Chapter 5: Celestial Realm (2)
Chi-Woo gasped when the alien lizard stomped on the ground—no, the floor made of clouds. It was truly astonishing.
The winds struck his face quite strongly. Every time he blinked, the scenery changed around him. The alien lizard was moving tens or more meters with every step.
Is this really happening? Chi-Woo didnt know what to believe anymore as he looked up at the sight before him. As he stared at the alien lizard, he suddenly realized something.
“I dont know your name.”
“Sorry?” Not having expected this question, the alien lizard responded one beat too slow.
“Whats your name?”
“Are you…talking to me, sir?” The alien lizards eyes widened. Chi-Woo raised his voice and said it more clearly this time.
“Im asking you what your name is.”
“Uh… My name is Gripping Giant Fist and Rising,” the alien lizard murmured.
“Gripping Giant what?”
“Haha, I guess my name will sound strange to you. Although the Celestial Realms automatic translation system is splendid, it isnt perfect by any means. However, the meaning of my name should be passed onto you with the best translation in your planets language.”
The alien lizards name reminded Chi-Woo of a traditional Native American name. He said, “I mean, even for inhabitants of the same planet, people have all kinds of names depending on their country of origin.”
“It is as you say. Its important for us to understand and respect each other despite our differing backgrounds.”
“Then I guess Ill call you Gripping Giant Fist and Rising from now on.”
“Its quite a long name. You can just call me Giant Fist. If its you, Sir Choi Chi-Woo, you can certainly do that.” The alien lizard, Giant Fist, said this as if he was granting Chi-Woo a great honor.
“Um, but Giant Fist is a bit…”
“Well…I know, it was your brother who gave me this name.”
“My older brother?”
“Yes.” Giant Fist meekly nodded at Chi-Woos question.
“He gave a name like that to another being…? His naming sense is really…” Chi-Woo muttered to himself.
Giant Fists voice shook as he said, “Umph, thank goodness…that youre not like him in this respect…” Seeing that Giant Fists eyes became teary, Chi-Woo decided to not pry any deeper into this topic.
“But why are you suddenly asking for my name, sir?” Giant Fist asked, his face gleaming with anticipation.
Chi-Woo didnt answer right away. At first, Chi-Woo simply thought Giant Fist was some crazy man. He hadnt got rid of all his suspicions about the alien yet, but at the least, it seemed highly unlikely that he was experiencing a new type of advanced virtual reality now; the situation he was in was far too devoid of common logic. Now, Chi-Woo had a slightly different mindset than when he first arrived at this place: instead of reality, he believed he was in a dream. After all, it seemed much more sensical to explain everything as part of a dream.
Yes, that would explain it…
Perhaps nothing around him was real. He could just think of this as a silly dream. Of course, he couldnt deny that there was a part of him who wished that he wasnt dreaming. If what Giant Fist said was maybe, just maybe true…
“Look, sir. Were almost there.” Giant Fists words broke Chi-Woo from his reverie, and Chi-Woo turned his head sideways. The scene before him was just as surreal as everything he had seen until now. From far away, he saw a pure, shining white castle; only the castles top was visible, so Chi-Woo couldnt approximate its size. Perhaps what he saw wasnt even the top of the building. The building was so ginormous that he couldnt see its end even when he tilted his head to project his eyesight as far as possible.
As they got closer, they saw the castles exterior walls; it was astonishingly massive. Compared with theStrangers Space he was just at, the difference in scale was that of an elephant and an ant.
“This is insane…”
“You think so too, sir? I was blown away by the castle when I first saw it— although I have become used to it after entering it so many times,” Giant Fist said and stomped forward.
After walking some more, they soon saw a place that looked like an entrance. Even the entrance was bigger than most high-rise buildings. Chi-Woo wondered if they would be able to open a door as big as that.
“They will soon come,” Giant Fist said, “I sent them prior notice before coming here. If we just wait a bit…” Before he could finish his sentence, a blinding flash of light shone from the center of the door.
Wha— Before Chi-Woo could even ask what that was, glimmers of shadows appeared out of an oval of lights in an instant. The wavering shadows seeped out like objects floating to the surface of water. At a quick glance, the figure appeared human. But upon closer inspection, they—he clearly looked like an otherworldly being. He was more than two meters tall and held a long trident. His hair was semi-transparent so one could see through it, and he wore a white uniform, which made him look like a holy priest. When Chi-Woo noticed the pair of feathery wings on his back, he became certain that the being wasnt an earthling—more so, because his pure white and beautiful appearances made him look like an angel straight out of a storybook.
“Did you just arrive here? Have you finished all your businesses?”
“Yes, sorry.” Giant Fist replied succinctly to the angels business-like tone; he sounded quite cold to the angel.
“Oh. What is it? You have always barged in here whenever you wished to. Why are you apologizing now?” By the angels tone, it sounded like he had more than one or two extra complaints to make.
“Okay, okay. Im sorry. Im in a hurry.” Giant Fist also talked casually; clearly, he was familiar with the angel.
“How very unusual, sir. You usually dont even pretend to listen,” the angel scoffed. “Anyways, I understand. I apologize if I came off as rude. We are grateful for the work you do, but we also have our own protocols to follow,” the angel concluded, as if he didnt intend to make a bigger deal out of this issue and turned his gaze to Chi-Woo. “What can I help you with, sir?”
Giant Fist stared back at the angel awkwardly. He hesitated. “Uh…well, you see.”
The angel stroked his chin and said, “You must have come from the Strangers Place…did you personally catch this one?” Then, he suddenly tilted his head and muttered, “But the sorebreks are outside, why would you personally…?” The angel saw a cluster of sorebreks attaching themselves to Chi-Wook. It was clear that he didnt understand what was going on.
Giant Fist gulped and said, “I led him here.”
“I led him here. Dont say anything more and just let me pass. Please.”
“Dont be ridiculous, sir,” the angel refused immediately. “What happened? Please explain the situation first.”
“What is going on?” the angel continued to interrogate. “What is that?”
“Dont call himthat. Hes an esteemed guest.”
“I didnt get any message that a guest was coming…No, wait?” The angel looked at Chi-Woo and his forehead scrunched up. “Why would you tie up an esteemed guest?” Then the angel exclaimed in shock as he looked back at Giant Fist, “Did you perhaps—”
“I am telling you beforehand, but its not like I didnt invite him. I already explained everything to him and led him here.”
“Do you really expect me to believe that?”
Giant Fist hurriedly loosened the ropes around Chi-Woo, but the angel gripped his trident tighter. “Did you drag this person here forcefully!? An existence that hasnt been verified yet!?” The angels voice rose higher. If the situation escalated any further, a fight was likely to break out.
“I didnt kidnap him! You dont have to worry! Just look, look at him!” Giant Fist yelled in frustration and pushed Chi-Woo towards the angel.
The sorebreks began saying something; it seemed that they were complaining about Giant Fists loud voice.
“What are you telling me to look at…” The angel calmed down since each and every one of the sorebreks was complaining about their loudness. The sorebreks were a naturally cold and cruel species that guarded the outermost area of the Celestial Realm. They identified foreign beings that were dangerous to the Celestial Realm and, depending on the situation, eliminated outsiders without an ounce of hesitation. However, they were now cuddling an unidentified existence with happy, content faces. Since the angel became the Celestial Realms gatekeeper, he had never seen the sorebreks act so friendly. To prepare for the worst, the angel aimed his trident at Chi-Woo.
One of the sorebreks instantly grew bigger and bit the angel, rearing its head to lift him off the air. It then harshly slammed the angel onto the clouds.
“Ack!?” the angel gasped as he bounced and rolled. “No! Sirs! I wasnt aiming the trident at you, but towards that dangerous—eckkk!”
The sorebrek kicked the angel one more time. The angel slammed against the gate and dropped to the ground. Then he stopped moving completely. He looked dead.
“…I told you. These guys are like this.” Giant Fist sent a pitiful look towards the angel.
All the sorebreks had now fully extended their wings and formed a defense formation with Chi-Woo at the center. Their completely upright tails reflected their strong intentions to protect Chi-Woo from the slightest harm.
“E-excuse me. I now understand that this person is harmless,” the angel murmured to himself while on the ground. “But its very strange. Its my first time seeing such a sight…”
The angel struggled to stand up and wobbled, but he soon became cold again. “Even then, I cannot give this person permission to enter,” the angel firmly said while looking at Giant Fist.
“What? Why? You saw it too!”
The sorebreks also cried out in unison to support Giant Fists words.
However, the angel calmly replied, “Dear Sirs, I respect and honor your respective authorities, but the decision to open or not open this gate falls under my authority. None of you have the right to interfere with my work.”
The sorebreks, who had been acting feisty so far, slightly backed down as they were unable to find a proper retaliation.
“Moreover, verifying if someone is harmless to the Celestial Realm is a completely different matter to allowing them to enter this gate after obtaining qualifications. Shouldnt you know this the best, Sir Gripping Giant Fist and Rising?”
“I know, I know. But I still brought him with that in mind. Did you really think I brought him here to just sightsee around the Celestial Realm?”
“If thats the case, then I can understand. There are various instances when someone brings someone or something completely unrelated to the Celestial Realm.” The angel clicked his tongue. “Well, if thats not the case, I wont severely reprimand you, but…” The angel paused for a bit and continued, “Why arent you following the formal protocol, sir?”
Giant Fist became speechless. The angels words hit right on the mark.
“Sir, why arent you replying?”
“…Its not like I didnt try.” Giant Fist clicked his tongue and sighed. “But I wasnt able to receive permission.”
The angel firmly replied. “Then I cant allow him to enter.”
“What the hell. Are you being serious?”
“Sir, youre the one who brought someone without qualifications to enter the Celestial Realm without permission, and youre now telling me to open the gate?”
“Why are you saying that he has no qualifications? Ah, man, why are you being so uptight?”
“Sir, are you in any position to get angry at me?”
Giant Fist and the angel were slowly getting heated up. Giant Fist had been keeping a minimum level of politeness, but now he acted as if he could do anything if it meant fulfilling his mission.
“Hey, you! As you know, I ate with Sir Chi-Hyun! And we saved the world together! I did all this with Sir Chi-Hyun!” Giant Fist flailed both of his arms around and let out a passionate speech.
“Ha. Please try making a reasonable argument.” The angel snorted to express that none of Giant Fists arguments were working on him.
“What? Make a reasonable argument?”
“Yes. Also, why did you suddenly mention Sir Chi-Hyuns name? Are you threatening me?” The angel didnt back down at all.
“Wow, just look at this punk? When I first came with Sir Chi-Hyun, you let me in without a word.”
“Because the situation is now different from before! And also, sir, do you think that you and Sir Chi-Hyun are the same?”
“Ah, I see~ Since the person who brought me here last time was Sir Chi-Hyun, you humbly crawled on the floor; Now that I was the one who brought this person, you wont let him in?”
“Please refrain from mocking me. I was unable to understand Sir Chi-Hyuns actions before, so I received a scolding from Sir Laguel. But this isnt the case for Sir Gripping Giant Fist and Rising.” The angels expression turned displeased. “Sir, I dont understand why you, someone who served Sir Chi-Hyun closely, are saying this to me.”
“I know that! I know that hes the exception!”
“Then why are you being so unreasonable, sir?!” The angel finally yelled and glared at Giant Fist. He didnt bother to hide his displeased expression and shouted again, “What, are you saying that this person is on the same level as Sir Chi-Hyun?”
“Yep!” Giant Fist immediately replied.
“Geeze, you have to at least make a realistic comparison…wait, what?” The angel couldnt believe his ears.
“Yes!” Giant Fist yelled, “Thats exactly what Im saying! If you dont believe me, see for yourself!”
The angel sighed. His gaze seemed to be asking if Giant Fist was out of his mind.
“Search him! Then youll understand!”
“You can check the entrance records and compare it with your own! Did you not see the contacts I sent?” Giant Fist thumped his chest and was about to jump in frustration.
“My goodness.” The angel looked at Giant Fist with a mixture of understanding and disbelief and tapped his wrist. A hologram appeared in the air. “…Ill repeat myself once more.” As the angel tapped in the air, pages quickly flipped to the next. “Even if the individual you brought is a descendent of a hero or an acquaintance, I can never allow them to enter on the mere basis of sight-seeing…”
The angels voice suddenly quieted down. When he searched the database to filter out everything except for an analysis of Chi-Woos physical attributes and heroes with whom his probability of being genetically connected to exceed 99.9%—
A considerable number of results appeared. Blood-relations connected to Chi-Woo continuously streamed down in the air.
“What the…Why is it so long…” The angels expression became more dumbfounded as he looked down at Chi-Woos long family tree, which started from the first progenitor and stretched down like a long tree branch.
“G-S-3-E origin and…” When the angel checked the very bottom of the family tree and saw the face and name of the most recent hero on active duty, his mouth gaped open like he was going to scream. “….!”
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