The Hero Returns

Chapter 37

Chapter 37: Chapter 37

[The 20th floor’s level 10 trial starts now.]

What appeared in front of Su-hyeun was a massive castle wall and numerous soldiers spread out below it. The soldiers, standing close together like ants, looked down from the top of the wall. Just by looking at them, Su-hyeun knew what he had to do.

<<Is it a siege?>>

But it was strange. No matter how he saw it, there was no one but himself around. Unlike the thousands of soldiers below, he was alone.

[The trial starts now.]

[Recently, thousands of soldiers and mercenaries are guarding the impenetrable fortress, the kingdom Gran Dalum. It is your responsibility to use all methods to take down the fort.]

[Take down the castle. There is no limit to what methods can be used. You may recruit allies within the arena.]

[But please remember: you are not their enemy.]

[You have a month to complete this.]

[You will fail this trial if you die or exceed the given time limit.]

[Please take down the fort.]

[Dig up the castle’s secrets.]

[The rewards will differ according to the results of the trial.]

The mission’s contents were quite lengthy. Through the contents, Su-hyeun was able to infer some facts.

<<This isn’t a normal castle.>>

Firstly, the aim to “dig up the castle’s secrets” was clearly written, which meant solely taking down the castle was not the only objective.

Furthermore, he was told that the soldiers and mercenaries were not Su-hyeun’s enemies. Looking at this, he could understand the gatekeeper’s hint.

<<To not kill anyone…>>

But why? Why would the citizens’ lives dictate the rewards?

The Tower’s system did not deem humans’ lives to be that important. There were usually missions to kill, but missions to save were rare. To Su-hyeun’s knowledge, there wasn’t any mission that stops one from killing the enemy just to let them realize how precious life was.

<<Moreover, since it said that they are not enemies…>>

Su-hyeun looked up at the castle and scratched his head.

“This is difficult.”

One could have come up with many assumptions based on their own thoughts. But Su-hyeun could never find out anything by just standing there.

Su-hyeun closed his eyes and amplified the radius of his magic as far as possible. The magic was spread over the soldiers and mercenaries. With that, Su-hyeun was able to clearly feel each and everyone’s feelings.

<<Most of them deal with magic.>>

Most of the mercenaries were around the standards of a C-rank awakener. The other soldiers were quite well-trained as well.

It was by no means easy to take down the steep walls and thick iron gates that were guarded by thousands of soldiers. Furthermore, according to the gatekeeper’s words, Su-hyeun could not even kill them.

<<What’s with this difficulty?>>

The trial’s difficulty suddenly skyrocketed exponentially.

How should he clear the trial? Others would definitely have this thought on their minds if it was them, as missions of that standard should never have appeared on 20th-floor trials.

Of course, that would be the case for other awakeners. It might be an impossible trial for other awakeners who ascended the Tower in the usual way up to the 20th floor, but it wasn’t the case for Su-hyeun.

<<A month.>>

The time coincided nicely. Su-hyeun had aimed to clear this floor within a month as well. He thought he knew why he was given a time frame of a month.

Amongst the mission’s contents, the hint said, “You can form allies.”

Perhaps during that month in that world, Su-hyeun might have to go through a complicated process such as meeting someone from that castle and having a hostile relationship with them.


“With a time limit of one month…”


Su-hyeun started walking towards the castle’s wall.

“It’s too long.”

That process should be omitted. It was too troublesome, and it didn’t match his personality. Moreover, he didn’t feel the need to go through with it. It was something that he had to face head-on now.

Su-hyeun felt that it would be sufficient for him to do it on his own.

* * *

The gigantic castle, which was a few hundred meters tall, could be seen from farther away.

Su-hyeun approached it slowly without hurry, with the thought that he had ample time. Every time the distance between him and the castle narrowed, he could sense something from within the castle.

Another reason why Su-hyeun ambled towards the castle was to observe the reactions of those guarding it.


As the distance narrowed to a certain length, mutters could be heard from the top of the castle.

Su-hyeun was unsure if magical effects were used, but the voice was different. A small amount of magic could be felt, as well.

Su-hyeun stopped in his tracks and looked upwards. Soon, he could hear the voice again.

“You can’t come any nearer. Turn around!”

It was a pressurizing voice.

Su-hyeun looked at the owner of the voice distinctly. Although the distance was far, he concentrated magic on his eyes and allowed him to see the other party distinctively.

“Sorry, but can’t I stay over for a few days?”

“No! This place isn’t for ordinary people….”

The man who was responding to Su-hyeun stopped talking when he realized that something was amiss. How could such a small voice be heard that clearly when there was a considerable distance between them? It was impossible unless he had pretty good magic control.

“You. What are you?”

“I’m just a passer-by… I wanted to borrow your castle for a while.” Su-hyeun started walking once more. “So, all of you please come out of the castle.”

“This crazy man!”

A commotion arose at the top of the castle.

It seemed that they had now recognized Su-hyeun as their enemy.

They shouldn’t have felt threatened when only one person was walking towards their castle, but after they realized how good Su-hyeun’s magic control was, they seemed to become defensive.

Of course, Su-hyeun would not feel scared with just that.

“Now, let’s…”

As soon as Su-hyeun realized the other party was prepared to fight, he took out the sword, Gram, which was hung by his hip.

“It finally commenced.”


With Su-hyeun’s magic, Gram produced a low sound.

Numerous arrows shot out from within the castle, with the arrowheads aimed towards Su-hyeun. Su-hyeun then stepped forward, giving strength to his step.


A big leap brought Su-hyeun’s body up into the air. With another big leap, Su-hyeun flew even further up tens of meters instantaneously.


The man who seemed like a commander did not fluster and gave out his order. Someone with skills similar to Su-hyeun’s probably existed amongst them as well.

Slick, slick—


Hundreds and thousands of arrows were shot over Su-hyeun’s head.

The mercenaries’ archery skills were quite excellent. Even with a long distance between them, the arrows were aimed quite accurately at Su-hyeun.


Flame shot out from the sword that Su-hyeun was brandishing, making the arrows from over his head pour down. At the same time, Su-hyeun vanished from that position.

Su-hyeun’s clone attracted everyone’s attention in an instant when it arrived near the gate. Only a minority could capture such instantaneous movements without missing.

“Over there!”

But even that wasn’t good enough because Su-hyeun had already arrived in front of the gates.

“I’ll break it in one go.”


Su-hyeun injected magic into Gram.

With the highest strength and length, as well as an unbelievable sharpness, Gram was a sword optimized for cutting things.

No matter how sturdy or impenetrable the gate was, Gram could still cut through it.


Su-hyeun grasped Gram with all his might.

The gate’s thickness exceeded the sword’s length by multiple folds. But even so, Su-hyeun never thought that he would not be able to cut through the gate.

A tremendous amount of magic enveloped Gram and increased its length.

The sharpness of Gram’s blade was due to the rotating friction by the extremely fine magic. Su-hyeun increased the maximum range of that rotation and forced it to increase its speed as well. Gram’s range and power had doubled.

Although quite a substantial amount of magic had been used…


It should be enough.

Whoosh, whoosh, whoosh—

Su-hyeun brandished his sword as he approached closer to the gate.

The sword didn’t seem like it had cut through anything. The gate made of sturdy iron had been cut like soft tofu.

Clash, clash—

The slashed gate fell to the ground. It was destroyed to the extent that it was beyond restoration.

“T-the gate is broken!” Someone called out from the top of the castle.

Su-hyeun muttered as he drew in deep breaths after having used up such a tremendous amount of magic in a short time.

“It’s not broken, but…”

As if they were instructed to meet Su-hyeun, numerous soldiers appeared from behind the gate.

“It’s been cut.”

Su-hyeun was now certain after having used it.

Gram was the best sword.

Act 8

At Su-hyeun’s request, Lee Ju-ho went to the nearest Awakener’s Authorities at City Hall. Several of the nation’s awakeners were waiting in the building. Additionally, politicians who were managing the awakeners had their offices in the higher levels.

Lee Ju-ho presented his awakener’s registration card and headed up to the higher level floors of the building. A few awakeners who recognized him greeted him.

“Oh, isn’t this Lee Ju-ho? What brings you here?”

Along the corridor, Lee Ju-ho bumped into one of the high ranking members of the authorities who also the nation’s A-rank awakener, Kim Do-ui. As they were quite acquainted after having met a couple of times before, Lee Ju-ho greeted him and said, “I have something to attend to. Is Director Lee in?”

“Yes, he should be in. I don’t think he has any appointments today.”

“Is that so? That’s great.”

“You needed to see the Director? Shall we go together?”

“There’s really no need…”

“I actually have something to tell him about the green level dungeon attack that happened recently. Let’s go together.”

Lee Ju-ho finally nodded and agreed after agonizing for a while how Kim Do-ui joining him would work out. He thought Kim Do-ui might be able to assist in persuading the Director.

“If so, let’s go then.”

Lee Ju-ho and Kim Do-ui headed towards the Director’s room.

The Director who oversaw the Awakeners Accreditation Authority and managed the nation’s awakeners was an old man well over his 60s.

He had a face filled with dark pigmentation and droopy eyes, with an unreadable expression. Formerly a presidential candidate, he was the highest-ranking council member managing the authorities and all the nation’s awakeners.

“Director, you have guests.”

Kim Do-ui, who had been serving the Director for a long time, treated him quite comfortably. The Director quickly glanced at Lee Ju-ho and returned to reviewing his documents, and asked, “What is it?”

Lee Ju-ho didn’t seem to be of any importance to him. Lee Ju-ho, who had known well of the Director’s personality, spoke without getting flustered.

“I have a favor to ask.”

“A favor?”

“Yes. It is related to the safety of the citizens.”

The citizens’ safety. It was a problem that the Director of the Awakener’s Authority had to deal with in the highest priority. It was a subject important enough to draw the Director’s attention.

“The citizens’ safety…”

The Director’s attention returned to Lee Ju-ho once again.

“Come, let’s hear about it.”


As he met the fastidious Director, he let out some bait that could possibly provide him more time to talk.

Lee Ju-ho felt relieved and started to relay Su-hyeun’s words.

“Now that I’ve met the Director, firstly…”

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