The finite - by Currygom
Chapter 10: Passion (2/3)
(note: I probably got the conversations in the first part completely wrong, I had trouble figuring out what they were saying)
The infernal hell. Unlike what people say the place was very wide and spacious, and not counting the place where sinners went, the area was a quite pleasant resting place. The Gods refer to it as their sauna. Also, to make efficient use of the short time there, Gods brought along several things to get done at once.
"How couldn't they process everything in time, everything is in shambles, there are too many incompetents."
The person who muttered this had long dark brown hair tied up, and was surrounded by a pile of papers. He was wearing loose robes. But he was writing and placing seals at amazing speed. His handwriting was smooth, and his deep green eyes scanned for any mistakes.
"Yes, the pace in your office is very fast, so it takes a while to get behind. I see you're having a hard time too, Yama."
The person opposite Yama was surrounded by a pile of paperwork as well, and his bluish-silver hair swayed slightly. Both his eyes were covered with a dark blindfold, which made the fact that he was processing paperwork odd.
"Still better than you Indra. After all your quota was too high to begin with. The position of King of the Astikas was because the Primeval Gods were lazy and dumped on you." (thanks Ashenjay for the clarification!)
He then made a joke about the Primeval Gods. At Indra's words, Yama stopped working for a while and turned his head, shifting the topic.
"But really, that guy, Agni."
Yama was looking at where the molten metal pools were boiling. There was a sign in front of them saying "Sword of Hellfire, Access prohibited." Agni was sleeping and smiling in front of it.
"How can that guy afford to be sleeping? He's really something."
"He's definitely the strongest."
While they were chatting and laughing, they heard a voice that made them stop laughing. Visnu was in front of them, and smiled and waved at them.
"Visnu-nim, is there something..."
Although Yama stood up alongside Indra to greet him, Yama stayed a bit bowed, as though greeting him half-heartedly.
"Nothing serious, just something I wanted to ask Yama."
"Ah yes. You owe Visnu-nim a favor, Yama."
Indra and Yama stared at Agni who was still comfortably asleep, sighed and gave up.
"What is it?"
"Could you increase the life of a human a little?"
Until then Yama had not made eye contact with Visnu. But he now looked up to face Visnu with frighteningly cold glaze from his green eyes.
Tak's body was completely soaked in salt water. He confirmed the earrings in his hand and breathed a sigh of relief, then frowned. The raging storm of emotions was still vivid. For a while, he could see nothing but the lovely girl in front of him. He would have held her without hesitation. Ian would probably have asked him to let go. However, he wouldn't, because why would a Nastika listen to a human?
Tak clenched the earrings in his hands. Something was obvoiusly not normal. He stared at the waves absent-minded.
Why hasn't he fallen asleep yet? Normally he'd be asleep by now. Then he remembered... was what happened to that kid associated with Utpala's doings? At the time he shed the report as it wasn't a big thing, but he should have listened more carefully.
Tak thought about who to ask and disappeared.
Ian was sitting at her desk and tested her left arm, which was better thanks to magic. If she could have just cast the magic herself she wouldn't have needed to spend a lot of money.
She looked at a magic book she had out and placed it back onto the bookshelf. It was difficult, and even if she could understand she had a high failure rate. She took a glance at the admissions guide to the martial arts academy, but she shook her head. The half broke her arm by accident even without any intent to hurt her, and she noticed how fast he was carrying her to the checkpoint. There was no way she could overcome that level with martial arts, and even with magic, the results would vary.
If she tried really hard maybe she could overcome a half. But her goal was not a half, it was the top-class Destruction Dragon Nastika Taksaka. Even if a group of wizards gathered, no matter how great they are it'd be impossible for them to win. The breathe could destroy a planet or a star. How do you stop such an attack?
Of course, she didn't think that way before, but when she had her arm broken today, she painfully realized how weak she is.
"I know the goal is not realistic. But Mother, if I give up, what do I live for?"
She went to sleep while muffling the sound of her crying.
A chilling wind blew across the field at dawn, and Tak turned his attention to a young man who confirmed that it was this town that was destroyed 8 years ago. The smiling young man did not make any sound, but Tak was able to understand him.
"I never saw it directly, but I've heard that something red and black easily killed all the people in town. And they think that it's you, Taksaka."
It was a silent conversation. The young man was a Rakshasa, and could not speak. He had pink hair and smiling eyes.
"Shess. Dark red color is common. So are Vritra."
"Of course I do not think that you did it. I am just wondering why you are suddenly interested in what happened to a town 8 years ago. Do you mind Utpala-nim now?"
Tak shook his head at the question.
"That guy has been impersonating me and increasing my notoriety so often that all that crap doesn't bother me at all. But."
He looked around and muttered.
"It's weird. His opponent was too small. What value was there to get rid of a human village? Did he want to get attention with deliberately odd behaviour?"
"Maybe he was acting like a jealous child?"
Shess started laughing, but stopped when Tak glared at him.
"Okay, but my mother asked me to help you, so I will."
"Airavata asked about me?"
"Since you are second place for poorest emotional control among Vritra, she thought we should help you avoid embarassing the Dragon kind."
"What? Poor? This is a really crazy comparison."
"Should I tell mother that?"
"I know you don't think it's possible, but Mother is sincerely worried for Taksaka-nim."
Despite the dry answer, Shess was still smiling.
"I will tell you everything I know about what happened 8 years ago. In exchange can you promise me something?"
Tak looked at Shess.
"If you fight on this planet, please avoid damaging other organisms. She does not want your notoriety to increase any further."
"You talk as though there will be a fight."
Tak thought for a while but nodded.
"Okay. First thing I must say, Taksaka, is that those in the inner city called the village outside the city as the village of "Heretics.""
"Probably. They congregated outside without fear. This means that they probably believe in something."
"The village worshipped the Dragon race. Taksaka, you belong to that race."
Tak seemed puzzled by something. They wouldn't be worth tracking.
"Yes. Dragon Halfs are extremely rare, so is a village following the Dragon kind that a dragon agreed to protect. Perhaps in the distant past there was an exchange for a Half, and they retained the traditions."
Shess then thought that others did not touch the village just in case.
"Well, that aside, why would Utpala impersonate me to terminate a village of followers? That's a pretty crazy way to get attention."
Tak was a bit annoyed by the idea by now.
"Taksaka-nim. My guess is, Utpala-nim didn't just destroy the village to get attention."
"I heard there was a demand for sacrifice. So, when they were not ready to make a sacrifice, he made a disaster happen in return. Isn't that a common pattern in folk tales?"
"Utpala required a human sacrifice? That's ridiculous. What would you get out of that?"
"Of course I do not know the details of the matter. Specifically, the only requirement for the offering was for her to be pretty."
"What was the sacrifice?"
Shess hesitated for a moment and replied.
"I do not know for sure, but it seemed to be a girl by the name of Ian."
These chapters seem to be getting longer. :S But anyway:
- Yay! It's Yama and Indra! And the most manly kind of men, too: those who can handle their paperwork! Hoho. It seems Indra is the King of the Astika! But the title doesn't seem very comforting when it comes with so much paperwork. Agni is slacking off. x'D
- Yama doesn't seem to like Visnu much, and it seems Visnu is asking him to extend Ian's life? It seems the Gods really are in charge of the life and death matters of humans! I guess they really do decide who's a triple and who isn't as well.
- Shess is Airavata's son! So that's why he's close to her. Now, it seems that Kinnara is spending all her time with Vritra, so Airavata probably has to run the clan in her place. The Suras do have some interesting dynamics going on. I wonder how Shess survived that long though. That guy's fearless. D: He's facing Taksaka without flinching, and in the webtoon he was facing Gandharva without flinching either (okay, Gandharva was weakened, but still)
- Now we have a better idea of what happened to Ian's village. Ian's village worshipped Dragons, and it's possible that in the past, it really did get the protection of a Dragon because it had a Half. But that was a long time ago, and only the tradition remains. For some reason or other, Utpala impersonated Taksaka and asked a sacrifice of the village. That sacrifice would have been Ian. But her parents hid and protected her, and as a result Utpala destroyed the entire village.
By the way, there was a Q&A post on the novel not long ago. Most of it was on stuff like the title etc., but one person also asked if the novel was going to go waaay on until Ian's death. Currygom replied that this was not a novel about Ian's full life, so later on there will be a timeskip of a few years.
The good thing about this answer is that it means the novel won't drag on and on and on. But on the other hand, I don't see the novel finishing that fast after a timeskip either. A lot of things need to get resolved. So, for those wondering how much longer the break will last, I guess you could think of it this way:
- The webtoon will probably not start again before the end of the novel story
- Assuming the timeskip in the novel will start by the end of next chapter (most optimistic scenario), the novel will probably still go on for a number of chapters.
I personally doubt it will end in less than 2 months based on all this. On the other hand, another post claiming that the webtoon will only start again next year turned out to be an April Fool's joke, so the break won't last the whole year, if that's any consolation.
Edited by Mizura, 12 August 2012 - 07:54 AM.