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I

Alone Level-Up
Only I Level Up • Solo Leveling • 나 혼자만 레벨업

10 years ago, after “the Gate” that connected the real world with the monster
world opened, some of the ordinary, everyday people received the power to hunt
monsters within the Gate. They are known as “Hunters”. However, not all
Hunters are powerful. My name is Sung Jin-Woo, an E-rank Hunter. I’m
someone who has to risk his life in the lowliest of dungeons, the “World’s
Weakest”. Having no skills whatsoever to display, I barely earned the required
money by fighting in low-leveled dungeons… at least until I found a hidden
dungeon with the hardest difficulty within the D-rank dungeons! In the end, as I
was accepting death, I suddenly received a strange power, a quest log that only I
could see, a secret to leveling up that only I know about! If I trained in
accordance with my quests and hunted monsters, my level would rise. Changing
from the weakest Hunter to the strongest S-rank Hunter!

Author(s):Chugong, 추공
Artist(s):
Year: 0
Country: Korea
Genres:Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Shounen
Tags:Accelerated Growth, Adapted to Manhwa, Adventurers, Appearance
Changes, Betrayal, Character Growth, Determined Protagonist, Dungeons, Game
Elements, Gate to Another World, Grinding, Hard-Working Protagonist, Hiding
True Abilities, Kuudere, Level System, Male Protagonist, Modern Day, Near-
Death Experience, Necromancer, Personality Changes, Weak to Strong
Source: WEBNOVEL

ASIANOVEL VERSION: 3.9


EPUB VERSION: 2.0
UUID: 89021be0-8bbf-11e9-a582-8f6f4488e564
USER: Saurde
DATE CREATED: 2019-06-10
LANGUAGE: English

More info and chapters: https://www.asianovel.com/series/i-alone-level-up


Chapter 244 Fin.
Source: WEBNOVEL

REPORT

Side Story 1

When you're taking a stroll on a street, ask this question to any student you
run into. Ask them what kind of job they would like to have in the future.

A hundred times out of a hundred, you'd get one of these three answers.

One, a famous Hunter; two, a staff member of a major Guild; and three, an
employee of the Hunter's Association.

If a kid you talked to was a bit slow in the head, he or she would end up
wasting each day wishing to become a famous Hunter.

A kid smarter than the above example would want to get a job in a major
Guild that paid you according to one's abilities.

The smartest cookies of the lot would choose to become an employee of the
Hunter's Association, where one would still get paid as much as the large Guilds
while being treated as a quasi-government official which lessened the danger of
getting unceremoniously fired from the job.

Me? I was a smart cookie.

A very smart one, to boot.

And perhaps that was why when I announced my intentions to join the
Hunter's Association, both Mom and Dad were saddened somewhat, which was
a bit different than how other parents would have reacted.

Dad wanted me to become a prosecutor, and Mom preferred to see me become


a doctor. Of course, as the only son in the family, it wasn't as if I didn't know my
parents' wishes of seeing me follow after their career choices.

However, I too had my own dream. And that dream played a big part in me
choosing to become an employee of the Hunter's Association.

Those words were thrown my way by none other than the Chairman of the
Association, Goh Gun-Hui, as I sat in the interview room with a stiff-as-rock
face.

I was busy scolding myself for messing up almost all of the questions asked
by the interviewers because of how nervous I had been. But, when I heard that
question piercing into my brain and waking me up in an instant….

The light shining in my eyes changed.

At least, I remembered replying to that question with a determined look


flashing up on my face.

My voice rose up while saying that I wanted to become a member of the


Association and stand on the side of those people that protected Hunters.

Was I mistaken back then when the still-nervous me heard the soft gasps of
"Wow" coming from my side and to my front?

But, one thing's for sure – I distinctly remembered seeing a nearly-


imperceptible smile on the face of Association Chairman Goh Gun-Hui as the
corners of his lips arched up slightly.

That was how I became an employee of the Hunter's Association, a job that
others would certainly die for. Putting my parents' slightly lonely farewells
behind me, I set off from the hometown that I grew to love and came to Seoul,
where the HQ of South Korea's Association was located.

I felt totally over-the-moon because I'd successfully taken my first step in


fulfilling my dream of becoming a member of the Association that protected
Hunters.

I even had this vague expectation clouding my mind, wondering if everything


was going the way I wanted them to.
Unfortunately for me, though, my beautiful image regarding the Association
was shattered into a million little pieces on the first day of work. My thoughts of
something still remaining that only I could do for the sake of Hunters was
completely wrong.

It had already been over nine years since the Awakened, Gates, and monsters
began appearing in this world.

The society had already entered a period of stability after experiencing many
failures as well as countless trials and errors. And as a newbie member of the
Association who had taken his first baby-steps in said society, there was not a
snowball's chance in hell that I could have my say in it.

Since my initial goal was to help Hunters out, I was assigned to the 'Support'
department accordingly, but what waited for me there were all sorts of
unrewarding miscellaneous tasks.

And that was me being kind here. In reality, it was no different than taking
care of the mess left behind by the Hunters affiliated with the Association.

Indeed, it was always something like this.

Even if it was low-ranked Gates worth not much money, someone still had to
deal with it. But, the number of Hunters were limited, so their needs and wants
had to be met no matter what.

In an unlucky chance that someone lodged a claim against Hunters, a pretty


awful day would wait for me, but if the Hunter with a claim against him
suddenly decided to leave the Association, then….

As I ran around all over the place trying to put out all these fires, I grew
disillusioned at the reality that was just too different from my imagination, and
as I become more and more fatigued, I also became used to my situation, as well.

And so... on a certain day.

As I was listlessly spending time, a phone call came at my way.

Ringggg…. Ringggg….
I spat out a long, long sigh while looking at the phone ringing off the hook,
and wondered just which dear Hunter-nim was calling me this diligently to lay
out his or her complaints. I reached out and picked up the receiver.

As soon as the plastic touched my ear, a seriously agitated voice exploded


forth from the speaker.

I had no idea what this guy was talking about, but first things first – which
was to apologise.

"I'm terribly sorry, Hunter-nim. There must've been an error during the
formation of the raid team. Can you please tell me what happened in detail?"

The call was one-sidedly cut off there.

I put the receiver down while repeatedly recalling the spelling of the word
'patience' in my head, and then, began collecting data on the Hunter the person
on the phone spoke about before any sort of claims could be lodged.

Just like how varied the reasons were for demanding one's raid party member
to be changed – such as disagreement over the leader's decision, they didn't like
each other, or didn't fight as well as one hoped, etc – such requests were made
quite often so I never really paid much attention to the specifics until now.

But then...

'Mister Seong…. Mister Seong…. His name is Jin-Woo, right?'

I saw the record of Hunter Seong Jin-Woo and soon realised that something
had gone really wrong here.

'Huh....??'

His rank was only 'E'. As for the amount of magical energy he possessed, it
was right at the bottom of the rank E, too.

'Hey, his magic energy emission is no different from a regular person's,


isn't it??'

As expected, his record was full of all the instances where he ended up getting
injured.

"Oh, my god."

I closed his file in stunned amazement, my heart wildly pounding away.

This... This was definitely wrong.

If I pretended that I didn't see his story and move on here, he'd really die not
too long from now.

It was at this point when I recalled the declaration I made back in the
interview room.

Hunters risked their lives for the regular citizens, but who risked their lives for
the sake of these Hunters?

My head nodded all by itself.

For the first time ever since I started working for the Hunter's Association
during this past year or so, I finally found what I needed to do.

***

The first thing I did was to seek out a senior officer.

Unfortunately, neither my immediate superior officer, or the officer above


him, or even the person above that guy, wanted to get involved in a matter that
could potentially prove to be too much trouble for what it's worth.

Eventually, I had to seek out the Chief of the 'Support' Department.

"Sir, this is a matter concerning a person's life. It's not going to get solved
by itself when we continue avoiding reality like this."

Chief was forming an expression of a deeply concerned man after seeing the
junior agent suddenly transform from a well-behaved kid who worked hard
without complaints to the current me.

However, I didn't stop voicing the things that needed to be said out loud.
"What if that Hunter dies during a raid, sir? What will we say to his
surviving family members then?"

"Uh-huh, you shouldn't say anything so unlucky...."

"That's how much Hunter Seong Jin-Woo's life is in danger, sir. Please,
take a look. This is his hospital admittance record. It's already a miracle that
he managed to survive until now."

"...."

For a while there, Chief wordlessly scanned the data I brought along before
raising his head.

"So, what you're saying is that we need to do something as the Association


and stop Mister Seong Jin-Woo acting as a Hunter, is that it?"

"Yes sir, that's correct."

Because he'd definitely die in the end if he continued to act as a Hunter.

"Fella, I hope you're aware of this Hunter's backstory while telling me all
this."

I nodded my head.

His mother was currently admitted to the intensive care unit. I knew that she'd
not survive for another day without the aid of the life-support machines.

And I also knew that he worked for the Association in order to receive
financial support for the hospital fees.

"But, sir. Patients struck with the Eternal Sleep Disorder will never wake
up. Surely, we can't let a living person march to his grave for the sake of a
dead person, don't you agree?"

Even now, countless people were dying because of the illness, the Eternal
Sleep Disorder.

It was indeed a regretful thing, but we just couldn't continue to drive him into
death traps over and over again for his mother's life. We needed to save him, at
the least.

Even though Chief did his best to dissuade me and change my mind, I didn't
back down from my decision.

In the end, Chief had to nod his head.

"Alright, fine."

My expression brightened quickly, only for the Chief to add a stipulation first.

"Except that you will personally be responsible for changing Hunter Seong
Jin-Woo's mind. If he willingly decides to stop, then we shall do so."

I had already made up my mind about that. Indeed, I've never even entertained
the idea of forcibly kicking him away without his consent, to begin with.

Even though I was facing perhaps the most difficult hurdle...

"I understand."

....I still nodded head at the Chief, my expression full of determination.

***

Seriously now, have I ever been so committed to something to this degree in


my life before? I was preparing so much data that I ended up asking myself that
question.

This wasn't to make a grand announcement in front of higher-ups nor to pass a


difficult examination. No, it was just to persuade one single Hunter named
Seong Jin-Woo.

'He's twenty-three years old... he's younger than me by six years.'

Thanks to my meticulous preparation, I felt reasonably confident of my


chances today. Well, I had in possession plenty of evidence and records of him
driving himself towards the jaws of death, more than enough to chide him for his
reckless actions.
I was planning to go through each and every one of these records to argue my
case why he should stop being a Hunter. I was even prepared to lecture him that
one needed to value one's life as much as one valued the life of his mother.

Clink.

The door of this cafe opened and a face that I only saw through the file photos
stepped into the establishment. When I saw him in person, though, I froze up
solid on the spot.

He scanned the cafe's interior before spotting me. He cautiously settled down
on the seat opposite mine.

"H-hello, there."

He greeted me first. I couldn't say a single thing I've been preparing in my


head, though.

***

"It's not as if we haven't tried to do the same thing."

Chief pushed forward a shot glass filled with soju and I swallowed it one go,
my expression scrounging up afterwards.

Whether it was because of the bitter taste of the booze, or maybe my heart felt
heavy, I didn't know why my expression refused to loosen up.

"Even then…. Sir, still, this isn't right, you know? That was just wrong, sir.
He's a young kid, only 23 years old, so his eyes shouldn't look like that."

I honestly thought that, at the very least, Hunter Seong Jin-Woo would show
up to the meeting place with an expression filled with unfounded confidence,
believing that he'd always survive no matter what, or with a look of a scared
person searching for someone, anyone, to help stop him.

And I felt confident of persuading him regardless of where his mental state
was in.

However, Seong Jin-Woo was different. He seemed to have completely


acknowledged the predicament he was stuck in.

There was this thin smile on his face implying that, although he was shivering
away in fear, he somehow barely managed to overcome it.

So, how could I push someone's back towards a corner, to the precipice of a
cliff, when that person had barely managed to overcome his fear?

I just couldn't do that.

And also, I came to realise that I shouldn't bad-mouth my superior officers just
because they failed to do something that I, too, had failed to do.

Chief didn't say anything while filling up the shot glass, but then he quietly
asked me a question.

"Fella. Why did you join the Hunter's Association?"

"I...."

That moment when I began thinking about helping Hunters out for the first
time – my head dropped a little and recalled the events of that fateful day.

"When I was young, I saw a certain news broadcast, sir. It was about a
Hunter who ended up being trapped inside a Gate while trying to save his
comrades from getting stuck like him."

I recalled seeing the grounds of a theme park, a place where people were
supposed to smile and have a good time, now filled with Hunters soaked in
blood from head to toe as they lay there helplessly while moaning in pain.

Back then, I became really curious.

My parents couldn't answer my question, and that was when I made up mind.
If no one could help them, then I shall be the one to do so.

I shall do everything in my power to make sure that Hunters don't get injured
or die.

"But now, even I became the same as the rest, sir."


I failed to become that source of support, strength, to Hunter Seong Jin-Woo
who was facing a deadly crisis in his life.

There was nothing I could do for him.

I scolded my uselessness with such thoughts. Meanwhile, Chief studied me


for a moment or two before putting down his shot glass.

"What if you still have something you can do?"

"Pardon me?"

I raised my head up.

Chief reached into his bag and pulled out a file containing information on a
high-ranking Awakened. He then placed it before me.

"You see, there are people who Awakened as a high rank but due to not
being interested in monetary gains, they chose not to become Hunters."

"....??"

"How about helping the Hunters affiliated with the Association by


persuading these folks to join us?"

My mind snapped awake from that and I looked down at the file.

"Rank B Healer Hunter Yi Ju-Hui...."

An upper-rank Healer!

If someone like her joined the Association, then surely, she'd be able to save
people from dying or suffering from heavy injuries. Even a weak Hunter should
be able to fight to his heart's content without being worried about his safety.

For a moment there, Hunter Seong Jin-Woo's face I saw earlier brushed past
my mind. My eyes were sparkling brightly, causing the Chief to gently chuckle
and speak up.

"So, how about it? Are you interested?"


I stopped staring at the file and nodded my head energetically.

"Yes, sir. I am!!"


Chapter 245 Fin.
Source: WEBNOVEL

REPORT

Side Story 2

Ash continued to fall from the sky like snowflakes.

Jin-Woo bade farewell to his Shadow Soldiers as their time to part drew near,
and without a shred of hesitation, turned around to face the leader of the Rulers.

"I'm ready."

The 'Brightest Fragment of Brilliant Light' summoned out a stunningly


beautiful chalice, its expression slightly sorrowful. Jin-Woo's eyes shone with
interest when he saw that artefact.

'So, that's the Tool of God that can turn back time, the Chalice of
Rebirth....'

Gulp.

Dry saliva slid down his throat all by itself right after he realised that the
moment when everything was over and would begin anew had arrived. Jin-
Woo's face was filled with tension. Seeing him like this, the Fragment of
Brilliant Light asked him one more time.

[Truly... will you not regret this decision?]

It had spent aeons fighting against Sovereigns and knew better than anyone
how heavy the burden a war of this magnitude imposed on one's soul was.
Meaning, it understood full well the weight of that burden this Shadow
Sovereign was about to bear all by himself.

The second Shadow Sovereign, Jin-Woo, nodded his head.


He won the first battle. The second battle should be that much easier. He had
to ensure that would be the case.

He formed an expression half-filled with grim determination and confidence.


The Brilliant Light also nodded its head.

This man's drive to save all those lost in this war – how could this angel not
know his determination when it too raised a flag of rebellion against its master,
the Absolute Being, all for the sake of countless subordinates that died during
the course of this everlasting war?

[I pray that your courage will save your world one more time.]

The Fragment of Brilliant Light made a heartfelt prayer and flipped the
Chalice of Rebirth around. When it did, light filling up the Chalice poured down
onto the ground, gently and gradually soaking it.

The most blinding veil of light slowly began enveloping the whole world.

Everyone – injured soldiers waiting in the battlefields, their families learning


of their fate through TV, those praying for the safety of their loved ones, those
with pale complexions after hearing ominous news broadcasts, those dropping
their heads lower in despair….

In their houses, inside their cars, inside hospitals, inside schools, inside their
workplaces….

Everyone saw the blinding light gently permeating through their windows.

Eventually, the whole planet became awash with pure light.

And then, the light silently blanketing the whole world, quietly dissipated and
disappeared without a trace, just like when it first appeared.

***

Morning.

Past the closed eyelids, the rays of morning sun signalling the start of yet
another day could be felt. Jin-Woo kept his eyes closed for the time being and
while lying on his back, stroked the familiar material of the bed sheet.

Although he wasn't fully awake yet, his perception that had far surpassed the
boundaries of a human being could pick up on the unfolding situation of his
immediate vicinity with ease.

'Jin-Ah is coming out of the bathroom after washing up, the smell of the
boiling stew, sounds coming from the cutting board, and then, the air in my
room with this familiar smell....'

This was his home.

He had returned back home.

Jin-Woo's heartbeat began quickening bit by bit from the realisation. He then
heard his mom's voice through the closed door.

"Jin-Ah? Can you go and wake your brother up?"

That's right.

His little sister Jin-Ah really liked sleeping, as befitting a growing girl of her
age, but oddly enough, she always woke up early in the morning. And almost
always, Mom would ask her to go and wake her oppa up every day like this.

"Okay!"

After realising that the memories of the childhood he dreamed of reliving


were now playing out so vividly in front of his eyes, a wide grin quickly floated
up on Jin-Woo's face.

Clunk.

"Oppaaaa..."

Before his sister could fully open the door, he slowly pushed himself up from
the bed.

"Uhh? When did you wake up?"

She stared at his already-awake figure with wide-open eyes, and Jin-Woo
formed a deep smile as his reply. In front of his eyes stood Jin-Ah, who hadn't
lost her friends to the monsters yet.

Jin-Woo stood up from the bed and walked past his sister to enter the living
room.

"Son? You're up?"

Mom stopped preparing breakfast and looked behind her after hearing his
footsteps. From today onwards, he'd never get to see the sight of her trying her
hardest to escape from the clutches of the Eternal Sleep that no one could wake
up from.

But, the most welcoming scene that he really wanted to see again was...

Jin-Woo heard the sounds of a newspaper page turning and quickly shifted his
gaze towards the dining table. His father, waiting for breakfast to arrive by
quietly reading the newspaper, felt his gaze and raised his head.

The moment their gazes met, Jin-Woo felt this rush of breathless emotion.

"Father...."

He muttered the word 'father' out unbeknownst even to himself.

Seong Il-Hwan formed a puzzled expression after hearing his son use a rather
grown-up word when the boy always used the term 'Dad' up until now.

Did his boy wake up after experiencing a scary dream?

The young Jin-Woo now looked to be struggling to suppress his tears, so the
alarmed Seong Il-Hwan quickly got up from his chair and approached his son.

"Son? What's the matter?"

The voice of his dad, now coming from right in front of Jin-Woo's nose. He
could still vividly remember that feeling of his father scattering away like dust
from his grasp, so this moment came across like a dream come true.

However, this was not a dream. No, it's THE reality that he needed to protect,
no matter what. Tears of happiness briefly welled up in his eyes, but soon
enough, they were replaced by the gritty determination, instead.

Both his mom and dad were studying him with worried expressions on their
faces. Jin-Woo forcibly changed his own expression and formed a grin.

"....I must've had a nightmare."

Indeed.

His nightmare was over.

The nightmare was over, and his young sister, his healthy mother, and his
father, who hadn't vanished, were all here.

He was given one last chance to make everything right. And he swore never to
let this chance slip through his fingers. He'd rewrite the future with his own two
hands.

His eyes gleamed brightly as his resolve firmed up even further.

***

It felt like only a couple of days ago when he told himself that, but...

….A week flew by already.

Jin-Woo failed to grasp the right timing to enter the gap between dimensions
until now. He rested his chin on his hand and dazedly stared outside his
classroom's window. Beru began talking to him from his shadow.

[Oh, my king....]

'Yeah, I know.'

Indeed, he knew.

He knew that the Sovereigns desiring after this land were getting ready to
deploy a gigantic Gate just beyond the blue sky above his head.

However, these last few days had been like a holiday for him, someone who
had ended a big fight not too long ago. For a little while longer…. Wouldn't it be
fine for him to fully enjoy these peaceful times for a little bit longer? Especially
as a reward for his hard work so far.

'…..'

As he spent his time worrying about this and that, the much-welcomed sound
rang around the classroom.

Ding-dong…. Ding-dong….

The bells signalling the end of school noisily resounded out from the speakers.

Kids all looked to be slowly wasting away until then, but renewed vitality
suddenly seeped into their expressions. Going with the flow, Jin-Woo formed a
bright expression as well.

Even if the inside was a young man aged twenty-four, no, twenty-five, his
outer appearance was that of a child only fourteen years old or so.

The after-class goodbyes with the homeroom teacher came to a quick end in a
heightened, noisy, and boisterous atmosphere. Soon, though, schoolboys
sporting buzz cut hairstyles quickly crowded around Jin-Woo.

"Hey, Jin-Woo!"

"You're stopping by at the internet cafe today, right?"

Jin-Woo checked out the excited faces of the kids and grinned softly before
nodding his head.

"Oww yeah!"

"Hey, hey! Jin-Woo's playing for our team today!"

"What? What're you on about?! He played for your team yesterday


already."

"But, we also took in Jong-Shik too, you know. And he's the worst player
here."
"Ah, ah, fine. We'll take Jong-Shik and Min-Pyo too, so Jin-Woo is on our
team."

"Let's decide with rock-paper-scissors!"

"Deal!"

Around this time period in the classrooms of the nation's middle schools saw
the boom in the RTS video game genre. Jin-Woo's stunning reflexes and
perception were more than enough to show these kids a whole new world out
there.

For the middle school boys, top skills in a video game meant that you were the
most popular kid in school. Just about every kid out there competed hard to be in
the same team as Jin-Woo.

The matches of rock-paper-scissors were supposed to be decided on the best


out of three but soon morphed into best out of five.

Meanwhile, middle school girls, clearly not interested in the matters of video
games, stared at the boys intensely competing in the warfare to steal Jin-Woo
away with eyes reserved for looking at helpless idiots and left the classroom.

Also, right by the rear door of the classroom, there was this kid who kept
stealing glances in the direction of the crowd while he belatedly packed his
school bag.

He liked playing the video game like everyone else, but was no good in
making friends. Such kids could only look on with envy at the rest of their
classmates going around in groups like that.

Smirk.

Jin-Woo quietly smirked to himself.

He began noticing things that he wasn't conscious of before as a kid one by


one. Was it because he was an adult now? Or, because of his perception that had
exceeded the norms of humanity?

Even in this cramped space of the classroom, so, so many emotions swirled
around and collided against one another to form a small world of its own.

In the meantime...

"Wow-!"

Kids who finally found themselves in Jin-Woo's team exclaimed out loudly
without a shred of embarrassment.

Jin-Woo inwardly clicked his tongue.

'This is why girls are looking at you like that....'

The victors of the rock-paper-scissors battlefield left behind the dejected kids
and hurriedly crowded around Jin-Woo once more.

"Alright, let's go, Jin-Woo!"

Before he did that, though, he pointed to the back of the classroom.

"Hey, I want to form a team with him."

"Uh?"

In the direction the boys turned their heads to, there was only that lone kid
packing up his bag in silence. He flinched from surprise after realising that
everyone was looking at him, his eyes growing larger in panic.

"Uh....? Me?"

Jin-Woo replied back.

"Yup, you."

At that moment, he found countless traces of agonising dilemma flit in and out
of the boy's expression. He just smirked again and asked.

"What's the matter? You don't wanna?"

"N-no....."
The boy was now forming a shy but happy smile. Seeing that he was
successful in his mission, Jin-Woo picked up his bag and spoke up.

"Okay, let's go."

The boy quickly picked up his bag and nodded his head.

"Y-yeah!"

Jin-Woo grinned brightly again.

For a little bit longer.

This feeling – just for a little bit longer.

'If these moments that I'm living my life aren't harming anyone, let me enjoy
them at least for another day.

Let me stay for a bit longer....'

Jin-Woo's steps taking him outside the classroom alongside his friends were
cheery and light, but at the same time, also incomparably heavy as well.

The sun leaning against the mountain behind the school was already dyeing
the sky amber. Jin-Woo came to a stop for a moment there and looked up at the
heavens above, prompting his friends to call out to him.

"Hey, Jin-Woo? What are you doing?"

"Our spots in the internet cafe will get taken over at this rate!"

'These guys, trying to hurry me and all....'

"Yeah, yeah, I'm coming."

Jin-Woo caught up to the rest of his friends walking a step ahead. They were
noisily chatting about their famous victories soon to be written in history with
voices full of anticipation.

Jin-Woo didn't really need to enter the conversations to sense their excitement
and hear their throbbing heartbeats.
And so….

Under the skies dyeing in the colours of vivid copper, Jin-Woo walked on
these streets with friends he met again after what felt like an eternity.

He walked with a wide smile still etched on his face.


Chapter 246 Fin.
Source: WEBNOVEL

REPORT

Side Story 3

After entering the gap between dimensions, Jin-Woo developed a habit he


never had before. And that would be jotting down things he saw and experienced
on that day on a notebook.

He wasn't doing it with some lofty purpose of leaving behind the records of
his bitter life-or-death struggle against the Sovereigns.

The gap between dimension was a perfectly 'empty' space, pretty similar to the
land of eternal rest. Without battles against his enemies, this world of
nothingness where only the eternal darkness existed would have been incredibly
dreary and lonesome - he'd have difficult time trying to keep his sanity as a
result.

However, his reason wasn't as simple as there being nothing to do in here.

Jin-Woo now possessed the experience of living the same timeline twice and
because of that, realised something crucial – the perspective on an event would
shift depending on when you were looking at it.

Meaning, after some time had passed, he might see some things he previously
failed to notice.

And that was why he became rather curious as to how he'd feel after going
through these records again when his memories started to fade away and grew
indistinct in the distant future.

Would he become embarrassed that he left behind written records? Or would


he feel regret, thinking that he could've done it better? Or, maybe even miss this
war, although he felt almost completely fed up with it right now?
That was his reason for writing a diary whenever he had a chance.

Jot, jot...

Within this endlessly deep darkness, only the sounds of a pen softly scratching
on the surface of a paper quietly rang out. As he continued to jot down the
records of the day's events, a smirk suddenly formed on his lips.

'….Even still, I'm pretty sure I'll never miss the stuff that happened here in
the future.'

Jin-Woo raised his head and caught the sight of the monster corpses too
numerous to even count strewn about in the darkness.

Yet again, Jin-Woo tasted victory in the battle against the Sovereigns, and
through this particular engagement, killed the 'Sovereign of Transfiguration' –
the one that gave him the most headache so far.

It had already been 27 years since he entered the gap between dimensions.
Finally, the closing curtains of this long, dangerous, and monotone warfare was
in sight.

The only remaining enemies were the Dragon Emperor and its direct
subordinates, the 'Army of Destruction'. His heart briefly beat faster from
knowing that he'd go home soon.

'What a relief that the time flow in here and outside is different.'

Only around two years should have gone by on the outside.

Coming home after two years of absence, was it?

How much would Jin-Ah have changed? What about Dad? Mom? Were they
holding up well? Should he have explained a bit better before coming here?

All sorts of worries briefly fleeted in and out of his head.

'No, hang on.'

Jin-Woo shook his head as if to get rid of all distracting thoughts. Now wasn't
the time to focus his attention on how to decorate the last pages of his 'diary'.

With excellent timing, Bellion walked closer and bowed his head.

[My liege, the surroundings have been tidied up. There are no living
enemies left.]

Jin-Woo took a look around him.

The Shadow Soldiers had finished sweeping up the battlefield and massacred
all the still-breathing enemies, and now, they stood in near-infinite columns as
far as his eyes could see, silently waiting for his next command.

Guooooh….

He had already given up counting the number of his current soldiers quite a
while ago. With a chuckle, Jin-Woo closed the diary.

"Alright."

He stored both the notebook and the pen within the subspace and descended
from the top of a hill made out of the monster corpses.

It was now the time – time to meet his greatest enemy. The one he so badly
wanted to meet.

It was time to go and greet the 'one' who handed him his first defeat ever since
becoming the Shadow Sovereign. The Rulers intervened and the end result was
flipped on its head, but without a doubt, Jin-Woo did lose to the Dragon Emperor
in that battle.

'….I won't lose again.'

A cold gleam dangerously flickered within Jin-Woo's eyes.

His heart beat only softly when he thought about going home soon, yet now
his eardrums were hurting from its vigorous, thunderous pounding.

Ba-thump, ba-thump, ba-thump, ba-thump!!

What if...
Jin-Woo focused on the sounds of his beating heart, only to begin wondering
if there would come a day in the distant future when he'd really start missing this
war.

He then wordlessly turned in the direction where the aura of the Dragon
Emperor could be felt. And, along with the soldiers that would participate in the
final battle….

"Rise up."

From next to the countless dead monsters strewn about everywhere, an equal
number of shadows rose up after hearing the command of the Shadow
Sovereign.

Right behind Jin-Woo, his three Marshals, Bellion, Beru, and Igrit, plus many
commanders, stood in an orderly fashion.

And behind them, the enormous army, more than large enough to cover an
entire continent, quietly waited on standby for his next command.

'…....'

Although this world lacked the flow of air, it still felt like a wind signalling
the end of the war was faintly blowing around.

Jin-Woo quietly closed his eyes and took a deep breath. And when he opened
his eyes, he uttered out the words that ushered in the end of this lengthy war.

"We march forward to attack the Dragon Emperor."

The Dragon Emperor also felt it.

It felt that a truly gigantic horde with a scale that couldn't even be estimated
heading in its direction.

Since when did it start?

When was it that the Shadow Sovereign, initially starting off with the repeated
tactic of hit-and-run to shave away the massive Army of the Chaos World, began
to openly hit his enemies with the full might of his army, instead?
The position of the army chasing him down had suddenly reversed and now,
they were being chased down by him.

Out of all the armies that had been scattered around on their own, only the
Army of Destruction remained. So, it wasn't all that difficult to guess where the
attention of the Shadow Sovereign would land next.

The final, deciding battle.

Although the Dragon Emperor never imagined that the seemingly-everlasting


war would end not with a grand battle against the Rulers but as a conflict
between Sovereigns, it still believed that the upcoming battle would be a perfect
finale nevertheless.

Indeed, didn't its blood boil from just remembering the battle against the
Shadow Sovereign that took place decades ago?

'….'

The Dragon Emperor quietly stood still and glared in one particular spot. In
the meantime, one of its subordinates cautiously approached it.

[Oh, my Emperor....]

The Dragon Emperor standing there with its arms crossed quickly replied.

[Yugumunt has died.]

After hearing the news of the Sovereign of Transfiguration dying, the


subordinate formed a stunned expression before bowing its head again.

[That is why... perhaps it is advisable to move to somewhere more distant....]

[No.]

The Dragon Emperor bared its fangs as murderous aura rose up from its body
in a red mist.

[I'm already sick and tired of running away. We shall fight the b*stard right
here.]
That man had spent over twenty years to hunt and whittle down the armies of
the Sovereigns. So, he'd not even give his enemies sufficient time to regroup and
reform their army.

If it was impossible to escape from his siege, then the Dragon Emperor would
fight back head-on and decide everything. Now that would be a choice befitting
of the King of Berserk Dragons.

[Get ready for battle!]

One command from their Sovereign and the Army of Destruction got ready to
fight in an instant.

Kuwaaaah-!!

The Ancient-grade Dragons, Dragonewts, and the Sky Dragons they were
riding on, all raised their heads up high and roared out.

'He's coming!'

The Dragon Emperor's head snapped in the direction where it just detected the
movement of a gigantic power.

There was a clear reason why the Army of the Chaos World was defeated by
the lone Shadow Sovereign.

'….Outstanding mobility.'

No one could even come remotely close to the mobility of the Shadow Army
that could be summoned freely by their Sovereign whenever he felt like it.

No matter how close one was, the distance would grow in an instant, and no
matter how far away they were, they could close the distance in the blink of an
eye, too.

And right this moment, the Dragon Emperor was looking at the reason why
the Sovereigns' armies had been so thoroughly defeated. The Shadow Sovereign
slowly rose up from the darkness. And at the same time, millions upon millions
of black soldiers lined up behind him.
The Shadow Sovereign!!

The fighting spirit emitted from the entirety of the Shadow Army standing
behind him was so great that it even made the Dragon Emperor shudder from
this slight sense of disgust for a moment there.

Two decades of war later, he had finally got himself the greatest army
imaginable.

[Kuhahahaha!!]

The Dragon Emperor roared out with boisterous laughter after coming face-to-
face with this incredible army.

[Amazing. Truly amazing, oh, King of Shadows.]

Fight the smaller number with overwhelming numbers – the situation back
then when he first faced off against his enemies had now completely turned on
its head.

[I never imagined that you alone would be capable of completely shaking up


the entire army. Who would have thought that we'd arrive here?]

The Shadow Sovereign, currently outfitted in jet-black armour, wordlessly


stared at the king of all Dragons.

The previous immaturity of the Shadow Sovereign had been replaced by this
still weightiness and he emitted a much stronger aura than ever before.

Flinch, flinch….

The Dragon Emperor's body shuddered from excitement, as a truly powerful


enemy stood before it.

It so desperately wanted to rip him into pieces.

It so badly wanted to rip him into several pieces and devour him.

The nature of a berserk Dragon began wiggling madly from within the Dragon
Emperor. However, it was still too early to confirm whether this encounter was a
celebration or a punishment. It wanted to enjoy this moment as it trembled from
the anticipation for a little bit longer.

[I want to ask you one thing.]

Also, there was this thing it was quite curious about as well, which was rather
convenient.

[Why did the Rulers use the 'Chalice of Rebirth'? Why did they revive all the
dead Sovereigns and their soldiers?]

There was no doubt that on that day, the Dragon Emperor's life came to an end
at the hands of the Rulers. The pain from the spears that pierced into its body
was still vividly etched in its memory.

The grand army of the Chaos World would have crumbled pretty quickly after
their leadership was lost through the Dragon Emperor's death. And with that, the
lengthy war between the Sovereigns and Rulers would have come to its natural
end. With the Rulers as the final victors.

It'd have been a perfect defeat for the Sovereigns, with not even a bit of room
for any excuses whatsoever.

However, they went ahead and revived every Sovereign for some unknown
reason, by reversing the time through the 'Chalice of Rebirth'.

Ever since that day, it tried to decipher the intentions of the Rulers over and
over again, but failed to even come close to guessing the reason. That was why it
simply had to ask the Shadow Sovereign, who was with them at the time.

And then...

[Because I wanted it.]

….That completely unexpected answer caused the brows of the Dragon


Emperor to shoot up.

[What did you say...?]

Jin-Woo slowly spoke again, enunciating every word clearly so his opponent
could understand him.

[I wanted to kill you lot with my own hands again so I asked them for the
favour of using the 'Chalice of Rebirth'.]

Crazy son of a b*tch!

The Dragon Emperor somehow managed to suppress a torrent of swearing


that rushed up to the tip of its tongue. To attack an army of over ten million-
strong soldiers with just one hundred thousand combatants, he resorted to using
a Tool of God to reverse time?!

Although it was a truly nonsensical declaration, but at least, it did resolve one
of the questions burning up inside the Dragon Emperor's head.

The reason for the Rulers using the Chalice of Rebirth, and the Shadow
Sovereign suddenly going on a rampage – these two matters were actually
related, as it turned out.

[Haha…. Ahahahaha!!]

As if it found the whole thing too absurd, the Dragon Emperor shook its head
helplessly and roared out in a burst of loud laughter.

The Shadow Sovereign wanted to fight the massive army of the Chaos World
again on his own volition, and just as he wished, managed to succeed in driving
his enemies to a corner.

This feat demanded a level of respect that transcended all types of respect.
The Dragon Emperor had no other way to express its opinion on the Shadow
Sovereign who had managed to almost succeed in a challenge that seemed
utterly impossible to accomplish in the face of it.

And he was now staring down on one final hurdle of that challenge.

Whether to devour, or be devoured.

For the first time ever, the Dragon Emperor became curious about the name of
its opponent, the one that would either devour it, or end up getting devoured by
it, instead.
[My name is Antares.]

The name bestowed unto it by the Absolute Being, but revealed to no one
until now – the Dragon Emperor readily revealed its name to the Shadow
Sovereign.

[That is my name. Remember it well.]

It did so, in order to learn the Shadow Sovereign's name.

With a sombre, serious expression on its face, the King of Dragons asked its
question.

[What is your name?]

The Shadow Sovereign, Jin-Woo, decided to answer what could very well be
the last-ever question of the Dragon Emperor.

[It's Seong Jin-Woo.]

And then, he spoke up in a tone of voice implying that there wouldn't be any
further Q&A session after this.

[Is there anything else you want to say?]

The power of death in a pitch-black aura ominously quivered and rose up


above Jin-Woo's shoulders.

The gap between dimensions was very similar to the world of eternal rest and
it was rather easy to summon out the power of death in this place. The Shadow
Soldiers that were resonating as one with their Sovereign's power also raised up
their fighting spirit higher.

Uwaaaaahh-!!!

The entirety of the Shadow Army seethed and writhed. The corners of the
Dragon Emperor's lips curled up as it witnessed this spectacle.

'Anything else I'd like to say, is it?'

Would there be a need for any further discussion when there was this grand
feast laid out before its eyes?

[….I don't have any.]

The Dragon Emperor transformed into a burning Dragon and stood before Jin-
Woo, who also transformed into a humongous black giant as well.

A mountain against another mountain.

The two gigantic existences glared at each other just before the final battle.
But, that lull only lasted for a moment.

Kuwaaaaaah-!!!

The Dragon Emperor roared out loudly as if to shake the dimensions


themselves, and the entirety of the Army of Destruction charged forward.

Jin-Woo was far quieter than his opponent as he simply pointed to his
forward. Right away, near-ten million soldiers made their move.

At the same time, he too dashed forward towards the Dragon Emperor with
everything he had.

The end of the lengthy war was here. He had been waiting with bated breaths
this reunion with the Dragon Emperor just so he could witness the end.

A chilling ray of light began gathering within the Dragon Emperor's maw.

It was now Jin-Woo's chance to display the amount of growth he had gone
through due to the experiences he earned before reversing time, as well as things
he learned during this long war.

The flow of time slowed down to a crawl and only him and the Dragon
Emperor remained within Jin-Woo's vision.

Just as the light of destruction exploded out slowly from the maw of a burning
Dragon, Jin-Woo's fist enveloped in jet-black aura was thrust forward.

And so, light and darkness clashed once more inside the gap between
dimensions.
Chapter 247 Fin.
Source: WEBNOVEL

REPORT

Side Story 4

The entirety of the United States of America became rather noisy when a
certain fortune-teller made an announcement.

"Not too long from now, the God of Death will descend on this land!"

Now normally, a prophecy like this, one better suited for a spot on a comic
book cover, wouldn't have garnered any attention from the public. However, the
big issue here was that this prophecy had been made by none other than Madam
'Norma Selner'.

Just who was this woman?

After abruptly opening her 'Heavenly Eye' around two years ago, she
accurately predicted the death of North Korea's leader, terrorists kidnapping an
aeroplane full of passengers, the stock market crash brought about by the sudden
collapse of the housing markets, etc., and she had been the centre of many
controversies for a while now.

And such a person made an announcement that implied the end of the world
was coming, so it'd only be obvious that everyone would start freaking out.

Madam Norma Selner was also known as the 'prophet who is never wrong'.
The mass media that saddled her with that label went into full-on panic mode
and tripped over themselves to get an interview with her.

Too bad for them, though, she refused to speak to every reporter save for one
person, who just so happened to be a personal friend of hers. It became known
later that she had invited him privately and gave him a message.
And the very next day.

A gigantic black hole suddenly opened up in the skies of Seoul, one large
enough to almost completely cover up the capital city. And Madam's prophecy
dominated the headlines of every newspaper in the world.

Meanwhile, inside said Gate….

Jin-Woo could only let out a gasp of surprise after spotting the humongous sea
of people, as if the humans of the entire world had gathered in one spot, right
below him.

"Huh-uh...."

How wonderfully moving would it have been if all those people were here to
welcome him back? Unfortunately, Jin-Woo knew better than anyone that would
not be the case and could only form a wry smile.

Soon, this Gate would open up. To all those watching on from the ground, this
portal might be a source of sheer terror, but to him, it was an important doorway
back home.

Home.

Jin-Woo's heart was rapidly filling up with warm emotions from the
knowledge that the pathway to his home that he missed so much would soon
open up.

'Now that I think about it, isn't this my first time looking at the outside from
the inside of a Gate?'

The outside world was in full display from inside the Gate. That was how Jin-
Woo got to spectate on the sea of people below his feet. He placed his hand on
the 'wall' of the Gate that separated the two spaces.

In the past, he needed to give it his all in the battle against the Dragon
Emperor in order to break this wall down, but now...

'Now, I....'
Jin-Woo lightly pressed down, causing minute cracks to form on the wall with
sharp noises. If he pushed a bit harder, then this wall would surely break down
without much resistance.

For a short moment there, Jin-Woo pondered whether he should do that and
make his descent now or not, but eventually, he shook his head with a gentle
smile on his face.

'….No, I shouldn't.'

People on the ground were scared already, so there was no need to alarm them
even further. Besides, he'd been waiting for this moment for almost 30 years, so
it was not a problem to wait for a few more days.

Jin-Woo carefully withdrew his hand, only to discover something else.

'Hold up. Just who would think that this is the hand of a third-year middle
school student??'

Indeed, he just realised that his hand was simply too big now. Having spent 27
years in the gap between dimensions, Jin-Woo had naturally become a middle-
aged man.

His physical age had already surpassed his own father's now. However, he'd
been missing for only two years on the outside.

He needed to adjust his physical age to that of the outside one so that he could
avoid the situation of people who knew him freaking out after seeing how much
he had changed.

Although, he wasn't that keen on looking young to other people…. Hang on,
maybe he was?

...In any case.

"I guess there's no helping it."

Jin-Woo grinned and looked down at his body before activating his powers.
With him being able to perfectly control the powers of the Shadow Sovereign,
the biological clock of his physical body posed no problem at all.
Soon enough, Jin-Woo's figure shrunk back down to that of a middle school
student.

Shururuk....

The bearded face of a middle-aged man became that of a fresh-faced teenage


boy with a bright complexion in no time at all.

The black smoke enveloped him for a brief moment and when it receded
away, even the clothing had changed to the school uniform he wore on the day
he went 'missing'.

'This should be enough, right?'

Jin-Woo formed a satisfied smile after confirming his new look, which was
definitely that of a student no matter who took a gander at him.

Both his mind and body were now ready to go home and meet his family.

The only thing remaining was to wait.

'Two more days left....'

Even the wait until the Gate opened up proved to be something to enjoy to
Jin-Woo, who was nearing the end of one hell of a long journey.

"Uh... Uh?? H-hey, it's opening up!!"

"The hole is opening up!!"

The crowd of people screamed and pointed at the Gate now beginning to open
up.

Aaaah-!!

Kyahhack!

However, only the interior of the Gate connected to some other place was
revealed to the waiting eyes outside. No feared events of scary things jumping
out from there happened.
"....??"

"What's this?"

"It's over, just like that?"

The folks from all corners of the globe, here to spectate on the giant Gate,
began murmuring in uncertainty as they watched the mysterious portal slowly
dissipate.

In the meantime, Jin-Woo blended in with the completely-unawares crowd


and upon arriving at a quiet, deserted street, undid his Stealth.

Since pretty much everyone was focusing on the disappearing Gate, none of
them paid much attention to a middle school student that popped up out of
seemingly nowhere.

Jin-Woo briefly observed the crowd of onlookers for a bit, before turning
around to head towards his home.

It was precisely at that moment he discovered a young man holding an


expensive-looking bouquet of flowers standing before him.

This man smiled brightly and addressed Jin-Woo.

"Welcome back home safe and sound, Mister Seong Jin-Woo. Or, should I
address you as the Shadow Sovereign, instead?"

He had never met this guy before. However, he didn't sense any malice from
this unknown dude, either. So, he decided to lower his vigilance.

"It doesn't matter what you address me as."

Jin-Woo received the bouquet of flowers from the man and smirked softly.

"Having at least one person welcome me back isn't so bad, I guess."

He leaned in and took a sniff at the flowers before raising his head up again.
The man spoke as if he was genuinely surprised.

"Honestly…. I've never imagined that you would successfully finish your
mission and return home like this. By the way, I see that your steps carry the
weight of ten million soldiers."

The 'Army' was defeated, and without a single exception, the denizens of the
Chaos World that made up its fighting force came under the influence of the
Shadow Sovereign.

Jin-Woo now wielded the biggest fighting force when both the Sovereigns and
Rulers were taken into account. He lowered the bouquet and asked the stranger.

"I'm sure you didn't come here to hand me this bundle of flowers, so...
What does the emissary of the Rulers want with me?"

Quite different from the tone of his voice that could've come across as
overbearing, his expression was filled with a relaxed composure.

A lion would never fear a lamb, after all.

His overwhelming strength, honed even further through the lengthy war, was
more than enough to make this unknown man shudder slightly in fear, even
though the latter already knew who he was dealing with today.

Indeed, it was the role of the lamb to fear the opponent, not the other way
around.

Now faced with the dignified air of the Sovereign that was not too dissimilar
to a king of all predators, the unknown man chose to politely lower his head
first.

"The Rulers have sent you a message, Shadow Sovereign. Our conversation
might take a while, so may I inquire if it's fine with you for us to go
elsewhere?"

"Fine."

Jin-Woo walked past the smiling man and took the lead.

"I just remembered a place I wanted to stop by, anyway."

"...."
The unknown man wordlessly stared at the bowl of ice cream presented before
him for a bit and raised his head.

"The place you wanted to stop by was an ice cream parlour?"

Sure, just because he became younger-looking, that didn't mean his tastes had
changed, as well.

It was just that...

"Well, staying in a distant 'place' for a long time does make you hanker for
something sweet, you see."

Jin-Woo replied with a grin and began scooping the delicious ice cream into
his mouth.

This wonderful, refreshing coldness transmitted from his tongue. And then,
followed by this thrilling sweetness.

Only now did it strike home that he had returned for real.

The unknown man tried to get to the main topic several times but Jin-Woo
stopped him again and again. Only after he cleaned out the ice cream bowl did
he open his mouth to speak.

"So, what did the Rulers say?"

The unknown man had been dazedly watching the Shadow Sovereign's snack
time until then. He hurriedly regained his wits and spoke up.

"Oh. First of all, they wish to express their genuine gratitude...."

"Why don't we skip the perfunctory greetings and move on?"

The Rulers should not have any further business with this world, yet they still
sent an envoy to speak to him like this. Jin-Woo deduced that the matter at hand
must be something extraordinary, so he wanted to skip the opening remarks.

"Did a new problem pop up from somewhere?"

"No, not at all. It's nothing like that. Rather, I'm here to speak to you
because all the problems had been resolved, instead."

Came to speak to him because all problems had been solved, he said.

The light in Jin-Woo's eyes became even more serious. The unknown man
greeted that sombre look and gulped down his dry saliva out of sheer
nervousness. Still, one shouldn't forget to perform one's duty just because the
other party happened to be quite a scary person.

The man opened his mouth with some difficulty.

"The Rulers, they…. They are worried about the potential side effects your
powers might have on this world, Sovereign-nim. As you may well know, the
powers you possess are not something this world can cope with."

"....Okay, so?"

"Without the presence of Mana, this world is just too fragile. If it's okay
with you, we'd like to transfer you to a world that can take on your powers,
Sovereign-nim."

"Or, they can just go ahead and seal me up instead of transferring me


around, saving us from potential headaches."

"Of course, that is an option...."

Bang!

Jin-Woo lightly slapped the table, causing the unknown man to flinch and stop
his attempt to reply, his bright complexion frozen solid mid-speech.

The heavy voice of the Shadow Sovereign slowly came out of Jin-Woo's
mouth.

"So, they wish to get rid of me since I'm no longer useful, is that it?
Because they fear the power that I possess?"

Jin-Woo maintained a smile, but the glare in his eyes was incomparable colder
than before. The unknown man nearly jumped up in fright and quickly waved his
hands around.
"N-no, that's not true! I swear, it's not like that!"

He then presented Jin-Woo with a certain newspaper he had prepared earlier.


Jin-Woo took the paper and read the article dominating the front page.

That's when he spotted a rather familiar face there.

The article was about a prophecy made by one Madam Norma Selner, who
used to work as the 'Upgrader' in the previous timeline.

Jin-Woo's brows quivered a little at the words 'God of Death'.

"She wasn't originally an exceptional soothsayer even back in the erased


timeline. However, coming into contact with our world has changed her life a
great deal."

Jin-Woo's gaze stopped at a certain part of the article, the part about when she
had abruptly opened up the so-called 'Heavenly Eye'. It was around two years
ago.

Her 'awakening' matching up with the exact point in time he found himself
after the timeline had been reset using the Tool of God couldn't be chalked down
to simple coincidence.

"So, what you're saying is, my existence can potentially cause other
changes like this one?"

"Yes, that's correct, Sovereign-nim."

Once Jin-Woo showed signs of calming down, the unknown man spat out a
sigh of relief.

"The Rulers' thoughts are to present you with a suitable location where you
can stay, if that's what you decide, with their intentions being to prevent the
potential adverse change taking place in this world."

"..."

Jin-Woo leaned against the chair.


He still couldn't sense any malice from this unknown man. The Rulers
connected to this man were making this offer out of good-will and other similar
emotions.

However...

To think, he'd have to hear such news on the first day of his return.

Jin-Woo had been in a state of anticipation from the thoughts of going home,
so he found it hard to hide how disappointed he was.

He definitely didn't want to discuss stuff like this right now. And he didn't
bother to hide his thoughts on that matter.

"Can you come back some other time?"

"....I shall do so, oh, great Sovereign."

The unknown man performed a smart, courteous bow towards the greatest
hero who brought to an end the war between Sovereigns and Rulers. The only
thing remaining after the man had left was a black-on-both-sides business card.

Most likely, that signified the unknown man requesting him to call the number
on the card when Jin-Woo had made up his mind.

He studied the face and the back of this card before stuffing it in the inner
pocket of his school uniform, a bitter smile slowly spreading on his face.

The bubbles of anticipation and excitement from coming home had burst for
good now. Many thoughts swirled in his head, almost making him dizzy.

'If all living creatures have a clear goal, a purpose in their lives....'

He was certain of one thing.

As the Shadow Sovereign, he had fulfilled his purpose after stopping the
invasion of the Sovereigns, as well as making sure that no weird phenomena
occurred on Earth.

Meaning, he had accomplished his goal.


So, the enormous power that served its purpose would only become a
headache that was hard to dispose of, just like the nuclear waste at the end of its
life cycle.

In that case – a question suddenly popped up in his head.

'In the end, have I become an existence surplus to this world?'

When the chain of his thoughts reached there, he spotted a certain familiar
face jogging past the ice cream shop. As if he was entranced, Jin-Woo got up,
pushed open the front door, and stepped outside.

Without a doubt that moving forward, there would come many occasions in
the future where he'd have to ponder whether remaining in this world was a good
idea or not.

However….

'As long as there is a reason for me to stay, even if it's just one, then....'

A teenage girl kitted out in an athletics uniform stopped jogging and turned
around to look behind her.

At the place where the scent she really liked was coming from, she discovered
an unfamiliar teenage boy standing in front of the wide-open exit of an ice cream
parlour.

'What's going on? Did ice cream smell this good before?'

The teenage girl tilted her head this way and that while glancing behind her,
but in the end, she failed to solve her confusion and continued with her jogging.

Seeing her departing back, a brief smile formed on Jin-Woo's face.

'There are still people that I love in this world.

And also, those who love me, and those who used to love me exist in this
place, too.

That is more than enough reason for me to stay here.'


Jin-Woo smiled and inwardly told himself to find other reasons to stay in this
world.
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