Chapter 34 — Freshmen Hunt (4)
“You… What the hell are you?! How could you eliminate Shin JunSang in a single strike when you’re just a freshman?!”
Kwon SoYul’s sharp voice rang through the field.
She couldn’t understand what had just happened at all. No matter how foolish he could get, Shin JunSang was quite talented when it came to swords.
To think such a guy would lose in a 1-on-1 fight to a freshman, and a Magician at that.
“Kim YooJung! I’ll help you, so let’s end this quickly. I sent you a party invite, accept quickly.”
“Huh? Oh! Ok!”
Even with an expression stating she didn’t understand his reasoning, YooJung knew for certain that in the current situation, things were going in their favor.
A moment ago, JaeHyun had eliminated Shin JunSang with overwhelming martial arts. He didn’t seem to think they would lose right now either.
‘…Was Min JaeHyun always this strong?’
He had always struggled in the past because he couldn’t give a good showing as a Warrior.
But it wasn’t enough that he decided to become a Magician out of nowhere, he’d also adapted this fast?
‘Of course, he learned at a shocking speed whenever I tutored him… but I didn’t think he could send a senior flying in a single strike.’
However, she didn’t have the time to think about it too deeply at the moment.
There was an opponent right in front of her eyes. It wouldn’t be too late to continue her thoughts after eliminating Kwon SoYul.
一 Party (2/2)
Leader: Min JaeHyun
Member: Kim YooJung
Kim YooJung accepted the party invite and turned to Kwon SoYul, whose eyes shifted back and forth between Kim YooJung and JaeHyun in a fluster.
‘This might work.’
As Kim YooJung observed her movements, she took a deep breath and took a fighting stance.
Now, the situation had been reversed.
There was only one enemy while there were three of them.
‘I’m not sure if that person behind us will help, but… going out alone here would be a crazy thing to do. She’ll probably make a wise decision instead.’
YooJung nodded slightly and turned to JaeHyun.
Kwon SoYul bit her lips as she confronted them.
‘…No matter how good I am, 3:1 is dangerous. I have to retreat first.’
Even if this was a fight between freshmen and a senior, or between Magicians and a Warrior, it was still a dangerous situation. It wasn’t just because she had too many opponents, she’d also just seen what JaeHyun could do.
Right after she made her decision, Kwon SoYul quickly started to run toward Kim YooJung. With a dagger held tightly in her hand, she appeared as if she was about to fiercely attack her opponent.
JaeHyun smirked when he saw it unfold.
‘Planning to eliminate one person and disappearing in the confusion, huh?
…Well, it’s not a bad plan. But that would only work if Kim YooJung was just an ordinary person.’
Kim YooJung was a genius Magician with an aptitude of 85%.
Her true value was simply obscured because of Seo Ina and JaeHyun. Incantation, mana and physical balance. She had marvelous and well-rounded talent when it came to anything related to Magic.
Using a dirty trick, Kwon SoYul swiftly tried to stab Kim YooJung in the neck.
But YooJung’s barrier blocked her attack first. JaeHyun was surprised by Kim YooJung’s ability to manipulate mana.
‘The strength of a protective barrier depends on how much mana the caster puts into it. To be able to block Kwon SoYul’s attack, it means that Kim YooJung’s currently among the highest ranks in Millaes. She really is talented.’
As he was lost in thought, Kim YooJung went on and gathered her mana once more.
A small chain glowing with a blue light appeared and rapidly shot forward. The chain instantly tied Kwon SoYul up.
JaeHyun looked at the flustered Kwon SoYul and smirked. What Kim YooJung had just shown was one of her go-to skills.
《 Mana Chain 》
Originally invented to tie up monsters, it was a spell used to restrict one’s opponent.
Adding the lightning attribute to this Mana Chain would create the A-rank skill 《 Lightning Chain 》 that JaeHyun had. If the water attribute was added, 《 Flood Chain 》, and if mixed with the ice attribute, 《 Chains of Ice 》.
Even though 《 Mana Chain 》 was mainly just a C-ranked skill,
being the base of several high-ranked skills, it was quite a useful skill to have.
JaeHyun turned his focus to his fingers as he gathered his mana.
Although Kim YooJung was doing well right now, she was not yet used to attacking while blocking simultaneously.
It would be faster and easier if JaeHyun finished off their opponent.
‘Then shall I end thi—’
Just as JaeHyun was about to cast a spell and fire it toward Kwon SoYul, he started to hear Seo Ina’s voice from behind.
To his surprise, she was incanting to cast a spell.
“…Holy light of Alfheim, form a radiant holy sword!”
A sword with a resplendent glow manifested in the air where it floated, before it flew toward Kwon SoYul’s heart at an unbelievable speed.
It was so fast that even a Warrior like Kwon SoYul couldn’t react at all.
Kim YooJung quickly ducked as Seo Ina’s attack, which had appeared without warning, rushed in Kwon SoYul’s direction. JaeHyun looked at Seo Ina with wide eyes.
‘…I knew that Seo Ina would quickly grow stronger. But I didn’t think she was already this powerful.’
In the past, no one took much interest in Magic cadets, so it wasn’t widely known.
But what JaeHyun had just seen from Seo Ina was more than he’d expected.
Even though she hadn’t reached her full potential yet, that very potential of hers was shining brightly already.
A clear sound rang as the attack ripped through the air.
Soon, Seo Ina’s attack pierced Kwon SoYul in the neck.
Together with the explosion, a whirlwind of dust swallowed the group. Seo Ina, Kim YooJung, and Min JaeHyun all looked in the same direction.
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“There’s… no way…!”
Kwon SoYul fainted as she said those words.
A moment later, her body proceeded to become translucent before disappearing like Shin JunSang’s.
The system announcement rang out at the same time.
一 Player ‘Kwon SoYul’ has been eliminated.
一 Player ‘Kim YooJung’ has obtained 50,000 points.
一 Player ‘Seo Ina’ has obtained 50,000 points.
“…Did I interrupt?”
Seo Ina asked as she dispersed the holy sword back into mana. Kim YooJung stared at her blankly for a moment, then spoke while waving her hand.
“Nah. No way! I won thanks to you. Thank you.”
“…Your offer from before. About teaming up together. Is that still valid?”
At her words, JaeHyun started to smile. Seo Ina was looking at JaeHyun and Kim YooJung with a gaze filled with interest.
‘I think I need to update the information I have about Seo Ina.’
Taciturn, distrusting, and… very curious.
“I’ll be in your care.”
JaeHyun stretched a hand in her direction.
Seo Ina did not reject his hand.
Just like that, Kim YooJung, Seo Ina, and Min JaeHyun formed a party and moved together.
A ‘party’ in the Freshmen Hunt could be considered a framework for preparing against enemy attacks, sharing points, and planning counter-attacks.
The system could automatically divide the points according to one’s contribution to the battle, like with Kim YooJung and Seo Ina earlier, but that was only a temporary method.
It was better to create a party so that the points were distributed evenly.
‘Moreover, one can’t attack a member of their own party. The possibility that Seo Ina could betray us will disappear.’
Creating a party was something JaeHyun considered a matter of course. Things would become very complicated if Seo Ina decided to betray them later on, after all.
It was best to get rid of such uncertain elements early on.
“Thank god we were able to find a shelter so quickly. Otherwise, we’d have really died.”
Kim YooJung remarked idly.
The area the group was currently in was a shelter near the ‘Nightmare Forest.’
‘Kim YooJung’s right. Fortunately, we were able to find one before it got dark. It could have been annoying if we weren’t able to find one tonight.’
The shelter they had just arrived at was one with a narrow entrance like a cave. Traps around the entrance made it difficult for others to find, and almost no light could enter the shelter due to the trees around it.
‘They probably made it so this shelter isn’t easy to find.’
The place was quite well-hidden and didn’t even register on search spells.
No matter how sensitive a Magician was to mana, locating such a place quickly would be quite a difficult task.
Of course, JaeHyun had known the locations of a few shelters by combing through his memories and was able to easily find this place.
While he was organizing his thoughts, Seo Ina suddenly fixed her eyes outside the shelter.
There, they could see the group of seniors who had launched a surprise attack a moment ago.
Seo Ina turned to JaeHyun and asked.
“…We’re safe for now, but… what do you think we should do next?”
“Yeah. We evaded those people and reached a shelter… but what do you think?”
Kim YooJung and Seo Ina both pushed the leadership role on to JaeHyun.
After all, just looking at the battle from a while ago, the leader of this party was JaeHyun.
Since they hadn’t decided on who would be the leader ahead of time, it was only right that they decided their movements centered around the one who showed the most skill.
JaeHyun thought for a moment, then nodded his head.
“You’re probably already aware, but we can’t stay here for too long. Shelters have a utilization time limit. We can use it with no worries from midnight to 8 in the morning but… after that, the traps around this place will become weaker and we will be discovered by those outside.”
If one considered it carefully, it was understandable.
The ‘Freshmen Hunt’ was basically meant to filter out the promising cadets from the rest.
Although there were shelters, if they continued to hide in one, it went against the event’s main purpose. And so, a penalty was put in place to dissuade cadets from being able to hide forever.
“If we keep waiting for our opponents to leave, the camouflage effect of the shelter will disappear. We have to attack before that happens. And, well, we do have to gather points anyway.”
JaeHyun calmly thought about his strategy. If his plan failed, he might lose the other two’s trust.
‘We have to win.’
JaeHyun nodded with a resolute expression and actively started to explain his strategy.
Fortunately, Kim YooJung and Seo Ina quickly understood JaeHyun’s plan.
‘…by the way, why is Seo Ina following my instructions so obediently?’
Kim YooJung likely didn’t resist because they’d been friends for so long, but he found it strange that Seo Ina listened to him so well.
‘Is she planning something? But no matter how I look at it, that doesn’t seem to be the case.’
Seo Ina was actively asking about the parts that she was curious about or making other suggestions.
As JaeHyun was locked in his thoughts, staring at her face, Kim YooJung abruptly grabbed Seo Ina’s hands and said,
“Um, but… if you’re a freshman, you were born in 2004, right?”
“You’re the same age as me and him. Would it be alright if we spoke casually?”
(T/N: In Korea, you can speak politely or casually. Polite speech is usually used when talking to one’s elders, strangers, and those in high positions. Not doing so is considered very rude. Casual speech is used between friends of the same age/younger. So Kim YooJung asking Seo Ina if they can speak casually is like saying ‘let’s be friends.’)
Noticing that Seo Ina had difficulty answering, JaeHyun JaeHyun pinched Kim YooJung’s cheeks and stretched them.
“Hey. It might make her uncomfortable. Don’t pressure her so suddenly.”
Kim YooJung muttered while chuckling.
Her pronunciation was so slurred that they didn’t know what she said, but they could understand what she meant.
Seo Ina kept looking at JaeHyun’s face as the two continued to tease each other, then nodded her head slightly.
“No, I don’t find it uncomfortable. I mean… I’m fine, thanks.”
“You don’t have to force yourself.”
“It’s… fine. I’m a bit introverted, so it’s hard for me to get close to others quickly.”
“Really? Then… I’ll also speak casually.”
‘Does this mean we’ve become a bit close with her? It’s difficult to say that we’re on the same side with this, but… it’s not bad.’
As YooJung and Ina were conversing awkwardly, JaeHyun continued to think about the best way to fight against the enemies waiting for them outside.
JaeHyun organized his thoughts and spoke.
“I’ll continue to explain the plan.”
JaeHyun explained the latest plan that he’d come up with.
The two nodded as they marveled at his extensive knowledge and the plan he thought of.
It was a novel scheme that the two couldn’t have even imagined.