The World after the Fall - Chapter 156 - God of Madness (3)[Updated at: 2021-01-11 07:16:32]
Chapter 156: God of Madness (3)
Ra-hamad, the one brought Jaehwan to the village, was one of the ‘Great Warriors’. Jaehwan noticed that Ra-hamad had exceptionally high world power compared to the others, and it was for a certain reason. Jaehwan was led deeper into the forest by Ra-hamad.
The hot springs were still everywhere in the forest, and many naked warriors were soaking within. A few warriors turned to Ra-hamad, who was leading Jaehwan, and asked, ‘Great Warrior. Where are you going?’
‘I am going to him.’
‘Who is that human?’
‘One who will learn the Ouroboros.’
‘I see. Ouroboros.’
Jaehwan couldn’t understand the discussion. The word Ouroboros especially had too many meanings so he couldn’t figure out what the word actually meant.
‘Hope fortune is with you.’
‘It’s better for you to spend your time in the hot springs.’
Some warriors then spoke to Jaehwan. There were some who laughed at Jaehwan’s naked body, but most were concentrating in the springs.
They stayed in the water for a while, came out to clean it off, and then went back in.
Some seemed to drink the water, while some were sitting within the water, deep in meditation. Jaehwan asked Ra-hamad.
“Do you all bathe every day?”
Ra-hamad didn’t seem to understand. It seemed there was no word that meant the same thing as ‘bath’ or ‘bathe’ in their language. That was strange as every one of them was bathing but no one used the term. Jaehwan used all of his gestures to explain, and Ra-hamad nodded and answered.
‘Oh, you mean metamorphosis.’
‘We’re taking our clothes off.’
“Clothes? What do you mean?”
Ra-hamad didn’t answer right away, so Jaehwan asked again.
“Clothes- by you mean something dirty? Is it like a metaphor?”
Jaehwan was certain that it might mean something. However, Ra-hamad shook his head.
‘Clothes is clothes.’
He continued, ‘Spirit grows the more you take it off. Your world power grows, and you can live without a god.’
That’s when Jaehwan realized something. These people said ‘clothes’, but he did experience some complicated thing regarding ‘clothes’ in recent days.
“Do you know anything about [Naked] Setting?”
Ra-hamad then smiled eerily and replied.
‘Anyone can be naked.’
‘No one can be naked.’
It was translated into two meanings again. Jaehwan frowned.
“…Ouroboros. What does that mean?”
Ra-hamad shook his head. It seemed he didn’t want to answer and began to walk faster.
‘Take it off, take it off, but there are always clothes underneath.’
‘When you and I take each other’s clothes off.’
‘No world or God is important.’
It was then that a song could be heard. Jaehwan concentrated on the song as the song seemed to be coming from within the forest. He then realized the entire Long Living race was singing the song.
‘A song, eh?’
He then remembered Andersen’s song. The song then continued to a lyric that was very familiar.
‘He took the last friend’s clothes,’
‘And finally returned to his home.’
‘His home was full of his friend’s clothing.’
‘Naked God spoke as he saw those clothes.’
Jaehwan flinched as he heard the word ‘Naked God’. He expected as much when he saw everyone naked, but it was shocking to hear that his guess had been right in such a strange situation. The song continued.
‘I am so lonely.’
‘Naked God said and put on his friend’s clothes.’
‘One clothes on Naked God.’
‘Two clothes on Naked God.’
‘Soon, Naked God was covered by clothes.’
‘Lonely Naked God spoke.’
‘The world is unhappy.’
‘Everyone is wearing clothes.’
‘Everyone cannot take off clothes.’
The song didn’t have a steady tempo as it was crude and violent. It was sometimes sad, and sometimes gloomy.
‘No one can take off clothes.’
‘That is the truth.’
It was hard to see the meaning of the song. As he concentrated on the song, Jaehwan then realized Ra-hamad had stopped walking. He turned to Jaehwan and spoke.
‘You. Go alone.’
‘Clothes do not exist.’
Jaehwan walked and walked in the direction Ra-hamad had told him. As he walked further, he felt the world was changing into a very familiar form.
‘It wasn’t just a hot spring.’
Some hot springs had vicious winds with powerful world power, while some hot springs sent an icy chill.
‘I think I know something like this…’
It was in a different order, but Jaehwan had been through this kind of passage. After he passed through a few more hot springs, he realized why it was familiar.
‘The 8 Gates of Hell.’
It was like the magic that Sirwen had used before on Jaehwan. The Gates were very similar to this.
‘I thought it was made to resemble the regions of the <Great Lands>, but it might not be the case.’
Jaehwan realized Mulack had probably walked this path before, and realized the temperature was rising.
‘Is this the ‘Burning Hell’ phase now?’
The 2nd Gate of the 8 Gates of Hell was at the end of this hot spring. At the end of the hot spring, there was a warrior sitting in the water.
No, the word ‘warrior’ didn’t fit him. The presence from him was so powerful that Jaehwan had never felt it before. It was probably equal or higher to Myad’s real power.
‘A God? Or a Vicegerent?’
It was hard to realize who he was as his world power was too high for him to comprehend.
“Are you the leader?” Jaehwan asked, but there was no answer. He couldn’t see his face as the steam obscured his features. Then, the figure moved, curling his finger.
‘Is it telling me to come closer?’
Jaehwan hesitantly walked closer to the hot springs where the man was at. And as he dipped in a foot, he felt sizzling pain from the water. It wasn’t just hot. It felt like his entire spirit would be boiled as a whole.
However, Jaehwan did not stop and walked in.
As he walked further, the water temperature rose and Jaehwan was now fully immersed with only his head out of the water. After a while, he realized it actually wasn’t the water. There was no way water could be that hot and that painful.
‘I can’t get close.’
He had taken maybe hundreds of steps, but his distance to the leader did not decrease. His defense against the heat was at its limit too. Jaehwan felt his conscious fading as the hot liquid began to seep into him.
It was ironic. He had done so much to come this far and yet he was going to die here. As he lost energy, his body floated into the water. Boiling water flowed into him from his nose and ears, and he couldn’t think.
‘It’s so comfortable. I’ll just let go.’
Jaehwan’s body was relaxed. It was so relaxing that he was losing consciousness. But then, he heard the voices.
-Hey, he’s doing that again.
-I think he’s done.
-No way. We chose him because he’s the most determined. Who among us can stab a million times?
-Hey! I can do that too.
Jaehwan remembered these voices. When did he hear them? Was it when he cleared the 8th Gate of Hell? Whatever the case, he had never heard their voices as clear as this time.
-You really should be careful, my man. You gonna fall unconscious in a hot spring?
-I’m not going to help you this time! You think a miracle will happen every single time you get into trouble?
-No way, man. You think this is some movie? You shouldn’t just charge in like that.
Jaehwan shook his head and started breathing again. He couldn’t give up now.
-Oh, he’s getting up.
-Then what? What is he going to do with that world power?
-Hey, beg us! We’ll give you power… or better yet, just let us take control of you.
Jaehwan shook his head.
-Oh my, this stubborn idiot! I told you it’s a bad idea to have this one in charge.
-Give up, you fool!
Jaehwan did not give up. He began to move, he tried hard. His body didn’t work as he intended. He was still at the brink of death. The voices came back again.
-Oh man, okay. You win. I accept you, ‘me’.
-Ahh, us Jaehwans are stupid!
-Hey, who’s volunteering this time?
Jaehwan then fell unconscious. Soon after, something that was covering his skin, disappeared. It turned into powder and was absorbed back into Jaehwan. He knew the feeling — it was when he absorbed the thousands of Jaehwan before.
He felt his world power multiplying by at least two times. His spirit was nourished and he regained his strength.
As he opened his eyes, a man was in front of him. But he wasn’t looking at the leader. Ra-hamad was smiling in front of him. He spoke.
‘You took off your clothes.’
‘You wore your clothes.’