Evolution Theory of the Hunter (ETH)
Volume 1 Chapter 8
I walked through the dungeon slowly with Kim Youngchul. The stalactites all along the cave walls were sparkling.
“How do you feel about your first time visiting a dungeon?”
“Scary. And cruel.”
“But it is something that is necessary as well.”
“I know. I know that if we don’t clear the dungeons once in a while the monsters would leave it and come to the outside world. How about you? Aren’t you scared? You’re not a hunter so you could die easily. If it were me, I would be too afraid to do it.”
“I am used to it so it’s alright.”
“Do you think I’ll be like that too?”
“Just think of it as preparing yourself early for something you will have to do later on anyway.”
“You mean military service?”
“Yes. If you become a hunter higher than a level 3 then by law you are to be drafted to the military.”
It was normal for hunters higher than level 3 to serve as National Security instead of serving at the military. This was to keep the cost of hiring hunters low while still maintaining the country’s safety. It was a win win situation. While the hunter is placed in a comfortable station, they are asked to hunt once a week to keep the country safe.
“Well, if it’s something I have to do anyway, isn’t it the same if I just put it off for later?”
“I guess you can think of it that way too.”
I nodded my head. We walked for a long time without saying a word.
A negative thought kept niggling at the back of my mind.
“Is there something you’re worried about?”
“More than something I’m worried about…there is something that concerns me a bit.”
“What is it?”
“Well I heard a bad rumor before coming in here, actually.”
“Rumor? About Hansol?”
I shook my head. Though I didn’t know exactly what their relationship was, I couldn’t go spewing nonsense I could regret later.
I couldn’t hang myself over something that wasn’t even confirmed.
One minute Kim Youngchul was looking at my face carefully and the next he fell atop of me. Anyone could see that this was all a horrible act.
“…What are you doing?”
“Ow ow ow. I think I just sprained my leg and can no longer walk.”
“It looked as if you fell on purpose…”
“No no. I just twisted it.”
I calmly stared at him.
This little kid, was he doing this out of concern for me?”
“Hm..well. I guess now that I look at it more carefully, it does look a bit swollen.”
“Yeah. So let’s go back alright?”
I smirked a little and crouched in front of him.
“Huh? What are you doing?”
This kid, I couldn’t tell if he was smart or dumb.
I piggybacked Kim Youngchul and ran to the spot everyone was resting. It was already 20 minutes since we had left. If something had happened, it would’ve already been over before I could arrive.
I could hear a bunch of people screaming at the top of their lungs.
“You let go right now. I’m going to kill him!”
“Keu keu keu. Miss Porter. You’re much too strong no?”
“Shit. Look at her breasts.”
“Hey! Hold her properly! She keeps moving around!”
Ah shit. Shit. Shit. I thought it couldn’t be true but it was? Shit.
What I saw as soon as I arrived was Song Hansol sitting on top of the girl porter who was squirming with all her might on the ground. The two other hunters were on either side of her, holding her arms down while making piggy grunting noises. Mr. Jung was just in the corner observing everything while smoking a cigarette without a care in the world.
“What are you doing!”
I let Kim Youngchul on the ground before running toward the girl porter.
“Damn. This bastard. Ruining everything.”
Song Hansol got up. The other hunters moved away too.
Judging from the situation, luckily I wasn’t too late.
“Are you alright?”
“..Do I look alright?”
The girl responded with a quavering voice. Her face was covered in fresh bruises. Her lip was busted and blood was freely trickling out.
I raised my head to stare daggers at Song Hansol.
“What is the meaning of this?”
Song Hansol was not looking at me. He looked at Kim Youngchul and said.
“Kim Youngchul. You piece of shit. Didn’t I tell you to go around the dungeon? It took you just 20 minutes to go around the whole dungeon? Huh?”
“I, I was going but I hurt my leg…”
“It looks fine to me.”
“Ah, it hurts. It’s swollen so I can’t even walk on it right.”
He responded over hiccups. It was obvious to anyone that he was lying. And quite horribly too.
“Ah. Whatever. Youngchul you go over there for a minute.”
“I said go!”
Song Hansol was almost screeching now. Kim Youngchul squirmed a bit before walking towards Mr. Jung.
“Mr. Jung take Youngchul and leave.”
“I, I don’t want to go.”
“You want to die? What did I just say? You think I’m a chump?”
“No..that’s not it…”
Song Hansol smacked the stalactites in front of him hard.
They came off in pieces almost as big as his arm and fell to the ground of the cave.
“Mr. Jung! Hurry up and take him and leave!”
“Ah, Yes. Yes sir.”
“And until I come out, don’t come in here.”
Mr. Jung took the resistant Youngchul and left the cave. I held the frightened girl and waited to see what would come next.
It wasn’t going to be good. If Kim Youngchul and Mr. Jung were gone, there was no one to stop this crazed maniac.
Song Hansol gave a sigh as if he couldn’t believe any of this was happening.
The other idiot hunters were scared too, judging from the situation, and kept their mouths shut.
Then finally Song Hansol spoke.
“You. Shit. You’re interesting. You know that?”
He had taken his sword out.
“Have you ever killed a person before?”
“Let’s do it today.”
Song Hansol turned to see the two idiots’ reactions before coming towards us. There was nowhere for us to go except closer to the wall behind us.
Shiiiiit! Is this bastard serious?!
First things first, my eyes landed on the sparking golden bow as I searched around for a weapon of some kind. Kim Youngchul had left his Athena’s bow in my backpack.
This thoughtful little kid.
I hurriedly ran toward it and grabbed it.
As soon as pulled on the string of the bow, an arrow appeared.
“I’m pretty sure you already know how powerful this bow is. If you don’t want to get hurt, we should just drop the whole thing right now.”
“This bastard…if you don’t want to die right now you’ll drop that bow.”
“I’m not an idiot.”
I swallowed my nonexistent spit and observed him to see what he would do next. Song Hansol was fast. If I took my eyes off him for even a second, I was a goner.
A small smile crept into the creep’s face.
“Yeh? But whatever shall we do? I’m not an idiot either.”
“That arrow. It doesn’t kill people. Did you think I wouldn’t know that?”
He knew it. Of course he knew. He was in the same party as the owner.
“So that’s all you know? You don’t know the rest then?”
“What do you mean?”
“You know how much this bow is worth right?”
“It’s worth more than you’ll ever see in your poverty-ridden lifetime, that’s for sure.”
“What do you think will happen if I die?”
I pulled out a small dagger from my pocket and put it next to my neck. It was something I usually pack with me just in case.
“If you die in a dungeon then the item that you have…wait a minute. You’re trying to hold that bow hostage?”
“Correctomundo. I know you could care less for my life, but this bow. If this bow disappears then it’s a big deal right?”
Athena’s bow was worth 20 million dollars. You wouldn’t do anything rash just because you were mad and risk throwing away 20 million dollars…unless you were either crazy or retarded.
I prayed to the gods that he wasn’t that crazy. Or stupid.
It was quiet. Park Jungebeh finally spoke.
“Hey. Let’s drop it. Shit. There’s no point in doing this here. We can beat the crap out of him outside or something.”
“Yeh. There’s no point in doing something and risk losing that bow. We’re going to get our asses handed to us if we lose it.”
“Shit! Shut up! Let me think.”
Song Hansol tapped his finger before making a nasty smile.
I’m just saying, but that smile was the most disgusting looking one I’ve ever seen in all my life. No lie. I swear.
That bastard moved so fast at that moment. I scooted back from surprise.
But his aim wasn’t to get me but to get the girl porter who was collapsed there on the ground.
“What are you doing? She has nothing to do with any of this!”
“Be quiet. Sooah. It’ll all be over soon.”
Song Hansol put his sword’s blade to her neck and started to tease.
“Now. Your life or her life. Which one?”
“Weren’t you going to commit suicide anyway? If you’re going to do it, then do the world a favor and do it.”
There was about 5 meters of distance between Song Hansol and me. No matter how fast I moved, there was no way I could stop this psycho. No, I wouldn’t even be able to shake off these two morons on either side of me to begin with.
“Then. Just drop that bow and kill yourself. I’m telling you, now this is a fact, if you kill yourself while holding that bow I WILL kill her for sure. Ah Ah. Now what are you going to do? Hmm?”
“Don’t make me laugh. If this bow disappears, we both know you’re in for it. And if two porters die, you think it won’t bite you in the ass?”
“I’m sure it will. But so what? You think I’ll go to prison over it?”
“If two porters die, even if you are from money, you won’t get away with it scot free.”
“It seems you don’t know how things work. This is a dungeon. No matter who dies, it’ll be hard to find out why. You could have died at the hands of a goblin. Who’s to say otherwise?”
“This piece of shit…”
“Keu Keu Keu. Cuss all you want. You won’t be able to cuss anymore in a short while.”
As soon as Song Hansol gestured with his chin, both gorillas started heading toward me.
Then everything went dark.
“What the hell?”
Song Hansol looked around in bewilderment. Ah. I know what happened. The dungeon had reset.
Wait. The dungeon reset? How is that possible? A dungeon can only reset when the entire party leaves.
A sudden roar rung out in the darkness. It was a sound I’d heard before.
“Wait a minute…”
On the opposite side of the cave was a huge monster thudding about. I could make it our from the torchlight. It was a big monster over 3 meters tall. It was a similar class as the monster we had met a few hours ago.
“What, what is that?”
“I don’t know. It can’t be a level 1 monster though right?”
Song Hansol was breathing shallowly from fear.
I couldn’t figure out how and why that monster appeared here. But I can’t say I hated it. I mean. Could it get any worse from here?
I pulled the bow. As soon as I did, a golden arrow appeared. Song Hansol stared at me with wide eyes.
Ha ha. I liked that look on him.
“Yes. You shithead.”
I shot the arrow.