And that’s how I died in the third transmigration.
In that manner, just like that.
As I was disappearing from that iteration, the last thing I said was this:
“Let’s not meet in hell.”
While looking at Urien’s distorted expression, at his tear-stricken eyes,
I died laughing, just like that.
I hoped never to wake up in anyone’s body yet again.
Death brought me peace.
And soon, the world around me faded to black.
* * *
“But why… why am I not waking up”
That’s how the nightmare about my life as Rita ended.
The third transmigration was over.
However, despite already dying in the third round, the nightmare continued.
Unknowingly, I had slipped out of Rita’s body and was now looking at what had happened after my death, from an outsider’s point of view.
This was my first time seeing it all from this perspective.
At the opposite end of my gaze was Urien.
With an empty smile, he held Rita in his arms, blood everywhere.
He was laughing like a man who’d gone crazy.
Tears streamed down his eyes, yet only laughter flowed through his lips.
Well, that is to say, a man who could not bear to endure his lunacy anymore.
The very thing that he wanted so much to possess had gone to a place he could not reach.
Urien, sitting there like a madman for a long time, soon faltered and touched the ground.
One red-stained hand grappled for a dagger that was lying on the floor.
‘Are you trying to die’
My brows furrowed automatically.
It’s not that I thought Urien was pitiful, it’s just that I’m so sick and tired of him already.
I know what he’s thinking.
Let’s be together, even in death.
Well, what a chilling thought.
Urien’s hand, holding the dagger, slowly went up.
Wistfully smiling, he opened his lips to speak.
“It’s alright, Rita.
I’ll follow after you.
If you die, then I will die as well.
Just as how there is darkness where there is light, that’s how we are.
What the hell do you mean.
At the question that didn’t even sound like a question, I could do nothing but laugh.
With the way he said it, you’d think that he and I had a love story of the millennia.
It’s not even funny.
Well, either way.
He continued on with his business with that pathetic smile on his face.
“I will always be by your side, Rita.”
The added whisper sent chills down my spine.
He said this to me more times than I could count in the third transmigration, but it never failed to be so eerie.
With eyes wide open, their corners curved into slopes, Urien laughed.
Tears flowed down his swollen eyes, as if he was shedding tears of blood.
Urien raised his hand a little higher.
The sharp tip of the dagger flashed overhead, reflecting the chandelier’s light.
And right then, his hand swung down at a speed that was neither too slow, neither too fast.
The target was evidently his own chest.
However, the target was not met.
Because the dagger stopped midair.
The man’s roundly curved eyes gradually widened.
My reaction was no different than his.
And there was only one reason behind this.
Rita’s body suddenly began to glow.
Then, a book slowly appeared from the limp Rita’s chest.
It was an unbelievable sight.
“What… is this…”
Urien murmured quietly.
‘What is this.’
Seeing this for the first time myself, I unknowingly uttered the same words.
As it was gradually conjured into existence, the shining book emerged completely from Rita’s body, floating into the air.
It slowly opened, letting out a blinding light.
Soon, the book’s pages began to turn.
Accompanied by a loud noise, the pages flitted rapidly by itself, however it all stopped when it reached a certain page.
The world fell silent.
Urien and I both stared at the book, forgetting to breathe.
However, it was not the book that made the next move.
From Rita’s chest, yet again, something arose.
It was a butterfly.
Fluttering its wings, leaving behind gold dust.
Blankly staring at that butterfly, Urien muttered breathlessly.
As if to answer his call, the butterfly—which was circling in the air—soon fluttered towards the book.
The surprised Urien reached out.
Perhaps in an attempt not to let Rita go.
However, it was as if the butterfly was laughing at his attempt in the way that it completely disappeared into the book.
When the target that the man was trying disappeared, his empty hand instead grabbed the book.
Then, as Urien’s hand touched it, the book began to shine brightly once more.
“This is… God’s power”
And when Urien said this, I could only blink.
‘What God’s power’
As I was in the midst of this completely unfamiliar scene, the mention of ‘divine power’ made it even more difficult to comprehend.
The book started vibrating, letting out a humming sound.
Then, as if rejecting Urien, his hand was pushed back.
However, the more that happened, Urien gritted his teeth and continued to hold on.
There was a certain spark of determination in his tearful, green eyes.
This book had come from Rita’s body.
Right after the book left her, a butterfly soon entered it.
It’s only natural to surmise that they’re both closely related to Rita.
I was also thinking the same thing.
It looked like it had something to do with my continuous transmigrations.
The conflict between Urien and the book continued for much longer.
However, in the end, the one who rose as the victor between these two opposing forces was Urien.
His hand gradually succeeded in resisting the book.
At the same time.
Urien coughed, and from his lips was a stream of red blood.
His complexion quickly turned pale.
His red lips became bluer by the second.
“Where are you taking Rita…”
He struggled to utter even just these words.
However, he did not stop clutching onto the book that was trying to repel him.
Rather, the book that had been buzzing eerily until now… stopped.
The pages turned once more.
Still with Urien’s hand stuck on it.
One page, two pages… The pages began to turn yet again, gradually began to flit through just as it had before.
In the middle of the loud noise, Urien’s mouth slowly opened.
It didn’t seem to be an act he had intended to do by his own will.
His green eyes reflected his confusion.
Then, soon, another butterfly appeared.
It was green, and it left through his open lips.
Urien’s eyes grew wide.
His pupils were quivering, however they disappeared not a moment later.
His eyes went back, and all that could be seen were the whites.
The man’s tight hold over the book loosened.
The butterfly, fluttering leisurely in the air, flew into the book without any hesitation.
And, Urien’s body as it lost his soul, fell sideways.
Next to Rita.
After devouring the souls of the main characters of the third transmigration, the book turned its pages a few more times, but soon—clack! It snapped shut.
Left alone, I was utterly lost.
My gaze gravitated towards the closed book.
There, the title of the novel.
〈 The Everlasting Flower 〉
It was the title of the fourth novel, of which the main leads were Alicia and Leo.
All that resounded in that empty silence was my voice.
This looked exactly like me moving onto the next world.
And, after witnessing how Urien followed after me, it felt like I was going to faint.
I couldn’t get ahold of my senses.
However, the chaotic series of events did not stop there.
—What a predicament.
A disembodied voice echoed from somewhere.
With chills running down my back, I looked around.
I didn’t feel anyone’s presence.
Perhaps it’s because I’m not completely composed, or…
Perhaps because there wasn’t anyone there at all.
Everyone here was dead.
Inside this large room, only corpses remained.
The voice came from above, where not even a single ant was.
As I kept looking around like a fool, another voice continued speaking.
—It wasn’t yet the appointed time of death, it happened too early.
Now, even a rift in the passageway has been opened…
The voices sounded like a woman’s and a man’s.
However, there’s one thing that I could be certain of at this point.
Those voices did not belong to humans.
My voice trembled.
There was no answer.
It seemed as if the intended listeners could not hear as they just said what they had to say.
—Because of the rift, that unrelated punk even jumped right in.
This is just…
The voice let out a sigh.
Half distressed, half indifferent.
Instead of going on to spout useless questions, I tried to make sense of the situation on my own.
‘My death happened too early That allowed a rift in the passageway’
It seemed like my move from the third transmigration to the fourth arose some complications because I had chosen my own death.
So, a rift appeared.
And, after taking advantage of that rift…
‘Urien also traversed to the next world.’
Wasn’t this no different from tripping over my own snare
I had chosen my own death to f*ck that bastard over, and yet it served as a gateway for him to chase after me.
Ruminating as I chewed my lower lip, the world around me suddenly turned black.
I raised my head in surprise.
I turned this way and that in a hurry, however everywhere my gaze went, it was pitch black.
Soon, my eyes flicked up and looked directly at one spot in the darkness, even though I could see nothing there.
A clear gaze, as if piercing through me, was staring back at me.
Then, I became suffocated by a sharp sensation that suddenly came from all directions.
Unable to breathe, I urgently brought both my hands to my neck.
However, the merciless gaze did not abate.
Endure a little more.
Like the gazes that were coming in from every single direction, the voice echoed from everywhere around me.
This time, the disembodied voice was talking to me.
I struggled to move my eyes and look around.
Still, I could see nothing but darkness.
Clutching my suffocating throat, I managed to utter a few words.
“…Why the hell… are you… doing this… to… me…”
Those words were directed nowhere, but at the same time, everywhere.
Are you asking because you don’t know
However, what answered me was ridicule and yet another incomprehensible question.
I could not say anything back.
This agony rendered me speechless, but one moment later, the voice whispered once more, sounding as if it was smirking.
—You know… All of this is what you wanted.