Jin-Woo’s gaze was fixed to the shortsword crafted out of Kamish’s fang. Its utterly unbelievable attack power could be seen floating above the weapon.

[Item: Kamish’s Wrath]

Rarity: ??

Type: Shortsword

Attack: +1,500

Top quality shortsword fashioned from the sharpest fang among the Dragon’s teeth by the expert’s hands.

The blade’s sharpness has no equal in this world; it also boasts excellent sensitivity towards Mana, and can become greatly strengthened depending on the wielder’s capability.

The explanation seemed to go on forever. However, nothing besides the attack damage entered his eyes.

‘1,500?! Just the pure attack damage??’

Never mind any added options, just the base damage dealt was 1,500.

As much as 1,500!

After recalling that the higher attack damage would make it easier to slice up the enemy, Jin-Woo couldn’t even begin to imagine just how scarily effective this shortsword was going to be.

‘N-no, hang on. Was there any weapon with 1,500 attack damage in the Store, to begin with?!’

Jin-Woo was so excited by the shortsword’s attack damage, he hurriedly summoned the Store’s interface without paying any mind to all those eyes studying his every move.

Obviously, it was quite a bit embarrassing to compare this bad boy to the shortswords being sold there, so he went straight to the section with broadswords, which boasted the highest attacking power among the blade-type weapons.

‘Huh….’

The most expensive broadsword’s attack damage barely cracked past the 1,000 mark. Even if this weapon was sold in the Store, it was still a broadsword boasting 1,000 damage, but a measly little shortsword was 1,500.

‘Hang on. Just purely from the perspective of the attack damage, won’t it be the same thing as me wielding two broadswords in each of my hands?’

The weightiness of the shortsword could still be felt through his palm.

He raised his head, his desire to cut something up with this thing powerfully stimulating him. That’s when he spotted Thomas Andre forming an awkward smile after having read Jin-Woo’s mind. The American shook his head.

“Whoa there, Mister Seong. Even if I activate my reinforcement skill to increase my defence, that blade will still cut me down. I hope you ain’t thinking of killing me with my own gift, right?”

Of course, Jin-Woo wasn’t thinking of doing that. He replied to Thomas Andre’s OTT exaggeration with a chuckle and focused back on the shortsword.

‘It’s got excellent sensitivity towards Mana, is it?’

Mana was another name for magical energy. To find out what the ‘excellent sensitivity towards Mana’ could even mean, Jin-Woo poured a tiny little amount of his magic energy into the blade.

And when he did….

“Heok….”

The bodyguards were supposed to refrain from making needless noises, but one of them couldn’t hold back and gasped out in pure astonishment. He quickly covered his mouth, but no matter – no one scolded him, anyway.

Because, everyone else’s attention had been stolen away by Jin-Woo’s shortsword to such an extent that they failed to notice his faux pas just now.

“Oh, my god…..”

Thomas Andre had experienced all sorts of craziness in his life, but even he couldn’t hold back his shocked gasp from leaking out of his mouth. From Jin-Woo’s hand, from the entirety of the shortsword itself, a blackish aura was slowly rising up, that was why.

‘This shortsword is…. It’s responding to my magic energy.’

It wasn’t just the aura rising up from the weapon; that weightiness of the shortsword seemingly filling up his palm had also vanished in an instant. As if it was all a lie from the very start.

The weapon had become lighter than a feather.

‘Holy cow….’

This weapon even allowed its wielder to control its weight as he willed it.

Wuuong, wuuong…

The shortsword ‘Kamish’s Wrath’ began vibrating as if to greet its new owner. Jin-Woo’s heart began pounding even harder as he grasped its hilt.

Ba-thump, ba-thump!!

He really wanted to fight with this weapon. He really, really wanted to use it right now. Although, he couldn’t really figure out whether this was the shortsword’s will, or his own desire speaking.

Jin-Woo calmed his palpitating heart down and stabbed the shortsword back to where it used to be.

Stab.

That brought about the end to the blade’s vibration.

The black aura had been oppressing Laura and the bodyguards to the extent that they couldn’t even breathe properly, but now that the overwhelming aura was gone, they were able to finally gasp for fresh air.

Thomas Andre stopped looking at Jin-Woo and shifted his gaze over to her.

‘You still think I made a mistake?’

Thomas Andre’s meaningful gaze prompted Laura to shake her head quickly. As long as these shortswords were to be pointed in the direction of the monsters and not other humans, Thomas Andre’s decision should be seen as irrefutable.

The weapon would find its rightful owner. Even as a regular person who couldn’t sense any magical energy, Laura understood what was going on here in an instant.

Now that his judgement was proven correct, Thomas Andre began grinning quite refreshingly.

“So, how do you like my present, Mister Seong?”

The most extreme of all emotions would always be expressed not in words, but through one’s actions. Jin-Woo quietly lifted his thumb up real high.

“Hahaha-!!”

Thomas Andre felt pleased as punch and leisurely clapped his hands to express his joy.

These shortswords were the proof of their friendship. He didn’t feel a shred of regret for using them if he was able to get on Jin-Woo’s good books.

Rather, it was Jin-Woo who was feeling burdened by this gift.

“Is it really okay for me to receive something like this for free?”

“What do you mean, for free?”

Thomas Andre erased that semi-permanent smile off his face and formed a serious expression next.

“Actually, I think it’s a cheap price to pay for the lives of my Guild members as well as myself.”

This was how Thomas Andre expressed his plea of “Don’t refuse my gift and just say yes.”

Since Jin-Woo had already heard the particular way Thomas Andre expressed himself from Laura, he simply chuckled and replied to the American.

“In that case, thank you. I’ll gladly accept them.”

“If you’re willing to do that, well, I’m happy, too.”

As the atmosphere between the two Hunters standing at the very apex of the world grew warmer and more cordial…

….Jin-Woo and Thomas Andre both stopped moving at the same time.

Laura and the bodyguards didn’t even have the chance to panic at the sudden stiffness in the two men’s expression, because Thomas Andre opened his mouth before they could.

“Mister Seong, just now, that…”

Jin-Woo briefly nodded his head. That ominous sensation that brushed past his backside – Thomas Andre must’ve felt something quite similar to that.

It came from the sky. As if they had a prior agreement, both men shot up from their seats and quickly stood next to the window.

“….”

Jin-Woo spat out a gasp. Thomas Andre discovered the same thing and his eyes visibly quaked. Just how could a thing like that appear in the middle of the sky?!

The American Hunter stared at the massive Gate floating up high in the sky and muttered loudly.

“I can hardly believe this. I’ve never seen a Gate that huge before.”

Even the Gate that spat out Kamish wasn’t as big as that b*stard up there. The thing was, though, Jin-Woo had seen a Gate with similar dimensions before – within the ‘data’ the stone angel statue played for him back then.

He saw winged soldiers pour out in their droves from a Gate high up in the sky.

The massive size of the Gate covering the heavens above the city of Seoul was almost an exact match to the Gate he saw within the data. Just from recalling the sight of all those soldiers painting the sky silver, Jin-Woo felt this shudder, a jolt, buzzing from the back of his neck.

‘Hang on. Could it be that the identity of the massive amount of magisphere pooling in Seoul’s sky is that thing?’

Jin-Woo became utterly speechless. Even Thomas Andre, even Laura, and even their bodyguards, all of them failed to close their slack jaws.

And as a heavy, powerful silence descended on everyone in the room, the gigantic Gate that suddenly manifested itself in the sky continued to gently ripple about, as if to swallow everything that was down below.

***

Right below the airborne Gate.

The residents of the city formed a literal sea of people below it, knowing that there was no danger of a dungeon break as the Gate had been generated not too long ago. They raised their smartphones and busily snapped shots of the portal dyeing the heavens black.

It was the first-ever Gate to form in the middle of the sky. And its gigantic size was unprecedented, too.

Although no one knew what would come out from there and should all be terrified as a result, people still couldn’t rein in their curiosity.

There were quite a few members of foreign press mixed among the crowd. Their cameras were working at full capacity to capture the scenes of this packed gathering of people

[Yes, I’m currently standing right below the giant Gate that has covered the entirety of Seoul’s skies, and….]

[The Gate you see before you is the biggest one ever recorded since monsters began appearing….]

[As you can see behind me, the crowd spectating on the Gate itself are carrying bright expressions, but….]

[….This is Nick Powell from BBN News.]

Reporters from various nations carried serious, even grave, expressions and spoke their mother tongue towards the camera lenses.

Japanese people had been interested in the ongoings of South Korea for a while now, so a certain TV station even scheduled a special program to report extensively on the ‘Gate above Seoul’s skies’.

As for the expert invited to share his insight on the program, it was none other than Doctor Norman Belzer who had been studying the irregular phenomenon in the sky for a long time.

After the brief introduction by the emcee, Doctor Belzer grasped his microphone.

“I have been warning the relevant authorities about the unknown mass of energy gathering in the various spots in the atmosphere for a while now. The giant Gate appearing in the skies of Seoul is merely the beginning, I fear. We will be seeing Gates just as horrifying as that one over the skies of many other countries in the future.”

The emcee’s shoulders flinched greatly.

“Ehhh?! What you’re implying there is, Doctor, there are more than one or two places with such ominous phenomena in the world?”

“That’s what I’d like to emphasize today.”

The scientist then went on to explain again what he told the Hunters participating in the International Guild Conference. He had a duty to inform the public of the dangers, now that his subject of research had bared its fangs for real.

Indeed, Seoul was just the beginning.

The magisphere was still being amassed above the skies of the remaining eight spots even now.

The scientist proceeded to reveal the nine locations with the help of the satellite images, leading to many gasps of shock and pained moans to leak out from the audience seats.

Some felt relieved by the fact that Japan was not among the list, while some were left deeply shocked by the imminent threat the neighbouring nations had to face.

The emcee listened to Doctor Belzer’s explanations with a gloomy, heavy expression, before asking the scientist.

“Doctor, you have been researching the Gates and monsters for a very long time, am I correct?”

“You’re correct.”

“In that case, can you tell us your opinion on what would be the smartest response we can come up with in this situation?”

Not just the audience members present, but even all the viewers at home watching their TV sets, leaned forward to pay closer attention to the good scientist’s next words.

Unfortunately for them, what he said was something everyone could say, too.

“We can only pray.”

He shifted his gaze over to the audience members and continued on.

“We can only pray that this unprecedented event doesn’t end in tragedy.”

Even as the expressions of the audience members became graver, the scientist carried on with his explanation.

“However, there is this one thing. One piece of news that can’t be considered bad.”

Doctor Belzer’s words, coming in just before the broadcast was about to end, managed to change the emcee’s expression. Hoping to brighten the sorrowful, gloomy mood of the studio even by a little bit, the emcee quickly asked the scientist with an expectant face.

“What could that news be, doctor?”

“It’s rather fortunate that the location of the Gate just so happens to be South Korea.”

Did this doctor hold some sort of personal grudge against Korea or something?

Noisy, noisy…

Doctor Belzer’s shocking declaration left the audience members in noisy confusion.

The expression of the Chief Producer of this program hardened in an instant, fearful that one wrong move now and he might end up with a broadcasting accident big enough to cause a serious diplomatic incident.

Fortunately enough, the feared event didn’t materialise. The scientist quickly added more explanation before the misunderstanding could get any deeper.

“South Korea is the home of one of the greatest Hunters, someone who has already stopped a couple of world-ending calamities all by himself.”

Everyone present here definitely knew who that Hunter was.

“Yes, I’m talking about Hunter Seong Jin-Woo, who has removed every single ant monster from Jeju Island, and then killed all the Giants in Japan.”

The spot where the most amount of magisphere concentration could be found also happened to be where the world’s best Hunter lived. Doctor Belzer felt that this was no simple coincidence.

“If he can’t stop that Gate, then no Hunter alive will be able to do so, either. And that is why, when viewed from the world’s perspective, we should be thankful that the first Gate to open up is in South Korea.”

Should they feel glad, or console their neighbours, instead?

As the Japanese audience members couldn’t decide what to feel, the scientist emphasized his point once more.

“What I’m saying might come across as cold-hearted ans callous, especially when Korea is facing a grave crisis, but the truth is, the world doesn’t need to feel pity for the Korean people.”

Ah, so the broadcasting accident had finally happened!

The Chief Producer began tearing his hair out, but then, as if to mock the poor man, Doctor Norman Belzer formed a deeply meaningful expression and ended his explanations.

“If we ever come to the situation where we must pity the Koreans, then that means there will be no humans left on this planet to console each other anymore.”

< Chapter 208 > Fin.

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