The World after the Fall - Chapter 233 - World after the fall (5)[Updated at: 2021-01-11 07:16:59]
Chapter 233: World after the fall (5)
A lot of things happened during those 10 years.
Ordinary life? That never occurred to Jaehwan until now, but Jaehwan managed it. He studied hard, and made friends like a normal kid. He usually spent his time alone reading novels. He read all kinds of novels from old classics to educational books. But what Jaehwan read the most were fantasy novels.
Sword and magic. Reincarnation and time traveling. Monsters and various superhumans…
As he read those novels, it felt like he had gone back in time like when he was at the Tree of Imagery. As he read through those novels, he was able to forget the tragedy of reality. It felt like it was the Tree of Imagery where he should have lived, and this ‘reality’ felt more unreal.
A world without Adapters or Awakeners? How did such a world exist?
This unrealistic place he lived in was the ‘reality’. Or a place where people called it reality. It was pleasant to read through those novels but it was painful when he finished reading one and was pulled out from the sea of reminisce. Jaehwan often felt like he had broken out of his dream and was on top trash bags, searching desperately for other novels to dive into. That was the only way he could stay true to himself.
Because of this, maybe it was wrong that Jaehwan made friends like a normal kid. He was mostly alone and always sullen wherever he was. But he still had friends. There were friends who approached him first.
Yoonhwan and Seoyul.
“Jaehwan sometimes is too imaginative.”
“That’s his charming point.”
When Jaehwan met them for the first time in high school, he thought he was dreaming. Jaehwan called out Yoonhwan’s name without realizing it.
“Huh? How did you know my name? Did you know me from somewhere?”
“Silly. You introduced yourself in the class already. He probably remembered.”
“No way. I don’t remember his name!”
Yoonhwan and Seoyul. It was inside the Tower of Nightmares that Jaehwan met them in his memory. He had never met them outside the tower even once. Becoming friends with Yoonhwan and making out with Seoyul… it all happened inside the tower, or that’s what it should have been.
“Huh? Tower of Nightmares? What is that? Oh, are you talking about the novel that you wrote back in that literature class?”
“Oh, right. Your name was in that novel.”
“You were there too Seoyul.”
“Yeah. I was so surprised.”
“Heh. Yeah, well, to think there’s a guy writing a novel with his classmates dying… but you know, I felt it right away when I read that novel.”
“A premonition, even?”
“That he and I will be good friends.”
“…I think Jaehwan has gotten you too.”
And Jaehwan became friends with Yoonhwan and Seoyul. Of course, they did not remember anything. They did not know anything about Tower of Nightmares, the Tree of Imagery, or Rupture…
Every one of them was a story within the ‘novel’ that Jaehwan once wrote for the class. But they still walked the streets, studied together, and talked about their future. It felt like Jaehwan had gone back to the days at the Tower of Nightmares.
Maybe he was still inside the tower. Nothing was finished and maybe he was still trapped within it.
That thought became even stronger when Yoonhwan often spoke teasingly.
“Anyway, you and I are the ones who climbed towers together. We will climb it again soon.”
“Hahaha! No, man. I’m just joking. We will climb the tower of education, remember?”
“College, man! College! Gosh, what a stuck up. ….Argh! Hey, don’t stab me there!”
It was a strange thing to live through with a living body. Memories of the Tree of Imagery came creeping back to Jaehwan when he least expected it. But as time had passed, the number of nightmares decreased.
Forgetting. The blessing of living beings.
Jaehwan’s memory of the Tree of Imagery decreased slowly. But as those memories faded away, Jaehwan became frustrated. He was afraid that he would truly forget all those times. As he looked at Yoonhwan wrestling against him playfully or Seoyul blushing at him, he became numb but quickly came back.
Is it okay? Is Jaehwan okay? Are Yoonhwan and Seoyul okay?
What was this nightmare? If Jaehwan didn’t have memories about it…
And the year 2018 came and Jaehwan started attending college. It was just an average college located in the city of Seoul. He was majoring in a Korean Literature but he didn’t have any purpose in doing so. It was a choice influenced by the doctor.
“I think Literature will fit you best.”
“Why is that?”
During those 10 years, the relationship between the doctor and Jaehwan also changed. The doctor now cared for Jaehwan like his own son and Jaehwan spoke politely in full sentences. Whatever purpose the doctor had, Jaehwan knew that the doctor’s care toward him wasn’t a lie. 10 years was enough time to know the man’s heart.
“Didn’t I say it before? You have an artistic sense.”
“…Are you making fun of me again?”
“No, I’m being serious.”
The doctor smiled teasingly.
“Think about it. Think about the countless people paying to see the world you created. You can do many things with that money. That money will even make your world become ‘reality’.”
“…I don’t need money.”
“Haha, Jaehwan. You are too young to understand, but money is everything in this world.”
Jaehwan then laughed and asked, “Can a psychiatrist say such a thing to a patient?”
“I am still an ordinary person.”
The doctor also smiled.