[Welcome to Ser’corist Prison]
[This is where those with the heaviest sentences in S city have been imprisoned.]
[Massive secret experiments were conducted here in the past, and abandoned afterwards.]
[Be careful. Although most of those who were experimented on died during the experiments]
[There were some who survived.]
Sungjin looked around Ser’corist prison with his arms crossed. In some ways it looked like a prison, and in others it looked like a hospital. Among the various chapters so far, this location was one of the most horrifying of places there were. Soon afterwards, four more hunters were summoned. Sungjin observed them inconspicuously. If he were to be frank, he did not expect much from them, as he had already had a glimpse of the future. There wasn’t anyone among these hunters that would become his ally.
‘Though, they are impressive in their own right.’
Of course, since they had managed to arrive at the eighteenth chapter, they were incredibly talented people. It just so happened that they were not up to par in Sungjin’s eyes. One of them spoke up,
“Hey, hey, nice to meet you.”
Having broken the ice, others joined in.
“A pleasure. Let’s do our best.”
“How do you do. Let’s all introduce ourselves. Like, what is your favored weapon type, or the color of your magic.”
Now the mood had begun to become harmonious. This was because after experiencing countless trials they had learned the method to survive was to help each other. However, suddenly, someone pointed at Sungjin.
“Huh? Master Hunter? Master Hunter Kei?”
Following his pointing, the other hunters all turned towards Sungjin.
“You’re the one from the rumors, right? That person?”
Sungjin had come to accept that he was a celebrity among the hunters. Now that there were not many left alive in the raids, it was something that could not be helped. Sungjin let out a breath and stood in front of them and said,
“Nice to meet you all. Let’s do our best to make this raid a success as well. I will also do my best to kill the enemies and keep everyone safe. That is, so long as none of you commit a troll-like action.”
Upon hearing Sungjin, the four hunters turned to look at each other, then looked back towards Sungjin and nodded.
“Of course, Master Hunter.”
Sungjin and the hunters that he was matched with set off to clear Ser’corist Prison. Inside were countless grotesque creatures waiting, but they were swept away by Sungjin’s Moon Specter and Blood Vengeance like leaves in a storm.
Thanks to Sungjin, they were able to easily clear the Boss.
[Boss, ‘The Last Experiment, Omega’, Cleared.]
And soon they were able to easily win against the Hidden Boss as well.
[Hidden Boss, ‘The First Experiment, Alpha’, Cleared.]
“You’re really amazing, Master Hunter.”
The hunters praised him, but Sungjin did not find any particular pleasure from hearing their compliments. Instead, he kept thinking,
‘It’d be great if I could find two more allies as soon as possible…”
This thought continuously lingered in his mind. In the remaining time, Sungjin helped the Chosen ones before the 18th raid came to a finish.
“Kei, can you come here?”
“Master Hunter, there’s an experimental subject here that’s talking normally. He’s the Hidden Boss right? Could you please come here.”
Afterwards, the hunters were summoned to the Hunters Hall, where white columns stretched upwards without end. Now the remaining people could be all seen with a single look. The Operator informed them of the exact number of the remaining people.
‘Congratulations. You hunters were able to perfectly clear eighteen chapters.’
‘Among the 7,310,067,613 people who participated in the first raid’
‘The number of hunters that are now remaining is 366.’
Upon hearing this, the hunters began to make a commotion.
“You’re telling me that there’s only that many remaining?”
“Hrm. Then just what is the percentage of the remaining people?”
“No way. If this continues then we’ll all be wiped out.”
Everyone was surprised by the fact that there were so few people remaining. It was only Sungjin that thought,
‘There’s really a lot of people that survived.’
366. It was many times larger than the number of people that survived when compared to the previous time.
‘This is likely… Because of me.’
If one were to analyze the reasons for this, there would be three main causes. First, was because there were a large number of people who Sungjin had saved. Sungjin had perfectly cleared the raids up until now. Even though he had not particularly striven to do so, if it were not for him, it was likely that many people would have died instead.
Second, was because Sungjin’s ‘Chosen Ones’ had done the same. Especially because Franz, Nada, and Han Serin, who became Chosen Ones early on, were able to use the addition of Sungjin’s stats to successfully complete the raids. Though he did not meet them in person, it was likely that there were many hunters who survived because of him.
Lastly, the most important reason, was likely because he went around hunting Trolls. Having started to hunt trolls since the earlier chapters and having continued to do so during the later chapters, Sungjin was able to stamp out the problem of Trolls faster. In his previous life, one of the final ten, Illich, was a perfect example. If he was still alive, then it was likely that the number of hunters would have decreased by more than dozens.
As he was teleported to the Black Market, Sungjin thought,
‘Though I wasn’t particularly aiming for it, it turned out for the better. The probability of finding a strong person was higher the more people there were.’
Even until now, Sungjin had been unable to imagine just how much of an impact his actions would have had. That night, as usual, Sungjin peeked into the future during dinner time.
During the the next day’s dinner, Sungjin discovered the figure of Hildebrandt, a gargantuan man that took up the equivalent of two peoples’ spaces, sitting amongst the current Chosen Ones. Even amongst the previous final ten members, Hildebrandt had been someone who was dependable and trustworthy. Though Sungjin did not know exactly what had happened, it was obvious that he had been able to come into contact with Hildebrandt and bring him into the midst of Chosen Ones by baptizing him. Returning to the present, Sungjin clenched his fist tightly.
‘Good. With this, the ninth member has been found.’
“With you, we now have our ninth member.”
Sungjin said as he shook hands with Hildebrandt, the one who was over two meters tall; the same man Sungjin had forseen sitting at the table last night.
He was sitting at the table laughing heartily.
“I didn’t even dream that I would be able to have a meal with someone else like this. Wahahahaha!”
Now that he joined them, it felt as if the dinner table at Ninety Nine Nights was completely occupied. Sungjin watched them for a moment, then walked outside. Far, far away in the sky above him, the moon sat there. He had already been gazing at this moon for two months now (of course, it was likely that there were many more such days that he could not remember).
During this time, he had become rather used to Ninety Nine Nights, but this was not where he belonged. He wanted to return. To Earth. To Korea. To Seoul. Together with the others that were stuck here. The shop owner of Darker than Black had definitely said that the final raid was not far after the 20th chapter. If they completed Chapter 20 safely and continued in this manner then he was certain that they would soon see the end.
‘Almost there now…’
Sungjin took out the star shaped accessory shortly after moon gazing so that he could peek into the future. But tomorrow’s scene that the star shaped accessory showed was the most shocking yet. Sungjin tilted his head quizzically once he returned from the future.
“Wait.. but why…?”
There were two unbelievably strange parts about tomorrow’s future. First was that there was a tenth member. And the second was the anxious and worried looks of the Chosen Ones.
‘Just what the heck is going on tomorrow?’
Sungjin stood there, pondering. But no answer came to him.
‘Tenth member… I did…? And why were everyone…’
Serin’s voice interrupted his thoughts.
“Oppa, are you okay? You haven’t eaten yet.”
Sungjin turned around to face her and said,
“Ahh, yeah. I just had something to think about. I’ll be in shortly.”
Serin gave him a puzzled look before answering
“Ok. Please come join us before the food gets cold.”
She returned back indoors. Sungjin who was now left alone again tried to recollect what he had seen about tomorrow’s future.
‘First of all, all the Chosen Ones are still alive. So the situation probably isn’t that dire. But then…why?’
As of now, nothing came to mind. Since he couldn’t figure out the exact cause of what went wrong, he felt reluctant to try and change the future.
‘…I guess I’ll just have to see.’
Sungjin thought as he returned back into the Ninety Nine Nights. He had dinner like he normally would before giving a short briefing on tomorrow’s Raid.
“Then… tomorrow is the 20th chapter… Raid on the Demon King’s Castle.
Sungjin glanced at the hunters while looking at the information sheet. Everyone looked brimming with confidence. They had overcome several raids without major losses. And ever since they became one of the Chosen Ones, Sungjin’s strength also enhanced their own. Each of them had now the power necessary to solo carrying their own parties. Sungjin faced them and politely said to them
“It IS a 10 man raid and… the boss in this stage is a bit unusual so… please be careful.”
“Yes, Master Hunter K.”
Sungjin just nodded for now. They will all survive the raid tomorrow; it wasn’t exactly clear why everyone would be so nervous, but at least they were still alive. The Star shaped accessory had never been wrong so far. Once everyone returned to their places, Sungjin returned to his bedroom. He didn’t know what was going to happen but something was going to happen tomorrow.
And now that he thought of it, it reminded him of Edward during the previous life’s raid.
‘At that time… just what did he see…?’
Sungjin rubbed the star shaped accessory. He had checked on the future during dinner each time, but there was something fundamentally different about tomorrow’s. He will check on the future before the start of the raid, just as Edward did. He couldn’t predict what he might see, but he got the feeling that it was something important to check.
‘What if… I end up killing my own teammates…?’
It was something he couldn’t imagine himself doing, but it was also difficult to imagine that Edward had done so because he was a troll.
‘What is it? What is going to happen tomorrow, and what kind of future will I see?”
Sungjin fell asleep while still wrapping his head around the idea.
Next chapter is up as well. 5 more to read:)