The Hero Returns

Chapter 22



Chapter 22: Chapter 22


Woong—


Magic pooled at the tip of the sword. At the same time, Su-hyeun’s sword stabbed into the Lizardcop’s eyes. Su-hyeun avoided the Lizardcop’s nails while letting go of a scream. He drew his body in, sliding amongst their legs.


Creak—


There was a Lizardcop standing at the back.


Su-hyeun’s new form that had slid along the ground disappeared from that same position.


The Lizardcop lost track of Su-hyeun’s movement, turned its head around, and found him soon after. It was looking in the wrong direction right from the start.


Su-hyeun wasn’t situated left nor right, nor was he under it, but just right above.


Kyaaa—!


Su-hyeun’s sword penetrated both the Lizardcop’s eye and head. The once screaming Lizardcop had started to go on a rampage, but Su-hyeun did not let go of his sword.


Crack—


Su-hyeun wrapped his other arm around the Lizardcop’s neck and strangled it. The Lizardcop shook its body harder to resist the force.


[You used the skill Berserk.]


It was a skill that maximized one’s physical abilities depending on one’s fatigue, health, and blood loss which Su-hyeun obtained back when he fought the second floor’s boss, the Shayres’ chief.


For a long time, Su-hyeun had been working hard to increase his proficiency with this skill. As a result, though there might have been a slight loss in proficiency, Su-hyeun could now activate the skill at any time.


[Your Strength has been increased partially.]


[Your Agility has increased partially.]


[Your Health has been lost partially.]


Su-hyeun used all of his available strength to strangle the Lizardcop. After being stabbed in its eye and head, the strangled Lizardcop’s body stiffened.


The result might have been different if it was unharmed, but since its head was punctured, it didn’t have much strength.


Flop—


After Su-hyeun let go, the Lizardcop’s body fell to the ground.


The others looked blankly at Su-hyeun, who flushed slightly at their stares.


“What are you doing?”


Su-hyeun looked at the party’s leader, Lee Ju-ho, and spoke.


“Not dealing with the others.”


One Lizardcop died but the remaining four Lizardcops each lost their only eye and vision.


Moreover, in a situation where his power was predominate, everything had been well set up. The battle against the Lizardcops ended quickly.


As the battle ended, Lee Ju-ho verified if there were any casualties. Indeed, there were none.


“You fought better than I had expected,” Lee Ju-ho said as he approached Su-hyeun.


Su-hyeun was getting rid of the blood on his sword after the battle.


“Is that a compliment? Thank you, I guess.”


“Are you possibly the Kim Su-hyeun everyone is talking about?” Even if he knew that the possibility was low, all he could do now was clarify. The abilities which he had showcased earlier were unbelievable, much like the acclaimed Kim Su-hyeun.


“Just think of me as an awakener who fights relatively well.”


“Mm…”


What an ambiguous reply.


But it was obviously not positive. Lee Ju-ho had thought that Su-hyeun probably thought it rude to be asked such a question.


<>


Lee Ju-ho was an awakener with a magic level of four. He could at least sense that the magic properties which Su-hyeun had were not of the same standards as he had.


Regardless of how well Su-hyeun was as a fighter, it was impossible for him as a C-rank awakener to change his ranking.


It was an unnecessary suspicion. Lee Ju-ho thought of it that way and shook his head. Anyway, he was glad to see that Su-hyeun had fought well up until now.


“If you have the chance, do take a special rank evaluation. According to your standards, there shouldn’t be a problem for you to obtain a B-rank.”


A special rank evaluation does not take into account one’s magic level or factor but instead looks upon one’s stats and combat sense and other attributes to proceed with the assessment. It was the type of evaluation that rarely took place as it was cumbersome and also rare for an awakener to be that capable, exceeding his magic level.


But Lee Ju-ho thought that Su-hyeun had better capabilities compared to his magic level and factor.


<>


At the same time, when Lee Ju-ho was flustered at how strong the Lizardcops were, he was also able to verify his team member’s abilities personally. He was relieved that his ally had such extraordinary abilities, though it might not have been the same if he were an enemy.


“Thank you for saying that. I will definitely consider it after completing this dungeon attack.”


Su-hyeun looked around after replying Lee Ju-ho. Ever since he showcased his abilities, Su-hyeun was always observing his team member’s facial expressions. He wanted to find out who else felt hostility for the fact that there was a member who had outstanding skills.


<>


After gathering after himself, Su-hyeun turned and followed the party from behind.


<>


The monsters that appeared subsequently were of similar standards as the Lizardcops. Still, the others knew that Lee Ju-ho was stronger than the monsters, so they weren’t too big a deal.


Above all, Su-hyeun’s performance had exceeded expectations. Su-hyeun continued with a similar performance as the B-rank awakener Lee Ju-ho.


“This dungeon attack should be smooth sailing if it continues on like this.”


“Yeah. As compared to when we first entered, the difficulty has not increased. Rather, the monsters that appeared subsequently were about the same as the Lizardcops.”


They had let their guards down. Lee Ju-ho, too, had no longer felt threatened nor any danger as compared to the start.


Kim Ye-eun was stuck closely to Su-hyeun.


“Did you know?”


“What is there to now?” Su-hyeun felt uncomfortable with Kim Ye-eun sticking around him and trying to engage in a conversation with him. It was annoying, and the topics were mostly about his personal life.


“Aren’t you acting a little uncomfortable?”


“Because you’re always asking about things that are difficult to answer.”


“I want to give you a piece of good information. Don’t you want it?”


Good information? Su-hyeun shut his mouth, contemplating whether or not to listen to it. According to his experience up until now, she would continue to speak from here.


And sure enough…


“You know, those two people there.”


Her eyes darted quickly to Lee Ju-ho and Kim Ba-reun, who were both leading the team in the front.


“I dug up some information about them before; they have quite a bad reputation.”


“What do you mean by that?”


“There were a lot of problems when they were dividing the resources after dungeon attacks. They either divide resources unfairly to their team members or would request for more resources by coming up with excuses using the accidents which happened in the dungeon.”


Su-hyeun seemed to have understood where she was coming from. For someone who had experienced dungeon attacks for quite a while, it would be common for him to have done this if he is obsessed with money. They would argue on the distribution of the Ether stones. If some disagreed, they would use violence on them. Such awakeners would never have accepted others stronger than themselves.


“I’ll remember that,” Su-hyeun answered.


Kim Ye-eun gave a curious look at Su-hyeun, who did not respond much to such a sensitive story.


In fact, it was not something that Su-hyeun was interested in.


<>


There were tons of people like them with such evil character. The real dangerous ones were those who created accidents just to reduce the number of resources that would be divided amongst the group.


According to Kim Ye-eun’s words, at least Lee Ju-ho wasn’t that bad. But of course, he wasn’t so nice to be entirely cleared of that possibility either.


Although they had entered quite deep into the dungeon, there weren’t any more monsters that appeared. The scale of the dungeon was more extensive than expected. It seemed that there was no end to it even after having walked for hours.


<>


The dungeon got bigger as they explored further in. The dungeon was initially 20 meters wide but had now grown five times larger.


<>


“There — isn’t that a door over there?” Ahn Min-seok narrowed his eyes and squinted into the distance.


A huge door was located at the end of this dungeon. The thick and dark-colored door seemed to be the entrance to another dungeon.


“A door? In this kind of place?”


It was the type of door that even the most experienced Lee Ju-ho had never seen before.


Although he had entered dungeons similar to this one various times, he had never even heard of one that had an artificial iron door in it.


“What shall we do?” The same anxiousness that he had felt when they first entered the dungeon returned.


Ahn Min-seok hit his chest hard at Lee Ju-ho’s question. “What do you mean? We should obviously enter. What difference does a door make?”


“That’s right. This door might be the end of this dungeon, too. It’s ridiculous to turn back now.”


Most of the responses were in agreement. Su-hyeun watched them silently.


Lee Ju-ho turned the question to Su-hyeun.


“Mr. Su-hyeun, what do you think?”


“I was hoping to turn back…”


Was it an unexpected answer?


The others’ expressions stiffened at Su-hyeun’s words. Su-hyeun then changed his words slightly. “But if everyone is in agreement, I’ll follow as well.”


“Phew.”


“Ha.”


A thankful sigh of relief.


With this, everyone was in agreement. Although Lee Ju-ho was conflicted, eventually, he had no thoughts to turn back. Lee Ju-ho grabbed the doorknob as he nodded his head.


“Then, I’ll open it now.”


Creak—


As he pushed forward, the heavy iron door opened. Lee Ju-ho took the lead, and each of the members entered into the dark.


Behind the door was a vast and spacious cave. Su-hyeun’s eyes narrowed as he looked around the dimly lit place.


<>


The others might have thought that this was the end of the dungeon, but Su-hyeun thought otherwise.


<>


The amount of magic felt in the dungeon from earlier was different. The others probably had felt the same, as they started talking with anxiety in their voices.


[Welcome into the dungeon.]


[The trial will start from this moment on.]


Suddenly, a message appeared not only in Su-hyeun’s but also in everyone’s minds.


Creak—


Boom—!


The door behind them closed tightly with a massive sound.



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