Omniscient Reader’s Viewpoint - Chapter 389
Chapter 389: Episode 74 – Great War of Saints and Demons (4)
I’d become <Underworld’s> official successor; even though I was the one who said it, it didn’t feel all that real to me.
However, it seemed that I wasn’t the only one who suspected the sincerity of my declaration. The King of Tartarus and the ruler of the night, Hades, was glaring at me.
[You have spoken a lie in <Underworld>.]
Accompanied by the icy sensation, cold enough to freeze my toes, ‘death’ was now staring straight at me.
[Right after becoming our child, I see you’re already learning to deceive us.]
Hades rebuked me in a cold voice and stood up from his throne to walk closer to my position. I wanted to stand up from my spot right then, but my body didn’t want to move.
The Status of a Myth-grade Constellation had currently suppressed my entire body, that was why.
Thankfully, nothing untoward happened. Hades did get to where I was, but then, unhurriedly brushed past me and walked straight out of the royal palace.
I breathed a sigh of relief and turned my head around to find Persephone rubbing her chin with a meaningful smile on her face.
[H-mm…. Is this the conflict between father and son that I’ve only ever heard about….?]
For a tone of voice coming from a troubled-looking face, she sure sounded rather entertained.
[An eternal battle between a father and a son, with the mother in between…..]
….That sounded like a narrative deeply stained by the ways of Olympus.
As if to say I shouldn’t worry, Persephone lightly patted me on the shoulder. Only then did I sense the muscles of my body frozen by Hades’s Status loosen up.
[Do not be too concerned, for your father’s personality has always been like that.]
[However, your guilt in this matter is just as grave after daring to spout a lie first. You’ve never harboured thoughts of staying in <Underworld> from the beginning, have you?]
She perfectly hit the mark and I had nothing to say. I never wanted to take over for Hades and become this realm’s king. What I wanted was <Underworld’s> powers, not to inherit its throne.
Hades probably had cottoned onto my motives a while ago.
[It will take some time before that fellow’s anger has sufficiently cooled down.]
[No need to apologise – it’s true that both Hades and I already knew you never planned to remain in this realm anyway.]
Persephone’s eyes arched to a pair of gentle crescents.
[If it’s alright with you, accompany your mother to a meal.]
Persephone’s dining table I hadn’t seen in a while remained pretty much the same; slabs of well-cooked and delicious-looking steaks, as well as salad, laid out in several layers on top of a large plate. On the outside, they resembled foods commonly found everywhere, but I already knew very well that those were no ordinary meal.
[Bravery of an Empress of Swords who Conquered the World]
[Wisdom of a 3rd Circle Magician who Spent his Entire Life in a Library]
[Will of a Swordmaster who Couldn’t use Either Sword Strengthening or Sword Manifestation]
I wondered if I saw something wrong here and read the menu one more time.
[Hurry and have your fill. Do you not find the menu to your liking?]
“….No, it’s not that, but….”
[Now that you’ve become a Constellation, you must consume proper Fables to survive. You won’t be able to absorb enough nutrients through the foods of regular humans. I hope that, as you’re an adult now, you’ve managed to fix your picky eating habit.]
She sounded like my real mother by saying that.
[Your mother worries a lot about you – whether you’re eating properly and on time or not, if you’re getting enough sleep….]
My hand moving towards the fork came to a stop at her words. “Have you spoken to my mother?”
[Fufu. We’ve talked to each other a few times.]
If it was Persephone, then she was fully capable of doing that. The foie gras placed before me had this name, even:
[Heart of a Mother Sending her Child Away]
….This couldn’t have been my mother’s actual heart, now was it?
I put the fork down and spoke. “I see that the type of foods has changed since the last time. There were Swordmasters and Archmages here in the past, if I recall correctly.”
[The ‘Isle of Reincarnators’ have opened now, so we should enjoy special dishes for a change, wouldn’t you agree? I may look this way, but I’m still a member of the Gourmet Association, so I shouldn’t be eating the same food every day.]
Her fork and knife moved; accompanied by rich gravy, aromatic paragraphs leaked out from thinly-sliced Fables. Persephone’s graceful hand movements brought that food into her mouth. What she ate just now was [Will of a Swordmaster who Couldn’t use Either Sword Strengthening or Sword Manifestation.]
[And, some Fables will disappear if you don’t make an effort to consume them.]
Dying Fables were disintegrating at the end of the fork.
Fables that no one searched for were pouring out entrancing sentences on the tip of Persephone’s tongue right up until she consumed them.
I felt complicated while watching that sight; Persephone looked back and smiled. [I’m aware that you are dissatisfied by the eating habits of the Constellations. You probably don’t like the way we easily consume the joys, angers, sorrows, and pleasures of Incarnations.]
[However, every incident taking place in the universe is destined to be left behind as a Fable. You, me, other Incarnations, and Constellations. We’ll be consumed by something else eventually.]
The lives of all living beings would become the stories of the <Star Stream>.
[If we’re bound by such a fate, then the best any Constellations could do is to act towards preserving the most varied spectrum of Fables…. That is my belief.]
Leaving behind varied Fables, and preserve varied types of stories.
Maybe, what Persephone said might not be wrong. In her own way, she was pursuing what she believed to be right in the <Star Stream>. This was probably the reason why she was a member of the ‘Gourmet Association’, too.
But, I was sure that she didn’t invite me here to speak of her philosophy towards Fables.
“May I ask what is it that you really wish to tell me about?”
[In truth, Hades does not want you to remain in this place.]
“…..Does that mean he doesn’t want me to be his successor?”
[It’s different from that. If I were to put it into words….] Persephone spoke, as she began cutting the delicacy placed on the plate in the middle of the table. [Hades, and I…. We do not wish for you to stop as just the ‘King of the Underworld’.]
[Olympus has fallen. The Underworld, too, has lost its former glory. Being satisfied with the position of the ‘King of the Underworld’, now that is no different than placing your name on the coattail of a disappearing Fable.]
“Underworld is a good Fable.”
[And it’s a declining Fable, too.]
Indeed, the power enveloping <Underworld> currently was not like this in the past. An ancient and withered Fable; a story that got progressively spoken of less and less in the <Star Stream> would lose its power little by little.
Persephone’s unreadable eyes staring at the delicacies contained deep-seated melancholy. Maybe, she had been constantly thinking about this, even as she dined on and enjoyed many different Fables.
The fear that eventually, his and her <Underworld> would be buried under the forgotten alleys of passing time and become another stuffed piece in the ‘Isle of Reincarnators’.
[That is the undeniable way of time itself as long as we exist within the <Star Stream>.]
The moment I heard her words, I was overcome by this unfathomably deep, intense sorrow. It was the kind of sadness that I’d never experienced before.
Both Persephone and Hades would disappear. From the memories of people, from my own memories – and the story they had compiled would disappear forever.
I didn’t like Constellations. I disliked their actions, and I disliked the way they peeped on the world itself, too. But why….
….Did I not want to see Persephone and Hades disappear?
Maybe I didn’t want to acknowledge this truth, because I unknowingly spoke in a curt voice. “Why are you being so nice to me?” I bit down on my lips before opening them again. “I merely came here to use you.”
If I failed to acquire the power of <Underworld>, then <Kim Dok-Ja Company> would end up in grave danger on the ‘Isle of Reincarnators’. Even then, I came out and said those words. Perhaps I wanted to confirm something, as a human called ‘Kim Dok-Ja’, and not as <Kim Dok-Ja Company>.
[‘The 4th Wall’ is faintly shaking!]
[‘Fruit of Good and Evil’ is worsening your guilty conscience.]
….Even if that confirmation turned out to be a useless waste of time.
Persephone quietly studied me for a little while, lightly wiped her lips with a napkin, and extended her hand in my direction. Her eyes were gentle and friendly, with not a hint of animosity in them. Flustered, I tried to get up, but her Status had already reached my shoulder.
[A very long time ago, we have received a certain revelation from the ‘three sisters of fate’.]
[It said, ‘A successor to the darkest night who will end the most ancient Myth, will appear.’]
Abruptly, I recalled the story Dionysus told me before.Several Constellations, including myself, believe that you will be the one to reach the ■■.
The ‘several Constellations’ back then must’ve been Persephone and Hades.
Meanwhile, she continued on. [I was initially furious after hearing that oracle.]
[Because, I possess the ‘Fable that can’t have children’.]
I had no idea that Persephone had such a backstory. Could it be that the reason why she had no children until now was because of that?
Persephone lightly brushed my hair back.
[At first, I waited, wondering if it was possible. Maybe, I’d be blessed with a miracle. Maybe, we’d be blessed with a beautiful child who’d remember our stories. Even if only the darkness, hellish landscape, and prisons existed here, we were confident of raising our child better than any of the 12 gods of <Olympus> as long as given a chance. To teach our child the ways of understanding the darkness of other beings, to tell him the kind of Hell that others could never sympathise with, and to show him the merciless prison punishing the evil that tramples on the righteousness of the universe.]
[For many hundreds of years, I lived on in that delusion.]
The ends of her fingers were trembling ever so slightly.
I couldn’t dare to understand the meaning behind that tremor. I simply couldn’t even begin to unpack the pain and the hatred towards <Olympus> contained in each word she spoke.
Persephone managed to sigh softly and continued on. [Hades and I forced our way past many things for a very long time. We knew that we couldn’t have children, but we were never unhappy. Even if the <Underworld> would come to an end in our generation and no one would remember the Fables we had lived through – we are different from the 12 gods, that we’re different from those parents who forcibly passed on their Fables to their children. That we are complete as just us.]
[But then, one day, you made your appearance.]
Persephone’s eyes were now looking at me.
[Actually, he was the first one to discover you.]
She continued on in the voice of someone in a dream.
[He said that he started watching your history from when you managed to survive in the subway. At first, I could hardly believe that there was a child like you. Because I believed that such Fables were over in this world. I can still remember his excited voice when he talked about you.]
[We watched a small Fable that grew up all alone fighting against the world itself. We watched, as you challenged the mighty Constellations, faced off against the Outer God, and while resisting against Dokkaebis’ scenarios…. managing to amass five Fables to be reborn as a small Constellation among the stars.]
I recalled the moments of <Kim Dok-Ja Company> being born a long time ago. Back then, Persephone was one of the five Constellations who supported me.
[That was when we first began thinking about this – that we wanted to become your parents.]
I barely managed to swallow back a certain something trying to well up. I felt that I could just about understand the truth of the affection Persephone had shown me all this time…. Just a tiny little bit.
[Both Hades and I do not wish for you to end up as the ‘King of the Underworld’. We also do not wish for you to be bound to us, and do not wish for the lives we’ve lived, our history, to become the rules that you must abide by. No, all you need to do is to advance forward towards the end of all scenarios, like you’ve been doing all along.]
“But, I…. I am the Underworld’s….”
[You’re our son. That is all that matters.]
I didn’t possess a single thing to repay that kindness. All I could give them was just the promise of a future that hadn’t been written yet, the one without any guarantees.
“When I reach the ■■ of all scenarios, I…. I’ll definitely be with your stories, as well.”
Persephone formed a faint smile.
[Head to the terrace. Your father is waiting for you.]
I didn’t have any good memories of my father.
My father, drunken out of his mind and beating me up; dissatisfaction towards the world spat out like curses, and the inexplicable animosity aimed at me.
I only had memories of a life where I simply had to endure and live on.
Hades, possessing the shadow of the noble night, stood waiting at the far end of the terrace. He was staring at the sight of the Underworld stretching to the other side of the palace.
I didn’t know what to say and could only stare at the wide expanse endlessly; I saw the tributaries where the river of hell flowed within, and beyond them, wandering souls looking in this direction.
[Do you see it?]
The deaths of countless people were there; sadness was there too, and so were the joys and pains of life. All those cherished desires that failed to come to fruition floated down the river’s surface.
[This is the Underworld.]
While Constellations were fulfilling their desires in the scenarios, souls sacrificed to those desires were swept into this place. The world of those who were discarded, wounded, and broken by the scenarios – that was the Underworld.
I shifted my gaze over to Hades.
He understood this darkness and became the ‘King of the Underworld’.
….While never turning away from the tides of sadness rushing in from the world of the living, while saving each and every one of those souls. While listening to other people’s stories for thousands of years, nay, even tens of thousands of years.
At that moment, I thought for some reason, I could say the words I held back for the longest time.
Hades didn’t reply. Maybe, that word was just as foreign to him as it was for me.
Still, he did reply. [Command the army.]
I looked at him again, utterly stunned now.
And in the next moment, I heard the sound akin to the darkness roaring out.
Souls in the near vicinity of the fortress walls were rushing towards the palace. Some of them carried determined expressions, while others carried heroically grim ones. And in front of them all, stood the Three Judges.
It was an enormous army, crashing in like a tidal wave. I had a hard time trying to hide my heart palpitating from the powerful aura of the great army that had not been seen before.
[For the glory of <Underworld>!]
The first Judge shouted out.
[For the glory of the Underworld’s Prince!]
The second Judge prostrated and looked at me.
And as the third Judge powerfully raised his spear towards the heavens, every soul here began roaring out in a single voice.
[For the eternity of all scenarios and their epilogue!]
As the roar continued on, the ‘King of the Underworld’ addressed me. [Now, go.]Read latest Chapters at WuxiaWorld.Site Only
Hades didn’t even look at me when he said that.
Even though he didn’t, he was still looking at me.
He had always been looking at me.
[<Underworld> is your ally from this moment on.]
<Episode 74: Great War of Saints and Demons (4)> Fin.