That’s Why I Disliked It (4)
There, sitting by Chi-Woo’s bed, was the brother he had desperately sought, and he finally accomplished what he wished for.
Waking up from a dream, Chi-Woo was caught in a strange feeling that was difficult to explain.
For a moment, he simply stood there in disbelief before he lay back down and threw the blanket over himself like he was going back to sleep.
Chi-Woo heard Chi-Hyun let out an exasperated scoff.
Then his brother asked him in a low voice, “…What are you doing”
“What” Chi-Woo asked with his face buried in his pillow.
“You told me to go.”
“You told me to go when I visited you earlier.
Isn’t that what you did” Chi-Hyun replied.
If Noel Freya had been here, she would have exclaimed, surprised that Chi-Hyun could show his emotions so candidly.
Chi-Hyun looked at Chi-Woo like he couldn’t believe it and scoffed again, followed by a stretched-out sigh.
After some time…
“Ah! Ah! Don’t do that! Hey!” Feeling something hit his back, Chi-Woo kicked the blanket off and got up.
Chi-Hyun was sitting in the chair like before.
Chi-Woo had thought Chi-Hyun must have kicked him, but it seemed his brother had used some special skill.
“Sit.” It was a cold command.
Chi-Woo was bothered by Chi-Hyun’s tone but obediently moved to get out of bed.
He finally got his reunion, but for some reason, he kept feeling an urge to laugh.
“Umph.” Chi-Woo fake coughed and sat in the chair in front of Chi-Hyun.
“Well, I guess… I should say hi” Chi-Woo raised his hand with a smile, but his smile dropped when he saw the look on Chi-Hyun’s face.
Chi-Hyun was staring at Chi-Woo intently with his head slightly bowed.
The light emitting from his eyes crackled like a forest fire that burned up a mountain.
Chi-Woo felt trapped and tied up under this burning gaze.
It hadn’t been his imagination.
His brother had been boiling with anger since their meeting.
The little drowsiness that remained in him evaporated in an instant, and Chi-Woo came to his senses.
“Uh…Brother.” Chi-Woo spoke first again in an awkward voice.
“Yeah…so I know you must be really surprised.
I can understand why you could be angry too.”
Chi-Hyun’s thick eyebrows wiggled.
“But…” As his throat dried up, Chi-Woo licked his lips.
“Hear me out first.
I also had my reasons—”
Bam! Chi-Woo flinched and stopped talking.
Chi-Hyun had gotten up abruptly and slammed his fist onto the old table, which split into two and shattered into tiny pieces.
Now his hand was trembling.
A tremendous rage overflowed from Chi-Hyun’s entire body; it seemed the punch had been a result of him failing to contain his emotions.
Face blank, Chi-Woo pressed his lips together.
He felt like he shouldn’t speak rashly anymore.
A long period of silence followed, and Chi-Hyun sat back in his chair again.
“I hoped it wasn’t you,” he then said.
“Since I saw you and while we were coming to this place, I kept wishing I was mistaken.” Chi-Hyun took a deep breath before saying anything else.
Chi-Woo blankly stared at the broken pieces on the floor.
A chilling voice continued to pierce his ears.
Let me try hearing your reasons once.”
By this point, Chi-Woo realized that his brother had absolutely no intention to understand him.
Even his declaration to hear Chi-Woo out was in order to learn the process that led Chi-Woo here.
It was clear Chi-Hyun wouldn’t accept any of Chi-Woo’s reasons.
Still, it wasn’t as if Chi-Woo could keep silent.
Thus, he forcefully parted his heavy lips.
“….I met Giant Fist.
Out of nowhere, he told me he was your underling, and that I came from a family of heroes.”
“What” Chi-Hyun responded sharply even though Chi-Woo hadn’t said much.
“That damn bastard, Giant Fist…he finally did it…wait.” Chi-Hyun stopped himself to ask, “Shouldn’t there have been one more person”
“I stopped Mua Janya from interfering.
Giant Fist told me that I was the one with the authority and I should use it.”
Chi-Hyun breathed out his thousandth sigh and raked through his hair with both hands.
But you shouldn’t have been able to enter the Celestial Realm with that alone.”
Laguel tried to deport me as soon as she saw me on your orders.”
“After that…honestly, I don’t really remember.”
“No, it’s true.” Chi-Woo quickly added as Chi-Hyun looked doubtful.
“When I opened my eyes again, I was lying down with a high fever, and Ms.
Laguel was beside me, looking disheveled.
After we conversed a bit, Archangel Raphael came and…what was it She said someone ascended, so there was nothing they could do.
At least, that’s what I think I heard.”
Chi-Hyun fell deep in thought.
Then his face scrunched up. ‘No way.’
After a while, Chi-Hyun spoke up again exasperatedly.
“What happened then Did Giant Fist just drop you here”
“He didn’t… We came together since we both passed the test.”
“Giant Fist also passed the test Then why haven’t I seen him”
“He passed away.” Chi-Woo’s gaze fell to the ground.
“To restore goddess Shahnaz…he gave himself up as a sacrifice alongside Ms.
Chi-Hyun was speechless; the one who acted on his own and caused all this had just died.
In the end, he clenched his eyes shut.
He didn’t hear all the details, but he could make out the general situation.
“Why” Chi-Hyun looked up at the ceiling.
“Why in the world…!” Worries and exasperations overtook him in turns, evidenced by the way his voice fluctuated.
“I wanted to know why you disappeared,” Chi-Woo said carefully.
“And why Mom and Dad acted so strangely when you were gone.”
“…What about our parents” Chi-Hyun responded nonchalantly.
“They never thought about searching for you even when you disappeared.
They simply live day by day with little energy.”
“That’s only expected.”
“Since there’s a blank in their memories.”
Chi-Woo doubted his ear.
“What did you just say Are you saying that their memories were erased or something”
“Rather than getting erased, it’s more accurate to say it was manipulated,” Chi-Hyun said calmly.
“Memories of their decades of heroic activities were replaced with fabricated memories on Earth.
It’s no wonder that they’d feel strange.”
Chi-Woo’s jaw dropped.
“That’s what I wanted for them, and our parents accepted my request.”
Chi-Woo couldn’t understand his brother’s words at all.
Thus, he asked again, “But why”
“Our parents retired and wanted you—” Chi-Hyun was about to say something, but stopped.
After a gulp, he said, “They wanted you to live a normal life.”
“Still…was there a need for them to go as far as manipulating their memories” Chi-Woo managed to blurt out.
“Think for a bit.” Chi-Hyun frowned.
“How would both of our parents stay on Earth in peace when both of us are here They wanted to live a new life after retiring.”
Chi-Woo licked his lips and said, “That means Mom and Dad were both heroes.”
“I had no idea.
Even in my wildest dreams.”
“Enough about this.” Chi-Hyun shook his head like it was too trivial to discuss.
“You really are—”
“Brother.” Chi-Woo cut him off.
“I heard from a stranger that our family is a family of heroes for generations.” The slightly joking tone was now completely gone from Chi-Woo’s voice.
“What do you think I felt when I first heard that”
Two brothers began glaring at each other.
“…There were probably more than one or two people who tried to stop you.” After a short silence, Chi-Hyun averted his gaze.
“If you’ve pondered even for a bit why all those people tried to stop you—” Chi-Hyun seemed to be suppressing his fury, his words punctuated by pauses.
“You wouldn’t have recklessly jumped into this matter like an immature kid.”
“You should have never come here.”
“At least give me a heads up then,” Chi-Woo shot back.
The pleasantries were all gone for Chi-Woo as well.
“I need to first know what’s going on to understand why.
I don’t know anything.”
Why are you like this”
“Borther!” No matter how many times he asked, Chi-Hyun remained silent.
Chi-Woo grew red in fury; he had been waiting so patiently for so long.
“Ah, so you can’t tell me” He continued with a vehement tone.
“There’s no need for me to know, and I’m just supposed to live an ignorant and crummy life on Earth”
“A crummy life” Chi-Hyun frowned.
“Our parents will get better with time, and they’ll get used to their manufactured memories in a few years—”
“How would I have known that!” Chi-Woo likewise raised his voice to match Chi-Hyun’s tone.
“Again, you’re—” He shouted again before calming down.
“And—I...” However, he couldn’t fully suppress his frustration, and it leaked into his voice as he continued, “I’ve been seeing things I shouldn’t see since I was born.
Whenever I tried to do anything, I got hindered by nonsensical reasons.”
When he was young, he had wanted to be a taekwondo player.
However, the day when he went to the World Taekwondo Headquarters to take the test, he suddenly got a fever.
In the end, he couldn’t make it, and his body immediately recovered the next day.
Such ridiculous coincidences happened to him three years in a row, and Chi-Woo finally gave up on his dream to become a professional taekwondo player.
Then he wanted to become a photographer, but his camera broke down at every important moment; the same thing happened all too frequently.
He even tried to become a chef after getting interested in cooking.
Even when fresh ingredients suddenly turned bad, he stubbornly clung to his dream of becoming a chef.
However, after a fire broke out in the kitchen, and the people around him got hurt, he gave up on becoming a chef as well.
Even after all that, he failed to become a shaman as well.
It was a pattern that persisted throughout his life.
“You think I’m an idiot” Chi-Woo spoke with a trembling voice.
“I lived like that for 22 years.
But you think I’ll just take it Like that’s how my life is supposed to be! And just continue living without any questions”
“Do you know” Chi-Woo laughed in vain.
“I failed at everything I do on Earth no matter how hard I try, but on Liber, I succeeded every time.”
Chi-Hyun’s eyes slightly widened.
“It’s like I should have done this in the first place.” Chi-Woo suddenly realized he was out of breath after speaking so fast.
“…But even then.” Chi-Hyun, who had been quietly listening, softly said, “Even if it’s a life like that, it would have been better.”
“…Ha.” Chi-Woo closed his eyes.
How did things turn out like this ‘I…’ This wasn’t what Chi-Woo had wanted for their reunion.
Of course, he thought that things might not go well since his brother had his own circumstances, but he hadn’t expected this.
He had come all the way here after much contemplation, but it felt like Chi-Hyun was denying all his reasons.
“…” That thought drained him of all energy; he suddenly didn’t feel like saying another word.
But even then…
“…Fine.” Chi-Woo thought there must be a reason why his brother was being so outrageously stubborn.
“Fine, I got it.
Laguel and Ms.
Raphael also said they couldn’t tell me much because of a pledge they made.
I’ll just assume that’s why you refuse to talk and stop pushing—for now.” Chi-Woo decided to set aside all his questions and focus on their current reality.
“First, even if I ask you to return with me, you won’t, right”
“If we could return this very moment, I wouldn’t even be talking to you like this.” This meant that if they could return, Chi-Hyun would have forced Chi-Woo to go back, even if it meant beating the crap out of him.
“You’re saying that we can only return after normalizing Liber, right”
“Why are you asking me when you know so well”
“Then let’s do this.” Even though Chi-Woo felt intensely angry, he desperately tried to suppress it and continued, “I’ll help.”
“I’ll help you, so let’s save Liber and return to Earth.
Then show your face to our parents and explain to me your reason.
I should be entitled to that story by then.”
“There’s no point telling me that I won’t be of help,” Chi-Woo firmly responded; this was the one thing he wouldn’t back down from.
“I think the work I’ve done here so far has been beyond helpful already.”
Chi-Hyun met his brother’s glare and suddenly thought of Noel Freya’s report.
He had been surprised when he first heard her report, thinking there must be some embellishment.
However, if his younger brother was involved, it became a completely different story.
Chi-Hyun’s eyes narrowed.
“You…” He gaped as if he couldn’t believe what Chi-Woo was saying and shook his head again.
Chi-Woo began to feel an unknown sense of unease; it seemed that nothing was getting through him.
Listen well.” Chi-Hyun’s voice was soft, but threatening; it sounded like he was giving him an ultimatum he would not repeat.
“I know why you came to this world, but I won’t tell you my reasons for keeping all of this hidden.
I don’t ever intend to tell you.
I will never give you an explanation, and I shouldn’t.”
You’re going to help me You’ve got to be kidding me.
Stop saying nonsense.
The same goes for this matter.” Chi-Hyun spoke like a judge making his final ruling.
“Regardless of what you did so far, and whether all those stories are true—even if you might be helpful in the future, it doesn’t matter at all.”
Chi-Woo’s lips trembled.
Chi-Hyun continued, “The reality is that you recklessly came to Liber on your own, and you can’t go back until it’s all over.” That left Chi-Hyun with only one option.
“I’ll keep you safe until this whole situation is over, and as soon as it is, I’m going to send you straight back to Earth.”
“I don’t need your help.” Chi-Hyun flatly cut off Chi-Woo.
“I already made my points clear.
I have no intentions to get help from you, and I shouldn’t.”
“Are you really going to be like this”
From this point on, you won’t be able to do a single thing on Liber.
I’ll make sure of that.” After one-sidedly making his intentions clear, Chi-Hyun got up to leave.
“If you understand, get up.”
Chi-Woo did not get up.
But that didn’t matter to Chi-Hyun; he could force Chi-Woo to get up and turn around.
“…Fuck, what the heck.”
“Did you just—”
“That’s enough.” There was a limit to how much Chi-Woo could endure his brother’s harsh words.
He slowly raised the head he had been keeping low the whole time.
“What did you say”
“I said that’s enough.” Sparks sputtered out of Chi-Woo’s eyes.