[You have received the skill ‘Confession of the Dead(C)’ as a clear reward.]
[The Gate will automatically disappear in one hour.]
Even though it was an Uncleared Gate, Seo Jun-Ho hadn’t expected anything better than a rare-grade item. His guess was wrong, but rather than being disappointed, he broke into a grin.
‘I got a new skill right away. Isn’t my luck too good?’
He wouldn’t mind being wrong a hundred times if he received a reward like this.
He immediately studied the skill’s effect.
[Confession of the Dead]
Effect: Allows you to look into the memories of the target. However, it only works on dead lifeforms.
“…It lets me look into the memories of the dead?”
Like psychometry, it was likely one of the ‘memory-reading’ skills, but the conditions were much stricter.
‘So, I can read the memories of the target, but they have to be dead.‘
He could see it being useful to him in the future, but it wasn’t a versatile skill. Suddenly, he realized why the Gate had dropped such a skill.
‘It’s because of the Tricker.‘
The Tricker was a monster that could steal the memories of a dead target, and Gates was more likely to drop rewards related to the monsters within it.
“I’ll have to do some research to see how I can use it the best.”
Most importantly, with this, he was starting to acquire new skills that the previous Specter didn’t have.
“Will I get stronger than before…?”
He could barely imagine such a future. He looked up at the bright starry night sky with a small smile, craving a cold beer.
No matter where you go, there would always be people who do the opposite of what you do.
Choi Man-Deuk of Namyangju (37, single, male) was one of those people.
“Hoho, hiking is great for your health. I don’t know why they won’t let us go up the mountain.”
After the Gate in Cheonman Mountain appeared, the Association immediately warned the citizens in the area. But it was impossible to completely seal off such a large area.
In the end, Choi Man-Deuk, a willful man, managed to avoid the Association and found a path to sneak up the mountain.
“Keuhh, the air here is sweet. Sweet, I tell you!”
Choi Man-Deuk came up at dawn to taste the early-morning air. He wiped the sweat off his face with a towel. He paused at a tree where he could see the Cheonman Gate.
‘Still, I should be careful about getting too close to the Gate…’
Having made his way to the tree, which was his usual turning point, he tilted his head up. “Huh?”
He stared in the direction of the gate for a moment before craning his neck.
“What? The Gate is usually over there…Why can’t I see it?”
Had it become an Open Gate after being left alone for so long?
Choi Man-Deuk speculated, a chill suddenly ran up his back. He shook his head to himself.
‘No way. If it had really become an Open Gate, the Association would have warned us already.’
But then, why couldn’t he see the Gate?
Choi Man-Deuk swallowed and slowly made his way to where the Gate had been. His curiosity had gotten the better of him.
He looked around frantically as he reached the place where the Gate was supposed to be.
“I-it’s not here?”
There had been a Gate there yesterday, but now, it was completely gone. There was only one explanation for this. “the…the Gate has been cleared!”
Thinking of his reporter friend, Choi Man-Deuk immediately tapped on his Vita.
“Hey, Du-chil! How have you been? You’ll have to buy me a drink later!” 
[Breaking news! The so-called Novice’s Grave, the Gate ‘Curse of Dawn,’ has disappeared overnight.]
[Who is the mysterious player who cleared the Uncleared Gate?]
[Rookies from guilds deny any connection.]
“Jesus, it’s been noisy ever since that guy showed up,” mumbled Shim Deok-Gu with a grin on his face. He was relieved after hearing that the Gate had been cleared.
‘Not only that, but it’ll be fun to watch those Guild bastards be put on the spot.’
Even for the top Guilds, clearing an Uncleared Gate wasn’t easy. They didn’t want to put their promising rookies in danger, and those of higher levels couldn’t even enter them.
“Hm. Jun-Ho. Are you really not gonna reveal yourself?” Shim Deok-Gu looked somewhat disappointed as he looked over the articles. He wanted to announce to the world that the mysterious player was Seo Jun-Ho of the Association, but Seo Jun-Ho himself opposed it.
“Be patient. It’s not the right time yet.”
“But it’s such a waste. If we reveal it, you’ll be famous in no time and your value will go up.” 
“Aigo, you’ve always been weak to these sorts of things.” Still, Seo Jun-Ho couldn’t get mad at Shim Deok-Gu for it. “Why do you think people buy luxury goods when they’re all mass-produced in the same Chinese factories?”
“…Because it’s expensive?”
“That’s right. Because it’s a luxury item that not everyone can have.”
“So you want to become a luxury item?” Shim Deok-Gu questioned him.
“Not just any luxury item.” Seo Jun-Ho shook his head. “I’ll be like a legendary, limited-edition collaboration item that everyone wants but can’t get.”
“…So you’ll pit them against each other. That’s what you’re saying.”
“You get it now.” Shim Deok-Gu narrowed his eyes. “You have a bad personality sometimes. Your blood type is S, isn’t it?” 
“Of course not. I won’t be able to drag it out for long anyways.”
He had already cleared one Uncleared Gate after all. Some perceptive people would definitely catch on and they would most likely think, ‘Won’t they have to go to another Uncleared Gate?’ Afterward, they would start camping out in front of them. At that time, Seo Jun-Ho and Shim Deok-Gu wouldn’t have to raise a finger and would be able to casually reveal themselves.
“It wouldn’t be dignified to make a big deal of announcing myself.”
“…Since when did you care about dignity?” Shim Deok-Gu grumbled to himself but he couldn’t deny that it was a good plan. It was more effective to let the rumors spread on their own than to claim it themselves. “Whatever, I get it. You don’t need anything else, do you?”
“There’s one thing.” Seo Jun-Ho waved the schedule in his hand. “There’s only one Uncleared Gate left in the country.”
“Isn’t that a good thing?”
“From a national standpoint, yes. But after I clear it, I won’t have anywhere else to hunt.”
Shim Deok-Gu offered, “Hm…How about I look into foreign Gates?”
“That’s what I’m thinking. They’re a problem for other countries too.”
“Of course.” Shim Deok-Gu knew this because he’d been in contact with overseas Associations.
‘Our country is on the safer side.’
Big countries like China, Russia, or the United States still had a lot of Uncleared Gates.
‘They want to get rid of them…’
And Seo Jun-Ho wanted to clear them…
Since they had the same goal, sending him wouldn’t be an issue. Not only that, but he might even receive a hefty sum and establish an international reputation for himself.
“Leave it to me. I’ll negotiate the best conditions possible.” It was time for him to step in. Shim Deok-Gu’s eyes sparkled.
Seo Jun-Ho’s arm convulsed beneath him. His sweat had formed a puddle on the floor.
He was doing a one-handed handstand while doing slow push-ups. His back was straight and such actions were a great display of balance.
His right arm felt like it would collapse under the weight of his entire body but he pushed on.
‘I have to get past this.’
He had to get past the idea that his mind and body were one. He was well aware that doing so would let him move to the next floor. Thus, Seo Jun-Ho channeled all the strength in his body and pushed against the floor with his right hand.
“Uaaaack! Seventy-three!” His body screamed as he collapsed in exhaustion. His hand trembled at the taste of freedom. At the same time, a wide grin spread across his face.
[Strength has increased by 1.]
After training for two days and nights, his strength stat had finally increased. It was an exhilarating discovery after pushing his body to the limits.
“Haa…Haaa…” He let out a final breath and sat up. He tapped on his Vita as he chugged down a glass of water with his back against the wall.
[India’s top rookie was unable to clear it in the past. When will the Uncleared Gate be conquered?!]
[Is it okay to leave the Uncleared Gate ‘Leuf’s Garden’ alone like this?]
[The crack is growing bigger. It doesn’t seem like there’s much time left until it completely opens. (Pictures inside)]
[Breaking! Leuf’s Garden has reached 124 failed attempts. List of all fallen players…]
[Will the Player who cleared the Curse of Dawn challenge Leuf’s Garden? Spotlight piece.]
Seo Jun-Ho felt strange as he skimmed the articles.
Leuf’s Garden. It had first appeared 9 years ago and was Korea’s oldest Uncleared Gate. Both the government and the Association had tried everything they could to try and clear it.
The government, the Association, and the Guilds pooled together their funds and offered 1 billion won…
The prize amount was unheard of. For that reason, many parties had attempted it.
For a total of 124 attempts, 124 failures, and 0 successes.
Leuf’s Garden refused to fall into the hands of the humans.
‘So that’s why they decided to do that. ‘
Seo Jun-Ho continued to read through the articles.
In the past, the Korean Player Association declared that there weren’t enough qualified players to challenge Uncleared Gates. They made a startling decision during a conference. Using the prize money, they hired India’s rising star, Tushar Vishi.
According to what he read, Tushar Vishi’s abilities were amazing. But Seo Jun-Ho was still unconvinced, so he watched a few videos of how Tushar Vishi trained.
Tushar Vishi’s form was perfect, and he could shoot arrows with amazing speed.
‘If he had continued to grow like that, he would have surpassed Green.‘
But Vishi failed. And that failure resulted in his death. He was 22 years old with a bright future ahead of him. In the end, not even a trace of him was left behind.
“It’s a shame.” It was still a sore spot for both Korea and India.
Seo Jun-Ho closed his eyes and sorted out his thoughts before he reached for the spear leaned against the wall.
“I should bring this.” The spear was a cheat weapon that could dominate a battlefield if only a perimeter around the user was established.
‘The monsters in Leuf’s Garden probably have shield skills and a large attack area.’
A sword wouldn’t have enough reach, and bullets wouldn’t be able to pierce through their hide.
Title: Bringer of Spring
Strength: 30Stamina: 31
Speed: 35Magic: 26
Except for magic, all of his stats were now over 30 points.
‘With these stats, I’m stronger than most people who are level 10.‘
He was likely the strongest level 5 player in the world right now. The 26 magic stat also let him start using the Frost skill.
“It’ll be my first time using it in real combat.”
What was this feeling? Fear? Anxiety?
When Seo Jun-Ho looked into the mirror, he saw none of those things.
In fact, he was grinning like a child on Christmas day.
1. Namyangju is a city in Gyeongi Province ?
2. the expression doesn’t translate well into English, but he’s basically saying his friend will owe him for what he’s about to tell him ?
3. “body price” aka how much people will pay to hire him ?
4. In Korea people think blood type dictates personality. S as in sadist ?
5. 880k USD ?