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Gyeongseong’s Hunter Academy Chapter 27

Cosplay

『Enjoy it by yourself, Aoki-shosa.』

Renka flatly rejected Aoki-shosa’s offer to go to the Spirit Gate together. A man she didn’t even want to spend a second with. Going into the Spirit Gate with such a man? Just the thought gave her goosebumps.
Renka glared at Aoki as she continued.

『Unfortunately, I am busy getting ready for school.』
『But it makes me sad to think about going into a Spirit Gate by myself in such faraway lands.』
『If it genuinely makes you sad, I may let you take my subordinate, Takahiro.』
『…….』

Aoki, under Renka’s sharp gaze, kept his grin, turned his head, snorted, and laughed as he said.

『My, my, well, there is not much choice. And here I thought this might be a good opportunity to make memories with you……』
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Surprisingly, Aoki didn’t press on further. He grabbed the military cap he had taken off.

『Then, I shall get going. I shall see you again tomorrow or the morning after.』

He bowed respectfully, put his cap back on, turned around, and left the mansion. Renka thought as she stared at Aoki.

‘I hope you go out and never come back. Aoki-shosa.’

***

“Father, are you leaving? You’re still not completely well…….”
“All that a rickshaw puller needs are two good legs!…… And you, girl! I don’t know about you but do you think it’s best for even me to just stay put at home? At least I have to work to be able to put food on the table!…….”

The truth was, he had recovered long ago. To begin with, he had been beaten with clubs and kicked around, so he only had external bruising, and it wasn’t like he was injured or had any broken bones.

Ham Won-sam had spent the past few days just lying down, and he had started to grow impatient and anxious about not working, so he got up.

The Shimazu whatever guys had paid the hospital bill and even given him a small reward, but it wasn’t enough for him to lie down for the rest of his life.

He had to work.

“See you later.”

After seeing Ham Won-sam off, his daughter, Ham Seo-ju, sat on the veranda, holding her face up with both hands as she thought.

‘I wonder how it turned this way.’

Although her father worked all day pulling a rickshaw, what he earned was barely enough to feed both of them, and although they rented out their empty room, it was barely enough to save up.

Her family wasn’t always this poor.

When she was younger, her father, Ham Won-sam, kept earning a lot of money, and she could live a decent life even attending a regular school.

But 4 years ago, the year she graduated from regular school and passed the entrance exam to a girls’ high regular school (*corresponding to modern girls’ middle and high schools), her father was found guilty of criminal activities.

Fraudulent gambling through the use of his insignificant ability to hide small objects in a subspace. This was how Ham Won-sam had earned his money, and soon after, his fortune was confiscated. And like that, Ham Seo-ju’s entrance to school also didn’t happen.

“…….”
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Ham Seo-ju, sitting absent-mindedly on the veranda, quietly went into her room and pulled out a flat, tattered paper box from under the closet. Then she blew off the dust accumulated on the paper box and opened the lid.

Inside was a white Sailor Moon-style uniform that she had tailored when she passed her entrance exam for the girls’ high regular school. Although her entrance to the school had fallen through, she had kept the uniform,

And she took it out every once in a while, like this, to try it on.

Wearing the black pleated skirt, the white Sailor Moon-style top, and even a red ribbon, Ham Seo-ju crouched down and looked at herself in a palm-sized mirror.

Had her entrance to the school not fallen through, she would be wearing this uniform, attending 4th grade. She would learn every day and have a lot of friends to talk with and laugh with.

Unlike now.

As she was looking at herself in the mirror,

“Hey! Seo-ju! Seo-ju!”

She could hear the student guest coming through the gate, calling out to her. Ham Seo-ju was surprised,

‘Oh my!’

She quickly got up and changed back to the cotton chima jeogori(note: chima jeogori is the traditional Korean outfit for women). She hurriedly shoved the uniform back into the paper box, pushed it under the closet, tidied up her messy hair, and pulled the door open.

“What is it? Calling out to me so suddenly!…….”

Ham Seo-ju was blushing as if she had been caught doing something strange. However, she hid her expression and stood in the doorway, looking at the student guest in the yard,
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The guest suddenly asked, with an attitude as if he didn’t even care about Ham Seo-ju’s expression.

“Can I borrow some clothes?”
“Sorry?”

‘Clothes? With clothes, does he mean?’

Since she had been wearing the Sailor Moon-style uniform until just now, that was the only thing that came to her mind when she heard the word clothes, and she pictured the student guest wearing the uniform.

“Oh my! That’s embarrassing!”

She said as she covered her face, but thinking about it, there was no way that would be possible. She removed her hands and looked at the guest again, who was making an expression that said, ‘what’s wrong with her?’.

Ham Seo-ju felt even her ears get red, but she soon straightened her face and asked again.

“W-What clothes are you talking about?”
“Can I borrow your father’s clothes? Clothes he wears to go to work. You have spares, right?”
“Sorry? We do, but…….”

The student guest was looking for her father, Ham Won-sam’s clothes.

“Why do you need them?”
“Hmm. Well. I need them for school……. There’s something I need to do that will get my clothes dirty. If I ruin the clothes, I’ll buy you new ones. No. I’ll actually pay you right now. Here.”

He said as he put a 10-won bill in Ham Seo-ju’s tiny hands. Ham Seo-ju didn’t understand what was happening, but she grabbed the clothes her father had worn yesterday, put them over to the side to wash them, and handed them to the student guest.

The student guest went into his room, changed the clothes she had given him, and came out, put mud on his face, tied a towel tightly around his head, and smiled as he left through the front gate.

“……?”

Ham Seo-ju sat on the veranda again and murmured as she looked at the gate the student had left through.
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“Do schools ask students to act as rickshaw pullers nowadays……?”

***

‘This is it!’

After I parted with my squad members, I came straight to the boarding house and borrowed Ham Won-sam, a rickshaw puller’s clothes.

After persuading Ham Won-sam, who seemed to have a strange misunderstanding, she let me borrow Ham Won-sam’s clothes, and after I put them on, put some dirt on my face and tied a towel on my head after making my hair messy, I looked exactly like a rickshaw puller.

I didn’t dare ride a bus or a taxi looking like this, so I walked, almost running, for 30 minutes and arrived where the Spirit Gate had opened outside the school’s east gate.

‘Alright.’

I gulped and approached the Spirit Gate with a shaky posture when one of the ODC employees checking Yeopsa licenses stopped me.

『What are you? A porter?』

I bowed at the ODC employee and said.

『Yes, yes. The Yeopsa, sir I am serving, asked me to run an errand, so I came out for a bit.』
『What’s that?』
『Ah, this is what the Yeopsa sir I am serving asked me to get for him! He forgot his sword and asked me to bring it to him…… Yes, yes.』

I had the practice sword I had secretly taken out from school in my hand.

『Go in.』
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I got permission very quickly. This really worked……!

Having received permission, I approached the Spirit Gate. And I took one step towards the surface, rippling in indescribable colors.

‘It’s been a while since I’ve felt this sensation.’

It was the first time I entered a Gate since I woke up in this body. For a moment, I felt my body like my body moving inside out; I was stepping into a different space.

At the same time, a feeling of foreign air. In the world beyond the Gate, this feeling felt similar to anywhere else on Earth but at the same time distinctly different. I opened my eyes.

‘This…… It’s quite big.’

A dungeon with a wide volcanic cave-like terrain was in front of me. And, in front of it, several tents.

Like on the outside, on this site, there was a basecamp surrounded by fences and several tents, almost like an outpost.

An ODC employee sitting at a table right in front of the Spirit Gate on this side spotted me and asked.

『Hey! Are you a porter?』

I casually bowed my head and answered.

『Yes! I’m here running an errand for a Yeopsa, sir! To bring this sword-』
『Maa ii (whatever)! The agent outside probably let you in. Go work!』

The ODC employee sat back down and started reading his book, not paying any attention to me. Seriously, nobody cared about Joseon porters.

‘Hmm. Which was should I go?’

I looked around. With the outpost at the center of the basecamp, exits led out of the fences in two different directions. I was considering going left first, but as I was about to head out, the ODC employee called out to me.

『Hey! You!』
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‘Why is he calling now?’

Did I get caught? When I approached him with a smile, hiding my anxiety and saying 「hai hai (yes yes)」, the ODC employee asked me curtly in a sarcastic tone.

『Is your owner a Japanese Yeopsa or a Joseon Yeopsa?』
『Well…… I came with a Japanese Yeopsa, yes yes.』

I didn’t know why he was asking me this, but my gut instinct told me that it’d better say I was with a Japanese Yeopsa,

『Hah? Baka na yatsu dana(You’re stupid)! You can’t read Chinese characters? If you came with a Japanese Yeopsa, you should go right. The left side is the Joseon Yeopsa zone.』

Having heard that, I realized that there were signs that read 「Japanese」 and 「Joseon」 on top of each exit.

‘So they even discriminate this way.’

It was common sense for Hunters that the environment wasn’t always homogeneous, even within the same dungeon. Each zone had a different topography and distribution of monster types. And due to this, the benefits were also different from zone to zone.

So in the 21st century, guilds often fought for territory when a Gate opened.

And now, instead of guilds, the Japanese and Joseon zones were divided.

It seemed that on the first day that this Spirit Gate opened, the ODC had roughly explored the surrounding area and allocated the more profitable hunting grounds to Japanese Yeopsas and the places that seemed insignificant to the Joseon Yeopsas.

It was a blatantly discriminatory policy, but it didn’t matter to me as I was pretending to be a porter who had accompanied a Japanese Yeopsa.
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‘Anyway, so the right side is the Japanese zone. That means that it’s easier to profit there, huh?’

『Oh, oh, thank you very much!』

I bowed to the ODC employee and went out through the right exit.

As soon as I came out of the basecamp fence, I could see the intimidating volcanic cave topography.

Inside the rock cave, which seemed to have been carved out of black stones, there was an incredibly wide cavity and a narrow passageway. Numerous forks and uphill and downhill paths. Lava flowed from various places like streams.

It looked like the lava caves you can come across when you keep digging down with a pickaxe in some sandbox game.

‘I wonder where the mobs are.’

I went deep into the cave and squatted down at the bottom to examine the dead skin cells and feces on the stone floor. Through the traces, I could guess that they belonged to a middle(C or D)-level arthropod monster. It was just the right level of monster. However……

‘When do I find all of them?’

One way to track down monsters was to follow the traces they left behind. However, this was quite time-consuming.

‘Mana Detection.’

Mana detection worked like a sonar. Much like submarines detect enemies by detecting small sound waves under the water, mana detection could be used to detect small waves of mana.

However, my mana detection level was E. You could hardly even say it was high. If there was a monster close by, I could detect it, but in this vast and complex cave topography, it would take ages.

‘But a submarine doesn’t only detect the sound its enemies make.’
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A submarine’s sonar didn’t just passively pick up sound waves from other sources. It could also detect enemies by reverberating the sound waves it could emit.

This, too, could be imitated with mana.

Although my current mana detection level is low, and the amount of mana I have is barely significant, I was confident in my ability to use and operate mana thanks to all the know-how I had picked up in my previous life.

Beep-!

I emitted all the mana I had focused on in advance.

The so-called Mana Wave Echoing Method.

The massive amount of mana that burst forward at once bounced off the cave walls, going far, and then returned, and the loud mana noise made through this was enough to detect even with my low level of mana detection.

Of course, it was a method that should be used sparingly. It was the same as yelling “I’m here!!!” to the monsters inside the Gate.

However, this was what I intended in the first place.

Soon after, a swarm of arthropods crawled from the darkness, scratching the stone floor. They were the monsters that had been pulled by my mana wave aggro.
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A group of monsters was about the size of a large dog and looked like a mixture between a mantis and a termite. They were arthropod monsters called “Thermita” in the 21st century. In this era……

Did it even matter?

I infused a lot of mana into my practice sword and swung it at one of the front Thermitas.

Slash!

One of its legs flew off, and it slipped on the floor. Not long after, another one came to me with its blade-like limbs.

I lightly dodged it and stabbed it in the head. Then I turned around as I cut another Thermita from my side. Its blue body fluids gushed out and soaked my face.

This is it!
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Yeah, this is precisely what I was looking for!

My heart was pounding. Maybe I was a born-to-be Hunter.

However, despite the appearance that I was cutting them down quickly, I was actually at my limit. Each time I cut the monster’s shell, the wrist on the hand holding the stainless steel practice sword felt stiffer.

Although they were C to D-level mobs, they were by no means easy opponents to face with this weak body. Just brushing by them could be fatal, and I had to focus my Awoken ability and all of my strength to be able to cut their shells open.

Of course, this was a dangerous situation at a level that I could handle.

Any inexperienced Hunter would be in danger, but I was familiar with these monsters’ attack patterns. I could just stop and run away if I ended up in danger.

“I’m starting to get tired! But I’m not done yet!”

My messy hair, the towel tightly tied around my head, my face covered in mud, and the shabby clothes that I borrowed from the rickshaw puller Ham Won-sam were getting stained with the monsters’ blue blood.

“A Hunter has to hunt to be a Hunter, after all!”

In a dark cave lit by the red glow of lava, a rickshaw puller was slaughtering monsters in a sword dance.

“Is it written anywhere that students aren’t allowed to hunt monsters?”
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The rickshaw puller yelled as he cut down monsters.

“Of course, studying is important! But isn’t it more important to get practice if you want to become a Yeopsa? Am I wrong? Huh?”

The rickshaw puller was too strong!

I was so excited I kept shouting as I continued hunting. Around me, legs and pieces of the monsters’ bodies piled up. As a result, dozens of Thermitas had been annihilated.

‘Phew…….’

I recovered my mana with the stones from the dead monsters and then sat on a rock to collect my breath and drink some of the water I had brought with me.

I raised my mana. Although it didn’t show on my status window, I felt that my “empowering” had gotten a little stronger. At this growth rate, it was likely that tomorrow or the day after, it would grow by one level from E to D.

Usually, when at a low level, growth was faster and considering my current level, it was the same as having taken on tough opponents through sheer control, so my level was bound to grow quickly.

I was still catching my breath when I heard some voices coming from the passageway that led to the cavity I was in,

『Whoa, look here for a second!』
『That’s amazing! Someone incredible must have been through here……!』
『But look at this! The mana stones are still there.』

I could hear chattering. It seemed they were Japanese Yeopsas who were surprised to see the pile of monster corpses.

‘Hah!’
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I hid for now. I couldn’t let them discover that a Joseon porter had hunted monsters alone without his master.

‘Well…… Should I go back now?’

This was enough for today. It was a shame that I couldn’t take the remaining mana stones, but the purpose of me coming here was to grow through hunting anyway.

My clothes were dyed completely blue from the monsters’ blood. I felt sorry for Ham Won-sam, but I could just buy him new clothes with my father’s money.

After sneaking back to the basecamp, I told the ODC employee that I was running another errand for the Japanese Yeopsa and slipped through the Spirit Gate.

When I came out of the Spirit Gate, it was already dark, and stars twinkled in the night sky. I breathed the fresh night air and returned to the boarding house, washed my face, changed my clothes, and laid down.

I felt like today I would sleep well.

***

The Spirit Gate that opened outside Dongsomun—.

And inside, the outpost was set up by the Oriental Development Company.

The ODC employee working as a guide was dozing off when he heard the sound of footsteps coming through the Spirit Gate. He woke back up and raised his head.

What came through the Spirit Gate was a tall man.

However, the eerie-looking man’s clothes were not the usual Yeopsa outfit. He was wearing a military uniform and an officer’s, to be precise. The ODC employee carefully approached him and asked.
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『Um, sorry…… What brings a soldier around here?』
『I am Aoki-shosa.』
『Pardon me?』

The ODC employee was briefly taken aback by the soldier’s answer, but then he responded according to the manual.

『Are you a Japanese Yeopsa? Then go to the……』
『I am Aoki Hisaburo-shosa. I am sure you received your orders.』
『……Ah! I-I am extremely sorry!』

The ODC employee, having realized what was happening a little too late, rushed into the tent. A short middle-aged man wearing glasses came out of the tent soon after.

『Aoki-shosa!』
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The middle-aged man bowed down as he held his hand out to Aoki.

『I have heard a lot about you from the president! And even rushing to help us out like this…… Ah! I am Manager Kimitsu, with the Department of Spirit Gate Development at the ODC!』
『Manager Kimitsu. It looks like you are working hard.』
『Thank you!』

Aoki ignored Manager Kimitsu’s outstretched hand and glanced around the basecamp before he asked.

『So, which way should I go?』
『Go to the left, please. That is the Joseon people’s side!』
『Hmm.』

Aoki looked at the left exit as he continued asking.

『What about the clothes?』
『Of course, we have prepared them in advance. Here, you may change here!』
『……But, Mr. manager, it won’t stink, will it?』
『Of course not! They are all new, but they are definitely clothes and equipment that a Joseon Yeopsa would wear and use. It will be perfect.』
『Thank you. I’m afraid I don’t want to take off the uniform that the His Majesty has given me, but……』

As soon as Aoki took off his coat, Manager Kimitsu handed it over to his subordinate. Aoki took the new clothes and continued speaking, with his eyes still on the left exit.

『If I don’t disguise myself, the quick-witted Joseon people are bound to run away or hide, after all.』


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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