Omniscient Reader’s Viewpoint - Chapter 543
Chapter 543: Epilogue 4 – The Omniscient Reader’s Viewpoint (8)
As if fulfilling a promise, the companions went on their separate ways to find their purpose.
Some set up a security agency, while someone joined the government.
Han Su-Yeong didn’t join anyone. Instead, she became someone who taught things.
⸢⸢Reading modern philosophy through webnovels⸥⸥
Han Su-Yeong did her lectures featuring such a title from the centre.
After the last scenario ended, reality and fantasy were separated once more.
“And so, if you apply Roland Barthes’ ‘Mourning Diary’ to this novel….”
Most of the attendees carried the look of puzzlement asking what kind of a “dipping croissant in a ‘ssamjang’ sauce” rubbish this was, but a few students seemed to be rather interested by the idea.
One of them raised up his hand and asked her. “Your viewpoint is quite intriguing, Professor. But I do have some objections.”
Han Su-Yeong nodded her head as consent to go ahead. The student continued on with a triumphant look. “Did the author really intend for such a reaction? Is applying such a grandiose theory to a novel full of poor grammar and contradictory sentences a correct way to read it? To be honest, I don’t think that’s what the author was aiming for. Just from looking at the overabundance of onomatopoeia and mimetic words, it….”
Han Su-Yeong glanced at the novel she brought along as her teaching material. For sure, it was a work filled with far too many mistakes. The student was carrying a satisfied smile as if he had finally landed a solid body blow to her.
She pondered for a little while. She could’ve just explained to that student, step by step. However, she chose not to do so. She instead began saying these following words.
“You’re right. Only the author will know the truth.”
“But, if you say that, isn’t that too irrespon….”
“What would it be like if someone starts judging you?”
“That someone might notice your not-very-well washed face, which might be a result of you rushing to get to the lectures on time. Or maybe, they notice your toenails sticking out of your slippers first. And then, they will start thinking like this. Ah, that guy, the way he looks, he must be pretty lazy. And there’s no way a lazy person can be smart. So, no need to listen to the opinions of someone like that.”
“W-what are you even….”
“Or maybe, that student must’ve studied the contents of today’s lecture throughout last night. You can tell by looking at how enthusiastically he’s questioning the professor like that. Sure, his outer appearance is a bit shabby, but he might not care about such things, to begin with. Yes, they could potentially think that way.”
Han Su-Yeong looked into the student’s trembling eyes and continued on.
“Just like what you said earlier, the author of the novel probably didn’t think about stuff like this. However, it is up to you to decide on what you’ll get out of reading the novel. If you only find trash within, then it’ll simply end as trash. But if it can impart just a tiny little bit of deeper meaning to you, then that alone will improve this work in your eyes. Again, it is up to you to decide which one it will be. But I’d really like you to choose the option where you get to ‘appreciate’ your time a little bit better. If you don’t, enduring my lectures will become a pretty arduous slog for you.”
The student closed his mouth shut and looked back at Han Su-Yeong. It was unknown whether he understood her or not – however, she thought that there was no helping it even if he couldn’t.
The student’s eyes slowly moved this way and that, then he suddenly said something unexpected. “….By the way, Professor? Are you going to write a new novel?”
“You said this before, didn’t you? You’re an author because you write. If you don’t write, then you’re not an author.”
There was a subtle undertone of “I don’t have to listen to someone like you who’s no longer an author” in his words. Han Su-Yeong didn’t reply for a second or two – her unclear, murky eyes seemed to be peering into the distant space.
She then disinterestedly muttered out. “Right. I’m not an author anymore.”
“I don’t have a reader who’ll read my work, you see.”
Before she could finish the rest of her words, though, the clock’s bell went off first. Han Su-Yeong grinned and shrugged her shoulders. “Alright, then. The novel you need to read for the next class is….”
She stayed behind on the podium and bade farewell to the students leaving the lecture hall. Her eyes caught a certain text file visible on the screen of the notebook PC currently flipped open. It was a novel she began writing not too long ago as a sort of test. She accessed the file and quietly stared at the sentences she had written so far.
⸢It was then she sensed a presence from behind her.⸥
“That was an interesting lecture. It’d been nice if that person also attended it, though.”
Han Su-Yeong quickly turned the screen off and looked back only to discover a familiar face. The ‘intruder’ was using her elegantly slender fingers to carefully sift through the lecture material scattered around the lecture desk.
“Ah, this lecture sounds like fun, too. Reading modern fantasy literature starting with Pierre Bourdieu, dissection of romance fantasies with Butler….”
“Did you come here to look down on a webnovel author?”
Yu Sang-Ah, slightly tilting her head, smiled brightly. Her smile didn’t seem to have changed a bit in the last two years. She deeply peered at Han Su-Yeong, before asking a question. “Why are you wearing glasses all of a sudden? Did your eyesight get worse?”
“None of your business.”
“Aha, I think I understand. You looked too young and your students were ignoring you, right?”
Han Su-Yeong scowled and angrily yanked the black-rimmed glasses off. Yu Sang-Ah teasingly followed that up.
“Shall we go? Let me buy you a drink.”
Two of them walked on the street, one sipping on the iced Americano, while the other, sucking on the peach smoothie. They maintained this awkward distance and focused only on walking forward.
Han Su-Yeong asked in passing. “How’s your work with the government? Is it fun?”
“I’m not doing it for fun, you know.”
“Who promised to come today?”
“Hyeon-Seong-ssi is currently in the States so it might be difficult for him, but it looks like Hui-Won-ssi will make it. And as you know, Seol-Hwa-ssi is….”
“What about the kids?”
“They are coming. They never missed it before, after all.”
Not too long afterwards, the familiar street of Gwanghwamun greeted them. They entered a side street, walked for a bit longer, and eventually, found the diner they were looking for. Its name was <<Mark & Selena>>. Han Su-Yeong unhesitantly pushed the door open.
“Welcome to… Wow, look who it is!”
The one welcoming them with fluent Korean was Selena Kim. Mark expertly spinning pizza dough in the kitchen whistled loudly. She spoke while guiding them inside. “Please wait for a little bit. Your order will arrive very soon.”
“What about the others who arrived before us?”
Selena Kim pointed to the corner of the bar as if to say, see for yourself.
Three familiar backs of the heads were gathered there. Han Su-Yeong did her best to hold back this certain impatient streak and cautiously sneaked behind the trio. And when she was right behind them, swiftly wielded her hands and pounded on the three heads in a row.
“Ouuuch?! Which dumb asshole…?!”
“Hey, our dear shorties, you’ve all grown a lot, haven’t you?”
“Ah, Su-Yeong eonni! Sang-Ah eonni!”
Since this was their first reunion in almost a year, they shared short impressions on how each other looked. And it really didn’t take long before their food arrived, too.
“What did you order, exactly? What’s the name of this dish?”
“The Desolate Cabin’s Demonic Intestines Stir-fry.”
Mark bringing out the dish grinned. Han Su-Yeong formed a suspicious expression, before stabbing at the dish shaped like the Korean squid sausage with a fork.
“What the hell? It tastes great.”
As expected of its name, the dish was amazing. Her other companions loosened up and began enjoying the food. How long had it been since they got to sit around and enjoy their meal in leisure like this? Even though two years had passed since they crossed the world-line and returned home, everything still felt like a lie to Han Su-Yeong.
– Oh, ohhh. Wuh-woo wuh-woo, wuh….!
A TV panel installed above the bar was broadcasting scenes from a live concert. A pretty popular idol group was currently performing there. One of them was a monkey, the other was a dragon, and the last one was an Archangel. The Great Sage wielding the mic delivered an impassioned vibrato-filled roar, which was promptly followed up by the shower of colourful spotlights focusing on the rear of the stage as Uriel made her entrance.
Yu Sang-Ah elegantly chewing on the intestines muttered out. “They are really popular these days.”
“I joined their fan club yesterday. The Uriel Force is seriously…!”
When Yi Ji-Hye piped up, Yi Gil-Yeong sent in a quick tackle.
“I can’t bear to look at their performance anymore after seeing the one Dionysus has put on, you know? Especially the dude over there….”
“You mean, Abyssal Black Flame Dragon? What’s wrong? Isn’t he cute?”
Shin Yu-Seung asked, and Yi Gil-Yeong narrowed his eyes before replying while chewing on his fork.
“That’s cute to you??”
The panel was now playing the Constellations’ new track. Abyssal Black Flame Dragon sporting an eye patch performed a breakdance routine before exploding into a fiery rapid-fire rap monologue.
– This is the oldest Fable! Myth sung by the scenario! One man’s evolution, fading with time!
“….What the hell is he even singing about?”
While the Black Flame Dragon’s rapid rap bars continued to land, a couple more people opened the diner’s door and entered inside. Their faces seemed a bit flushed as if they had already knocked back a few cold ones somewhere else. They were Jang Ha-Yeong and Jeong Hui-Won.
“What’s this? Everyone was here already?”
Jang Ha-Yeong quickly rushed in and caught Han Su-Yeong in a headlock.
“How have you been?”
Jeong Hui-Won lightly high-fived Yu Sang-Ah’s offered hand before shifting her gaze over to the panel to say something. “Argh, that rapping is really getting on my nerves.”
“It’s good to see everyone after such a long time.”
“Is this everyone for today?”
“Looks that way.”
Jeong Hui-Won began boasting about the new house she recently moved into. Her story generally involved how inconvenient the new place could sometimes be as it was not within the area of train stations, and also how easy it was to get some exercise since a park was nearby, etc.
She no longer lived in Gwanghwamun. She didn’t even live anywhere near the third subway line, too.
Han Su-Yeong asked her. “Okay, so. You two still together?”
Those words caused the companions’ attention to gather here. Jeong Hui-Won smiled bitterly and shook around her alcohol cup. “No, not anymore.”
“If we’re together, we get reminded of things.”
Yi Ji-Hye and her sparkling eyes were urging Jeong Hui-Won on. However, the latter didn’t seem to be in much of a mirthful mood. She simply shook around her drink in silence. Yi Ji-Hye eventually closed her wide-open mouth.
The panel began playing the prelude to the next song.
– The Nameless Salvation (feat. Bald General of Justice) – JUS
Han Su-Yeong listened to the song coming from the panel and murmured something as a follow-up a little bit later. “I see. I guess you’re right.”
With that, they stopped chatting altogether. The silence wrapped around their ankles like a quagmire.
This was the reason why they didn’t meet often.
– This was the story no one remembered. However, this story definitely did exist.
Was two years enough time for that ‘time period’ to become a story?
Han Su-Yeong wanted to know.
“Still no news about Biyu?”
“I asked Miss Anna, but she says there hasn’t been any communication so far.”
Before the companions made their way back, Biyu went to the [Dark Stratum] to train. Because of that, they hadn’t heard any news regarding her whereabouts for the past two years.
“What about Gong Pil-Du?”
“Probably drinking alone in Chungmuro. Again. I think the shock of separating from his family was too great.”
“That guy, I definitely told him to stay behind in the 1865th turn, so why did he stubbornly come back with us….”
“How about Myeong-Oh ahjussi? He’s living in the Complex, so you must be clued up on his news, right? Han Su-Yeong?”
“That guy? He’s the same as always.”
“What about the sooty bastard, though? I heard that he tried to get back to the pro gaming scene before quitting recently.”
No one replied.
Jang Ha-Yeong abruptly raised her cocktail glass. “Eiii, I don’t know anymore. Let’s just get drunk!”
“But, you look pretty drunk already?”
“Don’t stooop me! I’m gonna go all out today!”
“Me too. Please give me a shot, too.”
“Yu-Seung-ah, you’re still underage.”
“If you count my age from before the regression, I’m definitely an adult now, you know?”
While the pouting Shin Yu-Seung started pestering the adults, Yi Ji-Hye poured herself a stiff shot of soju and without any side snacks, emptied it in one go.
“Su-Yeong eonni, can you write my report for me? Please?” She then asked desperately.
“If you ask me that again, Imma kill you.”
Two years. Around 730 days, if divided daily.
Their current conversations could only take place because they had been desperately living their lives during these past 730 days. They went to school, they went to work, they moved house; to get away from that day, one step at a time, the companions tried to live their lives to the fullest.
However, someone actually got closer to that day, in order to get away from it.
⸢Kim Dok-Ja survived through a story called ‘Ways of Survival’. In that case, which story allowed us to survive?⸥
Jeong Hui-Won watched Han Su-Yeong jotting down something on her memo pad, before asking the latter. “What are you busy jotting down there?”
“Just a force of old habit.”
“Are you still writing these days?”
Her fingers writing down on the memo came to a stop. Yu Sang-Ah replied in her stead.
“I thought you were? Judging from what I saw earlier.”
“Really? What are you writing? Is it a novel?”
Yi Ji-Hye chewing on a mouthful of newly-brought out snacks quickly asked.
“….Nah, I’m just writing to get back in the groove.”
“Really? Are you planning to publish a new novel?”
Just as Han Su-Yeong began pondering how she should reply, she heard a rustling noise coming from her side.
“Maybe it’s in here?”
Yi Gil-Yeong had left the meal saying he needed to use the john, but even before anyone had noticed it, he was already back and holding Han Su-Yeong’s notebook PC while giggling away. He had prior form of playing computer games on her device without permission, so he naturally knew the password and could log in without any issues. Shin Yu-Seung shot him an angry glare, telling him to stop this rude act right now.
“Argh, what now?”
His cheeks were flushed red as if he had been sneaking in a couple of sips of the booze. Shin Yu-Seung grew nervous and cautiously studied Han Su-Yeong’s moods, but what was going on here? Now normally, the latter would have blown her top by now and smacked the back of Yi Gil-Yeong’s head. But now, she was wordlessly sipping on her cocktail. As if, she didn’t care if he read it or not.
Yi Gil-Yeong took that as a sign of consent so he quickly opened the file. A short while later, Han Su-Yeong put her glass down and asked him.
“You sure you have the guts to read it?”
Yi Gil-Yeong’s complexion grew paler and paler. Even then, he didn’t tear his eyes away from the screen. He continued to read, as if he’d get sucked into the screen at any moment now. Despite furrowing his brows in obvious torment, he continued to read and read. And a few minutes later, he raised his head, tears just about ready to flood out from his eyes.
“….How many chapters have you written so far, noona?”
“Not that many. It’s about, say, less than two books’ worth.”
“Can I…. read a bit more?”
Realising that Yi Gil-Yeong’s status was somewhat strange, the companions stood up from their chairs.
“What’s going on? What is its content about to make you react like this?”
“I’m also kind of curious, since it’s Su-Yeong-ssi’s latest work….”
“I’ll pass. I’m gonna wait until it comes out as a book.”
With the exception of Yi Ji-Hye saying that while pouring herself another drink, everyone else gathered behind Yi Gil-Yeong.
Han Su-Yeong quietly stared at them.
One by one, their gazes were being sucked into the notebook’s screen.
It shouldn’t simply be because the story was too entertaining. No, it was that kind of a story, to begin with. Because, this story was…
“Han Su-Yeong, you….”
While listening to Jeong Hui-Won’s trembling voice, Han Su-Yeong recalled the sentences she had already recorded.
⸢”Nothing can be changed through regression. It took me a very long time to realise that.”⸥
That’s right. Not a single thing could be changed through the act of regressing. Just like how it was with them back on that day.
“But, why, such a story….”
Even if that was true, however – that didn’t mean their regression didn’t leave anything behind, either.
⸢Kim Dok-Ja survived through a story called ‘Ways of Survival’. In that case, which story allowed us to survive?⸥
Actually, Han Su-Yeong already knew the answer to that question.Read latest Chapters at WuxiaWorld.Site Only
“It’s a story I wanted to show to that idiot.”
A story still remained for them.
A story of a person they all loved.
<Epilogue 4. The Omniscient Reader’s Viewpoint (8)> Fin.