Chapter 1: There An Old Man Inside Me – 1  

Kang Shin-Hyuk was an orphan. He was one of the countless children who have lost their parents to monsters and were taken to orphanages after the catastrophe of the Third Gate Cataclysm.

Like the many other children who lost their parents to the monsters, Kang Shin-hyuk cursed the monsters. He wanted to tear them apart with his hands. Maybe that’s why he was happier than anyone else when he woke up at the age of 12 as a man of power.

[Kang Shin-hyuk – G-Rank]


[The Serpent without its Pearl][A-] Instead of dealing with mana, you can quickly and easily master all kinds of martial arts. Strengthen the effect of self-mastered martial arts.


[Physical ability]

Strength – F

Agility – F

Health – F

[Special ability]




Eighteen Techniques (A) – F [1]

However, the moment he laid eyes on his status window (which the adults called the Gaia system), his mind went blank. The reason was because of his Trait.

“It’s an A-Ranked trait, so if you just look at the rank, then it’s a top trait. Your special skill is also A-Rank as well.”

“Quickly master all kinds of martial arts. If martial arts includes weapon arts, does it apply to guns as well? Although we’ll have to see the speed of training…but still.”

“Isn’t the penalty too fatal? Having a Trait without being able to handle mana, this is …”

“You could be a skilled mercenary…but still, a mercenary…”

“You could’ve been a top superhuman. It’s a pity, you’re like a dragon that has lost its pearl.”

The Fake Gold. It was an expression used by all those who came to know about his trait.

Kang Shin-Hyuk understood it. He knew how important mana was to those who fight monsters.

Mana or magic power. The mysterious energy that appeared with the gate throughout the world. Everyone with strong abilities had strong magical powers, and monsters were also stronger the more mana they possessed.

Artifacts with special powers could also be only activated with mana, and the price of the mana stones found inside the special monsters increased with the amount of mana they possessed as well.

‘The world after the opening of the gate is dominated by mana.’

That statement was indeed right. Mana is the power to rule the world.

And ironically, Kang Shin-Hyuk realized this when he awakened his Trait.

You can’t deal with mana.

You can’t be the hero of the world.

* * *

Five years later, Kang Shin-Hyuk turned 17. There were many other options, but he chose to go to a Supernatural Training Academy.

Of course, there were countless restrictions on him because of his body that couldn’t handle mana, but his trait helped him to quickly master all martial arts and enter the world’s best Supernatural Training Academy despite having those fatal limitations.

In other words, that was it.

“Huh, it’s Kang Shin-Hyuk.”

“That guy failed the beginner mana mid-term exams.”

“Can he advance like that?”

“I wish I get him in the next spar training. I also nearly failed…”

“You know, even if you beat him, you probably won’t get many points.”

At the end of the class, he could hear the voices of the people around him while quietly walking down the school corridor. Kang Shin-Hyuk clicked his tongue quietly.

Even if he couldn’t handle the magic, he was confident that he could always win no matter how many times he fought. However, he had to endure it as it is not good to cause a commotion.

“Because I always get all the hate.”

Korea’s supernatural training institution, the Shinyoung Academy.

Boasting a whopping 60% international student rate, Shinyoung was one of the world’s top three elite institutions among super-power facilities and everyone from students to faculty members possessed a strong pride. The pride of being responsible for the future of this generation.

However, there was a student in Shinyoung who couldn’t even deal with Mana. A phenomenon where, as a superhuman with a Trait, he couldn’t control mana. There were even those who considered Kang Shin-Hyuk to be a hindrance just by being in the same room as them.

He was initially able to get through the year with his superb writing and martial arts skills for a while but he didn’t know when he would get kicked out for a minor accident. With the amount of effort he put into entering, he couldn’t afford to be kicked out now.

“It’s a place where free dormitories, free food, and free training facilities are given, and no school fees are required. There’s even a ‘dignity-maintenance fee’ where you get free pocket money.”

Kang Shin-Hyuk tried extremely hard to enter Shinyoung, one of Korea’s best and the world’s top five super-institutes. There was not even a satisfactory training environment for an orphan, but he tried. He really tried.

Passing the entrance exam gave him the opportunity to train in the best environment for three years. He had no time to waste on those who talked behind his back.

‘Suck up everything I can in the school. Take advantage of everything. I have to succeed as a Trait user..’

The body could be trained even without mana. Of course, there were limits, but whining was better left for when he reached those limits.

As he clenched his fist, pledging to himself, a palm quietly rose over his shoulder. A voice that seemed to suck up the tense atmosphere flew in.

“Hey, Shin-Hyuk-ah, let’s go play!”

“…Baek In Ha.”

Kang Shin-Hyuk looked back and sighed. The name of the boy who crept up so quickly that even his trained eye couldn’t notice, Baek In-Ha. He was also a freshman, like him.

Unlike Kang Shin-Hyuk, he possessed a high level of mana, and his S-Rank Trait was also a monster among other S-Rank monsters. Even among the freshmen of the year at Shinyoung, which was renowned for gathering monsters with excellent potential, he was still considered a once-in-a-hundred-years genius.

“Nothing good will come from playing with me.”

“Wow, so edgy! It was just like a line from a novel. Hey, say it again. I’ll record it this time.”

“This little bastard…”

Kang Shin-Hyuk sighed as he watched the appearance of Baek In Ha who turned on the recording function of the popular “Stick”, a high-performance portable terminal similar to a smartphone that was given to all students of Shinyoung. He was in the same class as him, and he was also the first person who approached him during a sparring session.

Kang Shin-Hyuk had been hitting it off with him, and when he tried to distance himself after finding out his Trait, he had stubbornly kept approaching him.

‘You’re ignoring a real genius’ or whatever; his Trait was the only good thing about him. Apart from that, he was just an asshole to him.

However … he was thankful that he got to know him. He would get picked on less just by staying next to him, and his school life would also be a lot smoother.

‘I hate that I’m only calculating benefits like this.’

Even though he knew that it was good to stay close to Baek In-Ha, the reason he acted like this was of this kind of guilt unconsciously appearing in his mind.

“Why do you keep trying to play with me and chase off the other guys that want to hang out with you?”

“I told you, I fell in love with your skills. Kyahh! You ace everything whether it’s with a sword, a spear or even a mace!”

“But I have no mana. You know what people call me? Trash Can. It even sounds so…trash.”

“Wouldn’t something happen when your Trait grow more? Besides, isn’t it natural to have fallen for a guy who works hard rather than people just recklessly believing in his abilities? Ah, and.”

This is actually important, he said and continued while pushing his face closer to him.

“Your face is really good. You know, to hook up with a girl, you have to be close to a good-looking guy.”


Kang Shin-Hyuk looked at his face at those words.

Although he didn’t think his face was bad, it had been a while since he had been told that. It was because everyone had only looked at his Trait since entering Shinyoung.

“You’re convinced, signor? So, let’s play! Let’s hook up with some gorgeous and wonderful noonas and enjoy the night together!”

“… Okay, stop talking that way first.”

He would’ve been a great guy if not for his embarrassing personality. Kang Shin-Hyuk sighed and followed him while telling himself to stop after 2 hours to make space for training.

However, the place where he dragged him to was not a nightlife bar but a shopping street full of battle equipment shops, consumable shops, restaurants and taverns…aka the Seoul superhuman shopping center. A place that required a Superhuman Academy Student ID to enter.

“Weren’t you going to flirt with college students or social worker noonas?”

“No, that was a joke and it’s your birthday today. I was thinking of buying you a birthday present.”

“… What?”

Baek In Ha spoke like it was nothing, but Kang Shin-Hyuk was slightly moved by his words.

Birthday, Who has cared about his birthday? It’s early May, so it’s only been two months since he got to know him!

“Hey, I’ll buy you what you want. Shall we go over there? ”

“Are you crazy? That’s the brand. I’m done. Bye.”

There are grades for superhuman weapons. The shop which In Ha was pointing to was the brand known to the entire world, the superhuman-use weapon brand [Mystic].

Aside from the rare natural products that can be obtained beyond the gate, the place where only the luxury goods of the highest grade are sold!

“It’s not as expensive as you think it to be. And with your ability, I have to at least buy you this much.”

“Say that again, I’ll beat you up.”

He had heard the gossip. Talent and looks, the boy who had everything, Baek In Ha, his family was also loaded.

At school, he had just been eating the same meals and the same clothes, so he had just heard of it recently, but it didn’t seem to be unfounded.

“Hey, it’s really not a big deal.”

“I’m the one that’s bothered. Go there, to that shop.”

Kang Shin-Hyuk lead the bewildered Beak In Ha to a shabby shop at the entrance to a nearby alleyway. There was a sign calling it a second-hand shop, so it was much cheaper than the Mystic.


“I know that superhuman weapons are expensive, even used ones. I’m not receiving anything more expensive than that.”

“But the guy who is going to make it big shouldn’t start cheap…”

“Give me something more expensive later. I can do with that for now.”

Kang Shin-Hyuk led In Ha, who sounded like some big conglomerate’s successor and forced him to enter a second-hand store.

Baek In Ha grumbled till the end but gave in in the end at Kang Shin-Hyuk’s endless nagging.

@ @ @

It was a coincidence that he found a sword covered all in black.

“Over there’s 1.5 million won per piece.”

The shopkeeper said bluntly without any intention to move from the counter. Kang Shin-Hyuk heard his words and stared at the sword again.

The ebony black sword was mixed randomly with other weapons in a large container, which meant that they were the weapons that even the second-hand shop was eager to get rid of.

“There are a lot of things to do, so even if you complain later, you can’t get a refund. It’s useless to use the school’s name, so remember that.”

“Ah, yes, We won’t do that.”

The owner’s gaze was fixed on Shinyoung’s emblem on the left shoulder of the uniform jacket worn by Kang Shin-Hyuk.

Maybe the shopkeeper had been bullied by a senior using Shinyoung’s name in the past. If so, then it was understandable that he was irritated at them. Meanwhile, Kang Shin-Hyuk’s gaze was still focused on the black sword.

‘Now that I think about it, I have a lot of money.’

How long had it gone without being properly managed? Not only was the black blade completely exposed, but there were also fine cracks. Moreover, there was a large hole in the guard-piece. It seemed that the original ornament went missing.

‘It’s definitely a failed product. No matter how well you manage it, you may not be able to use it many times. Though it’s strange that there’s no rust. ‘

But why was he so attracted to this sword?

He wanted to hold this sword. If he wiped the dust and changed the blade of the sword, it seemed like it would shine brilliantly again.

He impulsively reached out to the sword. The shopkeeper then added without faltering,

“If you touch it, you buy it. No refunds.”

“Ah, he’s being so fussy~ Shin-Hyuk, you go with what you want, I’ll pay for it.”

.5 million won. Although he was quite embarrassed at such an expensive gift, it wasn’t something he couldn’t pay off through the ‘dignity-maintenance fee. A day will come when he would get to pay off Baek In Ha.

Baek In Ha approached the shopkeeper proudly showed his card. When the shopkeeper saw the Sakaman card, he flinched briefly, before politely accepting the card.

“W-we can accept refunds. But that sword is really damaged so we don’t know when it’ll break…”

“Shin-Hyuk, are you okay with that?”

“I’m okay.”

As expected, money and power were great. The owner of the store became so polite! Kang Shin-Hyuk took the sword, thanking Baek In Ha for letting him feel this sense of superiority.

At that very moment, a stream of violent pain ran down Kang Shin-Hyuk’s whole body.


He tried to remove his hand from the sword straight away, but just before that, an image entered Kang Shin-Hyuk’s head then into his mind.

The image of the man hammering on a lone piece of iron in a destroyed world that had no more life, where hope was nonexistent.

‘Cramped workshop… An old man? He’s pounding the iron. For a long time, extremely long…’

He had never seen this man before, but he felt a deep sense of sympathy and empathy towards the lonely figure. Then he was even more surprised at that fact.

Why, what is this man to him, that the feelings conveyed by this man are so vivid to him?

“Shin-Hyuk? What is it? Is there too much damage?”

“No, hey just wait a moment…”

Confused by the sudden rush of images, he tried to back off with his sword, but his body was acting the opposite way of his will. He held the sword tightly as if he would never let it go till his death.

As if he had recovered a treasure that had been lost for a long time.

– Confirmed attempt to connect to the Hero Universe.

It was that moment that a message appeared on his retina. A message that feels a little different from the message of the Gaia system which anyone who awakens an ability can access.

Kang Shin-Hyuk’s jaws dropped at the phenomenon that had never been seen before. What surprised him, even more, was that he was confident that he had missed it somewhere in his heart.

-Checking your identity. An existing ID exists. Connecting to the Hero Universe with the ID [Anvil]. VIP guests are welcome to reconnect!

“Hero Universe? Anvil…?”

The messages continued. Kang Shin-Hyuk thought out loud but of course, no one was there to answer his questions.

-You’ve logged in from a different world! Earn 10,000 HP as other world login bonuses! This is a first- time achievement, 10,000 HP will be added!

It’s because of his mood that the plain sentences in his mind seemed so full of emotion…

-Loading ID information. Be prepared as it may be shocking!

“… Come again? Euaaaaaaaaaaaaack!”

“What is it, Shin-Hyuk!? Shin-Hyuk! Hey man! Shin-Hyuk!”

The shock, skewering his brain struck Kang Shin-Hyuk before he even read the messages.

The record of a world he knew nothing about, the memory of a man who had been left alone in the world and knocked on the iron, was flooded to him. It was a much more terrible pain than when he first awakened his Trait.

Kang Shin-Hyuk struggled with the fragments of sharp memories that repeatedly assaulted his brain, trying to resist with his tough mentality, but finally, when the name “Eunah” came to his mind, he finally let go of his consciousness.

-I’m honored to see you again, dear member.

Of course, he couldn’t read the Administrator’s message in front of him.

Translator and Editor Notes:

[1] This is a Korean martial arts. I couldn’t find any english articles on it but here’s a japanese wiki page that you’ll need to google translate if you’re curious about the martial arts. I didn’t put the Korean one because the japanese one makes more sense on MTL. ~Magifishcat