God Hunter - Chapter 4
It was a slaughter fest.
The unforeseen emergence of monsters. And the appearance of the Demon Lord. Although humanity was able to adapt to some degree and grow stronger over time, it was nowhere enough to stop the onslaught of the rising hoards.
Especially… Demon Lord, the King of Monsters, was in an entirely different league. A joint attack by the top 500 experts of humanity was barely enough to slay him. Only one hero survived.
Oh Hansung, the Magic Swordsman, pierced the heart of it’s giant, throbbing heart with a blade. It was over. Drenched in it’s blood, I thought to myself this damned war would finally come to an end.
“I am only the beginning.’
The King of Monsters uttered its last breath. He didn’t have his army of monsters by his side, yet his demeanor exuded absolute confidence.
“You will despair. You will understand the true meaning of suffering in the great chaos to come. I am but one of the many kings who have fallen…”
At the same time, I saw a vision into the abyss. The Demon Lord used his last remaining power to open a small rift to his home dimension. I was overwhelmed. My whole body shivered, and my soul felt as if it would crumble away. Countless hordes of monsters. Titanic existences.
Defeating the Demon Lord wasn’t the end?
I couldn’t believe it. How many lives had been sacrificed to defeat one Demon Lord? Humanity had nothing left. We poured every last resource into the battle against the Demon Lord thinking it would be over. An existence like a Demon Lord was enough to threaten our world.
“Live in vain hope until your eventual doom, oh foolish human.”
Demon Lord. The bastard grinned and drew his last breath. I looked around my surroundings only to see flowing rivers of blood drenching the entire battle field. Death did not discriminate.
I clenched my fists tightly as I held back my tears. But I had to return. This victory had to be known. I had to give even the faintest hope to humanity.
And from that day onwards… I wore a mask.
I laughed. I raised the blood-soaked blade that slew countless monsters into the air.
“The strongest and the last remaining hero, Oh Hansung! As long as he’s with us, humanity will be safe! We will be victorious!”
“Oh Hansung! Oh Hansung!”
“Ah, thank you! Thank you!”
And when a battle was over, I would wave my hands on the podium with a smile. There couldn’t be any mistakes. If I showed any signs of unease, all sorts of speculation would arise, and people would start to fall into despair. I was their only hope: a candle light in darkness, a strong wave.
But their only hero was wearing a fake mask and putting on a show. I was sick of it all. I knew it would only be a matter of time until catastrophe struck again. It was enough to keep the burden of truth to myself and suffer alone. It was at that moment. An unknown voice whispered in my ears.
“Come. Come to me.…”
I woke up. My head was muddied, and cold sweat was running down my face. At the same time, I crumpled my face into a frown.
“What a shitty dream.”
I was unfortunate enough to dream about the past; there couldn’t have been a worse dream experience for me.
I got out of my bed and headed to the kitchen. After gulping down a glass of water, I replayed the voice I heard at the end.
I scrunched my eyebrows. It was a familiar voice. But my head started throbbing every time I tried to remember who it was. I was sure I heard that voice somewhere before, but when I tried to think of it now, I couldn’t remember who it was. This was definitely not a common development.
‘Could this be a side effect of time traveling back to the past?’
Come, come to me….
What did the voice mean? Was I supposed to return to a specific place? I clicked my tongue and tried to leave the matter aside for the time being. I shook my head and opened the door to my veranda. The sun was high up in the sky already. It was already noon.
At that moment, someone banged on my door.
“You have a delivery! Is this the residence of Mr. Oh Hansung?”
I stretched my arms and let out a yawn with a faint smile.
‘It finally came.’
Ah, the luxuries of modern civilization… Especially the internet, what a convenient invention it was
They were equipment I needed to head to the gate: one hiking backpack, a flashlight and some high-calorie edibles like chocolate, sneakers and comfortable sports wear. After packing the items, I hopped onto a taxi.
“Mount Buckan please.”
Mount Muckan. A gate was open there.
There wasn’t a single gate connecting the two worlds of course. Minshik must’ve headed to Mount Halla to acquire the Magic Swordsman class. There was no way he could’ve returned in a few days if he went to the other gates. Monsters wouldn’t come pouring out just because a gate was open.
I don’t know the exact reason, but they came in waves with stronger and stronger beings appearing with every subsequent wave. We could only speculate that some sort of law was set in stone.
‘Even the weakest monsters can rend human flesh with ease.’
I planned to enter inside the gate. This was the only way to acquire the power of the Ancient One.
I wasn’t really entering through the rift. To put it into perspective, it would be like stepping foot into the entrance way instead of truly entering the house.
Among the various hidden pathways in the gate, one would lead to a plethora of ruined altars. And one of them was the altar of the Ancient One.
‘Receiving the power required one to pass a trial.’
Trials were different for each altar. I knew where the altar of the Ancient One was, but I had no knowledge of the trial it would present.
I can only find out my going.
Nonetheless, the person who acquired the power of the Ancient One in the past completed the trial as an ordinary person. There was no reason why I couldn’t do the same. 30 minutes later, a soaring mountain peak came into view. Only a few people were in the area because today was a weekday.
I paid the taxi driver and stepped outside the vehicle. A breezy gust of wind blew around me. No one would ever suspect this calm and peaceful scenery in nature to be a gateway to hell.
I tied my shoelaces and started walking up the mountain.
‘It changed a lot.’
I looked around my surroundings to admire the scenery.
Despair was always present near the environment surrounding the gate. A shade of grass couldn’t be found even when one rinsed their eyes with soap. Mountains, rivers, lakes and other natural environments would be polluted with filth slowly choking the life out of living beings.
This was why a beautiful scenery like this felt so unreal to me.
‘Not yet. It hasn’t started yet.’
Two years. Many things can be accomplished in this time period. I can change destiny. If Minshik truly wanted to walk the path of a hero, I couldn’t be more thankful.
A hero was an existence that would safeguard humanity from harm. However, I didn’t want to be burdened with this responsibility again.
‘The gate will continuously shift its location.’
The gate situated in Mount Buckan will shift itself around looking to gather power. Since it was opened recently, it was in the stages of feeding off the life force of small animals. When the gate appears to suck the life force off an animal, I will enter before it shifts to another animal.
‘This is one of the reasons finding a gate is difficult.’
But this situation would only last for 2 years. The gate will be fixed in place once the official appearance of monsters starts 2 years later.
Once the gates were satiated with enough life force, it stabilized and began to spew monsters from the abyss. Once that happened, it would be extremely difficult to enter inside the gate. I followed the mountain trail to head deeper into the mountain. Subsequently. I took out a bird hunting rifle from my backpack.
‘Nothing is more suitable to hunt small animals than a bird hunting rifle.’
A bird rifle was one of the most efficient weapons to hunt small game. It was cheap and easy to buy, and my gun could fire 9.52mm wide shots. Even a layman like me could piece the skin and break bones without much effort.
For practice, I loaded a couple of rounds and pulled the trigger. The branch I was aiming at fell to the ground with a thump.
“My skill is still with me, heh.”
When I first became a Magic Swordsman, I couldn’t find a suitable weapon for me to use, so the first weapon I used was a hunting rifle. I was afraid of diving straight into close combat against monsters, and I couldn’t shoot an arrow because I wasn’t trained as an archer.
Hunting goblins were easy enough with a bird hunting rifle. The only flaw was its short range, but that only improved my reaction and allowed me to become quick on my feet. After practicing several more times with the rifle, I changed my location.
The gate would ensnare small animals to feed upon their life force. Barring humans, the gate would progressively target bigger animals until it finally matured in 2~3 years time and settle down in a specific location.
The path beyond each gate led to unique areas such as a nest of monsters, a treasure cove, a pitfall to a volcano etc… And the gate of Buckan led to ruined altars. To locate this gate, I had to find small animals. Thankfully, it wasn’t birds. There were some gates that targeted specific types of birds, but the gate of Buckan only preyed on land animals.
‘There is no going back until I find the gate.’
I was dead set on completing this mission. In the past, I was also famous for being stubborn; letting go once I bit down was out of my character.
I was able to prevail against the Demon Lord due to this trait of mine and discover Aletheia’s location after years of searching. It wouldn’t be any different this time around. I will not be descending this mountain until I find the gate.
I directed my attention towards large gatherings of shrubberies and began to look for signs of small animals.