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    A World Beyond / So We Are Told
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    Year 1960.

    The Earth has changed.

    Gates appeared, and countless Awakened were born on Earth.

    The Awakened were called Hunters, and they ventured into the rifts to hunt down the monsters and stabilize the Gates.

    It had become a society centered around Hunters.

    Baek Woojin was also an Awakened.

    He was an A-rank Awakened, which put him in the upper class.

    And today, this A-rank Awakened is retiring.

    “I’m not going to be a Hunter anymore.”

    It was an unexpected declaration.

    “Why on earth would you do that?”

    The head of the Awakened Association frowned at Woojin’s words.

    Shin Seungho, an S-rank Hunter who, at 38, sat at the head of the association.

    “I need a break.”

    “A break?”

    “Yes. I’d rather live quietly than continue to endure this treatment.”

    “I know how hard it is for you. Being an S-rank yet treated like leftovers by the people, I know how hard it is to bear.”

    “If you know, shouldn’t you let me go?”

    “Sigh… Woojin, you’re an A-rank. You even got your A-rank with just the ability to open Subspace. Right now, you can only open Subspace, but over time, there’s a chance you could awaken other abilities. When that happens, even S-rank won’t be out of reach!”

    “I’ve held on like this for 3 years, 3 years.”


    A-rank Hunter.

    Or rather, a simple A-rank Awakened.

    The reason it’s awkward to call him a Hunter is because of the ability Woojin has.

    Subspace Opening.

    He received an A-rank with just that one ability.

    It’s certainly impressive.

    Even without any combat skills, being granted an A-rank solely because of the ability to open Subspace, Woojin was the only one in the world to do so.

    However, Woojin couldn’t join any guild and was currently maintaining his livelihood as a freelancer.

    An A-rank Awakened barely making a living as a freelancer?

    It was an outrageous claim, but it was true.

    Woojin only worked a couple of times a month, and his compensation didn’t even reach 1 million won.

    Subspace was a popular ability up until the 80s, but now, in the year 2025…

    It had fallen into a forgotten ability.


    Because artifacts that could replace the ability of Subspace had flooded the market.

    All Awakened could handle an inventory, even if not as proficiently as Woojin, and any lack of space was replaced with artifacts.

    The term porter became obsolete.

    So, naturally, Woojin was phased out.

    “I’ll live doing what I want now.”


    “Even if I’m gone, society will flow without any problems.”

    When he first Awakened, he received a lot of spotlights.

    For receiving an A-rank just by opening Subspace.

    But as the modifier that followed – that he had no other abilities – became known, everyone turned their backs and criticized him.

    [A-rank without any combat ability? LOL]

    [Darn it, he’s just a bun without filling. He should be ashamed and give up his license.]

    [He’s just a human artifact, isn’t he? There are plenty of Subspace artifacts around LOL]

    Even though he did nothing wrong, people criticized, ridiculed, and stabbed him in the heart.

    He now lived in indifference, but the wounds from back then remained clear.

    “Just wait a little longer……”

    “What if it doesn’t change?”


    “I want to rest now.”

    Finally, Shin Seungho surrendered to Woojin’s stubbornness.

    “…Alright. If that’s how you feel, I can’t hold you back any longer.”

    A-rank Awakened Baek Woojin.

    As of today, he has completely retired from the world of Hunters.

    * * *

    One month passed since his retirement.

    During that time, Woojin remained holed up at home, claiming to sort out his thoughts.

    Despite a life akin to a hermit, simply having time to rest and clear his mind felt good.

    When was the last time he felt so relieved?

    Despite his reputation as an A-rank, people probably wouldn’t even know that Woojin had retired.


    Suddenly, his smartphone rang.

    It was a safety alert message.

    [Ministry of Public Safety and Security]

    -Increased reports of Gates appearing in downtown areas. Please be careful when going out. If you find a Gate, please do not approach it and report it immediately.

    Woojin ignored the message and prepared to go out.

    Opening his wallet, he found a student ID card inside.

    The university he attended before Awakening.

    After losing his parents, he had a wayward middle school period, but thanks to his uncle who quietly helped him, he got his act together, studied hard, and managed to enter the university.


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