The goblin that leapt like a frog smashed into Ji-Cheok’s shield and rolled onto the ground.
With no time to lose, he raised his sword, charging at the other goblin and slashing down at it.
‘It’s a good day to kill, isn’t it? Let’s go, my goblin friends.’
Ji-CXheok looked to his side as random thoughts filled his mind.
The goblin who had fallen after taking a hit from his shield was now rolling around uncontrollably, as if its back hurt.
There was not enough time for Ji-Cheok to pull his sword out of the skull that he had just chopped into.
As such, with his shield ready, Ji-Cheok inched closer to the injured goblin.
Bang! Bang! Thud!
Ji-Cheok struck the goblin’s neck with the edge of the shield.
All three goblins had been handled.
[Sword and Shield skill has increased by one level.]
[Steady Heart skill has increased by one level.]
[Nearby citizens admire you!]
[Citizen no.3 that you just saved from the goblins is expressing his gratitude.]
[You have received 17 Likes.]
[You have received 21 Likes.]
[You have received 11 Likes.]
[You have received 21 Likes.]
“Whoa,” Ji-Cheok was surprised.
As Ji-Cheok went to retrieve his sword that was stuck in the goblin’s skull, so many messages popped up.
Maybe it was because of the Beginner’s Package which had improved his skills, but… where were all these Likes coming from?
“Huh?” he was confused.
Looking side to side, Ji-Cheok became aware of the many eyes staring at him.
It wasn’t just the people in the streets; those in the nearby buildings were looking through the windows, and some were even recording him with their phones.
[You have received 3 Likes.]
[You have received 2 Likes.]
The Likes kept increasing and that’s when it hit him.
Do I get Likes even when people are just thankful and cheering for what I’ve done?
Ji-Cheok was relieved.
After thinking about it some more, he pulled out his sword and stood in front of the Gate.
The goblins were poking their heads out of the Gate one by one.
“Gaining so many Likes is so empowering.” Ji-Cheok couldn’t stop now.
Instead, he readied himself to deal with the goblins.
As more and more goblins came out of the Gate, however, they started spreading around.
The situation was slowly getting out of hand.
A goblin swung its sword at a car where people were hiding.
The bus that Ji-Cheok had been on had enough distance to evacuate, but since the car was so close to the Gate, those people couldn’t safely leave.
In this situation, rescue manuals advised people to lie low in the car.
It was technically safer to stay inside than run around and become monster food, but that didn’t mean they’d actually have a better chance at surviving.
The goblin made a horrible shriek as it slashed its sword against the windshield.
Since the massive Monster Wave back in the day, laws were put in place to have all cars built with bulletproof materials.
But as the monster continued to strike over and over, a crack started to develop in the glass.
‘What should I do?’
If Ji-Cheok were to fight off that goblin, he wouldn’t be able to prevent the other goblins that he was blocking from dispersing into the city.
Such were the woes of a beginner who was fighting his first battle.
[Citizen no.2 is inside the car and scared!]
[Citizen no.1 is comforting Citizen no.2 by saying that you will come and save them.
Citizen 2 is hugging Citizen no.1.]
[You have received 30 Likes!]
Inside the car, a middle-aged couple were holding onto each other for dear life.
It was only then that Ji-Cheok got a small sense of how this system worked.
He realized that this might explain how no matter how many goblins he fought off, he wouldn’t level up.
He didn’t even gain any XP either.
The only thing that made him stronger was the Likes.
With these points, he was able to buy his stats and skills.
It was a completely different leveling-up system to the usual Hunter.
“Open up the shop window!” Ji-Cheok ordered.
At this rate, it seemed that many goblins would spread out into the city.
Right now, he was collecting Likes through people cheering him on and sharing their gratitude.
But what would happen if there were casualties? He had seen way too many moments where hope had quickly shifted into fear.
In that day and age, everyone had seen such scenes way too many times.
Ji-Cheok continued on, “Search for an Aggro skill!”
He didn’t know what was going to happen tomorrow, but he was going to do whatever he could today!
“Select the one with the widest range that I can use right away,” he decided.
[Comparing your current skills and the least number of conditions required to get the skill books.]
[Showing 1 search result.]
[Roar of the Wild]
“Purchase!” Ji-Cheok said.
The skill book fell into his hands, disappearing with a flash of light, and at that moment, he had instantly learned the skill.
“Search for a long-distance skill with my remaining points! Something I can use right now too!”
[Showing 240 different search results.]
“Reduce the results to ones where I don’t need to buy equipment and have the fastest casting time!” Ji-Cheok was in the zone.
[Showing 1 search result.]
[Purchase has been completed.
Balance: 0 Likes.]
When he put his hand on the skill book, it also flashed out of existence.
Immediately, using the Telekinetic Arrow became natural to him.
“Roaaaaarrrrrr!” A powerful roar, like the growl of a bear, erupted from the bottom of Ji-Cheok’s throat.
“Keuk?” All the goblins, including the one that had been striking the glass windows of the car, looked back at him.
Right away, Ji-Cheok attacked with a Telekinetic Arrow, and a skull instantly shattered into pieces.
‘Damn, that’s pretty destructive!’
The goblins were suddenly clenching their weapons warily.
Did they finally realize that their opponent had become stronger? Well, it was too late for them anyway.
Ji-Cheok created another five arrows and fired them.
One at a time, he accurately hit five headshots, and five more heads exploded.
At the same time, however, came the onset of a severe headache.
[Mana has been greatly depleted!]
This was what happened when you used up all your mana all at once.
With the massive headache, all Ji-Cheok could hear was a loud beeping sound in his ear.
His breathing had shortened.
He brandished his sword and struck the shoulder of a goblin.
The bastard screamed in pain.
Ji-Cheok was disappointed that he couldn’t inflict more damage.
He was trying to hit a vital point, and this time he wasn’t going to miss!
He hit the goblin’s neck and it died.
It frustrated him that he didn’t receive any messages about gaining XP, but instead…
[Citizen 2 sends a huge thank you for saving her life.]
[Citizen 1 is embracing Citizen 2, with tears of relief.]
[With great gratitude, you have received 100 Likes!]
[Around 20 citizens are very impressed by your actions.]
[You have received 3 Likes.]
[You have received 5 Likes.]
‘Jackpot! 100 Likes!’
“Invest half of my Likes into Mana!” Ji-Cheok decided without hesitation.
[You have increased your Mana rank!]
As quickly as the headache had come, it also subsided.
While Ji-Cheok was recovering, he noticed two goblins that had hurriedly thrown their weapons at him.
He blocked them with his shield.
He swung his sword, accurately hitting their heads and knocking them down.
‘It’s pretty late now, where the heck is the government with the reinforcements?! You’re taking my tax money to protect me during times like these!’
Ji-Cheok’s mind was clear to the point that he could focus on other things.
At the same time, his attacks began to accelerate.
He planned to attract their attention with the Roar of the Wild and then take down all the goblins that were far away with his Telekinetic Arrow.
This strategy could be considered simple, but it was an overwhelming task and small wounds started to add up.
[Citizen no.7 is admiring how your long-range, melee combat, and aggro skills are balanced out so well.]
[You have received 10 Likes.]
‘Oh, yes, there are still people watching me.’
Ji-Cheok could not fail now.
If the monsters were to scatter and disperse… people would…
It was then that the goblins he was fighting against all stopped at the same time and stared at the Gate.
This time, the Roar of the Wild didn’t seem to affect them at all.
The goblins, feeling what was coming, simultaneously shrieked together in excitement.
A giant goblin walked out of the Gate.
He had bright red eyes and held a greatsword the size of a human body.
“A hob… goblin?”
Following the first one, dozens of other hobgoblins walked out.
‘No way I can beat that thing.’
The main enemy forces had just arrived.
But at that moment, a mass of blazing fire poured out from the sky.
The flames burned and consumed the hobgoblins all at once.
‘Oh, thank God.’
When Ji-Cheok lifted his head up, he saw a government helicopter floating above his head.
The Hunters had finally arrived.
“Are you okay?” The speakers rang loudly.
“Fortunately, a veteran Hunter seems to be blocking the Gate of monsters.
Thank you for your service, Hunter!”
“It seems like he’s injured! Go, save him!”
There seemed to be a misunderstanding here.
“So, you’re saying that you’ve recently Awakened?”
The Gate was safely closed with the support of the Hunters.
Ji-Cheok could hear everything happening in his surroundings, as the ambulance noises rang in his ears from all directions.
[Citizen no.19 on a stretcher is sending you a look of gratitude.]
[You have received 30 Likes.]
In the midst of all of this, Likes continue to come in.
It was then that a middle-aged couple came running at Ji-Cheok.
He remembered them.
They were the two that had been stuck in the car when the goblins attacked.
“Are you okay?” Ji-Cheok asked.
Yes! Thanks to you, my husband and I survived.
How could we ever thank you for saving our lives…”
As the wife bent over in a bow to express her gratitude, her husband reached into his pocket and pulled out a stack of money.
“Please, at least take this…” he begged Ji-Cheok.
“No, no!” Ji-Cheok responded.
It seemed the man wanted to share how truly thankful he was by offering some money.
He was clearly grateful from the bottom of his heart, and he wanted to show it.
He wasn’t wrong, either; after all, there weren’t many things that could express gratitude as well as money could.
That said, what made the difference between other Awakened and Ji-Cheok was that Likes were far more important to him than money.
Ji-Cheok waved his hand to refuse and placed the money back into the man’s pocket.
“Even though you feel okay now, please make sure to get checked up, maybe you are injured.
Make sure to treat your family to something delicious when you return home.
“No, no, no!” the man said.
‘He wouldn’t just leave the money on the ground and run away, would he?’
Ji-Cheok quickly picked up the money and this time put it in the wife’s hand.
“Please don’t worry about me and keep the money.
Be sure to go to the hospital and get checked.
If you keep doing this, it’ll put me in an awkward spot.”
“You saved my pregnant wife.
It’s not much, but I have to give you this…” the man pressed on.
“No, this even more so means that you should get checked up, just to be sure.” Ji-Cheok countered.
“I’m tired of going back and forth.
Just take it back please.” Ji-Cheok finally said decidedly.
[Citizen no.2 is impressed by your integrity.]
[You have received 100 Likes.]
[Public Officer no.1 has been listening to your conversation and is in admiration.
He remembers you blocking the Gate and fighting all by yourself.]
[You have received 30 Likes.]
Ji-Cheok was receiving more likes than ever before.
The public officer said, “The citizens are thanking you right now.”
“I just did what I had to do.
Anyone in my position would have done the same thing,” Ji-Cheok replied.
“No, if it was that easy, why would heroes still exist? When the Gate opened around Noryangjin…
“Yes, that’s where the Gate opened first.
Then, it opened in the vicinity of Daechi-dong.
As soon as we got there, the Gate opened over here.
It almost seemed like… tactics.”
It probably seemed ridiculous even to himself, so he continued, “Of course, this is just a personal impression.
The Gate couldn’t possibly have self-awareness and go ‘f*** you, I’ll move around by myself’, right?”
“Is that place okay?” Ji-Cheok asked.
“There was significant damage because there were a lot of students doing private tutoring sessions late into the night.
By the time we were dispatched, the monsters were already pouring out of the Gate,” the public officer answered.
That was quite strange.
Even in such times, when Gates formed, Hunters came into existence, and the world was upside down, the crazy competition to give children private tutoring on top of their normal school just kept going.
Was it because the so-called 3D industry was now really dangerous?
Area in central Seoul
Another location in Seoul, located in Gangnam
Dirty, Difficult, and Dangerous jobs that are needed in society, such as construction, production, and the environment
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