Evolution Theory of the Hunter (ETH)
Volume 1 Chapter 10
“Ha…what to do. There isn’t anyone who wants to buy it.”
I thought maybe I should lower the price some more. If I thought rationally, it made sense. There was a person who had offered 3,000 dollars. That’s a lot of money. But for a skillbook, it was much too low. If someone learned this skillbook and found out it had some amazing skill in it, then I would beat myself up too much.
Should I try selling it at 5,000 dollars? No I should get at least 6,000…
A message came through on my cell. Because I had portered all throughout my school life, the only people who contacted me at this point was either my broker, family, or stupid telemarketers. There was a high probability that it would be a spam message.
-What are you doing?
Only this message appeared on my phone. What is this. Is this some new kind of spam?
A new number too. Who the hell texts a person who doesn’t have their number in this weird way?
A few minutes later the phone rang. It was the same number as the person who sent the message.
“Who is this?”
[Ah. Do you remember me? Jung Sooah. The person who portered with you that last time.]
“Ah ah. It’s you.”
I had forgotten all about her. There was no time to think about her while I was running around doing this and that.
“Why are you calling?”
“What’s going on?”
[I can’t really say over the phone.]
“If you can’t say over the phone then it’s probably something you shouldn’t say in person either. Just tell me right now.”
I don’t know what she needed but I didn’t have the time to be on the phone with a girl like this. I had to get money somehow. That’s why I was at this damn market.
I was that desperate. Honestly, I didn’t even have the money to pay for a cup of coffee.
A picture message came through.
“Do you know how much the data cost for a picture message is?”
[Just look at it. I promise you won’t regret it.]
What kind of picture is it that has her so confident? I was pretty curious now so I opened it. It was a picture of her holding a sword. I was about to think “what the hell” when I realized the sword she was holding was Song Hansol’s bloody sword.
“What? Why are you holding that?”
[Are you curious?]
“Did you happen to pick up what he dropped? If that’s the case then return it now! Or else you’re going to get in big trouble later.”
It was a pretty big crime if a porter steals a hunter’s item. Even if you are caught one time, your career as a porter is over. So I was certainly surprised that this chick was doing just that. And taking selfies too!
[Why would I do that? I stole this.]
“…I can’t really say anything if you say it that confidently. So. Why are you showing me this?”
[Aren’t you going to ask me how I stole it?]
“You probably stole it when he had it against your neck. He had a second sword of the same kind on his hip. I’m just impressed that you thought to steal it over all the chaos.”
[I didn’t steal it on purpose. I was just desperate to come out of that situation alive so I…”]
“Then you should have returned it after it was all over.”
[How would I return this? When my heart feels like it’ll burst just from thinking of that bastard’s face. And I won’t even get paid for what I went through..I feel like this about covers it.]
“You want to end your career?”
[There hasn’t been any work for the past month anyway. Isn’t it the same for you?]
Jesus Christ lady. I’m about to kill myself over not having any money.
[So I was thinking. Do you, by any chance, want to buy this from me?]
“What? Are you asking me. To buy. Something stolen from you?”
[Come on. I asked around and it turns out that there’s a bunch of this. Even if you went around with it, no one would know that it was stolen. There’s no way you’ll get caught.]
This was….tempting. Very tempting.
Song Hansol was rescued from being chased by a monster. There was no way that he would even think that Jung Sooah had stolen his sword. He would probably just assume he had dropped it somewhere while he was running for his life. If a dungeon resets, all the items still in the dungeon would disappear too so he would most likely assume that it had disappeared in there.
‘Almost’ safe to assume. Pretty safe to assume. So tempting. Shit. But if I come right out and express an interest then it’s obvious she’s going to come out with some absurdly expensive price. It’s better to kind of act uninterested in the first round.
“No. Even still…what use would a hunter level weapon even do for a porter?”
[Aren’t you trying to be a hunter?]
“..How’d you know..?”
[I’ve been doing this for over a year now. I can tell just from looking at a person if they will always remain a porter til they die, or they are preparing themselves to become a hunter.] [TN: I have been translating everything for 10 times less than it should be. Please multiply all dollars before here by 10. Dollar translations should be accurate from now on. ^ – ^ Sorry.]
“Whatever. That thing you have is at least 400,000 dollars. I don’t have that kind of money. Jeez.”
I made a little prayer. She responded as if she was waiting for me to say just that.
[Well. It is stolen, I guess. I’ll sell it for cheap.]
“Are you retarded? Does 100,000 dollars just grow out of your butt? You think it’s that easy to come up with that much money?”
[I guess I thought you would have at least saved up that much. You’re poorer than I thought…]
“There’s a reason for everything.”
[Then I’ll give it to you if you pay in installments.]
[Yeah. Deposit of 50,000 dollars and then you can pay me 10,000 a month. At least until you pay me a total of 100,000 dollars]
“Too expensive. No no no. Let’s just do 50,000 dollars flat. Aren’t you coming to me as a last resort after trying to sell it somewhere else first?”
[I figured from before but you’re pretty sharp.]
“Been a porter for 6 years now. You try doing it for that long and you’ll be just like me. Anyway. What’s your answer?”
[Deposit 50,000 and 3 monthly installments of 10,000 for 80,000 dollars total.]
This was obviously a steal. But that amount of money would clean me out completely. If I take this deal, I’d have to starve for the next month.
“Come on. I saved your damn life. Let’s just do 50,000. Isn’t that the least you can do for your savior?”
[Shit. I knew you would do this.]
She was quiet over the phone for a long time. It was definitely something for her to think about. Selling the bloody sword at 50,000 dollars was the same as asking me to sell my level 0 skillbook at 1,000 dollars. If it were me I would just hang up and say screw you. But to her, she had no use for a sword, so it might actually be not so bad a deal.
[Whew…alright. 50,000. But I want it cash then. If we go through a bank, it’s going to be all sorts of annoying.]
There was no certainty that Song Hansol won’t go looking for his bloodysword and maybe do a check up on her and me. So it did make sense for us to do it by cash. It was safer.
“Ok. I’ll give you the cash as soon as you give me the weapon.”
As soon as I hung up I started jumping up and down in hurrahs. It’s not that I don’t know I won’t be able to buy a skillbook once I use up 50,000 for this bloodysword. But the bloodysword is at the least a level 2 weapon. It was way better than a level 1 skillbook. If you just hit a level 1 monster with it, it was game over like that. Way better. Way way way. Right?
“Ha…to think….I’ll only get 50,000…”
Jung Sooah made one sigh after another. I had met up with her at a nearby café to do our little exchange. She pushed a small bag toward me and I confirmed the bloodysword was in there.
“Be quiet. What if someone hears you?”
“There’s no one here anyway.”
“That person working over there isn’t a person?”
“Why would he care what we’re talking about?”
“I guess you’ve never done a part time job before. Café workers usually have sharp ears. They love listening to what others are talking about.”
She furtively glanced toward the worker before lowering her voice. Luckily he was roasting some beans and couldn’t hear us.
“Now how about the money?”
“What. I need to confirm if this is the real deal.”
“How are you going to do that?”
I took the bloodysword out of the small bag and cut my finger with it. As soon as the blood touched the blade, it soaked it up like a sponge.
“Looks legit to me.”
“No trust. Where’s the trust.”
“This is 50,000 dollars. Of course I’m going to be thorough.”
I dropped the backpack I had brought out on top of the table. This bag had 500 100 dollar bills. She looked into the bag and asked me.
“You’re sure this is the right amount?”
“I might lie but I would never scam someone.”
“Hm…I’ll trust you.”
“Hey, it seems as if they’re not going to let in any leisure parties for a while so what are you planning to do?”
“I’ll probably apply to work for a general party. The real hunters.”
“It’s going to be super dangerous. You know, right?”
Just as the name implies, general parties are groups that do not go into dungeons for the fun of it. They go in for the sole purpose of attaining dropped items. These groups need porters as well to pick up and carry the items while they were busy with the monsters. Unfortunately, not only is the job extremely dangerous but the pay is also pretty crappy. To make things worse, you’re dealing with people who are constantly putting their lives in danger too so tips are not to be expected.
To put it into perspective, most of the porters who work in that area don’t have their licenses or any special training. This is to show you just how bad our situations have gotten that we’d have to resort to this kind of work.
“That’s why I need this money. I need it in case I get hurt.”
“Wouldn’t it just make more sense to wait it out until everything is back to normal?”
“I don’t know. I played around without working for a month. I feel like I’d go crazy if I had to stay jobless any longer.”
“I guess. And it’s not like things will get back to normal tomorrow either.”
She quietly passed me her business card. It was pink with the words, “Available 24 hours, please ask for the beautiful Jung Sooah” written across it. Just in case I flipped it over and saw a picture. Ha! What a con! This picture was pretty much photoshopped to death. I casually compared the girl to the one in the picture and made a small sigh before asking.
“Where is your conscience?”
“Money over conscience. Duh.”