I Returned as a God
[Translator – igixri]
[Proofreader – Enigami]
Chapter 3 - Kang Han-kyul (2)
I looked around at my surroundings. The building that I emerged from, the Seoul branch of the Korea Hunter Association, was right in the middle of a forest of buildings in Jongno-gu.
“I think I need to get a better understanding of the situation.”
It would’ve been easier if I had even a few of the memories of the guy I was possessing, but unfortunately, that didn’t seem to be the case. There was no other choice except to figure out the things I wanted to know one by one.
I took an old leather wallet out of my bag. Besides my Hunter ID, there was a resident registration card inside. The address that was written on the card was about an hour away by train.
When I swiped the one-way ticket at the turnstile, it made a noise.
Maybe it was because I hadn’t been on a train in so long, but the sound felt both comforting and unfamiliar at the same time. Except for things like dungeons and Hunters, this world was very similar to my original world.
I sat down on an empty seat and placed my bag on my lap before taking out my phone. Since the ride home would take a while, there would be plenty of time to search for information.
‘This is definitely much better than the first time I got transported to a different dimension.’
Back then, I’d been abruptly thrown into a forest without any explanation at all. I only learned that the forest was a den of monsters, the so-called ‘Devil’s Forest’, after I’d lived there for three months. My survival there wasn’t certain either, and I can’t even begin to explain just how much trouble I had trying to establish a place for myself.
If I hadn’t met Luciel, then forget about saving the world, it wouldn’t be a stretch to assume that I would’ve stayed in that forest for the rest of my life without ever knowing anything.
[The next stop is Geumjeong Station.]
At the voice of the announcer that rang out above me, I quickly grabbed my bag and left the subway. I walked about ten minutes from the station to a residential area.
The address written on the resident registration card was this semi-basement apartment. Searching around in my bag, I fished out a worn key. I put it in the keyhole and turned the key. The door opened.
I went inside and took off my shoes before turning on the light. There was mold growing on the wallpaper in the corners of the room. If I was the person I was before experiencing the continent of Arbelicia, I would’ve probably bolted immediately.
Studying isn’t easy by any means, but in a world where money is everything, being given an environment where, from a young age, all you had to do was study, meant that you had some sort of monetary freedom.
In fact, both of my parents were professors.
Even though I say it now, it’s a useless thing of the past.
I took out a notepad and a ballpoint pen that was inside of the bag.
It was a habit from the time that I was studying a lot, and also because Arbelicia didn’t have anything like smartphones, I was much more used to writing things down using paper.
I wrote down a rough outline of the information that I had.
24 years old, Kang Han-kyul.
Living in a semi-basement apartment with a bank account balance of around 3 million won.
D-rank Unaffiliated Hunter.
This was basic information up to here.
Next was what I had searched online on my way to the house.
This world was similar, but different, from the world that I had lived in before I’d been summoned to Arbelicia.
The biggest differences were the existence of Hunters that they called ‘Awakened’ and the dungeon gates.
These ‘Gates’ that led into dungeons randomly appeared all around the world. There were a variety of missions within the dungeon involving monsters, and clearing dungeons meant that you could receive rewards. Conversely, if the dungeon wasn’t cleared within a fixed number of tries, or for some types of dungeons, a ‘break’ phenomenon would occur where the monsters could go outside the gate and appear here.
The main goal was for those who had been endowed with special abilities through Awakening to become Hunters and prevent the invasion of these monsters by conquering dungeons. Those who were Awakened had a status window like in a video game where they could see their abilities and skills.
“Next, the Association and guilds.”
The place where I’d regained consciousness was the Association.
To put it simply, the Association was like a public company, and the Guilds were like private corporations.
“Next up is affiliation.”
What I’d read on the internet was basically like this:
[Question: Why do unaffiliated Awakened get so much hate?]
↳Anonymous412: is it even possible to be unaffiliated lol
↳Anonymous42758: the unaffiliated honestly have no right to be called hunters
↳(OP): I mean I’m asking because I’m not Awakened, but what’s so bad about being unaffiliated? One of my Awakened friends says the unaffiliated aren’t even human…so if im a 0% fit rate civilian does that make me livestock then—–
↳Anonymous784: lol damn your friend is harsh
↳Anonymous42758: i’ll explain it simply for you. not all awakened are created equal, if you compare it to a game, awakening means you get the right to play the game, and affiliations are like classes in the game. unaffiliated is being jobless. since you don’t have a class, of course you’re weaker than everyone else.
↳(OP): Then what about Choi Soo-hyun? Isn’t he unaffiliated?
↳Anonymous158: lmaoooo op, how is it even possible to not know this shit?? prev anon was just using a metaphor, real life can be different. choi soo-hyun wasnt jobless from the beginning, hes like a special case lol. usually other gods dont accept the unaffiliated. idk why, but guys like that are rare. i bet though if choi soo-hyun says he’ll go somewhere, they’d all follow him lmao MVPs aren’t MVPs for nothing.
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Discord Link: https://dsc.gg/reapercomics
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↳Anonymous548: whoever said unaffiliated is like being unemployed is so genius lol choi soo-hyun is an s-rank jobless fr fr.
All Awakened needed an affiliation, and there were differences in what abilities you could use based on your affiliation.
The problem was that affiliation.
“What gods do you follow anyways?”
If you capture monsters or obtain a new achievement that others haven’t gotten, something called the ‘Merit Points’ will rise.
Gods used Merit Points to compete, and it’s structured so that if you’re an Awakened, the higher your Merit Points are, the more power you can gain.
The Awakened that lived in the modern day thought of Merit Points as something like experience points, and they didn’t seem to have that much interest in how the gods used it to compete.
However, there wasn’t concrete evidence to suggest that they did. It was a conclusion that was closer to reasoning that this could be the case based on the gods that I knew.
“There’s no rule saying that a god can only manage one dimension, but isn’t something a little strange here? Hmmm… I’ll leave this alone for now, it’ll be better to think about this some other time.”
Hunters had a ranking system that went from D-rank to S-rank. You could get more information as well as enter more difficult dungeons the higher your rank was.
To get up to B-rank, you only needed to meet a specific criteria. Above that, you would be evaluated in many different ways, including level and Merit Points. Of course, listening to the stories of what the gods were supposedly doing meant that it was definitely a shame that I’d come to possess the body of a 20-something-year-old D-rank who lived in a semi-basement, but this wasn’t a problem that could be solved immediately.
“Being unaffiliated seems kind of like a good thing, but kind of like a bad thing at the same time.”
Affiliation wasn’t really anything special. If I had to call it anything, it just seemed like religion.
“And there’s aliases on top of that.”
The name of the god “Luce” that I’d seen on the news wasn’t their real name. It’s not because I knew the names of every god or anything. It was just that this wasn’t an issue with the name.
Each name is unique. If a country didn’t have a name, it wouldn’t even have a reason to exist. In particular, humans were more sensitive to names than gods.
The second a god’s true name leaves your mouth, you would feel its power.
Out of the many other gods that I searched for on the internet, there wasn’t a single one where I could feel the god’s power properly, including Luce.
That’s because the popular names of the gods were aliases.
Even though the unaffiliated in this world had a harsh reputation and were looked down on, I was much more relieved to be one.
Because I had run away from the gods, it didn’t make any sense for me to want to be under any specific god now.
After grasping this basic understanding of the whole situation, I finally opened my status window.
Strength: C (0%)
Stamina: D (0%)
Mana: D (0%)
Healing: D (0%)
“Are you serious? There’s nothing?”
This was much worse than I expected.
I said that if I could escape the gods I’d be able to do anything, but this was on the level of throwing away your main account to completely start over on an alt.
I got up from the floor and swung my fists in the air a couple times. Afterwards, I kicked my feet out. Then eventually returned to swinging my fists.
Even though I hadn’t even moved around that much, I was already out of breath. Compared to his good-looking face, this guy’s stamina was truly awful.
I thought to myself:
‘I should exercise soon.’
I then sat back down on the floor. I brought up the search engine again and entered the name ‘Choi Soo-hyun’.
Public Official Choi Soo-hyun
Affiliated with the Korean Hunter Association
Record Youngest Awakened
- Over 1000 dungeon clears
- 3 SS-grade dungeon clears
- 前 (Former) Cheongwol Guild Premier Affiliate
- 前 (Former) 『Serbia』Affiliate
- Korea Hunter Association, Seoul Branch - Hunter Education Manager
Come to think of it, even on posts asking about unaffiliated Hunters, Choi Soo-hyun’s story was bound to pop up.
Even though I was just barely beginning to understand the situation, I could grasp that he was pretty elite.
I took Choi Soo-hyun’s business card out of my pocket. Printed on white paper with a red stripe, it was a personal business card that only listed his name and his phone number.
The current Choi Soo-hyun was unaffiliated.
Based on the rumors circling around the internet, after being the sole survivor of a specific dungeon, he suddenly resigned from his guild. After leaving『Serbia』, it was revealed that he chose the path of being a Hunter for the Association without any affiliation.
Considering that I had no idea what happened to the previous owner of this wack-ass body before I arrived, it was now necessary to think a little bit more about why Choi Soo-hyun had gone so far as to take care of me and give me his personal business card.
“Maybe he felt sympathy for me for also being unaffiliated?”
That was a stretch.
This one was unaffiliated from the start, and the other had kicked off the affiliation voluntarily, so it was a different feeling entirely.
It was highly likely that there was some deeper reason for the fact that an elite at that level had given me a business card.
“If it’s Choi Soo-hyun, he must know something.”
Information was life itself. I’d felt that ever since I’d lived in Arbelicia.
Even if you could only make one decision, it was better to have 10 possible choices than 1.
Although I didn’t have any intention of calling him right away, or even any plausible reason to contact him, I felt a little relieved thanks to this.
I lifted my pen and started writing a list of what I had to do. Out of the many things on list, the one that had the highest priority was:
“Exercise, of course.”
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As per usual, I woke up early in the morning. While I was exercising, the phone that was in my pocket vibrated.
[Hunter Trainee Kang Han-kyul,
‘Basic Hunter Studies Lecture’ 10/23 (Thursday) 7:00 AM, Seoul Jongno-gu Hunter Association Seoul Branch, 3F, Training Room 201.]
A notification to attend class had arrived.