Hyperspace Operation VVIP Porter - Chapter 6
The news of all five Alpha-class hunters having unfortunate stories broke Jihoo’s heart.
“…Is it a curse…?”
“A curse? It’s absolutely a blessing. It’s a tremendous blessing not just for the hunter but for the nation, even for humanity itself. However, they faced unfortunate endings because of the greed of the powerful. They were swayed by the government, by big guilds, by giant corporations. They’ve been used around and eventually died.”
“So… why were those with rare and powerful abilities swayed by those people?”
“Hmm… it’s a powerful ability as reflected by the Alpha-class rating, of course, but the meaning is a little different. So far, Alpha-class hunters have abilities unreachable by any other hunter, but their physical force is weak.”
Jihoo understood it immediately. It was the same for him.
“Pierre Dufour, the Alpha-class hunter from England, was able to control gravity. The power to add and subtract gravity and apply it in many ways was a tremendous power. However, he was stabbed to death by a contractor of his because his physical strength was no different from the general public.”
Several people came and went to the president’s office, setting up various kinds of tea, drinks, and snacks on the table.
“Help yourself. I ordered various things since I don’t know what you prefer. Feel free to have what you like.”
The president of the association took a sip of water before continuing.
“Other than their unfortunate fates, the Alpha class is unknown because governments and hunter-gatherer agencies have been trying to cover it up. It’s not well-known to the public.”
Jihoo understood. That’s why he only knew it as a legend.
He nodded, but the president’s explanation was not done.
“Not just that, it was because we didn’t have a deep understanding of the Alpha class.”
“The first one who got the rating from Russia… more commonly known as Alpha One. He had the power to deal with death. He could literally pull up the dead and manipulate them. His ability was terrifying on the battlefield. He was a hunter who got stronger the more he fought. Unfortunately, many hunters regarded his ability as ominous. Disputes and conflicts deepened in every incident.”
The president of the association recalled the unfortunate incident.
“But neither the Russian government nor the country’s hunter authorities tried to mediate. Rather, they tried to tame him with power beyond the rules through the conflict with other hunters.”
“So what happened to him?”
“He died. Practically raided by other hunters.”
“That’s how the world lost its first Alpha hunter.”
The president of the association explained the others.
Riley from the USA who touched the source of mana itself.
Shanhao from China who can see the future.
Up to Sampaio who had the ability to read time distortions.
Their unfortunate and unhappy lives.
Jihoo’s sweet dream seemed to cool down before he knew it.
He dropped his head.
‘Until the end… is this ability not going to help me either…?’
How many times did he get disappointed after looking forward to something?
He hated that it was happening again. Yeah, he decided to assume the worst. Jihoo kept his mouth shut.
As if the president read his mind, he continued to talk in a calm tone.
“After the last Alpha class hunter left the front lines, hunter management agencies around the world realized something. It’s been well over three years since the last Alpha class hunter appeared.”
The president took his time before bringing up the subject.
“We think you are the first Alpha class hunter from Korea, Hunter Jihoo-nim. No, the results of the wavelength tests are almost certain. At your first registration, we had high expectations for a while because such a unique and unprecedented spatial ability was awakened. This time, it seems to be very clear.”
The president’s gaze deepened.
“It’s a miracle that a rare Alpha class came from this narrow patch of land. We don’t want to repeat the mistakes that the world did to Alpha class hunters in the past.”
‘Of course, please let people live their lives.’ Jihoo thought so, but he couldn’t vocalize it.
The president of the association became more straightforward.
“No, on the contrary, we want to give full support. Therefore, we would like to suggest something to you, Hunger Jihoo-nim.”
The president clasped his hands and put them on his lap.
Jihoo’s guts told him that the president was getting fired up.
His response raised tensions, so he decided to ask.
“Uhm… do I have the liberty to refuse this offer? I don’t want to be given a big duty or anything like that…”
Scared, Jihoo’s words came out carefully like a mouse wary of predators.
“Of course. You can refuse. And I don’t intend to impose on you obligations or anything like that. It’s not like that. That would mean we’d infringe on your personal freedom and privacy. It’s just that we don’t want to follow in the footsteps of the old days when Alpha class hunters were done wrong.”
Jihoo felt a little relieved.
“Then what is the proposal about?”
“First, we’d like to designate Hunter Jihoo-nim as a special management target. This is actually a regulation that’s been implicitly decided for a long time. It was determined that if a hunter of a non-standard class appears in Korea, we were to do this. Accordingly, we would like to provide you some kind of privilege.”
Preferential treatment was unimaginable for Jihoo who lived his whole life as an ordinary person.
“First of all, the Hunter Association will protect Hunter Jihoo-nim’s personal information. It’s not for surveillance but for your security. There are privacy issues so I’d appreciate it if you could allow to maintain a certain range of security personnel around you instead of being right beside you at all times. As with what I told you earlier, this strong ability almost certainly means that you don’t have the power to defend yourself. That would mean your ability will be in vain.”
The president wasn’t wrong.
“As an additional measure, we will cooperate with government-related agencies to secure and manage the database to prevent leakage of hunters’ personal information. We don’t want you getting robbed by anyone. If it’s not managed properly, people would come to you everywhere you go, and they’d constantly be able to contact you even if you change your number.”
That could happen, Jihoo thought.
“And if you would get injured or if your life becomes in critical condition, you will be given top priority to be healed by the top healers in our country.”
This was truly special treatment.
“Ah, thank you, really.”
“Fourthly, we recommend that you officially announce your Alpha class rating and ability. No matter how much we try to hide this information, it will eventually be known to the powerful. The number of employees in the association is quite large, and there are many people here who have connections to politicians, large corporations, and big guilds.”
This was something Jihoo couldn’t think of.
“But… wouldn’t that be more dangerous? I thought it was better for me to hide.”
The president of the association shook his head.
“There are risks to making yourself known, of course. I’m sure there are a lot of people who will try to go after you. The Hunter Association will do its best to protect you, but it won’t be absolute. It’s better to gain fame than hide in anonymity to be safe from being pursued by the elites. It’s not easy to secretly harm someone who gets a lot of public attention and support.”
“And I recommend that the announcement be made through the association. If you announce that you are subject to the association’s special management team, people won’t try to come for you recklessly. There will also be no scoundrels who will question your ability. Please leave that part to us.”
“Yes, I will. Please take care of me well.”
The president smiled broadly.
“We will provide all other conveniences and support that we can. Please feel free to contact me if you have any urgent needs.”
“Uh… I… What should I do? You’re offering me a lot.”
The president smiled lightly, finding Jihoo’s reaction quite cute.
“You just have to promise two things, Hunter Jihoo-nim. First, you will let the association know if there’s any growth or any change in the nature of your ability. No, the association has a lot of eyes and ears, so please contact me directly and let me know. It’s always necessary to understand the world’s sole Alpha class hunter’s abilities.”
“Yes, I will.”
That’s not so difficult.
Wait something’s weird, thought Jihoo.
“And the other one is…”
“Wait a minute. What do you mean by growth in ability?”
The president tilted his head, confused if his words were incomplete, but he soon smiled again.
“Oh, I didn’t tell you something important.”
“Huh? Oh, yes. What do you mean by growth in abilities—”
“Hunter Jihoo-nim, what do you think is the difference between Alpha class hunters and the others?”
“Honestly… I’ve been curious about that too. A lot of hunters from different classes already have supernatural abilities, right?”
“Yes, but there’s a big difference. Three major differences. First, Alpha-class hunters have characteristics corresponding to their source. It’s different in a lot of ways like some can control death, while some control time and space, and one can block a hunter’s mana source.”
“Another one is that, unlike ordinary hunters, the Alpha class is not dependent on mana or the use of abilities.”
Jihoo’s mana was the size of a mouse’s tail, but when he uses his subspace, his mana was not consumed at all.
“It’s an amazing part though we haven’t figured out how those abilities work so far. Alpha-class hunters do not consume mana. Lastly, Alpha hunters grow. I assume you received basic training when you got your hunter’s license, so you must know that once a hunter’s power is awakened, his skills do not change until he dies. It can only increase a very small amount once a hunter’s powers are reawakened, but most hunters live with the same level of mana they first had.”
Jihoo only nodded.
“Skills and application can be improved through training, and mana and attack power could increase temporarily through various items and equipment but it doesn’t change a hunter’s original power. Alpha class’ growth is something unique. On top of that, the limits of their growth are unknown.”
Jihoo blinked like a fool.
“So please let us know if there’s any growth or change in your ability.”
“Thank you. And… the last condition is…”
The president took a moment to stretch his hands, and his eyes soon subsided.
“I hope you take on the right path. I want you to use your powers to do things for the good of many people. As they say, great power comes with great responsibilities.”
Jihoo felt the upright spirit that the president lived through his serious eyes.
He was sincere.
“Yes! I understand. I guarantee it.”
Jihoo’s military-esque response pleased the president.
“Hahaha. I’m relieved. Thank you, hunter-nim.”
The president laughed loudly and soon changed the subject.
“By the way, have you decided on a guild that you want to join?”
“No, not yet…”
“Do you have any guild in mind?”
“No, actually, I don’t have much intention of joining one.”
“Oh… Why is that?”
“I want to work as a freelancer with people that I like.”
“Oh, I see. Indeed, there are some things you gain when working with a guild, but there are a lot of restrictions too.”
“Yes, I took that into consideration.”
“But the reason why hunters enter guilds is that they are swayed by various conflicts if they are not under the protection of one. Well, we’ll be the ones to protect you so you don’t have to worry.”
“Thank you again for that.”
“Of course. Please let me know if you want to create your own guild. Give me a call and I’ll take care of it right away.”
“Wow, that’s possible?”
“Of course. We’re in charge of registering and dissolving guilds after all. That won’t be a problem.”
“Thank you for being so considerate… I don’t know what to do.”
“On the contrary, I am grateful and relieved as well. I thought your ability was too big and special for a single guild to monopolize as well.”
Jihoo scratched his head, not used to the compliments.
“Then do you have any future plans? What do you want to do?”
“Uhm… nothing big, really. I want to make some money first.”
“Hahaha. That sounds simple. You have an Alpha class ability so money will come your way very soon. You don’t have to be hasty.”
Oh Jihoo was in a hurry.
All his debt right now…
Jihoo frowned at the money problems he forgot for a moment, and the president laughed.
“Do whatever you wish. I have no intention of interfering with that. Oh my, I’ve taken too much of your time.”
He looked at the fancy watch on his wrist, stood up, and held out his hand.
“Congratulations in advance. It is my honor as the president of the Hunter Association to support the sixth Alpha class hunter in the world.”
Jihoo jumped out of his seat in surprise, bowed ninety degrees and shook the president’s hand.
“T-the honor is all mine… And thank you very much.”
The president went to his large wooden desk, opened a luxurious box, and held something out.
“Take one of these. This is my direct line number. VIPs and some of the key ministers and guild leaders, and only family members of mine know this number.”
Jihoo hurriedly received the golden business card with both hands.
“Ah, yes, thank you so much.”
The previously F-class hunter who survived through collection teams was out of his mind.
“By the way, I heard that you have yet to demonstrate and register your specific abilities. Let’s go to the examination site together.”
When they left the office, many people were standing on alert. They seem to be going with them to the exam site.
They took the elevator to the 10th floor.
There were no other hunters, and only several researchers were on the floor.
And perhaps it was prepared in advance, some twenty-liter water bottles filled with water were on a shelf.
A researcher approached Jihoo, fixing his glasses before speaking.
“Please show us your ability at your convenience.”
Several researchers picked up their tablets with their eyes sparkling in anticipation.
Some even adjusted the cameras that took footage of everything.
Jihoo roughly looked at the shelf, counting about a hundred water bottles on display, a total of 2,000 liters.
Looking into his subspace, about 68 percent was filled by Seungho’s car and some other items.
‘Well, there’s more than 32% left so… that’s about more than 2,500 liters.’
Jihoo approached the shelf without hesitation and put his hand on it.
The water bottles and the shelf itself disappeared in less than a second.
“How could this…”
Exclaims of surprise resounded here and there.
Jihoo stood awkwardly.
“Where should I put them?”
“Yes.. Wait, what?”
“Uh… if you need me to put them somewhere else, I’ll take them out there.”
“Ah! Yes, yes, here.”
The entire shelf and the water bottles were materialized again.
It reappeared in the blink of an eye.
In the midst of the buzz, the researchers became busy again.
There were some people who worked hard recording something.
One person got a grip of themselves and ask Jihoo.”
“Well, where does the object go when it disappears?”
“It goes into my subspace. I don’t know where that is exactly though.”
“So your ability ignores all laws of physics…”
“That’s all I have to show.”
“Yes, yes. It’s enough.”
The test ended in quite an anticlimactic way.
The eyes of the president, who was watching nearby and clapping lightly, sparkled.
“Outstanding. It’s going to bring changes to the DEPC limit.”
As expected, the president of the association immediately understood it.
“Hunter Jihoo-nim’s demand will be expensive. My my.”