Auto Hunting - Chapter 18
-04 OPERATION DIVISION-
The Queen snatched yet another screaming man. The terrified hunter desperately shot at the Queen as he hung upside down.
The Geller-Gun he used was a two-star weapon that fired energy using the user’s CE output.
This hunter was an excellent Aura shooter. Even while hanging in the air, he managed to hit the Queen countless times.
However, the clanging of metal filled the air with every impact. The balls of energy bounced against the Queen’s tough shell without any effect.
The Queen, unbothered, continued her flight trajectory.
Then, her wings stopped flapping.
It settled on a building rooftop with its prey.
She then started eating.
Soon, the screams stopped.
Kang Yuna bit her lips.
‘Another one…’ she thought.
She was the leader of another team.
More than that, Kang Yuna was the hunter with the highest achievement rating among those gathered.
She wore a silver seal on her left arm.
It was only a matter of time before she would wear a gold one. The only reason she was still with a team was that she needed a means of earning temporarily.
She had quit the firm she had been working with a while ago to get better opportunities.
She was skilled in treatment and had vast experience in the field. She had received countless e-mails from headhunters even before she issued her resignation letter.
Usually, hunters took vacations while their transfers were pending, but Yuna didn’t like that.
She wasn’t interested in going to Europe. There was no time for vacations.
She needed more money to achieve her dream of owning a building in the middle of Gangnam. She met a team that offered a short-term contract where she would earn 30% of the team’s total profits.
She responded immediately. The team was a level lower than her level, anyway.
Because it was a low-level team, she would be positioned far from the crack, and the monsters she would face would be three stars at most.
It should have been a casual, part-time job.
It should have been…
But she just had to meet the young Queen.
There were several Gray Ants castes, but 99.9% of the ones that appeared across the crack were soldier ants or workers.
The rest of the ants were stuck inside the gray ant’s nest inside the crack.
However, during special seasons, such as the breeding season, a princess ant that had just finished mating became a queen and explored outside the nest.
The young Queen took a completely different section from other ants in the monster encyclopedia because it was very rare. The appearance and features were also different from the other Gray Ants – it was 1.5m tall, humanoid body with quadrupedal walking.
It was equipped with wings that could fly at a speed of 290 km/h.
Still, even with that, it wouldn’t have been that tricky to deal with it. The biggest feature it had was durability.
A Queen’s armor was the hardest amongst all Gray Ant species.
Its durability could negate a considerable amount of firepower. It was the reason why a Queen Ant was rated at four stars (★★★★).
Yuna bit her lips and glanced behind her nervously.
‘When is support coming?!’
She was crouching inside a bus with her teammates and other anxious hunters.
They were those whose lives had been saved by her healing techniques.
Treatment was not a problem. What was lacking was firepower.
No matter how great a healer she was, what good would it do if she couldn’t defeat the most dangerous enemy?
Besides, being a silver hunter, shouldn’t she have known that there was a queen?
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Around the vicinity of the bus, there were many soldier ants that were under the direct control of the Queen.
An injured person crouching near her vomited blood, catching her attention.
“Are you okay?” she worriedly asked.
Her CE had been exhausted from too much healing.
‘He’s going to die.’
Kang Yuna’s expression darkened with the realization.
Of course, they were safe for the time being.
It was just a matter of time before reinforcements arrived.
However, no matter how accustomed she was to seeing death, it still hurt her to watch others die.
Her toes curled involuntarily.
‘Help, please come quickly…’ she pleaded desperately in her heart.
Kang Yuna rose slightly on her bent knees and brought her eyes to the window.
Immediately, their eyes met.
With the Queen was by the bus. The eyes of the insect gleamed at the sight of the prey inside.
Impulsively, Kang Yuna acted, jumping through the window at the other side of the bus.
She rolled over upon landing, then stood up firmly.
“This way, bitch!” She shouted as she ran off.
Her eyes began to dilate with fear. However, it was too late to change her actions.
‘You had to earn the others a little time. ’
Until more hunters arrived, she had to outrun the Queen’s wings with her legs somehow.
That was the only way to disengage the Queen’s gaze from the bus.
The Queen’s wings began to flap as she stared at Kang Yuna.
She was soaring high into the air in an instant; then, she began descending toward Yuna.
‘Get ready to die.’ Yuna told herself.
She didn’t look back, but she knew the Queen was coming for her. She was too exhausted to use her Aura. With one swoop, the Queen would snatch her away.
‘But it was worth the try,’ she thought the moment she felt her legs leave the ground.
Something hit her and snatched her into the air.
However, it wasn’t the Queen.
Kang Yuna raised her head to see a man’s blackened face.
Because the man caught Kang Yuna right on time, the Queen crashed on the ground, skidding on asphalt. Yoo-seong did not delay.
He held Kang Yuna to his side and focused his Aura on his legs.
He leaped quickly and jumped from a car to the top of a streetlight and into the open second-floor window of a nearby building.
Even though she was stuck on her side, she could hardly feel anything as the movements continued rapidly.
‘A talented hunter had come!’
But when Yoo-seong put her down, she looked up at him and became surprised.
“Excuse me?” she said as she felt her expectations fall.
Both arms were without armbands.
Well, it was not right to rate people on that alone.
However, the complexion of Yoo-seong was not very good.
Shortly after he put Kang Yuna down, he put her hands on the floor and gasped.
His face was almost white, and he was sweating profusely.
She got up, suspecting he had been injured somewhere.
“Hey, wait a minute. Even if I don’t have any energy left, I guess I can help you with a simple recovery…”
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Kang Yuna placed her hand on Yoo-seong’s shoulder and scanned his body.
Then, she realized something weird.
This man was not exhausted because of injuries or lack of physical stamina.
It was CE depletion.
CE did not disappear after use, but it got deactivated for a while until the body recovered.
And it was what caused great fatigue.
If Kang Yuna’s scan was correct, the CE of Yoo-seong was 1300 at most, the amount of CE of a beginner who had just passed a year of experience.
At least 1000CE had been disabled already.
There was no way such a person could be a capable hunter.
‘But the movement just before…’
Kang Yuna first supported Yoo-seong and applied a very basic tonic technique.
It was only a little help given her state, but she heard the man gasp in relief once she was done.
“Are you okay?” she asked.
“I’m fine. Fine.” He said as he nodded.
His condition was several times worse than when he had just defeated the Centurion.
“Are you here alone?” She asked.
“Yes,” he replied.
The hunters who were in the same area as Yoo-seong were not in a condition to help. More than half of each team were injured.
In the end, it was only Yoo-seong who had gone to assist the 4th division.
“Didn’t you encounter any soldier ants on the way? You should have fought them off instead of coming to challenge the Queen.”
“I ran across some. A group… there were about 15 of them,” he said between heavy breaths.
“And you ran away?”
“I hunted them.”
His reply stunned her. He only had a total amount of 1300CE.
Did he use 1000CE out of it to catch 15 ants?
She wondered how much CE he used to save her from the Queen. 400?
Yuna hadn’t read Yoo-seong’s Aura correctly.
The Auto-Hunt’s Corona Suppression made use of the CE economically without allowing any wastage.
However, things wouldn’t have been so bad if he hadn’t tested ‘posture’ while on the way to that place.
They heard the sound of flapping wings out the window. The violent fall had done little damage to the Queen. The Queen shook her head and started to approach the bus once more.
“Well, there are people over there,” Yuna informed him.
“You mean on the bus?”
Kang Yuna nodded.
‘Everyone would die if I did nothing,’ she thought as she stared at the bus.
She was afraid.
Her body and mind were already too stiff to attempt another heroic act.
‘What could I do?’
She prepared to go out again; this time, she was panting heavily.
And the man next to her?
She didn’t know how he got them there. However, it was clear that his CE was exhausted, and he would not be able to repeat those fluid movements.
Yoo-seong looked out the window.
Then, he leaned beneath the window just before the Queen had spotted him.
The Auto-Hunt button had made him do that. Yoo-seong finally disabled the button.
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“I can’t win, so I want you to hide,” Kang Yuna said as she went to the window.
“After a few seconds, I will go out. I’m guessing they remained in the bus hiding beneath the window. When I go outside, stay here,” she said.
Then, turning to face the bus, she jumped out of the window, swinging on a street light and thrusting herself towards the bus.
‘I can’t win now,’ she thought. ’But I have to try.’
Yoo-seong pressed the button again.
Again, this time, automatic hunting made his body bend under the window.
Yoo-seong raised his gaze to the upper right where Yuna landed.
She was running towards the bus.
He focused on the new icon and blinked his eyes.
-Assault Form applied.-
Then, Yoo-seong’s body jumped out of the window.
“Hey!” Kang Yuna screamed before she could stop herself.
The Queen, who had just ripped off the side of the bus, turned her head and saw the lady.
“Come get me,” Yuna said as she ran again.
The Queen came after her again.
However, before the chase could continue, Yoo-seong landed between the Queen and Yuna.
“Huh?” Yuna uttered in surprise as she looked at Yoo-seong. Her concern for him grew immediately.
Despite having little energy left to mitigate the landing shock, she thought he landed quite perfectly.
The Queen seemed somewhat annoyed. Unlike before, she flapped her wings more violently, rising higher towards the sky. Yoo-seong did not move.
The Aura that had once covered his body slowly disappeared.
‘He is exhausted. He’s going to die,’ she thought.
Yoo-seong raised his right arm with a clenched fist.
Then, out of the clenched fist, he raised his index and middle fingers.
Kang Yuna gasped as the Queen started to dive from almost 30 stories high.
Yoo-seong’s Aura started to emerge – this time, in the form of a sword from between his index and middle fingers.
It was an Aura of ‘only’ 300CE; however, it was concentrated.
It was thin, but that was why it was sharper than anything else.
“A… B… Blade?” Yuna gasped.
It was a sword of blue light.
Yoo-seong watched carefully as the Queen descended at a fierce speed.
This chance was everything. He didn’t care even if he used up all his remaining CE.
He had to get this strike right before he lost all his mental energy.
Just before the clash with the Queen, Auto-hunting made his body move.
Since the Aura was only focused on the sword, his movement was limited.
However, he didn’t need much energy, just as the batter who hit the fastball didn’t have to be faster than the ball.
What was important was the timing. And the firepower.
The conditions were already sufficient. The moment the two enemies met, Kang Yuna saw a blue flash- the trajectory of the sword drawn as Yoo-seong slipped away from the Queen,
The sword cut through the Queen’s body as if it was paper.
There was no sound.
Once again, the Queen’s body crashed to the ground.
This time, however, the Queen never got up again.
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And at the same time, Yoo-seong also collapsed.