Chapter 317. Demon Realm Gate (3)


“Hello, we are at the opening of the Gate of Glory.”

Reporters from all over the world gathered in Hamgyeong Province. Although they were prohibited from going near the gate, they could film and report from afar.

“On estime que la porte….”
“Zarban and Leonardo have been selected for the final 200…..”
“ここにはまた、世界の有名人が集めています….”

Various languages could be heard in the North Hamgyeong Province Plaza. Noticing the countless cameras, Yoo Yeonha busily went around meeting celebrities that were present.

“You’re here too, Soohyuk-ssi?”

After meeting several corporate leaders, Yoo Yeonha found Park Soohyuk, the CEO of SH Agency, now renowned as the world’s greatest.

“Haha, yes, I was lucky enough to receive an invitation.”

“It might get dangerous when the gate opens.”

“I’m sure it’ll be fine, especially with Essence of the Strait’s guild members protecting us.”

Hearing Park Soohyuk’s subtle praise, Yoo Yeonha smiled. As he said, many Essence of the Strait guild members, including Kim Youngjin, Yi Jin-Ah, Leonel, Yohei, Shen Yuan, Ah Hae-In, and even Heynckes, none of whom were even among the 200 chosen to enter the gate, were present at the scene.

“Still, stay alert. At least make sure you’re wearing protective gear.”

“Oh, protective gear?”

Park Soohyuk smiled in response and tapped on his smartwatch. Immediately, reinforced magic power rose up from the watch and shrouded him.

“Hm~”

Yoo Yeonha watched the scene and nodded her head in satisfaction. Park Soohyuk’s smartwatch had a detailed magic enchantment courtesy of [Dimensional Entropy]. Developed by Essential Dynamics, it was the commercial version of Protect Watch.
Reinforced magic power produced by the Protect Watch rivaled that of an intermediate-rank grade-1 Hero. It was no different than a portable suit of armor. Unsurprisingly, its cost of production and lack of material made it worth well over 100 million won.

“It’s scary how far Essence of the Strait’s technology has gone. I can’t begin to see the end of it.”

Park Soohyuk shook his head in raw amazement.

“Huhu, the new technological revolution is only just beginning.”

Dimensional Entropy, a resource containing infinite potential. Just thinking about it put a smile on Yoo Yeonha’s face.

Wooong—!

At that moment, a huge surge of magic power erupted, and the area turned boisterous.

“I-It looks like the gate is opening!”
“What a brilliant flash of mana!”

The earth shook, and the screams of reporters and spectators intertwined. Yoo Yeonha and Park Soohyuk quickly clad themselves in reinforced magic power, while Jin Sechan, Kim Youngjin, and other core members of Essence of the Strait ran to Yoo Yeonha.

“Chief Officer!”

They came to lead Yoo Yeonha to a safer place.
But, at that moment…

KWANG—!

Several streams of magic power shot up through the ground. Like tentacles, the streams of magic power coiled around Yoo Yeonha’s body and dragged her underneath before the Heroes could do anything.

“S-Shoot!”

Kim Youngjin and Jin Sechan immediately threw themselves into the crack in the ground.

**


… My head hurt, and my body felt feeble. It felt like my body was floating on water, exhausted and lacking in energy. I couldn’t see anything nor feel the flow of time.

Strangely, my consciousness slowly turned clearer. Who I am, why I’m here, what I needed to do from here…. My understanding of the situation was returning.

“Haa…”

At that moment, the sound of someone’s breath flowed into my ears. I couldn’t tell whether it was mine or someone else’s. I simply focused on the sound and tried to regain my dulled senses.

“…Huu.”

I heard another breath. It was easy from then. I could tell now that the breath was indeed mine. I repeatedly took long breaths and moved parts of my body. Soon, my eyes opened.

“…?”

My vision returned, and the first thing I saw was an old drawer. It was worn-down and moldy, with bugs crawling over it.

I frowned and twisted my body towards the ceiling.
Kiik—
The bed I was lying on made a creaking noise. The ceiling was even moldier than the drawer.

“…Am I in a prison cell?”

With a bewildered murmur, I got up. Immediately, a huge wave of dizziness swept through me, and my body fell back on the bed.
Crack—
The shabby bed broke down.

“Argh….”

It seemed I had no choice but to rest a bit more. I pressed my temple for the next five minutes and then got up once more.

“Auu.”

I was still dizzy, but I could move properly. First, I checked the interior of the room. A bed, a drawer, and a closet with two uniforms. Other than those, a mish-mash of items on the drawer were the only noteworthy objects.

“Hm.”

I examined the writing utensils on the drawer. A notepad, a pen, a bag, a half-eaten bento box, and an identification card.
The identification card was obviously the most eye-catching item.

[Lorenzio Secret Service, F-rank Sharpshooter – Kim Hajin]
[ID Number – 02937102]

“F-rank Sharpshooter… Kim Hajin?”

I frowned. I knew nothing about how the Demon Realm Gate worked. Naturally, I had no clue what situation I was in.

I examined the identification card more closely, but there wasn’t anything else of note. Next, I opened the drawer. A crossbow and an arrow were stored inside it.

“Sharpshooter, huh.”

‘I guess I am one.’ I laughed inwardly and opened the second layer. It only had casual clothes and nothing else. It was the same for the third layer.

“…What situation am I in?”

‘There isn’t even a hint?’ Just as I was thinking that, a series of messages popped up in front of me.

[This is the world where Baal was first born.]
[You are participating as a supporter of this world, and your goal is the annihilation of Baal.]
[Your variable stats have been suppressed from the effects of dimensional travel, but do not worry. It will be fixed over time, or you can hasten it through training.]
[A total of 200 people from Earth have entered the Demon Realm Gate.]

“….”

I studied the messages then checked my stats.

===
[Strength 4 (+1)]
[Stamina 4 (+1)]
[Speed 4 (+1)]
[Perception 4 (+1)]
[Vitality 4 (+1)]
[Magic Power 4 (+1)]

*Status Effect: 「Rejective Force」 is temporarily reducing your variable stats.

□Gift
▷「Master Sharpshooter」 [High-rank] [Composite-attribute] [Evolving] [Grade-1]
▷「Young Dwarf’s Dexterity」 [High-rank] [Illusion-attribute] [Evolving] [Grade-2]
▷「Random Consolidation System」 [Intermediate-rank] [Spirit-attribute] [4-Stage Consolidation]
▷「Constraints and Amplifications」 [Intermediate-rank]

□Physique (2/3)
▷「Magic Dysfunction 」 [High-rank] [Illusion-attribute] [Evolving] [Grade-2]
▷「Random Consolidation System」 [Intermediate-rank] [Spirit-attribute] [4-Stage Consolidation]

*Status Effect: 「Rejective Force」 is temporarily reducing the power of all Gifts and Physiques.
===

I wasn’t sure what rejective force was exactly, but I checked Stigma’s magic power first.
Guoo…. Thankfully, I still had all five streaks of Stigma. However, the weapons I stored inside the Stigma were gone. Both the Desert Eagle and Aether.

“Wait, hey, where are my weapons?”

I asked, but no reply returned. I became worried. I couldn’t do anything without my gear.
It was then.

—It’s time for food~! Come out, everyone~!

Someone’s shouting voice rang out from outside the door. It was so loud that even the room was shaking.
I flinched, then looked out the window. The navy sky clearly indicated it was twilight. They’re eating at this time of the day?

—Food~!

Other voices rang out. I opened the door to check what was going on. A hallway stretched out beyond the door, and I could see other people busily running towards one direction. I seemed to be in a dorm of some sort.

“I’m coming~”

I changed into the uniform hanging in the worn-down closet and chased after them. Five minutes later, we arrived at a cafeteria, similar to the one I saw when I was in the Korean army in the original world.
I followed what the others were doing. After receiving my portion of food, I sat down at a random table.

“…Ah, you idiot, no, you retard!”

But at that moment, a man who seemed to be a leader or instructor of some sort pointed at me and shouted. Everyone in the cafeteria turned to me, and I stood up straight in a fluster. I was reacting the same way I did when I messed up in the army.

“Are you a D-rank?! Why are you sitting at the D-rank table?!”

“…Sorry!”

I could guess what I did wrong. I was F-rank according to my identification card.
I shot up with an apology.

“Sit down at the correct place next time, you brainless fool!”

“Yes! My apologies!”

“Screw off now.”

I glanced at the instructor before looking at the table I was just at. Indeed, the letter ‘D’ was clearly inscribed on it.
Distancing myself from the table, I began to look for the table with the F-label.

“Ah.”

In the corner of the cafeteria, I found a table that was on the brink of collapsing.
I scurried towards it and sat down next to someone I didn’t know. Soon afterward, a man with disheveled hair came and sat down as well.

“….”

I looked at the man sitting in front of me. More precisely, I looked at the uniform he was wearing. On his chest was a sword-shaped nameplate, and his uniform was light-green colored just like the one I had.
Next, I turned to the D-rank table I was just at. The people sitting there had uniforms that were slightly greener.

“Mm~”

It seemed the color of the uniform was a good indicator of one’s rank. I nodded my head and talked to the guy sitting next to me.

“Excuse me.”

“…?”

The man looked at me curiously. I thought about what to ask before giving up. It didn’t seem like such a good idea to ask where we were or what we were doing here.

“…No, nothing. Do you want to eat my share as well?”

“Huh…? Uh, sure.”

**


—One, two! One, two! One, two!

After the early breakfast came a morning training session. I used Stigma’s magic power to make it seem like my right arm was rotting so I could skip it and go collect information about this world.

“…An army.”

To the right of the military training ground was a large castle. According to 「Observation and Reading」, it was [Duke Lorenzio’s Castle]. It was likely the military command of this place.

I turned my gaze to the left of the military training ground, where the dorm I woke up in was located. Several college building-like structures were standing there. The entire place seemed to be called [Lorenzio Knight Training Institution].
Compared to it, the military training ground and the dorm were places where trash was stored.

“Hm.”

I slowly walked towards the left. After about 500 steps from the training ground, I arrived at a large building. The word ‘library’ was written across it. Luckily, I arrived at the perfect place to help me learn about this world.

I walked in without hesitation. Perhaps because of the morning training, no one was inside.

“Let’s see. History, history, history….”

I went to the history section of the library and picked out several books to read. The information I obtained from 30 minutes of reading was the following:

  1. I was in a dukedom ruled by the Lorenzio clan, and the dukedom was part of the Arunheim Kingdom.
  2. Duke Lorenzio was a commander, and the Lorenzio Knight Training Institution trained not only knights but also foot soldiers.
  3. I was unsurprisingly a common soldier. Even among them, I was at the lowest F-rank, being nothing more than a meat shield.

“…Did I possess this guy’s body?”

I frowned and complained inwardly about being a common soldier. Still, I was happy I got to learn a little more about the world behind the Demon Realm Gate.

I got up from the seat and stood in front of a library mirror. I still looked like myself – Kim Hajin.

“Hm… Ah.”

Then, I suddenly remembered something and nodded my head.
It wasn’t that I took over someone’s body. In novel terminology, I had transmigrated, meaning that I was inserted into this world.

I took out the notepad I brought from my room and jotted down my current goals.

  1. Recover my strength and find other Heroes from Earth.
  2. Find Bell. He will be the key to Baal’s descent.
  3. Find my weapon. In addition to the Desert Eagle and Aether, Misteltein Bullet was critical for annihilating Baal.
  4. Annihilation of Baal.

Just as I finished writing my goals…

“Oi!”

Someone shouted and grabbed me by the neck.

“Ak!”

“You retard, who do you think you are? This isn’t a place you can enter!”

Startled, I turned around. A red-haired knight was glaring at me, with his hand still on my neck.

“Huh? Sorry, I, aaak—!”

I couldn’t resist at all. The difference in our strength was too big, and the knight simply dragged me away.

“H-Hold on a minute!”

“This is the first time I’ve seen a soldier sneak into the library.”

“W-Wait, I didn’t sneak in, I just wanted to read some books…”

“That’s what sneaking in is.”

“But—”

“Shut it.”

With those two words, my breath stopped. His grip around my neck became stronger, and I couldn’t eke out another word.

“Kak….”

Just like that, I blacked out.

**


“…An F-rank soldier sneaked into the library?”

Knight Commander Airun furrowed her brows at the unexpected report. She had the highest position in the Lorenzio Knight Training Institution and was a sworn sister of Duke Lorenzio’s daughter.

“Yes, we threw him into a cell for now.”

“…What would a foot soldier even read there? I’m sure he just got lost.”

The male knight shook his head at Airun’s question.

“That’s what I thought when I first received the report, but we found a stack of books he was reading.”

“…Interesting.”

A foot soldier reading books in a library. Airun nodded her head, though she snickered at the strange idea.

“If he was only reading, it isn’t too big of a crime.”

“But he is an F-rank soldier from a commoner background. He isn’t even allowed to walk up the stairs to the West Wing….”

“Draven?”

Airun interrupted the knight and stared at him with her clear, ocean-like eyes. Draven closed his mouth and dropped his head.

“…Don’t be so tough. If a soldier acts out of line, you should first figure out what motivated him to act in such a way. The punishment comes afterward.”

Draven didn’t respond. Seeing Draven so obedient, Airun smiled. Although Draven had a good character and was a skilled knight, he was too concerned with social hierarchy. Airun saw this as a shame since she believed it was the only flaw preventing him from being a good leader.

“Alright, keep him imprisoned for a week. I won’t allow any more than that.”

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