The ground turned to dust and disappeared, and the sky above burned in fierce red as it split apart . Disgusting mucous substance replaced the missing ground, and something jet-black wriggled disgustingly within it . Covered in some sort of a film waiting to hatch, this something glared at me with bloodshot eyes .
I felt fear for the very first time in my life when I looked into those terrifying eyes . I also realised in that moment, that there was no way to fight against such a monstrosity .
I must run away if I want to live .
Leaving behind all my memories, my regrets, wishes – and run away to another world altogether .
But I believed no human alive would grant a Vampire like me passage through a portal that could admit only a finite number of travelers . After all, we’ve been the source of their biggest headache until now .
Whatever, I still headed to the portal while thinking that I will kill all those blocking my way .
However… . humans unexpectedly helped us .
The ‘human’ Wizards dispersed the incoming waves of attacks, and the ‘human’ Knights desperately blocked the unidentifiable creatures . In my eyes, though, they weren’t resisting, simply throwing their lives away .
“What are you doing, Ellie!! Hurry and come over here!!” (TL: Not a mistranslation; mister Author changed Bathory’s name, for good . )
My godfather shouted at me, while I was lost in the sight of the humans fiercely fighting out there . I couldn’t think for long . I entered the portal, and escaped from the homeworld .
And so, a brand new world I’ve never even dreamed of seeing in my life spread out before my stunned eyes .
“Are you refugees from another world?”
Another, ‘new’ humans were looking at me .
But… why didn’t those humans run away in panic? Why did they lend a helping hand to us?
I never understood their reasoning back then, and even now, I can’t understand it .
“… . ”
(TL: Back to 3rd person perspective . )
Captured by the memories of the past, Bathory’s mind sunk deeper and deeper into the darkness below where nothing existed .
Suddenly, a baseless confidence rose up within her .
Her homeworld must’ve overcome the crisis of the Fissure .
And so, it must have recovered the beautiful scenery she and her companions used to see .
The homeworld was waiting with a warm and gentle embrace for her return .
Now completely entranced, she took a step closer towards the Fissure .
“What the hell are you doing?!” (Sae-Jin)
However, someone grabbed her arm . Her blurry, unfocused eyes regained focus . Bathory glanced at Kim Sae-Jin holding her arm, and then shifted her gaze back at the Fissure . Even now, the ground below her feet was collapsing . Although still incomplete, it resembled a portal now, more or less . If she swam in those dark waves, then she might arrive back at the homeworld she’d been longing for so much .
But in that moment, a solid arm tightly and rather forcefully wrapped around her waist .
“Hey… . !” (Bathory)
“Everyone, hold on!!” (Sae-Jin)
Sae-Jin shouted out while pulling Bathory into his arms . Confirming that everyone had clung tightly onto him, he quickly transformed into the Leviathan and activated the instant transmission .
As if the sight of that Fissure stretching below their feet infinitely was nothing more than a nightmare, the team members returned to the underground conference room in an instant .
But no one spoke a single word; they were suffering from the shock of the events that happened just now .
And what the hell was that thing they saw?
It was as if the entire surface of the earth became a Fissure . No one had seen one that big before, ever .
“What happened back there?” (Kim Yu-Rin)
Kim Yu-Rin broke the heavy silence with some difficulty . She was a brave person indeed to speak up, since the person she asked and was expecting an answer from happened to be Bathory .
With complicated eyes, the Vampire queen stared at Kim Yu-Rin, before breaking out in a smirk .
“What else? That dang kid stimulated the Fissure by using my Mana, his own body, as well as the Feather of Efrit, that’s what . ” (Bathory)
“What’s a Feather of Efrit?” (Kim Yu-Rin)
“You know, that thing . The thing that almost killed you just now . Looking like an octopus, with tentacles and stuff . ” (Bathory)
“Ah . ”
Kim Yu-Rin stupidly nodded her head . Bathory shook her head as if she disapproved of the reaction, and then continued .
“That thing, is a remnant of the ‘demon god’ that used to live back in my homeworld . It will never disappear, unless you kill the original body it came from, and its destructive power depends on the ‘grade’ of Mana absorbed . ” (Bathory)
Bathory stopped talking for a moment, and let out a frustrated sigh .
“… . But, that damn feather absorbed my Mana . So, it and the body of that damn el Las kid will be consumed as the fuel to widen up the Fissure for good . Even if things get delayed, in two days’ time, everything will come to an end . ”
In other words, this was the worst of all possibilities . Kim Yu-Rin gritted her teeth .
“Then, what should we do now?” (Kim Yu-Rin)
“Well, you should decide . To abandon your home, and escape to another world . Or, fall together with this planet . ” (Bathory)
When Bathory’s words ended, Kim Yu-Rin stumbled and sat down on the couch, as if some of her strength escaped .
It was then . Sae-Jin, who had been quietly listening while his gaze was fixed to the floor, raised his head .
“… . There’s something I’m curious about . ” (Sae-Jin)
Bathory glanced at Sae-Jin’s direction .
“Does that Feather function as something important?” (Sae-Jin)
“… . Hey, you . It’s from a demonic god . A damn demon god . It’s got the word ‘god’ in it, for crying out loud . How can you be even worse than me in language and stuff?” (Bathory)
“Whatever . So you’re saying it plays a crucial role, right? Then, we still might have more time than you think . ” (Sae-Jin)
“……You really are a hopelessly unsalvageable idiot, aren’t you?” (Bathory)
Even under the assault of Bathory’s sneering eyes, Sae-Jin simply chuckled and produced an item tucked away within himself .
It was an item procured on the spur of the moment, a jet-black and surprisingly hard feather – the Feather of Efrit .
Seeing this, Bathory’s eyes widened .
“But… . How?” (Bathory)
“Looks like it is the correct article, then, judging by your reaction . I knew instinctively that this thing was a weakness . So, I took it . ” (Sae-Jin)
“… . . Oh well . Sure, you did something good, but it’s all too late now . What you did was to delay something that was planned to happen tomorrow, for maybe two months, tops . ” (Bathory)
What she said was correct; no matter how positive they wanted to spin this, this one fact couldn’t be denied, causing yet another weighty bout of silence to descend in the room .
And so… . time continued to flow and soon, the day became night .
Sae-Jin didn’t have anything to do . Didn’t feel like holding another meeting, either . But, he didn’t dare to go home, not just yet .
He was trying to solve the problem, but ended up exacerbating the situation even further . Was it because he was too hasty…?
As if this thought was shared among the rest of the team members, not one of them thought about leaving the conference room .
However, Bathory had disappeared a long time ago . And Sae-Jin could only feel his chest tighten further in frustration .
He lied down on the couch and closed his eyes .
He didn’t mind at all if this whole situation turned out to be some sort of a bad dream . Not at all .
“… . Uhm, Guild Master?”
Someone’s voice spread out like a ripple in Sae-Jin’s consciousness .
“I have something to tell you . ” (Lillia)
When he opened his eyes a little, he saw Lillia . Like a mirage borne out of his fading dream, she seemed especially beautiful under the cover of darkness .
“Regarding… . ?” (Sae-Jin)
“For now, please come with me . ” (Lillia)
Sae-Jin rubbed his eyes a bit and looked around .
“I’m sure it’s fine, since everyone’s still asleep…” (Sae-Jin)
While grumbling to himself, Sae-Jin moved towards the barrier room Hazeline used to practice, located next to the conference room . After going as far as to activate the isolation barrier, Sae-Jin yawned out loudly and stared at Lillia .
“What did you want to tell me?” (Sae-Jin)
Lillia smiled thinly .
For some reason, Sae-Jin thought that smile was incredibly gentle and warm .
“Looks like we don’t have much time left, yes? Soon, the Fissure will open up in full . ” (Lillia)
“Ah, that… . ”
And here he was, almost forgetting it . Sae-Jin could only let out a bitter groan rising from deep within his heart .
“Wait . How did you find out?” (Sae-Jin)
He could not remember telling Lillia about what had happened .
She maintained that gentle smile and spoke some cryptic, enigmatic words to him .
“It’s going to be fine . All of us . And the planet . ” (Lillia)
“… . . Pardon?” (Sae-Jin)
Lillia was full of confidence . Obviously, Sae-Jin couldn’t understand .
Regardless, she relaxedly continued on with that smooth, gentle voice of hers .
“A Fissure will try to destroy a ‘world’ by inserting a gap of sorts in there . But surprisingly… because of that very gap, something that could definitely never occur without the existence of a Fissure, something with a hopelessly low percentage of succeeding, a miracle so miraculous – that very miracle is going to happen . ” (Lillia)
From her inner pocket, she pulled out a worn-out notebook that seemed to have bore witness to the cruel and unrelenting passage of time . Then, she pushed it at Sae-Jin .
“Please, read this . ” (Lillia)
Sae-Jin received the notebook with a confused face .
“It might break if I try to open it…” (Sae-Jin)
“It’s been treated with magic . ” (Lillia)
“Oh, is that so? … . . However, this thing… it seems awfully familiar . ” (Sae-Jin)
Something about this book seemed really familiar to him . Sae-Jin tilted his head while flipping over to the first page . And almost right away, he understood the reason why .
The dates jotted down, the sparse details of the daily happenings, and the feelings noted within…
This was a certain someone’s diary .
“This… is…” (Sae-Jin)
The revelation was shocking . It felt like he got struck in the back of his head by the Emillejong Bell, and now the insides were ringing like crazy . In that moment, he couldn’t even breathe, let alone string a sentence together . (TL: Apparently, the largest bell in the Korean peninsula . Google it if you’re curious . )
Lillia smiled again while looking at him .
And as if she was trying to imprint every single word in his head, she spoke carefully .
“This notebook, it’s your diary . To be more specific, it’s a diary written by the future version of you… . Something like that . ” (Lillia)
“……… . . Huh . ”
A wry, bitter chuckle escaped his mouth .
One could traverse through time by entering the Fissure .
He knew this already, but he honestly did not expect things to turn out quite like this .
“Please, read everything in it . ” (Lillia)
“For, for now, let’s… . Let’s go somewhere else . ” (Sae-Jin)
Sae-Jin did his best to rein his quaking mind and hid the diary within his inner pocket .
Sae-Jin went to a nearby hotel and after getting a room, began reading the diary . He spent the whole day reading it . There were things he was embarrassed to share with others; there were many missing dates too, as if he was too busy to write something down; and the most important part, the part about what happened after the Fissure completely broke open, was somewhat hazy and vague in detail .
“This book of prophecy, no, this diary has been our most sacred holy book, even now . Without this, we’d still be dreaming the false dream of returning to our homeworld . ” (Lillia)
“Okay, fine, but… . Just when did, uh, ‘me’… . give you this?” (Sae-Jin)
“Probably, around 70 years ago . Maybe . ” (Lillia)
“You look considerably young for that, though?” (Sae-Jin)
“It’s only my external appearance that looks young . ” (Lillia)
“Ha, haha…” (Sae-Jin)
But more importantly, 70 years – that was a long time ago . No, perhaps, it could have been even longer than that . Sae-Jin began smiling bitterly at the thought .
Lillia tightly held his hand . And with a somewhat unsure face, she spoke words that seemed a bit out of the blue .
“The earth, and us, we were fated to be saved . By Mister Sae-Jin’s hands . ” (Lillia)
Her voice contained a heavy dosage of determined reverence .
“… . I’m not planning to run away from this, so you don’t have to console me . It seems like it’s already set in stone, anyways . If I can save myself, the planet, all those precious to me, then it’s for the better, I guess… . But, it sure doesn’t feel so good if I think about what’s to come, you know?” (Sae-Jin)
Sae-Jin forcibly squeezed out a smile and asked a question he was really curious about .
“But, just what did this diary have to do with the Vampire Lord?” (Sae-Jin)
That thing the Lord said, the prophecy that still remained fleeting in his head – just how did this book relate to those words?
“This original book was kept within me via Spiritualisation, while I had a copy made to resemble an ‘ancient tome’, and had it stored in an underground vault . The Lord took away that copy and researched it . ” (Lillia)
“… . Wait a minute . Are you saying the Vampires have been researching my diary?!” (Sae-Jin)
“Fuhut . No . No, they weren’t doing that . The only one researching your diary was the Lord, no one else . The other Vampires were researching the real ancient tome we brought along from our homeworld . ” (Lillia)
“Aha… . I was way off the mark, wasn’t I . ” (Sae-Jin)
“Yes, somewhat . ” (Lillia)
The conversation tinged with slight humour only lasted for an all-too brief second, before a strange silence filled the gap .
*SFX for ticking of a clock*
The ticking of the second hand felt so sharp in this moment .
After looking down on the diary for a while, Sae-Jin grumbled in a voice that sounded a little dejected .
“By the way, if things unfold as this diary says, then… it might get a bit depressing . Ah, maybe the boredom should be a bigger worry than depression, instead . ” (Sae-Jin)
“… . Whatever happens, you’ll have to forfeit a lot of things . ” (Lillia)
Lillia gazed at him with those pair of gentle eyes . Sae-Jin met her gaze .
“Perhaps, do you seek company? I’m always ready… . ” (Lillia)
It seemed that she mistook his gaze for something else entirely, judging by the way she began to undo the buttons of her dress…
“There’s no need . Please leave . I’d like to be alone for now . ” (Sae-Jin)
“Eh? But, in your diary, we… Ah, that was a prank?!” (Lillia)
“… . Fut . For now, let me be alone . Please . ” (Sae-Jin)
Thanks to her, he did feel a little bit better .
When the dawn’s sun rose, Sae-Jin left the hotel . He wandered the streets aimlessly, while holding the Feather of Efrit in one hand . The demon god’s inheritance – the things that needed to be done with it were quite clear to him .
In that case, was there a reason for him to tremble in fear and hesitate?
Sae-Jin shook away all unnecessary thoughts and then, chucked the Feather into his mouth .
As it was written on the ‘diary’, many, many alert windows popped up .
However, he didn’t feel the usual joy of evolution . He also didn’t feel depressed, either . He didn’t even feel the burning sense of duty, too . No, rather unexcitingly, he just felt that this was something he simply had to do .[Condition complete: The Wolf that kills gods, Fenrir . ]
– The dormant potential sleeping within explodes forth, after ingesting the Feather of Efrit .
– However, as the quantity isn’t enough, the host can only transform into Fenrir for ‘one day’ .
What the hell is a bloody Fenrir now?!
A groan automatically escaped from his mouth .
< 48 . Waves (2) > fin .