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絶対立派なハンターになって戻ってくるから!

Is he saying that he'll come back AS a great hunter, or is it possible that he could become a great hunter, then stop being a great hunter, and come back not a great hunter? The difference seems minuscule but it's important in the work I'm doing right now.

Basically, "I will become a great hunter and come back!" or "I will come back as a great hunter!"

Or could it mean either one? Thank you.

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Both technically work but I find it hard to imagine a situation where you would tell someone that you will become a great hunter, then stop being a great hunter and then come back... The phrase sounds a slight bit like bragging too, in the sense of 「絶対立派なハンターになってみせるぞ!」so I doubt it is meant to imply that he/she won't be be all that great anymore upon return.

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The phrase itself means "I will become a great hunter and come back", which implies "I will not come back until I've become a great hunter", which implies "I will come back as a great hunter". At least to my knowledge. Therefore it could technically mean either, however the sentence itself should mean the first one.

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