Chapter 535 - Giant Demonic Divine Dragon (10)
Yeon-woo remembered his unconscious, where he’d encountered the Monkey King’s exuviae. It had been a world of thick blackness. Although it was part of his soul, Yeon-woo felt more threatened than comfortable at the thought of it. The Monkey King’s exuviae had said it was dangerous as well.
He didn’t know how the Monkey King’s exuviae and Summer Queen managed to stay there. If it were him, his ego might have been destroyed by now. The blackness at its depths—the abyss or void the Crawling Chaos had tried to explore—was the place that even the Monkey King’s exuviae had said not to visit. But that was the darkness?
“I see.” However, Yeon-woo wasn’t too surprised. In fact, he had been expecting it somewhat. It was understandable why the Monkey King’s exuviae, despite being clever enough to seal the Crawling Chaos, would be reluctant to approach a place like that.
Still, there was something he didn’t quite get: how did it get inside him, and why was Jeong-woo’s soul there?
「I see you’re beginning to have some suspicions. Have you heard of something called “group subconscious”?」 Kalatus already guessed what Yeon-woo was wondering about and explained further.
Yeon-woo nodded. “If you’re talking about a collective subconscious, I’ve heard about it from Brahm.” Yeon-woo was profoundly knowledgeable in magic by now. He knew about the main laws that provided the basis for worlds and their other hidden counterparts. Brahm had taught him about group or collective subconscious repeatedly. “I heard it’s the birthplace of the instincts and souls of all living creatures.”
There were things all living things could identify and connect to regardless of the environment they grew up in. Everyone was born with an instinctive way of reacting to things. There was a shared s.p.a.ce where images and symbols manifested even before birth, and all living things were connected to this s.p.a.ce beyond time and s.p.a.ce. However, there were no details about this storage s.p.a.ce.
G.o.ds and demons were aware of this place and tried to reach it many times. However, they either failed or were too spiritually injured to continue since they could also become swept up in the great flow of things.
Some called it a system because it was similar to the system that enforced laws on souls like the one in the Tower.
「What you’ve seen is part of the group subconscious, the birthplace where all souls are born and where they return after they are destroyed. Additionally, it’s the root of all truth and laws. It’s like a river where fish, which are the souls, live. It’s always flowing and affecting souls. The reason why all living beings have instincts and can think is that this river exists.」
“It sounds like it’s similar to reincarnation.”
「No. It’s different. Reincarnation begins in Sumeru. It is a cycle that allows souls to continue existing as part of a branch of the world tree. On the other hand, this is more like the earth that the roots of the world tree touch. This is on the very bottom of the universe.」
Darkness flowed along inner s.p.a.ce and in the outer s.p.a.ce where the otherworld G.o.ds lived.
「It’s also where a being called Pangu fell asleep just as the creation of the world was completed long ago, but that’s not too important so we’ll skip over that.」 Kalatus’ eyes darkened. 「I’ve been observing this for a long time and researched its components and laws. I call it “darkness”.」
Yeon-woo’s eyes flashed. “Then how is it connected to my unconscious?”
「It’s not. You’ve just come closer to it than any other living being through coincidence. Occasionally, people like you are born, and we call you geniuses since you’re the closest to the roots. The child who embodied this the most was…」
「Yes.」 Kalatus nodded.
Yeon-woo recalled what he used to call his brother all the time: a prodigy.
「His trait, Perfect Adaptability, and his soul, which was gifted and open to all senses, were the closest to darkness than anything in the world. A blessing or favor, if you may. He was born with it. 」
It might have been a blessing at the time, but Yeon-woo knew better. It was a curse. ‘d.a.m.ned idiot. Worrying me even in death.’ Yeon-woo ground his teeth thinking of Jeong-woo. He still missed him that much.
「So, instead of reincarnating after death like others, he returned to darkness.」
Yeon-woo nodded. It was hard to understand, but Kalatus’ words boiled down to one thing. To find Jeong-woo’s soul, he needed to explore darkness. The problem was that no one had ever succeeded, not even the G.o.ds and demons or Kalatus, who had studied it the longest. However, at least he didn’t have to look for darkness anymore. “It’s strange.”
“If being closer to darkness means you’re more talented, then I’m an exception.” Yeon-woo believed he lacked talent. Perhaps he was only comparing himself to Jeong-woo, and others might say that he had grown this strong precisely because he had talent, but Yeon-woo could confidently say that it wasn’t true.
His abnormal progress was only thanks to his brother’s diary, and he had only begun to make up for his lack of talent after swallowing the Summer Queen’s soul. Moreover, if he didn’t have the cheat item of Cast of the Black King, it would have taken him ages to get to where he was.
「Didn’t you inherit the system from that child? Since darkness is technically a problem of recognition, your soul might have become closest to darkness without being aware of it. And the Dragon Body was created by…」
Yeon-woo finally felt some of his questions being answered. He was the result of intricately related events that began long ago. “Then why did I become the successor of darkness? Is that also because of Jeong-woo?”
「I don’t know exactly how that happened either. However, I do know that the different wills of flowing darkness sometimes emerge, and one of them has chosen you. As you said, it might have recognized you because of Jeong-woo.」
If darkness had different wills, Yeon-woo realized that meant there were several successors, as well. Moonchild was probably one of them, and so was Kronos, who was still sleeping deeply in Tartarus. Yeon-woo’s eyes narrowed. “Just what is darkness…no, the Black King?”
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「I already told you. The birthplace of all souls.」
Yeon-woo nodded and his consciousness sank below. He slowly went from his conscious to his preconscious, and finally to his unconscious. Then, he slowly reached the abyss beneath it. It was a s.p.a.ce he never imagined would be inside him, but ever since he’d chased the Crawling Chaos and grown aware of it, it wasn’t that hard to find the path there.
When he opened his eyes again, he saw the Monkey King’s exuviae looking down at him with a displeased expression, his arms crossed. 『Yes. I knew this would happen. Son of a b.i.t.c.h, you don’t listen to me like that kiddo.』
Seeing the void beneath his feet, Yeon-woo grinned, knowing he had safely arrived at his destination. The Monkey King’s exuviae looked even more peeved.
“You know the situation I’m in, don’t you?”
『I do. That’s why I’m saying this. Excuse me, that’s a place even the real Monkey King guy would have trouble with. But you’re going?』 The Monkey King’s exuviae snorted. 『Even the Heavenly Demon kiddo you guys admire so much wasn’t able to do much with it and stuck it at the bottom of the universe.. Don’t do anything pointless. Father more of the revelations first so you can enter it safely.』
“Since I’m already here, I’m going to make an attempt.”
『Haa…fine. Do whatever you want! It’s not my business if you die…no. I’ll disappear if you die. Hey! Just go!』
“Yup. I’m going”
『No. Go back! You crazy b.a.s.t.a.r.d! f.u.c.k! You’re really going!』
Yeon-woo moved past the Monkey King’s exuviae to the abyss. A tingling fear shocked him, enough to shake his body, but he tried to endure it and approach darkness. The Monkey King’s exuviae couldn’t follow Yeon-woo too long and began screaming. 『Hey! I’ll change my last name to yours if you can really get in there.. No. I’ll be your son! Just come back!』
However, Yeon-woo moved closer into the blackness.
『Hey!』 The Monkey King’s screams echoed futilely and disappeared. His face flashed with anxiety, worried that something might really go wrong.
『Huh?』 He heard the sound of diving. Yeon-woo looked up at him, only his head visible and the rest of his body immersed in darkness. He didn’t even look that tired; he even looked comfortable.
『You…can do it?』 The Monkey King’s exuviae blinked rapidly in surprise.
Yeon-woo slowly mouthed without speaking, “Why are you speaking so impudently, son?”
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