[Hunter Jung Ji-Han admires your potential.]
[You have received 3 Likes!]
[Hunter Jung Ji-Han’s overall impression of you has changed.]
[You have received 3 Likes!]
[Trainer No.1’s overall impression of you has changed.]
[You have received 2 Likes!]
No one but Ji-Cheok could hear the constant ringing of notifications as Likes poured in.
‘Wow, I do one little show and they’re giving me this many Likes? We, Hunters, know our way around this dog-eat-dog world.
Survival of the fittest is the name of the game.
But… really? This many Likes?’
With the huge amount of Likes Ji-Cheok was receiving, he wondered if people were showing gratitude in other ways that he just didn’t know about.
Around the arena, there were many people astonished by what they saw.
“Wait, wasn’t this the rookie’s first time sparring?” someone asked.
Ji-Cheok’s fight with the mercenary left all the Hunters stunned.
How was one person capable of being this brutally violent and wreaking this much havoc?
Everyone had thought there was no chance for Ji-Cheok to win.
It made no sense for him to win.
Even if Ji-Cheok’s skills overpowered Shelton’s weaknesses, Shelton’s experience and abilities far surpassed Ji-Cheok’s.
The difference was enormous, and since Ji-Cheok had received no proper combat training, he also would have had to worry about using his skills at the right time and place.
“Isn’t it hard for all-rounder Hunters to dominate and win battles against other Hunters?” one person in the crowd said.
Balance-types Hunters were still valuable because they were rare and supportive in many situations.
However, their direct combat ability was weaker than attack-type Hunters
“Did you see how he used a buff, debuff, long-range, defensive, and evasive skills all in one go?” another person added.
The fact that a beginner had destroyed a tank-type Hunter’s armor and that he could use a variety of unique skills was ridiculous.
“Where did he get all those skills from? Is there a god supporting him?” The other Hunter murmured.
“If a god was helping him, he’d only be able to use skills affiliated to the god’s specialization.
That guy just now was using a spirit skill and a shadow one at the same time.”
“Then… he must have gotten them from the hunter shop! But wait, he hasn’t even gone through a dungeon.
Where did he get all his points?”
“The hunter shop doesn’t allow hunters to purchase skills from multiple categories.
We can only purchase ones depending on our specialization, or god if there’s any.
But it seems like he doesn’t have those restrictions.
What’s going on with that?”
The conversations grew louder as everyone came to realize that this better-than-average beginner, Ji-Cheok, had somehow caught up to their professional abilities.
Ji-Cheok looked puzzled as saw the Hunters reacting around him.
‘Sure, I might have hit him a little too hard, but why are they so surprised? And the Likes somehow keep coming!’
Ji-Cheok’s face suddenly froze, however, when he thought of Mu-Cheok.
His younger brother was more important than collecting Likes.
He walked towards the infirmary that was right next to the sparring arena.
Through the window, he saw a healer right next Mu-Cheok’s side, performing treatments.
Mu-Cheok was still unconscious.
‘His injuries might have healed, but… it’s going to take a while for him to wake up.’
While Ji-Cheok worried if his brother was going to be okay, the Hunters around him speculated on what he was thinking.
‘He must be still furious that the mercenary messed with his family.’
‘Well, Shelton crossed a line by using his skills on his brother, and right in front of him to boot.’
‘Even so, how could he smack the guy like that? He may look like a pretty boy, but.’
[Trainer No.2’s overall impression of you has changed.]
[You have received 3 Likes!]
[Hunter Nicole’s overall impression of you has changed.]
[You have received 2 Likes!]
Ji-Cheok was confused, as he continued to receive Likes even while he watched Mu-Cheok recovering.
Then, he heard applause.
Clap, clap, clap.
“That was a great round.”
A woman with short and spiky hair stood among the observing crowd.
She wore a luxurious navy suit with gold buttons.
Not one Hunter had noticed her presence until she began clapping.
Ji-Cheok thought that her eyes closely resembled Ji-Han’s.
“Hello, noonim,” Ji-Han said.
“Long time no see, Ji-Han.
Thanks to you, I had so much fun watching the spar.”
She threw a lollipop stick that she had been gnawing on, and a drone appeared out of nowhere.
It grabbed the stick instantly and placed it into its trash slot.
“That must be the drone with the new camouflage tech,” Ji-Han looked at the drone.
“It was such a pain to build something that Hunters wouldn’t be able to detect.
It’s all thanks to you that I could make this,” she replied.
“It’s the Master Mechanic!” someone in the crowd muttered.
It was a title given to her when she became the top student at her magical mechanics school.
Although the drone did nothing but throw away trash today, it was scary to think what kinds of things she could make it do tomorrow.
The lady spoke, breaking the awkward silence, “Your name is Um Ji-Cheok, right? I think I want him, Ji-Han.”
“No, you can’t.
You have to abide by the rules,” Ji-Han’s eyes widened in shock.
“I know, I know.
Rules are rules.
The rules that Grandpa put into place.
But isn’t it alright if we make a deal?” she asked.
“No matter how much you offer, the answer is no,” Ji-Han answered.
“Fine, let’s talk about this later.
I’ll go treat the guy who was just brought in.
His name is Um Mu-Cheok, correct? These brothers have some interesting names.
Well, I mean, ours are pretty funny too,” she smirked.
A holographic chart popped up in front of her eyes, projected by a second drone.
This one was as small as a bee and almost invisible.
She skimmed through the chart.
“You know what, why don’t you let him use the Class B Awakening Stone right now? If I support him with my tech, it’ll probably maximize the stone’s effects on him,” she said.
“That’s…” Ji-Han hesitated.
“I’m not asking you.
I’m asking the baby-faced softie over there,” she replied.
Ji-Cheok didn’t really understand what she meant by ‘softie,’ but it sounded like a compliment.
Then he pointed at himself.“Me?”
“Yes, do you want me to help you? That was a great show to watch, and I’d like to pay you back.”
* * *
She was Korea’s only Master Mechanic, and no more than a handful of people were awarded that title worldwide.
Everyone knew about her accomplishments and talent.
Well, she had mentioned how funny Ji-Cheok and Mu-Cheok’s names were, but she was in no position to laugh.
Her own last name was Jung, and her first name was Bi-Ga.
Combined, her full name was ‘Jung Bi-Ga.’
‘Why did Jung Man-Deuk give his grandchildren such weird names?’ Ji-Cheok had a hard time wrapping his head around that.
Then again, she technically wasn’t one of Jungha Group’s chaebol children.
She was the illegitimate child of Jung Gi-Su, Jung Man-Deuk’s second son.
Rumors floated around that Jung Gi-Su had cheated on his wife with a famous celebrity.
After Bi-Ga’s mother gave birth to her, her father tried to hide the shameful existence of Bi-Ga, a child born out of wedlock.
That didn’t seem to bother Jung Man-Deuk, however, as he had officially added her name to the family registry.
Back then, Bi-Ga had shown no signs that she would become an Awakened, which made Jung Gi-Su even less willing to acknowledge her.
She grew up being looked down upon, and she suffered terrible discrimination.
Well, it was obvious that a chaebol family would treat her poorly.
Ji-Cheok remembered reading an article with a picture of her being kicked out of the house with her shoes taken away.
In the face of public opprobrium, the Jungha Group announced that it was their form of discipline and they had let her return home just a few minutes after.
They even published an article that defended their actions as a strict chaebol family that was trying to teach her an educational lesson.
The photo of an elementary kid barefoot in the middle of winter had wandered the Internet for a few days, then somehow completely disappeared.
Shortly after, the media broadcast her mother ’s passing because of an illness.
She was left all alone, and that was when she decided to live abroad.
Bi-Ga graduated from a state university in the US with top honors in engineering, then she joined a research team that analyzed artifacts gathered from dungeons, under government funding.
Her team created a system that harnessed the power of artifacts and allowed those who weren’t Awakened to use skills.
It was the kick-off to a new era for the mechanical engineering and magic world.
When the Jungha Group heard the news, they regretted the way they had treated her before, and they were quick to get her back.
Bi-Ga was re-introduced to the group without a fuss.
No one knew why she did it, but people gossiped here and there that she wanted to be next in line to lead the company, after Jung Man-Deuk.
Ji-Cheok couldn’t imagine how Bi-Ga must have felt about her own father mistreating her like that.
She had now become Jung Man-Deuk’s favorite, even more so once she had used the Awakening Stone and became a rising Hunter.
Not only did she care for life, but she also breathed life into machines.
Her other abilities hadn’t been revealed yet, but that wasn’t important.
It was more amazing that, besides also being a licensed physician with right of practice in the US, she had even obtained a license to manufacture magical tools for medical purposes.
“Let’s drop the formalities.
Just call me Bi-Ga Noona.
I’ll call you Ji-Cheok from now on.”
She stretched her arm in the air, and yet another drone appeared, spitting out in her palm a candy shaped like a musical note
“Is it lemon-flavored? Looks pretty good… I’d call it a success,” she said.
“A success?” Ji-Cheok asked.
“Oh yeah, I’m testing my drones to see how they’re doing by making them give me random candies.
This lemon flavor is delicious, and also my favorite, so I’m calling it a success,” she replied as she enjoyed her candy.
‘Why can’t you just tell it not to give you your least favorite flavors?’
When Ji-Cheok looked at her weird, she smirked.
“I decided to stop smoking, and I’m trying to keep my mind off it.
This is the only joy I have these days.”
Ji-Cheok remembered the articles mentioning that Bi-Ga was a heavy smoker who went through three packs a day.
Bi-Ga,” Ji-Cheok said.
“No, no, forget about the ‘miss’.
Just call me ‘noona.’”
We’re getting there.”
“Thank you for treating my brother,” Ji-Cheok said.
“Don’t, I haven’t even started yet.
Thank me after,” she responded.
Bi-Ga skimmed through Mu-Cheok’s chart and stood in front of his bed, then said, “Since we’re in this situation, I was thinking we might as well feed him the Awakening stone too.”
“Right now?” Ji-Cheok widened his eyes.
Ji-Cheok didn’t think Mu-Cheok was ready just yet.
Bi-Ga continued as if she was reading his mind.
“The physical ability he’s shown in sparring is already enough to say that he’s ready.
The results won’t really change even if he exercises more.
More importantly, his emotional energy is quite high, so now is the best time to awaken him.”
“Emotional energy?” Ji-Cheok questioned.
It stems from exceedingly intense joy or sorrow, and it’s extremely effective in sparking and awakening our full potential.
There’s a theory that the Awakening Stones are more effective for those who are in need, and I agree with it,” she replied.
It was Ji-Cheok’s first time hearing about emotional energy, but he thought that there was no need for Bi-Ga to lie about it.
“Right now must be a tough and possibly traumatic moment in Mu-Cheok’s life, which actually works in our favor.
This might be the best moment to awaken him.
Don’t you think so, Mu-Cheok? I heard Ji-Cheok’s first-aid worked very well on you.
Stop pretending that you’re still asleep, Mu-Cheok,” she looked down at him.
“Whaa… how did you know?” Mu-Cheok opened his eyes.
“Wow, so you’re able to talk already? How do you feel? Like shit, right? It seems like you don’t even know where to put yourself after getting knocked out by someone like that in front of your older brother,” she continued.
Mu-Cheok’s face stiffened, but Bi-Ga smiled.
“I love the look on your face.
You guys are both so good-looking!” she pleasantly said, as she looked at them.
“Is there anything we can do in return for your help?” Ji-Cheok asked.
“I just did it on a whim… Well… I mean, could you even pay the kind of price I would ask for?” She retorted with another question..
‘A world-renowned Master Mechanic is helping us… Why? I bet that there’s a catch to her healing Mu-Cheok,” Ji-Cheok thought.
He couldn’t understand why she was helping them just like that.
“Fine, If that’s too hard, then… do two things instead for me,” she said.
“Huh, what are they? If I can try to pay you back…”
“First, tell Ji-Han to keep his promise.”
“He’ll understand what I’m saying.
These words have to be delivered by you, that’s what matters,” she emphasized.
‘Just tell him that…?’ Ji-Cheok was confused.
It was too simple of a task, and Ji-Cheok felt bad.
That said, he had nothing to lose anyway, so he wasn’t about to doubt it.
“What is it?”
“Start your own mukbang channel on Godtube with your younger brother.”
Her completely unexpected words threw Ji-Cheok off.
To be fair, in order to get Likes, he needed to be quite active on Godtube anyway.
Since mukbangs were the most popular content at the moment, he would kill two birds with one stone.
“I’ll invest the money and I will distribute the profits under competitive standards within the industry.
Just eat something in front of the camera, okay? Many people will watch even if you both just eat choco pies.”
She definitely had ulterior movies, but Ji-Cheok was too excited to care.
His heart was pounding, and he was feeling good about what was going to happen next.
A polite form of address meaning ‘elder sister’, used by a younger male for an older female.
Bi (備) means “prepared, equipped” and Ga (加) means “growing, increasing, gaining”.
Since Bi-Ga is a Master Mechanic, her name can be taken to mean “very good at upgrades and enhancements”.
However, her full name (정비가 – Jungbiga) actually means “servicing” or “maintenance”, as in “car servicing”.
Ji-Han’s full name (정지한 – Jungjihan) means “still” or “stationary”.
’Noona’ means ‘older sister’ from a younger brother’s perspective, but is also used for a female older friend.
‘Noonim’ is a more polite version of ‘noona’, with the additional honorific ‘-nim’
Live stream where viewers watch the host cook and eat.
A popular Korean snack consisting of a layer of marshmallow between two spongy biscuits, covered in chocolate.
Common brand names elsewhere include Wagon Wheels, Angel Pies, and Moon Pies.
Bubly ’s Thoughts
J.Andie: biscuits? aren’t those layers of cake?
retired penguin: pretty sure they’re a kind of soft, spongy biscuit.
also angel pies are better
Cosy: as a professional baker, I can assure you that it ’s 2 cake layers and marshmallow in between
the ori of law (ex.
translator): I am either a cake or soft biscuit.
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