solo leveling: ragnarok Chapter 01
“Do you really like ants that much?”
At the art museum of a Korean university, the assistant of the painting department, Lim Do-kyun, made a bored expression as he looked at Suho’s paintings.
The walls of the exhibition were covered with paintings of ants, including oil paintings, watercolors, and various sketches.
The ants depicted were diverse in appearance.
Lim attached the name tag he had brought underneath the painting.
[Korean University Painting Department Exhibition]
[3rd year, Suho]
“Since you were a freshman, you could fill a whole truck with just the ants you’ve painted.
If you’re going to do this, why not go to an entomology department instead of an art school?”
“I thought about it, but there’s no separate ant department.”
“You don’t just like insects, you only like ants?”
Strangely enough, I’ve liked ants since I was young.
If I saw a line of ants, I would walk carefully to avoid accidentally stepping on them…”
“You liked them since you were young? Your taste really hasn’t changed.”
Lim smiled and continued to look at Suho’s paintings.
Then he noticed a painting that looked different.
“This ant looks a bit different?”
In front of him was a humanoid ant with a dark aura swirling around it.
“Well, the dynamics of this one are good.
Did you draw this even though it’s a monster?”
“It’s not a monster.
It’s just an ant that appeared in my dream when I was young.”
“Hmm, you’re quite amazing.
How much do you like ants to dream about them? When were you young?”
“Before the Cataclysm.”
The Cataclysm referred to the end-of-the-world crisis that suddenly struck the Earth two years ago.
Gates of unknown origin appeared all over the planet, and terrifying monsters poured out of them to invade the Earth.
Fortunately, a very small percentage of humans awakened special abilities just in time, and humanity was able to overcome the crisis.
It happened just two years ago.
Suho was a freshman in college at the time, only twenty years old.
But the time when Suho was dreaming about ants was back in high school, well before the crisis.
“Anyway, you’re really a unique person.”
The TA laughed falsely and looked closely at Suho’s drawing.
“Wow, you really drew it well.
It looks like it could jump out of the picture any moment.
Oh, is this too much? Your drawing is just that vivid.”
Suho laughed inwardly at the comment.
“I can’t help it.”
The ants in the picture were his nightmares themselves.
They were monsters that used to jump out of his dreams in his adolescence, running towards him to kill him.
“…Looking back, it was a really terrible dream.”
Suho remembered that dream.
[Your level has increased!]
[Your level has increased!]
In that dream, Suho had to fight for his life against monsters without even knowing English.
Endless armor knights and ant armies blocked his way, and later, even giant dragons.
If he killed those monsters, he would level up like a game.
But if he died, he would reset back to level one and have to start all over again.
The only way to escape that dream was to somehow survive and reach the final boss’s room.
He fought without rest, and finally arrived at the final boss’s doorstep, only to find out that the final boss had a face like…his father.
He smirked at the thought of his adolescent dream.
But he hadn’t dreamed it since around his first year of high school.
Since his parents disappeared.
…Suho’s peaceful daily life had crumbled.
Around that time, something strange was happening in the corner of the art museum building.
“Did you put it here?”
The TA said he put it in here.”
The painting students opened the warehouse door to retrieve the exhibit.
And they discovered ‘it’ inside, their eyes widening.
A black hole looming on the wall.
“Ah! It’s a gate?!”
“Report it quickly!”
Students retreat in terror.
They tremble as they take out their phones to make a report, but a fourth-year senior hurriedly stops them.
“Calm down! The gate is obviously closed!”
The blue fog hasn’t come out yet.”
We’re still far from the dungeon break.”
I was really scared.”
The students who belatedly understood the situation let out a sigh of relief.
The dungeon break referred to the phenomenon of monsters pouring out of the gate.
However, the dungeon break did not occur just because the gate was created.
Before that, the “blue fog” had to come out from the gate and contaminate the surroundings, only then could the gate be opened and monsters could come out.
“So, it’s still safe.
“Se-senior, why are you laughing so nervously? It’s still dangerous, so let’s report it quickly.”
Haven’t you heard that rumor? That if you drink the blue fog, you can become an awakened one?”
The senior’s words caught the juniors’ attention.
The true identity of the blue fog was still unclear.
But there had been a rumor spreading on the internet like an urban legend for some time.
That fog was actually magical energy, and if you drank it, even an ordinary person could awaken their magical abilities.
“Isn’t that just a baseless rumor?”
“It hasn’t been proven to be a baseless rumor either.”
So, let’s check it out this time.
Maybe someone among us will be an S-rank hunter?”
The juniors’ eyes changed suddenly at the senior’s secretive voice.
The amount of money earned by S-rank hunters had become astronomical since the corpses of monsters and
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