Chapter 410: Chapter 410
For a while, stiff storm winds madly whipped about.
The ma.s.sive storm chopped and ripped apart the limbs and flesh of the monsters that appeared outside the dungeon. The winds then got “sucked” inside the dungeon next.
As for the people outside, they dared not get anywhere closer and did their best to hold their ground, hoping not to get tangled up in the aftermaths.
The winds dissipated pretty soon afterward, replaced quickly by the acrid stench of blood that stung people’s nostrils. The b.l.o.o.d.y odor came from several monsters that emerged from the dungeon only to be ripped to pieces.
“Just what the h.e.l.l happened here?” Minister Placé quickly scanned his surroundings, and that was when he discovered a familiar face. “Kim Sung-in?”
Kim Sung-in was sheathing his sword and turning around to move some distance away. Minister Placé was about to rush up to him, but in the blink of an eye, Kim Sung-in’s figure vanished from view.
The French Minister wondered if he had seen a mirage. Even if it was Kim Sung-in, Minister Placé wondered, would he still be able to raid a blue-colored dungeon in one breath like this?
But one thing was for certain.
“He did help us.”
Kim Sung-in had come here. Not only that but he very stealthily helped them and left again.
Minister Placé took off his hat and pressed it to his chest. He bowed his head lightly and earnestly thanked Kim Sung-in who had already left by then.
* * *
“Fuu-wuu—” Su-hyeun let out a long groan.
He confirmed it with his own eyes. “It” being the state of France where the blue-colored dungeon had appeared.
“No, wait. It’s a bit difficult to say that I have personally confirmed it, now is it?”
This place was not the real world nor was it the one Su-hyeun used to live in.
This wasn’t the past he had returned to by using his Heavenly Ways of Reincarnation ability but merely an illusory world cobbled together with bits and pieces of his memories as its foundation.
As such, it was wrong to call this world, and all the events taking place within it, real. Indeed, everything happening here was simply things based on Su-hyeun’s own thoughts that went, “This probably would have happened.”
Even if that had been the case…
“As I thought, ignoring them still leaves a bad taste in my mouth, doesn’t it?” Su-hyeun let out a long sigh and scratched his head, “Even though I know none of this is real, that it’s all illusion…”
Before his head could process anything, his body reacted first. Maybe this was his instincts at work. That meant there was nothing he could do about it.
Still, he did feel a bit better inside after taking action.
“Well…I guess I’ll just go back for now.”
And so, after handling the French crisis, Su-hyeun sought out Bak Yun-gyu. The latter was staring at the former with a somewhat strange expression on his face.
Su-hyeun knew what that face signified, though. Bak Yun-gyu’s probing eyes were asking how Su-hyeun had pulled it off.
“It’s a new skill that I have acquired recently.”
“What kind of skill is that?”
“Sorry, but it’s a secret.”
Su-hyeun didn’t bother to answer, but it was fine not to. An awakener had the right to keep their acquired skills a secret, after all. They were free to do that.
The thing was, though, Kim Sung-in always revealed what skills he had acquired to Bak Yun-gyu, which allowed the latter to research and map out the most efficient ways to use Kim Sung-in’s abilities.
The Awakener Authority always considered maximizing Kim Sung-in’s abilities as their top priority, but now, Su-hyeun was trying to keep his “new” ability a secret. Therefore, Bak Yun-gyu became even more puzzled.
“Something feels different about you.”
Such an observation made sense, though; despite being the same person, Su-hyeun was different from Kim Sung-in. Not only were their skills different but even their mindsets were different, too.
Two people who were the same yet different at the same time—those two were none other than Kim Sung-in and Su-hyeun.
“He recognizes me as Kim Sung-in,” he thought.
Su-hyeun glanced at his own reflection in the windows. Without a doubt, he still had the appearance of Su-hyeun.
Even then, Bak Yun-gyu perceived him as Kim Sung-in. This probably had something to do with the Land of the Dead G.o.ds creating these illusions with his memories as the foundation.
“In any case, I’ll go home to get some rest.”
“Alright. Thank you for your hard work.”
Su-hyeun parted ways with Bak Yun-gyu and exited the offices to step into the streets outside.
He scanned the crowds of people living their regular lives. Everything felt so vivid and real, so much so that it was rather hard to tell all this was nothing more than a simple illusion.
“The Land of the Dead G.o.ds is supposed to show me what my regrets and attachments are.”
He had been moving around too fast for a while now, which did not give him much time to organize his thoughts. He had some leeway now, however, so he began pondering what had been happening to him.
“I always thought that my regret had been Fafnir.”
But it seemed that he was wrong.
Fafnir was nowhere to be seen within this series of illusions and events that the Land of the Dead G.o.ds chose to show him so far.
For one thing, Fafnir would only appear a dozen years or so from this point in time that the illusion had recreated.
“Does that mean my regrets and lingering attachments weren’t all about Fafnir after all?”
It was possible for the regrets he was thinking of and the ones buried deep inside his heart to be completely different. Even the Bull Demon King needed over 10 thousand years to realize that, so Su-hyeun could tell that things wouldn’t be easy for him, either.
Knowing a person’s true lingering regret might seem easy, but in a way, it could very well be one of the hardest tasks ever.
Letting go of one’s notion of self and discovering a different notion altogether were basically the same as discovering something else to replace what a person always thought of as “obvious truth” to oneself.
No one knew how long Su-hyeun would need to discover that and truly accept it as is. Even if that was the case, he had no choice but to figure it out soon in this place.
“Just what is it that you want to show me?”
The surrounding scenery changed once more. Su-hyeun still remained standing as Kim Sung-in, however.
The brand new scene that appeared before his eyes was the sight of awakeners affiliated with the Authority who had been freshly murdered.
* * *
Su-hyeun continued to fight.
The battle wasn’t that hard; he wasn’t up against some seriously strong monsters or even Fafnir, after all.
Indeed, the fights were easy, but something else made Su-hyeun feel exhausted.
“Just for how long am I…?”
Su-hyeun held his pounding head and walked off. Just how many days had this been going on? Without any rest or sleep, he was forced to repeat his past.
No, wait—it couldn’t really be called a “repeat” at this point since he was using his own strength to change the outcome of all the events he did not hold fond memories of.
Of course, they were still illusions in the end, but still…
“My head feels like it’s going to explode.”
Su-hyeun let out a long, long sigh and leaned his back against the remnants of a half-destroyed building.
The illusions continued to make Su-hyeun move without rest, all the while showing him the vestiges of his past that left him with mental trauma.
This process seemed to have no end.
Just what was it trying to tell him?
So far, he only got to learn just one thing.
“My lingering regret is not Fafnir, after all.”
Unlike when it began, he was sure of his thoughts now.
The illusions that had repeated for the past few days never once showed Fafnir, and during the repeated process, Su-hyeun felt an ache in his chest that he had never felt before.
“If that had been the case,” he thought. “This b.a.s.t.a.r.d wouldn’t have appeared only now.”
Su-hyeun was now staring at the purple-colored dungeon before him.
The purple-colored dungeon, according to the Bull Demon King’s explanation, was a type of gateway to cross realms and dimensions.
Fafnir was able to directly open such a doorway. If there was one difference here, then the Bull Demon King chose to open a simple and small, easy-to-open doorway, while Fafnir chose to open a ma.s.sive portal so that it could show up alongside its vast army.
“This does look like the real thing, though,” Su-hyeun muttered softly while staring at the dungeon.
The purple dungeon had manifested in Guangzhou, China. Maybe because he was there in the past to personally witness this moment, it came across as far more realistic compared to all the other illusions so far.
Su-hyeun’s eyes were sparkling softly away.
Fafnir was coming out from there. Even if this was nothing more than an illusion, Su-hyeun’s animosity toward that creature remained strong despite him beginning to think that Fafnir was not his lingering regret after all, which the illusions had helped him realize.
Still, that Predator b.a.s.t.a.r.d had some kind of link to his regret—that was for certain.
“For now,” Su-hyeun said as he strode toward Fafnir’s army that revealed themselves outside the dungeon. “I’ll just kill them first and see.”
* * *
Hundreds and thousands of monsters were ripped apart inside a ma.s.sive typhoon. At the same time, Su-hyeun dug inside the chaos and rushed toward a black knight with a hulking physique.
Their swords collided, causing powerful ripples of magical energy to spread out to the surroundings.
It was the Insane Knight, Chang, one of the three boss-level monsters who happened to have a humanoid shape that appeared from this purple dungeon.
This creature’s skills, powerful enough to cleave a mountain apart, had reaped the lives of countless awakeners. Even Kim Sung-in had a hard time trying to suppress this monster.
Chang’s sword that was clas.h.i.+ng against Su-hyeun’s blade was slowly being bisected.
Su-hyeun’s blade eventually broke Chang’s weapon and chopped the latter in half in the blink of an eye. Right after that, though, countless black spikes suddenly jutted out all around Su-hyeun.
Right at the same time, his gaze s.h.i.+fted over to a magician in a black robe that was hiding among the hordes of monsters. “Here I am, running into that punk again.”
It was the Corrupt One, Cloone, also one of the three bosses.
Su-hyeun immediately looked up next because he had sensed a ma.s.sive shadow blanketing the skies above.
This time, it was the Heavenly Dragon, Dragoon.
Now that this thing had shown up, all three mini-bosses were here.
“Strike them, Somersault cloud.”
At the same time, the dark clouds covering the heavens were already under the authority of Su-hyeun by now.
The dark clouds were brightly illuminated by a flash of light. Soon after that, a thunderous boom roared.
The screams of the monsters were buried under the noise of lightning that came cras.h.i.+ng down.
Su-hyeun extended his hand among the burnt-black corpses of the monsters.
The Corrupt One, Cloone, happened to be an excellent magician and was also the sole creature that managed to defend against the Somersault cloud’s lightning strike.
Su-hyeun sprinted forward the moment the monster’s protective barrier shattered from the lightning. He quickly s.n.a.t.c.hed up Cloone’s throat and gripped it tightly.
Its neck was crushed instantly.
Magicians were weak against physical battles, and Su-hyeun used that weakness to easily get rid of Cloone.
“All that’s left now is…”
The sounds of its footsteps were muted.
Then again, a monster only four meters high wouldn’t make footsteps loud enough to rock the ground, even if it was larger than regular human beings.
Even then, Su-hyeun definitely sensed its presence—a ma.s.sive one that numbed one’s entire body.
The “apocalypse” far more dangerous than any other calamity Su-hyeun knew of was closing the distance.
“So, you’ve arrived.”
Su-hyeun, while wiping off the bloodstains on his body, stared at the giant creature that was stepping outside the purple-colored dungeon.
It was a monster with a black dragon’s head—Fafnir.
“Its size isn’t any different from my past,” Su-hyeun thought.
The version of Fafnir he saw through the Bull Demon King’s memories was much larger in physique than the one Su-hyeun saw before his reincarnation.
Even then, his impressions on Fafnir from his old memories must’ve been stronger than the one he saw within the Bull Demon King’s memories.
Su-hyeun walked up to Fafnir before him.
“Well, you might be just an illusion, but…”
Winds enveloped Su-hyeun’s blade, and the glare in his eyes sharpened considerably, much more so than ever before.
Even if this was all an illusion, it was still unbelievably life-like. Through this, even if only by a little bit, he might be able to confirm one thing—just how wide the gap between Fafnir’s status and his own was—and figure out the link between this Predator and his own lingering regrets at the same time.
“Even if it’s this place, let’s have a showdown anyway.”
Maybe he might get to figure them all out from this event.