Chapter 361 Cha Jeong-woo (7)
Team: HH, Yahiko, thursdays
“For sure. The culprit is among the members.”
Vieira Dune examined my body and frowned.
After multiple tests, the color red, which meant I was critical, popped up.
It meant that someone had poisoned me for a long time so carefully that my trait, Perfect Adaptability, hadn’t been able to catch it.
Arthia was a very closed clan.
Even after becoming a Large Clan, we only accepted a few members. It was impossible to join if you weren’t recommended by someone I knew or accepted by the majority after a vote.
This was why although our numbers were few in war, our bond and trust in each other were superior.
There were even a few who were ready to give their lives for the clan.
That was how Sadi had died. After getting caught in a trap by enemies, she had volunteered to turn their attention away so the rest of the clan members could escape.
It was obvious how Kun Khr, who had been unconscious because of an injury, felt at the time.
But. An assassination attempt?
And it was a bit embarrassing to say it myself, but I was the clan’s leader and center.
If it became known that I was poisoned for such a long time, there would be distrust among the clan members.
Moreover, everyone was going through a hard time with Kun Khr’s leave. I couldn’t add fuel to the fire.
I spoke, putting my shirt back on.
“Don’t tell this to anyone. If they ask, just say it’s because I overworked myself for the past few days.”
“Please. I don’t want to make people more disoriented. And since we found out, we can start treating it.”
Vieira Dune looked at me with frustration. She seemed to have a lot to say, but she just grinned as she shook her head like nothing could be done.
“Fine. You’re usually sly like a fox but dense like a bear when it comes to things like this. Although that’s why I like you.”
Laughing, she hugged me. I hugged her back and laughed. A bear. It might’ve been reflected by my desire to take after my brother in that aspect.
Even so, I was grateful that I was still alive. I thought that I was going to die when I fell.
No, I actually felt like I died.
Being relieved by the fact that it was just needless concern, I pulled her tighter to me. We stayed like that, feeling each other’s warmth. I was happy at that moment.
I didn’t know it was poison.
* * *
The peace we had for some time was quickly broken.
There was another bomb thrown at our clan with the news Leonhardt brought.
“Friend, what is it?”
“Kun Khr, that crazy bastard…..!”
Leonhardt couldn’t speak properly because he had run all the way here.
For a moment, anxiety flashed through me. I thought of Kun Khr’s face when he had bowed apologetically. At the end, he looked like he had made his decision on something. Why hadn’t I been able to tell back then?
Before Leonhardt could speak, I quickly hurried my companions.
“Valdebich, get Dragon Killers! Vieira, check how many chimeras we can use at the moment. Bahal, Leonte, check our manpower. Quick, now!”
The clan members all rushed around, probably having thought the same thing as me. However, no one spoke about the anxiousness they felt. It was because words could become reality.
The thought that I had to rescue Kun Khr was the only one in my head.
But when we arrived at the temporary base of Blood Land…..
We stood there blankly for a while.
Kun Khr’s head was hung on a pole, face still crumpled with rage. Blood dripped below, not having dried yet.
My heart that went wrong was slowly breaking apart.
* * *
Was it from then? The clan members didn’t talk.
We all strategized during conferences when there was a war and discussed our enemies, but it was rare that we spoke about personal business.
It seemed like we were just fighting when we needed to fight and resting when we needed to rest.
Everyone was tired and done.
Valdebich and Leonhardt tried to lift the atmosphere up, but everyone just smiled bitterly. The sound of happy laughter couldn’t be heard anymore.
I also wanted to lead the clan properly, but because the Devil Poison entered my heart, it was hard to do so.
Because I was keeping the seizures down and focusing on war, I didn’t have the mind to look around me.
The reason why I wasn’t that worried was probably because I believed things would be back to normal again.
I didn’t know my baseless faith was making the clan members more exhausted.
The sharp atmosphere that felt like walking on top of knives exploded.
“……So he crossed over to Red Dragon.”
All the clan members glanced at each other without saying anything.
It was that shocking.
Although we hadn’t spoken to each other recently, one comrade who had been walking shoulder to shoulder with us had crossed over to the enemies.
The atmosphere couldn’t help but become despondent. The problem was that no one saw it coming.
However, the changes didn’t end there.
It was only hard the first time.
Aether left. Horst was blinded by money that enemies offered and died while trying to assassinate me in the middle of a battlefield. Bayluk left with a smile after planting poison in me. The Devil Poison that had settled down a bit turned worse and my Dragon Heart was completely destroyed.
Valdebich disappeared one day without any word and Leonte stabbed me in the heart after putting me in a trap. Leonhardt tried to calm me down, but he couldn’t take it and left for the Sea of Time.
Other clans that had expressed goodwill to me turned their backs as well. The places I helped, the places that swore their allegiance to me, places that promised friendship…..
They called themselves my wings when I was shining brightly, but when I fell into darkness, they pretended like this didn’t know me.
I refused. How could everyone leave? How could everyone turn their backs? How, how?
Trust returned to me with betrayal.
I died multiple times in that process and was revived again and again.
My resolve to get the elixir barely got me through.
When I collected my wits, Vieira Dune was the only was left behind.
My lover. My everything.
If I have you, it’s okay if the entire world abandons me. I can start again, and I can wake up…..!
“You were always someone that shined like the stars in the sky. Although you seemed arrogant and proud, you were warm inside. But….. I don’t want to see you pathetic like this. I just want to remember your shining moments. That’s okay, right?”
A sword that hurt more than Leonte’s stabbed at my wound that was barely closed.
But what hurt more than that was my lover’s words.
I was able to realize who the culprit behind the Devil Poison was.
“I love you.”
She whispered into my ears and disappeared.
The sky was falling.
* * *
The eyes that were looking at me sadly.
What kind of face was I making? Was it crumpled from pain, or annoyed? Or. Was it overwhelmed with sadness?
“Don’t show yourself again. Ever.”
A woman I was grateful towards for staying by my ruined side until the end. Although I knew she liked me, I rejected her. Vieira Dune’s emotions were more important to me. I was a fool. A fool who didn’t know how to read people.
It was the reason why I had to push her away. I had no hope. The situation around me was worse. I couldn’t pull that beautiful and kind person into this mess.
Ananta hesitated in her eyes as she looked at me. She looked like she wanted to say something. Her eyes were filled with pity. Then, she bit her lower lip like she decided something and spoke with firm eyes.
The strength in her voice rang in my heart. I thought it had been destroyed a long time ago, but it seemed like it could still do some of its function.
“I’ll do anything I can to protect.”
With those words, she left.
I collapsed where I was standing.
Without a sound, I sobbed.
I wanted to shout countless times to stay by my side. That I was lonely. That this place was cold. That I was tired. Pained. I wanted to say that, but I forced myself not to every time.
-I’ll do anything I can to protect.
Ananta’s words moved me.
I didn’t know what she was going to protect, but I had something to protect as well.
I put my hand into my breast pocket. There was a glass bottle with a sparkling blue liquid in it.
The mysterious medicine that would treat my mother.
It was the medicine I got from Allforone on the 77th floor and forcing my way through the 76th floor.
-Is this your fourth time here? The time….. Yes. You’re closer than before. But that’s all. Nothing has changed. I supposed the fate engraved into your soul doesn’t change?
Allforone was still surrounded by darkness and fog, but he spoke like he was proud of me as he pat my head.
-Child, dreaming of nightmares over and over again, being trapped inside a cycle. I hope you can escape the nightmares and see your path someday.
I still couldn’t understand what he was saying, but I could tell he was encouraging me.
There was still one person who encouraged me when everyone had abandoned me.
Allforone gave me the elixir, saying I did a good job. Even though I didn’t ask him for it, he gave it to me as if he understood. He returned to where he had been and looked up at the glittering night sky.
The night sky was beautiful.
The galaxy that split through the center of the sky and the beautiful stars that sparkled around it. I was impressed by the scene that I just looked at it blankly for a while.
And I don’t remember, but I probably cried. My eyes were wet when I came to attention.
Then, I returned to the hidden stage of the 50th floor where the clan house was.
I was already destroyed beyond recovery after getting through Red Dragon and fighting the Summer Queen, but the encouragement Allforone gave me along with the galaxy of stars gave me a taste of happiness.
While I touched the elixir, I was hit with the impulse to drink it.
But I knew that healing myself was impossible even with the elixir, so I shook my head. I didn’t forget my resolve since I first entered the Tower. The promise to get it to Mom.
There was a problem, though.
I had to retire to return to Earth. I couldn’t climb the Tower again, but I didn’t have much to live so it didn’t matter.
However, the problem was that the 50th floor was filled with enemies who came after sensing the catastrophe from the 76th floor.
I needed to get through them to retire. I didn’t have the strength left to do so.
What could I do?
How could I get through them to give the elixir to Mom?
I was deep in thought for a while.
[A god quietly observes you.]
I lifted my head at the message that suddenly popped up. It was the gaze that appeared from time to time. The being had interested in me but never revealed their name.
Even now, when I was stronger, I couldn’t tell any of the being’s characteristics to tell what kind of position they had or what their identity was.
But what inspired me wasn’t the message. It was the being’s actions.
‘Do I have to get through all the enemies? Everything will be over if I lose the elixir. If I can leave it to someone I trust…..’
There was no one I could trust in this world.
There was one person.
‘But it’s dangerous for Hyung to come here without anything.’
It had been a long time since I left Earth, so his personality could’ve changed, but the world of the Tower was rough and difficult. Even Hyung could struggle to get to where I was.
However, if Hyung could see the path I came.
If he could see the path I walked like how the gods and demons on the 98th floor looked at the lower world, he could get here quickly.
I quickly pulled out the pocket watch and Soulstone.
A memory with my brother could definitely hold my memories and vestige, and the stone of Superbia could be the medium.
No, that wasn’t enough. Then it would only be a simple diary.
The item I created had to help Hyung find his path. But the path I walked was a failed one.
I couldn’t suggest this to him.
I had to find a more efficient and correct path for him.
Then what did I need to do?
[A god watches you.]
I was deep in thought again.
[A god takes interested in your decision.]
There was a way.
What I gained a long time ago but hadn’t been able to use because I didn’t know how.
[A god smiles with satisfaction at the choice you made.]
The benefit ‘Drawing Dreams’ was like a simulation. It would take the same situation and conditions to choose a few variables for the best possible ending.
The answer that I found could influence reality to create an advantageous result.
However, I had never used it before.
At first, I didn’t know how to, and after I did, there were too many conditions that were needed.
No, it was a benefit that a mortal couldn’t use. The results of the dream being applied to reality meant it would influence the principles of causality. Gods and demons wouldn’t be able to touch them easily either.
It was a power that only an all-mighty being who surpassed a superior divine being might be able to do.
That was why I didn’t attempt it, but if the limits were changed, the story was different.
If the information about the Tower was copied to create a small Tower inside the storage location, and the simulations could continue in the form of dreams…..
The data could continue to gather to find the most successful and efficient result.
Wouldn’t the result be able to help Hyung somehow then?
In the world created in this Tower, unlike how I failed, there could be a successful “me.” A smile grew on my mouth as I thought that.
That moment, my eyes widened.
I looked around.
It was a vivid realistic world. But suddenly, everything felt in vain.
I realized the secret of where I was.
‘This is all a dream.’
There were memories that floated around in my head from time to time. Moments that I was happy, sad, and lonely. What I thought was simply a dream or deja vu had actually happened. At the very least, “in this world.”
That meant one thing.
‘In the end.’
I tightened my grip on the pocket watch. A bitter smile spread on my face.
‘Even in a dream like this, there was never a time when I smiled at the end.’
* * *
Yeon-woo clenched his teeth looking at the countless scenes created by the letters, Jeong-woo in his arms.
There were multiple events happening there.
They all had one thing in common.
Jeong-woo was at the center of it.
And Jeong-woo had died from multiple reasons.
The Jeong-woo who died from over bleeding when the rain of arrows got through his shield. The Jeong-woo who fell for the trap set up by Scavengers when he was just about to enter the Tutorial.
There was a Jeong-woo who died after fighting Allforone and a Jeong-woo who died from his magic power circuit exploding when trying to absorb the Soulstone.
At the very end, when he took the elixir, he realized reality, and closed his eyes, bitterly rubbing the pocket watch.
Yeon-woo looked down at his brother in his arms.
To be honest, he had some questions during all this time.
Each of the hidden pieces in his brother’s diary was rare and precious. Items that Large Clans would’ve tried to hoarded to themselves if they found out.
There was the Bathory’s Vampiric Sword and the Treasure of Olympus. Yeon-woo wondered why no one had taken them all this time.
If they were things his brother after repeating his life multiple times, it made sense.
The path that Yeon-woo walked was one that was gained after his brother died tens, hundreds, no maybe even thousands of times in that cycle.
All so Yeon-woo didn’t have to walk the same difficult path that he did.
He was fine with getting hurt.
That was why the only thing Yeon-woo could say when he saw his brother was that he was stupid. No matter how much the dreams repeated, there would be memories left in his subconscious. Then, his soul would be eroded bit by bit.
Still, he wasn’t stopping.
The same went for now.
Jeong-woo didn’t seem to plan on opening his eyes. He was continuing to walk his lost path in the world of dreams.
[A god is looking at you with sad eyes.]
Yeon-woo lifted his head at the sudden message.
The message that had followed Jeong-woo around since he entered the Tower. Jeong-woo hadn’t been able to learn who it was until he died, but not Yeon-woo.
She was connected to Yeon-woo too strongly through the Channeling.
“Did you see this future since Jeong-woo first came here?”
[A god is silent.]
Yeon-woo narrowed his eyes.
Note: Thanks everyone for your patience till now. according to current situation HH will be able to return back to translating in a week so probably by next week we will be back to normal.
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