In the first place, only those that have awakened special abilities could become Hunters.
However, the Republic of Korea of the 21st century, where gates would pop everywhere, was a country with insanely high efficiency.
A place where not only those with developed abilities are tested, the non-Awakened people were also tested.
As such, in order for young children that have just turned seventeen to be issued an identification card, they had to go through an Awakened grade evaluator and measure their ranks first.
It was an era where elementary school students aspired to be an S-class Hunter first, X-Tuber second and singer third.
Out of a million people, 950,000 people are rated F grade or unrated, but most young children bore a dream like, “Aren’t I actually a S-class hunter?” and went through the test as soon as they turned seventeen.
But Hara was an exception.
“What Awakened? What are you talking about? Don’t even think about such nonsense.”
A father that threatened.
“Oh, even if Noona becomes an Awakened, you’ll still be at the level of an F-class anyways.”
A younger brother that kept snickering.
While she couldn’t say that it was thanks to them, Hara never imagined that she would be an Awakened.
So she kept delaying on applying for an identification card until she was in the third year of high school, right before her CSAT.
She didn’t even pay attention to the grade evaluator because she was upset that the picture to be placed on her ID came out rather strangely.
Having high expectations of a photo taken at the photo studio in front of the school for 5,000 won was her mistake.
As she looked at her face in the ID photo, she went up to the grade evaluator with a gloomy face, and when she came out, she asked the official that’s in charge.
“Can I change the picture later?”
Kang Hara ran off when she was told that it was possible only when it was being reissued, saying, ‘Oh my god, I’ll come back in the future!’ She only thought about asking Jiah to help her draw her eyebrows and take a new ID picture with her glasses off when she has gotten her allowance next month.
Then, on next month’s allowance day, Hara received a home visit from an official from the Ministry of Defense.
“Hello, Kang Hara-ssi.
I’m from the Ministry of National Defense.
You’ve taken a physical examination conducted by the Special Applied Safety Department of the Seoul Regional Natural Disaster Response Policy Agency, haven’t you?”
You have been identified as a person eligible to be an Applied Safety Personnel.”
“If I’m eligible for Applied Safety Personnel…”
Kang Hara asked anxiously as she glanced at the front door.
The official shrugged like that wasn’t much to confirm.
“It means that the person will awaken as a Hunter.”
“Yes, here are the results of the physical examination you’d done last month.
After looking through it, all you have to do is follow the instructions to register.”
The official held out an envelope to the stiff Hara and went back.
Hara opened the envelope.
She saw a rather large letter below particulars like Kang Hara, over 18 years old, etc.
[Evaluated grade: E]
[Person to serve as a Applied Safety Personnel]
She couldn’t grasp the situation well.
Kang Hara searched up ‘Evaluated grade: E’ on the Internet search window.
[Normally, F-class are a waste of money, and aren’t really used.
But from E-class onwards, they are obligated to fulfil military service for 20 years after graduating from high school.]
It was just like that.
It was truly ridiculous.
Fulfilling military service, of all things.
However, to reiterate, this was the 21st century, where gates pop open like firecrackers.
Kang Hara’s grade was E.
Hara read the notice handed over by a public official with trembling hands.
There wasn’t any difference from the information from the Internet.
[Those eligible for service must register with their regional disaster management agency within 15 days from the date of receiving notification……]
[The service period is 20 years……]
[After 20 years of service, the pension provided by the state and……]
It wasn’t too bad.
If Hara was a child that couldn’t study and didn’t have any dreams, she would have shouted, “What a windfall?” as a lifetime job that even gave her a pension suddenly fell from the sky.
However, Kang Hara also received the 1st grade in the mock tests she’d taken previously.
In other words, she had no problem going to law school with her grades.
But having to become a civil servant for 20 years all of a sudden.
What absurdity is this, when serving in the army would only take 18 months!
‘I have to go to law school!’
When Hara announced her service that day, the family turned into a mess.
The eldest daughter, who could have become a judge or a doctor, was forcibly linked on a direct path to become a government official.
Her mother grabbed the back of her neck and was about to collapse.
But Hara’s mother couldn’t collapse.
This was because Hara’s father, Kang Jae-pil, grabbed her mother, Yoon Hyun-sook, and shouted loudly.
“Do you think I sent her to a private high school to do that sort of thing?”
However, it wasn’t something that could be solved by yelling at her.
Kang Jae-pil also shouted at Hara.
“Hey! Say you won’t do it!”
Of course, the family wouldn’t have been turned upside down if it was something that didn’t have to be done if Kang Hara said she wouldn’t do it.
Hara sank to her knees and went into her room while shedding tears.
Hara’s parents had a loud fight outside her room.
“Why is it my fault!”
“Isn’t it because you gave birth to her like that that things turned out this way!”
“Did I create the child by myself?”
Now, she began to hear the sound of them throwing things about and fighting.
Then, Kang Jae-pil suddenly opened Hara’s door and entered the room.
When he found Hara staring blankly at the laptop on the desk, he suddenly shouted.
“Isn’t that great! Because you don’t have to study anymore, you’re already starting to have fun?”
The laptop wasn’t even open, and Hara was just sitting there crying.
Kang Jae-pil picked up the laptop and instantly flung it onto the floor in front of Hara’s eyes.
There was a loud crack and the laptop broke in half.
Tears poured out of Hara’s eyes again.
“I recognized what you were like ever since the news came out that you were chasing after a singer last year! That video hasn’t even been erased yet, and you don’t even know how humiliated I am…”
Kang-ssi said angrily that he was glad his first daughter, who wouldn’t have been born if he’d known it was a daughter, was at least good at studying, but how could she go behind his back like this?”
What could she do? Still, she couldn’t go back to being an examinee.
From the moment she was measured to be E-class, she would be forced to be an official.
“Ah, so what! If Noona becomes a hunter, I wouldn’t have to go to the army, right!”
“Ha, do you like it that much? Aigoo, you’re so immature.”
She could hear the happy voice of her younger brother from outside the room and the sound of her mother clicking her tongue.
All she could do was shed tears.
During the summer of nineteen, exactly a year after being recorded on X-Tube.
Kang Hara became a civil servant.
A level 9 civil servant at that.
* * *
Hunters earned a lot of money.
This was a well-known fact.
And the most frequently asked question that hunters received from those that aren’t Awakened was regarding their salary.
“I heard that it’s easy to earn money if you become a Hunter.”
Then about 95% of the Awakened will answer like this.
“Please don’t speak nonsense.”
Such was the case wherever you went, but there was a defined number of people that made a lot of money.
Just like how in a conglomerate, the chairman and a new employee of said conglomerate don’t make the same amount of money.
Hunter also had ranks.
The income of an S-class wasn’t any less than the chairman of a conglomerate.
E-class… is it a must to mention it?
Anyways, although hunters earn a lot of money, the lower the rank, the more evident the shortcomings became.
This is because the ranks of a Hunter were close to unchangeable till death.
In other words, in terms of a new employee, they’re still a new employee even after 20 years.
The advantages? Well… In the Republic of Korea, it’s true to a certain extent that civil servants had an iron rice bowl.
[T/N: ‘iron rice bowl’ refers to a job with high job security.]
However, there’s an exception.
All that’s required is a ‘second awakening’.
But that’s only possible when you meet a constellation.
The odds of that happening were lower than winning the lottery.
What’s the probability of winning 10 pension lottery tickets at the same time and receiving 22 million won every month?
[User: Kang Hara (E)]
Of course, Kang Hara, who has been in grade E for 10 consecutive years, doesn’t fall under that category.
[Checking the coin balance]
[Coin balance: 127]
However, she was all the more desperate because it wasn’t applicable to her.
Crazy, should I buy a lottery ticket?”
Isn’t that faster than meeting a constellation?
Thud. She hit her head onto the table in front of her.
Then, Yoojung, her boss who was sitting next to her and fixing her makeup, asked with round eyes.
“What’s wrong, Hara-ssi?”
“Do you happen to know where the constellations are? Let’s go and grab some…”
“If I knew that, I would’ve become rich by selling maps.
Why did you mention the constellations all of a sudden?”
Hara replied helplessly with her head still stuck on the table.
“I can’t believe that my total coin savings for 10 years amounts to 127 coins…”
“Oh, that’s terrible.”
It’s a form of currency that’s only used by hunters.
It can be earned through selling dungeon by-products on the Hunter Market.
It can also be accumulated instead of experience.
Although stats can be built with coins, Hara didn’t even have the luxury of choice due to the amount of coins Hara possessed.
It costs 10 million coins to raise your stamina by 1 point.
It was ridiculous.
For reference, she had around 1.5 million won in her bank account balance.
There wasn’t much money left when she placed her marginal civil servant salary in a term deposit savings plan after deducting living expenses.
Still, it was the money that she’d saved up.
Apparently, some S-class people lived without even looking at the balance of their bank account.
It was akin to a distant dream for Kang Hara, who was an E-class.
A sigh came out.
Yoojung patted Hara on the back pretending to wipe underneath her eyes.
Instead, it’s safe because we’re working at a desk job.”
“That’s why I can’t even save up any coins…”
Then, someone opened the door.
It was the broadcast producer.
“Manager Shim Yoojung? We’re about to do a camera test, so please prepare yourself.”
Yoojung busied herself.
“Hara, how does my makeup look? What do you think?”
She raised her thumb without raising her head from the table.
Yoojung slapped her on the back.
“Show me some of your sincerity, hm? No matter how upset you are, you still have to cheer up.
So that you can pay off your debt, right?”
Let’s be strong.
Ministry of National Defense, Seoul Regional Disaster Response Policy Agency, Special Applied Safety Division, Mapo-gu branch… In any case, it’s really long, but she was just an E-class hunter from the Mapo-gu branch.
Commonly known as an administrative official.
Current bank balance was disastrous, and a coin balance of 127.
Although thirty was just around the corner, it was nothing much in her life.
In addition, she incurred some debt from the recent accident, making her life even more insignificant.
So, about the accident…
* * *
[A shocking update at the Hunter Agency at the Mapo-gu branch.jpg]
I’m working in Mapo, and our Mana Stone Management Team broke a Mana Stone hahahahahaha An A-grade Mana Stone at that hahahahahaha
– Gosh, you’re in the Mana Stone Management Team, but how did they end up breaking a Mana Stone?
– Team leader, what about your written apology and explanation?
– Who broke it? Is it a newbie? Did their strength suddenly increase?
– ㄱㅆ/No, it’s just someone in their 10th year.
– For real hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha
– A member of the Mana Stone Management Team in their 10th year, but they managed to break a Mana Stone? Did that really happen?
[T/N: ‘ㄱㅆ’ is short for 글쓴이, which indicates that it’s the author of the post that’s commenting.]
* * *
It was recorded on the Hunter Bulletin.
As Hara, it was a little unfair.
An E-class hunter managed to break an A-class mana stone, of all things.
In the first place, it was something that couldn’t have happened.
Upon receiving the report, the head of the Mapo branch office even sent Hara back to the grade evaluator.
But the result she’d gotten was still an E.
‘Just like that,’ Hara accepted the fine with tears.
Although this was a civil servant’s workplace accident, taxes couldn’t be used to supplement indefinitely.
Hara had to pay a total of 8 million won in fines.
It was said to be a cheap price for breaking an A-class mana stone, which was worth hundreds of millions of won.
But it definitely didn’t sound like that to Kang Hara, who had 1.5 million won in the balance of her bank account.
The fine is due in two months.
“What else can you do other than breaking open your term deposit? Oh, right, did your mother say that she would manage your savings account?”
But I think my mom will rebuke me a lot if I told her the entire story…”
Yoojung looked at Hara with a pitying gaze.
Yoojung knew that Hara still couldn’t become independent at home and that her mother was holding tightly onto her bankbook.
Honey, I think you need to make sure that the savings account is alive and intact first…
But Yoojung was the kind of person that knew that participating in another’s business wouldn’t be of any help to herself.
Instead, she rubbed Hara’s shoulder and urged vigorously.
“Oh, get up, get up.
We’re going to have to go do the broadcast.
At least they’d give 300,000 won as an appearance fee.”
“That’s what Manager-nim will be getting…”
While saying that, Hara got up in a teetering manner.
They were in a white waiting room of a public radio station.
The both of them went to the broadcasting station to film a video of “Let’s Figure Out, Mana Stone Management taught by the Hunter Agency!”
Private facilities in South Korea had to install mana stones within the facilities to prevent the occurrence of gates.
Otherwise, it would be a violation of the fire department’s regulations.
However, due to the lack of civil servants, it wasn’t possible to check it all single-handedly, so this was filmed regularly every year and aired at the end of the news on public broadcasts.
This year, Yoojung, the most beautiful woman in the Mapo branch, was chosen.
Hara was just an assistant.
Yoojung had already opened the door of the waiting room and walked out to the broadcasting station.
After dressing up for today, her figure was quite dazzling.
Hara fixed her horn-rimmed glasses and shouted from behind Yoojung.
If it airs today, you’ll get remarried successfully.”
“Thanks for the compliment.
If we’re paid for today’s show, let’s split it into half.”
Yoojung, who was waiting for a second date from a man that she’d met on a blind date, raised her thumb in her direction.
Hara followed behind with a grin.
“Are you both from the Hunter Agency? Please come this way.”
A broadcast assistant FD guided the two to the studio.
[T/N: FD = floor director.]
It was Hara’s first time entering a broadcasting station, and she was busy looking around with her mouth agape.
Yoojung tried to hint at her, but it was useless.
“It’s amazing that I’m at a broadcasting station.”
“Why? Hasn’t Hara-ssi been on a show before.”
“Oh, but that wasn’t a broadcasting station.
And that’s a long time ago…”
Yoojung giggled as she cited Hara’s ‘Yuqi-oppa incident’.
Hara, whose face flushed red, grabbed Yoojung’s arm and begged her to be quiet.
But Yoojung’s laughter didn’t stop.
That’s because Kang Hara was about to run into the main character in the ‘Yuqi-oppa incident’.
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