Omniscient Reader’s Viewpoint - Chapter 521
Chapter 521: Epilogue 1 – The world of zero (5)
Han Su-Yeong’s dagger accurately brushed past Kim Dok-Ja’s shoulder. He reflexively grasped his wound. Of course, she didn’t miss that.
⸢An Avatar doesn’t bleed.⸥
After the <Star Stream System> had weakened, even Constellations began to bleed real blood rather than Fables once they were wounded. So, if that Kim Dok-Ja was the real deal, then he should start bleeding right about now.
“Have you really gone insane?! What the hell are you doing?!”
Shin Yu-Seung freaking out hurriedly approached Kim Dok-Ja. Even Yi Hyeon-Seong and Yi Ji-Hye, too. And, the shoulder covered up by the wobbling Kim Dok-Ja….
⸢If what Han Su-Yeong said was correct, then.⸥
Very slowly, his palm left the wounded shoulder.
“I’m alright. Please don’t worry.”
No one knew who sucked in their breaths first. Nevertheless, they all clearly saw it.
⸢Blood was flowing. A deeply crimson blood, no less.⸥
Han Su-Yeong too also witnessed it. However….
“….Hold up. It’s not over yet! There are Avatars that can bleed, too!”
What she said was true, because she too had created such an [Avatar] before.
⸢An Avatar injected with lots of memories will bleed.⸥
She spotted Yu Jung-Hyeok in the distance, still chopping his veggies. She felt utterly annoyed by how his lips didn’t even bob once as if he couldn’t see what’s happening on this side.
Perhaps that was why she ended up saying something she shouldn’t have. “We’ll know once we cut off his head. An Avatar will still move without a head, after all.”
“What did you just say???”
Only after she saw Jeong Hui-Won’s expression hardening to a frightening degree did she realise her own mistake. The aura of [Hellfire] danced on the [Judge’s Sword]. That was Uriel’s Stigma, never been activated once ever since the scenarios came to an end.
Jeong Hui-Won spoke in an angry voice. “If you try something like that, it’ll be your head flying off, instead.”
Han Su-Yeong stared at the [Judge’s Sword] pointing at her and slowly raised the aura of the [Black Flame] as well. She knew the situation was gradually reaching the point of no return, yet she still couldn’t stop herself.
Yi Seol-Hwa’s voice trying to dissuade them was heard next. And when Han Su-Yeong saw the expressions of both Shin Yu-Seung and Yi Gil-Yeong busy baring their animosity towards her, something inside her snapped.
⸢Maybe, it was a miracle for them to come this far together.⸥
She was acutely aware of her not fitting in with these people. She used to be the ‘king of prophets’ once upon a time, and was referred to as the ‘false king’, too. She was nothing more than a villain in the epic tale Kim Dok-Ja had created.
Eating pizza and drinking Cola with everyone by the Han River? From the get-go, all of that was a conclusion ill-suited to Han Su-Yeong.
The tense stand-off generated by the two opposing flames continued on, only for a clear, innocent-sounding voice to break the flow.
“What are you all doing? I brought beer.” Jang Ha-Yeong holding plastic bags on both of her hands was standing there. “Wait, are you doing one of those hidden camera things because I showed up late?”
That voice filled with anxiety managed to wake the companions up. As if they finally recalled the reason why they were here in the first place.
And the man who hadn’t said a single word until now also decided to say something as well. “Why don’t you all give it a rest?”
The Status of a Transcender scattered brilliantly from the [Dark Heavenly Demon Sword] stabbed into the cutting board. And the murderous aura dominating over the park washed away in an instant.
“It’s dinner time.”
The delicious aroma wafting in stimulated everyone’s hunger, instead. Seven pizzas plus fried chicken were perfectly set up on top of the plates.
Yi Ji-Hye sighed after witnessing that spectacle. “Master is seriously….”
The rest of the group saw the uber-serious look in Yu Jung-Hyeok’s face and exchanged glances with each other, not knowing how to respond.
Jang Ha-Yeong was the first one to dash towards the food, however. “What are you all doing? Aren’t you gonna come?”
Gong Pil-Du chuckled helplessly after seeing that.
The atmosphere relaxed just a little, prompting Kim Dok-Ja to say something. “I’m fine. I also get why Su-Yeong-ee is getting suspicious, too. Honestly speaking, I know I’ve become strangely forgetful recently. It often feels like important parts of my memories have disappeared wholesale….”
“Dok-Ja-ssi, this isn’t something you can gloss over like tha….!”
“Let’s eat first and discuss it later. I mean, it’s not every day we get Yu Jung-Hyeok to cook for someone, after all.”
Jeong Hui-Won frowned, but spat out a sigh nonetheless. The companions found their spots on the mat and settled down one by one. However, one person wasn’t here.
In the end, Jeong Hui-Won exploded in anger. “Really, this is….”
Han Su-Yeong couldn’t be seen anywhere.
The faint sounds of fireworks going off came from the distance. Han Su-Yeong stared at the cold water rushing out of the tap inside the bathroom and bit down hard on her lip.
‘I made a mistake.’
It wasn’t like her. She couldn’t figure out why she got agitated to such a degree. A thought of calming herself down and returning to explain popped up in her head, but she just didn’t know from where she should start her explanation to make them accept it.
⸢From the get-go, was it appropriate to call an Avatar that shared the memories a ‘fake’?⸥
The sound of vibration came from her pocket.
It was a message from Yu Sang-Ah. Han Su-Yeong pocketed the phone again. But the device vibrated once more.
– Han Su-Yeot ○.
“Gimme a break.”
– ㅎㅎ That’s a typo.
Just as she was about to send a reply, she sensed a presence behind her.
“Please stop sulking and let’s go back.”
Long, pale fingers held and gripped her shoulder tightly. Han Su-Yeong slapped that hand away and looked behind her. “Forget it. I’ll only sour the mood by showing up, anyway.”
“That’s not true. Everyone will understand.”
“I said, forget….”
“Do you want me to respond like this, then?”
Yu Sang-Ah’s gaze slowly transformed. Han Su-Yeong frowned deeply.
Through the open doorway, she could see the figures of the companions in the distance. And as she watched how Yu Sang-Ah stood there as if to protect that scene, a strange gut feeling suddenly brushed past her brain.
Yu Sang-Ah’s expression back then, not even trying all that hard to stop her. Maybe, she…..
“Once upon a time, Dok-Ja-ssi asked me this. If the cause of this world was the ‘Most Ancient Dream’, then what would happen to the world if that guy was eliminated?” Yu Sang-Ah asked.
“What will happen to a world that no one looks at?”
Han Su-Yeong grabbed Yu Sang-Ah’s collars and shoved her against the wall.
“You… Spit out everything you know, now.”
Han Su-Yeong looked into the still-calm eyes of Yu Sang-Ah and the truth gradually dawned on her.
⸢There was a time when Yu Sang-Ah acted as a librarian of the [The 4th Wall].⸥
She was the only one among the companions to actually enter inside Kim Dok-Ja. What exactly did she see inside that library filled with countless books?
“Spit it out! You saw something in there! That idiot, just what was he thinking about?!”
“Why didn’t you try to stop me? Why, when the situation was getting….!”
“Because, I don’t have the right to do so.”
For the first time ever, Han Su-Yeong’s mouth was shut tight after she heard Yu Sang-Ah’s reply.
“….Protecting the world by dividing himself in half. One becomes the ‘reader’ watching over the world, while the other becomes its ‘character’.”
Han Su-Yeong also knew.
She knew that maybe, that ‘Kim Dok-Ja’ bled because of that very reason.
She knew that, on that day when everyone was freed from the scenario, maybe the other side of Kim Dok-Ja was still riding on the subway – on that day, when she looked back, and Yu Jung-Hyeok also looked back. Maybe, Kim Dok-Ja remaining inside the train was still watching them.
“If that was the choice of a man who knew this world better than anyone, then….”
“How can you even say that?”
The pair of trembling hands were tightening around Yu Sang-Ah’s collars even further. But she lightly raised her own hand and grabbed hold of those shaking hands belonging to her captor.
“This is the choice of a person called myself.”
“You, Kim Dok-Ja, you’re all the same.”
“Su-Yeong-ah. Do you really believe that other companions don’t know what’s going on?”
Han Su-Yeong felt like she got punched in the head.
“Dok-Ja-ssi who doesn’t talk about the Ways of Survival anymore… Do you really think others don’t find that strange? Really?”
“I-in that case….”
“Most of the memories we share together, ‘Kim Dok-Ja-ssi’ over there has it.”
The companions sitting on the mat and chatting away could be seen. Figures of Jeong Hui-Won smiling brightly, while Yi Hyeon-Seong was pouring beer; drunk Gong Pil-Du was singing, while Yi Seol-Hwa was clapping her hands. Jang Ha-Yeong stood up from her spot and noisily yapped on with an exaggerated voice.
– So, like, back in the Demon World…
The ‘Kim Dok-Ja’ they remembered was different from people to people.
If Kim Dok-Ja was a ‘reader’ to Han Su-Yeong, then to Shin Yu-Seung and Yi Gil-Yeong, he was the ‘parent’. To Yi Hyeon-Seong, he was the ‘spent cartridge’, and to Yu Sang-Ah, the ‘work colleague’. To Yi Ji-Hye, Jeong Hui-Won, Jang Ha-Yeong, and also to Yi Seol-Hwa as well as Gong Pil-Du…
“That person is also Dok-Ja-ssi. Doesn’t matter how much percentage he is made out of, there’s no doubt that he is Dok-Ja-ssi. Dok-Ja-ssi who journeyed together with us.”
The festive fireworks were still going off in the distance. The children’s eyes sparkled under the light. It felt as if the history they had to live through was fading away. Han Su-Yeong dazedly stared at that view, at the smiling face of Kim Dok-Ja among the companions.
Without a doubt, that was the scene he had been wishing for.
⸢This was where the story of <Kim Dok-Ja Company> came to an end.⸥
Yu Sang-Ah was right.
Kim Dok-Ja made his choice, and the companions chose to accept his decision. They had been hurt far too many times, and none of them wanted to be hurt anymore.
And so, this was their conclusion.
Yu Sang-Ah asked her. “Is there any meaning in deciphering which one is really him?”
Just like how there was no meaning in assigning the tag of ‘real one’ among the Yu Jung-Hyeoks from countless regression turns, there was also no meaning in finding out which of the equally divided Kim Dok-Jas was the real him.
Han Su-Yeong replied while letting go of Yu Sang-Ah’s collars. “I’m not trying to find out which one’s the real deal.”
Yu Sang-Ah’s eyes were trembling. And Han Su-Yeong’s face was reflected on those trembling irises. Then, as she was left stunned by the revelation that she too could make such an expression, as well as getting agitated by the fact that she could even say something like this, she finished what she wanted to say.
“No, what’s important is that Kim Dok-Ja is still stuck in that place.”
Maybe, there might not be anyone needing that version of ‘Kim Dok-Ja’. You might not find anyone out there wanting to be with that crazy loon who only loved the ‘Ways of Survival’. However, at least just one person…
It was around then that an urgent voice suddenly resounded out in the distance. There was a commotion rising up from the mat where the companions were currently sitting together. And also, a chilling scent of blood wafted in from somewhere.
Yu Sang-Ah and Han Su-Yeong realised something had gone wrong and by the time they arrived there, Shin Yu-Seung was sobbing away, her hands soaked in blood.
“The, the bleeding, it doesn’t want to stop.”
Kim Dok-Ja, seemingly fine only until a second ago, lost consciousness and had collapsed. Han Su-Yeong’s hand holding the dagger trembled ever so faintly. Could it be…
“It’s not because of the wound from earlier. This….”
Yi Seol-Hwa felt for Kim Dok-Ja’s pulse, then her face hardened immediately. His body was shaking ominously; blood trickling out from his shoulder dyed the gauze crimson in the blink of an eye.
And right next second, the blood soaking the gauze began evaporating.Read latest Chapters at WuxiaWorld.Site Only
The droplets of blood crumbled away, like how Fables would disappear. Yi Seol-Hwa cried out.
“Take him back to the Complex! Hurry!”
<Epilogue 1. The world of zero (5)> Fin.