Auto Hunting - Chapter 9
The test site was a large shopping center.
Ten years ago, when cracks began to appear, a crack where three- and four-star monsters suddenly opened in the shopping center.
Buildings in the area collapsed from the damage, and countless people who were just there to buy clothes died.
The government bought the land. Cracks are likely to re-occur where they previously appeared.
The center was converted to a place for people who are not afraid to face monsters.
A massive test site.
Yoo-seong got off the Academy shuttle bus and admired the scene.
There were domes several times the size of the Academy sports ground spread out in front of him.
The government spent trillions of dollars to develop the area.
Hundreds of people get hired in this place annually after the tests are done.
But his wonder was not just for the size of the place.
People getting off the bus noticed it too.
“Look over there….”
There was a large parking lot in front of the test site.
Parked in it were not only vehicles owned by private institutes, academies, or test takers.
There were lots of foreign cars that were usually seen in the Seoul metropolis. Sleek SUVs, sports cars, luxury vehicles…
There were also several security personnel were standing in attention.
They wore functional tops and sunglasses, as well as military pants.
“They are hunters, I think,” said Lee Sang-hyang, one of the thousands of candidates who arrived in the area.
“I think they are scouts,” Yang Hee-ji said, standing next to Yoo-seong.
“The results of the practical exams are released immediately, right?”
Unlike the written exams, the hunter skill test is published immediately right after the end of the exams, along with the rankings.
A passing candidate will get his/her license issued on the same day.
“This is an important place, especially for those small teams or firms. They could get a promising talent on the spot, before other larger firms could recruit them,” Yang Hee-ji explained.
She knew a great deal, coming from a family of hunters.
“But why are there so many people in the parking lot-“
Suddenly, Yang Hee-ji screamed!
Yoo-seong was shocked and embarrassed at his companion, who was making a scene in the parking lot.
However, it seemed like nobody noticed her. It’s because most of the people in the area were no different from Yang Hee-ji.
A lot of people were screaming in chorus.
“Lee, Lee, Lee, Lee, Lee Jae….”
Only then did Yoo-seong saw the cause of the commotion.
The excitement was obvious not only from the candidates and from the instructors but also from the other hunters.
“Whoah, it’s really Jae-hak!” Yoo-seong heard a candidate say in awe.
The hunter who was called the best solo in Korea.
Alone, he is capable of performance comparable to that of a team, or even a mid-sized firm. He had a huge fan base at home and abroad with his skill and appearance.
Yoo-seong was also staring at the man’s face.
It was the face in his ex-girlfriend’s cellphone wallpaper.
Well, he didn’t feel anything about him, except for curiosity.
“Wow, it’s not a joke. The Force! But why did Jae-hak come here? Yeah, I heard he’s building a team these days…” Hee-ji said.
Why else would a high-ranking hunter be here?
Because of Lee Jae-hak’s strong presence, however, no one dared to crowd him for autographs, but he was still surrounded by admirers.
Yoo-seong soon turned away and told Hee-ji.
“Let’s go in and get a seat.”
The instructor told them that there were waiting rooms inside, so it was possible to warm up and do some stretching exercises.
Other candidates may know that information too, but no one was getting inside the dome. It was too early, and Jae-hak is here. Who would want to do stretching?
Yoo-seong slipped into the crowd to get toward the dome’s entrance.
It was a coincidence.
Lee Jae-hak’s eyes were restless as people crowded around him.
Suddenly, his eyes landed on Yoo-seong, who was passing through.
His eyes narrowed a little.
The crowd was surprised.
“How did he do that?”
“Is that a new ability? Or equipment?”
Lee Jae-hak flew over people’s heads in an instant and landed in front of Yoo-seong, amidst the buzzing of the amazed crowd.
“Uh, you over there,” Lee Jae-hak looked at him awkwardly, as if he was a little shy. “I know this can sound weird…”
Yoo-seong looked surprised at the sudden landing, but he stayed calm. “Yes?”
What did Lee Jae-hak come to him? What is he going to say in front of this crowd?
“That…” Lee Jae-hak timidly raised his hand and pointed at Yoo-seong’s forearm. “Can I touch it?”
Yoo-seong and those who were watching went speechless at the odd request.
Lee Jae-hak seemed serious; however, then realized how awkward it sounded.
“Ah! Don’t get me wrong! It doesn’t mean anything else, but I saw it from a distance, and it looked very strange… I was very curious.”
The faces in the crowd looked doubtful.
A strange body? Of course, everyone who looked at Yoo-seong can see that the young man had an excellent body.
But what makes it interesting?
What did Lee Jae-Hak’s eyes see?
Yoo-seong looked at Jae-hak, and considered.
Then, he nodded, “You can.”
Lee Jae-hak began to touch Yoo-seong’s forearm without hesitation.
“Good…” he murmured, then looked up to Yoo-seong.
“Excuse me, but you’re “pure” right?”
“But how did you… can touch I you in other places? I mean, like shoulders and other muscles?”
It was a very strange sight.
A first-hunter who appeared on the test site is touching the forearm of an unknown candidate.
But what makes it more bizarre were their expressions.
Jae-hak’s expression looked like a craftsman appreciating a work of art. He looked so serious and technical as he did it, there’s nothing funny about it.
Yoo-seong’s expression also looked serious. A top hunter is feeling his body in front of countless people, but he did not have a trace of embarrassment or shame in his face.
Rather, he seemed to be deep in thought.
“Oh, thank you.” Lee Jae-hak lifted his hand from Yoo-seong’s body, looking deeply impressed.
“I have been around the world and have seen a lot,” he continued, “but it’s the first time I have ever seen a body with this build without a gap. It’s beautiful. Beautiful. Sincerely.”
Yoo-seong simply nodded. “Thank you.”
“I do not know about your abilities, but even without it, just continue to get stronger, you can go a long way,” Jae-hak said as he took a business card out of his wallet.
“Please contact me if you have time,” he said, giving the card to Yoo-seong. “If it’s okay, I’d like to share with you some training tips.”
“I hope you have good results in the exam.”
Both men turned away, Yoo-seong heading towards the dome.
Both of them were deep in thought.
Lee Jae-hak hopes that this young man passes the examination.
Yoo-seong did, too.
Practical exams are taken in different fields within the dome.
The candidates had to face randomly selected monsters in different fields, and show appropriate responses to pass the examination.
Naturally, the examination was risky, so candidates had to sign an agreement that the organizers will not be held accountable for any accident or injury.
Candidates stayed at waiting rooms before they are called in to enter the field.
The random conditions for their examination will be released five minutes before the actual test, so the waiting room was always a place of confusion and mental stress.
Today, however, it was much worse.
“It does not make any sense!”
The organizer discussed something that was not in the database so far.
It was something that hasn’t been done over the past decade.
It had been suggested that the difficulty of the practical test should be increased, as there was an increase in cracks, and there have been a lot of hunter casualties.
Usually, the monsters in the fields were rated 2-stars.
It was hard to use 3-star monsters for practical exams. Capturing them alive and using them for testing fresh candidates may have disastrous results.
Therefore, the organizers had a practical solution for increasing the difficulty.
They got the strongest, smartest, yet safest monster that they can for this year’s tests.
In fact, these monsters were measured to be at least 2-stars.
[In this test, you must capture each other.]
[Human adults who have undergone military/hunting training- ★★]