The World after the Fall - Chapter 92[Updated at: 2021-01-11 07:16:08]
Chapter 92: Path of the Depth (1)
The War of Revival was over. It ended with <Chaos> freed from the <Great Lands>. However, that was only the beginning.
Jaehwan spoke to the pale-faced patient in the healer room of Gorgon Keep.
“You were alive.”
It was Jagel Meng.
“I thought you were dead.”
“…I’m the leader of a Ten-Clan. I won’t die so easily.”
He smiled, but his injuries were severe. It was a miracle that he even survived.
“It’s all thanks to the Doctor of Despair.”
When he was injured, Chunghuh had just returned to Gorgon and quickly tended to Jagel Meng. If not, he would’ve died.
“…I heard you defeated Sameng Garam.”
Jaehwan knew it was Sameng Garam who caused Jagel Meng to be in this state. So, in some sense, Jaehwan had taken revenge for him.
“He was a Great General.”
Jaehwan knew Jagel Meng meant something deeper.
“Did you know him?”
“Every member of the Jagel family knows the Sameng family.”
The Sameng family was one of the Renowned Familyiesof the <Great Lands>.
“You might be aware, but ‘they’ will now have their eyes on us too.”
“The Renowned families. Sameng already has, for sure.”
The Palace belonged to the Lords and the Renowned families. <Chaos> also killed a member of the Renowned families. Jaehwan shook his head.
“It’s okay. They won’t come here anymore.”
Jagel Meng opened his eyes wide in shock.
“Did…. Did you acquire the [Narrow Door]?”
Jaehwan nodded and Jagel Meng heaved a sigh of relief.
“That’s good… but it’s too early to be relieved.”
Jaehwan understood what he was talking about. He had warned the other leaders of this in a previous meeting. There was another, normal, way of coming into <Chaos>.
“I’ll just kill them again.”
Jagel Meng sighed. He could now believe those words to be true.
“If they are here to kill me, even at the cost of their lives, they may be worth fighting against.”
Jagel Meng smiled, then turned to face the window. It seemed like there was finally a short peace in <Chaos>.
He also realized that this peace was possible because of one person.
Someone called out to Jaehwan, and he stood up from his seat.
“Take care of yourselves.”
Jagel Meng stared at Jaehwan. Where was he going now? What lay beyond the path that he would be taking? Was it a path that they could follow? Or… Was it his fate, to walk alone on that treacherous path?
Jaehwan stopped, not looking back.
Jaehwan walked out. Jagel Meng had the feeling that he would never get to see him again. But he couldn’t stop him.
There were a lot of people who came to see Jaehwan. The first who came were Chunghuh and Cayman.
“Kid, don’t think of leaving secretly.”
“I will not let you go alone this time.”
They were afraid Jaehwan that would travel to the <Depths> alone. However, the one that came to see Jaehwan next had an entirely different reason.
“What is it?”
It was a man with blonde hair, and a single silver wing on his back. He saluted to Jaehwan and spoke.
“I have a few matters to discuss, Master.”
“Why didn’t Euren come?”
“The Chancellor is busy with the work you gave him.”
It was Karlton.
“Okay, go on.”
“Yes, sir. The first is from the meeting…”
Karlton began to report what he had prepared as Jaehwan looked at him. In some sense, Karlton was similar to Sameng Garam. He was one who wanted to keep the order of something.
‘Didn’t he also become an Awakener?’
The keyword [Suspicion] allowed one to create their own unique world. Jaehwan’s world was ‘Fall’ while Cayman’s world was the ‘Great Sea.’ Then, what was Karlton’s world? Jaehwan became curious.
“…and… Master, are you listening?”
“Oh, yes. Where were we?”
“…According to Gorgon Law, chapter 24 line 5, the behavior of not listening to the report of…”
He had not changed one bit, even after being Awakened. Karlton then smiled and stopped.
“…We were talking about the tower.”
Jaehwan then remembered the tower he had made with Meikal. It was now more refined and stable than when it was first made.
“What about it?”
“There are complaints of the time flow being too fast.”
“…I see. Understandable.”
“There are increasing suicide rates among those who challenge it to become Awakened.”
Time was bad for the spirit. It was punished for overusing time. Even for Jaehwan, corruption was seeping out from his body due to not consuming horns regularly.
However, Awakening required overcoming such hardships. Jaehwan then spoke.
“We do have it running too fast. Change it with Meikal.”
“They can’t just become Awakened by simply repeating [Stab] or [Slash]. Order the system to create Awakeners on a constant basis, and take out those who do not want to be Awakened. Training to rise in Adaptation stages is also a solution.”
“Adaptation… do you really think it’s a solution?”
“People have different opinions. Awakening is not salvation. One might find life within Adaptation.”
Karlton seemed to have complicated thoughts as he heard that.
“There’s a personal problem.”
“What is it?”
“I’m now a 3rd step Awakener. I guess you know that already.”
“But I don’t see my unique world.”
That was impossible. All who became 3rd step Awakeners had a unique world. It differed in shape and size, but there were no instances where one did not acquire a unique world.
‘Wait, maybe his unique world is…’
Jaehwan remembered Sameng Garam’s words. He told Jaehwan that every being had their ‘world’, even if it wasn’t unique.
‘Maybe Adaptation and Awakening is quite similar in some sense.’
Jaehwan reassured Karlton.
“Don’t worry. Maybe your unique world is the ‘System’ itself.”
“…Is that possible?”
“It’s a possibility. I don’t know everything about Awakening.”
Karlton then asked, “If my unique world is the ‘System,’ will I have to fight you someday?”
It was an unexpected question with a hint of humor. But Jaehwan pondered it seriously.
“Maybe. If you really try to protect this world.”
“You really intend to destroy this world?”
“Then, even if I try to protect it when the time comes, you will not change your mind?”
“Yes. Then you will be destroyed together with it.”
After giving it some thought, Karlton asked, “Master, take me with you.”
“To the <Depths>, sir.”
Jaehwan did not answer. In fact, a lot of people had been bringing up the issue of the expedition already.
‘I guess it’s about time to pick who to bring to the <Depths>.’
He couldn’t bring everyone. The <Depths> was dangerous enough to scare off the Lords of the <Great Lands>. As Jaehwan fell silent, Karlton added, “According to Gorgon Law Chapter 3 Line 4, all Gatekeeper Captains have the responsibility to protect the Master of the Fortress in an emergency.”
Jaehwan laughed. “But you are not the Captain anymore.”
“And I won’t be the Master when I leave.”
Karlton seemed to be shocked by those last words.
“…I expected… but are you really going to quit being a Master?”
Karlton wished it was a lie. They needed a central figure to keep <Chaos> in order more than ever. The leaders were even considering asking Jaehwan to become their king.
“Yeah. I will be leaving in a week.”
“But if you leave, Gorgon will fall. No, <Chaos> will…”
Jaehwan turned to the window and looked out at the sky.
“I have an idea for that.”
And Karlton realized four days later how ridiculous that ‘idea’ was.