< Breaking an Old Habit (Part 1) >
The identity of the Group’s leader wasn’t important. At the moment, Zin needed to gain the sealing power to fight the witch.
There were many crazy fools in the world and he knew that he had no time to waste dealing with them. He immediately asked Cho-Yul to bring the Heavenly Wind to him. Cho-Yul obeyed and ran out of the hut.
After a couple of minutes, he returned.
“Is this the Heavenly Wind?” Zin asked.
Cho-Yul brought a folding bamboo hand fan that was missing the cloth. The fan only had its bamboo frame left and the frame itself had a spiderweb of cracks. It was a useless fan.
An item was hard to make but easy to break. The Heavenly Wind was no exception. The charm had not been maintained properly and was tainted when many people had used it. It had become a useless piece of junk.
“I’m so sorry. I didn’t expect this to happen,” Cho-Yul bowed his head and apologized. It was a shame that the charm was ruined but at the same time, it wasn’t a huge deal.
“Saying sorry is not going to cut it,” Zin replied.
“You will need to take responsibility.”
Although the charm was ruined, Cho-Yul was still a skilled sorcerer.
“You will come with me to the temple and exorcise the Treacherous Spirit,” Zin ordered. He had fortunately found an alternative solution.
When he heard Zin’s words, Cho-Yul became serious.
While Zin was preaching to Cho-Yul, Ramphil and Leona were getting some food at a restaurant. They had C-Rations to eat but thought that they could do the townspeople a favor by spending some chips. Although the residents hoped to earn some chips, most of them didn’t approach Leona and Ramphil.
Ramphil wore a Wargrave uniform and they had an armored vehicle. Leona and Ramphil obviously frightened them. The townspeople were alert, but they became less fearful when they saw the two eat and pay the bill with the chips without causing any trouble.
Zin met up with Leona and Ramphil without bringing Cho-Yul.
“How did the conversation go?” Leona asked Zin.
“Good. We probably can’t use the charm, but he is going to help us out instead.”
It wasn’t a big deal for Cho-Yul to travel to the Heavenly Power Castle and return in a couple of days. His only concern was that SoSeoLan could be lurking around the area. However, he wasn’t scared enough to ignore Zin’s request.
Zin thought that Cho-Yul was a coward and a fool. He had expected him to refuse. After all, Cho-Yul was a person who lived in fear despite the power he possessed.
Zin had been ready to abduct him if he refused to go. When he had asked him to go to the temple, Cho-Yul became serious.
Can you give me a day to think about it?
Zin hadn’t expected to hear such an answer. Cho-Yul wanted some time to prepare to go back.
“He said that a day would be enough. So let’s wait and see,” Zin said. Ramphil and Leona nodded. They had plenty of places to sleep, such as the AV or the village’s empty buildings.
People of Weedle were curious as to why the three outsiders had visited the village, but nobody could ask them directly. They were careful not to offend the outsiders because they knew that the monstrous-looking AV could destroy their whole village.
Zin was a stingy man, but he would sometimes spend chips without thinking twice. He walked up to some residents who had been avoiding him.
“Is there a place we could stay?” he asked them.
“Yes? Oh…we need to ask our leader, but you could go into any empty building. Yeah.”
There were plenty of empty buildings and it was okay for the team to sleep in any one of them. Zin wasn’t shy about spending chips when he had to, but he refused to do so if it wasn’t necessary.
The residents of Weedle considered Cho-Yul the drunkard to be an outsider. He didn’t have any close friend, and the residents treated him as a fool. Nobody paid him much attention because he was drunk most of the time.
Therefore, an outsider paying him a visit was strange. Some residents came by his hut to ask about the outsider, but Cho-Yul closed the door and didn’t reply to anyone.
He had sobered up, assembled a small table, and sat down on the floor. Next to him was a sack made of hay that was full of rice. He usually used the rice to make alcohol by adding yeast, but this time, he wasn’t going to do that.
Cho-Yul picked up a handful of rice.
He threw it onto the table and counted the number of rice grains that were on it before wiping them off. He then picked up another handful of rice.
He continued to repeat these actions.
Cho-Yul used the rice to tell his fortune. He kept throwing the rice until the sack was empty. By then, the floor was covered with rice and the moon was high in the sky. Cho-Yul was covered in sweat.
The result of the fortune telling is always accurate.
His master, Goo-Yun, had said this when he had taught Cho-Yul sorcery.
It is a matter of how the result is interpreted.
Whenever someone told a fortune multiple times, they would get three different patterns. The rice grains might have scattered into different shapes, but if they can interpret it correctly, they would read the same result. A sorcerer could read the key point.
According to Goo-Yun, a skilled sorcerer could interpret the result of the fortune telling accurately. Cho-Yul tried to interpret the fortune telling that he had performed. SoSeoLan was also an excellent sorcerer, so they had something in common.
They didn’t believe in Heaven’s Will. However, there was a slight difference between them. SoSeoLan took action to prove that Heaven’s Will did not dictate the world. On the other hand, Cho-Yul hid from her in order to mock and disprove it. He mocked Heaven’s Will for allowing a skilled sorcerer to hide from the world.
Cho-Yul and SoSeoLan denied the existence Heaven’s Will.
However, things had changed. A witch hunter had visited Cho-Yul and asked him for a favor. Heaven’s Will had found its way to Cho-Yul, urging him to take action. He wondered if he needed to take action because of it.
Cho-Yul performed two fortune tellings. He wanted to see what would happen if he followed the hunter and if he didn’t.
The result for when he followed was strange. His destiny became intertwined with another’s and disappeared. He would apparently be following someone’s path.
Cho-Yul realized that if he left the village, he would not return. It would be a turning point in his life.
That’s an interesting result.
The outcome both surprised and amazed him.
“I will die in a dangerous and harmful place,” Cho-Yul said slowly, reading the fortune.
“I will travel with someone who always wanders so I won’t die peacefully on a bed. I will travel with a one who is not human and will encounter Treacherous Spirits wherever I go. I will be walking a path full of danger. There is no need for me to read any further.”
Cho-Yul would evidently be traveling to places where there was nothing but danger and pain. The result of the fortune telling strongly implied his death.
Once he left the village, there would be no turning back. Death waited at the end of the journey. Choosing this path would be a foolish thing to do.
The outcome of him staying in the village was simple. He would continue to live a meaningless life.
There were two options in front of him: a stormy ocean of the unknown or a barren wilderness. The fortune telling was performed in order to avoid harm and seek luck. Depending on the selection, a person’s luck would change.
Cho-Yul could continue living as a drunkard. He could hide and stay safe even when the Star of Disaster struck the world. However, when the world was covered with disaster, he would have no place to flee to.
After interpreting many fortunes, he started to read those of the other people who would be involved in his life. As he interpreted the many conflicting and complex results, he started to cry quietly.
Even though Cho-Yul would end up dying at the end of the path, he realized that he had to leave.
“I can hide from the waves of destruction, but I will have nowhere to go.”
Cho-Yun sobbed when he realized that nobody could run from their own fate.
Making a decision was impossible. Even though Cho-Yul had decided to live a life in which he would be making alcohol in a barren land, he would not be safe from the impending disaster that the Star of Disaster clearly foretold.
Even if Cho-Yul chose to live as a loser, he realized that he could not escape his fate. He knew he would inevitably come across his fellow student, SoSeoLan.
Cho-Yul could do nothing but cry.
After a long time, he stood up resolutely, believing that this was his first and only opportunity to take a stand.
He didn’t hope to change the world. After making the decision to move on, he couldn’t sit still.
Cho-Yul dragged a jar of alcohol he had been storing out of his hut. Since he wasn’t in the best shape, he had trouble carrying such a heavy thing. After he set it on the lawn, he went inside and brought out another.
He was sweating and shaking and beginning to tire. The three big jars were things that comforted him.
He was able to drink the sorrow away. All the jars stood on the lawn in front of the hut. Cho-Yul brought out his stone pillow and lifted it.
Without hesitation, he swung it at the first jar, which broke into pieces. The grain alcohol flowed out of the smashed jar. Cho-Yul moved on the next jar and smashed it as well.
The second jar also broke into pieces. The smell of the yeast and alcohol permeated the lawn. Without paying attention to the flowing alcohol, he smashed the third jar.
Alcohol flowed from the three broken jars and Cho-Yul turned them upside down to dump out the remaining alcohol.
The alcohol flowed all over the ground. Cho-Yul threw the pillow away and watched the scene in silence.
The drunkard of Weedle had smashed all his jars of alcohol in the middle of the night when no one was around.
Cho-Yul was wet with sweat and alcohol.
Then he started to laugh like he had never laughed before.