The Guardian of Hell’s Thousandth Circle (Part 1)
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‘Was it really just me who thought we were dating?’ After leaving the coffee shop, Kang Yu was in a state of slight shock from Han Sol’s reaction to the words that they were a couple.
She made him delicious kimchi jjigae every day and let him stay at their house.
Of course he thought they were dating.
But all his hopes collapsed.
Kang Yu dejectedly dropped his head.
Gently looking at the guy, Han Sol said:
— About that… Kang Yu…
— Um… You really thought we were dating?
— It’s a little embarrassing to admit it, but yes.
— I… I see… — The girl’s face was flushed as she walked a few steps behind Kang Yu.
When she paused, she looked into the distance and thought about something.
— Did something happen?
— Ah, no, nothing! — Han Sol, who wasn’t expecting a question, hastily shouted out.
Kang Yu, surprised by her strange behavior, tilted his head sideways.
Han Sol continued to lag behind a little, staring again into the distance.
— Kang Yu seemed to be thinking about something, a bright smile on his face.
Han Sol clenched her fists tightly.
When Kang Yu watched her behaving so strangely, he decided to come closer and ask her again if she was okay.
But Han Sol was ahead of him and having gained the courage, quickly approached Kang Yu.
— Kang Yu!
— Huh, yeah?
— It’s… recently… — Han Sol started saying something when she stammered.
But it must have been pretty hard to say this ‘something.’ Her face was growing redder and redder and her voice was getting quieter and quieter.
— Han Sol?
— Um… — She closed her mouth, and her body was shaking a bit.
Fighting her indecision, Han Sol took a deep breath and continued:
— About… addressing.
— Uh… what?
— You can switch to ‘you.’ Let’s start with this.
(*A more casual form of ‘you.’)
Kang Yu smiled at Han Sol’s words.
— That’s fine.
— Thank you.
— Then you can call me ‘you,’ too.
— Ah, no! I feel more comfortable! — Han Sol answered quickly and confidently, nodding her head.
— Okay, — Kang Yu replied, shrugging his shoulders.
— Heh heh, it’s nice to watch your mood improve, — said Dae Su, who was watching Kang Yu and Han Sol, and came closer.
He continued by patting the guy on the shoulder: — Then we’ll meet tomorrow in the Incheon district.
I’ll send you the exact address a little later.
— Mm-hmm… A level D gate is nearer.
Why go so far?
— It’s better to start with that gate.
This time, we’ll hunt the Orcs instead of the lizardmen.
— They are, of course, a little stronger than lizardmen, but there are no swamps and there is no need for silence to catch them.
— That’s a good idea! — Kang Yu didn’t expect Dae Su to make such a suggestion, but he was pleasantly surprised.
‘He really isn’t stupid.
He’s thinking sane, acting clearly.
He also knows what loyalty is.
What else does a subordinate need?’
Kang Yu, with a big smile, looked at Dae Su.
Anyway, it was a good decision to have saved him from the clutches of the Andras Guild.
— Okay, I’ll see you tomorrow then.
What are you going to do today? How about a drink? — In a calm voice, Dae Su asked, picturing the three of them drinking a pile of soju*.
(T.N.: Soju is Korean alcohol, usually 13 —17 degrees.)
— No, I have plans.
— Plans? What kind of plans?
— Levelling up.
— Kang Yu said firmly when he looked at his level.
It’s level 29.
There’s nothing left until rank 4.
‘i shouldn’t miss out on the opportunity to level up.’ Before trying to learn about Demon followers all by himself, he had to become stronger.
And since there is such an opportunity, the power sealing Man Ma Jung will be weakened as well.
He didn’t know what he would have to face: High or Low Players.
He had to be prepared.
‘Waiting for 4th rank.’ He’ll probably gain a new ability that he didn’t have during Hell’s reign.
So he couldn’t help but be interested in the upcoming promotion.
‘They say the higher the rank, the more powerful you get.’
So, in anticipation of a more useful ability, Kang Yu turned to Han Sol and Dae Su:
— I think I’ll go now.
— Have a good hunt!
— Yes, I’ll see you tonight, Kang Yu.
After saying goodbye to them, Kang Yu went to the Level C Gate.
— Well… — Successfully passing the gate entrance exam, Kang Yu took a breath.
‘Let’s get started.’ No strategy was required to defeat orcs and trolls.
Kang Yu only needed to choose the right route to catch as many monsters as possible.
— Raising levels are getting harder and harder… — Even when killing monsters at level C, the level rose slowly.
He would rather grind at the Level B Gate, but it wasn’t possible yet.
Not only did it take a certain number of mana stones to be sold, but it also required 30 level C mana stones to get a Level B certificate.
‘That’s why everyone talks about guilds.’ If a Player is a member of a guild, he can freely enter a higher level gate with his comrades, even if his level is not as high.
However, Kang Yu, who only had connections with the Andras Guild, which was under strict supervision of the Hwaran squad, did not have this privilege.
— It’s time to make connections. — He hadn’t thought about joining a guild, but getting to know the Players who are in the big guilds was a good idea.
‘Besides, it’s not that difficult.’ Kang Yu had some charm.
He couldn’t compare himself to other players, but he was sure that no matter where he went, he wouldn’t be left without attention.
Because he knew very well that for every Player in battle, the most important thing was strength and skills.
Continuing to think about gaining connections, he used the Power of the Observation.
The Magi flew a black haze around, transmitting all the recognizable information to Kang Yu’s head.
‘Let’s start with eight trolls.’ Kang Yu learned the position of the troll colony and headed towards them.
Using the Power of Acceleration, he quickly slipped past the forest.
The guy did not hesitate to fly into a pile of trolls and began cutting heads off monsters with a black sword created with the Power of Blade.
The trolls, not knowing what was happening, froze for a moment and then started screaming loudly.
Realizing they were under attack, they raised their clubs and rushed to Kang Yu from all sides.
However, he did not feel horror at the sight of monsters flying at him three meters high.
Whatever it was, he didn’t even consider it of any importance.
Compared to the monsters living in Hell, the trolls looked even cute to him.
He ended the fight with no interest, crushing eight monsters in less than a minute.
Perhaps people could even feel sorry for the dead trolls, as their murder was extremely brutal.
In the blink of an eye, Kang Yu immediately found a new target, killing a bunch of trolls in one breath.
‘I’ll deal with the bodies later,’ Kang Yu thought.
‘Right now it’s much more important to get the 4th rank by reaching level 30, rather than using the Devourer’s Power and pulling out Magi.
Leaving the bodies untouched, Kang Yu went to the next target with a frightening attitude.
— Mm-hmm… — That’s when he smelled the blood.
Of course, everything around was covered in the blood of eight brutally murdered monsters, but the smell he caught was different from the smell of troll blood.
‘It’s the smell of human blood.’ And the victim was not just hurt, but most likely mortally wounded, so much so that the smell of his blood interrupted the smell coming from the bodies.
Kang Yu squinted and his eyes went dark.
He changed his route and headed towards the source of the smell.
‘Death on Hunt.’ The probability that Player was wounded during a battle and is now dying was high.
In fact, death while hunting was not uncommon, it happened quite often.
The Power of Silence.
However, we couldn’t rule out the possibility of death at the hands of a teammate or the Demon Followers.
With the Power of Silence, Kang Yu took silent steps to continue walking towards the source of the blood smell.
It didn’t take long.
In a small clearing in the middle of the forest, there were five disfigured bodies of Players.
— That’s… — Kang Yu looked at the bodies from top to bottom.
The bodies lying on the ground were disfigured to such an extent that it would have been difficult to discern their gender.
— They were killed by a monster.
— Kang Yu muttered quietly looking at the Players’ wounds.
— Hmm… — He squinted incomprehensibly and looked at the bodies again.
‘There’s no blood from monsters here.’ If there was a battle and the monsters won, there should at least be traces of them.
The five-man group that reached the C-level gate lost to the trolls and orcs without even injuring them?
‘It can’t be that way.’ They didn’t even fight with the boss, so such a crushing defeat is unimaginable.
No, even if it was the boss, he wouldn’t have been able to destroy the whole party without getting hurt by them.
‘How did that happen?’ Kang Yu squinted, looking at the remnants of the Players’ bodies lying around.
At that moment, there was a scream of fear that penetrated down to the bone.
The guy’s eyes widened to an impossible size.
A giant black beast with red spots stood in front of him.
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A monster with a powerful body of about five meters high.
The most important thing was that Kang Yu knew this monster well.
— What’s a Hellhound doing here?
The monster standing among the trees was nothing more than a guard from the First Thousandth Circle of Hell.
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