Omniscient Reader’s Viewpoint - Chapter 522
Chapter 522: Epilogue 1 – The world of zero (6)
It had been a week since Kim Dok-Ja lost his consciousness.
The companions took turns to nurse him as he remained in a coma. Yi Seol-Hwa and Aileen continued to administer medical treatment in alternating turns, and many Incarnations blessed with famed healing skills also paid visit, as well.
Unfortunately, none of them could discover the reason why Kim Dok-Ja suddenly ended up in this state.
– His internal structure is becoming unstable. We don’t know the reason yet. Maybe, it’s related to the <Star Stream System>’s weakening, somehow…
A few Incarnations cautiously discussed the topic related to the [Avatar].
Kim Dok-Ja remained unconscious, and while staring at him, Shin Yu-Seung murmured as if to steel herself.
This person, he’s Kim Dok-Ja. Without a doubt, he is the Kim Dok-Ja that I remember.
However, there was one thing that didn’t change no matter how many times she told herself that.
⸢The power of her ‘Constellation sponsor’ cannot be felt from this existence before her eyes.⸥
The Fable that warmly embraced her couldn’t be felt all that well right now.
[Fable, ‘Saviour of the Star’, is stuttering during its storytelling.]
Even the Fables that connected her to Kim Dok-Ja were hesitating with their storytelling. As if, this existence before her wasn’t suitable as the subject of their story. Shin Yu-Seung slowly closed her eyes.
[Currently, the connection to your Constellation sponsor is very faint.]
[Currently, the communication channel to your Constellation sponsor is disconnected.]
The ‘sponsor contract’ that tied her to Kim Dok-Ja was still in effect. There it was, the starlight within the night sky, remaining in the exact same spot and watching her as always.
⸢If that’s the case, then just whose starlight was that?⸥
Shin Yu-Seung stared at Kim Dok-Ja’s shoulder that still hadn’t healed yet.
This arm always protected his companions. With that arm, he painted his world. With that arm, he ended the scenarios, and brought down the Final Wall. She slowly raised her head and looked at Kim Dok-Ja’s face. The golden headband put on top of his head during the Journey to the West scenario still remained where it should. The constrictive headband lost its powers after the Great Sage’s Fable weakened. Shin Yu-Seung reached out and brushed his dishevelled hair underneath the headband.
⸢”Don’t worry, Yu-Seung-ah.”⸥
Kim Dok-Ja kept his promise.
⸢The PC Bang she wanted to go together.⸥
⸢Pizzas and Cola she wanted to enjoy by the Han River.⸥
Inside those fantasy-like moments, Kim Dok-Ja was definitely there. They were gentle, tender moments that a person sacrificed all of his life to bring to reality.
She didn’t want to deny this conclusion that they only managed to reach through such a long, arduous journey.
Shin Yu-Seung buried her face on the bed and sobbed, until the fatigue sent her into dreamland. Someone opened the quiet hospital room’s door and entered inside.
“Hey, it’s time to cha….”
Yi Gil-Yeong entering the room discovered the sleeping figure of Shin Yu-Seung and promptly shut his mouth. He lightly dusted the thin blanket next to the chair and covered her shoulders with it. Then, he settled down on the other side of the bed.
He carefully tucked Kim Dok-Ja’s hand that slipped outside the bed under the duvet. It was a hand full of scars. It was also the same hand that gave a certain boy his grasshopper once upon a time.
⸢There was a time when Kim Dok-Ja was like a god to the boy.⸥
Yi Gil-Yeong stared at Kim Dok-Ja for a long, long time before softly muttering out.
“…..Hyung, you’re still you, right?”
He sighed deeply and slowly stood up to open up the room’s curtains.
There were truly many people walking on the streets outside. People that Kim Dok-Ja had saved. This was the world that he had protected. Yi Gil-Yeong sat near the window and silently counted the number of passersby for a long while.
“….That stupid idiot. If you were going to make an Avatar, you should’ve done it properly.”
The grumbling Han Su-Yeong was walking inside the Industrial Complex.
It had been one whole week since Kim Dok-Ja had collapsed. She had come to a conclusion in the meantime.
⸢I can’t expect any help from the companions.⸥
Yu Sang-Ah was right – this ‘Kim Dok-Ja’, and the ‘Kim Dok-Ja’ she missed, were both Kim Dok-Ja. Meaning, this was the true ending he had been wishing for, and everything would be fine if the companions decided to accept it.
However, it was possible for at least one person to have a differing opinion about it.
“What is it, Black Flame Dragon ahjumma?”
“Where is your oppa right now?”
“Don’t feel like telling you, though?”
Yu Mi-Ah quickly ran away and hid between the narrow alleyways. She was so unbelievably fast that by the time Han Su-Yeong got there, that little kid was already long gone without a trace. However, Yu Jung-Hyeok must’ve been nearby considering his little sister was around here.
And so, how long did she continue to walk afterwards? An unfamiliar noticeboard appeared before her eyes.
A residential area set up on the western sections of the Complex was here. The antique architectural style reminded her of the medieval fantasy setting. She only heard about this place from Yi Su-Gyeong, but now that she had witnessed the view of this rather unexpectedly well-thought-out cityscape, Han Su-Yeong couldn’t help but be impressed.
Just as she began thinking that it’d not be so bad to sightsee since she was searching for that fool anyway…
An unexpected person found her first.
“You’ve been living here?”
“For a while now. I know you’ve been busy, but still, I’m a little sad that you only came to visit today.”
“….You totally sound like a Korean, you know that?”
Han Su-Yeong was really glad to see Yuri sipping tea before her eyes like this.
Yuri di Aristel.
Back in the Kaixenix Archipelago, Han Su-Yeong took possession of this woman and carried out the scenario. Now that she looked back, so many things happened back in Kaixenix. She wasted decades waiting for that stinking Kim Dok-Ja, for instance. And…
“By the way, who were you trying to find here? Was it me, perhaps?”
“I’m sorry. It’s not, but….”
“Tch. In that case?”
Han Su-Yeong briefly explained her situation, and Yuri clapped her hands if she understood.
“Ah, you meant your fiancé?”
Han Su-Yeong thought about something for a bit, before her expression crumpled. Now that she looked back some more, didn’t she almost get married to that guy?
Yuri asked in a teasing tone. “By the way, which one do you really prefer? My personal preference is the shorter….”
“Never mind that. You know where Yu Jung-Hyeok is right now?”
“Mm? Is that your preference?”
“Please just answer the question.”
“If it’s that idiot….”
“Well, what good timing. There he is.”
A huge shadow ran past the cafe’s window with a whoosh. Han Su-Yeong hurriedly shot up and rushed outside the cafe.
“Hey, what about the bill?!”
“Sorry! I’ll get it next time!”
She spotted the figure running up ahead. It was Yu Jung-Hyeok kitted out in a tracksuit, currently running through the Industrial Complex while maintaining a constant speed. She heard the Complex’s residents murmuring to each other nearby.
“…He’s running again, that guy.”
“Why does he stupidly keep doing that, when you can just use your skills?”
“It’s already been three months.”
This was her first time hearing that. Han Su-Yeong gave chase, and studied Yu Jung-Hyeok’s back while doing so. It was as the residents said; he was moving with his own muscles without using any skills whatsoever.
She lightly sucked in her breath, activated her skill, and reached next to Yu Jung-Hyeok.
“What are you doing?”
The running man soaked from head to toe in sweat glanced at her before returning his gaze back to the road.
“Are you going to enter a marathon or something? But then again, even you would need to find a job in this new world, so….”
Her provocation failed to elicit a reply from Yu Jung-Hyeok. Just as she began wondering what to say next to get a response from this stubborn fool, people they brushed by could be heard muttering to themselves.
“….Look at that, another idiot showed up.”
These morons, seriously now….!
Just as Han Su-Yeong was about to give them a piece of her mind, Yu Jung-Hyeok opened his mouth first.
“I’m running, because I want to.”
“Why? You feeling frustrated too?”
He didn’t reply. Instead, a very faint shadow was cast over his expression. She couldn’t fully understand the meaning behind his current expression, but it still felt like she could get it just a little.
“How much of that novel did you say you’ve read?”
Han Su-Yeong ended up replying in a weirded-out voice from that unexpected question. She didn’t think Yu Jung-Hyeok would ever ask her about that. “Just a bit in the beginning part.”
“What kind of a person was I originally in that world? For instance, during the 0th turn or the first turn….”
“What rubbish are you on about? Why are you asking me that, anyway?”
“For some reason, I can’t seem to remember the past all that well.”
That was the first time she heard this.
“You can’t remember?”
“No, it’s not that I can’t, but they are completely fragmented.”
“You’ve regressed for over a thousand times so, yeah, even I would end up like that.”
Although she spoke in jest, Han Su-Yeong got an idea as to why Yu Jung-Hyeok’s memories were so unclear.
Technically speaking, Yu Jung-Hyeok was the protagonist of a novel called ‘Ways of Survival’. Every bit of info related to him came from the author’s setting, and those not told by said author were basically ‘things that don’t exist’.
The novel ‘Ways of Survival’ began from Yu Jung-Hyeok’s 3rd regression turn. So maybe, he shouldn’t be fully recalling anything that happened between his 0th and the 2nd regression turn.
“Is that really important? What you were like back then?”
Whether this was an issue of the setting, or he really did forget…. Regardless of what, the past was past. That might sound like a rather obvious thing to say, but she still wanted to tell him – that the truly important thing wasn’t the past but the future about to take place.
However, Yu Jung-Hyeok replied like this first. “It is important to me.”
He continued to maintain a constant breathing pattern; Han Su-Yeong watched him force his body to its limits without the help of any of his skills and got this feeling that she finally gained clarity on something.
⸢Yu Jung-Hyeok is someone who can clear the ‘scenario’ the best in this world.⸥
Paradoxically, the Conquering King who could clear the scenarios far better than anyone lost his usefulness after the scenarios ended.
So, in this world where the scenarios were over, just what had become of Yu Jung-Hyeok?
Han Su-Yeong’s lips bobbed up and down several times.
“You probably were Yu Jung-Hyeok even then. Yu Jung-Hyeok who’d become the regressor.”
This was all she could do, returning what he said in the past back to him in full. And in order to change the topic, she quickly followed that up with something else.
“Besides that, I have something to say to you. Maybe you know this already, but this world-line’s Kim Dok-Ja is…”
“He’s an Avatar. I already know.”
So, he did know. Han Su-Yeong was about to make a retort, but clamped her mouth shut, instead.
Getting this far wasn’t the issue. No, now that she was here, her lips didn’t want to part all that easily at all.
Was it okay to suggest to this ‘Yu Jung-Hyeok’ that they should go and rescue Kim Dok-Ja, the one that still remembered the ‘Ways of Survival’?
She didn’t know the answer to that, and could only swallow back the words circling around on the tip of her tongue.
Unexpectedly, it was he who opened his mouth first. “If you want to rescue him, then you need to get to the subway beyond the ‘Final Wall’. The problem with that is you can never reach there through the regular methods of crossing the world-lines.”
Han Su-Yeong was surprised for a second there, but still managed to reply quickly enough. “….If we open the ‘Final Wall’ one more time, we can go there. We need to gather the ‘fragments’ to open the door, though. And looks like we already have one of the fragments.”
⸢That’s what Han Su-Yeong said.⸥
Even she could more or less hear [The 4th Wall]’s intermittent messages nowadays. These texts butted in irregularly as if to explain the world – perhaps they were sentences currently being recorded on [The 4th Wall] that this world-line’s Kim Dok-Ja possessed.
“The issue is with the other fragments.”
The ‘Wall that Decides Samsara’ Yu Sang-Ah used to possess.
The ‘Wall that Divides Good and Evil’ Jeong Hui-Won and Yi Gil-Yeong used to possess.
And finally, the ‘Wall of Impossible Communication’ Jang Ha-Yeong used to possess.
Those ‘walls’ were used up while opening the Final Wall. There must’ve been a way to get them back, but the current Han Su-Yeong couldn’t think of one.
“This is the third lap.”
Only after hearing that did she realise that the same exact scenery as earlier was laid out before her eyes. It was the sight she encountered when stepping foot in this district for the first time. They had been running in a massive loop until now.
“What did you see? I was looking at the birds on top of the tower,” said Yu Jung-Hyeok. “Those birds always return there during this time of the day.”
“And that cafe, it’s always full around this time every day.”
“Have you seen the clock tower back in Kaixenix? Faces of different people are engraved into the second, minute, and hour hands. Your face is also there.”
Han Su-Yeong followed after Yu Jung-Hyeok’s words and turned her head. The world as described by him was indeed right here. Maybe he had been staring at this scenery while looping around many, many times.
“Why are you looking at stuff like that, though? Have you finally gone insane?”
Han Su-Yeong felt that him looping alone was truly a pity and could only say that as her reply.
That prompted him to say this, however.
“If you run one more time….” Yu Jung-Hyeok had come to a stop even before she had noticed it, and he was now asking her. “If you get a chance to run again, do you believe you can see it better the next time?”
Han Su-Yeong also came to a halt right there.
[Incarnation ‘Yu Jung-Hyeok’s’ Stigma is emitting a faint light.]
In all honesty, she already knew. From a while ago, she realised what he was trying to say. However, she wanted to pretend that she had no clue, instead.
Because, she thought that method was not a good one at all.
The way to save Kim Dok-Ja.
The way to gather the three disappeared ‘fragments’ again.
The way that only Yu Jung-Hyeok could resort to.
⸢And that was to return to the world where that ‘Wall’ still existed. And then, to walk on the hellish landscape once more.⸥
“You wanna solo that crazy thing all over again??”
Not even she and Kim Dok-Ja wanted that.
On top of that, no matter how amazing Yu Jung-Hyeok was, there was no way he could, all by himself…..
“No, it’s impossible alone.”
His calm, collected declaration caused her eyes to blink.
“That’s why I asked you. What did you see?”
The Status of Transcendence was rousing up from Yu Jung-Hyeok’s rippling muscles. This transcended form that surpassed Constellations was evolving once more.
[Incarnation ‘Yu Jung-Hyeok’s’ Stigma is evolving.]
Han Su-Yeong looked back at the path she had run past and saw the tower’s clock hands circling around. She could see the engraving of her own dumb-looking face on the diligently-moving second hand.
What would happen if she got to run on that ‘time’ once more? If so, would she be able to run even better than before?
Maybe, she might be able to – if she made a thorough preparation beforehand. And…. if she got to work together with the comrades she lived with in this world, too.Read latest Chapters at WuxiaWorld.Site Only
She looked back, only to discover the regressor that had run on that very distance countless times staring right back at her.
“I need your help, Han Su-Yeong.”
[Stigma, ‘Regression’, has acquired the possibility of ‘Group Regression’!]
<Epilogue 1. The world of Zero (6)> Fin.