Chapter 36 — Freshmen Hunt (6)
At last, Kim YooJung and the 5 seniors all met in one place. They examined each other in an attempt to find the other side’s weaknesses.
They all had the intention of immediately attacking if they found the smallest gap in the other’s defenses.
A certain tension filled the air.
Oh JinHyuk took a step forward with an intimidating expression as he spoke.
“f*ck. A shitty brat like you really made us work for it, huh. Would it have hurt to just let us catch you?”
“What? Do you have a rag in your mouth?”
Kim YooJung countered with a frown.
Even if she had eliminated one of their teammates, there was no need to treat someone who had absolutely no regard for their opponent with any respect.
Moreover, she had received orders from JaeHyun to provoke the seniors, and that included Oh JinHyuk.
The more they got infuriated and unable to make sound decisions, the better it was for her party.
At YooJung’s provocation, Oh JinHyuk bristled in anger and took a step forward with a clenched fist.
“Where did a freshman like you learn to speak like that? I’ll f*cking beat you up myself.”
“It isn’t a good idea to come any closer. Paralyzing Spore Mushrooms are spread all over this place. If I burst one of these, all of us are dead. Are you still fine with that?”
Kim YooJung spoke with a relaxed expression. However, Oh JinHyuk didn’t retreat.
‘If that bitch bursts a mushroom, she won’t be safe either. It’s just a hollow threat.’
JinHyuk sneered scornfully.
‘Whether it’s based on skills or experience, this isn’t a fight we will lose. It’s an easy victory.’
Oh JinHyuk was the most skilled Warrior raider in the team. On the other hand, Kim YooJung was a Magician freshman who was weak in a fight.
No matter how you looked at it, the game was leaning towards their side.
“Then… let’s go!”
Oh JinHyuk controlled his breathing for a moment, then raised the longsword he was holding high in the air.
With a quick stomp on the ground, he started to shorten the distance between him and Kim YooJung.
Acting like he would immediately reach her, he was overflowing with mana that seemed to want to catch its prey. But Kim YooJung didn’t move at all.
She simply waited until the very last moment, when the attack was just about to hit her.
Just before Oh JinHyuk’s sword touched YooJung, she reached out and touched a Paralyzing Spore Mushroom.
JinHyuk and his companions who were confidently running towards her all froze.
Kim YooJung smiled as she tightened her fist around a mushroom.
Yellow powder that gave off a feeling of danger spread throughout the area in an instant.
A message rang out at the same time.
一 Warning! A Paralyzing Spore Mushroom has burst!
一 All organisms within a 50m radius have been paralyzed for 2 hours.
“Damn! This crazy bitch really burst one…!”
Of course, Kim YooJung also couldn’t escape from being paralyzed. But since it was part of the plan and she’d been prepared for it, there was no problem.
Just before she was completely paralyzed, she gathered her mana and used an Active Skill.
“Baton pass. I’m sorry, but it’s not my turn anymore…”
一 The Active Skill 《Change》 has been activated.
一 The Player’s location will be swapped with the designated player, ‘Min JaeHyun.’
JaeHyun traded locations with Kim YooJung in a flash of light. With a smile, he slapped Oh JinHyuk’s rushing fist away.
“One, two, three… four. Don’t you think too many of you were ganging up on a little freshman?”
As the Paralyzing Spore Mushroom burst, it let out spores.
Immobilized, JinHyuk was grabbed by the collar by JaeHyun. He was unable to understand what had just happened before his eyes.
Where did the girl they were chasing disappear to, and where did this haughty bastard come from?
Just then, Oh JinHyuk frowned as he thought of something.
‘…No way! Did they use 《 Change 》?!’
《 Change 》 was a spell that swapped one’s location with that of a designated party member.
‘…If that’s how they did it, it all makes sense. Damn, did I get too careless?’
JaeHyun smiled at Oh JinHyuk who was biting his lip resentfully. As if he knew what he was thinking, JaeHyun spoke apathetically.
“It doesn’t matter if you’ve figured it out now.”
However, Oh JinHyuk had no plans to retreat.
He was a cadet who had survived for several years at Millaes Academy. It wasn’t difficult for him to analyze the situation he was currently in.
But, of course, he didn’t know what kind of unexpected scene would be coming.
“…Hmm. I know that you tried to strategize, but won’t it be useless if you also get paralyzed?”
‘Just because the person changes, doesn’t mean that the Paralyzing Spore Mushroom loses its effect. That bastard will also slowly become paralyzed. Then, if I call Park SungHyuk over here and eliminate that bastard…’
JaeHyun crushed Oh JinHyuk’s plan to pieces.
“Oh, but I won’t be.”
“I won’t be paralyzed. Same with the other debuffs.”
JaeHyun smiled slightly at the system alert.
一 You have been paralyzed.
一 Thanks to 《Hel’s Blessing》, you have completely resisted the paralysis debuff.
The skill he’d gained from defeating the Night Shade in Hel’s Trial, 《 Hel’s Blessing 》, was a cheat-like skill that allowed him to resist all debuff statuses completely.
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It was EX-rank. A mere Paralyzing Spore Mushroom could not break this skill and affect him.
“Th-There’s no way… How does that make sense?!”
“You should ask the gods.”
Oh JinHyuk quickly tried to think of something.
‘I have to survive no matter what. I can’t show weakness here!’
The main focus was already on the freshmen, but if he showed a disgraceful appearance here on top of that?
His reputation would hit rock bottom at the academy.
“…It seems you’re trying to trap us, but it won’t be that easy. My friend is keeping watch outside. The moment he gets here, you’re all finished!”
Oh JinHyuk clenched his teeth and exclaimed with anger in his voice. If JaeHyun begged him here, he planned to let him go.
However, JaeHyun simply laughed wickedly, finding the whole situation funny.
“I’m sorry, but that guy’s not coming.”
“The guy that’s your friend. He can’t come here.”
As soon as JaeHyun finished speaking, a frightened scream rang out, making Oh JinHyuk’s heart drop to his stomach.
An ominous feeling followed.
And that feeling wasn’t wrong.
一 Player ‘Park SungHyuk’ has been eliminated.
一 Players ‘Min JaeHyun’, ‘Kim YooJung’, and ‘Seo Ina’ have obtained 100,000 points.
“Phew. We’ve taken care of quite a couple. I think there’s three left? I thought it would be harder. I guess I worried for nothing. How are you going to make up for it?”
JaeHyun approached the paralyzed seniors on the field with greed on his face.
“D-Don’t come over! Euuu-ack!”
Each let out a different sound as they were eliminated by JaeHyun’s fists.
And so the number of points they earned was now 300,000. It didn’t make a dent in the amount JaeHyun wanted, but it was satisfactory for a start.
He checked his ranking as he smiled.
1st – Min JaeHyun
2nd – Kim YooJung / Seo Ina
3rd – Ahn HoYeon
4th – Cha YooWon / Lee SooHyeok
5th – Jang HoSan
‘1st place. But it’s still just the beginning.’
[Deep in the Nightmare Forest where there weren’t a lot of traces of humans]
This was the place Kim YooJung had cleared with an 《 Air Blaster 》 ahead of time.
An area overgrown with thickets hiding them from enemy sight, it was an area JaeHyun had kept in mind as they were running from the seniors and looking for a shelter,
“I didn’t think that plan would really work. As expected of Min JaeHyun. He’s really good at thinking up tricks.”
After trading places with JaeHyun a while ago, YooJung had drunk some sap from an ash tree.
JaeHyun had said that the sap from an ash tree had the effect of curing the paralysis debuff.
At first, she didn’t really believe him, but she realized that he was right after testing it out herself. Her paralysis really did disappear.
As a result, the three of them were able to follow the plan and lure their opponents away to eliminate them.
“Alright. I think I’m okay now.”
“…Really? Then should we get going?”
Seo Ina asked as she supported Kim YooJung.
YooJung nodded her head. The numbness in her body was almost fully gone, and she had also met up with Ina who had eliminated a senior.
The only thing they had to do now was meet up with JaeHyun at the shelter.
“By the way, how do you think Min JaeHyun knew that the sap from an ash tree could get rid of paralysis?”
“…I don’t know. I don’t remember reading it anywhere. Plus… JaeHyun said he wouldn’t get caught in other status effects either. It’s probably because of a skill, right?”
At YooJung’s question, Seo Ina stated her agreement.
As they were creating the plan a while ago, JaeHyun had Kim YooJung act as the bait. It was an important role wherein she had to lure the enemy, burst the Paralyzing Spore Mushroom and use 《 Change 》 to trade places with JaeHyun.
Afterwards, Seo Ina would take care of the opponent lying in ambush. JaeHyun planned to gain points by eliminating the paralyzed opponents.
But this plan had three problems.
Even if Kim YooJung cast 《 Change 》 and traded places with JaeHyun, it would still take 2 hours for her to get rid of the paralysis debuff.
JaeHyun would also become paralyzed, so how on earth would he be able to eliminate the enemy?
The enemy would be lying in wait as long as they were paralyzed, so how would they fight against them?
However, JaeHyun had resolved all these problems and succeeded in defeating the group of seniors.
‘Everything happened like JaeHyun said. Can he see the future? It’s scary.’
YooJung wrapped her arms around herself and shivered. Ina also admired JaeHyun’s surprising plan.
She tried to think about it carefully.
How was Min JaeHyun able to come up with such an extraordinary plan?
It had only been a few hours since they’d shared what skills they had with each other. But he was able to come up with such an excellent strategy in that short time?
‘Amazing. But… I still can’t trust him fully.’
That was Seo Ina’s decision. Her grandmother had always told her that she had to be careful of guys who were handsome and eloquent.
JaeHyun clearly fell into this category.
‘There’s nothing wrong with being careful.’
Kim YooJung looked at Ina’s resolute face and smiled hesitantly.
‘It seems she doesn’t fully trust us yet. She hasn’t fully opened up.’
YooJung thought that Seo Ina was a lot like how JaeHyun was in the past.
JaeHyun was also a kid who would first distrust others rather than get close to them. Of course, he was now openly close with her and seemed better with other people than before.
Seemingly finding the sudden silence in the moment a bit awkward, Seo Ina spoke.
“…JaeHyun seems really good at manipulating mana. I mean, he did manage to take care of the Warrior seniors by himself…”
“Nah~ What? It hasn’t been three months since he decided to become a Magician.”
“…What? Then you mean that JaeHyun was actually planning to be a Warrior?”
When Ina asked while blinking in surprise, YooJung waved her hands.
“Yeah. Even just a few months ago, he was pretty devoted to Combat. Back then, he didn’t even pay a bit of attention to Magic, but he then suddenly changed his mind… though, I do admit that he adapted faster than expected.”
“…So. At that time…”
Seo Ina recalled Shin JunSang and Kwon SoYul who they had met as soon as they landed in the demi-plane.
While fighting JunSang, JaeHyun had easily dodged the sword attacks as if he could predict all the moves.
‘If he used to be a Warrior, it might be possible for him to predict the trajectories of the sword…’
Of course, she wasn’t familiar with how Warriors worked, but she thought it was plausible.
But at the same time, another question made her wonder.
Why on earth did Min JaeHyun decide to become a Magician?
If he had the ability to predict attacks, it would have been better for him to continue being a Warrior.
“What’s wrong, Ina? Let’s go quickly. That guy, Min JaeHyun, hates it when people are late.”
‘Anyway, I should be careful.’
After Seo Ina had made a decision on what to do about Min JaeHyun, she quickly followed Kim YooJung. YooJung had recovered in the meantime and led the way.
Soon after, they could see JaeHyun appear at a distance.
He was waving at them with a smile on his face.