The Hero Returns

Chapter 27



Chapter 27: Chapter 27


“Huff, huff.”


“Huff. W-we survived…”


The members who managed to flee from the dungeon collapsed to the floor as they came out.


A sense of relief took over when they realized that they had survived and their stamina had mainly been exhausted.


The only person with remaining strength was Ahn Min-seok, who had relatively high health stats. He held on without collapsing onto the floor and looked back anxiously at the dungeon’s entrance.


“The dungeon’s color…!”


Ahn Min-seok’s eyes widened. At his reaction, Lee Eun-mi looked back too and screamed in surprise.


“Y-yellow?”


“What happened to it?”


Ahn Min-seok’s eyes widened even more.


It was definitely still an orange level dungeon when they entered. Unless the party was all caught in a hallucinogenic skill, there was no doubt about it.


But the dungeon’s color changed in that short time? No, more importantly, were the dungeon colors able to change in the first place?


It was confusing. But at the same time, it made perfect sense.


<>


It was impossible to target a yellow level dungeon with this number of people and standards. To raid a yellow dungeon, they would at least need 10 awakeners of Lee Ju-ho’s level.


“Ahhhh—!”


Plop—


Kim Ba-reun, who was running out from the dungeon, hurriedly tripped over a stone and fell headfirst. Although it was not tough for an awakener to trip over a stone, it had also meant that he was that exhausted and had no stamina left.


“Are you alright?”


“Where is Ju-ho?” Ahn Min-seok and Lee Eun-mi approached and asked Kim Ba-reun, who had ran out hurriedly.


Kim Ba-reun held onto Ahn Min-seok’s arm for support and replied with trembling lips.


“H-he’s dead.”


“What?”


“What do you mean he’s dead?!” Lee Eun-mi asked in surprise. Ahn Min-seok screamed.


They had definitely seen Lee Ju-ho running behind them. How could he be dead?


Kim Ba-reun seemed to know something. Kim Ba-reun bit his lip as if it was something difficult to answer.


“That… that crazy bastard…” This was Kim Ba-reun’s reaction.


Crying and cursing. One would know just by looking at Kim Ba-reun exactly how he felt.


“That’s not possible…”


“Damn it!”


Lee Ju-ho died.


And on top of that, Kim Su-hyeun died, too.


At the very least, that was how they had perceived in their minds.


Act 3


“Ahhhh!”


Lee Ju-ho screamed fiercely.


He plopped onto the floor and gazed at the ceiling. The monsters corpses’ were strewn all around him.


“I can’t go any further. Please go on ahead.”


“Really?” Su-hyeun asked while wiping the sweat from his forehead.


Though he had been fighting, Su-hyeun looked more at ease than Lee Ju-ho. He still had plenty of mana. For this battle, he did not use any skills and instead prevailed with only his fighting ability.


“…Are you really going?” Lee Ju-ho, who has still laid on the floor, turned around the glanced at him. It seemed that he would get up soon enough. He was just being whiny.


“Yes, I’m going.”


In fact, Su-hyeun wanted to rest, too. He needed to rest up entirely as it would be a lot better if he could move again in perfect condition.


But…


[Time limit 00:30:28.]


There was another mission for them. It was a time-tagged mission where they had to complete the dungeon attack. The conditions were simple.


[Destroy the summoning stone.]


A mission that specified its own target.


And there was a time limit given for the mission. Both Lee Ju-ho and Su-hyeun had no way of finding out what would happen when the time was up for this mission, but it was certain that there would be significant risks as there was a penalty given from the system.


“Ah, honestly…” Lee Ju-ho stood up from his position in the end.


“Is this really the end?”


“How would I know?”


“Ack!” Lee Ju-ho tore at his hair again. Was this a habit of his? Amused, Su-hyeun smiled. It seemed that Lee Ju-ho was a more pleasant person than expected.


After Lee Ju-ho realized that Su-hyeun was stronger than him and that he wasn’t actually the party’s leader, his attitude had changed.


<>


But there was no doubt about his skills.


At least he would not be much of an obstacle. It wasn’t easy getting to B-rank either.


“There isn’t much time left.”


“What?” Lee Ju-ho, who struggled to get up from his seat, asked.


Su-hyeun tilted his head, referring to the end of the cave in the distance.


“I can see it there.”


“Umm…” Lee Ju-ho narrowed his eyes and looked closely into the distance where Su-hyeun was referring to.


At the end of the cave, a gigantic blue stone could be seen.


“That’s… the summoning stone?”


“Most likely.”


“So, all this will end when we break it into pieces?” Lee Ju-ho’s face suddenly brightened.


It seemed that things had been quite tough on him all this time. On the contrary, Su-hyeun’s face darkened.


<>


A growing dungeon.


The color of dungeons was usually determined by the special mana from the monsters that inhabited it, but there were also times when a dungeon changed color as well. It was the same as this instance.


The summoning stone.


A medium that summoned monsters from a different dimension. As long as it existed, monsters will be summoned endlessly. As the number of monsters increased, the dungeon’s color would turn closer to purple, and an outbreak would be inevitable.


There would be a huge number of monsters. With this number of monsters, it would cause the death of over ten thousand people in the Gyeonggi Province as its epicenter.


<>


Su-hyeun started walking towards the summoning stone.


There were still some monsters left around the summoning stone. The types of monsters were of a wide variety, and it seemed that the monsters were summoned without any discrimination.


<>


The monsters were wary of Su-hyeun.


Lee Ju-ho stuck right behind Su-hyeun and muttered. “This… the numbers look quite a lot, though?”


He didn’t notice from afar, but only when he went closer did he realize.


There were too many monsters around them, watching them closely. It looked like they were in hundreds.


Gulp—


The nervous Lee Ju-ho grasped his sword even tighter.


Fortunately, the monsters did not jump right at them. They were drooling, watching, and whetting their appetites. No, it wasn’t anything good at all.


“How long are you going to watch us?” Su-hyeun opened his mouth to speak.


As he looked behind the summoning stone, he saw a shadow slowly appear. Hidden behind that gigantic stone was a shadow that donned a long robe.


“You could have come a bit closer. Hahaha.” The sudden burst of laughter made the others feel uncomfortable.


That shrill voice and laughter were so horrific that it was hardly recognizable that it was a human. Lee Ju-ho had to retreat immediately at that sound.


No, it wasn’t only his voice that was creepy. His magic’s concentration and properties could also be felt emanating from him. Everything about him was creepy.


“A… human?”


It was a human in the dungeon.


This was Lee Ju-ho’s first time experiencing this. His hands shook in astonishment. “He’s not a human.”


Flick—


Su-hyeun flicked his finger and a flame appeared over the hooded man’s head.


The flame took off the hooded man’s hood, and he accepted it without trying to avoid it.


As soon as the hood fell off, the hooded man’s face was revealed.


“A-a-a skeleton?”


“Excuse me? Who are you calling skeleton?” The hooded man spoke with frustration. “I’d hope you would call me Richie instead.”


It seemed that he had wanted to reveal his identity to them all along. It could be the same reason why he had not stopped them from taking off his hood.


However, Su-hyeun sneered at the skeleton’s words. “What do you mean Richie, you fraud?”


Would his face have looked crumpled if he wasn’t?


The skeleton turned towards Su-hyeun. It’s empty eye socket looked towards Su-hyeun and starting using its frightening magic.


“What does a little boy like you know…”


“Of course I do. More than you do.”


He might have presented himself as Richie, but Su-hyeun knew very well that he wasn’t.


The real Richie didn’t look like this. The real Richie had the ability to construct himself to appear more like a human being. Moreover, the magic concentration, factor, and properties he had felt were quite different from the real Richie. In other words, he was a fake Richie.


“I don’t know how you’ll think of this,” Su-hyeun said as if he was hurt.


“You’re a fraud.”


“Hick.” Lee Ju-ho stifled a burst of laughter from behind as if he had found it funny.


The skeleton was speechless. Probably because his feelings had intensified, the monsters’ cries around him had intensified as well.


Kyaaa—!


As the hundred monsters cried out in unison, the sound was deafening. Lee Ju-ho quickly stopped his laughter and got ready to attack.


“Ah, seriously? I shouldn’t have laughed.” Lee Ju-ho’s face quickly turned tearful.


Regardless, Su-hyeun had his eyes fixed on the skeleton in front of them.


<>


He was the one who was using the summoning stone to summon monsters.


The evil summoner who later summoned and manipulated monsters, and later caused the death of ten thousands of people was just in front of them.


“Just endure for three minutes.”


“What?”


“For three minutes only. Three minutes.”


“Please, Su-hyeun…”


Even though Lee Ju-ho was tearing, Su-hyeun was walking towards the summoner.


Slowly, step by step.


As he took each step and narrowed their distance, the summoner’s magic intensified.


“Your body and soul will suffer forever.”


Step—


“Well, that’s only if you win.”


Squelch—


The ground was left with Su-hyeun’s footprints as he took each step.


“You look exhausted; aren’t you pushing it too much?”


The summoner knew.


“All these kids in the dungeon are my hands and feet. The one who was fighting them up until a while ago isn’t getting exhausted?”


Su-hyeun’s physical condition was not perfect. He was drained from fighting all the monsters endlessly. Although it was evident that Su-hyeun was strong, there were still more than a hundred monsters left with the summoner.


It was evident who would be the winner.


“Although my stamina is nearly depleted…”


Burning—


Su-hyeun’s surroundings suddenly gushed out with blazing heat.


As the flame heated up, the summoner quickly rose up to his feet. The heat from the flames was fatal to the summoner who had dark magic properties.


He had thought that Su-hyeun’s stamina was nearly depleted.


At the flustered summoner’s reaction, Su-hyeun raised his head and looked at him.


“But my magic is still quite plentiful.”


On his way here, he had purposefully saved up his magic.


All just for this moment.


And…


[Transfiguration skill: Berserk is used.]


[Your health is low.]


[Your ability has increased in proportion to your lack of strength.]


[Your health has been temporarily restored.]


[Strength has increased significantly.]


[Ability has increased significantly.]


Su-hyeun’s body turned fully red.


His breathing got better, and his body was filled with energy.


Su-hyeun had been pushing himself to the limit, all just for this moment.


Su-hyeun was in his best condition ever.



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