Omniscient Reader Chapter 548
4th day of drifting.
Yu Jung-Hyeok barely managed to regain his consciousness and discovered a sharp piece of debris stabbing him in his abdomen. He calmly got rid of the debris and checked the status of the vessels hull.
6th day of drifting.
He realised that the ark had completely lost all its functions. The navigation system was unresponsive, and he couldnt see a single thing nearby. As a matter of fact, he couldnt even see a single planet nearby.
11th day of drifting.
With several of the safety systems installed within the ark destroyed, abnormality began manifesting in Yu Jung-Hyeoks body.
[Systems homeostasis is currently broken!]
[Power of chaos is eroding your entire body.]
[Your Fable is crumbling away little by little.]
Some kind of a problem mustve occurred somewhere, because all the abilities realised through the system had become completely paralysed. Yu Jung-Hyeok remained calm as he inspected the Fables currently with him. Thankfully, his Fables were all safe.
[Fable, Hellscape of Eternity, is enveloping you.]
The flames of hell protected him from the bitter coldness.
21st day of drifting.
The spacesuit Anna Croft made him wear really did come in handy. If it werent for the built-in protective functionality of the suit, the rate of his body crumbling away wouldve been so much faster.
Yu Jung-Hyeok did whatever he could to repair the arks power source. Although the job performed wasnt of professional quality, the vessel still started moving again. Unfortunately, the collision caused the fuel tank reserved for a rainy day to blow up, and the ark needed his Fable energy to operate.
He failed to repair the self-navigation system and the auto-pilot, though. Meaning, he had to pilot the craft personally.
34th day of drifting.
He needed to somehow find his original route.
42nd day of drifting.
As the days of his Fable needing to be exhausted increased, fatigue began accumulating in his body. Instances of him briefly losing his consciousness happened more and more frequently. The darkness was eating away at his mind.
.Why did I come this far?
There were moments when his purpose would become blurry, uncertain. He came this far to carry out his mission. To deliver a story to the reincarnated Kim Dok-Ja. To revive the Kim Dok-Ja his companions remembered.
Why, though? He still had something he simply had to ask Kim Dok-Ja, thats why.
.But what was the question?
58th day of drifting.
The moment he saw a wane face reflected on the arks window, Yu Jung-Hyeok recalled the forgotten question.
In a world where the scenarios have come to an end, what should he do to continue living on?
Thats right. Thats what he wanted to ask Kim Dok-Ja. Because that guy knew everything.
Kim Dok-Ja, always thinking about the end. The man who planned for everything, and didnt hesitate to sacrifice his own life to see the conclusion of a certain story.
A fool like that should know, he thought.
If it was Kim Dok-Ja, then he should know more about Yu Jung-Hyeok than Yu Jung-Hyeok knew about himself. Thats what the latter thought.
The regressor who stopped regressing just what would become of him?
Yi Ji-Hye said that she suffered from nightmares every night.
But for him, his life had been a constant nightmare for the longest time. The only reason why he managed to endure until now was because he still had a goal, an aim, which he hadnt achieved yet. However, that goal was now no more, and the scenario had ended, as well.
The regressor Yu Jung-Hyeok was free.
But as he stood before the hard-earned freedom, he couldnt figure out what exactly he had finally earned.
83rd day of drifting.
As his directionless drifting went on and on, the Fables covering his skin decreased precipitously. The amount of Fable scattering into space gradually increased.
His voyage continued on, but he didnt even know where he was heading to.
102rd day of drifting.
Yu Jung-Hyeok began reading Han Su-Yeongs novel.
He thought that by reading it, hed be able to endure against time, somehow.
111th day of drifting.
While reading about Kim Dok-Jas story, he began to harbour this faint hint of anticipation.
He thought that the Kim Dok-Ja from this story should be able to answer his question.
From the first episode onwards, he studiously read about Kim Dok-Jas life.
Some events he already knew, while some others were unfamiliar to him. Hed stop reading when he reached certain sentences, too.
That feeling of being left alone past the full stop of the story, right after the protagonist and the side characters all stepped into the sentence of Everyone lived happily ever after. Struck by the sense of emptiness and betrayal, the young me couldnt fight against the loneliness and writhed around in pain.
What was happiness? That term felt so very alien to Yu Jung-Hyeok. He thought he might have felt such an emotion from somewhere within the memories of the 0th turn that he managed to steal a glance earlier. However, that was no longer his life.
128th day of drifting.
To him, the figure of Kim Dok-Ja relying on nothing else besides the Ways of Survival to survive came across as alien. He read many times, yet he just couldnt understand it very well.
How could a mere story like this be able to support a life?
154th day of drifting.
Little by little, Yu Jung-Hyeok grew accustomed to reading the novel.
He even found some passages that he liked reading over and over again.
I grabbed the hind leg rich in the perfect amount of fat and bit into the flesh. The gravy gently oozing out from the meat I closed my eyes, having even forgotten to chew. As I thought, reading about it and actually tasting it are two different things.
It was a scene that happened early on, when Kim Dok-Ja and the companions had recently entered the scenarios when they roasted the meat from the mole rats. Yu Jung-Hyeok pulled out a slice of dried meat from inside his coat underneath the spacesuit and began chewing on it while reading that passage again. He slowly closed his eyes and chewed, and it almost felt as if he was with the companions within the damp darkness of the subway.
155th day of drifting.
But when he opened his eyes, he was still all alone.
Yu Jung-Hyeok dazedly sitting there began reading the novel again.
211th day of drifting.
He continued to read this story all by himself, and
258th day of drifting.
.And, read the story again.
279th day of drifting.
He finally understood Kim Dok-Ja just a little.
316th day of drifting.
[Your Fables have absorbed your emotions.]
Every time he read Han Su-Yeongs novel, the consumed Fables would regain their vitality for fleeting moments. Although it couldnt match the speed of consumption, he wouldnt have been able to hold on until now if he didnt read the story.
However, he couldnt simply hold on forever.
Kim Dok-Ja within the novel was saying this.
Thats why you shouldve read it until the end, you know.
What did it mean to read a story to its end?
Although he couldnt fully understand it, Yu Jung-Hyeok still chose to heed that advice.
333th day of drifting.
Abruptly, he realised the reason why his failure was inevitable.
Even if you manage to save the world, you still wont be saved. The moment you save the world, the worlds you have cast away would pounce on you. Even if you do save one world, every other world you have forsaken will drag you down to hell.
Yu Jung-Hyeok stared at the distant universe and thought to himself.
What couldve it been like if this was the first, or the second, regression turn? What if he had completely forgotten about the memories from his previous lives? If he had no clue whatsoever of the lives from his previous regressions, then maybe, just maybe, couldnt he have found his answer already, instead of wandering aimlessly like this? Maybe, he wouldnt have to suffer like this?
Could he have finally understood what the happy ending of other stories was like?
Could he have moved forward, in order to not die?
The arks hull began vibrating. Wondering what was going on, he enhanced his perception to sweep over the surroundings, only to discover a huge horde dyeing the universe ash-grey. They were existences he was quite familiar with.
Existences that were discarded from the world-lines, and ejected from the scenarios.
The enormous waves of Outer Gods were flooding in his direction. A faint scent of fear could be picked up coming from them. They were being chased by some things.
One of the Nameless Ones escaping at the rear of the pack was pierced by something. Soon, he spotted the Hounds Chasing After the Abyss easily numbering thousands chasing down the Outer Gods like wolves corralling the flock of sheep.
Every time a Nameless One was hunted down, an incredible explosion of sparks occurred in between the flood. The storm of energy was gradually growing larger and larger. At this rate, his vessel would get swept up much sooner than later.
Eventually, the front pack of the flood overtook the ark. The Nameless Ones desperately ran. The eyes of the creatures resembling cephalopods glanced in Yu Jung-Hyeoks direction.
A monsters body was pierced through without resistance by the hounds fangs. The pitch-black lump of Fable spewing out by the dying monster splattered onto the cockpits window like paint. The cephalopod monster was staring at him in resentment as it fell.
Yu Jung-Hyeok had seen those eyes before, once upon a time.
If so, what about the people who are different from me? What about Ji-Hye eonni, Hyeon-Seong oppa, and Seol-Hwa eonni? Those who fought only for your sake, just who were they to you??
Right at that moment, Yu Jung-Hyeok thought he could finally understand what his was.
He understood how a regressor finished with his regressions should carry on living.
He understood the true conclusion he was supposed to reach.
From the very beginning, such a thing could never be determined by his own will alone.
[The Arks cockpit is opening.]
The moment he opened the cockpit, the hounds began rushing in his direction.
Yu Jung-Hyeok gripped the [Dark Heavenly Demon Sword] in reverse and cut the head off of a hound. The waves from the other world splitting apart, brushed past while clawing at him.
He watched the Nameless Ones flood past him and recalled the story he had been reading not too long ago.
Maybe, Han Su-Yeong knew about it already.
You wrote my story. In that case, you should also know where my story is supposed to end.
She probably knew the truth that this story would never reach the reincarnated Kim Dok-Jas.
That was why, he must never return to Earth.
He must never let his companions know of his survival.
His absence must become their eternal hope.
And maybe that was the fitting final verse to the regressor who had destroyed countless worlds.
As he continued to smack away the pouncing hounds, Yu Jung-Hyeok thought about the disappearing story.
His lion-like roar using magical energy as the foundation caused the hounds hiding in between the Outer Gods to raise their heads. These hounds then formed lines and attacked Yu Jung-Hyeok simultaneously. His arms were punctured, and the protective equipment worn over his legs were torn off from him. Fables began leaking out from the ripped-open gaps of the tattered spacesuit. Bit by bit, he was losing his strength.
His lengthy regression journey.
Yu Jung-Hyeok instinctively realised that this was his conclusion.
This is the end I wished to see.
It couldve been a slightly more excellent conclusion.
If he had made a different choice back then, or maybe, if he chose to go down the better direction, then. Yu Jung-Hyeok smiled bitterly.
In the end, he remained a regressor even until his final moment.
He knew it. He knew there was no better conclusion than this. He knew that, regardless of what choices he might have made in different moments of his life, hed still end up regretting something about them.
Even then, hed regret and eventually, repeat the result of all his regretting.
That was the summary of his life.
Im Yu Jung-Hyeok.
At least a handful of people would be saved by his life.
Thousands upon thousands of hounds pounced in his direction. As if he was atoning for his sins, Yu Jung-Hyeok wielded his sword and wielded it some more. With each and every one of his attacks, those Nameless Ones with forgotten names received their salvation.
Coldness began circulating in his entire body. The amount of Fable leaking out from the tattered spacesuit continued to increase. He felt dizzy and his vision flickered. Yu Jung-Hyeok squeezed out every last drop of magical energy.
Breaking the Sky Swordsmanship.
Breaking the Sky Meteor Strike.
The vicious, violent fragments of the sword fell like a meteor shower and penetrated the hounds. However, some hounds managed to evade the sword strike and continued to run towards him.
Right next second, something collided with his head and the helmet protecting his face broke into pieces.
[Warning! Your Fable is scattering away. Return to the ark immediately!]
[Your Fable is.]
Adrift droplets of blood were freezing up. Hounds were tearing into his entire body. And the story Han Su-Yeong had written were breaking apart among the torn, ripped Fable fragments scattering away.
Fables kept scattering away like stardust. Yu Jung-Hyeok watched that spectacle and quietly thought about the lonely space no one would ever imagine. The Nameless Ones were witnessing his final moments with their empty eyes.
This story they had compiled would be forgotten sooner or later.
Itd become a story no one would read.
Yu Jung-Hyeok summoned the last vestiges of his strength and gripped the hilt of the sword tightly. He stabbed the neck of the hound biting his thigh, and cut apart its body.
A regressor might only know how to regret, but hed never give up.
Maybe this regression turn you are about to abandon could be the one single turn where you might get to witness the end of this world as a human being, you know.
The one and only way for him to live on as a human being.
And that was to never give up on this story.
Something bit his neck, and his vision was dyed crimson in colour.
His eyes slowly closed. This really was his final moments.
However, he saw the darkness before his eyes distort as his vision gradually blurred.
Was he hallucinating? Something was standing over there. The ends of the black coat were seemingly dancing within the pure-white Fable fragments.
[[What a pitiful sight this is, the third turn.]]
Someone was talking to him from there.
[[This will be my last time helping you.]]