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[ You al read y know how this will end. ]

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“Captain, no!!” One of his companions shouted out. A loud whoosh followed by a sound like tearing could be heard. The air around him suddenly grew hot. 

Yoo Joonhyun fell to his knees. Blood poured from his head and pain lanced through his body. He looked down to the source of the burning sensation. The hole in his stomach was far too large for his ‘Dormant Rehabilitation’ to possibly have any effect. 

Yoo Joonhyun had a thought. ‘So, this is where this life ends…’ 

He coughed up blood he didn’t realize he still had left to spill. His breathing slowed and grew more distant. The tips of his fingers still held pitifully around his sword were now crumbling away. He thought he could hear his companions’ voices and their weapons tearing at the monster’s flesh, but the sounds were drowned out by the ringing in his ears. His body was disappearing. 

‘Huu… How disappointing.’

A dim sphere of light emerged from his heart. His vision grew blurrier and blurrier, before blanking out completely. 

‘Once again… everything will reset.’ 

 

[The contractor of embodiment 'Yoo Joonhyun’ is looking at their embodiment.]

[The stigma ‘Return from Death Lv. 999' has been activated!] 

[Embodiment 'Yoo Joonhyun’ has accepted the intention of his contractor.] 

 

As all of his senses faded away into a familiar oblivion, Yoo Joonhyun’s last scraps of consciousness in this life sighed out.

‘I’m tired…’ 

Yoo Joonhyun's body scattered into fine powder as he left this world-line. 

‘Just when will this end?’ 

 

[You have died.]

 

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In the darkness, the lone Yoo Joonhyun woke up.

He reflexively put a hand to his stomach, pleased to find his flesh was there. He had long since gotten used to death, but some methods still surprised him. 

“So that’s what that feels like.” He muttered to himself. 

He leaned back in the familiar isolated train chair, floating in the darkness. Soon, this void would transform into the 3707 carriage. Then the nightmare would begin anew. 

He rubbed his chin thoughtfully, prodding his memories. “Hmm… Really, huh? I never died that way before, even against the ‘Calamity of Questions and Answers’?” So he could still have new experiences, even after 1000 lives? How novel. 

He continued to talk to himself in this vast void. Perhaps he had lost his mind a long time ago. 

“...I wonder how they’re doing.” 

He had abandoned his companions once again. Maybe they would succeed. Maybe they would fail. 

“...It would be nice if they could see the ending.” 

[ What if they could? ] 

Yoo Joonhyun was startled. In all his regression turns, he had never heard another voice in this waiting space. His senses were always dulled by death as his stats reset, so he couldn’t feel any presence. 

“Who’s there? Show yourself!” 

His sight shifted. Two hands even darker than the void tore through the once-empty air in front of him. What little ambient light existed in this space didn’t illuminate those hands at all, as if they were blotted out by the darkest ink. 

[ I have been think ing a bout your sto ry, you who treas ures. ] 

This puzzling appearance, and the strange manner of speech…!

“A ‘Being from Another World’... is it?” 

[ Yoo Joon hyun is smart. ] 

His lips twitched. “Nothing else has ever appeared in this space. Speak your purpose.” 

The hands wavered about, each of the fingers twitching stiffly. 

[ I want to cel e brate. ] 

“Speak your entire purpose.” The time between returns never took this long. What was going on?, he wondered. 

[ It is your thou sandth life. Are you not tired yet? ] 

He huffs reflexively. “Tired? Please. I could go on forever. Whatever it takes to bring down this damned <Star Streaming System> once and for all.” 

[ Your heart thinks other wise. ] 

A cacophony suddenly filled up the void. 

「 'Again, everything…' 」

「 'Next time will be better.' 」

「 'Maybe next time…' 」

「 'Again…' 」

「 'One more.' 」

「 'Just one more…' 」

This voice… it was his.

「 'Damn, damn, damn!' 」

「 'I can't change anything.' 」 

「 ‘I want to quit.’ 」 

「 'I thought there was a chance.' 」 

「 'Will this continue forever?' 」 

These thoughts, they were his. 

「 'I’m tired.' 」

「 'I don’t want to.' 」

「 'Not again.' 」

「 'Why?' 」

These deaths were his. 

「 'Why me?' 」

This endless suffering was all his. 

「 ‘If only I wouldn’t return...’ 」

Something he hasn’t properly felt in a long time runs through him. Was it… 

「 '...I’m afraid.' 」

Fear? 

「 'Will they ever be happy?' 」

Despair? 

[ Do you want to stop? ] 

“It won’t stop.” He finds himself feeling oddly heavy, as if the weight of all those lives were pressing down on him. “It won’t end. It will never end. ” 

[ It could end. ] 

“How?” His voice sounds frantic and strange. “How can it ever end?? Tell me!” 

[ Do you want to see ■■? ] 

‘■■’. In all honesty, Yoo Joonhyun had forgotten about such a concept. He knew he could never reach his own, after all. Not without a sacrifice he couldn’t bring himself to make again. 

“...I… I don’t care about seeing ■■.” His hand grips the seat, but the edge digging into his hand feels distant. “If my companions could see the end… If they could reach their ■■…” 

“If all my companions can live, even if it’s just for one turn, I don’t care what happens to me.” 

The hands wave about as if his answer was interesting. 

[ Your wish could come true. ] 

Suddenly, something strikes Yoo Joonhyun. 

…Why was a ‘Being from Another World’ here to begin with? 

Why was it even speaking to him in the first place? 

“...You want to make an ‘Other Worldly Pact' with me. Is that it?” 

[ It is the only way to gain en ough fea si bil i ty. ]

“I refuse. Every one of you has always made absurd demands.” 

[ It will not be any thing dif fi cult. ] 

He sighs, scratching idly at his stomach. “...State your terms. I’m curious.” 

Yep, he’s definitely gone insane. 

[ Eve ry thing will reach an end. ] The hands wave about in the air, projecting faint images. They’re hard to make out, looking as if someone has cobbled drawings together from scraps of symbols and letters. But he can still make out the intention. 

A world with all the blanks knocked into it by the apocalypse filled in. Seoul has been rebuilt, and within it, his companions live their daily lives. They laugh, they cry, they eat, they sleep, they age. Some go on to start families, while others live comfortably in the warmth of their companions. It’s a truly happy ending. 

But, in all those scenes… 

“...You don’t mean…?” 

…He was nowhere to be found. 

[ Yoo Joon hyun. ] 

Time started to turn again. The void began to slowly fade into the greys of the opening stage of the apocalypse. 

“No, wait! I need more information!” 

[ You al read y know the an swer. ]

He grasped out at the air, but he couldn’t reach those hands. He felt a deep desperation he hasn’t felt in a long time. 

That world he saw… he wanted it. He wanted to reach it. 

[ Take the throne once more. And then… ]

No matter the cost. 

[ You will be set free. ] 

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In the 3707 carriage, Yoo Joonhyun began his final life.