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The Master of the Knight Order Guild, Park Jong-Su, had to doubt his own eyes. Because, there was a good-looking foreign man leisurely strolling out of the ant tunnel’s entrance at that very moment.
But, that was just impossible.
‘The ants being completely wiped out should still be a top secret, so how could this be??’
Everything found rolling around on the ground was literally the top-grade magic crystals. So, the Association decided to keep the annihilation of the ants a secret in order to prevent those enterprising souls from taking their chances here, at least until they could come up with a suitable solution to this problem.
So, only a few select people knew that there were no monsters left on this island.
‘It’s only to the extent of the Association entrusting the mission to us, the military, and then….’
And then, Hunter Seong Jin-Woo.
However, Park Jong-Su could confidently bet his entire life savings that the man standing in front of the ant tunnel was definitely not Seong Jin-Woo.
How could anyone forget that man’s face? Not only was he the most talked-about Hunter in South Korea, but he also occupied the top spot on the Knight Order’s must-scout list.
Park Jong-Su asked again.
“I asked you who you are! Why are you coming out from there?”
It was unknown whether the foreigner didn’t understand a single word coming out of his mouth or wasn’t planning to answer in the first place. No, that man just stood there, smiling brightly.
The Knight Order’s Vice Master, Jeong Yun-Tae, got right next to Park Jong-Soo, his suspicious eyes firmly locked on the foreigner.
“Hyung-nim. Is that guy even a human?”
“I…. I’m not sure, myself.”
They couldn’t sense any magic energy emission from the mysterious man, so he couldn’t have been a Hunter nor a monster…. But, for some reason, he was also emitting this strange aura.
Jeong Yun-Tae always had been the ‘act first, talk later’ type of a guy. But even he had to take a step back and cautiously observe his surroundings after sensing the ominous aura.
Unfortunately, soldiers didn’t possess the Hunter-like sensory perception. They belatedly discovered the foreigner’s presence and hurriedly raised their firearms.
Park Jong-Su quickly dissuaded them, fearing that they might end up inadvertently killing someone.
“Oii, oii! Don’t shoot! He’s not a monster!”
“Is he a human, then?”
“Well, that is…. Maybe?”
Park Jong-Su could only nod his head with a somewhat unconvinced expression.
‘You can only be a human being if you’re not a monster.’
Park Jong-Su’s limited scope of knowledge meant that he could only arrive at this faulty conclusion.
The military commander briefly nodded his head.
“Understood. From here onwards, we’ll handle the affairs of that person.”
“Pardon me? I thought you guys came here to take Hunter Min Byung-Gu’s remains back home?”
“Our orders were to secure the remains of Hunter Min Byung-Gu, as well as to control the situation on the island itself.”
Park Jong-Su stepped back, having understood the gist of it.
If they weren’t dealing with monsters or other Hunters then the Knight Order didn’t have to get involved here. Besides, they wouldn’t get mired in unnecessary headaches this way, too.
The commander shouted at the mystery man.
“You are currently inside a restricted area. Please follow my orders to the letter or you’ll be fired upon.”
The mystery man continued to smile, not a single hint of nervousness visible on his face.
Soldiers swallowed their saliva while thinking to themselves, “Are we really going to open fire at him?”
This was an expected response from these soldiers who had never pulled the trigger on another human being before.
Hunters were also carrying tense expressions now. They began thinking that there was something strange going on with this situation when that mysterious man continued to smile like that.
It was then – the man slid his hands inside the trouser pockets.
‘That man…. Is he really a human being?’
Could anyone stay so nonchalant when these many guns were pointing at them?
Park Jong-Su’s expression gradually hardened. Meanwhile, the nervousness of the soldiers reached their peak when they could no longer see the mysterious man’s hands.
“Hold your fire!! Hold your fire! Not yet!”
A thick vein popped up on the commander’s neck as he shouted at his soldiers.
The commander quickly turned his head towards the mysterious man as soon as he heard that urgent call. That man was slowly opening his mouth.
He couldn’t understand the language being spoken here.
It wasn’t that he had never heard of it, but more like it didn’t even originate from Earth, to begin with, judging from the way that man sounded and how he enunciated the words.
“What is he saying?”
While the soldiers were at a loss from this situation they had never encountered before, Park Jong-Su’s lips were busy flapping open all on their own.
One could sometimes meet intelligent monsters in higher-ranked dungeons. What that man said sounded almost like the language spoken by those creatures.
“Which means, is that….”
Before the commander could finish his sentence with “….is that a monster?” the mystery man pulled his hands out from the pockets.
An ear-splitting boom reverberated throughout the land.
When that mysterious man behaved in a suspicious manner, one of the well-trained special forces soldiers ended up reflexively squeezing the trigger.
The commander’s stunned eyes quickly locked on to the man.
The bullet, failing to dig into the man’s smooth forehead, fell to the ground with a light thud. The smile on his face was already gone.
“It, it’s a monster!”
“It’s not a human!”
Their cries lasted only for a brief moment because, as soon as that man’s eyes changed colour to red, everyone here felt an incredible pressure tightly squeezing down on their hearts.
Like puppets with their strings cut, the soldiers and Hunters all collapsed to the ground along with the sound of a crisp finger snap. That mysterious man wasn’t responsible for this event.
He looked behind him and testily spoke up.
“What do you think you’re doing?”
There was a short-statured middle-aged man standing behind him now.
“There’s no need to make a commotion here. I just put them all to sleep.”
The middle-aged man also wasn’t speaking in the language of humans.
The mysterious man sounded rueful, but still agreed with his new guest nonetheless. The middle-aged man shifted his gaze towards the interior of the ant tunnel and asked.
“Did you confirm it?”
The mysterious man nodded his head.
“It’s definitely ‘his’ power.”
The middle-aged man’s gaze now shifted over to the collapsed Hunters.
“Why is ‘he’ helping out these humans?”
“Who knows what ‘he’ is thinking? If you’re curious, why don’t you go ask ‘him’ personally?”
The middle-aged man shook his head before continuing on.
“We commence with the hunt as planned. Nothing has changed.”
The middle-aged man lightly twirled his hand in the air. A black Gate small enough to let a person through opened up there.
“Oh, by the way.”
The middle-aged man stopped briefly and looked behind him when the mysterious man called out to him.
“I think one of them is here.”
“You mean, here in South Korea?”
“Since we’re here, how about we take care of that guy, first?”
The middle-aged man closed his eyes slightly. Soon, the information the mysterious man was talking about flowed into his head. However, the middle-aged man didn’t look wholly convinced.
“If it’s around here…. Let’s leave it to his hands.”
“You don’t want to get involved, is that it?”
“It’s fine to think of it that way. It doesn’t matter.”
The middle-aged man and his trailing voice soon disappeared along with the Gate itself.
After confirming that the black Gate was closed for good, the mysterious man muttered to himself.
“What a coward….”
He took a look at all the unmoving humans lying on the ground. They were only knocked out for a little while and should regain their consciousness soon enough.
The man snorted derisively and extended his hand towards the humans. However…
He quietly withdrew it his hand.
“Well, there’s no need to raise a commotion.”
He also entered a small Gate and disappeared from the spot, as well.
Late at night.
Jin-Woo was sitting on his bedroom floor, busy taking a closer look at his shortsword. Currently, he was holding the ‘Demon King’s Shortsword’, a weapon that proved its worth several times over during the battle against the mutated ant monster.
[Item: Demon King’s Shortsword]
A shortsword taken from the Demon King, Baran. Using two ‘Demon King’s Shortswords’ will activate a set effect.
Set effect ‘Two Becomes One’: Extra attack power equal to the current Strength Stat will be added to each shortsword.
His eyes almost bulged out when he first saw that attack power, as well as its additional attribute. In fact, he now forgot how many times he re-read that information.
His reaction was justified, though. The ‘Baruka’s Dagger’, a rarity A item, only boasted the attack power of 110, after all. He searched through the Store just in case, but not many of the rarity S daggers being sold there exceeded 200 in their attack power.
‘Not only that….’
He really liked the fact that, when wielding both Demon King’s Shortswords at once, his Strength Stat would be converted and added to the weapons’ existing attack power.
His current Strength Stat had far exceeded the 200 mark, and was fast closing in on 250. And now, such a high Stat value would be added to the weapon’s attack power as well?
If he omitted the last digit and added up the numbers, then he’d still get to a frightening four times the attack power of what ‘Baruka’s Dagger’ possessed.
‘This is why it felt so good when I swung them around back then.’
Other Hunters would froth in their mouths like madmen and pounce on these shortswords, if they were able to see the item’s information like he could.
What about the longsword’s specs, then?
[Item: Demon King’s Longsword]
A longsword containing the power of the Demon King, Baran. Swinging the sword will activate the effect, ‘Tempest of White Flames’.
Effect ‘Tempest of White Flames’: Summons a persistent thunderstorm within the designated area.
A longsword had to be wielded with both of his hands, while he could hold one shortsword each in his individual hands. This meant that, quite obviously, the former would boast better attack damage than the latter.
However, the additional effect the longsword had been blessed with was not ‘obvious’ at all.
‘I can perform an AOE attack just by swinging this thing?’
It was a weapon that would no doubt prove its worth during a fight against multiple opponents.
He still felt chills run down his spine whenever he thought back to how Baran’s magic attacks rendered his Shadow Soldiers into a bunch of helpless sitting ducks.
Of course, the sword’s effect wasn’t as good as Baran’s magic, but it was still an excellent trump card to hold onto, nonetheless.
‘If it weren’t for my dagger skills, I might even consider using this longsword, instead….’
Jin-Woo was about to take a swing with the sword, only to stop himself in time.
The hours were getting late; but then, you’d still wake up from your sleep in sheer fright when a lightning strikes in the room next to yours, now wouldn’t you?
He didn’t want to shock his mother any more than he had already. So, he cautiously put the sword down.
‘Well, what a relief it was, at least.’
Indeed, it was a relief that his mother didn’t object to his decision.
That day, Jin-Woo explained everything that happened to him to his mother, minus the stuff about the System, of course.
He told her that, he coincidentally went through a Re-Awakening and became a rank S Hunter, and that he’d like to continue working as one in the future, too.
Mom was worried about him but eventually, decided to support her son all the way.
– Mom wants to see you do what you want with your life, my son.
The sole condition his mom put forward was that he was forbidden from pushing himself too far.
‘But, well, if I’m in a situation where I have to push myself to that extent, then….’
Jin-Woo shook his head since his imagination was about to take him to a pretty dark and horrifying place.
It was then, he abruptly remembered something else his mom told him.
– Was that why ‘he’ showed up? Because ‘he’ knew something like this would happen?
– Who’s ‘he’?
– While I was asleep in the hospital, I heard your father’s voice.
– What did he say?
– Well, he said…..
Mom added that she had never heard of someone else’s voice before and after that day, as well.
‘I guess Mom still hasn’t gotten over Dad yet.’
Even then, his mother didn’t try to stop her only son from being a Hunter. It was proof that she trusted him. Jin-Woo didn’t plan on betraying that trust any time soon.
That had always been his priority, his end goal.
He only got to this place precisely because he didn’t give up and struggled right till the end during one of the most dangerous moments in his life.
Now that his biggest worry, his mom saying no, had been addressed, there was nothing stopping him from entering dungeons now. He’d establish his own Guild, monopolise high-ranked dungeons and quickly raise his levels even higher.
Jin-Woo’s heart began beating faster and faster.
‘Well, now I have a different reason to raise my levels, don’t I?’
Igrit revealed himself after Jin-Woo called him out.
This guy had been with him for the longest time out of all his soldiers.
‘Not only that….’
He was also the lone Knight-grade soldier the System gifted him with.
In other words, one could say that Igrit was the closest to the System out of all his soldiers currently.
“I’m sure you’ll be able to talk once your grade goes up, right?”
Jin-Woo had so many things he wanted to ask Igrit. Of course, he couldn’t hear any answers from his trusty knight yet.
Igrit replied with silence, as usual.
If silence could be seen as words, then wouldn’t this guy qualify to be the most talkative soldier in the whole world?
Jin-Woo smirked to himself and scratched the side of his head. He then carefully picked up the Demon King’s weapons to store them back in his Inventory.
But then, Jin-Woo’s eyes caught a flash of light being reflected off an object.
‘….What was that?’
Jin-Woo’s eyes opened wider.
An item was gleaming brightly inside his Inventory.
< Chapter 127 > Fin.