SOLO LEVELING NOVEL, CHAPTER 236
I ALONE LEVEL-UP CHAPTER 236
“T-the situation in Canada is still….”
The Hunter in charge of communication stuttered like a broken clock. Jin-Woo, feeling genuinely frustrated now, pulled out his smartphone, instead.
There was only one person who could give him the most accurate information as quickly as possible. Jin-Woo searched through his contact list before tapping on the contact number of the Special Agent in charge of the Hunter Bureau’s Asia Branch, ‘Adam White’.
With the current timing being what it was, he was briefly worried whether his call would get through or not, but then…
– “Seong Jin-Woo Hunter-nim!”
A really tense voice came out from the phone’s speaker. There was no time to mouth a proper greeting, so he jumped straight to the main topic.
“Adam? Can you tell me what’s happening with the super-massive Gate in Canada….”
It was then – he heard a loud cheering of “Waaaah-!!” coming out from the phone’s speaker, as well.
Although it was a soft, almost inaudible background noise even his highly-developed hearing could barely catch, that was more than enough for him. Jin-Woo urgently asked over the phone, his expression harder than a stone now.
“Where are you right now??”
– “I’m at the location of Canada’s super-massive Gate to provide support, alongside other agents.”
“And why are you even there in the first place?!”
Jin-Woo’s voice cracked up from agitation, and that caused Adam to reply in a surprised voice, quite obviously failing to hide his fluster.
– “We simply couldn’t watch the events in Canada unfold as if it’s unrelated to us…. Not just myself, but many other agents are currently assigned to deal with this matter, and…”
Adam White then added that his current location was quite a distance away from where the Canadian Hunters were, so if something bad were to happen, he should be able to escape relatively easily.
Hearing that explanation, Jin-Woo was suddenly overcome with sheer frustration that couldn’t be described in words.
‘The things I’ve warned everyone of….’
None of these people seemed to have understood the scale of the enemy just yet.
However, Adam still being unscathed could mean that his prediction was wrong. Jin-Woo collected himself and calmly asked his next question.
“What about the Gate…? Has there been any changes yet?”
– “No. It seems that the inside was empty, just like every other Gates. It’s really quiet here in the location, actually.”
What a relief that was.
Even after taking into consideration the world pointing their fingers of ridicule and blame at him for his warning being false, he could still breathe a sigh of relief.
His prediction seemed to be wrong.
But, then this happened.
– “Uh? Please hold.”
After hearing Adam’s voice that sounded uneasy for some reason, a creeping dread travelled down Jin-Woo’s spine. Why did his ominous forebodings always have to come true?
Adam quickly explained the current situation.
– “Right now! Something is making its descent. Uh? Uh, uh? A person… A person is descending from the Gate!”
Jin-Woo’s heart that regained its calm a few seconds ago began racing faster and faster again.
‘Just one… person?’
All the hair on the back of his head stood up. Jin-Woo’s voice rose up really high.
“The hair colour!”
Adam said that his current location was quite far away from the Hunters. In that case, it’d be impossible for him to see the creepy eyes of that non-human creature.
“What is the hair colour of that person??”
– “H-hang on….”
Adam’s voice of borrowing special equipment from an agent nearby could be heard for a brief moment then.
– “Black and red colours are mixed together… It’s reddish black.”
Oh my god.
Jin-Woo’s eyes widened.
“Adam! Run away from there, now!! Doesn’t matter if it’s a car, whatever, get on it, and escape from there right now!!”
– “Pardon me??”
Before Adam could ask what was going on here…
A loud explosion so horrifying that its brutality could be heard even through the phone’s speaker resounded out next.
– “Oh, dear lord!!”
Adam’s voice had transformed into a scream now.
As if he had regained his wits for a brief moment there from Jin-Woo’s shout, Adam began muttering in a tearful voice.
– “H-Hunters….!! The top-ranked Hunters in the front row all got turned into charcoal in less than a second!! T-the flames burning on their bodies are still raging on!! Oh, my god!!”
“Adam! Adam, listen to me! It’s going to be alright, so start running now! You gotta escape from there as soon as possible!”
Jin-Woo tried to calm Adam down, but unfortunately, the American agent seemed half-crazed by then.
– “Oh, Jesus….”
Even though he began sobbing softly, he still explained everything he could see and hear to Jin-Woo as if doing that was his final duty.
– “Dragons, Dragons from the sky…. Dragons and other monsters are pouring down endlessly from the Gate!! All sorts of monsters mixed in the horde!! Ah, ah, how could something like this even be…..”
The emotions of sorrowful determination could be heard from his voice.
Jin-Woo couldn’t just sit back and listen anymore; despite the risk, he connected his senses with the Shadow Soldier inserted into Adam’s shadow.
When he did, he got to see the spectacle the American agent got to see, as well.
It was as if he was seeing the scenes of the apocalypse.
From the wide-open Gate, messengers of death and destruction were pouring out in droves, dyeing the heavens black. The skies and the ground were being rapidly filled up by horrifying monsters. The roars of beasts rocked the world, and the flying creatures and their powerfully-beating wings dominated the sky.
Hunters gathered here to fight against them had all been turned into ash even before the creatures landed on Earth from a single flick of the Sovereign of Destruction’s hand, who had arrived before everyone else.
The remaining people were trying to run away in pure pandemonium, but unfortunately, their odds of escaping from there seemed pretty dismal at this point.
He should be able to save one person… Adam White.
The High Orc Shadow Soldier currently being controlled by Jin-Woo reached out and grasped the wrist of the deeply-terrified Adam.
He screamed out in fear after seeing that High Orc kitted out in black armour, but he soon saw the shadow of a familiar man within the eyes of this monster.
“S-Seong Jin-Woo Hunter-nim??”
There was no time to explain the situation. That could be done after he had been safely transported out of there. Still possessing the High Orc, Jin-Woo got ready to drag Adam White into the shadow below his feet, but then…
….Something approached them before anyone had noticed it and grabbed the shoulder of the High Orc real tightly.
The High Orc looked back in a hurry and spotted a middle-aged man with a pair of bizarre reptilian eyes glaring in his direction.
[Where do you think you are going, oh, child of Shadow?]
The middle-aged man opened his mouth wide. A truly gob-smacking level of power suddenly began gathering inside his mouth, then.
Wordlessly, Jin-Woo shifted his gaze back to Adam.
At that moment, as if he had realised something just then, Adam White stared deeply at Jin-Woo – no, more correctly, the High Orc Jin-Woo was controlling.
The Breath attack pouring out from the middle-aged man’s mouth erased the Shadow Soldier completely out of existence.
Jin-Woo was beset with the sensation of his entire being set on fire and his body powerfully shuddered from the cruel pain.
He was connected to the High Orc with his mind only, so he could escape from there no problem, but it was a different story for Agent Adam White.
The American man’s final moments Jin-Woo saw…..
Recalling Adam’s eyes as he turned into scorched ash in the flames, Jin-Woo began gnashing his teeth in pure rage.
He slammed his fist on the ground, causing the world to shake like the advent of an earthquake.
‘God d*mn it….’
He should’ve expected it.
He should’ve guessed that, once the enemy knew they were going to face off against the Shadow Army – which got stronger the longer the battle wore on – they would then try to decrease the number of the potential battle locations down to an absolute minimum and gather their combat force into one chosen location, instead.
The Sovereigns even went so far to generate all eight portals as if they were sticking to their original plan.
‘They gathered their forces in the Gate that’s the furthest away from me.’
What a painful oversight on his part this was.
His plan of increasing his Shadow Soldiers while other locations were being attacked and then make his counterattack went down the crapper in a spectacular fashion now.
Liu Zhigeng realised from Jin-Woo’s expression that something terrible had happened and cautiously approached the latter’s side.
“Seong Jin-Woo Hunte….”
It was then.
The Hunter in charge of the communication belatedly received the news and, with a completely pale face, hurriedly ran towards the duo.
“H-hunters…. Canada, Canada is….”
The rest of his sentence didn’t need to be heard at this point.
When Jin-Woo glared upwards, the Gate covering up the sky was already disappearing from the view as if it had served its purpose now.
A lone Shadow Soldier and a human standing next to it both evaporated into ash. This was the power of the Breath of Destruction capable of erasing even the soldier of immortality.
The Dragon Emperor looked at the results of its actions, the piles upon piles of ash beneath its feet, with a great deal of satisfaction and soon spun on its heels.
It now saw the soldiers of the Chaos World, trapped within the gap between dimensions and unable to wield their powers properly for far too long, enjoy their freedom with reckless abandon like fish meeting water.
The Dragon Emperor slowly closed its eyes and opened its arms wide to enjoy its own freedom.
The pounding heartbeats of all living things….
And their dying screams….
The noises of all creations being destroyed continued to ring out like a wonderful symphony.
It was then.
Accompanied by Ancient-grade Dragons powerfully landing on the ground, two other Sovereigns gently landed in front of them. Right behind them, there were several Marshals of the invading armies.
Every single one of them politely knelt before the strongest Sovereign in existence, the Dragon Emperor.
The creature in the appearance of a middle-aged man formed a meaningful smile. The Mana trembling within the atmosphere was finally theirs. Mana let loose in this world in order to fortify it served to also enhance the strengths of those who could wield it.
Indeed, their ‘preparation’ had been completed now, as well.
The Dragon Emperor let out a roar of laughter powerful enough to shake the land and shouted out towards the monsters still pouring out from the Gate.
[Destroy everything! That is the one and only glorious mission bestowed upon us!]
Hundreds of Dragons flew above its head next, and vicious flames rained down from their maws to burn away every single thing on the ground.
The director of the Hunter Bureau, David Brennan, found himself sitting alone in his office with all lights switched off.
While ignoring the endless streams of reports flooding in to his desk as well as the incoming calls from the higher-ups, he slowly sipped a glass of expensive alcohol he’d been saving for his oldest daughter’s wedding day.
Inside his darkened office, images inside the muted TV screen flickered and danced. Monsters could be seen briefly in those images.
He knew why the TV station covering the breaking news was playing the exact same footage over and over again.
‘Because they are all dead by now.’
….Just like every single Hunter Bureau agent sent there to support the Canadian Hunters.
Not one person would have survived that.
Hunters, agents, reporters and cameramen filming the scene.
Every one of them, dead.
Thankfully, though, a cameraman risked his life and did his job, resulting in short footage that at least helped everyone with understanding the scale of the enemy’s invading force.
“It’s all over!!”
The director suddenly yelled out like a mad man.
Hunter Seong Jin-Woo wasn’t exaggerating back then.
Dragons alone numbered in the hundreds. Behind those, Giants, beasts, and insect-like things rushed out like tidal waves. They were creatures of calamity that mankind simply could never fight against.
He now understood the reason why Hunter Seong Jin-Woo repeatedly told everyone in no uncertain terms to distance themselves as far away from the Gates.
This world was now over.
“What a crazy b*stard!”
Didn’t Seong Jin-Woo go to China with his summons in order to fight against creatures like that? How could he even think about fighting against them when he knew that such monsters existed?
If it was at all possible, David Brennan wouldn’t have minded cracking open the Korean Hunter’s head and take a look at his brain.
‘Before that, though, I should crack my head open into several pieces first.’
Evidently finding something really funny now, the director formed a grin and pulled out a single photograph from his inner jacket.
It was a photo of himself, forming a clearly-annoyed expression, as well as his daughter wearing a party hat.
‘This was when she was around sixteen, wasn’t it?’
If only he knew that she’d become a victim of a dungeon break a year later, then he’d have taken lots more photos like this one, even if that meant giving up on his job.
Thinking about there being only one photo containing both him and his daughter, made this father’s chest numb from his belated shock and sorrow.
Yet another glass became empty.
After burying his daughter, he never expected to crack open the lid of this booze, but here he was. He smacked his lips in bitterness and shook the bottle around a little.
Before he had noticed it, it was almost half-empty now.
“Right…. It’s all over.”
Almost half of Canada had been wiped off the map the last time he bothered to listen to the reports. That was only a rough estimation, though.
No one could know for sure how fast those creatures were marching towards the United States.
The director angrily loosened his tie.
“I won’t die by your hands.”
Back then, he swore on his daughter’s grave that he’d get his revenge against the monsters, that he’d not die at the hands of these d*mnable things. At the bare minimum, he’d go out from this world in his own terms.
Such a determination filled his head and he was soon standing next to the window sill where the distant ground below could be seen.
The chilly wind was brushing past his sweat-soaked forehead.
‘….I hope that my daughter is waiting for me where I’m about to go.’
He squeezed his tearful eyes shut and was about to leap to the ground, but then….
….Someone suddenly grabbed his shoulder.
He nearly jumped out of his shoes from sheer fright and quickly looked back with his eyes wide open, only to discover a man with a very familiar face standing there.
“H-Hunter S-Seong Jin-Woo???”
As the director’s face paled like a man seeing a scary ghost, Jin-Woo quietly spoke to him.
“I’m looking for something.”
< Chapter 236 > Fin.