A bright light poured out of the large scale summoning portal and the night sky started to glow eerily. As he looked at the faintly lit sky, Sungchul reminisced about the time he was first summoned. That had almost been twenty years ago.
Back then, he had truly been naive and unprepared; dangers were frequent, it felt like a miracle that he had managed to survive. Now, it only took an hour for him to sweep up the trash, but the fears and frustrations within his memories were still vivid. While still deep in these memories, Sungchul delved into the sewers of the Summoning Palace.
In front of the sewers, a werewolf was standing guard.
“Grrr…. When will it end? My turn better come soon.”
A creature that was once a human, werewolves were people that had forsaken their humanity to take the feral path. Those who had a cruel and vicious nature would typically be seduced into walking this corrupted path which allowed them to quickly gain strength at the cost of having a low potential for growth.
To the werewolves whose limits were clear, they had but one joy and one purpose in their life; and that was to rip apart the newbie humans using their powerful teeth and claws. When Sungchul had first arrived at the Palace, werewolves had been one of the most aggressive and savage of enemies, but now they couldn’t even survive a single punch of his.
Sungchul comfortably walked towards the werewolf from the shadows.
“Grr… Who are you!”
The werewolf guarding the waterways sniffed around and turned back angrily.
A firm grip suddenly wrapped around the werewolf’s neck and the werewolf’s yellow eyes widened in fear.
‘W-what is this strength?!’
Unable to even cry for help, the werewolf could only watch helplessly as the mysterious human began looping a rope around his neck with one hand while holding his neck with the other.
The werewolf struggled for a while before his body fell limp. Sungchul took out a pen and paper and wrote: ‘I can’t go on living like a dog’
Sungchul shoved the piece of paper into the werewolf’s pocket and walked deeper into the darkness of the sewers, heading towards the Palace.
After passing through the dark waterways, a brightly lit hallway appeared. Sungchul reached into his memories and directed himself towards the Summoning Plaza. There were a few guards along the way, but at their level, they wouldn’t be able to feel his presence. Sungchul freely strode through until he reached the Summoning Plaza.
The plaza was filled with massive inscriptions and countless magicians who were chanting summoning incantations. It was a summoning being done on a grand scale.
This was an accursed practice where humans from a world called Earth were half-forcefully summoned here. Once, ten thousand people had been summoned to this place by a large scale summoning, but not even five hundred had managed to leave the Palace in decent shape; the rest had all either been killed under pitiful tragedies, used as magical experiments, or been sold as slaves.
There were four plazas actively practicing summoning. It was divided into: Azure, Scarlet, Blanche and Crimson. Each plaza was able to convoke approximately 2500 humans per summon. Sungchul chose to quietly hide himself at the Blanche Plaza. The Blanche Plaza had 200 summoners and mana golems, and some soldiers that were guarding the plaza. A small fairy was hopping around between them.
“Kekeke! What kind of trashy humans will be coming today? I can’t wait anymore! Trash Magicians! Hurry up, spit out the trashy humans!”
The small, ugly creature with red eyes wasn’t actually a fairy, it was a homunculus, an artificial lifeform created within a magician’s flask. They were in charge of the ‘introductory’ course for the newly summoned, and their greatest joy was looking upon the fear and dread etched into the faces of people dying. The homunculus wearing a green hat was one of these sadistic bastards, unfortunately for him, today was not his lucky day.
“Kekekeke! How should I kill these newbies to receive praise? Happy worries… Eeehh?!”
The homunculus, preoccupied with the summoning process, was suddenly pulled backwards.
The kidnapper of the homunculus was none other than Sungchul. The homunculus’ crimson eyes were filled with horror.
‘H-how? An insignificant human dares to do this to me?!’
Homunculi might only be as large as infants, but their strength and dexterity were about five times stronger than the average adult. It wasn’t uncommon to see two homunculi tearing a human apart. This homunculus, however, was now powerless after being captured by a seemingly average looking man.
“Hand over the quest log.”
Sungchul bluntly spat out his demand.
“Q-quest log? Do you even know where this is…?! Keeeeee!”
Act first. Ask questions later. Sungchul tore away a single leg from the homunculus, and its red blood splattered all over.
“Hand it over.”
As he spoke, he tore off another leg, it didn’t matter if it died as there would be countless homunculi left to replace it, and they would only be more likely to comply if there was a dead companion present to convince them.
It spoke as Sungchul started to reach for its arm.
“I-I’ll hand it over! Human, sir!”
The homunculus spat out a bright orb from his flapping gullet, and a phrase popped up as Sungchul grabbed it.
[Obtained Summoning Plaza’s Quest Log!]
[Would you like to see the Quest Log?]
With a simple nod, words began to fill Sungchul’s vision.
[Summoning Plaza’s Quest Log]
Charismatic Person – After being summoned, introduce yourself to more than 10 people within 10 minutes. / Reward – Fire Seed
Sports Man – Within 3 days of being summoned, perform 300 sit ups and 3 hours of running / Reward – Strengthening Dumbbells
Cook – Using more than 3 types of food provided by the Summoning Palace’s Quests, prepare a meal. / Reward – White Bread (Ration) x 3
All the quests and their requirements provided by the Summoning Palace were written concisely within the orb taken from the homunculus. Sungchul carefully sifted through all the quests to find those that were necessary to him.
Observant – Read aloud the inscription posted at the main entrance. / Reward: Intuition +1
‘I have to raise intuition. Especially because of those curses.’
As he resumed searching for more quests, he could hear a pained voice beside him.
“H-human, sir. Y-you’re letting me go now, right? It h-hurts.”
It was the legless homunculus. The reply was… Crunch! A quick mercy. Sungchul tossed the limp corpse into the air. There were blood stains left behind, but that didn’t matter. It would all soon be covered over with human blood anyways.
“Are these all regular? There is no log here of any hidden quests.”
Considering that it was a low-level homunculus, this was a decent find. Sungchul retreated, back into the dark to wait for his next opportunity.
Soon, modern humans suddenly appeared from the bright lights of the magic seal. They had just been summoned.
“Where am I?”
“What… What happened?”
Having been pulled out of their comfortable, civilized world, they inspected their new surroundings with innocent and confused faces. However, there was no time for them to be surprised.
All the magicians and the guards filed out, and only the rough looking homunculi remained to face the humans.
“Kekekekek! Humans! Welcome to the Field of Judgement!”
The people didn’t know what to make of these infant-sized creatures who were hopping about and shouting. Some of them looked around blankly, some kept bashing at their phones, others kept badgering another with questions. Each person’s reaction might have been different, but the crises facing them were all the same.
Sungchul who had slipped in amongst the crowd, quietly waiting for a message.
‘Will… it succeed?’
He, who has been exiled from all of the circles and made enemies with every magician, has never had the opportunity to learn magic. If there was a way to learn magic by beating out the knowledge from a mage, he would have tried it by now. But to learn magic he first had to figure out which of the classes were the most suited to him, which wasn’t as easy as it sounded.
Along with precise planning and some luck, he would need to find an altar, and a skilled mage who could breathe life into that altar. It wasn’t difficult for him to crush a kingdom, but if someone was to find out that he was trying to learn magic, all the mage circles would put their lives on the line to stop him. Those people were the craziest of fanatics; they put their reputation even above their lives.
The only way Sungchul could think of to sneak into a unique place that offered free classes, like the Summoning Palace. If one could receive the Summoning Palace quest, there would be an opportunity for them to learn magic. He wasn’t sure if it would work, but this was the safest gamble he could think of. Suddenly, a message appeared before Sungchul’s anticipating eyes.
[Welcome to the Summoning Palace.]
[Summoning Palace’s Quest will now begin.]
[Battle will soon commence, please be prepared.]
It happened. The Summoning Palace’s quest had been triggered. In his mind, Sungchul was celebrating when another message appeared.
[Warning! You could die.]
His lips curved into a cynical smile.