Necromancer Before Awakening Chapter 27

Chapter 27. The Spirit of the Hunter (1)

The expression on Kang Sa-hu’s face twisted in agony as he witnessed the spirit shooting upwards as if being dragged. “How can the spirit be like that…!” Normal people, even hunters or monsters, couldn’t see it, but Kang Sa-hu, being a necromancer, knew.

The spirit, by natural laws, lingers in the body briefly after life ends and then naturally dissipates to move on to the afterlife. However, now, that natural order was unnaturally disrupted. Even necromancers, who manipulate spirits, avoid forcefully controlling them, as it is not only disrespectful to the deceased but also because it is inefficient, risky, and could potentially bring a curse upon them.

At the moment, however, these spirits were being dragged away as if their heads were being held.

When Kang Sa-hu’s anger erupted, the gigantic hound he was riding felt his rage and panicked. Seeing his ride unnerved, Kang Sa-hu took a deep breath to calm his emotions. “You guys go down and support the hunters.”

With a clank, Kang Sa-hu gave commands to the other gigantic hounds and directed the one he was riding with his will, chasing after the rising spirits.

After quickly reciting a spell, he extended his hand towards the ascending spirits. “Binding (結搏), Calming Words (說靈).”

He used magic to bind and calm the excited spirit but frowned when he examined it. What was happening was beyond his understanding. “The spirit has no soul (魂魄)…?”

Normally, when beings with spirits, particularly intelligent ones like humans, primates, elephants, or dolphins, die, their spirits merge with their soul (魂) related to their mind and their vital essence (魄) related to their body. However, the hunters’ spirits he was observing were devoid of both, existing only as spirits.

It was strange enough, but the state of these spirits was even more bizarre. “It’s too big.” The normal human spirit was the size of a billiard ball.

There were occasional cases where religious or martial practices enhanced and strengthened a spirit, but the hunter’s spirit was different. It was as if it had been force-fed like a goose bred for foie gras, unnaturally inflated and out of balance. Such a condition had never been seen in the necromancer society; not even Kang Sa-hu could help but be alarmed.

“…Perhaps.” Kang Sa-hu cautiously reached out to the hunters’ spirits. He thought it unlikely, even impossible, but his instinct whispered to attempt it anyway.

As Kang Sa-hu gathered his will, error messages appeared like a continuous pop-up on a computer. Error. Cannot st— this proc—.

You must cor—ly ident— the pro—.

“It’s been a while.” The message box, like shattered glass unseen since his first awakening at the ritual site, focused his mind. Green and blue lights glowed in his eyes, the green intensifying as if sprouting as two horns at his temples.

Functionality of system being restored.

Property being returned to the user.

User’s authority has been confirmed.

While countless messages appeared chaotically, they soon shattered and disappeared.

As all messages vanished, Kang Sa-hu instinctively felt a change in his abilities. Closing his eyes to identify the change, the black necromancer card he chose during his class selection emerged in his mind.

[1st Skill – Soul Sphere (靈魂璣) Creation]

The only skill he had gained through awakening was now recalled.

However, the description of the skill seemed oddly brief. Originally, ‘You can collect the souls of the deceased,’ ‘If forced, the quality will degrade compared to when obtained willingly,’ stated the detailed content and conditions. Now, ‘The boundary of native skills is changed according to the user’s ability’ described it.

“…?” Kang Sa-hu was bewildered by the abruptly shortened description of the skill. The clear guidelines of ‘how to use it and what not to do’ had disappeared, replaced by ‘go anywhere you desire.’

He was as unprepared for this sudden change as he was bewildered. As he pondered, the Soul Sphere, as big as a melon, rolled towards him. “…”

He reached out and grabbed the Soul Sphere. Trying to communicate with the spirit, naturally, there was no response from the soulless orb.

As he continued speaking to it, Kang Sa-hu felt the strain of the giant hounds facing a troll, a sentiment shared by all the giant hounds simultaneously. “…I’m sorry.”

Kang Sa-hu stood up, looking around at the melon-sized soul spheres. It was impractical to carry soul spheres of that size. With this in mind, he stretched out his hand and used the Soul Sphere.

Soul Sphere (靈魂璣) Creation is used.

Native skill – User’s ability dictates the reshaping of the skill.

The size of the Soul Sphere is reduced.

Discrepancy between ability and name detected and corrected.

Due to the broad usage, the 1st Skill ‘Soul Sphere (靈魂璣) Creation’ is renamed to ‘Soul Sphere (靈魂璣).’

The skill naturally changed as if complying with Kang Sa-hu’s power and demands.

As the Soul Spheres, each as big as a melon, began to shrink slowly like snowballs melting in the sun, the mana consumption increased drastically, but Kang Sa-hu’s current reserve and vigor were truly magnificent.

Soon, all the soul energy had transformed from the size of a melon to the size of a kumquat.

“Hoo.”

Kang Sah-hoo, who had converted a hunter’s spirit into soul energy, exhaled deeply.

As he reduced their size to his liking, he felt the mana drastically decrease.

Kang Sah-hoo selected only the soul energy of the centipede monster he had obtained while hunting an F-grade gate from his pocket and absorbed mana from it.

With the skill change, the mana absorption rate had increased more than expected, and he significantly recovered his mana.

With a complicated expression, Kang Sah-hoo clenched his teeth as he put the hunters’ soul energies into his pocket.

There were 17 spirits of hunters in his pocket.

This meant that at least 17 hunters had died in this gate.

The thought that more hunters might have died if there were spirits that had ascended to the sky without his notice darkened his eyes with a deep glow.

“Let’s go quickly.”

Creak!

The giant hound carrying Kang Sah-hoo responded to his will and barked powerfully.

The strongest guild, which had progressed by catching trolls with a giant hound and then hunting them, was the first to arrive at the appointed place.

Following them were the hunters of the Dragon Guild, whom Kang Sah-hoo had saved.

Scattered by the sudden attack, the survivors sighed with relief or shed tears as they gathered, comforting their anxious hearts.

Soon after, Han Si-yeon’s military hunters appeared, leading the hunters of all groups who had entered the gate.

“Hasn’t Hunter Kang Sah-hoo arrived yet?”

When Han Si-yeon asked Kang Ji-ye, she nodded.

Her expression darkened at the mention that the person who had devised the plan had not yet appeared.

“Don’t worry, if something had happened to him, the giant hounds connected to him would’ve reacted first.”

Kang Ji-ye confidently dismissed her worries.

No sooner had she assured this than Kang Sah-hoo, riding on a giant hound, descended the cliff and stood before them.

“We’ll move now.”

Kang Sah-hoo directed the move without even getting off the giant hound.

The hunters, who had just calmed down, were filled with fear at the suggestion to move immediately.

“Hunter Kang Sah-hoo, could we rest a bit? Everyone has just calmed down.”

The guild leader of the Dragon Guild, Mang Yu-na, stepped forward to suggest, but Kang Sah-hoo shook his head.

“Before coming here, I scouted the area. Trolls that have been hunted down have started to band together.”

His words made the people realize why he had arrived late, and they were amazed but also horrified by his grim update.

“It seems difficult to fight separately now. We need to find a place to stay far from them and wait for their vigilance to weaken.”

“Ah, okay.”

Once he gave a convincing reason for needing to move, no one objected further.

“There are 30 giant hounds in total; on average, each can carry five people, so please get on comfortably.”

As he spoke, the giant hounds lowered themselves, making it easier for people to mount.

Following Kang Sah-hoo’s instructions, and seeing the docile appearance of the hounds, some hunters curiously tried to reach out.

“For your information, my giant hound is not gentle. Rough handling, like stroking aggressively or pulling on the fur, can cause problems, so please be careful. If handled wrongly, it might not carry you again, and you would have to walk.”

Kang Sah-hoo added, as a few hunters quickly retracted their hands in surprise when the giant hound growled, exposing its teeth.

All the hunters boarded, and the giant hounds charged up the cliff.

On the vast gate’s cliff terrain, the pack of giant hounds moved as fast as wolves, dashing through the wilderness.

In the middle of the gate.

All the trolls inside the gate gathered at their fortress, kneeling on one knee and bowing their heads toward one being.

That being, worshiped by these powerful and fearsome trolls, was a gigantic troll sitting before them.

This troll, over 2 meters tall with a prominent hooked nose and dark grey skin like a rock, was an object of terror for other races.

“So, you let it escape.”

The king of the trolls, Cata, asked with a deep, resonating voice.

The five trolls standing before him trembled.

“O, our king. The giant wolf was too fast. We will catch it again, present it to you. Please, spare us. We can make an offering.”

The trolls, once fearsome hunters themselves, trembled in fear.

Cata snorted, and the warm air from his nostrils condensed in the cooler air, swirling out like cigarette smoke.

“This time, you caught enough prey, so I’ll forgive you. But there is no next time. If I hear you’ve let the prey escape again, I’ll personally devour your skulls.”

“Understood! Understood! We won’t let it escape. Don’t chew our skulls!”

The trolls cringed in terror.

Cata watched them silently, then glanced at the ‘sacrifice’ they had brought.

The hunters, bound by strong steel chains and peculiar magic, were unable to use their skills or exert strength, shivering in terror and losing control of their bodily functions.

As Cata’s gaze met theirs, they convulsed in fear, flipping their eyes back.



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