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The Hero Returns

Chapter 552

Chapter 552: Chapter 552

The strongest weapon in Su-hyeun’s arsenal was not his infinite magical energy reserve.

Neither was his stamina that had ticked past 110 stat points nor his incredible physical abilities.

It wasn’t even the energy taken from Osiris or Gungnir, a weapon crafted by Brahma.

No, it was the Six Paths.

“I mean, it’s not even a game cheat code, yet it’s still such an insane power.”

That was what Su-hyeun thought after acquiring the Six Paths for the first time. Each ability of the Six Paths was seemingly beyond the boundary of this universe’s laws governing existence.

The power of reincarnation that distorted the flow of time, the Six Paths of Past Lives that allowed him to retain the memories and experiences of the past, and even the Path to Hell that penalized the enemies based on their past sins—all these abilities went against the laws of the universe.

And among those, the Soul of the Dead was the ability most specialized for attacking.


Su-hyeun lightly kicked the ground.

He activated Leap to charge ahead toward Vishnu in the middle of the destruction and then thrust his spear forward.



Gungnir impaled Vishnu’s arm extending forward. The spear continued past the hand and pierced into his shoulder next.

Vishnu’s eyes shot open wide.

He appeared stunned. He wasn’t bleeding, but the pain shooting from his hand and shoulder was quite considerable.

“What have you done?”

“All living things have souls. It’s the same for you, too.”


When the spear was yanked out, both the impaled hand and the shoulder turned out to be undamaged.

However, the arm and the shoulder still sagged lifelessly toward the floor. It was as if Vishnu couldn’t exert any strength on them. He touched his limp right arm to examine it.

To avoid the power of destruction, Su-hyeun used magic to levitate in space. Maybe the impalement with the spear was to blame because the rate of the destruction’s spread stopped accelerating. It was gradually slowing down.

“Next time, it’ll be your throat, not your arm.”


Su-hyeun activated Leap again to approach his target.

Vishnu must have sensed the incoming danger because he quickly raised his left hand forward.

Before Su-hyeun could arrive near Vishnu, hundreds of black spheres suddenly materialized all around him. It happened in the blink of an eye.

“Son of a—!”

He ended up swearing without even realizing that he did.

Vishnu didn’t even cast anything, nor was there any discernible movement of energy just then, but to think that he still activated such an attack through nothing but his will alone!

Boom, ka-booooom—!


Spheres containing the power of destruction exploded at once, swallowing Su-hyeun in the process. This power was not just the strongest ability in Shiva’s arsenal but Vishnu’s.


And then, a similar power of destruction cast from a different source enveloped Su-hyeun to protect him. It came from Shiva, currently also pouncing forward along with Su-hyeun.

“You bastard!” Vishnu turned his head and glared at Shiva.

Shiva cocked his head and retorted, “You shouldn’t be looking at me, though.”


The surrounding space began changing. It was awash in a corrupted purplish light. Vishnu, trapped within this space, began staggering ungainly.

He then glared at Su-hyeun, responsible for creating this space, “Interfering with the soul of a living? But I don’t remember creating an ability like this?”

“You shouldn’t think that you created everything in existence. Not even Brahma, who created this universe, was able to predict everything, after all.”

“It can’t be a simple task to interfere with a living creature’s soul, not just any but mine. Fooling my eyes is impossible.”

It was as Vishnu said.

Using any power came with a price. One needed to pay the price matching the soul level you were about to interfere with.

“Thankfully, the system I have can be rather friendly.”

The duration of Su-hyeun’s unique ability, the Soul of the Dead, had already been set.

[Soul of the Dead: 00:08:53]

This was the duration he could activate his unique ability without worrying about the penalty.

One minute had already gone past out of the starting duration of 10 minutes, leaving slightly less than nine minutes until the end.

“And this much should be enough.”

Su-hyeun gripped his spear even harder.

He roused up all of his powers, planning to end this battle in less than 10 minutes.

[Trait “Hero – Immortality” is activating.]

[Life force and stamina will rapidly recover.]

[Physical abilities will increase exponentially.]

“Here I come.”

* * *


The atmosphere distorted and got crushed as the spear swept past.

A spear was different from a sword. Each of its swings was considerably larger, allowing the attacks to carry a lot more momentum. Not to forget, Gungnir was probably the heaviest weapon that Su-hyeun had come across so far.

It wasn’t really suited for swinging around in this manner. He would’ve left behind many openings if he had been fighting alone.


Gungnir swung past the empty space once more. Within that brief opening, Shiva and Sun Wukong stepped forward.

“Expand, Ruyi!”



Ruyi Jingu Bang, wrapped in the aura of destruction, shoved Vishnu’s figure far back. However, the staff couldn’t expand any longer after reaching a certain length due to the Primordial God’s physical strength.


Vishnu gripped the end of the staff with one hand and lifted it clean off the ground.

In the meantime, Su-hyeun’s spear came swinging in from the side.



The spear impaled Vishnu’s chest, barely missing his heart. He had urgently tilted his torso out of the way, but Su-hyeun still detected such move at the last second and changed the spear’s trajectory accordingly.

It was all thanks to Foresight’s powers.


Vishnu lost the strength in his legs.

The spear impaling his chest had attacked his soul. His soul was being shaken around by the effect of the Soul of the Dead already, yet the spear directly penetrated his soul. Therefore, it wasn’t surprising for his consciousness to get even dimmer.

“You accursed bastard!”

Vishnu grabbed Gungnir’s shaft.

His hand began producing the power of destruction. Then, Gungnir’s shaft began transforming into black, and its existence slowly got erased, but then...

“Sweep away...”


Powerful gusts of winds blew between Su-hyeun and Vishnu.

“Palm Leaf.”


The winds shoved Vishnu back. At the same time, Sun Wukong reached right behind the Primordial God.

“Expand, Ruyi!”


The end of the broken Ruyi Jingu Bang was as sharp as a speartip. Not only that, but the power of destruction belonging to Shiva still lingered around the weapon.

The weapon slammed into Vishnu, making him stagger again. Su-hyeun aimed for this very moment and fired his spear.



This time, Vishnu’s abdomen was impaled.

Gungnir still didn’t inflict any physical injuries on Vishnu, but the space manifested by the Soul of the Dead stripped his defenses away and laid his soul bare. All the impact force he was inflicted with got transmitted in full to his soul.


Pow, bang—!

Su-hyeun didn’t waste time and charged straight at Vishnu to throw a punch. In the meantime, Gungnir returned to his grip, allowing him to swing it around deftly.

[Soul of the Dead: 00:01: 07]

Not much time remained in the ability’s duration, however.

“One minute, huh?”

He was running out of time.

The only reason why they were able to beat Vishnu back to this degree was that the effects from the Soul of the Dead were still active. Vishnu couldn’t be damaged from most types of attacks in normal conditions, and to make matters worse, he could recover quickly.

“Most of his injuries are healed by now.”

Physical injuries meant little in this situation. Vishnu’s recovery rate was far quicker than the speed of others injuring him, and besides, he had access to infinite energy to begin with.

The only attack that worked was directly hitting his soul through the Soul of the Dead. No matter how omnipotent he was, Vishnu still couldn’t do anything about damage to his soul.

“That’s why I...!”

Su-hyeun charged straight at Vishnu from the front. It was the same pattern as before, a reckless charge.


Like before, Vishnu used the power of destruction to block Su-hyeun’s path.

“I’ll bet everything on this final minute!”

[“Predation” has been activated.]

[“Destruction” will be absorbed.]


Su-hyeun’s hand went over Vishnu’s hand and gripped it tight. Just like that, the pitch-black haze rising from the Primordial God’s hand vanished.

The power of destruction that Vishnu wielded was now getting sucked into Su-hyeun’s hand.

His gamble had paid off.

“I did it.”


The Soul of the Dead was still active, with around 40 seconds left in its duration.

“More than enough.”

The power of destruction rose from Su-hyeun’s hand.

The aura of extinction that reverted everything to nothingness traveled through their hands and began devouring Vishnu’s soul.

“Let me give it back to you in full.”

* * *

It all happened in a brief period, not even 30 seconds long.

The black “spot” visible on the moon’s surface gradually increased. Regular people couldn’t see it, but awakeners with excellent eyesight could confirm that the moon was being erased bit by bit.

But without warning, that black spot suddenly vanished, and instead of that black nothingness, something even more shocking appeared in the skies above.

Someone saw a massive deer thrashing about in torment. Someone else saw an enraged bull, while it was a tiger for another person, and another saw a dragon.

Everyone saw something different from the others.

Several people even said that it looked like a person. However, none of them could remember what this person looked like.

But one thing was for sure.

“It’s dead?”

That gigantic existence that appeared in outer space was suffering from great pain.

Its pained howling was loud enough to rock the outer space. However, this sound was different from what you could hear through your ears.

It was like that voice was coming directly from the listener’s brain. The painful howling continued for less than a minute before ceasing altogether.

Almost simultaneously, the creepy chill sending shivers throughout their bodies vanished, too.

“It’s over.”



Lee Ju-ho’s legs gave out from the wave of relief washing over him. When he plopped down, the chair under his butt slid back noisily. The gradual erasure of the moon had stopped, and the horrifying existence Su-hyeun warned them about seemed to have vanished, too.

It felt somewhat strange, though.

“It’s really over like this?”

Lee Ju-ho believed that his gut feeling was usually on the money. Rather than his brain, his gut feeling played a far more significant role in him being able to oversee the Paragon Guild and lead the association.

Therefore, he couldn’t just brush aside the strange feeling as just a feeling. All serious events began with the assumption of them being “just a feeling,” after all.

“It doesn’t seem to be over, though.”

Sure enough, Hak-joon next to him spoke in a grave voice, “Look at that.”


The black spot that had vanished earlier had reappeared on the moon. It seemed that the paused annihilation event got going again. The battle up there hadn’t ended yet, in other words.

“Still, it looks like we now have something to do down here.”

Hak-joon’s glare lowered below the Jongno Tower.

The real problem wasn’t only on the moon at the moment.

“But that something isn’t such a nice thing.”


Below the tower was the middle of Seoul, and it was currently being bathed in green light.

A fairly large-scale green dungeon was manifesting there. Lee Ju-ho jumped up from his chair in shock, “But why so suddenly?!”

“That’s not the only one, though.”

Split, craaack—

The panoramic view afforded by the tower’s height was changing with every passing second.

Red, orange, yellow...

Some green and even purple could be spotted here and there, too. The number of dungeons visible to their eyes had to be well over one hundred.

“I’m gonna go crazy at this rate.”

Dungeons had never appeared en masse like this and all at the same time, too. Even the First Outbreak of Gangwon Province was a child’s play compared to today.

“This was what Su-hyeun warned us about,” said Hak-joon.

To prepare for the unknown something, Su-hyeun asked Lee Ju-ho and Gordon Rohan to alert the awakeners throughout the world and get them ready for battle.

Dungeons had not manifested back then, so they had to wonder why Su-hyeun made such a request, but after seeing the current situation, they thought that it was as if he had seen the future.

Hak-joon spoke up, his expression graver than ever before, “The real apocalypse is here.. And it has begun.”

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