In a hospital room that seemed to be too extravagant and big for its patient, a tiny little boy, who was in the state of neither dead nor alive, was peacefully sleeping as nothing in this world could wake him up. His companions had already left after spending tons of time trying to talk to him, an unconscious being. The room remained silent as the dark night crept in. The rare ‘beeps’ from the machine that continuously monitored and injected [Fable] in his vein were the only sound that could be heard.
‘Crack’, unfamiliar noise disrupted the calm and routined atmosphere. Then, the door opened and a tall man in a black trenchcoat quietly entered.
As he sat down on the chair next to the little boy, his figure blocked the dim light from the machine, forming a shadow falling on the boy’s face. If the little boy could open his eyes right now, he would be extremely shocked to see the man’s appearance.
He looked messy, very unlike-him according to the boy’s if-still-have-any memory.
The black Infinite Dimension Space Coat that he always wears looked dirty. His body was covered with white bandages that somewhat soaked with red blood in some areas where the wounds had not stopped bleeding. His unkempt and stiff hair as if it was soaked in sweat and unwashed for a while. The wide black eyes which were used to have some faint lights that now unseen stuck its gaze on the little boy’s face. His face showed a deep and sorrow frown while his cracked, dry lips mumbled.
“Kim Dokja-yah…” Slight desperation could be heard from his husky voice.
He absently thought. When will you wake up?
Yes, there was no doubt that this man was no one else than the famous former regressor, Yoo Jonghuyk.
As his slender finger ghostly touched Kim Dokja’s fragile wrist that looked like it could be broken if he applied too much force, Yoo Jonghyuk slowly came to realize that nothing had changed in the past two years. After they finally rescued Kim Dokja from the [Last Wall] in his 1865th regression turn, no matter how hard they tried but Kim Dokja’s soul was still not healed, his breathing was still vague as if it would stop.
A few weeks ago, Yoo Jonghyuk left home without saying anything to his sister, Yoo Miah, who he cared so much for. He vanished into thin air, left behind everyone, his pro gamer job that he barely got back and nowhere to be found.
He didn’t clearly understand how he did it. Maybe a hidden part of him could not accept the fact that he would never be able to see Kim Dokja again. He really meant by Kim Dokja - the one he had spent his entire third regression with - the stupid ‘ Demon King of Salvation’ who always dragged himself into the verge of death with a smile on his face.
Yoo Jonghyuk used to hate that man, who lied to him about being a prophet and maybe was the one directly causing his endlessly miserable fate. But Kim Dokja was also the one who sacrificed himself for a happy ending for some mere characters from a novel. He was the one who stopped him from regressing whenever he met any difficulties that he couldn’t deal with.
“Do not think that things will turn out better than this turn just because you went back in time.”
Yoo Jonghyuk still couldn’t forget the memories that he was given a chance to glance through while being stuck in the [Fourth Wall] by Yoo Sangah. The miserable kid who was constantly bullied because he was ‘a son of a murderer’. The 15-year-old boy who jumped from the classroom window in desperation to find a solution for his tragic life question. The boy who survived for ten years by eating his hardship.
If Kim Dokja’s life story was a rain, Yoo Jonghyuk would be an umbrella who protected him from the rain.
Then shouldn’t he continue to be his umbrella?
If Kim Dokja was able to survive this long due to the presence of Yoo Jonghyuk, then why not in the near future Kim Dokja wouldn’t need him?
Yoo Jonghyuk didn’t really hold any grudge toward Kim Dokja when he indirectly changed his life into a real hell on Earth. But without it, Yoo Jonghyuk wouldn’t be able to stand here as a real person, rather than a character from a book. And without it, their fates would never be entangled.
From that point onward, Yoo Jonghyuk was lost in his own emotional maze that he only could escape when they met each other again. He felt like his heart was pierced through a thousand of times every moment in the last two years he saw Kim Dokja helplessly lying on the bed as if he wasn’t alive anymore. Yoo Jonghyuk didn’t quite get it in his head, the reason why he felt the pain. Nevertheless, there was no smoke without a fire and there was no pain without feelings toward the other one.
They would need a serious conversation.
After making up his mind, Yoo Jonghyuk had a weird inspiration and decided to attack the Scenario Museum today for the [Final Ark], the ark that could travel through worldlines.
Yoo Jonghyuk remembered how he angrily shouted at Han Sooyoung when she was still scared of the [Fourth Wall]’s last words and charged onto her like a storm in order to win over the replica of the [Final Ark].
They could not forget that voice. The voice that filled them with resentment.
‘Did you forget what the [Fourth Wall] said?’
⸢You shouldn’t have been greedy. No, y o u sh oul d’ve be en con te nt wi th 49% Kim Dok Ja.⸥
‘Spoken like a true loser. You just simply gave up.’
Yoo Jonghuyk remembered how their [Great Fable] once again shine brightly and clashed into each other.
[Great Fable, ‘Torch that Swallowed the Myth’ has started telling its stories.]
[Great Fable, ‘Liberator of the Forgotten Ones’ is waking up from its slumber.]
Yoo Jonghuyk also remembered how Han Sooyoung came up with the crazy plan of writing a novel and let other reincarnated Kim Dokjas from other worldlines read it and use their power of the ‘Most Ancient Dream’ to change their endings. Even Yoo Jonghuyk had to admit that the plan sounded promising and ridiculous at the same time.
Since the day when the stigma ‘Regressor’ disappeared, he felt despair rather than happy. Because he no longer could travel to other worldlines to rescue Kim Dokja. This plan somehow gave him a hint of light in that dark tunnel of infinitive misery. Hence he pretended to not see the ominous feeling slowly clawing into his head as if the original thought was not Han Sooyoung’s herself but someone else injected in, someone who was watching them from above.
From the outer barrier of the dimension where all the worldlines with the <Star Stream> system existed, two unknown beings in different coloured cloaks could be seen observing the worldlines while talking with each other. The one in white seemed to have a higher position as the one in black lowered his head and said.
⸢Master, this human is quite sharp. He spotted us sooner than I thought.⸥
The white one chuckled as she caressed her youngest disciple’s head, turning her gaze back off the hospital room where Kim Dokja and Yoo Jonghuyk were.
⸢He isn’t strong enough to be able to see us from there, you dummy.⸥ She said as if she could read Yoo Jonghyuk’s thought. ⸢It is just a regressor’s intuition that barely caught a glimpse of the power that I put into Han Sooyoung’s head.⸥
The disciple lifted his head to look directly into his master’s eyes. He couldn’t understand why his master had to butt into this tiny little dimension, wasting her time watching their stories and even using her power to intervene in their situations. But maybe, he could understand it a little bit. Maybe because she was in a similar situation.
⸢But Master, even if we help them like that, can they do it though? I don’t want you to use any more power.⸥
Because they did not have any registration in this dimension, they were considered as having no probability. Hence for every action she made inside the dimension which required probability, she had to suffer through an enormous probability storm that can sweep away many worldlines within seconds. She should have died millions of times by now if not due to her personal status.
⸢I’m fine. Those probability storms are not a big deal for me, you know that don’t you.⸥
The white one gently smiled as she looked at Kim Dokja’s sleeping face through the crack on the dimension barrier. Her cold gaze that could easily kill off the enemies, now was full of warmth and hint of flickering sadness.
Translucently sparkling particles could not be seen with human eyes surrounding Kim Dokja’s body became denser while a finger of the white one crumbled away to compensate the coming vicious probability storm for protecting his last soul fragment from also being reincarnated.
This was the best thing I could do at the moment. I will have to depend on them to write up and transmit the stories for you, Dokja-yah. She thought while secretly sacrificing another finger to open up the crack on the dimension barrier and sneaked in.
Even though the system could not sense her presence, the [Last Wall] which separated this dimension from the rest could and vaguely guessed her identity based on the little record it had collected.
[The [Last Wall] is warning the unregistered being ‘The Seventh Origin’ not to intervene with its master, ‘Most Ancient Dream’.]
However, the warning was too late. ‘The Seventh Origin’, as named by the [Last Wall], and her disciple had disappeared before it could sense any trace of their presence within the dimension.