“…Someone manipulated the list of matches.”
“It’s probably your older brother’s doing.”
Choi Yu Seong’s mind turned quickly.
It was just a fragment of information, but he knew what it meant.
‘He dares to match me with Lee Jin Wook.’
A dangerous foreboding came up coldly behind his back.
In fact, it wasn’t unpredictable at all.
‘Yeah, it’s not Choi Min Seok if he did not prepare this show to kill me at once.’
He had a grudge against the previous incident, so he just wanted to humiliate him in the Hunter exam.
Even if Choi Yu Seong thought about it, this was a very naive idea.
Choi Min Seok’s personality was not cute enough to end it just like that.
‘Because he tried to kill me in the first place.’
There was no reason he wouldn’t do it again this time.
He would have ordered to crippled him at least.
It was not something that could not happen at all due to the nature of the fierce sparring exam.
No matter how tightly someone defended themself, Hunter exam would have a death or disability case once every 2 to 3 years.
Just in time, the lights on the monitor hanging from the ceiling changed and the match list began to be revealed.
“The eighth turn.”
Choi Yu Seong, Lee Jin Wook.
Choi Yu Seong, who confirmed his turn, strangely twisted his mouth.
In the midst of every crisis, lies great opportunity.
The sparring with Lee Jin Wook would be dangerous, so it would attract attention in many ways.
Not only would the proficiency of Star Quality skill increase, but perhaps he would receive the same attention from the Gods as before.
‘High risk, high return. Low risk, low return.’1This is exactly what was written, so it sounds a bit weird in English.
That was how the majority of the world works.
The question was whether he was confident in getting through this.
‘I have to believe in myself.’
The time, sweat, and effort he spent. There was no way to avoid it anyway.
The moment when Choi Yu Seong’s lips were about to form a subtle smile unconsciously.
“What are you gonna do?”
Kim Do Jin asked.
“It would be easier if you told Iron Wall about this.”
Kim Do Jin’s eyes sharply glanced at Choi Yu Seong.
It was like a snake’s gaze looking at its prey.
‘Ah. I know for sure now.’
Unsurprisingly, Kim Do Jin did not simply come to help Choi Yu Seong with the information he had found.
He had already felt some changes from Choi Yu Seong and he wanted to confirm it.
It was something expected.
Choi Yoo Sung was also a Choi for sure.
He was a member of the same family as Choi Wu Jae, whom Kim Do Jin was trying to kill.
‘지피지기 백전불태(jipijigi baekjeonbultae)…’2Oof. I don’t know how to differentiate this because if I translate this, it won’t be much different than the following sentence.
If you know your enemy and understand yourself, you will never be in jeopardy even if you fight a hundred times.
There was no way that Kim Do Jin didn’t know Admiral Yi Sun Sin’s wise saying.3Yi Sun Sin. A very famous and respected Korean national hero, known as an excellent strategist.
He was arrogant because he was full of confidence, but he never fought recklessly.
If he was like that, he would not have used Choi Yu Seong to approach Choi Wu Jae from the beginning.
Perhaps Choi Yu Seong was the careless one.
Kim Do Jin was seen through too easily because he had been surprised once in the previous meeting.
‘What should I do?’
He should also take care of his own interests by showing appropriate actions and speech at a level that won’t fall under Kim Do Jin’s watch list.
Kim Do Jin snorted at him who hesitated.
“You’ve changed a lot. Choi Yu Seong.”
“It’s amazing. Did someone else’s soul enter your body?”
Choi Yu Seong almost screamed in front of him.
‘He’s not a protagonist, but a shaman.’
Even if the title of the original novel was actually ‘The Returnee Who Can Read Divination’ he would’ve believed it.
“Stop it with the nonsense. I just don’t want to show myself flustered by that little prank. Do I look so funny to you?”
“Whether they tampered with the draw or not, I’m going as it is. I am Choi Yu Seong. No matter how hard hyungnim tries, isn’t it natural that there are only a limited number of things he can do to me, who is also a Choi?”
Kim Do Jin gazed with the eyes of a scary snake, but Choi Yu Seong glared back as if he would not lose.
He seemed to be eaten by the rising fear of that gaze immediately, but he did not draw back his gaze.
“If you’re here to see me for nothing, get lost. You’ve been pissing me off lately.”
And he gave a cold and rough dismissal.4축객령, an order to expel customers or guests because they hate them.
Of course, he couldn’t help but feel nervous.
Jin Do Yun and Jin Yu Ri weren’t here.
What if Kim Do Jin, who lost interest in him, decided to kill him?
‘I don’t even want to imagine.’
So, he hoped that Kim Do Jin wouldn’t get angry.
Sincere feelings flowed out of his eyes without realizing it.
Kim Do Jin’s expression, which was looking at Choi Yu Seong without saying a word, changed strangely.
Whether it was smiling, frowning, or something else. It was unreadable.
Did Choi Yu Seong’s hope come true?
The snake-like eyes quickly disappeared.
“Interesting. Not bad.”
Kim Do Jin said so then turned his back.
What he left before leaving was a very encouraging cheer.
The eyes of Kim Do Jin, who left Choi Yu Seong’s waiting room and walked alone in the hallway, went cold.
‘He has become quite smart.’
He was only given a piece of information, but it took less than three minutes to make an inference in his head and reach a conclusion.
Everything he showed was a pretense, but he also clearly recognized that Choi Min Seok was aiming for his own life.
Nevertheless, Choi Yu Seong did not back down.
‘That guy used to say he wants to die.’
On the day Choi Yu Seong got very drunk and promised to be a brother with Kim Do Jin, he shed tears and said that he would rather die.
He blamed the world, saying that it would be more comfortable.
He shouted about hating his family who made him like this.
Was that still the case?
There was definitely something different.
‘Now he wants to live.’
He was even passionate and full of energy.
It was certainly mysterious.
How could a person change in such a short time?
It was unbelievable but interestingly it was true.
‘Choi Yu Seong.’
Originally, Choi Yu Seong was an expendable piece in his plan.
But was it necessary?
It didn’t matter if he wanted to live.
If he still blamed his family, there was nothing bad in keeping the now smarter Choi Yu Seong.
In fact, the acting was pretty good.
The way he talked arrogantly without knowing the subject wasn’t much different from the image of Choi Yu Seong that Kim Do Jin knew.
‘In the meantime, the eyes that secretly wanted my attention were exactly the same.’5Don’t ask. This is what was written by the author. (´•ω•`๑)
Especially considering the loneliness hidden in his eyes while telling him to get lost.
Choi Yu Seong was raising his sharp thorns, but there was no way he didn’t know.
In their first meeting, Choi Yu Seong was not able to push Kim Do Jin, who was digging into his loneliness even though he spat out harsh curses.
“It wouldn’t be bad to have him as a subordinate.”
If Choi Yu Seong knew, he wouldn’t be that freaked out thinking about Kim Do Jin.
Kim Do Jin left the waiting room and Choi Yu Seong took a long breath.
Kim Do Jin’s psychological warfare, which came between the gap of carelessness, was breathtaking.
‘Let’s not forget, Choi Yu Seong. Kim Do Jin is the most dangerous protagonist in this world.’
Additionally, he was a poor(?) villain6The villain in here is 악역(lit. evil role). But the author used Villain in English to call the supervillains. So, to differentiate them I’ll capitalize the supervillain one. who was thrown after he was used by Kim Do Jin.
It was the worst, considering the relationship between them in the original novel.
He watched the battles of the earlier rounds through the monitor while regulating his breath for a while.
Fortunately, Choi Yu Seong’s round was the eighth and it was quite late, so he was relaxed.
‘As expected, it would have been easy to win if it weren’t for Lee Jin Wook.’
Choi Yu Seong was convinced after he confirmed this fact from the battles of the previous five matches.
His own ability was a cheat.
It was not that Irregulars would be strong just by surviving.
The experiences and efforts he had made with Jin Do Yun over the past month were by no means shallow.
About 3 hours.
Choi Yu Seong even watched the battle of the seventh match, which was right before his turn, but his mind did not change.
However, there was one Awakener that stood out.
‘Was it participant number 12?’
He was a flair type who could convert the earth into metal, but from Choi Yu Seong’s point of view, he could have passed the exam if his practical ability was a little better.
Of course, he unfortunately failed due to the lack of practical ability.
And it was finally Choi Yu Seong’s turn.
‘Shall I go out?’
He had already finished preparing his mind.
As soon as he got up from his seat, one of the waiting room’s walls moved, unfolding various types of weapons like a scene from a movie.
Choi Yu Seong took a big step and grabbed the weapon that he had already decided in his heart.
It’s just a weapon for a mock battle, but it didn’t feel bad in his hands.
Choi Yu Seong licked his lips unknowingly and left the waiting room through the automatic door.
He went through the hallway and arrived at the battle exam site.
The first impression Choi Yu Seong felt inside the colosseum-shaped building, which was popular in the Middle Ages in the West, was that there were many more eyes than expected.
‘It’s totally different from when I watched it on the monitor.’
As expected, knowing and experiencing were different.
Still, it didn’t take long for him to adjust – perhaps it was because he had some preparation and expectations.
Lee Jin Wook, who entered from the opposite direction, also did not seem to be much different.
Their eyes quickly glanced at each other.
The supervisor, ‘Iron Wall’ Park Cheol Ho, opened his mouth with arms crossed at the edge of the stadium.
“Choi Yu Seong, Lee Jin Wook. I think both are ready.”
He seemed to speak quietly, but his voice rang throughout the huge colosseum.
‘This is an S-rank Awakener.’
He also felt it from Choi Wu Jae, but it seemed safe to assume that S-rank was basically not a human.
“It’s just sparring, but think of it as no different from actual battle and fight for your life. Monsters have no mercy at all. Any questions?
The former was Choi Yu Seong and the latter was Lee Jin Wook.
Likewise, it was a small voice, but it seemed to be heard clearly in Park Cheol Ho’s ear. As proof of that, Park Cheol Ho wriggled an eyebrow and looked at Choi Yu Seong.
‘Why. Can’t I speak informally to you, too?’7It’s not apparent in English, but Park Cheol Ho spoke informally since the start. Most people will think it’s fine because he’s an S-rank Awakener and can be said to have a ‘superior’ position towards most people. But this also means he didn’t really respect the other side he talked to.
Whether because he was an S-rank, the examiner, or whatever so it’s usual to speak informally. Honestly, he didn’t feel particularly good toward him from the start
‘This isn’t the army. Everyone is an adult so you shouldn’t be like that.’8In the army it’s common to speak informally(which sound harsh if not close) towards juniors or those with lower rank to enforce discipline.
He was the good-for-nothing Choi Yu Seong anyway.
There was nothing special just because he was going this much.
Park Cheol Ho lightly sighed then nodded.
Lee Jin Wook was the one who moved first as if he had waited.
His weapon of choice was a sword.
Of course, the edge was dull because it was for sparring.
But it would definitely hurt if it hit.
And the real dangerous weapon from Lee Jin Wook was not the sword.
He, who was far away, jumped into the air at some point and quickly came to Choi Yu Seong’s front riding the Wind’s Flow.
Choi Yu Seong unknowingly gasped inwardly then also lifted his weapon, a long spear9장창(jangchang)., and turned it outward.
During the past month, Choi Yu Seong had been sparring against Jin Do Yun and the most used weapon was the staff.
And how to deal with this long spear was no different from the staff technique he practiced.
The natural movements that were familiar to the body flowed like water, blocked and bounced Lee Jin Wook’s falling sword.
Although Lee Jin Wook, who struck from above, was much more loaded, Choi Yu Seong showed his technique and covered the gap.
Lee Jin Wook wasn’t flustered by the situation, fell to the floor, and stretched out a hand.
Then a strong wind, that was enough to push at least a person, poured out from his palm.
Choi Yu Seong didn’t resist but naturally lifted his body to fly away, rotated in the air, then stretched out his spear.
The sharp wind formed from a distance was caught at the end of Choi Yu Seong’s spear and caused vibrations.
It was impossible to get rid of it with simple physical power unless you have a very strong physical type ability.
Of course, Choi Yu Seong loaded mana at the end of his spear.
It wasn’t easy to put mana on a weapon, but it could be done instantly like a part of the weapon although for just a moment.
Eventually, the center of The Wind’s Blade thrown by Lee Jin Wook was cut off and scattered to both sides of Choi Yu Seong, hitting the wall of the sparring field.
Along with the explosion, a cloud of dust rose on part of the wall.
‘If my neck was slashed by that, I’ll surely die, right?’
Choi Yu Seong gulped at the sharpness felt when The Wind’s Blade passed by.
On the other hand, Lee Jin Wook frowned at the situation that did not come his way.
From the beginning, he held a sword as a kind of bluff.
It was a trick to hide that he was a flair type with wind ability.
However, Choi Yu Seong responded with the spear reinforced with mana, as if he knew Lee Jin Wook would shoot The Wind’s Blade.
It was actually a little dangerous if he didn’t know.
Choi Yu Seong, who thought like that inwardly, smiled and provoked Lee Jin Wook.
“If that’s all you got, I think Choi Min Seok will be disappointed?”
Lee Jin Wook, who had a pissed-off expression, rushed again.
The Wind’s Blade needed a lot of time to prepare.
Eventually, he rushed recklessly to earn that time.
Choi Yu Seong smiled at the scene.
In no time, blue will-o’-wisp burned in his eyes and Insight was activated.
As he focused Insight on the battle, Lee Jin Wook’s movements unfolded before him like some afterimage.
Choi Yu Seong’s mental strength was strengthened and tension was relieved to a moderate level.
At first, he was flustered because Lee Jin Wook was faster than he thought, but there’s no reason to be beaten up the second time.
Even before it came closer, he used the long reach of the spear to stab from afar.
As if it was obvious, Lee Jin Wook avoided him by spreading The Wind’s Rebound behind his back.
His way of dealing with the sword itself was nothing more than sloppy swings that couldn’t be called swordsmanship, but his other senses were definitely good.
The number of skills seemed to be quite a lot.
He wasn’t an Irregular for nothing.
However, Choi Yu Seong’s Insight was even reading the movement.
Therefore, he lifted his body sideways and continued his next attack without panic.
The tip of the spear bent like a snake, turned back at once, and the shaft hit Lee Jin Wook on the shoulder.
It was the moment when Lee Jin Wook’s body hardened with pain along with the light sound.
“This is gonna hurt more.”
Since it was someone else’s situation, Choi Yu Seong spoke lightly and showed his skill.
The static electricity from the shaft that came in contact with Lee Jin Wook began to strike his whole body.
Screams echoed inside the spacious sparring stadium.