Auto Hunting - Chapter 19
Kang Yuna started to run towards Yoo-seong, but stopped when she glanced at the fallen queen.
‘What if the queen wasn’t dead?’
‘Or what if there were soldier ants nearby?’
Kang Yuna bit her lip after a pause.
The man who had collapsed just did a miracle that she hadn’t expected. He had just saved her life.
How did he jump out the window?
How did he use an ultra-advanced technique called ‘Blade’?
She did not understand. However, she felt ashamed.
Yoo-seong just had to try the Assault Form after hearing that there were people on the bus.
No matter how much automatic hunting helped, he was still human. That was why he had to ensure his will and concentration did not shake to the end despite reaching his mental limit.
Kang Yuna hesitated, but she knew he needed her help immediately.
She had to do something to help him. He was a fellow hunter and human.
Kang Yuna ran to him. The queen still didn’t move.
Upon reaching Yoo-seong, Kang Yuna released all her remaining CEs, running a detailed scan to find the cause of the problem.
As she expected, Yoo-seong fainted because of CE’s complete depletion, not the burden on his body.
She noticed something else.
The veins leading the CE from the core to the body parts seemed like they hadn’t gone through strain before. It was as if he had never been reinforced, or he had just recently been reinforced but had never used Aura.
Usually, with use, the veins collapsed, recovered, and became stronger and wider like muscles.
It was a continuous process.
Yuna didn’t understand how Yoo-seong’s veins could still be so fine.
More than that, though, she realized that his clash against the queen had also cost him.
His right hand was bruised. His nervous system was also completely drained.
Kang Yuna knew what she had to do.
She took out some tape and gauze from her first aid kit.
The condition of Yoo-seong’s was unexplainable, but it wasn’t any cause for alarm.
Fine veins were inherently tough. Besides, if there were no impurity, the veins would only become stronger by rest and stability after a few days.
However, the veins on the right hand that had pulled out the blade required immediate attention.
They had sustained the thin condensed Aura that had passed through the queen’s armor. In short, they were damaged.
She spat into Yoo-seong’s hand as she drew on her core energy. Her face had turned pale.
She had been in charge of healing wounded hunters and taking them back to the bus. She was close to the limits of her abilities, and Yoo-seong’s veins required a lot of energy.
‘Just a little bit more,’ she thought as she drew from the bottom of her core.
The CE started to flow through the tip of the saliva in the right hand of Yoo-seong.
It was not as remarkable as the Blade synthesis, but it was also an advanced technique. She sent energy over a medium rather than her own body.
Moreover, it was a technique that restored another person’s nervous system and elicited resilience.
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It was one of the reasons why she received calls from countless groups. It was her pride.
“Done!” she gasped as she made a face.
The veins on Yoo-seong’s right hand had almost completely recovered. It would soon become stronger than all the other parts.
She sighed in relief as the tension from work eased. Like a pro, Kang Yuna did not lose concentration until the end. She wrapped a tape that could relieve pain and calm the nerves around his arm.
Once done, she made sure that there are no problems in Yoo-seong’s body. Then, she fell to her knees, leaning on her arms for balance.
She hoped the queen wouldn’t resurrect, and no soldier ant would come after them.
She and Yoo-seong had drained so much energy. Neither of them could fight anymore.
Finally, other hunters arrived to help – much too late.
“Hey, are you injured?” asked a hunter in a specially modified jeep.
The vehicle and the silver seal on his left arm indicated that he was part of a larger team.
“Yes. There are injured people on the bus too,” she said.
One after another, more vehicles arrived.
She looked at the sky. The crack was closed. The conflict was over.
The team dispatched to the inside of the crack had successfully blocked it. It had been large enough to cover the city’s center.
Therapists from another team moved the injured to a nearby building for first-aid treatment.
Kang Yuna and Yoo-seong were among the people that were moved.
Kang Yuna, who was drinking coffee from a thermos bottle, watched Yoo-seong wake up.
‘Thank God,’ she thought out loud.
Realizing herself, she turned away.
‘Don’t you want to talk to him about what you saw?’ A voice in her head asked.
She had been confused about how he had managed to kill the queen, but she was too embarrassed to ask.
She had been the only one to see it.
Although she didn’t know all about Aura Control, she was sure of one thing: Blade was, by no means, a skill that could be used at his level. He had to have a secret.
‘Maybe I don’t want to discover it,’ she replied to the voice in her head.
The evidence remained on the action cam.
Hunters used the footage from their action cams to improve their portfolios, but some were reluctant to disclose them.
Unless the hunter revealed it, only the department in charge of judging the prey’s possession could see the action cam.
Sometimes, they were even punished for revealing facts other than ownership of prey due to a confidentiality treaty. Evidently, the queen belonged to Yoo-seong.
She went out of the treatment facility and watched the corpse of the queen.
Two other hunters had spotted it.
“Uh! There is also a queen here!” one said.
“True,” the other said as both of them went closer.
“Who caught it?” the first one asked.
Hunters were sensitive to the unspoken rules of hunting.
Even if the corpse of a prized prey was found, no other hunter was to touch it, considering the hunter who had caught it.
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Of course, not everyone adhered to rules.
“No, but look at this,” the first hunter said as he boldly turned over the queen’s body and looked at it.
He had a gold seal on his left arm.
His eyes gleamed with joy as he looked at the prize.
“There is no trace of trauma,” he said.
“I know, right.” The other one said.
“Doesn’t this look like a natural death? She must have missed her mating season and died as a result. Sometimes that’s the case,” the gold seal hunter said.
Everyone around seemed to agree with him. If a beast died naturally at the end of its lifespan, the person who spotted it first became the owner.
The gold seal hunter spotted Kang Yuna.
“Hey, you were with the queen’s corpse. Who killed it?” he asked her.
“I don’t know,” she said.
“Since no one knows who caught it, we all could just share it among ourselves…” the gold sealed hunter began.
Suddenly, he was interrupted by a deep voice.
“Sure, if you want to get into big trouble.”
Everyone turned to the source of the voice.
“This is my prey. If you make as much as a scratch on it, I will immediately file a claim for damages.”
Of course, the owner of the voice was Yoo-seong.
The gold hunter looked Yoo-seong over.
There was no seal on either the left or the right.
Above all, the face was familiar.
‘That’s him, this year’s top test-taker,’ he thought.
‘I knew he was great, but then, could a novice who just passed the exam a week ago hunt a queen?’
“The lady who was with you said she knew nothing,” the gold hunter said as he pointed at Kang Yuna.
She became nervous.
‘What should I do?’ she thought.
Of course, if she released her action cam, things would be very simple.
Yoo-seong was a newbie. He may not know about the full footage available from their action cams.
The atmosphere was tense.
A gold-ranked hunter was a person who led several teams.
Everyone seemed to be thinking that Yoo-seong was going to be forced to deny ownership of the queen.
Even among veteran hunters, ownership usually caused misunderstandings and complicated situations.
Suddenly, Yoo-seong opened his mouth.
“Huh?” People asked.
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Yoo-seong, repeated the 13-digit code once again and again so that everyone could hear it well.
“D23-BB24114GE4. This is the cloud entry where my action cam video is saved. Check it out on your phone.”
The hunters around Kang Yuna picked up their cell phones and entered the code given by Yoo-seong.
“Wow! Check it!” Someone said.
As if they couldn’t believe it, the hunters watched the scenes together.
Yoo-seong remained calm.
“This is fantastic!” another one remarked.
“Isn’t he just a beginner who had just been licensed for a week?”
“Is the blade not synthetic?”
Everything was resolved in an instant. Already, all the hunters were gathered around the queen.
The gold hunter who first touched the queen went to Yoo-seong.
“Uh… there… Oh Yoo-seong… right?” he asked.
“I’m really… sorry.”
The gold hunter was scratching the back of his neck as if he was embarrassed.
He had thought the queen had died naturally. It turned out that there was an owner.
As a senior wearing gold, he was greatly embarrassed by the outstanding junior.
“Really, I apologize,” he said.
“It’s fine,” Yoo-seong replied calmly.
“This is my business card.” The goldsmith said as he pulled out the card.
The atmosphere became cool after the gold hunter apologized. From the beginning, Yoo-seong had no intention of hiding the action cam.
The action cams couldn’t reveal the automatic-hunt function. There was nothing for him to hide.
“Then, you also saved the injured people on the bus?”
Yoo-seong nodded. At this, the gold hunter slapped Yoo-seong’s shoulder in admiration.
“You did a great job. The rescue achievement will be a no-joke addition to your portfolio. Maybe it would put a bronze seal or more at once.”
Kang Yuna couldn’t raise her head. When she did, she accidentally made eye contact with Yoo-seong.
Yoo-seong looked at her the way he would look at a stranger.
Why did she deny his ownership of the queen? Well, at least things had been settled at the end.
Yoo-seong tilted his head and entered the gold hunter’s car.
Kang Yuna stood in place, her mouth hanging open.
Normally, hunters would relax after working hard.
However, all of the hunters returning from Operation Division 04 were excited.
They were thinking about the action cam footage released by the novice hunter named Oh Yoo-seong.
Everyone scorned themselves in their minds.
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‘How many monsters have you caught alone, without your team?’
‘What is the highest-ranked monster you have caught?’
In the midst of it all, Yoo-seong was sleeping quietly.