The World after the Fall - Chapter 42[Updated at: 2021-01-11 07:15:49]
Chapter 42: Doctor of Despair (9)
After listening to everything, Jaehwan asked, “…End all [Cultivation]?”
“Yes, that’s what he said. He was one of a kind.”
Jaehwan continued asking questions. “The expedition. Was it successful?”
“You can say it was. I had to stop by the entrance of <Depth> but Mulack did manage to reach the top of Tree of Imagery.”
“How do you know that?”
“Because [Fruits] began to drop from the branch.”
Chunghuh remembered watching the fruit dropping from the skies. The golden meteors that would surely give hope back to the people.
“I guess you can say it was lucky. All expedition team members returned with an armful of fruits.”
But that was weird. If the expedition was successful and they acquired the [Fruit], why was this old man still in <Chaos>? That’s when Claire jumped in.
“Don’t lie old man. The expedition was successful?”
Chunghuh cackled. “I was wondering when you would interrupt.”
“That expedition failed. You know that.”
“…What do you know when you weren’t even born yet?”
Claire frowned and moved to serve the other tables. Chunghuh gulped down another cup of beer.
“What do you mean?”
“It’s as she said. The expedition failed.”
“Didn’t you just say it succeeded?”
“It succeeded in getting the [Fruit].”
It meant something happened when they returned to <Chaos>.
“There were some waiting for the team at the entrance of <Chaos>.”
They were the strongest who resided in the Great Lands for a long time, but they were the ones who never dared to venture into the <Depth>.
“It was the Lords and the Elders of the Renowned families.”
Chunghuh spoke angrily. It was hundreds of years ago but he still remembered it very clearly.
“The expedition had Masters of fortresses and leaders of Ten-Clan. However, all of them together was no match against them. Not even close.”
“And your [Fruits] were taken away.”
Chunghuh drank again.
“They still use the [Fruit] even to this day to be revived if they die. They even have a place called <Revival Palace> where they can revive. All of them go to that place if they die and wait for their turn to be revived.”
“<Chaos> is only the part of the Great Lands. The ones who are allowed to a normal life are not us.”
Jaehwan looked around the streets again. The world had a thing called [Fruit] and that would allow them to be revived. But it was so far from them. That was why they were all in despair, as this old man was.
“Oh, and what happened to Mulack?”
Jaehwan had forgotten about Mulack while talking so he asked. Chunghuh did not answer so Jaehwan turned to Chunghuh.
“Hey, old man.”
He fell asleep on the table. Wasn’t he the one who said people here could get drunk? Why did he pass out?
“It’s no use. Old man really gets drunk.”
Claire spoke as she cleaned the dishes.
“I don’t know why, but he gets drunk when he drinks.”
Jaehwan looked closely Chunghuh’s face. It was the face of a man who had lived for thousands of years. Maybe in his thousand years of fake lives, he had found way to fake reality.
“You had a question about Mulack?”
Jaehwan became surprised at the voice.
“…You know about him too?”
“Everyone in Gorgon Fortress knows about [Depth Expedition Team]. It’s the story that old man always tells when he’s drunk.”
Claire sighed and continued.
“That Nightmare is gone.”
“No one saw him after the expedition was over.”
Claire paused for a moment and continued, “I think the Nightmare did say something to the old man before he disappeared…”
“What is it?”
“What was it? Hmm…”
Claire thought as she rubbed the dishes for some time and mumbled as she remembered it.
“I have failed.”
The accent seemed so realistic that Jaehwan almost thought this woman was Mulack himself.
“Yeah, that was it. I have failed. That’s what he said.”
I have failed… Jaehwan could guess what it meant. Mulack had reached the end of the Depth and acquired [Fruits], but he failed to stop [Cultivation].
“Is that it?”
“Hm… there was one more….”
Claire didn’t seem to remember and then someone slumped down on the chair next to them. It was one of the drunk men that was fighting a while ago.
“Ha, this old man is drunk again.”
Jaehwan felt the face was familiar. As he looked more closely, he realized that it was the guard that he got into a quarrel with at the gate a few days ago.
‘Was it James?’
Claire spoke. “Hey, drunkard.”
“Do you know what Nightmare Mulack said before he disappeared?”
“Mulack? The crazy Nightmare who said he would stop the [Cultivation]?”
“Wasn’t that a fake story that the old man made up? There’s no such Nightmare.”
James was then struck with a pan then mumbled on what he knew.
“I have failed but not completely… was this what you talking about?”
“Dammit, that hurts. So, why did you ask?”
“The one next to you was curious about it.”
James then glanced at Jaehwan.
“Oh. We’ve met.”
“I was looking for you. To think about all the trouble I went through because of you…”
James mumbled as he gritted. It looked like Jaehwan would be involved in another annoying problem, but James suddenly said something that was unexpected.
“Thank for what you did today.”
James didn’t look at Jaehwan as he spoke.
“It’s about the captain. He would’ve died if it wasn’t for you.”
An awkward moment passed and James took the cup Chunghuh was drinking and gulped it down.
“Madam, I’ll pay for him. How much is it?”
“Get lost. I wasn’t thinking of getting paid by him anyway.”
“Oh, you wanted to say thanks too?”
James stood up as he ranted.
“Hey, whatever you do, come by the North Gate when you come into Gorgon next time. I won’t ask for certification from now on.”
He turned back and added with a small voice, “Oh, but don’t let the Captain know.”
James walked away. Claire began chopping ingredients and Chunghuh began snoring loudly. The sound of food being made to fill non-existent hunger and the sound of tasteless beer drinking filled the area.
A world with no hope. A world without real things, filled with people who pretend to be real.
‘What is this feeling?’
Jaehwan could not understand what he felt. It was very strange. Then he saw someone running to him.
He was sweeping the street with his men like a madman.
“Doctor! Where are you! Doctor!”
The commander then found Jaehwan and Chunghuh and ran to them while panting.
“…You were with him also?”
The commander bowed and glanced at Chunghuh.
“Dammit, that’s why he didn’t answer. Doctor, wake up!”
The doctor didn’t wake up and Jaehwan asked, “What is it?”
“The Master went berserk all of a sudden. He only does it once a week, but…”
It seemed something had happened regarding the Master of the fortress that only Chunghuh could solve. Then, an explosion was heard within the keep and the commander turned pale.
The powerful and ominous energy source was stronger than Janya’s. It was stronger than any force Jaehwan had faced until now. He narrowed his eyes.
‘So, the master was in that state.’
He had guessed when he heard Euren asking to him to save his ‘Master’.
‘Below the keep… is it underground?’
Jaehwan looked into the keep with [Suspicion]. It looked weird. It felt like the keep was shaped like a giant stomach of a monster. Deep below lied something dark. It was a dark figure that his [Suspicion] could not read. A monster with tentacles and a giant mouth. Jaehwan knew what it was immediately.
The Master of Gorgon Fortress was morphing into a Dead Man.
Something terrible was about to be born.