I became a beast that craved blood, intoxicated with power, causing havoc and destruction.
I killed everything I saw, everything that touched my senses, everything that annoyed my nerves.
Those who had flesh, those who had greed, and those who tried to use me, I killed them all.
Bloodline, Blood Master.
Those were the names the world called me.
Sometimes, my sanity would return, but only for a brief moment.
The thirst for blood quickly took over and robbed me of control over my body.
Unforgivable self-hatred engulfed me.
If I hadn’t craved power, none of this would have happened.
I just wanted to be stronger than others and better off than others.
The price I paid was a hand that never stopped shedding blood.
At some point, I no longer felt the thirst for blood.
Perhaps because I had achieved my goal of staining the world with blood.
When faced with incomprehensible situations, I began to question.
Once again, my consciousness began to fade.
The feeling of being controlled by madness was always the same.
The world was hazy, as if covered in fog, and a heavy pressure crushed my chest.
I struggled within it, unable to resist.
Another me, who had gone insane and seemed to laugh at me, ran out fearlessly and quenched his thirst for blood.
No matter how many times I resisted, what I got back was ridicule.
‘Blood’ was a monster created because I couldn’t control myself.
The only one who could erase this monster was me.
Every time I had an outburst, I was swallowed by it, but I didn’t give up and waited for an opportunity.
‘Blood’ was another me.
The abilities, experiences, and thoughts that ‘Blood’ had were both his and mine.
At some point, my blurred consciousness became clear, and my senses became sharper.
I no longer felt the madness of the monster that was tormenting my brain.
Did I overcome it, or was the monster trying to deceive me in a new way?
The reason why I released my guarded heart was because of the scent of the nostalgic smell that permeated my nostrils.
My mother’s bean paste stew.
The food that I thought I could never eat again.
I longed to taste it again, but I didn’t have the courage to go and see them because my family might suffer more because of me.
I had lived in regret for driving my family into a quagmire because of my obsession with blood.
I called him the “monster,” but ultimately everything was my fault.
In a situation where I could not die on my own, the best I could do was regain my freedom, repent, and cut off my own life.
Apart from that, being able to taste my mother’s food again was a great blessing to me.
Even if it’s just a dream or a deception from the monster, it didn’t matter.
I thanked God and reached out reflexively.
And I licked the content in my hand like the monster licked blood.
It was undoubtedly my mother’s bean paste stew.
It was delicious.
At the same time, a voice rang out.
As I listened to the sound, the surrounding scenery began to change.
In front of me were my parents’ faces.
Was this a dream?
I thought it wasn’t real because my parents’ faces were too young, even though they were already old.
I thought I would keep that appearance of my parents forever in my mind.
But all I could do after causing them pain several times and losing my body to that monster was to watch them from a distance once in a while.
Every time I saw them, they were getting older.
I cried tears of blood as I watched them get weaker day by day.
It’s okay to call it a dream.
I was grateful to be able to see this scenery again.
However, what my senses perceived was a vivid reality.
I couldn’t distinguish between reality and dream and looked bewildered.
My parents were looking at me with a disappointed expression.
Why are you eating soybean paste stew with your hands?”
“With my hands?”
I reflexively lowered my head, my hands were covered in soybean paste soup and bits of tofu, potatoes, and zucchini.
I thought it was a dream.
But what about this sense of reality?
I scooped up some more soybean paste stew with my hands and put it in my mouth again.
I could taste it.
The savory taste of soybean paste, the softness of tofu, the taste of potatoes and zucchini.
This dream could not be so vivid.
Not the deception of that guy.
I have returned to the past before I made mistakes.
“Oh, Jun-ho! Why are you eating food with your hands?”
Even with my mother’s astonished voice and my father’s gaze that looked at me like I was crazy, I laughed.
It tastes even better when you eat it with your hands.”
I scooped up another spoonful of soybean paste stew with my hand and ate it.
My mother’s food, which had a spoonful of longing added as seasoning, was truly delicious.
The world had not changed when I woke up the next day.
I wasn’t going crazy again, and I didn’t thirst for blood.
I really went back to the past?
I was grateful that I could face the sunlight with a clear mind.
The fact that I wasn’t going crazy made me happy to live in this world again.
I had slept deeply, almost forgetting when I was always being chased and threatened with my life.
He always whispered to me.
‘Give up the rebellion.
You and I are separated, but ultimately the same existence.’ It whispered to me to become one with him and become the only unique existence in the world.
I refused and wanted to get everything he had.
Every time, he came back with a sneer.
And with a triumphant expression, he stained my hands with the blood of countless people.
That’s how I became the worst villain in history.
In reality, I was a powerless 25-year-old unemployed person.
I got up from my seat, arranged the blanket, did some simple stretching, and went into the living room.
The sound of the chopping board cutting ingredients and the smell of boiling soybean paste stew in the kitchen matched perfectly.
I took a deep breath and welcomed the smell into my body.
The more I did that, the more my mother’s expression towards me became anxious.
“Did you sleep well? You woke up early.”
“Yes, can I help you with something?”
“No, it’s okay.
But are you really okay?”
“What do you mean?”
Maybe it was because I had tasted the soybean paste stew yesterday.
Even I thought I was crazy for doing it.
Was it insane for a person who was already labeled as crazy to engage in an act of craziness? I wouldn’t have been able to face ‘Blood’ normally otherwise if something wasn’t broken inside me.
His mockery and deceit would have been too much for me to endure.
Both he and I were broken.
So the top priority was to not show any signs of being broken.
How could I appear normal?
Should I catch a level 7 demon, even if it’s harmful? Then would my parents like me when they saw their son’s skills?
“Eat your meal.”
“Wash your hands.
Use the utensils to eat.”
Since yesterday, the eyes that looked at me were full of sympathy.
Maybe my actions were childish.
Even though they treated me like a child, it was still good to be back in the past.
My parents didn’t say anything special during the meal.
Even when I said I would clean up after the meal, they didn’t stop me and just went back to work after finishing their meal.
Alone, I sat in front of the computer and got lost in my thoughts.
Should I catch a level 7 demon, even if it’s harmful? But would they be too surprised because it’s too big? Was there a small one among the level 7 demons?
I thought about it but couldn’t come up with anything.
Focusing on the current situation, I had to abandon my plans due to circumstances beyond my control.
This time was when I was at the peak of my unemployment.
I was identified as an awakened person suitable for special abilities when I was a teenager.
From the age of 20, I challenged large companies and guilds for three years, but suffered defeat.
After that, I was dejected and spent two years holed up in my room, putting a nail into my parents’ hearts.
That was me, Choi Joon-ho, at the age of 25.
Although it may have appeared pathetic to others, my perspective as a killer with 25 years of experience was somewhat different.
I was innocent at this time.
I could have probably become excellent.
I didn’t kill just because I found someone irritating or was bored, and I didn’t even suck blood unnecessarily.
But did I suck my parents dry with this lifestyle?
But if it’s not real blood, so it should be okay, right? It’ll be okay.
Looking back on a distant past that had become a distant memory, many old memories came to mind.
At that time, it seemed like I didn’t have any thoughts.
I just blamed others.
I resented the world and my own incompetence, and it seemed to lead to a desire for power, using any means necessary to become stronger.
I thought that if I only gained power, wealth and authority would come to me.
The result of this naïve thinking was the birth of the worst villain – Blood Master.
Although I gained the desired power, it was not without cost.
My family suffered greatly as a result of my choices.
My parents, who suffered a lifetime of surveillance for raising a son who went astray.
A younger sister who couldn’t blossom her talent despite having it, because of the sin of having the wrong older brother.
There could be no more mistakes.
He wanted to become a son that my family could be proud of, not a villain crazy for blood.
Then what would a son a family should be proud of actually look like?
What came to mind at this moment was hunting a level-7 harmful demon.
I’ll ask later.
I lay on the bed waiting for my parents.
“What we want you want to become?”
Choi Jin-kyu and Lee Young-hee, who had just finished farming, blinked at their son’s question.
They still hadn’t adapted to their son’s changed appearance, just like yesterday.
At first, they thought he might be crazy, but they decided it was better than wasting time and resenting the world.
And now, he was starting to smile instead of having a stern expression.
“You’ve been worried all this time.
I’m trying to come to my senses and do things properly.”
“I want our Joon-ho to become a civil servant.”
Unlike Choi Jin-kyu, who was still in a daze, Lee Young-hee quickly expressed her wish.
“A civil servant?”
Even that newly trained hunter is a civil servant, right? Not all civil servant hunters hunt demons and arrest villains…
“What do you think, Father?”
When their son asked, Choi Jin-kyu felt the touch of Young-hee’s hand next to him.
It was a signal to agree, but he couldn’t simply ignore his son’s gaze, which appeared to hold the entire world within it.
Although the sudden change was still unfamiliar, as a father who wanted to draw a better future for his son, how could he hold back?
“I think it’s good to focus on the fact that you’re going to try again.
To put it another way, it would be good if you did what you wanted to do.”
“But I don’t really have anything I want to do.”
“Then why don’t you think about it now?”
“Why are you saying that to Jun-ho, who’s attempting to organize his thoughts?”
Although Lee Yeong-hee shouted next to him, Choi Jin-kyu’s gaze was fixed on his son.
“It’s not just words.
If Jun-ho finds what he wanted, he could get a good job.”
“You’re saying that even though you know it’s not easy?”
“It depends on Jun-ho.
What do you think?”
“Before that, I’m curious about what you think, Dad.
How about being a civil servant hunter?”
“You get assigned to relatively less risky missions, serve the country, and get paid without any delay.
If you like stability, it’s the ideal job.”
“Then I’ll do that.”
“You’re not considering other options?”
“It seems like the easiest.
And I’ll be at home more.”
The son paused for a moment, looked his parents in the eye, and spoke.
“And since you said you like it, Mom and Dad, I want to do it too.”
A moment of silence fell after hearing their son’s sincerity.
Choi Jin-kyu was deeply moved, and his wife seemed to be touched too as she sniffled with tears.
Their naïve son had grown up overnight.
It’s not just about the size of the reward; stability is also important.
If it’s you, Jun-ho, you’ll do well.”
“But to become a civil servant hunter, you need to at least reach level 1.”
Even with his wife’s hand poking his side again, Choi Jin-kyu spoke firmly.
Can you do it?”
Level 1 was Jun-ho’s ultimate goal.
Of course, the current Jun-ho, who had regressed, didn’t care at all.
“But what about reaching level 9?”
“Our Jun-ho has changed a lot.”
“Men are bound to mature at some point.”
They said that, but they didn’t expect their son, who used to be a troublemaker, to change so suddenly.
They thought he had reached an irreversible situation, like when he shoveled the bean paste stew with his hands.
But they were quite satisfied with the decent demeanor he showed after that.
“Can he do it?”
It’s not just about attitude, after all.”
“But it’s difficult to be recognized as an awakened individual…”
“We’ll have to find a way.
We’ll believe in him and support him.”
Believing in and supporting their son wasn’t as easy as it sounded, but they resolved to try this time.
“By the way, level 9? Jun-ho’s exaggeration is really something.
Who does he take after?”
I think it was a pretty good decision to follow my parents’ advice and choose this career path.
When I thought about how I struggled with being labeled a villain and constantly being pursued before I was able to fully control my abilities, becoming a government hunter seemed like the best choice.
Being a government hunter came with a respectable civil servant status, a stable employment guarantee, and a reasonable workload.
Plus, even though it’s not much, I would have some authority.
The power of authority was such an incredible feeling.
There was no better proof of my determination to change and start a new life than standing on the side of authority.
As for money, I could just catch a few demons or collect bounties on some villains’ heads when I had the time.
I wouldn’t have to worry about running out of money as a government hunter.
Now that I had made my decision, it’s time to put my plan into action.
My plan was to go to Seoul and take the government hunter exam.
My younger sister, Choi Yoon-hee, was currently preparing for a job search at our Seoul house where we stayed two years ago.
She’s another painful thorn in my side.
This time, I had to help her without hindering her progress.
However, I was a little worried about teaching her since I had never taught anyone before.
I’ll definitely get better if I keep practicing until I die, right?
If someone hadn’t gotten better, it’s because they had already died.
So it’s inevitable that they would improve.
The key was to find the right balance for my younger sister.
I climbed up and down the mountain to wake myself up from being a freeloader and to make plans for the future.
Then, I suddenly stopped in my tracks and headed towards my parents’ orchard when I saw the landscape.
I was thoughtless.
Trying not to kill people or spill blood didn’t necessarily mean I had reformed.
The scale of the orchard, which was not immediately apparent, was a testament to my parents’ hard work.
In a world where monsters appeared and everything was in turmoil, I took a walk around the orchard after seeing the apple trees ruined by harmful monsters that had combined with native creatures, and then went home.
“Seems like the number of harmful monsters has increased lately,” I said.
A bitter smile appeared on my father’s lips in response to my question.
“Until recently, everything was fine, but they say the monsters are evolving.
It’s time to use more expensive extermination tools.”
“How expensive are they?”
And the more the monsters evolve, the higher the price.”
“I’ll take care of it.”
“Do you have a way?”
“If it’s dangerous, don’t do it.”
“It’s not particularly dangerous.
Just a little inconvenient?”
Being pursued was annoying, and even though I was an awakened, monsters that came without warning was a hassle.
After years of running away, I knew how to chase away monsters.
No matter how strong the villain was, they still had to eat and sleep.
In fact, later on, I got tired of it and just killed every monster I encountered.
“Sure, I’ll leave it to you.”
“It won’t take long.”
I went to my room, changed into comfortable clothes, grabbed the truck keys, and went outside.
Extermination tools were used to drive away lower-level, harmful monsters.
“Should I use something around level 3?”
The son who left around lunchtime was missing until evening.
Lee Young-hee’s worries were only heightened by the fact that his smartphone, their only means of contact, was also left behind.
“Is he going to be okay?”
“He’ll be fine.”
“Isn’t he pushing himself too hard? He might be acting hastily to show he has changed.”
“I didn’t see any signs of that.”
Thinking of her son’s casual demeanor as he went out to grab a drink in the neighborhood, Choi Jin-kyu let out a deep sigh.
“He took the truck with him.
We should have asked where he was going!”
Lee Young-hee’s voice became quite impatient, and Choi Jin-kyu shook his head.
“Let’s wait a little longer.”
At that moment, they heard the sound of a truck engine outside.
Lee Young-hee got up from her seat and raced out the door, with Choi Jin-kyu following closely behind.
Outside, the couple saw a huge object in the truck’s cargo hold.
“W-what is that?”
“Can you turn on the lights, please?”
Although Lee Young-hee wanted to ask what it was right away, she turned on the outdoor light with the intention of confirming the identity of the thing on the truck.
And then she almost fainted.
A giant boar, twice the size of a normal wild boar, was lying in the cargo hold.
“It’s an environmentally friendly hazardous waste extermination device.
Just a moment.”
When Choi Jun-ho went inside, the couple left alone looked at the wild boar with blank expressions.
The wild boar, classified as level 3 danger, was a ferocious monster that even skilled hunters would risk their lives to hunt.
Its uncontrollable ferocity and tough skin that could withstand bullets made it the greatest threat to farmers.
But their son had caught it.
At that moment, the wild boar’s body twitched.
“It, it just twitched.
It’s alive, isn’t it?” said Lee Young-hee, startled.
Although Choi Jin-kyu didn’t show it, he also felt his heart drop.
A little while later, Young-hee grabbed their son, who was bringing the container, and asked, “Jun-ho, it’s not alive, is it?”
“I caught it clean.”
“Are you in your right mind now? Why did you bring the monster alive?”
Choi Jun-ho put the wild boar, which was possibly hundreds of kilograms, or even a ton, on the ground in the cargo hold.
The couple was at a loss for words as they watched their son nonchalantly put down the massive wild boar.
The more surprising sight came next.
When Choi Jun-ho grabbed the wild boar’s neck and twisted it, the sound of bones creaking accompanied the neck turning a full circle.
The wild boar, with its eyes wide open, struggled to go berserk, but its breath was cut off in an instant.
Afterward, blood poured out like a waterfall into the container.
The unbelievable sight dumbfounded Choi Jin-kyu and Lee Young-hee.
When encountered in the mountains, the demon to avoid most was being handled by their son like a toy.
“This wild boar’s danger level is level 3, so if we spread blood in the orchard, the lower-level ones won’t approach.
If we hang its bones, they would know that there are higher-level predators around and they won’t come close.
After all, the extermination tool mimics the scent of the top predator.
It’s a structure where prey doesn’t linger where predators are present.”
Choi Jun-ho’s hand dug into the wild boar’s belly.
After rummaging inside, he pulled out his bloody hand and brought it to his mouth, licking the blood as if tasting a delicacy.
A broad smile spread across his face.
“Ah! The blood is fresh.
The smell and taste are strong.
It’ll definitely be effective as an extermination tool.”
The couple couldn’t say anything to their son who's smiling innocently with bloodstained lips.
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