The World after the Fall - Chapter 173 - Rupture (8)

[Updated at: 2021-01-11 07:16:38]
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Chapter 173: Rupture (8)



It was a calm voice. It was so calm that it was hard to accept.


“I see? Is that all you have to say about this?”


“I didn’t have any other things to say.”


Didn’t have any other things to say? Yoonhwan tried to say something, but stopped. There was someone crying in the distance.


Soldiers were gathering prisoners. These were the Lost Ones who had abandoned their Gods. They were the ones who were shaking in fear of death. They were weak spirits with merely 50ish world power. Yoonhwan spoke as he glanced over.


“I have watched this for every single day during the past 3 months.”


“…”


“I believed that what I am doing what is right. Everything will be alright in the end. If I wait and wait… then the end that everyone can be proud of will come.”


“You did.”


“But this came to my mind one day.”


A prisoner was being trampled by a soldier. Two helpless hands shook. As he watched, Yoonhwan said, “That all of this, was the actual ‘end’.”


“…”


“And with all of this going on, there will never be an ‘ending’ that I wish to see.”


Yoonhwan maybe wished that Adel who was facing the outcome of Rupture losing humanity, might agree with him. But what was next was unexpected.


“No, sir. The ‘end’ has not come yet.”


“…It hasn’t come?”


“No, sir. If we defeat Big Brother, everything will be solved.”


Yoonhwan opened his mouth to speak, but stopped.


‘So, you were thinking of that also.’


He felt disappointed. Yoonhwan spoke again.


“But how? Can Big Brother bring back lives? Can people be healed from their wounds?”


Adel answered immediately, “Maybe so, sir. If we reach the [Beginning of the Nightmare] after defeating the Big Brother, we can control everything in this world, maybe even time.”


“Time?”


“Yes, sir. We might receive the power to turn back time. The Tree of Imagery could possibly do that.”


“…Turn back time?”


Yoonhwan became enraged. He recalled the memories of what happened at the Tower of Nightmares and shouted while gritting his teeth, “That doesn’t solve anything! Even if we can turn back time, and it really turns people back to normal as if they were never wounded, it doesn’t change the fact that they were wounded. Even if they don’t remember, that period of time really existed!”


“…”


“Do you know what I’m saying? I… that people…. Those times…”


Yoonhwan stopped talking. His emotions were getting in the way of making out what he was trying to say.


“I see. So, you think of it that way, sir.”


Why? Yoonhwan felt like Adel’s calmness seemed to be different from a while ago. Adel took out a cigarette and lit it as he spoke.


“Sir, if it’s okay, may I talk about my story from the old days?”


“…Go on.”


“When I first joined Rupture, I had similar thoughts as you, sir. We didn’t join the Rupture on our own will, but I thought Rupture was the only group that could change the system. Yes, I did think that back then.”


“And you don’t know?”


“No, sir.”


“But why have you…”


“Still at Rupture?”


Yoonhwan stopped asking. It seemed it was rude to ask even if he was a superior.


“It’s simple, sir. I was here for ‘too long’.”


Too long. Yoohwan felt like the word meant a tragedy.


“I was in Rupture for 700 years. I saw many things and lost many things. I saw the things I valued change during those times. I saw things lose humanity, again and again.”


700 years. Yoonhwan gasped at the unimaginable amount of time. He knew what happened 700 years ago. Adel was the survivor of the Great Disappearance.


Adel continued, “Maybe it could’ve changed. If it was before everything disappeared… before we gave up on everything.”


“No. No, not yet. You… you are not yet…”


Yoonhwan stopped talking in the midst of his words. He felt it was irresponsible to say such a thing. He did not know about Adel’s 700 years. He did not know one bit about his pain, suffering, and sadness. Adel smiled.


“You sound like my friend.”


“…Friend?”


“I had a friend who I loved talking to. She once told me too that I’m not late, that I should go with her.”


Go with her? Yoonhwan became curious.


“Is she not a friend anymore?”


“No, sir. She left Rupture while ago. She’s on her way to find her own path. A great decision.”


Yoonhwan felt his heart sink. There was no ‘leaving’ Rupture. The only way to leave was to die. But Adel didn’t seem to mean that his friend had died. There was only one person who left Rupture alive.


“Wait… the friend you’re talking about…”


“What nice words to hear. Not late… not yet… But I know. I know myself more than anyone. I am too late.”


Adel then stopped to find his breath and added, “For someone else, it might not be too late yet.”


Silence fell. Yoonhwan asked in a shaking voice, “Are you… telling me to leave the Rupture?”


“I have not said anything, sir.”


Yoonhwan looked around. There were soldiers of Rupture and prisoners. Their hands reached out for help, and they were trampled upon mercilessly. Yoonhwan stuttered, “You… you should…”


“Oh, can’t you do anything alone?”


Yoonhwan became silent. Can he go? Can he walk past all of those soldiers to where he wanted to go? No. Did he know where he needed to go in the first place?


Yoonhwan turned his back toward Adel. And took a step. And then another. And another.


It was terrifying. He was afraid of his world, even if it was hard to accept, being destroyed.


Even then.


Even then…


Unlike his fist that was clenched, he couldn’t move any further. He turned back to Adel again. But when he turned halfway, he remembered someone. Someone’s back.


‘Ah…’


Yoonhwan looked at the back. He had trusted and followed that back. He began walking toward it without realizing. He kept on moving toward the back, across the battlefield.


Some soldiers glanced at Yoonhwan. Yoonhwan looked down to the ground at prisoners laying there. Hands were trampled upon. Yoonhwan looked down and kneeled to grab the hand.


Everyone was looking at him now. Adel spoke from behind.


“Oh, and this is for telling me about what happened at the meeting. My ‘friend’ went to the 7th site.”


The prisoner turned into silver dust and Yoonhwan stood up. Then he began to move. There was no more hesitation in his walk. Yoonhwan spoke without turning back.


“Goodbye, Adel.”


Adel answered, “So long.”


“I hope we meet again.”


“I hope not, as we will be enemies then.”


Both men smiled and Yoonhwan kept on walking. He saw his friend’s back again, the back was talking to him. It told him that it’s okay, and he should follow.


‘No.’


Yoonhwan shook his head as he walked.


‘This time, I will go ahead.’


And he walked past the back of his friend and left the battlefield.


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