Necromancer Before Awakening Chapter 15

Episode 15: Time to Prepare (2)

After successfully completing his first gate hunt, Kang Sahu, decided to quit his job and live as a hunter. He had opened the app used by hunters on his smartphone and was browsing the map. Initially, he was prepared for his sudden resignation to be hard for his company to accept, but surprisingly, they acted as if it were something totally expected, which disconcerted him instead. When he inquired about the reason, he found out that many people were already leaving their regular jobs to become full-time hunters, a phenomenon not only limited to working adults but students as well. For instance, his younger sister, Kang Jiye, had exclaimed in excitement, “Forget the SATs! I’m going to live as a cute, beautiful, pretty, high school third-year healer hunter!” understanding this wasn’t difficult for him. If he had been in his final year of high school, he might have made the same choice.

Although gate breaks had started occurring just a few months ago and Awakened ones had appeared, leading to rapid changes, people surprisingly adapted quickly. Humans, being creatures of adaptation, were already familiar with fantastic fantasy worlds through various novels, comics, and even movies. The existence of Awakened individuals and gates was shattering previous common sense. However, looking at it another way, it also meant that new norms were being established.

“Doesn’t work here either,” Kang Sahu muttered as he searched for an F-grade gate where five hunters could participate but sighed in frustration. His first experience with an F-grade gate had allowed him to assess his capabilities and the gate’s dangers, leading him to conclude confidently that he could clear F-grade gates without any issues, even considering a scenario where he went in alone. Although he hadn’t told anyone, Kang Sahu had felt no danger during his first hunt at an F-grade gate. Apparently, it wasn’t just him; many hunters, especially those with special skills and high awakening grades, were fervently engaged in gate hunting, thus intensifying the competition.

“Just a few days ago, gates symbolized a murky danger… a fear,” he mused as he paused his search to look at the news, revealing an article about hunters vigorously disputing slots for gate hunting. Even clearing what was considered the safest and weakest, the F-grade gates, ensured a million won reward for each participant, making it the fiercest battleground. Consequently, the available gates were naturally of higher grades. Even the E-grade gates were fiercely contested, leaving only one D-grade gate, the highest level existing in the country.

Given that Kang Sahu, even before his awakening as a Necromancer, had single-handedly thwarted an E-grade gate break, taking on a D-grade gate didn’t seem entirely out of the question. However, considering recent observations of Bae Deokho who seemed to be hiding his strength, attacking a D-grade gate abruptly would only attract unnecessary attention without much appeal. Moreover, with his sister, Kang Jiye, potentially being put in danger, the risks didn’t seem worth taking.

“There’s no rush.” The best option would have been an E-grade gate, but even those lacked slots for five participants, presenting a problematic situation. It wasn’t that he hadn’t thought about participating separately, but Kang Sahu felt uneasy about sending his sister away on her own. His colleagues Bae Deokho, Kim Homyeong, and Lee Yurim, who had participated in hunts together previously, for some reason, preferred participating together.

As Kang Sahu sighed softly amidst these tangled thoughts, the front door swung open, and Kang Jiye entered with a confident stride. “Brother! Look at this!” Kang Jiye called out, holding shopping bags tightly stuffed in each hand, proudly lifting them and chuckling, “Today, we feast on meat!”

“…Alright,” Kang Sahu sighed softly once more as he watched her excitedly stuffing the refrigerator, seemingly having never been satiated by meat before. After receiving the gate hunting rewards a few days ago, Kang Jiye had been liberally buying whatever she wanted, draining the funds to the point she lamented, “I’m going broke at this rate!”

Kang Sahu shook his head disapprovingly at his sister’s distress but had no intention of advising her to save money for rent. Known as the ‘Corpse Cleaner,’ he had been consumed by his work to solve the frustrations of not being appreciated as a Necromancer. His life had revolved around work and home, and though his income was modest, he had managed to save about ten million won in his account. Starting his new life post-gate emergence, he wanted to avoid unnecessary risks, even more so for Kang Jiye’s safety.

Having disposed of his studio apartment and retrieved his deposit, Kang Ji-ye wasn’t struggling to pay rent anymore. However, the money wouldn’t last forever, and he felt the need to earn more through hunting. While worrying, he watched Kang Ji-ye skillfully grill meat, thinking her efforts futile. At that moment, his phone received a series of message alerts.

“Huh? What’s happening, oppa? Since my phone is ringing too, it must be the group chat, right?”

Holding tongs in one hand and scissors in the other, Kang Ji-ye expertly turned the meat and pointed at his phone with her chin, signaling him to check it.

Kang Sa-hu opened his phone and read the message, nodding.

“What does it say?”

Mouth stuffed with meat and looking blissful, Kang Ji-ye asked.

“It says a gate reservation is confirmed.”

“Wow, really? How?! I heard the competition was fierce. It’s not a D-rank gate, is it?”

“Nope. It’s an F-rank gate.”

“Oh… Well, that’s a bit disappointing, but it’s still better than doing nothing. It’ll be easy to finish~”

Though Kang Ji-ye felt a bit let down, thinking F-rank gates were easy, Kang Sa-hu shook his head.

“It’s F-rank, but there are ten of them.”

“What? Seriously?!”

Kang Ji-ye sprinted to his side, shocked.

After carefully reviewing his phone, she suddenly stopped as her eyes caught something.

“Hey, oppa, this here says three days. Does it mean we have to hunt one each day?”

Kang Sa-hu shook his head.

“No. Ten gates in three days.”


* * *

Built with a total of 77 floors, it was the third tallest building in Korea. Inside, a woman sat on a sofa talking on the phone. After a while, she ended the call, spreading her arms dramatically and shrugging.

“My goodness. You’re asking for a favor for something like this? You could’ve done it yourself.”

“That won’t do. I’ve officially given up competing. I can’t use company resources for personal matters.”

“You talk a good game. Isn’t asking me the same as using company resources?”

Her teasing words made her younger brother, Kim Ho-myung, sitting opposite her, turn his head away slightly. Chuckling at his cute reaction, she lifted the teacup in front of her.

“Well, you wouldn’t ask me without thoughtful consideration. So, you’re seriously planning to take on hunter life by reserving ten gates?”

“Yes. I’ve already made a serious decision before telling our parents.”

“Sigh, it’s still surreal to me. Monsters bursting out, my brother becoming an awakened human with superpowers…”

Kim Se-young, the second in line at Kim Group and Kim Ho-myung’s sister, ran her fingers through her hair, looking worried.

“Moreover, your ability is mainly defensive, right? That means you’re likely to get hurt first more than anyone.”

“I was worried about that at first, but not anymore.”

Remembering his first hunt with Kang Sa-hu, who commanded giant hounds and overwhelmingly cleared the gate with the team, Kim Ho-myung smiled quietly. Yet, Kim Se-young, unaware of the details, shook her head.

“Don’t get addicted to life-threatening thrills.”

“Of course not. Would I do that?”

His confident reply prompted Kim Se-young to sigh softly.

“That’s just like you, always cautious. But that makes me wonder even more. What future do you see in such a dangerous profession like a hunter?”

Silently, Kim Ho-myung pulled out his phone.

After navigating through his phone, he handed it to her.

Curious, she took the phone, and the screen displayed various news articles—from prophecies, gates, awakeneds, monoliths, to gate hunts collected haphazardly.

“Don’t tell me you want me to read all this?”

“Reading it all might help you understand better, but a simple explanation isn’t too difficult either.”

Kim Ho-myung pulled up a particular article. Reading it, Kim Se-young’s eyes widened. The news showed people entering a cleared gate, harvesting wood, minerals, and other resources.

“After this hunt, I became convinced. Gates are not only capable of threatening human extinction, but they could also ensure our future survival as a limitless resource.”

Kim Ho-myung recounted the densely grown trees, colorful fruits, and varieties of bushes he saw inside the gate.

“Hunters will be the key influencers in the future.”

Kim Se-young tapped the desk lightly with her fingers, filled with rare assurance from her brother.

“That may be possible. But if so, we need the best resources and preparation. Are you going this far just because of the sentiment you hold for your first hunting mates?”

“No, I do like them, and they are good people, but that’s not the only reason.”

Kim Ho-myung thought of Kang Sa-hu as he responded.

“I might have met someone who could become the strongest force for humanity. I could provide him with the best environment, goods, and wealth. And in return, he could become the most powerful asset for humanity.”

“What are you talking about? The strongest force in humanity? The people you joined are just A or maybe B-rank.”

Kim Se-young gave him a look of disbelief.

Kim Ho-myung just smiled, not responding.

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