Chapter 3: Lionheart King
Phone call with Han Ga-hye, now known as Han Hari.
Kim Jin-su, the head of the Korean Hunter Association.
Despite his remarkable achievement of closing a black-grade gate, he returned to face not a warm welcome but rather investigations and lengthy meetings.
“Hari, how are you holding up?”
Outside the interrogation room, deputy Han Hari showed signs of exhaustion.
“Everyone seems to not believe it.”
“It’s only natural.”
A black dungeon had been cleared, And that too, by the advance party that was expected to die halfway through.
Moreover, it was a notorious demon gate, with a great demon appearing as well. All of them should have been wiped out, not just half.
Manager Kim’s immediate superior had this thought.
-Did these bastards form a group now?
No matter how much he thought about it, what they said didn’t make sense. However, since all the hunters who participated in the advance party said the same thing, their eyes naturally turned to a man.
“What is your name?”
A shining blond man appeared through the magic mirror. He had slain the great demon in a single blow and annihilated all the demons.
At the very least, he was estimated to be an S-rank hunter. But who was he exactly?
“You are a survivor… Aren’t you?”
“Yes, I am a survivor from another world.”
Occasionally, there were beings who survived beyond the gates.
For 30 years, the gates that appeared worldwide had one common characteristic.
They all revolved around the theme of a world that had perished or was in the process of perishing.
Governments around the world speculated that the gates were connected to records of worlds that had perished or to worlds after their destruction. In extremely rare cases, survivors occasionally emerged from those worlds, including not only humans but also fantasy races like elves and dwarves.
Beings who crossed over from other worlds. People began to call them “survivors.”
“But it was a black-grade gate. Is it possible for someone to survive there?”
“Well, they’re right in front of us.”
Considering his extraordinary strength, it didn’t seem entirely impossible.
It was strange to debate what was common sense and what was not. For the past 30 years, the world had been a series of anomalies.
A cataclysm occurred as monsters came out of the cracks that had never been seen before.
More than half of humanity perished, the land was contaminated, and cities were destroyed.
Fortunately, awakened individuals, blessed with mana, known as Hunters appeared, and humanity barely managed to survive. But there were still too many unknowns about the gates.
Unlike awakened Hunters, they had a significant number of innate Mana users among them. Having survived in a world of destruction, many of them were as strong as or even stronger than the Hunters.
However, their arrogance was just as strong, and their culture and way of life were vastly different, making it difficult for them to assimilate into the modern world.
Those who claimed to be from the XX Empire, Forest Sages, or Masters of Underground Dungeons had lived lives completely disconnected from modern civilization.
That’s why the government established a policy of respecting and accommodating survivors as much as possible, fulfilling their desires to the maximum extent.
“We must incorporate them unconditionally. That person… is an immensely powerful individual.”
“Yes… unconditionally, without question.”
Even an A-rank Hunter would have to risk their life against a high-ranking demon.
Moreover, we’re talking about a great demon here. Except for the Lord of Nightmares, the ruler-level demon of humanity’s nightmares, great demons are considered the most powerful monsters.
Leon is the individual who single-handedly defeated such a great demon. While there have been hunters who have managed to vanquish great demons in the past, there has never been anyone who overwhelmed them.
Even the survivors, who are known for their inherent strength, feared demons. They couldn’t overpower them like Leon did.
In addition to their strength, the survivors that appeared worldwide operated within cultural spheres completely different from those on Earth.
Judging by how he described himself, it can be inferred that he was at least of royal lineage. The investigators should exercise caution and approach the matter attentively.
“I think I can communicate with him better than I expected.”
“Do you have any basis for that?”
“I felt it in his voice. That person… seems like a good person.”
Hari hadn’t forgotten the warm tone in which the man encouraged her and lifted her spirits.
A man who praised the courageous and looked down with compassionate eyes…Couldn’t possibly be evil…
“You lowly creture! How dare you tarnish the glorious Lionheart name!”
The desk crumbled with a single strike of his fist. The shockwave shattered the reinforced glass, even capable of withstanding monster attacks.
Behind the broken magic mirror, the radiant blond man was berating the investigators.
“Umm… Cultural differences?”
Hari blinked her eyes and tried to defend him.
* * * *
Leon felt a strange sensation as he gazed upon Earth, his return after 300 years.
He was, after all, an orphan who died from overwork in his twenties.
After his reincarnation, Leon had been a knight and a king in the kingdom for over 100 years, and for the next 200 years, he hunted demons invading the world.
Considering that his memories were from 300 years ago, it was fortunate that even faint traces of those memories remained.
The problem was that despite comparing those faint memories, the current Earth was completely different.
“Hello, Leon Dragonia… Lionheart, sir?”
However, he didn’t pretend to recognize them. They called Leon a survivor. In other words, it meant that there were others like him.
‘It wouldn’t be beneficial to reveal that I’m from Earth.
Even if he revealed himself as a native of Earth, it would only become an unusual background, without any real benefits.
After all, wouldn’t it be much better to be a 300-year-old knight who crossed over from another world than a young man in his twenties who died from overwork?
Above all, he had lived as a knight and a king for far too long.
“Address me as ‘Your Majesty.’ Peasant.”
“Yes? Oh, yes…! Your Majesty! Your Majesty!”
The investigator stammered, complying with Leon’s demand. Hm, was the investigator naturally submissive, or was it the government’s cautious approach to dealing with the existence of survivors?
“That… the Black Gate… Y-Your Majesty had contact with our hunters from our world… and… you exterminated all those demons, right?”
The demons he killed last night were the last remnants of demonic energy that could still be sensed in this world. They were the abominations marked by the last power squeezed out by the Goddess of Light, Ariana.
“I, the sovereign, eradicated those abominations, preserving the honor of the knights. You, I command you as my temporary secretary, and I will give you the honor of recording this honorable event.”
“Uh… Y-Yes… Yes, sir…”
The investigator, who stared at Leon with half-crazed eyes, reluctantly muttered to himself, Hu~ cultural difference, cultural difference’ as he continued to write down Leon’s orders.
“By the way, is there no etiquette for treating honored guests here?”
In simple terms, he was politely asking for a meal to be served.
“Ah, uh-oh! Y-your probably hungry… I mean, Your Majesty must be famished. I apologize! I’ll prepare the meal right away!”
The investigator hurriedly went out of the room and ordered appropriate delivery food for his subordinates.
While waiting for the food to arrive, Leon asked the investigator a question he was curious about.
“More importantly, peasant. Enlighten me about the information of this world. What kind of world is this?”
Although Leon knew about Earth, he asked the question to the investigator. The information he desired was not about the Earth he knew, but about the Earth after his disappearance.
What the hell happened in the 21st century?
“Ah, I see. I’ll explain.”
A great cataclysm occurred 30 years ago.
The Gates. Dungeon Break.
Leon felt that the catastrophes that hit the Earth, such as demon gates and the Hunter Association, seemed similar to what happened to the Kingdom of Lionheart.
‘But it’s a bit different.’
Demon gates immediately opened in his kingdom. It was the result of the imperial sorcerers making contracts with demons and opening the gates.
Countless demonic creatures poured out from those gates, gradually causing nations to crumble.
However, Earth was different.
Although gates opened on Earth as well, it wasn’t a flood of demons invading like the demon gates.
Each gate had its own concept, and upon entering the gates, there existed a system window called “Clear Missions.”
It was as if Earth was being tested. Like a system to gradually strengthen individuals.
‘There are other beings like me out there?’
Otherworlders who came from beyond the gate.
Were they also from Earth like hin? But what is certain is that none of them have declared themselves to be from Earth.
“The meal is ready, Your Majesty!
The investigator bought the food. Seeing this, Leon’s eyes trembled.
Salt and pepper added to white broth. And kimchi!
Seolleongtang was food for his soul who was doing manual labor on Earth.
Add salt and pepper at your discretion to the broth made from boiled beef bones, and put well-cooked white rice to eat it with cabbage kimchi!
But Leon struggled to swallow his saliva, seeing seolleongtang and kimchi for the first time in 300 years, but he reflected on his position.
Leon Dragonia Lionheart.
A royal from another world. A worshiper of chivalry and the emissary of the gods. As the Guardian of the Holy Grail, he is the owner of the Holy Sword and the Holy Lance.
Is seolleongtang, the food of the common people, really good for him?
Sipping soup and somen noodles would be inappropriate for the dignity of royalty!
“What kind of food is this?”
“It’s called Seolleongtang, Your Majesty. You could say it’s the soul food of the common people—”
Bang! Leon hit the desk. As if he had caught on, he jumped up and screamed loudly.
“You lowly creature! How dare you defile the glorious name of Lionheart!”
The investigator tilted his head as if he couldn’t understand. The poor investigator trembled before the oppressive aura of Leon.
“How dare you, a commoner, serve me peasant’s food! Is this how the Kingdom of South Korea treats foreign royalty?”
“Well, um, that’s not…”
Investigator Park Jongpal, 42 years old. Having lived his whole life in the Republic of Korea, he had no idea how to treat royalty.
“I can not let this go! This is why you commoners…”
Driven away by Leon’s outburst, the investigator pondered the common knowledge he had left behind.
Survivor Leon Dragonia Lionheart.
The embodiment of the history of a 300-year war, the nemesis of all evil that annihilated the Lord of Chaos, Malus, twenty-three great demons and millions of demons.
Guardian of the Holy Grail.
Proxy of the Pantheon.
The Lionheart King with a lion’s heart.
Owner of the Holy Sword and the Holy Lance, and the Living Saint.
The first knight of the Goddess of Light and Justice, Ariana.
As the last Earth-born returnee in 300 years, he looked at the chaos of the Earth he had returned to and thought:
‘It’s a mess. It’s all because there is no true faith.’
Enlightening the ignorant commoners was undoubtedly the duty of royalty.