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Solo leveling Light Novel : 132

Plop .

Matsumoto Shigeo fell down on his knees .

A boss of an organisation – not only that, a person representing the opinions and positions of each Hunter within the country called Japan, was kneeling ahead of another person .

'… . . . '

Even during this brief moment, countless thoughts raced through Matsumoto's brain .

However, regardless of how hard he wracked his brain, he couldn't come up with how to urge out of this predicament .

This wasn't the time to stress about his pride or honour . If any of this got out, then its ensuing aftermath wouldn't end with him just losing his position .

"President Goh Gun-Hui… . Please, forgive me . "

Unfortunately for him, Goh Gun-Hui's glare remained icy and unmoving .

This man was shouting cry when there was no proof of his wrongdoing, but as soon because the situation turned disadvantageous, he obediently lowered his tail .

Who'd check out such a person with sympathetic eyes?

"Get up . "

Goh Gun-Hui's icy voice advised his Japanese counterpart to prevent dalliance with this hollow apology, but Matsumoto didn't heed that and slammed his forehead on the office floor repeatedly .

Thud! Thud!!

"Our nation, Japan, has lost half her top-ranked Hunters and that we will soon need to beg the international community for his or her aid . "

No matter how excellent Orion system in Japan was, they might eventually see the gaps in their defences opening up sooner or later with half their rank S Hunters dead .

Their remaining combat force would be enough to affect rank A Gates for the nonce , but . . . .

But, Japan would need to get on their toes the instant a rank S Gate exposes somewhere in their territory . Even worse, the repeat of the tragedy that occurred on Jeju Island could happen in Japan, too .

"If that sound file gets out, then we'll be completely isolated from the planet . i urge of you, President Goh Gun-Hui . Please, believe the innocent Japanese citizens and forgive our transgressions just this once . . . . !"

"Think of it as your due punishment . "

Goh Gun-Hui ruthlessly cut Matsumoto's words there .

"Think of it because the punishment for the sin you and your Hunters tried to commit and gladly accept it . "

Carry around a bomb which may explode at any given moment, and await the hour of reckoning – that is what Goh Gun-Hui was implying here .

However, Matsumoto didn't show any sign of lifting his leave the ground .

"President Goh Gun-Hui . . . . Until I appease your anger, I shall not get up again . i urge of you, please, please! Consider it another time!"

"You leave me with no choice . "

With a displeased expression firmly etched on his face, Goh Gun-Hui pulled out his mobile .

"You have five minutes . "

What could he mean by that?

Unable to win against his curiosity, Matsumoto raised his head and searched at Goh Gun-Hui . The Korean man slowly waved his phone around .

"If you do not get out of here within the next five minutes, a message are going to be sent to the numbers of each reporter saved on this phone . It'll be a message about the President of the japanese Association grovelling before me . "

If you cling onto me in fear of the bomb going off at any second, then I'll just let it explode , immediately – he wasn't threatening anymore . No, it had been a declaration .

"But, that . . . "

Matsumoto bit his lower lip .

Goh Gun-Hui's determination wasn't soft enough to be surprised by nothing but a pitiful plea for leniency . Matsumoto belatedly realised this fact . And this was also the instant his last-ditch plan to save this example at the value of his pride ending up in total failure .

Powerlessly, Matsumoto stood copy .

Goh Gun-Hui's glare remained icy, his phone gradually being lowered . He then spoke to the unsteady Japanese man .

"You should thank Mister Seong Jin-Woo . "

The light of pure anger flickered dangerously within Goh Gun-Hui's beast-like eyes .

"Not at the hands of that mutated ant, no, but if my Hunters got hurt from the schemes of your people, then you would not have walked out of this room alive . "

Matsumoto's trembling hands packed up his belongings and without taking one reminisce , he escaped from the Korean Association's building during a hurry . Not one lick of his former pride and confidence he displayed during his last visit here might be seen from his departing back now .

"Fuu . . . . "

Meanwhile, Goh Gun-Hui was leaning against the rear of the couch . It felt like all of his pent-up stress was cleared away in round . Of course, he wasn't getting to end things here .

It wouldn't be an exaggeration to mention that he now held the lifeline of the japanese Hunter Association .

'If you committed a criminal offense , then you get punished for it . '

From early in his life, Goh Gun-Hui was taught the way to treat his friends and enemies accordingly .

It was then, his mobile resting on the table suddenly issued a loud racket .

'Mm?'

He tapped on the 'Answer' icon, and an urgent voice came out from the speaker . Goh Gun-Hui quietly listened to what happened, and his eyes progressively grew wider and wider .

"What?! A Gate formed within the middle of a road??"

Not only that, it had been rated to be a rank B Gate that no regular raid team could do something about, too!

"Where is it located?"

The best course of action for this problem was to contact a serious Guild and have them send over a capable raid team . But, then . . . .

'… . Hold on . '

Having heard the report from the agent on site, Goh Gun-Hui's expression became a touch strange .

'Didn't Hunter Seong Jin-Woo get an office for his Guild around there?'

***

The road suddenly became really clogged up .

Jin-Woo was in deep contemplation as he found himself stuck within the middle of an unmoving sea of traffic .

'That lady, she definitely saw something . '

That woman called Madam Norma Selner . She must've faced countless powerful Hunters, yet she couldn't even meet his gaze because she felt a crippling fear of him .

Just what did she 'see' in him?

Was it the traces of his System?

The System would make a couple of ridiculous demands from him every now then , sure, but it had been never a scary existence .

'Instead of being scary, that thing's my greatest ally . '

However, how wouldn't it appear as if in other people's views?

The deputy director asked him some time past if it had been fine to urge in-tuned at a later time . The thing was, though, the lady regaining some calm behind him suddenly got startled again and commenced shuddering as soon as he asked that question .

Even if Jin-Woo wanted to ascertain that woman again, she'd avoid him of her own volition . Her entire body displayed her unwillingness quite clearly . Jin-Woo then came to a realisation .

Maybe, that woman's power didn't work on him . He was very different from normal Hunters, in any case .

'Well, i assume there is no got to waste more of my time with those folks, then . '

That was why he already told the American deputy director that there wouldn't be a requirement and tactfully declined their invite . The frozen-stiff expression of the deputy director was particularly memorable, to mention the smallest amount .

'Besides all that, what's up with this traffic, man?'

Jin-Woo furrowed his brows at the road ahead utterly mired in congestion as far as his eyes could see .

'This is why taking the subway is such a lot more convenient . '

Just as he began wondering if there was an accident up ahead or something . . . .

Vrrrr . . . .

His phone stuck within the car charger vibrated rather noisily . Jin-Woo checked the ID of the caller .

' . . . it is the Association President?'

They saw one another within the funeral venue only a couple of hours ago, so what business did he have in calling him so soon? Jin-Woo tapped the 'Answer' icon .

- "Hunter-nim . It's Goh Gun-Hui speaking . "

The Association President explained things happening within the middle of Seoul during a calm voice .

"Excuse me? A Gate opened within the middle of the road?"

He was starting to think that this holdup was far too heavy to be normal, but there was an honest reason behind it, because it clothed .

Hoping to show the van around, Jin-Woo scanned round the vehicle . Unfortunately, there have been just too many cars tightly packed around him and it had been impossible to maneuver an in. . He helplessly shook his head and returned his gaze to the front of the road . it had been then .

A welcoming piece of stories capable of washing away the wave of dissatisfaction rising up from the holdup jumped out from his phone .

- "Our agents have evaluated it as a rank B Gate . Would you wish to require care of it for us, Hunter-nim?"

'Heot!'

Jin-Woo struggled to suppress the giggles of joy this truly good news managed to awaken . As a matter of fact, he should not be pleased about something that was greatly inconveniencing numerous citizens like this . Yes .

Jin-Woo managed to straighten his voice and cautiously asked .

"I do not have the raid permit, so am i able to just enter like that, sir?"

- "Huhuh . Hunter-nim, who issues the raid permits?"

"It's issued by the Association . "

- "And who am I?"

Jin-Woo suppressed his laughter again and replied seriously .

"You're the President of the Hunter's Association . "

- "Huhuhuh . That's why, don't be concerned about anything and please lookout of it . "

"Well, therein case, many thanks for the me . . . . No, I mean, many thanks for the chance . "

Jin-Woo clenched his fist .

He climbed out of the van and commenced walking after the trace of the magic energy leaking out from the Gate . due to the cars packed tightly altogether sides, he didn't even got to park the van elsewhere , too .

" . . . . Yes . Everyone, the region within the air you see behind me is that the Gate that has appeared within the city today . . . . . "

" . . . . consistent with my sources, this Gate has been ranked at B, a high-ranking Gate that needs the participation of an outsized Guild . . . . "

Reporters had already formed a cordon round the Gate by the time he got there, and therefore the Association employees, also because the members of the local police , were restricting the access .

'Hmm . . . '

Jin-Woo brushed past the wall of the reporters and approached the Gate, but then, a female Association employee with a by-the-book demeanour abruptly blocked his path .

"Please hold it! What does one think you're doing?!"

She pushed at his chest and spoke loudly .

"You can't just barge your way in here like this!"

Too bad, regardless of how hard she pushed together with her small hands, Jin-Woo didn't show any signs of budging from the spot . Only then she belatedly realised that the guy standing ahead of her was a Hunter – and a reasonably high-ranking Hunter at that .

"Are you . . . a Hunter?"

Jin-Woo pulled out his licence and showed it to her . Naturally, her eyes grew super large .

'A r-r-rank S? Seong Jin-Woo???'

Wasn't he an equivalent guy who killed all those ant monsters on Jeju Island . . . . ?

Finally learning of Jin-Woo's identity, the feminine Association employee raised her head to require another look .

Jin-Woo looked tons different from when he appeared on TV, so albeit she was an Association employee, she ended up failing to recognise a rank S Hunter .

However, it had been also natural for people with discerning eyes to exist within the massive crowd gathered here .

"Uh??"

"Isn't he . . . ?"

"It's Seong Jin-Woo!"

"I think Seong Jin-Woo came here to affect the Gate personally!"

People feeling uninterested from being stuck here began recognising Jin-Woo, and their complexions brightened greatly . Some people among them with appointments to urge to even cried call at elation, too .

However, the feminine employee completely disregarded the reactions of the citizens and showed no signs of backing down . She hesitated slightly before asking him .

"What . . . What brings you here?"

What did she even mean, what brings him here?

There would be just one reason why a Hunter chose to face before a Gate, wouldn't it?

Jin-Woo figured that there was no got to explain, so he simply pointed at the Gate beyond her shoulders . She looked behind her for a second or two, and then, formed an expression of pure determination .

Many Hunters ended up losing their lives after placing an excessive amount of faith in their skills while disregarding the established rules and regulations .

'It should be an equivalent story with a rank S Hunter, right . . . ?'

The Association existed to stop such accidents – this fact had been drilled into her head over and once again . Hunters and their safety were the highest priority of the Association .

Especially when the person in question happened to be an exceptional individual ranked 'S', her duty was to stop any mishaps from happening to him regardless of what . that is what she thought, and so, she expressed her belief with a plucky attitude .

"Even if you are a rank S Hunter, sir, i will be able to not tolerate any behaviour that ignores proper procedures . "

" . . . "

Jin-Woo was lost for words and blankly stared at her face . He didn't expect her to return out like this in the least .

She thought that she had succeeded in persuading a rank S Hunter, and continued on together with her next question .

"Did you obtain the raid permit?"

Jin-Woo shook his head, which led her to . . . .

"No, wait . albeit you probably did obtain the permit, since you haven't met the minimum required number of team members, you cannot be allowed in . "

The female employee was impressively unyielding .

Jin-Woo could tell from the design in her eyes that she wasn't doing this out of spite . No, she just appeared to be the sort to stay as on the brink of the book as humanly possible .

Jin-Woo scratched the rear of his head . Well, there is no helping it, then .

"Hold on for a sec . "

Jin-Woo immediately called somebody on the phone . After the decision connected to the opposite side, he pushed the phone to her .

"Here . "

When the feminine employee checked out him puzzled, Jin-Woo spoke to her during a clear voice .

"Please, take it . The call's actually for you . "

She maintained her puzzled expression while asking him .

"W-who is it on the phone?"

"Someone else you'll not 'tolerate' also . "

She inadvertently took the phone from him, but when she discovered the name of the call's receiver appearing on the screen, her brows shot up really high .

'Goh, Goh Gun-Hui?!'

If the person on the road was really . . .

"H-hello . . . . ?"

The female employee's nervous voice was greeted by a deep, heavy voice from the phone's speaker .

- "This is that the Association President speaking . "

Sure enough, it had been him .

The female employee's eyes trembled noticeably, before she began nodding her head over and once again .

"Yes, yes . No, sir . Yes . Yes . I shall do as you say, sir . "

Click .

She returned the phone with a crestfallen expression on her face . When Jin-Woo walked past her, he whispered to her during a hushed tone .

"Thanks . "

"Pardon me?"

"For worrying about me . "

"Y-you, you knew . . . . ?!"

Jin-Woo hurriedly disappeared into the Gate .

'Euh . . . . !'

Greatly annoyed by his antics now, the feminine employee shuddered from dissatisfaction and she or he threw . . . not a curse, but more like an unhappy grumble at his departing back .

'Father in heaven! Sprain that guy's ankle or something inside the dungeon, please!'

However . . . .

Hunter Seong Jin-Woo was a person who walked away safely from the Jeju Island that was completely overrun with rank S monsters .

'Such a man won't have much trouble inside a rank B dungeon, probably?'

But then, it happened at that moment . Screams were rising up from here and there .

"Uhhh? what is going on on here??"

"Why is it changing to red colour?!"

Right after Jin-Woo stepped past the Gate, the eerie colour of blood slowly cover its black surface . it had been a Red Gate!! A terrifying event was unfolding immediately .

"Ah . . . . . !"

The female employee felt utterly devastated after seeing the Red Gate appear .

'Was it because I prayed for him to urge that sprained ankle?!'

Of course, that wasn't it . However, she couldn't get obviate the voices in her head telling her that it had been her fault .

She was taught that the Red Gate, a portal to a different world, was one among the foremost dangerous places there was . She also heard that even the high-ranked Hunters weren't bound to get out of there alive .

'It cannot be . . . . . '

Suddenly, her head was crammed with the pictures of the worst case scenario, and her complexion paled instantly .

'If, if that Hunter-nim gets injured for real, what then . . . . . ?'

Just what percentage minutes glided by like this?

She continued to stew in self-guilt, but when she felt a presence near her, the feminine employee tore her gaze faraway from the asphalt below to seem up . and located Jin-Woo standing before her .

"M-mommy?!"

She got royally frightened out of her wits as if she saw a true ghost just . Jin-Woo simply threw a smile at her way and walked right past her .

'… . . . . '

The face of this feminine employee was during a deeper shade of red than when she was lecture the Association President earlier .

Meanwhile, Jin-Woo searched around for something, and eventually, made his over to a driver of a truck crammed with sacks of potatoes .

"Excuse me, ahjussi? am i able to buy a sack from you?"

"Pardon? You wanna buy some potatoes?"

Jin-Woo shook his head .

"No, just the sack . "

***

The Vice-Master of the tentatively-named 'Solo Play' Guild, also as its chief recruitment officer, its sole lawyer, and even its accountant, Yu Jin-Ho smiled brightly as he saw Jin-Woo entering the office .

"You came back, hyung-nim!"

"Nothing happened while i used to be gone, right?"

"Yes, hyung-nim . However, an applicant eager to become a founding member is . . . . . "

"Okay . Show me the list . Let me undergo it also . "

Seeing that Yu Jin-Ho was pressing him with an equivalent stuff they'd been talking about within the morning, the child must've been wanting to establish the Guild as soon as possible .

Thankfully, Jin-Woo was thinking an equivalent thing .

They only needed another person for the spot of the founding member . The minimum of three people was needed to satisfy the wants to determine a Guild .

'Even if we're trying to fill within the headcount, it's better to select someone hard-working and trustworthy, I think . it isn't like we'll be seeing one another just one occasion , in any case . '

Jin-Woo nodded his head, convinced by his own thoughts . But now that he took a better look, Yu Jin-Ho's complexion seemed a touch cloudy for a few reason .

"Did something happen?"

"The thing is . . . . Hyung-nim . "

"Yeah?"

"As you'll well know, you would like tons of capital so as to determine a Guild . The bidding prices for higher ranked Gates all start at astronomical sums, we gotta pay the signing fees to the newly-joining Hunters, and most significantly , the person applying to become our founding mem . . . . "

Jin-Woo cut him off there .

"Is this enough capital for now?"

Thud .

Jin-Woo placed the potato sack he carried into the office on the ground .

'What's this?'

Yu Jin-Ho's puzzled gaze peered into the open gap of the sack . And he found it packed filled with expensive magic crystals .

"H-hyung-nim . . . . ?! W-what are these?"

Jin-Woo was nonchalant in his reply .

"There was an open Gate on the thanks to the office, so I made a pit stop . "

" . . . . . "

He went out only a few of hours ago, yet during such a brief period of your time , he found a high-ranking dungeon, cleared it completely, and brought out all the magic crystals found within?

"As expected of you, you're amazing, hyung-nim!!"

Yu Jin-Ho stopped brooding about this matter there . it had been ultimately a fruitless endeavour to pigeon-hole hyung-nim with sense .

Jin-Woo watched Yu Jin-Ho celebrating the acquisition of their capital with a content smile, before shifting his gaze over to the conference suite .

"By the way, why is she here?"

"Pardon? Ahh . i used to be close to ask you about her a moment ago . . . . Well, someone applying to become a founding member is expecting you, hyung-nim . "

Jin-Woo's eyes widened .

"An applicant?"

"Yes, hyung-nim . "

"Who is?"

"The person expecting you within the conference suite, hyung-nim . "

"That's what she said?"

"Yes, hyung-nim . "

What on earth was this kid even talking about . . . . ?

Jin-Woo quickly strode over to the conference suite as soon as Yu Jin-Ho was finished and opened the door wide open .

Clunk .

And then, inside this mostly-empty conference suite, he found a lady sipping on a can of coffee on their lonesome and in silence turning her head to satisfy his gaze . Incidentally, Yu Jin-Ho had to quickly dash outside to urge that coffee because they hadn't even bought proper office equipment yet .

"What brings you here, Hunter-nim??"

Jin-Woo asked his guest with a dumbfounded expression on his face .

Then, Cha Hae-In opened her own mouth, still looking up at him from her sitting position .

"I came to . . . . join your Guild . "

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Author : Aselham
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