Chapter 546: Epilogue 5 – The Eternity and Epilogue (1)
Han Su-Yeong and Yu Jung-Hyeok were taken away in stretchers to the hospital where Kim Dok-Ja was staying.
While listening to the round of Yi Seol-Hwa’s non-stop nagging, Han Su-Yeong calmly organised the plan of action she came up with. And exactly one hour later, she told the companions of her idea by using the most concise words she could think of, while leaving nothing out in the process.
However, you speaking concisely and precisely didn’t automatically mean your audience would concisely and precisely understand you. The companions’ reactions were like this:
“.....What do you want to do, again??”
Jeong Hui-Won asked back, while both Shin Yu-Seung and Yi Gil-Yeong dropped the jaws ever so slightly.
Han Su-Yeong replied. “Okay, so, if I put it in a simpler perspective....”
“You are aware of what you’ve been saying until now, right?”
“....Uh? So you did understand me?”
“We can’t do that thing again. Did you already forget about the memories from two years ago? What happened to us after the group regression....?”
“I’m not saying we should regress.”
“This and that are the same! If we cross the world-lines again....!”
“I’m also not saying we should distort the other world-line’s future, either. You did hear what I said, right? I just want to send a single novel to that side, that’s all.”
Yi Ji-Hye silently listening to the conversation finally opened her mouth. “Okay, what you’re saying is, you want to show the novel written on this side to Dok-Ja ahjussi in the other world-line. Did I hear you right?”
“What meaning doing that will have?”
Han Su-Yeong started her explanation in a composed voice. “The ‘Most Ancient Dream’ is Kim Dok-Ja. And that Kim Dok-Ja was broken down into many pieces and scattered around to the rest of the world-lines before reincarnating into different existences. You with me so far?”
“.....You think I’m a dummy because I got an F last time?? Okay, so what’s next?”
“The important part starts from there. The newly-reincarnated Kim Dok-Ja might not be ‘Kim Dok-Ja’ anymore. However, that doesn’t mean he isn’t the ‘Most Ancient Dream’, either. They themselves might not be aware of it, but all those souls are the ‘Most Ancient Dream’ that maintains this universe.”
Back when they escaped from the [Final Wall] for the last time, no one was left behind in the subway. Yet the universe’s time didn’t stop. Meaning, the ‘Most Ancient Dream’ hadn’t disappeared.
The souls that used to be Kim Dok-Ja had scattered to the rest of the universe and reincarnated, and unbeknownst to even themselves, they were dreaming of the different universes.
Yu Sang-Ah nodded her head as if she understood it. “So, you meant to use their power of imaginations.”
“The imagination of the Most Ancient Dream is reality, after all.”
“Making the reincarnated Dok-Ja-ssi dream of the conclusion we all want....”
“That’s right. It’ll be like we’re presenting him with the source of imagination. So that they can dream about this world’s conclusion.” Han Su-Yeong studied the faces of her companions one at a time and continued on. “No one will get hurt this way. No one born in other world-lines will get harmed. All we have to do is to make those guys read a certain story, that’s it.”
Countless Kim Dok-Jas scattered throughout many world-lines would all be imagining it. Those born with various appearances, living in various environments.
There was no meaning in meeting them or bringing them here. The only thing the companions could hope for in this situation was a miracle.
A miracle that could bring back Kim Dok-Ja they all remembered.
It was fine even if it was all a delusion, a lie – if only he could imagine their happiness...
If only all those countless ‘Kim Dok-Jas’ imagined the one single universe...
A short bout of silence descended on the room. A similar sort of expression was floating up on the faces of everyone.
They knew full well such a plan had zero chance of becoming reality. In order to make this plan work, several impossible hurdles had to be cleared first.
The one who spoke up as the representative of the companions was Yi Hyeon-Seong, who returned to the country only about 30 minutes ago.
He had returned in a hurry after hearing about Yu Jung-Hyeok and Han Su-Yeong’s news. His eyes always burning with righteousness and will to fight were now obscured by heavy shadows.
“We’re all too tired. We’re too afraid of hoping.”
What made a person truly exhausted was not despair. No, it was ‘hope’ that seemingly was on the cusp of coming true but would never become reality.
Han Su-Yeong also knew that. She slowly squeezed her fist tightly. “I know that. That’s why I’m asking all of you for a favour.”
Yi Hyeon-Seong’s eyes trembled the moment he heard the word ‘favour’.
Han Su-Yeong had never, ever used that sort of expression before.
“I’m aware that it has a very low chance of becoming true. That’s why this is merely... a type of ceremony, if you will. Something that must be done, to put the finishing touch on the past and to live the remainder of my life properly.”
Jeong Hui-Won asked her. “....What can we help you with?”
Rather than a verbal reply, Han Su-Yeong placed her notebook PC on the hospital room’s desk and accessed a certain text file, one that they were intimately familiar with.
A novel with its title still left as “no subject”.
Han Su-Yeong slowly, so very slowly, began typing the title of the novel.
From that day on, Han Su-Yeong poured her entire being on writing the novel along with assistance from her companions. Even if it was her, she didn’t retain every bit of memories in perfect order, so to complete the story, she had to borrow her companions’ own memories.
“So, we’ll make Dok-Ja ahjussi read this novel... But, how will we do that?”
“We somehow need to make him come across it naturally, without him feeling any disharmony. To the extent that he doesn’t even realise he’s currently imagining this world.”
“Meaning, we gotta write a seriously entertaining story.”
“Dok-Ja hyung read a boring novel till its end, so won’t he read it even if we write it like, whatever?”
Han Su-Yeong looked at the glib-sounding Yi Gil-Yeong and shook her head. “We don’t know what might happen, so we gotta do our best. Kim Dok-Ja of other world-line might not be as patient as ours, after all.”
“Let me help!”
“Me too! Noona, you don’t know the lingo the teens use nowadays, right?”
The novel was compiled in Kim Dok-Ja’s hospital room most of the time. After ending her lectures, Han Su-Yeong would come to visit him in his ward. Other companions also took turns to pay him a visit.
“Sorry, I’m late. I had an announcement to make tomorrow, so....” said Yi Ji-Hye.
“It would’ve been still fine to come after you were finished,” replied Han Su-Yeong.
“No can do. Today’s the scene of my awakening, right?” Yi Ji-Hye’s voice was filled with so much excitement. She scanned the manuscript Han Su-Yeong had written and continued to yap on. “Wow. This place.... Hah, I really almost died back then.”
“Keuh-heuh. Reading this part again still gives me the goosebumps. Eonni, you don’t mind me asking you when I’m supposed to show up ag....”
“If you’re planning to bother me, just get out.”
“Ah? Why are you being so cold? I even found a mistake in the setting, you know.”
“A mistake? Where?”
“I never said anything like this!”
Yi Ji-Hye pointed at the screen. Han Su-Yeong glanced at the younger girl’s phone, and spoke up. A closer look revealed that the scene in question came from when Yi Ji-Hye was saying her piece during the cinema dungeon.
Han Su-Yeong explained. “Some creative licence is unavoidable, so some parts might be a little different from what happened in reality. But that part.....”
⸢”Why do you think you’re alone? We’re here together, aren’t we! No, hang on a sec... I’m always by your side, aren’t I?! So, don’t lose hope! Think about our kid...!⸥
“....I wrote that according to what Uriel told me, though?”
One day. Two days. Three. Sentences were diligently compiled.
When she couldn’t recall the past properly, she’d even start pinching the sleeping Kim Dok-Ja’s cheeks. And when her resentment flared up for no reason whatsoever, she’d even write some weird things in the novel, as well.
⸢”Find the ugly king!”⸥
Well, it probably didn’t matter, anyway. He’d not even realise that this was his own story, after all.
The companions came to visit the hospital room in alternating turns as if they were entering confessional booths.
“Actually, Dok-Ja-ssi was cursing a little bit during here....”
“Ah, don’t write what I just said. Understand? ....Hey, I told you to omit the part, so why?”
They all seemed quite surprised by the fact that they still remembered so much of the story, and...
“N-no, wait! Noona! I do respect hyung, but... But, what are you doing, portraying me as some sort of a religious fanatic??”
...And, they seemed to be finding peace with the fact that they still remembered this story, too.
They sometimes cried, or read the memos containing story beats that would soon form the part of the story in the future.
Shin Yu-Seung asked. “By the way, why did you portray regression so negatively like this?”
“Well, even in that world, Kim Dok-Ja should only have one life, that’s why. He might get badly influenced by reading this, right? I mean, he could still be a young kid there.”
At her reply, a shadow drew upon Shin Yu-Seung’s complexion. “But, we regressed, didn’t we? In that case, will it be fine to write this part differently from reality?”
“Nah. I’m just going to write it as is.”
“Pardon? But why?”
“Doesn’t matter who, every human is a regressor, you see.”
There was a certain sentence she thought of while fighting against Yu Jung-Hyeok. In all honesty, she didn’t expect Shin Yu-Seung to get what she was saying, anyway.
The younger girl stared at the sentences for a little while, before shifting her gaze to the outside of the window. “Our regression couldn’t influence this world-line at all. When I think about it sometimes, it feels like the last night’s passing dream. What is the difference between the past that couldn’t change the present, and a delusion that can’t change anything?”
Han Su-Yeong was somewhat taken aback from that, and her lips bobbed up and down in a pout, only for Shin Yu-Seung to shrug her shoulders and smile back at her. “What if we write it too hard to understand and Dok-Ja ahjussi doesn’t get it?”
“....Kim Dok-Ja will definitely get it.”
“You really do believe in him, don’t you?”
“If you’re going to bother me like this, just get out.”
“No, wait! I’ve organised everything that happened in the past, you know! Even the ‘Disaster of Flood’ you asked me about, I have....”
Not everyone was as helpful as Shin Yu-Seung, though. No, actually, the majority of them simply interfered with her writing, instead. For instance, in Jang Ha-Yeong’s case:
“Hey, you!! You said I’m the second part’s protagonist! What are you basing that on?! You making fun of me??”
“That’s just a figure of speech. You’re not the real protagonist, right?” Han Su-Yeong replied.
“I’ll write side stories about you. In huge chapters, no less.”
Yi Seol-Hwa passing by while pushing a stretcher past the room also said something. “Normally, healers in a story like this are portrayed as heal shuttles, aren’t they?”
“...Fine. Yi Seol-Hwa, you get a side story, too.”
On top of this, Yi Gil-Yeong completely skipping his school to come to the hospital, and Yi Hyeon-Seong, throwing a big tantrum as if he had been wronged by something.
“You just omitted all the events I had to go through after signing the contract with Abaddon! And also, I’ve lots of skills so why is it always cockroaches this and cockroaches that?!”
“You’ve completely revised my military life! But, haven’t I earnestly described everything that happened since my days as a private.....!”
“Both of you, will you just put a lid on it?! Kim Dok-Ja is the main character of this story! I’m telling you, this isn’t your story!” Han Su-Yeong yelled at them.
Even Constellations came to visit one by one after hearing about the news.
For instance, Uriel carrying huge piles of unidentifiable documents while kitted out in a disguise of sunglasses and a face mask.
[You should’ve called me right away if you were planning to write something like this! And I have this much extensive data on the subject matter, too!]
“.....Can any of this data even be trusted? I mean, what you said differed quite a lot from what Yi Ji-Hye told me, you know?”
[N-no, well, it can be a tiiiiny bit different, but, but! This universe is truly vast and countless Kim Dok-Jas are living out there in countless world-lines, so...]
After that, the Great Sage, Heaven’s Equal.
[If you’re going to write about my Fable, you should’ve at least read the fully translated Journey to the West. Have you?]
“I read it as manga.”
[In that case, you should know by now who the real protagonist of the Journey to the West is.]
“I thought it was Tang Sanzang?”
Then, the Abyssal Black Flame Dragon.
[How disappointing. Have you really forgotten about my true name? It’s already the second part, so how come my true name hasn’t been-]
“You never told me in the first place. And you know what, you don’t have to tell me, either.”
And so – around the time the first draft of the manuscript with about 250 chapters was completed, Han Su-Yeong became almost completed wasted from all the fatigue building up inside her. It’d be her first time writing a novel so arduously like this. So many parts of it weren’t to her liking, and too many portions needed lots of revising. But right now, the ‘quantity’ was her priority. Because...
– Han Su-Yeong. It’ll be this week, Saturday.
....Because, there wasn’t a lot of time left, that’s why.
<Epilogue 5. The Eternity and Epilogue (1)> Fin.
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