The World after the Fall - Chapter 49

[Updated at: 2021-01-11 07:15:52]
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Chapter 49: Master of Gorgon (7)


Two days passed after Jaehwan became the Master of the Gorgon Fortress.


A lot of things happened within the keep. Many people worked to prepare for the new Master and many Clan Leaders came to the keep to introduce themselves to the new Master.


Euren turned away all visitors. The problem at hand was more important.


Within the keep, the same discussion was being held again and again.


Jaehwan was sitting on the Master’s chair, feeding his sword. Euren spoke.


“Hm… Master.”


“I’m not your Master.”


“You are now.”


“No. I told you, I won’t do it.”


“That’s not what you promised!”


“Promise? I fulfilled my promise.”


“Maybe you have forgotten it. I will remind you again.”


Euren took out a small paper and handed it over to Jaehwan.


<Jaehwan’s promise>


-Save the Master of Gorgon’s life


-Kill the traitors


<Euren’s promise>


-Help Jaehwan form a Depth Expedition Team.


Jaehwan frowned.


“…Since the Master died, you want me to be one?”


“Well, I guess we can say that.”


Jaehwan did fail to uphold his part of the promise. That was true.


“Wait, so am I the ‘Master’ of this fortress?”


“Yes.”


“But if that’s true… ‘Master of Gorgon’ still lives right?”


“That is correct.”


“So I fulfilled my promise then.”


Euren laughed. “Yes, you did.”


Jaehwan looked confused and asked, “And?”


“And, you will keep on with the promise.”


“What are you talking about?”


“Didn’t you just say you are the new Master now?”


“I did.”


“Look at the paper again.”

  • Save the Master of Gorgon’s life

Jaehwan frowned.


‘Dammit. So that’s how it goes.’


Frankly, Jaehwan did not fulfill the promise on his part. The Master he needed to save died. That’s why Jaehwan was working his way around, trying to weave himself out from his own trap. He tried to argue that even though the Master died, there was a new Master so he technically did fulfill his part. But for that to be true, Jaehwan himself now had to stay as a ‘Living Master of Gorgon’. He needed to fulfill his duty as a Master.


“I don’t have time to stay behind and guard this fortress.”


Jaehwan wasn’t interested in power or fame.


“I need to go into the <Depth>.”


Settling down would make him weak, and the weak became corrupt. Corruption then strengthened the settling down process, which would prevent him from leaving.


“I will make you the new Master.”


“You cannot do that.” Euren shook his head. “No one besides you can be the Master.”


“Why is that?”


“Because Gorgon will not accept it.”


Jaehwan then realized it wasn’t the keep that Euren was talking about when he mentioned Gorgon. It was the black serpent tattoo wiggled on Jaehwan’s left arm. Euren once mentioned that it was ‘Gorgon’.


‘So, this one chose me?’


Euren added, “The Master of Gorgon changes only when the former dies. It’s not a seat that can be passed down voluntarily.’


Jaehwan wanted to bust out of the keep at this moment, but he couldn’t. Since he took the Seal of Gorgon, he also inherited some of the memories of the former Master. He knew that what would become of the fortress if it lost its Master.


‘Dammit.’


But he couldn’t just agree to stay and become a new Master. Jaehwan looked at all kinds of documents that Euren had piled up.


“You have to take care of those documents by today. And this…”


Jaehwan looked through the documents. After looking through some documents, he began looking at the manuals left by previous Masters. After a while, Jaehwan came across a book written by the 17th Master ‘Arbat’ with a name of [101 Ways to become a Good Master].


‘It’s bit thin to hold 101 ways.’


It was maybe a tad thicker than a fingernail. Jaehwan opened up the book.


-Congratulations! If you are reading this book, you are probably the new Master!


-You will have a lot of questions. You will feel burdened by your new position. Oh, how I understand your worries! You must be spending day and night thinking about how to improve Gorgon Fortress!


Jaehwan wasn’t thinking about any of that.


-But don’t worry. You are very lucky, because there’s only one thing the Master needs to do.


Jaehwan became curious as he read through the book.


-That is, to do NOTHING!


Jaehwan became confused.


-You might be confused. But it’s true! Remember, all you need to do is do NOTHING! Let your departments do the work specified for them. They will do just fine!


He couldn’t understand.


-You will think that it is strange. Why is a former Master giving such strange advice? But remember. These are wise words that have been handed down from generations!


The story continued.


-Passion brings sickness in Chaos. You do not know, but half of the former Masters died by killing themselves. According to stats in [Big Brother], the job that has the highest suicide rate in <Chaos> is the Master of Fortress. What killed the other half? They died from overworking themselves. ‘Spirit Corruption’ occurred from the burden of work, to be precise. Working too much hastens the corruption, as you might already know.


The book was now turning more personal and emotional.


-This advice is for you, and Gorgon. Don’t be greedy. Don’t try to change anything. Don’t overwork yourself.


Jaehwan could feel Arbat’s remorse and helplessness. He felt the former Master’s pain by reading it.


-<Chaos> is older than you think. You will know that change means nothing in this world. All beings in this world know that this world will not change. The thing you need in this world is no change. It’s to exist.


The book was almost at its end.


-Master is the one who chooses to exists than to change. You must exist, even if it means that you do not do anything. People will thank you and be relieved that you are alive. That you are there. It will be a boring life, but that is what is needed.


The last words in the paragraph seemed to have stopped for a long time before it continued. The 17th Master must have had thought long and hard before writing it.


-So, please. I beg you, do nothing and stay alive. This is more important than you think. There are no such things as 101 ways to become a Good Master. A Good Master is a Master that does not do anything. That’s the only advice I want to give.


And that was how the book ended. Jaehwan could understand what the 17th Master was trying to say.


‘I see. That’s the Master of Fortress.’


A being that gives up hope to stay alive. A being that stops change to exist.


‘But can you call that life?’


Jaehwan thought he could perhaps understand the people’s deep-rooted despair in this world a bit more. The Master of Fortress was like this. They might have had hope and passion in the beginning, but they then realized that whatever they did, a wall would block them. That made them depressed and made them want to give up.


“Uh… Master?” Euren frowned. “Master! Are you listening?”


“Yeah.”


“You don’t seem to be listening. What were you thinking?”


“I was thinking about what I can do for this fortress.”


Euren’s eyes widened in surprise.


“Are you, really?”


“Yeah.”


“So, you will become the Master of the Fortress?”


“No, but I do plan on doing something for sure.”


Jaehwan folded the book and continued, “I won’t become the Master of Gorgon.”


Euren looked at Jaehwan.


“But I will do this.” Jaehwan paused and continued, “I will remove the ‘Master’ from Gorgon.”


Euren could not understand. “…What?”


“Are you trying to commit suicide?” What kind of man would kill himself just to avoid becoming a Master?


‘No, but he can…’


Euren looked at Jaehwan. He was a type of person that he had never seen throughout his entire lifetime. There was a chance that Jaehwan really would commit suicide to not do something he hated.


“What rubbish are you talking about.”


“I don’t understand what you are talking about.”


Jaehwan looked at Euren mockingly. Euren became slightly angry and gave it a thought. What did it mean to remove the Master?


“The Master exists because ‘Fortress’ exists.”


“What?”


Euren thought about it deeply. He then became shocked and shouted, “Are you trying to destroy Gorgon Fortress?! You’re going to kill everyone?”


Jaehwan raised his eyebrows as he shook his head.


“Am I some demon?”


“But so, what is it that you’re talking about?”


Jaehwan, instead of answering the question, asked, “Euren, do you know what the ‘Fortress’ is?”


What the Fortress is? It was a foolish question. Euren had been living in this fortress for over 200 years.


“The fortress is the place where you protect the people living in it.”


“Yeah. And how do you protect it?”


“With a wall and an army.”


“Right. With an army. It’s a military institute that focuses to protect. But protect from what?”


Euren became confused at the additional questions, but he answered anyway.


“From enemies of course.”


Jaehwan nodded and continued, “Yes, so the Fortress exists to protect the people from enemies.”


“Yes… I guess so.”


“Then let me ask you a question. What if those enemies cease to exist?”


“Huh?”


“What if no one invades this fortress? What do you think?”


Euren thought. There was no need for walls or armies to protect if there were no enemies attacking them. If that was true, the Fortress would lose its purpose to exist. The people living within the fortress would be freed from the boundaries and roam <Chaos> as they saw fit. Euren stopped thinking.


“But that’s impossible. How can you not have enemies…”


“It’s possible.”


Euren looked at Jaehwan. Did he understand what he was talking about? Jaehwan nodded and spoke.


“I will unite <Chaos>.”


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