The Protagonists Are Murdered by Me - Chapter 252
< Epilogue – The Completed World >
Six months had passed since Yoo Seodam disappeared along with the Hell Gate. And as per the regulation, if a hunter does not return for six months from beyond dungeons or rifts, they would be considered as ‘dead’. So naturally, Yoo Seodam was presumed dead.
In early summer, it was unusual for any rain showers to occur. However, this summer, water was pouring without stopping from the sky.
[In memory of Yoo Seodam, the hero who saved the world.]
Was it a coincidence that it rains on this sad day, or was it due to the flow of the story?
Yoo Seodam left his name as the greatest superhuman in history. His funeral was to be held in a needlessly grandiose manner. Thousands of people and world-famous giants gathered, and it was going to be broadcast in real time to countries around the world.
However, Yekaterina did not want that at all. She just wanted to escape from any pretentiousness and grieve quietly.
“You should use an umbrella.”
Yekaterina placed a long umbrella over Taylor’s head, who was standing in the rain while staring blankly at Yoo Seodam’s tombstone.
[When I die, put the rice cake soup on the altar!]
On the tombstone was written the joke that Yoo Seodam had always said. It was none other than Taylor who had suggested it. Back when they still fought together everyday on the battlefield, Yoo Seodam had once made a joke that if they were to die, they should write a nice quote on their tombstones.
‘I wish I could write something similar to Einstein’s sayings.’
‘Yeah! Only a life lived for others is a life worthwhile. Do you know this?’
‘I know, but… are you going to copy it and use it as it is?’
‘Of course not. I’ll change it a little.’ Yoo Seodam laughed. ‘Only the life lived for myself is a life worthwhile.’
‘What is that? You look like a bad guy.’
‘I mean, why should I live my life for others? I’m going to starve to death right now.’
Taylor and Yoo Seodam laughed raucously after sharing such a joke.
Thinking about that moment, Taylor bit her lips tightly. “How good it would have been if he just lived selfishly until the end…”
Contrary to the belief he hugged tight on his early days, Yoo Seodam chose to be annihilated together with Hell Gate. How he did it, and what he was thinking, was still unknown to anyone
Taylor Nine stood there blankly for a while. It was hard to even stand still. But she felt that if she just turned away from this place, she thought her heart would break again.
Tuk, Tuk Tuk!
Days passed as Taylor kept standing in front of the tombstone. With each passing day, less and less people came to the tombstone. Even less were those who stood there for days like her.
“How about using an umbrella?”
“There was an albino who was saying the same thing a few days ago.”
Taylor answered without turning his head. Seol Jungyeon, who gave her an umbrella, didn’t expect her to look at her either and simply looked at the grumpy picture of Yoo Seodam on top of the tombstone. The two stood silently and stared at the tombstone for a long time, and it was Taylor who broke the silence first.
“Do you think you will ever be able to forget that motherfucker?”
Seol Jungyeon thought for a while without saying a word and then shook her head. “No. If I had even the slightest feeling to be able to do that, I wouldn’t have stepped down from my position.”
On the same day that Yoo Seodam was presumed dead, Seol Jungyeon stepped down from her position as Murim Lord. After all, being a Murim Lord was something she had done for the sole purpose of helping Yoo Seodam. So, without him, why should she still stand there?
“From now on, how are you going to live?”
“Well… I don’t even know what it means to live anymore.”
“Me too, me too…… Yes. I still don’t understand… I want to be a little happier, I want to live a good life… But he…”
Taylor sobbed, and Seol Jungyeon patted her shaking shoulders. After a really long time, Taylor was able to raise her head again. Seol Jungyeon silently waited for her.
“Now… it’s over.”
“Did you get it all out?”
Taylor shook her head. She wasn’t able to. Her heart was still breaking. Probably, it wouldn’t even heal for the rest of her life. However, for now, for the very least, she would be able to take one step forward.
Taylor turned back and smiled towards Seol Jungyeon, trying to assure her that she’s fine. However, a moment later, her facade crumbled as someone entered her view.
It was a woman with sparkling golden hair and golden eyes that looked like they were dripping honey. And even though she was wearing a black suit, a sign that she was mourning, she was undoubtedly a woman with a golden brilliance shining all over her body.
The next action that Taylor did as soon as she realized who the woman was purely came out from her instinct. She grabbed Reina by the neck, and she, too, had her sad eyes down.
“You, you… are you Reina? Oh my god… That motherfucker is right …!”
“Long time no see, Taylor.”
“You, how are you…”
“Let’s talk about this.”
Taylor came to his senses and stepped back. Seol Jungyeon, who came running behind her, also looked at Reina with her bewildered eyes.
She rarely saw Yoo Seodam with his childhood friends except Taylor. But the woman with golden hairs who was standing in front of her right now looked exactly like Reina she had seen in a photograph Yoo Seodam had shown her that one time.
“How the hell are you alive?”
“You are too much. Is that really something you have to say to a friend who you haven’t seen in a long time?”
As she shouted, a small shock wave spread around her. Reina sighed and spoke mournfully,
“Hasn’t Yoo Seodam told you anything?”
“Then, did that bastard really break into the Hell Gate to save you…?”
“Then… What happened to that bastard?!”
“He didn’t die…”
At Reina’s words, not only Taylor, but also Seol Jungyeon’s eyes shook wildly.
“He isn’t dead, what did that mean……?”
“What are you talking about? Explain it so I can understand please….”
“After destroying Hell Gate, Yoo Seodam had two options.”
Will you watch the world perish because of you? Or, will you disappear from this world?
And Yoo Seodam chose to disappear. He will be floating around in the blanks of the story that even Reina was not aware of.
Which means, he didn’t die.
“However, he suffered something worse than death.”
Reina’s words destroyed all the hope Taylor and Seol Jungyeon had felt seconds earlier. Taylor eventually fell to the floor.
“Then… Can you find his whereabouts?”
“I am currently looking for him, but it’s not that simple….”
“Is there really no way?”
“Even if there is, it is impossible for Yoo Seodam to come back.” Reina answered with a gloomy and sunken face.
“Is that so… I’m sorry, you must be sad too. Sorry for showing an ugly side like this…”
“No, it’s fine.”
Taylor turned and disappeared with her shoulders drooped. Reina followed her receding figure with sad eyes.
Seol Jungyeon bowed her head to Reina and passed by her shoulder.
“If there is a way to find him.”
She disappeared into the wind and rain, leaving her last words.
“Please tell me too.”
Everyone is leaving. There was only one person left in the funeral home, Reina.
Reina’s day begins with waking up in the morning and opening the window so the sunlight could pour into her room.
After staring at the dazzling sky for a moment, she pours a cup of hot Americano and combs her frizzy hair. Once she is presentable enough, she heads straight to her studio and opens her laptop. The leftovers of whatever she was editing yesterday stands before her eyes.
“Is this also… serialization suspended?”
In this world, there were a loooooottt of protagonists. And, something very special was happening to them. As someone had taken on all of their probability, most of them, who no longer needed probability, were giving up on being the protagonist.
Which means, in those countless worlds, the existence of the protagonist was no longer needed. That was a positive phenomenon, and it was good to say that Reina’s job was already finished.
Still, Reina sipped on her coffee and looked at her laptop. Maybe it was because she had already been doing it for 9 years, it was hard to suddenly stop doing it..
Nine years ago, in 2043.
Reina Ju was sucked into the ‘super-giant rift’ and died. But that day, Reina did not die. Because Earthlings didn’t know that the super-giant rift was none other than the gate leading to the Hell Gate.
She was able to survive to some extent inside the Hell Gate. Even in the midst of her body rotting, she had persevered with her unbreakable spirit. Then, the person who reached out to her was none other than the ‘Will of Hell Gate’.
The Will of Hell Gate, which Reina jokingly called ‘the boss’, was very curious about Reina’s existence, and suggests that she join her in his plan. Reina accepted because she had to live for now, and she felt her head light up when she heard of his future plans.
‘And, what happened…’
By chance, Yoo Seodam came to Hell Gate two years later. His lifespan was at the limit. It was then that Reina decided.
He had lived his entire life unhappy and had no choice but to die unhappily… Let’s make the man she loved the most the happiest person in the whole universe. Even if ruin awaits at the end, it would be better if he could enjoy a good life before dying rather than to die just like that.
‘Reina? Hmm, interesting.’
Hell Gate’s will was slowly acquiring the ‘human language’ from Reina. He was still clumsy and couldn’t even make his own figure properly, but it was enough for him to communicate.
‘I like that man too. Just like you.’
Some time has passed since then.
“…Perhaps the story you know has unfolded.”
「F-rank Hunter Yoo Seodam, wins with special performance!」
From the point in time when he was chosen as protagonist, his story was already being written like a novel.
It wasn’t bad in Reina’s point of view because Yoo Seodam had gained a loving bond and trusted colleague. She had also allowed him to travel around countless worlds, make him see and hear many things. For the first time in his life, he found happiness, and he was able to laugh.
Reina liked it. Even if she couldn’t be with him, she was still satisfied looking at him being happy like that.
Reina, who suddenly remembered the boss, put down her coffee and got up. Although the boss’s goal was to destroy and unify all the worlds, she and the man she loved could be happy because of him. In a way, it can be said that the boss was their benefactor.
As Reina opened the door to the bedroom where the boss was sleeping, something squirmed inside.
“Have you lost your form already?”
“Yeah… it’s become a hideous mess, so please don’t look at me.”
“I don’t like something ugly either so I won’t look for long.”
“Haha. You are really, really…”
The boss’ voice still resembled Yoo Seodam’s. But since he couldn’t keep his figure anymore, he simply hid from Reina under the blanket.
“Can’t you just let go of everything? Why are you so obsessed with that figure?”
“I have one last thing to do. No one else could do it, except me.”
“Are you trying to stabilize Hell Gate?”
Hell Gate was still unfinished. Even the sun in the sky was nothing more than an imitation. On top of it, there were no natural phenomena nor no physic laws.
So, Yoo Seodam’s sacrifice was necessary.
“Do you also think I’m wrong?”
“It’s not a matter of wrong or right in my opinion. Humans are inherently selfish after all.”
“I am not human. I just do it for me.”
“That makes you human.”
The boss who was hiding under the blanket, popped out slightly, turning only his eyes and looking at Reina.
“You don’t need anything else to be human. If you act selfishly just for yourself and for the things you love, that means you have become a human being.”
“Yes. You are a wonderful human being.”
Many people were already born in Hell Gate and were walking around. They all have a will of their own, although they don’t even realize that the world they were living in was a created one, not a natural one.
“Reina… what will happen to me now?”
“Well, don’t you know already? You will die.”
“That’s really too much…….”
Reina looked out of her window. It’s a really weird feeling. Since Hell Gate could no longer absorb any world, the details of the Hell Gate will not be improved. But for some reason, that sun feels ‘real’.
“…if I disappear, you too will return to your world. There is no hope here now. If my will is extinguished, this world may no longer be able to endure and it will degenerate again.”
An unfinished world.
A world without any story.
There was no way such a world could exist without the will. With Yoo Seodam, the ‘protagonist of all worlds’, leaving this world, this world will soon crumble.
“Yes, I think so too.”
“I’m very sorry for everything I did to you till now. Did I overdo it?”
“It’s fine. But the salary here is too low.”
At that moment, Reina felt a certain aura surrounding her own body. Realizing its true nature, a ‘road’ that connects this world to another world, she had goosebumps all over her body. Until now, it was the ability that she could only use by borrowing the boss’s hand. It was the key to dimensional movement. However, it was now possible to do it by herself.
“It’s your severance pay. Even if I don’t have money, at least I can do this for you…”
Reina said so sincerely and lowered her head. The boss coughed loudly, and then he laughed.
“Well then, I hope you are happy. Reina.”
With those last words, the blanket slid down. The shape of the boss had completely disappeared. And as the ‘will’ that maintained this world disappeared, the world would soon follow. The death of this world was inevitable.
“…” Reina had a gut feeling that it was time for her to return. But before that, she still needs to take something from her workroom.
It was her laptop.
The laptop not only contained the stories of countless worlds, it was also the link that allowed her to always be with Yoo Seodam. After all, through this laptop, she always watched Yoo Seodam. Feeling his joys and sorrows.
‘I can’t see you anymore…’
With that in mind, Reina unintentionally opened her laptop.
To her surprise, she found a strange text floating on the laptop screen. With a trembling hand, she moved the mouse and clicked on it. Then the text was changed.
[Ar ou ell?l]
She wondered what the words were. And as soon as she knew the meaning behind the words, she typed her answer. She couldn’t help but instinctively know who the sender was.
Then a reply came immediately.
[I’m do ine]
After a moment of speechlessness, she wrote and sent a message as long as she could.
She’s still doing well, though, her boss fired her, and now she can live freely.
[H e ll o]
[Can’t read it properly]
She got a reply saying he couldn’t read it properly. Just as it was difficult for her to read the words of Yoo Seodam, it seems like he also had difficulty reading the message she sent.
There is only one reason for that.
‘He’s too far away…’
To be honest, it didn’t make sense. Reina’s laptop contains ‘all the world’. And if Yoo Seodam was in one of those worlds,, there is no way that Reina would not know, and the conversation would not be cut off like this.
‘If there is another world that I do not know about….’
If the place where Yoo Seodam left is not a blank space in the story, but a place where new stories are being written.
‘Yoo Seodam is still alive!’
In other words, they could meet again.
Feeling her heart pounding at that fact, Reina concentrated her mind on the traces of the message as much as possible. She doesn’t know what Yoo Seodam did, but delivering a message to her would probably be very hard. Perhaps, he must have used most of the lifespan he had earned.
Therefore, she couldn’t waste this opportunity. Reina showed a superhuman concentration and chased Yoo Seodam’s traces.
However, she found nothing.
But at that moment, she felt something tugging her heart. To put it in a picture, it was as if a butterfly was leading her into a dark road.
‘I can go.’
On the laptop, the last message comes.
[Let’s meet again someday.]
Finally, communication with Yoo D
Seodam was cut off, but the butterfly’s path was already clearly engraved on Reina’s golden eyes. It would never be gone. Ever.
‘I have to leave right now…’
Reina, who was in a hurry, suddenly remembered the people left on Earth. In addition to herself, there were countless others who wanted to find Yoo Seodam.
And now, thanks to the power given by the ‘boss’, it would be possible to travel with a few people.
Reina, who was about to slam the office door with that thought, saw a strange sight.
With the Will of Hell Gate’s death, the world should’ve originally collapsed. However, for some reason, everything was still the same.
“Aww! it’s raining!”
“What the… The Meteorological Agency didn’t have such a forecast.”
“Should I go to the convenience store and buy an umbrella?”
People on the street were startled by the sudden rain and started running around. Reina also had no choice but to panic, because the rain showers in this world would only fall when the ‘boss’ wants it.
An imperfect world. A world that would have remained unfinished forever if a being with a will did not refine it. Such a world had now become a ‘completed world’.
Reina ran out into the street and looked over people’s heads. There, she could no longer see the ‘protagonist hashtag’.
At the scene, Reina realized that the world no longer needed the Will of Hell Gate. This completed world, which doesn’t need a protagonist, becomes completed only because everyone is the protagonist.
‘The world that the boss wanted was only completed after the boss left.’
Back in her office, she sat at her desk and turned on her laptop. Now, she will never come back to this world again. But, at least, if this world had become ‘real’.
Shouldn’t she let people know that there were people who worked to make this world?
Reina checked the date of this ‘Other World’ where hunters, monsters, dungeons, superpowers, great wars, dungeons, cracks, and gates do not exist.
[Earth, South Korea]
[November 27, 2020]
She uploaded someone’s story to her laptop. She really didn’t know who would see it, however, she didn’t care.
[The Protagonist Are Murdered By Me.]
Reina pressed the enter before draping her pink coat over her shoulders and ran out of her office. Then, she looked up. After looking at the sky for a long time, she politely bowed her head and said to those who might be watching her right now.
“Thank you for loving ‘Protagonist Are Murdered By Me’ until now.”