Solo Max Level Newbie Chapter 182

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Chapter 182: The Red Oath Emblem (2)

A crimson-colored status window appeared.

And then,

[Sigh… This is just ridiculous. What in the world are you doing now? Huh?]

A voice entered my mind through telepathy.

Irritation seeped through that female voice.

‘As expected, among them, this one reacts the fastest.’

One of the top three monsters even within the 9th floor, known as the paradise of monsters—a half-beast, half-human creature known as ‘Leizhen’, the Thunder Bird, ‘Atasha’.

Just as I wanted, the big-named monster took the bait without hesitation.

“Why? Upset because I’ve taken out a few cute pets?”

[Hey… Looking at you. Among humans, you seem to be reasonably strong but don’t get cocky. You can be taken out in a single hit. Got it? Did you hear me? Stop grinning like that just because you managed to beat a few ogres. If I had been there, I would have just…]

“Hmm… That’s interesting.”

[Interesting? What is?]

“All the bosses and named monsters I’ve fought until now, but you’re the first one who manages to be so weightless and vulgar.”

There are exceptions, of course.

But typically, the prouder they are, the less skill they seem to have.

More talkative than ever, I’m oddly looking forward to seeing if you can walk the talk, even just halfway.

[Kuhuhu! Good, this will be fun. After all, a lively fish always tastes better when beaten down.]

“Seems to me we’re on the same page, then? I was just thinking about the best way to take you down.”

Jinhyuk smiled lightly.

Before Atasha could retort, he added another comment.

“Oh! Don’t get too fired up now. If you keep sending indirect messages with voice, you’ll burn through your coins, and I doubt your wallet can handle that, right? Nothing is more hilarious than watching someone’s balance drop—although that’s a problem for those with plenty to spare, and you? You’d probably be out on the streets in no time, so consider this a friendly piece of advice.”

As much as a birdbrain might have, how much could she have saved?

Even if she had, who knows if she might forget about it after turning around.

Especially if it’s a Thunder Bird.

[…Kill him! Kill him right now!]

Along with the shout,

Gugugugugu!

One side of the tunnel wall rose.

And what appeared were more ogres.

But, they were different from the ones killed earlier.

While the first ones were muscular and heavy-set, these new ones had long arms and legs and were more agile-looking.

Armed with a 1.7m sharp sword, a blunt-looking rectangular shield, and armors covered in chains especially at vital points.

“Definitely different. Their meat looks really tough, not something easy to carve for a meal.”

What struck me the most was the emblem etched across their bodies.

The emblem, reminiscent of a tiger’s mane, glowed with a faint red hue.

[The ones I sent before were just advance scouts. Just to test the waters before retreating. Meanwhile, these blokes, they’re made for combat. We hand-picked them especially to deal with annoying pests like you. See, even their emblems look different…]

Atasha’s rambling was cut abruptly short.

Swish…

Thud!

Jinhyuk’s palm struck an ogre in the abdomen.

Pop, pop, pop!

A grisly symphony and a fountain of blood painted the scene crimson.

[So, so fast?]

An impossible speed.

The improved ogres, specialized in mobility and aimed for combat, couldn’t even react?

That’s just ridiculous!

But what was more surprising was how an ogre, a medium-sized monster, was killed instantly from such a light touch.

While Atasha was taken aback by the unexpected turn of events,

‘The feel of it is exquisite,’ Jinhyuk thought.

The martial arts technique known as Black Heaven Demon Emperor Technique.

Indeed, it was a technique with devastating power, allegedly used by the Dark Emperor himself.

Having mostly used his sword for combat until now, there was a certain charm to this kind of melee combat.

Especially the ‘Nail that Conceals the Moon’, utilizing both internal energy and magical power, gave me a kind of new pleasure I hadn’t experienced in a long while.

‘Perfect for warming up.’

Their large size made them feel even better when struck.

Jinhyuk used ‘Sword Demon Emperor Technique’ and grabbed another ogre in a flash.

Boom!

Again, his fist shattered the ogre’s armor into pieces.

“Kghaaak!”

An ogre, twisted like the letter ‘g’, fell onto the spot.

That’s two down.

The last one attempted a desperate counterattack.

A sword, soared high, came crashing down vertically.

Then,

Boom!

The ground Jinhyuk stood on caved in a circular shape.

Kukukuku…

A dark energy rose from his body.

A vile aura, one that only a select few from the Heretical Black Sect could master.

The sword, lunging toward his crown, was halted mid-air by the energy.

In the ogre’s fear-filled eyes, the approaching fist reflected.

Like in slow-motion,

The fist crushed the jaw and burrowed through the skull.

Kwakwakwakwang!

Kwaang!

The ogre’s body, rotating 360 degrees, broke through the wall and crashed into the wall on the other side.

Then it burst through the opposite wall onto the next until finally, after having torn through over seven walls, the ogre came to a halt, nearly indistinguishable in form.

[Brutish…!]

Atasha’s voice was full of shock.

But this time, unlike at the beginning, her anger lacked certainty.

“Since introductions are done, I’ll add one last thing.”

Jinhyuk lifted his head slightly towards the three monsters likely watching from somewhere.

“Hide as best as you can. Really well.”

They might have believed that this maze would serve as a solid hiding spot, but relying on this sandy box of just 10,000km… well, they might find this game of tag ending far sooner than expected.

***

“How… How could this be?”

Freedman, who had watched the whole battle, let out the breath he had been holding.

Overwhelmed by the staggering strength, he had nearly forgotten to breathe.

“With just… a few punches, those monsters…”

‘Just’.

Such an expression came naturally because the movements and attacks appeared too simple—so straightforward it almost felt futile.

“Be careful what you say. It might look simple at first glance, but to your level, this is a martial prowess beyond your wildest imagination.”

Wolyeong furrowed her eyebrows.

As someone recognized among the top ranks of the Black Wind Clan, she was painfully aware of how extraordinary Jinhyuk’s displayed skills and martial arts were.

Immediately, Melena echoed in agreement.

“That guy is definitely a freak. That’s why everyone is exploited by him.”

“Speaking of which, who are you? I saw you came with our lord, but…”

“Before answering that, are you and those guys back there forcefully recruited into some corporation or something?”

“I haven’t heard of such a sect.”

“You’re so green, yet you talk like an old scholar. Are you shooting a historical drama?”

“A historical drama, you say…?”

Wolyeong tilted her head in confusion.

Melena sighed lightly from exasperation.

“Tsk tsk. You seem to have a wide and clear road of suffering ahead. We’re both headed into hell, who am I to feel sorry for you?”

“Our lord is prepared for a path streaked with bloodshed. But, from what you say, you seem to know quite a bit about our lord?”

“Well I know him… not well, but then again, not many survive after meeting him, so comparatively, maybe I do. Anyway, what do you want to know? I’ll tell you what I can as a senior in the company.”

“What is our lord usually like?”

Wolyeong knew very little about Jinhyuk, whom she would be serving—only that he was the Dark Emperor’s apprentice and was leading a double life as Kang Jinhyuk and Unknown.

She wanted to know everything about him, every trivial detail.

That’s when Melena slowly started speaking after some thought.

“He’s like… a Demon King.”

Terrifyingly powerful, incredibly persistent, merciless to his enemies—that was the Jinhyuk she knew.

Right at that moment.

“What are you two discussing so fervently?”

Jinhyuk himself approached.

“Oh, nothing! We didn’t say anything. Seriously!”

Melena hastily shook her head in panic.

On the other hand,

“You’ve done a great job.”

Wolyeong bowed deeply with a complex expression, a mix of awe from witnessing such a high-level martial art and the sense that this was to be expected from the apprentice of the Dark Emperor.

[Wolyeong’s loyalty and affection have increased by +50. Remaining loyalty points until copy condition is met: 95]

The status window appeared before Jinhyuk.

‘So this is how I fulfill the copy conditions.’

By continuing to impress Wolyeong, it won’t be long until he can copy one of her abilities.

Good, that’s settled.

“Now, take the injured and leave. As you can see, they’re not someone you can deal with at your level.”

Jinhyuk spoke to Freedman.

Still in a daze, Freedman snapped back to reality at Jinhyuk’s words.

He knew better than anyone that he was not a match for them.

‘I wouldn’t stand a chance against them with my skills.’

The Guardians in black who swept away the goblins were powerful beings, no doubt.

Even if the entire Lochheed Guild were here, they couldn’t perform a tenth of what those thirty could.

Moreover,

Unknown, whom even these powerful men treated with such respect, was a monster of another dimension entirely.

What good would it do if he tried to intervene other than being in the way?

‘There’s nothing I can do.’

His decision didn’t take long.

“…Understood. I leave the rest to you.”

Freedman nodded.

As the Lochheed Guild’s survivors began gathering corpses and treating the injured, Jinhyuk, Wolyeong, and Melena gathered behind a large boulder to discuss what lay ahead.

“So, what’s the plan now? Do we find the exit through normal means?”

“It’s not bad to stroll leisurely, but this place isn’t exactly scenic for sightseeing.”

Having suffered enough in the musty maze on the 1st floor, I had no desire to spend months again eating moss and bats.

“Lord. Do you have something in mind?”

“Just watch.”

Jinhyuk accessed the ‘Coin Exchange’.

He was about to show them how to conquer the maze in record time, the high-level gamer’s way.

***

Deep within the labyrinth, concealed well,

Only after passing through intertwined passages and countless traps could one reach it;

The place where monsters from the 9th tier resided.

From goblins to orcs, small species to ogres and wyverns, medium ones—it was truly dozens of types all baring their teeth and snarling.

Some, unable to suppress their restless bloodlust, turned on each other, ready to fight at any moment.

And then,

The three boss monsters managing them, staring at an orb before them, were shell-shocked and appalled.

The orb displayed an image of Jinhyuk.

So far, nothing surprising.

The problem was,

“This is madness…!”

“Is he sane?”

“I told you! He’s absolutely nuts!”

The individual of concern’s current actions were being shown.

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