you, sir. Im pleased to introduce myself as Ru Amuh.”
After finishing their introductions, Ru Amuh and Chichibbong—no, Chi-Woo left their spots. Ru-Amuh decided to take the lead in directions while Chi-Woo kept watching. Ru Amuh had the same idea as Chi-Woo. He also thought that if they followed the blood marks in the opposite direction of where that dangerous figure went, they would reach the exit. The inside was dark and considering that they were in a building, the path was very twisted and complicated. Now that Chi-Woo thought about it, they might not even be in a building.
Even though their surroundings had been built by human hands, Chi-Woo thought that Ru Amuh was right in that they were in a cave being used as a shelter. While Chi-Woo walked through the twisted path, he was plagued by embarrassment. Since he had spouted out the first part of his nameChoi Chi, he couldnt take it back. He managed to turnChi into a new word, and spat out the first thing that came to his mind forWoo. However, it was precisely because he had said the first thing that came into his mind that he caused this embarrassment. There were so many cool and pretty names. Why did he have to pick Chichibbong? Why Chichibbong of all names!
Chi-Woo stared at Ru Amuh. The man hadnt said anything since he began to lead the way. Even when the blood marks stopped at some parts or the path diverged into multiple directions, he moved forward without hesitation.
“Are we going in the right direction?”
“Probably.” Ru Amuh was very succinct in his reply; he sounded a bit different from when Chi-Woo conversed with him before.
Since he might need to focus, I shouldnt bother him. Chi-Woo had asked the question out of concern, but since Ru Amuh was a hero, he probably knew what he was doing.
“Sir…” It was then that Chi-Woo heard Ru Amuhs voice. “Chi…for what reason have you come here?”
It was an unexpected question. “Well, I came here to save a world in danger like everyone else.” Chi-Woo didnt feel the need to reveal his true reason. “What about you, Mr. Ru Amuh?”
“I…” Ru Amuh paused a bit and replied, “I was led here by a gods call.”
“Aerys is the god that we serve on the planet I was born and grew up in.” After saying this, Ru Amuh asked for permission to continue his explanation, and he started with a soft voice, “Its a common story. A disaster struck, and the world fell into a crisis. The days passed on like hell until one day, a boy received a divine command.” Ru Amuhs voice sounded flat and empty as he continued, “The na?ve boy who didnt know anything just did everything that the god told him to do. Even though a tremendous amount of suffering and adversity followed him, the boy became a hero that saved the world by the time he became a man.” Ru Amuhs steps became a bit slower. “And I thought everything was over.” His story was not over. “But then, I received a new divine command.”
“What did it tell you to do?”
“It told me to help. It told me to go to Liber and save Him.”
Chi-Woo tilted his head.The god that Ru Amuh served, Aerys, told him to come to help Him? And not to save Liber? Chi-Woo couldnt really understand the situation.
“And as the divine command told me to do, I went to the Celestial Realm to apply as a recruit, but I failed.”
“I failed and failed…and repeatedly failed.”
“Someone I know also went through the same problem.”
“While I was wandering around, not knowing what to do, I was suddenly judged to be suitable. I was judged to be unsuitable even right before, but the results had changed.”
Chi-Woo was silent.
“I thought there was a reason for Aerys command,” Ru Amuh continued on, “Like how I saved my world, I thought I would be given a specific role or mission. But…” His voice steadily grew quieter. “But why is it?” Ru Amuh asked Chi-Woo, “Why did the god I believe in brought me to this place?”
Ru Amuh was asking Chi-Woo about his mission and role here, but Chi-Woo wasnt equipped to make a witty reply to a philosophical question, so he maintained his silence. He didnt know the reason why Ru Amuh asked this question, but he felt uncomfortable because he had been the reason the prophecy changed.
Ru Amuh stopped walking. “Weve arrived.” He looked to the front and pointed upwards. “You just have to go up.” In a dark space, water dripped from the ceiling. Ru Amuhs prediction had been right—they really were in a cave and not a building and a very deep and wide cave at that.
“Just climb up from here.” Ru Amuhs index finger moved down and pointed to the wall in front of him. At first glance, it just seemed like a bumpy wall, but when he got closer, Chi-Woo saw rocks that crossed diagonally and popped out. Rather than walking up, he would need to climb up to get out.
“You found it very quickly.” Chi-Woo was impressed. When he came out of the warehouse, he had a very vague idea of what he was going to do, but after meeting Ru Amuh, everything worked out much easier than he thought.
“…Perhaps,” Ru Amuh calmly added, “This might be the reason why.”
“My mission and role here might have been to guide Sir Chichibbong out of this place…”
Chi-Woo let out a humorless chuckle. Ru Amuh was way too serious; it seemed like he was the type of person who became serious and fell into thought when everyone was laughing.
“Lets stop talking and quickly climb up. Lets get out first.”
Ru Amuh nodded. “Please go ahead.”
“No, its all right.”
“No, Sir Chichibbong, you should go.”
“Mr. Ru Amuh, you should go first.”
“Hurry, you must quickly climb up.” Ru Amuh made a serious face and looked at him with a hard gaze. Chi-Woo was a bit taken aback.
“Please sir, Im asking you…” Ru Amuh looked back at the entrance they passed through and chewed his lips. He looked anxious.
Did he sense that guy chasing us? Since Ru Amuh was a hero, his senses might be different from ordinary people.
Or… The suspicion that had disappeared after finding out Ru Amuh was also part of the seventh recruits re-emerged. Perhaps something had happened here while Chi-Woo had taken his time to get transported to this cave. However, rather than hiding an insidious plan, Ru Amuh looked eager to flee.
“I understand. If thats what you want, Ill go up first.” Ru Amuh spoke as if it couldn ’t be helped. He looked desperate to get out even a second earlier.
“…No, Ill go first.” Since Ru Amuh was going this far, Chi-Woo didnt say anything further and climbed up by using the rocks protruding out of the walls. He grabbed onto the flat rocks on his left and went up. He climbed left and then right, and then left again. A creaking sound rang out from the cavity of the cave. The cave was taller than he had thought. Even though he had climbed at least 20 meters up, he still hadnt reached the exit yet. However, after using all his strength to persistently climb up, he was able to get close to the ceiling. He also saw the vague outline of an iron door that was slightly open.
“Are you following me?” When Chi-Woo almost reached the end, he asked out loud. However, Ru Amuh did not reply. “I asked, are you following me?” Even after waiting a bit, he heard no answer, so Chi-Woo asked once more.
What the? Chi-Woo huffed and looked down after tightly gripping onto a rock.
“Quiet!” It was then that Chi-Woo heard Ru-Amuhs voice. “Sir, Im following you. But more importantly, dont look back and go quickly!”
“You should have replied quicker. I was worried about you.”
“How much longer until we get out?”
“Theres not much left. We just need to climb one or two more rocks.” Chi-Woo sighed in relief and climbed up another rock. There was now only one left.
At that moment—
1. Chi-Chi-bbong is what Koreans say when they say the same thing as someone else at the same time. In English, it will be similar to using the word, ”jinx. ” ?
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