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Chapter 378: Episode 105: (2)
Unit 301 became an ocean of tears.
Crumbled on the ground, Kaeul wept out loud. Gyeoul wiped her tears with the back of her hands while gazing up at him. She was sending a signal into his eyes and despite the current situation, she was hoping he would do something to solve the problem. Gyeoul might in fact be thinking of this situation itself as a solvable problem.
But when Yu Jitae did not do anything even after receiving her gaze, Gyeoul looked all the more shocked as she started avoiding his eyes.
Kaeul hugged the child and continued crying.
He wanted to escape this place but he could not do so and had to blankly stand there.
Even though he now had the wisdom of how to console a crying child, he deliberately did not do it. Creating and cutting bonds had requirements and consoling the child here would not be a good decision.
In the end, a farewell was inevitable in relationships and the only change here was that it was a little bit earlier than expected.
And to be completely honest, there was no reason for him to show any more consideration for the children.
However, he still could not deny the fact that he had become fond of them. Kaeul’s wailing voice continued scratching his ears. It felt like a gla.s.s marble that he had cherished and polished everyday was shattering to pieces and it was not a good feeling.
In fact, it made him feel very uncomfortable, but that was not a reason for him to console the child, nor was it a justification for prolonging the end of the relationship so he did not comfort Kaeul until the very end.
Yeorum on the other hand was frozen like a statue.
Leaving the house, he absentmindedly walked down the corridor. At one point, there were stairs blocking his path so he climbed up the stairs. Climbing up the stairs, he arrived at the roof so he sat on the bench of the rooftop.
He had already talked about the future plans with Bom.
It went like this.
Firstly, he would spend the last remaining 16-17 days of the a.n.a.lysis with the baby dragons. He asked what they should do in the remaining time and Bom suggested a trip. It wasn’t a bad idea.
A farewell trip…
At the end of the trip, he will immediately send the baby dragons back home. He needed a large fissure, as well as the technique and energy to create that large fissure. Naturally, those had all been prepared because he hadn’t been living a thousand years for nothing.
Going through the fissure, the baby dragons will go back to their homeland; to the world of Askalifa.
The journey back wouldn’t just end in a quick flash. It would take them around a month as they travel through several other dimensions, with the simple reason being that they could avoid getting involved in any possible ‘dimensional disjoint’ by doing so. Advancing through the shallow seas, they would be safe from the tempest.
Because of that, the baby dragons will be getting on a ‘ship’ that could travel through dimensions, and that had also been prepared.
Earth would be in a fairly complicated situation by then. The [Last Night] will come straight after the baby dragons leave Earth. It might be later than scheduled by a day or two, but it would definitely happen within four days after their departure – this information was what he had found from the memories of the dying white bird.
There would be zero problems, because he had already prepared for everything. His life had been repeated for close to two thousand times. It was impossible for him to be in danger due to a problem with his strength.
After finally sending the baby dragons back,
When the sun rises after the Last Night,
Left alone on Earth, Yu Jitae will finally reach the end of his life.
It was when he was going through the future plans in his mind. Someone with their red hair fluttering from the breeze opened the door of the rooftop.
Yeorum hesitantly walked towards him.
“Anything you have to say?”
Without meeting his eyes, she handed him the letter she received from Javier.
“Ah, yeah. That’s good.”
She did not reply to his celebratory words.
“Have you done enough for your preparation?”
“Right… it won’t be easy. But if you can beat Javier, that will exponentially increase the likelihood of your survival after going back.”
“Is there anything you want to work on? Do you want to go through it together one last time?”
“No. It’s okay.”
“How do you feel.”
Yeorum slowly shook her head. She turned her body around and started walking away from him.
Was she in a bad mood like Kaeul?
Even though it was possible for her to control her anger, that did not mean she forgot how to get angry. Yeorum might even be feeling betrayed by him.
Whatever the case, the day of the duel was quite decent. Straight after the trip, on the day before the kids got onto the ship, Yeorum will be fighting against Javier.
Yeorum after learning how to manipulate the onion core with 10 lifted seals should be more than able to fight on equal grounds with Javier. Although it was hard to be certain about the result before seeing them fight, it was doable in Yu Jitae’s opinion.
It was then.
In the middle of going down the stairs, Yeorum turned around and glanced at him.
After a little eye contact, she turned her body again.
She looked fairly displeased.
It took a few days for the kids to accept the farewell.
Bom was always staying next to Kaeul and Gyeoul. She listened to Kaeul’s teary complaints, empathised with her and consoled her.
Kaeul would relax a little whenever that happened but would soon cry buckets again after remembering something. Gyeoul on the other hand was crouching her body like a cat on top of her bed without moving a single inch.
The kids did not eat nor drink and Yeorum was the only one sitting at the dining room, eating something by herself.
Yu Jitae did not console the children at all in the meantime, and after crying day and night for three days, the two kids finally started to accept it.
“Shall we go on a trip.”
That was when Yu Jitae said that to the kids.
He had never felt so burdened from a single sentence in his entire life. He wanted to keep the baby dragons away from him until their last moment but Bom persuaded him that there was not much time left, and that she wanted him to let them spend a better time no matter how short that might be.
Kaeul nodded and so did Gyeoul.
“…There is a place I want to go to.”
They then planned for the trip.
Before long, Kaeul showed her interest and suggested several details as if she had become a totally different person.
If this was in the past, he would not have been able to understand the quick changes of the dragons but now he could. Kaeul must have contemplated what a ‘good farewell’ would be, and must have realised that simply crying by herself would not make it a good one.
“Ah. And apparently, the sky outside the fissure there is quite dark and has a great atmosphere.”
“…How about we do fireworks?”
“Uun? Ohh, that sounds good. Let’s like, do campfires, and watch stars.”
“…Is the water, warm?”
Bom and Gyeoul helped her add flesh to the plan. He was a bystander just like Yeorum, but Gyeoul asked him after throwing him a glance.
“…Is there, something, you want to do?”
There was nothing he could think of off the top of his head.
“…A place, you want to go to?”
“I don’t know.”
“…Something, you want to eat?”
“…What about, a burger?”
Gyeoul then started writing down several ingredients of the burger on the hologram.
Even until then, Yeorum was sitting apathetically without saying a word. When someone spoke to her, she would shake her head and wave her hands. The most she said was, “I don’t know. Do what you want,” and she continued watching videos of Javier Karma’s fight on her watch.
People had different ways of accepting farewells.
It seemed that the realistic Yeorum had already accepted reality before anyone else.
Until the very end, she did not add a single word.
It was on the night before the start of the trip. Someone knocked on the door of Yu Jitae’s room.
The one that opened the door was Gyeoul.
She was nervously standing behind the door throwing glances at him, and couldn’t readily come in despite him telling her to do so.
“Are you going to keep standing there?”
An awkward smile appeared on her face as she gazed up at him.
“…It’s just, weird.”
Gyeoul shook her head.
Then, she entered the room and closed the door.
After slowly walking towards him, she stopped in front of his legs and quietly stared at his knees. He reached his arms out thinking of giving her a hug, but the child responded by holding it with her hand.
Gyeoul did not lean her body on his, and simply held onto his hand.
“Do you have something to say?”
“What is it.”
“…Why, were you so rushed?”
For a moment, he thought Gyeoul was here to complain about her disappointment.
Shake, shake. Gyeoul shook her head.
“…I want, to know the reason.”
“…Bom-unni, said it’s dangerous for us to stay here.”
“…I don’t think so.”
“Then? Do you think there is a different reason?”
Gyeoul gave a nod.
“Yes. There are just too many dangerous things for you to keep staying here. I recently figured that out, and you will be safe the quicker you go back so I had no other choice myself.”
She dropped her gaze down to the ground.
While thinking to herself, she scratched her head with her tiny hand. Soon, she heaved a sigh with frustration dripping from her face.
In spite of everything she was doing, one of her hands was still hidden behind her back.
“…I asked, what ahjussi liked.”
“…To ahjussi’s brother.”
“…Ahjussi’s brother, said ahjussi, likes us.”
“Yes. I like you.”
“Then what is it.”
Gyeoul did not reply.
She seemed to be talking about the time when they had gone to the Tranquil Sea together with Yeorum. Yu Jitae could also remember the words Clone 1 had said to him.
Back then, Gyeoul asked what Yu Jitae liked the most, and Clone 1 should have replied by saying something, but Yu Jitae did not know what the reply was.
That was when Gyeoul heaved a deep sigh.
“…It’s all because, …I was scammed.”
He couldn’t understand what she was saying and was curiously pondering what she meant when Gyeoul revealed her other hand as well as the thing she was hiding behind her back.
Hesitation was written all over her face, and her eyes appeared slightly sad.
“…I did my best, to earn money, to buy this.”
On top of her hands was a neatly decorated gift box.
“…It’s a present.”
Only after saying that did Gyeoul look up at his face with a faint smile.
Yu Jitae carefully received the present from the child while feeling the heaviness of the box.
He had never even expected this.
“Can I open it?”
Unpacking the box, he found a small palm-sized crystal inside.
It was a [Memory Crystal] – a consumable artifact used for recording and storing mana as information. At the end of the crystal was a camera lens that made it look like a recorder.
The size of the crystal was 5Y, and was the same model as the one Gyeoul bought when she was scammed on the second-hand transaction website.
“What is this. Why are you giving me this.”
“…Because, I was always… on the receiving side.”
All the time she spent trying to earn money flashed past his head. Running errands for a dollar or two, drying sweet potatoes on the veranda with the protector, buying a heap of coloured papers and dividing them into piles with her tiny fingers in the living room, selling umbrellas together on a rainy day, and making burgers for the election…
“…I, can give something too.”
He was at a loss for words.
But lying in his mind was still a doubt about this specific gift. He wasn’t really fond of memory crystals and in fact, he didn’t really care about them.
Was she going to record the things that happened here to take them back with her? He wondered but that would be strange because dragons did not forget in the first place. They already had a memory crystal embedded in their heads.
That was when Gyeoul answered his doubts.
“…He said you treasure, the time you spend with us.”
“Who. That, my brother?”
Gyeoul reached her arms forward. Raising the child, he placed her on his lap as Gyeoul began fidgeting with the memory crystal that was in his hand.
“…When we separate,
“…I might remember forever.
“…But ahjussi, will forget us, so…”
The words that left her mouth stole words from his tongue again.
Yesterday, Bom told him that all the baby dragons were aware of the separation, but he had never once expected Gyeoul to prepare for the separation in such a way.
“…When we go on the trip… I will take a lot of pictures of us.”
“…Later when you are alone… please, look through them, once in a while.”
After finishing her words, Gyeoul activated the memory crystal and pointed it at her face.
She gave a bright smile.
Then, she turned her body to have the crystal point at both Yu Jitae and herself. The hologram screen floating above the crystal started displaying both Gyeoul and Yu Jitae.
Gyeoul waved her hand at the screen. He also waved his hand from behind, but at the same time, had to feel some unknown feeling drenching his body. Something sticky was flowing down and locking him inside, making him feel oddly heavy inside for some reason.
What in the world was this emotion?
“…Tomorrow, we are going on a trip.”
For a long time, the child chirped about the plans of the trip. After finishing her talk, she turned off the memory crystal and came down from his legs.
She then waved her hand.
“…See you tomorrow.”
After sending her off, he contemplated on what that lethargic feeling and what that sense of incongruity was about.
By ruminating over her actions and words just then, he finally realised what it was.
– …Later when you are alone
– …Please, look through them, once in a while.
Gyeoul was thinking, without even doubting it a single bit,
That he would continue living on after their separation.