Chapter 35 - Eyelids (8)
The shelter was too far to walk, and the Wasteland wasn’t benevolent enough to show mercy to those who came out unprepared.
The sandstorm was as harsh as ever in the Wasteland.
The third day after I couldn’t carry my mother, I took refuge in a small cave.
The amount of dry food I brought was out, and it had been a long time since I drank water.
I gave most of my share to my mother, but she couldn’t swallow it and puked it back up.
D-36 is a narcotic poison.
If not injected periodically, it takes the life of the subject.
The kind of drug that is perfect when it comes to manipulating someone.
My mother and I were slowly dying in this cave in the Wasteland.
4 days, 5 days, the sandstorm stopped, but I had no strength to carry my mother out.
“G–Gyo–su… my son.”
I heard my mother’s voice, who hadn’t opened her eyes in several days.
I felt it right away; these are going to be her last words.
I had to stay by her side.
I couldn’t move with my legs, so I crawled close to her and lay next to my mother.
Her hands, which had gone bony, in the past few months, stroked my face.
She came to her senses, but it didn’t seem like she could see my face.
“I am sorry… if only I didn’t go to Dome…”
My mother’s dry hands caressed my eyes like wiping tears that didn’t come out.
“It isn’t… your… fault…”
Just one sentence, and yet I felt like I could cry at those words.
Tears touched the hands of my mother.
“My poor baby… I am… sorry…”
I couldn’t say a thing like a child who runs to his mother with tears and buries himself into her warm body.
I buried my face in her hands and cried.
There was no sign of pain on my mother’s face.
She is concerned for her son, who will bear this guilt all his life as he walks through the Wasteland alone.
I couldn’t even understand how my dying mother was finding this strength.
A hot liquid began to drop down my lips, and before I even realized what it was, my skinny body licked it.
You need to live.
No matter what happens, no matter what you need to do, you need to be alive.
As long as you are alive, you get to stand up again.
“M-Mom What is this…”
More blood dripped onto my face.
“You will live! No matter what! You will live!”
At my mother’s strong words, I just nodded my head, and it was then that she managed to smile.
Living is good.
My mother put those words into my mind and never got up again.
I held my mother until her body had cooled down.
I should have died too.
No matter what happened, I should have died there.
[But, you… are a good son who listened to his mother…]
He was waiting for death.
However, the thirst satisfied by his mother’s sacrifice further fueled his hunger.
His pain was like his whole stomach was ripped apart and twisted.
His thoughts of dying gradually disappeared.
It was just hunger, and that hunger alone filled his mind.
He couldn’t rest due to starvation.
A typical accident wouldn’t have caused this, but then strange thoughts ran through his mind.
‘Live! You need to live at all costs.’
His mother’s words and the drops of blood dripping down her lips.
No matter what, you need to live.
What to do What to do What to do What to do What to do What to do What to do What to do What to do What to do What to do What to do What to do What to do What to do What to do What to do What to do What to do What to do What to do What to do What to do What to do What to do What to do What to do What to do What to do What to do What to do What to do What to do What to do.
What do I have to do I…
I couldn’t remember what I did, but I do remember reminding myself of the will my mother had.
A few hours later, I was walking in the Wasteland.
The next day, I found a shelter.
The next day, I was back, walking through the Wasteland.
There were no signs, but it was as if my body and soul were telling me I was in the right place.
A cave not far from the shelter.
Mother was there.
Dark red blood smeared all over the place.
A deep wound on the wrist.
Memories of that time began to flow through my mind, and my throat burned.
“Uhh… uhhh… Uhhhh….”
I couldn’t even get my mother’s name out of my mouth.
Because I couldn’t dare call her.
The horror in front of me was like a scene in hell; it was a frame that would forever bind me as I sat down.
[There is a beast inside every man… if you peel off the thin shell that covers your consciousness, a huge beast you would have never imagined in life is…]
I couldn’t scream due to my broken heart and soul, which lost their path.
And the scream I could do would be an insult, abuse, and apology.
I remember being stuck there like dark red bloodstains.
It was a memory that lingered on me as I walked through the Wasteland.
The screen went off, and the chair he was sitting on was dragged ahead of me.
[Ah, look at our shell’s face turning black and dead.
Don’t you want to see more Want to give up]
I couldn’t speak.
If I open my mouth now, I am bound to lose my temper, be it through howling, swearing, or shouting.
The memories of that day haunted me like a curse.
I couldn’t run from them.
The taste… the strange feeling of fullness… the memory of being satisfied… I can never forget it.
And that was when I started to hate myself.
More than anyone else.
[No Mother knew it well.
What kind of people are the ones in Dome What would happen if you went there You survived alone for 2 years in the Wasteland, so you and she must have heard all that was happening.
And you ignored her words and took her there.
Without you, maybe your mother would have had a chance to be alive now.]
His consciousness felt like it was slowly collapsing.
[Ah, if that bomb had gone over my head and not my colleagues.]
[Man, if that bullet had hit my heart and not the shoulder! If I had died… mother will!]
‘If only I had died like that.’
[You have been alive.]
‘I wouldn’t have had to suffer like this.’
A deep cracking sound from my legs to my chest.
‘I had to live.
Even more so for my mom, who saved me.
Even for the guys who saved me.
I wanted to die each day but had to live without a will.’
I could feel my guilt and that man’s pleasure simultaneously.
I wanted to kill him.
Up to this point, you have been bad.
Even based on Wasteland, it is perfect, right But… what’s left behind Can you hold onto it If you have already looked into your sins, wouldn’t it be better to watch till the end]
He approached me and gently touched my shattered conscience.
[Remember five years ago Your game character… Those days when you frantically dug into the game to avoid the pain of losing your mother and the village of Aschapelle located over the Blue Line.
Do you remember]
My hands lost their strength.
My first game character.
And the village of Aschapelle, which was forgotten, I worked so hard to forget it.
[As I thought, you haven’t forgotten.
Actually, you knew it too.
This is not just a game.]
[Now, say it with your mouth.
What you saw there…]
His body slowly seeped through my cracked consciousness.
His voice scatters like smoke and becomes my voice.
‘I fell in love with the game.
I would puke no matter what I ate, and Koduro desperately put me inside the connector and injected food through the player maintenance function.
I accepted it because I had to live according to my mother’s words.
In those days, when that strange feeling of satiety followed me no matter what I ate, that was the only way to survive.
To forget, I immersed myself in the game.’
[And… what did you find there]
’Just… an ordinary neighborhood NPC.
They were a middle-aged couple… and strangely, I felt close to them.
Just because there were no inns in the town… I wanted to stay in this house for a while.
Fortunately, the couple was friendly, and I… anywhere is good, so I wanted to rest.
But there was no place to rest.
But the house… was a little different.
I had been staying in that house for quite some time.’
My consciousness burrowed into my heart like a snake.
Digging in slowly, revealing the guilt I was hiding deep in my heart.
The two of them provided dinners and beds every day to the single traveler who suddenly came and asked to be given space to live there.
And I did various things for them and the village.
A month later, I became known as the adopted son of the couple.
‘A month… They were good people.
In the days of cutting my wrists and repeating treatment dozens of times a day, in the life where I always have a single loaded gun in my reach, the peace here… it was amazing how I got used to it.
I thought that if I were here, maybe I could overcome it, and the day would come when even those memories would sting.’
It was a usual evening.
Martha and Eddie were the names of the ordinary couple who loved to bake and sing.
At first, there was a slight feeling of dizziness.
Eddie’s habit of tapping his right hand before eating.
I felt it was something I saw often, but I ignored it.
The familiar taste of bread.
The same delicious taste of the weekend that my mother puts on the table every Sunday morning.
I ignored it too.
I also ignored Eddie when he said that he was shy and secretly wrote poetry as a hobby.
And ignored the fact that Martha’s washing machine was what my mother had.
Because it made no sense, it made no sense!
And then I saw myself reflected in their eyes.
“I… I want you to listen to us without misunderstanding what we say.”
“As you know, my husband and I have no kids.
I don’t know what is going on with you or how you came here with such scars….
Can we now call you our son”
Two people looked at me with eyes of love, just like my parents.
I was happy with it.
I was screaming inside when I realized I couldn’t even decline the offer.
It was because two people replaced my dead parents.
[Andre Gedroitz… such a genius.
To create such a realistic, lively, and exactly human-like NPC that does not lose autonomy under any circumstances.
But did you know Before Gedroitz disappeared, NPCs weren’t alive until now in GG ver 1.
The more people played the game, the more NPCs started to move and act like the people.]
Just the thought was a nonsensical one.
I got out of the connector and searched for the data on it.
And below a lot of my log-in were these things which came.
Something ridiculous was happening.
[It is the realm of God to create things that didn’t exist.
However, cloning something that already exists… If it was such a genius to make something like this world, then wouldn’t that be possible too]
Eddie and Martha were NPCs that replicated the info of my parents.
A precise reproduction of a person’s ideas, actions, habits, and everything that made them who they were.
In addition, the souls of all NPCs in the game were composed of data from a connected user.
[Abominable child, what you have found is not a warm resting place but a perfect dummy to replace your deceased parents.
The dead ones What did you know You had new parents! Perfect ones to substitute and low and treat you the same as before!]
The sense of disgust trapped over guilt.
The face that had been ripped off my fingers turned bloody.
“Get out! Get out of my head!”
[Try and deny it! You knew right from the start! You just ignored that! There is no such thing as acceptable if anyone just loves you! If only you could run away from those memories! Anyone would have been fine!]
I wanted to pull its head out and puke, and I hated myself for even trying to forget all of it.
I wanted to forget.
But these weren’t things that could be simply forgotten.
That I was trying to replace everything I have received so far!
I always remember answering ‘Yes’ to the questions of Eddie and Martha.
Dark red flesh was rising between the torn skin of the face.
An infection that stopped near the neck rose to the jaw, and a sweet-scented voice cut through the crumbling consciousness.
Do not be so sad.
When you are unhappy, my heart hurts too.
I will help you.]
You have a father who died for you and a mother who has everything beyond that.
However, you decided to forget the parents who raised you and replace them.
Isn’t that a heavy burden to carry alone]
Right, it was too heavy.
I couldn’t even stand on my own, so I wandered through the wilderness and took medicine, and because that wasn’t enough, I tortured my body.
Every time I felt pain, I was paying for my sins.
The habit of self-harm continued for a year.
How painful must it have been to be locked up with such hate Let me put it down.
I will take it all with me.]
‘Take it… with you’
Your sins, your memories, your pain.
I will take care of everything.
You forget it and fall asleep.]
The last remaining ego of Professor began to crumble.
The infection he had been looking at was now his vision, which could see nothing.
[Ahh, that is what it felt like to see the world, to have a body.
Being a completed object.
It really is… beautiful.]
The monster tried to move into its new body.
Contrary to its appearance, the body looked fragile.
But there must be a way to bring it back.
There was no affection, but he decided to ask his mother for help.
His body… The infections must have proven all of it.
Then why Why is the arm not moving freely
Professor’s right arm moved slowly, but it was out of the monster’s control, who was gaining control of his body.
‘I cannot… give it…’
The burnt memories piled up in his wounds.
The ego forcibly built on it crumbles, and small hidden fragments shine.
Some call this the essence of life.
Some call this humanity.
Some call this the soul.
A decision shredded by pain at the extremes of life was holding onto the final consciousness.
‘Those sins… are mine…’
My body, my life.
I will carry them all on my back, even if I have to take them all.
The memory of that moment when I have forsaken humans.
And the memory of trying to replace those who gave me everything.
The pain is all mine.
The prisoner of that sin must be me alone.
The right hand covered half of his face as he began to tear it apart.
[Wait, stop! Wh-Why don’t you just give up! What you feel is what I feel! This… this pain is real! Your life will go on and on, full of pain! There is no hope in life unless you forsake those memories!]
The arms began to twist.
The sensation of limbs was back, and the pain of infection, which seemed to tear the body from the inside, came back.
The heat was fine.
This is right, because I deserve this pain and suffering.
The half-squashed eyeballs began to regenerate, and vision was back.
His voice faded away, and the guy was crying for some reason.
“It is fine.
This is how I decided to live.”
I will not forget it.
The dedication that day.
And the me who was about to give it all up.
‘Do not give up…’
‘Like that… you need to live… for sure… live…’
The last memories I had of the two of them flashed quietly in front of my eyes.
Humans are hope-seeking creatures.
Nonetheless, some broken and shattered souls continue their lives by suffering sins with the shame of clinging to a soul so fragile that it may be destroyed by a gust of wind.