She couldn’t fall asleep easily due to the loud beating heart and thus, the baby had to spend the night with wide open eyes. While her hands were full from holding the large teddy bears, the starry sky she had seen before constantly hovered before her eyes.
“You can’t fall asleep?”
There were three tents in total, and Bom and Gyeoul were the only ones inside that tent. Bom caressed Gyeoul’s blue hair from the front to the back as the child nodded with a revealed forehead.
“It was really beautiful right?”
“But you need to sleep now. Should we go to sleep together?”
Placing an arm underneath Gyeoul’s head, she hugged her in. Along with the two teddy bears, Gyeoul was placed in Bom’s embrace and only then did Gyeoul start feeling sleepy as she slowly closed her eyes.
By the time she realised, Gyeoul was standing in the middle of the lake. For some reason, Yu Jitae was extending his hand out to her with a bright smile. In surprise, the child avoided eye contact, before slowly sneaking a look back at Yu Jitae.
He was still wearing a bright smile, and opened his mouth.
“Gyeoul. Let’s play together in the water.”
Together? In the water?
Gyeoul hid her face behind the teddy bears that were in her embrace. She didn’t know why but she didn’t want to show her current expression. That was when Yu Jitae walked up and hugged Gyeoul, before raising her up and spinning around in a circle.
“My dear Gyeoul. Hahaha, my daughter. Hahaha.”
My dear Gyeoul?
Inside the tent covered in darkness, Bom stared at the child who had just gone to sleep.
She appeared to be in the middle of a dream and twitched her fingers and toes faintly. Then, she let go of the teddy bears and started flailing her two arms around.
Then suddenly, she started grinning and Bom who had been slowly caressing Gyeoul’s hair, stopped her movements and tilted her head.
‘What is she dreaming about?’
Bom found it cute and therefore gave a short kiss on the white, revealed forehead.
Gyeoul continued smiling and grinning for quite some time.
Episode 18: Journey (4)
Something approached and pulled the socks of Yu Jitae while he was lying down inside the tent.
What is it.
Thinking that, the Regressor slowly opened his eyes and found Gyeoul. He wasn’t sure why but she was trying to pull his socks out so he slightly pulled his leg in.
When he did, Gyeoul followed the escaping leg and came closer.
“What are you doing.”
Perhaps she thought Yu Jitae had been sleeping, but Gyeoul was startled and quickly glanced around, before picking up a fry pan and covering her face with it.
What was this child doing.
Even today, Yu Jitae couldn’t understand the blue-haired child’s thinking process. Gyeoul slightly lowered the fry pan and glared at Yu Jitae with a nervous gaze, but when their eyes met again, she raised the fry pan back up to cover her eyes.
In any case, it was morning. While planning to cook the meal today as well, the Regressor took out pork belly from the alternate dimension inside him.
Bom, Yeorum and Kaeul were already inside the water playing. When Bom used her arms to raise a ball into the air, Yeorum jumped up in a picturesque manner and spiked it. The ball came crashing down onto Kaeul’s face and sounds of her grumble and Yeorum’s laughter could be heard.
Dragons had great stamina.
He picked up the fry pan from Gyeoul’s hands. Realising that her two hands were now empty, Gyeoul looked around in a fluster, in an attempt to find something that could hide her face.
Meanwhile, he relit the fire that had been extinguished and used the fry pan to cook pork belly. It was seasoned with salt and pepper, while sauce, kimchi and some vegetables that had been pre-prepared by Bom were placed on the side.
There were still leftover fish from yesterday. Yu Jitae removed the head and the guts of the fish and skewered it before placing it next to the fire. Since those were freshwater fish with less pin bones, it would be fine to eat them with the bones intact.
That was when someone pulled on his pants.
It was Gyeoul.
She, who would usually look away in a fluster when their eyes met, only faintly looked away this time, and carefully pointed somewhere with her finger. The place she pointed at was the Lake of Life where Bom, Yeorum and Kaeul were at.
What did she want.
While he was pondering, Gyeoul carefully held him by his hand. Her small white hand could barely hold two fingers from his large hand, but she nonetheless pulled him along ever so slightly.
The Regressor followed Gyeoul with awkward steps but soon, realised something and stopped the cooking that he had been in the middle of. He then picked up the child and went into the water with her.
As he had no idea how to play inside water, he just swam with Gyeoul.
For some reason, she seemed a lot more excited than yesterday as she repeatedly splashed her arms around.
After finishing the brunch.
“Did you all enjoy your time.”
He asked with a dry, arid voice while the dragons replied, “Yes!” with a bright expression. It was now time to return.
“Are you going back already?”
Seeing how Yu Jitae’s group was packing up their stuff, Myung Yongha, who had been spending a relaxed morning on the other side of the lake, came up and asked. He was accompanied by his wife and son.
“Yes. We got to see something good thanks to you.”
“Uhahahat! It was quite good right? I confessed to my wife on the day I found that place, you see.”
Myung Yongha’s wife tapped him on his arm. “Why are you talking about things like that,” she said before coughing a few times.
That was when Yu Jitae felt Myung Yongha’s son blankly staring at them. Feeling curious about the end of his gaze, he followed it and found out that he was staring deeply at Gyeoul’s face.
Thinking back, it had been the same yesterday as well. When Gyeoul was playing around, Myung Yongha’s son would blankly stare at her.
“That noona will be going soon.”
The boy’s voice sounded calm for his age. Since Gyeoul appeared to be around five years old, they were referring to her as ‘noona’.
Although he wasn’t that curious, he decided to ask.
“What is his name.”
“He’s Jun-il – Myung Jun-il. Son, you need to say bye-bye to noona now!”
While saying “Un. Bye bye, noona” the boy carefully waved his hand at Gyeoul. Gyeoul, who had only been staring at Yu Jitae till that point, turned around while still being hugged by Yu Jitae, and returned a casual wave.
Just like that, they bid farewell with Myung Yongha’s family.
After packing everything up, they were about to return but Gyeoul remained standing while blankly staring at the Lake of Life.
“She probably feels reluctant.”
Bom spoke out for Gyeoul’s feelings, but it was something that couldn’t be helped, because it wasn’t like they could live here forever. He was about to carry the luggages without thinking too much about it when Bom handed over an empty water bottle.
“What’s this for.”
“If we bring some water back, she would feel less reluctant.”
There was a method like that, huh.
Yu Jitae walked up and crouched down next to Gyeoul, before lowering his back and filling the bottle with water. Meanwhile, Gyeoul was watching his movements with a somewhat gloomy gaze.
He passed the water bottle over to her.
Taking the bottle from his hand, Gyeoul blankly stared back at him before eventually returning a nod.
Their journey which ignored the restraints of a wintery season, thus came to an end.
The air felt suppressive.
One of the drops of sweat that were filling her face slowly travelled down the cheeks. Her small hand that was held by the two large hands continued its endless tremble.
After holding back the pain over and over again, to a point that it could no longer be endured, a groan escaped her mouth like a death thro.
His wife, who always endured the pain and never let out a gasp in pain, was having a shortness of breath. Myung Yongha quietly held onto his wife’s hand.
Just like any other day, doctors and healers came and went throughout the day but there seemed to be no improvements.
It was around 10 years ago when his wife had become like this. Straight after the end of the Great War, she had been exposed to a virus that was spurted out from an ancient monster. Ever since that time, she had to feel extreme pain along with a severe chill at least once a month.
Science and magic had advanced to the point that it could revive a dead person, but there were still unconquerable illnesses. Her illness was one of those.
Myung Yongha had gone around the entire world trying to find the best healers and doctors worldwide. He tried everything he could to make her feel better. Every time, her condition would appear to be getting better but soon would go plummeting down again. That meaningless hope made Myung Yongha feel even more distressed.
Her voice that appeared to be moments away from exploding out into a scream, was barely held back down to a groan.
Myung Yongha clenched his teeth, as if he was trying to crunch them.
He then tightly gripped his wife’s hand which felt all the more smaller today. His worried gaze travelled to her swollen stomach.
As her body became weaker and weaker, his wife increasingly desired for a child. Myung Yongha tried to stop her, by saying that giving birth without a healthy body was dangerous, but she remained stubborn.
Unable to hold back, Myung Yongha had gotten angry at the sick lady, while shouting, how she could possibly have a baby without even being able to lie down properly by herself, and that she should take care of her own body if she was in her right mind.
But his wife told him that she didn’t have a lot of years remaining in her life. It was her truly stubborn wish that she wanted to leave behind a proof of her love towards him before her death. Hearing that, Myung Yongha felt endlessly worthless and insignificant.
What was good about being a ranker?
So what if he was the world’s strongest druid?
What meaning was there behind the money and fame in his possession?
Despite having all those powers, he himself could do nothing but to shout his wife’s name out and tremble in fear.
When night arrived, the voice that could no longer be swallowed, escaped her lips as a feeble scream.
After she fell asleep, Myung Yongha walked towards a hideout with uneven steps. Inside, there were his colleagues who had come over for fun and one of them, who had been chatting with another, found Myung Yongha and waved his hand.
“Yo, little grass.”
But Myung Yongha’s face wasn’t normal. Seeing that, they guessed the cause and closed their mouths.
There had been no problems for quite some time, but it seemed to have hit today.
Wearing an absentminded look on his face, Myung Yongha took out all the medicinal drugs and plants that he had found that month.
Those were all precious ingredients but more than half of them had been bought with money. In other words, most of them were less effective to the point that they could be traded with money.
The truly precious plants and drugs had already been given to his wife.
Even then, he did not give up.
He habitually moved his hand and after opening nature’s alternate dimension inside his skin, he took out plants and started boiling them in a pot.
In that process, he found a small root painted in black.
He remembered where it was from – this had been given by that dubious man whom he had met at the Lake of Life. Thinking back, their family was really unique.
‘Mount Tai’ that was embedded in his body warned him of the man. Mother nature defined him as an enemy, and the underworld being discerned him as an evil man.
Due to that, he was ready for a fight at the start.
However, the moment he stood in front of the girl with olive-coloured hair who was standing next to the man, everything including mother nature changed its attitude.
That quick change in attitude was also something he had seen for the first time.
It was as if…
In any case, that wasn’t the important point.
His fingertips changed and became white roots of a tree. By using a skill, [Root of Discernment (A)] which allowed one to analyse the mana and effect behind a pharmaceutical plant, he started analysing the black root given by the man.
After a few seconds, Myung Yongha doubted the information flowing into his head.
That was when someone slapped him on his back.
Turning around, he found a skinny man with a tall height despite still being smaller than himself. In one hand, he was holding a blue marble while his other hand was carrying a bottle of vodka.
The man was the 2nd ranked superhuman worldwide, who moved without being tied up by nationality. His known alias was ‘BM’, and at the same time, he was a longtime colleague of Myung Yongha.
Due to a raid on an extra-large size dungeon, he hadn’t shown himself at the hideout for the past few months. Despite the current situation he was in, Myung Yongha welcomed his friend.
“Yo-! BM. How many months has it been? I heard you were busy?”
With a hiccup, the drunk man laughed.
“Dude, I don’t even have that much time to spare right now. Just take this.”
BM handed over a small marble.
“Use it on Hawon-ssi.”
“Oi dude… what is it?”
“Something good. See ya then.”
“Thank you. BM! Seriously.”
BM walked outside while drinking vodka from the bottle.
Myung Yongha analysed the black root given by the suspicious man and the marble from BM. Both of them were extraordinary medicinal herbs which even he was unfamiliar with as a top world ranker. In fact, it was hard for him to analyse them properly because he had never seen anything like them before.
Even then, it was certain that they were good for the body.
After coming to that conclusion, Myung Yongha used those two ingredients to earnestly boil a soup. He created a magic circle and melted the ingredients before bringing them together.
Holding the soup, Myung Yongha entered the ward. Perhaps her pain had dissipated a little, but his wife full of sweat, was lying down on the bed staring outside the window. She was stroking her swollen stomach.
She turned around.
Myung Yongha handed her the soup. While looking at her trembling fingers that barely held up the spoon, he caressed her sweaty hair and shared a silly joke, “Did you exercise while I wasn’t here?” and used a towel to wipe her sweat off.
He sincerely prayed to a god whom he didn’t even know of.
If needed, I would sacrifice anything in existence,
So please, let there be a miracle…