• Prev Chapter
  • Background
    Font family
    Font size
    Line hieght
    Full frame
    No line breaks
  • Next Chapter

Chapter 79

The latest footage of the ghoul-driven disaster was being played at the Black Tortoise Guild’s Second Management Department.

“Hmm. Where have I seen this before?” Lee Yeongho, the head of the department, watched the drone footage of the large-scale disaster and was deeply lost in thought.

He had paused the video on a frame that showed three hunters with black wings soaring toward a hive. Among them were two unmistakable figures, Lim Taegyu and Baek Miho, both renowned hunters impossible to overlook. The issue lay with the remaining individual. The identity of this third hunter was a mystery to him.

“The White Tigers and the Fiends are keeping a tight grip on information,” Yeongho said.

“It seems that way, sir. Reporters have been digging for answers, but they are keeping their lips firmly shut.”

“That means...” Yeongho and the junior hunter exchanged nods of conviction. “They haven’t recruited this hunter yet.”

“It seems that way. If he already agreed to join one of the guilds, there would be no need to hide it. If anything, they’d be using him to promote their guild.”

“Of course. The ability to create wings is rare.”

Since creating wings wasn’t a known ability of Taegyu’s or Miho’s, the conclusion was that the wings had been created by the mysterious third hunter. Regardless of their rank, hunters capable of granting flight abilities to others held significant strategic value. At times, even a low-ranked hunter was preferable due to cost-effectiveness, meaning cheaper labor costs.

“We need to secure this individual before other guilds can. Especially the White Tiger Guild.”

The White Tiger Guild was known for recruiting hunters with beast transformation skills, but healers and hunters with unique abilities were exceptions. The ability to create wings had high potential for creative applications of the beast transformation skill. The mysterious hunter was a tantalizing prospect for the White Tiger Guild.

“You can prepare the contract while I’ll do my best to uncover the identity of this hunter.”

“What about the signing fee?”

“This isn’t amateur hour, is it? Leave that section blank for now. We’ll negotiate aggressively, especially if this one is a newcomer.”

“Understood. But how do you plan to find out their identity?”

“With my mind.” Lee Yeongho pressed his forehead with two fingers like a psychic. “Before the Great Cataclysm, I was a hairdresser, and I remembered the faces and names of every client who ever passed through my hands.”

“Not this story again...” The junior hunter shook his head and returned to his desk.

Regardless, Yeongho trusted his so-called sixth sense. “I’ve seen that face before. It’s a part of memory... So who is it?” The faces of numerous hunters began to unfold in his mind like a panorama. I would have recognized the face straight away if I had seen this hunter in person. Maybe I saw the face on Hunter Net or the news... “Aha! I remember now!” Eyes gleaming with determination, Yeongho sprang up from his seat. “He’s that guy! The audacious E-rank summoner who rejected us!”

“What? An E-rank hunter?” the junior hunter asked, chuckling in response, as he printed out a contract.

“That’s the kid! My magic comes through once again! We offered him a contract less than a month ago.”

Despite Yeongho’s self-assurance, the junior hunter still had his doubts. “Sir, are you sure? I mean sure, let’s say he’s an E-rank hunter with the ability to summon wings. He wouldn’t have enough mana to create enough wings for three people, and even if he did, he’d need even more mana to keep up the buff.”

“Well, all of that is for you to figure out. Use any means necessary to get all the information you can on this guy. The other guilds are keeping a close eye on him as it is, so do it as quickly as possible!”

“Looks like it’s another long night of overtime.”

***

Meanwhile, the White Tiger Guild was in quite a predicament due to Suho.

“Vice Guild Master, other guilds keep demanding information about that hunter. What should we do?”

“Just insist that you don’t know anything.”

“Well... that line is becoming harder to say by the minute. His face is already widely known. They’re checking if any of the C-rank hunters we recently recruited in Seoul have seen him.”

“Do your best to hold out. We need to secure him before anyone else does.” Wearing a troubled expression, Miho anxiously held her phone. She had called Suho multiple times but he didn’t answer.

Are you sleeping right now? As soon as you see this text...

She also left him a message, but the radio silence continued.

“Did he give me a fake number?” No, then someone else would have answered... Then did he block me? But that makes even less sense. “There is no way he blocked me, right? We fought together... I even carried him! I hope Taegyu hasn’t already recruited him,” Miho muttered. Taegyu had also fought alongside them, and she knew that he’d be after Suho too. But the reputation of his guild was at an all-time low due to the latest incident, and it wasn’t an exaggeration to say that they were financially ruined. The compensation for the victims and the costs for repairs would been astronomical.

But they won’t be completely ruined, Miho thought.

Taegyu was still an S-rank hunter, and the true power of a hunter came from strength, not money. Even if everyone but Taegyu left the Fiend Guild, he was bound to rise again. He could either rebuild the guild or establish an entirely new one. Either way, Suho was an exceptional talent he couldn’t afford to miss out on.

“Vice Guild Master?” The sight of Miho muttering to herself was an unfamiliar occurrence to the HR Head of the White Tiger Guild. “Is Sung Suho really that impressive? He does have a rare ability, but he’s just a C-rank hunter.”

“He’s not just a C-rank,” Miho stated firmly. “All the buzz is about his wing-summoning ability, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Hunter Sung Suho is...”

The other guilds were oblivious to his other skills. She figured they were only focusing on Suho because of his unique wing-summoning ability, or because he was the only free agent out of the three hunters who had brought the chaos to an end. Other guilds couldn’t recruit Taegyu or Miho, so they wanted to bring in the third hunter to use for promotional gain.

However, Miho’s intention was different. She had observed Suho’s skills up close. He had shown immense composure and power in the heat of battle when the stakes were at their highest.

“We can’t lose him to anyone else,” she said.

***

—13 Missed Calls

“Why are there so many missed calls?” Suho, having just completed the strenuous daily quest in the Shadow Dungeon, belatedly checked his phone.

Half of the missed calls were from Miho and Taegyu, whose numbers he had saved from their business cards, while the other half were from unknown numbers.

“This is truly magnificent! The popularity of the Young Monarch has reached unprecedented heights!” Beru rejoiced.

“Calm down. I’m not that popular.”

As Beru twirled around, radiating joyous energy, Que skillfully powered up the computer and showed Suho the latest articles about him. “Master, you should take a look at these. Your face is being reported by every major outlet.”

“Hm... I see.”

The internet was ablaze with anguish following the catastrophe orchestrated by Minsung. Of course, plenty of news about Suho had been reported before, but his face was covered by a crow mask and he was known to the media as Beast King Crow. But this time was different. He had fought alongside two famous hunters, so his face was naturally exposed.

Observing Suho’s reaction, Que quickly bowed and begged for forgiveness. “I’ve committed a grave offense! My actions have caused you immense difficulties!”

“Lift your head, you sinner! Meet your punishment!” Beru seized the moment and slashed Que’s throat.

But Que’s throat almost immediately returned to normal, and Suho’s mana drained away.

Que paid no attention to Beru as he turned to Suho. “My apologies... Were you trying to conceal your identity?”

“No, not really.”

“Right now, the Young Monarch is quietly growing his strength. Followers of Itarim might be lurking here on Earth, so a little secrecy goes a long way.” Beru meaningfully looked into the shadow soldier’s eyes. “Even at this very moment, far away in the cosmos, the Monarch of Shadows is engaging in a fierce war with forces of outer universes. They plan to open more gates on Earth to target our rear.”

Having received a lecture about the current situation, Que nodded earnestly. He had been under Arsha’s control for a while and had gained some understanding of Monarchs, so he grasped the information quickly. “I see. So, are the pests wandering around here possibly followers from the outer universes?”

“No, those are just pests.”

“Is that so?”

Beru and Que had both felt unwelcome presences lingering around Suho’s house from the moment they emerged from the Shadow Dungeon.

“Young Monarch, you have some flies buzzing outside your residence.”

“Hmm.” Suho discreetly opened the window and observed the movements outside. He could feel the mana of the people keeping a watchful eye on him from every nearby alleyway. A cold light flickered in his eyes. “They’re hunters.”

“They seem to be watching the others around them too... That must mean they’re from different guilds,” Beru said.

“Master, I recognize a few faces. It looks like they’re guild scouts.”

“They found out my identity this quickly?” Suho was a bit surprised.

Only a day had passed since the incident was resolved, but the guilds had already managed to track down Suho’s house.

“Well, that’s their job. Once your face became known, they probably searched Hunter Net or the association’s databases all night long,” Que explained.

At that moment, a buzzing noise came from the window. Since Suho hadn’t come out of his house, someone had launched a drone equipped with a camera for a closer look. The other scouts on the scene swiftly followed by deploying drones of their own. After hours of waiting, they wanted to see if Suho was home in the first place.

“Really? Drones?” Suho furrowed his brow. “Is there no privacy protection for hunters at all?”

“The entire world declared a state of emergency after the Great Cataclysm. As a result, certain civil liberties have been somewhat overlooked,” Que said.

“They are too curious for their own good! I shall handle it right away!” Beru rushed toward the window.

“Please don’t.” Suho firmly pulled Beru’s antennae back, and the ant hung limply in his hand.

“Too much attention could expose the Young Monarch’s existence to followers of the Outer Gods,” the ant beast said.

“If these followers truly exist, I’m sure they would have heard of me by now. Besides, it’s fine as long as they don’t know I’m the Monarch of Shadows’ son, right?”

“That’s true, but...”

Regardless, Suho had no intention of leaving the hunters alone. Ruler’s Authority. As he extended his hand, unseen forces in the air twisted and manipulated the approaching drones.

“Wh-what’s going on?!” a hunter said.

“What’s happening all of a sudden...?!” another said.

As their drones exploded one after another, confusion erupted from the scouts hiding in the alley.

“Those flies aren’t the type to retreat easily. It’s time to show them what we’re capable of,” Que said.

At that moment, Suho’s phone vibrated.

“Who is it now? Hm?” The surprise caller had caught him off guard. “Uncle Jinho?”

The call was from Yoo Jinho, the husband of his aunt, his father’s only sister. They had taken care of him since his parents went missing, and he was grateful for their kindness.

“He must’ve seen the news.” 𝚗ovele𝚊𝚜𝚝.com

Suho was already worried about all the fuss his uncle was about to make.

The source of this content is 𝘧𝓇ℯℯ𝑤ℯ𝘣𝘯𝘰𝘷ℯ𝘭.𝑐𝘰𝑚

Use arrow keys (or A / D) to PREV/NEXT chapter