Chapter 21: Different from Before (8)

Unlike other students, Jiho really liked going to school when he was young.

But every time Jiho fell ill for some unknown reason, he would have to be hospitalized.

Looking out from the hospital ward, Shin Jiho often felt like he was falling behind.
He thought he would be stuck in a place behind everyone for the rest of his life.

The illness Jiho suffered from had no name.

He would get fevers for no reason, but feel chills at the same time.
Even though he felt like his body was being sliced into tiny pieces, no one knew what was causing that pain.
Of course, he felt like there was no hope.

Jiho wanted to be healthy.
He hated being identified as a sick and pitiful child.
He didn’t want people to make excuses for him with “Well, Jiho is weak.”

That’s why he tried so hard.
Because he didn’t know when he was going to die.
Because any moment could be his last.

Thankfully, even though Jiho’s body was weak, he grew up in an environment where he lacked nothing else.
Jiho was able to brush off his fears and gain the courage to hold on because of his family’s love.

Although he couldn’t kick a ball around in the field, Jiho got along with everyone.
He tried his hardest in everything he did.

Jiho’s life was always full of joy and fulfillment.

But whenever he ended up in the hospital because of a sudden fever or flashes of pain, a heavy stone struck his consciousness.

The times he spent hospitalized were times full of hopelessness.

You can’t do it.

You can’t be like everyone else.

When the body weakens, so does the mind.
Depressing thoughts that Jiho would never have thought before would overtake him then. 

‘Don’t struggle so much.’

A voice buried deep in his memories surfaced up.

A familiar, yet slightly immature voice, had whispered quietly to him.
Even though his body temperature was usually higher than Jiho’s, his hand wiping the hot tears off of Jiho’s face felt cool this time because of Jiho’s fever.

‘You don’t have to try so hard.
You’re fine as you are.’

‘Don’t pity me…’

‘I’m not pitying you.’

The voice was so clear that it was hard to think that he had forgotten it until now.

That day, Joo Yiwon was different than usual.
The voice that was usually busy teasing and annoying Jiho had mellowed out and was soothing him instead. 

When Joo Yiwon spoke, all of Jiho’s memories of that time surged up.

The weather was nice that day.
The clear sun and a light breeze entered through the window that was wide-open.
Because it had rained the day before, there was not a single cloud in the sky.
Seeing people having fun under the clear sky, Jiho had felt more despair than usual.

Joo Yiwon had worn a school uniform covered in sweat.
He had skipped lunch to run over to the hospital to see Jiho.
Even though he only had 10 to 15 minutes left, Joo Yiwon still ran over.

Why did he go so far for him?

‘Jiho, I…’

Jiho doesn’t remember what Yiwon said to comfort him that time.
Forehead throbbing slightly, Jiho put his hand up to it.

Was it pity for his weak friend? Or maybe it was the sense of responsibility he felt after they took him in.

After his parents had died, Yiwon was supposed to go to an orphanage.
But thanks to Jiho, Yiwon had been taken in by Shin Joong Ho.

No matter how good they treated Yiwon, there was a chance that he thought he needed to take care of Jiho more because he was living off of them.

Thinking about Joo Yiwon in the past made him look a little pitiful, but that’s all in the past.

Now, Jiho isn’t sick and he’s about to break free from being a useless B-rank.
On top of it all, Joo Yiwon is the most popular person in the world.

Jiho stopped thinking about the past and checked his watch.
There wasn’t much time left till the estimated time.

Jiho completely cleared his mind and turned towards the people around him.

Whether they trusted him or not, all of the guildmembers’ eyes followed him.
This isn’t the time to be thinking of useless things.
He has to focus.
Jiho took a deep breath before opening his mouth.

“Because Hunter Yang Hojin is new, I will say this again.
The guild will pay for all single-use items so use as many as you need.
Although the HA says to minimize costs, your life comes first.
Be careful around things that could explode, and if you come in a pinch, use your skill or look for cover.
A barrier spell is being used as the first line of defense right now, so the defense won’t break easily.
There is also a city restoration team from the association here.”

“Ah, um, can I really do that?”

Hojin asked carefully.
Jiho grinned.

“Of course.
This might sound selfish, but your life comes first.”

“But they say that the association doesn’t like it when you break items… that it’s bad if you get on their blacklist…”

As a newly awakened hunter, it seemed that Hojin had searched up all kinds of bad things on the internet.

“There’s nothing like that.”

“There could……”

“Although I don’t have as close of a relationship with the Hunter Association as people say I do, I know a few people there.
There’s nothing like a blacklist there; the association only looks at your performance.”


Seeming unconfident, Hojin’s voice was very small.

“For a support hunter like Hunter Yang Hojin, your performance is based on how well you help combat hunters.
Plus the two hunters here–Hunter Lim Seung Joo and Hunter Heo Sori–are both skilled hunters, so you don’t have anything to worry about.”

“Ah, me too?”

Being included with Seung Joo, Sori was happy.
On the other hand, Seung Joo looked a bit displeased, but he kept his mouth shut, maybe because the other wasn’t Jiho.

“Of course you are included too.
Hmm… returning to what I was talking about earlier… Korea is, after all, one of the safest countries in the world in regards to fissures.
The government puts all of their power into making our country safe too.”

The most important indicator of how safe a country is is its number of casualties.
The first people who freak out when a normal citizen dies is, after all, the Hunter Association, so there’s no way they would look badly on someone for crushing a few buildings or roads to save a person.

Of course, they do prefer it when buildings or roads aren’t destroyed.

“You should try to avoid destroying things if you can.
But when you’re in trouble, do not hesitate just because you want to minimize the damage.
Though, there will probably be no reason for Hunter Yang Hojin to destroy anything anyways since you are a support hunter.”

“Yes, I will try……”

Although his voice was still low, Hojin answered a little more confidently than before.

“Then let’s wait now.”

Seung Joo, who was listening to them, said.
The estimated time was approaching.

Jiho nodded as he took out the Staff of Tuia that he had purchased one week ago and checked his status window once more.


Name Shin Jiho
Occupation No Name’s Guildmaster
Rank B?
Title XX’s First X?
World’s First Awakened One
XXX X’s Savior
The Pampered Youngest
No Name’s Guildmaster
The Person Who Sees the Truth
HP 78 + 50
MP 1402 + 560
Strength 50 + 10
Agility 72 + 12
Skill [OFF] Stabilize ( EX )
Blessing of the Star ( EX )
The First Baptism ( S? )
Absorption of the Celestial Sphere ( SSS )
Water Attribute Increase ( SSS )
Guidance of Cassiopeia ( SS )
Understand ( S )
The Happy Prince ( A )
Magic Resistance ( D )
Stats will fluctuate depending on the skill used.

With the mana he had already saved with the staff’s [Save Mana] option, combined with the mana he had before, his max MP right now was 1962.

Even though an MP of 1962 was already very high, because his goal was to test his skills out this time, Jiho collected even more mana.

[Absorption of the Celestial Sphere.]

As he whispered the simple command, mana gathered towards Jiho.

Mana is everywhere.
Jiho can absorb mana even from destroyed brick walls or piles of trash.

Of course, the most mana is in living things.

Based on the results of his tests, [Absorption of the Celestial Sphere] cannot absorb mana from awakened ones.2 However, it can collect a bit of mana from non-awakened ones and animals.
Even if he doesn’t consciously control the amount, the skill absorbs just enough mana to not cause any harm.

There doesn’t seem to be a limit to how far he can absorb mana from.
Theoretically, Jiho might be able to absorb mana from all over the world.

‘Careful, careful…’

The amount of mana that Jiho absorbed this time was a little less than the amount he absorbed with the middle-schooler.

Theory and reality are different.

When looking at the explanation of the skill, it seems like there is no limit to the amount of mana that Jiho can absorb without any consequences.

But once the mana he absorbs hits 1481 is where the problem begins.
He starts to feel a bit of pain until he absorbs 3000 MP.
At that time, he starts to feel like his body is getting ripped apart, until he absorbs past 5000, where he faints.

Jiho guessed that once he absorbs past the sum of his HP and original MP, which is 1480, his body begins to reject it.

It was a good thing that he had tested it out on his own; if he had gotten caught by someone, he would’ve been dragged back home by his sister.

Anyway, he didn’t get caught.
Jiho only gathered 1400 MP just to be safe.

Although he had spent a long time thinking, the actual absorption only took 4-5 seconds.

As Jiho was thinking about how to distribute his mana…

He felt a different wave of mana.

Despite it being a warm spring day, a gust of freezing air blew over them, carrying with it a bitter scent.
From the direction the wind was blowing over from, a fissure was slowly ripping open.

As was predicted, the fissure continued to expand even further.
It grew bigger, and bigger…

Until a polygonal-shaped gate appeared before their eyes.

A gate is different from a normal door.
Although it exists, it is not in a form that can be touched.

Had it been a normal door, they would’ve been able to see the scene behind the door.
But from a gate, they can only see a murky wave, as if someone had taken different colors of paint and was shaking them together.

“It doesn’t… look like it’s a B-rank.”

Lim Seung Joo said cautiously as he looked towards the gate.

Like he said, the mana near the gate was unusual.
The most obvious sign of this was that the color of the gate was dark3.

Typically, the higher the rank of the gate, the darker the color gets.4 The color of an S-rank guild is close to black.
The gate in front of them was a dark red, almost purple color.
This was definitely an A-rank gate. 

“For now, stay alert, and let’s call for support-”

“Is there really a need to call for support?”

Sori cut off Seung Joo’s words confidently.
Even though she was standing in front of an A-rank gate that she had never gone up against before, Sori was full of confidence, with not one bit of worry.

Receiving Seung Joo’s confused look, Sori gestured towards Jiho.

“We have Guildmaster-nim.
Vice-Guildmaster-nim must have seen the news too.”

“But that news…”

Seung Joo frowned, as though he still couldn’t believe in the news.
Had it been before, Sori would have said something like ‘Why is the person who’s supposed to be a vice-guildmaster so crooked?’ But instead of saying that, Sori laughed.

“Pretend you’re being tricked into it just this once and trust us.
There’s no harm in doing so.”

Looking at Sori, who was as proud as if it was her skill she was talking about, Jiho laughed. 

Even when others had ignored him, Heo Sori stayed by Jiho’s side.
Even if it wasn’t as much as Jiho was, it seemed that she, too, felt happy about the new skill.

While they were still talking, something long slipped through the gate.

A sharp toe attached to a large, stubby foot like that of an elephant.
The dark toes were as big as a child’s hand.
The size of the body being slowly revealed through the gate was much larger than the gate itself.
To the point where it looked like it couldn’t come out.

Yet the monster still made it out of the gate, completely defying the laws of physics.

The monster was as big as a freight truck.
If you had to compare it to an animal, it looked like a cross between a hippo and a deer, but much uglier and more dangerous.

It had a large and bulky dark-colored body like that of a hippo.
On top of this body, there was a hard shell that looked like a piece of armor.
A thin layer of mana laid on top of the armor.
It was probably defense magic.

On both sides of the head were large antlers the size of a human.
From those antlers, an unknown substance dripped down, triggering the barrier magic whenever it hit the ground.

Golden eyes on the tips of the weird antlers shined eerily.5

The monster was definitely different from the low-ranked monsters they usually fought.
The surrounding mana shook from the monster’s aura alone.

Sori, who had acted confidently before, tensed up from the monster’s aura.
Seeing that, Seung Joo snorted.

“Do you still plan to trust in Guildmaster-nim?”

“Of course.”

Jiho used his skill on Sori, who answered without a second of hesitation.

[Blessing of the Star.]



1. The tears streaming down my eyes right now.

2. I’m pretty sure the original description said he can’t absorb from people of a higher rank than him.
Can he not do so from any awakened one?

3. Specifically very dark and saturated.

4. I’m guessing this means the color of the Dungeon’s Gate.

5. As someone who has a hard time visualizing things, I was utterly confused by this description.
Please enjoy this professionally photoshopped recreation:

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