Auto Hunting - Chapter 22
Yoo-seong’s veins fully recovered ten days later.
He trained hard on the roof of the building, building strength, speed, posture, and accuracy. He was no longer hitting the team of three bags.
His new victim was a synthetic rubber column with a 55 cm diameter and a height of 2 m.
Yoo-seong had bought it under Sung-wook’s recommendation. Sung-wook told him that he wouldn’t be able to bring it down, and things turned out that way.
He kept punching and kicking, yet the bag remained hanging.
Yoo-seong’s body hadn’t changed much from before since it had already been well-built.
Unlike when he had only begun, when signs of progress appeared every day, it now took time and perseverance in order to see any changes. There was a significant difference in the power from Yoo-seong compared to before the test.
As he punched, blue flashes appeared around his body.
His Aura was coming back. He hit the bag harder, but it still didn’t fall.
It was made of rubber and as huge as a log. However, whenever Yoo-seong hit it, it flew backward, as if it was filled with air.
If he was still using his old equipment, it would have probably been smashed before two rounds were over.
Suddenly, Yoo-seong pressed the button, turning off the auto-hunt function. The rubber pillar was still standing intact, although its smooth surface was all gone.
He had been overworking it for four days. The bag had begun to tilt slightly.
It was time for a change.
He clenched and opened his fists; then, he pressed the button.
Once again, the Aura surrounded him.
Then, he pressed the next button.
-Assault form applied.-
A blade rose from his fingers.
Suddenly, the rubber bag in front of him looked powerless, just like the Ant Queen had looked two weeks ago.
It was over in an instant.
He turned the button off again, gaining control of his body once more.
Half of the rubber pillar had crashed to the floor. His arm was tingling with pain, but it was bearable.
The pain was less than the first time he had used the Blade. However, that wasn’t the only encouraging thing. The blade he had pulled out this time was the size of the three fingers put together instead of two.
Things were now getting clearer to him.
Assault Form pulled the Blade out beyond Yoo-seong’s limits, and those limits only increased as he improved with use.
He could make this stronger.
With more training, he could even reduce the impact it takes on his arm.
His heart thudded with excitement at the realization. He wanted to do more.
He was restless, feeling that the improvement would be lost if he took a break.
However, he had to rest. He went down from the rooftop. It had already been an exhausting morning, yet the day was just beginning.
His mind drifted to four days ago when he had received a full-fledged lesson from Sung-wook.
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Yoo-seong stood with his feet apart, and his fist held in front of his abdomen.
It looked like a Taekwondo stance.
As he focused, he could feel the heat from the CE in his belly. Feeling it and drawing it out of the body was the first step in the practice of dealing with Aura.
“You’re doing well,” Sung-wook remarked.
However, Yoo-seong could barely manage to hold himself up.
Soon a weird moaning filled the air as Aura was pulled out of his body. However, it was quite different from before.
Rather than looking like a smooth pudding, it looked like cotton candy flying around in a mess and vanishing. It was a normal experience for beginners.
Yoo-seong was not using automatic Hunting. He was holding onto Aura with his natural ability. He realized how hard it was.
He gnashed his teeth as he persevered in upholding the Aura. However, he reached his limits soon.
There was a pop, and a sudden strong wind blew around Yoo-seong.
He fell to the floor with a thud, gasping for breath.
“42 minutes and 30 seconds. That’s a new record,” Sung-wook said as though Yoo-seong had done something enormous.
“That’s because I held on until almost all of CE disappeared,” Yoo-seong said, rolling on the floor.
Three days ago, Yoo-seong had received two new injections, increasing his amount of CE to 2300.
He had spent about 500 CE during the morning training and had gradually lost about 1600 CE as he tried to maintain his Aura.
The Corona had taken up the remaining 200 CE.
“Well, it’s a tremendous progress compared to the first day.”
That was right.
On the first day, it popped much faster than this, and the energy of 1500CE was released.
Even Sung-wook had been thrown back by the explosion. Fortunately, both of them didn’t get hurt.
“This is way harder than I thought,” he said.
Automatic Hunting allowed him to skip through the difficulty of it. He remembered Choi Jae-sung on the bus. Jae-sung was really more advanced than him in terms of Aura control.
“Hmm,” Sung-wook murmured as he looked down at Yoo-seong. His student’s CE had been exhausted, along with his body.
Yoo-seong’s prowess would have amazed him. It had only been four days of training, and he had already been able to sustain his Aura for 42 minutes.
Even Sung-wook himself had probably taken two weeks to sustain the energy for forty minutes.
However, a question had begun bugging him.
Why did Yoo-seong, who had pulled out a Blade, seem like a beginner while we are training?
The body’s functions weren’t supposed to change within such a short time.
He wondered, and yet he didn’t ask.
He had promised Yoo-seong he would ask only when he was sure he had gained Yoo-seong’s complete trust. He wanted to train Yoo-seong with sincerity. He decided to continue beginner training with Yoo-seong till he knew the secret.
But this is not enough, Sung-wook thought. I have to show it to him at least once, anyway.
Sung-wook groped his pocket to see if there was any medicine.
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“You learned at the academy that there are three main ways to use the CE, right?”
“Yes,” Yoo-seong replied.
“There are three methods: Ki (技), Psy (念), and Tech (術). Ki, or what we call Aura, is a combat method that uses the CE directly. It isn’t special. You even used it during the last hunt. You manipulate your Aura through your body like a weapon to enhance your power. You can shape it into things or shoot it like a bullet. Martial Arts are very useful in handling this skill.
“Psy is also called Arousal Ability. It’s a special ability awakened from birth or by injecting CE into the core. It is expressed according to the ability factor that a person is born with. Psy’s ability consumes CE but is different from Aura. Starting with the famous telekinetic abilities, you can have various special abilities, ranging from ignition to freezing. Due to it being largely genetic, very few hunters have mastered this technique.” He paused for a moment before continuing.
“Tech, at first glance, is similar to Psy in that it can’t be learned but is rather a special ability that consumes CE; however, it is not a genetically controlled factor.
According to one theory, Tech (術) is a technique that has been passed down through the generations of human history even before the cracks appeared.
Each culture and very few secret groups have used this skill through the generations to unleash their abilities. It’s very rare to see people who can use this.”
“Yeah. I remember,” Yoo-seong remarked.
“What I’m going to show you from now on is a technique that I developed.”
Yoo-seong then watched Sung-wook with interest. However, he wondered what Sung-wook would be able to teach him. Sung-wook’s veins were already damaged.
Suddenly, his mentor lightly kicked the ground and leaped into the air.
At the same time, Yoo-seong stopped thinking.
Sung-wook ran around the room – literally.
He ran up the walls, across the ceiling, off the exercise equipment; all the while, his feet didn’t slip. It was as though he was a lizard.
Yoo-seong saw him and tried to do it, running with speed up the walls, but he fell to the ground like a child.
Meanwhile, Kim Sung-wook was jogging off the walls effortlessly. Finally, he stepped down and walked towards Yoo-seong.
“At first, it was called a three-dimensional Motor Walk, but there is a more widely-used name for it internationally,” he smiled as he began,
Suddenly, he bent forward.
“Teacher!” Yoo-seong said.
Sung-wook bled slightly from the nose. Apart from that, the veins all over his body had turned blue and swollen.
“About… in my pocket…”
Yoo-seong quickly understood what he was trying to say.
He reached into Sung-wook’s pocket and pulled out a wrapped capsule.
He unwrapped it quickly and took a bottle of water. He handed them over to Sung-Wook, who took the drug quickly.
He began to breathe heavily as the blue veins began to disappear.
“Why did you do that?” Yoo-seong asked.
“How can I teach it without showing it?” Sung-wook asked in response.
“Now, tell me. What was the secret behind what I did?”
Yoo-seong gaped. He wasn’t sure.
“It was a little strange. I guess it had to do with your leg,” he guessed.
“What part of my leg?”
“Starting with the ankle, maybe…”
The angle of the knee, the movement of the pelvis – he wasn’t sure.
Perhaps it wasn’t a human ability at all.
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“Psy, I guess?” he said, finally giving up.
“I already said this is not Psy or Tech. It doesn’t make the soles stick together or play with gravity,” Sung-wook told him.
“Then, what was it?”
“The way humans walk is fixed because that’s all the force the human body can exert.”
Sung-wook wiped his mouth and continued.
“With strengthening from CE injection, you can move on any surface. It’s a skill you can use anywhere: city, jungle, or forest. You can go against inertia and gravity.”
He stood up.
“I’ll send you an email of the diagrams I have organized, and I’ll show you how to move your body from tomorrow. Now is…”
Sung-wook’s body stumbled for a while. Yoo-seong tried to support him, but Sung-wook shook his hand.
“I have strained my body. I will go up to bed now.”
Waving his hand, Sung-wook went out of the training room. As he walked through the lobby, his mind wandered. His veins were damaged beyond repair…
Even though he had taken medicine, he had accumulated enough shock that would make him suffer over the next few days.
He’d put himself through that to show Yoo-seong a step in just a few seconds.
Yoo-seong quietly watched his mentor leave.
There were many reasons why he wanted to learn to control Aura without using Automatic Hunting. He intended to lay the groundwork for self-sufficiency in case of emergency.
It wasn’t to his taste to hang everything down on a puppet string.
Also, he wanted to be sincere to Sung-wook, who wanted to teach him everything he knew. Yoo-seong had to learn Sung-Wook’s gait, and, to do that, he had to bring his Aura control to the required level shortly.
Could Automatic Hunting imitate Sung-Wook’s steps?
It wasn’t that much of a big deal.
Even if it couldn’t, it didn’t mean anything.
He shut the door Sung-wook had gone through and looked at his button. Getting back into position, he closed his eyes and focused.
Late winter snow fell on the street.
Yoo-seong left the building by midnight.
It was way past the time for the training room, but Yoo-seong had been allowed to continue on the condition that he would clean up the whole place once he was done.
His body was quite bloody as he returned home,
Then, he caught sight of a familiar face. The lady also noticed him and came towards him.
“Mr. Oh Yoo-seong,” she said.
She didn’t seem like what he remembered- a spoiled, angry brat.
She seemed more pleasant this time.
She reminded him of his brother at first glance.
“I wanted to see you before I went to China,” she said.
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There was a moment of silence before she continued.
“Once more, shall we…”