The World after the Fall - Chapter 31[Updated at: 2021-01-11 07:15:45]
Chapter 31: Dead man (6)
It was only for an instant, but Jaehwan saw the stone. It was definitely the [Stone of Forgotten Spirit], but with a different energy. The energy began expanding in Janya’s body and grew.
Janya’s voice distorted and all his veins blackened as his muscles expanded. His power of around a 4th stage Adapter was amplified nearly twice and exceeded that of a 5th stage. Then, Janya’s body cracked from his torso and a giant mouth with vicious teeth opened up as tentacles began spreading out from within.
[So this is the power of the Dead Man!]
That was what one changed into when corruption reached 100%. It was feared by all who lived in <Chaos> and everyone considered it a fate worse than death. It was the form of a monster that lost all memories and was only left with desires.
Janya felt his memories being wiped away as he was left with simple desires. He was now free from himself. He was now free to throw himself into temptation, into destruction. He was now in the world.
[So, this is the world’s truth!]
The world where all humans looked like dead bodies. The world where stats and data ate away everything like maggots. Janya saw his tentacles and felt like he could do anything. It was funny that he had been so afraid of becoming this being. It didn’t matter if he lost his humanity if he could see this world.
The guards began running away in terror as Janya reached out with his tentacles and began feeding the dead bodies into his mouth. He then turned to the man.
Janya laughed and tried to reach out his tentacles. But he felt something different.
Why was there a ‘human’ in this world?
Janya looked around, but there were no humans. They were all dead bodies. However, that man still looked human. Janya could not believe it. That being should not exist. He looked like a human, yet he felt like a dead man, but with a much greater presence than himself.
Janya tried to move his tentacles to kill the man, but they didn’t move.
His tentacles were trembling. Janya, was trembling. Janya tried to attack with all his might to ease his terror and be freed from that being.
The man held up his sword and aimed. At that moment, Janya’s sight became distorted. Powerful energy sped past him and he felt his entire body being torn apart while the world turned upside down. Excruciating pain filled him and he saw his reflection in the man’s eyes. Ripped tentacles rained down from the sky.
‘It’s like the world just ended…’
And that was the last sight Janya was able to see.
[What are you… how did you acquire the power of the Dead…]
Janya’s spirit lingered a little before it scattered away.
[But you will… not alone…]
Then Janya’s spirit dissipated into white powder. Jaehwan rotated his shoulder and frowned.
‘…I wasn’t going to use ‘Normal Stab’ if possible.’
The trace of the stab that penetrated past Janya distorted the sky. It was as if the sky had been hammered down.
What was he?
It seemed that he had become a monster called a ‘Dead Man’ in this world. The monster that was born from a spirit corrupted to its limit. Jaehwan was surprised. All beings here showed him their true identity once he used [Suspicion] on them. Humans became dead bodies while monsters became tainted objects of feelings. But this ‘Dead Man’ did not change its shape. It meant its giant mouth and tentacles were a part of its true form.
Jaehwan decided to return to the saloon. He didn’t get any information about the [Nightmare], but there was a chance that the saloon still had those that came with him. When he returned, he felt something was wrong. Karlton, Mino, and the other female employees were still on the ground. Karlton seemed to be in an especially bad condition with his silver wing that was now gone. Fortunately, he was still alive and was barely able to speak.
“Please… alert… the fortress…”
Jaehwan’s expression turned grim as he saw blackened veins appear on Karlton’s face. It was similar to the symptom that he just saw on Janya. It seemed that Mino was also suffering from the same thing. Jaehwan went to Mino and asked, “…What’s going on?”
Mino barely opened her eyes and spoke,
“It’s… spirit corruption… the worst…”
Mino’s breathing was shallow. Jaehwan asked again,
“Doesn’t the corruption happen because of not consuming the medicine?”
Spirit Corruption was a common disease in <Chaos>. It was easy to deal with by consuming medicine made from horned monsters. So Jaehwan thought it was weird. Karlton had the same symptoms and there was no way for him to have missed his medication. There was only one answer. Something had corrupted the entire saloon.
‘Was it because of the black smog?’
Mino had already given up on everything. She could not use her <Interface System> anymore. It meant her spirit was corrupted and becoming a ‘Dead Man’ was imminent.
‘So, this is how it ends…’
She then looked closely at Jaehwan’s face. His distinct features and battle-worn face reflected how many trials he had faced until now. This was the first time that Mino looked closely at his face.
“What happened to them?”
“I killed them all.”
“…I see.” Mino answered. She could not bear to open her eyes anymore and felt her energy fading away.
“I… can’t see well.”
“How do I look?”
“Your veins are black.”
Mino tried to speak. No, she did actually speak. Something in her wanted to keep speaking to him. But she could not make out what she was actually saying. She felt like she was losing her mind but she kept on talking. Her veins blackened even further.
Jaehwan looked at Mino.
“Stop. Talk no more.”
Jaehwan knew what Mino would turn into. This woman would become the monster that he just killed. And Jaehwan did not know how to save her. The only thing he practiced while he climbed the tower was to kill. Mino then asked, “I know I’m not in a place to ask… but please do me a favor…”
Mino smiled bitterly.