Thumbs Up, Level Up
ack then, he would cough a lot and have pretty high fever.
He had been a child who needed plenty of care and support.
Ji-Cheok remembered that his parents had been fighting back then, and so, his grandfather had stepped in to raise him instead.
His grandfather had made quite a few sacrifices, even more so with Ji-Cheok’s grandmother dying so early.
The phone kept ringing.
Should he pick up the phone, or should he not? Should he just turn it off and go back to sleep?
After a couple more rings, Ji-Cheok reluctantly picked up the phone.
“What in the hell did you do yesterday?” It was Mr.
Kim on the other end.
“What…what are you talking about?” Ji-Cheok closed his eyes, trying to pretend that this wasn’t real.
“You’re an Awakened? It’s all over the news,” Mr.
Kim said directly.
“Yeah, you’re on the news, dimwit!”
Since Ji-Cheok had just woken up, he hadn’t fully grasped what was happening.
He frantically looked for the remote and finally turned on the TV.
Right there, on the screen, was the pretty familiar backside of a person he had seen before.
It was himself.
Even though the phone footage was pretty shaky and didn’t have the same high quality and resolution as a broadcast camera, there was no doubt that the person was Ji-Cheok.
“A single hunter is caught on camera saving countless lives,” an announcer said.
“According to witnesses, this individual has only recently become an Awakened, but has shown all three types of skills: healing, physical, and magical,” the announcer continued.
“Without receiving anything in return, this Hunter has left the scene.
According to the Personal Confidentiality Act, the authorities have said that this Awakened’s information… Wait, it appears that there is another video uploaded on the video platform, GodTube.” The screen shifted to Ji-Cheok’s video that he had put up the night before.
“Yes, it’s a video that is exploding in number of views.
When the Gate opened in the middle of downtown Seoul, the sequence of this recently-Awakened being saving lives was all recorded.” A clip showed Ji-Cheok waking people up and trying to save them.
“Are you okay? Do you understand what I’m saying?” a worried Ji-Cheok asked the injured people in the video.
“Ugh…” the person responded.
“Can you stand up?” he asked.
“My leg, my leg…” the person’s leg was hurting.
Ji-Cheok’s hand glowed and hovered above the leg.
His first aid skill activated, and he began treating the injured person.
That wasn’t all.
He treated people and helped them move, asked them to wait patiently, checked the outside for monsters, and bought time for the others to run away to safety.
All the clips of Ji-Cheok fighting off the goblins were carefully edited and broadcasted by expert hands.
The subtitle read: [Heroic Passer-by]
What the heck was all this about?
Suddenly, Ji-Cheok noticed something blinking under his status window
[999+ Unread System Messages.]
The Likes he had received piled up as high as a mountain.
* * *
Every channel reported about the other day’s gate raid — and of course they did.
A Gate opening in the center of a city was classified as a major disaster.
Ever since Warding Stones had been discovered, they had been used to prevent the appearance of Gates, and that was why people didn’t typically see Gates opening in a city.
Obtaining Warding Stones was simple, but not easy.
A Warding Stone had a chance of appearing once a dungeon 3-Star or higher was cleared.
The higher the dungeon rating, the higher the chances for a Warding Stone to appear.
There were no more than a handful of guilds that could clear a 3-Star or higher dungeon at that point, and Ji-Cheok had been told in the past that there were fewer than five teams in Korea that could clear 4-Star dungeons.
Dungeons with a 5-Star or higher rating were considered impossible to clear for Koreans, who instead had to ask for help from overseas.
How was the dungeons’ difficulty level determined?
To enter the lowest 1-Star dungeon, one needed to be below level 20.
Alternatively, the dungeon was considered 1-Star when Hunters at level 20 or below could enter freely and hunt the monsters inside.
But Warding Stones would only appear in dungeons rated at 3 Stars or higher.
3-Star dungeons were also level-restricted, and only allowed Hunters that were lower than 100, or when the monsters inside were determined to be suitable opponents for such Hunters.
Of course, the problem was that there were not many Hunters at level 100 or above in Korea.
With how few would level up so high and clear these dungeons, it was almost a miracle to find a Warding Stone.
It made sense that they were super-expensive, with so many countries wanting them.
A huge amount of taxes went into procuring and repairing the Warding Stones every year.
On the other hand, preparations for Gates opening were bound to be inadequate if all the focus was on the Stones.
And every year, the budget was cut.
The last administration had slashed more than half the budget compared to the previous year.
The news anchor was now discussing the budget.
“Today, the National Assembly is still in limbo; the budget is under discussion, but issues are appearing one after another.”
“It’s because the Warding Stones didn’t hold up as they should have.
Everyone knows that this is the first time in history that this has happened… but common people like me are anxious,” a citizen said.
An interview followed.
“Experts say that, thanks to a brave citizen, a major disaster was prevented.
However, we simply got lucky this time; if we don’t take any measures to protect ourselves, accidents like these may happen again in the future.”
The reporter stuck the mic in front of a child.
They proceeded to ask a few questions and the child answered.
“My dad kept hugging me while we were in the car.
It hurt.” The child described how his father had tried to protect him with everything he had.
“Did you see everything that was happening from the car?” the reporter asked.
“Yes, my dad kept telling me that we shouldn’t leave because the monsters were coming out.
I saw a monster.”
“How did you feel?”
“I was so scared, I cried with my dad.
But a handsome hyung showed up and started hitting the monsters.”
CCTV footage appeared on the screen.
A goblin was approaching the car where the child was, when the Telekinesis Arrow that Ji-Cheok made pierced the head of the goblin.
He then used the provocation skill.
That clip was exquisitely edited from the GodTube video uploaded by Ji-Cheok.
“You didn’t get hurt at all?” the reporter continued.
“No, not at all,” the child said grinning.
He raised his hands and spread out his fingers, but then his face turned grim as he added, “But I saw that hyung getting hurt.
He was bleeding.”
The program then moved on to the next interview.
Rich families that run large industrial conglomerates.
The term can be used for both the family/conglomerate as a whole and for each member.
Korean term for “older brother”, used by males to call other males, whether actual family members or just friends
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