Chapter 42 — First Practical (2)
[It is predicted that the monsters will appear in 5 minutes. Hunter teams and military troops are currently being deployed. All civilians in the applicable areas please act according to the local evacuation guidelines. All civilians in a vehicle are expected to get out of their cars and proceed to the designated evacuation shelters. Warning, warning, time left until monster emergence currently 5 minutes. Requesting emergency evacuation. If there are people with Hunter licenses in the vicinity, please congregate immediately at the appointed location. The location is Hyundai Market Entrance intersection.]
As soon as the sirens rang out, the people got out of their cars and looked around, then headed towards the appointed shelters.
“Is it monsters?”
“Looks like it.”
Ji Won asked with a dumbfounded expression. The people didn’t even scream or run around in confusion.
“Agh, now the damn traffic will be bad.”
“Isn’t my car gonna get wrecked? Thinking back to last time when it got totally demolished and I suffered from migraines dealing with insurance….”
People got off from their cars and even demonstrated the leisure to lock their car doors so that no one would break in. The sight of people unanimously scattering to various places in an instant was strange to the point of being avant-garde.
Watching the scene of monsters having become part of the everyday, Seo Aran stared at the sight dumbfounded. Countless people were moving, but not one of them was frightened. In Rapid Core situations, the emergence of monsters was even faster than in the usual Core situations.
Therefore it was a dangerous situation, but nobody had a sense of crisis.
“We should also get off.”
“Prepare your equipment.”
As if they knew those words were coming, all of them took out their armor coat, shield bracelet, and Aether sword in unison. Because no one knew when this sort of thing would occur, Kang Joon always stored Hunter equipment in the van’s fortified safe.
The four of them who had gotten off of the van waited for the people to swarm out. Countless vehicles were abandoned on the street, and once the situation ended, everyone would get on their cars and return. All of them would have gotten insured, so if a vehicle got destroyed, insurance coverage would be more than enough.
It was an age in which damage insurance due to monsters was now mandatory. Kang Joon led the team members and slowly explained.
“You might have faced C-rank in the Battle Station, but you can’t be arrogant just because of that. Fight as defensively as possible. You have your equipment, so there won’t be situations where your lives are in danger, and if it looks really dangerous, I’m going to step in. So don’t be too greedy, and we’ll fight as much as possible in the direction of suppressing the monsters’ movement. Got it?”
They all answered as one, and Aran and Ji Na both wore tense expressions. Since an opportunity for their first practical field experience had visited so out of left field, it was natural that they would be nervous. Ji Won was laughing as if out of touch with reality. Because Kang Joon also knew that Ji Won had at least one screw loose, he didn’t criticize him.
It was an A-rank armor coat. Rather, it was actually harder to die from a C-rank monster wearing that. Kang Joon was planning to watch how they fought from the sidelines. Civilians were in the middle of quickly leaving in those few minutes. A couple of them that weren’t able to evacuate yet could be seen.
The absence of a sense of crisis was emerging as a societal problem these days, but it was difficult to regain a sense of crisis that had disappeared. Let alone running, everyone was leisurely as if going for a walk. As if she found those carefree in the face of the phenomenon called a Rapid Core situation unfamiliar, Aran muttered.
“Why are they so laid-back when the military hasn’t even come?”
“Their trust in the government must be amazing.”
“Something like that doesn’t come from trust.”
Kang Joon led the party while grasping the way to the Core generation point.
“It’s like habit.”
It was because they knew nothing would happen even if they behaved in a laid-back manner. Sirens were ringing noisily, and warning messages were continuously broadcasted.
Then, suddenly the siren noise got more than three times louder.
[Warning! Warning! Monsters are currently emerging! Evacuate as quickly as possible! Civilians who were unable to evacuate, seek shelter in bathrooms or enclosed spaces in nearby buildings! The military and Hunter teams have not yet arrived! Civilian casualties are expected!]
“Run to the Core point!”
It wasn’t just the civilians that had been lacking in a sense of crisis.
‘We were even more laid-back!’
It was also Kang Joon’s team that had been walking leisurely. In an instant, the movements of all those who had been leisurely sped up significantly.
“Shelter! Where’s the shelter!”
“Here! Come over here!”
It only took an instant for those who had been calm to abruptly fall into a state of panic, and those who had been unable to evacuate ran amok. Seo Aran ran at the forefront, and behind her was Ji Won. On many levels, their basic physical ability was much more outstanding than Kang Joon’s. He activated his Aether sword in a flash, and Kang Joon directed to the party.
Seo Aran abruptly swerved her body to the right at the big street. Smack dab in the middle of the big street’s intersection, a walloping Leviathan with the head of an eagle had already emerged.
“It’s an Eaglebear!”
“The enemy is that creature alone! Just chain down its movements!”
What occurred just now was a Core that discharged only a single powerful monster. Rather, in this chaotic situation, that was something of a relief. If numerous monsters appeared, more serious damage could occur due to the monsters that they missed.
A sedan that the creature had thrown sailed across the sky. A few people that had not yet evacuated stood in the trajectory of that sedan’s dropping point.
If it fell like that, a person would definitely die. Seo Aran quickly judged the situation. The Eaglebear was still in the middle of roaring after having thrown a car. Using her rigid body  physique, Seo Aran firmly braced her lower body.
The tiles of the sidewalk Seo Aran was stepping on instantaneously cracked from the impact, and her body bounded off like a cannonball into the air.
And she collided her body just like that into the sedan flying squarely at her.
A noise scarcely believable as the sound of metal and a human body colliding rang out, and the sedan that ran into Seo Aran’s body lost the speed it had been flying over with and instead ricocheted to fall listlessly to the ground.
Instantly, as the totally demolished car fell down, it crushed the other cars underneath, but it wasn’t the time to pay heed to something like that. It was a moment in which human casualties had been prevented through the situational judgement of a mere second. But the rescued people were only busy running away, and they weren’t aware of that fact.
That was exactly what they called movement relying animalistic instinct.
Wearing a frown, Seo Aran ran forward again as if rebounding as soon as she hit the ground.
They had to restrict its movements before the Eaglebear carried out any more acts of destruction and incurred additional damage.
“Another one’s coming!”
This time, the Eaglebear picked up and threw a minicar, and it passed overhead before Aran could even react. Just now, she had taken on one that was flying squarely at her, but even Aran didn’t have the ingenuity to stop a car that had already passed her.
Kang Joon gritted his teeth while watching the airborne minicar. He didn’t know about additional collateral damage, but there were still people escaping at the place the car was flying to.
Kang Joon took out and held an Aether blaster.
‘I guess we’ve got to resign ourselves to at least an explosion.’
An explosion would go off, but it was better than having the people in the back taking on damage.
But suddenly, the speed of the hurtling minicar gradually slowed down.
An intangible haze was radiating from Choi Ji Na’s body. In that minuscule moment, Choi Ji Na succeeded in using the Half-Trance state and completely halting the flying minicar in the air.
As the minicar stopped in its tracks and her psychic powers were released, the car took a nosedive and fell apart.
“Phew! Aphew! Haaa!” 
Because she had used excessive strength in a short period of time, Choi Ji Na was covered in cold sweat and panting. It was just for an instant, but Choi Ji Na had mustered a strength greater than the strength she herself could use.
They had safely defended against two attacks. A few vehicles were destroyed, but compared to people dying, it was negligible. The one who arrived first at the monster was Ji Won.
In both hands of Ji Won, the claws of an Alphadragon.
The Core weapons had been activated.
The Eaglebear of a height exceeding 6 meters had a chunk of its leg ripped out with a single shake of Ji Won’s hand. Compared to how it was an attack carried out by such a small body, the range was extremely wide. But Ji Won grasped at the Battle Station that the important thing was to cram in numerous attacks in a single timing.
Ji Won, who had passed by once, turned as if twisting and leapt once again.
-Pow! Pow! Pow!
In a flash, he accurately targeted three attacks, and the Eaglebear’s backside was reduced to tatters  in mere seconds. Multiple valid hits struck their mark in an instant, but Kang Joon shouted urgently.
“Don’t keep too close!”
However, Kang Joon’s shout was far away, and the Eaglebear’s maw was close.
The creature’s head swiveled towards Ji Won, and as its beak opened, soon a shriek was unleashed along with a shockwave.
A shriek that unhinged the mind just by hearing it exploded out. At the extreme, high-pitched tone, blood trickled out from Ji Won’s ears from his eardrums bursting.
Ji Won suddenly felt his surroundings empty of sound and felt the sensation of the world being shaken. After his eardrums had burst, his whole body’s sense of balance became paralyzed. If it were an ordinary person, their outermost layer of skin would have been torn off by the sound waves, but Ji Won didn’t receive that severe of a blow.
Only a static noise kept ringing in his ears.
This sort of negligible pain he could cope with, but it was hard to find his balance. Wobbling, Ji Won could faintly see the Eaglebear’s giant maw plunging down towards himself.
But the thick beak that was plummeting down was struck by a suddenly approaching fist and violently catapulted off.
“Whoooh. Fwhooh. Stand back!” 
Pummeling the Leviathan bear’s maw with her rigid body fists, Seo Aran appeared.
While activating her Aether sword, Aran measured the distance.
“I said stand back!”
To Ji Won, Aran’s voice felt very far away. However, it wasn’t hard to recover his sense of reality. The ultra-regeneration that Ji Won possessed regenerated most wounds with ease.
Ji Won soon recovered his senses and moved nimbly to return to the front.
Possibly thanks to having received a frontal blow, the Eaglebear widened its maw at Aran once again.
A terrible sound exploded out towards Aran–
“Shut up, chicken head.”
And because Aran had fortified her eardrums with the rigid body, she remained totally unaffected by such things. Due to this, she couldn’t hear any sounds, but
There was no need to hear any sounds right now.
Aran aimed her Aether sword at the Eaglebear’s neck and charged towards its body like a bullet.
The Aether sword easily rammed into the Eaglebear’s scruff, and when Aran swung her blade out to the right, half the bear’s neck was torn off in an instant. But the still surviving Eaglebear moved its bulky paws in order to seize Aran and attempted to thwack her.
But that attempt was also blocked.
Ji Na’s psychic powers halted the movements of that right paw, and instantly twisted it in the opposite direction. Then, from the rear Ji Won ripped apart the monster’s backside with the dragon claws in both hands.
Ji Won’s chained attacks promptly pulverized even the Eagelbear’s spine. Unleashing a howl, the Eaglebear collapsed.
In the blink of an eye, the Eaglebear’s movements were incapacitated. Aran and Ji Won both detached from the Eaglebear’s body.
A gigantic bear collapsed onto the asphalt ground of the intersection. Ji Won and Aran were a horrendous sight due to being covered in the monster’s blood, and they were panting roughly. The Core had already disappeared, and seeing as it was a Single-type, there was no way additional monsters would emerge.
Because the people had all already evacuated, the intersection had a deserted feeling . Aran deactivated her sword and refastened it on her waist belt.
Kang Joon stared at his team members with a gawking expression.
“……Why are you so good?”
“Did we do well?”
At Choi Ji Na’s question, Kang Joon nodded his head with a muddled expression.
Kang Joon also found it hard to believe the scene that had unfolded before his eyes.
“Did I do well, Hyung?”
“Yeah, you let down your guard a bit, but…. even so…. you did well.”
An F-rank team according to evaluation standards had seized a BOSS level C-rank Core situation. It wasn’t at a Battle Station, and even despite of it being a practical, their active situational judgement was very outstanding.
“It’s honestly easier than the Battle Station.”
“This is all because Oppa only drilled us with Hard Mode.”
Due to only training with a mode where it would hurt to the bone when they took a few blows, their party’s combat ability was much stronger than Kang Joon’s estimation. From the distance, a lone person took off from the ground accompanied by noisy sounds. It was the long-distance leap that Seo Aran had also just used.
“We’re the Hunter Emergency Response Team! We’re here to participate in comba…… uh?”
The person flying over landed and immediately looked around, then wore a bewildered expression to cast about the surroundings after seeing the collapsed Eaglebear. As if she had rushed over extremely urgently, her face was aglow in red.
Then, looking at the four people and the fallen monster, she raised a hand to the communicator in her ear and muttered.
“Th-thi…. this is Loeschen S-1…. Situation…. situation resolved.”
The Knight who had arrived frowned a few times at what she heard from the communicator and murmured.
“No, it has been resolved, but. It wasn’t me who…. that is.”
Then, making eye contact with Kang Joon, she slowly reported.
“Situation resolved, so what I mean is…. it’d already been resolved.”
That person was in a daze even as she submitted her report.
 kangche <강체> is a physics term apparently, and in English it’s called rigid body: “a solid body in which deformation is zero or so small it can be neglected.” it’s used to describe Aran’s physique, so like the special Knight ability to strengthen the body. let me know which sounds better! “rigid body physique” or “fortified/strengthened physique/body” ?
 i am so sry for all the sound effects. that was the hardest thing ever to translate, cuz the literal Korean sounds in English just sound weird af. tried to find substitutes, failed sometimes, am putting original sounds in footnotes. feel free to ignore said copious footnotes. Hnngh!: Heubp! <흡!>
 Baaang!: Kwa-ang! <콰앙!>
 Claaang: Wajangchang! <와장창!> lol it’s the sound of metal collisions usually
 Screeeech!: Kiii-eeee-ek! <끼에에에엑!> like a cawing sound
 Hnnnghh!: Ueeuuuu! <으으으으!>
 Craaash!: Koo-oong! <쿠웅!>
 Phew! Aphew! Haaa!: Heo-eok! Heo-eok! Heok! <허억! 허억! 헉!> harsh panting sounds
 Huuuuttt!: iyaaaapb <이야아아압!> a bracing sound, like, i’m ready, not a signal, it’s like the japanese oraaa! usually for hype or like a whachow! Karate move effect
 Cracckkk!: Kwajik! <콰직!> breaking/crushing sound
 to become a geollejjak <걸레짝이 되다> means basically to be reduced to tatters, literally means to become a used rag/mop
 Ziiiiiiing: Jjiiiiing<찌이이이이잉!>
 Whaam!: Pbeo-eok! <뻐억> extended pow sound? Not really a sound I guess but like sent flying from punch sort of effect
 Whoooh. Fwhooh. <후우. 후우.> panting noise, large exhales
 Plunge!: Poo-oogk! <푸욱!> deeply going in sound, also for sinking into fluffy things or hugs
 Creaakkk!: Woodeu-deu-deu-deuk! <우드드드득!> grinding or breaking sound, like cracking sounds from bending something rigid
 Squaaaawkk!: Kkwoeeeekk! <꽤에에에엑!> sort of a dying chicken sound
 deserted feeling substituted for sseolleonghada <썰렁하다> literally chilly, another meaning being like lame when attributed to a joke, uncle jokes and bad puns are described as such
JEN: each chapter contains its unique challenges ;-; never realized how weird onomatopoeias were until now