Translated by: ShawnSuh
Edited by: SootyOwl
Late at night, at a time when everyone was asleep, there was a quiet vibration in the Villains' Detention Center. Shortly after, a wave of rats poured out of a vent and onto the ground. After looking around curiously, the rats started to run.
"What the hell?" one of the inmates, who had woken up with the sound of the rats, let out, tilting his head in confusion while standing in front of the metal bars of his cell. Then, noticing that parts of the rats were glowing like fireflies, the inmate furrowed his brow, dumbfounded.
'Am I having a nightmare?' the inmate thought. At that moment, the rats that were running around the prison started to explode simultaneously, triggering the emergency alarm and waking up all the inmates. Before long, the detention center fell into chaos as flames and black smoke started to spread. Amid the chaos, a mysterious man walked out of the smoke. His grin revealed his yellow teeth. It was Ace.
Moving through the smoke like a ghost, the killer drove a knife into the vulnerable inmates while they were coughing uncontrollably in order to extract the Black Hunt planted within them. The inmates fell to the ground,
"Free at last! Get outta here ya rascals!" Ace shouted at the inmates. With the Black Hunt removed, the inmates started to regain their powers and abilities, among which were hunters who specialized in healing. Walking around, they healed their fellow inmates who had been wounded in the extraction process of the Black Hunt.
At that moment, another explosion came out of nowhere and blew up the entrance to the prison. Even mithril, the best defensive substance known to mankind, provided little protection against the explosive power of the enchanted stones implanted within the mice.
"Sir! There was an explosion at the Villains' Detention Center, and the inmates are attempting to escape!"
Hearing the urgent report, Tae Gyum clenched his teeth tightly. While the Central Institute was preoccupied with catching Ace, the terrorist had struck at them where they least expected.
"It's Ace. Seal all entrances and exits!"
At that moment, another subordinate came rushing toward Tae Gyum and delivered yet another piece of urgent news.
"S-sir! Most of the inmates have already escaped the premises! We don't have nearly enough manpower to"
"What the hell are you doing standing there and telling me about it!? Get in contact with the dispatched units and catch the bastard! Find out where this psychopath is!"
"Y-yes, sir!" the subordinate replied and rushed off. Similarly, Tae Gyum also equipped himself with an aura-enchanted spear and charged toward the window, shattering it as he jumped off a height equivalent to twenty-seven floors. Upon landing, the asphalt underneath shattered and a gust of wind swept over the area from the impact. Looking toward the inmates who were trying to escape, Tae Gyum's eyes burned with anger.
"Ace, you WILL die by my hands."
Tae Gyum launched himself toward the inmates. Then, when he had nearly reached them, a cheerful voice echoed out of nowhere.
"Here's your present!"
When Tae Gyum looked up, he saw a bundle of dynamite falling on his head. Biting down on his lower lip, he swung his glowing spear. However, just moments before coming into contact with the spear, the dynamite exploded, causing a wave of explosive flame to spread in all directions.
By the time Ji Yoo arrived at the scene, the institute had suffered catastrophic damage, and all of the inmates had already escaped. Looking at healers and the paramedics treating the wounded soldiers, her face twisted into a scowl. Although the Institute was made of experienced fighters who were high level and equipped with some of the most expensive items in the market, they were all critically injured by the explosion caused by the terrorist's bombs. Looking at soldiers that had suffered severe burns, Ji Yoo clenched her hands into tights fists and murmured, "I'll get you, Ace." With a hardened expression on her face, she turned around and rushed off.
Coming out of the dungeon after reaching level 210, Ho Sung exhaled and wiped the sweat off his forehead. Becoming an aura user had given him momentum, enabling him to hunt and train more efficiently, which then, allowed him to earn more experience points more efficiently. As a result, he had been able to earn himself another ten levels.
Because he had hunted fiercely and frantically, Ho Sung simply couldn't move a muscle. However, the weariness couldn't be more rewarding that day.
"At this rate, I'll reach level 300 in no time," Ho Sung said with excitement, smiling as he wiped the blood off of his sword. Then, while he was cleaning his weapon, a man approached him.
Hearing the voice calling to him, Ho Sung put his weapon away and looked up. It was Min Wook Cho, his right-hand man.
"Eh? What are you doin' here?" Ho Sung asked.
"I've been waiting for you."
"Me? What for? Aren't you guys collecting payment around this time of day?"
"There's a much more pressing matter at hand." Min Wook said with a dark expression on his face.
"What is it?" Ho Sung asked, scratching his chin.
"Ace is on the loose. He blew up the Villains' Detention Center and pulled all of the inmates out of there. They're killing hunters and innocent civilians at random while Ace is keeping the Institute busy, and" Min Wook dragged on, his face growing even darker. He added, "... taking out all of our business affiliations."
Hearing that, Ho Sung spat on the ground irritably and said, "Somebody doesn't like to play by the rules. Better teach this guy a lesson. What's his level?"
"There's no telling. It's not visible."
Looking slightly intimidated, Ho Sung looked away from Min Wook.
"What do we do, sir? At this rate, all of our business partners in Seoul will lie in ashes."
"So, his level isn't visible, huh? That means he's a miscellaneous type," Ho Sung said.
"... Probably, but we can't just sit here"
"Maybe the Central Institute will take care of it."
"But, sir! Aren't you gonna do anything about this!?"
"As much as it pisses me off to see this Ace character goin' around causing a ruckus in our territory, there's just no realistic way for me to stop him. Besides, I just came out of the dungeon. I'm spent."
"Well, there has to be something we can do without fighting Ace directly!"
Looking at Min Wook nervously, Ho Sung said, "I guess that's true."
When Ho Sung stuck a cigarette in his mouth, Min Wook lit it with a Dupont lighter. Smoking his cigarette, Ho Sung immersed himself in deep thought about ways to protect his turf from Ace. Unfortunately, no matter how hard he tried, he simply couldn't think of anything.
'Damn it!' Ho Sung said to himself, smoking his cigarette anxiously. At that moment, he was struck by a certain realization. Seeing the startled look on his face, Min Wook asked, "Is everything OK?"
"... I think losing our business partners in Seoul is the least of our worries."
"What do you mean? Is there something even more important than that?"
Sweating profusely, Ho Sung remained silent, feeling as though his autonomous nerves were giving out.
"We have to stop him."
"Sir? What are you"
"We have to stop that maniac from causing any more destruction! How bad is the damage?"
"... I-I don't think I follow, sir," Min Wook said, tilting his head in confusion. Immediately, Ho Sung shouted impatiently, "HOW. BAD!?"
"If this Ace figure keeps up his pace, we could lose anywhere up to a third of our business rights within several hours."
"What the hell are those idiots from the Institute doing letting this nutjob roam around the country!?"
"It seems like he really knows how to stay below the radar."
"Son of a bitch. What now, then!? We can't fight the guy! We can't just sit here like sitting ducks either!" Ho Sung said. Seeing the head of the clan in a state of panic, Min Wook let out a deep sigh and said, "Sir, try to remain calm"
"How am I supposed to be calm at a time like this!? No, no I can't just stand here and not do anything. I have to go. Tell the boys to keep their heads down for a while," Ho Sung said, scurrying off to his car. As Ho Sung drove off in a hurry, Min Wook stared in his direction, puzzled.
Swallowing nervously and repeatedly, Ho Sung thought to himself, "There's still time to figure things out, even if we lose all of our revenue for a while. The Central Institute isn't made of incompetent fools. They wouldn't let some random psychotic hunter run amok and bring the whole damn country down. There's always time to get the trading rights back What I really have to worry about is Min Sung Kang! Losing my turf to that nut job would mean that all of the restaurants would get destroyed, which means Min Sung Kang has no reason to keep me around. I'd be worthless! Or Maybe he won't go as far as killing me just because I don't have any restaurants to take him to. Yeah! After all the time we've spent together? No way"
Ho Sung knew how extraordinary of a person the champion was. He knew it better than anyone else out there.
'I have to convince him. I have to turn him against Ace before that nutso destroys all of the restaurants in my turf!'
At that moment, Ho Sung stomped on the brakes, causing the car to spin and drift and come to a stop in front of the champion's house.