Return of the Frozen Player Chapter 8

Chapter 8. The Curse of Dawn (2)

Seo Jun-Ho stepped through the round blue portal and into a different world. The landscape around him transformed.

“Is this a graveyard?”

He had stepped into another world’s graveyard. From the dirt under his feet to the overgrown trees and weeds, everything looked different from Earth.

Seo Jun-Ho closed his eyes and took in a deep breath. “Hm…Haa….Hm…Ha…”

The air was heavier than anywhere on Earth. It soothed him. Whenever he breathed in, he felt like every single cell was waking.

“…I must be going crazy. I can’t believe I feel refreshed by this place.” He looked around. “Gate information.”

A hologram window appeared before him, summarizing the details of the Gate.

[Curse of Dawn]

Required level: Level 1 and lower

Party cap: 10

Clear requirement: Survive until the sun rises

Difficulty: Average

‘Hm. I thought the same thing while doing my research, but the requirement isn’t very difficult to meet.’

Surviving until sunrise should be easy. When he looked up at the sky, the sun was already starting to start to set. It wasn’t uncommon for Gates to have a different flow of time from the outside.

“I came right on time. It’s a good thing I did some research beforehand.”

Even while training, Seo Jun-Ho made sure to research the Gate. He found that the parties who entered in the morning survived the longest. So, he did the same as them.

“The parties who came in past noon must’ve had a hard time,” he muttered.

Players reached level 2 as soon as they cleared their first Gate, but this one required entrants to be level 1. In other words, every Player that had attempted it had never been inside a Gate beforehand.

‘If complete novices entered an unfamiliar environment, and they had to start fighting right away…’

It was only natural that they would panic. They would only be able to exert about half of their full power.

“I wonder how many there’ll be.”

But Seo Jun-Ho was completely prepared. He knew he could give even more than his 100%.


As the sun set, darkness covered the graveyard entirely. Seo Jun-Ho looked up at the starry night sky, thinking to himself.

‘I’m getting an ominous feeling.’

He felt an eerie energy spilling from the graveyard. It was the presence of the Undead that caused this. Once you experienced it, you could never forget it.

“It feels like my skin is crawling. I hate it.” Seo Jun-Ho sighed and looked around the graveyard, guided by the light of the stars, and the moonlight. Just then, the ground began to shake.

Crack! Crack!

Dozens of hands started to break through the soil.

“They’re actually zombies,” Seo Jun-Ho said dryly. He unsheathed his sword. The best time to kill them would be now. “Nah. No need to come out. Go back to sleep.”

Seo Jun-Ho stabbed cleanly through the zombies’ heads as they started to crawl out of the ground. Even though zombies were especially tough, they would die if he injured their brains.

‘Now that I look at it, there’s actually a lot of them.’

Not only that but the night made it harder to see. Players hated fighting in the dark inside Gates, but there was always an exception to the rule.

[Night has fallen. Hunter’s Night (A) has been activated.]

[All stats increased by 10%.]

[All your senses have been enhanced.]

In this case, Seo Jun-Ho was the exception. He could win at any time of day or night, which was why people called him undefeatable.

“Ah, that’s better.” As his senses sharpened, his sight also improved, and the hazy, moonlit silhouettes became clear outlines of zombies. “Woah, there’s more than I thought.”

Seo Jun-Ho chuckled as he saw the dozens of corpses begin to surround him.


A strange party was unfolding in the moonlit graveyard. But instead of music, there was the sound of zombies being cut down, and instead of fireworks, there was the spray of blood.



Fighting zombies wasn’t as simple as the movies made it out to be. They moved faster than most adults.

‘And they don’t care about protecting themselves.’

Zombies didn’t care if their limbs went flying. Because they couldn’t feel pain, all their energy was put into attacking. In other words, they were the worst possible opponents for inexperienced Players.

“It’s too bad for you guys. I have a lot of experience for a newbie, you see.”

Their attacks didn’t even reach Seo Jun-Ho. The only attack pattern they had was charging at their opponent and trying to bite them, so they were no more than moving punching bags to him.

“The Association’s sword is better than I thought.”


Seo Jun-Ho had received a standard-issue sword from the Association, but it was of higher quality than he expected. Thanks to that, he didn’t have to overexert himself trying to cut off the zombies’ heads. Every time moonlight reflected off the blade, a zombie’s head would go flying.

‘There sure are a lot of them.’

So far, he had counted forty of them. Even with his skills, if they completely surrounded him and didn’t leave any room for him to swing his sword, Seo Jun-Ho would be exposed.

‘I’ll be dead the moment I’m bitten.’

So, he wouldn’t let them creep up from behind him no matter what.

Bang! Bang bang!

The moment three zombies approached from behind him, Seo Jun-Ho shot them with a Glock-17 specifically designed for monsters without even turning around. Their heads exploded like water balloons as the bullets ripped through their heads.


‘It’s a good thing they’re zombies.’

If they were orcs or something stronger, he would need to imbue the bullets with magic to pierce through their hides. But since he was up against rotting corpses, the normal bullets were enough. Even though zombies were the perfect soldiers because they didn’t feel pain or fear, they weren’t perfect weapons. This was why experienced Players weren’t afraid of them.

“If you want to be the perfect weapon, you have to be able to kill anything,” he remarked. Zombies would lose their advantage when they were up against Players of a certain caliber.

Like right now.


“Phew…” Jun-Ho glanced at his watch. Three hours had passed since the battle started. There were only four corpses that were still moving.

“I want to go home and shower, so hurry it up.”


Perhaps the zombie had understood him, but one of them charged him with a pungent odor coming out of its mouth. Seo Jun-Ho wrinkled his nose and held up his hand, firing a bullet into its chin. “Brush your teeth in your next life.”


He didn’t even check that it was down before he turned around and swung his sword.




He cut through two zombies and threw his sword like a knife. It pierced right through the last zombie’s skull, the remaining momentum propelling it into a tree. The zombie twitched a few times before it went still.

“It’s over.” Seo Jun-Ho retrieved his sword from the tree, shaking off the blood. He looked around the silent graveyard. It was good that he brought the Glock-17 over because he would have had a harder time otherwise. He had counted over fifty zombies crawling out of the ground during the fight.

“…Hm.” Seo Jun-Ho felt like he’d forgotten something. He shook his head and opened his status window. He saw that he had already leveled up twice, despite not actually having cleared the Gate yet.

‘I made the right decision to come to an Uncleared Gate.’

He couldn’t help but smile.

“Is…Is anyone there?” A weak voice called from somewhere. Seo Jun-Ho’s face fell.

‘A voice?’

It was a female voice, breathing heavily like its owner was about to pass out. Not only that but the speaker was using Korean.

“Where are you?”

“S-someone…? Here! Over here! T-thank you…”

Seo Jun-Ho sensed that whoever he was speaking to desperately wanted to live. She called out, her voice was getting weaker and weaker. “Are you down here?”

“Y-yes…I’m here…”

The voice came from a tombstone at the edge of the graveyard.

“Please wait.” Seo Jun-Ho dug through the dirt with his bare hands, revealing a mahogany coffin. “You said you came in here two days ago with your friends?”

“Yes…I thought we could make it big if we conquered an Uncleared Gate…Sob.”

“Goodness, you shouldn’t have been so hasty.” Seo Jun-Ho clicked his tongue, looking on pitifully. “And I can’t hear you very well, so can you shout for me once?”


“Please, just do it.”

The woman inside the coffin seemed to consider this for a second before she let out a loud cry. “Ahhhhh!”

“That would be enough,” Seo Jun-Ho muttered, his face lighting up. “So your head is down here.” He pulled out his gun and fired at the bottom of the coffin.

Bang! Bang bang bang bang!

He emptied the chamber and unsheathed his sword. Something lifted the broken coffin, spilling blood.

“Guh…How…How did you…?”

The wretched monster looked betrayed. After all, it had been killing hundreds of Players over the past seven years and had never once been caught.

Seo Jun-Ho pointed his sword at the monster as it cried out in pain.

“I don’t trust others very easily. Especially not inside Gates.”

He pushed his sword through the monster’s head. He snorted as he watched its corpse fall.

“There wouldn’t be any survivors inside a Gate anyway.” If there was even a single Player remaining in a Gate, it wouldn’t open. The novices that it had killed probably knew that as well.

‘But sometimes the heart betrays the head.’

Seo Jun-Ho had begun to doubt after fighting the zombies.

‘Fifty zombies would definitely be hard to defeat, but it shouldn’t be impossible for a party of ten.’

But the Gate had remained uncleared for seven whole years. It was suspicious.

‘With a Tricker, it makes more sense.’

Trickers were much stronger than zombies and could even absorb the memories of those it consumed. It had probably picked up Korean from all the Korean Players that had attempted to clear the Gate.

“It was pretty clever for a monster. It even hid in the coffin to hide its presence.”

Of course, that hadn’t mattered this time.

System messages appeared with a ring.

[All hostile monsters have been killed.]

[This is considered as meeting the clear requirements.]

[You have cleared Curse of Dawn.]

[You have leveled up.]

[You have leveled up.]

[All stats increased by 2.]

[4 magic stats have been restored.]

As expected, the Uncleared Gate gave a lot of good rewards.

He also recovered some of his lost stats.

‘So I can regain stats at every 5 levels? It’s not that much…’

But it was still something. Seo Jun-Ho was satisfied with the four stat points, especially because he needed to raise his magic stat the most.

But his eyes were still sparkling, expecting something more.

“That can’t be it for an Uncleared Gate, right?”

As if to answer his question, additional messages started to appear.

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