Author: Lubai

Sooho looked at Beru with a perplexed expression. “You said goodbye so vaguely, and now you say you can’t go back?”

 

[In truth, the journey to Earth was long and treacherous. Many enemies tried to stop me along the way, but I had to tear through them all to make it here… Ahem.]

 

Beru explained with an embarrassed look.

 

[If my liege were by my side, my power would have been charged instantly, but I didn’t expect to be unable to recharge because he’s so far away from here.]

 

“…” Sooho stared at Beru in silence for a moment.

 

Beru had said his strength was depleted, and compared to when he had appeared grandly at the art museum, he seemed so small now, almost like a stuffed doll.

 

‘He looks like a claw machine prize.’

 

Sooho picked up Beru with one hand.

 

[Kiek?]

 

And he dangled from his hand like a plush toy. The lightness of it all made him seem like a reward from a claw machine.

 

Beru continued chatting while hanging from Sooho’s hand, flapping his wings.

 

[I don’t know if your memory has returned, but you are the sole heir of the great and almighty Shadow Monarch, my little king.]

 

“Shadow Monarch? Who’s that?”

 

[Sung Jinwoo. It is what your father used to be called.]

 

“My father?”

 

[Yes, the very same!]

 

Sooho doubted his ears for a moment. “My father? You’re talking about my father, who left home?”

 

[He didn’t just leave home, he went to space.]

 

“…?” Suddenly, the scale of the situation seemed to shift to outer space?

 

Not knowing how to react, Sooho hesitated, and Beru suddenly spread his arms solemnly.

 

[Let me explain briefly.]

 

Swoosh!

 

[There is a great war in the universe right now.]

 

From Beru’s hand, made of black energy, shadows flickered and created illusions. The shadow illusions turned into numerous soldiers the size of a fingernail, and hordes of monsters charged at them with even larger numbers. And at the center of it all was a man radiating an exceptionally powerful aura, still the size of a fingernail, of course.

 

[Your great father, Sung Jinwoo, is now commanding this war.]

 

With those words, Beru pointed his hand toward the enemies that ‘Sung Jinwoo’ was blocking.

 

[And these guys are the lackeys of ‘Itarim’ who came to devour our world whole.]

 

“Itarim?”

 

[Itarim are the gods of outer space far away from Earth.]

 

Beru continued talking solemnly about how vicious and tenacious these guys called Itarim were. Most of them were just insults, but to sum it up, they were enemies who came to invade Earth.

 

“So, the monsters pouring out of the gates for the past two years were all because of Itarim?” As Sooho listened to the explanation, he felt a strange feeling.

 

Both of Sooho’s parents were missing. He had reported their disappearance a long time ago, but the police couldn’t find any clues at all. It was as if they had evaporated from this world, and Sooho had given up on finding them and was living half-heartedly.

 

But now, unexpectedly, they were in space?

 

It was a fact that was hard to believe easily. The fact that a talking stuffed doll, or rather a talking ant, existed right in front of him was inherently unrealistic. But after all, this was a world where monsters existed in dungeons, so it wasn’t surprising that space was suddenly added to the mix.

 

Sooho suddenly asked, “What about my mother? Did my mother also go to space with my father?”

 

[Kiek? No?]

 

Beru had a perplexed expression.

 

“What? She didn’t?”

 

[No, she didn’t. Why? Lady Haein went missing too? When? Where to?]

 

Sooho’s expression hardened at Beru’s reaction. “I thought she would be with my father since she went missing on the same day as him, of course…”

 

[Kieeek!? Lady Haein went missing? When did this happen? Where did she go?]

 

Beru was taken aback, belatedly realizing the situation.

 

“I don’t know…” Sooho sighed honestly.

 

***

 

Beru had flown from outer space, where the war with Itarim was taking place, all the way to Earth. The journey was not easy, fraught with danger at every turn. He had witnessed that the enemy forces were formidable by how he only barely escaped from the battlefield.

 

After breaking through the enemy’s formidable defenses and barely making it to Earth, Beru was shocked to find that the whereabouts of Cha Haein, the wife of Sung Jinwoo, were unclear.

 

[Kieeek! I must find Lady Haein right away!]

 

“Do you know where she might be?”

 

[Only Itarim would stoop to such lowly acts! It must’ve been their apostles who have laid a wicked trap for Lady Haein!]

 

Sooho’s mother, Cha Haein, received the protection of the Shadow Monarch, so she was rarely in danger from ordinary circumstances. If something had happened, it must’ve involved forces equal to the power of the Shadow Monarch.

 

While Beru was panicking, Sooho, on the other hand, was not overly worried about his mother. Of course, there was worry at the time of their disappearance, but now that the shock of discovering his father’s true identity was too great, his mother no longer seemed like an ordinary human.

 

“Come to think of it, I’ve never seen my mother look flustered.”

 

Although it was not surprising since she must have known his father’s true identity from the beginning and married him.

 

[No, it’s probably because parenting was so difficult…]

 

Although Beru muttered something from the side, Sooho couldn’t hear it.

 

He remembered his mother, Cha Haein, as consistently calm and unwavering. Was it because of that? It may have been just a vague belief, but he couldn’t imagine his mother being in danger due to someone else. Regardless, he was relieved enough to have obtained a clue about his parents’ mysterious disappearance.

 

“Beru, what must I do to find my mother?”

 

Upon Sooho’s question, Beru hung on to his hand and shouted loudly.

 

[Of course, you need to become as strong as possible!]

 

“Become strong?”

 

[Yes! My king cannot come to Earth for a while due to the war. In the end, no one else can save Lady Haein but you, my little king. But right now, you’re so weak that you’re even weaker than an ant larva!]

 

“A-an ant larva…?” Sooho was slightly hurt.

 

Nevertheless, without further ado, Beru erased all the shadow illusions he had created in the empty air and flew up into the sky from Sooho’s hand, and then he pointed down to Sooho’s feet and said.

 

[So, let’s level up.]

 

Ding!

 

 

[A quest has arrived.]

 

 

At that moment, a message window appeared in front of Sooho.

 

 

[Quest: Trial of the Shadow]

 

Sung Sooho, you are the son of the great Shadow Monarch.

 

But now, all of your innate talents are sealed.

 

To withstand that great power, you must prove your own qualifications.

 

Enter the Shadow Dungeon and prove your worth.

 

“The Shadow Dungeon?”

 

The quest window unfolded before his eyes. As soon as Sooho saw it, he remembered the ‘Key to the Shadow Dungeon’ that Beru had handed him in his dream.

 

[The Shadow Dungeon is the ‘Realm of Rest’ given to you. It is the land of the deceased, where no one can set foot without the owner’s permission. Please open your ‘Inventory’.]

 

A translucent window appeared as Sooho concentrated his consciousness on Beru’s words.

 

 

[Inventory]

 

Key to the Shadow Dungeon (Unidentified)

 

 

‘Inventory? It’s like a real game.’

 

Sooho was amazed. His dream during puberty was like a tutorial, but this time, all these game-like functions had been added.

 

He reached out and took out the key, and then an information window appeared above it.

 

 

[Item: Key to the Shadow Dungeon]

 

Acquisition Difficulty: ??

 

Type: Key

 

This key can be used to move to the Shadow Dungeon.

 

It can be used on Sung Sooho’s shadow.

 

‘I can use it on my own shadow?’

 

Following the description, Sooho’s gaze lowered to his feet. He knelt down and cautiously brought the end of the key over his shadow.

 

Swish! Then, mysteriously, the key went into his shadow.

 

Beru’s eyes sparkled.

 

[There! Please enter and claim all the power that rightfully belongs to you, Little King.]

 

“Hold on.” Sooho pulled out the key again and hurriedly changed his clothes. He discarded the loose patient gown and slippers, put on his original clothes, and tied his shoelaces tightly.

 

Then a determined light flickered in his eyes as he looked down at his shadow. “Alright. Let’s go then.”

 

[Kieeek! Let’s go! I will be by your side as your advisor! Even though I’ve lost all my strength!]

 

He didn’t have high expectations. Still, Sooho inserted the key into his shadow again.

 

Click.

 

 

[Do you want to enter the Shadow Dungeon?] (Y/N)

 

“… I will enter.”

 

Shwaaa-!

 

With Sooho’s answer, his shadow spread in all directions, swallowing everything in sight indiscriminately. The walls, the ceilings, and even the entire hospital building.

 

 

[You have entered the Shadow Dungeon.]

 

 

In no time, Sooho found himself in a monochromatic world enveloped by his shadow.

 

‘Where’s this?’

 

A serene silence with no signs of life, a lush forest tainted in black and white awaited Sooho—or more precisely, it was a ruined city that had turned into a forest as the tall buildings were covered in moss and ivy on their outer walls. 

 

Sooho suddenly recalled a book he had read when he was young.

 

‘The title was probably… ‘The Earth where Humanity Disappeared’?’

 

The book was a documentary about neglect’s effects on cities abandoned for a long time without human intervention. In summary, it described how cities would eventually crumble and turn into forests with grass and trees growing everywhere.

 

Just like this place.

 

‘It feels like the field is contaminated with magic.’

 

In the midst of the silence, Beru, who had followed Sooho, jumped up with a salute.

 

[Welcome to the Shadow Dungeon!]

 

“So, this is the Shadow Dungeon?” Sooho looked around and felt a strange sensation like he had entered an old horror movie.

 

‘… Why is it so familiar?’

 

It’s impossible for anyone to vividly remember their memories from when they were just born. However, the emotions and atmosphere felt during that time are often deeply ingrained in their heart, even as adults.

 

While this black-and-white world may feel ominous to some, it felt as warm as a mother’s embrace to Sooho.

 

It was then.

 

Swish!

 

‘Something alive!?’

 

Sooho’s Sense stat sent a warning. At that moment, an axe flew toward him from behind.

 

Whoosh! 

 

[Heek! The trial has begun! Dodge it!]

 

Hearing Beru’s urgent cry, Sooho immediately turned around…with a roundhouse kick! Thwack!

 

“Kkeok!”

 

One monster was sent tumbling to the ground by Sooho’s kick, and above its head was a name tag like Beru’s.

 

 

[Goblin Scout]

 

 

“Kikkitt!”

 

It was a grotesque creature with green skin and about one meter tall.

 

‘A scout?’

 

As soon as Sooho confirmed the name, he became alert.

 

‘If it’s a scout, other creatures might be nearby!’

 

Sooho had already fought numerous battles in his dreams during his adolescence. The survival instinct ingrained in his body from those dreams kicked in.

 

‘I have to eliminate it before it calls for reinforcements!’

 

Thud! Before the creature could even get up, Sooho threw himself at it.

 

[Kiek! It’s dangerous with just your bare hands! Goblins may be weak and feeble, but you’re even weaker now, Little King!]

 

“I know!”

 

Knock! While replying to Beru’s words, Sooho struck the Goblin Scout’s hand, causing it to drop the axe in its hand.

 

[Kyak! Well done! You did very well!]

 

Beru cheered enthusiastically, clapping his hands.

 

‘Ugh, how noisy.’

 

Thud!

 

 

[You have obtained ‘Item: Goblin’s Stone Axe’.]

 

 

Sooho immediately swung the axe as he clenched the handle in his hand.

 

Thwack!

 

[You have defeated Goblin Scout.]

 

 

Sooho cut off the goblin’s head in one shot, but he had no time to catch his breath.

 

Whoosh! A chilling sound of wind came from behind his back.

 

‘As expected, it has more allies!’

 

An arrow flew toward him!

 

Sooho instinctively reached out his hand.

 

‘Ruler’s Authority!’

 

Knock!

 

At that moment, a transparent hand extended from Sooho’s hand and caught the flying arrow.

 

[Kieeek! Could that be his power!?]

 

Beru exclaimed in joy as he stared at the arrow that had suddenly stopped in mid-air.

 

[As expected of my little king! You have finally awakened the power of your infancy!]

 

Beru recalled Sooho’s childhood days when he used to walk through the air as a toddler.

Author's Thoughts

❄Support the original in its official site if you can!
❄You'll do us great service just by not publicizing our links to social medias. It is ridiculous to ask to be lowkey when this novel is anything but that; however, every effort counts in the continuation of the translation.
❄You can read ahead by purchasing the advanced chapters, but it is not required to have the full access of the novel as everything will be unlocked with time.
❄What we lack in speed, we make it up in quality.

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