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The Hero Returns

Chapter 30

Chapter 30: Chapter 30

“Please wait a moment.”

The man bowed towards Su-hyeun, excusing himself and walking off with a skip in his step toward somewhere else.

No, by the time he turned around the corner, he actually started running. Su-hyeun waited just for a while as per the man’s instructions.

Soon enough, the staff brought out another employee donned in a suit. It seemed that this person was of a higher position.

“Hello. I’m Lee Kyeong-jong, in charge of ether stone trades.”

He looked to be in his thirties and had a handsome face that could pass off as an actor. Lee Kyeong-jong reached his hand out and shook hands with Su-hyeun before taking out his business card.

He held the position of a department head. He was quite successful considering his young age. If he was in charge of ether stone trades at an auction house of this size, he would be someone most influential here.

“I’m sorry to have kept you waiting. Let’s get you seated and continue.”

“Thank you.”

Su-hyeun followed Lee Kyeong-jong into a spacious room. On the doors of the entrance, the enormous words “Premium Client Room” were printed on it.


All this treatment just for a handful of ether stones. He could not imagine. Of course, that was something that Su-hyeun had not expected.

<<...It’s still 2020 here.>>

In the era where Su-hyeun had lived in, ether stones were not this precious and valuable. Due to the persistent dungeon outbreaks, the supply of ether stones had increased significantly; thus, it was treated to be a more valuable resource than gold. Although the price wasn’t too low, it was at a different level as compared to now. Up until this time, the ether stones were too priceless to be even bought with money.

As Su-hyeun and Lee Kyeong-jong sat side by side, a female employee walked into the room. She served a tray with two cups of coffee and left shortly, and that was when Lee Kyeong-jong spoke.

“I heard that you are here to sell the ether stones.”


“Did you personally join in the dungeon attack yourself?”

“I’m a C-rank awakener.”

Lee Kyeong-jong looked somewhat surprised at Su-hyeun’s answer. Perhaps it was because of Su-hyeun’s rank and the quality as well as the number of ether stones which he had brought along with him.


A D-rank awakener. It was what Su-hyeun had felt of Lee Kyeong-jong’s standards.

He was at the level where he could begin to feel magic, but Lee Kyeong-jong chose to earn money through ether stones instead of working as an awakener. In some ways, it was a wise choice. Even without risking his life by climbing the Tower of Trials, he could also earn money just by using ether stones. Perhaps he could get to where he was now at this age with his title as an awakener.

“Can I see the ether stones?” Lee Kyeong-jong asked point-blank without beating around the bush.

He seemed to have judged that it would be better to deal with it quickly instead of going in circles.

Su-hyeun took out the stones kept in his pouch.

“Here they are.”

As soon as the ether stones appeared in front of him, Lee Kyeong-jong’s eyes sparkled.

As the magic level of the dungeon increased, the value of the ether stones harvested would increase exponentially because the ether stone was filled with the dungeon’s magic.

“It’s quite... a huge stone.”

As most ether stones were of the same size, Lee Kyeong-jong picked one up from the pile and looked closely at it.

It needed to be assessed for Lee Kyeong-jong to know its exact value. Still, its value was usually proportionate to its size.

Most ether stones found in the red level dungeons were the size of rice grains. Those harvested from the orange level dungeons were slightly larger. Still, only ether stones the size of a small marble could only be found in dungeons no higher than a yellow level.

“Did you just walk into a yellow level dungeon?” Lee Kyeong-jong asked half-doubtingly.

There was no reason for Su-hyeun to find excuses or lie about it. He nodded his head.

Lee Kyeong-jong’s eyes sparkled once more.


If it was of this standard, the ether stones would be on the lower mid-grade at the very least.

Yellow level dungeons had difficulties with rare cases of completion. It would require over 10 B-rank awakeners for the dungeon attack, or they would need help from an A-rank awakener.

Even so, there seldom were high-grade ether stones, so they weren’t worth much. So to match the tastes of the auction house’s clients, Lee Kyeong-jong definitely had to get his hands on these ether stones.

But the problem was, how did a C-rank awakener obtain ether stones of this size? Lee Kyeong-jong had a short conflict before posing his question.

“This ether stone... are you sure you obtained it through legal means?”

It was a situation where he could only have his suspicions. It was understandable. It would be the same if it were Su-hyeun.

“Yes, I’m sure.”

But besides this, there was nothing else he could add on.

If he had to come up with an excuse...


Who would even believe in that?


With that reason alone, there was no other way to persuade him that it was obtained legitimately.

Lee Kyeong-jong seemed to be in conflict with Su-hyeun’s reply. As the silence grew, Su-hyeun stood up from his seat.

“I’ll look into other places.”

He could have sold the ether stones at any other place. As if implying this, without any hesitation, Su-hyeun reached out for the ether stones which were in Lee Kyeong-jong’s hands.

And then...

“Ah, don’t worry. I’ll buy them. I’ll buy the stones.”

Lee Kyeong-jong’s lips which were shut tight spoke. As if the ether stones were already his, he retrieved his hand while keeping it tightly clenched. With this, the negotiation preparation had ended.

“How much are you thinking of selling them?”

After a short pause, Lee Kyeong-jong started the negotiations personally. As much as the ether stones were not valued accurately, it was up to the seller to call the price.

“You can name your own price. But...”

Su-hyeun showed the ether stone held in his hands to Lee Kyeong-jong.

At the same time, Lee Kyeong-jong had just realized the ether stone in his hand had disappeared.


Cold shivers went down his spine. Su-hyeun took one of the ether stones and placed it in his pouch.

“Now open this pouch, and after you have assessed the ether stones...”

As if he wouldn’t show Lee Kyeong-jong the ether stones in advance, Su-hyeun blocked the opening of the pouch tightly with his hand.

“I’ll only accept your asking price for just once.”

He would leave immediately if he did not like the named price. There wasn’t a second chance.

A complicated calculation started going on in Lee Kyeong-jong’s mind.

—Deposit 640,000,000.

—Balance 640,012,200.

A deposit transaction showed up on Su-hyeun’s mobile phone. After waiting for a moment when the negotiation ended, the staff ran towards the nearest bank to make the deposit.

He had made his confirmation. Su-hyeun nodded his head and took out the pouch.

“Thank you for the pleasant deal.”

“It was the same for me.”

Lee Kyeong-jong reached his hand out towards Su-hyeun. Su-hyeun shook his hand.

640 million. It was the best amount that Lee Kyeong-jong could offer after making various complicated calculations in his mind.


If they had bought this huge amount of ether stones at once, they could have left a considerable amount of margin. As the ether stones were auctioned off, they could have also earned a significant amount of commission.

Above all, obtaining these ether stones would be a massive lure for their clients as well. This alone made it worthwhile to have the ether stones. It was a satisfactory deal for both parties.

But Su-hyeun seemed to be quite calm seeing the amount on his mobile phone.

<<600 million...>>

It had been quite a while since he had an interest in money.

Either way, the value for money would have dropped to that of tissue in a few decades.

Besides, he had earned a lot back then. In his previous life, he had earned so much that this amount didn’t seem significant in his bank account.

It wasn’t too far from the era when there were over 20 awakeners on the world’s top 100 financial business leaders list.

“If you have other products for sale in the future, please do not hesitate to contact me.”

“I’ll hope for it to be of this amount the next time too.”

There was no implication of decline. Instead, he had set the minimum amount to be of a similar level for the next deal.

Lee Kyeong-jong laughed awkwardly as cold sweat trickled down his forehead.


The dealing method had been the same, depending on whether the single calling price was satisfactory or not. If it wasn’t satisfactory for once, Su-hyeun would head for another dealer without second thoughts.


He still had to wait and see if Su-hyeun would be a big fish or just a minnow. But, Lee Kyeong-jong felt that Su-hyeun’s presence was strangely huge.


On the outside, Su-hyeun seemed to still be in his early twenties.

But his aura and gaze, as well as his tone, never felt the same. It was as if he was a high-profile awakener who had several decades of experience.

S-rank awakener, Yoo Jin-sung.

The world-renowned top awakener in Korea.

He had felt the same presence from Su-hyeun when he had met Yoo Jin-sung for the first time. It was a mystery as to why he could have felt that way when Su-hyeun was just a C-rank awakener.


Su-hyeun walked towards Gangnam Station to check on his deposit transaction. How would Shin Su-yeong react if she saw how much he had earned this at one go?

But he had achieved his goal as expected. Su-hyeun took out the other ether stone that he had kept in his bag.

[Highest-grade ether stone.]

Quite a ridiculous item.

It was of a different level from the ether stones which he had sold to Lee Kyeong-jong earlier. In fact, the only similarity was its name.

There were two reasons as to why Su-hyeon devoted himself into his level varying dungeon wholeheartedly. Firstly, it was to prevent disasters from happening in Gwangju again. Secondly, it was to obtain this item.


The value of the highest-grade ether stone would continue to rise not only for now but also in the distant future because this alone would also make a great tactical weapon.

There were rumours that a billionaire who coveted its power kept the ether stone by his side just to maintain his youth.

The highest-grade ether stone itself was such an incredible item.


In fact, the summoner that Su-hyeon had fought was no different than an empty skeleton. It had maintained its lifespan with the life stone, but it was ultimately a mere skeleton. The only reason why the summoner was able to have a fight briefly with Su-hyeun was by making use of the magic from the highest-grade ether stone.


It had such powers when it wasn’t enhanced by men, so what would its capabilities be after being enhanced?

Su-hyeun was well aware of its capabilities. In fact, he had even encountered it before.

The Sacred Sword, Balmung.

An item named after the holy and sacred sword that had slew dragons.

It was the same sword that Su-hyeun had used in his previous life, made with the highest-grade ether stone.

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