Chapter 308. Nursery (1)
He spent a long time thinking in the egg.
His battles were already set in place. It was his destiny.
He couldn’t avoid the invasion of the Abyss.
To become the evil king was also part of his destiny.
Since it was the most efficient path.
But then a question arose in his mind.
The path and goal were both set.
But as for me…
What am I fighting for?
“Damn… those crazy bastards. What the hell did they drag over?”
‘How could he bring in something like that after knowing what happened to us with the last transcendent?’
Akran, one of the four leaders, gulped as he looked down from high atop the castle.
Out of curiosity, he’d wanted to open the door on a whim, but then quickly gave up that idea after hearing Taesang’s voice.
He didn’t want to get involved with things like this.
‘Damn… I don’t know what’s inside, but hopefully, it’s what he wants.’
There were clear traces of his attempts to open the lid.
If that monster didn’t find what he wanted inside that box, he’d be the first person they’d blame.
Because he might’ve tampered with the box’s contents.
And because of Akran’s attitude, everyone else inside the fortress looked confused.
“Is there an issue?”
“You said that in the scout’s report, there was nothing wrong.”
“Did the Kang-Kions come back? They seem to be hanging around this area lately.”
His face had shown how flustered he felt.
Akran frowned; he’d hid the fact that a suspected transcendent had arrived.
Though he had dispatched a hundred people to various places with just a brief message, he hadn’t informed the general public due to the possibility of it bringing further panic and chaos.
Some might say his methods were foolish, but he did not regret his actions.
After all, the opponent he was facing was not someone he could safely go up against.
It was better to do this rather than piss the guy off.
And the people behind him were already very fearful of transcendents.
“No. Just focus on distributing the crystals. We’ll… head up soon.”
Akran’s words seemed to ease their perturbed expressions, and he re-focused his attention back to the man opening the box.
‘That… That easily?’
The box that he’d tried so hard to pry open was opened in a brief moment.
But at the same time, it further aroused his curiosity.
‘… What could it be?’
It was an item that even a transcendent was looking for.
And it was stored in such a hard case.
It wouldn’t be a simple object.
Akran’s focused his exceptional eyesight—though not as impressive as a transcendent’s—at the insides of the box.
‘… What the hell?’
A simple letter was tucked inside.
‘Just a letter?’
Akran grinded his teeth.
As his expectations were high, so too was his disappointment.
But his disappointment wasn’t a big deal—if the other party was disappointed, then that would be a huge issue.
‘I should prepa…’
Akran noticed the man’s expression and immediately froze.
The man was smiling.
— Please read, Hansoo.
The box contained a letter.
Hansoo mumbled the name of the man written on top of the letter.
The man he had picked out.
And the man he was forced to part ways with after things had gone south.
‘He had looked for me… But why just a letter…?’
Many more questions bubbled up inside him, but there was nothing more to confirm because he’d checked it out himself.
Hansoo continued to read the letter Sangjin had left behind.
The letter had been written around two years ago.
— With your parting words and the sky’s collapse, I and my countless comrades pondered for a long time. We wondered why you did this. Why you decided to bring these beasts into the world. Well, in the end, it was useless to wonder. Even if we wanted to know… There was no way for us to figure out the truth. We thought we were the people closest to you, but even we were left in the dark… Ha…
Hansoo’s grip tightened for a moment from the emotions that sprang up inside him from the letter.
But he continued to read; there was too much he needed to know.
— So we set out looking for you. If we could somehow find you… You might give us an answer.
— Though we were sad at seeing the chaos between the humans and the beasts of the Abyss, we decided to look for you first. We didn’t want to abandon you so quickly.
— Since we thought that you had your reasons for doing this.
— So everybody set out to search for you.
— In this vast Green Zone.
It wasn’t just Sangjin’s thoughts contained within this letter.
It was all of them.
Hansoo clenched his teeth as he read on.
‘Why didn’t they just give up and leave…?’
He had followed the restrictions placed on him while his memories were also sealed, and he had focused solely on his objectives.
Though he’d made some friends during the tutorial stage where the restrictions were weaker, he had started to focus more and more on his objectives when he entered the Red Zone.
In the Yellow and Green Zone, this shift had been more apparent.
So much so that nobody would go near him.
Because he had acted like a machine and discarded his relationships, he’d thought that Sangjin and Mihee would’ve forgotten about him as well.
But apparently, that hadn’t been the case.
This was not what Hansoo wanted.
He’d wanted them to leave him behind and to quickly move on.
‘… Let’s just read on and see what happened.’
There were still some parts left in the letter.
Hansoo decided to continue reading.
— But man, you really hid yourself well. Countless people eventually gave up looking for you and decided to return to the elevator to meet with those who came up from below. They felt it would be easier to look for you once we secured our own safety and stabilized the situation first.
— We should have done this from the start, but it seems we had been relying on you too much.
— But… We soon realized that we had made a terrible mistake.
— While we were looking for you, we didn’t know what was going on with the people who were coming up from below. How they were being treated.
The scenes they saw weren’t of monsters of the abyss attacking humankind.
It was a human.
A human who looked like them and should be on their side.
That human was attacking them.
A single human.
And once they saw this disgustingly powerful being, only then did they realize.
That the change hadn’t only come to the beings of the Abyss.
The existence that would change the hierarchy.
The elites of the elites had banded together, only to barely defeat one.
And after realizing that sheer numbers weren’t enough to deal with this person, only then did they realize.
That this being hadn’t been born of chance.
And that there was more than just one.
In the vast world where the three Kingdoms and the one Empire ruled over.
This sole beast was slowly expanding his power.
— From the east… They were coming from the east. Though they were low in number, they were being made at a constant pace. I don’t know who made them, nor why they had done it, but it is what it is.
Even stranger was that they weren’t really doing anything with them.
They just created these monsters and spread them around with only a single message left behind.
— Do whatever you desire.
Anyways, it didn’t matter who was in the west.
They realized that the unity of humankind would only be possible after they became transcendents themselves.
Uniting humankind would normally be an impossible feat, if not for the threat of the transcendents constantly being born.
Which meant that if they could become transcendents on their own, they would be able to resist the attacks of the other transcendents.
And because they realized this, they decided to give up searching for Hansoo.
— So we split into two teams.
One went up.
Since they needed to stop those who were causing chaos above.
Though it would be for the better if the other transcendents stayed on this floor, the chances of that not happening were greater since they would naturally like to keep climbing up.
The other team remained in the Green Zone and headed towards the west to deal with the villainous group.
If they didn’t create a safe passage, they wouldn’t be able to go up even if those above had created a safe haven.
But sadly, they had settled around the elevator.
They couldn’t deal with the beings of the Abyss as well as the transcendents at the same time.
Samuel and the rest had left with countless others, and so they didn’t have enough power to do so.
But other than the two teams, there was one person who decided to act by himself.
— I kept on looking for you. Though the rest were preoccupied with their own tasks… I could not give up on you. I wanted to find you and ask you. To ask why you told me to follow you if you were only going to do this in the end.
The letter stops briefly, and after a short pause, it continues.
— And then I finally found you. I found you and… I wrote this. As I look to you who can’t even respond. And feeling angry at myself for not being able to help you.
— I wanted to wait until the day you came out to ask. To ask why you created such a world.
— But… This is as far as I can go. I have to go up now. Since the others were dying in our place. In case another party reads this instead of you, I did not write the essential methods of becoming a transcendent. But you… you would be able to, even without them. Or you are already one.
— I don’t know when you will come out. But… I wish you will be able to read this in the nearest possible future.
— … Farewell.
After finishing the letter.Hansoo re-reads it once again.
He re-reads the parts listing what humanity did and decided upon in the past two years he’d been gone.
Then Hansoo grits his teeth.
‘I… I’ve been asleep for too long. I am sorry.’
Hansoo thought of the people above.
Risking their lives for his sake.
Hansoo’s grip on his spear tightens.
‘Wait for me.’