Evolution Theory of the Hunter (ETH)
Volume 1 Chapter 34
“You must be alert in places like this because you never know where a monster will pop out from.”
I said as I got out the car and looked around. My body was aching all over from sitting crammed in a cramped car for over two hours.
“Even if there’s a dungeon caretaker nearby?”
Jung Sooah asked. I pointed at the surrounding reeds.
“There are monsters that hide in those. Even if there are caretakers, this is a lot of ground to cover. They can’t be at all places at all times. I hear that once in awhile they do put fire to the reeds but that only helps for a moment. Those damn reeds grow back in less than a month.”
“That is fast. Do reeds usually grow that fast?”
“Living organisms near dungeons grow much faster than anywhere else. You know that.”
“Ha. Then does that mean if you live near a dungeon, you’ll grow old faster?”
Jung Sooah said with wide surprised eyes as she took one step back away from the dungeon.
“There’s no effect on the human body. I’ve been doing this for a good and long time now and I’m fine.”
“I see…if things grow real fast then farms should do splendidly!”
I sighed at Jung Sooah’s words.
How is it that this girl knows absolutely nothing.
“The Chinese have already thought of that and are taking advantage of it like crazy. They’re now the driving force in agriculture.”
“Then why don’t any of the other countries use the same method?”
“Don’t belittle it just because it’s farming – it actually requires highly advanced technology. If crops are harvested again and again on the same land, the quality of the soil will deplete quite quickly. But in China, they were able to solve this issue in some secret way.”
“Do you really see?”
“Half of it. Anyway, college grads are pretty amazing. How do you know so much?”
“How does knowing this have anything to do with being a college grad? You can search it on the internet easily.”
“It looks like everyone is slowly starting to show up.”
Han Joonseok said.
The total number of people due to appear were 31. Eun Hyunjoon’s team ‘Mercenary’ had group 1, group 2, and group 3 – and there were 10 from group 3 here today. Amongst the new applicants were 6 from my team and 15 other potential recruits. I spotted a familiar full face helmet in the crowd.
This person acted as the overseer of those who appeared today. Seeing his equipment, I could tell he had acquired some serious upgrades from the last time I saw him.
Looks to be at least a million dollars?
“It’s been a while.”
“I did here that you would be here today.”
“It seems your equipment did some major improving.”
“Ah. You mean this? This came from joining the team. It’s kind of a rental – you could say. If I do well, then it’s possible to get even better ones.”
“It’s amazing that you are already acting as an overseer when it hasn’t been long since you joined the team.”
“It was all luck. I took a couple of tests and received some good marks. Truthfully this is a sort of test too. It’s not an easy thing to control and coordinate more than 30 people, you see.”
“That’s true. But how will this work?”
If we were to be headed by one overseer, it could very well we that we could only go in 10 people at a time. This was something I experienced when I was a part of the weasel’s party.
“I figured that I would group together teams who have good chemistry or fit well with one another. Since you said that you already have a team, you guys can be grouped as is.”
“Hm. So it won’t be based on positions?”
“Honestly, that would be the best option but I can’t assess a hunter’s true ability in a position just yet so…I feel things might run more smoothly with groups who are already familiar with one another’s ability.”
“Hm. That makes sense.”
It was true that though we could give our stats to them and have them arrange groups in that manner, stats weren’t everything. Think of manager Kim, for example. He was supposed to be a level 2 magician, but his ability was so unpredictable and volatile depending on his mood that most of the time his skill did not work. And then there’s me. The prime example. So it made sense he would group us this way. Better chemistry would bring out a person’s best potential.
“Basically, all of the main attacks will be coming from us. You guys will be our support and will follow our instructions.”
We were all divided into 5 teams. The 10 group 3 mercenaries were one team. My members and I were one team. And the 15 leftover people were divided into 3 teams.
As soon as we entered Baeksapyoung dungeon, we were met with a vast terrain of grasslands. Unlike the surrounding areas of the dungeon that was covered in reeds, this area was overrun with weeds that covered over our feet. The flat terrain allowed us to see the hills and valleys up in the distance.
The first monster we met was a lizard man. It was weaker in strength compared to an ork, but it made up for it with its agility and hard as steel scaly skin that was very difficult to pierce. Its weapon of choice – hand held harpoon. One attack from this was usually fatal.
“Why did our first monster have to be a lizard man…”
Eum Hyunjoon’s face grew dark. In instances where the manpower was plenty but the skills were lower, it was much better to go up against an ork. Orks tended to use just their strength to overwhelm their opponents so big groups worked fairly well.
However, Lizardmen were a different story. They had high defensive power, and a botched attack will just simply bounce off its skin without inflicting any damage. Eum Hyunjoon looked to me and said.
“Currently, excluding the mercenary team, the only person who can inflict any damage on this guy would probably be you, Mr. Jeon Sangmin. Everyone else should spread out and try to distract him while Mr. Sangmin goes in for a strike. So, to conclude, you all will be support and distraction, my team and I will be going in head on, and Mr. Sangmin will deal the blow.
After going over the battle plan we split up and got into position. There were 5 lizardmen in view. The first to move were the only two magicians in the group who cast a spell. Manager Kim’s sleep spell was able to put one lizardman into slumber while the missionary team’s magician had cast another spell, ‘frenzy’, which made another lizardman go crazy.
I had heard that sometimes spells may rub off on just one portion of a monster but this was the first time I saw it with my own eyes. Three of the remaining lizardmen were rooted to the stop as their feet have fallen asleep.
Eum Hyunjoon wordlessly made finger gestures to signal the dealers to begin their attack. Five members of the mercenary team collectively shot out arrows and spells.
Pa pa pang!
I saw a magic missile among one of the spells. It seemed there was a member of that team who also used that type of spell.
I could hear the angry slithering sound characteristic or lizardmen at the same time 3 magic missiles flew one after the other to hit that same monster. It went down in a heap. I guess it was a level 1 missile. Even with a low level spell, you are still able to bring down a higher level monster if you have weakened or pierced its skin beforehand.
I kept hearing the sound of level 1 arrows bouncing off the lizardmen’s armor. Of the five monsters, one was still asleep and the other was caught up in a craze and attacking one of the remaining three monsters. Of the three monsters unable to move about freely, one of them had been hit with the magic missiles and was out of commission.
Eum Hyunjoon ran toward the last lizardman that was still cognizant of what was going on and pushed it back with his shield.
Though it was similar in size with Eum Hyunjoon, the lizardman grew significantly offbalance and teered. Immediately, the close range attackers of the missionary team rushed to its side.
“Mr. Jeon Sangmin! Get that other one!”
I sprinted toward the monster Eum Hyunjoon was pointing at. The lizardman that had been hit by the missiles was back up and was running toward Eum Hyunjoon.
Two arrows whistled through the air toward that monster. It was Han Joonseok and Bae Yeongyoung. They couldn’t inflict any damage but they could distract it.
The lizardman turned to look my way. As I closed the distance, the harpoon came flying at me with frightening force and speed.
I barely dodged it as I drew my longsword and stabbed out.
Force is the product of mass times acceleration. This meant the mass of me and my armor times a speed of 55km/s.
The lizardman’s body flew backwards about 10 steps.
That monster was now still. I turned and went to the monster that Eum Hyunjoon was fighting. I held it from behind.
Right before it could go crazy to try and escape my hold, I stabbed it with my bloodysword in the back of its neck. A green tinted fluid started spouting out. The sword, indeed, started turning the same color.