38 Episode 7-Ender's Game (12)

The dream sequence was still continuing. I couldn't wake up yet. McFarland was still chasing me. Have you ever had a nightmare that you couldn't get out of, or a dream that you were trapped in? This is what I felt. McFarland felt like an intruder, a robber; his target was me.

I ran from the man through the shifting dream. I had to get away from my safe place. I didn't know what was in it, but I had a theory: characters who gained Fragments of the 4th Wall would no longer be characters at all, and they would gain information from TWSA and the Anna side stories.

The information I carried was too precious; I would be willing to die to prevent it from entering the hands of others. Now, McFarland was trying to take all of my information from me. Conversely, I didn't feel like dying. I was still trying to run, still trying to hide.

(Come back here, Ethan!!!)

I never had a father, much less an abusive one. Is this how Maxine felt every time McFarland would beat her? I thought of McFarland's daughter. I didn't know Maxine McFarland, but I remember all of the hatred I felt whenever McFarland would choke and hurt her.

I also remembered the promise I made a long time ago, and the words I said to myself: "I'll kill men like McFarland, until they are dead, until they are humiliated, until they are nothing."

Those were the thoughts I had. Sadly, where was my strength? I was angry enough, spiteful enough and I read TWSA more than anyone. So, why? Why was the world being unfair to me?

(It's because I'm not the protagonist....)

The concept of the overpowered protagonist was cliché and contrived. The only thing that mattered in this world was power, and illusions. McFarland was strong physically, and incredibly manipulative... but he wasn't insane. No, he was the opposite. He was evil, he was twisted, and he had no sense of morals, but he wasn't insane.

(The power of insanity.... It is to pay the gazes of others no heed, and to step out of common sense.)

What would be the most stupid thing I could do? My method of trying to inflict empathy onto McFarland didn't work. It was due to this: I didn't have enough happy memories. I had fleeting emotions, but those were repressed overtime.

I had to think like an insane person. What would an insane person do? It depended on their degree of insanity. What was mine? What were my sins, and what was my quirk? It was this: I wasn't afraid to die. Especially if I could bring the personification of evil with me.


I practically ran into his arms. I grabbed hold of him, and he was even surprised. I wrapped my small arms around him, as if this was a loving embrace.

(What the hell....?)

(Let's step outside of sanity together, McFarland...)


I once had a thought in the "Ender's Game: Simulation." If Hypnos made a connection with me, then that meant my soul was floating around. If my soul could simply be untethered from my body, especially when I died.... what happens if I could die, and tether my soul with McFarland's?

It meant that I had to venture to the farthest edges of mind, and it meant that I had to reopen the connection that Hypnos made with me. If I could get into the Underworld....

(Ethan!!! Let go of me!!)

(Let's die together, you son of a bitch!!)

With all of my willpower, I focused on that link with Hypnos. I didn't know if I could do it, but I had to. How would I visualize it? Where was the Underworld? With every single thought I could muster, I pushed my mind farther and farther out there, while McFarland tried to escape me.

(Ethan, stop!! Please!! It doesn't have to be this way!!)

(Oh, it kind of does!!)

[A re yo u su re yo u wa nt to do th is?]

(Fraggy?!! Where were you?!)

[Ti red.... I cou ldn 't pro tect you... do you w an t me to se nd yo u th ere?]

(What is that!?!) McFarland shouted in my dream. (What's that voice!?!)

(The voice that's going to send us to the Underworld, bitch.)

With all of the power that my Fragment of the 4th Wall had, we warped into the Underworld.


How would I describe going to the Underworld? I don't know. There were many myths and legends; some said that Thanatos - the Greek angel of death - would guide you, and you would have to pay Charon - the ferryman - to take you further into the Underworld. Then you have to be judged, and your soul could go to four possible places: Fields of Punishment, Fields of Asphodel, Fields of Elysium and Tartarus, the prison of giants and titans.

Sometimes, people described death as clean cut; you do this and that, and you take this many steps. You have proper burials, perform rituals, and have people pray that your soul makes it to their respective afterlife.

So, I was honestly surprised when I found myself standing in a dark castle, with no rivers in sight, or any souls of the dead.

My feet were standing on a floor that appeared to made of pure obsidian, while I saw two thrones that appeared to be made from dark marble. They were placed higher than anything in this room, which only added to their imposing aura. One of them was adorned with gold, diamonds, and precious earth elements, such as iron and coal.

The other throne was adorned with flowers and fruits, but they were made with crystals such as emeralds, rubies, and diamonds. This throne was slimmer than the other one, and shone brighter than anything in this area. I continued to look around, and I saw pillars and clear glass windows. This entire place was reminiscent of Ancient Greek architecture, with it's symmetrical pillars, harmonious fluidity and intricate detail.

There was only one vibe that this place gave me: it belonged to the highest of royalty. I turned my attention back to the thrones, and froze when I saw who were sitting in them.

One of them appeared as dark mist, which coalesced into the shape of a man. The other person appeared human, but there was a problem: they appeared as a beautiful women who I've seen before.

(She's not supposed to be dead, though.)

Right now, I was staring at Yu Sangah, who was supposed to be in South Korea.

[Constellation "Queen of the Darkest Spring" is staring at you.]

[Constellation "King of Riches and Death" is staring at you.]

"What the hell is this?!"

I saw McFarland standing right next to me. He was transparent like an actual ghost, but he seemed to actually use his real voice.

[Silence, pathetic mortal.]

McFarland stiffened. The minute the dark mist began to speak towards Mathew, McFarland turned more transparent. Was he going to die...? I grinned inwardly at the thought.

[Ethan Nakamura. My, my, so you were the boy that Hypnos was sneaking into our realm,] the woman in Yu Sangah's body said to me.

"Your majesty, please don't do this!"

I turned my attention behind me. In this immense throne room, there were two wide doors that were 10 meters wide. Kneeling on the ground - in black chains - was Hypnos. Standing above Hypnos was a beautifully sculpted man, who wore nothing but a toga from his waist. It showed off his upper body, which was adorned with dark toned abs, and two arms that appeared strong with muscle.

The man's hair fell to their shoulders, which was pure black, just like the rest of their body. I could barely see in this dimly lit throne room, but I thought I could see two wide wings tucked behind them.

The half-toga they wore covered their legs, but I caught a glimpse here and there, and saw that there thighs and shins were muscled as the rest of their body. Their feet were beautiful as well, with trimmed nails and toes that radiated power. This man could only be described as such: incredibly handsome. I only saw Yu Junghyeok in my dreams, but even this man could rival Yu Junghyeok in beauty and handsomeness. This man could slap Yu Junghyeok's cheeks twice.

All in all, this person looked like someone you would want to have step on you. I was ashamed I didn't have a smartphone with me, or else I would've tried to take a picture of him. Sadly, I had a feeling who they were. They were Thanatos. For some reason, though, I didn't know death could be so attractive.

(If I took a picture of him and sold the images on the Dokkaebi shop, I bet I could make a lot of money.)

[Constellation "Angelic Harbinger of Peaceful Death" is staring at you.]

With this gaze and message alone, it told me to look away. I turned my attention to the royalty in front of me. To be honest, I was afraid. Who wouldn't become fearful when facing the personifications of death?

There was only one thing to do: show respect. I got on one knee, and bowed my head deeply to the two rulers of the Underworld.

[At least this mortal has a shred of respect,] the dark mist said angrily. [Kneel like him, mortal!]

McFarland followed my lead.

(Ethan, can you hear me?)

I felt McFarland's voice in my head.

(Get the fuck out.)

(Don't be too hasty. I want to make a deal with you, Ethan.)

(Don't be rude in front of royalty, dumbass. Pay attention.)

[Dear mortals, you may stand, and you may speak. Ethan Nakamura, please stand first, and answer our questions. If not, we will throw your souls into the Fields of Punishment to suffer for eternity.]

The voice who spoke these words was the Queen of the Darkest Spring. I looked at her straight in the eyes, and tried to find something that could comfort me. Sadly, there was nothing there. Everything in this room felt cold, and sharp, as if the atmosphere itself was going to cut me down. It was unfair that Persephone was using the body of Yu Sangah. If I was right, Yu Sangah was a kind person who cared for others. I didn't feel a shred of that benevolence from this person though.

"I am ready, Your Majesty," I spoke aloud.

[Let's not be too hasty. First, we need to make sure that you don't break this oath. Horkos, come into the throne room!]

The imposing doors opened, and I saw another man enter. He was just as dark and dreary as everything in this place, sadly, he wasn't as handsome. He looked like the kind of average guy you would meet at the office.

He approached me and said in his true voice, [Look into my eyes mortal. Swear this upon the River Styx. You will always tell the truth, and especially in front of royalty.]

I smiled at this proposal. I looked at Hypnos. His mouth was shut, but his kind eyes seemed worried for me. I was probably imagining it. I was alone in this world, and this world hated me. So, what do you do if everything is your enemy? Make your enemies turn against each other, and flip the situation onto their heads.

I smiled at Horkos. How do you get out of dangerous situations these days? By speaking with respect, using logic, and making cunning plans behind other people's backs. You also have to factor what they want, and what you need. By having overlapping interests, and greater information, you can use this information to your advantage.

I smiled at Horkos again. Could he see the insanity in my eyes? The joy I felt?

"How about this? Just kill both of us. I want to die, but please, make sure to take Mathew McFarland with me."

I turned my attention back to the two monarchs who sat upon their alleviated thrones.

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