Chapter 415: Holding Back the Tears (6)

Choi Han had lost consciousness while watching Eruhaben catching his falling body with a shocked expression.
Tons of memories had flown into his mind.

He had then become Choi Jung Soo.

“Hey, Jung Soo.”

Choi Han had become Choi Jung Soo, starting with Choi Jung Soo’s mom smiling and telling him something.

“Our family has stayed here for generations. We cannot leave.”
“Why not?”

His grandfather had faintly smiled and answered Choi Jung Soo’s question.

“I had a nephew…I guess he would be your uncle once removed. Anyway, it is because there is someone who needs to come back. There’s my younger brother as well… what would happen if they came back here thinking that they were back home only to not find anyone here?”

The young Choi Jung Soo had nodded at his grandfather’s explanation and smiled.
The largest tile-roofed house in the neighborhood. He liked this house and enjoyed watching his older cousins, his mom, and his dad moving around while punching or swinging wooden swords.

Choi Jung Soo slowly got older.
Choi Han had experienced everything as Choi Jung Soo.

Then one day as he finished his studies and prepared to take the exam to enter college in the physical education department…

The world turned into chaos.

Something that seemed straight out of a movie happened.
A terrible horror movie at that.

Once the first part of that movie ended…

“…I promise I will return.”

Choi Jung Soo had kowtowed twice while looking at the destroyed tile-roofed house.
Nobody lived in this house now. He worked hard while trying to repair it as much as possible, but the grandeur of this upright place was long gone.

“I will return… and turn this place back to how it used to be.”

Choi Jung Soo, the only survivor from this house, made a promise with everyone.
He then started to work for a company.

It was a company in an awkward position as it was neither a guild nor a government entity, but it was able to take on all sorts of jobs because of this ambiguous status.

“Oh! Are you the only other rookie? My name is Choi Jung Soo! Nice to meet you!”
“…Kim Rok Soo. Nice to meet you.”

Choi Jung Soo had warmly greeted his new colleague.

“Time to go on a business trip.”
“Team-leader-nim, you mean to go to work, right?”
“Same difference.”

Choi Jung Soo started to do all sorts of jobs with his fellow rookie Kim Rok Soo, team leader Lee Soo Hyuk, and the others on their team.
He was always getting hurt and doing the hard tasks because he was responsible for fighting in the vanguard.

It was still bearable.
It was because he had people who were like family, no, because he had a new family.

Choi Jung Soo's memories had continued.

‘I hope peace returns to Earth and we can all live happily ever after.’

He had looked at his teammates and started to think.

‘I'm going to take everyone to my hometown. The tile-roofed house is large, and it looks like I already convinced the team leader-nim and Kim Rok Soo!’

He could smile while thinking about the future every so often as they completed their missions.
It was a pure smile that was not forced.

However, he was always worried.
This world was one where he never knew when he would die.

‘Looks like that time is finally here.’

Choi Jung Soo had to face a time when his concerns had become reality.

“…Choi Jung Soo.”
“I'm okay, team leader-nim.”

He smiled and responded to Lee Soo Hyuk. However, his gaze could not move away from the large monster.

It was the appearance of the monster that Kim Rok Soo had predicted.
That monster was beyond their wildest imaginations.

‘I might die.’

He couldn't help but have that thought.

“Pfft.”

He could hear team leader Lee Soo Hyuk laughing. Jung Soo turned his head to see Lee Soo Hyuk stoically start to speak while pointing at his hand that was holding the sword.

“You can talk like that while your hand is shaking that much?”

Jung Soo could see his shaking hand. He then started to smile and asked as if nothing was wrong.

“Hyung, is it that obvious?”
“Yes. Very obvious.”
“Ay, that’s too bad.”

The team leader had shaken his head at Jung Soo’s response. He then sent the signal.

“Attack! Use the paths that Kim Rok Soo predicted!”

All of their teammates had started to charge toward the monster.

“Team leader, the three o’clock direction! Two of you head North while three go Northwest!”

Choi Jung Soo listened to Kim Rok Soo's support from the back as he pulled out his sword.

Baaaaaang!

His final battle started by slamming away at the monster’s leg.

“Haaa…, haaa….”

Choi Jung Soo felt his body slowly get heavier.

‘Damn it! This crazy monster bastard!’

Choi Jung Soo’s face was filled with venomous aura as he glared at the monster.
It was too strong.
He didn’t know how they would defeat it.

He looked around.

“…This crazy!”

Some of his teammates were already dead.
Many of the others were injured badly like himself.

He felt as if they would all die if they didn’t run away.

They needed to run in order to survive.

It was at that moment.
He heard an unfamiliar voice.

  • Death is not fated for you. Why are you trying to die? He had ended up intervening earlier because of that.

Flinch.

Choi Jung Soo’s body started to shake.

‘What is this voice?
Who is it?’

There were fear and curiosity in his voice. However, the unfamiliar voice did not respond to him. It only said what it needed to say.

  • I will make you a proposal.

Choi Jung Soo had lost all sense of reality because of this unfamiliar voice.

  • I will let you live.

It felt as if his heart was sinking.
Choi Jung Soo subconsciously started to pay attention to that voice.

The promise to let him live.

  • However, you need to go to a different world. That world will welcome you. You'll meet a lot of great people.

‘What is it saying?’

Choi Jung Soo was lost because of these sudden statements.

  • This situation is so unique that I am giving you a choice, unlike your ancestors.

Choi Jung Soo recalled what his grandfather had told him after hearing the voice mention his ancestors. His grandfather had told him about the sorrows of their family once he got older and became a high school student.

‘They suddenly disappeared. It was like magic. We never heard from them again. How did our household end up facing such issues……’

Choi Jung Soo, who frequently read fantasy novels, realized something as he recalled his grandfather’s words and this unfamiliar voice.
Then it started to speak again.

  • I will let you live. I can promise you that.

‘I can live.’

Those words struck Choi Jung Soo's mind like thunder.
It was at that moment.

Baaaaang!

A loud explosion filled the area.
Choi Jung Soo could see one of his teammates holding up a metal board to block the piece of a building wall the monster flung toward his direction.
He could see his teammate's back.

“Ugh!”

The teammate had held up the metal board as if it was a shield, however, he was pushed back and rammed into Choi Jung Soo.
He then turned around and glared at Choi Jung Soo.

“Hey! Choi Jung Soo!”
“…Kim Rok Soo.”
“Snap out of it! Do you want to die?! Why are you suddenly blanking out?!”

‘Ah.’

Choi Jung Soo realized that he had blanked out for a moment.
The unfamiliar voice continued to speak.

  • You see? You’re in grave danger. Don't you want to live?

It was a tempting offer.
Choi Jung Soo's sense of reality shook once again.
The monster launched another attack at that moment.

“Ugh!”

His teammate Kim Rok Soo’s body was flung aside and rolled on the ground.
The metal board he had picked up as a temporary piece of defensive equipment was crushed as well.
Kim Rok Soo’s arm had twisted in an odd direction.

“Ugh, crazy bastard! Snap out of it!”

Choi Jung Soo could see Kim Rok Soo grabbing his injured arm and shout toward him again.
The punk who was bleeding from his mouth because he had used too much of his power, the punk who had no offensive strength at all, was shouting at him.

He finally completely snapped out of it.
His sense of reality had returned once again.

  • You almost died again. What do you think, do you want to go with me?

Slap!

Choi Jung Soo slapped his cheek.
He then reached his hand out.

“What the hell?”
“Why are you so shocked, you punk. Just support us from the rear!”

Choi Jung Soo pulled Kim Rok Soo to him by the collar before jumping up with him.

Baaaaaang!

The large monster’s attack charged past the spot they had been standing.

“Ah, why are you pushing?! You made me fall! Can’t you see that my arm is broken?!”

Choi Jung Soo chuckled while listening to the grumbling Kim Rok Soo’s energetic voice.

“Who told the rear support to come all the way up here?”

He then said something he did not mean.
Of course, Choi Jung Soo knew what had happened. Kim Rok Soo had come up here to save him.

He looked around.
All of their teammates were fighting while putting half, no, almost their whole life at risk.

He wanted to do the same.
Wouldn't that be enough?
I'm going to live the way I want to live. Isn’t that the best?

Choi Jung Soo clenched onto the sword in his hand and charged toward the monster.

Attack and get hit.
Fall and get back up.
Swing the sword again and get sent flying.

“…Huff… huff. Huff……”

Choi Jung Soo finally crumbled.
He slowly started to be unable to breathe.
It was getting harder and harder to breathe. He had no strength or feeling in his body.

He was slowly losing his sight as he faintly made out his dead teammates.
Some thankfully died with their body intact while others died terrible deaths.

‘…The team leader too……’

Team leader Lee Soo Hyuk was in a similar condition as him.
He could also see Kim Rok Soo.

‘I'm relieved.’

It looked like at least one of them would survive.

Choi Jung Soo had never seen such an expression on Kim Rok Soo’s face before. He usually had a grumbling face that always talked in such an annoying way.
He didn’t like seeing this expression on Kim Rok Soo's face.

  • You don't regret your decision?

‘It's happening again.’

He was hearing that voice again.

  • Choi Jung Soo, wasn’t your dream to return to your hometown and live as a farmer? Is it okay to die like this?

He wanted to laugh.
Choi Jung Soo wanted to laugh out loud after hearing that. However, he responded internally as he had no strength to laugh.

‘Just something I said, just something I said in passing.’

What did he want to do once everything was over?
He had talked to team leader Lee Soo Hyuk about going down to the countryside and being farmers. He would have an orchard and save a plot of land to farm. He would also take this Kim Rok Soo who claimed he was going to be a slacker and put him to work.

If he left this punk to be a slacker, he was bound to go cause trouble somewhere. He and the team leader discussed making him farm with them, so that they won't have to go save his ass.
The other teammates said they would come to visit in the summer and help them harvest in the fall as long as they fed them meat.

They were all just talk.

It was the type of thing you talked about because you never knew when you would die. It would be great if it happened, but they were sharing their dreams as if they were jokes because the chances of it happening were slim. It was something like that.

‘That was all it was.’

Even thinking was becoming difficult for Choi Jung Soo.
He couldn’t see much anymore either.

He could hear Kim Rok Soo’s voice.

It didn't sound like crying, Kim Rok Soo was not someone who would cry until the end.
He seemed to be calling for him. But why did it sound like a shriek?

  • Is this your decision?

‘My decision?
Nah, things like this can happen as you live.
…Of course, I do want to live longer.
I want to live, but I can't leave alone.’

Choi Jung Soo could not respond anymore.

That weird voice was getting quieter.

  • Kim Rok Soo was the one who was supposed to die. But that has changed.

‘…Ah, I am a bit worried about Kim Rok Soo, that punk. I hope he lives a good life.’

Choi Jung Soo felt as if he was slowly being sucked into the darkness.
He couldn't hear anything anymore; nothing could reach him.

The unfamiliar voice continued to mumble.

  • There are only a few things left I can do. Humans really are interesting creatures.

Choi Jung Soo no longer has the strength to do anything.

  • Choi Han.

Choi Jung Soo flinched at that moment.
No, Choi Han had returned to his senses.

  • I am the God of Death. Maybe we will meet again in the future.

He heard a voice in his head.

“…Gasp!”

He then opened his eyes.

“Choi Han! You're finally awake.”

Click!

Choi Han slapped the hand heading toward him away. He could see that the person was shocked at his response, but he didn’t have time to think about that right now.

‘The memories, the memories-!’

Choi Jung Soo’s life, his memories, and his emotions were all flooding into Choi Han’s mind like a tsunami. It was hard to breathe.
A pain different than physical pain was shaking his mind.

“Huff…, huff. Huff……!”

He took a deep breath.
His sense of reality slowly started to return.

Drip. Drip.

Water drops started to fall onto the back of his hand.

“…You-”

He heard Eruhaben’s concerned voice.
However, these were not Choi Han’s own tears.

Choi Jung Soo.

These were that person’s tears.
No, these were the tears of the person who could have been his nephew.

The tiled-roof house that Choi Jung Soo had lived in.
That was his father’s house in his hometown.

Drip. Drip, drip.

The tears kept falling.
Choi Han did not understand why he was crying like this.

“Hey! What’s wrong? What is it?”

He could clearly see Eruhaben grabbing his shoulders with a shocked expression on his face.
Choi Han started to speak.

“…Kim Rok Soo.”
“What?”

Choi Han got up from the bed.
He then grabbed his scabbard resting next to him. It was the sword that Cale had given him. He looked down at the sword before asking Eruhaben a question.

“Where is Cale-nim right now?”
“Huh?”
“I must go there.”
“You don’t seem to be normal right now. Where do you think-”
“I’m going.”

That was how Choi Han had used a teleportation magic scroll to leave as soon as he opened his eyes.

And now…
The moment he took in the sight he teleported to…

“…What’s wrong with your face?”

Ron greeted Choi Han with a stiff expression rather than his usual benign smile. Clopeh Sekka was sitting on the ground next to him while looking at Choi Han, whose face was full of tear marks, as if he was looking at a crazy bastard.

Paaaat!

Eruhaben soon arrived as well.

“Eruhaben-nim.”

Choi Han ignored the statements and gazes of the others and pointed above him.

“Please use flight magic on me.”
“Haaaa. Alright, fine. In return-”
“I will apologize later. Thank you for taking care of me.”
“…Haaaa, really.”

Eruhaben cast flight magic on Choi Han.
Choi Han immediately flew up and started to move quickly.

  • Choi Han! Did you really cry? Were you having a nightmare? I will console you!

He ignored Raon's voice right now as well.
Choi Han started to fly quickly.

Baaaaang! Baaaaang!

He flew toward the location where an endless number of fiery thunderbolts were causing small explosions.
The fiery thunderbolts opened a path for him.

Craaaackle.

He could feel the heat, but the fire did not burn Choi Han.
Choi Han moved past the fire and the thunderbolts and arrived at the center.

He could see a masked man standing there.
Choi Han looked toward Cale and started to speak.

“What am I supposed to call the friend of my nephew once removed?”

Cale started to laugh awkwardly as he responded.

“…Haha, I don't know. W, what would you call me? …Sir?”

He was stuttering.
Cale started to frown.

‘Choi Jung Soo was Choi Han’s nephew?
Ah, this is bad.’

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