Necromancer Before Awakening Chapter 3

Chapter 3: Cataclysm (3)

The funeral hall was less than 200 meters away, yet the path to it was anything but safe. Having followed the shaman’s spirit, it wasn’t long before I encountered beasts attacking people, the likes of which I had never seen before in my life. Growling and barking filled the air.

“What in the world are those? Wolves?”

Though they resembled dogs, their size was unmistakably larger than any ordinary dog. Standing on all fours, they were as tall as a man over 180 cm tall, reaching up to the chest of Gang Sah-hu. Upon noticing Gang Sah-hu, these dog-like monsters growled lowly and advanced towards him gradually.

[Be careful! They might look like dogs, but they’re far stronger and more dangerous!]

“They certainly seem so,” Gang Sah-hu noted, observing the creatures nervously. Just then, he noticed a small hologram hovering above the dogs. Reading it, he saw the words ‘Giant Hound’ written.

A hologram above the monster. It was a baffling occurrence, but with the sky falling apart and the awakening itself, it was too trivial to worry about. More pressing was the need to navigate through this crisis, so Gang Sah-hu did not spare time trying to understand the inexplicable.

“So, ‘Giant Hound’ must be the name of this monster.”

Knowing its name, however, was of no help. As the Giant Hound growled lowly, preparing to attack, Gang Sah-hu quickly chanted in a low voice. Facing a creature larger than any he had encountered, he spared no expense of his energy.

Growling intensively, the Giant Hound lunged at him just as he finished his incantation. Pointing at it with his palm and then clenching his fist:

Crackling sounds followed by a harsh cry!

The ferociously attacking Giant Hound spit blood from its mouth. Not yet having reached Gang Sah-hu, its body twisted grotesquely as bones protruded from beneath its skin. Magic caused its ribs to grow abnormally, thrashing about its insides, tearing all its organs in a horrific display. The Giant Hound, writhing in agony, eventually bled from its mouth to death.

[What, what on earth is this?]

The spirit, having never seen or imagined such a scene, was horrified. Being a spirit, it could see more clearly than a living person how the Giant Hound died. The energy from Gang Sah-hu’s body entered the Giant Hound, commanding its bones to tear apart its insides—an eerie and astonishing power.

[Why, why is that?]

“It’s strange. This Giant Hound… it lacks a spirit.”

Every being with a soul becomes a spirit upon death. And a necromancer would use that spirit’s energy to cast spells. Presently, in dire need, he used his own energy as a makeshift means to cast spells, but the magic deployable through his energy alone was severely limited. It was like rowing a motorboat forcefully, but without fuel for the motor.

Faced with an unexpected serious situation, Gang Sah-hu furrowed his brow.

[If there’s no spirit, what does that mean? How often can I continue to use this power?]

“Given the current circumstances, maybe once, twice…”

Musing over his remaining energy, he paused mid-sentence. The spell he had just used under normal circumstances would allow for only three uses. But the energy expended now was a fraction of what it usually would be.

“What’s happening?”

Realizing the meager amount of energy spent, Gang Sah-hu was astonished. The consumption of his energy was overwhelmingly less than usual. Moreover, as he generated energy, he realized that the energy within him was vastly more potent and abundant than usual.

‘Is this what those who are awakened refer to as mana?’

Feeling the powerful, vast energy swirling in him, Gang Sah-hu’s eyes quivered. Even someone who had trained their energy their entire life could not fathom the power surging through him.

“With this much energy…”

The sudden amplification and increase in power made him ponder what he could possibly achieve. Even if the types of necromancer spells that could replace spirits with sheer energy were limited, the amount he now commanded was enough for unrestrained casting. The usual preparations and materials for a stable spellcast seemed trivial now.

Looking at his hands and clenching his fists, he wondered if he could employ his newfound power on the already dead Giant Hound. Normally, it would take days of preparing the body and rituals for such a spell, a spell that necromancers hardly dared use due to its high failure rate. Yet now, he felt certain he could execute using only the mana-like energy within him.

Quickly chanting, he commanded in a whisper, “I postpone your peace.”

Right after his hushed words ended, the lifeless body of the Giant Hound convulsed dramatically.

* * *

“Yeowool, are you okay?”

“Oh, Dad, what do we do?”

Yeowool, dressed in a black mourning dress, cried as she tried to stop the bleeding from her father, Taehyun’s wounds. After a tremendous explosion outside, people screamed and ran off, leaving only the two of them in the funeral hall. Not long after the loud noise, never-before-seen monsters had attacked Taehyun.

Having barely managed to repel the monster and return to the funeral hall, they had shut the thick iron fire door, but the monsters outside continued to pound relentlessly. The situation seemed too surreal for Yeowool, but the fearful thudding on the door and Taehyun bleeding before her eyes were too vivid to be a dream.

She had come for her grandmother’s funeral only to be caught unexpectedly in this unfathomable crisis, halfway losing her senses.

“What are those monsters? Oh, Dad, you can’t die.”

“Shh, shh. Don’t worry, Yeowool. Dad won’t die

“Guuk.”

Taehyun struggled to speak, but contrary to his words, his vision was gradually blurring.

“Yeowool, listen to Dad carefully.”

“Why? What are you trying to say, Dad?”

Taehyun paused, gasping for breath.

In case he was to die…

Thinking of his daughter Yeowool, who had lost her grandmother and didn’t have a mother, living alone and suffering, made him feel like bursting into tears.

No, before that, could his daughter even survive this place?

His vision clouded.

“If Dad… happens to…”

Just as he was about to continue, swallowing back tears,

the sound of the iron door, which had resisted the monsters’ pounding, began to dent inward.

The barricaded door cracked open slightly, and the long snout of one of the monsters he had seen earlier entered.

The monster, its mouth smeared with blood, growled low as it bared its crimson teeth, making Yeowool scream out.

“Yeowool, get back! Hurry!”

“Dad, no! You’ll die!”

Bleeding from a bite on his left thigh, the man frantically pushed the barricade, trying to prevent the giant hound from entering.

But even in a normal state, it would have been impossible to stop, and already injured Taehyun couldn’t withstand the force of the giant hound.

“Kuk!”

“Dad!”

As Taehyun fell, the giant hound, pushing aside the door and barricade in one motion, shoved its forepaws inside.

As if a devil crawled up from hell, clawing at the floor with its paws to catch them, Yeowool’s eyes rolled back in terror.

“No! Yeowool! Snap out of it!”

Seeing Yeowool faint, Taehyun dashed forward, and finally, the giant hound managed to push its torso inside the door.

“Kuk!”

Holding Yeowool tight, Taehyun closed his eyes, bracing for death.

Kekeng! Kekeeng!

Every time the giant hound howled, Taehyun’s body jerked.

Realizing he was about to die, his body trembled and weakened, but he held his daughter tightly, moved by his paternal instinct to not let her die first.

The awful sounds soon subsided.

However, after the giant hound’s howling stopped, and he didn’t feel the anticipated excruciating pain, Taehyun turned his head slowly, puzzled.

Click.

“Haah!”

The enormous creature lay dead, bloodied.

And shockingly, it seemed to be killed by four of its own kind, the only difference being the deep wounds at their necks, as if they shouldn’t be alive either.

Staring silently at him were four giant hounds, Taehyun’s mind was overwhelmed with fear.

But before he could faint, a man slipped through the opened gap.

“Hello. Are you Taehyun Lee?”

The stranger called his name, startling Taehyun.

“Wh-who…”

“A person sent by your mother. Let’s get out of here.”

“Wh-what? My m-mother is…”

“Yes, she passed away. But she came to me as a spirit and told me your location.”

Taehyun stared at Kang Sahu with a shocked expression.

It sounded unbelievable.

But then, was this current situation any more believable?

Seeing his unconscious daughter in his arms, Taehyun steadied his heart.

“Ah, okay. Kuuk!”

Trying to rise, Taehyun staggered due to the pain in his injured leg.

Kang Sahu, noticing, ordered the last giant hound about to leave.

“Take him.”

“Huh?!”

Click?!

Taehyun and the giant hound looked at Kang Sahu in astonishment.

Kang Sahu tilted his head, puzzled.

“Hmm? A zombie without a soul left but still has a spirit?”

The giant hound, supposedly emotionless and mechanical following his resurrection, seemed to express reluctance, intriguing Kang Sahu.

“I’ll have to check on that later. Now, carry him.”

Kang Sahu helped Taehyun onto the back of a giant hound while the other hounds pushed open the door wider for easier exit.

The giant hound, clearly displeased, clicked its jaw.

Of course, sitting on the back of a monster that had tried to bite and kill him was a distressing experience for Taehyun as well.

‘At least I survived.’

Taehyun put strength into his arm holding his daughter.

The statement about his deceased mother sending help didn’t make sense, but considering she had been a shaman, it seemed possible.

Clack clack clack.

Click, click.

“…”

Dozens of giant hounds clicking their jaws as if greeting Taehyun in the corridor.

‘I’m not already dead, am I?’

Taehyun’s face, which had been lit up with the hope of life moments earlier, now turned pale.

* * *

[Thank you so much. Really, thank you.]

“Don’t mention it.”

Kang Sahu felt awkwardly grateful to the spirit’s thanks.

After all, it was something he had done to survive.

Moreover, having received help from the spirit himself, Kang Sahu felt a natural duty to help.

“If it weren’t for you, I might have given up looking for the Necromancer card. I should be the one thanking you.”

[Still, to save my lineage feels like grace. I owe you twice over. Thank you so much.]

“If you say so… Alright.”

As they stepped outside, a myriad of noises and smells assaulted them.

The piercing smell of gunpowder, the sound of gunfire, people screaming, and the growling of giant hounds settled Kang Sahu’s eyes into a calm focus.

“Mr. Taehyun Lee. Even if it hurts, can you endure a little longer?”

Kang Sahu’s question startled Taehyun, who was focused on the giant hound carrying him.

It came out of nowhere, but seeing Kang Sahu’s serious expression, he knew he hadn’t misheard.

“Of course, I’m grateful just for being rescued.”

“Understood. I’ll clean up the surroundings first then.”

As he thought about instructions to his connected giant hounds, the intention was immediately transmitted.

Clack clack clack.

Clack clack clack.

“Hu, hup.”

Taehyun felt a chill down his spine as he watched dozens of giant hounds simultaneously lifting their heads and clicking their jaws.



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