IBTVTHIOW - C205
Chapter 205 – Conversation (2)
A world on the verge of destruction, soon to be erased as time rewinds.
On the rooftop of a building overlooking that world, Stardus and I sat side by side, enjoying in various conversations.
“…Do you know how surprised I was back then?”
“Haha, I was surprised too.”
“Especially when we were trapped there…”
Since everything would disappear once time reversed, I chatted casually and comfortably, without worrying about making mistakes. We chatted about various moments we had shared together, now feeling like memories. The time we first met underground at HanEun group, the events at the hotel in Busan… things like that.
It was somehow funny. A hero and a villain sitting side by side, laughing and talking about the past.
Considering I had always liked Stardus, I just enjoyed this moment. However, to be honest, it was surprising to see her like this. …Well, it didn’t really matter. I had already revealed my true identity, and the world was ending anyway, so it didn’t change anything even if we were sitting together like this. Stardus must have decided to take it easy too… or so I thought.
We spent hours on the rooftop, enjoying the gentle breeze as we talked about various things.
In normal times, we were busy fighting each other. Entangled in our identities, always wary of others’ eyes.
Suppressing our true feelings, unable to share such stories.
Only at this moment, when the world was about to be destroyed and disappear, were we able to laugh and talk comfortably with each other.
So for hours, in the midst of the world’s destruction, we exchanged various stories.
“Ta-da! Nice to meet you. Have we met before?.”
“Wow… Haha, yeah. I thought so.”
During our conversation, as it was a timeline that we would soon forget, I removed my mask and revealed my identity.
“I’ll call you Da-in, so you can call me Haru.”
We formally addressed each other by our real names.
“…Wait, Da In, back then on the beach, didn’t Lee Seola introduce you to me?”
…As Shin Haru smiled mischievously and playfully asked about the relationship between Lee Seola and me, I instinctively felt a sense of danger and quickly tried to explain myself.
“You guys are not?”
“Of course not! We have a family-like relationship. There’s absolutely nothing like that!”
“…That’s a relief.”
“…No, it’s nothing.”
…At that moment, I found myself explaining the suspicions Starus had about something going on between me and the female members of Ego Stream.
There were surprisingly endless conversation topics.
“Haha, really? You wanted to see me back then?”
“Ah… Please stop laughing. It’s embarrassing…”
I laughed together with her like that, and quite some time passed.
The blue sky gradually turned orange.
In fact, at one point during our conversation, Wolgwang Bridge tried to revive, causing a seizure, and suddenly it turned into night, but it must have failed as it returned to daytime again.
Anyway, now it was getting closer to sunset.
…Instinctively, we realized that time was running out. So, without even realizing it, we ended up gazing at the orange-streaked sky, smiling gently on our lips.
Sitting on the rooftop railing, hands on the railing.
That way, we sat at the top of a world on the brink of destruction, waiting for the time to rewind.
In the midst of that, I, lost in thought, quietly reflected on the serious conversation we had shared today while the conversation temporarily ceased.
…I know it too. The current situation is unusual.
As I mentioned earlier, I revealed my identity, and it’s a moment when the world is on the brink of destruction. Maybe because of that, I extended a reassuring hand to her, who might have been psychologically overwhelmed, causing the shaky effect.
…Even considering that, Haru felt too close to me.
As if we had been old friends from the beginning, not between hero and villain.
As if she didn’t hate me or hold any resentment.
…I liked Stardus. From the very beginning, of course. So, I could laugh and talk with her, enjoying her company.
To be honest, it was strange from the start. She readily accepted my words about time rewinding without a hint of doubt. As if she had trusted me from the beginning.
…Even though I’m a villain. Why?
While I was pondering such doubts in my mind, suddenly, Haru, with a small smile on her lips, looked at the setting sun and began to speak.
Under the crimson sky, in an atmosphere where something made my heart race, she spoke to me.
“…I’ve been thinking about it now.”
“To be honest, I never really disliked you, Da-in, I mean Egostic.”
“From the beginning. Actually… I don’t think I ever did.”
Hearing those words, I doubted my ears. I turned my head to look at her, but she still stood there, gazing at the reddening sky with a serene smile.
And she continued, her gaze still fixed on the sky.
“…You know, I think I may have just tried to dislike you consciously.”
“Because you’re a villain, causing terror, an evil-doer. And I’m a hero. A savior. Naturally, I should hate you… That’s what I thought.”
…What is she saying?
Regardless of my confusion, Haru continued to speak.
“But you know, now that I think about it…”
“When was it? Was it the day when the plane crashed, the day you called me?”
She paused there, taking a deep breath. Then, with a sense of conviction, she spoke again.
“Since then. You.”
“I don’t think I disliked you that much.”
“On the contrary. Actually, the opposite.”
Nah, this can’t be true.
“Over time, all those moments when you cared for me, they all added up.”
And Haru softly murmured, as if whispering just for me.
She smiled while looking at the sky, but there was a slight shimmer of moisture in her eyes. Without meeting my gaze, she continued with a slightly trembling voice.
“Haha, isn’t it funny? At the end of everything, at this moment that everything will eventually disappear, I finally realized my feelings. And… I’m only telling you now.”
Still gazing at the sky with slightly reddened eyes, Haru kept murmuring.
Just like that.
I got to know Shin Haru’s feelings for the first time.
I couldn’t say a word.
‘…How did it come to this?’
Instead, I silently pondered in my mind.
I had definitely tried to be her eternal enemy, a perpetual villain in her eyes. That’s why I acted the way I did.
But, I was also a villain for the first time, so there might have been some immaturity.
Should I not have contacted her to cheer her up when the plane was crashing?
Should I not have rescued her in the underground that day?
Should I not have intercepted when HanEun group invaded with their giant weapon?
Should I not have caused a storm at Wolgwang Bridge?
Should I not have stepped in for her in front of the Demon Castle that day?
….I don’t know.
However, even if I could go back, I would probably do the same.
‘…I should let someone know about this.’
I felt that I had to tell my future self about this, even if I had to turn back time.
-It was wrong.
My plan to become Stardus’ archenemy, an eternal adversary, a wicked villain, was fundamentally wrong.
To remain a villain, I needed to change my plans, even if it was for the sake of the world.
However, I couldn’t convey it. The flow of time couldn’t be altered, even with my stellar powers.
As I seriously pondered the situation…
I felt something touching my hand, which was resting on the railing. It was warm and soft.
Her fingers were getting closer to my left hand.
And just as I turned my head…
I locked eyes with Haru, her blue irises slightly moist.
She softly asked me with a small voice.
…It doesn’t matter, it’s the end anyway.
Everything will become nothing.
In the crimson light of the sun, reflecting in tears that sparkled, surrounded by a breathtakingly beautiful landscape, I looked at her as she spoke to me like that.
I couldn’t say or do anything.
Soon, her fingers gently touched mine.
Before I knew it, her hand completely covered the back of my hand.
I, too, slightly moved my hand to hold hers.
She seemed a little surprised, and I quietly thought.
I liked Stardus. From the beginning, of course.
So, it shouldn’t matter.
…I don’t know. Future matters will be handled by the future Egostic. Being a villain or anything, that’s a problem for my future self to solve. If he’s as clever as I am, he’ll come up with new strategies. It’s not a problem for me from a timeline that will disappear anyway. That’s how it will be.
…Since it’s the end anyway.
Everything will become nothing.
I just need to focus on this moment.
With that thought in mind, I held her hand and simply smiled at her.
Haru widened her eyes for a moment, then she burst into a wide smile.
Her eyes became teary with joy.
“…It seems like it’s almost over now.”
How much time has passed like this?
We were quietly watching the explosions erupting below the crimson sky on the rooftop, still holding hands.
…Today’s day will end like this now.
The world will completely perish.
Time will go back.
And the events of today will be completely forgotten between the memories of both of us.
And then, we will return to the days of fighting each other.
I will continue to terrorize, and she will stop me. I will laugh while turning on the broadcasts, and she will rescue people. Days like that.
“Why are you laughing?”
As she looked at me with a questioning expression, I said that and held her hand tightly once again.
She muttered ‘What the…’, but her ears were still blushing. Well, but I didn’t think there was much difference since it was me, so I stayed quiet.
“…It’s not the end.”
As the booming sounds and mushroom-like clouds approached closer to us,
I quietly opened my mouth to speak to her.
“Even if time goes back, we are still the same two people.”
“People don’t change.”
“Someday, we will have another conversation like this.”
Raising my other hand, I gently wiped away the tears on her cheeks. I spoke to her.
And in response to my words, Haru even smiled slightly with her red eyes.
And her appearance was so beautiful that I couldn’t take my eyes off her face.
Time went back again.