Necromancer Before Awakening Chapter 9

Episode 9. The One Who Hunts Gates, Hunter (1)

The day after their awakening rank assessment, Kang Sah-hu and Kang Ji-ye called their parents for a video call. As soon as the call connected, their parents’ faces appeared on the screen.

[Sah-hu! Ji-ye! Ahh!]

Their father, who was eagerly coming towards the screen, suddenly rolled sideways as he bent his back like a bow.

Taking his place, their mother appeared on the screen, waving her hand that had turned red from hitting her husband’s back.

[Are you both okay?]

“Yes! How about you, mom and dad? Is everything alright over there?”

[The Necromancer Society is a bit chaotic, but nothing serious.]

While replying, she subtly adjusted the angle of the phone, revealing a gloomy green space behind her.

Seeing the bleak environment, Ji-ye stuck out her tongue.

“It’s always so dark and gloomy there. Brother and I just got back from our rank assessment.”

[Rank assessment?]

Since their mother wasn’t an awakened being, Ji-ye briefly explained what an awakened being was as her mother struggled to understand.

After listening to the whole story, she nodded.

[So, our daughter is a B-rank.]

“It seems so. But they said it’s not fixed, and it can change depending on potential, the level we reach, or the skills we acquire!”

“When did you hear that?”

Kang Sah-hu, who was listening beside her, tilted his head, puzzled by this new information.

“Ah, you might not know, brother. They told me right after the assessment, but you had some issues during yours.”

[What do you mean? Didn’t we take the test together?]

“Well, that’s…”

As Ji-ye continued to explain, Sah-hu turned and looked at the fragment of the monolith that the giant hound had covertly passed to him, hiding it in his mouth. Surprisingly, despite its small size — fitting comfortably in his hand — this fragment seemed powerless but felt like part of a vast system.

Logically, it didn’t make sense, but being a necromancer, Sah-hu recalled similar situations.

‘If it’s a broken seal, or perhaps this is the core.’

If the large body of the monolith was, in fact, an item sealing this thing.

Or if this stone was the core of that huge monolith, it explained a lot.

Why the giant hound had immediately found this core, no larger than a tennis ball, within the large monolith remained a mystery, but it certainly was not an ordinary item.

‘Ah, perhaps?’

Suddenly, inspired by his experience in the hospital, he wondered what it would look like through the eyes of a spirit. When Sah-hu looked at the core of the monolith through the spiritual vision, indeed, it revealed a more complex and solid mana circuit than one could believe with ordinary sight.

There was no inherent power within the core itself, but that was no issue.

The true value of this core was not the ‘power it contained.’

It was more about what it could accomplish when powered.

However, the problem was that he couldn’t properly identify what that power was.

As Sah-hu held the core gravely, Ji-ye clung to his back.

While he was engrossed in examining the monolith, Sah-hu turned around to find Ji-ye shining her phone on his face.

[Son, you are focusing on something again, I see.]

[Uhuhuhu. Sah-hu! Ji-ye told me everything. I’m proud of our son, the necromancer- teehee!]

Watching their father forcibly trying to get his face on the screen, then collapsing after receiving a fierce smack from their mother, Ji-ye sighed deeply.

“Mom, stop hitting dad! He must be hurting!”

[Don’t worry, dear. Would mom really hurt your father?]

The mother nonchalantly brushed aside her daughter’s concern and alternately looked at Sah-hu and Ji-ye through the screen.

[If the government has confirmed that you two are awakened, doesn’t that mean you might face dangerous situations? If so, come over here any time. Don’t stay there risking your lives.]

“Okay, got it. When are you and dad coming back? Are you still not done there?”

[Things are dragging on. It might take at least another two months. We’ll let you know before we leave.]

Ji-ye playfully saluted above her eyebrows as her mother shook her head at the playful gesture.

[Alright, say goodbye now. The call costs are high.]

[Sah-hu! Ji-ye! Stay healthy! Don’t starve if you run out of money, order food if you have to! And…]

As their mother’s endless farewells continued, the call was cut off.

Ji-ye chuckled as she went to put away her phone, but almost simultaneously, notifications for new messages pinged on both her and Sah-hu’s phones.

“What? Is it…?”

Alerted by Ji-ye’s surprised tone, Sah-hu checked his message.

As they suspected, it was a text from the government addressed to awakeneds.

[Kang Sah-hu, your Hunter license has been issued. Please apply at your nearest administrative welfare center or use the app. Details are enclosed with the issuance. Please check.]

“Hunter? They call awakened beings hunters?”

Excited, Ji-ye shouted, ‘I’m a hunter! A high school senior hunter!’ as she bounced around.

Sah-hu opened his phone and searched on Newtube for information regarding the Hunter license.

Dozens of videos appeared, uploaded just minutes ago, continuously updated.

He clicked on a video titled ‘What is a Hunter? A Quick Guide!’ and Lieutenant Han Si-yeon, who had escorted them during their rank assessment, appeared.

Appearing a bit shy in front of the camera, she reddened slightly as she introduced her Hunter license and explained what being a hunter means.

It seemed she was sharing what the government’s awakened beings had organized over the month.

As the video played, Ji-ye, who had been jumping around excitedly, now leaned on Sah-hu’s shoulder in a more relaxed posture.

In summary, a Hunter is one of the awakened individuals who enters Gates to eliminate potential threats by hunting monsters from another world.

Hunters can enter Gates, which ordinary people cannot, and are powerful beings.

However, the crucial challenge is maintaining the core that sustains the Gate.

If the ‘boss’, known as the gate guardian, is not defeated, there is no exit.

Additionally, when the gate is stable, it appears blue.

When a gate break occurs due to the destructuring of the gate and monsters emerge, it turns red and a gate break occurs within 12 hours.

While a hunter remains alive inside, the gate break is delayed and the color turns to yellow.

Although the information flowed like a rule of a game, Kang Sahu calmly memorized the details presented in the video.

“Wait, then what about students? What about seniors in high school?”

Ignoring Kang Jiye’s indignant outcry, Kang Sahu continued to memorize the video content.

According to the government’s instructions, hunters who clear gates of various grades receive rewards.

Items, or ‘items’ from another world that emerge from the gate, become bound to the hunter who acquires them.

The video kept playing, mentioning something about government employees, but Kang Sahu boldly decided to skip that part as it was irrelevant to him. The video had ended before he knew it.

“Brother! Brother! The reward for just one F-grade gate is one million won! It’s a huge deal!”

“What a steal considering it includes a ‘life allowance’.”

Though the allowance mentioned was modest compared to the four thousand won per day given to minesweeping soldiers, they were not military personnel.

Moreover, the video had stated that once inside the gate, one could not leave without defeating the boss.

Whether that might take a day, a week, or a month, the idea of one million won for clearing the gate seemed significant.

Kang Sahu remained vigilant without lowering his guard due to the lack of definitive information.

However, Kang Jiye’s eyes already sparkled as if she had earned a million won.

“Then, ten F-grade gates would make ten million won, a hundred would make a hundred million… Then I can change my phone, and also buy gifts for mom and dad…”

“Before that, we need to understand just how dangerous an F-grade gate is.”

Kang Sahu stood up.

“Let’s go.”

“Huh? Where to?”

Kang Jiye tilted her head in confusion at Kang Sahu’s sudden suggestion.

“We can get our hunter’s licenses at the community welfare center now. They’re available through an app, but it’s better to have the physical card.”

Knowing well that it’s crucial to be informed about any mission he undertakes, Kang Sahu’s decision was a calculated one.

Currently, as people were unfamiliar and fearful of what ‘gates’ are, they weren’t inclined to approach them. However, operations on gates would inevitably continue to arise.

Either sooner or later, hunters would be essential to enter these gates.

Considering this, it seemed like a wise choice to act immediately.

“Ugh, I’m too lazy. I’ll just download it.”

Kang Jiye, unlike him, tossed and turned lazily.

“…while we’re at it, let’s grab some pork cutlets.”

“Lead the way, brother.”

At the mention of pork cutlets, Kang Jiye sprung up energetically.

* * *

After obtaining their licenses, Kang Sahu and Kang Jiye stopped at a restaurant to order extra-large portioned pork cutlet sets.

Kang Sahu, possessed by the spirit of generosity, added a piece of his pork cutlet to Kang Jiye’s plate.

“Eat slowly.”

“Mmm.”

While Kang Jiye stuffed her cheeks full of pork cutlet, Kang Sahu chewed thoughtfully, installing the app he had heard about at the welfare center.

He entered his license ID and the password he set, and the app activated, displaying a map dotted with various points.

“But brother, what does EX mean?”

“I’m not sure. The government officials didn’t know either when I asked.”

As grades didn’t concern Kang Sahu much, he brushed off the question, and Kang Jiye returned her focus to her pork cutlets.

Looking at the map displayed on the app, Kang Sahu’s eyes lit up.

“This place, isn’t it quite close to our house?”

He handed the phone to Kang Jiye, who looked at the location and nodded.

“Yeah, it’s about a 20-minute drive. But what is this?”

“F-grade gate expected location.”

“What?!”

Surprised, Kang Jiye made a strange noise, setting down her fork and knife to zoom in and scrutinize the map.

“Brother! It says a gate will definitely appear here in three hours!”

“Yeah, I saw.”

Kang Sahu responded nonchalantly while eating his pork cutlet and noticed the gleaming excitement in Kang Jiye’s eyes.

“What’s with that look?”

“Let’s go!”

As if it was the most natural thing, Kang Jiye exclaimed, making Kang Sahu sigh deeply.

Yet unlike his usual firm refusals, he thought deeply and stared blankly into space.

“…Really, are we going?”

“It’s not impossible.”

Having obtained information from the NewTube and the community welfare center staff, Kang Sahu partly understood his own capabilities.

While he had blocked a major hound attack at a hospital, no other awakeners were present.

That meant he successfully repelled a gate break alone near the hospital.

Moreover, the major hound was classified under ‘E-grade’. Thus, Kam Sahu alone had managed to clear an E-grade gate.

Since the risk level decreases from A to F-grade, the probability of encountering weaker monsters than the major hound was high in an F-grade gate.

Considering other awakeners who might be interested in entering the gate, the risk level was further reduced.

“How many are applying right now?”

“Applying? Wait…oh, there are two people listed as A-grade, and one as B-grade!”



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