Book 2: Chapter 389
Dark clouds hung above the continent. The scent of blood seemed to be everywhere, and there was no place without smoke. Despair and hunger mixed together to create intense madness.
Great chaos and calamity had stolen the reason from humans. They surrendered themselves to their ugly instincts. Those who were swept away by the disaster went mad and eventually became someone else’s disaster. This was repeated over and over.
It was a terrible sight. He felt a tearing pain in his chest.
He’d seen this scene many times before, but this time, it was especially hard for him to endure.
Was it because he was now seeing it as a human, not an Absolute?
Or was it because this disaster was occurring in his own home world of all places?
He didn’t know. It was something he hadn’t thought too deeply about.
He wanted to look away, but he couldn’t.
As if he were being punished, the entire scene was imprinted onto his eyes.
Lukas muttered softly.
[This is only a small part.]
He received an answer.
But he wasn’t sure where the answer came from or who said it.
[The continent will experience this era of blood for 100 more years. Civilisation will be set back by centuries and the total population will fall to less than 20%. The ground, marinated in flesh and blood, will stink of rot for decades.]
“Why are you showing me this?”
[It seems you want to pretend you didn’t see it.]
His true intentions, which he wanted to hide the most and was doing his best to hide, were revealed. That is to say, his true intentions that even Yang In-hyun hadn’t been able to see.
[You ignored your growing anxiety and just acted like you were worried about the world. You thought your role was over. That they would be fine without you. So you comforted yourself and allowed yourself to die comfortably. No. You brainwashed yourself in order to die like that.]
His view changed drastically.
He saw the ground, black and dead, and the countless corpses strewn across it.
And the humans who were still capable of moving were all running away with looks of terror on their faces. Chasing them were creatures with bizarre appearances.
Lukas’ expression hardened. Those were beings that shouldn’t exist in his home universe.
They were lifeforms from a different universe. A species from a primitive planet with a first cla.s.s danger rating. They were monstrous creatures with earthworm-like bodies, a huge mouth, and two arms. They were very aggressive and gluttonous, such that one would not come across even a single insect in their territories.
The kariv galloped at a tremendous speed and devoured the fleeing humans. The main way they ate was to crush their food with their two arms, then they would throw it into their mouths and chew it all at once.
“Why are kariv here…”
[This is one of the tragedies that occured when all of the timelines in all of the universes were unified. This is only the beginning.]
It wasn’t just the kariv.
Monsters like the Dobrams, Bickersticks*, Hungry Ghosts and Vine Sharks all appeared simultaneously. Humans struggled desperately, but they could not overcome the innate differences. (*:Biggersticks)
However, the bigger problem they faced was that there was no talent to bring them together and lead them.
Most of the heroes who protected the continent had died in the battle against Diablo.
For a while after that, the continent would be covered in death. He’d heard that only 20% of the population would survive.
It was unrealistic to view it as a percentage, in reality, that meant that hundreds of millions of people had died.
He had an intense feeling of nausea. He wanted to empty his stomach.
He wanted to stop looking at this, but he couldn’t.
Then he saw a light.
A group of people could be seen walking on the blackened, dead land.
The man standing at the centre was Peran.
He still had a haggard face and dark circles around his eyes. He also seemed older. Proof of this could be found in the faint wrinkles on his face.
There were a lot of people around him, all of them gazing at Peran with hopeful eyes.
A dark red glow sparked around Peran.
Peran had finally learned how to use the greatest power in magicology.
The dark red light shot forward with a violent momentum like an outburst of anger, attacking the uninvited guests from other universes. The monsters who slaughtered the humans were strong, but they could not withstand absolute.
As a result, hope began to bloom on people’s faces.
The central point.
The thing that the humans who faced the disaster needed the most.
Peran was born with the apt.i.tude to be such a being. He had the right skills and heart. Hope began to glimmer faintly on Lukas’ face as well.
Right. He was counting on him.
He might become an even greater Wizard than he had. He might even become another Great Mage.
He didn’t understand what happened.
It was a Giant. Probably 10 metres tall.
It had a body that seemed to be made of metal, and the face of a monster. That was all.
The power of absolute did not work on this Giant that Lukas was seeing for the first time.
It trampled on Peran, blood splattering in every direction.
The man Lukas had trusted. The man he thought of as a friend, had become a pile of b.l.o.o.d.y meat.
The giant peeled what Peran had become, which was stuck to the sole of its foot, and threw it into his mouth before chewing.
The humans reacted in two different ways at the sight of this horrific meal.
Some of them rushed forward in anger. But they were the minority. When the Giant waved its hand lazily, as if swatting annoying insects, their entire bodies burst like balloons. Even he could not understand the principle behind this.
The rest fled. They didn’t get to run very far. Before they knew it, they were surrounded by other Giants.
The slaughter began.
His sight, which had been stained red with blood, became black once more.
His surroundings were quiet. And the scenes he’d just seen felt like a dream.
Even so, Lukas could not speak for a while.
“…that… are you trying to say it is my task?”
His cracked voice shook heavily.
“I’m asking if this is all because of me, because it is my task.”
“What the h.e.l.l do you want from me?”
His targetless rage echoed.
“Should I have struggled some more? Could I not just die peacefully? Should I not have given up even if everyone forgot me and fate forced me to die? Cut the c.r.a.p!”
When he wanted to rest even a little, he couldn’t rest. When he didn’t want to live, he couldn’t die, when he didn’t want to die, he couldn’t live.
At some point, Lukas’ life had become an endless series of denials.
He learned that there were some things that couldn’t be achieved no matter how much he craved it or how hard he tried, even to the point of vomiting blood. He realised that there were some things he couldn’t reach.
So for the first time, he compromised. He made the same choice as those he’d been unable to understand in the past. He felt a bit more relieved. At least at first.
It was only difficult to make the first step.
Since then, Lukas compromised, compromised, and compromised some more.
And yet, he wasn’t able to accomplish even a single thing.
Even the countless yearnings that he’d compromised remained far beyond reach. No, in fact, it felt like they were getting farther and farther away.
There was no longer a man who believed that fate could be overturned and that enough individual power could change it.
Lukas Trowman became fragile enough to crumble at a touch.
Don’t want to see this.
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Avoidance. Right, he was avoiding.
[Even if everyone you know is dead, sunny days will come again.]
[Even the tragedies that happened and the disasters that caused countless sacrifices will eventually become nothing but lines in history. It’s even less from a cosmic scale. Even if a war engulfed the entire continent and left deep scars in nature, when the lifespan of the entire planet is taken into account, it could be considered a short term disease.]
Lukas understood what G.o.d was trying to say.
[A crossroads of choice.]
[If it’s the you of now, you can judge it from two perspectives. The despair you saw earlier, the death of all of your companions, the collapse of the system, and the invasion of monsters. From the perspective of an individual, it’s like your world collapsed.]
[However, hundreds of years later, hope arose on the continent once again. They lost a lot, but they were eventually able to get back to their feet. They found a way to overcome their pain and live. Although it was painful, they fought for a brighter future. Now, do you still think despair is all you saw?]
Lukas was silent.
He didn’t say anything in a very long time. G.o.d waited patiently without rushing him.
After a while.
“…the things you showed me haven’t happened yet.”
Lukas’ voice was low.
The death of his friends, the advent of chaos, the blood covered continent. None of that had happened.
[That’s right. What I showed you were scenes from the future. If this had already happened, I wouldn’t be able to give you a choice.]
[The first scene you saw. It was the most despair a human could feel. And the scene you saw just before was the faint hope that you saw from the perspective of an Absolute.]
“What are my options?”
[Your heart must be much lighter than it was before. Because you were able to see the sprouts of hope from hundreds of years in the future. Even if you’re not around, even if there is no one you believe in left, humans will not fall easily. They will get back onto their feet somehow, they will survive.]
[You asked what your options were? The first is simple. Like I said in the beginning, you will close your eyes and disappear. Now that the burden on your heart has lightened, you should be able to go more comfortably… In other words, to die as an Absolute.]
Those words were right.
Without a doubt, the scenes that G.o.d had shown him were significant.
Now, Lukas was somewhat convinced by the deaths of his companions. He understood that their deaths were not meaningless and instead served as foundations for future generations.
Death as an Absolute.
He couldn’t deny it.
It would take time, but he knew that humans would rise again in the distant future, so he could turn a blind eye to the upcoming disaster.
That wasn’t the thinking of a mortal.
His hesitation grew.
G.o.d had said it was a crossroads of choice. This meant he had one more option.
But he was afraid of that fact.
He felt like he didn’t want to hear the second option. He felt like it would be more comfortable to just close his eyes and accept death like this.
“And the other option?”
But Lukas’ mouth opened as if it had a will of its own.
[To continue to struggle as a human.]
[To live desperately to protect the world you belong to. It will be bitter and miserable. So the choice is yours only.]
G.o.d’s voice could no longer be heard after that word.
Lukas was left alone in the dark s.p.a.ce.
Suddenly, a laugh bubbled up from his throat.
“Kukuku. Kuku… Kuha, kuhahaha!”
The soft chuckle soon gave rise to maniacal cackling. At some point his laughter began to make the s.p.a.ce shake before it stopped.
In the silence, Lukas’ lips spread into a wide smile.
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