Chapter 35 — Freshmen Hunt (5)
“Listen carefully. The Freshmen Hunt isn’t something we can win easily. Both of you are extremely talented, but that alone isn’t enough to win this.”
“Of course. Just looking at skills will tell you that. C-rank and below… If only the limit was B-rank instead.”
Kim YooJung said resentfully.
It was no surprise, considering that most of the spells she used were above B-rank. Although it would have been dangerous to keep using them for three days after using up so much mana, it was better to have more choices available.
But in this demi-plane, all skills above B-rank were restricted just as Gu Ja-In said. Kim YooJung could only use basic attack spells and 《 Change 》 in this place.
It was fortunate that Seo Ina had the 《 Falchion of Alfheim 》 in her arsenal.
‘《 Falchion of Alfheim 》 is a Unique Skill. In addition, it doesn’t require repeated incantation like most spells. We have to make good use of it.’
It was currently a C-rank skill, but being an evolving skill—which wasn’t common even among Unique Skills—it was overwhelmingly powerful compared to skills of the same rank.
There was no reason not to use such a skill in a regulated area like this one.
“…We can succeed, right?”
Seo Ina’s hazel eyes were fixed on JaeHyun.
He felt slightly awkward at her strangely trusting gaze but still nodded his head.
“There’s no plan that can be put into motion perfectly, but this is the best way forward in our current situation.”
“Okay… I’ll believe you.”
“Don’t worry, Ina. Even if he looks a bit stupid like that, he’s pretty smart.”
“If you’re going to praise someone, do it properly. Do you want to get pinched again?”
While YooJung and JaeHyun started bickering, Seo Ina tilted her head at Kim YooJung’s words and looked at JaeHyun’s face.
What about that face did that girl think looked stupid?
Seo Ina stared at his distinct face shape filled with vivid features.
He’s… pretty handsome?
The moment she thought so, her face turned red. YooJung and JaeHyun paused while quarreling, turned to Seo Ina, and asked.
“What’s wrong, Ina?”
JaeHyun felt the strangeness in the way she was acting but didn’t pay it much attention.
Besides, they would have to start putting the plan he’d just told them soon. He didn’t have the time to worry about trivial details right now.
“We’ll put the plan into action in 30 minutes. Keep everything I told you in mind. Kim YooJung, you know that your role is important, right? Don’t play around. Do it properly. Got it?”
“Hey, of course. Did you forget that I’m the one who taught you Magical Theory? Do I have to make you speak to me politely again?”
As they chuckled and chattered, time quickly passed, and it was already time for them to start acting. Kim YooJung, Seo Ina, and JaeHyun all looked outside the shelter with seriousness in their eyes.
They could still see several seniors prowling outside.
Talking to each other while armed was the group that had been chasing them.
Not wanting to lose their prey, they were scouring their surroundings meticulously.
Considering that JaeHyun and the others were a group of Magicians, it would be stranger if the seniors didn’t think of them as easy prey.
‘Since I’ve gone over this plan with Lee JaeSang, there’s nothing wrong with it. The rest… is up to how well these two can perform.’
JaeHyun planned to use two items to completely take care of the seniors outside.
One was the field.
The other was… the sap of ash trees.
[Near the shelter in the Nightmare Forest]
One could see some seniors who had found traces of freshmen in the bleak forest.
“Did you find those brats from a while ago?”
The leader of the group, Oh JinHyuk, asked. Park SungHyuk shook his head.
“No. I think they went into a shelter.”
“Tsk. At any rate, they’re as sly as foxes.”
Oh JinHyuk clicked his tongue.
A moment ago, he had found a really satisfactory prey—a freshmen party made up of 3 puny Magicians.
He thought that if they did this properly, they would be able to easily get points without working too hard.
But in the end, they were more cunning than he’d expected.
The freshmen had screwed them over with their spells and then hid in a shelter.
He was extremely annoyed. They dared to play around with their seniors? Oh JinHyuk clenched his fists and trembled in anger.
He planned to make those impudent freshmen suffer.
“Tell the others to stop searching for the time being and to just keep an eye on the surroundings.”
There was no way to find them if they were in a shelter right now anyway.
The shelter would completely hide them within the time limit. There was no reason to continue to search here and there uselessly. It was more efficient to keep watch here.
‘They’d have to come out if the time’s up anyway.’
Oh JinHyuk chuckled to himself and shouted toward a group member standing nearby.
“We’ll win this game as long as we wait an hour. Everyone, keep careful watch and…”
When Park SungHyu was about to answer from right beside him, he narrowed his eyes.
“What? What are you talking about?”
He didn’t even receive a chance to reply.
In the next moment, an unbelievably fast 《 Magic Spear 》 accurately pierced through the neck of the person standing beside him.
Soon after, the body of the one who was attacked became translucent, and the system’s announcement rang.
一 Player ‘Kim SungHoon’ has been eliminated.
一 Players ‘Min JaeHyun’, ‘Kim YooJung’, and ‘Seo Ina’ have obtained 100,000 points.
Oh JinHyuk yelled while gritting his teeth.
The one who shot the 《 Magic Spear 》 and eliminated someone was Kim YooJung, who was hiding in the forest.
She quickly started to run away…
at a pace that let them follow after her.
Lee JaeSang, who had been watching the Freshmen Hunt while snacking on potato chips in his personal atelier, seemed wide-eyed as he exclaimed.
‘H-H-H-H-How can he f-f-fight like that?!’
Forgetting to close his mouth, he was watching JaeHyun’s fight dazedly. The scene he’d just seen was that of when JaeHyun fought against Shin JunSang.
JaeSang mumbled as he stuttered worse than normal.
JaeHyun’s fighting style was something he’d never seen or heard about.
A Magician raider going to the frontline and dodging a Warrior’s attack and eliminating his opponent with a mana-laced punch—
Was this really possible?
Lee JaeSang seriously considered the possibility that he was dreaming as he mumbled.
“J-J-J-J-JaeHyun is r-r-really something else. Wh-Wh-Wh-Wh-What he asked me that day was a-also strange.”
JaeHyun had come looking for JaeSang at his base saying that he had something to ask.
At that time, JaeHyun had asked about the field wherein the Freshmen Hunt took place and a few of the herbs that grew there. And Lee JaeSang had answered honestly, even as he wondered why he was asking about such things.
When JaeSang finally asked, JaeHyun had told him his plan.
Hearing the plan, Lee JaeSang fell into deep thought.
No matter how he thought about it, it was a ridiculous plan.
Because for the plan to work, a freshman would have to be able to take care of a senior or two by themselves.
Truthfully, when he’d first heard of the plan from JaeHyun, he thought that it wasn’t something that could be put to practice.
But now, he didn’t think the same way.
JaeHyun came out of the shelter and moved to attack the seniors first.
It seemed like he intended to make use of the plan he’d told JaeSang about.
Lee JaeSang felt goosebumps appear all over his body. He was unable to utter a word even as he stared blankly at the TV for a while.
He simply focused on all of JaeHyun’s moves.
“F-F-For real. H-H-He’s going to do it for real. JaeHyun is… gonna hunt seniors.”
JaeSang clearly knew what JaeHyun planned to do. JaeHyun wasn’t moving to escape from his opponents.
He was simply…
‘J-J-J-J-J-JaeHyun is… simply m-making it impossible for his opponents to es-escape.’
Lee JaeSang fixed his gaze on the TV with a face of shock.
There was no hesitation in JaeHyun’s actions as he executed his plan.
Five seniors were on Kim YooJung’s tail.
Oh JinHyuk, Park SungHyuk and three others had gathered to chase after her.
Min JaeHyun and Seo Ina, who were hiding in a corner of the forest, watched how things were going.
If Kim YooJung failed here, their plan wouldn’t work. Since they couldn’t stay in the shelter for too long, they hadn’t had the time to think of a Plan B.
From this point on, they would have to adjust their plans according to the situation.
‘That’s that. But they’re really playing dirty.’
JaeHyun frowned as he saw the five guys chasing after YooJung.
No matter how he looked at it, it wasn’t good. Five seniors were running after a single freshman to catch her.
Of course, they might claim that it was alright since Kim YooJung had eliminated a member of their team,
but still, was it alright for those who called themselves seniors to use so much effort on one mere freshman?
‘Everyone in the academy is probably watching this. Isn’t it a bit too unsightly?’
There was no way the cadets in the academy would ignore such a big event. They were probably watching the fight through TVs.
From an observer’s point of view, their actions did not seem very just.
The six who moved noisily had already gone pretty far. JaeHyun nodded toward Seo Ina and spoke.
“Let’s split up here. You know what to do, right? You just have to stick to what I said a while ago.”
Although her reply took a while,
Seo Ina was quite a trustworthy ally, with the ability to defeat a senior or two and with excellent judgment.
JaeHyun headed to the right side of the forest while nodding. Ina had her own thing to do, so she headed to the left.
‘Others who watch us will really think that we are taking a gamble.’
There were only three people in their team. Other freshmen were probably working in teams with dozens of members.
However, JaeHyun had ruled out teaming up with others once Seo Ina became a member of their party.
The reason was simple.
‘Hunting for seniors is something I can do by myself. What I need right now are companions who won’t hold me back.’
If this strategy succeeded, his team would instantly gain a lot of points.
‘The Freshmen Hunt only lasted for 3 days. But the field is excessively huge. It would be difficult for us to look for seniors to take their name tags. If so…’
JaeHyun gathered his mana as he smiled.
“I have to make the bastards come looking for me.”
He was thinking of kiting the seniors.
“Ah! Really! They’re like dogs after a bone!”
Kim YooJung said resentfully as she glanced behind.
She had shouted it out on purpose so they could hear her, and it seemed pretty effective seeing as how all five of their faces turned red as they chased her.
‘How stupid… getting so agitated mid-battle.’
The five seniors chasing after YooJung did not suspect that there was anything strange about the fact that she was moving by herself.
They were simply chasing her because they were angry that she had defeated one of their companions.
“Fu8k! Crazy bitch!”
She didn’t pay much attention to what they were saying, but their curses were a bit annoying. Did they have a mop in their mouths?
Usually, when going against an underclassman, didn’t an introduction come first?
Kim YooJung sighed as she eyed her shaky leg muscles.
‘My endurance is slowly reaching its limits.’
Although Kim YooJung was highly skilled compared to other cadets, she was still a Magician. Winning against seniors from the Combat department was impossible from the start.
She took a glimpse behind her once again. The seniors chasing after her still looked fine.
A drop of sweat fell from Kim YooJung’s forehead.
‘If this continues, let’s see… They’ll catch me in about 5 minutes, I guess?’
But her destination was right in front of her, so it was fine.
‘Let’s try a bit harder, shall we?’
A green effect glowed on Kim YooJung’s legs, and she moved with an explosive speed.
《 Wind Boost 》.
It was the speed boosting skill JaeHyun had used in his fight against the Night Shade.
As the distance between them increased, the seniors chasing after her started to shout.
“What the hell?! Fu*k! That bitch is suddenly…!”
“That’s just her last move. We’ll catch her soon. Keep chasing!”
“Huh!? G-Guys, just a second!”
Oh JinHyuk slowed down when he heard someone calling out. A cadet who had been keeping pace with everyone pointed to a sign hanging in front of them and asked.
“Isn’t it dangerous here?”
Oh JinHyuk narrowed his eyes and turned to the sign.
一 Warning! A Class 1 organism that bestows a debuff lives here:
Paralyzing Spore Mushroom [Class 1]
“Yeah. We’re all done for if we make a mistake. Stopping here would…”
“What? You’re saying we’re supposed to let her go when we’ve almost caught her?”
“Stop saying bullshit! We lost a teammate, for fu*k’s sake!”
His teammates’ infuriated shouts rang out. Their running slowed down, and their anxious gazes turned to their leader.
Oh JinHyuk thought for a moment and nodded as he decided.
“Don’t worry. I already prepared just in case something like this happened. First, we’ll catch that bitch.”
“But if we get a debuff, it would be difficult for us to survive.”
“The Paralyzing Spore Mushroom gives a debuff to everything within a 500m radius. That bitch would be paralyzed along with us.”
That was when his teammates all quieted down. Thinking something like this might happen, Oh JinHyuk had assigned a teammate outside.
He made Park SungHyuk, who was like his hands and feet, keep watch from somewhere far away.
If the freshmen planned to attack after hiding somewhere, it would be a very stupid choice.
Park SungHyuk was an excellent Warrior raider. He was almost at the same level as Oh JinHyuk. For him, taking care of a couple of Magician freshmen would be a piece of cake.
Oh JinHyuk smiled slyly.
‘If SungHyuk finds any of that bitch’s companions hiding, he will take care of them. These bastards… I don’t know what they’re thinking, but I won’t let them go.’
—And thus the chase continued.
Oh JinHyuk and his three teammates quickly closed the distance between them and Kim YooJung.
Although YooJung had run ahead and even used magic, the group of seniors were starting to catch up to her.
Endurance was the problem. It was the incorrigible Achilles’ heel of Magician raiders.
And just as there was only 20m between them—
they appeared in a wide open area in the middle of the forest.
The refreshing green grass and shimmering flower pollen floated in the air…
And countless Paralyzing Spore Mushrooms were spread all over the place.
A smile spread across Kim YooJung’s face.
“You’re all finished. The ones who were cursing a while ago, raise your hands first. Who was it?”