The Hero Returns

Chapter 515

Chapter 515: Chapter 515

At first, Hak-joon was puzzled.

Just why was Su-hyeun doing this? For what exactly?

The personality of the “Su-hyeun” Hak-joon knew was definitely not like this. Indeed, he would keep quiet if it was not necessary to raise his voice. He would also prefer to stay quiet in some corner if it was possible to do so.

Wasn’t it obvious when looking at things he liked?

He preferred coffee over booze. He chose deserted little streets over avenues teeming with people. He liked quiet stillness over a noisy environment.

On top of it all, he also didn’t speak in a forceful tone. Even if his personality had changed somehow, he still wouldn’t have started this event match without a good reason.

“Right, there must be a reason for it.”

That was the first thought that popped up in Hak-joon’s head when Su-hyeun suggested making some changes to the tournament’s format.

That was why he asked for a reason. Sure enough, Su-hyeun provided the answer to Hak-joon’s question.

“You said war?” Hak-joon had to ask again, sounding just as confused as before.

However, it seemed that no one present had understood Su-hyeun’s meaning. In fact, they were getting angrier at Su-hyeun’s combative words. Their hostility toward Su-hyeun when he made confusing declarations seemed to have grown even more.

“What the hell are you even talking about?”

“You’ve been saying something about us being pathetic, and it’s fake peace, but…”

“War? What war?”

One person raised their voice, prompting many others to speak up one after another.

Mob mentality was indeed a strange thing, as they demonstrated just now.

Even if someone else held the same view as you, you would normally hesitate to say something, but with a snap of a finger, you would all start saying similar things without holding back.

The overall issue was with their mindset.

“Today is also the Ranking Wars, isn’t it?” Su-hyeun muttered quietly at their dissatisfied questioning.

Daian Gedeck, standing among the awakeners, heard that and flinched a little. He wasn’t sure why, but what Su-hyeun said inexplicably made him recall something from the past.

Su-hyeun continued, “Do you all remember the indigo dungeon that appeared during the first Ranking Wars?”

“The indigo dungeon?”

“Now that I think about it…”

That was a story they all had forgotten about after a number of years passed by.

During the first Ranking Wars, the indigo dungeon that showed up on that day caused so much chaos in America for a while. Thankfully, the incident didn’t result in massive losses, but one wrong move could have resulted in the destruction of not just San Francisco but many other nearby cities, too.

“I was the one who stopped that.”

Was he suddenly trying to boast about his accomplishments?

While everyone started making puzzled faces, Su-hyeun continued, “It was me who defeated the guild master of the Dump Guild in Guangzhou. And before that happened, I was the first one to raid the green dungeon. And also, I was the one who stopped the worldwide dungeon outbreak, too. Well, I have done much more than these, but by now, you surely get what I’m trying to say here.”

The contestants, who got triggered after their pride was hurt, hurriedly clamped their mouths shut after Su-hyeun said all those things.

In the blink of an eye, the whole arena became deathly silent. Not just the awakeners, but even the spectators maintained their silence.

“Let me ask all of you, what happens next?”

What happens next?

None of them had thought about it. No, wait, it would be a lie to say they had never thought about it.

They thought that they didn’t need to worry about it.

“Did you all think that I’d do something to save you again? Is that what it is?” the corners of Su-hyeun’s lips distorted.

Even without trying, anyone could read his expression. Su-hyeun was sneering at them.

To all those people who took him for granted and thought that he would take care of everything, as well as the whole world that should be watching the broadcast, Su-hyeun asked all of them, “What makes you think that?”

“Isn’t it obvious? This is the world we live in, after all. The world you live in, too.”

Now that answer sounded like someone took a peek at the answers sheet.

It certainly sounded a lot more pragmatic and “realistic” than things like for the sake of justice or the preciousness of life and so on and so forth.

“Sure, that sounds about right. I also think that way. But what if something serious happens? Something that I can’t stop for a reason beyond my control?”

“Are you trying to threaten us?!”

Someone asked that, only for Su-hyeun to make an even deeper sneer.

A threat?

He never thought that his words could be interpreted that way if it wasn’t for that awakener’s complaints.

“When you’re drowning, I might not be there to save you right away. Does that sound like a threat to you?”

Everyone fell silent once more.

“You better discard the notion of me somehow taking care of everything when the ‘next time’ happens. You gave up climbing the tower just because the number of dungeons decreased. You felt content with what you already had, caught the celebrity bug, and decided to live easy lives. Yet you want someone to come and save your sorry butts? Aren’t you ashamed?”

Sometimes, it wasn’t what was being said that mattered but who said it.

Now was one of those times.

If someone else said what Su-hyeun said right now, then it would just come across as incessant nagging. However, Su-hyeun was responsible for stopping several world-ending catastrophes already. He was someone who worked harder than anyone else.

Anyone who knew that fact couldn’t dare argue that he was wrong. They even began to realize that, indeed, they had been unconsciously believing that Su-hyeun would solve everything somehow.

“I think I get the gist of what you’re saying,” Daian Gedeck took a step forward.

He was surrounded by his undead summoned creatures materialized through a dense blackish aura. Unlike the last time when he focused on the numbers game, he seemed to have focused on raising the quality of his summons this time.

He was known as the strongest necromancer before Su-hyeun showed up, and as if to prove that, he surrounded himself with summons that emitted even stronger aura than most average S-Ranks.

“That’s why I want to ask you a question. This war you’re talking about, is it inevitable?”

Su-hyeun nodded, “Yes. Unfortunately so.”

There was not a speck of hesitation in his reply.

The thing was, his affirmation had never been wrong so far.

“I see.”

It could be that only Su-hyeun knew about something about the future. However, even if that wasn’t true, one should never discount his gut feeling considering everything he had accomplished so far.

It was logical to consider the possibility of a situation where Su-hyeun was not around to lend his assistance. In reality, the period Su-hyeun actively worked as an awakener was far shorter than when he did not.

Simply put, it was unrealistic to rely on him for everything forever.

“In that case, let us continue from where we left off.”

Until now, Su-hyeun was technically in the same shoes as the rest of the contestants. There might have been differences in rankings, but well, everyone here was a participant of the tournament called the Ranking Wars.

But from this moment on, that would change.

Su-hyeun was no longer a simple contestant. He now occupied the role of an examiner, judging every awakener currently in this arena.

And Daian Gedeck was certainly up for the challenge.

“Alright, let’s do that.”

Su-hyeun also never planned to go on a long rant in the first place.

It seemed that not just Daian Gedeck but everyone else had more or less understood what Su-hyeun was trying to say.

A few awakeners maintained disgruntled faces as if their pride took precedence over everything. However, there was no point in explaining to them if they still couldn’t figure it out by now.

It would just be a waste of Su-hyeun’s time in that case.


Daian Gedeck’s summons made their moves first. Their number was 10 or so.

Looking like indistinct blobs of black ink, these things quickly pounced on Su-hyeun from various angles.

At the same time…

[Soul Catcher]


Something traveled through the shadows to restrict Su-hyeun’s body. It was Daian Gedeck’s skill.

“A combined assault of summons and a support skill, huh?”

Su-hyeun lightly flicked his finger.

His fingertip pointed in the various directions of Daian Gedeck’s summons that were rushing in at him.


Bang, booooom—!

The summons pointed at by Su-hyeun’s finger burst into flames and exploded to bits.

Daian Gedeck let out a hollow chuckle as if he knew this would happen. Even then, Su-hyeun’s evaluation was rather generous, “That’s not bad at all.”


He shifted his gaze somewhere else. There were still plenty of contestants who hadn’t challenged him yet.

Maybe it was because of the “discussion” earlier, but quite a few of them were rousing up their fighting spirit while intense flames burned in their eyes.

Someone got provoked by Su-hyeun’s words, while some felt their pride had been wounded. Their individual reasons were different, but whatever the case might be, they had become much more combative than before.

It was what Su-hyeun wanted, anyway.

“No, wait, I guess it’s still a bit lacking?”

Su-hyeun’s thoughts reached there. He lowered his sword and raised his empty hand. Then, he beckoned them with his finger, “Don’t be scared. I’ll go easy on you.”

He deliberately stepped a bit more on their pride.

“Come at me already.”

<hr />

This was a massive scoop.

Whenever the annual Ranking Wars was held, a scoop was bound to follow, but the events of this year’s tournament were incomparably more shocking than everything else that happened in the past.

First of all, unlike last year, Su-hyeun was participating. That fact alone was already a big scoop, yet a new type of match, the event match, was created without any warning.

Not only that…

“Kim Su-hyeun’s declaration…!”

Su-hyeun’s actions or words during the event match went beyond the level of some regular scoop.

“Yes, it was the right call to cough up so much money to buy the ticket.”

A ticket for the Ranking Wars traded for an arm and a leg. Even if the seat you bought was located in a distant corner somewhere, it still cost over 10,000 U.S. dollars. A courtside seat would easily cost way past hundreds of thousands of dollars even.

But now, paying so much money proved to be absolutely worth every penny in the end. The mere fact that you would get to report on breaking news like this right away basically guaranteed millions of hits online.

Tap, taptaptap—

An American reporter named Isabella was hurriedly tapping on the keypad of her notebook PC, but her hands came to a brief pause just as her article neared completion.

“I wonder if is it really okay to report on something like this.”

The contents of the article were rather provocative.

In a way, one could interpret Su-hyeun’s declaration as arrogant and impudent. Also, his warning could potentially cause great instability around the world that only barely regained some semblance of peace recently.

Of course, she wasn’t the only reporter watching the Ranking Wars, but even so, she had a feeling that the contents of her article were not something one should carelessly report.

“You should just publish it as is.”

“Oh my god?!” Isabella, lost to her dilemma, jumped up in fright when a voice suddenly came from right next to her. She quickly turned her head and got another surprise. “M—Mister Rohan?”

“It’s a good article. It’s right to the point, has a sense of realism, and has no distortion of facts.”

The one talking to her was none other than Gordon Rohan, the organizer of the Ranking Wars.

She barely managed to calm her shocked heart and patted herself on the chest. “B—but, even so, this is a big matter, and I fear that the ripples will be immense.”

“And that’s what needs to happen.”

“I beg your pardon?”

“That’s the whole reason why that guy decided to cause such a scene in the first place, after all. Can’t you tell?”

Gordon Rohan’s expression seemed to be rebuking her for her slow wits, causing Isabella to momentarily forget what she wanted to say.

“He deliberately spoke out loudly so that not just the contestants but even every spectator could hear him. Meaning he wanted everyone to hear. He obviously knows that reporters like you are also present today.”

“What you’re saying is he was deliberately trying to tell us his view?”

“Something like that. That’s why, at the very least, you don’t have to mind Kim Su-hyeun’s moods anymore.”

After listening to Gordon Rohan, Isabella pondered some more, then proceeded to put the finishing touches to her article.

Gordon Rohan, having succeeded in his task of mobilizing the hesitant reporters, shifted his attention back to Su-hyeun down by the arena, currently “entertaining” the rest of the contestants.

If he wanted to, Su-hyeun could’ve swept everyone away in one go, yet he was still testing each and every contestant’s abilities right now, just like what he said earlier.

“Why is he doing this, though?”

Gordon Rohan now knew what Su-hyeun’s true intention was. He also understood the reason for Su-hyeun’s participation in the Ranking Wars despite how annoyed he was with the idea.

Su-hyeun entered the tournament not because of the prize money or the ranking but for this very moment. There must’ve been a good reason for him to do so.

The “Su-hyeun” Gordon Rohan knew was not someone who acted according to some unexplainable anxiety, after all.

“Could it be that in not too distant future…?”

Gordon Rohan looked at the unfolding mayhem down at the arena and quietly muttered to himself, “Something really serious might be in store for us in the near future, then..”

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