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Solo Leveling - Chapter 157

Published at 6th of April 2019 04:50:51 PM


Chapter 157

Chapter 157: Chapter 157


Jin-Woo arrived at the god statue’s eye level instantly .

This was at the highest point of the jump before one’s body would begin its descent due to gravity . It felt as if everything around him had come to a stand-still .

The drops of sweat flying off of his body as he jumped sparkled under the light . Although slow, they were definitely getting further away from him .

He was in the state of peak concentration right now . The undeniable threat of losing his life from the smallest mistake pushed all of Jin-Woo’s abilities to their absolute limits .

‘This is the true power of the Agility Stat… . ’

His heart pounded hard and fast as the realisation dawned on him that this was what the peak state of the Agility Stat could produce when pushed to the extreme . However, he obviously did not have the leeway to revel in the fruit of his labour .

Even now, the eyes of the god statue were moving towards him, albeit at a crawling speed . Seeing up close the crimson light coagulating within the d*m thing’s eyes sent shivers all over his body .

Just getting brushed by that thing would mean his end .

Sensing the dizziness of the danger, his mind re-focused on the task at hand .

‘Stay calm… . . ’

He reached out with his left hand, still not holding any weapon .

‘Ruler’s Authority!’

The upgraded skill based on ‘Ruler’s Reach’ began pulling at the shoulder of the god statue . He was thinking of reeling himself in, rather than actually dragging the god statue and its incalculable body weight towards him .

Wuuoong-!!

However, his expectation was somewhat shaken up as the upper body of the god statue actually did creep forward just a little .

‘… . . !!!’

What an incredible force of attraction that was!

The power of the skill must have gone up several notches when it evolved from ‘Ruler’s Reach’ to ‘Ruler’s Authority’ .

And all thanks to that, Jin-Woo got to land on the god statue’s shoulder far easier than he anticipated . He quickly raised his head to look behind him .

Buzzzzing-!

The scarlet-red laser beam exploding out accurately pierced past the location in the air he was floating in, only a moment ago .

‘Nice . ’

For the next few seconds, he was safe from the god statue’s laser beam attacks .

Feeling unburdened now, Jin-Woo sprinted on top of the statue’s shoulder with all his might and arrived near its neck . His right hand gripped the hilt of the ‘Demon King’s Shortsword’ tightly .

‘Violent Slash!!’

Several silver streaks of blade light rained down on the target like the shells of a shotgun .

Dududududududu-!!

Dozens upon dozens of slashes landed on the statue’s neck . However, there was barely any visible damage .

Not one slash managed to inflict a heavy enough wound; they all stopped at simply causing negligible, superficial nicks on the skin .

‘So, the shortsword doesn’t work, is that it?’

It was that moment that the ‘Demon King’s Shortsword’, previously capable of slicing up the steel-like scales of the boss-level Naga into ragged bits, came across as an insignificant and shabby toy .

It was then .

Jin-Woo discovered a giant hand busy flying in his general direction . Before it could grasp him, though, he ran on the back of the statue’s neck and changed his position to the other shoulder .

He took a quick look down as he ran and saw how dizzyingly high he was right now .

He raised his head up and glared at the side of the god statue’s face . This god statue wouldn’t be the first enemy that his blades failed to inflict any damage . As a matter of fact, he had dealt with a countless number of them so far .

‘If I can’t stab it, then I’ll just pummel it!’

He didn’t invest all those Stat points in his Strength Stat just for fun . Jin-Woo’s eyes gleamed brightly with determination . He lightly jumped up and thrust his left hand at the temple of the god statue’s face .


Crack!!

All five fingers of his left hand dug deep under the surface .

‘It’s done!’

Jin-Woo clenched his left hand into a fist . With that, he was firmly secured onto the god statue’s face like a rock climber hanging onto the surface of a cliff with one hand . All this was simply him getting ready .

The real thing was starting now .

Jin-Woo’s right back, his right shoulder, and then his right arm all began to balloon up to an unnatural size . That was the result of an incredible amount of magic energy enveloping his right arm .

As a test, he threw a single punch first .

Ka-boom!!!

The god statue’s head, that didn’t even budge from the shortsword’s attacks, suddenly and visibly trembled .

‘… . . !!’

The angel statue observing the unfolding situation was shocked beyond words from that .

The enormous amount of magic energy spreading out from high up above managed to shake the air within the entire underground temple . The angel statue continued to look up while not even bothering to hide its extremely excited state at all .

To think, that a human would deal with its masterpiece in such a manner .

An even greater level of anticipation bubbled up within the gleaming light of the angel statue’s eyes .

Ka-bboooom!!

Jin-Woo’s fist punched the god statue’s face for the second time .

Stagger .

For a brief moment there, the god statue lost its balance . The attacks were definitely working .

However, the god statue wasn’t planning to stand still and not do anything while getting punched to death by him .

Vuwoong-!!

As if it was trying to catch a mosquito, the god statue slapped its own face with that giant hand .

BOOM-!!

Jin-Woo dodged that giant palm strike and safely landed back on the god statue’s shoulder, a mocking grin etched on his face now . That was no different from this thing busily slapping itself .

He didn’t wait and sprinted back towards the god statue’s face as soon as its hand went away . And then… .

Boom!! Ka-boom!! Kwang! Kwang!! Kwa-boom!!!

Terrifying, deafening booms reverberated continuously throughout the large dome-shaped temple .

Crack, craaack… .

Cracks formed on the face of the god statue and spread all over the surface like a spider’s web . The tottering god statue tried its best to maintain its balance before it began running towards one of the walls in this massive, open space .

Thud, thud, thud!!

The ‘creature’s huge legs viciously stomped on the ground . It was trying to crush Jin-Woo still sticking to its face by ramming into the wall .

‘But, before that happens… . ’

… . He’d finish this fight!

Jin-Woo’s fist began pounding faster, harder, and with even less mercy onto the face of the god statue .

Kwang!! Kwang!! Kwang!! Kwaaahng!!

Thud! Thud! Thud!

The god statue increased its running speed and the gap to the wall was reduced in seconds .

Sneak .

Jin-Woo confirmed the remaining distance with his eyes and, for the purpose of landing the final blow, sent all of his power to his right arm .


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Thick veins bulged on his ballooning arm muscles as a horrifying amount of magic energy filled his limb up .

‘… . Very good . ’

The physical strength of a level 103 . Jin-Woo poured all of that into this single fist of his . Just before he was about to collide against the wall… .

KWA-BOOM!!

CRACK!!!

Along with the loud noise of a ripened watermelon shattering into pieces, half of the god statue’s face was blown away . It eventually faltered and fell down on its knees .

RUMBLE-!!

The entirety of the empty dome-shaped arena rumbled spectacularly . And then, the gigantic body of the god statue powerlessly tilted over to the ground .

RUUUMBLE-!!

A thick, choking cloud of dust kicked up into the air as the massive figure collapsed, hard, to the dry ground . Jin-Woo walked out from there while waving away the dust covering up the room like a thick fog .

“Fuu-woo . ”

Jin-Woo let out a soft sigh under his breath .

Ba-thump, ba-thump, ba-thump… .

Even now, the sound of his wildly beating heart noisily rang around in his ear canals . The god statue that nearly made him wet his pants the first time he stood before it, had fallen face down on the ground, unmoving .

No one else did that . He was responsible for this spectacle .

‘I can definitely do this . ’

… . Regardless of what that was .

He recalled the Hunters who lost their lives inside here and a powerful emotion welled up from deep within his heart . Unfortunately, the remaining stone statues continued to move quickly, as if they didn’t want him to have this quiet moment to himself .

They surrounded him in a circle and closed the distance . Just before they were about to pounce on him, though… .

Jin-Woo stopped looking at his two hands… and raised his head .

“Ruler’s Authority . ”

BOOM-!!

Every single stone statue slammed their heads down on the floor and stopped moving altogether . This was the power of the invisible hand, also known as the skill ‘Ruler’s Authority’ .

Jin-Woo returned his gaze back to his hands .

‘I’ve become even stronger through today’s battle . ’

He clenched his fists and unfurled them, before repeating his actions again .

An incredible power was overflowing out of his fists, no, from his entire body . He could clearly sense this flow of power now .

At the same time, his heart showed no signs of slowing down at all . It felt as if something sleeping deep within him had awakened through this life-or-death struggle .

It was then .

Clap, clap, clap, clap, clap .

He heard slow handclaps . Jin-Woo raised his head in the direction of that clapping noise . The angel statue was clapping its hands in an exaggerated manner, that repulsive smile still etched on its face .

“Truly excellent . ”

Quite unlike the words leaving its mouth, though, the light oozing out of its eyes were of rather nefarious origins . Jin-Woo calmly spoke to the statue .

“Don’t you have an agreement to uphold, first?”

The d*mn thing clearly announced that, as long as Jin-Woo managed to stand on his two feet after the end of this final test, all the answers he wanted to know would be provided to him .

So, he wanted to hear them right now .

Unfortunately, a stiff smile formed on the angel statue as if it had no intentions of letting him know that easily .


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“Hah, hah . ”

It took a step closer to him .

“Your test isn’t finished yet . ”

Then, another step closer .

“In here… . ”

Yet another step .

The angel statue closed the distance with several large strides and eventually stood before Jin-Woo’s nose .

“… . I’m still here, aren’t I?”

Dududuk, dudududuk!!!

The lengthy wings on the back of the angel statue suddenly twisted and writhed around before transforming into arms . Two arms coming out of its shoulders, and six more sprouting from its back – eight hands in total began clenching into tight fists .

“I am your final test . ”

Jin-Woo frowned deeply . Before he could say anything, though – the angel statue cut him off .

“There is no need to worry about my ‘life’ . ”

Flinch .

Jin-Woo’s eyes widened in surprise . This thing knew what he wanted to say in advance . He was about to raise his voice in irritation, telling the creature that its death would result in him not getting any answers in the end .

“Are you surprised?”

The angel statue raised one of its hands and pointed at its own head .

“All of your information is in here . ’

‘… . Could it be?’

Cold sweat drops rapidly formed on Jin-Woo’s forehead .

“As expected of a quick-witted human . Hah, hah . ”

The angel statue issued out more of that stiff, mechanical laughter . And then, carried on with what it wanted to say .

“If you try to control your power to prevent me from dying, that will make it difficult to properly measure your true strength . So, to prevent that…”

Right in that moment – the angel statue’s lips moved at a quick pace .

However, the voice of the angel statue didn’t come out from there . It came out from somewhere else .

[An ‘Emergency Quest’ has been issued . ]

[If you fail to defeat the enemy within the designated time limit, your heart will stop operating altogether . ]

[Remaining time: 10:00]

Just as the quest message finished saying its piece, one second ticked down from the remaining time .

Tick .

[Remaining time: 09:59]

Jin-Woo’s eyes began trembling hard as he stared at the angel statue .

“That’s right . ”

[That’s right . ]

Whenever the angel statue spoke, he also heard the System’s voice at the same time as well .

Jin-Woo’s heart that seemed to have recovered some calmness just now began madly pounding away again . His breathing quickened and his fingertips trembled .

The angel statue studied Jin-Woo’s reaction before answering one of the very first questions he asked earlier – “What are you?”


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“I am the architect of the System . ”

[I am the architect of the System . ]

***

“Mister Kim, you’re a reporter . There’s a dungeon break happening in Japan right now, so is it okay for you to be camping out here like this?”

Woo Jin-Cheol threw that question out as if he was feeling greatly annoyed by something at the moment .

The reporter named Kim yawned grandly while scratching the area around his sideburns .

“That place is already packed full of other reporters . Nothing will change even if I show up there, wouldn’t you agree? It’ll be better for me to stick with the folks of the Monitoring Division and get myself a scoop or two . ”

“…”

Woo Jin-Cheol was tempted to advise this reporter that he should either stick to yawning or scratching his face, but gave up and sighed inwardly .

This was because Kim was one of a very few reporters that wrote favourable articles regarding the Association when everyone else seemed to be hell-bent on ‘uncovering’ wrongdoings of the organisation or coming up with provocative gossip pieces on the private lives of various Hunters .

‘No need to turn an ally into an enemy, now is there… . ?’

That was why Woo Jin-Cheol was keeping this reporter named Kim company as the latter paid a visit to the Monitoring Division’s offices .

Kim finally finished his lengthy yawn and threw a question back .

“Besides that, Chief Woo . Our whole country is going through a bit of upheaval right now, so is it fine for you to be sitting here and doing nothing in the office like this?”

Woo Jin-Cheol closed the cover on the file he was working on and spoke in a soft voice that sounded almost like a gentle sigh .

“Someone has to stay behind to guard his assigned station, you see . ”

“Ohhh . ”

Reporter Kim’s eyes opened up wider in understanding and replied while quickly pulling out a palm-sized memo pad and a pen .

“You know, that’s a cool soundbite . I want to make sure not to miss out on a single word, so can you repeat them for me, please?”

“Mister Kim, you really… . ”

Woo Jin-Cheol was about to raise his voice higher but with excellent timing, his smartphone went off .

‘…Mm?’

It was a call coming from the report centre . If it was a call not coming through the hotline of the Monitoring Division but to his personal phone, then that could only mean the matter at hand wasn’t simple in nature .

Woo Jin-Cheol quickly answered the call .

“This is Section Chief Woo Jin-Cheol speaking, Monitoring Division . ”

– “Chief, we just received a report, sir . Looks like your presence is required on this one . ”

Woo Jin-Cheol’s eyes narrowed to a slit .

“What happened?”

– “Do you remember the high school where those Orcs came out?”

“Did something happen in that place again… . ?”

– “It doesn’t seem like anything major had gone down there yet, but a Gate appearing in that school’s athletic field a few days ago turned out to be a dual dungeon, sir . ”

‘A dual dungeon?’

Woo Jin-Cheol’s eyes grew wider .

– “But, the thing is… . ”

It seemed that the employee charged with receiving the reports still had something else to say . Woo Jin-Cheol’s voice became more urgent .

“Okay, so what else is there?”

– “I heard that Hunter Seong Jin-Woo has entered the Gate, sir . ”

< Chapter 157 > Fin .



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