“Rok Soo, is your body feeling okay?”
Cale started to think after hearing what Lee Soo Hyuk said to him as soon as he came up.
‘Is this the right time to tell him?’
The Kim Rok Soo of this world responded to him.
‘That is true. But what if his mind is a chaotic mess during the battle because I tell him the truth right now?’
Cale recalled what Lee Soo Hyuk had told him earlier in the night before they started the battle.
‘Kim Rok Soo, I know that you are hiding something.’
‘You are the same Kim Rok Soo I know from the past, but I know that something has changed.’
The Kim Rok Soo of this world calmly continued to speak.
Cale subconsciously chuckled.
Although the Kim Rok Soo of this world was only twenty years old, Cale thought that the only one who could truly understand him was himself.
‘It is beneficial to tell him.’
It was beneficial to tell him.
However, Cale couldn’t help but think about the Lee Soo Hyuk of his world who had left his side a long time ago.
‘I also need to think about your situation once I leave.’
The situation once Cale left this body.
It was possible that the Kim Rok Soo of this world would take over the body right away, but it was also possible that he might faint or something and take some time before he woke up in his body again.
It would be great to have at least one helper in case something like that happened.
Cale made up his mind.
Cale nodded his head after hearing the question again.
Lee Soo Hyuk felt relieved seeing Cale smiling and nodding his head unlike how he had been earlier.
Cale's condition was much better than earlier now.
‘Objectively speaking, it’s still not good though.’
He was still pale.
But the fact that he was no longer convulsing or coughing up blood was a relief.
Cale started to speak at that moment.
“My body is still not in a good condition.”
Lee Soo Hyuk's shoulders flinched.
‘…I thought he had been okay since our meeting in the grand assembly hall earlier.’
Had all of that been an act?
Had he pretended to be okay because he was concerned that the others would be worried?
Lee Soo Hyuk's face completely stiffened after hearing what Cale said next.
“Soo Hyuk hyung, to be honest with you, my body's condition has been terrible since before I met up with you here.”
Cale slowly walked to the railing of the watchtower. He then looked far out in the distance.
It was morning.
Cale Henituse’s day would end in that world soon.
Cale could feel Lee Soo Hyuk moving over and standing next to him even without looking at him.
“What’s wrong with your body?”
“There are many issues.”
Lee Soo Hyuk had a rare frown on his face.
Lee Soo Hyuk and Kim Rok Soo. Lee Soo Hyuk brushed his hair back and started to speak again since only the two of them were up here right now.
“Okay, what kind-”
“I guess one obvious reason for it would be the fact that it is not Kim Rok Soo in this body.”
Lee Soo Hyuk blanked out for a moment.
He heard a nonchalant voice respond to him.
“Lee Soo Hyuk, I'm saying that the Kim Rok Soo you know is not the one possessing this body.”
Lee Soo Hyuk placed his hand on his scabbard.
Cale quietly looked at him while Lee Soo Hyuk silently removed his scabbard from his hip. He then placed it on one side of the watchtower.
He then looked back toward Cale.
Cale quietly observed Lee Soo Hyuk, who unarmed himself to make the gesture that he would listen to what Cale had to say.
Cale started to speak.
“I am a Kim Rok Soo you don’t know.”
Similar to how the Kim Rok Soo of this world was still young, the Lee Soo Hyuk here was much younger than the final memory Cale had of Lee Soo Hyuk.
“I am thirty-six years old. No. I guess I'm thirty-eight now. Anyway, I'm older than you. Pffft.”
“I'm actually the hyung here.”
Cale casually looked away from Lee Soo Hyuk whose eyebrows had slightly lifted up.
It was now early November.
The cold morning breeze brushed past his cheeks.
Cale started to share his story.
“In my world, once I turned thirty-six years old…”
Silence filled the area for a moment.
Cale soon started to speak again.
“There is no longer a team leader Lee Soo Hyuk.”
Lee Soo Hyuk let out a small gasp.
“Choi Jung Soo, Grandma Kim. The Lee siblings, Park Jin Tae, none of you are there.”
Cale stopped talking again.
Lee Soo Hyuk just quietly stared at Cale.
He finally realized what the difference he had felt from Kim Rok Soo had been.
He had originally thought it was because Kim Rok Soo had used very odd abilities to be considered as having foresight.
He had also thought that it was because Kim Rok Soo had seemed sharper than before and had a way of drawing people to him unlike in the past.
But they were both wrong.
Those eyes that were preparing for the future and the enemy that might show up at any moment were extremely deep.
They were too deep to say that they were the eyes of a twenty-year-old, even if they had become deeper because he knew some things about the future.
They were too deep to say that it was just because he knew a lot of things.
‘There were a lot of emotions in them.’
Lee Soo Hyuk was someone who had dreamt of becoming an action movie actor.
That was why he could tell that there were numerous emotions behind Kim Rok Soo's eyes.
They were always there.
He finally realized it.
Cale finally started to speak again.
"And I am the only one who survived.”
Everybody had died.
But I am still alive.
Lee Soo Hyuk thought Cale looked extremely tired as he said that.
But Cale quickly pushed that fatigue out of his eyes. A firm yet stoic gaze was directed at Lee Soo Hyuk once again.
Lee Soo Hyuk felt this Kim Rok Soo's true age for the first time.
‘He’s an adult. He’s much older than I am.’
Cale didn’t know what Lee Soo Hyuk was thinking and just focused on explaining things to Lee Soo Hyuk.
There was no need to share the pieces of emotions that remained in his mind with Lee Soo Hyuk.
“I woke up one day and I ended up in this world's Kim Rok Soo's body. I had thought that I had returned to the past, however…”
This place was not the past.
“It was not the past but a different world.”
“…A parallel universe?”
“Yes, I realized that it was a parallel universe. This is a different Earth. It is different from the place I know.”
Lee Soo Hyuk was thinking that Cale's voice was quite calm.
“Anyway, I started to do everything I could do since I realized that fact.”
Lee Soo Hyuk could sense the heavy weight of everything through that single sentence.
It was because he had seen, heard, or experienced everything Kim Rok Soo had done since then.
That word could not explain the time that had passed.
‘Everything I could do.’
These words were too trivial to explain everything he had done.
“And once we defeat this first unranked monster… I think that I will probably return to my own world after that.”
Cale pointed toward his heart.
“By the way, the real Rok Soo is in here. He’ll return later. He’s also seeing and hearing this conversation as well as everything that is going on.”
Lee Soo Hyuk stopped frowning.
Cale thought that this was very much like Lee Soo Hyuk as he continued to speak.
“Lee Soo Hyuk, telling you about all of this was something that both of us decided together.”
Cale stopped there and quietly observed Lee Soo Hyuk.
He was also looking right at Cale as he started to speak.
All he got back was that short response.
“You don't question whether I am lying?”
Lee Soo Hyuk walked over to Cale.
He then placed his hand on Cale's shoulder.
His expression was quite serious.
“Lee Soo Hyuk was your hyung in that world too, right?”
He was his hyung, team leader, role model, and family.
“And I am this world's Rok Soo's hyung.”
A picturesque smile appeared on Lee Soo Hyuk's face.
“Rok Soo, call me hyung. It’s rude to call your hyung, ‘you.’ Don't you agree?”
Cale let out a short laugh.
‘I know, right?’
Cale agreed with this world’s Kim Rok Soo's assessment.
Lee Soo Hyuk continued to speak as if he said nothing weird.
"All sorts of things are happening in this world. Something like this is nothing.”
He then picked his sword back up.
“Rok Soo, I've seen how much you’ve struggled. Not just me, everybody saw it. How could we suspect you after all of that?”
Lee Soo Hyuk had seen the despair in Cale’s eyes.
That was not something anybody could fake.
Such a person…
“You think I would question someone who tried to save not just me but everybody else here?”
Lee Soo Hyuk shook his head.
“I can't do that.”
“That’s how you are, hyung.”
Lee Soo Hyuk nodded his head with satisfaction after seeing that Cale had returned to speaking respectfully to him.
He then nonchalantly made a comment.
“How did I die in the other world?”
Cale nonchalantly responded back.
“Saving my life.”
Lee Soo Hyuk turned toward Cale.
“You were saving our team members and other people as well. You saved people left and right before leaving the world before I did.”
“Sounds exactly like you.”
“Yes. That’s exactly how you look right now. You look like you would even get yourself killed to save the person next to you.”
‘So take care of yourself too.’
That was the meaning behind Lee Soo Hyuk’s statement.
But Cale shook his head.
“Hyung, you’re wrong.”
Lee Soo Hyuk could see Cale’s firm gaze.
“I will survive no matter what.”
Cale’s confident voice had more conviction than ever before.
Lee Soo Hyuk then realized this.
“So hyung, please survive no matter what as well. You must survive no matter what happens.”
‘This punk wants me and himself… He wants everybody to survive.’
Lee Soo Hyuk could feel a deep sense of commitment that he couldn’t even fathom.
That was why he responded like this.
“I plan on surviving.”
He added on without any hesitation.
“All of us together.”
Lee Soo Hyuk was also being serious and Cale, as well as the Kim Rok Soo of this world, could feel it.
A slightly warmer than before but still cold breeze brushed past them.
Cale felt as if that breeze was washing away a lot of different feelings inside him.
Lee Soo Hyuk calmly asked a question at that moment.
“What are you like in your original world?”
“Mm, I'm not sure.”
Cale wondered if it was okay to have such a peaceful conversation like this with the Lee Soo Hyuk of this world but decided to respond for now.
“I just lived a so-so life until a few years ago. I just worked my ass off at work.”
But after that…
He had opened his eyes in a new body named Cale Henituse and had lived about two years in that body.
There weren’t many ways to express what had happened during those past two years.
If he had to pick something…
“Now though… These days, it is easier to push forward.”
Cale closed his eyes for a moment.
The memories of the past few years brushed through his mind.
“I have a lot of things I need to do.”
Numerous things that were not fighting monsters came up and prevented him from having his slacker life.
“There are many people waiting for me as well.”
Forget rolling around and lazing at home, there were too many people he had to meet with.
“…There are many people I wish to see as well.”
At that moment…
Cale looked toward a section of the watchtower.
He saw the clock strike 8 am as the alarm continued to ring.
Cale let out a chuckle.
That chuckle then turned into loud laughter.
“Rok Soo, why are you suddenly laughing?”
Lee Soo Hyuk found this random laughter to be odd but he could see that Cale’s laughter was quite refreshing.
Cale continued to laugh as he responded to the question.
‘Why am I laughing?’
“I can do as I please now.”
The moment the minute hand passed away from 8 am…
At that exact moment…
Boom. Boom. Boom.
He could hear the ground rumbling.
He also heard a familiar voice shouting for him.
Cale immediately looked down from the watchtower. Lee Soo Hyuk looked down as well.
They saw a monster with a large body.
Alberu Crossman, the Dark Tiger, was down below.
Lee Soo Hyuk could see the smile appearing on the Dark Tiger's face.
The Dark Tiger started to shout.
“Let’s take care of things and go!”
“That sounds great, hyung-nim.”
The moment Cale responded…
They heard an emergency alarm.
It was an alarm that would only go off for one reason.
“It came at a good time.”
The yellow head had shown itself once again.
They would finally put an end to this disgusting monster bastard.
Cale turned his head and looked toward Lee Soo Hyuk.
“Let’s go fight, hyung.”
Lee Soo Hyuk started to smile.
“Yes, let's go. Let’s go, my dongsaeng Rok Soo.”