SOLO LEVELING NOVEL, CHAPTER 27

Sure, Jin-Woo was able to defeat the spider boss all by himself, so he’d be able to do something similar to other bosses as well.

But, when imagining only the two of them against the horde of monsters, just like back in that dungeon’s entrance with those insects, Yu Jin-Woo suddenly found himself unable to breathe.

Yu Jin-Ho became completely speechless, while Jin-Woo formed an expression that said, “I knew it.”

‘However, this is the best way.’

….The best, in order to catch both birds.

It’d be very hard to enter any freelancer-run raid teams as a Hunter ranked E. From the very first day he made up his mind to start making money in this profession, he was constantly reminded of this harsh reality.

Either he had to give up entering dungeons with his qualifications, or he had to create his own raid team. However, this kid was volunteering to form one for him. Wasn’t this a great opportunity, in other words?

“B-b-but, hyung-nim! You need at least ten people if we want to enter a C-ra…..”

“I’m pretty sure you’d find plenty of willing people when you say you’d pay them just for showing up to fill up the head count.”

Time to put to good use what he had learned from Hwang Dong-Seok, then.

If there were Hunters who didn’t want to fight with their lives on the line, but were in urgent need of cash, they would surely jump in with both feet at this golden opportunity.

Yu Jin-Ho’s expression became one of a scared cat, though.

“Wait…. Surely, you are not suggesting that us two will kill every single monster inside a dungeon, all the way up to the boss, are you?”

….In truth, it’d be only one person doing that, though.

“You got it.”

With this arrangement, Jin-Woo would be able to prevent the potential worst-case scenario of someone stealing his experience points, and the only person next to him would be Yu Jin-Ho, so he wouldn’t even need to worry about other people watching him all the time as well.

‘If it’s like that, then I’ll get to enjoy some serious power levelling, won’t I?’

2

On top of that, after all the raids were done and dusted, he’d get a nice little bonus of a wonderful building rolling right onto his lap. The only thing remaining now was him persuading Yu Jin-Ho.

And as expected, Yu Jin-Ho was very, very scared at the moment.

“Is-isn’t that way too dangerous, hyung-nim?!”

“You’re only looking at it from one way and not the other.”

“Eh?”

Jin-Woo beckoned the kid to come closer, so Yi Jin-Ho leaned forward.

“If no one else participates in hunting besides us, doesn’t that also mean no one will get hurt, as long as we’re okay?”

“O-of course.”

“For the first raid, you were like a third wheel being dragged along, so you couldn’t do anything about the incident that had happened, but think about for the moment the ramifications of your own raid team finishing up all 19 raids without a single casualty.”

Yu Jin-Ho’s eyes shot open right up.

If that’s the case….!!

If that was the case, then persuading his father would become one level easier.

Not only he’d be a D-rank Hunter, but the record of being the leader of a team that successfully performed 19 raids without a single incident would be added on top as well.

It’d be the definite proof of him being qualified to become the Guild Master. Nothing would be a better advertisement for himself than this, wouldn’t it?

Jin-Woo studied Yu Jin-Ho’s expression and smiled in satisfaction.

2

‘This kid…. He’s convinced now.’

From the word go, the person in need was Yu Jin-Ho.

As for Jin-Woo, he didn’t really need to go on a raid with Yu Jin-Ho, but still could enter dungeons via the Association giving him a call, or through the random boxes.

Yu Jin-Ho’s was thinking now.

Although it was a bit scary, if he succeeded in pulling this off, then just as Jin-Woo had implied, there would be so much he’d get in return.

When recalling the sight of Jin-Woo displaying his absolutely overwhelming might in battles from last time, Yu Jin-Woo realised that maybe, there wasn’t much to fret over at all.

Yu Jin-Ho finally made his mind up, albeit after some serious internal struggle.

“We’ll do it your way, hyung-nim. In that case, I’ll search for suitable teammates.”

“Very good.”

Jin-Woo nodded his head.

They had come to an understanding.

Since he was still in front of Jin-Woo, Yu Jin-Ho stopped feeling nervous and tight-chested, and displayed a bright smile.

‘I’ve managed to finally get hyung-nim on my side.’

For some reason, he was not feeling too scared of the upcoming raids.

A trustworthy comrade named Jin-Woo had joined him, and it’d be a bit easier to form a raid team now, too. As Jin-Woo had said, with the terms on offer, many would queue up in line just for a chance to participate.

5

‘With this, I’m one step closer to becoming the Master.’

Jin-Woo also smiled brightly as well.

‘Clean up as many C ranked dungeons by myself, and level up as quickly as possible.’

The two men exited the cafe with satisfied expressions.

3

***

After going their separate ways, Jin-Woo ran back home.

Well, he didn’t know when the Association would give him a call, after all. It had been over ten days since he was discharged from the hospital, so it’d not be so strange to hear about a Gate opening up in the vicinity.

The Association normally summoned Hunters two, three times a month to clear dungeons that appeared within this area.

One of the main reason why he only gave one hour to Yu Jin-Ho was that the call from the Association could come at any time.

‘For the time being, I can’t afford to miss even a rank E dungeon….’

He wanted to kill lots of monsters and raise his levels quickly.

How inconvenient it was not to have his smartphone around. What a relief that the new one should arrive in a few days’ time….

Jin-Woo pushed open the front door and entered.

‘…….’

The apartment was quiet.

It was in the middle of the week, so his little sister was still at school.

After confirming that there was no one at home, Jin-Woo opened the window displaying the Daily Quest.

‘I should get today’s rewards.’

Before he went out to meet up with Yu Jin-Ho, he had finished the day’s Daily Quest already. But there were too many eyes watching, so he had no choice but to delay receiving his rewards.

3

Well, he couldn’t really show off the sight of a blue light wrapping around his body as well as a box suddenly popping out from nowhere in the middle of the street, now could he?

Tti-ring!

[Daily Quest: Preparations to become strong]

Press-up, 100 times: complete (100/100)

Sit-up, 100 times: complete (100/100)

Squat, 100 times: complete (100/100)

Running, 10 km: complete (11/10)

2

[You’ve completed ‘Daily Quest: Preparations to become strong’.]

[Completion rewards have arrived.]

[Would you like to confirm?] (Y/N)

“Yeah…. Oh, hold up. Wait.”

Just like usual, Jin-Woo was about to receive his rewards, only to spot something strange and hurriedly stopped himself. His gaze stopped dead and remained fixed to the column of ‘Running’.

Running, 10 km: complete (11/10)

1

At first, he thought that he ran one kilometre more than necessary. However, the longer he thought about it, the stranger it seemed to him.

‘I’ve filled up my quota, so why did it keep recording the extra distance?’

Jin-Woo’s gaze became sharper.

Was this really nothing more than coincidence?

Jin-Woo got down to the floor and supported his weight on his arms. And then, his body rose up and down without a break.

However, his sight was fixed to the seemingly-empty air in front.

Tti-ring!

[You’ve completed one press-up.]

[Press-up 100 times: complete (111/100)]

Tti-ring!

[You’ve completed one press-up.]

[Press-up 100 times: complete (112/100)]

‘As I thought….’

‘Running’ wasn’t the only category that reflected the extra number of exercises performed. The count for ‘Press-up’ also kept climbing up.

Suddenly, he became rather curious just how much higher the numbers would count to.

Veins bulged on Jin-Woo’s arms.

Thanks to his enhanced Stats. He couldn’t feel his weight. Actually, his body felt as light as fuzzy hair.

Before long, the number hovering near the hundred mark climbed to 200.

Tti-ring!

[You’ve completed one press-up.]

[Press-up 100 times: complete (200/100)]

Tti-ring!

[You’ve completed one press-up.]

[Press-up 100 times: complete (200/100)]

The count stopped for sure at the 200 mark. He performed a few more press-ups just in case, but it didn’t want to go up any higher.

Both the sit-up and the squat also stopped counting at the 200 mark.

Press-up, 100 times: complete (200/100)

Sit-up, 100 times: complete (200/100)

Squat, 100 times: complete (200/100)

Running, 10 km: complete (11/10)

1

200, no more and no less.

It wasn’t just climbing up without an end, and no, it wasn’t as if the 100 mark was the end. There definitely was something here. His gut feeling was declaring as such.

What if there was another result waiting for him once he completed all the ‘over-counting’?

‘Let’s make sure.’

With much faster steps than usual, Jin-Woo exited the apartment.

The next 9 kilometres for the ‘Running’ column were filled up really quickly. When Jin-Woo arrived before his home once more, a new message popped up in his view.

Tti-ring!

[You’ve completed ‘Hidden Quest: Preparations to become strong’.]

[Completion rewards have arrived.]

[Would you like to confirm?] (Y/N)

The title of the quest hadn’t changed, but the type of the quest had changed to ‘Hidden Quest’ now.

His suspicion was proved to be correct.

Jin-Woo swallowed his saliva.

‘……Confirm.’

Tti-ring!

[The following rewards are available.]

Reward 1. Full recovery of the current physical condition

Reward 2. All Stats +3

Reward 3.

1) Blessed random box

Or

2) Cursed random box

[Would you like to collect them all?]

‘All Stats raised by 3!!’

His eyes shot open wide.

The rewards from the hidden quest proved to be really exceptional.

With all the Stats getting a three point boost, it was the same thing as his level rising up by three.

2

No, wait – his Stats might have risen, but since his level stayed the same, he had gained even more. Because, with higher Stats, raising his level would become that much easier.

But at the same time, he felt a bit fearful as well.

On one hand, he couldn’t help but hold a vague hope that, from today onwards, all the Daily Quest coming his way could be converted to Hidden Quests, instead.

‘However, if the rewards are this big….’

Then, the odds of the Daily Quests coming to an end were incredibly high as well.

Also, if the Hidden Quest was something only available for just this once, then that meant he had to be extra careful when choosing the third reward.

Reward 3.

1) Blessed random box

Or

2) Cursed random box

This would be his first time having to choose his reward.

If he chose one, then he’d lose the other one.

‘So, I wouldn’t be able to see one of the two forever, is that about right?’

Just taking a single look at their names, it was rather obvious which one he needed to select, but…

But, this also could be a trap, as well.

“Collect the third reward.”

Tti-ring!

[You must choose between one of the two available random boxes.]

[Blessed random box]

Presents the player with the item he wants.

[Cursed random box]

Presents the player with the item he needs.

1

[Which one will you choose?]

Their explanations were exceedingly simple. And that made choosing even harder.

If there were no explanations to begin with, he’d have chosen the ‘blessed’ random box in a heartbeat. But now that he had read the dang explanations, it felt like he’d still end up missing out regardless of which one he chose.

‘A thing that I want and a thing that I need….’

Just from those explanations, both of them sounded like a good deal.

‘But, there’s definitely a trap here.’

The thing he ‘wanted’ would be something he wanted because he recognised its usefulness to his current situation.

However, the thing he ‘needed’ might not necessarily be like that. Something that he may need but didn’t want could come out, instead.

For instance, when needing a powerful weapon, he might end up getting a horrifying bomb that could completely blow himself and all his teammates into smithereens in one go.

‘That’s why it’s called the cursed random box, right?’

So, he’d go with the lower risk selection.

In situations where the end results of a choice weren’t known, this would be the wisest way to minimise the amount of regret felt later on.

Jin-Woo finally made his decision after a cool-headed weighing of pros and cons.

“Blessed random box.”

A small box slowly materialized in front of his feet.

Jin-Woo picked it up.

‘Could it be….?’

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