Evolution Theory of the Hunter (ETH)
Volume 1 Chapter 13
Though Eum Hyunjoon’s weapon was indeed strong, it would not be enough to kill a cave wolf in one hit. But the bloodysword I had in my hand was getting stronger with the blood it had soaked up earlier. It could easily kill the level 1 monster with one swing.
When I raised up the sword, red with blood, he glanced at it briefly before nodding his head. I walked up to the nearest wolf and stabbed into its neck.
I pushed back at the monster trying to move away and twisted my sword. I heard a squishing sound as blood started gushing out in torrents.
Soon after, I could feel the life disappearing at the tip of my fingers.
A green number appeared above the head of the now dead wolf before it winked out again. What the hell? I went to the second wolf and sliced its neck too. The same number appeared and disappeared again. And it happened a third time after I killed the third wolf.
What appeared after killing all five wolves were 2 monazites and 1 coltan. When you refined a coltan, it became tantalum – something used to make a smartphone battery. This was the reason for the expensive new phones. And this was exactly why I keep my old 2G phone. Why do I need something that was double the cost of what I have now?
“Ms. Bae Yeongyoung. Did you not hear my instructions?”
Eum Hyunjoon walked towards glasses girl and asked. Honestly, it could have been a fatal mistake. If I hadn’t been aware of my surroundings and noticed her, I could have ended up wounded or dead before the real hunt had even begun.
“It’s not a problem if you aren’t skilled or have expertise. There is always someone like that in any party. This is why even if you cannot join in the hunt or kill, we still give everyone a share of the earnings. So please abstain from overstepping what you are able to do. And you shouldn’t be apologizing to me but to that gentleman.”
As Eum Hyunjoon pointed to me, glasses girl walked up to me and bowed. She really did look terribly sorry.
“Um…I’m really sorry. I was so anxious I forgot his instructions. I thought that I needed to help in some way and made a terrible error in judgment.”
“Anyone can make a mistake. Let’s just forget about it.”
Glasses girl opened her eyes wide and said.
“Uh…you’re not mad?”
“Just try to do better from now on.”
“If you don’t have anything else to say, you can stand back up. You don’t have to keep bowing.”
Since she was bowed to me, I could see that she was at least a D cup inside her armor. Wow. And she has glasses too. This could quite possibly be the worst combinations for an archer.
If I were completely honest, I wasn’t really that mad. I had already anticipated something like this to happen and it resulted in nothing bad anyway. On top of that, it’s not like getting mad is going to improve her skill in any way so what was the point? There was no reason for me to overreact over someone else’s mistake.
Eum Hyunjoon stared at me strangely.
I don’t like getting that kind of look from a guy. Bleh.
“Then should be continue?”
Anyway, what was the meaning of those numbers?
I recalled the green digits as I packed the ores into the backpack and continued on our raid with the party. It was obvious it had something to do with the effort skill. I’m not an idiot. That’s not what I meant. What I was wondering was what those numbers signified.
Ok let’s think this through. When we killed the first wolf, a number didn’t show up. Same thing with the second one. The number only started appearing after killing the third wolf. The only difference was that I had personally killed the third, fourth, and fifth wolf. Maybe I earned something for killing a monster.
Hm. That’s awesome. But what’s the reward? What can I do with that number?
If you want to know your own skill level and proficiency, it’s a fairly easy thing to find out. You close your right eye and try to use your skill. If you do that, two numbers will appear where it was dark moments before: Your Level, and Your Proficiency. If you have a passive skill, all you have to do is just close your right eye. Because a passive skill is always active.
But my case was different. In the past few days, I haven’t been able to see any number at all. This time I said, ‘what the hell’ and tried closing my left eye. [0,1,300] appeared. Ha. That would probably be [Level, Proficiency, Reward] In that order.
This was so weird. All this time I had to close my left eye?
Glasses girl tapped my shoulder. When I didn’t answer, she shook me a bit.
“Wi…wink…you were winking.”
“I was trying to find out my skill level.”
“Ah. That was what I figured.”
“Well I didn’t say it wasn’t”
Glasses girl kept answering me with this nonsense before she fell forward suddenly. What’s with tripping over your own foot?
We paused for a bit to let her get back up before we continued on. There were traps that would appear at times, so we had to move cautiously. Detection skills were always useful to have but there is rarely anyone who would learn a skill that didn’t help particularly in a fight. I kept looking around with my eyes while my mind continued to race in thought.
How am I supposed to use those reward points? Was it like money? Can I use this to raise my skill or strength? Or….could they just be meaningless numbers to make me feel good about myself?
Well. I guess at this point anything could be possible.
Just when we were exiting one tunnel, Eum Hyunjoon raised his hand over his head and made a fist. I walked up next to him and quietly looked in the direction he was pointing at with his chin.
8 cave wolves and 1 goblin.
Though we were 10 in our party, if I were to honestly assess our skill, we were way weaker than them. In cases such as this, we couldn’t do anything but take the risk.
“Isn’t it better to pass?”
The manager mouthed silently. He had a worried expression on his face. It was obvious he was worried his lacking sleep skill wouldn’t work properly this time around either. Eum Hyunjoon thought for a second before shaking his head.
“If we pass here, we have to pass on this entire tunnel. That means over half our earnings would go up in smoke.”
“What if we get hurt…”
“There is no such thing as a safe dungeon.”
Eum Hyunjoon replied in a short tone. The Manager, who was used to hunting in leisure parties, wasn’t used to being put in any unnecessary danger. But that was too bad. Because this was a general party. Tough luck, guy. In the large area, 8 cave wolves were slinking around. And in the center, the goblin was sleeping in the torchlight.
Sleep would work even more easily on a fella that is already sleeping. I figured it would only be a doable fight if at least 5 monsters, including the goblin, were to be ensnared in the sleep skill.
“If there are this many, the sleep doesn’t work as well.”
The manager kept muttering about as he walked forward. He crouched behind a boulder that was not in the wolves’ view and raised his hand. A golden light shined out from his palm and settled down over the enemy like a fog.
The goblin and 3 wolves fell into a deep sleep. There were now 5 wolves to deal with. But that was just too much for us. Eum Hyunjoon’s face went dark.
“I don’t know about this…”
The sleep was successful but it seemed it wasn’t too effective because the wolves were starting to stir. I tapped his shoulder and said.
“How about we distract them and take at least one of them out first with a bow?”
“You think that’ll work?”
“We won’t know until we try. If we kill at least one in the beginning, I’m sure we can take care of the rest one way or another.”
“I guess if it’s four then it’ll still be hard but not impossible. But what can we use as a distraction?”
“I have beef jerky that I packed as an emergency snack.”
I pulled a couple out from my backpack and showed it to Eum Hyunjoon who nodded his head. I took the jerky and threw it to the nearest world.
It looked at the jerky and started smelling it. It seemed to be suspicious at first but it soon grabbed it with its forepaws and started ripping into it.
While it was distracted, I threw some more toward it to lure it closer to where we were.
It started padding its way closer and closer to us. Eum Hyunjoon made some hand gestures the long range attackers. All the long range attackers in our party were archers. Two crossbows and three regular bows. The damage for the crossbow was higher but the speed of the regular bow was much quicker.
The two crossbow attackers who had already preloaded their weapons walked to the wolf and shot their arrows.
The cave wolf whimpered out as the bows pierced its body. It had hit its chin so it wasn’t a fatal shot. But because it was a crossbow, the wolf was having a difficult time trying to move its body. Even if it were to try to heal, it would take some time.
The wolves who had heard the attack raised their heads and looked toward us.
Three bows were launched and flew where they were growling.