Underwatch, Rainbow Seven, and Unlimited Battleground—this was the list of FPS games which had been very popular among gamers all over the world for 7 years and 10 months. In particular, after Unlimited Battleground was released, it had gotten the title of No. 1 FPS game for three years. It led the golden age of e-sports, and the public was enthusiastic about the brilliant and precise control skills of the gamers.
Among them, the gamer who was the most respected and loved by the public was Haster. Haster was a legend. He was pointed out as the best player in Underwatch, Rainbow Seven, and Unlimited Battleground. His ultimate control skill was a default. He had the patience to wait minutes in one place for the enemy and the ability to read the other players using ‘sound.’
The American media had lavished him with praise. They had been enthusiastic that a legendary pro gamer equivalent to Lim X-hwan and FakX was born in the US. The foreign media couldn’t deny it. However, Haster’s reign, which had seemed everlasting, ended in vain.
It was due to the release of Satisfy. Once virtual reality games appeared, people were no longer enthusiastic about existing games. Their focus shifted. Everyone in the world became concentrated solely on Satisfy, and traditional e-sports experienced a downturn.
Then Haster announced his retirement. His retirement was tantamount to the downfall of the existing game industry. Many people were regretful while the E-sports Association asked Haster to stay and protect the existing game system. Despite that, Haster didn’t withdraw his retirement.
After all, he too had a new future in Satisfy.
“I really waited a long time.”
The Red Knights, the traitor, Asmophel...
A smile appeared on Haster’s face as he connected the scattered words. How long had it been? It had been two years in real time.
Haster remembered the days when he first encountered Satisfy. He had a weak body that couldn’t keep up with his brain. There was the item system which couldn’t be overcome by raising his stats and training his body, as well as the inherent limitation of the character tied to the framework of a class. In comparison to FPS, there were too many external factors in Satisfy which made relying on his innate physical ability difficult.
Consequently, Haster judged that a hidden class was necessary to thoroughly train and utilize his natural skills. He didn’t want a strong class. A low-rated class could be good too. Haster wanted a class that could perform all types of roles with various combat styles, one that would be able to carry out his cognitive thoughts.
“You’ve been waiting?” Asmophel was wary when the disciple of his old friend welcomed him. He felt something ominous. This was the disciple of a friend whom Asmophel had betrayed and made to live a hellish life as a result. Why was this disciple waiting for him?
“Is it to seek revenge for your teacher?” If it were Asmophel from the past, he would’ve accepted the revenge. In fact, he would ask to be killed. However, he couldn’t do that now. Asmophel served a king and received his king’s command. He couldn’t die until his king’s reign was over.
Haster asked the bitter-looking Asmophel, “Wasn’t Master’s nickname the Wise Red Sage?”
“Do you think my master didn’t notice the black curtain behind your betrayal?”
Flinch. The astonished Asmophel stiffened like a stone statue, and he started to tremble. “Winfred knows the truth... I see...”
Tears of joy and regret filled Asmophel’s eyes.
Haster suddenly pulled out a small Korean horn bow  and fired an arrow at Asmophel. Asmophel responded by avoiding it while Haster pulled out a long sword and approached.
“What is this?”
Didn’t he say that Winfred knew the truth? Moreover, revenge wasn’t mentioned. So, why was this person attacking? Asmophel’s confused eyes shook like a fire before a gust of wind. Meanwhile, Haster’s eyes were as calm as a deep lake. “I’m not trying to get revenge. I just want to check.”
“If it is time.”
“Time to revive the king’s name.”
...Haster. Was it time for the name of the king who once enthralled gamers all over the world to appear again on the stage called Satisfy? Haster needed confirmation. He didn’t want to lose his past honor by appearing on stage too early, nor could he determine his strength by challenging existing powerhouses such as Kraugel and Grid.
Still, Haster wanted to fight.
[Descendant of the Red Knights]
[Difficulty: Class quest.
You have been given the skills and knowledge of the previous First Knight of the Red Knights, Red Sage Winfred, but it is questionable if you are qualified to be Winfred’s disciple.
Duel with the old Red Knights and prove your credentials.
Quest Clear Conditions: Duel with an old Red Knights member and win.
* The locations of the old Red Knights can be seen through hints left by Winfred before his death.
Quest Clear Reward: Unlock all the skills of the unique class ‘Red Sage.’]
“The king’s name? I don’t know what you mean!” Flames appeared at the end of Asmophel’s sword as he blocked the sword aiming for his waist. Nevertheless, Haster didn’t panic. He used Ice Dance, which he had learned from Winfred, to create a curtain of ice and block the heat. Steam rose from the ice curtain that melted instantly. The tip of a spear shot through the steam toward Asmophel’s abdomen. Asmophel barely avoided the attack, and both he and Haster were astonished.
‘Using magic, a spear, and a sword at the same time? This is the second coming of Winfred...!’
‘He avoided a combo that even Kraugel couldn’t respond to?’
As Haster recovered his spear, Asmophel’s sword passed by his face. Haster gave up on the spear and his counterattack as he spun to minimize the damage. The attack wasn’t visible to his eyes, but Haster heard it with his ears. Asmophel was showing off a dazzling swordsmanship.
Haster stepped back hastily.
“...!” Asmophel’s eyes flickered. “That isn’t Winfred’s technique...?”
“This is a technique I built myself.”
“...” Asmophel’s expression darkened. Was it because he had no chance of winning against the bearded man before him? No. Asmophel acknowledged the enemy’s skills, but it didn’t mean he had no chance. Asmophel was worried about something else. ‘He didn’t show up even in this turmoil...’
He didn’t sense any signs of life from the small cabin behind Haster. At first, Asmophel had thought Winfred was just hiding, but he didn’t think so anymore. Asmophel barely suppressed his emotions as he carefully questioned Haster, “Is Winfred away?”
“Master passed away last year. He lost his friends and family to the empire and was chased... The past few years exhausted his mind and body.”
It was because of Asmophel. He had betrayed everyone! Asmophel felt deeply guilty and bowed his head. He was now filled with a new anxiety. Winfred had boasted a stronger mentality than Asmophel and Piaro, yet he hadn’t been able to bear the terrible reality and left first. Were his other colleagues safe and sound? Maybe it was already too late...
“Sob!” Asmophel failed to hold back his tears. Haster faced him with gritted teeth and couldn’t move easily.
‘This is embarrassing.’
Was it because he had lived with his teacher for the past few years...? Haster was no longer able to sense the difference between NPCs and humans. Therefore, Asmophel’s pained emotions were transferred to Haster.
‘How painful is it?’
Haster had picked the wrong opponent. After all, Asmophel was the former captain of the Red Knights. Haster was happy to have a good opponent to test his skills, but considering his position, Asmophel wasn’t a good opponent.
‘I should wait a bit.’
Haster apologized to his memory of Winfred and lowered the weapon he had aimed at Asmophel.
Then suddenly, the ground shook. In the distance, black smoke rose from the direction of the capital.
No, how could this be? Moreover, why was it at this critical timing? Haster frowned as he heard a rustle in his ears. The sounds were coming from a small village in the foothills of the mountains.
“Sp... are...! Me...!”
“Resist...! You will...! Die...!”
The conversation wasn’t heard clearly, but the terrible screams were surely conveyed.
The faces of the villagers passed through Haster’s mind one by one. The woodcutter who often brought wood in winter, the clothing store auntie who cared for him and packed thick leather clothes for him, the little kids who greeted him every time their eyes met, the shy daughter of the innkeeper...
The NPCs were all chunks of graphics. However...
“Shit!” Haster couldn’t stay still because the warmth he’d felt from the people of the village was real. Eventually, Haster left Asmophel and descended to the bottom of the mountain.
A huge castle was depicted on the flag of the army plundering the village. It was the flag which symbolized the second player-built kingdom, Valhalla. Suddenly, Haster could no longer descend the mountain.
There had been a period of two years before he met his master and another two years after he met his master. It was clear why Haster had lived quietly for four years. He wanted to show the world that the old king of the fallen game system had resurrected in a new game.
This was a simple matter of honor, but it was also a surprise for the many fans who loved and cared for him, and who were perhaps still waiting for him. Was he going to reveal his existence for the sake of a few NPCs? It would be denying the efforts of his past four years.
“Why is it Valhalla?”
Haster would be noticed by players, and they might even recognize him. While Haster hesitated, Asmophel approached him and handed over a worn helmet. It was a military helmet with a rod drawn on it. Asmophel was wearing another helmet with two rods drawn on it. Why was Asmophel handing him a military helmet?
“Ah!” Haster blinked as he belatedly realized that Asmophel’s name and face were obscured by the helmet. This was an act of consideration for Haster.
“I’m very grateful.” Haster bowed deeply before equipping the military helmet. Then he appeared in the world after a long time...
“Who are you?”
“I am a soldier.”
Only one of them was actually a soldier.
Oasis, who had been leading the Valhalla soldiers to pillage the village and secure food, frowned at the sight.
 Wiki Link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gakgung