Necromancer Before Awakening Chapter 24

Episode 24: Twisted Prophecy (2)

The hunters who entered the gate gathered in groups according to their guilds or acquaintances and surveyed their surroundings. Kang Sa-hoo also stood with his party, constantly on guard as he alternated between looking at the printed information about the gate and their current environment, frowning deeply.

“Something is wrong.”

“…Is that so? It’s not just me misunderstanding something?”

Kim Ho-myung groaned as he looked at the towering cliffs on either side of where they were standing. Despite the light coming in, no direct light seemed to reach their location. Other hunters shared these thoughts, and soon murmuring began to break out.

“What? Was this the gate we were supposed to enter?”

“No, I’m sure I was told it was a meadow zone.”

“Damn it, what’s going on?”

As the unrest and anxiety began to mount, a man clad in plate armor embossed with the word “Strongest” clapped his hands sharply, drawing attention. He raised his voice as people looked at him.

“Everyone, don’t panic. Stay calm. After all, isn’t this just a Grade-C gate? As far as I know, everyone here, including myself, an S-grade Awakener, is at least Grade-B.”

His words gradually calmed the murmuring. In particular, the notion that they were “Grade-B or higher hunters” facing a “Grade-C gate” bolstered the hunters’ confidence.

“Yeah! It’s just a C-grade gate, right?”

“Our guild leader is an S-grade hunter!”

“Wow!”

The hunters from the Strongest guild cheered at his words. Watching this, Kang Sa-hoo suddenly sensed something through his intuition and swiftly turned his head.

“What is it, Captain?”

Seeing the guild leader, Choi Kyung-min, speaking and smirking at him, Bae Deok-ho reacted to Kang Sa-hoo’s abrupt movement.

“Just a moment.”

Green and blue lights flickered in Kang Sa-hoo’s eyes in response. Bae Deok-ho instinctively took a step back, his spine chilling with fear and his mind wavering at the gaze.

“Captain…?”

Bae Deok-ho called out cautiously, but Kang Sa-hoo, with his glowing eyes, scanned the sky and frowned. He continued his search until his gaze fixed on something – a cave hidden between the cliffs.

“…That’s it.”

As he focused and spoke, Hahn Si-yeon and others around him looked puzzled. Kang Ji-ye tried to speak to him, but before she could, Kang Sa-hoo’s shout cut through.

“Enemy!”

The ongoing speech by Choi Kyung-min and his audience turned towards Kang Sa-hoo in surprise as he pointed and yelled.

“There! Something is coming our way from that direction; it must be a monster.”

The hunters’ eyes followed his pointing finger. Experienced hunters instantly grabbed their weapons, swallowing nervously, ready to engage in combat at any moment. However, despite the passing time, there was no sign of monsters emerging.

An impatient hunter turned to Kang Sa-hoo, frowning.

“What’s coming…”

Suddenly, a spear flew through the air, piercing the man from shoulder to pelvis as he dropped his guard momentarily.

“Argh!”

At his scream, spears and boulders began to rain down from the unseen spots between the cliffs. Having anticipated this, Kang Sa-hoo completed a necromancer spell and unleashed soul energy, summoning the skeletal remains of forest lizards. With a gesture, he twisted the bones into a makeshift shelter.

“Bae Deok-ho!”

“Got it!”

Responding to Kang Sa-hoo’s shout, Bae Deok-ho widened his eyes and drew his bow. The twang of the bowstring followed as the arrow flew towards the cliff. To the observing hunters, it seemed a pointless action until the area around the arrow exploded, bringing down part of the cliff.

As the debris and monsters tumbled down, “They’re out!”

“These goddamn beasts!”

The hunters exploded in anger, launching attacks with fireballs and ice blocks, and swords slashing through monster limbs. Despite the tumultuous fall, the monsters appeared unscathed, neither break nor burst showing on their bodies.

“What the?!”

Shocked, the hunters momentarily froze. The monsters, equally baffled, examined their arms and bodies before shouting in a thundering voice and charging at the hunters. Initially cautious, their attack now became vicious and confident.

“There, down there!”

And to top it off, other monsters that had been merely watching from the cliffs began descending, triggered by their comrades’ actions.

Among them were some who, frustrated by the slow descent down the cliff, chose to jump off. Surprisingly, even though their bodies shattered into bones piercing through their skin upon hitting the ground, they rapidly healed and returned to their original forms.

“Brother…”

Kang Ji-ye pulled on Kang Sa-hu’s clothes with a scared expression.

Kang Sa-hu calmly assessed the situation to make a decision. The terrain, blocked by cliffs, was not conducive to fighting in numbers. Monsters continually descended from above. The hunters’ morale was broken. The circumstances were far from ideal for a fight.

“Everyone, run away!”

As someone shouted, the hunters began to retreat en masse as if they had been waiting for the command. Observing the retreat, Kang Sa-hu summoned a monster using his soul energy.

Woof!

“Ahh!”

Suddenly, a large dog nearly 3 meters tall appeared, startling Lee Yu-rim who screamed in shock. Han Si-yeon and her group of soldiers who had entered with her also turned their weapons in horror.

“This is my summoned beast. Everyone, get on this one for now.”

“A summoned beast, you say? It didn’t look like this before…?”

Han Si-yeon stared in disbelief at the enormous hound that Kang Sa-hu had summoned. The creature, now hardly resembling a hound, had fur as thick as itself, a elongated muzzle resembling a wolf, and teeth as big as a human leg.

The people hesitated, astonished, but Kang Sa-hu quickly loaded his party, starting with Kang Ji-ye, onto the beast. Given its size, the giant hound could easily carry five people. Seeing this, Kang Sa-hu flicked his hand, and the tent made of bone collapsed.

The scattered bones flew at the command of Kang Sa-hu towards the legs of the people mounted on the giant hound and soon formed a circle around the belly of the beast.

“Hunter Kang Sa-hu! What’s this?!”

“To keep us from falling off. Hold on tight.”

Midshipwoman Han Si-yeon inquired, and Kang Sa-hu answered as he commanded the giant hounds to sprint forward. The power of their kick was so strong that the people felt their skin stretch with wind and their bodies pushed backward, now understanding why Kang Sa-hu had secured them with bones.

“Kutero! Bakrakka tu!”

“Kwooah!”

As the hunters fled, the monsters screamed and chased after them.

Though they were over 2 meters tall and muscular, which might suggest slowness, their speed was anything but slow. Kang Sa-hu, after observing the monsters, soon saw the names appearing above their heads.

“Trolls…?”

The data had indicated these monsters should be orcs, a completely different kind from what now emerged from the gate. With the elite hunters unable to properly fight and fleeing, Kang Sa-hu sensed that something was terribly wrong.

“Captain, look ahead!”

While Kang Sa-hu tried to comprehend the situation, Bae Deok-ho pointed ahead and shouted. Ahead, the trolls that had stopped chasing the other hunters were preparing to attack.

“What do we do? Shoot?!”

Bae Deok-ho prepared to use [Exploding Arrow] but Kang Sa-hu shook his head.

“No, it’s better we capture these creatures.”

“…What?!”

Listening silently to their conversation was Han Si-yeon, who was shocked by the response. However, Kang Sa-hu didn’t explain further and commanded the unloaded giant hounds.

Feeling his will, the giant hounds dashed from behind to the front, attacking the trolls prepared with weapons.

“Kuqua-!”

Growl!

A fierce struggle broke out between the troll and the giant hound. The large hound lunged, mouth wide enough to swallow a troll, but amazingly, the troll resisted the bite force with its muscular arms, even managing to withstand the wind blast force in a static state.

“Krka-ah!”

Though smaller, the troll grinned viciously, confident in its strength. However, soon, it was startled by a strange sensation in its body.

Crunch, crunch!

Snap, crack!

Bones inside were tearing through the muscles. As the troll tried to regenerate its torn muscles and bones, its body began to collapse, and the giant hound’s mouth started to close on it.

“Krka-!”

As its bones crumbled inside, the troll was bitten by the giant hound. Following Kang Sa-hu’s command not to swallow but to carry like a puppy with a toy, the giant hounds chased after Kang Sa-hu’s party.

“Kruk hwook! Kwoar-!”

The troll screamed, thrashing in the giant hound’s grasp. Although Kang Sa-hu knew this was their comrades crying for help, it was precisely what he wanted.

‘After all, we need to save the hunters.’

Though not close to the other hunters, Kang Sa-hu was not indifferent to whether they lived or died.

‘Since we are supremely faster, we are not in danger. Just enough to keep us safe.’

Kang Sa-hu slowly stroked the giant hound carrying him.

‘We’ll scatter the trolls and defeat them one by one.’

Feeling Kang Sa-hu’s thoughts and touch, the giant hound wagged its tail while running.



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