I Returned as a God
[Translator – igixri]
[Proofreader – Enigma]
Chapter 2 - Kang Han-kyul (1)
I slowly opened my eyes. There was a white ceiling with a pattern divided by a grid above me. I slowly looked around at my surroundings.
An ordinary hospital bed and the structure of a modern building greeted me. Had I returned to my original world? I couldn’t check to be sure.
Although my memories were faint, I knew that in the past, I had been struck by lightning before I was transported to the other world. Being admitted into the hospital was likely, very likely to have happened afterwards.
Beyond the curtain, I heard the sound of a sliding door opening. The curtain was drawn back and someone who was neither a doctor or a nurse stepped inside.
This person was dressed in a suit.
The moment I saw the man’s hand pull back the curtain, I was sure that this place was not a hospital. It was too crude to be a hospital ward, and it seemed more like a school infirmary.
‘That’s strange… An infirmary?’
Something wasn’t adding up here.
A man who looked to be a businessman in his early thirties approached me.
“This is why young Awakened aren’t worth dealing with. They always uselessly fight back. How’s your body?”
He pulled up a chair and sat in front of me, slightly loosening his necktie as he did so. Noticing that his expression seemed considerably exhausted, I stared at him and spoke indifferently.
“Why so impolite?”
After undoing his necktie entirely and putting it in his pocket, he folded his shirtsleeves up and gave me a bright smile with his head tilted slightly. I felt a strangely threatening aura from the man.
I didn’t feel pressured by him or anything, but no matter how much I thought about it, I was sure that this aura was not one that should be coming out of a man wearing modern clothes.
Hmmm… Perhaps he was a soldier? Not an office worker?
“Excuse me, but who might you be?”
“You were being rude earlier, but aren’t you being unnecessarily polite now?”
I couldn’t tell at all if he was joking or trying to sound me out with his response. Honestly, even I thought that his manner of speaking was too harsh. To my relief, he withdrew his threatening aura in response to my question.
“I don’t think I was informed that you had a head injury.”
At his words, I quickly reached up and touched my head. Thankfully, it felt fine.
“Do you not know who I am?”
At his words, my mouth fell open in shock. How would I know who you are, sir? Are you some sort of celebrity?
Thankfully, there was an ID card hung around his neck. I quickly read the name written on the ID.
‘Hunter Education Manager Choi Soo-hyun’
He didn’t seem like a celebrity.
Choi Soo-hyun got up from his seat and went searching through the refrigerator on the other side of the room. He shook a bottle of Bacchus that was in there and drank it. In that brief moment, I wracked my brain as much as I could. There was, of course, the first question that came to mind.
‘What’s a Hunter Education Manager?’
He spoke Korean, and he had a Korean name, so this place must be Korea. But still, something felt very different.
Choi Soo-hyun sat down in front of me again and half-heartedly complained.
“Honestly, kids these days don’t know what they should know at all. Anyway, here’s your bag and cell phone. Looks like the screen is cracked, so you better replace it.”
He tossed a brown backpack along with a cell phone on the bed. There was a crack right down the middle of the phone, which was a smartphone that didn’t look like the latest model.
I was more welcome for the phone than my bag. If this was the modern day that I knew, then just having a smartphone meant that finding information wouldn’t be that hard.
‘The more I think about it, the more it seems like I’ve ended up possessing someone else.’
Instinctively, I felt that this body was not my body. On top of that, even the differences between this and the present day that I knew were too much. Even though a long time had passed, I didn’t think things like Hunters, or Hunter Education Managers existed.
I put the phone in my pocket and bowed my head respectfully.
I could piece it together without much difficulty: combining the phrase ‘Hunter Education Manager’, Choi Soo-hyun’s grumbling, and my current situation, it all pointed to an accident caused during some sort of education. In short, I was a student in training, and he was the manager.
From here on, it would be better to just brush this off without any further trouble.
‘Even saying futile things like “What’s my name? I think I have amnesia from being hit hard on the head,” might be better than just saying things that are total nonsense.’
As if to encourage my pondering, Choi Soo-hyun just stood there watching me patiently with his hands in his trouser pockets. His gaze on me felt like he was watching a small animal left to fend for itself in the jungle, which was a touch off-putting.
With great timing, the cell phone in Choi Soo-hyun’s pocket started to vibrate. Compared to my old phone with its cracked screen, his phone seemed to be the newest model. It was eye-catching even down to the case that was on it.
“Hello? Yeah, he just woke up. Condition? I think he’s alright. What? Hey! I told you to stay out of trouble! Damn, why does that guy live like that? I’ll be there in 10 minutes, so sort it out as best as you can until then. I’m heading there now.” Choi Soo-hyun hung up first. I could hear a voice calling out his name on the other end, but he acted like he hadn’t even heard it.
After he hung up, Choi Soo-hyun let out an unrestrained sigh. From the dark circles under his eyes and his hair that went from being neatly set in the morning to rumpled before it was even the evening, I could guess that his status was somewhere between upper and the middle ranks of his organization. In any organization, that stage was the one with the most work and the least rewards for it.
Or maybe not?
* * *
Discord Link: https://dsc.gg/reapercomics
* * *
If not, then never mind.
“Sorry. I wanted to take care of you a little more because it was due to my negligent management. This is my business card. Oh, and don’t go to class today, just turn in early. It’s not an important lesson anyways, and even if it is, I don’t think anything will get through your head in your current state, would it?”
“I don’t think that really sounds like something an educator should say.”
“What are you really going to do with something like the history of dungeons, anyway? We just teach this because we have orders from the higher-ups, but if you go search on the internet, it’s all there. I did tell those troublesome guys as well, but if something happens, contact me. And you forgot to bring your ID last time, right? Don’t forget to take that before you go. Good work.”
Choi Soo-hyun rattled off what he wanted to say as if he was reciting a rap verse, then turned his back on me and started making a phone call with a scary expression.
I could hear him on the call even as his voice receded down the hallway.
‘What a strange person.’
After neatly coming to that conclusion about the man, I got out of the bed with the bag in my hand.
Among what Choi Soo-hyun had said, a few words rattled around my mind.
‘A dungeon… Are there things like dungeons here?’
The continent of Arbelicia was different from the reality that I used to live in, in that it was a world where fantastic elements like monsters, magic, gods, mercenaries, and more existed, the kind of things that even people who had never read novels or encountered those popular genres before would know about. Of course, among them, those things called dungeons also existed. That is, if the dungeons that I knew and the dungeons that Choi Soo-hyun were talking about were the same thing.
As I was on my way out, I noticed a mirror mounted to the inside of the wall. I walked over to it.
“I knew it.”
When I was talking to Choi Soo-hyun, I had vaguely noticed that my voice was different, so I didn’t feel too much of a shock.
Inside the mirror was a man in a navy blue hoodie and sweatpants with a backpack slung over his shoulder.
The oldest he could be was around his early 20s, and he had a baby face that made it believable that he could be a teenager. Maybe it was because of the shabby clothes, as he was pretty tall and he had a rather good looking face. Of course, not as good looking as my original face.
“First, my ID.”
There was no more time to spend appreciating the face of the boy that I’d possessed.
Seeing as Choi Soo-hyun had told me to go get my ID, I felt relieved inside. Having an ID meant at the very least that this guy was a clearly identified human being. I went out into the hallway and quietly decided on some goals.
Setting goals, even if they were small ones, and completing them.
It was the method I used to study even before I was summoned to another world, and at the same time, it was the survival rule that I had used in Arbelicia in order to stay alive.
‘Assess the situation.’
My ultimate goal was to get revenge on those gods that had ruined my life.
That would come way later on, so for now, as always, my aim was to survive.
Excluding the dimension that I’d lived in and the one that I’d been summoned to, the existence of many other dimensions had already been confirmed for me with my own two eyes through the gods.
Among those countless dimensions, it wasn’t surprising that there would be at least one dimension where dungeons coexisted within the modern day.
The hallway ended, and I stepped into a large lobby.
I was supposed to get my ID or something, but I couldn’t figure out where to go at all.
“Excuse me, where can I get my ID?”
I caught the attention of someone who looked like an employee or a member of the staff and asked my question. The woman looked me up and down, then pointed to the end of a hallway.
“Turn left and go down, and you’ll find it.”
“Ah, thank you.”
I turned left like she told me, and I saw a counter that looked like a bank teller’s window.
‘What the hell do people do in this place?’
I took a number from the ticket dispenser and sat down at the sofa prepared in the corner.
In a few minutes, the number  showed up on the large monitor.
“What is the reason for your visit?”
“I’m here for my ID.”
“Please complete the fingerprint verification in front of you.”
Following the employee’s words, I placed my palm on the screen of the PC in front of the desk. After I completed the fingerprint scan and the iris scan, the employee handed me my ID and a piece of paper.
Because it was an ID, I had imagined something similar to the resident registration card, so I stared at the blue card I was given with some fascination.
“If possible, please make sure to carry it around with you. This paper is a QR code with your ID written on it. After you register, you can simply discard it.”
“ID QR code? What’s the ID for?”
“It’s an ID for the Hunter Association, of course.”
The employee tilted her head sideways as if to question why I was asking something so obvious.
When I went out after finishing being issued my ID, I checked my name.
「Korean Hunter Association
D-rank Unaffiliated Hunter」
The name was written there along with a picture.
Kang Han-kyul. The name was completely different from the name that I remembered from my past. Because I had already known that my face looked different from when I was leaving the place that looked like a nurse’s office, the unfamiliar name didn’t really shock me either.
“But what’s this ‘Unaffiliated’?”
I thought that when I got my ID I’d be able to figure some things out, but contrary to my expectations, the things that I now had to find out seemed like they were piling up in front of me.
After I exited the building, I took out my phone.
「(Breaking News) Raon Guild has cleared its 10th ‘SS-Grade’ Dungeon.」
「According to the association’s report from the Dungeon Scholar Kim Eui-tae, it has been concluded that the global dungeon occurrence rate in the last 10 years has been ‘increasing every year’. In the next 10 years, it’s expected that the number of dungeons will exceed the number of hunters.」
「Choi Han Guild Affiliate S-rank Hunter Min Seok-jun has changed his affiliation to『Luce』.」
“What is this?”
The news that I was seeing was so different from the news of the world that I had known before.