Evolution Theory of the Hunter (ETH)
Volume 1 Chapter 11
As soon as I got back home, I laid on my bed and raised the bloodysword to look at it more carefully. It was called a sword, but it was only about 50cm long. Compared to a long sword, you had the ability to put more force into an attack and make faster consecutive stabs as well. The low damage it inflicts is easily balanced out by its blood drinking feature.
With just this weapon, it would be easy to clear a level 1 dungeon. No sweat. An armor would have been nice but that was impossible with the money I had left.
I got up from the bed and opened the drawer under the desk. Inside was the level 0 skillbook. Level 2 sword and a level 0 skill. This should be plenty to become a hunter. Luckily I didn’t sell it.
I flipped a page of the skillbook – the page that had the word ‘effort’ on it. The next page was filled with a bunch of words I couldn’t make out. What the hell. Skillbooks are supposed to have pictures and words that are easy to decipher or draw meanings from. What the hell was this? I know I’ve never seen a skillbook with my own eyes before but this was a well known fact by everyone.
Weird. So weird. But I didn’t stop. I kept reading…or trying to at least. Half of me thought there was something wrong with this and the other half kept expecting it to reveal something super awesome at some point. I decided to believe in the latter. Why not, right?
A blinding light exploded out of the skillbook. As soon as the light appeared, all the numbers and words I couldn’t decipher seemed to just pop right into my head.
My hunches rarely prove to be wrong. And I was now sure.
This. Was. The. Shit.
When I opened my eyes, it was already night. I rubbed my them as I sat up. What had happened? When I looked at the clock, I saw that 6 hours had passed….and I was hungry as hell.
I shuffled my way to the fridge, opened the door, and quickly gulped down some milk by the carton.
And spit it out immediately.
“Did it expire?”
The expiration date should still be about two days from now…? I checked the date stamped on the carton, and indeed the date had not yet passed. No…even if the expiration date came, most milks didn’t sour for a while still. I realized something was weird so I started examining everything else in the fridge. Everything looked like it had gone to shit. Moldy food, wilted vegetables, and the bananas that were yellow just yesterday were all brown.
I hurriedly grabbed my phone but the battery was dead. I ran to check what the date was on the internet.
The computer screen was telling me it was May 18th. I was sure today was May 8th.
Ten days passed…?
Wait. What the heck? Something was really wrong here. How can a person live after not drinking a sip of water for 10 whole days? There’s no freaking way. Yeah, true, I have never experienced a hunger like this before in my life…but not enough that I feel I’m about to die.
First things firsts, I plugged my phone in to charge it back up. As soon as it turned back on, I saw there were a million messages and missed calls. Wow. This was the first time I’d ever seen so many messages on my phone.
The first messages were from Jung Sooah. I grarbbed some things that looked still somewhat edible and started to stuff my face while going through them one by one.
-I was just texting to see if you got home ok.
-If you run into any problems, give me a call.
-Why aren’t you responding? Did something happen?
-You’re not ignoring me right?
-Is it because you don’t want to waste your data? Can you please at least answer me?
-Hey. Isn’t this too much? You could at least send a response.
-See if I ever contact you again.
-It’s not because you were sleeping and didn’t see this right?
-Are you ignoring me?
After this, it was all pretty much the same thing. At some point it got pretty ugly but it still felt a little nice that someone was concerned about me. Eh. Kind of scary too. I’ll just ignore.
Most of the missed calls were also all Jung Sooah. There was a call from home so I called back to let them know everything was ok. They rarely called, if ever anyway, so it seemed they weren’t overly concerned that I didn’t respond for a few days.
There was also a missed call from my broker. Since he almost never contacts me unless it’s about work, there was a high chance he was calling about a job. I called him.
“Hey. I got a missed call from you yesterday.”
[I was just about to call you again. Do you have any interest in joining a general party? There’s a porter position open.]
“General party porter? I don’t know about that.”
I didn’t feel like doing it. Not only was it super dangerous, but the pay wasn’t that great too. But more than that, I was determined to live a hunter life from now on.
[Hey. Can’t do anything about it. These are the only openings there are these days. Who knows when they’ll open the dungeons to leisure parties again.]
“I don’t know about being a porter. But I might think about it if there’s a hunter position.”
[What? You already saved up enough?]
“Ah. Well…something like that. I came up on a weapon. And a skill too.”
[What kind of skill?]
“Ha ha…the skill isn’t all that great. But the weapon’s a level 2.”
[Level 2? That should be at least a couple 100,000 dollars…did you…?]
“I bought it with the money I earned fair and square. Don’t worry your little head and just find something for me.”
[Well. I’m sure you know what you’re doing. In any case congrats. There’s a 10 person party. If you join as a hunter level porter, I’m sure you can earn some good money.”]
“10 person party? Then the split wouldn’t be worth it.”
[It’s you’re first time. Start slow.]
“Alright. Then I’ll take it.”
I took a deep breath after hanging up the phone. It was sinking in that I was on my way to becoming a hunter and it was making me anxious. Since it was a 10 person party, the pay would be on the small side but like my broker said…it was my first time. It isn’t bad for a start.
The next thing I needed to do at this point was check the skill. Come on baby. The feeling I had before passing out was gone now. Just what did it do?
“Hm…how am I supposed to do this?”
The problem was, I didn’t know what the skill was or how to activate it. I guess since the name of it is ‘effort’, the common sense thing to do is to put an effort into doing something right? I decided to try doing some push ups.
When I was at about 200 hundred, my arms began to shake. But I’m a porter. I underwent training to enable me to carry around 200kg bags while running.
I completed an even 500 and fell to the floor.
“Huk. Huk. Shit. Feel like I’m going to die.”
I guess this isn’t it.
In the end, I couldn’t figure out how to activate this stupid skill and the day of the party was drawing ever nearer. General hunters normally don’t hunt in the city but on the outskirts. This is because it is easier to make appointments in those dungeons. Additionally, the admission fees were cheaper to encourage hunters to come.
I was waiting in front of a restaurant in Kyongkido. If you walk about 2km then you can reach Baekoonsa. The dungeon we were raiding was there. General parties had a different vibe from the Rich Kids’ party that I was used to. They generally had low level armor and skills…and they weren’t really too amazing at hunting.
As people started arriving one by one, I gave them each my business card. I made some business cards especially for today. It simply said, “Porter & Hunter Jeon Sangmin” across it. I wouldn’t be working with the rich kid’s leisure parties anymore so I didn’t need to have that silly pretty boy moniker writing on it.
“I heard about you from broker Song. I’m Eum Hyunjoon. I am the party leader.”
A guy in his mid-twenties opened his mouth after reading the card. He had short hair with a long scar or his cheek – honestly, that type of scar is so common that it didn’t really make much of an impression on me.
“Yes. We’ll trust in you.”
Half of the people here were probably people who have never been on a raid before. Most of the decent skilled parties all know each other and already have arranged raids together. I knew before even coming here what kind of party I would be stuck with.
Of the 10 people in my party, 3 were short range attackers, 5 were long range attackers, and the rest were cover measures. What I mean by cover measures are people who can use confusion magic like Mr. Jung was able to do. One person could do slip and the other one could use stunning. Both skills required a long time to activate so they could only use it once on a hunt. But you can’t take that for granted because the one time you do use it could be the difference between a successful hunt and a failure. That is why there is always at least one of these in a party.
Everyone finally arrived so we began heading toward the dungeon.
“Hm. So does that mean you are a hunter with porter experience?”
The mid-forties looking man asked. I don’t know if it was because of his fat face, but he had a permanent grumpy look.
“My name is Jeon Sangmin. And you are…?”
“Ah. I should at least introduce myself first.”
He then passed me his business card between his index and middle finger. When I checked it, I saw that he was the manager of the W company. The W company was one of Korea’s leading businesses. When he saw the shocked look on my face, he started laughing before giving me a different business card.
“Ah. I am so sorry. That was an old card I used to use. Ha ha.”
He patted my shoulder, still laughing. He was acting as if I was his underling right now. Well whatever. It’s not like I’ve never felt this before.
As I started thinking back, I thought I could remember having been in the same party as him once or twice before. He probably retired recently and started living this life as a hunter because he had nothing else better to do. If he had experience in raids and was a director at a big company like that, then there was a good chance that he was a decent hunter. And in these instances, their skill levels were usually high too. He could definitely be useful.
I expected him to be at least at Mr. Jung’s level. We’ll see.