Translated by: ShawnSuh
Edited by: SootyOwl
After locking up his locker and putting the key around his wrist like he would a wristwatch, Min Sung chuckled at the reminder that he really was back on Earth. If he were to wake up in the Demonic Realm, he almost felt like he wouldn’t be able to endure the harsh living conditions and would throw himself off the Dracaenian Cliff. The world he was in now was, simply put, sweet. Trying to forget the memories of the Demonic Realm desperately, Min Sung made his way to the sauna through the men’s bathhouse.
Upon opening the door, the scent and humidity distinct to bathhouses came rushing at him, soaking into his face and chest. The ceiling was moist from the damp air. Min Sung looked around the bathhouse. He was the only person there, as it was too early for most people to be bathing.
‘I can’t believe I finally get to take a bath,’ he thought with a satisfied smile on his face, his heart thumping with excitement. A tub bubbling with warm, clean water came into view. It looked almost like a place where a god or a goddess would bathe.
‘OK, I need to stay calm. There are steps to be followed,’ the champion reminded himself. Before going into the tub, he made his way toward the standing shower in order to wash up. He was about to shower with clean water for the first time in a century.
‘A shower… Finally.’
When he turned the faucets, streams of water came spraying out of the showerhead, wetting his face and hair, running down his flawlessly proportionate body. The feeling of clear water washing down his hair, face, and body was a pleasure that he couldn’t begin to describe with words. Breathing faster, he brushed his hair up and savored the moment.
‘I can’t remember the last time I took a shower,’ he thought to himself. After standing in the shower for about five minutes, he looked into the mirror with the razor blade he had bought earlier, specifically, at his beard, which was soaking wet. Grabbing the strands of his wet beard, he started cutting without hesitation. Then, after soaping the lower half of his face, he started shaving. Soon, the face that had been hiding behind the scraggly beard appeared, revealing a chin line as sharp as the razor blade. Looking at his reflection in the mirror, Min Sung rubbed his chin with his long, thin fingers. His nose was pronounced and well-shaped, and his dark, deep eyes gave him a nonchalant-yet-chic look. He had a look comparable to that of a sculpture. However, seeing a face much older than he remembered in the mirror, a strange emotion washed over the champion. After staring into the mirror intently, Min Sung let out a small sigh and turned around. At which point, the tub returned to view, lifting his spirits almost instantly.
‘Now that I’ve showered, it’s time to get in.’
Upon seeing the sign that read, ‘Hot Bath,’ Min Sung’s expectations soared through the roof. He vaguely remembered playing with his friend in a tub similar to that. Next to the tub, was a sauna room that looked like a small cabin.
‘Where to go first?’ Min Sung asked himself. Then, after some brief contemplation, he made up his mind and went into the sauna. When he opened the door, he saw a man sitting there, watching the TV. However, seeing Min Sung, whose body was covered in scars, he waddled out of the sauna in a hurry. Meanwhile, Min Sung went into the room, sat down, and disabled
his elemental resistance, which regulated the outside temperature of his body. The process was almost like a chameleon changing its skin color in order to blend into its surroundings. As soon as he disabled the ability, he felt a wave of heat wrap around his body.
‘Ah… This is nice,’ he said to himself, feeling relaxed, while his blood flowed through his body. It was a luxurious pleasure. Savoring the pleasant heat, Min Sung closed his eyes, smiled subtlely and…
… breathed out slowly. The temperature of the room turned his breath into hot air, which glazed through his arms and legs. Drops of sweat started to form all over his body. After some time, his body had heated up significantly, making him drip with sweat as he stood up. Looking toward the door, he reminded himself that his body would cool down in no time as soon as he stepped out of the sauna.
‘Then, I’m going straight into that hot tub.’
Looking forward to going into the tub, he smiled and walked out of the sauna. As he had expected, his body cooled down almost instantly after he walked out, and the distinct scent of bathhouses rushed into his nose. Still sweaty from the sauna, Min Sung made his way to the hot tub without delay and went into the water. At which point, the warmth of the water surrounded his body immediately.
“Whew…!” he let out, feeling goosebumps all over his body. It felt as refreshing as a massage. Staring up at the ceiling from the tub, a look of satisfaction appeared on his face. Nothing could’ve been better in that moment.
Having arrived at his destination, Yang Bong Koo cracked his neck. Nicknamed ‘The Machete of Blood and Iron,’ he was the most capable and fastest growing hunter in the Shadow Guild. Behind him, were about ten, soon-to-be level 200 hunters in black suits, who had been hired as interns by the Shadow Guild. Since one had to prove themselves to the guild in order to become an official member, the interns were burning with determination. Leading those interns, Yang Bong Koo walked through the bathhouse entrance stoically and went up the stairs toward the men’s bathhouse. Peeking her head out, the lady at the counter furrowed her brow anxiously. Then, reaching the door to the men’s bathhouse, Yang Bong Koo flung the door open and walked in. Startled by the nearly-dozen men walking in at once, the old man fell off his chair, trembling in fear. Then, one of the interns looked toward the old man and signaled with his chin for him to leave. At which point, the old man rushed out of there in his underwear and white tank top. Opening his inventory, Yang Bong took his infamous machete out.
Sixty centimeters long and five millimeters thick, a machete was a weapon typically used in jungle exploration. Having acquainted himself well with the weapon, Yang Bong’s machete had become something more than a weapon for him: a defining symbol. Wielding his favorite weapon, he made his way toward the bathhouse. Upon arriving at the glass door, he swung the knife without hesitation, shattering the door to pieces. The shards of the glass door scattered about, leaving the entrance wide open. A man sitting in the hot tub became visible. Seeing as though he was showing his back to them, the man seemed completely unaware of the situation. At that moment…
‘Lv 150 Min Sung Kang: The First.’
… Yang Bong’s eyes shook upon seeing the text above the man’s head. When he had first received the order, Yang Bong distinctly remembered his supervisor telling him that the target was level 50.
‘When did he get to level 150? And how did he earn a unique title in such a short time?’ Yang Bong asked himself. Caught off guard by what he saw, he took a moment to organize his thoughts and concluded that his supervisor might have had been referring to old data. Otherwise, it simply made no sense. Still, the fact that the target had a unique title bothered Yang Bong. The only way to earn the title ‘The First’ was by being the very first person to achieve something, which was anything but easy. On top of that, the fact that a no-name hunter was wearing that title only added to Yang Bong’s confusion.
While curious, the hunter also became increasingly wary of the champion, realizing why his supervisor had suspected their target of being a Semi-Master or Master. Then, the champion looked back and locked eyes with Yang Bong, sending chills down the hunter’s and the interns’ spines. Breaking out into cold sweats, the hunter clenched his teeth and tightly squeezed the hand with which he held the machete. However, to his confusion, the champion looked away from them as if nothing had happened. Amid the suffocating silence, Yang Bong swallowed anxiously, asking himself, ‘Who the hell is this guy? Is he really a master grade hunter? Do master grade hunters really have this much potential?’
Although the target was far more intimidating than Kyung Tae had described, the grade of a hunter referred strictly to their potential and growth rate. Besides, the target was still a mere level 150. Even if he really was a master, there existed a gap that he couldn’t possibly overcome. At worst, the target would only possess a monstrous growth rate. In terms of power, there was an unmistakable difference between a level 150 and a level 301. Finally, Yang Bong, followed by the ten interns, walked toward his target confidently and stood right behind the champion. However, Min Sung neither looked back nor tried to defend himself.
‘He sure is confident for a level 150,’ Yang Bong said to himself, scoffing and thinking, ‘You might think you’re some hotshot for demolishing the Diamond Clan, but that won’t get you very far against hunters like us.’
“You there,” Yang Bong said, calling out to the champion, who was rubbing his sweaty face while exhaling.
“Get dressed. You’re coming with us,” the hunter said.
“And where might that be?” Min Sung asked.
“You’ll find out soon enough.”
“If I refuse?” Min Sung asked, chuckling.
“There will be blood.”
“Blood, huh…” Min Sung said. Nodding, he stood up, and the water spilled out of the tub, revealing his back, which was covered in countless scars. The interns standing behind Yang Bong took their fighting stances, creating a cold, hostile tension. At that moment, the champion looked at them slowly and said to the unsuspecting hunters, “I’ll take two roasted eggs and a soda.”
(TL’s Note: Roasted eggs and soda, particularly the lemon-lime variety, are some of the most popular snacks at Korean bathhouses/spas.)
As puzzled looks appeared on Yang Bong’s and the interns’ faces, Min Sung added with ice-cold eyes, “Bring them to me if you wanna live.”