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The Hero Returns is a web novel made by Heuk Ahin. This webnovel is presently Ongoing.
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Chapter 242: Chapter 242
The crimson “Breath” blanketed the top of the magic circle. When the stifling heat got to them, the people trapped inside activated their skills to protect themselves.
Cracks gradually appeared on the magic circle, and the areas affected by those cracks expanded in an instant.
“N—no, you can’t!”
Just as Adel lying p.r.o.ne on the ground forced himself up and cried out…
The magic circle enveloping the entire area shattered, and countless fragments rained down everywhere.
Those fragments soon lost their power and disappeared. Even the choking heat that leaked into the magic circle cooled down almost instantly.
“The magic circle, it’s…”
The previously trapped awakeners who were getting their life force sucked out of them all cried out in celebration. Among them, Lee Ju-ho was panting breathlessly before he plopped down on the ground. His gaze was still fixed on the figure of the gigantic dragon hovering in the air above.
Is that really Miru?
Even the sounds of the flapping wings could be heard from where he was, which was quite far away. That dozens-of-meter-long physique definitely belonged to an adult dragon even at a glance.
A bitter chuckle escaped Lee Ju-ho’s mouth. To think that the shadow of a huge dragon he saw in the online bulletin board was really Miru’s.
“Even if it wanted to get big, it shouldn’t have gotten that big, though. Going around with a dragon that big will prove to be tire—”
Right then, a change suddenly occurred in Miru’s figure. Its huge body began shrinking and eventually became so small that Lee Ju-ho couldn’t see it properly due to the considerable distance.
He rubbed his eyes in dismay. He even wondered if he was seeing things.
Soon afterward, Miru descended to the ground.
The red dragon made the same cry as before. Its physique wasn’t all that different from what Lee Ju-ho remembered. The splendid figure of the dragon that was flying in the sky was now nowhere to be found.
“Thanks! You did well.”
Su-hyeun patted Miru’s head once. The dragon looked quite tired, but that was par for the course since it had to transform into its adult version twice in one day; it even used the overpowered Breath as well.
Su-hyeun s.h.i.+fted his glare to Adel who was making a devastated and hollow expression.
“It—it’s not possible…”
“What’s not possible?”
Su-hyeun stared at the man and lightly clicked his tongue.
Rather than brainwas.h.i.+ng, it’s more like…Did his emotions get overamplified?
The Lich King was very perceptive of human emotions, and that b.a.s.t.a.r.d had accurately seen through what Adel was l.u.s.ting after—what he really wanted in his heart.
“Did you think you’d become the number one if everyone here died?”
Su-hyeun’s question caused Adel’s body to flinch ever so slightly. Such a reaction would only be made when one’s true self had been fully exposed.
“Not that surprising, really. That’s why you must’ve been so excited by the order to kill us all, right? Everyone here would die except you? Nope, you’re completely wrong.”
Adel pushed his body halfway up with his hands on the ground, but Su-hyeun kicked him squarely in the jaw.
The impact caused Adel’s eyes to roll back so that only the whites could be seen.
“It’ll only be you dying, you punk.”
Adel lost his consciousness and collapsed back to the ground.
Su-hyeun stared at him before addressing Lee Ju-ho. “Please take this b.a.s.t.a.r.d away and have his magical energy’s nature examined. It shouldn’t be too late for him.”
“Okay, got it.”
“And also, do you perhaps know the location with the highest number of people near us?”
“A location with lots of people, huh? I think it must be one of the evacuation centers. But why?”
“If he’s not here, then he must’ve gone there instead, you see.”
“Who are you talking about?”
“Wait, I still haven’t told you what happened, have I?”
Su-hyeun forgot to send the word out earlier because he had been pressed for time back then. The only other person present in this place who knew about the indigo-colored dungeon’s matter was Daian Gedeck.
“An indigo-colored dungeon has appeared.”
At Su-hyeun’s words, the awakeners in the vicinity who had already sighed in relief hardened their expressions once more.
Indigo was the highest difficulty rating among the currently existing dungeons.
A dungeon that appeared only once before in South Korea had shown up in this place as well.
“No, wait. More correctly, it’s been a while since the dungeon has appeared. Its outbreak has already occurred as well.”
“W—what was that?!”
“Crazy son of a…”
“The indigo dungeon has what?!”
Some of the people present among them were American citizens.
Just one outbreak from a green-colored dungeon was more than enough to threaten the existence of a metropolis, yet to think that an indigo-colored one became an outbreak.
This was basically the same as a national-level disaster.
“And that’s precisely why I’ll be needing everyone’s help.”
“Is it over?”
Hak-joon ran into Thomas along the way. The latter had matured enough to go around on his own now, so he was tasked with solo raiding those dungeons that were in urgent need of closing.
“Yeah! They’re all gone now.”
“Looks like we managed to sort out the most urgent ones by now. In any case, we did get through this without too much fuss, I guess.”
“What about Su-hyeun, though? Where did Su-hyeun go?”
“Not sure. I haven’t heard about him either. Hold on for a sec.”
Finding himself with a bit of leeway now, Hak-joon fished out his smartphone from his pocket and turned the device on. The first thing he saw after doing that was Adel’s text message, which he missed while raiding a green-colored dungeon earlier.
“What the heck does this guy want now?”
Why would Adel suddenly send him a message? Hak-joon didn’t even really like the guy. No, wait—strictly speaking, he detested the Briton, actually.
His reason for that was pretty simple.
“What a thick face he has to send me this message.”
He hadn’t forgotten the event during the previous Ranking Wars when Adel sneak-attacked Su-hyeun and Gordon Rohan.
Even if Su-hyeun didn’t really care, Hak-joon still couldn’t help but consider the very existence of Adel as an eyesore. He believed that someone who had done something objectionable would easily do something else just as bad in the near future.
Hak-joon read Adel’s text message. Not too long after that, he furrowed his brows.
Did something major happen?
Although he didn’t really like Adel, it would still be a grave matter if a dungeon couldn’t be raided and it led to a major outbreak.
And so, after reading that message and wondering whether or not he should go there even if it was too late…
A call from Su-hyeun came his way.
“Uh, it’s Su-hyeun calling!”
Thomas, who was also looking at the smartphone’s screen, quickly reached out. Hak-joon hurriedly raised his hand, and Thomas threw a tantrum, demanding the phone to be handed over, but the former just turned around and answered the call.
“Wait, will you. h.e.l.lo?”
Did anything happen on your side?
Su-hyeun’s voice sounded somewhat concerned.
Since Hak-joon had emerged outside after successfully raiding a dungeon not too long ago, he could afford to reply in a relaxed tone. “Nah, nothing happened on this side. Thankfully, it wasn’t anything major.”
You’re sure nothing happened?
“Yes, really. I mean, none of this was really dangerous, you know. So you don’t have to wor—”
Thomas suddenly spoke while pointing at the streets that were currently empty after the city’s residents had been evacuated.
Crunch, creak, wu-du-duk—
Bones suddenly began rising up from all over the place.
It wasn’t just one or two—more like hundreds, no, thousands. That’s the rough number Hak-joon and Thomas could see as the bones broke past the solid ground and emerged out into the open.
If they added the skeletons in the far-off distance not immediately visible to their eyes, then the overall number should shoot up even higher.
“Did you do this, big bro?”
Hak-joon had already heard about the story of how Su-hyeun acquired the attribute to control the dead, so he wondered if this was it.
I don’t know what you’re talking about, but it wasn’t me because I haven’t done anything yet.
“In that case, yeah, something’s happening.”
Who are with you right now?
“It’s just me and Thomas at the moment. And I think the raiding guild I parted ways with earlier is still nearby.”
Will you two be alright?
“You’re asking us if we’ll be alright.” Hak-joon scanned the skeletons appearing all around him and replied, “That’s saying something so obvious.”
“You can trust me!”
Thomas shouted loudly at the smartphone.
Hak-joon hadn’t put it on speaker, but Thomas was paying attention to the conversation on the phone anyway.
In that case, I’ll leave it to you.
The call ended just then.
It seemed that he phoned them even though he was also pressed for time.
Hak-joon put the smartphone back in his pocket and yanked his sword out. The Dark World was already spreading all around Thomas by then.
“You heard him, right?”
“Not sure what’s going on here, but you can just tell that they are the bad guys, right? They are also letting out that much killing intent.” Hak-joon pointed to the skeletons that were aiming their spears and swords toward him and said, “Let’s sweep all of them away.”
The Gordon Tower.
It is the tallest tower in the world, and a location large enough to accommodate tens of thousands of people.
The underground arena built for the Ranking Wars was used as the biggest evacuation facility in the state of California.
“Tsk. Just what’s going on here, I wonder.”
Gordon Rohan was walking back to the Gordon Tower while shaking off the blood on his body. He was currently heading back to base after raiding a blue-colored dungeon; what happened was that the blood from the monsters there had splattered all over him.
“She’s gonna nag me to death after seeing me in this state.”
Ashlyn never liked the sight of him drenched in blood like he was right now. That’s why Gordon always had a change of clothes ready before entering a raid.
However, he couldn’t do that this time because it had been determined that things would get too dangerous if the blue-colored dungeon was not raided as soon as possible.
He suddenly halted in his steps toward the Gordon Tower.
Although there was still some distance left, his tower loomed large as if it was right in front of his nose. That made sense because the structure was tall enough to be visible wherever you were in San Francisco.
“And now what’s the meaning of this?”
Gordon’s expression crumpled ever so slightly. Large bones began rising up all around him after he stopped walking.
Skeletons—didn’t he see something similar to these creatures not too long ago?
Daian Gedeck? Is it him?
A thought abruptly popped up in his mind, but he shook his head.
The number of the skeletons rising up with their hands breaking past the surface first had already far exceeded the level that Daian Gedeck could summon.
On top of this, the concentration of the magical energy he could faintly pick up was incomparably higher than that of the German.
Someone who wields such highly concentrated magical energy…I only know of one person.
It was Kim Su-hyeun and no one else.
However, he wouldn’t have suddenly lost his mind and do something like this, so…
Gordon turned his head. He sensed a presence right behind him.
It was altogether a different sort of presence from these skeletons.
“I thought as much.”
Gordon extended his hand forward.
A pure-white spear landed on his hand. Unlike his other spears, not only was this one white in color but special patterns and words were also engraved on it.
“Come out already. I know you’re there.”
There was no response. However, Gordon never planned to wait in the first place, so he simply snapped the fingers on his other hand that was not holding the spear.
A newly generated spear suddenly flew toward an empty s.p.a.ce.
The rapidly flying spear tore through the air. However, after a certain point, the weapon couldn’t go forward anymore and froze in mid-air.
Then, the spear was folded up like a piece of paper, and in front of the crumpled spear, a faint and blurry figure revealed itself in the air.
“I see that there are quite a lot of amazing humans in this world. I’m truly surprised.”
It was a man wearing a robe and speaking in a thick and heavy voice.
Gordon stared at this figure and asked, “Did you summon these things out?”
“Does it look that way to you? Unfortunately, you are incorrect.”
The hood of the robe was pulled back, only to reveal bleached bones underneath.
“No, they are here to aid me instead.”
“Ah, is that so?” Gordon replied with a disinterested expression and nodded his head.
Regardless of anything, the fact that this event would end only after the punk before him had been dealt hadn’t changed.
He took another look at the skeletons that appeared in all directions and quietly said, “This is good, actually.”
Thousands, rather, tens of thousands of spears generated in the heavens above. And while scattering those spears with one hand, Gordon spoke up.
“These things don’t bleed when they die, after all.”
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