Chapter 105. Ghost (7)


Yoo Yeonha glimpsed at the endless sea of monsters in her foggy vision.
One, two, three…
Again, one, two, three…
She couldn’t continue counting for long, as everything felt like a distant dream to her groggy consciousness.
However, there was one thing she was sure of. That was that she wouldn’t survive against this army of bloodthirsty monsters.
Beast-like creatures growled, baring their black teeth. She hallucinated one of them biting off her neck as her consciousness faded away….

Soon, when she opened her eyes, she saw a man standing in front of her.

Beyond him lied an army of monsters.
He looked small, like a praying mantis standing in front of a colossal building.
He alone shouldn’t be able to withstand that dark sea. But he alone should be able to escape.

She forced her unmoving arm to move and grabbed onto his sleeve. Then, she spoke faintly.

—Leave me… and run….

However, the man didn’t listen to her, and returned a warm look.

—Don’t worry about it and sleep.

His deep voice rang out softly along with his warm smile.

—It’ll be over by the time you wake up.

His hand reached out and closed her eyes.
Her vision went black.
Within her closed eyelids, she began to see a world of her dreams.
It was the same dream she always had.
She had achieved success, and several people were bowing to her. People who ignored and disdained her, people who mocked her clan as being a hunting dog... they were all kneeling in front of her.
This was her earnest wish, one that she would have to achieve alone.
This was her dream, one that she couldn’t give up on.

Slowly, she opened her eyes.
As darkness faded away and light entered her eyes, she saw his back.
She… couldn’t remember his name.
In his hands lied an assault rifle, a mass-produced weapon that couldn’t shoot out magic powered spears like spear artifacts or shoot out sword strikes like sword artifacts.
An unstoppable army stood in front of this shabby gun.
Because of her groggy consciousness, time seemed to flow slowly.
The sea of monsters rushed toward him.
Beasts running on four legs, orcs charging on two legs, spiders scuttling on eight legs, snakes crawling without legs, birds flapping their wings, one-eyed cyclops shooting out magic.
All these demonic beasts formed a single tidal wave, rushing forward, ready to devour and tear apart everything.

Against this raging wave, the man raised his gun.
Immediately, a flash of light erupted against the black hail. White brilliance began to rage fiercely, his bullets turned the world white as it pushed back against the black wave.
The foreheads of beasts.
The hearts of orcs.
The abdomens of spiders.
The mouths of snakes.
The eyes of cyclops.
His bullets pierced through their vital points meticulously, and the fearsome wave continued to be pushed back.
The barrage of bullets never stopped.
An endless rain of bullets tore the limbs of monsters apart. Slowly, corpses stacked up, forming a mountain.
His perfect marksmanship didn’t allow a single attack or a single monster to approach him.

He was decimating the army of monsters alone.

Yoo Yeonha felt an incomprehensible coziness.
She realized how relaxing it was to be protected by someone.
Just like he said, she calmed down.
Then, she slowly closed her eyes.
Kim Hajin.
Before she even noticed, his name had entered her mind once again.
She hoped that when she opened her eyes again... she would be even more relaxed.


**

Kim Suho swung his branch. In that instant, his magic power formed a crescent-shaped arc that stormed forward. Yoo Dongsuk managed to block it with his steel pipe, but his subordinates were sent flying far behind him.
With no one left to interfere, Kim Suho charged toward Yoo Dongsuk.
Yoo Dongsuk asked as he swung down his steel pipe.

“…Is it true?”

After lightly parrying the steel pipe, Kim Suho replied.

“What is?”

“That the person left behind is stronger than you.”

Kim Suho smiled, finding it funny that this was his question.

“…I don’t like lying.”

Of course, Kim Suho couldn’t be sure as he had only sparred with Kim Hajin once.
However, he believed.
He believed that Hajin would succeed.

“That’s not good for—”

“Kuaaaa!”

Suddenly, a horrible shriek rang out.
Kim Suho and Yoo Dongsuk both glanced sideways.
Shin Jonghak was brandishing his spear, causing a mess. Although he looked a bit ridiculous, the result was outstanding. He freely mixed stabs and slashes, fluidly and viciously attacking his enemies. In a way, he looked like an ancient warlord.
Seeing his subordinates getting sent flying, Yoo Dongsuk asked.

“…Is he as strong as you?”

Kim Suho simply smiled in response.
Although he didn’t speak, silence served as an answer.
Yoo Dongsuk also laughed heartily as he swung his steel pipe.
KWANG!
His steel pipe clashed with Kim Suho’s branch, both sides pushing against each other without hesitation. Their tug-of-war continued, forming somewhat of a balance between them.

“…Well, it looks like our strategy failed.”

“It’s not too late to turn back. There’s no reason for us to fight.”

Amidst the fierce battle, the two men stared into each other’s eyes and spoke.

“The one you’re calling Boss isn’t human, but a Djinn… uh, he’s an evil person who’s using the power of a ghost.”

The concept of Djinns didn’t exist at this point in history. According to the textbooks, the rise of Djinns only happened in the late 1990s.

“…Huup!”

Yoo Dongsuk pushed Kim Suho back without replying.
Kim Suho sighed somewhat reluctantly as he enveloped his sword with magic power. The sword’s blue glow transformed into a brilliant gold.

“You were hiding a rather interesting power, eh?”

However, the same applied to Yoo Dongsuk. His body suddenly glowed red, and suddenly grew several times bigger.
Kim Suho put on a serious expression as he fixed his stance.

**


At first, it was only laughable. Seeing the young man’s overgrown hair and beard, Asura felt nothing but pity.
But as time went by and his army dwindled in number, Asura began to feel fear.
He could feel a chilling killing intent from the young man’s eyes, and the outpouring bullets seemed to overwhelm him.

Even now, Asura’s army was rushing toward him nonstop. He also didn’t forget to sneak in long ranged attacks.
However, the demonic beasts’ venom and teeth were blocked by the magic power reinforcement of his mysterious bracelet, and monsters that specialized in long ranged attacks only became first-priority targets for his bullets to kill.

Asura couldn’t understand what was going on.
When he saw the young man take out an assault rifle, he thought he would only have to wait until his magazine emptied once.
However, the unloading, loading, and refiring process took him less than a second to perform. There wasn’t a single exploitable opening.

But what Asura couldn’t understand the most was his bullets’ destructive power.
The instantaneous wind pressure created from the moment of firing scattered magic power, and Asura's demonic beasts disappeared the moment they were hit. A single bullet often killed two demonic beasts, and there were several instances where a single bullet killed three.
Asura’s demonic beasts were being slaughtered by the young man’s bullets.
Not even a single claw of his army could reach the gunman.

“Impossible….”

As Asura watched this incomprehensible battle in a daze, the once countless number of beasts became countable.
Asura stopped his remaining forces from advancing and took a step back.
He wanted to assess the situation more carefully.

When the army stopped, Kim Hajin also stopped firing. Then, he murmured tiredly.

“Since you can summon so many of them… you must have merged with the ghost. What did he want? Revenge? Wealth? Honor?”

Kim Hajin stared at Asura, who remained silent.
He aimed his gun at Asura.

“You don’t really have to answer that.”

Click.
Kim Hajin pulled the trigger. Asura unleashed his magic power, forming a barrier. At the same time, dozens of demonic beasts moved to block Kim Hajin’s line of fire.
However, no bullets came out.
Click. Click. Click.
Kim Hajin pulled the trigger a few more times.
However, the result was the same.

“….”

“….”

Whish.
A brief wind blew. Asura and Kim Hajin stared at each other for a moment.
Kim Hajin rummaged through his pocket, but he was out of ammo. He then spoke graciously with a calm expression.

“…But Asura, I don’t really hate you for it. In fact, I kind of understand where you’re coming from.”

A character with no background story, a stepping stone for the main characters and the supporting cast. An extra, rather than a villain.
Asura, or rather Cheonhwa, became a Djinn for a simple reason.

“That’s how I created you.”

That was why Kim Hajin felt sorry. Even if he truly didn’t feel sorry, he needed to feel sorry at the moment.

“You probably had no other choice to become strong. By merging with the ghost, you probably thought you could become a Djinn who would enjoy wealth and honor, leaving your name behind in the world….”

Kim Hajin sounded sentimental all of a sudden.
Asura responded with just one sentence.

“…You’re out of bullets.”

“I’m not.”

Kim Hajin took out a single magazine from his pocket. He slowly reloaded his gun and asked.

“I want to know. What kind of a life have you lived?”

A smile emerged on Asura’s face.

“…It’s empty.”

“What? Can’t you see this?”

Kim Hajin tapped on the magazine loaded into his gun, but Asura retorted leisurely.

“Then shoot.”

“…Tsk.”

The moment he clicked his tongue, the assault rifle transformed into a handgun.
Tang, tang, tang, tang, tang—!
Then, Kim Hajin quickly pulled the trigger.
A whole magazine was used up in less than a second, and the monsters protecting Asura were reduced to dust.
Asura flinched in shock.

“See? I’m not lying. Plus, this story already ended on a cliché.”

He pointed behind Asura.
Kim Suho and the others were standing there.
Asura’s subordinates were also standing there, giving Asura complicated looks.

“….”

Asura looked around with a blank look.
He had wasted too much time dealing with a single person.
It was clear that there was no chance of victory.
Now, he only had about a hundred demonic beasts, along with a partner that resided in his heart.

“…Uk!”

Suddenly, his heart beat violently.
The ghost of the past was telling him something.
Asura shook his head.
However, in the next moment, his body twisted strangely, and the ghost shot out of his heart.
Then, Asura’s body disappeared from the world, removed by the ghost.

—….

A black ghost floated in the air, making intimidating gestures with eerie howls. However, a formless being couldn’t pose any threat.
Kim Suho brought Misteltein up to the ghost’s body, and the ghost was instantly sucked into the divine-grade weapon. Misteltein grew stronger by absorbing spirits. The ghost of the past would now continue to stay inside Misteltein for eternity.

A short silence descended.
Kim Suho, Shin Jonghak, Chae Nayun, and Yi Yeonghan stared at the scenery spread out in front of them.
Kim Hajin was standing alone, amidst a desolate battlefield with a mountain of corpses.
Soon, his clear voice rang out.

“Welcome back.”

Kim Hajin smiled at the four of them, who came back before it was too late.
Everyone’s gazes became focused on him. Kim Suho’s eyes carried trust, while other eyes carried shock.

“…W-What?”

Kim Hajin couldn’t understand the meaning of the looks he received at first, but he soon realized.
The cause was the mountain of corpses in front of him.

“Oh… this? T-These will disappear soon.”

Since the magic power connection was cut off, the corpses would disappear in about two minutes.
However, the onlookers’ shocked expressions didn’t disappear for a while.

**


I didn’t ask Kim Suho how he convinced the people of the past. Although the story took a different direction than the original story’s, the result was more or less similar.
That was enough for me.
I sat down on the ground, feeling exhausted and dizzy.
I wasn’t physically fatigued, even after using all 900 bullets. However, I was mentally taxed.
I turned on my smartwatch, looking to see messages that would alleviate my exhaustion.

[You massacred a large number of enemies! You receive a huge experience boost in Master Sharpshooter!]
[You pierced the vital points of countless enemies! Master Sharpshooter evolves to grade 5!]
[Luck applies! By decimating thousands of darkness attribute demonic beasts, understanding of the darkness attribute has been added to Aether!]
[You obtain 330 SP!]

“Wow.”

There were several new alerts.
Master Sharpshooter leveled up to grade 5, but the best gain was Aether’s understanding of the darkness attribute.
Understanding of an attribute was a great reward, especially when it came to Aether.
When Aether fuses with the Desert Eagle, Aether’s understanding of an attribute would also apply to the Desert Eagle. That was also why my bullets let out white flashes.
Of course, attribute bullets created with SP were much more powerful than ordinary bullets used with Aether’s understanding of an attribute.

“…What?”

I couldn’t think properly because of my surroundings. Chae Nayun, Shin Jonghak, and Yi Yeonghan kept giving me suspicious looks.

“I mean, it doesn’t make sense.”

“What doesn’t make sense?”

I shrugged in response to Chae Nayun’s question.

“…Stop kidding around.”

However, Chae Nayun was serious. She looked somewhat wronged.
I grinned, then took out the Desert Eagle transformed into the assault rifle form. Chae Nayun’s eyes, as well as Shin Jonghak’s and Yi Yeonghan’s eyes, widened. They were clearly wondering where I got such a weapon.

“I told you. I have a gun-related Gift. I was just a good match for Asura.”

“Good match?”

“Yeah. Against a large number of weaker opponents, pulling the trigger 2000 times is easier than swinging a spear or a sword 2000 times.”

After giving a brief explanation, I turned to Kim Suho, who was resting nearby, and asked.

“Did you bring the crystals?”

“Ah, yeah.”

Kim Suho handed me three crystals.

“Are we going back now?”

I shook my head in response.

“No, we’re going to return these crystals where they belong.”

“…Huh?”

“This is the greatest training area you could ask for, so we’re going to stay here for the next two weeks. It would be a shame to leave before we milk it dry.”

In a way, this place was an inferior version of the Hyperbolic Time Chamber.
We should be able to grow stronger here.

“We have plenty of people to spar.”

I pointed at Asura’s past subordinates, who were standing behind us awkwardly.

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