Auto Hunting - Chapter 133
CE injection was indeed a very simple procedure.
The hunter would enter a room with a specialist. Then a doctor would use the test equipment to check on the hunter’s core and veins. After the diagnosis, there were two ways to go about the injection.
Either the hunter could use the CE extracted from the monster or take over the CE of another person.
In the latter case, the person handing over the CE had to accompany the recipient to the hospital. Once the CE was extracted, it had to be injected into the new owner within hours, under an expert’s strict supervision.
The first option was much easier to deal with; injecting the CE extracted from a monster was much like a blood donation.
When the corpse of a monster owned by a hunter was handed over to a state-run extraction agency, the state would give the hunter a “certificate” equal to the hunter’s CE. With the certificate, the hunter could receive injections from any hospital that held the CE or sold the certificate to others for money.
As for Yoo-seong, those certificates wouldn’t have to be a problem. Since Sung-wook oversaw him as his agent, the corpses of the monsters he hunted were automatically sent to the Sin Extraction Agency, which had no special utility value at all.
“If there are no problems, I’ll start injecting right away,” said the nurse in charge.
After the examination, Director Jang Jin-wook guided Yoo-seong directly in front of the injector. A veteran doctor such as him did not usually get involved with such simple matters as CE injection. However, when he heard that Oh Yoo-seong had come to the hospital, he’d dropped every appointment he had.
‘There seems to be nothing special,’ Jang Jin-wook thought with slight disappointment.
He laid Yoo-seong on the injector. A sufficient amount of gel was then applied to his skin, where a pad would eventually be attached.
Yoo-seong’s core was not significantly different from other hunters. Compared to his performance, his core seemed unusually small.
“You haven’t had your injections for nearly a year,” Jang Jin-wook commented.
“Yes,” Yoo-seong nodded.
“Then…” Jang Jin-wook hesitated for a moment.
“Then what?” Yoo-seong asked.
“Hunters usually get injected with 1000 CE at a time. But, if possible, how about we increase the dosage?”
“Increase the amount of injection?”
“Yes. In your case, your core has been maintained without any stimulation for a year. You are a very talented person. Your core strength and veins must be quite developed. So, if you agree, I will first give you the normal 1000 CE amount. Then, at my discretion, I will increase the CE little by little. I believe this will help avoid the strain in your core,” Jang Jin-wook explained.
The limit on the injection amount was a medical prohibition placed to prevent damage to a hunter’s core caused by excessive CE injection. In other words, depending on the hunter’s tolerance, there was no problem if they chose to increase their number of injections. As a matter of fact, there were quite a few veterans with their own cut lines.
“Okay. I would appreciate it,” Yoo-seong said as he accepted Jang Jin-wook’s proposal.
Jang Jin-wook asked Yoo-seong to lie down. Then a pad was attached to Yoo-seong.
At a glance, the injector looked similar to an MRI machine.
The only difference was a lid that closed once the CE recipient entered the machine.
Once the machine had made a perfect connection, Director Jang Jin-wook placed a 500 CE energy cell in the injector’s cylinder. The excitement was evident in the Director’s eyes.
This was the core of a hunter with a transcendental ability. The record amount for a single CE injection was 3,630. Would Yoo-seong be able to exceed it?
If so, Director Jang Jin-wook would be the first to know. With a lot of expectations…
Jang Jin-wook started to turn on the CE injector. Before long, each of the 500 CE energy cells started getting injected into Yoo-seong’s body.
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“Huh?” Jang Jin-wook said in disbelief. His eyes switched from Yoo-seong to the machine repeatedly.
This was far different from what he had expected.
Meanwhile, Yoo-seong was oblivious to whatever was happening outside the CE injector.
In fact, he was oblivious to everything happening outside his body. He was currently in a kind of trance.
This was a state of high concentration experienced by hunters being injected with CE.
When CE from the outside environment entered the body, the hunter’s nerves started to get concentrated only within the veins and core through which the CE flowed.
Regardless of how strong and trained a hunter was, he would be totally defenseless in this state of trance.
Centuries ago, this was a very rare occurrence. Hunters hadn’t usually received this much CE at once. However, thanks to the emergence of CE injection, it was now something that hunters could pay to experience twice a month.
Through the arteries in his lower abdomen, neck, and arms, Yoo-seong felt the CE flowing through the pads and machine. It then entered Yoo-seong’s body, flowing smoothly toward his core, like an uninterrupted river.
‘I… What am I doing?’
Of course, he was lying in the CE injector, having CE injected into him. Yoo-seong seemed to be trying to talk with himself.
‘Where are you heading?’
Before receiving the CE injection, he remembered hearing the name ‘Hankwang’ from Yang Chang-guk.
‘They are insatiable,’ Yoo-seong thought immediately.
‘They will be a problem.’
‘They will be a hindrance.’
‘They will definitely be a bother to my plans.’
‘If I do not do anything…’
Yoo-seong was astonished. Suddenly, he realized that his thoughts seemed to have gone astray.
‘No. It’s only natural for you to think about Hankwang,’ he thought.
He knew that, at some point, someone had to stop Hankwang’s dangerous plans.
Was Yoo-seong thinking reflectively? He didn’t seem to know.
‘It does not have to be someone. That someone should be you.’
The thoughts seemed to flow naturally.
‘I am a hunter.’
It had become one of Yoo-seong’s biggest guiding principles.
Whatever his previous principle was, it had already changed when he decided to take Auto-Hunt and walk the path of a hunter. Perhaps he could have used Auto-Hunt for his own good. However, Yoo-seong had already defined and moved himself according to this principle.
And so far, he had not violated that principle.
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Early in his hunter debut, Yoo-seong went against monsters beyond any newbie hunter’s capabilities. He’d worked in China, a country that had an entirely different environment hunting-wise. Then he got into trouble with the Japanese Leto Group’s Chairman and Japan’s Prime Minister.
And now, after countless twists and turns, here he was.
Everything Yoo-seong did was either according to his principles as a hunter or in strict self-defense. Without him noticing, the scale seemed to be getting larger and larger. And now, he realized. Maybe he wanted more than being a hunter. After listening to Yang Chang-guk’s words, he hadn’t thought too much about it. With his connections, money, and reputation, he might be able to deal with groups like Hankwang.
How many times had he dealt with those who were more dangerous than them?
‘No. This one is different,’ he thought.
Until today, Yoo-seong had always taken a passive stance. As if facing monsters in an operation, he had simply waited for his turn to attack. But this time, he was going to initiate an attack.
‘Haven’t you already hunted like this before?’
Chairman Tatsuo Sukune.
Prime Minister Murata.
‘And didn’t you like how that felt?’
The thrill of being the predator.
Perhaps it was too late. Perhaps it was a fatal awareness for Yoo-seong.
Only one thing was for certain. Change was indeed happening.
The CE injector was a metal cylinder that closed tightly. Every time a hunter entered and exited, it was a place where they got and found their strength.
Yoo-seong, right now, was awakening a different source of his strength: by confronting his desires.
‘This can’t be right.’
Director Jang Jin-wook was beyond sweaty.
He swept his hands through his hair as if forgetting that it had thinned through the years.
Yoo-seong’s trembling leg stepped out of the machine, hitting an empty energy cell. It rolled on the floor, colliding against other empty energy cells.
A robotic voice rang out from the CE injector machine, resonating within the room.
As the message appeared on the monitor, Director Jang Jin-wook reconfirmed the figures. He wasn’t sure what had happened, but it was clear that something beyond normal had occurred.
The energy cells that he’d equipped the CE injector with were all drained.
He had also brought in another cart full of new energy cells, an amount certainly beyond the record for a single CE injection.
‘What is this…?’
However, there was something else that did not make sense. He fixed his stare at the monitor, which had remained unchanged.
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“What the heck is going on?!” he exclaimed.
The total amount of Yoo-seong’s CE had not changed at all.
Director Jang Jin-wook himself had placed the energy cells onto the machine and seen them get sucked up in an instant. He had seen Yoo-seong’s veins seamlessly accepting the CE.
No matter where he tried to scan Yoo-seong’s muscles or blood vessels, he could not find any leaks.
‘Where did it all go?’
Director Jang Jin-wook took a deep breath to calm himself down.
His hands went through his hair, then across his face, again and again. As he calmed down, his confusion and amazement started turning into embarrassment at his own actions.
‘Okay. First, I must stop the injection and wake up Oh Yoo-seong.’
It was a case such as he had never seen before. And, as if it could get any more peculiar, he had not even heard Yoo-seong complain about anything.
“What is it?!” Director Jang Jin-wook reflexively shouted at the sound of the door opening. “I told you no one could enter during the procedure…”
He had already turned around before realizing that the two men who had entered the room were not from the hospital.
It was a clean hit.
Director Jang Jin-wook was struck in the nape and collapsed to the floor silently.
“You didn’t kill him, right?” said an impatient voice as he turned to the man who had just hit the Director.
“No, I was careful. Whatever happens from now on, that’s what’s dangerous,” the man answered.
“I know,” said the impatient voice.
Compared to their large size and seemingly unstoppable movement, every step they took was cautious.
Right now, they were committing a grave crime. They were attacking a hunter during CE injection, a time when hunters were most defenseless.
During these crucial moments, even a small child with a weapon could kill a hunter.
“Wow… this amount of injection,” said another man, speaking for the first time as he looked at the energy cells scattered on the floor.
“We should take this opportunity,” he continued. “If it had been after the injection, we wouldn’t have had a chance.”
The man with the impatient voice opened the CE injector’s lid. His grip and arm strength were so strong that he lifted not only the lid but also the entire machine in which Yoo-seong was lying.
Yoo-seong was still in a complete trance, unaware of what was happening. But, with no more CE being injected into him, he was bound to wake up sooner or later.
Before that happened, though, these men seemed to have other plans.
“You cannot kill him. Not yet,” the third man said.
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“I know,” said the man with the impatient voice as his hand blade slid towards Yoo-seong’s lower abdomen. No matter how powerful they were, however, they were completely helpless against what happened next.