The Hero Returns

Chapter 25



Chapter 25: Chapter 25


Act 2


Drip, drip—


Su-hyeun looked at the corpse of Kim Ye-eun, whose neck had been broken.


Su-hyeun first had his suspicions when she first started talking to him at the dungeon’s entrance. Whatever her intention, it was thanks to her that she caught Su-hyeun’s attention.


“Honestly, those people felt uncomfortable.”


He had the same opinion.


Su-hyeun had already known what would happen in the future and had his suspicions, but she was different. Just based purely on her intuition, she felt strange suspicions towards them.


But…


<>


There was nothing suspicious about Lee Ju-ho and the others from Su-hyeun’s point of view. At least, Su-hyeun could not understand the reason why they had felt uncomfortable.


Subsequently, Kim Ye-eun had been trying to strike a conversation with Su-hyeun from the start.


They were suspicious of each other and viewed each other negatively, but he wouldn’t have been sure with just that reason alone.


<>


Su-hyeun had been observing the members’ faces while he was fighting the monsters for the first time.


There were only two whose faces had turned foul: Kim Ye-eun and Lee Eun-mi.


Unlike the others who were relieved that there was someone whose skills were outstanding, both their facial expressions were not good. Amongst them, Su-hyeun was more suspicious of Kim Ye-eun.


Although Lee Eun-mi’s face was openly flushed and angry at Su-hyeun, Kim Ye-eun had tried to hide her expression.


<>


But of course, she shouldn’t be labeled as a real awakener of the Dump Guild. Technically speaking, she was one of the few hopefuls who wished to be part of the criminal syndicate, Dump Guild. Whatever was bound to happen here could be related to one of the few special requirements or rites of the Dump Guild.


<>


It was several years before Dump Guild was made known to the public. Up until now, only a few people knew of its existence.


“This… what should we do?”


“What do you mean? We’ll have to make our escape!” Su-hyeun looked at the flustered party.


Thankfully, the back door was open. The once boastful Ahn Min-seok was now the most cowardly and was already running towards the wide-open door.


Lee Ju-ho shouted towards Su-hyeun.


“Come over here quickly! We must run!”


How could he still be called the party’s leader?


Judging from his actions, Kim Ye-eun’s information about Lee Ju-ho seemed to be false. Truthfully, it didn’t really matter.


“Please return first.”


“What?”


“If we escape just like that, we’ll all die.”


[You have 30 seconds left.]


There was no time.


Lee Ju-ho shouted one last time in urgency.


“What are you actually planning to do now?”


“Leave me alone and run. I will follow behind soon after.”


“What nonsense are you spouting…”


[You have 20 seconds left.]


Time seemed to be flowing past at a high speed. The others had already started running.


His friend Kim Ba-reun was shouting at the top of his lungs, asking him to come over. She was frustrated since he was still hesitating when even a second was too precious. Kim Ye-eun’s betrayal was something that could be dealt with later.


“Don’t worry and run. I have confidence that I can escape successfully.”


Was there something else that was left? Lee Ju-ho, who had never seen Su-hyeun use his other skills, soon made up his mind.


“If so… I do hope to see you alive and well.” Lee Ju-ho turned and started running towards the back door.


He used Swift to make his run, and soon his figure ran into the distance.


[You have 10 seconds left.]


10 seconds.


What an urgent situation.


But now that everyone had left, Su-hyeun felt a sense of relief.


“I’m finally alone.”


He stretched his neck and then his legs.


He felt stiffer after a long period of restricted movement. He had to walk on thin ice with others around, and it was more inconvenient and uncomfortable than he thought.


<>


Su-hyeun grinned at the thought of his distance with Lee Ju-ho.


<>


As they quickly escaped, the distance between them lengthened. Furthermore, Lee Ju-ho had no time to take care of Su-hyeun in this situation.


“Now…”


Creak, creak—


The locked door started to open slowly.


Soon, the last message appeared.


[Please survive.]


Slam—!


The door opened.


Kyaaa—!


Hundreds of monsters rushed out in unison. The massive horde approached Su-hyeun.


Light fire wrapped around Su-hyeun’s body.


Su-hyeun, who used Flame on his body and sword, grinned.


“Now, I’m feeling more refreshed.”


Kyaaaa—!


Su-hyeun’s new form slid through the monsters with the flame.


At that moment.


Slash—!


Splat—!


Blood gushed out from the monsters. Charred flesh was scattered, and red hot flames rose. The monsters faltered back.


Su-hyeun’s new form rose and blocked the way of some of the monsters that retreated.


“Where are you heading?”


Grrrr—


Was it the system’s instinct?


The monsters that were still in front of Su-hyeun were still trying to chase the other members who were running towards the back door — the monsters did not immediately head for Su-hyeun, as if they were slightly intimidated by him.


Stomp—


Su-hyeun closed the back door with his hand. As the large door closed loudly, Su-hyeun turned around.


“If you want to go past me…”


[You have used the skill Leap.]


[Excluding the target, all other surrounding enemies have perceived you as their enemy.]


At that moment, the monsters’ eyes that were looking at Su-hyeun had turned red.


“Kill me first, you little cowards.”


The legs that were running like crazy suddenly stopped.


Soon, Lee Ju-ho had caught up with Kim Ba-reun. He was already lagging behind the party and suddenly stopped in his tracks.


“Hey, what are you doing?”


“I just don’t think that this is nice of us.”


“What?”


At that moment, Kim Ba-reun could not understand Lee Ju-ho’s words, but it did not actually take him too long to understand.


“Go ahead first.”


Lee Ju-ho then turned around. Fully aware of what Lee Ju-ho was thinking, Kim Ba-reun blocked him in his way.


“Hey, are you crazy? How are you going to help him?”


“Well, you can’t be so sure. Su-hyeun might survive if I go to his aid.”


Why had this thought come in so late?


At the time, the sudden thought of facing death had instilled fear in him. Thus he made the decision to escape there and then. He did not know that he would regret his decision now. He could have run even faster, but the reason why he could not was also because of his conscience.


“He might have survived it, too. No, definitely…” Lee Ju-ho might have made up his mind as he walked past Kim Ba-reun, who was standing in front of him.


“Hey, if we just make our escape and live well and proper…”


Lee Ju-ho tapped on Kim Ba-reun’s shoulder and spoke.


“How am I going to live with this shame in the future?”


Lee Ju-ho turned around and ran in the opposite direction, running faster than before.


The whole way back, he kept thinking about whether it was right to have made his escape or if he should have returned.


He was unable to make a swift decision as he was faced with death. His legs ran slower.


At that moment, if he could not make a decision, it felt as if he would regret it his whole life.


There were times when he could only make decisions based on his emotions rather than being objective, and that was the exact moment for Lee Ju-ho now. It made him feel better after he made up his decision to return.


Eventually, Lee Ju-ho ran without rest in the direction towards where the monsters pouring out.


That strange feeling had been around for quite some time.


No matter how far they ran, they never met the monsters that were chasing them. Regardless if Su-hyeun could have stopped the monsters, he would not have been able to stop all of them.


They definitely thought that way.


<>


Could it be that the horde of monsters that poured out was weaker than expected?


<>


As the door opened slightly, he could see through the slight opening that the horde of monsters was into the hundreds.


He was blocking that massive number of monsters by himself? Regardless of how outstanding Su-hyeun was, it was too tough to handle alone.


<>


He gripped hard onto his sword.


He had made the right decision to return.


He started running even faster. He squeezed more magic and used it on the skill Swift.


Not long after, the door which he had run away from became visible.


But…


<>


Trudge, trudge—


His feet became slower. As he went closer towards the door, he felt high levels of magic. The level was of a much higher magic rating than what he had now.


Moreover…


<>


Even though he was quite a distance from the door, he could still clearly feel the heat, and it was hard to say that it was from a monster. On top of that, the door was closed.


“It couldn’t be?”


Lee Ju-ho hastily ran towards the door and stopped in front of it. He could feel the heat right there.


It was tough to even grab the door’s handle without injecting magic in his hands. Lee Ju-ho hurriedly pushed the door inwards.


Creak—


The heavy door opened, and the interior was revealed.


Lee Ju-ho’s eyes narrowed at the sight which unfolded before him.


“This… what’s this…”


The monsters’ corpses were quickly piling up and hot flames were hovering above them. The dungeon was filled with its heat.


The blood running along the floor dried up, and the monsters’ corpses had turned black from the burning flame.


It seemed like there were hundreds of monsters. It was as much as Lee Ju-ho had expected — no, even more than he had expected.


<>


The answer to the question was pre-determined since there was only one person left in this room.


Lee Ju-ho turned around and spotted Su-hyeun, who was left all alone.


“Didn’t I tell you to run away?” Su-hyeun’s voice came from behind.


<>


Maybe he was nervous?


Lee Ju-ho turned around in surprise and distanced himself. Su-hyeun looked at Lee Ju-ho with blood all over his body.


“Why did you return?”


As soon as they made eye contact, Lee Ju-ho felt that the temperature in the room had risen multiple folds from before.


It was the level of magic concentration and magic factor.


This wasn’t the Su-hyeun he knew. His gaze, his atmosphere, his everything was different.


Gulp—


By some chance, he was it.


“You…” Lee Ju-ho was confident as he looked at the Su-hyeun, who stood in front of him.


“…are Kim Su-hyeun?”



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