The World after the Fall - Chapter 218 - Big Brother (12)[Updated at: 2021-01-11 07:16:54]
Chapter 218: Big Brother (12)
If there was the greatest despair one could feel, it probably started here. Jaehwan thought as he saw all those screens packed within the space.
[Let me introduce our friends who lead this <Panopticon> with me!]
There were tanks that contained spirits placed in front of the many screens. Jaehwan then realized that the tanks were connected to all of those screens as if the spirits were given control of the screens.
Jaehwan then read the names.
Jan-Pol of Reality
Horhay of Imagery
Scarge of Space
Mars of Plays
Melville of Unfairness
He then recalled a certain memory at the mention of the name ‘Melville’. It was the name of the Master Craftsman who created the tower Moby Dick that Chunghuh cleared.
[Yes. They are [Masters]. They are given the important task of maintaining <Panopticon>.]
Jaehwan kept on reading the names. Another familiar name came up.
Ignel of the Deep Fall.
He remembered the blacksmith he visited in <Chaos>. <Twilight’s Fall> was where he created the scabbard with Meikal. Ignel was the owner of the blacksmith workshop. He was known to have left for a journey and it seemed like he too had come up to <Depth>. Mulack tapped on the tank Ignel was in and spoke.
[This friend barely became a [Master] a while ago so I just added him. He’s a bit clumsy for now, but he’ll become useful soon.]
“…Do all Nightmares come here in the end?”
[Yes, of course. All Nightmares become curious about what the ‘Nightmare of the Beginning’ is and why they exist. All Nightmares are bound to come here when they become [Masters]. They all go through the ‘Fall of time’ like you did. Yes, the space that you called ‘darkness’. But they go mad before coming here, so I have to go down and collect them.]
Jaehwan felt his head aching. So many questions were filling his head, but he wasn’t sure what question would get him the answer he wanted. Jaehwan asked, “Are they Big Brother too?”
[You’ve been asking that strange question all along. They are not Big Brother. Don’t you feel that they have not achieved ‘Transcendence’ like you, me, or Daeus? They are only consumables.]
[Because they are the only ones who can control Cultivation.]
…Cultivation? Jaehwan became dumbfounded. Cultivation, didn’t that only exist in the towers? But these screens were…
[I can’t control the Cultivations alone even though I’ve become a Big Brother.]
Jaehwan closed his mouth. Instead, he turned to all screens that were looking down. Why didn’t he know? He now realized what was behind all this and the meaning of [Cultivation].
He always thought it was a plan for Big Brother to maintain the cycle of the <Great Lands> and <Depth>, but he never thought about why Big Brother would want to do such a thing. Jaehwan looked at those screens.
There were the Roots of the Tree of Imagery and Towers of Nightmares.
People were screaming inside, and although there were no sounds coming from the screen, Jaehwan felt like he could still hear it. It was the beginning of all tragedies with the Cultivation of the tower. Jaehwan then turned to the other group of screens.
There was the <Great Lands>, a place where Adapters who cleared the tower strived to reach greater Adaptation. These people were now killing each other with more efficient and powerful ways.
-KILL THEM! Or you will be killed!
It was full of people fighting to become stronger. Cultivation was not over. It just turned from forced Cultivation to voluntary Cultivation.
7th… 8th… 9th stage Adaptation…
The Generals on top of all Adaptation led the frontline of the war, killing all people. Jaehwan turned away. But he saw ‘death’ in the place he turned to.
It was <Chaos>.
The screen showed Fortress Carpediem. <Chaos> created a central government surrounding Carpediem. They had become far more powerful, and they strived to become even stronger. Jaehwan then felt it was wrong.
-You’re only a 1st step Awakener!
-Everyone did it!
The Lords once said Adaptation and Awakening were almost the same thing. They were the same after all. The dead spirits strived to become powerful and yearned to become higher beings. They wanted to walk the path Jaehwan had walked. Jaehwan turned even though he knew what was waiting for him. He had to.
And there it was: <Depth>.
It was a place where people who were at the peak of each Adaptation and Awakening step became ‘Gods’. It seemed like some time had passed in <Depth> too, and <Depth> was now back in a chaotic state. Gods that gathered objected the rules of the Council and fought them. <Depth> was now being overturned. Gods who had acquired enough Followers began to exercise their rights and the Followers stood behind a ‘stronger God’s side than the side of justice.
Jaehwan saw all those beings. They were all looking up to the sky, imagining the eye of Panopticon somewhere.
Jaehwan then realized that people did not hate Big Brother. They wanted to become Big Brother.
After Jaehwan closed and opened his eyes, he saw himself. Jaehwan, walking into the darkness. The Jaehwan that everyone of Tree of Imagery wanted to become — there he was.
There he was, and he had become Big Brother himself.
Jaehwan felt his legs giving way. Awakening, Adaptation, it was all part of the story. Cultivation took place to raise a new king, and Cultivation was needed when a king was born.
Jaehwan shifted his eyes toward Mulack.
[Hahah. I’ll welcome you again, Jaehwan. No, our 1131st Big Brother.]
How many worlds had to be sacrificed to create just one Big Brother? Jaehwan thought as he looked at the 1,131 tanks within the corridor. If this was the truth of this world, what meaning did beings have? Or what value did ‘meaning’ hold?
Even after he found out all the secrets of the world, Jaehwan felt like he didn’t know anything anymore.
[Since you are here, my job here is done. It’s only for about 900 years in <Chaos> standards, so my time is short compared to other Big Brothers. I’ll consider it lucky.]
“Are you going into that tank?”
[I will, soon. When you can do your job.]
[Yes. Your job. You must know if you Transcended. How pointless the life of a being is, and the grand story that’s awaiting you from now on…]
With that voice, Jaehwan felt something crumbling down. Maybe ‘Mulack’ had much more meaning to him than he thought. Someone had gone ahead of him on the same path and never gave up. Jaehwan realized how reassured felt because of that fact.
It didn’t take a long time for that emptiness to be replaced with sadness and rage.
“Mulack. You came here to kill Big Brother. You came here to stop all Cultivation in the world. What made you become such a thing?”
“You created the Tower of Remorse. You denied the System and came here. Then why…!”
His voice was barely able to hold back the anger. However, Jaehwan’s anger came back with confusion.
[…What are you talking about? Denial? Remorse? That’s a long lost… oh, wait a second. It’s another one of your jokes isn’t it?]
“No. I’m not joking.”
[Then what are you….? Wait. Were you serious about everything until now?]
Mulack’s eye then turned to disgust. Jaehwan took a step back without even realizing.
[That is strange. How did you manage to come here with such a weak mind? It was probably 10 billion years in that Fall of time…]
Mulack’s expression turned cold.