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"I feel like something serious has happened to me. But it was worth trying to make this my new life."
Cale's Narration, Prologue
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Kim Rok Soo has just started reading The Birth of a Hero, a fantasy series about a Korean teenager named Choi Han who gets transported to a fantasy world of magic, monsters, elves, and dragons that's about to be thrown into chaos through a war. He gets 5 volumes in before he falls asleep... and when he wakes up, finds that he's been transported into the world during the time of the first novel.

He's also been reincarnated into the body of a minor antagonist from the first novel, Cale, who is known as the trash of the count's family because of his tendency to get drunk and hurl bottles at anyone nearby, as well as treating those of lower status like they aren't people. And he's just days away from when this character is beaten to a bloody pulp by Choi Han. This meeting starts Choi Han's journey to heroism, but Kim Rok Soo-as-Cale understandably doesn't want to get hurt.

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Our new Cale, who didn't have much in Korea, has decided to take advantage of his new position. He'll use his reputation as a piece of trash to do whatever he wants, use his knowledge of the plot keep himself from getting beat up by Choi Han while pointing Choi Han in the right direction to start his journey, then save a bunch of money and get himself protection so he can live an easy life out of the way of the war that's about to start. Unfortunately, just by not getting beat up he's already changed the plot enough that he gets deeply involved. And since he only had knowledge up through the first 5 volumes of the series, there are a lot of dangers he still doesn't know about...

Trash of the Count's Family (백작가의 망나니가 되었다) is a Korean isekai series by Yoo Ryeo Han in the Action, Comedy, and Fantasy genres. It is published in on Munpia with an English translation available on Wuxiaworld. A Comic-Book Adaptation began on September 1st 2020.

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Still under construction! Spoilers abound!


This series provides examples of:

  • Achievements in Ignorance: Cale is aware that his actions are seen as heroic by others (which they are, though heroism isn't his intention). What he's not aware of is his incredible reputation that came about from many comical misunderstandings about his intentions.
  • Action Girl: Any female character who also fights. Notable are Rosalyn, Cage, Hannah, Witira, and Litana.
  • Aerith and Bob: You have people with names like Taylor, Ron, and Tasha alongside people with names like Alberu, Clopeh, and Beacrox.
  • Alchemy Is Magic: The specialty of the Mogoru Empire.
  • The Alliance: Has a bad guy example in the Indomitable Alliance.
    • Cale eventually starts working to form an Alliance with the Roan Kingdom at the center.
  • Almighty Janitor: A lot of them in the Henituse territory. Ron, Beacrox, and other servants of the Henituse family are this by design. However, there are also a lot of randomly skilled people in the general population. Cale knows about this from reading the book and later purposefully recruits for his information/assassin network from an art festival.
  • Anti-Magic: Many "barbarians" of the Whipper Kingdom have this condition. They can't use magic, which makes them victims of Fantastic Racism, but they also aren't affected by magic, so they can fight back against the mages.
    • Some magical items have this effect, keeping any nearby mages from using magic.
  • Antimagical Faction: The rebels of the Whipper Kingdom. They're prejudiced against magic and magic-using people, though they have a good reason.
  • Assassins Are Always Betrayed: This is how Ron Molan's assassin family was destroyed; his right-hand man betrayed them to Arm.
  • Atrocious Alias: Cale is left exasperated at Toonka's choice of "Bob".
  • Barbarian Tribe: Toonka and his people are described as such. They're citizens of the Whipper Kingdom and technically not their own tribe, but they're called "barbarians" and fit the barbarian stereotype. Also, as lower-class citizens who live in rural areas, they are treated differently and have their own culture and ways of living seperate from the rest of the Kingdom.
  • Battle Butler: A requirement to be a butler in the Henituse household. Ron and Hans are the two examples we see, though we have yet to see Hans in action.
  • Because You Were Nice to Me: Why Choi Han, Raon, On and Hong, and many others are so loyal to Cale.
  • Bizarro Elements:
    • It's possible for Dragons to have an affinity that's conceptual. For example, Raon's power is "the present", though he still hasn't figured out what that means.
    • There's also "despair", the generation of requires the brutal torture and death of large numbers of people, as black mages resort to; alternatively, you yourself suffering from years of unending torture and loss of hope like Choi Han.
  • Blood Knight: Several. One example is Redika, the crazy blood drinking mage. There's also Toonka, who's wants to fight anything and everything that he thinks might be strong, up to and including natural phenomenons like whirlpools.
  • Brick Joke: In an early chapter, Cale opens a door only to find Choi Han standing right in front of it, immediately slamming it back shut out of shock. This happens again 200+ chapters later.
  • Can't Argue with Elves: Most elves would like to think so, but this is actually subverted. They're magical, in tune with nature, and mostly peaceful, but they're also noted to be incredibly frustrating, haughty, and uncooperative with anyone who isn't an elf. Archie from the Whale tribe, who deals with them often, loathes them. Luckily, being accepted by a dragon makes Cale's interactions with them much easier.
  • Cat Ninja: The Cat Beastmen tribe specialize in stealth and assassination.
  • Chef of Iron: Beacrox, who is not only an excellent cook, but is also skilled in fighting with a greatsword.
  • Chekhov's Gun: An in-universe example; a lot of details in The Birth of a Hero describe events, items, and ancient powers that the protagonist Choi Han doesn't directly interact with (locations of ancient powers being an example). A savvy reader might realize that this probably means that they're important for the end game, though Cale doesn't seem to put this together.
  • Cheshire Cat Grin: Cale has a certain grin which Raon notes means that he's "about to scam somebody again". Alberu has a similar one. When they're both smiling...
  • Common Tongue: It doesn't matter what country or what continent someone is from, everyone is able to easily speak to each other and read each other's writings. It's never explicitly stated that there's a common language, but there's only one instance of any kind of Language Barrier and that's when a text that's written in Korean, a language that originates form another world, is trying to be read.
  • Corrupt Church: The Church of the Sun God in the Mogoru Empire.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Because he knows what coming next in the story, Cale is able to prepare for a lot. Because he's only read through the fifth volume of the story however, and because he makes so many changes, his knowledge is limited, so he's less and less prepared as the story goes on. At that point he has enough crazy powerful and numerous allies that knowing the plot and planning ahead isn't as important.
  • Cuteness Proximity: Hans around On and Hong (because he doesn't know that they are Cat Beastmen).
  • Deflector Shields: Magic shields act like this.
  • Death World: The Five Forbidden Regions of the Western continent. The first we see in the story is the Forest of Darkness. There's also the Path of No Return, the Desert of Death, the Valley of Despair, and the Gorge of Death.
    • There are also the Three Restricted Areas on the Eastern continent.
  • Dem Bones: Used by Mary to fight when she isn't using the corpses of recently fallen enemies.
  • Deployable Cover: Cale's Indestructible Shield can be sent out away from him. Magic shields can also be deployed wherever the caster makes them.
  • Divine Right of Kings: Played with the Roan royal family, the Crossmans, who have golden hair and blue eyes as "proof" that they were blessed by the Sun God. Nothing says that this is proof of their right to rule, but it definitely legitimizes it. And the Crossmans have managed to rule the oldest Kingdom on the continent since the time it was founded, so it must mean something to the people.
    • The Mogoru Imperial family plays this straight. They were also blessed by the Sun god, and their eyes glow golden in the sun to show it.
  • Dragon Hoard: Every Dragon has one. Eruhaben's lair is full of gold and objects and furniture that are made of jewel-encrusted gold. Raon has started to build up a hoard from the allowance Cale gives him that he keeps in a small dimension he uses for storage.
  • Dragons Are Divine: Are treated as such by elves, but this is actually subverted.
  • The Dragonslayer: Syrem has the title "Dragon Slayer", but being a real Dragon Slayer is something that is inherited through a bloodline and comes with special abilities.
    • Eruhaben hypothesizes that Cale is a descendant of a Dragon Slayer, though it's not clear if he's getting mixed signals from Cale's ancient powers or if there's more to it. And since we don't know anything about his biological mother...
  • Drama-Preserving Handicap: There are many situations that Raon, who's one of the most powerful mages on the planet, could resolve on his own. However, if he went all out his existence would be found out, or he's otherwise unable to because of Cale's plans. He usually stays invisible, shields Cale, and otherwise acts as support.
  • Elemental Powers: Many. Mages, Elves, Dragons, those who posses the appropriate ancient power, and sword masters can use elemental magic of all kinds.
    • There's the traditional fire, wind, water, and earth, as well as illusion, light, Holy, and black magic.
    • People who can use Holy magic have Healing Hands. Also related are "divine items", which are incredibly powerful and contain divine power from the gods.
    • The "fire" ancient power seen in the series manifests itself as a lightning bolt. Lighting can also be used outside of this.
    • The "dark" affinity means that the user may have one of several different abilities. They might use Dead Mana (something like an Unholy Nuke), which acts almost like a poison to most living things and gives anyone who comes into contact with it a slow, painful death. People who are affected by dead mana but are able to survive the experience are capable of becoming a Necromancer, Mary being the only necromancer known to be currently alive in-series. Black Magic and illusion and despair are also under the darkness affinity.
    • Then there are some more uncommon types, like poison and fog, and dust.
    • The auras of swordmasters have elemental affinities. Choi Han has a "dark" aura which clashes with "light" auras.
    • Mana can also be used on its own. It's used multiple times in-series to create magic bombs of various kinds.
    • It's possible for Dragons to have an affinity that's conceptual, so Bizarro Elements are also possible. For example, Raon's power is "the present", though he still hasn't figured out what that means.
  • The Empire: The Mogoru Empire.
  • Epic Ship-on-Ship Action: The first big battle of the series. It's awesome.
  • Facepalm: Cale invokes this reaction from Alberu.
  • Family of Choice: Cale's group, but especially him, Raon, On, and Hong, become like a family as time goes on. On and Hong view Raon as another sibling, and Cale acts a lot like a dad would.
  • Fantasy Counterpart Religion: The structure of the Church of the Sun God has more than a passing resemblance to Catholicism. It is, however, just one part of a larger religious structure that includes multiple gods.
  • First-Person Perspective: Interestingly, only used in the prologue. Unlike similar isekai novels/webnovels]]/light novels, most of the story is told in third-person perspective.
  • Foreshadowing: In-universe: The Birth of a Hero has a lot of details, and a lot of those details describe events, items, and ancient powers that the protagonist Choi Han doesn't directly interact with (locations of ancient powers being an example). A savvy reader might realize that this probably means that they're important for the end game, though Cale doesn't seem to put this together.
    • This turns out to be the case, as the exact ancient powers Cale gathers, which were gathered because they were mentioned in the series, convey important information about the Big Bad.
    • Occasionally information that foreshadows important things like Alberu's secrets specifically his identity as part Dark Elf are occasionally brought to light... which Cale recognizes and immediately decides to ignore because he doesn't want to get more involved with the plot than he has to.
  • Fish People: Mermaids are humanoid but more fish-looking than human-looking.
  • Garden of Evil: The Forest of Darkness
  • Geometric Magic: Magic circles are used to cast some of the bigger or more complicated spells, namely Teleportation.
  • Giant Flyer: Wyverns and Dragons and also the Draco Lich undead wyverns and dragons that Necromancer Mary uses.
  • The Good Kingdom: It's got its share of corrupt politicians, but compared to places like the Mogoru Empire and the Whipper Kingdom, the Roan Kingdom is a paradise. Big Good Alberu, Living Legend Cale, and most of the other heroes in the story also hail from there, which helps.
  • Guile Hero: Cale, though he'd argue with you about the "hero" part. So are any of the other heroic characters who are smart, namely Alberu, Rosalyn, and Raon.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: The Whale Tribe prince is half Whale Beastman and half human. He dies in the original novel.
    • A half-Dark Elf is mentioned; it's never specified whether or not her sister, Tasha, is also half Dark Elf or if she's a full-blooded and they're half-sisters.
    • Also the Dragon half-blood. Though he's not exactly a straight example, since he's actually a chimera.
  • Heir Club for Men: Seems to be averted in most places. There are several female characters who have positions of power over male relatives. For example, the Viscountess Ubarr is the one who holds power in her territory, not her husband, and her daughter is her heir. Inheritance seems to be mostly based on age regardless of gender with exceptions being that the oldest is an Inadequate Inheritor.
  • Heroic RRoD: Overusing ancient powers puts considerable strain on the body.
  • Hero of Another Story: A literal example is Choi Han, who was the protagonist of the novel Kim Rok Soo was reading but not the protagonist of this story (since Cale took the protagonist position from him). Pendrick is also notable because while he was one of Choi Han's party members in the original story, unlike Ron, Beacrox, Rosalyn, or Lock, he now has far less of a role now that Cale has changed events.
    • A more straight example would be the holders of the ancient powers that Cale acquires. The facts about them that he knows from reading the novels, plus the things they say when the locations of the ancient powers are approached, suggest really interesting backstories. The original owners of the elemental ancient powers and the Vitality of the Heart went on a journey together to rescue the owner of the water ancient power, which is revealed when Cale eventually acquires it.
  • Hidden Elf Village: All Elf villages, which are hidden by illusion magic.
  • Hiding Behind the Language Barrier: The in-universe book called The Birth of a Hero is a memoir of the First dragon slayer, who was also transported from Korea. It's written in both the Common Tongue of the setting as well as Korean, but the Korean text has more details and more accurate information. This means that the White Star doesn't know vital information from the book because he can't read it, but Choi Han and Cale do because they can.
  • Humble Goal: Played with, in that Cale's goal involves being extremely rich and living in a luxurious villa, but really all he wants is to be set up for life so he can take it easy. He doesn't want power or prestige, just to live a lazy life. This later extends to people he cares about, wanting all of them to be safe and happy as well, and they eventually come to share it.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Cale will occasionally speculate about how he ended up surrounded by weird or crazy people, oblivious to the fact that he fits right in.
    • When Toonka tries to hide his identity he uses the name "Bob". Cale is left exasperated at the name choice and thinks it's stupid. 400 chapters later, Cale uses the name "Bob" while trying to hide his identity.
  • Indy Ploy: Cale's Crazy-Prepared in the beginning, but as the story goes on, he isn't able to plan too far ahead. This, plus sudden surprises from the villains mid-battle, means that Cale starts using this trope.
    Raon: Human, you are someone without a plan who just looks like you have a plan!
  • Inhumanly Beautiful Race: Elves are described as all being very beautiful, but the Whales are apparently even more beautiful then them. The Elf Pendrick is described as being more beautiful than even the Whales, however.
    • It's not clear if Dragons are especially beautiful in general or not, but since they're all incredibly powerful magic users with Voluntary Shapeshifting they could presumably make their humanoid forms look as attractive as they want. However, Eruhaben is described as naturally the most gorgeous of the Dragons as well as being far more beautiful than than any Elf or Whale.
  • La Résistance: One in the Whipper Kingdom, one in the Mogoru Empire.
  • Loads and Loads of Characters
  • The Lost Woods: The Path of No Return, though On is able to navigate it through her fog manipulation.
  • Mad Scientist: The alchemists of the Mogoru Empire perform cruel experiments on slaves and other people from lower classes to create weapons of war.
  • Mage Tower: There's one located in the Whipper Kingdom. It's the center of magical tool development on the continent, as well as a center for gathering mages. Rosalyn was heading to the Tower when Choi Han meets her.
    • In a similar vein, there's also the Alchemy Tower in the Mogoru Empire.
  • Magic Antidote: One exists for the poison that Mermaids make. It's made from their own blood.
  • Magical Accessory: Some magical items take this form.
  • Magitek: Magic items. They have a variety of functions, from sensors and alarms to Anti-Magic fields. They're so expensive that most of the population would never be able to own one, however; even Cale takes the cheaper option and rents them.
  • Magnetic Hero: Cale, much to his frustration. He eventually learns to roll with it and make the most of it. Choi Han was this in the original novel.
  • The Magocracy: The Whipper Kingdom, at least until the civil war ended that.
  • Master Swordsman: Those who can use a sword and also use auras are called "swordmasters". Choi Han is one of those. Other people are also incredibly skilled with swords including Beacrox and, to a lesser extent, Vice Captain Hilsman.
  • Media Transmigration: Kim Rok Soo has just started reading The Birth of a Hero, a fantasy series about a Korean teenager named Choi Han who gets transported to a fantasy world. He gets five volumes in the series before falling asleep. He then awakes up in the body of a minor antagonist from the first novel, Cale, who is known as the trash of the count's family because of his tendency to get drunk and hurl bottles at anyone nearby, as well as treating those of lower status like they aren't people. And he's just days away from when this character is beaten to a bloody pulp by Choi Han. This meeting starts Choi Han's journey to heroism, but Kim Rok Soo-as-Cale understandably doesn't want to get hurt.
  • Mega Maelstrom: The whirlpools off the coast of the Ubarr territory are unnaturally huge and incredibly dangerous. They're being generated by one of the ancient elemental powers, and once Cale claims said power—which is wind-based, rather than the expected water-based—he can create, terminate, and manipulate whirlpools himself.
  • Named Weapons: Comes up occasionally. Notable is the Sword of Disasters.
  • Nebulous Evil Organisation: Arm, who are pulling the strings behind all the conflicts in the story. They're part of a bigger Nebulous Criminal Conspiracy.
  • Never Gets Drunk: Played with, in that Cale is capable of getting drunk, he just rarely actually does. He flushes easily, so people think that he's drunker than he really is. He pretends to be drunk to give himself an alibi or otherwise get away with stuff that no sober person would be able to get away with.
    • It's sort of implied that the original!Cale was the same, acting drunker than he was as an excuse to act however he wanted.
    • Much later there's Bud who, like Cale, acts drunk when he really isn't.
  • No Hugging, No Kissing: There's no romance in this series, and any mentions of romance and the like are sparse. Cale himself seems to be a Celibate Hero who never has any thoughts of romance or sexual interest in anyone (acting more Asexual than anything else).
    • Though there is a Man Hug between Cale and Alberu and anincredibly awkward hug with Choi Han at different points, though those were excuses to pass on messages to the other person that they didn't want other people in the vicinity to hear.
  • Non-Elemental: There's pure mana. There's also other affinities that are technically elemental but don't have a part in the Elemental Rock–Paper–Scissors. For example: The White Star has six ancient powers, but one of them is the "Sky" element, so his powers' elements aren't balanced out and are causing his body to slowly break down.
  • Nonhuman Humanoid Hybrid: Has an example with a half-dwarf/half-Mouse Beastman.
  • Non-Human Undead: Mary utilizes these, usually taking Dem Bones to create Mix-and-Match Critters.
  • Not Quite Flight: People who can use wind magic can use it to fly. Powerful magic-users like Raon can also use levitation magic.
  • Older Than They Look: Several characters are Long-Lived, and while it may or may not state how old they look in human years, they look much younger than they actually are. Whale Beastmen can live hundreds of years and dragons can live to be 1000, but they definitely don't look that ancient.
    • Choi Han, whose exact age is unknown but is stated to have lived for literal decades in the Forest of Darkness before escaping. He still looks 17. It's said that, as a person who was transported or reincarnated into this world, he ended up with slowed aging and a lifespan like a dragon, which means he'll probably live to be about 1000.
  • Ominous Fog: Often created by On as part of the set-up of one of Cale's plans. It becomes even worse for their enemies if it's colored unnaturally red by Hong's poison...
  • Our Dragons Are Different: Raon and Eruhaben are the two we see. There's only about 20 of them in the world, but they can live to be about 1000 years old, are instinctively fiercely independent and tend to not get along with other races or with each other, and are also some of the most powerful beings on the planet. It's a good thing they don't care about other people because each is a Person of Mass Destruction who could annihilate entire countries without breaking a sweat if they really wanted to.
    • Most Dragons are jerkasses to other people. An example of their behavior comes up when Obante first meets Raon. He kneels down and refuses to stand up. His response when asked to stand:
      Obante: “No, I cannot do that. The Dragon-nim that I met last time said that standing in front of him was like asking for a fight.”
    • Each dragon has their own unique color and special ability (from elemental abilities like "fire" or "water", to more conceptual). After hatching, they have three growth phases. They can also change into more humanoid forms for convenience.
    • Raon is unique among dragons since he wants to be with humans, forms a familial-type relationship with Cale, On, and Hong, and is excited at the idea of meeting other dragons.
  • Our Dwarves Are All the Same: There are several tribes of them. They are known for their proficiency in inventing and making magic tools. In the aftermath of the civil war in the Whipper Kingdom, Cale recruits a half-dwarf, half-Mouse Beastman from the Whipper Kingdom to design and build things for him.
    • The Dwarves of the Flame Dwarf Tribe are unable to use magic, and therefore can't create magic tools. They're ridiculed by other dwarves because of it, but make up for it with the quality of their inventions.
  • Our Elves Are Better: Elves live in isolated villages that are usually hidden with illusion magic from most of humanity. Elves use magic by bonding with elementals, which are nature spirits. They also keep a branch of the World Tree in each village.
    • Dark Elves also exist, but because of their darkness affinity they're ostracized and are even more hidden than regular Elves. Not only do they use magic that's known for giving people incredibly painful deaths, they also have to consume Dead Mana to stay alive. They get along with humans better than regular elves though, saving people who escaped to the desert that their village is hidden in and treating them as equals.
    • All elves revere Dragons to the point of almost worshiping them like gods.
  • Our Gods Are Different: There are many, and they can communicate with certain people they take an interest in. Despite not being the most holy of nuns, the God of Death loves Cage and communicates with her through dreams. He's starts communicating with her while she's awake when telling her things that are related to Cale, who's also the only person whose actions and future he can't see.
    • Little information about the Sun God itself has been revealed, though we know that the Church of the Sun God might have the biggest following on the Western continent. Most of its infrastructure is incredibly corrupt. The Roan royal family is said to have been blessed by the sun god, as shown by their golden hair and blue eyes... except, as Raon casually reveals, none of the Roan royal family actually have any blessing.
    • A war god is responsible for imprisoning the original user of the water-based ancient power Cale eventually receives.
  • Our Mages Are Different: While Rosalyn is the only main character who's a mage, they're extremely common in the world of The Birth of a Hero, just not in the Roan Kingdom. The Whipper Kingdom is ruled by the Mage class, and they're common in the Breck Kingdom as well.
  • Our Mermaids Are Different: They're humanoid but less human-looking and more fish-looking. They rule the South seas, and are often in conflict with the Whale Tribe who rule the Northern Seas. They also have a deadly poison that had no known antidote until Rosalyn discovered it in the original novels.
  • Our Werebeasts Are Different: This world has Beastmen of all kinds. They are human-animal shapeshifters who also have access to a super-empowering berserk transformation. So far, people from the Cat, Wolf, Whale, Mouse, Tiger, Lion, Mouse, and Bear tribes have been seen or mentioned as of this writing. It's also mentioned that there are Beastmen of many more kinds of animals out there.
    • Our Werewolves Are Different: Lock and the Wolf children are from the Blue Wolf Tribe. They don't need a full moon to transform. There are, presumably, other Wolf Tribes that haven't been seen yet.
  • Our Wyverns Are Different: They're related to Dragons, but much less intelligent and don't seem to be able to use magic. They're used as mounts by the Wyvern Riders of the Paerun Kingdom.
  • Parent-Child Team: Ron and Beacrox, who are father and son and work together on many occasions. Beacrox is already an adult, however.
  • Paying in Coins: The requirement for getting the Fire of Destruction ancient power is to throw 200,000 individual coins into the fire that surrounds it; it creates a bridge that leads to where the ancient power is located. It's when Cale asks for this amount of coins from Odeus Flynn, rather than when trying to pay for something, that elicits the shocked reaction.
  • Perpetual Storm: There's a perpetual blizzard in the Valley of Despair. It hides the Hidden Elf Village that's there as well as the World Tree.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Downplayed. Cale hardly ever explains his plans or his actions, he just commands people to do things. Sometimes the reason is because he doesn't want to explain why he knows things, other times he just doesn't. People listen to him regardless because of their loyalty or because they know his plans always work out, but that doesn't mean it doesn't frustrate them. Choi Han eventually calls Cale out on this. It turns out to not be something Cale's consciously doing a lot of the time; it's a habit from his previous life.
  • Professional Killer: Ron was this before he came to work for the Henituse family. He acts as an assassin for Cale.
    • Everyone in the Fog Cat tribe seems to be this.
  • Prophecy Twist: With a bit of Prophetic Fallacy, though it's downplayed a lot. The details aren't revealed until chapter 486. Spoilery explanation below:
    • Alberu discusses the Crossman family history and the "curse" put upon them by the Sun God. The prophetic warning says that if someone with the powers of darkness becomes king of the Roan Kingdom that the world would be thrown into chaos. The whole time, Alberu believes that he's dooming the world if he, who's part Dark Elf, becomes king. Cale has to provide a second interpretation, because what Alberu doesn't know is that the Crossmans are probably descendants of the original White Star, which would be why the Sun God is watching over the family closely, and that the prophecy is probably referring to one of the White Star's powers which was demonic in origin. It's not Alberu inheriting the throne but someone using the White Star's ancient power and forcibly taking over the Roan Kingdom that would cause the world to be thrown into chaos.
  • Recruitment by Rescue: How Cale gathers some of his allies, Raon being most notable.
  • Refuge in Audacity: After reincarnating, Cale immediately realizes that since he already has a reputation of being a piece of trash that there's a lot he can do without seeming suspicious.
    • He pretends to be drunk on more then one occasion to either serve as an alibi ("I was passed-out drunk, I couldn't have done that!") or to get away with socially-unacceptable actions that only a drunk person could.
  • Refusal of the Call: Cale's attitude at first. He wants to do just enough to get the plot going, then get enough money to live a comfortable life. He ends up being sucked into the larger conflict anyway. He eventually realizes that he needs to work hard now and resolve the war as fast as possible so he can live the rest of his life lazily.
  • Running Gag: Cale being mistaken for something not human. Also "taking in" people who want to get revenge on someone.
  • Shields Are Useless: Played with. Regular shields aren't noted, though they probably wouldn't be useful against most of the fighters in this series, and magical "shields" are more like Deflector Shields. Cale's Indestructible Shield is an ancient power, which gives it abilities like regenerating after being broken and the ability to change its size or location, but it feeds off of the vitality of whoever is using it, and for Cale, that means it's very weak.
  • Shoddy Knockoff Product: Cale sometimes has his group dress up in outfits like Arm has in order to hide their identities while framing Arm for things they haven't done. He had the outfits made as incredibly low-quality versions of the real outfits for the express purpose of making Arm angry. As he put it: "Wouldn't you be angry if you were completely defeated by someone who wore a shittier version of your own uniform?"
  • Soldier vs. Warrior: A source of conflict in the Whipper Kingdom even after the civil war.
  • Story-Breaker Power: Averted with Cale. Unlike [other protagonists of the isekai genre, he doesn't get reincarnated with any special abilities or into a person who's especially strong. He seeks out a couple of ancient powers in order to protect himself, but those are considered weaker than other abilities in-universe and also considerably strain Cale if overused. He also decides from the beginning to purposefully avoid gathering dangerously powerful objects or abilities because he feels like it will get him more involved with the plot than he wants to be.
    • Raon, who's one of the most powerful beings on the planet, plays this straight. There are battles and other situations that Raon could have resolved single-handedly if Cale didn't want him to avoid drawing attention to himself, or if they didn't need events to play out a certain way. Of the main characters, Cale is actually the weakest. He doesn't need a story-breaking power when he's surrounded people who already have them...
  • Sustained Misunderstanding: Everyone's various misinterpretations about Cale's intentions and goals. And Cale either chooses not to explain himself or doesn't get the chance to clarify. For instance: he doesn't want to receive any official honors in order to keep a low profile, but most other people interpret his refusal as him being humble and selfless, which makes him even more revered than he would have been. This is just one of many misunderstandings of varying hilarity and scale that happen over the course of the series. See also Achievements in Ignorance.
  • Swamps Are Evil: The swamp in the Forest of Darkness that's filled with poison and also a dragon corpse.
  • Tempting Fate: Every time the narration says something like "Cale never wants to see this person again" that person will show up again. See also Running Gag.
  • Title Drop: An in-universe example, The Birth of a Hero turns out to be the title of a memoir written by a hero from ancient times who was also sent to this world from Korea.
  • Torture Always Works: Played with, in that torture is mainly used as a way to punish bad guys for the sake of someone's revenge. They do try to wear prisoners down for Cale's special brand of information gathering if they can, however.
  • Trapped in Another World: Kim Rok Soo is this, kinda, if his original body isn't dead and if a way to get back to Korea exists. So is Choi Han. Choi Han's uncle was also this trope.
  • Uncle Pennybags: Cale is this to his many allies, and Alberu is this to Cale.
  • Underground City: The Dark Elf Village is hidden under the Desert of Death.
  • Undying Loyalty: Most people in Cale's group toward him, eventually. The soldiers like the Vice Captain who come to respect him for his heroic actions, Choi Han, Ron, On and Hong, Raon, and basically anyone else Cale helps out or inadvertently rescues becomes loyal to him.
  • Uneven Hybrid: Alberu, whose mother was half Dark Elf. He looks mostly human but uses a device to make him look less Dark Elf while giving him the golden hair and blue eyes that are seen as the sign of royalty.
  • Unscaled Merfolk: The Whale tribe, who are more like were-whales, and presumably any other Beastmen who are aquatic mammals.
  • Vague Age: Exact age isn't given for most characters. Usually what's stated are estimates or approximations: for example, Choi Han's age is unknown but is at least "decades" old, and Eruhaben is "almost 1000".
  • Vision Quest: The Dragons' first growth phase manifests itself this way.
  • Voluntary Shapeshifting: The Beastmen.
  • Weirdness Magnet: Eruhaben seems to think that Cale is one and pities him for his bad luck, not knowing that most of what has happened to Cale is a result of his own actions.
  • Won the War, Lost the Peace: The outcome of the civil war in the Whipper Kingdom. It doesn't help that the leader is a Blood Knight who lacks forethought.
  • World Tree: A branch of it is kept in each elf village. It's also sentient.
  • You Keep Using That Word: The Birth of a Hero has a historical European fantasy setting. While it takes some inspiration from anywhere from the 14th to 19th centuries, what time period it's supposed to be definitely isn't "medieval" like Kim Rok Soo says it is. It could be that the author in Real Life intended to refer to a vague Medieval European Fantasy setting, which despite the name can have many elements taken from later centuries.
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