Solo Leveling - Chapter 56

Published at 9th of January 2019 10:22:55 PM

Chapter 56

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I Alone Level-up: Chapter 56


After Jinwoo finished the errand to check his account balance, he went and got fitted for a suit and even had the time to get a haircut at a nearby salon.




He was a completely different person than when he had left the house.


‘Money really is good.’


Jinwoo stopped next to a shop window and checked his new look out in the reflection.  This should be good enough.


‘At the very least, I won’t leave a bad impression.’


He checked the time.  It was 4:20.


‘She said be there by 5.’


He would make it in time.




He hailed a cab and arrived at the school with time to spare.  He saw Jinah waiting for him out in front.


“Sung Jinah.”


His little sister did not realize he had approached and jumped.




Jinah stared at him like a deer in headlights.


“Excuse me, are you really Sung Jinwoo-ssi?”


“Do you not recognize your own oppa?”


Jinah looked up and down on his figure and exclaimed,


“Well, you’re a completely different person!”


“Did you think I would meet my dongsaeng’s teacher in tracksuit and slippers?”




Jinah could not close her mouth.


“Your jaw’s going to fall off. I’m going ahead.”


It looked like Jinah was too shocked to guide him, so Jinwoo took the lead.  He was a student here 5 years ago. The structure was familiar to him. He knew the meeting would happen in a conference room and not her homeroom, so he headed in that direction.  His pace was quick.


“O-oppa! Wait for me!”


Jinah quickly trotted after her brother.


“Hello, teacher.”


“Hmm? Oh, hello.”


On the way, he greeted various teachers.  Everyone of them stared at him as he walked by.


‘Who was that?’

‘Is he an alumni? I don’t think there are students like that at our school.’

‘Is he a new teacher?’


The teachers weren’t the only ones who turned their heads.


“Whoa, handsome.”

“Who is that?”

“Isn’t that Jinah next to him?”

“It must be her brother. Wow, he’s so cool.”


A muscular body and a fashionable suit.  Even a plain-looking person would catch their eyes.  Well, Jinwoo was completely uninterested.




The student’s whispers went in one ear and out the other to him.  The one who was excited was Jinah. She perked her ears and listened to her fellow students’ whispers, then went up to her brother and ribbed him with her elbow.


“Wow, Oppa’s pretty popular~”


He ignored her the first time.


“You know, oppa doesn’t have a girlfriend, right?”


He ignored her the second time..


“Should your cute little sister introduce you to someone?”


He pinched her cheeks the third time.


“Don’t mess around.”




Jinwoo released her, and she rubbed her red cheek.


“Che, I know you’re enjoying all this…”


While they were being siblings, they had arrived.  Jinah spun with a flourish then gestured.


“Oppa, it’s here.”


Jinwoo was about to enter, then turned to Jinah.


“What about you?”


“This is only for the parent/guardian and the teacher. I’m just here to see you off.”


Oh right, Jinwoo remembered his own back in his last year of highschool.  At the time, no one had come for him.


‘Mother was already having difficulties moving back then.’


After she fell ill, his mother had to be quickly hospitalized.  Not wanting to exert her weak body, Jinwoo did not tell her about the parent/guardian meeting.  He had to endure the pestering of his teacher for a while because of that. Remembering that experience, he realized why Jinah was nervous when she asked for his time.  He asked his sister with a smile,


“You’re staying out late today, too, right?”


“Yep, you can go home without me.”




He patted her head before she could react, messing up her hair.


“Study hard.”


“Ah danggit, don’t do that.”


“I’ll see you at home.”


Jinwoo entered the conference room with a smile.  Jinah fixed her hair while pouting.


“How long will you treat me like a kid…”


Well, it wasn’t like she hated it.  She looked around, worried that someone might’ve seen.  After confirming no one was around, she skipped towards her classroom.




If he had to describe his first impression of Jinah’s homeroom teacher in a sentence...




She looked like a virtuous person.


“You must be Jinah’s older brother.”


She was a wise-looking middle-aged female teacher.  Someone whose bright smile made the other person feel comfortable.  Knowing the circumstances of his household, she did not question Jinwoo’s presence at all for the parent/guardian meeting.


“Please to meet you. I am Jinah’s homeroom teacher. I didn’t realize Jinah had such a handsome older brother, hoho.”


At her sassy but pleasant greeting, Jinwoo bowed his head.


‘I don’t remember her while I was here.’


She must’ve been a new teacher after he had graduated.  They say the first impression was very important. After their greeting, he was able to relax a bit.


‘She’s very respectful to someone much younger like me.’


It appeared that his little sister’s senior year would not be plagued by a bad teacher.


“Please, have a seat.”


She gestured toward a chair.  Jinwoo sat down and faced the teacher across a large desk.


“I don’t think you have to worry about Jinah.”


They talked about the average matters for a parent/guardian meeting.  Their conversation continued in a good mood for some time. Because Jinah was a model student, her teacher had nothing but good things to say.


“You’re aware that Jinah wants to go to a medical school, right?”




The teacher read through Jinah’s profile.


“Her test scores were good, and her overall grades are excellent. She should be more than capable of getting into a good school. So please don’t put too much pressure on her.”


Jinwoo solemnly nodded.  The teacher’s face was filled with expectations for Jinah.  Truthfully, many homeroom teachers for highschool seniors were filled with stress due to the student’s grades.  After all, a student’s final years in highschool determined the course of their lives.[0]


‘And that’s why I heard most teachers wanted to avoid teaching seniors.’


He had heard that some teachers had to be forced into the spot.  With that in mind, it was clear that Jinah’s teacher was someone with passion for the job.  As Jinah’s guardian, Jinwoo was very grateful for this.


The meeting was nearing its end after 15 minutes.


“And then…”


Jinwoo was about to rise, but then the teacher carefully asked a question,


“I heard that Jinah’s oppa was a Hunter.”


Her eyes had suddenly turned serious.  Jinwoo realized something was up.


“Yes, I am.”


“If… Jinah underwent Awakening, would you let her work as a Hunter?”

“Absolutely not.”




Jinwoo firmly replied.  He did not need to think about it.  The teacher’s expression darkened.


“As I expected…”


When Jinwoo looked at her suspiciously, the teacher continued with hesitation,


“If it’s not too much trouble, may I ask you for a favor?”


Jinwoo nodded.


“If it’s something I can do…”


He’d hear her out at least.  The woman was Jinah’s teacher; he did not want to sour their relationship by cutting her off from the start.  Fearing that he would change his mind, the teacher quickly spoke,


“One of the female students here underwent Awakening recently. She’s planning on dropping out and starting work as a Hunter. She’s been absent for some time now.”




It was a common occurrence.  People who freshly received their Awakening ignored common sense and threw themselves into the Hunter profession.  Despite not knowing what the job truly entailed, they did it with pride at the fact that they were different from an ordinary person.  Even if you were an Awakened Being, taking on the title of a Hunter and earning life-changing amounts were difficult.


The teacher sighed deeply,


“If this continues, the school will have no choice but to take action. I want to avoid that if possible. Even if you were a Hunter, don’t you think you should atleast have a highschool diploma?”


Jinwoo nodded in agreement.  At the positive response, the teacher’s face brightened a bit.


“Could you please convince her to at least consider graduating?”


The teacher smiled pleadingly.  Jinwoo asked a question out of curiosity,


“That student, what was her rank?”


“From what I’ve heard… it was the lowest rank…”




‘...She’s not going to live long.’


Jinwoo clicked his tongue inside his head.  Even just entering a Dungeon required a caution at that rank.  9 out of 10 times, entering a Dungeon with carefree attitude born of arrogance resulted in either becoming disabled or dying.  The fact that a girl his sister’s age might meet such a fate weighed heavily on Jinwoo. However, he knew this was her decision.  No one had forced her into it. It was unfortunate, but he did not want to take valuable time out of his schedule to interfere with someone else’s choice.


‘I’m not sure if I could even convince her.’


People like that didn’t like being told what to do.  And so, Jinwoo decided to refuse and started to rise.  But the teacher continued,


“Her name is ___. Jinah should know her.” [1]


When he heard the student’s name, Jinwoo could not get up.  He asked to confirm,


“Teacher, what was her name again?”


“It’s ___. Do you know her?” [2]




What a small world.




Jinwoo was at a loss for words.




At the same hour.


Yoojin Construction’s Chairman Yoo Myunghan’s personal residence.


From early morning, luxurious and expensive cars made nonstop appearances at the house.


They all had arrived for the same reason.


It was for the memorial service[3] of Yoojin Construction’s founding chairman, Yoo Byungcheol.  He was the father of Korea’s #1 businessman, Yoo Myunghan. The man’s firstborn made sure to clear all schedules, no matter how busy he was, and took care of his father’s memorial service every year.  As a testament to the man’s fierce demeanor and influence, the entire Yoo clan gathered as one on this day.


A certain investment firm’s president.  A certain pharmaceutical company’s chairman. A certain mall’s owner.  The members of the Yoo clan were filled with prominent heads of various business sectors.  Even their children were the elites among elites. Except for one.


That one person, without being told to do so, took up a spot quietly in a corner, acting as if he didn’t exist.


It was Yoo Jinho. [4]




The young man wished this entire ceremony would be over soon.  Running through Dungeons with hyungnim was a hundred times, no, a thousand times more fun than this.


‘I wonder what hyungnim’s up to right now?’


Now that he thought about it, he couldn’t imagine how Jinwoo would spend his day off.  Jinho idly thought about random things while sipping away at his drink, when a voice he didn’t want to hear spoke up from behind him.




Who else could it be? Even at a glance, you could tell that the voice’s owner was a man of talent.  Exuding the aura of an elite. Wearing high-class glasses. A tall height.


It was Yoo Jinho’s older brother, Yoo Jinsung.  The firstborn son of Yoo Myunghan. The heir who would control Yoojin Construction someday.


The man stood right before his younger brother and stared down on him.


“You should be up and about greeting the relatives. How long are you going to act like a little kid for?”




“Know that your unseemly actions only besmirch the name of our father.”


Yoo Jinsung’s words did not have a shred of brotherly love in them, only an utter disdain of looking down on someone inferior.  Of course, Yoo Jinho also had little love for his brother but did not dare speak up against him.




His brother took after their father in many ways after all.  He was a genius among geniuses that stood at the top of the class in every subject, and his grades were just the tip of the iceberg.  Once he graduated, he quickly began working under his father, Yoo Myunghan, in various sectors of business and produced great results.  Compared to him, Yoo Jinho had nothing to show for himself. Even entering college was with the help of the family name. Whenever he stood next to his brother, Jinho felt himself shrinking down to nonexistence.






The older brother frowned at the younger’s lowered head.  He quickly turned and walked away.


“Esteemed uncle.”

“Oh, it’s Jinsung. How are you?”


Yoo Jinho was able to finally raise his head after Yoo Jinsung had walked away.  This is why he hated coming home. If only it wasn’t his grandfather’s memorial service… While Yoo Jinho repeatedly sighed to himself, another familiar voice came from behind him.


“Wow, I really hate that guy.”


Yoo Jinho turned around.  It was his cousin, a year older than him, Yoo Soohyun.


Translator’s Notes:

[0]: Might sound weird for folks in the west, but it’s really true in Korea.  There’s a reason why the country’s known for the immense amount of pressure parents put on their kids during highschool.

[1]: The original passage skips over the student’s name here.

[2]: Again, the name is not written down in the original passage.

[3]: “memorial service” (제사): In Korea (and I think most east asian countries), families go the extra mile when it comes to remembering the dead, specifically their elders that have passed.  Large families would gather the entire clan into one place for remembrance.

[4]: Aww...