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The Hero Returns Chapter 412

Chapter 412: Chapter 412


His throat seemed to have been momentarily clogged up, but he could soon breathe freely again.

“A slave to his past”—when Su-hyeun heard those words, he began hyperventilating, wheezing heavily and shallowly.

Not once did he ever think about such a thing. But at the same time, he had to question himself why he hadn’t thought about it until now.

“If only…I had the same strength back then as I do now.”

Didn’t he think about such things before?

No, wait; it wouldn’t just be Su-hyeun but everyone else would’ve thought about it, too. Anyone would think about the possibilities of what might have been if this or that happened or if they knew things back then what they knew now.

It was all rather obvious; everyone alive had some kind of regret or two. It was simply the matter of one’s ability to deal with them, and Su-hyeun believed this to be true even for himself.

If there was one thing different here, then it was Su-hyeun traveling to his past and changing the events he wanted to change.

But now…

“Just what are you still kicking yourself over for? Have you not already altered the past you wished to change?” Fafnir opened its mouth once more.

Su-hyeun raised his head and stared at Fafnir. The Predator spoke as if it knew everything.

The moment Su-hyeun heard those questions, he realized that this being before his eyes was not Fafnir.

Shu-wuwu…

Fafnir’s figure melted like snow. It soon a.s.sumed another figure, and the existence that materialized possessed an all-too-familiar face.

“It’s…me?”

It was none other than himself, Kim Sung-in.

“Answer me. What do you regret? No, wait. This can’t even be called regret anymore.”

Step, step…

Kim Sung-in strode right over to Su-hyeun. The latter remained still and observed this scene because the figure before him was not Fafnir but Kim Sung-in.

Grab—

Kim Sung-in grabbed Su-hyeun’s collar. The latter, who had been sitting on the ground, was effortlessly lifted back up in the air.

“Why aren’t you answering me? Why are you still behaving this way like a moron?”

“What do you mean by like a moron?” Su-hyeun asked back.

The one before his eyes was none other than himself—no, more correctly, someone Su-hyeun knew, Kim Sung-in.

Unlike the current Su-hyeun, this being was a projection of himself who hadn’t experienced the destruction of his world yet.

And so, the Kim Sung-in of the past was talking to Su-hyeun of now.

“Because of lingering regrets, you are forgetting to save the people right in front of your eyes now.”

“I am?”

“They are already dead. Wait—you managed to save them all this time around. So, what’s the problem, then?”

What was the “problem”?

Su-hyeun pondered this for a bit, but he could find no problem here. However, if he had to reply, then it could only be…

“If only I had this level of strength back then…” The moment those words left his lips, Su-hyeun ended up chuckling helplessly. “Ah, so this was it,” he thought.

The “epiphany” wasn’t really anything special.

What he was afraid of and what he had been thinking deeply within his subconsciousness—he finally realized the reason behind them. His lingering attachment—his regret—was not Fafnir.

All those people he had failed to save in the past and his thoughts of, “If only I had the current level of strength, what would have happened back then?” confined and restricted his present.

For instance, Fafnir from the past had appeared before him today not the one from the present times. The reason for that was simple enough: because Su-hyeun was still stuck in his past.

“Now, look carefully,” Kim Sung-in said and took a look around their vicinity.

Wu-wuuuung…

The surrounding scenery changed. The new surroundings no longer reflected the devastated landscape of Guangzhou, which was destroyed by the battle against Fafnir.

This was not the world Kim Sung-in used to live in but the one Su-hyeun had been living in.

“Dad! Please buy me this!”

“But son, you have the exact same thing back home, don’t you?”

“I’m going on a blind date!”

“Really? When? Come on, show me her photo if you have it! Is she hot?”

“Please give me 150 grams of miyeok for miyeokguk.”

“Yes, sir! One hundred and fifty grams of miyeok…Whose birthday is it today, sir? I can see that you bought some flowers as well…”

The scenery rapidly changed, and he could hear all sorts of voices and sounds.

The conversations he heard contained daily dilemmas of regular people, such as what was for dinner today or should one buy that newly released notebook? He heard someone deciding to break up with their date, while someone else was mulling over the decision to quit their job and work somewhere else, and so on.

The world they lived in was truly ordinary and also truly peaceful.

It was not the world of Kim Sung-in but the one Su-hyeun was living in.

“This is the world you have changed…” Then, Kim Sung-in continued with another question, “Do you regret any of this?”

“No,” Su-hyeun answered after a moment.

The world had changed. The people who should’ve died were now alive, while the world that should have been destroyed was left intact.

This was what Su-hyeun had changed—not the “future” but the “present.”

“Do you think all those people died because of you?” Kim Sung-in asked again, and this time, Su-hyeun shook his head.

Indeed, the end result might be the same, but the reality was not.

“No. They are all alive thanks to you.”

Su-hyeun nodded at those words.

Without being fully aware of it, he used to think differently—that they were dead because of him.

“Dead, because I failed to save them. If only I was a little bit more powerful back then…if only I had this level of strength back then, then I would have saved them all. It’s the same thing as me killing them…”

Those thoughts were responsible for saddling Su-hyeun’s shoulders with the weight of several billion people’s lives.

In the end, Su-hyeun was moving forward all because of his guilt.

“It’s not because of you,” said Kim Sung-in.

However, those words were not spoken by someone else to Su-hyeun. He was speaking to himself.

He was saying that it wasn’t because of himself and that not being strong enough was not a crime.

The one who could make him see that was none other than himself.


The Bull Demon King stood by patiently in the same spot, awaiting Su-hyeun’s return.

He didn’t dare to sleep. The moment he did, countless dead souls would rush in toward him to take over his body.

“It’s been a month.”

In a way, it had “only” been a month. The Bull Demon King had been antic.i.p.ating a period that was much longer than that. But now…

“You’re out already?”

Su-hyeun had returned.

Su-hyeun walked out from the inky-black darkness belonging to the Land of the Dead G.o.ds and smiled faintly after noticing the Bull Demon King, “Yes, first brother. I’m back.”

“Have you discovered something?”

“I’m not sure about it yet,” Su-hyeun replied, scratching his head.

The Bull Demon King paid attention to a couple of words in that reply in particular. “It’s…not yet, hmm?”

“Yes. Not just yet,” Su-hyeun simply replied, but he emitted an aura that came across as quite different from before. The Bull Demon King smiled faintly at that.

When he met Su-hyeun for the first time, he felt the latter’s restlessness and lack of patience. When those things were resolved, anxiety and guilt remained behind.

But now, it felt like even those two had been resolved as well.

“Well, should we get going, then?”

“Hmm…Wait for a little bit. I shall quickly create…?” The Bull Demon King, who was extending his hand forward to open up a gateway, stopped talking just then. He saw that a small “doorway” had already materialized before Su-hyeun.

Step—

Su-hyeun had opened up a doorway and entered it.

Without a doubt, he didn’t know how to do that before coming here, but now, he had already gone past the wall in only one month.

“What do you mean, not yet?” The Bull Demon King thought.

It had only been a month. For the Bull Demon King who had existed for the length of time that regular people couldn’t even imagine, a month would be short enough to feel like a blink of an eye.

But during such a short time, Su-hyeun managed to do something that the Bull Demon King needed tens of thousands of years to achieve.

Even though he did receive the help of the Land of the Dead G.o.ds in the process, there was no doubt that he had done something truly amazing.

The Bull Demon King followed after Su-hyeun while quietly muttering to himself, “Little brother, you will soon become a deity.”


Su-hyeun returned to Earth using his own power.

A month had pa.s.sed by after he followed the Bull Demon King.

The world had changed quite a lot during the past month. The foundation work for the repair of the damaged buildings had already begun, and people who were left without jobs had found new work, too.

The first thing Su-hyeun did was to head to Jongno.

Quite a lot of people were out and about in the streets. Some people looked as if they were filled with worries and fears of the new environment they hadn’t adapted to yet, while some people could still find things to laugh about in the current situation.

“Uh? It’s Su-hyeun!”

“Bro, is that you? Did you go somewhere?”

Thomas and Hak-joon discovered Su-hyeun from a distance and walked over to him.

However, Su-hyeun turned around to leave instead. As he disappeared from view through the crowd, Thomas and Hak-joon tried to go after him, but in the end, they couldn’t even see him anymore.

Su-hyeun summoned Miru, climbed on the dragon’s back, and rapidly flew off to somewhere.

They headed for Paris.

“There sure are a lot of people here,” he said to no one in particular as he observed the avenues of Paris that were teeming with people.

As he began walking among the bustling crowds of pa.s.sersby, a faint voice came to him, “That’s right, isn’t it?”

Su-hyeun glanced to his side. That’s when he discovered Kim Sung-in walking right next to him.

“Back then, not even a single ant lived here.”

The blue-colored dungeon that appeared in Paris was filled with venomous monsters. After escaping from the dungeon, those creatures turned Paris into a land of death. The city had turned into an area where, never mind humans, not even ants could survive.

But now, this place…

“Huh? Hey, it’s Kim Su-hyeun!”

“What brings him here, though?”

“My son, you should say thank you. Hurry, now.”

“Okay! Thank you, mister!”

“We all survived thanks to you.”

People were still very much alive.

They discovered Su-hyeun and greeted him warmly. A couple of kids among the crowd even walked up to him and shared pieces of candy they had been snacking on.

Su-hyeun gently grasped the candy the kids handed over and felt an indescribable thing.

When he looked into their eyes, he clearly sensed their emotions from their clear and genuine eyes. They expressed gratefulness and idolization.

Su-hyeun received all of their gazes of respect for their hero, the savior of their lives. He then turned around to leave while muttering to himself, “I want to see for a little bit more.”

“Look as much as you want.”

Su-hyeun summoned Miru once more.

They didn’t need the latter’s giantification; he wasn’t looking to travel to somewhere fast, after all.

He wanted to take his time to leisurely survey and tour the world he called home.

“This is the world I’m currently living in.”

This would be his first time taking a leisurely, unhurried stroll through his own world.

“This world right here, right before your eyes, is your present. The world you have managed to change.”

Kim Sung-in stayed next to Su-hyeun and surveyed the world alongside him.

“You heard that earlier, right? They are grateful to you. They want to become a hero just like you. Yes, that’s right. I couldn’t be one, but you…”

The difference between Kim Sung-in of the previous life and the current Su-hyeun was that…

“You are a hero. You don’t have to be embarra.s.sed about being called one.”

He no longer felt ashamed and undeserving of the label “hero.”

“Is that so?” Su-hyeun chuckled sheepishly.

Honestly speaking, it was fine either way; the world had changed so much from the one Su-hyeun remembered, anyway. He no longer felt undeserving of all the grat.i.tude he received from the others.

“I guess…it seems that way.” Su-hyeun looked to his side and saw Kim Sung-in’s silhouette gradually fading away. The mirage of the lingering regrets belonging to a man enslaved to his past was disappearing. “Goodbye.”

Shu-rururu…

Kim Sung-in left for good.

All those people he met in the past, the world that had been destroyed, his memories and experiences of the past, and the past version of “him”—all of his lingering regrets vanished alongside Kim Sung-in.

And now, only Kim Su-hyeun remained.

[Sage Arts proficiency level is increasing.]

[Proficiency: 100%]

[A change has occurred to the Sage Arts.]

[You have acquired the Divine Art.]

[Magic Count has risen by one point.]

[Magic Count has risen by one point.]

[Magic Count has risen by one point.]

[Magic Count has risen by one point.]

[Magic Count has risen by one point.]

[Magic Level has risen by one level.]

[You have acquired the “t.i.tle: Taoist G.o.d.”]

The Hero Returns Chapter 412

The Hero Returns Chapter 412

Chapter 412: Chapter 412




His throat seemed to have been momentarily clogged up, but he could soon breathe freely again.


“A slave to his past”—when Su-hyeun heard those words, he began hyperventilating, wheezing heavily and shallowly.


Not once did he ever think about such a thing. But at the same time, he had to question himself why he hadn’t thought about it until now.


“If only…I had the same strength back then as I do now.”


Didn’t he think about such things before?


No, wait; it wouldn’t just be Su-hyeun but everyone else would’ve thought about it, too. Anyone would think about the possibilities of what might have been if this or that happened or if they knew things back then what they knew now.


It was all rather obvious; everyone alive had some kind of regret or two. It was simply the matter of one’s ability to deal with them, and Su-hyeun believed this to be true even for himself.


If there was one thing different here, then it was Su-hyeun traveling to his past and changing the events he wanted to change.


But now…


“Just what are you still kicking yourself over for? Have you not already altered the past you wished to change?” Fafnir opened its mouth once more.


Su-hyeun raised his head and stared at Fafnir. The Predator spoke as if it knew everything.


The moment Su-hyeun heard those questions, he realized that this being before his eyes was not Fafnir.


Shu-wuwu…


Fafnir’s figure melted like snow. It soon a.s.sumed another figure, and the existence that materialized possessed an all-too-familiar face.


“It’s…me?”


It was none other than himself, Kim Sung-in.


“Answer me. What do you regret? No, wait. This can’t even be called regret anymore.”


Step, step…


Kim Sung-in strode right over to Su-hyeun. The latter remained still and observed this scene because the figure before him was not Fafnir but Kim Sung-in.


Grab—


Kim Sung-in grabbed Su-hyeun’s collar. The latter, who had been sitting on the ground, was effortlessly lifted back up in the air.


“Why aren’t you answering me? Why are you still behaving this way like a moron?”


“What do you mean by like a moron?” Su-hyeun asked back.


The one before his eyes was none other than himself—no, more correctly, someone Su-hyeun knew, Kim Sung-in.


Unlike the current Su-hyeun, this being was a projection of himself who hadn’t experienced the destruction of his world yet.


And so, the Kim Sung-in of the past was talking to Su-hyeun of now.


“Because of lingering regrets, you are forgetting to save the people right in front of your eyes now.”


“I am?”


“They are already dead. Wait—you managed to save them all this time around. So, what’s the problem, then?”


What was the “problem”?


Su-hyeun pondered this for a bit, but he could find no problem here. However, if he had to reply, then it could only be…


“If only I had this level of strength back then…” The moment those words left his lips, Su-hyeun ended up chuckling helplessly. “Ah, so this was it,” he thought.


The “epiphany” wasn’t really anything special.


What he was afraid of and what he had been thinking deeply within his subconsciousness—he finally realized the reason behind them. His lingering attachment—his regret—was not Fafnir.


All those people he had failed to save in the past and his thoughts of, “If only I had the current level of strength, what would have happened back then?” confined and restricted his present.


For instance, Fafnir from the past had appeared before him today not the one from the present times. The reason for that was simple enough: because Su-hyeun was still stuck in his past.


“Now, look carefully,” Kim Sung-in said and took a look around their vicinity.


Wu-wuuuung…


The surrounding scenery changed. The new surroundings no longer reflected the devastated landscape of Guangzhou, which was destroyed by the battle against Fafnir.


This was not the world Kim Sung-in used to live in but the one Su-hyeun had been living in.


“Dad! Please buy me this!”


“But son, you have the exact same thing back home, don’t you?”


“I’m going on a blind date!”


“Really? When? Come on, show me her photo if you have it! Is she hot?”


“Please give me 150 grams of miyeok for miyeokguk.”


“Yes, sir! One hundred and fifty grams of miyeok…Whose birthday is it today, sir? I can see that you bought some flowers as well…”


The scenery rapidly changed, and he could hear all sorts of voices and sounds.


The conversations he heard contained daily dilemmas of regular people, such as what was for dinner today or should one buy that newly released notebook? He heard someone deciding to break up with their date, while someone else was mulling over the decision to quit their job and work somewhere else, and so on.


The world they lived in was truly ordinary and also truly peaceful.


It was not the world of Kim Sung-in but the one Su-hyeun was living in.


“This is the world you have changed…” Then, Kim Sung-in continued with another question, “Do you regret any of this?”


“No,” Su-hyeun answered after a moment.


The world had changed. The people who should’ve died were now alive, while the world that should have been destroyed was left intact.


This was what Su-hyeun had changed—not the “future” but the “present.”


“Do you think all those people died because of you?” Kim Sung-in asked again, and this time, Su-hyeun shook his head.


Indeed, the end result might be the same, but the reality was not.


“No. They are all alive thanks to you.”


Su-hyeun nodded at those words.


Without being fully aware of it, he used to think differently—that they were dead because of him.


“Dead, because I failed to save them. If only I was a little bit more powerful back then…if only I had this level of strength back then, then I would have saved them all. It’s the same thing as me killing them…”


Those thoughts were responsible for saddling Su-hyeun’s shoulders with the weight of several billion people’s lives.


In the end, Su-hyeun was moving forward all because of his guilt.


“It’s not because of you,” said Kim Sung-in.


However, those words were not spoken by someone else to Su-hyeun. He was speaking to himself.


He was saying that it wasn’t because of himself and that not being strong enough was not a crime.


The one who could make him see that was none other than himself.




The Bull Demon King stood by patiently in the same spot, awaiting Su-hyeun’s return.


He didn’t dare to sleep. The moment he did, countless dead souls would rush in toward him to take over his body.


“It’s been a month.”


In a way, it had “only” been a month. The Bull Demon King had been antic.i.p.ating a period that was much longer than that. But now…


“You’re out already?”


Su-hyeun had returned.


Su-hyeun walked out from the inky-black darkness belonging to the Land of the Dead G.o.ds and smiled faintly after noticing the Bull Demon King, “Yes, first brother. I’m back.”


“Have you discovered something?”


“I’m not sure about it yet,” Su-hyeun replied, scratching his head.


The Bull Demon King paid attention to a couple of words in that reply in particular. “It’s…not yet, hmm?”


“Yes. Not just yet,” Su-hyeun simply replied, but he emitted an aura that came across as quite different from before. The Bull Demon King smiled faintly at that.


When he met Su-hyeun for the first time, he felt the latter’s restlessness and lack of patience. When those things were resolved, anxiety and guilt remained behind.


But now, it felt like even those two had been resolved as well.


“Well, should we get going, then?”


“Hmm…Wait for a little bit. I shall quickly create…?” The Bull Demon King, who was extending his hand forward to open up a gateway, stopped talking just then. He saw that a small “doorway” had already materialized before Su-hyeun.


Step—


Su-hyeun had opened up a doorway and entered it.


Without a doubt, he didn’t know how to do that before coming here, but now, he had already gone past the wall in only one month.


“What do you mean, not yet?” The Bull Demon King thought.


It had only been a month. For the Bull Demon King who had existed for the length of time that regular people couldn’t even imagine, a month would be short enough to feel like a blink of an eye.


But during such a short time, Su-hyeun managed to do something that the Bull Demon King needed tens of thousands of years to achieve.


Even though he did receive the help of the Land of the Dead G.o.ds in the process, there was no doubt that he had done something truly amazing.


The Bull Demon King followed after Su-hyeun while quietly muttering to himself, “Little brother, you will soon become a deity.”




Su-hyeun returned to Earth using his own power.


A month had pa.s.sed by after he followed the Bull Demon King.


The world had changed quite a lot during the past month. The foundation work for the repair of the damaged buildings had already begun, and people who were left without jobs had found new work, too.


The first thing Su-hyeun did was to head to Jongno.


Quite a lot of people were out and about in the streets. Some people looked as if they were filled with worries and fears of the new environment they hadn’t adapted to yet, while some people could still find things to laugh about in the current situation.


“Uh? It’s Su-hyeun!”


“Bro, is that you? Did you go somewhere?”


Thomas and Hak-joon discovered Su-hyeun from a distance and walked over to him.


However, Su-hyeun turned around to leave instead. As he disappeared from view through the crowd, Thomas and Hak-joon tried to go after him, but in the end, they couldn’t even see him anymore.


Su-hyeun summoned Miru, climbed on the dragon’s back, and rapidly flew off to somewhere.


They headed for Paris.


“There sure are a lot of people here,” he said to no one in particular as he observed the avenues of Paris that were teeming with people.


As he began walking among the bustling crowds of pa.s.sersby, a faint voice came to him, “That’s right, isn’t it?”


Su-hyeun glanced to his side. That’s when he discovered Kim Sung-in walking right next to him.


“Back then, not even a single ant lived here.”


The blue-colored dungeon that appeared in Paris was filled with venomous monsters. After escaping from the dungeon, those creatures turned Paris into a land of death. The city had turned into an area where, never mind humans, not even ants could survive.


But now, this place…


“Huh? Hey, it’s Kim Su-hyeun!”


“What brings him here, though?”


“My son, you should say thank you. Hurry, now.”


“Okay! Thank you, mister!”


“We all survived thanks to you.”


People were still very much alive.


They discovered Su-hyeun and greeted him warmly. A couple of kids among the crowd even walked up to him and shared pieces of candy they had been snacking on.


Su-hyeun gently grasped the candy the kids handed over and felt an indescribable thing.


When he looked into their eyes, he clearly sensed their emotions from their clear and genuine eyes. They expressed gratefulness and idolization.


Su-hyeun received all of their gazes of respect for their hero, the savior of their lives. He then turned around to leave while muttering to himself, “I want to see for a little bit more.”


“Look as much as you want.”


Su-hyeun summoned Miru once more.


They didn’t need the latter’s giantification; he wasn’t looking to travel to somewhere fast, after all.


He wanted to take his time to leisurely survey and tour the world he called home.


“This is the world I’m currently living in.”


This would be his first time taking a leisurely, unhurried stroll through his own world.


“This world right here, right before your eyes, is your present. The world you have managed to change.”


Kim Sung-in stayed next to Su-hyeun and surveyed the world alongside him.


“You heard that earlier, right? They are grateful to you. They want to become a hero just like you. Yes, that’s right. I couldn’t be one, but you…”


The difference between Kim Sung-in of the previous life and the current Su-hyeun was that…


“You are a hero. You don’t have to be embarra.s.sed about being called one.”


He no longer felt ashamed and undeserving of the label “hero.”


“Is that so?” Su-hyeun chuckled sheepishly.


Honestly speaking, it was fine either way; the world had changed so much from the one Su-hyeun remembered, anyway. He no longer felt undeserving of all the grat.i.tude he received from the others.


“I guess…it seems that way.” Su-hyeun looked to his side and saw Kim Sung-in’s silhouette gradually fading away. The mirage of the lingering regrets belonging to a man enslaved to his past was disappearing. “Goodbye.”


Shu-rururu…


Kim Sung-in left for good.


All those people he met in the past, the world that had been destroyed, his memories and experiences of the past, and the past version of “him”—all of his lingering regrets vanished alongside Kim Sung-in.


And now, only Kim Su-hyeun remained.


[Sage Arts proficiency level is increasing.]


[Proficiency: 100%]


[A change has occurred to the Sage Arts.]


[You have acquired the Divine Art.]


[Magic Count has risen by one point.]


[Magic Count has risen by one point.]


[Magic Count has risen by one point.]


[Magic Count has risen by one point.]


[Magic Count has risen by one point.]


[Magic Level has risen by one level.]


[You have acquired the “t.i.tle: Taoist G.o.d.”]

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