Part 35: The Outside World
[BGM: Getting Serious]
How did it end up like this?
How could Officer Min-Jun be dead?
Carlos... Will I ever see you again?
Oh... it was just a nightmare...
No... it was more than that... Everything... has already happened in reality... But... I have tried everything I could...
I thought it was raining. However, everything outside looks exactly the same as when I first woke up after losing my memories.
The sky is still red.
Snow keeps falling down.
Even the snow looks red, perhaps because of the light.
There doesn't seem to be anybody in the buildings on either side of the street.
And there aren't any people on the street.
There aren't any animals either, no small birds or little dogs... nothing.
There aren't even any trees or grass.
The rain only appears in my dreams. It has never stopped snowing outside the window.
Is this what the gods' world looks like?
I wonder... what the humans' world looks like right now...
Yo. You're up early.
Hmm... what time is it now?
4 o'clock in the morning.
It's only 4?
Nothing seems to change outside the window. I can't even tell whether it's morning or not.
The humans' world has day and night, right? Why don't we have that?
That's because we live in a different world.
Willy, I want to go for a walk outside.
I'm afraid... you can't do that.
To us, there is no outside. Everything you see from the window is just an illusion.
This house is all there is to our world.
Are you telling me that everything that I see outside the window... is fake?
That's correct. Everything outside is fake.
Even the house that we are living in right now doesn't really exist. All of this is built by our combined imagination.
Our world and the humans' world have no intersections at all. Not in time, nor in space.
Well, could we go to their world at all? By teleportation for example, like you did earlier? Or maybe there is a door of some kind that could open to any other place you want to go to?
Why do you want to go to their world so much?
I... I haven't been feeling too well recently. This... job. It's not like what I first imagined it would be.
I thought I could give everyone a perfect, happy ending.
But tragedies keep happening, one after another. I don't know what I have done wrong... Do I not understand them well enough, because I'm not human?
Or is it because I'm not familiar enough with their world, so I can't understand the consequences of my decisions? So...
So you want to go there, and witness their lives for yourself?
Unfortunately, we are unable to go to their world. Besides... we don't really need to.
We are gods. All we need to do is fulfill the humans' wishes. It is not our duty to create a wonderful world based on our judgment.
You have too much kindness in you, and that's why you are overthinking it. No matter what decisions you make, the humans will accept them.
Simply because they don't have other options.
But we're gods! How can we be so careless about their sincere wishes?!
Pfft. Humans never truly understand what they want, ever. They get themselves into trouble, but they are afraid to take responsibility for their actions and choices. That's why they always hope the gods can fix everything for them.
God will help me. God will bless me. They are nothing but a bunch of cowards and losers!
As long as we help them resolve their immediate dilemmas, we have done our job.
As for the other problems that lie in their future, those have nothing to do with us. The bottom line is this, even if we don't help them at all they have no right to complain.
After all, we are gods, and they are just mere humans.
Therefore no matter what you do, you are always right. You will never be wrong.
I understand it might be a little difficult for you to accept this right now. You should just go take a nap and get some rest.
We've talked enough today. I'll go make us some breakfast.
Was I really overthinking things?
Well, maybe I have to do it myself...
[BGM: New Life]
NEW MESSAGE: Breaking Out
NEW MESSAGE: A Plan Gone Awry
NEW MESSAGE: An 18-Year Old Boy
[BGM: Sunny Day]
In the largest arcade of Mong Kok,
[Time Reversal Cup! The Prince of Fighters '97 Nostalgia Tournament!]
a giant banner was on display.
The Time Reversal Cup had been the biggest tournament for classic fighting games in Hong Kong for a few years. It had also been an important source of income in my post-college, independent life.
After graduating from college last year I had moved out of my parents' house and rented a 30 square meter studio with a standalone bathroom.
I never knew that rent could be so expensive.
I never understood why people would want to buy stuff on sale.
I never realized that part-time jobs barely paid anything.
Not until I lost financial support from my father and mother did I begin to appreciate the challenges of life.
Therefore, I must win the tournament.
The prize money for winning the championship would be enough to cover my expenses for three months!
I had arrived not too long ago and I had been testing my machine.
People were beginning to gather around, many of whom kept taking pictures with their phones.
As the two-time defending champion I had been placed directly in the semi-finals, so I was expecting a little attention.
However, today, I was feeling very suspicious about every one of these people.
I was about to go and hide in the bathroom for a little while before the match. Suddenly a wave of excitement washed over the crowd.
A small kid had just walked up to the machine opposite mine. He was in his school uniform, wearing a pair of glasses, and his hair was parted to the left side.
The staff thought we didn't know each other and started making introductions.
This is the 'Primary School Killer', you must have heard of him. He has no more rivals left in the Tsim Sha Tsui area. Last week, he challenged the entire North Key Arcade. Nobody dared even say a word.
I never thought that he would be my opponent today!
I silently cursed all the gods and goddesses in my head.
And then the punk kid held his thumbs down and made a face at me!
The crowd booed loudly. The booing went right into my head, along with the history of our rivalry.
Now watch out, you punk! Big Brother is gonna teach you a lesson for the sake of your parents.
Let me show you how to be polite and respectful to your senior! 凸(` 皿 ´ )
[BGM: Chasing Me]
My Yogami vs. his Kosanagi. Two games out of three.
In all honesty, our raw skills were mostly on the same level.
But every time I played this kid, he would always be able to get into my head and mess up my inputs. I would be thinking of a punch but press a kick.
I was trashed in the first game.
And I tried my damned best to win the second game.
Here came the deciding game.
The crowd had become wild.
Time to go to hell, you little punk! Hell! Hell! Hell! Hell!
At this point both of our HP gauges were alarmingly low.
Our special moves were both fully charged and ready to go as well.
If either of us made a mistake right now the other would immediately land a combo and finish the game.
I slightly wiggled my sweating right hand and feigned a retreat.
The punk kid took the bait. His punch whiffed.
Now's my chance! I commanded Yogami to jump behind him, ready to unleash the final combo:
Ge Shiki Yori Ori
127 Shiki Akai Hana One
127 Shiki Akai Hana Two
After two consecutive Akai Hana, my opponent had just been thrown into midair.
It was finally time to end this game with a Desperation Move ------
Joystick: → ↘ ↓ ↙ ←
Joystick: ← ↙ ↓ ↘ →
Hard Punch: [C]
Ghostly purple flames appeared on Yogami's hands. Light pillars were bursting from the ground one after another.
Desperation Move: Ura 108 Shiki Yo Sakazuki
Oh crap, that was the wrong move!!
It was an amazing move that could stun the opponent, but its only drawback was that...
it was also slow.
Kosanagi quickly airteched away from the pillars, nullifying my attack.
The punk kid smiled behind his glasses.
Kosanagi jumped on top of me and hit me right in the face.
I was still in recovery from the previous move so I couldn't defend myself.
Kosanagi then kicked me into the air. Raging fire erupted in his right hand as he held it high. It then turned into a devouring firebomb while I was staring in shock; it blew Yogami into the sky.
As Yogami kept flying upwards on the screen, my heart was sinking all the way into the ground.
I lost. My prize... gone.
I might have to borrow money from my father to cover the rent this month. He would once again try to persuade me to go and work at his company.
Mother would then try to set me up on a blind date, forcing me to meet people who I had absolutely no interest in. Yet I would have to pretend to smile the whole time.
My dear Goddess of Fortune, please take me away from here!
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