NovelsWd

The Hero ReturnsThe Hero Returns

Chapter 73

Su-hyeun was flustered as well. Only Miru remained unaffected by the event.

Gya-ong—?

Miru tilted its head with an expression that said, “I don’t get it.” Meanwhile, the blue dragon continued to bow its head towards the little Miru.

“…I got him after passing the tenth floor’s trial. More specifically, I passed the tenth floor’s trial and as my reward, I received the Divine Beast’s Egg,” said Su-hyeun.

“And you got this baby from that egg?”

“Yes.”

“So, a really high-tier Divine Beast came out of a Divine Beast’s Egg from a mere tenth floor’s trial….”

“The trial itself was set at the tenth level, after all. Also, I forcibly upped the achievement rate to full 100 percent, as well.”

“If it’s like that, then I can sort of understand, but still. If my Yong is lowering its head to the recently-hatched Miru, then that could only mean your kid is of higher tier than mine….”

Even if the difficulty was set high, the tenth floor’s trial was something Song Hyeong-gi passed by pretty soon after becoming an awakener. Never mind a Divine freaking Beast, he hadn’t even seen hair nor hide of a regular mythical beast in that place.

With the blue dragon continuing to bow its head, Miru began standing tall with a conceited, triumphant look on its face. It was kind of funny to see a hatchling only a day old acting like a top dog.

Su-hyeun looked at the blue dragon before his eyes and asked, “How old is this guy?”

“It’s not “guy,” but Yong.”

“…Okay, how old is Yong?”

“He’s five this year. Dragons only need to eat morning dew but they’ll still grow like crazy and become an adult in three years. Then they’ll live on for another thousand years after that.”

A thousand years.

That life expectancy was a lot longer than what Su-hyeun thought. A dragon becoming an adult in three years also greatly surprised him as well.

Song Hyeong-gi patted the head of the blue dragon and continued on. “It’s a sad thing, really. I’ll probably not live past a hundred years, but this child will have to live for another 900 without me. It’d be nice if my boy forgets about me and lives its life freely during those years.”

“You…really seem to love Divine Beasts.”

“Of course. These guys, they won’t ever betray you, unlike with humans. Unconditional trust and devotion, love — these things are impossible in human relationships, you see.” While saying that, Song Hyeong-gi continued to pat Yong’s head.

His boundless affection reserved for Divine Beasts was on full display. Su-hyeun heard this guy was a Divine Beast otaku, but never did he suspect the level of devotion to be this high.

Kurung, kururung—

The blue dragon seemed to be enjoying the sensation of Song Hyeong-gi’s hand because it slowly raised its head and snorted happily.

“By the way, why did you summon Yong in the first place?” Su-hyeun asked.

“Ah, I forgot. Hey, Yong?” Song Hyeong-gi had forgotten about why he summoned Yong thanks to the suddenly-developing situation. He hurriedly opened his mouth. “Can you ask Miru a couple of things? First of all…”

Song Hyeong-gi asked Yong several basic questions. The blue dragon nodded its head a few times and began chatting to Miru in some kind of dragon-speak.

Kurung, kurung—

Gya-ong, gya-ong—

Yong and Miru conversed for a while.

Of course, all Su-hyeun could hear was a bunch of grunts, growls and gya-ong noises.

“Do you understand what they are talking about?” Su-hyeun asked.

“Nope, no clue.”

“…In that case, there’s really no point even if Yong hears something from Miru, is there?”

“Keep your pants on, will you. I’ll let you know all in good time.”

Seeing how confident he was, he must’ve had something up his sleeve. So, Su-hyeun waited patiently until the conversation between one big dragon and one small one came to an end.

Soon afterward, Song Hyeong-gi placed his hand on Yong’s head began muttering something to the dragon. Judging by how he nodded his head in the middle of doing that, it seemed that holding a conversation with a Divine Beast seemed like an actual possibility.

“Thanks, Yong. You did great. See you later, okay?”

Gurung, gurururu—

At Song Hyeong-gi’s wave of hand, the blue dragon vanished into thin air. It seemed that the creature had returned to where it was residing originally.

Now only Miru remained.

“I see, so you can actually understand your creature,” said Su-hyeun.

“It’s kind of like being an interpreter. It ain’t a skill, though. But, once your familiarity with your Divine Beast gets high enough, you can start sharing your thoughts with it to some degree.”

“It’s not a skill, you say?”

“That’s right. Surprised? There’s no separate interpreter skill because there’s no need for one. If you don’t put in the necessary work, your Divine Beast won’t ever open up to you.”

“I’ll definitely take your advice to heart.”

Next up, Song Hyeong-gi shared the information related to Miru with Su-hyeun, such as what to feed the little guy, what the fundamental traits of dragons were, how to raise a Divine Beast, and things of such nature.

Even though such information could be seen as a type of secret know-how to some, Song Hyeong-gi didn’t hold back on anything. It seemed that he really wanted to see Miru grow up well.

“Also, regarding Miru’s identity… Apparently, even Yong doesn’t seem to know,” said Song Hyeong-gi.

“It doesn’t?”

“Yeah. Kind of like, its head just lowered by itself. ‘I thought I simply had to do it’ is what Yong said. Miru must be from a superior species than my Yong.”

“Is there a hierarchy within the dragon species?”

“Sure, there are some within this large framework called the dragons. Don’t forget that among dragons, there’s also the matter of bloodlines, too. Of course, my Yong wouldn’t have instantly lowered its head like that if it was merely the difference in one’s bloodlines.”

Su-hyeun still failed to fully comprehend the true value of Miru and formed a dumbfounded expression, prompting Song Hyeong-gi to tut unhappily.

“You better take a good care of him. You’re pretty much Miru’s dad from now on. You really got blessed by the heavens this time.”

“You think so?”

In all honesty, it still didn’t hit home with Su-hyeun yet. If Song Hyeong-gi’s blue dragon hadn’t bowed to Miru, then he’d be having a hard time believing that such a little dragon was from a seriously impressive bloodline.

That line of thinking had to change after he heard what Miru’s abilities were, of course.

“Okay, then. I’m leaving now. I’m going to stop by every now and then, so you better open the door when I do,” said Song Hyeong-gi.

“Thank you for all your help.”

“If I think for a second that you’re failing as a parent, I’m gonna take him away so better keep that in mind, okay?”

Su-hyeun nodded his head at Song Hyeong-gi’s intimidating declaration. “I will. If I think I won’t be able to handle it, I’ll leave it in your hands.”

Gya-ong—!

Unlike Su-hyeun, however, Miru cried out in an angry tone of voice as if it didn’t want Song Hyeong-gi to show up again.

It seemed that the little guy really didn’t want to go anywhere near Song Hyeong-gi.

Shu-ah-ahk—

Song Hyeong-gi’s figure disappeared from sight. Su-hyeun quietly watched him become a small dot on the horizon and eventually disappear before shifting his gaze back to Miru, who was wrapping himself around his neck.

“Miru?”

Gurung—?

Looking at how Miru raised its head, its clear, innocent eyes looking back at him, Su-hyeun could only think about how cute this little guy was. On the other hand, though, his questions didn’t want to go away whenever he thought back to how the giant blue dragon bowed to Miru.

“Just what is your identity, exactly?”

Gurung—

Act 4

Su-hyeun’s meeting with Song Hyeong-gi proved to be a pretty hot topic.

Just the fact of Su-hyeun acquiring a Divine Beast alone was enough to make the mass media froth at their collective mouths, but the event of two S-rank awakeners holding a meeting was massive enough to cause many awakener guilds to pay attention.

The significant fact to remember here was that these two people were almost mercenary-like awakeners that could move around freely without any restrictions.

The last-born son of the Song-il Group’s owner, who never partnered up with other awakeners until now, and the newly promoted S-Rank, Kim Su-hyeun….if these two joined hands, then the potential wind about to blow through South Korea would be more like a gale storm.

A sudden phone call came from Ji-yeon.

“What exactly did you talk to Song Hyeong-gi about?”

“You called me out of the blue and that’s the first thing you’re asking me?”

It seemed that, after the mass media got hold of the news of Su-hyeun’s contact with Song Hyeong-gi, she heard the reports and decided to ring him up right away.

“Will you just answer the question? Are you perhaps two-timing me?”

“Your choice of words is rather off-putting, and besides, I promised to work with you when it came to the matters of the Dump Guild, so you can stop worrying.”

She actually accused him of “two-timing” her.

On one side was a beautiful young woman, but the other side was a 30-something man. Su-hyeun definitely didn’t want to be accused of two-timing.

“I heard that you got yourself a Divine Beast? What kind of creature is it?”

“It’s name is Miru, and it’s a really cute dragon.”

“Wait, it’s cute?”

“Yeah, really cute. And despite how young Miru is, its abilities are pretty great, too. I wanted to raise it properly, so I asked Song Hyeong-gi for a favor, hoping to learn some information or two.”

Why was he coming up with these excuses, anyway? Most likely, he became conscious of the fact that he had joined hands with Song Hyeong-gi on the side. Although their interaction was limited to the matters involving the Dump Guild, her Reaper Guild was the only guild Su-hyeun had joined hands with so far.

Rather obviously, she couldn’t help but mind it when Su-hyeun was getting in contact with other people.

“Okay, so. Did you get the necessary information, then? I’ve run into that guy once before, and he was one seriously unpleasant dude.”

That made sense, seeing how badly the whole world perceived Song Hyeong-gi. There were plenty of stories on how terribly rubbish his personality was, too.

<>

Separate from how much he treasured and loved Divine Beasts, plenty of rumors involving Song Hyeong-gi were doing the rounds out there. The only reason why he treated Su-hyeun comparatively well was simply because the latter had Miru with him. If it weren’t for Miru’s presence, Su-hyeun would’ve never gotten to meet Song Hyeong-gi.

“Thankfully, I did get some info. As it turns out, that guy is a far, far worse Divine Beast nerd than people think.”

“He’s a huge nerd? That guy?”

“Is it really that surprising?”

“Ha, it really is. He looks like one of those types who’d flush their fortune away through drinking and partying, you know?”

“…Drinking and partying is one thing, but what’s up with this flushing away his fortune and what not?”

“Just one of my small wishes.”

It seemed that these two didn’t exactly have a cordial relationship. But then again, the Ji-yeon Su-hyeun knew definitely wasn’t the type to flatter other people, either. He imagined a situation of the two of them having a meeting, and unsurprisingly, they would be labeled utterly incompatible.

<>

Su-hyeun wasn’t able to witness the event personally, but these two were destined to run into each other again later.

A groan automatically leaked out of his lips just from thinking about that future event. Unlike his previous life, though, he simply had to be in the middle of these two during this time.

“Okay, so what are you calling me for? You can’t be calling just to ask me about that, now are you?”

“I’m a really busy person. I wouldn’t call you just to ask about something so minor.”

“In that case, hurry up and get to the main topic. I need to start my next trial as soon as possible.”

“A green-colored dungeon will soon open up in Busan.”

“…A green-colored dungeon is going to show up so soon?”

Su-hyeun recalled there not being many instances of green-colored dungeons opening up one after the other like this. Much later down the line, sure, but at least not right now.

<>

Someone in the position of the Reaper Guild’s master wouldn’t lose to anyone when it came to her information network, so he had no choice but to believe that she was a credible source. Most likely, her info was a real deal.

“That’s right. Even the Awakeners Accreditation Authority seems to be taken aback since this would be the first time that a green-colored dungeon showed up so quickly. Fortunately, they estimate that the overall difficulty will be lower than the previous green dungeon.”

“Who will be taking the lead in the attack this time?”

“It’ll be none other than Song Hyeong-gi. He’ll probably throw another stupid tantrum this time, too, you know?”

Whenever a green-colored dungeon showed up, S-rank Awakeners would take turns leading the assault party. However, Song Hyeong-gi was infamous for ignoring that part of his duties and dodging his responsibilities.

“That means a substitute will get chosen.”

“That’s why I was asking you in case you’re interested. In contrast to your rank, you don’t have a lot of experience in clearing dungeons, after all. So, why not take this opportunity and get some?”

Although he appreciated her concern, it was ultimately unnecessary; out of all the currently-active Awakeners, no one possessed the richer experience in attacking dungeons than Su-heyun.

<>

A dungeon appearing at an unexpected time frame was indeed making him somewhat worried.

Not only that, but it would be a rather suitable stage to confirm Miru’s abilities. This green-colored dungeon’s difficulty should be much higher than the 22nd floor’s trial.

“Who will supervise the attack? Will it be a guild or the Authority?”

“A total of three guilds are tied to this. They are….”

Su-hyeun and Ji-yeon chatted about the dungeon attack for a while. Even though this chatty, noisy phone call continued on, Miru was dozing off without an issue.

After ending the call, Su-hyeun lightly patted Miru’s head and spoke. “Hey, Miru?”

Gurung—

The happily-slumbering Miru reacted when he called out its name.

“Why don’t you and I go play to our hearts’ content?”

Gurung—

This was the first stage where Miru’s abilities would be confirmed.

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