors to the hotel lobby.
“Ma’am. Your limousine is ready.”
The bodyguard in his mid-20s gave her a ninety-degree bow in place of a greeting. Kim EunAh cocked her head as if displeased with something.
“Oh, right. It’s a little embarrassing walking around with you, so take off your sunglasses during the night.”
The bodyguard and Kim EunAh both left with those parting words. The instructor in charge, So HaeJung, rubbed her forehead and let out a sigh.
“That rude little…”
* * * *
Busan. Metro Hospital…
Kim EunAh placed the bodyguard who was following her in the hallway and gave him strict instructions.
“Hey, don’t come in here no matter what.”
Kim EunAh scrunched up her expression, trying to scare the other party. No one had ever forced their way into the hospital room so far, yet she insisted on doing this every time.
The bodyguard responded, already used to it. Kim EunAh tapped her keycard on the door.
The thick doors automatically opened, revealing a room around 1800 square feet wide. The furnishings were extravagant, like a hotel, but the atmosphere was frigid.
Kim EunAh gave a bittersweet smile at the sight of the room before her. She turned on the orange lights with familiar motions and watered the flowerpot on the windowsill.
She performed every action in the hospital room with practiced ease.
That was understandable. That day marked two whole years since she had started visiting the hospital—it was not a short amount of time.
Kim EunAh approached the windowsill.
More precisely, she approached the bed in the room.
There was an unconscious man lying in it.
Kim EunAh sat on a chair and began to speak calmly.
The man did not respond. He was a first-priority patient whose breathing could stop without the machine connected to him helping his blood circulation.
Kim EunAh, familiar with the situation, calmly kept talking.
“Actually, tomorrow’s exam is going to be held in Busan.”
It had happened ten years prior.
Her brother, Kim JunHyuk, had been 11 years old; Kim EunAh had been seven, herself. She dug up those aged memories and serenely began to recount them.
“…I really thought I was going to die back then when we were playing in the water. ”
Even those old memories seemed like they had just happened yesterday to Kim EunAh.
[Even the shallow end scared you. You really were in trouble just now.]
[Sniff! Waah! I didn’t know… sniff! That it was, sniff! This… deep!]
[Of course, a swimming pool is going to be deep for a seven-year-old. And you lived, right? So why are you crying? You’re only supposed to cry when you’re dead.]
Those were some truly idiotic words of comfort.
Kim EunAh smiled unconsciously as she remembered what had happened ten years ago.
She had followed her brother Kim JunHyuk’s words. Now, she was someone who didn’t cry anymore.
Kim EunAh had asked herself that very question since it had happened two years ago. Why had her brother taken dangerous supplements?
It was a question that she would not have an answer to until Kim JunHyuk woke up. She could only do one thing:
Protect the position of the successor of the Shinsung group.
Kim EunAh had to become stronger than anyone else in order to fend off the hyenas who would strike if they saw her as vulnerable.
In order to calmly tell her brother, who would eventually wake up one day, that she had endured everything, she had to protect her heart with armor tougher than anyone else.
“…Then I’ll be off now.”
As the clock struck 11, her phone vibrated. Kim EunAh turned towards the door, then began to speak.
“…Hurry up and come back after you’ve had your rest. I’m only protecting your spot until then.”
Her nose was starting to burn for no reason. It wasn’t anything odd. No matter how strong someone was, they couldn’t always be so. Even if one momentarily felt sadness, they just had to pick themselves back up again.
She closed her eyes and took in a short, deep breath.
Kim EunAh left the hospital room with a composed heart. She spoke coldly to the bodyguard looking down at her.
“…I’m tired. Let’s go back, already.”
The Kim EunAh who left the hospital room was the same as she always had been.
* * *
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* * *
A location where various large attractions were lined up…
F Class and D Class were being sorted near the merry-go-round.
30 F Class students.
30 D Class students.
So HaeJung double-checked the number of students on either side, then began to speak.
“I will explain the rules again before the start of the exam.”
She touched the empty air in front of her.
[First-Year Intramural Rules]
1. If the standard barrier on you shatters, you are disqualified from the rest of the exam and must move to the waiting room.
2. Additional points will be given if a group leader is taken out.
3. Students with severe injuries will be transported away for proper treatment.
4. Only two artifacts and/or hunter gears can be used for each class.
Holograms appeared above each students’ Pockets. After reading the rules, the D Class president, Park HaWon, looked at Shin YuSung, who was standing in front of her, and began to murmur.
“Artifacts are limited to 2…”
It was the greatest variable in the test.
Even one artifact could change the flow of a battle, but F Class had two of them. Of course, Park HaWon had her own hunter gear ready in her Pocket, but it wasn’t comparable to F Class’s artifacts.
So HaeJung began to speak again once all of the students had finished checking the rules.
“And these are the win conditions for the villain team.”
The win conditions for the villain team (D Class) are the following:
1. Take over the hunter team’s base.
2. Hold the hostage for 1 hour.
3. Suppress the hunter team’s leader.
Another hologram appeared over everyone’s Pockets. Park HaWon began to think.
‘The first one…it might be possible if Shin YuSung leaves the base.’
1 and 2… If one briefly summarized these two winning conditions for D Class, 1 would be offense, and 2 would be defence.
Stealing F Class’s base was easy. The problem was Shin YuSung’s existence.
‘We have to either steal the base while Shin YuSung isn’t there or protect our hostage.’
She kept mulling it over.
The answer was simple, as the only person who needed to be kept in check was Shin YuSung himself.
“We’ll divide ourselves in half as we previously planned.”
Park HaWon told the attacking group to hide and wait. The plan was to conquer the F Class base when Shin YuSung came over to try and rescue the hostage.
And if he decided not to leave the base, D Class would win by keeping the hostage with them for one hour.
“Don’t even try attempting number three… He’s a complete monster.”
Park HaWon finished her briefing.
Kang MinSu, her right-hand man, issued a warning in a soft tone of voice.
“We won’t forgive anyone going off and doing stuff by themselves. Don’t attack Shin YuSung on your own, no matter what.”
Shin YuSung was lording over D Class as terror incarnate. It was understandable, given his exploits.
So HaeJung continued to speak after D Class finished checking their win conditions.
“Next are the hunter team’s win conditions.”
The win conditions for the hunter team (F Class) are the following:
1. Defend the hunter team’s base.
2. Rescue the hostage and protect them for 1 hour.
3. Suppress the villain team’s leader.
Shin YuSung checked the hologram, then looked at Sumire. F Class had already made plans for their victory.
F Class had an ace up its sleeve that D Class could never even begin to imagine.
Sumire energetically nodded her head as the boy glanced over at her.
“Leave it to me!”
It was obvious that D Class would invest all resources into stopping Shin YuSung, the newcomer of F Class and a Seven.
But that was not the case for Sumire.
Even if she had become a Seven after the Jewel Island test, D Class and the other students thought that she was merely lucky and that Shin YuSung was the only strong one.
This wasn’t surprising, considering that Sumire had been weak enough to constantly be in last place, even in F Class.
However, it was a different matter when she had Shin YuSung’s hair.
A skeleton who was around 30% as strong as Shin YuSung could turn the tide. And the necromancer, Sumire, had gotten an artifact that strengthened the undead at the graveyard dungeon.
Despite having an F-rank Trait, she had found a way to use it to its maximum potential.
“Okay, I’ll leave it to you.” Shin YuSung replied with a gentle tone. Sumire’s ears slowly grew red.
‘Shin YuSung-ssi… believes in me?’
She lowered her head as her mouth began to twitch. The cackling Sumire’s enthusiasm was several times stronger than usual.
“Everyone’s ready, right?” asked Shin YuSung, the leader. As he did so, the F Class students answered loudly in unison.
It was a form of courtesy that they showed to their leader, who had done his utmost in a short amount of time. So HaeJung stared at the sight.
‘…F Class, known for their listlessness, is showing an incredible sense of unity?’
Shin YuSung had pulled up his classmates from the pits of despair with his charisma.
‘So being strong isn’t the end of it… He even has the disposition to be the leader of a group.’
So HaeJung liked Shin YuSUng.
Even if she didn’t know him very well, she knew that there was a reason as to why people followed him.
‘That child has something that attracts the other students towards him.’
Her interest in the test was piqued; even though she had initially not had huge hopes for F Class’s results, she had decided to watch Shin YuSung’s prowess.
“The students who complete special missions will be given individual points as a bonus, according to the instructor’s judgement. Now…”
So HaeJung lifted her arm to show the students that the test had begun.
“We will begin the intramurals exam.”
A 10-minute countdown appeared on the holograms from the students’ Pockets—it was counting down the 10 minutes of brief peace for them.
The intramural match was Shin YuSung’s first team match.
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‘…The International Competition is also a team match.’
There was no better stage in which to test his own mettle.