A bright light poured from a colossal summoning formation and the night sky started to glow eerily. As he gazed up at the faintly lit sky, Sungchul reminisced about the time he was first Summoned. That had been more than two decades ago.
Back then, he had been naive and unprepared. Dangers were common, and it was nothing short of a miracle that he had managed to survive. Now, it would only take an hour for him to kill everyone in the Summoning Palace, but the terror and helplessness he had felt when he was first Summoned resurfaced from a corner of his memories. Sungchul approached the sewers of the Summoning Palace while shaking himself free of these memories.
In front of the sewers, a Werewolf was standing guard.
“Grrr…When will it end? My turn better come soon.”
Creatures that were once human, Werewolves were people that had forsaken their humanity to embrace the feral side. Those who had a cruel and vicious nature would typically be seduced into walking this corrupted path which granted them high strength up front at the cost of having a low potential for growth.
The Werewolves, whose limits were clear, had but one joy and one purpose in their life, and that was to rip apart the newbie humans with their powerful teeth and claws. Werewolves had been one of the most feared enemies when Sungchul was first Summoned into the Summoning Palace, but they now couldn’t even survive a single punch of his.
Sungchul comfortably walked towards the creature from the shadows.
“Grr…Who are you?” said the Werewolf guarding the waterways as he sniffed the air and looked around angrily.
A firm grip suddenly wrapped around the Werewolf’s neck and his 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 him with the other.
The Werewolf struggled against the noose for a while before becoming limp. Sungchul took out a pen and paper and scribbled: ‘I can’t go on living like a dog.’
He silently 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 numerous Mages who were chanting summoning incantations. They were conducting a Summon of a grand scale.
This was an accursed practice in which humans from a world called Earth were forcefully summoned here. The massive Summon teleported ten thousand people each time, but not even five hundred would walk out of the Summoning Palace in one piece. The rest would meet their end in pitiful tragedies, used as Magical experiments, or be sold as slaves.
There were four plazas in which the summoning took place. These were: Azure, Scarlet, Blanche and Crimson. Each plaza was able to convoke 2500 humans per Summon. Sungchul chose to quietly hide himself at the Blanche Plaza. The Blanche Plaza was defended by a total of 200 Summoners, Guardian Golems, and soldiers. A small abominable fairy was hopping around between them.
“Kekeke! What kind of trashy humans will be coming today? I can’t wait anymore! Trash Mages! 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 Mage’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 dying people. This Homunculus, which wore a green hat, was one of these sadistic bastards. Unfortunately for him, luck was not on his side.
“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’s crimson eyes were filled with horror.
“How can a mere normal human do this to the noble me?!”
Though Homunculi were only as large as infants, 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 since there were countless other Homunculi left to replace it. In fact, a dead comrade would serve as a strong incentive for the next one to obediently comply with his demands.
It hastily answered before Sungchul could grab its arm.
“I-I’ll hand it over! Human, sir!”
The Homunculus spat out a bright orb from his flapping gullet, and a message popped up as Sungchul grabbed the item.
[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 ingredients 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 useful 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 merciful, painless death. Sungchul tossed the limp corpse into the air. Blood had splatted all over the place, but that didn’t matter; this entire place was about to overflow with human blood soon.
‘Are these all just the common ones? There are no Hidden Quests listed here.’
This was a decent find considering the fact that he had obtained it from a low-level Homunculus. Sungchul retreated back into the darkness to wait for his next opportunity.
Soon, modern humans suddenly appeared from the bright lights of the Magic Formation. The Summoned have arrived.
“Where am I?”
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 Mages and the guards left the plaza, and only the rough looking Homunculi remained to face the humans.
“Kekekekek! Humans! Welcome to the Fields of Judgement!”
The people didn’t know what to make of these infant-sized creatures that were hopping and shouting about. Some of them looked around blankly, some kept bashing at their phones, and 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, was quietly waiting for a message to appear.
He, who had been banned and made enemy of every Circle of Mages, had never had the opportunity to learn Magic. If there was a way to learn Magic by beating the knowledge out of a Mage, he would have tried it by now. But Magic could not be learned without obtaining a Mage Class first, 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 solution Sungchul could come up with was to sneak into places that bestowed Classes for free, 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 most moderate method with the least collateral damage 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.