The blade made contact with the red marble.
Ji-Cheok’s S-rank Strength split the sphere in half, and the sword he was holding also broke, as it wasn’t able to handle his newly-gained power.
The steel-like marble finally cracked and then shattered.
[Did you think you’ll be able to go back in one piece! I’ll take you down with me!]
The demon stared at him.
But because Ji-Cheok’s sword was already broken, he didn’t know how to continue fighting.
‘What should I do How can I get rid of this monster…’
Suddenly, Ji-Cheok looked down at his hands and realized that his improved Strength was still there.
His current basic Strength was B-rank, which allowed him to tear apart steel as if it were paper, and the Lizardman Berserker Potion’s effect was still active.
Ji-Cheok made the quick decision to rush at the demon as he saw mana gathering around its mouth.
He grabbed its jaw from below with both hands.
[Keuk! You, bastard… how… Kwaaaak!]
“Shut up! I'll rip your trap up right now! Heubbbb!”
With his muscles already swollen up beyond their limits, Ji-Cheok further enhanced his physical strength with mana to help him yank the demon’s mouth even harder.
The mouth ripped apart so quickly that it surprised Ji-Cheok.
Its lower jaw was not only dislocated from the joint, but also broken in half.
“The demon’s mouth was torn off!”
“No way, did he really just use only his strength to dislocate the demon’s jaw from its skull and break it in two”
The people watching shouted in surprise.
They were stunned.
The demon collapsed as it screamed, and Ji-Cheok finally let go of its mouth.
‘I did it! I defeated it!’
Ji-Cheok had finally killed the demon.
He still didn’t know what this monster really was, but one thing was for certain: it was one powerful demon.
And the cherry on top was that he had managed to record every bit of it, particularly his victory, with his [360° Video Shooting].
‘How much money would this video make if I uploaded it on GodTube’
He felt the joy run through his entire body.
In his moment of happiness, feverishness, and sense of elation, he suddenly remembered a more pressing matter and yelled out,
“Remove the buff!”
[The buff has been removed.]
[Your stamina has been greatly reduced.]
[You will fall unconscious in 10 seconds.]
[10, 9, 8, …]
The Lizardman Berserker Potion was a real cheat, but its side effects were also up to par.
‘But I managed to survive.
In this sudden crisis, it was…’
Ji-Cheok suddenly stumbled.
Having no remaining strength in his body, Ji-Cheok collapsed onto the ground.
‘Haha, oh well.
It wouldn’t have made sense if I was okay after overworking myself this much…’
As Ji-Cheok was blacking out, he heard the System message notifications ringing in his ears.
[Your reward will be calculated based on what you have contributed.]
[First place — Um Ji-Cheok.
[You have cleared the hidden quest.]
[The reward for completing hidden quests will be calculated.]
People frantically ran up to Ji-Cheok.
“Hurry up and treat him! Come on!”
Then, the last message notification rang.
[System update complete… Version 2.0.]
[The Gods are watching you.]
That was when Ji-Cheok lost consciousness.
* * *
It sounded like the splitting of a huge piece of drifting ice in the Arctic.
The Dimension Terminal was opening.
Reporters jumped out of their tents and cars as they had been waiting for quite some time.
“Get ready, EMTs!”
Yoon Ru-Mi, the examiner, commanded the rescue team in an orderly fashion.
One of the on-site staff yelled.
“The dungeon has been cleared, and the reaction energy is an intermediate level 1-star… intermediate level 1-star dungeon! The dungeon gate will appear again shortly!”
The buzzing of the many reporters could be heard.
The gate in Paju was used for testing because it wasn’t hard.
Of course, it was still a dungeon, so there were a few deaths from time to time; however, people acting recklessly would more likely just fail their exam than die.
There were staff that monitored the dungeon in real time and rescued the examinees in an emergency.
Although the examiner had scared them before they had entered the dungeon, there were plenty of safety protocols.
However, somehow, the dungeon had grown to the intermediate level today.
‘How many have survived’
Ru-Mi bit her nails, a habit she had when she was nervous.
A woman wearing sunglasses placed her hand on Ru-Mi’s shoulder.
Although she had disguised her face and body shape, Ru-Mi realized who she was.
“Hey, do you want some candy”
The woman shoved a lollipop into Ru-Mi’s mouth.
“Ugh!” Ru-Mi wasn’t expecting this.
“I hate mint, so it’s good that I can get rid of it by giving it to you,” the woman said.
She then reached her hand out in front of a drone, which spat out the next candy.
She happily put the candy in her mouth.
“You can hide, but the reporters will find out sooner or later,” Ru-Mi wrinkled her forehead.
There was only one person who could control such a large number of drones in Korea.
She was Jung Bi-Ga, the Master Mechanic.
She had disguised herself, but at the same time, she had also brought way too many drones with her, as if she wanted to be recognized.
“Well, what can I do I came here to have fun and ran into something interesting.
Beggars can’t be choosers.”
Drones positioned themselves where the gate was expected to appear.
They took samples of the soil and recorded the irregularities in the air as Bi-Ga ordered.
“The Political-Military Affairs Division has only asked for medical drones.”
“They are medical drones.
With a few additional features.”
Ru-Mi knew what Bi-Ga meant.
Well, everyone in the Political-Military Affairs Division already knew that the Master Mechanic was crazy.
“The gate is opening!”
Bi-Ga’s eyes sparkled underneath her sunglasses like a kid about to receive their Christmas gift.
People poured out the gate, and she first noticed the limping test-takers.
Click, click, click!
The sound of camera flashes was like a rainstorm.
“Political-Military Affairs Division should control the perimeter.
This is hectic.”
It was obvious what tomorrow's news headline would be.
“Some higher-ups came by, so my superior called me.
They want me to be careful.
We don’t want it to look like we’re suppressing the media.”
“Ah, it sounds like you have a lot on your plate as well.”
The morning news broadcasted a scene of government officials embracing the families of the examinees waiting outside.
How many days were left until the general election
“It’s going to be noisy for a while.”
A voice then screamed out.
The voice belonged to a family member of one of the examinees.
The young man could be seen embracing his parents while in tears.
“I’m so glad you’re safe.
The cameras flashed even faster.
This was it, the perfect scene to increase viewership.
Cheol-Soo hugged his parents and boarded the ambulance under the EMT’s guidance.
One medical drone followed each ambulance, and the on-site announcer quickly stated that the examinees would be transported to a nearby hospital.
The exam site had turned into a sea of tears.
Lastly, La-Du came out.
The reporters took videos of La-Du, and his parents came out and hugged him.
Yoon Ru-Mi said,
“Do you think La-Du will be the ace”
“The Yum family is famous for their flame attribute, which is quite useful against monsters.
La-Du suddenly burst out angrily at the reporters who asked him for an interview.
“Fuck, I’m second place! That bastard took first place!”
‘First place What bastard’
The reporters clicked their cameras more fervently at his words.
La-Du no longer responded to their questions and boarded the ambulance after coughing up blood.
Finally, one man was carried outside by two Hunters.
“He is unconscious! Help!”
It was Ji-Cheok.
His jacket was ragged, and the sword on his waist was broken.
His whole body was a mess.
“Who was the top contributor”
“Does that matter right now!” one of the two Hunters shouted.
“Noona, calm down,” the other Hunter tried to pacify her.
“Hurry up and treat him first! This guy is the first-placed contributor! We came out alive all thanks to him!”
Reporters jumped up at his words, and many of them hurried to take pictures of Ji-Cheok’s unconscious state.
Someone wedged his way through the crowd of reporters.
He was huge, burly, and appeared to be almost two meters tall, but his eyes were droopy.
“Get out of my way! Hyung!”
“Are you Mr.
“Here, take him! Take good care of him!” said one of the Hunters.
I’ll save my Hyung at all costs,” Mu-Cheok responded.
Mu-Cheok got in the ambulance with the paramedics.
Mu-Cheok suppressed his anxiety by squeezing Ji-Cheok’s hand.
The ambulance quickly departed.
Reporters filmed the moving ambulance and quickly shoved themselves into the broadcast cars.
“To where We don’t even know which hospital he will be sent to.”
“We’ll have to go after him.
He’s a super rookie who made the most contributions and led everyone to clear an intermediate-level 1-star dungeon! To think there would be so many survivors…”
It was technically impossible for novices to defeat an intermediate-level dungeon boss.
As such, such a shocking event was enough to make the headlines even overseas.
“What about La-Du”
“Who cares about that right now Put him in as a sub-story.
Um Ji-Cheok is the headline!”
The camera staff stepped on the accelerator.
* * *
Ji-Cheok slipped in and out of consciousness in the ambulance.
‘Was I poisoned by the demon’s breath’
He thought he had avoided everything, but now it appeared that he hadn’t been that careful in reality.
It seemed that the moment he had taken to check the buff icon during battle had been enough to distract him.
“Hyung, I’m here by your side.”
Mu-Cheok tightened his grip on Ji-Cheok’s hand.
Mu-Cheok instantly understood what he meant and placed the USB from his back pocket in Ji-Cheok’s hand.
A light connected Ji-Cheok’s hand to the USB—it was Ji-Cheok’’s video skill transferring the clips.
Ji-Cheok only felt relieved after he sent every clip.
It felt as if he had finished a long-overdue homework.
“I’ll edit everything and upload them.”
Mu-Cheok was the only one who knew about Ji-Cheok’s ability, since he was Ji-Cheok’s only family and the only one he trusted.
Ji-Cheok fainted again, but his expression had somewhat brightened.
* * *
[Reward is currently under discussion.]
[Regarding the introduction of the new System…]
Ji-Cheok repeatedly woke up, only to pass out once more.
The sound of the message notifications faded away like bubbles.
He felt like he was deep in the ocean, and it felt difficult to move even one finger.
However, after a while, he could stay awake for longer periods of time.
“I’m sorry, Mr.
Ji-Cheok thought he saw Ji-Han, but he wasn’t sure if it was really him or it was a dream.
Ji-Han placed his hand lightly on Ji-Cheok’s shoulder and spoke again.
“I forgot that you always fought against injustice.
You’ve always been like that… Never turning a blind eye, even if you had to risk your life…”
‘What is he talking about Risk my life When I always turn a blind eye…’
Ji-Cheok managed to squeak.
Ji-Han’s eyes widened with surprise.
It seemed he had been unaware that Ji-Cheok had woken up.
He smiled softly—it was his usual business smile.
“Forget about it.”
Ji-Han then took out an iron syringe.
“You must have suffered from severe visual and auditory hallucinations due to the demon’s cursed venom.
I brought an antidote, so you’ll get better soon.
Ah, it will enhance your stats, too, as it is an elixir.”
‘Wait, are you putting that in the IV Where’s the doctor’
A message suddenly rang.
[You have received the serum from the Giant Scaled Demon!]
[You are no longer in a poisoned state!]
[You are no longer in a cursed state!]
[Your body will be permanently strengthened.]
The pain subsided, and Ji-Cheok felt terribly sleepy.
“You should be careful of curses next time you fight against half-divine beings.
Or you could leave the last blow to someone else, but I know you would never do that.”
Ji-Cheok fell asleep again, but it was different from the knock-out he had suffered before.
Rather, it was a deep, comfortable sleep.
“I hope you cherish your body more next time.”
Emergency Medical Technician. ☜