Necromancer Before Awakening Chapter 19

Episode 19: Skills and Growth (2)

After an intense battle, Yoorim Lee, who had been resting as if collapsed, opened her eyes to the sound of commotion. Coming to her senses and looking around, she found herself covered with a thin blanket while unfamiliar people carrying large equipment were entering the gate.

“Are you awake?”

Kang Sahoo greeted her from behind.

“Leader, who are those people?”

“They are awakened soldiers. When the gate is cleared, an exit appears, and these workers come through that entrance to mine the resources here.”

“Ah, they’re miners then.”

Only then did she realize that the people who had entered the cleared gate to mine necessary resources were commonly referred to as ‘miners’, and she put down the dagger handle she had been secretly holding.

“Ah, Leader. By the way, I think I gained a skill during the battle.”

Kang Sahoo nodded nonchalantly as if he already knew, and Yoorim Lee, who had received kindness upon entering the gate and had been smitten by his surprising insight, continued to describe her skills.

“I already had skills from awakening, but those would activate on their own, so I didn’t pay much attention to them. However, the skill I acquired this time is one I can use directly, and it seems more focused on offense, so I think it will be useful.”

Kang Sahoo, reminded of passive skills from games at the mention of self-activating skills, nodded in understanding.

“I’ve seen the new skill you obtained. May I ask what the automatically activating skill is?”

“Yes, it’s called [Body of the Wind]… It says I can move with the force and speed of a breeze.”

The intuitive name and ability.

Hearing the description of the skill, Kang Sahoo finally understood the incredible speed she had demonstrated during the fight.

The movements were too smooth and subtle to be merely physical, which had been intriguing.

“Now that I know more about ‘Yoorim Lee’s strengths’, I am impressed,” Kang Sahoo encouraged her.

“Thanks to you, we were able to clear the gate quickly. Shall we head out now?”

The gate had been cleared when she killed the boss monster, and tired Yoorim Lee had been asleep while Kang Sahoo waited near her inside the gate for nearly an hour.

Understanding his words, she got up.

“Yes, our companions must be waiting. Let’s go.”

The two of them got up and began walking out of the gate.

Though the miners glanced at them with amazement, neither the tired Yoorim Lee nor the contemplative Kang Sahoo noticed.

* * *

When they arrived at the designated meeting place, their companions had not yet arrived.

Despite the F-grade gate being cleared in a remarkably short time, and her excitement over gaining a new skill, Yoorim Lee was quite pleased and excited.

Kang Sahoo was deeply immersed in his thoughts, searching the internet.

“Time inside the gate, huh…”

“Excuse me?” she asked, but Kang Sahoo shook his head.

“No, it’s nothing. Just something I need to think about on my own.”

The reason they weren’t using giant hounds was to address a vulnerability known as the ‘corruption of the giant hounds’; however, the efforts were stalling due to spatial limitations.

‘But using the gate could…’ Kang Sahoo silently organized his thoughts, and Yoorim Lee watched him quietly.

Just then, their awaiting companions returned.

Kang Sahoo and Yoorim Lee were about to greet them warmly, but the horrific state of the three returnees left them speechless.

Each was covered in a slimy mucus, their appearances grotesque.

The strange mix of curiosity and an indescribable emotion prevented Kang Sahoo and Yoorim Lee from speaking hastily.

However, they couldn’t just stand silently forever, so Kang Sahoo finally spoke with heavy words.

“…Ah. It seems you’ve all had a tough time…”

“…Yes… you’ve had a hard time…”

“……”

Only Kim Homing managed to respond to Kang Sahoo’s words.

Bae Deok-ho, standing behind him, remained silent, wary of Kang Ji-ye’s reaction, while Kang Ji-ye herself looked dazed, her eyes unfocused.

“Bae Deok-ho, was this gate hunting particularly difficult for you?”

“Eh? Oh, no, not really. It was actually much easier compared to the first gate we encountered with the leader.”

Kim Homing nodded in agreement.

“It was just that the monster’s attack methods were disgusting and upsetting, but no one was hurt, and we managed quite easily.”

Hearing from the two that the gate hunting had not been particularly difficult, Kang Sahoo nodded.

“And, by any chance, did you acquire any new skills?”

“What?! How did you…?”

Bae Deok-ho and Kim Homing were startled by Kang Sahoo’s question.

Indeed, all three had gained skills during this gate hunting.

Despite not having mentioned it, but sensing it from their spirits, Kang Sahoo calmly responded,

“This time, Miss Yoorim also acquired a skill in battle. So I thought I’d ask just in case.”

“Is that so? Yoorim has also gained a skill! Congratulations!”

While his explanation wasn’t entirely false, it wasn’t the whole truth either.

Kang Sahoo had guessed that they had acquired skills because of their spirits, just like Yoorim’s, which had become noticeably larger and stronger.

Although this alone wasn’t enough to confirm that they had gained skills, his query turned out to be accurate, especially in Bae Deok-ho’s case, whose spirit had always been noticeably powerful and vibrant.

Kang Sahu glanced at his watch and began to speak, “Well then, let’s move on to the next gate hunting…”

“Seriously?” Kang Jiye, who had been standing still like a soulless doll, turned her head eerily like a wooden puppet at the mention of ‘the next gate.’

Kang Sahu could feel a deep darkness in her eyes as they met his. “Brother, can’t you see how I am right now? You want me to go hunting the next gate in this state?”

“…Hmm.” Kang Sahu turned his head slightly, avoiding her fierce gaze.

At that moment, Bae Deokho, who had been silent, suddenly raised his hand. “Leader, how about letting Miss Kang Jiye rest at home for now? The rest of us, Ho Myeong, Yurim, and I can handle the other gates.”

Yurim, surprised to hear her name called, looked at him but eventually nodded slightly after seeing Bae Deokho’s earnest gaze. “Yes, I’m fine with that.”

“Great! Yurim is okay with it too. Let’s get going then.” He tried to lighten the mood and quickly manage the situation.

Kang Jiye’s unfocused eyes stared at him. “Bae Deokho, sir… I won’t let this go… I can’t forgive…”

“…Leader, please, let’s do it that way.” Bae Deokho nearly begged with a crestfallen look, which made Kang Sahu respond in confusion, “Alright. We’ll have the three of you go to another gate… I’ll notify you of any further schedules through the group chat.”

“Okay! Let’s go and hunt those remaining gates! Come on, let’s go!”

“I won’t let this go! Aaaaah!”

“Let’s go.” Kang Sahu grabbed the screaming Kang Jiye by the arm and led her away.

* * *

Upon arriving home, Kang Jiye quickly hopped out of the car and ran towards her house, obviously heading to take a shower. Watching her, Kang Sahu looked with a troubled expression at the passenger seat soaked with slime.

“There’s nothing I can do.” He had started learning necromancer magic and techniques from handling blood and pus to excreta from corpses. Frog slime wasn’t a particular burden, though it wasn’t entirely without disgust or shivers.

After dropping Kang Jiye off at her home, he drove towards the gate he needed to hunt. Even as he drove, his mind was busy.

Considering the current situation, all his colleagues, excluding himself, were achieving great growth. To him, who could see spirits, even monstrous growth seemed like an understatement.

Just two gates in, and the pace was set to increase considerably in the future. As the leader, it was now time to focus on his own needs rather than taking care of the other members. More than anything, having protected his sister who could be recklessly adventurous and having established a group of comrades, he could now concentrate on his tasks with ease.

Before entering a gate, licensed hunter Kang Sahu activated the gate app. The scheduled break time for the gate he was hunting was four days away. Meaning, even if he didn’t hunt the boss within two days, a gate break wouldn’t occur because entering the gate delayed the break time.

He thoroughly verified this information, then took out his gear from the car trunk. He paused to send a long message in the group chat before heading into the gate with his equipment.

In the gate, nobody questioned or stopped him as personal items were allowed inside due to the unpredictable dangers.

As he entered, a chilly wind blew. He was inside some building blocked by stones. Only the dim light of torches hung on either side illuminated the dark interior.

Chirichirichirit.

The sound of multiple legs scraping against bricks crawled nearby.

Soon, centipedes the size of snakes began to appear. As they swarmed towards him like moths to a flame, he nonchalantly took out a potion from his gear and sprayed it around.

Chiieek-

Kiieeek!

The centipedes screamed as they touched the potion’s liquid.

Then he flicked his finger, and a dark green flame burst from the liquid.

Kiie, Kiie!

The menacing fire dispersed the centipedes faster than they had gathered.

After making sure all the centipedes had scattered, he took out a pouch made from a handkerchief holding soul energies. Selecting only the giant hound’s spirit energy, Kang Sahu performed a summoning with his will.

Click.

Pleasing bone clattering sounds marked the appearance of the summoned giant hounds, though their form had greatly deteriorated since last summoned.

The muscles, starving from lack of blood, were crumbling; the skin was rotting away, revealing bones in several places — a stark contrast to their previous vividly alive or dead ambiguity, now unequivocally oozing death.

However, undisturbed or grimacing at their appearance, Kang Sahu took out various potions, reagents, and powders used by necromancers from his gear. He began drawing a magic circle on the ground using these tools.

When loud shouts from afar signaled the boss of this gate, Kang Sahu commanded the giant hounds, “Subdue it, but do not kill it. Absolutely not.”

Click!

The hounds responded by clicking their jawbones.

Even the action made decaying flesh fall off in chunks.

As a few of the giant hounds disappeared towards the direction of the disturbing calls of the boss, Kang Sahu continued working. The pitiful screams of the boss echoed but neither Kang Sahu nor the giant hounds cared in the slightest.



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