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The Great Storyteller (Web Novel) - Chapter 157 – Nothing Lasts Forever (4)

Chapter 157 – Nothing Lasts Forever (4)

This chapter is updated by Wuxia.Blog

Translated by: ShawnSuh

Edited by: SootyOwl

After getting off the bus, Juho made his way back home. Then, seduced by the mouth-watering smell of freshly-baked bread while walking past a bakery, he went into the shop and bought himself a sandwich.

One of the things Juho had learned from his experience of translating was to not rush. While waiting for his body to finish digesting, he was able to respond calmly to the emotions that were running amok within him. He no longer had to worry about losing the thoughts that occurred to him, and he reminded himself all the more that he needed to write with a rational mindset.

After arriving home, he took a shower and changed into comfortable clothes. Then, after enjoying his sandwich with a glass of milk, he went into his room and sat in front of his computer, where the manuscript was being displayed on the monitor.

Sitting there, Juho stared at it intently. As he was reaching a point in the novel nearing the end, he felt his hand itching with anticipation. Death and a finale had a lot in common, especially in the sense that it was possible to imagine what was beyond it. Then, he slowly reached for his notebook, in which he had written down the overall flow of ‘Language of God,’ and opened it to the last page. For now, he wanted to work on the finale of the book.

With that, he thought back on what had happened earlier that day. A reader had died before he had had a chance to read the end of his favorite novel, and Juho was responsible for writing that book. Although he did have a passing thought about his book being part of a lingering attachment of someone on the verge of death, he couldn’t help but think that it would have been better if he had met the young reader in person.

Then, he thought of the girl who had carried out her brother’s plan on his behalf. The bowing hair covering her face, her pale skin, and the small pimple. Although he tried to imagine what her brother might have looked like based on his memory of her appearance, it proved to be more difficult than he had anticipated.

Juho wrote out Four’s question for God: ‘Why do people die?’ Then, closing his eyes slowly, he found himself at the destination the four companions would reach as they decoded the mythology and encountered numerous people. It was an enormous cave, where the sky was covered by a rough surface, and from afar, it resembled a sand castle. That was where God lived.

The ceiling was of a height that Juho was simply not tall enough to reach, even if he were to throw a rock up at it. Much like a person’s body, which had a number of holes in pairs, there were two holes in the ceiling that looked like a pair of eyes, and beams of light poured down through them. The sight alone seemed like it would be enough to leave the four companions in awe, despite them having experienced countless countries and their views.

Juho felt the wet sand under his feet every time he took a step, and there were four large, seven medium, and five smaller rocks scattered throughout the cave.

Then, he climbed up to the highest surface, which reached closest to the ceiling, and looked up at the sky through the holes. The moon was shining through them, giving a striking resemblance to human eyes or, perhaps, God’s eyes.

“Man! This does seem like a place where God would live!” a voice exclaimed, and a series of footsteps echoed throughout the cave.

Then, as they got closer to Juho, the cave sank into silence as Juho came into the view of the four companions. As he turned around, he was greeted by four figures standing before his eyes, furrowing their brows. Because Juho was surrounded by light, they couldn’t see him.

“God?” a familiar voice asked.

“One,” Juho answered gently.

“So, you were God this entire time, huh?” One said, surprised.

Juho gave no answer as the four stared at him absent-mindedly.

“He really was here.”

Misunderstanding Juho for God, the four shook in disbelief for a little while, but soon, they each remembered their own purposes for being there and took turns to list them one by one.

Two spoke up first, “I’m an artist, the best artisan potter this world has to offer. I’d like for you to evaluate my work.”

As Juho gave no answer, Three chimed in, “I killed a person, and as a punishment, I was in jail for one year. Only one year.”

Then, Three piped up, his forehead furrowed, “I just can’t wrap my head around it.”

At those words, Juho remembered the girl he had met recently. As Juho remained silent, Four went on to ask, “Why do people die?”

The question was similar, and Juho remembered answering it at some point. Meanwhile, One stood silently, biting his lip. Juho slowly opened his mouth and said, “I don’t know.”

Silence.

“… What?”

“I don’t know either.”

As the four stood flustered by the unexpected answer, Juho laughed internally.

“Are there things even God doesn’t know?” One asked, sounding dumbfounded and disappointed. He was struggling to grasp the situation.

“I’m sure there are. God is a living being too, after all, and this is where He lives.”

“What are you talking about? Who are you?”

“God lives up to three hundred years.”

“What?”

“What I’m saying is, God dies too. You know exactly what I’m talking about. Nothing lasts forever.”

“What kind of nonsense…”

“Well, I’m not God, so I wouldn’t know.”

The four swallowed nervously as their awe faded away, and they were left with wariness. They were starting to show the proper responses.

“Show yourself.”

“Don’t wanna.”

Although One scowled as if he was about to charge at Juho at any minute, he stayed still in his place. If he had been anything like himself when they had first met, One wouldn’t have hesitated to act on his anger and grab Juho by the collar.

“You’ve changed too,” Juho said.

Thankfully, he had grown mature.

“Do you know me?” One asked.

“It’s odd, isn’t it?” God has to have a language that He speaks in. Yet, we’re communicating without any trouble right now. The people you’ve met along the way each spoke their own languages.”

“But God is a deity, so of course…”

“Hate to break it to you, but God doesn’t speak any other language aside from His own.”

“… What the hell is God then?”

Juho observed the expressions that appeared on the four companions’ faces. They were at a loss as soon as they were faced with the truth that the God they had been seeking was nothing like how they had hoped Him to be. Not only were they flustered, but also wary, and doubtful. However, they didn’t give into despair.

“When you meet the real God, ask Him. Or, you can just go talk to Bird.”

“Bird? He knows? Wait, what’s he got anything to do with any of this!?”

“Because he’s a god too.”

One’s eyes shook in disbelief, and he began to grow furious at Juho’s nonsensical answers. His eyes were starting to look like his old self at the beach.

“Do you know anything about his past?”

At that, One kept quiet.

“Do you know where he’s from, and what kind of life he has been leading?”

“No.”

“God was next to you all along.”

Then, One’s face distorted in anger.

“Ironic, isn’t it?”

Although God had been standing right beside him, he had been entirely unaware and, instead, had set out on a long journey. In order to meet God, he had left God behind.

“Are you saying that what I’ve been doing was all in vain?

“In terms of results? Yes. Not only did you fail to find the answer you were looking for, but you were oblivious to the fact that what you were looking for had been living with you, under the same roof, all along.”

At that, One roared angrily at Juho. As the protagonist opened his mouth to argue with him, Juho took a step back. The four were no longer scowling.

“You hated people because they’re dishonest, arrogant, and selfish. They would do anything for power and wealth. Murder, rape, war. They commit countless sins, yet they discriminate and scrutinize each other.”

Then, he looked at One. Although he had changed significantly, his old self was still left intact within him.

“You wanted to be away from them, so you came here to meet God.”

That had been his reason for setting out on the journey in search for God. Although he had finally arrived at the destination after a long trip, he hesitated to share his wish. After all, he was a changed man. Therefore, the fact that all of his efforts had been in vain was simply too much to handle. Having caught on to Juho, One bit down his lip.

“Then who do we talk to for answers?”

“Don’t know,” Juho said with a smile, and raised his hand to point at One. “But I’m sure you’ll find your answer at some point. After all, nothing lasts forever.”

Then, the cave began to quake, and debris began to fall from the ceiling. When Juho looked up, he saw what had been one a pair of holes stretch into one big hole, no longer resembling a human’s or God’s eyes.

“Well, I’m going now.”

“Wait.”

One ran toward Juho in order to grab him, but was prevented from doing so by the falling debris. Although he might have been angry and dissatisfied, he still had a home to go back to, and despite his wish never coming true, he would be able to carry on with his life. Because Juho had confirmed those things with his own eyes, there was no unfinished business left for him.

“Take care.”

“You’re that punk at the beach, aren’t you!?”

Amid the falling debris, their eyes locked.

“How’d you know?”

“I learned those characters then. You’re the only one who uses them.”

“No. The lady at the beach uses them too. So does Bird.”

‘Language of God’ had its base in Hangul. Then, One lost balance as the place shook.

As he regained his balance, Juho gave him some advice, “Remember that. It’ll help when you’re talking with God.”

With that, the wall crumbled away, and the ocean in the distance became visible. For One, the ocean was a means to cross over to somewhere bigger, and for that reason, Juho had let him go. Lastly, Juho asked, “Did you enjoy your trip?”

Debris fell between Juho and One yet again, and amid their view of each other growing narrower, the protagonist smiled and said, “So-so.”

Then, Juho opened his eyes. While the monitor beamed out light, it wasn’t nearly as bright as the light that had beamed into the cave through the two holes in the ceiling. The monitor was still occupied by the unfinished manuscript. With that, Juho took the glass that was once filled with milk and took it out to the kitchen to pour himself a glass of water. There was a faint taste of milk in the water.

After returning to his room, he checked his phone for the time. Five minutes had passed since he had left his room, and there was a text message waiting for him.

“I don’t recognize the number.”

With that, Juho checked the message. In it, was the address for an internet novel website, where people got to upload their novels freely. Staring briefly at the address, Juho placed his hands on the keyboard and logged into the website to search for the girl’s name.

Then, a novel popped up. Barely in its first chapter, it was a brand new novel that was yet to reach even ten readers or favorites. There was a brief introduction of the novel that read: ‘The story of an immortal novelist and a girl suffering from leukemia.’ With that, Juho went on to read through the chapter. While it was awkwardly written, the novel was honest and carried a lasting emotion.

“I’m curious about the next chapter.”

Then, Juho took the initiative to write the first comment.

“Thank you for the chapters.”

“Chief.”

Nam Kyung looked around the office where editor-in-chief had been staying well after his shifts along with other editors. They were all working busily.

“Yeah?”

“I uploaded the final revision. I checked for misprints thoroughly.”

With that, the editor-in-chief accessed the folder that was shared office-wide and opened a file. It was a manuscript by a rookie translator. After stretching briefly, the editor-in-chief picked up a book from the desk, which was also the work of a rookie translator, Yun Woo.

“Marvelous.”

The editor-in-chief murmured, and Nam Kyung immediately understood where he was coming from. Nam Kyung had been ecstatic when he had read the manuscript himself, and the book being published before any other books within the Kelley Coin collection was proof that he wasn’t the only person who had gotten excited by it.

“Even Kelley Coin’s books are on the rise, right?”

“As we expected.”

It was a collaboration between Kelley Coin and Yun Woo, and it was a welcoming news for those with even the most remote interest in literature.

Then, the editor-in-chief asked Nam Kyung with a complacent smile, “I heard about the new volume of ‘Language of God.’ You don’t think the readers will fight over their two favorite authors, do you?”

“He is on the rise after all, as well as a prolific writer. Yun Woo, Won Yi Young. There’s no reason to fight over one or the other.”

Yun Woo wasn’t just a prolific writer. When an author published multiple books within a short time, their attention tended to focus only on a few of them at most. However, in Yun Woo’s case, every single one of his books was receiving praise from all across the world and selling at an incredible rate. By that point, people had conceived the idea that any book would sell as long as it bore the name Yun Woo.

“A mid-length, a full-length, and now, a translation. Then, there’s Won Yi Young.”

“Apparently, he’s known to be quite a writer at his school too.”

“At his school?”

“Yes. I was told that he’s part of the Literature Club.”

“Yun Woo? In a Literature Club?”

“He is anonymous after all. He’s just an ordinary high school student there.”

“My, my. That’s one interesting way to live!”

With that, the editor-in-chief gave Nam Kyung a subtle look, and catching on immediately, Nam Kyung shook his head.

“He’s not planning on revealing himself.”

“Bummer.”

The editor-in-chief clicked his tongue as he stared into the screen filled with praises toward Yun Woo’s translation that were being updated in real time.

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