Possessing Nothing - Chapter 38
Descending Down the Mountain
The 6th penalty.
He chose smell. Like taste, smell didn’t work like not smelling anything. A human could throw up with just the smell. Sungmin knew that. Because of the terrible smell that he felt during the first day, he threw up many times.
It was harder getting used to the bad smell than the taste. Because of both, food was especially terrible.
But he ate.
He swallowed the blech, closed his eyes, and tried to ignore the taste and smell of the food.
[Did you have to take smell?]
Sogo asked. She looked terrible. She was also had 6 penalties. The first time he met Sogo, she had penalties of speech, telepathy, and her left arm. She had gotten 3 more since then. She couldn’t use her left eye, and she was hearing things in her ear.
Sogo knew the harshness of food now. It was inevitable that she would be disheveled. Sungmin bitterly smiled and answered.
[Better if it’s harsher.]
Sogo didn’t ask anymore. She knew that harsher sufferings had more meaning.
They knew the answer sometimes but didn’t take it. They know that it’s too painful. Yes, that was humans. Even if it’s the answer, if harsh pain comes with it, they would avoid the correct answer.
Sogo was like that. She picked up voice and telepathy first. That wasn’t too harsh. She didn’t talk too much, and she would write if she needed to. It was uncomfortable when she couldn’t use her left arm, but it wasn’t too bad. It was the same for her left eye.
But taste and hearing were different. How bad it was having your senses away from you… Sogo was understanding it now. She was regretting it much. To take something else. That regret.
To be honest, she didn’t need to take such harsh sufferings.
She had talent. Even though it was nothing compared to Plam because he was the avatar of Mush, but Sogo was considered a genius as well.
But not Sungmin. Since he wasn’t, he had to take such sufferings. There was the difference. Sogo was unable to pass the despair that Plam gave. Sungmin took the despair and made his path, while Sogo attempted to avoid it. It was strange. Sungmin who wasn’t talented was able to fight through the despair, while the genius Sogo avoided the despair.
[I have something to tell you.
Sungmin couldn’t tell Sogo about Plam’s existence. Because of what Mush said. Sogo… did she pass Plam. Sungmin was curious but couldn’t ask to her.
[I think I’m going to leave this mountain.]
Sogo answered. He… was slightly surprised, but wasn’t panicked. It was already 2 years since she came in this mountain. It didn’t seem that long, but seeing the penalties and the talent of Sogo, she would have gotten what she wanted in the 2 years.
Sungmin breathed and wrote down. She was leaving. If that was true, Sungmin would be the longest lasting trainee here.
[I feel a bit bad about leaving you and Plam here alone in the mountain… or do you want to leave with me?]
[No, I want to stay.]
Sungmin answered. He knew now because of her answer. She didn’t know Plam’s existence.
[... I see.]
Sogo nodded. She didn’t offer anymore. Also, Sungmin didn’t try to stop here. Seeing Sogo’s personality, if he asked her to stay, she would definitely stay for him.
He knew that, so he didn’t asked. Sogo had things to do herself.
Sogo nodded. Sungmin stayed silence and asked.
[Can we meet again.]
[Probably. I’ll be wandering after I leave this mountain...but we’ll be able to meet. Defeinietly.]
Sogo answered. No, he will defeintly be able to meet her. Sungmin will go for her in 7 years.
[How long are you going to stay here?]
[I don’t know.]
Sungmin answered. He wanted to stay here for 2 years. After that, he was going to go to Behengeru to become a mercenary.
But he didn’t know anymore. There was nothing that he needed to do when he went to Behengeru. The only thing that he could do was to get a spot like his previous life.
But he wasn’t content yet.
He didn’t get to the point that he wanted to. He wasn’t sure that he would be able to reach the end of martial arts even by staying, but he wanted to at least fulfill his goal that he had in mind
[...Don’t overextend yourself.]
She hesitated and wrote that down. Sogo didn’t feel right about this. They were all the same. No Classes. Martial artists. Magicians. Everyone was summoned here. They lost their family and friends.
Sogo looked at her pupil. It’s been a year since they’ve met. The young student grew a lot in a year. Even with the taste penalty, Sungmin didn’t shy away from eating. It was to grow his body. It worked pretty well, and he was close to Sogo’s height now.
Sungmin did look a way older than his age. Yet, there was a bit of youth still hidden in his face. Sogo felt a bitter feeling as she sighed.
She wanted to help more. Give advice. It wasn’t that she didn’t give advice and help Sungmin.
She just wanted to help more.
[If it weren’t for your help, I wouldn’t have been able to survive in this mountain for a few months. It was because of you that I’m here now.]
Sungmin never felt this feeling. Like he felt gratitude towards Wijihoyun, he felt gratitude to Sogo.
Sungmin wrote. Sogo came closer to Sungmin. She used her right arm to pull Sungmin in. Sungmin was surprised and attempted to move away, but Sogo didn’t let him go.
For a while… she stayed like that with Sungmin in her arms. Her right arm was sliding down Sungmin’s back. Sungmin felt the warmth of her hand, her hair, and her body. His face was burning hot.
Sogo let Sungmin go. She wrote down on the ground.
[You’ll be able to do well. You… are one of the hardest person that I’ve met.]
[What does it mean by hard?]
[You never gave up. You despaired at Plam, but you never gave up. I… think that’s incredibly. Not giving up, working hard. You’re amazing.[
[It’s not that much.]
Sungmin answered. Hard. Doesn’t break. That… wasn’t true. Sungmin was already broken many times. He just survived it.
[I’m not hard. I’ve already been broken. Even now. And in the future as well.]
[It’s fine if you aren’t. It doesn’t matter if you’ve been broken many times. What’s important is not falling hopeless. You’re… amazing.]
Sogo shook her head and wrote.
[I don’t believe in God.]
That seemed like a paradox. This was the Mountain of Mush. A place where a God of suffering exists. To train here without believing in God.
[But I want to pray to them. To have you fulfill your goal. To not have you completely break.]
Sogo wrote that and put down her branch. Sungmin wanted to say more, but seeing that she put down her branch, he stopped. It was until here. Sogo looked calm.
If they continued, they would only have attachments.
Sogo’s mouth opened. The penalties had ended. Her left eye opened, and her left arm started to move. Sogo breathed deeply. And in a low voice,
“I hope we meet again someday.”
She said farewell.
From a time, Sungmin ate with Sogo. She was always there when Sungmin was training. She looked at his martial arts and gave him plenty of advice.
She was a kind person. If Wijihoyun’s teachings were harsh, Sogo’s were nice. He didn’t mean to compare them, but the teachings of both were different and gave him much left.
That Sogo had left. Like Wijihoyun did.
Sungmin walked the mountain alone. Lonely… was what he felt. It was a while since he felt this way. He had felt loneliness when Wijihoyun left. But there were people there for him. Hans was there, Jack was there, Lula was there.
But not anymore.
There was no one here. There would be other trainees, but he had no intention of meeting them. Bejun and Scarlet had already left months ago. Sogo left today. Sungmin wanted the company of people.
People cannot live alone.
Don’t forget morals. Don’t forget favors.
He had heard that before. He had heard it… from Hans. People can’t live alone. He couldn't understand that when he first heard it from Sogo, but not anymore.
He wouldn’t have survived if he was alone.
Sungmin stopped his footsteps. A thought came into his mind. It was already night. His body was heavy, his ears heard noise, and his nose had terrible odors. Yes. It was the same old ‘me’
But something was different.
His mind changed. A wall that he kept up wa being broken. His mind brightened. It was a short but long lasting feeling of freedom. Sungmin breathed heavily. In that moment, there was no smell, no weight, no noise.
The world would change if ‘I’ change.
Sungmin laughed in the world of loneliness and solitude