The World after the Fall - Chapter 211 - Big Brother (5)[Updated at: 2021-01-11 07:16:51]
Chapter 211: Big Brother (5)
He walked in darkness. He walked and walked and walked. He sometimes ran and swung his sword at emptiness, but he knew everything was pointless. Unleashing his world power, walking or running. Nothing worked. He could not get out of this space. Maybe Jaehwan had realized this too late.
A space of endless darkness. Maybe the space at the beginning of time was like this. Jaehwan had just walked a few steps into this space when he felt everything was upon him now. He would meet Big Brother, defeat him, and everything would be over.
However, the darkness did not stop no matter how far he walked. The darkness was so complete that he did not know where he was walking. The only sound inside of this empty darkness were his footsteps and his own voice when he shouted.
He also looked for any signs of people, but no one replied to his presence. He was completely alone in this giant space.
A month passed. The only reason Jaehwan was certain of how much time had passed was that he used his unique world to keep track of time. And after a month of investigation, he found out many things about this place.
First, there was no way of getting out. The only possible way might be using the entrance he used, but he had long forgotten where it was. It was possible that he might exit when the eye ‘blinked’ again but…
‘I can’t go back.’
He couldn’t go back to <Depth>. That was not an option. The only option left was to move forward, but the problem was that he did not know which way was ‘forward’. Jaehwan wasn’t sure how big this place was as it seemed to span infinitely. Maybe this space was something that Big Brother created, that seemed like the only possible answer.
Jaehwan had no choice but to walk aimlessly, and like that, a month had passed.
“Hey, is anyone there?”
It was quite painful that there was no one to answer his call.
Painful? What was painful? Painful that he was alone?
Jaehwan felt like he had become weak. He had stabbed alone for years in the Tower of Nightmares and did not need anyone to talk to him. But maybe it was those stabs that allowed him to endure being alone. His goal and the change that came from all those stabs allowed him to endure everything, but what about now?
‘If I stab like before…’
He thought about it. He had given up on wishing that his ‘stab’ would become powerful by repeatedly practicing, but there was a possibility that he might come to some kind of realization through stabs and find a way out of this place by ripping it apart.
Jaehwan then decided to think simply. If Big Brother did not come to meet him, then he needed to cause enough trouble for Big Brother to come. He began to stab into emptiness.
They were precise and powerful stabs. Stabs that did not care about how many times he repeated. Stabs only made for the sake of stabbing. Jaehwan focused on his stab, and repeated it, again and again.
Three years passed. Jaehwan threw down his sword to the ground as he scratched his long, messy hair. His stab, as expected, had no growth. It did allow him to use the power of [Fall] more precisely, but there weren’t that many results for three years of stabbing.
‘Has it really been three years?’
He was losing his sense of time. Maybe it was because he was in the darkness, or maybe there was some other reason.
‘Time flows differently here.’
Jaehwan remembered the strange feeling when he first came here. It was a similar feeling to how he felt when he stepped into the Tower of Nightmares with its concentrated time flow. It seemed that time flow here was much more concentrated than the Tower of Nightmares at its maximum.
He was certain that three years and two months had passed here, but it had probably only been a short moment in <Depth>.
‘How did Myad challenge this place 127 times?’
He had challenged it 127 times and failed, but he still lived. It meant that he found a way to go back down to <Depth>.
‘I guess the exit back to <Depth> will reappear after a certain amount of time.’
However, the exit did not appear, at least for the last 3 years. Jaehwan remembered that Myad had never seen Big Brother himself. It meant that Myad had failed in this space without being able to move forward. He had given up in this exact space. For a moment, Jaehwan felt everything was pointless, but quickly came back to his senses.
‘How did I train for two thousand years back in <Carpediem>?’
That was quite strange. He had once stabbed for two thousand years back in <Chaos>. It didn’t feel like he had spent two thousand years, but the time flow was so concentrated so it felt as though it had.
However, after coming here, he wasn’t sure if the time flow was really expedited back then. It was hard to think that he was able to stab for 2 thousand years without going mad.
Jaehwan shook his head, this was not a time to think. It was better to just stab at least once more. It was the only way out of here.
10 years passed.
He wasn’t afraid of the darkness anymore. His heightened senses now allowed him to see through the darkness as if it was bright daylight. However, Jaehwan felt mentally fatigued. He saw Cayman or Chunghuh from time to time when he trained in <Carpediem>. But there was no one here.
Maybe he had really become weak now. In the process of saving people, and after fighting many enemies, his ‘human’ mind had grown bigger.
As he heard the sound of his sword thrust, he realized he was alone. Many thoughts came to his mind as he heard the sound. He thought of all those people he met in <Depth>. Andersen, Runald… he also remembered Chunghuh and Karlton who he met in <Chaos>. Sirwen, Euren Chiver, and Cayman… he also remembered Mino. And when he was tired of remembering them, he went back through the [Record of the Depth] again, slowly. Of course, the records did not have anything about this space.
However, it was obvious. The records were created before Mulack had challenged Big Brother.
But that was reassuring. Mulack was certainly able to get through this space and met Big Brother. Jaehwan wasn’t sure what happened to him then, but he was certain that this path was definitely a way to reach Big Brother.
He then recalled his memories of Earth. He didn’t have many memories, but still had some such as of his parents. He wasn’t very close to his parents though. His father left Jaehwan and his mother when he was young to create another family. And after that, Jaehwan’s mother was busy working to feed Jaehwan. So it was the sea of the internet that raised him, and the anonymous people in there. It was also hundreds of books, movies, and animations that raised him. And also himself.
…The little prince said, “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye…”
Even then, he remembered something as he closed his eyes from time to time. It was a faint and distant voice. A voice that seemed to come from far deep within his memory. The days of peaceful times before his parents divorced, before Jaehwan’s ‘world’ was completed.
…Then, what happens to the world that the little prince left?
…Oh, that world is…
Jaehwan realized it was his mother’s voice. What was she doing now? Was she still working part-time jobs? Was she still alive? Jaehwan remembered the voice as he fell asleep quietly.
50 years passed. That was absurd. 50 years?
Was it really so short to shoot past just like that? 50 years was a lifetime on Earth. However, 50 years really did pass. It didn’t feel like it, but Jaehwan’s unique world was telling him that.
You have spent 50 years here.
His stab did not show any signs of growth, and his [Setting] did not have any changes either. But, there was a slight change in Jaehwan’s daily routine. It was the space where one could not tell if it was night or day, but Jaehwan used the space in 24-hour routines.
He stabbed for 18 hours of the day, spent 5 hours meditating, and slept for one hour.
He did not need to sleep, but he still slept. The short amount of sleep helped him endure the long days. It was on one of those days, that Jaehwan opened his eyes during his meditation.
He felt like he needed to say it, but he also felt like he didn’t want to speak with such a thing. However, he felt like he would go crazy if he didn’t talk.
“It’s about time you talk now,” Jaehwan declared and then he heard the sound of something moving. But it wasn’t coming from afar. It was from very close, next to Jaehwan.
“Say something before I break you in half.”
Something shook. It was like it was fearful or hesitant. Then, it opened its mouth while it was in the grip of Jaehwan’s hand.
[…Since when did you know?]
It was his sword, speaking for the first time.