A Monster Who Levels Up - chapter-172
Billions of people dazedly looked on at the horrifying existence standing
tall – some through their naked eyes, while others, through the
Funnily enough, even with the absolutely terrifying and unimaginable
threat standing right in front, not one cliched occasion of some nutter
proclaiming the end of the world could be seen. No incidents of robbery,
violence, rape, etc, etc, happened, either.
Everyone simply stared at the creature with eyes completely lost within
the pits of despair – the being that just stood there, not affected in
the slightest by the combined might of the military, Knights, and
Wizards, with not one person able to tell what it was planning to do.
[It has been now confirmed via the testimony of the first generation
migrants, that the being on screen is called the ‘Dimensional
Devourer’. Although it is one level lower in terms of danger compared
to the ‘Universe Devourer’, we have learned that this creature has
destroyed countless worlds already.]
Even under this kind of situation, the news channels faithfully carried
out their duties.
However, this piece of information delivered with such desperation ended
up sounding like a horrifying eulogy to all those stationed at the
“What’s the current situation? Do we have enough leeway to pour all
our attacks on that b*stard?” (Kim Hyun-Seok)
The supreme commander of the gathered forces, Kim Hyun-Seok, asked a
junior Knight, while his body was covered from head to toe in
unidentified blood and dirt.
“We are at the very limit of our capacity trying to deal with the new
Monsters emerging from the Fissure, as well as existing Monsters running
amok under that b*stard’s influences, sir!”
“……D*mn it.” (Kim Hyun-Seok)
Kim Hyun-Seok spat out a low groan. But, in all honesty, he too expected
something like this. The only things they could do right now, were to
quell the rampaging Monsters, or simply observe that damnable
But, even doing that wasn’t easy.
The battalion of soldiers desperately guarding the frontlines with all
their might got destroyed with a single swing of the giant creature’s
fist, and more than half of the gathered Knights seemed to have lost
their dang collective minds after witnessing that incredible display of
Not to mention, mental and physical strain of the troops fighting for the
past five days straight without a break or sleep were taking their toll
as well. Kim Hyun-Seok even saw several soldiers deserting their posts
and running away.
He couldn’t imagine a situation worse than this one.
“…We still need to hold the line.” (Kim Hyun-Seok)
Of course, Kim Hyun-Seok could not give up here. Knights, as well as the
military, were the citizens’ so-called psychological ‘Maginot’
line. So, if he and his men were to retreat from here, then the country,
even the entire world, wouldn’t be able to survive. No, he couldn’t
back away from here, even if it was only to repay the faith and love
people had shown them until now.
“Yes, sir. Understood.”
The subordinate Knight nodded his head and took his leave.
Kim Hyun-Seok grasped his sword tightly and glared at the giant creature
that he couldn’t still take in its entirety even with his neck tilted
This was the only thing he could do for now.
For the first time in his life, he could truly feel the inadequacy of his
It was now noon, yet the sun was still blocked by the jet-black clouds,
and very little light was coming through.
And, just as the Korea’s best Knight stared at the heavens and lamented
the fact that he couldn’t do anything…
Something that could o
nly be described as quite bizarre happened.
“….What the hell is that?”
The ‘beginning’ was nothing more than someone murmuring out in a
daze. That was all. No one paid him any mind. However, this person
didn’t let it go, and poked the Knight next to him with an elbow.
The poked Knight was way too tired to even get annoyed, so he had to
endure the abuse for a bit of time, before finally turning his gaze
towards the direction his pokey friend was pointing at.
And then, he ended up doing the exact same poking thing with another
Knight next to him.
That was how the eyes of the Knights gradually rose up to the sky, one by
With enough time passing by, the need to poke others with elbows had
dissipated, and in the end, even camera lenses were taking in the sights
of the emergence… of a new unknown being.
From within the beating, swirling storm of winds that seemed to rip apart
those murky, dark clouds, a mystical creature slowly revealed itself.
Spreading out its noble and pure blue-coloured wings widely, its deep yet
dignified eyes looked down on the world below, and its powerful and
resolutely-shut maws pointed towards the Dimensional Devourer.
Knights, soldiers, even normal people couldn’t even begin to fathom the
identity of that creature.
However, strangely enough, they all could faintly guess what it could be.
That creature was an exact copy of the dragon in the fairytales and
legends of the yore.
Just before the gathered Knights could fall into a collective dilemma of
choosing between whether to celebrate this new development, or to throw
away even the last vestige of hope – the dragon-like being lunged at
the still-awakening Devourer.
The world got twisted apart momentarily from the air pressure and noise
generated by that powerful, mad rush forward.
Needing only a blink of an eye that felt like the flow of time had been
distorted, the dragon arrived by the side of the Devourer and wrapped the
tail around it – then, began gathering a massive amount of Mana in the
And the Devourer, until now inert and simply observing, hurriedly moved
its arms and grabbed the dragon’s – Bahamut’s – tail.
Too bad, it was one step too late.
A jet-black Breath beam was fired out without special sound effects and
blew away the Devourer’s head.
And there they were, unable to damage the Devourer no matter what they
tried – jaws of the gathered Knights dropped to the floor, after
witnessing empty spot where the giant creature’s head should have been.
However, the Devourer wasn’t dead. Although now headless, it moved its
one arm and two legs to fiercely resist.
That was the signal for the mighty physical struggle between these two
titans that shook the entire world.
An indescribable scene of battle unfolded, where fists and front claws,
kicks and tail whips were exchanged endlessly.
However, after losing its head, the Devourer had lost its sense of sight
and all it could do was flail its arms and legs about wildly.
Of course, those simple actions alone possessed incredible danger.
Sae-Jin had found it difficult to properly control his new wings and was
helpless when he got punched by a blind swing and flew away. Then, he
even got kicked in the stomach, as well.
Only after he spat out black blood out, he decided to deal with this
b*stard using magic.
Still, the Devourer proved to be not a simple opponent at all. As soon as
it sensed the activation of magic, it too responded with magic of its
own. The only difference was, the Devourer’s did not just aim at the
It was targeting the entire world. The sole purpose was to destroy.
Bahamut hurriedly fired off a Breath. In the end, though – Sae-Jin
returned to fighting it physically, in order to prevent the fountain of
blood from the Devourer’s destroyed arm landing on the ground below. To
stop it from using magic ever again, he hit it even harder than before.
But, well, from the very beginning of this battle, there could only be
one destined victor between the headless Dimensional Devourer and Bahamut
with all its body parts still intact.
The longer the fight dragged on, the Devourer’s ability to make
judgments suffered, and in the end, it threw its arms and legs wildly as
if it had forgotten how to use magic completely. That only lasted until
another Breath from Bahamut pierced its heart.
….And so, the Dimensional Devourer that seemingly possessed no equal in
this world, fell while issuing a bizarre cry that sounded like an animal,
and scattered away into black smoke.
Only the silence remained afterwards.
Not even screams, cheers, loud shouts, or praises could be heard.
This remained true even for the reporters broadcasting the event live,
the anchors relaying it to the ordinary people, as well as those said
people watching on.
This silence was so suffocating and unreal that tens of thousands souls
gathered here ended up imagining this was all just a long and harsh
Within this stillness, Bahamut slowly flew away.
While blood poured out from numerous wounds on his body, the dragon
desperately flew towards the East Sea where he would be healed.
Only after he had drifted away eastward, and after a considerable length
of time went by, did the remaining army of fighters realise what had just
One by one, they began approaching the position where the Devourer used
to stand with numb and dazed minds.
With the exception of giant craters where the Devourer’s massive feet
stepped on, there really was no trace of the Monster itself.
The reality finally dawned on them and they stared up at the heavens
Just in time, the dark clouds drifted away and several bright rays of sun
shone brilliantly down on the ground.
And so, the world would never forget the beauty of the sunlight seen for
the first time in five days.
(TL: Told from the MC’s perspective.)
It was a difficult, yet ultimately hollow battle that, after its
conclusion, was hard to recall exactly what had transpired.
That was why, as I laid this body that was so close to death by the
depths of the ocean, I couldn’t really remember anything.
Although, I did sense the faint pulsing of this planet, Earth.
And also, I could more or less understand that the planet was thanking me.
I was confident that it was gratitude.
A lifeform wished to live.
It was the same whether you were a human, an animal, or a Monster –
even, Earth too.
The planet wished to survive. It wished for its salvation. That was why
it deliberately created ‘Traits’. So, the truth was completely
opposite to all those experts that yammered on about ‘Fissures creating
The fruit of that desperate struggle, created in order to find even the
tiniest hint of possibility for survival – born out of the
irresponsible mentality of ‘anything is fine, so please, let one
stick’, that was Trait.
That was why, I knew I’d wake up for sure, sooner or later.
The warmth of the divine energy wrapping around me while I remained
submerged deep underwater was the proof of this.
Also, the texts ‘Plea of the Gaia has been completed’ appearing in
front of my eyes were another proof.
I was only entering a deep slumber, just like how it always had been.
And soon, I would be able to meet up with the others.
And, I would be able to love them as an ordinary person by then.
I truly believed that would come to pass.
(TL: Told from Yu Sae-Jung’s perspective.)
With the appearance of the legendary creature, Bahamut, the world finally
The unstoppable calamity, the Dimensional Devourer was defeated at the
claws of Bahamut, and soon, many Fissures opening up around the world
began to close for good, one by one.
However, at the same time, small chaos ensued as well. Because, all
Traits had suddenly vanished into thin air.
Many, who enjoyed charmed lives but now had to live like the rest of
normal people, couldn’t quite come to grips with this reality and were
wading through pits of despair.
Of course, those like Joo Ji-Hyuk and Yu Sae-Jung, whose egos weren’t
inflated by their Traits, had no problem whatsoever adopting to the new
On the flip side, Mana and Monsters didn’t disappear. One thing that
did change was that Monsters couldn’t replenish their numbers through
the ‘external supply’ anymore and had to live, breed, and perish in
the exact same manner of every other normal wild animal.
Of course, if Monsters were exterminated, that would cause too much of a
shock to the world’s system, so they would not be pushed towards
extinction. Instead, they were to be reared by mankind.
A month after the passing of the great calamity, a religion worshipping
Bahamut sprang up. People were disappointed and distrustful towards the
pre-existing religions that didn’t offer any real, tangible aid during
the most obvious apocalyptic threat ever recorded in history – and
also, with an uncanny timing, several ‘followers’ of Bahamut popped
up suddenly, too.
The pre-existing religions offered the usual line of excuses, even going
as far as to say that their gods had sent Bahamut to humanity and all
that, but with the exception of a small percentage, modern humans
weren’t delusional enough to fall for such empty claims.
Inevitably, after the religion came the organisation, and eventually, the
Bahamut organisation’s greatest temple of worship was built on the very
spot where the Dimensional Devourer was felled. This place became the
holy land that many worshippers from all corners of the globe made
A religion that became one of the biggest in the world through only a
single moment, the Bahamut Church – and the leader of this organisation
‘He’ had disappeared.
No one knew where he had vanished to.
Did he run away because he fell in love with another woman, or did he
migrate to another world after he got scared by the prospect of the world
coming to an end…?
And it seemed like the only person who knew the details was the Bathory
woman, but it was difficult to meet with her, and when I somehow found a
chance to ask her, she refused to give me a straight answer.
I could only spend the time alone, with no one to blame.
I found out for the first time in my life that prolonged longing could
morph into powerful heartache. But, I endured, believing that I would see
him sooner or later.
And so…. a year went by, without him by my side.
Finally, the date for the regular gathering of The Monster Guild had
arrived. So, I tidied myself up and went there.
‘All Guild members must attend the meeting.’
I was so sure that he wouldn’t forget the one real rule he came up with
for the Guild he created with his own hands.
After all, the gathering was supposed to take place on the 17th of every
month, but in his consideration, it had been changed into an annual
So, he should show up on this one. He must.
The gathering was scheduled for seven in the evening, and I arrived at
6:30. However, everyone was here already. Kim Yu-Rin unni, the Tower Lord
Hazeline, the member of parliament Yu Baek-Song, the married couple Joo
Ji-Hyuk and Yi Hye-Rin, Bathory and Rhosrahdel, as well as Kim Sun-Ho and
the rest of the newbie members.
Everyone greeted me with welcoming faces.
Yet, only one person was missing.
“You came?” (Kim Yu-Rin)
Yu-Rin unni asked me first. I forced out a smile.
“Yes. Unni, I heard you’ve been really busy lately? It must’ve been
really difficult to find a gap in your schedule… Thank you for coming
today.” (Yu Sae-Jung)
As soon as Monsters became existences that needed to be reared for the
future rather than to be exterminated on sight, Yu-Rin unni left the
world of Knights immediately without any regrets.
And then, she concentrated on the entertainment industry side of things.
She made a success out of three, four variety shows she appeared in as a
regular cast member, and her debut as an actress was a roaring success as
So, nowadays the name ‘Kim Yu-Rin’ was better known as a celebrity
rather than a former Knight. Understandably so, she was incredibly busy
in her life due to all of her entertainment industry commitments.
But, even though she was busy, she found time to continue her work as the
‘Orc Enthusiast’. The thing was, many Hero Orcs still existed –
they even rescued many ordinary people attempting to run away from the
rampaging Monsters, and offered shelter within their village. Which in
turn, made them into national treasures of Korean people.
“That’s true, but I still wouldn’t miss this gathering.” (Kim
“No wait, Sae-Jung-ah. This unni, she only came here to see whether
he’s coming or not. You gotta watch out now. This person here, as much
as you, she wants to see hi…” (Yi Hye-Rin)
“Uh-muh. What could you possibly be talking about?” (TL: ‘uh-muh’
= ‘oh my, my.’) (Kim Yu-Rin)
Yi Hye-Rin added some spice in a playful attempt to get a rise out of
her, but now that Kim Yu-Rin had escaped from beneath the weighty burden
of being a Knight, and thereby becoming much more relaxed, such a
provocation didn’t work anymore.
“Hahat… But, you, Hye-Rin unni, I thought you’d be too busy being
lovey-dovey for today.” (Yu Sae-Jung)
Joo Ji-Hyuk and Yi Hye-Rin must’ve been the most famous married couple
in Korea right now. They were appearing on two TV shows together, and all
the sweetness they poured out to each other on screen was something else
to behold, really.
“Well, we can still love outside the house, right~?” (Yi Hye-Rin)
While saying something that might lead to a misunderstanding, Yi Hye-Rin
leaned her head on Joo Ji-Hyuk’s shoulder.
Hazeline looked at the duo with a dissatisfied expression, before
lamenting out softly.
“Anyways….. He’s not coming again, is he? And I even shoved all
that urgent Tower business aside to come here.” (Hazeline)
Hazeline was currently reigning over the world’s best Wizard Tower as
Unlike Knights, magic still played big part in society even after
reduction in the Monsters’ numbers, so rather than the industry
faltering away, it saw many leaps and advances forward, instead.
Well, pretty much every Wizard that was somewhat undecided between
sticking to attack magic used to deal with Monsters, and the practical,
everyday magic with potential to help the world, finally chose to go with
the latter, that was why.
Under these changes, the Dawn & TM’s Tower became widely acknowledged
as the best in the world.
The thing was, the legacy of Bangbae-Dong Wizard, no, wait, no – most
of the 28 grimoires he published before he left had real world
applications, it turned out.
And thanks to his enormous accomplishments until the end, the name of the
Wizard of Bangbae-Dong, who had vanished without a trace, had become an
everlasting legend that may never be repeated again in the Wizarding
Bathory did complain slightly during that, though, saying all those magic
spells were nothing more than some amateurish rejigging of stuff already
existing in her head.
It was then, Yu Baek-Song tugged at Hazeline’s robe.
“Hey, help me with my campaign funds.” (Yu Baek-Song)
“….Are you insane? Why should I spend money on a cat entering
politics? Besides, you’ve been elected already, so what gives?”
“I need lots more later on. You think running a constituency is that
simple? At minimum, I gotta be elected three times.” (Yu Baek-Song)
“But, isn’t there still lots of time left until the election?”
“I’m specially elected to fill a vacancy, so I gotta get elected
again in a year, you know.” (Yu Baek-Song)
Surely, the most weird prospect here belonged to Yu Baek-Song. She became
a member of parliament. On top of this, her ambitions began ballooning up
without anyone noticing it, and now, she could often be ‘seen’
staring at a certain House with Blue roof tiles with eyes burning with
“Hey, how was the reaction to the interview I shot today?” (Bathory)
To the side, Bathory showed no interest in them whatsoever, and was busy
asking her ‘retainer’ while looking at her phone.
“It’s very good, ma’am. Everyone’s praising you!” (Rhosrahdel)
At Rhosrahdel’s energetic reply, I could hear a slightly happy snort
from the side.
It was really tough trying to predict what could’ve happened to Bathory
and Rhosrahdel, during this past year. Well, Bathory had emerged as the
clear leader/representative of the union of Vampires, after all.
At first, she alternated between the persona of the Wizard Emil and
Bathory the Vampire, but after receiving a perfectly-timed image makeover
at the hands of Rhosrahdel, she could appear as Bathory nowadays without
an issue – she was even being seen as a goddess of peace and
reconciliation, a moniker people and Vampires alike who knew the truth
could never comprehend.
“There hasn’t been any incidents lately, Mister Sun-Ho?” (Yu
“Ah, well. Besides taking care of the children, nothing much’s been
going on in my life, miss.” (Kim Sun-Ho)
As for Kim Sun-Ho…. he resigned from all of his duties and then, became
a father of twins. A son and a daughter, no less.
“Mister Sun-Ho’s children are so, so cute you know? Let’s go and
visit them sometime.” (Yi Hye-Rin)
I smiled relaxedly at Yi Hye-Rin’s words.
And so, our unhurried conversations took flight. Waiters brought out
wonderful food and expensive alcohol, and the members made sure there was
no lull in our conversations.
Topics ranged from newbie members, the road ahead for TM to the
succession at the Dawn, etc, etc….
But, with the exception at the very beginning, no one talked about
Everyone was being considerate to everyone else, and also, there remained
this slim hope and expectation running within our group, too – where he
might just show up out of the blue, that kind of hope.
And so, we talked about unimportant matters and inquired about each
other’s lives, letting the time slowly move forward.
One hour, then two, three, four…. time continued to flow, but no one
However, midnight came, and the day had come to an end.
The date for our regular gathering had come and gone.
And that meant, the possibility of seeing him ‘today’ had ended, as
Guild members did their best to hide their sadness, shared well wishes
and bid farewells.
I returned home feeling rather proud of myself for holding back my tears.
But once I did get home, I felt the cold emptiness of this place and I
began crying again.
To not find him waiting for me at the end of a day, it was the worst
All those things I did for him and those that I couldn’t yet, stabbed
my heart like an assassin’s dagger.
I wanted to see his face, and repeatedly say his name out aloud.
And the fact that I couldn’t do any of those without him here made it
so unbearably hard.
I buried my face in the pillow and cried.
Then, I gradually fell asleep from the exhaustion.
He left as if there was nothing big going on, and disappeared as if he
wasn’t even there since the beginning.
But, he did exist, and even if he didn’t, I still wouldn’t be able to
forget his face, now deeply ingrained in my heart – so, even spending
one day without him was painful.
I suffered from anxiety that tomorrow wouldn’t come at all.
But, I believed his promise that he’d come back no matter what.
It might not be tomorrow, but when he would make his return, I’d
forgive him. No, really.
I might give him a big fat slap on the cheek, though. And then, hug him
tightly, as he faltered about cutely.
I imagined the happy moments of the future and endured every day.
I endured two days like that.
Then, four days.
Spring, with flowers blooming.
Summer, when the clear winds blew.
Autumn, as the leaves on trees grew older.
And finally, after Winter, when snow blanketed the world in white…
Another year, that seemed like it would never arrive, arrived.