The Return Of Apocalypses Tyrant Chapter 13

Episode 13

“…This thing?”

“Yes, that. Where did you get it?”

“Those monsters. The goblins. I got it after defeating them.”

Kyung-in responded somewhat bewilderedly, as Namgung showed more interest in the item than expected.

“Goblins are dropping runes? I haven’t heard of that… You’re not lying to me now, are you?”

“No, how could I! What would I gain from lying to you? If anything, I’m the one in need of help here.”

Namgung had probed Kyung-in, but it didn’t seem like he was lying. Yet, if it was true, that was even more surprising.

‘It’s definitely a rune, even if it is a low-grade one.’

He stared at the small stone in his hand. The symbol carved into the rock was familiar to him, something he had seen countless times.

‘It’s an Agility Rune.’

The Rune had become one of the most critical items since Hellgates opened. It offered a common ability to humans, distinct from the inborn special abilities called Aptitudes.

This was about the power known as Status, including physical abilities like strength, agility, vision, and stamina, as well as attribute abilities like resistance.

And runes were a sort of auxiliary tool that could enhance such abilities.

‘Aptitudes can’t be acquired if not born with, but everyone has Status from the start.’

One didn’t have to have special aptitudes to be powerful. Sometimes maximizing Status could be a stronger path than having an ambiguous aptitude.

‘What I need to confirm now is why the rune appeared so early.’

After the first Hellgate ended and the selection of survivors concluded, people experienced the awakening at midnight. One of those experiences was obtaining runes.

They could enhance their physical abilities with these special items. Runes were obtained either randomly when defeating monsters or exclusively at special veins.

The former had the advantage of simply requiring hunting but had low drop rates, while the latter required someone with the ‘Earth Vein’ production aptitude.

‘Runes are pricey because the drop rate is atrocious, and not many have the Earth Vein…’

Namgung had never expected to see a rune so soon after the opening of the first Hellgate.

Moreover, it wasn’t mined from a vein but obtained through hunting monsters.

‘Well… the chance of rune drops from low-level monsters is lower, but not completely zero.’

There was a slim possibility that goblins could drop runes.

‘Is it just luck?’

Namgung had survived 25 years in this world, but even he didn’t know everything.

“Could it be… possible?”

Seeing Namgung staring at the rune, Kyung-in asked with a hint of hope.

“Check the condition of the car, Myunghoon.”

“Yes, understood.”

Namgung pocketed the rune, gestured towards a car with a tilt of his head, and told Kyung-in to get in.

* * *

“You still look like a student, why aren’t you with your father and staying alone?”

“Ah… I was in the dormitory. It’s called Jinwhan High School…”

“Jinwhan? Wasn’t that the new school established five years ago? I heard it’s for geniuses. Wow… impressive?”

“No, it’s not like that.”

Kyung-in scratched his head bashfully at Myunghoon’s words.

“Who taught you archery?”

“I learned it from my father. He was a national representative. Well, I just learned the basics when I was young… never thought I’d actually use it.”

“National representative? If you’re talking about Jeon, could it be… Jeon Taeho?”

“Yes, that’s right.”

“Whoa… I was a huge fan when I was young!! It was such a shame when he had to retire after that incident…”

Myunghoon’s excited chatter was cut off as he suddenly closed his mouth.

“It’s alright.”

Kyung-in’s father had been in a coma at a hospital for many years following a traffic accident seven years ago.

“Hmm, he’ll definitely recover.”

“I hope so.”

Kyung-in smiled at Myunghoon’s words, yet his expression was naturally grim.

Crack-

Suddenly, Namgung clenched the steering wheel tightly without realizing it.

‘That kid… is Jeon’s son?’

Unlike Myunghoon, who was gleeful as a fan, Namgung’s mind was in turmoil.

‘If that’s the case, the fact that the kid hunted a monster and got a rune is likely not just a stroke of luck.’

Namgung looked at Kyung-in with slightly tense eyes without him knowing.

“Be thankful to your father. Thanks to his teaching, you survived.”

“Yes. I think so, too.”

“And maybe…”

He peered at Kyung-in, who was sitting in the backseat, through the rearview mirror and whispered.

“In this world, you might even find a way to save your father.”

“…What do you mean?”

“You’ll find out soon enough.”

Vrooom–

Considering there was no need for detailed explanations, Namgung accelerated.

As they entered Seoul, buildings had collapsed, and dark smoke from uncontrolled fires filled the air.

“They said on the broadcast that the damage was minor…”

“If this is minor, other cities must be in worse shape.”

Myunghoon and Kyung-in commented, faces grim, as they saw people lying on the streets and heard screams from every direction.

“It’s like a war broke out.”

“It hasn’t even started yet.”

“…What?”

At Namgung’s reply, Kyung-in asked back with a pale face.

“Where did you say your father is?”

“Yes, at the Severance Hospital ICU.”

“You’re heading there, right?”

As they drove down Olympic-ro, Namgung swerved past entangled cars, glancing at his watch.

“The roads were destroyed on the way; it took too long to return. And the city traffic isn’t good either. It’s impossible to get there now.”

“But…”

“And there’s only 20 minutes to midnight. We need to get ready. It’s not feasible to take you there.”

“Then, please let me off here!”

At Namgung’s words, Kyung-in shouted as if he would leap out of the car at any moment.

Somin quietly grabbed his arm.

“…”

Kyung-in hesitated for a moment, looking at the small hand holding his arm.

“I could let you off if you want. But if I were you, I wouldn’t.”

“At the start, it was sheer chaos with monster attacks and lots of injuries. Now, police, firefighters, and even the military are engaged. Where do you think they’ll stabilize first?”

“The hospital, I guess.”

“Right. Currently, the safest place is a hospital. The chances of your father still being alive there are higher than you making it on your own with midnight approaching.”

Unable to counteract Namgung’s argument, Kyung-in fell silent.

“If you truly want to help your father, it’s better to gather as many heads as you can.”

“What do you mean…”

While it was true that the hospital was one of the safest places, Namgung had another reason for his confidence.

‘Your father is certainly alive. And in half a year, he’ll awaken from his coma.’

Namgung knew of his father, Jeon Taeho.

The Rune Master.

That was the moniker of Jeon Taeho.

When Namgung first heard his name from Kyung-in, he was taken aback because of this very reason.

‘Rune Master’s status has dramatically increased rune drop rates when around. Could Kyung-in’s acquisition be related?’

There were only two very rare Rune Masters in the world at the time, Anna Lian being one with Jeon.

When Cha Yeon-oh, the information trader, first discovered Jeon’s aptitude, he sold the information and the Saintess Era used the elixir to awaken him.

With Anna under Alek Tramen’s control, Era needed Jeon’s existence desperately.

‘But after awakening, he rejected her offer.’

She paid a steep price for the elixir and was disappointed. Soon after, Jeon’s lifeless body was found floating in the Han River.

‘It’s the Saintess’s doing.’

While the culprit was clear, no one would challenge the Sanctuary, so the incident was swept under the rug.

‘Why he refused Era’s offer? I don’t know, but one thing is certain—he was alive until then.’

This meant Kyung-in’s father was still unharmed.

“Trust me. Your father will certainly be safe. I’ll contact someone I know at the hospital.”

Namgung fibbed, though he already knew about Jeon Taeho’s fate.

“What are you planning to do now?”

“We need to establish a base. It will be a long battle. A place to store necessary supplies and rest is crucial.”

Everyone listened intently to his words with faces full of tension.

“A long battle… You mean those monsters will appear again?”

“Yes.”

“That’s impossible. The news is saying the monsters are being taken care of and the city is being restored…”

Kyung-in asked, voice shaking.

“The city will be restored. It might even hold longer than I expect.”

“So…”

“But eventually, it will all disappear.”

“What?”

Vroooom!!

Namgung increased the speed.

[00:00]

The clock struck midnight.

“…!!!”

Startled by the explosion of brilliant white light that filled the city, everyone in the car couldn’t help but be shocked.

“What is that?!”

Along with the light, thousands, perhaps tens of thousands, of huge objects began to fall.

Boom–!!

One of them crashed onto the middle of Olympic-ro.

Screech… Boom!! Thump! Thump! Bang!!

“Aaahhh!!”

“Get out of the way!!!!”

As cars flipped and entangled in a chain reaction from the sudden event, people descended into chaos. Namgung felt that what was inevitable had come.

[Ggrrgll… Humans.]

The figure that fell from the sky slowly rose. It surveyed its surroundings with a grating, metallic voice.

“…A goblin?”

Stopped inside the stationary car, Kyung-in cocked his head, glimpsing a bulky man with protruding fangs and prominent eyes resembling a mask.

“That’s not a goblin. It’s a Yaksha, one of the Proxy clans.”

“So that’s one of them.”

“Proxy? What’s that?”

Unlike Myunghoon, who heard the explanation, Kyung-in asked as Namgung gestured to the Yaksha.

[First, let me express respect for those of you who survived. More have lived than we expected.]

Namgung watched the creature.

[Now, no more chatter. Listen carefully. The Carnival is about to begin. As a gift, Our Highness grants you the chance to awaken.]

A faint glow began to emanate from the bodies of those on Olympic-ro.

“What are you?!”

“What is this…”

“What in the world are you doing!!!”

[Shh.]

The moment the Yaksha extended its hand, the heads of those nearby exploded.

“Aaahhhhh!!!”

“Uaaahhh!!”

People screamed in horror at the gruesome sight and began to flee.

[I won’t bore you with the details. The other necessary information will be uploaded into your minds with the awakening.]

Indeed, information about the changes began to surface in their minds as if they already knew them.

[The rules of the festival are simple.]

Bang!!!

Suddenly, amidst the silence, a loud car horn blared.

[Who is it? Damn it! Didn’t I make it clear to keep quiet? Which scum…]

As the door opened, the irritated Yaksha glared over.

“It’s me. Guryu.”

Gulp-

The Yaksha’s adam’s apple quivered at that moment.



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