Side Story Chapter 62 - And... (2)
Collecting the star fragments was to complete the existence of the unstable Martial King as well as prevent the stars from wreaking havoc on multiple worldlines. From Jeong-woo’s perspective, stars were nothing more than pests. However, due to their traits, it was difficult to eradicate them, and there were many things he had to be worried about.
So Jeong-woo understood why Yeon-woo jumped directly into the source of it all. However, Jeong-woo thought that Yeon-woo’s biggest objective was the second reason, which was complete transcendence.
Technically, Yeon-woo was currently in a cocoon-like state. He was a caterpillar growing inside its hard cocoon, desperately wishing to wake up someday. And when he managed to pierce through his shell, even Jeong-woo couldn’t imagine what Yeon-woo would look like.
Yeon-woo probably didn’t know either. No one in this world had ever stepped foot inside the territory that was beyond emperor. The result could be good, or it could be bad. It was a case of Schrödinger's cat. No one knew what the condition of the cat trapped inside the box would be before the lid was opened.
‘So he probably wants to increase the chances of things turning out the way he wants them to.’
No one knew what Yeon-woo would be like after he broke out of the shell. However, it was definitely predictable that his existence would surpass the current universe’s system. And his consciousness could probably reach the Unreal World too.
‘He wants to experience the Unreal World before his transcendence is complete and become familiar with his transcendence through it. If he has the experience, he’ll be able to control whatever shape the transcendence takes after.’
There was also the benefit that Yeon-woo could dramatically speed up the rate of progress through the new stimulation.
‘Or he could slowly stain the Unreal World with the color of the Black King.’
Of course, it was that much riskier as well. Until he could stain the Unreal World with darkness and somewhat be able to pull from that power, Yeon-woo’s actions would be limited.
‘In the end, the Unreal World is the territory of the stars.’
Tossing aside the omniscience and omnipotence Yeon-woo’d obtained so far and starting from scratch in the Unreal World again? It was nonsense. But Yeon-woo was truly attempting to do it.
“Do whatever you want, sheesh.” Cha Jeong-woo let out a deep sigh. Yeon-woo left without a word to him, so he couldn’t do much right now. All he could do from here was pray desperately for Yeon-woo to return safely. Now, he could start searching if there was any other way he could help.
“Mr. Heavenly Demon.” Jeong-woo turned to look at the Heavenly Demon.
The Heavenly Demon made a mysterious smile as if he already knew what Jeong-woo was thinking. “You want to ask me if there’s a way to confirm the events going on in the Unreal World, right?”
“…Yes, sir.” Jeong-woo nodded gravely. “Darkness will increasingly stain the world the more my brother causes trouble over there. Then that must mean that the chances of being able to see him will be higher…!”
“And then the events will be automatically recorded in the Changgong Library, is that what you’re saying?”
“Is that possible?”
“No. It’s impossible.”
The Heavenly Demon nodded. Cha Jeong-woo sighed in disappointment.
『Excuse me, Mr. Heavenly Demon! Why are you saying we can’t?! I may not have completely understood before because I’m dumb, but wouldn’t the dream naturally be incorporated over there if our Emperor Temper starts making tides?』
“That’s true. However, the Changgong Library only records events from within boundaries that “I” know. I’m saying I’m the principal agent.”
『…Then that means it’s impossible to find out anything about the Unreal World unless you enter it yourself?』
『Then if you could help master from there…!』Shanon pressed his lips together when he saw the Heavenly Demon’s steady gaze on him. The Heavenly Demon’s Fiery Golden Eyes contained no emotion. It was as if the light banter they’d been exchanging only moments ago was all a lie. Shanon belatedly realized his mistake.『I apologize. That was rude of me. I was hasty and…』
“Let’s not cross the line.”
“I apologize if you were offended. I will apologize in his stead.”
Only after Jeong-woo stepped in did the Heavenly Demon relax his Fiery Golden Eyes. He scratched the back of his head, muttering, “I know how both of you feel, but who will manage this place if I leave too? I’m already overburdened as it is.”
It was true the Heavenly Demo was assisting them greatly, and that he was treating them with goodwill. However, the Black King and the Heavenly Demon were like two sides of a coin that could never coexist. They had fought for eons, spinning the wheel endlessly, until just recently.
But to ask the Heavenly Demon for help in saving the Black King? They would be putting the Heavenly Demon in the same danger. If something were to go wrong with the both of them, the creation of the universe would be finished.
From then, the stars would start to roam wild without having to worry about anyone stopping them. It would be the beginning of true hell. That was why the Heavenly Demon denied Shanon’s suggestion.
“Well…” Just then, the Heavenly Demon smiled roguishly. “I suppose it would be weird to sit still and do nothing, huh?”
Jeong-woo and Shanon turned to the Heavenly Demon simultaneously, and the Heavenly Demon waved his hand in the air. Whoosh! System messages popped up consecutively in the air.
[The Changgong Library’s control system commences operation with the authority of the special administrator!]
[The Changgong Library’s jurisdiction is expanded.]
[Expanded territory: Unreal World.]
[The territory is a new domain that hasn’t been reached by light. More data is required for an update.]
[New search modules are designed for a smoother search.]
[A new algorithm is adopted.]
[Warning! This is an attempt that is beyond the authority of the special administrator! A forced request may cause a bad influence on your domain. Would you still like to proceed?]
[You have chosen to proceed.]
[The operation is resumed.]
Looking at the onslaught of new messages, Jeong-woo and Shanon realized the Heavenly Demon was taking a risk to help them. They didn’t know how dangerous the attempt was, but based on the contents of the messages, it definitely wasn’t something simple. Still, they didn’t try to stop him. That would’ve been an act of disgracing him.
[Efficient modules cannot be designed. More data is necessary.]
[The search range is minimized.]
[An observer is designated to collect the data.]
Jeong-woo stretched his hand out in the air as he saw the messages. Light shone as a new book appeared. It was an empty book, but that wouldn’t be the case a few moments later. Events centered around Yeon-woo would soon be written in this book.
Jeong-woo’s divine name was Deus Ex Machina. He was the god of mechanics to mechanically record and interpret all information. In this field, he was better than the Heavenly Demon. At this moment, Jeong-woo’s full attention and consciousness was focused on the book. A short while later…! Fwoosh!
The characters “Cha Yeon-woo” were written on the cover of the book. Not Black King, but Cha Yeon-woo. It meant a module based on the information Yeon-woo collected in the Unreal World was completed.
The Heavenly Demon had the control system of the Changgong Library focused on Yeon-woo, and Jeong-woo was in charge of recording the collected information. Flutter! The book opened and the pages flipped over as words were written on the white paper.
Like an essay or a diary, Yeon-woo’s thoughts were starting to be recorded. It felt strange for Jeong-woo, as he had once left a diary behind for Yeon-woo, but their places were switched now.
Is a lot different than what I thought.
That was the very first sentence of Yeon-woo’s diary.
* * *
The modern universe was created when a very small light suddenly exploded in a world filled only with darkness. The rapidly expanded universe resulted in both matter and antimatter. Most of the antimatter was transformed into matter and used for the expansion of the universe, but what wasn’t used simply bounced somewhere out of the universe.
The antimatter and other waste that wasn’t used in the creation of the universe combined together to create a new world: the Unreal World. And since it was a world created by the scattered pieces of the egg Pangu broke out of, Yeon-woo thought it was only a “world” in name. It couldn’t be a proper world.
‘But I was wrong.’ Yeon-woo laughed in disbelief as he looked over the information from Leo. ‘This place has its own laws of nature as well.’ In fact, this world was operating pretty similarly to the real world Yeon-woo had been in. ‘It’s like it was copied from the real world… Like a reflection in the mirror.’
Mirrors reflected the world. The contents inside a mirror were exactly the same as what it was reflecting. However, it was only a reflection, and it could never be the real thing. That was what the Unreal World was like. It was reflecting the wheel spun by cogs, the Black King and the Heavenly Demon.
And that was what the stars wanted. Creation was the ultimate purpose they wished to achieve. They had created the Unreal World in this manner so they could practice. ‘They also want to destroy the wheel completely and keep their world as the real one.’ There was nothing that great about the cogs of the wheel or creation, but it seemed these stars wanted to reach it.
Yeon-woo scoffed, but he also thought it was for the better. ‘I’ll retrieve all the fragments here and complete my transcendence.’ He specified his purpose and searched for a way to manifest himself first. ‘I have to hide my existence here for now, so I should use a body that’s already active…’
If it was someone already living in the Unreal World, there was no way the stars would know even if Yeon-woo projected his identity on the being. In other words, he needed to find a vessel to possess… He couldn’t steal the body of someone who was perfectly alive and well, so it needed to be someone who was on the verge of death or had recently died. The being also needed to be strong to hold Yeon-woo’s identity.
‘If the being’s synchronization rate with the Black King is naturally high, there won’t be any issues when I summon my powers from my true body.’ Yeon-woo wondered if there would be a vessel that could satisfy all these particular conditions, but it was a body he needed to use for a while with all his powers sealed, so he needed to choose well.
Whoosh. After closely examining every crevice of the world, Yeon-woo was finally able to find a soul that resonated well with darkness. Of course, that didn’t mean he could just possess the body. Just when he was about to confirm the condition of the vessel…
[Someone has sensed your consciousness!]
‘Already?’ Yeon-woo jolted at the warning message. He did expect one of the stars would discover his invading consciousness, but he didn’t know it would be this quick. Had they already learned of Leo’s disappearance? Or did they coincidentally happen to find him? Yeon-woo didn’t know what the reason was, but he was certain of one thing. If he was caught, things would be really bad.
‘I have no choice.’ Yeon-woo decided to risk it and moved toward the being he found moments earlier.
[Your consciousness invades the being. You are attempting to possess this human!]
[Checking the conditions of the being…]
[The one who has discovered you is approaching your vicinity.]
Yeon-woo started to become anxious.
[They are closing in!]
[Warning! They are becoming closer!]
Just before the star’s gaze reached Yeon-woo’s consciousness, Yeon-woo felt his consciousness swept elsewhere.
[You have successfully possessed the being!]
The first thing that came to mind was how uncomfortable it was. It was like a prison that was too small to even stand.
[The particular someone did not find you!]
[The star scratches their head in confusion and leaves the territory.]
It didn’t feel all too good to return to living as a normal human when Yeon-woo’d been the omniscient Black King. His vessel must not have been healthy in a few places because his body was screaming at him, but it was a relief he was able to avoid the eyes of the star.
‘I should find out where this place is first.’
Just when Yeon-woo opened his closed eyes, he saw something flying toward his face while a shrill shout rang out.
“You lazy slave bastard! Hurry up and move along!”
It was a whip with sharp thorns embedded into it.
Side Story Part 1 Complete
The side stories started in January have already come to an end. There are many sections I regret not delivering properly, but I will make sure to continue telling the story in season two.
Since the brainstorming process, I have already decided to split the side stories into two seasons. The first season would contain more of the epilogue of the main story, and the second season was to show the various facets of the worldline.
However, I was having difficulties managing my work schedule between both my new novel <부서진 성좌의 회귀(official title: The Divine Twilight's Return)> and this epilogue. I took over one month to catch up, and I was frequently on hiatus.
It was all due to how inexperienced I was and my lack of sufficient preparations, and I want to take this opportunity to apologize to my readers once more.
That is why the season two of the epilogue, in which a new story will begin, will begin after much more preparation. I cannot guarantee any dates, but I’ll carefully estimate it to be maybe around the time when I’ve finished <The Divine Twilight's Return> and the universe (worldline) I am writing is somewhat better developed (of course, I don’t plan on being irresponsible and taking more than a year).
The works that are a part of the <Second Life Ranker> universe are as follows:
<신세기전> (unofficial title: Tales From a New Age)
<Second Life Ranker>
<검신광룡> (unofficial title: Sword God, Light Dragon)
<재능 삼킨 마법사> (unofficial title: Talent-Swallowing Magician)
In the case of <Talent-Swallowing Magician>, it is a work I directed (I didn’t write it personally!), and its mobile game and webtoon are planned for launch in the latter half of this year.
Aside from that, I am planning various works with a few brilliant writers who will make this universe shine.
The Sadoyeon Universe (this is a temporary name. I haven't chosen a specific name yet^^) won’t be restricted to ReadNovelFulls, but it will be shown through several forms of media, so please look forward to it (on a side note, the universe will be prepared in a way that makes it approachable without having to read any of the other mentioned works. But of course, you’ll be able to find fun Easter Eggs if you’ve read the other works😉😉)
I will return with more fun side stories! The hot summer has gone by, and autumn is now coming. I hope you all take care not to become sick while the seasons change.