The World after the Fall - Chapter 4[Updated at: 2021-01-11 07:15:35]
Chapter 4: Millions of Stabs (3)
No way to go back in time?
“What do you mean? There must be an item that sends you back in this tower…”
Then Jaehwan realized.
Beastlain said that there were no items that could send anyone back in time. He also explained that Jaehwan could start from the beginning. It didn’t make sense. But there was one thing would allow all of this to make sense.
Jaehwan had fought Succubus, the lesser version of [Nightmare].
The team had spent a lot of time to defeat the monster. The illusion that made by Succubus caused weak-minded Walkers to fall. The floor had become an orgy. Walkers who were trapped in the dreamland created by Succubus raped each other time and time again.
Jaehwan knew its power first hand. He almost raped the female Walker next to him because of it.
“Stone of Nightmare.”
Beastlain narrowed his eyes.
“How do you know that item? That’s the information you can’t get.”
“The Frost Dragon told me.”
“Oh ho! That’s troubling. You should not know about it yet!”
Beastlain mumbled quietly.
“…This is why AI algorithm needs the best considerations! Those stupid <Creators>. It’s because they made a stupid number of those monsters without thinking!”
Jaehwan spoke as he watched Beastlain mumbling to himself.
“So those who used the [Returning Stone] did not go to the past.”
Beastlain turned to Jaehwan and paused. He then answered.
“Well, I guess since you are the first Walker to clear the tower alone, you have what it takes to know. Yes, you are right on that.”
Beastlain snapped and the screen changed again.
“The one you found on 77th floor was not a [Returning Stone] but a [Stone of Nightmare]. It’s a stone that traps you into a dream created by the Nightmare itself. It’s a very special item.”
The screens showed countless Walkers. Sword Panic Hwang, Inchan… Science teacher Sakamoto… Everyone who had traveled to the past were there. They were living in a never-ending dream world, within their fantasy. Beastlain seemed to be amused by it.
“But I did not lie. You can consider that they really did go to the past… In a certain way.”
Jaehwan couldn’t speak. What Beastlain said was right. They were those who gave up on the present and went back. They were the ones who easily cut ties with others for themselves. They were the ones who only valued the world they wanted to see. It seemed like the same end that they might have wanted.
“Well, but you all in this World 294 are a weird race. You were all great until the 77th floor, you know? Many challenged this tower from various worlds, but none were as successful as you. It was like all of you had tried this kind of game for a long time.”
It sure was. Until they arrived at 77th floor.
“I even thought that if this progressed, the tutorial game would be cleared too easily. It was almost frightening! But the results were unexpected.”
The screens showed people using the [Returning Stone] at once.
“You, the humans are probably the only race that wishes to travel back in time.”
Jaehwan then mumbled as he saw the image of people disappearing into the light.
“Yeah… maybe so.”
“So, you probably have heard enough. Let’s get to the…”
Jaehwan interrupted him.
“You want me to start the game from beginning.”
“Haha, you sure got that right.”
“Without sending me back to the past.”
“Right. It is done by…”
“Yeah. Thanks to you, I now realize what this tower is.”
Jaehwan had been curious for long time. The enormous tower that appeared all of a sudden through the sky. And the mysterious message.
[Congratulations! You are chosen to be <Time Walker> to save the world from the will of the <Tower of Nightmares>! Do you accept the summon?]
[Yes / No]
He agreed to the summoning. That’s why he was here.
Jaehwan walked up and placed his hands on the walls. He felt the cold feeling of the stone. He had spent more time within the tower than the time he had spent time on Earth. But after all this time, he had never realized that this giant structure was an [Item]. It was time to change what he knew. He closed his eyes and focused on the tower. He imagined the shape of it. Everything he had seen and experienced.
After a few moments, his head hurt. It was as if something within him had broken down. Then a window popped up with an item description.
Name: Tower of Nightmares – Tutorial Mode
Description: 2nd Creation of Nightmare [Mulack], the creator of the ‘Fortress of Remorse.’ Traps the one who accepts the summon into its dream world.
“This tower is a giant [Stone of Nightmare].”
Jaehwan spoke. “I was already within the ‘Dream of Nightmare’ created by this tower from a long time ago. From the day I accepted the summoning.”
Silence fell. Beastlain was lowering his head so his face couldn’t be seen. He shivered as if he cried for a seconds, then raised his head.
He laughed so hard. But his laughter now contained an anger of some kind.
“This… this is amazing! You have astonished me so many times!”
Beastlain snapped his fingers again and the screens changed. The screen was now showing the outside world.
Jaehwan was dumbfounded. The world was fine. The city, people, everything that he considered to be gone after the Tower Impact was still standing. No one had been killed yet.
“As you can see, no one among you has died yet. Isn’t it troubling if all of you died before even the ‘Real Game’ began?”
Beastlain continued, “Haha, isn’t it wonderful that no one died? I believe it’s good news for you humans who form groups like ‘Family’ or a ‘Friends’.”
All the people who seemed to be Walkers were sent to hospitals to be taken care of. It seemed the government was working to protect them. Among those patients was the unconscious Jaehwan. It had been many years, but his face on Earth was still his young self.
“You had lived tens of years here, but only a month has passed in your world.”
‘Right… this is a dream. That explains the time difference.’
But this was only true if he could trust the image shown by Demon Beastlain. He had no power to discern if this was all true. The demon already had lied to him, so he could not see what was the truth. Then all the screens turned off at once.
“Well, we have used up too much time! Anyway, I assume you realized you have nothing to lose with my offer then. You are not going back in time. You’re just restarting it.”
Beastlain then began punching something in the air.
“It has been a pleasure.”
Something popped up in front of Jaehwan.
[Gamemaster is trying to terminate the Tutorial Game. You can return back to World 294, and join the real game with all of your memory intact. Do you accept the offer?]
[Yes / No]
Jaehwan looked at the screen and made a choice.
-You have refused the offer.