Translated by: Shawn Suh
Edited by: SootyOwl
The world was flipped upside down with the news about the terrorist attack in the US and the suspect being of Korean descent. Of course, a terrorist attack tended to carry far more impact than a monster attack of similar severity.
With great power came great responsibility, and the voices of those with that power were often significant. Focusing on the racial aspect of the matter, the US Institute made an official statement that Korea would be held accountable for the recent terrorist attack on US soil, adding further conflict to the preexisting tension between the two countries.
Watching the news while eating an apple, Ho Sung scoffed. Having witnessed the atrocity caused by Ace, the terrorist, in person, Ho Sung was dumbfounded that the US was shifting the blame to Korea.
'So, it's OK for an American terrorist to blow up half of our capital, but it's not OK for a Korean terrorist to blow up a single building? C'mon,' Ho Sung said to himself, shaking his head. After tossing the core of the apple into the trash can, he looked around. Woong Jang, the newly-hired private chef for the champion, was busy organizing the kitchen while Bowl was busy cleaning the house. Min Sung had yet to return from his walk. At that moment
"Move your feet, will ya?" Bowl told Ho Sung with a rag in hand. As Ho Sung moved his feet, Bowl started wiping the spot where Ho Sung's feet had been.
"Man, you're like a servant, huh?" Ho Sung said, scoffing at the doll.
Looking up at Ho Sung, Bowl replied, "Better than being a dog, you know?" and resumed wiping the floor. Paying no attention to Ho Sung, who had a vein bulging out of his forehead, Bowl kept wiping while humming cheerfully.
Then, while Ho Sung was glaring at the doll piercingly, his phone started to ring. At which point, he answered without delay.
"Start the car."
"You got it. Going out for a meal?"
"No, we're going on a date. Of course, I am going out to eat."
"O-of course. I'll have the car ready, sir," Ho Sung said, hanging up the phone and sighing heavily.
'He's gonna ask about what to eat for sure. Where do I take him this time?' he thought, scratching his head. Then, he looked up suddenly as an idea struck him. Since the recent monster attack had left the citizenry traumatized, there weren't that many restaurants that were open for business. Smiling, Ho Sung nodded with satisfaction.
Upon getting in the back seat of Ho Sung's car, Min Sung said, "Let's go," and the car carried the champion away.
"Sir, if you don't have a preference as to what you wanna eat, what do you think about giving the Warp Gate a try?"
"I was just thinking about going overseas," the champion replied while looking out the window.
"Ah, right. Haha! All right then, off we go," Ho Sung said, typing 'Warp Gate' on his GPS. Then, looking at Min Sung through the reflection of the rearview mirror, Ho Sung asked, "Sir, have you heard about the recent terrorist attack in the US?"
"Apparently, the suspect might be Korean. Things have been a little tense between the US and Korea since you beat up that hunter from the American support team, and now, this."
With no interest in what Ho Sung was telling him, Min Sung fixed his gaze at the scenery outside the window.
"All right. What do you say we visit Japan today?"
Hearing that, Ho Sung breathed a sigh of relief internally when he realized that the champion wasn't going to the US.
Upon arriving at the Warp Gate, the champion and Ho Sung found themselves facing a setback. It being a newly-introduced technology, there was a tremendous crowd surrounding the Warp Gate facility. To make matters worse, Ho Sung's fame was working against them, causing them even more inconvenience.
"Oh! That's Ho Sung Lee!"
"Ho Sung Lee? Where?!"
"He must be here for the Warp Gate!"
"I guess it takes a celebrity to afford the trip."
Due to its exorbitant cost of one to two hundred million won per trip, the crowd stared longingly at the Warp Gate. Of course, it was only a matter of time before Ho Sung's fame started to spread even further.
While Ho Sung was still befuddled, he found himself surrounded by layers of people, who were busy taking photos of the hunter with their phones. Sounds of the shutters going off filled the air. Meanwhile, leaving Ho Sung behind, Min Sung went ahead and walked into the building where the Warp Gate was.
"S-sir!? Sir!" Ho Sung cried out while deterred by young, fanatical fans, who were pulling on his hair, and kissing him on the cheeks. Having great fame also meant it was easy to become the target of criticism. Reminding himself of that, Ho Sung forced himself to smile while desperately trying to get away from the fans.
Walking up to the front desk, Min Sung demanded access to the Warp Gate from the clerk sporting a ponytail.
"May I see your ID, sir?" the clerk asked, and the champion took his ID out of his wallet and showed it to her. Then, upon scanning the barcode of the ID, a look of shock washed over her face as the champion turned out to be a free pass holder, which was an extremely limited pass granted only to the VVIPs such as presidents of different countries. Of course, the fact that a person who had never been mentioned by the media had such an exclusive access to the Warp Gate was nothing short of mind-boggling. On top of that, there was additional information given by the barcode called Secret Code, which meant the holder was a classified individual whose records of using the Warp Gate were to remain confidential.
Memorizing the bored look on the champion's face, the clerk printed a ticket out in a hurry and handed it to him politely.
"Where do I go from here?"
"Allow me, sir," the clerk replied, leading the champion to the VVIP guest room, which was one of the most luxurious rooms he had ever been in. In the room decorated with nothing but top-of-the-line materials and furniture, were refreshments. Confused by the champion staring intently at the refreshments, the clerk looked at him cautiously.
"Is there a schedule?" Min Sung asked.
"No, sir. You may come and go as you please. If you're in a hurry, we can always tell you about our facility another time."
"I have time. Let's hear it," Min Sung said as he made his way toward the refreshments.
"Of course, sir."
At that moment, two more clerks appeared out of the Warp Gate and came into the room. Looking toward them, the clerk sporting the ponytail said with a welcoming smile, "Should you need anything, please don't hesitate to let us know."
Responding with a brief nod, Min Sung looked away and at the refreshments, which consisted of a variety of fruits, salmon, roasted asparagus, caviar, bread, wine, salad, tuna, macarons, cheesecakes, cookies, and chocolates.
At that moment, while the champion was contemplating what to eat first, Ho Sung came into the room and said, "I'm here."
"What happened to you?" Min Sung asked, glancing at Ho Sung, whose hair was unkempt. The neckline of his T-shirt stretched out beyond repair, and his face and neck were covered in what appeared to be lip marks.
"I guess I'm kinda famous, haha! Oh man, that was exhausting!" Ho Sung said while straightening his hair and clothes. Clicking his tongue irritably, Min Sung put some food on a smaller plate and sat by the window. Although his initial plan was to hold off on eating until he was out of the country, having a small appetizer before the meal didn't seem like a bad idea.
While Min Sung was slicing the smoked salmon, the clerk came closer, knelt next to him, and started telling the champion about the facility. From the swimming pool to the gym, premium massages, sauna, rooms, and access to a helicopter, there were countless services offered by the facility. Just the description alone resembled that of a seven-star hotel.
"Any questions?" the clerk asked in a friendly tone of voice. Despite the champion seemingly waving her away, the clerk kept a smile on her face, bowed to him at a ninety-degree angle, and left the room in order to allow the champion to enjoy his refreshments in peace.
The smoked salmon melted away as soon as it touched Min Sung's tongue. There was no trace of fishiness whatsoever. In fact, it was almost refreshing. The perfectly roasted asparagus had a fresh crunch to it, which further accentuated the smoky aroma that filled the champion's nose. Then, the champion moved on to the desserts. When he sank his teeth into the crumbly crust of a macaron, Min Sung felt his tongue going numb from the intense sweetness.
'I better leave room for the meal,' the champion thought, looking out the window and savoring the sweetness of the food along with the classical music in the background.
After the brief personal tea time, Min Sung followed the clerk to the Warp Gate. After passing through a long hallway, a door appeared. When the clerk opened it, a large, spacious room that looked like it was straight out of a sci-fi movie appeared. However, to the champion's confusion, there were hardly any devices or any sort of apparatuses in the room. Because the Warp Gate was a technology based on magic often used by hunters within dungeons, the few devices that were in the room were mostly there for the purpose of absorbing the impact of the Warp Gate activation.
After looking around, Min Sung stood at a certain spot in the room. Through the PA system, the clerk explained what kind of phenomenon to expect after the Warp Gate was engaged, "Just think of it as a quick nap. Try to relax, and the Warp Gate will take you to your destination."
Soon after that, a magic circle appeared on the floor and started to glow. Then, just as the clerk had said, after thirty seconds, an aura surged from the magic circle and coiled around the champion. Disabling his elemental resistance, the champion let the aura wrap around his body. At that moment, when he closed his eyes, the champion disappeared in plain sight, transcending the time-space continuum.