Chapter 226 - COSMOS (2)
Crockta stood in the darkness. The grey god wasn’t present. An abyss surrounded him.
'The cosmos,’ Someone whispered. The owner of the voice couldn’t be seen. Crockta looked around and saw a small fire in the darkness. What was it? His body moved towards the fire.
‘The last sun.’
It was glowing red. He saw a blue planet orbiting the sun. Elder Lord. The sea, the sky, and the continent could be seen. The wide land of Elder Lord was spread out like a map.
Crockta looked at the sun again. A god was sleeping in the midst of it. His sacrifice led to the sun surviving. After he went into a long and deep sleep, the sun gained strength and was able to emit more heat. The sleeping sun.
Crockta looked back. There was a vast universe. No lights were present. The sun of Elder Lord was the last fire left in this universe. The scene of the universe cooling down forever. In the midst of it, Crockta found a dead god. The hollow eyes of the dead star god.
Time quickly passed. The world gradually cooled down. The final light turned off. The sun could no longer maintain the planet. Elder Lord became a dead planet and deviated from its orbit. The universe expanded. The galaxies, stars, and planets that were far away. Thus, the universe entered into an eternal freeze and the planet sank into an eternal void without power.
Absolute zero. The big freeze. The end of the universe.
Crockta closed his eyes. It was the end of the world, and someday Jung Ian’s world would reach the same end.
There was nothing there. Nothing.
He kept his eyes closed. The darkness behind his eyelids was brighter than the darkness in front of his eyes. The eternal silence continued.
A few seconds.
Or a few days.
Or several years.
Perhaps hundreds of millions of years. The meaning of time was forgotten as Crockta fell.
In that eon. Crockta heard something.
He opened his eyes. It was still dark in front of him. However, the beating sound continued to ring in Crockta’s ears.
Before long, a line appeared in the darkness. It was an indescribable color and was beating with a slow tempo. It was there. In the universe where all the stars died, the planets were destroyed and everything was frozen. That line alone shone brilliantly.
It connected the vast universe. It penetrated through the emptiness and hopelessness. The past and present were connected by that single line.
At one point in the line, Crockta and the grey god stood. They were facing each other when Beelzebub swallowed them. The line penetrated the grey god, Crockta, Beelzebub, all of them. They were dancing on that line.
He moved his gaze. Another point on the line was Jung Ian on Earth. He was lying like he was dead in a capsule. His sister Yiyu was walking around him. They were still on that one line. A little further away, Han Yeori was leaning on the counter. She hummed with a blank expression. She was staring at the cafe floor as if she was waiting for someone.
Furthermore, he saw the crowds stopped in the streets. Everyone was staring at the screen. On it, Crockta and the grey god were attacking each other. This crowd and the world were on a single line. This universe was still young. Earth had plenty of time. But someday, it would fall. From the beginning Big Bang to the landscape of eternal sinking, everything was on this line.
He returned back here, to Elder Lord. The line beat faster.
Crockta saw everything. Antuak’s weary face. Gushantimur’s calm expression. Grant, Thompson, Jeremy. Enyanis, Elsanad, Ilya. Eileen, Kapur, Rakuta. Yona and Zelkian. Akantor and Zakiro.
The many people he had met. He saw all of them. Even the gods couldn't escape this line. It was a colorful line that penetrated everything, pulsing with a slow tempo.
He wondered what this line was. In addition, the color. Why was it so radiant? The line went on and on. The vast universe, the dimension of Elder Lord and the dimension of Earth, they were all on this line.
Unknown universes and worlds he didn’t know there penetrated by this line. The past and present stayed on this line. It headed towards a new place.
Crockta followed that line. Time and space moved backward. He reached a wall. The line passed over the wall. Crockta couldn’t get a glimpse of it. It was a solid wall of unknown identity. He gazed into the hole where the line penetrated the wall.
But he couldn’t see anything. He moved his eyes closer and frowned. Then the line beat faster again.
It vibrated in the niche for a while. After a brief moment, Crockta was able to see beyond that small gap.
Tears flowed from Crockta’s eyes. Who knew?
Once again, Crockta stood in the darkness.
The voice said, ‘My child who swore honor to me.’
He came in the voice and in the eyes. A forgotten existence that no one remembered. However, he was always whispering. He whispered towards the universe.
Crockta’s grasped the handle of his sword. God Slayer. But it wasn’t what he knew. The radiant line penetrating the world was wrapped around God Slayer. Every time the world stirred, God Slayer also jumped. The slow tempo of the universe was transmitted to God Slayer in Crockta’s hand.
Now, he was standing in front of the grey god again. The moment that Beelzebub swallowed them with his huge mouth. They were the only ones standing there. Crockta felt the line penetrating the world, pushing at his back. It beat at a slow tempo, even at the beginning and end of the universe.
In front of his, her despair was nothing.
“Grey God.” Crockta called out to his enemy.
He came back here from the landscape of the universe. Time started to flow again. God Slayer no longer emitted flames, scattering a brilliant light instead. It was a color that didn’t exist in the world.
The grey god saw it.
She was right. The end of the world was futile. The ending was an absolute power that converged into an eternal freeze. But at the same time, she didn’t know. Even that great void was just a handful of dust under the great laws of the universe.
The existences living in the universe were just specks of dust, but even that universe was a tiny point under a great harmony. That eternal time were held in the bosom of a greater eternity. The vast landscape of the universe was dancing on this line.
That line would make a three-dimensional body and would flow into a new time. It was a repeated rising and sinking of new dimensions.
“Did you see?”
For a brief moment, she witnessed the same scenery as Crockta due to the radiant light from God Slayer.
She realized it. “I...”
Her spirit, worn down by fear, didn’t see beyond the sinking. She saw the death that everyone didn’t see; however, she didn’t, couldn’t see beyond the death. It was there.
“But it is too late.”
Her face distorted. The spell had already started. A runaway train couldn’t be stopped. It was steadily moving to the reversal of entropy.
Tears flowed from her eyes. Why had she never seen it? Had she known a little earlier, she would’ve realized the truth that nothing in the world was in vain. This world would continue.
“Grey God.” Then he called out to her again.
She saw the orc warrior in front of her. Crockta was clearly facing the world as always.
“You still haven’t seen it properly.”
His eyes were reddened but he saw the world much clearer compared to her blurred vision.
"Actually, nothing is too late.”
The grey god’s eyes widened.
Crockta wielded God Slayer. His blade moved slowly. It split apart the divinity of the grey god. He broke apart Beelzebub’s greedy mouth wrapped around them. The universe bent along the trajectory of God Slayer. The world bowed. It crossed the white sphere in the sky.
The world became an indescribable color. The brilliant light filled his field of view.
In this marvelous landscape, Crockta stared at the line of the universe. It beat slowly from beginning to end. Forever.
The pulse of the world. In that pulsing line, Crockta found one spot. Then he realized. Why he reached this place.
The sun went down. The wind blew. There was a tree. One leaf fell off the tree. That one leaf. The falling leaf was the beginning of everything.
The woman picked up the leaf on her shoulder. She stopped and looked at the falling leaves. This was the season. The friend walking with her burst out laughing.
“Leaves are falling. Isn’t this a good sign?”
“Yes. Today I even saw a handsome man. "
They stopped walking. They looked at each other for a moment.
"Do you want to have a cup of coffee over there?”
They were going to separate soon. The leaf on the shoulder led them to see a cafe. There weren’t many customers in the cafe. There was a pretty handsome man sitting at a window seat. He was talking with a strange looking middle-aged man in an improved hanbok.
As she imagined what their relationship was, her friend spoke, "In regards to Elder Lord, I managed to level up due to Oppa helping me. What about you?”
“Wah...I’m envious. He changed yesterday.”
"That pig suddenly touched my butt...I have truly bad luck.”
“What did you do? Did you report it? Why would he do that? Really?”
The women didn’t see. The handsome man sitting at the window seat became stiff after hearing their words. He spoke to the man sitting across from him.
"Elder Lord, how do I connect to it?”
"Have you changed your mind?”
The breeze pushed the leaf, the leaf pushed the woman and her voice pushed Jung Ian into the world of Elder Lord.
Then where did that breeze come from?
Lenox stood in Orcrox’s training ground. He didn’t stop practicing, even when he got older. He suddenly swung his axe.
"It is a strange feeling.”
It was a normal slash. Through it, Lenox touched the line penetrating the world. But he didn’t know what it was. It was because he hadn’t reached this realm yet.
“I don't know. If you continue training, one day you will reach it.”
The great warrior Lenox.
"Maybe a good recruit will appear and reach the realm that I couldn’t. Either way, it doesn’t matter.”
Then he swung his axe again. The world was all on a line. His ordinary swing touched the line of the world. At first, it was insignificant. It was such a subtle crack that nobody knew. But the ripple grew and spread, making a small fluctuation in a far-off planet.
The line shook and there was a slight breeze. It happened by chance. However, that ripple flowed down the line and created a small wind on a distant planet. That wind. At most, it was just a weak breeze that would barely register against someone’s cheeks.
That breeze caused a leaf to drop. The leaf soon landed on a woman’s shoulders. Everything was connected.
Crockta asked, “Did you arrange everything?”
‘I didn’t arrange it. I just watched.’
‘He’ was a voice, an idea. It was the response of the world that entered his soul.
Crockta faced him. ‘He’ waited for Crockta. There were many things Crockta wanted to ask. ‘He’ would know all the truths and laws of the world. However, Crockta realized that only one question was allowed to him.
Time lost all meaning. A few seconds, minutes, days, maybe hundreds of millions of years.
Crockta thought about it. In the midst of that radiant light, Crockta asked one last question, "What happens to the end of the universe?”
Crockta witnessed the world beyond the wall and the distant universes along the brilliant line. He couldn’t believe there was such a place in the universe. As long as there was such a place, the universe would never end. The landscape of the end that the grey god saw was just a breeze.
Life was always meaningful. It didn’t end with death.
The line started vibrating.
‘He’ laughed. The world laughed. The whole universe shook. ‘He’ replied.
‘All the civilizations in this universe have self-destructed before their suns cooled down.’
‘They hated each other and eventually killed each other.‘
‘Jealousy, envy and stealing.’
'Don’t be afraid of the distant future, but love each other in this moment.’
‘Love each other.’
‘Spread love, not hatred.’
‘It isn’t the end.’
‘Love one another.’
‘There is light.’
The voice placed a hand on Crockta’s shoulder. ‘He’ touched Crockta’s shoulder and whispered in his ear.
'You have proved it. My son.’
A forgotten god that no one remembered. He who was always watching them.
He wasn’t alone. Crockta smiled. Thus, his mission was over. It was a long fight. His weary shoulders slumped. Crockta whispered with a sigh.
"It was very hard.”
‘He’ replied, ‘I know.’
Crockta completed the final quest.
Beelzebub’s giant mouth swallowed Crockta and the grey god. Then there was a ray of shining light. Everything cracked. The first thing that disappeared was Beelzebub. His body split apart. The grey god standing there was also cut in half.
The last thing that sank. It crossed the white sphere floating in the sky. Crockta’s greatsword, God Slayer, wiped it out. As the sphere suddenly collapsed, white light began to emerge. It filled the world.
The white light enveloped the world. It painted the entire world of Elder Lord. Before long, it was gone like it didn’t exist from the beginning. Then one or two people started to get up from their seat. The mortals who lost their lives against the grey god, as well the gods with damaged divinity, rose from their spot.
The great magic. It contained the power to recreate the universe. Its true purpose was regeneration. The power, that collapsed before destroying the world, restored all the damage it created.
All the heroes and gods who stood up to save the world rose. They looked at one place. It was where Crockta was standing. In front of him was the grey god, who sat down and wept.
Everything was over. Crockta won.
The grey god, who had become desperate after seeing the end of the universe, and then drove the world to the brink of destruction, looked up at Crockta with tearful eyes.
“Never forget what you just saw.”
Crockta turned around. It was time. The final quest was over. It was time to leave.
"You have saved the world."
"We saved it together.”
The war god, who fought with him until the end, wrapped an arm around Crockta’s shoulder. Crockta shook hands with the goddess of magic. The god of light and goddess of mercy bowed. Tartatod raised his thumb. All the gods paid tribute to him.
He bumped fists with Hoyt. Kumarak hit his shoulder. Zankus stood shoulder to shoulder with him. Anya kissed his cheek. Tashaquil shook his hand. Wallachwi laughed. All orcs paid tribute to him.
Driden hit his shoulder. Adandator looked at him with a disheveled head. Gushantimur and Antuak smiled. The human heroes, elves, brave dwarves and clever gnomes greeted him. All species paid tribute to him.
He finally stood before Tiyo and Anor.
“Now it is time to leave.”
"Where are you going dot? We decided to travel the continent together!” Tiyo exclaimed.
The grey god’s perception change power had disappeared. Now they dimly knew what the curse of the gods was. Those cursed by the stars were travelers from another dimension, invited by the grey god.
"The grey god called me here. I don’t belong to this dimension.”
Tiyo had tears in his eyes. It was the first time he looked like this. Crockta laughed and said, “Sorry I couldn’t keep the promise.”
"An orc who can’t keep promises...”
“A man doesn’t cry.”
Crockta touched his shoulder. Then he looked at Anor, who was also teary-eyed, but he tried to smile.
"I'll see you off with a smile.”
“Thank you. Crockta saved me. I’ll never forget.”
"I will also never forget.”
Crockta hugged both Tiyo and Anor. The gnome and dark elf were pulled into the orc’s wide chest.
“Then.” Crockta gritted his teeth. The shorter the farewell, the better. “Goodbye.”
Crockta looked around at everyone as his body gradually turned into white particles. He saw every face looking at him. He smiled at the teary Tiyo, the forcefully smiling Anor, the colleagues he fought together with, and the allies who used to be enemies.
They were there. They never died.
'No, now you are the great warrior Crockta.’
They smiled and extended their fists towards Crockta.
‘Good work. Bul’tar!’
Within a short period of time, Crockta’s field of view turned white. It was farewell. Just before returning to Earth, Tiyo’s shout rang in his ears,
“I will see you again, Crocktaaaaaaaaaa!”
The Elder Lord incident was ended by Crockta. His identity was the highest ranked ‘Mystery’, but it wasn’t exactly clear who he really was.
The final quest was achieved. The people connected to Elder Lord returned.
Praise the Orc: Glossary Link.
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