The World after the Fall - Chapter 238 - World after the fall (10)[Updated at: 2021-01-11 07:17:01]
Chapter 238: World after the fall (10)
Not too long after, Jaehwan completed his military duty. Yoonhwan also finished his military service around the same time and they began attending college again.
“Hey, how come you guys never replied to my letters while you were in the military? Did you get my letters?”
Seoyul snapped angrily and Yoonhwan teased, “Oh, of course. I got it. I should thank you for your picture though. I lied that you are my sister and my superiors treated me well for it.”
“Ugh, was it you?! I wondered why I was getting these messages from some men that I didn’t even know…”
Jaehwan was back to listening to those ordinary conversations again. It wasn’t hard like before. He still read books and trained alone, but he didn’t fall into lonely delusions like before. He accepted his new body and his new life.
In this place, a human would die soon or later.
‘Reality’ was a different world from the <Great Lands> or the <Tree of Imagery>. Jaehwan now had a body that would age slowly, and die when the time comes. Whether he wanted it or not, he was going to spend a short time in this life and die.
Then what did his life mean? For the first time, Jaehwan was facing a mortal life. And that made him think differently.
‘Human lives are too short to change something.’
That thought helped him greatly when Jaehwan had to justify his actions or distance him from uncertain questions or ethical problems. He remembered Sakamoto’s lecture.
‘If it were the parallel universe…’
If this world had skills, and if he could stab to overcome himself… if this world had a giant and clear evil… he would have been different.
‘But this universe does not have such a thing. There is no skill, Setting, or unique world. There’s none of that.’
Even if the parallel universe did exist somewhere, it wasn’t here.
And it was here that Jaehwan had to live.
It was a place where no miracles took place. A place where not everything was able to be done through trials. A place where life ends before knowing what might be at the end of everything.
It was reality.
It was the Nightmare of the Beginning.
Jaehwan got a job right away after he graduated. It was a small company that managed small websites with novels. It was Professor Sakamoto who recommended Jaehwan to the company, and the reason was quite amusing.
-He always reads web novels in my class. But he knows all about the parallel universe. He will be a valuable asset to your company.
It was shocking when Jaehwan came to the company for the first day of work.
“Haha, Jaehwan, was it? Welcome. I am Hwang Inchan. I am the Editorial Manager here.”
Jaehwan almost screamed in shock. Hwang Inchan from Swordpanic! It was one of those few people that Jaehwan remembered clearly from his fading memories.
He was the one who formed the Expeditionary force <Blade Walkers> at the Tower of Nightmares, and was the one of the best until the 77th floor.
Jaehwan tried to speak but held back. There was no point in asking. Inchan would not have any memory of it anyway. Everything was his delusion. Inchan asked Jaehwan with a large smile, “Why? Do you have a question?”
“Oh, okay. I thought you had questions just by the way you looked.”
“No, don’t be.”
Inchan smiled as he waved it off. Jaehwan felt a slight headache after a long time. Was his world really ‘fake’ even with this? He still remembered everything about him so clearly.
The doctor once told him that his delusions were just the creation of images he was seeing. It will manipulate him as if he had known the person he saw for the first time, and strengthen his delusions.
“You wrote in your resume that you love web novels… which one do you like most?”
Jaehwan came back to his senses.
“Uh, it’s hard to specify. It’s…”
Maybe it wasn’t a great answer as a rookie, but Inchan smiled in satisfaction.
“Oh? I see. So, you must have read many of them then. It’s hard to pick out good ones when you read a good amount. I guess we have a good one this time.”
Jaehwan smiled awkwardly.
“Then what about the genre? What do you like? Fantasy? Game-fantasy? Or…”
Jaehwan hesitated a bit and answered, “…Uh, ones that return.”
Inchan opened his eyes in surprise.
“Oh? Is that it?”
Jaehwan did not like them of course. It was actually what he hated. But he only answered that way to check on Inchan. Needless to say, Inchan became excited.
“I love them too! It’s really fun, isn’t it?”
“There are people who say its too overused and boring now, but I think there’s still potential. People just have that basic desire to return back to the past and change their lives, you know? People want to succeed in life in the easiest way after all. Haha.”
Jaehwan was astonished by Inchan’s perspective. Jaehwan had never thought about it that way.
‘It’s a good answer for a man who went to the past first when the [Returning Stone] appeared.’
Jaehwan then gasped at himself for diving into his delusions.
‘…What am I doing again?’
Was it because he had met a person that brought memories? Jaehwan was shaken. He glanced around the office to calm himself down. The office was very small. There were a few desks divided by partitions and a 40-inch television on another wall. The TV was showing a news channel.
It was showing a group of demonstrators fighting against a giant company. It was filled with men around Jaehwan’s age. Inchan glanced at Jaehwan and said, “Your seat is that one. We don’t have many employees though. But don’t worry. Our wage isn’t high either but-”
It was then that an incident happened on the news.
-Wait! What are you- HEY!
With the voice of the reporter, the camera shook and a man appeared.
-EVERYONE! You must realize! We all must realize!
The TV’s volume wasn’t loud, but the voice roared throughout the office. Inchan turned to the TV with an annoyed expression. The man’s continued speaking.
-Everyone! Please open your eyes!
“Wow, what’s going on there? Haha.”
Inchan laughed as he looked at the man fighting against the reporter for the microphone.
“Jaehwan, look at that. You must look into everything if you want to be a good editor.”
But before Jaehwan could answer, the man shouted as he snatched the microphone again.
-We must all know this. We are trapped inside the tower! We are being cultivated inside the Tower of Nightmares!
Inchan burst into laughter.
“Hahahaha! Tower of Nightmares? What’s with that man? Maybe he’s one of our customers!”
The man shouted desperately. Maybe the voice of a man facing a Fall would sound like that. It was so desperate. Everyone in the world laughed at the man, but the man did not hold back.
-Everyone, this world… it’s not… it’s not the life… the Fall… the tower…!
And with that voice, the screen changed and the person on TV apologized for the unexpected incident. Inchan was still laughing.
“Haha, the world is more fun than fantasy these days. We should be alert, don’t you think?”
Jaehwan felt Inchan’s hand tapping his shoulder but he couldn’t tear his eyes from the screen. He didn’t see the man anymore, but he looked at it still. After a short while, Jaehwan answered, “Yeah, you’re right.”
“Good. Now, let’s get to it!”
Jaehwan then sat down at his table. There were files left by the person who worked there before for Jaehwan to catch up on. But Jaehwan couldn’t focus on any of them. He was looking at the computer, but he was thinking of something else. He couldn’t stop thinking about the man.
He had a full beard, a dirtied lab coat, and more prominent white hair.
Jaehwan knew the man. It had been a while since then, but he couldn’t forget him. How could he?
‘No way. Why…’
The man’s voice was still clear in Jaehwan’s mind.
-Even if the tower doesn’t appear, I still believe that your world existed- no. Exists.
It was the man that Jaehwan spent the most time with after he came back to ‘reality.’ The man who would understand Jaehwan more than anyone else in this world. And he was the man who declared Jaehwan’s world as a ‘delusion’ more clearly than anyone else.
The man on TV was the doctor.