Murim Login (Novel) Chapter 280


Chapter 280

“Park Ji-Hwang. You fucking bastard.”

- ......

The voice on the other side remained silent.

While unseen, the emotion was palpable: the deep turmoil and shock Park Ji-Hwang must be feeling.

"Why the silence? Speak when you're spoken to."

A brief pause, then an answer.

- Hello? Who is this?

"It's me. You bastard."

Rage simmered in my voice. Adrenaline surged through my veins, my heart thudding heavily.

Yet, my thoughts remained chillingly clear, as if doused in icy water.

Had I, somewhere deep down, anticipated this confrontation?

'I can't believe this.'

The number 'twenty-eight' that sprung from his mouth was enough to turn my suspicion into a certainty.

Now I was only curious about who masterminded this and to what extent he was involved.

"Did you send those men after me?"

A voice, as deep as the abyss, responded.

- Well, if you suspect it, then probably. Why? You thought I’d dodge the question?

The audacity.

He had no shame, as if he could look up to the heavens and laugh at the gods. A snort of disdain broke free.

- Was it Im Young-Jun who talked? I thought he was a tight-lipped guy. Seems I was wrong about him.

He scoffed, a hint of amusement in his voice.

- Such an idiot. I shouldn't have trusted him.

"Why blame the poop? It's the guy who pulls down his pants and strains in public that's wrong. But you..."

Crack.

The face of Team One Leader, who was struggling in my grip around his neck, turned blue.

"Did you think about how to handle the aftermath of your mess?"

- I didn’t expect things to turn out this way... but do you think I acted without considering the aftermath?

"Well, I'm just saying because, from where I'm standing, it appears that way."

- What?

"Do you think you can handle me?"

Tension hung in the air. One second, two, three, and then, piercing the thick silence, Park Ji-Hwang murmed a warning in a voice colder and sharper than any blade.

- If you take one more step, it's the end for both you and the Peace Guild.

"Why should I care?"

- It's not too late. Stop escalating the situation and come down. Let's put an end to this.

In this moment, I realized that the rules of the world weren't much different from those of war.

The one with the upper hand aggressively pushes forward, while the one who fears steps back first.

And I knew the true nature of his fear.

'The Black Hunters.'

The existence of the Black Hunters, who were essentially illegal mercenaries of the large guilds.

Believing that this secret was the noose around Ji-Hwang's neck, a sardonic grin crept across my face.

"You want to end this?"

- Yes.

"On whose terms? You started this. You don't get to decide how this ends."

From the other end of the phone, Park Ji-Hwang's voice wavered.

- Really. I knew you were a fool, but this is beyond what I expected.

"The result will also be beyond what you expected. Look forward to it, you bastard."

Then, in that moment...

Ding.

The elevator stopped on the 19th floor.

With a mechanical whisper, the sealed elevator doors parted.

I could see a lofty ceiling and dozens of people milling around a spacious corridor.

Several glanced our way, eyes widening in astonishment.

"Is that... Team Leader?"

"Hey, you! Who on earth..."

Instead of replying, I flung the Team One Leader forward. An oncoming Hunter, who'd bolted toward us, was pinned to the wall under the weight of the Team Leader.

Simultaneously, an employee at a nearby station shrieked, slamming the emergency alarm.

Wiiiiiiiing!

"Emergency! Emergency!"

"Intruder! All Team One members, arm yourselves!"

Amidst the ensuing cacophony, Park Ji-Hwang's voice, cold and defiant, echoed in my ears.

- Go on, make your move. I'll look forward to it.

Ddu Ddu Ddu...

I swiftly pocketed the Team One Leader's disconnected phone.

When my hand emerged again, the phone had been replaced by twin daggers gleaming menacingly in the fluorescent lights.

'You want me to make a move?'

That's exactly what I was thinking.

"Who are you?!"

"Disarm! If you don't want to die, do it now!"

Elite Hunters from the Myeongdong Guild, armed to the teeth, started to circle me.

Behind me stood the elevator and a trembling voice murmuring,

"This is a dream. It must be a dream."

I cast a fleeting glance at the man, his eyes wide and lost.

"What phone do you use?"

"Gasp!"

"Your cellphone."

"Oh, uh...AdulPhone25." [Note: the literal translation is "Adult Phone 25" but I think the point here is to use a character phonetically to make it sound like "Apple Phone".]

"Ah, the one that looks like biting an apple and spitting it out." [Note: Murim Login, brought to you by Apple products.]

"Yes, yes, that's right."

"Take it out and record."

"Okay!"

He, who had just responded confidently, hesitated as he was pulling out his phone.

"Wait, what did you just say?"

"You said you use the AdulPhone25. Its quality is much better than mine, so I thought it'd be better to record with yours."

"What are you talking about?"

"Record this."

Interrupting our exchange, the Team One Leader, seemingly rejuvenated, sprang up and roared:

"What are you doing, you idiots! Subdue that bastard now!"

"Team Leader, isn't that Hunter Jin Tae-Kyung? Why is he so hostile..."

"I'll take responsibility."

Within any guild, Team One represents the guild and its power. They are the elite team.

Team One of the Myeongdong Guild, a guild consistently ranked in the top ten in the country, was undoubtedly the elite among elites. They were no different from living war machines.

"I have orders from the top. Think of him not as a person, but as a monster when you engage."

With the Team Leader's unwavering directive, numerous eyes sharpened with resolve.

Five tower shields in the front line simultaneously struck the marble floor without missing a beat.

Thud!

"Formation-!”

In the heart of a tranquil city.

A corporate office was abruptly transformed into a battleground.

*** [Note: at this point in the chapter, the author has switched from the MC's first-person narration to a third-person-limited narration focused on the security guard in the elevator.]

'What am I witnessing?'

Lee Min-Soo, a C-rank Hunter of the Myeongdong Guild's security detail, blinked in sheer disbelief.

The spectacle before him verged on the fantastical.

Crash! Bang!

The tower shield, touted to be as sturdy as an armored vehicle, shattered. A massive tanker, as if hit by a giant's hammer, was flung far away.

A tiny gap, just enough for a person to squeeze through, was breached by a slender silhouette in a fleeting moment.

And in the very next breath...

Zzzzip! Slice! Slash!

"Arghh!”

"Huh!”

With a blinding flash, the shield wall crumbled.

The Achilles tendons of the foremost defenders, who pitched forward in a daunting charge, were sliced with the precision of a surgeon.

'How on earth...'

A strike too swift for the naked eye.

In the span of a heartbeat, two fell. In another, three or even four more succumbed.

Every stride taken by the young warrior clad in a muted-gray hoodie, Jin Tae-Kyung, was marked by a gush of crimson and a chorus of wails.

"Block him!"

"Damage dealers!"

The frontline's defenses had been compromised almost immediately. Five gleaming blades, with ruthless intent, lunged at Jin Tae-Kyung as he continued his relentless march.

Sss! Sss! Sss! Sss!

Two blades were directed at the shoulders, one at the chest, while the remaining two targeted the legs.

Three rained from above, two lunged from below. A barrage conceived to be inescapable without retreating.

"He's ours!"

Yet, just as a cry of imminent victory pierced the air, the dagger in Jin Tae-Kyung's grip blurred, mirroring a misty mirage.

Chink!

The quintet of blades, which everyone believed would not miss, veered off course, slicing through nothing but void.

The warriors, eyes brimming with bewilderment, stared at Jin Tae-Kyung. Their handgrips, unable to bear the redirected momentum, exploded in a grotesque spray of gore.

"What... what is this...?"

"It's impossible!"

To the outcry that erupted like a scream, Jin Tae-Kyung replied with a bored tone.

"Is it?"

Swoosh!

His blade described a swift arc.

An onslaught too swift to predict, much less evade.

Directly within its path were the five Hunters who had previously ventured an attack.

Ssslice!

As the Hunters collapsed, blood blossoming from their torsos, a streak of light hurtled through the air.

Thwick. Whizz!

The arrowhead came to an abrupt stop, mere inches from Jin Tae-Kyung's chest.

An arrow, suffused with mana, released by an A-rank Hunter.

Yet, what halted its lethal course wasn't a mystically imbued shield or a gleaming sword.

Snap.

In a deft move, Jin Tae-Kyung broke the arrow mid-flight with just two fingers and sent it flying.

The arrow, now charged with only strength, shattered three defensive enchantments and found its mark in its shooter's shoulder.

Thunk.

"Cough!"

"If you fire another arrow, I'll make sure you have an odd number of testicles. If the rest of you don't want mismatched balls, step back. Controlling my strength is annoying." [Note: not only is he a loving son and a caring brother, but this righteous man has also embarked on a medical education journey to become a urologist with a specific discipline in testicular surgery.]

He was restraining himself?

The Hunters from Team One felt as if they were in a trance. They couldn't believe that he incapacitated dozens in the time it took to sip cold water, all while supposedly holding back.

A unanimous realization dawned upon them.

'What kind of monster is this?'

Who were they? They were the elite of the Myeongdong Guild, seasoned veteran Hunters. Their tenure varied, with some having given as few as 8 years of service, while others wore the scars and accolades of over two decades.

Their standing was testament to their prowess, skills that outstripped many, and they bore their pride as a badge of honor.

That was until today, until this encounter with Jin Tae-Kyung.

"Please move aside when I'm asking nicely, sunbaes. Honestly, I'd love to crush all of you, but since it seems you're not directly involved, I'd really rather not."

Clad in relaxed track pants and a nondescript gray hoodie, as if he'd just ambled out for a leisurely stroll, none dared dismiss Jin Tae-Kyung's statement.

He had imprinted his enormous power in the minds of the entire team.

"Now, if you'd be so kind as to step aside."

Even the seasoned veterans, who had waged countless wars within the Gates, felt a palpable tension strangling the atmosphere.

This was a raw, visceral dread, something far more potent than any terror wrought by the monsters they had squared off against in the past.

'This is a real monster.'

Thump, thump.

The monster was approaching them.

Almost instinctively, the Hunters shifted, creating an unobstructed path before him.

"Burning Hands!"

Whoosh!

Radiating an oppressive heat, a hand cloaked in fire lunged at Jin Tae-Kyung.

Despite the potency of the flame magic, touted to liquefy even the most steadfast of boulders, the monumental hand, woven of mana, dissipated into nothingness upon clashing with Jin Tae-Kyung's own hand.

"Is that... magic?"

"It's called the Divine Palm of Fire. Handy, right?" [Note: pun intended.]

The Team One Leader, witnessing the palm engulfed in blue flame, widened his eyes in disbelief.

Jin Tae-Kyung moistened his parched lips, his gaze piercing through the Team One Leader with an icy chill.

He bore the likeness of a Hunter that had just locked onto an elusive quarry.

"Oh, by the way, you're the exception from what I said earlier. I'll still crush you."

Swoosh!

Jin Tae-Kyung disappeared like a ghost.

But the Team One Leader wasn't just another rank and file mage; he was the chosen commander of Myeongdong Guild's elite. Stunned though he was, he reacted with admirable alacrity.

"Blink!"

A spell granting its caster the ability to instantaneously shift to any visible point within a 10-meter radius.

'If I attack him from behind with a barrage of magic, even if he's as nimble as they say...'

Yet, after invoking Blink to reposition himself behind Jin Tae-Kyung, the team leader felt as though reality itself had screeched to a halt.

There they were: Jin Tae-Kyung's profound, obsidian eyes, mere inches from his face. [Note: picture the scene in manhwa chapter 114 when MC tries to use Qi sense on the Fire King.]

A searing palm clamped down on his shoulder.

"Why are you so surprised?"

"......!"

"You roll your eyes too much."

He predicted the direction just by the movement of the eyes?

No, it wasn't just that.

The Team One Leader trembled as if he had been struck by lightning.

'This guy's speed... It's faster than my Blink magic.'

Just who the hell is this guy?

And what kind of monster had Park Ji-Hwang from Myeongdong Guild provoked?

With a trembling voice, he recited the last spell he had prepared.

"Poi- Poison.”

Whoosh.

A green poisonous mist spewed out, wrapping around Jin Tae-Kyung’s face.

Yet, as dread churned within the team leader, the formidable entity before him reaffirmed his monstrous nature.

"Ugh, it smells like a fart."

His chiseled brow furrowed.

That was the sum total of his response to the Poison spell.

Jin Tae-Kyung, a veritable fortress against venoms, directed a gust at the petrified Hunter.

“Huff.”

“Gasp.”

The team leader's hue shifted to a ghastly cyan as he inhaled the poisonous haze.

Seizing the man by the scruff, Jin Tae-Kyung scanned the surroundings, querying,

"Park Ji-Hwang. Where's that bastard's office?”

Whish!

A chorus of fingers all pointed towards a single door.

---
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