A Monster Who Levels Up
Creator - A_Passing_Wanderer
Editor - akshaythedon
(TL: Told from the MC’s perspective.)
When I approached her, mom’s eyes opened up wide in suspicion.
But, I just couldn’t say anything. My throat clammed up; my chest felt so tight, and I had no idea just how much she knew about this version of me.
And so, we simply stood there, staring at each other.
Wind blew in from somewhere and leaves issued a sorrowful wail.
Mom’s long, soft hair danced along with the wind.
“Excuse me…?” (Sae-Jin’s mom)
In the end, mom spoke up first.
But, when I heard her voice, my knees buckled so much that I couldn’t remain standing anymore. I had to reach out and hold on to the railing of the bridge. Mom quietly gazed at me for a while, before a gentle smile spread on her lips.
“Is there something wrong?” (Sae-Jin’s mom)
I needed to answer her.
My throat was still clammy, but I squeezed out my vocal cord to the very limit.
“………You’re very beautiful.” (Sae-Jin)
There were so many things I wanted to tell her – to tell her at length, with little more detail, containing all my ‘truths’.
But, I didn’t. I just couldn’t.
Every time I tried to speak, tears flooded down my throat, so how could I be able to string out a decent sentence?
As if she had misunderstood my words somewhat, an awkward smile broke out on mom’s lips.
“Ahaha…. Thank you for your kind words, but I’m married.” (Sae-Jin’s mom)
“…..How regrettable.” (Sae-Jin)
I somehow squeezed out two more words, and my head dropped.
I wiped the corners of my eyes while moans leaked out of my lips.
Mom approached me with a slightly worried expression after hearing me.
“Are you alright? You don’t have to be that sad…” (Mom)
I shouldn’t be doing this.
No, I must try to memorise every inch of her face, so even when an eternity passed by, I’d still be able to remember her.
Her gentle voice, her beautiful face, her swaying hair…. All of those, I must carry them deep within my head, deep within my heart…
“I’m not sad…. Just happy.” (Sae-Jin)
Suddenly, a thicket somewhere trembled audibly. Mom took a quick glance at the direction. And I too was desperately aware of what this chain of events meant.
“Ah, in that case, should we…. talk about it for a little while?” (Mom)
Mom smiled and spoke to me, in order to lengthen her life just a bit further – to buy time from those b*stards in hiding.
Just that, anxiety and sadness had permeated thickly into every part of that smile.
My answer ended up sounding blunt and curt. Because, I might end up crying even harder if I smiled.
Mom replied, never losing her sad smile.
“You remind me of my husband, you see.” (Mom)
I couldn’t remember what I said as a reply to those words. (TL: please refer to my TL note at the end of the chapter.)
“No, he died. During his job.” (Mom)
If it was possible, I also wanted to meet my father. But, then again, to a person I’ve not really ‘seen’ the face before, what was there for me to do and say?
But, mom still showed me the photo of her husband. My dad.
As soon as I saw the pic, I spat out the words almost instinctively.
“Wow…. You’re right.&rdq
“You see? You really do resemble him.” (Mom)
My heart felt like it might explode any time now, while I struggled to hold back my tears. So, I said whatever that just popped up in my head. (TL: here as well, refer to my TL note below.)
“Well, I guess so…. He was a terrible man, leaving behind me and our son all alone…” (Mom)
Their son. A son. Son.
It was only a single word, yet it echoed more beautifully than any known birds singing sweetly, at least to my ears. (TL: Again, please refer to my TL notes.)
“What do you mean, he’s ugly? He’s a really beautiful kid, you know? He’s smart, handsome, full of aegyo…. He is a carbon copy of your husband, indeed.” (Sae-Jin)
Really, really, it’s true.
“You really think so?” (Mom)
However…. that was the last of mom’s smiles.
We had to say goodbyes now.
“It’s already this late now…. I think, you should go now.” (Mom)
I didn’t want to.
I really wanted to tell her that, as soon as I leave, she would die. However, mom was already aware of this fact.
If that was the case, should I just run over to that thicket and kill the b*stards hiding in there?
But…. I knew very well that I couldn’t.
There was one more thing I had to tell her before that.
“One last thing…” (Sae-Jin)
I was sure that, if I said any more than this, I’d end up crying.
So, might as well tell her straight.
“Forgive me, because this is our first encounter, but…” (Sae-Jin)
<< fantasy-books Property >>
While tears fell, I confessed.
“I…. I really love you.” (Sae-Jin)
And that was how I said farewell to my mom.
I developed a problem since that day.
I couldn’t sleep again.
Was it because I slept too much until now, or was it because I was scared of forgetting her face and her voice that I’ve carefully stored in my heart, during my long slumber?
Whatever the case might have been, I spent my waiting days submerged at the bottom of the ocean, while suffering through a heavy, nasty bout of insomnia. Although it was incredibly lonely down there, I had no choice but to stay, since the Leviathan Form’s growth accelerated faster the deeper the sea was.
Another ten years went by, and now, it was the year 1999. (TL: I didn’t make a mistake here; this is how it is in the raw. Just calculate the correct date by yourselves, folks…)
Carrying around a hollow pair of eyes, I went to see Lillia. There was something I had to do.
Spending the last 50 years or so as the leader of her clan had helped Lillia to transform into the gentle, relaxed and calm person that he remembered.
“….I’ve really changed after looking after so many people. It’s as you said, Mister Sae-Jin.” (Lillia)
I smirked a little after hearing her.
Now that I finally met another living, breathing person, I could somehow recover some part of my lost leisurely demeanor.
“But, what brings you here to us today?” (Lillia)
Without saying anything, I handed two scales of the Leviathan that I had ripped off in advance, over to her. Lillia tilted her head slightly while receiving the scales.
“These are….. Oh!” (Lillia)
“That’s right. You’ve read about it in the diary, no? You keep one with you until ‘I’ show up in the future, and the other one… you give it to the el Las people a few years from now.”
The el Las used this scale as the summoning medium to summon a Leviathan to the Han River. And that was where ‘Kim Sae-Jin’ earned the ability to transform into the Leviathan.
“But… can the ‘same’ persons exist so close by to one another?” (Lillia)
“…..Probably, no.” (Sae-Jin)
One shouldn’t take lightly the forces of the cosmos. Never.
The reason why the ‘same persons’ were existing within the ‘same universe’ due to ‘unknown cause’ was quite simple, really – before the error was discovered, it wouldn’t be an error in the first place.
However, if these ‘same persons’ confirmed each other’s existences – then, well, only the stronger version of that person would remain in existence.
“But it won’t matter. Me of that time period isn’t a Leviathan, anyways.” (Sae-Jin)
Well, Kim Sae-Jin of the current time period couldn’t transform into a Leviathan. That was why I felt confident that the cosmos wouldn’t be able to figure out the error and interfere.
“By the way, can’t you just hand out lots more scales? I mean, the growth afterwards would be astonishing, right?” (Lillia)
“Two scales are the limit. Even then, don’t forget that enough time between the two must be observed as well. Ingest anymore than that, then I fear the past me and the future me would become ‘assimilated’ and disappear altogether.” (Sae-Jin)
“Ah……. that’s a distinct possibility. I’ll do as you have instructed.” (Lillia)
I smiled in satisfaction.
The news of Yu Sae-Jung becoming the youngest-ever Knight rode on the airwaves and entered my ears. Soon after that, I also heard Kim Yu-Rin, surviving a serious attempt on her life through a Goblin’s kindness, exposing the internal power struggle happening behind the closed doors of the Raven Knights Order, and then, becoming a Highest Tier Knight.
In the meantime, ‘Kim Sae-Jin’ kept himself busy and revealed a potion called ‘A Goblins’ Kindness’ to the world.
While underwater, I pushed the senses of sight and hearing to the absolute maximum, so I could watch and listen to all the news that transpired in the world. I wasn’t worried about getting ‘old’, since the Leviathan Form prevented the effects of aging to affect the main body.
But during the past couple of decades or so, while waiting for the arrival of one certain day, many difficult thoughts and worries piled up in my head.
Could the measly me really stop those b*stards coming out of the Fissure/portal?
And even if I could kill them all, would I be able to live among all the precious people, just like how it used to be?
If I was to count my physical age, thanks to the unceasing flow of time, Bathory’s age was an unfunny joke to me now; and if I was to count my mental age, then… Yu Sae-Jung would be like a small child as well. Even if she became a wonderful wife that was mature beyond her years, would I be able to love her, like I once used to?
While submerged deep underwater, I mulled on these thoughts for a long, long time.
And when I had just about reached the point where I couldn’t tell whether I was the ocean or the ocean had become me, I could no longer endure it and came ashore.
I headed off to a small and simple town.
There were quite a few people here. But, because of my senses were enhanced beyond belief, every strain of thought and every type of emotion were clearly ‘legible’ to me.
I shook hands incorrectly, and ended up breaking a person’s hand, even. I spent too much time underwater and forgot how to control my strength properly.
If I was a Knight – no, if I was a human, I’d be able to control my physical strength through either manipulating Mana or with the help of a Trait.
But I was no longer a human.
Because, this strength, this body, belonged to an existence that was not a human….
That was why… I couldn’t dare to brave myself back into the society anymore.
In the end, I returned to the depths of the ocean and simply chose to watch and listen through my senses, instead.
And then… on that day.
A summoning magic’s chant entered my consciousness.
I agreed to it, and when I opened my eyes, I found myself at the Han River.
And at the distance, I saw the restaurant where Kim Sae-Jin – me, Yu Sae-Jung, and Kim Yu-Rin were together.
I was quite dazed by this, but came to my senses soon enough. I shouldn’t remain inert, after all.
*SFX for a loud roar*
I immediately issued out a roar.
Screams of the regular people resounded out from everywhere, and not too long after that, Kim Yu-Rin jumped out from the window while shattering the glass.
And as expected, she ignored everything and hit me in the forehead with her sword.
I could feel her Trait, ‘Desideratum’, activating.
Of course, it didn’t hurt at all.
So, the real reason why she was able knock out the Leviathan with her Trait wasn’t because of the weak-sauce excuse of the divine creature’s power halving due to the summoning process. No, that happened only because the Leviathan itself wished to get ‘knocked out’ from her attack.
Well, I welcomed her hit with open arms and fell into a sweet slumber. It may have been a short one, but it’d been too long since I had one.
And when I woke up around ten minutes later, the deep navy blue that could even be described as pure darkness greeted me back.
Yes, it was the exact same location that I spent the proverbial eternity in.
However, I began chuckling to myself, instead.
Because, it wouldn’t be too long now.
This extreme loneliness, this intense longing….
The end of them all were now in sight.
At the end of all this waiting, just what was I supposed to do?
There was the loud sound of the Fissure vibrating.
My entire body shuddered in unbridled joy.
Strange, unknown creatures began invading the ocean.
I opened my eyes and laughed out loudly.
Finally, I could liberate myself from this unending perpetuity and search for my own flow of time.
And just as my entire being shook feverishly with my heart pounding away in madness….
A certain scene popped up into my head, as if I pressed play on a video clip.
“Well, I’m off.”
And that was of me about to leave the flow of time a long time ago.
I wanted to ask that guy, if he could even begin to imagine how long he would have to wait and fight against the most cruel loneliness ever conceivable to a man.
But me, well, ‘he’ just left, not knowing anything and not wanting to know anything.
And then… as promised, Bathory began her desperate struggle alongside humanity to fight against the horde of dimensional invaders.
Unfortunately, the black mucous substance broke out from the ground in the end, and rose up higher and higher to the sky. What would be the most correct term to describe the massive being that finally stood on earth? The disgusting son of a b*tch? No, there should be an even more fitting swear word for that thing.
Thankfully, the creature spent the rest of the day still stuck inside the mucous membrane covering it.
On the following day, the membrane evaporated somewhat, and the creature’s arm was exposed.
Jet-black skin, and blue veins visible underneath it.
Emboldened by the liberation of its limb, the creature swung its freed arm. Without much fanfare, more than half of all military and Knight personnel waiting there, got wiped out.
However, the creature didn’t do anything else besides that.
It wasn’t some kind of a moron who threw away all the good food and then ate the scraps off the floor.
No, it was pure arrogance on display.
Another day went by. Its right arm got freed this time.
But still, the creature didn’t make another movement.
Most likely, the ugly face hidden behind the mucous membrane was smiling insidiously.
Too bad for the b*stard, I too was looking at it with a thick smile occupying my face.
Would the creature ever realise the fact that its arrogance, conceit, and ego had in fact brought on about its own demise?
And finally. The next day.
Just as the creature’s two legs gained their freedom…
The alert window that I was waiting for all these years finally rose up.
[The growth of the Leviathan has been completed.] [Condition complete: ‘Enduring the harsh eternity, like an Imoogi ascending to become a Dragon’.] [The host will evolve into the Dragon of the Oceans, Bahamut.]
[Condition complete: ‘Plea of the Gaia’.] [The Skill ‘???’ has been unlocked and it has been upgraded to the unique ability, ‘Divinity’.]
Finally, I had escaped the perpetuity of time.
And now, time to go to war.
< 50. In the End (2) > Fin.
(TL: There should’ve been several texts of MC talking to his mom, but the author decided to omit them for some unknown reason. Thus, when reading those parts in raw, it barely makes any sense, flow of conversation wise. The last curious omission is for the words spoken by the MC’s mom, where she obviously said something that made MC reply that way and defend his younger self. I’ve tried to alter as little as possible to keep the original “meaning” of what the author probably wanted to convey. Anyways, I’m leaving this note here as a sort of heads-up – although, if you got this far, then you have read past them already, so I guess it’s all cool…)