READ SOLO LEVELING NOVEL, CHAPTER 163 ( Only I level up )
The king? Who was?
Choi Jong-In couldn’t even begin to figure out heads or tails of what the angel statue was saying and asked back in a daze.
“What did you just say….?”
However, the angel statue didn’t reply.
Would a human bother to converse with insects? The same principle applied to the angel statue, too.
For now, it simply had to assume this form due to some unavoidable circumstances, but it was still a superior creature nonetheless. It had no thoughts of having a Q&A session with this insignificant human being.
If an insect proved to be annoying, swat it to death and that would be the end of it.
The angel statue raised its fist up in the air and smashed it down like a hammer. It descended at a super-high speed straight towards Choi Jong-In’s head.
Choi Jong-In’s heart tumbled down to the pit of his stomach. However, he didn’t turn his head away. Do not give up, right up until the very last moment – that was what he always told his teammates, after all.
Before the fist landed on top of his head, though, a flash of light streaked past his eyes.
He opened his eyes to see the blade made out of pure light wavering in front of his face. Choi Jong-In’s eyes went extra round.
Cha Hae-In was standing there, blocking the angel statue’s fist with the skill ‘Blade of Light’. If she was late even by a millisecond, Choi Jong-In’s head would have been splattered into a gooey mess.
While he inwardly breathed a sigh of relief, she spoke to him in no uncertain terms.
“I’ll take over from here, so please go help out other Hunters, Chairman.”
Choi Jong-In went away and began providing support to other Hunters busy battling the stone statues. Meanwhile, the angel statue stared down at Cha Hae-In’s sword, now glowing with light, and its eyes quickly filled up with curiosity.
To think, there was yet another human besides Jin-Woo that could block its attack.
“You are very amusing. Very amusing, indeed.”
The angel statue put more strength into its fist. Cha Hae-In’s knees bent down slightly. She had managed to stop its attacks, but still, she was losing out in terms of raw strength.
A thin, weak moan leaked out of her finely-shaped lips. Her wrists began trembling imperceptibly, as well.
The angel statue smirked derisively and applied more and more power as if it was turning up the heat on the stove. The ground beneath her feet shattered and cracks spread out on the stone surface.
Just a single arm, yet it was laden with a nonsensical amount of power already. Cha Hae-In bit her lower lip.
‘At this rate… I won’t be able to endure it.’
She determined that she’d not be able to last long at this rate, and focused all of her strength in an instant and forced the angel statue’s fist back.
As expected of the explosive strength befitting Cha Hae-In, ranked as one of the very best even among the rank S Hunters!
The angel statue smiled again as it was forced to take a step back.
It considered her as a simple fun distraction, yet she managed to entertain the statue beyond its initial expectations. It seemed that there was more enjoyment to derive out of this human after all.
“Very good, very good.”
This time, magic energy began pooling on both hands of the angel statue.
Cha Hae-In swallowed down her dry saliva. An immense level of power was oozing out from the clenched fists of the angel statue. She wanted to escape from this place if that was at all possible right now. That’s how scared she felt.
With Jin-Woo lying on the ground unconscious, there would be no one capable enough to face off against this monster if she were to turn her back and run.
Her glare became even sharper than before.
In complete contrast to her, the angel statue grinned carefreely and took a large stride forward to stand before her. The huge enemy nearly three metres tall kept forming that loose grin. And then, the b*stard’s attacks commenced for real.
Just like what it did against Jin-Woo, the angel statue punched out indiscriminately with both of its fists. It was somewhat regretful that it now had only two arms, but that was still more than enough for the level of this human.
The clenched fists rained down like a barrage of bullets.
Cha Hae-In’s brows shot high up.
Her movements quickened up significantly as if she was performing a dance, and her sword drew stylish arcs in the air. Unfortunately, the punches of the angel statue were far too quick and, instead of attacking back, she could only defend herself desperately.
The flurry of fatal attacks rained down on her constantly, with each one powerful enough to kill her if she made just one mistake.
Khang! Ka-gang!! Khang!! Khang! Khang! Khahang! Ka-gang! Khang, kahng! Khang! Ka-gang! Khang! Khang! Khahang! Khang!
“That’s right. Right, like that. Haha.”
The angel statue was really enjoying itself as it continuously poured out the types of attacks that regular Hunters would never be able to follow with their naked eyes.
Cha Hae-In was being pushed back bit by bit, her entire body soaked in sweat.
Was that why? Or did she finally reach her limit?
Her wet hands slipped and she missed one of the attacks from the angel statue. It was a painful mistake on her part. Her sword failed to deflect the punch, and it hit her on the shoulder before sliding past her altogether.
Cha Hae-In quickly retreated while gritting her teeth. Unfortunately, her bones must’ve broke, because she couldn’t feel anything from her shoulder.
And so, she lost her left hand in that fashion. She looked at her limp left arm with a dismayed, regretful gaze.
“Haha. So, is that all? Is that as far as you can go?”
The angel statue rapidly closed the distance again. The b*stard didn’t even give her a small break. The attacks that were briefly paused for a moment or two, rained down on her again.
Khang! Ka-gang! Khahang!!
She had trouble defending against these attacks when both of her arms were still functioning. Therefore, having only one arm was simply not going to be enough. She missed more and more attacks and gradually, her body got destroyed.
Puhk! Puh-buck! Puhk!
Her bones broke, and her flesh tore away. And then, the deciding blow landed on her.
The angel statue’s fist dug deep into her lower belly, and her feet left the ground. She coughed out a mouthful of blood.
Her bent figure rose up in the air.
Obviously, her movements in the air would be restricted, and her preparation to deal with the next attack would be left incomplete.
The angel statue had finally lost its interest with the broken toy at this point.
To finish the proceedings off, the angel statue approached the woman falling head first to the floor. It straightened its hand into a blade and took aim at her chest.
A wave of blue light suddenly surged out and enveloped Cha Hae-In.
She suddenly opened her eyes wide in the midst of powerlessly falling to the floor. She rotated her body once and swung her sword, hard.
The angel statue quickly came to a stop and leaned its head back, but the tip of the blade still managed to brush past its brow.
A thin line was drawn on the face of the angel statue.
Finally succeeding in landing a single counterattack, Cha Hae-In regained her balance with some difficulty and landed back on the ground. Thanks to that timely healing spell, she was able to somehow get out of that really sticky situation.
She got really lucky on that one.
However, what was a fortunate event for Cha Hae-In didn’t prove to be as fortunate for everyone else.
The angel statue’s head swivelled in the direction where that healing spell came in from.
Cha Hae-In quickly looked at the Healer and cried out.
“Get away from there!”
The main Healer standing behind the Tankers and casting various healing magic spells until then heard her cries and flinched grandly.
But, by the time he looked to where Cha Hae-In was, the angel statue was blocking his line of sight already.
The mouth of the main Healer went slack.
The angel statue unhesitatingly did what it wanted to do to Choi Jong-In earlier.
The Healer’s head was smashed down straight into the ground. His legs quivered and trembled for a short while, before ceasing their movements altogether.
“Oh god, no!!”
The Hunters surrounded the angel statue and pounced at their enemy while not even bothering to hide their rage. Unfortunately, they were going up against an impossible force. Their measly strength couldn’t defeat the angel statue.
Every time the angel statue threw a punch, rank A Hunters died powerlessly as if they were low ranked Hunters standing before a powerful monster.
“This is no fun. This is boring, humans.”
Now that the fun time was over, this superior being didn’t feel the need for mercy anymore.
Once the number of Hunters standing towards the rear decreased, the line of Tankers dealing with the god statue as well as the stone statues began collapsing in no time at all.
It was pure pandemonium.
The balance of the engagement broke down in an instant.
The god statue avoided the Tankers and slammed its huge fist down, resulting in the immediate death of two Hunters on the ground.
Afterwards, stone statues carrying weapons surrounded the Hunters with a scary efficiency and began rushing forward.
‘God d*mn it….!!’
Cha Hae-In rapidly cut down four of the stone statues persistently sticking close to the Hunters and pounced on the angel statue. No matter what, this b*stard had to be stopped.
However, the angel statue lightly blocked her descending sword with its wrist and kicked her unguarded side.
Now that the angel statue decided to get serious, she too could no longer be considered its opponent anymore.
Having witnessed Cha Hae-In fly away helplessly like that, Choi Jong-In tightly grasped the shoulder of Woo Jin-Cheol next to him. The latter had just finished pounding one of the stone statues down to the ground and quickly looked behind him in surprise.
“I’ll try to gather their attention to myself. Chief Woo, you go and wake up Hunter Seong. That’s the only way.”
“Excuse me? But, I thought Seong Hunter-nim is unconscious because he was defeated?”
“No, he’s not. He’s simply asleep. Both his breathing and the flow of magic energy are stable. The way I see it, he’s not injured, either.”
Could it be that he got done in by sleeping magic or some such?
Choi Jong-In thought that the reason for the angel statue not allowing any attack to fall on the sleeping Hunter Seong was probably because it didn’t want the youth to wake up.
‘I don’t know anything about this king’s sleep or that, but….’
Choi Jong-In recalled the angel statue desperately moving to ‘protect’ Hunter Seong. Without a doubt, the youth waking up would prove to be somehow fatal to the monster.
Woo Jin-Cheol nodded his head.
Meanwhile, Choi Jong-In roused up every ounce of magic energy he possessed.
Soon, a giant circular shaped mass of flames formed on top of his hand, and it began spitting out countless sparks to all over the place.
Each of these sparks flying in a straight line caused powerful explosions to resound out every time it touched an object.
Boom!! Ka-boom!! Boom!! Kwa-boom!!
Naturally, the attention of the stone statues was directed on Choi Jong-In. While he was buying time in this fashion, Woo Jin-Cheol hurriedly ran to where Jin-Woo was.
He prayed that Choi Jong-In’s estimation wasn’t off the mark.
Just as Choi Jong-In and Woo Jin-Cheol were doing their best to wake Jin-Woo up, the angel statue stood before Cha Hae-In as she lay on the ground while panting heavily non-stop.
Every rib bone on one side of her body got broken when she was kicked just now. She still tried to reach out and grasp the sword she had dropped. However, the angel statue stepped on her arm before that happened.
Cha Hae-In grabbed her broken arm and screamed out.
The angel statue had already killed off all those humans possessing the ability to heal others, and this woman had received a grievous wound that disabled her from fighting anymore.
This was the moment that the lone threat among the humans had been eliminated.
The angel statue formed a blade with its hand again.
“This is the end, then.”
The human female glared at the statue, her breathing still rough and heavy. Everything was indeed over, yet she didn’t show one hint of giving up on her struggle here.
She certainly resembled that man in this regard. That man named Seong Jin-Woo. When the angel statue met that man for the first time, he too carried around those eyes.
The corner of the angel statue’s lips arched up, and it thrust its hand at Cha Hae-In’s chest. No, it tried to. It had to stay its hand just before piercing into her heart.
The angel statue flinched slightly and took a step back. Because… it only now discovered that there was a lone Shadow Soldier hiding in her shadow.
Because of the rule in this chamber, that soldier couldn’t come out of her shadow, but regardless, its existence was not in question.
Seeing the surprised face of the angel statue, Cha Hae-In formed a puzzled expression of her own.
That b*stard could’ve ended her at any time it wanted to, yet now, it looked like it was hesitating somewhat.
Indeed, she was correct. The angel statue was really hesitating right now. This was a human that the king had chosen to plant a soldier within her shadow. Did he have a special plan for her?
Of course, there was a possibility that the human did this, not the king.
‘Without a doubt – the king and the human are currently mixed as one, although it is only by a small amount.’
In that case, how was the statue to know whether this action was from the will of the king or from the will of the human? If the king had a plan and planted the Shadow Soldier in her, then the statue knew it couldn’t carelessly touch her.
That was why the angel statue asked the human female.
“Why did you come here?”
Cha Hae-In didn’t reply. When the silence deepened, the angel statue decided to change the question.
“What is your relationship with Seong Jin-Woo?”
There was no reply from her, still.
Cha Hae-In knew very well that she had no obligation to answer her enemy’s questions.
At this rate, it’d be impossible to make her talk. The angel statue figured as much, thus deciding to change its tactic.
The angel statue snapped its fingers. And that brought about the immediate stop to the screams of the Hunters.
As if the god statue and the stone statues had received a command, they stopped fighting all at once and slowly turned around, before walking to one side of the chamber. Then, the angel statue extended its hand.
Woo Jin-Cheol, busy approaching Jin-Woo, was pushed down by the ‘invisible hand’ and got planted on the ground.
He tried his best to resist against the power pressing down on him from above, but he couldn’t even move an inch. Woo Jin-Cheol’s tightly-clenched fist trembled noticeably as pained moans escaped from his lips.
The angel statue pulled its hand back.
It didn’t miss a single movement taking place within the chamber. No matter how much these humans struggled, they were all trapped within its palm, anyway. That was the difference between the superior existence and these measly humans.
It was almost impossible to bridge that gap.
“I shall ask again.”
The tip of the angel statue’s finger now pointed at Woo Jin-Cheol.
“If you do not answer me this time, I shall kill that man, as well as every single one of your comrades.”
Cha Hae-In nodded her head.
If she could buy more time this way then that alone was already a good result. The angel statue stared at her as she forced her upper torso up, and quietly asked her.
“What is your relationship with Seong Jin-Woo?”
“And, why did you come here?”
She thought for a little while, before making her answer.
“To save Hunter Seong Jin-Woo.”
After hearing that answer, a deep smile formed on the face of the angel statue. Just who was saving who now?
The statue was sure of it. These humans had no idea what was going on.
It felt embarrassed for even suspecting that the king had a plan for her. No, these humans only knew about the human ‘Seong Jin-Woo’, and that’s why they came knocking in this place.
The angel statue could no longer hold back and began guffawing out loudly. And then, it spoke to her.
“I shall bless you with an opportunity.”
“Today, in this place, one of the noble Sovereigns shall descend upon this world. I shall bless you with an opportunity to witness this glorious moment in history.”
Until the angel statue could confirm the intention of the king, it couldn’t do anything to Cha Hae-In. So, it had to keep her alive. However, she was the sole exception and it didn’t plan on letting other humans live.
“But, every other human beside you….”
The smile was gone from the face of the angel statue, and its expression became incredibly murderous.
“….Will die here today.”
Indeed, it wouldn’t do for all these uninvited pests to be present in this glorious moment, would it? However, the reply didn’t come from the front but from the back, instead.
Before the angel statue could even turn around, a fist flew in and punched its face, hard.
The statue flew away and crashed into the far wall.
Cracks ran against the surface of the wall from the sheer impact force and rubble tumbled down to the floor. Just before the angel statue could slide down to the ground, Jin-Woo stood before the creature. He tightly grasped its neck and growled at it.
Jin-Woo’s other hand was pressing against his right chest.
Indeed, he wasn’t dreaming of it.
There was one more heart beating away within the right side of his chest. Jin-Woo clenched the neck of the statue even harder and asked.
“What the hell did you do to my body?”
< Chapter 163 > Fin.