The Dark Mage’s Return to Enlistment Chapter 23

First Dungeon 1

[Strength has been created.]

“What? I did take it seriously today, but a skill was created because of it?”

It had only been about two hours, right?

[Strength (E): Your strength stat increases by 5.]

After reading the skill description, I learned it belonged to the basic skill category.

“Even if it’s a basic skill,

having one is not bad.”

Stacking such skills would eventually become more important over time in an environment where gathering magic was already difficult.

“Corporal Kim Minjun. Your individual interview will begin soon, and you’ll be the first to start.”

“Really? Alright.”

Just as I was leaving the training room, a junior told me I should head to the platoon leader’s office.

“Salute!”

As soon as I headed to the platoon leader’s office, Kim Chulmin greeted me with a bright smile.

“Oh! Kim Minjun already has three stripes! You haven’t been with the unit very long, but at this rate, you’ll be a sergeant soon, you rascal.”

“Thank you!”

“Alright, wait a moment. I’ll get you something cold to drink.”

Kim Chulmin personally brought out a cold drink and handed it to me.

On top of that, he even gave me a cup of ice.

A single cup of water was the end for other soldiers, but Kim Minjun received special treatment.

“Thank you.”

“I’ve benefited a lot from you. Do you see this?”

Kim Chulmin pointed to the combat helmet next to him.

His rank had changed from a second lieutenant to a first lieutenant.

“I could have gone to a different unit, but I decided to stay because I liked you.”

That meant he wanted to continue benefiting from Kim Minjun.

“Thank you!”

“I should be the one thanking you.”

Kim Chulmin flipped through the paper with Kim Minjun’s personal information a few times, then spoke with a regretful expression.

“Your parents… they ran away when you were a child.”

“Yes, that’s right.”

“I should have paid more attention to you. I’ve been busy lately.”

“It’s okay.”

Kim Chulmin was proud of Kim Minjun for diligently carrying out his military life and achieving good results even with such a background.

I need to take extra care of him since his registered address is in a restricted area.

Compared to the other hunters the platoon leader had interviewed, it was the worst environment.

But I don’t feel much different.

Meanwhile, Kim Minjun truly didn’t feel any difference.

His parents had run away when he was a child, and he couldn’t even remember their faces.

“What are your motivations for joining the Hunter Army?”

“I joined because I wanted to earn stars.”

“Others would tell you not to spout nonsense, but you have talent. Give it a try.”

“Thank you.”

Kim Chulmin smiled as if amused and continued asking questions.

“Do you have any favorite foods or hobbies?”

“I like delivery food like chicken and pizza. My hobby is playing games.”

“Really? Games are a must for guys. What game do you play? I like playing Hearthstone.”

Kim Chulmin continued to record the interview while looking at his notebook.

“I like DunPa.”

DunPa? Ah… That’s the one, right? Dungeon Power Fighter.”

“Yes, that’s right.”

“Hmm… Is that the game known for being unfair or something like that? Is that true?”

“Absolutely not.”

“Okay, I guess it wouldn’t be since you like.”

Kim Chulmin closed the notebook and looked at Kim Minjun seriously.

“Have you ever felt that living the life of a hunter, whether mentally or physically, is too challenging?

“No.”

“Really? If you ever have a hard time later, be sure to tell me.”

“I understand.”

“Are there any unfair practices at this place?”

“There isn’t.”

“Well, it’s not like the old days of the military, so if there’s any problem, just say it.”

“Understood.”

In fact, there were some.

One of them was that private first class officers could only use PX and the training room on weekends.

The same went for the game room; they could only use it on weekends and then had to be mindful of their seniors.

In other words, this place had many restrictions for hunters up to the private first class rank.

Of course, it doesn’t apply to me anymore, but that doesn’t mean I’ll just let it be.

The moment he became a sergeants, he was planning to uproot it all from its foundation.

“You’ve worked hard. You can go now.”

“Yes! Loyalty!”

After meeting with the platoon leader, Kim Minjun left the room.

***

After lunch, the hunters gathered for dungeon exploration.

The platoon leader put on sunglasses and opened his mouth.

“Attention, everyone!”

“Attention!”

With his sharp voice, Kim Chulmin focused the hunters’ attention.

“Check your equipment one more time! Do it!”

“Do it!”

The second company members gathered with their equipment in front of the training field.

They all wore specially designed protective gear and carried gas masks.

The dungeon they were heading to today was inhabited by monster rats.

“Don’t forget to explore the dungeon according to the guideline!”

“Yes!”

“Is that all your voices can do! Do you understand?”

“Yes!!”

“Then, the front squad will depart!”

The second company then passed the guard post toward the dungeon’s location.

At first, they all walked silently, but the platoon leader had other plans.

“Lee Dongjin!”

“Private First Class Lee Dongjin!”

The platoon leader called out Lee Dongjin.

“Where is the weak spot of the monster rat?”

“The weak spot of the monster rat is its head!”

Ah, the platoon leader is starting again.

The members of the platoon showed bored expressions.

They were all well-informed when it came to information about low-ranking monsters like monster rats.

However, Kim Chulmin continued asking questions to prevent even the smallest accidents.

“Next, Lee Seungho!”

“Sergeant Lee Seungho.”

“Why are we wearing protective gear and carrying gas masks?”

“In the case of monster rat habitats, they live in groups, intensifying the stench. If you enter with a bare body, it can harm the human body.”

“That’s right. A thorough preliminary investigation is essential, even if it’s a low-ranking monster. Got it?”

“Yes!”

The platoon leader asked questions to each person in turn.

After being promoted, he seemed to be in high spirits this time.

“He’s doing more today. The First Lieutenant must be excited.”

“Hey, that’s 100% true. It’s because of Kim Minjun that he got promoted.”

“That’s true.”

The platoon members grumbled and chatted.

Well, there’s nothing wrong with that. It would be nice if there was magic in the dungeon, though.

Kim Minjun looked around diligently during the movement, even faintly checking if there was magic.

“Attention!”

“Attention!”

“Before entering the dungeon, check your equipment one more time! I’ll say it again, we’re going into a dungeon where monster rats inhabit! Got it?”

“Yes!”

They finally reached the entrance of the dungeon.

Upon the platoon leader’s order, the hunters diligently checked their protective gear, from hazmat suits to gas mask filters.

They had to be thorough because even a tiny hole would let the foul stench of the monster rats seep into their bodies.

“Is everyone carrying spare filters?”

“Yes!”

“First squad, enter!”

Kim Chulmin relayed instructions and reported the situation to each squad through his walkie-talkie.

“Entrance-side hunters, especially the squad leaders, follow the given orders and report any incidents immediately through the walkie-talkie. Got it?”

“Yes!”

The platoon was split in half, with one group entering through the exit and the other through the entrance.

Kim Minjun’s squad was on the exit side.

The platoon leader joined Kim Minjun’s squad because dungeon analysis showed that more monster rats inhabited the exit side.

[You have entered the dungeon.]

“Everyone, check that your filters are functioning properly!”

“Yes!”

As soon as they entered the dungeon, a space filled with green fluid and smoke was revealed.

The smoke was so thick that it even hindered their vision.

Following the platoon leader’s instruction, the hunters rechecked their gas masks.

“No problems!”

“Because of the limited visibility, we won’t split into teams! Those in the front and rear columns, equip your military shields!”

“Equipped!”

The platoon leader had the front and rear column hunters equip large shields to protect against surprise attacks from the monster rats.

“Using mana guns is strictly prohibited! Take out your suppression weapons and be on guard!”

First Lieutenant Kim Chulmin quickly responded to any arising variables.

“Yes!”

“Understood!”

The squad members swiftly followed his orders.

“Everyone, stop here!”

As they reached the designated area, the hunters heightened their guard.

It was because the area they were standing in was where the monster rats appeared most frequently.

“Since we’ve come this far without surprise attacks from the monster rats, we’ll scatter bait according to the manual and lure them out!”

Although they could have set traps, the thick smoke made securing a line of sight difficult.

They used such a simple method to prevent other hunters from accidentally stepping on them.

Right. We have to use old-fashioned methods here.

Kim Minjun nodded at First Lieutenant Kim Chulmin’s appropriate handling of the situation.

Well, I can see where they’re hiding anyway.

Currently, the monster rats were lying in an ambush underground.

They were waiting for the moment the hunters showed a weakness to strike.

For now, Kim Minjun observed how the squad members would respond.

“The bait is ready!”

“Quickly set it up and return to formation!”

“Yes!”

The squad members set up the bait to lure the monster rats.

The bait was nothing more than rotting bananas.

The foul-smelling rats seemed to go crazy for rotten fruit.

“Kiiiik!”

“Monster rats appearing in front! Also appearing from the rear!”

As soon as the hunters scattered the bait, monster rats emerged from all directions.

“Maintain formation and commence battle!”

“Commencing!”

The hunters maintained their assigned positions and began dealing with the monster rats.

Swoosh!

“Kiik!”

The Hunter Army-issued suppression rod boasted considerable weight and strength.

Regardless of being a monster, hunters could easily handle low-level monsters if they struck their weak points.

Ah, I want to handle all of them by myself. But I have to maintain formation, so I guess there’s no choice.

Feeling regretful, Kim Minjun followed the platoon leader’s orders and fought while maintaining formation.

“Ugh!”

“Dongjin! Relax! Your body is too tense!”

“Private First Class Lee Dongjin! Understood!”

“Two of them are charging at us at the same time! I’ll support you, so try to handle it!”

“Yes!”

Kim Minjun encouraged the hesitant Lee Dongjin.

“Don’t be scared and charge in! You’ve had enough training!”

“Yes!”

Dongjin actively engaged and countered the monster rats’ attack thanks to his encouragement.

“It looks like you’re being cautious so you won’t hurt your squadmates, but if that habit sticks, it’ll only be bad for you.”

At those words, Dongjin looked at him with a surprised expression as if to ask, “How did you know?”

“I’ll cover you from now on, so don’t do that. If you keep doing it, your stats won’t increase.”

“I understand.”

Dongjin nodded seriously at Kim Minjun’s words.

Following their platoon leader’s instructions, the hunters efficiently cleared the monster rats.

Kim Chulmin gave appropriate orders depending on the situation to keep the hunters from panicking.

“We’ve taken care of all 36 monster rats!”

“Good. There may still be some hiding, so move slowly and stay alert!”

“Yes!”

His judgment was accurate.

There’s one hiding over there.

Behind a dungeon structure, a monster rat was crouching low.

Huh? Wait a minute.

Kim Minjun narrowed his eyes in the direction where the creature was hiding.

That one is much larger compared to the others, isn’t it?

The familiar energy inside that creature…

Magic.

He would have caught on sooner if it weren’t for the crude gas mask.

Anyways, nice!

Kim Minjun cheered internally.

It was definitely magic.

Breaking formation is strictly forbidden.

But in an emergency situation, things change.

In any case, the others can’t handle that creature. I have to engage it now.

Sssss-

Magic gushed out from his hand and flowed toward the monster rat.

“Kieeeeek!”

The effect was excellent.

The monster rat that was crouching low suddenly jumped into the air.

“Huh? What, what is that?!”

“Mo-monster rat! Platoon leader! That creature is too big!”

“Everyone, fall back!”

The hunters quickly retreated at the platoon leader’s command.

That’s too big. It’s hard to deal with without firearms.

Already, the thick smoke made it difficult to use firearms and primary weapons.

And in this situation, a monster rat of that size appeared.

Damn it. What should I do?

Kim Chulmin pondered internally, but an easy answer did not come to mind.

And even if they bought some time, it would only be temporary.

There was no way they could block that monster rat with military shields.

At that moment…

“I’ll block it!”

One of the hunters kicked the ground and jumped into action.

Ah. I could be a movie director, right?

That hunter was, of course, Kim Minjun.


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The Dark Mage’s Return to Enlistment

The Dark Mage’s Return to Enlistment

Score 9.5
Status: Ongoing Type: Author: ,
Kim Minjun, who was a normal high school senior in South Korea, was suddenly summoned to another world and became a dark magician. Minjun, who persevered through all sorts of hardships with the single-minded goal of returning home, saved this other world with his dark magic. Casting aside a life as a hero and guaranteed riches, he returned to Earth. Just when he was about to fully enjoy his life, a problem arose. A dungeon break occurred, and monsters began pouring out. Not only did this threaten the peaceful Earth life that Minjun had just returned to... But on his very first day back, he was also ordered to enlist in the military!?!
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