Causing rain to fall was a rather easy job for me . After I gathered water particles in the atmosphere and created cumulonimbus clouds, rain fell on the following day .
“Oh, here he comes!”
Under the grey sky and thick, incessant falling rain drops, I entered the roadside tavern while raindrops slid off the large straw hat I was wearing at the time, to find men from yesterday waiting for me with stunned faces .
“Fella, you have the divine touch!”
The first guy to talk to me showed off an especially exaggerated reaction . He barged his way through and occupied a seat right next to mine .
“Haha . Barmaid, a bowl of rice and soup, please . ” (Sae-Jin)
First things first, I ordered food . Meanwhile, the guy asked me with a face of a man dying of curiosity .
“How did you know?”
“I simply asked god, that’s all . ” (Sae-Jin)
Both eyes of the man went extra round .
“Are you saying you can talk to a god?”
“Well, something like that . ” (Sae-Jin)
“That is amazing!”
While we laughed and conversed in not very important topics, my grub was placed on the table .
And well, I could see that the amount had doubled compared to yesterday .
“Ohh, looks delicious . ” (Sae-Jin)
“You know, the next district to ours is also suffering through a drought, so, is it possible to find out when it’ll rain over there?”
Hearing the man’s query, I smiled deeply while shoving the rice in my mouth .
“Most likely, about two days later . ” (Sae-Jin)
“Two days later… . Ah, dang it . We haven’t even introduced ourselves, yet, have we? I am called Yi Si-Eup . And you’re… . ”
“Unni~, Here’s your ingredients~ . ”
It was then, a refreshingly open and honest voice tickled my ears . I took a glance and saw a young girl . The guy followed my gaze, and then grinned lewdly while poking my side with his elbow .
“It seems like your eyes are working just fine, huh . She’s the most beautiful girl in our village, you see . She’s a bit on the young side, but well, her age’s just about right to get married, don’t you think so?” (Yi Si-Eup)
“… . . ”
To call her the most beautiful was… . Maybe my standard had risen or something, but she only seemed just about above average to me . Couldn’t be sure whether such a view was because of the era I was in or not, though .
I smirked slightly and shook my head .
“I already have someone waiting for me . ” (Sae-Jin)
“But, you haven’t even had sangtu done yet?” (TL: Sangtu is a hairstyle reserved only for “adult” males in the Joseon-era Korea . )
“… . Keum . I will have it done once I go back home . ” (Sae-Jin)
“Is that right? How regrettable . Hum, hum . Oii, barmaid, give me the same rice and soup bowl as this young man over here . ”
However, Yi Si-Eup received only half a bowl and as a side dish, and received an earful of complaints . The barmaid, the tavern owner as it turned out, told him to settle his tab first .
I grinned faintly and gazed at the two, then felt a pair of eyes on me .
Turning my head around, I found that ‘most beautiful girl in the county’ staring at me quite openly .
When our eyes met, she shyly averted her gaze, somewhat in a hurry .
But soon enough, her eyes stealthily sought me out again, only to meet my gaze once more .
“!!!! U, unni, I’m going now . ”
In the end, she left the tavern as if running away .
“Heuhmmm . ”
Hmm . Without a doubt, the ‘value’ of my appearance was great, no matter what era it was .
I swept my hair back, full of unnecessary pride .
But, well – it seemed that the folks of the village were far more interested in me predicting the rain, rather than how I looked like .
A short time passed by before more villagers rushed in to the tavern .
As if the rumour had gotten around, even the people from the neighbouring villages showed up hurriedly and asked about the rain .
“… . You might get some rain at your side around four days from today . ” (Sae-Jin)
“W, what about our village?”
“You don’t have to worry, as it’ll rain there very soon . ” (Sae-Jin)
After that day, I somehow ended up acting as a spokesperson for the gods .
But I found it quite fun, being among the simple and honest folks .
And as I began staying within the village, even a few housewives developed a sort of ‘interest’ in me as well .
Of course, the ‘most beautiful girl’ in the village was included in that group, but well, my standards had been increased after being together with Yu Sae-Jung for so long… . I came up with an excuse of me being an aimless wanderer, and politely declined all of their advances .
A week went by, and the time for me to go to ‘sleep’ arrived once more .
“You’re heading off now?”
“Yes . I shall return in three months’ time . ” (Sae-Jin)
“Three months, you say… . How regrettable . You were indeed the only person I could talk to properly around here . Folks around these parts are too simple and straightforward, you see . ”
“Haha . I actually preferred that, Yi Si-Eup ong . ” (TL: “Ong” is an archaic form of honorific, used to address an older male . )
I lowered my head .
“Be safe on your way . And don’t forget to stop by . ”
With the dignified farewell from the man, Yi Si-Eup, behind me, I left the village that I grew rather fond of during this short stay .
Beneath the deep sea that seemed to swallow all sunlight, I opened my eyes . Already, three months had gone by .
I checked the alert windows first . Too bad, the Leviathan Form only grew by a fraction of a percent .
A disappointed groan automatically escaped my mouth . However, that groan morphed into a violent underwater storm and rushed towards the surface . Startled silly by this mistake, I quickly reined in the wayward flow of water and reverted back to the human’s appearance .
Once I got to the shore, I yawned out loudly and stretched my limbs out . Then, I headed back to the village .
It’d been only three months, yet the most beautiful girl in the village, the one who was said to like me very much, had settled down with another dude already . The husband was a farmer well known in the village for being honest and hard-working . She was somewhat flustered by my resurgence, but I simply congratulated with a generous smile .
Yi Si-Eup welcomed me back with open arms . He didn’t ask me about the rain, though – but did inquire if I’d be willing to help out during the Autumn harvest . Of course, I agreed to do it . Well, I was confident of working harder and smarter than a cow, at any rate .
However, I realised how difficult it was . Harvesting required skill, far more than actual physical strength, as it turned out .
But, maybe due to the Goblin’s Craftsmanship Skill, I was able to rapidly adopt to the job . By the end of the fourth day, I had become the greatest farmer on earth – going so as far as to take on the entire village’s workload by myself .
The week’s worth of time flew by like an arrow as I helped out with the harvest, and I had to go and sleep once more .
I bid everyone a much harder farewell compared to the last time and returned to the ocean .
Afterwards, every three months, when the seasons changed, I visited the same village .
The villagers always welcomed me back, and fun things always happened there .
This was a simple life, a lifestyle I found to be my liking .
However… . the villagers and I weren’t living on the same flow of time; as the days went by, sorrowful events began to occur .
Three years later, the very first person to engage me in small talk, Yi Si-Eup, contracted tuberculosis and passed away .
Two years after that, his wife also passed on .
A year after that, the barmaid of the tavern I frequented came down with an illness . Naturally, the tavern had to close .
It was over six years to them . It was just over three months for me .
With that much time passing by, it became increasingly difficult to visit the village anymore . People began suspecting me who didn’t seem to age one bit . Some started treating me as if I was a god, while a few idiots who thought I was some kind of a devil also emerged .
And so, I had to leave the village for good .
Afterwards, I never remained in one village for too long, and wandered around without a destination .
Flowers bloomed and wilted countless times; monsoon flooded the world numerous times; and snow dyed the ground white many more times .
I thought of living through the ages as my duty, a job that I had to do and lived on, while disinterestedly watching the world flow by .
Coincidentally, I ran into ‘Dasan’ Jeong Yak-Yong . (TL note at the end . )
Just as he was known in the history book, I got to see his saint-like actions first hand .
And then, the period of In-Law Governance of the Joseon era, that would eventually cause the downfall of the kingdom, began . Every village I went to, people seemed to get more distrusting and callous than before; and the number of highwaymen attacking travelers increased as well .
When Gojong became the new king, his royal regent Prince Yi Ha-Eung seized all political power .
He controlled all the royal relatives, pursued isolation policy, and enjoyed his rise to prominence for a while .
But his wild ambitions couldn’t last long .
An unidentified battleship entered the territorial waters of Ganghwa island .
It was the Ganghwa island incident of 1875 .
Completely humiliated by a lone warship, Joseon was forced to sign the Treaty of Ganghwa on February 27, 1876 .
On Gapsin-nyun, a coup happened . But the gallant youths couldn’t even endure until the first signs of snow melting, and either died or ran away .
The Donghak Peasant Revolution failed, and I witnessed the announcement of the Protectorate Treaty between Japan and Joseon .
And on first of March that year, I watched as the sadness and anger of the citizens who had lost their country spread out like the undulating ripples on the water’s surface .
I saw the young men of this country, forcibly drafted into military service because of another’s imperialistic desire to conquer .
However, the sun still rose every morning, and time continued to flow by without care .
Today, five hundred years after my arrival in 1440, was August 15th, 1940, exactly five years before the liberation from the Japanese Occupation .
“Alcohol… is it . ”
I was walking on the streets of Gyeongseong, when I spotted a Western-style establishment that had opened its doors not too long ago . I haven’t touched a drop of the good stuff for the past 100 years or so . Having had my interest piqued, I headed there . (TL: Gyeongseong was the name of Seoul while under Japanese Occupation . )
*SFX for a doorbell chiming*
The bell clanged loudly as I pushed the door open . There were quite a few patrons within the joint, yet, there must be something about my tall height and the dignified-looking long beard – everyone’s attention was focused on me almost immediately .
For now, I pulled my hat down deeply and found an empty spot at the bar, then ordered a glass of expensive imported liquor . As I was taking a couple of sips, a certain man not too far from me caught my eyes .
He had a pair of straight-cut eyebrows; his lips were resolutely shut, and his eyes gleamed sharply, as if he was staring into the far off distance .
His appearance alone showed that he was a man’s man, yet, as far as performing his duties went, he seemed to be a complete noob .
There was this faint whiff of chemicals from his bag, and then, he was nervously checking his watch every five minutes or so .
I could tell that he was a man about to do something ‘very big’ .
I spoke to a barkeep and sent a bottle of the most expensive tipple this joint had over to that guy .
He seemed quite flustered initially, but when he finally located me, he bowed his head in thanks .
I didn’t stop there, and initiated a conversation with him .
“What’s your name?” (Sae-Jin)
The man seemed to be surprised at my Korean and trembled a little bit, but still managed to answer me .
“It’s Yu Hyung-Jin . ”
Yu Hyung-Jin… . . Yu Hyung-Jin . When I thought about it, I realised I had heard of this name before .
I tilted my head a little and asked him .
“By any chance, do you have a son?” (Sae-Jin)
The man, Yu Hyung-Jin, deliberated a bit before answering me .
“… . I do . ”
“May I ask for his name?” (Sae-Jin)
“Why are you suddenly inquiring after my child’s name?”
“Is it fine to think of it as the payment for the drink?” (Sae-Jin)
Only then, he replied with a slightly unwilling face .
“… . It’s Yu Dae-Ho . ”
Suddenly, a lightbulb went off in my head .
Yu Dae-Ho .
That was the name of Yu Sae-Jung’s grandfather . The founder of the Dawn Corporation, too .
And this man here, Yu Hyung-Jin . The father of Yu Dae-Ho, he was a freedom fighter who carried out a bombing five years before the liberation . But, he unfortunately didn’t get to see the new dawn’s sun rising; he breathed his last after five years of being locked up behind the bars .
Wasn’t the award the Dawn Corporation gave to outstanding people of the society called ‘Yu Hyung-Jin’ award?
“And who you might be, asking these strange questions?” (Yu Hyung-Jin)
Yu Hyung-Jin asked with a suspicious glint in his eyes . Seeing that his hand was lowering towards his waist, he must be reaching towards his revolver .
“I am the same human as you . ” (Sae-Jin)
While speaking like this, I pulled out a lump of pure yellow thing from my inner pocket . Since it was cumbersome to carry all the different currency of the history, I chose to carry around a few items of value instead, and now was the perfect time to use them .
Yu Hyung-Jin looked at me with a confused face and asked again .
“Same human as me…?” (Yu Hyung-Jin)
“I was searching for you until now . ” (Sae-Jin)
“Searching for me?” (Yu Hyung-Jin)
“That’s right . Carrying out an important mission would mean nothing if your family goes to bed starving . Take these, and use them for your child’s education . ” (Sae-Jin)
I handed over four 500g gold ingots to him . Yu Hyung-Jin’s eyes were dyeing in the colours of pure panic .
“These are pure gold . No matter what anyone else says, they are gold . Remember that, and take them . ” (Sae-Jin)
“W, why are you…”
“I told you . For your child’s education . ” (Sae-Jin)
Yu Hyung-Jin swallowed nervously . But, I couldn’t see a single trace of greed in his eyes, only the desperation he felt for the family he was about to leave behind .
“What are you waiting for? Take them with you, already . ” (Sae-Jin)
When I urged him on, he hesitantly reached out towards the gold ingots .
Just as his hands touched the gold, I roughly grabbed his arm .
“You must swear you will never use these for your personal gain . You must swear that you’ll never give these to the resistance movement, and that you will only spend them for your family . ” (Sae-Jin)
Well, these gold ingots needed to become the starting capital for Yu Dae-Ho in the future, after all .
Yu Hyung-Jin stared at me with dumbfounded eyes, and soon, nodded his head .
“…I will . ”
After that encounter with the unexpected person, I headed back to the hotel I was staying at .
Pouring myself another glass of that imported liquor, I sat down on a chair and opened my diary .
The diary that I looked at whenever I missed everyone so much, whenever I was about to lose sense of who I was . There were stains from my fingers, along with dried spots of tears, clearly visible on the pages .
“I have waited for a really long time, haven’t I . ” (Sae-Jin)
Enduring for over 500 years, the day I encountered Lillia for the first time was drawing nearer .
The date was another five years after the liberation .
I’ve already heard about the very first place Lillia began her journey on this planet from her own mouth, so I knew where to go .
It’d been a long time, and my heart began pounding heavily once more .
Finally, the independence arrived, and within the desperate poverty of the people, five years flew by .
And the date today was June 20th, 1950 – five days before the Korean War commenced .
I went to the underwater cavern near Gangwon Province, the one Lillia told me about . She said that, back then, she was the Nosferatu’s advanced scout and had crossed over before everyone else, in order to suss out potential places for her clansmen to live .
And well, I found her – a silhouette of an old man with his bent back, checking out the cavern with the head tilted slightly as if deep in thought . If I pull off that robe, then she’d return to the appearance of a woman .
I sneaked to her rear and lightly tapped on her shoulder .
“Hi there . ” (Sae-Jin)
Her robe melted away powerlessly, and Lillia screamed out in curse words while falling on her rear .
“… . ?”
Even I was taken back . Was Lillia’s original personality like this? That face definitely belonged to Lillia, so… .
Her face completely reddened now, Lillia continued to pour out curses as if she had no clue of my inner turmoil .
“Stpem fabohac racehobiack!!!”
“… . Speak in Korean, will you . ” (Sae-Jin)
“I told you to speak in Korean . ” (Sae-Jin)
As if she had finally understood me, Lillia took several deep breaths, and then… .
“What the f*ck!!!! Who the f*ck are you, you son of a b*tch?!” (Lillia)
I became completely speechless .
But, well – me getting older wasn’t a waste of time, after all . I had matured enough not to get flustered by the advent of an unexpected situation, and be able to figure out what was going on calmly enough .
Right . 70 years into the past, then her age would be just about on the money for the youthful, energetic phase .
Didn’t someone once say that even a mighty mountain would change in ten years? In that case, such a massive change in personality could certainly happen, sure .
“Die! Die! Diiiiie!!” (Lillia)
Well before I could gather myself properly, Lillia began swinging her sharp nails quite aggressively .
I easily evaded her attacks, reached out with my hand, and tightly grasped her neck .
Five minutes later… .
“I’m terribly sorry… . . ”
She was kneeling on the floor with a black eye decorating her face .
< 49 . The Wait (4) > Fin .
(“Dasan” Jeong Yak-Yong: a Korean philosopher who lived between 1762 to 1836 . ‘Dasan’ is a title he was known by, and it simply means ‘the mountain of tea’ . He has a Wikipedia page in English if you’re curious . )
(The Ganghwa Island Incident refers to when a Japanese warship entered Joseon’s territorial waters under the pretext of searching for drinkable water . Battle ensued and Joseon lost, leading to the signing of the Treaty which gave Japan a lot of benefits . )
(Gapsin Coup has also a dedicated Wikipedia page in English . A Gapsin-nyun is an ancient calendar system used in Joseon era – in the modern calendar system, it’s 1884 . Think of it as those Edo or whatever system you read about in Japanese WN, and you’re almost there)
(Donghak Peasant Revolution also has a fairly substantial Wikipedia page, in English . Go check it out if you’re interested, especially if you wish to find out what eventually led to the Sino-Japanese War – the clue: this failed revolution . )
(Japan-Korea Protectorate Treaty was signed on at the end of February, 1904 . Another one was signed on 1905, which completely deprived Korea of sovereignty . The dedicated Wikipedia page can tell you a lot more than me and this small space, so if you have the time, check it out . )
(As an aside, I’d like to “thank” this author for making me Google all these historical facts . I really appreciate it . Not . )