The Regressor Can Make Them All

Chapter 2

Chapter 2

“This is your last warning; if there is another racket, you will be disqualified from the exam and kicked out of the room immediately.” The proctor warned Lee Se-Hoon in a stern voice.

As the proctor left, the momentarily gathered attention dispersed. Since this exam was crucial for entering the famous Babel Academy, trainees paid no attention to whether others made mistakes or not. Instead, they took it as one of their competitors dropping out and continued with their weapon forging.


Se-Hoon gazed blankly at his hand, spacing out after being warned by the proctor.

I returned to thirty-one years ago? Why? How?

He thought it was just his life flashing before his eyes before he died, yet his sensations felt too vivid. As he fiddled with the cheap hammer in his hand, he tried to recall the last few minutes before he died. Moments later, a faint recollection surfaced.

[Weapon ‘---’ synesthetic mindscape has been activated.]

[Activating skill ‘Return to Origin’]

Right, synesthetic mindscape manifestation... A phenomenon where a powerful skill gets imbued into items forged with Fatestones. Although he had encountered this countless times while forging, there was something off this time.

It was the first time it happened with my Fatestone.

Despite having crafted millions of items using his Fatestone, this kind of manifestation had never taken place.

Then how did the synesthetic mindscape activate, and how did I return to the past?

This situation puzzled him, but he eventually reached a conclusion.

Was it by coincidence?

Come to think of it, his first display of synesthetic mindscape manifestation was when he had been frantically trying to fend off an assault at his workstation. So perhaps it was also just a coincidence this time. His face turned blank as he thought about it, and then he burst into laughter at the weak conclusion he had come to.

This is crazy.

Either he was insane, or the world had gone mad. He couldn’t comprehend what was going on, but the reality was that he had returned to the past. And it wasn’t just any moment that he had gone back to; he was back to the very first regretful moment of his life.

What to do... well, there’s nothing to think about.

With his mind finally clearing up a bit, he turned his head and checked the remaining time for the exam. One hour.

He glanced around and noticed that the rest of the trainees were almost done with their forging.

This is ridiculous. He quickly scanned the piece of ore he was working on. It was haphazardly pounded and poorly balanced, lacking any proper form, making it unsuitable even for decorative use.

Perhaps I should stick to refining it for now, he thought, stroking his chin in dismay. The score might drop a bit, but passing the test was all he needed anyway. With that thought in mind, he grasped the hammer lightly.


“How atrocious.” Kim In-Cheol, a middle-aged man, was staring at the trainees and muttering with discontent. Although he didn’t expect much from this group, as it only consisted of reserved trainees, they were far worse than he had anticipated.

Even accounting for the substantial drop in the Department of Blacksmithing’s position... The candidates didn’t even have the basic knowledge of how to control the flames or what posture they should take when wielding a hammer. They struck the iron blindly while pouring out whatever little mana and skills they possessed without even following the basic rules of forging. Could this process really be described as forging?

Gathering many candidates didn’t really solve the issue. He let out a deep sigh and lowered his head in disappointment while rubbing his eyebrows.


Suddenly, a single sound resonated within the examination hall. It was a sound so sharp that he could instantly distinguish it among all of the trainees’ hammering. His eyes widened in surprise as the sound reverberated in his ears.

Clang! Clang!

The sound was slow but rhythmic, undisturbed, and clear. Its peculiarity startled him and grasped his attention.

Who is making this sound? He searched frantically across the examination room to find the source—his gloomy mood was completely gone.


Eventually, he found a young man swinging his hammer confidently, without a single sign of hesitation in his swings. At first glance, it seemed like the swings were aimless, but the iron underneath was surely being forged excellently, unlike any other piece in the room.

...It’s as if he has become a completely different man.

Even though In-Cheol was severely disappointed in the trainees, he still observed their basic posture for the evaluation process. Among them, Se-Hoon had been far below average and under the cut-off line for qualification into Babel Academy.

Come to think of it, he was dazing away when In-Sung scolded him.

Although it was uncommon, there were cases where individuals awakened their skills without any preemptive signs and then showed a significant improvement in technique. Maybe Se-Hoon was one of them.

How interesting. This exam had seemed like it was going to end with all of the trainees being disqualified without a second evaluation, but things seemed like they might actually turn out differently. In-Cheol straightened out of his slouched posture and examined Se-Hoon carefully.


All of a sudden, the most exceptional piece of work in the room was shattered.


When Se-Hoon first began the refining process, he took it lightly. While Babel Academy’s reputation was pretty significant, it was only a training institution. Considering his fame and skills before the regression, this exam should be a walk in the park.

To him, this session was essentially a check-up to evaluate the state of his body from thirty-one years ago. It was clear that he had to understand the limits of his ability; after all, it was impossible to immediately return to the heights of his blacksmithing years.


However, he just couldn’t bear looking at what he was forging. This elongated, pointed piece of trash masquerading as a sword was being forged with his very own hands.

It couldn’t be helped; this was the best he could perform in this state. His body was unable to wield a hammer properly as he wasn’t trained, and his mana was too feeble for even smithing, let alone forging. Although he completely understood the situation, his whole body was itchy, and blood rushed to his head as he contorted his face.

Back then, he had been a true artisan who wouldn't allow the slightest aberration in his craft, not even imperceptible ones on the order of nanometers. Once he found a single mistake, even if the piece was worth billions, he would smash it to pieces without hesitation. He was known as a “Debtor Blacksmith” and didn’t allow such mistakes to pass by.



Striking it on the anvil, he broke the knife into two clean pieces. Everyone in the room, including the proctor, was surprised. It was common that trainees were discouraged when their crafts didn't turn out as they hoped, but there had never been a case where the trainee smashed their own piece of work because of it.

How dare you... Han In-Sung, the proctor who had given him the initial warning, couldn’t accept this situation. He just couldn’t accept the fact that a trainee showed this much rudeness in front of the lead professor of the Department of Blacksmithing.

He angrily stomped toward Se-Hoon, determined to remove him from the examination room this time.

“Proctor... sir.” Se-Hoon’s eyes glimmered ominously, his body stiff.

To In-Sung, he was an insignificant figure, as his skills were far below average even among this batch of reserved trainees.


However, after standing in front of him, no words came out of In-Sung’s mouth. He felt the same presence coming out of Se-Hoon as the one he had felt during his days back in Babel━the pressure of a condescending sunbae who wandered around looking for someone to pick a fight with.

“I have something I would like to say...” Se-Hoon clenched his teeth and tried hard to hold back the urge to speak informally to the proctor.

“What is the issue?” In-Sung asked, gulping nervously.

“I would like to reforge the item.... Could you provide me with the necessary material... please?”

In-Sung’s eyes trembled as he couldn’t discern if this was a polite request or a direct order. Normally, he would rebuke the candidate for such audacious behavior, but he found himself unable to utter a single word. He contemplated at that moment, torn between his reflex of refusing outright and his instincts warning him against it; he was actually scared that Se-Hoon would somehow retaliate if denied.


In-Cheol, who had somehow approached unnoticed, picked up a piece of the knife. The trainees around him murmured in curiosity as he carefully examined the piece, as if he had a genuine interest in it.

Unlike In-Sung, he was a man who rightfully deserved the title of head professor of the Department of Blacksmithing at Babel Academy. He was a colossal figure, earning a spot among the world’s top one hundred blacksmiths.

“Hey, you,” said In-Cheol. He stared at Se-Hoon as he put back the broken piece on top of the anvil.

“Do you think that breaking this knife was the right thing to do?”

This question could be interpreted in many different ways. Other trainees would have panicked, thinking they must have done something wrong. But only one answer popped into Se-Hoon’s head for this question.

“Yes. I didn’t want to submit something like that for this examination.”

“...I see.” After seeing how unwavering he was, In-Cheol thought for a moment and then shifted his gaze to In-Sung, who was staring blankly beside him.

“Proctor Han, are there any leftover materials?”

“Huh? Ah, yes. There are some left.”

“Then bring some here. It doesn’t conflict with the examination rules anyway.”

“That’s true... but...”

In-Sung cautiously questioned this decision, thinking it might be excessive considering the circumstances.

“Should I bring them here myself?”

“No, sir!” In-Sung quickly scurried to the materials room and came back with a large box.

Huff, huff... I have brought all the iron ore and ignition stones.”

“Good job.” After patting In-Sung’s shoulder, In-Cheol checked the remaining time and looked at Se-Hoon.

“There are only forty minutes left. Will these be enough?”

“Yes, it’s enough.”

The usual method would not work in this situation, but there was another way to make it work. In-Cheol grinned at the sparkle in Se-Hoon’s eyes, which showed that the young man was brimming with ideas.

“I look forward to it.”

The proctors went back to their seats, and Se-Hoon glanced at the materials laid out in front of him. Without further inspection, he noticed that the iron ore was uniformly excellent and the ignition stone was of an excellent-quality variety. The reason why the materials were of such high quality was to not give applicants any room for excuses such as inadequate preparations for the exam.

This should be just enough, he thought with a content expression. Things might get a bit rough, but that’s life; you can’t make anything good without suffering a little.

He picked out a few pieces of iron ore and ignition stones and stood in front of the dying furnace. Then, focusing the oh-so-little mana he had into his hands, he smashed the ignition stones against each other.


Sharp clashing sounds were accompanied by flying sparks. Flames flashed in his hands like flickering lamps. Everyone in the examination room gazed in awe at this eerie spectacle.

If the ignition stones are injected with mana, they will get extremely hot...

Where is that burning smell coming from?

Something was about to happen; everyone felt it instinctively.


A distinct resonance, unlike the previous collision sounds, echoed from all the ignition stones simultaneously. Startled by the sound, Se-Hoon swiftly tossed the ignition stones into the furnace.


Iridescent flames burst out from the furnace.

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