The Late Game Healer Is Way Too Strong – Chapter 1

𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐩𝐭𝐞𝐫 𝟏: 𝐓𝐡𝐞 𝐏𝐥𝐚𝐜𝐞 𝐖𝐡𝐞𝐫𝐞 𝐋𝐨𝐧𝐠𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐑𝐞𝐚𝐜𝐡𝐞𝐬

One year.

Ten years.

A hundred years.

Like a machine whose gears have rusted and seized, I slowly shift my memories, stiff with age.

Not much time is left.

Siwoo wiped his slate clean.

For a long time, he had chosen not to look to the past. Rather, he had no choice.

He stole a glance at the cruel landscape before him.

A desert under two moons.

Hundreds of bodies strewn across the sands.

Sand heavy with blood.

A dry, biting wind.

A fitting place to meet one’s end.

He inhaled.

Exhaled slowly.

The sand scratched at his nostrils.

【Food, watch out. I sense energy.】

“I know.”

Siwoo answered absentmindedly.

Kwa-aaang!

The instant his words faded, a deafening roar shook the ground.

Siwoo rolled out of the way as if he’d anticipated it.

A crimson blade erupted from the earth.

But it was not alone.

Kwa-aaang! Kwa-aaang! Bang!!

Dozens of blades pierced the sky one after the other.

Each one as large as a building.

Kwa-aaang! Ku-kwa-aaang!

The surrounding terrain crumbled as sand exploded into the air.

The swirling sandstorm obscured his vision.

Siwoo moved swiftly.

Blades shot up from the ground wherever he had stood, like traps sprung by a rat.

【That bastard’s mixed magic into his attacks.】

As if that weren’t enough, the bodies the blades touched burst into flame.

Flames so intense that they could incinerate with a mere touch.

Not simply destructive, but a deadly combination of destructive and incendiary magic.

The work of someone with a single-minded desire to kill.

【Food, you can’t die. I need to eat you.】

“If you can, then do it!”

Siwoo dodged every single one of those relentless attacks.

There was no sign of the flames or the blades having touched him.

Kwa-ang!

When the last blade disappeared, Siwoo stood at a distance, calmly waiting for the next attack.

The wind blew.

Silence reigned.

『Impressive.』

A strange voice echoed from somewhere.

Siwoo’s gaze followed the sound.

There, bathed in moonlight, stood a colossal figure.

A fearsome appearance.

Black wings and scales as hard as steel.

Jagged teeth.

A head resembling that of a dinosaur.

A creature from ancient myths.

A dragon.

The magnificent creature flapped its wings slowly, descending gracefully from the sky.

Its piercing blue gaze met Siwoo’s.

A predatory glare, but it was more akin to the casual annoyance one might feel towards an insect.

As if to say, ‘What’s this bug doing buzzing around me?’

Siwoo, however, remained indifferent.

「Mortal.」

“Why have you called me?”

“I am a being who has made his nest here since before your ancestors were born. Who do you think you are, to oppose me? What do you take the being before you to be?”

A solemn voice reverberated through the desert, as unyielding as a king’s.

“Answer me. What do you take me to be?”

『Well,』

Siwoo feigned ignorance.

He scratched his head and replied in a languid tone.

“A really big lizard?”

“. . . . . .How dare you!”

「Kwa-ang!!!」

A lightning-fast attack.

A tail lashed out like a whip where Siwoo had been standing.

To an ordinary human, it would have seemed like an explosion.

How dare a human act so recklessly against a superior being?

“Your body’s impressive, but your mind is as small as a lizard’s dick.”

The dragon turned its head in surprise.

Siwoo, who it had thought to be dead, was snickering beside it.

Perhaps it was more driven by instinct than reason.

Without thinking, the dragon prepared to attack again.

【Food, I can help you.】

Siwoo chuckled at the voice in his head.

“Freeloader. I can still handle this myself.”

Siwoo watched the dragon’s attack and activated his mana with explosive force.

Ki-iing!

Like the engine of a sports car revving, his mana veins began to circulate at an incredible speed, releasing energy into the atmosphere.

Siwoo infused every fiber of his muscles with mana and leapt off the ground.

The dragon’s attack shot up once more.

Multicolored magic streaked through the air, hurtling towards Siwoo.

Kuku-guku-guku-guku!

Deafening explosions and mana attacks that seemed to tear the sky apart filled the air.

But all that magic was rendered useless against Siwoo’s resilient body.

Siwoo reached the dragon’s body and unleashed an attack filled with mana.

The dragon did not simply stand there and take it, but countered with its own magic.

Kwang!!!

Their attacks collided, creating a deafening roar that shook the air.

The violent clash warped the desert terrain and summoned a sandstorm.

The ground split open, and shockwaves turned boulders into dust.

The fierce exchange continued for dozens of rounds.

Unable to withstand the relentless battle, the dragon took to the sky.

Its body, once as black as a jewel, was now torn and bleeding from Siwoo’s attacks.

『Foolish mortal, I will return you to the eternal void. This is the punishment for defying a superior being.』

Suddenly, the surrounding mana was sucked towards the dragon like a vacuum.

The amount was so great that even non-awakened individuals who could not see mana could sense it.

Natural mana swirled between the dragon’s sharp teeth, forming a vortex.

The crimson sphere of mana grew denser and gradually expanded.

【Food, let’s team up and never see each other again after this.】

“Shut up.”

Siwoo activated his dantian, drew out his mana, and spread it thinly over his body, layer by layer.

Then he twisted his body into a defensive stance.

Jiiing—

Ku-woeoeoeo!!

The dragon unleashed its attack.

A true dragon’s ultimate breath, considered the embodiment of natural mana, the [Dragon’s Breath], was indiscriminately unleashed upon a single human.

Kwa-kwa-kwa-kwa-kwa-kwa-kwa-kwa!

The heavens and earth trembled.

A colossal crimson beam spread across the land, incinerating everything in its path in an instant.

The desert was literally reduced to ash.

『Keu-heuk. . . It’s been ages since I used that technique. . .』

The surroundings grew as quiet as dust.

The dragon panted.

Having exhausted all its energy, it was both satisfied and weary.

It looked around at the scorched surroundings and flew towards a rock formation where its attack had stopped.

That was where it had sensed a faint presence of life.

The dragon flapped its wings with all its might and managed to reach the spot.

『You’re still hiding? Impressive, mortal.』

The dragon sounded genuinely surprised.

Siwoo was the first being other than a dragon to survive its [Dragon’s Breath].

Siwoo lay beneath the rock formation, covered in blood.

He breathed shallowly, his hand on his stomach.

Blood gushed relentlessly from the gaping hole in his abdomen.

He didn’t have much longer.

He wouldn’t last five more minutes at this rate.

The dragon faced Siwoo, acknowledging his resilience while maintaining its air of superiority.

『Do you have any last words?』

“I. . . Kuk! I need to. . . go home. But home is. . . far away.”

Siwoo began to speak, his words punctuated by coughs of blood.

“I’ve been wondering. . . Kuk! Do. . . you have it?”

The dragon folded its wings at the sound of his fading voice.

“Home, you say. You are certainly different from the mortals of this place. If you speak of dimensional travel, then yes, I possess it.”

“Not all dragons have it. . . Only you?”

『My heart’s unique magic is related to dimensions, so no other members of my kind should have it.』

Siwoo chuckled and tilted his head back.

His expression was one of utter disbelief.

His eyes gazed up at the clear night sky.

“Do you know. . . how long I’ve been searching for it?”

His question was laced with self-mockery.

Not a question to the being before him, but a bitter recollection directed at himself.

“A hundred years, a whole hundred years. In this godforsaken alternate dimension.”

He had been a hunter.

He had even defeated the Demon King of the Fourth Realm with his disciples.

It had been humanity’s first victory against a Demon King.

But that Demon King had possessed an artifact, a damn counter ability that could send its opponent to another dimension.

Siwoo, the party leader and the one who had dealt the final blow to the Demon King, had been transported to another dimension just like that.

After that, his life had been a constant struggle.

He had killed to survive, and fought to achieve his goal.

Betrayal and conspiracy had followed him like shadows, and his journey had ended in bitter revenge.

He had wanted to live.

He had wanted to survive.

In a time that felt like an eternity, without hope or prospects.

The one hope that had kept him going.

His one goal.

To return home.

And the only way to return home was to consume the ‘Dimensional Orb’ that dragons possessed.

It went without saying that the path would be fraught with danger.

『You must have suffered greatly, searching in vain for a hundred years. Let me end your pain quickly.』

The dragon wanted to end this battle.

In its thousands of years of existence, it had encountered very few beings as strong as Siwoo.

A mere human, at that.

This time, even the dragon had felt moments of danger.

Therefore, it was wise to eliminate any future threats.

Dragons were the most selfish and arrogant of all beings.

So, its judgment was not wrong.

“For some reason. . . eating other dragons’ hearts didn’t work.”

However, the dragon had made one fatal miscalculation.

『What do you mean?』

It had assumed that a dying man was nothing more than an ordinary damage dealer.

Uuuung.

Magic circles appeared on Siwoo’s hands.

Golden, radiant patterns glowed, and soon began to emit an even brighter light.

The bleeding stopped.

His internal organs healed to their pre-injury state.

His wounds were repaired at the cellular level.

His complexion returned to normal, and the flow of mana stabilized.

All of this happened in less than a second.

『This. . . is impossible!!』

Even the dragon was astounded by the sight, something it had never witnessed before.

Ordinary healers could barely stop bleeding and close wounds.

It was common sense not to touch wounds that had penetrated muscle and organs.

If not handled properly, muscles, organs, and blood vessels could become grotesquely tangled together.

But this man had performed such an unbelievable feat with ease.

And in an instant, no less.

“I’m a bit special, you see.”

The dragon, which had been driven by instinct rather than reason, could not afford to be careless this time.

A moment of distraction and shock led to disaster.

Kwa-duk!

The noble creature, unable to dodge in time, trembled violently from the searing pain.

Siwoo’s fist had pierced the dragon’s heart like lightning.

His fingertips felt something hard and hot moving fiercely.

The dragon’s eyes widened, and it froze.

Blood trickled from its mouth.

Siwoo chuckled.

It was a cold smile.

“Your heart, I’ll take it.”

『. . . . . .!!』

Puk.

The dragon’s heart was ripped out whole.

The colossal body swayed and collapsed with a thud.

A pathetic end for a superior being that had lived for thousands of years.

But Siwoo paid it no mind, his gaze fixed solely on the heart in his hand.

The dragon’s heart was different from the hearts we are familiar with.

A glowing orb of mana, a core, like a giant jewel.

Siwoo muttered, his gaze lost in the distance.

“I can finally go home.”

【I’m going too.】

“Shut up, Pre.”

To where I lived, where my sister and disciples were.

To Earth.

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