Omniscient Reader’s Viewpoint - Chapter 528
Chapter 528: Epilogue 2 – Not found anywhere (3)
I could only stare at the buck-naked man in sheer stupefaction.
This situation was proving to be really difficult to comprehend.
“I asked you whether you are the <<Big Brother>> or not.”
“….No, hang on a minute. I’m the one with questions here. Just who are you? And what is this <<Big Brother>>?”
“It seems that you are not the <<Big Brother>>. But, how did you break past the Time Fall and enter here? Besides, what is this train? A subway… Is this yet another type of Tower of Nightmares? How does it even operate?”
This guy, words were obviously not getting through to him.
To think, he’d damage someone else’s train and barge inside, only to start yapping on and on about his own stuff.
I activated the [Omniscient Reader’s Viewpoint] right away. And then, bore witness to a message I had never seen before.
[Applicable individual is a ‘Character’ from a worldview you are not familiar with.]
….A ‘Character’ from a worldview I wasn’t familiar with?
Almost at the same time, bright light suddenly shone out from the naked man’s eyes.
[Someone is activating a power not registered with the system!]
Circular disks were vigorously spinning above his retinas.
[An existence of another dimension is spying on your true nature!]
[Warning! This power cannot be fully blocked by ‘The 4th Wall’!]
Along with the sparks going wild in front of my eyes, all the Fables within me exploded forth as if to resist the opposition’s power. The ones that reacted most viscerally were…
[Stigma ‘Regression’s’ essence is writhing.]
[Fable, ‘Hellscape of Eternity’, is baring its fangs!]
In an instant, a portion of subway’s interior transformed into the view of the hellish landscape Yu Jung-Hyeok had lived through. The naked man looked at the world submerged in crimson hue and formed a stunned expression.
“This ‘inherent world’ is… Could it be, you’re a regressor?”
I was about to throw a tackle, saying that that sounded like what Kim Nam-Woon might say. But then, the man’s black sword suddenly began quivering with hatred.
“You are a bastard that turned his back on reality. So, die.”
Just as the chilling light permeating within his blade edge moved towards me…
[The train is re-entering its normal tracks.]
[The authority of the ‘Most Ancient Dream’ is activating!]
[The system is ejecting the foreign matter found within!]
Along with the ‘Shu-wuwuk!’ noise, the man pointing his sword at me was rapidly sucked out towards the exit.
However, he stabbed his sword into the exit and held on, resolutely enduring the train’s acceleration.
It was right at that moment that my body was transferred to another section of the subway.
[Emergency combat system is activating!]
[A portion of the subway used in the ejection will be discarded.]
I looked back to discover the tail section of the train that naked man was clinging onto had separated from the rest and was now drifting away into the universe. And the furious man began dashing in my direction next.
That figure of the man, with the muscles in his entire body ballooning up, gave me this sense of inexplicable terror.
“Hurry up! That bastard is coming after us!”
⸢Don t wo rry that g uy ca n’t es cap e fr om the ti me a x is⸥
That man chased after the subway at a frightening turn of speed, but was unable to climb aboard again. It was as if a transparent wall existed between him and the train. He continued to diligently run on the train tracks, but from a certain moment on, he stopped his pounding steps and glared quietly in this direction.
Only after that dude’s figure had grown very far away was I able to breathe a sigh of relief.
“….Just what was that?”
⸢But ch er of Mo nar chs Jae hwan⸥
….Butcher of Monarchs??
⸢A mon ster that tra ined for sev eral bil lion ye ars in the ti me ax is⸥
I momentarily doubted my own hearing.
“How many years did you say?”
⸢I al so don t kn ow exa ctly he exi sted be fore I was cre ated⸥
That guy was older than [The 4th Wall]? I was getting goosebumps just from the mere idea of that incredible length of time.
Could a human being endure billions of years without going insane? ….No, hang on a second. He didn’t seem quite right in his head, actually.
“Why was he trapped in there for billions of years, though?”
⸢To des troy the sy stem of the uni ver se he bel ongs to⸥
“We are not going to run into him again, are we?”
Maybe [The 4th Wall] was too tired, as there was no reply. It must’ve been busy fixing the damaged train.
I dusted my coat, the one where the sword belonging to a crazy bastard named Jae-Hwan had brushed past a moment earlier. Now that was truly a gob-smacking Thrust, alright. No Constellation or Transcender I’ve met so far would be able to perform such a powerful stabbing attack.
Would billions of years leave a human in that wretched state?
The restoration of the system must’ve been completed, as Fables from world-lines reappeared one by one on the train’s windows. Yu Jung-Hyeok from the 1st turn shooting a terrifying glare at the heavens was among them. I quietly glared back at him for a little while, but suddenly grew scared of something.
“The 4th Wall.”
“….How old is Yu Jung-Hyeok now?”
“We depart in a week’s time.”
Finally, Yu Jung-Hyeok’s Stigma finished its evolution. People who agreed to participate in the Project <Capture the Squid> began preparing for their departure.
“Aileen-ssi, Bok-Sun-ssi, Yeong-Ran-ssi. We’ll leave the Complex in your care.”
“I see. So you decided to go as well.”
Yi Su-Gyeong smiled faintly as people bade them goodbye. “Yes.”
However, not everyone decided to travel with them.
“We can’t go.”
A portion of ‘Team Anna’, including ‘Anna Croft’ herself, chose to remain in this world-line.
“The system is gradually weakening, and this world is the closest to the conclusion that I’d been thinking of. That’s why we’ll remain in this world. However, there is someone who wishes to travel with you among our team, so… if it’s not too much trouble, can you accept her, please?” Anna Croft asked.
The sole person from Team Anna joining the <Capture the Squid> was none other than ‘Selena Kim’. She smiled awkwardly and briefly explained that there was a debt she had to repay Kim Dok-Ja no matter what.
Han Su-Yeong confirmed for the last time. “Is there anyone else? Is this everyone from the Industrial Complex?”
Rather unexpectedly, the person who hesitantly raised his hand was Han Myeong-Oh.
“What’s this, ahjussi? You’re obviously going, right?”
“I’ve raised my hand to tell you that I can’t go.”
She knew that the original relationship between Han Myeong-Oh and Kim Dok-Ja wasn’t very amicable. However, she figured that, as they experienced the scenarios together, they would’ve gotten a bit friendlier, but this…
“I can’t go.”
Only after hearing those words did Han Su-Yeong realise that he was holding the hand of a young girl.
⸢In this regression turn, there were some people they simply couldn’t travel with.⸥
Han Su-Yeong quietly looked into the girl’s face. Outwardly, she seemed to be in her teens, but her mental age probably hadn’t even reached five yet.
Children who were born after the scenarios began couldn’t accompany them during the regression. Because, this child at least didn’t exist back at the beginning.
Han Su-Yeong shifted her gaze over to Han Myeong-Oh’s aged face, before opening her mouth. “Got it. Ahjussi, you can stay.”
“I’ll leave Dok-Ja-ssi in your hands.”
“You worry about yourself first. And since you’re going to stay behind, take care of the Complex’s matters, too. You will run into a shortage of manpower after we leave. If I catch you playing video games in some dark corner somewhere, I’m gonna jump across the world-lines and kick your ass, got that?”
It was then multiple vehicles rushed in from the distance. Waves of crowd jumped out of their black sedans and hurriedly crashed in like the incoming tide.
“Representative Han Su-Yeong-nim! Please grant us an interview!”
Han Su-Yeong frowned deeply.
“Is it true that you’re planning a mass regression along with the Regressor?”
The display panel in the plaza was broadcasting her face in real-time. The unmistakable letters ‘LIVE’ were stuck on the corner of the broadcast, too. Her mask was already being shown to the rest of the country without her consent.
“We know that Representative Kim Dok-Ja-nim places importance on the current reality above all else. In that case, why did you make that kind of a decision?”
“What will happen to this world-line? Are you saying you’ll abandon this world?”
Han Su-Yeong chuckled bitterly at these reporters attacking her as if she was the history’s worst betrayer or some such. “Abandoning this world? Are we really? You think we own this world or something?”
“Representative-nim, you have a duty to this wor….”
“Does this world still need us, anyway? When the scenarios are over and done with?”
Right in that moment, the expressions on the reporters transformed. Their camera lenses shone brightly as if they caught the scent of a scoop, and began capturing Han Su-Yeong’s face even closer. She confirmed her visage on the display panel and continued on.
“What will change if we stay here? You lot will simply come up with weird laws to try and control us. You think we don’t know about Dong-Hoon doing his absolute best to block the legislation from being passed in the National Assembly? You people don’t need us any more. No, you fear us, instead.”
“However, we don’t know when the scenarios will begin again! What if Dokkaebis reappear in the world….!”
Han Su-Yeong grinned refreshingly. Since things had come down to this, she figured that this was for the better. “Did you mean someone like her, right?”
Something resembling a huge hot-air balloon was floating in the location she was looking at. Reporters realising the identity of that mysterious thing all screamed out in sheer terror.
[I am Biyu, the Dokkaebi King of this world-line.]
She sounded so forceful, as if the scenarios were starting again, reminding them of the starting point of the terror that brought forth the destruction of this world.
Biyu began chuckling as if she knew all about their fears.
[Those that were born will eventually be destroyed. However, this planet will be fine. As long as there is no nuclear warfare, it’ll last for tens of thousands of years without a problem. Well, you’ll still have to occasionally dodge a few wayward asteroids that might come flying in your way, though.]
Having heard what the Dokkaebi was saying, the eyes of the reporters all went round from stupefaction.
Unfortunately, the real thing hadn’t been said yet.
[Your main scenario has indeed ended. However… I still have the authority to issue sub-scenarios.]
The complexions of the reporters grew deathly pale from the term ‘sub-scenario’.
“R-run away! That Dokkaebi, it’s going to-!”
And then, a message popped up before their eyes.
[A ne■w sub scen■ario has arr■ived!]
The message window wasn’t clear, perhaps due to the collapse of the Bureau. Even then, it wasn’t hard to read its contents.
[You aren’t forced to participate in this scenario. Only those who wish to will be accepted, and only the qualified volunteers will go through the careful screening.]
[Applicable sub-scenario is for voluntary participation.]
[Because <Star Stream> has been destroyed, I don’t have any rewards to give you. However, if you help out <Kim Dok-Ja Company>…]
Biyu was smiling as if she was satisfied by her own appearance as seen in the display panel.
[At the very least, you’ll get to relive those moments you’ve always regretted about.]
And another week passed by since then.
[Sub scenario, ‘Capture the Squid’, has a new volunteer.]
The people who managed to survive until the end of the scenarios. These people who had lost something precious to them had been gathering in Seoul one by one.
Yu Jung-Hyeok stared at the incoming waves of people and frowned deeply. “….There are too many. This might get a little difficult.”
“We gotta take as many as we can. That’s the only way to save lots of people.”
There seemed to be over five hundred volunteers even at a casual glance. The members of <Kim Dok-Ja Company> carefully interviewed them and through the analysis of the regression turn, they identified those with reasons for disqualification.
Yu Jung-Hyeok and Han Su-Yeong then specially focused on training them, and had them familiarised with all the necessary skills.
And, after a concerted effort to filter them out over and over again, the total number of remaining volunteers dwindled down to one hundred.
These one hundred were everyone they could bring along from this world-line.
“….Can we truly go back to the past?”
The one asking that question was Julius, the possessor of the attribute ‘Judge of Three Generations’. He was ranked 52nd in the ‘top 100 strongest humans’, his nickname was ‘Judge of Wrath’.
He had to lose all of his family, his friends, and comrades back in his country, and had been living on with grief and anger aimed at the world.
He wasn’t the only one, however.
The faces of Japan’s Asuka Ren, and even China’s Fei Hu and India’s Ranvir Khan, could be seen among the crowd. The strongest Incarnations that managed to survive the scenarios had all gathered here.
Julius shouted out. “Please tell us the truth! We have said nothing and endured your training regime until now, didn’t we?! Is it true that we can go back to the past?”
“No, it’s a lie,” replied Yu Jung-Hyeok.
“What do you…. in that case, why did you even gather us….”
“What you’re about to go back to isn’t the ‘past’. No, it’s simply a different world-line. No matter what you do, humans can never go back to their past.”
“I didn’t come here to listen to that obvious….!”
“What has happened will never change. People you loved are already all dead.”
His level tone of voice shut down the mouths of the others.
“They won’t remember you. They won’t recall their own demise, nor will they remember the time they spent with you. Every time you speak to them, you will gradually come to realise that the time you lived together can never be yours again.”
Deep pain was pervading in each and every word he spoke.
These words were from the only man among them who had lived on while remembering the disappeared world-lines.
“You shall become even more lonely, and in the end, you will end up all alone. No one will be able to understand your pain. And rather than understanding your pain, the world will start calling you a regressor and curse you for stealing someone else’s future, instead. None of you will belong to anywhere, and slowly wither away while still alive.”
This was the curse of the regression.
“Even then, will you still choose to regress?”
And this was also the final test to become a regressor.
People who came here to become exactly that began exchanging glances. Some were scared off by the intimidation and stepped back, while some others, those that had been steeling themselves to what’s to come, started taking deep breaths. And then, someone slowly stepped forward.
It was Asuka Ren, the Japanese who fought together with <Kim Dok-Ja Company> back in the [Peaceland]. Also, someone who lost more comrades than anyone here.
“I know that no matter what I do, it still won’t bring back all those that I’ve lost. However, if I regress….” She gripped her katana tightly, raised her head, and spoke up. “At a bare minimum, I might be able to save that world-line.”
And then, people began standing next to her one by one.
“I don’t care if my pain is meaningless. Even if everything was an illusion.”
“Just once, if I could save them just once….!”
This was their determination. Some were captured by their own passion, while some were mired in sorrow.
And every one of them was longing for their past.
Yu Jung-Hyeok knew the truth.
⸢They will all grow to regret this moment.⸥
He could’ve said something. He could’ve told them what his comrades from repeated regressions have told him.
⸢”Captain. You must live in the present. Don’t get lost in the events of the past.”⸥
⸢”They are all just delusions, that’s all.”⸥
His dead comrades from the previous regression turns were saying those during this turn. Every time he heard them, Yu Jung-Hyeok quietly polished his sword and endured.
None of them could understand.
They couldn’t understand that there was someone in this world who could never live in the present.
“Please, take us with you, Conquering King.”
And that was why the regressor Yu Jung-Hyeok understood the people standing before his eyes. The past was the only present they could choose, and no one had the right to tell them they were wrong.
No, well, maybe a certain guy would be compelled to say that they were wrong.
⸢”Don’t ever think that, just by discarding this turn, your next one will be better. Because, just maybe, the regression turn you wish to abandon could very well be the ‘one single turn’ where you get to see the end of this world as a ‘human being’.⸥
Yu Jung-Hyeok slowly closed his eyes.
Could the current him reply to what Kim Dok-Ja had said back then?
He wasn’t sure.
However, he was certain of one thing.Read latest Chapters at WuxiaWorld.Site Only
⸢There was someone in this world who would go as far as to abandon his ‘humanity’ to see a certain story.⸥
Yu Jung-Hyeok stood up from his spot and raised his voice.
“We are heading out. Call on the Constellations.”
<Epilogue 2. Not found anywhere (3)> Fin.