Necromancer Before Awakening Chapter 35

Episode 35: The Core of the Monolith

A week after clearing the gate and meeting the prophet, Kang Sa-hu went to meet Director Lee Jae-man as promised. He was led to a location filled with numerous slabs and monoliths prepared just for him.

Monolith.

The word combines mono, meaning one, and lith, meaning stone. Before the appearance of gates and Awakeners, these enigmatic structures emerged worldwide. They are made of a single piece of stone that cannot be destroyed or altered, known as the soul mysterious slabs.

Moreover, it’s known as the only item that can quantify and display the abilities of Awakeners. However, the capabilities of the Monolith did not end there. It served as a pop-up shop where Awakeners could use gate points to purchase mystical items from another dimension. More importantly, it was an essential item for ‘class advancement,’ which allowed Awakeners to elevate their class.

Only the prophet and a few senior National Intelligence Service officers who received the information from her knew these facts. Knowing the importance of the monolith, Director Lee Jae-man had taken the initiative to collect monoliths from around the world. Thanks to his efforts, Korea had become the unofficial country with the most monoliths.

Therefore, Director Lee Jae-man was at a loss for how to react to the current situation. Monolith fragments were scattered all over the ground.

Amid this scenario, Kang Sa-hu, who seemed to have anticipated such an event, had summoned his creatures to protect against any injuries from potential explosions, standing calmly amidst the fragments.

“It seems it’s still not working properly. I will reduce the mana injection volume next time. Could you prepare the next Monolith?” Kang Sa-hu, who had already destroyed nine monoliths, requested calmly.

A National Intelligence Service hunter rushed to bring the next monolith, but Lee Jae-man swiftly grasped the situation, halting the agent’s actions.

“Hey, where are you going!”

“D-Director? I was just following Hunter Kang Sa-hu’s request to fetch another monolith…”

“You fool! Can’t you see what’s happening?! Do you want to ruin all the monoliths we’ve worked so hard to gather?”

While Director Lee Jae-man and the agent were lowering their voices to converse, Kang Sa-hu looked over at the three massive hounds and a corpse-eating ape he had summoned earlier.

The cheeks of the massive hounds bulged, and the ape was forcibly stuffing something into its mouth for the last time. Noticing the hounds’ swollen cheeks, Kang Sa-hu nodded and converted his summons into soul energy.

‘I won’t be able to touch another monolith now.’ Even though the conversations were whispers, the sensitive ears of Kang Sa-hu picked up everything in the quiet hall.

Having already secured more monolith cores than anticipated, he decided not to be greedy. However, he had no intention of just letting the issue slide.

“Director Lee Jae-man.”

Startled by Kang Sa-hu’s call, Lee Jae-man turned his head.

“Hunter Kang Sa-hu, how long must I wait? You, representing the National Intelligence Service, promised full support until the measurements were complete a week ago.”

Repeating his own words back to him made Lee Jae-man sweat profusely.

“That, well… even full support has its limits…”

“Are you implying that the full support was limited to nine monoliths?”

As Kang Sa-hu’s eyes narrowed, Lee Jae-man found himself unable to speak.

Watching the silent and sweating director, Kang Sa-hu checked his phone. Time had already passed considerably, and his missed calls and messages from Kang Ji-ye were piled up.

“It seems best we end our meeting here for today. I’ll take my leave now.”

“Wait a moment!” Though Lee Jae-man tried to stop him, Kang Sa-hu shook his head firmly as if he had already made up his mind.

“Today will not be the last day we meet, Director. However, when we meet again, I expect you to be prepared to keep your promises.” His words were final, leaving Lee Jae-man speechless and with nothing further to say.

As Kang Sa-hu turned to leave, he suddenly paused. “Ah, and also. I recall there were three conditions agreed upon instead of a report from team leader Lim Chang-ju.”

“Yes, I remember.” Lee Jae-man responded.

“With this incident and the upward revision of the gate grade from C to B, may I expect changes in those conditions?”

Stunned by the Awakener’s sharp words, Lee Jae-man’s eyes widened in horror.

‘…I’ve made a grievous misjudgement.’ In all the reports and direct conversations, even when querying about surface-level information on awakening and gates from the prophet, Lee Jae-man had underestimated him.

Now, realizing his mistake, he clenched his eyes shut.

Though currently unjust, knowing this situation and the level of the prophet’s hunter, he was certain. Hunter Kang Sa-hu would become incomparably stronger.

Whether that would be beneficial or calamitous for national interests was uncertain.

He had made the best choice available to him.

* * *

“Ah, brother, you’re home?”

“Yes.”

As Kang Sa-hu returned home, the smell of kimchi stew filled the house. Perhaps due to hunting gates without proper meals recently? Even though he had eaten substantially at each meal these last few days, his stomach responded loudly to the appetizing smell, rumbling powerfully.

“Hungry? I’ll get it ready, eat up~ I already ate earlier since you were late without a word.”

Kang Ji-ye giggled hearing her brother’s stomach rumble as she prepared the rice and kim.

For dinner, he simply prepared kimchi stew and rolled omelets. As Kang Sahu was about to start eating, his phone rang. He initially ignored the call, but upon seeing that it was Han Siyeon calling, memories of her previous request for a meeting, which he had declined, came to mind, so he answered the call.

“Hello.”

[Hello, Hunter Kang Sahu! Have you been well? I apologize for contacting you so late.]

“Yes, hello. No problem. You must have been busy too, Ms. Han Siyeon,”

said Kang Sahu as he scooped up a mouthful of rice with his chopsticks and started eating the kimchi stew. Unknowingly, he was hungrier than he realized, savoring the delicious stew.

[Actually, following the ‘C-grade Gate rank incident,’ there’s a D-grade Gate that poses a risk of gate breach due to lack of hunter applications. I’m terribly sorry to ask this, but I need to request your help with hunting…]

Han Siyeon continued apologetically, but Kang Sahu just quietly picked up the rolled omelet with his chopsticks. Interpreting his silence in a whole new way, Han Siyeon hurriedly added,

[Of, of course, I’m not asking you to do this for free! Normally, a D-grade Gate hunt would pay ten million won, but for Hunter Kang Sahu, we are prepared to offer double that amount!]

“…I see,” Kang Sahu responded, delayed by chewing his omelet. Having eaten more than half his meal, he felt slightly satiated and a rejuvenated energy began to flow through him.

“Phew.”

As he exhaled lightly, a clamorous noise burst from the other side of the call. Curious, Kang Sahu was about to resume eating when Han Siyeon’s urgent voice chimed in again.

[Additionally! We can offer a military-owned land as compensation!]

“Military land?”

Taken aback by the unexpected offer, Kang Sahu asked curiously, intrigued by the proposal, while papers rustled on the other end.

[Yes! There’s a large piece of military-owned land in Pocheon city! If you agree, we can reward you with this land. Would you consider it?]

The promise of a large tract of land sparked interest in Kang Sahu.

‘To work comfortably, a spacious land free from time and place constraints is indeed necessary.’ Although he could extend the time by capturing bosses inside the gate, transporting various items into the gate had always been a hassle.

Intrigued by the idea of owning military land as a reward, Kang Sahu felt a strong attraction to it.

“Yes, it’s a tempting offer. Combine it with the compensation for a B-class gate hunt, and I will take the military land as my reward.”

[Ah, understood. I will try to offer as much land as possible.]

“Thank you. One more thing, how many can enter this D-grade Gate?”

Caught off-guard by the question, Han Siyeon swiftly answered,

[Up to thirty people are allowed. However, currently, no hunters have applied to join, so we’re still looking…]

As Han Siyeon hesitated, Kang Sahu quickly added,

“And if I clear this gate alone, how will the compensation be adjusted?”

[What?]

Initially puzzled, once she grasped the meaning, Han Siyeon gasped in astonishment.

* * *

Late at night.

Before leaving his home, Kang Sahu carefully peeked through the slightly ajar door to his sister Kang Jiye’s room. She seemed wrapped in deep sleep, snoring slightly, apparently exhausted from the recent hunting activities.

Confirming her peaceful sleep, Kang Sahu quietly opened the front door to step outside. Upon reaching a secluded area, he summoned his giant hound.

Woof!

The summoned giant hound greeted him with a bark, but being so large, even a single bark resonated through the ne…



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