The World after the Fall - Chapter 150 - The Great Forest (5)

[Updated at: 2021-01-11 07:16:29]
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Chapter 150: The Great Forest (5)



“…Jaehwan?”


“…”


“Jaehwan!”


It took a while for Jaehwan to realize that he had been lost deep in his thoughts. Runald had already stopped crying. As he looked at Runald, he felt like he could hear Andersen’s voice from within.


“You don’t look good. Is it because of the wounds…”


“No. Weren’t you crying just now?”


“I can’t cry for so long, I’m not a kid.”


Jaehwan tried to say something to Runald, but he continued, “So don’t be so gloomy. It’s not like you at all.”


Not like you? They were merely together for days. It wasn’t long enough to say what he was like or not.


“What am I like then?”


“Hmm… that is a difficult question to answer, actually.”


Runald mused, but quickly continued, “You’re better off when you act like a stubborn five-year-old kid.”


“…”


“You know, those persistent ones always bent on doing what they want?”


It felt weird to hear this from an actual kid. Jaehwan regretted even asking, but Runald continued in a sad tone.


“Andersen was like that too, now I think about it.”


He sounded so sad, Jaehwan realized that this boy wanted to speak about her all along.


“Andersen. She always did what others said no to. I guess you learned it too since you shared her world for a few days.”


Andersen never shared her stories, and Jaehwan never asked. But as Andersen read Jaehwan’s memory, Jaehwan was able to read hers too.


“Everyone abandoned the [Naked] Setting but she was the only one who kept it until the end. She said if there’s at least one Follower who believed in that world, then the God needed to stay for that world.”


As Runald continued, Jaehwan remembered the first day when he met Andersen. She made complaints and comments about Jaehwan’s barren world, but she never expressed that his world was wrong. She always had a bit of concern in her words.


Maybe she knew it all along. Because she walked a lonely path, she didn’t want Jaehwan to do the same.


“Andersen then…”


Runald kept on talking about Andersen. He acted as if he was okay, but it seemed like he couldn’t shake it off. Jaehwan thought, ‘Could he be a better God to Runald than Andersen?’


He wasn’t so sure. He wasn’t the type to lead people. It was the same when he led the team back in the Tower of Nightmares, and when he became the Master of Fortress in <Chaos>. He did everything alone and just made everyone else follow him afterward.


It caused a lot of opposition, and some even betrayed him. But he didn’t care.


Even without anyone’s help, he always did it alone.


His life had been a one-way street. He ran and ran. He always challenged the impossible and eventually succeeded in overcoming it. He achieved great feats. The people who opposed him became awestruck, feared and distanced themselves from him.


Yet he still ran and ran. And then he came here.


And, at this moment, after Andersen had died, he finally realized something.


He had miserably failed this time. Maybe the path he had taken was wrong.


Runald was still talking.


“…Oh, I think I got off topic. So, what I’m trying to say is that it’s not like you to make that kind of face. Especially that regretful face you’re making right now!”


“…”


“Come back to your reckless and stubborn face! Please!”


At those words, Jaehwan felt as if he had doused in ice-cold water. It was weird. He was the one to sympathize with the boy, but Runald was comforting him.


Yes, Runald’s statement that Jaehwan was not like himself was correct. It wasn’t like Jaehwan at all. Even when he was facing many truths, there were still facts that did not change within him.


The fact that he would not change even then.


The fact that he would still run recklessly.


The fact that he would still be alone.


And be lonely.


Jaehwan knew all of these facts. He then remembered Andersen’s last words, expecting Jaehwan to be a good God. Maybe Andersen was wrong about that. Jaehwan looked at Runald and called him, “Runald.”


“…Yeah?”


“I’m not Andersen.”


Runald’s eyes grew wide. He then looked down and responded in a sad voice.


“…I know.”


“Not only that, but it might not be a good idea for you to come with me. I can assure you that it will be really bad.”


It was a declaration. Runald’s eye turned to that of a puppy expecting to be abandoned.


“People will look down on you and even hate you. Even when you don’t do anything, some will try to kill you for being my Follower.”


“…”


“Will you still come with me?”


Runald looked up with reddened, teary eyes. It seemed that he didn’t want to show his tears as he covered his eyes with his hand and smiled as he answered.


“I will.”


His voice sounded like he had been waiting to say it for a long time.


“Then let’s go.”


Jaehwan placed his hand on Runald’s head for a moment and then turned around to walk. Runald reached for the spot on his head where Jaehwan’s hand had been moments ago and began following Jaehwan.


“Wait for me!”


Jaehwan thought as he glanced over at Runald who was following him. Andersen was wrong. There was no way for Jaehwan to become a good God. But…


Maybe, just maybe. He might become a faithful God at least.


A man and a boy. Both who shared the only world began walking toward the Great Forest.


It had to be the sight of determination, but it was a bit weird if other people saw it from a distance. Karavan the Vicegerent of Ignis, who had been scouting, saw both of them heading toward him and mumbled with a weird expression, “…What’s with all the fuss? Whatever it is, it doesn’t look good while you’re naked…”


Karavan shook his head in disbelief.


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