The World after the Fall - Chapter 97

[Updated at: 2021-01-11 07:16:10]
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Chapter 97: Path of the Depth (6)


It had been a week since Sirwen met the small Jaehwan. She was able to watch him sleeping by the sewers and stealing food from liquor stores. Then, he went to higher ground to get the reception from the public WiFi.


“When a passage opens, the reception becomes unstable.”


And when a passage did open, he went to find particles to retrieve.


Sirwen empathized with the boy. Even if she knew that this world was not real and was just a part of his imagination, she still had to ask.


“…Are you okay?”


With this life? She couldn’t add the last part.


“…What about it?” the small Jaehwan asked. To him, this was the normal way of life. There was nothing else he needed.


“Do you do anything else? Other than sending back those memories.”


“Hmm…”


The boy seemed like he had never even thought about it. Sirwen thought she made the wrong choice by asking that. It seemed cruel to give hope to one who did not know hope. Then the boy spoke.


“I see memories.”


“Memories?”


“Yeah.”


The boy pulled something out from his pocket. They were white rocks.


“I don’t send all the memories back.”


Sirwen realized they were particles of memories. She asked, “Can you do that? Won’t it cause trouble?”


Jaehwan shook his head.


“It should be okay. It’s not that important.”


“How do you know that?”


“Because of the color.”


According to him, memories differed in colors of white, green, blue, and red, in that order of importance. White memories weren’t really important. As the boy caressed the rock, the memories shot up like a hologram image.


It was the memory where Jaehwan’s mother was holding him when he was young.


[I’ll read you this book today.]


It was a famous book that even Sirwen knew. It was included in the [200 recommended books to create a good tower].


‘It… was… something with a prince I think…’


She then began to concentrate on the mother.


[So, did the Little Prince go to Earth?]


[Yes, he did.]


It was about a prince. A Little Prince who had lived on asteroid B612 came down to Earth.


[…So, the Little Prince said. “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”]


The Little Prince believed in the power of imagination, or the power of looking at the important things hidden from plain sight. But Sirwen knew the end of the story.


There was no way that the Little Prince could live on without accepting what was in front of him. So, to end the story, the Little Prince had to die. The only way that he could keep his innocence was through death.


[But what happens to the world after the Little Prince leaves?] the boy asked.


[Huh?]


His mother was surprised. It was a question that had never been asked before in a world where people did not care.


[The world that the Little Prince left behind.]


[That’s…]


[Who saves that world then?]


Sirwen became silent.


[That world is…]


The young mother pondered. What would be the best way to avoid the child from being hurt?


[Of course, the Little Prince will save it.]


[But he’s dead.]


[No, he is not dead.]


Then, the story came. A lie made up by an adult for the child’s sake.


[He lives on Earth.]


She claimed that the Little Prince had not died, and was still living to save the planet. It was a lie, a false story. But the young child listened carefully as if he really believed in it.


Sirwen then realized that the story was the foundation of his life.


In next moment, she felt her heart sink.


Why was this memory a ‘white’ color? Why was this memory ‘unimportant’?


This man… how far had he given up on life?


Just then, a WiFi receptor in the distance began to make noise. Small Jaehwan stood up immediately.


“We found it.”


“Huh?”


“The way out for you.”


At the top of a skyscraper was a strange hole. Small Jaehwan and Sirwen looked up at the hole, and then he spoke.


“I call that place a ‘doggy door.\'”


“Doggy door?’


It was a strange name, but it was kind of understandable. A doggy door was too small for normal adults to go through. Sirwen felt a bit bad at the thought of leaving the place. It was weird because she hated it so much when she was first trapped.


“I would’ve stayed longer with you if I had more time.”


“I don’t need it.”


Sirwen then asked again, “But you liked having me around, right?”


He did not answer. However, Sirwen liked the silence. It was the best positive answer that the boy could give.


“We have to go up there. I think we have to get to the roof.”


Both of them then began climbing up the stairs of the skyscraper. The ‘doggy door’ would not stay open for too long. Sirwen panted as she ran up.


“You’re quick for being so young.”


“I’m not young.”


“How old are you then?”


“I forgot.”


Sirwen then asked again.


“How old do you think I am?”


“About 2000.”


It kind of annoying to hear, even if it was true.


“Do all the people outside live that long?”


“…Not all.”


“But they become adults though, right?”


Sirwen couldn’t answer; she wanted to deny it. She wanted to say that there were some who became adults on the outside but stayed young on the inside.


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