I Never Run Out of Mana - Chapter 65
Chapter 65 – Ally? Foe? Ally!
Report of Kim Ho Jin after 5 days of surveillance.
-06:30 Wakes up.
-After waking up, feeds pet: Dumpling. (Not very cute for a dog.)
-07:20 Personal care before leaving. (The type to eat breakfast no matter what.)
-07:30 Says goodbye to daughter Kim Jeong-yeon and wife before leaving. (Wakes up earlier than expected. Guess the entire family is one of those morning people types.)
-08:00 Arrives at the level 13 dungeon to find a party to join.
-Afternoon. Until Jong Ho and his group of members arrive, tags along with other Awakened who seem decent enough to hunt. (Hunts for over 12 hours, like I do. Seems he has some goal in mind.)
-20:00 Finishes hunting, returns home.
-22:00 Sleep. (This looks more like how a soldier lives.)
“What the. Did he really leave the association?”
Too much time had passed to call it a vacation period given from the association.
It was nearly 2 weeks since he had hunted with Jong Ho, after all.
Eavesdropping on Ho Jin and his wife, I was able to confirm that he really did quit.
While I was keeping up surveillance on Ho Jin, Jong Ho informed me that Ho Jin asked about me.
Following my instructions, Jong Ho avoided the questions by changing the topic or made up stories about me as needed.
For very specific personal questions, he just replied that he didn’t know.
From what I’ve seen so far, Kim Ho Jin appeared to have left the association and was living the life of an average Awakened.
That’s why today, I’ll be appearing in front of him.
It was for the information I wanted from him.
And it seemed that he was hoping for me to appear before him anyways, so there was no reason to delay.
The hunting was finished deep into the night due to the delay cause by the surveillance I kept on Ho Jin.
Obtaining information and an ally is important, but growing stronger took priority.
Like keeping a knife sharp, I kept up my daily hunting routine to the dot.
After a short nap, I headed towards Ho Jin’s house so I can meet him as he left for his daily hunting.
I could see him leaving his apartment.
He was walking towards a white SUV.
‘Why is an Awakened using a vehicle to get to the hunting grounds?’
I myself had used a similar method until recently, but he could just use the Warp skill to get there.
Ho Jin stopped walking towards the vehicle, and facepalmed.
A monologue followed.
“Ah. I’m out of it… This is why habits are scary.”
“Mr. Kim Ho Jin.”
While he was looking blankly at the vehicle, I went towards him and spoke.
Turning his head to where he heard the voice, he didn’t seem that surprised seeing me standing there.
But hiding his expression again, he played stupid.
“It’s Kim Min-Cheol. We met at the level 13 dungeon before.”
“Ah! Now I remember. Sorry about that. My memory isn’t the best. What business brought you here, I wonder…”
“We also met at the level 28 dungeon, right?”
Seeing my smirk, there were beads of sweat running down his face.
“Huh? Haha… No way. Since I Awakened later than others, I’ve just started to run the level 13 dungeon, you know?”
“Drop the acting please. You don’t seem to have any talent in doing so. Don’t have time to waste either.”
“W… What do you mean…”
“Sorry to say this now, but I’ve been watching you for the past few days.”
“Let’s change locations. Looks like a fly is amidst us.”
Looking through the Eye of Insight I casted beforehand, I was able to find someone using a stealth skill to spy on us.
The radical faction?
No. There was no way that they’d put someone as green as this person to a target that had taken out Jin.
Probably to keep tabs on Kim Ho Jin.
Perhaps he had also noticed, because he nodded his head and followed me to the alleyway next to the entrance of the apartment complex.
Turning the corner to get out of the line of sight of the spy, I casted Mass Stealth Jutsu and Silent.
The range was enough to cover both Ho Jin and me.
“Now we can proceed. Let’s continue talking. What do you want from me? Why are you trying to find out about me?”
Ho Jin let out a heavy sigh, and then began to speak with a serious expression.
“Whew… Before I answer your question, let me first talk. I don’t know who you are. The only thing I know is that you can hunt things over your level. Not sure what ability you have, or how strong you are, I have no clue. And…”
He paused a moment as if to gather his thoughts.
As if coming to a decision, his words were heavy.
Perhaps it was a form of resignation.
But for some reason, his expression looked different, almost calm.
“I’m not sure which side you are on.”
“You are saying that you don’t know if I’m with the radical faction, right? Perhaps even hoping that I am?”
“Haha. Glad you’re straightforward. That’s right. I’ll speak without hiding anything. There was something I decided on this morning as I left the house.”
“What would that be?”
“I was on my way to expose the truth behind the association. The truth that the association is aware of the radical faction, yet all they’re trying to do is to turn a blind eye to the whole thing. Both association and the government.”
“If that’s the truth, and I was of the radical faction? You could be killed here right now, without a sound. Is that your choice? No regrets?”
“If I can stand proudly in front of my family, and if it is just my life, I do not have any, not in the slightest.”
I could tell from the surveillance I’ve carried out so far, but now I was sure that he had nothing to do with the radical faction.
And I just realized today that the association is keeping tabs on him too.
He’s probably similar to Yoon Jong-sun, a man of righteousness.
“I understand your resolve, but please think of your family when you’re risking your life. I understand. First off, I’m not of the radical faction. Actually, I’m more like a threat to them?”
From his eyes, I could feel desperation.
“Yes. I think I answered your question well. Now can I expect you to answer mine?”
“What I want from you is… strength.”
“Strength? I expected as much, but for what do you need it?”
“Currently, most of those who hold power in this country are connected to the radical faction.”
“I knew it…”
“If they continue to hide the truth from the national organization as well the citizens, something big is going happen for sure.”
“So you’re asking me to give you the strength to smash the radical faction?”
“Yes. That’s correct.”
“What can you do for me then? You know that a one way trade is unfair.”
To Ho Jin, who was mumbling, I spoke with gusto.
“Information. I need all the information you have on them, as well as how to prevent the association from knowing about my growth as well. Is that possible?”
I finished our conversation that continued on for a while.
To avoid being discovered by the association’s assassin, he headed for the level 13 dungeon using Warp.
I planned to head to the hunting grounds myself as usual.
If Ho Jin agrees to my plan and finds a way for me to enter the dungeons without any data being sent back to the association, I was planning to head to dungeons above the level 28 dungeon.
If the dungeons didn’t work, I was planning to enter even if I had to smash open the portals.
Until I was able to achieve the level of strength I wanted.
I moved towards the midget’s office to use the portal and head to the hunting grounds.
I rushed to catch a taxi, and was able to arrive quickly.
-beep. Ending ride.
“It’s 14,000 won.”
Paying my dues, I left the taxi.
I heard a mushy glopping noise that seemed to echo through a small alleyway, giving me the chills.
The world around me began to turn dark.
Pitch black darkness covered my vision.
Almost as if in a room completely isolated in darkness, I could not see in front of me as there was not a speck of light coming in.
In that short time, I was trapped.
I casted my shield spells out of instinct, and then casted spells with both hands so I could see with the light coming off of them.
But I still couldn’t see anything.
I didn’t know where I was or what happened, so I looked about.
A man’s voice began to reverberate from all directions.
The voice echoed as it would in a cave, so I could not tell exactly where the voice was coming from.
“It was you, you bastard. The one who killed Jin.”
Hearing his words, I could immediately tell who it was.
Joker, one of the three leaders of the radical faction, had appeared before me.
Knowing my existence as well as Jin’s, I was sure it was him.
“Joker? Oh boy. I got to meet a lot of people today. Did you come here because you wanted end up like Jin?”
“Funny. This is your last chance. Lend your strength to me.”
“Did any of you lend your strength to me? Stop talking shit and get over here.”
“2 days. I’ll be back in 2 days. Think carefully about your answer. Submit or die. One of these two answers will be the equivalent to anything you spit out, after all.”
‘Eye of Insight.’
From far away, I could see his form.
However, the distance was too far to see anything but a red dot.
Too far for me to attack.
I began to run at full speed so I could take him down.
I felt that I wouldn’t be satisfied until I smash Meteor on his face at the least.
I heard the same sound from when I exited the taxi, and the darkness cleared.
The red dot I saw was no longer there.
After leaving the darkness, my vision was filled with light again.
My regret of letting him escape only lasted a moment, as the taxi was still next to me.
It was the same taxi that I rode to get here after finishing my talk to Ho Jin.
Looking at it carefully, I could see that the driver was still counting the money I handed to him.
I was sure that at least 3 hours passed since I was surrounded in darkness.
But this scene, it was same as the moment I handed the driver the money.
‘Did he stop time or something?’
It seemed that he teleported me to another dimension that was not affected by time.
It was likely that it was an executioner class ability.
Joker was moving faster than what Jin told me.
Turning away from the direction of the midget’s office, I began to walk.
I called Jong Ho on the phone.
“Yeah. Did you meet with Mr. Kim Ho Jin?”
“Yes. Just finished talking with him.”
“How did it go? Pretty sure he did quit the association. What about the other thing? Do you think he’ll help out?”
“Not a hundred percent sure, but he did want something from me, so it looks like it’s likely to happen.”
“Glad it went smoothly”
“Yeah. Things did work out smoothly.”
Perhaps he noticed that something was off, because Jong Ho asked me.
“What’s up? Why are you sounding so glum?”
“Yeah. You can tell me.”
Banwol Jincheon. I had lent them to Jong Ho.
I was planning to take them back when I had to face Joker and the radical faction again.
Jong Ho knew it as well.
Mustering up as much of a serious voice I could, I spoke.
“I need those swords again.”