SOLO LEVELING NOVEL, CHAPTER 52

What was the meaning of this sudden slap to the back of his head?

Everything was going well, so why did ‘Necromancer’ pop out instead of the expected ‘Assassin’??

Jin-Woo dazedly stared at the message. He even rubbed his eyes several times, but nothing changed.

[Your Class has been set as ‘Necromancer’.]

The message still floated up there, unchanging.

He couldn’t believe it at first, then he became really angry next.

‘I’ve never even touched the Intelligence Stat, so what the hell?!’

Just how did he end up with a rare class not even found among countless Mage-type Hunters in the world??

From the moment Jin-Woo awoke as a rank E Hunter, he was always a close-quarters fighter. With the exception of the
steel longsword, he always used daggers, and the skills he got until now were perfectly suited for the role of an assassin.

That was why he hadn’t even thought of the possibility that his class would end up belonging to a different type altogether.

It was a magic-type, no less… No, more than that, a Necromancer!!

His knowledge of different classes came from video games, but even then, he knew enough about what being a
Necromancer entailed.

A gloomy-looking mage, and an army of undead following that dude.

No matter how much he thought about it, that image just didn’t correlate to him whatsoever.

Jin-Woo frowned deeply and shook his head.

‘….Let’s calm down, first.’

Even if his thoughts were complicated, his responses should be calm.

Being calm and cool-headed were Jin-Woo’s ultimate weapons. He controlled his rage and regained his cool head soon
afterwards.

‘Hang on, isn’t this….’

Denial, then rage.

He suddenly felt like he was acting like a patient who just heard the diagnosis of terminal illness, and was going through the
so-called five stages of grief.

‘Rage… then, it’s supposed to be negotiation, is it? Or was it compromise?’

Of course, there was no way he’d be allowed to negotiate or come to a compromise with the System.

If he were to think about the advantages of being a Necromancer, then…. just as the System alluded to, he could create his
own army? About that much?

‘Well, the problem here is that army will consist of skeletons and rotting corpses.’

If he walked around with such an army, the whole world would be up in arms in no time.

Hunters were already the objects of aspiration and fear, yet he was being asked to become a Hunter who could lead
around an army of the departed….

Never mind the question of this class being suitable to him or not, he wasn’t even confident of handling the fallout from that.

Tti-ring.

[Will you accept this Class?]

The System demanded his answer.

What a relief that was.

‘I can still say yes or no…..’

Jin-Woo spat out a sigh.

If the Class wasn’t forced down his throat, then that meant there was another opportunity for him. If he still had another
shot, then there was no reason to sweat so much right now.

Jin-Woo gladly (?) refused the suggestion.

“No way.”

When he did that, the message asked him again.

[The ‘Necromancer’ is a hidden class. Will you still refuse?]

Although it was asking the same thing for the second time, he found himself unable to quickly answer back.

He was now hesitating.

‘A hidden class… is it?’

That term might sound like something straight out of a video game, but still, there were Hunters with rare and strange
abilities even in reality.

Such as, Hunters who could create ‘Shields’, or buff others. Or, even…

‘….The Master of White Tiger Guild can apparently transform into a monster, too, according to the rumours.’

All those Hunters with rare and strange abilities were now enjoying a great deal of special treatment after being scouted by
the biggest Guilds out there.
‘Could this hidden class thing be the same thing as the special abilities those Hunters possess?’

If that were the case….

‘This could be an opportunity, instead.’

Suddenly, such a thought popped into his head. The System did say something about this just now.

‘I thirst for power, and that’s why it’s recommending the Class of Necromancer to me.’

In other words, the Class of Necromancer had the potential to be truly powerful.

When considering the fact that most of the Hunters with rare skills happen to belong to ‘support type’, this could be seen as
quite an encouraging thing for him, indeed.

A Hunter with a rare skill that could directly enter any battle.

His heart began beating just a little bit faster just from thinking about that.

‘If I could only get to experience the Class of Necromancer just for a bit, I wouldn’t even need to weigh my options this
much.’

However, would anything in this world be that easy?

There was no way the matters of this world would revolve according to his wishes, and worse still, he had never heard of
anyone possessing an ability similar to that of a necromancer.

The thing was, one wouldn’t be able to find a mage who commanded its own army, to begin with.

Just as his thoughts ended there…

‘…..Oh.’

Jin-Woo took a sweeping look at all the broken remnants of the knights strewn about this place.

‘Those mages!’

One could say that those mages in the Class Change Quest were using roughly the same ability as a Necromancer.

These knights were their army, in other words.

‘For sure….’

It was certainly very difficult to fight all those knights who attacked him with complete disregard for their own lives.

If he failed to figure out how to fight them until the end, or if the mages possessed very high close-quarters combat abilities,
then….

‘The one lying on the floor right now would be me instead of these scrap metal bits.’

Jin-Woo stopped looking at the knights and raised his head.

A certain look of determination flashed by in his eyes.

‘I already possess the close-quarters combat ability.’

Meaning, he was different from those mages.
What if there was a mage possessing excellent hand-to-hand combat skills who also happened to command an army?
Wouldn’t that be the worst of all worst possible nightmares for his enemies?

‘What if….’

Something he could only think about but couldn’t do – wouldn’t it be possible for him to enter a dungeon rated B or higher
alone and clear it now?

Jin-Woo silently swallowed his saliva.

If he were allowed to continue raising his Stat values after becoming a Necromancer, then obviously, the army under his
command would also grow even more powerful than before.

He couldn’t even begin to imagine the effect of that.

‘It’ll no longer be only me levelling up.’

His own army would be levelling up, too.

‘Wait. Could this be….?’

Suddenly, a chill ran down his spine. Jin-Woo raised his head and looked at the floating message. It was still patiently
waiting for his decision.

[The ‘Necromancer’ is a hidden class. Will you still refuse?]

Unlike how it was usually, the System wasn’t urging him on. Jin-Woo couldn’t help question its motives in his mind.

‘Is this what you wanted from me?’

Of course, no replies came to him.

After a lengthy deliberation, Jin-Woo made up his mind.

If it was giving him power, then he’d accept it with open arms.

He no longer hesitated.

[Will you accept this Class?]

“I will.”

As if it was waiting, the System immediately displayed the following messages.

Tti-ring.

[Your Class has been set.]

[You will now be given the opportunity to change to a higher ranked version of this Class through the amount of
advancement points accumulated.]

[Calculations have begun.]

[Tallying up your advancement points….]

While that was going on, Jin-Woo unwrapped the bandages from his right hand.
He’d been holding the dagger so tightly that his palm had swollen up rather painfully.

“Well, I’m gonna get blisters now.”

He lightly clicked his tongue.

Such a wound would’ve been taken care of with a drop from the healing potion, but not being able to use one was proving
to be rather inconvenient in various ways.

He finished unwrapping the bandages and was about to store the Knight Killer back in his Inventory, when he heard yet
another mechanical beep.

Tti-ring.

Jin-Woo reflexively raised his head.

[You’ve exceeded the expected time limit!]

[Bonus points will be granted.]

Bonus points, it said. But, that was rather obvious, wasn’t it?

‘Not sure how long was the expected time, but well, I did endure for quite a long time, didn’t I?’

He began smirking in satisfaction, then all of a sudden, several messages inundated his vision.

[You did not use Immediate Return Stone!]

[Bonus points will be granted.]

[Your remaining HP is over 50%!]

[Bonus points will be granted.]

[You eliminated all the enemies!]

[Bonus points will be granted.]

[Total advancement points tally has exceeded the Class-specific point limit.]

[According to the Contract, you will be given a special reward.]

Tti-ring, tti-ring, tti-ring.

‘What’s this?’

His ears hurt from all the beepings, but Jin-Woo’s focus was fixed elsewhere and didn’t care anymore. As a matter of fact,
he couldn’t even hear those beeps now.

‘A special reward?’

Those words jumped right up at him.

A reward.

Not only that, it was ‘special’, too.

Jin-Woo stopped trying to store the Knight Killer in his Inventory and concentrated on the message.
His stares were now firmly fixed on it.

Soon, follow-up messages popped up.

Tti-ring.

[Your Class has been upgraded from ‘Necromancer’ to ‘Shadow Sovereign’.]

[You have acquired Class-specific skills.]

[You have acquired bonus Stats.]

[You have acquired the title, ‘The One Who Overcame the Adversity’.]

‘Shadow Sovereign?’

Hearing that strange term, Jin-Woo hurriedly summoned his Status Window.

[Name: Seong Jin-Woo]

[Level: 51]

[Class: Shadow Sovereign]

Indeed, there was a new term added to his Class column.

‘It’s not a Necromancer anymore?’

The System definitely said that he’d be able to get a higher ranked version of his Class according to the amount of
advancement points he had earned. And also, it mentioned that the point tally had exceeded the limits of the Class itself,
too.

The end result from all that was this ‘Shadow Sovereign’.

“So, is this….”

….The special reward the System was talking about?

The thing was, though, Jin-Woo couldn’t continue on with what he wanted to say.

‘……??’

Right in front of his disbelieving eyes, a truly bizarre and hard-to-explain phenomenon began unfolding.

Behind the hologram-like messages….

Unknown black smoke was slowly and eerily leaking out from the knights strewn about on the floor like scrap metal.

No such thing happened prior to him getting his Class.

These bits of scrap metal were nothing more than ownerless junk, only until a minute ago.

However.

Jin-Woo closed the Status Window and swept his gaze around the interior of the boss room once. It wasn’t just one or two
now.
That black smoke was rising up from every single knight on the ground.

[It is possible to perform Shadow Extraction on the selected target.]

[It is possible to perform Shadow Extraction on the selected target.]

[It is possible to perform Shadow Extraction on the selected target.]

Whenever his eyes landed on ‘targets’ with black smoke oozing out from them, the words with hard-to-fathom meanings
‘possible to perform extraction’ popped up into his view.

‘Shadow extraction?’

He couldn’t understand why, but to Jin-Woo, those rising smokes looked like they were writhing in pain.

As a matter of fact, it felt like they were reaching out to him, begging him to save them.

Would it be strange if he said that…. he could hear their screams?

‘But…..’

He was sure of one thing.

He was sure of him being able to free them from their pain.

‘Shadow Extraction.’

[Please set the command phrase to activate the Shadow Extraction skill.]

‘I gotta set a separate activation phrase for this skill?’

Jin-Woo pondered for a bit, before muttering out almost instinctively.

“Rise up.”

When he did….

Wuuaaahhhh….

Thick, heavy moans resounded out from somewhere and at the same time, the shadows of the fallen knights began
wiggling as if they were still alive.

Jin-Woo scanned his surroundings once more.

All the shadows found near him were beginning to move.

Soon enough, a black hand rose up from one of the shadows. It pressed down on the ground hard, and slowly, the arm
attached to it rose up.

‘Oh my god!’

Jin-Woo’s eyes opened wider and wider.

Those things were…. people.

No, soldiers possessing the outer appearance of a person!

Soldiers kitted out head to toe in jet-black armour climbed out of the shadows one by one.
‘This is my new skill??’

By the time Jin-Woo recovered his wits, there were a couple dozen soldiers standing by his side, waiting.

[Shadow Extraction was a success.]

Tens of soldiers were now surrounding him.

‘What the hell is this….?’

Jin-Woo approached the nearest soldier.

The first thing he did was to touch it. When he placed his hand on it, he felt something metallic.

As it turned out, the metal-looking armours weren’t just for show.

Indeed, these guys were all outfitted in real black armour and real weapons.

‘At first glance, they look like people, don’t they?’

However, they weren’t people. He couldn’t sense any signs of life from them. They didn’t breathe, and there were no
heartbeats he could hear.

On top of this….

“…”

Jin-Woo swallowed down his shocked gasp.

He sneaked a glance inside the helmet through the eye holes and found nothing but pure darkness in there. Jin-Woo slowly
took several steps back after feeling like he was being sucked in.

‘These things came out from the shadows??’

He immediately checked his Skill Window.

Just as the System informed him, new Class-specific skills could be found there now.

[Class-specific skills]

Active skills

Shadow Extraction Lv. 1
Shadow Storage Lv. 1

He checked the details of the first skill.

[Skill: Shadow Extraction Lv. 1]

Class-specific skill.

Required Mana to activate: None

Creates a shadow soldier by extracting Mana from the recently deceased lifeform.

The odds of extraction failure will rise higher depending on the target’s original Stat values, as well as the length of time
since its death.
Number of shadows that can be extracted: 30/30

Only after reading the explanation on the Skill did he realise the identity of these black soldiers.

‘…….They are all undead.’

Shadow soldiers – monsters, pulled out from the shadows of the dead.

Jin-Woo swallowed down his saliva.

‘If these things are really my soldiers, then….’

Jin-Woo raised his arm and pointed to his right.

And the soldiers all uniformly shifted their bodies to right.

The end of his hand slowly moved to his front.

And the soldiers too followed after his hand and slowly faced their front.

Jin-Woo stood in the middle of them.

He did his best to calm his pounding heart and lowered his hand.

And at the same time….

Every single soldier knelt down before him.

They were moving according to his will.

“Hah…..”

Jin-Woo let out a soft gasp of admiration as the ends of his lips arched up.

‘Isn’t this so cool?’

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