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Gyeongseong’s Hunter Academy Chapter 23

Is It A God?

Lee Yu-ha suddenly woke up.

She raised her upper body off the bed, pushing the blanket to one side, and then swept her long silver hair behind one ear and felt her own forehead to check for a fever. The boiling fever she had since the evening had finally calmed down, and now she felt a shiver.

‘It seems Mr. Heuk-byun’s(黑邊) medicine has worked.’(note: Heuk-byun is the Korean pronunciation of the name Kurobe)

For some reason Lee Yu-ha had been feeling weak and dizzy, and Professor Kurobe(黑邊) of Magicology had called her to analyze her blood.

Professor Kurobe had told her that she was probably showing anemia symptoms as she was getting her blood drained by some outside influence, and he gave her some medicine to prevent this from continuing.
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The fever Lee Yu-ha had after taking Professor Kurobe’s medicine was a minor side effect caused by the accumulation of the mana that would have naturally been expelled from her body.

This side-effect had passed so her temperature had gone down.
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Lee Yu-ha, still holding her forehead, looked into the dark night through her window, wondering why she had woken up, and soon realized that it was due to some noise coming from downstairs.

‘……?’

What could this commotion at this time of the night be? She completely pushed the blanket to the side and got out of bed. She was dressed in a light white cotton nightgown, the same sleeping clothes all dormitory cadets wore.
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She left her room wearing rubber shoes that had been supplied by the dormitory, just as the sleeping clothes, with her loose silver hair hanging down to her waist. The noise coming from downstairs became clearer.

『Then, I shall go back to my lab.』
『You may not do so, Kurobe sensei.』
『……Then, how long am I supposed to stay here?』
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As she headed down the stairs to the first floor, where the noise was coming from, she could see Professor Kurobe surrounded by men in suits.

‘Mr. Heuk-byun?’

Why had Professor Kurobe come here, and who were the men surrounding him? As Lee Yu-ha stood in the middle of the stairs, hesitant, Aikawa saw her and rushed to her.
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『Miss Lee! Are you okay?』

Lee Yu-ha nodded and asked Aikawa.
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『What has happened?』
『Well, you see…… Shirabayashi-kun,』

Aikawa explained the whole story as she knew it. Baek Cheol-yeon had said that he was sure that Professor Kurobe was the vampire, and ordered the men in the suits to restrain him. After listening to the explanation Lee Yu-ha understood the situation.
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‘It seems Cheol-yeon has misunderstood and suspected Mr. Heuk-byun.’

Lee Yu-ha walked towards Professor Kurobe, who was surrounded by the men in suits, without hesitation, her long silver hair swinging back and forth.
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『Uh…… You! Wait! Lady! D-Don’t come closer!』

When Takahiro saw Lee Yu-ha approaching them, somehow he was overwhelmed by her aura and the title of “Lady” came out of his mouth before he realized it.
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Professor Kurobe, who was sitting in a chair, also noticed Lee Yu-ha and looked at her with his sunken eyes as he said.

『Cadet Lee.』
『Yes.』
『How are you feeling?』
『I am better, much.』
『That is good. You will no longer have your blood drained, but it will take some time for the amount of blood in your body to return to normal.』
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Lee Yu-ha bowed to Professor Kurobe and looked at Takahiro and said.

『Professor Kurobe, release him.』
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Taken aback by her speaking to her so informally, Takahiro replied hesitantly.

『……But this was Master Shirabayashi…… I mean, Cadet Shirabayashi’s order.』
『…….』
『He will soon be here, so please wait, miss. He said he was in the research building, so he should be here soon.』
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Lee Yu-ha thought.
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‘Baek Cheol-yeon, what have you…….’

Baek Cheol-yeon’s suspicion of Professor Kurobe had originated from a misunderstanding, but this was all because he was worried about her. It was also Baek Cheol-yeon who had asked Aikawa to look after her and searched everywhere for the cause of her illness.
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『I understand.』

Lee Yu-ha answered Takahiro, and passed him to head toward the exit of the dormitory.
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She had been told that Baek Cheol-yeon was headed this way, but she wanted to go greet him first and thank him. After all, he was the one who had most worried about her and gone out of his way to help her.

『Ah, Lady! If you go out……!』
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Takahiro blocked the dormitory exit as Lee Yu-ha was about to leave. She was the one Baek Cheol-yeon had ordered him to protect, and he felt that he couldn’t just let her go out like this.

『Cadet Shirabayashi also ordered me to protect you. You have to stay here so we can protect-』
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Lee Yu-ha interrupted Takahiro and emphatically said, as she looked up to him.

『He, did tell you to block my path?』
『……!』
『If that is not so, get out of my way.』
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Takahiro couldn’t find a response to that and got out of her way.

Lee Yu-ha left the dormitory building in her white nightgown and go on the path to the research building. She was hoping to meet Baek Cheol-yeon on her way.
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***

[User information]
Name 崔成吉 (Choi Seong-gil)
Age 27
Mana class E-class
Awakened abilities
Metamorphosis/B-class
Blood absorption/A-class
Status Metamorphosis maintained (121 days, 8 hours)
[▷Main screen]

B-class metamorphosis and A-class blood absorption.
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Blood absorption was an ability that allowed its user to absorb blood components and use them as energy. He was probably maintaining his metamorphosis by supplementing his poor amount of mana with his blood absorption ability.

If he had maintained his metamorphosis for 121 days, it meant that he had been in this state for at least 4 straight months. There was no way he could achieve this with an E-class mana level.
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‘This fucker was the vampire, not Professor Kurobe.’

But what surprised me even more was the name “Choi Seong-gil”.

The name that was displayed on the status window was not something someone could change even if they wanted to. It wasn’t like changing your name in a family register at some government office,
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It was a name that became engraved onto the Ghost considering this name your own from your childhood, over a long period of time.

‘He was a Joseon person?’
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What the fuck was up with this guy?

He was a Joseon person, but he had pretended to be Japanese all this time? By stealing the face and identity of the real “Saigane Seiji”?

He even went as far as speaking poor Joseon language to pretend he was Japanese.
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‘……What do I do?’

I had identified this guy as the culprit through my status window, but this was just evidence that was in my head and I had no kind of physical evidence.
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And, on top of that, Professor Saigane Seiji, the false persona that Choi Seong-gil had taken on, was a well-liked Japanese professor who was popular around campus and could even influence the police.

Even if I were to accuse this man, there was no way to prove it and punish him.
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However, this was the school I had to attend and graduate from, and I couldn’t have a vampire threatening the lives of my peers. So,

‘I have to solve this myself.’

I spoke to Professor Saigane, or rather Choi Seong-gil.

『Say, sensei. You see…… I know it is late, but since we met, I would like to get some advice from you. Is there any place nearby where we could talk in private?』
『Oh! Do you need counseling? I always welcome students who need counseling. But, did you not say you were busy?』
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I guessed it might look suspicious for a guy who was busy running around to suddenly ask for counseling, especially in the middle of the night. I hurriedly made up an excuse.

『Ah. Well, you see, it’s actually girl problems. I thought you might know quite a bit about something like this……』
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If a guy said that he’s having problems with girls, most men would be willing to listen to them as if they were experts, and Choi Seong-gil was no different in this regard.

『Haha! If it is girl problem, I do not think I have much choice. I shall help you as best as I can.』
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He continued, still with a good guy smile on his face, pointing to a side trail that led from the path we were one.
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『Over there, there should a an old temple that is empty now. I always get some fresh air around there when I come out for a night walk. How about there?』

The place he pointed to was a narrow mountain path with wooden steps. The path wasn’t very steep but it led deep enough.
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『That sounds perfect.』
『Sure, I shall lead the way. It is dark, so stay close.』

Choi Seong-gil started climbing the wooden stairs first. I was about to follow him when suddenly
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‘Wait.’

I was planning on ambushing and do away with Choi Seong-gil up there, without anybody knowing.
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Although he had the ability to draw blood from his opponents, he didn’t really have any other significant offensive ability. And there was a low chance of me failing as he wouldn’t expect me to ambush him from behind.

However, what if my plan failed? Conversely, what if Choi Seong-gil put my back to the ropes?

The fact that I had been killed in that deserted place up there wouldn’t be known by anyone either.

‘I can’t have that happen.’

I needed someone to at least realize what was going on and help me, or in the case I got into trouble, to at least know the truth about what had happened.

『Are you not coming?』
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He asked as he looked back, having climbed further ahead.

‘……Hmm.’

I didn’t have enough time to leave a message here, and I didn’t want to do anything that would raise his suspicions. But still, there had to be some way to leave a message……
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『Ah, sensei, one second. It is nothing. I got some dirt in my shoe.』

I squatted down for a moment, took something out of my bag and put it neatly on the floor.

‘With this, at least someone will realize.’
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Then I got back up again and followed him up the mountain path, thinking.

‘Then, let’s go hunt down a vampire.’

***
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‘Fuck, it’s me who’s going to end up dying first.’

The narrow wooden stairway was only a few dozen meters long, but it left me breathless. If I had been my 21st century self, this would have been a piece of cake, but the weak, useless 17 year-old young master I was right now found this straining.

‘As soon as I’m done with this, I’m going to work on improving my stamina first…….’

The landscape that eventually emerged was a half-destroyed small temple with all its doors broken off and a mossy stone pagoda.

Choi Seong-gil, who had got there first, was breathing in the fresh air and said.
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『Huff…… Puff…… Well, how is it? This is a temple from the Early Joseon Period, but it was destroyed when the school was built here.』
『Ah yes…….』
『I come here every once in a while. The quiet and lonely atmosphere you feel is rather humbling.』

After muttering to himself, he suddenly asked me as I was still catching my breath.

『Shirabayashi-kun, have you ever owned a pet?』

It was a random question. I didn’t know why he was asking me this, but I had a dog in the 21st century so I just answered.

『Yes.』
『When that pet die, I imagine you were truly saddened?』

After saying this, he didn’t even wait for my answer and continued with a sad look on his face.

『You must have. I did as well. And it was just a few days ago that this happened.』
『Oh…… I don’t know what to say.』
『He did not really obey me, but he was still a good boy. When I let him free in the mountain, he would bring me useful things…… However, you see, he was killed by some bad kids a few days ago.』
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‘……?’

As I continued listening, something seemed strange.

‘……Could it be?’

A few days ago, the mid-sized monster, Onikumo, that appeared in the training grounds during the pre-field study. At that time, dozens of students were almost caught and killed by the Onikumo.

My squad and I brought down that Onikumo, but…… Could he possibly be talking about that incident?

‘Was it this guy that created that situation, as well?’
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I was shocked. It wasn’t enough for him to secretly suck the students’ blood, he was even using monsters to actively try to capture more students.

And him mentioning this in front of me, did it mean that he was holding a grudge and was going to kill me this time?

‘So, did he bring me here to kill me?’

There was a possibility of me getting killed if I wasn’t careful. I tensed up and grabbed the scalpel I put in my pocket. But suddenly I felt dizzy and my legs became weak.
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‘……Anemia?’

I hadn’t even been attacked, so how……?

At that moment, the moon that was hidden by the clouds was shining, and I could see something that looked like red steam rising in front of my eyes. Like steam coming from hot potatoes, the red steam was coming out of my skin.
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‘This is……?’

I was shocked. My blood was seeping through the gaps between my skin cells in the form of red steam and being absorbed by him!

‘So this is the A-class blood absorption ability……!’

I never thought he’d be able to suck blood this way.
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For him, he didn’t even need to bite someone with fangs or wound them to draw blood from them. He had already started suck my blood from the moment we were climbing the stairs!

I thought I would be able to kill him if I made a surprise attack, but it was me who had been ambushed instead.

I quickly rolled over and hid behind a half-collapsed stone tower. The steam rising from out of my skin stopped. It seemed he needed me in his line of sight for the ability to work.
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‘Huff, huff…….’

『You have good instincts, Shirabayashi-kun.』

I could hear his voice. I answered, leaning my back against the stone tower. Since I had been attacked anyway, there was no need for me to treat him as Professor Saigane anymore.

“Fuck off, Choi Seong-gil. I know you’re a Joseon person, so stop pretending to be Saigane.”
“Oh……!”

I could hear a voice of admiration. The voice came from a slightly different place. It seemed he had moved to get me into his line of sight again.

“Oh my…… I thought I had erased all traces from back then.”

As if he had decided to stop pretending to be Saigane, his voice had changed and he started speaking fluently in the Joseon language. I moved little by little to keep the stone tower between me and the direction from where I heard the voice.

I was at a disadvantage.
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Unless I had an artifact or potion to stop my blood from seeping out, I was completely helpless.

And, on top of that, the only thing I had in my hands was the small scalpel from the lab. If I wanted to hurt him with this, I had to get close to him, but before I could get close I would probably lose all my blood and collapse.

‘……Damn it.’

“You, what did you do with the real Professor Saigane? He must have existed.”

I asked him a question to buy time.

“Ah, it was when I lived on the mainland as an international student……. I met him back then, but he was so condescending just because he had graduated from the Tokyo Imperial University, so I killed him in a fit of rage and stole his identity! Haha!”

“Well, it was a good title at least! Because of his academic background, I was invited to be a professor at this school, and because he came from good family, I had connections in the police…… Thanks to this, I was able to erase most of the past when I was Choi Seong-gil, the Joseon man!”
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If there was a person better than him, he kills them and pretends to be that person using their face. And to maintain it, he sucks other people’s blood.

This was the way he led his life.

“The title of professor is quite useful at this school, you see. I need blood of Awakeneds to keep this face, but, you see, by staying at this school I can get fresh blood from Awakeneds whenever I want.”

That was true. If he had the ability to suck blood without sinking his fangs, he could pretend to hold counseling sessions with students, or turn into a dormitory master to absorb all the blood he wanted.
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And Lee Yu-ha and Aikawa were two of those victims who had lost some of their blood without even realizing it.

However, considering he could take as much blood as he wanted without taking his victim’s life, why had he kills Kye Hyeong-bok, the tea house robber?

“Why did you kill Kye Hyeong-bok? You didn’t need to go as far as killing him, right?”

Choi Seong-gil replied with a somber tone.

“There was nothing I could do about that. Shirabayshi-kun…… I mean, I was at a disadvantage against him. You saw it as well. His poison had the effect of destroying my control over my metamorphosis. I was quite surprised……. Wouldn’t a guy like that always be a threat to me if I keep him alive?”
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I was asking question just to buy myself some time, but at this point I had genuinely started to get furious.

“Were you planning on spending you whole life living as Professor Saigane, killing people to survive?”

I shouted out, but the answer I got back wasn’t what I had expected.

“No, no! Of course not! Of course, the Professor Saigane mask I’m wearing right now is quite good but…… I can’t be satisfied with this! I am thinking about becoming the principal of this school in a few days, Shirabayashi-kun!”

The principal!
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The principal I had seen in the principal’s office a few days ago was just an ordinary old man who looked indecisive, as if he had just been placed as a puppet boss. This guy seemed capable of killing the principal and taking that position if he really wanted to.

‘If this guy becomes the head of the school……!’

That alone was ridiculous, but he laughed brightly and continued.

“Hahaha! Of course, that isn’t all! I am an ambitious man, Shirabayashi-kun……. After becoming principal, the next goal would be head of school affairs! Or maybe, hmm, since I have connections to the police, chief of police could be good as well!”
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“And then I would go into the governor’s office! And then, of course, the next step would be to become the governor of the Japanese Government-General of Joseon!…… Then, after that, I would go to the mainland and become the Prime Minister! And then…… And theeeeeen…… Do you know what comes next, Shirabayashi-kuuuuuun?”

“Hahaha! What would be next?! Think about it! Can’t the Prime Minister have an exclusive relationship with the Emperor?! Then I would become the Emperor, of course! Hahaha!”

With that, he opened his arms and shouted out, loudly.

“This man would become the Emperor, the Arahitogami (現人神) (note: Original text used the Korean pronunciation for the word: Hyun-in-shin)!”

This guy was crazy. Completely insane.

“Yes. You too would be offering nourishment to me, the man who will one day become a god. Did I not tell you before? That even the useless Joseon Awakened have the choice of making a contribution to this society…….”
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As Choi Seong-gil said all of this, he was going around the stone tower at a distance, and he finally came into my line of sight. However, I didn’t even have enough energy to get up now. Just holding on to my senses was as much as I could do.

When he reached his hand out to me, red steam started rushing out of my skin again.

‘Urgh……!’

As my blood was rushing out of me and my vision was starting to go black, he suddenly stopped absorbing my blood and suddenly screamed.

“Ah……? Agh, AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARGH!”
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Guuuush!

The palms of the hands he was holding out to me started to get covered in a thick frost, and there was ice starting to freeze on the ground, covering his feet.

And then, I could barely make out silver strands of hair and hear a clear voice coming from my side.

“I hath picked this up on my way here. This, is this not thy shoes?”
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With that voice, something fell on the ground in front of me.

‘……?’

What was placed in front of me was a pair of shoes. These were the shoes I had changed out of and put inside my bag, as I put on the rubber shoes in the research building. These were the shoes I had neatly placed before I started climbing up the mountain in hopes that someone would notice.
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I lifted my head. Wearing a white dorm nightgown with her silver hair untied, she turned her head back to Choi Seong-gil and smiled ever so slightly, that I barely could make it out, and she continued.

“Although I hath seen someone that would take off their shoes to climb on a bus, I hath never in my life seen a man take of his shoes to climb a mountain.”

‘……I knew it.’

Was what I thought. I knew it. I knew someone would be able to tell. Although I never expected that someone to be her……. Still sitting on the ground, I only lifted my head to see Lee Yu-ha and greeted her.
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“……Yu-ha.”
“……? Cheol-yeon.”

Lee Yu-ha kept releasing her ice on Choi Seong-gil as she put on an expression full of doubt and answered my greeting awkwardly. Phew, you’ve got a long way to go if you want to become a modern person.

You should be answering Cheol-ha, you dummy. (note: OO-ha is modern Korean internet lingo where only the first letter of a person’s name is said followed by “-ha” to greet them)


Translator’s Note:

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Gyeongseong’s Hunter Academy

Gyeongseong’s Hunter Academy

경성의 헌터 아카데미
Score 9.2
Status: Ongoing Type: , Author: , Released: 2021 Native Language: Korean
I woke up during the Japanese Colonial Era. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

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