Author: Lubai

Cheeclank—! The police started blocking the entrance to the subway with their cars. The entrance was crowded with people who had managed to get out and passers-by.

 

I blended into the crowd as the police shouted for the mass to return in order.

 

“Wow, I heard there will be an S-class coming to this gate.”

 

“An S-class? Why would an S-class come?”

 

“I don’t know. I guess Rank 11 is coming because he’s nearby.”

 

“What?! Rank 11? Eradication Sword is coming?!”

 

The people next to me were screaming loudly. The heads of those gathered at the entrance turn in unison.

 

I witnessed how this disaster site quickly became a waiting place for an idol fan meeting. It was a miracle created by Hunters.

 

Let’s see. So, there were a total of three ways we could refer to a Hunter.

 

First of all, ranking.

 

Ranking was usually based on a combination of successful dungeon raids, the Hunter’s strength, and the Hunter’s impact on the world. These three were usually evenly distributed and scored, but sometimes, someone outstanding got a higher ranking. This was usually the case with specialized Hunters.

 

The rankings were compiled by the renowned International Hunters Association, and only the top 100 exist. So, all Hunters battled with the goal of being in the rankings because Hunters below the 100th rank didn’t have official nicknames, and they had few benefits. It’s a bit of a bummer.

 

When a Hunter was ranked, the International Hunters Association chose an official nickname for that Hunter who had just become a ranker.

 

How do I say this… Should I say it’s like a prize for being in the top 100?

 

If someone had a nickname despite not being ranked, it meant they were a Hunter who had fallen out of the rankings. So having a nickname but not being in the rankings was considered the most humiliating thing.

 

I was not sure why it was humiliating. Shouldn’t you be happy just because you have a nickname?

 

A nickname was sometimes given to refer to the Hunter on the Internet, or by referring to a Hunter’s combat characteristics.

 

A Hunter wielding a scythe like the Grim Reaper had been given the nickname of the Reaper, and another Hunter who mainly used firearms was called the Sniper.

 

Anyway, this nickname thing was another name for a Hunter. It was usually used to refer to a shy and strange Hunter.

 

Yes… Someone like…that Finger Technique guy.

 

Hiya, I’ll finally see Eradication Sword in my lifetime. What if I end up seeing Finger Technique as well?”

 

“Wake up. Finger King won’t show up because they’re a mystery. Didn’t you see the last time somebody was sued by Daybreak for trying to investigate Finger Technique in Distance?”

[T/N: Distance is this novel world’s Dispatch. Dispatch is an online media outlet specializing in the entertainment industry in Korea.]

 

“Ah, indeed. Then even if I accidentally see them, I won’t recognize them. What if they’re next to me now?”

 

I, who was secretly listening to them, was surprised.

 

Why do you have such a good sense? You can spread a mat in Myeongdong.

[T/N: She means the guy could open a fortune-seller kiosk at Myeongdong, which is one of the primary shopping districts in Seoul.]

 

Finger King, FT, Finger Technique.

 

When one person brought out the nickname of the no. 1 ranking, the surroundings were excited as a group.

 

Well, what people in this country do every day is to guess the Finger King’s identity. People often said Finger King was hiding because they were a conglomerate like the American cartoon Batman, but that was impossible. Because the real Finger King was now listening to the words of others while waiting for Rank 11.

 

“But I heard Finger King goes to the gates often.”

 

“Daybreak is blocking everything. There is some information on the official website of the Hunters Association, but the general public can’t see it.”

 

“We have no choice but to watch YouTube. Why did they name themself Finger King, anyway? I’m so curious.”

 

Yeah. That’s what I’m really curious about, too. Who made a nickname that will be seen worldwide Finger King? Does it make sense?

 

Who’d made the nickname Finger Technique?

 

[Warning about the appearance of lower gate -Hunters Association Headquarters-

 

Dear Finger Technique]

 

… Right, I was also curious. What the hell had I been thinking in the past?

 

The third way to refer to a specific Hunter was the Hunter’s nickname.

 

After a Hunter had awakened, they informed the Hunters Association that they had awakened to receive a terminal. The terminal was connected to the government of each country, so you could receive emergency notifications, dispatch notifications, and forced convocations. You could also enter the Hunters Market with this. In the market, various equipment, material items, and monster remains were bought and sold. The price was, of course, exorbitant.

 

When you first received the terminal, a window appeared asking you to enter a nickname to use in the future. In fact, even though it was called a nickname, it was no different from deciding on a name to use while working as a Hunter in the future.

 

Yes, catastrophes like Finger Technique happened.

 

The Hunter’s real name and identity were strictly confidential, but the nickname had aroused everyone’s curiosity. There were so many people trying to figure out who Finger Technique was.

 

A prime target for identity theft around the world. That was the current world’s Rank 1, Finger Technique.

 

It was hard to make excuses like this now, but the nickname…Finger Technique (it’s a bit weird saying it myself)…had a big meaning.

 

Technique. Technique is a very subtle word, but according to the Korean dictionary, its meaning is exact. According to the Korean dictionary, “technique” refers to the “skill or ability to do something great, such as playing an instrument, singing, or exercising.”

 

Then, if you have good finger technique, you will be very good at rhythm games, right? I guess so.

 

That’s why all the nicknames in my gaming history were Finger Technique. And I mainly played mobile rhythm games.

 

I mean, I’d played numerous games where the nickname “Finger Technique” wasn’t weird at all. So it was an obvious choice.

 

When I first received the terminal, it was in the middle of a war, and I’d been busy pushing the Awakened into the battlefield, so I didn’t even properly check it. And of course, at the time, even personal information was not properly registered, so nicknames were the only means to distinguish early Awakened.

 

So even in the association, there were very, very few people who knew the identity of Finger Technique, and thanks to that, Finger Technique was able to maintain their mystery… However.

 

Being mysterious was fine. But the nickname remained a problem.

 

I was told to enter a nickname, so I thought it was just a game nickname. I didn’t know that I couldn’t change this nickname forever!

 

A non-ranker could change it, so I couldn’t change it because I was a ranker?

 

Even if I was no longer a ranker, I wouldn’t be able to change it because I was too famous?

 

You were telling me to think of the impact it would have on the world if Finger Technique ceased to be Finger Technique?

 

Since you guys had already given me a cool nickname–the God of War–couldn’t I just be called that?

 

I mean, say something that makes sense.

 

I sighed with resentment and hit the screen hard.

 

Over there, in foreign countries, they called me by nicknames such as the God of War, Mars, or Ares. But in Korea, they call me FT!

 

Or Finger Technique! Or Finger King!

 

I recalled the humiliating post that had received numerous thumbs-ups on SNS not long ago.

 

It was a post discussing how skilled my fingers were to earn me the nickname Finger Technique, and the nonsense of wanting to reveal my personal information was so intense.

 

Hey…you know saying that is a crime, right?

 

It was said that the Buddha’s eyes see Buddha, and the dog’s eyes see dogs.

 

I tapped on the screen while worrying about the intellectual level and level of education of the people of our country, which seemed worrying.

 

Ring! Ri-ring!

 

The sound of the rhythm game notes bouncing was very cheerful.

 

Hey, do you want to see the person who saved your country and your life twice?

 

Bbambabambbam↗Bbabam↘

 

A majestic song and a sigh filled my eardrums. At the same time, a message popped up on the notes pouring down like rain! I regained my senses with the sound.

 

▶ My daughter~ Mom is off work~~ When are you coming?

 

The top of the screen overflowing with Perfect was filled with Miss.

 

It would be okay to curse if the sender was a friend, but since it was the madam, things became different.

 

Mm~ I’ll be there soon~ ◀

 

I put my phone in my pocket after sending an emoticon of a certain child character famous for drooling.

 

“Wow!! Eradication Sword!! It’s Eradication Sword!!”

 

“Bro! Please look here!”

 

“Hey! Haram’s up there!!”

 

The surroundings were chaotic. The cops standing there were also distracted by Rank 11 that had just appeared.

 

It was time to slowly get out.

 

I slowly backed away as I watched the shiny-faced Eradication Sword.

 

An S-class of Daybreak Guild, the no. 1 guild in Korea led by the guild leader Ban Seojun, and the melee attacker of Daybreak’s 1st raiding party.

 

Showing off his unique color of white hair among countless black ones, he turned his head to this side.

 

I saw yellow irises like lemon candy. The black pupils dilated as they discovered something.

 

I walked away, thinking I had made eye contact with him for some reason.

 

My ears are itching for some reason. Who’s cursing at me?

 

***

 

So that was a while ago.

 

“Yeonhui, why are you dressed like that? Are you going somewhere?” my mom asked after dinner while crunching her apples in front of the TV.

 

I snuggled up next to her and nodded while eating the sliced apple.

 

There was news on TV about the unexpected gate just now.

 

“Look, it’s right next to the station in Dangsan. Why are there so many gates around here?”

 

“Yeah. Let’s move to Yeoksam province, too. There’s the Hunters Association over there.”

 

“Ouh, we’re going to need money to move there. It’s a rich people’s neighborhood.” Mom giggled as if the joke was funny. Well, after the Hunters Association was established there, the price of land in Yeoksam province rose like crazy.

 

But, Mom. Your daughter is the Finger King. I’d say moving to Yeoksam province is really nothing…but…

 

Unfortunately, the universe’s strongest Finger Technique could not spend money except in secret places such as trading gate items or unofficial Hunters supplies, where anonymity was strictly guaranteed.

 

I couldn’t help but cry.

 

“You’d have to be a Hunter to live in a place like that. And a very high-ranking one on top of that. It will probably be faster to win the lottery.”

 

No. I’ve tried it, and it’s easier to be number one in the world than to win the lottery.

 

Life would’ve been so much easier if I just let people know I was Finger King, so why couldn’t I announce that I was the Rank 1?! Not surprisingly, there was a reason for this.

 

“Everyone wants to be a Hunter these days. Yeonhui, do you envy them, too?”

 

“Well…a little bit?” I glanced at my mom and replied. Mom fixed her eyes on the TV as she recited the words she always said.

 

“Being a Hunter is a cool-looking job, but there will be a lot of hardships when you find out. Besides, entering the gate could cost you your life. How sad must the dead Hunter’s family be?”

 

It was something I’d always heard. The voice of the past overlapped over the dry voice.

 

‘Yeonhui, I don’t need anything from you. As long as you live a healthy and prosperous life, I have nothing to wish for. So when you go out, take your phone with you. If you see a Hunter, run away, and if you get caught in the gate, cling to a Hunter. Do you understand? Don’t do that normally, but only when the gate is open. Okay?’

 

Most people admired Hunter, but there were also people who did not admire Hunter.

 

My mother was one of the latter.

 

They were people who protected us from vicious monsters but had nothing to do with us. They were the ones who might threaten us with that power.

 

That’s the kind of people my mom thought of Hunters.

 

‘It’s hard enough to survive. Asking them to protect civilians? Say something that makes sense!’

 

And the Hunters in my mind were no different from that.

 

In the sudden wave of a collapsed city, an Awakened run away from the monsters that come in front of them like swarms of ants.

 

‘Hey, he’s running away. Are you going to stay still?’

 

A group of people who were watching the situation far away from the gate spoke up. I didn’t mean to step up, but there was something that caught my eye.

 

As soon as I saw it, I stepped on the group and gained momentum, and leaped.

 

Small shoulders could be seen between the squashed and dying monsters.

 

I took a deep breath. If what I think is right, then…

 

I looked at the familiar figure from behind and grabbed their shoulders tightly. Eventually, the head turned, and I saw a very familiar face stained with great shock and joy.

 

Ah.

 

I still can’t forget the look on my mother’s face when we met after a year of not being able to confirm each other’s fate in the midst of war.

 

‘I’m Awakened.’

 

I couldn’t even get those words out of my mouth.

 

The reason I couldn’t reveal my identity was influenced by the nickname Finger Technique, but the biggest influence was from my mom.

 

I lied to her about studying for the exam, and the reason why I couldn’t confidently spend the money in a bank account under the name of Finger Technique in front of her was because of that.

 

“Yeonhui, you just stick to the exam and have a stable job. I heard there are so many illegal academies these days because there are a lot of kids who want to become Awakened. It’s all a scam. Tsk, tsk, tsk.” Mom clicked her tongue and held out an apple. I gulped down the apple and nodded at her.

 

Actually, I didn’t want to be a secret hero as everyone thought. I was just forced to become one.

 

The special gate was the same. Even if I hadn’t gone, someone would have entered, but if I hadn’t gone, the country would have been ruined. Then ordinary people like mom and I would have died in the Monster Wave before they even evacuated.

 

I had thought life would be much better if I became a Hunter, but it was not like that. Adults said that everyone lived according to their fate, but I guessed my fate was to be someone who would suffer.

 

I clung to my mom’s side and eagerly ate an apple, then left the house with the excuse of going to the convenience store.

 

[Warning about the appearance of lower gate -Hunters Association Headquarters-

 

To do the Hunter work that my mom kept me from so far away.

Author's Thoughts

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Comments (4)

  1. Did the sword dude met our Mc from somewhere before?

  2. This reason – your closest family not being supportive of your occupation – makes a lot more sense for why she wouldn’t reveal herself. I’m glad the Finger Technique stuff is just for laughs.