ETH – Ch 17

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Evolution Theory of the Hunter (ETH)
Volume 1 Chapter 17

But as they grow up and learn about how real life works, they end up giving up on their dreams.

If you want to clear a level 1 dungeon safely, you needed a level 2 skill and equipment. If you wanted to clear a level 2 dungeon safely, you needed a level 3 skill and equipment. This made it impossible to make your way up from the bottom because getting the level higher skill and equipment was nearly impossible without the money.

So the average person can only enter a dungeon with subpar skill or level. Which made any raid a very dangerous thing for most people. Case in point yesterday. If we didn’t have manager Kim’s sleep magic, even with Eum Hyunjoon’s tanking and my attack skills, we would not have been able to clear the dungeon.

Risking that kind of danger paid out a mere 20,000 dollars. It wasn’t a cheap amount but it wasn’t a lot either. Especially if you were potentially trading it for your life. You had to clear a dungeon in this manner a bunch of times to earn enough money to procure level 1 gear. If you were lucky enough you would still be alive to do the same thing to save enough for level 2 gear.

Do you understand now? No matter how hard you try, even if you tried all your life, passing level 3 for a normal person was a near impossibility.

“Then I think I’ll take my leave now.”

I finished whatever I needed to do at the gym. I knew where I would spend the rest of the points I had left. Now that I improved my strength and endurance, I needed to up my reflexes. I didn’t have any quality armor so I needed to be able to evade attacks.

This wasn’t something I could do by myself. I took out my phone and went through my contacts. No one. I had no one.

The only people I could call was either family or maybe my broker.

No. Wait. I did have one more person.

I hesitated a bit before I pressed the call button. I heard it ring a few times before it connected.

“What is it? After I didn’t hear a peep from you for over two weeks.”

Jung Sooah sounded mad. I guess it was to be expected after I ignored about forty of her messages and ten of her calls.

“I was busy with some things. Do you have time right now?”

“Aren’t you supposed to explain the reason for ignoring me first?”

“Do you want to know the reason or do you want to hear an apology?”

“Both.”

“I fell asleep for ten days after learning a new skill. I’m sorry.”

“Fine. What do you need?”

“I need someone to help me train. I only need about one or two hours.”

“Ok. How much are you paying?”

“100 dollars.”

It sounds expensive but if you wanted to use a licensed porter, this was a reasonable amount.

“Cool. Where should I meet you?”

“The same cafe from last time. I’ll be waiting.”

After I hung up, I headed over to the cafe. She appeared in some training clothes thirty minutes after. It was a slim fit…and I had to admit it looked pretty good.

We went to a park nearby. I spied a wall with a bullseye zone drawn on it. I passed her a bag filled with tennis balls.

“All you have to do is throw all these balls one by one at me until they’re all gone.”

“Am I aiming to hit you?”

“Throw it as hard and as fast as you can.”

“That won’t be hard.”

Smack!

She had thrown a tennis ball right in my face.

Did she want to die?

“…Not now. When I walk up to that wall.”

“Ohh. You’re not getting mad?”

“What good would it do to fight with you? Just do what I tell you to do.”

“Oppa, you know you’re no fun at all right?”

“I didn’t call you to entertain you. And don’t slip in that oppa word either. I don’t remember being so close with you.”

[TN: Oppa literally means older brother but it’s a term of endearment or used in a flirting sort of way here]

“Then should I call you Sangmin?”

“Call me sunbeh.”

[TN: Sangmin asks her to call him Sunbeh which is a word used for older classmates or older coworker. It’s a term of respect.]

“How about we meet in the middle. Sunbeh oppa. How about that?”

“Do what you want…”

***

Woosh!

A tennis ball flew right by my ear. When I moved my chin to evade it, a second ball appeared as if it were waiting for me to do just that.

Smack!

“Keuk.”

“Sunbehoppa. You kind of suck at this.”

“Did you play baseball or something?”

“I was told you I was training to become an athlete. Didn’t I?”

“You didn’t. What sport?”

“Shot put.”

“Ah that’s why you have wide shoulders.”

Smack.

Keuk. She threw a hard one at my waist. I didn’t even see it coming. It was way faster than any of the ones she had been throwing before.

“It’s one of my insecurities, you know.”

“Whatever. Keep throwing at that same speed.”

Slap.

I lightly smacked myself on my cheek and focused. I saw her shoulder move. If I can’t see the ball, I just needed to watch for small movements in her body.

Woosh!

I barely evaded it this time. Getting into the groove of it, she started throwing the balls in earnest now one after the other. Even if they were just damn tennisballs, that wench was throwing them with a great amount of power behind each one. It felt like a shower of fists raining down on me.

Pop! Pop!

I avoided two balls in succession this time. I was getting used to their speed and could now almost follow them with my eyes. But this was only the beginning.

We did this for a while without speaking: her throwing and me dodging…or trying to. We didn’t rest to do anything but to collect the balls when the bag was emptied.

“Haa. Haa. Let’s rest a bit.”

“Just a little more.”

“I’m so tired.”

“I can’t let my sweat cool. Do you want to do drag this on for hours more when we can probably finish it in one.”

“Just one minute yeah? I haven’t used my shoulders in a while so they’re really feeling stiff right now.”

I couldn’t say anything to that but nod.

“But why are you doing this kind of training?”

“To raise my skill capacity.”

“Like this?”

“It’s a passive skill.”

“What is it?”

“Are you asking someone to tell you their skill?”

“Well who cares? It’s just me.”

“If you have the energy to say stupid things then let’s start throwing the ball again.”

“Chi. Fine. I’ll throw.”

She walked back to position, all the while muttering and threw the ball. I don’t know if it was because we rested, but the ball I had thought I gotten used to was once again a blur.

The ball popped on the wall behind me into a crowd of high school students entering the park.

Pop!

“Ka!”

Even though the ball had lost a lot of its power from hitting bouncing off the wall, the boy who got hit with it collapsed. I felt a bit amazed at myself for having been able to withstand getting hit by that type of ball over and over again.

“Shit! What the hell is this?”

A boy in a school uniform and bleached blonde boy yelled out as she looked our way. I guess I needed to at least apologize since it was our fault.

“I’m sorry. The ball seems to have bounced over here on accident.”

“You think I’m sorry cuts it? What are you going to do about this? Want me to call the police?”

“Hey! Who taught you to talk to an adult like that!”

Jung Sooah couldn’t keep quiet anymore and yelled out angrily. Why the hell was she yelling at them when she was the one who threw that fly ball?

The high school students smirked for a second before heading this way as a group. There were 10 of them.

“You stay behind me.”

I pushed Jung Sooah behind me.

“Why? Those no-mannered pieces of shit need to get beaten up into a pulp so they can learn how to speak to their elders.”

“Don’t try to show off your athletic skills and stay out of it. I’ll take of it.”

She made a huffing sound before stepping behind me. Yellow hair threw out a punch.

Woosh.

“Why are you dodging?”

“Before you throw out a punch, isn’t it good manners to at least try and talk it out first?”

“Go to hell!”

Woosh! Woosh!

He kept throwing punch after punch. Looking at his name tag, I saw his name was Lee Hansol. Am I doomed to meet Hansols forever?

Trip.

I hooked my foot over his leg as he was busy trying to connect a punch. He fell flat on his face before jumping right back up with a red face yelling, “Shit! Kill this asshole!”

Every one of those kids in the group ran forward to surround me in a circle. Though they were just high school kids, they were big enough to be called adults. I guess kids are eating well these days. Back in my days, I never had enough to eat so I didn’t grow too tall.

Woosh!

A punch flew at me from behind. I lowered my shoulder a bit and dodged it. Though there were ten of them, only four of them could attack me at one time. And they weren’t even trained hunters so they weren’t fighting as one in any sort of coordination either.

I just evaded all the attacks coming at me from all around. I didn’t really fight back but when one of them came at me to try to hold me, I unwittingly made a knee kick.

Pa!

“Ahhk! My nose!”

When he went down and started rolling around on the ground grabbing his nose, the rest of them ran at me with a renewed fire in their eyes. Though I was bigger than any of them, they probably thought they would win just from their sheer number. Even if they were only high schoolers, going up against 10 of them at once is not an easy thing. And it was almost impossible to keep from getting hurt without really fighting back.

If I really thought about it, this was a golden opportunity.

A great way to test out my new power ups.

If I knew this would happen, I wouldn’t have had to pay that girl $100 dollars to train me.

I bent my upper body back just as a kick barely grazed my nose. Not bad…but it had no force behind it. Even if I got hit with it, it wouldn’t faze me a bit.

Woosh! Woosh! Woosh!

“Shit!”

Yellow hair got down to pick up a rock the size of a fist and threw it. What an idiot. It would have probably been better if he just picked it up and hit me with it.

“Ah!”

The boy behind me yelled out before collapsing to the ground.

Hm. Guess that rock hit him when I dodged it. Well that sucks.

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