Chapter 203

Chapter 203


Yoo-rah panickedly looked at her surroundings. What happened? She had been hesitant till the end, unable to muster the strength to push a tiny button. 

Her mind was plagued with doubt. Was this the right thing to do? But when she looked at the CCTV, it showed Joon-young and his soldiers laughing as they prepared for their final battle beyond the steel door. She made her decision.

Yoo-rah couldn’t understand them. Why were they laughing? Did they not fear death? And most important of all, she was jealous. If only she could be there, laughing alongside them in their final moments. Joon-young and the soldiers charged at their enemy with bare hands, their guns littering the ground. But seeing that, Yoo-rah pressed the button without a second thought. 

As bright light enveloped her body, Yoo-rah closed her eyes with relief that she felt no pain. But when she heard the quiet rustle of the wind, she opened her eyes. She found herself stranded in the middle of a forest. Confusion set in.

“What happened?”

She muttered. But she wouldn’t find the answer.

How long could a present-day human survive in a forest without any equipment or food? Yoo-rah stumbled through the forest with bags under her eyes. Unlike the well-maintained forest parks in cities, a wild forest was akin to a jungle.

She could barely sleep at night, balled up on the ground and shivering, waking at the slightest rustle. During the day, she would wander without direction in search of water or a road. Because of the warm climate, she didn’t freeze to death at night, and in the morning, she would lick the morning dew off the leaves. 

But she was at her limit now. The hunger, the thirst, but most importantly, this forest of absolute stillness. 

A forest as dense as this must have had birds or small animals and insects to sustain these predators. But she had yet to see a single living animal.

“This must be hell…”

Yoo-rah muttered to herself bitterly, sitting down on a small patch of clearing, the sun shining through the canopy of leaves. 

How terrifying a forest without animals was. Yet the scholar inside her couldn’t help but ponder about how this forest was maintaining itself—no, flourishing. 

Was she going to die here? Or would she start wandering again? Yoo-rah sighed weakly and looked up into the skies.

The bushes near her rustled. Yoo-rah quickly turned her head to see, and her eyes opened wide. There stood a wolf, just as surprised as she was as it cocked its head.

A wolf. A predator that even a fit man would find a difficult foe. And that beast was standing on two legs like a human.


Yoo-rah screamed with almost incredible vitality before passing out. 

“Amazing. To think those foolish humans could achieve such a civilization.”

“I am simply in awe. Yet it is so fragile.”

“It is the same both here and there. Progress is only a byproduct of their greed.”

“This is progress that far surpasses our expectations. It may even threaten us.”

“That is why we must investigate. How did contact with the rulers of the other world’s human go?”

“They are complete. We barely had to tinker with their minds before they caved; clearly, they have no resistance to any form of mental magic.”

“So all we need to do is give them the opportunity.”

A world where only humans lived was an interesting phenomenon, even to the non-humans. The humans of this world couldn’t even look an inch beyond their feet, but the other world’s humans had achieved a grand civilization even the elder races of this world were impressed by. 

Communications technology that allowed a person to talk with another across the planet. The tools to observe the universe beyond the skies. And the Internet, which far surpassed that of the largest libraries. It was a cradle of wisdom and knowledge that was openly and easily accessible. 

It was a world that would certainly divert the interest of angels and demons. Yet what worried them was that their civilization was built not on peace but by blood and atop corpses. 

That was why they needed to study this world, the strength of their weapons, and humanity’s strength as a whole. Like the saying went, treasure becomes poison when held by the weak. Among the few nations that were adequately strong but still no match against the greatest nations of their world, the elder races had selected a nation to host their Gate. But the elder races underestimated the humans.

“How devastating.”

“So foolish. Without rhyme nor reason.”

“That too is especially human.”

A war between humans was expected. After the clash, they assumed humanity would share the control over the Gate as a whole. That’s what the elder races led those humans to do. But a select few humans residing in the designated location continued to resist. The non-humans couldn’t understand them.

Their continued resistance in the face of certain defeat, culminating in their leader’s surrender, piqued the non-humans’ interest. 

“But this is the end.”

The non-humans saw the ten or so soldiers gathered at the end of the man-made tunnel, preparing for their last moment. Beyond them were humans who knew nothing of combat, so they were the last warriors.

“They are the last warriors. Let us salute and watch their final moments.”

The warriors charged forward, discarding their weapons at the wayside, and their opponents strangely began running in panic.

“What the?”

The non-humans cocked their heads curiously, when bright light poured through their Gate.

Then came Calamity.

“This is the price of our arrogance. Even if it means the extinction of our kind, we must repent.”

“But the children have committed no sin!”

“That too is our sin to bear. Our decisions robbed our children of their future. Their hatred and rage—we’ll be the ones to bear it. In disgrace and shame is how we will live. That is our atonement.”

“The time of decisions has passed. Now is the time to repent.”

In the large underground cave that could house tens of thousands of people, countless non-humans gathered. In their centre was a Golden Dragon and surrounding it were the leaders of each race.

“This Calamity was the result of our wrongdoings, so ending the Calamity is also our duty.”

As the Golden Dragon announced, the countless non-humans that had gathered together began turning into stone. The Dragon, Druids, Three-eyeds, Whitewings, Goldenmanes and tens of other races turned to stone in mere moments. This was the time when the elder races who heralded this world with wisdom and peace disappeared.

“Now we will begin our eternal atonement as sinners who started the Calamity. I am a sinner, and proof of what foolish paths lead to. Know that this world is now in your hands, and I wish you won’t repeat our mistakes…”

The Golden Dragon lost its magnificent glimmer and became one with the earth. Only its left eye was free to blink. An elf approached the dragon.

“The furies of the elements are calming down. It’s a success.”

“Now that the era of the Calamity has ended, an era of chaos will begin. I leave it to you.”

“I pray… that your eternal repent will end someday…”

“Where is this? Where are you taking me?”

Yoo-rah tried to communicate with the werewolf with all the languages she knew, but the werewolf simply shook its head with a troubled expression, keeping its mouth firmly shut.

Seeing how it understood the sounds coming out of her mouth, Yoo-rah knew they had some sort of language, but the werewolf maintained its silence.

Yet, she wasn’t treated terribly either. In fact, she was being treated too well. The werewolf reacted to the slightest twitch of her body. 

The first time she met a werewolf, she was so surprised that she fainted. In fact, she fainted again after waking up, realising that she wasn’t dreaming.

What lessened her fear was how the werewolf in actuality was more like a scared pup. With the fear dissipated, only scholarly curiosity remained.

Werewolves were beings of fantasy that while prominent in fiction, stayed in fiction. To see it in real life walking in front of her was a sight. Yoo-rah began observing its anatomy from head to toe. 


The werewolf didn’t need to look back to feel her gaze on him. As her eyes scanned the tip of his hairs on his head to its toenails, the werewolf began distancing itself from her. Cold sweat ran down its face as she scrutinised the clothes it wore and even the metal of its weapon. Finally, they exited the bushes into a small, open field. 

In the centre was a large ten, and the werewolf that’d been finding Yoo-rah’s stare more difficult with every passing second gestured her to enter.

Yoo-rah hesitantly passed the wolf and entered the tent. On the ground was a red carpet, and another woman sat opposite to Yoo-rah, pouring cups of tea on the table.

“… An elf?”

Yoo-rah had been a workaholic all her life, but even she knew of the stereotype that long ears meant an elf.

The elf smiled at Yoo-rah.

“Welcome, outsider.”

“… How?”

Yoo-rah looked at the elf, unable to conceal her surprise. She never expected to hear her native language from here of all places, by an elf no less.

“Have some tea and calm yourself.”

Yoo-rah sat on the chair as the elf offered and took a sip of the tea, her mind still spinning.

Just as the tea’s fragrance wafted into her nose and began to clear her mind, the elf continued. 

“I understand you are confused. In fact, we are just as confused as you are.”

“What do you mean by that?”

“I’m sure you have many questions. But rest well for today. I will lead you to someone who will answer all of your questions. It will tell you everything you wish to know… And even truths that you don’t want to hear.”


Yoorah thought that she had no fear of heights, but all of it changed. What seemed like a bunch of planks haphazardly strewn into a shape of basket began rumbling, slowly descending into utter darkness.

‘This is just an elevator, there’s nothing to fear.’

Yoo-rah thought to herself, even hypnotising herself for two hours, praying for the descent to finish. When her feet finally touched solid ground, she let out a sigh of relief.

“This is…”

Yoo-rah looked about in awe. In this cave descending straight down to utter darkness, its walls sparkled with small gems of light embedded within like one was walking through the Milky Way. It was strange and magical. 

Although the journey was perilous, she thought this view has made it all worth it.

“This way.”

The elf allowed Yoo-rah some time to immerse herself in the view before politely leading Yoorah. Yoo-rah followed behind the elf into a corridor among the walls. When she reached the end of the corridor and saw the giant plaza, Yoo-rah’s jaws dropped.

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