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[[Mari… time War…. God….]]
The 999th turn’s Yi Ji-Hye showed some reaction as if she had finally remembered her Sponsor.
⸢During the 999th regression turn, the ‘Maritime War God’ sacrificed himself to save Yi Ji-Hye.⸥
Perhaps to deny everything that happened during this turn, the powerful naval bombardment continued on. However, our own Yi Ji-Hye also responded in kind.
⸢All of the Korean Peninsula’s Constellations were with Yi Ji-Hye.⸥
The Monarch of the Great Sea – the realm Yi Ji-Hye reached only during the extreme-latter part of the ‘Ways of Survival’, well past the 1800th regression turns.
She reached the highest position that a human could ever reach and leapfrogged her own Sponsor to eventually become a god of the oceans.
⸢At least when on water, she was confident of not being pushed around by any Myth-grade Constellations.⸥
She actually said those words, and they even became reality later, too – during the original storyline, she fought the Myth-grade Constellation Poseidon on an equal footing, at least when they were on the sea.
[Attribute ‘Monarch of the Great Sea’s’ effects are activating!]
The storm whipped up from behind Yi Ji-Hye. Waves split up and firestorm raged on the path she scythed through. It was as if these violent winds were trying to escort her ship. She stood at the forefront of these winds and carried on with the shelling.
[Exclusive skill, ‘Ghost Fleet Lv.???’ is continuing to fight back!]
And then, the giant wall of waves gradually split up.
[Mo nar ch of the Gre at Sea]
Even the ‘Outer Gods’ following that side looked to be flustered now.
⸢The Monarch of the Great Sea will never be defeated on water.⸥
That was the accepted rule within the ‘Ways of Survival’. I believed in those words and that allowed us to come this far. However….
Along with ‘Pu-shu-shuk!’ noise, streams of blood shot out from Yi Ji-Hye’s nose and mouth. Her excessively-boiling magical energy had begun flowing backwards. Not only that…
[Attribute ‘Monarch of the Great Sea’s’ effects are activating!]
That message wasn’t caused by the Status from our side.
I thought something was rushing in at us, and in the blink of an eye, powerful headwinds completely flipped our vision. The [Ghost Fleet] and [Turtle Dragon] were sucked into the humongous wave and flailed about within the rising foams.
Yi Ji-Hye was flung away like a kite with its strings cut. I reached out and grasped her wrist. My magical energy helped her to regain her consciousness, and she somersaulted in the air before landing back on the deck.
She gritted her teeth and while grabbing the helm, shouted out. “I told you to run away!”
“I can’t do that.”
For the current Yi Ji-Hye alone, this was asking for too much. Even if she had become the ‘Monarch of the Great Sea’, our opponent had already attained the Status of that very title a long time ago and now was even an Outer God, as well.
Due to the blessings from the Great Apocalypse scenario, this calamity had exceeded even the Myth-grade Constellations. That was precisely who we were confronting right now.
[Great Fable, ‘Demon World’s Spring’, is crying out as if in pain!]
[Great Fable, ‘Torch that Swallowed the Myth’, is resisting against the myth!]
[Great Fable, ‘Season of Light and Darkness’, is revealing itself.]
Three ‘Great Fables’ began telling their stories at the same time.
Since a portion of the Great Fables’ shares was being used by the first team, we couldn’t utilise their full powers here. However, we still had enough to provoke our opponent.
Was my goal of using the white flag to stimulate her memories finally paying off? Certain aspects of emotions carried within her true voice were different from before.
[Character, ‘Master of the Sunken Island’, is staring at the Great Fable.]
[‘Disconnected Film Theory’ is activating!]
Finally, the moments I was waiting for had come. Fables built up by two different Yi Ji-Hyes collided and the disconnected film threads began connecting to each other.
If everything goes well, we should be able to buy ourselves a bit of time through this phenomenon. It was then that the scenery before us suddenly changed.
[Great Fable, ‘Demon World’s Spring’, has begun its storytelling.]
⸢This is the Fable of Dok-Ja (only son).⸥
⸢”Ahjussi!! Don’t! Stop it! I said, stop….!”⸥
These were the memories from when we fought off the ‘Indescribable Distance’ for the first time. As if simply recalling them was too painful for her, Yi Ji-Hye quickly averted her gaze.
…Ah, so she made such an expression back then.
I too could vividly recall those memories.
In order to transport the entirety of the [Industrial Complex], I made a deal with the ‘Secretive Plotter’ and fought against that calamity.
However, the expression of the 999th turn’s Yi Ji-Hye was crumpling as well. Another Fable unfolded itself before our eyes next.
[Great Fable, ‘Wanderer of the Eternal Horizon’, has begun its storytelling.]
That was the Fable belonging to the 999th turn’s Yi Ji-Hye.
The scenery of Seoul, destroyed by Nebulas sneak attacking it, appeared before us. Next up was the unconscious companions, and finally, the crumbling outer wall of the castle.
On top of this wall, the one-eyed Yu Jung-Hyeok and his lone arm were staring at the battlefield.
⸢”….This is the only way.”⸥
The jet-black aura of Chaos began rising up from his figure.
⸢”Master! Stop! I said, stop!!”⸥
I knew exactly which scene this was. This was where 999th turn’s Yu Jung-Hyeok died.
His soul, now in tatters after the ‘Outer World Pledge’ he signed with the Outer God was repeatedly invoked, was making his very last trade.
Seoul was now sinking into the deepest bowels of the ocean.
Yu Jung-Hyeok spoke. ⸢”You must survive.”⸥
And then…. the 999th turn’s memories were scattering away beyond the misty, grey foams. From the two eyes of the expression girl, the ‘Master of the Sunken Island’, something began trickling down. Certain Fables wouldn’t disappear even when subjected to the untold amount of time. Such a Fable made her come this far.
“Ahjussi, isn’t that….”
I looked to my side and saw our Yi Ji-Hye also crying.
“Isn’t it…. too similar….?”
[Two ‘Great Fables’ are responding to each other.]
Of course, the stories had to be similar.
⸢Kim Dok-Ja believed that the most perfect regression turn was the ‘999th’. And….⸥
And, I took that turn as my motif, after all.
⸢That regression turn was the closest out of all the others that came close to the correct conclusion.⸥
It was the only regression turn where everyone survived and got to witness the Conclusion.
As the storm of aftermath raged on, the 999th turn’s Yi Ji-Hye was approaching us. The distance closed in with each step taken. I was getting a bad vibe from this.
“Ahjussi, hurry and fall back!”
Our Yi Ji-Hye also sensed the incoming danger and unsheathed the Twin Dragon Sword before dashing forward.
The [Instant Kill] – it was the best anti-human combat skill she possessed. Unfortunately, the streak of swordlight slicing forward was deflected away in the empty air as the harsh, screeching noise resounded out. And our Yi Ji-Hye was flung away across the deck, arcs of her blood scattering about.
Yi Hyeon-Seong on standby quickly caught her.
Just as I sighed in relief, the 999th turn’s Yi Ji-Hye stopped right before my nose. Even before I could unshackle my Fable and unleash my Status, her pale yet strong right hand grabbed hold of my collars.
[[You…. Who are you?]]
….Yup, like master, like disciple.
I could only smile wryly.
In any case, the fact that we could now converse wasn’t such a bad development.
“My name is Kim Dok-Ja. Your master’s best friend.”
The 999th turn’s Yi Ji-Hye now formed a confused expression. She then began staring at the Fable circling around me.
⸢”Before you start fighting them, you must search the left-side wall. Then, you’ll immediately realise what I’m trying to say to you.”⸥
⸢”I’m telling you this now so that you can fight against the ‘Sasquatch’ during the 28th scenario.”⸥
My Fable was now left wide open for her to read.
[[But, how did you….?]]
⸢”I’m Yu Jung-Hyeok.”⸥
She must’ve been beset with confusion, as she used her left hand to massage her temples. Her eyes were burning with ominous aura.
Her grip on my collars was getting stronger. Ripples of her Status tightened around my body and I began having trouble breathing.
“H-hang on second. Why don’t you let me go and….!”
Outer Gods flooding in parroted her words. With the most sorrowful language known to man, they cried out instead of the 999th turn’s Yi Ji-Hye. They sounded as if their vocal cords were tearing apart, as if their whole existence was crumbling away.
[Exclusive skill, ‘Omniscient Reader’s Viewpoint’, is activating!]
[All of your Fables are sympathising with the applicable individual.]
[Your degree of understanding on the applicable individual is increasing rapidly!]
Her eyes now reflected the moments we had lived in the past.
From the <Demon King Selection Battle>, to <Gigantomachia>; from the <Great War of Saints and Demons> to the <Journey to the West>. And then…
[Fable, ‘Square Circle’, has begun its storytelling.]
⸢”You can talk to me any time. If you don’t want to talk to me, then it’ll be fine with someone else, too. But you don’t have to huddle in a corner and let it fester inside you.”⸥
I now could see the face of the 999th turn’s Yi Ji-Hye distorting in great sorrow. Why did that remind me of the ‘Secretive Plotter’?
⸢[[Why, why is it not me, but you??]]⸥
To the 999th turn’s Yi Ji-Hye, the ‘Master of the Sunken Island’, what did this story mean to her?
Would she also hate me?
To the lives of this world-line, built upon the history of her and her companions that I read…..
As if she was looking at something she had been longing for all eternity, the 999th turn’s Yi Ji-Hye slowly reached out and placed her palm on my cheek.
Even if it was the same story, the impression one got after reading it would be different from people to people. Some might despair after seeing the story he had failed to achieve, while someone else might feel consoled having seen the sorrow that closely resembled hers. The only issue here would be with where that consolation effort might go next.
⸢I want to have it.⸥
Her eyes soaked in ancient sorrow suddenly were filled with streaks of madness. The 999th turn’s Yi Ji-Hye slowly turned her head. Her gaze was now locked firmly on the unconscious Yi Ji-Hye.
⸢I too, want to live this kind of life.⸥
Only then did I realise what this girl was thinking of in her head.
The [Disconnected Film Theory] was writhing violently. The 999th turn’s Yi Ji-Hye reached out, and the vicious air current flew out to envelop our unconscious Yi Ji-Hye. This was dangerous.
[The Fables of two beings are starting to resonate!]
Accompanied by the ‘Euh-jeo-jeok!’ noise, the 999th turn’s Fable began moving. That Fable was now devouring the Fable from our world-line. I freaked out and hurriedly unleashed my Status.
I needed to stop this. No matter what, I must never let the 999th turn’s Yi Ji-Hye devour…..
Forged steel broke out from the ship’s deck and extended in the blink to protect both me and our Yi Ji-Hye. It was Yi Hyeon-Seong’s doing. However, I sensed that something was different about the Fable’s aura coming from the steel barrier. I shifted my gaze towards him.
Yi Hyeon-Seong was there, but it was not him. Someone had borrowed his body to unleash his powers.
[Incarnation ‘Yi Hyeon-Seong’s’ Sponsor is protecting you!]
This Status was strong enough to evenly match the ‘Master of the Sunken Island’.
The steel wall was ripped apart with loud tearing noises and the 999th turn’s Yi Ji-Hye poked her head through. As if she had been doused by cold water, her expression was hardened to a frightening degree.
The first one to open his lips was Yi Hyeon-Seong’s Sponsor.
[[Ji-Hye-ya. Our story had come to an end a long time ago already.]]
That was the true voice of an Outer God.
And I realised whose it was instantly.
At the same time.
Han Myeong-Oh, having purchased another [X-grade Ferrarghini] with Coins he borrowed from Kim Dok-Ja, was hurriedly driving on the dimensional road. His destination was the sealed-off ‘Isle of Reincarnators’.
“Da-Reum-ah! If you can hear my voice, please answer me! Da-Reum-ah!”
Han Da-Reum – that was the name he had given to his daughter. He continued to wander around all corners of the Dark Stratum and called out that name.
And eventually, he discovered a familiar hand poking out from in between the distorted darkness.
He couldn’t not recognise that hand. He had never let go of that hand, right up until she was snatched away by the Demon King.
Han Myeong-Oh held it tightly. And then, he began extracting his daughter’s body from the layers of darkness. It wasn’t an easy job, but he couldn’t give up on it.
[Great Fable, ‘Liberator of the Forgotten Ones’, has begun its storytelling!]
The <Kim Dok-Ja Company>’s Fable he borrowed in order to find his daughter began to tell its story. And he managed to extract her body bit by bit from the layer.
Fortunately, her Incarnation Body was intact. Not so fortunately, though, her heart wasn’t beating. However, he had in his possession a single [Life and Death Pill] he got from Yi Seol-Hwa.
“Da-Reum-ah! Please wake up! It’s your dad! Your dad’s here for you!”
Han Myeong-Oh called out while crying. And so – how long passed by like this? Finally, Han Da-Reum opened her eyes. Reddish light leaked out from her irises, however.
[….You did well, my dependent.]
What opened its eyes wasn’t Han Da-Reum.
[….The ‘Guidance of the End’ almost came to an end itself during the Great War of Saints and Demons.]
The ominous Status of a Demon King could be felt now. Asmodeus formed a crazed smile, causing Han Myeong-Oh to fall on his butt.
“G-give my daughter back to me! My daughter…..!”
[Daughter? H-mm….. My apologies, but that will be too difficult. I definitely need this Incarnation Body, you see. However, allow me to gift you with a nice present, instead.]
Asmodeus spoke up to there and pulled out a pitch-black eye patch from its inner pocket.
[The qualification to watch the end of this world-line with me, that is.]
This was an ancient item that had been passed down among the ‘Guiders of the End’. An item that could be used only when the Final Scenario was just around the corner.
[Item, ‘Relic of the Abyss’, is activating!]
The ‘Other World Incantation’ meant to summon the Outer God dyed in the abyss, the ‘Demon of 999’. Asmodeus exploded in a fit of maniacal laughter as it watched the dimension distort visibly. [Metatron! Agares! Demon King of Salvation!! This story won’t end the way you think it will! This story, it will-!”
[[What the hell is this?]]
Since when did this happen? There was a man standing behind Asmodeus. He was enveloped in the jet-black aura, while bandages were wrapped around in one of his arms.
Han Myeong-Oh watching this scene unfold five, six steps away began trembling uncontrollably. He recognised the face of this unknown man.
This mysterious man met his gaze and smiled. [[….Oh, so you have summoned me? Hmm… what’s this? There’s a Demon King here, too? Aha, I get it. This Demon King was busy bullying you, and you summoned me to save you, right?]]
[Oh, the End! That’s not true! It is I, Asmodeus, that have summoned you to….]
The man’s translucent hand reached out and grabbed the back of Asmodeus’s neck. And a second later, the Demon King’s soul form was captured by the man.
[[I don’t trust the words of those hiding in other people’s bodies.]]
Asmodeus’s soul was then torn to shreds along with the loud ‘Pu-hwa-hack!’ noise. The attack didn’t even give the Demon King a chance to resist. The man licked the tattered Fable of a demon and grinned brightly.
[[I hate Demon Kings the most. They always try to imitate me. I mean, look! This bastard, he even had the eye patch that I misplaced somewhere, you know?]]
The man muttered to himself and pulled the eye patch off Asmodeus’s former Incarnation Body before putting it on himself. He grinned brightly as if he was satisfied by his own appearance now. Meanwhile, the trembling Han Myeong-Oh hurriedly hugged the fallen body of his daughter and looked up at this man.
[[Oii, oii, don’t worry, man. I may look a bit scary, but once you get to know me better, you’ll learn that I’m actually a nice guy inside.]] The man vigorously tapped on his bandages and spoke up. [[Well, then… Shall I go and find my Ji-Hye now?]]
<Episode 89: Great Apocalypse (5)> Fin.
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