Chapter 92 (Part 1)
Woo Jincheol decided to take the lead . While everyone else was hesitating, the HSD chief read the mood and walked up next to Jinwoo . He took out his identification,
“We’re from the Association’s Hunter Surveillance Department . ”
Low-rank or high-rank, every Hunters were wary of whenever the HSD appeared . As expected, with the exception of Cha Haein, a nervousness briefly flashed across the faces of Hunters Guild’s members . The first step of Woo Jincheol’s plan worked: all the eyes were on him now . The man continued,
“The identity of Hunter Sung Jinwoo-nim here is currently being kept as a secret by the Association . Due to special circumstances, it is a highly classified information that we are not able to reveal to external parties at the moment . ”
Jinwoo was in awe of Woo Jincheol’s acting abilities . The man’s expression and words were so natural that the E-ranker thought the chief had practiced this before coming here . Still, the HSD chief’s intentions were clear as day to Jinwoo . As if on cue, the chief briefly glanced over to him and sent him a message with his eyes, “I will help you leave here without raising up a fuss” . Jinwoo was not sure why the HSD was helping him, but he was not about to complain . The E-ranker nodded . Even Woo Jincheol’s subordinates were quick on the take; they immediately took place at Jinwoo’s sides .
“If you have any questions, please contact the Association . We’ll escort Hunter Sung Jinwoo-nim out of here for today . ”
The HSD chief’s words were laden with a not-so-subtle meaning: This is not negotiable . Because of the man’s ironclad words, Hunters Guild’s members swallowed the words and questions they had for Jinwoo .
“Then, Hunter-nim, shall we?”
Jinwoo was escorted by the HSD Hunters around him and left the boss room .
‘While I’m grateful…’
It felt a little strange . Why was Chief Woo Jincheol doing something like this without being asked? After getting some distance from the other Hunters, Jinwoo quietly asked,
“Is there a reason why you’re doing this?”
“If I may answer your question with another question, is Hunter-nim thinking of entering Hunters Guild?”
Jinwoo shook his head . As if expecting that response, Woo Jincheol quickly continued,
“Just now, Hunter-nim showed his powers that surpassed the strength of an S-ranker to the nation’s most powerful Guild . I had felt that doing what I did was the best way for you to avoid an unnecessary headache . ”
That made sense . Jinwoo could not imagine just what Hunters Guild would do to try and recruit another S-rank Hunter . While other Hunters may have greeted the attention with open arms, Jinwoo was not such a man . Following Go Gunhee’s will, the Hunter Association also wanted to prevent Jinwoo from entering a large Guild if possible . And so, with Jinwoo wanting to avoid attention and the Association wanting to avoid too much power being focused into one Guild, the two parties’ desires were in agreement . Since they were helping each other, Jinwoo did not feel burdened by receiving the HSD’s help this time .
‘Things just got rather comfortable thanks to the Association . ’
Because the situation had resolved without much trouble, a smile appeared on Jinwoo’s face .
When Jinwoo and the HSD Hunters were only few steps out of the boss room, a voice shouted after them from behind,
Turning around, Jinwoo saw Son Gihoon limping toward him, supported by a large man . The Tanker’s wounds were healed by the Healers, but having lost so much blood, the man was still pale .
‘He shouldn’t move around like that . ’
Despite Jinwoo’s worries, Son Gihoon eventually stopped before Jinwoo . Then, the A-rank Raid Leader bowed his head deeply,
“Thank you . Because of Hunter-nim, we were able to live . On behalf of the entire raiding party, I would like to give you our gratitude . ”
After hearing the HSD Hunter’s words, Son Gihoon realized that there must’ve been a reason why Jinwoo had hidden his true identity .
‘If he has that much power, I’m sure there is a good reason . ’
Despite of that reason, Jinwoo had decided to risk revealing himself to the world and helped Son Gihoon’s party . Was that all? He did not ask for anything in return . It was fully within the man’s rights to obtain the corpses and magic cores of the magic beasts he had slain, but Jinwoo had decided to leave without saying a word . How could Son Gihoon not bow respectfully while thanking him?
“…Once again, thank you!”
Swept by his feelings, Son Gihoon bowed his upper body in a 90-degree angle once more . The sudden movement made his entire body scream in pain, but the Tanker endured it . He recalled how Jinwoo had gotten revenge for him, playing with that magic beast just as he had been toyed by the sorcerer . It made his heart be filled with a strange sensation of joyful sorrow; he could thank Jinwoo a hundred times over in this moment .
Looking at their Raid Leader bowing in gratitude, the rest of the raiding party finally snapped out of the chaos of the Raid .
‘If it wasn’t for that man…’
‘He’s our life’s savior . ’
‘This is not the time to blankly stare at him . ’
Every one of them walked forward and bowed their heads,
“Thank you porter- I mean, Hunter-nim . ”
“If it wasn’t for you, Hunter-nim . ”
“Thanks to you, my wife won’t be a widow . ”
The young man who was relieved when Son Gihoon decided to abandoned the Raid a while ago came forward with tears in his eyes,
“Hunter-nim… I feel so grateful right now . Can I give you a hug?”
“Hey, hey, you’re going too far . ”
“He’s acting all emotional again, someone stop him . ”
“Then you hug me instead, hyung!”
“Ah! Get off of me!”
“Ha ha ha ha!”
For the first time since they had entered this A-rank Dungeon, laughter rang out between the members of the raiding party . Jinwoo looked at their levity with a smile . He had not helped them out of some desire for compliments and flattery, but their sincerity reached his heart .
“Oh, right . ”
Jinwoo noticed the female Healer celebrating in the back of the group and approached her .
‘She’s so small . Didn’t even notice her in the back . ’
He held out her notepad to her, and she took it with a reddened face .
The woman scolded her past self .
‘Aw man… Why did I have to go and say all that to him…’
She recalled how she wrote down and handed him what she thought to be her last words . To a man who just had single-handedly cleared the Dungeon . How foolish did she look before him? It would become one of those memories that would make her kick the blanket in embarrassment at nights . She glanced up; thankfully, he did not seem to be laughing at her . Instead, the man spoke with a stern voice,
“Healer-nim . ”
She raised her head like a student about to be scolded .
“From now on, try not to put your personal items in the raiding party’s baggage . It’s unnecessary weight . ”
The Healer became lost for words and just stared with round eyes . Jinwoo grinned . He said what he wanted to say . The man turned around cooly and headed back to the HSD Hunters .
“Let us go . ”
And with that, Jinwoo and the HSD Hunters left the Dungeon . Hunters Guild’s members stared at them disappearing in the distance . Every one of them was able to say something to Jinwoo, mostly thanking him for saving their lives .
Well… Almost every one of them .
Cha Haein lowered her hand that was stretched towards Jinwoo .
‘I wanted to at least get his number…’
She just wanted to see if he could spare some time . Unfortunately, she realized those words would’ve caused no small amount of misunderstandings in this situation . Suddenly, another female Hunter approached Cha Haein,
“Er… Deputy Guildmaster?”
As the S-ranker turned around, the female Hunter pointed to Cha Haein’s hand,
“What’s with the pickaxe?”
Cha Haein raised her “weapon” and stared at it . The longer she stared, the redder her face turned . She lowered the pickaxe and asked,
“Do you think I looked weird?”
The female Mage tilted her head and replied,
The redness in Cha Haein’s face crept all the way to the base of her neck .
After leaving the Gate, Woo Jincheol looked at his watch and asked,
“We’re going to return to the Association… If it’s alright with you, would you like to come with us and maybe have dinner with the association president?”
“What time is it?”
“It’s 5:15 . ”
It was a bit late, but he could make it on time . Jinwoo respectfully declined Woo Jincheol’s offer,
“Sorry, but I have a prior engagement . ”
Yoo Jinho tried out some breathing exercises he saw in a movie once to calm himself .
‘The fated hour is arriving . ’
Hyungnim’s decision will determine Yoo Jinho’s fate . Compared to the meeting with his father few days ago, the young man felt far more nervous and excited .
‘Calm yourself . Calm . ’
He had purposely picked the meeting spot at the French cafe he had first sat down with hyungnim .
‘Without his help, I wouldn’t even have come this far . ’
Looking around the cafe, a sense of nostalgia rushed through the young man . He was even sitting at the same table as back then .
The bell attached to the door rang, and with it, Jinwoo entered the cafe .
Yoo Jinho rose with a bright expression and greeted Jinwoo with a deep bow . Jinwoo returned his greeting with a light nod and sat down across from the young man . Yoo Jinho followed suit .
“So what is it?”
Raising his head, Yoo Jinho’s eyes widened,
“Hyungnim, your clothes…?”
Jinwoo had ran here right after the battle with the high orcs . His clothes were a bit dirty . There was even high orc blood spilled a bit over him . He replied without much thought,
“I just came from a Dungeon . ”
Yoo Jinho was once again surprised by his hyungnim . Compared to his hyungnim’s achievements, Yoo Jinho earning the Guildmaster license was nothing . And yet the young man had spent the days following his “achievement” by doing nothing but celebrating and drinking . And his hyungnim? Despite all that power, the man continued to train himself by entering Dungeons . Yoo Jinho was ashamed of himself .
‘As expected of hyungnim…’ 
At the same time, his respect for hyungnim only continued to increase . The fact that the man had not even bothered to change his dirty clothes must’ve been just how proud he was . The dirt and blood on his clothes were like the badge of honor of his ceaseless training . Yoo Jinho’s expression hardened . He was prepared to accept any answer that his hyungnim would give .
“Hyungnim, the truth is…”
Yoo Jinho recollected his meeting with his father to Jinwoo without leaving out a single detail . Go Myunghwan . The truth behind the Red Gate incident . The unknown helper of Baekho . Everything .
‘That ahjussi did something really unnecessary…’
Still, he couldn’t get mad at the man . Go Myunghwan apparently did it for Jinwoo’s sake . Yoo Jinho’s face when he got to the part about the Red Gate looked elated . Anyways, Jinwoo knew what the young man was asking of him,
“And so, what you’re telling me is that you need my help to become Yoojin Guild’s Guildmaster, right?”
After finishing his story, Yoo Jinho patiently waited for Jinwoo’s response . Unlike his usual self, the young man did not act-up, try to change the mood, beg or even look pitiful .
‘This is hyungnim in front of me . ’
Without any schemes, he would place his future in hyungnim’s hands . Jinwoo was looking down, having fallen into a deep contemplation . The man finally raised his head,
Yoo Jinho gulped as Jinwoo began .
Hunters Guild’s Guildmaster, Choi Jongin received the report of today’s incident . He put aside everything he was doing and went into his personal room .
“What? Sung Jinwoo came to our Raid yesterday AND today?!”
The new S-rank Hunter . The man had appeared at his Guild, how was he not made aware of this?! It was like throwing away a bag of money that fell from the sky . It was an incredibly frustrating thing to hear, but when he heard the rest, it was suddenly understandable,
“Wait, what? He worked as a miner yesterday and today, he was a porter?!”
…Yep . Something like this wouldn’t have been reported to him directly…
‘For now, let’s put aside what the man was thinking…’
Focusing on this would only bring about a headache . That’s not what was important right now .
‘After Baekho, even our Hunters Guild just received his help . ’
Now, Choi Jongin owed a debt to Sung Jinwoo . He had hoped to approach him on equal ground for recruitment but ended up in the same place as Baekho .
‘Still, I was the first to learn about the existence of the tenth S-ranker . ’
Yes . More important than the fact that they were helped, Choi Jongin wanted to know what kind of a power Sung Jinwoo wielded,
“Hunter Sung Jinwoo, what category of a Hunter was he?”
As he listened to the explanation across the phone, Choi Jongin became completely at a loss for words . The person on the other end, Son Gihoon, was not a man to lie or embellish the truth . Still, as a certain Baekho’s employee had once done when hearing of Jinwoo’s exploits, Choi Jongin reflexively uttered,
“Is all that really true?”
– “Yes, sir . That was all I saw with my eyes . ”
‘All he saw…? Does that mean there could be more?’
If that man was really that strong…
“If you compared me to him, who do you think is stronger?”
It might’ve been a childish question, but there was no better question to determine the strength of another . After a moment of hesitation, Son Gihoon spoke,
– “Guildmaster, could you solo clear an A-rank Dungeon, especially one on the upper end of A-rank Dungeons?”
“…That’s impossible . ”
– “But that man did such a thing . He even stopped Hunter Cha-nim from helping . ”
‘Cha Haein was there?’
This raised another question in Choi Jongin’s head, but that was not important right now .
“Was it possible that it wasn’t a high-end A-rank Dungeon?”
– “If that was the case, we shouldn’t have had any problems . That man saved all our lives . ”
The man called the Strongest Soldier, Choi Jongin . In a way, he had been looked down just now . However, instead of feeling slighted, the man was filled with excitement .
‘Me, Cha Haein, and Sung Jinwoo . ’
Depending on Sung Jinwoo’s true powers, their Guild could raise their name across the country, no, Asia, no, the world…
– “Guildmaster Choi, I know I’m not really in a position to say anything about the management of our Guild but…”
Truthfully, Son Gihoon was not the type of man to brazenly say this and that about the Guild beyond his place . Because of that, Choi Jongin was curious on what the man had to say,
“No, please, continue . ”
– “That man… Hunter Sung Jinwoo-nim . Please make sure to recruit that man . You might be able to accomplish your dreams if you do . ”
Choi Jongin’s heart raced . He made an effort to not reveal his shaking voice,
“I will do my best . ”
Translator’s Notes:: Yoo Jinho’s sasuga is quickly reaching the level of Nazarick .