Side Story Chapter 61 – And… (1)
“Still, with this, now I have a grasp of what happened.”
The Heavenly Demon nodded at Jeong-woo’s words. “I didn’t think he’d create a trap this way.”
They now knew why Yeon-woo’s records didn’t exist. Everything they’d seen was fake. It was a dream that wasn’t recorded as reality. And because they were untrue, they weren’t recorded in the Changgong Library.
“Utilizing the original worldline and a fake dream… It’s definitely something only the Black King would think of doing.”
The Black King’s dream could cause ripples in other worldlines. It was something that influenced the entire universe, and if he accidentally were to blink his eyes open, it could bring forth the end of the entire world.
So Yeon-woo had tried not to show his powers as the Black King too much. However, it was different this time. He moved between the fake dream and the original, acting sincerely in both of them, and he changed directions at the last minute. In that process, no other worldlines were influenced. Yeon-woo had become more familiar with the Black King’s abilities now.
‘He’s definitely fast. If I think of how long it took me to perfectly learn how to use the Heavenly Demon’s power…’
The Heavenly Demon could only say with confidence that he understood his full powers after the wheel was spun about four or five times. He was quite annoyed at the endless battle with the Black King, and he’d been contemplating how he could put him to sleep forever. In the process, after much training, he was finally able to reach his full potential.
Of course, the Black King was motivated to wake up faster because the Heavenly Demon became stronger, so it was pretty futile.
Anyhow, Yeon-woo was rapidly learning his powers compared to the centuries the Heavenly Demon had required.
‘That means he’s almost finished with transcending too, I suppose?’ The Heavenly Demon stroked his chin and searched up the rate of progress Yeon-woo had achieved in the book they just read.
[Rate of Change: 61%]
‘As expected. He’s picked up the pace.’
The rate of change that was only fast in the beginning and began to slow down had sped up again. This wasn’t an event that should be glossed over.
‘If the Black King’s transcendence is complete… What’ll happen then?’
The Heavenly Demon and Black King’s longtime battle was finished, and a new era had opened. Now, the Black King was preparing his new comeback. No one, not even the Heavenly Demon, who transcended all eras, knew what it would result in.
‘Well, it’s obvious those stars over there will be used as sacrifices.’
However, there were still questions left unanswered.
“How many pages are left?”
“This is the last page.”
The Heavenly Demon nodded at Jeong-woo to quickly open it. Jeong-woo swallowed the flipped the last page.
* * *
Yeon-woo waved his hand in the air as he looked at Leo, who was glowering at him. Clatter. The chains that bound Leo became tighter.
“I will…repay this humiliation… No matter what…!”
Yeon-woo ignored Leo’s bullshit and proceeded to tear his spiritual body apart. There were no screams. It was a futile end for the lion constellation who was called the leader of the stars. Fwoosh…
[Leo has died!]
[You have obtained a star fragment.]
A shining object floated above where Leo was torn apart. It was the star fragment, similar to what Yeon-woo had given to the Martial King before. When Yeon-woo extended his hand for it, it came whirling inside his palm.
[The dream world is fading!]
Krrrr….! The world surrounding Yeon-woo began to collapse. Since it had served its purpose, he stopped dreaming. What appeared instead of the destroyed world was a world where all time was paused, the original worldline. It was paused exactly at the highlight of the wedding, the bowing of the groom and bride. The world was separated exactly from when Leo stood up to where he was.
Yeon-woo looked fondly at Edora, who was bowing with traditional rouge applied on her cheeks, and he sighed, then turned in the opposite direction. But just then…
“Why are you sighing on a good day like this? You’re still mad?” Yeon-woo jumped in surprise. The Martial King was clicking his tongue at him as he picked his ear with his pinkie. The Martial King added, “Why are you so surprised? What? Are you shocked that your great teacher is moving?”
Yeon-woo found himself nodding before he knew it. He hadn’t artificially paused the world, and even the expansion of the world had stopped. No matter how incredible you were, unless you were an emperor, it was impossible for you to move independently. However, the Martial King didn’t look like he was experiencing any discomfort at all.
‘The level of his soul still isn’t complete…!’
Considering that the Martial King was currently a vestige body without a soul, he truly had an incredible determination. He must’ve felt Yeon-woo’s surprise because he smirked and shrugged his shoulders. “What are you so surprised about? It’s like not doing amazing things is a rare occurrence for me. Hahaha!”
The Martial King burst out laughing for a while, but then he suddenly stopped and looked at Yeon-woo. His silent gaze created a sad and bitter atmosphere. “The thing in your hand. You were going to give it to me and leave right away, weren’t you?”
“…You’re like a ghost, knowing everything.” Yeon-woo smiled wryly.
“I am a ghost though, aren’t I?”
“I’m leaving so you don’t have to stay like that forever.”
Yeon-woo had already read all the thoughts in Leo’s mind while obtaining his star fragment. As a result, he was able to learn how to enter the Unreal World, the world where the stars resided. He could open the door.
However, this required a substantial amount of preparation. The Unreal World was a completely different world where the laws of the Heavenly Demon and Black King didn’t work. To enter it, he had no choice but to seal most of his power as the Black King. He would only enter with his consciousness as Cha Yeon-woo.
Yeon-woo might have to start from scratch in that world. And if he died? His body as the Black King would remain, but his ego as Cha Yeon-woo would be deleted. Then, everything would return to the old days of reincarnation, when the wheel was spun endlessly.
And since he was trying to fight a war against the stars, who most definitely had it out for him… It was practically a suicide mission. Still, Yeon-woo was going to enter the Unreal World. Like he’d told the Martial King, he needed to collect all the star fragments for the Martial King’s resurrection to be complete. However, he’d been planning on hiding how dangerous it was as much as possible and returning before the Martial King and Edora caught on.
If Yeon-woo left with the time of this world forced frozen and went to the Unreal World, it would only be a short blip for them. They wouldn’t have to worry about him. But his plan to return as quietly as possible was ruined from the start. It was very much like his teacher to do so. Logic didn’t apply to the Martial King.
“Since you say you’re going, I won’t stop you. I’m sure you have your plans too.” The Martial King didn’t try to stop Yeon-woo from leaving. No, in the first place, he never intended to. It wasn’t because of his personal greed to be resurrected, but because he trusted his disciple. He had absolute faith that Yeon-woo would return without getting hurt.
Yeon-woo could feel the trust in him and nodded solemnly. He gave the star fragment in his hand to the Martial King. From Leo to the subordinates he’d brought along, Denebola and Algieba, the total of three fragments transformed into rays of light and were absorbed by the Martial King.
Chht! While the Martial King closed his eyes to absorb all the energy, Yeon-woo bowed at Kronos, who had silently been watching them from some point. Although later than the Martial King, his father had also woken up from the restriction of time.
“I’ll return, Father.”
“…You don’t need me to come with you?”
“I can do it perfectly fine on my own.”
“All right. I understand. Take care. I’ll watch over my daughter-in-law too.” Kronos turned to the side and wiped his eyes that were slowly turning red. He was trying to act as dignified as possible, but it wasn’t easy for him to reign in the emotions.
And like that, Yeon-woo closed his eyes after finishing his goodbyes to his teacher and father. After entering the Unreal World, the restrictions of time set on Metatron and Baal would also be released. The two would return to the Tower with the Eight Gods of Disorder as they’d promised.
Yeon-woo would provide a trap there and capture all the stars who came after R’lyeh. Even without it, though, he wasn’t too worried about this world. His other self, the same blood and flesh as him, would be here.
“Jeong-woo, you’re watching this, right?” Yeon-woo thought of the face of his brother, who would be or was watching this from the Changgong Library.
“Keep this place safe until I come back. And make sure no one hits on your sister-in-law.” With a mischievous last smile, Yeon-woo’s body disappeared in light, as if he had never existed in this world.
* * *
“…He does everything his way, always. Geez.”
Tak! Jeong-woo snapped shut the cover of the book and sighed. From the moment he couldn’t find Yeon-woo and Yeon-woo started his wedding without him, he’d had his doubts…but it seemed like his doubts were becoming true.
Yeon-woo was essentially telling Jeong-woo to clean up after his mess. The reason why he hadn’t invited him to the wedding was because he knew Jeong-woo would try to stop him if he said he was entering the Unreal World.
How was someone so unchanging? Jeong-woo pressed his throbbing temples and organized his thoughts.
‘The water’s already spilled… It’s not like I can force him out either, so I should do what I can for now.’ Jeong-woo’s eyes turned contemplative. ‘There’s two things Hyung’s aiming for with this.’
Jeong-woo’s mind spun quickly. ‘First is to collect all the star fragments, and second…’ His eyes flashed coldly. ‘To complete transcending.’